The Minutes of the previous meeting (July 2012)


Members were reminded that the 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 & any disability); Crime & Disorder, Health & Safety and Human Rights.
Jessica Vale, Parish Clerk


Robin Carpenter (Chairman), Peter Bysouth, Keith Blackwell, Bill Turner, Malcolm White, and Cathy Bakewell (District and County Councillor).


Jessica Vale (Parish Clerk) and 2 members of the public.

Before the meeting commenced there was an opportunity for the public to speak.

    Apologies received from Vanessa May and Gina Seaton (District Councillor).
  2. MINUTES OF MEETINGS HELD ON 17th July 2012 (Already Circulated).
    1. The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
    There were none.
    There were none.
    Cathy Bakewell reported that she has sent out details of the Community Enablement Fund and the Health & Wellbeing Grant Scheme on offer from the County Council, which she hopes that the Parish Council will consider to help to support activities in the parish.

    As a District Councillor, she has received briefing on the new Code of Conduct and Registration of Interests for Councillors and their spouses/partners, the Council Tax Benefit reforms (details on the South Somerset District Council website), and the new Street Naming and Numbering Policy. She has also visited AgustaWestland at their invitation to hear more about work in hand there. In connection with the new Empty Homes Strategy, she reported on the enquiries that she has made about several empty properties in Hardington.

    Parish Councillors informed her of their alarm at the poor quality of contractors’ workmanship of repairs to the bank of the Chinnock Brook alongside the spur road that leads off North Lane towards Hardington Moor, and the repairs to the roadway at the bend in Black House Lane.
    1. Any planning applications received after publication of the agenda. There were none. Cathy Bakewell pointed out that there is a planning application outstanding for a dwelling in the East Coker section of Primrose Hill.
    2. Results of previous applications. The approval of Application no. 12/01487/COL Certificate of Lawful Use or Development for existing use of site as agricultural contracting yard, D Creed Springfield Stores, Hardington Moor was noted.
    3. Results of previous applications received since publication of the agenda. There were none.
    1. Report from Highways Representative; Neil Dyer reported that he had met with the County Council Highways Superintendent earlier in the day. Highways will act on one pothole in Primrose Hill which Neil has reported to them, and will see about another further east but this second one is very close to the badger sett and may be caused by subsidence into the sett, which cannot be disturbed without a licence. They noted that a direction sign to Crewkerne located at the junction of Barry Lane and Penn Lane has snapped off the post. Highways will attend to grass growing in the centre of Rag Lane, and to 2 potholes in Lynch Lane at the entrance to Manor Farm. As a result of the Clerk’s letters to farmers requesting clearing of blocked drains on the west side of Black House Lane/North Lane, one of the farmers concerned has kindly cleared his part, but on the other section water is still rising at a field gateway. Neil agreed to convey to County Highways as a matter of urgency the Parish Council’s concerns about the potential hazards of the structure recently placed on the bank of the Chinnock Brook alongside the spur road that leads off North Lane towards Hardington Moor to stop subsidence of the lane.
    2. Councillors thanked Bill Turner and helpers for tackling the clearance of blocked drains in Primrose Hill, in view of the County Council’s delay in taking action. Recent communication from County Highways was placed in Councillors’ correspondence file for circulation.
    1. Robin Carpenter reported that installation of the play structures ordered from Playdale began on 16th August and is almost completed. The wire for the zipwire may be installed on Tuesday 28th August. Keith Blackwell had met staff from Toybarn earlier in the day and they have installed the tower structure ordered in early August. Robin will contact SSDC to request the post-installation inspection of the new equipment, which is a requirement of SSDC. The Clerk produced a financial update which shows that the Parish Council currently appears to be committed to spending at least £264 more than has been budgeted for the Community Field this year; this will be reported by Robin Carpenter at the next meeting of the Friends of Hardington Community Space for further fundraising action. The rapid rate of growth of grass, especially on the football pitch, was noted with concern. There would be a direct cost implication for more frequent cuts and for getting the contractor to carry away the clippings.
      1. Signage; the sign for the car park previously agreed at the July meeting will also carry further wording to forbid overnight parking in the Field’s car park.
      2. The grant of £2,000 from the Well Being of Yeovil Community Association has been received, acknowledged and banked by the Clerk. Robin Carpenter will obtain a plaque to place on one of the new items of play equipment to acknowledge this donation, in accordance with the Association’s requirements.
    1. New Model Code of Conduct for Councillors. Peter Bysouth had attended a training session for Councillors on the previous day and he reported that the new Code of Conduct is similar in scope to the previous form, but there is no standard format. Councillors were advised to follow either the version adopted by SSDC or one produced by the National Association of Local Councils. Breach of the Code is a criminal offence. Existing Councillors will be required to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and any other disclosable interests using a new style of form at such time as they will need to complete a new form; newly-appointed councillors will use the new style straight away. The forms go to SSDC’s Monitoring Officer who publishes them on the SSDC website but without the Councillor’s signature revealed. The disclosable interests of spouses/partners must be declared whenever a related subject is discussed, if the Councillor knows of such an interest. It is recommended that Parish Councils adopt a new Code at their September meetings; the old Code was effectively abolished in July 2012 by the new legislation. Councillors declaring an interest in a topic of discussion are not required to leave the room but must refrain from the discussion. When necessary, dispensation to be part of the discussion can be granted (recommended that this power be delegated to the Clerk) and must be minuted. The Parish Council must publish its new Code once adopted, and will also have to revise its Standing Orders. Further actions were AGREED:
      1. That Peter Bysouth will draft a final version of the Code for the Parish Council to adopt at the next Parish Council meeting.
      2. That the Clerk should circulate the NALC version of the Code to all Councillors (the SSDC version having already been sent out).
    2. Consultation on change to legal requirement for Council to pay by cheque; a weblink to the consultation documents having previously been sent to Councillors by the Clerk, the Clerk outlined the proposal that the regulations be changed to allow Councils to make electronic payments, and this was discussed, but it was AGREED that there was no need to respond to the consultation.
    1. Clerk’s hours for July 2012 (25 hours) were confirmed as presented.
    2. Waiver of fine for late filing of P35: the Clerk reported that on the 20th of July she had received communications from HMRC in response to the Parish Council’s letter of 13th June to the effect that they agreed to waive the fine levied in May 2012. However by this time she had paid the fine in order to avoid escalating the situation, and the documents sent in July were of no direct use in refunding the fine. She had therefore written back to HMRC giving proof of payment and requesting a refund, and is awaiting further action by HMRC.
    3. It was proposed by Bill Turner, seconded by Robin Carpenter and RESOLVED that the invoice of £20.00 sent by the Somerset Association of Local Councils for Peter Bysouth’s attendance at the Councillors’ Code of Conduct Training event be paid.
    1. Robin Carpenter reported that the County Council’s footpaths team will be hanging on new posts the gate in the corner of a field previously reported for a defective stile on Y10/45, and the farmer has been asked to clear maize growing across parts of Y10/45 and Y10/44. The County Council will also replace an old stile with a wooden self-closing gate on Y10/5, and has set up a new Marlow gate on Y10/33 where a problem was reported some time ago. There is a diversion in place to a part of public bridleway Y10/27 near Marsh Farm; further clarification is needed about the precise route.
    1. The Clerk read a letter from the Scheme Administrator indicating that the current Lengthsman is due to retire in Spring 2013 and requesting that a representative attend a meeting on the 5th of September, and Robin Carpenter agreed to attend this.
    2. July’s work; was carried out as requested.
    3. Work for August:
      1. strim footpaths Y10/4 and Y10/19 and the path between Moor Lane and Springfield Stores
      2. check and clear drains in Primrose Hill
      3. return to Parish noticeboard doors at Hardington Marsh – water still getting in on bottom right side
      4. cut back hedge at path Y10/34 entrance onto road to Hardington Marsh
      5. strim around tyre and village sign in Primrose Hill.
    1. Correspondence to be circulated was provided by the Clerk. It was brought to the Clerk’s attention that the Parish Council will not consider requests for funding for projects and services outside of the Parish.
    2. Correspondence received:
      1. Avon & Somerset Police seeking independent co-opted members for the Police and Crime Panel - noted.
      2. Somerset County Council Health & Wellbeing Budget Information Pack - ongoing consultation on strategy. The scheme to be put on the agenda of the next Parish Council meeting.
      3. Somerset County Council Community Enablement Fund. The scheme to be put on the agenda of the next Parish Council meeting, especially in respect of works needed for north bank of the Chinnock Brook.
      4. By email – about insurance policies for Parish Council and Village Hall. The nature of the existing policies, and relationship between Council and Village Hall Management Committee responsibilities, were discussed. The Clerk was asked to obtain clarification from the correspondent and the current insurers and report back to the next Parish Council meeting.
    1. Chairman:
      1. Questionnaire for Local Youth Work project; Robin Carpenter is continuing to complete this but finds some of the questions not applicable. The deadline for submission has been extended.
      2. David Beckley has tendered his resignation as a Parish Councillor but will continue to administer the Oil Consortium. The Clerk was instructed to write to David to thank him for his time as a councillor, and proceed with advertising the vacancy.
    2. Councillors: nothing to report.
    3. Clerk:
      1. Affordable Housing: there are 2 ongoing schemes in place locally in Queen Camel and Norton-sub-Hamdon. Both are dependent on a. a recent survey to establish a need for housing and b. formation of a partnership between a voluntary local Community Land Trust and a Housing Association. Issues around Hardington’s situation were discussed and the Clerk was instructed to make further enquiries to SSDC.
      2. The Clerk’s own scanner/printer is not working and may not be repaired, so she asked that the Parish Council might consider contributing towards the cost of a replacement (amount unknown at this stage).
      3. The Clerk advised of forthcoming holiday dates.
    The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Tuesday the 18th of September 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall, to be preceded by a meeting of the Recreation Space Committee starting at 7.15 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.22 p.m.