/ Parish Council / Minutes / 5th October 2020



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held on Monday 5th October 2020

held using Zoom at 7pm.

Present; PCllrs S Greenhalgh (Chair), J Pengelley (Vice Chair), B Brighton, P Brown, C Cudlip, N Davidson,

Y Guest, A Gunstone (from item 20/150), S Hutchings, J Peilow [JRP] (from item 20/151) and P Tucker. (Parish Councillors). The Clerk. SCCllr D Fothergill. One member of the Public attended.


20/148. Chairman’s Welcome. SG welcomed all and Chaired the meeting.


20/149. Apologies. SWTCllrs K and D Durdan.


20/150. Declarations of Interest. (1) Declarations of Individual Members. SH re caretaker minute 20/157 (3) and ND had declared an interest in the Canal Carpark minute 20/160. Neither took part or voted on these items.


AG joined the meeting 7.09pm.


20/151. Vacancy. The Clerk advised that the PC had a vacancy and the PC was free to co-opt an individual to its vacancy. The PC then decided to Co-opt Jon Peilow onto the Parish Council.

Action. JRP to sign forms to be sent by the Clerk.


20/152. SWTC Councillors’ Report. No report. DD had sent information on Community Chest, Ecological Emergency, Affordable Employment Land Policy and E Bikes which had been circulated to PCllrs. Somerset West and Taunton Council offer to provide free trees as part of its commitment to work towards carbon neutrality and climate resilience was considered and it was decided to accept. SH suggested considering the Allotment Site.

Action. PB offered to oversee Planting.


20/153. County Councillors’ Report. DF advised; (1) Corona Virus Update: In the last 3 weeks there has been a marked increase in the number of positive tests particularly in Sedgemoor and Mendip. As at 30th Sept, the number of confirmed Covid cases was 1,585 and the number of Covid-attributed deaths 206. The rate per 100k stands at 10.4 for Somerset. The current number of total deaths across the County is currently 6% below the 5-year average and the latest R-value for Somerset is between 1.1 and 1.4. It’s important to remember the Hands-Face-Space message.


(2) Return to School: The number of children attending Schools reached 56,410 on 10th September (92.4% attendance), before fluctuating between 88% – 94.3% - explained in part, by the required self-isolation of around 1,409 children from six schools after eleven positive COVID-19 tests in mid-September. Separately, Electively Home Educated pupil numbers have doubled – the estimate for September is 200 in comparison to highest total in previous years of 92.


(3) 2021 School Places: Whether a child is starting school for the first time, or transferring to their next, applications need to be made through SCC’s website: www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions The application deadlines are for sec school places is Sat, 31 Oct 20 and for primary school place submissions is Fri, 15 Jan 21.


(4) County Council Finances: SCC significantly improved finances have been recognised by independent auditors in their end of year report. In just two years has seen the Council move from an “adverse” conclusion to “unqualified”– going from a very challenging position to the top ranking. The findings from auditors Grant Thornton say the Council has made “significant progress” over the past two years in improving its position. SCC is now in a strong position to face unexpected financial challenges. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic Somerset has been more resilient than many other councils regionally and nationally.


(5) £1m Climate Emergency Fund: From 1st October, City, Town and Parish councils across Somerset are invited to bid for between £5,000 and £75,000 for innovative projects that can make a real difference in reducing carbon emissions and can contribute to making Somerset resilient to the effects of Climate Change. For info about the scheme, eligibility criteria and application process, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/climate-emergency.


(6) One Somerset: Virtual briefing meetings for Parish Councillors are being held on Thurs 8th Oct 7pm, Weds 14th Oct 7pm, Thurs 15th Oct 1pm and Thurs 15th October 7pm. Interested Members should email onesomerset@somerset.gov.uk to confirm their attendance, clearly stating which meeting they would like to attend. They will then be sent the link and joining instructions.


(7) Library Services: From Mon 5 Oct iPads will be available to job seekers looking for an extra bit of help in their quest for employment. The free iPad Loan Scheme from SCC is designed to help people looking for a new job or career but who may not have the IT skills or equipment they need. The tablets which are pre-loaded with links, information and support for anyone in Somerset currently looking for employment are available for up to six weeks free of charge from Bridgwater, Chard, Minehead, Shepton Mallet and Taunton libraries.


(8) The Somerset Fund: Grassroots community groups based in Somerset can now apply for grants up to £2,500 from The Somerset Fund. Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) manages the Fund and is encouraging applications from community groups that run on less than £100,000 per year. The grants are ‘unrestricted’, which means they can be used to pay for ongoing running costs. Applications to the Fund through SCF’s website can be made until Friday 16 October 2020.




(9) School Transport: Wearing face coverings on public transport services –used by pupils – is mandatory as part of the Govt’s COVID-19 guidelines but whilst it’s not currently mandatory for pupils to wear coverings on dedicated transport all secondary age pupils who can, are now being urged to voluntarily wear coverings.




20/154. Minutes of the PC Meeting held on 7th September 2020,

(These had been previously circulated to PCllrs). The minutes of the 7th Sept meeting were agreed with one amendment. The Clerk advised that in min 20/138 action that the second AB should be AG. This was amended and the minutes were then authorised to be signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting.

Proposed CC, Seconded ND. All voted for with one absentation.


20/155. Matters Arising from the minutes of the 7th September Mtg.

20/134(7) Banking. The Clerk advised that he had yet to apply to open a Deposit Acc with Nationwide Bdg Soc.


20/156. Planning. (1) Applications. The following applications were considered and observations agreed;

Date

Ref

Application

Outcome

23/9/2020

14/20/0028

Land off Creech Heathfield Road, CSM.

Change of use of land from agricultural to camping facility with erection of solar shower, toilet, timber play house, brick coal bbq and timber summer house with associated fencing/gates and signs on (retention of part works already undertaken),


The CSM PC supports this planning application providing the Case Officer obtains satisfactory responses to the points/questions raised, the Rights of Way Officer has confirmed to the LPA that the positioning of the wire fence currently erected is acceptable, and that a 6’ fence is not erected along PRoW T10/14 (DM1d), in order to retain for the local community, the open countryside and visual amenity of the area.

BB Proposed.JP Seconded. All voted for bar one absentation.

(2) Planning Applications received. BB advised that the following application had been received late too close to the PC meeting however a request for an extension of the period to make observations had been refused. Providing all PCllrs are in favour the application which is now for "Change of use for occupancy of building to allow to be used as a mixed use of holiday let and ancillary accommodation” rather than 14/20/0023 which was for use as holiday let accommodation (removal of condition 3 from 14/17/0037) which the PC had supported recently would be dealt with using the emergency process unless anyone had objections. SG confirmed he had already put a notice on the notice board and the Clerk advised he had posted a notice to the website alerting Parishioners in order to make representations to the PC ahead of the 12th Oct.

Date

Ref

Application

26/8/2020

14/20/0033

Charlton House Farm, Charlton Road CSM. Change of use for occupancy of building to allow to be used as a mixed use of holiday let and ancillary accommodation.


(3) West Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension 2. PB advised that a planning application was not now expected until the new year due to foreseeable delays. He also highlighted that C.I.L was not payable on the 25% of the 1,500 houses to be built that are classified as Affordable Housing.

(4) “Planning for the Future” PB proposed and BB seconded delegating the PC response to the Governments proposals for changes to the Planning regime which are currently being consulted upon. This was agreed.

The Clerk highlighted his concern over future house building targets.SH highlighted the need to review the Neighbourhood Plan every time National Planning or SWTCs Local Plan changes.

Action. PB to circulate a draft response.

(5) Enforcement. The Clerk advised that the SWTC enforcement officer had examined the field adjacent to the Maypole PH and were keeping it under review having issued written instructions.

(6) Training. The Clerk advised he had written to SWTC asking if they could provide planning training but as he had not yet had a response, he had now sent a reminder to the Principal Planning Officer.


20/157. Finance. (1) Routine Payments and Receipts made (schedule circulated); The Clerks, Caretakers and Gen Workers’ Wages, HMRC and SCC Pension Fund payments, Clerks Sept Expenses £69.73, 3d Security (Rec Park 3d unlocking 24 8–20 9 2020) £302.40, Lloyds Bank (Bank Charges 9 7 to 9 8.20) £6.50.

(2) Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; SW Lottery (Proceeds Sept £10.00, SWTC (Precept second half) £28,086.00, Creech Allotments Society £675.00, SWTC Grant (Rec and Burial Grounds) £2,155.00.

(3) Payments to be made upon receipt. The following where authorised for payment. Porter Dodson, Solicitors for the purchase of the Canal Car Park and legal cost and disbursements incl documenting ROW, SPFA (Annual Inspection of Play equipment Report) £200.00, E-Lectrics (Wiring of Container at Rec Park) £443.71, Sutcliffe’s (Adjusted (-) retention sum Equipment Project (subject to obtaining written undertakings) £20,245.50, Sutcliffe’s (Supply parts and fit repairs to older Equip) £2,299.63, SALC (Councillor Essentials Training) £25.00,

K Hutchings (Caretakers Expenses Reimb) £444.36. PB Proposed, ND Seconded. All vote for with one absentation.

(4) External Audit (19/20). The Clerk explained that in past years the Ext Auditor PKF Littlejohn had reported by now. He explained this year they had been given an extended timeline to complete their work due to Covid by the Govt. He had received questions immediately after submitting the PC documents and then not heard until last week; clearly the audit was now actively underway and he suggested that we should receive their report soon.

(5) Annual Risk Assessment of Assets. The Clerk reminded PCllrs that he had now issued the asset listing and requested to examine and risk assess each. He thanked PCllrs for their work undertaking these checks and asked that feedback is submitted to him over next few weeks. He advised that the canal carpark had now been added to the PC Insurance.

Action. PCllrs to undertake examination of the PC assets. Clerk to give JRP a copy of the asset listing.

(6) Pitch Lining. YG reminded the PC that when the PC agreed to contract the DLO for Rec Park Gang mowing it had, contrary to previous years, not contracted for lining the pitches beyond an initial burning. Now the season had started a quotation had been obtained for lining the two pitches and discussion took place whether to purchase a lining machine (and paint) and to ask the teams to line the pitches as an alternative to help offset cost increases in the pitch cutting. AG highlighted a tap in the ref room and a length of hose would be needed to enable the machine to be cleaned after use. JP Proposed and PB seconded that a Lining Machine is purchased, the teams line the pitches and the tap be installed. This was agreed.


Concern was then raised over the increase in DLO charges these past two years whilst the grant received from SWTC for the Rec Park had been static at £1,840 since 2007. PB proposed and that the District Cllrs be asked to seek an increase in the Grant; ND Seconded. All voted for.

Action. The Clerk to prepare a briefing note.


(7) Climate Change Funding. The Clerk advised that he had enquired of WYG if they had a Consultant to guide the PC on an application should it wish to bid for this SCC funding. He asked the PC if a bid is to be submitted and if so what is to be bid for. It was agreed to bid for solar panels for the Pavilion (with batteries and hot water storage) and car charging in the adjacent car park. BB expressed concern over running and maintenance costs of car charging. SG suggested that the consultant would advise and then the PC can review as required. PB reminded the PC that it had already agreed to support an application from the Village Hall Cttee. DF confirmed the PC was able to submit two or more bids upto the value of £75k.


20/158. Rec Park.

(1) Operational Items. A discussion took place over why the Footballers had used the toilets when it had been agreed no one would have access due to risks of Covid. BB was clear that the footballers should not have used it as they had been told they were closed. AG explained that FA guidelines permit the use of the changing room and toilets and that some of the away teams had travelled good distances to play. In response BB pointed out that we are not a football club but a Recreation Park and that the FA’s guidelines do not overrule the PC’s decision to keep the toilets closed, as a PC we have to be fair to all our residents and children, and the toilets are currently closed to all using the rec park. YG explained that footballers do not have to socially distance and that recent Govt guidance allows 6 young people to use changing rooms. It was recognised that the football managers have keys but BB stated that the PCllrs “toilets closed” decision stands, and therefore the footballer managers should not have been opening the toilets without the PC’s authority to do so.


The Clerk suggested that the Footballers be asked to clean the toilets before and after use. PB suggested the coaches meet and put forward their agreed Covid risk assessment. DF advised he had just sent the Clerk a copy of the latest Govt guidance. SH suggested that if each confirm in writing they will follow Govt guidelines.??? SG proposed that the Clerk write to each of the three clubs along with the Govt guidance asking them to confirm that they will adhere to them. Once the risk assessments and confirmation of adherence to Government guidance have been received, the PCllrs will review the footballers use of the toilets. Also, the caretaker to look at replacing the locks at the park so that one key fits all outside doors.

Action. Clerk to write to the football team coaches and the Caretaker to get the outside door locks replaced.


The Clerk advised that he had invited the police to the meeting in order to learn what was being done to address the vandalism being experienced. This had not proved possible but the Police had reported that the boys involved had been identified and they had been visited at home. AG advised that they had since been visited at home following a further incident. SG advised he had also reported damage to the main gate socket. AG advised that there had been an injury on the pitch and the gates had been opened to permit the ambulance to have access however this had damaged the wooden socket. SH suggested a tube or pipe be set into concrete in order to get an immediate repair. CC advised that the tarmacing of the carpark entrance under the gate be done at the same time. Botar, Phillips and R Gales where suggested as companies to approach for quotes.

Action. SH/CC offered to concrete in a tube with J Miller digging out first and the old goals posts.

SG asked what was happening relocking of the Park. The Clerk confirmed that the security company were still doing this, but now locking earlier as part of their rounds c6pm as it is dark. AG highlighted that locking up needed to accommodate hiring of the MUGAs; so, flexibility is needed. A discussion took place during which the need for the carpark to be open during hires was identified. The Clerk suggested for regular club bookings that they could lock up to which AG explained they would still not have access to the lights switching. SH suggested the lights can be set by timer. CC highlighted at this time the only way it would work is someone opening and locking. It was agreed flexibility was required and therefore to terminate 3d un/locking from the date their contract provides for or the end of the month (whichever is earliest). AG proposed, CC seconded. All voted for. The Clerk highlighted signage had 3d out of hours tel no on it.

Action. The Clerk to speak to 3d to terminate their un/locking and to see if they will still do the out of hours contact work. SG to discuss with the Parish Lengthsman taking on un/locking.


(2) Improvement Projects. (i) Update report. CC advised the electrical work was now complete. (ii) Priorities. SG advised these are Job 1 Tarmac entrance to park, Job 2 Prepare ticket office to food hygiene standard and to resurface the area outside Job 3 To contact three architects for ideas/plans as to what building is best to develop or knock them both down and start again. Seek a quote from RW Gales.


(3) Play Equipment (CC/SH). Snagging Update. SH reported that following the meeting with Sutcliffe’s it had been agreed to recommend paying the retention monies less £,2000 in recognition that the PC will address a minor defect on the roundabout. PB asked if the grass matting will be re-laid as it’s so uneven; SH advised Sutcliffe’s felt this was ‘wear and tear’ but would do some limited levelling. SG advised they would address the weeds coming through the play area and some other smaller repairs. BB highlighted the cost of maintenance if the kids are doing damage such as removing 18 missing caps. CC referred to damage to the corner joint which had been hit. A discussion took place on how the defect could be repaired and it was noted that this had not been picked up by in the recent inspection as a concern. It was agreed to ask western fixit to examine and produce the required static part. BB raised that large signage stating restrictive usage of the exercise equipment, showing minimum height 1.4 m, youth and adults only as stated in the recent Annual Safety Report is required.


Action. Clerk to ask Sutcliffe’s for aged related signing.SH/CC to ask western fixit re play equipment part.


JP asked if the costs of the rec park are known. The Clerk advised yes and that he had previously circulated details of both Capital and Income/Expenditure. CC suggested that the Rec Panel examine the equipment monthly.SH advised that the caretaker inspects it weekly and records damage in the book in the pavilion.


SG proposed making the retention payment less £2k following Sutcliffe’s confirming in writing that they would try weed killing and if that didn’t work that they will resolve by digging up and redoing and to confirm that there was a 5-year warranty on the wet pour surfaces plus various other repairs. CC Seconded. All voted for.

Action. Clerk to write to Sutcliffe’s and in due course make payment once written assurance was received.

(4). Annual Safety Report. To consider report and agree actions arising. SG advised that he had discussed the outcome (highlighted items) with SH. Two quotes from Sutcliffe’s to make repairs identified repairs were considered. It was agreed to go for higher option 2 at a cost of £1,916.36 plus VAT as this provides a better solution. The Clerk confirmed that the budget for equipment repairs would cover this. SG proposed, PT seconded with All voting for.


DF left the meeting 21.25pm.


(5) Hiring Charges. AG highlighted that the PC had several enquiries for hiring’s but it was difficult to respond without knowing how much the lighting and other costs are. PB suggested the Rec Park panel bring forward a proposal. The Clerk confirmed that he had already supplied Rec Park costs and he provided details of the electric tariff. YG explained they were waiting for the electrician to provide guidance. CC advised that he had spoken with the electrician and had obtained the suppliers details so that the cost of usage could be determined. The alternative is to read the meter, switch the lights on for an hour and then re-read the meter. JP asked what others charged. The Clerk advised Wellington Tennis Club charge £5phr for their court.AG added Stoke St Gregory charge £10. BB advised that Taunton Vale charge Netball at £15phr+£3 for lights, £40phr for 5 a side (on an astro+£7.50 for lights) and Tennis £15phr+£3 for lights. AG asked who takes on doing the hiring’s as even an online system would still need to come to someone and to liaise with NC to open/close AG suggested the Clerk. BB suggested payments could be made via the Clerk using BACS. It was agreed to take regular weekly bookings only initially. SH proposed £15phr for a guaranteed booking to include lights subject to caveat saying prices are being kept under review to ensure costs are recovered and that only regular weekly booking is taken initially until an online system and a phone app are in place. Similarly, £10 for daytime use with a guarantee of use (or free with no guarantee).

Action. Clerk to speak to SWTC re S106 and charging.


(6) CCTV/Security Alarm (CC). CC advised he had obtained two quotes for CCTV and Security Alarms. The CCTV would be mounted on a 16’ high pole and would pick up park entrances, buildings and most of the park. JRP highlighted the need to clean regularly. DF asked if the licensing has been looked into. CC advised we don’t need a license as long as it’s only viewed by the PC. Data Protection was then discussed; DF advised that the

PC needs to get from the security industry authority a license to be able to monitor the public in a private space £190 for 3 years. PB suggested getting two more quotes and this was agreed. The Clerk asked how these are to be funded as it had been previously suggested that PIP would meet the cost.SG explained he was not in a position to reply yet.

Action. CC to get further quotes from Coombers and ABEL and SG to clarify funding.


20/159. Canal. The Clerk confirmed that the Car Park was now owned by the PC and he would be calling the first meeting of the panel shortly in order they can develop plans. He had added the Car Park to the PC insurance. Porter Dodson had paid SCC and an invoice for this and their fees incl documenting ROW is now due.

20/160. Youth Club. YG advised that now the evenings are darker and colder that the PC need to agree winter accommodation. CC suggested the Village Hall. The Clerk advised the VHall Cttee had yet to agree whether youths can meet in the Hall whilst Covid (they had already asked for a meeting to discuss adding cleaning requirements with the YC Ldrs) and that he had asked for a discount of the Hall Charge of £24 for a 2-hour booking (i.e. a max over 23 weeks of £552). BB suggested the Cartwright Room cost last year was £6per hour. The Clerk highlighted that would have been a discounted rate and it is not known if a discounted rate was available so the cost of the Cartwright Room would be double that. PB advised that the VHall Cttee was meeting the next day and he would be present and would advise of their decisions afterwards. YG proposed paying the £552 for the VHall or another venue; ND seconded. SG counter proposed that the YC pay out of their own fee. SS? suggested that full rate was too expensive and could only support paying half. So he agreed to second SG. YG reminded the PC that CYP had saved money by providing 12 weeks free outreach. AG asked how we get a decision. SH suggested settling by email once full facts are known; PT seconded. All voted for.

Action. PB To email around VHall Cttee decisions.


20/161. Meeting Dates 2021. BB suggested that the PC holds a meeting in August next year. JP proposed. BB seconded All voted for. The dates for meetings in 2021 were agreed as below, these will include a 1st June (Tuesday) date. SH proposed, JP Seconded. All agreed.

20/162. The Council then decided to exclude Public and Press for these items. (1) General Workers Review. To agree outcome.


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


Future Meetings;

The next CSM PC mtgs are on 2nd November and 7th December 2020 at 7pm virtually using Zoom. Please Email the Clerk for an agenda and invite.



CSM PC Meeting Dates 2021


Jan 4th

August 2nd

Feb 1st

Sept 6th

March 1st

Oct 4th

April 12th

Nov 1st

May 10th (Annual Council Meeting)

Dec 6th

June 1st (Tue)

Annual Parish Meeting: April 23rd Friday

(Main Hall)

July 5th