PC Minutes 28th March 2024

Minutes Uploaded on April 16, 2024



28th March 2024

7.30 pm in the Village Hall



Councillors Present

Lysette Nicholls (Deputy Chair – chairing the meeting)(LN)

Rita Sawrey-Woodwards (R S-W)

Peter Grant (PG)

David Auger (DA)

Dick Pears (DP)




At the start of the Meeting LN gave Nicky Brooks apologies and said that Nicky Brooks had resigned as a member of the Parish Council and Council chair with immediate effect. LN thanked Nicky for all her hard work over the years and indicated that her work for the village and the Parish Council would be marked.

Apologies and Councillors and others present. Cllr Dan Levy and Cllr Rylett sent their apologies – it had been indicated in advance to them that there was no need for them to attend. There was no contact or apologies from Cllr Goodwin who had been sent the agenda

Introduction to the conduct of meeting – LN read out the statement that appeared at the top of the agenda


Declarations of Interest – there were no declarations of interest


To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as being a true record of the proceedings – a copy having been circulated in advance to the Councillors – the Minutes were approved having been proposed, seconded and passed unanimously with a correction which is recorded below at 10


Opportunity for any parishioner to raise a matter of concern.

This will not normally be minuted fully but issues that are raised and which the PC consider need to be looked at will be noted in the minutes and appear on next agenda.

This is the only part of the meeting where members of the public are permitted to speak which will be limited in time and the Chair will determine how long each member of the public may speak for and each person shall not exceed three minutes

Martin Spurrier produced a card from Terry and his wife that had been received thanking the Parish Council and the village effusively for the thankyou party and the presents.



PC Business

Payments to approve – a list was circulated in advance of the meeting to councillors and the payments are shown below

Schedule of Payments – both payments made 8th March

Oxon Local Gov Association Annual Sub £168.00

Contributions to Grass Cutting in Church  £500.00

Current balances of accounts on 25th March £11,848 +


It was proposed that those payments should be approved and the proposal was seconded and passed unanimously



Review of actions or discussions from last meeting  – Report on Party for Terry – a happy occasion which brought considerable cheer to Terry and his wife.

Report on Flooding – High Cogges and by Pub – LN outlined that a record of a survey that had been carried by OCC could not be sent out to the relevant parishioners because it had become corrupted but in any event some parishioners felt there were new and additional issues and for those two reasons OCC had agreed to carry out another survey which when completed would be shared and a further meeting organised by LN with parishioners and OCC and WODC should they wish. DP had had a chance and positive meeting with two residents of High Cogges and reported.


There had been concern voiced about the content of a newsletter article relating to that issue and apologies had been sent and LN and Martin Spurrier would work on the issue.  


Chaser letter had been sent to Thames Water (response set out below) and DP working on what could be done next but is beginning to despair. DP contacted by another parish to help them with Thames Water and has responded. R S-W handing over chemical assessment of the Limb Brook to Rachael Murphy and LN expressed the thanks to both of them

NB was going to investigate a section 73 notice that had been received just before last meeting but in her absence and the lack of information about it, LN would liaise with NB about it.


Money sought by church to pay grass paid – see above in Item 5.

Crime in village DP had organised a visit by Thames Valley police to village on 12th April and on 25th March had met the officer who will be visiting.


NB had contacted OCC re No Fly Tipping signs on Barnard Gate and in the absence of NB further information will be sought.


Despite contacting Robert’s Courts office there was no news on when or if Vodaphone was going to do its survey – it will be chased after Easter.


Notice Board in High Cogges now erected and at least two residents there had expressed pleasure


12 Acre Farm Solar Farm – community money – Offer letters have now been found and contact established between Solar Farm developers (Low Carbon) and PC – PC will wait until end of April before chasing again about whether the farm has been commissioned and money payable. It was thought that the site has been commissioned.


Initially suggested resolution by the Clerk had been “Resolved —to include the future funding of the CA application (up to £5000) as a budget item in the allocation of the prospective solar farm windfall profits”

DP proposed that as the figure that had been suggested did not provide for VAT and because the timing and certainty of money from the solar farm was unclear there be an Amendment to that Resolution so that it read

Resolved —to include the future funding of the CA application (up to £5000 plus VAT) as a budget item in the allocation of the prospective solar farm windfall profits and or the balance of the Thames Water payment.


This proposal was passed subject to OALC approving they are happy with the proposal and use of windfall monies. The Amended resolution was passed and it was seconded and carried 4 to 1 subject to OALC’s approval.


One PC did not feel that money should be spent from PC funds on an issue that only benefited property owners and it was felt that clarity should be obtained.




Dix Pitt  – As this was put on the Agenda by NB – there was no information about it.


Meetings with Parliamentary Candidates

Contact has been made with the parliamentary candidates for our new Constituency (Woodstock and Bicester) save Labour’s candidate who had not yet been selected but will be contacted when he/she is and LN thought that there was now a Labour candidate. It was

suggested that meetings organised with each one separately on an informal basis (1) to establish contact so that when they are elected, we have some pre-existing relationship (2) to gather their position on e.g. housing, Thames Water, transport including the railway line and to do it before election is called. The suggestion was agreed.


Update on conservation area application, result of meeting with WODC on 20th March  – Report on the Meeting with WODC, Graham Keevil – the heritage consultant, Ken Brooks, Gary Nicholls and Martin Spurrier of the PC CA steering group – to discuss the terms of the draft letter of instruction as well as the possible extent of the area covered by CA. It was felt by all that it was a positive meeting with constructive purpose.


Item 11 on the minutes of the February meeting was re-visited because there were contradictions and inaccuracies. A document called Item 11 had been circulated to the PC in advance highlighting the problems and it required an amendment to a resolution that had been passed. The resolution that had been passed in February was that “the PC agreed to a 3 person working group being set up to progress the possibility of applying for CA status” and DP proposed it should be amended to read “the PC agreed to a 3 person working group continuing to progress the conservation area application.”

This was proposed, seconded and carried unanimously



Parish Council Elections and Notice given – Notices for all three elections put on village website and the two village noticeboards in advance of the due date – on the website from 19th May and on the noticeboards from 22nd May. DA and R S-W had both indicated some time ago that they would not be standing for election and they were both thanked for their work over the past years since their election.



Planning  – Planning Appeal received for Land South East Of Oxford Hill, Witney – 20/02654/OUT  –

Outline planning application for the erection of up to 450 dwellings together with associated open space and green infrastructure

This application had been refused but appeal lodged by trustees and appeal going to inspector. Discussion about the reasons for the initial refusal action and further discussion about way forward

WING –  Windrush Infrastructure Neighbourhood Group  – prelim propositions prepared by the Group had been circulated in advance and the parish was represented on that group by NB and Ken Brooks and they were prepared to continue to act

Footpath applications by OCC  – a document had been circulated in advance  – Route 11 document –  to inform the PC of the performance by OCC of their statutory obligations under Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 section 53 which simply imposes on a local authority a requirement to keep a definitive map of paths, byways etc. in this case the footpath from Tar Wood Lodge to the Stanton Harcourt/Cogges road and their conclusion from the mapping evidence that it is a footpath and no more


Leak to the Village Hall roof, repairs, resetting alarm and claim on insurance – There was a meeting between village hall committee and NB and KB and it has been decided that there won’t be an insurance claim but the village hall will pay for the repairs.


Power outages –DP would put out an email informing village with as much information as he has been able to gather.



Opportunity for any County Councillor and / or District Councillor to update the Parish Council on any matter of relevance or concern  – There was no issue brought to PC’s attention


Date of next meeting – 25th April 2024


Points of information – Traffic calming email 27th March from Nick Blades of OCC

“Just to keep you in the loop, following your informal consultation with local residents last year, the formal consultation on the proposed South Leigh traffic calming is due to take place between 3rd April and 3rd May.  The formal consultation notices will be placed in the local newspaper, uploaded onto the council website ( and letters will also be sent to local residents.

Once the consultation period is over the responses received will be reviewed and will inform a cabinet member decision on the proposed scheme.  Delivery and funding for the traffic calming would also still then be subject to the Access to Witney Scheme gaining all its final approvals/consents.”


Response 27th March from Richard Aylard – Thames Water who retired on that day but he has given DP details of successor and says

“I am sorry not to have replied sooner to your questions about the sewage treatment works.  We had been hoping to have clarity about the next stage of our draft business plan by now, which would have enabled us to send a full reply.  However, we are anticipating significant changes to the draft plan following the current review by regulators and Gov’t, and will update you as soon as we have clarity.”





13th April 2024