Mere Town Council

Town Clerk - Mrs. L. C. Wood

Report on the Mere Rivers Group meetings


Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 5th February 2018 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, A. Mead, E. Mitchell, B. Norris & Mrs. L. Traves
Also:  Mr. Michael Streeter (Gillingham & Shaftesbury News), R. Stone, D. Stone, Sherry Dixon & Elizabeth Barrett, R. Flower, G. Avory, F. Legge, Sally Brett, Annie Harris & Dick Morris.

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).
Mr. Morris said that he was fed up with finding bags of dog muck around Downside Close and wondered if it would be possible to have a dog bin.  The Clerk explained that the Town Council no longer supplied dog bins because dog waste could be deposited in litter bins along with ordinary litter and so served a dual purpose whereas dog bins only served one purpose.  However, she further explained that the Town Council’s staff emptied some of the towns litter bins – the waste being deposited into a large commercial waste bin which was emptied once a week and for which the Town Council paid £1000 per year for collection.  The problem was that this commercial waste bin was full up most weeks and that if the Town Council provided more litter bins they would then have to pay for a further commercial waste collection which would be a large expense for the Town Council.   
Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she had received communication from a member of the public who had found a dead goat on Long Hill and was concerned that the goat owner was reliant on a member of the public to check the goats daily and the fact that this member of the public had been ill since Xmas and had not been able to walk the hill on a daily basis.  Should the Town Council take some responsibility for the goats and perhaps provide some shelter for them?  Cllr. Mrs. Traves said that she had always found Mr. Horne, the goat owner, extremely helpful and very good and responding to calls from members of the public who were concerned about the health of a goat or the fact that a goat had escaped through the fence etc.  The Clerk confirmed that Mr. Horne checked on the goats twice a week and was happy for members of the public to telephone him or contact him on social media if they had any concerns.  The Clerk also confirmed that Mr. Horne had informed her that the RSPCA had recently visited the site and were happy about the condition of the goats and felt that there was enough natural shelter available for them. 
Cllr. Mrs. Hurd informed the Council that there was a public meeting tomorrow at 7.00 p.m. in St. Michaels Church to discuss their enhancement plans.  She also informed members that
Mr. Legge of The Lynch spoke in support of the residents traffic proposals for The Lynch (Minute No. ???) he said that there had been a significant increase of traffic over recent months and with the development of the brush factory an increase in heavy traffic is there for everyone to see.  He said that the 7.5 tonne signage at the top of Water Street is totally ignored.  The Chairman confirmed that he would take the opportunity to ask members of the public to join in the discussion on this matter when it came up in the meeting.
Cllr. Hazzard pointed out that the hedge along Angel Lane belonging to the church field had now become extremely wide and was causing a narrowing of the lane.  He said that if they could get a local tractor driver to cut it back with a mechanical hedgetrimmer it would be far easier and cheaper to do it now rather than wait for the summer.  The Chairman confirmed that this matter had been raised with the Highways Manager and Cllr. Mrs. Hurd said that she would liaise with the church over this.  Cllr. R. Coward said that it would need to be cut back before the end of March.

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

104.  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. Hazzard declared a personal interest in Planning Application 17/12510/FUL

105.  MinutesRESOLVED to approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 8th January 2018 on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 8.1.18

106.  Matters Arising
a) Nominations for Buckingham Palace Garden Party 2018 – The Clerk confirmed that Cllr. Raymond Hill had been drawn as a Wiltshire Association of Local Councils nomination to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party.  The Chairman said that he hoped it would be a splendid day for him and his wife. The Town Council asked for their congratulations for Cllr. Hill to be recorded.
b) WW1 Commemorative Tree Planting – The Chairman confirmed that the tree planting would take place this Thursday, 8th February at 11 am and he would be most pleased if all came along.  He said it would be a chance to see a good specimen of an oak tree. 
c) New General Data Protection Regulations and requirement for Data Protection Officer – the Clerk confirmed that she attended the briefing meeting but had not yet had a chance to prepare the report but would do so before the next meeting.

107.  Reports & Consultations
a) Neighbourhood Policing Report – The Chairman said that he had been informed that PCSO Peter Tcherniawsky had been actively engaged in speaking to drivers who park in places that he specifies as being dangerous.
b) Overview of plans for St. Michaels Church – Sherry Dixon and Elizabeth Barrett gave a short presentation to update the Council on the future plans for Mere Church.  They said that the overwhelming majority of people do not go to church and a few years ago, the question would be, is there a toilet but now the question is where is the toilet and so the plans were to install 2 toilets, install a servery area, a central hand rail and 2 glass doors with alterations to the north porch.  This will enable the church to hold more functions such as art exhibitions and photographic exhibitions.  The Church has applied for planning permission and other interested groups have been consulted and are broadly in favour of the proposals.  This community project would be separate to the day-to-day running of the church and it would not be possible to commence work until funds are in place – the likely cost being £170,000 – the majority of which would come from grant funding.  Cllr. Mrs. Hurd said she did not understand why it was necessary to install 2 toilets as most churches she attended had one accessible toilet and she felt that two toilets were unnecessary and would involve unnecessary costs.  Sherry Dixon replied that 250 people may attend a community event in the church and they did not know whether one toilet would be sufficient and therefore the decision to have 2 toilets had been made as it did not cost much extra to add a second toilet but it would cost a lot extra to add another one afterwards.

108.  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:                      17/12510/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Demolition of outbuildings, provision of altered vehicular and pedestrian
access and erection of 4 dwellings and garages
At:                                            The Yard, New Cut, Mere.  BA12 6PP
It was pointed out that the development proposed 2 parking spaces per dwelling but Cllr. Colman said that the Core Strategy required more than 2 parking spaces per dwelling and that an allowance needed to be made for visitor parking.  Cllr. Mrs. Hurd said that if we have to allow more than 2 parking spaces per dwelling then the Town Council would need to oppose the planning application but she felt that the Town Council had approved plenty of applications with only 2 parking spaces per dwelling in the past.  Cllr. Mitchell said that it was an industrial yard at one time and felt that residential purposes would involve less traffic.  Cllr. Colman proposed that the Town Council should support the application but request that Wiltshire Council review the parking spaces for visitors.   Proposal seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds but not carried on a vote of 2 for, 6 against and 3 abstentions.  RESOLVED to approve the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mead, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd and carried with a vote of 6 for, 3 against and 1 abstention.  As Cllr. Hazzard had declared a personal interest in this planning application he refrained from discussion and voting on this item.

Application Ref:                      18/00405/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Conversion of existing bank to create 3 no. 2 bed and 1 no. 1 bed flats with
At:                                            Lloyds Bank Plc, The Square, Mere.  BA12 6DP

Cllr. Mitchell felt that the application represented total overdevelopment and there was insufficient parking provision.  He pointed out that one of the identified parking spaces was not viable.  Cllr. Mrs. Traves said that whilst she wanted to see the building being brought back into use as she did not want to see it deteriorate like The Old Ship Hotel, she felt that this was overdevelopment and that the vehicular access would be difficult due to the narrowness of the road.
RESOLVED to object to the planning application for the following reasons:
Overdevelopment – the Town Council felt that the proposal would represent overdevelopment of the site which would result in a cramped form of development that would be detrimental to future occupiers.
Insufficient parking – the proposed development only makes provision for 2 or 3 off-street parking spaces (it is possible that the northernmost of the three parking spaces shown is not viable as it is adjacent to an access doorway for the adjacent property to the north) which does not meet minimum residential parking standards.  Given the case that individual dwellings generate their own separate, duplicate trips (deliveries, visitors, servicing etc.) added to the routine daily parking demand from residents, the Town Council feels that having 4 residential units on this site will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the already congested on-street parking in Mere town centre or in the Manor Road/North Street vicinities.  (The parking congestion in North Street and Manor Road has already caused potential problems for emergency vehicle access).
(Proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Norris & carried with a majority vote [1 abstention])

Application Ref:                      18/00765/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Erection of a single storey extension to showroom (amendment to planning
permission 17/10833/FUL to include glazing on the south elevation of the
approved extension)
F. J. Chalke Ltd., Talbot Garage, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HE
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Hill and carried with a majority vote (1 abstention).
*b) Road naming for development at Woodlands Road – The Clerk informed members that the Quantity Surveyor of C. G. Fry & Son Ltd had been in touch to say that Wiltshire Council had accepted our road name requests as previously provided but had now requested an additional 3 more street names.  The Clerk had circulated a map and reminded members that the road names previously agreed were:
Coward Road, Broom Road, Salmon Street, Bristle Grove & Brush Walk.   It was agreed that the Clerk should ask the Hill Brush Factory if they have any further suggestions and thereafter to delegate the decision to the Chairman & Clerk.  Cllr. R. Coward did ask, however, that the name Coward Road be amended to Cowards Road as he felt that the plural version was more in line with the intentions of the Town Council in that it would honour more than one generation of the family.

109.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a) Residents traffic proposals for The Lynch/Water Street (as brought up in last month’s public session) – Annie Harris reported that she had met with PCSO Tcherniawsky and had also met with residents of The Lynch and she had visited the Clerk.  PCSO Tcherniawsky has looked at the possibility of putting a bollard in the road and suggested a suitable location.  This would mean that drivers would not be able to use The Lynch as a rat run although arrangements may need to be made with the refuse collection vehicles etc.  Cllr. Hill said that he was opposed to blocking off The Lynch as it had been a through road for as long as he could remember and traffic along there used to be a lot worse.  He said it was used more in the past when workmen went through there regularly.  He said that the SatNavs were to blame for sending HGVs along there and that it would be better to deter HGVs from going along there and perhaps a big market on the road at junction with Lynch Close telling them that they’re entering a 3-ton limit.  Cllr. Norris said that in his experience as a lorry driver, you would need a width restriction marker so you know that you can’t get down there or you could build out 2 small islands so that they physically couldn’t try.  Cllr. Hazzard said that he was not happy about the suggestion of a bollard.  RESOLVED that the Town Council ask Wiltshire Council to investigate the feasibility and of a width restriction or possible physical width restriction if viable for The Lynch, on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a unanimous vote.
b)  Highway & footpath issues for Parish Steward, Wiltshire online reporting & street lighting faults

  • Pothole in Castle Street (reported by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd)
  • Potholes in White road just north of Fennell Road/Lovage Way junctions, on western side 2” deep (reported by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds)

*c) Highways Newsletter February 2018 – Noted
d) Report from Mere Rivers Group – Cllr. B. Norris presented a report (attached)
e) Notice of temporary road closure:  Woodlands Road (Part), Mere (for sewer connection) – the Clerk informed members that the proposed temporary closure was for Woodlands Road (part) – from its junction with Rook Street for a distance of approx.. 200m in a northerly direction to enable Ford Civil Engineering to carry out works for a sewer connection.  The order will come into operation between 5.3.18 and 29.3.18 and again between 3.4.18 and 16.4.18. 
f) Notice of temporary road closure: The Square (Part), Mere (Cancer Research UK Classic Car Event) – the Clerk informed members that she had received the above notice with indicative plan and said that Wiltshire Council required comments to be submitted by 12th February.  Members had no comments to send.
*g) Traffic Speed Survey Result – Shaftesbury Road, Mere (north of Wet Lane) – The survey was carried out between 9.1.18 and 18.1.18 along Shaftesbury Road within the 40mph speed limit north of Wet Lane.  A total of 9517 vehicles were checked.  The 85th percentile was 39.4mph (the 85th percentile is the speed at which 85% of the traffic is travelling at or below).  The average speed was 34.2mph. The Chairman pointed out that this was the second report that says that most of the traffic is staying within the speed limit and said it was the perception of speed that was probably the issue in this location.  He was surprised that approximately 1000 vehicles a day use that road though.  The Clerk said that she was aware that Cllr. Jeans had requested further data from this survey i.e. the highest speed that was recorded.

110.  Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Allotments & Cemeteries
*a) Mere War Memorial: Notification of Designation Decision – the Clerk informed members that Historic England had recommended that the Mere War Memorial is Listed and that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport had agreed and the Mere War Memorial has been added to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and is now listed at Grade II.
b) Boiler repairs in Andy Young Pavilion – the Clerk informed members that this issue was now becoming a cause for concern, not only because of the escalating costs but also because the boiler was still not working.  She explained that the Town Council had a service contract with Wessex HVAC and that they had been called out to repair the boiler.  They had attended on several occasions, had replaced the circuit board 3 times (under warranty) and other parts including the heat exchanger, they had been contacting the manufacturers and although it was now possible to have the heating on it was not possible to heat the water.  The Clerk said that she had tried to get Wessex to give a break-down of the expenditure so far but that this was proving to be another difficult task and she was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next.  The Wessex engineer did not know what to do next and suggested that the Town Council might like to call out the manufacturers or purchase a new boiler.  Members felt that it was probably time to call out the manufacturers.
c)  Dog fouling & dog warden – The Chairman said that he had finally managed to get hold of the dog warden again and he was aware that she had looked at some of the suggestions that Cllr. Colman had put forward.  The Chairman was aware the Cllr. Mead had previously spent a lot of time on this and so he was proposing that should arrange a meeting with the dog warden + Cllr. Mead + Cllr. Colman and himself. 

111 Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) PaymentsRESOLVED to approve payments set out in payment schedules attached on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd and carried with a unanimous vote.
b) Report from Internal Auditor on interim internal audit – Members noted the contents of the letter written by Mrs. Mary White, Internal Auditor, dated 24.1.18: ‘I have today carried out the interim internal audit of the Town Council’s Financial Statements for the year ending 31st March 2018.  With reference to the external auditors’ comments on the Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2017, relating to Petty Cash, I find this rather at odds with the required questions which I consider to have been answered correctly.  In view of this, the Clerk is to obtain further clarification.  It is my opinion that proper accounting records are being maintained by the Council.  In this audit the Town Clerk, Lindsey Wood, provided every assistance and had, as ever, everything necessary to hand and in excellent order.’
c) To set date, time and membership of Annual Risk Assessment/Insurance meeting – Cllrs. Mrs. Traves, Mrs. Symonds, Colman and the Chairman agreed to form the working party for the Annual Risk Assessment/Insurance meeting and the Chairman said that he would try and find a mutually suitable date for all to convene.
d) Should the Council subscribe to NALC’s Direct Information Service (DIS) - £90 + VAT (Member rate, one year subscription – 26 issues) – Members agreed that the Town Council should try it for a year and see how much we benefit.

112.  General Items & Consultations
a) Centenary of the end of the First World War (Battle’s Over – a Nation’s Tribute) – The Clerk reported that the Pageantmaster, Bruno Peek, is co-ordinating a nationwide WW1 tribute and asking parishes if they wish to take part in one or more of the following:
1.  Beacons of light to be lit at 7.00 pm on 11.11.18.  This could be staged on Castle Hill as we did for the VE Day celebrations in May 2015.  We would need to register our intention to participate.
2.  Notify all churches in the area and request that they “ring out for peace” by bell-ringing at 7.05 pm on 11.11.18.  Entry form on website, to be completed latest 31.7.18 by churches wishing to participate. 
3.  To coincide with the bell ringing, Town Crier to undertake “A cry for peace around the world”.  Text and procedure is specified in guide issued by pageantmaster.
4.  A local piper can be asked to take part in the celebration by playing Battle’s O’er at 6.00 am on 11.11.18 at a location of their choice (other than a cathedral).  Anyone wishing to do this should resister a.s.a.p.
5.  The Last Post may be played at 6.55 pm at the beacon site prior to the lighting of the beacon.
RESOLVED that the Town Council should organise and arrange for a beacon (1) and Last Post (5) and to notify the Church and ask them if they would like to take part in the bell ringing (2).  Cllr. R. Coward volunteered his son’s help with the beacon.

Back to top | Agenda | Clerks Report | View Archive