Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting Room via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Town Clerk 

Items
No. Item

432.

Apologies for Absence

To consider apologies and reasons for absence.

 

Committee members who are unable to attend the meeting should notify the Democratic Services Officer (nicky.cayley@witney-tc.gov.uk) prior to the meeting, stating the reason for absence.

 

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

433.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in any of the items under consideration at this meeting in accordance with the Town Council’s code of conduct.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest in matters to be discussed at the meeting.

 

434.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 546 KB

To approve and adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 October 2020 in accordance with Standing Order 18 including questions on the minutes as to the progress of any item.

 

Minutes:

Members received and considered the minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2020.  There were no matters arising.

 

RESOLVED:          that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2020 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair

 

435.

Public Participation

The meeting will adjourn for this item.

Members of the public may speak for a maximum of five minutes each during the period of public participation, in line with Standing Order 42.  Matters raised shall relate to the following items on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public present for this item.

 

436.

An Update from Witney Oxfordshire County Councillors and West Oxfordshire District Councillors

To receive a short verbal update from Witney Oxfordshire County Councillors and West Oxfordshire District Councillors.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Duncan Enright – West Oxfordshire District Council

 

Cllr Enright provided an update on the District Council’s budget setting process.  The Council was beginning some difficult budgetary years as the mid-term plan indicated that there were shortfalls in funding.  Most of the savings made by the restructuring process had now been achieved and the pandemic had also impacted the budget.

 

Cllr Rosa Bolger – West Oxfordshire District Council

 

Cllr Bolger advised that a new Covid-19 test centre was under construction at the Woodford Way car park in town.  Officers had been working hard.  Residents had expressed concern at the loss of parking and so members had pushed hard for extra signage to signpost the top two levels of Marriott’s Walk Car Park.  Cllr Bolger also reported that a close eye would be kept on the surrounding residential roads to ensure that people did not park their cars there instead.

 

RESOLVED:          that the updates be noted.

 

437.

Report Back from the Councillors on the Work with External Bodies where they serve as the Town Council's Nominated Representative

To receive a short verbal update from councillors who sit on external bodies where they serve as the Town Council’s nominated representative.

 

Minutes:

Members did not have anything to report for this item.

 

438.

Minutes of Committees and Sub Committees

To receive and NOTE the RESOLUTIONS in the minutes of the meetings held between 13 October2020 and 24 November 2020, and agree the RECOMMENDATIONS contained therein:

 

438a

Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Minutes - 13 October, 3 November and 24 November 2020. pdf icon PDF 368 KB

*Please note that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2020 are incomplete whilst officers formulate the response to 20/02654/OUT.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair presented the minutes of the Climate, Biodiversity and Planning Committees held on 13 October, 3 November and 24 November 2020 and moved their acceptance.  It was noted that for the minutes of 24 November, the response for the Proposed East Witney Development was delegated to officers to complete.

 

It was also requested that Cllr Enright be added as attending the meetings of the 3 and 24 November 2020.

 

RESOLVED:          that the minutes of the Climate, Biodiversity and Planning Committee of 13 October, 3 November and 24 November 2020 be received and any recommendations therein approved, with Cllr Enright being added to the list of meeting attendees on the 3 and 24 November.

 

 

438b

Sport & Play Committee - 2 November 2020. pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Minutes:

The Chair presented the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2020 and moved their acceptance. 

 

RESOLVED:          that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2020 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

 

 

438c

Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments Committee - 9 November 2020. pdf icon PDF 510 KB

Minutes:

The Chair presented the minutes of the meeting held on 9 November 2020 and moved their acceptance. 

 

RESOLVED:          that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 November 2020 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

 

438d

Stronger Communities Committee - 16 November 2020. pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Minutes:

The Chair presented the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2020 and moved their acceptance. 

 

Matters Arising

 

The Leader referred to minute SC391 – Christmas Lights - and asked if members would be happy to run a best dressed house competition.  Councillors should submit their favourites in their wards to the Communications and Events Officer and a winner would then be chosen from each ward.  All agreed that this was a good idea.

 

RESOLVED:         

 

1.            that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2020 be received and any recommendations therein approved;

 

2.            that Councillors facilitate a best dressed Christmas house competition, with a winner to be chosen in each ward.

 

 

 

438e

Policy, Governance and Finance Committee - 23 November 2020. pdf icon PDF 509 KB

Minutes:

The Chair presented the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020 and moved their acceptance.

 

RESOLVED:          that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

439.

Civic Announcements pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To receive the report of the Mayor.

 

Minutes:

The Council received and considered the report of the Mayor’s engagements, circulated before the meeting,

 

RESOLVED:          that the report be noted.

 

440.

Motions to Council

To receive and consider the following motions:-

 

1.            County Lines and Child Exploitation         

 

Witney Town Council notes that: 

  • We are only too aware of the issues in Oxfordshire of the County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation, through our partnerships with WODC, TVP and other key organisations.
  • We are equally aware of the damage that this criminal behaviour can wreak in communities like ours, and the potentially lifelong consequences it can have for vulnerable young people.
  • We also note that County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation is the subject of a current Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, which has been supported by MPs from across the political spectrum.

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57477/county-lines-and-child-criminal-exploitation

Therefore this council resolves to: 

  • Write to Robert Courts MP, asking him to add his signature to the motion, and to encourage as many of his Parliamentary colleagues to do the same.

Proposed by Cllr Ashbourne, seconded by Cllr Collins.

2.            Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Witney Town Council declared a Climate Emergency at the Council meeting on 26th June 2019 and followed up with a Public Meeting in July 2019 enabling everyone to share ideas and visions for change. These included engagement with Central Government, West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, relevant stake holders and other organisations to initiate local action on climate change.

On September 20th 2020, an Early Day Motion entitled the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill was tabled in the House of Commons. The Government’s recent Ten Point Plan goes a long way towards tackling the UK’s carbon emissions, but this Bill recognises that our carbon footprint extends beyond the UK’s borders. The Bill calls for:

•the UK to make and enact a serious plan to combat climate change. This means dealing with our real fair share of emissions so that we don’t go over critical global rises in temperature

•our entire carbon footprint be taken into account (in the UK and overseas)

•the protection and conservation of nature here and overseas along supply chains, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we consume

•those in power not to depend on technology to save the day, which is used as an excuse to carry on polluting as usual

•people to have a real say on the way forward in a citizens’ assembly with bite

This Council agrees with the principles of this Bill and supports Oxfordshire residents in their efforts to see it come into law.  We ask the Leader of this Council to write to our MP, asking them to support their constituents by voting for this Bill when it comes to the House of Commons.

Proposed by Cllr Prosser, seconded by Cllr Smith.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Council received and considered two motions.  The Leader informed the Council that it had come to her attention that as a member of Government, the Rt Hon. Robert Courts could not support private members bills, such as those to be presented to Council.  This was confirmed by Cllr Harvey.

 

The motions were presented as follows:-

 

1.            County Lines and Child Exploitation         

 

Witney Town Council notes that: 

  • We are only too aware of the issues in Oxfordshire of the County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation, through our partnerships with WODC, TVP and other key organisations.
  • We are equally aware of the damage that this criminal behaviour can wreak in communities like ours, and the potentially lifelong consequences it can have for vulnerable young people.
  • We also note that County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation is the subject of a current Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, which has been supported by MPs from across the political spectrum.

Therefore this council resolves to: 

  • Write to Robert Courts MP, asking him to add his signature to the motion, and to encourage as many of his Parliamentary colleagues to do the same.

Proposed by Cllr Ashbourne, seconded by Cllr Collins.

2.            Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Witney Town Council declared a Climate Emergency at the Council meeting on 26th June 2019 and followed up with a Public Meeting in July 2019 enabling everyone to share ideas and visions for change. These included engagement with Central Government, West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, relevant stake holders and other organisations to initiate local action on climate change.

On September 20th 2020, an Early Day Motion entitled the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill was tabled in the House of Commons. The Government’s recent Ten Point Plan goes a long way towards tackling the UK’s carbon emissions, but this Bill recognises that our carbon footprint extends beyond the UK’s borders. The Bill calls for:

•the UK to make and enact a serious plan to combat climate change. This means dealing with our real fair share of emissions so that we don’t go over critical global rises in temperature

•our entire carbon footprint be taken into account (in the UK and overseas)

•the protection and conservation of nature here and overseas along supply chains, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we consume

•those in power not to depend on technology to save the day, which is used as an excuse to carry on polluting as usual

•people to have a real say on the way forward in a citizens’ assembly with bite

This Council agrees with the principles of this Bill and supports Oxfordshire residents in their efforts to see it come into law.  We ask the Leader of this Council to write to our MP, asking them to support their constituents by voting for this Bill when it comes to the House of Commons.

Proposed by Cllr Prosser, seconded by Cllr Smith.

                Due to the Leader’s update,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 440.

441.

Community Support Initiative - Online Pantomime Grant Request

In addition to the minutes, members are asked to consider granting the sum of £368.60 from the general grants fund (4100/402) towards 23 tickets for the online pantomime of Sleeping Beauty being promoted by the Council. The donation, if agreed under the General Power of Competence, along with that provided by County Councillor Laura Price from her Councillor Priority Fund would allow disadvantaged children, as designated by local schools to be able to see a pantomime over this festive period.

Minutes:

The Leader gave an update on the online pantomime.  Since the original discussions with the promoters, it had become clear that the Council would not be able to pay for the tickets within the timescale subsequently requested, due to the Council’s financial regulations.  As the Council was no longer able to support the initiative, it was hoped that an alternative could be found in the new year.

 

RESOLVED:          to delegate to Officers, the Mayor, the Leader and Cllr Duncan to try to arrange something similar in the New Year.

 

442.

Conclusion of Audit for Year Ending 31 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 886 KB

To note that the Council’s External Auditor – Moore Stephens – have completed the review of

Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ended 31 March

2020, and in their opinion the information is in accordance with Proper Practices (External

Audit Report and Certificate 2019/20 enclosed).

 

 

Minutes:

The Council received and considered the external audit report and certificate 2019/20.  The Town Clerk referred to the notes and advised that she was confident that the outstanding items would be done next year.  She also advised that the Code of Conduct was not within the control of the Town Council as members signed up to the District Council Code, and therefore there would be no change unless the District changed it or there was a national change.  She would take this up with the auditor.

 

RESOLVED:          that the conclusion of audit for the year ending 31 March 2020 be noted.

 

443.

Vandalism pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive an update on vandalism in the town from the Operations & Estates Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered an updated schedule of vandalism, prepared by the Operations and Estates Officer.

 

RESOLVED:          that the update be noted.

 

444.

Health and Safety pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive and note the Officer’s verbal update on Health & Safety and COVID-19 matters if appropriate

Minutes:

 

The Town Clerk read an update on behalf of the Compliance and Environment Officer, covering Covid safety in the offices and public halls.

 

RESOLVED:          that the update be noted and thanks expressed to Officers who have worked hard to keep the Council Covid safe.

 

445.

Communication from the Leader

To receive such communications as the Leader of the Council may wish to bring before the Council

and to consider the recommendation of the Leader on how such communications should be dealt

with.

 

Minutes:

There was no communications from the Leader.

 

446.

Correspondence pdf icon PDF 530 KB

To receive the following correspondence:-

 

a) a response from Robert Courts MP in relation to minute number 339 from the Council meeting held on 12th October 2020;

 

b) letter to the Mayor from Witney Oxford Transport.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received and considered a letter from Robert Courts MP in relation to minute number 339 from the Council meeting on 12 October 2020, and a letter from Witney Oxford Transport, asking for the Mayor’s support for its submission to the government’s Beeching Reversal fund for a feasibility study.  The Mayor alone could not support this but the Council agreed that as a body it would send a letter of support.

 

RESOLVED:          that the correspondence be noted and that Witney Town Council supports Witney Oxford Transport’s submission to the government’s Beeching Reversal fund for a feasibility study.

 

 

 

 

 

447.

Questions to the Leader of the Council

Questions to the Leader of the Council concerning the business of the Council in accordance with Standing Order 15.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions to the Leader of the Council.

 

448.

Sealing of Documents

To authorise the sealing of documents arising from Council resolutions and to note the sealing of:

 

19 November 2020           Seal no. 83        Lease for Langdale Hall Car Park between Witney

Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council.

 

 

Minutes:

The Town Clerk advised that a lease had now been signed for West Oxfordshire District Council to take on the Langdale Hall car park in order to enforce the parking regulations.

 

RESOLVED:          that the seal of the Council be affixed to the document.