About Us –
PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP following Uncontested Election confirmed on 5th April 2022
Jean Conway (Chair)
Briony Enser (Deputy Chair)
Jan Harwell (co-opted, KPC meeting 18th July 2023)
(David Grimshaw: elected 5th April 2022, resigned 9th November 2023)
Non-Parish Council members of the Planning Sub-Committee
Christine Marsh, Paul Kurgo
Non-Parish Council members representing KPC on Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan Forum:
Helen Macbeth, Christine Marsh
Contact Kirtlington Parish Council (KPC):
Mrs Ruth Powles (Parish Clerk)
West House, South Green, Kirtlington, OX5 3HJ
(tel) 01869 350995
(working days: Monday to Wednesday)
If you would like to email KPC please use this contact form form
SOUTH GREEN SURVEY
Kirtlington Parish Councillors undertook a survey of South Green residents in May 2023 as the deteriorating state of the roads and grass edges of the Green had been brought to their attention. Survey leaflets were posted to all the South Green and Church Lane addresses and Councillors called at each house on the Green to discuss these with residents. Twenty-six residents responded out of the 33 occupied homes. Unsurprisingly, the residents expressed a wide range of views and had concerns about certain aspects of the Green, but they also showed great affection for it. Some residents also put forward suggestions towards plans for South Green’s future maintenance and management.
The state of the roads around South Green
There was concern about the condition of the roads around the Green and some agreement that potholes in particular needed more regular attention, but not all residents saw the state of the roads as an issue. It was suggested that fast-moving visiting traffic, like delivery vans, was largely responsible for damage to these roads rather than residents’ vehicles. Residents also pointed out that the roads around the main Green must double as footpaths for pedestrians too. This is a key safety consideration, not just for residents, but also for everyone walking here, e.g., to the Church or Village Hall, with children and the elderly especially at risk.
The erosion of the grass verges and Green itself
Views on the erosion of the grass edges of the Green were mixed, with residents evenly divided over whether this concerned them and differing views on what could or should be done to resolve the issue. There was some particular disquiet about erosion of the central Green while others thought the erosion was “not that great”. It was suggested that the bin lorries were largely responsible for the erosion on the corners of the Green. Opinions varied on what should be done to restore the grass. One suggestion was for raised kerbs, “as seen in Bletchingdon”. Another was for more of the Green to be left uncut, as for the small section to the west of the A4095, whereas still others approved of the current grass cutting arrangements and complimented the work of the grass cutters employed by KPC. There were also diverse views on adding more bollards or using stones to protect the edges from erosion in future.
Parking on South Green
Residents were evenly divided over whether parking was an issue around the Green. Some residents saw parking as an increasing problem, as car ownership by residents and visits by delivery vans had increased considerably in recent years and South Green was not designed to accommodate the current volume. One resident remarked that occasional extra parked cars around the main Green, e.g., for funerals or for pick-ups and drop-offs of schoolchildren, was “not a problem as long as residents’ access was not blocked”. Residents living in the western section of the Green with no off-street parking advised that they were obliged to park on the A4095, in the absence of an alternative.
Traffic on South Green
Relatively few residents expressed concerns about the amount of traffic around the Green as such, although there was widespread recognition that it had become much busier in recent years. However, residents raised the speed of traffic around the Green as an important safety issue for pedestrians, particularly along the narrow stretches used by vehicles entering the Village Hall carpark and at the crossroads with Church Lane where there is poor visibility and no indication of vehicles’ priorities. To address these concerns, residents suggested more speed bumps, 10-mph signage and white ‘stop’ lines to give Church Lane priority.
Unsurprisingly, residents living on the western side of South Green close to the A4095 tended to be more focused on the amount and speed of traffic through the village, rather than traffic around the Green. One commented “the house shakes when HGVs pass”. These residents made a range of suggestions to mitigate the impact of this through traffic, including “speed bumps like Islip”, a weight restriction, chicanes and a downgrade from an ‘A’ to a ‘B’ road.
Thoughts on using stones to protect the edges of the Green from erosion
Residents’ comments on the use of stones to protect the edges of South Green from erosion, as they are used currently on North Green, ranged from “anything would help, even big rocks” and “stones would be a good idea aesthetically” to “absolutely no” and “very undesirable”. Fewer people supported the idea of using stones than objected to it, but more than half of residents did not comment either way, or made a neutral comment on using stones to protect the edges, e.g., “could be useful in some places, but could create problems elsewhere”.
During the survey, it was noted that the existing large rock at the eastern edge of the green was working to some extent in protecting that narrow corner of the Green by ensuring that most vehicles go into the Village Hall carpark to turn around. However, it was also noted that, on occasions, tyre tracks had appeared from vehicles driving right across the middle of the grass in front of the Manor House.
Thoughts on using bollards to protect the edges of the Green from erosion
Residents’ comments on the use of more bollards ranged from a request for “posts with chains” to “only as a last resort, but preferably never”. Slightly more people objected to bollards than to stones, but overall, more residents did not comment either way on the idea of bollards.
No residents commented on the existing oak bollards on the Green installed by Oxfordshire County Council. However, it was noted during the survey that the bollards currently in place along the sides of Church Lane and around the western corner of the Green into Dashwood Mews had stopped the car parking and grass erosion that was occurring previously in these places.
Thoughts on whether the proposed shop by the Village Hall may affect the roads, the grass verges or the Green itself.
On whether the proposed shop by the Village Hall would affect these aspects of South Green, there was a fairly even distribution between residents who had no concerns, those with concerns and those who were neutral or expressed no view. Residents living near the routes to the Hall and others who had expressed concerns already about the roads, the grass erosion and the traffic were more likely to be concerned about a potential impact on these by the proposed shop, whereas residents living further away from these routes were less likely to be concerned,
Some residents who had no concerns about any potential traffic associated with the proposed shop nonetheless mentioned the extra traffic arising from the recent revival of football on the sports field as a result of efforts by the Village Hall Committee to raise income for the Hall and to re-establish football in Kirtlington by inviting teams from Chesterton to play here.
Following the survey
Kirtlington Parish Council is grateful to all the South Green residents who took the time to participate in the survey. The survey findings are being used to guide the KPC’s future plans to improve South Green. KPC has noted, in particular, the pedestrian safety issue of speeding vehicles around the Green and is looking at ways to secure slower, safer speeds on these roads. Slower traffic would also help to reduce further potholes and grass erosion in the future. KPC is also considering how best to deal with the worst areas of the grass erosion and any remaining potholes around the Green that still need attention. As part of this, KPC has asked the County Council to repair the potholes in Church Lane. Also, KPC’s Traffic Subcommittee is continuing to work on traffic calming for the A4095 where it runs through the village.
THE PARISH COUNCIL YEAR and MEETING ARRANGEMENTS
The Parish Council meets monthly, usually in the Hazel Room on a Monday evening at 6 p.m., but please check the website and village notice boards for the date and venue. Parish Council meetings are open to all. Meetings are publicised the previous week. There are no meetings in August.
The Parish Council “year” begins at the May meeting, when the Chair and Vice Chair are elected and members undertake the other roles and responsibilities. In April or May each year the Parish Council convenes an Annual Parish Meeting in the Village Hall, which is a public meeting at which village groups and societies present their annual reports, and at which the Parish Council presents its end of year financial statement.
Members of the public have no right to speak at Local Authority meetings without permission and there is no legal obligation to offer time for public participation. However, the National Association of Local Councils recommends that public participation is invited at an early stage of a meeting, and recommends this is after approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting.
Therefore, if any member of the public is present, KPC’s Chair may exercise discretion to give an invitation to speak after the approval of the Minutes. For practical reasons (meetings have much ground to cover), the time may be limited and there will be no later opportunity to speak again.
With regard to planning matters it should be noted that Parish Councils are not the determining authorities and comments should be addressed to the Local Planning Authority, i.e. Cherwell District Council (see below).
Legal structure and income:
Like all local government bodies the Parish Council is a statutory body which is elected every four years. Kirtlington Parish Council may have up to seven members and the number of councillors is determined by Cherwell District Council and relates to the number of electors in a parish. Parish Councillors are unpaid whereas the Parish Clerk receives a salary. Parish Council income is called the Precept and is levied by Cherwell District Council directly from parishioners. The size of the Precept is roughly proportionate to the size of the parish.
Planning applications and decisions:
Planning applications are the matter which is generally of most concern to parishioners. The Parish Council has a right to be consulted on all applications, but is only able to submit comments: it has no executive powers in this regard. The body which is responsible for most local planning matters is Cherwell District Council. Some planning matters (e.g. schools) are decided by Oxfordshire County Council.
Data Protection – new legislation from May 2018
Parish Councils process personal data in order to carry out their duties and functions as Local Authorities. You are entitled to withdraw your consent to the processing of your personal data by KPC. However, if the storage of this data is necessary to provide you with a service or information, then if you withdraw your consent you will not receive that service or information. Please refer to our Privacy Notice – Kirtlington Parish Council Privacy Notice 25May2018