/ Parish Council / 2017 Minutes / 21st April 2017

Minutes of the CREECH ST MICHAEL Annual Parish Meeting

held at 7.30pm on Friday 21st April 2017 at the Village Hall.

Present: PCllr S Hutching (Chairperson of the Parish Council chaired the meeting). S Greenhalgh (Vice Chair),

Y Guest, K Reed (Parish Councillors). Steve Altria (Clerk). Also in attendance was SCCllr D Fothergill, TDBCllr D Durdan, TDBCllr K Durdan and 65 members of the public.

Lawrence Rayment of Heartstart Somerset had a display stand before the APM showing defibulator’s and the cabinets.

Apologies were received from PCllrs S Harris, D Knight, G Lucas, C Sampson and I Wright.

Minutes of the last Meeting. The Minutes of the meeting held on 22nd April 2016 copies of which had been circulated, were agreed without amendment. The minutes were then signed by the Chairman as correct.

Matters arising from the previous meeting. None.

Parish Council Report. The Chair (SH) introduced himself, thanked Lawrence Rayment of Heartstart and welcomed all those present to the APM. He explained that he was pleased that the upgrade to the A38 at Adsborough had been achieved and that the Parish Council had been able to install bus shelters. The Parish Council had also been able to install play equipment designed specifically for children who have a disability in the Rec Park. He congratulated all those involved in the organisation of the Party in the Park which had been very successful and had enabled other events such as the senior citizens fish and chip lunch to be enjoyed. He advised that the CSM Neighbourhood Plan is well under way as CSM has some very large scale developments such as 3500 houses in our parish, Nexus the large employment site adjacent to Junction 25 along with road improvements to Junction 25 of the M5, to Creech Castle and the Toneway. As these developments and any future developments will have an effect on Creech. It is important for the Parish to have a NH plan in order to get the best outcomes for Creech.

Due to all the building sites in Creech SH explained that there is money to spend in the rec park. The PC's plan is to use some of this to obtain more land increasing the size of our park. To date it has approached adjacent land owners with a view to buying land and we have taken advice from TDBC on expanding the park as it also intends to upgrade the parks facilities. The PC is now working to finalise an agreement with Taunton Model Engineers who run the miniature railway at the park as their current lease is with the RFMC who no longer exist. Our vision is for them to eventually expand with the rest of the facilities.

CSM Neighbourhood Plan. The Chair of the CSM NH Plan Panel Charlie Cudlip introduced each of the panel members and explained all were volunteers and either residents or Parish Cllrs. Simon Coles Chartered Planner from WYG is advising the panel and Jane Birch from the Community Council for Somerset conducted the surveys. SC explained the importance of the plan explaining that it will influence future development and that it has to be evidenced based; as a result the panel has undertaken full consultations and in due course residents will get to see the plan and get a vote on whether it should be adopted. SC advised that we are half way through the process so there are a number of opportunities to comment and have input yet. After tonight writing the plan will start so we want to make sure weve heard you right in order to get the plan right.

CC informed the meeting that £19,000 worth of grants had been obtained and the PC was meeting the remaining costs from parish funds. In addition to the surveys we are working with West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine and Ruishton and Thornfalcon Parish Councils to make sure all our plans are joined up and with TDBC Planners. 39% of the household surveys had been returned and this had been judged as a good response. The Clerk explained that 3500 houses had been granted planning permission years ago and SH showed a map of the site. CC confirmed that the plan covers the whole Parish including all its villages and the new community that will be built.

SC advised that as Taunton had been designated a Garden Town they will seek to embrace these sustainable good planning principles in the plan. CC explained the panel had indentified nine policy themes and the presentation was entitled “Did we hear you right?” as the key findings against each theme along with our vision will be shown. As we wish to ensure we don’t miss anything he asked the audience to speak up, use the consultation form on the rear of the agenda and leave it with the Clerk or just email the Clerk at any time on clerk@creechstmichael.net.

CC highlighted that the key overall issue was road safety and that there is little apparent joined up working and no traffic counts so all that we can do is use the evidence of the surveys at this stage. CC then went through the presentation. Points raised from the audience included the importance of the safe route to school required along Hyde Lane, the Bus Service, need for more dogbins, that the slides will be available to down load from the website, Village Hall and Baptist Church have both started cafés. A new bridge over the canal increasing opportunists was suggested, what a village gateway is, oversized/weight lorries are using the bridge, need for 20mph in the village, does the plan have to be funded, west views grass verges are in need of cutting, narrow bridges are in need of calming and a need for sustainability.

SC explained the next step is to write a draft NH Plan developing policies, text and proposals around them .They will reflect the views of the Parish and the regularity requirement as; the plan had to get through the regularity process. This will take the summer and once drafted there will be further consultation this autumn and next year. Then there will be an examination and finally a referendum.

CC highlighted that the CSM NH Plan Panel meetings are held in public and the public are welcome to attend. He also advised that all meetings are minuted and these can be found on the Parish website.

Wessex Water- Access road to Ham Sewage Treatment Works. Adam Lynch, Project Manager explained that WW had a long standing ambition to build a dedicated access track from A358 to the sewerage works at Ham crossing Ham Lane. Before WW can get planning permission WW needs to get a Sect 278 agreement from SCC Highways and to acquire land. These have taken far longer than hoped for, in December WW finally agreed the access from the site off the A358 and since then have been negotiating with the farmers in question. Two are prepared to sign but negotiations are ongoing with the third. So WW are pursuing the land ownership and will use compulsory purchase if needed. So until WW gets land ownership it cant get SCC Highways agreement. However WW has been talking to planners and Highways so the scheme can proceed quickly hopefully so WW can build the road this summer. WW understands the urgency and need and is pressing. AL explained that though promises had been made that no further development work would commence until the track was built there is a need to start a project in the interim to improve the effluent quality as the EA required this. Several Parishioners made the point that for 25 years that there had been discussion about the Lorries using Ham Road and that promises have been made for years to build a track; promises that had not been delivered upon. AL advised that WW had hoped to be further ahead but fully intended to deliver the project this summer but that it will be built as promised. When asked if the track will be used 24/7 AL advised it would be but as it was a single track the time taken to do the journey will dictate naturally its use. KH asked when the deadline for CPO was and AL agreed to advice afterwards. DD asked for regular meetings to be reinstated to which AL advised he is happy to meet with and discuss matters as required by the residents.

Environment Agency. John Rowland’s, Flood and Coastal Risk Management (Wessex),

Whilst setting up a member of the audience raised that a letter had been received recently relating to the miniature railway. The Chairman advised that this would be dealt with next as it is the following item on the agenda.

JR advised that the EA is 21 years old now yet it’s only thought off when there’s a lot of water about. EA is national organisation HQ’d in Bristol and London with offices locally in Bridgwater in Somerset. He gave an interesting presentation showing many old photographs of the village and surrounding areas under flood at various times of the past 100 years and explained the history behind the Ham road and Ruishton “ring banks” schemes. JR highlighted that the EA work is wider than just flooding but includes environmental protection, assisting businesses that have potentially toxic wastes, helping wildlife, the countryside and environment generally as well as enforcement when required. In addition the EA had responsibility for preserving and improving the quality of rivers, estuaries and coastal waters.

Taunton Model Engineers. David Hartland, Chairman of TME updated the APM on the work of TME over the past two year since he spoke last. HE explained that TME had 120 Volunteers some of which are local, that they held a 20 year lease, had been in CSM for 14 years and spent c£40k building and keeping the railway running. DH heighted that TME pay £1100 a year rent to the Parish had held 19 public running days and had carried 3200 passengers. DH highlighted that they encouraged young people to take up engineering and the effort that had gone into constructing the two buildings in particular 600 tons of concrete.TME had enjoyed its 70th birthday in July celebrating by holding a gala on the whole field; over 500 people had attended from all over the country. As one of only five tracks of its size it attracted visitors from across the whole of the south west. £416 had also been donated this year to the village school sensory garden project.

DH then turned to the future advising that public running would be offered every other Sunday, on the 25th June a mini gala would take place and that there would be operational at the party in the park on 8th July. However in February this year TME had received a letter from the Parish Councils solicitors giving 6 months notice which runs out at the end of sept. So TME has to leave unless we take the new lease offered. This reduces the tenure from 20 year to 5 years, removes half the track and increases the rent to £1500pa. These are unacceptable. After 14 years TME is in trouble. A lady then shouted several times ‘shame on you’ and a gentleman booed. SC explained that there was no legal agreement and that the Parish is changing; the PC is looking to buy more land to include TME. It had been asked to provide more family friendly facilities that are available 24/7. DH asked to discuss the matter as TME would like to stay in CSM. SH said weve talked and talked and discussed the matter for years but you won’t accept any change. Ken Hunt advised that 62% of the respondents of the recent survey supported the railway and DH added that two years ago when a show of hands was held 118 of 120 people supported TME. The Clerk advised that these figures need to be put into a proper context as two year ago no alternative land use was suggested so the question was answered in a different perspective. The Clerk also advised that the villagers had asked for other facilities in the survey with higher percentages than TME. SC highlighted that the PC was trying to meet the villager’s demands not those from outside the village. SH then moved on advising further questions will be taken after the next item.

CSM Patients Participation Group. Tony Murray and Rachel Haye, RH explained that the group was set up in 2011 and currently has 9 members. It would welcome more particularly if they were young people. The Group is the voice of the patients, a channel for communications and supports the practice as a critical friend. It does not deal with individual complaints but will advise on how to complain. The PPC works with the Village Agent to reach those individuals who are difficult to access. Two health education evenings have been held one on looking after oneself and the other on first aid with St Johns Ambulance.

TM advised that until recently they had to do surveys. There done by paper but also sitting with patients in the surgery. Surveys have been held on appts system (results critical but now refined and still doing their best), patient’s experience (very positive) and communications (Creech News was preferred though practice website is used). Quality Inspection 18 months ago gave the centre a “good rating whilst the PPG was judged outstanding”. TM suggested the reason was that the PPG was always doing things though he reconised communication could be further improved.

In taking questions Ken Hunt praised the practice and suggested recruiting another doctor was required. TM explained that there was funding for a p/t doctor and they had been trying heard but no appointment could be made and explained that there is a problem nationally.

Open Questions. These were all on the miniature railway and the discussion became heated. SH suggested that the PC had given TME a platform that night to express them and it had been turned into an ambush rather than talking to the PC about the issues that it did not like on the lease offered. DH retorted that TME had asked to meet but the PC wouldn’t. Graham Hodge asked how many members of TME live in the Parish (Ans 8). DH asked if the PC would tell TME what it was going to do with the land. SH explained it was going to be used for recreation, more outdoor sports and more play equipment. Gill Underhay asked why the play equipment behind the hall was not being replaced (Ans. SH explained that it was the responsibility of TDBC; the PC has money to spend at the park where play equipment is more suitably sited). In answer to a question as to why the lease had been terminated SH explained that there was no lease with the PC and the Clerk added the PC has decided that it needs to offer Parishoners more family friendly activities, recreation and play equipment at the park rather than something once a fortnight largely benefiting outsiders. The PC where asked how in ten years the PC would maintain the field as TME had been the only people paying towards the costs.SH advised that TME was not the only one contributing and that the costs far exceeded TMEs rent. SG then explained that nothing was being achieved, that a meeting of representatives could be held if desired and it was sad that there had been inappropriate outbursts when things could be talked through in a proper manner.

Meeting finished 10.30p.m

Steve Altria