November Minutes 2023

Minutes 2023 Uploaded on February 1, 2024



  1. Apologies – Cllr Rylett, Cllr Mills, Cllr Metcalf, Cllr Goodwin
  1. Declarations of interest

(Any pecuniary interests should be declared also a review of current declarations of interests circulated)

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 5th October 2023
  1. Comments from the Public – Elms Road ditch – a member of the Parish has advised that the Parish Council needs to send a riparian notice on Blenheim to get them to clear the ditch. – Clerk to check for a ditch clearing company. Clerk will also need to contact the OALC to request legal advice.
  1. Report from Clerk
  • Notice Board by the Green – A new notice board has been ordered. It will be put by the village hall.
  • Lorries in the Tennis – There has been no reply from Alan Aston with regards to the letter that was sent by the clerk.
  • Little Lane – This was cleared by some of the residents of the village. The Clerk has spoken to Cllr Levy about the parish Council taking on responsibility but to receive a grant from OCC for the maintenance.  Cllr Thompson has advised that it has a lot of potholes so it would need to be made to a reasonable state.
  • Elms Road Ditch – The clerk has emailed Blenheim yet again with regard to the ditch. Cllr Goodwin has also said that he will keep on to Blenheim.
  • Styles – No response from OCC
  • VAS Machines – The clerk is awaiting a response from OCC with regard to the 2nd VAS along Yarnton Road
  • Trees – JAG Trees are going to start the works on the Trees 2nd week in November. Clerk to receive a quote.
  1. Planning

Previous Planning Application Decisions



20/01734/OUT Land North of A40 Section from Barnard Gate To Eynsham Roundabout Eynsham   Grosvenor Developments Ltd UNDER


23/01182/FUL Churchfields Care Home Pound Lane Cassington Erection of a two-storey detached key worker nurses’ accommodation block and

associated works

23/02191/LBC Lime Cottage, Bell Lane Internal and external works to replace seven windows and a door Mr I Humphrey APPLICATION WITHDRAWN
23/02277/FUL Grange Farm Bungalow


Construction of replacement dwelling, erection of detached garden studio and installation of swimming pool together with associated works. Mr Blackmore UNDER CONSIDERATION

New Planning Applications


 Botley Solar Farm – Report from Group

Campaign is going well.  Next phase is the public consultation is panned however no dates have been released.

  1. Correspondence
  1. Reports from County and District & Parish Councillors –

County Councillor

Much of my time is taken up with preparing and developing the budget that will be discussed (and I hope approved) at the County Council meeting in February. There are intense pressures on the finances of all local authorities. Funding from central government has been cut in real terms each year for the past decade, and permitted rises in council tax are lower than inflation. There are additional pressures from demographic changes, with many more older people, and with increase in demands on children’s service particularly in areas like support for young people with special educational needs. The rise in the national living wage is welcome but has an added impact for our services.

There will be an iterative process in which proposals will be scrutinized, the public will be consulted, and we will discover in the autumn statement later this month and the annual “settlement” announced in late December what money will be available.


The Aston to Ducklington road has been repaired, with the edges replaced and strengthened. This was achieved in the timescale advertised in advance. Thank you for your patience while the work was done. I wish we could repair more roads in such a thorough way, but as the cost was around £900,000, you may be able to see why this isn’t possible.

Can I give advance notice that there is a planned closure of the road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt/Northmoor between 6th and 8th December between 9-30 and 3-30 each day. This is for bridge work. The road from here to Yarnton has now reopened – that was shut for work by Network Rail to repair the bridge damaged in a landslide a few months ago.

There is an issue throughout Oxfordshire with the maintenance of paths that are technically highways but have no cars. In Cassington, Little Lane is an example of this. I have raised how paths such as this get looked after and how the team responds to reports on Fix my Streets, and will report back, I trust with improvements. In the meantime, can I say that I am really grateful to those residents who cleared the path on behalf of the community.

Reducing disruption caused by utilities & developers:

The County’s new plan for charging an increased daily fee of £2500 (instead of the £300 fixed fee) to utility companies that dig up major roads is being consulted on. By law it is restricted to 5% of Oxfordshire’s roads and so will focus on busy, critical parts of the network. Surplus funds will be reinvested. The DfT is encouraging all councils to adopt schemes like this. Many of the roadworks in the county are instigated by utilities companies, and we want them to be completed quickly.

Climate change

Oxfordshire tops table for county councils tackling climate change: Oxfordshire was rated the best performing county council in the UK on climate change by the Climate Emergency UK climate action scorecard. That is absolutely not a reason for complacency.


Although we are only just after half term in the autumn of 23, applications are now open for new primary school pupils for September 24. Applications should be done online. If anyone moves to the area during the year, there are In-year placements – one for the things that gave most joy recently was helping the parents of a young person who had just moved to the UK to get their child into their local school within a few weeks of arrival.

And finally:

People have been shocked by events in Israel and Palestine and haven’t forgotten that there are conflicts continuing in other parts of the world too, including Sudan and Ukraine. There are many people in Oxfordshire who are directly connected to these places and are worried about their friends and family. There is no place for intolerance in our county.

District Councillors

Local Plan has been developed. It is going to be a long process.  There will also be a section on how the Local Plan how to deal with Solar Farms. High Count review on the Garden Village due to take place on 17th November 2023 to hopefully to get the houses zero carbon which Grosvenor had taken out. West Eynsham Jansons have withdrawn their appeal due to the A40 works.  There is a water day in Witney.  The environment agency has revised its flood plan.

Parish Councillors –

Cllr Thompson – The Alms-houses suffer with significant damp.  It turns out that when the lane that was resurfaced it now sits higher than the houses.

Cllr Rogers – The high-pressure pipe along Burleigh Road has burst again.

  1. Ditches, Drainage and Flooding
  1. Maintenance/ Grants

There has been some fund raising done within the village

  1. Traffic
  • Speed Watch

Speedwatch for October 2023.

Numbers as requested:

No. of sessions:                                                 8

Total number of vehicles:                            1,017

No. of offending vehicles:                               177

Between 25mph & 30mph:                             113

Between 31mph & 40 mph:                              59

Over 40 mph:                                                     5

Highest offender:                                          58 mph

  • Speed Indicators – Clerk to check with OCC when the VAS machines are going to replaced?
  1. Play Area & Recreation Ground
  • Replacement Playground Equipment – Cllr Thompson is meeting with someone from Sovereign next week to draw up a design for the new play area.
  1. Finance

Payments to be approved:

Individual/Company Reason Amount
Tracey Cameron Clerk Pay £1036.75
WODC Grass Cutting 06/09/23 £78.65`
Notice Board Company New Notice Board £418.28
Ron MacDonald Stationary for Speedwatch Group £18.65
RBL Wreath Donation £20.00


Individual/Company Reason Amount
HMRC VAT Refund £2195.48

Balance of Unity Bank as of Sunday 29th October £21,742.14

  1. Questions from the Public

Merton have pulled out of the Botley West Scheme – Due to the environmental impact that it would have.

  1. Date of next meeting: Thursday 7th December 2023 @7.30pm in the Village Hall