Minutes of the Sibford Gower Parish Council Meeting held in Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School on 14th January 2013

Parish Cllrs Peter Abbott, Mrs Susan Bannister, Oswyn Murray (Chairman) and Mrs Gilian Soden,
County and District Councillor George Reynolds, four Local Electors and the Clerk.

Apologies: Received from Cllr Alan Parkin who was unwell and unable to attend the Meeting.

It was proposed by Cllr Gilian Soden and seconded by Cllr Peter Abbott that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 1st October 2012 be approved as a correct record and they were then signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising
Parked Cars: The possibility of using the Village Hall car park for overnight parking (and perhaps for a fee) to ease the problem of cars parked at the roadside was raised by the Clerk at the Village Hall AGM on 9th October 2012. As suspected, the Village Hall Committee appreciated the situation but felt unable to assist because parking space is frequently required to accommodate the cars of those attending events at the Hall.

Chairman’s Report
The Chairman referred briefly as to how matters currently stand with regard to The Bishop Blaize and, for the time being, the way forward rests with Cherwell District Council.

With regard to the Swalcliffe Exchange Broadband Users Group, Mr Tony More is to be asked to be the Parish’s Broadband Champion.

Sibfords Community Plan
Mrs Sue Mattinson spoke on the Sibfords Community Plan Final Report (See Appx A).

The document prepared by the Chairs of the two Parish Councils on the vision, key aims and future proposals for attention by the Parish Councils in relation to the Community Plan was formally approved for publication in the Sibford Scene and website, and appears as Appendix B to these minutes.

The Chairman expressed thanks to Mrs Mattinson and Mr Richard Hartree and his appreciation of all the work that they have done in connection with the Community Plan.

Clerk’s Report
Bottle Bank: With the Village Hall Committee preferring not to have its car park used for the purpose, the search for a suitable site continues and the Clerk is in discussions with the Ferris PC with regard to somewhere in the Ferris that could be jointly used. The Ferris PC has in mind the layby at The Elms and will advise the outcome of liaison with the District Council.

There were no matters, other than those dealt with elsewhere in the Meeting, that the Clerk had to report upon.

Financial Matters
Bank Mandate: Proposed by Cllr Peter Abbott and seconded by Cllr Gilian Soden it was resolved that a new bank mandate in respect of the Parish Council’s account with the Bank of Ireland be completed following the resignation of Mr Roger Alder and the co-option of Mrs Susan Bannister. The effective date of the new mandate is 14th January 2013. The signatories to the account will be all the Parish Councillors and the Clerk (as specified below) with cheques to be signed by any three of the signatories:
Peter John Abbott, Susan Elleanor Bannister, Oswyn Murray, Alan Thomas Parkin, Gilian Florence Soden and Peter Brian Hardman (Clerk).

It was unanimously agreed that a grant of £350.00 be made to Sibford Village Hall and donations of £100.00 and £120.00 be given respectively to Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School and the Sibford Scene.

The Village Hall seeks a grant towards the cost of improving the hall’s lighting and this will receive consideration.

The Precept for the coming financial year (2013/2014) was discussed and £6,500 was considered appropriate in the light of projected income and expenditure.

Proposed by Cllr Susan Bannister and seconded by Cllr Gilian Soden it was resolved that the following payments be made:-

Cheque No. 161 dated 05.10.12 £60.00 – Donation to Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 162 dated 05.10.12 £625.00 – Grant to Holy Trinity Church towards maintenance of Churchyard. (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 163 dated 13.11.12 £45.00 – Grant to Sibfords Community Plan re Community Plan Presentation Evening. (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 165 dated 28.11.12 £63.00 – Clerk’s membership of the Society of Local Council Clerks. (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 166 dated 03.12.12 £565.00 f/o C H Brown re maintenance of Parish Council Burial Ground £485.00 and M Tebbs’ land £80.00 (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 167 dated 15.12.12 £33.50 f/o Sibford Ferris PC being half share of fee received from J&M Humphris re memorial for the late Pat Doolan to be erected in the Burial Ground (Retrospectively)

Cheque No. 168 dated 13.01.13 £224.55 f/o David Spicer in reimbursement of the cost of electricity supplied to the light at the steps to High Meadow passing through the meter in his property.

Cheque No. 169 dated 13.01.13 £309.23 f/o Peter Hardman (clerk) being reimbursement of cost of stationery etc

Cheque No. 170 dated 14.01.13 £255.00 f/o Cedric Brown re the cost of removing a dead tree from the verge in Hawkes Lane. (Local Govt Act 1980 s.96)

Planning Matters
Since the previous Meeting, the following planning applications had been considered and approved:-

No. 12/01260/F Jessamine Cottage, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower
Construction of outbuilding to consist of Shed/Workshop/Storage
J Harris
No. 12/00297/TCA Bramley Close, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower
T1 x Silver Birch – Reduce height by 12m
P Abbott

Since the Previous Meeting, the following decisions had been received:-

No. 12/00297/TCA Bramley Close, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower
T1 x Silver Birch – Reduce height by 12m
P Abbott
No. 12/01260/F Jessamine Cottage, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower
Construction of outbuilding to consist of Shed/Workshop/Storage
Permission for development granted subject to conditions
J Harris
No. 12/00338/TCA Temple Close, Temple Mill Rd, Sibford Gower
T4 x Ash – Fell on grounds of safety
Mrs V Pougash
No. 12/00345/TCA The Court House, Main Street, Sibford Gower
T1 x Cedar – On the grounds of safety reduce uprights by 25% and 15% thin to balance crown
Mrs S Thomas


Highway Matters
Oxfordshire Highways had been requested to make improvements to the dropped kerb at the corner of Pound Lane/Main Street. The work was carried out but the result is not satisfactory as far as users of mobility vehicles are concerned. County Cllr George Reynolds undertook to take matters forward.

The tree at the corner of Hawkes Lane which was declared dead by Oxfordshire Highways has been removed with the involved cost (œ255.00) having to be paid by the Parish Council.

Footpath Matters
Cllr Susan Bannister offered her services, which were gratefully accepted, as Parish Path Warden and she will keep a watchful eye for any work needed to be reported.

Village Pond
The matter of claiming ownership of the pond is ongoing.

Public Participation
Gullies in Acre Ditch require clearing and the Clerk was instructed to take matters forward with Oxfordshire Highways.

The road leading from the Ferris to The Gate Hangs High seriously floods at times of heavy rain causing the road to be closed. The area is outside Parish boundaries but the Clerk was instructed to liaise with Oxfordshire Highways.

The footpath adjoining one of the cottages at The Cross is being partially obstructed by plants growing through it and action is to be taken to cut them back.

Any other Matters
Annual Spring Clean: This will take place on Saturday, 6th April 2013 and will be organised by Cllr Peter Abbott.

No other matters were raised.

Date of Next Meeting
The next Meeting is to be arranged and notified in due course. There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman thanked all present for attending and closed the Meeting at 9.55pm.




Appx A

Sibfords Community Plan: Final Report

January 14th 2013


The Final Report of the Sibfords Community Plan was published in October 2012 and posted on the Sibfords website. The October Newsletter also confirmed that hard copies are available for borrowing. The Plan includes a range of ‘Next Steps’, and ‘Actions and Initiatives’ linked to the principal topics that the Working Groups have been examining, for implementation by the Parish Councils, together with a separate but complementary range of initiatives for implementation by volunteers and interest groups. The Plan also includes comprehensive details of contacts and potential funding sources for the various initiatives identified.


A meeting was held in the Village Hall on the 6th November 2012 to present the Final Community Plan. Richard Hartee, Chair of the Steering Group, gave an illustrated presentation, explaining the community plan process and principal outcomes of the Plan. Following this, there was an opportunity for people to discuss the outcomes and offer help with taking forward or supporting initiatives by Voluntary and Interest Groups.


As well as formally endorsing and adopting the Plan, it is hoped that the Parish Councils will work together on the actions and initiatives that they propose to undertake. A process also needs to be set up whereby interested members of the community are encouraged or guided in taking forward the various actions and initiatives identified for Volunteer Groups.


Following the Presentation Evening, Oswyn Murray prepared a summary statement setting out the vision and key aims and future proposals for the Community Plan. It was agreed that this needed to be reviewed by both Parish Councils prior to publication so to date this has not been shared with the community. This could be published on the website and in the Sibford Scene and may provide a further trigger for responses and action.


Aimee Evans on behalf of ORCC wishes to prepare a Case Study leaflet for the Sibfords Community Plan to provide guidance for village communities that may be considering the development of their own Plan. Sue Mattinson is liaising with ORCC on this. However, the Parish Councils may be decide that a Case Study is too premature and should be deferred until the further information on progress is available.


  • The Consultation Draft was submitted as a reference document at the Bishop Blaize Inquiry and provided evidence of a strong and united Sibfords community;
  • Cherwell District Council has received and will take account of the community’s views and the Community Plan’s findings on Housing for the emerging Cherwell Local Plan;
  • Sibford Ferris PC has referred to the range of responses received in the Questionnaire on the use of the land adjacent to the MUGA to guide them on options for the further development of the land;
  • A Walking Group with 19 members has been set up; the Group held its first walk on 17 December 2012.



Appx B 


The Sibfords Community Plan and the Future

The Vision

What is the vision for the villages? The Community Plan is, of course, the vision since it incorporates all your thoughts on what is best for the future; it is not simply a snapshot of the present. It suggests that you love your villages, and are broadly satisfied and appreciate the villages as they are.


For a more specific set of aims and future proposals, the Plan points in the following directions:

  • The villages should not become either retirement villages, or dormitory villages for the M40 corridor; they should remain active centres of employment and build on our strengths in terms of schools, farms, leisure and recreation centres, and small businesses.
  • The plan accepts a small increase of 10-20 houses over the next 20 years to promote this aim.
  • The plan recommends we actively promote business opportunities and seek to strengthen the 100-strong business community by encouraging networking, and if needed by establishing a small business park.
  • The plan recommends we pursue superfast broadband options.
  • The plan seeks to publicise the attractions of the villages by publishing a guide.
  • The Environmental Group will pursue green options with vigour.
  • We will seek to foster closer connections between the Parish Councils (including the possibility of amalgamation) and between all other village groups.
  • The plan recommends we survey the footpaths of the area and promote new links.
  • The plan recommends we investigate other concerns such as on-street parking, speeding, recycling and provision of dog bins.
  • The plan recommends we look for more play areas, especially in the Gower.

Without the Community Plan we could not have formulated these aims so clearly, or be able to present them so forcefully to the higher authorities. So a big thanks to all of you for taking part in the creation of the Plan, and please be willing to come forward as volunteers in the pursuit of these aims.

Oswyn Murray, Chair of Sibford Gower Parish Council
Joanne Connor, Chair of Sibford Ferris Parish Council