Skip to main navigation
Skip to main content
Skip to Search
Images of Chedzoy Parish

Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 11th May 2020.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Chedzoy Parish Council held by telephone conference, on Monday 11th May 2020 at 7.30pm.

Present: Cllrs Marion Dethier, Brian Gale, Simon Howes (Chairman), Pat Lennard John Paige and Rodney Young.

Also present: Cllrs David Hall (Somerset County Council (SCC)).

In attendance: The Clerk (Chris Fry).

1. Apologies: Cllrs. Nick Griffiths, Anthony Betty (SDC) and Liz Perry (SDC)

2. Minutes of the previous meeting of 16th March 2020 were taken as read, approved and signed.

3. Matters arising from the minutes.
  • Coronavirus Report (Local). John Paige outlined his report for today, saying things are going well in the parish, with volunteers coming forward to meet the needs as they arise. There are 55 volunteers, with 11 offers of various services useful in the community. The team have dealt with at least 86 requests for assistance, additionally there are Community Companions in regular contact with 20 self-isolating or vulnerable people in the community providing regular assistance to them.

    Simon Howes praised John for his great effort in heading up the volunteer team and producing excellent daily updates. David Hall called it 'an excellent village response', and requested that future updates be sent to him. He thought John’s idea of holding small socially distancing discussion groups (outside) was a good one, as the County Council is all too well aware that psychological problems which can emerge from the social isolation.

    John reported that 200 copies of 'Your Somerset' magazine had been dropped off to him today. This is a special edition of the magazine and is designed to ensure Somerset residents have the information they need to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic and crucially, access wider support as the pandemic continues. He will be arranging house-to-house delivery throughout the Parish.
4. Somerset County Councillor’s report – David Hall reported as follows:

  • Hinkley Point. The workforce has reduced from around 5000 to around 2000 and the site is on reduced activity. Five employees are self-isolating and site controls appear to be effective and they are also taking steps to reduce the number of journeys made by its workforce. EDF are looking to begin a phased ramp-up as soon as it can safely be arranged.

  • Broadband. The pandemic lockdown has reinforced the need for good broadband speeds in every part of the UK, and Central Government will be pressed to keep up the pace of procurement for public sector funded activity in this area.

  • Somerset Waste Partnership. Recycling Centres are reopening from this week, initially accepting a reduced range of items. Residential garden waste collections are soon to restart (from Wednesday 13th May in Chedzoy) and the payment cycle has been extended till mid May 2021 to take account of the period of no collection.

  • Business Grant Scheme. This is administered by Sedgemoor District Council and appears to be well administered according to feedback from local businesses. After a good start demand has tailed off to the extent that funds may not be exhausted.

  • Construction work and improvements to M5 Junction 25. This is going well and progress has been enhanced by the smaller amount of traffic at present.

  • Truespeed. Simon Howes said he understands that Truespeed are progressing well with their fibre network installation in the parish and could reach the stage of connection to subscribers’ houses in a matter of a few weeks. This is good news for everyone concerned.

5. Sedgemoor District Councillor’s report. In her absence, Cllr Liz Perry advised the Clerk that:-
  • Planning. The Development (Planning) Committee will be holding its first (virtual) meeting on 19th May.

  • SDC meetings. The Leader of the council, Duncan McGinty has announced that virtual council meetings will be starting next week following Central Government passing the necessary changes to the law to allow this.

6.  Planning.  One new listed building application (involving two references).

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (As Amended).
Application No: 18/20/00003/04.
Applicant: Mr  & Mrs Bently.
Location: Westfield Farm, Front Street, Chedzoy, Bridgwater, Somerset TA7 8RE.
Proposal: Internal modifications to dining, kitchen and utility spaces together with re-roofing existing garage and providing replacement garage doors. Erection of rear porch to replace canopy.

The Clerk outlined the details and the need for this application, as the property is Grade 2 listed.

Simon Howes opened the discussion. As several councillors are aware (those who live in such properties) these older buildings benefit from being lived in and as such sympathetic repairs and minor improvements are often required to facilitate modern living.

Following a discussion a vote was taken, (verbally), and the result was as follows:-

For 6, against 0.

The Clerk was asked to send the following comments to the Sedgemoor Planning department:-

'The Parish Council of Chedzoy supports this application and has no other comments to make'.

7. Correspondence.
  • Sheep worrying. The Clerk reported that he had liaised with the Clerk to Bawdrip Parish Council and they have agreed to work together on the problem. When the signs have been received the Bawdrip Clerk will contact us.
8. Matters arising from the correspondence. None.

9. Finance.

Balances after allowing for all payments due:

Lloyds Bank Current Account £7226.06
Lloyds Bank Deposit Account £2.48
Cambridge Building Society Easy Access Account £12372.04

Five cheques were issued as follows:

Number Amount Payee For
685 £152.67 CN Fry April salary
686 £91.00 DM Payroll Services Payroll 2020/21, plus £10.00 P11D charge
687 £72.29 CN Fry Expenses
688 £763.26 Came and Co Ecclesiastical insurance. 2020/21
689 £152.47 CN Fry May salary

Insurance renewal 2020/21.

Renewal date: 1st June 2020. (Till 31st May 2021).

Quotation received with Ecclesiastical Insurance recommended by the agents (Came and Co):
£750.80, plus agent fee £50.00 = £800.80 (single year)


plus agent fee £50.00 = £763.26 (3 year fixed deal).

The Chairman led a discussion and reminded the meeting that the matter of possible double insurance between the Parish Council and other village organisations was brought up last year but not completed due to interruptions in recent meetings caused by Covid19.

He proposed the three-year deal on offer should be taken up at a premium of £763.26 (compared with £771.92 last year) and that later discussion can still take place with other the organisations in the parish with a view to helping them identify where they may be able to reduce cover and save money. This was seconded by Pat Lennard and agreed by all.

The Clerk was asked to liaise appropriately and report back at the October meeting.

Governance Statement 2019/20, page 4 of the AGAR (Annual Governance and Accountability Return).

The Clerk explained the need here in straightforward terms. The aim of the declaration required by the council is the same each year, and is designed to ensure:-
  • That effective financial management by the council was in place throughout the year in question (2019/20).

  •  That financial controls were/are in place to ensure full compliance with the law.

  • That risk had been assessed and correct internal audit arrangements were/are in place.
Simon Howes said that whilst he was satisfied that we were compliant he considered it a good practice to formally document a risk assessment, and that this should be carried forward and actioned in the coming months. In the meantime, he said he believed that full control had been exercised by the council, who were regularly and fully advised of balances and details of all cheques issued, and that he was content to sign the required declarations.

Brian Gale proposed that the Governance Statement be adopted and this was seconded by Rodney Young and unanimously agreed by all.

The chairman and Clerk will therefore now sign the document.

Presentation of unaudited accounts – The receipts and payments account for the year ended 31st March 2020.

The Clerk led the meeting through a line-by-line review of this and welcomed questions.

Total expenditure, at £8200.27, exceeded income at £8065.85, by £134.42, with the total bank balances reducing from £15498.80 at the start of the year (1st April 2019) to £15364.38 at the end (31st March 2020).
The year-end balance suggests reserves at about £2500.00, with the previously suggested VE Day grant not being required (this was built in to the Precept request for 2020/21). The Clerk said it may well be possible to hold the 2021/22 Precept requirement to the same as the current year (£8500.00).

Simon Howes noted that the expenditure in the year included some one-off items and that the minor difference in spend versus income within the year was within control. Following a discussion, Marion Dethier proposed a resolution to accept the unaudited accounts as presented and Brian Gale seconded this, with all in favour.

The Internal Audit will now proceed.

10. Any other business, and date of next meeting.
  • Poor visibility at Ruggs Drove junction with Westonzoyland Road. Marion Dethier brought up this problem and said she had suffered a “near miss” recently with visibility to the left when emerging onto the main road being severely restricted by undergrowth which needed cutting back.

    The Clerk was asked to speak to Lawrence Hackling, of Somerset Highways) and endeavour to get this actioned.

The Chairman suggested that, as we have had this evening’s PC meeting, there is no need for a further one in May, and that matters at the Annual meeting could be kept to a minimum, so long as audit procedures are met.
Date of next virtual meeting will be the Annual Parish Meeting on Monday 25th May 2020 at 7.30 pm. This meeting will be held by telephone conference. Agenda and dial-in details to be issued.

There being no other business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.43 pm.


View of Chedzoy Parish