Charlbury Town Council update
Charlbury Town Council report, No. 64
By Councillor Jim Holah
This is the first report from the Council newly elected in May 2012. I hope you find it informative of both the continuing work of the Council as well the challenges and opportunities from new legislation and changes arising from the Localism Act. If you have any questions, please see how to contact us at the end of the report.
Town Council annual meeting, 16th May: the new Council met for the first time, voting in Nick Potter as Chairman for the 18th successive year and Valou Pakenham Walsh as Vice Chairman for the second year. The Councillors, all sitting as independents are Kathy Broughton, Richard Fairhurst, Susanna Finch, Willem Hackmann, Jim Holah, Reg James, Peter Kenrick, Tony Merry, Liz Reason and Russell Robson. The business of allocating subcommittee roles was concluded, with details available from the Town Clerk.
Code of Conduct: a new model code for Councillors highlighting six key objectives of selflessness, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty & integrity and leading by example has been introduced. This was adopted and endorsed at the June Council meeting.
Former Councillor Ron Prew is thanked for his 17 year service since election in 1995, serving as Vice Chairman for 4 years.
Councillors open surgeries: the June and August surgeries were kept busy with a steady stream of residents calling to discuss local concerns and to ask questions about services and facilities. These have been followed through, with a short report made to the following Council meeting for information. The next Surgery is on the first Saturday in October, in the Corner House from 10 am to Noon.
Annual Parish Boundary walk: this was held on the 13 May, a fine Rogation Sunday with 12 walkers led for the first time by Geoffrey Griffiths and Harriet Baldwin. Our thanks go to them, the Stewards and helpers and particularly Maxine and Robert Hobill for their generous lunch arrangements at Model Farm, Ditchley.
Overhanging branches to pavements: the lush growth of your hedges and trees is again causing obstructions to pedestrians and we request that you cut back and recycle any branches, bushes or plants, as wheelchairs and prams are particularly affected when the pavements are narrowed. There are also large areas of weeds growing in kerbs and gutters around the town, if you are able to remove or treat any of these in the area outside your home it would improve the look of Charlbury.
Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, The Chairman represented the Town Council at the service at St Mary's Church on the 3 June and H.M.The Queen has replied to our letter of loyal Greetings on the occasion. The Town Clerk is having this framed for display in the Museum. Our thanks go to the organisers of the celebratory events held. Despite the rain these were successful and very enjoyable.
Neighbourhood Plan, this subject has seen some focus for the new Council since May, with a presentation from West Oxfordshire Planners outlining the possibilities and challenges. We have arranged to attend further briefings before discussing how best to respond and will update you in future reports.
Grants for Financial Year 2013/14, any organisation that thinks it may need a grant from the Town Council for the financial year 2013/14 must obtain an application form from the Town Clerk and return it together with supporting documents by mid-day on 31 October. Late applications cannot be considered. The Clerk can advise on what can, and cannot, be grant aided under the Local Government Act.
Local Government Election, on the 3 May Liz Leffmann (LibDem) was elected to represent the Charlbury Ward (including Finstock & Fawler) on West Oxfordshire District Council. The other Councillor for the Ward is Hywel Davies (Con). The next Local Government election will be on the 2 May 2013 for the Charlbury & Wychwood Division on Oxfordshire County Council. The Charlbury Division represented by Neil Owen (Con) has been affected by the Boundary Commission and so this will be the first election for the new Division.
Thomas Gifford Charity, the Town Council nominates three trustees; Cllr Liz Reason resigned from the board of trustees in March, with Cllr Jim Holah appointed to replace her. The other two appointed trustees are Ian Cox and Jim Clemence. Cllr Russell Robson is also a trustee.
To contact the Town Council, e mail the Town Clerk, Roger Clarke, at email@example.com or telephone 01608 810608, between 9.0am and 5pm. (Not weekend or Bank Holidays. Further information can be found at www.charlburytowncouncil.co.uk