Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Main Hall, The Corn Exchange, Witney. View directions

Contact: Town Clerk 

Items
No. Item

513.

Apologies for Absence

To consider apologies and reasons for absence.

 

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

 

Standing Order 30(a)(v) permits the appointment of substitute Councillors to a Committee whose role is to replace ordinary Councillors at a meeting of a Committee if ordinary Councillors of the Committee have confirmed to the Proper Officer before the meeting that they are unable to attend.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L Ashbourne, R Bolger,        O Collins, L Duncan, A D Harvey, J King and A McMahon.

 

514.

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 from members or officers.

 

515.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 508 KB

To approve and adopt the minutes of the Council Meetings held on 2 August and 6 September 2021 in accordance with Standing Order 18 including questions on the minutes as to the progress of any item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meetings held on 2 August and 6 September 2021 were approved and adopted.

 

In respect of Minute No. 459 – Oxfordshire Bus Service Improvement Plan it was reported that the response to the consultation had been submitted.

 

Councillor Enright joined the meeting at this juncture.

 

516.

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:

The meeting adjourned for this item.

 

Mr Mark McCappin representing Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group addressed the meeting regarding Agenda Item No. 11 - Burford Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.

 

The meeting reconvened following public participation.

 

The Council at the request of the Chair agreed to take Agenda Item No. 11 before Agenda Item No. 5.

 

517.

Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group

To receive an update on the Burford Bridge 7.5t Experimental Traffic Regulation Order and request from Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group (WiVTAG) in re-affirming support for its campaign.

Minutes:

The Council was requested to consider whether it wanted to send a supplementary letter to Oxfordshire County Council confirming the request that the Burford Experimental Traffic Restriction Order (ETRO) should be rescinded when the matter is considered in January 2022.

 

Resolved:

 

That, a further letter be sent to Oxfordshire County Council confirming the request for the Burford ETRO to be rescinded.

 

Councillor Enright abstained from voting.

 

518.

Witney Community Policing Issues

To receive an update from the Witney Police Team (if appropriate).

Minutes:

Insp Chris Ball, Thames Valley Police, introduced himself and explained that he had recently been appointed to oversee policing in West Oxfordshire following the retirement of the previous postholder.

 

In response to questions Insp Ball indicated that intervention schemes, particularly with younger people, to address anti-social behaviour (ASB) would be a priority. It was noted that there were particular issues with ASB at the Town Council cemeteries and patrols would be undertaken in those areas.

 

Insp Ball encouraged the reporting of low-level crime through the non-emergency number as this data informed policing priorities in the district.

 

The Chair expressed the hope that the Town Council and Thames Valley Police would be able to work collaboratively to address any issues in Witney.

 

519.

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

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

Minutes:

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC)

 

Councillor Enright reported that a new 20mph zone policy was being implemented and would mean OCC working in partnership with Town & Parish Councils to identify sites. In respect of costs, it was explained that OCC would pay for road markings and signage but other aspects such as electronic signs would need to be financed separately.

 

Councillor Enright advised that OCC had invested in a specialist Housing Association to provide accommodation for clients with learning difficulties. It was noted that the budget process for the next financial year had started.

 

Finally, it was reported that an initial meeting had been held with interested parties to develop a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Witney.

 

West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC)

 

Councillor Prosser reported that WODC had commenced a refugee support programme and dedicated resources had been allocated to support Afghan refugees.

 

Councillor Eaglestone advised that the Witney Flood Mitigation Group had attended the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee and raised concern about flooding issues in the town. Representatives of the Environment Agency had also been present at the meeting and responded to issues raised.

 

Councillor Prosser indicated that the Flood Group would also like to address the Town Council and this would be facilitated at a Planning, Biodiversity & Planning meeting at the earliest opportunity.

 

Councillor Prosser updated members on the WODC Planning Sub-Committee that had been held earlier in the day. It was reported that Application No. 21/02210/FUL – Unit 1-5, Avenue Two, Witney to which the Town Council had raised objection had been approved. It was noted that the applicant had indicated that they would be prepared to discuss access issues to the Lake & Country Park.

Councillor Temple joined the meeting at this juncture.

 

520.

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:

Witney Town Charity – It was noted that a new representative would be required in due course. The Town Clerk advised that the charity would contact the council when a nomination was needed.

 

Witney Educational Foundation – The Chair reported that a lot of requests were being received for financial support. In addition the foundation had thanked the council for suggesting the road name of Isabelle Spencer Way at the new Windrush Primary School.

 

521.

Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee - 10 August, 31 August and 21 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 509 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Committee presented the above minutes to Council and moved their acceptance.

 

In respect of Minute No. P441 of 10 August 2021, it was agreed that an update on the wildflower planting would be provided.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Advisory Committee meetings held on 10 & 31 August and 21 September be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

522.

Parks & Recreation Committee - 6 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 482 KB

Minutes:

The Chair of the Committee presented the above minutes to Council and moved their acceptance.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Parks & Recreation Committee meeting held on 6 September 2021 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

 

 

523.

Hall, Cemeteries & Allotments Committee - 13 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 372 KB

Minutes:

The Chair of the Committee presented the above minutes to Council and moved their acceptance.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments Committee meeting held on 13 September 2021 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

 

524.

Stronger Communities Committee - 20 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 383 KB

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chair of the Committee Councillor Aitman presented the above minutes to Council and moved their acceptance.

 

Councillor Smith reported that an officer from Oxfordshire County Council had met with local residents regarding Tower Hill Bus Stop improvements. As a result further discussions would be held regarding location and the requirements of the S106 agreement.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Stronger Communities Committee meeting held on 20 September 2021 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

 

 

525.

Policy, Governance & Finance Committee - 27 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 531 KB

Minutes:

The Vice-Chair of the Committee presented the above minutes to Council and moved their acceptance.

 

The Town Clerk reported that in respect of Minute No. F505 the contractor had indicated that they would be able to undertake the necessary works in respect of wildflower planting at the closed churchyards within the current budget. The Council was therefore requested to rescind resolution 2 of the minute and this was agreed.

 

In respect of resolution 3 of the same minute it was advised that the figure should read £1,700 and this was agreed.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes, as amended, of the Policy, Governance & Finance Committee meeting held on 27 September 2021 be received and any recommendations therein approved.

526.

Conclusion of Audit for Year Ending 31 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 748 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 2021, and in their opinion the information is in accordance with Proper Practices (External Audit Report and Certificate 2020/21 enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was reported that the Council’s External Auditor, Moore Stephens, had completed the review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ended 31 March 2021, and in their opinion the information is in accordance with Proper Practices. Members thanked officers for work in achieving such a good audit opinion.

 

Resolved:

 

That, the outcome of the review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ended 31 March 2021 be noted.

 

527.

Climate Emergency Update pdf icon PDF 371 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Maintenance & Environmental Services Officer.

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Maintenance & Environmental Services Officer updating on progress in meeting the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2028.

 

Members considered the proposed target for reducing CO2 emissions and it was suggested that the target should be more ambitious than 5% year on year. It was acknowledged that if certain works were undertaken this could accelerate meeting the targets as they would equate to a large reduction in emissions. It was suggested and agreed that the target should be revised to a 15% target. Clarification was given that the baseline for calculations would be 2019 when the declaration of a climate emergency had been made.

 

Confirmation was given that a budget of £5,000 had been allocated for the replacement of Town Council vehicles with electric vehicles as and when this was required. It was further suggested that the replacement of the Corn Exchange heating system should be investigated with an initial budget of £20,000 being requested.

 

Discussion ensued on options for offsetting carbon usage against Town Council owned green spaces. It was acknowledged that this was subject to specific requirements and guidelines and the key was to switch away from fossil fuels. It was agreed that offsetting should be considered as part of the overall strategy. The Council further agreed that the targets should also include tenants of Council buildings and contractors working for the Council.

 

After further discussion it was:

 

Resolved:

 

1.       That, the progress to date and existing allocated budgets for addressing the climate emergency be noted;

 

2.       That, the target for reducing CO2 emissions be set at 15% year on year and publicise the results of how targets have been achieved;

 

3.       That, the focus of the strategy be on switching away from fossil fuels with the possibility of using green tariffs and carbon offsetting also being investigated to meet targets; and

 

4.       That, the replacement of the heating system at the Corn Exchange be investigated with an initial budget allocation of £20,000 being requested.

 

528.

Code of Conduct Complaint - Letter of Apology

To receive and consider the confidential report of the Town Clerk.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the confidential report of the Town Clerk regarding a Code of Conduct complaint against a Town Councillor.

 

Resolved:

 

That, the letter of apology as appended to the confidential report be noted.

 

529.

Civic Announcements pdf icon PDF 463 KB

To receive the report of the Mayor.

Minutes:

The report outlining civic duties undertaken by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor was received.

 

The Mayor highlighted that the number of events was increasing following the relaxation of Covid restrictions. Members thanked Councillor Aitman for her hard work in representing the Council at civic and other events.

 

Resolved:

 

That, the report be noted.

 

530.

Health and Safety

To receive a verbal update from the Deputy Town Clerk on any Health & Safety Matters.

Minutes:

The Town Clerk reported that the defibrillator at Burwell Hall was to be replaced and if the old one was returned then that would be kept as a spare.

 

It was reported that a member of staff had tested positive for Covid and the offices had been deep cleaned with services only being interrupted for a short time.

 

Resolved:

 

That, the Health and Safety update be noted.

531.

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:

In the absence of the Leader, the Deputy Leader advised there were no communications..

 

532.

Correspondence pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To receive correspondence from the Town Clerk for information (if applicable).

Minutes:

The Council received correspondence regarding funding of a taxi service for lone people at night. It was noted that this was outside the remit of the Council.

 

Discussion ensued regarding safety of residents particularly at night. Insp Ball acknowledged the concerns and advised that a new Night-Time Economy plan was being developed and would include a more visible police presence. It was noted that a review of CCTV provision was also being undertaken.

 

Resolved:

 

That, the correspondence be noted.

 

533.

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:

In the absence of the Leader, there were no questions for the Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

534.

Sealing of Documents

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

 

No. 85   License to Assign [The Cemetery Lodge, Tower Hill to Kenmore Estates Ltd & Mid Counties C-operative Funeral Ltd.].

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

 

No. 85   License to Assign [The Cemetery Lodge, Tower Hill to Kenmore Estates Ltd & Mid Counties C-operative Funeral Ltd.].

 

535.

Exclusion of Press & Public

To consider and if appropriate, to pass the following resolution:

 

That in accordance with section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, and as extended by Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public, including the press, be excluded from the meeting because of the confidential nature of the following business to be transacted.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That, in accordance with section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, and as extended by Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public, including the press, be excluded from the meeting because of the confidential nature of the following business to be transacted.

 

536.

Corn Exchange - Retractable Seating Contract

To receive a verbal update from the Corn Exchange Working Party on the recommendation of the Retractable Seating Contract.

Minutes:

The recommendations of the Corn Exchange Working Party meeting held on 7 October 2021 were outlined.

 

It was reported that a contractor had been recommended by the Working Party and they had also noted that there had been an underspend on the sound and lighting contract so additional funding was recommended to facilitate extra works identified in the report.

 

Members supported the recommendations of the Corn Exchange Working Party.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. That, the Retractable Seating Contract be awarded to Hussey Seatway for the sum of £66,593; and

 

  1. That, a sum of £1,593 is used from the underspend of the allocated Sound & Lighting budget to deliver necessary extras included in the above price