WEST HAGBOURNE PARISH COUNCIL                                                          MINUTES



Meeting in Hagbourne Primary School                                                    9th November 2006

East Hagbourne



Present:  Phil Taylor, Marion Judd, Bernard Mead and Keith Little


Before the meeting the members were shown an exhibition about the SODC consultation on the SEERA proposal for an additional 3,000 homes for Didcot.  Jim Sherry (a planning consultant to SODC) was available to answer questions and this was followed by an open forum on that subject.  A list of those who attended and the main points raised is appended to the minutes.


After the open forum Cllr Patrick Greene gave his report to the Council.



The meeting opened at 8.50 pm.


1.         Minutes of meeting on 14th September 2006.


            The minutes were passed as a true and correct record, subject to a minor amendment to Item 7.


2.         Matters arising


            Revised Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. 


Some comments on drafts still awaited.  To be deferred to the next meeting.


3          Time limits for meetings


            The Council decided that meetings would in future start at 7.30 pm and, if members of the public are present, time will be allocated to a general forum at the start of the meeting.  It was also decided to finish meetings no later than 10.00 pm, and if necessary to defer items not discussed to the next meeting.  Should important matters remain on the agenda that cannot wait, additional meetings may need to be called.


4          Additional housing for Didcot


            The Council decided the following:


1          to reject any of the proposed sites on the grounds that there is insufficient information on which to base any decision and, until the district councils have had time to assess the impact of Great Western Park and the additional 1,500 Growth Point houses on the local economy and infrastructure, the Council maintains that it would be irresponsible for them to go ahead with any building plans on this scale;


2          to provide all households in the village with leaflets as soon as possible which suggest they support this view in their response to SODC and suggestions on the completion of the consultation questionnaire;


3          to put appropriate information on the noticeboards;


4          to participate in the Western Village Alliance that is being set up to fight these proposals.


5          Operating procedures


            The Council decided to delegate the response to consultations to the Clerk in accordance with the procedures attached to these minutes.


6          Planning applications


            New vehicle access to the front garden of 11 York Road:


            The Council decided to recommend that the application should be approved.


7          Rubbish skip


            The Council decided to provide a skip in January 2007 in Greengate Lane.


8          Finance


a)         Budget and precept for 2007/08


            The Council decided to approve the draft budget prepared by the Clerk subject to the amount included for skip hire being reduced to £425.


            The Council decided that the Council Tax precept would be £3,950, which is the same as for 2006/07.


b)         Monthly report on expenditure:


            The Council accepted and approved the monthly report.


c)         Cheques signed:


            Roger Sweet (ink cartridges) - £57.84


9          Extension to Hagbourne Village Hall


            The Council decided in principle to consider some financial support for the extension when appropriate, and to ask if it would be possible to provide suitable storage space for the Council’s ( and others ) archived documents, and to advise the Village Hall Committee accordingly.


10        Village Maintenance


a)         Temporary funding for kissing gate:


It was agreed to underwrite this, if necessary, as the village improvement group has been granted funds for this project, but cannot reclaim the amount until the work is completed.  It may not be necessary, but the Parish Council agreed they would provide interim funds to cover the invoice fro the supplier.  Clerk to contact Dave Totterdell.


b)         Grassed banks where they have encroached on footpaths:


            The Council decided to write to Oxfordshire Highways to draw this to their attention


c)         Land opposite the Horse and Harrow


            The Council decided the following:


1          to write to Rowan Napper and ask him to provide a written quotation as he has said he would clear the site for less than the amount approved at the last meeting;


2          to write to Greene King to ascertain the exact boundaries of the land; and not to continue further until this is established.


3          when the boundaries are known, to lodge a Caution against First Registration with the Land Registry so long as the fees and associated legal costs, together with the cost of clearance, are within the expenditure approved at the last meeting.


d)         Other issues:


            The Council decided to write to SODC to ask them to inspect the Chestnut tree in The Square as there is some concern that it may be affected by disease or attack.  But specifically to take no action at this time.


The Council decided to send further pictures of the granite sett kerbstones to Oxfordshire Highways as they still have not been reinstated, to point out that cobbled kerbing on South and North sides of Main Street, remain damaged and have not been repaired as was reported back to the clerk previously.



11        Traffic issues


The Clerk reported that the speed measurement devices had been put in place to monitor results after white lines had been removed.


12        CPRE Tranquillity Campaign


            The Council decided to request Cllr Greene to press SODC and the County Council to adopt the CPRE principles of tranquillity.


13        Parish Plan – progress report   


            Sue Totterdell reported that the Plan is almost ready to be sent to the designer, with the aim of distribution in December/January.


14        Storage of archives


The Clerk advised that he now has some storage capacity in his loft that the Council could use.  Members will assist in deciding whether there is anything that no longer needs to be kept.


15        Communication


a)         Correspondence


A letter from Janet Cockburn was read out.  The letter supported the suggestion to reject any of the proposed until the effects of the impact of Great Western Park are known, and to encourage other councils to adopt the same approach.


b)         Newsletter items to Phil as soon as possible.


c)         Oxfordshire County Council’s Casualty Report and Road Safety Plan:


            The Council decided to write to County Council to query high fatality rate for South Oxfordshire.


d)         Travel tokens – proposed changes in the distribution arrangements


            The Council decided to write to SODC to say it would prefer to continue to deliver the tokens ourselves as this provides a personal service to the residents.


16        Other business


1          The Council asked the Clerk to find out the additional cost (if any) for his house insurance if he declares he is using it for part-time business purposes, as this affects where the archives are stored.


2          Sue Totterdell requested that Biodiversity should be on the agenda for the next meeting.



Date of next meeting – 11th January 2007 at 7.30pm






Chairman………………………………………   date…………………………………..



Delegation to the Clerk the response to future consultations (See Minute 5 – Operating procedures)


Considering and Reacting to planning applications where there is no meeting during the consultation period:


The formal response to planning application consultations is delegated to the Clerk.  


Where members have unanimously indicated they either consider an application should be approved or refused the Clerk shall have the delegated power to respond to the District Council and shall state that the Council considers the application should be approved or refused as indicated by the members.


Where members have not unanimously indicated they consider the application should be approved or should be refused, the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, may convene a meeting for the purpose of discussing the planning application and reaching a decision on the response to the District Council.  


Considering and reacting to Consultations where there is no meeting during the consultation period:


The formal response to both simple and complicated consultations is delegated to the Clerk.  


In the case of simple consultations, one or more members will be nominated by the Chairman to draft the response or fill in the consultation form, etc and pass it to the Clerk to sign and send.


In the case of more complicated consultations, all the members will be involved in the consultation process and give their comments to a nominated member (the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other member) to draft (or complete) the response and pass it to the Clerk to sign and send.






Eve Setch, Tom Barker, John Baile, Sheila Taylor, Mary Wiley, Doreen Watling, John Watling, Ted Kendrick, Malcolm Brownsword, Val Brownsword, Dave Totterdell, Cllr Patrick Greene, all members of the parish council, Jim Sherry (planning consultant to SODC, the Clerk


Discussion was all about the SEERA proposal for an additional 3,000 homes to be built in Didcot.




Additional houses will mean more traffic through the village and more fumes

The villages with large populations will have more voice than the smaller villages

The SEERA recommendation was based on the recommendation of the county council

Who gave SEERA (an unelected body) the power?  (Answer by Jim Sherry – the government)

Lack of infrastructure (Cllr Greene said he has pressed for the necessary infrastructure for Great Western Park)

Why not build on the n-Power site as this will have been decommissioned by 2016?  (Answer by Cllr Greene: - no guarantee it will be available as n-Power may want to build another power station.  There will also be the problem of contaminated land)

The viability of Didcot (by Cllr Greene) – houses are needed for the new jobs that are being created, especially at Harwell.  (But will the workers at Harwell live in Didcot or elsewhere?)

Can a bypass be included in the proposals?  (Answer – Halcrow have been appointed to advise on what additional infrastructure would be needed, with costs)

Based on past experience Halcrow’s traffic modelling can be shot down in flames.

By 2017 there will be gridlock in Central Oxfordshire

All traffic from Didcot going south to the A34 has to pass through West Hagbourne so why wasn’t this taken into account for Great Western Park

Volume of traffic on A34

Damage to listed buildings and conservation areas caused by volume of traffic

Must now speak out against more housing with one voice as one community and wait to see what impact Great Western Park will have.

What about the next development that will be proposed, and the next after that?

Could an additional option for an equal spread throughout all the villages around Didcot be included?

The consultation doesn’t mention the negatives, only the positives.

Why have the boundaries to each area now been deleted?  (Answer by Jim Sherry: – the boundaries are not considered to be conclusive)

There is no obvious location for the housing

A flood risk assessment is being done and will be ready in time for it to be considered by the district councils (Jim Sherry)

SODC and the Vale are exploring all the information to enable them to decide on the split between the two districts (Jim Sherry).

The planning process has an inbuilt test of public perception on the impact (Jim Sherry)

Conservation areas have not been mentioned in the consultation and the conservation officers ought to be consulted  (Answer by Jim Sherry: – a good point!)