ENSTONE PARISH COUNCIL
Held in The Litchfield Room, Enstone Parish Hall on Thursday
23rd November 2023 at 7.00 pm
PRESENT: PCs. N. Knott, H. Bourne-Taylor, M. Gomm, D. Robottom, P. Shaw, T. Gilbert (joined meeting at 7.10), A. Ward and three residents
APOLOGIES: PCs C. Glendinning, R. Parker, DC Alex Wilson, CC Geoff Saul, Beth Sinclair, Clerk
IN ATTENDANCE: DC Andrew Beaney (joined meeting at 7.20)
228. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND MEMBERS’ REGISTER OF INTERESTS:-
Cllr Gilbert declared an interest in item 235, Planning Application
229. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING:
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 26th October 2023 were circulated prior to the meeting. As the clerk was not in attendance the minutes will be approved and signed at the next meeting of the Parish Council.
230. Matters arising:-
- Relocation of dog/waste bin Church Enstone – ongoing
- Secondary growth of tree – Church Enstone green – PC will take no further action. Matter closed. Clerk to advise residents.
- Police Speed Watch – ongoing as we have yet to receive a proper reply.
- Remembrance Sunday – Cllrs Bourne Taylor, Shaw and Gilbert attended. Cllr Bourne Taylor laid the wreath on behalf of the Parish Council.
- Damaged gates at entrance to quarry – ongoing (D Cllr Wilson)
- Santander Account – ongoing
- Xmas tree – ongoing (Cllr Gilbert)
231. Public Discussion:-
Graffiti: There has been further offensive graffiti in the village, including at the Sports and Social Club. Cllr. Ward was thanked for organising the removal of graffiti from the bus shelter. The chair reported that the police in Chipping Norton are unable to take action against the perpetrators unless they are apprehended in the act. The chair has since been in contact with Chris Jones for advice. The PC noted that the residents of the village have incurred significant costs (£142.00 within the bus shelter alone) for the removal of graffiti.
232. County Councillor’s report:-
No report as C Cllr Saul did not attend the meeting.
233. District Councillors’ report:-
No matters reported by D Cllr Beaney other than as included elsewhere in the minutes.
West Oxfordshire District Council:-
- Four Local Authorities set to take greater control of council services – Noted
- Botley West Consultation – Noted. Cllr Robottom will attend the WODC briefing meeting on 7 December
- Revised housing targets mean Council regains greater control of planning process – Noted
- Council commits to the right homes for the right people – Noted
- Executive Member for Planning and Sustainable Development – Noted
Oxfordshire County Council:-
- Lowering energy bills for Oxfordshire residents – Noted
- S101 Grass Cutting Agreement – Carried forward to next meeting
- Oxfordshire County Council Lane Rental Scheme Proposal Consultation – Noted
- Oxfordshire County’s Charter Survey – Noted
- TTRO (T12970) Temporary Road Closure, Chipping Norton, Ledwell Road – Noted
Parish Council – Correspondence:-
- Mr Sam Parsons attended the meeting regarding his earlier planning application at Radford to which the PC had raised an objection because of the proposed positioning of the building. The application had been withdrawn by Mr Parsons on the advice of the Planning Officer. Mr Parsons explained the need for the new building and the reasons for the proposed position (to mitigate health and safety concerns and to position the building away from the grain fans). A short discussion followed and no further concerns were raised regarding a reapplication.
- Parish Councillor Vacancy: Mr Nathan Peart observed the meeting with a view to standing for cooption to the PC.
- Gov.uk emails – Having adopted the new .gov email system the PC voted to include in its Standing Orders the OALC guidance:
A legal update from NALC in spring 2023 advised that:
“We have advised on scenarios where councils have resolved that all councillors and staff use council emails addresses and some councillors refused to use the council email address. Our advice was that a councillor cannot be mandated to use a council email address. In our view it is best practice for corporate council emails to be used by all and a council can have a policy saying that it will only use council email addresses for correspondence. A councillor who refuses to use a council email address may not receive written council communications if the council decides not to use other methods of communication with the councillor.”
The PC requested that in preparing the agenda and briefing notes for future PC meetings the clerk might, when forwarding email correspondence to Parish Councillors, label such emails to match the numbering in the briefing notes.
- Sports Club Lease Update – the clerk has contacted the PC’s insurers re inclusion of 3rd party liability on sports field. The Parish Hall Mgt Committee has confirmed that its insurance in relation to the Parish Hall grounds includes 3rd party liability.
Following the October meeting the PC has instructed solicitors to draft the new lease.
- Meeting with School – The Chair and Cllr Gomm met the Head and the Chair of the School Governors on 16 November to discuss areas of cooperation, especially regarding volunteering, the application of S106 monies, and road safety. The Chair reported that the school also finds it hard to recruit volunteers. The school considers it unlikely that it would be able to use a MUGA sports surface at the Sports and Social Club because of the difficulties and resources needed to marshal the school children along Cox’s Lane to the Sports and Social Club. The school expressed a stronger desire for drainage and repairs to the ‘Youth Hall’ carpark, a fence to screen the school playing field from the public and from the car park, and (ideally) investment in a running track around the school sports field.
The PC with the Playing Field Association will continue to explore these ideas.
It was pointed out that the signage at the car park does not make it completely clear what usage of the car park is permitted/restricted. D Cllr Beaney agreed to take this matter up with the school governing body.
Road safety measures along the Lidstone Road were also discussed.
- Winter Hub – Age UK – Noted
- Community First Oxfordshire Newsletter – Noted
- Old Mont Abbott, Fulwell, Blue Plaque – a visitor had raised a concern that the plaque is neglected. The chair will ask John Hawtin to investigate.
- Life Certificate – agreed that the clerk should obtain a suitable stamp for future use.
- Recycled plastic bench for the top of Cleveley Road– The PC agreed on the brown bench. Cllr Gomm kindly agreed to install with anchors.
- White Gates – Lidstone Road – The PC agreed to look into the costs of white gates at the entry to the village and of WigWag lights. A full costing to be developed.
- Pavements – Coxs Lane – a first set of quotes has been received, awaiting a second set of quotes.
- OALC – October & November Updates – Noted
- Enstone Parish Council – Employee Homeworking Policy – Noted
- Suggested meeting dates 2024 – Agreed
- Lidstone Road warning signs – The PC agreed to fund the replacement of warning signs on the Lidstone Road at a cost of c.£1,000. The signs have deteriorated over time and are no longer functional.
- Parish Questionnaire Feedback
Further responses have been received to the questionnaire arising from the print copies inserted in the November Ensign.
The questionnaire responses showed a clear majority in support of cutting five times a year, consistent with the new OCC policy. (Note this does not apply to the churchyard). It was agreed that the PC would publish on the website a definitive statement, with a map, about the policies and respective responsibilities of both OCC and the PC. Residents would also be advised to use Fix my Street to report concerns about dangerous loss of visibility at junctions.
To alleviate the pressure on the Parish Clerk Cllr Bourne Taylor volunteered to develop this statement and to respond to residents’ future complaints and questions on the topic. Enstone Eco Group also offered to support.
Quotations for five cuts per year to be obtained by the clerk.
Cllrs Gomm and Robottom will meet with Parish Hall committee representatives to discuss the feedback from the questionnaire.
Cllr Gomm had kindly summarised the responses to date.
Parish Councillors were asked to review the results of the survey prior to the next meeting.
235. Planning Applications
Enstone Airfield 23/01569/FUL. An email received from Great Tew Estate regarding a land ownership issue – Noted
Fairytale Farm, Oxford Road, Southcombe, 23/01803/FUL – Approved
236 Licence Application
- Kala Trading Ltd Enstone Post Office & Adams Stores, W/23/01238/PRMV – 21 – application to extend training hours to 22:00 hrs seven days a week
It was noted that there is an error in the application, in that it appears to request a licence for consumption on the premises. It is not believed that this was the intention of the applicant.
Subject to clarification/correction of the above point the PC was unanimous in supporting the application for an extension to the licence for off-sales.
- The following payments were agreed:-
- Clerk’s Salary £953.26
- NEST Pension Scheme (er) £28.60
- NEST Pension Scheme (ee) £38.13
- Netwise £100.84
- Vodaphone x 3 months £54.78
- Thomas Fox, Parish Hall £163.80
- Julian Watts, repainting bus shelter £142.00
- Enstone Sports Club, Rent £5.00
- Staff Salaries – the NALC (National Association of Local Councils) Local Government Services Pay Agreement 2023 was noted, representing c£1 per hour increase in the Clerk’ salary
11. Dates of Next Meetings:-
- Wednesday 13th December, Litchfield Room, Enstone Parish Hall – Please note date change
- 18th January 2024
- 22nd February 2024
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00 pm. Cllr. Knott thanked everyone for attending.