Category Archives: Minutes of meetings

Minutes of Annual Meeting of Stert PC,  15th July 2019  

MINUTES OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL  held in Stert House on 15th July 2019

Present:

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

Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

  1.  Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

As both Clive Boyes (CB) and  Alick Edwards (AE) had agreed to stand again for election to the offices of Chairman and Vice Chairman, they were duly elected. CB’s nomination was proposed by LB and seconded by AH, AE’s nomination was proposed by WH and seconded by LB.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th May 2019 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by AH) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LB reported that the  PC’s balance stands at £3206.31, and this was confirmed by WH in the pass book.

She had two expenses to report:  insurance renewal of £240.25, as agreed in item 4.5 at the last PC meeting (the budgeted figure for this was £260) and a cash payment to CB of £69.45 as reimbursement for purchase of 10 folding chairs for the village.  This item has not been budgeted for, but could be considered to be covered by the budget of £100 for miscellaneous.

She requested authority to buy the usual gift for our internal auditor and this was agreed by the PC. 

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH said there was nothing to report. CB raised the issue of alarms going off in properties whose owners were away from home. Residents are kindly reminded to make arrangements to leave a key with with a neighbour so that he can switch off a false alarm.

  1. Byde Farm planning application

Fiona Squire had submitted an application for change of use for one of the buildings at Byde Farm to convert it into an apartment. The PC had no objections to this application and WH had registered this with WC. 

  1. Speed limit on A342

WH had not received any news of the speed survey prior to the meeting. He subsequently learnt that at a CATG meeting on 25th June, it was reported that there had been a further delay by the consultants in completing the survey and results would now be given in the July CATG meeting. 

  1. Claironailes update.

There had recently been complaints from neighbours about the burning of building waste on the Claironailes site causing noxious fumes. CB had spoken to Mr. Lynch, the new owner, who assured him that he had been only burning wood offcuts and that he would be careful to watch the wind direction in future. Residents are reminded to show consideration to their neighbours when burning bonfires and only burn garden waste.

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

CB reported that he had been informed by David Tennant, Wessex Water, of their proposed schedule of works for the new water main along the A342 as follows: 

    • 22nd July for 7 weeks in the highway with two way traffic lights from near the Fox and Hounds Pub to Ridgecroft
    • 9th September for 6 weeks in the field north of the road from Ridgecroft to the Monument
    • 21st October for 3 weeks in the highway from the Monument to Monument cottages  
    • 11th November for 7 weeks in the field from Monument cottages to Stert village lane
    • 6th January 2020 for 7 weeks in the highway from Stert village lane to Clock Inn cottage

Letters to residents will be sent out around the end of June beginning of July.

  1. AOB

11.1  CB requested the PC ’s approval for buying a further 20 folding chairs to the 10 he had already bought last month from Ikea. He told the PC that the plastic backs on the existing chairs had become brittle and broken and were no longer fit for use. The PC agreed that although not budgeted, it could afford the outlay of approximately £140 for these chairs.

11.2  Sue Bromhead had asked the PC if it could do something about a bright light shining across the valley from a farm in Urchfont disturbing the evening landscape. LB said she had also noticed this light and confirmed that it did cause a nuisance. She suggested that she could talk to the farmer concerned to see if he couldn’t do something to turn it or shield it. This was agreed.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting is scheduled to be held in Stert House on Monday 30th September 2019, at 6.30 pm.

 

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting of Stert PC, 15th July 2019

MINUTES OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL  held in Stert House on 15th July 2019

Present:

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

Chris Lawrence and Alick Edwards sent their apologies.

  1. Chairman’s Report

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

The Parish Council was pleased to formally co-opt a new councillor, Ann Harris, whom the Clock Inn Park Residents Association unanimously agreed should be their representative on Stert Parish Council. 

There have been no  new  residents either leaving  or arriving during the past year although several houses are on the market.

The land opposite Fullaway Farm and purchased by Mr. Wynn-Williams at the end of 2017 is now being advertised for sale as the owner is moving to Yorkshire.

The Annual Christmas party at Stert House hosted by the PC was attended by approximately 60 residents.

Stert PCC has continued the  series of talks presented by local speakers which have been well received. In particular the talk given  by Mr. Quentin Goggs on Afghanistan has prompted a return engagement in 2020

Planning issues for the 2017/2018 year have continued to involve the Tinkfield Recycling Facility in which Stert PC is monitoring the work in progress compared to the approved plans. We have been advised by our District Councillor, Mr. Philip Whitehead, that Wiltshire Council is powerless to impose a  time limit on completion of works as there are no legal time constraints on ‘works in progress’.

The other planning issue has been the future of Claironailes. This property was purchased by Mr and Mrs Kevin Lynch. The existing property has been demolished and plans for  two storey house was approved by the PC and Wiltshire Council. It is hoped that construction will be completed by October 2019.

The Clock Inn Park Residents Association have requested the assistance of the PC to lobby for a reduction in the speed limit on the A342 between the entrance to Stert and the Clock Inn railway bridge. Wiltshire Council have advised that they will need to conduct a  survey costing £500 to justify this speed limit . Consultants for WC have been appointed and a report on their findings is due shortly.

Wessex water have advised they will be undertaking a major replacement programme of the mains water pipes along the A342 from near the Fox and Hounds to Clock Inn Cottage situated adjacent to the Lydeway railway bridge. The  work is scheduled to start 22 July 2019 and continue until end February 2020.

Finally, Stert’s major asset, the red telephone box, received its scheduled paint refurbishment – the last time was in 2010.

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.

  1. Financial Report

The opening balance of the PC’s account for the year was £2253.99 and the closing balance at 31/3/19 was £1867.71.  There had been one major expense during the year of £450 for the renovation of the telephone box. This needs to be done approx every 10 years and from now on £50 a year is being reserved for this to ensure there are sufficient funds for the next time.

The PC’s internal auditor has now approved the accounts, which are now available to the public on the parish website. The notice for the exercise of public rights of inspection of the accounts is also now on the website and on the village notice board. Both our income and expenditure are below £25,000, so the PC is no longer required to submit to an external auditor.

LB drew the PC’s attention to one figure on the parish asset register  that has changed since our last meeting. This concerns the telephone box, which until this year had been valued at £1, the acquisition cost. She suggested at the last PC meeting that it should perhaps be valued at £3,000, being the insured replacement value. It was agreed she should seek Neville Burrell’s advice and he said the correct valuation figure should be £451 (acquisition cost plus latest maintenance expense). It is quite standard for the stated asset value to be different to the insured value. So £451 is the figure that has been used.

  1. Questions from the Public

There were no questions from the public. 

Minutes of PC Meeting 16th May 2019

held in Stert House on 16th May 2019

Present:

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

Chris Lawrence (CL) 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 4th March 2019 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by AE) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LB reported that she had received the precept in the sum of £1700. There had been one payment to WH in the amount of £51.00 for the cost of the website. The balance now stood at £3516.71, and verified by WH in the passbook. 

4.1 The accounts for FY 2018/19 were now ready to be sent to our internal auditor, Mr. Neville Burrell. We were no longer required to send our accounts to an external auditor, but a certificate of exemption certifying that our annual income was less than £25,000 needed to be signed by CB. This he did.

4.2 LB tabled a governance statement which CB read out loud. Each paragraph was agreed and ticked off. This document was then signed by CB and WH.

4.3 LB tabled a statement of assets . The major item was the telephone box set at a value of  £3000, the sum for which it has been insured. The total value of assets stands at £5203.90. The statement was signed by CB and WH.

4,4 LB circulated a spreadsheet showing the accounts for the past year, and comparing these with the previous year. Comparing the two years, income was slightly down due to fewer donations for use of the marquee and expenditure was considerably up due to the one off payment for renovation of the telephone box. The balance at year’s end stood at £1867.71. The accounting statement was signed by CB.

4.5 LB reported that she had been quoted £240.25 by Community First to renew the PC’s insurance coverage. This was slightly up on £236.25 for last year. The new premium covers the salt spreader and £3000 for the phone box but excludes the marquees. All risks cover for the newer marquee at a value of £450 would amount to £15.74. It was agreed not to include this cover. LB was therefore instructed to renew the insurance in the sum of £240.25 (proposed by WH and seconded by AH).

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH said there was nothing to report.. 

  1. Claironailes: update

The PC noted that the doors and windows on the storage building had been changed from the layout shown on the plans. WH had called the planning officer at WC to ask whether new plans had been approved and was informed that this was not the case. He was informed that any objections from residents concerning the non-conformance should be directed to enforcement@wiltshire.gov.ik. However, the PC felt that as the building was built sympathetically to the surroundings, it would not take further action. 

  1. Speed limit on A342

WH informed the meeting that he had received a copy of the minutes of the recent CATG (Devizes Community Area Transport Group) meeting in which the speed limit survey on A342 between the entrance to Stert and Clock Inn had been shown as No. 2 on the list of surveys being implemented. The consultants, WS Atkins, had been engaged to carry out the assessment and were due to report their findings at the June CATG meeting.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

There was no new news to report concerning the works at Tinkfield. Work on the bund had not progressed this year with the section next to the main road yet to reach full height. 

  1.   Railway Station at Lydeway

There was no further news to report concerning the proposed Lydeway Station. CL had agreed to attend a meeting of WC’s Spacial Planning Team on 4th June to be briefed on developments under WC’s Core Strategy and would raise the subject then.

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

AE had had a meeting with David Tennant of Wessex Water about its plans to replace the water main between the Fox and Hounds and the railway bridge by Clock Inn. Most of the new main would be laid in the fields north of the main road, but there were three sections where it would be laid in the roadway: from the Fox & Hounds to Tinkfield, from the Monument to just past the cottages, and from the village entrance to the railway bridge. The work will require in single lane traffic control in these sections for the duration of the work which is due to begin in July. CB said he will arrange a meeting with Mr. Tennant to be briefed on the work schedule.

  1. Village events for 2019

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

The date for the Christmas party was set on Friday 20th December.

  1. AOB

The PC wished to thank to the Edwardses for their hosting of this year’s car boot sale. The site was immaculate as always.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting and the Annual  Parish Meeting will be held in Stert House on Monday 15th July 2019, at 6.30 pm.

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.