/ Parish Council / Minutes / 7th September 2020



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held on Monday 7th September 2020

held using Zoom at 7pm.

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

S Hutchings and P Tucker. (Parish Councillors). The Clerk. SCCllr D Fothergill. Three members of the Public attended.


20/123. Chairman’s Welcome. SG welcomed all and Chaired the meeting.


20/124. Minutes silence. A 1 min silence following the passing of the late former PCllr Anne Bishop was held.


20/125. Election of Chair and Vice Chair. SG paid tribute to SH for his hard work undertaken over many years and expressed his pleasure that SH was remaining a PCllr having taken the decision to stand down as PC Chair. SG asked for nominations for Chair; he was nominated by BB and seconded by SH this was then agreed. Vice Chair PB proposed JP who was then seconded by CC; this was then agreed.


20/126. Apologies. PCllrs N Davidson and Y Guest whose apologies were accepted. SWTCllrs K and D Durdan.


20/127. Declarations of Interest. (1) Declarations of Individual Members. CC re planning 20/133(1) (No 0027), SG re planning 20/133(1) (No 0031), SH re caretaker item 20/134(10), all took no part and did not vote. ND had declared an interest in the Canal Carpark item 20/145 but did not attend the meeting at all.


20/128. Vacancy. The Clerk advised that an election had not been called for and therefore the PC was now free to co-opt an individual to its vacancy. It was decided to consider Co-option from the next PC meeting.

Anyone interested should contact the Clerk soonest.


20/129. SWTC Councillors’ Report. No report


20/130. County Councillors’ Report. DF advised; (1) Corona Virus Update: Somerset has throughout the pandemic been relatively quiet compared to the rest of the Country. At 25th August, the number of Covid cases was 1373 and the number of Covid deaths 203 with current infection rate of 4.2/100k. At c0.8, the R Value for the SW is the lowest of the region. There are currently no patients with Covid in either Musgrove or Yeovil Hospitals.


(2) Schools have welcomed back pupils after their summer holidays. The measure that have been put in place in each school vary. 20 additional buses had been hired to ensure social distancing can be maintained for college students.


6(3) Som Assoc of Local Councils have organised a forum on 15th Sept for Town and Parish Councils in order to show case how some are coping with COVID. The hope is that this will initiate a conversation about how Parishes can work better with the communities they serve and to capitalise on the volunteering legacy. To register go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvdu-qqz4tEtdXYBab_pbWDMGESkYf5Y7I


(4) Districts Councils have decided to submit a business case to the Sec of State for two unitary authorities in Somerset entitled Stronger Somerset. This will now be considered along with the County Councils One Somerset proposal by the Sec of State who will consider them before the white paper is issued in mid-October.


(5) Community Awards. SCC’s Public Health Nursing has been given a nationally acclaimed award and SCC has been recognised for its support for the Armed Forces Community by being awarded a Silver award.


(6) Somerset Youth Music Group: Somerset’s musical groups have put together a stunning recording of Elbow’s One Day Like This. 90 young people, with ages ranging from 8 to 21 took part. Organised by Somerset Music, the video features the Som County Youth Choir, Som County Youth Orchestra and Som County Youth Concert Band. The video is at https://secure1.somerset.gov.uk/forms/PortalShowForm.asp?fm_formalias=SMD


(7) Climate Change Funding. SCC has launched a £1m fund to help local communities take positive action to help Somerset become carbon neutral and mitigate the impacts of Climate Change.

PB raised a request from the Village Hall Cttee to support replacement of the Storage Heaters in the Hall with a ground heat pumped system. This was agreed. DF suggested the Rec Park buildings or a car park charging point as well.

Action. SG to organise a working group to look at what the PC wishes to bid for.

20/131. Minutes of the PC Meeting held on 6th July 2020,

(These had been previously circulated to PCllrs).

(1) BB raised on behalf of the Planning Cttee why the names of the proposer and seconder did not appear on the draft minutes for the planning item when it had been agreed at the PC meeting in June, that they would be added for all motions. The Clerk explained that following receipt of an email from a Planning Cllr that he sought to seek clarity, whilst they were in his draft minutes stage, from the PC on whether to record the names of the proposer and seconder in the minutes in respect of planning applications. SG suggested PCllrs should be accountable and be prepared to be named for the decisions they took. JP proposed and BB seconded that names be stated on all motions. A vote was held and it was decided that names would be stated with seven votes for and one against. The minutes of the 6th July meeting were then agreed without further amendment. Once the names were added the minutes were then authorised to be signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting.

Action the Clerk to add the names of the proposer and seconder to the minutes of the 6th July meeting for the planning items ahead of their being signed by the Chair as an accurate record.


(2) BB proposed that on the occasions when PCllrs vote and do not all agree that the number of votes for and against and how each PCllr voted should be shown in the minutes. However, obviously as PCllrs we would always support a majority decision. JP seconded.

PB asked DF what the County Council did. DF advised that it depends on the constitution but SCC provides for a vote by show of hands unless 10 of the 55 Cllrs ask for a named vote. PB suggested that the PC carry on with having a show of hands unless a majority asked for a named vote. JP highlighted that this was a higher percentage. BB explained that there were very few occasions where the PC disagreed and she preferred that names be recorded. PB accepted that if a PCllr wished to be named then that was fine, but the PC was making a decision as a corporate body and once a decision was taken, even if not the outcome a PCllr sought, that the decision would be supported; BB had already acknowledged and accepted. CC proposed that such a vote be recorded as being agreed by a majority and that individuals may ask for their names to be recorded as voting for/against/abstentions. PB seconded; on this motion the vote was 3 for and 5 against. It was decided by 5 votes to 3 on the proposal by BB, seconded by JP, that on the occasions when PCllrs vote and do not all agree, that the number of votes for and against, and how each PCllr voted should be shown in the minutes. PB then asked to be stated as having voted against.


20/132. Matters Arising from the minutes of the 6th July Mtg.

The Clerk confirmed;

(1). 20/84. Village Hall. He had informed the Village Hall committee of the PC decision to offer to advance the sum of £750 to cover the cost of legal work involved in purchasing Carey Grove Park to be repaid by free usage of the Village Hall to that value. The Village Hall Cttee had responded with thanks but they would not be taking up the offer. PB added that the VHall Cttee are proceeding with the transfer of Carey Grove Park as they see the benefits of doing so and will pay the legal fees from their own funds.


(2). 20/85.Finger Posts. He had informed the Finger Post Volunteers that the PC had agreed to proceed with repairing the sign at Bull St and that a letter of thanks had been received welcoming the decision.


(3). Allotment Society. The Society had requested support be given for S106 improvements to SWTC and it had been agreed to ask the Society to first get the landowners agreement, reinstatement clarified and to ascertain if planning permission is required. These had been satisfactory achieved and support had been given.


20/133. Planning. (1) Applications. The following applications were considered and observations agreed;

Date

Ref

Application

Outcome

20 7 20

14 20 0027

Brickyard Farm Bull St CSM. Change of use and external alterations to an agricultural building to storage (class B8)

In view of the many points/questions raised by the PC to SWTC the PC is not in a position at this time to recommend “supporting” or “not supporting” this application. The PC asked the Local Planning Authority to consider carefully all the implications of allowing a B8 storage use in this location, in addition to the business uses already operating from other buildings at Brickyard Farm.  Should the LPA’s decision be that this planning application complies with all the relevant policies, and, therefore, grants approval, the PC requested that a condition restricts the B8 storage to caravans, motorhomes and classic cars, with the “off-peak” and “daylight” operational hours being clearly stated, and that a condition of a maximum of 15 vehicles, is included in the approval. The points raised with SWTC are available on request from the Clerk. JP proposed, SH seconded, 7 votes for. CC abstained.


30 7 20

14/20/0029


Oakendon, Bull Street, Creech St Michael Erection of a single storey extension to the front with various alterations

To support.

BB proposed, SH seconded, All voted for.

6 8 20

14/20/0031


Merdeka, Creech Heathfield Rd, Creech Heathfield. Replacement of dwelling with associated works.

To support the application subject to satisfactory approval of the development by Somerset Ecology Services. The proposed development is proportionate and in keeping with the existing street scene.

SH proposed, BB seconded. 7 voted for, SG Abstained.

(2) Planning Applications received. It was noted that the following applications were also received and observations submitted to SWTC;

Date

Ref

Application

Decision

1 7 20

14/20/0023

Charlton House Farm, Charlton Road, CSM; Variation of Condition No. 03 (occupancy of bdg to allow to be used as holiday let) of application 14/17/0037.


to SUPPORT providing that: the holiday accommodation shall be occupied for tourism only, with a restriction on the number of days of continuous occupancy, and will not be occupied as a person’s sole or main residence; and Highways are satisfied that there will not be a resultant detrimental increase in traffic unsuitable for Charlton Road. It is also noted that if the new treatment tank was not installed as referenced in application 14/17/0037, then the issues noted in the decision and report may be exacerbated by an increase in occupancy pursuant to removal of condition 3. NOTE. This application was subsequently withdrawn by the applicant.


3 7 20

14/20/0025


Ham House, White Street, CSM. Conversion of garage into 1 No. holiday let


to SUPPORT providing that the holiday accommodation known as The Forge, Ham House, Ham shall be occupied for tourism only, with a restriction on the number of days of continuous occupancy, and will not be occupied as person’s sole or main residence.


(3) West Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension 2. PB explained that the CSM MH2 Panel had provided a response to the SWTC consultation on the Monkton Heathfield 2 dev site ahead of the deadline 10th July as delegated. Regular scheduled meetings have continued with the SWTC Garden Towns Manager (AP). A Zoom meeting had been held with SCC Highways (JF) on 24th August at which mainly MH2 issues were raised but the village was covered too. A Zoom meeting had also been held with the PC’s contracted Highway Consultants RGP (NR) on 2nd Sept at which their first suggestions had been commented upon; these will shortly be circulated to PCllrs and Highways for comment ahead of public consultation and the money to pay for them being found.


(4) “Planning for the Future” PB explained the Governments proposals for changes to the Planning regime which are currently being consulted upon. A revised planning system is envisaged which would change how local plans are put together and the extent the PC can get involved. Areas would be identified as Growth, Renewal or Protected. There would also be nationally set housing targets and a Design code. He envisaged developers moving quickly on the growth zone. PB asked PCllrs to read the doc and a response to be agreed at the Oct mtg.


(5) Training. JP advised that she had found recent training sessions she had attended of value and encouraged other PCllrs to attend as well as proposing a dedicated training session for the PC on planning. All agreed to enquiring of SWTC planning if they would provide training.

Action. The Clerk to ask SWTC Planning if they would offer the PC training.


20/134. Finance. (1) Finance Sub Cttee. The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd July and draft minutes of 2nd Sept mtg had been previously circulated.

(2). Routine Payments and Receipts made since the June meeting (schedule circulated); The Clerks, Caretakers and Gen Workers’ Wages, HMRC and SCC Pension Fund payments, Clerks Expenses July £70.81 and August £220.91, Bibby Factors Bristol Ltd (Rec Park 3d unlocking (4 7–26 7 2020) £67.20 and (1 8–23 8 2020) £226.80, SWTC (6xGrass cutting + 13 Weeks Dog bin Emptying) £1,900.80, Nailsea Fencing (Rec Park front fencing incl gating) £7,914.00, SALC (Training Fee CofC) £25.00, Lloyds Bank (Bank Charges 10 6 to 9 7.20) £6.50, Zurich Ins (Ins Premium 19 7 2020-18 7 2021) £3,200.17, SALC (SALC/NALC Affiliation Fee 2021) £756.93, Guardian Pest Control (Wasp nest on play equipment removal 14 7 20) £96.00, CYP (Furlough 20% top up for 2 weeks of July) £32.97, N Cridge (Reimb Petrol) £22.80, N Barnes (Bus Shelters Cleaning 6 8 2020) £75.00, Water2 Business (Rec Park Water supply 10 1 20-6 7 20) £13.57, Live4Soccer (goalposts) £1224.95. J Miller (Allotment Rent 20/21) £675.00.

(3). Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; SW Lottery (Proceeds July £10.00 Aug £8.00), HMRC (Furlough Payment for July) £370.00, Minehead Town Council (Sale of Conference equipment) £500.00.

(4). Payments to be made upon receipt. A payment to T Trump for Caretakers Leave Cover was agreed.

An invoice from E-lectrics for electrical work was received minutes before the meeting, it was agreed to compare this to the estimate and to query with the contractor if necessary, before circulating to all PCllrs for consideration

ahead of paying.CC confirmed he had completed the work.

(5). External Audit (18/19). The audit by PKF Littlejohn the PC External Auditors is still ongoing and their report is awaited.

(6). Accounts (1st Qtr 20/21). To report (previously circulated) that the Council’s receipts for the period 1st April to 30th June 2020 are £34,289.56 and the expenditure £8,710.39 (excl provisions); are both in line with expectations adjusted for covid19 impact. The Finance Chair has checked the bank rec to the bank statement and the Fin Cttee had reviewed the budget monitoring report. The Clerk updated PCllrs on the Provision balances.

(7). Banking. Options for earning interest were considered. A report from the Clerk was considered. Whilst a Public Sector Deposit Account managed by CCLA was considered it was recognised that interest was higher so were the risks as it is a money market fund. As there was no appetite for risk at this time and recognising the benefits of ensuring the Fin Services Authority scheme of protection is taken advantage of it was agreed to accept the Sub Cttees recommendation to open a deposit account with Nationwide Bdg Society and to ensure no sum in excess of £85,000 is held with any one institution.

Action. Clerk to open a Nationwide BS Deposit Account.

(8). Financial Controls. The PC financial controls were considered and agreed. Amendments to controls were agreed to reflect the closure of the PIP Unity Bank Acc and the issue of a Lloyds Debit Card. PB proposed CC Seconded.

(9). Risk Assessment of Assets. The approach to the Annual Risk Assessment of Assets was agreed. It was noted that the 9 grit bins had been inspected at SCC Highways request ahead of their winter maintenance so these had already been done and all found in good order by the PCllrs and the Clerk who had inspected them.

Action. Clerk to issue Asset listing.

(10). National Pay Award. The National Pay Award agreed by the Nat Joint Council (details circulated) was accepted. It was agreed to also implement for the Caretaker. PT proposed and CC seconded. All voted for bar SH who did not vote.


20/135. Rec Park.

(1) Operational Items. The security firm had notified an earlier locking up time and a door handle had been broken. These are to be considered by the Rec Park Panel at its next mtg.AG informed that sports teams are due to restart this coming weekend but would not be using the buildings. It was noted that 4 lads were repeatedly causing vandalism in the Park.

Action. The Clerk to invite the Police to the next PC meeting.


(2) Development Projects. PB raised that an agreed plan now needed to be developed and highlighted that a professional development plan with drawings are required in order to seek grant funding. The Clerk raised booking/hiring arrangements and explained that there were 3 hirers who have enquiries outstanding.

Action. SG to organise a Rec Park Panel mtg in order to draw up a list of development aims for the PC to agree


(3) Equipment Project. Concern was raised over the surfacing below the big piece of play equipment and the weeds coming through the surface in the small playground, amongst other defects. It was agreed to not pay the retention and to ask Sutcliffe’s for an onsite meeting.

Action. Clerk to ask Sutcliffe’s for a meeting.


PT left at 21.10pm.


20/136. Highways. (1). Maintenance issues. It was noted that a manhole had sunk on the A38 at Adsborough. SG confirmed he had reported it to SCC Highways the previous week.


(2) St Michael Road. A parishioner had written advising of the difficulties she and her neighbours are experiencing with vehicle’s parking across their entrance immediately adjacent to the shop, despite white lines being in place. She had requested yellow lines. It was agreed to refer the issue to the PC’s Highways consultants for consideration as part of their project examing Highway Safety.


(3) Hyde Lane. DF advised he had not got an update from SCC Highways on their projects progress.

Action. DF to advise the PC.


(4) Winter Maintenance. The 9 grit bins had been inspected and all found with a good supply.


20/137. Footpaths/Rights of Way. (1) The report of the Parish Footpath volunteers had been previously circulated. It highlighted the difficulties caused when farmers planted over RofWs. It was agreed if the Volunteers highlighted the hotspots then the PCllrs would try and identify the landowners to approach.

Action. The Clerk to speak to the Footpath volunteers.


(2) Business and Planning Act 2020 - pavement licenses. It was noted that the PC would now be consulted on new applications. As there is a short timescale it was agreed that the PC Clerk would distribute requests on receipt along with a reminder of the criteria and then the Chair to decide based on the reply reflecting PCllrs responses. PB proposed, CC seconded.


(3) Dog Bin. A request for an additional bin in Ham on the Env Agency River ramp was carried forward to the next meeting. The Clerk advised he had also chased the EA for amended permission to site a waste bin at the Bull St EA ramp which is outstanding.


DF left at 21.21pm.


20/138. Website and standard email addresses for PC Emails SG highlighted that the site was out of date and it’s a priority to be sorted. AG reported that he had asked a Taunton design Company to quote for a new website and would get two more quotations. BB highlighted that work that had been done to ensure that content was up to date ready to be loaded to a new website. SG agreed to speak to the current provider about access to the new website. The Clerk raised his concern which is ensuring new content is written, uploaded and any new site is kept up to date and compliant going forward.

Action. SG to speak to AB re access and AG to get three quotes for a new website.


20/139. Youth Panel. In the absence of the Panel Chair the Clerk explained that the panel had agreed to a request that the free outreach being provided by CYP be switched to providing Covid friendly activities. He then reminded the PC that the contract with CYP provided for the PC to provide accommodation and asked whether the PC would pay for the VHall over the winter. SG suggested the cost should come out of the budget CYP already got if they wanted to hire the Hall as the PC had offered them the facility to meet at the Rec Park.

PB highlighted the PC had a longstanding commitment through the Neighbourhood Plan as we had hoped to provide and develop a targeted youth club for the benefit of our young people. SG highlighted the cost for 2 hours a week and felt it could not be justified. BB also referred to the cost stating she had hoped the membership would have increased by now. The Clerk explained that Covid had ceased the club’s activities and the Leaders are now essentially having to restart from scratch again, CYP are providing nearly 3 months free activities and the agreed contract provides for the PC to provide premises. If that is to be the pavilion or engine shed along with using the MUGA under the lights then the building needed preparing as he understood neither were currently in a position to host a youth club from. BB suggested the Cartwright room was not big enough to maintain social distancing and AG explained that they would be a ‘bubble’. SG proposed not to pay as they are paid enough. AG suggested we defer for a month. That was then agreed with no payment commitment to be given in the meantime.


20/140. Correspondence. None


20/141. New Matters to be carried forward. Dog bin for Ham, PC Meeting dates, Planning for the Future.

20/142. The Council then decided to exclude Public and Press for these items. (1) Unitary Authority for Somerset. To note the District Councils decision to support a 2 UA option and to consider publication of PC decision. (2) General Workers Review. To agree outcome. (3) Update on Purchase of the Canal Car park and membership of Canal Panel. See separate report.


20/143. Unitary Authority for Somerset. The District Councils decision to support a 2 UA option was noted. Following discussion and a vote it was agreed to record publicly that the PC had decided to support the case for a Unitary Authority for Somerset and to record publicly that decision. This had been passed with 6 votes for with 3 abstentions. BB asked that she be shown in the minutes as having abstained.


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


Future Meetings;

The next CSM PC mtgs are on 5th October and 2nd November 2020 at 7pm in the Cartwright Room, Village Hall if Covid permitted or virtually using Zoom if not. (Clerks note; it has now been confirmed that zoom will be used).