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

Present:
Mr J Crawford – Chairman
Mr T Tuck – Vice Chairman
Mr A Bourke
Mr D Braithwaite
Mr L Piper
Mr K Davis
Mr P Downton
Mr M Lewis – County and District Councillor – Camelot Ward

Also present:
3 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   There were none.

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 reported a quiet period. He said that the damage stile had now been repaired. He congratulated the District Council on clearing the fly-tipping at the Sparkford Copse so quickly. There is a defibrillator meeting on 23rd October to decide which model they will purchase which will then result in knowing how much more funding they require for the second defibrillator.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mr Lewis reported that the 60,000 traffic improvement scheme should be proceeding. There will also be another fund available for 2013/14. He will also be promoting the Health & Wellbeing Fund. Mr Piper asked if he knew what type of traffic calming scheme was going to be implemented, but this wasn’t known at the time. Mr Crawford asked on the progress of faster broadband. Mr Lewis reported this was a disaster for rural areas and communities should start lobbying their MP’s. He also reported that BT is looking at using the rail network to bring in the broadband.

6 HIGHWAYS
The temporary road closure at Sutton Montis Road and Church Hill from 7th October for 8 weeks was reported. This was for Wessex Water to carry out work.
Mr Tuck said the advanced warning sign had been erected at long last but you can’t actually see it due to overgrowth obscuring the sign. The Clerk will contact Highways to get it cut back.

The state of the road at the junction of The Avenue and the Cary Road was again raised and the Clerk was asked to contact Highways stressing the concern of the Councillors. It was suggested a photograph may be helpful and the Clerk will attempt to obtain one.

7 PLANNING DECISIONS
a) 13/02807/FUL – Erection of a new calf house. Land at Middle Farm.

This application had been heard at the Area East Committee meeting and nearby residents had attended and spoken. The application had been granted but with conditions relating to landscaping.

8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS  There were none.

9 MATTERS ARISING
a) McDonalds
Mr Piper said that the bins weren’t being emptied frequently enough. Ms Treloar said that may have been due to her absence but would make sure they were emptied regularly. She said the people who were going to do the hedge cutting had let her down and she was in the process of getting more quotes.

b) Conservation Area Status
Tim Cook, South Somerset District Council’s Neighbourhood Development Officer attended the meeting to outline all the details of obtaining conservation status. It protects areas of architectural or historical interest. He had spoken to Andrew Tucker, the Conservation Officer, who considered there was merit in Little Weston. The status has controls over the ways owners can develop their properties. Planning applications are very carefully monitored. Certain permitted development rights have to be applied for. The process is to engage local people in the process. Research would be carried out by a SSDC officer and a report is produced. This can be used as a planning implementation tool when looking at applications. A formal request from the Parish Council to Andrew Tucker would be needed to start the process. Mr Cook said that there is a drop-in event on 15th October between 3pm and 5pm at North Cadbury village hall looking at their conservation report and it may be worthwhile attending.

As no residents from Little Weston attended the meeting the Clerk was asked to contact Sarah Sutton to see if she had contacted all the residents to gauge their response to the possibility of applying for this status. This will be placed on the Agenda for November for further discussion.

c) Cricket Club lease
The Clerk reported that although the original lease had long expired the solicitor had said that it still continued on a rolling monthly basis. All the original conditions such as maintenance of the ground and that the public have free access to the field still apply. The Clerk had received various complaints regarding the main gate being padlocked and a quotation had been sought to install a stile to the left of the main gate to enable dog walkers to continue using the area. It was then reported that there was another access point further along Brains Lane and Mr Crawford was going to check it’s suitability before going any further with the stile.

d) SALC Training courses
The Clerk had circulated details of all the available courses and would book a place for Peter Downton on the Good Councillor course being held on 6th November.

e) Local Choices Event
The Clerk had circulated details of this event. Councillors will contact her if they are able to attend.

10 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of 201.46 and expenses of 7.50 were approved.

b) Half yearly rent on playing field
The rent of 125 was approved.

c) Somerset Community Justice Panel funding request
The Clerk had received a request from this body for funding 2014/15. The Parish Council had given a grant of 100 to the Justice Panel last September but they had now taken on charitable status. Mr Lewis said he thought they had secured funding from Yarlington Homes and the Clerk confirmed they had also got the Police & Crime Commissioner and Taunton Deane Borough Council on board. After some discussion it was agreed the Clerk would contact them to clarify their funding status. This would be put back on the November Agenda.

11 CORRESPONDENCE
The Clerk reported on a proposed permanent diversion of public footpaths WN16/4 & 13A and WN19/50 & 19/51A at North Leaze Farm, North Cadbury.

12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Clerk had received an updated copy of the NALC Standing Orders which she had circulated. We had been advised by SALC to revise our current SO’s in light of this. This will be put on the November agenda.

13 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS
Kevin Davis reported that there had been a leak of heating oil into the ditch at the bottom of Ainstey Drive. This had emanated from the High Street.

Mr Bourke asked if the scan of the area where we were putting our commemorative stone had been carried out. Mr Lewis said that he was hopeful it would take place very soon. The Clerk said they would mark out the area again.

Peter Downton said he had made enquiries if Haynes would continue printing the Parish Newsletter after the reports of their moving from Sparkford. He had received some feedback that people thought the newsletter was boring and he considered an update was due. In discussion with Haynes it had been agreed that they would produce an A5 booklet of up to 20 pages and would also staple it. This would give more scope for advertising etc. Councillors thought this was a good idea and the condensed size would also make it easier to deliver. A request was made for the font size to be increased as it was quite difficult for some parishioners to read in the present format.

Mr Crawford reported that he had spoken with J Haynes, Managing Director, who confirmed they would not be closing the book distribution warehouse until at least January 2014. The Old Dairy building wasn’t owned by Haynes but leased. Mr Bourke asked about the impact on jobs in the village. Mr Crawford said Haynes was making it a top priority to try to find work for all the people. He will contact Mr Crawford, probably in December, to update him on the situation.

Mr Westcott asked if it was possible to request some police speed checks in the area of the High Street. The Clerk confirmed that Thelma had been going to organise this but would contact her again on the matter.

14 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
a) Conservation Area status
b) Cricket Club gate
c) Somerset Community Justice Panel

15 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 4th November 2013.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm
KB/08/10/13

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