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Minutes of Town Council meeting held on Monday, 6th December 2021

Minutes of a meeting of Mere Town Council held on Monday, 6th December 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, Rachael Hansford, Clive Hazzard, Glen Ings, George Jeans (from 7.05 pm), & Eric Mitchell


Meeting convened at 7.00 pm with Public Session

  • None


Apologies for absence received from Councillors Louise Bennett, A. Colman, P. Coward, R. Coward, R. Hill & J. Jordan.

Members RESOLVED that the absence of Cllr. P. Coward be authorised and approved.



  1. To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.
  • To receive Declarations of Interest relating to matters contained in this agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 in respect of officers and the Localism Act 2011 in respect of members.
  • To receive written requests for new DPI dispensations.

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

  • Jeans declared a pecuniary interest in Minute No. 92a) Payments


  1. Minutes RESOLVED that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday, 1st November 2021 be approved as a correct record of proceedings on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Mitchell and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 1.11.21. RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual Budget meeting held on Wednesday, 24th November 2021 be approved on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr. Hazzard and carried with a unanimous vote of those present on 24.11.21.


  1. Matters Arising from Public Session
  • None


  1. Matters Arising from previous Meetings (not covered by other agenda items)
  2. a) Mere School expansion plans and alterations to green amenity areas to make more car parking spaces – to consider the consultation responses given by community users of the site and to compile the Town Council’s formal consultation response: RESOLVED to send the following response: “As tenants of the Duchy Manor Sports Grounds and tenants of offices adjacent to Mere School, the Town Council has consulted with user groups of the Duchy Manor Sports grounds and facilities and following feedback from them, members have considered the consultation documents for the expansion of Mere School and in particular the plans for the additional parking and drop off area and layout to create a safer route for children/parents to walk to Mere School.

On the whole, the user groups raised no objection to the proposals although one or two were concerned that construction work may cause disruption to their activities and planned games/matches.  Concerns have been raised about the loss of the two trees and the necessity to check that these two trees are not commemoration trees for ex pupils of Duchy Manor Middle School that passed away.


One issue that has arisen is that drivers coming from the school site and into Springfield Road do not realise that they must give way to users in Springfield Road and this could be attributed to the fact that the give way white line road junction markings have eroded.  We would be grateful if the reinstatement of these could be encompassed into the scheme. Another issue is that the Town Council does often receive concerns and complaints from residents relating to the car parking and congestion along Hazzards Hill and White Road at school dropping off times.  Indeed, the parking of vehicles along Hazzards Hill is a worry as it is on the brow of a hill just before a blind bend and the parking in White Road (near the school’s rear access gates) invariably ends up with residents finding themselves being blocked in and unable to get their cars out of their own driveways. The Town Council has asked me to write and confirm that it is in support of the proposals for the expansion of Mere School but hopes that the increased car parking and drop off zones will succeed in addressing some of the problems outlined above and that, once implemented, parents will be encouraged to use the main front entrance to the school and not the side or rear entrances.”

*b) To consider permanent fixture for the town to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, members felt that the suggestion of planting two beautiful trees that would provide a flowering interest or leaf colour interest to be planted in Jubilee Gardens with a commemorative plaque would provide an excellent permanent commemoration for this event and would also fit in with the Queens Green Canopy scheme.


  1. Reports & Consultations
  2. a) Wiltshire Councillors Report – Jeans said that flooding seemed to be a major topic of concern just lately. He pointed out that Wiltshire Council had been round with a tanker emptying the gullies but said it was unlikely that Wiltshire Council is going to invest billions in enlarging the drains and when we have a deluge of rain, Wiltshire Council cannot guarantee that the drains can take the volume of water and so residents are going to have to do their own risk assessments. Cllr. Jeans said that he had been made aware of three properties in Mere that had flooded at the end of October.  The Clerk said that many towns and parishes were encouraged to produce flood plans which does suggest measures for residents to take but involves volunteers to become community flood wardens etc.  Cllr. Jeans asked that Flood Plan for Mere is raised as a future agenda item.
  3. b) Report on Town & Parish Council Climate Action Day held on 16th November 2021– Cllrs. Nick & Debbie Beale – Cllr Mrs. Beale reported that they had attended a day webinar and the purpose was to get some ideas because change is coming and we will need to focus on how to become carbon neutral. Mrs. Beale asked for this issue to be raised again on the next agenda.


  1. Planning
  2. a) Applications for consultation response – (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s Planning & Building Control Public Register – – type in the relevant application number:


Application No: PL/2021/10395
Proposal: Prior Notification Under Class Q for a Proposed Change of use of Four Agricultural Buildings to 5 Dwellinghouses (Use Class C3) and Associated Building Operations.
Planning Register Link:

Cllr. Mitchell said he felt this was overdevelopment in what was a tiny little lane with vehicular accesses for 6 properties on a blind bend.  He pointed out that the Access Statement says that the slurry lagoon will be filled in but he was concerned that this may exacerbate the dirty water and surface water problems that neighbours have mentioned in their consultation responses.  Cllr. Rachael Hansford pointed out that the farmyard is going to be obsolete and asked what would happen to those buildings if they weren’t converted into dwellings – are they going to be allowed to fall down or will they be knocked down?

The Chairman pointed out that there were a number of objection letters on the Wiltshire Council planning website relating to this development.  RESOLVED that the town council recommend approval of the application with the following concerns/conditions:  The Town Council raised concerns about the fact that this will result in three vehicular accesses coming off a narrow road on a blind bend with poor visibility that will be serving 6 properties and their associated vehicle movements.  The Town Council has received a number of complaints relating to the fact that HGV and unsuitable vehicles are using the narrow lanes that come off the B3092 along Mapperton Hill as a ‘short cut’ to get to Woodlands Road thereby coming through the Huntingford and Swainsford areas.  Whilst the Town Council accepts that much of this traffic may be heading for the C. G. Fry development further east or for Mere town centre or even using it as a bypass around Mere to get to the Shaftesbury Road, members felt that this development may exacerbate the situation, especially whilst conversion and construction is taking place and requested that permanent signage be erected on the two junction roads from the B3092 that feed into Woodlands Road – the signage to state “NARROW LANES – UNSUITABLE FOR HGV’s”

Proposal made by Cllr. C. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Rachael Hansford and carried with a vote of 4 for, 2 Against and 2 abstentions.   In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Jeans abstained from voting on this planning application.



Application No: PL/2021/09927
Application Type: Listed building consent (Alt/Ext)
Proposal: Install window above front door
Site Address: Habberley, Water Street, Mere, Warminster, BA12 6DZ
Planning Register Link:



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


  1. b) Report on CPRE’s Neighbourhood Planning Webinar held on 9th November – Cllr. Rachael Hansford – deferred


  1. Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
  2. a) To identify jobs for the Parish Steward, Sparkle Team and MyWltshire reports – request for Parish Steward to clear mud that has been washed onto the path along Waterside from Steep Street to Water Street.
  3. b) Report on CATG meeting held on 24th November 2021 – The Clerk reported that Cllr. Mrs. Beale was unable to attend the meeting but confirmed that the Town Council request for a speed limit assessment along the Shaftesbury Road is now listed as a CATG issue under new requests but it has not made it into the Priority Schemes list yet.

*c) Frome Bus Service – In view of the information in the Clerks Report, members agreed that the Town Council should submit an email expressing the importance of these bus services locally and urging Wiltshire Council and the bus operators to continue all efforts to resume the service as soon as possible, if this has not already been achieved and to express the view that this is especially significant given the Governments initiative on Bus Back Better setting out a strategy to deliver better bus services.

*d) S W Rail & Great Western Rail cuts to timetable – with reference to the information in the Clerks Report, the Clerk said that she was concerned about the email because it mentioned that service reductions would affect Tisbury station and the Clerk therefore assumed they must affect Gillingham station.  An enquiry with the Clerk of Gillingham Town Council has revealed that a 44-page consultation document sent out by South Western Railway was considered by them in August and it does outline some service reductions.  (1) ‘The core service on the West of England line is two trains per hour from London Waterloo to Salisbury with alternate services extending through to Exeter St. Davids.  We have removed a small number of lightly used off-peak services between Salisbury and Yeovil (via Sherborne).  These changes reduce the number of services over the congested single line sections between Salisbury and Yeovil allowing us to deliver a more resilient service.’

(2) ‘The route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both SWR and Great Western Railway, with SWR running five of the Average 25 daily services in the May 2019 timetable.  Following a separate review with the Dept. For Transport, SWR will withdraw its current three daily services from December 20231 as duplicating services between the two operators does not provide good value for the taxpayer.  Great Western Railway will continue to meet demand on the line and services will connect into London bound trains at Salisbury, Bath and Westbury.’

The Clerk further added that the Shaftesbury & Gillingham Transport Forum had agreed with the SERUG (Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users Group) submission to this consultation saying that the proposed timetable was totally inadequate for the number of passengers travelling but she did not know whether or not Wiltshire Council had made a formal consultation submission on the document.  It was agreed that the Clerk should make enquiries with Wiltshire Council about this and if so, to ask for a copy.

  1. e) Road naming to clear up confusion with Coward Road that runs parallel with Woodlands Road – Cllr. Jeans reported that the new houses with a frontage along Woodlands Road have actually been given the address as Coward Road which is causing confusion for residents and delivery drivers etc. It was agreed that Cllr. Jeans pursue this with whoever needs to be involved as long as there is no admin work and no cost to the Parish Council and that resolution meets with the agreement of all the residents.
  2. f) Suggestion to submit CATG request for “Unsuitable for lorries” sign on some feeder roads to Woodlands Industrial units (may need coordinating with Dorset Council) – George Jeans said that several people had approached him about the number of lorries and large vehicles that are using the narrow lanes off the B3092 along Mapperton Hill as a ‘short cut’ to get to Woodlands Road thereby driving through the Huntingford & Swainsford areas. Cllr. Jeans said that C. G. Fry & Son did erect a sign encouraging all people coming out of their development to turn right out of the estate and out onto the Shaftesbvury Road or Clements Lane rather than turning left into Swainsford and he wondered if new road signs could be erected on the entrances to these lanes off the B3092 at Mapperton Hill. Members felt that as the development of West Swainsford Farm may exacerbate this situation, especially whilst conversion and construction is taking place, that the developers be requested to erect permanent signage on the two junction roads from the B3092 that feed into Woodlands Road – the signage to state “NARROW LANES – UNSUITABLE FOR HGV’s”.


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


  1. Finance, Policy & Resources

*a)  Payments – To review and authorise schedule of payments (attached) – The Clerk explained that she did not think that the Sydenhams Hire Centre invoices tallied with the amounts quoted to Cllr. Hazzard and it was agreed that Cllr. Hazzard would telephone Sydenhams Hire to discuss a.s.a.p.  In the meantime it was agreed to authorise the Sydenhams Hire Centre payments as a maximum payment.  All other payments listed were authorised on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. Mitchell and carried with a majority vote.  As Cllr. Jeans had declared a pecuniary interest in this item, he left the meeting whilst the matter was discussed and took no part in discussion or voting.

*b) To adopt recommendations made by Budget Meeting, as shown in Minutes of Budget Meeting held on Monday, 24th November 2021  (Minutes attached) RESOLVED to adopt the recommendations made by the budget committee as recorded in the minutes of the budget meeting held on  24th November 2021 on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.  Cllr. Hazzard asked for the Council’s thanks to the Vice-Chairman and the Clerk for the work in preparing for this meeting to be recorded in the Minutes.

  1. c) To approve Precept on Wiltshire Council for 2022/23 RESOLVED to approve a Precept of £172,789.00 for 2022/23 on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried with a unanimous vote. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Precept form for submission to Wiltshire Council.
  2. d) To consider the provision of a street light to light steps from Salisbury Street Car Park to Dark Lane – Cllr. Jeans confirmed that a quotation had been received and that the Town Council had set aside the money at the Budget meeting and he was therefore asking for the Town Council to give the go-ahead for the light to be installed. RESOLVED that the Town Council agree to request that Atkins Global install the street light in Dark Lane at a maximum cost of £2500 and on condition that the light will be maintained by Wiltshire Council Highways on proposal made by Cllr. Rachael Hansford, seconded by Cllr. Nick Beale and carried with a majority in favour. Jeans abstained from voting.
  3. e) Request for Grant Funding Support from Mere Platinum Jubilee Committee – Cllr. Ings who is on the Jubilee Committee said that the plan for the day is to have a street market along Church Street with proper traders and a Church Fete in the Churchyard and the Vicarage Field to be used for live music, bar, food and entertainment. They would also like to arrange a car show in the cemetery car park. General feeling is to charge less to attract more although there will be expenses and costs involved.  It was anticipated that two road closures would be required.  The Committee had applied to the South west Wiltshire Area Board for grant funding of £2300 towards the estimated total cost of £4600.  RESOLVED that the Town Council should make a contribution of £200 to the Jubilee Committee funds and to act as seed funding for the Area Board grant on proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Beale and carried majority vote in favour.
  4. f) Training – to Authorise expenditure for Clerk to attend Society of Local Council Clerks – Practitioners’ Conference 2022 (Virtual) – Delegate cost £75 + VAT for members – RESOLVED that the Clerk be authorised to attend the SLCC Practitioners’ Conference at a cost of £75.00.
  5. g) Town Council Communication Strategy – Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she would like the Town Council to adopt a policy for communication to use as a framework as she was concerned that sometimes things were published in Mere Matters and other times things were published on Facebook and copied into Mere Mutters and then other notices went on the website. She said that she had found a working document and would circulate this to members for the next meeting.


  1. General Items

*a) Vacancy on the Mere Charities committee for Town Council representative – Cllr. Jeans proposed that Mrs. Anne Rich be asked to fill the vacancy on the Mere Charities Committee.  This proposal was seconded by Cllr. Mitchell.  It was agreed that Cllr. Jeans would communicate with Anne Rich accordingly.

  1. b) Recognition for special community contribution – Cllr. Rachael Hansford said that she thought it would be nice to reward recognition for all the people who do so much work in the town. Jeans said that he initially thought this was a good idea but then realised that there are so many people who do so much work who don’t want to be recognised and they do it because it is what they want to do. Cllr. Hazzard pointed out that the Town Council had issued a Certificate of Appreciation to the last PCSO when he retired.  Cllr. Mitchell felt that the Town Council would be opening up a can of worms as someone would be bound to feel left out or insulted and it was pointed out that there are all sorts of recognised awards that people could be nominated for by individuals.  It was agreed that this suggestion would be left in abeyance and no further action taken.
  2. c) Date of next meeting – it was agreed to hold the next Town Council meeting on Monday, 10th January 2022


  1. Future meetings and events
  2. a) South West Wiltshire Area Board meeting to be held on Wednesday, 15th December in Nadder Centre, Tisbury


  1. Future agenda items


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


*Further information on these items enclosed/attached





Registered Charity No. 1093497


For Trustees to consider the following:


*To submit Annual Return for Mere Peace Memorial Sports & Recreation Ground for Financial Year End 31.3.21