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Annual Village Meeting Report

Annual Village Report Uploaded on April 12, 2021

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING IS BEING HELD VIRTUALLY BY ZOOM

Tuesday 13th April 2021 – 7:30pm

Due to Government Covid-19 Guidelines the ‘in-person’ Annual Parish Meeting is once again cancelled.  We will be holding a session via online ZOOM Conferencing for anyone who wants to attend and ask questions.  You can access the meeting with the following details or contact the chairman (chair@chippingwarden.org) or clerk (clerk@chippingwarden.org) for a joining invite link.

Zoom Meeting ID: 987 761 9623

Passcode: CW&EPC

We have only received 9 nominations for Election to the Parish Council (for 9 seats) so there will be no Parish Council election on May 6th and the following will act as your Parish Councillors until May 2025.

Current

Chairman:

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

01295 660365 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

 

 

We would especially like to thank Val Woodford and Don Hussey for their many years of service on the Council as they are standing down at this election.

 

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 virtual 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.

Parish Council Chairman’s Report

 

Little did I think when writing this report last year, and apologising for not being able to hold the Village Meeting due to Covid-19, that things would still be pretty awful a year later.  However, it seems that there is now some light at the end of the tunnel and we are all learning to cope with whatever restrictions we are forced to endure to keep safe.  Much of the Government guidance is rapidly evolving for lifting the lockdown restrictions.  We can only hope that with more vaccinations and fewer virus mutations things will continue to improve back to what was normality.  Covid-19 is probably here to stay in some form or another so although society will adapt and develop to adjust to the new normal much has probably changed forever.

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 community has been strengthened.

 

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 of NCC will become apparent.

The May 2021 election will be to the new West Northamptonshire Council and our existing district and county councillors are either retiring, stepping down or choosing to represent other wards.

Our SNC Councillor and Chipping Warden resident Mary Anne Sergison-Brooke is retiring from the District Council after more than 30 years having seen through the Unitary takeover and I would very much like to thank her for all her efforts on our behalf.

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 yet to be fully determined.  The Parish Council was originally to have been elected on Thursday 7th May 2020 for a five year period to tie in with the next election of the new West Northamptonshire Council Unitary Authority in 2025 but that was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

As we reported last year you will have noticed in your March Council Tax Demand that the Parish Council raised their precept again in 2021 by 23.3% from a total of £11,500 to £14,000.  – See Annual Accounts attached at the end.

This is largely to cover ongoing costs from the Village Activity Park along with associated insurances and to restore reserves.

In comparison to local villages we still charge less:  Full details of Northamptonshire Parish precepts are published by SNC 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 are responsible for the Enabling Works.  We have all seen the effect as the Relief Road takes shape.  Last year I wrote in the report that they would hopefully be able to finish the work on time by August 2020 but everything was then scaled back due to the COVID-19 emergency.  At present Fusion’s latest report to me was a vague May 2021.

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

 

Activity Area:  Well – after 30 years of trying we finally have a great one!  A great thank you to all involved in making it happen.

 

Newsletter:  As we now have a Parish Newsletter some of the usual village reports from our organisations are rather brief, or missing, as their past year activities have been widely circulated beforehand.

 

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 well underway.

The contract for the detailed railway design in our area was awarded to Eiffage-Kier (EK) and construction was scheduled to commence in our area in April 2020 with EK getting ready by expanding the construction site.

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.  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.  EK can then use the entrance off the main roundabout on the bypass to access their site and move vehicles up and down the railway trace without impacting the village.  Hence the Hs2 compound on all the new signs.

Top soil has been stripped off the airfield and stored in bunds and now excavation is underway to remove much of the underlying limestone that will be used in the construction of the railway.  Eventually it is planned to quarry out at least 10 metres down.  EK plan to build an on-site batching plant at the bottom of the excavation 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 and surrounding roads so hopefully it will not be as bad as we feared for the next few years.

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 EK 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.  Once the emergency is over EK will arrange some presentations for all parishioners to show the detailed plans for the ongoing development.

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 Enabling Works but most is now nearing completion.  In particular, in the short term, we now know that there will be:-

  • The roundabout on the Relief Road (north of the Appletree Road junction) which will be removed once EK have finished the railway build and the further roundabout at the junction back onto the existing A361 north of the school, which will also be removed early on as part of Phase II, will soon be open giving access down the relief road – We await whether this causes HGV problems with the much perceived ‘too small’ islands
  • 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,
  • Work will continue to install fencing and acoustic barriers along the new Relief Road north from the allotments bank.
  • A safety inspection of the new road has resulted in a requirement for Arnco Safety barriers along the boundary of the Balancing Pond at Appletree Road (Balancing Pond 2) – hopefully they will also repair the damage pedestrian rails opposite.
  • the staggered (cross) road junction north or the village leading to Aston-Le-Walls is now finished although we have complained about the visibility impact of the new ‘Overly Massive’ roadsigns that restrict views up Warden Hill when emerging onto the A361 from the east Culworth arm.  We have been assured that the visibility splays are all ‘within acceptable standards’.  Please be careful at this junction just in case, especially if its foggy.
  • From EK the final design of the Edgcote Viaduct and improving sight lines with ‘artistic shading’ has yet to be finalised
  • An application has been received by West Northants Council for planning to relocate the hardstanding used by Rift Airsoft from the western end of Calves Close spinney to the other end as it will otherwise be compromised by the Hs2 works

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

Culworth Road:  The persistent nagging by our Councillors managed to raise the issue of keeping Culworth Road open once again onto the agenda and unfortunately, we were rebuffed again.  It seems that this will not happen.

Due to the Activity Park being open there has been more pedestrian traffic along the road and due to the delays in construction of the Aston-Le-Walls junction it was used as a diversion route for a prolonged period.  The Council managed to source some temporary signage and now the junction is reopened it is much quieter.  There is still some speeding traffic along there so please take care leaving the Park especially with children running out onto the road.

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).  Thisi has been approved in spite of local objections and now 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 it is understood that an agreement is imminent 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 http://snc.planning-register.co.uk/ .  Enter the search criteria by Parish for Chipping Warden and Edgcote who appear at the bottom of the drop-down list.  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 2021/22.  The green areas have been somewhat violated by the relief road works and Gigaclear installing fibreoptic cables but hopefully regular maintenance and the pruning and trimming will keep the village looking tidy.  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.

Once the Relief Road is finally open then parking along the A361 will be 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 HS2/Fusion the problem persists.  All organisations have responded positively and organised regular litter picks themselves – So I hate to imagine how much stuff there must be as there is still enough to be an eyesore.

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 are much now 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 drainage gullies have been cleaned out where required but the increase in heavy rain storms means we are still suffering localised flooding on occasion – particularly on the A361 at Culworth Road and Hogg End junctions.  Balancing Pond 1 at Allens Orchard was first ‘wet’ in September 2020 and had not ever dried out since.  After many complaints/enquiries etc from the Council Hs2 have admitted they ‘dug it too deep’ so it never drained while the water table was up.  The bottom has been ‘filled in’ so it will hopefully not be an insect magnet for the summer.

There was continual flooding down the A361 Byfield Road from the pumping out of the airfield excavations into the ‘V’ ditches on the west side of the road past the school.  After complaints we managed to get the pumping transferred into the new Relief Road ditches draining into Balancing Pond 2 to stop this.  The drains are still blocked with silt however.

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.  I love dogs – honest but there are rules.  Particularly they are not allowed in the Activity Park although the Parish Council no longer have the authority to impose bylaws and fines in this regard.

RoSPA point out the flowing problems.

Dogs on children’s playgrounds represent a major health and injury hazard:

  • Toxocariasis – a rare infection caused by roundworm parasites, most commonly found in cats, dogs and foxes faeces.
  • Children and young adults are usually affected due to contact with contaminated soil or sand within play areas by swallowing the infected egg.
  • There is evidence that dogs can also carry E.coli and hepatitis in their faeces.
  • There are over 7,000 admissions to hospital for dog bites and attacks annually in the U.K. and under 10’s were most likely to be admitted. (NHS Digital)

We all know this but Councillors have still come across dogs been admitted to the site.  It has been further suggested that we should provide a safe site within the Activity Park confines to keep the dogs.  We believe that would just make things worse.  Most villagers tie up dogs outside the large gate and keep an eye on them.

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.  Once the relief road is in place considerate parking on the main road will be possible but until then can everyone please think of others when parking their vehicle.  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)

Once the lockdown restrictions are lifted the village halls will be available to hire.

Please contact Pat Tomalin 01295 660671.

We urgently need new trustees on the Committee.  Any villager who would like to join us and help run the village halls please contact Margaret Grigson 01295 660313.

Chipping Warden Kindergarten – Lucy Cullen

Chipping Warden Kindergarten, despite lockdowns and restrictions, is thriving. We have steered our way through all the uncertainty of everything the covid pandemic has thrown at us. Having stayed open throughout lockdown three, we have a healthy number of children attending and the Summer ahead feels positive. My staff team and committee have been wonderfully supportive throughout the year and we have a very special team.

We are preparing ourselves for becoming a forest school, and the children are exploring our forest school area in preparation for our trainee staff beginning their sessions in April. We are very excited about this amazing transformation for Kindy and school.

Our fundraising is taking off for the Spring/Summer, despite restrictions. We have developed a Facebook ‘Kindy Donation Shop’ for sales of quality children’s toys, books and clothes. We launched our Facebook page this month and it is doing very well so far. We have a village Easter egg hunt in Chipping Warden on Easter Saturday. The children will be stamping their map at various locations in the village area and then will collect an Easter prize at the end. They may even get to see the Easter bunny and find the mystery golden eggs! We are also currently planning ‘At least a mile a week for a month’ during Kindy days. A sponsored walk/run, to replace our toddle waddle and promote well-being. A Kindy family are also supporting us by donating £2 to us each time their ‘smores’ kits sell via our Facebook page.

We are blown away by the kindness of our families at Kindy and feel very lucky to have this much support in our community.

For kindergarten bookings please call 01295 660025 or email cwkindergarten@googlemail.com.

Chipping Warden Sports Club – Richard Hawkins

2020 was a difficult year for the sports club, but we managed to secure some grant funds to keep things running smoothly. There was no league cricket, but we got some friendly games in during the Summer. We are looking forward to the new season and will be in division 2 this year. The first game is 1st May at home, but sadly no teas due to restrictions.

Chipping Warden Brownies – Brenda Hewison (Brownie Leader)

What a strange year we’ve had!  Our last “normal” Brownie meeting was held on Friday 13th March 2020.  For the next 5 months we were not able to hold meetings but Girlguiding Headquarters sent out different activities every week and Northamptonshire members even had specially designed Coronavirus Isolation challenges and a VE Day challenge.  Then from August to October we were able to meet outside when we adapted some of our usual games and activities to suit both the weather and social distancing.  Since November we have been meeting on Zoom where we have done crafts, scavenger hunts and baking as well as working on and gaining the Brownie Challenges.  However, nothing beats face to face meetings and, providing the route out of lockdown doesn’t change, we will be able to have outdoor meetings after Easter, and possibly even indoor ones.  It will be lovely to get back together again!

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

Chipping Warden and Edgcote WI – Gerry Kearse, President

Chipping Warden Primary Academy

 

 

 

CHIPPING WARDEN PARISH COUNCIL
ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31st MARCH 2021
RECIEPTS 2019/20 2020/21
Precept 9500 11500 -2000
Grass Cutting 462 462 0
Bank Interest 4 2 2
VAT repayment 5306 15203 -9897 Activity Park
Groundwork Grant 22233 52766 -30533 Activity Park
SNC Grant 19043 Activity Park
   
37505 98976
PAYMENTS
Clerk 2017 2853 -836 underpyt last year
Administration 1479 2151 -672 includes zoom license
S137 Payments 30 32
New Works 0 71810 Activity Park
Maintenance 2002 90
Public Lighting 2136 3282 -1146 includes lamp/post repairs
PlayArea 22302 0
Sports Field 250 250 0
Grass Cutting 2000 1600 400 less due to road works
VAT 5306 15203 -9897 Activity Park
To/From deposit -17 1705 -1722
   
37505 98975
0 0
RECONCILLED BY:-
Balances B/F 31/03/20
Current 6504 Current a/c @ 01.04.20 3008
Deposit 1314
 
7818
Plus Receipts 2020/21 98976
 
106795
Minus Payments 2020/21 97270
Excludes Inter Acc Trfs Deposit a/c @ 01.04.20 6517
   
9524 9524
   

 

 

 

CHIPPING WARDEN PARISH COUNCIL
AGAR Page 6
Year Ending
31.3.20 31.3.21
1. Balances b/f 7835 7818
2. + Annual Precept 9500 11500
3. + Total other receipts 28005 87476
4. – Staff costs 2017 2853
5. – Loan Interest/Capital repayments 0 0
6. – Total other costs 35505 94417
7. = Balances c/f 7818 9524