Minutes of Sibford Gower Annual Parish Meeting held in Sibford Village Hall on Wednesday,15th April 2015

Wednesday,15th April 2015

Parish Cllrs Peter Abbott, Oswyn Murray (Chairman), Mrs Sue Bannister and Mrs Gilian Soden. Peter Hardman (Clerk).
County & District Cllr George Reynolds, Mrs Maureen Hicks (Sibford Ferris Parish Council)
22 Local Residents.

Apologies were received from Cllr Alan Parkin.

The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 19th May 2014 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising
There were no matters arising which did not feature in the agenda items.

Chairman’s Report
Cllr Oswyn Murray presented his Report.

He said that this year, the Rev Ronald Hawkes had been invited to speak on behalf of Holy Trinity Church and Judith Weeks to speak on behalf of the Friends Meeting House. Next year invitations to speak will be extended to the Primary School and the Surgery.

He reported on planning applications received during the year – a major one being Muddle Barn Farm, the Annual Village Spring Clean, Miram Tebbs’ Land, Matters jointly with Sibford Ferris Parish Council, Sibfords Community Plan and the Bishop Blaize.

The Report in full is given at Appendix A.

Holy Trinity Church was represented by the Rev Ronald Hawkes who spoke on church connected matters. He thanked the Parish Council for taking on the maintenance of the churchyard. He spoke of the efforts being made to get the church clock back into good working order and he felt that the clock and the chiming on the hour are very much valued by the local community. He involves himself in the Primary School, the pupils of which visit the church on occasions. Finally, he drew attention to an event at 6pm on Saturday, 11th July 2015 in the Primary School hall that will be a short celebration of the church’s 175th year in the village.

The Friends Meeting House was represented by Judith Weeks who spoke of its history from start to the present day. She gave information about the services which are held there and the welcome that would be extended to anyone who may care to visit.

Clerk’s and Financial Report
Peter Hardman presented the following report:-

The Council’s Financial accounts for the year ended 31st March 2015 have been prepared and, as always, thanks are expressed to Mr David Soden for agreeing to carry out the Internal Examination. They will be submitted to the External Auditor after approval by the Parish Council.

The financial year started off with £9,590 in the bank and ended with a balance of £10,971. Of this sum, £2,987 relates to the residue of a bequest of £5,000 by the late Miriam Tebbs. As most residents know, she bequeathed this money to the Parish Council to be used for the benefit of the Parish as and when suitable situations arise. Also contained within the bank balance is £1,000 held specifically in reserve for expenditure that may occur in connection with the developing Sibfords Community Plan. Holy Trinity churchyard is now formerly closed following an Order in Council and the cost of maintenance now falls on the Parish Council shared equally with Sibford Ferris Parish Council, During the financial year ended 31st March 2015 Grants were made of £350 to Sibford Village Hall. Donations were made of £120 to the Sibford Scene and £100 to Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School.

With regard to the Village Pond, the Parish Council’s application submitted in January 2014 to register it as a town or village green is still with Oxfordshire County Council. We have been advised that the time being taken for a decision to be received is not unusual and the matter is awaiting the attention of the Solicitor in Council.

Reports of all Parish Council Meetings are published in the Sibford Scene, The Banbury Guardian and the Parish Council’s webpage.

All financial information and details are freely available to residents from the Clerk upon request.

He thanked the Parish Councillors for the support that they give to him in his role as Clerk with special reference to the Chairman to whom he is most grateful, as always, for his guidance.

Thames Valley Police Matters
Nobody from Thames Valley Police was available to attend the Meeting and no specific matters raised.

Highway & Footpath Matters
No one from Oxfordshire Highways was available to attend the Meeting.

The Clerk reported that on 4th February Mr Pete Egawhary of Oxfordshire Highways visited the Parish, at the Parish Council’s request, to make site inspections of areas which gave concern. They were joined by Mr Fred Inns. The places mainly were where there are blockages in gullies along Colony Road and Acre Ditch causing the roads to flood at certain times. Mr Inns provided photographs by way of evidence. Mr Egawhary undertook to ensure that remedial work would be carried out and this appears to have been done but see below.

Mr Inns reported that the drains are again blocked in Colony Road and residents have commented on potholes still requiring filling. Questions need to be asked as to what is used in filling as it appears that it is washed out after two or three heavy downpours of rain. The Clerk was instructed to liaise with Oxfordshire Highways.

Mr Ian Warden raised concern about cars partly parked on pavements which present difficulties from time to time for those who use mobility vehicles.

Mrs Mollie Mulley once again raised the matter of using part of the land fronting The Old Rectory for parking purposes to reduce the number of cars parked at the kerbside in particular parts of Main Street. The Chairman stressed that the subject had been discussed very recently and it had been agreed not to revisit it for three years.

Report by The Town Estate Charity
A Report on the recent many activities of the Town Estates Charity was given by Jean White. During the year the Trust has acquired Wheathills Farm which had been sold by a local resident. This would continue to be used for livery and would be managed by the advisers to the Trust. The south side buildings and land of the Sibford Gower Endowed Prinary School are now registered with the Trust and negotiations are underway for the northside buildings to be taken into Trust ownership. A number of village residents and organisations had benefited from Trust funds during the year and the total donations and grants amounted to £4,705.

It was agreed to write to Mrs Tracey Morbey to thank her on behalf of the village for her great generosity in offering Wheathills Farm to the Trust rather than disposing of it on the open market, thus preserving the open land between the two villages.

The full Report is given at Appendix B.

Report by The Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator
The Report was presented by Mrs Mollie Mulley who spoke of the aim to look after neighbours, to make Sibford Gower and Burdrop unattractive to unwanted visitors and to help the police to help us. She thanked the members of the Neighbourhood Watch Team for their involvement. She referred to the ‘Message In A Bottle’ pots which are supplied by the Lions Club. She thanked Mr Adrian Lamb for allowing space in the Sibford Scene to help keep the village informed. The full Report is given at Appendix C.

Sibford Village Hall Report
The Report was presented by Muriel Chandler giving information about users of the Hall, fund raising, refurbishment programme, hiring rates etc.

The full report is given at Appendix D.

There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman declared the Meeting closed at 8.50pm.


The appendices are available upon request from the Clerk. Tel: 01295 780391. Email: hardman214@btinternet.com