The February (Wed. 13th)Ordinary meeting was attended by 5 Parish Councillors, the District Councillor, 2 Community Centre Management Committee (CCMC) representatives, the Clerk and 5 members of the public. The meeting received a verbal report on the planned fund-raising activities of the CC and a list of the proposed projects for which funds will be used. The P Cllrs. resolved that it would be in order for the CCMC to utilise the annual PC grant towards any of the projects identified – these included gents toilet improvements, improved/safe access to the upper floor area, hot water system modifications, and upgraded cctv equipment.
In response to a complaint made to the PC by an aggrieved CC user councillors agreed that it is not part of its remit to interfere with the running of the centre. However, as a Trustee the PC is duty bound to ensure that the organisation employs best practice in carrying out its business and recommended that the CCMC should have a formal process in place to handle complaints in the future and thoroughly review its legal obligations in respect of cctv coverage.
The District Councillor in her update reported that SDC’s Council Tax rise for 2019-20 will be 1.5% and that SDC has set aside a sum of £1M towards the compulsory purchase of Wellesbourne airfield. Elizabeth House will be having a £250K makeover to improve its income generation potential.
Topics which arose from the Open Forum related to the Banbury Rd./Fosse Way crossroads and the threat of occupation of the playing fields/ CC car park by ‘travellers’. In response to a victim of the most recent collision at the cross roads the PC resolved that a letter listing remedial options to alleviate the situation at our accident black spot with a request for action be sent to Warwickshire Highways Dept. the meeting noted, however, that at last year’s Ettington traffic meeting convened by our local MP it was evident that budgetary constraints and prior claims by more infamous county blackspots would militate against imminent satisfaction. The PC and CCMC had visited the potential traveller hazard some years ago when the problem was rife and at that time decided to take no action. The PC would however ask the CCMC to add it to its next agenda to determine if from their perspective it merited reconsideration.
In respect of recent planning applications it was noted that Councillors had declined to call for an Extraordinary meeting before the deadline in order to make any comments. These were for the first property on the self-build site off Old Warwick Rd. and for PURE’s renewal of its previously granted application for expansion. The meeting acknowledged without further comment the information form the White Horse site developer that along with the existing No. 50 Banbury Rd. the group of properties would be known (subject to SDC’s approval) as “1-5 White Horse Gardens”. The developer of the Ryepiece Orchard site agreed to attend the Parish Meeting in March to promote interest in the proposed Community Orchard on the site and seek volunteers to have input into planting selection and subsequent upkeep. The school headmaster will be approached to establish whether a school involvement would be of interest.
Councillors agreed to fund the initial purchase of litter picking equipment and high-vis attire as requested by the Rubbish Friends group with the proviso that the kit would be PC property and any funding donations from local businesses be assigned back to the PC to offset the outlay. The Youth Project Group reported that although it had discussed the possibility of CCTV coverage on the forthcoming skatepark no decision had yet been made. The group is aware of the susceptibility to graffiti and unwanted infiltrators from further afield – a further matter arising from the Open Forum – but is of the belief that the construction material should be graffiti-proof (i.e. easily cleanable).