DRAFT MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

 HELD ON MONDAY 20 JANUARY 2014 AT 7.30 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

Chris Cudmore

CC

 

 

Vikky Batten

VB

 

 

David Mattick

DM

 

 

Gill Boden

GB

 

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

 

 

 

 

In attendance

Anthea Brooks, Clerk

AB

 

 

Phil Ham, County and District Councillor (part)

PH

 

 

Val Horler, District Councillor (part)

VH

 

 

Mr F Patch and Ms M Read (item 8.2) (part)

 

 

 

 

 

1

APOLOGIES

ACTIONS

 

 

 

1.1

There were no apologies

 

 

 

 

2

RESIGNATION

 

 

 

 

2.1

CC announced that Ian Barnes had resigned his position as a Parish Councillor and was thanked for his work whilst on the Council particularly as Rights of Way Officer.  It was noted that there are now two vacancies and Councillors were asked to consider other suitable applicants for these positions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

 

 

 

 

3.1

The Clerk provided VB with a General Notice of Registrable Interests which she completed and signed.  A Request for Dispensation regarding the budget was signed by all Councillors and countersigned by the Clerk.  DS expressed an interest in Planning Application 2013/2428 and agreed to abstain during the discussions on this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16 DECEMBER 2013

 

 

 

 

4.1

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 16 December 2013 were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

5

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 16 DECEMBER 2013

 

 

 

 

5.1

(3.1) Declarations of Interest and Dispensations – the Clerk had provided the necessary form for VB to sign (see 3.1 above) - complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.2

(5.1) 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 - ongoing

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

5.3

(5.2) 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.  It was agreed that the Clerk would telephone Hanson’s for an answer – ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

5.4

(5.3) Collapsed wall on pavement to Barnsclose Quarry – no response from landowner since July.  CC stated that MDC had reported that the wall was the responsibility of the landowner.  It was agreed that a further letter should be written to the landowner.

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

5.5

(5.4) Churchyard Yew Trees and Church path – CC reported that he had emailed and telephoned MDC again and they were planning to inspect the path.  It had been agreed to get the path fixed as a first priority before approaching MDC regarding funding for the management of the yew trees - ongoing

 

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

5.6

(5.5) Internal Auditor – CC reported that Richard Blunden had agreed to act as auditor for the Parish Council – complete.

 

 

 

 

5.7

(5.8) Legacy Grant – PH/VH reported that funding is still available and had brought forms for completion. See 6.1.1 and 6.2.8 below

 

 

 

 

 

5.8

(5.7) Land for Cemetery Extension – CC reported that he had spoken with Cooper and Tanner who stated that the sale of this land has yet to be completed.  CC will check again to make sure that land is still for sale.

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

5.9

(5.8) Mendip Country Practice – CC reported that he had put the advert on the website regarding the Patient Support Group at Mendip Country Practice which requires a young person to join - complete

 

 

 

 

5.10

(5.13) Whitehole Hill Quarry activity – Enforcement investigation ongoing

 

 

 

 

5.11

(5.14) Highways – Barnsclose Quarry barrier on bend – CC reported that Highways have agreed to carry out an inspection of this bend but this has not yet taken place – ongoing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.12

(5.13) Quarry meeting – complete.

 

 

 

 

 

5.13

(5.15) Memorial Hall deeds reference car parking – the Clerk continues to look through files for any reference to the history of car parking at the Memorial Hall.

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

5.14

(13.1) Route 60+ - this course which is aimed at helping older drivers will take place in the Memorial Hall on 13 March 2014.  The Clerk had sent the information to the village magazine for insertion in the February edition - complete

 

 

 

 

5.15

(6.1.1) Development Limit – CC reported that he had received a response from Ian Bowen which stated that the revised categorisation of the village, now that it is no longer a secondary village, means that no further housing would be expected other than for exceptional affordable or other locally promoted schemes.  In these circumstances a development limit for the village would not be necessary – hence it’s proposed deletion in the modifications document.  The Parish Council noted that until the adoption of the Local Plan later this year the situation remains fairly uncontrolled - complete

 

 

 

 

5.16

(8.1.3) Planning Application 2013/2292 – The Clerk had contacted MDC with the outcome of the discussion at the meeting - complete

 

 

 

 

5.17

(9.1) Emergency Planning – PH stated that some councils have invited Geoff Mackett from MDC to come to a Parish Council meeting to discuss this issue.  It was agreed that GB would contact him to see if he has any examples representative of a village similar Leigh-on-Mendip which we could use.  If GB considers it worthwhile she will invite him to a future meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

GB

 

 

 

5.18

(10.3.1) SLCC Subscription – this was no longer split between three parishes and the Clerk had downloaded the appropriate form for completion which needed to be sent off together with a cheque for £81.00 which was agreed.

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

5.19

(10.3.2) Budget – CC reported that he had reissued the budget based on the discussions at the last meeting and this would be discussed later in the meeting.

 

 

 

 

5.20

(11.1) PCSO – VB had agreed to attend the next meeting on 27 February.

 

VB

 

 

 

5.21

(11.2) Footpaths – MDC had stated that the overhanging branch in Stocks Lane was not their responsibility.  This has since been removed by the landowner.

 

 

 

 

5.22

(11.4.4) Grass Cutting – to be discussed separately - ongoing

 

 

 

 

5.23

(11.4.6) Pump Track – the Clerk had made contact with Wainwrights who were prepared to offer a quotation for supply of Tarmac at a later date

 

 

 

 

5.24

(11.6.7) Scooter Rack for School – Ian Barnes had emailed round the details of a scooter rack the design of which was better for the type of scooters used.

 

 

 

 

5.25

(11.7) Training Courses – the Clerk had information from SALC on training courses.  The Clerk was asked to email the details to VB. It was agreed for the Clerk to book herself onto the three Essential Clerk courses at a cost of £55.- complete

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

5.26

(12.5) Mendip Investigation of Renewable Energy meeting – DM reported that he had attended this meeting on 14 January and had emailed round a report. - complete

 

 

 

 

5.27

(13.1) Quarry Faces Frome Area artefacts plea – the information about this had been placed on the website - complete

 

 

 

 

6

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORTS

 

 

 

 

6.1

County Councillors Report

 

 

 

 

6.1.1.

PH gave a report highlighting the following points

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Council Tax – zero increase from the County Council 

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Quarry Liaison meeting – at County level Philip Higginbottom has now taken over and hopefully this will mean that the planning application for the balancing lake can move forward.  Provisional date for the meeting is 11 or 13 March.  PH to advise

 

 

 

 

PH

 

 

 

 

·                     Somerset Minerals Plan - PH gave a copy of the draft Somerset Minerals Plan to DS for perusal and to make any comments.  This draft will go for adoption in February. 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

 

·                     Highways – lots of flooding issues and erosion of road surfaces and potholes.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Legacy Grants – one application to be made to Legacy and one to Health and Wellbeing, both will be considered.  CC to prepare a Legacy grant application.

CC

 

 

 

 

·                     Planning – major development at Grove Shute Farm about to be submitted

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Performance -  PH asked to be informed if electronic responses to planning issues are not visible on the planning website.

CC

 

 

 

 

 

7.2

District Councillors Report

 

 

 

 

7.2.1

VH reported that she had attended a full council meeting in December where the Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable were present and an anti-social behaviour presentation was made.

 

 

 

 

7.2.2.

VH had asked a question regarding the lack of PCSO cover in at least 20 villages and this had been passed to Richard Corrigan, Superintendent for response.

 

 

 

 

7.2.3

VH reported that she was assured that there would be a PCSO appointed in January, VH had pointed out that it would be better if the person appointed did not have to cover so many villages.  If no PCSO has been appointed by the end of the month she will contact Richard Corrigan again.

 

 

 

 

7.2.4

VH reported that she was now on a Fracking Committee at MDC and the next meeting would take place on Friday 24 January.  CC stated that the government had sent out a paper asking for comments on the impact of fracking – the details are on the village website.

 

 

 

 

7.2.5

PH reported that MDC had also confirmed a zero percent increase in council tax.

 

 

 

 

7.2.6

VH and PH both reported that the Outline Planning Permission for the development in Park Hayes had been approved by the Planning Officer. This had been referred to VH and PH as this decision was at variance with the recommendation of the Parish Council. However they had decided to accept the Officer’s decision without submitting it to the Planning Board.  The report would be accessible on line but VH had a copy of the officer’s report.

 

 

 

 

7.2.7

Salt bin, Tweed Farm – reported empty. CC will report to Highways and ensure it is included on their list.

 

CC

 

 

 

7.2.8

Pump Track – VH/PH asked about the amount of funding still required for the pump track.  PH stated that he had a Health and Wellbeing meeting in February from which a grant might be made available.  The Legacy Grants are also still available.  CC agreed to email VH with Vicky Higgins details so that she could be contacted to discuss the amount of funding outstanding (thought to be £10,000).

 

 

 

 

 

 

CC/VH

 

 

 

7.2.9

Mendip Shape Hub – Eric Pickles had visited last week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.3

Coleford Recycling Centre

 

 

 

 

7.3.1

The Parish Council had received a letter from the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) giving details of the proposed closure of Coleford Community Recycling site.

 

 

 

 

7.3.2

PH updated the Council on actions by Coleford Parish Council following the initial letter in November.  They had established a working group which had sent 18 questions to SWP responses to some of which were satisfactory but others were not. 

 

 

 

 

7.3.3

PH stated that he had attended the SWP Board in December and spoke about the closure.  PH had then taken a motion to MDC full council in an effort to stop the closure asking MDC to support Coleford Parish Council in seeking to maintain the recycling centre and urging SWP to re-examine the evidence and data and the assumptions arising from these.  MDC had supported this.

 

 

 

 

7.3.4

PH reported that he had also done some work on the figures provided which show discrepancies and cannot be proved.  The paper has now been deferred until the SWP meeting on 21 February.  PH has also had a meeting with Tom Rutland the Equalities Manager at SCC who is concerned.

 

 

 

 

7.3.5

PH asked Leigh-on-Mendip Parish Council to write a letter to SWP supporting Coleford Parish Council in their efforts to keep the recycling centre open and this was agreed. DM agreed to draft the letter.  A copy of the letter will go to PH.

 

 

 

DM

 

 

 

8

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

8.1

Planning Application 2013/2428 – Demolition of existing porch and construction of a new, larger porch.  Demolish two storey rear extension and replace with larger two storey extension.  Flying Teapot, Leigh-on-Mendip by Mr Simon Thomas

 

 

 

 

8.1.1

This planning application was discussed and it was agreed that there were no issues.  It was proposed by GM and seconded by DM to recommend approval of this planning application.  This was approved unanimously with one abstention.

 

 

 

 

8.1.3

The Clerk was asked to contact MDC with the result of the Council’s discussions. 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.2

Planning Application 2013/2542 – constructin of live/work unit, land adjacent to Grove Shute Farm, Towns End Lane, Leigh-on-Mendip by Ms Marsha Read

 

 

 

 

8.2.1

Ms Read made a statement to the Parish Council on the reasons behind the decision to apply for permission to build a live/work unit.  It was noted that previously permission had been given to build a livery stable block on this site which was no longer required and this new proposed building would be exactly the same size as the stables apart from bigger windows.  An Ecology Report has been carried out and a bat house will be installed into the roof of the proposed development.

 

 

 

 

8.2.2

Ms Read stated that it is intended to rent out the unit when complete.

 

 

 

 

8.2.3

The Parish Council noted that there were no objections from neighbours.

 

 

 

 

8.2.4

After discussion it was proposed by VB and seconded by DS to recommend approval.  The reasons were

 

·                     It is a small organic growth development

·                     There are buildings already there

·                     It is a better use and more economic use than stables

·                     It is very similar to the previous application in 2004

 

 

 

 

8.2.5

The Clerk was asked to contact MDC with the result of the Council’s discussions. 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

8.3

Environmental Report, land adjacent to Torr Works, erection of four wind turbines

 

 

 

 

8.3.1

This item was not on the agenda and the Parish Council had not been asked for to make representations previously but the Clerk reported that she had received a letter from MDC together with a CD giving details of the amended environmental report for the proposed erection of four wind turbines adjacent to Torr Works.  DM agreed to consider this on behalf of the Parish Council.

 

 

 

 

 

DM

 

 

 

9

EMERGENCY PLANNING

 

 

 

 

9.1

As previously actioned under 5.17 In the meantime GB will make a start on completing the template.

GB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

CEMETERY FENCING REPAIRS

 

 

 

 

10.1

CC reported that during the recent storms some of the larch lap panelling around the cemetery had been damaged.  Although there is a hedge it is deciduous and it was agreed that to prevent children and animals squeezing through and to provide privacy the fencing it still required.  Consideration would have to be given to the type of posts to be used, i.e. concrete or wooden

 

 

 

 

10.2

CC agreed to obtain a quote from Martin Fletcher and will also get a top of the range price from Jacksons for comparison

 

CC

 

 

 

11

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

11.1

Financial Statement – statement to 20.01.14 was agreed and signed

 

 

 

 

11.2

Cheques signed

 

 

 

 

 

·                     SLCC - £81.00 for membership

 

 

·                     Leigh-on-Mendip First School -  – cheque for £350.00 for scooter rack

 

 

 

 

11.3

Finalisation of 2014/15 Budget and agreement of Precept

 

 

 

 

11.3.1

CC had prepared a further draft budget following the amendments made at the previous meeting in December and this was discussed.

 

 

 

 

11.3.2

The tax base had been received from MDC and it was noted that a ‘top up’ grant of £226 would be made available next year on top of the precept

 

 

 

 

11.3.3

It was agreed unanimously to increase the precept by £100 to £6,200 which would mean a 1.94% increase for a Band D property

 

 

 

 

11.3.2

The Clerk was asked to send in the form to MDC requesting the precept of £6,200.

 

Clerk

 

 

 

11.4

Grant for School – Scooter Rack – this was agreed unanimously and the cheque issued 

 

 

 

 

11.5

Cemetery and Recreation Field Grass Cutting

 

 

 

 

11.5.1

The Clerk had contacted Chris Brown who had been cutting the Recreation Field and asked him to submit an invoice and also to quote for next year’s grass cutting of the Recreation Field and the cemetery/churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.5.2

The Clerk will contact local Parish Councils including Stoke St Michael, Mells and Nunney to find out who is cutting the grass in their churchyards and will also make contact with some local companies to obtain quotes.  It was agreed that the Clerk should also contact the Landscape Group (MDC) for a quote for the cemetery/churchyard grass cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

12

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

12.1

PCSO – VB will attend the next meeting on Thursday 27 February at Frome Police Station.  CC had been made aware of two recent attacks on sheep by dogs and had posted notices on the noticeboards and on the website about this.

 

 

 

VB

 

 

 

12.2

Footpaths – with the resignation of the Rights of Way Officer a new councillor needs to be appointed.  DS agreed to consider this.  The overhanging branch in Stocks Lane has been dealt with by the landowner.

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

12.3

Highways

 

 

 

 

12.3.1

CC reported that sweeping of the road will take place this week.  DM agreed to distribute the leaflets.  Other dates for road sweeping will be placed on the website.  The contractor has agreed to sweep the pavements as well.

 

 

 

DM

 

 

 

12.3.2

CC reported overhanging brambles over the pavement half way down the village street on the Bell Inn side and these need to be dealt with.

 

 

 

 

12.3.3

CC reported that Highways had unblocked the drain causing flooding at Townsend but there were also a few gulley/drains blocked in the village and these have been reported.

 

 

 

 

12.4

Recreation Field – VB stated that she would attend the next meeting.  VB suggested contacting Vicky Higgins to tell her that she may get a telephone call from VH regarding the amount of funding required for the pump track.

 

 

 

VB

 

 

 

12.5

Memorial Hall – DM reported that more participants are required for the 100 Club and anyone interested should let Denis Pattison know.  There will be a quiz on 5 April.  The car park issue is quiet at the moment.

 

 

 

 

12.6

School – nothing further to report

 

 

 

 

12.7

SALC – the clerk provided details about training courses (see item 5.25)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.8

Quarry

 

 

 

 

12.8.1

DS reported that the quarry were experiencing problems with water and had to shift machines out of the lower levels and install extra pumps.

 

 

 

 

12.8.2

As previously mentioned there was concern that the planning application for the balancing lake had not progressed

 

 

 

 

12.8.3

Country Fair – DS reported he had been discussing the donations by the quarry, on behalf of the Fair Committee.  It was suggested that someone from the quarry should be asked to attend the Fair and perhaps open it officially.

 

 

 

 

12.8.4

DS reported that Hope Readymix are the new company in charge of the concrete activities at the quarry and have agreed to look into helping with funds for the Fair.

 

 

 

 

13

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

13.1

PCSO meeting - next meeting Thursday 27 February at 7.00 p.m.

VB

 

 

 

13.2

Coleford Community Hub Steering Group

 

 

 

 

13.2.1

GB reported that she had attended this meeting the current focus of which is to get ownership of the Hall passed over to a Community Interest Company or similar and then run it as a community facility.  A business plan is being put together at the moment and an officer from MDC is leading on this with the hope that some grants will be available. 

 

 

 

 

13.2.2

GB also stated that discussions took place about transport and a car sharing scheme similar to the successful one operating in Nunney.

 

 

 

 

13.2.3

GB stated that she had agreed to put together a spreadsheet giving details of local businesses for the Group and would continue to attend the meetings.

 

 

 

 

13.2.4

GB reported that Jenny Hartnell who works at Frome Community Hospital is doing some work to find out what is happening in the villages in order to establish a community portal and also to publicise some events such as helping people to lower their fuel costs which will take place at the Cheese and Grain.  A link will be put on the website.

 

 

 

 

13.5

Mendip Investigation of Renewable Energy – 14 January at 6.00 p.m. at Wells Town Hall – public meeting. DM had attended this meeting and produced a report which had been distributed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.6

Planning Matters – Parish Council Training – meeting to take place on 22 January at Wells Town Hall between 6.00 and 8.30 p.m.  Subjects include planning enforcement and heritage conservations.  Under enforcement DM was asked to find out what is happening about the three outstanding enforcement issues in the Parish and why they are not on the website

 

 

 

 

 

DM

 

 

 

13.7

Mendip Rural Forum 27 January 6.30 p.m. at Kilver Court – CC will attend

 

CC

 

 

 

13.8

Recreation Field – next meeting 17 February

VB

 

 

 

13.9

Memorial Hall – next meeting 4 February

DM

 

 

 

14

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

14.1

The Clerk had received the following correspondence/information

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Mendip Society newsletter and programme of Walks and Talks which covers the period January to April 2014.  This will be placed in the telephone box.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Sam Winter at SALC informing us that SALC have been allocated tickets to the Royal Garden Party on 3 June and asking for nominations of a chairman or mayor

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from The Royal Bath and West Society regarding the Prince of Wales Award 2014 – the award is open to community organisations, school, colleges and groups who have through their own initiative brought about improvements to the lives of the rural population in a sustainable manager.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Mendip District Council – calendar of public meetings 2014/15.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Information regarding Fairer Funding for Somerset from SCC which had been shared with Councillors

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Ian Bowen, Principal Planning Policy Officer asking for details of Parish, Village and Community Plans.  This has been responded to and links sent for the Village Design Statement and the Parish Plan

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from David Woodridge, Senior Enforcement Officer at MDC regarding the count of Gypsy and Traveller Caravans and sites.  A nil return has been submitted

 

 

 

 

15

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

15.1

The next meeting will take place on Monday 17 February 2014 at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall, Leigh-on-Mendip.