Minutes of PC Meeting, 30th September 2019


held in Stert House on 30th September 2019


  • 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.

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



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

Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

  1.  Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

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

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

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

  1. Treasurer’s Report

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

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

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

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

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

  1. Byde Farm planning application

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

  1. Speed limit on A342

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

  1. Claironailes update.

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

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

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

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

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

  1. AOB

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

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

  1. Next Meeting

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


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



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

Chris Lawrence and Alick Edwards sent their apologies.

  1. Chairman’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chairman would like to take this opportunity to thank all councillors for their support and hard work during the year.In particular the PC would like to thank Councillor Philip Whitehead, our Wiltshire Councillor  for his help and advice on matters pertaining to Stert.

  1. Financial Report

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

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

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

  1. Questions from the Public

There were no questions from the public. 

Notice of Public Rights: 2019

Audit 4

Annual Governance Statement 2018/19

Audit 3

Accounting Statement 2018/19

Audit 2

Annual Internal Audit Report 2018/19

Audit 1

Minutes of PC Meeting 16th May 2019

held in Stert House on 16th May 2019


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

Chris Lawrence (CL) sent his apologies.

  1. Declaration of Interest  

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 4th March 2019 were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by AE) and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Neighbourhood Watch

WH said there was nothing to report.. 

  1. Claironailes: update

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

  1. Speed limit on A342

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

  1. Tinkfield Recycling Centre.

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

  1.   Railway Station at Lydeway

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

  1. Replacement of water main on A342

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

  1. Village events for 2019

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

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

  1. AOB

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

  1. Next Meeting

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

Exemption Certificate 2019

Exemption certificate

PC Accounts 2018/19

PC accounts 2018:19