Category Archives: Minutes of meetings

Minutes of PC meeting, 24th September 2018


held in Stert House on 24th September 2018


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

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

  1. Apologies for absence  

Alick Edwards sent his apologies.

   2.  Declarations of Interest

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

   3.  Minutes of previous meetings

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

  1. Treasurer’s Report

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

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

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

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

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

  1. Claironailes Planning Application

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

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

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

  1. Speed limit on A342

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

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

  1. Defibrillator proposal

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

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

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

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

  1. Railway Station at Lydeway

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

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

  1. Potholes in village lane

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

  1. AOB

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

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

  1. Next Meeting

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


Minutes of Annual PC Meeting, 16th July 2018



held in Stert House on 16th July 2018


  • 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


held in Stert House on 16th July 2018


  • 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


  • 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


  1. Declaration of Interest  


  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 .  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


  • 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


  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.


Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 22nd February 2018

held in Stert House on 22nd February 2018

Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE) Dty Chairman
Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH) Councillor/Clerk
1. Apologies for absence 
Councillors Sam Deacon and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.
2. Declaration of Interest
3. Minutes of previous meeting
The Minutes of the PC meeting held on 11th December 2017 were approved (proposed by AE and seconded by LB) and signed by the Chairman.
4. Treasurer’s Report
LB reported there had been one payment of £197.87 to CB as reimbursement for the cost of the Christmas party that had been budgeted for £220.  The balance in the PC account now stood tab £2293.99, confirmed in the pass book by WH.

LB did not anticipate any further major spending for this financial year. Our total spending for the current year comes to £767.12, well within our budget and well below the precept. Excluding the Christmas party, total expenditures for 2017/18 has been £569.25. I therefore suggest we budget £600 for regular expenses for 2018/19 plus the cost of parties. This was unanimously agreed.

LB proposed that a donation of £40 be made to the PCC for use of the church for Monday’s special PC meeting. This was proposed by AE and seconded by WH. CB reported that one quote had been received for painting the telephone box. Two more will be sought before awarding the work.
5. Neighbourhood Watch
Nothing special to report apart from a few general theft/scam warnings from the police passed on by email.
6. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
CB reported he had visited Tinkfield and had met Mr. Nigel Grist and Mr Jonathan Taylor. He reported that the second weigh bridge was being installed and work will soon start on concreting the internal roads within the site. In the meantime, the wheels of lorries are being pressure washed before leaving the site. CB was satisfied that everything possible was being done to reduce the mud being brought onto the main road. A great improvement should be seen when the concreting work is finished by the summer.

Work is continuing on construction of the bund and the sorting shed siding should also be completed by summer.
7. Claironailes
The house agents, Humberts, have advised that the sale of the property to a private owner is proceeding. The buyers have indicated that they plan to build an extension on the house subject to planning consent.
8. Speed Limits.
Requests have been sent by the PC to WC for a 40 mph speed limit on A342 between the Lydeway and Stert junctions and for a 20 mph speed limit in Stert Lane. No response has yet been received.
9. Crookwood MotoX
A retroactive planning application to allow agricultural land on Crookwood Farm to be used for Motocross meetings has been sent to WC. The deadline for public comments on this application is 7th March 2018. At a recent meeting of Urchfont Parish Council, Councillor Philip Whitehead stated that if permission was granted for one such meeting, then WC could not set a limit on the number of such meetings in one year. Urchfont PC strongly objected to the application on the basis of noise, traffic safety and environmental impacts. It was agreed that while Stert PC could not comment on traffic and environmental aspects, it should register its objections to the application due to noise disturbance to Stert residents. LB will post this objection on the WC website.

10. Devizes parkway Station
Separate minutes have been prepared of the briefing on a proposal for a new railway station, held on19th February by two members of the Devizes Development Partnership working group. It was agreed to circulated these to Stert residents as well as posting them on the PC’s website. CB reported that he had already registered on behalf of Stert PC the following objection with the GWR Franchise public consultation:

“Stert residents have always welcomed the possibility of a train station for Devizes. However Stert village now has strong reservations about the funding of this particular scheme. We learnt that half the funding for the station will come from residential development adjacent to the station. We calculate this will involve building a considerable number of houses in open countryside and in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Furthermore, we understand the plan is to build the houses first, followed by the station but without any guarantees that the station is eventually built. There is no planned development at the proposed location in the Devizes or Wiltshire Council housing strategies.”

11. AOB
11.1 AE reported that he had received a supply of salt and that the salt spreader was ready in case of snow during the coming week. He and WH would keep an eye on the forecast.

11.2 WH had noticed that there were some potholes and surface deterioration down the village lane that he would bring to the attention of the Parish Steward.
12. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held in Stert House on Monday 30th April 2018, at 7.30 pm.

Minutes of Special Parish Council Meeting, 19th February 2018

held in St. James Church on 19th February 2018

Present:   Stert PC:
Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE) Dty Chairman
Sam Deacon (SD) Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH) Councillor/Clerk
Councillor Chris Lawrence sent his apologies.

Devizes Development Partnership:
Peter Lay (PL), Working Group Chairman
Simon Fisher (SF), deputy clerk Devizes Town Council

Also present were 42 Stert residents and other members of the public.

1.  Devizes Parkway Station
At the request of Mr Fisher, he and Mr Peter Lay came to brief Stert PC on the proposal for a new railway station to be located on the main line to the east of Clock Inn Park. Stert residents had been invited to attend the meeting.

CB opened the meeting by introducing SF and PL.

In 2022, a new franchise for the GW network is to be put out for bidding. This proposal, by Devizes Development Partnership (DDP), is being put together as part of the forward planning for improved services to mid Wiltshire to be included in the new Great Western Rail franchise. This meeting is part of a public consultation to determine the support for a new station at Devizes. Devizes is the largest town in Wiltshire without a train station. The town council has conducted an ‘assessment of need’ and concluded the need exists, specially since nationally. train travel is growing rapidly.

The present franchise provides inadequate service for the mid-Wilts region. It does not realise the potential of Westbury as a hub with connections to the north, south and west. Making Westbury a rail hub should be a key part of the future services to the SW region, requiring the provision of a fourth platform.

Current plans for the main line comprise electrification of the Berks-Hants main line only from Reading to Newbury beyond which the main line to the west will be served by diesel trains. The fast long distance service with limited stops will be provided by bi-modal trains.

DDP has submitted (subsequent to meeting) a Response to Public Consultation on the GW Franchise justifying the building of a new station for Devizes. The reopening of the branch line to Devizes was no longer feasible due to property encroachment on the old line.

PL showed a plan of the proposed station, access road and parking for 400 cars (see below). The station is proposed to be located ¾ mile east of the railway bridge at Clock Inn and would consist of two full length platforms connected by a footbridge. The access road is to branch off from the A342 just east of the Etchilhampton turning and traverse the field south of Wabi Farm. From the eastern end of Clock Inn Park, it is to run along the northern side of the existing railway line to the far end of the existing airstrip.

Stert residents were surprised and concerned to hear that, between the access road and Clock Inn Park, a 6.5 hectare area is to be designated as a site for residential development. This development will be used to generate funds to help pay for the station development.

PL said that a certain amount of land would need to be acquired for the access road, housing development and station facilities. He said he had already spoken to the 4 land owners affected and had had positive conversations about acquiring this land. He plans to establish an option to buy the relevant land at a pre-agreed pricing formula.

When asked about the funding for the scheme, PL said that 50 percent of the costs would be derived from profit from the housing development. The remainder would be met from public sources. When asked about the costs, he said that he had no estimates at present, but hopes to have them by the end of March. Members of the public stressed the need for a proper business case for the station.

Replying to a question about the implementation programme, he explained the first stage, GRIP1 – project scope, had been submitted on 20th February. The next steps, GRIP2, GRIP3, (project feasibility and assessment of project options) would follow. He said the whole project would have to be completed by March 2022. An impact study would be needed for the housing project addressing infrastructure needs, such as schools, health centres etc. Members of the public were assured that a full time-line, showing each step of the project, would be published.

When asked about the number of houses to be built as part of the project, PL said it depended on the type of houses, (high end or low cost), but this had not yet been decided. He said the houses would need to be built before the railway station so that the funds derived would be available for the construction of the station and roadworks. Concern was expressed that the housing might go ahead and then the station construction be cancelled after the houses had been built. PL assured the meeting this would not happen. Members of the village stressed they would want to see written guarantees that no houses would be built without full written approval and commitment to building the station.

Concern was raised about the junction between the proposed new station access road and A342 as it already carries a lot of traffic and the present Etchilhampton junction was on a blind bend and traffic passed at high speed. PL said that this would be studied as part of the scheme and could result in a combined junction to Etchilhampton, Stert and the new access road. SF pointed out that a highway consultant had recently reported that by national standards, this section of the A342 is ‘lightly used’. PL said he also hoped to incorporate into the project a safe cycle route between Devizes town and the station.

PL hopes soon to discuss the project with the Wiltshire Council. So far, the 3 county councillors involved in the project are: Richard Gamble, Simon Jacobs and Peter Evans.

As there were no further questions, CB closed by thanking PL and SF for a very interesting briefing.
Further information and drawings can be seen at, and follow the link to Devizes Parkway station.
2. Next meeting
The PC meeting scheduled to be held after the above briefing was postponed until 5 pm on 22nd February.

Plan of proposed new Parkway Station prepared by DDP.