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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 7th JANUARY  2013 AT 8.00 PM
IN SPARKFORD PARISH HALL

Present:
Mr J Crawford – Chairman
Mr T Tuck – Vice Chairman
Mr D Braithwaite
Mrs C Goodland
Mr A Bourke
Mr L Piper

Mr K Davis
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   None had been received.

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
Mr Westcott had nothing to report.

The Clerk read out the police report from PCSO Thelma Mead for the period December 2012 to January 2013:
10 crimes reported and dealt with: 7 making off without payment, 1 attempted burglary, 1 other offence and 1 domestic incident. 8 calls to the force service centre: 2 pre-planned events, 3 flood warning Environmental Agency, 1 attempted burglary, 1 unknown and 1 traffic.

The Community Speed Watch will resume in the New Year when we have managed to find other locations to stand in the High Street. They had a get together with CSW in December and had a good response. Ken Flood has the equipment back from Stuart Hunter and will be issuing a list of dates.
Mr Westcott is still the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator and anything relating to NHW should be passed to him in the first instance.
Ken Flood is the Community Speed Watch Co-ordinator and will liaise directly with PCSO Mead, Stuart Hunter CSW Chairman and the Road Policing unit in Yeovil.  
PCSO Mead had spoken to the Site Manager at the affordable housing build in The Avenue about parking issues. She has given them No Waiting cones and posters to make the tradesmen aware of the parking issues and that they have permission to park in the village hall car park. She and the Road Policing Unit will be making regular patrols to ensure they keep to what has been agreed.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mr Little said it had been a fairly quiet time and had no points to make. Mr Crawford asked if there was any news about the government funding for the County Council. Mr Little said they were 5.5% down on what they received last year from the government.

Mr Lewis reported that they are due to agree on the Local Development framework next Thursday. There is an argument about housing numbers still. The District Council agreed a number of houses but the government are saying something different in the Regional Spatial Strategy which means more houses than South Somerset District Council want.

6 HIGHWAYS
Mr Lewis thanked Mr Little on getting the problem with Mrs Prestnail’s flooding sorted out. Highways officers met with her and carried out remedial work.

7 LOCAL PLAN/AFFORDABLE HOUSING
There was nothing to report. Mr Piper asked if we had heard anything regarding the air source heat pumps but we hadn’t. Mr Bourke asked if we had a finish date. Mr Crawford said originally it had been Christmas but they started late and had problems with the weather so it may be Easter.

8 PLANNING DECISIONS   There were none.

9 PLANNING APPLICATIONS   There were none.

10 MATTERS ARISING
a) McDonalds
Mr Piper said there had been an increase in rubbish over the last couple of weeks. Emma Treloar said they had been having problems on site with some youngsters and car parts being put in their bins. She is trying to get a camera installed in the lorry park as the barriers are being broken down as fast as she can replace them. She will get Josh and Ben to go back to the original rubbish picking route.
With regards to the fence the discussions have now gone up a level and moving in the right direction.

b) Precept
Following the precept decision at the last meeting we had been informed that the impact of the Government’s recent announcement regarding Town and Parish Councils and the Localisation of Council Tax would negate the precept. We now have to add in certain amounts relating to the number of people receiving benefits in the parish. If we don’t add this figure to our precept then we will receive a shortfall. Unfortunately the District Council don’t yet have these figures but have set up a meeting for the 24th January to give this information and the Clerk, Mr Crawford and Mr Bourke will be attending. We have been advised that there is no cap placed on the precept this year.

c) Warden Scheme
The Clerk had contacted our insurance company to enquire if the parish insurance would cover volunteers carrying out highways related work. They said that volunteers that work under the control of the Parish Council in connection with our activities are included in the definition of an employee on the policy and are therefore insured automatically under both the Employers’ and Public Liability insurance sections of our policy. If aged between 16 and 80 they are also covered under the Personal Accident insurance section. However the Parish Council must ensure any volunteers work in a safe environment and that they have access to the correct tools and personal protective equipment/clothing. A risk assessment of their tasks should be carried out in writing and kept on the PC files.

The Clerk had also contacted local Parish Clerks to see if their parishes had shown any interest in the Warden Scheme but she had not received any response.
Mr Piper asked if we could still receive the money from the County Council if we decided to go ahead but was told that we have to be part of four parishes sharing a Warden to benefit. He thought we should still go ahead with carrying out this work as it appeared the County Council will not be doing it.

Mr Little said we could apply to the Community Enablement Fund which would be available to one parish if they wished to go forward with this and the Clerk was asked to email him asking for details. Mr Bourke objected and said we should ask if there would be any specific strings attached in requesting any money. The County Council’s intention is to persuade parishes to take on some facilities they currently provide.

d) Defibrillator
The Clerk had made enquiries from the British Heart Foundation, South Western Ambulance Service, our local GP Surgery and the Community Heartbeat scheme. Basically if we went ahead with the SW Ambulance Service we would have to give them a donation of 1500 for the defibrillator (which would still remain the property of the SWAS). They would maintain it, update the software and replace batteries etc. However we would need to purchase a special external heated unlocked cupboard at a cost of 720. The "shelf-life" of the defibrillator is normally 7 years after which we would need to start the process again by giving another donation.

The response of the GP surgery was positive in saying that it was a good idea, very easy to use and they would be happy to show people how to use one. However we would need to provide evidence to support public access. Following a cardiac arrest the chance of survival decreases by 23% per minute. It is very important medical treatment starts as soon as possible. If a defibrillator is used within one minute of a cardiac arrest the chance of survival is 30%; if a defibrillator is used within five minutes the chance of survival goes down to 2%. If someone had a CA in Green Close or at the McDonalds end of the village then the chances of someone getting to the village hall, picking up the defibrillator and returning to the patient within 5 minutes is very unlikely as is the case of a CA happening outside the village hall.
A discussion ensued and it was agreed the Clerk put an item in the Parish Newsletter, giving the costs, asking what parishioners thought about the suggestion.

11 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of 157.47 and expenses of 8.50 were approved.

12 CORRESPONDENCE   None had been received.

13 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mr Braithwaite had been approached by a number of people regarding the flooding of the river and the responsibilities for the river and sluice gates. Mr Crawford said an investigation into the responsibilities should be made before we informed parishioners.

Mr Davis said Mr Flood had contacted him before the meeting to say he now had the new laser gun and also that the Road Policing Unit had been looking at the position of the 30mph speed limit sign on the old A303. They agreed with the Parish Council that it should be moved and the Clerk was asked to contact PCSO Thelma Mead to see if we could get their support in requesting Highways move the sign.

Mr Tuck reported that the track way from Church Road to the restored bridge had been trashed by County Council workmen. Mr Rankin was under the impression the track way would be hardened up and reinstated by the Footpath Division which is why he gave them access.
The Clerk was asked to contact Peter Radford, the bridge expert at County, to ask about plans to repair the track way and to thank him for the restoration of the bridge and the new stile.

Mr Crawford reported that the Clerk now needs somewhere secure to hold all the Parish records and the suggestion was the Parish Council purchase a lockable cupboard which would be placed in the village hall. A discussion ensued and Mr Braithwaite proposed that the Clerk be given permission to purchase a cupboard up to the value of 175.00. This was seconded by Mrs Goodland.

14 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS     There were none.

15 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA   There were none.

16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 4th February 2013.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00 pm.
KB/08.01.13

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