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Parish Council Annual & Parish Minutes - Wednesday, 12th May 2021

on Thu, 10/06/2021 - 2:44pm


Minutes of the Sparsholt Annual Parish Meeting held on

Wednesday 12th May 2021 in Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.00pm

Present: Councillors Comyn (Chairman), Barnes, Jacobs and Jones, DC Barrow, the RFO and Clerk and 3 x parishioners.





Apologies:  Cllr Corfield.



Sparsholt Parish Council Chairman’s Report:  The report was given by Cllr Comyn, see attached.



District and County Councillors Report:  DCllr Barrow has sent through regular reports throughout the year.  Cllr Barrow wanted to add that COVID-19 testing at The Beacon in Wantage was running very successfully.  The Vale of White Horse District Council have performed well during the pandemic and have supported a great number of residents with food parcels and given out business grants.  The Vale and South Oxfordshire District Councils are working together on a new joint local plan.  This will save money and makes sense as common interests.  The housing requirement will be lowered.  DCllr Barrow had been in discussion with the Vale planning department with regards Barn G on application No: P20/V0526/FUL Westcot Farm and DCllr Barrow thought it was substantial reconstruction.  DCllr Barrow has dealt with local flooding, streams, organising the cutting grips in local villages and speeding issues in East Challow.  The Nature Recovery and Climate Forum meeting is coming up soon and DCllr Barrow will inform the Parish Council of the details.  DCllr Barrow held a meeting with Craig Bowers from OCC Communities and members of local Villages to discuss fibre broadband.  Cllr Barnes told DC Barrow that Sparsholt and Westcot already had fibre broadband in place due to a couple of Villagers organising it under the voucher scheme.  Letcombe Regis are unhappy with OCC Highways for their poor response and their not commenting on planning applications.



Any Other Business:  Iain Brown, a parishioner asked permission to read out his report and this was permitted, see attached.



Meeting closed at 7.30pm.

Minutes taken and prepared by The Clerk



APM 12th May 2021


Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 12th May 2021 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 8.00pm

Present: Councillors Barnes, Comyn, Jacobs and Jones, DC Barrow, the RFO and Clerk and 3 parishioners.





Apologies:  Cllr Corfield.



Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman:  It was unanimously agreed that Cllr Comyn should remain as Chairman and that Cllr Barnes should remain as Vice-Chairman.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  None.



Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 17th March 2021:  The minutes were proposed as a true record by the Chairman, Cllr Comyn and seconded by

Minutes of the finance and planning Meeting held on Wednesday 23rd April 2021:  The minutes were proposed as a true record by the Chairman, Cllr Comyn and seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed unanimously.



Matters Arising: 

  1. Cordless battery powered strimmer:  Cllr Barnes has purchased this.  There are three outstanding areas for strimming around the village to be filled on the map produced by Cllr Jones.  Cllr Barnes to ask Nick to advertise through the website.  Cllr Jones to produce some safety tips and Cllr Barnes to laminate them and ask users to read them.   
  2. Ditch alongside the B4507 after the Sparsholt turn by Golden Acre:  Cllr Jones said that the owner of the land cannot be traced.  Once the ditch has been cleared and the railings fixed then Cllr Jones will speak to George Chichester, agent for the Swires and ask them to clear the rain and if possible the roadside ditch, getting rid of the brambles too.  The drain under the road needs clearing first once this is dug out.  OCC Highways cleared this last time as the landowner would not do it.  The silt is nearly up to the road and the pipe is blocked.  Cllr Comyn said that the situation was complicated.  Cllr Comyn asked Cllr Jones is he could prepare an Action Plan of the works and Cllr Comyn would ask Lee Turner at OCC Highways what can be done.  The Action Plan to also be sent to George Chichester.  The road is also in bad repair.  Cllr Jones said that water bubbles up by the chestnut tree and a parishioner thought it may be a spring.  Cllr Comyn will ask OCC Highways about this also.    
  3. Cemetery metal gate:  Cllr Jones has pulled the gate back into place and the metal post is now firmly against the concrete post.  The gate now closed firmly.  A parishioner said that the gate shuts well but had been left open today which may cause a problem to return.
  4. Stile and footpath markers, including stiles in Tony Carters field:  Cllr Comyn has asked Arthur McEwan-James to look at all the areas of concern.  Within the next two to three months the marker sign on Westcot Lane and the Woodland and the broken handrail will be replaced. 
  5. Letter to OCC Highways regarding parking:  Cllr Comyn will send another letter and attach photographs of the problem.
  6. Letter re peppercorn rent for using the cemetery ground for grazing:  Cllr Comyn is drawing up the lease agreement.
  7. Defibrillator maintenance:  Cllr Barnes has contacted a company to do the repairs.  Cllr Barnes and a parishioner to look at the defibrillator to see if they can fix the catch.  South Central Ambulance service no longer keep the register of defibrillators, Cllr Barnes has registered it with The Circuit who have taken this over.




Cllr Barnes

Cllr Jones & Barnes



Cllr Jones





Cllr Jones




Cllr Comyn











Cllr Comyn


Cllr Comyn


Cllr Barnes


Review of Standing Orders:  It was unanimously agreed that no amendments need to be made, to be dated Revised 2021.  Cllr Barnes noted that a Data Protection Officer needed to be appointed, Cllr Barnes offered to take on this role, this was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed by Cllr Jones.



Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, employees and other local authorities:  All five Parish Councillors also constitute the planning sub committee.  The Clerk and the RFO are the only employees of the Parish Council.



Review of the terms of reference for Committees:  Terms of Reference for the planning committee are in the Standing Orders.



Receipt of nominations to existing committees/appointment to any new committees, confirmation of the terms of reference, and the number of members:  All Parish Councillors to remain members of the Planning Committee, unanimously agreed.



Review of representatives on or who work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back:  Planning received via the VOWHDC and the Parish Council will continue to make representations to the VOWHDC and OCC when necessary.  Cllr Comyn to remain Burials Officer proposed by Cllr Jacobs, seconded by Cllr Jones and agreed by Cllr Barnes.  Cllr Jones offered to take on Rights of Way and Highways, proposed by Cllr Barnes, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed by Cllr Comyn.



Assets review:  The Strimmer was added at a replacement value of £300 and the Telephone Box at £500, both proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed unanimously.  The Chairman amended and signed the Assets Register.



Risk Assessment:  The Risk Assessment, the Risk Assessment Process and the COVID-19 Risk Assessment were reviewed and Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed unanimously.



Review of Insurance Cover:  The Insurance cover was reviewed and Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed unanimously.



Review of the Council’s and/or employees’ membership of other bodies:  The Council is a member of the OALC.



Review of the Council’s complaints procedure.  Review procedures for handling requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998:  It was agreed that no amendments were required.  It was previously agreed under item 6 that Cllr Barnes will be the Data Protection Officer.





Review the Council’s Policy for dealing with the press/media:  Cllr Jacobs agreed to speak to the press on behalf of the Parish Council, after consultation with all the Parish Councillors if possible.  Proposed Cllr Comyn and seconded Cllr Jones and agreed by Cllr Barnes.




  1. Approval of the monthly Financial Statement up to 30th April 2021:  Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Jones and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Comyn proposed payments for Zurich Insurance £380.09 the Clerk’s salary for May £80.95, RFO’s salary for May £48.32, Tarki Technology Ltd, for the 2020/21 Internal Audit, expenses to Cllr Barnes for the strimmer £237.90, seconded by Cllr Jacobs and agreed unanimously.  The RFO stated that a letter had been sent by the Independent Advice Centre requesting a donation.  Cllr Jacobs declared an interest as she works as a volunteer for the Independent Advice Centre and agreed not to part in the discussion.  Cllr Barnes proposed a donation of £150, seconded by Cllr Comyn and agreed by Cllr Jones.
  2. Approval of bank signatories for 2021-2022: Cllrs Comyn, Barnes and Jones are already bank signatories.  It had been agreed at a previous meeting to add on Cllr Corfield.     
  3. Approval of the Annual Return for the year to 31st March 2021:  Cllr Comyn completed the AGAR and signed the form along with the RFO and Clerk.  The exemption of the External Audit was agreed not required and signed by Cllr Comyn.  
  4. Any other finance matters:  The Clerk and RFO have both opted out of the pension scheme.  Cllr Jones asked if the Parish Council can invest any of the money in the deposit account, the RFO to investigate this with OALC.
























  1. P21/V0668/FUL Northfield Farm Bungalow, road from Faringdon road to Northfield Farm, SN7 8NT:  Removal of condition 2 – agricultural occupancy condition on SPA/8092 (P84/V0199).  Granted.





Sparsholt Parish Council Event 2022:  Next meeting.



Matters for future discussion:  Items from the list in Iain Brown’s report that he presented in the Annual Parish Meeting.  Following an email from a parishioner Cllr Comyn to speak to Ian Lambourne about the emptying of the cemetery bins.

All PC’s

Cllr Comyn


Set dates, times and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council for the year ahead: TBC

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


Meeting closed at 8.35pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPCAM 12th May 2021