held on 17th October 2011

 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall



Councillors Present

Chris Cudmore – Chairman (CC), I Barnes (IB), R Martin (RM), J Smith (JS) and B Wigmore (BW).


In attendance: S Vaillant (SV; Clerk), G Cawood (GC; County Cllr) and P Ham (PH; District Councillor).











Late apologies were received from RM and BW.






Declaration of Interest



JS declared an interest in planning applications 2011/2397 and 2011/1679.






Minutes of the meeting held on 19/09/11 and matters arising



The minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2011 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting held.






GC joins the meeting.






(3.1 & 3.2) Co-option of Councillor – The relevant forms have been signed. Clerk advised that there were no training sessions planned for new councillors at present, however there will be further training organised in the new year on the new Code of Conduct and the Localism Bill, which will be open to all councillors.  






(4.4) Condition of path through Sparks Farm – Clare Haskins has been made aware of the problem. Clerk to chase.







(4.5) Grant to Village Halls – Information was emailed to Village Hall Committee.






(4.7) Queens Diamond Jubilee – Upcoming events are being advertised on the website.






(4.8) Weeds on path to Barnes Close Quarry – The pavement has been inspected and a response is awaited from Highways.






Chair asked GC to report to SCC about letting us know about future cut back in services well in advance so that the parish can anticipate possible issues. 






(4.9) Thank you letter to Tarmac was issued.






RM joins the meeting.






(5.1) Patient Participation Group – Contact information was forwarded to VH but no further information has been received.






(8.2) Cemetery Hedge Trimming – The hedge has now been cut back.  






(10.1) 2nd Coleford Pharmacy Application – Response was issued to oppose the second application for a new pharmacy.






(12.1) Village Welcome Packs – Available to download on the website.
CC to email Word copy to clerk for parish records.







(13.1) Non-Emergency police number to be advertised – Clerk to post updated information on the notice boards.







County Councillor Reports



GC updated the council as follows:-

·      Unsuccessful grant for highway improvements – It is suggested that some of the works included in the bid could be undertaken with Highways’ budget next year.

·      Asham Wood – Problems are persisting. GC agreed to forward minutes of working group meetings to clerk for information.

·      Cookswood Quarry – no further progress.

·      Quarry Meeting – Minutes of recent meeting to be issued to Clerk. It was confirmed that a bank account had been set up to ring-fence the monies to be put aside by Tarmac for long term maintenance once digging stops at the quarry and it becomes disused.

·      Rural Isolation – GC gave an outline of the current scheme.






GC advised that she was conducting a survey on her website to find out if people would like to revert to weekly bin collections.






PH & BW join the meeting.






PH updated the council as follows:-

·      SWP meeting – Coleford Recycling Centre has been secured for another 12 months.

·      Percentage of fly tipping is still going up: an action group has been set up to tackle the problem. RM also brought to PH’s attention the issue of fly tipping on private land, which has to be dealt with by the owners.

·      Budget deficit for next year.

·      Patient Participation Group is up and running. CC advised that no information has been received.









Latest status of existing applications/decisions:-

·      App. 2011//2061; Fox Hollow front porch – no decision

·      App. 2011/2007; Great House Farm; alterations to landscaping – no decision






Application 2011/2296; Fox Hollow, Leigh Street; Leigh Upon Mendip; Installation of 8 photovoltaic Solar panels to the south facing roof of the garage – CC proposed (RM seconded, all agreed) to recommend approval as the proposals have negligible visual impact and have environmental advantages.






Application 2011/1679; The Workshop; Townsend Farm; Conversion from workshop to live work unit with three bedrooms and office space – Following review of the plans and supporting documentation, IB proposed (BW seconded, all agreed) to recommend approval for the following reasons:-

·      The PC was pleased that the applicant had taken into account previously made comments, addressing external cladding to North elevation and parking, which has been moved to the back of the property.

·      Proposed solar panels on the South side will not be visible from the road nor the neighbouring properties.

·      The proposals will be an improvement to the current workshop and site condition, which also meet the Village Design statement in terms of materials used, off-street parking and the encouragement of business activity in the village. 

Neighbours have also reported that improvements to the workshop would be welcomed and are happy with the proposed designs.






Application 2011/2397; Grove Shute Farm; Tadhill; Conversion works to existing barn to allow use as Agricultural Workshop – Following review of the plans and applications documents and although the PC is keen to support agricultural activity within the parish, CC proposed to recommend refusal (IB seconded, all agreed) for the following reasons:-

·       Access - The drawings show access to the building via a newly created access point via a hedge which does not currently exist, although the application says this is already permitted but not implemented. The PC does not recall having been consulted on this issue or seen any planning application pertaining to the access and we are concerned that planning permission for this has not had due agreement (planning permission).
Moreover, it was pointed out that the ‘permitted’ opening was on a bend in the road and not a practical place for heavy agricultural machinery to go in and out. Heavy machinery gaining access would create a hazard to the highways and road safety because of the sitting and narrowness of the lane.

·       It was mentioned that a river was passing nearby, would the works affect the stream?

·       Environment – The environmental impact of the workshop should be controlled to ensure noise and pollution (etc…) guidelines are met with minimal impact on the neighbours.

·       Agricultural Tie – The PC would welcome an agricultural tie being imposed on any approval if granted.






Village Design Statement – RM asked whether this should be reviewed in the light of the Localism Bill coming into force in the next year. PH agreed that we should. Clerk to put on the agenda for next month.











Financial Statement – Financial statement to 16th October 2011 was agreed and signed.






Clerk’s Salary & Expenses – Clerk’s invoice dated 17th October 2011 was agreed. Cheque #633 was signed.









Nothing to report.






Somerset Electoral Review



Following the review of SCC’s proposals, it was agreed to respond to SCC asking that instead of being grouped with the proposed ‘Mendip Hills’ cluster (including Stoke St Michael, Oakhill, Stratton on the Fosse and further ‘westward’ villages, Leigh on Mendip PC is included in the ‘Mendip Central & North East’ cluster with the villages of Coleford, Mells and Nunney for the following reasons:-

·      Police Liaison Meeting and PCSO activities are linked with Coleford & Frome.

·      GP Surgery is in Coleford.

·      Education system links in to Frome for Middle School and College.

·      Strong working links between Leigh on Mendip First School and Mells & Nunney Schools.

·      Church in a benefice linked with Nunney.

·      Part of the ‘quarry villages’. 








Adoption of BT Telephone Box



BT have advised that it was not an option to keep the telephone in the box due to very low usage, however, they have confirmed that they would keep the supply of electricity and lighting in the box at no cost to the parish, if adopted. Also, there are no restrictions over future use of the box.  






CC proposed to adopt the telephone box (BW seconded, all agreed). The relevant paperwork was completed. Clerk to sign and return to BT.







CC thanked VH for progressing the repainting of the box with BT prior to adoption.

CC to advertise/publicise adoption on the website, and invite ideas for its use.







Councillors’ Report



PCSO – Nothing further to report.

Next Liaison meeting Thursday 3rd November. RM unable to attend.






Footpaths – Clerk tabled a letter received from residents in a neighbouring property, regarding users walking around the field behind Manor Farm rather than following the footpath. Clerk to seek advice from C Haskins, Footpaths Officer. IB to put up signs to remind walkers to keep to the footpaths.









Highways – Pick-up of grit salt bags from Highways Depot - JS agreed to pick-up the bags on behalf of the PC, to be located near the Village Hall, pub and Rec Field (same as last year). Following request from a resident in Park Hayes, a couple of bags will be located in the area to help treat the roads.






Rec Field – RM reported as follows:-

·      The Committee has received a letter written by children (8-13 y/o) who would like to see changes and additional facilities (skate park) on the Field.
A sponsored bike ride to raise funds has been organised for Sunday 6th November 2011.

·      Offer of 60 saplings from the school – To be raised at next committee meeting.






Quarry – PH attended the meeting held on 13th October. A new planning application to move the proposed balancing lake from Tweed Farm to the eastern end of Halecombe quarry is to be submitted.






Village Signs – Carvings sessions have been very popular and successful and are ongoing. The stones will be moved into place shortly, using hired machinery.






Memorial Hall – BW reported as follows:-

·      A donation has been received from the Anderson family who are moving out of the village.

·      Keith Cockroft leaving as treasurer but Denis Pattison is taking over.

·      Oil scheme from Somerset Community Council – CC agreed to draw a flyer to display on the noticeboards to advertise the scheme.


Forthcoming events:-

15th October – Music from ‘Intricate’; bar opens 7.30pm; £7.50

7th November – AGM; 8pm.











SALC/School – Nothing further to report.






Meetings attended / to be attended.



Meetings to be attended:-

·         PCSO Liaison Meeting; Thursday 3rd November

·         Mendip Hills AONB Partnership; 10th November.

·         Parish Forum meeting; Monday 28th November, 5.30pm, 6pm start. (information in Bulletin and new Development Framework)









No further correspondence was tabled.






Date & time of next meeting



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 21st November 2011, at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Committee Room.