MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2018 AT 7.00 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

Chris Cudmore (Chairman)

CC

 

Dave Mattick

DM

 

Vicki Taylor

VGT

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

Paula Freeland

PF

 

Vicki Trundle

VT

 

Simon Wolf

SW

 

 

 

In attendance

Philip Ham, District and County Councillor

PH

 

9 members of the public

 

 

Nick Hiscox for item 067.2/18

NH

 

 

 

 

 

ACTIONS

0062/18

APOLOGIES

 

 

 

 

0062.1/18

Apologies were received from Anthea Brooks, Clerk (AB) and Alan Townsend, District Councillor (AT)

 

 

 

 

0063/18

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS / REQUESTS FOR RECORDING

 

 

 

 

0063.1/18

VT and DM declared an interest in discussions around purchase of the land for the Open Space project.  There were no requests for recording.

 

DM read out the following statement

 

A formal complaint has been raised that during the recent Open Space public meeting I was “rude, arrogant and downright offensive” to an extent that the complainant considered “bullying and that this aggressive behaviour had negatively affected many parishioners’ confidence in the council’s impartiality and ability to govern”.  As such I have decided to declare an interest and take no further part in discussions or decisions about the Open Space Project, item 9 on this agenda, at least until Mendip District Council has addressed the matter.

 

 

 

 

0064/18

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15 OCTOBER 2018

 

 

 

 

0064.1/18

Item 054.3/18 from the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2018 was corrected as:

 

Cheque for HMRC was for £143.40 not £43.40.

 

Payment to Mrs A Brooks was for the Clerk’s salary plus paper for the Open Spaces meeting flyer not the annual newsletter.

 

With these amendments the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2018 were agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

 

0065/18

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 15 OCTOBER 2018

 

 

 

 

045.4/17

Bank Mandate – The Clerk will arrange for the overall mandate form to be signed and then take all forms to Nat West Bank - ongoing.   

Clerk

 

 

 

 

106/17

Dog Waste Bin – the dog waste bin has arrived and has been installed by the Village Rangers - complete

 

 

 

 

132.3/17

End of financial year actions:

·                     Risk Assessment and Assets changes outstanding:

o    Change 10. “Election Costs” from M/L to Low. Clerk has updated the Risk Assessment and will distribute to Councillors

o   Data Protection risk should be reviewed following briefing by the Clerk

 

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

133.1/17

Determine ownership of the “Drang” footpath – AT spoke to David Clark at Mendip District Council who provided a link to the Land Registry.  The suggestion there was to ask neighbours to check deeds and covenants which CC will do.  He will also ask the heritage group  Assuming no owner can be found CC will contact the Land Registry and claim the land - ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

151/17

OPEN SPACE CONTRIBUTION

 

 

 

 

151.3/17

VT to confirm offer in writing/email – complete

 

 

 

 

151.5/17

Actions – delayed until after the Open meeting

 

 

·                   VT to check whether the size of the land is 1.25 or 1.5 acres – confirmed it is 1.25 acres - complete

 

 

·                     VT to check and copy the land search – ongoing

VT

 

 

 

APCM2/18

GDPR – the Clerk had prepared a briefing for the Council together with some templates of a privacy notice and consent form.  She will brief the Parish Council at a later meeting and make arrangements to attend the Recreation Field Management Committee and the Memorial Hall Committee meeting to brief them.  A data log is to be commenced - ongoing

 

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

APCM3/18

Downhead Finger Post – DS is coordinating various local volunteers to move the fingerpost to a parishioner’s garage so that a new spigot can be made.  DS to chase up – ongoing.

 

 

DS

 

 

 

020.3/18

Old Wells Road scheme –still ongoing

PH

 

 

 

024.2/18

Cemetery - The Clerk reported on some problems in the Cemetery where a metal edging and white pebbles had been applied around two cremation plaques.  The Clerk had written to the family involved – ongoing

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

037.1.1/18

Planning – Prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house (use Class C3) and for associated operational development at Old Wells Road, Leigh-on-Mendip

 

 

 

 

037.1.2/18

The above application had been discussed at the previous meeting and whilst not consulted directly the Council had made comments which had been passed to MDC with the intention that they should be logged as on the website.  However these comments do not appear against the application despite the fact that the Clerk has submitted them with a request that they should be included.  It was agreed that the public should have the opportunity to view any comments made by the Parish Council.  AT agreed to investigate further.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would always review any new planning application in the parish whether consulted officially or not - ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

 

038.2/18

Annual Accounts – the Clerk will send copies of the income and expenditure, Governance statement and statement of assets to CC to add to the website - ongoing

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

039.1/18

Cemetery/Churchyard – CC spoke to MDC who are waiting for the contractor to give them a cost for the yew tree cutting.  MDC are also looking to their responsibilities for this – ongoing.

 

 

CC

 

 

 

039.2/18

It was agreed that the Clerk will laminate a copy of the Rules and Regulations for the cemetery and CC will arrange to put them up- ongoing

 

Clerk

 

 

 

054.2.4/18

PCC Grant - The Clerk had spoken to the PCC Treasurer and it was agreed that the cheque would include VAT - complete

 

 

 

 

 

055.2/18

New Cemetery – in the spring the area will be rotavated and seeded.  It was agreed to ask for a quotation for this work from the current grass cutting contractor - ongoing

 

 

Clerk

 

 

 

055.4/18

Boundary Fence (New Cemetery) – it was noted that the south boundary fence is collapsing and contact needs to be made with the owner.  PF will speak to the relatives of the property owner - ongoing

 

PF

 

 

 

058.1/18

 Parish Bulletin - CC to put a link on the village website to MDC - complete

 

 

 

 

060/18 (1)

Training - SALC Councillor Essentials Training, Nunney, 12 November at 7.00 p.m.  – two Councillors attended - complete

 

 

 

 

060/18 (2)

Book Exchange - request from a parishioner to use the telephone box as a book exchange.  VGT spoke to the parishioner and said that there were libraries in the hall and the pub.  Parishioner still keen to proceed and she will put a notice on Facebook to get some feedback - complete

 

 

 

 

066/18

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

066.1/18

PH

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Salt Bins – SCC will now fill the salt bins but will probably not provide salt bags

 

 

·                  Halecombe Quarry SCC Planning meeting – thought the Planning Officer presented it well.  BANES tried to stop the meeting five minutes before it began.

 

 

·                  MDC Planning Officers – have not been very helpful lately so PH and AT have filed a complaint

 

 

·                  Enforcement – increased enforcement team to six officers.  Fines will be doubled.  They will work as more of a team and will have high-viz clothing rather than a more formal uniform

 

 

·                  MDC have £1.1m in receipts from assets

 

 

·                  MDC have bought the Saxonvale site in Frome.  PH is in charge of the development project

 

 

·                  Mendip Citizens Advice Bureau has had £100k withdrawn from their budget by SCC.  MDC still putting in over £100k.  There is a great return from the CAB so it is worth supporting them and they may ask parishes for funding

 

 

·                  Somerset Waste Partnership – not using landfill after 2020.  Avonmouth incinerator will be used instead.  The five county districts are each contributing £5m for a new fleet of vehicles.

 

 

·                  Highways – all schemes are still active and starting to trickle through.  Money coming from capital receipts not revenue receipts.

 

 

·                  Local Plan Part 2 – goes to cabinet next Monday then goes to full Council in December.  Inspectorate before 24 January.  Not many changes since draft for consultation.

 

 

·                  Survey on buses and usage going on

 

 

 

 

067/18

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

067.1/18

2018/2603/FUL and 2018/2600/LBC demolition of existing stone wall and reinstatement of a single storey lean to extension at Rookery Farmhouse, Quarry Lane to Somers Hill, Leigh-on-Mendip for Tarmac Ltd

 

 

 

 

067.1.1/18

The above planning application was discussed.  After discussion it was proposed by CC, seconded by VGT and agreed unanimously to recommend approval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

067.2/18

2018/2524/FUL Construction of a replacement outbuilding at Grove Shute Farm, Towns End Lane, Leigh-on-Mendip for Mr N Hiscox

 

 

 

 

067.2.1/18

Mr N Hiscox (NH) addressed the meeting.  The original building was demolished during the development of the new houses and to give a bigger garden to plot 7.

 

 

 

 

067.2.2/18

This application will reconstruct the old courtyard effect with a slightly smaller footprint.  The same materials will be used and the building would have a lower ridge line than the old barn.  NH regretted allowing the demolition of the old building.

 

 

 

 

067.2.3/18

DS asked if the building will be constructed right on the boundary of the adjacent plot which NH confirmed and said that there was a legal agreement in place that this could occur and which also gives access for repairs and maintenance

 

 

 

 

067.2.4/18

DS asked if the building could be narrowed to bring it in from the boundary.  NH confirmed that it could but that this would also make it lower and thus reduce the privacy of plot 7.  It cannot be moved away from the boundary and kept the same size due to water pipes below the land.  NH said that the issue of building on the boundary rather than inside it was a legal matter not a planning issue.

 

 

 

 

067.2.5/18

PF was asked by DM if a building can be constructed right on a boundary as he understood that it had to be at least 1m inside it.  PF suggested that this was flagged as something for the Planning Officer to investigate.

 

 

 

 

067.2.6/18

CC agreed that if the building was brought inside the boundary by 1m then that would help with access and maintenance.

 

 

 

 

067.2.7/18

VGT proposed leaving the decision to the planning officer, VT seconded and this was agreed unanimously.   PF stated that the scale and form of the building are appropriate and would enhance the area.

 

 

 

 

067.2.9/18

NH left the meeting

 

 

 

 

067.3/18

2018/2457/HSE demolition and rebuild of garage, proposed single storey rear extension and loft conversion/roof works by Ben My Chree, Blackers Lane, Leigh-on-Mendip for Mr Ian Scovell

 

 

 

 

067.3.1/18

This application was discussed.  The scale and form of the extension is fine but the Parish Council felt that it should be faced with natural stone rather than reconstituted stone.  This would be in line with the Village Design Statement (paragraph 14 of the Guidelines).  The roof should be slate to match the existing roof.

 

 

 

 

067.3.2/18

VGT proposed, DM seconded and it was agreed unanimously to leave the decision to the Planning Officer with the proviso that the comments of the Parish Council were taken into consideration.

 

 

 

 

067.4/18

CURRENT APPLICATIONS AND PLANNING MATTERS

 

 

 

 

067.4.1/18

2017/1022/CNT Deepening of Halecombe Quarry by the extraction of limestone, replacement of existing asphalt plant with a new asphalt plant and associated facilities, retention of the concrete batching plant and the reopening of the access road to Rookery Farm with relinquishment of the existing permission and extension of end date for the entire quarry and all quarrying activities to 31 December 2044 with restoration to be completed by December 2046 at Halecombe Quarry, Leigh-on-Mendip – approved pending the S106 agreement

 

 

 

 

067.4.2/18

2018/2138/PAA Prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house (use Class C3) and for associated operational development – Land at 367524 146177 Old Wells Road, Leigh-on-Mendip – prior approval refused

 

 

 

 

067.4.3/18

2018/2186/HSE Retrospective application for the creation of a Juliet balcony and driveway piers and gate – 1 Apple Meadow View, Park Hayes, Leigh-on- Mendip – taken as withdrawn

 

 

 

 

067.4.4/18

2018/1648/APP Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 5 (hard and soft landscaping) n planning consent 2014/276-/FUL Grove Shute Farm, Towns End Lane, Leigh-on-Mendip – outstanding but landscaping will start immediately once the nursery have provided bare root bushes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

067.4.5/18

2018/0804/APP and 2018/0805/APP – applications for approval of details reserved by conditions 3 external facing stonework, 4 external joinery, 5 external ducts, pipes and rainwater goods, 6 external facing materials, 7 balustrade fitted/installed on planning consent 2018/0026/VRC and 2018/0002/VRC at Rookery Farm, Halecombe Quarry, Leigh-on-Mendip - approved

 

 

 

 

068/18

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

068.1/18

The financial statement as at 19.11.18 was approved.  It was noted that the cheque for the church grass cutting had been reissued.

 

 

 

 

068.2/18

Budget Preparation

 

 

 

 

068.2.1/18

The following points were noted

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Funds to be set aside for 2019 election

 

 

·                  The Recreation Field Management Committee have requested £5,000 for play equipment but will not be spending the £2,500 allocated to play equipment in 2018/19

 

 

·                  Church – no set amount requested so far but they would like as much as possible for match funding.  Ideally this would be around £2,000 but £1,250 would be very helpful.  DM to prepare a statement

 

 

DM

 

·                  Hall - £300 again.  This year’s £300 will be spent on repairs to the roof

 

 

·                  School - £450 again.  They would like to spend the £450 for 2018/19 on a new picnic table.  SW will email details to AB and CC so that this can be formally requested at the December meeting.

 

 

SW

 

·                  Toddler Group – no formal request but we will allocate the same amount as they had in 2018/19

 

 

·                  Footpaths - £200

 

 

·                  Grass cutting (church and Rec Field) – AB getting quotes

Clerk

 

·                  Contingency for community field.  May need funds for water supply, shed etc.  VGT to feedback at next meeting

 

VGT

 

·                  Landscaping of new cemetery – AB to get a quote

Clerk

 

·                  LOMCA – leave as same

 

 

·                  Consider CAB funding as an external grant

 

 

 

 

068.2.2/18

It was noted that the budget needs to be finalised in January

 

 

 

 

068.3/18

Cheques agreed and raised

 

 

·                     Mrs A Brooks – Clerk’s Salary October £218.42

 

 

·                     Glasdon – dog bin - £222.79

 

 

·                     Shepton Mallet Landscapes -  Recreation Field grass cutting £894.00

 

 

·                     Church grass and hedge trimming - pending

 

 

·                     PCC of Postlebury – photocopying of Open Space meeting flyer - £25

 

 

·                     SALC – Training fees - £50.00

 

 

 

 

069/18

CEMETERY MATTERS

 

 

 

 

069.1/18

Nothing to report

 

 

 

 

070/18

REVIEW OF POLICIES

 

 

 

 

070.1/18

Some of the policies had been reviewed with others to follow.  Results of those reviews already undertaken were as follows.

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Code of Conduct – DM – no change

 

 

·                     Complaints Procedure – VT – ongoing

VT

 

·                     Data Protection Information – SW – to be updated in line with GDPR

Clerk

 

·                     Retention Policy – CC – no change, clerk to investigate actions

Clerk

 

·                     Equality and Diversity – PF – no change

 

 

·                     Financial Regulations – CC – looked at latest SALC version – to be updated - ongoing

 

CC

 

·                     Freedom of Information Policy – VT - ongoing

VT

 

·                     Freedom of Information Publication Scheme – DM – suggested increasing cost of photocopying from 10p to 15p otherwise no other changes

 

 

·                     Grievance Policy – SW - ongoing

SW

 

·                     Health and Safety Policy – PF – should have health and safety as a standard item on the agenda and it should be regularly discussed.  PF will draft something on lone working - ongoing

 

 

PF

 

·                     Recording of meetings – VGT – no changes - complete

 

 

·                     Recruitment Policy – VGT – no changes - complete

 

 

·                     Standing Orders – DS - ongoing

DS

 

 

 

070.2/18

Additionally to this the Parish Plan action plan will be considered by CC and any amendments brought to the next meeting for discussion.

 

CC

 

 

 

070.3/18

All other ongoing reviews are to be held over until the December meeting.

 

 

 

 

071/18

OPEN SPACE PROJECT

 

 

 

 

071.1/18

VT and DM took no part in this section of the meeting

 

 

 

 

071.2/18

CC stated that a contract had been received from MDC for signature for the release of the S106 monies and an offer for the land has now been received.  This could be accepted subject to receipt of the money from MDC and subject to contract.

 

 

 

 

071.3/18

Public – it is a very good idea and did not believe DM was rude at the Open Meeting.  The project is good for the village.  We are all in favour.

 

 

 

 

071.4/18

Public – I understand people are worried and it is essential that we manage the allotments well.  We need clear rules and to make sure we abide by them.  Could the fence around the allotments be a hedge which would be more appropriate?  To lose the money would be awful and other projects like play facilities can happen once we have the land.

 

 

 

 

071.5/18

CC stated that the hedge was mentioned after the initial idea of a fence.  We could just have a hedge and no fence unless we initially need a fence for screening.

 

071.6/18

Public – I have trees and hedge plants which were going to be planted where the hedge by the play area is.  They could be used to kick-start things.

 

 

 

 

071.7/18

VGT – the soil has been checked and the condition of it is good (as was expected from a field which has been grass for years).  There is some couch grass which might be a problem but overall the soil is better quality than the soil in the existing allotments.

 

 

 

 

071.8/18

Public – once it is agreed, is part of the plan to enhance the play facilities?

 

 

 

 

071.9/18

CC – The Recreation Field Management Committee will be dealing with that and will progress it as a project.  It is a priority.  Other things such as adult exercise machines have also been suggested.

 

 

 

 

071.10/18

Public – the apple orchard in Frome is lovely.  We could do something like that.  We could sell produce to raise funds.

 

 

 

 

071.11/18

CC – at the public meeting there were some objections but we are trying to overcome issues of view and nuisance by positioning the allotments in the NW corner and we will be setting rules to address other nuisances such as bonfires.  We have received a very generous offer of £10,000 for the 1.25 acres which is £8,000 per acre.  The valuation was for £14,000 - £20,000 per acre.  As a Parish Council we need to provide allotments if we can.

 

 

 

 

071.12/18

CC – We have produced a draft business case.  In summary there is no other land available and we can make good use of the space with allotments, a new play area and other uses.  We can buy the land at a favourable price.  A Compulsory Purchase Order on another site would result in a significantly higher price and make it unfeasible.  No cost analysis has been done because there is no significant cost to the Parish Council.  The financial risks to the Parish Council are none.  In the event of the purchase not completing, the Parish Council simply have to return any unspent funds to MDC.  We have surveyed the land and it is considered suitable for allotments and there are no signs of contamination (the field has been laid to grass for a long time).  Environmental checks are not necessary because it is greenfield, not brownfield.  We are asking for people to come forward if they want an allotment and if we are under-subscribed then we will have additional land available for other uses and if we are over-subscribed then there will be a ‘queue’ system managed by the Allotments Association.  We do not believe that any charges or restrictive covenants will be prohibitive but we will have to wait for legal advice and the purchase would be agreed subject to contract anyway.  The Business Case was agreed and signed by CC and VGT.

 

 

 

 

071.13/18

VGT – MDC have already agreed our costings and have agreed that there is some flexibility within the £15,572 to vary where monies are spent.  We do need to change dates on the agreement due to the duration this process has taken.  MDC have said that we can amend the contract to put in the new time frame.  As long as the land is used for open space they are happy with what we do with the remainder of the land.

 

071.14/18

Public – will there be any remaining funds out of the £15,000?

 

 

 

 

071.15/18

VGT – no.  The Parish Council are prepared to fund any small shortfalls in implementation costs such as hedging.

 

 

 

 

071.16/18

CC – the motion is that we will sign the legal agreement to claim the money and submit it to MDC and that we will accept the offer from the owners of Manor Farm, subject to receiving the monies and subject to contract.

 

 

 

 

071.17/18

DS – requested that any covenants are put before the Parish Council before being agreed – this was agreed.

 

 

 

 

071.18/18

DS proposed, SW seconded and the motion was agreed unanimously.

 

 

 

 

071.19/18

Mendip legal agreement signed by VGT and CC

 

 

 

 

071.20.18

VGT will deliver the paperwork to MDC.

VGT

 

 

 

071.21/18

The Clerk will respond to the offer of the land.

Clerk

 

 

 

071.22/18

Next steps are:

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Wait for Mendip to agree and process the paperwork

 

 

·                  Parish Council to talk to Recreation Field Management Committee about the lease etc. before engaging solicitors

 

VGT

 

·                  Ask two solicitors for quotes for legal work

VGT

 

 

 

071.23/18

Seven members of the public left the meeting

 

 

 

 

072/18

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP SCHOOL

 

 

 

 

072.1/18

A letter had been received from Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership seeking the Parish Council’s view on the intention to become a primary school by designation and increase the age range from 2 – 8 to 2 – 11.

 

 

 

 

072.2/18

There was overall approval of the plan for the reason that having more pupils at the school will increase the probability of its long-term survival.  The village school is an important asset to our small community

 

 

 

 

072.3/18

It was agreed that SW will send a response to the letter of 7 November.

SW

 

 

 

073/18

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

073.1/18

PCSO – nothing to report

 

 

 

 

073.2/18

Footpaths – three matters reported as follows

 

 

·                     Pitten House to Whitehole Hill footpath reported as blocked but DS says it seems to be all right

 

 

·                     A ramp has been reported in the footpath by Thrice Barn – DS will investigate

 

DS

 

·                     Gate missing out of kissing gate at end of footpath across Manor Farm field into Stocks Lane.  This has been missing for some time and poses no problem.

 

 

 

 

073.3/18

Village Rangers – have completed the following work

 

 

·                  Fitted new dog bin adjacent to ‘school’ sign by footpath to Halecombe Quarry

 

 

·                  Cleared overhanging foliage by Barn Close (Quarry Lane)

 

 

·                  Holly Bush grit bin serviced and vegetation cut back

 

 

·                  Trimmed Recreation Field hedge on Leigh Street

 

 

·                  Ham Hill finger post has been straightened by Philip Swift

 

 

 

 

073.4/18

Highways – contents of salts bins need loosening up.  Parish Council will supply a coal shovel in each bin. DS to investigate.

 

DS

 

 

 

073.5/18

Recreation Field – nothing to report

 

 

 

 

073.6/18

Memorial Hall – ongoing issue with the roof

 

 

 

 

073.7/18

School – nothing to report

 

 

 

 

073.8/18

SALC – nothing to report.  Recent Councillor training was good

 

 

 

 

073.9/18

Quarry – At the SCC Regulation Committee meeting the chairman picked up on the impact to our village and not others.  They are also aware of the need to protect the Long Term Management Fund.  The money is ring fenced.  Leigh-on-Mendip are to be consulted on the final draft of the S106 legal agreement (HGV routing, Community Fund and Long Term Management Fund etc.).  VGT suggested we get the minutes from the meeting – action for CC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

074/18

POINTS FROM PARISH BULLETIN

 

 

 

 

074.1/18

Nothing to note

 

 

 

 

075/18

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

075.1/18

·                     Halecombe Liaison Meeting 18 October 10.00 a.m. – DS attended

·                     Parish Forum 18 October 6.30 p.m. – DS attended

·                     Halecombe Quarry SCC Regulation Committee  8 November – DS presented the statement on behalf of the Parish Council

·                     SALC Training, 12 November – VGT and SW attended

 

 

 

 

076/18

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

076.1/18

None to note

 

 

 

 

077/18

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

077.1/18

The next meeting will take place on Monday 17 December 2018 at 7.00 p.m. in the Memorial Hall.