Councillors present.  John Wright, Steve Anderson, Chris Cudmore, Graham Harris, Frank Higgins,

Vicki Taylor


Apologies: Ty Schlechter will be late.


THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING of 21st August 2006 were accepted and signed.




Footpaths – B Loten has cleared the stiles.  The question was raised as to the best time to do this, currently undertaken in early spring; a decision to be made at the next meeting.  Currently all vegetation except grass is cleared and clarification is needed as to requirements for next year.  The footpaths should be maintained by the landowner.  Mr Loten has requested a map showing the proper footpaths and parish boundaries with all stiles numbered so that maintenance can be carried out.  Sheila Petherbridge, Mendip Footpaths Officer has suggested that kissing gates should replace all stiles where possible so it has been suggested that Parish Councillors check stiles and report on their condition when walking in the parish.  B Loten can then quote for clearance of all stiles in the parish.

                                                                                                                                           ACTION ALL


Ty Schlechter joined the meeting at 19.40


Ivy Cottage – A letter has been received from the Architect to which no answer has yet been given as Mendip Planning Dept are making their decision on the proposal on the 18th Sept.


Cemetery Notice Board – Following discussions with the Cemetery Clerk, this is no longer used since the laminated notices disintegrate.  The notice board will be removed.  It was suggested that the contact details go on the web with the permission of Rev. Paul Winks.  It was also agreed that an approach be made for a notice be put in the church porch.                                                        ACTION SA


Charter 88 Community Decline and Campaign for Modern Democracy – a letter has been received from D Heath, MP to acknowledge that he has signed this Motion.


Highways – JW congratulated CC on the painting of the finger post at Knapp Hill


Rec Field Lease – has been passed to Ty for translating to simple language.                           ACTION TS


CO-OPTION – Mrs Vicki Taylor was welcomed to the Parish Council and has signed the appropriate Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declaration of Interest and Bank Mandate forms. 


Cookswood Quarry - Dr M Barton wanted to know what proposals had been made for the development of Cookswood Quarry.  So far these are only proposals, and there is only one small fraction of the quarry, which comes into Leigh Parish.  It was thought that the greatest problem would be transport on local roads.


At the exhibition organised at Holcombe Village Hall on the 24th August, the landowner undertook to contact the footpaths officer, Sheila Petherbridge regarding footpath maintenance.  An exhibition of the proposals will be organised at Leigh on Mendip Memorial Hall in the near future.


The meeting was suspended to welcome Inspector Sean Williams to the meeting


Inspector Williams informed the Councillors that all police officers now respond to crime rather than patrol the beat.  The PCSO will become the beat officer and this system will be expanded across the country.  It was explained that it was necessary to ring fence the budgets

so that PCSO’s are not sent as response officers. Since this has been a pilot scheme, which is to be expanded nationwide from next year, this will be centrally funded next year.   2008/2009 may change but proposals are that this will be on a per person/household basis.     


The project will be named   Safer Stronger Neighbourhoods

Every electoral ward will have a dedicated PCSO.  Leigh on Mendip would share a PCSO with Stoke St Michael, so we should see more of the PCSO.  Since the Boundary Commission is proposing changes to the wards, this could change. There have been many changes to the timetable for rolling out the project, which will probably commence at the beginning of next year. 


Many types of transport will be considered; including cars, electrical bicycles etc., and also consideration is being given to opening offices on their beats. 


Currently the Beat Manager is Dean Hamilton who is based at Frome, although Leigh on Mendip now comes within the Shepton Mallet area.  This has not changed for the present because the PCSO Paul Emery will remain the PCSO for Leigh on Mendip


0845 4567000 is the Police number to ring if not considered an emergency


JW thanked Inspector Williams for his information


The meeting recommenced at 8.30 p.m.


FINANCE – The Financial Statement was agreed and signed.


Clearance of stiles – Invoice from B Loten agreed.  Chq No 469 issued and signed


Choice Stationery – Black and Colour Cartridges for printing of various items for Parish Plan  Order No 992154A.  Chq no 470 issued and signed


Clerks Salary and expenses – Checked and agreed.  Chq No 471 issued and signed


Parish Plan – Invoice No 678 for hiring of the Memorial Hall 14.09.06.  Chq No 472 value £15 issued and signed



Cutting of Hedge – quotations from: B Loten for £25.  D Jarvis for £30.  It was proposed that if B Loten will also remove the cuttings then his quotation would be accepted.  All agreed

Mowing of Cemetery – Invoice No 92 from D Jarvis agreed. Chq no 66 value £106.26 issued and signed.




Tadhill Farm 112105/006  – Minor amendment approved by Mendip District Council



Rok have cleared all the hedge and stone wall beyond the building to the gateway.  It is thought that this is to splay the entrance and gateway next to the housing but no information has been passed to the Parish Council.  CC proposed that we write to the enforcement officer Max Gridley regarding the removal of the hedge and wall TS seconded                                                                    ACTION JA


The Household Extension Design Guide (Revised Draft)

The Questionnaire was completed and comments noted. To be returned to MDC              ACTION JA




Memorial Hall – TS quoted from the minutes of the meeting of 29th August –

“The committee decided to go ahead with the original requirement, which was for a small committee room and a storage room.  It was envisaged this would be on the right of the Hall, extending forward from the bar area.  The exact amount it came forward depended partly on how much it would cost to remove the electricity pole.  Western Power sending quotes for this mid-September.  Agreed to make decision on size etc at meeting at end of October and then ask Jan Robson to do detailed plan to submit to Mendip (SV to ask if he can attend meeting).  Points raised in the discussion included information that Mendip are doing a trial plastic/ cardboard kerbside collection in one area with a view to extending it to all areas if successful, and that an application had been put in for a commercially run farm shop in the village which if it went ahead may partly meet the need felt by some villagers.  SV gave TS some contact information about setting up community shops to pass to Parish Council to forward to any group who decide to investigate the possibility of this.” 

GH told the meeting that there were grants available for community groups but there was a tight time scale.

Recreation Field – The Cricket Club had been asked to place markings on the cricket square boundary to stop accidents with people falling over the rope.  This has not been forthcoming so SA advised that plastic bunting had been stapled to the boundary rope.


Footpaths -TS and SA have made some repairs to stiles and one stone stile on the Access Walk has had a pole installed across the top to stop the horses in that field from escaping.

SA reminded Councillors that he still had a stock of posts, rails and one kissing gate which were surplus to requirements from the Access Walk.  It was proposed that the stiles from Bellfield to Wookey Lane between the second and third field could be replaced by kissing gates.   All councillors were asked to note any stiles that could be changed to kissing gates and identify stiles needing attention. Notification of state of stiles received from B Loten passed to FH


MDC Planning Matters - CC and JW attended a meeting on 6th September attended by the Portfolio Holder, Head of planning etc.  They learnt that a change of materials was considered minor variations and case officers would take examples such as lime render to brick as a minor change.  No check is made unless a complaint is received.  Also there is no requirement for scales to be shown on plans. 


If any application is refused planning permission then the applicants are advised to amend plans and resubmit; this also applies to applications which have gone to appeal  


Parish Councils were advised to show that any planning application, which has been approved subject to conditions, should be shown as refused with reasons; as the Planning Department would probably approve this and the conditions requested would be ignored.

JW did not feel reassured by this meeting although CC felt communication was improved.  He was concerned that Ward Councillors were given three days to answer any decisions made by the Planning Department.  CC passed a copy of the “Guidance on Changes to the Development Control System” to the Parish Clerk

The MDC Planning Website will be re-vamped next April. 


Highways - Erosion at Knapp Hill advised to Highways.  CC advised that the white lining and slow signs at the junctions at Townsend had been done by hand, the side edging lines will be done by machine next week.


Parish Forum - CC advised that he had attended the meeting where it was proposed that there would be a change of wards.  Coleford, Holcombe, Stoke St Michael and Leigh on Mendip would become one ward.


School Sign - SA noticed that there was a roaming speed check sign at Doulting.  It was proposed that attempts were made to ascertain the sign manufacturer and contact them for details.         ACTION JA


Parish Plan – GH advised that by last week 67% of people have returned the questionnaire.  The committee is now analysing the data.  Reports will be made to various bodies in October but a further update will be made to the Parish Council in December.


SALC – CC proposed attending the AGM but this will depend on the publication of the White Paper


Correspondence:  The Playing field; SRYP Newsletter; Clerks and Councils Direct; The Clerk; Mendip Times; Parish Forum; Community Council for Somerset; Urbanscape Catalogue; EDM 641 from David Heath, MP; SLCC AGM; Young People’s Democracy Day; Street Cleaning Schedules; SALC AGM Agenda, Annual Report and Accounts; The Thatch; Planning Details.


Date of next meeting – 16th October 2006


The meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.