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Author: Lindsey Wood

Agenda for Annual Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 15th May 2023

 

 

You are summoned to the ANNUAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 15th May 2023 at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere.  BA12 6EW 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. To elect Chairman of Mere Town Council for 2023/24 and to receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office

 

  1. To elect Vice-Chairman of Mere Town Council for 2023/24 and to receive the Vice-Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

  1. 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.

4.1.  To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda

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

4.3.  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 April 2023 be approved as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Sergeant Matthew Roberts from Wiltshire Police to talk about local policing issues.

 

*7.  To review and adopt the Standing Orders & Financial Regulations for Mere Town Council (distributed)

 

  1. Internal Audit

To appoint/re-appoint an Internal Auditor

 

  1. To review Committee Structures and appointment of any committees in accordance with standing order 4 and, if appointing committees, to consider terms of reference etc.

 

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

 

  1. To appoint members, including the Chairman, to serve on the Staffing Panel

 

  1. To appoint members, including the Chairman, to serve on the Appeals Committee

 

  1. To appoint/re-appoint Trustees for Forest Charities

 

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

 

Organisation 2022/23 Representative 2023/24 Representative
Youth Club, Seeds4Success, CAYPIG (Community Area Young People) Cllrs. Hazzard, L. Bennett & R. Coward.
Cricket Club Cllr. Ings
Health & Community Care Cllr. Hill
Tennis Club Cllr. Jeans
Football Club Cllr. Bennett
Public Transport & CATG Cllr. Debbie Beale
Mere & District Linkscheme Mrs. Adrienne Howell
Museum Committee Cllr. Jeans
Footpaths & Rights of Way Cllr. Jordan
Chamber of Trade Chairman & Cllr. Colman
Friends of Mere Museum Cllr. Jordan
School Governor Cllr. Hansford
Mere Bowling Club Cllr. Ings
Carnival Committee Cllr. Jordan & Cllr. Nick Beale
Area Board & CATG Chairman & Vice-Chairman
Mere Film Shows Mrs. Rosie Jordan-Barr
Rivers Group Cllr. R. Coward, Cllr. Debbie Beale & Cllr. Symonds
Mere Parochial Church Council Cllr. Traves
Trustees for Mere Forest Charity Cllrs. R. Coward, E. Mitchell, G. Jeans + Mrs. Anne Rich

 

*15.  Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, staff and other local authorities; (Scheme of Delegation attached)

 

  1. To review the Council’s banking and signatory arrangements and mandate for direct debits.

 

*17.  To review the Council’s asset register (asset register summary attached)

 

*18.  Confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insurable risks (renewal insurance schedule attached)

 

  1. To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council and Committees for the ensuing year.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings

*a) Minute Ref: 286a) Lease/Licence for Car Club

*c)  Lynch Close Sheltered Housing Review – Newsletter May 2023 (attached) & correspondence

 

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

*b) Report from Project Co-Ordinator (reports [2] attached).

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2023/02665
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Installation of solar panels on roof of garage within the grounds of Prospect House.
Site Address: PROSPECT HOUSE, SHAFTESBURY ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6BN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AZ1r4

 

Application No: PL/2023/02925
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Loft conversion with Velux roof lights
Site Address: 4A Underdown Mead, Mere, BA12 6EQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AZe3c

 

Application No: PL/2023/02919
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Install solar panel array on south roof of south aisle
Site Address: St Michael The Archangel Church, Church Street, Mere, BA12 6DS
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AZdz6

 

Application No: PL/2023/03190
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: DEMOLISH EXISTING LEAN-TO & CONSTRUCT NEW SINGLE STOREY EXTENSION
Site Address: Chapel House, North Street, Mere, BA12 6HH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AaDqZ

 

Application No: PL/2023/02755
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Retention of glazed single storey extension.
Site Address: Walnut Tree Inn, Shaftesbury Road, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6BH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AZFZV

 

Application No: PL/2023/03410
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: Beech tree – remove 3 limbs back to main stem and reduce 2 smaller limbs to clear building by 3m
Site Address: HARTFIELD, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AaeAF
 

 

  1. b) Planning Appeal Notification – PL/2022/06387 – Breaches Barn, Barrow Street, Mere, Warminster – APP/Y3940/W/23/3319335
  2. c) Report on Strategic Planning Committee meeting held for planning application 20/07643/FUL – Full Planning Permission Address: Land at Jane Oaks Farm, Mere, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 6LH Proposal: Change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for 4 gypsy families. Laying of hardstanding, access improvements and erection of two amenity buildings.

*d) DLUHC Consultation On Infrastructure Levy – Final NALC Request To Circulate Briefing To Member Councils, (consultation document attached)

*e) NALC response to the government’s consultation on permitted development rights (response attached – for information)

 

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

*b) Traffic Management in Mere – response from Traffic Engineer

 

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

*a)  Review of football provision and facilities in view of proposals to change football fixtures for Mere Town Football Club

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To confirm approval for S.137 payments for 2023/24 financial year (as listed in payment schedule)

*c)  To consider quotation for insurance renewal.

*d) To review and approve end of year Budget/Expenditure Report including revisions to reserves and to discuss debtors/creditors and End of Year Summaries (report attached)

*e) Wiltshire Towns Programme – funding for 2023/24

  1. f) Actions from Interim Internal Audit Report
  2. i) Specialist advice on requirement for VAT Registration – deferred.

 

  1. General Items & Consultations/Briefing Notes
  2. a) The Tower Stories – Heritage Lottery Bid.
  3. b) Briefing Note 23-10: Guidance for Neighbourhood Planning within Wiltshire

 

  1. Future meetings and events

Ask the Leader of the Council event in Salisbury 17th May 2023

 

  1. Future agenda items

 

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

 

*Further information on these items enclosed/attached

 

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND

Registered Charity No. 1093497

 

For Trustees:

  1. To receive report on end of year accounts and approve end of year accounts (summary is included in Budget/Expenditure Report)
  2. To approve payments to:

Mere Town Council  – Maintenance charges for 2022/23                  £????????????

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 3rd April 2023

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 3rd April 2023 at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW. 

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chairman), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chairman), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Philip Coward, George Jeans, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Glen Ings, John Jordan & Linden Stone

Also Present:  Mr. & Mrs. Clowser, David Drewett, Colin Senneck

Public Participation Session

Mr. Clowser spoke in support of the 30mph speed limit along Shaftesbury Road and said that he had the written backing of a number of residents who are prepared to contribute financially towards the scheme but would pledge to personally underwrite the difference between the £1000 that the Town Council is willing to contribute towards the scheme and the final costs.  He also said that, in the event that Wiltshire Council may not be prepared to accept the money from local residents, he would be prepared to pay the money to the Town Council so that their contribution does not exceed £1000 and I have confirmed this in writing to the Town Clerk.

Mr. Drewett spoke in support of the agenda item for the replacement of 3 street name signs, namely the Wet Lane sign, Clements Lane and The Pound.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she thought The Pound sign had recently been replaced again, although this time it was positioned higher on the wall so that it could not get stolen.  Cllr. Jeans confirmed that a resident had paid for this sign privately.

Colin Senneck spoke in support of his request to use the old swimming pool site for pétanque – He said that he had recently moved to the area but found there to be a lack of Boules or Pétanque and although  Gillingham has spent a lot of money on putting an international sized piste in the Town Meadow, he had found it to be unsatisfactory with no-one there. He therefore wanted to utilise the old Mere Swimming Pool site at Duchy Manor to offer Pétanque and encourage people to come along and play.  Cllr. Jeans said that the understood there was a Croquet & Boules Club in Mere in North Road.  Mr. Senneck said he had been in contact with them and they have told him that the interest in Boules died out with the pandemic but Mr. Senneck thought that their piste was unsatisfactory and not in a good position.  The old swimming pool site is in a far better position and within the sports complex.

Cllr. Jordan wanted to thank the 13 litter pickers who joined him yesterday to pick litter around the town.  He also said that he had been approached by some people from Devon who complimented Mere on how neat and tidy it was and how wonderful the cemetery was and they said that Mere was much tidier than Devon.

 

Apologies for absence received from Councillors A. Colman, R. Coward & R. Hill

 

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

 

  • Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in planning application PL/2023/02228 and also in Minute No. 241a) and a personal interest in Minute Ref: 286b) as his son lives along Shaftesbury Road.

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 6th March 2023 as a correct record with an amendment to Minute Ref; 279b) – as highlighted and RESOLVED to approve Minutes of working group meeting held to review & assess the effectiveness of Internal Control Measures held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

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

*a) Minute Ref: 276 b) Lease/Licence for Car Club – report from solicitors – Cllr. Jordan made some comments about the fact that the solicitor had pointed out that the licence agreement did not concur with the conditions of the main lease and that permission had to be received from Wiltshire Council to amend the terms of the main lease and he also noted that if for any reason we have to terminate the agreement, we have to pay Econetiq despite the fact that they will be making money out of our car park. Cllr. Rachael Hansford asked what the termination payments would be and Cllr. Jordan said that it was on a sliding scale and the figure depreciates over years and pointed out that the solicitor had said that we needed to take this into consideration.  Cllr. Philip Coward said he thought it was reasonable to find out what these costs would be before we signed the agreement.  Members were happy for the Clerk to proceed on the basis of all the queries that had been raised by our solicitor.

*b) Minute Ref: 279 b) LHFIG Issue No: 14-21-10 Mere TC Request for speed limit assessment along Shaftesbury Road – update from residents on contributions – the Clerk informed members that she had received written confirmation from the residents that they would provide a financial contribution towards the cost of providing the 30mph speed limit, with gateways, at anything over and above the £1000 contribution that the Town Council had agreed to make towards this scheme.  Therefore, the Clerk assumed that the Council was happy to go back to Wiltshire Council asking them to proceed in accordance with the decision that was made last month and members concurred.  (Having declared a personal interest, Cllr. Jeans abstained from discussion or voting.)

*c) Minute Ref: 268 b) Extension of Environmental Higher Level Stewardship Scheme for Castle Hill & Long Hill – members noted the information in the Clerks Report.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Jeans asked for help erecting flags and bunting. Cllr. Jordan said he hoped that the new Highways Maintenance contractors would do a better job than the previous ones and Cllr. Jeans said that he thought that they could only do what they were asked to do by Wiltshire Council.

*b)  Notification of Revision to boundary of  Asset of Community Value – The Butt of Sherry Public House

 Application No: ACV/2020/00011
Site Location: The Butt of Sherry Public House, Castle Street, Mere, Warminster, Wiltshire. BA12 6JE
Proposal: Nomination of The Butt of Sherry Public House, Castle Street, Mere as an Asset of Community Value

They have changed the registry for the land and split off the property at the rear so it is outside the ACV.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she couldn’t understand how this could be done without consultation.  Cllr. P. Coward asked what was to stop them separating another bit.  The Clerk said that as it was the Town Council that asked for the ACV to be imposed then she thought the Town Council should have been consulted.  It was agreed to write to the officer to ask for clarification as to how this has happened without consultation.

*c) Report from Project Co-Ordinator (report attached) – Members were very pleased about the grants and Cllr. Jeans asked for the Council’s thanks to be recorded to Roger for the work he has done to achieve this.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:
Application No: PL/2022/08967
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Addition of a single storey extension to the east side of the existing property for the purposes of disabled access. A window in the existing kitchen will be replaced by a door. The extension will be fitted with 900 mm doors and a ramp with a gradient of approximately 1:20. A toilet with disabled access will be included. The extension will be clad in sustainable, ethically sourced Douglas Fir.
Site Address: BAYCROFT, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EX
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ABsD

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Symonds, 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/2023/02228
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: Fir tree – 25% height reduction
Site Address: MERE COTTAGE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HB
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AYJt1

Having declared an interest, Cllr. Jeans left the room whilst this matter was discussed.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on prop0osal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. N. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. b) RE: PL/2022/08186 – Extension to existing Gypsy and Traveller site with 10 additional pitches, each pitch to consist of 1 Mobile Home, 1 Touring caravan and parking at Mapperton Hill, Mere.

To inform members of additional information (Access & Visibility Appraisal) submitted by applicant – please see link to planning register: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YxTAAU/pl202208186?tabset-8903c=2 The Clerk confirmed that since the Town Council submitted its consultation response, the applicants had commissioned a highway consultant to submit an Access & Visibility Appraisal because the planning officer had raised concerns with them about the highway issues.  The Clerk therefore wondered if the Town Council wanted to review its consultation response in view of this additional information.  RESOLVED to reiterate the Town Council’s previous response highlighting the highway concerns which are still valid.   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 – it was generally felt that the Parish Steward should be asked to fill potholes – Ivymead, Hazzards Hill & the footpath outside the Mere Social Club were mentioned as having particularly bad potholes.

*b) Highways Maintenance Schedule 2023 – 2030 – With reference to the information that had been distributed prior to the meeting, Cllr. Jordan said that it would appear that the only bit of road to be surfaced is a little bit of road that leads to one residence which was originally tarmacked by mistake.  Cllr. Jeans said that he did argue for more resurfacing to be carried out on the road to West Knoyle at a recent area board meeting and he would continue to urge the cabinet member to consider this road along with Pettridge Lane and Shaftesbury Road to be included within the programme.

  1. c) Notice of Temporary Closure of: Footpath 60, Mere (30.05.2023) – Noted
  2. d) Notice of Temporary Closure of Water Street (Part), Mere (30.5.23 – 2.6.23) – Noted
  3. e) Highway Improvement Request Form – 3 replacement street name plates for submission to LHFIG – The Clerk said that she had spoken to Paul Shaddock who administrates the LHFIG who had sent some costs and confirmed different costs for these signs depending on whether we wanted plastic or metal signs. RESOLVED to purchase the two metal signs (Wet Lane & Clements Lane) via LHFIG on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote. It was further agreed that the Clerk would investigate the costs to provide name signs for Copenhagen Lane, Clewes Lane and Pennybank

*f) Report on Mere Rivers Group meeting held on Thursday, 16th March – Members noted the report written by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, as published in the Clerks Report.  Cllr. P. Coward said he attended the meeting and thought it was a good meeting and was very pleased at the work that Wessex Water are going to do in Mere.  It was agreed that the Town Council should send a thank you to Ian Sheppard who has worked extremely hard to get this action.

 

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

*a) Request to use old swimming pool site for pétanque – Cllr. Jeans asked about liability issues and the Clerk confirmed that other established sports groups set up their own insurance or insurance is provided by affiliation.  However, as this was not established, it may be possible to provide a risk assessment and apply the Town Council’s insurance for a temporary period if the Town Council’s insurers agreed.  Cllr. Hazzard said that whilst he was very happy to support this, he felt that the Town Council should set a time limit for a trial period.  Mr. Senneck said he would know by the end of the summer whether or not there was enough interest in Mere to set up a Petanque Club.  It was agreed that Mr. Senneck be given a trial period until the end of the summer (September) to use the old swimming pool site for Petanque and in the meantime the Clerk would investigate the insurance issue and liaise with Mr. Senneck over risk assessments etc.  Proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with a unanimous vote.

*b) Public Toilets – to consider permanent closure of public toilets during the night in view of the level of vandalism that has occurred in recent months.  With reference to the information in the Clerks Report, Cllr. P. Coward proposed that the public toilets should be closed for the foreseeable future but this will be reviewed either when they are refurbished or in the event of the Town Council providing CCTV in the car park.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with 7 in favour, 2 abstentions and 1 against.  Cllr. Jeans asked if the Disabled toilet was still accessible with a radar key at night and the Clerk explained that the radar key accessibility had been stopped at the beginning of the COVID pandemic and that the disabled toilets were now available for everyone to use during the daytime but as, they too, had been subject to vandalism, they were now locked at night time.  Cllr. Jeans asked for this matter to be raised at the next meeting.

*c) Yew Trees in Cemetery – members noted the information in the Clerks Report and agreed that there was nothing that could be done until we get the findings back from Forest Research.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a)  Payments – RESOLVED to authorise payments as shown in the schedule of payments distributed prior to the meeting.  Having declared a pecuniary interest in this agenda item, Cllr. Jeans left the room whilst the matter was discussed.

*b) Review & assess the effectiveness of Internal Control Measures – RESOLVED to adopt recommendations of working group as outlined in Minutes of Working group meeting held to review & assess the effectiveness of Internal Control Measures held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 (attached) and the Chairman signed the Statement of Internal Control 2023 (attached)

*c) Actions from Interim Internal Audit Report

  1. ii) Specialist advice on requirement for VAT Registration – deferred.
  2. d)Mowers – Quotations to purchase one or two new ride-on mowers. (This is a different mower/price to that which was discussed last month) – the grounds staff had been to the local Stiga stockists and liked the Pro-Park mower and the fact that they could have two of these mowers for a little more money than they could have one Husqvarna ride-on mower which had been agreed last month.  Hazzard pointed out that buying two of these machines would save time and money on maintenance and repairs but also suggested that the grounds staff should ensure that they use one machine more than the other one so that we can try and establish a rolling programme for replacement and not be in the situation that we have to replace two mowers at the same time again.  Cllr. Hazzard pointed out that three quotations had been received and the local stockist at Castle Cary had proved to be the cheapest.  RESOLVED to purchase the two Stiga Pro-Park machines on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a majority vote in favour.  (Cllr. Mrs. Beale voted against the proposal).

*e) To report on Allotment rent audit – noted.

*f) 2021/22 Annual Governance & Accountability Return external auditor instructions – members noted the information in the Clerks Report.

*g) CCTV – report on meeting with officer from Warminster Town Council relating to CCTV – deferred as it was too late to discuss properly – Cllr. Mrs. Catley said she didn’t think you would get very many convictions from the CCTV and that it would be an expensive way of giving intelligence to the police but may not lead to convictions.  Cllr. Jeans said that people should not have to tolerate this kind of behaviour and we should not be in a position where we have to spend 20 minutes reporting every crime and it is no wonder that only 1 in 8 reports get reported.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that there is a responsibility on all residents to report all crimes and incidents of anti-social behaviour.  Cllr. Jordan asked if we could repeat this conversation in front of a police representative if we get one coming along to a future meeting.  The Clerk said that for the amount of money that this CCTV system could cost us, it might be possible to employ our own security guard.  It was agreed not to pursue the Warminster Town Council project.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) National Emergency Alerts System & Toolkit this link – noted.

*b)  Briefing Note 23-06 – Wiltshire School Places Strategy 2023-2027 (Briefing Note attached)

*c) Briefing Note No. 23-08 – Reforms to National Planning Policy

*d) Briefing Note 23-07 Government Energy Support Schemes-Update

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Kings Coronation – events and preparations (Church Service, Bunting, North Road Allotments Big Lunch)

*b) Annual Town Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 26th April 2023 at the Mere URC– agenda items – Cllr. Mrs. Hansford suggested that ‘The Future of Public Toilets’ go on the agenda.

  1. c) NALC online event – Fighting Climate Change with Local Council Action – 24th May 2023 12:00 – 13.15 – registration cost for NALC members is from £39.22
  2. d) Great Big Green Week – see: https://greatbiggreenweek.com/

 

  1. Future agenda items

NB – Please note that the next Town Council meeting will be the Annual Town Council meeting and will be held on 15th May 2022

 

*Further information on these items enclosed/attached                  Meeting closed at 8.50 pm

 

 

MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND

Registered Charity No. 1093497

 

The following payments were approved:

Payments:

Wiltshire Council (National Non-Domestic Rates for Recreation Ground)                                     0.00

Water2Business (standing charge only for water supply to old cricket pavilion)                     £14.92

Minutes of a meeting of a working group of Mere Town Council held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 to review and assess the effectiveness of internal control measures

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

 

 

 

Minutes of a working group meeting held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 at 2.00 pm at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere.  BA12 6EW

 

Purpose of the meeting: To review and assess the effectiveness of internal control measures:

 

In attendance – Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chairman) + Cllr. Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chairman) + Lindsey Wood (Town Clerk).

 

Apologies for absence received from Cllr. Aubrey Colman.

 

Two draft documents had been presented to working group members prior to the meeting:

 

  • Statement of Internal Controls
  • schedule for Internal Control Measures

 

One or two minor amendments were made to the Statement of Internal Controls and members were happy to present these to the Council for adoption and signature.

 

Members recommended that the Town Council should confirm that it had made proper arrangements and accepted responsibility for safeguarding the public money and resources in its charge.  Members recommended that the Council should agree that they had considered and documented the financial and other risks the Council faces and dealt with them properly.  These assertions would enable the Town Council to agree ‘yes’ to assertions 2 and 5 in the Annual Governance & Accountability Report for the year ending 31.3.2023.

 

 

 

 

Agenda for Mere Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 3rd April 2023

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

Phone: 01747 860701

e-mail: lindseywood@merewilts.org

www.merewilts.org

29th March 2023

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 3rd April 2023 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 6th March 2023 as a correct record. (attached) For working group to approve Minutes of working group meeting held to review & assess the effectiveness of Internal Control Measures held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

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

*a) Minute Ref: 276 b) Lease/Licence for Car Club – report from solicitors

*b) Minute Ref: 279 b)  LHFIG Issue No: 14-21-10 Mere TC Request for speed limit assessment along Shaftesbury Road – update from residents on contributions.

*c) Minute Ref: 268 b) Extension of Environmental Higher Level Stewardship Scheme for Castle Hill & Long Hill

 

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

*b)  Notification of Revision to boundary of  Asset of Community Value – The Butt of Sherry Public House

 Application No: ACV/2020/00011
Site Location: The Butt of Sherry Public House, Castle Street, Mere, Warminster, Wiltshire. BA12 6JE
Proposal: Nomination of The Butt of Sherry Public House, Castle Street, Mere as an Asset of Community Value

*c) Report from Project Co-Ordinator (report attached)

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:
Application No: PL/2022/08967
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Addition of a single storey extension to the east side of the existing property for the purposes of disabled access. A window in the existing kitchen will be replaced by a door. The extension will be fitted with 900 mm doors and a ramp with a gradient of approximately 1:20. A toilet with disabled access will be included. The extension will be clad in sustainable, ethically sourced Douglas Fir.
Site Address: BAYCROFT, WHITE ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6EX
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ABsD

 

Application No: PL/2023/02228
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: Fir tree – 25% height reduction
Site Address: MERE COTTAGE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HB
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AYJt1

 

 

  1. b) RE: PL/2022/08186 – Extension to existing Gypsy and Traveller site with 10 additional pitches, each pitch to consist of 1 Mobile Home, 1 Touring caravan and parking at Mapperton Hill, Mere.

To inform members of additional information (Access & Visibility Appraisal) submitted by applicant – please see link to planning register: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z0000198YxTAAU/pl202208186?tabset-8903c=2

 

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

*b) Highways Maintenance Schedule 2023 – 2030

  1. c) Notice of Temporary Closure of: Footpath 60, Mere (30.05.2023)
  2. d) Notice of Temporary Closure of Water Street (Part), Mere (30.5.23 – 2.6.23)
  3. e) Highway Improvement Request Form – 3 replacement street name plates for submission to LHFIG

*f) Report on Mere Rivers Group meeting held on Thursday, 16th March

 

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

*a) Request to use old swimming pool site for pétanque

*b) Public Toilets – to consider permanent closure of public toilets during the night in view of the level of vandalism that has occurred in recent months.

*c) Yew Trees in Cemetery

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

*b) To adopt recommendations of working group as outlined in Minutes of Working group meeting held to review & assess the effectiveness of Internal Control Measures held on Thursday, 23rd March 2023 (attached) and to approve and sign the Statement of Internal Control 2023 (attached).

*c) Actions from Interim Internal Audit Report

  1. ii) Specialist advice on requirement for VAT Registration
  2. d)Mowers – Quotations to purchase one or two new ride-on mowers. (This is a different mower/price to that which was discussed last month).

*e) To report on Allotment rent audit

*f) 2021/22 Annual Governance & Accountability Return external auditor instructions

*g) CCTV – report on meeting with officer from Warminster Town Council relating to CCTV – deferred as it was too late to discuss properly

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) National Emergency Alerts System & Toolkit this link.

*b)  Briefing Note 23-06 – Wiltshire School Places Strategy 2023-2027 (Briefing Note attached)

*c) Briefing Note No. 23-08 – Reforms to National Planning Policy

*d) Briefing Note 23-07 Government Energy Support Schemes-Update

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Kings Coronation – events and preparations (Church Service, Bunting, North Road Allotments Big Lunch)

*b) Annual Town Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 26th April 2023 at the Mere URC– agenda items

  1. c) NALC online event – Fighting Climate Change with Local Council Action – 24th May 2023 12:00 – 13.15 – registration cost for NALC members is from £39.22
  2. d) Great Big Green Week – see: https://greatbiggreenweek.com/

 

  1. Future agenda items

NB – Please note that the next Town Council meeting will be the Annual Town Council meeting and will be held on 15th May 2022

 

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:

 

 

Payments:

Wiltshire Council (National Non-Domestic Rates for Recreation Ground)                                     0.00

Water2Business (standing charge only for water supply to old cricket pavilion)                     £14.92

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 6th March 2023

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 6th March 2023 at 7.00 pm in the Andy Young Pavilion, Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chairman), Mrs. Kate Symonds (Vice-Chairman), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, George Jeans, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, John Jordan.

Also Present:  Mr. & Mrs. Clowser, David Drewett,

 Public Participation Session

Mr. Clowser said he was pleased that Wiltshire Council’s consultants had recommended changes for the speed limit along Shaftesbury Road from 40 mph to 30 mph and said that at the last Town Council meeting he had attended, the Council had voted by a majority of only 1 vote to commit £600 to the assessment.  Mr. Clowser said he was hoping that the Council would agree to fund its contribution to the works but rather than lose the vote this time, the residents would be prepared to pay the Town Councils’ contribution or make the equivalent donation to Town Council funds.  He suggested that perhaps the Town Council could have two votes – one on whether to approve the works with Town Council funding and a second vote on whether to approve the works with third party funding?

 

Mr. David Drewett spoke about near-miss traffic accidents and visibility problems associated with the roundabout on the Shaftesbury Road/Walnut Road junction. He said he was in favour a 30mph but didn’t think it was going to be enforced and therefore an alternative form of speed restriction such as a build-out where the pavement is built out slightly to form a chicane on each side of the road.

 

Mr. Drewett also spoke about the footpath Mere 60/50 from Lordsmead into town and questioned whether it would get used at night if it was illuminated.  He felt that safety in crossing the road at Edgebridge could be improved by removing the overgrowth which is blocking the view between pedestrians and traffic coming down the road and he had logged this with MyWilts and hoped that Wiltshire Council would take some action.

 

Cllr. Jeans responded by saying that he and the Town Council had never wanted the mini- roundabout at the Walnut Road/Shaftesbury Road junction and said that the alternative of a T-junction did not receive much support locally either and so he had wondered if the roundabout could be rounded off and raised into a hump that vehicles could not drive over.  He said that he could only suggest that this is raised as a future agenda item as a potential Highway Improvement Request.  Enforcing speed limits is a police matter and there is more funding available for speed enforcement as there is now a dedicated team dealing with it although, obviously, they have a very wide area to cover.  A build-out, like that which has been installed in Zeals, is very expensive – something like £40k – and a project of that cost would need to be submitted as a substantive highway scheme.  Regarding illuminating the footpath from Lordsmead to Angel Lane, Cllr. Jeans said that whilst he realised that some ladies will not want to walk the footpath on their own even if it is illuminated, he feels that that if it has no lighting then it will not get used at all.  He is not advocating that we ruin our dark sky status, but would like to see some low-level lighting so that the use of the footpath could be increased.   Cllr. Jeans said that he would see if he could get some action on the overgrowth along Edgebridge to improve visibility.

 

Clive Hazzard asked what was happening about the repainting of the yellow lines outside the Lecture Hall.  Cllr. Jeans said that he fully agreed that this needed doing as well as the white lines on the Gillingham corner junction but we have been told is that they will only come out when they are doing some more painting in the area.

 

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. A. Colman and L. Stone.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • Hill declared an interest in Planning App PL/2023/00771
  • Jeans declared a personal interest in Planning Application PL/2023/00771 & a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 281a) [Finance]

 

  1. Minutes – RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 6th February 2023 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 6.2.23. RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Staffing Panel meeting held on Thursday, 16th February 2023 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 16.2.23.

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

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

*a) Minute Ref: 264a) Wiltshire Towns Programme – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, members agreed that the grant agreement document should be signed by the Chairman & Vice-Chairman and gave approval to sign it electronically.

*b) Minute Ref: 264b) Lease/Licence for Car Club – Members noted the information in the Clerks Report.  The Clerk said that the quotation from the solicitors to advise on and deal with the legal documents would cost £500 and the Clerk needed confirmation that the Town Council was happy to proceed with this.  RESOLVED to proceed on the basis suggested on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. c) Minute Ref: 252b) Lease for Salisbury Street Car Park – Correspondence was received back from our solicitors dated 28th February which the Clerk conveyed to members:
  • Wiltshire Council have agreed to the 6-month break clause relating to the possible expansion of the Doctors Surgery which was our compromise after they refused to take it out.
  • The Clerk has received details of all the conveyances on the rights of way that she had identified.
  • Wiltshire Council are issuing a new plan with T-marks to show which boundaries we will be responsible for (not yet received).
  • Wiltshire Council confirmed that Town Council will be responsible for all street lights within the red line of the plan which includes the ones on Dark Lane.
  • Schedule of condition survey – Wiltshire Council only willing to do this if we have improved the property during the last 10 years since we first became a tenant. The Clerk pointed out that we have the condition survey that was carried out in 2012 and the only thing that we have really changed that much is the line marking although, of course, the surface would have deteriorated since that time.  P. Coward said we should issue Wiltshire Council with our own photographic evidence of the surface of the car park and walls etc.
  • Although not strictly permitted within the lease, Wiltshire Council would be willing to provide a side letter to allow permission to have, say a pizza van on site, once per week (subject to further details).
  • Other points raised need to be resolved with the Parking Services Team.
  1. d) Minute Ref: 252b) Lease for Castle Street Car Park – we only had two questions relating to the Castle Street Car Park. One of them was the condition survey and the other one is the plan showing the T-markings to indicate boundary responsibilities (still awaiting this). It was agreed to ask the same question about the condition survey i.e. would our own photographs be acceptable.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report Jeans said that Wiltshire Council’s licensing committee had agreed to extended licensing hours for the Kings Coronation and also, they are considering the impacts of Martyn’s Law which is pending UK wide legislation that will place a requirement on those responsible for certain publicly accessible locations to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures.

*b) Report from Project Co-Ordinator (report attached) – members noted the information in the Project Co-Ordinator’s report.

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2023/00771
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Proposed two storey extension to enlarge kitchen and provide upstairs bathroom
Site Address: 2 Barnes Place, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6DN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pm0N

The Chairman reported that she had carried out a site visit with the Vice-Chairman and reported that the property was tucked away from Barnes Place.  Cllr. Jordan said that he didn’t think that the extension would cause any issues and it was a small extension that looked in keeping.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Jeans and Cllr. Hill, having declared a personal interest, refrained from discussion or voting.

 Application No: PL/2023/01198
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Proposed new dwelling within garden land of Green Pastures
Site Address: GREEN PASTURES, NORTH ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qUUs

The Vice-Chairman reported that she and the Chairman had visited the site and spoken to the applicants.  She raised concerns about the tight clearance between the existing and proposed new dwelling and said that she felt it was short-sighted to have a shared driveway for properties that will end up under separate ownership as these are often a cause of neighbour disputes and friction.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that there was also concern as to whether this number of cars could get into the off-street parking area shown.  Cllr. Jordan said he wouldn’t say that it was in keeping because it doesn’t look anything like any of the buildings in the area and Cllr. Hazzard said that the issue about shared or independent driveways could be sorted out by the applicant easily and isn’t really a planning issue but the main concern is that adequate parking for both properties is off-road and not on the road because parking during the evening along there is horrendous.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, 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/2023/01312
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Copper Beech tree – crown raise slightly and crown reduce to redline (around 2m)
Site Address: GARDEN COTTAGE, HAZZARDS HILL, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6ET
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qelv

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.

Application No: PL/2023/01206
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Temporary permission (3 years), for the use of land for the stationing of a mobile home for agricultural workers.
Site Address: Plots P and Q, The Old Nursery, Burton, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6FH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qUiT

The Clerk confirmed that the above planning application had been withdrawn.

Application No: PL/2023/01595
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: G1 Holm Oak & Yew – Crown raise over road to 6 metres. T1 Holm Oak – Crown raise to 6 metres and reduce extended limb by 3 metres.
Site Address: BRAMLEY HOUSE, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019rBmZ

RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Hazzard abstained from voting.

Application No: PL/2023/00624
Application Type: Removal/variation of conditions
Proposal: Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) on 20/11079/FUL (70 bed care home with associated access, parking, sprinkler tank, bin store and landscaping) to allow for internal alterations, minor external revisions, alterations to sprinkler tank, VRM enclosure and PV panels to the flat roof.
Site Address: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere, BA12 6LA
Applicant: Country Court Care Ltd
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pSD1

RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Kate Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Nick 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.

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports.
  • Clean “Welcome to Mere Signs” – especially the one on Mere Down – Cllr. Debbie Beale
  • Potholes in general – Cllr. Jordan
  • Raised hump on Manor Road bridge – Cllr. R. Coward
  • Graffiti on bridge over A303 – Cllr. P. Coward

Cllr. Debbie Beale wanted to thank all the people who voluntarily carry out litter picking around the town and said that it does make a huge difference.

*b) LHFIG Issue No: 14-21-10 Mere Town Council Request for speed limit assessment along Shaftesbury Road – update & indication of support for recommendations – The Clerk said she had received emails from two residents of Shaftesbury Road – one fully supported a reduction in speed limit on condition that the new 30 mph speed limit would come into effect where the existing 40mph speed limit starts.  The second said they felt that speeding was not an issue that warranted expenditure of £1250 when other highway issues such as footpaths and potholes required attention.  The Clerk advised members that the highways department had said that we could be looking at a cost of around £8000 for the works roughly breaking down as follows:

  • £2,000 TRO amendment
  • £3,000 Sign and lining amendments
  • £3,000 Provision of village gates

This is on the assumption that the Town Council would like to have gated signs which we have not discussed previously. Cllr.Jeans asked if it was necessary to have gateway signs and the Clerk pointed out that many years ago the Town Council had commissioned the “Welcome to Mere” signs instead of gateway signs and we do have a Welcome to Mere sign outside Three Counties Farm.  Cllr. Debbie Beale said that she felt that gated signs created the illusion that the roadway is smaller and helps people to slow down.  Cllr. Jordan asked if we could make our own gates.  Cllr. P. Coward said he thought it was an obscene amount of money and said he would rather spend the money on sorting out the problems with the roundabout by the Walnut Tree Inn.  Cllr. Hill said he was opposed to requesting the assessment in the first place as he thought it was a waste of money and that there are much more important things to spend our money on.  The Clerk said that at 1st April the Town Council will have an allocation of £3250 to spend on LHFIG projects but we are already committed to pay £625 towards this speed assessment so that will leave £2625.  Members pointed out that the residents had agreed to make a financial contribution towards these costs and Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council should support the extension of the 30mph speed limit, as recommended, on condition that the contribution from Town Council funds does not exceed a further £1000.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

  1. c) Update on MyWilts reports including direction signage at both Salisbury Street & Castle Street Car Parks + white line give-way markings at Gillingham Corner junction – the Clerk reported that there were two direction signs: one in the Castle Street Car Park and one that is still standing in the Salisbury Street Car Park and both signs were/are completely illegible. We reported them both on the MyWiltshire reporting app and Wiltshire Council have closed the case on the Castle Street Car Park item and we have noticed that the sign has been removed – presumably this will not be returned.  They also closed the Salisbury Street Car Park sign case but they have now said that it is being investigated and at todays date the sign is still there.  The Clerk wondered whether it was necessary to have the sign there as most people used SatNav systems in their cars/phones these days.  The response to our request to repaint the white line give-way markings at the Gillingham Corner junction was: “we have noted your request and will carry out this work when white-line marking is being carried out in your area.  It is too expensive to send them out on a special journey.”  The Clerk said that this is the same response received when reporting the faded faced double-yellow lines outside the Lecture Hall and the parking bay markings around the town centre.

 

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

*a) Main terms for Lease of Duchy Manor (Old Children’s Centre) – Cllr. Jordan said, “my compliments to Roger whom I saw dealing with the chap over the phrase Peppercorn Rent so it sounds as if we are going to have an extended office without having to pay too much rent.”  The Clerk pointed out that preliminary discussions for the lease were always on the understanding that it would be a peppercorn rent but that the Town Council would be responsible for all other outgoings and for the business rates.  At present the Town Council pays approximately £1500 in business rates for the office but it is likely to be at least another £3000 for the extra rooms that were occupied by the children’s centre, and this is on the understanding that the foyer will be classified as a circulation space.  RESOLVED to proceed with preparation of the draft lease based on the terms set out in the report attached.  Proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. b) Yew Trees in Cemetery – deferred.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a)  Payments – RESOLVED to authorise payments as indicated on the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote.  Cllrs. Mrs Symonds and Clive Hazzard signed the invoices accordingly.  As Cllr. Jeans had declared a pecuniary interest in this item, he left the room whilst the matter was being considered and took no part in voting or discussion.

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation – the Chairman confirmed that she had checked the bank reconciliation against the bank statements and signed this off prior to the meeting.
  2. c) To agree staffing panel recommendations as outlined in Minutes of staffing panel meeting held on Thursday, 16th February – All agreed with the recommendations as outlined in the Minutes.
  3. d) Actions from Interim Internal Audit Report
  4. i) To review Standing Orders – RESOLVED to approve the amendments to the Standing Orders as outlined in the Addendum to the Clerks Report for the Town Council meeting 6.3.23 on proposal made by Cllr. Sandra Catley, seconded by Cllr. K. Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote.
  5. ii) Specialist advice on requirement for VAT Registration – deferred as correspondence is still ongoing.
  6. e)Mowers – thoughts, ideas, suggestions, prices and quotations for the provision of mowers for the grounds staff (see Minutes of Budget meeting held on 23rd November 2022) – Clerk read out relevant Minutes from the budget meeting. The Clerk said that she had obtained one quotation for a ride-on mower that the grounds staff had identified as being top of their wish list and this was £18,885 + VAT.  The Clerk had also received quotations for finance (Hire Purchase and Finance Lease) and then the Clerk read out the Town Council’s relevant Standing Orders (8.2) relating to borrowing which does not require formal approval from the Secretary of State which required a written report in respect of value for money for the proposed transaction.  Given the fact that, whether we lease hire or Hire Purchase, we are going to end up spending £2k more, I don’t know whether that would provide you with value for money when we could possibly vire reserves from other headings and buy one machine outright.  However, the Clerk thought it would be more difficult to vire reserves for two ride-on mowers at this price.  Hill expressed his doubts as to whether the grounds staff would be able to cope with only one ride-on mower.  Cllr. Hazzard said that he was very impressed with our recently recruited groundsman who had spent a lot of time this winter repairing and maintaining our equipment and had saved us a lot of money on our roller mower but the ride-on mowers we have are at the end of their life and he wondered whether or not it would be possible to get one new mower and nurse the other two mowers through the year.  Some members asked whether it would be possible to not mow some areas or mow them less and the Clerk said that she couldn’t think of any places where you could do this and reminded members that during the last two summers we had only mown pathways through the open space at Kingsmere due to staff shortages but this had led to lots of complaints from residents and the other problem is that there is dog poo everywhere in the long grass that can’t be seen.  She could not see how it would be possible to not mow the cemetery, sports pitches, play areas.  Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council should buy one machine as soon as possible.  Cllr. R. Coward seconded this proposal which was approved with a majority vote.  Cllr. Debbie Beale was against the proposal.  The Clerk confirmed that she would need to get three quotations.

*f) Suggestions for Town Council Priority Strategy – A spreadsheet had been distributed which, the Clerk explained, was a draft document intended to give the council somewhere to start from.  Amendments to the draft strategy were suggested and agreed. There was a discussion about whether or not to produce a different kind of strategy based on the Mere Parish Plan produced in 2005 and there was a discussion about whether or not this strategy document (when approved) should go out to public consultation or should be a discussion item for the Annual Town Meeting.  However, it was pointed out that there were items on there that related to internal management and others that related to external resources and facilities and although it would be appropriate to have public debate on the latter, it would not be appropriate to discuss the former with the public.  The Clerk explained that the original purpose behind creating this strategy was to help staff and councillors and it was not intended as a public discussion document and if that is what the council wanted, it would probably be a better idea to design a separate document.  It was agreed that the Council should go back to the original purpose for creating the list and keep it as an internal document.    Cllr. Jeans, proposed that the draft document should be approved (with the minor amendments previously suggested) and in the order of priority that it is written as an internal document.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a majority vote.

  1. g) King’s Coronation celebrations, events – one volunteer had come forward in response to the Chairman’s notice in Mere Matters and so it was evident that no community event would take place although it was quite possible that individual streets or organisation were organising their own ‘Big Lunch’ or ‘Street Party’. RESOLVED that the Town Council would purchase bunting and flags for the town and councillors agreed to help Cllr. Jeans erect the masts and flags.

*h) CCTV – report on meeting with officer from Warminster Town Council relating to CCTV – deferred as it was too late to discuss properly

Cllr. Hazzard spoke regarding an inappropriate email that had been sent by a Parish Councillor and distributed to all members of the Town Council.  He said that he wondered if there ought to be a Code of Conduct for Town Councillors in the use of emails.  Cllr. Jeans said that the Standards Board at Wiltshire Council is responsible for dealing with the conduct of Parish & Town Councillors as well as Wiltshire Councillors.

 

  1. General Items & Briefing Notes
  2. a) Report on special WALC meeting – Cllr. Sandra Catley reported on the meeting which was well attended. She said that a vote was taken on whether WALC should increase its subscription costs but all those present said that they did not feel they were getting value for money at the present time and that the service would need to be improved if the subscription were to be increased.
  3. b) Lynch Close Sheltered Housing – report on informal consultation meeting held on 23.2.23 on options for refurbishment/redevelopment – The Chairman reported on the stakeholder meeting which was held at Visit Hillbrush and was one of three meetings held on that day: the second two meetings were residents’ meetings at Lynch Close. “We were presented with two options – Option 3 which is to refurbish the existing bungalows and Option 4 is to completely redevelop the site. We were presented with two different layouts – one was to have bungalows and the other was to have a mixture of flats and bungalows.  There was a bit of an anomaly in that one of the plans had an empty space which caused quite a lot of concern and suspicion at the meeting and we asked them to fill this space with more bungalows, care facilities, green space and parking so that it was less ambiguous for the next round of consultation.  There were discussions with residents about where they would go whilst this work was being carried out and this, of course, brought Fives Court into the discussion.  On the whole the meeting we attended was open, questions were being asked and answered well and there was a general feeling that everyone was being involved in the consultations.”

 

Meeting closed 9.28 pm  – Due to the lateness of the evening, the remaining agenda items were deferred for discussion at the next available Town Council meeting.

 

 

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 attached/enclosed

Minutes of meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 6th February 2023

 Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

 

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 6th February 2023 at 7.00 pm at The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW

 

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

Inspector Kevin Harmsworth

Also:  Vernon Philips, Margaret Lawson-Smith, Charles & Gillian Vizor, John & Isabel Page & Deborah Harvey

 

The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.02 pm and welcomed Kevin Harmsworth, the new Community Policing Team Inspector for the Mere Area, inviting him to introduce himself and discuss the Community Policing service.

Kevin Harmsworth said that he took post on 3.1.23 & explained that the Warminster Community Policing Team covers Warminster, Westbury, Tisbury & Mere. He explained the police work on recent crime trends and priorities in the rural area.  Wiltshire Police remains under Special Measures but a new Chief Constable will be starting at the end of this month, Commander Catherine Roper.  Neighbourhood Sergeant Matt Roberts is likely to be our point of contact and will attend Town Council meetings & Area Board meetings when possible.  During the Q&A session there was a long discussion about the difficulties of reporting crimes via 101 or via the website and the length of time it takes to report crimes.  Cllr. Jeans said that he used to be able to report crimes as intelligence via regular meetings with our local PCSO but these meetings no longer take place and he did not have the time to spent 20 minutes on the phone or at the computer reporting a crime.  He said that he was in a position to get fed a lot of information which could be useful to the police but was no longer able to pass it on.  Inspector Harmsworth explained that reporting crime has to be done via 101 or online in order to ensure that the police comply with Home Office accountability rules and if we don’t comply with these rules we get marked down.  What you refer to as intelligence or intel is important information but we have to get it logged – you can report it online, phone 101 or 999 if it is an emergency but there is also a community intelligence form that exists as well on our website so if you want to pass information on as a partner agency (council) then that could be done as well.

 

Public Participation Session

Mr. Philips spoke in relation to the amended plans for planning application  PL/2022/06955  and shared the contents of the letter he had submitted to the planning authority:  https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/web-comment/a073z00001JaFTwAAN/vernon-phillipss-comments.  Mrs. Lawson-Smith said that at least 10 local residents had written to the Planning Authority indicating that they felt that 7 dwellings was too many for this site and asking for the development to be more in keeping with the location.

Mr. Vizor and other residents of Hazzards Hill said that they understood that the Council might be discussing the possibility of installing double-yellow lines along both sides of Hazzards Hill but wanted to point out that they had concerns that this may actually increase the speed of traffic coming down Hazzards Hill making it more dangerous rather than improving safety.  The Chairman explained that the recommendations of a working party would be considered by the Town Council later on in the meeting tonight.

George Jeans speaking as a member of the public, explained that there would be a discussion about traffic cones in the Salisbury Street Car Park tonight in which he would not be able to take part as he was declaring a pecuniary interest.  He wanted to have the opportunity, however, to inform the Council that he and his business had a vehicular right of way across the car park to the rear of their premises.  However, cars are continually parking outside of the marked bays in the vicinity of our rear gates and it means that delivery drivers cannot get enough radius to get into the property.  After discussing this with the Town Clerk, I placed some traffic cones to help overcome the problem.

Glen Ings said that he had received a request from the school to ask if the Town Council could grit the car park in the cold weather.  The Chairman pointed out that she was in a location recently where they did not grit the car park because they had been informed that if they gritted it they would then become liable.  The Clerk said that she would discuss this matter with the grounds staff and school and would raise it as an agenda item if considered necessary.

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward & Raymond Hill.  RESOLVED to note the apologies.

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • Jeans declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2023/00349 and a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 267 b) & Minute No. 268a)

 

*262. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 16th January 2023 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 16.1.23

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)
  2. Minute Ref: 252a) Wiltshire Towns Programme – update on grant application submissions – It was

reported that confirmation had been received that the Town Council’s submission fell within the scope of the grant.  There was, however, a few more forms to complete and submit.

*b) Minute Ref:252c) Lease/licence for Car Club – Members noted the information in the Clerks Report.  Cllr. Jordan said that the Town Council paid business rates for the car park and we make no income from it so he could not understand why we should allow a business to make money from the car park and not pay anything towards the business rates.  Cllr. Jeans felt that this would be a facility that would be well used by the community and said that he and Cllr. Jordan would need to agree to disagree on this issue.

RESOLVED to send the legal documents to our solicitor for advice on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Cllr. Jeans reported on a sign he had erected on the junction of White Road/Hazzards Hill.

*b) Report from Project Co-Ordinator – members noted the information in the report about the improvements to the footpath from Clements Lane to Angel Lane.  Members felt strongly that more needed to be done to provide lighting, whether it be solar or electric or a combination of both, along the footpath and that the need for lighting superseded the rural aesthetics on the grounds of safety.

Cllr. Colman raised a query about the refurbishment of the toilets and the Clerk explained that this was a completely different project to that which was explored some years ago and was a project that entailed working within a much smaller budget of between £20 – £28k.

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:
Application No: PL/2023/00204
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Construct new stable barn and yard.
Site Address: Green Ridge, Barrow Street, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6AB
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019oaLb

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman confirmed that they had carried out a site visit.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she thought the proposal would tidy up a messy area.  Cllr. Jordan was concerned that the barn could easily be converted into habitable accommodation. Cllr. Ings said that he was happy to recommend approval of the application without conditions.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds proposed that the Town Council should recommend approval subject to the following conditions:  that the stable barn and yard is used for the private stabling of horses and the storage of associated equipment and feed and shall at no time be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever, including for livery, or in connection with equestrian tuition or leisure rides.   Also, that the stable barn and yard is ancillary to the use for the property known as Green Ridge, Barrow Street and shall not be converted into habitable accommodation and let out or sold off separately.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with a majority vote of 6 for.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

Application No: PL/2023/00244
Application Type: Circular 14/90 – Electricity Overhead Lines notification
Proposal: Add an additional Low voltage underground service onto Pole B which is the last pole on an LV overhead line single span between pole A and pole B (wood poles) which is currently in position to provide only one service.
Site Address: Three Oaks Farm, , Mere, Warminster, BA12 6LH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ods0

 

Cllr. Jordan pointed out that the location plan for the above planning application refers to the location as being postcode BA7 7PG and yet this postcode is in Castle Cary.  It was also pointed out that there is no such place as Three Oaks Farm but members felt that this must be referring to Three Oaks Campsite.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 4 for and 4 abstentions. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 

Application No: PL/2023/00349
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement garage
Site Address: Bourne Cottage, Mill Lane, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6DA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ouGr

 

Cllr. Mrs. Symonds confirmed that she and the Chairman had visited the site and spoken to the applicant.  They confirmed that the proposed new garage will be slightly bigger than the present garage and what he is proposing will be visually superior.  RESOLVED to recommend approval on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote in favour.  Cllr. Jeans had declared a personal interest in this planning application and did not take part in discussion or voting.

Application No: PL/2022/06955 AMENDED PLANS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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 listed a number of reasons why he thought that this planning application should be rejected including overdevelopment of the site.  Cllr. Colman thought that the site should accommodate no more than 4 or 5 houses.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she didn’t believe that it was overdevelopment and thought that we needed some smaller houses in Mere and she felt that a development like Nursery Gardens would be appropriate and she thought that this site is bigger than Nursery Gardens so how can we say it is overdevelopment.  Cllr. Hazzard read out the Town Councils comments to the original planning application (submitted in October). Cllr. Jeans said that he would not vote on this planning application but wanted to make the following comments:  He believed that Pettridge Lane carried a premium in terms of house values.  He also felt that the statement from the drainage consultants relating to groundwater flowing onto the highway needed to be highlighted and mentioned to the Highways Authority as it was illegal for developers to allow groundwater to flow out onto the highway.  Cllr. Jeans also said that he believed research suggested there were 2.2 cars per household on average and so he felt that there would be insufficient parking spaces if they could not achieve 15 or 16 parking spaces.  Lastly, Cllr. Jeans said it was obvious that a retaining wall would need to be built around the site and he felt very strongly against the notion of a management company being responsible for the upkeep of a retaining wall because he had had a very bad experience of this scenario recently and he therefore felt that it would be necessary for the owners of the individual houses to take on responsibility for the retaining wall around their individual properties.  He also pointed out that since June 2022 all developments are required to put a car charging point outside the house.  Cllr. Ings asked why the Town Council was not just responding to the new amendments and additional information relating to this planning application instead of wasting time talking about things that we have already discussed when we considered the plans in October.  Cllr. Jeans explained why it was necessary to treat amended planning applications as a new application in terms of submitting comments.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she felt that if the Town Council had approved the number of dwellings as submitted during the original application and the number of dwellings had not changed then it would be inappropriate to change our view on the number of dwellings and proposed that the Town Council should approve the amended planning application reiterating ALL the previous conditions made but strengthening the points about car parking provision, the seriousness of responsibility for the retaining wall and mentioning the illegality of allowing water to run out onto the highway.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 7 for.  In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 Application No:

 

PL/2023/00624
Application Type: Removal/variation of conditions
Proposal: Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) on 20/11079/FUL to allow for internal alterations, minor external revisions and PV panels to the flat roof
Site Address: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere, BA12 6LA
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pSD1

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Stone 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/2023/00374
Application Type: Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area
Proposal: T1 Lime Tree – Fell because the tree is encroaching on the neighbouring property.
Site Address: The Old Brewery, Water Street, Mere.  BA12 6DY
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019oxKJ

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2023/00833
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Purple Prunus – Fell T2 – Beech – Fell T3 – Privet – Fell
Site Address: CASTLE HILL COTTAGE, CASTLE HILL LANE, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JB

 

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

 

*b) Government publishes its prospectus for revising the National Planning Policy Framework: see: Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Clerk informed members that the new policy is proposing to reform the 5-year housing land supply so that Local Authorities are not required to continually demonstrate a deliverable 5-year housing land supply.  Also proposing to boost status of Neighbourhood Plans and to provide incentives to developers to encourage them to build after planning permission has been granted.  Cllr. Jordan agreed to look at the document and perhaps focus on one or two points to put forward as the Council’s response.

c)Protocol for dealing with Planning Enforcement issues – the Clerk said that she had asked for this matter to be raised because she was aware of an increasing level of planning breaches taking place & not being investigated and because the Town Council gets very little or no feedback on any enforcement investigations.   The Clerk read out a background report, explaining her concerns in more detail and asked members if they wanted to have a regular agenda item for Planning Enforcement issues.  Cllr. Jeans pointed out that if the Town Council started reporting some breaches then it would be necessary to report all planning breaches which would include chimneys & windows in a conservation area.  RESOLVED not to have a regular agenda item for planning enforcement issues but for the Clerk to provide an information sheet to give to individuals if they wish to report a breach of planning.

 

  1. 267. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports – the Clerk said that she had asked the Parish Steward to fill potholes in Pettridge Lane and Shaftesbury Road. It was further agreed to request that the trees along The Lynch are trimmed back.

*b) To consider report from working group relating to on-street parking issues and recommendations to improve traffic flow in Mere (in Clerks Report) –  With reference to the report that was distributed to members, it was agreed to present all the issues listed to a Highways Technician and ask for his/her assessment and advice on the best form of management in order to ease the flow of traffic, minimise the impact on vehicle speeds and on-street parking.  NB:  having declared a pecuniary interest in this item,  Cllr. Jeans left the room whilst the loading bay in Boar Street was discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Use of traffic cones in Salisbury Street Car Park – Having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, Cllr. Jeans left the room whilst this matter was discussed. The Clerk explained that Cllr. Jeans had asked, some time ago, if he could place some traffic cones in Salisbury Street Car Park in order to stop people from blocking his vehicular access. The Clerk said that she assumed that this would be a temporary measure and had agreed to see if it would work.  However, it seems that it is necessary for these traffic cones to be put out on a permanent basis in order to stop vehicles from parking outside the marked parking spaces.  It had come to the Clerks attention that someone claims to have tripped over one of the traffic cones and the Clerk felt that it might be better to take some other form of action to stop people from parking outside the parking lines i.e. provide some yellow hatch markings .  Apart from being rather unsightly, the traffic cones also get moved around by teenagers during the evening and left in inconvenient and inappropriate places and they are also an obstruction.  RESOLVED to see if Wiltshire Council would agree to yellow hatch lines being laid on the surface of the car park and to get some prices for this and in the meantime the traffic cones can stay in order to provide access.
  3. b) Extension of Environmental Higher Level Stewardship Scheme for Castle Hill & Long Hill – It was reported that Mr. Horn had indicated a desire to continue grazing the hill with his goats and had agreed to provide 30 goats by the end of April. Horn had requested a Farm Business Tenancy and the Clerk said that she was seeking advice on this but in the meantime the newly issued 5-year HLS Agreement had been signed and sent back to Rural England.
  4. c) To enter into a Farm Business Tenancy Agreement with goat farmer for Long Hill & Castle Hill – as discussed above. The Clerk said that she was seeking advice on whether this would be appropriate.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached)RESOLVED to authorise payments as indicated on the payment schedule for the meeting on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote.  Cllrs. Mrs Symonds and Rachael Hansford signed the invoices accordingly.

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation – deferred as bank statements only arrived today.

*c) Internal Interim Audit Report (report attached) – Cllr. Colman said he thought the report was well put together and the comments were very helpful.  The clerk agreed and said that she was working through the recommendations and advice as identified.

  1. d) To review Standing Orders (new model Standing Orders issued April 2022 makes amendments to procurement procedures) – deferred.

*e) To agree recommendation from councillors who assessed tenders for Walnut Road Play Area (as detailed in Project Co-Ordinators report) – With reference to the information in the Project Co-Ordinators report, the Clerk pointed out that the preferred option was the most expensive and it was not yet known when they could start the work and as the two options were very similar it may be considered better to go for the second option if there would be a long delay in starting work.  The Clerk also pointed out that there were one or two other inconsistencies with the preferred quotation that were the subject of negotiation.   Cllr. Hazzard said that it was very important that the work started so that the new play area was finished by the summer & that Cllr. Colman’s request would just delay the process further.  The Clerk stated that the preferred option was the most expensive of the tenders in any case so whether the choice was for No. 1 or No. 2 there would be no extra cost to the Council.  At this point Cllr. Colman conceded to delegate authority for the Project Co-Ordinator, Clerk & Chairman to make the final decision.

  1. f) To set date, membership, venue & agenda for Working Group meeting to review and assess the effectiveness of internal control measures – It was agreed that the meeting would be held on Thursday, 23rd March at 2.00 pm and that the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Cllr. Colman & Cllr. Jordan would form the working group.
  2. g) Suggestions for Town Council priority strategy – deferred.
  3. h) Request to purchase hydraulic post driverRESOLVED to purchase this item on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Report on special WALC meeting – Cllr. Sandra Catley – deferred

*b) Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 23-01 – Use of council-owned land for environmental mitigation Members noted the contents of the briefing note and agreed to ask Wiltshire Council for a map showing their land for identification purposes for potential or future tree planting projects.

  1. c) To set date, venue & agenda for Annual Town Meeting (must be held between 1.3.23 and 30.6.23) – it was agreed to hold the meeting on 26th April, and it was agreed to hold it in the URC hall if it is available. Members requested to think about which topics they would like to raise on the agenda. It was also agreed to publish a separate advertisement in Mere Matters asking for parishioners to submit topics for possible discussion.

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation to the next South West Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Group meeting to be held on Tuesday 28th February, 2pm-3.30pm at the Nadder Centre, Tisbury – noted.
  3. b) Mere Carnival Committee AGM – Monday, 6th March 2023 – noted.
  4. c) Climate Action Planning Workshop on 27th March 2023, 10am – 4pm at Devizes Corn Exchange – noted.
  5. d) Flooding (Teams meeting 22nd February) – noted.
  6. e) Mere Rivers Group meeting – 16th March in the Andy Young pavilion – Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she would be attending this meeting.

 

  1. Future agenda items
  • None

 

Meeting closed at 9.21pm

Agenda for Mere Town Council meeting to be held on Monday, 6th March 2023

 

1st March 2023

 

Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 6th March 2023 at 7.00 pm in the Andy Young Pavilion, 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 6th February 2023 and for Staffing Panel to approve Minutes of Staffing Panel meeting held on Thursday, 16th February 2023 as a correct record. (attached)

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

 

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

*a) Minute Ref: 264a) Wiltshire Towns Programme

*b) Minute Ref: 264b) Lease/Licence for Car Club

  1. c) Minute Ref: 252b) Lease for Salisbury Street Car Park
  2. d) Minute Ref: 252b) Lease for Castle Street Car Park

 

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

*b) Report from Project Co-Ordinator (report attached)

 

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

 

Application No: PL/2023/00771
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Proposed two storey extension to enlarge kitchen and provide upstairs bathroom
Site Address: 2 Barnes Place, Mere, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 6DN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pm0N

 

 

 Application No: PL/2023/01198
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Proposed new dwelling within garden land of Green Pastures
Site Address: GREEN PASTURES, NORTH ROAD, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HQ
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qUUs

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/01312
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: T1 – Copper Beech tree – crown raise slightly and crown reduce to redline (around 2m)
Site Address: GARDEN COTTAGE, HAZZARDS HILL, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6ET
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qelv

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/01206
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Temporary permission (3 years), for the use of land for the stationing of a mobile home for agricultural workers.
Site Address: Plots P and Q, The Old Nursery, Burton, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6FH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019qUiT

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/01595
Application Type: Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area
Proposal: G1 Holm Oak & Yew – Crown raise over road to 6 metres. T1 Holm Oak – Crown raise to 6 metres and reduce extended limb by 3 metres.
Site Address: BRAMLEY HOUSE, CASTLE STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6JN
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019rBmZ

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/00624
Application Type: Removal/variation of conditions
Proposal: Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) on 20/11079/FUL (70 bed care home with associated access, parking, sprinkler tank, bin store and landscaping) to allow for internal alterations, minor external revisions, alterations to sprinkler tank, VRM enclosure and PV panels to the flat roof.
Site Address: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere, BA12 6LA
Applicant: Country Court Care Ltd
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pSD1

 

 

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

*b) LHFIG Issue No: 14-21-10 Mere TC Request for speed limit assessment along Shaftesbury Road – update & indication of support for recommendations

  1. c) Update on MyWilts reports including direction signage at both Salisbury Street & Castle Street Car Parks + white line give-way markings at Gillingham Corner junction.

 

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

*a) Main terms for Lease of Duchy Manor (Old Children’s Centre)

  1. b) Yew Trees in Cemetery

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation
  2. c) To agree staffing panel recommendations as outlined in Minutes of staffing panel meeting held on Thursday, 16th
  3. d) Actions from Interim Internal Audit Report
  4. i) To review Standing Orders
  5. ii) Specialist advice on requirement for VAT Registration
  6. e)Mowers – thoughts, ideas, suggestions, prices and quotations for the provision of mowers for the grounds staff (see Minutes of Budget meeting held on 23rd November 2022)

*f) Suggestions for Town Council Priority Strategy

  1. g) King’s Coronation celebrations, events

*h) CCTV – report on meeting with officer from Warminster Town Council relating to CCTV

 

  1. General Items & Briefing Notes
  2. a) Report on special WALC meeting – Cllr. Sandra Catley
  3. b) Lynch Close Sheltered Housing – report on informal consultation meeting held on 23.2.23 on options for refurbishment/redevelopment

*c)  Briefing Note 23-06 – Wiltshire School Places Strategy 2023-2027 (Briefing Note attached)

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Annual Town Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 26th April 2023 at the Mere URC– agenda items
  3. b) South West Wiltshire Area Board meeting to be held on Wednesday, 15th March 2023 at 6.30 pm at Wilton Community Centre, Wilton.
  4. c) Big Green Week –
  5. d) Climate Action Planning Workshop, 27th March 2023, 10am – 4pm online
  6. e) Mere Rivers Group meeting, 16th March in the Andy Young Pavilion

 

  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 attached/enclo

Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 16th January 2023

MINUTES of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 16th January 2023 at 7.00 pm at the Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, Wiltshire.  BA12 6EW. 

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. Lesley Traves (Chair), Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Sandra Catley, Aubrey Colman, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill (until 8.21 pm), Glen Ings (until 8.05 pm), George Jeans, John Jordan (from 7.10 pm) & Linden Stone.

 

Meeting convened at 7.05 pm with Public Participation Session

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2023.  There were no members of the public present but there was an informal discussion about potholes and the MyWilts Reporting app and the poor state of Shaftesbury Road outside Two Counties Farm & Pettridge Lane.  Cllr. Jeans said that he had written to the finance officer at Wiltshire Highways asking for some money to be set aside to resurface the road outside Two Counties Farm.   The Chairman also took the opportunity to remind all members about the rules of debate/discussion at meetings and said that when a proposal is voted on and resolved, it should not be opened for discussion again.

 

Apologies for absence received from Cllr. C. Hazzard

 

  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • Philip Coward declared a personal interest in planning application No. PL/2022/09365 and in Minute No. 257a)
  • Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 252b)

 

  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday 5th December 2022 be approved as a correct record (attached) on proposal by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 5.12.22. RESOLVED that the Annual Budget Committee approve the Minutes of the Annual Budget Meeting held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 (attached) on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. P. Coward and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 23.11.22. RESOLVED that the Staffing Working Group approve the report of the Staffing Working Group meeting held on Thursday, 1st December 2022 (attached) on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 1.12.22

 

  1. Matters Arising from Public Session

None

 

  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) – Cllr. Jordan thanked the Clerk for completing and submitting a technical document to Wiltshire Council relating to funding limits and confirmed that he and the Clerk had put together an Action Plan and a Funding Plan for the Actions identified. Jordan talked about the proposed actions and the objectives which were to increase footfall in Mere. There was a discussion about the payment to Visit Wiltshire which used to be paid by the Chamber of Trade and a discussion about boosting business presence on social media.  Cllr. Colman confirmed that the Chamber of Trade had not held a meeting for 3 years.  Members RESOLVED that these documents should be submitted to Wiltshire Council for funding from the Wiltshire Towns Programme without amendment on proposal made by Cllr. P. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.
  3. b) Minute Ref: 228d) Leases for Car Parks – The Clerk read out a series of questions/statements prepared by the Council’s solicitors and Wiltshire Council. Members specifically asked for up-to-date condition surveys of the car parks to be carried out for the new leases. It was also agreed to ask for a longer Landlord’s Break Clause of 6 months in respect of the Salisbury Street Car Park and the Clerk was requested to ask for clarification on responsibility for the three street lights in the car park as it was understood that the two nearest Dark Lane came under ‘Highways’. George Jeans, having declared an interest in the next matter, left the building whilst the matter was discussed:

Third Party Rights for the Salisbury Street Car Park – the Clerk pointed out that there are more third party rights than which we have received notification of and the solicitor’s advice was that it is imperative that the Council understands the rights that affect the lease before it’s signed and completed.  It was therefore agreed to submit a map with the Rights of way marked and photographs of the gateways and entrances where possible.

  1. c) Minute Ref: 228e) Lease/licence for Car Club – The Clerk stated that the Car Club lease or licence progress has been protracted, largely because there seems to have been a lot of confusion and bad advice over how to deal with the license. However, it seemed that a way forward had recently been found and she hoped to be able to report more on this at the next meeting.

 

  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – No formal report but Cllr. Jeans said he would answer questions if asked.

*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) – The Clerk advised members that Wiltshire Council officers had stated that they would reluctantly accept that Mere Town Council is going to take the “riskier” option of accepting the letter from C. G. Fry & Son as confirming their agreement to deviate from the S.106 agreement in lieu of a Deed of Variation as long as this is clearly Minuted.  RESOLVED to accept the letter from C. G. Fry as confirming permission to deviate from the S.106 agreement* relating to Open Space Contribution.  Proposal made by Cllr. Philip Coward, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.

*Section 106 Agreement: means an agreement dated 19 March 2015 and made between (1) The Hill Brush Company Ltd (2) C.G. Fry and Son Limited and (3) Wiltshire Council.

  1. c) Report on SWW Area Board Meeting held on Wednesday, 14th December – Cllr. Jordan had attended the meeting and reported that there was much discussion about speeds of vehicles through small villages. Jordan said that he did, however, invite those present to the New Year New Bottom walk.  He also thanked Cllr. Rodney Coward for his help with the walk.  Cllr. Jeans said that he had raised issues about the lack of response by the police to 101 calls.

 

  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

 

Members made no comment on the above application as it had already been determined (approved) by the Planning Authority.

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

 

Members felt that the above application would be suitable for the allocated employment land and should provide some employment for the area.  RESOLVED to support the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote.  Having declared a personal interest, Cllr. P. Coward abstained from voting. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 

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

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Sandra Catley and carried with a unanimous vote.

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

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Sandra Catley, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a unanimous vote.

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

The Chairman confirmed that she had visited the site with Cllr. Mrs. Symonds.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that given that the bungalow is on a large plot, she thought that extending the bungalow to accommodate the needs of the applicant’s mother would be preferable to building a separate annexe with separate vehicular access.   The Chairman pointed out that she understood that the Planning Authority had a policy of not allowing self-contained annexe buildings but instead prefers them to be subservient and reliant on the main house.  Cllr. Jeans said that in these circumstances, the Planning Authority may add a condition or a legal agreement to ensure that the annexe is not sold off separately to the host property.  There was a long discussion on the legitimacy of the vehicular access off Woodlands Road.  Cllr. Jeans pointed out that the red line on the block plan and the location plan, showing the extent of the planning application, did not include the vehicular access and said that there was no blue line showing that the vehicular access out onto the highway was in the bungalow’s ownership.  It was pointed out that although ownership was not relevant in planning terms, it was mentioned in the Planning Statement that there was a separate vehicular access onto Woodlands Road and it would appear, from communication with the Highway Authority, that there was no approved license issued for an access in this location at the present time. RESOLVED to object to the above planning application on the grounds that the proposed annexe is not attached to the existing property and, being self-contained may not be ancillary to the residential use of the main dwelling and could therefore be sold as a separate dwelling in the future.  Furthermore, the proposed access onto Woodlands Road appears not to be within the ownership of the property or licensed/authorised with the Highway Authority.  Proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. N. Beale and carried with a vote of 6 for, 5 against and 3 abstentions. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

 

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

The Clerk confirmed that the previous application for this site, which was for the conversion of three barns into five dwellings has been approved by the Planning Authority so that was now a fall-back option but this application is for an alternative scheme which does not include conversion of the modern barn but instead, replaces it with a single dwelling.  The exterior design of the two existing stone barns will remain unaltered but the internal layout has been adapted to create two detached rather than four attached dwellings.  The Chairman pointed out that the new replacement dwelling would be much higher than the existing barn.   The Clerk read out the Town Council’s submission to the previous planning application which raised concerns about vehicular access points and additional traffic in the narrow lanes. Cllr. Rachael Hansford expressed the view that changing the number of dwellings from 5 to 3 is likely to make them more expensive and exclusive and therefore rule out much chance of providing homes for local families.  Cllr. Ings said he thought this new application was preferable to the older one and proposed that the application be approved.  Proposal seconded by Cllr. Sandra Catley and carried with a vote of 9 for, 3 against and 1 abstention. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this matter.

  1. b) Update on Enforcement Issues and further developments at The Old Nursery Site at Burton – Cllr. Debbie Beale said that she wanted the opportunity to update the council: “yesterday we had a new mobile home being delivered onto Plot M so there are now two caravans on this plot. The Planning Enforcement department has been involved and they have been active in taking plot owners to court for planning breaches and non-compliance. One of the plot owners has also purchased another plot and had a temporary stop notice issued because he was putting down foundations and digging a hole for a septic tank. Another plot further up also has enforcement action for a shipping container and static caravan and there are two families living on the land with approximately 50 pigs that quite often roam out onto the footpath.  Animal health are aware of the situation but now that the pigs have been moved further up the plot, there is concern about the possibility of them escaping onto the A303.  The access gate to the field from the A303 which belongs to the house owner that lives near the A303 has been damaged whilst manoeuvring these static caravans on site.  Wessex Water have now installed a standpipe as the occupiers were getting water from the river.  Debbie Beale said that she would pass on the contact details of the relevant bodies to Councillors for information.

 

Cllr. Ings left the meeting at 8.05 pm

 

  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWiltshire reports – The Clerk reported that there was no Parish Steward service in January because all the Parish Stewards had been seconded to fill potholes. However, there is a Sparkle Team visit scheduled for Mere for the week beginning 23rd Cllr. Jordan suggested that the Sparkle Team be asked to cut back overhanging foliage along Dark Lane.  Cllr. Mrs. Beale asked if we could request that they attend to a blocked drainage ditch alongside Footpath Mere 21 (the footpath that runs alongside the Pumping Station out to Burton Path).
  3. b) Report on Teams Meeting with representatives from Options 24/7 to discuss bus improvements – Cllr. Debbie Beale reported that she had attended two meetings about buses; the first one was with Options 24/7 – the Gillingham to Mere bus has temporarily increased from2 to 8 buses per day but unfortunately it is not being well utilised so if we want any chance of keeping this improved service then we need to encourage more people to use it. The people at Options 24/7 are looking at improving connections between this existing service and other local towns such as Warminster, Shaftesbury, Wincanton & Salisbury. It is also possible that a bus to Stourhead could generate some footfall for Mere.  There was also a discussion about buses being supported/sponsored by supermarkets.  The second meeting was about DRT which is Digital On Demand Transport – having on-demand taxi buses to take people where they want to go.  The person who is involved in this is running a pilot project in Pewsey and is proposing to carry out a survey to see if it would be a suitable project for Mere.  Debbie Beale said that she would try and promote the increased bus service from Mere to Gillingham on Social Media and encouraged members of the Town Council to use it too.  Cllr. Sandra Catley pointed out that not everyone used social media and it might be prudent to do a leaflet drop also.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that the Community Accessible Transport bus comes into Mere from Wincanton.

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Dead and dying trees in Mere Cemetery Sandra Catley reported that she had visited Mere Cemetery with Brad Morton of BM Tree Co to inspect the yew trees. Mr. Morton believed that the trees had root rot caused by poor drainage on the planted area.  Mr. Morton had provided a quotation to fell the  3 affected trees and reduce the corresponding three trees on the other side of the footpath.  The Clerk explained that when the first Yew Tree had died, it had been examined in a laboratory by an ecology scientist who said that it had a disease.  Cllr. Hill said that Mere cemetery was known far and wide for its yew arch and he would hate to fell these yew trees without a second opinion.  RESOLVED to appoint the Town Council’s arboricultural specialist – Jonathan Astill – to provide a detailed assessment and report on the yew trees in the cemetery.

 

Cllr. R. Hill left the meeting at 8.21 pm

 

  1. b) Damage to back wall at Castle Street Car Park this item was for information only and the Clerk informed members that someone had driven into the back wall and caused damage which the grounds staff were going to repair.

Emergency Item

  1. c) Extension of Environmental Stewardship Scheme – The Clerk informed members that the Rural Payments Agency had offered the Town Council a 5-year extension on the Environmental Higher Level Stewardship Scheme for Castle Hill & Long Hill which would last until 30th September 2028. The signed agreement would need to be returned by 31st The agreement effectively states that the Town Council will be managing the grassland on Castle Hill & Long Hill during that period with goat grazing.  The Clerk expressed her concern that we do not currently have a formal agreement with a goat owner or grazing licence in place at the moment and explained the issues that had occurred last summer.  Cllr. Rodney Coward agreed to communicate with local goat owners and was given authority to seek a licensee for a grazing license.  On this basis, the Clerk was authorised to sign the ES Scheme agreement.

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached).  RESOLVED to authorise payments on proposal made by Cllr. Jordan, seconded by Cllr. Nick Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.  Cllr. Philip Coward, having declared a personal interest in this item, refrained from discussion or voting.

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation The Chairman confirmed that she had examined the bank reconciliation and bank statements and signed the bank reconciliation accordingly.

*c) Matters Arising from External Auditor’s report 2021/22 – members noted the information in the Clerks Report and the Clerk confirmed that she had changed the details on the Charity Commission website in accordance with the advice from solicitors.

  1. d) Confirmation of insurance policy adjustments The Clerk confirmed that there had been various adjustments with the insurance relating to the tractor which the Clerk thought would result in a refund of insurance premium being produced.

*e) Notice from Wiltshire Council that it will seek to recover Election costs from May 2025 members noted the information.

*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) – discussed under Confidential Business at the end of the meeting.

*g) To adopt recommendations made by Budget Meeting, as shown in Minutes of Budget Meeting held on Monday, 23rd November 2022 (Minutes attached) RESOLVED to adopt the recommendations made by the budget committee as recorded in the minutes of the budget meeting held on 23rd November 2022 (with no amendments) on proposal made by Cllr. Jeans, seconded by Cllr. Nick Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.

  1. h) To approve Precept on Wiltshire Council for 2023/24 RESOLVED to approve a Precept of £186,290.00 for 2023/24 on proposal made by Cllr. Linden Stone, seconded by Cllr. Rodney Coward and carried with a unanimous vote. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Precept form for submission to Wiltshire Council.
  2. i) Authorisation for grounds staff to convert mobile floodlight to mobile generator The Clerk reminded members that the Town Council had purchased a mobile floodlight unit in 2007/08 which was now unserviceable. She explained that the grounds staff wanted to use this machine to make a generator and the surplus steel as a weight for the new tractor at minimal cost. Members agreed that this was a good and creative project and praised the grounds staff for their resourcefulness.
  3. j) Report on interim Internal Audit – the Clerk confirmed that the first Internal Audit with our new Internal auditor was carried out in December. “The report came in today so I haven’t had time to study it but I do know that one of the main recommendations is that the Town Council should seek advice of a VAT specialist to ensure compliance.” The Internal Auditor had recommended the Parkinson Partnership and the Clerk confirmed that she had previously met Steve Parkinson who is very knowledgeable on Council VAT matters and asked members if they would be happy to follow up on this recommendation and get a quotation for the Parkinson Partnership to provide specific advice to Mere Town Council?  Members agreed to this.  The Clerk said that she would send out the full internal audit report with the next agenda papers for discussion during the February meeting.

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Communication with local police –The Clerk informed the Town Council that she had recently received an email from Kevin Harmsworth who was the new Community Policing Team Inspector for the Mere Area and she confirmed that he would be coming to our February meeting. The Clerk had informed Insp. Harmsworth that she and Cllr. Jeans had been discussing our dismay over the lack of local police presence and Insp. Harmsworth had explained that we now have another new PCSO and he is coming in to meet me and the school this week. Nick Beale said that he had recently had a conversation with a police officer and asked why we no longer had a police presence at Town Council meetings and the police officer told him that Mere Town Council had specifically asked for NO police presence at meetings.  It was agreed to raise this with Insp. Harmsworth during the February meeting.
  3. b) Judging of Xmas Lights – Cllrs Nick and Debbie Beale gave the following report as judges:-“A lot fewer lights this year but that is totally understandable with electricity costs but some amazing displays. Again we judged on Wow factor, Creativity and Effort. The winning entry 38 Lynch close was amazing, the effort and imagination involved was second to none. Second place 11 Denes Avenue was also very imaginative and we even saw the owner out in the rain putting a few finishing touches in place and making sure everything was working OK. Special recognition goes to 8 Denes Avenue, very hard to judge Denes avenue but we felt that these 2 just stood out a little more. We should mention the window displays down Mill Lane, they are beautiful, so much effort and definitely worth a look and the Link Scheme display in Downside Close.” The Chairman thanked Cllrs. Nick & Debbie Beale for carrying out the judges and confirmed that she presented the winner with the Mere Christmas Lights Shield for 2022 and a prize of a Christmas hamper kindly donated by the Hill Brush Co, Mere. Second place and Highly Commended (Special Recognition) will also receive a prize each.

First Place:  Mr Geoff & Mrs. Pat Sams of 38 Lynch Close, 2nd Place Mr. Jake and Mrs. Susan Fricker of 11 Denes Avenue, Highly Commended (Special Recognition) Mr. Richard and Mrs. Rose Adams of 8 Denes Avenue

 

  1. Future meetings and events

The Clerk confirmed that the Council had been asked to help publicise an event for Wiltshire Climate Alliance who were holding a meeting with workshop & fundraising party on Saturday, 4th February at Devizes Corn Exchange.  (Non-members would need to pay £15)

 

  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 the Trustee (Mere Town Council) to consider the following:

 

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

  1. The current lease has expired but can be renewed either with a new lease of a Deed of Variation or a new lease.  This will depend in part on the length of new lease granted and in park on the new clauses/amendments that need to be made.
  2. Mere TC (Trustee) are asked to advise on the length of a new lease, if this is more than 7 years it will need to be registered with Land Registry.
  3. In addition the TC (Trustee) is asked to advise on the conditions of the lease, in particular who is responsible for external maintenance ( the existing lease is silent on this) and who is responsible for insuring the building?  Currently this is Mere TC (Trustee) but this is not recharged to the Tenants.  If it continues to be Mere TC (Trustee) should it be re-charged to the Tenant?
  4. The lease is also not specific in respect of Health and Safety. The new lease needs to be more specific in respect of internal maintenance and seek confirmation that annual maintenance in respect of electrical, fire prevention and heating are being carried out.
  5. The building is let by the Mere Peace charity, with no charge being passed on to the tenant.  Legal advice will need to be sought to ensure that the charity is allowed under its objectives to let the premises rent free.

Decision points

  • Length of lease – The Trustee agreed that the lease should be a 25-year lease as this would give Seeds4Success more flexibility with fundraising.
  • Rent free? – The Trustee agreed that the building should be rent free
  • Repair and maintenance responsibilities – In view of the decision above, the Trustee agreed that the lease should apply full repair and maintenance responsibility to Seeds4Success
  • Management of Health and Safety – In view of the decisions above, the Trustee agreed that management of H&S should be the responsibility of Seeds4Success

 

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

The Trustee approved the submission of the Annual Return for the year ending 31.3.22

 

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, 6th February 2023

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood

1st February 2023

 Dear Councillor,

 

You are summoned to a meeting of Mere Town Council to be held on Monday, 6th February 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

 

Kevin Harmsworth, new Community Policing Team Inspector for the Mere Area will be attending the meeting to formally introduce himself and discuss the Community Policing service.

 

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.

 

*3. Minutes – To resolve that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 16th January 2023 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)
  2. a) Minute Ref: 252a) Wiltshire Towns Programme – update on grant application submissions

*b) Minute Ref:252c) Lease/licence for Car Club

 

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

*b) Report from Project Co-Ordinator

 

  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response:
Application No: PL/2023/00204
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Construct new stable barn and yard.
Site Address: Green Ridge, Barrow Street, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6AB
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019oaLb

 

Application No: PL/2023/00244
Application Type: Circular 14/90 – Electricity Overhead Lines notification
Proposal: Add an additional Low voltage underground service onto Pole B which is the last pole on an LV overhead line single span between pole A and pole B (wood poles) which is currently in position to provide only one service.
Site Address: Three Oaks Farm, , Mere, Warminster, BA12 6LH
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ods0

 

 

 

Application No: PL/2023/00349
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Replacement garage
Site Address: Bourne Cottage, Mill Lane, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6DA
Planning Register Link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019ouGr

 

 

Application No: PL/2022/06955 AMENDED PLANS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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/2023/00624
Application Type: Removal/variation of conditions
Proposal: Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) on 20/11079/FUL to allow for internal alterations, minor external revisions and PV panels to the flat roof
Site Address: Land adjacent Quarryfield Industrial Estate, Castle Street, Mere, BA12 6LA
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019pSD1

 

 Application No: PL/2023/00374
Application Type: Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area
Proposal: T1 Lime Tree – Fell because the tree is encroaching on the neighbouring property.
Site Address: The Old Brewery, Water Street, Mere.  BA12 6DY
Planning Register Link https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000019oxKJ

 

*b) Government publishes its prospectus for revising the National Planning Policy Framework: see: Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  1. c) Protocol for dealing with Planning Enforcement issues

 

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

*b)To consider report from working group relating to on-street parking issues and recommendations to improve traffic flow in Mere (in Clerks Report).

 

  1. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
  2. a) Use of traffic cones in Salisbury Street Car Park
  3. b) Extension of Environmental Higher Level Stewardship Scheme for Castle Hill & Long Hill
  4. c) To enter into a Farm Business Tenancy Agreement with goat farmer for Long Hill & Castle Hill

 

  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

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

  1. b) To sign off latest bank reconciliation

*c) Internal Interim Audit Report (report attached)

  1. d) To review Standing Orders (new model Standing Orders issued April 2022 makes amendments to procurement procedures)

*e) To agree recommendation from councillors who assessed tenders for Walnut Road Play Area (as detailed in Project Co-Ordinators report)

  1. f) To set date, membership, venue & agenda for Working Group meeting to review and assess the effectiveness of internal control measures
  2. g) Suggestions for Town Council priority strategy
  3. h) Request to purchase hydraulic post driver

 

  1. General Items
  2. a) Report on special WALC meeting – Cllr. Sandra Catley

*b) Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 23-01 – Use of council-owned land for environmental mitigation

  1. c) To set date, venue & agenda for Annual Town Meeting (must be held between 1.3.23 and 30.6.23)

 

  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Invitation to the next South West Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Group meeting to be held on Tuesday 28th February, 2pm-3.30pm at the Nadder Centre, Tisbury.
  3. b) Mere Carnival Committee AGM – Monday, 6th March 2023
  4. c) Climate Action Planning Workshop on 27th March 2023, 10am – 4pm

 

  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