ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL
held at Stert House on 17th July 2017
Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE) Dty Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL) Councillor
Sam Deacon (SD) Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB) Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH) Councillor/Clerk
1. Apologies for absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2. Chairman’s report
CB read his Chairman’s report as follows:
Elections were held in May 2017 resulting in all existing Stert councillors being returned unopposed. This would imply that Stert residents have confidence in the present Council who will continue to carry out their wishes to the best of their ability.
Several changes have occurred during the past year. Walter Fairbank of the Willows and Julie Godfrey of Crookwood Mill sadly passed away. Peter and Helen Crook of Barn Cottage have moved to Urchfont. Both Peter and Helen provided enormous support for our village in recent years: Helen recently served as Treasurer of the PC and Peter as Treasurer of the PCC. Again Stert was extremely grateful for their fundraising efforts – they were active in promoting the Stert Produce Day at the Brittox in Devizes which helped considerably in raising funds for the Church.
The PC held a Summer party at Stert House in July 2016 utilising the PC’s marquee at which the Stertian Singers performed and refreshments provided.The Annual Christmas party, hosted by the PC, was attended by approximately 60 residents with entertainment again provided by the Stertian singers. Stert PCC has introduced an innovative series of talks given by residents which have been well received. In particular our Emmy award winning composer, David Mitcham, gave a talk on his very interesting career which was moved at the last minute to Stert House in February as the Church had to be closed for repairs over a 2 month period.
The main planning issue of the past year has involved the Tinkfield Recycling Facility in which Stert PC have been closely involved with both Grist Environmental and Wiltshire Council. Negotiations are still ongoing, as minuted in the previous meeting. The other has been the future of Claironailes – Stert PC and Wiltshire both objected to plans submitted that did not conform to WC’s core strategy 2015 – 2026 and policy HC25 , adopted by Kennet Council and incorporated into WC’s planning policy in 2004.
The residents of Clock Inn Park have had access to the Stert village lane severely curtailed by the poor maintenance of the verge and hedgerows on the A342. This came to a head when John Ericson, representing the Clock Inn Residents Association, had a letter published in the Gazette complaining that WC were not acting on their urgent request. Eventually Councillor Bridget Wayman, the newly appointed WC cabinet member responsible for Highways, intervened and the verges etc have been cleared. Councillor Wayman has also indicated that she intends to have the pathway between the Clock Inn and Stert upgraded within the next 3 months. This will be monitored by John Ericson and reported upon to the PC.
Although the footbridge near Byde Farm, used by many walkers, was repaired temporarily, it finally collapsed due to heavy winter rains and had to be closed to walkers . It was rebuilt satisfactorily in the Summer of 2016. Footpaths in the vicinity of Crookwood Mill Farm have also been surveyed and cleared.
The Chairman would like to take this opportunity to thank all councillors for their support and hard work during the year. In particular, the PC would like to thank Councillor Philip Whitehead, our Wiltshire Councillor, for his help and advice on matters pertaining to Stert.
3. Financial Report.
The PC accounts for the year ending 31st March 2017 have been audited and approved by the internal auditor, Mr. Neville Burrell. As reported at the Annual Meeting of the PC held on 22nd May, the annual income for the year was £1020.30 and the expenditure was £1073.42, giving a shortfall of £53.12. The balance in the account on 31st March 2017 stood at 2023.57.
Details of the income and expenditure are given in the minutes of the Annual Meeting and posted on the PC’s website, http://www.stertparish.com.
4. Questions from the Public.
There were no members of the public present at the meeting.