MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON MONDAY 18 JUNE 2018 AT 7.00 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

Chris Cudmore (Chairman)

CC

 

Vicki Trundle

VT

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

Vicki Taylor

VGT

 

Simon Wolf

SW

 

Dave Mattick

DM

 

Paula Freeland

PF

 

 

 

In attendance

Andrew Moore, Community Engagement Manager, TrueSpeed (item 010/18)

 

 

Nick Hiscox (for item 006.4/18

 

 

Members of the public from the Hedgerows, some of whom remained for the whole meeting and others left after item 009/18.

 

 

 

ACTIONS

001/18

APOLOGIES

 

 

 

 

001.1/18

Apologies were received from Anthea Brooks, Clerk (AB), Philip Ham, District and County Councillor (PH) and Alan Townsend, District Councillor (AT)

 

 

 

 

002/18

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS / REQUESTS FOR RECORDING

 

 

 

 

002.1/18

VT declared an interest in discussions around purchase of the land for the Open Space project. VT, CC and VGT declared an interest in the complaint regarding the Open Spaces project.  There were no requests for recording.

 

 

 

 

003/18

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19 MARCH 2018

 

 

 

 

003.1/18

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 April 2018 were agreed as a true and accurate record and will be signed by the Chairman when available at the next meeting.  The minutes of the APCM held on 21 May 2018 will be reviewed at a future meeting.

 

 

 

 

004/18

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 16 APRIL 2018

 

 

 

 

045.4/17

Bank Mandate –PF has a mandate form to complete and take to a Nat West bank - ongoing.   Clerk to supply account details to PF

PF

Clerk

 

 

 

090.2/17

First Aid/Defib training – a reminder had been added to Facebook by CC - complete

 

 

 

 

103.3.1/17

New Cemetery area – the path restoration is complete.  DS stated that the result is very good and local residents have commented similarly. 

 

 

 

 

106/17

Dog Waste Problem

 

 

·                     DM had tried to contact Mr Glover at MDC on several occasions regarding Rufus but had not had any response.  CC will give Mr Glover’s telephone number to DM.

 

 

CC/DM

 

·                     VGT asked for a number for Rufus’ owner so that she can be told when he is loose.  SW will try and obtain this for her.

 

SW

 

·                     The dog waste bin has not yet arrived – Clerk to chase

Clerk

 

 

 

118.2/17

Grass Cutting Contract – Recreation Field – all issues resolved but the Recreation Field Committee are monitoring the situation - complete

 

 

 

 

132.3/17

End of financial year actions:

·                     Risk Assessment and Assets changes outstanding:

o   Change 10. “Election Costs” from M/L to Low. Clerk to update.

o  Noted Data Protection risk should be reviewed following SALC presentation

·                     Clerk had drafted minutes 2017 Annual Parish meeting – complete

·                     Hall and Rec Field chairs invited to the Annual Parish Meeting - complete

 

 

Clerk

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

133.1/17

Determine ownership of the “Drang” footpath – continues

CC

 

 

 

135.2/17

Open Space – letters had gone out - complete

 

 

 

 

145.1.2/17

Quarry - planning decision delayed whilst a S106 is agreed regarding potential impact on local springs. CC asked PH to ensure that the Parish Council is consulted on all the issues raised on the initial draft S106, including the LTMF and community fund – no report from PH

 

 

 

PH

 

 

 

145.3.2/17

Street Sweeping - CC reported that street sweeping had now taken place and should be carried out five times per year.  MDC claim that the contract has not changed since last year whilst the contractor claims that the delays were due to MDC cutbacks - complete

 

 

 

 

 

150.1/17

Newsletter – newsletters were distributed to all properties - complete

 

 

 

 

151/17

OPEN SPACE CONTRIBUTION

 

 

 

 

151.3/17

. VT to confirm offer in writing/email. – on hold

VT

 

 

 

151.5/17

Actions

 

 

·                   VT to check whether the size of the land is 1.25 or 1.5 acres – on hold

VT

 

·                   VGT to send a letter to the households bordering the land and

copy the Clerk - complete

 

 

·                   CC to send a copy of the map to VGT and copy the Clerk -  complete

 

 

·                     PH will speak to the legal department at MDC - complete

 

 

·                     VT to check and copy the land search – on hold

VT

 

·                   Allotment Group have proposed estimates of allotment size and numbers - complete

 

 

 

 

152.1/17

Annual Meeting arrangements –Clerk will provide a schedule of meetings for 2018/19 although generally meetings will take place on the third Monday of each month apart from August.

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

153.8/17

SALC – Data Protection training took place on 22 May - complete

 

 

 

 

155/17

Parish Forum - DS and CC attended the Parish Forum - complete

 

 

 

 

156/17

Letter from Life Education The Clerk had sent this to SW who confirmed that this was not anything specific to the school – complete.

 

 

 

 

005/18

ACTIONS FROM ANNUAL MEETING OF PARISH COUNCIL AND ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF 21 MAY 2018

 

 

 

 

APCM1/18

Open Space – The Clerk to compile a file of letters from parishioners and responses following the letters sent to neighbours of the proposed Open Space project.  To be copied to all Parish Councillors.

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

APCM2/18

GDPR – the Clerk will carry out data protection briefings for the Parish Council, Recreation Field and Hall Committees.  SW and DM to ensure that both committees minute the fact that they will be trained

Clerk

SW

DM

 

 

 

APCM3/18

Downhead Finger Post – DS reported that the Downhead finger post is 90% repaired.  It is upright but the spigot is bent and damaged and it was recommended that the spigot is replaced or reinforced.  Thanks were extended to John Davis for his assistance with his tractor which was used to lift and straighten the post.  PF asked whether it needed painting but it was decided that it should be fully repaired before it is painted.  DS to progress the procurement of a new spigot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

APM4/18

Beacon Crossroad – a member of the public asked about Beacon Crossroads and CC stated that he believes it would be part of the Old Frome Road enhancements.  CC will ask PH for an update.

 

 

CC

 

 

 

APM5/18

Power lines on the corner of Park Hayes – a member of the public reported that trees are growing through unsheathed power lines on the corner of Park Hayes.  CC agreed to contact Western Power about getting the tree branches cut down – this work has since been completed

 

 

 

 

005/18

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

005.1/18

Due to the absence of both PH and AT no reports were available.

 

 

 

 

006/18

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

006.1/18

2018/1119/HSE Single storey rear extension to existing house and alterations to existing entrance porch on front elevation at Highlands, Blackers Lane, Leigh-on-Mendip

 

 

 

 

006.1.1/18

The above application was discussed.  PF stated that the changes were small and in keeping with the look of the existing building.  It was also noted that the new extension replaces an existing and is at the rear of the house and therefore not visible from the road.  It was proposed by PF, seconded by DM and agreed unanimously to recommend approval with the following observation.  ‘The plans are appropriate in the context of small scale extensions and there are no amenity issues’.

 

 

 

 

 

006.2/18

2018/1392/FUL Conversion of barn to dwelling – Barn at Mendip View, Old Wells Road, Chantry Frome BA11 3LR

 

 

 

 

006.2.1/18

The above application was discussed and it was noted that the previous General Permitted Development application had been refused due to a lack of evidence about agricultural use.  It has now been resubmitted as a full application for conversion to residential use.

 

 

 

 

006.2.2/18

The Parish Council reiterated its previous comments that it would be better if the roof covering maintained a degree of agricultural character.  The Planning Officer should review the roofing and walling materials as being appropriate in a rural setting.

 

 

 

 

006.2.3/18

It was proposed by DS, seconded by SW and agreed unanimously to leave the decision to the Planning Officer on the basis that MDC would implement their own policies regarding the change of use.

 

 

 

 

006.3/18

2018/1273/AGB Application for prior notification of agricultural development for the erection of a building – Land at Long Cottage, Tadhill Lane, Stoke St Michael, Radstock BA3 5QT

 

 

 

 

006.3.1/18

It was noted that the Parish Council have not been consulted about this application and have no comment or feedback.

 

 

 

 

006.4/18

STATUS OF CURRENT APPLICATIONS

 

 

 

 

006.4.1/18

Grove Shute Farm – implementation of the Ecological Management Plan (2017/0948/APP) and Site Plan (2018/0659/VRC)

 

 

 

 

006.4.2/18

Nick Hiscox (NH) attended for this item and spoke about the development particularly focussing on the environmental obligations of the developer as laid out in the planning permission.  He stated that he was disappointed that the number of bedrooms in every property had increased.

 

 

 

 

006.4.3/18

He also stated that none of the environmental aspects have been addressed to date.  There has been no new planting and the ancient hedge which ran along the road was ripped out.

 

 

 

 

006.4.4/18

The ecological plan states that planting would be done from April 2017 to July 2018.  The developers are very close to missing this window and an enforcement officer has been on site who has agreed to allow planting to roll on into the next growing season. 

 

 

 

 

006.4.5/18

NH asked the Parish Council to seek assurances that once the developers have gone off site the environmental enhancement work will be done.  He conceded that the developers have retained ownership of some of the site and therefore an ongoing connection to it.

 

 

 

 

006.4.6/18

NH also expressed concerns about the groundwater drainage.  He explained that the area is very wet and drainage needs to be handled appropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

006.4.7/18

CC reported that he had spoken to the developers about both the environmental issues and new address issues and has received an email response.  To avoid addressing confusion it is important that the property address and post code are confirmed and the name should be suitably rural.

 

 

 

 

006.4.8/18

The developers said that the landscaping work was now commencing with the gardens being turfed and then new hedging and trees in accordance with the planning permission would be planted.  There is some contention over a Leylandii hedge which has been planted adjacent to where a mixed species hedge is due to be planted.  This belongs to

1 Grove Shute Farm (East).  CC stated that this is an issue outside of the remit of the Parish Council and MDC Planning Enforcement is involved.

 

 

 

 

006.4.9/18

The developers have also reported that whilst they could plant a native hedge in front of the bungalow it would block the view of the drystone wall so they would like some feedback about how to proceed.  NH stated that he would like the hedge reinstated.  This view had also been expressed by a neighbour.

 

 

 

 

006.4.10/18

CC asked the Council for views on how to proceed and DS stated that there is a need to ensure compliance with the planning conditions and all hedges should be in accordance with the agreed plans.  There was unanimous agreement with this statement.

 

 

 

 

006.4.11/18

The Planning Officer has not yet passed to the Council any information about the agreed changes to the planting schedule.

 

 

 

 

006.4.12/18

It was agreed that CC on behalf of the Parish Council would write to the developers and the Planning Officer to say that the Council would like the environmental issues resolved as per the planning permission (including the hedge next to the bungalow) and this was a representation of the concerns of the parish.

 

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

006.4.13/18

It was noted that there have been no planning contraventions so far.  CC stated that the ecological enhancement area needs to be covered by covenants to ensure the conditions are upheld by any future owners.

 

 

 

 

006.4.14/18

NH stated that conditions granted should tie down permitted development rights.  These should not be able to be invoked by the developer but should rather be applicable to purchasers of the properties.

 

 

 

 

006.4.16/18

NH left the meeting

 

 

 

 

006.5/18

2018/1081 Cosy Cottage – the materials have been approved

 

 

 

 

006.6/18

2018/0955 Apple Meadow View agricultural building – the Council had not been asked to comment on this but permission is required because the land area is less than one hectare.

 

 

 

 

006.7/18

2018/1236 Apple Meadow View agricultural building – approval is not required as additional land was purchased to take the total area over one hectare.  A condition has been imposed that, due to the site being within 400m of the curtilage of a ‘protected’ building the building may not be used for the housing of livestock or for the storage of slurry or sewage unless planning permission is first obtained.

 

 

 

 

006.8/18

2018/0510 & 2018/0509 – Great House Farm –approved.

 

 

 

 

007/18

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

007.1/18

CC presented last year’s summary of Income and Expenditure and will distribute it.  Review of this month’s Financial statement was deferred due to the absence of the Clerk.

CC

 

 

 

007.2/18

Churchyard Grass Cutting Quotes

 

 

 

 

007.2.1/18

Three quotes were sought.  The first did not include removal of the clippings, the second did include removal of the clippings and the third failed to submit a quote.  All three were asked to cut the grass fortnightly and strim around the graves with a trim of the cemetery hedge in April and October. 

 

 

 

 

007.2.2/18

Based on a competitive quote and the removal of the clippings, VGT proposed that the second quote be accepted (Jerry Gale).  This was seconded by PF and agreed unanimously.

 

 

 

 

007.2.3/18

Due to the current condition of the churchyard the selected contractor had stated that the first cut might cost double and it was agreed unanimously that this was acceptable.  It was also acknowledged that cutting the hedge will be an additional cost.

 

 

 

 

007.2.4/18

SW stated that a member of the public had reported that there are items of grave furniture hidden in the long grass and so the first cut needs to be done carefully to avoid damaging such items.  The Clerk will inform the contractor about this.  SW will email the Clerk to confirm the decision and to ask her to issue the contract.

 

 

 

SW

Clerk

 

 

 

007.3/18

Cheques agreed and raised

 

 

·                     Mrs A Brooks – Clerk’s Salary (May) £240.92

 

 

·                     Came & Co – annual insurance premium £348.62

 

 

·                     Mr D Sparkes – purchase of two hi-viz jackets for Village Rangers £9.98

 

 

 

 

007.4/18

Telephone Box painting – PF had submitted an invoice for the paint used.  The Clerk will issue a cheque for signature at the next meeting.  If necessary PF will resend the invoice if the original has gone astray.

 

PF

Clerk

 

 

 

008/18

CEMETERY MATTERS

 

 

 

 

008.1/18

It was noted that the new cemetery area will need to be tidied once the Portacabins have gone.  The weeds need to be killed off soon so that the land can be rotavated and seeded in the autumn.  DS has a sprayer and weed killer and will spray the area.  CC proposed a budget to cover the cost of the weed killing of up to £10 and this was agreed unanimously.

 

 

 

 

008.2/18

DS agreed to write a specification for the work to be done in the autumn which will include rotavation, levelling the ground and then seeding.  The specification can then be used to obtain quotations for the work.  The aim is to have this in place by the end of September/

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

009/18

COMPLAINT AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST

 

 

 

 

009.1/18

CC provided a brief history of events and an overview of progress since the APCM as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

·                     On 28 April an allegation was made that the Parish Council had breached the Code of Conduct.  MDC were asked to perform an independent review.  There has been no formal conclusion to this.

 

 

·                     During the week of 11 June 2018, VT, VGT and CC had individual allegations levelled against them about breaches of the Code of Conduct.

 

 

·                     In addition to these a Freedom of Information requested was received asking for the bidding document given to MDC.  The first response was provided without the financial figures but MDC carried out a review and stated that the Council either had to present the numbers or go through the Information Commission Office process

 

 

·                     The Parish Council response was given to SALC (not MDC because they did the review) for comment and submitted on 15 June.  It was sent to the Information Commission Office for confirmation on 10 June.

 

 

·                     CC emphasised that the Parish Council are trying to do the right thing in accordance with the Information Commission Office guidelines and are not being deliberately obstructive.

 

 

 

 

009.2/18

VT mentioned that the Open Space project has been put on hold due to the allegations and then left the meeting due to a possible conflict of interest.

 

 

 

 

009.3/18

VGT stated that the Parish Council have now received the funding document from MDC but neither party has signed it and MDC have been informed that the Parish Council will not sign until the allegations are resolved.  CC emphasised that the Parish Council has not received a formal price from the owner for the purchase of the land nor has it made a final decision on what to do with the land in terms of the number of allotments, use a general open space and so on.

 

 

 

 

009.4/18

CC stated that nothing binding had happened and no commitments have been made.  However the Council had always wanted to have a public meeting about the proposed use of the land to include those who live closest to it and the wider village as a whole.

 

 

 

 

009.5/18

A member of the public asked if the Council had requested the money from MDC under false pretences since the land might not be used for allotments. 

 

 

 

 

009.6/18

DM asked if anyone had not been consulted about the plans and of those who had asked questions who had received answers. He stated that the Council could not now answer any further questions because of the complaint.  A member of the public stated that it could have been discussed before but DM stated that once the original complaint was received the process had to stop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

009.7/18

Another member of the public said that residents of the Hedgerow were objecting to the use of the land and he asked when this could be progressed and what could be done to stop the purchase.  CC responded that the Council could not progress anything until MDC have settled the allegations.  The councillors have ten days to respond to the initial request for an investigation and then MDC have 25 days to assess it.  If MDC want to investigate further then the process has no deadline.

 

 

 

 

009.8/18

The original complainant stated that she would give permission for the Council to discuss the matter but DM again stated that the allegations have to be resolved and whilst judgement is awaited there can be no progress on this issue.

 

 

 

 

009.9/18

A member of the public asked that an open consultation be held before the Parish Council progress this issue.  CC stated that this had always been the intention and a final decision will not be made until the Open Consultation has taken place.

 

 

 

 

009.10/18

CC thanked everyone for their letters and questions.

 

 

 

 

010/18

TRUESPEED ULTRAFAST BROADBAND SERVICE

 

 

 

 

010.1/18

Andy Moore, Community Engagement Manager from TrueSpeed attended and talked about how TrueSpeed are a local provider (based in Bristol) who are offering super-fast broadband (guaranteed 200Mbps) to the village. 

 

 

 

 

010.2/18

Mr Moore asked for help from the Parish Council to reach the threshold needed to supply the service.  This is 30% of the properties in the village of which there are 220, they therefore require 67 to sign up and so far 26 have done so.  The first 30% of households to sign up get free connection.  Installation would be six months after reaching 30% and this is estimated to be early in 2019.

 

 

 

 

010.3/18

TrueSpeed will be holding additional meetings in the village, the first of which will be on Thursday 21 June between 6.00 and 8.00 p.m. in the Bell and the second will be on Saturday 30 June in the Memorial Hall.  They would like to encourage people to come along, listen to their proposals and ask questions.

 

 

 

 

010.4/18

TrueSpeed have a map of the village and the properties they are planning to provide the service to but will not publish it because it is flexible.  Essentially they will cover from the east end of Leigh Street up to and including Townsend/Tadhill and also Knapp Hill and Duo and the houses next to it.

 

 

 

 

010.5/18

DS asked if Soho crossroads would be included and Mr Moore said he would check on that.  He stated that he would encourage people to sign up even if they thought they might not be covered.

 

 

 

 

010.6/18

PF asked about the infrastructure and Mr Moore explained that they use Western Power Distribution poles to avoid digging and burying cables

 

 

 

 

010.7/18

Mr Moore left the meeting after this item.

 

 

 

 

011/18

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

011.1/18

PCSO.

 

 

 

 

011.1.1/18

DS reported that he had attended the PACT meeting at Mells Barn.  He had raised the issue of the parked cars outside the school (there are currently seven) believed to be for sale.  DS will speak to Sarah Claxton at the school and ask her to raise it with Mike Storey the PCSO.

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

011.1.2/18

DS had raised the issue of the fingerpost accident and that it was not reported through police procedures.  He has asked for there to be an agenda item at the divisional briefings about it and asked that officers take note of damage to public property.  DM explained that getting a crime reference number for the theft of the lead from the church roof had involved a lot of chasing up.

 

 

 

 

011.1.3/18

There have been no raves in the spring or summer so far.  The police are liaising more closely with landowners and there are more patrols over Bank Holidays.  The police have asked that if unknown cars are seen scouting the area then they should be reported.

 

 

 

 

011.1.4/18

There is a proposal to rotate the PACT meeting venues amongst village halls and have the parishes pay for the hall rentals.

 

 

 

 

011.2/18

Footpaths – no matters reported to DS.  However there is the general, annual problem of crops growing over footpaths and landowners not tackling it.  VGT asked if a letter could be sent to the landowners.  DS explained that this needs to go via Clare Haskins at SCC rather than to landowners directly.  DS will email Clare Haskins to remind her about keeping the paths clear.

 

 

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

011.3/18

Village Rangers – the rangers had cleared the areas around the village name stones before the Village Fair.  They have also cleared the undergrowth around the traffic signs.  The rangers will weed the church steps.  CC thanked Chris Ingrem for painting the telephone box.  CC is looking into signs to replace ‘Telephone’ at the top of the telephone box with something more relevant.  Suggestions are invited.

 

 

 

 

011.4/18

Highways – surface dressing is currently ongoing in the general area

 

 

 

 

011.5/18

Recreation Field – SW reported that the Committee are monitoring the grass cutting, particularly the edge areas.  VGT noted that the lid on the salt bin at the Recreation Ground is broken and so water is pooling inside it.  SW will ask the Recreation Committee if a hole can be drilled in it to let the water escape.  Vicky Higgins passed on her thanks to all who participated in the annual recreation field tidy.

 

 

 

 

011.6/18

School – the school have raised the issue of the parked cars but as discussed earlier under 010.1.1/18 DS will speak to them about contacting the PCSO.  The school have also commented that there is still an issue with dog mess on the pavement outside the school. 

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

011.7/18

Memorial Hall – there is a leak in the roof which is being investigated

 

 

 

 

011.8/18

SALC – The Clerk attended the data protection training course

 

 

 

 

011.9/18

Quarry

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Quarry personnel did a litter pick covering seven miles of local roads.  They recognise that some of the litter is from drivers’ cabs.  The intention is to make this an annual event.  It was organised by Wainwrights but the local area was covered by Tarmac.  DS will draft a letter for the Clerk to send to Tarmac thanking them

 

 

 

DS

Clerk

 

·                     The quarry have also cut back the verges at the crossroads on Limekiln Lane and Somers Hill.

 

 

·                     Tarmac have prevented the erection of a poly tunnel at Park Corner (Mells Parish)

 

 

·                     The planning delays are causing them anxiety.  Delays to the planning permission being granted may result in redundancies and it could also jeopardise community funds from the quarry.

 

 

 

 

012/18

POINTS FROM PARISH BULLETIN

 

 

 

 

012.1/18

Nothing to report

 

 

 

 

013/18

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

 

·                     PACT meeting was attended

DS

 

 

 

014/18

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

014.1/18

None reported

 

 

 

 

015/18

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

015.1/18

The next meeting will take place on Monday 16 July 2018 at 7.00 p.m. in the Memorial Hall.  DM gave advance notice of his apologies for absence.