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Author: Lindsey Wood

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 7th June 2021

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 7th June 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW

Present:  Councillors Lesley Traves (Chair), Kate Symonds (Vice-Chairman), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Louise Bennett, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, George Jeans, John Jordan, Eric Mitchell

Also Mr. Roy Sims, Mrs. M. Coward & Mrs. P. Andrews representing Mere Tennis Club + Mr. David Coward + 1 other.

Public Session
Roy Sims wanted to congratulate councillors on being elected or re-elected and also to inform them that the Mere police station is no longer going to be a drop-in centre. He also wanted to inform the Town Council that Rev. Carol Green had left the Benefice of Mere after serving here for 8½ years to work in Devon.  He also said that work to St. Michael’s Church had now been completed and that this was now the largest venue for events in the town.  Lastly, Mr. Sims said that although he is no longer a town councillor, he would happily represent the town Council at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury transport for.

David Coward spoke in support of the planning application for an agricultural worker’s dwelling at Manor Farm.  He pointed out that the farm acreage had more than doubled and they now had over 400 cattle, calving in the autumn and spring.  These animals were a highly valuable asset to the farm and their long-term viability required 24-hour supervision by an experienced person and this responsibility was shared between himself and his son.   Mr. Coward pointed out that the Duchy of Cornwall had approved the land for release for the farm worker’s cottage and had also approved the plans.

Mrs. Myrene Coward said that she had been approached by the tennis club’s representative, Cllr. Jeans, about coaching.  She said that the tennis club was extremely busy but felt that two morning sessions per week could be allocated for tennis coaching.  She said that the tennis club would like confirmation that the coach is qualified and has the required insurance & risk assessments etc.  Mrs. Coward also pointed out that they felt that if he was charging for tennis coaching then he should be a member of the Mere Tennis Club.

The Chairman said that the Town Council had today received notification that a national Thank You Day is being organised for 4 July 2021.  The idea is that Thank You Day will be a chance to come together to mark what has happened over the last year, to celebrate the community spirit and say a big thank you to all those who have helped us along the way.  The Chairman said that she knew that Clive was keen to thank all the volunteers but she was concerned that 4th July was too soon to make adequate arrangements and also, possibly, too soon in terms of the lifting of COVID restrictions.  Louise Bennet said that if we don’t do anything and the rest of the country is arranging events, then we will get criticised so she suggested that we set the date and think about what we could do in the meantime.  Clive Hazzard said that whatever we did, we must make sure that we do not upset anyone by not including all.  Cllrs. Louise Bennet, Aubrey Colman & John Jordan volunteered to form a working group to make suggestions on this.

Apologies from absence received and accepted from Cllrs. Raymond Hill and Glenn Ings

28. To receive Cllr. Philip Cowards, Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr. Philip Coward signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office

 

29. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.

  • Cllr. Mrs. Traves declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2021/03298
  • Cllr. Rodney Coward declared a pecuniary interest in planning application PL/2021/03298
  • Cllr. George Jeans declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2021/03137

 

30. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on Monday, 17th May 2021 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Ms. Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 17.5.21

31.  Matters Arising from Public Session
 a) Library charges – with reference to the issue raised last month by Mr. Meyer, Cllr. Jeans said that the Library charged 80p to order/reserve a book separately which he understood was to cover administration costs.  Members felt that this charge was reasonable and that it was important to sustain the library service we have in Mere and therefore RESOLVED to take no further action.
b) Mere Foodbank location – with reference to the issue raised during last month’s Public Session by Mr. Meyer, the Chairman said that she had spoken to Mrs. Ann Rich who runs the Mere Foodbank.  Mrs. Rich said that she was very happy with the Foodbank distribution location but pointed out that they did have some storage problems.  The Chairman asked councillors to think about ways in which the Town Council could help with the Foodbank’s storage problems.  In the meantime, Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she had asked Richard Jefferies, Editor of Mere Matters, to write an article explaining how the Foodbank works and how to use it.  Cllr. Mrs. Bennett said it would be a good idea to explain the food swapping element also.

32.  Matters Arising from previous Meetings
 a) Dog fouling in public spaces (Minute Refs : 219a) & 19b) – Cllr. Jeans said that he had sought advice from an officer at Wiltshire Council on the idea of putting dog waste bags in 3rd party residents bins (with their permission) and whether or not this would be considered legal.  The officer had advised that the contractors needed to be consulted and Cllr. Jeans said that he needed to chase this matter up.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that if this was not possible, could we please do a costing exercise for more bins (including waste removal and labour to empty) and see whether we could get residents to sponsor new bins.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that one of the problems is that whatever we provided, we would not change the mindset of certain people and we cannot just put extra bins all over the countryside.
b) Update and information on communication between Mere Patient Participatory Group (PPG) and Wiltshire Council relating to Fives Court building and request for Community Asset Transfer (Minute Ref: 208c) – Cllr. Ms. Hansford said that a paper had been submitted to Wiltshire Council and the PPG were just waiting to hear and would report back as and when any news was heard.
c) Public Toilets – to consider the current opening arrangements for public toilets in car park. (Minute Ref: 191a) – The Clerk explained to new members that when the first COVID-19 lockdown was announced in March 2020, the Town Council decided to close all three toilet blocks, not least because of concerns for the health and welfare of our cleaning/maintenance staff but also because we did not think there would be much cause for the use of public toilets since everyone was in lockdown at home.  As the first lockdown began to cease and trade and travel started again in June/July 2020, the Council took the decision to reopen the accessible toilet from 8 am until 4 pm.  The reason for doing this, as opposed to opening all three toilet blocks was threefold:

  1. It was not possible to follow government guidelines on handwashing in the gents or ladies toilets because the automatic hand-washing dispensers did not facilitate 20-second hand washing
  2. We were able to clean this one toilet TWICE daily for the same cost as cleaning all the other toilets ONCE daily.
  3. It is safer for our staff who only have to sanitise one set of touch points when they go into the toilet for maintenance/cleaning
  4. It is safer for the public because it is easier to control social distancing – only one person can go into the toilet at one time and we can ask people to queue outside where there is more ventilation rather than people queueing inside the toilet blocks (there are narrow corridors inside the gents and ladies toilet blocks).

The Clerk said that this matter had been raised on the agenda because of issues raised by members of the public and concerns that the car park was being used as a urinal.  Cllr. Rodney Coward and Cllr. Jeans felt that the accessible toilet should be open 24 hours a day as people come into Mere from the A303 expecting to find public toilets because there is a sign on the A303.  Cllr. Hazzard said that he did not understand why the toilet needed to be open at midnight and explained that the public toilets had suffered vandalism and anti-social issues when they were open during the night in the past.  He felt that an auto-lock system on the accessible toilet could be installed which would allow the door to be opened early in the morning and shut later in the evening. Cllr. Philip Coward suggested that CCTV cameras may help to stop vandalism but Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she had done some work on a draft policy for CCTV for the Council and reported that it would involve an enormous amount of work relating to the GDPR implications.  However, members were in general agreement that there should be a sign on the building to say that it was covered by CCTV.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that she felt that all the toilet blocks should be open and that having public toilets was a basic facility. Cllr. Mrs. Bennett said that if you are providing a public toilet service then you should be providing it 24 hours a day.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that no-one is saying that we shouldn’t open the toilets but we are asking whether we need one toilet open for part of the day or 24 hours a day or all the toilets open for part of the day or all the toilets open for 24 hours a day.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds proposed that the Town Council should keep the one accessible toilet open 24 hours a day in a good state of cleanliness.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a vote of 10 for, 1 against and 1 abstention.

d) Grant Application for Wiltshire Community Foundation for Wessex Water Environment Fund (water refilling station) (Minute Ref 25c) – the Clerk reported that she and Cllr. Jordan had jointly filled out a grant application for the water refilling station and submitted this within the deadline. A submission acknowledgement has been received but there was no further news to report. The chairman thanked the clerk and Cllr. Jordan for their work in this matter.

33.  Reports & Consultations
a) Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – Cllr. Jeans had nothing specific to report although he was asked about contract requirements relating to verge cutting at junctions. Cllr. Colman asked him to obtain a copy of the service level agreement which says how many times the grass should be cut per month.  Cllr. Mrs Beale said that she thought some authorities may have been participating in “No Mow May” in an effort to preserve wildlife wild flowers and wildlife. Cllr. Jeans said that he did not know whether or not they were participating in this initiative but pointed out that they were legally obliged to cut back verges on junctions where visibility splays are compromised and visibility is obstructed by vegetation.  Cllr. Jeans said that he would take this matter up with Wiltshire Council and the Town Council gave their support for this.

34.  Planning

Cllr. Mrs. Kate Symonds in The Chair

Application No: PL/2021/03298
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of essential agricultural workers dwelling
Site address: Manor Farm, Manor Road, Mere.  BA12 6HR

Cllr. Mitchell confirmed that he had visited the site and felt that this new dwelling would tie in well with neighbouring properties and Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she was aware that the site had been selected specifically by the Duchy of Cornwall.  Cllr. Jordan said it was heartening to hear of such a success in farming and it is good that the Duchy of Cornwall have been involved in the planning process for this application and proposed that the application should be recommended for approval.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Mitchell and carried with a vote of 9 for and 2 abstentions.  Cllr. Philip Coward abstained from voting.  The Chairman and Cllr. Rodney Coward, both having declared a pecuniary interest in this planning application, left the meeting room and took no part in discussion or voting.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.

Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves in The Chair

Application No: PL/2021/03137
Application Type: Full Planning Permission
Proposal: Upgrade surgery heating system from electrical to an Air Source heating system.  Heat pump to be installed underneath the surgery’s external fire exit stairs on a plinth.
Site address: Mere Surgery, Dark Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DT

RESOLVED to recommend this application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote. Councillor Jeans declared a personal interest as a neighbour and abstained from voting.

Application No: PL/2021/04729
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Construction of new three stables, one secure tack room and two open fronted storage units on land adjacent to the manege.  The stables are for personal use.
Site address: Land adjacent Longmead, Barrow Street, Mere.  BA12 6AB

Cllr. Mitchell confirmed that he had been to visit the site and confirmed that, in his opinion, the application would be unobtrusive. RESOLVED to recommend this planning application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Ms. Hansford and carried with a vote of 11 for.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.

Application No: PL/2021/03733
Application Type: Listed Building Consent (Alt/Ext)
Proposal: Application of lime plaster to kitchen (service room) walls
Site address: The Chantry, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6DS

RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote in favour

35.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
*a) Request for ‘No cycling signs’ along Burton – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, Cllr. Hazzard said that he would be against a ‘No Cycling’ sign as it was a level route, safe and away from traffic and a lovely little route for young families.  Cllr. Mrs. Bennet said that she thought signs would be ignored.  Cllr. Jordan said that a resident had contacted him to tell him that they had been cycling for 70+ years on that path and he would therefore be opposed to signage prohibiting this. Cllr. Jordan said that there are some good cyclists and some unpleasant cyclists and as a suggestion, he wondered if we could make the footpath wider so that it is wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians and then we could call it an activity route. He said that this footpath, as well as the one at Lordsmead, are already on the-famous red arrows route footpath.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that, as a resident of Burton, she would not want to see Burton Footpath being made into an activity way but would prefer a gentle reminder in Mere Matters about it being a footpath.  Cllr. Jeans said that we have talked about improvements being made to Burton Path and the Angel Lane path.  He felt that the Angel Lane path should be a priority.  There was a general feeling that members did not want to put a sign up.  RESOLVED to take no further action on this matter on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

36. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
*a) Application for tennis coaching at Mere Tennis Club – The Clerk confirmed that an application had been received from Mr. Allen who lived in Mere and was interested in providing Tennis Lessons at Mere Tennis Club.  Mr. Allen had confirmed that he would coach all ages and would charge £25 an hour, depending on what type of sessions they were.  He had no set days, dates or times and was willing to be flexible and liaise with the tennis club over this.  Mr. Allen had confirmed that he was LTA level 3 qualified, had £10m public liability insurance, Safeguarding policies and had been DBS checked.  He had also undertaken a First Aid Course. The Clerk confirmed that she had not received copies of Mr. Allen’s Certificates/Insurance but advised that this should be a conditional requirement.   Members pointed out that the tennis club representatives had indicated that they would be happy with 2 morning coaching sessions per week and councillors generally felt that tennis coaching would be of benefit for the community.   RESOLVED that Mr. Allen should liaise with the tennis club over timings and number of sessions per week with the tennis club having final agreement and that any fee to the tennis club for coaching should also be decided by the tennis club although anyone coaching tennis at the club should, at the very least, pay a membership subscription.  If agreement is reached on coaching, then Mr. Allen should submit his certificates and papers to the Town Clerk for filing purposes.
Whilst on this subject, Cllr. Jordan pointed out that his wife had experienced difficulties in trying to join the tennis club.  Cllr. Jeans said that the tennis club booking arrangement had always been very efficient and suggested that Cllr. Jordan’s wife should try again.

Emergency Item
b) War Graves in Mere Cemetery – the Clerk informed members that she had only just received information from the War Graves Commission that it is against their policy to have roses planted in front of scattered war graves and that they should be laid to grass.  Unfortunately, this is at odds with information that the Town Council had previously been given by the War Graves Commission.  The War Graves Commission were asking that the roses be removed from the front of the war graves and the areas in front are laid to grass.  Members agreed that the roses should be removed in the autumn, the war graves should then be laid to grass and, if possible, the roses could then be planted elsewhere by the grounds staff.

37. Finance, Policy & Resources
a) PaymentsRESOLVED to approve payments set out in the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.
b) To review and authorise the following S.137RESOLVED that the Council, in accordance with its powers under section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972, should incur the following expenditure which, in the opinion of the Council, is in the interests of the area of its inhabitants and will benefit them in a manner commensurate with expenditure.  Proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.  (These S.137 payments were previously recommended at the Annual Budget meeting held 14.12.20).

Seeds4Success To support Leisure Credit Scheme 665.00
Mere & District Linkscheme Donation 600
Mere Matters Donation 600
St. John’s Ambulance Donation 75
Mere Brownies Donation 80

c) Confirmation of receipt of S.106 funding – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, the Clerk confirmed that £134k being the S.106 payment from the first phase of the development had been received by the Town Council.  The Clerk said that the Council had previously talked about setting up a working group and also about conducting a public consultation exercise and wondered how members wanted to proceed with this.  Cllr. Colman felt that the Town Council should set up a committee to look at all possibilities for expenditure.  Cllr. Jordan said that when he attended a recent Area Board meeting there was a funding opportunity of £15k created for footpaths under Health & Wellbeing and he pointed out that it therefore appeared that one department of Wiltshire Council has a discrepancy with the other over the purpose of footpaths.  Cllr. Jeans said that he felt that the footpath should be a priority for expenditure and agreed to push this matter with officers and C. G. Fry if necessary to try and get clarification on whether or not expenditure on this footpath would be legal.  RESOLVED to publicise the receipt of the money, the restrictions for its expenditure and ask for ideas from the public in both Mere Matters and Mere Mutters and then to discuss this and the ideas received at a future council meeting.
d) To review Mere Town Council Reserves PolicyRESOLVED to approve the draft policy without amendment.
e) To approve the Accounting Statements – the accounting statements which includes the end-of-year bank reconciliation, identification of variances requiring explanation, reconciliation between boxes 7 & 8, an analysis of earmarked reserves and asset summary, prepared by the RFO were distributed with the agenda papers and approved by the Council.  The Clerk pointed out that there was extra information provided within these statements that needed to be published in accordance with the Transparency Code and in recognition that the Town Council had now moved into the higher band requirement (income over £200k)
f) Annual Governance & Accountability Return 2020/21

  1. To receive and note the Annual Internal Audit Report – the Clerk informed members that on 27th May, Mrs. Mary White had carried out an independent examination of the Town Council’s accounting records, its compliance with relevant procedures and its risk assessments and internal control procedures.  Mrs. White had agreed that, in all significant respects, the control objectives were being achieved throughout the financial year to a standard adequate to meet the needs of the council and had completed section 4 of the Annual Return, answered ‘yes’ or ‘Not Covered’ to all questions and had signed the Annual Internal Audit Report in the Annual Return accordingly.  Mrs. White had written a letter: “On 27th May I carried out an internal audit of the Town Council’s Financial Statements for the year ending 31st March 2021. It is my opinion that proper accounting records have been maintained by the Council, financial statements have been properly prepared and that there were at this time no issues of concern. For the purpose of this audit the Town Clerk, Lindsey Wood, ensured as always that everything necessary was to hand and in good order, and provided every assistance during our meeting.”  Members expressed their gratitude to Mary White for carrying out the Internal Audit and asked for their thanks to be recorded in the Minutes.
  2. To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1) – Points 1 – 9 of the Annual Governance statement 2020/21 (Section 1 of the Annual Governance & Accountability Return) were read out to members and members answered ‘yes’ to each of the statements.  The Annual Governance Statement was signed by the Clerk and by the Chairman in the presence of the Town Council.
  3. To approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2) attached – The Accounting Statements 1-11 (Section 2 of the Annual Return) were approved by the Town Council.  Confirmation of approval of the Account Statements was signed by the Clerk and by the Chairman in the presence of the Town Council.
  4. To set the commencement date for the exercise of public rights – The Clerk confirmed that, as required by The Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 the Town Council must now publish the unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return and the Notice for the Commencement of the Period for the Exercise of Public Rights.  Publication is on the parish website: www.merewilts.org
  5. To note other information to be sent to the External Auditor and required by External Auditor as part of Intermediate Review 2020/21 – the Clerk pointed out to members that because the Town Council had income exceeding £200k this year, this meant that we needed to have an Intermediate Audit Review which required providing extra information to the external auditors.  This year’s requirement was:
  • Copies of evidence that the authority is registered as an employer with HMRC.
  • Copies of minutes and any agreed plan showing the corrective action taken to address the prior year ‘except for’ matters (ONLY for smaller authorities who received ‘except for’ matters in the 2019/20 external auditor report).

g) General Data Protection Awareness Checklist for Councillors & to consider setting up merewilts email addresses for councillors i.e. lesley.traves@merewilts.org – A copy of the General Data Protection Awareness Checklist for Councillors had been distributed to members.  The following councillors requested merewilts email addresses:
Lesley Traves
Kate Symonds
Nick Beale
Rachael Hansford
Debbie Beale
Louise Bennett

38.  General Items
a) Production of Mere Town Council information leaflet and approval of expenditure – Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that recent criticism over the lack of information on councillors and the council had propelled her into thinking that we needed to be a bit more clear to the public.  She had therefore compiled a leaflet using information on the Town Council’s website and on Wiltshire Council’s website and proposed that this should become a centre-page pull-out information leaflet in Mere Matters.  The leaflet will identify the councillors, with agreed contact information.  The second page is what we do do, third page is what we don’t do and the last page is a pie-chart on our expenditure.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said she was hoping that the Town Council would approve the idea and wondered if there was anything else that members would like to add.  It was pointed out that people did not understand the difference between George Jeans’ role as Wiltshire Councillor and Town Councillor.  Members thanked Cllr. Symonds very much for the work that had gone into producing this leaflet and thought it was a marvellous idea to include it in Mere Matters.

39.  Future agenda item
The Clerk informed members that PC Richard Salter was hoping to come along to the next meeting and introduce PCSO Dan Gill and talk about policing issues and priorities for Mere.

Meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.

The Clerk said that she would be doing some informal training sessions for new council members and that if anyone else was interested in attending, she would be happy for them to make contact with her about dates/times and come along.

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND
Registered Charity No. 1093497

Meeting convened at 8.51 p.m.

For Trustees to consider application for tennis coaching at Mere Tennis Club

Trustees of the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity were happy to endorse the decision made by the Town Council during the Town Council meeting of 7th June 2021 (Minute Reference: 36a – Application for Tennis Coaching at Mer Tennis Club)

The following members agreed to meet to discuss the latest plans and draft leases for proposals for new Youth Development Building in the Recreation Ground:

  • Chairman,
  • Vice-Chairman
  • Cllr. P. Coward
  • Cllr. A. Colman

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 5th July 2021

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Duchy Manor,
Springfield Road,
Mere
Warminster,
Wiltshire
BA12 6EW
Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

30th June 2021

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere on Monday, 5th July 2021 at 7.00 pm.  The meeting will consider the items set out below.

 

Before the meeting there will be a public session to enable the people of Mere to ask questions of, and make comments, regarding the Town Council.  Questions not answered at this meeting will be answered in writing to the person asking the question, or may appear as an agenda item for the next meeting.  Members of the public are asked to restrict their comments, and/or questions to three minutes.

Please Note: By entering the meeting room you are consenting to the use of your name being recorded in the Minutes.  The meeting may also be recorded by the press or members of the public.  Any person or organisation choosing to film, record or broadcast any meeting of the Council or its committees is responsible for any claims or other liability resulting from them so doing and by choosing to film, record or broadcast proceedings they accept that they are required to indemnify the Council, its members and officers in relation to any such claims or liabilities.

Any person who may find difficulty in access to the meeting through disability is asked to advise the Clerk by email (lindseywood@merewilts.org) at least 24 hours before the meeting so that every effort may be made to provide access.

We will be holding the meeting in the foyer at Duchy Manor and have carried out a Risk Assessment to determine the numbers of people that can be sat, socially distanced, along with other requirements.  The main doors will be left open to provide ventilation but this will, inevitably, lead to a chilly evening so please wrap up warm.  We will also be providing each councillor with a Perspex visor to wear during the meeting, hand sanitiser is provided and there is also a track & trace QR code available for the venue.  Please wear a mask to the building and then we will hand out the visors to each councillor.

 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions our Risk Assessment has determined that the room’s safe capacity is 20 people and therefore if we have a full council (15 members) + Town Clerk it will only leave room for 4 members of the public inside the room at any one time and it may therefore be necessary to allocate time slots or move agenda items around depending on interest received from members of the public.  We would therefore request that members of the public contact the Clerk prior to the meeting if they wish to attend.

 

Lindsey Wood,

Town Clerk & RFO

 

 

Public Participation Session

Members of the public are invited to address the Council on any issue over which it has a power. This session will be limited to 15 minutes (3 minutes per speaker). The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that once the meeting has been convened members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).

 

AGENDA

  1. Apologies – To receive apologies for absence.
  2. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
      1. 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.
      2. To receive written 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.  The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.  If you become aware, during the course of a meeting, of an interest that has not been disclosed under this item, you must immediately disclose it.  Whether you can remain in the meeting and the extent to which you can participate depends on the type of interest you have.

 

      1. Minutes – To resolve that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 7th June 2021 be approved as a correct record. (attached)
        1. Matters Arising from Public Session
        1.  Thank You Day
        1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
        1. Public Toilets – to consider the current opening arrangements for public toilets in car park. (Minute Ref: 191a)
        1. Reports & Consultations
    1. * Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 21-08 – Enhancement of Bus Services
    2. * Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Noter No. 21-09 – Temporary Pavement Licencest: 80px;”>
    3.  Report on SWW Area Board meeting held on 30th June

 

        1. Planning
        1.  Applications for consultation response – (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)

 

Application No: PL/2021/04420
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Construction of 25 X 45m manege
Site Address: Ashwell Nursery, Limpers Hill North C303 to A303 Burton Junction, Burton, Mere.  BA12 6BR

 

Application No: PL/2021/05380
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q for One Agricultural Building to be Converted into one Residential Dwelling (Use Class C3) and associated operational development
Site Address: Breaches Barn, Barrow Street, Mere.  BA12 6AB

 

Application No: PL/2021/04928
Application Type: Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)
Proposal: Replacement of existing dormer window with a hardwood, double glazed unit.
Site Address: The Cottage, Pettridge Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DG

 

Application No: PL/2021/05775
Application Type: Consent under Tree Preservation Orders
Proposal: T1 – Plane – Prune sub-branches away from utility cabling to provide 1 – 1.5 m clearance.
Site Address: The Vicarage, Angel Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DH

 

Application No: PL/2021/05359
Application Type: Householder Planning permission
Proposal: Demolish existing brick shed and construct single storey side lean-to extension.
Site Address: 60 Manor Road, Mere.  BA12 6HS

 

      1. b) Beaumont Business Park Outline Planning Application (Ref: 20/07469/OUT) – letter from Savills Planning
      2. c) Notice and confirmation of Tree Preservation Order – 2021/00003/ND at Fives Court, Angel Lane, Mere. BA12 6DH

 

      1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
      2. a) Highways Act 1980 – Application to stop up highway – Highway adjacent to 2 New Cottages, Shaftesbury Road, Mere.
      3. b) Report on Community Area Transport Group meeting

 

      1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
      2. a) Request for Carnival Fun Day on 18th September 2021 in Duchy Manor Sports Field or Recreation Ground – Cllr. John Jordan

*b) Report on Working Group meeting held to discuss replacement Youth Development building in Recreation Ground

      1. c) Report on meeting with school and Wiltshire Council officers to discuss school expansion proposals
      2. d) Cemetery – update and progress report on cemetery extension proposals
      3. e) Use of Duchy Manor for Mere Foodbank
      4. f) Requirement for external decoration of Andy Young Pavilion

 

      1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a)  Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached)

*b) Notice of “Places Called Home” grant funding programme

 

      1. General Items
      2. a) The Queens Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
      3. b) How does the Town Council see the future for the Mere Resilience Forum (Community Support Group) developing? – Cllr. Rachael Hansford

 

      1. Future meetings and events

Events –  The Future of High Streets & Town Centres – Online event Wednesday, 29th September between 12 – 1.15 pm  (Cost to Council is £30 per delegate)

 

      1. 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

 

For Trustees to consider the following:

 

      1. a) Request for Carnival Fun Day on 18th September 2021 in Duchy Manor Sports Field or Recreation Ground – Cllr. John Jordan
      2. b) Report on Working Group meeting held to discuss replacement Youth Development building in Recreation Ground

 

 

 

Schedule of Town Council meeting dates 2021-22

Schedule of Town Council meeting dates 2021-22

 

Monday, 7th June 2021

Monday, 5th July 2021

There is no scheduled meeting for August although it is possible that the Town Council will need to call a meeting if there are consultation deadlines to meet

Monday, 6th September 2021

Monday, 4th October 2021

Monday, 1st November 2021

The Annual Budget meeting is usually held in November (date to be confirmed)

Monday, 6th December 2021

Monday, 10th January 2022

Monday, 7th February 2022

Monday, 7th March 2022

Monday, 4th April 2022

 

All meetings will start at 7.00 p.m. and will either be held at Duchy Manor or in the Andy Young Pavilion

Minutes of Town Council meeting held 29th March 2021

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 29th March 23021 at 6.00 pm online at Zoom.us

 

Present:  Cllr. C. Hazzard (Chairman), E. Mitchell (Vice-Chairman), Mrs. D. Beale, A. Colman, P. Coward, R. Coward, R. Hill, G. Ings, G. Jeans, J. Jordan, B. Norris, R. Sims, Mrs. L. Traves

Also: Mr. & Mrs. Hollick, Hayley Mundy, Patrick Sumner & Mrs. Elaine Stallard, Chairman of Mere PPG

 

Public Session

Hayley Mundy spoke in support of planning applications 21/00640/FUL & 21/01974/ADV stating that she had purchased 5 Wyvern House and planned to turn the downstairs into a hairdressing salon and upstairs into a flat.  She said that the current premises her hairdresser’s business operated from was desperately short of space and also the access was not great with 2 steps into the salon.  She said that she was certain it was rare that someone was taking a residential premises and asking to change its use to a commercial premises in a high street location but felt it was time to move the business forward and hoped that the Town Council would view this as a positive step.  She planned to use the existing signage but to move it across the wall and would like to add 2 lights over the sign.  Lastly, she said that she felt it was vital to keep car parking free in Mere’s car parks and said that she would continue to sponsor the Town Council in order to support this free facility.

Mr. & Mrs. Hollick spoke in support of their planning application 21/01809/FUL.  Mrs. Hollick explained that the application was to provide parking for 2 Edgebridge and pointed out that there had been a dropped kerb there for many years where there was a gated access to a paddock.  This provision of off-road parking would help to keep cars from parking on Clements Lane.  The Chairman said that he could remember that there was an old wooden gate in the hedge.

Roy Sims said that as a volunteer at the local police station, he was extremely upset that he was not invited to attend the commemorative farewell photo opportunity for PCSO Peter Tscherniawsky’s retirement.

John Jordan commented on how nice it was to walk across The Meads now that the footpath had been widened and thanked the Sparkle Team for carrying out this job in co-operation/co-ordination with the Town Council.

Apologies for absence received from Cllr. Mrs. Symonds.

 

  1. 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.

(a) 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.

  • Mrs. Beale declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 208b)
  • Jeans declared a pecuniary & personal interest in planning application refs: 21/00640/FUL & 21/01974ADV & a personal interest in planning application ref: 21/02292/TCA
  • Hill declared a personal interest in planning application refs: 21/00640/FUL & 21/01974ADV
  • Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 210b)

(b) To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED to approve Minutes of Annual Meeting to assess the effectiveness of Internal Controls – meeting held on Thursday, 18th March 2021. Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.

 

  1. Planning
  2. 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: 21/01808/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Construction of dwelling for agricultural worker together with associated works
At: Dew Pasture, Burton Farm, Mere.  BA12 6BR

Cllr. Jordan said that he was familiar with the site and felt that the application was of sympathetic design that would not cause an overlooking issue for any neighbours.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that she was familiar with the area and thought it would make sense for someone to live on site to support the business that they are proposing.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application on the understanding that the property will have an agricultural occupancy condition.  Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote in favour. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/00640/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Change of use for downstairs into a hairdressing salon and upstairs remaining as a residential flat which will benefit from a parking space.  Erection of signage.
At: 5 Wyvern House, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HA

RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Jeans and Cllr. Hill, having declared an interest in this planning application, refrained from discussion or voting.

 

Application ref: 21/01974/ADV
Application for: Advertisement Consent
Proposal: Installation of 3 x fascia signage and lighting.
At: 5 Wyvern House, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HA

RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Jeans and Cllr. Hill, having declared an interest in this planning application, refrained from discussion or voting.

 

Application ref: 21/01809/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Retrospective approval for the construction of vehicle crossing of verge and associated parking area off Clement’s Lane
At: 2 Edge Bridge, Mere.  BA12 6DB

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. R. Hill and carried with a majority vote.  There was one vote against the application and in order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/02292/TCA
Application for: Work to Trees in a Cons Area
Proposal: T1 Ash – remove lowest limb (overextended epicormic growth) extending in a south west direction

T2 Silver Maple – bifurcated stem.  Shorten peripheral growth of westerly stem by up to 3m.

T3 Horse Chestnut – included union of lowest limb extending due south.  Shorten peripheral growth by up to 2m.

At: Sandells, Water Street, Mere.  BA12 6DY

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Jeans had declared a personal interest in the above application and therefore abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/01960/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Construction of new timber framed double garage
At: Homemere, Southbrook, Mere.  BA12 6BG

Cllr. Jordan confirmed that the width and route of the Right of Way would be unaffected by this application.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Sims and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

*b) Notification of Enforcement Appeal for Land at the Old Nurseries, Burton, Mere.  BA12 6FH – Cllr. Mrs. Beale, having declared a pecuniary interest in this matter, left the meeting room whilst this matter was discussed.  The Clerk confirmed that Wiltshire Council has provided us with notification of two enforcement appeals that have been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate. The appeals are against two alleged breaches of planning control:

  1. Without planning permission, the material change of use of the land for the siting of a caravan for residential purposes. (Appeal Ref:  APP/Y3940/C/20/3262575)
  2. Without planning permission, operational development consisting of the construction of an earth bund on the Land in the approximate location identified by a green line on the attached plan as well as shown in the photograph attached to the Notice shown as ‘Notice Photograph’. (Appeal Ref: APP/Y3940/C/20/3262563)

Both the appeals are against Enforcement Notices in respect of the site and are to be decided on the basis of the Written Representations procedure.

The Clerk had prepared a suggested written submission for the planning inspectorate which had been distributed to members with their agenda papers.  Cllr. Jeans said that because the Clerk had drafted the submission, it needed to be approved and proposed by the Town Council.  The Chairman proposed that the Clerk’s suggested submission be adopted as the Town Council’s formal written submission without amendment.  This proposal was seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.  Cllr. Jeans requested that the Clerk point out to the Planning Inspector that this view was the unanimous view of the Council so that the inspector knows the strength of feeling.

*c) Request from Mere Surgery Patient Participation Group for support to undertake a research project into proposals for a Community Health Centre at Fives Court, Angel Lane – Mrs. Elaine Stallard, Chair of Mere Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) said that she had two requests: one is to hold a qualitative research survey of all housesholds served by Mere Surgery to establish whether there is local support for a Mere Community Health Centre to be established in Fives Court, Angel Lane, Mere.  She explained that many of the community health services that used to be offered from Mere have now moved to The Nadder Centre in Tisbury.  It is felt that whilst the Nadder Centre is a good resource, it is not the most accessible location for residents of Mere as the 11 mile journey each way across the A303 and through Hindon is not an easy one and is off-putting for many people, particularly the elderly.  There is no public transport and the cost of a taxi is prohibitive.  We would be able to present a much stronger case if our research was supported by the Town Council. The second request is for support in exploring the availability of Fives Court as a building to provide these community health facilities, should the research prove a demand.  Cllr. Jordan said that he would support any move in this direction.  He said that in the Local Plan Review, Wiltshire Council refer to Mere as a local service centre but they have been rapidly removing all the services so it would be nice to actually provide more services to support the status. Cllr. Jeans said that Tisbury seems to be the epicentre for a lot of facilities.  However, he questioned how it would affect the Tisbury Health Centre if the Mere facilities were moved from the site.  The Chairman proposed that the Town Council should give backing to the PPG to carry out survey research on the residents of Mere to localise services by utilising the Fives Court building in Angel Lane.  Proposal carried with a unanimous vote of approval.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. Reopening of facilities – the Clerk said that the Town Council would be reopening all facilities with risk assessments and in accordance with government guidelines and with individual sporting association guidance over the course of the next few weeks.
  3. Request from Mere Literary Festival for banner on clock towerRESOLVED to approve the use of the Clock Tower for a banner to advertise the Mere Literary Festival in accordance with the Town Council’s banner policy.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resource

*a) To adopt recommendations of annual working group meeting held to assess the effectiveness of internal controls (Minutes of meeting attached) –   RESOLVED to adopt recommendations on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

Cllr. Mitchell in The Chair

  1. b) Payments -To approve payments as set out in the payment schedule attached – Cllr. Hazzard, having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, left the meeting room and took no part in discussion or voting. Councillors questioned the payment to North Street Nurseries and it was confirmed that this was rental for the workshop compound for the Council’s grounds staff and that the rental figure of £25 per unit, per week, had previously been approved. Mitchell confirmed that the Council staff now have a good set-up which is in a far more secure location with good facilities in this compound area.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the payments as shown in the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.

 

  1. Forthcoming elections & pre-election period (purdah)

The Clerk said that there is specific guidance for members and officers on the management of council business and publicity in the run-up to the elections on 6th May.  Although it is permissible to publish factual information which identifies the names, wards and parties of candidates at elections, we must take care not to publish any information relating to individuals involved directly in the elections or any political parties.

 

The Clerk reminded members that she had offered to submit nomination papers to Wiltshire Council offices in Salisbury and had booked an appointment for Thursday, 1st April.  Therefore, Wednesday evening was the last opportunity for people to get their nomination papers to her if they wished to take advantage of this offer.

 

  1. Forthcoming meetings/events – the Clerk said that the next meeting of the Town Council would be held on Monday, 12th April. She also informed members that, following a request from the National Association of Local Councils, the government had declined to extend s.78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling local councils to hold remote meetings beyond 7th May.  She understood that this decision has now led to a court case.

 

Meeting closed at 19.05 p.m.

 

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

Minutes of Town Council meeting held 1st March 2021

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 1st March 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, G. Ings, G. Jeans, J. Jordan, E. Mitchell, B. Norris, & Mrs. K. Symonds

Also present on Zoom:  Mr. Mark Bassett from Freeths, Mr. & Mrs. Brown and Sandra Catley.

 

 

Public Session

Mr. Mike Brown explained that he was the owner of 3 The Paddocks and had submitted a planning application to extend the property.  He explained that he and his family had strong local connections and loved living in Mere and the purpose of this planning application was to enable them to stay in Mere for the long term.   Mr. Mark Bassett from Freeths said that he had joined the meeting to answer any questions relating to the planning application for the care home on land adjacent to Quarryfield Industrial Estate.

 

Apologies for absence –  Cllrs. R. Hill, R. Sims & Mrs. L. Traves tried to join the meeting but were unable to due to technical issues relating to joining Zoom and sent their apologies.  The Chairman also informed members that he had today received a resignation letter from Cllr. Alan Mead and he thanked Cllr. Mead for all the work he had done during his time as a Town Councillor.  The Clerk said that due to the closeness of the elections, it would not be necessary to declare a vacancy and co-opt another councillor.

 

  1. 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.
  • P. Coward pointed out that he may have a declaration of interest in the planning application 20/11079/Ful as he is Chairman of Hillbrush which is near to the application site.
  • To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.
  • None received

 

  1. Minutes – RESOLVED to approve the Minutes of the meetings held on Monday, 1st February 2021 on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 1.2.21

 

  1. Matters Arising
  2. a) Report on Wiltshire Council’s cabinet meeting on 2nd February regarding re-charge of Town & Parish Council election costs – the Clerk informed members that the issue had been withdrawn from the agenda and was not discussed at the meeting. She confirmed that Wiltshire Council were unlikely to impose any re-charges to Town & Parish Councils for elections this year.

 

  1. Planning
  2. 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: 21/00428/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed new shed and driveway alterations
At: 40 North Road, Mere.  BA12 6HQ

The Chairman said that he had been to the site and spoken to the applicant who currently has a shed which is hidden behind a hedgerow.  The applicant would like to replace this with a new shed which will protrude further out at the front of the garden and also wanted to widen his driveway so as to accommodate more vehicles.    As the house would have been a local authority house at one time, the Chairman wondered whether there were restrictive covenants which precluded development on front gardens as there are in other areas of Mere.  Cllr. Jordan pointed out that there had been no objection raised from the Highways Department.  RESOLVED to support the planning application adding an informative with the advice that Title Deeds should be checked for restrictive covenants.  Proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 20/11413/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: To replace and extend the roof of the property with an increased pitch to form three bedrooms and bathrooms in the roof.  Other alterations to include creating a balcony as part of the roof, the removal of the chimney and alterations to ground floor windows.
At: 3 The Paddocks, Pettridge Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DG

The Chairman pointed out that the Town Council had received an objection from the owners of Greystones and the Clerk read out the email which was objecting to the windows on the east elevations on the basis that they would overlook Greystones.  The email stated that the addition of an upper floor will mean that the proposed large window and the dormer on the front of the building would overlook the rear of Greystones and impact on their privacy and went on to suggest an alternative scheme/proposal that would cause less impact.  Cllr. Jordan said that he thought the proposal was aesthetically pleasing but agreed that the eastern elevation did seem to overlook neighbours.  He said that he initially had some concerns about the balcony overlooking the cemetery too but had been reassured by comments made by the applicant in the public session.  Cllr. Norris said that he was a bit uncomfortable about this planning application and Cllr. Colman said that he felt it did impinge on neighbours privacy.  Cllr. P. Coward felt that the plans could be tweaked quite easily to make them more acceptable.  He said he could see exactly why the applicants wanted to extend the bungalow but he agreed that the big window would cause a privacy issue.   RESOLVED to approve the planning application ON CONDITION that the proposals for the feature window and dormer on the eastern elevation are altered to reduce the overlooking and infringement of privacy on the neighbouring property.  Proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/00297/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Extension and alterations
At: 18 Lordsmead Road, Mere.  BA12 6BZ

The Chairman said that he had visited the site and could see not obvious reasons to give concern about this application.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/00115/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed new rear conservatory
At: 7 Walnut Road, Mere.  BA12 6FG

The Chairman said that he had visited the site but found it difficult to assess how it would affect neighbours but it was pointed out that other similar conservatories had been approved in the area and a precedent had been set.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/00458/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed refurbishment of existing dwelling including removal of existing roof keeping the existing first floor structure, new half storey over and new roof.  Amendment to 20/01804/FUL
At: Rick Stones, Castle Hill Lane, Mere.  BA12 6JB

Members said that they had struggled to see what the amendment related to.  The Clerk pointed out that in the Design & Access Statement it says that the amendment is to cover a change from reusing existing concrete plain tiles to a new natural slate tiled roof.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application on condition that the amendment relates to the roof materials only on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a majority vote. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 21/00436/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Alterations to previously consented Part Q farm building conversion
At: Barn B, Church Farm, Wet Lane, Mere.  BA12 6BA

Cllr. Mitchell stated that this planning application would affect the owner of the middle barn who has raised no objection.  However, Cllr. Mitchell pointed out that the existing barn has no window on the western elevation and noted that the proposals were to introduce a window on this elevation and Cllr. Mitchell felt that this window would face into the middle barn and cause an unacceptable level of overlooking and loss of privacy.  Cllr. Jordan said that he agreed.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application ON CONDITION that the window on the western elevation is removed completely so as to avoid overlooking and loss of privacy to neighbours.  Proposal made by the Chairman and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

Application Ref: 20/11079/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: 70 bed care home with associated access, parking, sprinkler tank, bin store and landscaping
At: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6LA

Cllr. Colman said he thought that the plan would be very suitable for the area but questioned whether there was sufficient parking space for the workers.  Cllr. Norris said that he could not understand why anyone would want to build a care home and place our most vulnerable people outside the settlement area and in so doing we would be using up valuable industrial land.  Cllr. Jordan said that it is a 3-storey building and it would be preferable to have a 3-storey building in this location than it would be in the middle of Mere.  However, he felt that it would tower over its neighbour, Boundary House.  Cllr. P. Coward said that he had written a letter in to the planning authority on behalf of Hillbrush.  Hillbrush do not have any objection to the application but they have concerns relating to the need to change the classification of the land allocation which currently has planning permission for B1 and B8 industrial use which does not cover care homes.  Whilst Hillbrush does not emit much noise in the course of their day-to-day activity, they do have a number of heavy and light goods vehicles entering the site each day and would not want complaints about this due to the proximity of a care home.    Furthermore, they had raised concern about the number of car parking spaces and the likelihood of visitors for the care home attempting to park on Hillbrush site or on the access roads if they could not park in the care home’s designated parking spaces.    The Chairman said that he was quite surprised that the applicants had not been in touch with the local doctor’s surgery.  He confirmed that he had contacted the Doctors at Mere Surgery who had said that they would in principle support further residential capacity for the local residents in light of the recent Fives Court closure.  The Chairman said that on the issue of car parking he noted that the idea was for staff to walk to the site from Mere and he pointed out that it was not safe to encourage pedestrians to walk this route due to the visibility difficulties at the B3092/3095 junction.  He said that he would like to see some improvements made to this junction to improve safety for pedestrians to walk to the site from Mere.  Cllr. Colman said that he could not believe that people would walk to work there because of the shift patterns involved in this type of work.  Cllr. Rodney Coward said that this was the only site he was aware of locally that could accommodate such a building with the associated parking.  Cllr. Jeans reminded members that the land is technically within the parish of Zeals although this employment allocation for B1 & B8 within the Local Plan has been envisaged for Mere employment.  The use of the land has much more impact on Mere than it does for Zeals and that will be a consideration when it comes to CIL funding.  Cllr. Jeans reiterated that the land has been allocated as employment land for the last 30 years and has had very little take-up from businesses although there is an extant planning permission for land adjacent to the care home site but this is for an office-based business.  Cllr. Jeans said that he had received confirmation that the width of the road is 6.3m and the pavements were 2.5m wide and therefore he felt comfortable that visitors could park on the roadside without causing an obstruction.  He also pointed out that there would be restrictions for years to come on visitor numbers to care homes.  The Chairman closed the meeting in order to allow Mr. Mark Bassett to speak and Mr. Bassett confirmed that there were 30 parking spaces shown on the plans.  He pointed out that he thought it would be possible to achieve an additional 4 parking spaces and possibly another four but he doubted whether the last four would be acceptable to the Highways Department.  He said he therefore had authority to submit a revised plan that would include 38 parking spaces.  He also confirmed that the number of jobs created would be 73 staff, working in shifts of 37 over a 24-hour period and that they would recruit as many as possible from the local area.  The Chairman said that he was in favour of this planning application and was happy to ask Cllr. Jeans to take this to committee.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of this planning application with the following CONDITIONS

  • A revised application is submitted showing as many parking spaces as possible
  • To make adaptations to the B3092/3095 junction to improve pedestrian visibility when crossing the junction from west to east (from the care home towards Mere), in order to improve pedestrian safety.
  • The Town Council request that Cllr. Jeans ‘call in’ this planning application on the basis that it is a departure from the Industrial Classifications previously applied to this employment land allocation and giving consideration to the fact that Zeals Parish Council’s consultation submission is, as yet, unknown.

Proposal made by the Chairman, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a vote of 7 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions (Cllr. P. Coward and Cllr. G. Jeans).  Cllr. Norris asked for his vote against this planning application to be recorded in the minutes.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.

 

*b) Wiltshire Local Plan Review and Gypsy and Travellers Plan – to consider consultation response.  (Report prepared by the Clerk attached) – With reference to the report that had been prepared by the Clerk & distributed to councillors, Cllr. Mitchell said that he thought the Clerk had done a lot of work on this submission report and congratulated her on an exceptional job and he asked for this to be Minuted.  Members agreed and thanked the Clerk for preparing this submission report and it was RESOLVED to send this submission to Wiltshire Council as the Town Council’s formal response with the following additions: Cllr. Rodney Coward raised the question as to whether it was fair to impose the same requirement of affordable housing on the development of a brownfield site as was being required for the development of a greenfield site.  He said that some incentive needed to be provided to encourage development of brownfield sites and given the fact that it would generally be necessary to factor in site demolition/clearance costs which would not be necessary on a greenfield site.  Cllr. Jordan said that he would be happy with a reduction in the percentage of affordable housing but he was not happy with the fact that some developers tried to get away without providing any affordable housing by stating that it was not financially viable.  Cllr. P. Coward said that affordable housing is worthless to developers so if there is a requirement for 40% affordable housing then it makes the other 60% much more expensive.  RESOLVED to add the following paragraph on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote: Mere Town Council would prefer to encourage residential development on redundant brownfield sites than use a greenfield site to provide the housing target figures.  However, there should be a small allowance either in S.106/CIL payments or affordable housing percentages in recognition that it may cost the developer more money to clear a redundant brownfield site than it would to start from scratch on a greenfield site.  It was also agreed that the Clerk should add a paragraph relating to requirement for more employment allocations – Cllr. Jeans said that he had local knowledge of businesses that would like to come to Mere but have been prevented from doing so due to the lack of employment allocations.  It was agreed to ask Wiltshire Council to revisit their calculations on employment allocations as we suspect there is a deficiency.

  1. c) Liaison with Gillingham Town Council over Dorset Local Plan vs Wiltshire Local Plan – The Clerk said that she had received contact from Gillingham Town Council ‘Our councillors are currently reviewing the Dorset Local Plan and I presume your councillors are doing the same with Wiltshire.  We are also reviewing our Neighbourhood Plan. We do not have the capacity to comment on the Wiltshire Local Plan just now (except if anyone wishes to do so as an individual) and wondered whether there were any issues in the Wiltshire Local Plan that concern Mere and would benefit from the support from Gillingham Town Council.  Likewise, we may have some issues with the Dorset Local Plan that may benefit from your support. For example: both towns will have designated gypsy sites planned about 2 miles or less either side of the county boundary. The southern extension will provide 2000 homes plus but yet we have developers hot on our heels to the north and west of the town to provide yet another significant number of homes.’  The Clerk said that she had spoken to Gillingham Town Council and the Clerk’s had suggested that, given the consultation deadlines, it would be a good idea to send each other copies of our respective formal consultation responses with permission to extract excerpts, paragraphs and information therein to use as responses to the respective Local Plan reviews.  Members agreed with this suggestion.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) To receive and consider report from Wiltshire Councillor – George Jeans confirmed that he had attended a Licensing Committee meeting recently whereby it was confirmed that if food stalls were on the highway or Wiltshire Council land then street trading consent would be required although there are exemptions under the scheme for fetes, carnivals or similar community based and run events e.g. Xmas lights switch-on events and non-commercial, community or charitable events where the profits are not used for private gain or are wholly passed to a charity or political/educational organisation. Also, if the food stall were on private land more than 10m from the highway, then consent would not be required. Cllr. Jeans said that he had asked the South West Wiltshire Area Board for a councillors initiative to have a study done for Mere to benefit from Electric Vehicle Charging Points and to have an electric car sharing club which would be self-funding.

 

  1. Highways, River, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) Response from Highways England regarding cyclists diversion signs – the Clerk confirmed that she had written to Highways England asking if it would be possible to reduce the number of cyclists diversion signs but they had responded: ‘we have to follow Chapter 8 guidance of the Traffic Signs Manual. This is to ensure that we’re diverting people in the safest possible manner. If we don’t and someone were to be injured as a result of taking the wrong route, we would be criticised for not following the correct guidance. We’ve tried to reduce the number of signs by not putting arrow signs for ‘straight on’ at every junction. But we do need the ones that are currently in situ to remain. We’ll monitor the need for them and if it’s deemed that the requirement is not there we can look to reduce them.’
  3. b) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team or MyWiltshire reports
  • Jeans reported – in Water Street, opposite the entrance to Dark Lane there is an issue with a gully & drain where surface water is not draining away. The gulley is raised and needs attention.
  • R. Coward reported – potholes at top of Warminster Hollow along to Roman Road.
  • Mrs. Beale reported – Burton Footpath where it goes to Burton Field.  If there is any tarmac could it be used to fill the cracks in the footpath.
  • Mitchell reported – road to Hinks Mill needs a lorry load of tarmac
  • Mrs. Beale reported – at either end of Southbrook there are signs saying ‘No traffic for Woodlands Road’ designed to keep the Fry’s Development traffic off the lanes. However, the sign on the A303 end keeps being knocked down and Cllr. Beale wondered if the Parish Steward would be able to fix this in some way.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries

*a) To approve plans for proposed new building for Seeds4Success – With reference to the plans that had been provided by Mr. Ross Coad, the Clerk informed members that the kitchen and office areas would be transposed – the kitchen would be on the north-west elevation and the office on the south-east elevation.  The Clerk also suggested that the cars shown at the front of the building should be removed as there is adequate car parking provision in the existing car parking area.  Members felt that they were insufficient information within the plans provided on which to base an opinion and asked the Clerk to write back requesting further information: Members would like to see a site location plan so that they can assess the footprint of the new building in comparison with the footprint of the existing building with details of how far it is proposed to locate the new building away from the hedge line.  Members would also like details of the proposed materials for roofing, elevations, window frames, doors etc.  Cllr. Coward suggested that it might be a good idea to move the proposed new building in a north-easterly direction.

*b) To consider plans for expansion of school and car parking and effects this will have on sport & leisure facilities – illustrative plans had been distributed to members with their agenda papers although the Chairman stressed that these would need to be amended as the Council had pointed out that there were access issues that had not been addressed and that there were other ongoing issues relating to suggested proposals for the foyer/town council office areas.  Cllr. Jordan said that  he could not see how a coach could possibly turn around on the site with the parking layout shown on these plans and that it was fairly obvious that these drawings had been prepared from a desk and the designer had not actually been on site.  Members had the following observations and comments to make:

Cllr. Jeans – the Town Council has a long lease on the site.  The Town Council should keep control of that lease and, if necessary, should sub-sub lease this land back to the LEA.

  • Will the parking area contain any electric vehicle charging points?
  • Members stressed that designated town council parking should be a requirement.
  • Who will be responsible for maintain all this car parking area?
  • Mrs. Beale – concerned about maintaining access to the MUGA, particularly for maintenance vehicles etc.
  • P. Coward – any agreement should be conditional on the Town Council not being out of pocket on the costs incurred to fill the swimming pool site.

RESOLVED to add these comments and reiterate to the comments made 16 months ago.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) PaymentsRESOLVED to approve and authorise payments as shown in payment schedule attached on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. b) To set date, time and membership for Annual Risk Assessment meeting – it was agreed that Cllrs. Colman, Mrs. Traves & Mrs. Symonds would form the working group and would meet with the Clerk in order to make recommendations to the Town Council before the next Town Council meeting.
  2. c) To consider quotation for Tree Condition Survey Report (re-survey) – Before reading the quotation, the Clerk pointed out to members that she had not asked for three quotations in this instance but had gone to the tree specialist that provided the Town Council’s last Tree Condition Survey because she was aware that he had all the trees marked, mapped and reported previously and therefore calculated that any other specialists would be more expensive as the foundation work would need to be done again. RESOLVED to accept the quotation provided by the Council’s previous specialist and not to request further quotations on proposal made by Cllr. Jeans, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.
  3. d) Report on Community Infrastructure Money received 12.1.21 – £274.97 – deferred to next meeting.

 

  1. General Items, Consultations & Briefing Notes

The Chairman said that there had been a lot of talk on social media about dog fouling and that he had included this within his Chairman’s report for Mere Matters.  He said that he had asked Rachel Hansford & Debbie Beale to get together to make a report for next month’s meeting.  Cllr. R. Coward said that over the last few days he had seen scores of people with dozens of dogs & letting dogs run loose on the farmland.  He said that dogs were allowed to foul the open fields where farmers have livestock and that dog owners should pick it up.

 

Cllr. Jeans stated that election packs are now available to download from the Electoral Commission website.  However, once completed the nomination forms have to be physically taken into Wiltshire Council offices.  Cllr. Jeans felt that time was of the essence if people wanted to print off nomination packs, fill them out and get them submitted in time for the deadline.

 

  1. Forthcoming meetings/events

Meeting schedules for April & May owing to elections and does the Town Council wish to convene an Annual Town Meeting via Zoom?

Extra Town Council meeting – The Clerk informed members that it would be necessary to have an extra Town Council meeting between now and the next meeting on 12th April in order to consider a number of planning applications that had been received and that this meeting would be held on 29th March.

Annual Town Meeting – The Annual Parish or Town meeting is not a Council meeting.  It is a meeting of the parish or town electors taking place between 1st March and 1st June.  Electors can contribute to the agenda and in practice these meetings often celebrate local activities and discuss local issues.  The Chairman of the Council, any two councillors or any six electors can call the Annual Parish or Town meeting.  The 2020 Regulations enabled local councils to hold remote meetings (including by video and telephone conferencing) for a specified period until May

next year. They also remove the requirement to hold an annual meeting.  It is Mere Town Council’s practice to convene the Annual Town Meeting in April.  In view of this, the Chairman asked members whether or not they wished to hold the Annual Town Meeting remotely in April this year in view of the fact that it would need to be held virtually and also the fact that there have been few local activities to report on.  RESOLVED that the Town Council should not convene the Annual Town Meeting in 2021 on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

Annual Town Council meeting – the Clerk informed members that in the year of ordinary elections of Town Councillors, the annual meeting of the town council shall be held within 14 days after the day on which councillors take office.  Therefore, the Annual Town Council meeting would be held on Monday, 17th May 2021.

 

 

 

 

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

Members of Mere Town Council are sole trustees of Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity (Mere Recreation Ground Charity). 

 

 

For Trustees to consider:

 

Plans for proposed new building for Seeds4Success – Trustees reiterated the comments they had made as members of the Town Council i.e. There was insufficient information within the plans provided on which to base an opinion and asked the Clerk to write back requesting further information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held 12.4.21

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Duchy Manor,

Springfield Road,

Mere

Warminster,

Wiltshire

BA12 6EW

Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

8th April 2021

Mere Town Council meeting, Monday 12th April 2021 at 6.00 p.m. via Zoom.US

 

This meeting will be held in accordance with s.78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020,  The Local Authorities Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authorities and Crime Panels Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

 

The 2020 Regulations enable local councils to hold remote meetings (including by video and telephone conferencing) for a specified period until May 2021.

 

Public Participation

Due to the current government coronavirus response, the Town Council will be meeting online.  Members of the public who wish to join the meeting to submit their questions or comments under  ‘Public Session’ should  contact the Clerk in advance of the meeting via email on lindseywood@merewilts.org.  The Clerk will then send out the meeting ID and passcode.

 

Online Meeting Arrangements

The Chairman will host the meeting, attendees will be muted and councillors invited to speak in turn at each agenda item.  Councillors may raise their hand to indicate that they wish to speak at other times.  Voting will be taken in turn as directed by the Chairman and should be by the response ‘In Favour’, ‘Against’ or ‘Abstain’. The decision and summary of votes will be read back before moving to the next item.

 

All attendees should try to join the meeting at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to allow for any connection problems.

 

Lindsey Wood,

Town Clerk & RFO

AGENDA

 

  1. Public Session

Members of the public are invited to address the Council on any issue over which it has a power. This session will be limited to 15 minutes (3 minutes per speaker). The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that once the meeting has been convened members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).

Please Note: By entering the meeting room you are consenting to the use of your name being recorded in the Minutes.  The meeting may also be recorded by the press or members of the public.  Any person or organisation choosing to film, record or broadcast any meeting of the Council or its committees is responsible for any claims or other liability resulting from them so doing and by choosing to film, record or broadcast proceedings they accept that they are required to indemnify the Council, its members and officers in relation to any such claims or liabilities.

  1. Apologies – To receive apologies for absence.

 

  1. 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.

(a) 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.

(b) To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.

 

  1. Minutes – To approve Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 1st March 2021 and Minutes of extra Town Council meeting held on Monday, 29th March 2021.

 

 

  1. Matters Arising
  2. a) Update on activities at The Old Nursery site, Burton

 

  1. Planning
  2. 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. 21/01867/FUL
Application type: Full Planning
Proposal: Erect single storey extension and replace fence to part boundary
Site address: Elveston, Ivy Mead, Mere.  BA12 6EN

 

 

Application No. 21/02067/FUL
Application type: Full Planning
Proposal: Erect agricultural workers dwelling
Site address: Whitehill Farm, Swainsford, Mere.  BA12 6JU

 

 

Application No. PL/2021/03491
Application type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Poplar tree – pollard at 4m

T2 & T3 – Ash trees – fell

Site address: Rose Cottage, Wellhead, Mere.  BA12 6EH

 

 

Application No. 20/11632/FUL
Application type: Full Planning
Proposal: Construction of a wooden shed at rear of the garden
Site address: 1 Spring Terrace, Waterside, Mere.  BA12 6EF

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) To receive and consider report from Wiltshire Councillor

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport

*a) To consider request for replacement road name signs (please see report attached)

  1. b) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team or MyWiltshire reports

 

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries

*a) Dog fouling in public spaces – letter and suggestions from Mr. Bill Coltham

*b) Refurbishment of Tennis courts

*c) Application for fee-paying sporting activity in Recreation Ground – Tai Chi Classes

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resource

*a) Payments – to approve payments as set out in payment schedule attached

 

  1. General Items & Briefing Notes

 

  1. Forthcoming elections & pre-election period (purdah)

 

  1. Forthcoming meetings/events

 

 

 

 

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

 

Minutes of Working Group meeting to assess Internal Controls held 18.3.21

Minutes of a Working Group meeting held on Thursday, 18th March 2021 at 3.00 pm at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere.  BA12 6EW

 

 

Present:  Councillors A. Colman, Mrs. S. Symonds & Mrs. L. Traves + Town Clerk

 

Why are we holding this meeting:

 

The Audit & Account Regulations 2015 require smaller authorities, each financial year, to conduct a review of the effectiveness of the system of internal control and prepare an annual governance statement in accordance with proper practices in relation to accounts.

 

The proper practices in relation to the accounts are prescribed in the document called A Practitioners’ Guide prepared by the Joint Panel on Accountability & Governance (JPAG) – the current guidance was updated in March 2019.

 

Once the accounting figure have been prepared and the Annual Return is completed, the Town Council will be asked to confirm 9 assertions in the Annual Return:

 

A number of the statements within these assertions are addressed at other stages i.e. during the Internal Audit processes and during our day-to-day financial management processes.

 

Assertion 2 says ‘We maintained an adequate system of internal control including measures designed to prevent and detect fraud and corruption and reviewed its effectiveness.’  The AGAR suggests that if you agree ‘yes’ to this statement then you are confirming that you have made proper arrangements and accepted responsibility for safeguarding the public money and resources in its charge. 

 

Assertion 5 says that ‘We carried out an assessment of the risks facing this authority and took appropriate steps to manage those risks, including the introduction of internal controls and/or external insurance cover where required.’       

 

The AGAR suggests that if you agree ‘yes’ to this statement then you are confirming that you have considered and documented the financial and other risks the Council faces and dealt with them properly.  

 

A risk is a situation that can either have huge benefits or cause serious disruption to the Council’s services and financial health.  A risk assessment is a strategy that measures the potential outcomes of a risk.

 

Internal vs. external risks: usually a risk is either internal or external.  Internal risks occur inside of your operations, while external risks occur outside and are usually out of your control.

Internal risks like financial risks, operational risks and workforce risks are often easier to control with the use of policies and procedures.  In order to manage external risks, you might need to take a reactive approach.

 

After understanding potential risks, introduce policies and procedures to control them – internal controls.

 

It is also possible that policies and procedures could cause a barrier and stop the Town Council from being able to provide the level of service that it wants to or that the lack of policy or content within a policy could lead to a level of complaints or misunderstanding from the public.  It is therefore important that they are reviewed periodically.

 

Hence the requirement to call this meeting.

 

The Clerk reported:

We did not actually hold an Internal Control review meeting last year – the last one we held was in April 2019, although in actual fact that was still within the last financial year and this one is within this financial year.   The reason why we did not hold the review meeting was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures.  However, that did not stop us from working on Risk Assessments and Internal Control Measures – far from it – it seemed to be that this was all we were doing for a good few months last year.

 

 

I thought it would be helpful if I outlined the work we had done on Risk Assessments and Internal Control Measures since the last meeting:

 

COVID-19

  • Working Safely during COVID-19 – Guidance for employers, employees and self-employed & associated risk assessments
  • Guidance for providers for outdoor facilities & associated risk assessments
  • Guidance for COVID-19 volunteers
  • Risk Assessment for provision of public toilets
  • Risk Assessment for the use of the Andy Young Pavilion
  • Risk Assessment for use of Mere Town Council offices and foyer & other shared spaces
  • Risk Assessment for Football, Cricket, Bowls, Tennis, Skate Park, MUGA and Children’s Play Areas

 

Andy Young Pavilion – had fire alarm maintained and set up maintenance contract with Wessex Fire

Youth Club – had Fixed Wire Test carried out and completed all actions identified

Policy for memorial seats & benches – Adopted

Policy for the use of sports facilities for financial gain – Adopted

Procurement Policy – adopted

Tree Management – tree management work has been ongoing in accordance with the last survey report and a new condition survey report has been commissioned

Legionella Risk Assessment has been completed (more work required on this)

Equality and Diversity Policy

 

 

Obviously, it is not going to be possible to review all of our policies and internal control measures in one meeting or, indeed in one year.  I think it would be helpful if we could perhaps set out a spreadsheet listing all our policies and internal control measures, stating when they were adopted and reviewed and giving a schedule for the next review so that we have about 4 or 5 policies that we review each year on a rolling basis.

Also, I thought it might be helpful if we could identify areas that we think may need more work/input/support over the next year.

 

So…. I have started the ball rolling on this:

 

Please find attached draft review schedule for approval or comment

 

I am going to comment on the policies and plans that I have identified for review this year:

 

Standing Orders and Financial Regulations – The Clerk explained that these two documents are the main governing documents of the Town Council and, as such, should be reviewed each year at the Annual Town Council meeting.  She said that this was particularly important this year as it was election year.  The two documents are largely based on the NALC models and are designed to synchronise with each other.  It will be necessary to make some amendments this year in order to take into account new banking procedures and contract limits etc.  The Clerk would be working on this as a priority to put in draft amendments for adoption at the Annual Town Council meeting (17th May)

 

Audit Plan & Terms of Reference

This year our income will exceed £200,000.  This puts us in the next bracket for External Audit and requires us to comply with the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 which involves the publication of further information on the Council’s website.

As Councillors are aware, at the beginning of the pandemic last year, we stopped the practice of settling invoices via cheque because it was too difficult and too risky (for staff and councillors) to get two councillors to sign all the cheques and we went over to paying all invoices online.  At the present time we have not got in place all the protocols that we would like to safeguard the Clerk and safeguard Councillors.

 

Our present practice is to have the Clerk list the payments, the Council authorise the payments at a meeting and then the Chairman oversees the Clerk making the payments online.  However, there are sometimes interim payments that need to be made outside meeting dates for emergency items and these payments are authorised by the Chairman outside the meeting environment and then listed in the next payment schedule.

 

The online banking system does provide for improved mechanisms whereby the Clerk can set up the payments online and then the payment requests will be sent (via mobile device) to one or two councillors for authorisation.   The Chairman and Clerk have been trying to set this up but it is a fairly complicated process and requires the councillors that are going to authorise the payments to set up things with the banking team.  We now have a telephone number to contact at Lloyds and we were going to start the process quite recently but it has occurred to us that it would be more sensible to wait until after the elections now in case our authorised signatories are not re-elected.

 

In view of the fact that the Town Council had now broken into the new audit bracket (income over £200k) and that this was likely to be a future scenario considering the S.106 funding that would be coming in over the next year or two, the Clerk expressed concern about the internal audit requirements and the fact that these may now exceed what can be reasonable expected from volunteer support.  The Clerk said that whilst the Town Council’s current internal auditor, Mrs. Mary White, was extremely competent and responsible, the task was becoming more onerous and may become an unacceptable burden.  The Clerk suggested that it may be prudent to carry out some research into costs and resources for a sector specific internal auditor.

 

Code of Conduct

The Clerk adopted a new Code of Conduct in July 2012 in accordance with The Localism Act 2011.  The Code of Conduct adopted was based on a model published by Wiltshire Council with an approved modification.  I am aware that this is currently being reviewed and that NALC has been working with the Local Government Association to take forward the recommendation to develop an updated national model code of conduct for all tiers of local government.  There has been a consultation on a proposed national model member code of conduct.  I am not aware that a review timetable has been published but would imagine that we may be reviewing the code of conduct in the next year or two.

 

 

Burial & Cemetery Regulations

In view of some of the problems we have encountered this year, I would like to suggest some additional wording

  • recommend that the words ‘edging stones’ are added in brackets after the words ‘kerbing’, ‘kerb’ and ‘kerbstones’ for the benefit of those that might not be aware of this terminology.
  • recommend that ‘old cemetery’ is followed the words (east of lane) and that ‘new cemetery’ is followed by the words (west of lane) so that there is some geographical context to this distinction

Members of the working party agreed with the additional wording suggested by the Clerk.

 

 

Information for dealing with Gypsies & Travellers

The Town Council’s policy is long overdue for review having been adopted in 2010 following an incident.  There is government guidance available online that was produced in 2015 but the Clerk advised members that new legislation was being introduced that will make it easier to prosecute travellers who set up illegal camps.  The Clerk suggested, therefore, that the Town Council should revise this policy when details of the new legislation was available.

 

 

Legionella

The Town Council staff has undergone training, Risk Assessments have been carried out on all properties and the Clerk was given monitoring sheets last year with a water management logbook.  However, the Clerk had not yet had time to has been given all the monitoring sheets just before Xmas.  However, the Clerk reported that she still needed to do a lot of work on this in order to get the Council’s day-to-day management practices organised and yearly tasks prepared.

 

Fire Risk Assessment

The Clerk said that although the Town Council has fire extinguishers checked annually and a fire alarm maintenance contract, she was concerned because Wessex Fire had raised some points that may be prudent to address for the Andy Young Pavilion and the Clerk had concerns about the Changing Rooms.  Members recommended that a professional company should be appointed to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment on the Andy Young Pavilion and Changing Rooms.

 

Tree Management Plan

The Clerk explained that the Town Council has a professional tree inspection carried out every 3 – 5 years and that a survey was due to be carried out within the next couple of months.  No doubt this would raise an action plan which the Town Council would need to address in accordance with the risk identified.

 

CCTV Policy

The Clerk reminded members that the Council had discussed applying mobile CCTV cameras to trouble spots as they arise but she was aware that this would require a CCTV policy as there were certain rules and regulations relating to signage and GDPR.  The Clerk was aware that other Town Councils had implemented policies and these were available online and suggested that this might be something to explore over the next year.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she would be happy to do some research work on this.

 

Scheme of Delegation

The Clerk advised that it would be prudent to adopt a formal scheme of delegation which will set out the Council’s authority to delegate tasks to the Clerk and/or Chairman when there is an emergency (such as last year, when the Council couldn’t meet).

 

Data Retention Policy

The Clerk said that there were two reasons why she thought that a Data Retention Policy would be helpful.  Firstly, she feared that too much paperwork is being kept because of possible historic interest and that ALL councillors should be aware that this is no longer considered to be acceptable in terms of GDPR.  Secondly, the Council had agreed to employ a temporary worker to carry out a digital scanning system of the council’s documents and it would therefore be helpful to have a written policy to identify which records/documents needed to be kept and for how long.

 

Review Schedule for Internal Control Measures

With reference to the draft review schedule that the Clerk had distributed, members requested that the Clerk had produced, members pointed out that it would be very helpful if the publication or last review date was shown on the spreadsheet.  Cllr. Colman felt that the Health & Safety Policy and Risk Management Strategy should be reviewed every 3 years.

Cllr. Colman also requested that various Employment Policies should be reviewed during 2021/22 and offered to work with the Clerk on reviewing these policies over the next year.

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held 29.3.21

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Duchy Manor,

Springfield Road,

Mere

Warminster,

Wiltshire

BA12 6EW

Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

24th March 2021

 

Mere Town Council meeting, Monday 29th March 2021 at 6.00 p.m. via Zoom.US

 

This meeting will be held in accordance with s.78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020,  The Local Authorities Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authorities and Crime Panels Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

 

The 2020 Regulations enable local councils to hold remote meetings (including by video and telephone conferencing) for a specified period until May 2021.

 

Public Participation

Due to the current government coronavirus response, the Town Council will be meeting online.  Members of the public who wish to join the meeting to submit their questions or comments under  ‘Public Session’ should  contact the Clerk in advance of the meeting via email on lindseywood@merewilts.org.  The Clerk will then send out the meeting ID and passcode.

 

Online Meeting Arrangements

The Chairman will host the meeting, attendees will be muted and councillors invited to speak in turn at each agenda item.  Councillors may raise their hand to indicate that they wish to speak at other times.  Voting will be taken in turn as directed by the Chairman and should be by the response ‘In Favour’, ‘Against’ or ‘Abstain’. The decision and summary of votes will be read back before moving to the next item.

 

All attendees should try to join the meeting at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to allow for any connection problems.

 

Lindsey Wood,

Town Clerk & RFO

AGENDA

 

  1. Public Session

Members of the public are invited to address the Council on any issue over which it has a power. This session will be limited to 15 minutes (3 minutes per speaker). The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that once the meeting has been convened members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).

Please Note: By entering the meeting room you are consenting to the use of your name being recorded in the Minutes.  The meeting may also be recorded by the press or members of the public.  Any person or organisation choosing to film, record or broadcast any meeting of the Council or its committees is responsible for any claims or other liability resulting from them so doing and by choosing to film, record or broadcast proceedings they accept that they are required to indemnify the Council, its members and officers in relation to any such claims or liabilities.

  1. Apologies – To receive apologies for absence.

 

  1. 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.

(a) 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.

(b) To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.

 

  1. Minutes – for Working Group to approve Minutes of Annual Meeting to assess the effectiveness of Internal Controls – meeting held on Thursday, 18th March 2021

 

  1. Planning
  2. 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: 21/01808/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Construction of dwelling for agricultural worker together with associated works
At: Dew Pasture, Burton Farm, Mere.  BA12 6BR

 

 

Application Ref: 21/00640/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Change of use for downstairs into a hairdressing salon and upstairs remaining as a residential flat which will benefit from a parking space.  Erection of signage.
At: 5 Wyvern House, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HA

 

 

Application ref: 21/01974/ADV
Application for: Advertisement Consent
Proposal: Installation of 3 x fascia signage and lighting.
At: 5 Wyvern House, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HA

 

Application ref: 21/01809/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Retrospective approval for the construction of vehicle crossing of verge and associated parking area off Clement’s Lane
At: 2 Edge Bridge, Mere.  BA12 6DB

 

 

Application Ref: 21/02292/TCA
Application for: Work to Trees in a Cons Area
Proposal: T1 Ash – remove lowest limb (overextended epicormic growth) extending in a south west direction

T2 Silver Maple – bifurcated stem.  Shorten peripheral growth of westerly stem by up to 3m.

T3 Horse Chestnut – included union of lowest limb extending due south.  Shorten peripheral growth by up to 2m.

At: Sandells, Water Street, Mere.  BA12 6DY

 

 

Application Ref: 21/01960/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Construction of new timber framed double garage
At: Homemere, Southbrook, Mere.  BA12 6BG

 

 

*b) Notification of Enforcement Appeal for Land at the Old Nurseries, Burton, Mere.  BA12 6FH

*c) Request from Mere Surgery Patient Participation Group for support to undertake a research project into proposals for a Community Health Centre at Fives Court, Angel Lane

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. Reopening of facilities
  3. Request from Mere Literary Festival for banner on clock tower

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resource

*a) To adopt recommendations of annual working group meeting held to assess the effectiveness of internal controls (Minutes of meeting attached)

 

  1. Forthcoming elections & pre-election period (purdah)

 

  1. Forthcoming meetings/events

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on 1st March 2021

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Duchy Manor,

Springfield Road,

Mere

Warminster,

Wiltshire

BA12 6EW

Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

25th February 2021

Mere Town Council meeting – Monday, 1st March 2021 at 6.00 pm online at Zoom.us

 

This meeting will be held in accordance with s.78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020,  The Local Authorities Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authorities and Crime Panels Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

 

The 2020 Regulations enable local councils to hold remote meetings (including by video and telephone conferencing) for a specified period until May 2021.

 

Public Participation

Due to the current government coronavirus response, the Town Council will be meeting online.  Members of the public who wish to join the meeting to submit their questions or comments under  ‘Public Session’ should  contact the Clerk in advance of the meeting via email on lindseywood@merewilts.org.  The Clerk will then send out the meeting ID and passcode.

 

Online Meeting Arrangements

The Chairman will host the meeting, attendees will be muted and councillors invited to speak in turn at each agenda item.  Councillors may raise their hand to indicate that they wish to speak at other times.  Voting will be taken in turn as directed by the Chairman and should be by the response ‘In Favour’, ‘Against’ or ‘Abstain’. The decision and summary of votes will be read back before moving to the next item.

 

All attendees should try to join the meeting at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to allow for any connection problems.

 

Lindsey Wood,

Town Clerk & RFO

AGENDA

 

  1. Public Session

Members of the public are invited to address the Council on any issue over which it has a power. This session will be limited to 15 minutes (3 minutes per speaker). The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that once the meeting has been convened members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).

Please Note: By entering the meeting room you are consenting to the use of your name being recorded in the Minutes.  The meeting may also be recorded by the press or members of the public.  Any person or organisation choosing to film, record or broadcast any meeting of the Council or its committees is responsible for any claims or other liability resulting from them so doing and by choosing to film, record or broadcast proceedings they accept that they are required to indemnify the Council, its members and officers in relation to any such claims or liabilities.

  1. Apologies – To receive apologies for absence.

 

  1. 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.

(a) 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.

(b) To consider any dispensation requests received by the Town Clerk.

 

  1. Minutes – to approve the Minutes of the meetings held on Monday, 1st February 2021.

 

  1. Matters Arising
  2. a) Report on Wiltshire Council’s cabinet meeting on 2nd February regarding re-charge of Town & Parish Council election costs.

 

  1. Planning
  2. 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: 21/00428/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed new shed and driveway alterations
At: 40 North Road, Mere.  BA12 6HQ

 

Application Ref: 20/11413/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: To replace and extend the roof of the property with an increased pitch to form three bedrooms and bathrooms in the roof.  Other alterations to include creating a balcony as part of the roof, the removal of the chimney and alterations to ground floor windows.
At: 3 The Paddocks, Pettridge Lane, Mere.  BA12 6DG

 

Application Ref: 21/00297/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Extension and alterations
At: 18 Lordsmead Road, Mere.  BA12 6BZ

 

Application Ref: 21/00115/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed new rear conservatory
At: 7 Walnut Road, Mere.  BA12 6FG

 

Application Ref: 21/00458/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Proposed refurbishment of existing dwelling including removal of existing roof keeping the existing first floor structure, new half storey over and new roof.  Amendment to 20/01804/FUL
At: Rick Stones, Castle Hill Lane, Mere.  BA12 6JB

 

 

Application Ref: 21/00436/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: Alterations to previously consented Part Q farm building conversion
At: Barn B, Church Farm, Wet Lane, Mere.  BA12 6BA

 

Application Ref: 20/11079/FUL
Application for: Full Planning
Proposal: 70 bed care home with associated access, parking, sprinkler tank, bin store and landscaping
At: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere.  BA12 6LA

 

*b) Wiltshire Local Plan Review and Gypsy and Travellers Plan – to consider consultation response.  (Report prepared by the Clerk attached)

  1. c) Liaison with Gillingham Town Council over Dorset Local Plan vs Wiltshire Local Plan

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) To receive and consider report from Wiltshire Councillor

 

  1. Highways, River, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) Response from Highways England regarding cyclists diversion signs.
  3. b) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team or MyWiltshire reports

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries

*a) To approve plans for proposed new building for Seeds4Success

*b) To consider plans for expansion of school and car parking and effects this will have on sport & leisure facilities

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) To approve and authorise payments as shown in payment schedule attached.

  1. b) To set date, time and membership for Annual Risk Assessment meeting.
  2. c) To consider quotation for Tree Condition Survey Report (re-survey)
  3. d) Report on Community Infrastructure Money received 12.1.21 – £274.97

 

  1. General Items, Consultations & Briefing Notes

 

  1. Forthcoming meetings/events

Meeting schedules for April & May owing to elections and does the Town Council wish to convene an Annual Town Meeting via Zoom?

 

 

 

 

 

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

Members of Mere Town Council are sole trustees of Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity (Mere Recreation Ground Charity). 

 

 

For Trustees to consider:

 

To approve plans for proposed new building for Seeds4Success

 

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