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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 4th NOVEMBER 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 M Lewis – County and 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 were received from Mr Peter Downton.

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 that a land rover in the High Street had been stolen, there had been a rowdy party in the village and that an organised gang had been door knocking. They now have a defibrillator which will be situated at the Spar at 2pm on 3rd December. There will be 24 hour access. Mr Crawford thanked both Mr & Mrs Westcott for their hard work in getting the funding for this.

The Clerk read out the Police report. Recorded crimes were theft from vehicle, other x 2 and criminal damage x 2. Calls to the Force Services Centre were anti-social behaviour x 4, crime x 8, general x 3, public safety/welfare x 10 and transport/traffic x 16. PCSO Mead has made a request to the Community Safety Partnership to attend the Sparkford area. They will confirm once they have found a suitable location. She will also endeavour to get the Road Policing Unit to attend.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mr Lewis reported that as soon as Highways have the police response to the minor improvement works then Lydia Howarth will forward the plan to the Clerk.

The County and District Councils are both in the process of budget rounds. It will be tough going this year with the amount of money to be saved by County at 106 million over the next 4 years.
Mr Braithwaite said he trusts that the 106 million will not be taken out of the rural budget. Mr Lewis said he hoped the rural communities will not be hit but there will be some services such as children’s services that may be impacted. Urban areas should not have an unfair advantage.

Mr Crawford mentioned the census data figures for Sparkford and Mr Braithwaite requested a copy.

Mr Lewis asked if it would be possible for Thelma to send a comparison of crimes in Camelot, in a month by month graph form, over a period of 12/24 months. The Clerk will contact the PCSO.

6 HIGHWAYS
a) Minor Improvement scheme
The Clerk had received information from Highways that the long awaited improvement scheme consists of replacing signage (which was only 4 years old) and installing a 1 metre wide hatching on the road from The Lodge to the first speed sign. This was the information that had been sent to the Highways department which deals with lines and signs for their approval. It seemed a very small scheme for the 60,000 that had reportedly been approved for the works.

It was agreed that both Mr Lewis and the Clerk would seek the cost of the works when the plans have been received.

7 PLANNING DECISIONS    There were no planning decisions.

8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS    There were no planning applications.

9 MATTERS ARISING
a) McDonalds
Emma Treloar had sent her apologies.

b) Stile at Cricket Ground
Mr Crawford had received another call from Steve Hunt regarding the trees on the cricket ground. He arranged to meet him and also Mark Ogborne on site. What they want to do is to prune off the suckers on the main trunks of the trees so they can use the area for spectator seating. Mr Crawford couldn’t see a problem with this. He also spoke to them about the wicket gate. They had a problem with lads on motorbikes getting through this gate and would like the option to lock it. They were delighted to learn that the Parish Council were considering installing a stile by the main gate as this would solve all problems. The Clerk confirmed that the quotation provided by Peter Keenlyside was for 120 to install the stile. Kevin Davis proposed that this work be carried out and all Councillors were in approval. Mr Crawford mentioned that the Cricket Club were keen to extend the pavilion and were considering installing a second floor to the building.

c) Conservation area status
The Clerk confirmed that she had contacted Sarah Sutton after the previous meeting. She said she would get a consensus of opinion from the residents of Little Weston and let the Clerk know before the November meeting. The Clerk hasn’t heard any more from her and it was agreed to remove this item from the Agenda.

d) Somerset Community Justice Panel
Following the October meeting the Clerk had emailed the Somerset Community Justice Panel three times seeking clarity of their funding status but hadn’t received any response. All Councillors agreed to disregard this request for funding.

e) Review of Standing Orders
Following a short discussion it was agreed to adopt the new Standing Orders.

f) Setting the Precept
It was agreed to put this on the Agenda for the December meeting and Councillors were asked to consider what grants would be needed. The timetable for the Precept is:

SSDC agrees Council tax Reduction Scheme for 2014/15 on 7th November.
      
SSDC extracts data as at 30th November 2013 and grant allocation and tax base for each Town and Parish Council    early December.

Town and Parish Councils notified of Grant and Tax Base for their Council mid December.

Electronic calculator emailed to assist in calculating Council Tax and Precept mid December.

Precept Notification forms to be received 31st January 2014.

The Clerk had received documents from SSDC relating to a Town and Parish Council Workshop for Council Tax Setting. She hadn’t received any notification of the workshop and Mr Lewis said he would look into it.

10 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of 180.25 and expenses of 7.50 were approved.

11 CORRESPONDENCE
No correspondence had been received.

12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mr Piper asked if we could email Tim Cook to thank him for attending last month’s meeting but to say that we would not be going forward with the conservation status. The Clerk agreed to do this.

Mr Braithwaite asked if the barn building in Weston Bampfylde had been started. He had heard they were going to start the building before the landscaping which wasn’t the condition on the permission. Mr Crawford said he would look into this.

13 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS       There were none.

14 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
a) Precept
b) Minor improvement scheme

15 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 2nd December.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.35pm.

KB/05.11.13

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