Annual Parish Meeting Minutes 2019

Minutes 2019 Uploaded on September 3, 2021


Thursday 9th May 2019 at 7.30pm in The Village Hall

In attendance:  Cllr H Thomas, Cllr B King, Cllr J Perrin, Cllr C Metcalf, Village representatives, eight members of the public and the Clerk Tracey Cameron.

1.    Apologies: Charles Mathew (OCC) Cllr C Rylett (WODC), Cllr E James (WODC), Cllr D Butlin, PC H Keen TVPF, Mr Jefferies (St Peters School), Parochial Charities

2.    The minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting 17th May 2018. These were agreed.

3.    Welcome and Introduction by chairman.

Cllr H Thomas welcomed everyone and explained the meeting was held to give residents of the village an opportunity to have their say on any issue affecting the village and to hear reports from village organisations.

4.    Report by Thames Valley Police Officer PC H Keen

No Report received

  1. Chair of the Parish Council Report

Cllr Thomas received a phone call from Peter Kellend who used to be a WODC Councillor. He wanted to wish the Parish Council good for the future and wanted to thank everyone for their time and energy in working with him during this time as a councillor. We have a new District Councillor Cllr Carl Rylett.

One of the biggest projects the Parish Council has been involved in is with the Sports and Social Club on the Pavilion.  We have received grants of £20,000 and also a contribution from Blenheim Estates for £5,000. Hopefully the pavilion will be complete ready for the grand opening on 15th June.

During the course of the year, we have done some substantial work on the War Memorial as it is a very important feature in our village. We received a grant from the War Memorial Trust and the Parish Council also contributed £3,000 to the works.

As people are aware OCC are trying to close Horsemere Lane.  The Parish Council have tried to be very neutral on this subject.  A referendum was called with regards to the closure and the results that the village was in favour for the closure to go ahead. This was passed on to OCC. The Parish Council can also see that the closure will impact people who use the lane as a way to get out of the village. We have been pressing OCC to get the traffic lights at the top of the village reconfigured to also incorporate a slip road to get on to the A40 and also to have the time on the lights increased to enable more cars to get out of the village.

We have renewed the Green Waste bins in the Churchyard.

We have also paid for software for CAWN

We have also done a tree inspection with works have been carried out to remove the deadwood.

Two benches have been placed on the green with the names of two members of the village that have sadly passed, and the Parish Council felt it was appropriate that they should be commemorated.

We have been unable to continue with speed watch for the past 18 months as we are unable to get the support from Thames valley Police. When it was initially started, we were able to record the cars and pass the details onto the police who would send out a letter advising that they had been caught speeding through the village.  We were then told that the equipment that we were using wasn’t the correct equipment.

We have had an ongoing battle with Thames Water over the past year with 2 floods in the village. We have been pushing them to do something about the pipes.  They have now said that they are going to install valves so if there is a leak in the main, they will be able to control the flow of water coming to the village.

During the course of the year, we have co-opted a new councillor Cllr Chris Metcalf who has lived in the village a number of years.  We also have another Cllr who was co-opted last year and that was Cllr Butlin. Cllr Thomas would like the say a big thanks to Cllr Butlin for all his hard work on the Pavilion and also the garage which has now been cleaned out and has new shelving.

This year we had a Christmas Carol Service which was held in the Village Hall and was a great success. Hopefully we will try and repeat it next year.

The A40 Park and Ride.  We have had a lot of presentations on this.  The last presentation was last year but nothing seems to have moved on it.

One of the other things that the Parish Council has done over the last 18 months. Is to improve the way that the Council is run.  Tracey has been on courses, and we are looking to install a new accountancy software package which will help run the finance side a little better.

We can see that the Manor Farm development is proceeding well. We try and liaise with the contractor to make that thing, are running smoothly for both sides.

We have some new play area equipment that will go at the top of the recreation field. This has been mainly implemented by the Sports & Social Club.  There will be a zip wire, a birds nest swing and a few other items.

Neighbourhood Watch.  We are hoping that we can get a no calling area implemented within the village.  We are hopefully receiving some no cold calling stickers that people can place on their doors.

This year we increased our precept.  We haven’t done this for a few years, but we had started to eat into the reserves and felt that if we carried on, we would have no money left in the reserves.

Planning.  We receive quiet a lot of planning applications throughout the year and as a whole the Parish Council do not comment on them unless an issue is brought to us by another resident. We do have one ongoing planning issue where one resident has done a substantial development which they haven’t sort planning permission for and we have as the Enforcement Officer to look into this. The resident has been advised by WODC that they will need to make a planning application for this development as it is in a conservation area.

Recreation Ground.  The lease runs out this year and we are in the process of getting a new lease drawn up with the new trustees of the Sports and Social Club. This is all done on a peppercorn rent.

Another major expense that we have is grass cutting.  We have The Green and the Church Yard.

6.   West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC)

The West Oxon Local Plan is due to heard by the Govt Inspector very soon. Also, the Garden village proposal for Eynsham is being considered. Many decisions are on hold due to the impending General Election.

You have been represented on WODC by Peter Kellend, Edward James and Carl Rylett, on a three-member ward, which comprises Eynsham, Cassington and South Leigh.

Peter Kellend sits on the Development Control Committee, The Lowlands Area Planning Sub-Committee (which looks at applications in Eynshams part of the district) and Economic and Social Overview Scrutiny Committee

Carl Rylett also sits on the Lowlands Area Planning Sub-Committee and in addition the Environmental Scrutiny Committee and Eynsham Traffic Advisory Committee

Edward James sits on the Finance and Management Overview Scrutiny Committee, the Licensing Committee, and the Miscellaneous Licensing Sub Committee

In September, the Full Council (a meeting of all 49 Councillors) voted through adoption of the Councils Local Plan which sets out how the district can achieve economic growth and meet its target of 15,950 new homes by 2031.  Two of sites designated for new housing in the Local Plan were the Garden Village and the West of Eynsham SDA (Strategic Development Area)

It can be difficult to keep track of everything going on so here is a summary of applications/proposed developments in the area:

  • Garden Village: 2,200 houses the other side of the A40. The site promoters, Grosvenor, have worked on analysing site constraints and published a scoping document.  On current schedule, a master plan will be submitted in the winter of 2019/2020.  In the meantime, the District Council is putting together an Area Action Plan, which will set out the new development will be taken forward, what it will look like and how it will function.
  • West of Eynsham SDA: Approximately 1,000 houses proposed to the west of Eynsham. Likewise, a master plan will be submitted, according to current schedule, sometime this coming winter.
  • 3,000 houses next to South Leigh, Barnard Gate: Withdrawn by the developer Gladmans.
  • Extension of Thornbury Road, 160 new houses, the first of which are now being built. Part of the West Eynsham SDA.

The Eynsham Traffic Advisory Committee meets to consider local transport issues such as a 20mph zone in the village and plans by the County Council to build a park and ride next to Eynsham and a bus lane on the A40 to Oxford.

Elsewhere in the ward in December South Leigh had a successful referendum to adopt their Neighbourhood Plan.

5.    Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Councillor:

Horsemere Lane/Slip Road.  Cllr Mathew has been very active in trying to push this forward and get it moving.  Another matter of concern has been the Police issue.  Cllr Mathew and Cllr Perrin are both on the Neighbourhood Action Group which is the local police group.  Cllr Mathew feels that this has been completely unsatisfactory for some time.  Cllr Mathew has been very vocal about the £250 million pounds that is being spent on the Bus Lane/The Park and Ride and then HIF2, is a waste of money.  There is expected 32,000 cars which will go past where the park and ride is planned to be, but the Park and Ride only has the capacity for 1,000 cars.  Another thing the Oxfordshire County Council has missed is that the A40 is a conduit from Gloucester/Cheltenham.  Cllr Mathew believes that the money being spent could be put to better use to improve transport elsewhere.

6.    Village Organisations – Reports from representatives

Village Hall Management Committee – John Hemmingway

John advised that Village Hall had new chairs and that they had also sanded and resealed the floor.  John mentioned that the Village Hall committee receive no funding from outside sources but that they have a great team that keeps things running. They had a bit of a dip in bookings but that is now coming back with OCC and the NHS using the hall from training sessions.  They are also busy most nights with different groups.  He advised that they have nothing major planned for maintenance this year.  Cllr Thomas made the comment that the Village Hall is a very important asset to the village.

St Peter’s Primary School –

We currently have 96 on roll with an additional 14 nursery children.  Our reception intake for September is 6 which is well below the 14 we have this year.  A low birth rate for this cohort has meant a similar picture for other schools in the area.  Nursey numbers for next year are looking very healthy.

Last years, SATs result (summer 18) were disappointing, with the school’s performance generally below that of national levels.  57% of the children reached the expected standard in reading compared to 75% nationally and 36% of children reached the expected standard in maths compared to 76 nationally.  Writing was more comparable with national standards to 79%.  The percentage of children who achieved the expected across all 3 subjects (reading, writing and maths) was 36% compared to 64% nationally.  These results fall well below what we’d expect, and significant change is happening in the school to ensure this situation is not repeated. A forensic approach to understanding gaps in knowledge and a focus on how subjects are taught has seen rapid progress across the school.

The school has been working closely with Rev Fraser to further embed our values and relaunch the schools updated vision ‘unlocking… Minds that Learn, Hearts that Love, Faith that Gives’.  The children are working on various projects (song writing, art, and drams) that will culminate with a celebration at the end of June for St Peter’s Day.

There have been a lot of exciting changes and improvements to the school this year.  Highlights include an extension to the playground adventure trail, an after-school club (which means the school now provides wrap around care for families), forest school lessons for all the children, the development of a spiritual area at the entrance to the school and school aquarium.  We continue to seek closer links with eh community and have a schedule of events mapped out with Churchfields Nursing Home with planned visits for both the children and the residents.

Funding levels remain a challenge for us and low intake for next year will only exacerbate the situation.  The St peter’s School Association continue to do an excellent job in raising much needed funds for the school.  This year, we were able to add Chromebooks to our IT provision (meaning we now have a full class set) next year we hope to rejuvenate our curriculum resources from their donations.

St Peter’s Church – John Hemmingway

He has advised that numbers have dwindled but that they are looking into ways that they can get people back to the church. They have a tiny and toddlers group that meet in the Village Hall.  They also have a new Vicar Rev Duncan Fraser who has just completed a year at St Peters.  The are also working closely with the school to encourage children and their families to be involved in the church.  John would also like to thank the Parish Council for their continuing support of the Church and also with helping with the grass maintenance. The Church has it’s 900-year commemoration coming up in 2023. The Church is insured for £4 million. It is also Grade I listed building

Parochial Charities – Mike Linnell – Apologies

No Report Sent

Royal British Legion, Cassington Branch – Derek Waters Chairman

The report has been complied by the branch secretary Mike Randall.  During the year the branch has continued with fund raising for the Royal British Legion for the purposes of ex British servicemen and women and their families in times of need.  The Poppy Appeal collection in Cassington and Worton this year raised £1123.52.  The Legion is extremely grateful to the many people who gave so generously.  We would also like to thank the volunteers who gave up their time by visiting every house or by having a collection box outside their house.  On remembrance Sunday a large number of people attended the service in the church and also at the War Memorial.  It was also a very special Remembrance Sunday as this was the 150th Anniversary of the Day That the Guns Fell Silent.  As usual now Alan Aston come from Witney with his trumpet. There was no School service at the War Memorial this year as the 11th November fell on a Sunday.  The Chairman Derek Waters attended the ceremony at Sir Winston Churchills grave in Bladon, where the Danish delegation marked the anniversary of the Liberation of Denmark.  Mr Waters also made note that 74 years ago on 9th May we were in Copenhagen for the surrender of the German Fleet after the war.

Sports and Social Club – Financial Report

The Sports and Social committee have, been working hard this year to maintain and improve the sports facilities on the playing fields.  This year we spent nearly £3500 to keep the sports field and pavilion open and usable, with our biggest item being insurance and electricity.  Our electricity bill has risen significantly owing to the cost of the flood lights for the MUGA pitch.  We are also having to set aside over £6,000 per year for the replacement of the MUGA pitch in 15 years’ time and the mower every 8 years.  We are very fortunate om that a number of people in the village donate their time, particularly for mowing the playing fields and we would like to record our grateful thanks to all those people who have helped, especially Graham Mills.

The majority of our income comes from fundraising, and we have been very busy putting on and running events to not only cover the costs I have already mentioned, but also to raise funds to improve facilities.  Our biggest source of income this year have been the Spring Ball, Bike Night and our weekly meat draws in the pub.  In addition to these we have run barbecues, a quiz night, a Christmas Party, and a film afternoon for the children.

This year has seen more use of the playing fields and the MUGA pitch, with just over £2500 coming in as hire fees.  We have seen teams from Ducklington, Freeland, Hailey, Hanborough, Kidlington, Stonesfield and Yarnton use the football field and the MUGA, as well as St Peter’s School and we now have regular sessions of Dad’s football and ladies, hockey in the village, along with tennis in the summer months.  East Oxford Football Club have moved in, and they are applying to the Football Association to become a FA Chartered Club.  Bladon Cricket Club are also now based in Cassington.  We have also seen some rental income form the hire of the Pavilion including 2 weddings.

We have made a number of grant applications, which is a very time-consuming exercise, and we wish to record our thanks to all those who have worked on this especially, Suzi Lewis and Kath Humpries.  Our biggest grant this year enabled us to install 4 items of Green Gym equipment and we have a very successful opening event for that.

We are in the process of applying to become a charity, which will hopefully give us access to additional grants and allow us to reclaim Gift Aid Donations.  We have set up a Facebook page to help promote events and keep everyone informed.  We are asking families to become members and pay an annual subscription, which we hope will help to cover our upkeep and maintenance costs.

Finally, I would like to formally and record thanks to all those members of the committee working so hard to enable the village to enjoy our wonderful facilities.  If anyone wants to join us, please do come forward.


WODC Communities Fund     £13,325

Sports England                       £10,000

2016 Ball                                 £4,200

Parish Council donation          £500

Cottsway Grant                       £1,750

2017 Ball                                 £3,200

Total raised to date               £32,975

Target                                     £53,800

Still to Raise                          £20,825

Women’s Institute Report

As ever we have had some wonderful and varied speakers over the past year, and 2 open meetings that were well supported.  Once again on Bike Night we sold out of all cakes and biscuits giving us a good profit of which a donation was made to the village hall.  Our annual outing this year was to Prescot Park.  Our jumble sales have been very successful and have raised a good amount.  Although it has been agreed that only one would be held this year.  For our Christmas meal we went to the Queens Head in Eynsham where we enjoyed lunch.  We now have the use of one cupboard in the village hall which is sufficient and suits our needs. Once again we suffered the same disappointment that we have suffered in previous years in that despite trying we have been unable to attract new younger ladies to join us but we are ever hopeful as we would not like to see our institute to close due to lack of support

Cassington and Worton News: Kevin Burroughs

CAWN is still going strong.  Kevin hopes that people are still enjoying it but sadly only hears from people when he leaves things out or makes spelling mistakes.  He would like to thank the Parish Council for their ongoing financial support with the software that CAWN uses ands also helps when they have financial difficulties.  They are getting more paid articles.  He would like to thank Lorna who is the treasurer for keeping the books and chasing the advertisers.  He would also like to thank Clare for delivering the magazine each month to the villagers of Cassington and Worton. There has been an increase in people who receive it digitally.

Book Worm – Reading Group

They are quiet a small group who meet every 6 weeks to share our thoughts on the books that we are reading. In the past year we have read 9 books mainly modern novels mainly from different parts of the English-speaking world.  Most of us enjoyed most of the books with the exception of James Joyce Dublin which we found generally unappealing.  The discipline of reading a book within 6 weeks gives us a wide range of literature that we normally may not read.  We meet on a Monday at 8pm.