Leigh-on-Mendip Parish Council

Newsletter   April 2010



The Annual Parish Meeting will be held at 8.00 pm on Monday the 17th May 2010 in the Memorial Hall, all parishioners are encouraged to attend.  This is an opportunity for you to hear what has been happening in your village and to raise any issues which concern you. The Parish Council Annual General Meeting will precede the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30pm.


We have sustained a full and committed Parish Council. Matthew Odolphie was co-opted in June, after several years on the Parish Council Frank Higgins resigned in October and Brenda Wigmore was co-opted in January. Many thanks to Frank who has been a very active councillor especially in his efforts liaising with Highways.

Also grateful thanks to Alf Smith who will be retiring from the Council after the AGM in May. This means, that there will be a vacancy on the Parish Council – please contact our Clerk, Chairman or any councillors if you are interested in joining us.


Councillors have attended forums and Mendip DC meetings where they have an impact on our village.  We are pleased to have support from both our District Councillors (Claire Fleming and Philip Ham) at most of our meetings, as well as our County Councillor (Gloria Cawood).  Of course all of this only happens because of the efficient organisation and guidance by the Clerk. Sandrine has continued to keep order within the bounds of the red tape and to deal with increasing amounts of communication.


The present council is:

Chris Cudmore

2 Oak Leaf Court


(Chairman & webmaster)

Rose Martin

2 Park Hayes


(Rec Field rep & Police Liaison)

Matthew Odolphie

6 Bellfield


(Parish Footpaths Officer)

Marsha Read

Grove Shute Farm


(Memorial Hall rep)

Alf Smith

Ivy Lodge


(SALC and Quarry rep)

Vicki Taylor

3 Perrys Cottages


(School rep)

Brenda Wigmore

Quillet, Park Hayes








Parish & Cemetery Clerk

Sandrine Vaillant:


Burleigh Cottage                    

Email:    lom.pc”at”btinternet.com








Aims.  The Parish Council represents the parish objectively and without prejudice, to liaise with both county and district councils to ensure effective services, manage the spending of precept for the benefit of the parish and to protect and improve the parish’s assets. We do this through consultation – Parish Plan, Village Design Statement, ad hoc open meetings and at monthly Parish Council meetings - and through delegation to management committees for the Memorial Hall and the Recreation Field.  Representations can be made at any time to the members of the Parish Council or the Clerk. Communication is by the two Parish Noticeboards and the Village Website.  Recently the Clerk has set up an emailing list for those who wish to receive Parish Council e-newsletters and events directly (email the Clerk at lom.pc”at”btinternet.com if you wish to participate).


During the last year the Parish Council has continued to make responses to various Mendip District Council planning documents including the Sustainable Community Strategy and Local Development Framework Core Strategy papers.  This consultation process will eventually set the policies for local planning and the shape of our village in the future.


Precept. The parish precept for the present year is £6,010. This was an increase of 1% but resulted in a decrease of 1% in the annual charge for a band D property (£29.20) due to a small increase in the number of parish households.  This budget allows for continued support to facilitate various options and choices which were popular responses in the Village Plan but without reducing our reserves required to secure land for a new cemetery.


Expenditure in the last year was again split between (a) grants to support actions from the Parish Plan, (b) maintenance & administration and (c) salaries of Clerk and Cemetery Clerk.  Part of the cemetery maintenance costs were covered by the cemetery fees. Our largest grant supported the Memorial Hall extension.  The Parish Council has also obtained a County Councillor grant of £414 to purchase dog bins.


Cemetery. The management of the closed churchyard still remains with Mendip District Council.  The grass mowing and hedge trimming continue to be contracted by the parish. We have been pursuing the possible purchase of land suitable to extend the cemetery.  Apart from availability, acceptability, accessibility, affordability etc we also have to contend with the diggability – without the use of dynamite!  Special thanks to Sandrine for managing the burial administration and the pursuit of the extension.


Planning.  Nine applications have been considered and recommendations made to Mendip DC.  The Parish Council has only an advisory role to uphold the long-term interests of the parish within the current planning policies.  Planning information is now available on the Mendip DC website. The main issues have been to conform with the Village Design Statement and to minimise street parking. The Cookswood Holiday Retreat application was resubmitted in January but no decision has yet been made. 


Parish Plan.  Following the issue of the Parish Plan in December 2006 a number of the actions have progressed. The new Welcome Pack was distributed to all households in May 2009 and is being issued to newcomers to our village. We have been pursuing the installation of new village signs. Our intention is to start by replacing the sign at Townsend with a quarry stone and cast sculpture.  Vicky Higgins was awarded a Somerset County Council Chairman’s Award for Service to the Community for her long term efforts maintaining and managing the Rec Field and more recently running the Youth Club.    


Highways.  Drop-off parking around the school remains a problem to which there appears no easy solution apart from encouraging parents to walk, park further up the road or use the Hall car park. The speed indicator device is installed in the village at regular intervals.  The repair of pot-holes has been evident since the winter. This largely relies on members of the public reporting them to SCC who have then have responded well. We have ordered six salt/grit bins to be sited at strategic points around the village where there were particular problems this winter. These will then be kept filled by SCC.  This will probably ensure that we won’t be getting anymore snow!   


Street cleaning has continued 5 times per year and the cleaning contractors are now cleaning the full extent of the pavement towards Soho. Dates are advertised on the Noticeboards and on the website, but leaflets have proven to be the most effective way of reminding residents to move cars; unfortunately there are still a small number who ignore the request. The Parish Council would also like to remind landowners that it is their responsibility to cut hedges adjacent to roads and footpaths.


Police Community Support Officer. Yvonne Mears regularly patrols the village and reports on incidents around our neighbourhood. She can be contacted on 079204 50419. We are trying to encourage motorists to park safely and without obstruction to the pavement without recall to the stronger arm of the law. 


Footpaths.  Our Footpaths Officer has dealt with several issues during the year to ensure that our footpaths are available for the public and that the landowners’ rights are protected.  Dog owners, please remember to control dogs wherever there may be livestock and remember it is an offence to foul pavements & public areas.  Dog bins are to be installed next to the church and on the Rec Field.


Quarry.  The Parish Council have attended two Halecombe Quarry Liaison Meetings (chaired by our County Councillor, Gloria Cawood). The Rookery Farm buildings have now been renovated externally and are due to be used as Tarmac offices. Tarmac continue to be responsive to village requests.


Website. The Village Website, at www.leigh-on-mendip.org.uk, is kept up to date with events, minutes, contact information and pictures. Graphics are minimised to provide quick access with dial-up for those without Broadband.  All are urged to make use of the facility to advertise events, submit pictures and any village articles, suggestions, and comments via the Webmaster (Chris Cudmore) or the Clerk.  Thanks to Dave & Tom Turner for hosting the website and providing technical support respectively.


Finally, a “thank you” to the Councillors for their (unpaid) enthusiasm and efforts, additionally the Parish Clerk for her communications and organisation;  and all those who work to keep the village organisations running smoothly. 

Don’t forget it is time for the Parish Council elections next year (May 2011). If you think you may be interested please speak to any of the councillors or clerk for more details.


Chris Cudmore, Chairman


Copies of this Newsletter are available in large print from the Clerk (please call 01373 812 563)