Meeting Minutes

Copies of the meeting minutes are available from the links below.

2019 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 9.1.19

Minutes 4.3.19

Minutes 25.3.19

Minutes 9.5.19 Annual Parish

Minutes 9.5.19 Annual Parish Council

Minutes 28.5.19

Minutes-25.9.19

2018 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 19.2.18

Minutes 30.5.18 Parish Annual

Minutes 30.5.18 Annual Parish Council

Minutes 6.8.18

Minutes 29.10.18

Minutes 22.11.18

2017 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 26 1 17

Minutes 6.2.17

Minutes 14.3.17

Minutes Annual Parish 15.5.17

Minutes Annual Parish Council 15.5.17

Minutes 12 6 17

Minutes 18.7.17 (includes Hadspen access proposals)

Minutes 9.11.17

2016 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 28.1.16

Minutes 21.3.16

Minutes Annual Parish 5.5.16

Minutes Annual Parish Council 5.5.16

Minutes 9.11.16

2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 23 11 15

Minutes 13.10.15

Miinutes 22.9.15

Minutes Annual Parish meeting 12.5.2015

Minutes Annual Parish Council meeting 12.5.15 

Minutes 8.5.15

Minutes 24.3.15

2014 Meeting Minutes

Minutes 20.11.14

Minutes 2.9.14

Minutes 20.8.14

Minutes Annual meeting 7.5.14

Minutes Annual meeting 7.5.14 pt 2

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MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 5th DECEMBER 2013 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr R. Ellis (Chair), Mr P Williams, Mr P Costen, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor), Mike Beech (District Councillor), Tim Russell, P.C.S.O.

  1.  Apologies for absence – Richard Reed
  2. Declarations of Interest – None
  3. Minutes – The minutes of the meeting held on 5th August were approved as a correct record.
  4. Matters Arising;    
  • Planning application 13/02951/FUL: The demolition of existing outbuildings and erection of garden building and greenhouse, Rosebank, Southdown, East St., Shepton Montague: GRANTED
  • Knotweed:  The clerk had reported this to Environmental Health for investigation and inclusion in the Noxious Weeds Management Programme if necessary.
  • Traffic through village has quietened since the bridge at Cary was repaired, particularly big lorries. Tim Russell, P.C.S.O., reported that where registration numbers of overweight vehicles have been passed to him he has written to the owners. Anna Groskop advised that she put in an application for a grant to carry out traffic controlling measures in the Parish i.e. moving the 30mph signs further back, erecting warning signs such as ‘Dangerous bend’ or ‘Danger – Pedestrians’ and adding ‘Slow’ on the road.
  • It was noted that there have been several accidents at the bend at Cary Edge Lane.  A car ended up on its roof in the ditch recently.  Anna asked Tim to write to Highways regarding this dangerous corner.
  • Anna Groskop reported that Somerset County Council cuts are now required to reach £106 million over the next 4 years.  There may however be some progress on agreeing improvements to the A303.
  1.  Meeting with P.C.S.O.  Tim Russell.  With regard to the accidents on the bends on the A3081 in Stoney Stoke and the flooding there, Tim reported that the drains had been dug out.  Colin Fletcher had advised that improvements to signage were unlikely in the short term as no finance is available until the next financial year. However Tim has asked for the existing signs to be cleaned and straightened and the foliage trimmed back.  Another car had crashed on the bend recently in addition to the vehicle that had crashed into the telegraph pole and resulted in no telephone lines for a week in Stoney Stoke.

Tim gave the crime figures for Tower Ward for the last month. There is mainly theft from outbuildings e.g. chainsaws etc.  The registration numbers of any suspicious vehicles should be reported to Tim on the non-emergency number (101).

Members thanked Tim for the information and his attendance at the meeting.

  1. Finance:  Budget and Precept for 2014-2015 The budget for 2014-15 was set, changing only slightly from last year to take account of potential increased costs in SALC affiliation fee, insurance premium and cost of churchyard maintenance.  It was therefore resolved to keep the precept at the same level as 2013-14.  (Confirmation of the exact amount of the Council Tax Reduction Support Grant has not yet been received but this is expected to be the same as last year.)
  2. Cheques were signed as follows:  Churchyard maintenance – Steve Crabb £660, Citizens Advice Bureau £20, Village Hall Committee £100, Clerk’s annual wage for 2013-2014 £450.
  3. Correspondence: 
  • Planning application 13/03793/LBC Insertion of additional sliding sash window in north west wall of playroom, Welham House.  GRANTED
  • Planning application 13/00839/FUL New permission to replace extant permission 09/04912/FUL for the alterations, repair and extension to dwellinghouse and boundary wall with associated landscape works.  Gardener’s Cottage, Hadspen.  GRANTED

9. A.O.B.

  • The Parish’s 4 grit/salt bins have not been re-filled (though this was requested by the clerk some time ago and she was advised that this would be carried out within the planned programme).  As winter is here this needs pursuing.  Action:  Clerk to email the Council’s concern to Highways.
  • It was noted that there seems to be some building work going on at the Red House/Southdown.  Mike Beech said that he had asked for a revocation of the planning permission granted for the ‘lake’.
  • There was some concern about buildings and horses in the back garden of The Forge.  Action:  Richard Ellis to make enquiries.

10. Open discussion:

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.15pm.

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NUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 5th AUGUST 2013 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr P Williams (Acting Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Reed, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor).

  1.  Apologies for absence – Richard Ellis, currently abroad, Tim Russell, P.C.S.O.
  2. Declarations of Interest – None
  3. Minutes – The minutes of the meeting held on 14th May were approved as a correct record.
  4. Matters Arising;  Affordable Housing Needs Survey:  This has now been sent out.

S.I.D. – No further information has been forthcoming from SSDC.

30mph signs: No further information has been received.

Safety of bend near Park Wall cottage, Stoney Stoke: In an email from Tim Russell he stated that he was meeting with Highways today and would send a report to the clerk. This had not been received prior to the Parish Council meeting.

  1. Planning application: 13/02581/FUL: Erection of a two store side extension to dwelling house, South Cottage, Shepton Montague.  Application withdrawn.
  2. Planning application: 13/02951/FUL: The demolition of existing outbuildings and erection of garden building and greenhouse, Rosebank, Southdown, East St., Shepton Montague: Council has no objections to the proposal.  Action:  Clerk to return this comment to Planning.
  3. Knotweed: A patch of knotweed had been noted opposite The Hollows. This has been there for some time however it was considered it should be reported to the Environmental Health Department.  Action:  Clerk to report.
  4. Traffic through village:   Since the bridge at Cary has been closed for repair, traffic, particularly HGV’s, has increased considerably through the village.  The works at  the bridge at Cary will be continuing until Christmas. Ways of slowing down traffic were discussed again but it was again concluded that, with no recent accidents to use as evidence, and no money available, little further could be done to alleviate the situation.
  5. Correspondence: The Clerk reported that all correspondence had been emailed to members prior to the meeting.

Peter Costen had completed a survey received from NALC for the clerk to return to them.

  1. a.o.b.: It was noted that the pipe at Welham had now been repaired.

The state of the road from Stoney Stoke to Shepton Montague was deplored but little remedial action can be taken because of the presence of Gillian McCarthy at The Stop Gap.

  1. Open discussion: Anna Groskop reported that the Somerset Local Plan had not been accepted by the Inspector so was not in force whilst revisions considered.  She stated that Somerset County Council now have to make savings of £25 million every year for the next 4 years.  In addition the grant from Central Government has been cut by 10%.

The subject of long-for improvements to the A303 was raised and it was noted that this is still being discussed. In the meantime nothing is done.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.19pm.

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MINUTES OF THE  ANNUAL MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON TUESDAY 14th MAY 2013 AT 7.50pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Williams, Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk) and three members of the Parish.

  1. Apologies for absence:  Tim Russell P.C.S.O., Anna Groskop (County Councillor) and Mike Beech (District Councillor).
  2.  Election of new Chair and declarations of acceptance of office:  Charles Dowding stood down as Chair and Richard Ellis was proposed as new Chair by Paul Williams and this was seconded by Peter Costen.  All were in favour and Richard was duly elected Chair.  Charles Dowding proposed Paul Williams as Vice-Chair and this was seconded by Richard Ellis.  All were in favour.  All councillors signed the declarations as required with the exception of Charles Dowding who then stood down from the Council altogether.
  3. Co-option of new councillor:  No requests for an election had been received so council was cleared to co-opt a new member.  Peter Costen proposed that Richard Reed should be co-opted to fill the vacancy created by Charles’ resignation.  This was seconded by Richard Ellis and Richard Reed was unanimously voted onto the council and signed the required declaration.
  4. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
  5.  Matters Arising: 
  • Affordable Housing Needs Survey:  The clerk reported that nothing further had been heard from Tim Cook despite a further request for information.
  • Speed Indicator Device:  The clerk reported that she had received an email from Dave Grabham stating that re-siting the SID to the pub end of the village should be possible and he would look into it.
  •  30mph signs: An email had been received from Tony Leach of Highways stating that due to a misunderstanding no works to move the 30mph signs back from the crossroads have been planned but that he had now asked Colin Fletcher to look into this.
  1. Road obstruction: Concerns had been expressed by some residents that equipment was being parked on the roadside at the Old Forge and this was a potential obstruction.  There had also been complaints about a recent noise nuisance.  Council felt that Environmental Health were the appropriate people to deal with noise issues and individuals should approach them directly. Action: Clerk to ascertain from Mike Beech whether the Old Forge is a business premises.
  2. Drainage issues:  The Red House have cleared a ditch and a concern was raised as to whether this might create a problem in Watery Lane.  No problem has occurred as yet.
  3. Risk assessment and approval of Annual Governance Statement: Council considered the details of the Annual Governance statement as required by the annual audit.  The Statement was approved and signed by the Chair.
  4. Finance:  Approval of Accounting Statement (Annual return for 2012/2013)

Members approved the accounts to the end of the financial year as a correct record and these were duly signed by the Chair.

     Renewal of insurance:  It was resolved to renew the existing policy with   Zurich and a cheque was signed for £243.80 being the renewal premium.

10.  Correspondence: The clerk read out the correspondence received since the last meeting.

11. a.o.b.  It was noted that there had been a further accident on the B3081 at the fork and sharp bend near Park Wall Cottage, Stoney Stoke.  A car had gone off the road and into the field.  The clerk reported, that although promised, no report had been received from Tim Russell, PCSO. Council felt that he should be requested to consider measures to improve the safety of this bend, such as more reflective of bigger signs and cutting of the hedges around the chevrons.  Action:  Clerk to convey this to Tim Russell.

Council thanked Charles Dowding for his excellent Chairmanship of the Parish Council and contribution and hard work over the years. 

12. Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at  8.22pm.

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MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON Tuesday 14th May 2013 at 7.30 PM.
Present: C Dowding (Chairman), P Costen, Paul Williams,  Richard Ellis, Janet Robinson, M Hill (Clerk)

1.  Apologies for absence:  Mike Beech (District Councillor), Anna Groskop (CountyCouncillor)

2.  Minutes of last meeting: These were approved as a correct record.

3.  Matters arising: None.

4.  Parish Council Chairman’s report 2012-2013

Planning
This has been the quietest year I have known for council meetings, five only, largely a result of fewer planning applications in the parish.
The main one was a year ago, Oliver Dowding’s application for a car park to remove traffic from the road on a dangerous bend at Hillside, but his proposed large parking area resulted in complaints from many inhabitants of Higher Shepton at a highly charged meeting in June, with Council sending this recommendation to District Council planners:  “Council agrees to a car park in principle and may look favourably on a revised application of a smaller scale.”
Then at the meeting in July, Mike Beech reported that “This application has been approved by SSDC following a recommendation for approval by Mike Beech in view of the ‘overwhelming Highways arguments’.  A condition of the permission is that no structure more than 60cm high may be built on the land.”
Another planning matter has been the consultation on South Somerset’s Local Plan 2006-2028 (previously called ‘Core Strategy’). Shepton Montague is defined as a ‘rural settlement’ within the Plan.  Mike Beech advised us at the July meeting that the former development boundaries have been removed which means development is more possible than it was, but that there can be no development within the parish unless the Parish Council wants it and makes a case for it.  This would include demonstrating that more than 50% of the parish support any development, shown for example by a referendum or questionnaire.
A final planning matter was the ongoing, seventeen year old issue of Stop Gap where Gillian MacCarthy once again used media and internet publicity to highlight her condition and solicit help. In this case it came from eager “permaculturists” who, while helping her very slowly, were not respectful of cleaning the village hall behind them, and at Council’s November meeting concern was expressed about the additional vehicles and building work being carried out at the site. District and County were keeping an eye on the situation and no action needed to be taken although quite a mess was made around the new building.

Finance
After raising the precept last year to pay higher wages and increase the reserve, which was lower than almost every other council, the clerk explained in January that although members had agreed to maintain the precept at the same level as 2012-2013 there had since been changes in the way this is calculated, as a result of the impact of the ‘Localisation of Council Tax’.  SSDC is now required to reduce the tax base by the number of benefit claimants in each Parish. This reduces Shepton Montague’s tax base of inhabitants (from 97.56 in 2012/13 to 94.42 in 2013/4) and thus the tax charge will go up if the precept is kept the same.  However for 2013/14 Central Government is giving some help in the form of the ‘Council Tax Support Scheme’.  Currently this is 10% lower than the shortfall created by the changes, meaning that council tax will eventually increase to cover it, but with Shepton Montague’s precept being so small and there being so few claimants in the parish, the effect is negligible this year.  To sum up, in future the precept calculation will be affected by the number of houses in the parish, the number of council tax benefit claimants and the level of any Central Government grant. Our conscientious clerk spent a whole day In Yeovil learning about this!

Crime
Tim Russell, our Police Community Support Officer, never made it to January’s meeting because he got the wrong day and mailed the clerk that he had “found the hall in darkness and checked the windows, but nothing was amiss”. There have been no reported incidents except a small theft of Oliver’s firewood and some farm thefts.

Highways
ROADS have caused problems, partly due to last year’s relentlessly wet weather, partly due to ever-increasing volume and weight of traffic, such as the Knowle Rock milk tanker and large tractors. None of the builders who created these lanes could have imagined such monster vehicles, and many road edges, middles even, are either crumbling or sinking, with potholes appearing. Peter and I had a tour of the main problems in January, with Tony Leach of Highways, and he has worked diligently to repair the main problems, apart from the drain at Welham Farm, all within a shrinking budget. Council sent Mr Leach a letter of thanks in April. Anna Groskop pointed out that much government money on roads is wasted by the tendering process, because it slips into the pockets of contractors who then subcontract more than once, up to four times, all taking a margin, and she regrets being powerless to remedy this, despite all her attempts.
Council’s request to move the ’30’ sign from near the Montague Inn to a hundred yards further north towards Bruton, has not yet been fulfilled and we are chasing Colin Fletcher on this. Neither has our request yet been respected that the Speed Indicator Devices be sited near the crossroads, instead of at the Welham end.
The most recent installation of SID devices near Lily Farm showed 4200 cars entering SM in the fortnight between April 18th and May 2nd 2013, of which 288 were speeding at over 40mph and three at over 50mph. One hopes most of them slowed down before reaching the main part of the village. We have asked for the device to be installed next time by the crossroads, where speeding is even more dangerous, so close to many houses and the pub.

Churchyard
Also in April we learnt that Roger Meaden is unable to continue mowing the churchyard after many years of doing it so regularly and tidily, we thank him for that. Peter Costen obtained a quote from Steve Crabb for £660 for the maintenance of the churchyard (April to October) which members accepted.

Chair
Finally we come to the vacating Chair as Charles is no longer living in the village and stands down in a few minutes time. In April it was agreed that Richard Ellis would move from Vice Chair to Chair.  Charles nominated Paul for Vice Chair and this was unanimously agreed. Richard may be abroad for long periods so Paul’s long experience of council matters will be helpful. The vacancy on Council was then advertised for fourteen days, with no request for an election from the minimum of ten parishioners, after which it was agreed to co-opt Richard Reed to council, with thanks to Mark Hill of Stoney Stoke, who also expressed a will to serve if needed. Next elections are in 2015.
I wish to record my great thanks to Margaret Bowden for being so helpful, steady and supportive as Clerk, and to my fellow councillors.

Charles Dowding 14/05/2013

5.  Presentation of the Parish Council accounts (unaudited).

The clerk distributed copies of the Parish Council accounts for the year ended 31st March 2013.  Expenditure had been reduced slightly against that budgeted: a more competitive insurance quote had been obtained saving £75 on the year and the cost of maintaining the churchyard had not increased as anticipated saving £50. Also the fee for the external audit came in at £60 and not £90 as budgeted. The clerk was paid after the end of the financial year so the payment of £450 for 2012-13 is not shown under expenditure but will appear in next year’s accounts.

The balance in the account at 31st March 2013 carried forward to 2013-14 was £1,519.38.

6. Open discussion.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 7.50pm.

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MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON TUESDAY 2nd APRIL 2013 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Williams, Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (CountyCouncillor).

  1.  Apologies for absence – Mike Beech
  2. Declarations of Interest – None
  3. Minutes – The minutes of the meeting held on 24th January were approved as a correct record.
  4. Matters Arising;  Affordable Housing Needs Survey:  On 31st January Tim Cook had sent through a draft questionnaire and supporting letter which had been circulated to members for comment. Any comments had been fed back to Tim Cook but nothing further had been heard from him.  Action:  Clerk to chase up.
  5. Highways issues:  The drain at Welham Farm has not been cleared.  Anna Groskop volunteered to take this up with Highways.  The drain on East Street near Hope Chapel has been cleared and the road patched.  The potholes in the lane to Stoney Stoke have been filled.

The 30mph sign is still awaiting its being moved back from the crossroads away from the Montague Inn in the Bruton direction (as previously agreed with Colin Fletcher).  Anna agreed to expedite this.

There was general discussion on potholes, which have become a problem everywhere following the harsh winter.  Main roads are re-surfaced on a 3 year cycle but minor roads and lanes are only patched. It was noted that the increasingly large vehicles that pass through the village are causing damage to the road edges in particular. There is a weight restriction of 7.5 tons for vehicles through the village but this not apply if they are merely delivering.

It was concluded that nothing further could be done but that Tony Leach of Highways should be thanked for the amount of work Highways have carried out during the year in patching the roads and clearing the drains.

  1. Churchyard maintenance:  Peter Costen had obtained a quote from Steve Crabb for £660 for the maintenance of the churchyard (April to October) which was acceptable to members.
  2. Finance: Cheques were signed for £450 for Clerk’s pay for 2012-13 (no tax due) and SALC fee for 2013-14.
  3. Chairmanship and co-option of additional Council member: Charles will be standing down from the council at the next meeting so a new Chair and additional member will be required.  It was agreed that Richard Ellis would move from Vice Chair to Chair.  Charles nominated Paul for Vice Chair and this was unanimously agreed. The vacancy on the Council needs to be advertised for fourteen days after which a new member can be co-opted if no requests for an election are received.  Action:  Clerk to post public notices of vacancy on noticeboards and village website.  Clerk to obtain necessary bank forms for changes of signatory on Parish Council account.
  4. Date/Agenda items for Annual Meeting in May:  The annual meeting was provisionally agreed for 14th May.  Members to advise clerk if they are unable to make this date.
  5. Correspondence:  An email had been received from Eve Wynn, new Parish Clerk for Charlton Musgrove, in reply to ours with comments on the Planning Application 12/00778/S73A land at Oak Barn, Charlton Musgrove. Eve said she would relay members’ comments to Charlton Musgrove PC at their next meeting and report back with any feedback. Nothing further had been heard.
  6. a.o.b.  Anna Groskop said that she would be standing for re-election onto the County Council.  She was thanked for her attendance at our meetings and her valuable contributions and help.
  7. Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.25pm.

Chairman ___________________________ Date________________

MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 24th JANUARY 2013 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor), Mike Beech (District Councillor)

  1. Apologies for absence:   Mr P Williams
  2. Declarations of Interest:  None
  3. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
  4.  Matters Arising: 

Drains: The drain near Hope Chapel has been cleared but is still not working effectively.

Affordable Housing Needs Survey: The clerk had emailed Tim Cook on 10th Jan for an update but no reply had been received.

S.I.D.: see agenda item 7

Linley Farm: Mike Beech said he had complained about the hedge removal at Linley Farm and lack of notification of the Parish Council.

5.  Precept 2013-2014:  The clerk explained that although members had agreed to maintain the precept at the same level as 2012-2013 there had since been changes in the way this is now calculated as a result of the impact of the Localisation of Council Tax.  SSDC is now required to reduce the tax base by the number of benefit claimants in the Parish. This puts the tax base down (from 97.56 in 2012/13 to 94.42 in 2013/4) and thus the council tax charge will go up if the precept is kept the same.  However for 2013/14 Central Government is giving some help in the form of the Council Tax Support Scheme.  This is at least 10% lower than the shortfall created by the changes meaning that overall council tax will have increase to cover it.  However, because Shepton Montague precept is so small and there are few claimants in the parish, the effect on our parish is negligible this year.  Members should be aware that in future the precept calculation will be affected by the number of houses in the parish, the number of council tax benefit claimants and the level of any Central Government grant. This year the Parish Council is required to include the Central Government Grant in its budget and request a precept amount net of the grant (i.e. to request a precept of £2360 – £75 = £2285). Action:  Clerk to complete and send in precept request form on this basis.

6. Police Incident Report:   Tim Russell, PCSO, had sent in the following report in response to a request for information about local crime/incidents including the several accidents that have occurred on the B3081 on the corner just north of Dairy Cottage, Stoney Stoke:

TOWN/PARISH COUNCIL MTG: Shepton Montague

INCIDENTS:

None

CURRENT SCAMS:

High pressure selling from security companies offering to fit alarm systems and claiming to work with the police. Please report to us.

LOOK OUT FOR:

Remain aware of suspicious vehicles touring the area and of the security of sheds/outbuildings and their contents i.e. chain saws, mowers, cycles, trailers, quads and fuel.

Fuel thefts – heating oil and from vehicles – again please report any suspicious activity.

CURRENT PACT PRIORITIES:

Dwelling Burglaries / Rural Crime

FUTURE PACT PRIORITIES:

Dwelling Burglaries / Rural Crime

Unfortunately PCSO Russell did not include the information requested.   The clerk to email him to follow this up and thank him for the report so far.

7.  Highways Issues: The Chair is liaising with Colin Fletcher from Highways regarding a list of issues in the Parish e.g. speed and volume of traffic through the village, the drains at Hope Chapel, a blocked culvert at Welham, a tree at the Montague Inn crossroads and the Speed Indicator Device.  Charles will feedback at the next meeting.

8. Correspondence: The clerk read out the correspondence received since the last meeting.

9. a.o.b. The Stop Gap: Concern was expressed about the additional vehicles and building work being carried out at the site. District and County are aware of the situation and no action is to be taken unless there is criminal activity. Mike Beech is to be advised if there are additional people living at the site.

10. Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.12pm.

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MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr P Williams, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor) and two members of the public.
Minutes subject to approval at the next meeting.

1. Apologies for absence:   Mr R Ellis (currently away)

2. Declarations of Interest:  Janet Robinson declared an interest in Item 6.

3. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
4. Matters Arising:

  • Drains:  The drain outside Hope Chapel House on East Street is still blocked and causing problems for the occupier.  Anna Groskop agreed to mention this again to Highways.
  • Affordable Housing Need Survey:  It is anticipated that questionnaires will not be sent out before the New Year.
  • Speed Indicator Device:  Peter Costen stated that there was a problem with speeding traffic at the Bruton end of the village and, although this side of the crossroads did not qualify for a SID when previously assessed, felt this should be reassessed.  Suellen Dainty (clerk for Bratton Seymour Parish) explained that there were also concerns over the speed of traffic through Bratton Seymour and suggested a joint initiative to Highways to find ways to alleviate the problems.  At the last meeting it was agreed to invite John Nicholson of Highways to a meeting in the New Year to discuss what measure could be taken to reduce traffic and speeding.  It was agreed that Bratton Seymour should be included in this meeting.  Action:  Clerk to arrange a date with Highways and liaise with Suellen Dainty.
  • The Aviaries: Still no application received from Planning Department yet.
  • Linley Farm: The works here are apparently to create a farm shop for Kimbers however Council have received no notification of this as neighbouring parish.  Action:  Clerk to email Mike Beech, District Councillor, to make this point and express concern over removal of the hedge.

5. Planning Application 12/04073/FUL Change of use of land to mixed agricultural and equestrian, erection of timber stable block and erection of mobile timber stable block.  Southdown Farm, Verrington Lane, BA9 8JP  After discussion it was resolved to return the following observation to Planning:

The Parish Council has no objections to this application but has concern that there is no provision in the proposal for manure storage suitably distanced from a water course (particularly as this may affect previous applications).
Janet Robinson stepped down for the following agenda item:

 

6. Planning Application 12/04186/DPO Application to release a piece of land (from Section 106 agreement) to Fairbank for the use as a garden.  Higher Farm, East Street, BA9 8JJ  The Applicant, Robert Dimond was present at the meeting and explained that although this land was currently subject to a Section 106 agreement (tying the land together and to the farm), he cannot access this piece of land with a tractor as it is too steep and so it is useless for agriculture.  The owners of Fairbank wish to acquire the land as an extension to their garden.  Consensus of the meeting was that this land would not be suitable for development in the future due to its gradient. Council resolved to return the following observation to Planning:

The Parish Council has no objections as the land is unsuitable both for farming and for development due to its gradient.

Janet Robinson rejoined the meeting.

7. Budget for 2012-2013  The clerk distributed copies of the budget and actual spending for 2012-2013.  When all budgeted expenses are paid there will remain £662.74 in the account.  This was felt to be an appropriate amount of reserve and Paul Williams proposed therefore that the precept for 2013-2014 not be increased over last year’s level.  The budget for 2013-2014 is to be agreed at the next meeting and the precept formally set.  Action: Agenda item for next meeting.

8. Finance:  Cheques were written as follows:  Mr Meaden (churchyard grass cutting and maintenance)  £700,  Citizens Advice Bureau £20, Shepton Montague Village Hall  £100.

9. Correspondence: There was only one item of correspondence: Appeal in respect of application decision reference 11/04263/FUL Erection of 1 No. wind turbine, access track an associated ancillary development at High Winds Farm, Higher Holton, Wincanton – appeal dismissed.

10. a.o.b.

  • Several large potholes have opened up in the village.  Anna Groskop took details of locations and will pass these to Highways.
  • Richard Ellis has offered to collect and distribute this year’s Parish allocation of grit/salt from the depot in Yeovil on 24th November.
  • Robert Dimond mentioned that he still had sandbags in his possession for one-time use only for flood prevention.
  • Chairmanship:  Paul Williams raised the point that a new Chair would be required after April/May next year when Charles Dowding steps down and that a new council member would need to be co-opted should he decide to resign from council altogether next year.

11. Open discussion
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.30pm.

MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 25th OCTOBER 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr P Williams, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor), Mike Beech (District Councillor) and Tim Cook , Officer of S.S.D.C.

  1. Apologies for absence:   Mr R Ellis (currently away) 
  2. Declarations of Interest:  None 
  3. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record with the exception of the last sentence of Item 4 which was struck out.
  4. Matters Arising: 
  • Grove Cross: The clerk reported that an email had been received from John McParland, clerk to Pitcombe Parish Council. He had queried the accident figures at this junction and also the possibility of light controls.  The response from County remained negative with little prospect of immediate action.  Pitcombe P.C. will continue to lobby on this and are considering its inclusion within a parish plan. Anna Groskop advised that there will never be enough money in the budget to meet the very high cost of building a roundabout and that there are several other higher priority areas.
  • Drains:  The drain outside The Chapel House on East Street is still blocked.  Anna agreed to mention this to Tony Leach of Highways. The clerk had received as email from Highways concerning the drain on the B3081 near The Smithy, suggesting that matters could be improved if the landowner were to dig the ditch deeper.  Action:  Clerk to write to the landowner, Bill Hopkins. 

5. Affordable Housing Need Survey:  Tim Cook, S.S.D.C. explained that he was seeking the Parish Council’s agreement to carry out a survey of Shepton Montague residents by sending a questionnaire to every household.  The survey aims to establish whether there is an unmet need from local people for affordable housing (which he defined as housing which would not normally be granted permission but which would be allowed if it could be shown that it met the needs of people with a strong local connection).  He had already surveyed Charlton Musgrove, Penselwood and Brewham and still had Stoke Trister, Cucklington and Pitcombe to survey. So far the number identified was too low to justify taking forward a viable housing scheme proposal. He explained that numbers have to be high enough for a Housing Association to take a scheme on board and then a local landowner has to be found who will sell land at an affordable price. Affordable housing built in this way would be tied in the first instance to the people who took part in the survey and were in need of housing. After this any empty homes would be offered to people outside the scheme currently on the Housing Register.

Action: After discussion it was agreed that Tim Cook would send through the questionnaire and accompanying letter he was proposing to use so that the Parish Council could discuss it.

6. Speed Indicator Device:  Information had been received from Dave Grabham at S.S.D.C of a new policy regarding the funding of SID’s. There is no longer the need for a financial contribution to be made by the local council so all locations that are agreed and qualify for a SID will now be funded by the County Council, up to a maximum of two locations. He was asking if the Parish Council would like to remain within the scheme. As there are continuing issues with speeding traffic in the village, members agreed this would be a good idea.  Action:  Clerk to advise Mr Grabham.

Anna Groskop suggested that it would be helpful if someone from Highways were invited to a future Parish Council meeting to discuss what could be done to slow down traffic through the village.  Action: Clerk to liaise with John Nicholson at Highways in the New Year to invite him to a meeting. 

7. Correspondence: The clerk read out items of correspondence received since the last meeting. This included a letter from Brian Ashford-Russell concerning a planning application for The Aviaries however the application had not yet been received. 

8. a.o.b. Paul Williams asked if there was any information as to what was happening at Linley Farm as a substantial length of roadside hedge had been removed clearly in preparation for something.  Mike Beech said he was unaware of what this might be and would look into it.

9. Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.30pm.

MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON TUESDAY 24th JULY 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr P Williams, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor) and Mike Beech (District Councillor).

  1. Apologies for absence:   Mr R Ellis (currently abroad)
  2. Declarations of Interest:  None
  3. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
  4. Matters Arising: Planning Application 12/01623/FUL: Formation of a carparking area for the occupants of 1 and 2 Hillside Cottages, Shepton Montague (resubmission of 09/04807/FUL) Land opposite Hillside Cottages, Higher Shepton Road, Shepton Montague.  This application has been approved by SSDC following a recommendation for approval by Mike Beech in view of the ‘overwhelming Highways arguments’.
  5. Consultation: South Somerset Local Plan 206-2028 (Formerly ‘Core Strategy’) Shepton Montague is defined as a ‘rural settlement’ within the Plan.  Mike Beech advised that the former development boundaries have been removed which means that there will be no development within the parish unless the Parish Council wants it and makes a case for it.  This would mean demonstrating that more than 50% of the parish support any development (shown for example by a referendum or questionnaire).
  6. New Code of Conduct and revision to Standing Orders.

The clerk explained that under the Localism Act 2011, the current Code of Conduct is abolished and all councils must adopt a new code.  (The new code must be consistent with the 7 ’Nolan’ principles of standards in public life.  These are Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.) There is also a requirement for the registration of ‘disclosable pecuniary interests’ and it will be a criminal offence for a member to fail to disclose such an interest without reasonable excuse or to provide false or misleading information. Copies of the Code of Conduct based on the Model supplied by the National Association of Local Councils and the Somerset Association of Local Councils were distributed to members.  Members resolved to adopt the code as of 31st July 2012.

As a result of the adoption of a new Code of Conduct revisions need to be made to the Standing Orders of the Parish Council. Proposed revisions (new SO 7, new SO25) were distributed by the clerk.  Council resolved to adopt the revisions as proposed with the exception of SO7 paragraph (b) which is to be struck out.

7.  Finance: A cheque in the sum of £60 was written to Moore Stephens in payment of the external audit fee.

8.  Correspondence:  

Planning application for wind turbine at High Winds Farm, Higher Holton: was refused and the applicants have appealed against this decision. Any comments to be sent to the Planning Inspectorate by 21st August. Council had no additional comments.

Street naming and numbering: SSDC have formally adopted provisions which enable them to charge for numbering of new properties (£100 plus £10 for each additional property) and for changing the name of an existing property (£100).

Grove Cross Junction:  The clerk had received an email from the clerk to Pitcombe Parish Council.  He reported that Pitcombe PC had formally approached the County Council regarding the junction and in support of a roundabout there but had received a largely negative response.  This included the information that CC records indicated there had not been a recorded injury accident at the junction since 2009. The local PCSO was present at the Pitcombe PC meeting and undertook to provide stats for the last 4 years from police records.  Further action from Pitcombe PC will depend on what these stats show.

Road closure:  Highways had sent notification of the temporary closure of B3081 Bruton Road at Evercreech from 30th July for an expected 5 days.

 

9.  a.o.b.  Hopkins infill – land behind Quarry Cottages: Charles had spoken to the residents and progress is being made towards reinstating the field.  However it was noted that no drain has been put in yet to divert drainage water around the cottages.

Southdown Farm ‘Lake’:  Mike Beech reported that as permission was granted 2 years ago and conditions have not been met he has started the process towards revocation (withdrawal of permission and re-instatement of land.)

Blocked drains:

Clerk to report the following blocked drains to Highways:

  • drain outside the chapel house on East Street
  • drain outside The Smithy, Stoney Stoke is still blocked (already reported but problem persists)
  • drain(s) in Watery Lane at Southdown Farm end.  Attempts have been made to clear the surface water but the drain is blocked beneath.
  • Also, the stile into the orchard from the rear of the land allocated for the carpark for Hillside cottages, is broken and needs repair.  Clerk to report to Eve Wynn.

Chairmanship:  Charles Dowding advised that he would be moving out of the parish this year and would no longer be eligible to stand for Council at the next election.  In view of his excellent work on the Parish Council and extensive local knowledge he was asked, and agreed, to continue as Chair until April or the next Annual Parish Council meeting when he would step down.

10.  Open discussion:

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.34pm.

_

MINUTES OF THE  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 7th JUNE 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mr P Williams, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Anna Groskop (County Councillor), Mike Beech (District Councillor)  and 14 members of the parish.

  1. Apologies for absence:  none
  2. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were corrected to show Paul Williams’ name correctly and then approved as a correct record.
  3. Matters Arising: The drain in Stoney Stoke would appear to have been cleared as no water has accumulated in the lane as before despite the recent heavy rain.
  4. Planning Application 12/01623/FUL: Formation of a car parking area for the occupants of 1 and 2 Hillside Cottages, Shepton Montague (resubmission of 09/04807/FUL) Land opposite Hillside Cottages, Higher Shepton Road, Shepton Montague.�
    This matter had been discussed briefly at the last meeting. Charles Dowding outlined the main points discussed then. Mike Beech and Anna Groskop clarified that the white line at the road edge merely indicates the boundary line of the road and there are therefore no restrictions on parking immediately outside Hillside Cottages except where an obstruction is caused and the police may take action if they consider it dangerous.
    The main questions to be considered were now:  Is there a need for a car park?   If so, is the proposed car park in the right place and of appropriate size?
    Council members gave their initial views on the application before taking comments from the public.  Peter Costen was generally in favour, Janet Robinson felt there was a need for alternative parking space of some kind in view of the busyness of the road but felt that the proposed car park was in a dangerous place.  Paul Williams had concerns about the size and visibility of the proposed car park but was conscious that an accident may occur if no parking provision were made.  Charles Dowding agreed that there needed to be some improvement to the existing situation and was in favour of the car park in principle. Richard Ellis agreed that car parking space was needed but that the proposed car park was too big.
    Anna Groskop was asked how ‘no parking’ in the existing layby outside Hillside Cottages could be enforced, should alternative parking space be available. She thought this would be difficult and would need to involve Highways but that the application before the council did not include this aspect anyway.
    Charles stated that the majority of members seemed to be of the view that the car park was a good idea but that it possibly needed reducing in size.  He then invited comments from the floor and the following points of view were expressed:
    The proposed car parking area is too big for 4 cars and it would be a shame to lose green space.
    Run off from the car park into the field may make the field wetter than it is now if appropriate drainage is not included in the proposal.
    The car park would not be used as it will be a dark field on the opposite side of the road from the cottages.  People will leave their cars wherever they like, as they do now.
    There is no need for a car park.
    A layby would be a better option.
    The road is dangerous but building the car park on the other side does not make it any safer.  Car owners would have to cross the road thus inviting an accident.
    Cutting into the front gardens of Hillside Cottages and making the existing parking space larger would take the parked cars off the road completely, on the correct side.
    The foundations of the garden wall of Scythe Cottage/Westhill House may be affected or undermined by the proposed work.
    The car park surface should be of a porous material. (The applicant – Oliver Dowding confirmed that the surface material would be porous but that the actual material had not yet been decided upon.)�
    The ‘Slow’ sign on the road had been re-painted some time ago nearer the corner than before.
    The proposed car park could theoretically accommodate 10 cars therefore it was too big. More car park area would mean more cars parking and more cars therefore exiting onto the road. 150 square metres (i.e. half the proposed size) is ample for 4 cars.
    The car park would be an eyesore.
    150 square metres is more than adequate for 6 cars.
    A car park on the opposite side of the road from the cottages would present a problem when unloading shopping and children as to which to leave behind whilst dealing with crossing the road with the other.
    Traffic comes along the road at high speed so making children cross it from the car park is a less safe option than the current situation.
    A layby is the better option.  Cars parked in it would be clearly visible to oncoming traffic – more so than the opening from the car park and therefore safer.
    Cars parked at the roadside are more prominent and visible and therefore safer than emerging from a car park.
    The presence of cars parked outside Hillside Cottages has acted to slow down traffic on the road the best option may be to take no action at all.
    Hillside Cottages are not at the narrowest part of the road anyway.
    Change of use of the land from agricultural to residential is to be resisted as this might open up the possibility of future development on this land.
    Oliver Dowding stated that some of the proposed area could not be used for car parking because of the slope of the wall.  Cars needed sufficient space for turning as well as parking. The car park needed to be able to accommodate vehicles of different sizes.
    He said that digging out the garden wall to make a larger parking area in front of the cottages was not an option as would not be agreed by Highways.
    He was asked if a condition could be added to his agreement with his tenants to the effect that they should not park in front of Hillside Cottages but only in the car park provided.  He said that he would be happy to include this.  Doubt was expressed as to whether this would be enforceable however.
    Having taken comments from the floor members considered their response to the specific application before them.  Four members objected to the proposal as the car park was too big, though they were in favour of a car park in principle.  One member was against in principle due to the loss of green space.
    Action:  It was agreed that the clerk return the following comment to Planning:
    Shepton Montague Parish Council objects to this proposal.  Council agrees to a car park in principle and may look favourably on a revised application of a smaller scale.

5.  Correspondence:  Notification had been received from SSDC that Planning application 12/01143/FUL for refurbishment of a workshop at Southdown Farm had been refused.

6.  a.o.b.  Jubilee Celebrations – The clerk reported that the cost of putting on the children’s party and evening event on June 4th had totalled just under £7,800.  Income from ticket sales, mug sales, fund raising and donations and sponsorships totalled just under £8,000 so the Jubilee committee will be able to leave a small ‘start up’ fund for the next event.  There are a few commemorative mugs left for sale at £7.50 each. The crowns and diamonds used to decorate the barn have been passed to Castle Cary carnival to use again in some way.�
Paul Williams commented that the Jubilee party had been a ‘fantastic do’ and John Hill was to be congratulated on his decorations of the barn.

7.  Open discussion:  A member of the public made the comment that the Chair should have stood down for the decision on the planning application. Charles Dowding had declared his personal interest informally before the start of the meeting and members were satisfied there was no prejudicial interest.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.35pm.

____________________________________________

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 17th MAY 2012 AT 7.45pm

Present: Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk)

1.  Election of Chair and declarations of acceptance of office (all Councillors)

Paul Williams proposed Charles Dowding as Chair, seconded by Richard Ellis.  Charles Dowding was unanimously elected. Councillors signed the required declarations.

2.  Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs J Robinson, Anna Groskop (County Councillor) and Mike Beech (District councillor)

3.  Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.

4.  Matters Arising: Proposed roundabout at Grove Cross- Anna Groskop had replied to the email in sent support of a roundabout.  She has already proposed 2 projects under the Highway Improvement Scheme for this year but does agree some action needs to be taken and will take this up with Highways.  The clerk reported that she had heard from Pitcombe Parish Clerk that Pitcombe Council are supportive of this initiative too.

5.  Plans for potential carpark for Hillside Cottages: Oliver Dowding had supplied Council with a copy of his plans but no notification had yet been received from Planning Dept. Some concern was expressed over the sight lines on the plan. Peter Costen suggested that Highways should continue the white line at the side of the road outside Hillside Cottages to indicate ‘No parking’.  The meeting was generally in favour of the carpark in principle as a potential solution to a serious problem but would await the actual planning application for full details.  It was felt important that there was the opportunity for villagers to inspect the plans and express their views – particularly the occupants of Scythe Cottage and Moonrakers.

6.  Risk Assessment and approval of Annual Governance Statement:  Members considered the details of the Annual Governance Statement as required by the annual audit.  The Statement was approved by the council and signed by the Chair.

7.  Finance:  Approval of Accounting Statement (Annual return for 2011/12)

The accounts to the end of the financial year were approved as a correct record and duly signed by the Chair.

Cheques were signed for: £225 Insurance renewal premium 2012-2013 (Zurich) and £47.94 for SALC fee 2012-2013.

8.  Correspondence: The clerk read out items of correspondence received since the last meeting including a note received from Anna Groskop thanking the councillors for all their hard work during the year and stating; ‘I have tried really hard to keep all my promises, we will keep the council tax the same for the coming year, we will not borrow any money, we will repay the debts at £100,000 a day whilst trying to keep all the services and spend your money wisely.  The county staff numbers have been reduced by a quarter and highways have repaired all the roads when requested!’

9.  a.o.b.: It was noted that the area where it used to flood in Verrington Lane (just past the red house) was now dry as the culvert was free and flowing.

The problem with the blocked drain in Stoney Stoke had been notified to Highways but no remedial action had been taken as yet.

Depositing of soil at Quarry Cottages:  Mr Trotter (resident) was in touch with County regarding the work which is due for completion by 30th June.  Charles will make an inspection mid-June to see how near to completion this work is.

Open discussion:

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.35pm.

______________________________________________

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON Thursday 17th May 2012 AT 7.30 PM.

Present: C Dowding (Chairman), P Costen, Paul Williams,  Richard Ellis, M Hill (Clerk)

1.  Apologies for absence:  Mrs. Janet Robinson, Mike Beech (District Councillor), Anna Groskop (CountyCouncillor)

2.  Minutes of last meeting: These were approved.

3.  Matters arising: None.

4.  Parish Council Chairman’s report 2011-12

During last summer, Council was mindful of preparing for winter and ordered two more grit bins, one for Stoney Stoke which was subsequently and most kindly paid for by some residents, and one for the hill opposite The Hollows, paid for by Council at a cost of £209. So by October there were four bins full of gravel and salt, and bags of salt and grit were also distributed to households at various other parts of the village.  We were prepared, and it never snowed!

Information about all this was posted on the village website, a most useful resource which is being admirably maintained and improved by Alan Ashdown. The Parish Council has its own banner where agendas and minutes are posted, alongside a continuing use of the village noticeboards.

The potholed road to Stoney Stoke was finally filled, using non allergenic asphalt ‘within range’ of Gillian McCarthy; recently however, some holes have reopened and the contractor’s attempts to fill them have proved futile in the face of heavy milk tanker traffic. One repair lasted only 24 hours and Council has asked Highways to check this and refill the holes properly.

Many planning issues have taken a lot of time this year, notably a couple on the parish borders. Henry Hobhouse’s repeated appeals for a travellers’ camp on his last remaining parcel of land at Hadspen Quarry were rejected by all nine members of the District planning committee, and then again by the planning inspector upon a final appeal, not least because of inadequate water supply. I hope we hear no more of this application which Council voted against.

Likewise we objected to Moorhayes Farm’s application for two wind turbines near Wincanton racecourse. At first we were in favour, until realising their scale and impact, partly thanks to the raising of balloons to indicate the height of their blades. David Posnett gave Council a presentation against the turbines in November, and we declined to finance his legal fund. The application was voted down at appeal and then went to a tribunal where the inspector listened to many, many submissions, nearly all of them against the turbines in that location; he was persuaded to reject the application. Nonetheless, there may be others in the wind, thanks partly to high levels of government subsidy.

A different kind of discussion happened over Bill Hopkins’ application to deposit soil and reprofile land at Stoke Farm. Council agreed to this application, but strictly providing the conditions are adhered to and Ian Trotter in one of the nearby cottages has been diligent about notifying County Council of various infringements, also of watching that the end date  of 30th June is adhered to. Bill Hopkins personally indicated last autumn, in conversation with Mike Beech, that the field would be returned to grass by the end of this spring.

In the parish itself we expressed some reservation over a new swimming pool store at Quarry Welham but this was passed. Vanessa Dowding’s application for a new gateway to the Orchard was finally accepted, with a limiting clause that it be strictly for agricultural use. By contrast the continuing application to renovate a barn at Southtown Farm was objected to by Council because the owner is not engaged in any farming and therefore no need exists for a building to ‘store and process agricultural produce’. A Stop Notice was posted by Andrew Collins on 8th July and is still in place.

Speed limiting measures in the village finished in September and measurements show they have been unsuccessful, so Council decided not to renew any installation of Speed Indicator Devices, which cost £350 for three spells of use in a year. An alternative approach of enlisting volunteers to run a community speed watch was felt to be potentially divisive if people found their neighbours speeding – but this will surely be debated again as speeding traffic continues to be probably the most dangerous part of life in our village.

On that note come the plans being discussed tonight about Oliver Dowding’s desire to create a new car park in the field opposite Hillside Cottages, for the two large vehicles parked in the layby which have caused many near misses between oncoming vehicles, with several complaints to Council about the potential for an accident.

Also on the subject of roads, Council has asked Anna Groskop the county councillor to petition Highways for a roundabout at Grove Crossroads after another serious accident there.

Council is grateful to Margaret Hill our clerk for diligent record keeping and letter writing, and agreed a rise in her salary to £450, an hourly rate of £9, and to expenses of £50. Together with the creation of a £200 reserve, this meant raising the precept in 2012 to £2360, from which the largest expense is £700 for mowing the churchyard. The PCC kindly met a bill of £400 for renovating the war memorial. Our clerk has saved money by administering the new tax regime herself without using the recommended accountants. She is also on a committee for the Diamond Jubilee party and Council gave £150 to support this event.

5.  Presentation of the Parish Council accounts (unaudited).

The clerk distributed copies of the Parish Council accounts for the year ended 31st March 2012.  Expenditure had been in accordance with the budget with the only additional expenses being the purchase of the grit bin and the donation to the Jubilee celebrations, both as already mentioned in the Chairman’s report.  There were two cheques remaining unpresented as at 31st March.  After these have cleared the balance in the account to be carried forward to 2012-13 is £312.32.

It was queried as to whether the main item of expenditure each year, the £700 for mowing the grass in the churchyard, was the responsibility of the Parish Council.  Peter Costen explained that the Parish Council are obliged to pay to have the grass cut once the churchyard is full – which it pretty much is already.  When the churchyard is declared full then Council would be obliged to find another piece of land to use for burials.

6.  Jubilee Celebrations:  The clerk reported that preparations were well in hand for the children’s party and the evening celebrations on June 4th.  The villages had been leafleted once and Richard Ellis offered to copy more leaflets which Peter Costen offered to distribute in Shepton Montague.

7.  Open discussion.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 7.55pm.

______________________________________________

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 12th APRIL 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Mike Beech (District councillor), Anna Groskop (County Councillor) and one member of the public.

1. Apologies for absence –Mrs J Robinson

2. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
3. Matters Arising:

Speed Limiting Measures
:  The alternative to the Speed Indicator Device (which has been tried in the village) is the Community Speed Watch whereby a hand-held device is used to measure the speed of passing traffic and the numberplates of offending motorists are passed to the police for action. There was concern that this could set neighbour against neighbour.

Leiston-cum-sizewell request to support their campaign to empower town and parish councils: SALC and Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council made a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act that the Government Minister, Greg Clark MP, introduce a policy of urging large planning applicants to: 1.  Attend a council meeting to answer questions on their application; and 2. Help fund Town and Parish Councils to obtain a full assessment of the applications. In a Parliamentary debate on 6th March 2012 Minister Greg Clark responded saying it is Government policy regarding the first request (attending meetings) to:�
strongly encourage applicants to engage with, and respond to, reasonable requests from parish and town councils to meet’  And regarding the second request (funding) that �
Let me briefly make a point about the funding side of things … it is open to the developer—the applicant—and the town and parish council to have a voluntary arrangement that would assist with the kind of community engagement we all agree is desirable, not least on the part of applicants.

  • Planning Application no: 11/04300/FUL  Creation of field access and associated hardstanding for agricultural purposes (retrospective) (revised scheme). Land OS4460 Down Lane, Shepton Montague. Application approved by SSDC for access for strictly agricultural use only.
  • Planning Application no: 11/04263  Erection of 2No. 50kW wind turbines (36.4m to hub, 46m to tip), access track and associated ancillary development.  Land OS 3167 High Winds Farm, Higher Holton, Wincanton.  Application refused.

4.   Planning application: Refurbishment of workshop for storage and processing of agricultural produce (Retrospective).  Southdown Farm, Verrington Lane BA9 8JP.
It was resolved to submit the following comment to Planning regarding this application:
A Stop order is currently in force on this development which has proceeded without permission.
Shepton Montague objects to this development. There is currently no evidence of anything of an agricultural nature taking place at Southdown Farm and by nature of its design and size the proposed workshop is therefore entirely inappropriate.

5.   Deposit of soil and reprofiling of land – Field east of Quarry Close, Stoney Stoke
Charles reported that Ian Trotter, resident of Quarry Cottages, has notified Somerset County Council of the breaches in planning conditions that have taken place at the site i.e. work is being carried out at weekends, volumes of dust have been created, lorries have been driven into the field.  Work had definitely started on site by 31st March so should therefore be complete by 30th June to comply.  Mike Beech reported that he had earlier been in discussion with Bill Hopkins and will follow this up with him.

6.   Car parking in village:  Complaints have been received concerning cars being parked on the blind bend corner outside Hillside Cottages, causing a hazard.  Oliver Dowding was present at the meeting and provided information that he had purchased a piece of land 15m x 20m to provide a parking space for 4 cars for the residents of Hillside Cottages.  He will be submitting an application to the District Council for planning permission to use the land for parking.  Peter Costen said that the fear in the village is that this would mean a change of use from agricultural to residential which could lead to development of the land in the future.  Mike Beech advised that it is now impossible to build houses in Shepton Montague without the approval of the Parish Council.
The carpark provision will be discussed at a future meeting when the application has been submitted to SSDC.  It was suggested that a condition could be made saying that the land is to be used only for carparking and no structures are to be built on it at all.

7.   Finance:

  • Clerk’s pay/tax and employer’s annual return to HMRC  The clerk has been paid for the period April 2011 to March 2012, tax deducted and paid to HMRC. The employer’s end of year returns (P14 and P35) have also been submitted to HMRC. 
  • Purchase of litter-picking equipment:  The clerk advised that litter-pickers cost in the region of £25-£30 each.  Mike Beech advised that the Parish Council can give SSDC Streetscene Dept. seven day’s notice that we would like litter picking done in the village and they should respond.  It was decided not to purchase litter-pickers at this time.  Richard reported some fly-tipping he was aware of and will report it so it can be removed.

8.   Correspondence: 

  • The clerk reported that an further planning application had been received relating to The Aviaries (Application no: 12/01312/FUL: Application for a new planning permission to replace existing planning permission 10/00528/FUL for the demolition of existing farm complex buildings, the re-erection of various buildings and the erection of a new farm office and store).  This new application is in relation to a timing issue only and is not a different planning proposal.
  • Notification had been received from the County Council of a temporary road closure at A371 Cary Hill and Bratton Seymour to Cary Hill and A359 Galhampton Hill and Bruton Road, from 16th April for 5 nights, to enable resurfacing to be carried out.  Members felt that there was an overriding case for a roundabout at the Grove Cross junction as there had been several accidents there.  Action:  Clerk to write to Highways to make this point.

9.  a.o.b.  

  • Peter Costen reported that he had attended the launch of the Somerset Community Barn Owl Project.  Parishes can be provided with an owl nesting box if a suitable site can be identified.  Charles suggested that further details could be included in the Village Pump.
  • Peter raised the issue of signage for forthcoming events in the village e.g. fete, plant sale and Jubilee Party.  In the past Streetscene have removed signs that have been placed on the highway and signs must be on private land to not be at risk of removal.
  • It was noted that a good number of potholes in the road from Stoney Stoke to Shepton Montague have recently been filled by Highways but that one (roughly half way between Knowle Bridge and the railway cutting) only lasted 24 hours before the milk lorry went over it and destroyed the repair.  This would indicate the questionable quality of the work.  Action:  Clerk to notify Highways.
  • The clerk advised that tickets for the three parishes’ Jubilee celebrations on June 4th were now on sale and available from herself or from Sean at the Montague Inn.  Bone china commemorative Jubilee mugs were being given to all the children and are also on sale at £7.50 each. She brought along a mug (made in Cornwall) and printed with bunting, the Jubilee logo and the names of the three parishes and wrapped in a presentation box, to show members.

10.      Open discussion: 

  • Oliver Dowding informed the meeting that he had recently erected a garage at his house on East Street and had subsequently received a visit from a Planning Officer.  Oliver advised that the garage buildings were all within permitted development.
  • The Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Parish Council Meeting will take place on Thursday May 17th in the Village Hall.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON TUESDAY 24th JANUARY 2012 AT 7.30pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mrs J Robinson,Mrs M Hill (Clerk).

  1. Apologies for absence –Mr R Ellis, Mr P Williams
  2. Minutes:  The minutes of the last meeting were corrected at point 4 to show that Richard Ellis had been appointed Vice-Chair.  The remainder was approved as a correct record.
  3. 3.      Matters Arising:

Planning applications 11/04253/CPO and 11/04250/CPO- deposit of soil on field east of Quarry Close, Stoney Stoke.  The application for extension of time to carry out this work was granted on 5th January.  The other application for removal of conditions had been withdrawn.  Charles will contact Mr Shorey and Mr and Mrs Trotter and ask them to keep the Council notified of developments at the site.

Planning Application no: 11/04300/FUL  Creation of field access and associated hardstanding for agricultural purposes (retrospective) (revised scheme). Land OS4460 Down Lane, Shepton Montague. Application is pending consideration by SSDC.

Planning Application no: 11/04263  Erection of 2No. 50kW wind turbines (36.4m to hub, 46m to tip), access track and associated ancillary development.  Land OS 3167 High Winds Farm, Higher Holton, Wincanton.  Application is pending consideration by SSDC.

Southdown Farm:  There has been no response from Planning to the request for an update

  1. Budget for 2012-2013 and setting of precept:  The draft budget for 2012-2013 had been circulated to members in advance of the meeting.

Proposed changes from 2011-2012 are:

  • An increase in clerk’s wages to £9 an hour for 50 hours a year to £450. 
  • An inclusion of £50 for clerk’s expenses (if required).
  • A figure of £200 included to build up a reserve fund.
  • A figure towards Speed Limiting Measures*
  • Allowance for inflation.

*The efficacy and cost of the Speed Indicator Device were discussed and it was decided to make an allowance in the budget to fund speed limiting measures in the village. The way forward may be to try a system whereby a hand-held speed measuring device is used and car numbers are recorded and passed to the police. Information on this was obtained previously.  Action:  Clerk to find this information and circulate for future consideration.

The budget for 2012-2013 was agreed and the precept set at £2,360.

Budget 2012-2013

SALC  £      50.00
Village Hall  £    100.00
CAB  £      20.00
Clerk  £    450.00
Clerk’s expenses  £      50.00
Insurance  £    300.00
Audit (Moore Stephens)  £      90.00
Churchyard maintenance/mowing  £    750.00
Speed limiting measures  £    350.00
Reserve  £    200.00
Total £2,360.00
  1. Correspondence:  The clerk had received a request from Leiston-cum-sizewell council for further support in their campaign to empower town and parish councils to deal effectively with large planning applications.  They have asked the council to write to either our MP David Heath or direct to Greg Clark, Communities Minister.  Members agreed to this.  Action:  Clerk to send of letters to both M.P.’s outlining the support of the Parish Council to the proposals.
  2. a.o.b.  Peter Costen had attended the Area East Community Safety Action Panel and gave his feedback.  A Rural Youth Project has been proposed for Wincanton.  The Restorative Justice Panel is looking for volunteers to participate on the panel.

Concern has been expressed in several quarters over parking outside Hillside Cottages which is proving very hazardous.  Action:  Charles will contact Highways to establish the position.

It was agreed that a couple of long-handled ‘litter-pickers’ should be bought for parishioners to use.  Action:  Clerk to arrange purchase.

  1. Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.34pm.

 

SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON TUESDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2011 AT 7.30pm  (Minutes subject to approval at the next meeting.)

Present:         Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk).  Also Mike Beech District Councillor, Anna Groskop County Councillor and two members of the parish.

1.  Apologies for absence – received from Mrs J Robinson and Mr R Ellis.

2.  Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.

3.  Matters Arising: Planning applications 11/04253/CPO and 11/04250/CPO- deposit of soil on field east of Quarry Close, Stoney Stoke.  Mike Beech reported that he had spoken to Bill Hopkins who had agreed to complete the work and return the field to grass again by Spring 2012, subject to planning permission.

4.  Appointment of Vice-Chair:  Paul Williams proposed Richard Ellis   for Vice-Chair and this was seconded by Peter. Richard was duly appointed.

5.  Planning Application no: 11/04300/FUL  Creation of field access and associated hardstanding for agricultural purposes (retrospective) (revised scheme). Land OS4460 Down Lane, Shepton Montague.

After discussion it was agreed that the Council had no objections to this proposal but felt it important to point out that there was an error in the application papers (confirmed by Vanessa Dowding who was present at the meeting). At point 25 Certificates (Agricultural Land Declaration), point A had been ticked instead of point B.

Action:  Clerk to convey these observations to the Planning Officer.

It was also felt important to note that any future Village Plan should include a requirement for entrances etc. to not be wide splays as these are out of keeping with the ambience of the village.

6.  Planning Application no: 11/04263  Erection of 2No. 50kW wind turbines (36.4m to hub, 46m to tip), access track and associated ancillary development.  Land OS 3167 High Winds Farm, Higher Holton, Wincanton.

Members felt that this application presented the same problems as previous applications for wind turbines i.e. that they are contrary to PPS1 (which aims to protect and enhance the natural and historic environment and the quality and character of the countryside) and PPS4 (whereby local authority has a duty to ensure the countryside is protected for the sake of its intrinsic character and beauty and the diversity of its heritage, landscapes and wildlife, to ensure it may be enjoyed by all).  The turbines proposed are particularly tall and will be visible from a wide area.  It was decided to request that a balloon is flown at the site at the height of these turbines and that this event should be widely advertised beforehand.  The Council do not want to see a precedent being set in allowing this application which could lead to a proliferation of hilltop machines in the area.

Members felt that a public enquiry should be held so that all those affected can voice their concerns.

Action:  Clerk to write to Planning Inspectorate outlining the objections and expressing these comments.

7.  Planning Appeal:  Application no; 11/01533/COU  Use of land for two long-term gypsy/traveller pitches.  Land OS 5955 Green Lane, Pitcombe.

Members objected strongly to this proposal for all the reasons outlined by the Area East Committee. It was noted that the appeal submission contained inaccurate and misleading statements e.g. that a water supply could be extended from the quarry.  This was not the case as the supply to the quarry is a private supply from a borehole and it is understood that the owner is not willing to share this water.

Action:  Clerk to write to the Planning Inspectorate stating the objections and commenting on the information presented in the appeal submission.

Action:  Clerk to email the details and address of the Planning Inspectorate to Councillors who may wish to make their own personal representations to the Inspector.

8.  Blue Badges:  After discussion, members resolved to make no comment on the proposed increase in charges.

9.  Jubilee party:  The clerk updated the meeting on the progress of preparations for the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee celebrations to be held on June 4th 2012 at Hadspen.  There is to be a children’s event in the afternoon and a barn dance for adults in the evening starting at 7.30pm.  Hambledon Hopsteps band have been booked and dinner and a bar will be provided by the Montague Inn. The meal will be included in the ticket cost which will be kept as low as possible.  There will be a firework display at 11pm.  Commemorative mugs are being printed with the names of the 3 parishes and these will be presented to the children of the parishes (aged 16 and under) to mark the occasion. Mugs will also be on sale on the day. The next fundraising event will be a bridge day on March 1st 2012.

The next meeting of the Jubilee Committee is to be held on Monday 9th January 2012 at Honeywick House. More involvement from Shepton Montague Parish is needed. Action:  Charles will ask Richard if he is willing to be involved.

10.  Correspondence:  Peter Costen had received the invoice from Mr Meaden for £700 for strimming and cutting the grass in the churchyard from April to November 2011 and passed this to the clerk for payment.

11.  a.o.b. Southdown Farm:  It had been observed that the outbuilding that was the subject of a Stop Order from Planning now had a new roof – though this was currently covered with a tarpaulin. Some concern was expressed about the new windows and that the building now has the appearance of a dwelling rather than a farm building.

Action:  Clerk to ask Andrew Collins, Planning Officer, what the current position is and to update the Parish Council on what is going to happen with regard to this development.

12.  Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting was concluded at 8.11pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON WEDNESDAY 9th NOVEMBER 2011 AT 7.30pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk).  Also Mike Beech District Councillor and five members of the public.

1.  Apologies for absence – received from Mrs J Robinson and Anna Groskop.
2.  Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
3.  Matters Arising:
Southdown Farm Mike Beech explained to the meeting that the new gateway at Southdown Farm opens onto an unclassified road so does not need planning permission.

4.  Planning Applications:
Application no: 11/04253/CPO Extension of time for the commencement of the deposit of soil and reprofiling of land for agricultural purposes. Field east of Quarry Close, Stoney Stoke.
The residents of Quarry Close, Mr and Mrs Trotter and Mr Shorey, were present at the meeting and confirmed that work started on the site some time ago.  The topsoil from the field was stripped and piled up and crushed concrete was imported to the site. Stone was dug out from the field and removed from the site leaving a large hole which subsequently filled with water. No drainage work has been carried out. Mr Trotter reported that soil was now piled 6ft high behind his house and their outlook is spoilt.  Work stopped about two and a half months ago.  Mr Trotter had met with the County Council planner last week when she was visiting the site and it would appear that the original planning permission conditions had been breached.

Members resolved to send the following response to this application:
Although the applicant is seeking an extension of time for the commencement of work, work actually started at the site some time ago and loads have already been dumped there rendering this application invalid.
Apart from this, the applicants have not complied with the original permission in that :
the agreed drainage works have not been carried out

  • the top soil which has been removed has not been piled in the agreed place
  • stone has been quarried from the field, processed and removed from the site

The Parish Council strongly object to this application and in order to protect the residents of Quarry Close would like to see a strict limit imposed so that the permitted works can be finished.  We would suggest a reasonable time would be 6 months maximum.  Assuming work will not recommence until the New Year then the end of June 2012 would seem appropriate for completion of the permitted work and reinstatement of the field back to agricultural land and use.
Action: Clerk to send this response to SCC Planning Control with copies to District and County Councillors and Quarry Close residents for information.

Application no: 11/04250/CPO To undertake land raise/reprofiling development subject to planning permission no 08/02692/CPO (dated 21.10.08) without compliance with condition 3 (time limit); 7 (fill material) or 9 (dust control).  Field east of Quarry Close, Stoney Stoke.
Members resolved to send the following response to this application:
Members object strongly to this application and consider it outrageous that the applicant is seeking to remove the very conditions they originally agreed to and which were put in place to protect the neighbouring properties and the local environment.
Action: Clerk to send this response to SCC Planning Control with copies to District and County Councillors and Quarry Close residents for information.

5.  Planning Appeal:  Application no 11/00325/FUL The erection of two wind turbines together with ancillary development (revised scheme)  Moorhayes Farm, Charlton Musgrove. Keens Cheddar Ltd.
Richard Ellis reported that he had attended the Planning Development Committee meeting where Officers discussed the original application and nobody spoke in support of it.  It was unanimously voted against.�
Mike Beech explained that the appeal had been lodged by the applicant because SSDC had failed to determine the application within the 56 day limit.
It was decided to respond to the appeal, re-iterating previous points and objecting on the grounds that the proposal does not comply with National Planning Guidance points PPS1, PPS4 and PPS22.  Members resolved to request that a full public enquiry be held.�
6.  Finance:
Payment of invoice for Grit Bin A cheque was signed for £208.66 to Glasdon in payment of the invoice for the new grit bin located in the village.  This bin and the new bin in Stoney Stoke have already been sited and filled by Highways in readiness for winter snow.�
A discussion followed on the village preparedness for winter conditions and possible flooding. Mr Ketley thought a village plan should exist for dealing with such eventualities and that the Parish Council should lead the way in setting one up and implementing it.  It was evident that the forward planning that had already been done (e.g. purchase and siting of grit/salt bins and collection and distribution of grit/salt bags to strategic points in the village) had not been advertised enough to parishioners.  Charles offered to include information on the website and in the Village Pump.  Mike Beech offered to meet with the Parish Council as he has experience of winter planning and of the agencies which already exist and are best equipped to deal with poor conditions.  The Parish Council should not operate outside its remit.�
Setting of Precept for 2012-2013 Members decided to defer setting the precept until the New Year when there would be a clearer idea of next year’s likely expenditure.  Accounts for the year 2011/12 were distributed showing the year’s expenditure so far and likely year end balance (£282).

7.  Speed Indicator Device – A letter had been received from Dave Grabham, Traffic Management, Somerset County Council, wanting to know if the Parish Council would like to remain within the SID programme for a further year (three further installations).  If so, the cost would be £350 to the Parish Council.  The figures supplied on the number and speed of cars travelling past the device showed that the device had not been successful in reducing traffic speed.  In view of this it did not seem good use of parish funds and members resolved not to continue with the programme.  Action: Clerk to inform Mr Grabham.
The clerk reported that a letter had also been received from SSDC requesting information about the success of the SID.  Action:  Clerk to complete form and return, indicating the lack of success of the project.

8.  Somerset Electoral Review Consultation – Members had no comments.
9.  DSFRS Fire Alarm Response Consultation – Information had been circulated earlier by email to members.  No response required.
10.  Correspondence
Planning application for travellers pitches at Hadspen had been refused. Mike Beech advised that this application would be going to Appeal.

  • SALC meeting is to be held on 12/12/2011
  • Details of a consultation by Somerset County Council on Countywide Parking Strategy had been received.  Action: Clerk to scan and circulate by email for members to access the draft strategy.
  • The clerk advised that a letter had been received from SSCC Highways advising that defective paving would be replaced by tarmacadam instead of on a like-for-like basis, in order to save money.
  • Two planning applications had been received since the agenda was drawn up for the meeting so a further meeting was needed soon. In the meantime the details of these applications could be circulated. Action: Agreed date for next meeting as Tuesday 22nd November.

11.  a.o.b. Paul Williams gave a short report on a meeting he had attended on Affordable Housing.
Richard Ellis gave a short report on the conference he had attended on Renewable Energy.
Roger Ketley advised the Parish Council that the PCC are to renovate the war memorial in the churchyard.  The PCC will meet the £400 cost as a contribution to the village.
Roger Ketley raised the issue of ownership of the carpark and who is responsible for its maintenance.  Vanessa Dowding advised that the paperwork should be with the Village Hall papers as the carpark belongs to the village hall.

12.  Open discussion
There being no further business the meeting was concluded at 9.08pm.

-oOo-

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON THURSDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER  2011 AT 7.30pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk).  Also Mike Beech District Councillor and three members of the public. (Suellen Dainty from Bratton Seymour, Susie Dowding and David Posnett re Wind Turbines)

  1. Apologies for absence – none received.
  2. Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
  3. Matters Arising:
  • Southdown Farm workshop development: An email had been received from Andrew Collins, Planner, stating that the ‘works’ at Southdown to which he had previously referred consisted of cleaning up the site with the removal of weeds and overgrowth, and as this is not development it does not need planning permission.
  • Planning application 11/02637/LBC Re-modelling of rear porch at Welham House: Permission granted.
  • Planning application 11/02553/FUL Creation of an access for agricultural purposes (retrospective). Application withdrawn.
  • Gulleys in the area of Watery Lane: The clerk reported that Highways had confirmed these would be repaired within the next 3-4 weeks.
  • Diamond Jubilee Celebrations: The planned 50/50 fundraising auction had been postponed and may be replaced with a different fundraising event next spring.  Catering and bar for the main Jubilee event will be provided by the Montague Inn.

4.  Planning Application 11/00325/FUL: Wind turbines –Moorhayes Farm

David Posnett addressed the meeting and stated that his prime interest in this matter was the preservation of this extremely beautiful landscape.  He gave a brief history of the planning applications for wind turbines at Moorhayes Farm, explaining that the first application had contained inaccurate information. Andrew Collins (Planner) had asked for the application to be withdrawn as it had not been demonstrated that there would not be an impact on visual amenity.  The Agent disagreed but the application was withdrawn and resubmitted, still without the necessary and proper information. A.O.N.B. officials and GHS warned the applicant of the importance of this area and that insufficient information had been supplied in the application.  Mr Posnett stated that the Design Access Statement (presented on 10th August) contained errors of fact but nevertheless SSDC officers recommended approval.  A balloon was flown over the site to indicate the position and height of the proposed turbines but this was only flown for 2 hours and no Planning Officers were invited to view it.

Mr Posnett then showed the Parish Council members photo-montages showing the position and height of the proposed turbines from various viewpoints in the area e.g. Redlynch Park, Verrington Lane, Knowle Rock.  The nearest dwelling to the proposed turbines is Elm Bungalow with potential for noise as well as visual impact.

Mr Posnett then drew the attention of the meeting to the costs involved in putting forward a case against such applications.  The Silton group have incurred costs of £80,000 so far fighting an application for wind turbines in that area.  He stated that a pledged fund was needed (i.e. if the money were not used it would be returned). There is a current fund and Mr Posnett felt it was important that everyone pledges something if they think that opposing the application is the right thing to do.  He asked for the Parishioners of Shepton Montague to pledge money as it will be needed on appeal.

Mr Posnett was thanked for attending the meeting and providing valuable input.

It was decided to send a further letter to Mr Norris, Development Manager, reiterating the Parish Council’s position, particularly in the light of the information supplied to the meeting by Mr Norris.  Action: Clerk to write to Mr Norris as follows:

The above application has generated considerable concern amongst residents, as a result of which we wrote to the Planning Officer, Mr. Collins, on 2nd September and a full Parish Council meeting was held on 22nd September.  Information was presented at the meeting, particularly with regard to the visual impact of these proposed turbines, from which it is evident that they will be clearly visible from many points in the parish and will be extremely prominent in the landscape.

We are of the view that the original application and this current application have both failed to provide the detail and information necessary for an informed decision to be made.  We understand that there has been a call for a full visual impact survey, which we would fully support. We trust that SSDC will not proceed further with this application without the essential facts.

5.  Planning Application 11/02565/FUL: Erection of a 15 metre high wind turbine (GR 370039/131298) at Land at Knowle Rock Farm.

This application had been withdrawn.

6.  Finance:
A cheque was signed for £150 as contribution from the Parish Council toward the Jubilee celebrations fund.
The clerk reported that the agency that had been been approached regarding dealing with PAYE, charges £48 + VAT per annum.  As this seemed a large amount from the Council’s small budget the clerk had registered the Parish Council as an annual payer so that dealings with HMRC would only be required once a year in April and she would deal with that herself. The clerk’s wages for 20011/12 would therefore become due in March 2012.

7.  Grit Bins: Two grit bins have been bought for the Parish since last winter, one near the Montague Inn and one in Lower Shepton.  These were kindly paid for by Peter Costen and Charles Dowding respectively.  It was decided that a further grit/salt bin was need in the area of East Street and one in Stoney Stoke.  Council funds could be used to pay for one.  Bertie Read had kindly offered to pay for one for Stoney Stoke and other Stoney Stoke residents had agreed to contribute to the cost.  Action: Clerk to order 2 salt/grit bins from Glasdon to be filled by Highways and located (with Highways’ agreement) as follows:
Stoney Stoke at the bottom of the hill near the junction with the lane up to Lushes Farm.

Shepton Montague in East Street on the verge opposite The Hollows.

8.  Correspondence: The clerk read out items of correspondence received since the last meeting.

9.  a.o.b.

  • Speed Indicator Device: the last installation started on 12/9/11.  It was suspected that the device was not working properly.
  • Nippy bus 667: There was a complaint that, on occasions, the bus travels through the village much too fast.  A letter to the bus company was needed but actual dates and times would be helpful.  Action: Janet to email some facts to the clerk so a letter can be written.
  • Renewable Energy Conference: Richard will be attending the on Oct. 7th and will report  back.
  • Information on new planning applications: It was queried how residents are to find out about new planning applications.  These are discussed at Parish Council meetings and therefore appear on the agendas which are posted on the three noticeboards in the village (one near the Montague Inn, one outside the village hall and one in Stoney Stoke).  Agendas are also posted on the village website under ‘Parish Council’.  It was noted that the noticeboard near the Montague Inn has become opaque and difficult to read. Action: Clerk to ask if John Hill will replace the Perspex.
  • Fly tipping: It was commented that there has been a marked increase in the fly tipping of builder’s rubble.  It was suggested that the phone number of the Council department that deals with this be put in the Village Pump.

-oOo-

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 25th JULY 2011 AT 7.30pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mr P Williams, Mrs M Hill (Clerk).  Also Mike Beech District Councillor and one member of the public.
1.  Apologies for absence – none
2.  Minutes: The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
3.  Matters Arising:�
Southdown Farm workshop development : An email had been received from Andrew Collins, SSDC Planning, advising that since the stop notice was issued on 8th July the site had been revisited and the owner has covered part of the roof with blue plastic sheeting to protect the insulation that had been put under the slates. He mentioned ‘other works’ at the site.  Action: Clerk to ask what these works are.
4.  Planning application 11/02637/LBC Re-modelling of rear porch at Welham House: Rowena Stott (applicant) reported that Planning (Listed Buildings) were unhappy with the proposed porch but she is pursuing the application.
5.  Planning application: 11 /02553/FUL Creation of an access for agricultural purposes (retrospective).  Land OS 4460 Down Lane, Shepton Montague
Members studied the plans and the information provided in the proposal.
Action:  Clerk to return the following observation to Planning Dept.:
It is inaccurate to describe the field as ‘land-locked’ agriculturally as there is access through the paddock past Hill Farm House.  As this is the main justification for the need for this gateway, the Parish Council question the need for an extra entrance to a field which already has agricultural access.
6.  Other Planning Issues: Dealt with in item 3 above.
Gulleys and hedges: The gulleys in the area of Watery Lane are set too high and one has been damaged since they were put in.  Tony Leach has agreed these need re-doing but no date is known.  Action: clerk to ask if a date has been set.
Hedges in the area of Southdown – it was noted that these are no worse than anywhere else at the moment.
7.  Diamond Jubilee Celebrations: The clerk outlined the broad budget for the Jubilee party being planned for Monday June 4th 2012 and explained that it was hoped to provide children’s entertainment free and keep the cost of adult tickets as low as possible.  Fundraising was continuing – the next event is the 50/50 auction on October 15th at Hadspen Village Hall – and contributions to the party fund from the Parish Councils were welcomed.  After some discussion, and consideration of this year’s budget and recent savings in the annual insurance premium, members resolved to contribute £150 to the event.
8.  Standing Orders: Adopted with immediate effect.
9.  Correspondence: No correspondence had been received since the last meeting.
10.  a.o.b.: Employment of clerk:  it is a legal requirement that the Parish Council register as an employer and the clerk is dealing with this.  It will be necessary for an independent person to deal with payment of the clerk in future and unfortunately this will incur cost.  Action:  Clerk to follow up on a suggested person who deals with pay for other parish clerks.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.25pm.

-oOo-

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 18th JULY 2011 AT 7.30pm

Present:     Mr C Dowding (Chair), Mr P Costen, Mr R Ellis, Mrs J Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk).  Also Mike Beech District Councillor, Anna Groskop County Councillor and three members of the public.
1.  Apologies for absence – Mr P Williams
2.  Minutes: The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
3.  Matters Arising: Planning application 10/03340/FUL  Hadspen Quarry: Application now withdrawn.
4.  Planning application:  11/02637/LBC Re-modelling of rear porch, replacement of two roof lights with a single dormer, re-location of existing roof light and repair/re-laying of roof coverings.  Location: Welham House, Welham, BA7 7NE
The applicant, Mrs Stott, was at the meeting and answered questions on this proposal.  Members wholeheartedly supported the application.  Action: Clerk to advise Planning.
5.  Other Planning Issues:
Southdown Farm – Development of outbuilding: The Chairman had recently contacted the Planning Officer as work appeared to be progressing on the development of an outbuilding without planning permission.  Planning Dept. had advised that a Stop Notice had been issued on 8th July requiring that no further work be carried out on the building for a period of 28 days.  However, it would appear that work has continued since 8th July.  Action: Clerk to advise Planning that building work appears to have continued.
Southdown Farm – Lake: Retrospective planning permission for a lake was granted on 12/11/2010 despite objections from the Parish Council and neighbours.  Concern was expressed at the meeting that the planning consent and its conditions have had the effect of prolonging the eyesore that has been created at this property rather than ameliorating it, and that the owner is now under no obligation to complete the ‘lake’ nor make good the mess already created, although the planning consent will expire in January 2012. In view of this, members resolved to seek clarification of the process that led to planning permission being granted.  Action: A letter be sent to Ian Clarke, District Solicitor, requesting clarification.
Land adjacent to Quarry Cottages, Stoney Stoke: Permission was granted to Hopkins in July 2008 for the deposit of soil and reprofiling of land for agricultural purposes. It had been brought to the attention of the Council that the field was being used for dumping spoil as landfill.  Action: Clerk to notify David Norris, Development Manager, of these concerns and ask him to investigate the matter.

Anna Groskop advised the meeting that there is only one Planning Enforcement Officer for the whole District.  In many cases SSDC simply cannot afford the legal costs involved in effecting enforcement of planning breaches.  She also advised that the Parish Council could invite David Norris to attend a future meeting to help with planning issues.

The clerk advised that a further planning application had been received since the agenda was drawn up for this meeting.  This would be an agenda item at the next meeting which was scheduled for Monday 25th July. In the meantime the application papers would be circulated.
6.  Finance: Payment of the election invoice, audit fee and clerk’s wages were approved but cheques not signed as no signatories to the Parish Council account other than the clerk were present.
The clerk advised that she had started the process of enrolling the Parish Council as an employer, as this was now a legal requirement. Clerk’s pay would have to be handled by a third party and this would involve additional cost to the council.
7.  Consultation on Polling Districts and Places
: Members had considered this matter and no response was required.�
8.  Correspondence: The clerk distributed details of David Heath M.P.’s annual tour of villages.  His regular visits to Shepton Montague will continue to be advertised on the Village noticeboards.
9.  a.o.b.:
Jubilee Celebrations: The clerk reported that the Open Garden fund raising event held on June 25th had been a great success and raised £1,200.  The next fund raising event will be a 50/50 Auction to be held on October 15th at Hadspen Village Hall.  Any pre-loved, quality items for sale would be gratefully accepted.  Please let the clerk know if you have anything you would like sold, with half the achieved price coming to you and half to the Jubilee Celebrations fund.
The clerk asked the Parish Council to consider making a contribution to the Jubilee Celebration fund.  All three Parishes taking part in the Jubilee party are being asked if they can make a contribution (Pitcombe, Bratton Seymour and Shepton Montague).  The Chair asked for further details of how the money was to be spent.  Action: This item to be added to agenda of next meeting and clerk to obtain budget details for Jubilee party.
Watery Lane: There was concern over the gulleys, one of which is damaged.  Charles reported that this was on Highways’ list of repairs and he would check the position with Oliver Dowding..  Action: Item for next agenda.
Hedges: There were reports that these were overgrown and becoming a hazard, particularly around Southdown. Action: Members to inspect the area before the next meeting.  Item for next agenda.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.37pm.

-oOo-

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL  MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 16th MAY 2011 AT 7.55pm

Present:   Mr C Dowding, Mr P Costen, Mr Richard Ellis, Mrs Janet Robinson, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Mike Beech (District Councillor) and 2 members of the public.

1.Election of Chair and declarations of acceptance of office

Charles Dowding was elected Chairman and all councillors signed the acceptance of office forms. Register of Interest forms were distributed for completion.

Charles thanked the outgoing Chairman, Robert Dimond, for his excellent work as Chairman over the past year and for his and Christina’s contribution over many years as one or other of them has been on the Parish Council for the past 24 years.

2. Apologies for absence were received from Anna Groskop.

3. Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.

4. Matters Arising: Current status of planning applications:

Hadspen Quarry 10/03340/FUL – ‘pending consideration’,

Moorhayes Farm 11/00325/FUL Revised scheme – ‘Decision expected 15/4/11’ (date already passed).

New members Janet Robinson and Richard Ellis agreed to have their names added to the village website.

5. Risk Assessment and approval of Annual Governance Statement

Members considered the details of the Annual Governance Statement as required by the annual audit.  The Statement was approved by the council and signed by the Chair.

6. Finance:  Approval of Accounting Statement (Annual return for 2010/2011)

The accounts to the end of the financial year were approved as a correct record and duly signed by the Chair.

Renewal of insurance: The clerk had obtained a quote for the annual insurance from Zurich which was cheaper than the existing insurer and it was resolved to take up the policy with Zurich on the renewal date. A cheque was signed for the premium for 2011-2012 for £225.

Clerk’s wages/ SALC fee: Cheques were signed for Clerk’s wages for Oct 2010 to March 2011 inclusive for £172.92 and SALC affiliation fee 2011/12 for £49.15.

A new bank signatory was required to replace Robert Dimond which should be the new Chair.  Clerk to obtain the necessary bank forms.

7. Correspondence: The clerk reported that the following Planning applications had been granted:

Parkland Farm riding arena,

photovoltaic cells on the cowshed roof at Lily Farm,

the erection of a single storey extension and a porch and change of use of part of field from agricultural to residential at Kingslea.

Other items of correspondence were read out.

8.a.o.b. Village website: Clerk to discuss with Megan Lomax the mechanics and viability of entering and maintaining Parish Council information on the website. Also a discussion needs to take place around what information people feel should go on the website.

Open discussion

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.39pm.

-oOo-

MEETING AFTER THE ELECTIONS ON MAY 16TH 2011

NEW COUNCIL Charles Dowding (chair), Paul Williams, Peter Costen, Richard Ellis, Janet Robinson, Margaret Hill (clerk).

Our district councillors continue to be Anna Groskop and Mike Beech. More details to follow. Agendas of future meetings will be posted here.

-oOo-

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SHEPTON MONTAGUE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL, SHEPTON MONTAGUE ON MONDAY 10th JANUARY 2011 AT 7.30pm

Present
:   Mr R Dimond (Chairman),  Mr C Dowding,  Mr P Williams, Mr R Whale, Mr P Costen, Mrs M Hill (Clerk), Mike Beech District Councillor and 1 member of the public.

Apologies
for absence –  none
Minutes: The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
Matters Arising: �
The planning application for wind turbines at Moorhayes Farm had been withdrawn.

  • In response to the Planning Application for a variation in the unilateral undertaking relating to planning permission at The Aviaries, and after clarification from Simon Fox in Planning, there were no objections from the Parish Council.

Planning application: 10/03340/FUL Use of land for mixed use to include construction of underground eco-dwelling, erection of two geodesic greenhouses, erection of wind turbine, construction of two gypsy/traveller pitches and construction of anaerobic digester plant (GR 365621/131516)  Land at Hadspen Quarry Green Lane Pitcombe.
After inspection of the plans and discussion it was decided to submit the following observations to Planning:
The Parish Council object to this application as it does not satisfy PPS7:
This is a massive development which only benefits a few people.�
It lies outside the development area.
It would require improvements to the entrance to the site, on a bend, to accommodate the increase in traffic in and out of the site.
It would appear that a ton a day of apple waste is required for the digester, which would have to be brought onto the site by lorry.  This is therefore not sustainable and so defeats the object of the proposal.  It does however create heavy vehicle traffic noise and fumes.
The wind turbine will be tall and visible and possibly heard from some distance away.  The drawings supplied with the application misrepresent its size and visibility.
One turbine will potentially open the door to more, leading to a marring of the beauty of the open countryside.
It is stated that the travellers’ site is intended as provision for employees on the site but a travellers’ site will be able to be used by any travellers and the applicant will thus have no control over who uses it.
The caravans will have wood burning stoves which produce CO2.
There are currently no services at the site for caravans and the caravans do not have permission to be there.  Enforcement action should be taken to remove them.

Subsequently, Members considered the supplementary information supplied and the following observations were submitted to Planning:
The Parish Council found nothing in this additional information to alter our original position expressed in our previous response.
The fact remains that this development is ‘sustained’ by the daily introduction of 1 tonne of apple pomace from an industrial operation several miles off site.  It would be a ‘greener’ and more efficient use of resources to site this digester closer to the factory source, or use local waste in the digester, or have a smaller digester.
Apples are only available in this country for 4 months or so of the year so the Parish Council would question what their plans are for the part of the year when this apple pulp is not available.
Apple pomace has for many years been used as a supplementary cattle feed. The production of food (milk/beef) for the benefit of many would seem a far better use of this resource than turning it into methane for the benefit of very few.

Icy roads/salting:  A further 10 bags of de-icing material had been received.

Charles Dowding and Peter Costen reported that they had bought 2 grit bins for the Parish which have to be placed near the Highway for them to be filled.  One has been situated by the Shepton Montague Inn crossroads and the other in Lower Shepton at the bottom of Horns Lane.  A further grit bin for Stoney Stoke was considered a good idea.
Action: Clerk to contact Highways and confirm that the locations are agreeable to them and that they will fill them up when requested.

Parking charges:  Potential charges for parking in Bruton/Wincanton are a source of concern and have been being discussed for some time apparently.  No decisions have yet been made. �

Correspondence:
The clerk read out the correspondence received since the last meeting.

a.o.b
. The clerk asked Councillors if they wished their contact details to be included on the new Village website and it was agreed that names should appear but that the Clerk’s details be given as the contact point.

Open discussion
:  It was noted that not all plastic, but only plastic bottles are currently being collected and recycled in the ‘Sort-it’ collections.

There was discussion about litter-picking in the Parish.  Vanessa Dowding has 2 long-handled sticks for picking up litter if anyone wishes to borrow them.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.40pm.