Minutes of PC meeting, 24th September 2018


held in Stert House on 24th September 2018


  • Clive Boyes (CB)Chairman
  •  Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
  • Chris Lawrence (CL)Councillor
  • William Howkins (WH)Councillor/Clerk

also present were Mrs. Ann Harris of the Clock Inn Residents Association and Mr. Philip Whitehead (PW), Wiltshire Council’s councillor for Urchfont and the Cannings and 4 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for absence  

Alick Edwards sent his apologies.

   2.  Declarations of Interest

CL stated that he was a consultee of  WC regarding the planning application for Claironailes.

   3.  Minutes of previous meetings

The Minutes of the Annual and Annual Parish meetings held on 16th July 2018 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by CL) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

There have been 2 payments to report since our last meeting: £82 to WH as reimbursement for costs incurred in 2017 & 2018 for the parish website and the Parish Online mapping and £450 to Neville Moody for refurbishing the telephone box, this expense having been approved in previous meetings.

We have received interest of £1.26.  Our balance stands at £ 2334.11 (confirmed by WH in the passbook).

LB requested approval to pay £300 to Alick Edwards for village maintenance (mainly cutting verges) during the last year. This is the same amount we have been paying him for several years. She saw no need for the PC to seek alternative quotes for this work as the PC has always felt Mr Edwards gives good value for money. There are many advantages to having the maintenance done by a person in the village who is able to respond very quickly, if needed. This payment was unanimously agreed by the PC.

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

Apart from a number of circulars from the police concerning cybercrime which WH had relayed to the village, he had nothing to report concerning our village.

  1. Claironailes Planning Application

A pre-planning document had been submitted to the PC by Mr. John Clements on behalf of 

Mr Kevin Lynch, the new owner of Claironailes, for its comments prior to requesting formal planning approval from Wiltshire Council. The documents included plans showing the proposed new 2-storey building of 151 sq.m footprint to replace the existing 81 sq.m bungalow. The new proposal shows a compact layout on largely the original footprint with the same roof height as the original, with hipped gables to minimise the visual impact of the roof line from the lane. A carport is proposed near the location of the existing garage and a second outbuilding is shown at the rear of the property behind the row of trees, accessed from the existing gateway at the west end of the property. Only one conifer and some leylandii will be felled and the hedge along the village lane will remain intact.

The PC gave provisional support to the revised plans and the size of the new building compared with the existing and felt that its size was appropriate for the size of the plot and would make minimal impact on the village landscape and the nearest neighbours. Concern was raised, however, about the choice of building materials (roofing tiles, windows, brickwork) being chosen sympathetically with respect to the neighbouring buildings. 

  1. Speed limit on A342

Ann Harris reported that John Ericson has written to Claire Perry seeking her support for imposing a speed limit of 40 mph on the A342 between the entrance to the village and the railway bridge at Clock Inn. PW said that this request would be passed on to Cllr Wayman and to him for further action. He explained that WC had made a periodic assessment of speed limits on all the main roads in the county, last done in 2014. At the time of this assessment, there was a consultation period when requests for changes were considered. He thought the next assessment would be in 4 years time but would check this and let us know. For special cases to be looked at between reviews, a charge of 25% of the cost of the survey was levied on the community requesting the review. in this case Stert was being asked to pay £625 LB asked whether this covered both the cost of the survey and the installation costs. PW said he would check whether this would cover all the costs involved.

He said speed limits were based on the average actual speed of traffic on a particular stretch of road and set at a lower speed that was likely to be respected by motorists. In the case of the section of A342 in question, he thought that a limit of 50 mph was more likely to be accepted by WC than 40 mph. PW said he would support our request for a review if we could get the support of Urchfont and Etchilhampton to help share the costs. He would also advise us on whether our requesting a 40 mph limit would jeopardise the chances of getting a 50 mph limit if the former was rejected.

  1. Defibrillator proposal

Ann Harris briefed the PC on the fund raising effort she had been organising to install a defibrillator at the Clock Inn. The equipment cost about £1800 which included an 8 year guarantee. Running costs amounted to about £30 pa, covering the replacement of pads and batteries every 4 years. The Clock Inn had been promised £500 from their landlord to cover the initial purchase and he would also cover the maintenance costs. She was currently seeking funding from other local agencies since the British Heart Foundation had no more funds available at present for defibrillators. LB suggested that the PC could cover insurance costs as an addition to our present policy and could possibly give additional assistance when the PC reviews its precept request in December.

She advised that the Clock Inn unit would be too far away to serve Stert. The village would need to have a centrally placed unit, eg. by the notice board on Stert House.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

CB reported that he had had a conversation with Jonathan Taylor about progress with the improvements at Tinkfield. He was told that the bund earthworks were nearly finished and that it was planned to carry out the planting this autumn. Concreting of the internal roadways was also in progress up to the weigh bridges at the entrance to the site. This should, hopefully, prevent mud from being tracked out onto the main road. PW confirmed that WC was powerless to impose a time limit on completion of the works as there were no legal time constraints on “works in progress”.

  1. Railway Station at Lydeway

WH reported that he had spoken to Simon Fisher of Devizes Development Partnership (DDP) who informed that there was no progress to report in the station planning. They were still talking to Network Rail to try to get the proposed station included in their programme for the next franchise. He expected to receive a written response to DDP’s consultation document submission during the coming month. Before a positive response is received, the formal GRIP planning process cannot start.

PW said GWR had previously indicated that they would prefer to not to stop at Westbury for some of their services so as to reduce the time from Devon and Cornwall to London.  However, WC still supported the trains stopping at Westbury to allow connection with services to the north and south.  The potential to for GWR to stop at Lydeway may be connected with this but in any case a service stop at Lydeway would be part of the new franchise submission that will come to fruition in 2022.

  1. Potholes in village lane

WH pointed out that the temporary repairs made to the potholes in the village lane by Barn Cottage had not been replaced with permanent patches as promised by the Parish Steward during his visit in June. CB added that the potholes at the top of the Manor Farm drive hadn’t been repaired either and the Edwards’ could not do the repairs themselves due to buried cables under the damaged area. PW said that WC could only repair potholes that were dangerous to cars or cyclists and that it did not have a budget for maintaining surfaces that did not pose a danger. WH argued that these repairs should be made to prevent extra expense due to further deterioration. PW advised WH to speak to Richard Dobson, WC’s highway engineer, but doubted he would be able to help. 

  1. AOB

12.1  Mervyn Woods, Etchilhampton’s PC chairman, had sent an email to CB inviting Stert residents to join Etchilhamton on 11th November in a celebration of the centenary of the end of WW1. The Edwards’ have kindly agreed to build a beacon on the hill above the village and Etchilhampton will host drinks at their village hall before the lighting of the beacon. WH will forward this invitation by email to Stert residents who are requested to let Mervyn know if they will attend.

12.2  The Stert Christmas party was set for 21st December, and Clive and Georgie have again kindly offered to host it at Stert House.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting will be held in Stert House on 10th December 2018, at 6.30 pm.


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