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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 4th FEBRUARY  2013 AT 8.00 PM
IN SPARKFORD PARISH HALL

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

Mr K Davis
Mr M Lewis – District Councillor – Camelot Ward
Also present:
5 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 Mr Little, Mrs Goodland and Mr 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
PCSO Thelma Mead gave her monthly report for January-February:
6 crimes were reported and dealt with, 4 drive offs have been dealt with and filed, 1 drive off still under investigation, 1 possession of cannabis – cannabis warning issued and filed.
7 calls to the force service station; 1 theft, 1 suspicious/wanted, 1 contact, 1 contact re flooding, 1 miscellaneous and 2 traffic accidents.
She reported that she has been reporting pot holes and the lack of white lines in the area. She has been keeping an eye on the parking issues related to the affordable housing site and these were now under control. She will be contacting Tony Leach at Highways regarding blocked drains in the area.

Following contact from the Clerk she has been in contact with Highways regarding moving the 30mph signage further back towards South Cadbury; the Road Policing Unit has also been in touch with Highways regarding this signage. She is awaiting a response.
Mr Westcott said there was an incident on the High Street at approximately 10am on Saturday with a high speed police car chasing a vehicle.
Mr Braithwaite mentioned a large pothole between Queen Camel and Marston Magna and Thelma confirmed she had reported this.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mr Lewis said there would be an Executive meeting on Thursday and it is anticipated that South Somerset District Council will not increase their precept for the coming year.

6 HIGHWAYS
Mr Tuck said the litter bin that had been relocated in the Little Weston lay-by was leaning quite badly and wouldn’t take much to push over. The Chairman said this had only recently been relocated following complaints from the farmer but would ask SSDC to look at it.

It was also mentioned that there was a lot of water flowing from the farm on the Cary Road over to the Cadbury Business Park which would be extremely dangerous if it iced over. Mr Lewis said that Mr Little had asked the North Cadbury Clerk to deal with this but the problem is mainly that the water coming off the farm fields also has effluent in it and it is blocking the gully. The gully sucker had been out to clear but it had blocked again almost immediately. It was agreed that the Clerk contact the North Cadbury Clerk asking if we could be of any assistance in helping to deal with this issue.

7 LOCAL PLAN/AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The Clerk had received a question from Mr Piper regarding the air source heat pumps and the attenuation tank. The Clerk had contacted C G Fry who confirmed the air source heat pumps had been installed and their land agent was dealing with the paperwork with SSDC. The attenuation tank had been installed and is located under plot 1’s car parking space and also under the parking space for plot 2 and 3. It was anticipated that the site would be handed over to Yarlington on 1st March.

Mr Bourke asked if the Revd Guy Bennett had been approached regarding an opening ceremony. Mr Crawford said he didn’t know if any ceremony was being planned. The Clerk said that Mark Dillon had originally thought it was a very good idea to invite Revd Bennett as the development is named for his family. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Yarlington about this.

Mr Lewis said residents had asked him about the details for the two 50/50 dwellings and he had been in contact with Mark Dillon. Unfortunately no-one had yet shown interest in the part ownership dwellings and they have designed a leaflet giving information. Mr Lewis had agreed to have these delivered to all residents in the Parish. At the moment these two dwellings were being offered countywide. Mr Crawford said that the rented properties hadn’t been released as yet but would be put up on Yarlington’s website as soon as they were. Mr Braithwaite said he saw someone move into one of the dwellings today.

8 PLANNING DECISIONS    There were none.

9 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Two planning applications had been received:

a) 13/00014/FUL Re-instatement of blocked in window at attic level on north gable elevation. The Dairy House, Little Weston Road Sparkford BA22 7HP Mrs Sarah Sutton
b) 13/00302/FUL Demolition of existing single storey extension and erection of a new replacement single storey extension. Cider Press House, Little Weston Road Sparkford BA22 7HP Mr/s Ralston-Saul

10 MATTERS ARISING
a) Precept
Although this had already been agreed at a previous meeting recent changes by the Government meant this had to be looked at again. Mr Crawford said that for people on certain benefits there has always been a reduction in their council tax but those people still have to have their services provided and they have to be paid for. Up until now the majority of this has been rebated by central Government to the County and District Councils. What has happened now is that central Government has reduced the value of the rebate and the deficit has to be made up by the individual council tax payers in order to bridge the gap. The Clerk had emailed paperwork relating to this and also a sheet showing the different increases in council tax various precept amounts would mean. This needed to be agreed this evening and Councillors had to bear in mind the fact that although there is no cap on Parish Councils this year there is no guarantee that there would not be a cap on the precept next year. Also there is no guarantee that we would receive the grant from central Government next year either.

Following a discussion Mr Crawford asked how Councillors felt about increasing the precept as previously agreed. Mr Tuck said we cannot stand still in the real world; Mr Braithwaite said there would inevitably be other demands on the parish. Mr Braithwaite proposed that we increase the precept to 5,000 as previously agreed. Mr Bourke seconded the proposal and all Councillors were in favour. The Clerk will complete the relevant paperwork.

Mr Lewis said we should make sure parishioners are aware what the precept is being spent on. He said another part to this that everyone is going to be expected to contribute in some measure to the council tax so it will be fairer in that everyone pays something. It was agreed to place information in the Parish Newsletter.

b) Code of Conduct Adoption
The Clerk had emailed a copy of the South Somerset District Council Code of Conduct to all Councillors. This had been adopted by SSDC on 12th July 2012. Following discussions between the Clerk, SALC recommendations and the District Council the Clerk then proceeded to outline changes that she suggested making to the Code. Following this Mr Bourke proposed we adopt the amended Code, Mr Braithwaite seconded the movement and all Councillors were in agreement. The Clerk will forward the amended copies of the Code to Councillors and also lodge it with South Somerset District Council as required.

i) Register of Members’ Interests
Following the successful adoption of the new Code of Conduct every Councillor had to complete a Register of Members’ Interests form.

c) McDonalds
Emma Treloar introduced Sheena to the Council. Sheena will be covering Emma when she takes leave in the summer. Emma said she had organised an event in Yeovil with local businesses doing a litter pick and would like to do a similar event in Sparkford. It was agreed she would contact the Clerk with dates and details so these can go in the Parish Newsletter.
Mr Bourke asked if the issue with the fence was any further forward and Emma said she was still sending emails about this but hadn’t heard anything yet. She would continue to chase the issue.

Mr Lewis said that the big No HGV Overnight Parking sign seems to have resolved the issue. Emma said it had apart from a few drivers who had gone over their allowed hours and the odd foreign drivers who just drove over the bollards.

11 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of 220.46 and expenses of 7.50 were approved.

12 CORRESPONDENCE
The Clerk said she had received an email from the new Village Agent who requested a meeting with the Parish Council. After some discussion it was agreed to invite her to the March meeting. The Clerk had also received information from the Village Agent regarding help with heating costs and she would put this in the Parish Newsletter.

13 ANY OTHER BUSINESS    None.

14 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS
Mr Braithwaite asked if there was any news on the defibrillator. The Clerk said it had been agreed to put an item in the February Newsletter asking for comments from parishioners but, as yet, she had received none.

Mr Lewis said that in 1994 when setting up Dairy House Yard he had put up 2 signs warning of deer in the road – one was in the lay-by to the right hand side of the Cadbury Business Park and the other just past Haynes Motor Museum. Unfortunately he has recently had to clear up two carcasses of deer that had been hit by vehicles. There is currently a 60mph speed limit on this part of the Cary Road and they frequently get motorbikes and cars far exceeding this limit. He thought that there was a good reason to request restriction on this speed limit for general public safety. He has cleared both of the signs which had been slightly obscured by vegetation. It was also mentioned that vehicles exiting the Cadbury Business Park had a poor view of oncoming vehicles and at this high speed there was every likelihood of an accident. It was also reported that the Cadbury Business Park was extending so more traffic would be entering/exiting from there. It was agreed that Mr Lewis will speak to PCSO Mead and the Clerk will contact Highways.

15 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Mr Tuck requested that water courses in Sparkford be put on next month’s Agenda.

16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 4th March 2013.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.15pm
KB/05.02.13

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