Leigh-on-Mendip Parish Council
Newsletter March 2003

www.leigh-on-mendip.org.uk

The Annual General Meeting and the Parish Meeting will be arranged following parish elections in May. If you have anything that you would like to raise as being of concern to the village the APM is your opportunity to do so.

No elections were held in 2002

One councillor was co-opted onto the council,- Michelle Taylor.

Tony Gould:Firwood, Wyke Champflower01749 812287
Gerald Jeans:Gatcombe House, Stocks Lane813121
Peter Knowles:20 Park Hayes812149
Margaret Loten:6 The Old Sawmills812922
Paul Moore:11 Bellfeld812392
Michelle Taylor:Crossways Townend813426
John Wright:The Post House,Leigh Street.812317
Parish Clark:
Jackie Longley:Doors Hill Farm, Soho812050
Cemetery Clerk
Mary Mears:Brookfield, The Old Sawmills812415

Parish Council Elections. There will be a Quadrennial election of all councillors in May of this year. Some of the present councillors may not be standing. And there will be an opportunity for new members to be nominated for election. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry- all nominations must be in by the first of April. Nomination forms are available from St Giles Church and from the Returning Officer, Mendip District Council.

Cemetery. The management of the closed churchyard is still under discussion in Mendip District Council, and it is regretted that we cannot report any significant progress since last year.

Planning. A variety of applications have been considered, and duly listed in the Parish Council minutes. If there are any queries on past applications, the minutes can be reviewed by arrangement with the parish clerk It must be remembered that the Parish Council has only an advisory role.

Our efforts in requiring the Village Design Statement to be considered have come to naught. Incredibly, MDC cannot accept a complaint from Parish Council: the Local Government Ombudsmen similarly can not recognise a Parish council, and can only accept a complaint from an individual if a monetary loss has occurred. One of the new initiatives from the government requires a new Village Plan, which has all the attributes and promises of a VDS The suggestion, made last year, that we should consider a need for some low cost, rental, or starter homes has been extensively discussed, and a Needs Survey is in hand. Please take the time to respond to this and have your views taken into account.

Precept The parish precept for the present year is £3000, which represents an annual charge for a band D property of approx £ 15.15, somewhat less than 2001/ 2002.

Web Site It is again time to remind everyone that the website is only viable if people use it. All events should be published, together, possibly, with post-event comment or appreciation.

Footpaths and Roads The marking of the road at Townsend was finally achieved after some sixteen months of application, reminders and promises. It was, after all, an urgent requirement some repairs have been done, but it is difficult to believe that they are the result of planning. We continue to chase this with Somerset County Council. The parish footpaths remain the responsibility of the council: we have been allocated another three kissing gates, which will be erected when it can be organised.

Somerset County Council are gathering information for a Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The Parish Council would be interested to hear your views on any right of way improvements that could be made to make walks, etc more feasible for both the active and for those with mobility problem. They are especially concerned with making circular walks and routes more accessible. Please contact a Councillor if you have suggestions.

Parish Wardens The cost of the Parish Warden Scheme to participating parishes has risen to a proposed £300 per year. The initial plan was that in the absence of any significant nuisance misdemeanours in the village, the Scheme would provide reassurance to residents. If this has occurred the Scheme is viable and worthwhile. Please contact a councillor with your opinions on this.

General The initiatives from central government continue to proliferate as more and more organisations and people lay claim to any money available. The best hope of obtaining funds to the advantage of the village now appears to be the Aggregates Levy Fund. One bid has been submitted by the school, and further bids will be submitted by the Parish Council.

Again, as Chairman, I would like to thank the Councillors, the Parish and Cemetery Clerks, and all those who work to keep the village organisations running smoothly, for their efforts and time over the past year.