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Author: Lindsey Wood

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

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

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Aubrey Colman, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, George Jeans, John Jordan & Linden Stone.

Also:  Quentin Skinner, Colin Liddell and Mr. Cardozo

 

Meeting convened at 7.02pm with Public Participation Session

Mr. Skinner, spoke in objection to Planning Application PL/2022/08186 and he said that the last time this site was subject to a planning application for one gypsy pitch in 2015 the WC highways office initially objected to the application on the basis of road safety because the visibility splays did not meet the criteria for the design manual.  However, about 3 or 4 weeks after that they had a change of mind and used a different manual MfS2 which had different regulations for different environments.  However, even using this it still didn’t pass the criteria for visibility and so they actually granted permission when they shouldn’t have done and that was for one pitch and now they are talking about 11 pitches.  The application should therefore be turned down on road safety grounds. Mr. Skinner also pointed out that there were a number of planning conditions attached to the previous planning permission for this site which have not been followed and one of these conditions is that the hedgerow must be kept to a height of 1m which, of course, has not happened but this too, means that the site can be seen.

Cllr. Jeans said that he understood that one of the conditions was to close up the vehicular entrance closest to Mere and this has not been done so now they have two entrances.

Mr. Liddell also spoke in objection to Planning Application PL/2022/08186 and pointed out that he was certain that a housing development would not be approved for that site and so therefore, could not understand, why a gypsy site should be approved.  Mr. Liddell also expressed concern about highway safety and pointed out the issue of flooding, saying that he has a photograph of that field completely flooded with swans on it and he said that the extra hard standing necessary to accommodate the extra pitches would make the flooding situation worse.

Mr. Cardoza asked if other planning applications in the vicinity would be taken into consideration and stated that there was a planning application for mobile homes being submitted in Gillingham.  Cllr. Jeans said that each planning application would be considered on its own merits but pointed out that a planning application for mobile homes would not qualify as a planning application for a gypsy and traveller site unless it was specifically titled as such.   The Clerk pointed out that Wiltshire Council had a separate planning policy for gypsy and traveller sites and a separate planning policy for housing development sites and that the two were treated quite differently.

 Apologies for absence received from Councillors Debbie Beale, Philip Coward, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings and Kate Symonds.

  1. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation
  • Hazzrd declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 246a) [Payments]

GJ had a personal interest but at a level

  • Stone declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2022/07196

There were no requests for dispensation

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 7th November 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 7.11.22

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

None

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)

*Minute Ref: 228A) Wiltshire Towns Programme – to consider Wiltshire Towns Programme proposals for Action Plan (report attached) – Cllr. Jordan reported that several meetings ago he volunteered himself to apply for this funding.  Since last month’s report, he has held a Teams meeting with Wiltshire Council officers and found out that some of the things that the Clerk and I had talked about to enhance the town would be inappropriate for this programme  i.e. provide some extra parking, or provide a bus stop or perhaps to have a parking ambassador – unfortunately, they are thinking of short-term solutions to increase footfall in town centres.  They were, however, keen to support events and I therefore suggested that funding for a Film Week (organised along the same lines as the Literary Festival) might receive some support as well as signage for walks to encourage people to visit Mere for accessible walks.  In January the legal team will have some sort of grant agreement contract written up.  We need to produce a formal Action Plan and I have drafted some notes for you to consider as we will need to submit something firm by the middle of January.  Cllr. Jeans said he wanted to thank Cllr. Jordan and it was agreed to delegate the task of forming an Action Plan to Cllr. Jordan.

 

242  Reports & Consultations

  1. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Jeans reported that Wiltshire Council will now collect small household batteries with kerbside recycling collection every fortnight.  These should be presented in a sealed clear sandwich bag, on top of your blue-lidded recycling bin.
  2. b) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator (report attached) & consideration of future project priorities – Cllr. Jeans said that he wanted to thank Roger Pipe and said that he was unable to attend the LHFIG meeting is aware that Cllr. Nick Beale did attend and that Roger put forward a very good case and I am aware that the LHFIG meeting have made recommendations that a substantial amount of money should be put towards the Clements Lane/Angel Lane footpath improvement project so I would like to thank Roger for his input on this.

In the event that Roger finds himself with time between his projects or his projects reach a stage that can’t be progressed, it was thought prudent to identify other projects that he could progress as and when:

Future projects for consideration in order of priority:

  1. Lease for Duchy Manor (old Children’s Centre)
  2. Start work on options for reconfiguration of Public Toilets
  3. Renew lease for Youth Club
  4. Help Seeds4Success with options for re-arrangement of toilets in Youth Club Building

 

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

 

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

RESOLVED to recommend approval of these amended plans on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Linden Stone, having declared a personal interest, abstained from discussion or voting and in order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 

Application No: PL/2022/08821
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: New two bedroom detached bungalow
Site Address: 3 UNDERDOWN MEAD, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EX
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000199pYo

The Chairman reminded members that a couple of months ago we had a planning application for the neighbouring property where they wanted to attach a 2-bed house to Number 4 Underdown Mead and although the Town Council did object to this application, the planning authority subsequently granted permission.  Cllr. Jordan also remembers that the Town Council objected to proposals to build a larger two-storey 4-bed property on the plot next door quite some time ago and this is significantly smaller but it is still yet another property.  It was noted that on the planning register two people had written in to support this planning application.  Cllr. Jordan said that the Town Council previously raised the argument that access was not appropriate from the lower Old Hollow Road but evidently this is not a problem for Wiltshire Highways.  Cllr. Jordan also said that the two proposed parking spaces look quite small.  Cllr. Colman said he felt that these proposals would be overdevelopment of the site; there is insufficient turning space for vehicles and water is likely to run off the hard landscaping onto the road at Old Hollow and exacerbate the drainage problems there. Cllr. Rachael Hansford said “everyone says they want smaller affordable properties for local people to buy and these are never going to be built on a greenfield site, they are always going to be squeezed in between other properties and on people’s gardens.  It is a 2-bed bungalow at the end of the day and we need these sorts of properties but every time we get a proposal for one, everyone complains that it is overdevelopment – we can’t have it both ways.”  Cllr. Sandra Catley proposed that the Town Council should object to the application on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site and unsuitable access.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Colman but was not carried with a vote of 2 for, 4 against and 3 abstentions.  Cllr. Nick Beale made a counter proposal that the Town Council raises no objection to the planning application.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a vote of 5 for, 2 against and 2 abstentions.  This second proposal was then presented to the Town Council as a substantive motion and this was carried with a vote of 6 for, 2 against and 2 abstentions. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

Application No: PL/2022/08487
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement rear extension and insertion of rooflights
Site Address: BOWER HOUSE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HE
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000199ByQ

Cllr. Jordan felt that this was an enhancement and would not have an impact on any neighbours or the surrounding area.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Colman 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/2022/08186
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Extension to existing Gypsy and Traveller site with 10 additional pitches, each pitch to consist of 1 Mobile Home, 1 Touring caravan and parking
Site Address: The Stables, Mapperton Hill, Mere, BA12 6LH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YxT

Members were generally concerned about drainage, flooding, sewage disposal etc.  Cllr. R. Coward said he was fairly certain that planning permission for 10 houses would not be allowed on the site.  Cllr. Jordan said that he was concerned that there appears to be one rule for one and a different rule for others; his point being that there is a caravan park that has appeared on the other side of the road which, as far as he is aware, has not received planning permission.  Cllr. Sandra Catley said that she thought that vehicular access into and out of the B3092 would be very dangerous as vehicles travelled very fast along this road.  Cllr. Colman pointed out that there is an 8ft high wall being built on the entrance to the land at this moment which would present a danger as it would provide a visibility obstruction.  Members were doubtful as to whether the wall had received planning permission.  The Chairman pointed out that when planning permission was granted for the one Romany Gypsy pitch in 2014/15 there were several conditions attached to the planning approval notice and these conditions have not all been met and were certainly not met in the correct order.  She said that it is all very well to say that an enforcement officer will ensure that conditions are met, but the enforcement officer is severely stretched with all the breaches of planning rules that are taking place.  Cllr. Jeans pointed out that, unfortunately, Wiltshire Council had not met their target for allocated Gypsy & Traveller site provisions within the Core Strategy.  However, he also said that there were points within the Planning Inspectorates decision on the Appeal by Richborough Estates for the development of the site at Gillingham Corner which would be very relevant to this planning application too and one of those was the Heritage & Landscape impact.  Cllr. Jeans said that Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy has firm policies about building where it is not suitable which would include on land that floods.  He also pointed out that this planning application would not be treated like a regular planning application in that he couldn’t “Call it in” to go to the planning committee as it would automatically be taken to strategic committee for determination and he therefore suggested that the Town Council, whether it supports or objects, might want to think about attaching conditions to the planning decision such as providing electricity to the whole site before it is developed and closing up the unauthorised vehicular entrance (as applied previously).

RESOLVED that the Town Council should object to the planning application on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Sandra Catley and carried with a vote of 7 for, 1 against and 1 abstention.

The Clerk was given licence to compile the objection submission on the basis of the following points:

  • Hazardous vehicular access
  • Insufficient drainage
  • Flooding
  • Sewerage
  • Heritage & Landscape setting impact – harm on landscape when viewed from Castle Hill, Long Hill & Monarchs Way
  • Addition of conditions as mentioned and as added in previous response in 2014.

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports – None reported.

*b) Request from Mere Rivers Group for help with maintenance of river and river bank along Waterside and response from Town Council’s insurers relating to enquiries –  Cllr. Hazzard said that he thought it would be nice to see something done about the river and wondered if the insurance company were actually aware of the size and flow of the river – he said they may be thinking that the term river refers to a large fast-flowing deep watercourse whereas in fact it is just a narrow stream with a few inches of water.  He said that he thought the Town Council could go back to the insurance company with further details of our proposals.  The Clerk said that if the Town Council were to carry out any work or were to oversee a volunteer group carrying out any work along Waterside then a Risk Assessment would be key and one of her actions would be to install some kind of grid to stop any sediment/weeds becoming dislodged and getting trapped under Yapp Brothers and causing flooding to property.  The Clerk said that she would prepare a more detailed proposal for work with Risk Assessment for the Town Council to consider at a future meeting before submission to the insurers.

*c) Response from Wiltshire Council’s Traffic Engineer on recently submitted Highway Improvement Requests:

  • Driveway Protection Marking for Church Street
  • Chetcombe Road Signage

Members noted the information in the Clerks Report.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Problems and issues relating to dead/dying trees in Mere Cemetery – suggest working group visit to make recommendations for future management – The Clerk reminded members that she had previously mentioned concerns over the dying yew trees in the cemetery but informed members that more yew trees appeared to be dying and she asked for Councillors to go and have a look. Sandra Catley & Aubrey Colman agreed to go and have a look at the yew trees.

Cllr. Hazzard said that the beech hedge for the cemetery extension needed to be planted before the growing season and asked the Council if they were happy for him to get a quote for this for consideration at the next meeting.  The Chairman said that she was happy for this although the Clerk said that, depending on the price, it may be necessary to get three quotes.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (schedule attached) – RESOLVED to authorise payments on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward,  seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote.

Cllr. Jordan wanted to thank the council team and Dan Weeks for organising and erecting the lighting and co-ordinating all of this with the Carnival Father Xmas event.

Cllr. Hazzard, having declared a pecuniary interest in this agenda item, left the room and took no part in discussion or voting.

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation – the Chairman checked the bank statements against the bank reconciliation and signed the reconciliation in the presence of the Council.

*c) To adopt recommendations made by Budget Meeting, as shown in Minutes of Budget Meeting held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 (Minutes attached) – deferred

  1. d) To approve Precept on Wiltshire Council for 2023/24 – deferred

*e) Donation request from Mere Brownies & Rainbows – Cllr. Jordan said he was aware that the Forest Charity supported the Mere Brownies but he felt that this  was a worthy cause and suggested that the Town Council give a donation of £100.  Cllr. R. Coward said that he would like this increased to £200.  Cllr. Hazzard said that he had concerns that if the Town Council gave a donation to Mere Brownies and Rainbows then we would be setting a precedent for other groups in Mere to apply for donations and he thought that the Forest Charity would be a better avenue for this sort of funding.  Cllr. Jordan said that he would ask the Carnival to donate £100 to the Mere Brownies and Rainbows.  Cllr. R. Coward proposed that we should match this and further resolved that any other requests from other groups or organisations that may or may not arrive would be carefully considered on an individual basis.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Sandra Catley and carried with a majority vote and 2 abstentions.

  1. f) To consider grant/donation for Mere Foodbank – the Clerk pointed out that the Town Council had given a £500 donation to the Mere Foodbank for the past two years.  She also pointed out that during the Budget Meeting discussions there had been a suggestion that this donation should be given by way of food vouchers.  Nick Beale said that there are 10s of thousands of charities that are struggling at the moment and felt that the Town Council needed to be careful about giving charitable donations using public money.  The Clerk explained that the Council has to give consideration to the legislation under S.137 of the Local Government Act 1972 when considering donations in that the Council should feel that the expenditure will be of direct benefit to the area or any part of it or to the inhabitants or some of the inhabitants.  Cllr. R. Coward said that the Mere Forest Charity donated £500 to Mere Foodbank but they insisted that the money was spent on food.  Cllr. Sandra Catley proposed that the Town Council should provide a S.137 donation to Mere Foodbank to be spent on food only.  Cllr. A. Colman proposed that the money should be spent on vouchers from a supermarket and the vouchers should be donated to the foodbank instead.  Cllr.Jeans felt that it would be better to hand them the money but insist that it is used within official foodbank procedures and protocol.  The Clerk pointed out that she thought that the sort of Foodbank that Cllr. Jeans was talking about no longer operated in Mere and that the Mere Foodbank was now more of a community foodbank staffed by volunteers to provide food for those in need – with most of the food being provided by local supermarkets.  The Clerk said that as far as she was aware, the voucher scheme foodbank that Cllr. Jeans was referring to was now provided to Mere residents by Gillingham Foodbank.  Cllr.Jeans said that this was incorrect and that the Mere Foodbank was governed by the same protocol and procedures and it was RESOLVED to provide a donation of £500 to Mere Foodbank on condition that it was used in accordance with the same protocol and procedures as the official foodbank schemes on providing food parcels.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Questions regarding Wiltshire Council offices and staff – A. Colman said that it is almost impossible to get hold of an officer at Wiltshire Council now and officers are working from home yet they don’t answer their phones and there are 200 empty desks at Wiltshire Council offices. Cllr. Jeans said that Wiltshire Council invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to go over to remote working. He agreed with Cllr. Colman and said that it is not working as people don’t answer their phones during normal working hours and said that he had taken up the matter with the leader of the Council.  RESOLVED to write an old fashioned letter to the Leader of the Council, Richard Clewer, and ask him to justify why council taxpayers money is being spent on these vast open spaces with no-one working at the desks and their policy to drive everyone away from using the phone but instead to make enquiries via the internet which never receive proper answers.  All agree.

*b) Gigaclear – Broadband network build update – Cllr. Jeans said that, unfortunately, they did not have the required permits and licenses required to dig up the roads and pavements.  He understood that work would re-start in January and meanwhile, the Gigaclear Community Engagement Manager would be communicating with Cllr. Jeans to ensure that working practises are more acceptable.

  1. c) Does the Town Council want to set up a Working Group for Coronation of HRH King Charles III – it was agreed to raise this matter in the next Chairman’s report

*d) Annual Report from Seeds4Success (report attached) – no questions were raised.  Cllr. Jordan said that he attended the AGM and was very impressed with what they achieve and a lot of young people benefit from their efforts.  Cllr. Colman reported that he, too, attended the AGM and had asked for clarification/breakdowns on various accounting matters.

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation to SWW Area Board meeting – Wednesday, 14th December 2022, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm at Castle Meadow Pavilion, Castle Lane, Wilton, SP2 0HG & Invitation to see the Wilton Men’s Shed – Cllr. Jordan said that he would be attending this meeting to represent the Town Council.
  3. b) To set date for January 2023 meeting – it was agreed that the next meeting of the Town Council would take place on Monday, 16th
  4. c) Judging of Xmas Lights – Nick Beale said that he and Debbie would be very happy to judge the Xmas Lights. Cllr. Jeans said that he had paid for the shield and prizes because the shield got lost last year.

 

 

Meeting closed at 8.46 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

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 16th January 2023

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 16th January 2023 at 7.00 pm at 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.

2.1 To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda

2.2 To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any)

2.3 To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate

A request for dispensation must be made on an individual basis

 

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 December 2022 be approved as a correct record (attached). For the Annual Budget Committee to approve the Minutes of the Annual Budget Meeting held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 (attached). For the Staffing Working Group to approve the report of the Staffing Working Group meeting held on Thursday, 1st December 2022 (attached).

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)
  2. a) Minute Ref: 241 a) Wiltshire Towns Programme – to approve Action Plan & Action Plan Funding (2 documents attached)
  3. b) Minute Ref: 228d) Leases for Car Parks
  4. c) Minute Ref: 228e) Lease/licence for Car Club

 

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

*b) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator – & for Town Council to confirm that they are happy to accept the letter from C. G. Fry & Son as confirming permission to deviate from S.106 agreement in lieu of Deed of Variation (info in Clerks Report + letter from C. G. Fry attached)

  1. c) Report on SWW Area Board Meeting held on Wednesday, 14th December

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2022/09374
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T(1-11) as shown on the sketch map are Lime trees. We propose to pollard them down to 6m. This work needs to be carried out as they are encroaching to far out into the road and getting to large for where they are. They have previously been pollarded and we propose to take them to the previous points. T12 as shown on the sketch plan – Prunus. We propose to reduce the whole tree by 1m. We propose to do this to control the size of the tree. T13 as shown on the sketch plan – Copper Beech. We propose to reduce the whole tree by 1-2m. We propose to do this to maintain it as a small tree as it is close to buildings and walls. T14 as shown on the sketch plan – Yew bush. We propose to reduce the height by 1m. We propose to do this to make the bush more maintainable in the years to come.
Site Address: LINDEN HOUSE, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019AzIx

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/09365
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: New employment building (Use Class B2) with associated offices, access, car parking, service space, landscaping and associated development infrastructure.
Site Address: Land adjacent to Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere, BA12 6LA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019AweX

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/00039
Application Type: Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)
Proposal: Removal of stairs and new stairs to attic with new partitions, formation of bedroom and bathroom
Site Address: THE HOUSE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, BA12 6HE
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019oDhO

 

Application No: PL/2022/09693
Application Type: Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)
Proposal: Replacement of 4No. windows to dormers in second floor of Front (South) elevation.
Site Address: The Boardroom, The Square, Mere, BA12 6DL
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019Bgdv

 

Application No: PL/2022/09675
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Erection of detached self contained annex
Site Address: 1 Lordsmead Road, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6BZ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019BgFO

 

Application No: PL/2022/07937
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Conversion of two barns into two dwellings and the replacement of a modern barn into a single dwelling.
Site Address: West Swainsford Farm, Woodlands Road, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6JT
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019853U
  1. b) Update on Enforcement Issues and further developments at The Old Nursery Site at Burton – Cllr. Debbie Beale
  2. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  3. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.
  4. b) Report on Teams Meeting with representatives from Options 24/7 to discuss bus improvements – Cllr. Debbie Beale

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Dead and dying trees in Mere Cemetery – report from Cllr. Sandra Catley
  3. b) Damage to back wall at Castle Street Car Park

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation

*c) Matters Arising from External Auditor’s report 2021/22

  1. d) Confirmation of insurance policy adjustments

*e) Notice from Wiltshire Council that it will seek to recover Election costs from May 2025

*f) To adopt recommendations made by Staffing Working Group meeting as shown in Report of Staffing Working Group meeting held on Thursday, 1st December 2022 (Report attached)

*g) To adopt recommendations made by Budget Meeting, as shown in Minutes of Budget Meeting held on Monday, 23rd November 2022 (Minutes attached).

  1. h) To approve Precept on Wiltshire Council for 2023/24
  2. i) Authorisation for grounds staff to convert mobile floodlight to mobile generator
  3. j) Report on interim Internal Audit

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Communication with local police

b)Judging of Xmas Lights

 

  1. Future meetings and events

 

  1. Future agenda items
  2. a) Protocol for dealing with Planning Enforcement issues
  3. b) Suggestions for Town Council priority strategy

 

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

 

*Further information on these items enclosed/attached

 

 

 

 

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND

Registered Charity No. 1093497

 

For Trustees to consider the following:

 

*a) Questions relating to new lease for youth club building

 

Submission of Annual Return for Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground for Financial Year End 31.3.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Mere Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 5th December 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 5th December 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.

2.1 To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda

2.2 To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any)

2.3 To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate

A request for dispensation must be made on an individual basis

 

Members are invited to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests in items on the agenda as required by the Mere Town Council Code of Conduct for Members and by the Localism Act 2011.  The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.  If you become aware, during the course of a meeting, of an interest that has not been disclosed under this item, you must immediately disclose it.  Whether you can remain in the meeting and the extent to which you can participate depends on the type of interest you have.

 

  1. Minutes – To resolve that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 7th November 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)

*5.2 – Minute Ref: 228A) Wiltshire Towns Programme – to consider Wiltshire Towns Programme proposals for Action Plan (report attached) – Cllr. Jordan

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report
  3. b) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator (report attached) & consideration of future project priorities

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/08821
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: New two bedroom detached bungalow
Site Address: 3 UNDERDOWN MEAD, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EX
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000199pYo

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/08487
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement rear extension and insertion of rooflights
Site Address: BOWER HOUSE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HE
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000199ByQ

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/08186
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Extension to existing Gypsy and Traveller site with 10 additional pitches, each pitch to consist of 1 Mobile Home, 1 Touring caravan and parking
Site Address: The Stables, Mapperton Hill, Mere, BA12 6LH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YxT

 

 

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

*b) Request from Mere Rivers Group for help with maintenance of river and river bank along Waterside and response from Town Council’s insurers relating to enquiries.

*c) Response from Wiltshire Council’s Traffic Engineer on recently submitted Highway Improvement Requests:

  • Driveway Protection Marking for Church Street
  • Chetcombe Road Signage

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Problems and issues relating to dead/dying trees in Mere Cemetery – suggest working group visit to make recommendations for future management.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation

*c) To adopt recommendations made by Budget Meeting, as shown in Minutes of Budget Meeting held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 (Minutes attached)

  1. d) To approve Precept on Wiltshire Council for 2023/24

*e) Donation request from Mere Brownies & Rainbows

  1. f) To consider grant/donation for Mere Foodbank

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Questions regarding Wiltshire Council offices and staff – Cllr. A. Colman

*b) Gigaclear – Broadband network build update

  1. c) Does the Town Council want to set up a Working Group for Coronation of HRH King Charles III

*d) Annual Report from Seeds4Success (report attached)

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation to SWW Area Board meeting – Wednesday, 14th December 2022, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm at Castle Meadow Pavilion, Castle Lane, Wilton, SP2 0HG & Invitation to see the Wilton Men’s Shed
  3. b) To set date for January 2023 meeting (16th January ?)

 

  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, 7th November 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 7th November 2022 at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW. 

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Aubrey Colman, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, George Jeans, John Jordan & Linden Stone

Also:  Bill Coltham, Lesley Dixon, Nicholas Gosse, Spence Gunn, Mrs. A. Howell, Vernon Philips, Claire Shaddick, Ian Sheppard, Mike Warren & Mrs. Garbutt + others

 

Meeting convened at 7.02 pm with Public Session

 

Mrs. A. Howell said that she was aware the Council would soon be discussing its budgeted expenditure for the coming year and urged the Council to change the present arrangements for the public toilets in the Salisbury Street Car Park.  She also paid tribute to Ian Sheppard and Tony Barrett for their efforts in looking after Waterside and the wildlife therein in recent difficult times but suggested that the Town Council should make use of volunteers to look after areas of Mere, particularly the river and river bank along Waterside which was once a pleasant walk but is now unkept and in places the banksides are in danger of collapse.  Mrs. Howell said that Mere has a majority of retired and elderly residents and many are now feeling that too much is spent on underused children’s playgrounds in the country and not enough on the general environment and this includes Waterside and its river.

Bill Coltham said that he spoke last month about issues of parking around Bramley Care Home and reported that the situation hadn’t changed despite some communication with the Care Home manager.  Mr. Coltham suggested that the Town Council create a small working group with two or three residents and members to discuss with the new manager how to deal with the issue and how to monitor the issue.

Mr. Gosse spoke in support of agenda item 8b) and his Highways Improvement Request.  He said that the Town Council had previously acknowledged the dangers of Edgebridge/Clements Lane and the fact that there is not a pavement for pedestrians and he asked the Town Council to give assurances that they will urgently refer this matter to the Local Highways and Footpath Group (LHFIG) with a recommendation to take immediate action.

Mr. Dixon said that it was important to take other roads into consideration and any lorries must not be diverted into The Lynch.  He also pointed out that the 7.5-ton weight limit sign is out at Two Counties Farm and there should, perhaps, be one closer to Pettridge Lane as well.

Vernon Philips said that there were two specific highways matters which I have asked the Council to pursue.  Firstly, Gillingham Corner – the white lines on the T-junction have disappeared and when you are coming from the Gillingham direction it is difficult to see where you should stop to give way and also HGVs coming from a westerly direction and turning towards Gillingham just cut the corner because there are no lines to separate the lanes.  The other matter is the exit sign in the Salisbury Street Car Park which has fallen into disrepair – there is hardly a word that you can read.  The Clerk confirmed that both these issues had been reported to the Highways Authority on the MyWilts reporting pages.

Margaret Lawson-Smith said that Wiltshire Council had asked for comments from the public on the planning application for the Roman Catholic Church site and confirmed that she had informed the planning authority of what is being considered tonight with the congestion to take it into account when considering the access from the Catholic Church site in case it makes a difference to their decision on the number of houses.

Mike Warren added that any proposal that stops HGVs from using Pettridge Lane could divert them through Burton and Southbrook and said that it was no good stopping one issue in one location and creating the same issue in another location.

Clive Hazzard said that he wanted to congratulate the Friends of Mere School and all those involved in organising the firework event which took place on Saturday night.  It was a spectacular event and was extremely well attended and enjoyed by all.

 

Apologies for absence received from Councillors Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Raymond Hill & Glen Ings.

 

  1. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation:
  • Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in Minute Ref: 228d)

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 3rd October 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 3.10.22.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  2. a) Parking issues at Bramley Hill/Kingsmere junction and update on meeting with Bramley House Manager – Cllr. Jeans confirmed that he had contacted Bramley House twice: he had left a message on one occasion and held a conversation with someone on the second at which he explained that the matter would be discussed at tonight’s meeting and he invited them to come along as he had thought that they might want to be involved. Jeans said that unless we can actually get them to agree to meet with us, I am afraid that we can’t do too much but I did leave a message clearly to say that the Town Council is taking it very seriously and that traffic management in the town is being looked at and that the Town Council may feel it is necessary to make some restrictions such as yellow lines. Cllr. Jeans added that communication with the police is not good at the present time and we are now forced to go through 101 rather than have a mobile number or email address for the local police.  However, he wanted to stress that the Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) does attend SWW Area Board meetings and I would urge the public to attend these meetings as it would be a good place to put your points of concern forward to the PCC.  The Chairman said she wondered if the Council had any thoughts about Mr. Coltham’s idea of setting up a working group.  Cllr. Jeans said he thought it was a good idea but it would be necessary to get Bramley House to communicate.  Mr. Coltham said that there was a new manager.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that these problems were not new and over the years there have been a number of planning applications for Bramley House and the Town Council had made comment and highlighted the parking problems for each of these planning applications and although some of these planning applications have not been implemented, nothing has been done about the parking problems either.
  3. b) Highway & Access issues relating to sale of plots and developments at The Old Nurseries, Burton – Cllr. Mrs. Beale reported that there were now about 20 plots having been sold off separately on this agricultural land and 4 of these plots were now providing living accommodation which were in the process of planning enforcement for breach of planning. Mrs. Beale said that as a Town Council we need to be influencing national highways because at the moment they are saying that once planning permission goes in for change of use then they can say no but when planning applications are not being submitted, they don’t know about it. Each of the four mobile homes has at least two vehicles associated with it and these are coming in and out of a dangerous junction several times a day.  The Clerk said that National Highways have agreed that the existing direct access does not meet current design standards and they have continued to highlight their concerns but in planning terms they don’t have grounds to object to the development that falls within the extant permission which is agricultural and horticultural.  However, there has to be a point where we can say – well OK but that extant permission was for one occupier of the site and now we have 20 and so that is 20 times the number of comings and goings.  The Clerk asked the Town Council if they felt there was any scope in contacting our MP and asking him to contact National Highways.  Cllr. Sandra Catley said that a planning officer had been out to the site today and was taking photographs and Cllr. Nick Beale said that the planning enforcement officers had been exemplary in coming out to deal with these breaches but their hands are tied and the enforcement process is mostly a legal one and is very lengthy and very costly.  Members were happy that the Town Council should write to the MP as suggested by The Clerk.
  4. c) Traffic issues at junction of Manor Road/The Square – The Clerk confirmed that Rodney Coward brought this up last month who said that he had been approached by someone requesting a highways mirror on the other side of the junction. We know that the Highways Authority would never agree to this as these mirrors are not considered to be official but there are issues with the white line that goes down the centre of the road. Cllr. Jeans agreed that a white line in this location would help and he would be prepared to propose that this is taken to LHFIG although he is aware that there would then be a cost to the Town Council (Cllr. Jeans then explained the LHFIG Improvement Request process).  The Chairman read out an email from a resident regarding a sign that used to be on the corner where the old Lloyds Bank was (the sign was warning people that there was no pavement on the Manor Road part of the junction).  Cllr. Jeans said that he assumed that the sign was removed when Mere was bypassed and the A303 was re-routed and he pointed out that at this time there were cat’s eyes in the middle of the road, double-yellow lines everywhere and lots of signs that were subsequently removed.  However, he said that he would be happy to ask for the reinstatement of any measures might be necessary to make the junction safer.  Cllr. Jeans therefore proposed that the Town Council submit a Highways Improvement Request form to the LHFIG asking for a white line to be put down the middle of Castle Street/Salisbury Street, leading to the Manor Road junction and any other measures that might improve safety and that would be considered acceptable by the highways engineer.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

Owing to the presence of members of the public, the Chair informed those present that she would be changing the order of the agenda (the minutes have been published in the order of discussion)

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport

*b) Highway Improvement Request Form received from Mr. Nicholas Gosse:  To prohibit HGVs and large agricultural equipment from using Pettridge Lane and to add a prioritised single lane passing area with safe pedestrian crossing at Edgebridge – Cllr. Hazzard said: ‘We all know that the road there really isn’t big enough and man enough for a lot of modern HGVs and large agricultural equipment but sometimes HGVs and Agricultural equipment does have to use that road.  I don’t think any HGV driver in his right mind would choose to drive that way unless they needed to and the same with agricultural equipment.  Furthermore, I am not sure that you can ban these vehicles as they would be entitled to use the road for access in any case and so I don’t think you would achieve anything. Also, I have noticed some very large vehicles doing deliveries to houses and therefore it would be wrong to assume that all this traffic is going to industrial or commercial premises .  How we can get round that without knocking down a number of houses and getting an extra carriageway in, I don’t know, but how we can also ban these vehicles would be tricky because people would be very upset if they couldn’t get their telly or sofa delivered because HGVs had been banned.’  The Chairman said ‘we are starting from here – this is how Pettridge Lane is and it is how Mere has been built and I would be interested to know what other options these HGVs and Agricultural equipment have to get to the places they need to get to – there is no route that is any better.  We are a country town and were not built for these heavy vehicles.’  Cllr. Jeans reported that 25 years ago, when there were talks of building 15 houses on the Walnut Road development (there is now 47) we were told that there would be provision of a pavement around Edgebridge and an option to sling the bridge and at that time the Duchy of Cornwall owned a house that had the land that would have enabled the pavement and/or sling for the bridge but this has subsequently been sold and so we are working on providing an alternative route for pedestrians so that they don’t have to use that corner.   Development in the southern part of Mere has resulted in more traffic using Pettridge Lane and the only option I can see is to provide a footpath for pedestrians from this area to get to the centre of town.   We already have such a footpath – Right of Way 66 and 50 which runs around the back of Lordsmead Mill and leads past the cemetery to Angel Lane.  It needs resurfacing, widening, dropped kerbs and low-level lighting to make it accessible for all to use.  The Town Council has a project co-ordinator who is heading this project for the Town Council and as far as I am concerned this is the only option to provide safe pedestrian access into the centre of Mere.  As for the HGVs, I invite you along to the SWW Area Board meeting to ask the Police & Crime Commissioner and the Highways Officer what they think.  However, my understanding is that the highway is for everyone and it is not possible to prohibit certain traffic although you can, of course, have weight limits but they will still allow access.  I do believe, however, that in Bradford on Avon they have banned heavy vehicles from going across a historic bridge but I think that is exceptional and I cannot envisage any circumstances in which the Highway Authority would agree to prohibit HGVs from Pettridge Lane because then they would have to do it all across Wiltshire.  Cllr. Jordan expressed his frustration and said that at a pre-planning meeting with the man who owned Beaumonts, he expressed the Town Council’s concerns about extra traffic using Pettridge Lane, but the response received was that there used to be huge lorries moving very large chimneys from the factory.  Cllr. Jordan said that he had looked at the Integrated Transport Scheme Assessment Framework where the first factor for consideration related to the number of accidents and said that it seems to him that an accident has to happen before action will be taken rather than to conduct a risk assessment beforehand.  Cllr. Jordan also said that at a Core Strategy meeting, Wiltshire Council said that the improvement of footpaths, cycleways and public transport choices would provide better connectivity within the community and said that he had been trying, for some time, to get improvements for FP 66 and 50 and he thinks that our main objective has to be to try and secure a decent pedestrian access for people who live in this area to get to the centre of town.  The Chairman asked for a proposal as to whether the Town Council was prepared to support and submit Mr. Gosse’s Highways Improvement Request (HIR) form to the LHFIG for further action.  Cllr. Jordan proposed that the Town Council should submit Mr. Gosse’s (HIR) form but the proposal but did not receive a seconder.  Cllr. Jeans said that he didn’t think the submission was even feasible as it was not possible to ban HGVs and Agricultural Vehicles from the public highway.  Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council support the safety of pedestrians around Edgebridge and would ask that the residents support the Town Council’s project to take pedestrians away from the Edgebridge area but not support the banning of agricultural and HGVs.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a majority vote in favour.

*c) Mere Rivers Group – update on Mere streams – Mr. Ian Sheppard had previously issued a report which was circulated to members.  However, he added that our streams, particularly the Shreen, is in a very sorry state on the back of the driest summer since 1884 and the lowest rainfall.  The Ashfield has been running beautifully all summer and the mill pond at Burton has been full and looks superb and that is because Wessex Water are pumping over 1m litres per day back into the stream as stream support.  As this is working so well, Wessex Water are proposing to do the same along the Shreen with the water being pumped back in somewhere near Steep Street.  However, because the streams were so low and the lack of rainfall, Wessex Water’s reservoir levels are down by 30% and they have had to resort to abstracting more water from Mere.  There is an agreement that when the water level reaches a certain low point they will only abstract 4m litres per day but their license from the Environment Agency allows them to abstract up to  9.5m litres per day and although we have had quite a bit of rain in the last couple of weeks, it will take months for the rain to fill up the aquifers but, Mr. Sheppard added, Wessex Water had assured him that as soon as the reservoirs at Yeovil & Winterbourne are back up to a reasonable level, they will stop taking the extra water from Mere.   It is good news that stream support for the Shreen is being proposed but in the meantime, when the river dries up, the banks dry up and fall in and the weed grows up and we end up losing some of the river bank.  The walk along Waterside has always attracted people to walk along there because it is so pretty but it is not pretty now, it is horrible.  The riparian owners have purposely let the weed grow to hold the water in and try and provide some water for the fish and wildlife but I would like to ask you for some help with the stream maintenance.  I know you say it is not your responsibility but Wiltshire Council say the same and I wonder who is responsible?  We have got a councillor that sits on both boards – surely you can find out who owns the river.  I am working with Hampshire CC who have published something on Riperian ownership and responsibilities and it looks like, if you can’t prove ownership then the Town Council will need to take on the problem as they are responsible for the town.  The Clerk explained that there was a liability issue and that some years ago, she was advised by the Town Councils insurers that they should not take on the liability for cleaning the river as it was not their property and not their responsibility.  Mr. Sheppard said that the riparian owners who do their bit and clean up their side of the river, then pile up the weed on the river bank and it is left there to rot away and this not only looks awful but it undermines the river bank and he asked if there was any chance that the Town Council could take away the river weed and put it on their compost heap.  The Clerk said that the Town Council doesn’t have a compost heap and also raised the point that there was Japanese Knotweed in the river some years ago and by picking up that, there could be a liability of moving this invasive weed around.  The Chairman said that she did walk along Waterside at the weekend and had taken some photographs.  She reminded people that, at one time, the Environment Agency had advised on the importance of leaving staggered weed patches along the river in order to benefit wildlife.  Mr. Sheppard said that some of the riparian owners do their bit, some don’t have big gardens and some don’t have bins but what do we do?  Can I also say that I think that this stretch of river, during the summer, is a very popular playground in Mere – all the kids are in the river having a lovely time in the summer.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she wanted to officially record thanks to Mr.  Sheppard & the rivers group for all the continuous work in keeping pressure on these agencies.  She said that the fact that we have this water recycling system coming to both streams is a great tribute for all your hard work.  Cllr. Hazzard suggested that the Town Council should discuss River Cleaning at the next meeting and asked the Clerk to contact the Town Council’s insurance company for clarification on liability issues in the meantime.

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme – Cllr. Jordan said that he had sent a copy of our draft Action Plan to Wiltshire Council for them to comment on whether he was using the right format and the right language but he was still awaiting a response from them. However, he said that his efforts in trying to get some money from Wiltshire Council for increasing footfall in Mere had paled into insignificance compared to the efforts of Philip Coward and Hillbrush for raising Mere’s status – as members of his family had been regularly sending him pictures of Philip Coward on billboards at various tube stations in London.

*b) Warm Spaces Scheme (Minute No. 204C) – With reference to the information in the Clerks Report, it was agreed that efforts should be made to publicise this scheme via social media and posters in show windows, noticeboards etc.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that the Mere Resilience Forum had applied for some funding from the SSEN following the extended power cuts after storm Eunice in February and she had pitched for funding to provide a Resilience Forum Co-Ordinator to work 2 hours per week.  She said that this application had been successful and a grant of £2320 had been received by the Town Council.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she had a friend who is a volunteer co-ordinator at the Balsam Centre in Wincanton who is interested in taking on the role for 2 hours pw on a contracted freelance basis.  The Clerk and I were thinking, that with the approval of the Council, she could co-ordinate things like this, finding out who needs help, speaking to the Linkscheme and do what we want to do with the Resilience Forum.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford proposed that the Town Council spend the SSEN grant funding on a freelance contract for 2 hours per week to co-ordinate the resilience forum for 1 year.  All in favour.  The Clerk confirmed that she had checked with the insurance company about the freelance contract for this purpose and they were happy with this.

*c) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator – the report had been distributed with the agenda papers and the Chairman confirmed that Mr. Pipe had made good progress with the consultation regarding the play area.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that there had been quite a few comments on social media regarding the Walnut Road play area project and Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she had responded on social media by telling those people who commented to contact Roger at the Town Council offices direct. Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she had found it interesting, from reading this report, that a lot of people using the park were local, even if they were in the Walnut Tree.  Cllr. Colman asked if enquiries could be made relating to any warranties or guarantees that may have been placed on the play equipment in the Walnut Road Play Area when it had been constructed and he also asked about the commuted sum payment that had been made to the Town Council from the developers via the planning authority. The Clerk confirmed that the commuted sum payment had been used up on the maintenance of the play equipment and the site since the play area was transferred to the town council over 14 years ago.

*d) Leases for Car Parks & Public Toilets – The Chairman reported that she and the Vice-Chair had been into a firm of solicitors to sign the declaration relating to the lease for the public toilets and that particular lease had now been completed.  With reference to the draft leases for the two car parks, the Clerk confirmed that a summary of points to note with comments from the Clerk, Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, Cllr. Jordan and Cllr. Jeans had been submitted to members with their agenda papers.   Members agreed with the points to note on the Castle Street Car Park draft lease and had nothing further to add.  Members agreed with the points to note on the Salisbury Street Car park but some specifics were discussed further:

Landlords break clause – it was agreed to ask for this to be removed.

Restrictions as to sizes of vehicles & types of vehicles – The Clerk pointed out that the current weight restriction in the draft lease is likely to exclude even a large panel van let alone any HGVs.  The Clerk pointed out that there were large vehicles that needed to access the car park such as the mobile Breast Screening Clinic for the Doctors Surgery.  There was a discussion on the issue of campervans.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that we needed to think about any restrictions we might impose and whether this will have an effect on local people by forcing them to park on the road rather than in the car park.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that local businesses sponsor the car park on the basis that it is available for visitors to bring business into the town and so we either have to decide if we are happy for residents to park in the car park for long periods of time or to ask for a time restriction.  RESOLVED to ask for a 24-hour time limit imposed on all vehicles on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

Cllr. Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in the next aspect of this discussion and left the room.

Third Party Rights – it was agreed that the Town Council did not need or want to get too involved in who has third party rights across the Salisbury Street Car Park and where those rights are and that clauses 5.1 and 5.2 should suffice unless there is a problem.  However, it was agreed to ask for a point to be noted on the lease that if the Tenant (Town Council) has an issue with a Third Party Right or suspects that a Third Party Right may be breaching terms, then the tenant shall ask the Landlord (Wiltshire Council) to investigate.  Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried with a majority in favour (1 abstention).

Cllr. Jeans was invited back into the room.

  1. e) Leases for Car Club – The Clerk reported that she had attended a “Teams” meeting last week with the gentleman representing Econetiq and Wiltshire Council officers. It was clear that there had been communication problems and possibly some confusion over which Council was responsible for which part of this project. However, it was concluded, at the Teams meeting, that Econetiq would prepare a draft lease, naming Mere Town Council as client, so that we can send to our solicitor and it was promised that we would receive this by Friday 4th November but it still hasn’t come.  The Clerk reported that a DNR application had arrived instead, with a request for a signature authorising Econetiq to communication with our electricity provider for the car park.  Members indicated that they were happy for the Clerk to sign this agreement.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report Jeans reported that he was proceeding with the purchase of signage for White Road (the private part of the road near Mere School). He said that Wiltshire Council had agreed that they own it but it is a private road with a public footpath. Cllr. Colman raised a question about when Wiltshire Council staff would return to offices and working hours following the Covid pandemic.  It was agreed that this would be discussed as a future agenda item.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:
Application No: PL/2022/07868
Application Type: Lawful development: Existing use
Proposal: Certificate of lawfulness for erection of wall and brick piers to front of the property
Site Address: Wet Lane Farm, Wet Lane, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001981Ly

 

The Clerk reported that it seemed that this wall had been erected without planning permission and has subsequently been investigated by the planning enforcement officer.  The applicant is looking for a certificate of Lawfulness.  In other words, if the majority of the wall has been there since 2018 or is over the 4 year rule then enforcement action cannot be taken.  Cllr. Jordan said that he had walked past this property on numerous occasions but cannot remember if the wall was there in 2018 or not.  RESOLVED to send a ‘No Comment’ submission to the planning authority on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. N. 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/2022/08163
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Cornus tree – 3m crown reduction
Site Address: SPENNITHORNE COTTAGE, WATER STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DY
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YTj

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2022/08058
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Porch extension
Site Address: 30 NORTH ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HQ
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198KUQ

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2022/08542
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: Willow – 30- 50% Pollard
Site Address: WILLOW COTTAGE, WATERSIDE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EE

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

 

Application No: PL/2022/08620
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 Beech tree – Crown lift low limbs to 3m to allow more light in. T2 Yew tree – Reduce and shape by 30% to allow more room around Beech tree. T3 False Acacia – Fell. Extensive deadwood and decay over footpath and power lines. Allow more light for Silver Birch. T4 Prunus – Reduce and shape by 30% to allow better access over footpath.
Site Address: ST ANNS, CHURCH STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DS

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

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

The Clerk reported that the Sparkle Team will be in Mere next Monday and will be working on the footpath from Pettridge Lane to Angel Lane.

  • Colman reported that vegetation was obstructing a 20mph sign coming from Walnut Road to Shaftesbury Road.
  • Mrs. Beale reported that the ditch system alongside RoW Mere21/10 (alongside the pumping station) needs to be cleared as the footpath is becoming flooded.
  • Jeans asked if the Sparkle Team could cut the hedge at the back of The Yews so that it does not narrow the footpath along Waterside. Cllr. Jeans said that it is Wiltshire Council’s hedge but it needs cutting back severely as it narrows the footpath repeatedly.
  1. d) Report on meetings held by Parking Working Group – It was apparent that the working group had split into two groups to carry out their site visits in separate areas. Colman had prepared a comprehensive report on the findings from his site visit and distributed this at the meeting. However, as it was 9 pm now and members had not had the chance to read the report prior to the meeting it was agreed that this item should be raised as an agenda item for the next meeting and that a combined report should be written up from the working party to distribute to members with their agenda papers.  Cllr. Jeans asked if it could be possible for items that he may have to declare an interest in, to be separated on the report so that he can leave the room whilst these items are discussed.

 

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

*a) To consider consultation and amendments to policy for parking at Wellhead Allotments car park in view of the size of vans now being parked therein – members agreed with the suggestions made by the Clerk, as distributed in the Clerks Report.  The Clerk said that she would like to consult with the residents before amending the policy and members agreed to this.

  1. b) Report on Annual RoSPA Play Area Inspection Report – the Clerk reported that the inspection had taken place in September and the four reports had been received (Recreation Ground Play Area, Skate Park, Walnut Road Play Area & Castle Hill Play Area) and she was pleased to say that she could find no “High Risk” items having been identified other than the skate park and the aerial runway which are generally high-risk items. She reported, however, that there were one or two issues that had been raised as “Medium Risk” and she would work through the report with the grounds staff to take actions to repair, remedy or reduce the risk where possible.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – RESOLVED to authorise payment on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. N. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

The Clerk reminded members that they had approved the payment for the tractor some time ago but she had not released any funds to the vendor because the tractor had not yet arrived.

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation – the Clerk reported that the bank statements had arrived today and therefore there had been insufficient time to carry out the bank reconciliation.

*c) Completion of the limited assurance review (external audit) for the year ended 31 March 2022 – members noted the information in the Clerks Report relating to the matters raised by the external auditor.  With reference to the issue regarding the sole charitable status and the subsequent correspondence on this matter, the Clerk said that, as suggested by the External Auditors, she would now need to seek legal advice and would think it prudent to appoint Wellers Hedley as they had specialist knowledge of charity/council relationships.  Members agreed with this conclusion.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Gigaclear – Broadband network build update – the Clerk said that an update had been issued by Gigaclear giving dates and locations of the places that they would be working on. The Clerk pointed out that they were in Church Street on Remembrance Weekend and has informed them that there would be a Remembrance Parade going along Church Street.

 

  1. Briefing Notes

*Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 22-20 – Substantive Highways Scheme Fund Bid Application Process for Funding in 2023/24 – Noted

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Mere Remembrance – Sunday, 13th November – the Chairman said that she would be laying a wreath on behalf of the Town Council. The Clerk confirmed that a 20-minute road closure would take place. Jordan said that it was a shame that the Clock Tower bell would not be chiming.
  3. b) South West Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Group. Monday 21st November, 2pm-3.30pm at the Enterprise Veterans Hub, Erskine House, Buckeridge Rd, Wilton, SP2 0FX.
  4. c) Flood Warden Training Day 23.11.22 – Guildhall, Salisbury
  5. d) Community Safety Partnership & SW Wiltshire LHFIG meeting, Wednesday, 30th November, 14:00 – 16:30 at Nadder Centre, Tisbury. – Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that she was nominating Cllr. Nick Beale to attend the LHFIG meeting to represent the Town Council.

 

  1. Future agenda items – None identified

 

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 9.17 pm

Agenda for Annual Budget Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 at 7.00 pm

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to the Annual Budget Meeting of Mere Town Council to be held at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022at 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 and the budget process.  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. Expenses – To consider budgeted expenditure for the year 2023/24 (Draft figures & report attached)

 

  1. Requests for grants – the following requests have been received:
  • Mere Foodbank would like a donation in order to give added support to families in need over the Xmas period
  • Mere Brownies would like a small donation in order to provide uniforms & other resources to families who are struggling with cost of living to enable girls to participate in Brownies.
  • John Ambulance seeking support for a new Community support Vehicle to be based in Swindon but servicing the whole of Wiltshire
  • Wiltshire Citizens Advice would like support – they point out that cost of living crisis is affecting increasing number of Wiltshire citizens.

 

  1. Income – To consider rents and charges for the year 2023/24 (Draft figures attached)

 

  1. Precept – to make recommendation for precept requirement upon Wiltshire Council for the year 2023/24

 

EXEMPT BUSINESS – Under The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 Sec 1 (2) states  “A body may, by resolution, exclude the public from a meeting (whether during the whole or part of the proceedings) whenever publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons stated in the resolution and arising from the nature of that business or of the proceedings; and where such a resolution is passed, this Act shall not require the meeting to be open to the public during proceedings to which the resolution applies.” There are only a few reasons as to why, legally, the public and press can be excluded from a meeting.  The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 Sec 1 (2) states: It is generally considered acceptable to exclude the press and public if the agenda item relates to the consideration of tenders, leases, purchases of assets, for matters relating to staffing covered by the data Protection Act and to consider complaints against the council or a code of conduct complaint.

Due to the nature of the meeting to be held, it is considered likely that the press and public will be excluded from parts of the proceedings.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 7th November 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

2nd November 2022

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council on Monday, 7th November 2022 at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor, 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.

2.1 To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda

2.2 To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any)

2.3 To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate

A request for dispensation must be made on an individual basis

 

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, 3rd October 2022 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  2. a) Parking issues at Bramley Hill/Kingsmere junction and update on meeting with Bramley House Manager – Cllr. Jeans
  3. b) Highway & Access issues relating to sale of plots and developments at The Old Nurseries, Burton.
  4. c) Traffic issues at junction of Manor Road/The Square

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme

*b) Warm Spaces Scheme (Minute No. 204C)

*c) Report from Mere Town Council’s Project Co-Ordinator

*d)Leases for Car Parks & Public Toilets

  1. e) Leases for Car Club

 

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

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2022/07868
Application Type: Lawful development: Existing use
Proposal: Certificate of lawfulness for erection of wall and brick piers to front of the property
Site Address: Wet Lane Farm, Wet Lane, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001981Ly

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/08163
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Cornus tree – 3m crown reduction
Site Address: SPENNITHORNE COTTAGE, WATER STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6DY
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YTj

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/08058
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Porch extension
Site Address: 30 NORTH ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HQ
Planning Register Link:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198KUQ

 

 

 

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

*b) Highway Improvement Request Form received from Mr. Nicholas Gosse:  To prohibit HGVs and large agricultural equipment from using Pettridge Lane and to add a prioritised single lane passing area with safe pedestrian crossing at Edgebridge.

*c) Mere Rivers Group – update on Mere streams – Mr. Ian Sheppard

  1. d) Report on meetings held by Parking Working Group

 

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

*a) To consider consultation and amendments to policy for parking at Wellhead Allotments car park in view of the size of vans now being parked therein.

  1. b) Report on Annual RoSPA Play Area Inspection Report

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation

*c) Completion of the limited assurance review (external audit) for the year ended 31 March 2022

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Gigaclear – Broadband network build update

 

  1. Briefing Notes

*Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 22-20 – Substantive Highways Scheme Fund Bid Application Process for Funding in 2023/24

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Mere Remembrance – Sunday, 13th November
  3. b) South West Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Group. Monday 21st November, 2pm-3.30pm at the Enterprise Veterans Hub, Erskine House, Buckeridge Rd, Wilton, SP2 0FX.
  4. c) Flood Warden Training Day 23.11.22 – Guildhall, Salisbury
  5. d) Community Safety Partnership & SW Wiltshire LHFIG meeting, Wednesday, 30th November, 14:00 – 16:30 at Nadder Centre, Tisbury.

 

  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, 3rd October 2022

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW on Monday, 3rd October 2022 at 7.00 pm.   

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Kate Symonds (Chair), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, George Jeans, John Jordan & Linden Stone

From Wiltshire Council Simon Hendey, Rachael Swann & Laura Young

Also:  Bill Coltham, Vernon Philips, Geoff Sams + 3, Mr. & Mrs. S. Parton, Diccon Carpendale (Brimble Lea), Jack Glendinning, Shaun Nell

 

Public Participation Session

Mr. Coltham said that he had come along to talk to the Town Council about a recent issue relating to parking by Bramley House Care Home.  Mr. Coltham distributed a photograph over a recent incident involving a car parked across the junction between Bramley Hill and Kingsmere.  Mr. Coltham said he felt it would be a good idea for a representative of the Town Council to visit the new manager of the Care Home to discuss the issues & effects relating to off-street parking for staff and visitors.

Mr. Philips explained that he wanted to talk about Planning Application PL/2022/06955 and said he welcomed this development, in principle, but felt that, from the plans, the development looked quite dense and he could only see parking for 8 cars.  He felt that traffic management would be an issue and pointed out that traffic from the development site would be converging into the priority route system on Pettridge Lane and the plethora of HGVs and he wanted to recommend that a STOP sign should be introduced so that traffic needed to stop before joining Pettridge Lane.  Another recommendation he wanted to make was that contractor is required to bury the electricity supply cable which runs the whole length of the site.  He said that if the detail was improved, the development could enhance Pettridge Lane. Mr. Philips also mentioned that the footpath from Pettridge Lane to Angel Lane was becoming wild and overgrown with brambles.

Diccon Carpendale representing Brimble Lea said that he had come along to answer questions relating to Planning Application PL/2022/06955.

Shaun Nell wanted to talk about issues that are going on at The Old Nurseries in relation to planning applications and the issue of access.  The A303 is a strategic route and we have had issues due to the fact that the field has been divided up into a number of plots and numerous people are now getting access into and out of the site which sometimes involves stopping traffic on the A303.  On Friday a lorry got stuck, damaged our gates and had to reverse back onto the A303 and there was a near miss accident.  I would like to ask the Town Council to please take this into consideration when considering future planning applications for the site as, unfortunately, the Town Council recently considered two planning applications for the site, recommending approval of one and objecting to the second.  Sadly, the one that the Town Council recommended approval for was the one that has more cause for concern. 

Mr. Glendinning spoke in support of planning application PL/2022/07196 for solar panels at Mere Fish Farm.  He said that the solar panels would be fixed with giant screws that were screwed into the ground so there was no need for foundations and ground disturbance & impact on wildlife and fauna should be minimal.

Mrs. Debbie Beale spoke about the incident involving the mobile home trying to access the plots at Burton Field and explained the fact that it got stuck in the gates and caused an obstruction on the A303 which necessitated a tractor to pull it out and all this took place on a dark and wet night and was incredibly dangerous.  There was no support from the police despite them promising to come out.  Mrs. Beale said that she had sent many emails to Highways England and asked for support from the Town Council.

 

Mr. Clive Hazzard wanted to praise the Town Council’s groundsman, Simon, who has been working for most of the summer without full-time support and who also acted promptly and diligently following the announcement of the death of HM The Queen.

Mr. Rodney Coward said that he had been approached by residents about the dangers of coming out from Manor Road onto Castle Street/The Square requesting a highway mirror to be placed on the crossroads so that you could see if traffic was coming up from Salisbury Street.    

 

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. Mrs. Lesley Traves & Glen Ings.

 

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

 

Sandra Catley signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.  The Chairman said it was extremely good to have two new people with two new perspectives to join the team.

 

  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 said that Wiltshire Council owned land adjacent to the site that was the subject of planning application PL/2022/06955.

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 5th September 2022 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 5.9.22.

Cllr. Jordan pointed out the importance of directing communication during a meeting through The Chair and or waiting to be invited to speak by The Chair and not with one another or over one another at meetings.

 

  1. Death of HM The Queen, Succession and Change of Landlord – the Clerk reported on the protocols carried out by the Town Council, aka Operation London Bridge, following the announcement of the death of HM The Queen on Thursday evening, 8th September. A new Union Flag was flown at half-mast that evening although it was raised again on Proclamation Day and re-lowered again thereafter (thank you to Cllr. Hazzard, Cllr. Jeans & Cllr. Ings for their help with this).  This did cause some concern on local social media pages as many didn’t realise the protocol in raising the flag for Proclamation Day.  We also placed a message on our website with an announcement from the Town Council and details about flags/Proclamation, condolence books and floral tributes.  These messages were repeated on social media pages (thank you to Cllr. Rachael Hansford) and a ghost page with official photograph was also placed on the website.  The book of condolence was laid out in the Clock Tower with the Chairman and Town Clerk having signed the first page.  The table also contained an official photograph of HM The Queen and a framed announcement with a black tablecloth and floral arrangement on the table.  The Chairman placed a floral tribute in Jubilee Gardens (we had four or five floral tributes).  I understand that there was also a condolence book in the Church and one in Mere Library.  There was a Church Service held on the Sunday and we arranged for the flag to be raised again and the book of condolence to be removed on the day after the funeral.  A letter of condolence was sent to The Private Secretary to His Majesty the King on behalf of Mere Town Council and the people of Mere.  We have received a letter from the Duchy of Cornwall informing us that the 24th Duke of Cornwall has been succeeded by the 25th Duke of Cornwall.

 

  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 – three officers from Wiltshire Council were in attendance at the meeting: Simon Hendey, Director of Assets & Commercial Development said he wanted to make it clear that Wiltshire Council is committed to invest in Mere for the provision of affordable housing for older people.  He said: “We have received pre-application advice in relation to Fives Court so that we can get a better understanding of what we might be able to achieve on that site & we have had surveys undertaken on Lynch Close to inform the options appraisal that is being produced at the moment, we have distributed newsletters to Lynch Close, provided a commitment paper to residents at Lynch Close and we have held a meeting to answer residents questions, responded to individual emails and telephone calls.  We have made a commitment that we will provide regular newsletters to the residents and we believe that we will abide by the commitment paper.”

Geoff Sams, Chairman of the Lynch Close Residents Committee said that whilst we have had some information coming from the Council and attended some meetings we do feel that we have been left in the dark.  We are all elderly and we have some residents who are seriously ill and some that have mental health issues and this all started a year ago and during that time we have been wondering whether or not we are going to get relocated whilst you either reconstruct our homes or rebuild them and where would we be relocated?’  Mr. Sams pointed out that a year is a very long time to live with this level of uncertainty and anxiety and whilst communication has been better recently, the residents felt it was necessary to raise the issue with the local MP and to raise a petition amongst the residents of Mere.

The Chairman said that from a personal point of view, she wanted to commend the Committee for raising the profile of this issue which led to the creation of the commitment document issued by Wiltshire Council and is a great step forward.  Simon Hendey confirmed that surveys had been carried out in order to inform and develop options but there were no options for consideration at this point in time.  He said that the commitments paper had been made because Wiltshire Council respect all the issues that Mr. Sams has raised and want to work with the residents of Lynch Close so that they feel included.   There are a wide range of options that could materialise and as soon as they are known we will discuss them with residents and the Town Council.

Geoff Sams said that one of the issues of concern to residents was the question of whether they would be given the option to move back to Lynch Close should they be moved out due to a refurbishment proposal.  He said this question had been asked at a previous meeting by his wife and the answer received had been that this may not be possible. Simon Hendey replied “we understand and respect that any change will be of concern to people and encourage people to speak to us because we know that people need to be reassured and would rather that they speak to us rather than think the worst.  We want to work with you because you will be a good touchstone for us to understand the quality and type of accommodation that you think will be popular in Mere and that is the reason that we want to work with you on that and not in terms of something that you would be moved into.  We can’t force you out of your home – that can’t happen.  We want your experience and knowledge to develop Fives Court and if you want to move there afterwards, that would be your choice whether it would be on a permanent or temporary basis.”  There was a discussion between Cllr. Hazzard and Simon Hendey on communication with residents & Cllr. Hazzard said that he would have liked the residents of Lynch Close to have been given these reassurances a year ago.  Simon Hendey closed by saying that if anyone has concerns, it would be really helpful if people are told to contact us directly and we will do our best to reassure them.

Cllr. Rod Coward asked if there was a commitment to develop Fives Court before anything happens at Lynch Close and Simon Hendey responded that yes there was.  Cllr. John Jordan asked whether accommodation was now the firm option for the future of Fives Court and Simon Hendey responded that Wiltshire Council, as the landowner, would made a decision as to what it would like to see on the site and, at the moment, the Council wanted to develop a scheme for affordable accommodation for older people on the site.  However, the planning authority will control what development takes place there.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford & The Chairman asked for clarification as to social housing or affordable accommodation for older people. It was confirmed that ‘Social Housing’ is an umbrella term and within that is ‘sheltered housing for the elderly’ as well as rented housing for families but the rents are controlled at below market level.  The Chairman said that this implied that in fact the bungalow part of Lynch Close may not therefore all be for elderly people, should it be redeveloped.

Cllr. Jeans asked for three issues to be considered/explained in the future: 1) any redevelopment in this location is likely to cause a long-term disturbance to Water Street and The Lynch and he asked for consideration about timing to be given.  2) Explain to residents what would happen if they flatly refused to move out of their homes in Lynch Close and 3) I know that commitment has been made to make every possible effort to accommodate residents locally in the Mere area if they have to temporarily leave Lynch Close.  Could you please clarify what you mean by Mere Area because I think that Mere residents will view this as being confined within the Mere parish boundary but the term ‘Mere Area’ in Wiltshire Council language means something completely different.

Finally, the Chairman thanked Simon Hendey and his team for coming out to Mere tonight to talk to the Town Council and representatives from the Lynch Close residents committee.  She said that the discussion had been very useful and encouraging.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

Various issues were raised during the public session that might need to be raised in the future:  The issue of Bramley House will be raised on the next agenda and also the highway problems associated with the development at the Old Nurseries at Burton as well as the problems with the junction from Manor Road out onto The Square.

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
  2. a) Wiltshire Towns Programme (Minute 198a) – The Clerk said that she was struggling with this matter although she did manage to fill out the form on empty properties but could not understand the obscure form on footfall. Jordan said that he had worked hard on the Action Plan but whoever designed the template made it impossible to use. He said he was quite happy to press on with it.  He explained that the purpose is to try and get some grant money to help increase footfall for our retail outlets in the centre of the town and there is a lot of focus on empty property which we haven’t got either.  Cllr. Jordan said that he had asked for an extension to the deadline for the receipt of the Action Plan as this had already passed and he said he thought it was nonsensical to ask people to do this during the summer holidays.
  3. b) Leases

Lease of Salisbury Street Car Park

Lease of Castle Street Car Park

Lease of Public Toilets in Salisbury Street Car Park

The Clerk said that since the last meeting, she had only had time to get her comments out on the Castle Street Car Park lease and had a couple of responses back from Cllr. Jordan and Cllr. Mrs. Symonds.  She said she would re fresh that to include those councillors’ comments for distribution along with the Clerks comments on the Salisbury Street Car Park and would encourage all members to come back with their comments on the leases so that the comprehensive document can be distributed again before the next meeting.  The Clerk said that the Public Toilets lease had been approved, the final document had been received and was waiting for the Chair & Vice-Chair to sign in the presence of an Official.

  1. c) Car Club – Grant Agreement and Leases for Mere Car Club – The Clerk explained that the grant agreement was between Wiltshire Council and the Car Club but the licence with Econetiq was for the Town Council and had been sent off to our solicitors for comment and the Clerk understood that there was some urgency on this. Jeans said that he was hoping that Wiltshire Council would agree to an extension on this because it was possible that the grant funding could be lost. Cllr. Jeans explained the purpose and reasoning behind these agreements to the new councillors.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Cllr. Jeans said that he thought it would be highly unlikely that the Highways Authority would allow a mirror to improve visibility at the Manor Road/Square junction and the only way you would get one is if it was paid for privately and put on private property but even then, it is possible that the Highway Authority could come along and remove it because, statistically, these mirrors have proved to cause more accidents than they prevent. However, he had asked for a white line for the middle of the road near the junction to help guide the traffic on the correct carriageway. He had also asked for the white line at the Gillingham Junction to be repainted as it is now non-existent and he had asked the Parish Steward to remove nettles that are growing out on the pavement along Shaftesbury Road.  With reference to parking issues at Bramley Hill, “I have had meetings with the police who don’t want to know but I am happy to volunteer to go and see the Bramley House management and the Town Council could request for parking restrictions (yellow lines) to be put in place along there.  Also, I am appalled to hear of the situation along the A303 in connection with the Old Nursery site but I don’t have any connection with Highways England although I think the Town Council should make representations to them as we could have a fatality.”  Coltham said he was happy to go along with Cllr. Jeans to Bramley House.

 

  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

The Chair confirmed that she had visited the site.  Cllr. Nick

Beale said that he was concerned as it seemed that every month or every other month, we received an application to convert an agricultural building into a house and it did seem to be becoming a bit of a farce.  Cllr. P. Coward said that whether we liked it or not, this planning regulation had been introduced to make use of redundant agricultural buildings.  Cllr. R. Coward said he was included to support the Class Q planning regulations if it helped to stop building on greenfield sites.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. C. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. J. Jordan and carried with a vote of 9 for, 1 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/2022/07196
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

 

 

The Chair confirmed that she had visited the site and agreed that it would require no groundwork and would not be very obtrusive in the landscape.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. A. Colman and carried with a majority vote (10 for).  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 

 

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

 

Cllr. Colman stated that the footpath in front of houses 1 and 2 does not meet standard footpath width requirements and from the plans it looks as though the footpath disappears on the corner of plot No. 2.  No provision has been allowed for a footpath in front of plots 4 & 5.  The bin collection area which is outside plot 3 would only accommodate 4 bins whereas a bin collection area for the site would need to accommodate 7 bins and 7 boxes.  The application says that there are 12 parking spaces within the development but for an application of 7 houses, there should be a minimum of 14 parking spaces.  Some of those parking spaces are back-to-back but they are not deep enough and would necessitate cars coming out onto the highway and also the width of the parking spaces at 2.4m does not allow to open car doors when there are three cars together or one against a wall. There is no parking provision for visitor parking and there should be 2 visitor parking spaces on the development.  Also, the width of the development road on the estate should be at least 6m wide and any new development should have EV charging points included.  He also felt that solar panels or ground source heat pumps should have been included in the development.  He said that he believed these proposals would constitute overdevelopment and the number of dwellings should be reduced from 7 to 5.  Cllr. N. Beale said that he thought that all new development should include renewable energy solutions & EV chargepoints etc.  Cllr. Debbie Beale said that the Town Council’s climate plan would require all new development to meet these targets.  Cllr. Hazzard said that whilst he is not a planning officer, he did feel that the owners could have opted for two very expensive houses on that site but instead they have proposed 7 houses which should be more affordable and may provide homes for younger and/or local people and this should be acknowledged.  Cllr. R. Coward said that he had no issue with the number of houses but felt that it was necessary to provide at least 2 parking spaces per house and that solar panels should be incorporated.  Cllr. Jeans also asked for provision for fibre broadband to be included and pointed out that he thought a retaining wall would need to be provided on the site and reminded members that there had been issues with retaining walls in other developments.  He also said that there may need to be a transport plan for the development works as a lot of excavated materials will need to be moved from the site and if planning enhancements are offered, then we could suggest that the footpath from Pettridge Lane to Angel Lane could be improved.  Cllr. Jordan said that he was happy to see houses that may seem to be more affordable but felt that there might be one too many houses on the site and if there were just 1 house where plots 1 and 2 were shown, then the development would have a better feel.

Mr. Dicon Carpendale from Brimble Lea was invited to respond to these points:  He apologised and said he was not sure what had happened with the pavement around Plot 2 but was fairly sure that this would be revised and he agreed that the bin collection area close to the road should be made larger.  He said that there were actually 14 parking spaces within the development but pointed out that a lot of other issues raised by Town Council members related to highways and that the Highways Authority had not yet submitted their consultation response.  He thought that the intention was for the inner part of the site to be more of a shared surface space rather than an adopted road but they would need to see what the highway authority said about whether or not it was up to adoptable standards.  Mr. Carpendale felt that all the suggestions about EC charge points, solar panels etc were valid ones and he finished by saying that in view of the feedback he had received from the planning authority on various matters that there was likely to be further revisions.  On proposal put forward by Cllr. N. Beale, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a vote of 10 for and 1 abstention it was RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above planning application with the following conditions and points of note.

Conditions:

Climate Strategy – Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy states that new development should be built to net zero carbon standards as soon as possible.  The Town Council would like this development to include solar PV or solar thermal panelling, Electric Vehicle charging points for each property and fibre broadband installed for each property.

Parking Standards – the Town Council would request a condition to ensure that this development meets Wiltshire Council’s Parking Standards and includes visitor parking provision.  Furthermore, pavements should include dropped kerbs to allow for wheelchair access.

 

Points of note:

  • Bin collection area as proposed seems inadequate
  • Pavement area around Plot 2 is too close to the corner of the proposed building and it would be necessary to get off the pavement and back on again to get to the rear of the plot.
  • Transport plan for the development would be necessary as construction works will require removal of a lot of demolished and excavated material and delivery of construction materials throughout and access to Pettridge Lane is difficult with pinch points and no pavements around Edgebridge & Clements Lane.
  • If a planning enhancement is sought, then the footpath from Pettridge Lane to Angel Lane (adjacent to this site) is in need of improvement.
  • Retaining wall

(In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.)

 

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

 

Cllr. Jordan said that he had visited the site and noted that a neighbour had commented on the possibility of future windows.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, 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/2022/06854
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

 

 

The Clerk read out that in the planning statement it correctly stated that planning permission has been granted for the construction of a dwelling under ref: 21/01202/FUL (decision date 16.6.21) and it says: “taking the project forward, two factors have been considered: first is in relation to the dwelling and in the approved position it takes the location of possible outside hay/store storage or further building and therefore the position for which permission is now sought replaces dilapidated redundant sheds and is in a better position.  The second issue that has come to light is in relation to potential employees and the accommodation should suit a family unit rather than a student.” 

The application is stating the need for the agricultural dwelling as necessary to employ a herdsman specific for the Dews Pasture site of the farm which is exactly the same as the reason or the agricultural dwelling in the statement for 22/01202/FULL.  However, the site for 21/01202/FUL is currently for sale on Rightmove albeit with an agricultural tie.  The Clerk said that this was confusing and expressed concern that approval of this planning application could provide with two properties for sale and not one of them providing a dwelling for a herdsman specific for the Dews Pasture site of the farm.

It was pointed out that sales information is not a planning consideration although members felt that point should be mentioned to the planning officer as an informative.  ON proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a vote of 8 for and 3 abstentions, it was RESOLVED to approve the planning application with the following conditions:

  • As this is a planning application revision and is, in effect, replacing a previously approved planning application that, as far as we are aware, has not yet been started but is still valid then any approval of this revision should be subject to a condition which revokes the previously approved planning permission (approved 16.6.2021).
  • Any planning approval should be conditioned with an agricultural tie and should be tied to the farm known as Down View Farm so as it cannot be sold off separately.

 

Informative:

At the time of the Town Council meeting held on 3.10.22 the property that was subject to the 2021 planning permission was advertised for sale on rightmove.co.uk

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/127278407#/?channel=COM_BUY

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports. – Cllr. Jordan said that it was raised earlier, but just to reiterate that the path from Pettridge Lane to Angel Lane is a state and is always in a mess. The hedge belongs to Wiltshire Council and needs cutting back. Hazzard raised the issue of faded double-yellow lines in The Square and outside the Lecture Hall but it was pointed out that this has been reported on the MyWilts reporting page recently.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale reported that the residents of Burton have collectively paid for a new surface on the road alongside the river which is an unadopted highway but this has served to improve the footpath also.

 

  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) – Revisions to the schedule of payments were pointed out and the Clerk said that the arrival of the tractor had been delayed and that payment would not be made until delivery of the tractor was imminent. RESOLVED to authorise payments as itemised in revised schedule of payments on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.

  1. b) To approve and sign off bank reconciliation – the Chairman checked the bank reconciliation against bank statements and signed in the presence of the Council.
  2. c) Quotations for Internal Audit Service – the Clerk explained that she had received two quotations for providing an internal audit service but had been unable to secure a third quotation. However, as the year was progressing the Clerk was anxious to appoint an internal auditor for 2022/23 without further delay. The Council asked for details of the two quotations which were:
    • Bridget C. Bowen – £680 for 2022/23 based on a one mid-year review and a year-end review or for three years 2022-23 to 2024-25 based on one mid-year review and a year-end review each year

2022-23 – £650

2023-24 – £680

2024-25 – £715

Additional work, if required and pre-authorised by the Council, would be charged at £65 per hour

  • Local Council Consultancy – £535 + VAT to include an interim and year-end review comprising of one or two on-site visits together with one or more virtual meetings. The internal audit work would be provided by Kate Houlihan who was a CiLCA qualified clerk with 20 years’ experience.

The Town Clerk was asked if she had a preference to which she replied ‘no’.  RESOLVED to ask the Local Council Consultancy to provide the Town Council with an internal audit service for 2022/23 on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Debbie Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

*d) To adopt Dispensation Procedure Guide (Draft attached)RESOLVED to adopt the guide on the condition that it is the Town Council and not the Clerk that makes the dispensation decisions.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. e) To set date, venue, membership of Annual Budget Meeting – it was agreed that the Annual Budget Meting would be held on Wednesday, 23rd November at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor and that the following councillors would be invited to attend: Nick Beale, Aubrey Colman, Rachael Hansford, Philip Coward, Clive Hazzard, George Jeans & John Jordan. The Chairman & Vice-Chairman would attend ex-officio and the Vice-Chairman would Chair the meeting.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Report to the council on Mere Carnival 2022 – Cllr. John Jordan said he was very embarrassed because he had failed to thank the Hill Brush Company for their support in his written report and so he wanted to address that omission now as Hill Brush has always been very supportive of Mere Carnival. The Carnival raised £900 in donations on the night and had 31 entries with 3 floats. The Hot Rock Carnival Club stopped and played the National Anthem in The Square which was much appreciated.  The Golden Ticket of £1000 was won by someone local.  Jordan reported that it cost the Carnival Committee £2,900 to produce the Carnival.  He thanked the Town Council for their support and said he was looking forward to next year’s carnival.
  3. b) The Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative – The Clerk reported that following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, and the wishes of His Majesty The King, The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative will be extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty. The Clerk reminded members that this had been discussed before and that the Town Council had acknowledged that they had nowhere suitable to plant trees but had, instead, communicated with the Duchy of Cornwall, who were planting plenty of trees in Mere. However, the Clerk was also aware that a resident of Mere had offered a small number of oak trees 18” high to anyone that wanted to plant one and the Clerk wondered whether the Town Council might like to plant one in the bottom of the cemetery as a memorial to Her Majesty the Queen.  It was unanimously agreed that one of these oak trees should be accepted and planted in the bottom of the cemetery but that a plaque should be ordered at a later date, once the tree had become established.

 

  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 – Cllr. Jordan said that he would attend the Area Board meeting on 5th
  5. d) Seeds4Success AGM on Saturday, 8th October at 5.30pm at Zeals Green Pastures – Cllr. Sandra Catley said that she would attend this meeting.

 

  1. Future agenda items
  • None

 

All members and Clerk introduced themselves to new councillors.

 

 

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 9.09 pm

 

 

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND

Registered Charity No. 1093497

 

For Trustees to consider the following:

 

RESOLVED to approve the following payment on proposal made by Philip Coward, seconded by Debbie Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

Water2Business          (supply to old cricket square -standing charge only)                         £16.41

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

 

 

 

 

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