Mere Town Council
Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 5th July 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW
Present: Councillors Lesley Traves (Chair), Kate Symonds (Vice-Chairman), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Louise Bennett, Aubrey Colman, Rodney Coward, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Glen Ings, John Jordan, Eric Mitchell
Also Mr. Richard Jefferies, PC Richard Salter and PCSO Dan Gill and PC Dan Chaventrey
Meeting convened at 7.01 pm with Public Session
Richard Jefferies explained that he had attended the meeting to make himself available to talk about the Foodbank and the Mere Resilience Forum. He stressed the importance of the Mere Foodbank and their need for an appropriate venue for storage and urged the Town Council not to make any immediate action that would cease or abolish the Mere Resilience Forum.
PCSO Dan Gill introduced himself to those present as the new PCSO for Mere. PC Richard Salter also introduced PC Dan Chaventrey who, he said, would be taking over from him on 1st August because he is due to retire. PC Salter explained that he is actually working until the autumn but migrating to a different area and going to be away for the majority of the time. He has worked in Mere from 2007 to 2015 and then came back 2.5 years ago and since that time the way that policing is delivered has changed. Under the new regime the police officers start at Warminster and then come down to Mere when they can. There are problems with that because there are times when things happen in Warminster and they are called to help out with them and therefore do not get to come down to Mere. However, Dan has had a great handover from Pete Tscherniawsky and we are confident that he will keep up the mantle and continue to do good work in Mere. PCSO Dan Gill gave out his telephone number. On behalf of the Town Council, Clive Hazzard thanked PC Richard Salter for all the work he has done for Mere over the years and wished him a long and happy retirement.
Clive Hazzard also congratulated Kate Symonds on the ‘Mere Town Council Supplement’ produced in Mere Matters and the photos she had done for the website.
Apologies for absence received from Councillors Philip Coward, Raymond Hill & George Jeans.
- To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
- To receive Declarations of Interest relating to matters contained in this agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 in respect of officers and the Localism Act 2011 in respect of members.
- To receive written requests for new DPI dispensations.
Members are invited to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests in items on the agenda as required by the Mere Town Council Code of Conduct for Members and by the Localism Act 2011. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest. If you become aware, during the course of a meeting, of an interest that has not been disclosed under this item, you must immediately disclose it. Whether you can remain in the meeting and the extent to which you can participate depends on the type of interest you have.
- Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute Ref: 48a) Payments
- Minutes – RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 7th June 2021 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Jordan
42. Matters Arising from Public Session
a) Thank You Day – The Chairman reminded members that a Working Group had been formed to make suggestions on what could be done to thank all the Community Support Volunteers but that it was unlikely that there would be an event on the suggested date of 4th She informed members that COVID-19 restrictions were still in place on 4th July in any case and so any event on that date was not possible. The Clerk said that there was an agenda item on later in the meeting relating to a Carnival Fun Day and she wondered if the Working Group/Carnival Committee might like to consider holding the ‘Thank You’ event on the same date and combine the events. Cllr. Jordan said that anything that would help promote the Fun Day or increase participation should be a good thing and would discuss it at the next Carnival Committee meeting and report back to the Town Council.
43. Matters Arising from previous Meetings
a) Public Toilets – to consider the current opening arrangements for public toilets in car park. (Minute Ref: 32c) – The Chairman reported that this matter had been raised again due to the fact that there had been reports of long queues outside the toilets during weekends and that people were approaching Hayley’s Hair Design asking to use their toilets. The Chairman said that she had investigated this matter and it seemed that the problem was occurring at weekends. RESOLVED that the gents and ladies toilet blocks should be reopened as soon as possible on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Beale, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward and carried with a vote of 9 for and 3 against.
- Reports & Consultations
*a) Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 21-08 – Enhancement of Bus Services – With reference to the information that had been sent out with the agenda papers, members thanked and congratulated Cllr. Mrs. Beale on producing the excellent information on bus times and public transport options available to Mere. The Clerk pointed out that within the Briefing Note, Wiltshire Council were asking for suggestions for new services or changes/additions to existing services. They were looking for suggestions that would make significantly more people from communities use public transport. RESOLVED to submit the following suggestions:
- The provision of an evening bus from Gillingham to Mere that would meet the last train coming in from Salisbury. This would enable residents from Mere to attend events in Salisbury at places like the City Hall and The Playhouse without having to drive to Salisbury. It would also enable older teenagers to attend events in Salisbury without relying on parents to collect them.
- Better coordination for the South West Coaches service to meet trains coming into and out of Gillingham railway station would encourage more people to use the buses and trains. For example, currently the early morning bus leaves Mere at 06.49 and arrives at Gillingham at 07.11 and the train leaves Gillingham Station at 07.15 – a wait of 4 minutes is acceptable but it doesn’t leave much time to account for potential traffic hold-ups or delays in Gillingham. Furthermore, the 15.43 from Mere arrives at Gillingham at 16.05 but the next train from Gillingham to Salisbury/London is at 16.51 so that means a wait of 45 minutes.
*b) Wiltshire Council’s Briefing Note No. 21-09 – Temporary Pavement Licences – the Clerk reported that the objective of the Temporary Pavement Licence (TPL) scheme is to promote outdoor dining and socialising. The scheme allows businesses to apply to place tables, chairs, barriers and similar items on the highway adjacent to the premises concerned, for the consumption of food and drink. Local Authorities can charge up to £100 for each licence but Wiltshire Council has taken the decision not to charge for Temporary Pavement Licences.
c) Report on SWW Area Board meeting held on 30th June – The Chairman reported that no-one was able to attend the meeting and Cllr. Jeans is not present to give a report. Await Minutes.
- Planning a) Applications for consultation response – (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s Planning & Building Control Public Register – https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/ – type in the relevant application number)
||Full planning permission
||Construction of 25 X 45m manege
||Ashwell Nursery, Limpers Hill North C303 to A303 Burton Junction, Burton, Mere. BA12 6BR
RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Beale, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote.
||Full planning permission
||Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q for One Agricultural Building to be Converted into one Residential Dwelling (Use Class C3) and associated operational development
||Breaches Barn, Barrow Street, Mere. BA12 6AB
Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she had visited the site today and confirmed that the barn was quite a way from the road and hidden by a belt of trees. Cllr. Mitchell raised his concern that a number of agricultural buildings have already been converted to live/work dwellings or holiday lets on this site and that within those applications this barn that they are now proposing to convert was going to be partially demolished to be used for car parking. Furthermore, the red line application boundary would suggest that it is going to take quite a lot of agricultural land for residential purposes. Cllr. Jordan said that it would appear that this farm is now becoming a little village and felt that this would have an impact on the surrounding area. There were also concerns that the Town Council may see an application for a small barn in a few years time when the applicants realise that they no longer have anywhere for storage. RESOLVED to object to the above application for the following reasons on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 9 for and 2 abstentions.
Transport & highway impacts of the development – the site has been developed over recent years and this old working farm now contains a number of live/work units, holiday accommodation and holiday yurts. The Town Council has concerns about increased traffic using the Barrow Street junction on the A303 Trunk road. This junction has a high accident record and increased usage will only exacerbate this situation.
Overdevelopment of the site – the Town Council is concerned as this farm has already seen substantial development over recent years and very recently had planning approval for holiday yurt accommodation. This has an impact on the hamlet at Barrow Street. Furthermore, the plans do not correlate with the planning applications submitted in 2012 (S/2012/1599 & S/2012/1562)) which stated that the existing portal framed building (now the subject of this Prior Approval notification) would be reduced in length with the end section as covered parking for the live/work units. It is not clear from these plans whether or not the barn has been reduced in length but it is presumed that the parking for the live/work units would now be removed as it is included within the red line boundary for this application.
Inappropriate use of agricultural land – the red line boundary for this Prior Approval notification would appear to encompass agricultural land as can be seen from Google maps. The Town Council understood that conversion of an agricultural building to a residential dwelling was such that no extra agricultural land should be encompassed into its residential curtilage.
||Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)
||Replacement of existing dormer window with a hardwood, double glazed unit.
||The Cottage, Pettridge Lane, Mere. BA12 6DG
RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a unanimous vote.
||Consent under Tree Preservation Orders
||T1 – Plane – Prune sub-branches away from utility cabling to provide 1 – 1.5 m clearance.
||The Vicarage, Angel Lane, Mere. BA12 6DH
RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote.
||Householder Planning permission
||Demolish existing brick shed and construct single storey side lean-to extension.
||60 Manor Road, Mere. BA12 6HS
Cllr. Jordan confirmed that this was an end house in a row of houses and he did not think it would be overlooked. RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote.
b) Beaumont Business Park Outline Planning Application (Ref: 20/07469/OUT) – letter from Savills Planning – the Clerk confirmed that following a conversation with the planning officer involved in this case, she had been advised that this matter should not be discussed at this time.
c) Notice and confirmation of Tree Preservation Order – 2021/00003/ND at Fives Court, Angel Lane, Mere. BA12 6DH – The Clerk pointed out that the Tree Preservation Order had been confirmed on 14th June 2021 and it related to a Yew Tree at Fives Court, Angel Lane.
46. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a) Highways Act 1980 – Application to stop up highway – Highway adjacent to 2 New Cottages, Shaftesbury Road, Mere – Wiltshire Council sent notice of their intention to apply to the magistrates’ court for an Order authorising the stopping up of highway adjacent to 2 New Cottages, Shaftesbury Road, Mere. The Town Council gave consent to this application on 22 July 2020.
b) Report on Community Area Transport Group meeting – Cllr. Mrs. Beale said that she was unable to attend the meeting. Await minutes.
c) Notification of footway resurfacing works – the Clerk informed members that she had only today received notification of footway resurfacing works that will commence on 15.7.21 and be completed by 21.7.21 with work taking place between 07.30 and 18:00 (no weekend working). There will be a road closure and no vehicular access available to Castle Hill Lane from the junction with Manor Road although pedestrian access will be maintained.
47. Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
a) Request for Carnival Fun Day on 18th September 2021 in Duchy Manor Sports Field or Recreation Ground – Cllr. John Jordan reported that there will not be a carnival in 2021 because groups have not been able to get together to build floats and so the Committee had thought about holding a Family Fun Day running from about 2.00 pm until 9.00 pm on what would have been Carnival Day. The Fun Day would include entertainment, Music, Bands, Comedians and demonstrations from local groups and a dog show. There would also be a barbeque and bar and stalls. The other notion was to have some small-scale fun-fair rides and perhaps some dodgems. Jordan confirmed that the Carnival Committee would arrange for insurance, ambulance, security and would also hire portable toilets. Members of the Town Council generally felt that the sports field was not a suitable surface for the heavy vehicles that would be necessary to provide the vehicles and vehicular access for the small-scale fun fair rides and the dodgems and it was also pointed out that it was not suitable for a dog show since dogs are not permitted on the site. There was further discussion on whether the Recreation Ground would be a better venue and the suitability for access etc. The Clerk pointed out that the two sites were easily accessible to each other and it could be possible to use Duchy Manor for parking and the Recreation Ground for the dog show etc. RESOLVED that providing all the sports clubs are happy then the Town Council agree to the Fun Day on either site but do not agree to dodgems as they are too large and too noisy.
*b) Report on Working Group meeting held to discuss replacement Youth Development building in Recreation Ground – with reference to the report of the Working Group meeting which had been held on 14th June and distributed to members with their agenda papers (report attached), Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council should agree and adopt the recommendations made therein and pass them on to Seeds4Success for comment.
c) Report on meeting with school and Wiltshire Council officers to discuss school expansion proposals – the Clerk read out her notes on the meeting (attached). Hazzard said he was very pleased that all had agreed not to partition off the foyer.
d) Cemetery – update and progress report on cemetery extension proposals – Cllr. Jordan said that the ‘working group’ would be meeting on site tomorrow. The Clerk asked if it would be possible to include the grounds staff in the meeting as they would like to make some suggestions and have some input.
e) Use of Duchy Manor for Mere Foodbank – The Clerk reported that the Town Council and School had explored an option for Mere Foodbank to use the old shower room at the end of the corridor on the ground floor of Duchy Manor for an extra, much needed, storage facility. There was no key for the door and so it would be necessary to remove & replace the door lock. The Foodbank had given assurances that there would only be two front-door keyholders (her and one other for when she is unavailable). There was also a question from the Foodbank on whether or not Duchy Manor could be used as a distribution point for the toddlers’ foodbank (i.e. food that comes from supermarkets to be distributed to young families). The Clerk said that she had discussed this with the Headteacher of the school and both felt that this would need to be distributed from under the canopy and only if manned (i.e. we do not want food left on tables unattended). However, both the Clerk and Headteacher felt that as there is no lease at the present time, we should ask Wiltshire Council whether or not they would be happy for us to permit these arrangements. Cllrs. Hazzard and Hansford felt that we needed to think of the young families who are relying on the foodbank and that the foodbank should be given all the support it can get and given the amount of time it is taking Wiltshire Council to open negotiations with the Town Council on the lease for the ground floor of Duchy Manor then we should just grant permission for them to use the shower room for storage as it could take months and months to go down the formal route. It was resolved to support the Mere Foodbank wholeheartedly but bear in mind that there may be logistical issues to work out regarding access/security etc. In the meantime, it was agreed to point the Foodbank to the grant funding opportunities and in particular the “Places Called Home” grant funding programme (see Minute Ref: 48b) – Cllr. Jordan pointed out that this could perhaps provide the Foodbank with a space and efficient trolleys that could help with loading, unloading and displaying food.
f) Requirement for external decoration of Andy Young Pavilion – RESOLVED that the Town Council seek quotations for the external decoration of the Andy Young Pavilion and the Chairman is delegated authority to appoint contractor.
g) Emergency Item – refund of allotment expenses – the Clerk explained that she had recently re-let an uncultivated allotment and the allotment holder had booked a contractor to rotavate the allotment. Unfortunately, the contractor could not rotavate the allotment because old carpet had become embedded into the allotment weeds. The allotment holder had asked the Town Council to remove the carpet and also to reimburse the costs of the contractor. Members RESOLVED that the grounds staff should remove the carpet and also that they should rotavate the allotment for the tenant instead of reimbursing the costs of the contractor.
48. Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – Having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, Cllr. Hazzard left the room and did not take part in discussion or voting. RESOLVED to authorise payments set out in the payment schedule on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote of those present.
Cllr. Jordan asked about the clapper for the bell of the Clock Tower & the Clerk explained that she was awaiting a report from the clock company that recently came to re-set the clock.
*b) Notice of “Places Called Home” grant funding programme – The Clerk had provided links with information about this funding programme with the agenda papers. Cllr. Jordan said he thought this would be an excellent funding opportunity for the Foodbank to apply for storage facilities. He pointed out, however, that it is only open for a fortnight and only open for first 1500 applicants.
49. General Items
a) The Queens Platinum Jubilee Celebrations – the Clerk reported that a four-day bank holiday weekend running from Thursday, 2nd June to Sunday, 5th June 2022 would mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and that during this weekend Platinum Jubilee beacons will be lit across the UK and communities will take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch with street parties being held throughout the country. The Clerk reported that there was no official itinerary of events on the Pageant Master’s website yet and that the office would look out for updates. The Chairman said that the Church wants to be involved in event planning and it was pointed out that it would be an advantage to involve the church with any organisation of events in order to avoid clashes of events which has happened in the past. It was agreed that this would be raised as an agenda item in September and that members may want to think about event ideas in the meantime.
b) How does the Town Council see the future for the Mere Resilience Forum (Community Support Group) developing? – Cllr. Rachael Hansford who is the new Resilience Forum co-ordinator reported that there was still a lot of need in the town and there are a lot of people doing good work who were being supported by local organisations such as the Foodbank, Linkscheme and Church. Ms. Hansford said it would be a shame to let it all disappear and wondered about the idea of seeking funding to employ someone to signpost people to the right organisations. Cllr. Hazzard said that the COVID-19 situation and the Mere Resilience Forum has brought out a whole new generation of volunteers with a new selection of people putting themselves forward to help. Cllr. Ms. Hansford said that she wanted to draw on this by bringing all these people together and was suggesting that there could be a job opening to co-ordinate all the volunteers. Cllr. Hazzard said that he recalled attending an Area Board meeting when Wilton had applied for funding for a co-ordinator but he couldn’t remember whether this was successful or not. RESOLVED that Cllr. Ms. Hansford be delegated authority to apply for grant funding in the name of Mere Town Council.
- Future meetings and events
Events – The Future of High Streets & Town Centres – Online event Wednesday, 29th September between 12 – 1.15 pm (Cost to Council is £30 per delegate)
- 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
Meeting closed at 8.28 pm
MERE PEACE MEMORIAL SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUND
Registered Charity No. 1093497
Meeting convened at 8.30 pm
For Trustees to consider the following:
- a) Request for Carnival Fun Day on 18th September 2021 in Duchy Manor Sports Field or Recreation Ground – Cllr. John Jordan
Trustees of the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity were happy to endorse the decision made by the Town Council during the Town Council meeting of 75th July 2021 (Minute Reference 47a)
- b) Report on Working Group meeting held to discuss replacement Youth Development building in Recreation Ground – Trustees of the Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground Charity were happy to endorse the decision made by the Town Council during the Town Council meeting of 75th July 2021 (Minute Reference 47b)
Meeting closed at 8.34 pm