The Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 29th March 2022
at 7.30pm in the Committee Room, West Buckland Village Hall
Present: Cllr’s C Silverlight (Chair), D Lacey, S Bellamy, Ms S Drury, D Mitton and J Nutt.
In attendance: County Cllr J Thorne, two members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs J Larcombe.
176/03/22. To accept apologies for absence. Apologies were received from District Cllr R Habgood.
177/03/22. Disclosure of interest in items on the agenda. There were no disclosures.
178/03/22. To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 22/02/22 as an accurate record. The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed by the Chair.
179/03/22. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda. There were no matters arising.
180/03/22. Update on broadband issues. Cllr Silverlight told councillors that he had registered his interest with Airband and they had advised him to try wireless. Someone had visited him to carry out checks and they were able to see this was not the answer as there were lots of dropouts and speeds were all over the
place. It is believed that being close to the motorway, where a lot of people are using mobile devises, causes interference. Airband are now advertising for the 4th Community Liaison Officer for the area to replace the one who left recently and didn’t even meet councillors. It was reported that they are the second of the providers chosen by CDS to be prosecuted for not carrying out roadworks properly.
Two members of the public joined the meeting.
181/03/22. Democratic Period. Two members of the public spoke about concerns relating to information provided to support planning application 46/21/0032 (Change of Use of land from agriculture to sui generis (campsite) on land at Stable View, Calways Lane, West Buckland) and the condition of Calways Lane. Councillors were told that there was information missing from the Ecology Report and there was no business plan and therefore no information about expected site occupation during the year. The campsite will be for motor homes and not tents and caravans. Highways responded on 18th January asking for more information, including a swept path analysis, and recommended refusal. In their letter of 21st February Highways say they have received further supporting information from the applicant on visibility splays, including a drawing which shows the X distance is set back 2.4 metres from the road. The members of the public provided evidence of this distance being shown as less than that in information provided for a previous planning application. The members of the public have asked for the information supplied to highways to be added to the information for this application on the SWT website. Highways have also suggested moving the entrance gate back 10 metres from the road and there was concern about livestock escaping. Highways have assumed that most motorhomes will be arriving at the site from the M5 but it was felt that was incorrect as motorhomes travelling from the A303 will arrive from the opposite direction. The members of the public have already had visitors to Stable View using the entrance to their residential property to turn and there was concern about the number of domestic vehicles that are regularly parked on the turning head. The road surface of Calways Lane has deteriorated over a number of years and is now in a poor condition. Councillors were also told that condition 8 in the approval of planning application 46/09/0019 (Erection of a stable building on land between Manleys Farm and Calways Cottage, West Buckland) states that the use of the stables hereby permitted shall be limited to private use only and shall not be used for any business or commercial use. The reason given was to safeguard road safety. It was alleged that some of the work required to comply with other conditions to safeguard road safety was still outstanding.
Cllr Silverlight summarised that the major thrusts of the comments were road safety. In its response to the consultation for application 46/21/0032 the Parish Council had raised concerns about road safety.
Cllr Ms Drury said she had had high hopes that a recent road closure notice was to restore the road surface of Calways Lane, but that hadn’t happened.
The Parish Council agreed to make additional comments highlighting the missing information material to the making of the decision.
The members of the public left the meeting.
182/03/22. County Cllr Report. A written report from Cllr Thorne was circulated by email, prior to the meeting. The Covid helpline is being wound up on 31st March. Cllr Thorne told councillors that he had asked the portfolio member to hold a conference for Town and Parish Councils on 20 mph zones to make everyone aware of what needs to be done. Cllr Silverlight suggested it should be a conference on speeding and not limited to 20 mph zones.
Cllr Nutt asked if there had been any progress on getting a bus to run through the village. Cllr Thorne said SCC were waiting to hear the result of their funding bid, which hopefully would be this week. He hoped they would be able to fund their minimum recommendation of a core offer for towns which could then be modified to offer a service for villages.
Cllr Thorne left the meeting.
a) To consider any planning applications received by the Parish Council prior to the meeting.
42/22/0014 (neighbouring parish application) Erection of a single storey extension to form annexe to the side of Steart Barton, Stoford Lane, West Buckland. No comment.
b) To receive decisions from planning applications determined by SWT Council.
46/21/0036 Erection of an agricultural building to serve as a seed and fertiliser store with construction of a water storage tank and associated operational development to include the creation of a consolidated yard area on land at Hamlands, Chelston. Decision: conditional approval granted.
46/22/0002/NMA Application for a Non-Material Amendment to application 46/20/0017 for alterations to the walls and glazing of the approved orangery at Greenside, West Buckland Road, West Buckland. Decision: conditional granted.
It was noted that the address on the site plan included Ford Street which is incorrect.
c) Any other planning matters. None.
a) To note any required work to be reported to SCC. No work required to be reported.
b) To receive an update on any outstanding highways work. The signs warning motorists of the deep ditches in France Lane have still not been replaced. The Clerk will remind SCC that this needs to be done.
c) Update on requests to Highways for a speed check and 40 mph speed limit request. There was no update.
d) Any other highways matters. Cllr Nutt reported that a number of people had complained to him about the signs on the pavement outside of the school. This has moved parking into Lee Park and there was a problem when people attending an evening event at the school parked across driveways and blocked
property entrances. It was pointed out that the signs are blocking the visibility at the junction with France Lane. It was felt that measures taken by West Buckland Primary School are at the detriment of Lee Park residents. The Clerk was asked to write to Highways.
Road closure signs were put up advising that Calways Lane was going to be closed on two separate weeks but were then removed without any work being carried out. It was reported that two vans had gone into the ditch recently on this road, probably because of the condition of the road surface.
185/03/22. To note any reports from:
a) County Cllr. Covered under item 182/03/22.
b) District Cllr. No report.
c) Police. No report.
d) LGR Advisory Board. Cllr Mitton reported that he had been unable to attend the last meeting due to catching Covid. He explained that if town and parish councils would like something delegated to them they can ask but it cannot be imposed. However, he warned that if the unitary council doesn’t have the legal obligation to do something/provide a service they might stop and they could also claim that the provision is more than they have to provide and could cut back. Cllr Mitton referred to the issue of Local Community Networks and predicted that the one for this area would be set up around the old Wellington Rural District Council area and would include Wellington Town Council and Wiveliscombe Town Council. It is likely that the proposals will come out in June. Town and Parish Councils and community groups will be able to put forward to their unitary councillors projects they would like to be considered. If the unitary councillors agree a budget would be set up but would depend on local government finance. Cllr Mitton advised that Wiltshire Council had started badly and improved but it had gone the other way in Cornwall. The ambition is there but will it translate to action.
e) Any other reports. SALC: Cllr Mitton reported that SALC are about to sign a contract with SCC to administer the Town and Parish Council Health and Wellbeing Grant programme. This will increase SALC’s workload considerably. SALC will be working with Councils who want to work with voluntary
SALC has been in discussion with the five District Council Monitoring Officers in Somerset about bringing together Councils to all adopt the Local Government Association Councillor Model Code of Conduct. Cllr Mitton’s only concern is when there is a dispute between ‘double hatted councillors’. The LGA Model Code of Conduct will come with a recommendation from SALC.
Cllr Bellamy reported that about 250 people attended the Great Big Safety Ride from Wellington to Taunton on March 20th. He said it was a political rally and was getting more so and he felt it was right for him to step back from getting too involved. The major campaign is with the potential unitary councillors.
a) To agree and authorise any payments. Councillors noted the National Joint Council for Local Government Services has agreed the new rates of pay applicable from April 1st 2021. It was agreed the increase the Clerk’s hourly rate as per the agreement and backdate it to 1st April 2021, as recommended.
It was resolved to make the following payments:
Mrs J Larcombe – £393.21 Clerk’s salary, backpay and expenses (Payment ref: 2122/40)
West Buckland Village Hall Trust – £32.00 room hire (Payment ref: 2122/41)
Nigel Richards – £20.00 cutting grass around war memorial (Payment ref: 2122/42)
F J Orchard & Sons – £210.00 hedge trimming (Chq no 300007)
b) To note any receipts and the bank account balances. No receipts since the last meeting. Current account balance: £500.00. Instant Access account balance: £25,081.92.
c) To minute the acceptance of the quote from SWT for cutting the grass in the playing field and play area. The quote from SWT for 10 cuts of the grass in the playing field and play area at £1,400.76 + VAT (£116.73 per cut) has been accepted. The field has been cut once already. The quote to empty the dog bin at Stoford Lane once a week at a cost of £346.32 (£6.66 per week) was also accepted.
187/03/22. Playing Field:
a) Any points to note from the regular inspection. There were no points to note. Cllr Nutt will resume the inspections. Cllr Bellamy has booked to attend a course in April on carrying out playground inspections.
b) Update on the ordering of a tree and planting. The Clerk has not found an Acer Campestre Queen Elizabeth yet. This now needs to be done urgently to get it planted before the summer.
c) Report on consultations to support application for funding for new play equipment. Cllr Ms Drury reported that she and the Clerk had met with Helen Stephenson, a parishioner who had volunteered to help the Parish Council consult on improving the play facilities at the playing field and make applications
for funding. Cllr Ms Drury and Mrs Stephenson visited West Buckland Primary School to consult the children. Cllr Ms Drury had managed children’s expectations around time and money. The Nursery have returned their consultation forms. An online consultation has started to allow the wider community to comment. It was agreed that the Parish Council would pay for a month’s Smart Survey subscription. It is important that there is a good response to the consultation to support applications for funding. Councillors are grateful to Mrs Stephenson for her time and energies in supporting the Parish Council.
There was a request from the children at the school to put the football nets back up. Cllr Ms Drury, Cllr Nutt and Cllr Silverlight volunteered to paint the goal posts and put the nets back up.
d) To discuss replacement of the wall in the playing field. This will be part of the whole plan for new equipment.
188/03/22. Footpaths: to discuss any footpath matters. The grips have been done on Footpath WG14/27 at Ruggin.
189/03/22. Parish Council Elections 5th May 2022 – promotion and encouraging nominations. Four members of the current Parish Council confirmed they would be standing again. Other members of the parish will be encouraged to submit nomination forms.
190/03/22. Correspondence. There was no correspondence.
191/03/22. Any urgent business at the Chairman’s discretion. There was no urgent business.
192/03/22. To note the date of the next meeting: The next meeting will be held on 26th April 2022.