Mere Town Council
Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 1st February 2021 at 6.00 pm online at Zoom.us.
Present on Zoom: Cllrs. C. Hazzard (Chairman), Mrs. D. Beale, A. Colman, P. Coward, R. Coward, R. Hill, G. Ings, G. Jeans, J. Jordan, E. Mitchell, R. Sims, Mrs. K. Symonds & Mrs. L. Traves
There were no members of the public present & the Clerk confirmed that no members of the public had requested to join the meeting.
The Chairman welcomed Mrs. Debbie Beale to the Town Council and said that he hoped she would enjoy her time as a councillor. (Mrs. Beale was co-opted at the January meeting)
Cllr. Sims said that he wanted to congratulate the Chairman for his article in Mere Matters about parking and observing the Highway Code.
Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. A. Mead and B. Norris.
- 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.
- To receive Declarations of Interest relating to matters contained in this agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 in respect of officers and the Localism Act 2011 in respect of members.
- Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 192a)
- To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.
- None received
- Minutes – RESOLVED to approve the Minutes of the meetings held on Monday, 11th January 2021 on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 11.1.21
- Matters Arising
- 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 for:||Full Planning|
|Proposal:||Proposed single storey rear extension|
|At:||Latimer Coach House, Castle Hill Lane, Mere. BA12 6JB|
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a majority vote. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.
|Application for:||Full Planning|
|Proposal:||Proposed extensions & alterations to existing bungalow to form 4 bedroom 2 storey dwelling|
|At:||Shearstone, Southbrook, Mere. BA12 6BG|
The Chairman reported that a number of planning applications had been submitted for this property. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Sims, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.
|Application for:||Work to Trees in a Conservation Area|
|Proposal:||T1 – Bay, Remove 3 rubbing stems, pollard remaining stems at 2m|
|At:||Rick Stones, Castle Hill Lane, Mere. BA12 6JB|
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote of approval.
|Application for:||Full Planning|
|Proposal:||Extension to bungalow, construction of a stone wall either side of driveway with new timber gate, re-laying of gravel surfacing to driveway and parking area, completion of garden to include laying of a new patio.|
|At:||Cedarstone, Shaftesbury Road Northeast to Limpers Hill, Limpers Hill, Mere. BA12 6BD|
Cllr. Mitchell confirmed that he had viewed the site and discussed the application with a neighbour. He considered that the planning application would be an improvement. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.
|Application for:||Work to TPO Trees|
|Proposal:||Beech tree – reduce low limbs, crown thin canopy by 25% & deadwood to improve wind sail.|
|At:||Dewes House, Salisbury Street, Mere. BA12 6HA|
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Hill, seconded by Cllr. Sims and carried with a unanimous vote.
- b) Wiltshire Local Plan Review and Gypsy and Travellers Plan – the Clerk reminded members that the last available online event date being run by Wiltshire Council would be tomorrow evening between 7 pm & 8 pm. She hoped members had signed up. The Clerk stressed the importance of playing a proactive role in the consultation of the Local Plan Review. The Chairman agreed that the Town Council should make a collective submission to Wiltshire Council on the Local Plan Review Consultation and Gypsy & Traveller Plan Consultation and said that the matter would be raised on the agenda for the next meeting.
- Reports & Consultations
- a) To receive and consider report from Wiltshire Councillor – None
- Highways, River, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
- a) Highways England notification of revised works dates for A303 Deverill’s underpass repairs – The Clerk reported on the revised dates and potential overnight road closures. Members noted this information and asked the Clerk to write to Highways England to find out if it was necessary to have as many cyclists diversion signs within the town throughout the works.
- b) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team or MyWiltshire reports
- Potholes in Angel Lane
- Potholes in Manor Road which are causing problems for cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Puddling caused by uneven surface along Burton Footpath.
- Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
- a) Will we need to re-open ladies and gents public toilet blocks and if not, to consider expenditure on Autolock system for disabled public toilet? – The Chairman explained that the current situation with the one accessible public toilet being opened was proving to be more cost-effective and more manageable in terms of staff & time resources. Furthermore, there had been no negative feedback received about queues of people or waiting times for the one toilet, other than queues being noticed during peak summer holiday Friday/Saturday travel days. The Chairman proposed that after lockdown ends and before the Town Council is able to pursue plans to refurbish the toilet blocks, that the Town Council continue with opening the one accessible toilet and keeping the ladies and gents public toilet blocks closed and to this effect he also wanted to propose that the Town Council install an autolock system for the door to the accessible toilet so that it automatically locks at a certain time in the evening and automatically opens at a certain time in the morning. The cost of this system would be in the region of £800 which would be an initial outlay but could save on having to pay staff to lock and unlock the door which does occasionally occur. Mitchell said that these remote locking doors were now quite common for public toilets and Cllr. Hill said he thought it was a very good idea. RESOLVED to continue with the opening of the one accessible public toilet (keeping the ladies and gents toilet blocks locked) and to install a remote locking mechanism for the door on proposal made by Cllr. Hill, seconded by Cllr. Mitchell and carried with a majority vote in favour. Cllr. Colman abstained from voting.
- b) Request to site clothing bank for Wiltshire Air Ambulance in car park – It was pointed out that there was a charity clothing bank at the Fire Station but Cllr. Mrs Symonds said that she though it would be a very good idea to have another clothing bank, particularly whilst people cannot get access to the charity shops. Jeans felt that care would need to be given when considering a location as he was aware there were various private access points from the car park which should not be blocked. Cllr. Mrs Traves said that she was in favour of a clothing bank but had very bad memories of the bottle bank and the amount of rubbish that was left around it, including cardboard boxes and carrier bags. She pointed out that this would need to be monitored and if it became a nuisance, the clothing bank may need to be removed. Cllr. Mrs. Beale said she thought it would be brilliant to have a clothing bank but wondered if the Castle Street Car Park might be a better location than the Salisbury Street Car Park. The Chairman said that he was not prepared to lose any parking bays and it was RESOLVED that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Clerk should find a suitable location for the clothing bank and that it should be painted dark green, particularly if it is going to be located within the Conservation Area. Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.
- Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – RESOLVED to approve and authorise payments as shown in payment schedule attached, on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a majority vote. (Cllr. Jeans, having declared a pecuniary interest, left the meeting whilst this matter was discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.)
*b) To consider draft policy for memorial seats & benches – RESOLVED to adopt the draft policy for memorial seats and benches with no amendment.
- c) To approve expenditure for bunded fuel tank and associated works at workshop compound (see Minutes of Annual Budget meeting held 14.12.20) – the Chairman reminded members that this matter had been approved at the annual budget meeting and was in fact for a fuel storage tank for the tractor. RESOLVED to approve expenditure on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.
*d) Objection to proposal being considered at Wiltshire Council’s cabinet meeting on 2nd February to re-charge Town & parish Councils for election costs – The Chairman said that he hoped members had taken the chance to read the letter that had been prepared by the Clerk and sent to various members of Wiltshire Council regarding their proposals to re-charge Parish & Town Councils for election costs which are going to be discussed at a Cabinet Meeting tomorrow (2nd February). The Chairman said that the Clerk had found all this information and was concerned that no consultation was being offered on these proposals which would have a significant effect on Parish & Town Councils financially, especially the smaller ones and could also have a detrimental effect on democracy. Cllr. Jeans said that he had taken up the matter with various members who would not give him permission to reveal their responses. He said that he thought there was a real chance that this matter could be withdrawn from the meeting tomorrow.
- e) To consider request to purchase grit bin for the houses in Angel Lane up the steep slope (adjacent to Mere Cemetery) – Members were concerned that in agreeing to purchase a grit bin for this location, they would then set a precedent and open up the floodgates for other similar requests for other locations. There was also concern as to who would be responsible for filling the grit bins and whether they would then be locked or left available for everyone to use. RESOLVED that regrettably, the Town Council is unable to fulfil this request on proposal made by Cllr. Hill, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 5 for, 2 against and 3 abstentions.
Emergency Item – Possible S.106 funding
The Chairman reported that an officer from Wiltshire Council had called the office this morning asking the Town Council to identify a project for S.106 funding in the event that the outline planning application for the development of Beaumont’s Business Park in Woodlands Road is approved. The officer stressed that he was aware that the Town Council had not supported the planning application and confirmed that there had been no decision on the application as yet, but confirmed that it was necessary for him to write up a S.106 statement, part of which would include a proportion for the Town Council to spend on youth recreation and that he needed the Town Council to identify a project by next week. The Chairman said that after he and the Clerk had discussed the matter, they thought that the refurbishment of the Multi Use Games Area might be a suitable project and could include the following
Renewal of chain-link fencing and replacement with rebound mesh fencing
Removal of four high-voltage sodium floodlights and replacement with lower-voltage LED floodlights
Installation of auto-locking system on gates and CCTV cameras
Renew surfacing – whether with tarmac or 2-G or 3-G would be decided following public consultation.
- General Items, Consultations & Briefing Notes
- Forthcoming meetings/events
- a) Community Area Transport Group meeting on 17th February 2021 between 14.00 and 16.00 on Microsoft Teams – Cllr. Sims said that he would be attending this meeting and asked if there had had been any feedback on the traffic over The Lynch since the new signage had been erected. Hill said that he had not seen any HGVs attempting to go over there and Cllr. Jeans confirmed that he had not received any complaints recently.
- Future Town Council meetings and to receive requests for agenda items
Members all agreed that they were happy to continue with Zoom meetings starting at 6.00 p.m. for the timebeing.
Meeting closed at 7.23 pm
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