ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON MONDAY 26 MAY 1988 AT 8 pm. Present were B Chubb, J Davis, A Gould, G Lee, P Rooke, D Turner, D Yelland who was in the chair and approximately 50 members of the public. 1. Minutes of the Parish Meeting of 28 April 1987 were summarised by Mr Yelland. The item on HALECOMBE QUARRY had been surpassed by recent events. The meeting had discussed, noise emmission & amenity banks. The BASALT QUARRY AT TADHILL - Somerset County Council had turned down the application by Western Roadstone for this. The latter have indicated that they will appeal. The Minutes were accepted by those present and signed. 2. REPORTS - MEMORIAL HALL Mr C Featherstone, Chairman of the Memorial Hall Committee reported that his committee were aiming to establish the long term viability of the Hall as a village assett by getting its finances straight. To do this they must first increase the utilisation of the ammenity by re-vamping the building to improve the facilities. They had increased the income of the Hall from £600 to £1200 in the first year to £2400 in the second year. Grants of £2400 from the Community Council of Somerset & £1600 from Mendip District Council had to be met by an equal amount from the Hall Committee and the guarantee that they could adequetly manage their affairs. This money is being spent on the Roof, Heating and Lighting and the Kitchen. Next year a grant of is required to put in double glazing. If the Committee can succeed in its aims to refurbish the Hall, increase the useage, and balance the books then the long-term viablity of this assett will be assured for the village. Mr Featherstone asked the Parish Council to consider ways in which they could help the Hall committee to do this. Questions were invited from the floor: It was suggested that the Parish Council could provide more money. It was explained to Parishioners that the Parish Coucil had to consider the needs of all village activities and apportion money accordingly, but perhaps with the larger Precept requested more help might be available. The PC may be able to help on the question of VAT however it transpires that the Hall Committee are not liable for this. The concept of full support for the Village Hall Committee was endorsed. A Parishioner asked if support to the Hall could be given by increasing the Parish Rate levied and it was further suggested from the floor that this ought to be done before the advent of the Poll Tax. The Chairman pointed out that the Parish Rate had already been slightly increased and suggested that pressure form this ought to come from the Hall Committee lobbying villagers, however Mr Featherstone suggested it would be improper of him to do this. When asked to vote on whether the Village Rate ought to be increased to support the Hall over half the assembly were for the motion, there were 3 against and the rest abstained. Mr Yelland thanked Mr Featherstone for making the report and for the efforts of his committee in the running of the Hall. RECREATION FIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Mr D Webber Chairman of the Recreation Field Management Committee reported on the needs of the Recreation Field. His Committee is a parent body of the Social Club Committee. Although the Cricket Pavillion is old and in a poor state of repair recently the gents toilets had been improved, a Ladies toilet had been built and the showers had been renovated as well as essential repairs being carried out to the roof. To date no great financial outlay had been needed as the work had been done mainly by volunteers like Nick Worthington who maintains the cricket pitch to a very high standard and Tony Harris who had effected roof repairs. Recently the outside of the building and the general area had been cleaned and tubs of plants had been placed by the car park, it was hoped to plant shrubs to enhance the area. This great assett to the village was being used for cricket in the summer by 3 senior, 1 junior and 1 very junior teams and in the winter for football. Mr Webber reported that 2 senior teams wanted to use the pitch and that a very junior team made up of villagers could be found on the field on winter Saturday mornings. The Needs of the Field were 1)to complete the climbing tower roof - here Mr Webber pointed out that despite criticism about the grass surface under the tower the Playing Field's Association recommended firstly cork and secondly grass. 2)To re-wire the building,3)to install hand-basins in the toilets, 4)To have the roof surveyed to see how much longer it would last. He requested the help of the Parish Council in levying a fine on the owners of dogs which fouled the field area and in finding some method of increasing the off street car parking area for users of the field. On behalf of the Parish Council Mr Yelland stated that they were aware of the need for Car parking and were trying to get this included in any plans for the development of land at Manor Farm adjacent to the Field. Mr Rooke said that he had spoken to Mr Jeannes who had displayed a willingness to include parking for the Recreation Field in any plans. If the impetus from the Memorial Hall could be carried over to the Recreation Field then perhaps money could be raised to match any grants available from various sources to improve the facilities. Mr Webber pointed out that any extension to the building would be done by the Social Club. Mr Yelland further stated that the PC was unable to levy a fine on owners of dogs fouling the area in fact this law had been shown to be virtually unworkable and suggested that public pressure should be exerted on the owners of the offending animals. He asked if out of village users ought to pay more for the facilities or put more into it. It was pointed out that no levy could be raised on the use of the Field by villagers and it was suggested that the Field be supported by the Parish Rate - a vote of Parishioners showed about half in favour of this, there were no objectors. A questioner from the floor querried whether the Village Fete paid for their use of the Field. Mr Webber said that only a nominal fee was charged and it was suggested by the floor that this matter be considered by the committee formed to run the next Fete. Mr Yelland reiterated the praise of the work done by Mr Worhington and suggested that if help comes from within the community for the Field area then help can be sought from outside the community also. He thanked Mr Webber for his report. PARISH COUNCIL REPORT - given by the Chairman. In the first year in office of this totally new Parish Council Planning Applications had been received for approximately 36 dwellings in a village comprising 120 dwellings. Of these 14 were approved - 6 at the Sawmills had been completed & work had begun on those at Townsend - 14 were still being considered by the Council, and 8 had been turned down -of which 2 had gone to appeal. An application for an unspecified number of houses at the rear of Plevna had been refused due to lack of sewerage capacity. The present treatment plant had capacity for a total of 300 heads, although it was not known how close to this number Leigh was Parishioners must be made aware that if the treatment plant is replaced a larger one could be installed thus opening up the village to more expansion. It was for residents to decide if they wanted this especially in light of the Halecombe Quarry Expansion Plans. The Parish Council would have a public meeting on this plan on Monday June 6 at 7.45 in the Hall. The Parish Councillors enthusiastically supported the British Legion Housing Association Plans for sheltered Scattered housing for the elderly as their prime objective was to house the elderly residents already in the village. The number on the School Roll had increased, and more new residents ought to help numbers. The Parish Council are trustees for the 2 Village assetts - the Hall and the Field. The Financial position was as below: £900 in reserve. £75 paid out in fees. £325 in Clerk's salary & expenses. £310 in Grants. A Precept of £1350 had been requested - this included the cost of the elections. It had been raised to enable more support to be given to village organisations if it was needed. Somerset County Council had given committments to repair local highways and footpaths in the coming year. An application for expansion at Halecombe Quarry was in the offing but would be discussed at the special meeting on 6 June. Two information sheets had been distributed during the year. With regard to the Speed Limit although no reply had yet been received it was known that if the street lamps were a proscribed distance apart then the area had a 30 mph limit anyway, this could well be the case in Leigh. Mr Yelland thanked the Villagers for their support and asked for any questions from the Floor. A complaint was made about street parking opposite the Post Office but it was agreed that this was the province of the police. A questioner asked if any thought had been given to a weight limit through the Village. It was stated that it had been considered about 6 years ago but it could be investigated again. The responsibility for holes in the road was raised it was stated that the Clerk had already pursued this matter with the County Council who were sending an inspector. Overspill parking from the pub was causing annoyance in Bellfield and it was asked if this was due to customers being unable to use the whole car park. It was agreed that the pub and Hall had shared use of the land. Mr Rooke stated that Wimpey Hobbs had agreed to resurface the car park as part of their deal with the Hall when they installed a Bore Hole but this had not yet been done. The Speed Limit will only extend as far as satisfactory street lighting although attempts will be made to get Towns End included. Halecombe Quarry - the date for receipt of objections in the Somerset Standard had no relevance as plans not yet registered. All those present were invited to the public meeting on June 6 at 7.45 in the Hall. Mr Hewell stated that Mandip were prepared to accept representations up to the time the plans came before Committee. The Meeting closed at 9.40 pm.
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