The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and ANNUAL PARISH MEETING are being held on Tuesday 9 May at 7.30 and 8pm respectively in THE HALL. If you have anything that you would like to raise as being of concern to the Village the APM is your forum.

Elections for the Parish Council took place in May 1999. In Leigh an uncontested election returned five Councillors and two were co-opted to bring the strength of the Council up to seven. The Councillors are:

Tony Gould, Oak Cottage, Leigh Street 812473
Gerald Jeanes, Knapp Hill Farm 812319
Nick Haskins, Holly House, Leigh Street 812599
Margaret Loten, 6 The Old Sawmills 812922
Paul Moore, 11 Bellfield 812392
Neville Park, The Old Village Store & P O 812338
John Wright, The Post House, Leigh Street 812317
Parish Clerk - Jackie Longley, Doors Hill Farm 812050
Cemetery Clerk - Mary Mears,Brookfield, The Old Sawmills 812415

The Churchyard at St Giles has been officially closed for new burials. The Parish Council who arranged the mowing of it and the Cemetery last year, have been in talks with Mendip District Council to see if they will be able to continue to place the mowing contract in the future. It has been agreed that this can be done for this year and we anticipate receiving a grant towards the cost. Parishioners who visit the Church have expressed their appreciation of the high standard of maintenance that has been achieved. (Thanks to Mary Mears, Cemetery Clerk, and David Jarvis, contractor.)

In the past year Councillors have dealt with a number of Planning Applications, the most recent being the conversion of a `brown field' site on the western access to the village to residential. The Village Design Statement has been a useful tool for the Parish Council when commenting on plans. There is currently outline planning permission for seven new houses in the village. Public Transport is being slowly improved to make it easier for residents to access buses from Radstock to work in Bath or Bristol. A new service called the East Mendip Connector has been introduced and could be useful to take villagers to the Surgery in Coleford - for more information call 471474 between 1 and 5pm.

The Precept for 2000/01 has been slightly reduced to £2700. This represents an annual charge for a band D property of £15.00 which is about average for similar parishes.

Grant applications were received, and agreed, from Mid Somerset Citizens Advice, the Recreation Field, Neighbourhood Watch, the School for their wild garden and the Produce Show for the purchase of a new cup in the last financial year. If a village organization would like to apply for a grant please write to the Parish Clerk, but bear in mind that funds are necessarily small and any significant amount would have to be requested and agreed for inclusion in the next Precept which is set in December.

The Web Site has been in operation for a year, it is only as up to date as the information that is supplied to the Parish Council to include on it. If your organization, or business, would like to be included on the site please send the information to the Parish Clerk and update it regularly. The PC has right of veto over any information to be displayed.

Footpaths have become the concern of Gerald Jeanes - if any walk is made impossible by vegetation or obstructions please let him know so that arrangements can be made to clear the obstacles. As a general rule:
"where the cultivation of a cross-field footpath cannot be avoided, ...it's surface is made good to at least the minimum width within 14 days of first been cultivated or within 24 hours of any subsequent cultivation." The `Minimum width' is 1 metre. (Information taken from "Public Rights of Way in Mendip - Guidance Notes")

Excess blasting effects at local quarries are constantly monitored and taken up with the authorities when it is warranted. The Halecombe Quarry Liaison Committee continues to meet in open forum in May and November.

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Read the Parish Council Newsletter - April 1999