Present: Cllrs D Hayward, Cllr L Bennett and Cllr I Houston.
In Attendance: Mrs T Chapman (Clerk) and two members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Cllrs D Coffin and S Longdon. The Clerk informed the meeting Cllr M Lawrence will be delayed.
2. To elect Chairman of the Council
Cllr L Bennett proposed Cllr D Hayward, Cllr I Houston seconded. Cllr D Hayward kindly accepted the office of Chairman.
3. To receive the Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office
The Clerk received Cllr D Hayward’s signed acceptance form.
4. To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Council
This item is on hold until Cllr T Hunt was in attendance.
5. To receive the Vice-Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office
This item is on hold until Cllr T Hunt was in attendance.
6. To appoint representatives to outside bodies
6.1 Tree Preservation Officer: Cllr L Bennett
6.2 Pennant and Heritage – Cllr D Hayward
6.3 Rights of Ways/Foothpaths Officer – Cllr D Hayward stated Cllr S Longdon was happy to continue unless anyone else is interested in the position. Cllr I Houston expressed interest if Cllr S Longdon does not wish to continue. This will be addressed at the next meeting. (Cllr D Hunt joined the meeting)
6.4 Village Hall – Cllr T Hunt
6.5 Planning Representative – Cllr D Hayward
Cllr L Bennett was proposed for the office of Vice Chair by Cllr T Hunt and seconded by Cllr I Houston. The Clerk received her signed acceptance form.
7. To appoint committees and sub-committees
7.1 Planning Committee – Cllr D Hayward, Cllr L Bennett, Cllr D Coffin, Cllr T Hunt and Cllr S Longdon.
7.2 Playing Field Committee – Cllr D Hayward, Cllr S Longdon and Cllr I Houston.
8. To consider the payment of any subscriptions falling to be paid annually
It was resolved DAPTC (Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils) LCN and Amazon SSL (website) will be renewed.
9. Matters Arising / Actions Taken
The History Society appointed a representative to maintain their area of the website. They are currently working with Cllr I Houston.
The Clerk asked Cllr I Houston if there was a possibility to link documents in Word (or PDF) for Parish Council policies, not to copy them directly into html due to the length of time it could take reconfiguring the documents. It is not necessary for the public to view them, only for Parish Councillors. Cllr I Houston said this was possible.
Action: Clerk/Cllr I Houston
The Clerk passed on Cllr D Coffin’s comments concerning printing the minutes from the email automatically generated from the website. She felt they were taking more pages than necessary when printed. The Clerk informed Cllr D Coffin Cllr I Houston suggested he could widen the margins in the automated email when they met a few weeks ago. The Clerk will suggest Cllr D Coffin prints her minutes directly from the website using ctrl P.
Cllr D Hayward noted he had received positive feedback from residents. He queried Cllr I Houston is he could download the agenda directly from the website. Unfortunately, it is not possible.
9.2 Design Statement
Nothing to report, the Councillors have not met since the April Meeting.
(Cllr M Lawrence joined the meeting)
9.3 Parish Council Vacancy
Mr Peter Clark is in attendance and is interested in becoming a Parish Councillor. The Clerk handed him a Declaration Form that will need to be signed when he is co-opted and the Code of Conduct policy that is referred to in the declaration form. The Clerk received an email from Electoral Services stating an election was not requested by the public. It was resolved he will let us know at the end of the meeting if wishes to be co-opted.
10. County Councillor, District Councillor and Officer Reports
Cllr D Hayward announced County Cllr M Bevan resigned for personal reasons. Cllr M Lawrence noted a by-election is scheduled for the 2nd June.
Cllr T Hunt informed the Councillors some of the village hall doors were replaced. He discussed the issues between the primary school and the village hall concerning responsibility for repairing a pillar that was damaged surrounding the play area/ out of school hours parking area. The Village Hall Committee produced documents from 1978 when the boundary changed in order for the school to gain a few more yards for a playing area. The document shows the primary school is responsible for the repairs to the boundary wall although the Village Hall owns a few metres of the land in front of the village hall. The Village Hall Committee continues to research it’s records for further information.
Cllr S Longdon was not present to discuss the footpaths. The Clerk has not had contact from the Sherborne resident that was concerned with the number of trees felled at Mill Farm. The Clerk believes she is in contact with Conservation to discuss the matter in further detail.
Cllr D Lawrence noted the village has decided not to enter into the Best Village Competition but hopes it is reconsidered next year. She also mentioned Babylon Hill Roundabout is available for sponsorship.
Cllr L Bennett did not have anything to report concerning trees in the village
Nothing to report at this time.
11.2 Any other Highway Matters
The reported pothole on Grants Hill and the chalk outlined potholes on Bishops Lane have not been repaired. The Clerk will contact Mr R Skeats to enquire the schedule of repairs. Cllr M Lawrence reported the Clifton Maybank Road will be reviewed and, possibly, resurfaced but no decision has been made yet. The Clerk will contact Mr R Skeats concerning the embankment on the corner of Back Lane and Church Road as a large lorry damaged it last week and repairs to the embankment at Emlet/Westbury.
12. Report from the Planning Committee
12.1 Planning Applications
The application for the Peel Centre (WD/D/16/000486, erection of retail warehouse unit for unrestricted A1 non-food retail use and extension of car park) was discussed and resolved. The same objections will be put forward as the previous application that is now in appeals (WD/D/15/000374). It was suggested the previous application number is referred to as the applications are nearly identical.
Cllr D Hayward noted a resident objecting to the application WD/D/15/002498 was informed him it appears the application will be put forward to the Development Control Committee, possibly in July.
The Clerk received a planning application from Dorset County Council for the primary school to be determined at the next meeting. Cllr D Hayward currently has the application. The Clerk will request an extension for the Parish Council’s comments in order for it to be discussed at the June Parish Council Meeting.
Cllr D Hayward noted he received a few complaints concerning the Grange’s most recent wedding. The complaints referred to excess noise and traffic/parking issues in the village. A member of the public reported he spoke to Mr Andrew Bryant, Environmental Health Officer, who seemed unaware of the issues surrounding the Grange and their wedding venue.
An Enforcement Officer informed Cllr D Hayward he agreed they cannot hold events under a Permitted Development in the house grounds and should not be holding events under a TENS. Although it will be difficult to prohibit any weddings scheduled this summer due to an appeals process that will allow the events to proceed until a decision is made which could take several months. The Clerk will request the Environment Health measures the noise level. Cllr D Hayward will follow-up with the TENs authority to query if a business can legally have a TENs license.
Action: Cllr D Hayward/ Clerk
12.2 Tree Applications
No tree applications were received.
12.3 Affordable Housing
Nothing to report.
12.4 Planning Committee Procedures
The standing orders were reviewed in October 2014. Currently the procedure for a planning application is for the Clerk to receive the application from WDDC via post and circulate it to the Committee. The Committee will note their comments on the application and if it is not considered contentious the Clerk will submit the executive decision online without a recourse to a separate public planning meeting. When deadline for the Parish Council’s comments is between Parish Council Meetings the public does not receive the opportunity to address the committee at a meeting.
The Clerk suggested the Planning Committee is changed to a Working Group thus they will not be restricted where they meet, if it a meeting is necessary. The Planning Working Group will recommend comments on each application for the Parish Council Meeting. The Clerk will request extensions from WDDC in order to give the public a chance to state their views to the Parish Council if they wish to do so at an Ordinary Parish Council Meeting. When possible the planning applications to be determined at a Parish Council Meeting will be listed on the agenda. It was resolved to change the name of both the Planning Committee and Playing Field Committee to Working Groups. The Clerk will modify the standing orders and circulate before the next Parish Council Meeting.
13. Report from Playing Field Committee
13.1 Playing Field Rota Inspection Reports
Nothing new to report.
13.2 Re-Surfacing and repairs
Work has begun installing the new grassmats under the toddler equipment. The Clerk spoke to one of the neighbours adjacent to the playing fields concerning possibly using their water for the new turf as the weather looks dry and warm over the weekend that may cause damage to the turf. The neighbour did not seem keen with the idea. Cllr I Houston will let Wessex Ground Services know that they should not depend on this in order to water the turf, and an alternate plan will be needed.
Action: Cllr I Houston
The new Churchwell Street entrance gate will be installed shortly after the turf goes down. Cllr D Hayward offered the old fencing to residents in the village for firewood. Wessex Ground Services will take away the concrete posts.
14. Grants & Donations
Nothing to report.
15. Financial Accounts to include accounts for payment
15.1 Financial Regulations
The Clerk added the transparency code to the draft financial regulations. They were then approved by the Councillors in attendance. The Clerk will investigate using internet banking as the new regulations allows for this.
It was resolved the Clerk will become a signatory.
15.2 End of Year Audit
The Clerk competed the audit for the internal auditor, Mr Thomas, to review and will distribute it prior to the next meeting.
The Clerk presented two cheques for payment. The Clerk’s wage £168.42 and the annual payment for the allotment of £70 payable to Mr R Loxton. A cheque from the BAAHA was received and will be deposited for £70 into the current account.
A leaflet was received from the Public First Group concerning the Special Referendum on West Dorset Governance.
The Local Councils and Planning Q & A Session on 7th June. The Clerk will attend this session as it will discuss the upcoming changes to planning consultations.
Changes to the playing field.
18. Any Other Information/Items for June Agenda
Cllr I Houston requested he contacts BT, on behalf of the Parish Council, in order to make them aware of the decreasing bandwidth available in the village. He also requested, if no one disagrees, could the Councillors upload a photo of themselves on the website.
The Clerk will add the Standing Orders to the June agenda.
The Clerk apologised but the minutes from the previous meeting were not signed as the item was not on the agenda. The Councillors agreed the minutes were a true statement of the meeting and signed by Cllr D Hayward, Chairman.
Cllr Hayward asked if Mr P Clark was happy to join the Parish Council. Mr P Clark stated he would like to be join the Council. It was unanimously agreed and resolved to co-opt Mr P Clark on to the Parish Council. Cllr D Hayward welcomed him to the Council.
19. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 7th June 2015
The meeting closed at 9:45pm.