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Minutes of a Town Council meeting held on 3rd July 2023

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood


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


Present:  Councillors John Jordan (Chair), Glen Ings (Vice-Chair), Sandra Catley, Aubrey Colman, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, George Jeans, Lesley Traves.

Also 9 members of public.


The Chairman opened the meeting and notified attendees that the meeting would be recorded for administrative purposes.


Public Session

Sophie Heneage & Sue Phipps spoke in support of the proposals for a community garden which was on the agenda for discussion at this meeting.

Mr Page spoke in support of his highway improvements request which was on the agenda for discussion at this meeting.

The Clerk read out an email from a lady who had visited Mere and who had written to say how impressed she was with the town and that she had come away with a feeling that Mere is very well looked after and cared for.


Apologies for absence received from Councillors Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Philip Coward, Rodney Coward & Kate Symonds & the police.


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


Cllr. George Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in minute number 298a) and a personal interest in minute number 294b)

The clerk informed members that they would be considering her own planning application this evening and said that while she was not a member of the town Council and therefore not subject to the councillors regulations on declarations of interest, as an officer of the Council she felt it would be best practice to leave the room whilst her planning application was being considered.


  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 5th June 2023 be approved as a correct record.


  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None


  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)
  2. a) Comment on style of Minutes (Minute Ref: 249 and 278 b) – Cllr. Jeans raised a question relating to the style of minutes and whether or not it would still be possible to ascertain voting records or gather information that might be necessary for legal purposes. The clerk explained that recordings of meetings ) and the clerk’s notebooks would be kept for a defined period.

*b) Review of football provision and facilities in view of new proposals for extra football fixtures/team (Minute Ref: 269a) & 278 d)– Notes of meeting held on 26.6.23 + Statement for members to consider/vote upon attached.  The Chairman gave a resume of the meeting and questions raised by members were clarified.  The statement, as presented to the Town Council, was approved with a unanimous vote of approval with the inclusion of an amendment put forward by Cllr. Ings for the Town Council to make a contribution towards the costs of materials for the changing rooms redecorations and the annual fees to be reviewed at a later date.


  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Cllr. Jeans reported that he is a member of the Police & Crime panel to whom he has pushed his points on how difficult it is to report a crime. He attended the recent Area Board meeting where he noted that Tisbury car-share club has 90 members and where he also learned that there is a grant available from SSE Scottish Power and parish & town councils are being encouraged to apply. Wiltshire Council have taken on 3.5 members of staff to plant trees and have still not given him details about dispensations required to attend town and parish council meetings.

*b) Project Co-Ordinators Report (report and plan attached) – Cllr.  Jeans declared a personal interest as he lives next door to the public toilets. Members agreed that the right-hand transfer should be included in the design and it was explained that funding for and inclusion of a Changing Places toilet had been investigated and was not possible although the design had been considered so that, should funding become available in the future, it might be possible to add a hoist.  Cllr. Colman suggested that we could go for a National Lottery grant and that we should find a company that will issue us with a 10-year maintenance contract and outsource the cleaning to contractors.  The Chairman explained that these issues were not being discussed tonight but it was agreed to delegate to Cllr. Rachael Hansford, Chairman, Project Co-Ordinator & Clerk to make recommendations on further details, fixtures and fittings to the Town Council.

With regards to the Walnut Road Play Area, the Chairman wanted to thank all our staff who turned out for the opening event and those councillors that did come along.  The feedback from young users on the play area so far has been very positive.


  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response: In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on any of the following planning applications:
Application No: PL/2023/04313
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Single Storey Side Extension
Site Address: Yew Tree Cottage, North Road, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6HP
Planning Register Link:

The chairman said he had visited the site, the extension is miniscule &  shielded by the neighbour’s fence is. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by CLlr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.

Application No: PL/2023/04118
Application Type: Full planning permission
Proposal: Modern steel frame, portal frame barn enclosed on three sides with concrete panels and ventilation boards under a cement fibre roof.
Site Address: Field to the east of Lyemarsh Farm and north of Wet Lane, Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6BA
Planning Register Link:


Members expressed concern at the number of barns being erected in this locality. It was noted that the barn is required for calf rearing and members felt that they were happy to support the application on condition that it was used for agricultural purposes only. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application with the following condition on proposal made by Cllr. Sandra Catley, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote.

Condition:  The agricultural barn and land within the red line of the application site as shown on the plan shall be used for agricultural purposes only and shall be maintained for this use in perpetuity.  No paraphernalia unrelated to the approved agricultural use of the site shall be brought onto or stored upon the land.


Application No: PL/2023/04372
Application Type: Householder planning permission
Proposal: Construct single storey rear extension to form new kitchen / dining area.
Planning Register Link:


As this was the clerk’s own planning application, she left the building whilst this application was being considered by the council. RESOLVED to support the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a majority vote.


  1. b) Notice of consultation on Draft Wiltshire Design Guide. Wiltshire Council is consulting on a Draft Wiltshire Design Guide, which is intended to be a supplementary planning document and has been prepared to support the Wiltshire Core Strategy and the emerging Local Plan. The Draft Wiltshire Design Guide will be published today via the Wiltshire Council website and comments are invited until 30th


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

The Chairman had identified dirty and obstructed road signs.

*b) Highways Improvement Request Forms:

  1. i) for the installation of a ‘No Through Road’ sign at junction of The Fields/Hazzards Hill (form attached)
  2. ii) for 20mph speed limit and central white line at Junction of Manor Road & Castle Street (form attached)

The chairman pointed out that Highway Improvement Requests are a new initiative imposed by Wiltshire Council and each time one arrives the Town Council needs to consider it and if we agree to it being implemented then we must pay 25% of the cost involved.  At the last LHFIG meeting it was suggested that the cost to Parish & Town Councils should perhaps go up to 50% and it may also be suggested that some residents may be prepared to make a financial contribution themselves or collectively, as has been agreed along Shaftesbury Road.   Cllr. Jeans said he was aware of another ‘No Through Road’ sign requirement at Lordsmead that had been brought to his attention today.  Councillor Hill said he was opposed to the town Council having to pay for any of these things at all but all members were in agreement with the Chairman’s suggestions of considering these requests once per quarter and having a menu of costs to help make informed decisions.

  1. c) Wiltshire LTP4- Stakeholder Engagement Sessions – Wiltshire Council are in the early stages of developing an updated Local Transport Plan for Wiltshire which will cover the period up to 2038. There are two opportunities for us to attend a workshop and these are taking place on 18th July 2023 and 20th July 2023 on MS Teams.



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

*a) Proposals for a Community Garden – Generally members felt that the proposals were a great idea but could not readily identify any land that would fit the brief.  Cllr. Hill wondered whether it might be worth approaching the Church to see if the plot of land in Angel Lane could be used for this purpose.  Agreed that the Chairman would approach the Church to see if the site at Angel Lane could be used for this purpose.

  1. b) Fencing on Long Hill – The Clerk informed members that the goats cannot graze Long Hill at the moment because the fencing is inadequate and so for the time being they are going to have to stay on Castle Hill. In the meantime the grounds staff are going to assess the length of fencing that needs replacing/repairing and the Clerk will try and get an estimate of the likely costs for the Council to consider at a future meeting.

*c) Yew Trees in Cemetery – response from Forest Research via Astill Treecare – Agreed that if there is further spread then we do want to send further samples and it was agreed to ask Johnathan Astill for help with this.

  1. d) Pest control at Duchy ManorRESOLVED to proceed with a second round of pest control in the autumn.


  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) –The Chairman reported that negotiations were taking place with Kompan over some issues with their invoice and it was agreed to delegate these negotiations to the Clerk & Chairman and to pay the amount due once satisfied on the understanding that this would be less than the invoice presented. All other payments were approved and authorised.

*b) Wiltshire Towns Programme 2022-23 – we are going to send this information to all the active groups in town informing them that they can get money from us if they would like to put on an event that is going to bring people into Mere.   There is also a possibility that we might join VisitWiltshire in an effort to promote tourism in the town.

  1. c) Wiltshire Towns Programme 2023-24 – this will be raised as an agenda item for the next meeting and would request that you bring ideas to that meeting of how we can bid for the money that is available (£5k) bearing in mind that the criteria is to attract people into Mere.


  1. General Items

*a) Community Governance ReviewConfirmation that Mere Town Council still wishes to proceed with the request as submitted in 2019 (see attached request). RESOLVED to confirm previous resolution still stands on proposal made by Cllr. Hill, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a majority vote.  Cllr. Jeans abstained.

  1. b) South Operational Flood Working Group Hybrid meeting 5.7.23 – The Chairman informed members that there is a Teams meeting this Wednesday morning if you want to take part in it but members agreed that the Town Council does not have the resources to set up a Flood Risk Management Plan at the present time and that residents and councillors should be encouraged to work together and pool resources should flooding issues arise.
  2. c) Digital Inclusion pilot project for older and vulnerable adults in South West Wiltshire (see email link attached) – It was mentioned that the Doctors Surgery’s Health & Wellbeing coach and Age UK might be appropriate avenues to publicise this project and also to put up posters in Mere Day Centre and Mere Linkscheme.


  1. Briefing Notes

*Briefing Note no. 23-17 – Launch of the second Solar Together scheme in Wiltshire & Swindon – It was agreed to put this on our website to help publicise the scheme.

*Briefing Note no. 23-18 Explore Wiltshire Heritage App – We might want to get some usage figures and see whether we want to become involved in this in the future.


  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) Inspector Kevin Harmsworth, Wiltshire Police will be holding Facebook Live Event July 11th between 5.30 – 7.00 pm. Are there any specific questions you would like to submit? – Can we see a PCSO in the town so that people can approach him and get information.


  1. Future agenda items
  • None


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









Registered Charity No. 1093497


For Trustee to consider the following:


*a) To approve Town Council recommendation made at last meeting: 

Minute 279b) RESOLVED to recommend that the Trustee of the Charity should grant a 50-year lease to Seeds4Sucess on proposal made by Cllr. Debbie Beale, seconded by Cllr. G. Ings and carried with a vote of 11 for, 0 against and 1 abstention. 

The Chairman read the proposal which was made at the last meeting (as above).  It was agreed that the lease should be non-transferable so that it can only be used for the purposes of a youth and development centre and cannot be transferred to another organisation.



Meeting closed at 8:40 pm