/ Parish Council / Minutes / 10th January 2022



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL


Minutes for the Meeting of Creech St Michael Parish Council [CSMPC] held in the Village Chown Hall on Monday 10 January 2022 at 7:00pm



Councillor attendance

Cllr Annabelle Peters – Chair

AP

present

Cllr Sarah Elliott

SE

apologies

Cllr Simon Hutchings - Vice Chair 

SH

present

Cllr Margaret Gover

MG

present

Cllr Brenda Brighton

BB

present

Cllr Yamina Guest

YG

present

Cllr Peter Brown

PB

present

Cllr Paul Tucker

PT

present

Cllr Charlie Cudlip

CC

present




Cllr Neil Davidson

ND

present





Also Present: County Cllr D. Fothergill Somerset County Council (SCC), eight members of the public and the CSM Parish Clerk.

Meeting started at 7:02pm


Chair’s welcome - AP welcomed all and opened the meeting.

Public Question time - The Chair invited questions from the public, none were put forward.

To receive any apologies for absence

Cllrs agreed to accept the apologies of Cllr Elliott

Proposed by SH | Seconded by ND | all in favour

Declarations of Interests
4.1 Declarations of Individual Members

ND – confirmed a conflict of interest - has pecuniary interest in the Canal car park.

SH – is related to a member of staff.

4.2 Dispensation Request The Clerk and all Cllrs had submitted a dispensation request to enable all Councillors to take part in the discussions on the precept. The PC granted the dispensation to enable all Councillors to participate in the precept determination discussions at this meeting.

Proposed by SH | Seconded by BB | all in favour

To receive County and District Councillors’ Reports - SCC Cllr Fothergill gave a verbal report, [please see appendix 1]

MinutesCllrs agreed the Minutes, with 2 amendments, of the meeting held on 6 December 2021 were an accurate record. (These had previously been circulated to Cllrs) The Chair signed an amended copy of the minutes for the records.

Proposed by BB | seconded MG | 7 all in favour | 2 abstained

Matters arising - from the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2021 [Clerk’s report]

The Clerk’s gave a verbal update from the last.

Planning

  1. Planning applications. To consider the following application/s and to agree the Planning Development and Transport’s Panel’s recommendations.


Ref

Date

Application

CSMPC Comments

14/21/0045

06/12/2021

Erection of 2 No. dwellings with attached garages and formation of driveway within paddock adjoining Langaller Manor House, Langaller Lane, Langaller

To SUPPORT with a comment to SWT planners to secure compliance with the construction, climate change and carbon emissions mitigation items listed in the Climate Emergency Checklist through a planning condition (s). This is required to ensure the development complies with Creech St Michael Neighbourhood Development Plan Policy CSM 4 (Quality of Design) bullet point 6.

Proposed by BB | Seconded by SH | all in favour

14/21/0046

06/12/2021

Erection of a two-storey extension to the side of 73 West View, Creech St Michael

To SUPPORT with a comment to SWT planners to secure compliance with the building materials specification on the planning application form and drawing A.15 through a planning condition.


Proposed by BB | Seconded by SH | all in favour

14/20/0047/LB

09/12/2021

Replacement of porch to the front of 1 Heathfield Farmhouse, Creech Heathfield Road, Creech Heathfield

The representation that CSM PC made in December 20 has already been sent to the inspectorate and will be considered by the Inspector. This statement is succinct and conveys the views of the PC, including suggestions of how the design could be modified to be acceptable. The PDT Panel recommend that no further additional statement is required.

Proposed by SH | Seconded by BB | 9 in favour

14/21/0043

15/12/2021

Replacement of conservatory with the erection of a single storey extension to the rear of 33 Hopkins Field, Creech St Michael

To SUPPORT with a comment to SWT planners to secure compliance with the building materials specification on the planning application form through a planning condition.

Proposed by PB | Seconded by AP | 9 in favour

14/21/0049/CJ

17/12/2021

Notification for Prior Approval for the installation of 289 x 385w PV panels giving a maximum output of 111kWp at Walford Cross Depot, Walford Cross

No Comment

14/21/0047/HYB

20/12/2021

Application for a Hybrid Planning application for Outline planning permission
with all matters reserved, except for access related to the A38, for the second
phase of the Monkton Heathfield development comprising of a residential and
mixed use Garden Neighbourhood including up to 1210 No. dwellings, up to
4.83 hectares of land for strategic employment uses, 8 hectares of land for a
through school, mixed use district centre, community facilities, green
infrastructure, drainage works, land for a 600 No. space 'Bus and Ride'
facility, relief road (EER2) and associated works and for Full planning
permission for the erection of 240 No. dwellings with access, including
temporary access arrangements, and associated infrastructure works on land
east of the A38, south of Walford Cross, Monkton Heathfield

Recommendation on this planning application deferred until February PC meeting.

14/21/0035

24/12/2021

Replacement of fence and hedgerow at South View, Creech Heathfield Road, Creech Heathfield (retention of works already undertaken)

Extension requested to February PC meeting


Action: Clerk to inform SW&T Planning of the CSMPC comments




Finance 

1. Cllrs agreed the monthly payments in the January Financial Transaction Report (circulated in advance of the meeting) [please see appendix 2] with the exception of:

2. the Interim Audit, this is still in draft form. Payment will be made once completed.

3. Later in the meeting the quote put forward from the Canal Panel for a new gate was found to be £300 higher so this will be put forward at the February meeting for approval. This was also removed from the Finance report.

Proposed by PB | Seconded by ND | all in favour.


Action: Clerk to make the approved payments.



4. Budget 2022-2023 – Cllrs agreed the precept request of £68,000 to SW&T for 2022-2023 (report already circulated)

Proposed by AP | seconded MG | 7 in favour 2 abstained

Interim Internal Audit Report Financial Year 2021-22 – The Clerk shared this was the first draft and the PC can liaise with the Auditor to discuss/share documents not seen or still needed to be done. Clerk repeated that there was risk identified for CSMPC (said in December’s meeting), but as she had resigned, she wanted the PC to see the draft whilst she was still employed.

Action: Staffing and Finance Committees to meet to discuss the Interim Audit and bring back actions to February’s meeting.

Unparished area consultation - Cllrs agreed the CSMPC response to the SW&T consultation for an Unparished Town Council

Proposed by SH | Seconded by AP | all in favour

Action: Clerk to email to SW&T Governance asap to meet deadline.

Communication - AP shared why she felt the use of WhatsApp as a tool for PC would benefit Cllrs.

Action: Chair asked for the BB and SH to give reason why they won’t use WhatsApp at the February meeting.

Panel and Working Groups – (reports circulated in advance of the meeting)

13.1 Panel/Parties, Committees Terms of Reference [ToRs] and structureThe Chair asked for confirmation of ToRs, who are the Cllrs of each group and each Chairman.

Proposed by AP| Seconded by CC | all in favour

Action: All committees, panels and parties, to send a copy of their ToRs to Chair and Clerk


13.2 Rec Park Panel – Cllrs discussed if Rec Park business should be run as a panel or to bring all decisions to the full PC each month. Cllrs agreed for the Rec Park Panel to remain with MG as the Chair and the co-option of Jan King to the panel and agreed to arrange a meeting of the panel prior to the next full council meeting.


Proposed by AP| Seconded by SH| all in favour


13.3 Planning, Developments & Transport Panel – PB gave a verbal update regarding the recent traffic calming measures, put in CSM parish.

Action: PB to follow up with Police Community Trust regarding SID devices for free.


13.4 Canal Panel - ND gave a verbal update including that the antisocial behaviour had begun again in the car park since it has not been locked.

Action: Canal Panel to inform the Rights of Way at SCC.

Action: New quote to be approved at next PC meeting (see minute 9[3]).


13.5 Rec Park Panel - YG gave a verbal update regarding the grass cutting and possibility that further cuts would be needed for football to be played. It was recommended that an additional one or two cuts would be needed.

13.6 PIP working group – no update this month.


13.7 Comms and Website working group – no update this month.


13.8 Footpaths/ Rights of Way – no report received this month.

PC meetings in February - Cllrs discussed if an extra meeting was needed for the Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension planning application. The PDT panel will meet first and will then see if they need an extraordinary meeting. An update will be given at February PC meeting.

Creech St Michael Parish Magazine – Cllrs discussed sharing PC updates with the parish through the Parish Magazine.

Action: MG to collate for the next magazine.
Action: All Cllrs to email MG with their ideas.

Connecting our Garden Communities – Cllrs gave initial feedback that a holding email should be sent to Somerset West and Taunton, suggesting a cycle route from Nexus, through Ruishton, Creech St Michael to West Monkton.
Action: Clerk to send holding email to SW&T.

Correspondence – Cllrs discussed the correspondence that had been circulated.


Rubbish and dog mess around Arundells Way:

Action: Chair to add notice to noticeboard.


Village Hall stage – storage.

Action: Village Hall Committee (as Chair was present) will discuss and report back to the PC.


Highways have been notified about the speed of the traffic in the village.


North End/Langallar Lane Verges- area still not cleared.

Action: to ask Cllr Fothergill to raise at SCC. Since this has been reported three times and not been cleared.


PIP funds – the 2020 event was cancelled. However, a payment was made and nothing as recorded in PC minutes or PIP meetings to authorise this.

Action: CC to ask if Steve Altria (the former Clerk) can recall anything.

Action: PC to check bank statements and look to get this refunded.


Clerk left at 20:50 returned at 20:57

SH left at 20:55 returned at 21:00

MG left at 20:58 returned at 21:01

ND left at 21:02 returned at 21:04


New Matters to be carried forward


2018 New Standing Orders – to decide whether to adopt at next meeting.

Action: Chair to circulate 2018 Standing Orders.


Cllrs took a break at 21:16pm

Cllrs reconvened at 21:22pm


Councillors decided to exclude Public and Press for these items:

The Clerk was asked if she would prefer to leave. The Chair took the following notes:


Neil projected onto the screen the Staffing Committee recommendations held on Monday 4th January 2022.


Recommendation 1 - To consider named support for a new Clerk to be the 3 Committee Chairs plus the PC Vice Chairman, as the stated ‘to go’ points to provide better support for the Clerk. The Job Descriptions were also amended as suggested.

Proposed: ND: Seconded: PB: Agreed unanimously.


Recommendation 2 – To appoint an assistant to the Clerk/administrator. BB said that at only 40 hours a month it needs to be checked if there is a requirement to offer a Pension to the Assistant to the Clerk. It was agreed to investigate this. Proposed by ND: Seconded CC. Agreed unanimously. Action: BB.


PB asked if we were getting a Clerk + Assistant together or separately. ND said we should concentrate on recruiting a Clerk first and once in situ begin the recruitment for the Assistant to the Clerk.


Recommendation 3 - To seek qualified locum support or a part time clerk on locum rates. Proposed ND; Seconded BB: Agreed unanimously.


Recommendation 4 - To appoint Steve Altria to take on the finance role at locum rates, until a Clerk is in situ, subject to Public Liability status. The Chair said that she did not agree with this, particularly as there had been little hand over to the current Clerk. BB said the handover had been difficult before due to Covid restrictions and SA was in the process of moving to Wales. ND read out SE’s reservations and the Chair also expressed her concerns that it was a bad idea. PB said SA had given good service during the time he worked for the Parish Council. Proposed SH; Seconded BB; 7 agreed,1 abstention with the Chair requesting it be minuted that she was against the recommendation.


Recommendation 5 – To appoint an Auditor. Jill Lacombe had provided a Draft Audit, PB asked that quotes for the Year End be submitted from both Auditors and a decision to be made at the February meeting.


Recommendation 6 – A weekly/monthly surgery be held in the Village Hall, possibly at the same time as the Police surgery, and staffed by the Clerk. The Chair said this would take hours out of the allocated Clerk’s 80 hours and could cause time issues for the Clerk and that the Police might prefer to have privacy in case any member of the public raised a private matter. After discussion, PB suggested setting up a table on the 3rd Saturday each month in the Village Hall at the Produce Market to be staffed by a Councillor taken from an earlier prepared Rota system. It was agreed principle to set up a surgery. PB, MG, and BB said they would work on a proposal for the February meeting. Proposed PB: Seconded: BB: Agreed unanimously.


Recommendation 7 – Training for Councillors. It was agreed that this was a good idea and SALC should be asked if they could put one on for the Councillors, possibly by Zoom. Proposed: ND: Seconded PT: Agreed unanimously.


CC said there were quite a lot of courses available, and the PC needed to agree which ones should be done. CC said he had a list of courses and would ask Councillors to let him know what courses they had done, so he could add names against the courses on the list. Action: All Cllrs


The Clerk’ Job description. After discussion BB said the suggested Job Description should show that the Clerk is responsible to the full PC. BB suggested it should read “Reports to SC”. Peter said the Clerk should be responsible to the Chair, Vice Chair, Staffing Chair and Finance Chair. Neil said that the Staffing Committee TORs state it is the Staffing Committee and reporting to 5 people would be difficult for the Clerk. It was agreed the Clerk would report to the Chair of the SC. Brenda pointed out that the Clerk’s hours and Assistant to the Clerk’s hours should include “evenings”. Proposed: BB: Seconded: MG: Unanimously agreed.


ND will write to Karen Hutchings, the Caretaker, to inform her of her pay rise and holiday. She still had not received her amended contract. ND said SALC had been asked to review it but had not yet done so. Action: ND.


The applicant for the Role of Clerk. The committee said that the applicant would be interviewed. If the Staffing Committee interview panel think she would be a suitable Clerk, then an extraordinary PC meeting would be called to appoint her. If unsuitable a budget of 5K was set for advertising both roles but it was suggested that the free adverts should go out first – Facebook, other Parish Councils, our website etc. Proposed: PT: Seconded: ND: Agreed unanimously. Action: Staffing Committee


Meeting finished at 10.10pm


Ros Moreton, CSM PC Clerk 07708680797 Email clerk@creechstmichael.net








Appendix 1


Coronavirus infection rates: As of 31st December the number of confirmed Covid cases in Somerset was 83,300 (22% up from 68,307 on 30th September) and the number of Covid-attributed deaths 977. The rate per 100,000 stands at 766.6 (435.2) for Somerset with Mendip at 892.0 (564.1), Sedgemoor at 756.6 (418.1), South Somerset 684.3 (505.5) and SW&T at 770.4 (276.6). The number of total deaths across the County is currently level with the 5-year average and the latest R-value for Somerset is between 0.9 and 1.1


Infection rates in Somerset continue to be extremely high. With the new Omicron variant it is important, even for those who have had both jabs, to remember to follow Government guidance on wearing masks, to continue to observe Social Distancing and to always ventilate indoor areas.


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

Vaccination programmes roll-out: Somerset continues to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country with the latest figures showing over 95.8% of the 18+ population having had one dose of vaccine and 93.2% having had both doses. IN total 50.9% of the adult population have also received their booster.

Local Government Reorganisation: Following the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) decision to support the move to a single Unitary Council across Somerset it is expected that statutory orders will shortly be laid before Parliament with an agreed vesting date of April 2023. The first elections to the new authority together with Somerset Town and Parish elections will be held on 5th May 2022.

Pay boost for Somerset Carers: Somerset County Council and the NHS have announced a £4.8m investment to increase pay and recognise the vital contribution of carers in Somerset.  The Council are proposing a 9% uplift to domiciliary care providers who agree to pay all their staff a minimum of £10.50 per hour; a retention bonus of £250 for those who have been working in registered care for the last 6 months; and a £250 payment for new starters in domiciliary care. The funding for these changes has been jointly agreed and funded by Somerset County Council and the NHS, as social care is crucial in supporting people leaving hospital and in the community.  There are currently a number of vacant social care roles and to find out more visit www.proudtocaresomerset.org.uk/jobs

Appeal for return of healthcare equipment: Healthcare equipment is loaned on behalf of the NHS and social care teams when people leave hospital or after a period of illness, to help them stay safe at home and retain their independence. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased demand for this equipment and created shortages in supply. To book a free collection so that equipment can be reused to help others call Millbrook Healthcare on 0333 003 2407.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans: SCC has unveiled plans for major new safe cycling and walking routes in the county to help create greener, healthier and more active streets. The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) for Yeovil and Taunton are the first to be published – they’ll be followed by plans for Bridgwater and Frome and funding has been netted to draw up plans for three other towns. Having a plan in place is key to unlocking Government funding to build the infrastructure and enable people in Somerset to choose to walk or cycle to work, school, the shops or for other short trips for the benefit of people’s health and the environment.

Reporting faults on the Highway: Utilising a new upgraded online system with an improved interactive map, members of the public can report a highways problem 24/7. From potholes, blocked drains and broken manhole covers, to mud on the road, overgrown vegetation, damaged pavements or cycle paths, faulty traffic lights or missing markings – they can all be reported in just minutes from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The full range is available via www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-on-the-road/

Reaching Carbon Zero: As part of Somerset County Council’s commitment to decarbonise its buildings Yeovil Library has undergone a transformation to make the building greener and more energy efficient. The project has seen a new air source heat pump installed to heat the building in a more sustainable way, lamps changed to LEDs, new thermally efficient windows, improved ventilation with carbon dioxide monitors, and significant additional insulation. The measures will save approximately 27 tonnes of carbon each year. The investment is part of a wider SCC scheme to decarbonise and make the Council’s buildings more environmentally friendly and will cover 12 projects including Taunton Library, Frome Library, Glastonbury Hub, and County Hall. Early estimates indicate that the delivery of the various schemes could reduce SCC’s carbon output by around 27% – around 400 tonnes of carbon per annum. All the remaining projects aside from County Hall are due to be complete by March 2022.

Applications for school places 2022: All children starting school for the first time in September 2022, as well as those moving between infant and junior or first and middle school applications must be submitted by Saturday 15 January 2022.

Appendix 2


10 January 2022 CSM PC Meeting – Financial Transactions Report



Bills to consider for payment

Payment

Amount in £ (inc VAT)



Clarke Wilmott Solicitors- General Employment advice

L Online

2,496.00



Payments made since last report

Payment (L=Lloyds Acc)

Amount in £
(inc VAT)

146

Utilia Pavilion gas- October

L Online

4.03

147

3D Security Rec Park lock up

L Online

690.00

148

3D Security Rec Park lock up

L Online

552.00

149

Somerset Forge - Finger Posts

L Online

1,032.00

150

EDF (Engine Shed Elect. Acc 671119305698 ) DEC

L DD

40.00

151

EDF (Pavilion elect Acc.671119306523 ) DEC

L DD

46.00

152

Abel Alarms - padlocks

L Online

230.40

153

Reflections Bus shelter cleaning

L Online

75.00

154

CSM Village Hall Nov Lettings

L Online

93.00

155

Steve Altria - Website domain annual fee

L Online

19.19

156

SALC Councillor Essentials 28/10/2021 (MG)

L Online

25.00

157

Clerk's expenses (Dec )

L Online

55.91

158

HRMC tax on salaries (Dec )

L Online

288.73

159

Caretaker's salary (Dec )

L Online

XXXX

160

Clerk's salary (Dec)

L Online

XXXX

161

Utilia Pavilion gas- November

L Online

3.90

162

Tesco (mobile phone top up ) Clerk's phone

L D Card

10.00

163

Lloyds Bank Charges (10 Nov - 9 Dec 2021)

L DD

7.00

164

EDF (Engine Shed Elect. Acc 671119305698 )JAN

L DD

40.00

165

EDF (Pavilion elect Acc.671119306523) JAN

L DD

46.00


Payments already approved to pay on receipt of invoices;

Those on the Annually approved list of routine payments [see minute 19/216 (7i and minute 21/184]as listed overleaf.

Recruitment of New Clerk/Locum Costs As delegated to Personnel Sub at 10th May Mtg.

Rec Park Improvement Work Ground Works budget

CYP Items funded by Flower Show £250/Remainder of PCs Grant £70/SCC Grant £500

SCC/Porter Dodson Solicitors Canal carpark documenting ROW.

Grant 4 Neighbourhood Watch Signs for Ham Village (and further 4 Ham Road funded by WW) £120



Income since last meeting



IN25

SW Lottery

Lottery Proceeds

£12.50


PIP


NIL


Ros Moreton

Clerk/ RFO CSM PC 10 January 2022


Reported to Council and authorised for payment……………………………………………………….… Chair 10 January 2022