MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON MONDAY 16 MAR 2020 AT 7.00 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

David Mattick, Chairman

DM

 

 

Paula Freeland

PF

 

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

 

Martin Carter

MC

 

 

 

 

 

In attendance

Rose Martin (Allotments Association)

RM

 

 

Chris Cudmore (Neighbourhood Watch

CC

 

 

 

 

0127/19

APOLOGIES

ACTIONS

 

 

 

0127.1/19

Vicki Trundle, Councillor (VT), Vicky Taylor, Councillor (VGT), Alan Townsend (AT), District Councillor Philip Ham, District and County Councillor (PH) and Anthea Brooks (Clerk)

 

 

 

 

0128/19

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS AND REQUESTS FOR RECORDING.

 

 

 

 

0128.1/19

MC for Item 6 relevant to Apple Meadow View

 

 

 

 

0129/19

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17 FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

 

 

0129.1/19

The minutes were agreed and signed as correct by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

0130/19

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 17 FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

 

 

024.2/18

Cemetery - forbidden metal edging. The Clerk will contact the families involved again – complete.

 

 

 

 

 

137.1/18

GDPR Policy - Clerk to issue final draft for approval.  Ongoing. 

Clerk

 

 

 

0024.3/19

Churchyard Walls – Some repointing is required, PF agreed to seek a spec and obtain indicative prices. Review in the spring, ongoing

PF

 

 

 

0041.10/19

Speedwatch - Seek a meeting date with other villages post COVID-19

 

 

0042.1/19

NHS Health Checks – Overtaken by COVID -19. Complete

 

 

 

 

0058.7/19

Fingerpost – The fingerpost which is leaning slightly is at the Knapp Hill crossroads.  DS will arrange repair in the spring - ongoing

 

DS

 

 

 

0071.4.5/19

Letters of Easement to Hedgerow houses – Sent three yearly to relevant households Two more households now included - ongoing

 

DM

 

 

 

0090.11.1/19

Quarry – Long Term Maintenance Fund – PH was asked to chase SCC for information, Meeting deferred at least 6 weeks. Complete

 

 

 

 

 

0090.13/19

VE Day – DM will speak to MC and Chris Ingrem. Complete

 

 

 

 

0107.4.3/19

Grass Verges – Ongoing discussion with neighbours about damage to grass verges on land bordering the village street at Park Hayes. Actions complete, covered on the agenda   

 

 

 

 

0123.5/19

Recreation Field – Grass Cutting – VH asked for a breakdown of the agreement with the contractor.  The Clerk will get this information together and send to VH.  Complete

 

 

 

 

0104/19

Review of Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

Complaints Procedure - DM

DM

 

Data Protection , Financial Regulations, Standing Orders

Clerk

 

 

 

0119.1/19

Grass Cutting – the Clerk is seeking a new contractor.  Idverde and another contractor have been approached.  Complete, see agenda

 

 

 

 

0119.2/19

Yew Trees – PH will continue to chase; however, AT has a meeting scheduled with Neighbourhood Services and will raise it then. Complete, see agenda.

 

 

 

 

0118.2/19

Online Banking – the Clerk is investigating a new online banking account offered by NatWest.  Ongoing

Clerk

 

 

 

0120.3/19

Shed Pre-Application – the Planning Officer promised a statement by 23 February and would support a subsequent meeting if there are further issues to be discussed.  DM will inform Helen Gulvin. Complete

 

 

 

 

123.11/2019

Trees – two members of the public from Bellfield attended the meeting to express concern about the condition of the trees which border the Memorial Hall.  AT agreed to raise with MDC Neighbourhood Services Manager. Complete: AT was told the trees belonged to SCC Highways who should be asked to assess their condition. The Hall Chair has been informed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0131.1/19

District Council (AT)

 

 

 

 

0131.1.1/19

Full Council

·                  Council Tax. Emergency meeting required to sign off after a misunderstanding with status of Special Expenses Rate.

·                  Capital Strategy. Uplift from £80M to £160M. Concerns registered about ensuring a suitable rate of return from such a large investment

·                  Corporate Plan. Plan formally launched

·                  Climate Emergency. Public presentations by SCC of their programme for carbon neutrality raised discussions covering: assertions re the role of animals in Somerset; not accounting for carbon free Hinckley B; ‘green’ energy suppliers; trees and hedges; car engines idling.   

·                   Council Restructuring. SCC leading on Unitary Authority. MDC looking at savings from ‘closer cooperation’ with other Somerset authorities. Council persuaded to investigate other options (eg associate with BANES). Suspicions about the ‘savings’ claims’.

·                  Anti-Semitism. Definition discussed and referred to ‘Equalities Board’ to ensure equal prominence with other forms of discrimination.

 

 

0131.1.2

Cabinet Meeting: Agreed a new Somerset Homeless and Rough Sleeper Strategy

 

 

0131.1.3

Parish Forum Development Workshop. Agreed main areas of concern to Parish Councils as: The natural environment; Community Development/Planning/Enforcement; Comms and IT and Transport. Working groups were established to cover each issue.

 

 

 

 

0132/19

PLANNING - New Applications

 

 

 

 

0132.1/19

2020/0343/SCREEN Request for a Screening Opinion: Infill of quarry & development of industrial estate comprising of 1250sqm of flexible B1, B2 & B8 units. - Barns Close Quarry, Leigh on Mendip

 

PF explained that environmental impact assessments are required for major developments such as power stations, refineries and airports. For less environmentally threatening situation they are not. Seeking a screening opinion is the process of determining whether an environmental impact assessment is required as part of a planning application. As such, no response is required from the Council and comment will be sought in the normal way for the full application.

 

 

0133/19

 

0133.1/19

 

 

 

 

0132.2.2

 

PLANNING – Updates

 

2020/0184/CLE Application for a certificate of lawful existing development for the change of use from a farm shop and ancillary accommodation to a self-contained dwelling. – Broadbean, Quarry Lane, Leigh on Mendip BA3 5QG: Development is Lawful

 

2020/0092/HDG Removal of a hedgerow. Recreation Field Leigh on Mendip, Radstock: Application refused.  Historic field pattern boundary.

 

 

 

 

0132.2.3

 

2020/0082/HSE and 2020/0083/LBC Renovation, both for the repair and associated works. - Prescott Leigh Street Leigh on Mendip Radstock BA3 5QQ:  Still pending

 

 

 

 

0132.3/19

Strip of MDC land at Apple Meadow View.

 

 

 

 

 

DM reported that a letter had been received from MDC to all residents dated 18 Feb. A first assessment was made of the options offered to residents to resolve access. The letter did not seem to make an acceptable offer. After consultation a paper was drafted by DM and sent to PH for him to pass to MDC.

 

 

 

 

0133/19

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

0133.1/19

Financial Statement as at 16.03.2020 – the financial statement was considered and approved; it included the fifth solar farm grant

 

 

 

 

0133.2/19

Cheques agreed and raised

 

 

 

 

 

·                  PKF Littlejohn LLP- for audit, lost original cheque, £336.00

 

 

·                  Mrs A Brooks – Clerk’s Salary for February, £221.20

 

 

 

 

0134/19

CEMETERY MATTERS

 

 

 

 

0134.1/19

Grass Cutting: The Clerk had three quotations for review and decision. It was agreed that DS and DM would assess and propose a decision by email.  

 

 

DS / DM

 

 

 

0134.1/19

Yew Trees: The churchwarden, AT and DM had held an inconclusive meeting with a team from MDC LPA and Neighbourhood Services. Actions for MDC to produce letters covering three points were agreed. One letter has been received, the impact is being assessed. Ongoing

 

 

 

DM / PH / AT

 

 

 

0135/19

OPEN SPACE PROJECT

 

 

 

 

0135.1/19

The shed PreApp response was received 6 Mar and is being assessed by the RFMC and the AA. A way ahead will be decided soon.

 

DM

 

 

 

0135.2/19

The AA AGM is scheduled for 6 Apr 20 PMN: Cancelled, COVID-19 restrictions

 

 

 

 

0135.3/19

AA Tenancy agreement / lease.  DM has been authorised to instruct Towler Brown to a limit of £900. Towler Brown were authorised 17 Feb 20 and are preparing the lease.

 

 

 

 

0135.3/19

RM asked if lease preparation would take much longer as they were constrained until they had ownership of the land. DM will seek a sitrep.

 

DM

 

0136/19

CORONAVIRUS

 

 

 

 

0136.1/19

DM said that he recently recognised the many sources of advice available concerning Coronavirus, particularly as the Neighbourhood Watch (NW) scheme was recommending actions for their coordinators (7 in the village) to take with their groups. As not all householders are members of the scheme this could only give an incomplete coverage and with so many different people advising different groups, confusion, concern and uncertainty seemed inevitable.

 

 

 

 

0136.2/19

DM discussed the situation with CC who is the coordinator of the NW Coordinators and it was agreed sensible for a village wide approach to be adopted, sponsored by the Parish Council. CC kindly agreed to set up such an approach and had produced a flyer for PC discussion.

 

 

 

 

0136.3/19

DM said Caroline Harris had emailed stating that the Active Living Centre, in conjunction with the Women’s Institute, had decided to routinely make friendship telephone calls to their older members, particularly those who live alone. He had responded thanking her and expressing the Council’s gratitude to the ALC and WI.

 

 

 

 

0136.4/19

The Council discussed CC’s proposed flyer and agreed:

 

·         The flyer needed updating as a result of government advice from the afternoon press conference

·         The approach was desirable, referring to the NHS website to underpin all decisions by villagers and village organisations; providing a ‘friendship card’ for neighbours to offer help; and providing Councillors details as a backstop if necessary.

·         Updates would be considered as and when necessary with government policy development.

·         The emphasis on help from neighbours for the self-isolating and those who might suffer from loneliness should match well with friendly and supportive nature of the various village organisations.

 

PMN: CC has implemented the above and published to village website. The Council arranged for the flyers to be printed and distributed to all.

 

 

 

 

0136.5/19

DM proposed and all agreed that the next Council Meeting due 21 April should be cancelled due to the Coronavirus announcement regarding ‘at risk’ people and non-essential gatherings at the afternoon’s press conference. The opportunity for the May meetings will be assessed during April.

 

 

 

 

0136.6/19

On that basis Councillors resolved to delegate day to day activities such as financial and administrative matters to the clerk, chair and vice-chair, in email consultation with other members who are available.

 

 

0136.7/19

A summary of business transacted will be provided prior to the April meeting for agreement by email in place of a meeting.

Clerk / DM

 

 

 

0137/19

HEALTH AND SAFETY: There were no issues to discuss

 

 

 

 

0138/19

CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

 

 

 

 

0138.1/19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A copy of an Environmental Policy previously issued as a draft by a local Parish Council had been distributed for comment.  In discussion it seemed that there were three options:

 

1. Do nothing and wait for flow down from SCC through MDC.

2. Adopt a village approach and set up a working group to sound out local views and draft a policy for the Council to consider.

3. Wait for views to resolve but keep planting trees and hedges.

 

0138.2/19

 

With the RFMC and the Open space hedges planned, the Council agreed that Option 3 was preferred and that further pieces of land should be investigated. To be discussed at the next meeting.

 

 

 

 

0139/19

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

0139.1/19

PCSO (DS) - Russell Ford is in place as our PCSO. He notes the Speedwatch issue and is considering the Parking issues.

 

 

 

 

0139.2/19

Footpaths / Rangers (DS) – DS reported that the undergrowth on the Barnclose footpath was cleared, along with a good tidy of the road there from the village – it was the first 2020 Rangers action day. 

 

 

 

 

 

0139.3/19

Highways (MC) – A Park Hayes resident who parks on ‘the muddy verge’ is offering a possible solution; MC agreed to seek a spec.

There is an apparently abandoned car on Council land at Park Hayes. A letter will be sent to the owner asking for it to be removed.

 

MC

 

Clerk / DM

 

0139.4/19

Recreation Field (VGT) – Determining way ahead with access to field

 

 

 

 

0139.5/19

Memorial Hal (VGT) – Quiz night cancelled, nothing else to report.

 

 

 

 

0139.6/19

School (MC)– The school expects to close soon iaw Covid-19 advice.

 

 

 

 

0139.7/19

SALC (Clerk) – Nothing to report

 

 

 

 

0139.8/19

Quarry (DS) – Quarry liaison meeting delayed 6 to 8 weeks. One parishioner has reported a recent significant shock from blasting.

 

 

 

 

0139.9/19

Allotment Association (VGT) – include here for future agendas.

 

 

 

 

0140/19

POINTS FROM THE PARISH BULLETIN: Nothing significant.

 

 

 

 

0141/19

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED: Parish Forum 26 March – DS may attend.

 

 

 

 

0140/19

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

 

  1. DM responded to TrueSpeed Email from Chairman, Lamyatt PC.
  2. DM responded to a query re HGV on Whitehole Hill 

 

 

  1. DM to issue draft Annual Newsletter for Councillor inputs

DM

 

  1. Comment on MDC Corporate Plan to DM by 31 March 20

All

 

0140/19

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

0126.1/19

Monday 20 Apr 19 is cancelled due Covid-19. The suitability of conditions for May meeting due 18 Apr will be assessed during April