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Parish Council Minutes - Wednesday, 20th September 2017

on Thu, 12/10/2017 - 7:29pm


Minutes of Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 20th September 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

Present: The Chairman Councillor Tim Comyn, Councillors Barnes, Brown, Downie and Wiltshire, the  Clerk and 4 parishioners (including Nick Price from the website and Angie Brown from the Griffin Hall Management Committee).






Apologies:  The RFO.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  Cllr Brown declared a non-prejudicial interest in the Days House planning application on account of his sister in law, Sandy Humphries living next door.  The Chairman declared an interest on account of his friendship with the applicants for this permission.



  Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 19th July 2017:  Cllr

  Comyn proposed signing these as a true record, seconded by Cllr

  Brown and unanimously agreed.

  Minutes of the Planning Meeting held on Tuesday 22nd August

  2017:  Cllr Brown proposed signing these as a true record, seconded

  by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.



Matters Arising: 

  1. B4507 50 mph speed restriction update:  Cllr Comyn has investigated the Government guidance tool online and downloaded the information.  Local Councils can limit the speed on the roads in their parish if the roads meet the criteria, eg. sharp bends etc.  Opinion would have to be obtained from all the parishes along the B4507.  The speed appraisal tool gives the costs and benefit and helps forecast 85% of the average speed.  Local Highways officers can set up equipment to monitor speed.  The B4507 meets the criteria with sharp bends, adverse cambers, junctions, hidden dips and pedestrian walk along the road without a footpath.  There is a campsite situated along the road which causes more walkers along the road.  There are no white lines in the middle of the narrow pieces.  Nick Price wanted to correct the statement previously made – the B4507 is NOT classed as one of the most dangerous roads in Oxfordshire but has a high mortality rate.  Cllr Barnes suggested spreading the work load on this project.  Firstly a case must be put together for the 50 mph speed limit and this would need to be circulated to neighbouring parishes, DC & CC Constance and OCC.  A full description of the road by driving along it and logging the danger spots was suggested.  All Cllrs agreed to be involved in the project and Cllr Comyn will circulate an action plan.

















All Cllrs

Cllr Comyn


  1. Cemetery rules:  Cllr Comyn has reviewed the cemetery rules that have previously been agreed.  The Burial administration and information to undertakers will be included with the rules.  Cllr Comyn has included that a protective covering must be put down before the digger crosses the graveyard to dig out the grave.  Cemetery tariffs were updated last in May 2015 and should be reviewed in the budget and updated in April 2018 if agreed.  Cllr Comyn proposed agreeing the Cemetery Rules, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed by all.  Cllr Barnes offered to put the Burial Map into a excel document and Cllr Comyn will circulate the new rules.
  2. Westcot ‘Village Green:  Any application to register Village Green would have to be supported by evidence and Cllr Comyn suggests that Cllr Brown encourages people to make statements.  Cllr Brown has registered an interest with OCC and been advised to wait until the property is sold, Cllr Brown to circulate the emails to the other Cllrs and the Clerk.  It is a ssquare of grass with a flagstone path inset, a Notice Board, bin and bench on it. 
  3. Sparsholt Green Notice Board:  Cllr Comyn reported that the Notice Board has been mended and will be re-sited against the fence.
  4. Cemetery Hedge:  The work has been completed and Cllr Comyn proposed signing a cheque for £320, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.
  5. Hedge at Eastmanton Corner:  Tony Carter spoke with the landowner and obtained permission to cut the hedge back.
  6. Mrs Frost’s Trees:  Cllr Brown and Mr Lee have trimmed the trees.
  7. Cemetery Compost  and Litter Bins:  Cllr Brown has emptied the litter bin and Cllr Williams will empty the composter. 
  8. Brown Bin for the Cemetery:  The Parish Council are unable to have a brown bin.
  9. Litter Bin Overflowing:  Cllr Barnes has emptied the bin.
  10. Re-painting of the bus shelter by Guy Mendonca:  Cllr Comyn to write a thank you letter.







Cllr Barnes

Cllr Comyn




Cllr Brown













Cllr Williams




Cllr Comyn




  1. Approval of the Finance Report to the 31st July:  Cllr Comyn read this out and proposed acceptance seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Comyn to check the wording on the burial costs.
  2. Approval of the Finance Report to the end of 31st August and the listing of payments to be made:  Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance and agreed the cheques, seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Comyn proposed initialled the bank statements

  1. Any other Finance matters:  None.





  1. P15/V2600/PAR Westcot Farm, Westcot, OX12 OX12 9QA:  Conversion of agricultural buildings to form three no. C3 dwellinghouses.  Fully Discharged.  Cllr Comyn still to pursue the FOI.  Work has started, a digester has been put in.  The Parish Council to keep an eye on this project as it is a conversion not a new dwelling.
  2. P17/V1299/FUL Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House). Dividing site and erection of new house.  Cllr Brown spoke at the Planning Committee on behalf of the Parish Council to reinforce the Parish Councils objection.  The application is on hold as the VOWHDC Councillors had not viewed the application from the neighbouring properties.  Another site visit to be arranged.  A parishioner enquired about the monitoring of building control and if the Parish Council had any concerns regarding drainage.  The Parish Council responded that the VOWHDC have not replaced their drainage officer and that the Building Regulations department supervise any building works.
  3. P17/V2092/FUL Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House) to divide site and construct new house to replace bungalow in different position similar to that approved 4/3/16 but with two minor additions.  No decision.
  4. P17/V2090/AG Broadleaze Farm, Westcot, OX12 9PZ:  Erection of polytunnel for lambing.  Granted.

New Applications:

a)  P17/V2344/HH 3 St Johns, Sparsholt, OX12 9PW:  Single Storey rear extension.  A response of “no objections” was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to submit the response.




Cllr Comyn


All Cllrs















Highways:  Cllr Barnes reported a number of potholes along the road from the B4507 up to Sparsholt Firs and Cllr Comyn agreed to write to Lee Turner


Cllr Comyn


Oxfordshire Together:  The Parish Councillors were not happy with the draft contract and Cllr Brown mentioned that there would be a requirement to have £10 million public liability insurance.  Cllr Comyn proposed not accepting the Oxfordshire Together proposal, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.



Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:    Cllr Brown waiting for quotes.



Correspondence Sheet:  No comments.



Any other business: 

  1. Barry Jones was going to attend to discuss ownership of the trees along Church Way and the land they are planted on.  To be added to the next meeting.
  2. Cllr Barnes asked about the Local Plan 2031, Part 1 has been agreed and Part 2 does not affect the Western Vale.



Dates of Next Meetings: Wednesdays 25th October, 15th November, 6th December 2017 and 17th January, 21st February, 21st March, 18th April and the AGM 16th May 2018 all starting at 7.30pm at the Griffin Memorial Hall.

The Parish Council may need to change this date as necessary.



Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 20th September 2017

Vale of White Horse - Local Plan 2031 Part 2 - publicity period

on Wed, 11/10/2017 - 11:14am

The Vale is nearly ready to submit their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 for independent examination. 

Their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 sets out policies and locations for housing for the Vale of White Horse district’s proportion of Oxford’s housing need up to 2031, which cannot be met within the City boundaries. The document also contains policies for the part of the Didcot Garden Town that lies within the Vale and detailed development management policies to complement Local Plan 2031 Part 1. It replaces the saved policies of the Local Plan 2011 and allocates additional development sites for housing.

Before they submit their Plan, the Vale are launching a six week publicity period on the Local Plan 2031 Part 2.  This runs from Wednesday, 11th October until 5pm on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017. 

The publicity period is different from the previous consultation, as the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 dictate that the Vale ask specific questions relating to the soundness and legality of the Plan.

After the publicity period, the Vale will submit the Plan to the Secretary of State, who will appoint a Planning Inspector to carry out an independent examination. The inspector will then examine the Plan, the evidence supporting it and the comments received, and make a decision on whether the Plan is “sound” and “legally compliant”. 

The Plan, video, guidance note and details on how to comment are available at:

They are also hosting public events across the district to help explain the publicity process and how to comment.  The events will all provide the same information so please feel free to attend any event.

Exhibitions and public meetings

Exhibition 4-6.30pm followed by public meeting 7-8.30pm

  • Monday 6 November: Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, Wootton Road, Abingdon, OX14 1GG 
  • Tuesday 14 November: Corn Exchange, Gloucester Street, Faringdon, SN7 7JA 
  • Wednesday 15 November: Harwell Village Hall, High Street, Harwell, OX11 0EX 

How to view the information

The Plan, evidence documents, guidance note, video and comment form are available on the Vale's website.

Hard copies of the Plan, appendices and a selection of supporting documents will be available during opening hours at the locations listed at the bottom of this email.

How to comment

  • Responses can be made until 5pm on 22 November 2017 by:
  • using our online consultation system  (registration is required); 
  • downloading the comment form  and emailing it to [email protected]
  • collecting a comment form from one of the locations listed below and posting it to Planning Policy, VOWH 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SB; 
  • attending one of our public events. 

For your comments to be considered, you must provide your name and address. All responses received will be available for the public to view.  If you respond on behalf of an organisation or agent the Vale may display your name and contact details. If you respond as an individual the Vale may display your name, but the Vale will not display your contact details.  All comments will be passed on to the Secretary of State. 

If you have any questions, please contact the planning policy team on 01235 422600 or email [email protected] 

Distribution points for Local Plan:

Local libraries

  • Abingdon-on-Thames
  • Botley
  • Didcot
  • Faringdon
  • Grove
  • Kennington
  • Wantage

Council offices

  • 135 Eastern Ave., Milton Park, Milton
  • Abbey House, Abingdon
  • St. Aldates, Oxford City Council 

Council office opening hours - from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays

The Ridgeway Autumn newsletter

on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 3:17pm

Please find attached The Ridgeway Autumn newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Bill Bailey takes to The Ridgeway again, and gives tips on walking the Trail.
  • Bill is also guest speaker at The Ridgeway Partnership & North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Forum 'The Great Outdoors!' on Wed 18th October in Uffington, Oxon, where we'll also have representatives from Cycling UK, MIND mental health charity, Nordic Walking and more. Everyone is welcome. Book your place:
  • We're looking at (and tasting) food and food production along The Trail
  • Visiting one of the oldest schools in the country – in Uffington
  • and there’s our events listing and the Volunteer task diary with dates of tasks for you to join in on. 

Please note that we are looking for a new Chairperson for The Ridgeway Partnership from April 2018 – see advert in newsletter for details. Please spread the word to friends, work colleagues and family who may be interested in leading our Partnership and shaping the future of The Ridgeway.

For further information:-

Exhibition: 'Then and Now' Images of Wantage - until Saturday, 14th October

on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 2:39pm

Memories of Wantage shops, their owners and staff, and what they sold have been sparked by a collection of photographs being displayed at Vale & Downland Museum and online.

Called 'Then & Now: Wantage through the years - a collection of photos from past and present', the collection features 28 old photographs showing town centre shops in years gone by, alongside a shot taken from the same perspective now, by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell.

They're on display at Vale & Downland Museum on Church Street from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 14th October 2017.

The project is a joint venture between Wantage Town Team and The Museum, with kind support from local historian, David Castle, and was inspired by the popular FaceBook group 'Old Wantage', which has more than 3,600 members. It’s hoped that more images of Wantage town centre shops past will emerge, and that they’ll be the basis of future exhibitions. Anyone with a photo of Wantage town centre buildings who would like it to be included in possible future projects could contact Mim via email: [email protected] or telephone 01235 766689.

Vale & Downland Museum's Curator, Suzie Tilbury says: “The Museum is very proud to be part of this collaborative project with Wantage Town Team. The Wantage community is very passionate about the history of the town, and it's wonderful to see the memories alongside the images - it really brings them to life."

Wantage Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, says: "This has been a lovely project to put together. Grateful thanks go to the Old Wantage members for their contributions, and to David Castle for his support. We’ve really enjoyed reading all the memories the photos have sparked, and look forward to that continuing as the exhibition runs at Vale & Downland Museum and continues online."

The Museum on Church Street, Wantage is open Monday-Saturday, 9.30am-4pm with more details at:-

Wantage town team, led by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, is part of a town vitality initiative funded by the Vale of White Horse District Council, and supported by Wantage Town Council, Grove Parish Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF).

Ed Vaizey MP - Parish News, October 2017

on Tue, 03/10/2017 - 8:43pm

Last month the Herald published a small and innocuous article, with the heading “Response due on Wantage-Didcot name change plan”. I would like to reassure you all that such a change has never been considered. Didcot and Wantage are two entirely wonderful, but separate, towns with their own distinct identities - including names - and this will most certainly continue indefinitely. What is being proposed, as the rest of the article makes clear, is changing the name of the Parliamentary constituency from ‘Wantage’ to ‘Didcot and Wantage’ as part of a UK-wide boundary review by the Boundary Commission for England. This review is examining the boundaries of existing constituencies and will make recommendations for any changes that might be needed to make sure constituencies comply with legal requirements.

I have been receiving a lot of correspondence recently on the EU Withdrawal Bill, otherwise known as the Great Repeal Bill. While I support the Bill at second reading, it is on the basis that it is improved upon in the committee stage. There has been much discussion around the so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers that will give ministers the power to change or update EU laws without putting changes before Parliament. On a practical level this measure is sensible, as putting every change before Parliament would be an impossible task due to the volume of legislation. However, I feel that the proposed powers go beyond what is reasonable for the Government to achieve its stated aims. To this end I have put my name to three amendments, all designed to ensure that the powers given to ministers are proportionate and strictly focused on achieving the policy objective.

Last month it was a pleasure to meet the team at Immunocore, based in Milton Park. Immunocore is one of the UK’s fastest growing life science companies and an industry leader in the research and development of cancer treatments using T-cell receptors. I am immensely proud that our constituency homes some of the very best scientific researcher and engineers. As well as the brilliant organizations working collaboratively at Milton Park, we have over £1billion of world-leading research infrastructure at Harwell Campus - home to around 200 science and research organizations and 5000 of the UK’s most innovative minds. Additionally, last month I also caught up with Sovereign – one of the main social housing providers in the constituency – and with Oxfordshire County Council to discuss a range of infrastructure projects.

Nominations are now open for the Countryside Alliance Awards – nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’. They celebrate people going the extra mile to ensure that rural Britain’s food and farming industry, small businesses, traditional skills and forward-thinking enterprises can flourish. Our constituency is home to a whole host of brilliant community champions, so please get involved and nominate at the following address:

Ed Vaizey MP

Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with.  Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, [email protected] or 020 7219 6350. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly.   Details of my activities in Parliament can be read on my website, I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please complete the online form at


Don’t miss out – Working parents of 3 & 4 year olds - 30hrs free childcare a week?

on Mon, 02/10/2017 - 5:44pm

Working parents of 3 & 4 year old children may be entitled to 30 hours free childcare per week. This includes those who are self-employed and some parents on zero hours contracts. 

To find out if you are eligible visit:-

To join those already benefiting apply by the beginning of December for a January start. 

The Family Information Service has information about childcare providers in your area. Visit:-

Stoptober - 28 day challenge to help you stop smoking

on Sun, 01/10/2017 - 9:16pm

Stoptober is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to quit smoking.  

Million of people in England still smoke and it remains the nation’s biggest killer, with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease. Research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve that goal.

All the support you need to quit - from a free app and daily emails, to face-to-face expert support and much more – there is loads of support to help you quit, so choose the combination that's right for you.

Why would this work when other quit smoking strategies have failed?

Stoptober is all about supporting and encouraging each other to quit and it maintains momentum. You get a surge of people quitting on New Year’s Day and in March on No Smoking day but then there's a void. Stoptober plugs that gap and because it's a mass participation event those taking place know they're not alone.

What are the benefits to stopping smoking?

According to this year's Stoptober campaign, new research based on smokers in the US shows someone who quits smoking for 28 days, and doesn’t smoke again, could gain an extra week of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.

Those who quit will also experience physical improvements including a better sense of smell, taste and more energy.

Longer term, those who stop smoking reduce their risk of heart disease and lung cancer as well as protecting those around them from secondhand smoke.

Along with the health benefits, stopping will save the average smoker over £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year, based on £7.77 for a packet of cigarettes and an average daily consumption of 13 manufactured cigarettes per smoker. During last year’s Stoptober campaign, the organisers say £25 million was saved by the 160,000 people not buying cigarettes.

What are you waiting for?

Stoptober starts on 1st October and runs for 28 days. It could be the first step to a longer and healthier life.  You can get more information online:-

Local children warned not to play on business premises

on Thu, 28/09/2017 - 3:17pm

Andrew Froud of White Horse Feeds, Sparsholt had to warn 3 local children (apparently on a half day from school) not play on his business premises at about 2.30pm on Thursday, 28th September.

The children were climbing on bales stored on company grounds.

Parents are politely reminded to ensure that their chldren understand that business premises can be full of dangers - they are not playgrounds.


Volunteers needed to teach digital skills in our community

on Thu, 28/09/2017 - 2:19pm

Oxfordshire County Council has launched a new campaign appealing for digital helper volunteers to teach basic digital skills to people in their community.

What are digital helpers? Digital helpers teach basic digital skills to people with little or no experience of using computers or the internet. They volunteer in libraries, providing one-to-one support and encouragement to boost confidence and help people to help themselves.

Digital helpers teach skills such as how to set up an email account, search for jobs, complete online forms, navigate the internet and find useful websites, and use e-learning courses.

Why volunteer? Teaching digital skills has lots of benefits. It enables others to access employment and training, use online services, become more independent and less isolated.

But starting to do anything online when you don’t know how can be daunting. That’s where digital helpers come in!

Could you volunteer? If you are patient, have good communication skills, enjoy working with learners of all ages and can spare a few hours a week, we want you! Schedules can work around you so that you can fit it around your busy life.

or contact your local library to find out about volunteering as a digital helper and helping people in your area.

Brian Day - digital helper at Grove Library:-

‘With the move to more and more things going online, some people can perhaps feel digitally isolated. By doing this and encouraging them I can help give them a little bit of confidence to give it a try. It’s two hours a week and it’s easy to fit in. If anyone’s interested in volunteering, I’d say come along and give it a go - most of the questions aren’t that hard!’

Peter Stronach - pupil at Grove Library:-

‘I used to have a job where I didn’t use computers but now we’re in the computer age.  The sessions are helping me to learn things, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a job. I didn’t know how to use email at all and Brian has been really supportive. It’s also given me confidence to use my computer by myself without needing someone else there showing me how to do it.’

View & comment on the Vale's proposed 'draft housing delivery strategy'

on Tue, 26/09/2017 - 11:41am

Vale of White Horse District Council (together with South Oxfordshire) has published a draft housing delivery strategy which sets out how they will meet the significant challenge of delivering thousands of new homes over the next 14-16 years.

The number of new homes proposed in each district is set out in the councils’ respective adopted and emerging local plans.  The councils’ proposed Joint Housing Delivery Strategy will work alongside the respective local plans to guide how these new homes will be delivered and ensure that the types of homes provided meet the various needs of our communities.

The draft strategy represents a significant change to the way the councils will work with partners to get new homes built.  If the strategy is adopted the councils will adopt an 'enabler role' to ensure that the required number of new homes can be delivered, which are also of the right type to meet local need, and built at the right time in the locations allocated in the respective local plans.

​The proposed strategy sets out how the councils will overcome these challenges by working with landowners, developers, local communities and infrastructure providers to ensure that the new homes can be delivered as quickly as possible while also meeting the needs of our communities.

The number of new homes proposed in each district is set out in the councils’ respective adopted and emerging local plans - for information on the local plans please visit 

To view and comment on the proposed Joint Housing Delivery Strategy visit:-

This public consultation closes at midnight on Monday 23 October.  

If you require assistance to complete the survey, or would like a paper copy, please contact the councils’ housing team on 01235 422451 or email [email protected]

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Housing at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The new homes are vital to ensuring we can meet the needs of communities across the area, whether that is for affordable housing for first time buyers, housing suitable for those who are retired, or accommodation that supports those with mobility issues. 

“Providing a suitable range of housing also plays a significant role in making sure businesses can attract and retain staff in southern Oxfordshire.  The Joint Housing Delivery Strategy will be a key document for many years to come so it’s important people have their say before it is adopted by the councils later this year.”

From a page on the Vale's website - see the original <here>.