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Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 19th May 2015


1. Apologies: Cllr Terry Oxman, Cllr Liz Perry (SDC), Messrs John Weeks and Roger Sutton.
Present: Cllrs Ray Triggol, Martin Allen, Martin Baker, Brian Gale, Katrina Maxwell and Pat Lennard. Cllr David Hall (Somerset County Council - SCC) and Derek Alder (Sedgemoor District Council - SDC)
Members of the public:-Simon and Sally Howes, Malcolm and Linda Friend, Mr Mike Horrobin, Ms Karen Bennet, Mr Richard Woodward and Rodney Young.

2. Minutes of the previous Annual Parish Meeting of 20th May 2014 were read approved and signed.

3. Chairman’s report. Cllr Ray Triggol said the Parish Council continues to fund the upkeep of the bus shelter and garden and he said the area had become established and mature and was a fitting centre piece to the village, with thanks to Roy Beale.
He said amenity grants continued to be given to the village hall committee, the playing field association and financial help going to the upkeep of the churchyard. Additionally to cost of cutting the playing field grass was met by the council, with thanks to Peter Clapp.
Ray went on to say the transformation of the playing field was a dramatic improvement and he praised the playing field committee for their hard work in arranging this.
A further  and very welcome Health and Wellbeing grant received via David Hall (SCC) had enabled the council to obtain a defibrillator and arrange training and furthermore acquire a short mat bowls set and a handling unit to facilitate the movement of the heavy short mat carpet itself to be taken in and out of storage, to greatly assist ease of use.
Ray concluded by thanking all the councillors and the Clerk for their hard work.

The incoming Chairman, Cllr Martin Allen in turn thanked Ray, outgoing Chairman, for all his work as Chairman for the last five years. Also thanking Amanda Triggol and her helpers for establishing the “Call in for a pint” evenings which had become such a great success. Martin further praised the village hall committee for their hard waok in arranging the wide ranging refurbishment of the village hall, making Chedzoy’s village hall as good as any around.

4. Somerset County Council report. David Hall (SCC) reported as follows:-
  • Aftermath of the Floods. A year ago the floods on the levels were dominating the time of SCC . Since then good progress has been made with residents now resettled back in their homes. Efforts are now concentrated on flood preventative measures and the new Somerset Rivers Authority with its 20 year plan and incorporating statutory powers is up and running. As yet there is no continuity of funding from central government. Quite apart from the politics of the issue it will help continuity of purpose that the central government isn’t changing and the same Secretary of State – Liz Truss - who seems well focussed – will continue in her post.
  • Hinkley Point. The Final Investment Decision (FID) is still awaited and EDF becoming a little concerned at the delay which is inevitably leading to a major slowdown in preparatory work on the site with the temporary, at least, laying off of some of the workforce, Don’t forget something like £35 million per month was being spent out there.
  • Economic Development - Broadband. David said he’s had a meeting with the head of BT wholesale and they are currently looking into the matter of Chedzoy’s broadband connection. He will keep us updated with all developments here.
  • SCC itself. There was no election this time but rather there will be in two years’ time. Women are featuring more and more in the county council’s structure with Christine Laurence being the new Council Leader and a lady High Sheriff and another being Lord Lieutenant of the county, Inside Cabinet David continues as Deputy Leader and David Fothergill has overall responsibility for highways.
  • Turning to the troubled area of Children’s’ Services, a new Director of Children’s Services has been appointed.
  • Finance. Money is, and will undoubtedly continue to be very tight.
  • Major improvements to both the A358 and the A303 will lead to big improvements to Tourism and our local economy.

5. Sedgemoor District Council. Cllr.Derek Alder updated the meeting as follows:-

  • The first meeting of the new SDC would be held on the 20th May. He expects to stay with planning.
  • He said there is a move afoot to bring a Government department to the Bridgwater area, involving a new office build.
  • Flood preventative measures are continuing e.g. with the river Parrett barrage work.
  • Government funding to enable 1000 new homes to be built is forthcoming.
  • Unemployment in the local area remains the best in the South-west.
  • Local Council Tax rates are reasonable.
  • The local road works are likely to take four years to complete.

6. Matters brought forward from the last Parish Council meeting.

  • Adopt a Kiosk. The Clerk reported just three (3) calls had been made in the last three years, and none of them emergency ones. The possible adoption of the Kiosk was discussed, and the Clerk said he had not heard yet as to whether SDC would be agreeable to the move. Ray Triggol wondered what the overall liability would be. Richard Woodward recalled that BT had earlier assured the Parish Council that refurbishment of the kiosk was due during the current cycle and suggested we should wait till that happens before any adoption takes place.
  • Somerset Local Authorities’ Civil Contingencies Unit. The Clerk read the letter concerning this. The volunteer(s) being sought would need to be of a very high calibre indeed. The matter was discussed and it was decided to invite the Civil Contingencies’ Officer to a meeting to find out just what is required here.
  • Formation of a new Speed Watch Team. With Martin Baker being the sole remaining member of the original Chedzoy team, the formation of a new team was discussed. Pat Lennard said speeding traffic continued to be a potentially serious problem in the village. It was decided to appeal for volunteers in the next issue of Chedzoy News.

7. Questions From the Floor. None.

There being no other business, the meeting was declared closed at approximately 8.30 pm.


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