Parish Council Minutes – September 2016

Minutes of the meeting of Bourtons Parish Council

Held at the Village Hall, Great Bourton on Tuesday 6th September 2016

The meeting opened at 7.00pm.

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

In attendance: District Cllr K Atack [joined meeting at 9pm] and S Bowen [Parish Clerk]

Apologies: Cllr Paul Wallace [work commitments], Tom Sowler [away on business].

  • Declarations of Interest: None.
  • Attendance: Two members of the public were present.
  • Minutes: The minutes of the July 2016 meeting were received and APPROVED.
  • Public participation:
  • Mr B Bull reported that the various benches around both villages were is a poor state and had been for some time; when were the Council going to redress the situation?
  • Mr Bull also asked when the noticeboard in the playing field would be replaced as it has been missing for some time.  This will be investigated.
  • A request was made regarding the grass care in the Burial Ground.  Could the grass around the headstones be mown rather than strimmed so as to create a more tidy and caring appearance?  This will be investigated by the Clerk.
  • Progress reports:
  • Footpaths: 
  • No formal report received as the Warden is away but it has been reported that there are 2 broken stiles on footpath 8 nearby Peewit Lane.  Mr Aries has asked whether he can replace these with kissing gates.  The Chairman will liaise with the OCC footpath Officer to confirm.
  • Road Defects:
  • The annual road survey has been completed by OCC and the identified potholes have been repaired.  However Cllr Mrs S Upton has noticed that they survey appears to have missed Foxden Way as there are several significant potholes not marked or repaired.  She will liaise with OCC highways.
  • 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.

c]Village benches:

i]Following problems with the person who had previously committed to repair the benches, a new contractor has been found and a quotation is awaited.  Materials are available and the repair work should be able to start promptly.


i]The Great Bourton inspection log book was reviewed and found to be complete.

ii)The new logbook for the Little Bourton machine is now in place and the Chairman will undertake the regular inspections.

e) Website Development:

i] Cllr Mrs S Upton reported that all available material has now been uploaded to the new site and that a pilot version has been viewed by Councillors.

ii] The process for uploading was reported to be very straightforward and this will enable and encourage contributors to keep the new site updated and current.

Iii] Editing of the final background material is now being completed.  The Clerk will upload recent material such as agendas, minutes, financial summaries and the external audit report.

iv] It is anticipated that the new Bourtons website will become operational within the next 4 weeks.

e) Garners Field Development:

i] The initial meeting with Hayfield Homes, the newly appointed developer was held on Wednesday July 6th and the Council saw a presentation of the developers’ proposals which were warmly received.

ii] Hayfield Homes held a pre-application meeting with the CDC Planning Officer during which they were told that the development as originally drawn was not acceptable and that significant changes would be required before the Officer could recommend approval at the Reserved Matters stage.

iii] Your Council has held a further meeting with Hayfield Homes to discuss this unexpected outcome and have seen an initial outline of their response.  It is anticipated that this will require a new planning application.

iv] Hayfield Homes are very keen to gain villagers support for their scheme and are planning a Village meeting, probably in early October, to present what they propose to take to a full planning application.  The Clerk will communicate further when details of the meeting are known.

v] The Council has received a request regarding the new Great Bourton bus layby planned as part of the works on Southam Road, be installed as early as possible in the construction programme and this will be investigated by the Clerk.

f) Council Membership:

i) Following the successful application received from Mr Tom Sowler of Little Bourton to be a Councillor, Cllr Mrs Sue Upton proposed that he be co-opted to the Council.  This was seconded by Cllr Andrew Johnson and the vote was unanimous.  Cllr Sowler is therefore appointed and his papers will be registered with CDC by the Clerk.

  • Playgrounds

The Annual ROSPA Inspection has been completed and their report received.  There are a small number of recommendations and the Chairman and Cllr C Upton will consider these.  Councillor’s regular monthly inspections have been carried out:

a] Little Bourton: Cllr C Upton confirmed that the damaged bench in the playground has been removed and will be the first to be repaired.  One of the swings had a missing bolt and this has been replaced.

b] Great Bourton: The litter bins were full indicating that users of the playground were now trying to dispose of their rubbish tidily which is appreciated.  A further litter will be acquired shortly to further aid waste disposal.

c] Following the previous minute regarding the transfer of the balance of monies from the s106 contribution by the Avoncroft developer for the Little Bourton playground development the Clerk has written to CDC requesting the immediate transfer of £10k to support ongoing maintenance and a proposal regarding the remaining funds will be made shortly.

  • Allotments

a] Notices to Quit the existing Stonepits allotments were issued by the Clerk in July and acknowledgement has been received from 8 tenants.  Outstanding acknowledgments MUST be received from tenants by September 22nd if assistance is expected with the transfer of property to the new site.

b] Contracts have ben signed and exchanged but delays in the final preparation work on the new site will delay the handover until October.  A detailed update on the next steps will be issued to prospective tenants of the new site by September 9th.

c] A meeting with all new prospective tenants is being planned towards the end of this month, depending on progress with the outstanding works to issue new tenancy agreements and develop the essential processes to ensure the new allotments work smoothly for all.

  • Finance
  • Nine payments totalling £1712.35 were APPROVED.  In future a detailed copy of the Updated Financial position for the month will be published on the new Bourtons web site.
  • Updated Financial position documents for the months of July and September [there being no meeting in August] 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.
  • 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.
  • Planning Applications.

a] No new applications have been received by the time the agenda was published.  Two applications were presented for consideration yesterday, and in the interests of efficiency these were considered.

16/01751/F 2 storey extension & rear extension at Corner House, School Lane, Great Bourton for Mr & Mrs Osborne.  It was RESOLVED that no objections be recorded.

16/01752/F New garden shelter at The Manor Barn, Manor Road, Great Bourton for Mrs D Chism.  It was RESOLVED that no objections be recorded.

b] Two Cllrs and the Clerk attended the presentation in Cropredy regarding the proposed 60 house development and subsequently the Council has written to CDC in support of Cropredy PC and objected to the development in view of the potential impact on Great Bourton.

  • Correspondence

a] Several emails have been received regarding the very late cutting of roadside verges.  It was AGREED that the Clerk will obtain details of the grants available from OCC Highways if your Council were to take on responsibility for this work.  Initial investigation suggest that this may not be cost effective and other possible solutions will also be explored.

b] Residents are reminded that the Village Networks information bus will be calling in the villages on September 21st, October 19th and November 23rd.   Your Council would be interested to hear if residents find this a useful provision so that we can encourage further visits if appropriate.

c] Copies of the Planning Enforcement process booklet were discussed and it was AGREED that Cllrs will raise the matter of Enforcement at the next CDC PC’s liaison meeting scheduled for November.

d] Information has been received from the Oxford Comet replacement transport service and the Council will contact them to understand how this would work for our Villages.

e] The Council has been contacted by Mollington PC requesting our support for the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for the cluster of North Oxfordshire villages.  It is your Councils’ opinion that this would involve a very significant amount of work requiring the support of villagers and is unsure of the ultimate benefits.  We propose to discuss this at the proposed Cluster meeting announced below.

f] Information on the launch of the new 105 electricity supply failure reporting process has been received and this will be publicised through the Bourton Broadsheet.

g] An email response to a residents’ proposal regarding a way of reinstating a local bus service has been received from Stagecoach Oxfordshire which confirms that currently they have no interest in supporting such a proposal.  This matter will be discussed further between the Clerk and Stagecoach to see if the availability of s106 funds released by the Garners Field development may provide an opportunity.

  • New Business

a] The question of the survival of our local Hospital, The Horton is again in the news and your Council understand that most residents are in favour of it retaining its status as a full district hospital with a Consultant led Maternity Unit and full A&E services.  We will be writing to the Keep the Horton Group indicating our support for their efforts and asking what specific we may be able to provide to support this essential local facility.

12.     District Councillor Report

a] DCllr Atack confirmed that he is making arrangements for the proposed meeting of the North Oxfordshire Parish Councils comprising Mollington, Claydon with Clattercote, Cropredy, The Bourtons and Wardington has been proposed for October/November and this is fully supported by your Council as it will enable important local issues that affect all local PC’s such as Transport, Planning, OCC budget cuts etc to be discussed and joint action agreed when appropriate.

b] DCllr Atack explained he had met with Hayfield Homes to discuss their proposed plans for the Garners Field site and was generally supportive.   Cllrs explained that while they were impressed with the efforts being made by Hayfield Homes the Council felt that the original proposal was far more suited to the village that this latest version which has been created in response to the demands of CDC planners.

DCllr Atack will arrange a review meeting with the Planning Officer to understand their views on what is proposed and will report back.  Following this your Council will ensure that all facts are included in the proposed presentation meeting referred to earlier.

Date of next meetingTuesday October 4th 2016 at 7.30pm.

The meeting closed at 10.10 pm.

Signed   Cllr Sally Leszczynski: Date:


Minutes drafted by Parish Clerk on September 7th 2016

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