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Annual Village Meeting Report 2022

Annual Village Report Uploaded on April 16, 2022

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING IS BEING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL

Tuesday 12th April 2022 – 7:30pm

 

Chairman: Nigel Galletly 3 Allens Orchard, Chipping Warden, Banbury Oxon OX17 1LX

07733 881729 or chair@chippingwarden.org

Current Vice Chairman: David Cross  
Councillors: Phil Brown

Steve Furby

Natasha Douglas

 

Clare Brooke

James Coyne

Hamish Gairdner

Nick Meades

Clerk: Lorraine Stanley 6 Appletree Road, Chipping Warden, Banbury Oxon OX17 1LQ

01295 660639 or clerk@chippingwarden.org

 

Parish Council Website : www.chippingwarden.org

 

 

To keep you informed we are distributing the Chairman’s Report and Financial Statement as usual.  If you have any queries and can’t attend the meeting then please get in touch and we will try to clarify as much as we can.

 

We are increasingly receiving and circulating information by email.  If you would like to be included in our distribution list for any local information please provide your email address to the Parish Clerk. Send an email to clerk@chippingwarden.org .  Please note that if you provide your email address the Parish Clerk will use it to circulate information deemed of interest to parishioners and your details will be held for this purpose alone.

 

Increasingly the Parish Council information and local news is also communicated via the Chipping Warden Community Facebook Group.  This is a particularly useful line of communication for urgent Hs2 works updates and utility works warnings.  If you haven’t tried it out log onto Facebook and have a look.

 

Parish Council Chairman’s Report

 

In some ways the pandemic has brought the parish closer together with more of us at home during the week.  Often a quick ‘hello’ when meeting on walks or stopping for a brief chat has been the social highlight.  But it seems everyone has been looking out for each other and the feeling of community has been strengthened.

 

But it’s great to be getting back to some sort of normality.

We have had a fair turnover of new villagers arriving and old friends leaving.  Hopefully all new arrivals have found the Parish as welcoming as ever.

 

Local Government Reorganisation:  From 1st April 2021 the new Unitary Authority for our area officially came into being and we now belong to West Northamptonshire.

As far as your services from County and District Councils are concerned you should still contact the same people you always did, at the same offices, but slowly over the coming year the emphasis showing West Northants rather than SNC or NCC will become apparent.  The new combined websites and groups are not always and improvement.  Indeed some of the ‘rationalisation’ of services has reduced the otherwise better previous SNC service offering.

The May 2021 election to the new West Northamptonshire Council resulted in the election of many new Councillors.  Our new representative for the Silverstone Ward is Alison Eastwood.  Alison is new to the role of Councillor but has been very active in representing her constituents in the few months since she has been in the role.  I feel confident that she will be an asset going forward.  Alison should be at the village meeting to say a few words and field any questions.

Parish Council functions have been largely unaffected although some changes in our means of representation to the new authority may be brought forward.  This is still going through the process and is still to be fully determined.  A great increase in ‘Consultations’ has occurred as a result of the new WNC Council adopting many modern online survey tools.  This has resulted in a deluge of requests for information or ‘opportunities’ to comment on Council matters.  The PR side of the new Council seems to be working well – It remains to be seen how the service side matches it.

As we reported last year you will have noticed in your March Council Tax Demand that the Parish Council kept their precept at £14,000 for 2022/23.  There were however significant increases in the overall take from WNC and Police/Fire Services – Please see our Annual Accounts attached at the end of the document.

In comparison to our neighbouring villages we still charge less than most:  Full details of West Northamptonshire Parish precepts are published by WNC and should be available online.

 

Meetings related to the Local Government Reorganisation have added to the Parish Council’s busy year dealing with Hs2 Limited and their appointed contractor Fusion JV who were responsible for the Enabling Works.  Fusion have increasingly been replaced by the Main Works Contractor EKFB who have now fully moved into the airfield site.  We have all seen the effect of the new Relief Road.  There is generally a great improvement in the traffic through the Conservation Area with much more ‘quiet times’.  However problems still exist with drivers ‘rat-running’ attempting to beat the lorries on the bypass by racing through the village.  There is little we can do about this, other than pass on complaints to WNC Highways and Police, but hopefully it will eventually stop when the second phase of the relief road is completed.

I will now deal with current issues being addressed by your Council over the last year.

 

Activity Area:  Mostly this has been a great success.  We have had some issues getting equipment repaired in a timely fashion.  There was also a period when local foxes decided it was an ideal area for their ablutions.  Hopefully both issues have been resolved.  The Park is a great asset to the village.

 

 

Hs2 & Relief Road:

Finally!!! Appletree Road is free of Transporters – except when they go the wrong way following their sat-navs or Hs2 publish a map routing vehicles up there.

The ‘Enabling Works’ for Hs2 which involved all the test drilling, replacement habitat creation and initial archaeology has been completed and at present the main archaeology works at Trafford Bridge and Blackgrounds is now virtually complete.

The contract for the detailed railway design in our area was awarded to Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall (EKFB) and construction was scheduled to commence in our area in April 2020 with EKFB getting ready by expanding the construction site – obviously Covid put a dampener on the scale up of works but now it’s well underway .

Since there is so much work associated with the green tunnel and the Edgcote Viaduct our area is classified a critical part of the project.  Under the current plans they plan to finish the Relief Road early in the process – hopefully by early 2023.  Phase II of the construction will involve joining the main roundabout to the old A361 at the second bend south of the crossroads and removing the small roundabout north of the school.

Once it’s in place there should be no more rat-running through the village to beat the trucks on the Relief Road.

To get their vehicles across the A361 from the compound to Calves Close/Culworth Road Area there will be a temporary embankment and Bailey Bridge constructed just south of the compound (north of where the Phase II relief road joins the A361) so the A361 traffic can pass under the haulage road allowing movement across the A361 without impact on traffic.  Originally EKFB planned to use the west spur of the main roundabout on the Relief Road to access their site and move vehicles up and down the railway trace without impacting the village.  Which is why it shows access to the Hs2 compound on all the new signs – now painted out.

EKFB have built an on-site batching plant to mix the cement locally rather than import the massive quantity needed by road which should help reduce traffic on the A361 to Banbury and north through Byfield.  When finished the ground level will be re-instated and top-soil replaced for agriculture.

These and other significant efforts have been made to minimise the number of HGV movements on the A361 in particular EKFB are planning to have the concrete tunnel sections constructed off site and delivered to the compound.

The Chipping Warden Green Tunnel is 2480m in length and is to be created from 992 ‘rings’ of pre-cast concrete sections.  These will be manufactured in Ilkeston, Derbyshire by Stanton Precast (www.stantonprecast.co.uk) and delivered onto site via the M40 Junction 11 and A361 by Explo’re Transport Ltd who specialize in such logistics.  There are 5 pre-cast pieces in each ‘ring’ which will require 4 deliveries per ring.  Resulting in 3968 total deliveries to the compound.

It is expected that there will be a maximum of 15 deliveries per day, each vehicle of which will also have to return back down the A361 to Junction 11 as well.  These deliveries will start in May 2022 and probably spread out over up to 2 years.  One central pre-cast section in each ring is 4.2 metres wide when loaded on the delivery vehicles and as such is an abnormal load which will need to be delivered with an escort vehicle.

It is our understanding that in Derbyshire the county Police have insisted on a full (2 car) police escort for each of these deliveries from the Ilkeston works to the M1.  However, Oxfordshire and Northants Police have not responded in the same fashion and at present the plan is for ‘self escort’ of these deliveries along the A361 From M40 Junction 11 to Chipping Warden.

It is the strong belief of the Chipping Warden and Edgcote Parish Council that such ‘self escorts’ will not be sufficient to negotiate the deliveries along the A361 to the compound and there will be particular issues through the twisting sections of in the village of Wardington.  There is already a very busy BCA car storage facility on the Chipping Warden airfield which results in a large volume of car transporters continually using the road.  These, along with other logistics deliveries to and from DIRFT in Daventry, along the A361 will make passage of vehicles extremely difficult.

It is our understanding that a ‘self escort’ vehicle has no authority to ‘stop the traffic’ to allow passage of the wide load so we anticipate some issues with vehicles getting ‘stuck’ potentially causing greater delays.

The Parish Council also has a great concern that these slow moving deliveries will cause rash overtaking which will add to the danger for local residents going about their daily lives.  There is also likely to be an issue with motorists, who have been held up for 15-30 minutes behind these loads from Junction 11 to Chipping Warden, who may take the opportunity to race through the village along the old A361 when the loads are negotiating the relief road around the village that was built to relieve construction traffic from the central village Conservation Area.  We already have a daily problem with some cars racing past our primary school and Kindergarten to ‘beat’ slow traffic to the other end and re-joining the A361.  Frustrations at being held up for so long will only exacerbate this.

Additionally, there are still plans to construct ‘modular’ residential units on the airfield compound for Hs2 employees.  We understand these are in units containing 80 rooms each and the initial plan is for 2 of these (160 employees on site) but this is scalable up to 5 units (400 employees on site) if demand requires.

The detailed railway design of some elements is still being completed and designs for the Edgcote and Lower Thorpe Viaducts (both of which are key design features) were presented by a virtual roadshow.  General reception was not encouraging as most saw it as a concrete monstrosity and all the nice words about ‘ensuring it was in keeping with the local vernacular’ seem to have been ignored.

For most of 2020 ALL EKFB works were stood down with only the security teams patrolling and engineers at the Wormleighton ‘Heave’ site on hand to pump out any water accumulated following rainstorms.

With the extensive initial archaeological surveys, of which Blackgrounds and Edgcote Battlefield are particularly important, now completed Hs2 and Fusion have shared these projects with local bodies and schools to provide some community payback.

There are still some issues facing us over the next few months relating to the end of the Enabling Works (most is now nearing completion) and the Main Railway Works.  In particular, in the short term, we now know that there will be:-

  • Only a small section of the Relief Road will be limited to 30mph – From the village boundary before Hogg End to just after the southern junction into the village.  We have expressed concern that this is much too close to the junction and made representations to the ‘bringing into use’ process to attempt to address this.  New Vehicle Activated Signs will be installed replacing the temporary ones currently in place.
  • From EKFB the final design of the Edgcote Viaduct and improving sight lines with ‘artistic shading’ has yet to be finalised

Allens Orchard Balancing Pond:

There has been much discussion of the ‘Safari Park’ fencing with opinions varying widely.  The Parish Council has one last opportunity to resolve the look of the area to the satisfaction of most residents – If agreement can be found!

At present there are suggestions that we could:

  • Do away with the fence completely (if Hs2 will agree) – but that may leave the grass-crete area unfenced and possibly used for parking or worse. It would also possibly make it possibly dangerous for anyone falling in.
  • Set back the fence line in places – implementing the plan agreed with Fusion by the Allens Orchard residents and plant some ‘softening’ shrubs.
  • Leave it as it is
  • Possibly reduce the fence height on the Allens Orchard side by half a metre.
  • Remove the Allens Orchard side fence but leave the A361 side fence ‘in situ’ as is.

We would very much like to hear your views.  Either at the Village meeting or you can fill in the form online at https://forms.office.com/r/yJ1ysZPNZq

 

We will do our best to keep you updated with information on Hs2 issues and transport plans via the Parish Council Website and our Social Media.  If your neighbours and friends are not tech-savvy please pass on what you can.

 

Housing Developments (Affordable or Otherwise):

Your Council has a long-standing resolution that no housing development should be permitted outside of the village confines and will oppose any such development as a matter of principal should they come to planning stage.

Your Council strongly believe that the rules should be enforced to protect the village environment in an equal and fair manner and we are always proactive in this regard by bringing issues to the notice of the relevant authorities.

There is increased pressure on all planning authorities to allow more housing development, but Chipping Warden Village is defined as a restricted infill village and no property development should be permitted outside the current ‘Village Confines’.  The Village Confines have recently been reviewed (2017) as part of the new Local Structure Plan and minor changes have been proposed.  The new confines have not yet been adopted due to the Unitary Authority reorganisation but are still planned to take effect.

A planning application was made for 8 houses on the barns area at the sports field (which is within the existing confines).  This has been approved in spite of local objections.  There was a condition on the outline planning permission that required a bat survey (and habitat relocation) of the old barns before they were demolished but it was not carried out.  As a result the existing planning permission previously granted is now again under review.  A further house in the extended development is being applied for on the ‘Old Morgue’ site behind the school.  Your Council have again raised an objection as this is contrary to NCC highways standards allowing so many new properties on a private road.  The Sports Club have been in discussion with the landowner as the access road to the site will reduce the size of the leased sports field and an agreement has been reached to provide alternative space along the eastern boundary to extend the field in that direction.

Finally, there was an application for the land off Long Barrow.  This was outside the Village Confines so we objected but it was apparently to build a single self-build dwelling.  The rules state that a SINGLE self build property can be approved if it is abutting the Confines boundary and as such the application was successful.  Whilst this may well tidy up the overgrown plot I imagine that the cost of self building a property on this site will be prohibitive due to utility and flooding concerns.  Your Council have also made strong representations to avoid there being a further ‘single’ application once this one is ever completed.

 

Other Planning:  There have been several applications for cutting/felling trees within the conservation area.  Residents should be aware that advance planning approval is required for ANY work on trees in the Conservation area.

Your Council has considered various other minor planning and consent applications during the year.  We are not experts in planning rules but we are pleased to provide input at the pre-planning stage if any developments are considered.  We have no formal right or veto over any application, but our opinion is considered as with any individual submission.

All planning applications can be viewed and commented on by anyone online at https://snc.planning-register.co.uk/Search/Advanced.  Click the Planning Search box at the top right drop down the search criteria by Parish for Chipping Warden and Edgcote.  Or they can be inspected at the old SNC Offices now (West Northants) in Towcester.

All Parish Council, Local Authority Agency and neighbours’ comments or objections– are published with the details and plans of any application.

 

Additional council business has continued as normal and the following has been of particular note.

 

Grass cutting:  The Village has continued to receive excellent service from our contractor RD Landscapes and we have agreed to continue with their services for 2022/23.  We would also like to thank all villagers who cut ‘their bit’ of the highways verge as it all assists in keeping costs down.  However, there is an increasing incidence of parking cutting up our green verges throughout the village and the Council request that villagers try to minimise any such damage.

Now the Relief Road is finally open parking along the A361 is also possible so this will hopefully improve.  Now Appletree Road is closed there has been a marked improvement with residents not parking on the verge and hopefully once the areas recover it will return to its best.

Litter: The construction crews and passing vehicles seem to think throwing litter out onto the floor is acceptable.  Despite many complaints to the industrial site owners and EKFB/Fusion the problem persists.  All organisations have responded positively and organised regular litter picks themselves.

If you see any on your walks through the village please pick it up (if you can in a safe manner) and drop it in any of our bins.  If we all do our bit we all benefit from a nicer environment.

We would particularly like to thank Mr & Mrs Carr for their continued litter picking efforts around the village and there is now a much a larger team of volunteers who are often visible with litter pickers and plastic bags on their daily walks following social media campaigns.  I am afraid we will have to live with this for the duration of the construction project but we will keep trying to get it resolved. 

Flooding and Drainage:

The Parish Council have been particularly vigilant with all drainage plans in the Hs2 design when we hope some of the long standing issues may get addressed by improved drainage from the airfield site to the Cherwell

Street lighting:  Our Clerk is very proactive in reporting and chasing lighting repairs but if anyone notices malfunctioning street lights in the village please notify the Clerk or a local Councillor as we can only get them repaired if we know they are broken.

Dog Fouling:  Following the Covid lockdowns there are many non-village residents walking our local footpaths with their animals – some of which are not as well monitored as we would like.  Generally, we would like to thank dog owners for their continued co-operation but recently more issues are being reported.  Please be aware that dogs are not allowed in the Activity Park and recently West Northants Council have introduced new regulations on dog walking that involve the possibility of more fines for irresponsible owners.

Additionally, dogs should be on leads at all times within the village boundaries (30mph zone) and care must be taken with dogs running free on the Estate or airfield.  A boisterous friendly dog can cause concern and possible injury to other walkers, particularly the older members of the parish and the owners may find themselves liable to prosecution.  Please make sure you can control your dogs in all circumstances before letting them off the lead.  Everyone’s help would be appreciated.

Roads and Pavements:  As ever we have been vigilant in reporting the increasingly numerous potholes to the authorities.  These can also be reported by individuals by using the online Fix My Street application at https://www.fixmystreet.com/ .  It is simple to use – just enter your postcode, zoom in on the map and click the problem location then make a brief note of the problem and Submit.  Photos of the offending pothole/problem can also be easily uploaded.

Parking:  All villages suffer from problems with car parking and we are not immune.  Many residences now have two or more vehicles and garages are often too narrow to accommodate them.  Now the relief road is in place considerate parking on the old A361 is possible.  There is no ‘right’ to park outside your property on the highway when doing so causes inconvenience to others.  Parking on any part of a footpath is illegal but not often enforced and parking such that a wheelchair or pushchair cannot pass is also “causing an obstruction” and can be subject to an on-the-spot fixed penalty fine.  Whilst many people park half on/half off in villages this is not really acceptable and also damages kerbs and footways which are not built for vehicles overriding.  It is better to cause the cars to slow down by parking properly in the road than force a pedestrian into the road to get past.

Also please consider carefully when parking on narrow roads such as Mill Lane and Hogg End to ensure sufficient access remains for wider farm vehicles, deliveries lorries and particularly emergency vehicles.

 

That’s All Folks!

Don’t forget your Councillors are always available if you need more information.

 

Website:  www.chippingwarden.org : Information is available on the Parish Council Website at where copies of all the parish council minutes and associated public papers are also available for enquiry.

News is also posted there and to the Chipping Warden Community page on Facebook.

Any such information posted is also available from the Clerk.

 

 

Chairman – Nigel Galletly

 

 

 

 

Reports from Village Organisations

 

Village Hall Trust – Mrs Ann Buckingham – Chairperson (01295 660244)

We are pleased that the Village Hall is open again, with no restrictions.  Our bookings and enquiries are good, and we hope that this continues for the future.

We have purchased a new notice board, which will be installed outside the hall in the near future, and we now have fast broadband available in each hall for the benefit of our hirers.

Anyone interested in becoming a trustee, please get in touch will Ann Buckingham or Margaret Grigson – 01295 660313 for further details.

 

Chipping Warden Kindergarten – Lucy Cullen

Kindergarten has had successful year. We’ve become a forest school, which is a magnificent offer to our children/families.

We’ve had many moments of celebration, including three ladies who qualified as level 3 practitioners and two staff who have completed forest school training and assessments. Two have also qualified in the phonics scheme ‘Read, Write, Inc’ for nursery age. It’s quite a rare achievement to have all staff (including bank staff), qualified in level 3 and above. We feel very honoured to be in this position.

We have contributed financially to and watched the building of our new Kindy/School play park (for CWPA and Kindergarten pupils), and our children have thoroughly enjoyed using this equipment in the bright sunshine for the last few weeks. We have more plans for the future, to extend forest school and create more areas outdoors for the children to enjoy.

Please like and view our Kindergarten Facebook pages, which includes our Kindy donation shop, which we use to continuously fund raise, and our up to date activities and news on our main Kindergarten page.

Here are our facebook links:

https://www.facebook.com/Chipping-Warden-Kindergarten-Kindy-101568475341689/services/?ref=page_internal

https://www.facebook.com/Kindy-Donation-Shop-106377971518585/?ref=pages_you_manage

We are looking forward to an exciting, busy Summer ahead, which will see us at full capacity.

For September bookings please call Lucy Cullen on 01295 660025.

 

Chipping Warden Brownies – Brenda Hewison (Brownie Leader)

It has been a very good year as we all start to get back towards normal life.  For the Brownies it has meant a return to many activities such as baking and introduction to some new ones!  World Thinking Day encouraged learning about other countries and we have also been “star gazing” when the clouds allowed!!

For any information on the Brownies please contact Brenda Hewison 01327 260813 or email cwbr@btinternet.com

 

 

Church of St Peter & St Paul – Barbara Bartlett & Liz Thame- Church Warden

At last our services are back to normal with some minor adjustments!  We have also started ”Messy Church” activities which are proving very popular; these are held in the village hall during the cold months!

We welcomed Revd Mike Chesher as our new rector and on 14th March he officiated at the Holy Communion service.

It is heartening to see so many of the community as we slowly start to resume our Church events and would like to thank everyone who has supported us through this difficult time.

 

Chipping Warden and Edgcote WI – Gerry Kearse, President

Chipping Warden and Edgcote WI has had over a hundred year history of the village women meeting,

socialising and learning together. The only time it did not meet in the past century was during the Second World War but Covid 19 nearly managed to do what a world war failed to do, and end the WI .

However! Since we have been able to do so we started to meet again. In the last few months we have been meeting face to face and how wonderful it’s been to see everyone and welcome several new members to a more relaxed format of meetings.

We have had more social meetings with dinner out at Christmas, Pot Luck supper and skittles and games nights.

We are looking forward to summer with occasional speakers, garden visits and a picnic planned. It looks like we will be still here for a while!

 

Chipping Warden Sports Club

2021 was a very positive year for the sports club.  We had a full league season and thanks to the great contributions by all squad members, we secured promotion to Division 1!  We secured some further grants to boost 2022 and have renegotiated the lease following the development at the top of the field.  Our first match is 30th April at home to Wroxton.

We are hoping the bar will be open every Saturday for supporters to buy a beer and watch the cricket.

 

 

 

PARISH COUNCIL BUDGET 2022/23
2021/22 2021/22 2022/3
EXPENDITURE BUDGET Estimate 2% BUDGET
ADMINISTRATION
Insurance 842 905 18 923
Hall Hire 100 85 2 87
Stationery 200 130 3 133
Audit Fees 400 525 11 536
Clerk 2598 2597 2597
Sundries Parish Award 75 0 75
Web Hosting & IT 428 507 10 517
Subscriptions NCALC 324 323 6 329
NCALC-DPO 10 10 0 10
NCALC Training 200 0 0 200
S137 HS2 500 0 500
N’bourhood Watch 35 25 1 26
Election costs 500 1164 0
LGR 200 0 0 0
TOTAL 6412 6271 5932
Lighting
Power 1450 1817 218 2035
Maintenance 650 814 16 685
TOTAL 2100 2631 2720
Other
Maintenance – Trees 500 0 1000
General 50 0 300
Play area 575 41 1000
Grass Cutting 3000 1800 36 2500
Sports Field Rent 250 250 250
VAT 1500 938 1000
Contingency Jubilee 1500
Village gates 700
Enhancement 500
Transfer to Reserves 377 2631
     
TOTAL 6252 5660 8750
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 14764 14562 17402
             
INCOME
Transfer from Reserves 0 0 1937
Precept 14000 14000 14000
Grass cutting 462 462 462
Interest 2 1 3
VAT 300 0 1000
From WI 0 99 0
TOTAL INCOME 14764 14562 17402