SOUTH LEIGH AND HIGH COGGES PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
22nd July 2022 at 19.30 in the Village Hall
- Dick Pears sent his apologies
- Declarations of interest – none
- The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as being a true record of the proceedings.
- Constitutional matters – Under a separate heading a parishioner raised a point that earlier minutes had recorded that any members of the parish council who are also on campaigning bodies within the village (this time the Conservation Area group) should resign from that group 2 weeks before any position was put to the village by such group. NB explained that in this case, had Dick been present at the meeting he would have declared an interest and not taken part in the discussion unless asked a specific question. NB will check wording a clarify the position.
- Opportunity for any parishioner to raise a matter of concern – there was a lengthy discussion over the Poll for Conservation Area. It was noted that the group and Martin Spurrier in particular had provided answers to all points raised over the WhatsApp group and met with any residents who had express view to give them further clarity.The main issue was that not all the houses could be included in the Conservation Area and it was felt that the split didn’t seem to be logical and was divisive. There were several other comments including:-
- -If the area was to go ahead it would increase the paperwork for landowners in particular exponentially.
- Only the houses within the conservation area should be polled. NB agreed to talk further with the other PC members outside the meeting and report back their view before the poll is reissued.
- Martin Spurrier reported that the group along with their consultant had looked again at the proposed area and were going to reissue the poll with amendments. It was pointed out that there has to be a balance between what we want and what we feel could be achieved. The poll will be reissued shortly and the people who have already voted will be able to vote again.
- Separately the issue to the new noticeboard for High Cogges was raised and it was agreed the LN would write to OCC to gain permission to place the board on their verge.
- Opportunity for any County Councillor and / or District Councillor to update the Parish Council on any matter of relevance or concern and report regarding other parishes. No District or County Councillor were in attendance, but LN updated the PC on the appeal on the Local Plan regarding the district housing supply which should stand at 5 years supply but has been recorded as only a 3.46 years supply. This puts more pressure on WODC to approve more planning applications and that developers can appeal any refusals. NB alerted the meeting that there was a meeting at St Leonards Hall in Eynsham on 29th of September run by Green TEA – Eynsham environmental group – there would be an opportunity to discuss energy saving tips
- Payment to Approve – NB reported that there had only been one request that was outside our budget and that was for Janet Soames to be able to buy further litter picking equipment. A sum of £25 was agreed and the Parish Council wanted to express their thanks to Janet for her hard work. Apart from that any invoices were as expected and included grass cutting and insurance. We still hold money granted to us for the Jubilee celebrations which will shortly be repaid to Martin Spurrier
- Recreational Field and Playground Update
- NB reported that the Estate had agreed on a very rough outline plan should we be in a position to go forward with our plans to update this area . They have agreed in principle that as well as a football pitch there was potential to re-site and re- equip the playground, to add some more hard-standing for car-parking, to replace the club house with a new one, to make some type of hard surface to be able to play games on – these are all in-principle matters and nothing has yet been decided as we are yet to get any funding. Adam Mumford (who was part of the team that originally set up the football club) said that the pitch was large enough to play an 11-a-side adult game, that there had been a report on South News Today on the previous evening saying about the shortage of pitches available particularly for girls’ teams and that teams were regularly having to pay £60 a session for the use of facilities. Rachel Murphy also said that the Witney Vikings were looking into the possibility of renting the pitch as it is now. It was agreed that NB would contact Adam to get details to aid funding applications and to show that there is a need for such a pitch that could not only be used by the village but be self-sustaining through rental to other clubs.
- A40 Dual Carriageway and Shores Green update
- NB reported on discussion held to date with OCC: namely
- Shores Green Access to Witney –providing Sound Barriers plus the already planned planting on the new on facing slip road on the north side of the A40 (close to High Cogges). Details to be discussed
- Signage to discourage rat-running through village – signage on A40- no mention of South Leigh, at the junction South Leigh will be mentioned but signage will say no entry except for access/weight limit – details to be further discussed
- Lighting on junction – specific fields of light and shielding to stop light spread
- Run-quiet road surface on the slip road
- 50mph speed limit – the speed is already due to be limited to 50mph on a significant part of the dual carriageway but we are discussing it be so for the bit in our parish
- Bus stop relocation and retention of our bus stop
- A good cycle/walking path from South Leigh and High Cogges to Cogges and Witney
- Dual Carriageway and Barnard Gate Roundabout
- As well as sound-proofing, extra planting and speed limit of 50mph
- OCC have promised their support in the application process for the closure of the spur of the Barnard Gate Roundabout that would lead to South Leigh – this would likely be by bollard. We will fight for the spur not to be built. If not we will ask for a no right-hand turn and no-entry sign.
-OCC have promised that we will be in the first tranche of the new 20mph speed limits being imposed throughout the county. This will only apply to areas that are already controlled to 30mph.
They have, after some reluctance agreed that there will be a need for traffic calming through the village – with a 20mph speed limit there will be no need to provide street lighting. The Parish Council feel that the most effective method would be chicanes and road humps – but the exact details will be talked through with parishioners and their views sought. NB said that its worth remembering that we probably we have to strike a balance between our dislike of road furniture and of speeding. There were several comments from the attendees all of which were acknowledged and taken on board as providing useful information
- Thames Water – In the absence of DP NB reported that the work on the sewage works on Lymbrook Close was now complete and the plant was up and running again. Thames Water had paid the Parish Council a community benefit of £25,000 and the Parish Council had agreed that each Lymbrook Close household (21 in total), from the entrance corner houses to the bottom of Lymbrook Close, should get a payment of £1000. This has now been completed. The remaining £4000 would be spent on either Lymbrook Close itself or on the Limb Brook. Monitoring the pollution levels would restart as soon as the flow of water in the Limb Brook is sufficient. Some residents had reported that there was still a very unpleasant smell coming from the plant -Thames Water has provided a recording sheet which has been passed to residents. Once those have been completed we will again get in touch with Thames Water – they have a duty to reduce smell from the effluent. However, until those forms are completed, our hands are tied. Residents are reluctant to complete them.
- The Conservation Area Poll – this was brought up earlier in the meeting please see above
- Emergency Plan and Generator – LN had produced a fully encompassing plan and then DP and PG have produced a summary for the more common events (flooding and electricity cuts) which details contact numbers and set up a team and outlines their responsibilities. We had already agreed the full plan at a previous meeting. The PC voted unanimously to accept the summary version as our day- to-day working document. We have been awarded a grant for a generator from SSEN – this will allow the village hall to act as our main emergency centre providing heat, power and warmth.
- Responses to Planning Applications
There are no new planning applications but we have been notified that two previous applications have been appealed (in different ways). It was agreed that although our initial comments stand, we will add to them as we feel necessary
The village hall committee have asked us to take on responsibility for the defibrillator – this was agreed
- Date of next meeting – to be advised.
- Any Other Business
-RESW advised that the old farm shed adjacent to the old railway line is dangerous and falling down – although not on a footpath it was agreed that LN would advise Eynsham Estate as the land owner.
-There are advisory signs through parts of the village advising that new/replacement telegraph poles are to be installed.
– LN who runs the village speed watch asked for more volunteers to enable her to restart this scheme – Heidi Meadows and Peter Grant both volunteered and although we are very grateful we still need more people.