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Mere Town Council

Town Clerk - Mrs. L. C. Wood


Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council to be held on Monday, 4th September 2017 at 7.30 p.m. in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW

Present:  Councillors J. Jordan (Chairman), Mrs. K. Symonds (Vice-Chair), A. Colman, R. Coward, C. Hazzard, R. Hill, Mrs. J. Hurd, G. Ings, G. Jeans, A. Mead, E. Mitchell,  B. Norris, Mrs. L. Traves & R. Sims
Also:  Mr. Dick Morris, Sally Brett, Spencer Gunn & Claire Shaddick, Vernon Philips, Mrs. Anthea Beck + 1, Suzanne Pike & Mrs. Clyde,

Meeting convened at 7.30 p.m. with Public Session
The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).
Sally Brett, Lynch Close said that Mrs. Annie Harris had sent her apologies for not being able to attend the meeting.  Also, she would like to compliment the work carried out on the wall along Dark Lane, she said she thought it had been done very well although she was a bit concerned about the bow in the wall.
Anthea Beck of 3 New Cottages, Shaftesbury Road (applicant for Planning Application Ref: 17/07483/FUL) spoke in support of the application.  Mrs. Beck said she had suffered a nasty accident in 2001 and the house had become unsuitable for her disability needs.  She said that she wanted to stay in Mere but that there were no bungalows around that were suitable that she could afford.  There was space in her existing garden, once the existing garage had been demolished, to build a 1-bed chalet bungalow with a room upstairs for a carer.  Mrs. Beck confirmed that there would be off-road parking for two cars each for both the existing dwelling and the proposed dwelling. 
Mrs. Pike from Ivyead spoke in support of application 17/07277/FUL submitted by her mother who lives in Peacehaven, Pettridge Lane.  Mrs. Pike said that they both loved living in Mere and benefited from the great facilities that Mere has to offer and want to stay living in the area.  The piece of land adjacent to Peacehaven was purchased by her mother as a building plot and not as an extension to her garden under pre-existing pre-app advice for a 2-bed chalet bungalow.  Following the purchase of this land, Barnesfield House was sold off separately.  Having received a negative response from the Town Council for previous application on the site which have subsequently been withdrawn, they have now reduced the footprint by about one third and they felt that this would be affordable either for sale or rent.  Mrs. Pike also felt that a smaller property in Pettridge Lane would be an asset to Mere.
Mr. Vernon Philips also speaking about application 17/07277/FUL, said that several planning applications for this site had been considered and in the interim various changes have been implemented to make it more acceptable.  However, there are two things which cannot be changed – one of them is the size of the plot and the other is off-road parking.  Mr. Philips also pointed out that members of the Town Council had previously expressed a dislike of building in gardens.
Mr. Sims pointed out that there was a broken road sign coming into Mere from the Gillingham Road which was almost parallel to the ground now.  He also wanted to thank everyone who came to the Cancer Research Coffee morning at Dewes House which raised £350 and announced that the Mere Cancer Research Xmas Fair would be held on 1st December.  Mr. Sims also congratulated the Mere PGG on the lovely little garden area that has been planted outside the doctors’ surgery.
Mr. Hazzard said that the museum group had pointed out that next year will be 150 years since the Clock Tower was erected and wondered if there should be some event to mark this.  He also reminded everyone about Mere Carnival coming up  on 16th September and said that it will be necessary for road closures to take place so please be in position before road closures take place.  Events throughout the week are all in the programme.  The Carnival Committee has had a slight hitch with the fun fair over last few days with the field being dug up for an archaeological dig.


Apologies for absence received from Cllr. P. Coward

49.  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 Minute No. 51a)
  • Cllr. Jeans declared a personal interest in Minute No. 51b)
  • Cllr. Jeans declared a personal interest in Minute No. 56c)
  • Cllr. Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 53b)
  • Cllr. R. Coward declared a personal interest in Minute No. 56c)
  • Cllr. J. Jordan declared a personal interest in planning application 17/06166/FUL
  • Cllr. E. Mitchell declared a personal interest in Minute No. 56c)

50.  MinutesRESOLVED to approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 3rd July 2017 on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 3.7.17
RESOLVED to approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 14th August 2017 on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 14.8.17.

51. Matters Arising
a) Clock Auto Regulator (Mere Clock Tower) – update on grant application – The Clerk reported that the Town Council had received a quotation of £2752 for a new auto regulator and electricity supply to the Town Clock.  She had applied for a grant of £2252 from the South West Wiltshire Area Board and agreed that the Town Council would pay the difference (i.e. £500) towards the project.  The Town Council was subsequently awarded a grant of £2000 towards the auto regulator by the SWW Area Board (not the £2252 requested) at the July meeting.  (Apparently this was a close run thing with 3 votes to 2 and we were lucky to get it through.  Thank you to Cllr. Symonds and Cllr. Jeans for attending the meeting and fighting our corner.)  In the meantime, we realised that there was a misunderstanding over the quotations supplied by the Cumbria Clock Company and the total cost of the project should have been £3450 + VAT.  I did not feel that we had authority to proceed with the project on this basis as the shortfall would have been £1450.  I therefore went back to the Cumbria Clock Company and they have subsequently agreed to fit the auto regulator and dismantle and clean the time side for the sum of £2652 + VAT.  Jeans electricals have agreed to provide and electrical socket near the mechanism for a price of £100.  This will leave the Town Council with a figure of £752 to contribute towards the project.  We have confirmed with Cumbria Clock Company to proceed with the project at their earliest convenience and Jeans electricals have made a start on installing the electrical socket.  The Clerk was thanked for arranging this.  Cllr. Jeans explained that he did not declare an interest at the SWW Area Board meeting because he did not know, at that time, that he was going to be awarded the work to install the electrical socket.  Cllr. Hazzard asked if the clock would still chime and the Chairman confirmed that it would.
b) Leases for car parks and public toilets – update and reports on background work to help decide future – Cllr. Colman said that he had been working on these two projects.  On the car parks – he had asked for 5 companies to come and advise.  Of those 5 companies, two had visited the site and advised on various proposals – further details of which he would provide for the next Town Council meeting.
With regards to the toilets, 8 companies had been approached and 3 had come out on site visits and advised.  Cllr. Colman showed members photographs of the toilets – present and impressions of what they could look like in the future.  He also said that the toilets desperately needed deep-cleaning and that he had arranged for two quotations – one of £1500 and the other of £350.   Cllr. Mrs. Hurd said that she felt concerned about spending large sums of money on them until we had decided what to do about them.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds asked why they were so dirty, and Cllr. Norris explained that the urinal system had been modified because it was impossible to keep them clean.  The Clerk also explained that there was a problem with blocked drains (to be discussed later on in the meeting) which was a contributory factory in terms of the smell.  RESOLVED that the Council accept the quotation of £350 for a one-off deep clean to see if this makes a difference, on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a vote of 11 for, 3 against and 0 abstentions.  In the meantime, members expressed their concern at the amount of money that would be involved in the sort of refurbishments being advised by specialist companies and suggested that Cllr. Colman contact a local firm of builders to see if they could make improvements on the layout, design and equipment at less expense.
c) Street Cleaning –  The Clerk reported that Cliff Stafford, our new street cleaner, started work on 28th July and we have already received numerous compliments on his work.  It is not really practical to give him a rota of streets, roads or areas for him to cover in his 2.5 hour shifts (2 each week).  However, if any councillors or members of the public have any particular areas that they would like covered during his shifts, please could you let the office know and we will try and arrange for him to get out there.
d) Lloyds Bank mobile bank route and siting – Cllr. Norris reported that the bank will close on 25th September.  The new mobile bank will be in The George Car Park on Tuesdays 2.00 – 3.30 p.m. and then again on Friday 9.30 – 11.00 am.  Cllr. Norris said that he had attended a session at Lloyds Bank where they were showing people how to do internet banking which was very helpful.

52.  Reports & Consultations
a) Neighbourhood Policing Report – Cllr. Sims reported an incident where a lady had left her handbag on the front seat of her car with the car door unlocked and found her bag had been stolen.  He also reported that, in a recent crackdown, the police had caught people hare coursing.  Cllr. R. Coward asked if the police were aware that youths were using the area under the bypass bridge alongside Manor Road and the Clerk confirmed that they were aware and they were also aware of two other areas where damage had occurred.  Cllr. Mead reported that damage had also occurred in the Recreation Ground on the Football Club’s dugouts.
b) Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – Cllr. Jeans reported that the Speed Indicator Device would be erected in White Road shortly.  He also pointed out that he could put it in Shaftesbury Road and Castle Street but would need to erect a pole in order to do so.  He said that if the Town Council applies for a grant then it can have it up all the time.  Cllr. Jeans reported that there was packs of trees available to parishes as a commemoration grant via the Area Board.  Cllr. Jeans also stated that he had represented the Town Council when he had attended the funeral of Henry Pike who had worked for the Town Council for a number of years as street cleaner.  The Chairman also pointed out that Chris Page had sadly died this morning and Mr. Page had been a Parish Councillor for Mere at one time.  Cllr. Colman asked if it would be possible to get a written report from Cllr. Jeans once a month.  Cllr. Jeans said that he supplied a monthly written report in Mere Matters and did not feel it was necessary to write another report.

53.  Planning
a) Applications: (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s website http://planning.wiltshire.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/ApplicationSearch.aspx   – and type in the relevant application number)
Application Ref:          17/08210/TCA
Application for:           Work to Trees in Cons. Area
Proposal:                     Conifer tree – fell
At:                                2 Bramley, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6JN
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application Ref:          17/07483/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Demolish existing garage and erection of dwelling with integral garage
At:                                3 New Cottages, Shaftesbury Road, Mere.  BA12 6BN
Clerk read out letter of objection received from Mr. Chappell.  Cllr. Norris pointed out that the application was for a dwelling outside the settlement boundary and that the Town Council would normally object to development outside the housing settlement boundary unless there was a good enough reason not to.  Cllr. Norris felt that the Council had heard tonight good enough reasons to make an exception but his only reservation was that the house was too far forward and should be set back a further 3m.  There was a discussion about whether or not there was adequate off-street parking provision.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 9 for, 2 against and 3 abstentions.  (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting).


Application Ref:          17/07598/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Proposed kitchen dry store extension to North East corner.  Changes
to window arrangements to previously approved extension
(Application Ref: 16/08599/FUL)
At:                                Bramley House, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6JN
RESOLVED to recommend approval on the above application subject to the tree officer being satisfied that this development will have no adverse impact on the trees bordering this site.  Proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Norris and carried with a vote of 12 for and 2 abstentions.  (Cllr. Hazzard had declared a personal interest in this application and therefore abstained from voting.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting).

Cllr. Mrs. Kate Symonds in The Chair

Application Ref:          17/06166/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Rendering of house using K Rend Silicone Coloured Render
At:                                The Shoe, Old Hollow, Mere.  BA12 6EG
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a vote of 11 for and 3 abstentions.  (Cllr. John Jordan had declared a personal interest in this application and therefore withdrew from The Chair and abstained from voting)

Cllr. John Jordan in The Chair
Application Ref:          17/07277/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Construct new 2 bedroom chalet type dwelling and the formation of a
new access
At:                                Land adjacent to Peacehaven, Pettridge Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DG

It was reported that an email in support of this application has been received from Paulette McManus.  The Chairman said that the size of the site is similar with other development sites and he thought that the applicants had tried very hard to take on board our previous comments.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that considering the plot was sold as a dedicated building plot, she did not think that it was necessarily garden grabbing.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd and carried with a majority vote of 13 for.  KS given that the plot was sold as dedicated building plot it is not really garden grabbing.  CH propose we support, JH second. Carried with a majority vote of 13 for and 1 abstention.  (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting).
*b) Draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan (consultation closes 22.9.17) – The Chairman informed members that the Mere Area had an overall housing requirement of 285 houses (235 in Mere itself and 50 in the Mere Community Area) of those 235, 163 had already been completed and there were developable commitments for 144, leaving a residual requirement of only 8 houses which indeed, were for the Community Area and not for Mere itself.  With reference to the revised housing settlement boundary, members agreed that this was broadly in line with the new boundary that Mere Parish Council had suggested back in September 2014.  Members agreed to delegate authority to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to decide on garden curtilages that should or should not be included within the revised Settlement Boundary. 
With reference to the Community Area Topic Paper
Para 2.4 (4th paragraph)

  • all developments within the community area will need to conserve the designated landscape of the Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB and its setting, and where possible enhance its locally distinctive characteristics.

The whole parish of Mere is not within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB (and neither is Zeals) and Mere Town Council feels that this paragraph has the potential to add unnecessary constraints and limitations to any potential development that may be required for Mere.  However, we do appreciate that any development in Mere may affect the immediate setting of the AONB and would suggest that this paragraph could be re-worded:

  • All developments within the Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB will need to conserve the designated landscape of the Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB and developments from parishes in the community area which are outside the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB will need to conserve its immediate setting, and where possible enhance its locally distinctive characteristics.


Para 2.9
Although it was probably unknown at the time that this discussion paper went to print, the Town Council has now agreed to embark upon a Neighbourhood Plan – the area of which will be based on the parish boundary.
c) Neighbourhood Planning – The Clerk reported that she had submitted the answers to the questions requested by Wiltshire Council and had received a confirmation email from Wiltshire Council, dated 10th August, stating that they would forward this to the relevant officer who deals with these queries and get back to us shortly.  However, there had been no further response.   
d) Progress update on new bungalows to be built at Bramley Hill – the Clerk reported that contracts had now been signed with the construction company and the Town Council had been given Authority to publish a notice which would be placed on the website and on social media.

54.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a)  Highway & footpath issues for Parish Steward & street lighting faults – The Chairman reported that subsequent to it being brought to our attention that the wall in Dark Lane was in a state, repairs and pointing have been carried out.  He also said that Cllr. Symonds had produced a beautifully drawn map for councillors volunteering areas to look after. 
*b) Highway Update for August (see Adrian Hampton Newsletter email 14.8.17) - Noted
c) Request for new bus stop outside Hill Brush Factory – The Clerk reported that an Area Board issue was submitted for a new bus stop for Mere, outside the new Hill Brush Factory.  However, upon further discussion with the Area Board Manager, the Clerk had discovered that the bus service was to be reviewed in autumn and it was felt that it would be a good idea to wait and see what effect the review had on the services before discussing this further.  Memebers agreed to defer discussion until the effect of the bus service review was known.  Cllr. Sims reported that with Philip Coward’s blessing, he had asked Berry’s Coaches if they would consider stopping at the new Brush Factory site but they had declined.
Cllr. Jeans said that he would like to discuss other bus stops and shelters when this was brought back on the agenda
*d) Urgent Closure Notice TTRN B3095 (part) Warminster Hollow, Mere – Members noted that the road closure would take place on 11th September (anticipated to be required for 2 days) to enable Wiltshire Council to carry out carriageway resurfacing and associated maintenance work. 

55.  Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Allotments & Cemeteries
a) Policy on smoking/vaping at Duchy Manor Grounds – The Clerk said that she had been asked by the Mere Bowls Club whether the Town Council had a policy on smoking or vaping in the Duchy Manor grounds.  The Clerk was asked to compose a Draft Policy for members to consider at the next meeting.
b) Maintenance of Public Toilets (drainage) – The Clerk said that as she informed members at the last meeting, the Town Council had problems with drain blockages at the public toilets.  Wessex Water have now investigated with a camera drainage inspection and confirmed that there looks to be a build-up of limescale along the drainage pipe.  They have further confirmed that this drainage pipe is our responsibility.  Their advice is to appoint a reputable company to jet the drain, treat it with a limescale solution and re-inspect with cameras to confirm that the build-up has been dispersed.  They could not recommend any companies but Abbot’s was mentioned in our conversation.  RESOLVED to appoint M. J. Abbott & Co. to carry out the work as advised by Wessex Water on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.  The Clerk was asked to get this work completed before carrying out the deep clean of the toilets.
c) The future of Mere Croquet Club and maintenance issues – The Clerk & Chairman reported that, upon request, they had been to visit members of the Mere Croquet & Boules Club as they have one or two problems relating to their lease.  The Club operates from the Old Mere Bowls Club site in North Road which has been transferred to the ownership of the Town Council under the Wiltshire Council Asset Transfer Scheme.  The Club pays Mere Town Council £125 per quarter in rent (£500 pa).  Their membership has diminished due to people moving away, becoming too infirm or indeed dying.  They have tried new recruitment campaigns which have been largely unsuccessful.  As their membership has diminished so, too, have their subscriptions.  They currently have 26 members paying £50 per year.  They have one immediate problem: the site is bounded by a very high hedge for which they have responsibility.  Their members are unable to cut it as it would be too unsafe (particularly the outside boundaries).  They have, however, received a small grant from Mere Lecture Hall Trust for £300 to help with the cost of appointing contractors & maintaining this hedge and it is our suggestion that the Town Council gives them a one-off grant of £300 to match fund this grant and enable them to get contractors in to cut the hedge this year.  The other issue relates more to their longer term future – their lease expires in two years’ and at present they only have one Trustee so we shall be advising them to invite a Town Council representative to their Annual General Meeting with a view to replacing the two Trustees who have died and also with a view to thinking about the viability of renewing the lease.  RESOLVED that Mere Town Council awards the Mere Croquet & Boules Club a one-off grant of £300 to enable them to pay a contractor to get the hedges cut on proposal made by the Chairman, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.

56. Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) PaymentsRESOLVED unanimously to approve payments as set out in the September payment schedule.
*b) To approve Budget/Expenditure report for period ending 31.7.17RESOLVED to approve the Budget/Expenditure report prepared by the Clerk on proposal made by the Chairman and seconded by the Vice-Chairman.  Cllr. Colman said that he had some questions to ask about this but would ask the Clerk outside the meeting.
c) Lynch Close Residents’ grant application for greenhouse & shed – Cllr. Jeans reported that when Wiltshire Council changed the slabbing at Lynch Close sheltered housing, they did not bolt the greenhouse and shed to the ground and these buildings were later found blown across the ground and damaged.  Unfortunately they are not prepared to come back and replace the damaged shed and greenhouse and so therefore the residents of Lynch Close are asking for grants to help them replace these buildings.  The Forest Charity and Allotment Charity had already agreed a grant of £250 each and it was thought that there would be a shortfall of £160-170.  RESOLVED to issue a grant of £165 (approx.) on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Sims and carried with a vote of 11 for and 3 abstentions. 

57.  General Items & Consultations
*a) Update on the future delivery of Waste Collection and Waste Management Services – members noted the information in Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 327 that had been circulated about the new waste and recycling collection contract which will commence on 30 July 2018. 
*b) Future organisation of Moviola Film Screenings in Mere – members noted the information in the report and request from Mrs. Mary White which had been previously circulated.  No volunteers came forward from Town Councillors and the Chairman said that he would place a notice in Mere Matters. 

58. Forthcoming meetings/events
5th September – Wiltshire Council meeting to discuss financial challenges – 5.30 p.m., Salisbury City Hall
12th September – Wiltshire Council’s Planning Training Event
19th September – Community Area Transport Group Meeting – 2.00 pm, Nadder Centre, Tisbury
24th September - Community Litter Pick 10 – 12 am.
27th September – South West Wiltshire Health & Wellbeing Fair – 2.00pm – 5.00 pm, Nadder Centre
27th September – South West Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership meeting – 6.00 pm, Nadder Centre

59.  Future agenda items
150th Anniversary of Clock Tower – C. Hazzard

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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