The Minutes of the previous meeting June 2014)


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.
Nancy Chapman, Parish Clerk


Robin Carpenter (Chairman), Peter Bysouth, Bill Turner, Malcolm White, Marcus Fysh (County Councillor) and Gina Seaton (District Councillor).


Nancy Chapman (Parish Clerk) and 7 members of the public.

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

A representative from the Messenger team, which is staffed by volunteers and delivered at no cost to households within the village, reported that they had received a letter from SSDC this week stating it was increasing the cost of printing from 1st August. The current cost is around 25 and the letter stated that the new cost would be 116.76. A further letter from SSDC was received stating that this was incorrect and that it should be 75, but this is still close to the commercial rate of printing. The future viability of the Messenger is now in question and with the increase coming into effect from the 1st August the team have not had a chance to look at alternative options. The Messenger team would be grateful if the Parish Council could contact SSDC to object to this large increase.

A parishioner stated that they would like to ask the Parish Council to allow their daughter to use the community field for her wedding reception next year. They would like to erect a marquee on the football pitch area and also have porta-loos. Use of the remaining park facilities would not be interrupted. The marquee would need to be set-up on a Friday and dismantled on Sunday.

A parishioner stated they were present to discuss any questions the council may have in relation to the revised planning application given at section 6.a)ii) below. At the chairman’s request, they gave a summary of the proposed changes.

    Apologies were received from Andy Webb, Vanessa May, Paul Vallis and Cathy Bakewell (District Councillor).
  2. MINUTES OF MEETING held on 22nd May 2014 (Already Circulated).
    1. The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman as correct records of the meeting.
    Gina Seaton gave details of the Area South meeting on 2nd July (also detailed in Cathy Bakewell’s written report). The planning application for 20 houses at Broadacres, East Coker was discussed. It was not supported by the Parish Council, nor local residents. The main objection was highways related. The planning officers had recommended approval. After lively debate, the application was refused with a good majority.

    Inspector Tim Coombe gave a presentation on the re-organization of the police in our area, explaining how the structure would work. The Yeovil Police station would no longer be used, but a new location for a cell block would be required.

    The Area South Committee also agreed to install five new CCTV cameras around the underpass linking Princes Street with the Hospital, to make this area safer for pedestrians. There have been a number of assaults in this area in the recent past.

    Gina also passed on details of a presentation she had attended on the Heart of Wessex Local Action Group who provide funding and support for rural communities.

    Marcus Fysh reported that he had attended a presentation from Somerset County Council and Devon County Council on the potential improvements to the A303 between Broadway and Honiton, through the Blackdown Hills. Further information can be found at Marcus has also been lobbying hard for the dualling of the whole of the A303.

    Following concerns re overgrown verges raised at last month’s meeting, Marcus reported that the class A & B roads had been cut 6-8 weeks ago and would be given a second cut starting on the 8th August. The class C & D roads are being cut at the moment. Neil Dyer stated that had been told the Hardington Mandeville verges would be cut by the 6th August at the latest.

    The Chairman read a report from Cathy Bakewell. In addition to subjects already covered, Cathy reported that on the subject of the former Moor Lane Nursery site, the latest email from the planning consultants for Halsall Homes suggests a scheme of 15 homes to include 5 affordable. Simon Fox has yet to respond.

    Cathy also gave details of SSDC’s consultation with local communities on their aspirations for Yeovil Country Park. The consultation is called “the V3 Project” and seeks to involve people with, foster Volunteering for and encourage Visits to Yeovil Country Park. There are a number of consultation sessions being held or residents can email their thoughts and ideas for Yeovil Country Park to Further details and an online survey can be found at
    1. The following application was received:
      1. App no: 14/02898/FUL Partway, Partway Lane, Hardington Mandeville –The erection of a detached garage with store over. Applicant: Mr and Mrs D. Marr. There were no objections.
      2. App no: 14/02562/FUL St Mary’s House, West Coker Hill, West Coker –The erection of a single storey extension (revised application). Applicant: Mrs Jacqui Watkins. There were no objections.
    2. There were no planning applications received after publication of the agenda.
    3. There were no results of previous applications received after publication of the agenda.
    4. The Chairman reported that although a planning application was not being submitted, Tim Marsh has submitted a notification of intent to enlarge some farm buildings at Os 3038, Coker Hill Lane.
    5. The Chairman reported that he had not received any acknowledgement or reply to the letters sent from the Parish Council to Halsall Homes regarding the Moor Lane Nursery site. He had spoken to David Matthews who stated that a total of 15 homes, of which 5, approximately the accepted 35%, would be affordable, was the minimum number to make the scheme economically viable. There is currently no formal planning application submitted, but they are still considering the site. The Parish Council should have a reply in writing by next month’s meeting. Marcus Fysh said he believed under the SS2 emerging policy, where a development site has more that 5 units, the ideal percentage for affordable housing is 35%, but there are some exceptions. The Chairman also remarked that he was not happy that the consultation details had not been published on the Halsall Homes website as promised.
    1. Neil Dyer’s report included the surface issues at Holywell cross, the large potholes on the road to Crewkerne and the large gully caused by surface water erosion at the bottom of Lyatts.
      Neil had also contacted SSC Highways regarding the road surface from North Lane to Coker Hill expressing concerns that the contractors plan to trial a new process of repair, may be delayed or may not happen. Neil felt a ‘plan B’ should be in place, as the road is now unsuitable for cars with a low ground clearance. Regarding the under-path drain at the bottom of the play-park, Neil has been informed that their budget for the year has already been committed. Neil has responded to this stating that the size of the job is relatively minor and given the extra funding the county has received due to flooding issues that surely the money could be found for a job such as this.
    2. Malcolm White commented that he thought it was pretty poor that the verges have still not been cut when they are usually cut in May every year. The Horse and Dog Show is taking place on Saturday, which will generate increased traffic including some larger vehicles and the restricted visibility is a traffic hazard. Marcus agreed to follow this up.
    1. On behalf of the Parish Council, the Chairman thanked all those involved in arranging another very successful street fayre.
    2. The Moor Lane Nursery site had been discussed previously.
    3. There were no further updates relating to the community defibrillator.
    4. The Chairman reported that he has arranged to meet with Alan Young to look at the Village Hall Garage Roof repairs and discuss the next step.
    5. The Chairman read a letter from the Hardington Player’s regarding the new lighting system. They have met with David Riley who is an expert in this field. He is speaking to 2 suppliers to get the best deals. There are only a couple of suppliers who specialize in this equipment and getting 3 quotes would be difficult. A resolution was passed to make an exception to the council’s standing order requirement for 3 quotes in this instance.
    6. The council discussed the increase in printing costs for the Messenger. It was agreed the clerk would write a letter to SSDC stating that the council is dismayed that the cost has been increased 3 or 4 fold without any warning and that they felt this was very unfair. Gina also agreed to speak to the relevant department and express the council’s views.
    1. Having filled some gaps around several posts on the community field, the Chairman contacted Rob Parr to determine when the Annual Inspection and Risk Assessment would be taking place. Rob Parr’s reply stated that it had already taken place and that the gaps had been picked up as an issue so it was good that this had now been rectified! There were no other major issues identified and the full report would be sent out in the near future.
    2. The Chairman had contacted Rob Parr to determine if there were any issues to be considered with the installation of a permanent brick barbeque. The clerk reported that the insurers had no issues, but recommended that suitable safety notices are displayed. A resolution was passed to approve the purchase of two large grills and pans from Amazon at a cost of 24.99 each, so that a double-bay barbeque could be built.
    3. The Chairman read out email correspondence between himself and Juliet Blomfield who would like to hire the use of the community field for her wedding reception on 11th July 2015, following a wedding in Hardington church. The Chairman expressed concern that this would prevent the general public from using the community field, which would not be acceptable. The response to this was that there would be no intention to close the field, only to rope off an area. The clerk stated this event would not be covered by the council’s insurance. It was suggested that lack of parking may also be a problem. Following further discussion it was felt that this could be trialed as a one-off event. A resolution was passed to approve the use of the field for this wedding reception should Miss Blomfield wish to progress this option. While no hire fee would be charged, it was suggested a donation towards the Community field ‘Gazebo fund’ would be gratefully received!
    1. A resolution was passed to approve the previously circulated Financial Risk Assessment.
    2. The Internal auditors report recommended that the PC should maintain an Operational Risk Assessment. The Clerk had contacted East and West Coker Parish Councils as well as SALC, but none of these maintained one. Peter Bysouth produced a copy of risk assessment that he had on file. It was agreed he would give a copy of this to the clerk to consider.
    3. Peter Bysouth proposed the following insertions to the areas marked by ‘()’ in the updated Standing Orders (all were passed by resolution).
      • Section 1 t = 5 (minutes),
      • Section 3 e = 5 (minutes per person),
      • Section 3 f = 5 (minutes),
      • Section 3 w = 2.5 (hours),
      • Section 4 d.v. = 3 (days),
      • Section 6 d. = 7 (days), 2 (members), 2 (members),
      • Section 7 a. = 2 (councillors),
      • Section 9 b. = 7 (days),
      • Section 9 d. = 4 (days),
      • Section 15 b.iii. = 6 (days).
      With regards to section 17a, it was agreed the clerk would obtain a copy of ‘Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide’ from SALC.
      With regards to Section 21 it was agreed the clerk would contact SALC for a model document for a media policy.
      A resolution was passed to adopt the updated Standing Orders subject to these changes.
    1. The approval of the Bank Reconciliation at 30th June 2014 was postponed until next month as Peter had only just received the books.
    2. The Budget Analysis at 30th June 2014 was reviewed.
    3. Peter highlighted that the new regulations included a requirement for the quarterly check of accounts to include signing the bank statements. They also include a requirement to make a clear list of payments on the monthly agenda. Peter requested that the clerk should contact SALC to query the reference to section 11(l) in section 10.3 as it does not exist in the document. A resolution was passed to adopt the updated Financial Regulations.
    4. The clerk reported that the Fixed Assets Register was still being updated, following advice from the internal auditor. Peter agreed to pass contact details for the village hall treasurer to the clerk.
    5. The Clerk’s hours for July (23 hours) were confirmed.
    6. A resolution was passed to pay the Clerk salary for April, May, June (616.50), expenses (30.43) and mileage (20.70) = 667.63
    1. The Chairman reported that the headlands at 10/44 had been cut. The Chairman requested that Bill Turner informed Les Braunton of the informal crop diversion he had made. Bill Turner stated that he had installed one of the gates supplied at the top of Lyatts.
    2. The Chairman reported that a letter had been received stating that an order to add a bridleway along Coker Hill Lane to the Definitive Map and Statement of public rights of way has been made.
    1. The Chairman reported that the inside hedge of the community Field had been cut.
    2. It was agreed the following tasks should be added to the Rangers list:
      • Stile clearance on footpaths 10/46, 10/44, 10/4 and strim path from Moor Lane to village shop.
      • Clearing the ditch half-way up the East side of the community field.
    1. Helen Sharpe of SSDC had sent an email with a draft of the Hardington Mandeville Parish Profile containing the 2011 census data. Helen was asking for the parish council’s comments or suggestions for the document. It was agreed that any comments should be sent to the clerk, so that they can be collated and emailed to Helen.
    2. Gina presented a flier from the Heart of Wessex Local Action Group who provide funding and support for rural communities. It was agreed the clerk would contact the group to invite them to do a short presentation at August’s parish council meeting.
    1. Chairman. Nothing to report.
    2. Councillors: Nothing to report.
    3. Clerk: Nothing to report.
    The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 19th August 2014 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall. The meeting closed at 9.12 pm.