Chris Cudmore




David Mattick




Gill Boden




David Sparkes







In attendance

Anthea Brooks, Clerk




Val Horler, District Councillor




Plus 13 members of the public














Apologies were received from Vikki Batten, Kiley Pescott, Philip Ham, County and District Councillor and David Turner












The Chairman gave the Parish Council report, highlighting the following points






·                Ian Barnes and Alan Dagger had both resigned during the year.  Thanks were extended to Alan for his work with the Recreation Field and Ian for his work on the footpaths






·                Vikki Batten and Kiley Pescott had both been co-opted onto the Parish Council.  There is currently one vacancy.






·                The Council have received support from Val Horler, District Councillor and Philip Ham, County and District Councillor during the year






·                Sandrine Vaillant resigned as Clerk in May last year and thanks were extended to her for her support during the 6 years of her tenure.  Anthea Brooks took up the position of Clerk in June 2013.






·                Communication – is via the noticeboards and the village website.  Recently a Parish Council Facebook Group has been set up www.facebook.com/groups/LeighonMendip/ which is available for anyone to share details about village events and any concerns.  The old telephone box is also available for notices.






·                Planning – was interesting during the year.  The proposed wind turbine at Rockhouse Farm, Chantry has recently been turned down and there is no indication yet whether this will go to appeal.  There was a public meeting about the planning permission for Park Hayes and the Outline Planning Permission has been agreed by MDC.

·                The general problem is that 50% of local councils have not yet adopted a new local plan and there is very little planning control.  In the proposed local plan Leigh-on-Mendip is currently identified as being a third category village because it lacks such things as a bus service which could transport people to work.  Clarification from the Planning Officer was sought and the response was that this would mean that there would be no further housing in Leigh-on-Mendip other than that which is exceptionally affordable or from locally promoted schemes. 






·                Cemetery – the cemetery fence has recently been replaced and the hedge brought down to a manageable level.  During the year MDC trimmed one of the yew trees and has resurfaced the church path.  Further work on the yew trees is under discussion.






·                Highways – thanks were extended to DM and VB who had organised trimming of the brambles overhanging from Sparkes Field and on Church Walk.






·                Street Cleaning – thanks were extended to the WI who had once again organised a village litter pick. 






·                Footpaths – one of the main problems had been occurrences where sheep were worried by dogs.  This had been reported to police and other dog walkers were asked to report any loose dogs.






·                PCSO – the village is still without a PCSO although it is believed that one should be in post later in the year.






·                Quarry – everything is working well operationally and safeguards are in place.  A liaison meeting was held in March.  Lafarge continue to support the village by sponsorship of the Country Fair and continuing activities with the school and we are grateful for this generous support. 






·                The Parish Council has been concerned about the delay in opening an account to hold the Long Term Management Fund which sees 1p for every tonne of stone extracted by the quarry being paid into a fund which would help to restore the land once the quarrying has finished.  The Chairman of the Parish Council and the County Councillor will be meeting the Leader and CEO of Somerset County Council in May to discuss this further.






·                Website – the village website continues to be a source for latest events, minutes, contact information and pictures.  Thanks to Dave and Tom Turner for hosting the website and providing technical support.



·                Finally thank you to all Councillors for their continued enthusiasm and efforts and to the Parish Clerk for her organisation and to all those who work to keep the village organisations running smoothly.












Sue Vaughan presented the report from the Memorial Hall Committee and the following points were noted






·                No major changes or projects were undertaken this year but a new screen and projector has been installed which was arranged by Graham Harris for LOMCA and will be available to Hall hirers on application.  More information will be available soon and congratulations are extended to Graham for organising this






·                Some small improvements have been made during the year the most noticeable being the updating of the flower tubs.  Thanks are extended to Denis Pattison for making and installing the wooden cladding which now surround the tubs.






·                Some of the hire rates were increased from last January.






·                The hall continues to be fairly well booked and a new hirer this year is an exercise class which takes place several times a week.






·                An enjoyable quiz was held in April and it is planned to have a second one on 25 October which will be organised by Dave Mattick and it is hoped to be able to use the new screen and projector






The Chairman thanked Sue Vaughan and the Memorial Hall Committee for their work.












Vicky Higgins presented the report from the Recreation Field Management Committee and the following points were noted






·                Vicky reported that the committee are delighted to report that there are currently 9 members of the committee and she expressed her gratitude to the team for their continuing commitment.






·                Thanks were expressed to David Pattison for admin and general maintenance, to David Duncan who cut the outfield verge, Matthew for cutting the play park and Frank who has marked out the football pitch and done all those little extra jobs.






·                Club house is in good repair and the shower room floor is being refurbished.   The barge boards have been replaced on the flat roof






·                Football - Frome Town Sports reserve team are playing this year.  A soak away was dug in one of the goal mouths.






·                Cricket continues to be played.  A fun match was hosted in September which was a great success.






·                Tuesday night bowls are available for anyone who would like to join in






·                Finances look healthy owing to the amount of fund raising towards the pump track and thanks to Vanessa for her work as Treasurer






·                Fund Raising Events – a race night, Christmas bingo and monthly whist drives continue.  The Village Fair was held on the field in June.






·                Pump Track – project is still progressing but very slowly.  It has not been possible to apply for grants yet as there have been a few problems with the planning but a large proportion of the funds required are in place






·                Grass Cutting – the committee are grateful to the Parish Council for agreeing to pay for the grass cutting.






·                Upkeep of the field – any help with the upkeep of the field is gratefully received






·                Dog Fouling – this is an increasing problem and the Committee had to regretfully take an action to request that dogs are kept on leads when on the Recreation Field.  The situation has since improved.






The Chairman thanked Vicky Higgins and the Management Committee of the Recreation Field.












In Mr Ham’s absence CC read out the main points from his Central and East Mendip Division report as follows






·                Elected to Scrutiny Board, Minerals Development Plan, Members Development Group, Junior Cabinet member for highways and East Mendip Quarries representative







·                Attended as many parish council meetings as possible any queries or issues can be made directly.






·                A lot of time and effort went this winter on supporting those in trouble following the major flooding and the formulation of the 20 year plan.  The severe weather has also resulted in the need for road repairs, drainage issues and highway diversions and the transfer of the highways contract from Atkins to Skanska at short notice






·                The Somerset Minerals Plan has just finished its last consultation period and should be adopted very soon.






·                The County faces cuts from central Government of £105 million and several difficult decisions have had to be made including the closure of Coleford Recycling Centre.  However Coleford Children’s centre and some bus routes were saved.






·                The highway small improvement scheme (SIS) continues and were apparent in many of the local villages including Stoke St Michael. 






·                £5000 Health and Wellbeing grants were issued this year and an allocation of £900 was made to the Leigh-on-Mendip pump track project. 






·                As a MDC cabinet member for policy and performance I am involved in many schemes that need District and County input and this is a big advantage for us all.  Thank you for your continued support.












In Mr Ham’s absence the Chairman read out his Mendip District Council report noting the following points.






·                It has been a very busy year as a cabinet member for policy and performance at MDC






·                The building of the new shape Mendip Hub started and the benefits are being seen already.  The whole project will be complete early in 2015.






·                The rural isolation paper is now signed off and following this Coleford was chosen as a pilot to establish a rural ‘shape’ hub. 









·                This is the fifth year when the Council have delivered a 0% increase in council tax despite cuts of 44% from central Government.  The new core service contract provided by the landscape group has saved over £400,000 on the previous contract.






·                Mendip Business Enterprise was launched to encourage business to move to Mendip and in conjunction with the Fredericks Foundation providing funding for start-up businesses.  Rate relief and in some case three years free rates are available. 






·                The Leisure Contract is to be renewed in June 2015 and procurement has begun






·                I have been involved in the new Planning Charter which officially started on 1 May this will provide for a bigger emphasis on pre-planning






·                The Frome Independent  Market which takes place on the first Sunday of each month has been very successful and I am a Director of the non-profit making company






·                The new MDC website has grown and is much easier to use.  The Local Plan is with the Inspector and the first hearing has just taken place. 






·                During the year I dealt with various issues and was elected to the LGA Housing and Benefit Board.  I have been invited to the Queen’s Birthday Party at Buckingham Palace on 3 June.






·                I continue to be involved with some 16 different groups and committees within Mendip District Council and thank you for your continued support.












VH presented her report and the following points were noted






·                I have tried to attend as many Parish Council meetings as possible and currently serve on several MDC Groups and committees






·                Planning has been a priority this year and has taken up a lot of time with attendance at several intensive training sessions to understand the new changes.  The Board have had to take some difficult decisions particularly with the Local Plan still being at consultation level.  Some of the applications which were turned down have been upheld on appeal with the result that there has been some public dissension.






·                I have spoken on some items at full Council including the PCSO situation in our area and was promised that a new PCSO would soon be installed but to date have heard nothing from Frome Police as to when this might happen.






·                I have attended cabinet meetings, asked questions, particularly around the Coleford Recycling Centre, and been asked my opinion on some subjects






Thank you for your continued support.












The Chair asked those members of the general public who were present if there were any issues that they wished to raise.






Barbara Turner raised a question about footpaths where some have been ploughed up and not reinstated.  She reported on an instance where potatoes were being planted and the subcontractor and landowner appeared not to be aware of the footpath across the land.  The landowner has now been contacted.






The Chair stated that it is the responsibility of individual landowners to make sure that footpaths on their land are kept clear.  If footpath users see any problems these can be reported to the Parish Council but communication with landowners has to come from the Somerset Rights of Way Department at SCC.






VH remarked that the pathway from Pitten House which goes through the wood is blocked.  DS reported that this is being investigated.












The next Parish Council Meeting will take place on Monday 16 June at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall.