Wellow Parish Council


Geoff White

Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS

Tel:  01225 830159


Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 11th October 2010

at 8pm in the Village Hall


Present: Cllrs Andrews, Betts, Colston, Lewis, Martin (Chairman), Pike and Watson.

Seven members of the public in attendance.




10.115             To accept apologies for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs. Halewood and Witty.  District Cllr. Butters also sent his apologies.


10.116             Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in September 2010 minutes.



10.117             To confirm minutes of meeting held on September 13th 2010

It was unanimously agreed that these were a true and accurate record and were accordingly signed by the Chairman.


10.118             To report matters arising from the minutes and not on the agenda.



10.119             Planning

1.       Decisions received:


Application Number: 10/02729/COND, March House.  Description of Proposal: Discharge of conditions 1, 2 and 3 of application 10/00652/FUL (Erection of single storey rear and side extension) SPLIT DECISION

The Council was unsure what “split decision” actually meant. Cllr Watson suggested that it might mean that there was a 50/50 vote. The Clerk said that he had been in touch with the Planning Department as these works were already being carried out and was told that the documents had been sent in error as the original decision had been made in April.


2.      New Applications:

a.      10/03960/TCA: Wellow C of E School Description of Proposal: Fell Ash tree on land between the Old Railway embankment and Milford Head on school land.

The Council agreed unanimously to support the application.



b.      10/03979/LBA: Middle Twinhoe Farm Description of proposal:

Forming of new access through boundary wall.


The Council agreed unanimously to support the application. The Chairman pointed out that this application had already been supported but that the follow-up was in respect of listed building status.


c.       10/03578/FUL: Application Number: 10/03741/FUL  Elmlea House, Railway Lane, Wellow Description of Proposal: Erection of a two storey rear extension and a first floor rear extension


Cllr Watson said that he had no objection to the proposal as the proposed works were at the back of the property.  He felt a slight concern regarding the ridge height, which should be lower at the back, but this was not a major issue.


Cllr Colston felt that this was an example of where the Council should have been provided with printed copies of the plans rather than an on-line link.


Cllr Lewis said that, as the front elevation of the property remained unchanged, he would have no objection.


The Chairman called for a proposal and it was agreed unanimously to support the application.


3.      Updates


The Chairman referred to the letter he had received from Councillor Les Kew, Chairman of the Development Control Committee regarding Field Parcel 7715 which had been circulated to all Council members. He was of the view that the Planning Authority had chosen not to provide a full response and that he would follow this up.                                                                                                                                                        AM


4.      Further items


The Chairman advised members of a phone call he had received from a concerned member of the public that the Community Composting group had appeared to have extended the approved facilities that previous weekend without seeking prior approval. It was suggested that permission may have already been given by B&NES but this was thought to be unlikely as no contact on the matter had been made with the Parish Council. The Clerk explained that his understanding was that the Group had been given permission by B&NES to compost fallen leaves. Previously, B&NES had retained the leaves and composted them themselves. The extra bins had been constructed to enable this to be done. The Chairman advised that he had looked at the original approval and noted that permission for the operation expires at the end of the current year and a fresh application would have to be made if the group wished to continue.



Cllr Lewis proposed that the matter be referred to the Enforcement Team at B&NES. This was agreed unanimously.




10.120             Highways

a. The Chairman referred Councillors to the correspondence between WPC and B&NES regarding the resurfacing of Dunkerton Hill and the possibility of increased traffic through the village as a result of diversions. It was noted that no date had yet been set for the works to be carried out.


b. Proposed new bus to Bristol: The Chairman referred to the letter received from Timsbury Parish Council in which a new bus route to Bristol from surrounding villages was proposed.  Wellow Parish Council had been asked whether or not they would support the idea.


Cllr Colston asked whether Wellow residents would be able to make use of it and suggested that a link with the Odd Down Park and Ride would be useful.


The Clerk was asked to reply to Timsbury Parish Council giving our support in principle.                                                                                                  GW



10.121             Finance    

The Clerk reported that Mazars had completed the external audit and that they had been approved. The Chairman expressed his thanks for this.


The Council approved the payment of a number of invoices including two which the Chairman had added after the initial agenda had been circulated.


The Clerk presented the reconciliation of the accounts up to and including October 11th.  Cllr Watson asked why there were two lists of pending cheques.  The Clerk explained that he had produced the accounts as a continuation of those from July and so the outstanding cheques form both periods were shown. The Council agreed to accept the financial report.



10.122             Parish Plan

                        Updates were received on:

(a) Traffic calming

Cllr Watson said that money needed to be put aside for village signs.  He and Cathy Beale would be monitoring progress and would report to the November meeting.                                                                                                   MW


Cllr Watson suggested that Wellow Parish Council take ownership of the gates so that we could turf them ourselves.  This was thought to be a good idea but Cllr Colston wanted to be sure that B&NES would agree to this.


Cllr Watson agreed that the west gate was proving to be ineffective but B&NES will be reviewing the situation three months after completion.  Cllr Betts felt that the review should take place sooner and Cllr Andrews asked from what date the three month period would start.


Cllr Betts wanted to know whether everything was now in place apart from the signs and Cllr Watson confirmed that there were no plans for further changes to the road surface.


Cllr Watson asked Cllr Betts to make suggestions for the improvement of the traffic calming scheme.                                                                                     SB


The Chairman reported that he had been in touch with Somerset Police regarding the enforcement of what is now a mandatory 20mph speed limit through the village.  He had spoken to the Chief Constable’s Personal Assistant and had been referred to an inspector from Radstock Police Station.  The Inspector was unsure regarding the policy in respect of enforcing 20mph limits and promised to look into it.  At the time of the meeting he hadn’t yet done so.



(b) Community minibus

Cllr Colston reported that the minibus was running regularly and gave some indication of passenger numbers.


The Chairman advised members that we were still awaiting a VAT invoice in  respect of the purchase of the minibus. He was asked to write directly to the Chairman of the mini bus committee expressing our profound disappointment with this situation and requesting immediate action as it was preventing the submission of the Council’s VAT reclaim.                                                                                                                                                                                  AM


(c) Play area

Cllr Lewis reported that B&NES were meeting with the contractors this week. Wellow Parish Council would like to use some of the funds currently held to repair existing equipment before buying any new items. WPC cannot insure equipment until it has been signed off.  In the meantime, any insurance is through B&NES or the contractor.        


10.123             1, West End Cottages

Cllr Colston reported that he has resubmitted relevant documents.


10.124             Shop at the Fox and Badge

Cllr Colston and the Chairman were due to meet the owners on October 13th.                                                                                                           AC / AM

10.125             Correspondence

a. Community land Trust

The Chairman read part of a letter received from the Community Land Trust. Cllr Colston said he believed that Cllr Witty had already had some contact with the organisation and so the Clerk was asked to send her the letter and accompanying leaflet for comment at the next meeting.




10.126             Chairman’s Report

The Chairman advised that he had attended a meeting of B&NES ALCA group. The main discussion concerned continuing existence of ALCA which was threatened as a result of an increase in fees. While smaller councils had had their fees reduced larger ones had faced an increase resulting in many of them cancelling their membership. He outlined the options available which would be discussed and voted on at a special meeting later that week 


The Chairman spoke about Wellow Parish Council and the fact that there would be seven vacancies on the Council next year.  If an insufficient number of people put themselves forward for election the Council would be in danger of being dissolved.  This would have a major effect on the village as numerous facilities are made available through the Council which would cease to be provided.


The Chairman advised that there were funds available suggested that a refurbishment of the Village Hall surrounds should be undertaken.  This was approved unanimously. Cllr Lewis and Mr. R Holland agreed to join the Chairman in drawing up a specification against which quotes could be obtained.


10.127             Any other business

(a) Cllr Colston mentioned that numerous organisations struggle to find new blood.

(b) Cllr Andrews reported that she had yet to hear whether the Staple Hill Salvation Army Band would be playing during carol singing in the Square this year. Cllr Betts suggested that she might contact Writhlington School or St Gregory’s Catholic College, both of whom have bands.

(c)  Cllr Lewis asked for help in sourcing a Christmas tree to be put in the Square this year.



10.128             Date of next meeting

Agreed as Monday November 8th 2010 at 8pm in The Village Hall. 

The meeting closed at 9.24 pm.



October 15th 2010