During March 2017, there was one meeting of the Parish Council and one meeting of the Planning and Strategy Committee. All Councillors serve on at least one Committee, but some Councillors serve on two Committees.
The Planning and Strategy Committee met on 14 March 2017 and liaison continued throughout the month with the District Council and developers with regard to the various developments affecting the village. At the Planning Committee meeting a number of planning applications were discussed. The following meeting was on 10 April 2017
A meeting of the Resources Committee was scheduled to be held on Thursday 11 May 2017.
A meeting of the Environment Committee was scheduled to be held on Wednesday 17 May 2017.
During March 2017, Councillors continued their work on other projects around the village, which included:
- continued dialogue with Cherwell District Council with regard to releasing Section 106 funds for projects at Jubilee Hall, Ellen Hinde Hall, the Recreation Ground and the Ex-Serviceman’s Hall and also the play equipment project;
- continued liaison with Miller Homes with regard to the drainage and ditches relating to the development on Tadmarton Road;
- continued liaison with Cherwell District Council and Bovis Homes about issues at the Barford Road site:- in the main on going concern regarding drainage from the Barford Road into the site and the finalising of the S278 for the completion of the Access road and vision splays;
- continuing work with Aplins Solicitors with regard to registering Parish Council land;
- Scheduling of remedial works to trees owned by the Parish Council in the village;
- liaising with the County Council with regard to drainage and street lighting issues;
- responding to queries from members of the public;
- pursuing the former developers for Gascoigne Way, to finalise the transfer of land, which the Parish Council had been maintaining, into the Parish Council’s ownership;
- responding to the Government’s consultation on the changes to the business rates;
- attendance at the Extraordinary Parish Liaison Meeting held at Cherwell District Council on 21 March 2017, with regard to the proposal by the County Council for a unitary authority for Oxfordshire. All Parish Councils and residents were encouraged to object to the proposal as, if implemented, it could invalidate the Bloxham Neighbourhood Development Plan, which was of serious concern to the Parish Council. A letter had been sent to the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, outlining the Parish Council’s concerns;
- the Bloxham and Milcombe Parish Council’s Joint ‘Keep the Horton’ General Public Meeting held at Jubilee Hall on 23 March 2017 had been successful and the Parish Council’s response to the consultation, objecting to the proposals, would be now be submitted;
- a meeting was held with the County Council for a proposed Library Access Point. Further investigations would be made by the Parish Council into a viable location for it;
- thanks go to the Boys Brigade, Scouts and the numerous residents who turned out to support the village litter pick and cleaning of the road signs. The Parish Council values and very much appreciates all the support and hard work of everyone involved this year and it is great to see so much community spirit to keep the village clean and tidy;
- Cherwell District Council confirmed that the annual status report on air quality monitoring in Bloxham would be published in July 2017, it is unfortunate that one of the monitoring tubes in Bloxham had been vandalised;
- County Council officers had advised that works to the bridge and highway in Old Bridge Road would be commencing in the next few months. Currently the planning application was being considered by Cherwell District Council; and
- confirmation was received that a new grit bin would be installed in Aldous Drive, once a suitable location had been identified.
At the Parish Council meeting on 3 April 2017, the following items were discussed:
- to raise at the next meeting between Bloxham School and Bloxham Parish Council, the concerns regarding the gate on Water Lane (so that it does not open over the footpath);
- there would be a meeting with the County Council on Friday 7 April 2017 about existing outstanding highways and drainage issues in the village together with the proposed extension of the Barford Rd footpath to Maules Close and the repairs to the road and pavement as a result of the Bovis Homes Development ;
- a number of issues were raised at the drop-in and chat on 11 March 2017 and as a result, the Parish Council would be approaching Thames Valley Police with a proposal that it explores the feasibility of funding a PCSO to visit the village and address the on-going issue of inconsiderate and dangerous parking. A request would also be made to the County Council for further street lighting on Barford Road, if the new lights supplied by Miller Homes on Milton Road did not address the issue at the T junction ;
- a proposal for The Slade to be registered as a Local Nature Reserve was deferred to the Environment Committee to make a recommendation to the Parish Council;
- the Parish Council policy was confirmed for using names of those on the War Memorial for street naming on new developments in the village. However other suggestions would be added to a list so that they could be used once the names on the War Memorial had been exhausted;
- arrangements for the Annual Parish Meeting on 27 April 2017 were finalised;
- the Parish Council would be supporting Bloxham Fun Day on Saturday 10 June 2017 and would be contacting the Parish Councils’ insurance company to establish whether it could extend its policy to cover stall holders at the event;
- residents please note that on Saturday 10th June 2017 the Parish Council’s Drop-in and Chat would not be at the Ex Serviceman’s Hall, but at the Fun Day at the Jubilee Park between 12 noon and 4.00 pm; and
- Olivia Williams, a pupil at Warriner School, had been appointed as the Parish Council’s Administration Assistant and would be supporting the work of the Planning Committee.
Bloxham Parish Council has been researching products which could be a simple and useful addition or alternative to sandbags in the event of a flood. The Gravitis Hydrosnake expanding water barrier could well be worth residents considering as an option.
These barriers expand to 145cm wide and 25cm tall when full and for a pack of two, the costs vary from £21.99 to £32.00, depending on the supplier. Once they are wet, they last for three months and the material inside is identified by the supplier as biodegradable.
They are available from Amazon, where they appeared to be the cheapest at the time of the research, but other local suppliers are available.
The Parish Council hopes this information is helpful, but please note this is not a recommendation or any form of warranty. Residents should rely on their own assessments if interested.
Please could residents pay special attention to cutting back hedges and trees to ensure safe walking at night. It is important to keep footpaths and walkways clear of encroaching growth ensuring street lights are effective.
Please could residents not throw rubbish into the gardens of other people’s properties or into the hedgerows, and either take their litter home or use the litter bins provided in the village.
To dog owners, please ensure that all dog faeces are cleared up and either taken home (and placed in household waste green bins) or placed in the dog bins provided. Take extra care on grassed areas where children play. If the dog bins are full please do not leave the bags on the ground.
Meeting Dates: Parish Council meetings are held on the first Monday of the month (except when there is a bank holiday and it is the following Monday), at the Parish Rooms at 7.30pm. If you wish to attend, please check these details with the Clerk, prior to the meeting, in case there have been any changes. Information is also available on the Parish Council web site.
Drop-in and Chat: Usually Second Saturday of the month, 10.30am to 11.30am at the Ex-Serviceman’s Hall, however on Saturday 10th June the Drop in and Chat will be at Bloxham Fun Day between 12 noon and 4.00 pm
Minutes & Reports: The minutes and reports relating to the Parish Council meetings and the meetings of the Committees, are available at www.bloxhamparishcouncil.co.uk
Electricity: SSE 0800 294 3259 or text phone 0800 316 5457, UK Power Networks – 0800 169 9970, Western Power Distribution – 0800 096 3080
Water: Thames Water 0800 009 3652 or text phone 0800 316 6899, Anglian Water 03457 91 91 55
Power failure: If there’s a power cut call the free number 105 to check what’s happening with your local provider
No water: Find out what’s happening by calling Thames Water on 0800 980 8800