Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 14th January 2020 at 7.30 pm.
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mr. J. Rippin Vice Chairman
Mr. S. Jones
Mrs. S. Adams
Mrs. S Garrett
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
Mr. S. Good and 5 members of the public.
1. APOLOGIES – Mr. C. Mathew.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.
3. PUBLIC ITEMS – no member of the public wished to speak.
4. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS – Mr. Good said he had now relinquished the environment portfolio and now holds the communities portfolio. He expressed his condolences on the recent flooding and sewage problems. However he could report that a motion would be put to the council demanding that the Minister of State takes urgent acttion on the sewage crisis in the district. Mr. Norman MacRae is now the cabinet member for the environment. Mr. Good is promoting meetings where parish councils can meet WODC officers face to face to discuss matters of concern. He is also working with the police and through his contacts with the Police and crime Commissioner will try to influence policy. Mr. Parnham said the prime concern was the lack of police visibility and Mr. Good said the government’s plans for more police will, hopefully, improve the situation. He has accessed £300k of funding and is considering the wider deployment of cctv cameras and asked if this was something that Standlake would be interested in; such as at entrances to the village etc. The product of these cameras would be recorded digitally and used to assist in crime solving. This idea was not met with any enthusiasm by either the council or the members of the public present.
Manor Bungalow Development Appeal – the inspector has dismissed the appeal.
19/03521/HHD: First floor side extension to include two roof lights to rear roof slope: 10 Rack End: Dr Fiona Clough. No objection.
6. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 12th November 2019, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.
7. MATTERS ARISING
Village Shop – Nothing to report at this meeting.
Roads/Traffic/Speeding – Nothing to report regarding speeding/traffic calming except that refreshing of white lines etc. has been carried out..
Recreation Ground/Playgrounds – A post on the rail dividing the car park and the rec. ground is missing; the clerk will report to Mr. Pascoe for remedial action.
Public Footpaths–. The fallen tree on Hornsway has been removed and the path between The Butts lane and the churchyard gate has been cleared.
Letter to Noble Foods re litterbins- This is still with Mr. Parnham who is awaiting information on another funding scheme. The clerk reminded the meeting that it was the ongoing costs rather than the initial outlay that caused concern.
VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations – a meeting will be held in the Black Horse on 28th January for the purpose of exploring the options that residents would like to see. Mr. Parnham and the clerk will attend.
8. CORRESPONDENCE – Request for council representative on the LWVP The project officer of LWVP has asked for a councillor to represent Standlake on the LWVP. No councillors were willing to take this on as the LWVP meetings were during normal working hours.
Land opposite Black Horse –A resident has expressed concern that trees on the land have been cut down; the clerk has checked and there are no Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in force in that area.
Shifford Lane – a resident is concerned about the use of private vehicles on Shifford Lane beyond Longwood House resulting in inappropriate parking, potholes etc. This is a Restricted Byway and vehicles should not be using it, apart from SSE vehicles accessing the electricity substation. Mr. Parnham will contact OCC Countryside Services and ask for their help.
9. ACCOUNTS – the following accounts were approved for payment.
Wileman - bus shelter clean £30.00*
D C Bevan Cleverbridge - anti virus £24.99*
D C Bevan Cleverbridge - anti virus adjustment £10.00
Wai Ming Tang - planning appeal £250.00*
Absolute Sols - car park weed £103.00*
D C Bevan - salary/exps £1221.60*
CPRE – subscription £36.00*
Cottsway – WindyWay ground rent £10.00*
Absolute Solutions – Hornsway clearing £65.00*
B. Parnham – chair expenses £23.40
10. SEWAGE – On Friday 10th January, Mr. Parnham and the clerk met with Ms. Kelly Skuse (TW Customer Liaison) and Mr. Dave Stickland (TW Field Operations Specialist and engineer who is dealing with the Standlake sewage problems) both of whom stressed that Standlake was of the highest priority to TW. Mr. Stickland was able to give a comprehensive report on the current situation, immediate actions to alleviate the effects and future plans for work to try and stop the system overloading again. In brief:
Cause: the sewage system is overloaded because of the amount of water getting into the sewage pipes; it is not because of lack of capacity in the system, or at the treatment plant itself, for dealing with ‘normal’ sewage i.e. foul water from toilets and ‘grey water’ from baths, sinks, washing machines etc. This is evidenced because there are no problems during dry periods, but only after sustained heavy rainfall when the ground becomes saturated and the water table rises. The causes of this ingress of water are basically twofold: damage to sewage pipes themselves and the inspection chambers; water entering via the ‘laterals’ (those pipes connecting properties to the main sewers) which can include unauthorised surface drainage pipes being connected to the sewage system.
Short Term Alleviation: the immediate action is the use of tankers, as everyone is aware. The operation is incredibly costly to TW and not used lightly but if not used then raw sewage will be on and in many more properties. Sometimes it appears that tankers are standing idle and not pumping; the reason is that they are on standby and available for immediate use should the situation change e.g. in the event of more heavy sustained rain. The water pumped out is overwhelmingly clear water but, clearly, is contaminated and it has to be disposed of through a working sewage plant which has capacity e.g. Witney, Oxford etc.
Medium/Long Term Alleviation: Weather permitting, work will commence in the next few weeks to seal off more obvious sites of water ingress such as in the system chambers beneath road manhole covers. This can be done on the authority of the on-site engineer, but more extensive work within the sewer pipes themselves will depend on the lowering of the water flow and authority from TW. Mr. Stickland stressed that this did not involve digging up roads but the use of a machine sent down the pipes. In the longer term investigations will be made as to the source of water which was entering the laterals joined to the main system and action taken to alleviate this source.
Mr. Parnham and the clerk thought this meeting was very constructive and the clerk commented that it was the most productive of any contact he had had with TW in over 25 years. We must see what happens now, but Mr. Parnham said he is keeping the pressure on TW and will continue to do so.
11. WOODLANDS AND SURFACE FLOODING – OCC are being pressed by the council to take action but there seems to be little progress at the moment; they will continue to be pursued for a solution. Mrs. Adams asked what was the meaning of the coloured makers adjacent to recently cleared culverts of the Downs? The clerk will investigate.
12. RESIGNATION OF COUNCILLOR – procedure for replacement. Mr. Sam Hoskin has resigned from the council due to pressure of work in his studies at Oxford. The clerk has set in process the procedure to appoint a new councillor. Notices have been displayed advising that unless 10 electors write to WODC demanding an election then the council will be free to co-opt a new member after 23rd January. If that is the case, then applications will be invited from interested persons; each applicant will be sent a copy of the Job Description, Eligibility Criteria and PC Objectives and then asked to email a brief CV and a covering letter explaining as to why they are applying, and what they feel they can contribute to the Parish Council and, importantly, the community with a reply required by the 29th February. A decision will then be made at the March meeting.
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS – The next meeting will be on Tuesday 4th February at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.35 pm.
....................................................................................... Chairman .................................................................... Date