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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 7th APRIL 2014 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: 11
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 Peter Downton.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Mr Braithwaite declared an interest in item 10(d), Mr Davis & Mr Tuck declared an interest in item 9(e).

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 Mead reported 5 attempted break-ins from Tuesday 25th March until Wednesday 2nd April. All were business premises. The PCSO’s have stepped up their patrols until 11pm and then the police will take over.

Mr Lewis said he understood North Cadbury was asking Highways to reduce the speed limit from Galhampton to Sparkford to 50mph. Three cars have been written off on that stretch of road since Christmas mainly due to wet weather and speed. It was agreed we would add our support to this request.

PCSO Mead said the police were operating Rogue Traders week starting from now and to be on the look out.

Mr Westcott said more information was needed between the police and the NHW as they didn’t know anything about the break ins during the past week. There would be a CPR and defibrillator training on 23rd May at 7.30pm. The NHW BBQ will be held on 14th June at Weston Bampfylde. Wood is still being removed from the copse.

5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR    Mr Lewis had nothing to report.

6 HIGHWAYS
a) Minor Improvement Scheme

The Clerk had received an email asking how we wanted to proceed with the Minor Improvement Scheme. As they had turned down all our suggestions she asked the Councillors what they wanted to do. She had requested a meeting with Highways but it had been pointed out that Area Highways only dealt with the maintenance of the existing highway. Schemes such as these are funded from the Small Improvement Scheme which is a separate budget and therefore dealt with by the Transporting Programmes Team in County Hall. It was agreed that Mr Lewis will speak with the Team to discuss a way forward.

Mr Tuck reported that street light no. 1 in Manor Close was continually on. The Clerk will report this.

7 PLANNING DECISIONS
One planning decision had been received:
13/05182/FUL – erection of an extension to garage and conversion into annex providing living accommodation for family member and erection of a conservatory to existing house. Catalina, Church Road, Sparkford. Mrs Judith Zillwood. APPROVED.

8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Three planning applications had been received:
a) 14/00843/FUL – Change of use of existing storage building to workshop (B2), erect office and workshop (B2) extensions, formation of storage compound and temporary siting of portacabins for office use. Land adjacent to Cadbury Business Park, Sparkford BA22 7LH (Cheese Store).

Mrs Graham asked the Parish Council to support their objections to this application. She explained they live opposite the premises. They object to the application because the change of use means there will be a great difference in activity on site which will impact on them and there will be an increase in noise, production and light pollution. This will not only affect them but also the property next door who owns the bluebell woods. Their privacy will be affected and there will be a definite visual impact. The height of the building will increase substantially and the proposed offices have windows which will directly look into their property. Security lighting on the site has been an issue in the past. They feel very strongly this application should not be granted but if it is they are asking that there are no windows on the 3rd tier in the front and that significant planting and screening should be made to the plot adjacent to the roadway.

Mr Crawford said that because of the parish boundary line Mr & Mrs Graham live in Sparkford parish but the site in question is in North Cadbury parish.
Mr Piper asked if the entrance will be used much more and that this should be a matter raised with Planning. Mr Braithwaite said there was more reason to ask for a 50mph speed limit on this section of road. Mr Bourke said there was definitely an issue of being overlooked and was there the possibility that the windows be of obscured glass and asked for this to be raised with Planning. Mr Bourke proposed sending a copy of our objections to North Cadbury parish. Mr Braithwaite seconded and all Councillors were in agreement.

b) 14/01080/FUL – Change of use of annex to separate dwellinghouse. Cherry Pie Cottage, Cherry Pie Lane, Sparkford. Mr Martin Harcourt.
Mr Harcourt raised two points in support of this application. The first is that the environmental impact will be zero as the building already exists. The second is that the footprint is not being changed. There will be no increase in vehicle activity. The building has approval as a Bed & Breakfast establishment at the current time.

Mr Pierre Cadoret said he had already written his comments to the District Council and handed over a copy of this to the Clerk.
All Councillors had seen this application and had raised no objections and she would respond to SSDC accordingly.

c) 14/00664/FUL – Application to vary condition 6, 8, 13 (material finishes, boundary treatment and approved plans) and delete 7 (sample panel) of planning permission 10/03926/FUL. The Old Coal Yard, Sparkford Road, Sparkford. Using reconstituted stone throughout rather than rendered side and rear elevations. Boundary walls also to be reconstituted stone.
Councillors had no objections to these changes.

9 MATTERS ARISING
a) McDonalds   There was nothing to report.

b) Jubilee Stone
The Clerk had circulated the latest information regarding the issue of notices around the village by the Legal Team at County Hall. It was agreed that Mr Lewis will speak to the Legal Team to see if this can be speeded up.

c) Village Hall Accounts
Alison Roylance said that she had submitted revised accounts and they had also now been put onto spreadsheets. Mr Braithwaite said a lot of hard work had gone into this but the Parish Council needed the 2014 accounts to be able to give any grants. He also said if you make a profit in a year how can you make a loss in the bank account? Mr Bourke said the accounts do not reconcile and need Alison Roylance and Mr Braithwaite to go through them together. This will be put on the Agenda next month.

d) Village Café
Mr Tuck said that the village agent, Andrea de Berker, want to start up a café in Sparkford but it needed funding. The Village Hall Committee are happy to give the hall but need some support from the Parish Council for running costs. Mr Bourke asked how much was required. Mr Crawford said for the Parish Council to vote on a financial request we would have to know how much, how often and for how long. Councillors all agreed that a proposal from the Village Hall Committee and Andrea de Berker was needed at the next meeting for this to be discussed. This will be an Agenda item for May.

e) Grants to various bodies

·A request had been received from Victim Support for a grant. Councillors voted not to agree this grant.

·A request had been received from the 3rd Sparkford Scout Group. Both Mr Davis and Mr Tuck left the room whilst this was being discussed. Mr Braithwaite proposed a grant of £100 and Mr Bourke seconded the proposal. All Councillors agreed. Mr Davis and Mr Tuck came back to the meeting.

·A request had been received from the Citizens Advice Bureau and Mr Bourke proposed a grant of £100, seconded by Mr Braithwaite and agreed by all Councillors.

Mr Bourke then proposed that both the Scout Group and Citizens Advice Bureau be given this money as an annual grant along the same lines as the village groups with the proviso that they must write to request the grant which should be received by the Parish Council by the 1st December each year. All Councillors were in agreement.

f) Somerset Levels Relief Fund
The Clerk said a letter from Somerset County Council had been received supporting the Royal Bath & West Society newly set up Somerset Levels Relief Fund. Mr Braithwaite said this wasn’t for the Parish Council but was for the District Council. All Councillors agreed.

g) CPRE membership
Councillors agreed that we wouldn’t be joining this organisation.

h) Internal Audit
The Clerk reported that Rosemary Heath-Coleman, Chairman of Queen Camel Parish, would be carrying out the internal audit of our accounts. Thanks go to Mr Lewis for organising this.

i) Repeal of s.150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972
This relates to the two signature rule on cheques being abolished to allow Councils to have the facility to do electronic banking. Mr Crawford said the Clerk didn’t think we needed to change to the new system and advised keeping the two signature rule as a right and proper way to make payment. All agreed.

j) Cricket Ground – dog fouling
Mr King-Brain, a member of the Sparkford Cricket Club, said they had a problem with dogs fouling the cricket ground. He said the club wished to ban dogs from the grounds on health and safety reasons. They now have youth teams as well as the adult teams and the risk of disease was great. Mr Tuck said they should advise people about the dog bin at the top of Brains Lane and think about banning dogs within the playing season – March to September – then open the grounds up, but the option should be given.

Mr Bourke said we have a problem as the cricket ground must give open access to all people. We as a Parish Council do not have the power to pass by-laws and they are unenforceable.
Mr Braithwaite said they had the same problem in the Playing Field and there is nothing you can do about it.
Mr Bourke suggesting asking the local Dog Warden what other people did and Mr Lewis agreed to speak to her.

10 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
a) Clerk’s Salary & Expenses

The Clerk’s salary of £243.87 and expenses of £7.50 were approved.
b) Approval of year end accounts
All Councillors had been given a copy of the accounts and they were approved.
c) SALC membership
This was agreed
d) Playing Field Association tables
The Clerk had received a request to pay this bill so the Parish Council could reclaim the VAT. The PFA had given her a cheque for the net amount. This was agreed.
Mr Lewis suggested that as the Parish were reclaiming the VAT then we needed to put these items on our Assets Register.
The Clerk mentioned that she had circulated a booklet from Came & Co, the parish insurance company, that mentioned insuring playing fields and equipment and it was decided that she would look into this and place it on the Agenda for further discussion in May.
e) Half yearly rent on playing field
The Clerk had received the invoice from Greenslade Taylor Hunt for the half yearly rent of £125. This was agreed.
f) Community Council for Somerset membership
The Clerk had received a renewal notice for £35. This was agreed.
g) Chubb invoice for servicing fire extinguishers
The Clerk had received a request from the Village Hall Committee to pay the bill for £157.14 to enable the VAT to be reclaimed. The VHC had given her a cheque for the net amount. This was agreed but again these extinguishers may need to be put on the Assets Register.

11 CORRESPONDENCE
a) Sparkford Village Hall request

The Clerk had received a request from the Committee for their £100 grant which hadn’t been claimed for the last financial year. They also requested another £150 towards the costs of new skirting boards. It was agreed to pay the £100 grant but until further clarification was gained into their accounts the £150 would be left in abeyance.
b) Closure of Wincanton Registration Office
The Clerk had received notification about the possible closure of the Wincanton Registration Office by the County Council who were seeking to find £100m in savings.
c) Invitation to join a Rural Sounding Board
Mr Crawford said that if any Councillors wished to join they should do so.
d) Glastonbury Town Council opposition of Hinkley C development
The Clerk had received a request from Glastonbury to join in their opposition of the development. Councillors decided they didn’t want to do so.

12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mr Tuck asked the Clerk if she had any further information on the pollarding of the trees at the Old Coal Yard. She confirmed she hadn’t received any further news but that the Council Arborist was hoping to visit the site this week.

13 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS    There were none.

14 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
a) Minor Improvement Scheme
b) Jubilee Stone
c) Village Hall accounts
d) Village Café
e) Assets Register
f) Village Hall request for skirting board funding

15 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 12th May 2014. The Annual Parish Meeting would commence at 7.30pm and the normal meeting would follow on.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.40pm.

KB/08/04/14

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