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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Report on Milverton Parish Council Meeting 4th December 2017

The first item on the agenda was the Co-option of Mr Jodie Norris to replace Mr Deryck Cutler.

The Council then received a very interesting presentation from Amanda Johnson of the Somerset Rural Youth Partnership (SYRP). Amanda is the ambassador for the Youth Investment Fund. This is a 3 year project aimed t engaging young people in rural communities. There are four strands Community Engagement, Activity Days, School Programmes and Volunteer led Youth Clubs. and at the moment twenty projects are underway in Somerset. Services can be offered from local halls or they have access to a large vehicle which can accommodate smaller groups. She asked whether the Parish Council would support the establishment of a youth club project in Milverton and in general Councillors felt it was a good initiative which ought to be supported. The Clerk was asked to set up a scoping meeting between the Parish Council and the Project and also include the Victoria Rooms as a potential venue.

Under planning Councillors approved an extension to Thornes Orchard in High Street and had no objection to the removal of an overgrown Christmas Tree at the Old Quaker House.

At a previous meeting Councillors had discussed the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Clerk reported that the current funding round was about to close and as Councillors felt that they needed some information about housing demand it was agreed not to apply at this stage. Instead it was agreed to undertake a Housing Needs survey so that they could understand the level of demand that needed to be met. TDBC Cllr Gwil Wren reported that Taunton Deane could supply a survey for about £1800 and the Somerset Community Council also provided them. The Clerk was asked to get formal quotes from both organisations and instruct the lowest bidder.

In November the Council spent £2386 on Salaries, PAYE, grass cutting, toilet cleaning a grant to the PCC and a poppy wreath.
The Clerk reported that to the end of September the Council had spent £10202 of its £24735 budget (41%) and indications were that there would be a 10% under spend which was dud to lower than expected gardening and footpath costs. This would need to be factored into the decision on the 2018/19 Precept which would be made at the next meeting. He circulated estimates for a balanced budget for 2018/19.

Under roads Councillors expressed concern at the large section of hedgerow which had been removed from the roadside at the Point to Point course. The Clerk reported that he had asked TDBC about it and there was no record of consent being sought so the Tree Officer would investigate. Cllr Mrs Burton praised SCC for its prompt action in clearing mud from High Street. Cllr Ainsworth Smith reported a speeding van in North Street.

Madam Chairman reported that the Somerset Partnership NHS Trust (SomPar) has applied to NHS England to close the surgery in Milverton. In mitigation they are proposing to have an arrangement with Wivey Link over transport and also offer some services (blood tests, flu jabs etc) and occasional group sessions from the Creedwell Community Rooms. Councillors expressed concerns about the suitability of the Community Rooms for this and Madam Chairman agreed to write further to the Chairman of SomPar.

Councillors noted an increase in crime and reflected that the Police had not attended a Parish Council meeting for some months.

Cllr Hendy reported a very encouraging meeting to launch the Emergency Plan. Thirty two parishioners had attended and there had been thirty three offers of help and support received. These offers varied from offers of four wheel drive vehicles and accommodation through to sewing and sign writing.

Finally Councillors debated a grant request from the Love Musgrove MRI Scanner appeal and agreed to offer £200.