Minutes of the Shipton under Wychwood Annual Village Meeting
held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th April 2010 in the New Beaconsfield Hall
PRESENT: G B Higginson, V R Wallace, M W Wallace, Pauline & Les Knightson,
Peggy Walmsley, James Walmsley, Johnny Graham, Jane Graham, Pat Bannister,
Sylvia Vickers, Maureen Bailey, G Bailey, Terry Wigley, Brian Rigby, Alison Norris,
John Norris, Liz Shannon, John Shannon, Marian Gillett, Gordon Gillett, Diana
Johnson, Ray Derkacz, Keith Townley, Penny Campbell, Michael Campbell, Brian
Young, Kay Young, Jeremy Huntingford, Gail Huntingford, Christine Hallida, Liz
Watson, Janet Shackle, Gordon Halliday, Phillip Croxson, Belinda Wilson, John
Gittings, A Gittings, Dorothy Carrington, Rosie Waterman, John Hartley, D Nixon.
COUNCILLORS: Cllr Alan Vickers, Cllr Robin McConnachie, Cllr Malcolm
Cochrane, Cllr Joanna Cook, Cllr Jill Mavin, Cllr Neil Jagger, Cllr Mike Watson,
County Cllr Rodney Rose and District Cllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles.
1. Apologies for Absence:
Mr Duncan Spence on behalf of Wychwood Primary School, Mr Tony Nock on behalf of
Shipton-under-Wychwood Charities, Kirstyn Tyrer on behalf of Thames Valley Police
2. Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 28 April 2009:
The minutes had been displayed on the website and notice boards and were not read
out. It was agreed unanimously that they were a true record and were signed by the
3. Chairman’s Report - Cllr. Alan Vickers:
Councillor Vickers summarised activities of the Parish Council during the last year.
It had been a hard year for the Parish Council. He had realised this when two previous
Chairmen had approached him independently and said that, in their view, this had been
the most difficult year in their experience! At times it had seemed that there was only one
item on the agenda, namely the proposed application for the deregistration of land to
enable the building of a Pavilion for the Tennis Club. Sometimes PC meetings had come
close to rivalling Flix in the Stix as a public attraction.
He did not propose going over the many and various developments experienced during
the year but disagreed with the view of one parishioner who referred to the Parish
Council being against the Tennis Club. This had not been the case. It was much more
the Parish Council struggling against a complicated and far from clear legal position. In
the end the PC had sought advice from at least three legal sources at a cost
approaching £1,000. It became clear that there was very little chance of any application
for the deregistration of common land being successful. Two councillors thought that the
Tennis Club should find this out for themselves even at some considerable expense to
their members. The remaining five councillors however, in the face of the legal
complexity and uncertainty, withdrew their support for an application and the decision
was made in January not to proceed.
The PC had held its usual eleven meetings during the year but there were a further three
special meetings where the Parish Council had been involved - a meeting with David
Cameron to follow up action from the Floods of 2007, a meeting to launch the Wild
Gardens initiative and a meeting with specialist legal advisors to discuss the registration
of common land.
It could be depressing at this time of year to go over the Minutes for the previous twelve
months and note the slow progress of local government. The same topics keep
appearing such as the siting of the proposed sand bin, pot holes, the need to rebuild the
wall on the A361 etc but there were two major efforts where the PC had made
considerable progress and which promise to have a significant impact on facilities
available to Shipton parishioners over the long term. He was referring to the move to
purchase the Wild Gardens for the Community and the ambitious refurbishment of the
play area now being undertaken. His colleagues would be describing these
developments in more detail. Similarly, the Volunteers, as Paul Chantry would report,
had put in many hours at very little cost to the community sprucing up corners of the
village. And at last it seemed that the wall along the A361 is to be rebuilt in the near
The cost effective grass cutting arrangements which were instigated some three years
ago had been maintained saving around 20% compared with previous arrangements for
this the largest single item of expenditure in the Parish Council budget. The precept, was
set at £19,750 for 2010/11 ie up by 5.3% on the previous year but it remained at a lower
level than for neighbouring villages which had been the Parish Council‟s policy.
The level of planning applications considered had been similar to the previous year - 23
compared with 21 ie significantly lower than the 38 of two years ago – probably because
of the economic downturn.
Some of the other achievements of the past year had been:
1 The confusion with regard to the location of addresses in Ballards Close and St.
Michael‟s Close had been sorted. This had caused problems for emergency
services over the years
2 The PC had tackled various overhanging hedges and the erosion of road verges
3 The lime trees along Church Path had finally been pollarded and painting of the
railings was being carried out
4 The PC had applied for more and better sited dog bins
5 It had also requested more grit bins again improving the siting where necessary
6 The PC had continued to support financially the work of the New Beaconsfield
Hall benefitting the whole community
7 The PC had identified and reported to the County Council a list of problems with
parish road surfaces and was monitoring progress with these
8 Together with the PPC, the PC had considered improvements to the smooth
running of the Burial Ground
All of this activity could be followed in the Minutes of the Parish Council Meetings. These
are held in an archive on the Village website which now covers more than five years.
The website itself was now averaging 2400 hits per month exactly double this time last
year. Possibly as a result of the growing use of the website, the number of welcome
packs distributed had fallen to under a dozen. The Parish Emergency Plan is available
on the website but, in contrast to Ascott where they have rehearsed their Plan, it was not
being actively supported. He felt that as, we live in turbulent times, this might prove to be
unwise. There are still some specialised skills and equipment missing from the plan and
parishioners were urged to look at it the next time they were on the website and let him
know if they could fill any of the gaps.
We had now just ended the period of office of the present Parish Council. Not only would
the village be getting a new national Government in May but, more importantly, it would
have a new Parish Council comprising three of the existing councillors (Neil Jagger,
Mike Watson and Jill Mavin) plus Brian Rigby and three other councillors to be co-opted
in due course. He and the current Vice Chairman Robin McConnachie would not be on
the new Council. He wished to thank him and the other councillors for all their support
during his time as Chairman. He was especially grateful to those councillors who had
had special areas of responsibility and who were giving reports separately during the
meeting. Their additional workload had often been quite considerable. Two other
councillors who were stepping down deserved special mention – they were Malcolm
Cochrane and Jo Cooke. Malcolm had served on the Parish Council for 31 years
including 12 years as Chairman. Jo had served for eight years. He had been very
grateful to both of them for their local knowledge and experience. Finally his thanks went
to the Parish Council‟s Clerk, Angela Barnes who had had the difficult task of taking over
from Alice Burns but who had kept the wheels turning in her quiet, friendly and efficient
Looking back over the whole four years, He was most proud of what had not been done!
The PC had preserved the character and appearance of the village and he thought that
this was an important responsibility of a Parish Council in a place like Shipton.
There were clouds on the horizon as usual which threatened this and he wished the new
Parish Council all the best in successfully dealing with these challenges. He was thinking
in particular of the renewed suggestion for the setting up of a pharmacy which would
threaten the level of service available from the surgery and the need for a new burial
ground - the two hopefully not connected!
Finally his thanks were extended to all parishioners for their co-operation, assistance in
pointing out things that needed doing and for their patience when it had taken longer
than one would have wished.
Thanks went too to Rodney Rose and Hilary Biles who had attended most of the PC
meetings and who had helped get things done at County and District level respectively
4. County Councillor’s Report: Cllr. Rodney Rose:
Chairman, Cllrs, Ladies and Gentlemen – I will talk on the headings below, but will first
make a couple of points:
I had the honour of being asked to be Cabinet Member for Transport, following the
Elections in June of 2009 – but had the drawback of then being responsible for Snow
Clearance and potholes in the winter that followed. On January 1st, I became a Governor
at Leafield School – at the first Meeting of the Governors, Leslie Ryde [Head teacher]
gave in her notice! So far, so good.
To recap, the Elections of 2009 gave the following results and responsibilities:
Elections – 1830 votes to me, with nearest of three rivals on 493
1 Conservative [CH] seats up from 44 to 52 out of 74
Responsibilities – Cabinet Member for Transport
1 Oxfordshire Board Member on
2 School Gov at Leafield
3 Deputy on SEEmployers
4 Member of Oxfordshire Countryside Access Forum
5 Member of Milton PC
6 Sec Treas to Conservative Group
Cabinet job involves - bus subsidies, bus stops, Quality Bus Partnership
7 Parking, Resident parking
8 Countryside ROW etc
9 Road Safety
10 Speed limits
11 Snow Clearance
12 Road Maintenance
Local issues - Snow leaflet – to help with next winter
13 ECH in Green Lane
14 Local road conditions
15 Wild Garden
16 New footpath in Hailey
17 Travellers in Minster Lovell
5. District Councillor’s Report – Cllr. Hilary Biles:
As we are all aware the economy of the country is not in a good state to say the least.
Therefore the District Council have moved to save money by sharing their Chief
Executive and Finance Director with Cotswold District Council. At the moment it is on a
temporary basis to see how it works and the decision will be made later in the summer
as to whether we make this permanent. We are also looking at all back office functions
to see where we are able to share to save more money. Examples are Revenue and
Benefits, Legal etc. Cotswold are a similar District to West Oxfordshire in that they are a
small rural Council .
West Oxfordshire District council continue to be the second lowest District tax authority
in the Country. Our share of the annual bill is £81 per year for a band „D‟ property, which
is less than half the national average charge and this equates to a saving of over £80 to
an average household.
The tax covers Waste Collection – and there will be a new system introduced later in the
year. This will involve a weekly food collection, weekly dry recycling collection, a free
green Bin collection every other week alternating with a residual bin collection. The
tenders are being looked at as we speak. There is an absolute necessity to reduce
landfill otherwise we will be heavily fined by the EU.
Our District is one of the safest places to live although I completely understand that
when you have a crime committed against you, you do not feel safe. There is 24/7
coverage from Chipping Norton Police Station. We now have a large Community Safety
team at WODC who are also there to help and can liaise with the police over various
issues should you have difficulty.
Public participation at planning meetings will commence this year at the May planning
meeting. Will people be satisfied – it remains to be seen. As a previous member of the
County Planning Committee where they have public participation, when the decision
goes against you, the public still think the committee have not listened. However the
District Council wish to afford this opportunity to residents.
You will also be pleased to know that the bund at Littlebrook Meadow has now been dug
and completed. We have finally reached an agreement over the long disputed wall by
the bridge that is down due to the flooding in 2007 and that should be rebuilt this
summer. I attended several flood meetings over this issue and I am pleased we now
have reached agreement.
We were looking at a bund to protect the Prebendal and the residents of Prebendal
Drive. Unfortunately there are some issues that arose and we are now looking at a swale
on the other side of the river, lowering the bank and a small bund on the other side. This
is early days but I would not wish residents to think we were not doing anything.
Topographical levels need to be taken and requests for funding. It will not be a quick job
but we are further on than we were.
Marriots Close has opened in Witney and has been very successful. It saves us having
to travel to Banbury or Oxford for shopping or the cinema.
The Council are rated „GOOD‟ by the Audit Commission, and commended for supporting
residents and opposing health cuts.
We are in that battle about Health now and the WODC are supporting the Wychwood
surgery in their efforts to retain their dispensing services for those residents such as you
who live within a mile of the surgery. A ridiculous decision taken by people who do not
understand the rural areas at all!!!! We are asking the PCT to review their decision
BEFORE it goes to appeal, however our request so far has been turned down and it
looks as though it will go the litigation panel. The Primary Care Trust who made this
decision is following government guide lines. However in this instance the decision is
borderline, and therefore, they should have come down on the side of the community.
David Cameron is also supporting the surgery.
The government have reneged on the decision to let NHS nurses stay within the NHS
but work at the wing of the OSJ Care Home in Chipping Norton. After a fight to make
sure the NHS beds are not subsumed into the Care Home but are retained within the
NHS for Intermediate Care, the Government have brought out new legislation that
means they must resign from the NHS and be tupeed over to the Care Home
Management. I could write a book on this however suffice to say we are fighting this
decision but it will only be reversed by a change of government.
After fighting a losing battle to retain Langston House Care Home, I have, through my
Chairmanship of Supporting People and through the District Council Housing
Department, kept up pressure for the Extra Care Housing we were promised at the time
of the consultation decision. I am delighted that a planning application will be
forthcoming soon. It is not without some issues but I do believe they are surmountable.
This will benefit all aging residents of the Wychwoods who wish to stay here in the
At present I am your Cabinet member for Health, Leisure, Tourism & the Arts, Children &
Young People. It will depend on the result of the election as to my status in the future.
I represent Oxfordshire on the Supporting People Commissioning Body (vulnerable
people funding) and the Children and Young People Board. I have also just been elected
the Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council which is a huge honour and privilege.
It has also been a privilege to serve as your District Councillor over the past eight years.
I would like to thank the Parish Council Members who, over that time have worked
diligently for Shipton. I sometimes think we do not appreciate our Parish Councillors who
work for our benefit in their own time.
6. Report from Allotment Sub- Committee – Cllr Jill Mavin:
The allotments are thriving - today we have 60 people working on their plots, 4 years ago
there were 24 and 10 years ago I‟m told there were around 10. A lot of the field has been
taken up but we have space for plenty more.
Last year we put in two more water tanks and, thanks to Geoff Miles and his JCB, the
road was improved and some maintenance work done. Geoff is helping us out again this
year with advice on more improvements to the road.
Several trees have been planted along Fiddlers Hill with the help of the Wychwood
Project and the Shipton Volunteers and later this year we hope to plant a community
orchard and I would very much like to see a bee hive or two to help with pollination in the
7. Report on Play Area, Recreation Field and Grass Mowing – Cllr. Jo Cook:
We have the same contractors as for the past three years and considering the varied
seasons we have had the Parish Council is pleased with the way we are looked after.
Although now and then some parishioners have not been entirely satisfied and we have
endeavoured to meet these difficulties satisfactorily. Wild flowers on some verges are
being protected and encouraged.
The recreation field is used extensively for the junior football teams and the play area is
also well used. At present as we all know a redevelopment of the area is on the brink of
fruition. Malcolm Cochrane will give you an up to the minute report, but I would like to
say that he has done a huge amount of work and spent time on grant applications and
meetings. We have a small sub-committee consisting of Max Askew, Debbie
Whitehouse and Lisa Munro, they have all got very useful experience which has been
8. Report on Transport – Cllr. Robin McConnachie:
Less to report this year because of transport improvements we have succeeded in
getting and we now have:
A regular (broadly every 90 minutes) bus service to Witney though not in the
Good railbus connections, though during day you have to go to Kingham
A train service that is now pretty reliable
A bus service to Chipping Norton in response to public demand.
However nothing stands still and price of liberty is eternal vigilance. OCC have recently
announced a review of 233 service which carries a large subsidy - £35000 pa according
to Oxon CC + a similar amount for the school trips. They will also look at the underused
local Villager bus service for short shopping trips, used mainly by the elderly). Now you
don‟t need me to tell you that at a time of restricted public expenditure this raised
warning bells with us and so your Parish Council commissioned the transport survey
which we delivered to all households in the parish a few weeks ago.
Results are still being analysed by ORCC but I can tell you that:
Over 200 households responded which is good, considering we had a
comprehensive transport survey fairly recently
Perhaps inevitably there were many different views about what form future bus
development should take.
Most people who replied used a car for most of their journeys (no surprises
There was some support for an evening bus service to Witney and Oxford with
greater provision at weekends esp on Saturdays
The next step is for me to communicate the results of this review to Oxon CC with a
covering letter. I can assure you that we will continue to fight to maintain the decent
service we have at last got, having fought so hard to get it. But DO ALL OF YOU
PLEASE USE the 233 in this review period and the Railbus at all times – its existence is
Looking to the future, briefly, the Cotswold Line will be redoubled from this side of Ascott
to beyond Charlbury with new platforms at both Ascott and Charlbury. This will allow a
more reliable and a frequent train service east to Oxford and London but the price to be
paid is a lot of short term disruption this summer before the promised benefits
materialise in 2011. And they need to sort NOW the car parking problems at Long
Hanborough which displace early commuter traffic to Charlbury and consequently block
up Charlbury with effects farther up the line at Kingham. This combined with the
shortage of car parking places at Thornhill Park and Ride can make a bus or train
journey to London a nightmare of uncertainty as to where you leave the car (precisely in
order to take the bus or train), a good example of the sort of lack of joined up thinking
which my colleagues and I on the OCC Transport Consultative Committee are always
pointing out to FGW, Stagecoach and others.
9. Report on Financial Management – Cllr. Mike Watson:
It is my duty to report to the parish meeting on our finances for the year. We ended the
year with an operating surplus of £2,391 in the accounts, compared to £5,599 in the
previous year. Our goal is to be able to generate a small annual operating surplus while
investing in specific improvement projects around the parish.
We also have an accumulated reserve of £7,487 towards the new play ground
equipment, with the major expenditure for this being in the current year. As a council we
have agreed to donate up to £11,000 towards this project from reserves.
Overall the financial affairs of the Parish are well run with all significant expenditure
brought to the council for approval. Two reviews of the overall financial position were
also held during the year.
Like many organisations we have suffered from low interest rates and our investment
income is substantially down compared to prior years. Our reserves are held in an HSBC
Money Market account and at present we do not intend to change this. Unlike charitable
organisations we do not have access to some of the high interest accounts available.
The Precept is income the council receives from the Council Tax bill, which pays for
about 70% of the parish council activities. For the new financial year the precept was
increased by £1,000 a year, equivalent to £1 a year per resident. The Precept level
remains one of the lowest in this area and it is our goal to maintain the Precept at a
competitive level. For the current year for a band D council tax payer, the Shipton
precept will be £31.57 compared with £34.95 for Milton, £41.53 for Ascott and £62.38
The policy of the parish council has been to increase the Precept to build up reserves to
fund major projects in the parish. Over the last four years, the increases in the Precept
from a base of £12,000 a year in 2006 has generated £15,819 in extra funds. From this
we have invested £5,000 in the Wild Garden and set aside £11,000 towards the new
Play Ground Equipment.
10. Report from Shipton Volunteers Sub-Committee: Mr Paul Chantry:
The Shipton Volunteers have had another successful year, with regular projects every
month and a broadening scope of activities.
The regular clean up of the centre of the village on the A361, Meadow Lane, Mawles
Lane and Milton road has continued. In the closed churchyard we cleared an area for
ashes to be scattered and in the burial ground we cleared trees and bushes to free up
more space. We also did work at the allotments, clearing brambles, trees and ivy from
walls and copses and planting new trees.
The Shipton Volunteers played a significant role in last summer‟s village fete. We carried
out the door to door sales of raffle tickets, helped with setting up and also ran games
Last October we were able to offer a dry stone walling course to 18 of the Volunteers.
For a small charge they received professional tuition over two weekends. This was
organised by Terry Wigley who also provided the wall to build and the stone with which
to build it. We also received a subsidy from the Parish Council and I should like to thank
them for that.
In March we once again organised the Shipton Litter Blitz. We felt the village was tidier
this year, although the Ascott Road is a clear litter black spot. The haul of our volunteer
litter pickers did included the usual collection of car and lorry parts, one being the whole
plastic front end of a Peugeot car which had to be sawn up before we could take it away!
A major focus for this spring is Church Path. This month we started painting the railings
on the burial ground side and we will complete this in May. There are 500 railings to be
wire brushed and sanded; wiped down; primed and top coated, representing over 150
man hours of work. My thanks goes to the volunteers who spent hours diligently kneeling
or crouching applying paint to each of the 500 railings one by one.
We now have 61 people on our database although it is a “hard core” of 30 who are truly
active, turning up month after month and 41 of our volunteers have so far earned the
coveted Shipton Volunteer sweatshirt. For our sweatshirts we have received
sponsorship Tall Trees Care Centre. We are grateful for their support.
Since we started in August 2007, the Shipton Volunteers have donated over 1500 man
hours to the upkeep and improvement of our village.
11. Report of the Shipton United Charities: Mr. Tony Nock:
The object of the Charity is to relieve either generally or individually persons resident in
the Parish of Shipton under Wychwood who are in conditions of need, hardship or
The trustees of the Charity during 2009 were:-
The Reverend Wendy Callan, Vicar of the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Shipton under
Wychwood and Langley.
Nominative Trustees (3) – (acceptable by the Parish Coucil for four year periods )
Mrs.Audrey Fincham, Mrs. Rosemary F. Hitchcock and Mrs. Barbara Pearce.
Co-optative Trustees (2) – (appointed by the Trustees)
Dr. Gordon Scott (Chairman) and Miss Doreen Barnes.
Monies received by the Charity during the year amounted to £1,252.50(2008- £2,017.76)
whilst payments amounted to £1,025.10 (2008- £1,140.00). As a result balances held at
the HSBC Bank together with National Savings and Petty Cash amounted to £4,273.18
compared with £4,273.18 in 2008.
The Trustees will continue to see that there are sufficient reserves of money available to
meet all calls made upon the Charity.
During the year 2009 the following contributions were made by the Charity:-
Chipping Norton Hospital - £200; Wychwoods Day Centre - £250; Lawrence Home
Nursing Team - £200; Wychwood C of E Primary School - £150; Wychwood Youth Club
- £200; Shipton PCC-£100 and Coffee Mornings- £100. These gifts are in recognition of
the services provided by the organizations to parishioners of Shipton during the year.
The Trustees believe that they are administrating the funds available to them in the best
possible way in order to meet the object of the Charity as stated in the second paragraph
12. Reports of the Lady Reade Educational Foundation: Mr James Walmsley:
Before her death in 1811, Lady Reade, the chatelaine of Shipton Court, founded the
Lady Reade Educational Foundation Charity. It will have its 200th birthday next year in
2011. The purpose of this charity is to provide money to assist students, who have
finished secondary education and are entering higher learning, with the purchase of
books or other educational materials. Grants are available to students who are resident
in Shipton, Milton, Bruern, Lyneham, Leafield or Ramsden, as these villages comprised
the ancient parish of Shipton-Under-Wychwood at the time the charity was originally
During 2009 we received applications for a total of 7 grants, 3 from Shipton, 3 from
Milton, and 1 from Leafield. This number is three less than last year, which is slightly
surprising considering the economic climate of 2009. There was a wide range of
specialist subjects the students who applied were studying, they included: Business
Studies, Physical Education (with a view to teaching) and Beauty therapy at NVQ level.
All seven applicants were given £100 each.
The balance in the bank as of the 31st of December 2009 was £1,587.89, which was only
£138 more than we had in the bank at the end of 2008. The present balance is £723.73.
During 2009 we gratefully received £300 from Shipton Parish Council, £300 from St.
Mary‟s Church Shipton, and £100 from Milton Parish Council.
2009 was a time of recession and in The Wychwoods there are a great many competing
charities wanting to raise funds. The committee has scheduled a meeting for October to
discuss our fund raising efforts, because we have targeted some new sources of funds,
and hope to widen our appeal to more diverse groups and individuals.
13. Report of the Shipton under Wychwood Village Hall and Recreation Field
Charity: Mr. Gordon Halliday:
After 15 years as Chairman of the Trustees John Hartley decided to step down. John not
only led the Trustees in a quiet unassuming way but was always around the Hall doing
jobs that were necessary in a quiet unassuming way. He remains a Trustee for which we
are grateful. Paul Chantry is the new Chair.
It is good to Report that all the activities aimed at involving the young and old continue to
flourish. Malc‟s Cafe has become a regular meeting place for local gossip on a Monday
morning. It is also pleasing to report that the Local Evergreens have reformed thanks to
the dogged persistence of Malcolm Cochrane. In response to demand, the Guides now
have introduced a Senior Section.
Sporting activities for the young start with Bouncing Balls for under threes, and progress
with Tennis and Badminton. Thanks to Jean Clues for her tireless devotion in coaching
young badminton players, who have had considerable success in local competitions.
One of the major successes in 2009 was the introduction of The Witchwood School of
Rock. This provides the opportunity for children as young as six to write, perform and
video their music. We have to thank Lee, our hall manager for driving this initiative which
involves up to 60 children. Some are performing in a musical written by Lee David v
Goliath being performed at the Corn Exchange Witney at the end of April. They have
also been asked to perform in some local schools. The rock school has been so
successful that they are now starting in Chipping Norton and Witney.
The Hall continues to be a popular venue for parties, weddings and dances, and it is
only when you hear compliments from these hirers that we are reminded what a good
facility we have.
The Trustees try to run the Hall as a small business and Lee is now set objectives for
improving Income and Usage and as the result of his efforts the Hall made a profit in
We are also trying to pay our part in the environment. To save electricity we have
introduced Infra red switching in parts of the Hall and we are investing in Ground Source
Heat Pumps. We were successful in obtaining a grant for 50% of the costs but it will cost
the hall approximately £25000, but we believe this will be saved in energy costs over a
period of 15 years.
The Trustees continue to review the facilities to ensure we maintain a high standard, and
we always welcome any suggestions for improvements. We also welcome anyone who
would like to become a Trustee to ensure we continue to enjoy this great facility.
14. Reports from Wychwood C of E Primary School; Mr. Duncan Spense:
Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the Annual Parish Meeting.
This has been another extremely busy year in school and this report can only provide a
snapshot of school life.
The school roll at present stands at 271, including part-time children in the Foundation
Stage Unit. As in previous years we have two classes in the Foundation Stage Unit, plus
a small group of part-time children, three classes in Key Stage 1 and six in Key Stage 2.
Class teachers are supported by teaching assistants, who also run “Intervention
Programmes” to give extra support to children in Literacy. We are constantly keeping the
effectiveness of these programmes under review.
Our attendance figure for 2008-09 was 95%.
The plans we drew up to improve the premises in 2009-10 have been realised: these
have included putting new school signs at the front of the school; refurbishing the
children‟s toilets; resurfacing the Quiet Area to provide an all-weather surface; improving
security at the school; replacing the hall floor; and improving access for the disabled.
Walk to School Week:
We will continue to encourage children to adopt healthy lifestyles and help to alleviate
the parking problems at the front of the school by taking part in the annual Walk to
School Week in May.
Role of the school in the community:
We have close links with local churches and library. Our Year 6 children visit The Day
Care Centre at least twice in the year to entertain the elderly and talk with them, and
they also entertained the residents of The Old Prebendal at Christmas. We support the
wider community: this year the children raised £624 for Children in Need, £430.60 for
Helen and Douglas House, and £600.11 for the victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster.
Cherubs continue to run their breakfast and after school club on our premises. This year
we have run more after-school activities for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children
than ever before. These have included Tag Rugby, Netball, Craft, Computer Xplorers,
Story-Making, Afternoon Tea Club, Pottery, Technology, Choir and Gardening.
Our PTA continues to work hard to raise funds for the school and are organising a
Summer fete with a circus theme on 19th June. Members of the PTA and other parents
keep our swimming pool operating smoothly.
Last year we achieved Healthy Schools status for healthy eating, physical activity,
student participation and voice, and our curriculum.
Our School Council is made up of a boy and a girl from each class, who are elected by
their peers. The Council works to improve the school. This year they have helped to
write a Wychwood School Charter as part of Anti-Bullying Week, improve the playground
and play equipment, and to raise funds to install a trim trail on the field.
Initiatives this year:
1 Assessment for Learning: we have been one of twelve schools in Oxfordshire
who were chosen to be part of the Moving on with AfL initiative in which we have
worked closely with a Local Authority consultant.
2 Learning Platform: we have started to use the Virtual Learning Environment,
3 SAP: we are introducing a new finance system, supported by the local Authority.
4 E-mail: we are introducing a new e-mail system, once again supported by the
5 Our school website has been overhauled this year and gives parents and the
public a good picture of life in school.
Academic and other achievements: these are many, but include:
1 Our results at the end of Foundation Stage were once again outstanding, being
among the best in the county. Key Stage 1 results were good, as were results at
the end of Key Stage 2, although these dropped last year, mainly due to mobility
factors. We expect this year‟s Key Stage 2 results to be very good once again.
2 A range of sports teams again successfully entered competitions and events.
3 Many children benefited from being involved in partnership and West Oxfordshire
sports events, including a Year 1 Dance Festival, Year 2 Ultra Olympics, a Year
5 and 6 Indoor Athletics tournament, and a Year 6 Hockey competition.
4 Many children have been learning musical instruments, including cello, violin,
guitar, trumpet and cornet.
5 Our School choir sang in the Oxfordshire Festival of Voices in Dorchester Abbey.
6 A group of violin and cello players performed in the Chipping Norton Music
Festival, receiving a good report.
7 All our Year 3 children have had the opportunity to learn the violin as part of the
Oxfordshire Music Service‟s VIP (Vocal and Instrumental Programme).
8 Christmas musicals were performed in Shipton church for parents and families.
9 A visit from the Witchwood school of Rock resulted in the whole school writing
and recording their own rock song!
10 We held a Technology Day in March, during which all the children were set
challenges which differed according to age.
11 The Wild Waste bus visited school for a week: children learnt about recycling and
other environmental issues.
12 To coincide with World Book Day we held a Book Fair for which we received
£640 in commission; this was split between classes.
13 We hold regular Friday morning achievement assemblies in which children‟s
effort and achievements are recognised. Classes also present class assemblies
in which they share some of the work they have done.
Finally, as I will be leaving the school in July after eight years as headteacher, I would
like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and contribution to the
school. I am proud that the school has grown in strength over the last few years and am
confident that it will continue to develop into an outstanding school under a new
15. Other Matters for Discussion;
a) The Wild Garden:
Mike Watson gave a report on the acquisition of the Wild Garden on behalf of the
Wychwood Wild Garden Management Committee.
In February 2009 the present owner closed the Wild Garden to the public due to damage
and dog fouling. He then suggested that the community might wish to purchase and take
on the responsibility of running the Wild Garden. After an exchange of correspondence,
it was agreed to look at the feasibility of purchasing and managing the garden and in
July 2009 an ad-hoc committee was formed to progress this.
Open meetings in each of the Wychwood villages between October and December were
attended by over 200 people and general support for them project was obtained. A not-
for-profit company was formed and received charitable status at the end of December.
The task has been to raise the £50,000 for the purchase price a further £20,000 for
essential initial work on safe access and £7,000 a year to cover the running costs.
Initial work has started on the outline of the management plan following guidance from
the Woodlands Trust, Oxfordshire Garden Trust and others. The aim is to develop the
framework and the options for the plan, but to await further consultation with the local
community before firming up on the details. The management plan will allow us to both
confirm the annual maintenance costs and allow us to consider further grant applications
for specific restoration and conservation work.
Many residents ask how we will control dogs once the garden is reopened. The answer
is that we won‟t, you will! We will be looking to every dog owner who uses the garden to
exercise due control over their dog and to clean up afterwards and we will expect every
other user to help monitor and enforce this.
b) Play Area Project - Cllr Malcolm Cochrane
Members of the Sub-Committee are Max Askew, Debbie Whitehouse, Lisa Munro and
myself. We have raised enough money to start selecting equipment for the play area.
Members of the Committee have been touring play areas to record the most popular
pieces of equipment and attending seminars and exhibitions of play equipment. The
whole concept of play areas have changed. It is no longer just about equipment but also
about “social interaction” so there will be more self created fun. For instance picnic
tables and seats, mounds to run up and down, trails, fruit bushes in the hedges and a
dragon made out or tyres. We hope to start erecting equipment in this September.
c) Police activity: PCSO Krysten Tyrer:
We have had 37 reported crimes in Shipton-under-Wychwood from:
1 April 2009 to 1 April 2010
5x Criminal Damage to Vehicle
Last year we had 61 reported crimes in Shipton-under-Wychwood from:
1 April 2008 to 18 April 2009
17x Criminal Damage
We have also had reports of inconsiderate parking in the village, for example parking
opposite driveways in very narrow roads, making it difficult for people to turn out of their
driveways. Also keep in mind that emergency services might need to go down these
roads! There are also the ongoing parking problems at the school. The industrial site
next to the school has erected a large sign asking parents at school drop off and pick up
times to please not park in their entrance. Please park more considerately! This is still
Small things that you all do on a daily basic can reduce crime in your village. For
example remove all valuables from your vehicles and always lock your cars when your
back is turned. Always be vigilant and report anything you regard as suspicious. It would
also be helpful if you could record details such as vehicle make, model, colour and
registration and/or a description of any suspicious persons.
Summer is on its way at last, nights are getting longer and Anti-social behaviour
normally comes along with it. Please keep your eyes open for any anti-social behaviour
which could also lead to some mindless criminal damage. If this is happening in Shipton-
under-Wychwood please let Thames Valley Police know at the time by ringing 0845 8
And finally, remember to lock, stop, chain and check:
LOCK - both front and back doors, even when at home.
STOP - if you‟re not expecting anyone look through a window or spy hole first.
CHAIN - if you decide to open the door, put your chain on first and keep on while you‟re
CHECK – double check their identity and only let someone into your home that you are
sure is genuine. If in doubt, keep them out!
There being no other questions the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.00pm.