/ Parish Council / Minutes / 1st March 2021



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of the CSM PC held on Monday 1st March 2021

held using Zoom at 7pm.

Present: PCllrs S Greenhalgh (Chair), S Hutchings (Vice Chair), B Brighton, P Brown, C Cudlip, N Davidson,

Y Guest, J Peilow and P Tucker. (Parish Councillors). The Clerk. SCCllr D Fothergill. No members of the Public attended.


21/44. Chairman’s Welcome. SG welcomed all and Chaired the meeting.


21/45. Apologies. PCllr A Gunstone (reason accepted). SWTCllr D Durdan.


21/46. Declarations of Interest. (1) Declarations of Individual Members. SH re the caretaker. ND re Canal Panel see min 21/60 (6). Neither item required votes.


21/47. Vacancy on the PC. The PC still has a vacancy that it can fill by co-option. Given the PC decision (see Oct 2019 mtg item 19/187 mtg) that individuals to be considered should have attended at least two meetings it is anticipated a decision will not be made before the May 21 mtg. (Anyone interested in becoming a PCllr should speak to the Clerk soonest).


21/48. SWTC Councillors’ Report. No report. SG asked if KD had replied yet on the PC’s written request to attend PC meetings, to ask that the SWTC maintenance grant be increased and that SWTC pay for a lifebuoy for Derham Close canal bank. The Clerk advised KD had been fully briefed on the maintenance grant, a call had been made to remind her along with other reminders and a letter but that no response had been received to the letter.

Action. Clerk to write to KD again copied to SWTC Monitoring Officer.


21/49. SCC Councillors’ Report. DF advised:


(1) Pre-8th March Covid-19 Restrictions: Currently residents must stay at home, they must not leave, or be outside of their home except where necessary. They cannot leave to meet socially with anyone they do not live with or are not in a support bubble with. Residents should not travel outside their local area.


(2) Road Map out of lockdown: From 8 March - All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in an outdoor public space will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic. From 29 March - Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed including gatherings in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also return


(3) Coronavirus infection rates: As at 26th February the number of confirmed Covid cases in Somerset was 18,890 (up from 16,417 on 29th January) and the number of Covid-attributed deaths 722 (469). The rate per 100,000 stands at 71.5 for Somerset and SW&T at 52.2. The current number of total deaths across the County is currently 1% below the 5-year average and the latest R-value for Somerset is between 0.6 and 0.9. It is vitally important to remember, even those who have had a jab, to observe Hands-Face-Space at all times.


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


(5) Vaccination programme roll-out: Teams across the wider health and care system have worked round the clock at 13 GP-led community vaccination sites, two hospital hubs, two large vaccination centres (Taunton Racecourse and the Bath and West Showground) plus four local pharmacy sites. As a result, Somerset has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country with the latest figures showing 194,938 having received at least their first vaccination in the County or 42% of the 16+ population. Only Dorset at 44% are above Somerset in the list of County vaccination rates.

(6) Somerset County Council Finances: SCC recently approved the budget for 2021/22 including an additional £10.2m investment into adult social care services, an additional £9m into children’s services, £6.5m on climate emergency projects, and £130m in major infrastructure schemes such as roads and schools with £74m of new projects approved. A new £10.8m Emergency Fund has been established for activities to combat coronavirus and its impacts. Importantly the budget also includes a commitment to continue the extended Free School Meals provision for vulnerable families over the Easter holidays.


(7) Great Western Freeport: Somerset has a played a key role in the bid to develop a new Great Western Freeport – an area designed to create conditions for inward investment, business growth and job creation. The Government wants to create up to 10 Freeports around the UK, and partners including the West of England Combined Authority have submitted plans to create a Great Western Freeport. The area would include Bristol Port, the Gravity Campus (Junction 21 Enterprise Area) and Avonmouth. Gravity would focus on clean growth and attracting hi-tech companies manufacturing electric cars, artificial intelligence, and robotics. It is expected to create approximately 4,000 jobs.


(8) Step up to social work: Somerset County Council is opening the recruitment round for aspiring social workers across the region to join the 14-month Step Up to Social Work programme, to provide training for hundreds more children and family social workers to support children and families most in need. Of the 58 places being offered across the region, 12 are being offered in Somerset. Students receive a bursary during the duration of the programme to support them whilst in training. To date eighteen new social workers have qualified in Somerset with a further ten due this year. The Step-Up programme runs every two years. Applications are open until 7 April 2021.


(9) Investing in communities: SCC have opened two additional Enterprise Centres in Wells and Wiveliscombe.


(10) Additional funding for Citizens Advice: During the coronavirus pandemic, Citizens Advice in Somerset have stepped up. Up to £400k extra funding from SCCouncil will be used to develop and sustain the County-wide service.



(11) One Somerset: The government has begun a public consultation into changing the way local councils work in Somerset including the County Council’s ambition to replace the county’s five existing councils with a simple, single unitary model. This would end confusion for residents, remove waste and duplication, and free up funding to invest in vital public services. It would also offer more powers for local Town and Parish Councils and one strong voice to lobby for funding and support. To take part in the Government’s consultation visit https://consult.communities.gov.uk/governance-reform-and-democracy/somerset/


21/50. Minutes of the PC Meeting held on 1st February 2021. (These had been previously circulated to PCllrs). The minutes of the 1st February mtg were agreed. The minutes were then authorised to be signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed BB, Seconded SG, all voted for bar ND who abstained.


21/51. Matters Arising from the minutes of the 1st February 2021 Mtg. The Clerk having previously circulated a report reported that:

20/134(7) Banking. No change. He has yet to apply to open a Deposit Acc with Nationwide Bdg Soc. ND and PT now had online authorisation.


20/175. Footpaths/Rights of Way. No change. 11.3 Bull Street Waste Bin EA permission now granted, SH/CC to install waste bin on the Bull St ramp.


(5) SWTC Local Plan SHLAA. The Clerk having circulated SWTC’s maps explained that Council as part of their local plan work had approached local landowners and developers with a “Call for sites”. These had yet to be subject to either SWTC evaluation or to a planning application. The Clerk suggested that representations be made to SWTC to support the site being included within the MH2 development as this would facilitate passage from CSM to/from Walford Cross and the green necklace envisaged between. The Clerk wrote to Nick Bryant at SWTC and received a reply from Ann Rhodes saying it would be considered alongside the local plan and advising a new officer had been appointed to manage MH2. In the interim pending the officer starts agreement was reached in principle that Rebecca Miller would meet with the PC but a date for the meeting requested has yet to be forthcoming.


20/196. Rec Park (2) Rec Park Panel. No change. CS is currently looking at noticeboard costs and external funding. JP to develop booking system further. AG to raise issues at Panel mtg - the need for a sign to warn about kite flying near cabling at the bottom of the Rec Park, the Play Inspector’s report stating the need for a sign for the outdoor gym equipment stating height and age requirements (larger sign), the app referred to on the notice doesn’t work (Sutcliffe’s should shortly activate as they’ve now been paid).

(5) Play Equipment Project. The Clerk advised that £354.39 remained and suggested an item be purchased for the Rec Park. It was agreed the panel is to make a decision. Rec Park Panel decided to put on hold pending acquisition of a noticeboard.

20/197. Village Hall AV equipment. No change. PC’s agreed grant of £1k be held back in order that a drop-down screen and a projector from a different supplier be examined in order for PB to try and get a cost nearer the budget; noting as the main user the PC may need to top this up if not achieved.

12.3 Dog bin. Request for additional bin. It was agreed to purchase and site a bin by the existing Canal and River Trust sign about 8 metres from the bridge (Creech side) nr Cathill Farm. Clerk asked Canal Trust for permission to install and this has now been granted so the Clerk is discussing installation at present. Clerk has also written to the resident that suggested an additional bin was required.it has now been agreed that the Canal Trust will provide and site the bin and the PC will empty.


20/200 and 21/16 Canal. A bollard is suggested rather than a gate in order to stop overnight parking without blocking other forms of access and location is to be agreed subject to establishing who owned a stretch of the road. Clerk has established ownership of road and written to them and is awaiting replies. Follow up calls to letter left with request to telephone.


20/203. Bull St Waste Bin. No change. JP asked when this would be put in place. JP advised that there is a Bat roost in the pill box and suggested a sign be placed to deter disturbing the bats. It was agreed the canal panel would examine this and it was agreed a sign would be ordered. The Clerk has ordered this and it is ready for collection.


21/13. Rec Park. (2) Rec Park Panel. YG to contact Marine Fitness to see if they can be more flexible. AG to get keys cut. Clerk is currently developing a job request sheet.


21/30. Personnel Sub Cttee. DF obtained a copy of the NJC Green Book. Sub Ctte still to do Caretakers Review. Clerk to then arrange DBS.


21/32. Highways. (3) Hyde Lane Closure. It was noted that works under traffic lights had commenced and that Hyde Lane from Hollingsworth Estate to the junction with West View would be closed from 15th February 2021 for 5 days to enable SCC (Small Improvement Scheme) to construct speed tables and to carry out resurfacing work, plus other road improvements.


21/33. Footpaths. The Clerk has made the Canal Trust aware again of the need to undertake repairs to the 2 bridges.


21/35. Canal. Damaged fencing along the edge of the road between Ryescot and the Canal. The Canal Trust had agreed to replace with bollards along the canal bank as a fence may cause further issues to the bank (in order to mark the edge of the road) and to replace the fence near the bridge by the main road. He suggested that the PC request replacement with fencing. Clerk had asked the Canal trust to replace all the damaged fencing with fencing. On receipt of their reply has responded again asking for fencing not posts.

(3). Clerk has organised a meeting of the Canal Trust with the Canal Panel.

(4). Derham Close Lifebuoy. The Clerk has asked the District Councillors to seek SWTC funding of a lifebuoy.


21/37. Climate Emergency Community Fund. SCC have delayed their decision making on the applications to the fund in order to facilitate staff secondment to support Covid vaccination work. In the interim they have asked applicants to provide more information ahead of a 19th Feb deadline. No new date for a decision has been stated.

The Clerk has provided more information to SCC ahead of the 19th with help from Village Hall Ctte.


21/52. Minutes of the PC Meeting held on 11th February 2021. (These had been previously circulated to PCllrs). The minutes of the 11th February mtg were amended at 21/43 to read “Cllr Hutchings proposed, seconded by Cllr Brighton that the proposal for the purchase of the Rec Park dog signage as previously circulated (5 "No dog" signs from RT signs), be agreed.  All voted for.  A general discussion then ensued (Cllr Guest joined the meeting) and the meeting concluded at 7.15 pm.” The minutes were then authorised to be signed and dated by the Chair as an accurate record of the meeting”. SG proposed, CC seconded, all voted for bar SG who abstained.


21/53. Matters Arising from the minutes of the 11th February 2021 Mtg. 21/43. Rec Park Signage. The Clerk having previously circulated his report highlighted that SH and CC have installed the 5 NO Dog signs.


21/54. Planning. (1) Applications. The following applications were considered and observations agreed;

Date

Ref

Application

Outcome

5 2 21


14/21/0001

6 Charlton Road Cottages, Charlton Road, CSM. Replacement of porch and erection of a single storey extension to the front.

Not to Support. An explanation of the reasons why was set out for Planners.

BB proposed, Seconded SG. All voted for.

10 2 21


14/21/0002

Coombe Water, Coombe Lane, West Monkton. Notification to remove 44 metres of hedgerow on land to the rear.

Observed were unable to visit due to Covid and insufficient detail in application.

BB proposed, Seconded SH. All voted for.

17 2 21 .

14/21/0003

Top Cottage, Coombe Lane, West Monkton. Erection of a two-storey extension to the front

Unable to Support. An explanation of the reasons why was set out for Planners.

BB proposed, Seconded SG. All voted for.

(2) Planning enforcement. It was noted that SWTC had examined a wall in excess of 1m to front of 31 Derham Close, CSM E/0037/14/21 and determined to take no action. A breach of condition 2 of planning application 14/13/0036 at the Old Mill, North End, CSM E/0025/14/21 is being addressed.


(3) West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine PC’s have issued a Draft Revised Neighbourhood Plan with a nine-week Consultation Period 22 February to 30 April 2021. The PC authorised the MH2 panel to draft a response.

Proposed SG, Seconded PB. All voted for.

Action. MH2 panel to agree response to the consultation.


21/55. Finance. The Clerk reported that the;

(1) Routine Payments paid since the Feb Meeting (schedule previously circulated); The Clerks, Caretakers and Parish Lengthsmans Wages, HMRC and SCC Pension Fund payments, Clerks Feb Expenses £98.45, Lloyds Bank (Bank Charges 10 1 21 to 9 2 21) £7.85, RT Signs (5 No dog signs for Rec Park) £195.00.

(2) Payments authorised to be made - SWTC (Qtr 3 Grass Cutting and Dog Bin Charges) £1,134.72, Information Commissioner Office (Registration Fee) £35. Proposed PB, Seconded CC. All voted for.

(3) Monies Received and banked since the last meeting; SW Lottery (Proceeds Feb) £8.00 and HMRC (Vat Reclaim 1.5.20 -31 12 .20) £9,142.04.


21/56. Rec Park. JP advised that the panel had not needed to meet this month but would be shortly looking for volunteers to create a Rec Park volunteer army. YG highlighted that after rain the old MUGA puddles. BB enquired about the colouring Comp; YG confirmed that though a winner had yet to be selected there would be sweet prizes and the pictures would be laminated and displayed in the Rec Park.


21/57. Highways. (1) Hyde Lane. CC reported that the improvements had been installed highlighting that the speed tables had needed to be redone by the contractor. PT added that the 20mph flashing lights have yet to be installed. (2) Tunnels under the M5. It was noted that Highways England are planning to undertake examinations of the two tunnels in April.


21/58. Footpaths/Rights of Way. The report of the Parish Footpath Liaison Volunteers was considered. The report highlighted and prioritised improvements and defects that had been put forward by residents. The PC whilst supportive were reminded by BB that responsibility for maintenance rests with the Landowner and by SH that SCC gives them grants. DF confirmed and offered to send detail of SCC scheme. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to SCC highlighting the priorities and asking for the improvements to be implemented in conjunction with the Landowners. The Clerk gave an indication of cost and suggested that an additional £500 be set aside from this year’s underspend to the £500 already in the budget to give a total reserve of £1k; this too was agreed. Proposed PB, Seconded BB. All voted for both.

Action. Clerk to write to SCC asking for improvements to be implemented.


21/59. Website. (A report of the task and finish group had been previously circulated recommending (1) The Parish Council should retain the current provider on the terms set out above. (2) A Website Editorial Panel should be set up to be responsible for updating and maintaining the content of the website. This should include non-Parish Council members as appropriate. (3) The website Panel should have devolved management of the one-off budget of £2k to fund the additional future site maintenance and system as required. The Panel to also update the village facebook site. (4) Regarding content of the website the PC agree the structure as the basis for taking forward the web site development)). PB explained the need to move the website to a modern platform and to change the content so that live content is on facebook and Parish and PC static information is on the website; with links to other sites where the detailed information is held. A demo of the Parish Online system which holds data formatted on OS Maps had been seen and liked. The quotes from 3 companies had been reviewed and where judged expensive, constraining or requires significant local input. In contrast the current supplier has offered to put effort into a new system, has good knowledge of the PC requirements and is relatively inexpensive; indeed, he has already done a lot of work towards developing a new system and has offered to do required Technical work and fixes at an estimated cost of £20pcm. A template for the data structure had been circulated and suggestions are welcomed. CC explained that a new website would be written in WordPress as a new site. BB highlighted the currently experience of not delivering as promised will continue to cause problems, requests take too long. CC reminded that the alternative quotes were either very expensive or restrictive. SH suggested JM interest in joining the editorial panel. ND then asked what the time line is to which PB advised that was the next step; SG suggested that a demo be given at the May PC mtg and then a final decision can be made. PB explained he didn’t know how long it will take to develop so would need to take this back to the supplier but agreed as a target. BB recommended the group look at the N Curry website. ND highlighted that the need for a booking system was essential. It was agreed in principle to take forward a demonstration of the current supplier’s new system at the May PC mtg (Proposed JP, Seconded ND, BB voted against, SG abstained, seven voted for).

Action. PB/CC to take forward the system demo and JP to provide details of a booking system.


21/60. Canal. ND advised that; (1) The Car park closure is being planned for a day to enable contractors to address some of the trees that need attention. (2) The Clerk had made contact with the owner of the section of the road between Vicarage Lane and the Railway Bridge and had highlighted to him the need to do repairs. The Owner had asked if the PC wished to purchase it. No benefit was identified as the owner has to do repairs and there are unrestricted access rights. (3) Representation had been made to replace the damaged fencing along the edge of the road between Ryescot and the canal with fencing rather than bollards as the Canal Trust had planned. The Trust Engineer is going to consider the request. (4) Whilsht the Trust had advised repairs had been done to the two bridges there are still problems. This is to be discussed with Canal Trust. (5) The Trust had agreed to purchase and install the additional dog bin opp Cathill Farm with the PC paying for ongoing emptying. (6) Plans for a tearoom are to be submitted ahead of 4/4 two reports having been requested have had to be written by external consultants. (7) As the Footpath Volunteers had highlighted the section from the white footbridge at the car park about half way along towards Cathill Farm the condition of the tow path will be raised with the Canal Trust. There are two sections each of only about 15/20ft in length that are bad. There are also a number of ‘potholes’ the other side of the white footbridge heading toward the road bridge. (8) It was noted that foliage cuttings that had been left to the side of access track had been removed following the Clerk’s requests.

Action. The Panel to discuss these issues with the Canal Trust.


21/61. Youth Panel. It was noted that in addition to the Somerset Community Foundation decision to support the youth club to enable it to financially support the first two months following the end of Lockdown that the Community Youth Project has been funded £4,500 by the Foyle Foundation to further continue delivery to the youth of CSM. CYP have also applied to the SWTC Community Chest grant fund.

Action. Clerk to establish when the youth club will be able to reopen after the Covid Lockdown.


21/62. Correspondence. (1) Coombe. The Clerk highlighted the size of the lorry that got stuck in Coombe today. It was noted that the road signs that had been put in place stating no lorries had been removed.CC suggested bollards to stop them are required.

Action. Clerk to establish Highway’s intentions.

(2) County Council elections. Due in May these have been postponed in order that the consultations on Unitary Authority can take place.

(3) Post Covid. The Clerk advised that the Government Legislation permitting Parish Councils to hold meetings electronically expires on May 6th. As he was not aware that further legislation was being brought forward or was planned and mindful of the requirement to be socially distanced, he had that day submitted an enquiry to see if the Village Hall Main Hall would be available for meetings from May. An answer is awaited. DF highlighted that May and June meetings would need to be socially distanced business meetings as Public Meetings are not allowed until after 21st June.


21/63. New Matters to be carried forward. None.

Mtg ended 8.45pm


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


Future Meetings;

The next CSM PC mtg is on 12th April 2021 at 7pm and is to be held virtually using Zoom.

The following meeting is on 10th May when it is anticipated that this may be held in the Main Village Hall.


Please see Agenda placed on CSM Website 3 days ahead of meetings or Email the Clerk for an agenda. Zoom access code is shown in blue at the top.