Category Archives: Minutes of meetings

Minutes of PC meeting, 4th March 2019

MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 4th March 2019

Present:

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

also present was Mr. Philip Whitehead (PW), Wiltshire Council’s councillor for Urchfont and the Cannings and 2 members of the public.

Prior to the meeting, PCSO Georgina Dodd, our local police community officer, introduced herself to the PC and outlined her role in liaising with local communities in the Pewsey Vale area. Her badge number was 8229 and she could be contacted by dialling 101. She would be assisted by her colleague Lucy after she returned from maternity leave in June. She said that the police made regular patrols around the area. She asked if we had seen any signs of hare coursing, typically using 4x4s with lurchers. When asked about travellers squatting on private property, she explained that was WC’s responsibility but that the police could be called in to assist with their removal. She was also asked about recent instances of off-road bikes speeding through the village. She said the police have their suspicions about who the culprit might be and would welcome any information that might help them apprehend him or her. She said next time it should be reported by calling 999, if possible giving the registration number of the bike. 

CB thanked PCSO Dodd for coming to the meeting and making her presentation. He then opened the PC meeting.

  1. Apologies for absence 

Ann Harris sent her apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. Minutes of previous meetings

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th December 2018 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 we have received one item of income, £1.17, interest on the account, and one item of expenditure, £197.57, for the Stert residents’ Christmas party. Our balance stands at £1867.71 (confirmed by WH in the passbook). No further income or expenditure is expected for this financial year.

Since this is the last PC meeting before the end of the financial year, this year’s and next year’s budget should be reviewed. At the PC meeting on 1st May 2018, a budget for the year 2018/2019 of £1300 was agreed.  Actual expenditure amounted to £1333.76, ie. £33.76 over budget. Our expenditure exceeded income by £386.28, due to the cost of the phone box renovation, which happens about every 10 years and for which we make an annual reserve of £50.

At the PC meeting on 10th December 2018, it was agreed to offer WC a contribution of £500 towards a speed survey on the A342. This figure is now shown in the budget for 2019/20, which means our current budget for the coming year stands at £1530. WH proposed that the budget for the coming year be rounded off to £1600 and this was seconded by AE and agreed unanimously.

LB said she had submitted a request for a precept increase to £1700 for the coming year (up from £915), which means we should have a reasonable margin for any unexpected expenses.

It was agreed to buy 10 new folding chairs to replace those broken having become brittle. CB undertook to purchase these. 

  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: Work in Progress

LB and WH had visited the works in progress and noted that the placement and dimensions of the openings in the new shed were not as shown on the plans approved by WC. There were now two garage doors and two windows in the east facade and a new door opening in the north facade. They mentioned this to the owner’s son whom they met on site. While noting that the new shed was in keeping with the village landscape, the PC were concerned that the approved plans were not being followed. It was agreed that WH would contact WC to query whether it had approved these changes. 

  1. Speed limit on A342

WH confirmed that he had written to WC on 18th December explaining that in view of the constraints of Stert PC’s limited budget, it was prepared to pay £500 towards the cost of the survey. So far, he had received no reply from WC. 

PW informed that the request for a speed survey would be discussed at the next CATG meeting to be held on Wednesday 6th March. It was one of a number of schemes which would be considered and prioritised for implementation. He thought it would be realistic to expect it to take 6 – 8 months for the scheme to be given priority and another 6 – 8 months to be implemented.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

CB reported that he had spoken to Jonathan Taylor about the continued mud on the main road. He had told CB that they expected the concreting of the internal roads to be completed this summer as well as work on the bund. 

Regarding the suggestion that the 40 mph speed limit be extended from the roundabout on A342 by the Coach and Horses Pub to the Lion Monument opposite Manor Farm, PW said that this might aggravate the danger of the mud on the road by encouraging overtaking from the top of the hill and risking a head-on collision. He said that Grist was doing everything it could to mitigate the mud on the road, and until the internal works were completed, WC could take no action against Grist.

  1.   Railway Station at Lydeway

PW informed the meeting that he had heard that Peter Lay of Devizes Development Partnership was still trying to promote the housing development at Lydeway in support of the proposed Devizes Parkway Railway Station scheme. He reiterated that he could see no justification for the housing to be set in open countryside when it could be located within the towns environs. He had been informed that the planning for the station was proceeding to GRIP2 or 3, but the studies would need to prove the station could lead to a significant increase in the town’s GDP.

   10.  Village events for 2019

The Cancer Research Car Boot Sale is set to take place on 11th May. Volunteers are needed for traffic management, so please contact CB.

Maggie Faultless has kindly agreed to return with her Music for Awhile ensemble to St James’s Church on 28th September.

  1. AOB

11.1  AE informed the PC that he had applied for an environmental grant which required the sowing of wild flowers along the margins of the field between the village and the main road. This would entail the removal of the saplings in the corner of the field by the entrance to the village. This initiative was welcomed by the PC.

11.2  Lewis Cowen had sent an email to CB and WH drawing attention to  a swastika painted on the old railway bridge which he found deeply offensive. AE and CL said the swastika had been there for at least 10 years, possibly even 40 years. The PC expressed its sincere regret for the offence caused to Lewis Cowen and Alex Cooper and welcomed their offer to remove it.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting will be held in Stert House on 20th May 2019, at 6.30 pm.

Minutes of PC meeting 10th December 2018

MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 10th December 2018

Present:

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

also present were Mrs. Ann Harris (AH) of the Clock Inn Residents Association and Mr. Philip Whitehead (PW), Wiltshire Council’s councillor for Urchfont and the Cannings and 3 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for absence 

Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.

  1. Co-opting Ann Harris

WH had been notified by WC that as it had not received a request for an election by 10 electors, the vacancy on the Parish Council could be filled by co-option. Ann Harris had been nominated by the Clock Inn Park Residents Association to represent them and was invited by CB to join the PC. Having signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, she was duly co-opted as Councillor.

  1. Declaration of Interest 

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. Minutes of previous meetings

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 24th September 2018 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by AH) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LB reported that there had been one receipt, a donation of £30 from the Moody family for the use of the marquee, tables and chairs. There had also been one payment of £300 to Alick Edwards for village maintenance. The balance of the account stood at £2064.11 (confirmed by WH in the passbook).

  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

As of 3rd December, WC had approved the planning application submitted by Mr. and Mrs. Lynch for a replacement building, carport and a storage building, subject to certain conditions. These concerned approval of the materials to be used, the provision of hard surfacing of the west entrance to the site and the submission of a planting and landscaping plan.

CB asked Mr. John Clements to give the meeting a summary of the history of this planning application. It was noted that the approval made no specific mention of the preservation of the hedge and that the hard surfacing of the entrance was not required until the building works were completed, rather than prior to the works starting. It was agreed that WH should write to WC expressing these concerns.

  1. Speed limit on A342

In response to a letter requesting WC to set a speed limit of  40 mph on A342 between the entrance to Stert and the railway bridge by Clock Inn, we were informed that a speed survey first needed to be carried out. Such a survey would cost £2500 and WC required Stert Parish Council to contribute 25% of the cost, ie. £625. Stert PC has made strenuous representations about the burden such a figure places on the PC’s limited financial resources, but to no avail.

WH had received from Mr. John Ericson results of a speed survey carried out at a point by Clock Inn on behalf of WC in March 2018. He had written to WC to ask if this survey was not adequate for justifying the speed limit but was informed that it didn’t meet the requirements. When asked to comment on this, PW explained that a single measurement at one point was not sufficient to judge the necessary extent of the proposed speed limit and measurement at several points would be required. PW noted that the 85 percentile speed was measured at 53.2 mph, thereby indicating a 50 mph speed limit would likely be the most appropriate. He said that WC’s highway engineers would set the limit based on the measured data and not on the limit requested. AH said that while most of the Clock Inn residents would prefer a 40 mph limit, she thought they would be satisfied with a 50 mph limit if that was the conclusion of the survey.

It was unanimously decided that WH should write to WC explaining that in view of the constraints of Stert PC’s limited budget, it was prepared to pay £500 towards the cost of the survey.

  1. Stert PC’s Christmas Party

The Christmas party will be held at 6:30 pm on Friday 21st December at Stert House, kindly hosted by Clive and Georgie Boyes. All Stert residents are invited and CB asked AH to pass on the invitation to all Clock Inn residents and hoped many of them would attend.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

CB reported that he had visited the Tinkfield site and had met Adam Grist. He informed CB that the earthworks for the berm were now completed, almost hiding the new sorting shed. However, the surface of the bund was too wet for equipment to access it for planting. This would have to wait until next year. There were now two weigh bridges installed and the entrance had been concreted. There was still a lot of mud on the site, but this would improve as more of the internal roads were concreted.

  1. Railway Station at Lydeway

WH reported that he had called Simon Fisher for an update on progress with planning the proposed station at Lydeway. He said that he had not been present at the latest meeting of the working group, but had been told that they were looking at an alternative access road from A342 nearer Lydeway, and had been in touch with some landowners between Lydeway and the rail line. These enquiries were part of the first phase of the Network Rail planning process.

PW repeated what he had previously told the PC: ie. that GWR wanted to reduce stops at local stations so as to reduce the time from Devon and Cornwall to London. Getting them to stop at Lydeway would require a solid business case to be established showing how the new station would promote business development in Devizes and generate passenger traffic for the railway. Before this business case is established, he said it was premature to start talking to landowners. He reiterated that housing development in connection with the proposed station made no sense in open countryside: new housing development was better placed close to the town and to amenities. 

12. Precept 2019/20

LB presented a spreadsheet comparing the receipts and expenditures for the past two years and the budget for the coming year. This year’s budget exceeds last year’s receipts by some £80, without allocating money to pay WC for the speed survey, as approved above. Stert’s precept is based on £9,90 for a Band D household, compared with £41.45 for Etchilhampton and £89.75 for Urchfont. To pay for the speed survey, it was therefore agreed to raise next year’s precept request from £915.05 to £1700.

The PC recognises that this is a significant increase but there has been no increase in the Stert precept for nearly 10 years and, as noted above, the precept will still be well below that paid by neighbouring villages.

  1. AOB

13.1  Lewis Cowen had written to ask the PC whether it would object to their installing solar panels on their  roof at the Willows. This would be visible only from their driveway entrance as the house was hidden from the lane by a tall hedge. WC’s planning regulations allow solar panels to be installed on roofs without special permission being required. Alex Cooper, Mr. Cowen’s partner, said that the panels would have black anodised frames, thus blending in with the tiled roof. This assurance was welcomed by the PC and it was agreed that there was no objection to their going ahead.

13.2  AH informed that the Clock Inn’s defibrillator had been ordered and would be installed in the New Year. The cost of the unit was £1580, and over half of this money had been raised already. It would be mounted on the wall of Unit No. 15 where it would be plugged into an external power socket. A demonstration class would be given by South West Ambulance on 19th December at the Nursteed Centre.  

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting will be held in Stert House on 4th March 2019, at 6.30 pm.

Minutes of PC meeting, 24th September 2018

MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 24th September 2018

Present:

  • 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.

 

Minutes of Annual PC Meeting, 16th July 2018

 

MINUTES OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 16th July 2018

Present:

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

WC’s Cllr. Philip Whitehead sent his apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest

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

  1. Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman

As both CB and AE agreed to continue as Chairman and Deputy Chairman for another year, CL proposed they be reelected and this was seconded by LB and they were therefore duly elected.

  1. Minutes of previous meetings

The Minutes of the PC meeting held on 4th June 2018 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, she had paid £20 to Stert PCC as a donation for use of the church for the village meeting with Philip Whitehead about Devizes Parkway station. She had also spent £47.94 on a gift of 6 bottles of wine for Neville Burrell in lieu of fee for carrying out the internal audit.

The PC’s account balance stands at £2864.85 (confirmed by WH in the passbook).

  1. Planning

6.1  Claironailes. Mr. Kevin Lynch, the new owner of Claironailes had submitted a planning application to WC to add an extension to the existing cottage, to build a new carport and to build an additional garage/storage building. The PC had met Mr. and Mrs Lynch on two occasions to review their plans.

At the meeting with Mr Lynch on 16th July, CB, WH and CL had raised their concerns about the size and height of the proposed extension and told Mr. Lynch that they thought it unlikely that it would be accepted at Monday’s PC meeting. He was advised to withdraw the application and resubmit a new application more sympathetic to the village surroundings.

At the PC meeting, after careful consideration,  the PC unanimously opposed the application on the following grounds:

  • the plan area of extension is too large (2.5 times the original building)
  • the roofline is too high and extends across the whole width of the Old Police Cottage property resulting in a loss of outlook
  • the proposed building severely impacts the village landscape
  • the proposed building design and materials are not in keeping with neighbouring buildings and not sympathetic to Stert’s rural setting
  • the second building is remote from the main building and requires a third entrance to the property: this will entail cutting down a significant section of the hedge and felling of several trees

CB reported that he had spoken with WC’s planning officer just before the meeting who told him that the plans as submitted would not be considered a viable application, and Mr. Lynch’s agent had been informed of this in writing. It was therefore agreed to wait with sending in the PC’s objections pending confirmation that the application had been withdrawn. (This was later confirmed to WH the following day).

6.2  Hartlands. An application had also been submitted to WC by Mrs Susan Phelps for the replacement of the temporary fence in front of Hartlands with a permanent deer-proof wrought iron fence.  The new fence will be of good quality and in keeping with the village surroundings and the application was therefore supported by the PC. (WH to notify WC accordingly.)

  1. Telephone box

Mr. Neville Moody will start the work on the telephone box in due course when he has completed his backlog of prior work orders. 

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH had received an email from PCSO Georgina Dodd concerning police patrol routes. He had replied requesting that patrols be reinstated through our village as a preventative measure. The necessity of this was queried by CL. WH will take the matter up with PCSO Dodd and report back at the next meeting.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

WC has appointed Mr. Dean Thomas to monitor progress of the works at Tinkfield to ensure its compliance with the planning application. Work on the bund is presently in progress.

  1. Potholes in village lane

WH said he had met the Parish Steward,  Mr. Dan Stockwell, on 26th June, and complained about the poor job WC had done to repair the deteriorated surface adjacent to Barn Cottage. He assured WH that the repairs were a temporary measure until a proper repair could be scheduled. WH will meet him again when next he visits Stert on 24th July.

  1. AOB

11.1  The footpath through the field below Stert House between Barn Cottage and Springfields become overgrown with nettles and also the hedge is seriously overgrowing the footpath. LB was asked to have a word with the owner of the field, Mr. Martin Arthur, as he was probably unaware of his responsibility for clearing the footpath.

11.2  As requested at the Annual Parish Meeting, WH will contact Mr. Simon Fisher of Devizes Development Partnership to request an update on progress, if any, with Devizes Parkway Station.

11.3  CB brought up again the subject of having a defibrillator in the village. The apparatus costs about £1,500 and annual running costs for the periodic replacement of batteries and pads are also substantial. CB reported that Urchfont had 3 units in their village (organised by Nicky Mitchell) and Clock Inn Park were seriously considering having a unit of their own. It was agreed that CB should invite Ann Harris from the Clock Inn to brief us on what it would take to instal a unit in Stert at our next PC meeting.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting will be held in Stert House on 24th September 2018, at 6.30 pm.

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting of Stert PC, 16th July 2018

MINUTES OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 16th July 2018

Present:

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

WC’s Cllr. Philip Whitehead sent his apologies.

  1. Chairman’s Report

2.1 Introduction

A Government directive requires that the Parish Council Chairman presents a report on Council activities at the Annual Parish Meeting

2.2 Report

Several changes have occurred during the past year. Valerie Fairbank of the Willows moved to Marlborough and she was followed by Lewis Cowen and Alex relocating from Urchfont to the Willows. Lewis was previously chief reporter for the Devizes Gazette and had been most helpful in promoting the Cancer Research Car Boot sale that is now an annual event in Stert. 

After Peter and Helen Crook moved to Urchfont, Martin Arthur moved into Barn Cottage from Croydon.

Towards the end of 2017, the sale of land opposite Fullaway Farm was finalised and the new owner, Mr. Clyde Wynne-Williams has advised the PC that he intends to utilise this land as a Nature Reserve.

The sale of Claironailes completed in the Spring of 2018 and the new owners Mr. And Mrs. Kevin Lynch have submitted a Planning Application for a substantial extension that is currently being reviewed by the PC.

The revised planning application submitted by Grist Environmental with regard to the Tinkfield site was discussed directly with Grist management and later approved by Wilts Council. The new bund and concreting the loading area is a work in progress but was delayed unduly by the ” beast from the east ” in the spring.

At the urging of the Clock Inn Residents Committee, Wilts Council have done a fine job in clearing the footpath from the Clock Inn to Stert. We are now working on a reduction of the speed limit in this area.

In February, The Devizes Gazette reported that negotiations were well advanced by the Devizes Development Partnership to promote a railway station for Devizes. The proposed location chosen  for Devizes Parkway railway station is to the east of the Clock Inn just before Lydeway. After a presentation to Stert residents from the promotors, the scheme was rejected by the PC on the basis that the station would only go forward provided permission would be granted for a major housing development to be built adjacent to the Clock Inn in the parish of Stert. The PC is keeping a close watch to ensure that the wishes of our residents are respected.

Another threat to our peaceful village was the planning application made by the owners of a MotoX course located in Potterne Wick to hold up to 14 events per annum which would mean that most weekends in the Summer would be accompanied by the noise of off-road motorcycles racing within one mile of our village. With the help of neighbouring parishes the application has been rejected.

Again the village came together at Christmas with the Annual Village party attracting approximately 60 residents.

The Stert Talks continued to be held in the Church over The Winter with interesting contributions from Bill Howkins, David Stephenson and Philip Normington and Lucy Barker. These talks have helped raise funds for our Church and more are scheduled for this winter.

My thanks to all Councillors for their voluntary hard work and dedication especially with the amount of time spent on planning applications in order to protect our village from unwanted development.

  1. Financial Report

The PC accounts for the year ending 31.3.18 have been audited and approved by the internal auditor, Mr Neville Burrell.  2017/18 is the first year that we have not been required to have an external audit, since both our income and expenditure are below £25,000.

Our income for the year came to £1,037.54 and expenditure was £807.12. giving a surplus of £230.42. Our bank balance at 31.3.18 stood at £2253.99.

We have kept our precept at the same level for many many years. The Wiltshire Council website shows the precept charged for a Band D property for every parish in Wiltshire.

A band D property in Stert pays £9.90 in 2018/19.

A band D property in Urchfont pays £89.75

A band D property in Etchilhampton pays £41.45.

I could not find another parish with such a low precept! I mention this because, even though we had a surplus last year we may need to consider increasing the precept for 2019/20 when we discuss it in December. We have a major expenditure coming up (telephone box), we have made any economies we could (eg. not renewing WALC sub), and it doesn’t look like we’ll have any extra income this year from marquee use. A 5% increase in the precept may sound a lot but it would only generate another £45 and on a band D property it would be just another 49p. 

  1. Questions from the public

Mr John Clements asked if there was any further news about the proposed Devizes Parkway Railway Station. He was informed that the PC had not heard anything further from Devizes Development Partnership but WH undertook to ask for an update on progress if any.

 

Minutes of PC Meeting, 4th June 2018

MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL held in Stert House on 4th June 2018

Present:

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

None.

  1. Declaration of Interest  

None.

  1. Minutes of previous meetings

The Minutes of the PC meeting held on 1st May 2018 were approved (proposed by CL and seconded by LB) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

4.1  FY 2017/18

LB reported that last year’s audit was now complete and had been approved by our internal auditor, Mr. Neville Burrell. The relevant documents including the financial regulations have now been posted on the parish website www.stertparish.com .  The Notice of Public Rights to inspect the accounts will be posted on the noticeboards and the website.

In his covering letter to the completed audit, Mr. Burrell suggested that, to provide for future telephone box restoration costs,  a memorandum account be set up, simply as a schedule to which into which £50 be added each year. The total accumulated should be declared annually in the financial report tabled at the Annual Parish Meeting.  The PC did not foresee any other cases where infrequent but significant expenses were likely to occur in future.    

4.2  FY2018/19

Since the last meeting, there had only been one expense of £236.25 for parish insurance. This included all risks cover for the telephone box. The balance in the account stood at £2932.79 (as checked by WH in the passbook).   

The decision whether or not to insure the phone box was discussed and agreed. It was also agreed that next year a quote would be obtained to insure the village’s main marquee.

It was agreed to make a donation of £20 to the PCC for loan of the church for the meeting on 30th April. It was also agreed that LB should spend £50 on a gift in lieu of fee for the internal auditor.

  1. Telephone box

A quotation for repainting the telephone box in the amount £450 had been received from Mr. Neville Moody and was approved by the PC. CB will email Mr. Moody to confirm this. It was also agreed to ask Mr. Moody to add a sign showing the name of the village on the panel on top of the phone box for a small extra cost. 

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH reported that he had received confirmations in accordance with the recent government regulations on data protection from the majority of village residents that they would like to continue receiving email notifications from the PC. WH will provide an updated list of these residents to CB.

WH had nothing special to report from Wiltshire Police since the last meeting. However, CB noticed that a new motorhome was parked on Edwards’ land the hill above the village.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

CB reported that he had talked to Mr. Nigel Grist to get an update on progress with the building works at Tinkfield. He was told that the second weigh-bridge had been installed and work was underway on a concrete apron to improve the entrance to the site to allow access of larger lorries. The bund is now being constructed and will be completed by the end of the summer.

  1. Proposed Lydeway railway station

Notes on the Special Meeting held on 30th April in St James Church at which WC Cllr. Philip Whitehead briefed Stert residents on WC’s planning policies governing the proposed Devizes Parkway Station were also tabled. These notes will be posted on the notice boards and the parish website. 

Since this meeting, nothing further has been heard from the Devizes Development Partnership’s working group. WH said he would follow up with Mr. Simon Fisher to hear if any feedback had been received on their submission of 20th February 2018 to the Public Consultation on the GWR franchise and on progress, if any, with the GRIP planning process.

  1. Potholes in village lane

WH said he had filed a report with photos on the My Wiltshire website about the deterioration of the tarmac in the village lane just above Barn Cottage. It was requested that repairs be made under the Parish Steward scheme this summer to avoid further deterioration of the surface in the coming winter. Visits to Stert by the Parish Steward are scheduled for 26th June, 24th July and 18th September. WH will check with WC to confirm whether this work will be scheduled for this summer.

  1. AOB

10.1  AE has generously offered to build a beacon bonfire on Etchilhampton Hill to be lit on 11th November to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WW1 Armistice. This will be a joint event with Etchilhampton. Details to follow later.

10.2  Social events: St James’ Patronal Day is on 29th July and will be celebrated with a special service at 10 am and followed by drinks at Stert House from 11 to 12:30 by the kind invitation of Stert PCC. 

David Mitcham is planning another summer jazz barbecue to be held in aid of the church at a date to be fixed later.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting and Annual Meeting will be held in Stert House on 16th July 2018, at 7.30 pm.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 1st May 2018

held in Stert House on 1st May 2018

Present: 

  • Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
  • Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer
  • William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk
  1. Apologies for absence 

Councillors Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.  Since the last meeting, Sam Deacon had resigned from the Council due to work commitments. The PC expressed their thanks to Sam for her work on the Council over the past 11 years, especially for her expertise in environmental matters, and hoped to be able to call on her professional advice in the future.

  1. Declaration of Interest

None.

  1. Minutes of previous meetings

The Minutes of the PC meeting held on 22nd February 2018 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by WH) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

4.1  FY2017/18

LB submitted a spreadsheet summarising the income and expenditure from account for the past year compared with the previous year. This will be posted on the PC’s website. She reported there had been one payment since the last meeting of £40 for use of the church on 19/2/18, and the balance on 31st March was £2253.99 (confirmed in the passbook by WH). 

Excluding the Christmas party, the budget for expenses had been set at £700 and the actual amount spent was £609,25. Including the Christmas party, the total spent during the year was £807.12.

4.2  FY 2018/19

We have received the precept for the current year of £915.05 and the balance now stands at £3169.04 (confirmed by WH in the passbook).

It was agreed to set the budget for the coming year at £1300 as follows:

  • £650  for normal recurring expenses, 
  • £200  for the Christmas party,
  • £450  for phone box renovation.

It was agreed from FY2019/20 to earmark annually a reserve of £50 for phone box renovation, needed about every 10 years, and note the accumulated amount each year. The PC confirmed it could not see any other cases where similar reserves need to be established.             

It was a agreed to accept the quotation of £450 from Mr. Neville Moody for repainting the telephone box as this was in line with the previous bill for £403 in 2009.

4.3 Parish Audit 2017/18

4.3.1 The PC agreed to adopt the set of financial regulations previously circulated by LB. (Proposed by CB and seconded by WH.) These are to be posted on the PC’s website.

4.3.2 The certificate of exemption from external audit was agreed and signed by CB and LB.

4.3.3 It was agreed to reappoint Mr Neville Burrell as our Internal Auditor (proposed by WH and seconded by LB).

4.3.4 The Governance Statement, including a risk assessment of Parish assets, was discussed and approved by the PC and the statement signed by CB and WH as chairman and clerk respectively. 

4.3.5 The Parish account statement for FY2017/18 was approved and signed by CB and LB.

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

It was noted that following notice by Wiltshire Council, the caravan beside the road above the Lion Monument had been removed.

WH had nothing special to report apart from a few general theft/scam warnings from the police passed onto residents by email. He reported that, in compliance with Government data protection regulations, he had sent a circular asking residents to confirm they were happy to be on the PC’s mailing list. He had received confirmation from most of Stert residents and CB said he would follow up on those who had not yet replied.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

It was noted that there had been no progress with the bund earthworks during the past months due to the very wet conditions. CB agreed to visit the site to get an update on the work schedule for the coming summer and the autumn planting on the bund.

  1. Crookwood MotoX

Councillor Philip Whitehead briefed Stert residents in the church the previous evening on the issuing of an Article 4 directive by Wiltshire Council to remove permitted rights (14 days a year of non agricultural use of farmland) from Crookwood Farm, in order to prevent MotoX events being held at Crookwood Farm on the basis of inadequate safety and lack of proper access.

  1. AOB

8.1 LB wished to table a vote of thanks to the snow wardens (AE and WH) who had been out spreading salt  with the PC’s salt spreader during last month’s snow storm.

8.2 WH had received notice that WC’s Parish Steward will visit Stert on 26th June, 24th July and 18th September. He will request the deterioration of the tarmac by Barn Cottage to be made good.

  1. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in Stert House on 4th June 2018, at 7.30 pm.