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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 21st October 2019.

Minutes of the meeting of the Chedzoy Parish Council, held on Monday 16th September 2019 in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.
1. Present. Cllrs Marion Dethier, Brian Gale, Nick Griffiths, Simon Howes (Chairman),  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 one member of the public.

Apologies: None.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting of 16th September 2019 were taken as read, approved and signed.

3. Matters arising from the minutes.
  • Broadband update. Cllr Simon Howes reported on the meeting on 19th September 2019 between himself, David Hall and Open Reach, saying that Open Reach are still considering a fibre installation and options are being explored with Connecting Devon and Somerset funding. Any further information will be communicated as it becomes available.

    The True Speed fibre project is understood to be going ahead as they appear to have the required number of parishioners contracted although the connection date is not yet known.

    See item 4 (a) of County Councillors report for further information.

  • Healthy Living Grant Aid from SCC. The previous grant aid application for more ramps at the village hall was unsuccessful because it is a statutory requirement for ramps to be installed at such public buildings. The Chairman suggested an alternative project of upgrading the audio visual equipment at the hall. This was discussed and unanimously agreed.

    Action - Simon was given parish council approval to act on its behalf in respect of the application.

  • Tree Planting. John Paige reported that he had spoken to Andrew Tiller who confirmed he would liaise with the relevant parish councils about the location of any trees to be planted. Andrew is aiming to attract 1100 signatures on his tree planting initiative petition in order to force a debate in full council of the matter.

    To take part please go to:

  •  Allotments. The Clerk reported that the last year had seen a spike in water costs, possibly linked to the dry summer, resulting in a bill in December 2018 of £117.31. This has resulted in allotment costs for the last year of £226.30 against rental income of £180 – a deficit of £46.30. He said it was not allowable for the parish council to subsidise the allotments but there has previously been a small profit produced which offsets the occasional deficit.

    Action - The Clerk was asked to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis so an increase in plot rental can be made as necessary.

  • New Parish Council Notice Board. The location site of the new board was discussed and it was decided it should be place to the left of the bus shelter, to the front of the bus shelter garden.

  • Public Footpaths throughout the Parish. In view of the several problems of blocked, ploughed up and damaged footpaths, Marion Dethier has done some research and she suggested the parish council considers joining the Open Spaces Society at an annual fee of £40 in order to gain access to it’s expertise in overcoming such problems, and the legal steps necessary to enforce the law on offending landowners, where appropriate. This was unanimously agreed.

    Action - The Clerk was asked to arrange completion of the necessary documentation.

    Regarding the dilapidation of bridleway gates and stiles at Moor Drove, Simon Howes said he has spoken to Ray Triggoll whose farm is the main user of the drove and who was happy for the gates to be replaced, leaving the problem of finance.

    Action - The Clerk was asked to liaise with George Montague (SCC footpath officer for the Sedgemoor area), to establish costs involved and any possible sources of finance available.

    See item10 (h) for problems of footpath damage at Park Wall drove.

    Regarding the overgrown state of the footpath leading to the motorway overbridge (BW3/4), this appears to be situated in the neighbouring parish of Bridgwater Without. The Parish boundary runs down the west side of the drove and you are in the next parish as soon as you leave the drove.

    Action - The Clerk was asked to report the matter to the Clerk to Bridgwater Without parish council.

  • Heritage Plaques. The Clerk reported that he has spoken to the householders of both Court Farm House and Court Farm Cottage, and they were all agreeable to the plaques being erected.

    Action - John Paige kindly agreed to arrange this and the Clerk will introduce him to the householders concerned in the near future.

4. Somerset County Council report. David Hall reported as follows:
  • Broadband. He said a wash-up meeting following the failure of the Gigaclear rollout has been held and he also met the Government Minister Matt Warman, who confirmed his support. The allocated funds have been ring fenced and the broadband issue is a strong part of the Government’s objectives.

  • Combwich Jetty. This is now up and running.

  • Hinkley Point. The recently announced potential over run of the Hinkley project will not affect the cost to Government as the price has previously been fixed.

  • 'Gravity'. The development site at the old ROF factory at Puriton , some 600 + acres, is estimated to be a 15 – 20 year project.

5. Sedgemoor District Council report. Anthony Betty reported as follows:

  • Fracking. SDC recently declared its region to be 'Frack Free', meaning any future planning application would have to be dealt with by the County Council.

  • Christmas Car Parking. There will be three free car parking Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas, throughout Sedgemoor.

6. Planning.  One application for consideration:

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Amended).
Application reference: 18/19/00005/DT.
Applicant: Miss Edmonds.
Location: Manor Barn, Manor Road, Chedzoy, Bridgwater Somerset TA7 8QS.
Proposal: Erection of 1No dwelling (four-bedroomed dormer bungalow) with parking area.

The proposal was discussed and plans examined. The proposed site was the subject of an application for a “'barn conversion' earlier last year, which was successful, but it is now proposed to erect a four-bedroomed dormer bungalow with parking area on the site. Part of the barn will be demolished to give more garden with the greater remaining part of the barn being converted into a car port.

Flooding issues were gone into with the earlier application.

The poor visibility at the junction of Manor Road and Higher Road is of great concern to the parish council, this of course was pertinent to the previous granted permission.

It was unanimously agreed that the parish council has no comment to make, save for mentioning the poor visibility at the said junction.

Action - The Clerk was asked to convey the following comments to the Sedgemoor Planners:

'The Parish Council of Chedzoy has no comment to make save for expressing its concern at the very poor visibility at the junction of Manor Road with Higher Road'.

7. Correspondence.
  • SDC Budget Consultation. The Sedgemoor consultation exercise with the public about the ways in which its share of the council tax is spent, closed on 18th October 2019.

  • Councillor Training. The Clerk reported Nick Griffiths and Rodney Young were attending the forthcoming 'Councillor Essentials' seminar at Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC), to take place at the Edgar Hall, Somerton TA11 6SB (follow the brown signs on the trading estate). On 13th November 2019 from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.
8. Matters arising from the correspondence. None.

9. Finance. Balances after allowing for all payments due.

Lloyds Bank Current Account £5879.12
Lloyds Bank Deposit Account £2.48
Cambridge Building Society Easy Access Account £12341.19

The second instalment of the 2019/2020 precept (£3748.00) has been received.

Three cheques were issued as follows:

Number Amount Payee For
663 £152.47 C.N Fry October net salary
664 £83.23 C.N Fry Expenses
665 £240.00 PKF Littlejohn 2018/19 audit fee

10. Any other business, including the date of the next meeting.
  • Avon and Somerset PCC Newsletter. The latest newsletter has been received.

  • SDC Annual Planning Seminar. Sedgemoor DC have advised us of this year’s planning seminar dates, and the following councillors will be attending: Simon Howes and Marion Dethier will attend on Tuesday 19th November 2019; John Paige will attend on Thursday 28th November 2019. Venue: Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater Somerset TA6 3AR. Time 5.45pm – 9.00pm.

  • Somerset Rivers Authority Community Engagement Team. Dawn James and Emma Giffard of the SRA are offering to come along to a council meeting to build their understanding of our community’s experience with flooding and consider how we all might work together to reduce the potential impact of future flood events.

    Action – The Clerk will invite them to either the November of December meeting.

  • SDC Community Safety Team. Regretfully the Clerk has received no reply to his request for a compact file suitable for insertion in “Chedzoy News” highlighting the current issues around illegal loan shark activities, domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, modern slavery and terrorism. With the winter edition shortly going to press the matter should now rest.

  •  Village/Street signs. The Clerk reported that SDC Clean Surroundings were arranging to replace the “St Marys Close” sign.

    SCC are responsible for the village signs and a request has been made for them to replace the 'Chedzoy' sign at Parchey.

  • VE Day 75th Anniversary 2020. It was formally proposed to donate £1000.00 towards the celebrations during the weekend of 8th – 10th May 2020. This was unanimously agreed.

    Action – Cllr Marion Dethier to confirm this to the hall committee.

  • Localised flooding in Higher Road. The Clerk received a voicemail from a villager concerning localised flooding during the recent heavy rainfall. The message appeared to be incomplete.

  •  Park Wall Drove. A complaint has been received from a parishioner about the bad state of the footpath in this area following contractors installing power cables.

    Action - The Clerk was asked to try to find out who the contractors were and maybe contact them, and to advise the parishioner that he can log the complaint on the SCC web site if he so wishes.

  • SCC Highways Winter Service. SCC have allocated an additional £200,000 to restore the precautionary gritting treatment on the road network to that as at 2017/18. 21% of the Somerset road network will be treated when snow or ice is forecast. Grit bins will be replenished as necessary and one tonne dumpy sacks will be provided at potentially hazardous spots. The 25kg sacks of salt will not be provided to parishes this year, partly due to poor take up recently.

    Once the winter season starts you can follow events @TravelSomerset on Twitter for weather updates.

  • Sedgemoor Conversation 6th November 2019. SDC have issued an invitation to the next Sedgemoor Conversation looking at the Community Safety Management Plan in relation to HPC to the work of the Hinkley Community Safety Group.

  • PC meeting dates on the web site. The Chairman requested that future council meeting dates be placed on the web site.

  • Bus Shelter Litter Bin. Rodney Young brought up the problem of flies gathering round the bin in hot weather, near to the bus shelter where people, including children, gather to catch busses.

    Action – Cllr John Paige has kindly offered to look into the matter of getting a lid put on the bin.

  • Horse riding on pavements. Cllr John Paige reported seeing horses being ridden on the high pavement past his house. He feels this represents a safety issue to the riders as well as the public.

    Action - Cllr Nick Griffiths said he would make some enquiries and report back to the next meeting.
Date of the next meeting: Monday 18th November 2019, and the following one Monday 16th December 2019.

There being no other business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.00 pm.


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