Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Milverton Parish Council
Report on Meeting Held on 8th January 2018
The meeting opened with Madam Chairman, Dr Julie Richardson, welcoming Mrs Lorna Thorne as Deputy Clerk.
The main focus of the meeting was to agree the Precept for 2018/19. Councillors reflected on the continued cuts to local authorities and the uncertainty of future funding from the new merged District Council which is likely to be created on 1st April 2019. Given that the main objective of the merger is to save money and reduce budget gaps Councillors were very concerned that more services would be 'cascaded' down and present grant levels reduced. Additionally, the Council wants to commission a Housing Needs survey to help inform future local planning, redevelop the Fore Street toilets and have money available for local grants. After some discussion the Council agreed unanimously to increase the Precept by £5000 to £25000.
Under planning Councillors supported the erection of an agricultural building at Weekmoor Farm and supported the removal of a mobile home at Wilscombe Wood Cottage.
The Clerk reported that he is pursuing quotes for the Housing Needs analysis for the village from TDBC and the Somerset Community Council. It is hoped that this can be carried out in the next 3-4 months.
Councillors expressed their dismay at the decision to close the surgery and are considering ways of marking this unfortunate event.
The Clerk reported that TDBC did not consider that the removed section of hedge at Burn Hill was sufficiently developed or diverse to merit protection. The road boundary will now be marked by a fence with several single trees. He also reported that TDBC will be re-marking the white lines in the Fore Street car park.
Councillors were disappointed that Somerset County Council (SCC) will be terminating Speed Indicator Device programme at the end of March. Currently there are three village roads in the programme - Wellington Road near the school, Butts Way and Wood Street. SCC is offering to run a paid for service if enough Parish and Town Councils subscribe or it will support Councils to purchase and operate their own equipment. The Clerk will ask about the paid for service but Councillors consider the costs of training, equipment and software associated with running a parish scheme to be prohibitively high.
The Clerk also reported that he had been in correspondence with the Triathlon Race Director about speeding cyclists in the village. Whilst the Director has some control over the event there is little that can be done at other times. She did however offer to share the Risk Assessment and consider any suggestions coming from the Parish.
The Parish Council spent £1458 in December on toilet cleaning, salaries, grass cutting, room hire and donations.