Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS
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Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday, February 11th2013 at 8pm in the Village Hall.
Present: Cllrs Andrews, Betts, Caudle, Doman, Karthauser, Prentice and White along with ten members of the public. District Cllr Butters also attended
13.013 To accept apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Clarkson and Wheeler.
13.014 Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in November minutes
There were no declarations of interest.
13.015 To confirm minutes of meeting held on December 10th2012.
Cllr White asked that the reference to the school’s support of Wellow Sports in the January minutes should be removed as this was not attributable to the school itself but to one of the parents.
Cllr White said that, although she had regretfully declined to be a part of the management team because of family commitments, this had not been recorded in the minutes of February 7th 2013.
It was agreed to amend the minutes in both cases and so, subject to this being done, the minutes were approved. GW
13.016 To report matters arising from the minutes and not on the agenda.
Cllr Doman said that we were not in a position to address the drainage issues connected with the field until we knew more about WSG’s intentions. He also pointed out that we had experienced unusual weather and that no firm decisions should be made until we knew whether or not these problems were a permanent feature.
District Cllr Butters, in reply to a query from Cllr Caudle, said that a final decision regarding the planning application at Bubblers Dytche would be made at the end of February. He asked Cllr Caudle to send him an email asking him to refer the application to committee. PC
13.017 Village Hall driveway
As the directors of Crozier and Co, the company building the new property at West End Cottages, were present the Chairman asked them to address the Council on matters pertaining to the driveway.
They explained that they were anxious to have access to the property via the driveway by any means, either outright purchase or through a lease. A lease would mean that the driveway would still be owned by the Parish Council. They also said that they would alleviate the drainage problems as far as was possible.
Cllr Caudle said that she would prefer the granting of a licence. Cllr Andrews suggested a sale of a right of way would give the PC some cash and asked what the annual income from a lease would be and expressed concern that the Parish Council would have to receive annual payments which might be a problem in the long term. Crozier and Co explained that, whatever method was chosen, it would still involve an up-front payment of around £20,000. There would be no annual payments.
Cllr Karthauser asked about the gate at the start of the driveway and the Chairman explained that it was intended that a gate would be fitted after the right of way entered the garden of West End Cottages. It might also have a pedestrian gate incorporated into the vehicular one.
The Chairman proposed that we grant a lease to Crozier and Co enabling them to access the property via the village hall driveway and that Cllrs Caudle, Doman and Prentice would form a sub-committee to work out the details. This was passed unanimously. Crozier and Co agreed to ask their solicitors to draw up the lease.
13.018 Neighbourhood Plan Survey
The Chairman said that some more data from paper-based responses still had to be entered into the system and that he would be able to give a full analysis of the results at the March meeting. He will also announce the prizewinners of the draw. HP
13/00499/TCA: Summerfield. Fell and remove one Cupressus Glabra.
Cllr White said that she had looked at the tree in question and felt that it had grown too large for its plot. It was surrounded by other trees and there would be gap if it was felled. It was probably taking light away from the property and she proposed that the Parish Council support the application. This was agreed to unanimously. JW
Cllr White reported that the tree application relating to Hillscroft had been approved by B&NES but that she wanted to check that the Parish Council’s recommendation, that the tree in question be removed completely and that a more suitable tree be planted in its place, was part of the decision. She would contact Jane Brewer at B&NES regarding this. JW
The financial statement for February was approved although the Clerk pointed out that there was a discrepancy of some £15 which he would need to correct.
The payments as listed on the agenda were approved.
The Parish Council discussed the application from Midsomer Norton Dial-a-Ride for a grant payment of £15 towards their running costs. This was approved unanimously.
The Chairman explained how he, along with Richard Holland and the Clerk, had calculated this year’s precept request. He confirmed that we would ask for the same amount as in previous years and pointed out that, although it would make no difference in practice, part of the precept would in the form of a grant for £770 from the Dept for Communities and Local Government. The precept suggestion was supported unanimously.
13.021 Jubilee and Millennium Funds
Despite apologies having been received from Cllr Clarkson, some discussion still took place regarding the siting of a bench at the ford.
Cllr Andrews suggested that more than one bench could be installed in different locations including by the ford and on the playing field.
From the floor, Stewart Cole suggested a bench at the top of Mill Hill outside the school as well as in the car park.
The Chairman referred to a document he had received from Mari Bartholomew regarding the suitability of the ford as a site because of the variable nature of the area depending on rainfall.
Cllr Andrews also referred back to earlier plans for village signs.
The Chairman proposed that Cllrs Andrews and Clarkson look into these matters fully and to present their findings as firm proposals, with costings, at the next meeting if at all possible bearing in mind that Cllr Clarkson was away. This was approved unanimously. HA/DC
13.022 Burial Board
Cllr Andrews said that the Clerk to the Burial Board had resigned but that a replacement had been appointed. She suggested that a meeting with the Burial Board be arranged at the earliest opportunity to discuss costs. HA/HP
13.023 Car Park
Cllr Andrews said that there was some concern over the state of the car park, especially the lane which was heavily potholed. There was also concern that people were using the car park to park overnight and that B&NES might decide to designate the car park as a travellers’ site. The car park is also listed on a ‘wild camping’ website. She suggested that the Parish Council should take over the management of the car park from B&NES. Horse riding was taking place in the car park by a few local riders and Cllr Caudle said she would have a word with them because the hooves were cutting up the grass in this wet weather and B&NES may then refuse to cut it. Cllr Doman said that as the car park is on the site of a former railway siding there was the possibility of ground contamination. PC
Alex Martin, former Chairman of Wellow Parish Council, said that we should negotiate with B&NES to purchase the car park from them, something which they might welcome. He suggested that we could ask Alistair Colston to value the car park with a view to making an offer. This was agreed unanimously. HP
13.024 Christmas carol singing
Cllr Andrews said that a total of £156 had been raised and that a cheque for that amount had been sent to Dorothy House.
She also confirmed the Salvation Army would like to play at this year’s carol singing and it was agreed to set the date as Friday, December 20th 2013. HA
13.025 Shop next door to the Fox and Badger
The Chairman referred to earlier plans for using the shop as a library. District Cllr Butters said that Combe Hay were due to open their library in the church at Combe Hay shortly. Cllr White offered to liaise with June Brassington and others at B&NES to move Wellow’s plans forward. JW
Cllr Karthauser gave an update regarding progress made by the Devon and Cornwall initiative.
He also said that he had met with representatives from Claverton, Englishcombe, Dunkerton and Monckton Combe in connection with the proposed Wansdyke Broadband.
He agreed to forward any documentation for the Parish Council to consider. JK
13.027 Playing Field deed
Cllr Caudle reported that the Dept for Communities and Local Government had no record of the deed and suggested that we should consult a barrister. The Chairman asked her to document her research thus far and suggested that, once this was done, we should consult a barrister at a cost of between £250 and £500. The Chairman suggested that Alexandra Whittaker at Stone King could be approach: Cllr Caudle also has the name of a barrister provided by the ALCA solicitor.
This was agreed unanimously. PC/HP
13.028 Any other reports
Cllr Karthauser said that B&NES had renovated the drains at Hassage but that the work appeared to be incomplete. District Cllr Butters asked him to send him full details so that he (District Cllr Butters) could follow it up. JK
Reports regarding village wear and tear were dealt with here. Stewart Cole said that the litter bin by the cemetery was missing and that there was a build-up of rubbish. Cllr Andrews said she would look into it. HA
He also said that there appeared to be a water leak on Mill Hill. Cllr Doman said that this was a matter for Bristol Water and that he would contact them. PD
13.028 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting was confirmed as 8pm on Monday, March 11th 2013 at 8pm in the Village Hall. The meeting closed at 9.35pm.
February 16th 2013