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Parish Council Minutes - Wednesday, 17th October 2018

on Thu, 22/11/2018 - 9:32am


Minutes of the Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 17th October 2018 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

Present: The Chairman Councillor Comyn, Deputy Chairman Councillor Brown, Councillors Barnes, Downie and Williams, the RFO and Clerk and 7 parishioners.





Apologies:  None.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  Cllr Brown 5c) his daughter is receiving one of the payments being authorised.  Cllr Comyn wanted to clarify that he was asked, in his positon of Chairman of the Parish Council by Merlin Swire what the etiquette was for submitting a planning application.  The Chairman advised Merlin Swire that he would need to apply for Planning Permission and Listed Building consent on the alterations he was proposing.  No advice on the content of the application was given.  This was agreed by all not to be a required Declaration of Interest.



Minutes of the Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on Wednesday 29th August 2018:  The minutes were proposed as a true record by Cllr Barnes, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by Cllrs Brown and Williams.



Matters Arising: 

  1. B4507:  DC & CC Constance reported back that there was no support from the local villages towards the cost of the consultation and proposed change to the speed of the road.  The total amount is thought to be approx. £10,000.  Uffington Parish Council have secured funding to have warning signs installed either side of Britchcombe Farm.  Ed Vaizey responded to the letter from the Clerk attaching a response from OCC highways regarding the cost and stating that they have no finances to contribute towards it.  Cllr Comyn would like the item adding to the agenda of the next meeting.
  2. The Star Public House – Asset of Community Value:  Cllr Comyn explained how an Asset of Community Value is registered and the restrictions of sale etc to the public house if it was agreed.  The landlady of the Star public house, Caron Williams does not want the Star registered.  Cllr Barnes stated he had recently been on a Councillor induction course where it was recommended to register Community Assets and therefore wanted to pursue the registration.  A parishioner stated that he was involved in the registration of the Blowing Stone public house in Kingston Lisle, a neighbouring village and that it would be negative to register a thriving public house.  The restriction of sale could be lifted by a solicitor if the owners wanted to pursue it.  A parishioner also stated that at the village meeting no one else came forward to take over the Star public house and that the majority of parishioners present promised to support the public house.  Cllr Comyn said that it would be an unnecessary cost to the VOWHDC to register the Star and that the owners should have the right to sell to whom they wanted.  A parishioner stated that registration would de-value the Star.  Cllr Williams had nothing to add, Cllrs Brown and Downie did not want to pursue the registration.  Cllr Comyn agreed that it would be wrong to register a successful business and that the registration could be re-visited in 6 months.  Cllr Barnes was happy that it had been discussed and considered.  Cllr Comyn proposed that the Star public house was not to be registered as a Community Asset, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  To be removed from the agenda.



  1. Westcot Village Green:  The new owners of the land bordering the Village Green have reinstated the fence and the grass has grown back.  Cllr Brown has contacted Arthur McEwan-James with regard to officially obtaining Public Open Space status for the land and is awaiting a response.  It was agreed unanimously to remove this item from the agenda.
  2. Westcot Village Green Noticeboard:  Still ongoing and moving the litter bin was also suggested.
  3. The Old Vicarage Yew Tree:  Cllr Williams to check but it was suggested that this has been trimmed.
  4. Clerks Contract:  Cllr Barnes has received no comments on the revised model contract and job description for the Clerk. It was agreed that the Cllrs & Clerk should communicate any comments to Cllr Barnes before the next meeting.  To be discussed further at the next meeting.
  5. Land Registry number for the cemetery:  Cllr Comyn needs to register the land that has been reserved for use as an extension to the cemetery.  It is situated next to the cemetery to the north.  Cllr Comyn holds the title deeds.  Cllr Comyn to speak to Mr Lee who keeps a horse on the land without any permission/agreement.  It was agreed that although only Mr Lee has access to the land and that it saves the grass being cut, a formal agreement should be put in place.  Cllr Brown asked if a provision could be added to the budget for the extension being converted to a cemetery.
  6. Phone Box Exchange:  Cllr Barnes reported that he has now obtained the phone number of the telephone box and received a contract costing £1 to take responsibility for it.  The phone box had already been added to a removal list so Cllr Barnes hopes that the contract can be submitted before the telephone box is removed.  A parishioner thought that it could not be removed as it was in a Conservation area.  The telephone box has been decommissioned and the electricity supply removed.  Cllr Barnes stated that to paint the telephone box and make necessary alterations to make it into a box swop facility would cost between £130 and £150.  Cllr Barnes proposed the contract is signed and the funds spent on the refurbishment, seconded by Cllr Comyn and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Barnes will contact both DC & CC Constance and Ed Vaziey to ensure that the telephone box is not removed.  Cllr Barnes will sign the contract on behalf of the Parish Council.   To be added to the Asset Register.  Cllr Barnes said that Mrs Barnes would look after the book swop facility.
  7. Salt order and Salt Rota:  Cllr Brown has placed the order for 20kg bags and they will be distributed around to the volunteers and a list compiled once the order has been received.  Cllr Brown will contact the volunteers and update the rota.  The salt in the yellow bins will need to be broken up as it has set hard before new salt is added. 
  8. Defibrillator training:  Cllrs Barnes and Downie to organise.  Romana Akira mentioned that The Old Glebe was holding a First Aid training session in the Griffin Memorial Hall on Wednesday 31st October starting at 9.30am until 4.30pm, which would include instructions on the use of a defibrillator and that they had a couple of spaces if anyone was interested.  Cllr Downie will contact the Ambulance service to see if they can provide another training session in January.  Cllr Barnes will help organise this.
  9. Electric fence across a public right of way:  Cllr Brown reported that the electric fence has been removed.





Cllrs Brown and Downie

Cllr Williams



Cllr Barnes




Cllr Comyn










Cllr Barnes

Cllr Barnes






Cllr Brown




Cllrs Barnes and Downie



  1. Approval of the Finance Report up to the 31st August 2018:  Cllr Comyn read through the report and proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed by all.

Approval of the Finance Report up to the 30th September 2018:  Cllr Comyn read through the report and proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by all.  Cllr Comyn initialled the bank statements.

  1. Approval of any payments to be made: The Clerk’s salary September £66.11 and October £66.11, the RFO’s salary September £41.08 and October £41.08, Matthew Coe for the cemetery hedge cutting £455.00, Alexander Brown for Westcot Green grass cutting £80 and PAYE for the second ¼ £80.40, signing was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed by all except Cllr Brown who abstained from the vote.
  2. Assets review:  The RFO presented the revised Asset Register and acceptance was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.    
  3. Any other finance matters:  Cllr Brown proposed that the discussion for a walking route to the cemetery through Triangle Woods funded by the Parish Council be revisited and Cllr Comyn agreed to speak to Mervin Swire on behalf of the Parish Council as he owns the woodThe effectiveness of the Internal Audit was discussed and the only comment was regarding the land registry of the cemetery extension landCllr Comyn agreed acceptance of the document, seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed unanimously.  The appointment of the Internal Auditor for year 2018/19 was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.


















Cllr Comyn



New Applications:

  1. P18/V2371/HH & P18/V2372/LB Sparsholt Manor, OX12 9PT:  Refurbishment and extension of Sparsholt Manor within its associated parkland, with the demolition and replacement of a stable yard and remodelling of parts of the parkland with the provision of a new walled kitchen garden and structures.  The Parish Councillors have all viewed the plans and Cllr Comyn summarised that is was a major development of the interior of the house and a new formal entrance on the West side.  Although the property is a grade 2 listed building the house has been extended over the years in the style of the existing house so parts are not old.  The current entrance has steep steps but this is also not the original entrance.  This door will be converted into a window and a new entrance will be created which will look much more aesthetic.  The fireplaces inside are all modern and the interior changes are not significant.  The stables and cottages that are to be demolished are not listed in their own right.  Cllr Comyn can see the logic behind the proposed application.  Cllr Williams mentioned that the property cannot be seen easily, Cllr Brown said that you can get a glimpse of it as you go down Eastmanton.  Cllr Barnes thought it was a good development and that it looked nice and would be good for the community and local employment.   Cllr Downie felt that the Parish Council could not object as it is not visible from the village.  Cllr Brown is pleased with the application as he feels that it re-connects the George II house with the parkland and gets rid of the 1960’s flat roof.  Also that it is a bold and nice extension and the new wing will have views over the parkland.  Cllr Comyn proposed that the parish council fully supported the application and will draft a list of reasons which will be circulated to the other parish councillors for approval before submitting to the VOWHDC planning department.  This was seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.


  1. P18/V1919/LDP Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Erection of outbuildings and swimming pool.  Granted.


















Cllr Comyn




Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:  Cllr Comyn gives the funeral directors a copy of the cemetery plan with the plot clearly marked when they contact him.  Recently there was a reserved grave accidently dug for a different person’s burial but this was reinstated before the burial took place.  A parishioner asked if it would be an idea to have a copy kept with another member of the Parish Council.  It was agreed that Cllr Comyn would give a copy to Cllr Brown.  The Clerk asked if a risk assessment for water in the cemetery was required and it was agreed by all that this was not necessary.



GDPR – dedicated Parish Council email addresses and approval of the GDPR Policy:  The Clerk reminded Cllrs Williams and Downie that they needed to create a dedicated parish Council email address.  Acceptance of the GDPR policy prepared by the Clerk was proposed by Cllr Barnes, seconded by Cllr Comyn and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Comyn signed the policy.  It was agreed that the cemetery data would need to be kept in a locked cabinet.



Correspondence Sheet:  Cllr Brown asked about the correspondence that the Clerk forwarded to Cllr Comyn regarding a request for the internment of ashes and if the person had a right to be interred in the cemetery.  Cllr Comyn assured Cllr Brown that they did qualify for their ashes to be interred in the cemetery in Sparsholt.



Any other business: 

  1. A parishioner asked Romana Akira from The Old Glebe House about concerns that had grown over potential security breaches over the summer.  The parishioner lives at the back of The Old Glebe House and had been woken on four occasions by Police cars, the Police helicopter and Police shining torches looking for a missing person.  The parishioner also stated that they had come across a confused person by the Griffin Memorial Hall and had notified The Old Glebe House who had attended and collected the person.  Romana Akira apologised for the disturbances and said that the high risk person was no longer under the care of The Old Glebe House and that they had been discharged to a secure place.  The new facility on the Tennis Courts will be dedicated to 1:1 care.  Romana assured the meeting that full assessments were completed of each resident.  The parishioner asked if tighter security measures had been put in place so that a person at risk could not escape.  Romana responded that that the new facility would have 15 observations, over 24 hour seven days a week 1:1 care.  It was also asked if the company would be expanding further and Romana responded that it would not be expanding on this site.  The company were based originally in Oxford for seven years and had been locally for 4 years.  The residents were at The Old Glebe House voluntarily and those that were under independent living had a curfew of 11.00pm.  There are currently space for 10 residents.  A parishioner stated that surely more vulnerable patients increases risks, Romana responded that there would be careful assessment and more containment for the more vulnerable residents that needed a higher level of stabilisation.  Addicts have to be fully detoxed before joining their facility.  A parishioner asked if the new facility would mean an increase in traffic, Romana responded that the late shift was 8.00pm-8.00am so there would be no overnight traffic.  Cllr Barnes suggested that immediate neighbours should be notify of a security breach if another one occurs and Romana agreed to this.  Cllr Barnes suggested that The Old Glebe put a note through to the immediate neighbours asking them if they would like to be informed by text.  Cllr Comyn hoped that Police visits would become an exception rather than the norm.  A parishioner suggested that Romana could inform the Police that blue lights and sirens were not necessary.  There is two years to run on the current lease.  Romana said that The Old Glebe House would welcome suggestions.  The parishioner asked for a guarantee that the security would be better and Romana agreed.     
  2. It had been noted that a pole has come out of the Village Green rail by the Star public house and Cllr Comyn agreed to ask Ian Lambourne if he could lift it back in.



























Cllr Comyn


Date of Next Meetings: Wednesdays 21st November 2018 starting at 7.30pm at the Griffin Memorial Hall.

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


Meeting closed at 9.22pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 17th October 2018