WEST HAGBOURNE PARISH COUNCIL                                                                                    MINUTES



Meeting in Hagbourne Primary School, East Hagbourne                                                   13th March 2008


Present:  Phil Taylor, Sue Totterdell, John Thornhill


The following members of the public were present:  Dave Carter, Michelle Lightfoot, Tim Lightfoot



1          Apologies and reasons for absence


            Marion Judd – abroad on holiday

            Tom Barker – business meeting

            Patrick Greene – other commitments


2          Declarations of interest




3          Public participation session


Dave Carter expressed concern about the appearance and condition of the village e.g. damage done to grass verges, etc. by lorries.  He was also concerned that lorries from some companies come through illegally on a regular basis but had been told by OCC that they cannot do anything about it at the moment.  The Clerk said he would ascertain whether the 7.5 tonne weight prohibition order has been renewed.  Tim Lightfoot suggested reporting contraventions to the company concerned rather than just to OCC.


Phil Taylor said he would renew his photographic record of the condition of the village.


4          Minutes of the previous meeting


            The Council passed the minutes as a true and correct record.  There were no matters arising.


5          District and County Councillor’s reports


Patrick Greene advised the Council before the meeting that the Council tax increases for next financial year would be 3.5% for SODC and 3.875% for OCC.


6          Appointment of new Parish Clerk


The Council appointed Michelle Lightfoot to be the Clerk with effect from 1st April 2008.

The Council thanked Roger Sweet for the work he had done as Clerk.  Roger Sweet offered to prepare the accounts for the current year in April and to assist with the agendas for the May meetings, and the Council accepted.


7          Purchase of fire-proof storage and an external hard drive


The Council decided to investigate appropriate fire-proof storage for the archives and to explore other options, e.g. external storage and scanning.  Michelle Lightfoot offered to investigate the cost of external storage.


The Council decided to purchase an external hard drive for use by the Clerk and approved a budget of £80 to cover the cost.


8          Planning applications


            There were no new planning application consultations.


            The Council discussed SODC’s decision not to give planning permission for the barn conversion at Ivy Farmhouse.  The Council expressed disappointment about how rigidly the planning rules and the local plan had been applied.


9          Consultations


a)         New consultations

Application to add a bridleway to the definitive map along route of old railway:-

The Council decided it could see no reason to change the current status of the route which is leased to SUSTRANS.  The Clerk was asked to write to OCC accordingly.

SODC’s revised Design Guide:-

The Council decided that Phil Taylor would attend the workshop being arranged by SODC and the Council would defer its response to the consultation until after the workshop.  Phil Taylor will then draft the response.


b)         Earlier consultations

NDA Draft Business Plan:-

The Council had made no response as members had not thought it necessary.

South Oxfordshire Community Safety Strategy:-

Sue Totterdell had prepared a draft.  The Council’s response was made before the deadline

Orders & regulations relating to the conduct of local authority members in England:-

The Council had made no response as members had not thought it necessary.

Natural Greenspaces and a country park for Didcot:-

The Council had made no response.


10        Finance


The Council accepted and approved the attached monthly report on expenditure and the report on cheques signed since the last meeting.


The cheques on the attached schedule were duly signed.


11        Proposed development at Broomsticks


The Council discussed the possibility of a development at Broomsticks following Stewart Lilley’s address to the Council before the January meeting.  The Council does in principle support appropriate development in the village but it decided it would need to see specific proposals before it make any comment to Stewart Lilley.  Phil Taylor and Sue Totterdell will draft a response to Stewart Lilly Associates in consultation with John Thornhill and Tom Barker.


12        Parish Remuneration Panel Report


The members present said that they do not wish to be paid an allowance and Marion Judd had previously expressed the same view.  Members thought there was some merit in the reimbursement of travel expenses in exceptional circumstances.  The Council decided to raise the matter at the Annual Parish Meeting and to defer a decision until after that meeting.


13        Grass cutting contract


The Council confirmed acceptance of the quotation of £139.77 per cut from Scion Estates received since the last meeting.


14        Village maintenance


a)         Further work to Moor Lane

The Village Action Group will shortly commence some initial clearance but work will not necessarily be done on the same day as the litter collection on 6th April.  The Council noted concerns expressed by the Village Association and the Village History Group about the timing of work during the bird nesting season.  The Clerk had not yet been able to ascertain the availability of fly ash from the power station.


b)         Replacement of the planting trough by the pond

The Council had received a letter opposing replacement of the trough from Mrs Sage.  The Council noted that the trough is not actually the Council’s responsibility.  The trough was not insured and no money has been allocated for its replacement.  The Council decided to raise replacement of the trough at the Annual Parish Meeting and to defer a decision until after that meeting.  The Clerk was asked to write to Mrs Sage thanking her for her comments and advising of the Council’s proposed action.


c)         There were no other issues.


15        Land opposite Horse and Harrow


a)         WRG Communities 2008 Challenge

The Council decided to submit a bid for a grant for a meeting hall again this year.


b)         Cutting the Grass

The Council decided to accept a quotation of £15.48 per cut given verbally by Scion Estates and to request four up to cuts during the year, as considered necessary by the Clerk. 


c)         Progress on the land purchase

There has been no response from Greene King.  The Council decided that Phil Taylor should contact Greene King again.


16        Neighbourhood Watch and communication with residents


            The Council decided that Phil Taylor would ascertain from Bernard Mead the current situation regarding Neighbourhood Watch.  The Council decided to raise these issues at the Annual Parish Meeting and to defer any decision until after that meeting.


17;       Traffic issues


The Council has written to Highways and drawn attention to the suggested highways improvements or outstanding maintenance work on the Council’s schedule.  The Clerk will keep the schedule updated.


There were no other traffic highways issues.


18        Communication


            Sue Totterdell had received a letter from Betty Kendrick about the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and the difficulty in preparing an individual reply.  She suggested it would be better if the village could ‘speak with one voice’ when responding to future consultations.  The Council decided to make drafts of its response to future consultations available on the website where and when it was possible to do so within the time available.  Sue Totterdell will reply to Betty Kendrick’s letter.


            Phil Taylor will reply to Doreen Watling’s letter about the air quality in the village caused by traffic. 


19        Any other business




The meeting ended at 21.20 pm. 



Date of next meeting – 8th May 2008 at 7.30pm






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