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PC Minutes 11 18

Swerford Parish Council

Parish Council Committee Meeting: Swerford Village Hall

Tuesday 13th November 2018 at 19:30 hrs Draft Minutes

Present: Mr J Chaplin, (Chairman), Mr C Ford (Deputy Chairman and Acting RFO), Mrs J Abbott (Councillor), Mr J Drinkwater (Councillor). Mr W Haddon (Parish Clerk). (Chairman, CF, JA, JD, Clerk respectively hereafter.)

Residents: Mr G Strachan.

1, Apologies for absence.

Mr L Tustian (Councillor).

2. Declarations of Interest and reminder of the Code of Conduct.

No declarations. Code of Conduct noted.

3. Approval of minutes Annual Parish Council Meeting 14AUG18.

Approved.

4. Matters arising:

1. Internal Audit:The 2017-18

Report had been circulated. No comments were made. The audit was considered effective.

2. 2017/18 Annual Financial Statements had been circulated. These were noted and approved.

3. HSBC: signatories have been updated. HSBC is to be instructed to forward future statements to Mr G Strachan, Orchard House, Swerford, Oxfordshire, OX7 4BA. (Action -Chairman.)

4. Circulation of Council papers: a brief discussion occurred. The item is to be taken forward when a full council is present.

5. Swerford Charity: Two Trustees are appointed by SPC. Terms are for four years. In FEB15, existing trustees were again confirmed: Mrs K Campion for a further 2 years, Mr J Warr for a further 4 years. On 18MAY17 it was agreed that they be asked to remain as Trustees. The Chairman will meet with Mr J Warr to discuss possibilities for consideration at the next meeting. (Action - Chairman.)

6. CPR training was repeated on 4OCT18. It was agreed that the most desired approach is for this to be done annually. How best to proceed will be discussed with the Central Ambulance Service. (Action - CF.)

7. The new format for the quarterly Financial Update had been circulated. This was discussed and agreed for future use.

8. The Schedule of Insurancewas noted. Renewal is due 31MAY19, (and the Village Hall13SEP19).Proposed renewal terms to be presented to the next Council meeting in FEB19. (Action -Clerk/Chairman.)

9. The Financial (and related items) Timetablewas noted/approved.

10. Village Greens - Register of Assets: this has been updated to include the Village Greens. The position as to registration was outlined by JC. Separately, clarification is to be sought as to public liability cover. (Action - Clerk.)

11. Green and Verges Policy. The situation is not thought to be an issue at the moment but could be raised in the future.

2. Playing Fields: JA gave an update and will continue to take forward. Matters of note:

1. the tunnel is being addressed;

2. new swing seats are required. An order (2 x large and 2 x cradle) with Sutcliffe Play of £405 (plus VAT) was proposed and approved;

3. the wooden beams and wooden play structures are slippery at this time of the year, a potential hazard. Some options were discussed as to how to make them safer, but none were considered practical. A notice will be placed in an appropriate position to warn users of this specific concern. (Action - JA.)

4. there has been a welcome, but modest, response (six replies) to the quest for ideas to expand play facilities. While the creation of a boules pistehad some enthusiasm, it was not felt that the response justified the cost. Some other points were also raised and these will be considered further.

5. JA will investigate the potential for grant aid via possible waste levy schemes. (Action - JA.)

3. Armistice Day Celebration: very good feedback had been received from within the village, and from visitors, as to the efforts made in celebrating this momentous anniversary. Special thanks were due to many.

4. Tree of Remembrance: collection awaits renewed stock. A decision has to be made as to where the tree will be planted. (Action - Chairman.)

5. Title Deeds: the deeds will be placed with Hancocks solicitors. It was agreed that a letter will be prepared authorising withdrawal by two authorised signatories. When Hancocks acknowledge receipt, details (i.e. letter date, signatory, letter reference) will be minuted and the Register noted accordingly. (Action - Chairman/Clerk.)

6. Planning Applications Received since last meeting: these were noted. The Chairman was surprised at the lack of information on the WODC website as to their action related to Lansdowne Cottage and Pomfret Castle applications, the latter some time ago. JD to investigate. (Action -JD.)

7. Financial update:aStatement of Year-to-Date Receipts and Payments, and a Summary of Balances Held,as at 13OCT18 (date of the last statement received) were presented and discussed. The new format was welcomed but requires some minor amendment, (since done). (Chairman/RFO.)

Since the last meeting, the following cheques have been paid: J Abbott (£74.93), Arrow Accounting (£112.76), Acremanís Arboriculture (£348.00), Cherwell Chimneys (£1,020.00), Hunts Engineering (£100.00, £230.68 and £285.56), L Tustian (£84.76), W Haddon (£156.77). Payments were ratified. Bank account balances total: Current (£4,619.78), Deposit (£6,641.47).Uncleared cheques total £241.53.VAT due but not yet received totals £241.53.

8. 2019 Election and Parish Council/Parish Assembly dates.

Council Elections will be held on 2MAY19. The dates for the following meetings as already scheduled for 2019 were amended as follows:

i. 12FEB19: PC Meeting (no change)

ii. 26APR19: Annual Parish Assembly (from 19MAY19)

iii. 14MAY19: Annual Parish Council (from 17MAY19).

Any other business.

Village Green and Playing Field mowing. The situation was discussed in detail. Thanks to the generosity of the Ford family, Swerford has not had to worry about these costs for several years. With their imminent move, this will change. Estimates are that the Playing Field alone could cost in the region of £1,500 pa. Options to be considered include:

- some contractual work;some village volunteer work (a rota of volunteers using the village mower);

- WODC help. 2018-2019 Budget Forecast and Precept Demand.

A proposed budget was presented and discussed. It was agreed that Councillors will each consider this further, respond to the Chairman by 21NOV18 with any comment, and then liaise and conclude as appropriate with the RFO by 15DEC18.

Authorisation was given to proceed,ratifying the same at the next Council meeting. (Action - Council and RFO.)

Some concern exists as to what level of increase is permitted to the Precept should contractual work be necessary. (Action - Chairman. Since advised by the Council that the Precept Demand can be whatever the Council requests.)

The Chairman confirmed that the Village Hall budget is being prepared and that their policy is to break even. At some stage the timing of budgets and the link to the Council will need to be discussed further. At this moment in timethe status quo is considered acceptable. The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO): C Fordís resignation was received.

Thanks were expressed for the considerable time and effort spent on this role, taken on in an Acting Capacity to assist the Council.

G Strachan has kindly agreed to assume this responsibility and his nomination was approved. The Chairman will write to WODC notifying them accordingly. (Action - Chairman.)

Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Code of Conduct, Financial Risk Assessment for 2018/19. These have all been reviewed and amended as necessary. Circulated to all members, the revised/updated versions were all approved.

There being no further business the meeting closed at about 10:00.

The next Council Meeting is scheduled for 12 February 2019.

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