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Minutes of PC Meeting, 30th September 2019

MINUTES OF MEETING OF STERT PARISH COUNCIL 

held in Stert House on 30th September 2019

Present:

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

Wiltshire Councillor Philip Whitehead (PW) sent his apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the Annual and Annual Parish meetings held on 15th July 2019 were approved (proposed by AH and seconded by LB) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LB reported that since the last meeting, the following payments had been made: £129.95 in cash to CB as reimbursement for the purchase of 20 folding chairs from Ikea, as agreed at the last meeting, and £40.50 for 6 bottles of wine as a gift in lieu of fee to our internal auditor. She reported two receipts: £1.21 as interest on the account and a £45 donation for the use of the village marquee and chairs. The balance in the account stood at £3,082.07 (confirmed by WH in the pass book).

LB asked for authority to pay £300 to AE for village maintenance (mainly verge cutting) during the last year. This is the same amount he has been paid since 2011, and therefore she saw no need to obtain alternative quotes as the PC has always felt that AE gave good value for money. She also said that there were many advantages in having maintenance done by a person in the village who is able to respond very quickly if, for example, a tree comes down. AE having confirmed that he was happy with the amount, the PC agreed the payment unanimously.

Now, halfway through the financial year and most of the expenditure has either been made or agreed upon, LB thought it timely to report on the PC’s finances. The income comes to £1,745 and, assuming a budget of £200 for the Christmas party, our expenditure should come to approximately £1,081 (including a £50 reserve for the phone box). This figure does not include the possible £500 that may be payable for the A342 survey. If we have to pay this in the current financial year, our expenditure would come to £1,581 compared to our budget of £1,530.

At our next PC meeting, we will need to agree the precept for 2020/21 and so it would be helpful to have an idea of any further contributions Stert PC may be asked to make towards implementation the possible A342 speed limit.

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH said, apart from some warnings from Wiltshire Police of computer fraud which he had circulated to residents, there was nothing to report. 

  1. Speed limit on A342

WH had received an email from PW giving an update on the result of the speed survey. He reported that Atkins had finished their survey at the time of the last CATg meeting but the results had not been released and no recommendation had been submitted. The results and Atkins’ recommendations will be discussed at the next CATg when a decision will likely be made. It is understood that the recommendation will be to extend the 50mph restriction westwards to include the bends and junction with Stert.  However, this has not yet been decided but will be presented to the CATg for approval.

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

CB reported that earthworks on the bund had at last been completed and some tree planting had been done. It was agreed that CB should write to Nigel Grist expressing the PC’s appreciation that this work had been carried out and asking when the landscaping of the bund would be completed.

  1. Claironailes update

CL said that there had been no further complaints about the burning of building refuse on the site. He had no complaints about the building which had largely been built according to the plans approved by the PC.

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

The PC agreed that there had been no significant traffic delays due to the single lane operation along the A342 during the course of the works. AE reported that the contractor had benefitted from the dry weather and the work was ahead of schedule. He thought the contractor was doing a good job.

  1. AOB

10.1  Concerning the light shining across the valley,  LB said she had spoken to Mr Douse, the butcher at Market Lavington who owned the farm where the light was situated, and he agreed to try and adjust the lamp causing the complaint.

10.2  Footpath over the railway embankment: Network Rail had agreed to repair the rotten steps up the sides of the embankment.

10.3 Defibrillator. AH gave the PC an update on the defibrillator installed at Clock Inn. She said the unit had cost £750 with £130 for installation. Batteries and pads need to be replaced every 3 or 4 years and cost about £200. These prices are much lower than those from two years ago when last discussed by the PC. It was agreed that the acquisition of a defibrillator for Stert be discussed further at the next PC meeting.

  1. Next Meeting

The next PC meeting is scheduled to be held in Stert House on Monday 9th December 2019, at 6.30 pm.