Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS
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Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday, November 12th 2012 at 8pm in the Village Hall.
Present: Cllrs Andrews, Betts, Caudle, Clarkson, Doman, Prentice, Wheeler and White along with eight members of the public. District Cllr Neil Butters also attended.
12.139 To accept apologies for absence
Cllr Karthauser sent his apologies.
12.140 Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in July 2012 minutes
Cllr Andrews declared an interest in the planning application in respect of the pruning of apple trees on her property.
12.141 To confirm minutes of meeting held on September 10th 2012.
The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on October 8th 2012 were approved unanimously.
12.142 To report matters arising from the minutes and not on the agenda.
Cllr Clarkson said that the telephone box in the Square would be renovated in the spring. The Parish Council is not allowed to do it themselves.
12.143 Playing Field and Play Area
a. The Parish Council has sought advice from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) on the 1958 deed in which the Parish Council committed to “… maintain and keep the playing field solely for the free and unrestricted use and benefit for the public…” Their advice is that in order for this deed to be valid it needed the consent of the Secretary of State before the declaration was made. If it is valid, the deed created a charitable trust in respect of the field for the benefit of the public. The Parish Council is recommended to approach the Charity Commission to get their view on the deed, and this course of action was PC
agreed. Additionally, councilors would check meeting minutes from 1958 to see what other information could be found. HP/PC
b. Cllr Wheeler reported that the play equipment would be signed over to the Parish Council but that B&NES’ representative still had to report back to him. Cllr Wheeler said that he would be pursuing the matter. TW
Cllr Doman asked how often the equipment would need to be inspected and Cllr Wheeler explained that an annual inspection was the norm.
Cllr Wheeler agreed to arrange an inspection as soon as possible prior to hand-over and confirmed that he would be in attendance when the inspection took place.
12.144 Village Hall
Cllr Doman said that the new bollards would be fitted before Christmas.
The Council discussed the problems associated with vandalism of the Wellow minibus. The Chairman explained that there were a number of options, viz. CCTV coverage, security lights and the gate at the bottom of the driveway.
Cllr Andrews suggested leaving the bus on the road but this would not prevent any other damage at the hall. The Chairman said that he preferred looking into the erection of improved gates, both for vehicles and pedestrians, to the bottom of the drive to the village hall, and Cllr Doman agreed to investigate. Cllr Clarkson said that she would like to see lights outside the village hall as well but the Chairman proposed that we look into the provision of an improved gates initially and this was approved unanimously. Keys to the gates would be managed in a similar way to the keys to the village hall. PD
12.145 Financing of the joint Wellow and Shoscombe Burial Board
Cllr Andrews has taken over as Chair of the Committee for a three year term. Cllr Andrews drew attention to the Burial Board’s expenditure.
Currently Wellow and Shoscombe Parishes each contribute £1000 pa. Cllr Andrews asked whether Wellow Parish Council would agree to restructuring the basis of their contribution in line with the amounts of the precept raised by each Parish. This would increase Wellow’s contribution from £1,000 pa to about £1,250, starting in the financial year 2013 to 2014. This was unanimously agreed.
Cllr Andrews and the Chairman will look at the financial forecasts of the Burial Board and include the revised sum in the precept for 2013/14. HA / HP
12.146 The Localism Act’s “Right to Bid” for assets that have value for the community.
The Chairman referred to the summary which had been sent out to everyone by Cllr Karthauser.
The recently enacted Localism Act gives Parish Councils several new powers. One of these is to register an interest in assets/properties that are important to the community. By registering an interest, when a property comes up for sale, the community is allowed up to 6 months to make a bid to purchase the property. The Council identified several properties that it would register an interest – the church, the school, Station Road car park, the village shop and the community centre in Manor Close. GW
12.147 West End Cottages
The Chairman referred to the letter received from Crozier Builders.
Cllr Betts suggested that the Parish Council should hold a site meeting with the company. Cllr Wheeler said that lorry access would be an issue and that this was something which should be addressed at the meeting. This was agreed to.
It was agreed that the Parish Council would arrange a site meeting with the company forthwith. HP
Cllr White explained that B&NES had changed their mind about the felling of the poplar tree at Hillscroft. The tree surgeon felt that the tree should be felled but it had been suggested that it would then be replaced with a tree more suited to the environment, probably an oak, and that the new tree would be the subject to a tree preservation order. It was agreed unanimously to support the application.
Regarding the tree at Glebe Cottage, Cllr White said that the existing tree was encroaching on the property next door and should be removed. She pointed out that there is a hedge planted underneath the tree and that this would flourish if the tree were removed. The Council agreed unanimously to approve the proposal.
The application regarding Cranborn was for the pruning of three apple trees. It was agreed that such an action would improve the fruiting of the trees and should therefore be supported. (Cllr Andrews withdrew while the discussion took place)
Cllr White agreed to inform B&NES accordingly. JW
The Council noted the decisions received, ie those at The Manor House, Cobblers Cottage and Forget Me Not Cottage, all of which had been supported by the Parish Council.
The application regarding St Gregory’s School had been approved by the Secretary of State but some concern was expressed at the fact that work had already started even though final approval had not yet been given.
12.149 Neighbourhood Plan
The Chairman gave an update and said that, thus far, 59 questionnaires had been received. About 100 paper copies have been distributed; some of these have been returned, with most of the remainder expected back in due course. The Chairman said that the process could continue for a further two or three weeks.
12.150 Wellow Sports
The Chairman gave an update regarding consultation arrangements.
There would be a drop-in session on December 1st from 9am until 1pm. This would be followed by a public meeting on December 6th at 7pm with a final session immediately prior to the Parish Council meeting on December 10th. This would take place at 7pm with the Parish Council meeting following at 8pm. All meetings would take place at the Village Hall.
The Council approved the financial report and the payments.
The Clerk informed the meeting that the surplus from the Jubilee Fund had been paid into the bank. The Chairman suggested that we consult the village regarding what we should do with it – initially a bench down by the ford had been suggested. It was agreed to form a sub-committee with Cllrs Andrews, Clarkson and White as members to carry this forward. HA/DC/JW
Cllr Andrews said that she would be giving the necessary forms regarding the release of funds from the Millennium Fund to the Clerk after the meeting.
The Clerk explained that he had displayed a notice in the Square regarding the Parish Council’s intention to use the surplus funds from the Wellow Residents’ Association, originally raised to fight plans for an infill site just outside the village, for a village project rather than attempting to redistribute the money. No objections were received by the time of the October 24th deadline. The Chairman proposed that the money be used to carry out a survey of the playing field. After considerable discussion the motion was passed with 5 votes for, none against and 3 abstentions.
12.152 Traffic Calming
Cllr Wheeler said that, with the exception of Farm Lane, the roads could be cleared easily to make signage visible. He is still waiting to hear from B&NES but indicated that Mr Cradock at Double Hill could do the work.
The Chairman, Cllr Betts and Erica Smith, had met with officers from B&NES with respect to the maintenance of the chicanes. Over the summer, different B&NES officers had allowed Erica to plant flowers in the chicanes, before other officers has ordered them to be cut down. In resolving a way forward, there were two options put forward: either B&NES would tarmac them, or the Parish Council could be licensed to maintain them and could plant flowers or other plants subject to various conditions regarding height and spread.
It was decided to invite the Wellow Horticultural Society to manage the planting of the chicanes, to create a colourful entrance to the village. If no-one could be found to plant and maintain the plants, the tarmac option would be chosen. SB
Cllr Betts reported that speed gun training had been arranged for November 26th. A Community Speedwatch scheme was appropriate as neither B&NES nor the police were keen to enforce the speed limit as the average speed of vehicles through the village was 24 mph. Cllr Clarkson felt that a Speedwatch scheme would be effective as a deterrent.
District Cllr Neil Butters reported two reasons why the police felt they couldn’t enforce the 20mph speed limit – firstly because there wasn’t a code for it on their forms (!), and secondly that there was an inequality in that there is no provision for speed awareness courses for motorists who exceeded a 20 mph limit by a few miles per hour whereas they were available for those breaking a 30 mph limit by a relatively small amount. These issues will have to be sorted out as B&NES are in the throes of making most of Bath a 20mph zone.
12.153 Village Wear and Tear
Cllr Clarkson said that Gertie Stone who lives in Manor Close had drawn her attention to the fact that a number of trees had become uprooted along the road to the north of Combe Hay. The Clerk said he would ask Peter Duppa-Miller about it. GW
Stuart Cole mentioned that there were still large amounts of dog excrement in the village but that the Dog Warden had promised to keep an eye out.
12.154 Any other reports
Cllr Caudle said that the owners of the Fullers Earth premises at Combe Down had requested an extension in respect of the work being carried out there.
Cllr Clarkson said that residents in Manor Close had complained about cars being parked in a haphazard way at the bottom of Bath Hill. No-one was in favour of double yellow lines there but Cllr Clarkson said that she would respond. DC
Cllr Andrews referred to the carol singing planned for December 18th. She said that it had not been possible to secure the services of a full Salvation Army band. It was suggested that we invite Roy Appleyard, B&NES’ Chairman, to the event. HA
Cllr Caudle reported that the installation of kissing gates and styles on various footpaths in Wellow had been completed.
In response to Cllr White, Cllr Wheeler said that plans for getting a Christmas tree were in hand and that he had the lights.
12.155 Next Meeting
It was confirmed that the next meeting will be on Monday, December 10th at 8pm in the Village Hall preceded at 7pm by presentations in connection with Wellow Sports.
November 20th 2012