Mere Town Council
Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
Minutes of the Annual Town Council meeting held on Monday, 17th May 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW
Present: Councillors Clive Hazzard (Chairman), Eric Mitchell (Vice-Chairman), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Louise Bennett, Aubrey Colman, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, George Jeans, John Jordan,
Kate Symonds & Lesley Traves.
The Chairman read the following: “Good evening everyone it is great to welcome you all back in person to a Town council meeting
I congratulate you all on your election and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new councillors Louise Bennett, Rachael Hansford and Nick Beale. This evening is our Annual Town Council meeting, which means that after 2 years I will be standing down as Chairman and a new one elected. As chairman the last 2 years have been very challenging – who knew what an impact on all our lives covid would have?
I was determined at the start of the covid outbreak that Mere would be ready to meet all the demands that covid would throw up, posters were put up around the town asking for volunteers to come forward to form a help group, and I am proud to say over 100 residents answered the call and came forward and under the leadership of Richard Jefferies a network was set up that provided help for all those self-isolating.
I found it very difficult as I am sure that some of you did to get used to zoom meetings, I certainly missed having you all in the room, however despite a few teething problems at the start council meetings went ahead and discussions were made.
Covid has caused a lot of extra work for all the council staff and I would like to have it recorded in the minutes my gratitude to them all for their hard work over the last to 2 years, with a very special thankyou going to our town clerk Lindsey Wood, who has worked far more hours than she should to keep Mere running and legal throughout the covid pandemic, her dedication and knowledge has been essential to help keep Mere the safe and beautiful place we call our home.
Covid has not been the only issue to cause concern, the planning issues on the old nursery site at Burton field I feel will keep us busy for many years to come.
As always, the problem of dog fouling is a continuing bug bear that seems impossible to address, and has been raised every year for as many years as I have been a councillor.
The replacement youth club building will I am sure be a great asset to the town but the legalities and the design have taken up a lot of time, and will need a lot more.
There has been numerous planning applications and I have tried where possible to visit every site and talk to the applicants and their neighbours.
It has been a privilege and an honour to serve as the chairman of Mere Town council, and I would like to thank all councillors for their support over the last 2 years. I would also like to thank once again the town clerk Lindsey Wood; without her help and support nothing would get done.
I would like to wish my successor the very best and let’s hope that we have seen the back of covid and all our lives will soon be back to normal. Thank you.”
- To receive Declaration of Acceptance of Office forms from Councillors – All Councillors attending signed their Declaration of Acceptance of Office
- To elect Chairman of the Council for the year 2021/22 and to receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr Mrs. Symonds proposed, and Cllr Colman seconded the proposal, that Cllr. Mrs. Traves be elected as Chair. Cllr. Mrs. Traves confirmed that she was happy to be nominated and the Council RESOLVED unanimously to elect Cllr. Mrs. Traves as Chair. Cllr. Mrs. Traves signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves in The Chair
The meeting was suspended in order to allow for Public Participation Session
Mr. Philip Greenwood (a resident) spoke in support of his planning application, stating that it was a retrospective one but he genuinely did not know that he needed to apply for planning permission for a garden room. He said that he had been in discussions with the planning department and the feedback he had received was that the garden room was a bit bright and they would like it to be darker. Mr. Greenwood explained that Highbrook is a very small house and they had put in the garden room in order to make it liveable in the modern world and the design had been chosen to make it look as though it fitted in with the surrounding area. He said he hoped the Council would look consider this application favourably.
Mr. Gerry Meyer (a resident) said that he wanted to speak on 2 subjects: He said that Wiltshire Council charges 80p per book per time when you want to order a specific book and he felt that these charges, cumulatively, particularly for families of limited means would become a deterrent for ordering books and contradicted any initiatives to get people reading books. He therefore respectfully asked Mr. Jeans to request that these charges be retracted and asked the Town Council to support and encourage his efforts. Mr. Meyer also asked how many members of the Town Council knew that Mere had a Foodbank and how many knew that there was a need for a foodbank in Mere. Mr. Meyer went on to say that the Foodbank was run by volunteers but faced a problem in that it was located in an out of the way dead-end street and not in the centre of town. He said that he thought the possibility had been raised that Mere’s public spaces near the centre of town might be used to help the foodbank and requested that the Town Council give this some thought. The Chairman pointed out to Mr. Meyer that the Town Council was well aware that Mere had a Foodbank and indeed, had given the Mere Foodbank a substantial financial donation prior to Xmas 2020.
Mr. John Jordan said that he would be abstaining from discussion on one of the planning applications because it had been submitted by his next-door neighbour but I would like to say, in the public session and as a member of the public, that I support the application. Lesley Traves also said that she would be declaring a personal interest in the same planning application but, as a member of the public, she was also in support of the application.
The Clerk reminded members that The Electoral Commission required them to submit a Candidate Spending Return form which was available from their website.
- To elect Vice-Chairman of the Council for the year 2021/22 and to receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr. Mrs. Traves nominated Cllr. Mrs. Symonds to act as Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year. Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she was happy to accept this nomination but wished to point out to members that she would not be prepared to stand as Chairman at any time in the future and therefore did not want to stand in the way of anyone that wanted to be Vice-Chairman with the intention of being Chairman in the near future. There being no other nominations, Cllr. Mrs. Symonds was elected as Vice-Chairman with a unanimous vote of approval.
- To receive apologies for absence
Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record to be kept of the members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk as it is usual for the grounds upon which apologies are tendered also to be recorded. Under Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, members present must decide whether the reason(s) for a member’s absence are accepted.
Apologies for absence received from Cllr. Philip Coward who had to undergo emergency surgery. The Council accepted Cllr. Cowards’ apologies and agreed he should sign his Declaration of Acceptance of Office form as soon as practicable after the meeting.
- Requests for Dispensations, Declarations of Interest, Gifts and Hospitality
- Mrs. Debbie Beale declared a pecuniary interest in planning application No. PL/2021/03182
- Nick Beale declared a pecuniary interest in planning application No. PL/2021/03182
- Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 24a (recipient)
- Jeans declared a personal interest in Minute No. 23 a) as his business sponsors the Car Parks and also in Planning Application No. PL/2021/04878 (neighbour)
- Mrs. Traves declared a personal interest in Planning Applications PL2021/03847 & PL/2021/04326
- Jordan declared a personal interest in Planning Application PL/2021/04326 (neighbour)
- Minutes – RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 12th April 2021 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those that were present at the meeting on 12.4.21
- To approve and adopt the Standing Orders for Mere Town Council – RESOLVED that the Standing Orders (as distributed) be agreed with no amendments: proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Debbie Beale and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.
- To approve and adopt the Financial Regulations for Mere Town Council – RESOLVED that the Financial Regulations (as distributed) be agreed with no amendments. Proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.
- To appoint/re-appoint an Internal Auditor – it was unanimously agreed that Mrs. Mary White should be re-appointed as Internal Auditor for the ensuing year subject to her being happy to continue.
- To review Committee Structures and appointment of any committees in accordance with Standing Order 4 and, if appointing committees, to consider Terms of Reference – it was agreed that the Town Council would continue with the present arrangement of having an Annual Budget Committee + Staffing Panel & Appeals Committee only and an ad-hoc structure of Working Groups as and when considered necessary and required.
- To appoint members, including the Chairman, to serve on the Staffing Panel – it was agreed that the Staffing Panel member make-up should be Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Cllr. Jordan
- To appoint members, including the Chairman, to serve on the Appeals Committee – it was agreed that the Appeals Committee member make-up should be Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Cllr. Colman
- Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back:
|Organisation||2019/20 Representative||2021/22 Representative|
|Youth Club, Seeds4Success, CAYPIG (Community Area Young People)||Cllrs. C. Hazzard, B. Norris & R. Coward.||Cllrs. Hazzard, L. Bennett & R. Coward.|
|Cricket Club||Cllr. G. Ings||Cllr. Ings|
|Health & Community Care||Cllr. R. Hill||Cllr. Hill|
|Tennis Club||Cllr. G. jeans||Cllr. Jeans|
|Football Club||Cllr. B. Norris||Cllr. Bennett|
|Public Transport & CATG||Cllr. R. Sims||Cllr. Debbie Beale|
|Mere & District Linkscheme||Mrs. Adrienne Howell||Mrs. Adrienne Howell|
|Museum Committee||Cllrs. R. Hill, Mrs. Hurd & Mrs. K. Symonds||Cllr. Jeans|
|Footpaths & Rights of Way||Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Mead||Cllr. Jordan|
|Chamber of Trade||Chairman & Cllr. A. Colman||Chairman & Cllr. Colman|
|Friends of Mere Museum||Cllr. J. Jordan||Cllr. Jordan|
|School Governor||Cllr. C. Hazzard||Cllr. Hansford|
|Mere Bowling Club||Cllr. G. Ings||Cllr. Ings|
|Carnival Committee||Cllr. J. Jordan||Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Nick Beale|
|Area Board & CATG||Chairman & Vice-Chairman||Chairman & Vice-Chairman|
|Mere Film Shows||Mrs. Rosie Jordan-Barr||Mrs. Rosie Jordan-Barr|
|Rivers Group||Cllrs. B. Norris & Mrs. K. Symonds||Cllr. R. Coward, Cllr. Debbie Beale & Cllr. Symonds|
|Mere Parochial Church Council||Cllr. Traves||Cllr. Traves|
|Trustees for Mere Forest Charity||Cllrs. R. Coward, E. Mitchell, G. Jeans + Mrs. Myrene Coward||Cllrs. R. Coward, E. Mitchell, G. Jeans + Mrs. Myrene Coward|
The Chairman asked members to make contact with their respective groups to make them aware that they are their Town Council representative and to pass them on approved contact details for sending out agendas and invitations to meetings etc. The Clerk explained that Councillors should submit a report to the Clerk on issues raised at these meetings that may be of interest or relevant to the Town Council.
- Review of delegation arrangements – RESOLVED to adopt Scheme of Delegation (as distributed) without amendment on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.
- Bank Signatories – In accordance with the Council’s Financial Regulations 6.2 it was agreed that the Clerk, Cllr. Hazzard & Cllr. Jeans would act as bank signatories for the Council’s accounts.
- To review the Council’s asset register – RESOLVED to approve the Council’s asset register summary as prepared & distributed by the Town Clerk.
- To review the Council insurance policy and discuss/decide on alterations (summary attached) – RESOLVED to approve the Council’s insurance schedule as presented by the Town Clerk.
- To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council and Committees for the ensuing year – it was agreed that the Town Council meetings would continue to be held on the first Monday of every month unless it is a bank holiday, in which case the Town Council will meet on the following Monday. The Town Council does not have a scheduled monthly meeting in August. The Chairman proposed that meetings should start at 7.00 pm. Cllr. Jeans proposed an amendment – that meetings should start at 7.30 p.m. A vote on the amended proposal was defeated with a vote of 5 for and 6 against. A vote on the original proposal was carried with a vote of 10 for and 3 against. RESOLVED that meetings would commence at 7.00 p.m.
- Matters Arising from last meeting
- a) Update on activities at The Old Nursery site, Burton (Minute Ref: 215a) – the Clerk reported that only last Friday she had received the Planning Appeal decisions on land at The Old Nurseries at Burton and that both appeals had been dismissed, the Enforcement Notices have been upheld and compliance must take place within 4 months.
- b) Dog fouling in public spaces (Minute Ref: 219a) Jeans reported that he had thought it would technically be an offence to put dog poo into someone else’s household waste bin and said that he would need to find out from Wiltshire Council whether this would be permitted before discussing any further. He reported that the initial response from Wiltshire Council was ‘no’ but that it now appeared that another Council may have set a precedent on this and so further advice was being sought.
- c) Payments (Minute Ref: 220a) – Cllr. Jordan reported that at the last meeting he had asked for the Chairman to add to his report in Mere Matters the fact that the Town Council is paying back to Wiltshire Council a total figure of £9798.24 in Non-Domestic rates on facilities which means that nearly all the residents of Mere are paying back £10 to Wiltshire Council for these facilities. Jordan said that this had not been included in the Chairman’s latest report for Mere Matters and Cllr. Hazzard apologised. The new Chair agreed to include this in her next report.
- Reports & Consultations
- a) Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – Cllr. Jeans said that he had been alerted to a noise taking place inside the old Fives Court building and upon immediate enquiry found out that Wiltshire Council was about to demolish the building. Jeans said that he managed to get a stop put on the demolition and that a team of officers is now looking at the building with a view to deciding what the situation is. He said that it would be very helpful if a representative from the Town Council were to attend any Cabinet Meetings in which the future of this site was being discussed and the Chair said that she would attend.
The Clerk reported that she had found out today that the Inspector appointed by The Planning Inspectorate on behalf of The Secretary of State had issued a decision on the proposed Modification Order for Footpath No. 78 (the issue relating to whether or not the path running from The Square to North Street was indeed a public footpath). The Inspector had issued a decision to not confirm the path as a Public Right of Way.
- a) Consultation on current planning applications – (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s Planning & Building Control Public Register – https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/ – type in the relevant application number)
Cllr. Mrs. Kate Symonds in The Chair
|Application type:||Householder planning permission|
|Proposal:||Proposed Garden/Office room|
|Site address:||Highbrook, The Fields, Mere. BA12 6EA|
Cllr. Hazzard said that he had visited the site and thought that the garden room building was quite striking and he also wanted to point out that the Town Council had recently considered a planning application for a garden room further along Waterside to which we raised an objection but for which the planning authority has granted approval. Cllr. Jordan pointed out that there are several objection comments on the Wiltshire Council website some of which were concerned about the fact that water from the roof is being directed straight on to the public footpath. Cllr. Jeans pointed out that it is illegal to discharge water on to a public highway or footpath but not sure if it is a planning issue and suggested that this point might be made as an informative in the Town Council’s consultation submission. Cllr. Nick Beale went there to have a look and thought it was a very large building and Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that she was also concerned about the wiring that was suspended over the footpath from the cottage to the garden room. Cllr. Mrs. Symonds proposed that the Town Council should approve the plans subject to conditions/informative about the rainwater drainage onto the footpath and the suspended wiring over the footpath. Proposal received a vote of 4 in favour, 4 against and 5 abstentions. The Chairman used her casting vote to determine the vote in favour of the application. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application. Cllr. Mrs. Traves, having declared a personal interest in this planning application, left the room whilst the application was considered and took no part in discussion or voting.
|Application type:||Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area|
|Proposal:||T1 – Norway spruce – outgrowing its situation. Fell.
T2 – Bay bush – coppice
T3 – Juniper – sp. On the right-hand boundary. Fell
T4 – Lawson Cypress adjacent to hedge. Fell
TG2 – 2 X spruce trees and prunus sp. Growing against the left hand boundary wall. Fell
TG3 – Row of conifers forming a screen across the upper garden. Fell
|Site address:||Giffen, Castle Street, Mere. BA12 6JF|
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote in favour. Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Mrs. Traves, having declared a personal interest in this matter, refrained from discussion or voting.
Cllr. Mrs. Traves in The Chair
|Application type:||Householder planning permission|
|Proposal:||Change of land use from agricultural to residential|
|Site address:||A303 Mere By-Pass East to bottom of Chaddenwick Hill, Mere. BA12 6FH (Clerk’s note – please note that this application relates to the garden of the house known as Burton Field, the land for which was purchased in 1995 but was never officially given ‘Change of Use’ status.|
The Chairman expressed concern that if the Town Council were to approve this planning application, then they may be setting a precedent for other potential planning applications. Cllr. R. Coward said that as the land had been under their ownership for 26 years he thought it should be approved. Cllr. Hazzard said that, given the current planning appeals and contentious issues happening on plots adjacent to this land then the Town Council would be likely to open up a whole ‘can of worms’ if it were to approve this planning application. Cllr. Jeans pointed out that he was not a planning officer but as far as he was aware, the present occupants were allowed to use the land as meadow land or to grow vegetables without applying for planning permission for change of use. Cllr. Jordan said he feared that by approving this planning application the Town Council would set a precedent and this would be the wrong place to set a precedent. Cllr. Mitchell said he thought you could apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness if you had been using land for a different purpose for so many years and Cllr. Jeans said he thought that was correct. RESOLVED to object to this planning application on the grounds that it would set a precedent to encourage applications to be submitted for sites within the vicinity. Proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a vote of 9 for, 1 against. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application. Cllrs. Mr. & Mrs. Beale, having declared a pecuniary interest in this planning application, left the room whilst the item was considered and took no part in discussion or voting.
|Application type:||Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area|
|Proposal:||Tree species: Leylandii Number on sketch plan: T1 Proposed works: Fell, remove stump, make good the site.|
|Site address:||Shreen Hayes, Water Street, Mere. BA12 6DY|
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote in favour. (Cllr. Jeans, having declared a personal interest, refrained from voting or discussion).
- b) Update on Planning Application 20/07643/Ful – Revised & Additional Information – Change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for 4 gypsy families at Land at Jane Oaks Farm, Mere –The Clerk reported that she had received notification from Wiltshire Council that there had been a revision to the planning application for the gypsy site at Jane Oaks Farm (on the Huntingford Road). The consultation deadline for this application expired during the pre-election period. On investigation it transpired that the revision related to the fact that the applicant had carried out a pre-development tree survey after which he had decided to revise the site layout and to change the location of the vehicular access so that this was further along the boundary, thus allowing the tree to have root protection (this tree is now subject to a TPO). The plans were discussed with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman and it was agreed that these revisions did not cause a material change to the Town Council’s original objection submission and so we reiterated the Town Council’s previous consultation comments as a delegated consultation response.
- Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
- a) Highway & footpath issues for Parish Steward & street lighting faults – the Clerk was asked to report the following issues:
- Pothole just pat Walnut Tree Public House, on roundabout – Cllr. Ings
- Street Light on Castle Hill Lane at the top of Jubilee Gardens is out – Cllr. Jordan
- b) Emergency Item – Notification of Temporary Road Closure of B3095 from its junction with B3095 Gillingham Road to its junction with Water Street to enable Wiltshire Council to carry out carriageway resurfacing and associated works. The Clerk confirmed that the Order would come into operation on 28th June 2021 and the closure will be required weekdays between the hours of 09:30 and 15:30 until 6th July 2021. The Clerk informed members that this notification had arrived after the agenda had been published and she had alerted Cllr. Jeans as she was aware of the upset that was caused in 2019 when a similar temporary road closure took place. Jeans said that he had agreed with an officer from Wiltshire Council that an approved statement could be published on Facebook. He said that he was aware that shops and businesses had faced an extremely difficult year and that this would not be particularly helpful but he had been reassured by the contractors that they would do everything they possibly could to minimise disruption. Most of the work will be taking place from below the Butt of Sherry to the start of Salisbury Street at The Square. However, the length of temporary road closure was required in order to allow HGVs to re-route. Cllr. Jeans had been reassured that pedestrian access would be unaffected, all emergency service access would be maintained and traffic management representatives would be in place. Cllr. Jeans confirmed that the reason that the work cannot be done at night is because the contractors would then charge a 30% uplift and they cannot work on one side of the carriageway at a time due to health & safety concerns for the workers. He also confirmed that it was not possible for the work to be carried out during school summer holidays because the contractors schedule was full. Members felt that they didn’t feel that there was any alternative and that it was important to have the highway maintained but agreed that notification should be published in Mere Matters, Facebook etc.
- Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
- a) Consultation for application for mobile street trading consent:
Trading Name: The Laughing Aztecs
Articles for Sale: Mexican Street Food – Tacos, Quesadilas, Taco Bowl Salad & Churros
Trading Times & Location: Mere – Castle Street Car Park on Saturday 17.30 – 20.30
The Town Clerk pointed out that she had spotted an anomaly between the location description and the location pitch maps with one being in the Castle Street Car Park and the other stating Barton Lane. The Clerk said that she had pointed this out to the Street Trading team who had said that they would go back to the applicant and ask for clarification. However, there had been no further response to the query. Cllr. Jordan said that he objected to a street trading licence in this location for several reasons: one is that it will be sited opposite a public house that the town has recently been in danger of losing forever and has only just reopened and within a 2 minute walk of other hospitality businesses and they’ve all been suffering and he felt that this mobile street trading would be a disadvantage to these traders. Secondly he said that the Castle Street Car Park is crowded at 5.30 p.m. and is a bit difficult to negotiate and to have some sort of van there would be a bit of a nightmare and thirdly, the Town Council pays £1224.15 in rates for the car park and he doubted that the Laughing Aztecs would be giving us a contribution towards that payment. Cllr. Hill said that he concurred with comments made by Cllr. Jordan and objected to street trading consent. Cllr. Ings said that he thought the concept was brilliant but the location was wrong. Cllr. Jeans said that, as a sponsor of the car parks he had a personal interest but understood that the Town Council leased the car park and that one of the conditions of that lease specifically prohibited mobile trading and businesses operating from the car park and therefore this would not be permitted under the terms of the lease. Cllr. Mitchell said that he would be concerned about the possibility of litter and rubbish being left around the car park. Cllr. Mrs. Hansford said that she disagreed and thought that this could be an asset to the town. RESOLVED that the Town Council should object to the above street trading licence application on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Hill and carried with a majority vote. Having declared a personal interest in this item, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting.
- Finance, Policy & Resources
- a) To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – RESOLVED to authorise schedule of payments on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote. Hazzard, having declared a pecuniary interest left the room whilst this matter was discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.
- b) To review and approve Budget/Expenditure Report and End of Year Summaries – RESOLVED to approve the Budget/Expenditure Report and End of Year Summaries on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote. Hazzard thanked the Clerk for preparing all the reports.
- c) To update Council on employment of Street Orderly – The Clerk confirmed that the Town Council had appointed Mr. Sam Doman as the Town Council’s new Street Orderly subject to a successful 3-month trial period. Doman would be working on a Monday morning and a Thursday morning and would be starting work next Monday, 24th May.
- d) To seek authorisation for contact details and photographs of members for website – all members were in agreement for the display of a photograph on the Town Council’s website. The Clerk asked members to fill in the consent form for contact details to displayed on the website also.
- General Items & Briefing Notes
- a) *Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy – Engagement with Town & Parish Councils – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, Cllr. Jeans said that he may attend this event.
- b) *Community Governance Review – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, it was RESOLVED with unanimous agreement to reiterate Mere Town Council’s previous request that the parish boundary be changed in order to encompass the triangular area of land to the north of the B3092 surrounding the Visit Hillbrush site and extending up to the A303 slip road (this piece of land is currently within the Zeals parish boundary). Members confirmed that they did not wish to consider warding arrangements or amend councillor numbers.
- c) Wessex Water Environment Fund – Funding opportunity for environmental projects Grants up to £1,500 – open for applications 3rd May – 4th June (this is a link to further information) – Cllr. Jordan confirmed that for the past 6 months he had been working with David Drewett on a project to install a water refilling station somewhere in Mere. The idea behind this is that it will be somewhere for passers-by to refill their water bottles and thereby save on plastic waste. However, Cllr. Jordan said that he recently spoke with Wessex Water who told him that funding for these projects was no longer available and so he was surprised to see this initiative. Jordan said that he had looked at the grant application and confirmed that this would need some input from the Clerk as various supporting documents would be required i.e. standing orders, accounts, bank statements etc. It was agreed that a grant application should be made for a water filling station and members considered various locations for this water filling station.
Near the bus stop in The Square
In the Clock Tower
Outside Public Toilets
RESOLVED to apply for the water-filling station in the Salisbury Street Car Park outside the public toilets as the water can be fed from the existing meter which should help to save costs.
- Forthcoming meetings/events.
- a) Community Litter Pick arranged for 23th May 2021 – Cllr. Jordan confirmed that the Community Litter Pick would be taking place on 23rd Currently there were approximately 15 people who had signed up for the event and the Hill Brush Company had very kindly provided the Town Council with litter picking equipment. Wiltshire Council had agreed to collect the waste free of charge.
- Future agenda items
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
MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND
Registered Charity No. 1093497
- To receive report on end of year accounts and approve end of year accounts.
- To approve payments to:
Mere Town Council – Maintenance charges for 2020/21 £11,277.22*
*In order to pay this, Mere Town Council has agreed to provide a donation to the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity for £11,500. The reason for these contra payments is to separate the Charity Accounts from the Town Council’s accounts.
RESOLVED–to approve the End of Year Summary income/expenditure report (within Budget/Expenditure report) and to approve the payment to Mere Town Council for maintenance charges for 2020/21 of £11,277.22 on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with a unanimous vote.
- c) Request for removal or partial removal of cherry (?) tree on boundary of Mere Recreation Ground and property at Chetcombe Road (behind tennis courts). Tree is causing damage to boundary fence and owner would like to replace fence. The Clerk explained that because of the proximity of fencing & overhead electricity cables, it would not be possible to do this work in-house. Members were happy to grant approval for the felling of this tree. The Clerk said that since preparing the agenda she had found out that Southern Electric had visited the site and it is possible that they may fell the tree free of charge.
- d) To appoint members to form a Working Group to consider amended plans and review draft lease for Seeds4Success and draft agreement for lease subject to building works. This working group to report back to Mere Town Council/Trustees of Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground with comments for consideration.
The Clerk confirmed that she had already spoken to Cllr. Philip Coward who had agreed to be a member of this working group. The Chair, Vice-Chair & Cllr. Colman also agreed to be members.