Mere Town Council
Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 1st November 2021 at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6HG
Present: Councillors Lesley Traves (Chair), Kate Symonds (Vice-Chair), Debbie Beale, Nick Beale, Louise Bennett, Aubrey Colman, Rodney Coward, Clive Hazzard, Raymond Hill, Glen Ings, George Jeans (from 7.05 pm), John Jordan & Eric Mitchell
Also 3 members of public
Meeting convened at 7.00 pm with Public Session
David Brett speaking as one of the small committee of people planning ideas for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year said that the committee had identified something that the Town Council might like to consider as a permanent memorial and that is to plant a tree in the churchyard at St. Michaels.
However, there is not very much space there and the only trees we could plant would be small and we feel that the occasion really justifies an oak tree but that needs a lot of space and the space we had in mind was the triangle of land immediately past the cemetery at the end of Angel Lane. A nice plaque which would sit at an angle could be installed with the tree at a cost of around £400 and so the whole thing, with the tree, is probably going to cost around £600 as a minimum. Whether you may want to put a bench in there as well is up to you. The Chairman said that, as this matter required a decision of the Town Council, it would be raised as an agenda item for the next meeting.
PCSO Dan Gill + colleague attended the meeting and reported that over the past month there had been 8 incidents in the Mere Area, 3 of which related to anti-social behaviour.
Clive Hazzard wanted to say how well he thought the Town Council’s staff were doing on the work int he cemetery. He also pointed out that there had been one or two incidents of flooding over the weekend and wondered if there was anything the Town Council could do to encourage farmers and landowners to clear their ditches and gulleys.
Apologies for absence received from Councillors P. Coward and Rachael Hansford.
- 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.
- Jordan declared a personal interest in planning applications PL/2021/09039 & PL/2021/09417 both for Tithings, Castle Street
- Jeans declared a personal interest in planning application PL/2021/09710
- Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 80a) Finance
- Hazzard declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 80a) Finance
- Minutes – RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 4th October 2021 be approved as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Colman and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 4.10.21
- Matters Arising from Public Session
The Clerk advised that as the matter raised by the Platinum Jubilee Committee affected Town Council land and required funding then it would require the statutory public notice for consideration and she would therefore raise it as an agenda item for the next meeting.
- Matters Arising from previous Meetings
- a) Update on Wessex Water Environment Fund Grant Application for water refilling station (Minute Ref: 63b) – The Clerk confirmed that she had raised this as an agenda item as the information provided, or minuted, at the last meeting was not quite correct. Jordan had found a company that can install a wall-mounted water refilling station for £910 which included installation but it did not include the four-year maintenance agreement and this would cost an extra £165 per year for four years, making the total cost £1570. Members agreed to proceed with this company/model as the figure was only just over the amount received from the Wessex Water Environment Fund. The Clerk said that she was still trying to ascertain whether this company/model was approved by Wessex Water and if they confirmed that this was the case then she would order a.s.a.p.
*b) Suggestions for expenditure of S.106 funding (Minute Ref: 63e) – Members noted the information in the Clerks Report and confirmed that the Town Council would be proceeding with the two priorities (No. 1 – Walnut Road Play Area and No. 2 – Right of Way improvement Clements Lane to Angel Lane) that had already been agreed and once they were completed then members would be in a position to re-evaluate other suggestions & projects for implementation.
*c) Issues with public toilets (Minute Ref: 67b) – members noted the information in the Clerks Report.
- Reports & Consultations
*a) Report on meeting held on 23rd September 2021 to discuss Mere PPGs proposal for a new Health & Wellbeing facility in Mere (report attached) – members noted the report.
- b) Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – Jeans reported that, as mentioned in the report above, the consultation on the review of the older people’s housing stock was now under way and it had caused a great deal of concern amongst the older residents of Lynch Close where a number of meetings had taken place, some with representatives of Wiltshire Council. The residents are concerned that they are going to get evicted from their bungalows but Cllr. Jeans said that he had established that Wiltshire Council could not do this without taking them to court. Cllr. Mark McClellan is the new Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding and has taken over from Bridget Wayman. Cllr. Jeans also asked for road naming to be put on the agenda for a future meeting as he said there was some confusion with Coward Road that runs parallel with Woodlands Road. Cllr. Jeans also asked for Platinum Jubilee Celebrations to be included as a Budget heading for the impending budget meeting as he did not think there would be any funding from Wiltshire Council to help with celebration events.
- 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 reference number.
|Application Type:||Full planning permission|
|Proposal:||Erection of agricultural barn for use of storage to house; farming equipment ie tractor/mower, log drying area, wash room. To include solar panelling on the roof for powering of equipment.|
|Site Address:||Land west of Woodlands Way, Woodlands Road, Mere, BA12 6JT|
|Planning Register link:||https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000016HXh2
The Chairman reported that this was a piece of land that was situated opposite the site that is subject of a planning application for four caravans for gypsy families – the field had an access on the road that leads from Woodlands Road to the Gillingham Road, coming out at the junction on Mapperton Hill. The Chairman said that she was not aware that the owners of the field had any other agricultural land in the vicinity but was aware, from the information accompanying this planning application, that they were planning to plant about 60 – 100 trees of mixed species on the field and were also proposing to include a composting toilet. Cllr. Jeans said that, whilst outside the scope of planning, he thought that there could be a need to involve third parties i.e. Natural England and/or Forestry Commission, in any proposals that involved planting trees on this scale. Members expressed some concern over this application relating to the fact that the applicants were intending to plant a number of trees on the site and yet they wanted an agricultural barn to house farming equipment with solar panelling on the roof and a composting toilet. Members felt that there was no justification for the barn of this size with these facilities when the purpose of the land was to plant trees and it would be some time before the trees were old enough to cut and provide logs that needed drying and that there was no other agricultural purpose that would require a wash room, composting toilet, solar panelling etc. RESOLVED to object to the planning application on the grounds that there was insufficient justification for the proposed development. Proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Hazzard 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 planning application.
|Application Type:||Removal/variation of conditions|
|Proposal:||Variation of condition 2 on applications 20/01376/FUL and 20/02088/LBC to move the rear elevation wall further south|
|Site Address:||Tithings Castle Street Mere Warminster BA12 6JQ|
|Planning Register link:||https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000016R4Fy
|Application Type:||Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)|
|Proposal:||Proposed erection of a single storey garden room to the rear|
|Site Address:||Tithings Castle Street Mere Warminster BA12 6JQ|
|Planning Register link:|| https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000016RgWX
RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above two applications on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a unanimous vote in favour. Cllr. Jordan, having declared a personal interest in these planning applications, refrained from discussion or voting. In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.
|Application Type:||Full planning permission|
|Proposal:||Erection of hay barn|
|Site Address:||Broadwater Farm Woodlands Road Mere BA12 6JT|
|Planning Register Link:||https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000016RAR2
The Chairman said that it is a shame that a barn is now required for storing hay as the applicant was authorised Class Q planning in 2019 to convert a barn into two dwellings only a couple of years ago. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. Ings, seconded by Cllr. R. Coward 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 planning application.
|Application Type:||Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area|
|Proposal:||Fir tree – fell|
|Site Address:||SELWOOD HOUSE, SALISBURY STREET, MERE, WARMINSTER, BA12 6HF|
|Planning Register link:||https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000016TNH9
Cllr. Jeans declared a personal interest in the above application and left the meeting room whilst it was under discussion & took no part in voting. RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr. R. Coward, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and caried with a unanimous vote of those present.
- Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
- a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team or MyWiltshire reports – Cllr. Jordan asked if it would be possible for the Sparkle Team or Parish Steward to attend to Burton Path and also to fill any potholes in the path. There was also a large pothole in Pettridge Lane by the Catholic Church. Jeans said that he felt that Wiltshire Council needed to make far more effort to get rid of leaves. He said that he had sent an email to the Head of Local Highways stating his views that considering Wiltshire Council had declared a Climate Emergency, they should make more effort to stop the build-up of leaves that can block up gulleys and cause flooding to property. Members of the Town Council agreed to submit an email to the Head of Local Highways in support of Cllr. Jeans.
- Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Car Parks, Allotments & Cemeteries
*a) Mere School expansion plans and alterations to green amenity areas to make more car parking spaces – with reference to the information and plans distributed to councillors prior to the meeting, the Chairman explained that the plans were proposing 65 marked car parking spaces on the site. However the Clerk had counted the number of cars parked on the site at 3.17 pm on 19th October and there were 54 parked cars (not all in marked spaces). It was felt that the plans were not going to provide for a huge number of extra car parking spaces although members recognised that the purpose of the modifications was more about providing for safer vehicle & pedestrian movements within the site than it was about providing increased car parking spaces. The Clerk also pointed out that there would be no provision for lighting within the car parking area although Cllr. Jeans did point out that the contractors had offered to put conduits in trenches whilst they were digging if that would help. Cllr. Jeans said that we should ensure that our consultation response requests this action and also to ensure that there is no restricted access to the swimming pool site. The Clerk confirmed that the formal consultation document had been received this morning and she had found a sentence which stated “The parking will be available outside of school hours for wider users of the site, including sports clubs and will be managed by the Town Council.” The Clerk said it would be preferable and advisable to take out ‘outside of school hours’ because the existing parking is available to all users of the site all the time and not just during school hours. It was agreed that the Clerk should point out this error and once an amended consultation document is received, it should be sent out to all councillors and to all community users of the site asking for them to submit their responses to the Town Council so that we are aware of any concerns.
- b) Report on Annual Play Area RoSPA Safety Inspections – the Clerk reported that “the annual RoSPA Play Area Safety Inspection was carried out on 27th September on our three play areas and our skate park. We have received the four written reports which identify an overall Risk Assessment for each site and individual Risk Assessments for each piece of equipment – ranging from Urgent, High Risk, Medium Risk & low Risk. The report then lists various remedial tasks that should be carried out to reduce risks etc. Apart from the skate park which is a High Risk item due to its usage (not due to the equipment which meets required standard), I am pleased to report that we have no ‘Urgent’ or ‘High Risk’ equipment identified and there is nothing contained within the reports that has given us cause for concern. The grounds staff have been given copies of the reports and we will work through them to carry out as many of the remedial tasks as we can.
*c) Request to light steps from Salisbury Street Car Park to Dark Lane by Shreen Harmony members – with reference to the request, as detailed in the Clerks Report, Cllr. Jeans said that there had been complaints about the darkness of Dark Lane for years and he would invite councillors to walk along there at night and see for themselves how dark and dangerous it is, particularly if you try and walk down the steps. Cllr. Jeans said that he had met with Stuart Brown who is the Exterior Lighting Consultant working for Atkins Global (Wiltshire Council’s contractors) who said it was possible to put in a better light to help the situation and he would therefore request that this is put to the finance meeting for further consideration.
- Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – RESOLVED to authorise payments as set out in schedule of payments (attached) on proposal made by Cllr. Colman, seconded by Cllr. Jordan and carried with a majority vote. Cllr. Jeans & Cllr. Hazzard, having declared a pecuniary interest in this agenda item, left the room and took no part in discussion or voting on this item.
- b) Town Council Communication Strategy – Cllr. Rachael Hansford – this item was deferred owing to the absence of Cllr. Rachael Hansford
- c) To set date and other details for Annual Budget Meeting – it was agreed that the Annual Budget meeting would be held on Wednesday, 24th November at 7.00 pm at Duchy Manor and that the following councillors would be invited to attend: Rachael Hansford, Rodney Coward, Aubrey Colman, George Jeans, Clive Hazzard, John Jordan, Raymond Hill, Philip Coward. The Chairman & Vice-Chairman would attend ex-officio and the Vice-Chairman would Chair the meeting.
- General Items
- a) Recognition for special community contribution – Cllr. Rachael Hansford – this item was deferred owing to the absence of Cllr. Rachael Hansford
- b) Wiltshire Council rough sleeping snapshot estimates – the Clerk reported that Wiltshire Council would like to know if we have any rough sleepers in our parish area on the night of 11th November into the morning of 12th November as they are required to submit an annual figure indicating the numbers of people sleeping rough to central government. Therefore, the Clerk would appreciate it if people could inform her if they are aware of anyone rough sleeping during that night/morning.
*c) Wiltshire Council Briefing Notes:
- 21-20 – Wiltshire Community Environmental Toolkit
- 21-21 – Planning Policy for Renewable Energy
- 21-22 – Covid-19 Update
- 21-23 – Democratic Meetings during the pandemic
- Future meetings and events
*a) Wiltshire Council – Local Councils Climate Action Planning Seminar, Tuesday, 16th November 10 – 4 online. (Booking is essential and places need to be booked by 2nd November) – Cllrs. Mr. & Mrs. Beale expressed an interest in attending the seminar.
- b) Remembrance Day Service – the Clerk reported that the service would start at 10.30 pm on Sunday, 14th November in The Square, followed by a service in St. Michaels Church. The Town Council had arranged for a 20 minute road closure and the Town Council’s staff would be marshalling the road closure.
- c) Xmas Lights – the Clerk explained that work was underway to erect the Xmas lights and that she understood that the Carnival Committee was arranging a lighting ceremony and for Father Xmas to be in the Clock Tower on Friday, 3rd
- Future agenda items
- None requested
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