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12 January 2011
WEST MONKTON PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 12th January 2011 at 7.30pm in the Ruth Schofield Room, West Monkton Village Hall.
Present: Cllr Ellis (Chairman), Reeves, Day, Tully, Gage, McCubbin, Haskins, Cavill.
In attendance: Mrs P A Cavill, Clerk, one member of the public, Somerset County Councillor E Waymouth, Tony Trott, Deane Energy Saver Scheme.
Mr Trott explained the scheme. It was set up to ensure access to advice on keeping heating costs down. Two sources are used – carbon reduction targets and needs of low income households. TDBC pay for the training of volunteers who study City and Guilds certificate in Home Energy Advisor and who have been CRB checked. One administrator runs the service with contributions from TDBC. Each volunteer will deliver p to 50 free surveys in a 2 year period. There is no commercial gain. The volunteers check out the efficiencies of the building and how it is lived in. Plenty have good systems which are not operated efficiently. The advisors can give access to grants for replacing old boilers and radiators and insulation. Budgets are being reduced and being directed at particular needs groups. Grants come from government and energy providers. Mr Trott provided leaflets for Councillors and a copy has been put on the Village Hall noticeboard.
It was noted that all Council houses are up to Decent Homes Standard.
The possibilities of lobbying developers to include greater energy saving efficiencies to new build house was discussed, the Deane Energy Saver Scheme has no lobbying power.
Apologies had been received from Cllr Besley (business) and ward councillor D Webber.
175/11 Adoption of the minutes of the previous meetings
The minutes of the meeting on 10th November, 15th November and 8th December had been previously circulated. It was resolved to adopt the documents en bloc as a true record, proposed by Cllr McCubbin, seconded by Cllr Reeves and all agreed.
176/11 Matters arising from the minutes: Clerk’s report
The Clerk’s report, having been previously circulated, was noted. The consideration of Parish Council regalia should be deferred until another date when times are better.
The meeting was closed.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
• Mr Goldie, who has an application in with TDBC for the construction of a house in the garden of Sidbrook Cottage, attended and explained amendments that he has discussed with TDBC planning authority. He explained that a window had been moved, the downstairs windows are lower and the front door reduced, the fence has been adjusted and the house has been lowered by digging it in at the northern end. As an aside he mentioned that Spaxton Village Hall is installing PV cells on the roof – contact Alison Jarah 01278 671 485.
• Cllr Gage reported that the pavement at Meadway adjacent to the devon banks has vegetation overhanging the pavements, and the same is true for the pavement from Prockters to Hartnolls Farm.
• Cllr Haskins reported that the street light outside no 51 Greenway is not working.
• Cllr Reeves reported that the pothole by the white lines at Brittons Ash has opened up again since the bad weather over Christmas and needs mending again. Cllr Tully reported that there is a deepening pothole at the base of the speed ramp outside Heathfield School entrance gate.
• It was reported that local residents had received a letter from Greenslades explaining that the Williams field below Monkton House is to be sold and inviting offers for all or part of the field.
• The fate of the yellow safety signs taken down from the length of the A38 in the Parish was questioned. Their installation across the County cost £5–6m, and the suggestion was that the signs should either be recycled or sold for their scrap value and the funds reinvested. They are currently being held at the Highways depot.
• It was gratefully noted that K Chedzoy had used his mini digger to clear Red Hill during the ice and snow over Christmas.
The meeting was reconvened.
177/11 Items raised by the Public in Open Session
The planning application at Sidbrook cottage will be considered later in the agenda.
Vegetation on the pavements at Meadway and on the main road between Hartnolls and Prockters will be reported to SCC Highways.
The broken street light will be reported to SCC.
The potholes will be reported to SCC Highways.
Cllr Waymouth will try to determine the fate of the redundant signs.
A letter of thanks will be written to K Chedzoy.
178/11 Strategy for CEP meeting/localism bill/gains for the Parish
It was suggested that Mark Pearson (CABE), Jonathan Reed (Architects), SWP representative, Police representative architect/crime prevention. After some discussion it was determined that the first of this new series of CEP meeting should be restricted to Parish Councillors and the members and officers from TDBC already agreed.
It was noted that the Parish Council’s position is ‘no’ to 5000 houses. Although accepting that the Parish Council is unlikely to be able to stop the development there was agreement that the plans could be delayed, which would be likely to upset TDBC’s plans. It was noted that Nick Engart would most likely argue against the development. It was considered necessary to negotiate significant gains for the Parish from the development, if it could not be stopped.
Some Councillors had key questions – why was Monkton Heathfield chosen, and the PC not informed; why were two meetings held at Heathfield and no feedback provided to PC; when was the decision taken. It was perceived that at TDBC there was a bias away from S Taunton (Galmington, Comeytrowe, South of motorway). Parish Councillors thought there should be a push to have more houses elsewhere.
It was considered essential that: the Parish Council had sight and input into the infrastructure plans; had a guaranteed % share of the community infrastructure levy to use as it saw fit. It was suggested that three new communities should be established (which would each be about the same size as the current West Monkton Parish), rather than tagging on 5000 to the existing Parish. In this respect it becomes even more essential to have the right infrastructure. If this approach were to be adopted then it would give the opportunity for three communities to develop alongside the existing one – totalling 4, of about 1200 houses each, and green ring fence round all four. This would allow a lot of the crime to be designed out, whereas 1250 houses + 5000 +associated crime does not = a community.
Parish Councillors were strongly against the development of a linear conurbation: much better by far to develop in the round, even if this meant breaching the motorway. The reluctance to breach the motorway is meaningless. Henlade business area is written into the plans. So an even spread is essential to ensure integration – the Parish Council’s position is that it will take its share but no more. Furthermore, proportionate amounts of employment lands must be provided.
The proposal denies the assumption that housing is employment led. This will just be a dormitory development. There is also danger of a high proportion of houses being retirement homes – where local taxes will have to pay for care of the population.
It appears from TDBC Officer comments that all the previous work of the CEP has been ignored. This is not attributable to change of staff – the documents and reports sent in to TDBC are all on the West Monkton Parish Council web-site, so in the public domain; and at least three of the officers involved at the time (facilitating and attending CEP meetings at the Deane House) are still in position at TDBC.
The traffic density at Junction 25 needs a solution. As Walford Cross is no longer to be considered, the extra junction might be put in between jct 25 and 26. As such, sight of the infrastructure report for the proposals is essential.
The matter will come before the TDBC Community Scrutiny meeting on Feb 8th at Deane House.
179/11 Allotments report
One tenant is leaving their plot. Rents are being collected.
180/11 Improvements to Parish
• After some discussion it was agreed to replace the stolen bin from Monkton Inn; and buy three more for placing at Milton Hill onto A3259 at Croft Garage, Sidbrook crossroads going down to Goosenford, and on the hill on Boome Lane going down into Coombe. Each bin will have some breeze blocks in the base before filling with grit and fixed by means of a steel post and plate. It was also noted that the current bins need refilling, a request for refilling will be made to Highways. A note explaining the need for self help will be put into the Village News.
It was noted that SWP waste and recycling services was one of the first services into the Parish after the snow and ice over the Christmas period. A thank note will be sent to them.
• The Plant a Tree scheme has closed for this year, the tree plants will be bought from Kelways and delivered over the next few weeks.
• After some discussion it was agreed to make enquiries at TDBC regarding the installation of a notice board on the St Quintins estate. Providing permission is granted, Ashley Gold (Bishops Lydeard) will be one of the suppliers from whom a quote will be sought. The board will be open, like the other boards in the Parish.
A working party comprising all members of the Parish Council, met on 15th November 2010. The precept for 2011/12 was determined having examined the budget for the year ahead and assessed the likely needs of the Parish. The sum is £31599, including the third and final Village Hall grant payment. It was resolved to adopt the recommendation of the Working Party to set the precept for 2011/2012 at £31599.00. Proposed by Cllr Reeves, seconded by Cllr Tully and agreed unanimously.
182/11 Official reports
Cllr Waymouth SCC
Attempts are ongoing to resolve the budget gap crisis. The income is £30m less than last year, and demands on funds are rising.
The Fire Control centre at Blackbrook is a government building, funded by central government, not part of the County Council. It will be up to the government to determine the fate of the building. Repayment of funds from the Iceland Bank will not be in full and it is not known how long it will take. Key contracts are under scrutiny – Atkins, Care Homes etc.
Cllr Cavill TDBC
Balancing the TDBC budget faces similar issues to SCC. The government is withdrawing grant support of £1.2m, some borrowing will offset this. There will as a result be a change of practice with more grants being awarded. Loss of funding for the housing stock will be covered by increase in Council House rents (c6%).
LEP. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been accepted as an LEP, the Somerset and Devon application was returned as it was considered too County Council driven. Now revised, it is more business driven and includes Torbay and Plymouth as unitaries. £1.8b is in the pot to bid for over three years, so the LEP is important.
Cllr Tully Village Hall
The Village Hall is affected by County Council and TDBC position, because the grants are no longer available. A new kitchen is needed, also a new disabled toilet. The plans have been drawn up, but support for the project will have to come from private donation. To raise the standard from Hallmar2 to Hallmark 3 requires that the car park is marked out, so funds needed for that. As such, installing PV cells on the roof may take time.
Cllr Gage Citizenship Awards
It had been agreed to nominate E Saffin so any information should be sent to Cllr Gage.
183/11 Planning applications registered at TDBC
48/10/0063 Ms K Marlow Erection of dwelling at Sidbrook Cottage Greenway Monkton Heathfield. Amendment – side window to bed 2 removed, new dormer to front, footprint of proposed moved to be in line with Sidbrook Cottage and the new dwelling to be dug into the ground such that the northern end is lowered approx 300mm below existing ground level. Comment: The Parish Council supports the amendments but would prefer to see the garage on the other side of the building.
48/10/0065 Mrs S Melhuish Erection of gazebo in rear garden of 33 Farriers Green Monkton Heathfield. Likely issues – none listed. Comment: The Parish Council supports this application.
48/10/0066 Miss K Purchase Erection of extensions to the side and rear of Rosehaven, Dyers Lane, Bathpool. Likely issues – no observations at present. Comment: The Parish Council has no comments at this stage.
48/10/0067/A Mr D Addicott Display of replacement and new free standing signs including 1 no height restrictor, 7 illuminated freestanding signs and 2 non illuminated banner signs at McDonalds Heron Gate Taunton. Likely issues – none listed. Comment: The Parish Council would wish to see measures taken to prevent light spill lighting up the night sky.
48/10/0068 Mr D Addicott Erection of first floor extension and balcony at Sidbrook Coach House Monkton Heathfield. Likely issues – will assess any overlooking. Comment: The Parish Council notes that this proposal would not overlook any other property, it overlooks the owners own land.
48/10/0069 Mr D Addicott Refurbishment of restaurant at McDonalds Heron Gate Taunton. Likely issues – none listed. Comment: The Parish Council has no comment.
184/11 Planning decisions made by TDBC
48/10/0028/LB Installation of single pane window in the en suite bathroom at 10 Walford House Walford Cross West Monkton. Consent granted: proposed window is of a design and materials that will maintain the historic character of the listed building; proposal is in accordance with the relevant section of PPS5 and policy 9 of the Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan Review. Begin w/in 3 years; development in accordance with approved plans; the window shall be an accurate match in all respects to the existing adjacent bedroom window.
48/10/0027 Installation of single pane window in the en suite bathroom at 10 Walford House Walford Cross West Monkton. Consent granted: same conditions as above.
48/10/0056 Erection of two storey extension and first floor extension at Sidbrook Cottage Greenway Monkton Heathfield as amended. Permission granted – no detrimental impact on visual or residential amenity and no conflict with TD Local Plan Policies S1 (general requirements), S2 (Design), and H17 (Extensions to Dwellings). Begin w/in 3years;development in accordance with approved plans; no windows/dormers to be installed in the southern elevation of the development.
Tree Preservation Order
Taunton Deane Borough (West Monkton No 2 ) Tree Preservation Order (2010) (PD22/902/TD1086).
Effective from 1st December 2010, applying to a large number of trees in the Monkton Heathfield Bathpool area.
The decisions were noted.
Information from The Royal British Legion regarding the Great Poppy Party Weekend 10th- 12th June 2011. Guide to organising an event.
Notification from Running Forever Running Club – this year’s Hestercombe Humdinger will be on 20th Feb at 10.30am. Usual traffic arrangements. Anyone wanting to help please phone 07903 047072.
From Somerset Waste Partnership by email – help to promote ‘Recycle for all it’s worth’. Any volunteers for the actions described in the email?
SCC Road Traffic Regulation Act;
- Cheddon Road and Lyngford Lane closed for days from 17th January 2011 for resurfacing.
- A358 Hankridge duals slip road and A358 Hankridge duals closed for 4 evenings starting from 10th January.
From 10 Downing Street – acknowledges receipt of letter – correspondence has been forwarded to the relevant Government department
Christmas card from the Mayor of TDBC
From SCC – outline of winter services, policy on salting/gritting roads, information about salt for Parishes and electronic updates on conditions.
Heart of Somerset Events January 2011
From SCC Taunton and West Somerset Public Transport Timetable valid from Nov 2010
TDBC Deane Dispatch, as published in the County Gazette Dec 9 2010.
From SCC by email – D Grabham – greater information to be available to Parishes following installation of SIDs.
186/11 Receipts and Payments
Bus shelter cleaning for Dec
Mrs David £20.00
Ms Newland £30.00
Miss Kimber £20.00
Clerks salary for December £364.34
PWB Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance £100.00
PWB Village News £100.00
PWB Taunton and District CAB £175.00
PCC Use of Church Room Aug/Dec £15.00
BWBSLtd Allotments water bill June to Dec £64.83
TDBC Bulb planting £470.00
Clerks expenses Oct to Jan £83.63
187/11 Dates of forthcoming meetings
Dates of forthcoming Parish Council meetings: 12th January,9th February, 9th March, 13th April, 11th May, 8th June, 13th July, 14th September, 12th October, 9th November 2011. Planning meetings 10th August, 14th December 2011. Annual Parish Meeting 30th March 2011.