held on 19th March 2012

 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall



Councillors Present

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


In attendance: S Vaillant (SV; Clerk), V Horler (VH), District Councillor and 6 members of the public.  











No apologies were received. The full council was in attendance.

G Cawood (County Councillor) advised she would not be able to attend the meeting.






Chair advised that the order of the meeting would be altered to accommodate members of the public present.






Declaration of Interest



JS declared an interest in planning application 2012/0373.






Minutes of the meetings held on 20/02/12 and 28/02/12 and matters arising (where not dealt with on the agenda)



The minutes of the meeting held on 20th and 28th February 2012 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meetings held, with the following amendments.

20/02/12; Item 10.10 should read ‘chairmen’ not ‘presidents’.

20/02/12; Item 10.7.1 should read ‘neighbourhood watch’.






Matters arising from meeting held on 20/02/12 (where not dealt with later)



(3.2) Condition of path through Sparks Farm – It was ascertained that a Contractor was working the fields at the moment, not Rick Massey, and it was difficult to get hold of him to discuss the condition of the paths.

IB to speak to and meet with Rick Massey to discuss what can be done. IB offered to smooth the Rights of Way himself if Rick Massey agreed.   









(3.4) Stile by water trough on path beyond Pitten House – This was repaired by Mendip Ramblers.






Footpath through Pitten House – Clerk to check if alternative footpath was agreed with SCC.







(3.5) Memorial Hall Car Park – A copy of the Deeds for the Memorial Hall were given to BW.   






(5.1) Minerals Option Strategy Consultation – Response was drafted, circulated and issued to SCC.






(6.1) Parish Plan Review – A copy of the Action Plan was circulated for councillors to update. To be discussed at next meeting.







(10.1) Details of new PCSO – Clerk to update information on noticeboards.






(10.3) Damage to Park Hayes grass area by Recycling Lorries - A resident has been advised by Somerset Waste Partnership that the recycling lorries should not be going through the narrow area of Park Hays and rubbish and recycling should be collected by hand. To be monitored.






(10.10) Annual Parish Meeting – The annual parish meeting will be held on 21st May 2012. Representatives of the various village group to be advised.







There were no matters arising from the meeting held on 28th February 2012.






District & County Councillors Reports



Chair read report provided by G Cawood.






Use of south perimeter of Manor Farm Field, adjacent to gardens



Chair summarised the situation with regards to the footpath and tabled a letter received from residents, complaining about users using the South perimeter of the field.






Chair invited comments from the councillors:-

·      It was felt that the owner of the field would probably not be in agreement to make the boundary an  official Right of Way.

·      The PC has not managed to contact the owners yet.






Chair invited comments from the public:-

·      Why are people deviating from a perfectly good path, are they trespassing by moving away from the path?

·      It was agreed that walking the North perimeter and the field beyond has always been going on, but not the path near the houses.

·      Number of walkers using the South perimeter has increased since 2008/09, not always local people.

·      Walkers did not use the South perimeter beforehand.

·      Is it a matter for residents to take to the County Council directly?

·      It was stated that this was a matter of civil law, and not criminal law.






Attendees were divided between those in agreement with walking around the perimeter and those against.






Local Government Boundary Commission Recommendations for Revised Somerset County Ward Boundaries



Chair summarised the situation and tabled the report from the Boundary Commission proposing that Leigh on Mendip remain within ‘Mendip Central East’ with Stoke St Michael, Coleford, Mells, Doulting and Cranmore as requested. CC proposed to write in support of the new proposals (JS seconded, all agreed).









Agreement on use of Adopted Telephone Box



It was confirmed that the box has now been adopted by the PC and an invoice is awaited.






It was agreed to convert the interior into a ‘telephone exchange’. It was agreed to install a pin board for everyone to post notices. Vicky Higgins agreed to look after the box. 






Review of Annual Parish Newsletter



CC to circulate a draft of the newsletter for councillors to comment and update as necessary. Distribution numbers to be reviewed.










Latest status of existing applications/decisions:-

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

·      App. 2011/2109; Rookery Farmhouse – no decision.

·      App. 2011/1916; Grove Shute Farm East– no decision.

·      App. 2011/3232 & 3235; Halecombe Quarry – no decision.






Torr works wind turbine Environmental Impact Assessment / Scoping Report – Councillors thought the report was very detailed and quite interesting.

An environmental concern was raised by a resident living on one of the highest points in the parish that the wind turbine would be seen from the 'ridge' (around the Old Wells Road, on the south border of the parish, which is the highest point in the village). It was agreed that at present, the village is little affected by the activities at Torr Works due to the nature of the works, however, a wind turbine would have a visual impact for some residents in Leigh on Mendip.  










Planning Application 2012/0373 – Kevin Mitchell Architectural Cast Stone; Erection of a single storey building – After review of the plans, CC proposed (RM seconded, all agreed) to recommend approval as the PC is keen to support business in the village. However, the council has a reservation regarding the fences at the front and side of the building: the proposed wrought iron fence to the side and a 600mm high wall with timber fence above to front (on top of existing dwarf wall). Design details have not been provided for these items and there is also concern over the total height of the proposed front wall. This is felt of particular importance as they are the 2 items which will be most visible to the public.






The March 2012 Strategic land availability assessment report, including a plan, was circulated by JS prior to the meeting.









Financial Statement – Up-to-date financial statement to be issued next month due to high number of outstanding cheques following the end of the Village Stones project.






Clerk’s Salary & Expenses – Clerk’s invoice dated 19th March 2012 was agreed. Cheque #671 was signed.






All outstanding invoices for the Village Stones project were agreed and all costs were covered by the grant received from The Big Lottery Fund of £6,000.






SALC affiliation fee – It was unanimously agreed to renew the PC’s subscription to the Somerset Association of Local Councils. Cheque #672 was signed.






Conversion of telephone box to public notice board – IB proposed a budget of ‘up to £50’ pounds (JS seconded, all agreed). CC to purchase materials.







Donation to Mendip Ramblers – IB was impressed with Mendip Ramblers’ help with the prompt repair of two stiles and suggested a small grant is sent. CC proposed to donate £50 to come out of the footpaths budget which has not been used (IB seconded, all agreed). Cheque #673 was signed.  






Church new flag – CC tabled a grant request from the Parochial Council to cover the purchase of 2 new flags for the church (firmed up costs to be forwarded once known). IB offered a 8ft Union Jack flag. CC to report to Margaret Loten.








Asset & Risks audit – BW to undertake with Clerk and report at next meeting.






Chair reiterated that the precept had not been increased this year. The increase in the Parish Council part of the council tax bill is due to movements in the number of households paying council tax.









Quotations for grass cutting and hedge trimming – Only one quotation was received. AD proposed (IB seconded, all agreed) to accept the quotation of £1,200 for the grass cutting and £300 for hedge pruning from A. Barlow.






IB suggested that the grass could be cut every 3 weeks to help with nature. To be considered next year when obtaining quotations.






Cemetery Clerk’s Salary – Clerk’s invoice dated 19th March 2012 was agreed. Cheque #113 was signed.






Councillors’ Report



PCSO – RM attended meeting held on 8th March. The following issues were discussed:-

·      Main issues on new PCSO’s patch are speeding, and break-ins, parking

·      Mini bikes and motorised scooters around Park Hayes.

·      Speeding, inconsiderate parking and Asham wood are ongoing issues.

·      Regarding parking, RM tabled leaflet people will be able to put on cars (to be circulated by PDF).

·      Muddy roads: occurrences to be reported to the Police who have special warning cards to deal with the problem and encourage cleaning of the roads.

Next meeting TBA.






Footpaths – Nothing further to report.

Val Horler reported a fallen Holly Tree opposite Coleford House (near bridge to Kings Head). Footpath through Leigh Wood is in a bad state. IB agreed to investigate.









Highways – The following was reported:-

·      JS has reported the flooding outside entrance to Tarmac, which does not drain away. Awaiting to hear.

·      Pot holes have been fixed on Stocks Lane.

·      Clerk reported on new initiative from Highways about having someone in the community with a ruler and spray paint to highlight pot holes, and clerk to report straight to Highway team. Clerk to advise H Siggs of interest.












Rec Field – RM updated on recent activities and general ongoings. 

Skate Park planning application: waiting for consultation exercise to be completed before application can be sent to MDC.  






Memorial Hall – Bren updated on recent activity. Upcoming events:-

·      Village Quiz Night – 24th March, bar: 7.30pm - Raffle prizes needed.

·      New Zumba class starting on 3rd April.






SALC – Clerk and CC attended meeting on 5th March. Informal vote on the contents of new Code of Conduct. Nothing further to report.






Village Signs – VT, BW and Clerk have been putting together the ‘end of project’ report to be sent to The Big Lottery Fund by the end of the month.   

Chair thanked RM, BW and VT for all their work on the village stones project.

RM also thanked all who helped clean the vandalised stone on the morning of the unveiling (Chris & Cathy Cudmore, Frank & Vicky Higgins, Vin Martin and Alan Dagger).






Maintenance has already been planned for July once vegetation starts to grow.






Jeff Body will keep an eye on the signs to ensure the lettering is visible, and will take any remedial action.






School – Easter Production will take place on 28th and 29th March and village groups will be invited to the matinee on 28th March.






Quarry – Halecombe Quarry Liaison Meeting postponed to Wednesday 25th April in the morning. AD to attend.






Noticeboard outside pub – Clerk reported that one door/window was breaking.
AD agreed to look at it.







Meetings attended



Local Choice Event (Parish Forum) - Monday 27th Bath & West, 7.00pm – CC attended and reported on SCC ideas to provide support to parishes which chose to perform services locally (e.g. footpath maintenance, drain clearance etc).






Date & time of next meeting



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 16th April 2012, at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Committee Room.