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Thursday, 29 January 2015

2nd February 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
4.1 Parish Council Comment
Minor changes to external pipework.
Amendment of approved plans to add second bedroom.
TDBC has put this document out for consultation until 26th February. Councillors are invited to discuss the contents with a view to making a formal response.
  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. Street Light reductions
  2. Community Defibrillator
Mr Cotton will give an update
  1. Parish Magazine
  2. Preston Bowyer Phone Box
The Clerk will give an update.
  1. Milverton Website
Mr Phelps will give an update
  1. Correspondence
  2. Finance
The monthly report will request payments for Salaries, PAYE, and gardening
  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 Parish Council
Report of Meeting Held on 5th January 2015

The January meeting was held as usual in the Victoria Rooms at 7.30pm.

Councillors discussed and agreed actions on 8 substantive items ranging from planning applications to setting the precept for 2015/6.

Under Planning Councillors passed an application for an extension to a property in High Street on a vote 5:2 with 3 abstentions.
Councillors also supported an application to fell 12 trees at a property in Silver Street and an amendment to plans for a development at Bickley.
Councillors were informed that the latest version of Taunton Deane's Strategic Housing Availability Assessment was available for comment until February. Councillors were urged to have a look at it and come prepared to discuss the implications for Milverton at the February meeting.

Under Creedwell there was no new progress reported. However, since the meeting it has become clear that TDBC wishes to take the application to the Planning Committee on 28th January if the last few outstanding items have been resolved.

Under Crime Councillors received a brief report with fortunately only two incidents. Councillors noted that PCSO Louise Fyne had a new mobile phone number 07889 659476.

Under Footpaths Councillors heard that SCC was consulting over a new Rights of Way Improvement Plan. On the footpath network itself there are still problems with the electric fence across Path 7/5 near Bickley and a damaged stile on 7/43 west of Auton Dowells.

Under Roads Councillors were very pleased to hear that SCC was going to install Speed Indicator Devices in two new location – Butts Way and Wood Street. There has been a lot of concern about vehicle speeds in these two 20mph sections. This this will help provide some hard evidence to back up the local Speed Watch and help the Police target enforcement efforts.
Following the incident in late November where the village quickly became gridlocked Councillors debated how best to prevent a repeat. They acknowledged that the Parish Council has very little power in situations like this which was the responsibility of the County Council. Unfortunately experience showed that the County Council was routinely dismissive of traffic concerns citing sufficient capacity to take existing traffic flow as well as accommodate probable increases. However, the reality is that whilst the B3187 runs smoothly for much of the time, a small increase in demand over a short period can disrupt the flow and very quickly lead to a blockage that stops it completely. In particular LGVs moving from to and from Wellington often disrupt the flow and create bunches of vehicles which enter the village and cause problems. The Parish Council view is that these instances of excess flow are becoming more frequent and will be seeking a meeting with SCCs traffic engineering department to see what can be done.
Councillors heard that Silver Street and Fore Street were to be closed on 28th January for manhole repairs. The diversion would be up St Michaels Hill and North St. The weight restriction will be suspended and there will be parking restrictions in force.
Additionally the Luckham Bridge road to Nynehead would be closed for 5 days from 2nd February for drainage works.

The Parish Council is keen to explore options in relation to reducing street lighting. However, it is becoming clear that SCC is already embarking on a programme of change to less intrusive lighting as in Preston Bowyer. Therefore before undertaking an attitude survey Councillors asked the Clerk to establish what the SCC strategy was for street lighting in Milverton.

Councillor Roger Cotton reported that he had agreed a location for the Community Defibrillator with the Victoria Rooms. The Parish Council will be paying for the box and installation.

The Clerk will be arranging a meeting with the school to discuss the re-location of the Preston Bowyer phone box. The Clerk will check with TDBC to see if there are any planning issues.

Councillors discussed the Precept for 2015/16. There was considerable concern about future liabilities that might descend on the Parish the most immediate being the responsibility for the public toilets. However, Councillors were sensitive to the issue of an increase and therefore agreed to freeze Precept and use reserves to cover any unforeseen costs in the next year.

In matters to report Councillors were told that parked vans and a horsebox were causing difficulties for through vehicles in Houndsmoor Lane. The Clerk will ask PCSO Fyne to have a look and talk to the owners if appropriate.

In Public Question time Councillors were asked if the entrance to the village by the sawmills could be tidied up. Mr Phelps said that the Milverton Conservation Volunteers would have a look and he would report back to the next meeting.

The Clerk reminded Councillors that several new candidates would be needed to secure an election. Milverton is currently a Quality Parish Council but would lose that status and associated powers if there was no need for an election.