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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

5th January 2015
7.30pm in the Victoria Rooms Fore Street


Questions from the Public.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and address the Parish Council to provide information and raise matters of concern.

  1. Apologies
Members will be expected to provide reasons for absence. Members are reminded that absence for 6 consecutive meetings without approval could lead to disqualification.
  1. Declarations of Interest
The Code of Conduct requires that Members disclose interests of a personal, prejudicial and pecuniary nature that may be pertinent to tonight's business. A prejudicial or pecuniary interest will require the member to leave the room during the discussion of the relevant item.
In cases of uncertainty members are recommended to consult the Clerk.
  1. Minutes and Matters Arising from minutes
The Minutes of the meeting held on 1st December have been circulated with the summons to this meeting. Members will be asked to consider them for accuracy and if satisfied pass a resolution of approval that they be signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record.
The Actions from the last meeting will be considered unless elsewhere on the agenda.
  1. Planning
  1. For Parish Council Decision
  1. For Parish Council Comment
  1. Creedwell
The Chairman will provide a report on the present situation.
  1. Crime
Members will receive and comment on the monthly crime report.
  1. Roads and Footpaths
a) Monthly Footpath Report
Mrs Lumby will report on the footpaths.
b) Roads
      1. Speed Indicator Devices in Butts Way and Wood Street
      2. Village Road Resilience
What options are there to improve traffic flow and prevent traffic gridlock?
      1. Monthly Road Report
  1. Street Light reductions
The Chairman will report on progress with planning the survey
  1. Community Defibrillator
  2. Parish Magazine
  3. Preston Bowyer Phone Box
The Clerk will present a Project Plan for consideration.
  1. Milverton Website
Mr Hendy will report on the latest Milverton Trust meeting.
  1. Correspondence
  2. Finance
a) Monthly report
The monthly report will request payments for Salaries, PAYE, and gardening
b) Estimates and Precept 2015/16
Councillors will debate and set a Precept for 2015/16
  1. Matters to Report
Members are invited to report matters of interest and raise matters of concern for future consideration by the Council, including items from the following external bodies:
Twinning; Victoria Rooms; Milverton United Charities; SALC; Traffic Working Party; Youth Project; Milverton Trust; Milverton Action Group and 10 Parishes.

Milverton Honours Beth French

On 19th December the Parish Council hosted an event to mark Beth French's tremendous achievement of being the first person to swim to the Scilly Isles from Cornwall.

In front of 25 guests Ms French unveiled a Commemorative Certificate in the Victoria Rooms.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Milverton Parish Council Report
December 2014

Roads dominated this months meeting.

Councillors received reports of the excessive traffic through the village on the evening of 28th November. The build up followed a serious collision which closed the A38 Taunton to Wellington road causing drivers to seek alternative routes.
Traffic travelling through Milverton on the B3187 is effectively reduced to a single lane by the narrow streets. The road system in Milverton can just about cope with normal traffic flows but reaches capacity quickly, there are no east-west alternatives so traffic can quickly back up. On this occasion traffic was flowing heavily from both directions and came to a standstill in Fore Street when a large timber lorry travelling east could not get past the queue of vehicles travelling west. The situation was resolved by the Parish Council Chairman, Russell Jenkins and Clerk Gwilym Wren acting to stop vehicles entering each end of the village thereby allowing allowing vehicles to filter around the blockage by using Parsonage Lane, North Street and St Michaels Hill. One consequence of this event was significant damage to the raised pavement on Fore St which is a major component of the street scene in the Conservation Area.
Whilst acknowledging that this event had been triggered by a major incident, Councillors were extremely concerned at how quickly the traffic had built up and become gridlocked. This is a particular worry in the light of the proposed housing at Creedwell and the calls for a relief road in Wellington. Both these schemes will increase traffic flow through Milverton and reduce the current road capacity making similar incidents much more frequent.
The Council was reminded that SCC had promised a weight limit on the B3187 once the Silk Mills road bridge was completed. Other Councillors wondered whether this was time to consider a one way system.
Since this incident two mobile homes travelling through the village following Sat Nav instructions have also become stuck, causing structural damage to a house in Silver Street.

The Council has been made aware of instances of inconsiderate parking where care have been left across front doors and garden gates and causing an obstruction. Problems become acute when wheelchair access is required. The Police are aware and are happy to respond to calls and talk to vehicle owners.

The Clerk reported on-going discussions with SCC about siting Speed Indicators Devices (SID) in Butts Way and Wood Street. These are the post mounted boxes that show drivers speed. They also record the number and speed of vehicles passing over a given period. It is hoped that these will provide hard evidence to back up residents who regularly complain of excessive speed on these roads.

Councillors received a report that footpath 7/5 had been obstructed by an electric fence. Although the tenant had tubed a small section with plastic, the fence could not be unhitched and therefore SCC was to be asked to follow it up.

Councillors again discussed the possibility of reducing street lighting either through removal, re-direction or dimming. They agreed to survey the whole village and not just those street and roads away from the B3187.

Councillors also discussed the latest TDBC offer in respect of the toilets. TDBC made it clear that neither toilet would stay open beyond 31st March 2015. It was prepared to offer the Parish Council a full repairing and insuring lease of the Fore Street toilets. This means that TDBC retains ownership but that the Parish is responsible for all costs. The Clerk advised that this offer was loaded with liabilities and no particular benefits and Councillors agreed. The Clerk proposed a counter offer where TDBC retains ownership and structural responsibility but offers the Parish Council a licence to operate it whilst negotiations for a freehold transfer to the Parish Council take place. Councillors, were happier with this and asked the Clerk to respond to TDBC accordingly.
In respect of the toilets at the Recreation Ground TDBC could find no evidence that it owned or had any responsibility for running them. Accordingly support would cease unilaterally on 31st March 2015. Given the recent refurbishment of the Play Area Councillors regarded this as a major concern and will be discussing options with the Recreation Ground Committee.

There were no planning applications to consider this month but the Council did discuss the Creedwell application. It appears that the delays in taking it to the Planning Committee are in part because the applicant has been unable to agree drainage and attenuation details with TDBC. The next available Committee date is 7th January but with Christmas in between it now seems unlikely that that date will be met.

Under crime the issue of fraud and forgery figured heavily as there have been a few instances reported in the area particularly targeting elderly people. Banks and the Police are offering guidance and if anyone is worried they should ring the Police on 101. The Chairman was thanked for printing the local leaflets that had been distributed with the Parish Magazine.

The Clerk announced that the School had accepted the offer to site the Preston Bowyer phone box. A meeting would be set up between the Council and the School to agree a site and a plan for the re-location. The Council will retain ownership of the box and be responsible for the relocation and other expenses.

The Clerk was asked to thank Ray Arthur for kindly repairing the dog bin.