Chair's Blog


Chair's blog December 2017

posted Nov 23, 2017, 12:42 PM by Karen Birks

iMac HD:Users:fredsablitzky:Desktop:customLogo.jpg    Chair's Notes           From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

21st November 2017

 

e: sablitzky@btinternet.com     

t: 0115 965 3698                                                                                                                     

Season’s Greetings,

 

Another year has flown by and we are already looking ahead to 2018.  At our December Parish Council meeting, we’ll set our Parish Council Precept for the financial year April 2018 – March 2019.  But quickly taking a look back: a Housing Needs Survey was completed; two defibrillators were installed; the new Cricket Pavillion opened; extra daffodils were planted around the village; we’re now represented on the Oxton Composting Facility Community Liaison Group by Cllr Margaret Cooper; a couple of extra dog-waste bins were installed, and we’re continuing to scope further practical measures to help ensure we can all enjoy an attractive, clean and safe village environment.

 

I see this as just the tip of the iceberg of hard work that goes on.  A big thanks to everyone who helps with running and developing community amenities and activities in our small rural village. Oxton Estate have been hugely supportive as a major stakeholder.  When I became Chair 18 months ago, I really wanted to see a continued joined-up Parish Council – Community effort such as we see today, so it makes being a Councillor worthwhile.  Maybe you’d like to consider joining us when the opportunity arises or come along to a meeting to have your say in the Public Address session at the start or simply observe first how it works, to see if it is something you’d like to do for your community?  Please get in touch with our Clerk, Karen Birks, to have an informal chat.

 

I would particularly like to thank Cllr Nick Borrett for all his hard work on our behalf which you can read about each month under the ‘Risk and Resilience’ standing agenda item part of the Parish Council’s business (and see below for the latest update).  In brief, Nick, in liaison with Cllr Richard Cross (PC Vice-Chair) and our County and District Councillor, Roger Jackson providing hands-on practical support and guidance, has built on the work of previous Councillors (most recently, Ian Kilpatrick and Robin Aldridge) to lead on ensuring all our risk and resilience measures are put into action and made even better to give assurance both to residents and other interested parties that we are working hard on protecting our community and property from these sorts of now low-level risks.   Our newest Councillor, Paul Lloyd Davies, has also already contributed his experience within several areas of Law and committee-linked work in skilfully negotiating with the suppliers of the adventure trail equipment to get an undertaking for replacement of rotten timbers free of charge when there was initial resistance to doing so although we have an extended timber warranty so the timbers were not expected to deterioriate like they had.

 

We are indebted to teams of volunteers busily looking after the playspace and helping with our flood and snow risk resilience measures, looking after the planters, tidying up for the Best Kept Village Competition, etc. It is saddening that a small minority (of residents and visitors alike) still let their dogs poop without the scoop and have menacing dogs off the lead in public spaces, ride horses on Public Footpaths and ignore reasonable parking requests.  As I said in my notes this time last year, the majority of us genuinely look out for each other as we want Oxton to be a great place to live for all generations of a family.  On that basis and looking ahead: Cllr Mark Foxwell suggested at our last PC meeting having some traditional-style lamp posts and this is now with Cllr Jackson to scope. Cllr Paul Lloyd Davies is finding out more details for outdoor gym equipment. Please be in touch with the Clerk for any ideas for potential improvement you might have for your village and we can see what we can do to make that a reality. We have just heard that the Notts County Council Local Improvement Scheme is open for applications if you’d like to take a look at the details on the website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/lis and get in touch with the Clerk before our December meeting if you have a suggestion as the closing date is 8th January 2018.    All the best for another busy New Year...

 

Key Matters from the 14th November 2017 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

(See Minute 9):  Risk and Resilience

Due to Cllr Nick Borrett’s work with N&SDC and NCC on plans and seeking their funding to cover the estimated £30k costs, with support of Cllr Roger Jackson it’s now looking possible for them to install an underground diversion pipe on Sandy Lane - which you might remember the flood report written by JBA Consulting (seven years ago) said was an essential preventative measure as part of flood mitigation for the village but the logistics to scope and pay for any works was proving prohibitive.  Nick and Roger told us that results of site meetings with N&SDC and County Council have been positive and, if the funding is approved, it is hoped that they can complete the work within this financial year.  We’ll get a further update at our next PC meeting on this exciting breakthrough...

 

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 12th December 2017 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

Vice-chairs blog Sept 2017

posted Sep 20, 2017, 5:16 AM by Karen Birks

From Cllr Richard Cross 

18th September 2017

 e: manager@oxtonestate.com     

t: 07973 473090

                                                                                                                                

Where did summer go?

From a flaming June the summer weather was somewhat disappointing.
Luckily it did not spoil the two main village events on 2nd  July

Our thanks go to Cllr Foxwell and his team for putting on an excellent summer fete, which was well attended with good stalls and activities.

On the same afternoon the culmination of a decades work for some members of the Cricket Club saw the opening of the new pavilion. Well done to Matt Wheatley, Steve Yelland and the rest of the team.

Unfortunately dogs and their owner’s behaviour featured again in this month’s meeting. From the deliberate dumping of faeces outside a councillor’s home to a savage and worrying dog attack on one of our rights of way. A few irresponsible dog owners are getting the rest of you a very bad name.

The Parish Council has agreed to purchase and erect another dog waste bin.  The bin will be placed in the corner of the Pleasure Ground where it meets the bypass and end of Hadfield Lane.

Oxton was knocked out of the Best Kept Village competition in the second round, thank you to those who put effort into preparing the village for this competition.
A Councillor is now monitoring the grass cutting as this could be a contributory factor as to why we have not progressed in the competition for the last few years.

 

We received a complaint regarding excessively loud music from functions using the recreation field. The Parish Council will review this policy and the terms and conditions of its use at a future meeting.

 Septembers P.C. Meeting

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

My Oxton is our community website to keep you up-to-date with local news and village events so do use it and contribute to it to keep it fresh and informative for us all – find it at myoxton.org.  Jill Jones looks after it now.

Key Notes

(Minute 10)

Planning application for a storage container permanently sited at the side of the pavilion for storage of equipment. It is to be surrounded by a wooden fence made of the same materials as the pavilion to hide it from view. A hot topic amongst the councillors narrowly passed.

(Minute 11)

Oxton Composting Facility – Community Liaison Group
Cllr Cooper has agreed to be the Parish Council`s representative on this newly formed forum as part of the planning conditions for the improvement of the Oxton composting facility by Veolia

Next Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 7:30pm in the Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

Chairs Blog July/August 2017

posted Jun 24, 2017, 12:11 PM by Karen Birks

From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky 

24th June 2017

 

e: sablitzky@btinternet.com     

t: 0115 965 3698

                                                                                                                                 

Happy Summer Holidays everyone,

 

Thanks to everyone who turned up for the annual footpath walks organised by Cllr Margaret Cooper and friends last month.  This helped to identify some broken signage and overgrown footpaths for follow-up action on.  We are also looking into getting the footpath walks leaflet updated and reprinted so we can restock the leaflet dispenser.

 

We’ve now got our fingers-crossed for the Best Kept Village Competition as the first round of judging has just finished...  and we are looking into funding sources for a bespoke Oxton Village sign like you see in other attractive villages around us.  It’s a real shame that we have a small minority of folk who live in the village leaving their pet dog’s poo unscooped, and even more weirdly, who seem to deliberately leave it a few yards from the nearest dog-waste bins that the Parish Council provide and pay for regular emptying of on your behalf through the annual Precept.  As you will be aware from previous Dover Beck articles and Council meeting minutes, the Parish Council are taking this unacceptable combined unsociable behaviour and health-risk issue seriously.  Advice is being sought from the relevant authorities.  Ultimately though, I feel we can only appeal to those who know they do this to show consideration to fellow villagers and visitors to our community of all ages.  That would be great, considering that we were informed by Cllr Roger Jackson that some Council’s ‘name and shame’ .  I hope it doesn’t need to come to that in our small community.  L  Thank you to everyone else for keeping their dogs under control and clearing up after them as is reasonable to expect and is the law.

 

Anyway, enough of dog poo ASBO stuff!  I hope you get to enjoy the lovely weather and the activities going on in the village with the Summer Fete and Cricket Club opening on Sunday 2 July, etc.   And looking ahead to the autumn, the Bonfire Event 2017 proposal has been approved by the Parish Council to go ahead on November 4th

 

My Oxton is our community website to keep you up-to-date with local news and village events so do use it and contribute to it to keep it fresh and informative for us all – find it at myoxton.org.  Jill Jones looks after it now.

 

 

My notes on key matters from the 13th June PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

(See Minute 5 – Highways):       

 

It was noted that the mowing of verges by Highways was uncoordinated and poor quality.

 

          Cllr Foxwell reported that there is no Oxton village sign on the Blind Lane entry to the village. Cllr Jackson agreed to find out if Highways can provide a ‘plain’ sign and also the clerk will investigate the possibility of applying for funding from County Council for provision of a more attractive and custom designed Oxton sign.

 

 

 

Next PC meeting is: Tues 11th July 2017 7:30pm Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

 

 

Chair's blog for June 2017

posted May 22, 2017, 3:46 AM by Karen Birks   [ updated May 22, 2017, 3:47 AM ]


 

From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky 

21st May 2017

 

e: sablitzky@btinternet.com     

t: 0115 965 3698

                                                                                                                                 

It is exactly a year ago today since I penned my first ‘Chair’s Notes’ for you having just been elected as Chair of the Oxton Parish Council. I have been re-elected Chair, and Richard Cross, Vice-Chair for another year. Thank you.

 

It has been an enjoyable first year. My sincere thanks go to fellow Councillors and everyone who gives their time, skills and other resources to help support our small rural community.  It really does make a huge difference.

 

My jottings from the APM 18th May 2017:

Thanks to all those who turned out on a rainy Thursday evening to give updates and join in the active discussions.

 

§  Budget:  £ Ins and Outs in last Precept year balanced out at £102.67.  We kept the Precept in April 2017 at £9,500 having done the maths on continuing and emerging costs.  We continue to operate a small ‘Village Plan Fund’ - do be in touch if you have ideas for the village that need a bit of financial support.

§  Godfrey’s Field: The Workhouse Close Trustees manage/lease this and from that have funds for ‘the needy of Oxton’ (this all started in 1690!). Their newly-drafted Terms of Reference will be available shortly to help those thinking of making a case for support either for themselves or someone they know.

§  Public Access Defibrillators: Oxton will have two in operation very soon! Volunteers for training will be called for.  The PC are covering all the running costs.  Hopefully, we won’t need to use them but...

§  Cricket Club: the team continues working hard on the pavillion completion for summer and plans for this year’s bonfire event as well as actually successfully playing cricket!  They’d like the pavillion to be used as a wider community asset and also encourage youngsters into the game, so please be in touch with ideas.

§  Village Shop: this is a fantastic resource to have both a Post Office and a great range of provisions – so please do channel as much custom as you can through it.  It helps stop the ‘tumbleweed blowing down the street’ scenario as happening in other rural communities without these resources for sustainability.

§  Pantomine: this has been rescued from cancellation through villagers coming forward to act and help out behind the scenes and we await the announcement of what the storyline will be for this December’s show.

§  Village Hall: refurbishment continues and usage is increasing - do check out their competitive hire rates.

§  Summer Fête: do come along with family and friends on Sunday 2 July, offer to help out or even have your own stall: OxtonFete@yahoo.com.  The new cricket pavillion will be open too to have a look around.

§  Risk and resilience: various practical measures are being improved and further scoped to ensure we visibly benefit from increased flood risk mitigation.  We will continue with our anti-dog-poo campaign and request that dog-walkers ensure their dogs are kept under control at all times when out and about.

§  Wildlife in Oxton: there’s a real opportunity to help and encourage more creatures into our gardens as we are surrounded by countryside – Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have great information leaflets and we are looking into creating an area of wildflowers/for wildlife somewhere in the village, where we can.

 

My notes on key matters from the 9th May PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

o    (See Minute 6 – Matters Arising): The PC will be keeping whether we need a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ for our village under active review in dialogue with Cllr Roger Jackson and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England as the policy landscape for housing and development churns.

o    (See Minute 11 - Recreation):  We have had increasing problems with some playspace equipment timbers rotting and splitting although we have a 20-year warranty on them.  The PC are monitoring and investigating this in order to take appropriate actions as part of its risk management policy.

 

 

  Next PC meeting is: Tues 13th June 2017 7:30pm Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

Chair's Blog for March 2017

posted Feb 25, 2017, 12:14 PM by jan sablitzky

 

Hello,

 

An exciting bit of news is our County and District Cllr Roger Jackson kindly donated funds for the new dog waste bin I mentioned last month we were getting for the village and we are currently deciding where the best location for it will be. This is good timing as we are all increasingly despondent about the dog-fouling issue in the village – see photo below (taken this week) as an example of a resident’s or visitor’s pet’s kind contribution to the enjoyment of our walkways.  We will be liaising with the N&SDC dog warden but if anyone has any ideas on what has worked in other communities, do be in touch with the Clerk.



 

On a positive note, it was reported at our PC meeting that work on the ancient Sweet Chestnut tree on the recreation field to remove dead and diseased wood from the crown has been completed so that should give it a new lease of life.  Cllr Mark Foxwell also told us the date for the next village fete will be Sunday 2nd July 2017.  Tentative ideas for wildflower areas and outdoor exercise equipment in the village were also mooted.  If you have ideas too, please be in touch with the Clerk.

 

Please do you what you can to help look after and enhance our rural community spaces.   Thank you.

 




 

Key Matters from the 14th February PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

    (see Min 4: Matters Arising) 

         Cllr Roger Jackson updated us on planning permission for the expansion of the Oxton composting site being approved subject to a forum being set up to encourage dialogue between Veolia, the Parish Council and any other parties who may potentially be adversely affected by operations at the site. The Parish Council Clerk will ensure contact with Veolia is maintained.



From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

19th February 2017

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 14th March 2017 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall




Chair's Blog for Jan/Feb 17

posted Jan 15, 2017, 2:10 PM by jan sablitzky   [ updated Jan 21, 2017, 4:44 AM by Karen Birks ]

Happy New Year,

 

At our December Parish Council meeting, we reviewed the results provided in the Housing Needs Survey report compiled by Midlands Rural Housing. As per minutes below, on the basis of this report no further action is planned at this stage at Parish Council level.  The Survey report is accessible via the Parish Council website for full details.

 

BT are going to remove the modern-style glass panel ‘phone box on Main Street opposite Elmcroft as they have marked it as obsolete due to lack of use. 

 

Key Matters from the 13th December 2016 and 10th January 2017 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.


(See 13/12/16 Minute 14):  RECEIVE AND DISCUSS THE RESULTS OF HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY CARRIED OUT BY MIDLAND RURAL HOUSING

Following the housing needs survey which was carried out in October 2016 the final report ‘ A detailed investigation into the housing needs of Oxton’ has been received for consideration by the Parish Council. The return rate for questionnaires was 31% out of the 300 distributed. Of the 92 returns 84 were from people who felt they were adequately housed at present and 8 returned indicated a demand for housing. In summary the results show that there is a need for up to 2 affordable homes [for rent] (both of these households are registered on the choice Based Lettings Register) and a preference for 6 open market sale homes for local people enabling them to be suitably housed within the community. These could be developed on a ‘rural exception site’, if available or developed as part of a larger development.

It was considered that the requirement for 6 open market sale homes is not a case for affordable housing and would not be providing sustainable housing stock. The report shows that the demand for affordable housing has reduced significantly in Oxton as it was registered as 23 in the 2005 survey and is now only 2. This demonstrated that the demographic has changed in the village and the people who in the past may have been passionate about staying in Oxton no longer live here which may explain why there is now a very small need indicated.

It was felt that although the Parish Council appreciates the value of this survey in collecting this data, the results demonstrate there is no need for any immediate or further action at the current time. The Parish Council is already aware that the government is pushing for additional council housing and there is likely to be further government legislation in what is a fast-changing environment. The Parish Council will await both a response from District Council on receipt of the Survey Report and directives arising from wider policy changes from government on the matter of affordable housing.

It was agreed that to communicate the results of the survey and the Parish Council’s response at this stage, Cllr Sablitzky will provide a summary update for residents in the Dover Beck magazine and the full report will be made available on the Parish Council website.

(See 10/01/16 Minutes 6 and 10):  The Parish council is going to invest in getting and paying for the emptying of another dog waste bin further up Windmill Hill in the hope that it will be used instead of dog poop being left in little black bags in that area at best.  We also still have some general litter problems which obviously immediately spoil the look of the village for us all and visitors.

 

Please do you what you can to help look after our rural community spaces.   Thank you.

 

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 14th February 2017 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall


From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

15th January 2017

 


                                                                                                                                 

Chair's Blog Dec 2016

posted Oct 22, 2016, 2:54 AM by jan sablitzky   [ updated Jan 15, 2017, 2:14 PM ]

Season’s Greetings,

 

Another year has flown by and we are already looking ahead to 2017.  At our November PC meeting, we set our Parish Council Precept for the financial year April 2017 – March 2018 managing to keep it at £9,500 as per last year’s.  We are awaiting the outcome of our recent Housing Needs Survey.  We are looking forward to the new defibrillators being installed, the opening of the new Cricket Pavillion (hurrah!) and our teams of volunteers busily looking after the playspace and helping with our flood and snow risk resilience measures. Once again, a big thanks to everyone who gets involved in any way to support and further improve our community amenities and activities in our small rural village.  Unfortunately though, we have had burglaries, anti-social incidents and folk who still let their dogs poop without the scoop, have scattered pornographic litter around the village and ignore reasonable parking requests.  I believe that this is not the ‘new norm’ – just the saddening actions of a small minority and that if we do genuinely look out for each other we can continue to make Oxton a great place to live in 2017 and beyond for all generations of a family.  All the best for the New Year...

 

Key Matters from the 8th November 2016 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

(See Minute 5): 

Application to construct a new access road & vary conditions at Oxton Composting Facility

     The Parish Council was attended by James Cook, planning manager at Veolia, to explain the details of the application. The Parish Council is (still) concerned about the effect of this site on the local community and will be raising these reservations with Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council in their requested response to the application.

 

(See Minute 8iii):  Finance - Budget requirements for 2017/18

The Clerk distributed copies of a proposed budget which was discussed in detail. The budget was agreed and the precept set at £9500, the same level as the current year.

 

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 13th December 2016 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall


From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

26th November 2016





Chair's Blog Nov 2016


Hello,


We were really pleased to co-opt Paul Lloyd Davies onto the Parish Council - bringing his experience within several areas of Law and committee-linked work.  Paul has lived in Oxton off and on since the 1990's and prior to this lived in village locations where similar challenges and opportunities faced by Oxton prevailed.  So, we now have the full complement (7) of Councillors on our Parish Council and look forward to working together for the benefit of the community.  

 

As I said in my Chair’s Address at the Annual Parish Meeting back in May this year, we are keen to continue to encourage and support partnership working with residents.  The Parish Council set up the ‘Village Plan Fund’ in 2011 to provide cash to support community activities and facilities (see the Parish Council website for details of what’s been funded from it so far and how to apply).  At our latest PC meeting in October, we agreed to support the running costs of the new defibrillators for when these are installed in the village – a project being ied by the Oxton Defibrillator Action Group (Founders: Lucy Ford and Julia Stirland) in liaison with the Community Heartbeat Trust.  Another resident (Michelle Mean) approached us with the idea of planting daffodils under all the Oxton village signs around the village as her idea to ‘help cheer us up on our way to and from home after the winter’.  With our support, Michelle and her little daughter, Daisy, have planted e.g a big bunch under the Oxton turn left sign just before Ye Olde Bridge Inn and a few at the base of the sign at the top on Forest Road and a few other places for now.  So, we look forward to seeing those popping up in the Spring.  Please do continue to let us know of any ideas you may have  - thank you J.

 

A key matter from the 11th Oct 2016 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

(See Minute 4 – Matters Arising):  Rural Housing Needs Survey for Oxton - October 2016

We hope you took the chance to be part of the recent survey as the more survey forms filled out, the more accurate the picture we’ll have given the District Council of our of community’s housing situation. We are expecting the results of the survey to come from the Midlands Rural Housing Association’s team to the Parish Council sometime in December. We will then discuss the results at a Parish Council meeting and arrange for feedback to be given to the community via various channels/fora as quickly as possible. So, please watch this space...

 

(See Minute 6): Nottinghamshire County Council’s ‘Supporting Local Communities’ fund

This fund is designed to help communities deliver projects that ‘will offer environmental, economic and community benefits’.  This type of fund helped support the funding of the new playspace and our new village noticeboard a few years ago.  If you have any fresh ideas that would benefit Oxton, please contact Karen Birks, the Parish Council Clerk as quickly as possible karenbirks@live.com 01636 812023 (any formal applications have to be in to NCC by 16 December).

More info is at: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/finance-and-budget/grants-and-funding/supporting-local-communities-fund

 

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 8th November 2016 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall


From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

22nd October 2016

Chair's Blog Oct 2016

posted Sep 24, 2016, 9:00 AM by jan sablitzky

Hello,

 

We welcomed Cllr Nick Borrett at our September meeting who is now leading on our risk and resilience strategy and practical measures. Thank you to those who have expressed an interest in serving the community in this way; we hope to welcome one more Councillor this Autumn.

 

This Autumn, we also hope you will participate in the Rural Housing Needs Survey for Oxton (survey forms being distributed with October’s Dover Beck).  The more survey forms that are filled out, the more accurate the picture we give the District Council of our of community’s housing situation.  Households return their completed forms directly to Midlands Rural Housing and the Parish Council will be given information once the survey results have been processed. The survey form shouldn’t take you too long to fill in. Thank you.

 

A key matter from the 13th September 2016 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information

(See Minute 14): The Parish Council’s response to the District Council’s Development Plan Review

As flagged in the Aug/Sept Dover Beck and on the Parish Council and MyOxton community website, the District Council invited the community’s comments (by 23rd Sept 2016) as they update housing development documents.  The Preferred Approach - Strategy document sets out future development targets based on the latest evidence, where new development should be and includes some new affordable housing policies. In the case of communities such as Oxton, the issue of the Green Belt is clearly significant and in the document, the District Council sought to clarify the current circumstances relating to Green Belt policy by suggesting amendments and allowing for rural affordable exceptions sites.  Oxton has been named because of its proximity to Lowdham, as a village where the planners may consider appropriate development to meet local housing need.  The Parish Council’s formal feedback to the District Council is that the Parish Council is open-minded in the case of suitable housing and find this part of the policy acceptable but we have concerns about the sustainability of the affordable housing stock if government policy continues to allow it to be sold.

(See Minute 11): Problems with grass-cutting have been addressed.  We now have a new contractor (Ulyetts) for grass cutting so hopefully the verges and recreation field areas mowed by the PC’s contractors will now continue to look well-kept again after unexpected problems over the summer with our previous contractor.  

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 11th October 2016 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall



From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

24th Sept 2016

Chair's Blog Aug/Sept 2016

posted Aug 17, 2016, 2:10 AM by jan sablitzky   [ updated Aug 17, 2016, 2:12 AM ]

Hello,

Hope you have enjoyed the summer’s sunshine... 

We are delighted that Nick Borrett has joined us on the Parish Council (incidentally, he designed our PC logo a few years ago and he’s our yellow-wellied Oxton Duck Race icon). Nick brings to our PC team his expertise in business management and interest in leading on our risk and resilience strategy and practical measures (but hopefully not needing to keep the wellies on). 

Nick and Jan announcing Oxton Duck Race winners


We are still hoping one more Oxton resident will make the step to join the Oxton Parish Council so we have a full complement of Councillors to contribute to the mix of skills and views in our decision-making for this community.  So, do please be in touch with The Clerk if you are interested.  Thank you.

 

Our last PC meeting was back in July and a few noticeable and frustrating issues have arisen since then: continuing lack of mowing by our new contractor and changes to Oxton’s bus service, that Karen Birks, the PC’s Clerk, is looking into and posting info/updates on our PC website.  We have also recently been informed of a planning strategy consultation:

Newark and Sherwood District Council Plan Review Preferred Approach - Strategy consultation

This will be on the Sept PC meeting’s agenda for a Parish Council response but as the consultation deadline is 23rd Sept 2016, I am just flagging in this Dover Beck that if you want to participate please visit the District Council’s website at http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/planreview/ or local Library. 

Overall, the Preferred Approach Strategy sets out development targets based on the latest evidence, a refined ‘spatial strategy’ (where new development should be) new affordable housing policies and a number of minor policy amendments. In the case of communities such as Oxton the issues of the Green Belt is clearly significant; the District Council are not intending to change these policies dramatically, and have sought to clarify the current circumstances relating to Green Belt policy by suggesting amendments and allowing for rural affordable exceptions sites in Lowdham. 

A key matter from the 12th July 2016 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

o   (See Minute 13): PROPOSAL TO REQUEST THAT MIDLANDS RURAL HOUSING CARRY OUT A HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY IN OXTON.   The PC unanimously agreed that this free survey needed to be carried out this Autumn to get an up-to-date data snapshot. 

As flagged in June’s Dover Beck, previous local surveys in Oxton are now considered out-of-date as these work on a 5-year cycle: Oxton Village Appraisal (May 2003); Oxton Housing Needs Survey Analysis (July 2005); Oxton Village Plan (March 2011) -  you can find copies of these documents in the Archive section of the Parish Council’s website.

So, please look out for your household’s questionnaire coming with the October issue of The Dover Beck.  The more survey forms that are filled out, the more accurate the picture we give the District Council of our community’s housing situation.  The survey shouldn’t take you too long to fill in. Thank you.

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 13th September 2016 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky   

16th Aug 2016

Chair's Blog July 2016

posted Jun 25, 2016, 6:17 AM by jan sablitzky   [ updated Jun 25, 2016, 6:19 AM ]

Hello, I am penning this after the Referendum day. Celebratory cries of “independence!” versus groans of “anarchy!” reverberated around me from colleagues and others in the workplace and outside.  It all emphasises just how complex (and personal) politics at all levels can be and the real impact of decision-making on people’s lives locally and beyond.  At Parish Council level, we have limited powers and our powers to do things (and the Council Tax precept we charge for doing them) are relatively modest.  However, those powers are over matters and in influencing decisions imposed from larger councils concerning the immediate local environment that people really notice and care about. We are still looking for two more Oxton residents to make the step to join the Oxton Parish Council so we have a full complement of Councillors to contribute to the mix of skills and views in our decision-making for this community.  So, do please be in touch with The Clerk if you are interested.  Thank you.

A key matter from the 14th June PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website www.oxtonpc.org.uk  - do check the site out for news and other information.

o   (See Minute 5): Does Oxton (urgently) need a ‘’Housing Needs Survey’ and ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ ? – this was discussed in principle with representatives from Midlands Rural Housing and District Council’s Strategic Housing prior to the PC considering a proposal at the July meeting for a fresh* survey to ask the question about housing needs in this community now.  To manage expectations, we asked District Council to check first with the planners if any (affordable) housing development at all in Oxton would be allowed. 

* Previous local surveys in Oxton are now considered out-of-date as these work on a 5-year cycle: Oxton Village Appraisal (May 2003); Oxton Housing Needs Survey Analysis (July 2005); Oxton Village Plan (March 2011) -  you can find copies of these documents in the Archive section of the Parish Council’s website.

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 12th July 2016 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall

From the desk of Cllr Jan Sablitzky, 25th June 2016  

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