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«Issue 164 Winter 2015/16 THE COURIER Produced by J.F.N.Packford No. 164 Published quarterly Winter 2015/16 Copy date for Spring Issue Saturday 26th ...»

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Issue 164

Winter 2015/16


Produced by J.F.N.Packford

No. 164 Published quarterly Winter 2015/16

Copy date for Spring Issue Saturday 26th March 2016

(to Jem Packford, Lower Woolstone. Tel: Uffington 820631 or

e-mail jem_packford@lineone.net)


The Council

Uffington Parish Council has six councillors. They serve four year terms, with

elections next due in 2019. The composition of the Parish Council is now:

Mr Simon Jenkins (Chair) - Tel. 01367 820776 Mr Graham Banks (Vice Chair) - Tel. 01367 820379 Mrs Fenella Oberman - Tel. 01367 820230 Mrs Karen Pilcher - Tel. 01367 820978 Mr Mike Oldnall - Tel: 01367 820369 (Vacancy) Clerk, Mrs Julia Evans - Tel: 01235 833466

Councillors may be contacted on the above telephone numbers or by e-mail to:

parishcouncil@uffington.net The Council was very pleased to welcome Mike Oldnall to his first meeting as a new Councillor on 14 December.

The Council meets on the second Monday of the month in the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, at 7.30pm. A meeting is not always held in August. All residents are welcome to attend these meetings and raise any issues troubling them; we will make it easy for you by having an ‘open forum’ session early in the meeting.

The agenda is published on the Parish Council notice at least three clear days before the meeting.

Casual Vacancy. John Helsby resigned from the Council at the end of October, due to an increased workload as a teacher and the demands of family life. John had been on the Council for nearly 10 years and all residents will be grateful to him for this long period of service to the village. That does however mean that, at the time of writing, we still have a vacancy; we have to utilise the following

procedure in order to fill it:

When a councillor resigns the Clerk notifies the District Council.

We then post a notice advertising a casual vacancy and advising people that they can request a poll to elect a new councillor.

The notice must remain in place for 14 days. If during this period a minimum of 10 people request a poll from the District Council then an election will be held within 60 days.

If no poll is requested, or insufficient people request a poll, then the Parish Council is free to co-opt a new councillor.

The Parish Council is NOT obliged to consider the claims of candidates who were unsuccessful at the last election.

Steps 1 to 3 above have been completed for this vacancy and so if there is anyone who would like to join the Council or would like further information on the position of Parish Councillor, please contact any member of the Council, and/or attend one of the monthly meetings. To formally apply for the position please write to the Clerk (e-mail applications are acceptable). Your application must confirm your eligibility for office. To be eligible you must be over 18 years of age; be a registered elector; and have lived or worked in the parish (or within three miles of the parish) for at least 12 months prior to the date of your application.

Oxfordshire Together This is the unlikely title for the exercise by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) to reduce its budget in response to Government funding reductions; this is ‘Austerity’. OCC say that savings of £292M have already been delivered or agreed for the period between 2010/2011 and 2017/2018, but they estimate they will need to save another £50M by 2019/2020. The huge increase in paid and seemingly unaccountable officials in recent years has removed the incentive to do things locally, so one of the ways in which they propose to save money is to give communities more control over local services, where they may be done more efficiently and more economically. This is another way of saying that if local communities (e.g. Uffington) do not take over some of these services, they will not be done at all. So the Parish Council is examining the options open for next financial year, particularly relating to services currently done by OCC Highways, like grass cutting on verges and keeping road junctions safe. At the time of writing, we are awaiting further information from OCC on the detail of what they do at present, and the funding that might be available.

After an interesting discussion at the Parish Council meeting on 14 December, we have decided that, in principle, and subject to the further information requested, we should take on responsibility for those matters which directly affect the village. It appears that the alternative would be for us to accept that public areas of the Parish and its surroundings might become increasingly derelict. This will be on the agenda for forthcoming Parish Council meetings and we will publish more information on the website and notice board when it becomes available.

In another area, we also know that OCC are likely to remove or very substantially reduce both the Dial-a-Ride service and the subsidies given to bus operators to provide bus services in otherwise unprofitable rural areas.

Final decisions on all these matters are due to be taken by OCC in February, when they set the budget for the forthcoming financial year.

Mobile Library Service The mobile library visits Uffington village hall on alternate Thursdays from 15:10-15.30pm, from 7 January 2016. The Area Manager for these library services has advised that for some time now there has been little or no use of this stop. Should this low level of use continue, they regret that they will have to discontinue the visits. However, in line with their policy to first try to increase awareness of the service, they have asked for this to be brought to the attention of residents; a poster will be displayed on the Parish Council notice board.


The Jubilee Field Spring Tidy This will take place on Saturday 12 March 2016, from 10.00am; all are welcome.

It would be helpful if you could bring normal gardening kit, e.g. gloves, light tools like rakes or secateurs. This will probably run on to Sunday 13 March, so if you can’t make Saturday, please try for Sunday at 10.00am.

Community-Led Plan The Community-Led Plan is based on the completion of a lengthy questionnaire by over 50% of households in Baulking, Uffington and Woolstone last spring.

The CLP Steering Group’s Report was distributed to all households in all three villages in the first week of December. Copies have also been sent to the County and District Councils and a number of surrounding villages.

The Report is a most impressive piece of work and will inform the life of all three villages and their respective Parish Council/Meetings for many years. A list of ‘Actions’ emerging from the Report has been accepted by Uffington Parish Council and a report of progress by the Council will be made available on the website and notice board from time to time.

Neighbourhood Plan The first public meeting to be held by the NP Steering Group is scheduled for

7.30pm on Thursday 21 January in the THMH. It is hoped that as many as possible of the residents of all three villages will attend; this will be the first of a number of consultations to seek your opinions on the scope and (later) the proposed terms of the NP.

Parking on Broad Street by the School Please do NOT park, for however short a period of time, on the zig zag lines outside the School; they are there for an important purpose - which is to make it possible for children going to School to enter the playground safely. It is a parking offence to park on these lines and you may be liable for penalties.

Unsafe parking outside the school at 3:15pm is a real issue, with cars parked right on the bend towards the Museum. If approaching from the Museum there is absolutely no way of knowing if the road is clear in the other direction.

Parents are reminded not to park beyond the church gate, towards the Museum and Fernham turn.

Major Planning matters

Since the last edition of the Courier, there is the following to report:

Station Road. Work continues on the development of 36 houses on the Station Road site. The Parish Council would like to thank local residents for their forbearance during this construction phase. It is not expected to be complete before the end of 2016, although a number of houses will have been offered for sale before then. The marketing name of the development is ‘Jack’s Lea’, however the development’s approved postal addresses will be ‘Jacksmeadow’.

This name was agreed by the Vale District Council and the developers with the Matthews family, who were one of only two owners of the site previously, over a period of several centuries. (See also the item on Section 106 contributions below).

Land west of Fawler Road. The proposal to build 30 houses by the developer, Gladman Developments, was refused by the District Council in early August.

Gladman’s appeal against this decision was notified to the Parish Council in early December, and all comments should have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol by 13 January. Guidance on how to comment on the appeal has been circulated by e-mail and placed on the Parish Council notice board. The Inspector’s decision is not anticipated for several months.

New houses in Uffington. The District Council has approved plans to build new houses in the gardens of The Laurels, on Broad Street, and at Shotover Corner Cottage.

Station Road Development Site - Section 106 contributions Planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, commonly known as S106 agreements, are a mechanism which makes a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, which would not otherwise be acceptable. They are focused on site specific mitigation of the impact of development, particularly the increased population. S106 agreements are often referred to as ‘developer contributions’.

As a result of generous agreements between the developers, the Vale District Council and the Matthews family, a number of organizations within the village are set to benefit once S106 contributions from this site become payable. This is not before the occupation of the 12th house, excluding those earmarked for social housing. The list below, which is a very simplified extract from a complicated legal document, shows the principal contributions to various organisations in the Parish of Uffington. Funds only become available following acceptance of an appropriate case by the District Council.

Parish contribution £100,000; Clubhouse contribution £15,822;

Cricket pitch contribution £2,246; Football pitch contribution £6,123;

Outdoor tennis contribution £7,808; Rugby pitch contribution £1,443 (1) Note (1): To be used for rugby pitches in the Parish or in Faringdon.

There are other contributions applicable to sports facilities in the vicinity (within 10 miles of the site), or, for example, specifically to be used for the swimming pool in Faringdon. Proper procedures have to be followed in applying to the Vale District Council for these contributions, and guidance and applications forms can be found on the Vale website. The Parish Council is considering what projects to put forward for funding out of the Parish contribution and would welcome constructive ideas; these should be sent to the Clerk at uffingtonpc.clerk@gmail.com. It is important to note that the above contributions are capital sums which cannot be used for repairs or maintenance.

It would be appreciated if the individuals who will be dealing with these contributions on behalf of the above organisations could make themselves known to the Parish Council and we will keep you in touch with our discussions with the Vale District Council.

For the avoidance of any doubt, there is another S106 agreement between the developers, Oxfordshire County Council and the Matthews family which covers developer contributions towards the infrastructure requirements of primary, secondary and special needs education, for Uffington children, amongst other matters.

Communications Village Web site. The new village website will replace the old one very early in January - possibly before this edition of the Courier is published. We would like to take this opportunity to note that the village is greatly indebted to John Henville for all his work over many years with the village website and for much sound advice as we have worked on this new site. The new website will be found at the same place as the old one at http://www.uffington.net/. It is in the ownership of the Parish Council, which will pay the hosting and support charges on behalf of the village. All existing information and links to other websites have been carried over to the new site, but some new features have been added and more can be added, and any incorrect information can be updated very easily.

PLEASE CHECK IT OUT. All who have posted information on the site in the past, for example on the Shops and Services page, are asked to check their entries for accuracy and notify any changes to the Clerk, Julia Evans, at uffingtonpc.clerk@gmail.com or parishcouncil@uffington.net E-mail notices. We have set up an e-mail distribution list which is used to publish notices of general interest to Uffington, Woolstone and Baulking, as and when they occur. If you would like to join it, please call 01367 820776 or send an e-mail with your own details to sjmjenkins@gmail.com. For data protection reasons, individual e-mail addresses are not disclosed.

Roadside hedges and ditches It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that pavements and sight lines are not obscured by the growth of vegetation; there are a few houses where hedges and plants have grown out over the pavement or road to a considerable extent. If the pavement or road are obscured by your hedge and it is held to have caused/contributed to an accident, you may be held liable. Please cut it back to the indicated edge of the road - this is usually clear but if you are unsure please contact the Parish Council.

If you would like some assistance in clearing ditches which are your responsibility of vegetation so that they run freely, please contact the Parish Council at uffingtonpc.clerk@gmail.com or: parishcouncil@uffington.net Fire Hydrants The Oxfordshire County Council water officer was in the village in November on a fire hydrant maintenance mission. Please be very careful not to damage any hydrants and marker posts, for example when clearing ditches or cutting hedges.

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