Parish Council Minutes – October 2016

Minutes of the meeting of Bourtons Parish Council

Held at the Village Hall, Great Bourton on Tuesday 4th October 2016

The meeting opened at 7.30pm.

  • Present: Cllrs Mrs S Upton [Vice Chairman & acting Chair for the meeting], A Johnson, C Upton, T Sowler.

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

Absent : Cllr Paul Wallace

Apologies : Cllr. S E Leszczynski (Chairman); illness.

  • Declarations of Interest: None.
  • Attendance : One member of the public was present.
  • Minutes: The minutes of the September 2016 meeting were received and APPROVED.
  • Progress reports:
  • Footpaths: 
  • A comprehensive report has been received from the Warden.  The report of a broken stile on footpath 8 nearby Peewit Lane, and the request from Mr Aries regarding replacement of the stile with a kissing gate is acceptable to the Council and the Chairman is awaiting a response from the OCC footpath Officer.
  • A request was made by Councillors for a detailed footpath map complete with footpath numbers to be made available for easy reference.  Clerk to investigate with Chairman about availability of such a map.
  • Road Defects:
  • The potholes along Foxden Way that appear to have been missed during last months’ survey have still not been marked up or repaired despite having been pointed out to OCC Highways.  Cllr Mrs Upton will chase them up.
  • Residents are reminded that they should continue to report any potholes or road damage to Oxfordshire County Council via their website, which can be found at:, as the severe budget issues at OCC are restricting their repair work and this is the best way of getting a response.

iii) A damaged drain cover reported outside Parnassus in Main Street remains a danger and Cllr Mrs Upton will follow up with the relevant authority for urgent action.

c]Village benches:

I)The newly appointed contractor repairing the village benches will soon have completed the first bench, which is to be inspected by Councillors.  Difficulty extracting the fixings from the frames caused delays.  Once approved, work will continue immediately on the remaining benches.


i)Inspections of both machines have been completed and logbooks updated satisfactorily.

e) Website Development:

i) Cllr Mrs S Upton reported that all available material has now been uploaded to the new site and that launch of the site was imminent.  This was discussed and it was RESOLVED that the site should be formally launched on November 1st, and an announcement to this effect will be made in the Bourton Broadsheet.  Cllr Mrs Upton to arrange.

ii) Discussion took place regarding the need to have a dedicated server, rather than the shared arrangement that previously existed, and it was RESOLVED that such arrangements be made.

iii) In order to retain the name of the website – – and urgent payment was required to the new website host and Cllr Mrs Upton has arranged this.  Hosting charges of £17.50 per calendar month have been negotiated, a significant reduction on costs from other providers, and payment of the 1st years’ fee was APPROVED.

iv) Cllr Mrs Upton presented an interim invoice received from the website developer for work done to date of £918.00 and payment of this was AGREED.

e) Garners Field Development:

i] The response to the requirements of the planning officer following meetings between Hayfield Homes [HH] and CDC have now been incorporated into the overall site plans and these have been reviewed by Councillors.  As minuted last month, a presentation for residents to inspect the plans has now been arranged and HH have booked the Village Hall on Wednesday October 12th to host this opportunity.  The presentation will be open from 1600 until 2000 and residents are encouraged to attend to view the latest plans and comment accordingly.  Staff of HH and Councillors will be present and able to discuss any matters arising.  Feedback forms will also be available to allow residents to formally record their views.

ii] HH advise that the plans will be sent to CDC Planning very shortly, but that will not restrict opportunities to consider and include any relevant feedback from the presentation.

iii] Further clarification regarding future ownership of the roads on the development and the management of public spaces will be sought, Clerk to arrange.

f) Council Membership:

i) Cllr Sowler has been co-opted onto the Council and his papers will be registered with CDC by the Clerk.

  • Playgrounds

Councillor’s regular monthly inspections have been carried out:

a] Little Bourton: Cllr C Upton reported a bad litter problem and time was spent tidying up the playground.  Significant litter was around the shelter and virtually no use of the litter bin had been made.  An additional litter bin will be installed adjacent to the shelter.  Residents and users of the playground are reminded and requested to ensure that any unwanted items are properly disposed of, so that the visual appearance of the playground and the wider village are improved.  A new sign similar to that at the Great Bourton playground will be investigated by the Clerk.

c] As no response regarding the transfer of the maintenance money from the s106 contribution by the Avoncroft developer for the Little Bourton playground development has been received from CDC, the assistance of District Cllr Atack was requested.

  • Allotments

a] Final work is nearing completion at the Claridges Piece site and it is anticipated that this should be completed later this month.

b] As committed earlier, a meeting will be arranged early in November, hopefully following Completion, with all new tenants to enable signing of the new tenancy agreements and the formation of the Allotment Management Committee.  Details will be communicated shortly.

c] A question has been raised regarding the legal ability of your Council to hold the proposed condition deposits and the Clerk is investigating this issue, but it is believed that there are no restrictions.

  • Finance
  • Two payments totalling £1,403.00 were APPROVED, to S W Services for grass mowing and K C Graphics for website development.
  • Updated Financial position documents for the month of September were presented by the Clerk and were APPROVED.
  • Difficulties continue in arranging electronic banking arrangements with our Bankers,        Barclays, Cllr Mrs Upton will continue to chase Barclays to achieve progress with this matter.  If no acceptable response has been received within a week, the Council will review alternative banking arrangements.
  • Now that the first invoice for website development has been received, the Clerk will make an application via the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils for a Government grant to support the costs of development of the new village website.
  • The requirement for an urgent payment regarding the website hosting was noted.  The Clerk pointed out that such payments, via third parties, should not be made to avoid critical comments during our annual audit.  Urgent payments using the standard cheque process can usually be accommodated within a couple of days.
  • Planning Applications.

a] One new application has been received.

16/01817/F Mr Sam Hall, Maylands, Main Street, Great Bourton.  Single storey garden room.  Due to the closeness of the adjacent public right of way, Councillors will visit the site to inspect. Cllrs noted with concern that the site boundary was show as extending to the edge of the roadside footway.

b] It has been noted that the proposed development of 60 houses in Cropredy has been recommended for refusal by the Planning Officer.  This matter will be kept under review by the Clerk in the light of the potential traffic concerns for Great Bourton.

  • Correspondence 

a] An email from Mrs Brooks concerning erection of “20mph is plenty” signs was considered.  The Council feel, that as a speed survey was completed earlier in the year and a proposal to address small numbers of speeding cars by implementation of a Community Speedwatch programme was not supported by residents in Great Bourton, and the potential changes to the chicanes in Great Bourton if the Garners Field development progresses, any such changes should await these opportunities. The Clerk will reply directly to Mrs Brooks explaining the position.

b] An email regarding the possibility to attract external funding to support the acquisition of a minibus to operate a community service was considered, but generally the work involved in establishing and operating such a project was felt to be too onerous and costly.  It was reported by District Cllr Atack that Cropredy were also considering such an opportunity and it was AGREED that the Clerk would discuss this with the Cropredy Clerk and make him aware that The Bourtons would be interested in the outcome of their considerations and might be prepared to offer their support if any proposals of interest were forthcoming.

c] The question of the imposition of referendum in the case of increases to the precept being extended downwards to Parish Councils was considered following receipt of an email from OALC on this matter was considered and it was RESOLVED to not comment at this time and await further developments.

d] It was confirmed that the Chairman had issued letters of support to the Horton defence committee and Cllr Johnson will enquire if any further support is required.

  • New Business

a] Comments have been received regarding the condition of certain trees in the Churchyard and it was AGREED that Councillors would make a visual inspection and obtain quotes to attend as appropriate.

12.     District Councillor Report

a] Dist. Cllr Atack advised that the proposed meeting of the North Oxfordshire Parish Councils comprising Mollington, Claydon with Clattercote, Cropredy, The Bourtons and Wardington should take place in November.  The Council fully supports this as it is felt that there are many matters of shared interest where a combined approach may achieve a better outcome.

b] He also advised that CDC have established a small budget to address the ongoing problem in certain specific areas where the roll out of high speed broadband has not resulted in improved broadband availability.  Residents are encouraged to advise the Council if there is an availability concern in their area.  Note that this is more concerned with the lack of broadband provision rather than a less than desired speed.

Date of next meeting – Tuesday November 1st 2016 at 8.00pm.

The meeting closed at 9.40 pm.

Signed(Chairman)    Date:

Minutes drafted by Parish Clerk on October 5th  2016

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