The 24th May was the Towersey Parish Council Annual General Meeting.
Chairman for 2016-2017 – Cllr Mark Davis
Vice Chairman – Cllr Steven Nutley
Chair of the Council, Mark Davis gave his annual report as follows:
Towersey Parish Council Chairman’s Report 24 May 2016 Good evening and welcome to our Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council. I would like to welcome all the Councillors – Cllr Stephenson, Cllr Byrne, Cllr Nutley and Cllr Jackson.
We now have two District Councillors supporting our work, Ian White and Lynn Lloyd, both of whom are based in Chinnor.
In November, we had a very successful work party where many villagers volunteered to help focus on clearing out the ditches and drains around the cross roads and Chinnor Road area of the village as well as addressing some issues in Windmill Road.
Grants were awarded to the Memorial Hall towards the cost of the Childrens’ Christmas Party and the Seniors’ Christmas Luncheon.
We have changed the day of the Parish Council meetings from Wednesdays to Tuesdays so as not to clash with the bell ringers as it was getting difficult to hold a discussion.
It has been a challenging year regarding planning permission decisions. We have worked hard, within the limitations of the guidelines that we have, to make the correct decisions for some difficult planning applications. Permission was granted for the much contested solar farm to be built in Windmill Road. Despite our convincing arguments against the application and an almost unanimous decision by SODC councillors to support us, the application then went to appeal and was granted approval by the Planning Inspectorate in October 2015.
Busses. Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) have decided to cut funding subsidies to all busses within the county. Towersey Parish Council were invited to discuss this with the bus contractors and so I met with the Oxford Bus Company in Oxford in January. I was advised that there was no cause for concern as OCC have a duty to continue the school bus and so the contractors plan was to merge the daily service through Towersey with the school bus service and to continue to provide a service to all residents in that way. Unfortunately, it seems that this will now not be happening and all regular subsidised bus services (which includes all of those that run through Towersey) will be stopping in July or September, countywide.
The Parish Council have started the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for Towersey. We held two introductory presentations in the Memorial Hall: the first to provide residents with an overview of Neighbourhood Plans in general, and to invite suggestions about what they would like included, and the second to establish who would like to be on the steering committee that will bring the neighbourhood plan to fruition. Both events were extremely well attended and in early April the members of the steering committee were duly elected by the Parish Council. The first full meeting will take place in early June.
I would like to thank all my fellow councillors for all their hard work and support over the year and a special thanks to our Clerk, Jo Wills.