Category Archives: Minutes of meetings

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.



Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 11th December 2017

held in Stert House on 11th December 2017

Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL) Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
1. Apologies for absence 
Councillor/Clerk William Howkins and Councillors Sam Deacon and Alick Edwards sent their apologies.
2. Declaration of Interest 
3. Minutes of previous meetings
The Minutes of the previous PC meeting held on 25th September were approved (proposed by CL and seconded by LB) and signed by the Chairman.
4. Treasurer’s Report
LB reported there had been one payment of £300 to Alick Edwards, as approved at the previous meeting.
The parish account now stands at £2490.53.  (CL verified this balance in the pass book).

LB reported that PC expenses so far this financial year come to £569.25, with the only further anticipated expense being the Christmas party. In April we budgeted £700 for expenses other than the Christmas party. The PC finances are therefore well below budget. It was agreed to budget £220 for the Christmas party.

Council Tax resolution: it was agreed to keep the PC precept at the same level as 2017/8, being £915.05. Proposed by CL, seconded by LB.
5. Neighbourhood Watch
Nothing to report.
6. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
It was noted the planning permission decision has been postponed to December 20th. Subsequent to meeting: Planning application 17/05091/WCM was approved subject to conditions on 13th December 2017. Full details of the conditions can be seen on the WC website.

The PC was pleased to note that the building of the bund is progressing and that there is a wheel wash in operation most of the time.
7. Claironailes
The  property failed to sell at auction at the required price. It is therefore still for sale through Humberts.
8. Speed Limits.
A342: The Clock Inn Residents Assoc has requested Stert PC’s support for a 40mph speed limit between the Lydeway and Stert junctions. A letter was drafted to support this and will be sent by CB on behalf of Stert PC.

Stert village road: it was agreed an application for a 20mph speed limit should be submitted by WH.
9. Crookwood Motox 2018
One written complaint from a Stert resident was received about this in 2017.

It was agreed to advise Philip Whitehead/WC/Urchfont PC/Potterne PC that Stert Parish would tolerate the noise from one, or maximum two, such events per year but not more. Stert village is not affected by the traffic from such an event and so cannot comment on this issue.

10. Parish Christmas Party
To be held on December 22nd 6.30-8.30 by kind invitation of Clive and Georgie Boyes. Everyone in the parish is welcome. It was agreed to invite a number of non-residents.
11. AOB
Telephone box: it was felt this needs a new coat of paint and Neville Moody will be asked to quote.
12. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held in Stert House on Monday 19th February 2018, at 7.30 pm.


Minutes of Parish Council meeting – 25th September 2017

held in Stert House on 25th September 2017

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

1. Apologies for absence 
Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.

2.  Declaration of Interest 
SD informed that she had recently applied to WC for permission to fell several trees on her property including the leylandii that were obscuring the view from the churchyard.

3.  Minutes of previous meetings
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting and the previous PC meeting held on 17th July were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by SD) and signed by CB.

4.  Treasurer’s Report
LB reported that since the last meeting, there had been a single expenditure of £54 for a gift to Mr. Neville Burrell in lieu of fee for the internal audit. A donation of £30 had been received for use of the village chairs for a wedding. The balance now stands at £2790.53, as confirmed in the passbook by WH.

Our income for the current year is £1036.21 compared to £1018.03 this time last year. Our expenditure this year totals £269.25 compared to £570.92 for this time last year.

LB was pleased to report that the 2016/17 accounts had been approved by the external auditor. She requested approval to pay Alick Edwards £300 for the past year’s verge maintenance and this was unanimously approved.

5.  Neighbourhood Watch
WH had circulated a report to residents from Wiltshire Police about thefts from parked cars especially at out-of-the-way sight-seeing spots, giving advice on how to take precautions. Apart from this, there was nothing specific to report.

6.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
CB reported that WC’s decision on the revised planning application had recently been postponed until 20th October to allow Grist Environmental to clarify further aspects of their application following the receipt of comprehensive comments from North Wessex Downs ANOB and Etchilhampton Parish. These mostly concerned the construction of the proposed bund along the eastern boundary to mitigate the negative visual impact of the site and the timing of these works. Concerns were also raised about congestion on A342 due to site traffic and the mud it brought onto the road. The application should clarify where the material for the construction of the bund would be sourced and give a definite time scale for its completion.

SD suggested that the problem of the mud on the road should be directed to the Environment Agency.

7.  A342 verge maintenance
It was noted that work had started on clearing and resurfacing the footpath beside A342, starting opposite the Fox and Hounds pub and working towards the Tinkfield Recycling site. When this section was finished, work would start on the section between Stert Lane and Clock Inn.

8.  Sale of Land at Stert.
CB said he understood that the contract for the sale of the land opposite Fullaway Farm was signed last week. The new owner intends to use it as a nature conservation area.

9.  Claironailes
The new owner of Claironailes has said he intends to put the property up for auction in the near future. The PC will carefully monitor any future planning applications for the development of this property.

10.  AOB
10.1 Discharge into Stert Brook. Last month, Rachel Lawrence reported a bright orange discharge which she noticed in the stream at the ford by Mill Cottage. LB and SD traced this upstream to the discharge point from below the old WC landfill site (now beneath Grist Environmental waste transfer station). LB took a sample of the water from the stream (although this was not analysed) and reported the incident to the Environment Agency. The EA did not consider the incident to require emergency response and instead referred the matter to WC. Neither the EA or WC have taken any action, nor WC responded to the PC’s detailed questions regarding the incident. It appears that the sudden discharge may have been caused by work done by a WC’s field maintenance contractor while replacing the old pipework at the discharge point.

After much discussion, it was concluded that this was probably an isolated incident and whilst the PC sought action, the regulators considered no further action was required. Residents are asked to report any reoccurrence of water pollution incidents immediately to the EA Pollution Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60 and then to the PC so that the matter can be pursued further.

10.2 Motocross. CB reported that a Motocross (dirt biking) event had been held in Potterne Wick on two occasions, the latest on 26th August from 9 am till 6pm. Because of the noise disturbance, Potterne PC had tried to prevent these meets, but WC had issued a licence some years ago. Stert PC had also received complaints from residents about the noise. Potterne PC was presently discussing the future of the event with WC with a view to have the licence revoked.

10.3 The Christmas Party will be held on 22nd December at Stert House. The PC thanked CB and Georgie Boyes for again offering their house for the occasion. CB added that the carol singing around the village would be on 18th December and the carol service in the church would be on 20th December.

Other village events in the near future are:
Sat 14th October Concert in St James’: Music for Awhile, Bach and Sons
Fri 3rd November Stert Talk by W. Howkins: “My world adventure as a civil engineer”
Sun 19th November Recital in St James’, 2 violins and organ, Daphne Moody et al.
Fri 8th December Stert Talk by David Stephenson, “Hip replacement, technology in motion”
For further details, see Parish Website “”.

11.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 11th December at 7.30 pm in Stert House.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting – 17th July 2017

held in Stert House on 17th July 2017

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

1  Apologies for absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2.  Declaration of Interest  
There were no declarations of interest.
3.  Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
Having expressed their willingness to continue to serve, CB and AE were unanimously elected Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively (both proposed by CL and seconded by SD).
4.  Minutes of previous meetings
The Minutes of the Annual PC meeting held on 22nd May were approved (proposed by CL and seconded by AE) and signed by CB. The minutes of the Special PC meeting held on 7th June were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by CL) and signed by CB.
5.  Treasurer’s Report
LB reported that since the Annual Meeting on 22nd May, a single payment of £212.25 had been made for the parish insurance, as approved at that meeting. £90 had been received from the Scotts and Herrod-Taylors as donations for the use of the PC’s marquees and £1.16 was received as interest of the parish account. The balance now stands at £2814.53, as confirmed in the passbook by WH.

LB reported she had checked what benefits there were from the PC’s membership of the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils. She could see none and therefore proposed that our membership should not be renewed for 2017/18. This was agreed.
6.  Neighbourhood Watch
AE had no incidents to report and WH reported that, apart from some routine warnings from Wiltshire Police, which he had passed on to residents, there was nothing particular to report.
7.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
Planning application documents had been received from WC for the retroactive approval of the revised plans submitted by Grist Environmental for the lean-to extension of the new sorting shed, extension of the existing baler shed and the relocation of the eastern bund some 40 metres from its original position into the adjacent field. This relocation is to allow for a 20 m emergency/fire protection lane behind the extended sorting shed as stated in the Design and Access Statement. The PC had been shown these plans at the Special Meeting with Grist Environmental on 7th June, previously minuted.

Following further discussion of the new application, the PC had no objection to the extensions of sorting and baler sheds, but were concerned about the screening of the site when viewed from A342 near the Lion Monument. The plans do not show the extent to which the site would be hidden by the proposed bund and planting, as commented by Charles Routh of Somerset, Avon and Wiltshire Area Team, Natural England. However, the PC felt that provided the bund was constructed as shown on the drawings, the view of the site would be greatly improved compared with the present situation.

It was therefore agreed that the PC should support the application subject to the following conditions:

  • The bund to the east of the site should be constructed to the lines and levels shown on drawing GE/TINK/NBE/05 within 12 months of approval by WC of this application.
  • Planting of trees on the bund should be done within 6 months of completion of the bund earthworks.
  • The planting should be a mix of native deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.
  • The 20 m gap between the bund and the new sorting shed should be kept clear as the intended emergency/fire protection lane and not used for recycling/waste operations as it is outside the permitted operational boundary.

WH was instructed to submit these comments to WC before the deadline on 27th July 2017.

8.  A342 verge maintenance
CB reported that in response to the PC’s service request under the Parish Steward scheme in February and repeated emails from Mr. John Ericson of Clock Inn Park to WC’s Highways department about the restricted access along the footpath between Clock Inn Park and the village, Highways Councillor Bridget Wayman, had ordered the hedge around the dangerous blind bend to be cut back to allow safe pedestrian access along the footpath. She has also requested cutting back the encroaching bank and resurfacing the path to be undertaken as part of WC’s major works contract to be carried out in the coming months. The hedge cutting has been carried out at the bend, but further cutting needs to be carried out along the remaining sections of the footpath. This will be monitored by Mr. John Ericson who will keep the PC informed.
9.  AOB.
9.1 Last month, while walking with her dog along the road towards Byde Farm, LB was badly bitten by the black Labrador belonging to Fiona Squire and had to go to hospital to have the wound treated.
She has not reported the incident to the police as Fiona Squire was understandably shocked and apologetic that her dog caused this injury and has assured LB her dog will not ever be allowed onto the footpath or road unless on a lead. The PC has since heard that other village residents have felt threatened by her dog and no longer dare to use the footpath near Byde farm. To prevent any future incident, Fiona Squire has now installed an electric gate and dog-proof fencing around her property.

The PC acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that our village footpaths may be safely enjoyed by the community but feels that now the measures that Fiona has taken to prevent any future incident are in place, no further action need be taken by the PC at this time. The PC has sent an email to residents advising that if any walker sees the dog outside on the loose, or is threatened in the future, they should report it to one of the council members.

9.2 CB reported that he had met the new owner of the land adjacent to Fullaway Farm, Mr. Clyde Wynn Williams. He told CB that he has purchased the land to make a nature reserve for his daughter.

9.3 LB advised the PC that the footpath from Crookwood Mill Farm to Bridge Farm has been cleared by the Urchfont volunteer rights of way team who have also installed 3 new stiles with materials supplied by WC.

9.4 LB passed on a copy of the New Verge Guide to AE setting out the times of the year for cutting verges and hedges.
10.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 25th September at 7.30 pm in Stert House.



Signed    ………………. Dated  …………….

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting – 17th July 2017

held at Stert House on 17th July 2017

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

1. Apologies for absence  
There were no apologies for absence.
2. Chairman’s report
CB read his Chairman’s report as follows:
Elections were held in May 2017 resulting in all existing Stert councillors being returned unopposed. This would imply that Stert residents have confidence in the present Council who will continue to carry out their wishes to the best of their ability.

Several changes have occurred during the past year. Walter Fairbank of the Willows and Julie Godfrey of Crookwood Mill sadly passed away. Peter and Helen Crook of Barn Cottage have moved to Urchfont. Both Peter and Helen provided enormous support for our village in recent years: Helen recently served as Treasurer of the PC and Peter as Treasurer of the PCC. Again Stert was extremely grateful for their fundraising efforts – they were active in promoting the Stert Produce Day at the Brittox in Devizes which helped considerably in raising funds for the Church.

The PC held a Summer party at Stert House in July 2016 utilising the PC’s marquee at which the Stertian Singers performed and refreshments provided.The Annual Christmas party, hosted by the PC, was attended by approximately 60 residents with entertainment again provided by the Stertian singers. Stert PCC has introduced an innovative series of talks given by residents which have been well received. In particular our Emmy award winning composer, David Mitcham, gave a talk on his very interesting career which was moved at the last minute to Stert House in February as the Church had to be closed for repairs over a 2 month period.

The main planning issue of the past year has involved the Tinkfield Recycling Facility in which Stert PC have been closely involved with both Grist Environmental and Wiltshire Council. Negotiations are still ongoing, as minuted in the previous meeting. The other has been the future of Claironailes – Stert PC and Wiltshire both objected to plans submitted that did not conform to WC’s core strategy 2015 – 2026 and policy HC25 , adopted by Kennet Council and incorporated into WC’s planning policy in 2004.

The residents of Clock Inn Park have had access to the Stert village lane severely curtailed by the poor maintenance of the verge and hedgerows on the A342. This came to a head when John Ericson, representing the Clock Inn Residents Association, had a letter published in the Gazette complaining that WC were not acting on their urgent request. Eventually Councillor Bridget Wayman, the newly appointed WC cabinet member responsible for Highways, intervened and the verges etc have been cleared. Councillor Wayman has also indicated that she intends to have the pathway between the Clock Inn and Stert upgraded within the next 3 months. This will be monitored by John Ericson and reported upon to the PC.

Although the footbridge near Byde Farm, used by many walkers, was repaired temporarily, it finally collapsed due to heavy winter rains and had to be closed to walkers . It was rebuilt satisfactorily in the Summer of 2016. Footpaths in the vicinity of Crookwood Mill Farm have also been surveyed and cleared.

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.
3.  Financial Report.
The PC accounts for the year ending 31st March 2017 have been audited and approved by the internal auditor, Mr. Neville Burrell. As reported at the Annual Meeting of the PC held on 22nd May, the annual income for the year was £1020.30 and the expenditure was £1073.42, giving a shortfall of £53.12. The balance in the account on 31st March 2017 stood at 2023.57.

Details of the income and expenditure are given in the minutes of the Annual Meeting and posted on the PC’s website,

4.  Questions from the Public.
There were no members of the public present at the meeting.