MINUTES OF PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER 1987 IN LEIGH SCHOOL 1 The Meeting commenced at 7.50 pm. Present were J Davis, A Gould, G Lee, P Rooke, D Turner, D Yelland was in the Chair. Two members of the public were also present. Apologies were accepted from Miss B Chubb. 2 Mr Rooke pointed out that under item 6) Highways it ought to read "A member of the public expressed concern". The Minutes of the last two meetings were signed. 3 MATTERS ARISING i) Standpipes A letter from Bristol Waterworks Company dated 12 October 1987 was read out pointing out that: a) No documentation was extant proving the villages right to free water, and b) The Company asks for payment of a standing charge and for the water consumed if it supplies water to the stand pipes. The Council felt that they were regrettably unable to prove entitlement and were unwilling to pay. A letter will be sent to the Company to this effect ii) Sparks Farm Development The Council had received notification from Mendip registering their objections and those of residents to the proposed development. Refusal of the plans had been recommended to the Planning Committee by the Planning Office. iii) Leigh Service Station siting of Temporary Portable Buildings for Office and Storage use. Conditional approval had been recommended by Mendip District Council. Upon learning that one of the provisos was that there should be no external storage of plant or machinery Mr Gould asked whether this meant that all the machinery had to be stored indoors. It was felt that although this is implied, if the development is not erected then machinery can still be stored outside. It was further noted that the present occupants of the site are Williams Plant Sales not D A Plant Limited, the applicant. iv) Spring Cottages Tadhill Refusal of planning permission had been recommended by Mendip District Council. v) Ducks Development An ammended plan had been sent excluding the areas owned by Mr Anderson. vi) Highways A letter was read from the Highways Department about the state of the pavements in Park Hayes area saying that the area had been inspected and although the pavements were useable they would probably benefit from resurfacing during the next financial year. Mr Lee said that they looked as if they had been marked for repair work so it would appear that the council was acting. vii) ARC Houses A letter from the Director of Planning and Amenities concerning the wall in front of the two houses at Sparks Farm was read out. It stated that the Builders' Agents had agreed to plant two staggered rows of Laurel on the line of the non existant wall. It was agreed to write asking if a pavement could be constructed along the front of the property. viii) Bush in Bellfield Mr Lake of Mendip D C when approached on this matter stated he believed that the land at the edge of the road was Council owned and therefore anything causing an obstruction could be pruned. However, he felt that due to traffic speed in the area any hazard would be minimal. Mr Rooke stated that a resident had already dealt with the bush. ix) Burial Grant Mr Yelland had delivered the Burial Grant request to the Council Offices on the evening of the 30 October. No money for special items was requested and the money applied for was the same as last year, £120 although the actual amount received had been £66. 4 MEMORIAL HALL The question of the P C paying rent when they used the hall was discussed. It was pointed out that the P C made a grant to the Hall. Mr Lee felt that in light of this no payment ought to be made for its use. Mr Yelland asked if the Hall should be used as a permanent venue for meetings as a way of supporting it. Mr Turner asked why use the hall at all and if used in winter ought the P C to pay only towards the heating used. Mr Rooke asked how this could be ascertained, Mr Yelland suggested a nominal sum of £5 per session. Mr Turner further suggested that perhaps the Grant from the P C ought to be made with the acknowledgement that part of it goes towards their use of the premises. A vote was taken on whether rent should be payed and a majority signified for non payment with the proviso that if the P C did not make a grant to the Hall then they should pay something for useage. With regard to the Memorial Hall Mr Yelland told fellow councillors informally of the negotiations taking place between the Hall Committee and Wimpey Hobbs for the siting of a bore hole in the car park to monitor the water level. Wimpey Hobbs wanted to drill a borehole 100 mm in diameter, inset tubes into it as required and construct a manhole cover capable of bearing a heavy vehicle over it. There would be no projections above ground level. Access, with or without vehicles and equipment would be available at all times without notice for the purpose of drilling, sampling, monitoring, inspecting and maintaining the bore hole. The work would take place only between 0800 h and 1700 h. On signing this Agreement they would pay the Trustees £500 to be used for the Memorial Hall. Mr Yelland had suggested to the Chairman of the Hall Committee that a time limit of 20 years be added to the Agreement. Mr Turner asked if pumping would take place from the hole and was told be Mr Yelland that that was not the intention, he also enquired into the siting of the bore bearing in mind any possible future expansion of the building. Mr Rooke as P C representative on the Hall Committee said that the area between the side of the Hall and the roadside fence had been mentioned as suitable. The Councillors signified in discussion that they would be agreeable to the Chairman and Clerk signing any Contract with Wimpey Hobbs on behalf of the Hall Trustees although no legal decision could be made as this meeting. 5 HIGHWAYS Mr Davis drew attention to the problem of the road opposite the resevoir during wet weather. An accident had occured recently while the road was flooded after heavy rain. Drainage into the ditch from the surrounding area exacerbates the problem. It was agreed to write to the County Council expressing concern, Mr Davis offered to meet any CC representative if necessary. Mr Lee raised a complaint about the lane connecting the two roads at Tadhill. The verges were being erroded by farm vehicles and debris from both vehicles and cows made it a mess. It was suggested that this was a Police matter and that the Parishioner ought to be so advised. It was decided to write to the Highways department concerning the general condition of Pitten Street and the road alongside Barn Close. The clerk had already raised with this department the half painted state of some local signposts and had been told they must have been abandoned due to rain but that the attention of the appropriate department would be drawn to this matter. Mr Turner felt that perhaps the department ought to be told of the "Holecombe" sign given prominence in the local press, this was agreed. 6 FOOTPATHS Nothing to report. 7 HALECOMBE QUARRY A copy of a letter from Mr Hewell, dated 29 October 1987, to Mr Evans Mineral Officer of S C C concerning night noise was read out. Mr Rock of the Scientific Department had recently recorded an output of 60 decibels. Mr Hewell had been in contact with Mr Sheere of Enviromental Health who had stated that he felt only 40 decibels was acceptable and he was prepared to take action on noise over this level. It was felt that weather conditions during the last 3 weeks had made the noise more noticeable. Mr Turner suggested that the Parish Council did nothing about the noise at this time as it was in the hands of S C C and M D C. Mr Rooke and Mr Lee said that Mr Grazier, Manager of Halecombe Quarry, had approached them and asked them to suggest to the P C an informal meeting between them and him before the quarry submits its next planning application. Also he had suggested hiring the Memorial Hall for a 2 day period to present to residents the future plans for the quarry and to personally answer their questions. Mr Yelland welcomed the offer but felt that the meeting with the Councillors ought to take place after the residents had seen any plans. Mr Turner stated that as the Councillors are elected by the residents their first duty is to guard their interests. They ought to be prepared to meet Mr Grazier at any time either before or after the presentation. Mr Rooke felt that it was important to give residents an opportunity to see the plans. It was decided to write to Mr Grazier agreeing to meet him and to express pleasure at the idea of public consultation. 8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS 'Leylands', Leigh Road Chantry Change of use of Property from Partly Office to full Residential. No objection was raised. A letter dated 19 October 1987 from Mr Bush Director of Planning and Amenities about Parish Council Notifications of Planning Applications was read out. Although unclear in thought the letter dealt with the fact that P C's only get a copy of the recommendations made and not, unless they request it and pay a fee, a copy of the final decisions. When applied to by Mr Yelland the last Clerk stated that he had at one stage managed to obtain a full set of the Minutes of the planning meeting free of charge as the previous council had felt it was important to look a individual decisions in the light of their effect on the whole area. This practice had been discontinued. The Council decided that they wanted to be advised of the final decision of the Planning Committee and would so inform Mr Bush. Mr Yelland read a letter dated 30 October 1987 from Western design about Plots 1 & 2 Old Sawmills. In the agreed plans these houses were meant to have natural stone frontages. It had now been found that the stone from the demolished old sawmill was unsuitable for this purpose being too big and rough, and Mendip D C had been approached as to the posibility of modifying the original design and using either reconstucted stone or rendering. He invited comments from Councillors. Mr Gould felt that the company must have been aware of the state of the stone when they drew up their original designs and Mr Davis querried if permission would have been granted if the buildings had not been made in natural stone. Mr Lee felt that the original material ought to be used. Concern had been expressed to the Clerk by residents opposite the site who did not want either rendering of reconstructed stone used. It was pointed out that a purchaser could render the property at a later date without planning permission but the Councillors were against rendering at this stage and in favour of adhering to the original plan however, on the advise of Mr Turner it was decided to wait for the Council to approach the P C. 9 FINANCE The £12 won by Leigh's team as Runners up in the Inter Village Quiz was given to the P C on their behalf by Mr Yelland. a) A cheque for £40 in favour of Leigh School was signed. b) A cheque for £28.50 in favour of the Auditors was signed. c) Mr Turner proposed the payment of £5 as subscription to the Somerset Playing Field Association, Mr Gould seconded the motion and a cheque was signed. d) Clerks Salary Notification had been received from the Society of Local Council Clerks about a salary increase effective from 1 July 1987 of 60.5% of the penny rate. Any increase decided by the Council would come into force as from October. It was noted that an increase in the proceeds of a penny rate had occured. Therefore if the national formula were adhered to a larger than usual increase in salary would occur. A 7% increase would increase the annual salary from £245 p a to £262.15 p a but if using the penny rate formula it would increase to £345 p a. Mr Turner pointed out that therefore half the precept would go on the salary and felt a jump of this size was excessive although the national formula ought to be adhered to. Mr Davis wanted to know what had caused such an increase in the penny rate, any new building, extension or home improvements would cause a rise. Mr Rooke felt the Council ought to follow the guidelines. Mr Turner proposed a rise in pay according to the guidelines and Mr Lee seconded the motion - it was carried. e) Precept With a letter from the Memorial Hall thanking the Council for the £100 grant and requesting information about any future grants to allow for budgeting the matter of the Precept for 1988/9 was discussed. With an assumed annual expenditure of approximately £910 the council would have a reserve, after paying out allotted monies to the Church, of approximately £650. It was suggested that a reserve was needed in case either the Memorial Hall or the Recreation Ground were handed back to the P C. Mr Lee said that the Recreation Ground Committee had had repairs effected to the roof, the toilets had been partially tiled and a new boiler had been fitted for the showers with the money they had raised. Mr Yelland read a letter saying that the Council was within its right to give as much as it could. He stated that the Memorial Hall hoped to become self financing once repairs were done, but Mr Lee pointed out that the Rec collected no income from many of its users. It was asked if grants of £100 should be made to the Hall and Rec ground next year. Mr Davis asked what would the Precept amount to if it only increased according to inflation - £832. Also was the amount of the County Rate rise known - no. Mr Yelland pointed out that Leigh penny rate fell last year from 1.6 in the pound to 1.2. Mr Turner felt that a Precept of £1,500 would make more money available for the Hall and Recreation Field and allow a build up of reserves. Mr Davis asked which the residents would prefer, keeping the rate down or helping to maintain the Hall and Rec. Mr Gould pointed out that if the rates increased then everyone would be supporting these facilities instead of just a few. Mr Rooke suggested that although it was difficult to project so far in advance £1250 might be sensible. Mr Turner proposed an increase in the Precept to £1,200 and Mr Lee seconded the proposal - it was carried. 10 HINCKLEY POINT Three public meeting were to be held to discuss the CEGB proposed development at Hinckley Point on 9 November at Taunton, 19 November at Williton and 23 November at Bridgewater. Any objection must be lodged with the Secretary of State before 31/12/87. Mr Lee suggested that as no Councillor was able to go to the meetings a parishioner be asked to represent the Council. Mr Yelland agreed to approach someone and ask them to report back. 11 CORRESPONDENCE S C C Playing Fields Association A G M on 26 November at 1100 h. Letter given to Mr Lee. Mendip Marriage Guidance Council, Wells request for money towards a door was refused. Somerset Association Councils Special General Meeting on 19 November at 1930 h to discuss Hinckley Point. Mr Turner was unable to attend. Royal British Legion meeting to publicise Piper Life Line was taken by the Chairman to be passed on to the Evergreens. S C C Surveyors Department Road Saftey Unit leaflet was felt to be of more use to the school P T A. A letter from M D C about a meeting about Dogs on 26 November at 1900 h was read out. Mr Lee raised the concern of his neighbour over the ownership of the Ash tree in the corner of the Recreation Field. He felt that it needed to be cut back as some of its branches had fallen in recent heavy winds and damaged his garage roof. It was decided to ask the Clerk to investigate ownership. 12 No items were brought forward. 13 The next meeting will be 14 December 1987 at 1945 h.
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