The members of the Parish Council welcomed Laura Hutchins who was the Area Steward for Oxfordshire County Council’s Highways and Transport section. She talked about her new role. The Area Stewards managed teams which were based on District Council areas. They took requests from the public and local councils about issues with roads and pavements. They also planned a programme of repairs. In the draft plans for 2011-2012, they had included reconstruction of the footway in Manor Grove. It was hoped to move away from reactive pothole repairs to longer term repairs to the roads. However if a pothole was considered dangerous it could be repaired in 48 hours otherwise it might be allocated to the 28 day programme. All contact to the team should be on 0845 3101111 or . It was hoped that the links between the Parish Council and the Highways Department would be increased. Laura would welcome suggestions for improvements. Following her talk there were a large number of questions from councillors and members of the public at the meeting. She took notes of all the areas raised which needed work.
The Clerk gave an update on the BMX dirt track project in Forest Side. Two quotations had been received from DT Leisure and Wicksteed. It was decided to accept the DT Leisure quotation subject to funding being available. The Clerk arranged to obtain a quotation from Ringrose Tree Services as work was needed on the Leylandii trees. The Clerk contacted the Vale to check whether the track would need planning permission. The planning officer confirmed that the track could be built under the Parish Council’s Permitted Developments rights set out in Part 12, Class A of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 (as amended). The Clerk would apply to the Vale for the 10% third party funding needed for a grant request to Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN). She had circulated the young people and others who attended the public meeting in 2010 to get them to support the plans so there was evidence of demand for the grant giving bodies. It was very important to let the Clerk have letters and emails in support as soon as possible.
Following the delivery of the six salt/grit bins purchased from the County Council, there had been further requests for more bins. It was decided that the Amenities Committee would look at the issue related to providing the bins once it was known whether or not the County Council would be able to continue to supply and fill them in the next financial year. The Local Government Boundary Commission was undertaking a review of the County Council divisions and further information was available on their website www.lgbce.org.uk.