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  • Minutes - 27th September 2018
    Present were Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace plus Carl Rylett (WODC) and Ken Brooks (NP).

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson and Mark Walker as landowners in the parish.

    The meeting started with a report from Ken Brooks:
    • The WODC Local Plan has been formally adopted.
    • The Neighbourhood Plan has been cleared by the examiner subject to several amendments.
    • Ken Brooks has a meeting arranged with WODC next Thursday to discuss the proposed amendments and assuming there is agreement the plan will then be published. The next and final step will be a referendum.

    The minutes for the August meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Bus shelter. The clerk will contact the insurance company and Mark Walker will arrange for the broken glass panel to be replaced.

    Drainage. We need to chase up OCC about work at High Cogges and in the area of Shuttles Cottage.

    Lease for Football Field. Nothing to report.

    WW1 armistice commemoration. We have decided to plant the sapling behind the millennium seat in Station Road.

    Traffic Speed. The police have stopped usage of a hand held 'gun'; in its place they suggest we purchase a Speed Indicator Device. Research shows this will cost £1985 + VAT + delivery charge. We will check our funds later in the year but meanwhile will seek insurance company advice. The possibility was mentioned that maybe we could share the device and cost with a few local parishes.

    PLANNING APPLICATIONS

    • High Cogges Farm, barn and cart shed – no objections.
    • Mason Arms – no objections to the erection of Café / Events Bar but serious objections to the additional car parking arrangements.

    AOB

    South Leigh Charity. The Trust Deed states that the PC should appoint 3 trustees. The following persons were duly appointed; Messrs Law, Osmundson and Ashwell. As per the terms of the Trust Deed they will responsible for co-opting a maximum of two others to the charity.

    Newsletter. The printer informs us that printing A4 size as at present is no longer cost effective and suggests we change to A3 for a small increase in cost. However there is a printer at Kidlington who is offering A4 size for less money – unanimous decision to keep the present format.

    Cheques drawn. In favour of Print Design for £186.00 and Norris & Fisher Insurance for £1024.21

    Village Hall acoustics. No progress with finding someone to provide an acceptable quote to install the panels.

    As the Pilates class has moved to Mondays it was decided the PC meetings will in future revert to Tuesdays.

  • Minutes - 16th August 2018
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, & Simon Stace plus Charles Mathew.

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson and Mark Walker as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the July meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    Ben Morrish came to explain that we will soon be receiving an amended planning application to the one we commented on in March as he has had to lower the height of the ridge and reduce the footprint of the cart shed at the request of the WODC Heritage Officer. We are surprised about the latter but have no objections to either change.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The examiner appears to have no major concerns but has asked for some more details concerning the Green Corridors, Local Green Spaces and Non-Designated Heritage Assets.

    Bus shelter. Mark Walker has removed the wooden shelter. Northmoor PC are happy for us to transfer their shelter to Shores Green so Mark will inspect it to ascertain how it is fixed to the ground and if such fixings are appropriate to our site.

    Floods and Drainage. OCC have carried out a survey at High Cogges but further investigation is required. Other drainage matters are "proceeding" – we will ask for an update.

    Lymbrook Close. No response from Cottsway, we will demand a reply.

    Lease for Football Field. Martin Wilson is negotiating the length of the lease and the proposed rent with the estate together with details of the usage.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Report received on the condition and safety of the play area showing there is nothing that requires urgent action. Cheque drawn for £88.20.

    Letter from Mason Arms advising us that another planning application will be received shortly which involves a café / events building and a solution to the additional parking spaces that we requested.

    Winter Salt, OCC ask if we need any for the approaching winter. We do have some bags at present but Eileen Mawle would rather not accept any more for the moment. Mark Walker agreed to allow a tonne bag be taken to his work site. OCC to be informed.

    Centenary of the Armistice of WW1, OCC invite all parishes to plant a sapling(s) in commemoration, the plant will be provided by the Woodland Trust and a plaque by OCC. Further details will follow, in the meantime a site has to be found.

    Letter from Volunteer Link-up about Good Neighbourhood Schemes – Nicky Brooks said she will collate a 'welcome pack' for new residents.


    AOB


    Speeding traffic – the possibility of a few residents in yellow jackets standing beside the road with a speed gun was discussed. The clerk checked with the insurance company about cover which is adequate at £10m so there is no problem with insurance so long as those involved have received a short training session from the police. However Charles Mathew informs us that Stanton Harcourt has been stopped from using their gun as it seems they were informing the police of too many culprits. We will contact the police for advice.

    The Village Hall Committee has researched the possibility of have sound absorbent panels in the roof. They will cost just over £2100. They have also received an estimate for erecting the panels of £2980 which they consider is far too much. Simon Stace will liaise with Richard Law, chairman of the Village Hall Committee.
  • Minutes - 12th July 2018
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace plus Charles Mathew (OCC) and Carl Rylett (WODC)

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle and Alan Wilson as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the May meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    Ben Morrish came to explain that we will soon be receiving an amended planning application to the one we commented on in March as he has had to lower the height of the ridge and reduce the footprint of the cart shed at the request of the WODC Heritage Officer. We are surprised about the latter but have no objections to either change.

    MATTERS ARISING

    WODC’s Local Plan decision by the inspector has been delayed until October.

    Neighbourhood Plan. The NP with the inspectorate, we expect a response in 2/3 weeks.

    JJ then commented on her report that owls, bats, and greater crested newts, all protected to varying degrees, can all be found in the area covered by the Gladman Plan.

    Cotswold Village Action Plan document is being circulated amongst councillors, deadline for comments is 27/7.

    Bus shelter. Unanimous decision to have it removed in the interests of safety. OCC to be asked if they have any concerns about this and to be asked about the possibility of grants for a new one. Mark W. to be asked if he could remove the shelter. Behind the shelter there is a lot of rubbish amongst the brambles, OCC to be asked if they can help with the clearance. The clerk will investigate the likelihood of us being able to have a second hand one from Northmoor as they no longer have a bus service.

    Lymbrook Close car parking. WODC Enforcement Officer has agreed the new parking area can stay but has asked that greenery should be planted to lessen its impact. We will contact Cottsway who seem to have had little interest in what tenants do to their properties.

    Football ground lease. Martin Wilson is in contact with the estate about the new lease rent and if the new lease will be for the same term. Previous lease was for 21 years.

    Drainage. Most of the points in the OCC Drainage Officer’s letter of 25th May have been actioned but a couple remain concerning flooding in the Shuttles Cottage area. We will chase.

    AOB

    A recent stay of 5 nights by a motorhome in the Village Hall car park annoyed several neighbours. The Village Hall Committee had given permission for it to be there but had not expected it to arrive in the middle of the night. Letter of apology to be sent to the neighbours.

    Cheque drawn for £248.00 for the Summer Newsletter.
  • Minutes - 24th May 2018
    Apologies for absence were received from Simon Stace, Alan Wilson and Mark Walker.

    Present were Nicky Brooks, Eileen Mawle and Martin Wilson plus Charles Mathew (OCC), Ken Brooks (NPG), Alex (Mason Arms) and Jackie Johnson, author of a an Environmental report on the area covered by the Gladman plan.

    Declaration of Interest: A Declaration of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle as a landowner in the parish.

    The minutes for the April meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    Alex, as new manager of the pub, gave a short talk on how he intends to make the pub more attractive to locals; this will not happen overnight but in a couple of months or so we should begin to see a difference with the menus and prices.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The NP is at the public consultation stage which will end in about 10 days time.

    WODC’s Local Plan is presently in the hands of the Inspector.

    JJ then commented on her report that owls, bats, and greater crested newts, all protected to varying degrees, can all be found in the area covered by the Gladman Plan.

    Bus shelter. Research by EM shows we could buy a new one for £3500 to £4500 to include safety glass, a seat and construction. Alternatively we need to look into repairing what we have so will ask the partner of the Stanton Harcourt clerk (recommended by CM) and the brother of EM for a report on what needs doing and the cost.

    Flooding. Following a visit from an OCC officer, the pipes under the road opposite the pub have been jetted and cleared.

    The culvert under the entrance to the field close to the pub on the right hand side of the road has also been cleared.

    A culvert close to Acre Cottage is to be lowered on or by 8th June.

    Work on the culvert on the bend at Shuttles Cottage will commence in 2 weeks time.

    At High Cogges a camera will be used in the drains to pin-point the problem.

    Accounts. The Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statements were approved by council and signed by the chair.

    AOB

    Martin W has been in contact with the agents for Eynsham Estate regarding a new lease for the football pitch - the existing one is about to expire. The cost for legal work will be £1250 + VAT. As we wish to keep the area as a community facility we have little choice but to agree the cost.

    Lymbrook Close. Retrospective application for a car park in front of the flats is in the hands of the enforcement officer at WODC.
  • Minutes - 26th April 2018
    All Parish Councillors were present along with three Witney Town Councillors, Charles Mathew (OCC) and Ken Brooks (SLAG).

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle and Alan Wilson as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the March meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    The three Witney Town Councillors then gave a short presentation concerning possible future development of the town and the effect on neighbouring villages and traffic conditions. Now that contact has been made it is hoped to meet again after the elections next month.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. Ken Brooks reported on the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) which is now in the hands of WODC. The latter has arranged for the NP to be seen by a national examiner - our approval is sought and given following which, all being well, there will be a further six weeks' public consultation period. The final invoice was unanimously sanctioned and paid to Edgars for the SEA screening statement, preparation and submission of representations to WODC Local Plan, various meetings and advice regarding the NP. Paid for from money raised through fundraising.

    Bus Shelter at Shores Green. The wooden bus shelter at Shores Green is in need of replacement. SS & EM will research what is available and the cost, in metal and glass. Our OCC councillor will shortly be in a position to invite applications for grants from Parish Councils.

    Flooding. There are three locations in the village where flooding occurs, Paul Wilson OCC to be invited to meet on site to see if a solution can be found. CM suggested another person at OCC who should be able to provide flood warning signs.

    Data Protection. Literature taken by Ken Brooks to study.

    AOB

    Cheques written for £224 re. Spring newsletter, and £236 to WODC being rates charged on village hall. The Precept of £3545 to cover for 6 months has been received.
  • Minutes - 15th March 2018
    Present were Mark Walker (Chair) Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace.

    Apologies for absence were received from Nicky Brooks & Charles Mathew.

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle and Alan Wilson as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the February meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The amended Plan was put before Council and the approval of councillors sought with the request that permission be granted to take matters to the next stage namely the public and statutory consultations. Having studied the document it was agreed that the draft Plan should be adopted and the Chair duly authorised the NPG to proceed to prepare for and implement the public and statutory consultations.

    EM proposed & SS seconded the motion that a few typing errors on the NP should be corrected and the maps on the final version should be larger than shown on the draft copy. All agreed.

    There was concern regarding an invoice from Edgars for £2500 +VAT as to what exactly it was for. The clerk will obtain the details.

    The Gladman planning application is going through the consultation phase. WODC have received just over 100 objections, mostly from within this parish.

    Bus Shelter at Shores Green. EM & SS have investigated and reported it needs support at the rear and some wooden panels need replacing. The chair produced a photo of a metal and glass shelter seen locally and as this is a possibility will try and find the cost. The clerk also showed a photo of an aluminium one with glazed panels which cost £1999 +VAT.

    Clearing of Limb Brook and flooding in general. Reply from the Environment Agency that they used to clear the brook but since 2007 they do not have the funds to do so. The flood risk is low in terms of people and property so where they cannot allocate funds they expect the riparian owners to carry out their duty and keep the water flowing. They will try to attend to a blockage of a main river watercourse if there is a risk to property.

    There are concerns about flooding and the state of the ditches in the Level Crossing area, the pub area, Chapel Road, Shuttles Cottage area and High Cogges. Regarding the latter, the chair said he will discuss with the owner of Timbercroft as the problem there seems to stem from a collapsed bridge on his land. He also said he will put drainage rods down the pipes opposite the pub to try and clear any blockages. Meanwhile the trenches recently dug to reduce flooding there which exposed the Gigaclear cables still haven’t been filled in. Complaints have been received, some with photos of the ditches. OCC will be contacted again but it seems the responsibility to keep the ditches clear falls on the owners of adjacent land.

    Request received for our annual subscription to OALC for £135.06. Unanimously agreed to pay as was £750 to the clerk as it is the end of the financial year.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    High Cogges Farm for "conversion and alterations to the granary and car shed with link through to form holiday let accommodation or ancillary residential annexe". Although agreed in principle the proposed cart shed ridge is considered too high and concern was expressed as to whether it is intended for holiday let accommodation or residential purposes.
  • Minutes - 7th February, 2018
    Present were councillors Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace plus Ken Brooks (Chair NP) and Charles Mathew OCC.

    Declarations of Interest were made by Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle and Alan Wilson as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the December meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    A letter has been received from Tim Lawson, owner of the village website, complaining about comments made in the minutes for the 14th November 2017 meeting under the heading ‘Lymbrook Close’. Research has shown our comments were the result of a misunderstanding and that the incorrectly understood information formed the basis of our discussion. The result of this was that we thought the relevant posts were on the South Leigh website whereas they were on the South Leigh Facebook forum. We therefore formed an opinion based on incorrect facts and will contact Tim to apologise for the confusion and hopefully demonstrate that our comments were the result of a genuine misunderstanding.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Local Plan. We understand the inspector has approved the section dealing with our area and the hope is the whole plan will be adopted by May. We also understand there is now a reduced requirement for housing in West Oxfordshire.

    The Neighbourhood Plan is presently with WODC seeking their approval. A unanimous vote was made at the public meeting last week to change the Neighbourhood Plan so that it states there should be no building in South Leigh Parish apart from on brownfield sites. When WODC approval has been received and the PC has adopted it there will be a 6 week public consultation period.

    WODC have received the planning application from Gladman. The size of their plan will mean it goes to full council for a decision.

    The 5 year requirement for building land has now been reduced to 3 years.

    Lymbrook Close. The WODC enforcement officer sent a photo of the new car park asking for confirmation this was the correct site.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Mason Arms. The most recent planning application at the Mason Arms involving a new car park at the front, has been withdrawn. Charles Mathew to be thanked for his input with this application. A new illuminated advertising sign has appeared beside the road at the pub for which no permission has been sought. The lights on it shine into the eyes of drivers. WODC planning dept. will be consulted.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Letter received about the lack of drainage under Chapel Road; another concerns blocked ditches in the level crossing area and finally two trenches have been dug from road to brook opposite the Mason Arms. CM said he will circulating details of funds he will receive from OCC for village projects such as these and suggests that we apply.

    AOB

    It was decided to purchase a flood warning sign to replace one that disappeared.

    Kevin Grant has sent his quote for grass cutting which is the same as last year: £80 per cut for Village Green and hall garden. Accepted.

    The condition of the bus shelter on the road going into Witney was raised as some of the side panels have dropped off and it may be in danger of sliding down the bank. To be investigated.

    Tim Lawson wrote to say that now would be a good time for Eynsham Estate to fulfil the planning condition concerning the planting of trees to the left of the access road to Just Cartridges, but the same day Charles Bull of JC said Eynsham Estate had said work will start within two weeks. A hedge will also be planted on the recreational field side of the new fence.
  • Minutes - 19th December, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace plus Ken Brooks (chairman NP), Peter Emery (WODC) and Charles Mathew (OCC)

    Apologies for absence were received from Alan Wilson, and Peter Emery (WODC).

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker and Eileen Mawle and Alan Wilson as landowners within the parish.

    The minutes for the November meetings were signed as being a true record of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The latest version of the Draft Plan and survey reports is about to be sent to WODC for advice on its suitability. The responses to a recent questionnaire showed that most people would be happy with a small development within the village but only four expressed an interest in a property for a relative. A short length of Station Road is the most popular land for housing of that put forward by landowners in a recent call for land.

    Savills, as agents for Eynsham Park Estate, are not interested in affordable housing.

    Lymbrook Close. The Enforcement Officer at WODC will investigate the new hardstanding with a view to planning control.

    Just Cartridges. The decision on the retail aspect is that “sales are very limited and in planning terms can be described as incidental to the permitted storage”.

    Precept. Much discussion about future budget. NB proposed and EM seconded the proposal that it is increased by 2% to counteract inflation and to fund additional services. Carried on a vote of 5:1, the latter was M. Walker. It is likely the play area committee will request a grant in the foreseeable future as new equipment will cost an estimated £6500.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Mason Arms. For a café / events barn, glazed link, additional parking & use of existing access to serve the kitchen area. Whilst we have no objections to the proposed new buildings we are totally against the plan for car parking along the edge of Station Road. This is considered dangerous as cars would be reversing onto the narrow road. We prefer that a new car park be made behind the kitchen garden for staff and for overflow usage when needed.

    AOB

    The lease on the 'football pitch' expires next year. It was generally agreed that a new lease should be in the name of the PC to maintain it for recreational use. Martin Wilson is in contact with the agents, Savills.

    It was unanimously agreed the clerk’s salary should be increased to £1000 as from the start of the new financial year.

    Future meetings will be held on Thursdays to avoid a clash with the Pilates class.
  • Minutes - 14th November, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Martin Wilson and Simon Stace together with Charles Mathew (OCC) and Ken Brooks (Chairman NP)

    Apologies for absence were received from Alan Wilson, and Peter Emery (WODC).

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker and Eileen Mawle as landowners within the parish.

    The minutes for the September meetings were signed as being a true record of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. A Draft Plan has been circulated to councillors for comments. As yet it does not include the housing section. More photographs will be included in the final document which will be presented to the PC for approval.

    WODC’s Local Plan. The cabinet will be meeting tomorrow to approve or otherwise the extra reports that have been requested by the Inspector following which there will be a four week consultation period.

    A petition will shortly be circulated to villagers aimed at proving to Gladman and WODC that there is no support in the village for the Gladman Vision.

    Lymbrook Close. Planning permission is required for the broad frontage car park in front of the flats that has recently been installed, so we will ask WODC as the planning authority to intervene. It is understood the village website has been used for a vendetta between a few residents in the Close. Tim Lawson, as owner of the website, will be requested to remove such items.

    Just Cartridges. No further development since a letter from WODC Enforcement team saying they will be in contact with us but it will take time.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Insurance. We recently requested a new valuation of the village hall (the first since refurbishment in 2013) and it is now valued at £532,000 resulting in an increase to the insurance premium of £131.39. Cheque sent.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Mason Arms. Conversion of former garage and extension to create 4 guest rooms. PC’s response is that we wish to support the owners in making the pub sustainable and whilst we are in favour of this application we feel the extra rooms together with the increasing popularity of the pub necessitates 10 more car parking spaces off road. We will not support the application if more such car parking spaces are not provided.

    AOB

    Christmas tree lights: it appears we will be having a tree on the Village Green again this year but decorative lights are needed. The PC agreed to provide up to £100 if the VHC will do likewise.

    Cheques were drawn for £1815.00 for the Hedgerows Survey, £500 donation towards the grass cutting in the churchyard and the increased insurance as above.

    A meeting was called to discuss two more planning applications...

    Mason Arms

    The applications at the pub involve a two storey building for guests and private outdoor facilities to include a swimming pool and treatment huts.
    Whilst we have no major objections to the proposed developments we are concerned about the increased car parking spaces that we consider will be necessary when the 15 bedrooms that have been agreed are occupied as we do not want cars parked along the roadside. We feel an overflow car park should be created behind the kitchen garden for use as and when required but which should be used as the main car park for members of staff.

    Concern was expressed about the appearance of beauty huts and a treatment hut on the site of a listed building as they will be visible from the road.

    Any further development after the café/events barn which we understand will be the subject of another application would be considered over development.

    Conversion of office to holiday let at Acre Cottage.

    Space for off road parking will be necessary and we ask that a 11 month restriction be placed as a condition of agreement to stop the property becoming a dwelling in its own right.
  • Minutes - 27th September, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, & Simon Stace plus about 85 members of the public and 4 representatives from Gladman Developments Limited and one from Gladman's advisors, Curtin and Co.

    An apology for absence was received from Eileen Mawle.

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker and Alan Wilson declared an interest as landowners within the parish.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Correspondence: Letter from CAB asking for a donation towards their costs. Decision: regret unable to do so whilst we are repaying the hall loan.

    Lymbrook Close: Letter from Cottsway confirming landlords permission has been granted to install a driveway in front of the flats. Obtaining permission from OCC Highways or WODC planning is the responsibility of the tenants and Cottsway will remind them of this fact. We will contact WODC with a copy to Cottsway.

    OCC have followed up our request for Ragwort to be destroyed by asking where is particularly infested. Replied: most of the road verges especially in the vicinity of the A40 flyover.

    By prior arrangement, the Gladman Team presented their 'Vision Proposal' for the Barnard Gate at South Leigh Garden Village. They presented copies of both a revised 'Masterplan' document and an agenda with no warning. This was noted as being unacceptable.

    The presentation was followed by a Q&A session open to both members of the public and the parish council. Many objections to the proposal were made and at a show of hands 100% of residents were against the proposal.

    As the meeting closed the Gladman staff offered to answer any further questions and indeed to meet with any resident or parish councillor who wished.
  • Minutes - 25th September, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace plus 30+ members of the public including Charles Mathew (OCC) & Ken Brooks. Apologies were received from Peter Emery.

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker, Alan Wilson and Eileen Mawle declared an interest as landowners within the parish.

    The minutes for the July 11th meeting were signed as true record of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Presentation by Justin & Charlie Salisbury re. future plans for the Mason Arms – several questions were asked and satisfactorily responded to. The only concern remaining is whether there will be sufficient off-road car parking. The planned development is necessary to make the establishment a viable business. There were in excess of 30 members of the public present who, at the end, gave Charlie & Justin a round of applause, something that has never happened at a PC meeting in living memory. This demonstrates the desire of the vast majority of villagers to see the Mason Arms being managed successfully.

    Presentation by Lucy Kennery on progress made and plans for the future of the Lower Windrush project, part of which including Rushey Common is within our parish.

    Neighbourhood Plan. Ken Brooks reported that WODC have seen a 1st draft but have insisted the format must be changed to one approved by them. Plan was therefore re-written. We have not yet received the Hedgerow Report or the Housing Report.

    Villagers will shortly be asked to complete another housing survey as more evidence of need in the parish is required.

    There is a long complex timetable ahead, but once the draft plan is complete there will be a consultation with residents one evening and all day on a Saturday, followed eventually after approval from WODC by a local referendum.

    Charles Mathew said there is reason to believe that Government figures are wrong and not so many new houses will be required as originally stated. James Mills, leader of WODC is on record as having said that the housing figures shown in the WODC Emerging Local Plan will remain in place. He considers that the top priority is to get the Emerging Local Plan approved and adopted. It was noted that the Parish Council supported this action.

    The inspector’s decision on the Emerging Local Plan now looks as though it will not be available until next Spring.

    Just Cartridges WODC Enforcement Team will investigate whether a breach of planning control has taken place. (No permission to use the premises for retail purposes).

    Football pitch The lease will expire next year. This may be a good time to amend a new lease to include more general use and not be restricted to the football club. It was also felt there might be a benefit in having the lease in the name of the Parish Council.

    AOB

    Annual Audit.
    Annual Return and auditor’s certificate was approved and accepted by Council. Cheque for £240 drawn in favour of BDO.

    Cheques were also made out for £310.50 for two editions of the newsletter; £1376.08 for next instalment of loan repayment (£23428 o/s) and £868.18 for insurance.

    PC meetings will remain on Tuesdays. If the main hall is being used by a Pilates class we will use the small hall unless many of the public are expected in which case a different day will be chosen.
  • Minutes - 11th July, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson and Simon Stace together with Charles Mathew & Ken Brooks.

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker & Alan Wilson as landowners within the parish declared an interest in the Gladman Barnard Gate Village Development Vision. Eileen Mawle also declared an interest as she owns land within the parish and in Witney.

    The minutes for the May 15th meeting were signed as true record of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. 2nd draft has been sent to WODC & Jayne Norris for help with input. Target for 3rd draft is early August after reports from consultants have been received. The cost of various consultants so far has been met by grants from government. The final draft will have to be approved by PC before being submitted to WODC for their approval.

    WODC Local Plan. Nicky is attending the hearings daily. Approval by the Govt. Inspector of the Local Plan will improve our chances against developers especially if we have an agreed Neighbourhood Plan. No agreement or refusal of LP will mean ‘a free for all’ for developers.
    Nicky has the opportunity to speak at the LP hearing next week and requested the following motion be put to the PC: “That South Leigh Parish Council broadly supports the draft WODC Local Plan which states that no development should be allowed within this parish”. Four councillors voted in favour, the remaining two abstained.

    Gladman telephoned to book the Village Hall for a closed meeting with the PC on 18th July and a meeting with the public on 4th August. Nothing has been received by PC. Reply will state that we are very unhappy with the idea of a closed meeting especially as there is no agenda or documents to read. Not prepared to meet them next week. It will be impossible to get all councillors together during August so suggest meetings are postponed until September.

    Just Cartridges Concern has been expressed about asbestos in the roof but this apparently is not a problem. WODC to be asked again about planning requirements as we understand there is a retail outlet operating without permission.

    Football pitch The lease will expire next year. This may be a good time to amend a new lease to include more general use and not be restricted to the football club. It was also felt there might be a benefit in having the lease in the name of the Parish Council.

    AOB

    The clerk will contact OCC highways about a subsiding stretch of road at High Cogges and the annual problem of ragwort on verges.

    Query to be raised with BT: Fibre Optics have reached their box at Shores Green. We would like to know if the present system under the A40 to the village is by a buried cable or trunk as it would be relatively simple the pull fibre optics through a trunk.
  • Minutes - 15th May, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson and Simon Stace plus Peter Emery (WODC), Ken Brooks (Neighgbourhood Plan) and four members of the public.

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker and Alan Wilson as landowners within the parish declared an interest in the Gladman Barnard Garden Village Development Vision. Eileen Mawle also declared an interest as she owns land within the parish and in Witney.

    The minutes for the April 11th meeting were signed as true record of proceedings.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. Ken Brooks said the deadline for the return of surveys had now passed and the number of responses was pleasing. A summary of the most important points is attached and these will be included in a consolidated document in early June that will subsequently be for village consultation. This is only the start of a very long process of consultations and will end with a village referendum.

    It was then resolved to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, the Steering Group terms of Reference, which was duly nominated, seconded and unanimously passed. The chair then signed the document and KB informed the meeting that next we will need a Sustainability Report, a Housing Report and Historic Landscape Report. These will be produced by consultants paid for by the Government.

    WODC Local Plan. The new draft which includes the Gladman Plan for South Leigh is being inspected at present and NB is attending daily.

    Just Cartridges No response from WODC planning on previous query concerning rules about storage of cartridges. We understand cartridges will be sold from the site, is a change of use for retail sales required?

    Football pitch The lease will expire next year. This may be a good time to amend a new lease to include more general use and not be restricted to the football club. It was also felt there might be a benefit in having the lease in the name of the Parish Council.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Mason Arms.
    Internal and external conversion work to change staff annexe and store rooms to guest rooms. There was support in general but a query was raised about the removal of a fireplace from a Grade 2 listed building but the main concern was ensuring sufficient off-road car parking.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Letter received about the poor condition of a couple of footpaths on Tar Farm land. We will ask our Footpath Wardens to investigate and report back.

    Also received is a letter from the Footpath Wardens stating their annoyance at a letter from Mr. Gascoigne being included on the web that states “and not the various unofficial footpaths mentioned in your newsletter” as their walks shown in the newsletter have never involved any footpath that is not a designated one. We will contact Mr. Gascoigne to explain.
  • Minutes - 11th April, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace and Charles Mathew (OCC). Ken Brooks and Terry Ellis attended as members of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee.

    Declaration of Interest: Mark Walker and Alan Wilson as landowners within the parish declared an interest in the Gladman Barnard Gate Garden Village Development Vision. Eileen Mawle also declared an interest as she owns land within the parish and in Witney.

    The minutes for the 17th January meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.
    The minutes for the March 2nd meeting require a small amendment.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. A request has been sent to WODC for an Application to Designate our Parish for a Neighbourhood Plan and has been accepted by WODC.

    A Memorandum of Understanding between the PC and the Steering Group has been drawn up and will have to be signed and lodged with WODC for their approval. Nicky will circulate copies for Parish Councillors to agree.

    KB said TE has been invaluable in taking on the necessary research and background analysis for the outline and early submissions for the neighbourhood plan, whilst Nicky has produced the survey that has been distributed to every house in the parish. To date, 69 replies have been received; the end of April will be advertised as being the closing date and a date will be arranged for anyone with queries to discuss these in the VH. Once the survey period is over the replies will be collated and the detail in the Neighbourhood Plan completed. There will be many other consultations with the public over the next 12 months.

    Several villagers have volunteered to contribute articles re. wildlife, history, the church - both historically and socially, the environment and ecological.

    An application has been lodged for grant money towards the cost of the Neighbourhood Plan which must be applied for by December and spent by March 2018. Maximum is £9,000, with extra available if our plan involves more new housing than WODC’s Local Plan. We will probably have to pay to commission a Landscape Survey.

    MAFF Building. In our efforts to discover the regulations governing the storage of cartridges we have been passed from the Fire & Rescue Service to Trading Standards and now to the Police. We will persevere. Mr. Bull has planted a hedge on the football pitch side of the fence, i.e. not on his land. MW will inform the Estate.

    Mason Arms. New owner says there is no licence to open on a Sunday which he will rectify with a request for 10.00pm closing, together with midnight closing for the rest of the week.

    The date for the AGM to be arranged.
  • Minutes - 17th January, 2017
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace. Also present were James Mills and Peter Emery from WODC, Charles Mathew OCC and one member of the public.

    Minutes for the December meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    There then followed a long discussion about Declarations of Interest which should or should not have been made at recent PC meetings concerning the possibility of starting proceedings for some of the parish to become a Conservation Area.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Letter from Gladman re. proposed development south of A40 at Barnard Gate.
    James Mills started by saying this proposal does not have support from WODC or the Government whereas the proposal north of A40 at Eynsham does. It appears Gladman’s speculative proposal was received by WODC on 23rd December - the last day of the public consultation period, therefore there has been no opportunity for public consultation and it will be included when all the paperwork and comments are sent to the Government Inspector, probably in March after WODC have reviewed them.

    Although Gladman call their proposal a 'New Garden Village', it is not as defined by the Government and is not eligible to receive Government money unlike the Eynsham proposal.

    Mr. Mills also said there are many examples of where speculative developers have obtained planning permission for houses only for them not to have been built yet. With this in mind he asked the question, “Would you allow a speculative developer to control the largest building site in West Oxfordshire?”

    To allow both developments would, in planning terms, be considered ribbon development along the A40 and this would not be allowed.

    We will ask Gladman for a meeting to hear what they have to say, followed by a meeting with Giles Hughes from WODC and finally a public meeting.

    Letter received from our MP, Robert Courts, saying he would like to meet all parish councils in an informal setting. He will also send fortnightly email updates to ensure we are well briefed. Agreed.

    Letter from South Leigh PCC enclosing an invoice for cutting of the churchyard for 2015 and 2016 totalling £2000. We have agreed previously that we will contribute 50% up to £500 so drew a cheque for £1000 to cover both years.

    AOB:


    A cheque was drawn in favour of Walker Machinery for £300 towards the cost of cutting the grass on the football pitch.
    Estimate received for grass cutting of the Village Green and hall garden stays the same as last year, i.e. £800, 10 cuts x £80. Agreed.

    We have received OCC’s agreement to putting a few reflective posts in the vicinity of Tar Wood House.

    Remedial work on the road to Witney and to High Cogges has proved very unsatisfactory as it was not rolled. We will complain to OCC.
  • Minutes - 12th January, 2017 - Extraordinary meeting in St. James Church

    Meeting held in St. James the Great Church on Sunday, 12th February 2017.


    1. Apologies were received from Mark Walker.

    Present were Nicky Brooks, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace + 14 members of the public.

    1. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest and other conflicts of interest: Eileen Mawle & Alan Wilson said they own land within the area that a proposed Neighbourhood Plan (NP) would cover.
    1. Gladman Development Proposal.

    1st Resolution. The Parish Council opposes the Gladman Development Proposal. AW proposed and SS seconded this resolution which was carried unanimously.

    2nd resolution. The Parish Council endorses the status of South Leigh in the revised draft Local Plan as submitted by WODC to the Inspector.
    Before the vote there was a short explanation from the chair that the village status is a Grade A, linear type, multifocal village. Grade A meaning development is not permitted. A NP would dovetail into WODC’s Local Plan.
    SS proposed this resolution, AW seconded and the vote was 4 in agreement with one abstention.

    3rd resolution. The Parish Council authorises the Chair and the Clerk to do all the research and meetings that may be required in support of Resolutions 1 and 2 and to report back to the Parish Council as required in a timely fashion.
    This was proposed by EM, seconded by SS and carried unanimously.

    NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

    1st Resolution: The Parish council agrees to the establishment of an Informal Group to investigate and progress the formulation of a Neighbourhood Plan with a view to the establishment as soon as possible of a formal Neighbourhood Plan sub-committee of the Parish Council and the Parish Council authorises the Chair and the Clerk to register with WODC as soon as convenient the intention of the Parish to progress with such a plan.
    Before a vote was taken the chair stressed that this resolution means that the Parish Council is in favour of a NP and that such a plan will cover all the land within the parish boundary.

    • Proposed by EM, seconded by AW. Passed unanimously.

    2nd resolution. The Parish Council agrees formally to appoint Ken Brooks as chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, this Steering Group being a tool to facilitate initial investigation of the steps and tasks before us and to enable the recruitment and formalisation of the main Neighbourhood Plan Sub-committee as soon a possible.

    • Proposed by EM, seconded by SS and carried unanimously.
    Ken Brooks explained this will be a small group to carry out initial research, to liaise with Eynsham PC, to produce a progress report and a questionnaire for villagers. The intention is that all groups in the village and all sections of the village will be represented so that it consists of as wide a group of people as possible.

    3rd resolution. The Parish Council agrees formally to adopt the structure as suggested by Ken Brooks as the first steps to be undertaken with regard to the investigation and progress of the Neighbourhood Plan.

    • Proposed EM seconded AW, unanimously carried.
    Ken Brooks will report back to the PC when he is in a position to suggest nominations to the sub-committee.
  • Minutes - 6th December, 2016
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson & Simon Stace. Apologies were received from Martin Wilson, Peter Emery (WODC) and Charles Mathew (OCC) Six members of the public were also present.

    Russell & Anne Cherry gave a short presentation of their role as Footpath Wardens and left a list of six damaged / missing stiles / footbridges with a request the PC might like to contact the land owners to ask for repair work to be completed. They will make occasional reports to the PC in the future.

    Minutes for the October meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    There then followed a long discussion about Declarations of Interest which should or should not have been made at recent PC meetings concerning the possibility of starting proceedings for some of the parish to become a Conservation Area.

    On the basis that house values would increase inside such an area, Mark Walker this evening declared an interest but need he have done so? Each councillor could probably make the same declaration in which case nobody would be able to take part or vote. On the other hand no councillor should be asked to make the declaration, it is up to each councillor to make their own decision. One member of the public present said the two landowners on the PC who own land that could one day be developed should have declared an interest. This, she said, means the result of the vote should be cancelled. However as only the two councillors in question voted against and motion it would not have affected the result. Eileen Mawle stated, “notwithstanding land held, I voted against the Conservation Area idea because I thought it would not be good for the village”.

    We obviously need clarification of the law from WODC when such a conflict of interest occurs.

    Equally contentious was the issue of whether or not permission was required to collect fallen leaves off the village green which appears to have caused a certain amount of bad feeling in the neighbourhood. All the councillors were of the opinion that such permission was not required.


    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. Work has started on repairing the property and the thatch is being removed. Local people are being employed wherever possible and a chef (not local) has been appointed.

    Conservation Area. A Neighbourhood Plan will help to determine how many houses could be built in the village. Graham Soame has offered to find someone who might be prepared to do the preparatory work so that all that remains is for WODC to review the application. GS will find out the likely cost.

    Precept. Councillors had been provided with a breakdown of expenditure in the last two years and an estimate for next year. It was felt we should build up a maintenance fund for the hall but as the existing precept is slightly above expected outgoings and we will also receive half of any profit made by the VHC it was decided to leave it at the same figure as last year.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Acre Cottage. Change of use of office to holiday cottage. Councillors were concerned about the relatively high elevation compared to the existing structure and urbanisation of a listed building. It was considered too large a property so close to the present dwelling and would spoil the rural setting.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Letter from Stanton Harcourt PC that they hope to acquire a speed gun for less than £100 and asking if we would be interested in sharing the gun and cost. Replied that we are.

    Letter from Savills advising us that the MAFF depot will soon be let and the remainder of the access track from Station Road will be built.

    AOB:

    Charles Mathew to be asked if he is able to provide two reflective posts for the grass verge opposite Tar Wood House.
  • Minutes - 25th October, 2016
    Prior to the official meeting, Dick Pears announced that contracts have been exchanged for the sale of the Mason Arms to Justin Salisbury. Following the spontaneous applause that welcomed this good news, DP said that the new owner was looking for a gardener.

    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson and Simon Stace. 30 members of the public attended including Peter Emery (WODC) and Charles Mathew (OCC). Apologies were received from Ed James.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    The minutes for the September meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Conservation area. The chair gave a brief résumé of the outcome of the Public Meeting held on 6th October and stated that it was time for the PC to make a decision. Before this occurred however, a few points were made: A Conservation Area makes it easier for WODC to refuse a Planning Application; a Neighbourhood Plan is as strong a way, if not more so, of protecting against development and finally in the emerging WODC Local Plan development is precluded in this village. At this point a vote was taken on the motion: ’Do we wish to proceed with applying for Conservation Area Status?’ It was duly seconded and the result was 4:2 in favour of proceeding. Each councillor was given a copy of the draft application and asked for their comments before 12th November.

    At this point all bar one member of the public departed.

    Insurance. The reason for the increase in the annual premium on the hall is partly that the tax has increased by 4% but mostly as a result of a claim we made concerning the damage to a gas pipe which meant we lost the no claims bonus.

    CORRESPONDENCE Audit, The Annual Return including the certificate of completion which has now been received, was approved and accepted by council. A cheque was drawn for £240 to pay the auditor.

    Letter from BT saying they have launched a consultation on 72 public telephone boxes in West Oxfordshire and ours is one of them. They are asking for representations to be made as they are considering removing the service. We think it beneficial to keep the service as the mobile signal in that part of the village is poor.

    Letter from Citizens Advice Bureau asking for a donation but we decline as we feel we must clear our VH loan first.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    There were no objections to the Planning Application to alter and erect a two storey extension at 7 and 8 High Cogges.

    AOB:

    As reported several times recently, we are still concerned about the deteriorating state of the road from High Cogges to South Leigh, also a crack that has appeared in the relatively new surface at the lay-by just past College Farm. Will contact OCC again.

    The hedge to the side of the village hall is in need of trimming; estimates will be obtained.
  • Minutes - 2nd August, 2016
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, Simon Stace, and Peter Emery and Ed James, WODC councillors.

    There were no declarations of interest.

    The minutes for the June meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    This was followed by a presentation from Graham Soame about the possibility of parts of South Leigh & High Cogges becoming a Conservation Area. Graham left us with draft copies for discussion amongst ourselves of what could eventually be our application to the District Council. It was generally agreed this was a good idea but it was felt we needed time to read and think about it. To be included on the agenda for the next meeting.

     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. Since the last meeting we have learnt that a sale for the whole plot has been agreed but as far as we know nothing has been signed yet. Enforcement action by WODC has been put on hold pending the sale, but if the latter does not occur it will be revisited.

    Conservation Area. Discussed again and a unanimous decision taken to proceed with a public consultation to gauge the response of villagers. This will be advertised in the September Newsletter.

    Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration coins. We have twelve coins left but requests today from councillors will leave only two.

    A new Loan Repayment chart has been received from WODC following our extra payment of £2200 which has resulted in a one year reduction in the term.

    PLANNING APPLICATION

    Plans to convert a redundant barn to a dwelling at Hill Farm. No objections but it was felt a shame that another old barn would be disappearing.

    AOB

    The long grass on roadside verges together with the ragwort is considered dangerous, especially on the single track roads. OCC highways to be contacted.

    OCC highways to be asked why they took core samples from the crumbling main road into Witney a few years ago as nothing has been repaired since, apart from the odd pothole.

    Complaints have been received about bonfires being held on a regular basis in Chapel Road. MW said he would visit the house owner and see why they cannot use the waste bins.
  • Minutes - 14th June, 2016
    Present were Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson & Simon Stace.

    Apologies were received from Nicky Brooks and Charles Matthew (OCC).

    There were no declarations of interest.

    The minutes for the May meeting were signed as being a true report on proceedings.

    This was followed by a presentation from Graham Soame about the possibility of parts of South Leigh & High Cogges becoming a Conservation Area. Graham left us with draft copies for discussion amongst ourselves of what could eventually be our application to the District Council. It was generally agreed this was a good idea but it was felt we needed time to read and think about it. To be included on the agenda for the next meeting.

     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms - nothing to report, Mr. Rodgers seems more entrenched than ever.

    WODC has asked landlords to suggest suitable parcels of land for future development and three such areas have been suggested in this parish: from the village hall to Margery Cross, Acre Cottage on Chapel Road to Margery Cross and Stow Cottage to the football pitch on Station Road. On a vote of 4:1 we consider the first two are unsuitable for a variety of reasons and the third may have limited potential.

    Finances: It is still the Parish Council's wish to reduce the outstanding loan as quickly as possible and send WODC £2200 as mentioned in last month’s minutes. As the Village Hall Committee are not inclined to at least match this it was decided to ask them for a copy of their their budget plan.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Letter dated 26th May from Anne Peake about the early cutting down of daffodils before the leaves have turned brown on the Village Green. It was felt that by mid-May the leaves would have withered sufficiently for them to be cut, although it has to be said this is common land on which she has taken it upon herself to improve. Any later and the surrounding grass would have been extremely long.

    AOB

    Cheque drawn for £128.40 in favour of Tower Mint Ltd. to pay for 50 H.M. Queen’s Commemorative 90th Birthday coins.

    The water leak in the road opposite Shuttles Cottage has re-appeared and will have to be reported as will the growing number of pot holes and road deterioration generally between Margery Cross and Shores Green.
  • Minutes - 10th May, 2016
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, David Taylor, (resigned) Simon Stace and Charles Mathew (OCC).

    Apologies were received from Peter Emery (WODC).

    The meeting commenced with a short presentation from a member of BT about increasing the broadband speed in the village. The fibre technology is improving all the time and has apparently reached the cabinet at Shores Green. We will need a mini exchange to boost the speed in the village but we are outside the area that the OCC is funding. Villagers can however get 'BT Total Faster Broadband' if they contact BT Customer Services. Its an extra £5 per month. However we are covered by Cotswold Broadband scheme which is being funded by WODC. We have received a letter today which confirms we are in their area and that broadband should be installed in these areas within the next 12 months. People are encouraged to register to show their interest. Our main contact will be Stacey King at stacey.king@bt.com. Charles Matthews volunteered to contact OCC about why we’re not in their scheme and how the two differ. We are going to have a meeting with a representative of EE shortly to see what can be done to improve the mobile signal.

    There were no declarations of interest.

    The minutes for the March meeting were signed as being a true report on proceedings.

     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms - The planning application to convert some of the buildings at the rear into a one-bedroom cottage was rejected by WODC in spite of their officers recommending acceptance.

    We are aware that offers of £600K and £900K for the entire area have been rejected. The owners have six months in which to decide if they wish to appeal and WODC will have to decide on whether enforcement action is needed in July.

    It is anticipated that we will shortly receive an application for new letting bedrooms.

    A Compulsory Purchase Order is a possibility, (this is a new law) as a last resort but this would be very drawn out and expensive which would involve obtaining an independent valuation. Enforcement would be the preferred route.

    If the owners go to appeal we will probably need the services of a barrister who will probably cost us in the region of £5000.
     
    Church End - the flooding that recently occurred on the unadopted road near Church Farm has been jetted and the blockage cleared.

    Accounts - Section 1 of the Annual Return for the year to 31st March 2016 was presented to council and approved. Section 2 was then also approved by the meeting.

    The Village Hall Committee has agreed to pay 50% of their retained profit every year to the PC. This year it amounts to £2200 and we propose to put this towards reducing the amount of the outstanding WODC loan, which currently stands at £26,744 down from £35,000.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Broadband - Letter from Cotswold Broadband suggesting everyone interested in faster broadband should register with them.

    Bus service - Letter from the chairman of 'The Villager' (Thursday bus service) stating that as OCC will be shortly withdrawing bus subsidies we will need to grant them £150 per year to maintain the service. The decision was to decline as very few people ever use the bus.

    AOB

    Conservation Area - It has been suggested to the PC that we should apply to make the village a conservation area. This was considered a good idea and proceedings will be started.
  • Minutes - 29th March, 2016
    Present were Eileen Mawle, Martin Wilson, Alan Wilson and Charles Mathew (OCC).

    Apologies were received from David Taylor and from Peter Emery (WODC).

    In the absence of the chairman and vice-chairman, Eileen Mawle was elected as temporary chairman.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.
     
    The minutes for the February meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.
     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms - Nothing, except we understand WODC has given Mr. Rodger until 21st April to respond to the points raised in our latest letter.
     
    Mobile phones - We are waiting for the EE representative and his colleagues to complete tests in the area and to decide when they will be able to come and discuss their findings with us.

    Homans Farm - Although this has been reported to WODC enforcement dept. earlier, the garage with storage above remains intact. WODC will be contacted again as we understand this building is far more domestically provided for than is necessary for a garage and storage. It is setting a serious precedent for future development in the village. We would also like the pavement there reinstated.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    OCC plan to withdraw all bus subsidies in July. This will not affect us much as the stagecoach service along the main road will be unaffected. The Thursday Villager service (which very few people use) may be affected.

    We have received a letter from Matthew Harris of 'A Clear Sign' offering to clean the road signs in the parish now that, he says, OCC have withdrawn this service. Similarly a letter from Will Pryse of 'Complete Weed Control' has arrived asking if we would like them to attend to the spraying of weeds on kerbs and neighbouring areas now that OCC no longer does this. It was decided to contact OCC as we have not been notified about this and enquire how much money they will forward to enable us to pay for these works.

    Annual subscription request from OALC amounting to £133.07 received. Declined.

    An application form to purchase commemorative medals for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday has been received. Discussion followed if this is a sensible way to spend our money but the decision was made to go ahead. EM said she would compile a list of children under 16 years in the village and as the minimum order is 50, CM said our order could be added onto that of Stanton Harcourt. The cost is £1.99 each plus VAT.

     
    AOB

    The clerk was asked to contact Dan Weekes about improving the drainage of Bonds Lane where it seems the drainage system has become blocked.
  • Minutes - 16th February, 2016
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson and Edward James (WODC).

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    The minutes for the January meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.
     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. Planning Application received for change of use to the ancillary buildings at the rear to a one bedroom dwelling with a new access on to the road near the telephone box.

    We will object in the strongest terms and feel we have the support of the Local Plan 2030 which states that in small villages there should be no development unless for a community reason. It was unanimously agreed that villagers will be informed of the application and asked to contact the DC if they wish to comment.

    WODC have not proceeded with enforcement for illegal splitting of the site.
    Heather Horner will contact WODC concerning the historical aspect and NB will be in touch with OCC Highways about the proposed access.

    Under the terms of the ACV the PC must inform the District Council by March 1st if it intends making a bid. This will be seen to.

    Traffic Survey: nothing to report.

    Mobile phones. EE say they “hope to make contact with the community in due course”. We will see,

    Planning Application. There were no objections to the application to convert a barn at Springhill Farm into a dwelling.

    AOB

    Grass cutting. Kevin Grant has sent his estimate for 2016 amounting to £800, (10 cuts at £80) and £200 for extra cuts of the hall garden. The VHC has already agreed to fund the latter. Agreed.

    The VHC will be asked to look into the feasibility of having WIFI in the hall. Although the clerk said this had already been discussed by VHC and decided against it was felt more detailed research was needed.
  • Minutes - 5th January, 2016
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, David Taylor and Edward James (WODC). Apologies were received from Peter Emery.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    The minutes for the November meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. The front section is now owned by Mr. Payne and on the market for £650,000, the back section is owned by Mr. Rodger’s son. The Asset of Community Value record has been cancelled by WODC because the front part has been sold and the remainder cannot be classed as having community value. We have submitted another ACV application to WODC but, as before, on the whole property. As it is a breach of planning laws to have the back section used for accommodation we anticipate receiving an application for change of use in the near future.

    If no sale is forthcoming on the front part Mr. Payne has said he will apply for change of use and if necessary go to appeal. He has been told that the village wishes to have a pub for community use.

    Traffic survey. The most recent figures from OCC show a larger than expected increase in traffic through the village. NB will contact OCC.

    Mobile phones survey. Mike Jones has completed his survey and sent us his report. He received 40 responses; regardless of provider 83% said the reception inside their property was either poor or non-existent, the majority being the latter. 83% also said reception outside the property was also poor or non-existent. Four properties have some sort of booster but even one of those was said to be unsatisfactory. It was also felt that the telephone companies treat all customers with contempt. We will write to the CEO again with these figures and comments.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    We have received the annual request from the PCC for a donation towards the cost of cutting the churchyard, but we need to see a copy of their invoice (which they haven’t received yet) before considering the matter.

    AOB

    EM said we need a road sweeper to clear the road edges, certain pavements need spraying with weed killer and repairing and to stop verge erosion, posts should be inserted around the first sharp bend on the road to Stanton Harcourt by the bungalows. MW added the potholes near High Cogges Farm need attending to.
  • Minutes - 1st December, 2015
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson and Martin Wilson. Apologies were received from David Taylor.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    MATTERS ARISING

    The Precept. Much discussion took place about the precept for next year, the finances in general and the financial responsibilities of the PC and VHC. EM finally proposed and MW seconded that we increase the precept by 2%, this was carried by a vote of 4:1.
  • Minutes - 17th November, 2015
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, David Taylor, Alan Wilson and Martin Wilson. Apologies were received from Eileen Mawle. Also present were Cllr. Robert Courts, WODC Cabinet member for Communities and Housing, Diana Shelton, WODC Head of Leisure Communities, Cllr. Charles Mathew (OCC), Cllr. Peter Emery (WODC) and 28 members of the public.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. The meeting commenced with NB informing everyone that the pub owner had originally said he would attend but later changed his mind. She continued with an explanation of the facts as we see them. Her notes are attached to these minutes.

    Mr. Courts then explained the workings and intricacies of the 'Asset of Community Value' system (ACV) which must not be confused with planning regulations. A recording in the ACV register marks the start of a six month moratorium to give the community time to make a bid for the property - this we did but we received no response. Now that the pub has been sold - the land registry confirm this fact - WODC must delist it and under the Act consider if the remaining buildings are Assets of Community Value without the main pub attached.

    Dick Pears wanted to know if we make request for another ACV at the end of December on the entire property, assuming WODC delist the outbuildings, would WODC accept our application? Mr Courts said he could not guarantee such a listing but his council would certainly listen. He also said that if the listing on the outbuildings remains (probably unlikely) we would only be able to list the pub section as an ACV. Although both parts would then be listed, two separate listings would not be as ‘strong’ as one covering the entire property.

    DP then asked when is WODC going to prosecute Mr. Rodger for perjury? He has signed an affidavit that he lives in Mason Cottage whereas DP has 44 people who are prepared to say on oath that he does not.

    Thirdly Mr. Pears stated that as the pub is a 'Grade 2' listed building, WODC should be carrying out an annual inspection of the empty property. Where is their report? He will put his questions in writing to the council.

    Mr. Courts stressed that the District Council wants to work with the PC although they must be seen to be fair and act within the law. He said quite a few points raised by the audience related to planning matters and not the ACV register.

    It seems from all this that the Asset of Community Value Register is not as robust a tool as we had hoped. Planning Regulations might be more so.

    The Parish Council formally agreed that we should request a new ACV registered to cover the entire property.

    Following a short break we carried on briefly with other matters.

    The minutes for the October meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    Planning Applications. there were no objections to the retrospective application to convert an agricultural building to B1 business use at High Cogges Farm.

    AOB

    OCC’s Oxfordshire Together – giving communities control over local services. Charles Mathew expressed the view that we should meet other parish councils in the locality to see if we can arrange to share somebody on a part time basis to do odd jobs such as grass cutting, clearing of ditches etc.

    The clerk was asked to obtain the latest traffic figures for the village from OCC.

    Cheques were drawn as follows:
    • £1500 towards the cost of village hall curtains (remaining balance of £5000 donation)
    • £930.24 - Kevin Grant for grass-cutting of village green and village hall garden.
    • £300 - Walker Machinery for cutting the recreational area on Station Road.

    It was decided to hold another meeting on December 1st, primarily to discuss the Precept requirement for next year.
  • Minutes - 6th October, 2015
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, David Taylor and Martin Wilson. Also present were three members of the public and (later) Charles Mathew. Apologies were received from Alan Wilson and Peter Emery.

    There were no Declarations of Interest and the minutes for the September meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    The meeting started with two members of the public discussing the poor mobile reception in the village although High Cogges seems to be satisfactory. We understand there is, or has been, a problem with the mast on Oxford Hill (referred to as Cogges) but nevertheless direct debit payments have continued to be deducted for a non-existent service. The members of the public present have made several complaints but without receiving a satisfactory response so ask if we could take up their case. We will start by contacting the CEO and depending on the outcome may carry out a survey of mobile phone users in the next newsletter.
     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms - The pub building and some of the grounds, including part of the helicopter landing pad have been sold to Sampson Leisure Ltd. There is to be a public meeting on October 23rd to which Mr. Rodger and the directors of Sampson Leisure have been invited to attend to explain their plans. The local press are now involved and articles have appeared in the Witney Gazette and the Oxford Times. A meeting on Friday with members of the District Council legal team and Nicky Brooks and Dick Pears will hopefully establish if the owners are acting legally.

    Village Hall
    • The curtains should be in evidence with the next month.
    • We will approach West Oxon College to see if they are interested in laying the boundary hedge.
    • Savills response to our enquiry about a possible extension to the hall car park will be left on file to await any future development.

    West Oxon Draft Design Plan. This deals with the future development of villages and although a copy has not officially been received, we understand that it categorises villages into 'compact' or 'spread out' with different criteria for the development of each. Nicky Brooks has a copy and will respond.

    Cheques were drawn for £108 (newsletter) and £81.60 (play area inspection).
  • Minutes - 18th August, 2015
    Present were Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, David Taylor, Peter Emery (WODC) Charles Mathew (OCC) & Dick Pears.

    There were no Declarations of Interest and the minutes for the July meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.
     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms - Mr Pears came to explain how angry he is as a result of the “inaccuracies” in the recent application to WODC for a Certificate confirming usage of the cottage at the rear of the main building. The application was withdrawn by Mr. Rodger but Mr. Pears will still write to the planners explaining why he is so annoyed. This he is doing in his private capacity but wanted the PC to be aware of his actions. He would also like to arrange a meeting in October between Mr. Rodger, a representative from WODC planners, the Parish Council and villagers.
    Mr. Emery has spoken to the WODC Conservation Officer who inspected the Mason Arms externally and was of the opinion that nothing was damaged or much worse than when he inspected it last year. We suggest he should carry out an internal inspection.

    MAFF building – no further development.

    Village Hall
    • Car parking - The Hall Committee has dropped the idea of extending the car park into the area beside the small hall following Eileen Mawle saying she will allow parking at the top of her field or on hardstanding beside her barn on the relatively few occasions it is needed subject to permission being sought on each occasion.
    • Storage - The VHC wish to erect a shed / summerhouse beside the thatched structure for storing items presently stored in EM’s barn. They are thinking of a summerhouse as this would look more pleasing than a shed but Mark Walker said he may have access to a free shed.
    • Gas meter - cover in the car park which now sits proud of the gravel and is being hit by cars. It seems it is not the correct fitting for the meter below. Alan Wilson will see if he can obtain the correct one.
    • Curtains – these are now on order but delivery and erection will be delayed until October as there is a shortage of material.
    • Split payment responsibilities – no real objections to the notes provided by the chairman of VHC (kept with the minutes) hopefully there will always be co-operation between both committees with “give and take” if necessary. One of the PC’s responsibilities is shown as being the boundary hedge which is in need of cutting. We will seek estimates and enquire from the Wychwood Project if they would be interested in such a task for training purposes. It was thought that in future this responsibility may be transferred to the VHC.
    • The Hall is still in need of an increased parking area and to this end we will enquire of the Estate if they have had any further thoughts. It was suggested the VHC should start a car park fund.

    Audit – this has now been successfully completed and the Annual Return was duly approved and accepted by the council.

    OCC Waste Recycling OCC have sent a consultation document about reducing the number of waste tips in the county and one which may close is Dix’s Pit. We consider this recycling centre is far too important and well used to close and will respond thus.

    A40 consultation Charles Mathew then updated us on OCC latest thinking about the future of the A40 which is subject to consultation at present.
  • Minutes - 7th July, 2015
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker and Alan Wilson and 12 members of the public.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    The minutes for the May meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.

    There then followed a presentation by Dave Hunt and Craig Dore concerning their plans for the MAFF building. They see it as having potential to become a community hub for social and recreational activities, to include:
    • Two 3G five a side football pitches
    • A 'futsal' court which converts into three indoor cricket lanes
    • A viewing area
    • A studio / meeting / classroom
    • Multi-sports arena for archery, short mat bowls, dodge ball etc.
    • Changing rooms, toilets and showers
    • Fully equipped kitchen, café, TV.
    • Ample car parking
    • The roof is not sufficiently high for badminton.

    They see the advantages as being:
    • All available for use by local schools & colleges.
    • Apprenticeship opportunities to gain qualifications.
    • Retired people able to increase activities.
    • Village able to host cricket / football matches.
    • Employment opportunities.

    The intention of Messrs. Hunt and Dore is to run the enterprise as a Community Project or as a Charity.

    We have concerns about:
    • Extra traffic that would be generated including the possibility of school minibuses if classes of children come to use the facilities.
    • Car parking not being adequate
    • Lighting, from the building as seen from Station Road and street lights in the parking area.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Mason Arms. The meeting then discussed the planning application for what used to be the 'Lobster Bar' at the Mason Arms to be registered as a separate property. Interestingly, we have not been told of the application nor does it appear on the council’s website - we are only aware of it because a yellow notice was mistakenly attached to a post next to the pub.
    There are various "inaccuracies” in the application which will be responded to by the chairman on behalf of the PC. Another resident will also contact the DC. The PC view remains that the entire property should remain as one, for future use as a public house.

    Village Hall - roof repairs. Two estimates have been received for £174.80 and £460. Unanimous decision to accept the lower but it does raise the question of how the cost of future repair / maintenance work should be shared with the VHC. A meeting will be arranged with the chairman of both committees and the clerk to discuss.

    Car parking at the village hall. Rough sketch received from a member of the VHC showing that six cars could be parked in the area beside the small hall. The cost of £1000+ involved of laying some form of reinforcing under the surface cannot be justified for only six cars, so for the moment the existing arrangement will continue of seeking agreement from Eileen Mawle every time her field or hard standing is needed.
     
    Grass cutting. The play area mower is still causing problems; a second hand one is being sought.

    AOB

    A cheque was drawn for £189.00 to pay for the summer edition of the newsletter.
  • Minutes - 26th May, 2015
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, Eileen Mawle, David Taylor and OCC Cllr Charles Mathew.

    There were no Declarations of Interest.

    The minutes for the March meeting were signed as being a true record of proceedings.
     
    MATTERS ARISING

    Village Hall. There are a few slipped / broken tiles on the small hall roof which need renewing / repairing before the problem becomes more serious. Also one tile on the new build needs attention as does some of the cement around the coping stones. The clerk will seek estimates for the cost.

    Car parking at the village hall. A matter raised by the chairman of the VHC. Various ideas were discussed as to how this can be increased.
    1. Allowing parking under the trees to the right of the Green as seen from the hall. Not overwhelmingly popular.
    2. Building a new car park on the field side of the ‘bottom’ hedge on Estate land. A representative from the agents came to discuss the matter on site and whilst she couldn’t foresee any problem it is something that she said could be ‘progressed as part of achieving an appropriate level of development in the village’. Obviously that might be a long term project.
    3. Extend the existing car park under the chestnut tree as far as in line with the back of the hall. In the short term this was the preferred choice which will be conveyed to the VHC for an estimate of costs to be obtained.
     
    Grass cutting. The VHC would like the cuttings removed as they are becoming a nuisance for hirers of the hall. Kevin Grant has been asked for a quote but as yet no reply has been received.
    The mower used to cut the playground has ‘died’. Mark Walker said he will collect it and see if it can be repaired, meanwhile the clerk will ask Kevin Grant for a quote to cut the area.

    Highways. OCC have filled in the marked potholes but the problem on the Barnard Gate road where the road has been slowly slipping into the brook for many years has not been addressed satisfactorily. OCC to be contacted.

    PLANNING

    There were no objections to the revised planning application for an extension at Gunn Cottage.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Thames Valley Air Ambulance service is looking for sites to install a clothing bank in the village and wonder about the hall car park. Unfortunately we need every parking space available so must decline the idea.

    The government is redeeming 2 ½% Consolidated stock on July 5th so on that date our bank account should be duly credited with £99.75

    AOB

    The dry stone wall beside the football pitch in Station Road has been completed thanks to Tim & Eve Lawson and Chris and Alison Bromley who have paid to have the work finished. We will send them letters of thanks.

    The clerk was asked to contact the District Council with a request that the driver of their recycling lorry takes more care as the lorry damaged the entrance to the village hall some time ago and more recently has damaged the edge of the Village Green and other roadside verges.
  • Minutes - 24th May 2018
    Apologies for absence were received from Simon Stace, Alan Wilson and Mark Walker.

    Present were Nicky Brooks, Eileen Mawle and Martin Wilson plus Charles Mathew (OCC), Ken Brooks (NPG), Alex (Mason Arms) and Jackie Johnson, author of a an Environmental report on the area covered by the Gladman plan.

    Declaration of Interest: A Declaration of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle as a landowner in the parish.

    The minutes for the April meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    Alex, as new manager of the pub, gave a short talk on how he intends to make the pub more attractive to locals; this will not happen overnight but in a couple of months or so we should begin to see a difference with the menus and prices.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The NP is at the public consultation stage which will end in about 10 days time.

    WODC’s Local Plan is presently in the hands of the Inspector.

    JJ then commented on her report that owls, bats, and greater crested newts, all protected to varying degrees, can all be found in the area covered by the Gladman Plan.

    Bus shelter. Research by EM shows we could buy a new one for £3500 to £4500 to include safety glass, a seat and construction. Alternatively we need to look into repairing what we have so will ask the partner of the Stanton Harcourt clerk (recommended by CM) and the brother of EM for a report on what needs doing and the cost.

    Flooding. Following a visit from an OCC officer, the pipes under the road opposite the pub have been jetted and cleared.

    The culvert under the entrance to the field close to the pub on the right hand side of the road has also been cleared.

    A culvert close to Acre Cottage is to be lowered on or by 8th June.

    Work on the culvert on the bend at Shuttles Cottage will commence in 2 weeks time.

    At High Cogges a camera will be used in the drains to pin-point the problem.

    Accounts. The Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statements were approved by council and signed by the chair.

    AOB

    Martin W has been in contact with the agents for Eynsham Estate regarding a new lease for the football pitch - the existing one is about to expire. The cost for legal work will be £1250 + VAT. As we wish to keep the area as a community facility we have little choice but to agree the cost.

    Lymbrook Close. Retrospective application for a car park in front of the flats is in the hands of the enforcement officer at WODC.
  • Minutes - 16th August 2018
    Present were Nicky Brooks, Mark Walker, Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson, Martin Wilson, & Simon Stace plus Charles Mathew.

    Declaration of Interest: Declarations of Interest were made by Eileen Mawle, Alan Wilson and Mark Walker as landowners in the parish.

    The minutes for the July meeting were signed as being a true report of proceedings.

    Ben Morrish came to explain that we will soon be receiving an amended planning application to the one we commented on in March as he has had to lower the height of the ridge and reduce the footprint of the cart shed at the request of the WODC Heritage Officer. We are surprised about the latter but have no objections to either change.

    MATTERS ARISING

    Neighbourhood Plan. The examiner appears to have no major concerns but has asked for some more details concerning the Green Corridors, Local Green Spaces and Non-Designated Heritage Assets.

    Bus shelter. Mark Walker has removed the wooden shelter. Northmoor PC are happy for us to transfer their shelter to Shores Green so Mark will inspect it to ascertain how it is fixed to the ground and if such fixings are appropriate to our site.

    Floods and Drainage. OCC have carried out a survey at High Cogges but further investigation is required. Other drainage matters are "proceeding" – we will ask for an update.

    Lymbrook Close. No response from Cottsway, we will demand a reply.

    Lease for Football Field. Martin Wilson is negotiating the length of the lease and the proposed rent with the estate together with details of the usage.

    CORRESPONDENCE

    Report received on the condition and safety of the play area showing there is nothing that requires urgent action. Cheque drawn for £88.20.

    Letter from Mason Arms advising us that another planning application will be received shortly which involves a café / events building and a solution to the additional parking spaces that we requested.

    Winter Salt, OCC ask if we need any for the approaching winter. We do have some bags at present but Eileen Mawle would rather not accept any more for the moment. Mark Walker agreed to allow a tonne bag be taken to his work site. OCC to be informed.

    Centenary of the Armistice of WW1, OCC invite all parishes to plant a sapling(s) in commemoration, the plant will be provided by the Woodland Trust and a plaque by OCC. Further details will follow, in the meantime a site has to be found.

    Letter from Volunteer Link-up about Good Neighbourhood Schemes – Nicky Brooks said she will collate a 'welcome pack' for new residents.


    AOB


    Speeding traffic – the possibility of a few residents in yellow jackets standing beside the road with a speed gun was discussed. The clerk checked with the insurance company about cover which is adequate at £10m so there is no problem with insurance so long as those involved have received a short training session from the police. However Charles Mathew informs us that Stanton Harcourt has been stopped from using their gun as it seems they were informing the police of too many culprits. We will contact the police for advice.

    The Village Hall Committee has researched the possibility of have sound absorbent panels in the roof. They will cost just over £2100. They have also received an estimate for erecting the panels of £2980 which they consider is far too much. Simon Stace will liaise with Richard Law, chairman of the Village Hall Committee.