MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON MONDAY 22 JUNE 2015 AT 7.30 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

David Mattick

DM

 

 

Gill Newbury

GN

 

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

 

Kiley Pescott

KP

 

 

 

 

 

In attendance

Anthea Brooks, Clerk

AB

 

 

Philip Ham, District & County Councillor

PH

 

 

Graham Harris (for items 010/15 and 012/15)

GH

 

 

 

 

001/15

APOLOGIES

ACTIONS

 

 

 

001.1/15

Apologies were received from Chris Cudmore (CC) and Allan Townsend (AT).  In the absence of the Chairman the meeting was Chaired by DM

 

 

 

 

002/15

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS/REQUESTS FOR RECORDING

 

 

 

 

002.1/15

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.   It was noted that the meeting could be recorded if requested.

 

 

 

 

003/15

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 APRIL 2015

 

 

 

 

003.1/15

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

004/15

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 20 APRIL 2015

 

 

 

 

62.4/14

Wildflower Meadow Project – an update is awaited from Jake Chant of the Somerset Wildlife Trust to see if any progress has been made on involvement of local farmers and the solar farm with the meadow project.

 

 

 

 

21.3/14

Rules and Regulations for Cemeteries and Burial Grounds – The Clerk is investigating rules and regulations for cemeteries and burial grounds and will contact Cheryl Norton at MDC - ongoing

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

34.1.3/14

Disused Quarry at the top of Whitehole Hill – Enforcement number ENF/2013/0368 – now overtaken by planning application - complete. 

 

 

 

 

 

112.3/14

New Cemetery – CC and PH had met Jo Hudson on 18 May - complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

133.2/14

Asset Register – the Clerk to email the Recreation Field and the School to make them aware of the items that have been transferred to them and ask them to confirm that they are now the keeper of these items.

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

134.2/14

Somerset Local Authorities Civil Contingencies Unit – Emergency Contacts – it was agreed that the Clerk would send a copy of this document for DM for completion in conjunction with the Parish Council Emergency Plan

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

136.2/14

Neighbourhood Watch – CC and DM are trying to restart neighbourhood watch schemes that have lapsed.  The Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator in Bridgwater will ask one of the PCSO’s to attend a meeting and talk about the scheme - ongoing

 

 

 

 

CC/DM

 

 

 

136.3.2/14

Village Rangers – DS stated that this idea is still under consideration and he will approach Denis Pattison about this who first mentioned the idea.

 

 

DS

 

 

 

136.3.3/14

Footpaths – landowner contact – CC has provided DS with a pamphlet and the contact details of the landowners who have footpaths crossing their fields.  They are to be reminded of their responsibilities in keeping footpaths clear when they cultivate land - complete

 

 

 

 

148.2/14

Cemetery Matters – the Clerk had written to Mr M Brook thanking him for his offer of land next to the Memorial Hall for use as a cemetery and stating that the council were happy to proceed with his offer.

 

 

 

 

148.3/14

Cemetery Matters – the Clerk had spoken to the PCC about the blocked doorway in the church wall.  It was noted that as the churchyard is closed any alterations would have to be agreed with Mendip District Council

 

 

 

 

149.1/14

Newsletter – The Clerk had printed 250 copies of the newsletter and this had been distributed to all village households - complete

 

 

 

 

150.2/14

Defibrillator – discussed elsewhere on the agenda.

 

 

 

 

151.4/15

Community Car Scheme – discussed elsewhere on the agenda

 

 

 

 

151.5/14

Community Car Scheme – discussed elsewhere on the agenda

 

 

 

 

152.2/14

Contingency/Emergency Plan and Risk Assessment – DM had sent a draft of the emergency plan to Geoff Mackett the Community Resilience Officer for consideration - complete

 

 

 

 

154.2/14

LiberTeas – the Clerk had sent details to LOMCA - complete

 

 

 

 

155.2/14

Community Plan – for discussion at the next meeting

Clerk

 

 

 

005/15

ACTIONS ARISING FROM THE ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 18 MAY 2015

 

 

 

 

005.1/15

Item 10.1 Grove Shute Farm – PH/AT were asked to clarify MDC’s policy on the affordable housing process.

 

PH/AT

 

 

 

005.2/15

Item 11.3 Insurance Policy – the Clerk to forward the policy to DM for consideration

 

Clerk

 

 

 

005.3/15

Item 11.4 Reviews of insurance cover – the clerk to ask the Memorial Hall and the Recreation field for a copy of their insurance in order to review their level of cover.  It was also agreed that the Recreation Field should have a risk assessment carried out.  DM had supplied the Clerk with the name of an expert in the village who may be able to help with the insurance reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

005.4/15

Item 12.2 Defibrillator – see item elsewhere on the agenda

 

 

 

 

005.5/15

Item 12.3 Co-option – the Clerk to email a contact regarding her possible interest in joining the council.

 

Clerk

 

 

 

006/15

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORTS

 

 

 

 

006.1/15

District Report - apologies had been received from the District Councillor

 

 

 

 

006.2/15

County Councillor Report

 

 

 

 

006.2.1/15

PH stated that the Cabinet has been split into two halves with one half dealing with the day to day running of the Council and the other half looking at strategy, vision and forward thinking. 

 

 

 

 

006.2.2/15

PH reported that he had been given a portfolio on transformation

 

 

 

 

007/15

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

007.1/15

2015/1209/FUL – Change of use of existing disused quarry and construction of three holidays lets at Whitehole Farm Quarry, Leigh-on-Mendip for Mr John Patch

 

 

 

 

007.1.1/15

The above application was discussed at length.  It was proposed by DS, seconded by KP and agreed unanimously to recommend refusal of permission for the following reasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·             Mendip core strategy indicates that in villages other than primary villages, such as Leigh-on-Mendip, development may only be permitted to meet specifically identified local needs, none are identified

 

 

·             Vehicular access to and from Whitehole Hill is unsuitable due to the small splay, steepness of hill, lack of visibility and the high usage of the hill by heavy goods vehicles as it is one of the few roads off the local plateau without a weight limited

 

 

·             The Ecostudy does not include the high level house

 

 

·             There is no consideration of electrical supply, water, drains or waste on what is a sensitive site

 

 

·             There is no consideration of risks on the site from falls, falling stones, trips on wet slipper and potentially rough and steep walkway or access for emergency services

 

 

·             The owner’s previous and adjacent holiday lets have been unsuccessful and there is no indication that conditions are materially different for this application

 

 

 

 

007.1.2/15

In addition the Council asked for the following general observations to be made

 

 

 

 

 

·                  There is no protection from falling off the relatively high decking platforms

 

 

·                  There is no protection from falling over the quarry edge

 

 

·                  The ‘feature’ chimneys are undesirable maintenance burdens into the future

 

 

·                  The ‘walk in’ distances are quite long for a wet and windy night

 

 

·                  There is no consideration of illumination of the walkways

 

 

·                  There is a significant amount of holiday accommodation existing or planned in the area

 

 

·                  Coleford, a primary village, is cited as the closest village but their Parish Council is not on the consultee list.  In practice, Holcombe and Stoke St Michael are also affected by such a development and should be consulted, particularly with reference to vehicular impact

 

 

·                  The quarry has been known to flood in wet winters

 

 

·                  The scheme does not seem to have acknowledged the Village Design Scheme

 

 

·                  Materials used include brick for the feature chimneys and the masonry lower level element of all three buildings; brick is an unusual and undesirable material in this area where visible masonry is predominantly limestone

 

 

·                  With no clear indication of waste, grey and black fluid management in and around the quarry basin there is a possibility of contamination of springs, including the famous local active tufa-spring.

 

 

 

 

 

007.1.3/15

The Clerk was asked in inform Mendip District Council of the Council’s decision.

 

Clerk

 

 

 

007.2/15

Planning – Status of current applications

 

 

 

 

007.2.1/15

2014/2736/VRC Thrice Barn, Leigh Street, Leigh-on-Mendip for Mr Neil Scott - It was noted that this application has been approved with conditions.

 

 

 

 

008/15

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

008.1/15

Financial Statement – the statement to 22.06.15 was approved

 

 

 

 

008.2/15

Annual Return/Governance Statement – the Clerk reported that the books had been audited and returned with no problems.  The annual governance statement was therefore completed and signed as correct.  The Clerk will send the audit document to Grant Thornton

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

008.3/15

Grant for Recreation Field – the Recreation Field Management Committee had submitted a grant request for mobile goalposts. The Council were supportive of the application and it was agreed to check the budget before making a decision.  It was also agreed to ask the Recreation Field Management Committee to present a more detailed proposal of what they want with costings to include information on how the goalposts will be secured and/or stored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

008.4/15

Cheques signed

 

 

·             Clerk’s Salary for May 2015 - £176.27 Payscale 19

 

 

·             SALC -  Annual fee £130.63

 

 

 

 

009/15

CEMETERY MATTERS

 

 

 

 

009.1/15

 

 

 

 

It was proposed by DM, seconded by KP and agreed unanimously to contact Mr Brook for details of his solicitor and an estimate of his costs.  It was also agreed to obtain a third quotation on behalf of the Council and to confirm the two quotations already received.

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

010/15

DEFIBRILLATOR

 

 

 

 

010.1/15

DM reported that he had emailed formally to the Recreation Field Management Committee, Hall Committee and LOMCA asking for donations towards the purchase of a defibrillator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

010.2/15

DM had provided a draft letter to the Clerk together with a list of companies and organisations to approach regarding funding.  Responses are awaited.

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

011/15

CONTINGENCY/EMERGENCY PLAN AND RISK ASSESSMENT

 

 

 

 

 011.1/15

DM had met with Geoff Mackett from MDC who was content with what has been done so far.  He provided some useful information on a funding route for items which might be required and which might also potentially help with the funding for the defibrillator.  This item will be discussed again in September

 

 

 

 

Sept agenda

 

 

 

012/15

VOLUNTARY CAR SCHEME

 

 

 

 

012.1/15

GH was present and presented a short report on the experience of two LOMCA members in using the Slinky ‘bus service

 

 

 

 

012.2/15

The first experience of its use was very positive but attempting to use it a second time proved frustrating.  Booking has to be done two weeks before travelling and by 10.00 a.m. the ‘bus was fully booked.  A further attempt is to be made.

 

 

 

 

012.3/15

GH reported that due to the reorganisation of the Slinky bus schedules specific areas are covered on set days.  Thus unless you want to travel on the day that the bus was available for booking in your area you would not be able to use it.

 

 

 

 

012.4/15

PH reported that he had recently attended a Mendip Community Transport meeting where it was announced that the Government were funding the provision of 300 mini buses throughout the country and an application had been made for two of these for this area.  These would not be available until the New Year but would operate differently from the Slinky bus service. 

 

 

 

 

012.5/15

PH agreed to provide GH with local contact details.  The Clerk agreed to email PH to remind him and when she had received the information would pass this to GH.

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

013/15

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

013.1/15

PCSO – the meeting took place at Leigh-on-Mendip on 20 May and GN/DS attended.  Compliments were given on the organisation and hospitality for the meeting.  GN had raised the subject of the school traffic/parking problems and the PCSO had visited the school and spoken to parents.  The Headmistress will include something in the school newsletter and parents are being encouraged to park in the Memorial Hall car park and walk to school.

 

 

 

 

013.2/15

Footpaths – nothing new to report

 

 

 

 

 

013.3/15

Highways – it was noted that after many months of the school and Council complaining about the malfunctioning of the school warning lights (wig-wags) the Highway Traffic Management have acknowledged the problem and will be sending someone to visit the site.

 

 

 

 

013.4/15

Recreation Field – the Clerk reported that a tree survey is to be carried out on the area where the pump track is to be built

 

 

 

 

013.5/15

Memorial Hall – nothing to report.

 

 

 

 

013.6/15

School – GN reported that the quarry had chosen the school as their charity for the coming year.

 

 

 

 

013.7/15

SALC – nothing to report

 

 

 

 

013.8/15

Quarry

 

 

 

 

013.8.1/15

DS reported that the Fete Committee were grateful to the quarry for the sponsorship of the marquee and toilets at the village fete and a letter of thanks would be sent. 

 

 

 

 

013.8.2/15

The wild flower meadow was inspected and is looking really good and the village is grateful for the asset which has been created.

 

 

 

 

013.9/15

Coleford Hub – PH reported that progress is being made and various clubs and organisations are using the Hub including a Saturday breakfast club.

 

 

 

 

014/15

POINTS FROM PARISH BULLETIN

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Local legacy fund will shortly be launched and applications for a range of projects costing over £5,000 can be made from a range of groups.

 

 

·                  Community funding through the Thompson Family Charitable Trust – the Clerk was asked to write for further information

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

015/15

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

015.1/15

DS stated that he would be attending a Neighbourhood Watch meeting at Wells Town Hall on 8 July

 

 

 

 

015.2/15

Rural Forum – 4 June at 6.00 p.m. at MDC

 

 

 

 

016/15

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

016.1/15

The Clerk had received the following correspondence/information

 

 

 

 

·                     Email from Matt Williams, Planning Team Manager, MDC regarding a planning training session for new Parish Councillors on 8 July.

 

 

·                     Email from Traffic Engineer, Dave Grabham at County Hall informing the Council that the speed indicator device, Leigh Street, eastbound had only returned two days data and a replacement installation date will be fixed

 

 

·                     Email from SALC regarding NALC Community Onwership Management of Assets programme – the Clerk to send this to DM

 

 

Clerk

 

·                     Email from Making Parishes Better asking for information under the FOI Act 2000.  The Clerk to send this to DM/CC for consideration

 

 

Clerk

 

·                     Letter from Communications Officer at County Hall regarding the launch of Somerset Choices which will transform the way people access care and support services.  The Clerk will send this round to Councillors for information.

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

017/15

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

017.1/15

The next meeting will be on 20 July 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Committee Room.