Councillors present.  Chairman John Wright, Chris Cudmore, Steve Anderson, Graham Harris, Ty Schlechter              


Presentation – Affordable Housing

There was a presentation of the plans for the Knightstone Housing Association Affordable Housing Scheme.  The plans were displayed and comments invited by questionnaire from parishioners.  JW told the meeting that this was viable only if work commenced before the end of the financial year, i.e. end March.  There was no option to extend the funding into next financial year. 

The housing would be rented accommodation only; Knightstone Housing had only informed the Parish Council of this last month. 

V Taylor requested that we get District & County Cllr and Knightstone invited here to discuss plans.  JW stated that if acceptance was delayed then this could delay the planning application and lead to the loss of the affordable housing.  JW proposed that we ask MDC if planning has been received from Knightstone.                                                                          ACTION JA

Queries were raised regarding rental charges, eligibility etc. and the terms of Knightstone Housing contract with SCC.  The Parish Council would raise these.                 ACTION TS/CC

Lee Wright, Oak Cottage, proposed that the Parish Council set up their own housing association and control the scheme.  Gave figures on costs etc. that could then be run along the same lines as Knightstone Housing Associate as a non-profit organisation.

Contacts for the Affordable Housing Scheme are:- SCC - Charlie Field, Land Agent; Phil Miller, Housing; Caroline Hughes, Knightstone Housing.

 (Approx 20 reviewed the plans, 15 remained for the discussion)


Consultation – Village Plan

GH gave a presentation outlining the concept of the Village Plan, which would give the basis of the requirements of the village until 2015 and can influence decisions taken by Highways, Planning etc.  This would be devised by volunteers with the help of a grant from DEFRA.  Requirements to obtain a grant should be completed by 20th Jan 2006.  Six volunteers are needed with help from one or two Councillors, and ideally would include representatives from village Clubs.  This would involve one evening per month for nine months and a certain amount of distribution of questionnaires/information to villagers. There would be a likely commitment from the Parish Council in the region of £200.  Vicky Taylor, Brenda Wigmore, Frank Higgins, Alf Smith have already volunteered.

A further two applicants are needed and are requested to contact Graham Harris.


The MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING of 21ST November 2005 were accepted and signed.



Road at School – signage for school – a quote has been received at a cost of £4000, for solar panelled warning sign, and we are still awaiting information on a lower cost, smaller sign.  In the absence of any action by the County Council, the Parish Council will seek a grant for signage at the school.

Extension of Cemetery – JW proposed that we try for an option to purchase, at a limited cost, some additional land.  This is not required for a year or two, and would limit the pressure on the precept.  Proposed SA Seconded TS.

Footpath –a letter regarding the gap in the Access Walk has now been resolved.  Sheila Petherbridge has written to the landowner confirming the existence of the footpath across field labelled 6156.

Short Mat Bowls – all equipment has now been received and arrangements being made to commence the Short Mat Bowls Club on 11th Jan

Deeds – TS distributed a report on the Deeds for the committee.  His recommendation is that it is not worth the cost of getting registration on the land and he believed that we have all the necessary documents.  SA suggested that we read this and list it for next meeting.

Co-option – JA reported that information has been placed on the Notice Board and will be removed on 23rd December 2005.  A notice will then be placed on the notice boards inviting names for Parishioners to volunteer as Councillors to be included in the January meeting.

Parish Councillors - CC proposed that a letter is sent to Geoff Casey thanking him for his services as Parish Councillor.                                                                                        ACTION JW


JW welcomed Gloria Cawood to the meeting.


A discussion then ensued on the current situation regarding Affordable Housing



Financial statement – SA proposed acceptance, all agreed.

Precept – Figures on the income and expenditure forecast were passed to Councillors.  Some amendments were made and all agreed.  Current accounts were overspent significantly last year and the precept has not been increased significantly for four years, which has resulted in an increase in the precept.

Grant Request – WRVS.  All agreed that this should be declined with regret

Internal Auditor – Voucher obtained from Bath Model Centre and will be included in the next admin expenditure.

Clerks Salary – Checked by JW and TS.  These were accepted and Cheque No 447 signed

Access Walk - Cheque value £25 received from Wright Associated towards the Access Walk

 Letter of thanks to Wright Associates                                                                 ACTION JA

Cemetery – No income or expenditure this month.

Access Walk - All agreed to transfer £1500 from NSI to NatWest to cover costs of Invoice from Jacksons Fine Fencing for £1099.80. (See reference to Access Walk)



Marigold Cottage – approval received for erection of first floor rear extension

Manor Farm – action awaited by the enforcement officer

2 Westleigh – action awaited by the enforcement officer

Tweed Farm – change of use of an area from agricultural to equestrian – Recommend approval with the proviso that the lights used limit light pollution.

Mendip View – conversion of garage to annexe and link to existing dwelling – Recommend that the decision be left to the planning officer following consultation responses

17 Park Hayes – outline planning permission for three/four bedroom house – Recommend approval


ACCESS WALK – GW explained that the walk was going ahead, the bid was proceeding and all the kissing gates had been delivered.  There is a likelihood that one gate would be surplus and it was thought that this could go at Gate 7 on the map of the walk.  Negotiations will be required with Somerset County Council and the owner.  A further gate had been obtained from Mendip District Council to be put alongside the farm gate at No 10, to overcome the fact that this is regularly locked (to protect the cattle). 

Jon Davis voiced concern that he had been approached about a kissing gate on his land and had been told that further information would be provided, but this was going ahead with no further information forthcoming and was concerned that this left no room for consultation. 

This was regretted but it was explained that kissing gates on his land were not being installed and the walk followed current rights of way, and once the bid was successful. Letters had been written to the landowners involved informing them that the bid had been successful and any changes to existing stiles were detailed.

Financing – see under Finance, Access Walk


LAND AT PARK HAYES – The Solicitor has not sent the correct forms, he was informed of this but the correct forms are still not forthcoming.                                      ACTION SA




Rec Field – SA reported that the new work including disabled access will commence soon and he would be assisting with the work.

SA also reported that school children are causing problems at the pickup point by the entrance, and the PCSO and the Deputy Head of the school are taking to action.


PCSO – SA reported the theft of road signs and finger posts to the PCSO and Highways.


Hall – TS reported that there was nothing of any consequence.


Village Plan – GH advised that the Parish Council needed to make a decision on submitting a request for a grant, and requires a colleague to assist from the Parish Council.  TS offered his assistance in completing the forms and in supporting the Parish Plan.  It was hoped that the cost of the Plan could be kept to £1,500 and a grant could be obtained of £1207, the shortfall of which could be provided by the Parish Council in part.   JW proposed that we go ahead; all agreed.            A copy of the original survey of 1993 has been made available and can be a basis for the next survey.                                                                                      ACTION GH/TS


Hall booking – SA reported that the booking for the Council meetings ran out this month and proposed that this is booked to the end of the financial year; and then booked on an annual basis.  All agreed 

Reporting of Parish Council Meetings.  SA proposed that a prιcis of Parish Council meetings is inserted in the Parish Magazine including contact numbers – It would be practical to change the date of the Parish Council meetings to an earlier Monday in the month so that the information was kept up to date.  The Hall is available 1st, 3rd and 4th Monday.  Decision deferred in order that contact be made with the Editor regarding the viability of this suggestion.                                                                                                                 ACTION JA


SALC – CC reported that he attended an Eastern Area Meeting in Coleford on 5th December.  Due to the low turnout, it was decided that only two a year will be held, the next is on 6th March next year


Recycling – SA and CC attended a meeting at Shepton Mallet which explained the new recycling scheme, details of which have been circulated to all parishioners.


Village Halls Brochure – JA stated that the brochure did not contain mention of our village hall because the questionnaire had not been completed and returned when this was first inaugurated approximately 18 months ago.  Somerset CC had withdrawn its support when the funding was exhausted and Community Council for Somerset had found other funding to complete the scheme.  All details of Leigh on Mendip Memorial Hall are available on the SCC web site.


Roads and Footpath Representative – TS asked for a volunteer to take over as Representative.  CC agreed.


Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund – a questionnaire was passed to councillors for their views, and asked to complete the form and return to JW to summarise.


School/ Highways– JW stated that he had sent a copy of the Minutes of the meeting of 11th November to David Heath MP, who had replied that there was not much more he could do.


CORRESPONDENCE – the following were circulated to Parish Councillors:-

SCC Historic Environment; Mendip Hills Aerial Photographic Boo; (comments required) Register of Electors; Parishes Information Bulletin; Monthly Report, A&S Police; Neighbourhood Policing, A&S Police (Frome); SCC Parish Survey 04/05; Mendip Community Transport Grant Thanks; Letter from D Heath MP and reply from JW; Mendip Times.


DATE OF NEXT MEETING –Monday 16th January 2006 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall