MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL
held in Stert House on 16th August 2021
- Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
- Chris Lawrence (CL), Councillor
- Ann Harris (AH), Councillor
- Lucy Barker (LB), Councillor/Treasurer
- William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk
- 1. Apologies for absence
Alick Edwards and Philip Whitehead sent their apologies.
2. Declaration of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
- 3. Minutes of previous meeting
The Minutes of the PC meeting of 17th May 2021 were agreed, proposed by LB and seconded by CL, and signed by the Chairman.
- 4. Treasurer’s report
LB reported that there were two items of expenditure to record since the last meeting. Renewal of the Parish insurance at a cost of £236.41. This was approved at the previous PC meeting and is just over the budgeted figure of £230. The second item is the Auditor’s gift costing £59.94. This was also approved at the previous meeting and is in line with the budgeted figure of £60.
Our Nationwide account has been credited with £1,78 in interest and the balance now stands at £4257.23, confirmed by WH in the passbook.This balance includes £500 reserve carried over from last year being the PC’s contribution to implementation of the A42 speed limit and £150 earmarked for the next phone box renovation.
- 5, Approval of A342 speed limit
WH had received a copy of the notes from the CATG meeting held on 27th July as follows:
WS Atkins have completed the Speed Limit assessment. It has concluded that a 50mph restriction can be considered. Indicative cost £6,000WH stated that the contribution which Stert PC agreed to make is £500 not £1,000 as listed within the budget. DM wanted to push through this project and was happy to accept this level of contribution from Stert PC. GR was happy to go ahead with this level.
Scheme has been added to 2021/22 Programme and will be developed.
It was agreed that the PC would only pay the agreed sum to WC on completion of the installation of the signage.
- 6. Clearance of footpath along A342
CB reported that he had received a complaint about brambles and hedge growth obstructing the footpath along A342 between Clock Inn and the recycling centre. The footpath has become so overgrown that it is barely possible to walk along it without stepping into the roadway and hindering a Clock Inn resident from carrying out his routine litter picking. WH said that he would report this to WC’s parish steward scheme.
- 7. Dog fouling
The PC had received a complaint about dog fouling along the track to the north of the village along the route of the old railway line. Dog owners are urged always to carry a bag with them to pick up their dog’s mess. They are also reminded that this track is on Frank Edwards’s land and is not a public right of way. (Since the meeting, the owner has informed WH that he has no objection to villagers walking along this track.)
- 8. Reopening of the church
CB informed that the church had just had its first service after lockdown at which hymns had been sung.
A discussion followed on whether the PC was able to support the church financially after a year during which it had been unable to generate any funds due to the Covid lockdown. CL said that PC funds could only be used to support secular activities such as social or cultural events held in the church and organised on behalf of all village residents.The replacement of the church pews by chairs allowing them to be rearranged for concerts or events was discussed. This would make the church much more suited to uses other than just church services. The initiative for implementing such a scheme should come from the PCC and if so, the PC could consider contributing to it. CL said that if the PC wished to hold its meetings in the church, he would support paying the church to do so.
- 9. Local Covid review
CB reported that now government restrictions had been lifted, there was nothing to report..
- 10. Devizes Gateway Station
WH had spoken to Catharine Symington, consultant to Devizes Development Partnership, to get an update on progress with the station planning process. She reported that the draft Strategic Outline Business Case document had been submitted to Department for Transport in May and comments on this have been received by WS Atkins, DDP/WC’s consultant, who are currently reviewing them.The revised submission date of the final document will be notified shortly. The final decision by DfT on whether to proceed with the project is expected within a month of resubmission. At this point, Catharine will arrange a meeting with Stert, Etchilhampton and Urchfont to present the findings.
- 11. Cancer Research Car Boot Sale
CB reported that the Car Boot sale will be held on Saturday 11th September. Village residents are encouraged to take a stall costing £25. LB said she would be taking a stall. CB will be grateful for volunteers to direct traffic and the PCC will be arranging its usual tea and cakes sale.
- 12. Future Events
It was confirmed that the PC would hold its traditional Christmas party, the date and details to be arranged in due course.
- 13. AOB
13.1 HM’s Platinum Jubilee. WH had received notification from the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire that the Queen’s platinum jubilee will be celebrated by lighting beacons on 22nd June 2022. Stert’s participation in this celebration will be discussed further at a future meeting.
13.2 It was decided to ask members of the public who wish to attend PC meetings to notify the Clerk of their intention to do so at least two days in advance.
13.3 LB asked for volunteers to help clear the footpath across the railway line to Urchfont which had become overgrown with brambles.
- 14.Date of next meeting
The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 11th October.