held on 19th July 2010

 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall



Councillors Present

Chris Cudmore – Chairman (CC) in part, Rose Martin (RM), Matthew Odolphie (MO), Vicki Taylor (VT) and Brenda Wigmore (BW).

Clerk – Sandrine Vaillant (SV).


The meeting was also attended by Phil Ham (PH), District Councillor.









VT chaired the meeting as Chair was attending Parish Forum in Shepton.












Apologies were received from Marsha Read (MR) and Chris Cudmore who will be joining the meeting after attending the MDC Parish Forum.






Declarations of Interest






The Parish Council declared an interest in the Planning Application at Ivy Cottage, as it is currently looking at purchasing some land for the new cemetery.






Agreement to minutes of meeting held on 21/06/10 and Matters Arising






The minutes of the meeting held on 21st June 2010 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting held.






(3.2) Dog bin outside Churchyard – Clerk has spoken to June Brewster who has been monitoring the situation and confirmed that it was very seldom used, whereas the bin near the Rec Field is usually overflowing. Council members to investigate an alternative emplacement and liaise with MO who offered to re-site the bin.









(3.8) SV has written to G Harris asking whether a set of minutes could be made available to the Active Living Centre. Awaiting response.

BW suggested that a set of minutes be given to Jan Horn to circulate during the monthly Community Coffee mornings. Clerk to ask Jan.









(3.16) Churchyard Repairs –Cheryl Norton from MDC has replied to the Clerk’s queries and is coordinating the repairs. Clerk to follow up.







(4.5) Somerset Aggregates Paper – PH attended an East Mendip Community Partnership meeting where the paper was presented and discussed. It was however still felt that it was too hard to understand. PH thought that the original idea of holding a meeting between the neighbouring parishes, inviting the authors of the report, would be best. VT proposed, MO seconded, to invite representatives from SCC for a meeting on Monday 20th September. The meeting will be opened by CC and chaired by PH. Clerk to:

·           Book the hall for the Parish Council meeting which will be rescheduled for Monday 27th September 2010.

·           Clerk to write email to neighbouring parish council clerks to advise of meeting and to invite key representatives to attend (up to 5 people from each parish).

(PMN-Aggregates meeting postponed until Nov, so PC meeting on 20th Sep)














(12.7.1) SALC; Future of Avon Association – Clerk confirmed having emailed Peter Lacey with the Parish views. Action complete.






District & County Councillors’ Reports






PH reported on the by-elections held at MDC. The results were: 22 Liberal, 22 Conservative, 2 Independents were voted in.






Reiterated that Cookswood Quarry was going to Planning Board on 21st July 2010 and he would be representing the parishes. MR was attending for the LoM PC.






Choice-based lettings Review – A brief summary and explanation of the system, which has been running for 15-16 months, was given for the benefit of new members of the council. PH advised that a review (with some shadowing from the district councillors) and ‘on the ground’ research with the general public were under way to assess whether the system was working. PH asked that any information from the parish as to the effectiveness of Choice-based lettings or examples of particular cases be passed to him by the end of September at the latest.












Finally, PH reported that the cuts in public spending from the coalition government were causing big trouble at MDC and meetings are being held to look for a way forward. It is feared that one way forward will be for them to delegate to parish councils, which have the power to raise precepts to fund services.












Financial Statement – Financial statement to 18th July 2010 was agreed and signed.

Clerk pointed out that a mistake had been made when paying the £1 rent from the Rec Field, which was accidentally paid into the Cemetery Account. Cheque #101 was agreed and signed to repay the £1 into the Parish account.






External Auditor’s Invoice – Clerk confirmed that the Annual Return had been returned by Moore Stephens, with no comments or recommendations made. The Council thanked the Clerk for successfully completing the annual return.

Moore Stephen’s invoice No. 1735F/17148-135/S162/10 was agreed and cheque #596 was agreed and signed.






Memorial Hall Hire – Invoice No 939 was agreed and cheque #597 was agreed and signed for the period from April 2010 to March 2011.






New Standing Orders – Clerk apologised for not circulating the document earlier. Hard copy of proposed Standing Orders included in the correspondence file for review by councillors and adoption in September.






Update on Risk Audit Report – Clerk updated the Council on progress made. The following items are still outstanding:-

·       Standing Orders – Being circulated for comment and adoption at September meeting.

·       Clerk to obtain copy of R. Cambourne’s indemnity insurance – VT and BW to chase up on behalf of council










Review of Document Retention Policy – Policy was reviewed. VT proposed, RM seconded, to adopt with no alterations or additions.






Review of Freedom of Information Publication Scheme – Policy was reviewed at the meeting. MO proposed, BW seconded, to adopt with no alterations or additions. However, MO raised the query of how to destroy confidential documents, or security items. Clerk to check ‘standard’ of destruction.















Mowing invoice – D.Jarvis invoice #51, dated 19th June 2010, for grass cutting on 4th and 18th June 2010 was agreed. Cheque #102 was signed.






New Cemetery Update – No further progress.

Clerk to speak to John Davies for the going rate for agricultural land prices.

Clerk to investigate next step and update Mick and Jo on the situation. 














Latest status of existing applications/decisions – clerk updated the council on recent planning applications as follows:-

·      Application 2010/0969; 15 Park Hayes – Planning Permission has not been granted.

·      Application 2009/2030; Grove Shute Farm; Demolition of barn and re-build larger building to provide facilities for butchery – Planning Permission has been granted subject to minor amendments to the design and conditions.






CC joined meeting.






Application 2010/1362 – variations to conditions, Ivy Cottage, Leigh Street.  The application was discussed, particularly with regard to the proposed ethos of the shop and the proposed need to source foods from further afield and selling non-farmed items, against a local policy for farm shops. It was agreed that a “limited” shop would be a benefit to the village. CC proposed to recommend approval with reservations regarding possible increased traffic to the site, MO seconded. 4 for, 1 abstention.

Clerk to query the procedure with regards to the interest the Council has on this item before replying and making recommendations (recommendations to be emailed to the planning team, as well as the Highway team to make them aware of our reservations.)













Parish Plan; New Village Sign






Following consultation with the general public by the councillors and the artist at the village fete; it would appear that most people are very interested and approve of the project. No negative responses were received.  






Meeting and walk around with Jeff Bunting was held and 5 possible sites were investigated, with 3 preferred:-

1.    Replacement of the current sign at Stoke end of the village

2.    Outside Great House Farm before the bridge or further up the hill at the Knaphill junction (closer to finger post)

3.    From Soho, area on double set of bends where there is a clearing on the hedge on lhs, before footpath gate into fields/entrance to quarry round walk.

If funding does not come through and only 2 signs can be erected, then we can place the stone at the site of the current village sign.






Licences for new signs – The licence is free and should not be a problem to obtain as long as Jeff Bunting is happy with the locations. VT to coordinate.







Grant – Ongoing. VT to pursue. Bid to be emailed for councillors to comment upon before formal demand is sent.







CC suggested reminding Tarmac to look out for suitable rocks. Although MO thought we needed to be more aware of final design in order to decide and advise them on a size.



Stile Repair Expenditure






MO asked what budget he could be allowed to spend without prior consent from the parish. CC proposed to allow up to £50 expenditure, RM seconded. All agreed.






Buildings at Risk Register – 2010 Survey






Following circulation of the list of Listed Buildings in the village, the only concern would be the property next to Woodside, Prescott, which is derelict. Clerk to advise ‘Building at Risk Register’.








Chairman’s Award to Community – 2010 Nominations






CC suggested leaving it this year, BW seconded. All agreed.






Councillors’ Reports






PCSO – Next Liaison Meeting on Thursday 9th September.

Problems with youth on moped ongoing.

Information on Horse Watch circulated and available from RM or Clerk if requested or members of the public are interested. CC to post on the website.









PH leaves meeting.






Footpaths – MO attended meeting with the Somerset team. It was advised that less money was available and that SCC will be relying on land owners and volunteers to do works. They will also no longer stock stiles for automatic replacement of damaged or stolen gates and applications will now be necessary.

With regards to collaboration with ramblers, SCC welcome their contributions but would like more communication and for them to work in partnership with SCC, in line with their policies.  






Whitehole bridge over Mells stream in poor condition due to so many trees obstructing the river. However, SCC do not think it is a big enough problem. Clerk to remind MR about John Patch looking at it over the summer.








Ploughed fields at Sparks Farm – SCC has written to the farm but decided not to prosecute. Clerk to write to him in March next year, before the ploughing season, to remind him to maintain the footpaths.






Permissive path across quarry – MO has not been able to trace owner and proposes to abandon the project. MO reported eroded ground in the area to SCC Rights of Way for maintenance and alert them of the presence of a herd of bulls.

Clerk to advise public to write to SCC rights of way report of problems like this, to be inserted in email newsletter.










MO has been clearing brambles and obstructions around stiles and gates.

Suggested that walk from the Sparks farm to back lane (Leigh Woods) be fitted with kissing gates – to be looked at in the winter once crops have gone.






Footpaths Grant - CC advised that, in previous years, to obtain yearly footpath grant, a report needs to be written and submitted. MO to investigate, although it was felt that grants were no longer available.








Highways – A resident has reported poor condition of lane by Pitten House. Clerk to report through SCC website.







‘No cycling’ sign near church to be removed. SSC to put wooden finger post. All agreed.






Cleaning of footpath up to Barnclose – RM pointed out that the pavement had not been cleaned and it was very messy despite promise of cleaning by Connaught. CC to pursue.







Rec Field – RM did not attend last meeting. Nothing further to report.

Summer bowls have started. £1 per evening.






Memorial Hall – Spare concrete tub by side of building offered to the parish council as it is no longer needed by the Memorial Hall. VT suggested asking the Rec Field.

Maintenance - looking at doing wall and roof insulation in areas other than new extension.

Upcoming events:

·         4th December – Hickman & Cassidy






School – SV to ask Matthew and Catherine Bennett about advertising their Nursery services on the website.

Glastonbury Festival - SV reported on group of parents and residents having stewarded at Glastonbury and raised substantial funds for the school.






SALC – Next East Somerset meeting in December. Nothing further to report.






Quarry – Nothing further to report. 






Meetings attended (including training courses)/to be attended






Meetings attended:

  • 19th July – Parish Forum Meeting


Meetings to be attended:

  • 20th September – Local Parish Councils Meeting to discuss Somerset Aggregates Paper.












The following correspondence was circulated after the meeting:-

·         Proposed Standing Orders, and copy of current Standing Orders

·         Advice letter from SCC regarding road closure in Coleford

·         PCSO report for June 2010

·         County Councillor report, July 2010

·         Homefinder Somerset. Co.uk information from PH.

·         June/July editions of the following publications: Somerset Waste Partnership; Parishes Information Bulletin; War Memorial Trust; Your Somerset; Your Mendip; Clerks & Councils Direct; The Clerk; Glasdon Catalogue






Date & time of next meeting






The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 20th September 2010, at 7.30 in the Memorial Hall, Committee Room.