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.