Dorchester-on-Thames Parish Council
The Monthly Meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Village Hall on Wednesday
14th April 2010 commencing at 8.05 p.m. at the conclusion of the meeting organised by
The Chairman, Cllr K Bryan, presided; present were Cllrs. Maurice Day, Stuart Gibbons,
Chris Hill, Margot Metcalfe, Jenny Nudds, and Mark Stevenson with G Russell in
attendance. Also present were County Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale and District Cllr John
Cotton and one resident.
1 Apologies for absence
Apologies were accepted from Cllr Mark Williams who had another commitment.
2 Declarations of Interest
Cllrs Margot Metcalfe and Maurice Day declared a personal interest in Planning
Application P10/W0288 24 Manor Farm Road because both are friends with the
3 Minutes of the Meeting held 10th March
The Minutes as previously circulated were approved and signed as a true record.
4 Matters Arising from the Minutes
a. Copies of the photograph taken by Frank Blackwell prior to the previous Parish
Council meeting have been received for each councillor and the Clerk. The Council
agreed to order a framed copy of the photograph in A4 size which could be displayed in
the Village Hall, subject to the approval of the Hall Committee, and to ask Frank
Blackwell to produce a version that would be suitable for publication on the village
website. The Council was most grateful to Mr Blackwell for his work.
b. More forms from residents wishing to be involved in the Good Neighbours Scheme
have been received bringing the total now to 42.
c. The Clerk reported that SODC has agreed to supply a litter bin for the Meadside lay
by. The Parish Council has agreed to pay for the purchase and installation of a dog
hygiene bin at the same location.
d. Cllr Stuart Gibbons is dealing with the arrangements for the Parish Council’s display at
the Village Fete on 10th July.
e. It was agreed that during the Annual Parish Meeting on 5 th May the Neighbourhood
Watch service would be allocated time for a presentation. It was also agreed that the
Village Carbon Project could provide a static display.
f. The Council noted that new gravel has been laid around the perimeter of The Manor
and this has been sufficient to make good the surface of the surrounding paths.
g. The Clerk will talk to Mr and Mrs Witcombe about disabled access to the Post Office,
having first ascertained the conditions of the relevant legislation.
5. District Councillor's Report
District Cllr John Cotton reported on aspects of the re-organisation in staffing at SODC
that followed the policy of sharing services with the administration of the district of The
Vale of The White Horse.
The Parish Council asked Cllr Cotton to find out if there is any possibility of improving
the speed of the broadband connection that serves Dorchester, possibly using technology
provided by a company such as Rutland Telecom. Cllr Cotton said that he would make
enquiries and report back.
6 County Councillor's Report
County Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said that all of the County’s Highways works were
being handed over to a new contractor; several weeks must be allowed for this.
There have been no further developments regarding the waste site at Sutton Courtenay
but Viridor has put in a new application for the site at Ardley.
County Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale reported that she has been appointed deputy leader of
the Council’s group of ‘backbench’ councillors and has also been given special
responsibility as the County’s ‘Heritage Champion’. She also reported that relationships
with the group that organises the bikers’ meeting on Monday evenings are proving
constructive even if there continue to be some problems to solve.
NatWest Current account at 30 th March £16,674.53
Nat West Reserve Account at 29th January £27,745.09
The Clerk reported that Nat West could provide a Bonus Saver Account with Bonus Rate
amounting to 1.05% interest (compared with the present Reserve Account interest rate of
0.05%) provided that no more than one withdrawal is made during a quarter.
Rather than proceed with this, however, the Council said it would like to explore the
benefits of moving to the Co-Operative Bank which would include being able to use
Dorchester on Thames Post Office as the local branch for counter transactions.
The following accounts were approved for payment:
SODC (Cemetery business rates 2010/11) £129.10
Thames Water (Sports Ground & Allotments £67.38
Peter Keable (Recreation Ground – perimeter hedges) £152.75
Oxfordshire Rural Community Council annual sub. £30.00
Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils annual sub £32.00
David Joseph – repairs to bench seat opposite Plough House £111.96
Dorchester Village Hall (room hire 2009/10) £138.00
GGD Russell – Clerk’s salary £470.82
Geoff Willis Handyman – 5 weeks (March £214.20) £214.20
PAGE (Contribution towards campaign expenses) £950.00
The draft Financial Risk Management protocol is being circulated and has not yet been
seen by every member.
8 Correspondence and Other Business:
a. A quotation has been received for rabbit proof fencing but at £6-£10 plus VAT
per metre the cost of this is prohibitive. Alternative forms of control will be explored.
b Village website; the Clerk will ask Simon Ratliff, the webmaster, for his thoughts
about a new look for the village website.
P10/W0281 Rosemary 7 Watling Lane
The planning group had no objections and a return of ‘No strong views’ was sent.
Cllrs Margot Metcalfe and Maurice Day declared a personal interest in the following Application because
both are friends with the applicant. They took no part in the Council’s decision.
P10/W0288 24 Manor Farm Road
Single storey extensions. Front aspect comprising of utility and entrance porch, with car
port to side and bedroom to rear. Solar panel to roof with active water catch system for
brown water usage.
The planning group had no objections and a return of ‘No strong views’ was sent.
The Clerk has informed some neighbours in Monks Close about this application and the
Council had asked the planning officer to ensure that all those properties close to the site
had been informed of the proposals.
b. Other Planning matters,
i. Queenford Lake: The Clerk and Cllr Stevenson had corresponded but in the end
agreed that there was little point in trying to take the objections further. In general terms,
however, it was felt that the Parish Council’s concerns about the planning department’s
apparent lack on control over the development of this site over the years should be
brought to the attention of SODC’s Head of Planning and also of District Councillor
Angie Patterson, the Cabinet member with responsibility for planning.
ii. The Chequers, Bridge End; pre-planning documentation has been submitted to
SODC for the addition of a garage and copied to the Parish Council for information.
iii. The following planning decision were noted:
P10/W0156/RET 1 Forge Cottages, Malthouse Lane; Demolition of existing flat roof
shed and erection of new pitched roof storage building.
Planning permission granted 11 th March.
R3.0027/10 Dorchester St Birinus C of E School; New staffroom and head teacher's
office and associated internal alterations.
Planning permission has been granted by the County Council.
10 Abbey View Meadow car park
The Chairman reported that Berinsfield Community Business has been given the go
ahead to spray the area in order to kill off weeds and then to roll the field and sow new
grass seed. It is hoped that car parking can be permitted by the end of May. Wording for
limitation of liability signage will be investigated.
11 Parishes Against Gravel Extraction (PAGE)
Cllr Mrs Margot Metcalfe had represented the Parish Council at the recent County
Council briefing meeting that had been held in Benson. She said that there still seems to
be considerable confusion about the form that the consultation process is taking. She
hopes to have more details for the Parish Council’s meeting in May.
12 Appeal from Historical Society: ‘Lessons from History’.
It was agreed to offer the Historical Society a loan of up to £1,000, payable when the
project was definitely going ahead, to be repaid out of the sales proceeds of the book.
13 Any Other Urgent Business
a. Cllr Mrs Metcalfe commended the prompt action taken by the Police after she had
reported the presence of an untaxed Land Rover parked in Manor Farm Road.
b. Cllr Stuart Gibbons reported fly-tipping at the top of Oxford Road and
unauthorised use by vehicles of the pathway beyond the recycling unit. He asked if some
temporary barrier could be placed across the road at this point, pending the replacement
of the barrier. The Clerk will again contact Highways.
c. Cllr Gibbons told the Council that the Sports Club is thinking of adding a ramp to
the front of the pavilion to make it easier to get the site screen into the store. The Council
agreed that it did not want to see any permanent alteration to the pavilion access although
there was no objection to something that was only used when required.
d. Cllr Mrs Jenny Nudds said that the footpath sign by Overy Mill is missing and she
commented upon the poor state of the surface of Watling Lane.
Meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.