Search the Site
Create a Site
Read the News
Whats On

Parish Council Meetings

Last Updated 04 September 2018 16:15

SWERFORD PARISH COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - DRAFT Tuesday 14 August 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 L Tustian (Councillor). Mr W Haddon (Parish Clerk). (JC, CF, JA, JD, LT, WH respectively hereafter.) Residents: Mr R Huyton (who left during the meeting), Mrs A Huyton, Mr N Davies. 1. Apologies for absence. a. None received. 2. Declarations of Interest and reminder of the Code of Conduct. a. None made and Code noted. 3. Approval of minutes Annual Parish Council Meeting 17MAY18. a. Approved. 4. Matters arising: a. Internal Audit: see below; b. Playing Fields: updated position and ROSPA response: i. JA presented a wide ranging and detailed report which was discussed. The situation is being fully monitored and action taken to comply and do the best for the area. The Chairman confirmed that insurance exists to cover public liabilities. JA has sought, and circulated some new ideas for improvements to the village and will continue to monitor and present quarterly reports. c. HSBC: update and ratification as to mandate signatories: The following applies to Swerford Parish Council’s Community and Business Manager Accounts with HSBC: 1. Councillors John Chaplin, Jonathan Drinkwater, Jane Abbot and Colin Ford were confirmed as approved authorised signatories; 2. Of these four, any two must sign at any one time; 3. After many years, due to other commitments, Leonard Tustian will no longer be an authorised signatory, and therefore his authority is to be cancelled. d. Chapel End tree: update and cost approval: i. The work has been carried out (the crown lifted and tree thinned) as approved by WODC. The payment of £290 + VAT was approved. ii. LT expressed concerns as to the process for such approvals reached outside Council Meetings. It was explained that in this instance, after much discussion, and agreement in principle at various Council Meetings, the final go ahead was made after email correspondence with Councillors, the decision to be formally ratified at this meeting. Four positive replies were received. His concern was that as he is not an email user, email circulation presents him with unworkable time constraints should he wish to make comment before such decisions, taken on a majority basis, are made. This was noted and it was agreed that a policy needs to be reiterated at the next meeting as to how best to include him on such interim decisions. e. Swerford Charity: clarification as to trustee dates of tenure and overall relationship to Council; i. The matter will be clarified with Jonathan Warr. f. Register of Title Deeds: completion and safe-custody (FR 13.1); i. The Register is complete. (Since the meeting, JC has confirmed that Hancocks of Banbury have agreed to hold in safe-keeping. Suitable instructions will be given.) g. Register of Assets: completion (FR 13.3); i. The Register is Complete. h. CPR training: update; i. CF has this in hand and expects to confirm a date for September. i. Confirmation of payment to Mrs M Chaplin for website work; i. Payment has been made. j. Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities: documentation to be published on website by 1JUL18: i. It was confirmed by JC and CF that this has been done. 5. Planning Applications Received since last meeting: a. 18/02088/FUL - The Studio, Potato Town. No Objection advised. i. The position was formally ratified. 6. Salt and salt bins: a. Further clarification was needed with WODC as to how the salt was to be delivered and what was free/what was not. (Since the meeting JC has confirmed that OCC will refill bins and deliver one bulk bag free of charge.) 7. Financial update and Statement: a. Receipt and Approval of Annual Financial Statements (Standing Order (SO) 4.3.2); i. While discussed, formal presentation has yet to be made. b. Statement of Year-to-Date Receipts and Payments, actual versus forecast (Financial Regulations (FR) 3.2 and SO 4.3.2); c. Summary of Balances Held (SO 4.2.1); i. The position was outlined in detail and a new system introduced for which comments are welcome from Councillors for the next report. (To JC/CF). d. Annual Audited Accounts (website and Notice Boards (SO 4.4.5); i. A notice has been placed on Notice Boards advising that the Accounts have been audited and that for the next six weeks are available for inspection at the home of the RFO (by appointment). e. Confirmation of Insurance held (Financial Regulation (FR) 14.3); i. JC/WH will create a schedule. Once complete the Clerk (WH) will assume responsibilities for ensuring Insurance Cover is addressed in a timely manner (decided after the meeting.) The Village Hall will continue to arrange its own insurance: this still needs to be advised to the Council who need to be satisfied with cover in place. f. Completion of an Annual Finance Timetable and confirmation as to what is to be published on website; i. This is being taken forward by JC/CF. 8. Internal Audit: a. Presentation and Approval of 2017-18 Internal Audit Report (SO 4.4.5). Whilst the Internal Audit Report has been seen by CF, JC and WH, it is a requirement that a formal presentation to the Council is made, for review, comment (if any) and minuting. For the sake of good order this will be done at the next meeting. Otherwise, matters were largely finalised during this meeting and where so, as noted below, may be considered ‘closed’. The Auditors Summary was noted: that ‘the Council has sound arrangements in place to satisfy itself that its systems of internal financial control are both adequate and effective. There are approval and authorisation controls and there is a clear audit and management trail for financial transaction.’ Matters arising from that Report (that is Audit comment requiring follow-up) were largely discussed and the following was noted: - Deeds and Titles have been established, references noted, and a Register created; - From the 2016/17 Report: o Fidelity Insurance level to be confirmed. (Since the meeting current levels of £150,000 with an excess of £250 have been confirmed. The matter is closed.); o Requires review and to be minuted; (report superceded by 2017/18, see below - matter closed.); o Earmarked balances to be clearly identified in the notes to financial statements; covered in new statements - matter closed. - Local Government spending powers (rules) to be better understood. o Explained by the Auditor, the position was clarified, noted at the meeting, and considered understood. Matter closed. - Audit Reports to be reviewed and minuted as such: o This is now in process for 2017/18. (Council will be asked to note that for 2016/17, outstanding issued will have been included in the 2017/18 Report and the matter may reasonably be considered closed.) - An Effectiveness Review was not carried out: o Much time has been spent on Audit matters and arguably this has been addressed. To be considered further. - Public Land and Building Assets Register: o To clarify and create - Financial Regulations to be amended in due course. (Since the meeting it has been confirmed by the Auditor that this is simply our Register of Assets minus any values, to be updated annually and published on the village website. This is to be finalised.) b. Approval of Internal Audit Fee. i. Approved. 9. General Governance a. Swerford Council’s ‘Publication Scheme’ requires updating. i. JC/WH will review and update. 10. Any other business a. Village Hall. i. Payment of £1,020 approved. There is no VAT. b. Green and Verges Policy Document. i. A Draft Parking Policy prepared in 2017 was presented by CF. Wider issues, if any, are to be considered further. c. War memorial Project; i. There is no obvious way forward with any specific Project and if the matter is to be revived, interested parties will need consulting. d. Armistice Day celebrations: i. JA and JC outlined some possibilities now being planned in the village. This includes an Art Weekend with exhibitions in the Village Hall, Potato Town and Grange Farm; taking forward the ‘There but Not There’ project which is a national scheme and very moving; the WODC/Woodlands Trust Tree of Remembrance Project; and some other ideas in their infancy. This is being progressed within the village as appropriate. ii. Regrettably there will be no Swerford Church service on Remembrance Sunday as this is being held in Hook Norton. But some service will take place. e. Tree of Remembrance Project; i. WH is to respond that we wish to be involved. Clarification as to which type of tree is needed. The aim is to plant in one of the village greens after any discussion that may be considered appropriate. John Chaplin will be the contact point for WODC. Mary Tustian will be invited to lead the planting ceremony. f. Village Ride-on Mower: i. The repair at a cost of up to £550 was approved, of which £100 will need be paid in advance. g. Gigaclear activity update. i. JC outlined the position. They are not allowed to build on village greens, and how the roll-out will unfold is unclear. No Circulars have been issued by WODC or Gigaclear. JC will continue to monitor. h. Land Registration of the Village Greens. i. Parish Council land is now registered with the Oxfordshire Register of Village Greens. It is thought that this should now be extended to the National Land Registry. Approval was given for this to be further investigated as to time and costs involved. JC will approach solicitors. i. Planning: Permission in Principle (PIP) and Technical Details Consent (TDC): i. JC, JD and JA will register with the relevant WODC website to receive emails to do with any Consents sought relating to Swerford, so that in the absence of the Parish Clerk matters may be progressed within the very tight timeframes now applicable. j. The Re-appointment of Arrow Accounting as our Internal Auditor was approved. This included their fee. k. Various payments were approved as follows: i. For web services to C Stanbury (2 x £40) ii. For bench refurbishment: £38.51 iii. For the ROSPA survey: £74.93 iv. For Playsafety Ltd: £79.80. There being no further business the meeting closed at about 10:00 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for 13 November 2018.

25th January 2018 AT 19:00 in Swerford Village Hall Present: Mr J Drinkwater Chairman and Acting Clerk

Mr C Ford Parish Councillor and Acting RFO

Mr L Tustian Parish Councillor

Residents: Mr R Haigh, Mr G Strachan, Mr M McCloy, Mr R Huyton, Mrs A Huyton, Mrs E Walkinshaw, Mr J Chaplin, Mr D Andrews, Mrs A Andrews.

1.0 Apologies

 None Received

2.0 Declarations of Interest

 None recorded

3.0 Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting

 Proposed by Mr C Ford Seconded by Mr L Tustian Minutes signed as approved by Mr J Drinkwater (Chairman)

4.0 Matters Arising

 There were no matters arising which were not due to be covered elsewhere in the meeting.

5.0 Items Submitted by Public for Consideration

 Although Members of the Public were in attendance there were no items that had previously been submitted to the Acting Clerk. It was agreed that anyone wishing to raise a particular subject could do so under any other business.

6.0 Financial Update

 Mr C Ford confirmed the balances as at 13.01.2018: Community Account £5115.23, the Business Money Manager Account £6637.74 as at 14.12.2017 and the Playing Field Account £487.45 as at 13.12.2017

 Mr C Ford has completed the budget for 2017/18, Mr J Drinkwater to sign it.

 Mr Drinkwater confirmed that the precept request had been signed and submitted to WODC.

7.0 Parish Clerk Gift

 Mr Drinkwater proposed that following the recent retirement of Mrs T Poke as Parish Clerk the Parish Council should purchase a book token for her. After a brief discussion it was agreed that this should be for £25 Mr J Drinkwater

8.0 Parish Council Vacancies

 Mr J Drinkwater advised the Parish Council that Mr M Poke had decided to resign.

 Mr J Drinkwater advised that a letter had been sent to each household setting out the position with regard to vacancies and potential vacancies on the Parish Council and its Officers.

 Mr J Drinkwater confirmed no specific expressions of interest have been received in respect of the position of Parish Clerk or RFO

 Mr J Drinkwater advised that following the distribution of the above letter he had received expressions of interest from Mrs J Abbott, Mr G Strachan, Mr J Chaplin, Mr W Haddon, Mr C Banbury, Mrs C McKay and Mr D Nelligan. At the meeting Mr R Huyton also said that he would be willing to become a member.

 Mr J Drinkwater and Mr C Ford both advised that it would be their intention to step down as soon as replacements for them could be secured.

 Mr L Tustian stated that he intended to continue to serve on the Parish Council.

 There followed a lengthy discussion on the way forward to ensure the continuation of the Parish Council.

 At the end of this it was proposed by Mr C Ford and seconded by Mr L Tustian and agreed that Mr J Chaplin should be co-opted to join the Parish Council

 Mr J Drinkwater said he would arrange to advise WODC of Mr M Poke's departure and Mr J Chaplin's co-option.

Mr J Drinkwater

9.0 Village Hall Committee

 Mr L Tustian advised that there had been no meeting of the Village Hall Committee since the last Parish Council meeting

 Mr J Chaplin advised that two quotes for roof works had been received the cheapest of which was in the region of £5,500 including VAT. The Parish Council would be responsible for some of this cost. Mr J Chaplin agreed to the keep the Parish Council updated.

10.0 Playing Field Replacement Equipment

 Following a site meeting at which some of those present had been in attendance and carried out subsequent investigations by Mr R Haigh and Mr R Huyton. Mr D Herman of Hook Norton was asked to provide a quote for the required remedial works. Despite reminders he had not come up with anything.

 Mr D Andrews then advised that he could have a look and would be willing to do the work and would advise on any costs.

11.0 Maintenance of Greens and Hedgerows

 Despite previous advice no suggestions had been received with regard to the Church end residents suggestions for the Church End Green or the War Memorial Green

 It was agreed to write to the relevant landowners suggesting that the time was right for all overhanging branches and undergrowth to be cut back on roadsides and footpaths.

12.0 Collection of Household Waste

 All confirmed that their bins were now being collected correctly.

13.0 Planning Consultations and Considerations

 No applications had been received but the proposed storage building off Backside Lane had been withdrawn

14.0 Footpaths and Bridleways

 Nothing to report - Mr C Ford and Mr J Drinkwater said they would do further work on the 'Dog Gates' in the spring.

15.0 Website & Swerford Insight

 Mrs M Chaplin continues to do a brilliant job for the village

16.0 Correspondence

 Mr J Drinkwater confirmed he had received some flyers from WODC for the Notice boards

17.0 Any Other Business

 Mrs E Walkinshaw advised that she had had a letter from OCC advising that they were going to do some works to the bridge in Franklin's Field by the ford but nothing had yet been done.

18.0 Dates of forthcoming meetings

 12 April 2018 at 19:00 hours

 04 May 2018 Parish Assembly at 19:30 hours

 17 May 2018 Annual Parish Committee Meeting at 19:00 hours followed by May Parish Council meeting. All to note

The meeting was declared closed at 20:30 hours.

SWERFORD PARISH ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES

05 May 2017 AT 19:30 in Swerford Village Hall

Present: Mr J Drinkwater Chairman Mr M Poke Vice Chairman Mrs T Poke Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer (Appointed) Mr C Ford Parish Councillor Mr L Tustian Parish Councillor

Maggie Chaplin, Richard & Annabel Hall, Charlotte Douglass, Jennie Tustian, David & Deborah Lang, Maurice George Andrew Beaney (WODC), Nigel Colston (WODC), PCSO Phil Workman (TVP)

1.0 Apologies

PCSO Chris Jones (TVP), Gay Ford, Philippa Drinkwater, Charlie & Kate Campion, John Chaplin

2.0 Minutes of last Assembly

Minutes agreed for accuracy. Proposed: Mr C Ford Seconded: Mrs A Hall

3.0 Matters Arising

Mr M Poke provided an update regarding the adoption of the BT kiosk and outlined the reasons for not pursuing this as an option.

4.0 Chairman’s Report

 Mr J Drinkwater stated it has been a relatively busy year in respect of Parish Council activity and each of the parish councillors will be providing an updates on each of their respective areas of responsibility.

 Births and Deaths – Mr J Drinkwater noted the sad news of Katharine George’s death. He also noted the death of Paddy Blacker who had lived in the village for many years prior to her moving to Brailles some years ago.

 New Residents – Mr J Drinkwater formally welcomed Carla McKay - Springbank Cottage, Nick Davies and Alice Drummon-Hay – Lyndhurst, Sam and Charles Banbury to Ash Tree Hill Cottage, it was also noted the departure of Fatima Hussein to Hook Norton and replaced by Ryan Whordley and Finley Tait.

 Planning Applications

– Four planning applications received in respect of Mill Cottage (2 storey extension), Leys Farmhouse (Extension and alterations), Backside Lane (New dwelling), Land on Wigginton Road, west of Heath Farm (Conversion of barn to dwelling)

 Consultation – Mr J Drinkwater did advise residents to consult with their immediate neighbours prior to submitting planning applications; this is deemed to be good practice which the planning department encourage. He also stated that parking is a potential issue for certain parts of the village, especially in respect of builder’s vehicles and plant.

 Appreciation – Mr J Drinkwater formally thanked the following for their valuable contributions to village life: Maggie Chaplin for the website and Insight, Charlotte Douglass and her team with the Village Hall Committee, Jayne Ford for the Playing Fields Committee and the maintenance of the site, which saves the Parish Council funds, Jennie Tustian & Charlie Campion our Church Wardens, Jonathan Warr & Kate Campion for the Swerford Charity, June Haigh for researching the War dead and finally the Parish Councillors and Clerk for their support and attendance at Hook Norton remembrance day service and parade.

5.0 Financial Report

 Mrs T Poke confirmed the Precept remains at £2174.00

 Balances – Business Money Manager Account £6635.76, Community Account for Swerford Parish Council £5183.71. Expenditure for the year £1594.55. Income was £2177.77 made up of Precept and £3.77 bank interest.

 It was also noted the HSBC Chipping Norton branch was closing in the near future.

6.0 Thames Valley Police Report

 General Report – It was noted there has been more activity in respect of construction sites in the area with various items being stolen off sites and out of vans etc., Power tools being stolen from vans is an issue, therefore people need to be vigilant and report any activity to TVP via the 101 emergency number. Phil also encouraged residents to sign up for the Thames Valley Alert service which can be done online at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk. Mrs M Chaplin stated she has signed up and finds the alerts and updates useful.

7.0 Parish Councillor’s Updates

 Defibrillator – Mr C Ford was pleased to report that 40 people are now trained to use the equipment; this has been a positive project with residents attending the training. However it was noted a number of people were not able to attend and it is therefore hoped another date can be arranged in due course. Refresher training will be run annually/bi-annually using our own training kit. Mr C Ford and Mr M Poke are guardians for the equipment and will ensure it is checked weekly and signed off.

 Footpaths & Rights of Way

– Mr M Poke reported that Windy Hill farm remains an issue and Mr M Poke and Mr J Drinkwater have met with Dan Weeks of OCC to get the signage reinstated, this still hasn’t been actioned to date, Mr M Poke will be following this up again. 13 out of the 19 stiles have been converted to make them dog friendly; the remainder will be completed over the summer.

 War Memorial Project

– Mr C Ford provided an update and confirmed the Parish Council is currently in the process of obtaining quotations from several building contractors to complete the works as specified in a recent edition of Insight. The budget has been set and it is envisaged works will be commenced and completed in approximately 4 months.

 Village Greens & Verges –

Mr M Poke stated the winter damage was considerable again this year and the Parish Council has been considering options for protecting such areas. Mr C Ford and Mr M Poke will be developing some schemes which will include the use of suitable bollards and planting. Mr M Poke said he would also welcome ideas from residents. Mr M George stated the works at Park Cottage have affected the flow of water down Backside Lane, this is being considered by the residents affected.

 Road Safety Initiatives –

Mr C Ford confirmed the Twenty’s plenty sign located at Church End had been removed by a resident, this has now been reinstated further up the Lane. Mr C Ford confirmed any further initiatives will be subjected to consultation with residents.

 Bonfires –

Mr M Poke reminder residents to consider other residents when having Bonfires and to ensure the guidance from WODC is adhered to. Copies of such guidance are displayed on all notice boards.

 Future Initiatives –

Mr J Drinkwater confirmed he has spoken to Wendy Cunningham about Swerford having its own service on Armistice Day 2018, it is hoped the village can make more of an event of it and celebrate the works for the War Memorial.

 Parish Council Vacancies –

Mrs T Poke confirmed she has resigned from the post of Clerk & RFO due to her own business commitments. It is hoped someone will volunteer to replace her with effect from the end of May 2017, Mrs T Poke stated she would provide a detailed handover and training.

8.0 Swerford Charity Report

 Mr J Drinkwater confirmed people can apply for grants. No formal report provided.

9.0 Village Hall Report

 Charlotte Douglass presented her report and formally thanked Madeleine Ford and Jane Abbot for their valuable contribution and noted they have left the committee due to other commitments. Charlotte welcomed two new members Gavin Strachan and Alex Stanton. With regard to finances Mr J Chaplin reported to Charlotte the good news that the village hall had more than broken even and the three polling days last year contributed significantly to the £640 surplus. Charlotte completed her report with a detailed overview of the activities and events held during the year and also noted the forthcoming events. Mr J Drinkwater thanked Charlotte and her team for all their hard work and dedication.

10.0 Playing Field Report

 Mr J Drinkwater noted the ROSPA report has been considered in details and some minor works undertaken to address some of the more urgent issues highlighted.

11.0 St. Marys Church Report

 Jennie Tustian provided an update on the services throughout the year and it was noted John Acreman retires in July 2018.

 Jennie provided an update regarding the required works in respect of the church roof. It was also noted a bat survey is to be undertaken in the near future.

 Charlotte and the church team have been working on a formal plan which is currently being documented; this will be published in due course.

 Mr J Drinkwater thanked Jennie Tustian and Charlie Campion for all their hard work and dedication and also acknowledged the contributions of other residents.

12.0 District Council Report

 Mr N Colston presented his report with some key themes as noted in the following bullet points as priorities for WODC in the coming year.

 2nd lowest Council Tax in the country

 Maintain service delivery in respect of waste collections, leisure centres, public amenities, planning, environmental health and pest control.

 One Oxfordshire – may go forward following the election results for County Council

 Deliver further efficiency savings and to build upon the success of shared services working

 Manage the larger housing development applications, noted a number of significant applications had been overturned on appeal

 Keep free parking – vital for protecting town centres

 Mr A Beaney reiterated the messages provided by Mr N Colston and confirmed a new contractor was now in place for waste collection and WODC were involved with the NHS consultation regarding the Horton Hospital in Banbury and Chipping Norton Hospitals.

13.0 County Council Report

 No attendance or report.

14.0 Open Meeting/Any other Business

 Mrs M Chaplin provided an update on Swerford Open Gardens on 17 & 18 June and read the press release.

 Charlotte Douglass reiterated the work being undertaken to launch St. Mary’s Church appeal and stated the document will be released in due course.

The meeting was declared closed at 20:45 hours.

Graphic version of this page