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Author: Lindsey Wood

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 3rd October 2022

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

28th September 2022

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW on Monday, 3rd October 2022 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.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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.

 

  1. To receive Declarations of Acceptance of Office and Register of Interest forms from newly co-opted members of Mere Town Council.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • 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.
  • 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, 5th September 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Death of HM The Queen, Succession and Change of Landlord

 

  1. Lynch Close/Fives Court
  2. a) Update from Wiltshire Council on work in relation to Lynch Close Sheltered Housing Option Appraisal and Fives Court site
  3. b) Representation from Lynch Close Residents Committee
  • Progress on Fives Court Development
  • How do proposals for Lynch Close fit in with local council views on the development and the impact on Water Street and The Lynch?
  • How do proposals for Lynch Close impact on the town of Mere with the possible displacement of the elderly?
  • What help and support can we expect from the Town Council for the ongoing plans for Lynch Close, 12 months down the line from September 2021?

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute 198a)
  3. b) Leases

Lease of Salisbury Street Car Park

Lease of Castle Street Car Park

Lease of Public Toilets in Salisbury Street Car Park

  1. c) Car Club – Grant Agreement and Leases for Mere Car Club

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/07380
Site Location: THE ACORNS, BARROW STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6AB
Proposal: Prior Approval under Class Q for a change of use of one agricultural building to 1 no. dwellinghouse and associated operational development
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000017cmWzAAI/pl202207380

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/07196
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erect 50kw Solar Array
Site Address: Mere Fish Farm, Ivy Mead, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6EN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000017cMPi

 

 

 

 

Application No:

PL/2022/06955
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Carry out alterations to access, erect 6 no semi-detached dwellings and 1 no detached dwelling with associated parking and access arrangements (demolish existing church).
Site Address: Land North of St Marys Catholic Church, Pettridge Lane, Mere, BA12 6DG
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000017btXd

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/06870
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: First Floor Rear Extension
Site Address: 24 LORDSMEAD ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BZ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000017bpZW

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/06854
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Construction of dwelling for agricultural worker, together with associated works (revision to 21/01808/FUL)
Site Address: Dews Pasture, Burton Farm, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6BR
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000017bh1q

 

 

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.

 

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

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To approve and sign off bank reconciliation
  2. c) Quotations for Internal Audit Service

*d) To adopt Dispensation Procedure Guide (Draft attached)

  1. e) To set date, venue, membership of Annual Budget Meeting

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Report to the council on Mere Carnival 2022 – Cllr. John Jordan
  3. b) The Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation to attend Community First AGM on Wednesday, 12th October 2022 at 6.00 pm at Devizes Town Hall.
  3. b) Invitation to attend WALC AGM on Monday, 10th October 2022 at 7.00 pm at The Clubhouse, Beckhampton Road, Avebury
  4. c) South West Wiltshire Area Board meeting to be held on Wednesday, 5th October at 6.30 pm at East Knoyle Village Hall.

 

  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

 

 

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 5th September 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a Town Council meeting held on Monday, 5th September 2022 at 7.00 pm in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW.

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Glen Ings, George Jeans & John Jordan

Also Spence Gunn & Claire Shaddick, Brian Yeo, Mr. & Mrs. Gaul, Geoff Sams + 1

Meeting convened at 19:01 with Public Participation Session

Mr. Geoff Sams said that he had come along to the meeting to talk about the future of Lynch Close.  He said that following on from the Town Council meeting in February 2022 at which the Lynch Close Residents Committee had asked the Town Council for help, there had been very little progress and very little information had been received.  In the meantime, there have been at least 4 surveys carried out, and internal house survey, external house survey, landscape survey and levels survey but the residents had not been informed of any results.  They have contacted their local MP to ask him for help in contacting Wiltshire Council to provide the residents with information.  There has been no information forthcoming from the Town Council and we have asked our local Wiltshire Councillor, George Jeans, for an update on what is happening at Fives Court.  We have held a meeting in the town to inform the community of what is going on and ask them to support us with a petition.  If we have to, we will go to the newspapers.  We don’t want to be like this but we are not getting any answers to our questions and we are not getting any information.  We have elderly and sick residents who need answers. The Chairman pointed out that Christine Brown from Wiltshire Council has asked to come to the next Town Council meeting on October 3rd to give an update to the Town Council but she also pointed out that, despite promises from Wiltshire Council to keep the Town Council informed of developments and invite us to attend meetings, there had been no information provided and no invitations to any meetings other than the meeting attended at Lynch Close with residents on 8.3.22 (as previously reported in the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 14.3.22).  Wiltshire Councillor George Jeans said that he has been in close contact with Mr. Sams and confirmed that he is not aware of any information that he hasn’t passed on to Mr. Sams.

Nick Beale spoke with reference to planning application PL/2022/05864 – he said he felt that the application needed to be withdrawn and resubmitted with the correct measurements.  Plot H is approximately 0.66 acres or 0.26 hectares and not the false 1.1 acres or 0.45 hectares on the application. I am assuming this is a misprint because of the huge differences but either way this should be rectified before any consultation takes place. There are also regulations that are triggered when a plot of land is over 0.4 hectares which this plot is clearly nowhere near and I am concerned this could affect future planning.

Brian Yeo said that he was involved with Mere Cricket Club and want to speak about agenda item 10e) and wished to emphasize that this is not just a cricket issue but the rabbits are causing a significant problem and you can fit my entire arm down one of the holes that the rabbits have dug on the wicket.  The problem is spreading, children use the field for football and the school encourage the children to run around the sports field and these holes could cause a trip hazard and injury.

Debbie Beale speaking in regard to planning applications PL/2022/05966 & PL/2022/05864 – I am incredibly concerned about these applications in relation to highway safety.  Both National Highways & Mere Town Council have a duty of care to residents and road users.  National Highways identified the danger of increased usage of the access onto the A303 from the old nurseries and the A303 is a strategic road network but have put forward ‘no objection’ to the two planning applications and I am incredibly concerned about this because there has been increased vehicle usage to three or four of the plots and there are potentially 20 plots there and if each had on average 2 vehicles accessing and leaving those plots daily, it would be a huge difference to the number of vehicles coming off & onto the A303.

For clarification purposes, Cllr. Jeans pointed out that there are discussions on leases between the Town Council and the two car parks and I live next door to the Salisbury Street car park with a right of way from the car park.  He pointed out that he would be declaring a Pecuniary Interest with reference to any discussion that might take place relating to rights of way but would be taking part in any other discussions relating to the leases.

Clive Hazzard brought up the issue of disappearance of the double-yellow lines outside the Lecture Hall.

 The Chairman pointed out that there were two vacancies on the Town Council and asked if there was anyone present who wished to be considered to fill a vacancy.  There were none present.   It was pointed out that we had two candidates who had each submitted personal statements and Cllr. Jordan said that it was nice to see some diverse skills being offered and younger candidates.

 Apologies for absence received from Cllr. Raymond Hill.

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

  • Jeans declared a pecuniary interest relating to third party rights in respect of the Salisbury Street Car Park Lease
  • Jeans declared a personal interest relating to the lease for the Salisbury Street Car Park
  • Chairman declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2022/05520
  • Debbie Beale declared a pecuniary interest in planning applications PL/2022/05864 & PL/2022/05966
  • Nick Beale declared a pecuniary interest in planning applications PL/2022/05864 & PL/2022/05966
  • John Jordan declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2022/06597 + PL/2022/06299

 

  1. Minutes – To resolve that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 4th July 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal by Cllr. Rodney Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 4.7.22.

 

  1. Casual Vacancies – To receive written applications for the office of Town Councillor and to consider the suitability of the candidate/s to fill the existing vacancy. (Personal Statements attached)

Members of the Council had received personal statements from two candidates who wished to be co-opted as members of Mere Town Council.  Neither candidate was present at the meeting.  Cllr. Jeans proposed that the Town Council should block vote both candidates on to fill the two vacancies.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Nick Beale and carried with a vote of 10 for.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute 185b) – Cllr. Jordan said that he was unable to attend the online meeting last month but he pointed out that he had done a fair amount of reading and thought that we could be eligible to receive £5000 and felt that we should pursue this. He said they had identified that there were 23 shops in Mere and 1285 employment opportunities and so he thought it would be very useful to make contact with these officers to find out where these shops and employment opportunities were. Jordan said he would be happy to lend a hand to this if someone could identify the officer concerned.  The Clerk said that she would forward this information onto Cllr. Jordan.
  3. b) Wheelchair friendly footpath adjacent to Castle Hill Play Area – Minute No. 188b) – Cllr. Jordan reported that he and Cllr. Hazzard were going to measure up and come up with a quotation but, given the current staff problems, we thought perhaps that we should defer this for the moment.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – None

*b) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator, Roger Pipe (report attached) – Roger Pipe gave a report, as submitted to the Council.  Mr. Pipe clarified that Wiltshire Council would need to take the lead in sorting out the legal variation to enable the expenditure of the S.106 money on the footpath works as the S.106 agreement is between Wiltshire Council and the developer.  He confirmed that he was in discussion with the S.106 officer at Wiltshire Council about this.

Cllr. Colman asked whether the idea of surfacing the whole of the Walnut Road Play Area was still on the table but Mr. Pipe said that he envisaged that the current ratio of safety surfacing/grass would probably be more appropriate and to make a shaded area. Cllr. Hazzard congratulated Roger on his report and said that there was no doubt that the play area needed to be improved.  Roger asked if the Council would be prepared to set a budget so that he could go out to the play equipment providers to see what they could produce for a maximum figure.  There was a very long and convoluted discussion on whether any figure should be set but in the end Cllr. Philip Coward said that he had never been to any business meeting where we are suggesting spending vast sums of money but have no idea of what we would get for that money and I am not prepared to vote on a proposal of this nature.  He therefore proposed that Roger should go out to the play equipment providers to ask for quotations for something that they think is reasonable.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. c) Report on meeting of South West Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership and South West Wiltshire LHFIG – 31/08/22 – The Clerk confirmed that Cllr. Jeans, Cllr. Nick Beale and Roger Pipe went to the meeting. Jeans thanked Cllr. Beale for going. Roger Pipe confirmed that he had asked to get the footpath improvement included on the scheme & Cllr. Jeans said that this would probably need to be made into a substantive scheme. Cllr. Jeans felt that we ought to put forward a heading in the budget meeting for possible allocation of funds to the footpath works.
  2. d) Report on meetings held by Parking Working Group – deferred. The Chairman said that she would arrange a meeting for the middle of October.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Cllr. Kate Symonds in The Chair

 

Application No: PL/2022/05520
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement Porch
Site Address: HIGH RIDGE, UPPER WATER STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HD
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018btjk

 

 

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.  As the Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. Traves, had declared a personal interest in this planning application, she withdrew from the meeting room and took no part in discussion or voting.

 

Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves in The Chair

 

Application No: PL/2022/05531
 

 

Householder planning permission
Proposal: To Install a 4.8kw Ground Mounted Solar Panel Array and Battery Storage System in garden
Site Address: The Old Dairy, Wet Lane, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018btv0

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on 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 voting on this matter.

Application No: PL/2022/06236
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: erect ground floor extension, form new dormer and enlarge one dormer
Site Address: 12 LORDSMEAD ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BZ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018d5zE

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. Debbie Beale and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 Application No: PL/2022/05864
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of new horticultural building, erection of a new fence, retention of two existing stone surfaced areas and formation of two ponds.
Site Address: Plot H, Land at The Old Nurseries, Burton, Mere, BA12 6FH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018cR5u

Cllr. Mrs. Symonds pointed that a planning application had been submitted for this plot before which was refused by Wiltshire Council.  It would appear that the ponds are in place but are less than 1m deep.  The Clerk pointed out that the Town Council did recommend refusal last time and that the main reason was highways safety.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford pointed out that this application was different and was for agricultural/horticultural use.  Cllr. Rodney Coward said that the access onto the A303 would worry him.   RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above planning application on condition that the building is to be used for horticultural purposes only and not for any living/sleeping accommodation and to stress that the Town Council has concerns relating to the fact that the division of this land into small plots has increased the number of vehicles using the inadequate access point and will therefore escalate the potential dangers at this junction on the A303.  Also, to add an informative that it has been brought to the Town Council’s attention that there may be a discrepancy on the planning application relating to the size of the plot and that this should be investigated for clarity.  Proposal made by Cllr. C. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Symonds and carried with a vote of 5 for, 2 against and 2 abstentions.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.  Cllrs. Debbie Beale and Nick Beale had declared an interest in this planning application and left the room whilst the matter was being discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.

Application No: PL/2022/06387
Application Type: Prior approval Part 3 Class Q: Agricultural buildings to dwellinghouses
Proposal: Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q – Conversion of Existing Building to Create 1 Dwelling and associated operational development
Site Address: BREACHES BARN, BARROW STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6AB
Planning Register Link: Planning Application: PL/2022/06387 (wiltshire.gov.uk)

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above planning application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 7 for, 3 against and 1 abstention. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter

Application No: PL/2022/06597 + PL/2022/06299
Application Type: Listed building consent + Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement Roof with Internal and External Alterations.
Site Address: WESTWAY, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018dmgo

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above planning application on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote. Having declared a personal interest in the above application, Cllr. Jordan refrained from discussion or voting.   In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

Application No: PL/2022/05966
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of shed and stock fencing for agricultural use (part retrospective)
Site Address: Plot 2 The Workshop, The Old Nursery, Burton Fields, Mere, BA12 6BR
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018cg45

Cllr. Rachael Hansford proposed that the Town Council should accept as it is small-scale agricultural but we add the same concerns relating to highways that we mentioned in application PL/2022/05864.  Seconded by Cllr. C. Hazzard.  Voting 2 for, 4 against and 2 abstentions.  Proposal is not carried.  Cllr. P. Coward proposed that the application is refused on the grounds of highways access.   Proposal seconded by Cllr. Jordan and proposal carried with a vote of 4 for, 2 against and 2 abstentions. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.  Cllrs. Debbie Beale and Nick Beale had declared an interest in this planning application and left the room whilst the matter was being discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.

Application No: PL/2022/05623
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Creation of disability access through garden wall to adjacent private car park.
Site Address: 1 Castle Hill Lane, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6JB
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018c0e3

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Debbie Beale and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter

 

Application No: PL/2022/03832 – AMENDED
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of Agricultural Barn for use of storing farming equipment i.e. Tractor/mower, strimmer, working tools. to include solar panelling on the roof for powering equipment. (resubmission of PL/2021/08598)
Site Address: Land west of Woodlands Road, Mere, BA12 6JT
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018G22O

 

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above planning application on condition that there is no domestic paraphernalia brought onto the site which must be used solely for agricultural purposes. Proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a majority in favour.  Cllr. Debbie Beale abstained.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.

Cllr. Jordan reported that the hedge along the back of The Yews is growing out over the footpath along Waterside with brambles etc.

*b) Request for consideration of road safety improvement signage for Chetcombe Road to be submitted to Wiltshire Council’s LHFIG (Local Highways & Footpath Improvement Group) for support/funding – Cllr. Symonds said that she had visited the site and felt that the signage was adequate, large and big and didn’t know what improvements could be made to signage.  The Chairman suspended the meeting to allow Mr. Gaul to speak who explained that four or five times a week someone tries to drive up Chetcombe Road the wrong way.  He said that half way up Chetcombe Road there are illuminated signs with the speed limit on them and then they reach a “no entry” sign that is not illuminated.  Meeting resumed.  It was agreed to raise the matter with the LHFIG with a request to send someone out to assess the situation and advise on weather or not the signage and illumination is adequate, pointing out that they may have to view at night.

c)Highways Improvement Request form for White Line marking in Church Street – The Clerk reported that this gentleman had submitted a ‘White Line marking’ request and acknowledged that he would have to pay for the work.  It was pointed out that these white lines do not need a Traffic Regulation Order and are not legally enforceable but there were others in Church Street and it seemed to help in stopping cars from blocking people’s garages or driveways.  RESOLVED to submit the request to Wiltshire Council on condition that there is no cost to the Town Council on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Debbie Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. d) Request for speed limit review along Warminster Hollow – Cllr. Jeans reported that less than 10 years ago there was a speed limit review and a 50mph limit was placed on the Warminster Hollow Road up to a certain point. He mentioned that density of housing also helps to determine speed limits. Jeans said that he had recently tried to get the speed limit reduced in Norton Ferris which is far more dangerous than Warminster Hollow but they will not reduce the speed limit because there are not enough dwellings.   Cllr. Rodney Coward said that he had an interest to declare in this discussion as he farmed at Mere Down Farm but pointed out that he had been overtaken on several occasions when he had his indicator on and slowed down to turn into the farm and when you are exiting from the farm entrance you need to be very careful and make sure that there is nothing coming from the right in the overtaking lane as well as from the left.  The Chairman asked if any members of the Town Council wished to propose that this matter should be taken to LHFIG for a review but there was no proposal forthcoming from members.  The Clerk said that she would write back to say that on this occasion, the Town Council was unable to support

 

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

*a) Leases

  • Lease report for Lease of Salisbury Street Car Park
  • Lease report for Lease of Castle Street Car Park
  • Lease report for Lease of Public Toilets in Salisbury Street Car Park

In respect of the lease for the public toilets, members had no queries to raise and it was agreed that, as this was the most urgent lease, the Clerk should write back to the solicitors asking them to progress this in order for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to sign the lease.

There was a long discussion about the other two leases with members raising points for clarification.  It was agreed that the Clerk should write out a resume of the points that she thought they were concerned about, distribute the resume for all members by email so that they can add to or amend as appropriate.  When the Clerk has received confirmation that we have highlighted all the issues that we feel we want further information/clarification on, a report will be sent to the solicitor.

*b) Car Club – Grant Agreement and Leases for Mere Car Club – members felt that they did not understand this at all and felt that the Econetiq Operating Agreement Licence was rather complicated and legalese.  It was agreed to submit this to the Town Council’s solicitors for comment and appraisal.

  1. c) Wiltshire Council’s Tree works adjacent to Castle Hill – The Clerk said that this agenda item had been raised to inform members/public that at the end of July we highlighted to Wiltshire Council some issues with a couple of their trees and two weeks later a couple of limbs fell down. The trees have subsequently been assessed by Wiltshire Council’s arboriculturist and unfortunately, they need to be felled. Wiltshire Council are arranging for this and the Clerk just wanted people to know that it was Wiltshire Council carrying out the work and not Mere Town Council.
  2. d) Should the Town Council replace the new public toilet signs? Nick Beale said that he had raised this item on the agenda because he had noticed the signs on the public toilets a couple of weeks ago. There is a familiar female sign and familiar male sign and a sign which is half male and half female and it does not say unisex but inclusive.  Cllr. Beale felt that by using this signage, the Town Council was supporting transgender issues, extreme minorities and political extremism and was making Mere a laughing stock. The Clerk pointed out that she needed to purchase some new signage in order to cover up the old signage and she just chose some signage that she had seen on the internet and she certainly did not realise that it was going to cause this upset and this was not a conscious decision to support any minority groups or otherwise.  She also pointed out that it would be possible to replace the three signs that were affected if that was the Town Council’s wish. Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she had been doing assessments on people using the toilets and she didn’t feel strongly about the signage and did not want to spend money on changing the signs unnecessarily.  Cllr. Colman proposed that the Town Council should do nothing at the present time because the signage was legally acceptable and this proposal was seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford.  Cllr. Nick Beale proposed an amendment that the affected signs should be changed.  The amendment was seconded by Cllr. Debbie Beale but not carried with a vote of 4 in favour and 6 against. A vote on the original proposal to make no changes to the signage was taken and this proposal was carried with a vote of 6 in favour and 4 against.
  3. e) Rabbit damage to cricket wicket and outfield & Town Council’s responsibility to control rabbit numbers – Cllr. Hazzard said that there was a huge hole in the middle of the very expensive cricket pitch and felt that the Town Council had several options: 1 – we could fence the whole area which would be expensive. 2 – we get someone in to control them, either by shooting, gassing or ferreting.  He pointed out that they were probably going onto the cricket wicket because the ground is being watered and is nice and soft compared to all the other hard and arid ground around.  However, he said that it could not be left alone because it was dangerous and someone is going to twist their ankle or hurt themselves on the holes in the ground.  It was agreed that the Town Council explore the options of pest control.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – the Clerk pointed out one or two additions to the schedule and the payments were authorised and amended schedule signed by the Chairman in the presence of the Council.

  1. b) To approve and sign off bank reconciliation – The Chairman checked bank reconciliation against bank statements and signed the bank reconciliation in the presence of the Council.
  2. c) Option to opt out of the SAAA central external auditor appointment arrangements – the Clerk explained that SAAA is charged with undertaking a procurement exercise every five years, to appoint external auditors for all parish & town councils in England. However, Town & Parish Councils are given the option to opt-out if they wish to seek the procurement of their own approved external auditor. RESOLVED not to opt out o the SAAA central external auditor appointment arrangements.
  3. d) Quotations for Internal Audit Service – The Clerk asked for this item to be deferred as she was hoping to receive a third quotation.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Suggestion for ACV Strategy for Mere – Members felt that it would be difficult to have an Asset of Community Value (ACV) strategy and that any opportunities for applying for an ACV should be considered as and when properties/facilities become under threat.

*b) Cross-border collaboration between Wiltshire Police and Dorset Police – enquiry from Sedgehill & Semley Parish Council – with reference to the information submitted to councillors, members felt that they had no bad experiences of cross-border collaborations between Wiltshire & Dorset Police to submit.

  1. c) Should the Town Council initiate a Warm Spaces Scheme for Mere – the Clerk explained that this has been brought up by a resident who was aware that Westbury & Trowbridge were considering setting up such schemes. We have contacted the Clerks at Westbury & Trowbridge Town Councils who were not aware of these schemes but we have now found a councillor at Trowbridge Town Council who is considering the library and Civic Centre as possible warm spaces and there is a building in Westbury that has to be kept heated anyway because it is a Listed Building. The Clerk wondered if members wanted to consider this and wondered if the library might be an appropriate building as it was heated.  Hazzard suggest that the resilience forum might want to take this forward and it was agreed that the Resilience Forum and Town Council might liaise with the library & Wiltshire Council over this.
  2. d) Wiltshire Council’s Electric Vehicle Charging Points webinar – September 14th at 5.30 pm on Teams – noted. Rachael Hansford took the details of the webinar.

 

  1. Briefing Notes:

*Briefing Note No. 22-16 – Wiltshire Council’s Streetscene Contract

*Briefing Note No. 22-18 – Community Governance Review

*Briefing Note No. 22-19 – Community Governance Review – Consultation

 

  1. Future meetings and events

None

 

  1. Future agenda items

None

 

Staffing Matters – the Chairman reported that, unfortunately, Mr. Tony Waterhouse had left our employment last week after having been in post for less than 7 weeks.  The staffing committee had discussed a way forward and have decided to approach the second-choice candidate that was interviewed – Mr. Paul Hill.  Mr. Paul Hill was still interested in the role and therefore the Town Council was about to give him a conditional job offer.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford asked about the fee that was paid to the employment agency and whether it would be possible to get some of this back and the Chairman confirmed that enquiries were being made about this.

 

Meeting closed at 9.22 pm

 

 

Note:  Members are reminded that the Town Council has a general duty to consider the following matters in the exercise of any of its functions: Equal Opportunities (race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any disability), Crime and Disorder, Health and Safety and Human Rights.

 

*Further information on these items enclosed/attached

 

 

 

 

What do I do if I get flooded?

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

What do I do if I get flooded?

 

This document has been compiled based on information provided by the Environment Agency (EA), whose responsibility it is to make people aware of flooding from rivers and the sea, provide flood warning services and build and maintain flood defences.

 

Your flood warning service – Get the service that’s right for you

EA provide a free flood warning service to many areas at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.

 

Find out if you can sign up for our free 24 hour Floodline Warnings Direct service by visiting their website  www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

 

You can select to receive warnings by phone, text, email, fax or pager.

In some areas EA also warn people about flooding using:

  • Sirens – usually a wailing sound only activated when a flood is about to happen.
  • Loud hailers – a vehicle will drive around repeating the flood warnings.

 

Other places to get the latest flood update

 

Your personal flood plan

 

  1. Know who to contact and how
  • Agree where you will go and how to contact each other.
  • Check with your council if pets are allowed at evacuation centres.
  • Keep a list with all your important contacts to hand.

 

  1. Think about what you can move now
  • Don’t wait for a flood. Move items of personal value such as photo albums, family films and treasured mementos to a safe place.

 

  1. Think about what you would want to move to safety during a flood
  • Pets
  • Cars
  • Furniture
  • Electrical equipment
  • Garden pot plants and furniture
  • What else? …

 

 

 

  1. Think about who you could ask for help / who you could offer to help, particularly vulnerable neighbours or relatives, in a flood. Start preparing today before a flood happens. Use this checklist as your flood plan.

 

  1. Check your insurance cover
  • Check your buildings and contents insurance policy.
  • Confirm you are covered for flooding.
  • Find out if the policy replaces new for old, and if it has a limit on repairs.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of your contents.

 

  1. Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
  • Ask your supplier how to do this.
  • Mark taps or switches with stickers to help you remember.

 

  1. Prepare a flood kit of essential items and keep it handy
  • Copies of your home insurance documents.
  • A torch with spare batteries.
  • A wind-up or battery radio.
  • Warm, waterproof clothing and blankets.
  • A first aid kit and prescription medication.
  • Bottled water and non perishable foods.
  • Baby food and baby care items.

 

Useful numbers

 

Your important flood telephone numbers. Fill this out and keep this leaflet with your flood kit.

 

Environment Agency Floodline                                                                0345 988 1188
Quickdial number
Local authority emergency helpline
Insurance company 24-hour number and policy number
Local radio station frequency for news alerts and weather updates
 Family and neighbours
Work phone numbers
Doctor’s surgery
Local police station
Vet/kennel/cattery
 Local hotel or B&B
Gas supplier and meter number
Electricity supplier and meter number
Water supplier and meter number
Electrician
Plumber
Builder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary flood protection equipment

 

Flood protection equipment can help stop flood water getting into your property.

Follow manufacturer instructions to put these in place when you get a flood warning.

 

You can get more information about flood protection equipment in the ‘prepare your property for flooding’ leaflet on the EA website.

 

Floodboards These fix to frames around windows and doors. They can be washed, stored and used again. Always remove flood protection equipment once the flood water has gone. This will help your property dry out.

 

Plastic covers to seal airbricks These can stop flood water coming in through your airbricks.

 

Sandbags Your local council may provide these during a flood, but they may be scarce. You can buy your own sand and bags, or fill pillowcases and plastic bags with earth. Be aware that following a flood they will be contaminated by sewage in the water. You can get more information about using sandbags on the EA website.

See Wiltshire Council’s policy on sandbags here: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/civil-emergencies-sandbags

 

 

Further steps to protect your property There are things you can do to your property that will make it easier and cheaper to clean up after a flood. See Further Information at the end of this document.

 

Flood warning codes

Flood info

What to do to stay safe in a flood

 

In the event of a flood focus on the safety of you and your family

  • Cooperate with the emergency services if they tell you to evacuate during flooding. • Be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. We use our flood warning services to warn you of flooding from rivers and the sea as soon as we can. But there are some types of flooding we can’t predict. Stay alert to localised flooding also known as ‘surface water flooding’. This usually happens where drainage systems are unable to cope with heavy spells of rainfall. We cannot give you a direct warning for this type of flooding. Instead we forecast where it might be a problem in certain counties and put a daily flood risk forecast on our website. You can also find out about the possibility of ‘surface water’ flooding in your area by checking local weather forecasts.

 

What to do in an emergency, to stay safe

 

  1. Check in with other people in your household – if they are not at home make sure they are somewhere safe.
  2. Gather essential items together either upstairs or in a high place.
  3. Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water.
  4. Move your family and pets upstairs, or to a high place with a means of escape.
  5. Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your home if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
  6. Keep listening to local radio for updates or call floodline 0345 988 1188
  7. Check in with vulnerable neighbours or relatives.
  8. Flood water can rise quickly, stay calm and reassure those around you. Call 999 if you are in danger.

 

Important! Flood water is dangerous

  • Six inches of fast-flowing water can knock over an adult and two feet of water can move a car.
  • Avoid walking or driving through it.
  • Keep children and vulnerable people away from it.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch it.

 

Protect what you can

 

Move important items to safety and put flood protection equipment in place when there is a flood warning. Follow manufacturers’ instructions carefully to help stop or reduce the flood water entering your property.

 

Take items upstairs or to a safe place in your property

  • Safely store important documents such as insurance papers.
  • Move items of personal value such as photos, family films or treasured mementos. • Move lightweight household belongings you can pick up easily and quickly.
  • Move items of furniture that are expensive or harder to repair before cheaper ones.

 

If possible, move your outside belongings to higher ground

  • If the flood water hasn’t reached you, move your car to higher ground and move outdoor pets to safety.

 

Help stop water entering your home

  • Put plugs in sinks and baths. Weigh them down with a sandbag, a pillowcase or plastic bag filled with garden soil, or a heavy object.

 

If you do not have non-return valves fitted

  • Plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloths.
  • Disconnect any equipment that uses water (like washing machines and dishwashers).

 

Stay safe, always listen to the advice of the emergency services and evacuate when told to do so

 

  • Leave your home if the emergency services say so. Refusing to leave on their advice will put you, your family and those trying to help you at risk.
  • When you are evacuated you will be taken to an evacuation centre run by your local council. Free food and bedding is provided. Bring spare clothing, essential medication and babycare items if you have an infant.
  • Most evacuation centres will let you bring your pets. Take their food. Put cats and small animals in a pet carrier or secure box.
  • People running the centres are trained to give you support and advice. They will help you through the stress of a flood and prepare you for what to do afterwards.

 

What to do after a flood

 

When you’re sure it’s safe to return to your home, take care when entering as there may be hidden dangers in floodwater such as sharp objects and sewage pollution.

If your supply hasn’t been switched off at the mains, do not on any account touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water. Get a qualified electrician to come to the property to switch off the power.

 

Cleaning up after a flood

 

In many cases, your insurance company can pay for professional help to clean up your property.

The clean-up will usually involve:

Pumping out water from your home using a generator

Cleaning and disinfecting the property. Avoid high pressure hoses as they can blast contaminated particles into the air.

Drying out the property with dehumidifiers.

Local councils can supply skips and advise you on disposal of sandbags as they may need to be treated as contaminated waste.

 

 

 

 

 

Home insurance and flooding

 

According to the Chartered Insurance Institute, the average household flood claim amounts to £50,000.

That’s a staggering amount of money to stump up if you were affected by flooding, so it’s wise to ensure that you take out a home insurance policy to cover your home and contents.

Check how much your policy covers you for flooding, if the policy replaces your items new for old, and if it has a limit on repairs.

 

Making a claim

 

You should inform your insurer about flooding as soon as possible.

They’ll let you know whether you should clean the property or if they will send professionals to do that for you.

Many policies also cover the cost of temporary accommodation where you can stay while clean-up and repairs are underway. This could be in a B&B or rented property.

Your insurance provider will send a loss adjuster to your property to inspect the damage and to confirm what repairs and replacements will be covered by your policy.

Keep a record of flood damage for future reference.

Mark the height of flood waters on the walls in every room affected.

Photograph or video all damage to your home and contents.

List all parts of the property and contents damaged and, if your policy covers it, all food spoilt too.

Even if you live in an area at risk of flood or have made a flood claim in the past, it should still be possible to get reasonably priced insurance thanks to the Flood Re scheme. Under the scheme, your insurer pays out if you make a valid claim for flood damage, but it can then claim back a proportion of the money from the Flood Re fund. This reduces the insurer’s financial risk, so it can offer you cheaper cover.

 

 

Further information

 

The Environment Agency has published a booklet with advice on how to prepare your property for flooding. See Prepare your property for flooding

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 4th July 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a Town Council meeting held on Monday, 4th July 2022 at 7.00 pm in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW.

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Aubrey Colman, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, George Jeans (from 8.05pm) and John Jordan.

Also 2 ladies & Karen Harkin (later)

 

Public Participation Session

John Jordan said he was speaking on behalf of the Carnival Committee who have been in talks with Coles about the fairground for this year’s carnival and they mentioned that they did not want to go into the field off Lordsmead Lane again but would be very happy to go into the Recreation Ground.  The Clerk said that this possibility had been raised at the Annual Carnival Committee meeting and she had then asked that the Committee raise this matter as a priority following their first meeting in April so that discussions on this option can be opened early.  The Chairman said that this item would now need to be raised as an emergency item for discussion this evening as it had not been tabled on the agenda and the Town Council may not be meeting again until September.

Rodney Coward said how nice it was to see goats on Castle Hill again.  He said that Mr. Neil Maitland had put some goats on the hill and they seemed to be settling in well.  The Clerk said that Mr. Maitland was hoping to put up to 30 goats on the hill eventually but some were in kid at the moment.  It was pointed out that Mr. Steven Horn still had a small number of goats on Long Hill.

Glen Ings said that he had received a report that there is someone regularly sleeping in a camper van either in Angel Lane or in the Cemetery car park.

The Clerk read out a letter from Janet Way on behalf of Shreen Harmony thanking the Town Council for installing the street light in the Salisbury Street Car Park in order to light the steps in Dark Lane.

 

Apologies for absence received from Cllr. Nick Beale. Cllr. Debbie Beale & Cllr. Philip Coward and for late arrival from Cllr. Jeans.

 

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

  • None received

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 6th June 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 6.6.22

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Vacancies for Town Councillor (Minute Ref: 172) – Update on Casual Vacancy & Co-Option Procedure – the Clerk reported that she had received confirmation from Wiltshire Council that NO requests had been received to hold an election for the two councillor vacancies. Therefore, the Town Council could now co-opt to fill both vacancies. The Clerk said that a notice would be posted on social media and in various locations around the town stating that Mere Town Council had two vacancies which would be filled by co-option at a meeting held on Monday, 5th  Those interested in becoming a Town Councillor should submit an expression of interest to the Town Clerk, either by letter, email or telephone by 4th August.  Candidates will be given information on eligibility and will be invited to submit an application form & personal statement.

*b) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute Ref: 180b) – members noted the information in the Clerks Report, the Clerk confirmed that there is a virtual meeting on Wednesday this week and asked for a volunteer to come forward to attend.  The Clerk said that the Cabinet Report gave an indicative allocation that towns might get £5000 out of this.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that it would be necessary to create a plan to get hold of any of this money so it would be necessary to put in some work for this.  Cllr. Jeans said that there was a possibility that the secretary of the Chamber of Trade might be prepared to engage with Wiltshire Council on this issue but there would be cost implications in that scenario.  In the meantime the Chair asked if anyone wanted to attend the meeting on 6th July or 14th July.  Cllr. Jeans and Cllr. Jordan said that they would attend the workshop on 14th July & Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she may be able to attend the one on 6th July also.  Cllr. Jordan said he was encouraged that Wiltshire Council had acknowledged that we were a town and he thought that whilst there was some money there, we ought to make some sort of effort to get hold of it. He also suggested that the Town Council might allocate some project co-ordinator’s time towards this from the point of view of giving advice.  The Clerk said that she was a bit bewildered because the email from Wiltshire Council said that they had been engaging with Town Councils to access a range of interventions to assist with increasing vibrancy and footfall in town centres.  The Clerk said, however, that apart from being notified that Wiltshire Council had appointed Citi Logik to monitor footfall in town centres, she was not aware that there had been any other engagement.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/04887
Application Type: Consent under Tree Preservation Orders
Proposal: T1 Weeping Ash tree – Fell due to level of infection of ash dieback and proximity to highway.
Site Address: THE MANSE, BOAR STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DD
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018JFut

As the tree was infected it was RESOLVED to support the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application No: PL/2022/04597
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Conversion of Outbuilding to Habitable Space
Site Address: Highbrook, The Fields, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6EA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018Imgu

 

There was a general discussion about the issue of connection to utilities and whether or not the planning application was impractical but members felt that this was not a judgement for the Town Council to make.  RESOLVED to support the planning application on condition that the waste water is connected to foul sewers and storm sewers (this is due to concerns over the very close proximity of public footpath and river).  Proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote in favour.  Cllr. Hazard abstained from voting.

Application No: PL/2022/03832
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of Agricultural Barn for use of storing farming equipment ie. Tractor/mower, strimmer, working tools. To include solar panelling on the roof for powering equipment. (resubmission of PL/2021/08598)
Site Address: Land west of Woodlands Road, Mere, BA12 6JT
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018G22O

The Chairman reminded members of the previous planning application on this site and the Town Council’s comments.  There was a long discussion as to the justification for a barn of this size in such a small field but it was pointed out that the field is agricultural land and therefore the barn can only be used for agricultural purposes which is what is being proposed.   Some members felt that the barn was very large in comparison to the size of the field and Cllr. Mrs. Symonds raised the question of whether or not approval of this barn would set a precedent for other owners of small fields. Cllr. R. Coward said that as an agricultural building it was quite small and reiterated that the field is agricultural and so the barn could only be used for agricultural purposes and therefore he could not see a valid reason to object to the application as presented.  RESOLVED to raise no objection to the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application No: PL/2022/04587
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Remove existing conservatory link and replace with new single storey extension link
Site Address: WET LANE FARM, WET LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018ImVD

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application No: PL/2022/04227
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement fence, alongside the creation of an area permeable hard standing.
Site Address: FREEMANTLE NORTH ROAD MERE WARMINSTER BA12 6HP
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018H4d5

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Hill and carried with a unanimous vote.

Application No: PL/2022/04385
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: New proposed two bedroom semi-detached dwelling.
Site Address: 4 UNDERDOWN MEAD, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018INs9

RESOLVED to recommend refusal of the above application for the following reasons:

  • Overdevelopment – The plans show a cramped form of overdevelopment on a very small plot.
  • Off-street Parking – it is not possible to get off-street parking for two cars for the existing house as well as two cars for the proposed house without one of the cars being blocked in (as shown on the layout plan)
  • The vehicular access is in an inappropriate location too close to a staggered junction

Proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a vote of 5 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.

*b) Outline application for the redevelopment of Beaumont Business Park, Woodlands Road, Mere – To consider letter from applicants relating to amendments and obligations in relation to the above planning application

Application No: 20/07469/OUT
Application Tyre: Outline Planning
Proposal: Outline Planning – Demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of up to 70 dwellings.
Site Address: Beaumont Business Park, Woodlands Road, Mere.  BA12 6BT
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000014evXfAAI/2007469out

 

Members were pleased that the applicants had now agreed to provide the full 30% allocation of affordable housing on the site.  Cllr. Jordan said that £12,500 as a contribution towards upgrading and improving Mere footpath 66 would not achieve much but said it was a start.  He also said that he thought it was a tragedy that there was no employment opportunities being offered on the site and had hoped that there might be some small employment units like they had in Tisbury.  Cllr. Jeans said that he had been canvassing local opinion and he could report that every single person he had spoken to wanted the commercial activity taken away from Woodlands Road because they wanted to remove the HGV traffic from Pettridge Lane even though that would result in more car traffic movements.  Cllr. Jeans also said that he felt that, given the changes that had been made to the application, the withdrawal of objections from the Highways Department and the Drainage Department and the fact that the applicants had withdrawn their case for viability and agreed to the affordable housing provision & CIL etc., he would find it difficult to take it to committee and defend any argument put forward by the Town Council. Cllr. Colman pointed out that this was an Outline Planning application and said that it would appear that the applicants/agents had addressed a lot of the concerns raised by the Town Council and he pointed out that there would be an opportunity to try and address many of the other concerns initially raised by the Town Council either prior to or at the Reserved Matters application stage.

RESOLVED to withdraw the Town Council’s objection to the outline planning application as amended and subject to the details confirmed by Savills Planning letter to Wiltshire Council dated 16th June 2022.  Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote in favour.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.  Cllr. Hazzard abstained from discussion or voting on this matter.

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.
  • Castle Street high pavement – weeds growing out onto the road and up on the pavement.
  1. b) Quotations for wheelchair friendly footpath adjacent to Castle Hill Play Area – Cllr. John Jordan said that the footpath was in a bit of a state and just needed scraping off with some scalpings putting down. He said he had looked at some wheelchair friendly kissing gates and you could get a fancy metal one for £600 and a nice wooden one for £340 but this would need modification to the fencing. However, he did wonder if it was necessary to have a kissing gate and not just have a fencing chicane to stop youngsters from flying out.  R. Coward pointed out that there was wheelchair access at the top of the path to allow people further up the hill.  The Clerk pointed out that when the footpath was surfaced many years ago and made it wheelchair friendly, we didn’t have a gate at the bottom but we did get children running out onto the road from the path.  Cllr. C. Hazzard said that scalpings would not be very long-lasting and we would need the gravel that we use in the cemetery which is a bit more money.  Cllr. R. Coward said that you are only ever going to be able to get up to the first tier of Castle Hill but members recognised that an effort should be made to make the footpath more accessible.  It was agreed to look into the option of providing a self-closing gate or a chicane and thought it was worth costing up and so it was agreed to raise this as an agenda item.  Cllr. Hill pointed out that drainage would need to be thought about as we wouldn’t want rain water running out onto Castle Hill Lane.  It was agreed to raise this matter again at the September meeting.
  2. c) Report on communications with the police over parking enforcement in Mere – Cllr. Jeans said that he had written to the police about concerns relating to cars parking along Hazzards Hill and they had written back to say that they could not see any problem with the situation. Therefore, Cllr. Jeans said that when the Police and Crime Commissioner was present at a recent Area Board meeting, he took the opportunity to raise the matter and said that they needed to do something about this situation before it caused either an accident or a road-rage incident. Jeans said that at the last meeting, the Town Council agreed to form a committee to look at on-street parking issues and said that this location should certainly be included in their deliberations.  The Chairman asked why this parking along Hazzards Hill had only just occurred in the last few months and Cllr. Jeans said that it was mainly down to change of ownership in properties and the fact that people who owned a couple of cars had bought houses with no off-street parking provision.  Cllr. Jeans pointed out that there were other areas in Mere with similar problems.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that around Bramley Hill she had noticed that there were larger green spaces that could be used for parking and wondered whether this could be explored.  Cllr. R. Coward said that even if the money and land could be found to build a new car park somewhere in the town, these people would not park in the car park because they all want to park outside their houses – it is just human nature and the only way they would use the car parks is to install double-yellow lines and force them off the roads.

 

 

 

  1. d) Minutes of the Shaftesbury & Gillingham Area Transport Forum – The Clerk pointed out that Cllr. Sims had sent over the Minutes of the meeting and had pointed out that the relevant bit affecting Mere is that there is no longer a Saturday service from Mere to Salisbury – Mr. Sims thinks this is the No. 4 service. The Chair thanked Roy for sending over this information.

 

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

*a) Proposals for new Mere Town Football Club mens team and amalgamation with Mere Town Youth Football Club – with reference to the prepared by Karen & Sean Harkin and reproduced in the Clerks Report, members said that they were pleased to hear that a mens team would be starting again and was supportive of the idea of amalgamating the adult and youth football as this would make sense for the purposes of administration, insurance and affiliation etc.  The Clerk said that she had pointed out to the Football Club that one of the biggest expenses to the Town Council was the provision of showers and in response to this the Football Club have said that they are happy to have cold showers.  The Clerk confirmed that the last invoices sent to the Youth Football Club was £705 for annual charges and £705 to the Adult Football Club for annual charges.  However, there had been no income from football during the past two years due to COVID and there was no expected income for adult football as we currently have no adult football team.  There was a discussion over what the amalgamated club should pay in terms of charges and what likely costs they would incur.  Cllr. Hazzard raised concerns that not all the team members lived in Mere and did not feel that the ratepayers of Mere should be subsidising the football club so that men from Zeals and Bourton could play football in Mere.  Cllr. Ings said that the football club already pay more than the other clubs and certainly more than the cricket club and they won’t have the facilities of hot showers.  It was agreed that in recognition of the fact that the football club had agreed to keep the changing rooms cleaned and on the assumption that the Town Council will not have the horrendous gas bills for providing the hot showers, then the annual charges should be reduced so that the amalgamated club pays £705 as a contribution towards the maintenance of the sports facilities for 2022/23 but point out that this will be reviewed annually.  This was on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote in favour (1 abstention).  It was also mentioned that if the Football Club wanted to be proactive in helping with the shower situation, it might be possible to join forces and look at ways to install alternative means to have hot showers and that this might be taken into consideration when deciding fee reviews.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) PaymentsRESOLVED to approve and authorise schedule of payments (attached) on proposal made by Cllr. Kate Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

The Clerk also informed members that she had approved an amendment to the Wallgate quotation for the new hand washer/drier unit for the unisex toilets as they had omitted to include the back plate for the unit within their original quotation which amounted to an extra £430.  The Clerk felt that it was not feasible to delay the installation of this unit and had therefore given the go-ahead following approval from the Chairman and Vice-Chair.

  1. b) To report on Rate Valuation Office enquiries and refund of National Non-Domestic Rates for Mere Cemetery – the Clerk reported that she had received notifications from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) about the need to supply information relating to rent, lease or ownership of the Town Council Offices, Duchy Manor Grounds and Mere Tennis Courts. This information would be used to set rateable values for non-domestic properties. Furthermore, based on the information that she had supplied to the VOA last year, the Town Council had received a small refund of £227 in rates for the cemetery.
  2. c) Staff vacancies – to provide an update on situation – The Chairman reported that the Town Council had appointed a new groundsman, via Octopus Personnel: his name is Anthony Waterhouse and he will be starting his role on 18th July which is the same date as the Town Council’s new Project Co-Ordinator, Roger Pipe, will be starting.

 

  1. General Items

None

 

  1. Future meetings and events

None

 

  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

 

Emergency Item:

Consideration of allowing Coles Funfair to use Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground for Mere Carnival in September.

 

Members considered the request that was made during the Public Session.  Cllr. Jordan confirmed that Coles Funfair would want to have about 4 – 8 rides + small stalls.  Cllr. Hill said that as much as he would like to see the funfair in Mere, he pointed out that if it was wet weather then it would inevitably cause damage to the Recreation Ground.  Cllr. Colman pointed out that the Recreation Ground has been the best its been for 6 – 8 years and it is improving.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford asked if there was any kind of pledge from Coles Funfair to make good the ground after their use and it was pointed out that they did.  As representatives of the football club were present at the meeting, the Chairman asked how the football club would feel about the use of the Recreation Ground by the Funfair and the representatives pointed out that it would be fine if the weather stayed dry but if it was wet then it would inevitably cause damage that would take some months to repair to the point that it would be good enough to play football on.  Cllr. Rodney Coward said that the field at Gillingham Corner was the best venue to consider.

RESOLVED that Coles Funfair be denied approval to use the Recreation Ground for the funfair for Mere Carnival on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a vote of 6 for and 3 abstentions.

 

 

Meeting closed at 8.35 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on 5th September 2022

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

31st August 2022

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 5th September 2022 at 7.00 pm in the Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW.  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.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • 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.
  • 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 4th July 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

*4.  Casual Vacancies – To receive written applications for the office of Town Councillor and to consider the suitability of the candidate/s to fill the existing vacancy.  (Personal Statements attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute 185b)
  3. b) Wheelchair friendly footpath adjacent to Castle Hill Play Area – Minute No. 188b)

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report

*b) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator, Roger Pipe (report attached)

  1. c) Report on meeting of South West Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership and South West Wiltshire LHFIG – 31/08/22
  2. d) Report on meetings held by Parking Working Group

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/05520
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement Porch
Site Address: HIGH RIDGE, UPPER WATER STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HD
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018btjk

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/05531
 

 

Householder planning permission
Proposal: To Install a 4.8kw Ground Mounted Solar Panel Array and Battery Storage System in garden
Site Address: The Old Dairy, Wet Lane, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018btv0

 

Application No: PL/2022/06236
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: erect ground floor extension, form new dormer and enlarge one dormer
Site Address: 12 LORDSMEAD ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BZ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018d5zE

 

 Application No: PL/2022/05864
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of new horticultural building, erection of a new fence, retention of two existing stone surfaced areas and formation of two ponds.
Site Address: Plot H, Land at The Old Nurseries, Burton, Mere, BA12 6FH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018cR5u

 

Application No: PL/2022/06387
Application Type: Prior approval Part 3 Class Q: Agricultural buildings to dwellinghouses
Proposal: Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q – Conversion of Existing Building to Create 1 Dwelling and associated operational development
Site Address: BREACHES BARN, BARROW STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6AB
Planning Register Link: Planning Application: PL/2022/06387 (wiltshire.gov.uk)

 

Application No: PL/2022/06597
Application Type: Listed building consent
Proposal: Replacement Roof with Internal and External Alterations.
Site Address: WESTWAY, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018dmgo

 

Application No: PL/2022/06299
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement Roof with Internal and External Alterations.
Site Address: WESTWAY, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018dABM

 

Application No: PL/2022/05966
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of shed and stock fencing for agricultural use (part retrospective)
Site Address: Plot 2 The Workshop, The Old Nursery, Burton Fields, Mere, BA12 6BR
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018cg45

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.

*b) Request for consideration of road safety improvement signage for Chetcombe Road to be submitted to Wiltshire Council’s LHFIG (Local Highways & Footpath Improvement Group) for support/funding.

c)Highways Improvement Request form for White Line marking in Church Street

  1. d) Request for speed limit review along Warminster Hollow

 

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

*a) Leases

  • Lease report for Lease of Salisbury Street Car Park
  • Lease report for Lease of Castle Street Car Park
  • Lease report for Lease of Public Toilets in Salisbury Street Car Park

*b) Car Club – Grant Agreement and Leases for Mere Car Club

  1. c) Wiltshire Council’s Tree works adjacent to Castle Hill
  2. d) Should the Town Council replace the new public toilet signs?
  3. e) Rabbit damage to cricket wicket and outfield & Town Council’s responsibility to control rabbit numbers

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To approve and sign off bank reconciliation
  2. c) Option to opt out of the SAAA central external auditor appointment arrangements
  3. d) Quotations for Internal Audit Service

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Suggestion for ACV Strategy for Mere

*b) Cross-border collaboration between Wiltshire Police and Dorset Policy – enquiry from Sedgehill & Semley Parish Council

  1. c) Should the Town Council initiate a Warm Spaces Scheme for Mere
  2. d) Wiltshire Council’s Electric Vehicle Charging Points webinar – September 14th at 5.30 pm on Teams

 

  1. Briefing Notes:

*Briefing Note No. 22-16 – Wiltshire Council’s Streetscene Contract

*Briefing Note No. 22-18 – Community Governance Review

*Briefing Note No. 22-19 – Community Governance Review – Consultation

 

  1. Future meetings and events

 

  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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 4th July 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

AGENDA

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 4th July 2022 at 7.00 pm in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW.  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.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • 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.
  • 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, 6th June 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Vacancies for Town Councillor (Minute Ref: 172) – Update on Casual Vacancy & Co-Option Procedure

*b) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute Ref: 180b)

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/04887
Application Type: Consent under Tree Preservation Orders
Proposal: T1 Weeping Ash tree – Fell due to level of infection of ash dieback and proximity to highway.
Site Address: THE MANSE, BOAR STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DD
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018JFut

 

Application No: PL/2022/04597
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Conversion of Outbuilding to Habitable Space
Site Address: Highbrook, The Fields, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6EA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018Imgu

 

 

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/03832
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of Agricultural Barn for use of storing farming equipment ie. Tractor/mower, strimmer, working tools. To include solar paneling on the roof for powering equipment. (resubmission of PL/2021/08598)
Site Address: Land west of Woodlands Road, Mere, BA12 6JT
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018G22O

 

Application No: PL/2022/04587
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Remove existing conservatory link and replace with new single storey extension link
Site Address: WET LANE FARM, WET LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018ImVD

 

Application No: PL/2022/04227
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement fence, alongside the creation of an area permeable hard standing.
Site Address: FREEMANTLE NORTH ROAD MERE WARMINSTER BA12 6HP
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018H4d5

 

Application No: PL/2022/04385
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: New proposed two bedroom semi-detached dwelling.
Site Address: 4 UNDERDOWN MEAD, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018INs9

*b) Outline application for the redevelopment of Beaumont Business Park, Woodlands Road, Mere – To consider letter from applicants relating to amendments and obligations in relation to the above planning application

Application No: 20/07469/OUT
Application Tyre: Outline Planning
Proposal: Outline Planning – Demolition of the existing buildings and the erection of up to 70 dwellings.
Site Address: Beaumont Business Park, Woodlands Road, Mere.  BA12 6BT
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000014evXfAAI/2007469out

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.
  3. b) Quotations for wheelchair friendly footpath adjacent to Castle Hill Play Area
  4. c) Report on communications with the police over parking enforcement in Mere – Cllr. Jeans
  5. d) Minutes of the Shaftesbury & Gillingham Area Transport Forum

 

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

*a)  Proposals for new Mere Town Football Club mens team and amalgamation with Mere Town Youth Football Club.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To report on Rate Valuation Office enquiries and refund of National Non-Domestic Rates for Mere Cemetery.
  2. c) Staff vacancies – to provide an update on situation

 

  1. General Items

 

  1. Future meetings and events

 

  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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 6th June 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

 

Minutes of a Town Council meeting held on Monday, 6th June 2022 at 7.00 pm in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW.

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, George Jeans and John Jordan.

Also Spence Gunn & Claire Shaddick, Hilary Gladding, Graham Avory and Mr. Craig Bowers

 

Public Participation Session

Hilary Gladding – Treasurer for the Croquet Club said that she was attending the meeting following on from the COVID lockdown in 2020 when the Town Council very kindly agreed to waive the rent due to the fact that the club could not operate.  Mrs. Gladding said that because of the lockdown their membership numbers had reduced to only 11 members for this season, their membership was £50 per year and they had conducted a campaign to try and get new members.  However, their membership consisted of an ageing population with difficult access to the grounds and substantial grounds maintenance fees to pay (grass cutting and hedge cutting).  Their bank balance currently stood at £1157 but they did not think there was sufficient money to resume paying the rental fee to the Town Council of £500 per year.

Craig Bowers, Water Street said that he had attended the Council meeting to answer any questions relating to his planning application for a building to house his beloved donkeys in Wet Lane.  He said that the unit was a basic steel shed with wooden cladding of 12m X 15m.

 

Apologies for absence received from Councillors Nick & Debbie Beale.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • 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.
  • To receive written requests for new DPI dispensations.
  • Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 178a) [recipient]

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 9th May 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 9.5.22. RESOLVED that the Minutes of the extra Town Council meeting held on Monday, 23rd May 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Hill and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 23.5.22.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

  1. Notice of Vacancies for Town Councillor

The Chairman announced that, regrettably, Louise Bennett had found it necessary to resign as a Town Councillor due it no longer being possible for her to fit in her council duties with her family duties.  The Clerk informed members that she had notified Wiltshire Council of this vacancy and of the vacancy created by the passing of Eric Mitchell and that both vacancy notices would be advertised on the Town Council’s noticeboard and website.  In due course, the Clerk would be notified as to whether or not an election had been requested or whether the Town Council could co-opt to fill the vacancies.

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Platinum Jubilee Celebrations – summary report of proceedings (Minute ref: 157a) – The Chairman reported that she thought the Mere celebrations had been splendid and very successful. Town Councillors all agreed that the various events that they attended were all very successful, fun and enjoyable and well organised and the turnout was excellent. It was agreed that the Town Council would write to the Mere Platinum Jubilee Committee and thank them for all their hard work.  The Chairman also thanked George Jeans for putting up all the flags.
  3. b) Provision/installation of conduits/ducts for street lights and battery powered EV chargers at Duchy Manor (Minute Ref: 131d) –Cllr. Jeans reported that a resident, Mr. David Hytch, of +Charge had surveyed the site at Duchy Manor for possible EV chargers but they needed to know the half hourly consumption figures for the school’s power to determine exactly what was available and at what time of day and whether or not it would be feasible to install battery EV chargers. The Consortium through which the school buy their electricity had asked for a £90 fee to provide this information. RESOLVED that the Town Council should pay this £90.00 on proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a majority vote (Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting).  Jeans said that +Charge had determined that the cost of the work to provide the power to six parking bays for charging is just under £20,000 which included connection to the panel in the school and cabling to the car park bays.  Cllr. Jeans assured the Town Council that if we gave +Charge a lease for a period of time then we wouldn’t have to pay this £20,000 installation cost.  Cllr. Jeans also confirmed that he was asking Anthony Dixon, the School Extension Project Manager at Wiltshire Council, if the contractors would install the conduits necessary for the chargers whilst they have the trenches dug on the site and he had provided him with the survey details.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors – Jeans reported that a lot of people were currently reporting fly tipping. He pointed out that where waste has been dumped on land that falls outside the responsibility of Wiltshire Council, then it can be reported to the Environment Agency via a Clear Waste App.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/03231
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Ground floor pocket extensions to side and rear of property Extension of existing porch Alteration of rear roof pitch to accommodate additional bedroom
Site Address: RHEOLA, PETTRIDGE LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DG
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000184BBi

 

The Chairman said she had made a site visit and had a look at the plan.  It was pointed out that there was an objection to this planning application online and Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that there is a 6ft gap between the proposed wall and next door and said that she thought the proposal would remove a small amount of daylight but pointed out that this was unlikely to be significant enough to be a material consideration.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote (2 abstentions).  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.

Application No: PL/2022/03331
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of agricultural storage and livestock building
Site Address: Land at Wet Lane Wet Lane Mere BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000184gZb

 

 

Cllr. Ings said that it is a fairly large barn but it is quite agricultural and is situated in the right place.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.

 

Application No: PL/2022/03947
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Single Storey Rear Extension
Site Address: 17 WALNUT ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6FG
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018GJrr

 

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application.  However, the Clerk was asked to add the following Informative:  As this property is in a development that was designed in consultation with the Duchy of Cornwall, the Town Council believes that the applicant is required to seek permission from the Duchy of Cornwall before carrying out any works to the exterior of the property.  Proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a majority vote. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.

  1. b) To report on site meeting and Southern Area planning meeting held on 1st June to discuss planning application PL/2022/01547 – erection of new 2-bedroom dwelling in Castle Hill Lane/Castle Street. The Chairman reported that she had attended the site meeting during the daytime and the planning meeting in Salisbury in the afternoon.  However, she was required to return to Mere in order to take part in staffing interviews and it was necessary to leave before this agenda item was discussed (the Chairman would not bring the agenda item forward but did allow Cllr. Mrs Traves to speak on the matter before she left).  Jeans fought our corner but unfortunately the Committee recommended this planning application for approval which is absolutely amazing because it is on a dangerous corner where cars can’t turn round to get in and out.  The Conservation Officer was in favour.  Cllr. Jeans said that there wasn’t a single committee member who was able to support an objection and also pointed out that because the officer had recommended the application for approval, it would have been very difficult to get it overturned.

 

 

 

*c) Briefing Note No. 22-09 – 5-Year Housing Land Supply and Housing Delivery Test (attached)  –  The Clerk reported that in a recent newsletter, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning had written: “Many of you have been in touch with me over the past months to discuss the five-year land supply, and in particular the adverse impacts arising from a deficiency situation.  This recalculation fo the land supply has been conducted under the allowed methodology and I am obviously disappointed to see that we can still not manage to demonstrate a figure in excess of five years; although it is now closer to five years than the previous calculation it replaces.  As some of you know only too well, at appeal developers will seek to argue the figure down and even a figure in excess of five years is not a guarantee that a planning inspector will not accept or use a lower figure in their assessment.”  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that this is another reason not to put a lot of effort into a Neighbourhood Plan.

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports – Jordan asked if the Sparkle Team could carry out some clearance work on Burton Path and Cllr. Hazzard asked if some cutting back work could be carried out on the footpath running from Edgebridge to Lordsmead Mill.
  3. b) Highway closure – Please see the link to an urgent closure notice for Edge Bridge (part), Mill Lane (part), Mere commencing 20th June 2022. https://api-gb.one.network/downloads/tm/1142/ttrn-edge-bridge-part-mill-lane-par_128884066_3443597_f07a6dc4fe.pdf The closure can also be found on one.network here:  https://one.network/?tm=128884066
  4. c) To consider additional parking restrictions for Mere Town Centre – Jeans reported on several areas that were considered to be a real problem at the moment. One of them was Hazzards Hill and Cllr. Jeans reported that he had tried to get the police involved to help with putting some temporary bollards out in order to stop dangerous parking. The other area was Bramley Hill and then there was the issue of dropped kerbs as well and Cllr. Jeans said he was aware that there were cars that regularly parked across dropped kerbs in Castle Street.  Cllr. Jeans asked that the Town Council should write to the PCSO officially to ask for some assistance and also proposed that the Town Council might like to set up a working group to investigate these areas of concern and prepare a report for presentation to the Town Council in order to make some suggestions to Wiltshire Council for further traffic management controls.   Cllr. R. Coward said that another area of concern was the junction at Water Street where, because of the cars parked right up to the junction, it was necessary to come out into the middle of the road on the wrong side of the road before you could see what was coming down Hazzards Hill.

 

Meeting adjourned to allow George Jeans to speak as a member of the public

George Jeans said that he was aware that there were complaints about the vans and delivery lorries parking outside The Chapel in Boar Street in connection with his son’s business – Jeans Electricals.  George Jeans said that although he had a personal interest in this matter, he wanted it to be known that he would be very happy for members of the working group to include this area in their deliberations.

Meeting reconvened

 

Two proposals: one for a working group – Cllrs. A. Colman, Mrs. Traves and Clive Hazzard volunteered.

It was agreed that the Town Council should write to the police for assistance with areas of concern and for dealing with parked cars outside dropped kerbs on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a majority vote (Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting).

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Car Park Sponsorship – A few years ago we managed to get sponsorship to help us with the running of the car parks. The Clerk pointed out that a number of businesses had changed hands and there was even one or two new businesses that might be willing to be in the scheme. The Clerk pointed out that a sign was erected publicising which businesses had taken part in the scheme.  George Jeans and Clive Hazzard agreed to re-visit the businesses and assess the sponsorship.
  3. b) Communication from Mere Croquet & Boules Club relating to membership/accounts and rental – Cllr. P. Coward said that £500 seems quite a lot of money to me and said that if the club folded then the Town Council would need to maintain the land or do something with it. Rachael Hansford said that it was an established club with people in it and we’ve just been through two very difficult yeas and so maybe we should support the club. Cllr. Mrs. Symonds asked about the petanque players and Hilary Gladding clarified that they had 26 members in 2018 which included the petanque players but we lost those players and that membership.  Cllr. P. Coward proposed that the rental is reduced by 50% for this year and the club will then have a year to try and boost its membership and finances to get back to a full rental payment for next financial year.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.  (Cllr. Hazzard was not in the room at the time of this vote or discussion).
  4. c) To clarify understanding in relation to changes to leases for Duchy Manor/Mere School Car Park following the construction work etc. – the Clerk explained that she had received an email from John Price the Estates Surveyor at Wiltshire Council referring to the legal paperwork around the new car park at Duchy Manor and he originally suggested that the Town Council should surrender the relevant area out of our 2005 underlease and our continued use of the car park would be covered by a deed of variation. The Clerk had informed John Price that she was not aware of any discussions having taken place relating to the Town Council surrendering any areas under our lease or relating to any loss of rights to use the existing school car park out of hours. As a result of further discussion between the Town Clerk & Cllr. Jeans it was suggested that the Town Council should request “That the whole of the area of land that is currently under the Town Council’s lease should remain in place but that a deed of variation could be created to allow the school to use the newly created car park during school opening times, along with the community use (i.e. the newly created car parking area [pre-barrier] will have shared usage during school opening times).  Also, to confirm that the Town Council will have the use of the TWO dedicated spaces beyond the electronic barrier (shown marked TC on the plans submitted in the planning application) during school opening times and to allow any other community usage in the area beyond the electronic barrier outside school opening times (subject to the barrier being controlled by the Town Clerk).”  RESOLVED that this request be put to Wiltshire Council’s Estates Surveyor on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a)  PaymentsRESOLVED to authorise payments set out in the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. A. Colman and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. C. Hazzard, having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, left the room and took no part in discussion or voting.

  1. b) Clarification on the purchase of tractor:
  2. Is it the Town Council’s preference to purchase the tractor outright?
  3. Is the Town Council happy that it has followed Financial Regulations and Procurement procedures?

The Chairman pointed out that it was the Council’s preference to purchase the tractor outright but the Clerk had pointed out that although the Town Council had agreed to vire the reserves at last month’s meeting there was actually no record of the Town Council agreeing to purchase the tractor outright.  Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council should purchase the tractor from reserves and the proposal was seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.  Cllr. Hazzard said that he was confident that the Town Council had acted with due diligence over the purchase of this tractor and had followed Financial Regulations.  He pointed out that he and Cllr. Mitchell went to a lot of effort, they obtained four different quotations from four different dealerships in the locality and although no 2 tractors are the same, he was confident that the tractor they had chosen to purchase was coming from a reputable dealer and fitted the requirements of the grounds staff.  Cllr. Hazzard pointed out that it was not appropriate to advertise for tender as it would have been necessary to purchase this machine from a local dealer so as the grounds staff could test drive the machine and assess it for fit/comfort but also the issue of part-exchange for the Council’s existing provided better value for money on the deal but required locality.  Members unanimously agreed that the Town Council had acted with due diligence to obtain the best value for the expenditure of public money in the purchase of this tractor.

*c) To approve and adopt Mere Town Council Investment Policy (Draft attached) – The Clerk pointed out that The Practitioners Guide says “where the authority has bank balances in excess of £100k it has an appropriate investment strategy”.  RESOLVED to adopt without amendment on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.

*d) To review Mere Town Council Reserves Policy: To review reserves and authorise transfer of funds to National Savings Account:  The Clerk reported: ‘At the end of the Town Council’s Reserves policy is says that the RFO will advise the Council on the level of reserves required to fulfil its obligations.  The Town Council has agreed to purchase the tractor outright rather than enter into a lease-purchase agreement and its rationale for doing this is because it is not financially viable to take a lease hire agreement when the interest rates on borrowing money are so much higher than the interest rates on our reserves.  Instead, the Town Council has agreed to vire reserves (transfer from one account heading to another account heading) in order to pay for the tractor.  This has resulted in a minus figure on our general reserves at the end of the financial year.  The main purpose of general reserves is to operate as a working balance and to help manage the impact of uneven cash flows and to provide a contingency to cushion the impact of emerging or unforeseen events or genuine emergencies.  In general, a robust level of reserves should be maintained and take account of operational and financial issues facing the Town Council.  It is my opinion that the Town Council should hold a level of £30k in general reserves.  However, I accept the fact that there are funds that could be reallocated and projects that may come in under budget over the next year or so and therefore, I would advise that the situation should be monitored carefully and an interim review report should be provided to members with the next budget/expenditure report.  I note that we are holding more money in our Lloyds Bank accounts than would be covered under the FSC and would ask for the council’s approval in transferring the balance over £85k to our National Savings & Investment Account.’  Members agreed with the Clerk’s & RFO’s recommendations.

*e)  To approve the Accounting Statements for the year ending 31st March 2022 as prepared by the Town Clerk & RFO –– 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)

The Clerk asked members to note that it has been necessary to re-state the asset register figure provided last year because she mistakenly included the valuation of the public toilets which, although they are insured by us and included in our asset valuations for insurance purposes, they are not actually included in our asset register as they belong to Wiltshire Council.   RESOLVED to approve the Accounting Statements for the year ending 31st March 2022 on proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.

*f) Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2021/22

  1. To receive and note the Annual Internal Audit Report – the Clerk informed members that on 26th 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 26th May I carried out an internal audit of the Town Council’s Financial Statements for the year ending 31st March 2022. 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.”   Mrs. White also added: “I must let you know that this is my last report as Internal Auditor to Mere Town Council.  Over the past few years the Town Council has faced ever increasing financial activity and with this has come more regulations, guidance and best practice for internal auditors to the point that I no longer feel able to take on the responsibility to fulfil the role.’ Members expressed their gratitude to Mary White for carrying out the Internal Audit and for her diligence in implementing this role over the years and asked for their thanks to be recorded in the Minutes and for a letter of thanks to be sent to Mrs. White.
  2. To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1) – Points 1 – 9 of the Annual Governance statement 2021/22 (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.
  • 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.
  1. 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 Government & Accountability Return and the Notice for the Commencement of the Period for the Exercise of Public Rights. Publication is on the parish website: merewilts.org
  2. To note other information to be sent to the External Auditor and required by External Auditor as part of Intermediate Review 2021/22 – 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 for Mere Town Council are to provide the charity commission filing documents submitted during 2021/22 in respect of the 2020/21 reporting year for the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity.
  3. h) Appointment of internal auditor for 2022/23 financial year – With reference to the information noted Minute Ref: 178 f) i) regarding the need to seek a new internal auditor for the 2022/23 financial year. The Clerk suggested that the Town Council should seek a quotation from SLCC’s Local Council Consultancy and members agreed with this suggestion.
  4. i) Replacement Defibrillator – The Clerk pointed out that despite several lines of enquiry and reporting it to the police, there had been no leads in tracing the defibrillator that has gone missing from the centre of town. An insurance claim had therefore been initiated on the basis that the defibrillator had been stolen. The Clerk was anxious that this situation should not happen again and suggested that, once the insurance money had been received, the defibrillator should be replaced in a coded lockable cabinet rather than an open cabinet.  The Clerk explained that the defibrillator outside the dentist had a coded cabinet and that you should not be able to use a defibrillator unless you have telephoned the emergency services and that the emergency services give you the code to the cabinet when you are on the phone to them.  Jeans said he was against this proposal as he had been told, when on the phone to the emergency services, that there was no Public Access Defibrillator near to him when he knew there was one in The Square.  Cllr. P. Coward proposed that we replace the defibrillator with an un-coded cabinet one more time and if it goes missing again, then we must provide a coded cabinet.    Proposal seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) To consider draft Communications Policy – Cllr. Rachael Hansford report that she had attended a training seminar at the end of January on Parish & Town Council Communications and that it was fundamental to good governance to communicate with your community. Hansford said that, of course, we did communicate with the community in various different ways but we did not have a formal structure or strategy. She had come away from the seminar with 3 take-home messages:
  3. To consider producing an annual printed and digital residents survey
  4. To hold regular virtual and in person “meet the chair” question and answer sessions – these could be based upon a particular theme.
  5. Create a council e-newsletter.

Cllr. Rachael Hansford said she thought that producing an email newsletter that people need to sign up to might be helpful in directing people to the Town Council’s website or Wiltshire Council’s website in order to help them find the information they want and we could also use it to re-format information that is already produced i.e. Chairman’s report in Mere Matters.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that until very recently, we could guarantee that every property in Mere received a copy of Mere Matters and she thought this was a good way of communicating information to people but was concerned that a newsletter that required people to subscribe to would only have a partial audience.  She also raised concerns about creating more work for the Clerk to do.  Cllr. Hansford said that she was not suggesting that the Clerk should do this newsletter but that we should reformat information that is already produced.  Cllr. P. Coward said that anything that spreads the message wider is great.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford assured members that an email newsletter would need to be signed up to and would be a one-way information newsletter not a two-way communication method.  She said that she was happy to produce this on the basis that the printed information would be checked with the Council’s admin prior to publication.  RESOLVED that Cllr. Rachael Hansford should try this on a 6-month trial on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 7 for and 2 abstentions.

*b) Wiltshire Council Briefing Note 22-11 – Solar Together Wiltshire.  Members noted the information.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she had actually registered with this although, unfortunately, she had been declined permission by the Duchy of Cornwall to have solar panels erected on her house.  Cllr. P. Coward said that he had also registered but had concerns that the prices he had been quoted were not the best deal available.

*c) Wiltshire Council Briefing Note 22-13 – Area Board Arrangements – The Clerk pointed out that the Area Board situation is changing.  Cllr. Jordan said he was interested to hear that the Area Board sets its own priorities and asked if we could impress upon Cllr. Jeans what we feel our priorities should be.  Cllr. Jordan said that simple, straightforward infrastructure improvements, should be added as our priority to provide improved access into our town.  Cllr. Jeans said that he did not think the priorities were that specific and they had been set, in the past, following workshops being attended by all the Town & Parish Councils in the area.  Cllr. Jeans said that he thought the main difference was going to make it much more difficult to get grants and funding for local projects.

 

  1. Future meetings and Events:

LHFIG meeting on 8th June.  Cllr. Debbie Beale is attending.  On the agenda is the Town Council’s request to assess the speed limit along Shaftesbury Road 14th on the list but it does say that Atkins are programmed to start that work in July.

 

 

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 Monday, 6th June 2022

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
1st June 2022

Dear Councillor,

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council at The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire. BA12 6EW on Monday, 6th June 2022 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.
Yours sincerely,

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.
(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 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.

3. Minutes – To resolve that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 9th May 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached) To resolve that the Minutes of the extra Town Council meeting held on Monday, 23rd May 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

4. Matters Arising from Public Session

5. Notice of Vacancies for Town Councillor

6. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
a) Platinum Jubilee Celebrations – summary report of proceedings (Minute ref: 157a)
b) Provision/installation of conduits/ducts for street lights and battery powered EV chargers at Duchy Manor (Minute Ref: 131d) –
c) Accessibility issues relating to footpaths and dropped kerbs (Minute ref: 160b)

7. Reports & Consultations
a) Wiltshire Councillors Report

8. Planning
a) Applications for consultation response:

Application No: PL/2022/03231
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Ground floor pocket extensions to side and rear of property Extension of existing porch Alteration of rear roof pitch to accommodate additional bedroom
Site Address: RHEOLA, PETTRIDGE LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DG
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000184BBi

Application No: PL/2022/03331
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of agricultural storage and livestock building
Site Address: Land at Wet Lane Wet Lane Mere BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000184gZb

Application No: PL/2022/03947
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Single Storey Rear Extension
Site Address: 17 WALNUT ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6FG
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000018GJrr

b) To report on site meeting and Southern Area planning meeting held on 1st June to discuss planning application PL/2022/01547 – erection of new 2-bedroom dwelling in Castle Hill Lane/Castle Street.
*c)Briefing Note No. 22-09 – 5-Year Housing Land Supply and Housing Delivery Test (attached)

9. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.
b) Highway closure – Please see the link to an urgent closure notice for Edge Bridge (part), Mill Lane (part), Mere commencing 20th June 2022. https://api-gb.one.network/downloads/tm/1142/ttrn-edge-bridge-part-mill-lane-par_128884066_3443597_f07a6dc4fe.pdf The closure can also be found on one.network here: https://one.network/?tm=128884066
c) To consider additional parking restrictions for Mere Town Centre – Cllr. Jeans

10. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
a) Car Park Sponsorship
b) Communication from Mere Croquet & Boules Club relating to membership/accounts and rental.
c) To clarify understanding in relation to changes to leases for Duchy Manor/Mere School Car Park following the construction work etc.

11. Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached)
b) Clarification on the purchase of tractor:
i) Is it the Town Council’s preference to purchase the tractor outright?
ii) Is the Town Council happy that it has followed Financial Regulations and Procurement procedures?
*c) To approve and adopt Mere Town Council Investment Policy
*d) To review Mere Town Council Reserves Policy: To review reserves and authorise transfer of funds to National Savings Account
*e) To approve the Accounting Statements for the year ending 31st March 2022 as prepared by the Town Clerk & RFO
*f) Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2021/22
I. To receive and note the Annual Internal Audit Report
II. II. To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1)
III. To approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2) Attached
IV. For the Chairman and Clerk to sign the Annual Governance Statement and the Chairman to sign the Accounting Statements
V. To set the commencement date for the exercise of public rights
VI. To note other information to be sent to the External Auditor and required by External Auditor as part of Intermediate Review 2021/22
h) Appointment of internal auditor for 2022/23 financial year.
i) Replacement Defibrillator

12. General Items
a) To consider draft Communications Policy – Cllr. Rachael Hansford
*b) Wiltshire Council Briefing Note 22-11 – Solar Together Wiltshire
*c) Wiltshire Council Briefing Note 22-13 – Area Board Arrangements

13. Future meetings and events

14. 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

 

15. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC. To consider exclusion of the press and public from the meeting, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, section 1(2), to transact business for which publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of its confidential nature (staffing matters & contracts (?)

a) Staffing issues – Proposals from Octopus Personnel.
b) Wiltshire Towns programme

 

 

 

Minutes of an extra meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 23rd May 2022

 Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of an extra meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 23rd May 2022 at The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere.  BA12 6EW at 7.00 pm. 

 

Present:  Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Nick Beale, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, George Jeans & John Jordan.

 

Meeting convened at 7.05 with Public Session

  • No members of the public present

 

Members observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect in memory of Councillor Eric Mitchell who had sadly died on 10th May.

Apologies for absence received from Councillors Mrs. Debbie Beale & Rachael Hansford.

  1. Insurance renewal premium (new information since last Town Council meeting).

The Clerk reminded members that during the last Town Council meeting she pointed out that our insurance renewal premium had risen by £1200 or 37% and the Council decided that it would be better not to opt for the 3-year Long Term Agreement (LTA) but just to renew for one year and to get some quotations from alternative providers in good time before next year’s renewal.  The Clerk said that as far as she was aware there are only really two insurance brokers that cover Local Council insurance – one is Gallaghers (our existing broker) and the other is BHIB Councils and she had actually asked BHIB Councils for a quote before the last Town Council meeting but didn’t mention it because they hadn’t responded in time for the meeting.  However, the Clerk had now received a response and reported that their insurers have declined to quote for us due to our claims experience.

In the meantime, the Clerk had informed the Council’s existing brokers that she had been instructed to renew for one year only as members were concerned about the 37% increase in premium but had accepted that there was not enough time to get alternative quotations in time for renewal.  Gallaghers had now emailed back to clarify, Hiscox are now their preferred and single provider of local council insurance and it is their strong recommendation that the 3-year Long Term Agreement is taken to prevent any chance of rate increase at renewal 2023.

In view of the fact that there are very few companies out there now that provide insurance for Local Councils and the fact that one had declined to provide a quotation due to our claims experience, the Clerk advised the Town Council that it would be prudent to opt for the 3-year LTA with Hiscox via Gallaghers and to hope that during the next 3 years, the Town Council doesn’t need to make any more insurance claims and may be able to get more competitive quotations after that time.

 

Cllr. Philip Coward proposed that we reluctantly sign up to the 3-year Long Term Agreement with Hiscox via Gallaghers – as quoted.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC – RESOLVED to exclude the press and public from the meeting, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, section 1(2), to transact business for which publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of its confidential nature (staffing matters).  Proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

Minutes of the Annual Town Council meeting held on Monday, 9th May 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

 

Minutes of the Annual Town Council meeting held on Monday, 9th May 2022 at 7.00 pm in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW.

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Nick Beale, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, and John Jordan.

  1. To elect Chairman of Mere Town Council for 2022/23 and to receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr. Mrs Symonds proposed that Cllr. Mrs. Traves be elected as Chair for the ensuing year. Cllr. Philip Coward seconded the proposal.   Cllr. Mrs. Traves confirmed that she was happy to be nominated and the Council RESOLVED unanimously to elect Cllr. Mrs. Traves as Chair.  Cllr. Mrs. Traves signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

  1. To elect Vice-Chairman of Mere Town Council for 2022/23 and to receive the Vice-Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – The Chairman said that, in accordance with Cllr. Mrs. Symonds previous statements, she is not prepared to become Chairman of the Town Council and therefore, if there is any member of this council who would like to put themselves forward or be nominated as Vice-Chairman with a view to learning the ropes to become a future Chairman, then please put yourselves forward. There being no nominations, Cllr. Mrs. Traves proposed that Cllr. Mrs. Symonds be elected as Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Colman and Cllr. Mrs. Symonds confirmed that she was happy to be nominated on this basis.  RESOLVED unanimously to elect Cllr. Mrs. Symonds as Vice-Chair.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

Apologies for absence received from Councillors Debbie Beale, Louise Bennett, Rodney Coward & George Jeans.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • 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.
  • Philip Coward declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 162a) Payments
  • Lesley Traves declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No.162a) Payments
  • 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 RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 4th April 2022 be approved as a correct record of proceedings on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those that were present on 4.4.22.

 

*143.  To approve and adopt the Standing Orders for Mere Town Council RESOLVED that the Standing Orders (as distributed) be approved with no amendments on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.

 

*144.  To approve and adopt the Financial Regulations for Mere Town Council RESOLVED that the Financial Regulations (as distributed) be approved with no amendments on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote in favour.

 

  1. Internal Audit

To appoint/re-appoint an Internal Auditor – The Clerk asked for this matter to be deferred until after the 2021/22 end of year internal audit had taken place on 26th May.

 

  1. To review Committee Structures and appointment of any committees in accordance with standing order 4 and, if appointing committees, to consider terms of reference etc. – it was agreed that the Town Council would continue with the present arrangements of having an Annual Budget Committee + Staffing Panel & Appeals Committee only and an ad-hoc structure of Working Groups as and when considered necessary and required.

 

  1. To appoint members, including Convenors, to serve on Working Groups as required – as above.

 

  1. To appoint members, including the Chairman, to service on the Staffing Panel – it was agreed that the Staffing Panel member make-up should be Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Cllr. Jordan.

 

  1. To appoint members, including the Chairman, to serve on the Appeals Committee – it was agreed that the Appeals Committee member make-up should be Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Cllr. Colman.

 

  1. Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back:

 

Organisation 2021/22 Representative 2022/23 Representative
Youth Club, Seeds4Success, CAYPIG (Community Area Young People) Cllrs. Hazzard, L. Bennett & R. Coward. Cllrs. Hazzard, L. Bennett & R. Coward.
Cricket Club Cllr. Ings Cllr. Ings
Health & Community Care Cllr. Hill Cllr. Hill
Tennis Club Cllr. Jeans Cllr. Jeans
Football Club Cllr. Bennett Cllr. Bennett
Public Transport & CATG Cllr. Debbie Beale Cllr. Debbie Beale
Mere & District Linkscheme Mrs. Adrienne Howell Mrs. Adrienne Howell
Museum Committee Cllr. Jeans Cllr. Jeans
Footpaths & Rights of Way Cllr. Jordan Cllr. Jordan
Chamber of Trade Chairman & Cllr. Colman Chairman & Cllr. Colman
Friends of Mere Museum Cllr. Jordan Cllr. Jordan
School Governor Cllr. Hansford Cllr. Hansford
Mere Bowling Club Cllr. Ings Cllr. Ings
Carnival Committee Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Nick Beale Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Nick Beale
Area Board & CATG Chairman & Vice-Chairman Chairman & Vice-Chairman
Mere Film Shows Mrs. Rosie Jordan-Barr Mrs. Rosie Jordan-Barr
Rivers Group Cllr. R. Coward, Cllr. Debbie Beale & Cllr. Symonds Cllr. R. Coward, Cllr. Debbie Beale & Cllr. Symonds
Mere Parochial Church Council Cllr. Traves Cllr. Traves
Trustees for Mere Forest Charity Cllrs. R. Coward, E. Mitchell, G. Jeans + Mrs. Myrene Coward Cllrs. R. Coward, E. Mitchell, G. Jeans + Mrs. Anne Rich

 

*151.  Review of delegation arrangements RESOLVED to approve Scheme of Delegation (as distributed) without amendment, on proposal made by Cllr. Philip Coward, seconded by Cllr. Hill and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. To review the Council’s banking and signatory arrangements – the Clerk confirmed that, in accordance with Minute Reference 124b) of 14.3.22, this current banking arrangements were under review.

 

  1. To review the Council’s asset register – deferred.

 

*154.  To review the Council insurance policy and discuss/decide on alterations RESOLVED to approve the insurance schedule summary, as distributed to members.

 

  1. To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council and Committees for the ensuing year – it was agreed that the Town Council meetings would continue to be held on the first Monday of every month unless it is a bank holiday, in which case the Town Council will meet on the following Monday. The Town Council does not have a scheduled monthly meeting in August.  It was agreed that meetings would continue to start at 7.00 pm.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Platinum Jubilee Celebrations (Minute 131c) – update on plans to erect beacon, programme of events & finance etc. – Cllr. Ings reported that everything was coming together quite nicely and the committee had managed to bring everything in under the budget that they had anticipated. Arrangements for the beacon on Castle Hill were in hand.
  3. b) Provision/installation of conduits/ducts for street lights and battery powered EV chargers at Duchy Manor (Minute Ref: 131d) – deferred.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – No report given as Cllr. Jeans was absent from the meeting.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:

 

Application No: PL/2022/03006
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Single Storey Extension
Site Address: 5 OAK LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6FJ
Planning Register link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000183cPb

 

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application.  However, the Clerk was asked to add the following Informative:  As this property is in a development that was designed in consultation with the Duchy of Cornwall, the Town Council believes that the applicant is required to seek permission from the Duchy of Cornwall before carrying out any works to the exterior of the property.

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.

There was some confusion as to the functions of the Parish Steward and Sparkle Team and how the two services differ –  the Clerk was asked to provide Councillors with a report on the functions, roles and responsibilities of each service.

  • Jordan asked if it would be possible to get either the Parish Steward or the Sparkle Team to look at tidying up Wiltshire Council owned garages – there is a site in Manor Road which is looking very overgrown and untidy with rubbish strewn around and further sites in Bramley Hill and The Lynch.
  1. b) Accessibility issues relating to footpaths and dropped kerbs the Clerk reported that this had been raised because it had been reported on Social Media that people with mobility scooters or wheelchairs could not access certain places but were also facing difficulties due to cars being parked along dropped kerbs and causing an obstruction. The Clerk said that she had agreed an alternative route for some wheelchair users to get access to Castle Hill via the Castle Hill Play Area by providing a new coded padlock to the vehicle gate.  However, there were still some complaints about improving the footpath from Castle Hill Lane to Castle Hill to allow for wheelchair access.  Jordan said that this was, perhaps, something that the footpath group could investigate further.  With regards to the parked vehicles blocking dropped kerbs, Cllr. Rachael Hansford asked if the Town Council could target offenders and print off some kind of stickers to put on offending cars.  It was agreed that this would be raised again at a future meeting.
  2. c) Change from CATGs to LHFIGs – change of name and remit – The Clerk informed members that Wiltshire Council has increased the remit of the Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) and has approved additional funding to allow this to progress. In order to reflect the changed remit, it has decided to rename the groups as Local Highway & Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGs). The CATGs have been encouraged to seek local funding to assist in scheme delivery and Wiltshire Council have agreed that this should continue with the LHFIGs with a minimum local contribution of 20% being suggested.  The Clerk read out a list of projects that Wiltshire Council have said can and cannot be funded by LHFIGs.  The Clerk said that she had written an email to WALC raising concerns as to the financial implications and also extent of Powers of expenditure for Parish & Town Councils in relation to Highways, Footpaths and Transport schemes.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Request for replacement memorial seat on Castle Hill – The Clerk explained that a local gentleman had requested a memorial seat to be installed on Castle Hill as a replacement for an existing plank seat. The Clerk reminded members that Historic England will no longer allow us to install any more benches on Castle Hill as it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and therefore, we can only replace existing seats by using exactly the same fixing points and methods. The Clerk had therefore asked the grounds team to assess the location and they did raise some concerns that this could mean that a new bench in this location could end up being a bit too close to the edge of the hill in view of the fact that it would be much wider than the existing non-back bench.  Cllr. P. Coward proposed that the Council should revisit this with a view to making some kind of bracketry to fit to the new bench so that it would be possible to adjust it so that the front edge of the bench is in the same place and the same anchor points can be used.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

Cllr. Mrs. Kate Symonds in The Chair

*a)  Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached). RESOLVED to recommend approval of the payments as listed in the schedule of payments on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.  Cllrs. Philip Coward & Lesley Traves , having both declared a pecuniary interest, left the meeting room for this item and took no part in discussion or voting.

Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves in The Chair

  1. b) To confirm approval for S.137 payments for 2022/23 financial year (as listed in payment schedule) – The Clerk reminded members that Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 allows the Town Council to spend a limited amount on activities for which it has no specific power, but which the authority considers ‘will bring direct benefit to the area, or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants.’ The limit for 2022/23 for Mere Town Council is £8.82 per elector.  Using the latest electoral register which was provided in December 2021 this would equate to £22,129.38.  Members confirmed the S.137 payments for 2022/23 which had previously been approved as part of the budget recommendations for this financial year.

*c) To adopt recommendations made by working group at annual meeting to assess effectiveness of internal control measures (see Minutes of meeting held on 31st March 2022)RESOLVED to adopt the recommendations as agreed om the Minutes of the meeting held on 31st March 2022 on proposal made by Cllr. Philip Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. d) To consider quotation for insurance renewal – the Clerk informed members that the Town Council had previously signed up to a 3-year Long Term Agreement (LTA) with Hiscox Insurance Company via our insurance brokers, Gallagher.  However, the 3-year LTA expired this year and the renewal premium was now £4323.97 which was nearly £1200 more than last year.  The Clerk said that Gallaghers were inviting us to choose a 3-year binding LTA with Hiscox insurance again at the LTA premium of £4323.97.  The renewal was due on 31st  In view of the short time available to get new quotations, it was RESOLVED to pay the insurance premium this year but NOT to sign up to a 3-year LTA and the Clerk was asked to obtain quotations for the Council to consider in good time for renewal next year.  Proposal made by Cllr. Philip Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous agreement.

*e) To report on Allotment rent audit for 2021/22– the Clerk reported:  The Town Council runs 3 allotment sites: Wellhead, Jack Paul Close and Southbrook.  We have been splitting the allotments into smaller plots over the years, for two reasons: 1 – because people seem reluctant and/or unable to manage such large plots anymore and 2 – we have a waiting list for allotments so it is better to provide more people with smaller plots than less people with large plots that they are not cultivating fully.  We currently have between 92 and 97 allotments across the 3 sites, with two vacant allotments at Wellhead and 4 vacant allotments at Southbrook.  We have a waiting list of 22 people at the present time with the longest having waited since June 2020 although those that have been fairly specific about where they want an allotment are the ones that have to wait the longest.  I do not have any debtor allotment holders.  I do, however, have one issue with an ex-allotment holder at Wellhead who has left Mere and has left his allotment with a whole load of rubbish on it.  It will probably cost us a considerable amount of money to get this rubbish removed and I will not be able to do this until I have a full grounds staff team and we have caught up with the mowing schedule.  The Clerk asked the Council for authority to dispose of the rubbish in due course and to seek to claim the expenses from the ex-allotment holder.  Members agreed that the Clerk should get the rubbish cleared using someone with a waste removal licence and to seek to claim the expenses from the ex-allotment holder if a contact can be found.

  1. f) To review and approve Budget/Expenditure Report and End of Year SummariesRESOLVED to approve the Budget/Expenditure Report and End of Year Summaries. The Clerk also put forward suggestions to members to Vire reserves to pay for the tractor outright.

 

Total cost of tractor £32920
Reserves & budget set aside for this purpose £10000
Surplus shown on Budget/Expenditure report £4900
Balance to find £18020
Suggestions to vire reserves from the following headings:

PTO driven chipper/shredder (remove) £1500
Car Park maintenance long-term reserves (reduce by £1500 to £2550) £1500
Cemetery walls, railings & footpaths (reduce by £1000 to £1080) £1000
Footpath Maintenance (budget changed from £5k to £4k) £1000
Public Toilets Refurbishment Costs reduced from £14370 to £10370 £4000
Public Toilets Drainager Costs (Removed from reserves completely) £8400
Total £17400

Members were in agreement with these suggestions and the Clerk said that she would amend the budget report accordingly.

  1. g) To update the Council on staffing issues (vacancies and applications) – The Clerk reported that the Town Council received four applications for the post of grounds person and seven for the post of project co-ordinator. The Chairman confirmed that the staffing panel had met to consider a shortlist for both posts and interviews had been arranged for 2 candidates for the grounds persons’ post on 11th May and 3 candidates for the project co-ordinator post at a later date.
  2. h) Car Park Leases – the Clerk informed members that she had received copies of the draft leases for the car parks and public toilets from Wiltshire Council. However, she pointed out that the Town Council’s previous solicitor was no longer available to deal with this matter and asked members for their thoughts on how to proceed. The Clerk said that options available to the Town Council were to use specialist Local Council solicitors, local solicitors who may not be aware of local government administration or Hampshire Legal Services (the latter having been recommended by colleagues in the Clerk’s network).  Hampshire Legal Services is Hampshire County Council’s team of lawyers who now outsource their services to members and officers across local government, emergency services and schools.  Members were happy to instruct the Clerk to ask Hampshire Legal Services for a quotation and also to ask for clarification to ensure that there were no restrictions precluding the Town Council from charging for the use of EV charging points in the car parks.
  3. i) To consider replacement hand wash unit for unisex toilet block and quotation from Wallgate – the Clerk read out a quotation from Wallgate for a new hand washer for the unisex toilets in Salisbury Street Car Park. The price being £3620.59. The Clerk pointed out that the present unit from Wallgate was extremely old and very unreliable. The Town Council currently has a service agreement with Wallgate who are based in Salisbury. It may be possible to install another kind of unit or to revert back to a sink/tap but this would also involve extra plumbing work and possible re-tiling etc.  Jordan said he was happy to go along with the Wallgate unit where everything is included and the Town Council doesn’t need to manage anything.  RESOLVED to ask Wallgate to provide a new unit, as quoted.  Made on proposal by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.

 

  1. General Items & Consultations/Briefing Notes

*a) Briefing Note No. 22-10 – Electric Vehicle Charging Points – members noted the information in the Briefing Note which explained the basis of Wiltshire Council’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy and the fact that they want the framework agreement to allow town and parish councils to use the same contract to make it cheaper.  The briefing note also gives information on government grants and charging options.

*b) Report on meeting to discuss matters relating to Mere Day Centre 26.4.22 – members noted the information in the report which was distributed with the agenda papers.

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation for Chair and Clerk to attend Wiltshire Town & Parish Council conference on 27th May 2022
  3. b) Invitation for Chair & Clerk to attend Mere School lunch on 20th May and to hand out Bee Saving Flower Seeds

 

  1. Future agenda items

Please note that the Town Council will be discussing matters raised during the Annual Town Meeting including Cemetery Rules and Regulations at the June Town Council meeting which will be held on Monday, 6th June 2022.

Cllr. Jeans has requested that the Town Council consider proposals for additional parking restrictions for Mere Town Centre at the June Town Council meeting which will be held on Monday, 6th June 2022.

Agenda item requests:

  • Communications Policy – Cllr. Rachael Hansford
  • Replacement Defibrillator

 

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

 

Meeting closed at 8.19 pm

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND

Registered Charity No. 1093497

 

For Trustees:

  1. To receive report on end of year accounts and approve end of year accounts.
  2. To approve payments to:

Mere Town Council  – Maintenance charges for 2021/22                  £12,283.40

 

*In order to pay this, Mere Town Council has agreed to provide a donation to the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity for £12,300.00.  The reason for these contra payments is to separate the Charity Accounts from the Town Council’s accounts.

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