Welcome to our sixth bulletin keeping you in touch with the work of the Parish Council in
Old Marston. In this issue we look at:
Items discussed at meetings
Grants to local organisations
Address from member of public
Boults Lane Pavilion
Allotments and Burial Ground
Old Marston Library
OxClean in Old Marston
What is the “Precept”?
Items Discussed at Recent Meetings
There have been 11 planning applications which the Parish Council have commented on since
September The following are decisions that Oxford City Council have made.
33a Oxford Road new dwelling 3-13 Cavendish Road – erection of four flats
1 Cavendish Dr conversion to 4 x1 bedroom 3 Cotswold Crescent – two storey
(b/r) flats extension.
13 Lewell Avenue - conversion and extension 112 Oxford Road – new bungalow
to form 2 x 2 b/r flats 2 Ponds Lane – erection of side extensions,
Bricklayers Arms – porch extension to garage
15 Mill Lane – stable block to 2 b/r dwelling
15 Gordon Close – single storey extension
Withdrawn Gone to Appeal
47 – 49 Oxford Road – Erection of detached 1 – 3 Nicholson Avenue
The City Council has published a review consultation document considering the balance to
be struck between the provision of new flats and houses. The City Council’s opinion is that
the provision of houses with small gardens is the predominant need providing for families
with space for children to play under supervision rather than in open uncontrolled spaces
usual when flats are built. Off street parking is essential. Planning application can be
viewed at www.oxford.gov.uk/planning
Each year the play equipment in Boults Lane and Mortimer Hall recreation grounds is
inspected by ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) On this occasion 13
points were raised that needed attention.
The Parish Council has agreed that the play equipment at both recreation grounds need to
be upgraded. Some of the current equipment will be kept and we hope to add some new
equipment to it.
A sub-committee has been formed and a letter is being written to all organisations in the
Parish. We want to consult with children of all ages, parents, grandparents and anyone
else who may be interested to contribute ideas as to what equipment is required.
Once we have feedback, we will display the ideas at an exhibition.
1. The project may take several years to complete due to the costs involved. The
Parish Council have put £10,000 aside this year towards the cost. We will also be
applying for grants and fundraising. (Work on the Boults Lane play area will not take
place until we know the full plans for the pavilion).
If you would like to be involved or make suggestions of equipment please contact Duncan
Hatfield firstname.lastname@example.org or Gill Cox tel 01865 245154.
Due to problems with moles in Boults Lane and Mortimer Hall recreation grounds and the
Cemetery a quote from Total Pest Control for £435 + VAT per quarter was accepted
Drainage work Boults Lane Recreation Ground
The drainage work at Boults Lane recreation ground has been succesful and compliments
have been received from members of the public.
The Parish Council noticeboards at Mortimer Hall and The Jack Russel public house have
been replaced with larger, more modern-looking ones, proving up-to-date information on
the work of the Parish Council. Mortimer Hall has also received a new one.
The Burial Ground in Elsfield Road is also owned and managed by the Parish Council. The
upkeep is carried out by Peter Cox (Parish Councillor) and several members of the parish.
The Parish Council very much appreciate the hard work carried out by the volunteers.
The parish council will be providing another seat to be placed in the burial ground.
Storage of Parish Council Documents
At the present time the Parish Clerk retains the council’s documents which have to be kept
for prosperity. This include the original minutes books going back to 1894, the original
burial records, financial transactions documents, allotment records and other parish
records. The council is looking at digitally recording the records and storing the original
documents at the Oxfordshire County Council depository for safe keeping.
The Parish Council auditor approved the accounts for 2007. The Auditor considered that
the amount of the fidelity guarantee should be increased to £200,000. This was agreed.
The Parish Council own the allotments in Mill Lane which are managed and run by a
committee of volunteers. The Mill Lane Allotment Association held its AGM in November,
membership slightly up with young people who are keen to participate. However, a third of
the plots are vacant and new members are very welcome. For more information contact Mr
Bill Agent on 01865 250465.
Honoraria’s were made to the following persons in appreciation for the work they have
carried out on behalf of the Parish Council:
Volunteers Assisting Council:
Mrs K. Stratford –minutes taking.
Mr M. Holden – volunteer working at the cemetery
Mr A. Harper - volunteer working at the cemetery
Mr.P.Cox – work at the cemetery
Mr D. Hatfield – website and IT
Grants made under Section 137
St Nicholas Baby & Toddler Group £300.00
Old Marston over 50’s Club £150.00
Mortimer Hall Pre-school £250.00
St. Nicholas PCC. (Marston Times) £250.00
Old Marston Mill Lane Allotment Association £100.00
Marston Bell ringers £160.00
St.Nicholas Wives £150.00
Marston Saints £300.00
Total of grants £1660.00
Address from member of the public:
At the December meeting Mr Barry Lewis addressed the meeting asking:
Who is responsible for highways and tree roots? - Cllr Van-zyl agreed to look into this
He noted that the area is congested with parked cars belonging to students at Brooks
University. The Parish Council cannot help or take action until parking restrictions have
been implemented. We are waiting for the residents parking scheme.
Mr Lewis was thanked for drawing the Council’s attention to the issues.
Pavilion at Boults Lane
As mentioned earlier the drainage work at Boults Lane recreation ground has been
completed. The next stage of the development is the provision of a new pavilion. A
steering group consisting of members of the Parish Council and Marston Saints Football
Club (MSFC) meet to discuss the development.
To enable a pavilion of suitable size to be built, it will be placed on the recreation ground
on the site of the existing play equipment. (The play equipment will be repositioned). At the
present time the plans are with MSFC. When the plans have been agreed by MSFC and
the Parish Council they will be on display for members of the public to see before being
submitted for planning permission. Once planning permission has been given, grant
applications will be made to external organisations.
Mortimer Hall is named after the Reverend John Hamilton Mortimer who was the vicar of
Marston from 1904 to 1951. Mortimer Hall was built by public subscription and was opened
in 1962. The hall the stands on land owned by the Parish Council and pays a nominal rent
of 5p a year.
Mortimer Hall is a registered charity and run on a day to day basis by a volunteer
Management Committee who all live in the area and are elected on a yearly basis at the
Annual General Meeting held in April each year.
The room used by the library is part of Mortimer Hall and is leased by the Oxfordshire
In the mid-1980s the hall had fallen into a poor state of repair. Many local residents rallied
around and raised funds for its refurbishment.
Improvements are once again required to provide toilets for the disabled improve the
existing toilets and replace the roof.
In January The Parish Council gave a grant of £8,500 to replace the heating system.
Photos of Mortimer Hall before and after the1980’s refurbishment can be seen on the
Parish Council website www.oldmarston-pc.gov.uk
Old Marston Library
Did you know that 2008 is the National Year of Reading? It is an ideal time to rediscover
your local library. It’s easy to join and free to borrow books and to use the internet. If we
don’t stock the item you want it can be reserved for a small fee (free for under 18s).
Old Marston Library has a range of books to suit all ages and interests, whether you’re
reading for pleasure or study; including the latest bestsellers, books in large print and
For children we have board books for babies, picture books and storybooks from 1st
readers to teenagers, as well as information books to help with homework and hobbies.
Come and find out about Bookstart and Bookcrawl and join our summer reading challenge.
We also have a range of online services that you can use in the library or from home. For
example join the library online, find out about library services, check the catalogue and use
the online reference library. Sarah and Pauline look forward to seeing you soon at Old
Marston Library, Mortimer Hall, Oxford Road. Tel 01865 726823
Openng times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2.00pm – 5.00pm and 5.30pm – 7.00pm; Fridays
10.00am – 12.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm; and Saturdays 9.30am – 12.30pm.
The parish council has its own internet web site. The address is:
On our website you can find copies of our minutes, agendas, bulletins and current news,
as well as information on all our local groups, links to useful information on a wide range of
subjects including the latest weather, consumer information, crime, health services, local
business and other local services. We also have pictures of Old Marston – old and new as
well as a local history section which I am slowly adding to. If you do not have a computer,
you can use the public computer at one of our local libraries.
OxClean in Old Marston
In March there was a grand litter pick across Oxford started by the Oxford Civic Society.
The Parish Council organised a litter pick across Old Marston, co-ordinated by Duncan
Hatfield. We had a group tackle along the River Cherwell, St Nicholas School tackled the
park and groups of people tackled litter hotspots. Thank you to everybody who joined us,
including those who provided us with refreshments. We hope we can try this again. See
our website for some pictures.
Profile of a Parish Councillor: Nils Bartleet
During the period 1966-72 I worked as a flying instructor and flight manager for CSE at
Oxford Airport. In 1971 I moved, with my wife and daughter, to Marston.. After this I was
employed as an airline pilot for various companies, one of which was British Air Ferries. I
represented general aviation as a delegate from the British Airline Pilots Association. I
served on the parish council first from 1983-87. During May 1989 I was elected as a labour
county councillor and served for twelve years, I was deputy leader and environment
spokesperson for the labour party. I rejoined as a parish councillor in 1991 until now. I
have been a governor of Sandhills School since 1989. I chair the Oxford Airport
What is the “Precept”
Over one hundred or so years the collection of revenues for local services has been
concentrated on City and District Councils in this type of area, examples are the City
Council and West Oxfordshire District Council. Spending authorities demand them to
collect funds, via the Council Tax, for them in addition to their own needs, the main one
being the County Council that funds major services like police, fire, education, welfare,
highways, etc. that are their obligation to provide. Government grants given for specific
services or levels of services determined by it.
District councils are divided into parishes. Many parishes have Parish Councils, some of
which are quite small. Parish councils have no obligations, except to meet the demand for
allotments, and only have powers to do specified functions like recreation, halls, burial
grounds, allotments, country footpaths and bridleways, as in this parish.
Very large councils like the County towns go much further with sports halls, swimming
pools, fitness facilities, etc. How much is spent and what facilities are provided within a
parish is determined by the Parish Council or Meeting, hopefully, in response to the
elector’s wishes. Elections to the Parish Council take place every four years. Their income
is collected by way of a demand called the precept on the City or District Council.
Roy Garner. Parish Clerk.
Problems of the Past in Marston – a Local History of Marston
The Marston countryside between the River Cherwell and Headington has changed much
over the last three hundred years. But some fields remain with their hedge boundaries, still
marking the change in farming methods brought about by enclosures since the post-war
Agreement made in 1655 during Cromwell’s Commonwealth, and ratified in 1661 by the
Court of Chancery after the Restoration.
Here is an extract from the Agreement which describes the sorry conditions the farming
community of Marston were suffering. (The English has been slightly modernized):
“(And the Complaynants shewed that) the Town of Marston lay low, in a very dirty and
waterish heavy soil, upon the River of Charwell very near to the walls of the City of Oxon.
and were far more fit and convenient for pasture than tillage; and that in the time of the late
wars and by reason of the Garrison of Oxford the said fields and lands did for the most
part lie fresh and fallow and could not be manured and husbanded to any profit of the
Complainants; and their houses were much ruined, decayed and wasted and their trees
cut down and employed for the use of the said Garrison and great part of their meadows
were spoiled by digging of turfs for making the bulwarks in and about the said Garrison;
and the Complaynants cattle plundered and taken away by the Parliamentary soldiers and
forces, so that when the wars ended in 1646 … land could not be reduced to the former
condition and goodness without a present greater charge than they were able to bear… .”
And so, the enclosure was agreed and done, with surveying and hedging and ditching, and
the preservation of “all Public ways and passages which were and had been used and
enjoyed through the same for all the king’s people”.
Written by Alun Jones.
For more local history you can visit our website at: www.oldmarston-pc.gov.uk/history
Every year an independent auditor reviews the accounts of the parish council. At the
moment we have a vacancy for an independent auditor, working for about ten hours per
year. For more information please contact the Clerk, Roy Garner, on 01865 241888 or by
e-mail: email@example.com .
If you would like to contribute to or comment on our newsletter then please contact the
editors: Duncan Hatfield on 07706-998224, firstname.lastname@example.org or Gill Cox on
You can contact the Parish Council via our website, any parish councillor or the parish
clerk Mr Roy Garner on 01865-241888 or email@example.com
Meetings are on first Tuesday each month (except August) in Mortimer Hall small room.
Details of our meetings, minutes and other parish items can be found on our noticeboards
at Mortimer Hall and the Jack Russel Pub, and also our website. Residents are welcome
to attend our meetings. If you would like to speak at one of our meetings please contact
the parish clerk in advance.