Search This Blog

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Report of Milverton Parish Council Meeting 3rd August 2015

The meeting opened with questions from the public about hedges encroaching onto the highway in various parts of the village. The Parish Council has arranged a meeting with SCC Highways staff on 20th August and this will be one of the issues raised.

At the July meeting Councillors had resolved to write to TDBC to try and expedite the negotiations over the transfer of the public toilets to the Parish Council. It had been with considerable reluctance that the Parish Council had agreed to take on the toilets and it had been discussing terms for the transfer since April 2014. Whilst there was agreement in principle Councillors had been irritated by TDBC's stance of wanting to dispose of a costly liability whilst at the same time wishing to retain long term control over the buildings and their use. To bring matters to a head Councillors had made a final offer to TDBC of terms under which it would take on the toilets and requested a reply by 31st July. Unfortunately there had not even been an acknowledgement of the letter and so the whole deal is now in doubt.

Councillors considered a planning application for an extension to a property in Silver Street using delegated planing powers. After some detailed debate regarding an objection from a neighbour it was decided to approve the application subject to an extra condition relating to an overlooking window.

Councillors were informed that TDBC has sent its latest Site Allocations and Development Management Plan to the secretary of State. It will be considered at an Examination in Public in due course. The Parish Council will be informed and have an opportunity to give evidence.

Following the concerns raised by the Internal Auditor about risk, the Clerk proposed a review of the Council's current arrangements for payroll, receipts and payments, work programme, risk register, training, resilience and cover for the Clerk. Councillors agreed with this and will feedback at the next meeting with a view to holding a detailed discussion in October.

The Chairman reported no further news on Creedwell since June when Notaro asked TDBC to remove the application from the Planning Committee agenda. TDBC had confirmed that it would not go to Committee on 12th August and the next available date would be 2nd September.

The Crime Report detailed 3 offences in and around Milverton in July. Mrs Lumby reported that a Police Speed camera in Sand Street had recently identified 30 speeding motorists in an hour one afternoon.

Under Footpaths Mrs Lumby reported the latest SCC Adopt a Path initiative. Volunteers are being encouraged to adopt a footpath. This would entail walking it regularly and reporting issues to SCC. They would also be able to cut back vegetation to keep them open. It was agreed that the Footpath Liaison Officer would operate as the local coordinator.

Mrs Lumby also reported that SCC Footpaths are looking at the damaged footpath bridge at Fordbridge.

The Clerk reported that the road to Nynehead would be closed at Higher Bickley for up to 5 days from 14th September.

The Clerk reported that he had been given a 'taster' session on the new village website and was ready to start uploading content. However, there was no firm date for it to 'go live'. The managers of the site want to get enough organisations signed up to give it critical mass and the involvement of the Parish Council will go some way towards that, however, the Clerk was nervous about spending time transferring information if there was to be a delay. He will monitor the situation and keep Councillors informed.

Mrs Lumby and Mrs Richardson reported on a successful visit to the allotments. There were one or two minor issues reported although one allotment holder who was present felt that the Council did not take the allotments seriously enough. The Clerk will add allotments to his review of risks.
The Clerk reported correspondence from the new Village Agent for the area, Nicki Gibbard who would like to meet the Council. It was agreed to invite her to the September meeting.

In July the Parish Council spent £1100 on salaries, a notice board for the allotments and the electrical connection for the Community Defibrillator at the Victoria Rooms.

Saturday, 1 August 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 Acceptance of Office and 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 7th July will be circulated shortly. 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. Other Planning Matters
The Clerk will provide an update on CIL and SHLAA and propose a date for the next planning meeting.
  1. Audit 2014/15
The Clerk will summarise the actions to be taken to fulfil the Auditors recommendations and report on progress.
  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
I) SCC Adopt A Path Scheme
Mrs Lumby will outline the proposed scheme
II) Monthly Footpath Report
Mrs Pine and Mrs Richardson will report on the footpaths.
      1. Monthly Report
Members will discuss current road issues.
      1. Parking Problems in High Street
      2. Speed Indicator Device (SID)
The Clerk will provide a brief report.
  1. Public Toilets
The Chairman will report on the latest situation.
  1. Internet
Mr Hendy will give an update on the Milverton Website
  1. Allotments
The Allotment Committee will report on the recent visit.
  1. Correspondence
  2. Finance
a) Monthly report
The monthly report will request payments for Salaries, PAYE, the Allotment noticeboard and gardening.
b) New Bank Account Signatories
The Clerk will finalise signatories for the Nat West and Bank of Ireland Accounts.
  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 on July 6th 2015

The Parish Council Chairman, Dr Russell Jenkins welcomed the Council's new co-opted member Mr Derek Cutler. A resident of Creedwell Orchard Mr Cutler runs his own cycle business and is involved in education and safety projects.

The Chairman commented that with only 6 of the 12 Councillors present this was the lowest turn out for a Parish Council meeting in his experience. He also remarked that attendance at Planning Site visits was at a low level, which was a serious concern particularly as the Council had delegated powers to grant planning permission and needed to be able to demonstrate that Councillors were 'fully informed' when exercising this power.

Mr Chambers reported that he had attended a TDBC briefing on the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which would be applied to all developments over 100 sq m (including extensions). In Milverton the rate would be £125 per sq m and the Parish Council would be entitled to receive 15% or £100 per dwelling whichever was the smaller. The money would be available for village projects to offset the impact of the development.

The Council's internal auditor Mr Nigel Morris gave a brief presentation about this years audit. He raised two issues of concern firstly that a clerical error meant that a VAT claim was £220 short. (This will be corrected in the next claim). Secondly, he was not sure that the Council adequately assessed the risks to itself as a business. He said that the Council needed to provided evidence that, for example, Councillors understand and are able to discharge their role and he was very concerned that there appeared to be an over reliance on the Clerk with no contingency plans or arrangements to cover his absence for any reason. In response the Chairman said that all Councillors do receive training in the role of Councillor and for the Planning function but acknowledged that this needed to be more explicit. Regarding the business risks around the Clerk he was grateful for the matter being raised and undertook that the Council would look into its arrangements as a matter of urgency.

Under Creedwell Councillors expressed frustration at Notaro's continued prevarication.

Mrs Pine reported that the stone bridge supporting the footpath near the sawmill had a crack in the parapet. She will report this to SCC but expressed concern that if the bridge was regarded as unsound it could be closed until repairs were be done, and in the present climate that could be some time.

Councillors debated TDBC's latest terms to transfer the freehold of the toilets. They were exasperated that TDBC was desperate to divest itself of the responsibility but equally desperate to maintain an influence over the building. The point was made that Milverton Parish Council had not sought to take on the toilets but had been coerced into doing so by the threat of closure. Councillors felt that they had made a reasonable offer to take them on and were not inclined to accept the latest TDBC terms. The Chairman will be responding to TDBC shortly with a view to bringing negotiations to a conclusion.

Mr Cotton was congratulated on his success in bringing a Community Defibrillator to the village. It has now been installed at the Victoria Rooms.

Following TDBC's refusal to replace it's bin which had disappeared from St Michaels Hill Councillors reluctantly voted to order a new one at a cost of £350 + VAT.

The Clerk reported that the a new notice board was being erected at the allotments. The Allotment Committee is carrying out its annual visit on 25th July at 10am.

The Council approved payments for Insurance, Salaries, PAYE, Grasscutting, and Room Hire. The total expenditure for June was £2690.

Following the Vodaphone survey for suitable mobile phone signal boosters, Mr Chambers reported that he has signed to have one installed at the sawmill.

The next meeting will be a Planning Site visit on 30th July and the next full Council meeting will be on 3rd August.