Minutes for March, 2016


Present D Barlow (DB; Chair), R Battagel (RB), P Briscoe (PB), P Dennis (PD), S Emery (SE), D Gilson (DG), D Perkins (DP), D Thorley (DT) and B Wells (BW).  
In Attendance  S Vaillant (Clerk) Cllrs J and R Carter (District Cllrs; in part) and 1 parishioner.

25/16               Apologies were received from E Lewis (EL) and C Sully (CS).

26/16               No interest was declared, nor requests for dispensations made.        

27/16               The minutes of the meeting held on 10th February 2016 were agreed to be a true and accurate record of the meeting held after correction of a minor spelling mistake.

MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES (where not dealt with later)  
28/16               (335/15) Overgrowth on Zion Hill – Clerk to chase.
29/16               (38/16) Financial Compensation Scheme – After further research, the Clerk confirmed that the parish council’s monies were covered under the Financial Compensation Scheme.                            Clerk to call TSB to rectify.
30/16               (44/16) The condition of Laundry Lane improved, but there are still vehicles present.
31/16               (45/16) Boat parked outside the brewery – Nikki advised that the boat was lawfully parked, however she will contact the owner at there are no lights to improve visibility.
32/16               (48/16) Additional Lights – Clerk to check exact locations where the lights are required and contact SCC on how to progress. 

33/16               Cllr R Carter presented apologies for County Cllr H. Siggs who is ill and also apologized for not attending the last meeting, and missing the discussion regarding the Eco House in Nettlebridge.

34/16   Cllr J Carter gave a brief update as follows:-
•           Council Tax has increased for the first time in 3 years due, in part, to the monies needed to sort the flooding issues.
•           Following concerns expressed by residents, some chevrons have been added on the A367 at Nettlebridge. Although it is an improvement, the Chair stated that a reduced speed limit in                  this area would be preferable.
•           The appeal lodged against MDC’s decision regarding the proposal to convert Harridge Cottage and Clare Cottage into a single dwelling has been dismissed.

35/16               Sun Cottage – Cllr J Carter drove with Neil Corp (Highways Dpt) to the area around six weeks ago to look at the drainage problem and general condition of the road in this particular area. John or Rachel agreed to attend the site meeting to be organized next week with the resident.

36/16               A relative to the resident at Sun Cottage also attended the meeting to report and stress the condition of the road. It has been a very wet winter and the road has not drained, which has made the property very dirty, the verges are also being eroded and the road has numerous potholes. Highways have agreed to inspect although they have already warned that they didn’t have any budget to make good. The parishioner is therefore asking for the Parish Council’s support; they are frustrated because the road is Highways’ property and they are not allowed to take remedial action themselves and in the meantime, damage is being done to their property.

It was pointed out that other parishioners have contacted Highways who have denied having had any complaints about the area despite some potholes having already been filled. However, it was noted that as soon as one or two potholes are filled, new ones appear and it is generally agreed that Highways need to dig a soak-away.    DB agreed to attend the site meeting to be organized on behalf of the Parish Council, and Clerk to write another letter to Highways.

37/16               The Chair read the letter sent by the new Chairman of the Village Hall Committee,  R. Bamford and reported on the meeting held the previous week at the Village Hall where a consultation exercise was undertaken to seek parishioner’s views and opinions on the future activities of the Village Hall. The Parish Council looks forward to reading the report and how it can help in the future.

38/16               Chair reported on the successful event held when at least a dozen bags of rubbish were collected by 11 participants. High visibility jackets and pickers have now gone back to Mendip but we have some bags left to keep for future events. Chair suggested it would be a good idea to repeat once or twice a year.
39/16               The Chair thanked Pam Dennis for organizing the refreshments on the day.
40/16               PD said that a litter bin would be useful near the noticeboard on the High Street. Clerk to find out prices. It was agreed to ask Kevin if he is happy to have one installed there.
41/16               Chair also asked Cllrs J and R Carter if MDC were also organizing a special Clean for the Queen event, as there is a lot of litter on the main roads, which the Parish Council was not                          allowed to clear for safety reason.

42/16               Four Councillors met First Bus and representatives from Highways at The Nettlebridge Inn to discuss the possibility of adding a bus stop to route 174 at this emplacement. Disappointingly, the location was found to be unsuitable due to the very short bank and reduced visibility at the proposed location. Councillors present also agreed that the traffic was very fast on this stretch of road.
43/16               However, an additional bus stop is being considered in the first lay-by higher up the road, nearer to Stratton.
44/16               Councillors also mentioned re-routing the bus to go through the High Street in Oakhill but we have not heard back from First Bus or Highways on this.

45/16               Updates on previous applications:-
Application 2015/1636/FUL; Field 2947 Off Frome Road, Beacon Hill; To erect a single storey 2 bedroom wooden house – Refused.
Application 2016/0019/HSE; Replacement of existing single storey porch; Cedar Lodge, Bath Road, Oakhill – Approved w/c.
46/16               Application 2016/0112/FUL; New House, Goodrest Cottage, Blackey Lane to Withy Lane, Neighbourne – Pending. Chair read P. Langmaid’s email stating that he had expressed support to the planning application but that this was not mentioned at the meeting when it was discussed. Both Chair and Clerk stated that although this was mentioned briefly in an email, they had understood that further communication would follow to confirm.

47/16               Financial Statement – Financial statement to 8th March 2016 was agreed and signed.            
48/16               Risk Assessment and Assets Register –  The risk assessment was reviewed and amendments made. Clerk to print a copy to be signed at the next meeting.
49/16               Asset Register; a few items were updated and it was agreed to remove the old clerk’s laptop from the list and perhaps donate. Copy to be signed at the next meeting.
50/16               Internal Audit – The Clerk will be attending a training session in a couple of weeks to ensure new procedures are followed. To be discussed next month.
51/16               The following invoices were agreed and cheques signed:-

                        739      S Vaillant; Clerk’s Net Salary & Expenses     £250.20
                        740      HMRC; Income tax      £57.80
                        741      SALC (Clerk’s training)          £25.00

52/16               Grant request to fund evening event during Village Fete, 11th June – D Perkins explained the intention for the request: a free evening event from 5pm until the end of the evening with Bar, BBQ and entertainment. Some sponsorship has been secured already and would kindly request a small grant from the Parish Council if the fundraising doesn’t reach full target to fund the event (in the region of £500-£1,000).

Following a discussion, there was doubt about how proceeds from the evening would be shared afterwards. David to provide further information to be discussed at the next meeting.    Clerk to check rules of S137 and ask what SALC think, especially if the proceeds are shared between the school and the church.

53/16               Footpaths – A problem was reported on footpath 1/14 during the month, but it has now been dealt with.        
54/16               Speedwatch – T. Drake has organized a training session on 17th March and this date has been circulated to all our volunteers. Chair to update next month. 
55/16               SALC – Clerk read message regarding new surgeries being held in local villages.         
56/16               Village Hall / Highways / School / PCSO – Nothing (or nothing further) to report.
57/16               It was reported that some trees are being planted near the carriageway in Kingscombe and that some hedge laying was going on going towards Binegar Bottom. It was agreed to keep an eye on it.
58/16               It was noted that a Highways drain on the A37 is blocked and that water comes across the road (on the bend going down from the top with junction with A362). Clerk to report.
59/16               The Parish Council has received a letter regarding commemorative coins being printed to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. To be added to the agenda for next month.   Sarah to check if the school is interested in gifting the coins to children.

60/16               The next Parish Meeting will be held on 13th April 2016 at 7.30pm at the Village Hall.