Ashwick Parish Council Chairman’s Report 2016

Ashwick Parish Council Chairman’s Report 2016


Through the year, the Council has considered and made recommendations on 22 Planning Applications.  The majority have been applications for extension work to properties but we have also looked at 2 new build applications including the eco house in Neighbourne, which the Council considered innovative and recommended approval.  Various tree works were passed onto the Tree Officer, a removal of condition 6 at the Halcyon Development and a condition 5 at Warren Farm, a change of use and a request for off street parking with the associated kerb drop.  In July the Council received a pre-consultation on a proposed camping site (max 10 pitches) in the village

The highest number of applications fell in September.

The Council is grateful for the input made by David Thorley, Chris Sully, David Gilson and Phil Briscoe, who coordinated a response to the Local Plan Consultation.

We have received reports from our District and County Councillors  and as the result of a District Councillor Grant from Mendip, the Council recommended we should direct £1000 to support the Village Hall and Recreation Committee in their efforts to renew fencing around the Play area.

We have continued to receive a monthly financial statement from Sandrine our RFO, and in January the Council agreed to keep the Parish Precept at £9000.

The Council has purchased a new replacement laptop, projector and 2 screens, allowing the Council to view plans in perhaps a more efficient way rather than fighting for space around a table!

The Council approved a grant of £150 to the Somerset Air Ambulance.

We have annually reviewed our Risk assessments, Asset Register and Financial Orders

For a number of years now the Council has recorded concerns relating to the pavement along the A367.  The year has seen the pavement cleared of weed and saplings which had become established along some of the pavement bordering walls. Nature will have its way though and the weed is beginning to appear yet again!!

In March the Council opted to participate in the national campaign ‘Clean for the Queen’.  A total of 13 sacks of rubbish were collected by a group of willing volunteers. It would be our intention to carry out a further ‘Clean’ later in the year.

Bryan Wells and I have had meetings with Highways, looking at concerns relating to drainage, road surface repairs, speed and weight limits.  The Chair has received numerous reports about accidents, and concerns raised by parishioners relating the A367.  These have been forwarded on to the authorities.  Bryan and I discussed these concerns and some adjustments to chevrons have been approved but not yet put in place. at Nettlebridge  We had asked for speed reduction, but national criteria come into play and the these can’t be met at Nettlebridge.

Our meetings have resulted in the 30MPH limits being extended out along the Fosse Road, Little London and weight limit signage being requested along the Fosse Road coming from Stoke St Michael.  We expect the 30mph limit to be also extended out along Galley Batch.

The Council has registered an interest in Speedwatch, where members of the community undertake to monitor speeds through the village An awareness raising evening was attended by eight volunteers.  The Council is in possession of a new device to record speeds but is awaiting high viz jackets before undertaking on-site training.  This we understand will now take place within the next two weeks.

The Council was informed of plans to install a Pedestrian Crossing from the top of the High Street across to the Church and School.  We are still awaiting progress on this project, and we have asked, again through the County Councillor, for Planning to look again at the creation of a parking area outside the church for hearse and disabled provision.

We understand the proposed Pedestrian Crossing in Gurney Slade is still progressing.

The Council took part in County consultation regarding Bus Services, and reported concerns about the cutting of the Hatch Green Service 776, but we were pleased with the introduction of the 174 bus route. The Council was informed that it would not be possible on safety grounds to add an additional Bus Stop for the 174 in Nettlebridge opposite the George, but First Bus were considering placing an additional stop up on the Stratton on the Fosse road.

The Council was successful in getting Coronation Terrace suitably signed!

Chair of Somerset County Council Community Award 2015 
This year the Council were pleased to nominate the village postman Graham Crane for the award.

The Footpaths Officer continues to inform of any identified faults and the annual return recorded a total of 30 hours given over to walking and monitoring footpaths in the parish.  I would ask parishioners to make good use of our footpaths and report any concerns.

The Council has also tried to support residents of Dye Lane in their attempts to deter horse riders and motor cyclists from using it.

The War Memorial
The proposal to refurbish the War Memorial is on-going  It has been given listed status, and the Council is proposing to have the Memorial cleaned, and names added.  Following a recent bequest, it is also intended to add wrought iron hooks around the rear wall to attach wreaths.

  • The Recreation Field.

The Council is still working through the process of recording the Recreation field with the Land Registry.  A valuation has been given by Killens, but this topic is on-going at present.

  • Purchase of Defibrillator

The Council has been actively pursuing the funding and siting of a defibrillator for the Parish.

On behalf of the Parish I would like to thank Mary Cheshire and Pauline West for their work on the flower beds at the Memorial,

Also thanks to Peter Langmaid in his role of Webmaster.  His work has increased following the Transparency Code and the Council appreciates the time taken posting Agendas, Minutes and Finance statements onto the web. www.ashwickparish.org

On behalf of Council I would like to thank Rachel and John Carter for their continuing attendance and support.

Thank you to all Councillors for their attendance and contributions and of course finally Thank you to Sandrine, our Clerk, for her hard work, patience and expertise.

David Barlow