Sibford Gower Parish Council report of the meeting on Monday,16th April 2018

There were present all Parish Councillors, seven local residents and the Clerk (Peter Hardman). The Chairman pointed out that the apparent decrease of 13.6% in the parish precept was due to greater demands by other service providers rather than any reduction in the actual precept.

He reported that this would be the last full meeting under his chairmanship, with the new Parish Councillors taking office after the Parish Council election date of 3rd May 2018. However, he will be chairing the start of next Parish Council Meeting on 17th May and the Annual Parish Meeting on 30th April 2018. He thanked the Parish Councillors who had been in office during his ten years as Chairman for their support and involvement with Parish Council matters, and the indefatigable Clerk.

Financial Matters: Grass cutting and Mowing: the County Council’s decision to mow only once a year means that the Parish Council is having to take on more cuttings. It was agreed to arrange for new contracts for the churchyard, the Millennium Field and the verges on the same terms respectively with Thomas Fox Landscaping, WC & EF Lovesey & Son, and N R Prickett.

Planning Matters: Bishop Blaize: the Appeal documents against Refusal re the change of use from A4 to C3 (ACV Listed) were considered in detail, and it was agreed to draft a short reply in response, which would be circulated and cleared with the members of the incoming Parish Council.

Highways: Road surfaces are generally in a poor condition  because of the County Council’s lack of available financial resources. Pothole problems and the like should be reported to FixmyStreet.

Village Pond Area: Following recent rainfalls the underground water level has risen and the pond is now full. With regard to the pond wall which was damaged by contractor’s vehicles employed by Ryehill Farm, heavy workload has prevented the farmer from carrying out repair work but this will be done as soon as practicably possible. With regard to the land in front of The Old Rectory where Licence to plant is given by the County Council, Teresa Blacker – Highways Inspector (OCC) visited on 19th October 2017 and had informed the Parish Council that all is in order. It was agreed to add her emails to the dossier prepared by the Chairman on this issue, which appears as an Appendix to the minutes.

Telephone box: The Clerk reported that the telephone box in Main Street has still to be removed and he was informed by Cherwell District Council that the removal programme throughout the Country is progressing but there was no specific date for this particular box.

Annual Parish Meeting This will take place in the Village Hall on 30th April 2018 starting at 7.30pm. Date of next Parish Council Meeting This will be the Annual Parish Council Meeting and will take place on Thursday 17th May 2018 in the staff room of the Primary School starting at 8pm.


Public Participation:  parking of cars has led to the grass verge being worn away by the pond and the roots of the large Chestnut tree (planted for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee) being exposed. The Clerk was asked to consult the County Council’s tree officer. The historic decision of the PC to request alteration of the road sign markings at the entry to Bonds End Lane had never been acted on, but this cannot be pursued until the road surfaces are repaired, which will not happen until the County Council has more funds.