DOC - Sutton Courtenay Parish Council | Sutton Courtenay Parish

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A meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Sutton Courtenay on
Tuesday 2nd June, 2009
Present: Councillors: M. Jenkins, (Chairman), W.Hanks (Vice-Chairman),
 Mrs. R. Atkinson, C. Campbell, D. Hignell
Clerk: Mrs. L. Martin
8 members of the public
Cllr. G. Duffield (District Councillor)
Guest Speakers: Mr. Patrick Legge, Head of Environmental Protection Department,
and Mr. Colin Marshall, Envirocrime Warden, Vale of White Horse District Council
Joined by Cllr. Black

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, Mr. Legge and Mr. Marshall spoke about
their powers as District Council officers in relation to peafowl and dog fouling. The
Environmental Health Department at the Vale of White Horse District Council had
powers to deal with noise complaints, but the peafowl were feral and no one was
directly responsible for them, and therefore there was no one against whom
action could be taken. The RSPCA might help re-home them if they were caught. Mr.
Legge offered to post a note on the Bulletin board for Environmental Health Officers
which went nationwide to see how other Councils had handled the problem.

Cllr. A. Black joined the meeting.

Mr. Legge then turned to dog fouling and referred to the Dogs Fouling of Land Act
1996 where recreation and other areas in the Vale district had been designated areas
where it was an offence not to clear up after your dog. 2 Envirocrime officers had been
appointed by the District Council and they were working to ensure compliance with
that and legislation relating to litter and fly tipping. The fixed penalty system for
offences was explained. The District Council was intending to run a campaign in the
Summer to advise residents in the Vale about dog fouling. If the measures undertaken
by the District Council appeared ineffective then Parish Council could consider Dog
Control Orders. Such order would supersede any powers that the District Council had,
and it would be for the Parish Council to enforce its own Order via its officers or
nominated contractors. Reference was made to health risks and the diseases in dog
faeces which presented a danger, and also to documents on Dog Control Orders which
were available on the DEFRA website.

The District Council’s officers had visited the recreation ground 10 times in the last
fortnight, and they were prepared to help with campaigns and enforcement. They were
also prepared to consider action such as contacting dog owners should they have
reasonable suspicions that an offence is committed. They asked that any information as
to dog owners who were not clearing up after their dogs be passed to them. They also
referred to Police Community Support Officers who had powers, and suggested they
may be able to help.
The Chairman thanked them both for attending the meeting and they left at 8.15 p.m.

2009/129   Apologies for Absence
           Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr. Ms. T. Field and J.
           Warwick. The Clerk reminded members that Council had previously approved
           the extended absence of Cllr. Manley.

2009/130   Declarations of Interest
           There were no declarations of interest.

2009/131   Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council held on 5th May, 2009
           These were agreed and signed as a true record of the proceedings.

2009/132   Matters Arising from the minutes held on 5th May, 2009

           Council noted letters of thanks from the following organisations for the grants
           awarded to them: Home Start, Sutton Courtenay News, Air Ambulance Trust,
           Sutton Courtenay Table Tennis Club, South and Vale Careres Centre, Abingdon
           and District Citizens Advice Bureau, Didcot Citizens Advice Bureau and The
           Oxfordshire Association for the Blind.

           Garage Site – High Street
           Council noted that the involvement at this site of the Environmental Health
           Department at the Vale of White Horse District Council had effectively finished
           As its concern was regarding the safety of the building and the public areas.
           The Health and Safety Executive had been notified as it would become involved
           when re-construction started. Various planning conditions still had to be
           released so it would be some time before actual re-building commenced.

           Peewit Farm Caravans – Drayton Road
           Council noted that the Planning Enforcement Officer at the Vale of White Horse
           District Council had made visits earlier this year and had spoken with the land
           owner. He was monitoring the situation. Council raised concerns that the use
           of the land may become established should it continue for a long time, and
           when there was a prominent visual nuisance it may be too late to take action.
           The Clerk was asked to find out exactly what the enforcement officer was
           doing, as it was felt that monitoring was not sufficient.

           RWEnPower pylon site – Harwell Road
           Motorbike riders were continuing to gain access to this property. RWE had
           confirmed that it would arrange for a fence to be erected.

2009/133   County Councillor’s Report
           In the absence of Cllr. Lamont no report was available.

2009134    District Councillor’s Report
           Ameys site – Appleford Road
           Cllr. Duffield advised that the Parish Council should closely watch this site, as
           plans were being considered for development.

           Hulgrove Barn, Drayton Road
           Cllr. Duffield advised that this planning application had been refused by the
           Vale of White Horse District Council. The Clerk had not received the formal
           decision notice.

           Landfill Site – Incinerator
           Cllr. Duffield stated that there was to be a new planning application lodged in
           July. The County Council would only look at the new sections. He suggested
           that the planning officer from the Vale of White Horse District Council should
           give evidence when the planning application was heard at the County Council’s
           committee. Members supported this view. He reported that Paul Green from
           Waste Recycling Group who had been handling the application had accepted an
           offer of new employment elsewhere and had left WRG. A temporary
           replacement would handle the planning application until a permanent
           replacement was found. Cllr. Duffield suggested that it might be advantageous
           to have a meeting with WRG. He would arrange this and invite RPS, Ed.
           Vaizey M.P and members of the Parish Council.

2009/135   EfW Incinerator – Applications on Landfill Site
           The Clerk confirmed she had received a copy of the press release from WRG
           regarding its revised application that would be lodged in July regarding a
           smaller capacity incinerator. Council noted a letter sent from the County
           Council to the SCAI campaign group which had been copied to the Parish
           Council. This confirmed that the current application would not be withdrawn,
           in spite of the fact that there was still missing information in it. New public
           consultation would commence on everything when the new application was
           submitted, and new documents would replace those submitted already.

2009/136   Matters raised by Councillors for information

           High Street – Pothole opposite Burgrey Stores

           Hobbyhorse Lane – Frilsham Street
           Damage to the road outside the village hall required repair following storage
           by Thames Water of machinery in the vicinity.

           It was stated that comments from the public appeared to be in support of the

           Old Wallingford Way
           It was stated that Thames Water had carried out some repair following the
           installation of a water pipe to the property under construction. The road had
           effectively been widened given the passing place, and unfortunately the staddle
           stone base which marked the boundary of the property on the corner of Old
           Wallingford Way and the lane which ran along the rear of the High Street
           properties had been knocked over by a lorry.

           Overhanging hedges
           It was reported that there were hedges overhanging the pavements. Cllr. Hanks
           would advise the Clerk of the locations.

2009/137   Police Matters
           There were no police matters.

2009/138   Public Participation
           Different members of the public spoke both in favour of retaining the peacocks
           which were a pleasant addition to the village, and against, stating that there was
           no quality of life, not only for residents who suffered damaged properties and
           endured noise, but for the birds who had been displaced from their former home
           in the grounds of Lady Place.

           Recreation Ground
           Thanks were given to the Council for arranging to cut the grass on the dog
           walking path, but people were still allowing their dogs to foul and not clearing

           Potholes were reported outside 71a High Street, at the end of the village hall car
           park drive and at Cross Trees on the B4016

2009/139   Planning Applications

           a) Decisions on previous applications

                  SUT/570/21 and SUT/570/22-LB Erection of wooden gates as new
                  The Manor House, Church Street
                  Permitted    27th May, 2009

                  SUT/570/23-LB Proposed alterations to existing barn, including new
                  window and door to south elevation
                  Barn at Manor House, Church Street
                  Permitted     27th May, 2009

                  SUT/6342/24 Change of use of premises for the use within classes
                  B1, B2 and B8. Use of external areas as a depot and installation of new
                  hardstanding area.

                  Paradigm House, Trident Park, Basil Hill Road
                  Application deemed invalid 28th May, 2009

                  Works to trees – 1 silver birch, 1 ash
                  108 High Street
                  Permitted      15th May, 2009
       SUT/59/34 (f) Change of use of building 153a from Class B use to
       mixed use comprising of A1 retail and A5 hot food takeaway
       153 Milton Park
       Permitted     14th May, 2009

       SUT/10391/5 Erection of double garage and covered way
       Conversion of existing garage into living accommodation
       Courtenay Pitts, All Saints Lane
       Permitted      28th May, 2009

       SUT/18187/1 Demolition of existing lean-to single garage and erection
       of two storey side extension with integral garage
       8 Southfield Drive
       Permitted      28th May, 2009

       SUT/59/72(f) Proposed refurbishment of existing building including
       alterations to main entrance
       173 Milton Park
       Permitted       6th May, 2009

       SUT/11008/6 Erection of an artists studio with single garage (Re-
       2 The Green
       Permitted   11th May, 2009

b) Applications dealt with prior to the meeting

       SUT/422/8 Demolition of existing garage, workshop, boundary fence
       and gate.
       Erection of new greenhouse and boundary wall
       5 High Street
       For: Mr. C. West
       Comments: Council had no objections, but stated that planting would
       lessen the impact of the wall

c) Applications for consideration at the meeting

       SUT/12063/26-D Reserved matters for erection of building for storage
       and distribution warehouse (class B8) or employment (B2) with
       ancillary works
       Land South of Nature Reserve, Sutton Courtenay Lane
       For: RWEnPower
       Comments: Council was concerned about the appearance from the road,
       the traffic implications and route of sewerage. There appeared to be no
       end user in mind. B2 use was general industrial and B8 warehouse use.
       It appeared premature to comment comprehensively as there was
       insufficient detail as to the use. B2 was not a neighbourly use, and

                  employment use would generate much traffic probably through the
                  village. Council required information regarding the potential use.

                  SUT/19470/7 Erection of 3 x 3 bed terraced dwellings and 2 x 3 bed
                  semi-detached dwellings
                  Amey Construction Group, Appleford Road
                  For: Westdene Development Ltd
                  Comments: Council had no objections, but was concerned about the
                  location of the road access and asked that alternative exits on to
                  Appleford Road be explored.

2009/140   Recreation Ground
           Council received a report from Cllr. Hignell on the state and condition of the
           play equipment. One gate post was still lose. Some rubber matter under the
           rotating disk was loosening. Fencing at the car park was bent. There was no
           further graffiti. There had been a significant improvement to the grass cutting.
           Council received a report from Ventur Play who had undertaken a professional
           inspection on 20th April. They had reported loose fence posts and loosening
           rubber matting under the rotating disk. The Clerk had reminded the contractor
           to deal with these as soon as possible. A hole in the hoggin footpath had been
           noticed. Mr. G. Tyler had been asked to fill this. There was a recommendation
           to monitor the grind rail in the skatepark. The Clerk had asked Bencrete, the
           manufacturers to look at this.

           Council considered repairs to the wetpour rubber surfacing in the toddlers play
           area where it was beginning to pull away from the edge and was slightly uneven
           in other areas. A quotation had been received for the work. Council considered
           that it was not a health and safety issue, as the surfacing had not been identified
           by Ventur Play as a problem. The depth of the rubber was still the same, and
           provided the correct depth of safety surfacing in accordance with requirements.
           It was suggested that the matter be left until after the RoSPA inspection which
           was due in July.

           Council received a report from the Recreation Ground Working Party on its
           meeting held on Saturday 30th May. The recreation ground area and dog path
           had been walked. Minor overhanging of weeds was noticed as was a rabbit hole
           in the path. The Clerk would ask Mr. Tyler to deal with the hole, and the
           Cricket Club had offered to cut back the weeds. More major work to trees
           would be considered by the working party in Autumn. A request for a picnic
           bench and seating had been received. It had been noticed that the South East
           corner of the ground was very wet. This would be reported via the Liaison
           Committee to WRG. The Football Club and Cricket Club were looking to form
           a new joint organisation. There were plans to extend the pavilion to the front.
           The Clubs had been advised to first talk to the planning officers at the Vale of
           White Horse District Council regarding this. Discussion had also taken place
           regarding any necessary legal work to Lease or Licence land to the new
           organisation. Council noted that this would have to be undertaken by outside

Solicitors with costs probably being paid by the tenants. There had been
lengthy discussion about dog fouling, and it had been suggested that a joint
letter from the Clubs and the Parish Council appear in Sutton Courtenay News.
A quote for the repair to the entrance barrier had been sought, and the Football
Club would cut back the laurel hedge at the car park.

Cllr. Hignell, placed on record his apologies for not being able to attend the
working party meeting.

Council considered installing a community safety partnership “tri-sign”. There
were differing opinions and the Chairman asked for a show of hands of those in
favour of installing a community safety tri-sign in the recreation ground car

In favour              4                      Against                1

Council considered items from the presentation by the Environmental
Protection Team for the Vale of White Horse District Council. Discussion
centred around the possibility of a Dog Control Order. It was felt that more
time was needed to investigate this possibility and information as to the
experience of other Councils who had made Dog Control Orders. It had been
noted that the Vale of White Horse District Council was planning a campaign
in the Summer regarding dog fouling. It was felt that Sutton Courtenay should
be part of that campaign which could be operated via the recreation ground
working party. Council accepted the recommendation from the working party
that an article be placed in Sutton Courtenay News explaining the legislation
regarding dog fouling, the advice from the District Council, with a request that
the details of those offending be passed on to the authorities.
Council considered a cigarette bin close to the picnic table in the play area, and
agreed that this would not be a good idea on or close to the table. A litter bin
was not too far away which could be used.


                       (i)     that Cllr. Hignell undertakes the play
                               equipment inspections on a weekly basis
                               and litter clearing in the recreation ground
                               until the July meeting of the Council.
                       (ii)    that consideration of repairs to the wetpour be
                               deferred until after the RoSPA inspection in July
                       (iii)   that a picnic bench and seating be included in
                               phase III of any improvements to the ground
                       (iv)    that a joint article appear in Sutton Courtenay
                               News referring to dog fouling in the recreation
                               ground, the legislation, and advising that details

                                         of those offending would be passed to the
                                  (v)    that a community safety tri-sign be requested
                                         from the Vale of White Horse District Council to
                                         be erected in the car park.
                                  (vi)   that a cigarette bin not be purchased for the play

2009/141   Village Green Car Park
           Council considered erecting a community safety information tri-sign in the car
           park. The Chairman asked for a show of hands of those in favour

           In favour      1                              Against                3

                                                 that no community safety tri sign be
                                                 erected in the village green car park.

2009/142   Street Lighting
           Council noted that the County Council was proposing to reduce its carbon
           emissions by 18% by 2011/12 and was considering switching off some of the
           street lights. Council noted comments from parishioners both in favour of
           switching off lighting and some who wished certain lights to remain on.
           Council sought clarification as to the lighting required where there were traffic
           management schemes in place. Council was generally supportive of the

                                       (i)  that the matter be deferred
                                      (ii)  that clarification be sought as to the
                                            lighting requirements in the High Street
                                            and Harwell Road where there were traffic
                                            calming measures

2009/143   Land Rear of Church – All Saints Lane
           The Chairman gave a report on a meeting that he and Revd. Helen Kendrick had
           attended with residents who lived in All Saints Lane opposite the rear of the
           Church. They had been advised of plans to restore the car parking facility at the
           rear of the Church for users of the Church. There were problems with a large
           number of vehicles in the lane owing to the building works. There were several
           dead branches on the willow trees on the land in question. The Clerk was
           obtaining quotations.

                                       (i)  that given the number of vehicles already
                                            parked in the lane that the question of

                                                 restoring the parking area used by the
                                                 Church be deferred for the time being.
                                         (ii)    that the minimum of essential works to
                                                 remove dead branches be undertaken to
                                                 the willow trees
                                         (iii)   that the Clerk seek quotations for these

2009/144   Peafowl
           Council considered the problem of peafowl which numbered about 15 – 18 wild
           birds. The residents appeared to be 50 : 50 either supporting the retention or
           removal of the birds. Council considered the statutory powers, and the legal
           position as advised by the Environmental Health Officers

                               (i)  that an article be placed in Sutton Courtenay
                                    News pointing out that the Parish Council is not
                                    directly responsible for the birds and asking
                                    residents to be considerate about deliberately
                                    feeding them.
                               (ii) that the Clerk, in consultation with Cllr. Black,
                                    send a letter to both management companies on
                                    the Lady Place site requesting assistance

2009/145   The duration of the meeting was 2 hours and Council

                                         to suspend Standing Order no 1a to allow business
                                         be continued

2009/146   Correspondence
           a) Thames Valley Police Open Day – Police Training Centre, Sulhamstead,
              Reading 8th August, 2009
           b) Vale of White Horse District Council – Survive and Thrive magazine
           c) Oxfordshire County Council – Home 2 School newsletter
           d) South East Plan – Regional Spatial Strategy
              Council noted that the Secretary of State had completed her consideration of
              representations. The document was available at
           e) OALC – May newsletter
           f) RWEnPower – Letter re: Radley lakes and the engagement of Northmoor
             Trust in the management of them.

2009/147   Accounts
           Council received a report from the internal auditor. The report had been sent
           separately to the Chairman as well as the Clerk. The issues covered were the
           role of the Council as Custodian Trustee and the duties of that role, the

           reimbursement of petty cash expenditures, and formal tendering procedure for
           major works.
           The Clerk presented the Annual Return and governance statement for the year
           ended 31st March 2009


                                               (i)  that Council notes the report of the internal
                                               (ii) that Council approve the governance statement
                                                    required by the external auditor BDO Stoy
                                                    Hayward on the annual return as presented by the

           Council noted the list of cheques to be signed and authorised payments
           totalling £4972.35 in respect of administration costs, maintenance in
           recreation ground, play area inspection, Chairman’s Allowance and highway
           verge cutting.

2009/148   Date of Next Meeting
           Council agreed that the next meeting of the Council would take place on
           Tuesday 7th July, 2009 at 7.30 p.m. in the village hall.

           The meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.

           Signed ....................................................   Date .........................................


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