/ Parish Council / Minutes / 6th December 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 6 December 2021


Councillor attendance

Cllr Annabelle Peters – Chair

AP

present

Cllr Sarah Elliott

SE

present

Cllr Simon Hutchings - Vice Chair 

SH

absent

Cllr Margaret Gover

MG

present

Cllr Brenda Brighton

BB

present

Cllr Yamina Guest

YG

apologies

Cllr Peter Brown

PB

present

Cllr Diane Phillips

DP

apologies

Cllr Charlie Cudlip

CC

present

Cllr Paul Tucker

PT

present

Cllr Neil Davidson left and returned during minute 242

ND

present





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

Meeting started at 7:00pm


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 Phillips

Proposed by SE | Seconded by ND all in favour

Cllrs agreed to accept the apologies of Cllr Guest

Proposed by BB | Seconded by PB all in favour

It was noted Cllrs Hutchings was absent

Declarations of Interests.
4.1 Declarations of Individual Members -
ND – confirmed a conflict of interest - as has pecuniary interest in the Canal car park.

4.2 Dispensation Request The Clerk on 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 and at the next meeting on 10 January 2022

Proposed by PB | Seconded by PT | all in favour

CSMPC Code of Conduct
1. In light of recent observations of poor standards of communication between PC members,

SE made a statement regarding the Code of Conduct and raised her concerns that standards had fallen and for CSMPC to be considered a robust and forward-thinking local council that represents the wider community, SE asked Cllrs to agree to update the Code of Conduct to reflect this.

AP asked that Standing Orders were also updated in line with the SALC 2018 edition.

The Clerk also suggested a Communications Policy to help improve the standards required for a PC.

Cllrs agreed to update the CSM PC Code of Conduct to include all communication formats and to address bullying and harassment. To update the Standing Orders and to introduce a Communications Policy.


Proposed by SE | Seconded by MG | all in favour

Action: SE and Clerk to work to draft a new Code of Conduct for approval at the PC, using the SALC and SW&T model documents as the basis.

Action: Clerk to draft any changes to the 2018 SALC Standing Orders model document that would be relevant to CSMPC, for the PC to agree and vote on.

Action: Clerk to draft a Communications Policy for the PC to agree and vote on.

2.Cllrs discussed if additional Cllr training is needed to keep the PC up to date. Refresher training can be offered for the full PC as well as individually. A log of all Cllr training and when training was completed will be introduced.
Action: SE and Clerk to research and work with the Staffing Committee on new policies [Code of Conduct, Standing Orders and Communications Policy to approve at full PC.

Action: Clerk to create a log of Cllr training.

Action: Clerk to advise what refresher training is available for Cllrs.

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

MinutesCllrs agreed the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2021 were an accurate record. (These had previously been circulated to Cllrs) The Chair signed a copy of the minutes for the records.

Proposed by AP | BB seconded | all in favour

Matters arising- from the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2021 [Clerk’s report]

The Clerk’s report had previously been circulated to the Cllrs.

Planning

1.Planning applications. Cllrs considered the following application/s and made observations


Ref

Date

Proposal

Comments

14/21/0040/LEW

12/11/2021

Application for a Certificate of Lawful Development for the existing use of land as a vehicle depot operating 24 hours a day at South West Crane Hire, Creech Mills, Creech St Michael

Please see statement below

14/21/0013

22/11/2021

Application for approval of Outline application with all matters reserved except for access for the change of use of agricultural land, for the erection of cafe, associated outdoor seating area, access and parking on land south of canal side car park, Vicarage Lane, Creech St Michael

To SUPPORT. The scheme is explicitly identified in Policy CSM 8 of the CSM Neighbourhood Development Plan and the amendments do not change the previous position of the Parish Council.



Planning 14/21/0013

Proposed by SE | Seconded by BB | 7 in favour [ND abstained as he had a conflict of interest and left the room during this vote]

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

14/21/0040/LEW – the following statement was read out at the meeting.

CSM PC are not yet in a position to provide comments on this application, for the following reasons:

  1. CSM PC are waiting for further clarification which SWT are going to request from the applicant on the nature of the existing lawful development which they are seeking. To ensure clarity for residents this should clearly specify if is
    a) the previous use operated between 2001-2010 by Upstream Pipeline or
    b) the existing use of the site by South West Crane Hire which has been acknowledged to require planning permission and subsequently refused.

  2. CSM PC are also waiting for neighbours and residents of Mill Lane to be consulted in their own right by SWT Council. In particular, this would give them the opportunity to assist SWT with evidence, or reasonable grounds, to believe that claims of use in the application are not correct.

CSM PC will continue to monitor the planning applications website for the clarification details.

Finance 

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

Proposed by PB | Seconded by CC | all in favour

Action: Clerk to make the approved payments.


2.Budget 2022-2023 – The Finance Committee recommend a draft budget and precept options to the PC for 2022-2023 (report already circulated) PB asked for clarity from Cllrs in what the PC want to do in the 2022-2023 financial year to help set the budget. The Precept will need to be voted and agreed at the 10th January 2022 PC meeting. Cllrs were asked to consider the draft and invited to ask any questions, so that the precept request can be agreed at the Jan 2022 PC meeting.

Action: Cllrs in particular Panel Chairs (Canal and Rec Park), to share what budgets for 2022-2023 are needed so these can be agreed at full PC.

Action: To arrange an extraordinary meeting versus an exploratory meeting in the next two weeks to check the PC have considered all the ambitions for the year ahead and what implications these would have on a budget.

[note: Clerk advised she does not have capacity to support an Extraordinary meeting in December, as this will take her over her hours]


3.Grants- Cllrs agreed the criteria for awarding grants put forward by the Finance Committee.

SE suggested (as referred to in the bid) that one councillor supports three grant awardees.

Action: Clerk to add SE comments to the draft Grants criteria

Action: Cllrs and Clerk to pro actively approach groups and invite them to apply for the award. [see Community Action Plan for identified demographics]

Unparished area consultation - Cllrs discussed the SW&T consultation for an Unparished Town Council [deadline 12 Jan 2022]. Cllrs recognised that CSMPC may be an area the unparished Town Council looks to add at a later date, particularly as two questions in the consultation refer to “surrounding areas”. Cllrs agreed to support neighbouring PC West Monkton who have a strong village identity like CSMPC. CSMPC would refer to WMPC as a basis for their response.

Action: BB and SE to liaise with WMPC, as a basis for the CSMPC response.

Action: Clerk to add Unparished area consultation response to Jan 2022 PC agenda.

Parish Committees, Panels and Working groups responsibilities and terms

On the advice of the Clerk, this item was deferred. The Clerk reported back from the recent interim audit that the PC needs to ensure transparency and scrutiny on all PC decision making. The Clerk was concerned some work was being done in silos and that operational tasks were going ahead without full PC approval. The Clerk advised that Cllrs should focus on strategy and make recommendations to the PC. Operational tasks should be the responsibility of the Clerk, [as Proper Officer.] This would reduce risk and ensure activities don’t compromise the PC insurance.

Clerk suggested a Strategy/Team Day to identify shorter term working groups to get specific tasks done and linked into the community.

Action: Clerk to bring this item back to a PC meeting in 2022

Panel and Working Groups


1.Planning, Developments & Transport Panel – PB gave a verbal update:

A358 consultation; CSMPC have made their submission.

Traffic calming in CSM. Work starts from 13 December. The white lines will be done overnight.

The Monkton Heathfield 2 development application to SW&T is imminent. [note majority of buildings will be in the CSM parish, despite the name]

2.Canal Panel- ND gave a verbal update (and had already circulated the panel’s notes from their latest meeting)

There is potentially a rights of way issue, Cllrs discussed the risks and how these were being addressed.

Clls discussed that an agreed budget had already been identified through the Connecting Communities grant for some of the proposed works in their report like the Canal signage and leaflet drop encouraging visitors. The pontoon proposal would need to come through the Grants application process, as this was not stated in the funding.

Clls agreed to complete (via the solicitors) the Deed of Easement for the Canal car park [access rights]

Proposed by PB | Seconded by PT | all in favour

Action: Clerk to inform the solicitors to complete the Deed of Easement.


3.Youth – Cllrs discussed the history of the Youth Panel and its support in the community. All recommendations would be put forward by any PC member for full PC approval. The Community Youth Panel had recently asked CSMPC for some support moving into 2022.


4.Rec Park Panel- no update available.

Clls agreed 3D Security’s Christmas schedule with additional costs, with the amendment that the Clerk would seek to reduce the costs if possible, proposing a flexible lock up time over the Bank Holidays (if possible)

Proposed by ND | Seconded by PT | all in favour

Action: Clerk to seek a reduced cost on the Bank Holidays if a flexible arrangement can be agreed. Otherwise, Clerk to agree schedule and note additional costs.


Cllrs also discussed an inventory for the keys held at the Rec Park. The Clerk reminded Cllrs they had agreed to email a list of PC property they each held, so a log could be made.
Action: CC to share a keys log as an example.

PIP working group – This item had been agreed to be discussed in January

Comms and Website working group – no update this month


Footpaths/ Rights of Way – summary from the Parish Footpath volunteers (already circulated)

Correspondence

CC updated he had heard from some residents about the parish Speed Watch.

Action: Clerk to add Speed Watch article to Facebook to encourage more people to join.

Action: AP will ask in the Ham group for volunteer Speed Watch members.

New Matters to be carried forward

  • The CSMPC Precept decision- Jan 2022 Agenda item

  • Party in the Park – to set up an informal meeting.

Action: Clerk to invite community members who represent Party in the Park to meet with Cllrs to discuss the next steps. [CC to send details to the Clerk of who to invite)

Council to decide to exclude Public and Press for these items

.


The meeting ended at 10.30 pm
Ros Moreton, CSM PC Clerk 07708680797 Email clerk@creechstmichael.net


Appendix 1


Coronavirus infection rates: As of 29th November, the number of confirmed Covid cases in Somerset was 68,307 (18% up from 57,072 on 30th September) and the number of Covid-attributed deaths 927. The rate per 100,000 stands at 435.2 (709.7) for Somerset with Mendip at 564.1 (853.9), Sedgemoor at 418.1 (653.5), South Somerset 505.5 (668.3) and SW&T at 276.6 (713.0). The number of total deaths across the County is currently 8% above the 5-year average and the latest R-value for Somerset is between 0.8 and 1.0.


Infection rates in Somerset continue to be very 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 91.3% of the 18+ population having had one dose of vaccine and 88.3% having had both doses. To date 83% of over 80-year old’s have had the booster with 56% of all over 50. Work is focusing on Children aged 12-15 years old where the current vaccination level is 49.7%. In total, in Somerset 126,000 doses (including boosters) are being delivered a week.

Local Government Reorganisation: Following the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (now renamed Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities DLUHC)) decision to support the move to a single Unitary Council across Somerset the transition programme, lead teams and governance structure have been agreed by all Councils. A LGR Joint Committee to oversee the transition sat for the first time on 5th November 2021 and will meet again on December 17th. A Joint Scrutiny Board is now being formed by approval through the five Councils. The Advisory Board met for the third time in Donyatt on 25th November. It is expected that statutory orders will be laid before Parliament in January 2022 with an agreed vesting date for the new authority as April 2023.


The Queens Platinum Jubilee: In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking seventy years on the throne. To help Somerset play its part in celebrating The Queen’s legacy, a new website has been launched: https://platinumjubileesomerset.org.uk/. There are already various plans for celebrations across the County to mark the Jubilee, including a four-day national Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June through to Sunday 5 June. The Platinum Jubilee Somerset website features information about how individuals and communities can get involved either through the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme, by registering a beacon, or by organising a street party.

Community renewal funds: Eight projects in Somerset are to benefit by more than £3.6m thanks to successful bids to the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund. The County Council invited applications from a wide range businesses and organisations across the county for submission to Government in June this year. The successful projects include ‘Unlocking Somerset Prosperity (£726,000) which provides innovative support for 210 businesses across the County; Bridgwater Carnival Workshops Design and Feasibility (£270,300) and Social Enterprise Support Programme for Somerset (£601,399) which helps community and voluntary Groups to build greater resilience.

Reaching Carbon Zero (1): Somerset County Council has commissioned Climate Guide to run a series of free, accredited Carbon Literacy training days for City, Town, and Parish Councils. The training is designed to help local authorities understand the actions they can take to help combat climate change effectively. SCC has also launched its new Climate Emergency webpage https://www.somerset.gov.uk/climate-emergency/ which will provide a hub for anyone wanting information about Somerset’s work towards tackling climate change including the latest environmental news for Somerset, information and tips for individuals and organisations on how they can reduce their carbon footprints. 

Reaching Carbon Zero (2): A new £7.3 million primary school is set to become Somerset’s first net zero carbon school, and only the third ‘passivhaus’ school in the south west. The new 420-place primary school, which includes a 60-place nursery, will serve the Orchard Grove housing development in Comeytrowe has been designed by architect firm Stride Treglown to minimise any environmental impact in line with Somerset’s commitment to achieve carbon zero by 2030.

The England coastal path: SCC’s Rights of Way team have completed work on a major new section of the English Coastal Path around the Doniford section. The decision to create the footway was part of the original establishment works for the England Coast Path and marks the completion of one of the last pieces of major work on the England Coast Path in Somerset

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. www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions


Appendix 2


6 December 2021 CSM PC Meeting – Financial Transactions Report


Bills to consider for payment

Payment

Amount in £

(inc VAT)


Somerset Forge - Finger Posts

L Online

1,032.00


Payments made

Payment (L=Lloyds Acc)

Amount in £
(inc VAT)

EDF (Engine Shed Elect)

L DD

40.00

EDF (Pavilion elect Acc.671119306523

L DD

46.00

SWTC (6x Grass cutting + 13 Weeks Dog bin Emptying)

L Online

2,066.64

Reflections Bus shelter cleaning

L Online

75.00

Porter Dodson– completion fees, Canal Car park, Deed of Easement

L Online

2,066.00

Somerset Playing Fields’ Association

L Online

15.00

SALC How to Budget Effectively training 11/10/21 (Clerk

L Online 

25.00

SALC Councillor Essentials 28/10/2021 (SE)

L Online

25.00

CSM Village Hall Oct Lettings

L Online

81.00

Caretakers expenses Nov

L Online

115.91

Clerk's expenses Nov

L Online

71.86

Caretaker's salary Nov

L Online

XXXXXX

Clerk's salary (Nov+30hrs)

L Online

XXXXXX

HRMC tax on salaries

L Online

324.72

Tesco (mobile phone top up ) Clerk's phone

L Online

10.00

Lloyds Bank Charges (10 Oct - 9 Nov 2021)

L DD

7.00


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



Ruishton Football

Pitch Fees - Sept

£20.00

Tone Youth Football

Pitch Fees - Oct

£100.00

Ruishton Football

Pitch Fees - Oct

£20.00

SW Lottery

Lottery Proceeds

£10.00

PIP


NIL


Ros Moreton

Clerk CSM PC 6 December 2021


Reported to Council and authorised for payment……………………………………………………….… Chair 6 December 2021. (signed at meeting)