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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 2nd APRIL  2012 AT 8.00 PM
IN SPARKFORD PARISH HALL

Present:
Mr J Crawford – Chairman
Mr T Tuck – Vice Chairman
Mr D Braithwaite
Mr A Bourke

Mrs C Goodland
Mrs E Alden

Mr R Little – County Councillor – Castle Cary Division
Mr M Lewis – District Councillor – Camelot Ward
Also present: 2 members of the public

In attendance: Mrs K Bourke – Clerk

After a short opportunity for members of the public to address the Council, the Chairman opened the meeting at 8.00 pm.

1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies had been received from Larry Piper.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST    There were none.

3 APPROVAL OF LAST MONTH’S MINUTES
The Minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record of last month’s meeting.

4 CRIME/NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
The Clerk read out a report from PCSO Thelma Mead. There had been 11 calls to the Force Service Centre in the past month: 3 suspicious/wanted, 1 contact request, 3 theft, 2 traffic, 1 admin and 1 pre-planned event. Crimes reported were 1 theft from motor vehicle updated and filed, 1 making off without payment updated and filed, 1 theft from a motor vehicle under investigation and 1 theft under investigation.

She confirmed that she was supporting Mr Westcott in trying to set up a Community Speed Watch. He has 4 volunteers at present and is waiting to hear from Stuart Hunter, Chairman of CSW. If anyone wishes to volunteer please get in touch with Mr Westcott.
Mr Westcott said he saw 8 teams of people carrying out speed watch duties on his way back from Bridgwater today. The fuel shortage caused chaos at the garage with people stealing items from the Spar.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mr Little said that the County Council have sent back their comments to the Local Government Boundary Commission.
Mr Crawford thanked him for sending details of the Steart Hill Farm HGV routes and asked if there was anything more to report. Mr Little said he had spoken to PCSO Mead who agreed the routes were totally unsuitable. He has offered to drive the two planning officers from the District Council on the route the HGV’s will be taking but there has been no response. Mr Crawford said he had sent his comments in about the deficiency of the road for 35 tonne vehicles.

Mr Lewis said the Core Strategy is going to be discussed on the 23rd April and will include support for the local economy. There is a Corporate plan for the District Council saying that jobs are the most important thing to encourage within the district. He then went on to mention the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIF) which will be added to housing costs, as well as the Section 106 agreements, at approximately £150 per square metre per dwelling which means it would add £23,000 to the total building cost of a property. We need to try to get a balance of the CIL which will depend on whether SSDC expand housing. Most other authorities have agreed on £75/80 psm.

6 HIGHWAYS
a)
Minor Highway Improvement Scheme and Speed Indicator Readings
Everyone had received copies of the readings from the installations of the Speed Indicator Devices both on the High Street and also the old A303. Mr Bourke confirmed that 10% of the traffic was exceeding 50mph on the High Street and 66% were exceeding the speed limit.

Mr Crawford asked that the Council make up their minds as to what we would ideally like to warn people they are coming into a village with a 30mph limit. Mr Tuck thought the most effective would be illuminated speed signs which would also be cost effective. Mr Braithwaite said what cost on human lives. He also said the problem was that there was a 50mph limit on the A303 but nothing on the road to Queen Camel or into Sparkford.
Mrs Goodland wanted something that physically slowed down traffic and suggested a pinch point.
Mr Crawford asked if Councillors agreed we should go for a physical constraint on the road. This wouldn’t mean we cannot have flashing signs but this needs to be prioritised. We could ask for a choke point backed up by flashing signs.

Mr Tuck asked Mr Little if Highways would conduct an engineering survey. Mr Little confirmed they would. Points to mention could be:

Since the building of Cam Cottages the speed limit sign should be moved
There building of the affordable housing scheme will mean more traffic onto the highway
No footpath on part of the High Street for children to walk to the bus stop
People who come into the village from the dual carriageway are still in dual carriageway mode
Speed at the other end of the village is far worse as it’s a straight stretch with very few entrances and access points
Children and parents crossing over to the village hall
Possibility of painted "build outs" and signage
Speed cushions may be another solution (£4,500 each)
Pedestrian island for crossing from bus stop/car park at village hall
Definitely needs to be a physical means of reducing speeds

The Clerk and Chairman will complete the required forms to apply for money from the Minor Highway Improvement Scheme and return it to Mr Little for submission to the County Council.
The Clerk had received information on a temporary road closure A371 Cary Hill and Bratton Seymour to Cary Hill and A359 Galhampton Hill and Bruton Road, Pitcombe from 16th April for 5 nights for resurfacing works to be carried out.

7 LOCAL PLAN/VILLAGE DESIGN
Mr Crawford said he had spoken to Mark Dillon of Yarlington Homes. The digger work that had been carried out on site was to comply with the conditions that work had to be started before the end of the financial year. C G Fry were the building company appointed and they have a very good reputation. Work will be done to provide services on site before anything else is done. There will be an opportunity for Councillors to meet the building company on site and get some contact details.
Yarlington Homes are discussing the buffer strip question with residents of Cedar Court.

8 PLANNING DECISIONS   None had been received.

9 PLANNING APPLICATIONS   None had been received.
On the question of the Steart Hill Farm application Mr Crawford asked Councillors if they would like him to send a representation from the Council. Mr Bourke said on behalf of the Council they would like Mr Crawford to respond. All Councillors were in agreement.
Mrs Goodland brought up the matter of the Camel Hill Farm wanting to quarry over the next 25 years and re-open a quarry which closed in 1946 so they could quarry white lias stone. Mr Little said that Queen Camel Parish Council were in favour but West Camel Parish Council had opposed the application. It should be decided by Committee sometime in June.

Mr Crawford said planning officers should distribute details of these things more widely and asked Mr Lewis if this was a decision that was left to the planning officers or can Members advise that they inform locals about this type of application? Mr Lewis said they are requested to do this and he will take it up with David Norris. He also said he had asked that this application go to Committee for a decision.
Mr Crawford said that the National Planning Policy Framework came into being last week. If Councillors wish for a copy he will email it to them. This replaces 44 previous documents. One point said that car parking charges in towns should be very carefully looked at. Mr Little said the car parking strategy has finished and they have stepped back from considering car parking charges. He will email this document to the Clerk.

10 MATTERS ARISING
a) Tree planting for Diamond Jubilee
The Clerk had contacted the District Council’s Arborist who had made a suggestion of a suitable tree but that the conditions of planting meant that the original site earmarked would no longer be suitable. It was decided that Councillors would walk round the village looking for a better site and report back at the next meeting. Mr Lewis suggested the cricket pitch as this belongs to the Parish Council.

11 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of £188.96 and expenses of £7.50 were approved.
b) Approval of Accounts
The Clerk had already circulated the end of year accounts to Councillors. These were approved by all and will be presented at the Annual Parish Meeting in May.
c) Diocesan half-yearly rent
The Clerk had received the half-yearly request for rent on the playing field. This was approved.

12 CORRESPONDENCE   None had been received.

13 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mrs Goodland said that a parishioner had approached her requesting a dog litter bin in Church Road. The Clerk confirmed that we were unable to provide any further bins as the District Council would not empty them. She said that there was a general purpose waste bin installed by the electricity sub-station that could be used for dog litter.

14 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS
Mr Tuck referred to the problems on the east and west-bound slip roads. The Highways Agency gritters are turning round on the slip road rather than going over the bridge and they were causing the damage to the slip roads. It is not the County Councils’ fault and it should be the HA paying for the damage.

15 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
a)
Tree planting for Diamond Jubilee

16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Following a discussion it was agreed that the next meeting would go ahead on the 7th May despite it being a Bank Holiday. It would be preceded by the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30pm.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.30pm
KB/03/04/12

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