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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: 4
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.

Apologies had been received from Mr Crawford.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST    There were none.

The Minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record of last month’s meeting.

Mr Westcott said it had been a quiet period. The Clerk had already circulated the police report from PCSO Thelma Mead.

Mr Lewis said that both the County and District Councils had agreed on a 0% increase in council tax for the year 2014/15.
The matter about the lights in the High Street was raised and the Clerk will report this again.

a) Minor Improvement Scheme
The Clerk reported that Lydia Howarth from the Transporting Programmes at Somerset County Council had confirmed she has been liaising with colleagues discussing the changes we had requested to the Minor Improvement Scheme and should be able to send their comments to us shortly.

b) HGV Signs
The Clerk confirmed she had written to Highways requesting the Unsuitable for HGV signs as discussed. She had also sent this request to Lydia Howarth asking if they could also be included in the Minor Improvement Scheme.

c) Jubilee Stone
The Clerk reported that she had received confirmation from the County Solicitors that approval had been granted for the placing of the Jubilee Stone and informed us that a notice and plan will be placed at the site for 28 days and would issue the Licence if no adverse representations had been received.

Mr Braithwaite raised the subject of the raised speeds along the old A303 which were indicated in the latest SID readings. Mr Tuck said that we could gain the support of the Avon & Somerset Police to our requests for the Minor Improvement Scheme. The Clerk agreed to send them the reports.

Two planning decisions had been received:
13/04747/COL – Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for the existing use of land as residential garden and works to form pond. Mr & Mrs Weatherhead, Higher Farmhouse, Higher Farm Lane, Weston Bampfylde BA22 7HT. GRANTED.
13/05076/FUL – Change of use of land for the erection of a pair of single attached garages to serve nearby residential properties. Mr & Mrs Smith, Land rear of Birchwood, High Street, Sparkford BA22 7JQ. GRANTED.

Two planning applications had been received:
14/00664/S73 – Application to vary Condition 6, 8, 13 (material finishes, boundary treatment and approved plans) and delete Condition 7 (sample panel) of planning permission 10/03926/FUL. Brookvale Homes (SW) Ltd, The Old Coal Yard, Sparkford Road.

Mr Braithwaite asked Mike Lewis if he had found out how this development had gone through as it wasn’t originally an affordable housing scheme. Mr Lewis said that Raglan is a nationwide company and an affordable housing scheme they were planning in another part of the country didn’t come to fruition so they took the opportunity to see affordable housing status for the Old Coal Yard site. He said he has spoken to officers at SSDC but was concerned as we went with the onion ring system in relation to the Bennett Close development in terms of locality. He was not confident the same will apply for the Old Coal Yard. Castle Cary could be included in this case although, as Mr Bourke pointed out, a housing development of 180 properties has been sought for Castle Cary.

This site is seen as isolated and the Section 106 doesn’t include a pedestrian crossing. Mr Braithwaite asked if the Section 106 still stands. This was stated clearly in the sales documents but Mr Braithwaite was concerned this would not be honoured. The legal agreement between the owner of the site and developer is that a sum of money is contracted to South Somerset District Council/Sparkford Parish Council. The Clerk had found out that the trigger for this money being released was the sale of the first house rather than the occupation of the first property. As there was only one house going to be offered on the open market this may mean a significant delay. Mr Lewis said he would be going to the planners to argue his case on this issue. Mr Davis asked how this has slipped under the radar. Mr Lewis said the issue about the onion ring is crucial in his view and he would ask Raglan to attend a meeting with the Parish Council to discuss these matters. Mr Tuck was also concerned that there was no footpath provision and something needs to be done about this.

14/00843/FUL – Change of use of existing storage building to workshop, erect office and workshop extensions, formation of storage compound and temporary siting of portacabins for office use. Lane at Cary Road, Sparkford.

The Clerk said we had only received notification of this application as we were the adjacent parish – it came under North Cadbury. The Clerk said this was relating to the cheese store and she had emailed the link to the Councillors so they could look at the plans. No objections were raised but Mr Lewis said we may like to speak to both Mr & Mrs Aldworth and Mr & Mrs Graham who were parishioners and lived very near this building. The Clerk agreed to do this.

a) McDonalds
Emma Treloar confirmed she had received the information from the Clerk regarding ownership of the hedge. Mr Lewis said that there was only a window of one week before the nesting season began, otherwise it would have to wait until the Autumn. Emma said she had quotes but doubted that she could get the work carried out in such a short time span.

Mr Bourke asked if she had any response about the fencing. Emma said she keeps asking but hasn’t received an answer as yet from her superior. The Clerk asked if we could take this any further and raised the possibility of asking someone from Head Office to attend a Parish Council meeting. Emma said she would speak to them.

Mr Davis raised the question about the bin at the Old Coal Yard site. Emma said they had moved it as requested but that it had been moved again. She will see about relocating it in the layby.

a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses
The Clerk’s salary of £212.06 and expenses of £11.00 were approved.
b) Stonemason
The Clerk had received the invoice from the stonemason for £482.00 which was far less than the original sum of approximately £800.
c) Noticeboards
The Clerk had paid the invoice of £270.50 for the new noticeboards. Peter Downton had volunteered to take the old one down to Dimmer to dispose of it.
d) Internal Audit
The Clerk said there was a problem since Fred Rogers had stopped doing the audits for the Parish Council, Playing Field Association and Village Hall. After some discussion Mr Lewis said he would speak with John Culvert who audits Queen Camels’ accounts to see if he would be willing to do the Sparkford Parish accounts as well.

a) Somerset Levels Relief Fund
Mr Braithwaite said that Sparkford Parish Council is not a charity. It is Somerset County Council’s responsibility and it is being pushed on to Parish Councils to fund. Mr Bourke said this is second time we have been asked to pick up the responsibilities of someone else. It was agreed to put this on the Agenda for further discussion at the next meeting.
b) CPRE Membership
As this had come in so late from SALC it was agreed to discuss further at the next meeting. The Clerk will put it on the April Agenda.

Mr Braithwaite again raised the question of the Village Hall accounts. He had produced a business plan which he requested was completed so the Parish Council could see exactly what monies the Village Hall Committee had.

Mr Bourke said the original problem had arisen from a letter from the Secretary of the Village Hall Committee asking for £250 towards resurfacing the car park and replacing the skirting boards.

Mr Tuck said they hadn’t asked for this money for the resurfacing of the car park as that was going to cost £9,000 and they would have to apply to Viridor for a grant.
This would be put on the Agenda for discussion next month.

Mr Tuck said he had spoken with the Village Agent who was keen to organise a village café which would need the support of the Parish Council. He requested this item be on the Agenda for discussion next month.

Mr Bourke said he wanted to congratulate Peter Downton on the improvement to the Parish News, it was so good to have local contact numbers and it provided a much better read.

Mr Davis reported a serious pothole in Twines Close and a blocked drain just passed Cherry Pie Lane where the water was going across the roadway rather than in the gully.

a) Village Hall accounts
b) Village Café
c) Grants to various bodies
d) Somerset Levels Relief Fund
e) CPRE membership
f) Internal Audit
g) Minor Improvement Scheme
h) Jubilee Stone

Monday, 7th April 2014.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.56 pm

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