/ Parish Council / Minutes / 1st February 2021



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held on Monday 1st February 2021

held using Zoom at 7pm.

Present: PCllrs S Greenhalgh (Chair), S Hutchings (Vice Chair), B Brighton, P Brown, C Cudlip, Y Guest, J Peilow and P Tucker. (Parish Councillors). The Clerk. SCCllr D Fothergill. No members of the Public attended.


21/20. Chairman’s Welcome. SG welcomed all and Chaired the meeting.


21/21. Apologies. PCllr N Davidson and A Gunstone (reasons accepted). SWTCllr D Durdan.


21/22. Declarations of Interest. (1) Declarations of Individual Members. SH re the caretaker. CC re Canal Panel Membership see min 21/34 (1). Neither took part or voted on these items.


21/23. Vacancy on the PC. The PC has a vacancy that it can now fill by co-option. Given the PC decision (see Oct 2019 mtg item 19/187 mtg) that individuals to be considered should have attended at least two meetings it is anticipated a decision will not be made before the April 21 mtg. (Anyone interested in becoming a PCllr should speak to the Clerk soonest).


21/24. SWTC Councillors’ Report. No report. SG asked if KD had replied yet on the PC request for the SWTC maintenance grant to be increased. The Clerk advised KD had been fully briefed, a call had been made to remind her along with other reminders but that an outcome is still awaited.

Action. Clerk to write to KD advising her that the PC are not receiving reports on SWTC and to request that she attends PC mtgs. Also, to ask KD to raise with SWTC the need for a lifebuoy at Derham Close. See item 21/35(4).


21/25. SCC Councillors’ Report. DF Advised:

(1) Current Covid-19 Restrictions in Somerset: Residents must stay at home, they must not leave, or be outside of their home except where necessary. They cannot leave to meet socially with anyone they do not live with or are not in a support bubble with. They may exercise on their own, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and residents should not travel outside their local area. People should stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in their household or support bubble. Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will continue to learn remotely until 8 March at the earliest. Early years settings remain open.


(2) Coronavirus infection rates: As at 29th January the number of confirmed Covid cases in Somerset was 16,417 (up from 9,355 on 31st Dec) and the number of Covid-attributed deaths 469 (335). The rate per 100,000 currently stands at 194 for Somerset. The current number of total deaths across the County is currently 19% above the 5-year average and the latest R-value for Somerset is between 0.9 and 1.2. It is vitally important to remember, even those who have had a jab, to observe Hands-Face-Space at all times.


(3) Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline: A single phone number is available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support. 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.


(4) Vaccination programme roll-out: In just seven weeks, teams across the wider Somerset health and care system have worked round the clock to design, develop and launch 13 GP-led community vaccination sites, two hospital hubs and two large vaccination centres including Taunton Racecourse. A new Covid vaccination site has also opened at Morrison’s Yeovil pharmacy. All sites will continue to offer vaccinations to the priority groups as identified by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation, including the over 80s and frontline health and care staff.

(5) SCC Transport Support: Somerset County Council is working with bus operators and community transport providers to make it as easy as possible for residents to get to appointments including:

  • providing a bus service every 30 minutes from Wells Bus Station via Shepton Mallet terminating at the showground

  • 7 days a week providing connections with other buses at both Wells Bus Sta and Shepton Mallet Cenotaph.

  • Suspending current concessionary bus pass rules so these can be used on all public services before 9.30am.

  • Working with Community Transport and Slinky Demand Responsive services to allow free travel for bus

pass holders when attending vaccination appointments.


(6) National Highways Award: Bridgwater’s Colley Lane Southern Access Road project, also known as Squibbers Way, has been awarded Most Innovative Highway Authority Scheme of the Year at the 2020 Highways Magazine Awards. The £18.4m project has now been recognised for six major awards since its Dec 19 opening.


(7) Older Age Domestic Abuse: Ten per cent of older people will experience some form of domestic abuse and in Somerset the number of people over sixty-five reporting abuse is on the increase. Social isolation during lockdown has been identified as one of the leading contributors. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999.


(8) Investing in communities:

a. Bruton Enterprise Centre: Business in Bruton is set for a boost with work beginning on a new £2.7m Enterprise Centre. The eighth SCC Enterprise Centre will be home to new offices, meeting rooms and industrial units.

b. Shepton Mallet Library: Plans have been agreed for a substantial makeover after discussions with Shepton Mallet Town Council and members of local community interest group. A new partnership will see the building used as a venue for a wide range of community-based activities outside the library’s regular opening hours.

c. Comeytrowe Primary School: Proposals for a new 420-place primary school as well as a nursery with capacity for up to 60 children have been approved. It is expected that the new school will open in September 2022.


(9) Census 2021: Households across Somerset will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets. Census day will be on March 21 and results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years.



(10) One Somerset: It is expected the Governments eight-week statutory consultation phase on the transition to a Unitary authority in Somerset will commence in mid to late February.

21/26. Minutes of the PC Meeting held on 4th January 2021. (These had been previously circulated to PCllrs). The minutes of the 4th January mtg were agreed. The minutes were then authorised to be signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed SH, Seconded JP, all voted for.


21/27. Matters Arising from the minutes of the 4th January 2021 Mtg. The Clerk having previously circulated a report reported that:

20/134(7) Banking. No change. He has yet to apply to open a Deposit Acc with Nationwide Bdg Soc as he has been prioritising getting add signatories on Lloyds on line account. ND and PT now had online authorisation.


20/175. Footpaths/Rights of Way. No change. 11.3 Bull Street Waste Bin EA permission now granted, SH/CC to install waste bin on the Bull St ramp.


(5) SWTC Local Plan SHLAA. The Clerk having circulated SWTC’s maps explained that Council as part of their local plan work had approached local landowners and developers with a “Call for sites”. These had yet to be subject to either SWTC evaluation or to a planning application. The Clerk suggested that representations be made to SWTC to support the site being included within the MH2 development as this would facilitate passage from CSM to/from Walford Cross and the green necklace envisaged between. The Clerk wrote to Nick Bryant at SWTC and received a reply from Ann Rhodes saying it would be considered alongside the local plan and advising a new officer had been appointed to manage MH2. This matter will be raised when that officer starts.


20/196. Rec Park (2) Rec Park Panel. CS is currently looking at noticeboard costs and external funding.

JP to develop booking system further. AG to raise issues at Panel mtg - the need for a sign to warn about kite flying near cabling at the bottom of the Rec Park, the Play Inspector’s report stating the need for a sign for the outdoor gym equipment stating height and age requirements (larger sign), the app referred to on the notice doesn’t work (Sutcliffe’s should shortly activate as they’ve now been paid). Rec Park Panel to report.

(5) Play Equipment Project. The Clerk advised that £354.39 remained and suggested an item be purchased for the Rec Park. It was agreed the panel is to make a decision. Rec Park Panel decided to put on hold pending acquisition of a noticeboard.

20/197. Village Hall AV equipment. No change. PC’s agreed grant of £1k be held back in order that a drop-down screen and a projector from a different supplier be examined in order for PB to try and get a cost nearer the budget; noting as the main user the PC may need to top this up if not achieved.

20/199. Footpaths/Rights of Way. No change. 12.2 Training. FA’C has booked three (incl Parish Lengthsman) strimmer certificate course places.


12.3 Dog bin. Request for additional bin. It was agreed to purchase and site a bin by the existing Canal and River Trust sign about 8 metres from the bridge (Creech side) nr Cathill Farm. Clerk asked Canal Trust for permission to install and this has now been granted so the Clerk is discussing installation at present. Clerk has also written to the resident that suggested an additional bin was required.


20/200 and 21/16 Canal. A bollard is suggested rather than a gate in order to stop overnight parking without blocking other forms of access and location is to be agreed subject to establishing who owned a stretch of the road. Clerk has established ownership of road and written to them and is awaiting replies.


20/203. Bull St Waste Bin. JP asked when this would be put in place. JP advised that there is a Bat roost in the pill box and suggested a sign be placed to deter disturbing the bats. It was agreed the canal panel would examine this and it was agreed a sign would be ordered. The Clerk has ordered this and it is ready for collection.


21/9. Budget/Precept. The Clerk has informed SWTC of the precept.


21/11. Finance. (5) Rec Park Pavilion Gas Supply. The new and cheaper 2-year contract replacement with Utilitia has been entered into wef 22 2 21.


21/12. Personnel. Draft Terms of Reference for the Personnel Sub Cttee have been agreed and a first meeting arranged which was held on 18 1 2021.


21/13. Rec Park. (1) Operational Items. Nil. (2) Rec Park Panel. YG to contact Marine Fitness to see if they can be more flexible. AG to get keys cut. Clerk is currently developing a job request sheet.


21/14. Highways. (3) Fingerposts. The PC considered the quotations from Somerset Forge for restoration of three further finger posts. The PC agreed to funding two; those at Ham Rd/Lippe Lane and at the Maypole Inn.

The Clerk has advised the volunteers to progress these two restorations.


21/18. Annual Parish Meeting. Following the PC decision not to hold an APM in 2021 due to the uncertainties around Covid the Clerk cancelled the provisional booking of VHall.


21/19.Corona Support. The Clerk has put a reminder of the Corona Virus Line Tel number 0300 790 6275.on the Parish Facebook site.


21/28. Planning. (1) Applications. The following applications were considered and observations agreed;

Date

Ref

Application

Outcome

6.1.2021

48/20/0065

Mill Cottage, Coombe, West Monkton Erection of a two-storey extension to the side, single storey extension to the rear and porch to the front.

PC decided to not make any Observations.

(2) Application 14/20/0051/NMA ‘Winnats’. BB reported that the application had been withdrawn.

(3) Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension 2. PB explained that the planned meeting for 29th Jan with Highways

Officers on Road Safety in the village had been postponed due to Covid lockdown restrictions.


21/29. Finance. (Sub Ctte draft minutes previously circulated). The Clerk reported that;

(1) Payments Authorised for payment. KW Signs (SW) Ltd (Bat Roost Sign for Bull St Pillbox) £36.00

(2) Routine Payments and Receipts made since the Jan Meeting (schedule circulated); The Clerks, Caretakers and Parish Lengthsmans Wages, HMRC and SCC Pension Fund payments, Clerks Jan Expenses £122.43, Lloyds Bank (Bank Charges 10 12 20 to 9 1 21) £7, SALC (Training-Chairman’s) 10 12 2020 £60.00 and Ess Cllrs £25, CYP (Youth Club to 31st Dec) £1,015.00, Wilson and Barnes (5 Bus Shelters Cleaned 16 1 21) £75.00, Water2Business

(Rec Park Water supply 7 7 20-21 1 21) £16.35. Proposed SG, Seconded BB. All voted for.

(3) Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; SW Lottery (Proceeds Dec) £8.00, Western Power (Wayleave on pole in Rec Park) £7.61 and Somerset Community Foundation (2mths Youth Club post lockdown3) £1,500.00.

(4) Bank Reconciliation and Monitoring report were examined in detail for the first three quarters of the year. The Council’s receipts for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st December 2020 were £87,005.24 and the for the same period £87,639.70; this is in line with expectations albeit amended for Covid. It was noted that there are no S106 monies or CIL finance next year. PB confirmed that he had checked the bank rec back to the bank statement and then signed each to confirm balances. It was noted that the VAT reclaim had been submitted.

PB noted that grants funds were being held for the youth club and asked that these be refunded if not used by the Youth Club. The Clerk advised that they are restricted funds and should be offered back to the donors if not used for the purpose that they were given before. Report acceptance proposed by PB, Seconded JP. All voted for.

(5) Internal Auditor. Bryan Howe was reappointed as IA. Proposed SG, Seconded PB, all voted for.


21/30. Personnel Sub Cttee. (Sub Ctte draft minutes previously circulated). JP updated on the Sub Committee’s first meeting. The meeting was focussed on fact finding and had gone through the Clerks Contract. It had been identified that some of the PC Policies are not in place so these will be addressed in the coming months.CC Offered some read through training sheets. The Clerk had reported that he had tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of the NJC Green Book that sets out the nationally agreed conditions of service under which he is employed. DF offered to see if SCC had a copy that could be shared. The Caretaker and Parish Lengthsman are employed under CSM PC conditions. The need to undertake DBS was agreed at a cost of £150. JP Proposed, BB Seconded. All voted for. Next step is to undertake the Caretakers annual review.


The Clerk explained that he had provided the PC’s Insurance Policies to JP for review and JP confirmed that adequate cover as the Employer is in place. He had also provided his computer access code to SG for use in an emergency. The Clerk explained that this year the process of determining the annual pay settlement would be the same as in past years despite the Governments statement that there would be no pay rises for public employees. This is because that, whilst the Govt nationally sets pay for the staff in the Civil Service, Army, NHS etc Local Govt sits outside of this arrangement and is covered by a National negotiation between the employers and unions at the National Joint Council (NJC). This process has commenced for the year 21-22 but has not yet been concluded. The Clerk asked for confirmation that an increment within his paygrade will be paid and this was agreed wef 1 2 21. SG proposed, PT Seconded. All voted for.

Action. DF to obtain a copy of the NJC Green Book. Sub Ctte to do Caretakers Review. Clerk to then arrange DBS.


21/31. Rec Park Panel. (Minutes of the Panel meeting had been previously circulated). (1) Security. JP reported that there was demand for later access to the Park. A compromise had to be sought as there is neither the funds to pay for late closing nor a desire by either of those locking the Rec Park to lock up later. As Covid lockdown 3 is currently in place the Park is being locked at 5pm. Also considered was the cost of the lights and the lights being kept off this spring. It was discussed about continuing to lock the main gates early but to leave the side access gate open for pedestrian access. Next winter the lights will switch on automatically and be switched off by timer at 9pm. The summer season locking will be agreed in 2 months’ time in order to give a chance to reflect on the interim experience. It was agreed to lock the vehicle gates at 5pm and keep the side gate open with immediate effect. Once lockdown restrictions have been lifted the lights to one of the MUGAs will be switched on until 9pm.

Proposed JP, YG Seconded. All voted for bar BB who abstained explaining that during COVID-19 LOCKDOWN, restrictions apply such as only one to one meeting should be taking place etc.

(2) Alarm. The Clerk advised that Adrian Birch has been asked to order the components and to install; he had agreed to complete before the end of March. The need for AB to access was discussed. Keys are held by AG and NC.


21/32. Highways. (1) Defects. It was reported that Hyde Lane was once again flooded beyond the Cottages and that the nearby attenuation pond is also full. SG highlighted and encouraged PCllrs to report defects directly to SCC Highways using https://www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-pothole-or-road-defect/

(2) Damage of Coombe Lane in Coombe Bottom. Whilst the planned-on site meeting with Highways Officers was cancelled due to Covid it was noted that NO HGV signs had been erected. (3) Hyde Lane Closure. It was noted that works under traffic lights had commenced today and that Hyde Lane from Hollingsworth Estate to the junction with West View would be closed from 15th February 2021 for 5 days to enable SCC (Small Improvement Scheme) to construct speed tables and to carry out resurfacing work, plus other road improvements.


21/33. Footpaths. The report of the Parish Footpath Liaison Volunteers had been previously circulated. Suggestions for footpath improvement have been requested. Residents have been asked to nominate gates or stiles specifying precisely where they are located in an email to the Clerk using the reference numbers found on the Explore Somerset online map – https://roam.somerset.gov.uk/roam/map . It is intended that a prioritised report of the responses will be presented to the next PC mtg with the intention that, within budget and with landowner agreement, some are to be improved. CC highlighted that previously reported faults/repairs on the canal bridges near Cathill Farm and Ryesland Way had yet to be undertaken. It was also noted that the gate on Right of Way T10/14a by the former Golf Course had been adjusted and now opens.

Action. Clerk to follow up with the Canal Trust the need to undertake repairs to the 2 bridges.


21/34. Website. The Clerk reported on the Quotation responses from 3 prospective Suppliers. He suggested that he work with 1 or 2 to see if they fully understood the PC requirement and to see if there was scope for refining the requirements at lower cost. BB and JP each suggested alternative providers and the Clerk agreed to ask each for a quotation. YG asked how much use there was of the current website. The Clerk undertook to ask the website provider but highlighted a new site should attract more use. He also reminded PCllrs that there is a requirement to publish certain information on an accessible and secure website. CC and PB offered to work with the Clerk to develop the best way forward.

Action. Clerk to get quotes from 2 further companies, details of current usage and to set up a task and finish group.


21/35. Canal. (The panel draft minutes previously circulated). (1) Canal panel. It was agreed that Ms Jackie Scott and Ms Alison Miller be co-opted onto the Canal Panel. SG proposed, BB Seconded, all bar CC voted for (CC did not vote). (2). Damaged fencing along the edge of the road between Ryescot and the Canal. PT noted that the Canal Trust had agreed to replace with bollards along the canal bank as a fence may cause further issues to the bank (in order to mark the edge of the road) and to replace the fence near the bridge by the main road. He suggested that the PC request replacement with fencing. This was agreed.

Action. Clerk to ask the Canal trust to replace all the damaged fencing with fencing.

(3). Dog Bin. The Clerk reported that the Canal Trust have given permission to site a bin opposite Cathill Farm.

Action. Clerk to now order the new bin and to organise a meeting of the Canal Trust with the Canal Panel.

(4). Derham Close Lifebuoy. The Clerk highlighted the differences in the canal bank finishes between Derham Close and the adjacent Crufts Meadow. SWTC Planners had required the Derham Close developer to provide a planting plan. The Clerk had requested a copy two years ago and had been informed that it had not been provided. SWTC have now found that they do have the plan. This however shows that there was no requirement to prepare the Canal bank to minimise/ease its future maintenance or to provide a lifebuoy despite the playground being adjacent to the canal and an attenuation pond. With the developer now offsite responsibility for managing the canal bank will rest with the Management Co in place which is funded by the Derham Close Residents. After discussion it was agreed that the District Councillors be asked to seek SWTC funding of a lifebuoy at Derham Close, failing that the Man Co be asked.

Action. The Clerk to ask the District Councillors to seek SWTC funding of a lifebuoy.


[YG left after item 21/34(3) at 20.55pm]


21/36. Youth Panel. Somerset Community Foundation have rescheduled their support for the CSM Youth Club so that they will now fund the first two months provision following the end of Lockdown 3. CYP’s intention is to utilise the time to seek ongoing funding from other sources. CYP have employed a new asst youth worker Fran Wright.


21/37. Climate Emergency Community Fund. SCC have delayed their decision making on the applications to the fund in order to facilitate staff secondment to support Covid vaccination work. In the interim they have asked applicants to provide more information ahead of a 19th Feb deadline. No new date for a decision has been stated.

Action. Clerk to provide more information to SCC.


21/38. Correspondence. No correspondence received was raised by PCllrs.


21/39. New Matters to be carried forward. None.

Mtg ended 9.01pm


Steve Altria, Clerk to Creech St Michael Parish Council 01823 666295. Email clerk@creechstmichael.net


Future Meetings;

The next CSM PC mtgs are on and 1st March and 12th April 2021 at 7pm virtually using Zoom.

Please see Agenda placed on CSM Website 3 days ahead of meetings or Email the Clerk for an agenda. Zoom access is shown in blue at the top.