The Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 22nd February 2022 at 7.30pm in the Committee Room, West Buckland Village Hall.
Present: Cllr’s C Silverlight (Chair), D Lacey, S Bellamy and Ms S Drury.
In attendance: County Cllr J Thorne and the Clerk, Mrs J Larcombe.
158/02/22. To accept apologies for absence. Apologies were accepted from Cllr D Mitton
and Cllr J Nutt.
159/02/22. Disclosure of interest in items on the agenda. There were no disclosures.
160/02/22. To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 25/01/22 as an accurate record.
The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed by the Chair.
161/02/22. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda. No matters arising.
162/02/22. Democratic Period. No members of the public present.
163/02/22. County Cllr Report. It was agreed to bring this item forward on the agenda. A
written report was circulated by email prior to the meeting. Cllr Thorne reported that SCC is moving to ‘Living with Covid’ as the number of infections are continuing to fall. The opening hours for the vaccination centre at Firepool have been reduced to 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday.
The Structural Change Order is expected to be approved by parliament on 18th March and the elections are expected to be called on 21st March. The surface dressing of the spine road roads at the top of the hills has been delayed by a month. SCC has been rated the number one county council in the country for
taking a lead on climate change. Balfour Beatty is going to be awarded a pre-construction contract for surveys, investigations, and designs necessary ahead of the £5.7 million carriageway, drainage, and barrier works at the M5 Junction 26 and the Chelston link road. There was concern about how this might tie in with the proposed House of Somerset development and the proposed Chelston Heath
Business Park, because these two developments could result in a new roundabout being constructed at the junction with Foxmoor Business Park and it would not seem sensible to resurface the link road only to have to dig up large sections of it shortly afterwards. It has been officially confirmed to Cllr Thorne that
Airband’s programme is being amended with some communities being broughtforward and some pushed back in its build programme. He has been told there is flexibility in the contract to allow Airband to re-order its build delivery while payment by CDS is made against milestones of premises designed and built.
CDS is admitting some slight slippage in the delivery of the programme of around one to two quarters (of a year). Cllr Ms Drury said she had received a letter as the owner of a ‘hard to reach’ property. As she cannot get 10Mbps she asked what would be done about this and was told the onus was now on the 4G provider to certify that she cannot get 10Mbps, which they aren’t able to say. They will only provide another 4G router.
The storms last week show why underground cables are necessary for broadband.
164/02/22. Update on broadband issues. This was covered in the previous item.
a) To consider any planning applications received by the Parish Council prior to the meeting. No applications received.
b) To note National Highways response to 46/21/0037. Location Chelston Heath. The following response was made on 26.01.22: Highways England recommends that planning consent not be granted for application reference 46/21/0037 for a period of six months from the date of this recommendation. This
is to provide time for the applicant to provide further information to enable National Highways to understand the impact of the development on the safe and efficient operation of M5 Junction 26, and thereby provide the Local Planning Authority with fully informed advice.
c) To receive decisions from planning applications determined by SWT Council.
46/21/0021 Erection of 8 No. business units with associated external works at Compound 1, Foxmoor Business Park, Chelston, Wellington. Decision: conditional approval granted.
46/21/0025 Formation of vehicular access and track at Morrishes Farm, West Buckland Road, West Buckland. Decision: conditional approval granted.
d) Local Heritage List. This is a new project to record heritage assets in Somerset and Exmoor. This is managed by the South West Heritage Trust with input from partners in local government and heritage, including Somerset County Council, each district council, and Exmoor National Park Authority. The scheme will give special, ‘locally listed’ status to distinctive and noteworthy buildings, sites, and monuments across Somerset and Exmoor. It is a chance to recognise places with cultural value in this area, and help preserve our diverse local heritage. The South West Heritage Trust is seeking nominations from the public, as well as community organisations, and welcomes assistance in publicising this
opportunity for engagement. Councillors felt that many of these heritage assets will be on private land and land owners will not want people on their land. There already is a Listed Building List. The poster provided will be put on the notice board, website and Facebook page.
e) Any other planning matters. There were no other planning matters.
a) To note any required work to be reported to SCC. The surface of Calways Lane is still in a bad condition.
b) To receive an update on any outstanding highways work. Repairs to the damaged ditch at Buckland Farm Road/Ruggin Road have been fully completed. There are now black and white reflective posts on both sides and a good job has been made of the repairs.
The warning sign at France Lane has still not been replaced and the Clerk was
asked to chase this up.
c) Update on requests to Highways for a speed check and 40 mph speed limit request. No response received. The Clerk was instructed to ask for a decision.
d) Nynehead Road, Wellington – 40mph speed limit extension. This was noted.
e) Any other highways matters. It was noted that the school have put in measures to control parking outside of the school. The Parish Council had advised the school to take advice from highways.
167/02/22. To note any reports from:
a) County Cllr. Covered previously under item 163/02/22.
b) District Cllr. No report.
c) Police. No report.
d) LGR Advisory Board 3rd February. No report.
e) LGR – T&PC February Conference 2022. The Clerk attended this three hour online conference which included presentations from the Town Clerks of Salisbury Town Council and Shrewsbury Town Council. Both councils are in counties that have unitary councils. The Clerk was concerned about how much
the Band D rates for one of these councils had increased when they took on more responsibilities. There was not much for smaller parish councils to take from either of these presentations. Information was also given about Local Community Network pilot schemes including one for highways being carried out
f) Any other reports. Cllr Bellamy reported that plans are being made for the Great Big Safety Ride from Wellington to Taunton on Sunday afternoon, March 20th.
a) To agree and authorise any payments. It was resolved to make the following payment: Mrs J Larcombe – £310.50 Clerk’s salary and expenses for February (Payment ref: 2122/39).
b) To note any receipts and the bank account balances. No receipts since the last meeting. The current account balance is £500.00 and the Instant Reserve Account balance is £25.392.42.
c) To discuss grass cutting quotes for 2022 and agree if appropriate. It was agreed to accept the quote for 2022 from Nigel Richards for cutting the grass around the War Memorial, at Peacocks Close, Church Drive and Silver Street Green and for trimming back vegetation on agreed footpaths. Although three
quotes had not been obtained Mr Richard’s quote was very reasonable and he did a good job and was reliable in 2021. It is difficult to find contractors to do this work.
SWT had been asked for a quote for cutting the grass in the playing field and play area and for emptying the dog bin but it had not been provided in time for the meeting. It was agreed that it would be circulated by email.
d) To review the Business Risk Assessment. The Clerk had circulated an updated Business Risk Assessment and this was agreed.
e) To approve a General Reserves Policy. The policy was agreed
f) To review the Financial Regulations. Councillors reviewed the regulations
and there were no changes. Having reviewed the regulations Cllr Silverlight
confirmed the Council was following them.
169/02/22. To review the Standing Orders. Councillors reviewed the Standing Orders and there were no changes.
170/02/22. Playing Field
a) Any points to note from the regular inspection. No report for this meeting.
The Clerk will carry out an interim inspection while Cllr Nutt is unwell. This will be paid in addition to her normal hours.
Somerset Playing Field Association is offering a training session on routine playground inspections and the Clerk will send the details to Cllr Bellamy who might be able to attend.
It was agreed to look at the possibility of replacing the wall that was demolished with a wooden wall. The Council will also look at providing some equipment for disabled children.
b) Update on the ordering of trees and planting. Adams Apples do not have any stock left and it was decided to defer the planting of fruit trees until the autumn when good quality stock will be available. The purchase of the tree to mark the Platinum Jubilee was agreed along with the purchase of a tree guard
a) To discuss any footpath matters. Sam Jackson, SCC Rights of Way Warden, has walked Footpath WG14/27 with some residents. SCC’s responsibility is to ensure the surface is to a standard for the bridleway users ie walkers, horse riders and cyclists and not to make the surface suitable for vehicle
use. On Mr Jackson’s inspection of the bridleway he found no sections that would trigger action/ work from a user point of view. Surface work/improvements for vehicles does sit with the landowner of the track, as does tree/hedge maintenance. He is happy to arrange localised work for drainage improvements,
this involves reinstating certain side ditches and adding suitable grips to allow water to run away from the surface, this will be carried out towards the top end of the track. By reducing the water runoff making its way down the track the hope is that surface erosion will be reduced. Wessex Water, Somerset Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission all have sites there and should contribute towards the
b) Update on re-routing of Footpath WG14/14. A Case Worker from Somerset West and Taunton Council has contacted the Parish Council to ask for permission to reroute Footpath WG14/14 across a piece of land it owns at Crown Hill. Permission has been given.
SWT – External Litter Enforcement trial. There is a litter problem but not in one area. It was felt that it would be difficult to enforce.
173/02/22. Any urgent business at the Chairman’s discretion. There was no urgent business.
174/02/22. To discuss arrangements for the Annual Parish Meeting. It was decided to hold this before the next Parish Council meeting on 29th March, starting at 7pm. This will give the opportunity to promote the Parish Council election on 5th May 2022.
175/02/22. To note the date of the next meeting is 29th March 2022. Noted. This will be held immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting.