MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL AT 8pm ON MONDAY 15 MAY 1989. Councillors present B Chubb, J Davis, A Gould, D Turner & D Yelland. Mr Yelland, Chairman, welcomed those parishioners present. Apologies had been received from P Rooke and County Councillor A Merrick. The Minutes of last years meeting were summarised for those present by Mr Yelland who noted particularly that the MEMORIAL HALL REPORT had expressed the view that they were on an 'up' & that when those present were asked to vote on maintaining the Hall through an increase in the parish rate half those present were in favour, 3 were against & the rest abstained. The RECREATION FIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT had been pessimistic, it was noted that the need for more car parking looked like being fulfilled in the latest planning application for the Manor Farm area. The question of surfacing the area was raised & it was agreed that this would be negotiated at the appropriate time. The CHAIRMANS REPORT had noted that applications for 36 new dwellings had been submitted. Work had recently started on the British Legion Housing Scheme. The Speed limit was now in force. Mr Yelland suggested that although a weight limit had been turned down for the village it might be feasible to enquire of the local politicians, if the village so desired, to see if there was a possibility of restricting the weight of traffic through the village. Halecombe Quarry had been discussed at 3 public meetings throughout the year. The Minutes were accepted as a true record & signed. REPORTS - Mr Featherstone reported on behalf of the MEMORIAL HALL. Despite a national trend for local halls to close Mr Featherstone reported that he felt the future looked secure for Leigh's hall. The Hall Committee's main concern was still felt to be securing the long-term viability of the building by increasing utilisation to balance the books. The roof had been redone & the building of a really robust, attractive kitchen was in progress. The building had been rewired & coin operated electric convector heaters had been installed thus permitting a low rent to be maintained. This years' project was to redecorate the building. Next years grant was already under discussion & the County Council were being asked which project they would support - the installation of double glazing or the upgrading of the toilets. This years grant had been for £4000 and its use had been changed retrospectively to pay for the heating installation. He thanked Mr Yelland for arranging through ARC, to give £500 to funds, making the amount raised on Race Night £1500.Mr Featherstone expressed his hope for the continued support of the PC and said that his committee might apply to them to act as Project Managers on the next improvement phase thus allowing 60% of the VAT charged to be saved. He stated the committee's intention of applying for a grant from the PC to cover the cost of sanding & varnishing the floor. Mr Yelland thanked Mr Featherstone for his report & congratulated him on his unstinting effort on behalf of the Hall along with those of his committee, he commented on the difficulty of maintaining impetus among volunteers. He introduced Mr Gould as the new PC rep and stated his belief in the willingness of the PC to act as project managers for future work on the building. RECREATION FIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT - a letter was read out from Mrs Lee, secretary to the RFMC, thanking the PC for their grant and stating that it had been used to buy new curtains for the changing rooms, the residue will go towards payment to mend seats around the field and/or a baby swing, estimates were being sought for these items. She stated that urgent repairs needed included repair to the roof and guttering; replacement of firedoors, windowsills & window glass; repainting; installing heating; repairs to the showers & new signs for the car park. Any monetary contribution by the PC would be most welcome. On behalf of the committee she thanked Mr Gould for rolling the football pitch. Miss Chubb stated her belief that structural repairs to the fabric of the building ought to be done before interior refurbishment of the building or general area. In this she was supported by the other councillors present. It was agreed that Mr Yelland would discuss the matter with Mr Lee. UNDER 5's - Mrs Worley, Chairman of the group's committee, thanked the PC for their purchase of 2 child height tables. She said that as the group had only been in existance for 9 months it was too early to say whether numbers would be maintained at the same level. The group met on a Tuesday morning with a session for the older children, Tuesday afternoon with a mother and toddler session and Thursday morning with a combined playgroup/M & T session. The committee were hoping to organise an Under 10 Holiday Club during the summer vacation. Mr Yelland thanked her for her report & commended her group on their effort he said that the PC had decided to make grants to the Under 5's and the Youth Club as they were supporting the Hall. He enquired if the Holiday Club would use the Rec Field, this would be done weather permitting. He expressed the hope that with 11 new houses in the village there would be some children of playgroup age. YOUTH CLUB - Mr Yelland reported that he had met with the new Chairman of the youth club Hazel Park & the new youth leader John Cassidy. They had told him their ideas for the club's future. He felt that perhaps the youths of the village not the Youth Club were to blame for certain happenings, and felt very optimistic about the club's future. An open invitation had been extended to councillors to visit the Club which Mr Yelland felt he could extend to any interested villager. QUARRY MATTERS - These had occupied a lot of the time of Messrs Davis, Gould, Rooke & Turner over the last year. The latest Planning Application had been refused by the County Council and no one knew what the quarry had decided to do next. In the last few days concern had been expressed about the removal of a large quantity of top soil explicitly against Planning Permission. A site meeting at Halecombe involving Mr Merrick & Mr Evans on 10 May had taken samples from the remaining heaps but it was felt that an effort had been made to disguise their composition. Four lorries had worked from 0700 - 1700 over a 4 day period removing soil to Ston Easton and a site meeting there was planned for 22 May when core samples would be taken. Mr Yelland stated that top soil storage was very difficult and warned against a Halecombe quarry witch hunt. Mr Turner felt that the Company ought to operate within the planning consent, if banks do not have top soil then they will always look wrong. A Parishioner opinioned that he felt it was the duty of the Parish Council to watch over the workings of the quarry and asked if it was possible to reverse any actions. Mr Davis stated that he felt it was important to prove that top soil had been removed first. A discussion took place over whether the PC ought to be represented at the 22 May meeting and it was agreed that the Clerk will contact Mr Merrick on this subject. Mr Dixon had written on the subject of the proximity of the bunde to Soho Corner and to express concern over the availability of the plans concerned with the landscaping of the area which could have a dramatic effect on the village yet did not appear to involve the PC as a consultees. One of the few conditions of the 1980 consent was that detailed landscaping plans would be submitted within 6 months and this had not yet been done. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Mr Evans expressing concern about this matter and requesting sight of landscaping details. PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMANS REPORT - Mr Yelland said that the Council was half way through their term. He had expressed to his fellow councillors his willingness to resign as Chairman as he had felt that a job change which made him more involved with local quarries may cause problems in the future & that perhaps J Davis may have had an easier time as the PC spokesman on quarrying if he were chairman. However the other councillors had expressed their confidence in him & he was happy to remain as chairman. Mr Yelland's personal view was that the PC had been right to object to the Quarry Planning Application and was correct to look at the environmental impact but since very few houses were close to the quarry in actuality the PC must not automatically object to everything Wimpey Hobbs did & he felt that this view ought to be conveyed to WH. He and J Davis had attended the Frome Local Plan Enquiry. The new proposal was that the reference to Barns Close be deleted from the plan and the term 'bad neighbour industries' replaced by 'space extensive uses'. He was strongly critical of MDC and felt that they should involve Parish Councillors more in the planning decisions that they made about villages, Leigh resembled a patch work and he was at a loss to understand the logic behind decisions. He praised the reconditioning of Lavendar Cottage which showed it was possible to maintain natural stone work. Mr Yelland felt that the newly elected County Councillor's view that he was there to see that CC officers 'did their job' was to be applauded. A Precept of £1600 had been applied for for this financial year, last year the PC had spent £1000 within the village. He was concerned that the new community charge with the industrial rate going direct to central government might affect the next precept but at least Leigh was not in the position of some parishes where the majority of the rate came from local industry. On the subject of expenditure a mower had been purchased by the PC with a grant from Mendip. And it had been agreed to offer the £27 won in Inter Village Quiz competitions as a prize to the best idea from a village organisation or individual that would benefit the community as a whole. The closing date for ideas was 30 September 1989 and it must be practical to start the scheme within 6 months. The Parish Councillors would judge the competition and normal voting rights would apply. Mr Yelland thanked the Councillors, especially those dealing with the quarry aspect of parish business, for their efforts in the last year and also the Clerk. There being no further business the meeting closed at 2146h.
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