Town Council report for March 2013
Charlbury Town Council report, No. 66
By Councillor Jim Holah
In the last edition I mentioned that there are opportunities arising from the Localism Act and I am pleased to say that we have been considering how best to begin a debate in Charlbury about a Community Led Plan. This is one of the options for us all to consider what we want Charlbury to look and feel like in the next ten to fifteen years. At present there is a small group of Town Councillors thinking about how we can start the debate and we have agreed financial support in next year's budget. See Page ** in this edition of the Chronicle. Don't forget, if there are any issues you want to find out about, you can come to the Town Council meetings to hear the discussions, all meetings are open to the public If you have any questions, please see how to contact us at the end of the report.
Christmas Trees: thanks to all residents and businesses who put up Christmas trees in the town, this made a real difference and brought brightness to our streets in December. Special thanks to Geoff Burroughs for donating the tree for the Corner House,
Snow & Ice: the winter weather hit us very hard in January and the Town Councillors available spent some time clearing footpaths and spreading salt. Thanks to those residents who also took time to spread salt and shovel snow to help.
Pot holes: the roads have been suffering as a result of all this bad weather, and if you find potholes, please report them to O.C.C. Highways on 0845 310 1111.
The Town Council Reception: took place in the Corner House on the 13th February
The Annual Parish Meeting: will be held at 8pm on Friday 5th April in the War Memorial Hall. Please come along and find out what your Council has been up to for the past year and ask questions about any aspect of the town. As well as Town Councillors, the District and County Councillors will also be in attendance.
Annual meeting of the Town Council: will be held on Wednesday 22 May at 7.30pm in the Corner House and is open to the public as are all other meetings. This meeting sees the election of the Chairman and the various Committees and nominations to other organisation in the town.
Town Council precept: this is the Town Council's budget for 2013/14 and will be £79,640.00. This is less than the current budget of £84,292.00 and gives a Band D Council tax rate of £64.14, down from the present of £64.44. The reason that the Council Tax has only dropped by 30p whilst the budget has been reduced by £4,652.00 is that the process by which Band D is calculated, the Council Tax Divisor, has been changed by the Government. About half the precept is unavoidable as it covers the essential running costs of the town. This includes grass cutting, hedge, tree and walling repair, care of the cemetery, play equipment maintenance, insurances, grants and administrative costs. Repayment of loans relating to the cemetery extension and funds towards the resurfacing of the hard surface play area are also included. If you want to know more about the planned expenditure, please contact the Town Clerk.
Councillor surgeries for 2013: The dates have been set for this year as follows; 6 April, 1 June, 3 August, 5 October, 7 December, between 10 & noon. There are always two Councillors available to you and for the moment the venue is the Corner House. In the last issue I asked whether there were any other venues that might be more convenient but there have been no suggestions so far.
County Council elections: are on Thursday 2 May: with a seat available for the new Charlbury & Wychwood Division. The present Charlbury Division seat is held by Cllr. Neil Owen (Con), who has made it clear that he will not be contesting the new Division. The Polling Station is at The Memorial Hall, between 7am to 10pm.
Annual Parish Boundary Walk: takes place on Rogation Sunday 5 May, the walk leader this year is Harriet Baldwin. The walk starts at 10 am at the old oak tree on Forest Road (B4437 to Burford). Break for lunch at Model Farm, Ditchley by kind permission of Rob & Maxine Hobill. Volunteers (please contact the Town Clerk) are needed for stewarding and chauffeuring to support this walk on Bank Holiday weekend over land not normally open to the public.
The Station car park: is now fully operational including the new set of steps proposed by the Town Council that make it easier to use the new facilities at the station.
West Oxfordshire Local Plan: The Town Council has made comments on the draft document ad you can obtain a copy from the Clerk or through the W.O.D.C website.
Police & Crime Commissioner consultation: the Town Council has commented on the draft strategy and again, you can obtain a copy from the Town Clerk.
Affordable Housing in Little Lees: this site being built and managed by SOHA will hopefully be available for occupation by May 2013. There are 15 homes and to qualify you must meet the following criteria; to be on the WODC housing waiting list, be resident in Charlbury for at least 12 months or have lived here previously for at least three years, be currently employed in the Parish for more than 12 months or have close family living in Charlbury for at least three years.
To contact the Town Council, e mail the Town Clerk at
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01608 810608,
9.0 a.m - 5 p.m. (Not weekend or Bank Holidays)
Further information can be found at www.charlburytowncouncil.co.uk