Minutes of the Sibford Gower Parish Council Annual Parish Council Meeting held in Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School on Thursday, 17th May 2018

Parish Cllrs David Allen, Roger Mallows, Hugh Pidgeon, Tony Skowronski.
Seven local residents and the Clerk.

 Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman
Proposed by Cllr David Allen and seconded by Cllr Tony Skowronski.  it was resolved that Cllr Hugh Pidgeon be elected as Chairman.
Proposed by Cllr Hugh Pidgeon and seconded by Cllr Skowronski.  It was resolved that Cllr David Allen be elected as Vice Chairman.

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 16th April 2018 were approved and signed.

The meeting covered a number of topics including the regular headings of Financial and Planning matters, and matters arising from the previous meetings of the Parish Council on 18th April and the annual Parish meeting on the 30th May.  During the review of matters arising from the recent Parish Council meeting, the Chairman went out of his way to say how fortunate all of us were to have the Town Estates charity in the village, whose report at that meeting had detailed the very extensive and generous support the charity continued to provide the local community.

The meeting  spent some time on the importance of the Council developing its relevance as a forum for village residents to reflect together on matters of importance to them. The four councillors agreed to make contact and get involved with the village’s organisations and societies, based on an initial list taken from the Sibfords website. 

Updating The Sibfords website
The Councillors also resolved to update the SGPC entries on the Sibfords website, modelled on the excellent precedents set by the Ferris Council (Cllr Allen committed to actioning this in w/ commencing August 18th).  By way of transition, the Clerk will be asking Tony More to continue in his current liaison role with the website until the new web page has been developed, with a view to the new Clerk maintaining the web page, assisted by Cllr Allen if appropriate.

The appointment of a new Clerk
The process for seeking and appointing a new Clerk was discussed. Members of the Council were reminded of the services of the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils on whose website the vacancy will be advertised, along with the Sibfords website.  The OALC offers specific advice on the appointment protocols to be observed.  Councillors were mindful of employment, and the need to take advice on terms and conditions, and it was agreed that the Chairman would review OALC web content and recommend whether a meeting with an OALC advisor was needed or not.

In the course of the conversation, Peter Hardman was commended and thanked for his generosity and personal humility in taking a much-reduced salary during his long tenure as clerk, and Vanessa Mulley confirmed her interest in being considered for the post.

The co-option of a 5th Councillor
Councillors also addressed the co-option of a 5th councillor.  A call for interest was posted on the Sibfords website and the Sibford Scene, and Councillors will continue to foster interest over the coming months.  An e-mail address error will be corrected in the current edition of the Sibford Scene. The Council are seeking to co-opt someone complimentary to the elected membership with good links to village organisations and groups, and preferably of a younger generation.  Sibford Primary School PTA and others have been approached directly.

Planning matters
Three planning applications were put on record dealt with by the departing Council (As set out in Appendix A attached) and three new planning applications were received for consideration by the incoming Council (As set out in Appendix B attached). Conversation at the meeting addressed a number of contentious issues related to these, and the Chairman undertook to visit the relevant sites involved and report back to fellow Councillors.

Peter Hardman reported he continued to be in correspondence with the Oxfordshire County Council regarding tree root damage in the highway verge near the village pond.  There was further conversation dedicated to reducing associated and long-standing conflicts of interest in the area.  The Chairman and Cllr Mallows to meet to discuss further.

Financial Matters
A schedule of recent cheque signings
as set out in Appendix C all duly signed at the time of issue, was given retrospective sanction.  Proposed by Cllr Hugh Pidgeon and seconded by Cllr Roger Mallows.

Annual Financial Return for the year ended 31st March 2018
This has been prepared ready for submission to the External Auditor

The Members of the Parish Council acknowledged their responsibility for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control and that this was exercised during the financial year by the former Members of the Parish Council.

It was noted that since the resignation of the previous Parish Councillors none of the new Members currently have power to sign cheques.  It was agreed that the Clerk should prepare and submit a new mandate for the Council’s current bank (Bank of Ireland) and a mandate to require any two councillor signatures from four.  Proposed by Cllr Hugh Pidgeon and seconded by Cllr Roger Mallows.

A possible change of bank was deferred for now, pending further research on cost/benefits.

Peter Hardman was re-elected pro-tem as RFO.

Other matters
The Chairman reported that he had been asked by James Dobie as Monitoring Officer for Cherwell District Council to clarify a matter related to the formal complaint that Mrs Jackie Noquet made to Oswyn Murray, as the then Chairman of the Parish Council. He read the following statement, prepared by James Dobie:

“At the Parish Council Meeting on 9th October 2017, Oswyn Murray gave an apology to Mrs. Noquet. In that apology he stated that the Monitoring Officer had said in his decision letter ‘Whilst it would appear that any lack of interest in the property may be a consequence of over-pricing rather than evading potential purchasers ….etc. Whilst this assertion was discussed by him with the complainant and Councillor Murray, it is not the view of the Monitoring Officer and did not form part of his ultimate decision. I wish to place on record this correction”.

For action
A number of items were noted by Councillors for immediate action

  • The matter of installing a defibrillator - together with the possibility of installing it in the currently empty telephone box down towards the pond - and establishing a local support-team across both parishes of the village.
  • Getting a clear Privacy Policy statement published before the 25th of May in relation to data held on local residents, primarily of personal e-mail addresses involved in correspondence.
  • The restoration of an informal bi-annual meeting of local parish councillors in the area.
  • The Chairman and Cllr Skowronski to attend the Cherwell Liaison Meeting on 20.6.18
  • Establishing new e-mail addresses for councillor and officers of the Council.

Future location of Parish Meetings
There was some discussion at the meeting of an alternative proposal to relocate meetings to the Village Hall.  This was deferred, on the understanding that future meetings can continue to be held in the IT Room of the School, which those present appreciated.  Peter Hardman to verify.


Next meeting
The next meeting of the Parish Council is now set for Monday, 17th September in the Sibford Gower Primary School and at the new time of 7.30 pm

There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman thanked all present for attending and closed the Meeting at 9.45 pm.


Appx A to Minutes of SGPC Meeting – 17th May 2018

Planning Applications
Since the previous Meeting, the following planning applications had been considered:-

No.18/00550/F    Stonewalls, Bonds End Lane, Sibford Gower   OX15 5RT        M. Smales

Erection of singe storey extension to replace single storey extension

No comment

No. 18/00640/F   Land at Tyne Hill Barn, Tyne Hill,   Sibford Ferris OX15 5AD       Mr & Mrs Daniells

The formation of a new private driveway from Sibford Road using an existing access to serve a residential property

No comment                                                                                                             

No. 18/00523/F   Wisteria Cottage, Street Through Burdop, Burdrop   OX15 5RQ        Mrs S Davies

Single storey side extension with associated alterations

No comment

No. 18/00616/F   Muddle Barn Farm, Colony Road,  Sibford Gower OX15 5RY   Mr & Mrs Besterman

Variation of Condition 2 (Plans) of 16/01563/F and Appeal ref: APP/C3105/W/17/3173098

No comment (See Chairman’s final address at the Annual Parish Meeting of 30.5.18)


Appx B to Minutes of SGPC Meeting – 17th May 2018

New Planning Applications
The following planning applications were received in time for the meeting:-

No 18/00793/F Muddle Barn Farm, Colony Road, Sibford Gower OX15 5RY  Mr and Mrs Besterman

Variation of condition 2 (plans) of 16/01563/F (Appeal Reference – APP/C3105/W/17/317098) – minor material amendments involving alterations to the design of the replacement dwelling as well as the construction of a replacement building.  Comments by 01.06.18

No 18/00759/F  Parsons Barn Farm, Shutford Road, Sibford Ferris OX15 5AD  S.G.White

Retrospective – Commercial change of use of a former agricultural building (subsequentially equestrian) to B8 storage use and associated external parking of commercial vehicles in connection with the business occupier (Gentlevan Removals).   Comments by 04.06.18

No 18/00753/F  Coppers, Pound Lane, Sibford Gower, OX15 5RR  Mr and Mrs A Tindsley

Garden store, gym and greenhouse building.    Comments by 04.06.18


Appx C to Minutes of SGPC Meeting – 17th May 2018

Detail of Cheques issued

Date              Chq No.       Amount                Payee                                     Purpose

08.04.18    328     £ 40.00    Oxon Computers               Attention to Clerk’s computer

27.04.18    329     £253.20   Thomas Fox Land             Mowing C’yard

                    330     £100.00   Sibford Ferris PC               Share of burial fee

03.05.18    331     £  60.00   Lovesey & Son                  Mowing

09.05.18    332     £407.92   P B Hardman                     Clerk’s expenses