Minutes of PC Meeting, 24th February 2020


held in Stert House on 24th February 2020


  • Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
  • Alick Edwards (AE), Dty. Chairman
  • Chris Lawrence (CL), Councillor
  • Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer 
  • Ann Harris (AH), Councillor 
  • William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk
  1. Apologies for absence 

Wiltshire Councillor Philip Whitehead (PW) sent his apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest  

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th December 2019 were approved (proposed by CL and seconded by LB) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LB reported that since the last meeting, there had been three items of expenditure; £45 to Neville Moody for repair of the broken glass in the phone box, £196.59 to Clive Boyes for the Christmas party and £500 to Wiltshire Council as a contribution to the A342 speed survey. The account was credited £1.49 in interest. The balance stood at £2041.97, verified by WH in the passbook.

LB advised that since this was the last PC meeting before the new financial year, the budget for 2020/21 needed to be finalised. At the last PC meeting, it was agreed to increase the precept from £1700 to £1800. The expenditure for the current year will come to £1623.44 compared with the budget of £1600. LB therefore proposed to increase the budget for 2020/21 to £1700 to allow for unforeseen costs that seem to arise every year. This was unanimously agreed.

  1. A342 Speed limit review

WH reported that he had received the notes of the recent CATG meeting held on 4th February in which it was noted that there were no members of Stert PC present. The meeting reiterated an indicative cost of £6000 for implementation of the limit. It noted that Stert was a very small parish with limited resources and should not be expected to be the sole contributor to this cost as the speed limit affected several parishes. As agreed at the last PC meeting, WH had written to WC to say the PC was prepared to contribute a further £500 towards the implementation costs (on top of the £500 already paid for the survey). CATG were seeking a contribution of 25% of the cost from the affected parishes and concluded that the other affected parishes should also be asked to contribute. The matter was shelved until the next meeting which is to take place on 28th April.

  1. Railway station at Lydeway 

CB reported on the recent DDP meeting chaired by Mr. Iain Wallis that he and WH had attended at which progress on the proposed new railway station at Lydeway was reported. Mr. Noel Woolrych reported that meetings had been held with GWR who showed interest in the scheme and Devizes MP, Mr. Danny Kruger who actively supported the proposal and would try to obtain funding to develop the scheme from the Government’s new £500 million fund to help towns to reopen railway lines and stations closed by Dr. Beeching. Mr. Peter Lay said the next step was to raise £125,000 for a study to establish the technical and financial feasibility of the project. Mr. Richard Gamble explained that the new hybrid trains running between Paddington and Great Bedwin might be extended to Westbury and could also stop at Lydeway, allowing the fast long distance service to Devon and Cornwall to bypass these stations. These technical aspects would need to be addressed in the study. Mr Lay was asked if the housing development behind Clock Inn Park was still part of the proposal. He replied that he had received such a negative reception to this proposal at the meeting in Stert two years ago that this was not presently part of the project.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre

CB reported that he had recently spoken to Mr. Nigel Grist. He told CB that work on the bund had been halted by the recent heavy rains but it was planned to complete the earthworks this summer and complete tree planting in August/September. There would be no more building on the site but concreting of the internal roads would be completed. They were presently concreting the floor of the big storage building. A new concreted entrance to the site would be constructed in the summer.

  1. Classic car event

CB reported that Paula Winchcombe of Devizes Rotary Club had recently asked Frank Edwards if he would be willing to host a classic car show at Manor Farm in aid of Cancer Research UK. She proposed it should be held on the day after the Car Boot Sale to avoid unnecessary duplication of site works and facilities. Frank Edwards agreed. He, AE, LB and WH had had a meeting last week with Paula Winchcombe and Alan Truscott who informed that they expected 150 classic cars to attend, if the weather was dry. The cars would arrive at 10 am and leave at 2 pm. The Rotary Club would supply their own volunteers to marshal the event and would not need assistance from Stert residents. AE did not foresee any significant additional work for him and said he was happy to agree to host the rally. CL suggested that the PC should approach the Rotary Club for a donation to the church as a way of generating good will from the villagers for similar events in future years, as the event will cause some disruption to the village. This was unanimously agreed and CB volunteered to contact the Rotary Club.

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

AE reported that he had been notified that the work would be completed by 9th March. Wessex Water had reinstated the fields where they had worked, but AE said it would take a year for the ground to settle down.

  1. AOB

10.1  WH reported that he had received two application for tree work. Mrs. Susan Phelps had requested approval for the felling of  five small trees near the back of her garden where they were causing the boundary hedge to die. Only one tree is of any size, a whitebeam. She proposes to plant fruit trees as replacements, but this is not mentioned in her application. He proposed that the PC agree to this application subject to the new trees being planted. This was agreed.

The second application was from Mrs. Linda Ball in the Burrow to fell two conifers and prune an apple tree. One conifer is blocking the light into her front room and the other is dead. WH proposed that the PC also approve this application and this was agreed.

10.2  Brian Phelps had raised concern over the subsidence of the outer edge of the paved roadway just opposite of Manor Cottage. WH had also noticed this and said it should be reported to the Parish Steward and scheduled for repair. He promised to take action.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting is scheduled to be held in Stert House on Monday 4th May 2020, at 6.30 pm.


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