DRAFT  MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

 HELD ON MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2013 AT 7.30 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

Chris Cudmore

CC

 

 

Gill Boden

GB

 

 

David Mattick

DM

 

 

 

 

 

In attendance

Anthea Brooks, Clerk

AB

 

 

Val Horler, District Councillor (part)

VH

 

 

Vikky Batten

VB

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies

Ian Barnes

IB

 

 

Phil Ham, County and District Councillor

PH

 

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

 

 

 

1

APOLOGIES

ACTIONS

 

 

 

1.1

Apologies were received from Phil Ham, David Sparkes and Ian Barnes. 

 

 

 

 

2

WELCOME

 

 

 

 

2.1

The Chairman welcomed Vikky Batten who had shown an interest in becoming a Councillor and was attending the meeting to find out more about the work of the Council

 

 

 

 

3

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

 

 

 

 

3.1

There were no declarations and dispensations

 

 

 

 

4

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 21 OCTOBER 2013

 

 

 

 

4.1

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 21 October were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

5

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 21 OCTOBER 2013

 

 

 

 

5.1

(5.2) Internal Audit and Risk Assessment – The risk assessment is ongoing but the asset review/audit is complete with minor points for action (email from DM of 24 May 2013 refers).  The Clerk will study the documents and this will be scheduled for discussion at a future meeting

Clerk

 

 

 

5.2

(5.4) Pursuance of land for Cemetery extension – the land opposite the Broad Bean Farm Shop has been identified as belonging to Hanson and the Clerk has written to them to query whether they would consider donating or selling some land to the parish council for use as a cemetery - ongoing

 

 

 

 

5.3

(5.5) Collapsed wall on pavement to Barnsclose Quarry – ongoing

Clerk

 

 

 

5.4

(7.5) Dog Fouling - include field behind the Rec Field carpark – CC has spoken to the Recreation Field Committee and this is now closed

 

 

 

 

5.5

(5.7) Churchyard Yew Trees and Church path – the action is with Alastair Weston, Churchwarden, to approach MDC about the work which needs to be done on the trees which would cost approximately £1000 per year for four years to trim them to a manageable size.  It was suggested that funding could be split three ways, MDC, the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council.  The trimming of the yew tree at the rear of the church has been done.

 

Church path – MDC is responsible for the path, CC has been in contact with them to ask what they are going to do and a response is awaited.

 

It was agreed that CC would discuss both items further with Alastair Weston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CC

 

 

 

5.6

(5.8) Solar Array at Soho Farm – the clerk had acknowledged the email from Mells Park Trust which had stated that a community benefit of £3k would be paid annually, £2k to Leigh-on-Mendip and £1k to Mells - closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.7

(5.9) Internal Auditor – the Clerk had obtained advice from SALC and it was agreed to contact Richard Blunden in the village who acts as auditor for the Parochial Church Council to see if he would be willing to act as auditor for the Parish Council.  If not contact would be made with other local councils to find out who they use.

CC

 

 

 

5.8

(5.10) Legacy Grant – the proposals are still to be considered by VH and PH - ongoing

VH/PH

 

 

 

5.9

(7.12) Cemetery Fees – the clerk reported that since the agreement to bring the fees in line with the Church of England earlier in the year, a further revision had been made to the fees for 2014.  It was agreed to amend the cemetery fees to bring them in line with the latest increases.  The Clerk will send the revised price list to local funeral directors and inform the PCC.

Clerk

 

 

 

5.10

(5.9) Land for Cemetery Extension – CC reported that he had contacted Cooper and Tanner and once the sale of the land north of Sparks Farm had gone through they would approach the buyer and get them to contact the Parish Council. CC to monitor - ongoing

CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.11

(5.13) Pharmaceutical Services at Mendip Country Practice –VH stated that the patient group is still looking for a young person between the ages of 18 and 20 to join the group in order to give a spread of age ranges.  It was agreed that CC would put something on the website to this effect.

CC

 

 

 

5.12

(5.14) Somerset CC budget savings – VH agreed to remind PH that he was going to pass a link to CC where information will be available ‘on line’ for councillors to consider. 

 

VH/PH

 

 

 

5.13

(5.17) Whitehole Hill Quarry activity – CC reported that he had contacted MDC regarding this but because of the introduction of the new IT system there is no enforcement section available.  CC agreed to send VH the email he had received and VH agreed to see if she could find out what is happening.

CC/VH

 

 

 

5.14

(5.18) Highways – Barnsclose Quarry barrier on bend – CC reported that Highways have agreed to inspect this bend and carry out a risk assessment.  A report is awaited - ongoing

CC

 

 

 

5.15

(5.20) Grant to School – GB had contacted the school regarding the possible availability of a grant from the Parish Council and she understood that this would be discussed at the next Governor’s meeting - ongoing

GB

 

 

 

5.16

(5.23) Emergency Planning – following the discussion at the recent ‘Helping Communities Help Themselves’ meeting at Shepton Mallet, emergency planning had been identified as a subject for discussion and as a result is on the agenda as a separate item

 

 

 

 

5.17

(6.1) Quarry meeting – VH reported that PH has been in contact with the quarry regarding the next meeting and will inform the Council when a date has been agreed.  There are no minutes from the past meeting available yet.

PH

 

 

 

5.18

(7.5.4) Wind Turbine – public meeting – the Chair of the NoCWT had been invited to the public meeting to make a presentation and the landowner – Mr. Norris – was also invited to attend the meeting - closed

 

 

 

 

5.19

(8.2) Grants – Councillors to give consideration to possible grants to village groups – separate agenda item

 

 

 

 

5.20

(8.4) Audit for year end 31 March 2013 – the Clerk confirmed that she had displayed the audited Annual Return for Leigh-on-Mendip Parish Council on the noticeboards - closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.21

(9.1) PCSO – the clerk had forwarded the minutes of the PACT meeting to GB as requested – closed.

 

 

 

 

5.22

(9.4) Recreation Field – Pump Track – further information is required from the recreation Field Committee on the amount required so that a possible inclusion can be made in next year’s budget of a sum to assist.

CC

 

 

 

5.23

Memorial Hall – car parking is still an issue and the Clerk will look through the Parish Council documents to see if any information exists on the legal status of the car park.

Clerk

 

 

 

5.24

(11.1) Standing Orders – SALC had sent new model Standing Orders.  CC had considered these to see if there was anything specific noting that a review of Standing Orders is due in September 2014. 

 

 

 

 

6

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 1 NOVEMBER 2013 (EXTRA PLANNING MEETING)

 

 

 

 

6.1

(3.1) Planning Application 2013/1951 Single Wind Turbine – the response from the meeting to recommend refusal for this application was forwarded to MDC.  It was noted that this application is likely to be considered by the Planning Board on 11 December and the Parish Council will be invited to speak at that meeting.

 

 

 

 

6.2

(4.1) Grant for Memorial Hall – CC had informed the Hall Committee that the grant to cover the cost of replacing the worn barrier matting in the foyer at a cost of £398 had been approved.

 

 

 

 

7

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORTS

 

 

 

 

7.1

County Councillors Report

 

 

 

 

 

PH had sent a written report which made the following points

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Over the past four years there have been budget cuts of £100m.  Another £106m has to be found during the next four years.  Locally this will mean a new restructure of how the Children’s Centres will run with several closing.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     It is believed that Coleford will be the centre of a rural hub network covering from Priddy in the west to Rudge in the east and from Farleigh Hungerford in the north to Lydford-on-Fosse in the south.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The ‘bus route 184 Radstock to Frome will be every other hour rather than every hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The recycling centre at Coleford will close.  However Coleford Parish Council will fight this and will need the help of the surrounding parishes.  Data is being collected from the past 10 years and questions being asked under the Freedom of Information Act.  Ideas are listed below but anyone with additional suggestions should contact PH on 01373 812152.  When findings are completed the Parish Council will be informed and hopefully a meeting arranged with the Somerset Waste Partnership and SCC.

 

 

 

 

 

Ø     Allow closure

 

 

Ø     Accept an offer to open for one and a half days a week

 

 

Ø     Charge a fee on the precept

 

 

Ø     Question the £2 charge

 

 

Ø     Community to run it – ask for a County Asset transfer of site

 

 

Ø     Organise a petition – it would have to have 5000 signatures or more but this would only give rights to a public discussion

 

 

Ø     Argue the case – equality assessment, rural isolation/fuel poverty/carbon footprint/extra tonnes going to land fill

 

 

Ø     Where has the money gone – no tickets.  What happens when people do not ask for or take tickets

 

 

Ø     Why does it cost so much to run as it did before when it was open a lot longer

 

 

 

 

 

It was agreed that the Clerk should scan the copy of the letter from Somerset Waste Partnership and email round to Councillors

Clerk

 

 

 

 

·                     Shape Mendip (MDC) – building work moving forward fast.  First building with reception will reopen 9 December.  The weekend before there will be disruption with IT and telephones

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Shared Services – MDC has run West Somerset legal services for some time but probably will run a similar service for Taunton Deane as well

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Leisure contract – consideration being given to ways of procurement for this contract which runs out in May 2015.  Soft marketing has taken place with thirteen companies with different ideas

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Scrap Metal – collectors and dealers must have a licence which cost around £530

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Wells Sports Clubs – proposed development of a new sports hub on the outskirts of Wells where clubs will share services – approximately £10m project

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Wind Turbines/Solar Panel – group set up looking at what policy can be used by NPPF

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The Local Plan – subject to members agreeing minor changes to the Plan it will be submitted to the Planning Inspector before Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Quarry Liaison Meeting – contact has been made with the quarry for a new date.  The Council will be informed as soon as possible of that date.

 

 

 

 

7.2

District Councillors Report

 

 

 

 

 

VH made the following points

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Meetings held in various venues in Shepton Mallet and Wells

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Attended the quarry liaison meeting at Wainwrights

 

 

 

 

 

·                     More planning training being held on 29 November 1.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. in Wells

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Attended two public meetings, one in Leigh-on-Mendip regarding the wind turbine application and one in Stoke St Michael about the traffic calming.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Attended a CAB meeting on behalf of PH in Wells and was invited to attend again.  CAB are not funded by the government and VH expressed her surprise and shock by how many Parish Councils do not make a donation to their funds.  VH felt it was time to ask for donations.  The CAB van will be going around the villages again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Planning Board taking place on 20 November and also  11 December

 

 

 

 

 

·                     It was noted that the five year rule does apply to the Pharmacy service at Mendip Country Practice i.e. no further applications are permitted for five years.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Dean Saunders, the PCSO, has now left the area.  The contact is now Rachel Clark or Victoria Ward.  The next PACT meeting is on 28 November at 7.00 p.m. at Frome Police Station.  GB will attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

8.1

It was noted that two applications had been received after the agenda was issued.  The Clerk had applied for an extension to respond after the next meeting on 16 December.  The two applications involved underground cabling between Vobster and Soho and a two storey extension to Jasmine Cottage.

Clerk

 

 

 

8.2

Pump Track - It was noted that the Pump Track application had been acknowledged. 

 

 

 

 

8.3

Broad Bean Farm Shop - The Clerk reported on receipt of a letter from MDC confirming that the application for change of use from residential to Café at the Broad Bean Farm Shop had been withdrawn

 

 

 

 

8.4

Solar Array – diversion of footpath - The Clerk reported on the receipt of an email from Clare Haskins, Rights of Way, Mendip East confirming that the three conditions mentioned by the Parish Council regarding the diversion of the footpath had all been acknowledged and agreed.

 

 

 

 

9

EMERGENCY PLANNING

 

 

 

 

9.1

Following on from the Helping Communities Help Themselves meeting in Shepton Mallet, GB had prepared a report which was distributed.  It had been agreed to put together an emergency plan for the village to cover such eventualities as heavy snowfall, road traffic accidents, etc.  It was suggested that the Memorial Hall would be the refuge.  GB agreed to get some more information and any examples of templates in order to put this plan together.

GB

 

 

 

9.2

Defibrillator – the Clerk mentioned the possible purchase of a defibrillator for the village and it was agreed that this would be a good idea with suggestions that it should be installed either at the Hall and/or the Recreation Field.  It was noted that they are very easy to use.  It was agreed to cover this in the emergency plan and DM agreed to mention it at the Hall Committee meeting

DM

 

 

 

10

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

10.1

Preparation of the 2014/15 Budget

 

 

 

 

10.1.1

A letter had been received from MDC regarding the Precept for 2014/15.  It was noted that a provisional tax base will be agreed by Full Council in December 2013 and can be found on the MDC website from mid-December.  The precept will be expressed as a fixed sum of money and the District Council will make the calculation of the Council Tax Rate.  The completed forms should be returned at the earliest possible opportunity and by 3 January at the latest.

 

 

 

 

10.1.2

CC stated that there were two issues for consideration, firstly how much money the PC can spend and secondly the percentage increase to the individual as to what goes into the council tax.

 

 

 

 

10.1.3

It was noted that keeping to the same precept (£6,100) as this year would not necessarily mean that the percentage would not vary. 

 

 

 

 

10.1.4

It was agreed that the action is for Councillors to talk to village groups to ascertain what they might require in the way of grants for next year  and start to put some figures together

ALL

 

 

 

10.1.5

CC agreed to start drafting a budget for discussion at the next meeting in December but it is unlikely that the precept will be agreed before the January meeting. 

CC

 

 

 

10.1.6

It was agreed that the Clerk should reply to the letter stating that because the tax base will not be decided until the December MDC meeting the Council will not be able to submit their precept requirement until their meeting on 20 January.

Clerk

 

 

 

10.1.7

Memorial Hall – DM will chase the Hall Committee regarding any requirement they may have for grants for next year. 

DM

 

 

 

10.1.8

Recreation Field – CC agreed to speak to Vicky Higgins to find out what is happening about the invoice for the grass cutting and what provision is required for the pump track

CC

 

 

 

10.1.9

Church – potentially £1000 per year for four years to be split three ways if the PCC wants to go ahead with trimming the yew trees.

 

 

 

 

10.1.10

School – the school have listed several items as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Scooter/bike rack £250

 

 

·                     Support for school trips £100

 

 

·                     Support for after school clubs £100

 

 

·                     Support for staging of Christmas/Easter performances £50

 

 

 

 

10.1.11

It was agreed that the Clerk would approach SALC regarding the above and to make sure that these would be legitimate items to fund

Clerk

 

 

 

10.1.12

General – the following points were noted

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Money identified for projects should not be carried over unless absolutely necessary or the project is of a long term nature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Consideration to be given to the use of the £2,000 benefit from the solar array

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Consideration to be given to the need for the purchase of land for the extension to the cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Donations are budgeted for Toddler Group and  LOMCA of £50 each

 

 

 

 

10.2

Financial statement – statement to 18.11.13 was agreed and signed

 

 

 

 

10.3

Cheques issued

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Grant Thornton £30 (additional fee)

 

 

·                     Steve Pitt Gardening Services (churchyard/cemetery grass cutting and hedge trim) £630 – half year payment

 

 

·                     Memorial Hall £22.00 (hire of hall for public meeting and additional planning meeting)

 

 

 

 

11

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

11.1

PCSO – as previously indicated next meeting to take place on 28 November at 7.00 p.m. at Frome Police Station, GB to attend

GB

 

 

 

11.2

Footpaths – two sprung gates reported as not closing properly.  One at Tadhill and the other in Stocks Lane.  CC agreed to have a look at these

CC

 

 

 

11.3

Highways – it was noted that bags of salt are available for collection from the Recycling Centre in Frome for use in the village.    DM agreed to collect several bags and will liaise with IB.  It was agreed to provide Simon Dow in Tadhill with two bags.

DM

 

 

 

11.4

Recreation Field -  Bingo night 14 December to raise money for the pump track

 

 

 

 

11.5

Memorial Hall – next meeting 2 December.  Car parking still an issue (see matters arising) and the Clerk is to see if she is holding an documents regarding its use.

Clerk

 

 

 

11.6

School – nothing further to report

 

 

 

 

11.7

SALC – the clerk had received an email regarding the new website and will forward this to Councillors for information

Clerk

 

 

 

11.8

Quarry – DS had sent a report which made the following points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Support for Country Fair – the local manager has stated that they will be hiring the marquee and toilets as previously.  A cash donation of £1000 is to be requested from Lafarge Tarmac in January when estimates for 2014 are agreed.  There is reasonable confidence that this will be granted.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     £600 is available this Christmas to support the village school Father Christmas event

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The quarry are organising wild flower plug plants for the school to have for organised planting sessions in the flower meadow in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The local managers, Gary and Vaughan, continue to be very enthusiastic in their support for the school

 

 

 

 

 

·                     The local managers have been informed that a letter of thanks for the financial support for the Country Fair is being sent to their Executive Director.  They were pleased to know this and said that this would be well received.

 

 

 

 

12

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

12.1

PCSO meeting 28 November 7.00 p.m., Frome Police Station

 

 

 

 

12.2

Planning Session 26 November 6 – 8.30 p.m. at Wells Town Hall, DM will attend.  Subjects to be covered include development in the countryside – general principles, standing highway advice issued by SCC and the planning appeals process.

 

 

 

 

12.3

Coleford Steering Group – GB will continue to attend to see if there is anything in it for Leigh-on-Mendip.

 

 

 

 

13

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

13.1

The Clerk had received the following correspondence/information

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Andy Eisenhauer, Principle EHO – Private Sector Housing regarding a mail out to low income households in the district about the possibility of some help for vulnerable homeowners – for information

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Andrew Turner, Highway Service Manager, Mendip Area Highways regarding Winter Service 2013/2014 attaching a leaflet – Your Guide to Winter Service in Somerset 2013/2014.  Clerk to forward this to CC to put on village website

Clerk/CC

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Steve Greenhalgh, Somerset Road Safety regarding a presentation called ‘Route 60+’ which is aimed at helping older drivers to drive safer for longer.  There is a free event in the Memorial Hall on 13 March 2014 between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.  Clerk to forward this to CC for information.  Clerk to make sure this notice is included in the February edition of the village magazine

Clerk

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Doug Wright, Development and Performance Officer, Highways and Transport Commissioning regarding ‘Bus Consultation on a review of subsidised ‘bus services’  Deadline for responses is 6 January 2014.  Clerk to pass to Councillors for information and any comment.

Clerk

 

 

 

 

·                     Notice from Community Council for Somerset – Somerset Community Oil Scheme – clerk to make sure this information is displayed in the telephone box

Clerk

 

 

 

 

·                     Letter from MDC regarding Polling District and Polling Places Review.  Any comments to be made to the Clerk and will be discussed on the next agenda

Clerk

 

 

 

14

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

14.1

The next meeting will take place on Monday 16 December 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall, Leigh-on-Mendip.