Parish Council Minutes – May 2016

Minutes of the meeting of Bourtons Parish Council

Held at the Village Hall, Great Bourton on Tuesday 3rd May 2016

The meeting opened at 7.40pm.

  • Present: Cllrs Mrs S Leszczynski [Chairman], C Upton, Mrs S Upton, A Johnson, P Wallace.

In attendance: District Cllr K Atack, County Cllr G Reynolds and S Bowen [Parish Clerk]

Apologies: None were received

  • Declarations of Interest: None.
  • Attendance: no members of the public were present.
  • Minutes: the minutes of the last meeting [March 2016] had not been successfully circulated to all Councillors and it was DECIDED that they would be reviewed during May and represented for acceptance at the June meeting.
  • Progress reports:
  • Footpaths: A new verbal report had been received from the footpath warden.
  • It was recognised that the footpath alongside the motorway remained overgrown and that the Hanwell steps remain in dis-repair.
  • It was noted that the stile on footpath 138/08 has been repaired.
  • Comments have been received that dogs have been noted wandering off lead on various footpaths potentially causing distress to farm animals.  Dog fouling has also been noted.  The Council hopes that dog owners will act responsibly and ensure that they are in control of their dogs and clear up after them, even on privately owned farm land to avoid problems to livestock.  It was AGREED that an article would be prepared for publication in the Broadsheet.
  • The Council would also like to remind farmers of their responsibility to keep all footpaths clear of obstructions and crops.
  • Road Defects: In the absence of any progress regarding the Crow Lane signpost and the lack of available funding from OCC Highways it was AGREED that Cllrs C Upton and P Wallace will review the signpost to see if a local repair can be achieved.


i]Following the change of landlord of the Little Bourton public house, the Chairman has spoken with the new landlord and he has agreed to undertake weekly inspections of the defibrillator.

ii]The Great Bourton inspection log book was reviewed and found to be complete. Following the previous report regarding condensation in the window of the box, it was AGREED that Cllr C Upton will obtain supplies of silica gel to address the problem.

d) Website Development:

i] Cllr Mrs Upton has circulated details of different local Council websites for review by Cllrs and requested an urgent response, so that she can develop the full specification for the designers.

ii] The Clerk was asked to check availability of grant funding to support this activity.

f) Garners Field Development:

i] Confirmation has been received from the Landowner’s agent that the s106 agreement has now been signed.  The documents will be circulated to Cllrs by the Clerk.

ii] Discussions are proceeding between the landowners and a small number of new developers and an announcement is expected soon.

iii] Concern was expressed regarding the arrangements required for the treatment of foul and surface water in the knowledge that the Cropredy treatment works is very close to capacity.  The situation will be monitored and the Clerk will speak with Cropredy PC to ensure both Councils work together for an acceptable solution.

h) Village Hall maintenance:

i] Confirmation is awaited from the chosen contractor regarding a start date for the works and whether there will be any restrictions as to use of the Hall during the works.  The clerk will notify the VHC of this information when it is obtained.

  • Playgrounds

Inspections have been carried out:

a] Little Bourton: Cllr safety inspection completed.  The Chairman noted that some of the equipment had become very stiff to operate and that lubrication had been carried out, but more was required.  The Clerk is to investigate costs of providing an annual service.

b] Great Bourton: Cllr safety inspection completed and all reported OK.

  • Allotments

a] The Council has signed the Draft contract but a further issue has been identified regarding the Thames Water supply and meter. It was AGREED that the Council would take over responsibility for the supply from Mr. Hall and have the billing arrangements transferred into our name.  The Solicitors are currently developing appropriate clauses for insertion into the draft contract to ensure that the Council’s interests are protected.

b] The Chairman reported that all outstanding current allotment rents have now been paid.

c] The formal Notice to Quit letters will be issued to current tenants for the existing Stonepits allotments following exchange of the contracts.  The new Tenancy Agreements have been discussed with some existing tenants and councillors, appropriate amendments made, and have been accepted.

d] The Chairman reported that applications have been received for 21 plots of the 30 on the new site, which is very encouraging.

e] Discussion took place regarding the distance limit for applicants from outside the BPC boundary and it was AGREED that a 2mile limit will continue to apply, with the ultimate decision on granting a plot at the Council’s discretion.

  • Finance
  • Outgoing payments to Thames Water, and S W Services for grass mowing were APPROVED.
  • The current statement of accounts will be circulated to Cllrs electronically.
  • It was AGREED that District Cllr Atack would speak with CDC regarding the transfer of the                 residual value of the s106 agreement contribution to playground equipment from the Avoncroft development now that capital expenditure is complete, to be reserved for playground maintenance in the future.
  • Planning Applications.

a] No new applications have been received.

b] District Cllr Atack reported that he had met with Mr Walsh re the ongoing development at The Paddocks and it was likely that delays would require an extension to the deadline in the planning agreement.  D Cllr Atack was satisfied that Mr Walsh was proceeding as quickly as practical with the development.

  • Correspondence

a] Following an inspection of the Church wall by Councillors, a specialist local contractor has visited and a quotation is awaited.  Cllr Mrs Upton to expedite.

b] A reply is awaited from the Parochial Church Council, regarding the safety issue identified.

c] A response to the request for development of an Emergency Plan will be considered further once the new Village website is operational as this will enable better participation by villagers.

d]A response has been received from Network Rail confirming that they have decided not to proceed with the upgrade to Mill Lane to facilitate their signalling works.  This is due to a dispute between them and a local landowner on a separate matter.  This is unfortunate as the village has lost considerable improvements in the Mill Lane area comprising levelling and resurfacing; drainage enhancement; new wider field gates; and replacement with ‘kissing-gates’ of stiles on the intersecting footpath 138/8.

e)           It has been confirmed that the 277 bus service will cease after June 4th following the withdrawal of subsidies by OCC.  District Cllr Atack advised that considerable work is continuing to try and develop some alternative transport arrangements but that precise details are not yet available.  It appears that Kiers County Connect, supported by Northamptonshire, will only serve South-Northants villages from July.

f] The street light in Manor Road that requires a replacement pole is awaiting the appointment of a new contractor by OCC Highways Lighting, which may be subject to considerable delay.

g] The resolution of the Ragwort problem previously reported requires that the new owner of the land is identified and District Cllr Atack is in communication with the Planning Dept to try and identify them so that action can be taken.  It should be noted that it is outside the Council’s powers to take action directly but that local adjacent landowners can report the matter directly to English Nature.

  • New Business

a] It was confirmed that an interim Tree Preservation Order has been put in place by CDC regarding trees in Crow Lane following concerns expressed by residents.  Thanks were expressed to the Chairman and District Cllr Atack for the quick response to concerns.

b] It was AGREED that the SLCC guide be purchased as a reference document for the Clerk and Councillors’ use.

c] It was AGREED to review the ticket allocation process for Fairport tickets, to advertise their availability, and the Chairman will report back at the next meeting.

d] The date of the next CDC Parish Liaison Meeting has been confirmed as June 8th.  3 places will be reserved and it is anticipated that the Chairman, Clerk and 1 other Cllr will attend.

  • District Councillor Report

There was nothing specific to report beyond those matters commented on above.

Date of next meetingTuesday June 7th 2016 at 7.30pm.

The meeting closed at 10.00 pm.

Signed   Sally Leszczynski: Date:


Minutes drafted by Parish Clerk on May 4th 2016

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