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- Cllr Dan Beauchamp (Deputy Mayor) (Chairman for Minute 243/22 (f))
- Cllr Paul Gibbon
- Cllr Marcus Harris (The Mayor) (Chairman) (up to Minute 243/22 (e) and then again for Minute 244/22)
- Cllr Sue Hendrie
- Cllr Steve Holder
- Cllr Katharine Keats-Rohan
- Cllr Michael Kidley
- Cllr Rosslyn Lester
- Michelle Taylor, Town Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer
- Jennifer Green, Community, Business and Tourism Development Officer
- Luke Whitcomb, Meetings Officer
- District Councillor George Levy
- 5 members of the public
- 0 members of the press
- 1 representative of the Emergency Planning Team of Oxfordshire County Council (Mr Andy Brett)
218/22 MEETING PROTOCOL
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and advised those present of the protocols that would be followed.
The Chairman introduced Jennifer Green and welcomed her to the new role of Community, Business and Tourism Development Officer.
Apologies were received from Councillors Beatty, Cattermole, Holford, Hughes, McGregor, Newcombe and Whelan.
Councillor Sinkinson did not attend.
220/22 DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
Councillor Harris declared an interest later and absented himself from that discussion (Minute 243/22 (f)).
No other interests were declared.
221/22 MAYOR’S COMMUNICATIONS
The Chairman thanked Councillor Kidley for deputising for him at the RAF Freedom Parade on 12 August 2022. The Mayor had been unwell and the Deputy Mayor on holiday.
It was proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and seconded by Councillor Hendrie, and RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 18 July 2022 be approved as a correct record and the Chairman is authorised to sign them.
223/22 ACTIONS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
The Council reviewed progress on the actions agreed at the last meeting and ‘open’ actions from previous meetings.
Councillor Holder reported progress on three items: the editorial policy for the Council’s YouTube channel (this would come to the meeting of the Full Council in September), the ownership of the riverbank between the Thames Trail and water upstream of Wallingford Town Council moorings and the horse chestnut tree at the Coach and Horses Pub (see Minute 242/22 (c) below).
Action: Riverbank ownership to be scheduled for future Full Council meeting
224/22 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Five members of the public attended and three spoke to three items: anti-social behaviour at the riverside (see Minute 227/22 below), the installation of LED floodlights at Wallingford Sports Park (see Minute 228/22 below) and the impact of the RAF Freedom Parade on 12 August 2022 on the Charter Market (see 243/22 (f) below).
225/22 COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
District Councillor George Levy updated the Council on his recent activity as a member of the South Oxfordshire District Council, including visits to the palliative care unit at Wallingford Community Hospital and the Old Counting House in the High Street – where around 90 Ukrainian refugees were given English lessons, traffic issues and work on footpaths near Radnor Road.
226/22 VARIATION OF AGENDA ORDER
It was proposed by Councillor Harris, and seconded by Councillor Lester, and RESOLVED that the order of the agenda be changed to bring the matters forward that members of the public had spoken about, with the exception of the compensation item which would be considered in ‘closed’ session (see Minute 243/22 (e))
227/22 ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AT THE RIVERSIDE [moved from agenda item 15 to item 9]
The Council considered the recent rise in anti-social behaviour at riverside and the accounts of intimidation that members of the public, particularly the boating community, had given both at the meeting and in writing. Although this was a perennial issue, the problems had appeared particularly serious this year. Council staff had already met with the PCSOs the matter and had been in contact with head teachers of schools in both Wallingford and Didcot.
One key issue appeared to be the failure to report incidents to the Police (who deployed resources based on reported crime) and when they did, long waits to be answered on 101.
It was proposed by Councillor Holder, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the Council seek to form a temporary working party, chaired by Councillor Kidley, consisting of all the principal stakeholders, including the Town Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, the Police and local schools, to consider what further action should be taken, particularly to avoid or minimise a repeat of the behaviour in the summer of 2023.
Office (JC) to supply Councillor Kidley with details of complaints, including contact details of complainants subject to permission;
Office (JG) to encourage the reporting of associated crime on the Council website and through social media
228/22 AWP FLOODLIGHTS [moved from agenda item 16 to item 10]
The Council considered and supported the wish of Wallingford Sports Park to install LED floodlights to reduce energy costs and the potential of Section 106 monies for this
Action: Office to prepare letter to demonstrate the support of the Town Council for this
229/22 COST OF LIVING CRISIS [moved from agenda item 9 to item 11]
Councillors Holder and Keats-Rohan led a discussion on how the Town Council could support those most impacted by the significant rises in the cost of living, including spiralling energy costs. A series of public events, supported in part by the Council, was being held, largely focussed on sustainability including how to reduce energy costs.
It was proposed by Councillor Harris, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that a dedicated page be created on the Town Council website signposting people to help that is available
230/22 COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN [moved from agenda item 10 to item 12]
Mr Andy Brett, Emergency Planning Officer for Oxfordshire County Council, attended and presented on the value of developing a Community Emergency Plan and how the Council could develop one. Examples of recent uses of plans by other communities included emergencies to do with flooding and wild fires.
The Town Council had previously formulated such a plan but it was now out-of-date. They generally lasted for three years.
It was proposed by Councillor Harris, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the Council use its social media channels to seek a champion from within the community to lead this work; the plan’s development to be supported by the Emergency Planning Team of OCC in the form of templates, resources and advice
Action: Office to reach out to community on social media to identify a champion to take this work forward, perhaps someone who had been active within the community during the recent COVID-19 pandemic; Councillor Holder to discuss with the Office (JC) how the CEP dovetails with the business continuity plan
231/22 TOWN HALL CONSERVATION PROJECT [moved from agenda item 11 to item 13]
Councillor Keats-Rohan introduced a discussion on the need to progress with the major project to conserve the 17th century timber-framed Town Hall. The rate of deterioration was increasing due to climate change. There had been some positive conversations with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and there was ample opportunity to demonstrate community benefit. Useful groundwork for a major grant bid had already been undertaken.
It was proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and seconded by Councillor Hendrie, and RESOLVED that the Council’s earmarked reserves of £13.5k for the Town Hall be ultilised to revise the costings – through the services of Mr Richard Oxley – and to appoint a conservation architect to prepare the initial drawings
232/22 HERITAGE CRIME PILOT [moved from agenda items 12 to item 14]
Councillor Keats-Rohan introduced a national initiative developed by Historic England to tackle heritage crime. Wallingford would be the first town in Oxfordshire if it took part. This was in any case a condition of a recent grant from Historic England.
It was proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and seconded by Councillor Holder, and RESOLVED that Wallingford be put forward as a pilot for this national heritage crime initiative by Historic England.
Action: Councillor Keats-Rohan to compete and submit the application of the Town Council
233/22 SPEEDING [moved from agenda item 13 to item 15]
Councillor Keats-Rohan spoke of a recent discussion with one of the PCSOs who had once again encouraged the use of a ‘community speedwatch’ to monitor traffic in areas of the town where speeding was a common occurrence such as Station Road. The challenge with this proposal previously had been a lack of volunteer engagement.
It was proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and seconded by Councillor Holder, and RESOLVED that the Council promotes the idea of a ‘community speedwatch’ through its social media channels, calling for volunteers, particularly those who have complained about speeding, and offer the Town Hall to be used as a space free of charge for a community meeting to discuss this
Action: Office to promote this initiative through social media and to note the Council‘s offer to the Town Hall available free of charge
234/22 TRAFFIC WARDEN [moved from agenda item 14 to item 16]
The Council discussed the increase in illegal parking in the town and the need for greater enforcement.
Action: The Mayor to meet with County Councillor Pete Sudbury to explore how more enforcement hours could best be achieved
235/22 GRANT APPLICATION
The Committee considered a grant application on behalf of a group of local Ukrainian refugees who had been invited to visit the Houses of Parliament at the invitation of local Member of Parliament, David Johnston. The grant was to cover coach transportation costs which were particularly high due to a rail strike.
Given the unanimous support for this at the meeting, the Mayor decided he would meet the full transportation costs of £740 from the Mayor’s Allowance.
236/22 ELECTIONS 2023
The Council considered the preparation that was needed for next year’s Local Government Elections which would be held on Thursday 4 May 2023.
Councillor Hendrie volunteered to lead the recruitment drive and the meeting thanked her for this offer.
Action: Councillor Hendrie to provide updates as necessary at future meetings
237/22 CIVILITY AND RESPECT PLEDGE
The Council considered a new Civility and Respect Pledge that had been developed by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and others to maintain a high level of discourse and behaviour within councils.
It was proposed by Councillor Lester, and seconded by Councillor Holder, and RESOLVED that Wallingford Town Council sign up to this pledge
Action: Councillor Keats-Rohan to complete the paperwork on behalf of the Council
238/22 PUBLIC BROADCASTING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS
The Council considered a paper detailing options and recommended criteria of how they could take forward their previous decision to broadcast their meetings to the public to increase community engagement and transparency. The paper drew on the experience of other councils of a similar size.
The Council staff team were thanked for the detailed research into this.
It was proposed by Councillor Lester, and seconded by Councillor Holder, and RESOLVED
(a) that Wallingford Radio be thanked for their offer to broadcast the meetings on behalf of the Council but that this offer not be taken up due to the need for the Council to maintain independence and protect filming rights;
(b) that a ‘test and learn’ approach be adopted from the October 2022 meeting onwards, trialling different technologies other small councils have used successfully
239/22 COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS [public] [see also Minute 242/22 below]
The Council considered recommendations from the Finance and Properties and Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Committees.
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Hendrie, and RESOLVED that the dormant bank account, which contains a de Minimis amount, be closed, as advised by the Internal Auditor
It was NOTED that the determination of the ownership of the triangle of land on the Kinecroft would be brought by Councillor Holder to a Full Council meeting in due course.
Action: Town Clerk/RFO to close bank account;
Office (LW) to schedule discussion of the triangle of land for a future meeting
240/22 COMMITTEE MINUTES
It was proposed by Councillor Lester, and seconded by Councillor Kidley, and RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 11 July 2022 be formally adopted
241/22 FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
The following items were identified as a future agenda items:
- Pedestrianisation of front area of Town Hall (rolling agenda item) (costs will be presented at the September meeting of the Full Council)
- Be Free Young Carers grant application (they have confirmed attendance in September)
- Liaison with Arts & Development Officer (Councillor Beatty)
- Upgrade to consumer unit in Town Hall
- Staff team building/volunteer days
- Graphic art suppliers to the Council (raised by Councillor Beatty)
- Wallingford Town signs
- Estates Portfolio Review
- Renaming and reshuffling of Committees to establish the Estates Committee
- Alderman Emeritus (to consider making new appointments)
- Personnel recruitment update (September meeting)
242/22 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
It was proposed by Councillor Lester, and seconded by Council Kidley, and RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting due to the confidential nature of business to be transacted.
243/22 COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS [confidential]
244/22 LICENCE FEES – SCAFFOLDING ON THE KINECROFT [confidential]
The meeting ended at 9.59 pm
Minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 22 August 2022, signed as a correct record
2022-08-22 FC minutes