Bloxham Parish Council Meeting - Monday 3 April 2017

at 7.30pm at St Mary's Parish Rooms, Bloxham

If you would like to download the pdf of the minutes, please click below.

Bloxham Parish Council Minutes 1 February 2016




PRESENT:   Chairman, Councillor Geoff Mollard; Councillors Mary Groves, Stephen Phipps, Gloria Lester-Stevens, Nick Rayner, Gillian Roberts, Sue Slater, Tom Smith, Andrew Taplin and Jenny Yates.


ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:  Theresa Goss (Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer), District Councillors Lynda Thirzie-Smart & Christine Heath, County Councillor Kieron Mallon, Nick King (Village Networks), Pam Beale (Butterfly Meadows Children’s Centre) and Matthew Ingall (Head Teacher at Bloxham Primary School).  There were no members of the public.


APOLOGIES:  John Groves BNDP Co-ordinator submitted his apologies.


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded the Councillors and the public that recording of the meeting was permitted.  However, she asked that should anyone wish to record the proceedings, could they please advise the Parish Council so that this could be facilitated.


123/15   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.


Resolved that the report be noted.


124/15   MINUTES – The minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2016 were taken as read and duly adopted and signed by the Chairman.


Resolved that the minutes be approved.


125/15   MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES 4 JANUARY 2016 – There were no matters arising.


126/15   VILLAGE NETWORKS – Nick King from South Northamptonshire Volunteer Bureau introduced to the Parish Council, the Village Networks lottery funded project.  Village Networks took professional expert into villages and gave residents free of charge advice and support for such things as computer training, volunteer training, debt management, advice about cheaper utilities and many other matters.


A recent survey revealed that for some people in rural communities, there was a sense of isolation and the lottery supported the idea of taking experts into hard to reach communities to help people on their doorstep.  Village Networks worked with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) and District Councils.   Nick also circulated to the Parish Council some further information on the project.


He reported that he would like to bring his Village Networks vehicle to Bloxham once a month on a Wednesday, in April, May and June and he would also be visiting other villages surrounding Banbury such as Deddington, Adderbury etc.  He could also make return visits if it was required.


There was also a community mini bus which was available for hire which included a driver. It was free of charge to use, but there would be charges to cover the running costs.




              Nick advised that the project had initially funded for 3 years, then funding was obtained again for another 3 years which started on 1 February 2015. There were no costs to receive the advice and it was all free and independent for people.


Nick also advised that he could attend small events in the village and also bigger events. He needed to park the vehicle where there was a good footfall.


The Chairman thanked Nick for his informative presentation and advised that if he wanted any further information or assistance from the Parish Council, he should contact the Clerk.


127/15   BUTTERFLY MEADOW CHILDREN’S CENTRE – County Councillor Kieron Mallon introduced Pam Beale and Matthew Ingall to the Parish Council.  He thanked the Resources Committee for its recommendation to donate £13,000 in 2016/2017 from the New Homes Bonus to the Centre and thanked the Parish Councillors for the other meetings which they had attended with regard to supporting the Centre.  He emphasised that without this funding from the Parish Council, the Centre would close in September 2016.


Councillor Mallon advised that it was fantastic that the School and the Governing Body were willing to support and develop Butterfly Meadow into a Centre that the whole village could use.  There was massive growth in the village and families who lived in Bloxham and those who needed advice and support, should be able to get it locally, without having to travel into Banbury or further afield.  The County Council was also cutting the bus services, therefore getting out of the village to obtain this type of advice, might be impossible for some people.


Councillor Mallon suggested that the points of clarification which had been asked by the Resources Committee could be answered in detail, at a further meeting between the Parish Council and the Centre.


              Funds were needed to pay for the day to day management of the site, which would allow a staff member to look at how the site could be developed in the future and also investigate grant funding, charitable funding and whatever else might be available.  The Centre currently had no reserves and no money to fall back on.


Many of the services could potentially be paid for by the customers, but in certain circumstances, those who could not afford to pay would still be able to attend the Centre.


These services could not be guaranteed and without the £13,000 from the Parish Council, the Centre would close.  Then once it was closed, it would be almost impossible to re-open again.


There was no Section 106 monies available for the School to use to support the Centre and the School did not have the funds of its own to keep it open.


Councillor Stephen Phipps asked that if the Parish Council provided the £13,000 to keep the Centre open, would professionals still attend and would these organisations then have to be paid.  Councillor Kieron Mallon reported that the most vulnerable cases would still be dealt with and the County Council would continue to meet its statutory duties but would withdraw the non-statutory services.  Therefore, the County Council would still use Butterfly Meadow for their statutory services and it might also introduce further statutory services at the Centre.


Pam Beale reported that she managed sixteen Centres and Butterfly Meadow was the most forward thinking and there was less risk with Butterfly Meadow being unsuccessful than anywhere else.


Matthew Ingall advised that with the £13,000 from the Parish Council, the services would be guaranteed for six months, but not beyond that six months (31 March 2017).


Pam Beale advised that currently the main services provided at the Centre were health services and on occasions, it had been used by the CAB. However, the staff at the Centre would now need to think differently to get more services into the Centre.


Matthew Ingall confirmed that the School would cover the maintenance costs, but could only afford to do so for the six months, until 31 March 2017.  Matthew also advised that the Centre would provide the Parish Council with its Business Plan, by June 2016 at the latest.


The Chairman thanked Matthew Ingall, Pam Beale and Councillor Mallon for attending the meeting and addressing the Parish Council.  At this point, Matthew and Pam both left the meeting.


Resolved that the report be noted.


128/15   RESIDENTS’ ISSUES – The Clerk reported that she had received a letter from Mrs S Myburgh asking the Parish Council whether it had any suggestions as to how the Bloxham WI could celebrate 70 years of the WI being in Bloxham.


The Councillors suggested that this could be linked with celebrations to mark the 90th Birthday of HRH The Queen and a village afternoon tea would a good idea.


The Parish Council also supported the suggestion from the WI that a commemorative bench could be placed in the village as part of the 70 year celebrations.  Councillors suggested that the additional bench could be placed in Jubilee Park.


              Resolved that:


  • the reports be noted; and
  • a letter be sent to the WI with the suggestion of an afternoon tea, also linked to the 90th Birthday celebrations of HRH The Queen and that the Parish Council supports the WI’s suggestion of a commemorative bench and that it be placed in Jubilee Park. Action TG


127/15   REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS – District Councillor Lynda Thirzie-Smart had circulated her report to the Parish Council prior to the meeting.


The Chairman highlighted his concern that there was a review of the Local Plan and this could result in more houses in the village.


Councillor Chris Heath reported that she had received some responses to the queries raised by the Parish Council and would forward them to Councillors Sue Slater and Jenny Yates.


County Councillor Kieron Mallon had no update since the last meeting.


Resolved that the reports be noted and Local Plan be referred to the Planning Committee for further discussion.  Action KM


128/15   PLANNING


  1. A report on the planning applications considered by the Parish Council’s Planning Committee and the decisions made by Cherwell District Council had been circulated to the Parish Council prior to the meeting and could be accessed by Councillors in Dropbox.


Minutes of the Planning Committee meetings were available on the Parish Council web site and all comments on Planning Applications by the Council were also available to view on CDC’s planning portal.


Councillor Jenny Yates reported that the application at 109 Courtington Lane, Bloxham had been approved by Cherwell District Council. The Parish Council had objected to this application

in the main on the grounds of number of bedrooms, in a residential dwelling and lack of adequate parking.


                        Resolved that the planning applications and decisions be noted.


  1. Planning Matters – Councillors Jenny Yates and Sue Slater gave an update on the following planning applications:


  • 14/01017/OUT, Milton Road (Miller Homes) – There was no update on the Miller Homes development on Milton Road.


  • 14/01634/REM, Land to the rear and north of 29 to 33 Quarry Close, Bloxham (Miller Homes) – The Parish Council was following up on the drainage issues and what was happening with drainage into the Brook.


  • 14/00761/REM, Wellington Park, Barford Road (Bovis) – Unfortunately Cherwell District Council (CDC) had completed a deed of variation allocating the funds secured for a limited play provision on site to the Section 106 fund for recreation resulting in circa £50,000 being moved to sport. This meant that the money which had been promised to the Parish Council to fund or the new play equipment in Jubilee Park and the Recreation Ground had now gone.  Under the terms of Section 106 agreements, money which was allocated to sport could not be used for play equipment.  The Parish Council was extremely unhappy about this, as it had no knowledge that this deed of variation was being undertaken by CDC in this form.  Therefore, a meeting would be requested with CDC to establish how this had happened and it was hoped that the situation could be rectified and the play equipment projects could continue with this funding.


  • 15/01528/F, Church Street, Bloxham (Taylor Wimpey) – There was nothing happening with this application until March 2016


Resolved that the reports be noted.


The Chairman thanked Councillors Jenny Yates and Sue Slater for their reports.


129/15   BLOXHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (BNDP) – Councillor Jenny Yates reported that consultation had now closed and Cherwell District Council should be uploading the responses onto the Neighbourhood Planning Portal.  The next steps would be to appoint an examiner, with the guidance of Shukri Masseri from Cherwell District Council.


Resolved that the report be noted.




  1. Co-option to Parish Council Vacancy – There had not yet been any applications for the vacancy and the Clerk would advertise the vacancy around the village.


Resolved that the report be noted.


  1. Committee Minutes and Recommendations.


  • Environment Committee – There had not been a meeting of the Committee since the last meeting of the Parish Council.


Resolved that the report be noted.


  • Resources Committee – The minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2016 had been circulated to the Parish Council, prior to the meeting. The following recommendations were for Parish Council consideration and approval.


Resolved that:


  1. the budget for 2016/2017 be approved;
  2. the precept for 2016/2017 be set at £79,401.72;
  3. a letter be sent to the village organisations advising that 2016/2017 could be the last year which unrestricted Parish Council grants are allocated, due to the Parish Council’s budgetary constraints;
  4. £13,000 be allocated to Butterfly Meadow Children’s Centre from the New Homes Bonus 2016/2017, to assist with their costs from September 2016 to March 2017;
  5. if the County Council does not withdraw its funding, the £13,000 be returned to the Parish Council;
  6. the Children’s Centre be advised that the Parish Council cannot guarantee to donate any further funds in 2017/2018 and in future years and any contributions would be reviewed annually during the budget setting process;
  7. a progress report/business plan on Butterfly Meadow Children’s Centre be submitted to the Parish Council by June 2016;
  8. another two first aid courses be organised and £500 from the New Homes Bonus

2016/2017 be allocated for these;

  1. St Mary’s Thursday Club be allocated £2734 from the New Homes Bonus as their grant funding will be withdrawn by the County Council in September 2016;
  2. the Village Mini-bus Scheme be allocated £2734 from New Homes Bonus, subject to the availability of Section 106 monies;
  3. the Ex-Serviceman’s Hall be allowed to keep the £1000 grant for 2015/2016, subject to receipt of details regarding the suggested project at the rear of the hall prior to the next Parish Council meeting; and
  4. the Small Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd be authorised to appoint at external auditor for the Parish Council.


Action TG


  • Planning and Strategy Committee – Prior to the meeting, the minutes of the meetings held on 19 January 2016 had been circulated to the Parish Council.


Councillor Sue Slater reported that there had been a discussion at the Planning Committee about the most effective way to make contact with the District and County Councils on planning matters.  There was a feeling that Committee members spent a long time trying to get information from both authorities and sometimes there was a response and sometimes there wasn’t and either way, it usually took quite a long time for a reply.  Therefore, it might be that on some occasions, it was more convenient to ask questions through the County or District Councillors so there was an audit trail and hopefully answers might come back more promptly.


Resolved that the minutes be noted.


(Councillors Gloria Lester-Stevens and Tom Smith left the meeting at this point at 9.15pm.)


  • Drop-in and Chat – The last session had been held on 9 January 2016 and the majority of issues which had been raised, were to do with the new playground equipment project as the plans had been on display. Councillor Nick Rayner advised that all of the comments had been passed to Jenny Yates.


There had also been a request from a couple who wanted a designated disabled parking space at Jubilee Park car park.


The next drop-in and chat sessions were being held at the Ex-Serviceman’s Hall, Bloxham from 1030am to 1130am on the following dates:


Saturday 13 February 2016 – Councillors Geoff Mollard and Tom Smith

Saturday 12 March 2016 – Councillors Stephen Phipps and Sue Slater


Resolved that:


  • the report be noted; and
  • the request for a disabled parking space at Jubilee Park be referred to the Jubilee Park Management Committee. Action TG


  1. Jubilee Park Management Committee (JPMC) – The Parish Council had a discussion on how the decision making process had been followed since the request from the JPMC for funds to extend the car park had been received. Councillor Stephen Phipps felt that the decision should have been made sooner, as the matter had been referred to the Resources Committee back in November.  However, the decision had not yet been taken because a joint meeting of the JPMC, the Project Team and the Parish Council had been arranged for 28 January 2016 and the outcomes of that meeting had been awaited.


Now that this meeting had been held and the draft minutes had been circulated to the Parish Council, the following two recommendations had been suggested:


Proposal 1 – The Parish Council agrees that the 106 monies be allocated to the improvement and expansion of recreational facilities at the Jubilee Park Hall




Proposal 2 – The Parish Council agrees that alternative options for the allocation of the Section 106 monies to recreational facilities in the village should be investigated


The Chairman advised that the Resources Committee had already ruled out using the New Homes Bonus and that funds for 2016/2017 had already been allocated.  He also reported that at a meeting with CDC, their officers had advised that if the Section 106 money was to be used to improve the recreational facilities at Jubilee Park, the Parish Council could include car park improvements as part of that project.  However, the improvements had to be linked to the Football Club, as they were the main user of the Park for recreational purposes and evidence of the increased usage was also required to justify any spend.


The Chairman asked the meeting if there was any Councillor who wished to propose that the New Homes Bonus be used to extend the car park. There was no proposer and no seconder for this motion.


Councillor Phipps then asked that an acknowledgement be sent to the Acting Chairman of the JPMC, Glyn Williams.


Councillor Stephen Phipps reported that the Hall had increased its revenue to £6,000 compared to about £4,000 over the same period last year.  There would also be a new cleaner at the Hall who would need to be added to the pay roll.


With regard to Section 106 monies as a whole, members felt that a special meeting was needed to discuss this issue, so that it was clear what funds were held and what was available for use in the village.


As the hour was late and to provide Parish Councillors with sufficient opportunity to consider the two tabled proposals from the Joint meeting, Councillor Nick Raynor proposed that a separate meeting of the Parish Council be called to discuss the purpose and use of S106 monies allocated to CDC/OCC and to then consider the two proposals.


Resolved that:


  1. the report be noted;
  2. a letter be sent to the JPMC advising of the Parish Council’s position on the car park extension; and
  3. an additional meeting of the Parish Council be arranged to discuss the Section 106 monies. Action TG


  1. Areas of Responsibility – The Chairman advised that this item had been deferred to the next meeting of the Environment Committee.


Resolved that this item be deferred to the Environment Committee.  Action TG/KM


  1. Reports to the Parish Council – Due to the lateness of the hour, this item was deferred to the next meeting of the Parish Council.


Resolved that this item be deferred to the next meeting.  Action TG


131/15   FINANCE


  1. Accounts for Payment – The Clerk submitted to the Parish Council, the accounts to be paid.


Resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment:


Payments Amount Cheque No.
Theresa Goss – Salary for February 2016 £632.39 963
Theresa Goss – Expenses for February 2016 £53.18 963
Katherine Mills – Salary for January 2016 £196.40 964
HMRC Payment for February 2016 £250.25 965
Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund – Clerks Pension £189.90 966
Haymarket Media Group Limited £150.00 967
Viking – Ink cartridges £104.94 968
Oxfordshire County Council – Room hire £104.00 969
Star Fireworks – Remembrance day maroons £284.16 970
LGRC (Associates) Ltd – Role and Responsibilities Training £648.60 971
Marie Jones – Chainsaw Protective Clothing £200.00 972
David Yates – Chainsaw Protective Clothing £200.00 973
Glasdon UK Ltd – Dog bin for The Recreation Ground £152.02 974
Bloxham Mill Limited – Room Hire £36.00 975
Theresa Goss – Drop Bix Upgrade £79.00 976


  1. Bank Reconciliation – Prior to the meeting, the Clerk had circulated the bank reconciliation as at 1 February 2016 for the Bank of Ireland bank accounts.


Resolved that the bank reconciliation be noted.


  • Church Footpath – The Chairman reported that work had already started on the footpath and that the PCC had asked for a contribution from the Parish Council. Due to the lateness of the hour, it was felt that this should be deferred to the next meeting when there was more time to discuss the request in detail.


Resolved that this item be deferred to the next meeting of the Parish Council.  Action TG




  1. Play Provision – Councillor Jenny Yates reminded the Parish Council that this item had been covered earlier in the meeting under 14/00761/REM, Wellington Park, Barford Road (Bovis) and the loss of the Section 106 monies for play equipment.


Resolved that:


  • the report be noted;
  • the project be put on hold until the situation is resolved with Cherwell District Council; and
  • the Recreation Ground Trustees and all four companies who had submitted quotes for the play equipment, be written to and advised of the current situation. Action TG


  1. ii) The Slade – Councillor Stephen Phipps reported that monthly work parties were being held and the Warden and Assistant Warden had attended the chainsaw courses. Also further equipment would be purchased for the continued work at the Slade.


Resolved that:


  • the report be noted: and
  • the chainsaw clothing be added to the Asset Register. Action TG


  1. Village Groups – No report.
  2. iv) Youth Club – There had been no changes at the Youth Club since the last meeting of the Parish Council.

Resolved that the report be noted.


  1. v) Bloxfest – Prior to the meeting, a report had been circulated advising the Parish Council that there would not be a Bloxfest event in 2016.  There might be smaller events during 2016 and it was hoped that Bloxfest would be back in 2017.


                        Resolved that the report be noted.


  1. vi) Red Lion – The Chairman reported that the Red Lion had been sold to Mark and Sandra Page from the Joiners Arms and they hoped to re-open the pub in July 2016.


Resolved that the report be noted.


  • Bus Services – Councillor Jenny Yates reported that she had attended a meeting with Stagecoach, organised by the County Council and a number of queries with regard to the reduction in services were discussed. A further meeting would now be held to clarify the outstanding issues.


It had been proposed that the early morning, late evening and middle of the day services along Tadmarton Road would be affected by the cuts.  However Stage Coach did not know the early and late services were funded by Section 106 monies.  Therefore, this would be discussed at the next meeting, as well as how many people used these services.  Consultation might also be needed with Wigginton, South Newington and Milcombe Parish Councils as their parishes would also be affected by these cuts too.


With regard to the No. 90 community bus, managed by Andy Fairweather, this was a funded operation at a cost of £500 a month and it was run as a community bus, with payments in advance.  Andy Fairweather wanted to increase the services he provided and currently he arranged transport for disabled children to and from school and adults to day centres.


The further meeting with Stage Coach would also cover whether the Parish Council could contribute to a community bus scheme.


                        Resolved that the report be noted.


  • Mobile Library Service – Councillor Jenny Yates reported that due to its budgetary cuts, the County Council might withdraw this service sooner than anticipated. Therefore the Parish Council would be looking at the impact on Bloxham and reporting back in due course.


Resolved that the report be noted.


  1. Village Transport – Councillor Jenny Yates report that a meeting had been held to discuss the possibility of a village mini bus, but there had been a small turn out by residents and village organisations. The vehicle would also be expensive to purchase or contract hire and other matters such as garaging and maintenance costs had yet to be agreed.  If the project was to progress, there would be updates at future Parish Council meetings.


The Bloxham School Transport Manager had also attended the meeting and advised that the School couldn’t help due to issues with their insurance.


There would be a meeting with County Councillor Kieron Mallon and the officers who run the community bus service, to see how they could help.


Resolved that the report be noted.


  1. Litter Outside the High Street Shops – Councillor Jenny Yates reported that there was an issue with excessive litter outside some of the shops on the High Street.


Therefore, the Parish Council felt that the Co-op, Post Office, Pharmacy and Bloxham Fish Bar should be asked to help alleviate the litter problem in this area. CDC would also be asked to ensure that litter around the bases of the bins was collected when they emptied the bins.


Resolved that:


  • the following shops on High Street be written to, asking for help to alleviate the litter problem; Pharmancy, Co-op, Post office, Bloxham Fish Bar; and
  • CDC be contacted and asked that when the litter bins are emptied, that litter around the base of the bins is also picked up and disposed of. Action TG


  1. Queen’s 90th Birthday – This item had been covered earlier in the meeting; the WI would be asked to hold a village afternoon tea to celebrate the HRH The Queen’s 90th Birthday and also commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Bloxham WI.


Resolved that the report be noted.


133/15   CORRESPONDENCE – There were no further items of correspondence.


134/15   Resolved that in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the minutes numbered 135/15 on the grounds that it could involve the likely disclosure of private and confidential information which was not in the public domain.





The Parish Council considered the recommendation proposed by the Resource Committee following their meeting on the 14th January 2016, but decided that

further information and understanding of the salary scales was required.


Resolved that:


  • a job evaluation be carried out for both staff members and following the evaluation, consideration be given to amending both contracts, if applicable, to start April 2016; and

Action JY

2)      staff members be assured that any recommended and agreed increase in salary points will be back dated to September 2015 (Administration Assistant) and December 2015 (Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer).  Action JY




              Resolved that it be noted that, future meeting dates for Bloxham Parish Council were as stated below.  They would all commence at 7.30pm (unless stated otherwise) in St Mary’s Parish Rooms, Bloxham, and reference should be made to the agenda prior to the meeting:


7 March 2016

4 April 2016

14 April 2016 (Annual Parish Meeting at Jubilee Hall)

9 May 2016

6 June 106

4 July 2016


137/15   Items for the Next Agenda


  1. Parish Council reports
  2. Church footpath funding
  3. Bus Services






(The meeting closed at 10.20pm)