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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 15th July 2019.

Minutes of the meeting of the Chedzoy Parish Council, held on Monday 15th July 2019, in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

1.  Present: Cllrs Marion Dethier (Vice-Chair – Chair for this meeting), Brian Gale, Nick Griffiths, Patricia Lennard, John Paige and Rodney Young.

Also present: Cllrs David Hall (Somerset County Council (SCC)), Anthony Betty and Liz Perry (Sedgemoor District Council (SDC)).

In attendance:  The Clerk (Chris Fry) and two members of the public.

Apologies: Cllr Simon Howes..

2. Minutes of the previous meeting of 17th June 2019 were taken as read, approved and signed.

3. Matters arising from the minutes.
  • National Grid – Hinkley Point Power Line. The Clerk has requested a visit to a Parish Council meeting of a representative of the Community Relations Team later in the year. Donna Burnell has acknowledged the request and has forwarded our meeting dates from September to December to the National Grid project manager and she will advise a suitable date in due course.

  • New Councillors’ Acceptance of Office and Financial Interest forms. These have been received from the two new co-opted members. The Parish Council is now up to full strength. The Clerk displayed the SDC template of member interests for Chedzoy which are due to be posted on SDC’s website next month, with a link on Chedzoy’s website. This template will now require updating.

  • Village Agent’s visit. The Clerk read out an email from Vanda Squire in which she accepts to come and speak at our September 16th meeting. She will try to bring her colleague Amanda with her.

  • Wessex Water Pressure Testing. The Clerk is awaiting a response to his request for Wessex Water to pressure test the water pressure throughout the village. He will follow up when appropriate.
4. Somerset County Council report. David Hall reported as follows:
  • Broadband. David has arranged a conference telephone call between himself, Simon Howes and Paul Coles of BT on Friday 19th July. This is not designed to dwell on the current unsatisfactory progress of Gigaclear but rather to explore alternatives.

  • Health and Wellbeing grant. This is again available this year with a modest amount of money available from SCC via David for distribution among his cell of parishes for projects aimed at improving the general health of the local population. A formal approach by the villages is required by September so time is short (this is the first we have heard about this year’s distribution), and Marion Dethier has kindly agreed to sound out the general feeling of members of the public with a view to contact being made with David on the subject by the beginning of September.

  • Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA). Following the departure of the last Chairman (following recent elections), David has been appointed as replacement. Legislation to convert SRA to a fully Precepting Authority is currently held up in the Lords.

  • Combwich Jetty. The first boat is expected to arrive next week. The jetty is expected to be completed on schedule by the end of October.

5. Sedgemoor District Council report. Anthony and Liz reported as follows:
  • Development Committee. The latest proposal for the Glebe House development was passed at the recent meeting.

  • Burger Van near Mole Valley Farmers. This recently departed following a licencing decision.

  • Westonzoyland grit 'hills'. These are considered by many to be an “eyesore” and it turns out no planning approval has been obtained.

  • Sedgemoor District Council Charity Fund. A new SDC charity fund is open for applications and it offers grants of up to £500 for individuals and £500 for charity groups designed to enable deserving projects to go forward, a condition is that the Parish Council must support all applications.
6. Planning. No new applications received.

Glebe House development. Cllr Rodney Young gave a report on the recent planning committee meeting at which he kindly spoke on behalf of the Parish Council. This was for two dormer bungalows to be built and the proposal was granted permission with some minor adjustments.
He was thanked for his input.

7. Correspondence.
  • Jazz evenings at Cossington. Advertising concerning the October, November and December events have been received.

  • SCC Chairman’s Civic Service. An open invitation to the SCC Chairman’s civic service has been received.    Date: 5th October 2019, time: 3.00pm, venue: Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Frome, BA11 3DE.

  • Code of Conduct explained. The Clerk gave a report on the seminar he attended at SALC in Somerton concerning this subject. The Localism Act 2011 laid down firm guidelines for councillors (however minor), so they should be in no doubt about the correct way to conduct themselves, especially in areas where it can be difficult to clearly define the principles to follow.

    There are two versions of the Code, one from SDC and the other from National Association of Local Councils (NALC), either of which are perfectly adequate.

    The Clerk is aware that this is an area which has been a little neglected and he is now looking into clarifying the position.

  • Review of Polling Districts. The Acting Returning Officer (ARO) at Sedgemoor is carrying out a review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations, both to ensure they are adequate and to free up schools, where possible, from having to close when elections take place, if alternatives can be found. The Village Hall in Chedzoy will not be changing.

  • SDC Planning and On-line Comments. The SDC planning portal was updated on 24th June 2019.

8. Matters arising from the correspondence. None.

9. Finance.

Balances after allowing for all payments due:-

Lloyds Bank Current Account £4230.32
Lloyds Bank Deposit Account £2.48
Cambridge Building Society Easy Access Account £12341.19

Four cheques were issued as follows:

Number Amount Payee For
651 £55.50 C.N Fry 50% cost of CA Baker reference book
652 £305.14 C.N Fry July and August net salary
653 £107.93 C.N Fry Expenses
654 £ 30.00 C.N Fry Somerset Association of Local Councils Code of Conduct seminar fee

Forms relating the changes to signing instructions at Lloyds were passed on the the Chairman and Vice-Chairman appropriately with reply paid envelopes for their return.
Forms from the Cambridge BS were also received and are being dealt with.

10. Any other business and date of next meeting.

  • St Mary’s Close street sign. A replacement sign has been ordered from the appropriate department of SDC – Clean Surroundings.

  • Litter Pick Spring 2020. The Clerk advised that SDC Clean Surroundings would supply high visibility jackets, pickers and bags, and deliver them as well as pick up the full ones. They accept the litter completely unsorted. They will need due notice. The matter of road safety for the volunteers was discussed, particularly in narrow lanes, such as Ward Lane, and the Clerk was asked to consult with Sedgemoor as to how this problem is overcome in other parishes where we know litter picks already take place. This to be placed on the agenda of the December meeting.

  • Village Hall Management Committee. The Clerk has now officially advised the Hall Committee that Pat Lennard and Marion Dethier are the current Parish Council representatives. As Marion could not make the last hall committee meeting, Simon Howes attended and he was able to advise them that the Parish Council would view any request for financial assistance towards the costs of VE Day celebrations for the 75th Anniversary in 2020, would be sympathetically received.
  • After the discussion vote took place and it was unanimously agreed to assist to the extent of up to £1000 “in principle”.

  • Tree Planting. Cllr John Paige read out an email which seems to have been received by several councillors as well as the Clerk from an Andrew Tilling, a resident in the Poldens, and a member of the public who is concerned about the lack of trees that are planted to replace those either dying of being felled for development etc.

    There is an on line petition at: 'Petition: Sedgemoor District Council must ensure more trees are planted to help mitigate the impact of Climate Change.'

    John Paige kindly offered to contact Mr Tilling to find out more.

  • SDC Community Safety Team. The Clerk read out a letter which contained several posters, leaflets and other information on such topical issues as: Illegal activities of loan sharks, domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, modern slavery and terrorism.

    Following a discussion the Clerk was asked to try to obtain a smaller .pdf-type file for insertion in the next issue of 'Chedzoy News', from SDC.
  • Parish Council meeting dates on the parish website. The Clerk reported that the new formula for fixing future parish council meeting dates – meeting on the third Monday monthly, with the exception of January and August, with additional planning meetings being advertised on the parish notice board – was now posted on the website.

  • Allotments. A resident of Front Street attended the meeting to say that the fence at the bottom of his garden, which backs on to the allotments, needs replacing. The contractors are due to arrive this week and access is required through the allotment field itself and he assured everyone that no damage would be caused.

    The discussion turned to the allotment lettings and the possibility that an inadvertent irregularity having come about following the sudden departure of one of the tenants.

    The Clerk was asked to sort the problem out.

  • New 'Parish Council' notice board. The problem of lack of space for specific mandatory Parish Council notices on the general notice board was discussed, the Clerk reminding everyone that he received approval from the Council to look into the possibility of getting one some time ago. Cllr John Paige kindly offered to look into constructing one at a modest cost, rather than the prohibitive cost of a commercially supplied one.
  • New Sedgemoor Local Plan 2019. The former Parish Council Chairman, Martin Allen, was present at the meeting and brought up the need for a paper copy of the new Sedgemoor local Plan 2019, adopted on 18th February 2019, to be obtained for use by the Parish Council. Cllr Liz Perry (SDC) said she would obtain a copy and let the Clerk have it.
  • Public Footpaths throughout the Parish. As we are all aware, Chedzoy is lucky in having a very extensive network of footpaths. Cllr Marion Dethier brought up the significant problem of the general deteriorating condition of many of the footpath gates, styles and foot bridges. It was decided to put this matter on the agenda of the next meeting in September for further discussion.
Date of next meeting: Monday 16th September 2019 in the village hall at 7.30 pm.

There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.56 pm.




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