minutes

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk - Mrs. L. C. Wood

Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 7th October 2019 at 7.30 p.m. in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW

Present:  Cllrs. C. Hazzard (Chairman), E. Mitchell (Vice-Chairman), A. Colman, R. Coward, R. Hill,  G. Jeans, J. Jordan, A. Mead, B. Norris, R. Pester, Mrs. K. Symonds & Mrs. L. Traves
Also:  R. Stone, D. Stone, M. Blakeney, Lesley Dixon, F. Legge, K. Stallard, R. Finan, Jenny Seward, J. Gammy, Mr. & Mrs. Bromilow.

Meeting convened at 7.32 pm with Public Session
The Chairman convened the meeting and read out the consent notice for names of members of the public to be recorded in the Minutes.

Mr. Legge from The Lynch asked if there was an update on the width restriction proposals for The Lynch.  The Clerk said that it was on the Community Area Transport Group list but had not yet reached the top five for action.  Cllr. Jordan said that his recollection from the last meeting he had attended, it was about 7 jobs away from being in the top 5.  
Lesley Dixon from The Lynch said that there was lots of greenery growing in the stream by The Lynch which was blocking its flow.  The Clerk confirmed that this had already been reported on the MyWiltshire Reporting App.  Cllr. Jeans said that if it was not followed up then he would pursue this.
Dawn Bromilow said that she was the Manager of the Butt of Sherry Public House and wanted to inform the Town Council that Enterprise Inns (the owners) had recently put the public house on the market with ‘potential for being converted into residential accommodation’.  Regulars of the Butt of Sherry were in attendance at the meeting and were prepared to form a group to look into putting in a bid for the public house if it could be listed as an asset of community value and she wanted to ask for the Town Council’s support in listing the building as an asset of community value.  Karen Linaker said that the contact officer at Wiltshire Council who deals with assets of community value is Mr. Simon Day.
Mr. Stallard said that he had attended the meeting to answer any questions on the planning application for Highfield's in Castle Hill Lane.  He said he was aware that a comment had been submitted to the planning authority regarding any windows overlooking residential properties on the west elevation and he wanted to assure the Town Council that there were no plans for any windows on the west elevation.
Mr Blakeney said he was here to speak in support of his application.  He believed that the application met the criteria for Class Q permitted development and believe that this will result in less traffic using the access lane.  He said that he hoped to increase his agricultural holding at Downs View Farm and that he had submitted a second planning application for that site.  The conversion of the barn at Burton would enable him to do the second application and concentrate his agricultural business at Downs View Farm.
Jenny Seward wanted the opportunity to talk about the meeting held in Salisbury on 19th September to discuss footpath 78.  She said it was good to see that Mere Town Council supported the proposal to get the footpath made public but was disappointed that Wiltshire Council had decided to ‘sit on the fence’ and she said that it was a blow to hear, at the last meeting, that they would take a neutral stance on this.  She said that there were a lot of people upset about this footpath closure who had now formed a group called ‘Mere Safety Group’ and they have secured some funding as they have been advised that they may need a barrister and have no idea how much this would cost.  If this application fails, we would like to open up talks about how we can make Manor road safer for pedestrians and to see if we can get a pavement put along there. She also asked if the Town Council would be willing to help financially if the funding for the barrister was beyond their means. The Chairman said that this was not a question he could answer now as it would need to be raised as an agenda item but he suggested that the group would need to find out what the costs of the barrister would be beforehand.
George Jeans said he was speaking as a member of the public in support of his planning application to fell a tree in the conservation area.  He confirmed that he would be declaring an interest and leaving the room whilst the planning application was discussed by the Town Council but wanted to clarify the reasons for felling this tree.  He said that the tree was pushing a boundary wall out and even after it was crown reduced last year, it was still shading UV panels.  He also said that it had a split trunk which cannot be seen from the roadside.  He confirmed that he would be planting a replacement tree – a horse chestnut - elsewhere in his garden.
Eric Mitchell said that several people had been complaining about a hedge which was growing out on the road at Edgebridge.  The Clerk said that she was aware of this and was hoping that she could persuade the parish steward to deal with it next week.
The chairman introduced Karen Linaker who explained that, about 15 years ago, she was a resident of Mere and so she was very familiar with the town.  Her job title was Community Engagement Manager and she works with four unitary councillors covering 52 parishes. She has been in the role for the last 10 years but only been in this area since March. Her role in the area board is to help the area boards spend their money and she confirmed that there was funding available for community grants in this area. “You will know to use Cllr. Jeans, your Chairman and your Clerk as a point of contact and I have noticed that, in this corner of South West Wiltshire, it is important that you shout loudly so that you are noticed in Trowbridge. Wiltshire Council has facilities in Mere, most notably the library which now houses the Children's Centre, the Foodbank, the health visitor, health adviser, Alzheimer's support & digital champions. Wiltshire Council organised a Fun in the Sun project for children’s outdoor games during the summer and around 25 young people from Mere participated.  I definitely got the message from your Chairman when the area board meeting was held in Mere in July (it has not been in Mere for some time), that you feel you miss out on some projects here in Mere and if I can help to help you shout a bit louder then please ask me.”  Cllr. Jeans explained that Karen Linaker has taken on the job of two managers and she now covers 52 parishes and he confirmed that Mere does get its share of grants.  However, there is still money available and we need to get groups and organisations to apply.  He thanked Karen for all the work that she does.

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. P. Coward, G. Ings & R. Sims

64.  To receive declarations of interest from members and to consider requests for new DPI dispensations.
Members are invited to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests in items on the agenda as required by the Mere Town Council Code of Conduct for Members and by the Localism Act 2011.

  • Cllr. Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in planning application 19/08902/TCA and in Minute No. 72a)
  • Cllr. Jordan declared a personal interest in planning application 19/08193/FUL
  • Cllr. Mrs. Traves declared a personal interest in planning applications 19/08800/FUL and 19/08193/FUL

65.  Minutes – RESOLVED to approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 2nd September 2019 on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 2.9.19

66. Emergency item – Listing Butt of Sherry as Asset of Community Value
The Chairman thanked those members of the public who had attended this evening to inform the Town Council of what was happening with the marketing of this property.  Cllr. Mead said that he fully supported the suggesting of listing this building as an Asset of Community Value. ‘If the Butt of Sherry were to be lost it would cut off that end of Mere.  It is a community meeting place and needs to be kept as a public house ‘  Karen Linaker explained that by listing it as an Asset of Community Value it would mean that the property could not be sold in 6 months which could give the community time to raise funds to submit a bid to buy the property.  Cllr. Jordan said, year by year, key amenities in Mere are turned into apartments and we need to keep some of the amenities.  Cllr. R. Coward said that he supported the arguments.  RESOLVED that the Clerk is empowered to undertake further research and, if feasible, to submit a nomination to list the building as an Asset of Community Value on proposal made by the Chairman. 

67.  Matters Arising
a) Electoral Review of Wiltshire: Warding Arrangements – Final recommendations made by the Boundary Commission – the Clerk said she was pleased to report that the final recommendation of the Boundary Commission is for the Mere electoral ward to remain the same.  In their report it said ‘As part of our decision to modify our proposals for divisions in southern Wiltshire, we proposed further draft recommendations in which West Knoyle would be replaced in Mere division by Maiden Bradley.  In the light of a large number of objections from both of those parishes and the confirmation by Mere Town Council that the current division most closely reflects community interactions in south-west Wiltshire, we are restoring the current division as part of our final recommendations.’  The Clerk said it seemed that people power has worked on this occasion and confirmed that this recommendation will be laid before parliament and cannot now be amended, only approved or rejected.  Cllr. Jeans thanked the Clerk for the responses that she prepared and also thanked the parishioners who took the trouble to write to the Boundary Commission.
b) Community Governance Review Request Form – to complete and sign council resolution form – the Clerk informed members that she was required to submit a signed council resolution form for the decision that was made under Minute No. 61b) at the last meeting:- RESOLVED to request that the Parish Boundary be changed to extend in a westerly direction to encompass the triangular piece of land bordered by the A303 to the north and the B3092 on the south that encompasses Norwood House and the new Visit Hillbrush centre.  Members felt that this change would reflect the community identity of Mere as very few people realised that this area was not within the parish boundary and that it would also be helpful for the Neighbourhood Planning Group to encompass the employment allocation within the parish boundary.   Members authorised the Chairman to sign the resolution form for submission to Wiltshire Council.
c) Councillor to volunteer for co-option onto Mere Parochial Church Council – the Clerk reminded members that at the June Town Council meeting, it had been resolved to invite the Mere Parochial Church Council to accept a representative from Mere Town Council to their meetings with a view to discussing and securing the future prosperity of the building.  The Clerk explained that the PCC were keen to progress and Cllr. Mrs. Traves volunteered to represent the Town Council and be co-opted onto the Mere Parochial Church Council.
d) Mere Path No. 78 - Definitive Map and Statement Modification Order 2019 – Cllr. Jeans said that he had attended the Southern Area Planning Committee meeting in Salisbury on 19th September.  Cllr. Jeans said that for public rights to have been acquired under statute law, it is necessary for the use of the way to have been uninterrupted for a period of at least 20 years in a manner that is ‘as of right’ that is, without force, without secrecy and without permission.  This would give rise to a ‘presumption of dedication.’  Cllr. Jeans said that a number of people had submitted User Evidence Forms detailing their use on foot of the application route in full for varying lengths of time dating from the 1940s to 2017 which led to Wiltshire Council advertising an Order to record the path as a public footpath.  However, a number of objections had been received to the Order and therefore the matter had been put forward to the Southern Area Planning Committee for consideration.  The recommendation, which was approved by the Committee, was that the Order be forwarded to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for determination with Wiltshire Council taking a neutral stance. 

68.  Reports & Consultations
*a) Neighbourhood Policing Report (report attached) – copies of the September Community Police report were distributed to members prior to the meeting and further copies were made available at the meeting.
b) County Councillor’s report – Cllr. Jeans said that he had submitted a full report which had been published in Mere Matters but also wanted to report that Mr. Nick Cowan had now left Wiltshire Council as the Rights of Way Warden and he had subsequently been replaced by Alex Howson whose new job title was Countryside Access Officer.

69.  Planning
a) Applications:

Application Ref:          19/09145/PNCOU
Application for:           Prior Notifications on change of use
Proposal:                     Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q for a proposed change of use of
an agricultural building to a single dwelling house (Use Class C3) and for
associated operational development
At:                                Barn off Southbrook Road, Mere.  BA12 6BR
The Clerk informed members that this was the second Class Q application submitted for this property. The first having raised an objection by the Town Council on the grounds that it could not be converted to a dwellinghouse without an extensive element of construction that would go beyond that which could be reasonably described as ‘conversion’. However, the Clerk pointed out that there had been changes made since the first application in that the footprint is smaller and parts of this barn will be reused on the next planning application to be considered which has also been submitted by the same applicant. The Clerk read out the Town Council's previous response and also read out Wiltshire Council's decision on the previous application.
Cllr. Mitchell explained the regulations for Class Q applications – that being a Government directive introducing permitted development rights to allow the change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling house without requiring the express permission of the local planning authority, subject to a number of criteria being met and certain conditions being satisfied. He explained that the building being converted has to be strong enough to support a house without introducing new foundations and Cllr. Mitchell said that this barn was more than adequate to support a house.  Cllr. Mitchell said that this particular barn was erected by Mr. Blakeney because it was where he originally started farming but later on the Town Council will be considering an application for a new barn on land where the applicant’s farming business will be concentrated.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of this application on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a vote of 7 in favour and 4 abstentions. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)
Application Ref:          19/09051/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Proposed erection of a new steel framed agricultural barn
At:                                Downs View Farm, Shaftesbury Road Northeast to Limpers Hill, Limpers Hill,
Mere.  BA12 6BD
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)
Application Ref:          19/08340/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Replacement timber garden room
At:                                Furzehill, Mill Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DA
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Norris and carried with a majority vote. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)

Application Ref:          19/08800/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     First floor extension and alterations
At:                                Bourne Cottage, Mill Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DA
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Pester, seconded by Cllr. Mead and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Mrs. Traves, having declared a personal interest, refrained from discussion and abstained from voting. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)

Application Ref:          19/08902/TCA
Application for:           Work to trees in a Conservation Area
Proposal:                     Fir tree – fell
At:                                Jeans Electrical, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HB
The Clerk read out an objection letter which had also been submitted to the planning authority.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.  Cllr. Jeans, having declared a pecuniary interest in this application, left the meeting room whilst it was discussed and took no part in voting.

Application Ref:          19/08572/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Proposed new ground floor enclosed link to connect the previously
approved 13 bedroom specialist care unit to Bramley House
Residential Care Home
At:                                Bramley House, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6JN

Application Ref:          19/08571/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Proposed development at Bramley House Residential Care Home to
provide a new build detached 13 bedroom specialist care unit (with
en-suite and ancillary facilities)
At:                                Bramley House, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6JN
The Town Council considered the above two applications together.  The Clerk reported that the Town Council previously supported the principal of providing a detached 13 bedroom specialist care unit at Bramley House but had concerns relating to the planning application.  One of the concerns was land ownership but this was rectified at the time with the owners of Bramley House entering into an agreement with Wiltshire Council (owners of land to the north of the property) and subsequently signing a Certificate B for the planning application.  Parking was the Town Council’s principal concern and the Town Council had pointed out that there was an area of land adjacent to Bramley House, currently owned by Wiltshire Council, which could be utilised for off-road parking – suggesting that this may be a solution to the parking problems currently associated with the care home and its visitors.  However, it would appear that this has not been explored any further. The Clerk pointed out that there was an objection letter online and that the Town Council had been sent a copy of a letter from the Salisbury & Wiltshire Swifts outlining their concerns for the lack of provision for wildlife (in particular swifts.
RESOLVED to send ‘support with concerns’ submissions for both applications and adding: The Town Council’s principal concerns with this application and application 19/08571/FUL (both of which are renewals of applications that have previously been approved) relate to the lack of parking provision and the current problems with on-street parking associated with the care home. 
At weekends in particular, visitors parking around the site can cause obstructions and visibility problems for road users and pedestrians.  It is not uncommon for visitors to park their cars around the Bramley Hill residential estate and all along the Homefield residential estate, often parking on bends and on junctions.  By creating the main access to this development along the Homefield entrance, this will exacerbate the congestion along Homefield and cause problems for the residents of Homefield trying to access their own homes.  There are areas of land immediately to the east of the proposed specialist care unit, currently owned by Wiltshire Council, that could be utilised for off-road parking and this may be a solution to the parking problems currently associated with the care home and its visitors.  The Town Council would recommend that the applicants seek to lease, license or buy this land from Wiltshire Council to be used as parking provision for the care home (staff & visitors).  (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)

Application Ref:          19/08489/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Erect oak framed extension to form larger kitchen and office to the
first floor.
At:                                Green Ridge, Barrow Street, Mere.  BA12 6AB
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a majority vote. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)

Application Ref:          19/08193/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Add first floor to western part of existing single storey dwelling
At:                                Highfields, Castle Hill Lane, Mere.  BA12 6JB
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mead, seconded by Cllr. Norris and carried with a vote of 8 in favour and 3 abstentions.  Cllr. Mrs. Traves, having declared a personal interest in this application, refrained from discussion and abstained from voting.   (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)

b) Report on Wiltshire Local Plan Review Consultation Event workshop held in Tisbury on Wednesday, 25th September – Cllr. Jordan reported that he had attended the meeting along with Cllr. Jeans.  It was an exercise to ensure that Wiltshire Council was consulting and engaging with everyone.  Cllr. Jordan said that last year, the Town Council was told that the Trowbridge Housing Market Area (HMA) needed an extra 6000 houses and the Salisbury HMA needed an extra 600 houses but he was shocked to hear, at this workshop meeting, that Trowbridge HMA now needs only 600 houses and Salisbury HMA needs 3,500.  On being questioned about this, the Wiltshire Council officers acknowledged that the numbers had changed but did not give any explanation for this change. There were no documents for us to take away. They project that the Mere area will need to accommodate an additional 250 houses by 2036.  However, that number will include the Woodlands Road development and others that we have had built recently – so in actual fact it means that the Mere area will need to accommodate an additional 90 houses within the next 17 years. The meeting didn't confirm anything but there is obviously a change and the South of Wiltshire must expect more housing. We expressed concern about proximity of large housing developments in Dorset, namely in Shaftesbury and Gillingham, and the effects that these have on the infrastructure around the villages and towns in the south west of Wiltshire and we asked if these large developments over the County border are taken into consideration and the answer was ‘no’.  Cllr. Jeans said that he did not consider that 90 houses for the Mere community area is enough over the next 17 years. He pointed out that many of the small villages would like a small amount of affordable housing but at the moment they cannot have any housing because they are considered unsustainable. The officers did confirm, however, that Wiltshire Council was in the process of considering some amendments to policies in order to take this into account.  Cllr. Mrs. Traves questioned the point in providing all this housing if it was not going to be sold.
* c) Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage  - Consultation  (link to consultation documents provided) – The Clerk advised that in this consultation paper, the Government is seeking views on “the principle of amending permitted development rights in England to grant planning permission for mobile infrastructure to support deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage, particularly in rural areas”.  The proposals include removing the need for mobile phone operators to seek prior approval when installing radio housing equipment or upgrading masts to support 5G.  The paper also suggests operators could be allowed to install building-based masts close to highways without planning permission and to build higher masts than currently allowed under permitted development rules.  Cllr. Mead said that he had heard there were health concerns over high-frequency radio waves.  Cllr. Norris said he was not sure it would affect Mere.  Cllr. Jeans said that he is not aware that Wiltshire Council has discussed anything about 5G at present.  RESOLVED to make no comment on the consultation.

70.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a) Dropped kerbs in Clements Lane – the Clerk said that she had not heard any further news from C. G. Fry & Son about whether or not their contractors would be prepared to install the dropped kerbs and what the price would be.  Cllr. Jordan said that he would follow this up.
b) Unauthorised replacement of Street Lamp in The Square – the Clerk said that she was dismayed to find that Wiltshire Council had repaired a street light in The Square and replaced the Victorian Street Lamp head with a modern one.  She had complained to Wiltshire Council about this and asked for the original street lamp to be returned as the Town Council had originally paid a contribution towards these Victorian style street lamps.  It was pointed out that this particular street light (outside the Charity shop) actually had a built-in spotlight which shone on the clock tower.
c) The Wiltshire Council Mere 26 Diversion and Definitive Map and Statement Modification Order 2019 – Consultation on the diversion of footpath Mere26 at Charnage Farm (Consultation closes, Friday, 11th October) – Members confirmed that they were happy with this diversion as it was in accordance with the route preferred by the Town Council (see Minute 43a) of Town Council meeting held on 1st July 2019.

71.  Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Allotments & Cemeteries
a) Memorial bench for rear of Castle Hill – The Clerk informed members that she had been approached by friends of Mrs. Adams who wanted to donate a bench to be installed on the north side of Castle Hill along the lower footpath.  The Clerk had explained to those involved that because Castle Hill was a Scheduled Ancient Monument it was not possible make any ground fixing without asking permission from Historic England and possibly having an archaeological assessment.  Mrs. Adams had said that she was willing to pay for costs involved and wanted the Clerk to go ahead and seek permission from Historic England.  The Clerk had therefore written an email to Historic England asking for advice as to whether installing this bench and concreting it in would require an assessment or whether an alternative suggestion of using metal staples over the leg stretchers (which would not entail any digging) might be acceptable.  Historic England had visited the site and said that they will not support an application for Scheduled Monument Consent for two reasons: the proposed location is in a part of the castle that has little or no modern intrusions, thus enabling appreciation of the form of the earthworks.  Secondly, there are numerous other benches on the central and southern part of the castle that have fallen into disrepair and which are unsightly.  The Clerk had passed this information on to the residents and suggested that they explore refurbishing one of the broken benches on the south side of Castle Hill or seek an alternative site such as the land at the foot of Castle Hill Crescent.  Cllr. Rodney Coward said that he was going to meet with the residents about this matter & Cllr. Jeans suggested that the seat could be placed on the ground and rather than installing it by concreting it in or using metal staples, it could be weighted in some way so that it would impede any removal.
b) Report on RoSPA Play Area Safety Inspections carried out in September – the Clerk asked for this matter to be deferred as the inspection reports had only just come in and she had not yet had time to read them through properly.

72a) Payments – The Clerk explained errors with Mere School utility invoices in that she had queried the water meter readings for the previously approved payment of £1682.02 (cheque No. 4540 – now destroyed).  As a result we had now received revised invoices and the total payment was now £627.12.  Cllr. Jeans, having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, left the room and took no part in discussion or voting.  RESOLVED to approve payments as set out in the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Mead and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.
b) Local Training Opportunity – Society of Local Council Clerks at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton on Wednesday, 27th November.  Cost £80 for SLCC members if booked before 30.10.19 – Members authorised the Clerk to book a place.
c) Council Tax Setting Timetable 2020/2021 & Overall Summary – the Clerk informed members that she had received Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax Setting Timetable and the key dates for the Town Council were:
4.11.19 – Wiltshire Council to issue draft 2020/21 Council Tax Base figures to Parish/Town Councils
10.12.19 – Wiltshire Council Cabinet to Approve 2020/21 Council Tax Base
24.1.20 – Deadline for Parish/Town Council to return approved 2020/21 precept requests to Wiltshire Council
25.2.20 – Wiltshire Council Full Council meeting to approve 2020/21 Council Tax
d) Completion of the Limited Assurance Review for the year ended 31 March 2019

  • Notice of conclusion of audit
  • External Auditor Report & Certificate

The Clerk confirmed that the external auditors, PKF Littlejohn LLP had written to say that they had completed their review of the Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) for Mere Town Council for the year ended 31 March 2019.  The external auditors report stated: On the basis of our review of Sections 1 & 2 of the AGAR, in our opinion the information in Sections 1 & 2 of the AGAR is in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.  The Notice of conclusion of audit, along with certified AGAR (Sections 1, 2 & 3) had been published on the Town Council’s website.

73.  General Items & Consultations/Briefing Notes
a) To approve signature of Confidentiality Agreement in preparation for negotiations between Mere Town Council and Wiltshire Council as part of the Service Devolution & Asset Transfer Programme – members authorised the Chairman to sign the agreement.
b) Blue Plaque – Wolfe Frank – the Clerk informed members that Mr. Paul Hooley had heard from Salisbury Civic Society to say that they had confirmed that a Blue Plaque would be affixed to Wolfe Frank’s former home, The Malt House in Castle Street.  It is hoped that the unveiling ceremony would take place 20/11/2020 which will be the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials.  Mr. Hooley asked the Clerk to convey his sincere thanks to the Town Council for the support and guidance given in this matter which have helped to arrive at this happy conclusion.
c) Arrangements for Remembrance Parade – the Clerk confirmed that an application had been put in for a 10 minute temporary road closure for Sunday, 10th November.  RESOLVED to display the rifle mementos as ‘unknown soldiers’ (without names) in Jubilee Gardens and to display 20 large poppies a week before the Remembrance Parade. The Clerk confirmed that she had ordered a poppy wreath for the Chairman to lay at the War Memorial on 10.11.19
d) Arrangements for Xmas Decorations – the Clerk informed members that permissions had been sought
for the erection of the Xmas Lights, both with the Highways Authority & Southern Electric.  Members confirmed that they would like the same set up as last year and it was also confirmed that the switch on day would be Friday, 6th December.
e) Mobile catering business enquiries – the Clerk reported that, having not received one enquiry in 28 years, she had received 3 enquiries in the last 3 months – one from a mobile coffee shop, one from a mobile cheese shop and one from a mobile pizza shop.  She did not like to impede these entrepreneurial aspirations but felt that she’d had to inform the enquirers that the Town Council did not have any land on which it could authorise the mobile units and that they would need to contact Wiltshire Council to get a licence to operate from the highway.  The Clerk said that the Car Park lease had restrictions as to any commercial activity.  Members felt that the Clerk had answered these enquiries correctly.  Cllr. Colman said that the Chamber of Trade were making enquiries about holding a farmers market and suggested that the Clerk could advise these traders to contact the Chamber of Trade.
*Briefing Notes:

  • Briefing Note No. 19-025 – Changes to arrangements for dealing with Code of Conduct Complaints
  • Briefing Note No. 19-026 – Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan – Consultation on Further Main Modifications

74. Forthcoming meetings/events
a) Annual Budget Meting – it was agreed that the Annual Budget Meeting should be held on Wednesday, 20th November at the Town Council offices and that it should start at 7.00 p.m. and that the following councillors would make up the committee:
C. Hazzard, E. Mitchell, Mrs. L. Traves, R. Pester, A. Colman, A. Mead, G. Jeans, J. Jordan, R. Coward & P. Coward

75.  Future agenda items

  • The Butt of Sherry – Nomination for Asset of Community Value
  • Footpath 78

Note:  Members are reminded that the Town Council has a general duty to consider the following matters in the exercise of any of its functions: Equal Opportunities (race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any disability), Crime and Disorder, Health and Safety and Human Rights.

*Further information on these items enclosed/attached

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