The Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held on Thursday 6th October 2022 at 7.30pm in the Committee Room, West Buckland Village Hall.
Present: Cllr’s C Silverlight (Chair), S Bramley, Ms S Drury and J Nutt.
In attendance: County Cllr Ms S Wakefield, PCSO S Bramley, PC T Hatchard, one member of the public and the Clerk, Mrs J Larcombe.
83/10/22. To accept apologies for absence. Apologies were received from District Cllr R Habgood. Cllr Ms Wakefield had advised the Clerk she would be joining during the meeting.
84/10/22. Disclosure of interest in items on the agenda. There were no declarations of interest.
85/10/22. To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 30/08/22 as an accurate record of the meeting. With the addition of ‘Cllr Silverlight said it would be beneficial if the £1 fare in Taunton could be extended’ to the end of the first paragraph of 72/08/22 a) County Cllr Report, the minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed.
86/22/10. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda (for information only). There were no matters arising.
87/22/10. Democratic Period. A member of the public asked for a copy of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct. The Clerk will email a copy to him.
It was agreed to bring the following item forward on the agenda.
a) Police Report. PCSO Bramley had emailed a copy of the Wellington Town Council Police Report for October to the Clerk who will circulate it to councillors. PCSO Bramley explained that the assaults at a local care home are not included as they would give a false impression of the community. Speed checks have been carried out in the village, by the school. A few drivers were pulled over and spoken to. None of the speeding was excessive and most of the drivers spoken to were local. Speed Watch is working well in Wellington. PCSO’s are willing to carry out speed checks where there isn’t a speed watch group. Cllr Ms Drury said there was a problem with the 30 mph repeater signs on Sawyers Hill as they are obscured by vegetation. One of the signs has been hit by a hedge trimmer and is not facing the correct way. It was felt that white lines on the sides of the road would act as a warning about the speed limit.
PCSO Bramley will be talking to the Mini Police about Halloween and anti- social behaviour. A trip is planned to take them to Police Headquarters to see the dog unit.
Cllr Ms Wakefield joined the meeting.
He has received complaints about parking problems around the school but feels the school is doing all it can. The problem of irresponsible parking close to the school was highlighted by Cllr Ms Drury who, when she had driven through the village recently in school hours, had seen a car parked on the zig zag lines on the corner of the junction between Silver Street and France Lane with one tyre parked on a cone.
The Clerk mentioned an email that she had received with a complaint about poor lighting on the roundabout under the M5 at Junction 26. A child of the person emailing the Parish Council had been a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an accident that was allegedly caused by poor lighting on the roundabout. She had tried complaining to SWT and SCC but had been told to contact the Parish Council. No one was sure whether the roundabout was the responsibility of SCC or National Highways. There was a discussion about the condition of the roundabout, the lighting and the damaged kerbing. It was noted the green cats eyes have been replaced on the slip road leading from the M5. Cllr Ms Wakefield commented on the Cowslips that can be seen flowering on the roundabout. It is believed they were planted by a community group, possibly the WI.
The Police left the meeting.
b) County Councillor. Cllr Ms Wakefield had emailed the detailed SCC Liberal Democrat Report for October to the Clerk who had circulated it to councillors prior to the meeting. She was thanked for her support in resolving a fly tipping problem on Buckland Hill. She reminded councillors about responding to the SCC Local Community Network consultation before the closing date on 17th October and was told it was an item on the meeting agenda. There was a discussion about the pros and cons of Local Community Networks and councillors explained their concerns about being expected to take on more responsibilities that they don’t have time for or want to take on. It was felt this could also deter people from becoming
Cllr Ms Wakefield left the meeting.
c) District Councillor. No report.
89/10/22. Update on broadband issues. No update.
a) To consider any planning applications received by the Parish Council prior to the meeting:
46/22/0012 Variation of Condition No’s 2 (approved plans) and 4 (to extend the time to complete the road widening) of application 46/12/0007 at Blackdown Garden Centre, Wellington Road, West Buckland. It was explained the applicants would like to extend the time they have to complete the road widening until the end of 2023. Comment: West Buckland Parish Council look forward to the road widening actually being completed. They have already waited for 10 years.
46/22/0014/A Display of 4 No. non-illuminated advertisement/sponsorship signs on Chelston Interchange A38/220, West Buckland. The application was noted – no comment.
b) To receive decisions from planning applications determined by SWT Council.
46/22/0010 Erection of a single storey extension to the front of The Old Barn, Morrishes Farm, West Buckland. Decision: conditional approval granted.
c) Any other planning matters. 46/22/0005, Erection of 1 No. 3 bed detached house with garage and formation of access in the garden to the side of Llantarnam, Chelston Nurseries, Nursery Lane, Chelston (resubmission of 46/20/0023) will be decided by the SWT Planning Committee on 13th October.
a) To note any required work to be reported to SCC. On Sawyers Hill one of the 30mph repeater signs has been knocked by a hedge trimmer and is facing the wrong way and another is covered in ivy. They need to be visible all year round. SCC will be asked to mark ‘30’ on the road surface and put single white lines on the edge of both sides of the road to warn people of the speed limit.
b) To receive an update on any outstanding highways work. The Clerk reported that she had emailed Gwyn Hughes, SCC Assistant Highway Service Manager, asking for an update on 2 outstanding highways issues. With regard to the kerb in Sawyers Hill, Martin Stone, Area Highways Superintendent (AHS) had a site visit with SCC’s contractors during the summer. Due to the levels of the back kerbs being so high, it will be very difficult to alter a short length of kerbing without making the situation worse. Their conclusion is that the whole footway needs to be re-levelled, including the back kerbs around the whole corner/junction from the dropped kerbs in Dyers Close around and into Silver Street. This will be costly work and more than the maintenance budget can afford for a single scheme, so Gwyn Hughes will pass this on to be added to the Structural Maintenance – Footway list. Unfortunately, this is a very long list and he has spoken to the Engineering Technician within this Team and at present they are fully committed to financial year 2024/25. He has been assured by the AHS that the kerbs and footway surface in question are not regarded as a safety defect and the situation is now far better with the newly installed crossing points at this location and the junction of Frog Street, Silver Street.
In relation to the drainage issue along Silver Street, he had no joy with the SRA application, so he is hoping to get this scheme included in next year’s Structural Maintenance – Drainage list. For information, a decision on which schemes go forward for next year is made in November. There was a reminder that SCC Highways has a limited maintenance budget with many demands placed upon it and they have to make some realistic decisions.
c) Update on speed check. There was no update.
d) Update on repairs to fingerpost sign on Buckland Hill. Cllr Silverlight is still waiting to hear back from Kate Brown. A quote for the repair will be obtained.
e) To discuss an email complaining about poor lighting and signage on the roundabout under the M5 at Junction 26. This matter was discussed under item 88/10/22 a). Cllr Ms Drury will have a look to see which signs are lit up.
f) Fly tipping on Buckland Hill. A resident contacted Cllr Silverlight because he was unhappy with the incomplete reply he had received from SWT when he reported fly tipping on the road surface of Buckland Hill. He was told the case had been marked as closed with the following response ‘Unfortunately we haven’t been able to collect the waste because Roads and Transports Somerset West and Taunton’. Cllr Silverlight also reported the fly tipping and the details were forwarded to the 2 County Cllrs. Cllr Ms Wakefield contacted the appropriate officer and the fly tipping was removed. IDVerde were contacted about their unsatisfactory message too.
g) Any other highways matters. Cllr Nutt reported that the gullies alongside the A38 had been cleaned out.
a) To agree and authorise any payments. It was resolved to make the following payments:
Mrs J Larcombe – £316.94 Clerk’s salary and expenses for September (Payment ref: 2223/17)
Nigel Richards – £50.00 grass cutting in village (Payment ref: 2223/18)
West Buckland Village Hall Trust – £32.00 room hire for meetings (Payment ref: 2223/19)
Pip & Stone Ltd (Adam’s Apples) – £131.19 fruit trees, stakes, ties and guards (Payment ref: 2223/20)
West Buckland PCC – £1,250.00 Churchyard Grant (Payment ref: 2223/21)
Taunton & District CAB – £100.00 donation (Payment ref: 2223/22)
Somerset Association of Local Councils – £317.21 annual affiliation fee (Payment ref: 2223/23)
£3,885.32 will be transferred from the Current Account to the Instant Access Account.
b) To note any receipts since the last meeting and the bank account balances. Since the last meeting bank interest of £43.03 has been received.
The second and final precept payment of £5378.00 has been received from SWT.
A grant payment of £1,705.00 has been received from SWT.
The current account balance is £1,000.00 and the Instant Access Account balance is £28,295.33
93/10/22. Update on application for funding for an EV charging point. The application has been submitted. The closing date for applications has now passed and a decision is expected soon.
94/10/22. Playing Field:
a) Any points to note from the regular inspections. No points to report.
b) To discuss the cost of replacing the surfacing under the swings and whether this is the best option and best value for money. The Clerk reported that she was still waiting for further quotes.
c) To report the ordering of fruit trees. The fruit trees have been ordered (2 x eating apples; 1 x cooking apple; 1 x pear and 1 x plum) along with stakes, ties and tree guards. They will be ready for planting in January.
d) Any other playing field matters. A young person in Crown Mews has written a letter to the Parish Council to complain about the condition of the under 5’s play area at Lee Park. They also drew a plan of how it might be improved. The Clerk will write back to them and thank them for their well written letter and will explain that this play area is the responsibility of SWT. A copy of the letter and plans will be sent to SWT and to Cllr Habgood, Cllr Ms Wakefield and Cllr Henley.
95/10/22. Footpaths: any footpath matters. The member of the public expressed concern that a steep field on the route of footpath WG 14/32 had been ploughed.
There were no other footpath matters.
96/10/22. To discuss response to Local Community Network Consultation. It was decided to hold an online meeting on 8th October at 7pm to work through the consultation document and agree the Parish Council’s response.
97/10/22. Recruitment of councillors to fill the 3 vacancies. The Clerk will write to the administrator at the primary school to see if any members of staff are interested.
98/10/22. Correspondence. The following correspondence was noted:
Citizens Advice Taunton – notice of AGM on 19th October. Cllr Nutt will attend.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service – details of consultation on the level of precept (share of council tax) for 2023-24.
Blackdown Hill Parish Network – notice of AGM on 10th November. Cllr Silverlight will attend.
Somerset Citizens – invite to Wellington to Taunton Cycle Route Conference ‘The Pathway Ahead’ on 21st October. Cllr Bellamy will attend.
Somerset Congress of Parishes – SCOP II Conference on 5th November. Cllr Bellamy will attend.
SCC Cost of Living Working Group – survey regarding the cost of living crisis warm spaces to enable SCC to map the Warm Spaces. The Clerk reported that she had tried to complete the survey but it had become corrupted. She had contacted the Village Hall booking secretary to when the hall was free and might
be able to be used as a warm space and had emailed this information to SCC.
99/10/22. Any urgent business at the Chairman’s discretion (Not for Decisions). No urgent business.
100/10/22. Date of the next meeting. It was agreed to cancel the meeting planned for 25th October as it was less than 3 weeks from this meeting. Cllr Ms Drury gave her apologies for the meeting planned for 29th November. As this is the meeting at which the 2023-24 budget and precept request will be discussed it was agreed to bring the meeting forward to Tuesday 22nd November.
These minutes were agreed at the meeting held on 22nd November 2022