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MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT
JUBILEE HALL BLOXHAM ON THURSDAY 3 MARCH 2016 AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Chairman, Councillor Geoff Mollard; Councillors Gloria Lester-Stevens, Nick Rayner, Gillian Roberts, Sue Slater and Jenny Yates.
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Theresa Goss (Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer).
APOLOGIES: Councillors Mary Groves and Andrew Taplin submitted their apologies because they were at work and these were accepted. Councillor Stephen Phipps submitted his apologies because he was on holiday and these were accepted.
Councillor Tom Smith was not present.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded the Councillors and the public that recording of the meeting was permitted. However, he asked that should anyone wish to record the proceedings, could they please advise the Parish Council so that this could be facilitated.
138/15 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.
Resolved that the report be noted.
139/15 SECTION 106 MONIES – Prior to the meeting, the following information had been circulated to the Parish Council:
- Section 106 monies held by Cherwell District Council (CDC);
- Section 106 monies held by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC);
- Section 106 monies which had been spent on the refurbishment of Jubilee Hall;
- Section 106 monies which had been spent on the Bloxham Circular Walks;
- New Homes Bonus which the Parish Council had received from Cherwell District Council; and
- comments from Parish Councillors Mary Groves, Stephen Phipps and Andrew Taplin on the future expenditure of Section 106 monies
Councillor Jenny Yates reported that Section 106 monies from developers, were split between the County Council and the District Council. Funds for education, transport and other County Council functions went to the County Council and funds for play, recreation, open space and sport went to the District Council.
Section 106 agreements were negotiated by CDC without any consultation from the Parish Council, even though CDC and OCC had stated in their responses to various planning applications, that consultation had taken place.
Approximately, two years ago the Parish Council had submitted to CDC, a wish list of where it would like Section 106 monies to be spent in the village, however, it did not appear that this list was being referred to by the Planners. The list would need to be reviewed and re-submitted to CDC at some point.
The information which had been circulated to the Parish Council also gave details on the historic Section 106 monies from developments in the village.
Following the refurbishment of Jubilee Hall, which had used around £34,000, there was still around £250,000 which could be spent on open space, outdoor sport and recreation provision.
When the Milton Road development was started, there would then be a further £185,776.85 (BL09) for this provision too. Unfortunately due to the restrictions on Section 106 funds, at present none of the funds for open space, outdoor sport and recreation provision could be used on play equipment.
Councillor Jenny Yates reported that a Deed of Variation had been arranged by CDC as an agreement had been reached with the developers so enable money from the Barford Road development (Bovis) which had been allocated within the Section 106 agreement to on-site provision of play equipment, would be allocated to off-site provision of play equipment. These funds would then be used for the enhancement of the play facilities at The Recreation Ground and Jubilee Park.
Therefore, following confirmation from Caroline Ford at CDC, the Parish Council understood that there was now £50,000 available to replace the play equipment in The Recreation Ground and Jubilee Park. The Parish Council was also advised that further monies for off-site play equipment could also come from the Milton Road development, as CDC would be asking for the same arrangement with that developer too.
As the Parish Councillors were aware, this had prompted quotes for new play equipment being obtained. Then at the last meeting of the Parish Council on 1 February 2016, when the Parish Council was ready to approve phase 1 of the works at The Recreation Ground, an email had been received from Caroline Ford to say that the Deed of Variation had actually transferred the funds to recreation, not to play equipment. This had meant that at the current time, the play equipment project could not be progressed any further.
Since that time, Councillors Jenny Yates and Sue Slater had been trying to find out what the Deed of Variation actually said. Following an email from Councillor Sue Slater to John Westerman at CDC, Councillor Yates had received a telephone call from Philip Rolls who advised that he had been contacted by John Westerman and he asked Councillor Yates for details about this situation.
Councillor Yates now hoped that the Deed of Variation was not too specific and it still could be used for children’s play area project. Phil Rolls had advised that he was going to look into the matter and update Councilor Yates.
The Parish Council felt that if this situation not sorted out soon, then the Banbury Guardian should be asked to run a story on it. The Banbury Guardian had been ready to run a story a few weeks ago, when they picked up on the issue from the minutes of 1 February 2016, however, the Parish Council had wanted to give CDC the opportunity to rectify the situation before the story was published.
Councillor Yates also advised that if the Parish Council took responsibility for the green space on the Milton Road development, then it would expect to receive the maintenance money from CDC.
With regard to the Tadmarton Road development, there was no Section 106 money available from this development, except for the £10,000 which was being split between Ellen Hinde Hall and the Ex-Serviceman’s Hall.
The Councillors had a good discussion about how and where the Section 106 funds should be spent in the village and they considered the two proposals from the joint meeting of the Jubilee Hall Management Committee, Jubilee Project Team and the Parish Council, held on 28 January 2016. The two proposals were:
Proposal 1: The Parish Council agrees that the Section 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 cost of a new additional recreational Pavilion would be around £280,000 which would enable improved recreational activities with more changing rooms. However concern was expressed from members about the necessity of such a facility when the results of the survey carried out by the Jubilee Park Project Group, had shown that residents did not seem very enthusiastic about the need to knock down or enlarge the existing Hall. In addition there were concerns regarding the utilisation and management of such a new facility.
It was felt by all members that the Section 106 funds should be spent in multiple locations around the village, to enable all residents to benefit from it.
It was suggested that the BNDP Recreation Group could be resurrected and the members who had been on that group, could be invited to assist with this project. The Group could then look at all options which would benefit the whole of the village.
Therefore, the Parish Council supported proposal 2 from the joint meeting, but felt the resolution needed to be more specific. The following amendment was proposed by Councillor Nick Raynor, seconded by Councillor Gloria Lester Stevens and agreed by all Councillors present.
- all options with regard to the expenditure of the Section 106 monies allocated to open space, outdoor sport and recreation provision at multiple locations in Bloxham be investigated by a Working Group which will report back to the Parish Council;
2) the community members of the BNDP Recreation Group be invited to become members of the Working Group, which will also include two Parish Councillors;
3) the terms of reference for the Working Group be agreed by the Working Group and these be approved by the Parish Council prior to commencement of the investigation;
4) the recommendations from the Working Group have to be consistent and within the perimeters of the restrictions of the Section 106 agreements, within a total budget £250,000; and
5) costed proposals be submitted at the latest, to the Parish Council meeting in September 2016 and the Parish Council to receive monthly progress reports from the Working Group.
140/15 MEETING DATES
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
(The meeting closed at 8.50pm)