/ Parish Council / 2016 Minutes / 3rd October 2016


Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held at 7pm on Monday 3rd October 2016

in the Lower Committee Room of the Village Hall.

Present; S Hutchings (Chair), S Greenhalgh (Vice Chair), Y Guest, S W Harris, G Lucas, K Hunt, C Sampson and I Wright (Parish Councillors). Steve Altria (Clerk). SCClr D Fothergill. Three members of the public attended.   


16/167. Chairs Welcome. Cllr Hutchings began by welcoming all.


16/168. Public Speaking. No member of the public asked to speak.


16/169. Ham STW Access Track. Adam Lynch, Project Manager, Wessex Water attended in response to the PC’s invitation to update on the access track and improvement programme. AL apologised for not updating the PC or the neighbours for some time. AL explained there had been delays with the land purchases which had led to WW being behind where they had intended to be with the project. The Sect 278 agreement required to access the Highway is also not yet in place. As a result with winter approaching and the land subject to flooding it had been decided by WW that the planned build would not start until the spring of 2017 and then take 6 months to complete. AL also explained that some maintenance works where taking place until Jan 2017 to ensure the inlet works can continue to operate.


Parishioners Jane and Clive Withey explained that the residents felt they had been totally disregarded by WW as they had not held meetings with the local residents since February. As a result they had lost faith with WW. They asked that all works be stopped until the road was completed. AL advised that the maintenance works had to be undertaken.


DF and Parish Cllrs shared with AL their frustration with the lack of progress and communications, particularly as the road had been talked about for 15 years. A range of points of view were put to AL; including the need to have made progress, to take action more urgently, to be more creative in making progress, the need to manage contractor vehicles (and in particular their suppliers couriers) and to keep the residents proactively informed. AL response confirmed that Phase 3 of the Improvements Programme would not commence until the road was in place (bar the phosphorus reduction plant which may have to start as it has a statutory requirement to be completed by Oct 2018 ).


AL agreed to recommence immediately the monthly meetings with the residents of Ham Road and to attend the PC meeting on the 6th February 2017.


16/170. Apologies. PCllrs L Gates, D Knight and K Reed had sent apologies and these were accepted. TDBCllr D Durdan.


16/171. Declarations of Interest. SH raised an interest in the appointment of the Caretaker and did not participate in either the appt process or the discussion in the meeting. See Rec Park minute 16/179 (1) below.


IW expressed his view that a declaration was required from the members of the PIP working party as they alone had put forward recommendations on how to spend the proceeds of PIP to CSM PC. The Clerk explained he did not see the need for such a declaration but undertook to consult SALC on this point. It was agreed to proceed with PIP item 16/180.   


16/172. Apologies Process. SG expressed a view that if a Cllr does not attend for 3 meetings (not 6 months as at present) then a Cllr cannot be upto date and should stand down. The Clerk reminded the PC that its Standing Orders are based on adopting the SALC model in its entirety and that the PC should consider very carefully the implications of moving from that approach as to do so would open up picking and choosing of bits that are liked (or not liked) and the PC having to develop its own S/O. He suggested that the SALC version had been developed over many years based on experience and that changes should be requested through SALC.


KH recalled discussing with David Gregg when he was Parish Liaison Manager at TDBC and he had confirmed that if a Cllr does not attend for 5 months then his apology is accepted then the six month time scale restarts.


IW suggested that the SALC model was a framework that could be adjusted.

Action. The Clerk to ask SALC for their advice and to report in due course.


16/173.Merlyn’s Copse. The Clerk advised that the sale of MC had been completed on 20th Sept 2016. Net proceeds over costs are £1758 though additionally VAT of £205 will be reclaimable. Additionally further maintenance cost will be avoided.

The sale was welcomed by PCllrs.


16/174. County and District Councillors’ Reports.

DF advised that;

(1) Bus Service. A new bus timetable has been issued and that the times were accurate.


(2) Hyde Lane Footpath Hedgerow. David Wilson Homes had confirmed to the Clerk that they would cut and maintain the hedgerow. It was noted that this action meant DWH acknowledged responsibility for the hedgerow.


(3) St Michael’s Road; ensuring access to houses adjacent to the shop. He had spoken to the householder who had asked for yellow lines and will now arrange to see what can be done to address the problem.


(4) Ham: Speeding. As the original monitoring had shown low speeds there was little enthusiasm for another check but that he was working towards that happening.


(5) Adsborough Hill A38. Four weeks of work will start on 14th Nov to include closure of the road adj to the Maypole PH whilst electricity cabling is installed.


(6) Junction 25 M5. SCC Highways are currently consulting on a scheme to enhance the junction. The Engineers will minimise disruption whilst the work is done. See minute 16/181 (3) below.




Shared Ownership Properties. In his absence the Clerk explained DD had asked that the Parish be made aware of the 6 Shared Ownership Properties on the West View Gardens development. These properties are being marketed by Aster and despite their efforts so far, are struggling to attract applicants who meet the local connection criteria in the section 106 agreement relating to the scheme. TDBC are keen to see these properties sold to local people as they are intended for. The Clerk advised he had put a poster on the village facebook site and asked for it to appear on the Website too.

16/175. Minutes of the 5th September Mtg. (These had been previously circulated to Cllrs). These were agreed without any amendments being made and were signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting.


16/176. Matters arising from the minutes of the 5th September Mtg.


16/149. West View - lower part Green Space. The Clerk advised that he had asked the Police to attend a future PC meeting and that they had agreed to attend the November meeting. He had also asked that the troubles being experienced be escalated to the triforce dept but they had responded saying the actions did not warrant such a referral at this stage. The Clerk had also made TDBC aware as the ground is their responsibility but had no response to date.


16/137. Boundary Commission – Electoral Review of TDBC. The Clerk advised that the Local Government Boundary Commission had postponed the review whilst the possibility of West Somerset and Taunton Deane Councils was explored in order to ensure their work was not simply wasted in the event of the merger taking place.


16/160 (6).  Taunton Model Engineers (TME). The Clerk advised that he circulated the relevant recent correspondence incl the last version of the draft lease to PCllrs and had asked each to let him know of any improvements or amendments desired within the next two weeks. He would then circulate all of comments made to all PCllrs. See also minute 16/179 (5) below.


16/162 (1) Highways Defects.  The Clerk had asked TDBC Enforcement Officers that they ask Linden Homes Estate (Sweeting Close) final surface dressings to be laid on as they no longer being on site. No reply had been received yet.


16/163 (1). Footpaths: Parish Footpaths Volunteer. The Clerk confirmed he had advised SCC Right of Way that the PC

supported Parishioner Fred O'Court interest in being the Parish Footpaths Volunteer. ROW had confirmed that they had discussed with FOC what the role involved and that ROW had since advised that they were now waiting to hear if he wished to undertake the role.

16/163. (3) Canal Bridge, St Michaels Road. The Clerk confirmed that the River and Canal Trust had confirmed that the cutting of the undergrowth had been put on their maintenance programme as requested.


16/177. CSM Neighbourhood Plan. IW reported that Jan McCarthy Headteacher had asked to be seconded to the panel, this would be particularly helpful as the panel wished to involve the School in establishing what the Children’s views are. The PC agreed to the panel’s recommendation that JMcC be co-opted on the panel. IW advised that the survey was being undertaken and then the responses will then need to be analysed and the results reported. He also advised that Locality had agreed a grant for £8,985 towards the PC costs and this was welcomed by PCllrs. IW stated he was seeking to ensure timescales are kept to. He also advised that there was a new Neighbourhood Planning bill going through Parliament at present and this acknowledged the importance of the plans and local people making decisions on development. The next meeting will be on Thurs 6th Oct 7pm.


16/178. Accounts.

(1) Payments were approved for Clerks Salary, Caretakers Salary (Pt Sept/Oct), HMRC £207.65,

Somerset Pension Fund Acc £213.41, Clerks September Expenses £278.69, Dave Baker (Installation and removal of  goalpost sockets) £450.00, Devon & Som Fire Prot Ltd (Pavilion Extinguisher Service)£16.50, Caretakers Imprest

£100.00, Bibby Factors Ltd Security (Rec Park 3d Security 29-8-16 to 2.10.16)          £270.00.


(2) Cheques drawn since last meeting; British Gas (Electricity at Pavilion 7-8- 16 to 7-9-16 £35.61.


(3) Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; TDBC Grant (Playing Field and Burial grounds) £2,155.00,

Porter Dodson, Solicitors (Net Sale proceeds in respect of sale of Merlyn’s Copse) £1,758.00, TME (Use of Rec Park 1.10.16-31.3.17) £550.00, D Sweeting Caretakers Imprest (cash and receipts to the value of) £100.00.


(4) Authorisation to make payment before the next meeting. B Gas Electricity at Pavilion (7-9-16 to 6-10-16).


(5) Risk Assessment of Assets. The PC considered the Clerks previously circulated report on the review of Assets. Inspections were undertaken throughout September by PCllrs and himself. It was noted the Seat in Rylesland Way

is in need of restaining. The report was signed off as an accurate record of the PC assets.

Action. SG to ask the caretaker to restain the Seat in Rylesland Way.


(6) Precept. The PC considered the Governments consultation which proposes capping of all PC’s on the same basis as Shire Districts, which permits increases of less than 2% or up to and including £5, whichever is the higher, without triggering a referendum. Whilst the Govt are proposing that at present this would only apply to higher spending Parish Councils with a precept of above £75.46 pa (CSM is £42.67pa) it was reconised that this trigger point may be frozen or reduced in the future.  As amounts above this point would require a referendum, which the PC would have to pay for, the PC identified issues of proportionality, practicability and cost and therefore agreed not to support this proposal.

Action. The Clerk to write and convey these views to the Govt.


16/179. Recreation Park.

(1) Appointment of Caretaker; CS reported that the position had been re-advertised locally again and that Mrs K Hutchings had been appointed following interview by an amended panel of herself and the Clerk; effective from 23rd Sept and subject to a 3 month probation. CS paid tribute to KH/SG/KR/DK/SH who had covered the caretaking duties on a voluntary basis until an appointment could be made. It was agreed the Caretaker would report to the Vice Chairman.

Action. The Clerk to complete the necessary formal paperwork to confirm the appt.


(2).Update Inclusive Play Equipment/Goalposts. CS advised that there had been two issues with the IPE equipment which were now resolved and the withheld payment had now been made. The Goalposts which had been on order had now been received and a local contractor had completed their installation by removing the old sockets and installing new ones. The Clerk had also requested a refund of monies paid from S106 monies held by TDBC as previously agreed.


(3) Annual Safety Inspection/Play surfacing repairs Quotes. CS advised that repairs had not been done until a decision had been taken as to whether to move anything. The Clerk advised that this was an increasing risk which would need a decision taken soon.


(4) Development. In LGs absence the Clerk reported that she had spoken to the adj field Owner to see if an agreed sale could be achieved but had again been advised that she did not wish to sell. It was decided to write to her making an offer to purchase 4 acres of the field and reconfirming the intention to use the Compulsory Purchase Order process if necessary as the Community is getting larger and the need for more play space increasing. The Clerk advised he had written to TDBC Planning and Play Officers as first steps and had spoken to SALC who had advised of the need to collect written evidence to support the CP process. It was noted that if Planners objected as outside of the Parish development boundary then they would have to refuse all forms of development.

Action. The Clerk to write to the owner making an offer to purchase 4 acres of the field.


(5) TME. SG advised that since he had joined the PC it had continually talked about TME and he suggested they needed to be put on a proper legal basis. SG stated that whilst he preferred that TME stays if the PC is to purchase the adjacent field TME would then be in the middle of the site. He asked would TME be prepared to move within an expanded park? SG suggested the responsibilities of the PC should be better understood. IW reminded PCllrs that the PC had signed a deed in trust with FIT in 2013 and he suggested that that constituted a contractual relationship, with the result that the PC would be reneging on that deed of contract if it were to ask them to leave. CS advised that she had spoken to Terry Housden from FIT who had explained that the deed in trust is NOT a lease and that it simply serves to dedicate the field as a Recreation Park and bind TME to FIT's regulations. CS stated her support for SG suggestion as the PC also needed to consider its responsibilities to the Parish to spend the S106 monies for Sport & Leisure and Children's play within the five years permitted or it would be returned to the developers within 5 years or spent in a neighbouring parish. CS asked where the PC would site the equipment should the railway stay if there was a possibility of not getting additional land.

It was agreed that CS/SG and the Clerk should meet with PC Solicitors.

Action. The Clerk to arrange a meeting with the PC’s Solicitor.


16/180. Party in the Park.

CS reported that the working party wished to run PIP17 on the 8th July 2017 on the same basis as 2016.

The working party to include PCllrs DK, CS, YG, SG, SH along with Parishioners Jo Morrison and Adrian Birch and to be  constituted the same as in 2016 as an informal working party operating within the PC’s remit. The PIP Organisers then suggested authorisation of charitable donations from the total proceeds held to date as estimated;

  • £500 Donation to Creech St Michael School, towards their new Sensory Garden.
  • £500 Supply & Install Noticeboard/Sign at Creech Recreation Park.
  • £750 Supply & Install another Picnic Bench/Table at the Recreation Park.
  • £500 To negotiate a central location, supply & install a cabinet for the Defibrillator to provide 24hr guaranteed access.
  • £1,000   A Fish & Chip Luncheon, tea and cake with musical entertainment and transport for elderly parish residents

The PIP Organisers will obtain 2 quotations and arrange for each purchase/installation in line with PC procurement processes and seek authority to spend up to the amounts above and draw cheques from the Clerk for each item.  This would leaves c£6,000 PIP funding and though it is very likely a further round of donations will follow for circa £3,000, PIP organisers propose to leave £3,000 in the Parish Council’s bank to ensure the event has sufficient reserves to ensure the events viability without being a risk to Parish funds. This was agreed by the PC. IW restated (see minute 171 above ) his view that a declaration of interest was required from the members of the PIP working party as they alone had put forward recommendations on how to spend the proceeds of PIP to CSM PC.

Action. The Clerk to consult SALC on the need for declaration of interests and for the PIP working party to arrange PIP17 and the charitable donations and events above.


16/181. Highways.

(1) Former Golf Course, Charlton Road. SH highlighted that the had been some changes to the Highway entrances and as there were known to be a lot of drains in the area there was concern that there may now be flooding.  DF suggested SCC Highways be asked to take a look.


(2) Foliage over signs. GL advised that foliage was growing over the signs all around the Parish. DF advised that if he saw any of concern to report it so SCC Highways so they can speak to the responsible Landowners.


(3) M5 Junc 25 Improvements. The Clerk explained he had attended the SCC Highways consultation event held to share their plans to improve the Motorway Junction. He had been able to discuss the plan with Engineers along with representatives of Ruishton and WM Parish Councils. He suggested that the scheme be supported as it provided 4 (rather than 3) lanes onto the roundabout from Taunton, that it would also improve traffic flows through Henlade and had been designed to dovetail with Highways England plans to dual the A358. Work is expected to commence in 2018 and be completed in 2020. Regretfully though no improvements were included to the Creech Castle Lights and with the additional building in the Urban Development Area which he suggested would only worsen traffic flows through Creech Castle and therefore increase the ‘rat running’ through the Villages. He was also aware that no safety improvement works were integral to the scheme for the Villages. The Clerk suggested therefore that the PC support the scheme but make representations to improve Creech Castle Junction and to identify a package of improvements to be requested. This to include 20mph throughout the Village, a ‘pinch point’ to stop lorries from routing through, improvements to the pavements on the Railway and Canal Bridges and at Creech Heathfield and a pedestrian crossing. This was agreed.

Action. The Clerk to write to SCC stating the PC support for the scheme and the need for improvements to Creech Castle Junction and for safety works in CSM.


16/182. Footpaths.

Rear West View Gardens. It was reported that the post by the planks over the culvert are in need of replacement.

Action. The Clerk to report the deteriorating posts.



16/183. PC Dates2017.

The following dates were agreed for the PC meetings in 2017; Jan 9th, Feb 6th, March 6th, April 3rd, May 8th (Annual Council Meeting), June 5th, July 3rd, August 7th (Planning), Sept 4th, Oct 2nd, Nov 6th, Dec 4th. 

The Annual Parish Meeting date was set for April 21st Friday.


16/165. Correspondence.

The Clerk advised that a meeting had been held in Ham which had been well attended concerning the poor broadband speeds.


16/166. New Matters to be carried forward.

A letter had just been received from BT giving notice to close 4 telephone boxes within the Parish. This will be considered at the November PC mtg.


The meeting closed at 9.05pm.


Future Meetings; The CSM Neighbourhood Plan Panel will meet on Thurs 6th Oct 7pm and Mon 14th November 6.30pm.

The next Parish Council meetings will be held at 7pm on Monday 7th November 2016 and 5th December 2016.

All in the Lower Cttee Room, CSM Village Hall.


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