minutes

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk - Mrs. L. C. Wood

Budget Minutes 22/11/17

Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 6th November 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, P. Coward, R. Coward, C. Hazzard, R. Hill (from 7.48 p.m.), Mrs. J. Hurd, G. Jeans, A. Mead, B. Norris, R. Sims & Mrs. L. Traves

Also:  Mr. R. Flower, Mr. R. Jefferies, Mr. Dick Morris, Annie Harris & Mrs. Beal.  Also Mr. M. Streeter (Gillingham News).

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).
Mr. Roy Sims reminded those present that Mere Cancer Research would be holding their Xmas Fair at 6.00 p.m. on Friday, 1st December.  He also pointed out that next year would mark the end of the First World War.  Mr. Sims said that Wincanton had large poppies on their lamp posts which he thought was very striking and the Chairman confirmed that they also had these in Warminster.  Cllr. Sims said that he was a member of the RBL and that he would ask what the cost may be.   Mr. Sims also said that Prospect Place does not have a salt bin & pointed out that there was overgrown vegetation obstructing the footpath outside No. 4 Homefield.

Apologies for absence received from Cllr. G. Ings & Cllr. E. Mitchell

71.  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. C. Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 78a)
  • Cllr. Jeans declared a personal interest in Minute No. 76 c) & a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 78a)

72.  MinutesRESOLVED to approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 2nd October 2017 on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Hurd, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 2.10.17

73. Matters Arising

74.  Reports & Consultations
a) Neighbourhood Policing Report – Cllr. R. Sims said that illegal hare coursing was still an issue for the local police.  The Chairman said that he was disappointed that there was no police presence at the Mere Carnival and said that one policeman at the Carnival means that 1000 people see a police presence.  Cllr. Jeans said that he would mention this at the Community Safety Partnership meeting. 
b) Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – Cllr. Jeans said that if anyone knows of any family that wants to move from a 3-bed or family house to one of the bungalows in Bramley Hill then he would suggest that they contact him as the whole idea was to decant people from larger homes in Mere into these bungalows, thus freeing up the family home for other local families in need.

75.  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 No:           17/09628/CLE
Application for:           Certificate of Lawfulness
Proposal:                     Certificate of Lawfulness for use of land as domestic garden
At:                                3 The Bartletts, Shaftesbury Road, Mere.  BA12 6DX
The Chairman said that it would appear that the field is a garden from what he had seen on Google Earth.  Cllr. P. Coward said that this land was always agricultural land and thought that it would have needed Change of Use permission to change from agricultural to residential or domestic garden.  RESOLVED to submit a ‘No Comment’ response to the planning authority on proposal made by Cllr. Mead, seconded by Cllr. Sims and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application Ref:          17/09892/TCA
Application for:           Work to Trees in Conservation Area
Proposal:                     T1 – Yew – Crown lifting as per specification
At:                                St. Michael The Archangel Church, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6DS
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application Ref:          17/10299/TCA
Application for:           Work to Trees in Conservation Area
Proposal:                     1. Beech – Raise canopy so 1.2m clear of fence, & roof by 2-2.5m
2. Conifer – Fell
3. Yew – Remove growth up to 2.5 metres
4. Lime – Remove lower 2 branches
5. Beech – Raise canopy to 1.2m clear of fence top
6. Yew – as Tree 3
7. Yew – as Tree 3
8. Beech – Raise canopy to 5m above driveway
9. Beech – Raise canopy to 6m over driveway
At:                                Bramley House, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6JN
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mead, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application Ref:          17/10334/TCA
Application for:           Work to Trees in Conservation Area
Proposal:                     T1 – Yew Tree – overall reduction of 2m-3m, balance crown &
deadwood
G2 – 5 fruit trees – fell
At:                                The Chantry, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6DS
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Sims and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application Ref:          17/10804/TCA
Application for:           Work to Trees in Conservation Area
Proposal:                     T1 – Sycamore tree – fell
At:                                The Chantry, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6DS
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a vote of 8 for and 5 abstentions.

Application Ref:          17/10129/FUL
Application for:           Full Planning
Proposal:                     Erect portal framed grain storage and drying barn, with removal of
made ground to original levels.
At:                                Pitching Piece Farm, Mere.  BA12 6AP
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a unanimous vote of approval.

b) Notification of Planning Appeal
Planning Public Inquiry to be held in respect of Land at Castle Street, Mere – Outline Planning application for residential development, ref: 16/12217/OUT
Deadline for comments to the Planning Inspectorate is 15th November
(No date, venue or time for the Public Inquiry has been established as yet but we will be informed once they are confirmed)
Cllr. Jeans confirmed that he had sought advice from Wiltshire Council who had agreed that it would be safe to reiterate our existing objection for the time being.  It was therefore agreed to reiterate our existing objection with further qualifications and that in the New Year the Town Council should consider the appellant’s statement and seek further advice on how to take part in the appeal process.
*c) Wiltshire Core Strategy Review Briefings – The Chairman and Cllr. Norris agreed to attend the meeting.  Cllr. Jeans said that the Core Strategy was changing to encompass Swindon and that there were proposals to change the planning areas.  It was pointed out that this current consultation would end on 19th December and that therefore members would need to be aware of the facts in order to comment accordingly at the next meeting.
d) Neighbourhood Planning – Cllr. Norris confirmed that a meeting had been held on 9th October and that Wiltshire Council had now appointed a link officer, Richard Nash.  The first steering group meeting had been held on 1st November 2017 where it had been agreed to base the principles of the Neighbourhood Plan on the principles of the old Mere Parish Plan.  Community engagement had been discussed, grant funding had been discussed and tasks had been assigned.  The committee would be looking to design a questionnaire and investigate public events that can help with the community engagement.

76.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a)  Highway & footpath issues for Parish Steward & street lighting faults

  • Street light out on footpath leading from Castle Street to Church Street (Cllr. Mrs. Hurd)
  • Footpath outside 4 Homefield is obstructed by vegetation (Cllr. Sims)

*b)  Highways Newsletter (November 2017) – Noted.  The Chairman said that the link to Wiltshire map gives some curious results.
c) Waiting & Parking restriction requests & deadlines – Members felt that they needed some clear suggestions to consider.  Cllr. Norris proposed that double-yellow lines should be painted from the Salisbury Street Car Park entrance to the Social Club junction on White Road along both sides of the road. Cllr. Jeans felt that this may cause issues for Yapp Brothers when they need to load and unload wine and would need consultation with them in advance.  Cllr. Jeans declared a personal interest in this matter.  Cllr. Mead suggested that double-yellow lines should be installed to 10m around all junctions.  Cllr. Jeans said he would support this but felt that something needed to be done to control the speed of traffic.  Cllr. Hazzard pointed out that he had spent many months, even years, consulting with people and discussing parking restrictions prior to the last traffic management review in Mere and he hoped that the Town Council was not thinking about retracting its previous decision.  He said that he was the one who had originally brought up concerns about cars parking on Salisbury Street opposite Jeans and the car park entrance but he said that any proposals needed proper consultation.  Cllr. R. Coward said that he thought the Town Council should maintain the status quo as he had never found it impossible to drive through the town and was not aware of any accidents having occurred.  The Chairman said that he was often hearing requests for double-yellow lines at Boar Street so that there is somewhere for people to pull in and wait at the pinch point and the other suggestion that was often being made to him was to have a 20mph speed limit.  The Chairman suggested that volunteers might sketch out a consultation document.  Cllr. Norris said that he had made a proposal: to look at putting double-yellow lines from the Salisbury Street Car Park entrance to the White Road junction for Mere Social Club on both sides of the road, following consultation with Yapp Brothers.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves but not carried with a vote of 2 for, 6 against and 5 abstentions.  RESOLVED to form a working group to look into all issues to do with parking and parking restrictions on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a vote of 12 for and 1 abstention.

77.  Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Allotments & Cemeteries
a) Maintenance of Public Toilets (drainage) Quotation for replacement sewer pipes at Public Toilets –The Chairman said that the Clerk had received a quotation from Abbotts but we are going to see if we can get Wiltshire Council to undertake the work as, under the terms of our lease, we did not appear to be responsible for the drainage. 
b) Report on Annual RoSPA Play Area Inspection – the Clerk reported that the inspection had taken place on 18th September.  There were no issues raised of High Risk and no urgent work identified.  The Clerk would be discussing the reports with the grounds staff to try and improve the risks and undertake repairs where possible and within financial limitations.
c)  Professional Tree Inspection Report – the Clerk reported that the Tree Inspection Report had been received and that she was very pleased to have such a comprehensive assessment of the trees within the Town Council’s responsibility.  The report had identified work to be carried out, some of which was fairly urgent.  The Clerk would need to seek advice from Wiltshire Council’s Arboricultural Officer as much of the work was to take place within the Conservation Area before seeking quotations from tree surgeons.  Mr. Astill, the tree specialist, however, had indicated a need for some detailed decay mapping and/or aerial inspection on 4 trees for which he had quoted £300.  Members agreed that this work should be carried out.
d) Memorial bench to be donated: Kingsmere Open Space or Long Hill? – the Clerk pointed out that family had donated a memorial bench on behalf of Susan Birch.  The Clerk had originally indicated that the memorial bench could be situated along Kingsmere Open Space but had subsequently wondered whether it could be situated on the top of Long Hill, on the western side overlooking Zeals and the new brush factory.  Members thought this was a good idea.

78 Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – RESOLVED to approve payments set out in payment schedules attached on proposal made by Cllr. Mead, seconded by Cllr. Norris and carried with a majority vote of approval.  (Cllrs. Hazzard & Jeans, having declared a pecuniary interest, left the room whilst this matter was discussed and took no part in voting).
b) Request to issue refund and release Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial for Cremation Plot 189 – Members agreed to issue a refund and release the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial for Cremation Plot 189.
c) Conclusion of audit – the Clerk informed members of the external auditor’s report dated 31.8.17: ‘On the basis of our review of the annual return, in our opinion the information in the annual return is in accordance with proper practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislative and regulatory requirements have not been met.  Other matters not affecting our opinion which we draw to the attention of the smaller authority are that the Internal Auditor has answered ‘Yes’ to Objective F in relation to petty cash.  This should state ‘Not Covered’ as the Authority does not operate a petty cash system.  The Authority should ensure that the Internal Auditor’s Report is reviewed before sending the Annual Return to the external auditors.  The Authority should minute this process.  If there are any errors in the Internal Auditor’s Report it should either be amended by the Internal Auditor, or the Authority should provide an explanation for the error.’  The Clerk said that it had been believed that the Annual Return had been completed correctly by both the Internal Auditor and the Council but she would make further enquiries regarding the ‘Petty Cash System’.
d) Staffing issues – The Chairman informed members that Mr. Josh Suter had handed in his resignation which takes effect next month.  This had fortuitously coincided with someone expressing an interest in his job which had then resulted in a small group of councillors holding an interview with Mr. Ben Rowland who had some experience in landscape gardening and grounds maintenance.  Mr. Ben Rowland had subsequently been appointed as groundsman on a  3-month probationary period starting on 13th November.

79.  General Items & Consultations
*a) A Legacy of – CREATIVE MERE 2017– Mr. Richard Jefferies said that many people hated to see all the fly posting and banners around the town but it was necessary to advertise all the events that took place in Mere.  After a recent event publicising & celebrating the creative arts in Mere, money had been raised and it was their preferred option to use the funding towards a project to provide permanent supports for banners to be displayed in and around the town.  Mr. Jefferies had indicated 3 locations for these permanent banner supports.  Cllr. Mrs. Hurd said that she thought this was a brilliant idea and Cllr. Colman agreed but said that it would be necessary to check with planning and highways first.  Cllr. Jeans said that, whether the supports were to be erected on private property or not, they would still need consent from the Highways Authority.  RESOLVED to endorse this project on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a vote of 10 for and 2 abstentions.
*b) Application for naming of new streets on old Brush Factory Site off Woodlands Road – Cllr. Jeans pointed out that there were a number of roads around the town that were named after people i.e. Jack Paul Close and Barnes Place.  RESOLVED to put forward the following suggestions for road names:  Coward, Salmon, Broom, Bristle & Brush on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a vote of 11 for and 2 abstentions.
c) WWI Commemorative Tree Planting – The Chairman said that Wiltshire Council had entered into a project with the Woodland Trust to give away trees in Wiltshire, via the Area Boards.  Wiltshire’s aim was to plant 10,000 trees in the county.  Cllr. Mead asked for some new beech trees to plant in the hedge line along the Recreation Ground.  Cllr. Hill said that we have often been offered trees in the past but the problem is that we don’t really have suitable land or locations to grow trees.  Cllr. Norris said that he wondered if there might be an opportunity to plant some trees in the new cemetery to draw the water out of the ground.  Cllr. Jeans wondered if the town could have one significant tree planted as a WW1 Commemorative Tree.  RESOLVED on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jeans to purchase an oak tree of significant size with a metal tree guard.  The tree to be planted in the new cemetery.  Proposal carried with a vote of 12 for and 1 against.  Also to see if we can get two trees to replace the ones that will be removed in Jubilee Gardens and some beech trees to go in the hedge line in the Recreation Ground. 
*d) Community Right to Bid – Assets of Community Value – Members noted the information.
*e) Water Saving Initiative – Wessex Water – Cllr. K. Symonds said that the Rivers Group had received a presentation from Wessex Water in February about this initiative.  They are sending out letters and technicians will be knocking on doors to do a Free Home Check service where they will identify and fix simple leaks, fit water saving products and advice on ways to reduce household utility bills.  This service is completely free.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds asked members to spread the word and hoped it would be a successful initiative.
f) Website – Cllr. A. Colman said that there were some errors on the website which said that the Mere Recreation Ground had 3 toilets and a pavilion.

80. Forthcoming meetings/events
a) Confirmed date for next Community Safety Partnership meeting – Wed 22nd November 2017, 6pm at Nadder Centre.
b) Mere Town Council Annual Budget Meeting – Wednesday, 22nd November 2017, 7.00 p.m. at Town Council Offices
c) CATG meeting– Wednesday, 7th November 2017, 2 – 4 p.m., Nadder Centre, Tisbury
*d) Seeds4Success Annual General Meeting – Wednesday, 29th November, 7 – 9 p.m. at Mere Youth Centre – Cllrs. B. Norris & J. Jordan said that they would be attending the Seeds4Success AGM.

81.  Future agenda items

  • None

 

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.

 

 

Minutes of the Annual Budget Meeting held on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 at 7.00 p.m. in The Town Council Office, Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere. 

Present:  Councillors: Mrs. K. Symonds (Chairman), A. Colman, P. Coward, R. Coward,  C. Hazzard, Mrs. J. Hurd, J. Jordan, B. Norris, G. Jeans (from 8.14 p.m.), Mrs. L. Traves,

The Vice-Chairman of the Town Council, Cllr. Mrs. K. Symonds Chaired the Meeting

Apologies for absence – Cllr. Jeans sent his apologies for his late arrival due to him attending another meeting beforehand. 

 Declarations of Interest

  • Cllr. Hazzard declared an interest in Floral Enhancements
  • Cllr. John Jordan declared an interest in matters relating to the Footpath Group & Chairman’s Expenses

EXEMPT BUSINESS – RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting (or part thereof) during consideration of the business set out below on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined within part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 12A and more particularly specified in paragraphs 14 and 1.

The Chairman started off by informing members that the draft figures prepared by the Town Clerk resulted in a 24.71% increase in the precept.  She pointed out that the loss of the income from Wiltshire Council for the public toilets represented a 5% increase alone and the Town Council’s remit to refurbish the public toilets would add another 15%.  The Chairman felt that the committee had a range of options and one of them could be to review, more closely, the reserves that we are holding for longer-term projects.  Cllr. Jordan said that he had been working on this and felt that it was possible to reduce some of the reserves in order to reduce the precept with a view to replenishing the reserves next year.  He also felt, as did the Clerk, that the Town Council should not embark upon a new 7-year lease for the public toilets with sewer drains that do not work and felt that Wiltshire Council should be prepared to renew & repair the sewer drains since they are not prepared to transfer the asset.  Cllr. Jordan said that the Town Council had a mandate from the public to keep the car parks and toilets free of charge and members may therefore feel that it is acceptable to have a large increase in the precept.  Cllr. P. Coward agreed that everyone who attended the public meeting said that they would be happy to pay more rates in order to keep the services and facilities free of charge.

EXPENSES

ADMIN
Audit Costs – regime changes for 17/18 financial year.  At present time audit fee depends on level of income/expenditure and whether or not there are any questions raised to the external auditor by members of the public etc. The Clerk pointed out that the minimum external audit fee would be £400 but had recommended a budget of £800.  Cllr. Colman proposed a recommendation to reduce the budget to the minimum - £400.  Proposal approved.
Election Costs – The Clerk informed members that she had been informed that the Town Council would need to share the costs of the May 2017 election but that no invoice had been received from Wiltshire Council.  The Clerk did point out, however, that if it was necessary to have a bi-election then the Town Council would need to pay all the costs involved which could be as much as £3500.  Members agreed to reduce reserves to £500.
Legal Services – Recommended to keep £2250 in reserves for legal services.  The Clerk said that the renewal of the leases for car parks and public toilets would require professional legal expenses and also pointed out that the Croquet Club and Youth Club leases were due for renewal in 2019.  Members recommended that the reserves should remain at £2250 but that there should be no extra budget made.
Staff & Councillor training – The Clerk pointed out that there would be a necessity for certain training requirements for the new groundsman & the grounds staff had identified a wish list of other training requirements.  It was recommended to keep reserves of £1160 and budget a further £500.

ANDY YOUNG PAVILION
Equipment & Furniture – It was recommended that the reserves should be reduced by £2000 to £450 with a view to replenishing at the next budget but that a further £200 should be budgeted this year.

BAND HUT – It was recommended to retain reserves of £1000 and to budget a further £250 as it was pointed out that if the roof needed replacing then it would cost a lot of money and reserves needed to be built up..

BOWLING GREEN
Repairs & Maintenance – it was recommended to retain reserves of £500 but to make no extra budget. 

BUILDINGS
Clock Tower Island – it was agreed to reduce reserves by £1000 to £690.
Pennybank Lane Walls – The Chairman pointed out that part of the brick wall on the eastern side of Pennybank Lane had been removed and replaced by a fence recently.

CAPITAL PROJECTS
Litter bins – The Clerk pointed out that she had used the Litter Bin reserves in order to purchase the street cleaner’s barrow earlier on this year and she had therefore put in a draft budget to replenish the reserves.  However, members recommended that this should be removed and that the £240 should be retained as reserves. 
Grounds machinery & equipment – The immediate needs identified by the grounds staff was for a new long-reach hedgetrimmer and a petrol pressure washer.  Cllr. Norris said that he had a diesel pressure washer that was barely used, purchased for £1200 but that he would be willing to sell to the Town Council for £500.  Members thanked Cllr. Norris for this offer and recommended that this be accepted.  Members recognised that if the ride-on mower or tractor needed replacing then it would cost more than the reserves we had available.  It was recommended to budget £3000 to add to reserves.
Play Equipment for Castle Hill Play Area – The Clerk reminded members that the low level wooden trailway was now quite old and members agreed that funds should be budgeted in order to consider replacement in the future.  Recommended to budget a further £500 to add to reserves of £1250.
Outdoor Gym Equipment – The Clerk informed members that she and the Chairman had met various companies with a view to providing quotations for this project, which included the filling in of the old swimming pool.  However, only one quotation had been received at present.  The quotations would allow the Town Council to apply for grant funding but a degree of match funding would probably be required.  Recommended to budget £500 to add to reserves of £3500.
Public Access Defibrillator – The Clerk reminded members that this capital project was for a new defibrillator to be installed into the telephone kiosk in The Square.  However, members felt that this was an unnecessary expense at the moment considering the fact that there was already a public access defibrillator nearby in Castle Street and another one at Duchy Manor.  Recommended to remove reserves.

CAR PARKS
Maintenance – Recommended to budget £1500 which would offset the expenditure made this year on relining the Salisbury Street Car Park and restore the reserves.

CASTLE HILL
Flag Pole – Recommended to add a further £200 to reserves held in order to make some necessary repairs to flag pole.  It was agreed that the grounds staff should be asked to help with flag raising when necessary.
Tree Management – Recommended to add £300 to allow for necessary tree works, as identified in tree report.

CEMETERY
Walls, railings & footpaths – The Clerk pointed out that the grounds staff wanted to carry out work to refurbish the main path running down the centre of the old cemetery which would require the hire of a mechanical wheelbarrow and purchase of pea gravel.  Recommended to add £500 to reserves to allow for this work to be carried out.
NEW CEMETERY
New gates & drive – members were reminded that the Town Council had aspirations of installing a driveway and new gates into the new cemetery in line with the driveway and gates to the old cemetery but that this would be an expensive project and probably not within reach given the current financial climate.  However, it was agreed to retain reserves of £1000.
Drainage & paths – Although it had been agreed to start rebuilding reserves for the next phase of necessary drainage & path works last year, members felt that no budget should be made this year.
WW1 Commemoration Tree – Recommended to add £350 to allow for the purchase of a significant oak tree, plaque and guard to be planted in the new cemetery to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1.

CHANGING ROOMS
Maintenance/Repair – The Clerk pointed out that it had been necessary to replace some tiles in the changing rooms recently and pointed out that the ceilings were in need of redecoration as the paint was pealing.  However, it was recommended to remove £1000 from reserves, thus reducing the reserves to £710 but to add £200 in the budget for 2018/19.

DUCHY MANOR GROUNDS
Maintenance – it was agreed to retain reserves of £1000 and to budget a further £600 to allow for work that was identified in the Fixed Wire Testing report for the electrical wiring to the Andy Young Pavilion.
Signs – Recommended to reduce reserves by £500 to £140.

GROUNDS EXPENSES
Signs – Recommended to reduce reserves to £300.

Huntsgate (Walnut Road) Play Area – It was agreed to budget £1000 to add to reserves of £1240 in order to build up funds for repairs and replacements in the Walnut Road Play Area.

Mere Community Area Partnership – Recommended to remove these funds altogether.

Payroll – see under CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS

PUBLIC TOILETS
Refurbishment costs – recommended to budget £11,771 in order to allow for refurbishment costs as identified by local builders and also to replace the Wallgate wash units.
Drainage costs – although members hoped that Wiltshire Council would pay to replace the sewer drains and that the Town Council would be unhappy about signing a new lease until this work had been carried out, members also felt
that if this did not happen then it would be necessary to close the public toilets.  It was recommended to budget funds to allow for the replacement sewer as a precaution.

RECREATION GROUND
Trees – The Clerk reported that the recent tree assessment report had identified work to be carried out on trees in the recreation ground.  Members felt that the existing reserves of £2,200 would be adequate and recommended that no further budget be made.
Youth Club Building – Members recommended that the reserves of £3320 be reduced by £1000 and that a further £500 is budgeted for next year.

SECTION 137
The limit of expenditure for S.137 during 2017/18 was £7.57 per elector for the parish.
The Section 137 grants and donations were set at the same level as last year.  It was agreed to offer the existing reserves set aside to Wiltshire Good Neighbours via the SWWAB.

WHITE ROAD GARDENS PLAY AREA
The Clerk reminded members that the reserves set aside for the White Road Gardens Play Area was a commuted sum from the developers to provide play equipment in the play area for the site.  However, after consultation with residents once the development was built, it was clear that a play area was not desired in that location and it was felt that the Recreation Ground play area was within close proximity. The Clerk pointed out that the commuted sum had been reduced over the years on maintenance & grass cutting of the play area at White Road.   It was recommended to reduce the reserves by £4000 in lieu of the funding that has been set aside for the outdoor gym equipment in the old swimming pool area at Duchy Manor.

CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS SID
Recommended to budget £250 to use as seed funding for the application for the SWW Area Board initiative for a Speed Indicator Device.

INCOME

Public Toilets – Lease expires 31st March 2018   We took on the lease of the public toilets on the understanding that we would receive £5932 per year (which is what it cost WC to run the toilets) + an extra £605 if Tisbury took on their public toilets too.  We have a signed service level agreement to this effect.  (see email from Graham Garrett in Car Parks folder 16.7.12)  The Clerk pointed out that the significant difference in income was due to the fact that this money would no longer be received. 

Allotments – A 10% increase to allotment rents was agreed last year to be applied to all allotment w.e.f. March 2018.

Sponsorship pledges by businesses for car parks – The Clerk said that invoices for this financial year had been sent out.  It was hoped that more businesses would contribute to sponsor the car parks for the new lease and the Clerk was of the understanding that the Chamber of Trade was sending out letters to businesses.

Burial fees & charges – Recommended to increase all cemetery fees by 5% for 2018/19.

Floral Sponsors – it was agreed that the Clerk should raise a notice in Mere Matters about the need for donations in the spring next year (once the tulips were out).  The Clerk was asked to include, in the notice, details of payment (who cheques should be made payable to).  Also to send invoices out to the businesses that originally agreed to sponsor the floral displays.

Sports Clubs fees – members recommended that all sports clubs should be asked to increase their donations by 3% (as is the Town Council’s policy).
Bowls Club – It was recommended to ask the Mere Bowls Club for a financial contribution in view of the fact that they have use of the Andy Young Pavilion and the car park.  Mention that the Town Council is thinking about £500. 

Croquet Club – It was recommended that the Croquet Club rent should be reduced to £250 for 2018/19

Recommendation by Budget Committee:  To approve a Precept of £137,206.66 on Wiltshire Council for the 2018/19 financial year which will result in a 10.03% increase or £10.76 per year on the Band D charge of the Town Council portion of the Council Tax

Summary at 30.11.17

Meeting closed at 22.50 pm

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