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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Milverton Parish Council Meeting
3rd December 2012

In a packed agenda Councillors covered a wide range of topics at Milverton Parish Council's December meeting.

The planned presentation by Lumicity of the Solar farm had been cancelled on Friday so the meeting started with public questions. A member of the public raised the subject of the 1m wide storm drain that runs for over half a mile under the village. Apparently it is the responsibility of Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) and given the recent heavy rainfall there was concern that its condition was not being checked regularly. The Parish Clerk was asked to investigate.

Members welcomed the news that the Village Archive was being set up in the church. Members asked that security arrangements be checked before any Council material was offered.

In Planning Councillors approved an extension to a barn at Baghay.
They also discussed the large solar farm at Grange Farm Nynehead that was within the Milverton Parish boundary. Councillors expressed support for 'green energy' but were disappointed at the general attitude of the developers particularly the lack of local consultation with local people and the apparent failure to grasp that 15m long articulated lorries could not use the bridge over the Tone at Bradford. Concern was also raised at the loss of Grade 2 farmland.

Councillors were interested to hear that the Creedwell Village Green application was now being referred to a public inquiry. Somerset County Council (SCC) had indicated that budget cuts meant that there may be a wait of some years before this could be heard.

The Parish Council has now completed the purchase of the Preston Bowyer phone box and will be taking steps to disconnect the electricity supply. It is then likely to be removed for storage while a ling term location is agreed.

Under the Crime report PCSO Louise Fyne asked for information about the abandoned caravan at Houndsmoor. She also confirmed that the No Cold Calling Zone had been set up in Rosebank Road and asked if there were any other areas of the village that might benefit from this approach.

Roads figured prominently in the evening's discussions. Councillors had a very successful tour of the village with SCC Highways and were able to spot many problems and issues that will be dealt with. However, there was a great deal of concern expressed about the SCC policy decision not to clear gulleys at the top of hills. The idea is to prioritise the limited funds to the areas where the water accumulates. Councillors felt this was short sighted and asked SCC Councillor McMahon to look into it and report back.

There were various accounts of the recent heavy rain and how serious flooding tom properties had only just been avoided. There was praise for TDBC staff who provided sand bags for Sand Street within 2 hours of being asked.

Under footpaths there was a lot of discussion about the closure of access to the field behind Turnpike. A local resident has already written to the farmer stating his intention to apply to SCC for a definitive right of way. As this process may take many years Councillors agreed to open discussions to see if a permissive right of access could be negotiated.

Under correspondence Councillors were saddened to receive the resignation of Barry Cottrell who had been on the Council since May 2011. The Clerk was asked to check whether the candidates who missed out on election at that time would be interested in being coopted.

Councillors also discussed the new Code of Conduct and the level of  personal information that was likely to be made available publicly. Contact will be made with the Taunton Deane Monitoring Officer to seek guidance.