The Minutes of the previous meeting May 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), Bill Turner, Malcolm White, Andy Webb, Vanessa May, Paul Vallis and Marcus Fysh (County Councillor).


Nancy Chapman (Parish Clerk) and 5 members of the public.

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

A parishioner thanked the Parish Council for their formal reply relating to the housing survey queries from several Moor Lane residents. They understood that another housing survey was to be carried out by Origin3. They felt it was important that the survey should include a clear definition of ‘affordable housing’ and also that it should highlight that in order to qualify for the affordable housing, people need to be on the housing-needs register. They were not against affordable housing, but did not want it to be used to justify more houses than necessary on the former Moor Lane Nursery site. The residents have been in contact with Origin3 and the Parish Council were welcome to view the correspondence between them.

    Apologies were received from Peter Bysouth, Neil Dyer, Cathy Bakewell (District Councillor) and Gina Seaton (District Councillor).
    1. The Chairman welcomed Andy Webb to the Parish Council. Andy then signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
  3. 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.
    Marcus Fysh reported that the Somerset County Council (SCC) has appointed a new chief executive, Patrick Flaherty, who has been acting Chief Executive for the last six months and throughout the major flooding problems. SCC currently own the West Somerset Railway and have been considering selling the freehold, but have now decided to keep it for the time-being. With respect to their budget, SCC have received higher than expected revenue from Business Rates, but they are now finding it harder to make the savings required as a result of the large reduction in Government grants. Savings already made include restructuring children’s centres, and the 30 staff required as a result of this re-structure have now been employed.
    Marcus presented a cheque for 400 to the Parish Council from the SCC Health and Well-Being Scheme as a contribution towards the recently installed community field exercise equipment. The Chairman thanked Marcus for this.
    The main topic from the Area South meeting was the examination of the Local Plan, which is a critical part of the framework for development until 2028. There are still some issues and a further round of consultation may be needed. The Council needs to demonstrate they have a 5-year land supply.
    There is also continued concern that developers are backing out of their commitments. The Lufton site has recently lost the contribution of a secondary school, amongst other things. The cost of this will now have to be met by the tax-payer.

    The Chairman read a report from Cathy Bakewell. The report gave details of the South Somerset Together strategic partnership which aims to improve the work-readiness of young people and ensure they leave college with the skills local employers require. The report also gave details of two public meetings held by the Keyford site developer. The developer had clearly listened to comments made at the public exhibition and amended plans accordingly. They were keen to mitigate the impact on neighboring properties. The first Vintage Market was held in Yeovil on King George Street and was very successful. This will now be held every four weeks.

    1. The following application was received: App no: 14/02401/FUL Partway House, Partway Lane, Hardington Mandeville – Alterations and the conversion of existing outbuilding into a self contained annexe ancillary to the main house (revised application). Applicant: Mr David Marr. There were no objections.
    2. There were no planning applications received after publication of the agenda.
    3. The following results of previous applications were received after publication of the agenda: App no: 14/02217/FUL. The erection of a two storey extension to rear of dwelling house at Hill End Cottage, Hill End. Applicant: Mr Martin Pease. Approved with conditions.
    4. There were no other planning issues.
    1. Neil Dyer’s report included the untidy verge at the Eastern end of St James Terrace where a drain repair had taken place previously and not been restored. It also detailed two potholes at Font Lane, north of the junction with Primrose Hill.
    2. Malcolm White and Bill Turner reported that there are a couple of large potholes along Broad Lane on the way to Crewkerne and also road surface problems caused by a water leak on Windmill Hill. The Clerk agreed to report these to Neil.
    3. Malcolm White commented that the hedges and verges in the village needed cutting back. This is usually done in May, but has not been done so far this year. It was agreed the Clerk would email Mike Fear of SCC Highways stating the Parish Council’s concern of the traffic hazard caused by overgrown verges.
    1. The Chairman wanted to bring everyone up-to-date regarding the current situation with the potential Moor Lane development:
      • A letter from several Moor Lane residents to Origin3 was read out stating that they felt the 18 houses was totally unacceptable; the housing survey identified the need for 8 affordable houses to buy not rent; they suggested that a development of 4-5 open-market houses would be viable if the affordable housing was abandoned.
      • The reply form Origin3 to the Moor Lane residents stated that a significant proportion of the respondees from the consultation event support the development of the site and some at the extent proposed. They received significant interest from residents into the affordable element of the scheme. The suggestion of 4 or 5 open-market houses is not a strategy that Halsall homes wish to pursue.
      • Simon Fox (SSDC Lead Development Officer) emailed Origin3 stating the following:
        “The survey conducted by the Parish Council in association with our Area Development Team, did not reach a definitive conclusion but through discussions with Strategic Housing colleagues we would be content to further the scheme based on the provision of 5-6 properties at most. To this end I remain of the opinion that a much reduced scheme of approx. 10 dwellings (split 50:50 or 60:40 in favour of open market) with a reduced development envelope concentrated closer to Moor Lane would be more desirable. We collectively remain supportive of some form of development but reiterate that our main objective is to secure some affordable housing within a proportionate and acceptable development for this community.”
      • Cathy Bakewell emailed the Parish Council with the following details:
        “Simon (Fox) confirms that a more robust housing needs survey does need to be done. This would be done by the developer but SSDC would have input into the questions asked. The sole aim is to identify local housing needs. SS2 - Emerging Policy. SS2 is designed to unlock the door for land which can give the owner some open market value (which Rural Exception didn't) but the site MUST have either some affordable housing, provide for local employment or meet some community facility needs. Simon is very conscious that the developer has taken little notice of the meeting they had with him and the Parish Council. Although the number of houses have been reduced from that they originally talked about, it is still too many.”
      • The Chairman agreed to draft a letter to Origin3/Hallsall Homes requesting that they carry out a further housing need survey and email it to the rest of the council for comment before sending.
    2. The Chairman was waiting to hear back from a contact in the NHS regarding the defibrillator.
    3. The Chairman reported that thanks to Bill Turner and his team of helpers, the village hall garage roof had now been fixed. The roof was now solid, but it was felt that a qualified surveyor should look at it in order to confirm this in writing. Robin Carpenter agreed to contact John Whatley.
    4. The Chairman read a report from the Hardington Player’s asking that the PC consider a donation towards the cost of a new lighting system. They would like 1000 and would then seek matched funding for the remainder. The Clerk stated that the PC had 400 in their budget for grants towards village organizations and also a 3000 reserve for Village Hall improvements. The question was raised as to whether the lighting system would be owned by the PC or by the Hardington Players. The response was that the Players were happy to share it with the PC. The PC members were keen to support the Hardington Players and a resolution was passed to contribute 1000 towards the cost of a new lighting system.
    1. The Chairman reported that he had informed the carpenter, Matthew Browning that the PC would like to go ahead with the Gazebo. The fund-raising has been given a kick-start and now needs progressing.
    2. The Annual Inspection and Risk Assessment is due soon. Prior to this, the Chairman needs to carry out some maintenance including filling the gaps around some posts. The broken step on the climbing wall has been replaced.
    3. The Chairman asked for the bricks to be delivered to the Community Field so that work could begin on the permanent BBQ. The Chairman is hoping to purchase a suitable grill. Safety issues and warnings will need to be considered.
    1. The approval of the Financial Risk Assessment was postponed until July’s meeting to allow time for comments.
    2. The Internal auditors report recommended that the PC should maintain an Operational Risk Assessment. It was questioned as to whether this was necessary as the community field has an annual risk assessment and all village hall committee events have a separate risk assessment carried out. The Clerk agreed to contact other Parish Councils to determine if they maintain one.
    3. It was agreed the updated Standing Orders would be issued for review in the next week to allow time for comments and then approved at July’s meeting.
    1. The Clerk reported that the 2013-14 accounts have been submitted for external audit.
    2. The Chairman read out the Internal Auditor’s report. The report recommended that the PC should maintain a Fixed Assets Register and also an Operational Risk Assessment. The update of the Fixed assets register was in progress and the clerk agreed to arrange a meeting with Nick Lunt to discuss the way forward with assets that were complex to value.
    3. The approval of the updated Financial Regulations was postponed until July’s meeting to allow time for comments.
    4. Clerk’s hours for May (20.5 hours) were confirmed.
    1. The Chairman once again requested that landowners ensure temporary electric fences are marked and fitted with protective cover when crossing footpaths.
    1. The Chairman requested that hedge-trimming the inside of the community Field be added to the Rangers list of jobs. The footpath between Moor Lane and the shop requires strimming. Also the drain below the Spinney requires unblocking.
    2. Paul Vallis reported that something needs to be done to the road surface problems at the bottom of Lyatts. Malcolm White agreed to look at this.
    1. Chairman. Nothing to report.
    2. Councillors: Nothing to report.
    3. Clerk: Nothing to report.
    The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall. The meeting closed at 8.57 pm.