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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 18th February 2019.

Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council, held on Monday 18th February 2019 in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

1. Apologies: Cllrs Terry Oxman and Ray Triggol.

Present: Cllrs. Martin Allen (Chairman), Martin Baker (Vice-Chairman), Brian Gale and Pat Lennard. Cllrs David Hall (Somerset County Council (SCC)), Derek Alder and Liz Perry (Sedgemoor District Council (SDC).

Also present: the Clerk together with two members of the public.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting of 17th December 2018 were taken as read, approved and signed.

3. Matters arising from the minutes.
  • Bus Shelter Garden Maintenance. The Clerk reported on his discussions with Ms Rhiannon Buckton about the possibility of her business taking over the maintenance of the bus shelter garden. She has offered to take the job on at the rate of £15 per hour with two gardeners working on it on a quarterly basis. To initially bring it up to scratch she estimates three hours for the two of them will be necessary.

    Three hours @ £15.00 each = £30.00 per hour =  £90.00. Thereafter, one or two hours @ £15.00 per hour = £30.00 or £60.00.  The first year would be £90.00 + £180.00 (max) = £270.00 (max) and £240.00 annually thereafter (max).

    This would be for the garden to the left of the shelter. No work on either the shelter itself or the “corner” garden.

    Following a discussion it was agreed that the Clerk should liaise with Rhiannon about including the corner as well, on a pro-rata rate. Then he can speak to the villager who expressed an interest in the keeping the corner tidy. He can engage Rhiannon if agreement is reached and report back to the next meeting. This was proposed by Martin Baker and seconded by Pat Lennard. All agreed.

  • Poor road drainage at West End Farm. The Clerk said that he had reported the problem of poor surface water drainage in Chedzoy Lane near West End Farm to SCC Highways and it was verbally indicated that the usual clearance of the drain would take place 'in the round'. A discussion took place with the general feeling being that the drain in question is probably a 'soakaway' and therefore the drainage pipe would need clearance. An email, sent last week, will be followed up with more detail.
4. Somerset County Council report. David Hall reported as follows:
  • SCC Budget. He confirmed it was now highly likely that SCC would end the financial year “under budget”. A helpful factor have been that SCC has been accepted in the Business Rate Pilot exercise whereby it can retain 75% of the business rates for one year.

  • Central Government is understandably taken up with the Brexit issue.

  • Unitary Authority Discussions. These are progressing slowly, possibly due to the SDC elections due on 2nd May 2019.

  • Sedgemoor Campus. This is complete, with providing 1000 bed accommodation.

  • Hinkley Point. Construction is progressing well. EDF report that the Jetty is on schedule for completion around Easter.

  • Connection Devon and Somerset. Giggaclear have been issued with a formal notice of being “in breach of contract” because of long delays. SCC has no financial risk here but the project is a full year behind schedule. David was taken up on his offer to look into the possibility of arranging a meeting between himself, Paul Coles of BT and Cllr Martin Allen to explore possible alternatives.
5. Sedgemoor District Council report. Cllrs Derek Alder and Liz Perry reported as follows:

  • SDC Budget. A full SDC Council meeting is due on Wednesday 20th February to agree the budget for 2019/2020.

  • Council Tax. The SDC element of this is expected to rise by about £5 per year for a Band D property.

  • Somerset Rivers Authority. The Government Bill making the SRA a separate legal entity and conferring on it the powers to separately Precept it’s funding received its second reading on Friday 15th February and is now in the Committee stage.

  • New Cinema at Northgate. A company is offering to take over the proposed Cinema development here, which would trigger the Northgate development itself.

  • New Council Homes. There are 11 of these under construction across Sedgemoor.
6. Planning. No new applications to consider. But:

Parchey Planning Breach.
Following receipt of an anonymous phone call about this he spoke to Colin Arnold of SDC planning enforcement who confirmed there have indeed been breaches and the householder concerned has been advised that he must submit a retrospective planning application.

7. Correspondence.
  • Somerset West Lodging Scheme. This scheme which is being run by Lisa Godfrey at the YMCA Dulverton Group (formerly YMCA Somerset Coast), aims to support homeowners, private and social tenants in Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset to become landlords and let out their spare bedrooms to earn additional income.

    The scheme itself is run on Hinkley Point and Council funding and is a mitigation scheme designed to reduce homelessness, to keep people in their homes and help make ends meet. Under the scheme, lodgings would be created safely and managed professionally. For more details go to:

  • Concerns over condition of footpaths and footpath stiles. The Clerk wished to make the Parish Council aware of the many instances of blocked footpaths and damaged stiles. A couple of villagers who regularly walk the network have reported these problems on the net, as has our efficient PPLO. There seems to be long delays in remedial action being taken.

  • SCC Scheme 'Somerset Wood'. The Parish Clerks of Cheddon Fitzpaine and West Monkton are making a joint approach to all the Parish Councils in Sedgemoor to support them in the establishment of a very laudable scheme to establish a wood in memory of the fallen in WW1. Parishes are asked to help with the costs of maintaining trees planted on a proportionate basis as to the number of those lost to the parish. A figure of £25 per tree is mentioned.

    Following a discussion the Clerk was asked to reply saying the Chedzoy Parish Council considers this to be an excellent idea and to establish more details of the financial costs going forward, and to report back to the next meeting.

  • Phone Kiosk Library. The Chairman reported on the very successful transformation of the former phone kiosk into a mini lending library. The project has been spearheaded by Sarah Sutcliffe, ably assisted by volunteers to transform the kiosk with shelving and floor tiles. The Village Hall Committee have been approached for 'overspill' book storage. Incidental costs are being borne by the Parish Council, (as previously agreed).

    The Chairman will discuss with Sarah the possibility of a formal opening ceremony in due due course.

  • Sedgemoor Planners Award. The Clerk reported on the success of the SDC Planners in winning the top award for Planning Excellence in the South West at a special ceremony hosted by the Royal Town Planning Institution (RTPI) at the National College for Nuclear in Cannington. The award centres on their excellent work in connection with the Hinkley Point Development.

  • Sedgemoor Health Walks. These are designed for people of all ages who wish to improve their health, meet new people as well as explore the local environment. The walks are led by trained volunteer walk leaders and can take the form of buggy walks, wheelchair walks, GP surgery walks, seaside walks, urban or rural. They last between 30 and 90 minutes and cater for differing abilities. Benefits can include reversing type 2 diabetes diagnoses, losing weight, coming off blood pressure tablets, bereavement rehabilitation etc.

    For more details go to:  or call 01278 435715.
8. Matters arising from the correspondence. None.

9. Finance.

Balances after allowing for all payments made

Lloyds Bank Current Account £3953.91
Lloyds Bank Deposit Account £2.48
Cambridge Building Society Easy Access Account £12341.19

Three cheques were issued as follows:
Number Amount Payee For
626 £152.47 Mr C.N Fry February salary
627 £119.02 Don Johnson Kiosk shelving
628 £78.43 Mr C.N Fry Expenses

The Precept request for 2019/2010 of £7500.00 has been submitted (this represents the same as the previous two years).

10. Any Other Business including the date of next meeting.

  • RLT2 Funds. These are funds which were paid historically by developers and are designed to fund leisure facilities in the same parishes. Chedzoy have none of these as they were used towards the development of the playing field. These payments have now been replaced by CIL payments.

  • Election 2019 – Purdah. No politically sensitive issues are to be brought up or discussed by the Council from Monday 18th March until after the election on 2nd May 2019.

  • Litter Problem. Two villagers have raised the problem of litter around the village, particularly in Ward Lane. The Parish Council is supportive of the need to keep the village tidy but it is also aware of the possible personal liability issues of organising a formal litter pick, particularly as Ward Lane itself is so narrow and potentially dangerous. Following a discussion it was agreed to take up Liz Perry’s offer to obtain high visibility jackets and pickers and bags from SDC Clean Surroundings and deliver these to the Clerk. Subsequently, Liz advised the Clerk that an email to  is required.

  • Damage to the edge of the road near Temple Farm. The dangerous state of the road edge near Temple Farm which has already caused a car to leave the road and also shredded tyres was discussed. The age-old debate of the liability issue between the SCC for the roadway itself and the landowner for the roadside was discussed. The problem has already been reported to SCC Highways.

  • Fit For My Future (NHS CCG). The strategy for how we will support the health and wellbeing of all the people in Somerset is progressing well. The need now is to reduce the long list of possible options to a short list of proposals for public consultation in Autumn 2019.

    The public are being encouraged to spare 5 or 10 minutes to complete a questionnaire at:

  • Clerks’ Briefing – Somerset – 12th April 2019. The Clerk will attend this annual event at Edgar Hall Somerset from 10 am till 1 pm. (Free to SALC members).
  • 'Local Council Administration' by Charles Arnold Baker - 11th edition. This 'must have' publication is a reference point for any possible issue that the Parish Council will face. The Clerk’s (old) edition was lost in his house fire in November 2017 and SALC can get a 20% reduction of the list price of £129.99. It is proposed to share the cost between Chedzoy and Stawell and the cost involved would appear to be about £52. Following a discussion it was proposed by Brian Gale and seconded by Pat Lennard that a copy should be obtained. All in favour.

  • Village Hall Social Events. The Chairman  wished to record the grateful thanks of the Parish Council to those volunteers who arrange the very professional and successful events such as the themed new year’s eve party and the Burns night celebration. All agreed.
Date of next meeting: Monday 18th March 2019 in the village hall at 7.30 pm.

There being no other business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.45 pm.




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