Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School on Monday, 9th October 2017

Parish Cllrs Peter Abbott, Susan Bannister, Oswyn Murray (Chairman), Alan Parkin &  Gilian Soden.    Tim Huckvale (Chair. Sibford Ferris PC), 14 local residents and the Clerk (Peter Hardman).

Minutes of previous Meetings 
The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting on  10th April 2017 and the Extraordinary Meeting on 3rd July 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising
There were no matters arising which are not contained within the headings below. 

Chairman’s Report
I must begin with a formal apology to the Parish and to Mrs Noquet in particular. Following my report to the Annual Parish Meeting on 8th May 2017 Mrs Noquet made a series of formal complaints to Cherwell District Council against myself. While the majority of her complaints were rejected, one was upheld. In my report on the ongoing saga of the Bishop Blaize I had said:  ‘However all applications to view by prospective purchasers were evaded, and there is no real evidence that the pub continues to function. It was held that I had provided no evidence for my first assertion, and the Estate Agent involved confirmed that there had in actual fact been no formal requests at all to view the property. The officer in charge of the complaint ruled that: Whilst it would appear that any lack of interest in the property may be a consequence of over-pricing rather than evading potential purchasers, this is not a relevant consideration for me and does not change the statement made by you at the Parish Council meeting which was incorrect and not factually accurate. It is my view that a local resolution would be the best course of action and I believe that it would be appropriate for you to make a statement at the next Parish Council Meeting apologising to Mrs Noquet for the factually incorrect statement and also to parishioners for having misled them.  This apology should be minuted and a copy forwarded by email to me’.
I therefore apologise unreservedly to Mrs Noquet and to the parishioners of Sibford Gower for my statement of 8th May 2017, and ask that this apology be minuted.

Millennium Field
A report on the first year was received and approved.
See Appx A

Financial Matters
The Annual Financial Return for the year ended 31st March 2017 had been submitted to the External Auditor BDO LLP and the audit had been completed. Two minor issues arising from the audit were raised and steps will be taken to ensure that action is taken to correct procedure for the current financial year. The External Auditor’s certificate and report were exhibited to the Parish Council. The Annual Return was then approved and accepted by the Members of the Parish Council.
Since the previous Parish Council Meeting cheques issued are shown at Appx A. and were retrospectively approved.

Planning Matters
Development in Sibford Ferris, Hook Norton Road: It was suggested that this development was a precedent for other major building applications in both villages. Parishioners were reminded of the opinions expressed in the Sibfords Community Plan of 2012, and it was agreed to liaise with Sibford Ferris PC about the possibility of holding a joint public meeting to reaffirm those principles.

17/01981/F: Pheasant Pluckers Inn: This was discussed in outline, and it was agreed to circulate a draft response, which would be discussed at a Planning Meeting to be held at 7.30 pm on 30th October 2017.
Since the previous Parish Council Meeting the planning applications which had been considered and decisions received are shown at Appx B

Potholes in the road are starting to appear once more and parishioners were reminded that they should report them to the website ‘Fix my Street’’.

Any Other Business
Cllr Soden spoke of her attendance at the Sibford Ferris Parish Council Meeting on 14th September at which James Clarke of SCAS was present to promote the Community First Responder (CFR) Scheme which is run by the Service to reduce response waiting times, of particular importance in rural areas and for heart attack victims. As the previous initiative had collapsed, it was agreed to collaborate with SCAS in providing CPR/first aid training for volunteer residents.

Date of next Planning Meeting
This will be on Monday, 30th October 2017 in the Staff Room of the Primary School starting at 7.30pm.

Date of next Parish Council Meeting
The next Parish Council Meeting will be on Monday, 8th January 2018 in the Staff Room of the Primary School starting at 8pm.

Public Participation following the formal closure of the Parish Council Meeting
The following matters were raised:-
1) The Bishop Blaize/The Pheasant Pluckers Arms 2) a weeping willow in Hawkes Lane with branches overhanging the road  3) road painted signs 4) parking and 5) road signs requiring cleaning.

Appx A

Millennium Field Report: First Year 2016-7
As the first season draws to a close we report on its maintenance, and intend to do so in September each year. The maintenance season runs from September, as most jobs need to be done in the autumn or winter.
In the first year 2016-7 our aim was to follow as closely as possible the regime instituted by Paul Hobson, with the intention of maintaining a wild meadow and mown paths for walkers. The jobs carried out by David Lovesey were a fortnightly mowing of paths during the growing season and an annual autumn cutting of the boundary hedges. The cost of this in the first year was £1110, to be paid by the PC with a 50% grant from Town Estates (the PC can reclaim VAT); David is willing to continue at the same price.  At least one uprooted tree has been replanted by voluntary labour.
At the end of the first year a survey of the Field suggested that in addition at the end of each season the grass of the whole area should be cut to a length of approx. 4 inches. This is in accordance with the guidelines of the Royal Horticultural Society, and will destroy the seedlings and rootlings of ash, cherry and sloe that have appeared. Once that is done it could also be necessary to strim round the smaller trees so as to free them from invasive grass and weeds, and to engage in some spot weeding of perennial weeds by voluntary labour.
David estimates mowing is a day’s work at £240. He will carry out this work in the next few weeks. Removal of grass cuttings would cost at least double in addition, but David does not think this necessary, as it is not a wild flower meadow. 
We therefore seek authorisation for expenditure of up to £1400 for next year.

Future work
In future years it may be necessary to remove some overcrowded trees and raise the canopy of others, probably eliminate some of the garden shrubs that are not trees, and fill a few gaps where trees have failed to survive. We suggest consulting Batsford Arboretum before tackling this.  

Long-term maintenance
We suggest inviting villagers either to adopt a tree and look after it or to donate one, in memory of loved ones. We are preparing a list of suitable trees in relation to those already planted.
Sue Bannister
Oswyn Murray

Appx B to Minutes of PC Meeting 


DateChq No.AmountPayeePurpose
10.05.17294£376.54AonUKLimited Renewal of Insurance Policy
12.05.17295£ 60.00WC & EF LoveseyMowing verges
19.05.17296£150.00S. RowleyGrant re Goal Posts
26.05.17297£247.20Thos Fox LandscapingMaintenance C/Yd & B/Gd
07.06.17298£ 60.00WC & EF LoveseyMowing Millennium Field
07.06.17299£240.00N R PrickettMowing verges
13.06.17300£100.00Sibford Feris PCBurial Fee
30.06.17301£370.80Thos Fox LandscapingMaintenance C/Yd & B/Gd
03.07.17302£240.00N R PrickettMowing
20.07.17303£ 60.00WC & EF LoveseyMowing verges
27.07.17`304Cheque spoiled and destroyed 
27.07.17305£247.20Thos Fox LandscapingMaintenance C/Yd & B/Gd
02.08.17306£1000.00Town Estate CharityRepayment of grant
04.08.17`307£ 60.00WC&EF LoveseyMowing paths
09.08.17308£ 125.00Sibford Village HallGrant
31.08.17309£ 247.20T. Fox LandscapingMowing Churchyard
04.09.17310£ 30.00WC&EF LoveseyMowing paths
30.09.17311£247.20T. Fox LandscapingMowing Churchyard
 312£120.00BDO LLPAudit PC Accounts
04.10.17313£ 30.00WC&EF LoveseyMowing paths
05.10.17314£211.91P B HardmanClerk’s expenses

Appx C to Minutes of PC Meeting

Planning Applications
Since the previous Meeting, the following planning applications had been considered and were deemed not to require comment:-

No. 17/01587/F Littlebury, Backside Lane, Sibford Gower OX15 5RS    Mrs Watts
Erection of 1.5 storey side extension and addition of dormer windows to front roof slope.

No. 17/01619/F Chilaway Farm, Sibford Road, Epwell OX15 6LL Mr & Mrs R Tustian
Conversion of agricultural buildings to C3 dwelling house, small link extension and new utility/parking barn to replace existing dutch barn.

No. 17/01866/LB Westside Cottage, Burdrop OX15 5RJ           Dr P Martindale
Replacement windows, replacement front door and frame and repointing exterior walls

No. 17/01938/LB Lane Head, Main Street, Sibford Gower OX15 5RW                T More
To replace the existing worn block thatch ridge with a flush ridge, in keeping with local tradition

No. 17/00349/TCA Rafters, Backside Lane, Sibford Gower OX15 5RS       Mrs J Broady
T1 – T4, T5 x Birch – Fell,     T6 x Hazel – Coppice

Decisions Received
Since the previous Meeting, the following decisions had been received:-

No. 17/00116/TCA Quince Cottage, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower                    D Watson
Attention to 13 trees

No.16/02030/F The Pheasant Pluckers Inn, Burdrop OX15 5RQ                  G R Noquet
Erection of a single storey building providing 3 No en-suite rooms – resubmission of 16/01525/F.
The Planning Inspectorate issued a Decision on the appeal lodged on 19 December 2016 against Cherwell District Council decision to refuse planning permssion.

No. 17/00698/F Springfield Cottage, 4 The Colony, Colony Road,                Mrs S Lovatt
Sibford Gower
Erection of a conservatory to the rear.
Permssion for development subject to conditions.

No. 17/00608/F Lane Head, Main Street, Sibford Gower OX15 5RW           Mr & Mrs More
No. 17/00609/LB
Demolition of existing garage and the erection of a new dwelling and conversion of existing outbuilding to form garage.
Refusal of permission for development.
Refusal of listed building consent

No. 17/01587/F Littlebury, Backside Lane, Sibford Gower OX15 5RS                   Mrs Watts
Erection of 1.5 storey side extension and addition of dormer window to front roof slope
Permision for development subject to conditions