Coronavirus ~ March 2020

We have been advised by the Government that Parish Council meetings can take place virtually during the time that the Coronavirus so-called 'lockdown' is in force. See here for more detail.

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Welcome to Melody England, the new Clerk to The Parish Council...

I am delighted to report that Melody England has now joined the Parish Council in the role of Clerk with immediate effect. Tammy Heavens has agreed to continue in the role of Data Protection Officer to ensure that the Parish Council meets the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations. You can read more about our Data Protection Policy here.

Although I will obviously continue to be available, I would ask that any matters relating to the Parish Council are sent to clerk@southleigh.info from now on.   

All the Councillors would like to join me in welcoming Melody to the team.

Nicky Brooks
Chair, South Leigh Parish Council

Melody England
 

Parish Council news...

Shores Green and Barnard Gate

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in their plans have put forward the proposals for the Shores Green Junction and Barnard Gate based on criteria and points - we have asked

  1. for their point system and
  2. how many points were awarded to both the ruled-out options and preferred options.
Neither piece of information has been forthcoming.

OCC have said that they intend to implement no traffic calming measures in the village as none will be necessary as there will not be any increase in traffic. We have asked for the traffic figures on which they base that conclusion. None have been forthcoming after repeated requests.

In consequence and reluctantly two Freedom of Information Requests have been submitted and an uncompromising letter sent to the leader of OCC, OCC policy officials and councillors. We await the response.

A40

Boundary Commission

In relation to the proposals of the Boundary Commission to remove South Leigh from the Witney Parliamentary seat - submissions have been made and you can read them here. Further representations will be made (as and when) and there will be further liaison with Robert Courts, our MP.

A40

Pollution in Limb Brook & Thames Water

The Parish Council were concerned with the water - treated and / or untreated - being discharged into the Limb Brook from the Thames Water facility in the village. The results from the June 2021 sampling were very disturbing. Immediately downstream of the sewage treatment plant phosphate levels of 6.4 ppm and nitrate levels of 100ppm were recorded. To compare, where the Limb Brook enters the village at the Witney end, levels of 0.09ppm phosphate and 10ppm nitrates were recorded, levels far lower and acceptable.

A letter was written to the CEO of Thames Water asking whether Thames Water were operating within their licence and expressing considerable concern about the pollution levels. Her office responded immediately with the assurance that there would be a substantive response by 20th August. Work is now being carried out which is called "essential maintenance work", "draining down the aeration tank and replacing pipework and assets within the tank" and they say, "Once the work is complete we will refill the tank and allow the process to return and then we can discharge to the watercourse as required within our permit with the Environment agency. The current work timescale is to be completed by 22nd September."

In the meantime, we are hoping to set up direct liaison with neighbouring Parish Councils about issues such as this.

Subsequent to the stiff letter to the CEO of Thames Water about water pollution there is work being carried out at their facility in Lymbrook Close, as noted above - we are sorry for the inconvenience caused to those residents nearest and it remains to be seen whether there will be any improvement. We will keep it under review.

Thames Water logo

Parish Council strategy workshop

Following the Parish Council elections, the new Council gathered in late July for a six-hour review and strategy workshop and working lunch. Sadly, Lysette Nicholls was self-isolating but was video-linked.

This was a business-like session held in an open carport to be Covid safe. It gave Councillors the opportunity to get to know the newcomers and to share village feedback, views, aspirations and priorities. A village plan will be produced from the output and that will be made available for comment in due course.

PC strategy workshop group
Standing: Dick Pears, Rita Sawrey-Woodwards
Seated: David Auger, Nicky Brooks, Graham Soame.
Lysette Nicholls
Lysette Nicholls

Solar Farm news

News about the Solar Farms - there's a planning application for a new one at Tar Farm - has been moved to a page of its own here.

 

Representations on behalf of South Leigh Parish Council to the Boundary Commission with regard to the proposed Bicester Parliamentary Constituency

South Leigh which is the Parish that the South Leigh Parish Council represents has a population of 336 at the time of 2011 census – the recent census figures are not currently available – however the number of electors at the time of 2021 parish council elections was only 278.

The total number of electors in the Eynsham and Cassington ward of which South Leigh is part is 4797 - in other words South Leigh is a mere 5%.

South Leigh Parish Council has had regard to the Boundary Commission criteria that constituencies must have no less than 69,724 Parliamentary electors and no more than 77,062. The retention of South Leigh within the Witney constituency would make an insignificant difference to that aim given the electorate of the Witney constituency in 2019 general election was 83,845.

South Leigh Parish Council has also had regard to Schedule 2 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended)–and also accepts that the Boundary Commission has a wide ranging discretion as a result of the introduction to paragraph 5 of that schedule.

South Leigh Parish Council submits that the relevant local government boundary is that formed by the boundaries of West Oxfordshire District Council and that South Leigh is and should remain within the Parliamentary Constituency which overlays the majority of the administrative area of West Oxfordshire District Council.

We urge the Boundary Commission to have regard to the boundary of the existing Witney constituency not least because of the provision of paragraph 5(1)(c) but also because the pre-existing relationship that the Parish and South Leigh Parish Council has with the current and past MPs.

By the separation of South Leigh from the Witney constituency there would be a breaking of significant local ties and a democratic deficit which would amount to more than “inconveniences attendant” upon the proposed changes.

  1. For assistance on a range of local issues there would need to be engagement with a local authority whose geographic focus is different from the geographic focus of the proposed MP so that issues of concern for the parish would be significantly harder to address.
  2. Whilst South Leigh Parish Council accepts that Eynsham (5 miles away from South Leigh by the congested A40) is a village which has facilities, limited shops and schools which the inhabitants of South Leigh utilise to some extent the prime focus of South Leigh is the town of Witney.

  1. Witney Community Hospital - 3 miles (Witney)
  2. Windrush Medical Centre - 3 miles (Witney)
  3. Nuffield Medical Practice - 3 miles (Witney)
  4. The OCC allocated Primary School - is The Blake Church of England Aided Primary School in Cogges that abuts Witney - it is not in Eynsham – 2.4 miles
  5. Wood Green School - 2.9 miles - in Witney
  6. Henry Box School - 3.2 miles - IV and V are the OCC allocated schools for which transport would be provided from South Leigh in Witney with all the following also in Witney
  7. Windrush Leisure Centre - 3 miles
  8. Library
  9. Food and other shopping
  10. Sainsbury’s - 3.3 miles
  11. Waitrose - 2.9 miles
  12. Dentists - Buttercross Dental Practice, Witney Dental Clinic, Church Green Dental Practice
  13. Chiropractors etc
  14. Cafés, restaurants
  15. Farmers' markets

Further we submit that if these representations are rejected we suggest the new constituency name should be 'Woodstock and Bicester' or 'Evenlode and Cherwell' or 'Blenheim and Bicester'.

In the event there are public meetings and oral representations South Leigh Parish Council would seek to make oral representations.

South Leigh Parish Council
30th July 2021

Boundary Commission review of our Parliamentary Constituency

The Boundary Commission is reviewing the Parliamentary boundaries - it is not reviewing the local authority boundaries.

The Boundary Commission is due to report by 2023 and before the next general election. It is charged with equalising the numbers of electors per constituency (between 69,724 and 77,062 to the nearest whole number).

There is an initial consultation process ending on 2nd August 2021. The Parish Council will be looking at the issue on 13th July at their next meeting - if you want to contribute, please advise the Chair or me.

You can also give your views directly to the Boundary Commission here.

South Leigh is currently in the Witney & West Oxfordshire Constituency. The Boundary Commission is proposing a new seat called 'Bicester'. Representations can be made to the Boundary Commission about the proposed name of the constituency, which might currently be misleading and / or unappealing - perhaps if it were to be called Woodstock and Bicester for instance.

What do the Boundary Commission consider in coming to a decision? That is laid down by Schedule 2 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended) - paragraph 5 and those topics include local government boundaries, boundaries of existing constituencies, any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituency and the inconveniences attendant on such changes.

Please express your views.

Dick Pears

Boundary Commission map of proposed Bicester seat

South Leigh Parish Council is a statutory body operating as the lowest level of local government. Its powers are very limited but it is entitled to be consulted on many matters that are actually the responsibility of a higher local authority (witness planning and the District Council or Highways and the County Council).

The Parish Council is elected by all qualifying voters in the Parish and its elected members in turn appoint a Clerk to the Parish Council.

The Parish Council has the power to tax by, adding a regulated charge, called a 'Precept', to your Council Tax bill.

The Parish Council has regular meetings (approximately every six weeks) which are advised to the Parish by a notice on the notice board by the pub and on the village website. These meetings are open to the public to attend.

No Parish Councillor is paid. The Parish Council operates through volunteers and with the good will of the public. However, certain activities are delegated by the Parish Council which operates through various sub-committees and appointed officers, viz:-

    Village Green Committee - Dick Pears
    Playground Association - Karen Wilson
    Football Pitch Committee - Martin Wilson
    Neighbourhood Plan Committee - Ken Brooks
    Forest Restoration Group - Martin Spurrier

Each sub-committee operates independently but under the aegis of the Parish Council and with a Parish Councillor or Officer as an ex-officio member with all relevant accounts of the sub-committee being consolidated within the accounts of the Parish Council itself at the year end.

The Summer Fayre Committee is not a sub-committee of the Parish Council. It operates as an independent fundraising venture and thus it is not the responsibility of the Parish Council.

In addition to these sub-committees, the Parish Council has appointed the following officers:

    Footpaths Officers - Ann and Russell Cherry
    Traffic Monitoring Officer - Lysette Nicholls
    Litter Collection Co-ordinator - John Ashwell
    Newsletter Editor - John Ashwell
    Data Protection Officer - Tammy Heavens

Parish Council notices

NEXT COUNCIL MEETINGS
The next meetings, which take place at 7:30pm usually in the Village Hall, but are by ZOOM until further notice, are on the Tuesdays listed below. If you wish to discuss something, we always have a slot at the beginning of the meeting for this purpose, but it is important that you advise the Clerk beforehand about what you'd like to speak about.

Please also note:
These are provisional and dependent on ‘lockdown’ arrangements. The Parish Council doesn’t normally meet in August due to the holiday and the date in October is half term and so may well need to be moved.

5th January 2021
19th January 2021
2nd March 2021
13th April 2021
18th May 2021 AGM & PC
24th May 2021
13th July 2021
16th August 2021
27th September 2021

 

Parish Council Meetings & AGM postponement

We have been waiting for notification from Government about how we should run our meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic. It hasn’t been quick in coming but I guess they’ve had more important things to do!

Anyway, we now have definite guidance - please see the guidance points in bold below.

Regular Parish Council meetings should not take place in person but can take place by video call where possible and members of the parish should be invited (again - where possible).

We tried a video call meeting via ZOOM for our March meeting and although not as good as face-to-face, it worked very well, so we are inviting members of the parish to join the May meeting if they would like to. We will email all those that we have contact details for before the meeting with joining instructions. You will have to download the ZOOM app beforehand. We’ll put a notice on the village Facebook page too but we are aware that doesn’t necessarily cover the whole parish - perhaps you could alert any other parishioners who you feel may be interested.

For anyone feeling uneasy about any of this but would like to join we are happy to set up a practice session.

I'm afraid that during the meeting we will have to be strict about public intervention because it really doesn’t work if people speak at the same time - we are therefore requesting that you don’t intervene during the meeting but please do contact us afterwards with thoughts and ideas - it would be most welcome. (Strictly speaking, this is how Parish Council meetings should be run but we normally like to be more inclusive.)

If you do have any issue(s) that you would like to raise at the meeting please do let us know well beforehand and of course we will offer you a spot to air your views.

AGMs are postponed until such time as public can attend. The current chair will remain in place until an AGM can be held once the current situation is rectified.
Our AGM is the one meeting in the year where parishioners are allowed to raise any questions they like about the last year's actions of the Parish Councillors; it is the parishioners' meeting. It is of course where reports from the various sub-committees are presented along with the Parish Council annual report and the year-end accounts. Finally - it is the time that the councillors vote for the chair and deputy chair positions. We will still publish the reports and accounts and any questions from parishioners will be answered.

Notice of meetings should be via web site not posted in a public place.

We should make the written record and background papers available on the website.
Minutes of the meeting held on March 31st are now available here together with all the attendant papers - please get in touch if you have any queries and we will publish all papers going forward on this website until normality is resumed.

Thank you for your patience in this matter - we are trying to be as transparent as possible in these trying times.

Nicky Brooks, Chair of South Leigh Parish Council, March 2020 nickybrooks@southleigh.info

Code of Conduct for Members and Co-opted Members
Below is the Code of Conduct to which all Parish Councillors have signed up.
Produced by WODC, it is also followed by all District Councillors.

The Nolan Principles

At the initial meeting of the newly elected Parish Council on 18th May 2021, it was decided that we would adopt the so-called 'Nolan Principles' (named after the judge who formulated them).

In many ways they are obvious but always good to have them out there as a touchstone. We want to publish them as the seven guiding principles for us as Parish Councillors.

  1. Selflessness
  2. Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

  3. Integrity
  4. Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

  5. Objectivity
  6. Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

  7. Accountability
  8. Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

  9. Openness
  10. Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

  11. Honesty
  12. Holders of public office should be truthful.

  13. Leadership
  14. Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

GUIDANCE ON THE DECLARATION OF INTERESTS AT MEETINGS


  1. When do I need to declare my interests?

    You need to declare your interests at all meetings where matters being discussed or to be discussed affect your interests.

  2. What is a personal interest?

    You need to declare your interests at all meetings where matters being discussed or to be discussed affect your interests.

  3. What do I need to do if I have a personal interest in a matter?

    You have a personal interest in a matter if that matter affects the well-being or financial position of you, your relatives or your friends more than it would affect other people in the Parish. You must look at how any decision reached in any meeting would affect:

    • You and / or their jobs and businesses;
    • You and / or them where you and / or they are a partner in a partnership, and / or where you and / or they are a director of a company;
    • Corporate bodies in which you or they have a beneficial interest in a type of share with a face value (as shown on the share certificate) worth more than 5,000 and
    • You and / or they have an interest in a trust or other organisation whether beneficial or not.
    • Any organisations (whether for profit or not) in which you or they hold a position of general control or management or influence and whether or not, you or they represent your Parish Council.

      Under the Code of Conduct:

    • A relative is a partner (someone you are married to or live with as if you were married), a parent, a parent-in-law, a son or daughter, a step-son or step-daughter, the child of a partner, a brother or sister, a grandparent, a grandchild, an uncle or aunt, a nephew or niece or the partner of any of these people;
    • a member of the public is a person who lives in the Parish and / or who pays Council Tax or business rates to the local district authority.

  4. Do I need to declare a personal interest at a meeting if it is on the Register of Interests?

    Yes - even if your interest is shown in any Register of Interests, you must also declare it in meetings where matters affecting that interest are discussed.

  5. What is a prejudicial interest?

    A prejudicial interest is one which a member of the public who knows the relevant facts could reasonably think is so significant that it is likely to affect your judgement of the public interest.

    You must ask yourself whether a member of the public, if he or she knew all the facts, would think that your personal interest was so significant that it would probably affect your decision on the matter. If he or she could think your judgement would be affected, then you have a prejudicial interest.

  6. What is not a prejudicial interest?

    The Code of Conduct sets out some general exceptions from prejudicial interests. It says that you may not have a prejudicial interest if the matter relates to:

    • Another relevant authority of which you are a member.
    • Another public authority in which you hold a position of general control or management
    • An organisation where you represent your Parish Council.

  7. What will happen if I declare a prejudicial or personal interest?

    We have agreed to follow best practice at South Leigh Parish Council so that regardless as to whether a declaration is of a prejudicial or personal interest, the relevant councillor would be asked and expected to leave the meeting and not to vote on any declared interest.

There has recently been an increase in the number of members of the public attending our Parish Council meetings, which is fantastic. We are really pleased that people are interested in the actions of the Parish Council which is, after all, your representative in matters pertaining to our Parish.

However, given the increased numbers, I thought it would be a sensible idea to restate the relevant rules...

Strictly speaking, the public is there only to observe and participate by invitation. Just as with OCC and WODC, these are meetings of the Council held in public and not public meetings.

As is recommended, we have adopted 'model rules' as set out by WODC for the conduct of meetings of the Parish Council - a summary is set out below. They are fairly strict rules but some latitude is allowed at the discretion of the Chair with the consent of the Parish Council.

I, as Chair, have always felt that public participation should be encouraged wherever reasonably possible and so have run our meetings in a much more open way. I am not suggesting that this changes. I continue to support the idea of public participation but I would ask that we remember that meetings of the Parish Council are not meetings of the public.

When issues have arisen, such as Gladman or the Neighbourhood Plan, I have ensured that a full public meeting has been convened so that parishioners can express their views. While I remain Chair, I will continue with this policy. In the meantime, members of the public are encouraged to notify myself, the Clerk or any Parish Councillor of any matter of concern as we purposefully maintain a running Agenda item for such matters. However, whilst we will normally allow matters to be raised at relatively short notice, it would be appreciated if reasonable notice is given of a wish to speak or raise a particular matter as that enables the Parish Councillors to have researched the relevant subject beforehand to ensure an informed debate.

Finally, we, as your Parish Council, are appointed to make decisions on the behalf of the whole Parish. Whilst we will endeavour to hear all views and to take them into consideration, the final decision on any matter is down to the Parish Councillors themselves. In that regard, no councillor entitled to vote has to give a reason for their decision on how to vote.

Council Meetings: Public Participation Procedure

  1. The meetings of the Parish Council are not public meeting meetings; they are meetings which are open to the public to attend. Members of the public do not have a right to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman.
  2. In response to a specific request the Parish Council will make available 15 minutes at the commencement of the relevant agenda item for public participation.
  3. Any person wishing to address the Parish Council must inform the Clerk not later than the Thursday before the Parish Council meeting giving notice of the subject the wish to speak on. (The reason for the need to give notice is so that the Clerk may undertake any research that may be needed and brief the Chairman.)
  4. If a person has not given the required notice they may not be able to address the meeting.
  5. The Chairman will invite the person to speak on the subject of which they have given notice.
  6. The person addressing the Parish Council will speak for no more than three minutes.
  7. Having once addressed the Parish Council they will not be allowed to speak again on the same subject unless the Chairman of the meeting invites them to clarify their remarks.
  8. A group of people wishing to speak on a subject will appoint a representative to address the Parish Council on their behalf.
  9. If two or three members of the public wish to speak on the same subject as individuals (and not as part of a group), the Chairman may use his discretion to stop any speaker who is simply repeating what has already been said.
  10. Members of the public may not speak on items that are confidential or exempt from publication under legislation.
  11. Members of the public may not participate in the Councillors’ debate.
  12. The Chairman of the meeting may rule that any public remarks are not appropriate and will not be accepted, for example if they are defamatory, frivolous or offensive. In such an instance the Chairman may disallow a person from speaking or continuing to speak.
  13. To comply with the Code of Conduct, councillors with prejudicial interests who wish to speak during public participation sessions must do so before others with views / representations on the same matter and then immediately leave the room, i.e. they cannot hear the representations of others.
  14. If the Chairman wishes to depart from these procedures once incorporated, there will have to be a motion suspending standing orders and the subsequent discussions will not be minuted. Minuting of the meeting will be resumed once standing orders are reinstated.

Nicky Brooks, Chairman of South Leigh Parish Council
nickybrooks@southleigh.info
December 2019

 

South Leigh Community Speed Watch

Speeders: Slow down or lose your car!

26th March 2020: South Leigh Speed Watch managed to do five weeks of monitoring before we stood down and during that time clearly established that speeding was an issue. This was also covered by the Witney Gazette.

We captured over 150 speeders during this period and the average speed was 39mph. Letters were being sent out by the Police as even if we haven’t captured speeding motorists three times in the village, data is consolidated and taken from the whole of the Thames Valley Police region.

We have been asked to stand down currently as the Police are focusing their resources to deal with current issues.

I would like to thank all those that are helping and those that have asked to be trained in the future.

Issued by South Leigh Speed Watch Team. For further information please contact:

Lysette Nicholls ~ lysette.nicholls@southleigh.info   07766 251125

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Thames Valley Police's Robb Webb instructs South Leigh's Speedwatch team in the use of the speed camera.

Stanton Harcourt Farms
The Parish Council has received a letter from Mr. William Gascoigne, owner of Stanton Harcourt Farms, regarding access to his land. Every parishioner should please read this to comply with the law and for their own safety.

Parish Councillors and their contact details can be found here.

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As many will know but a few may have forgotten there is a defibrillator attached to the north side of the Village Hall, that is the right hand side.

Recently it has been out of action due to a fault with the locking mechanism. This was corrected only for us to discover the battery needed replacing along with the pads. These have now been replaced so everything should be in working order.

The cost of these items comes out of Parish Council funds and therefore ultimately everyone’s council tax. By the way... we are not talking £4.99 for a battery, it was £155.00 with the total cost £235.08.

If the situation arises that you need to urgently gain access to it, use your phone to ring 999 (you will
always get a response even where there is no mobile signal for ordinary calls) and someone will give you the code to open the box and lead you through the procedure and assist with details of how to treat the person in need before an ambulance reaches you.

DOGS AND THE LAW

Dog owners are reminded that it is now compulsory to have their four legged friend microchipped. Any dog that is found not to have been microchipped could see the owner facing a fine of £500.
 
West Oxfordshire District Council picks up about 100 stray dogs every year, many of which are not microchipped, making it difficult for them to be reunited with their owners.
 
The animals are taken to council-appointed kennels with owners charged for accommodation and other costs until they are returned. If unclaimed, the stray is usually re-homed through an animal rescue centre.

STRAY DOGS

The responsibility for collecting stray dogs has changed from the Police to West Oxfordshire District Council. The Police will still deal with dangerous dogs.

Anyone who has lost or found a dog should telephone the council on 01993 861020 during normal working hours or 01993 705056 after 5:00pm and at weekends, or online by clicking here.

People interested in re-homing a stray dog can apply by logging completing the 'Application to re-home a dog' form found by following the link on the same web page.

Electrical item sparks bin lorry fire
 
West Oxfordshire District Council is urging residents to take care about what they put in their household rubbish bin after one of their contractor’s vehicles caught fire.
 
The incident happened in Little Tew when the crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle and saw flames coming out.  Fortunately their speedy action prevented the fire from spreading beyond the back of the truck. 
 
Using thermal imaging the Fire Brigade could tell that the fire had been caused during the compacting process when a laptop containing four large lithium batteries was crushed.
 
This is a stark reminder of the importance of disposing of electrical goods safely. Smaller unusable electrical items can be recycled at most of our recycling sites and larger electrical items taken to one of the county’s Waste & Recycling centres such as Dix Pit in Stanton Harcourt. The ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol found on many electrical items means that they should not be put into normal household rubbish bins.
 
The containers for small electrical items, which are known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) banks, are a bright pink colour. The nearest ones are at Sainsbury's car park in Witney and the car park at the Eynsham Medical Practice. Anything with electrical or electronic parts from straighteners to shavers, and toys to toasters, can be placed in the pink WEEE banks.
 
Producing electrical items uses a lot of energy and valuable materials, including precious metals like gold and silver. Electrical equipment can also contain chemicals such as lead and mercury. These chemicals can get into the environment and harm people or animals if items are not disposed of carefully.
 
As part of the recycling process valuable or harmful materials are removed safely and re-used or disposed of. Recycling materials such as aluminium from computers saves raw materials and energy.

COUNCIL TAX SCAM WARNING

West Oxfordshire residents are being warned to guard against bogus callers telling them their council tax bands maybe too high.
 
Several residents have been in touch with the District Council saying callers from the ‘Claims Review Bureau’ have contacted them offering to work on their behalf to obtain a reduction in exchange for a fee of about £80.
 
But staff have emphasised that anyone wanting to appeal against their band can do so for free by contacting the District Valuation Office.
 
Cllr. Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “This is a scam and residents must ensure they do not pass on any financial or personal details to these callers. Appealing against a council tax band does not require a third party and is free. Anyone receiving one of these calls should end the conversation as quickly as possible.”
 
Residents wishing to appeal against their council tax banding can do so by contacting the District Valuation Office on 03000 501 501.
 
To report a suspected scam, contact Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards on 0845 051 0845.
 
The District Council has also reminded residents that staff would never ask for a customer's bank details via email.

PARKING

The Parish Council asks that cars should not be parked half on pavements and half on the road. We understand why this practice has developed but unfortunately it has the effect of breaking down the pavements and verges.

GRASS CUTTING

Approximately 21% of our Precept pays for cutting the Village Green, the rear garden of the Hall and assisting the church with the cost of cutting the churchyard.

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You can now sign up to receive emails from West Oxfordshire District Council to find out when a planning application is registered within 500 metres of your home, and choose whether to track its progress or submit your views about the application quickly and simply online.

The email notifications service is part of improvements to the planning section of the council’s website to make it easier to find out about applications online.
What’s more, you can also get weekly reminders about your waste collections so you know which bins to put out, as well as opt to receive alerts in the event of changes to your collections due to bank holidays.

To register to ‘Be in the Know’:
visit
www.westoxon.gov.uk/beintheknow and follow the simple registration steps.
To find out more about planning in West Oxfordshire, see
www.westoxon.gov.uk/planning or call 01993 861000.
 

PLANNING PERMISSION

Please be aware that if you extend your property by incorporating part of a field you will need planning permission for change of use from agricultural to domestic from the local district council.

ROADSIDE VERGES
 
The Parish Council is concerned that grass cuttings and other garden waste is being deposited on roadside verges in a couple of localities within the village. We hope this practice will stop immediately as it is regarded as Fly Tipping and the District Council will prosecute when and where necessary. It is suggested anyone wishing to dispose of garden waste should ask the District Council for a green wheelie bin which they will supply free of charge.

CODE OF CONDUCT

To conform with the law we must state that the Code of Conduct adopted by West Oxfordshire District Council has been adopted as the code for members and co-opted members of South Leigh Parish Council with effect from 1st July 2012 or such other date as may be specified in regulations, to replace the current code of conduct.