This is a draft document


IN ATTENDANCE: Andy Webb (Chairman), Paul Vallis, Bill Turner, Malcolm White, Ernest Kong, Cathy Bakewell, Nancy Chapman (Clerk) and approx 9 members of the public.


Robin Carpenter, Clare Middleton, Gina Seaton, Brian Dodd, Daphne Creed, Rod and Shirley Heal.


The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Henry Siebert-Saunders, Ariel Motor Company Ltd

Henry gave a very interesting talk regarding two very diverse subjects! Firstly, Henry spoke regarding his family sports car business, Ariel Motor Company. The business has now been running for 20 years (since 1999) and the cars have become world famous and have appeared on national TV on several occasions. The business is based just outside Crewkerne, where the cars are made by hand and the parts are sourced locally where possible. The cost for a basic car starts at £33K on the road, but various options can be added as required! There are 3 main products; The Ariel Atom (manufactured since 2004), the Ace Motorbike and the Nomad (an off-roader/ beach buggy). They manufacture around 80 vehicles a year. They have a capacity to build 120 vehicles. There are currently 25 employees.

Henry then spoke about the design of his eco-friendly house "Penn an Vownder" (which is Cornish for "house at the end of the lane" (formerly known as Underhill Cottage). The house is essentially "upside-down" with the living space upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. The frame is made from a French green-oak frame which was supplied by a company in Devon and had to be transported-in on a very large crane! The main aim of the design was to make the house as eco-friendly as possible. There are as many PV cells on the garage as was allowed and the house is heated via a ground-source heat pump. The house is very well insulated and it is rare for the upstairs heating to be turned on due to the large number of South-facing windows. Henry believes the design has been very successful and they consequently now have very low fuel bills.

The Chairman thanked Henry for his presentation.


Andy Webb read Robin Carpenter's Chairman's Report:

"Firstly I would like to thank my fellow councillors, our district and county representatives, our village groups and parishioners for their support and help over the last year, and tender my apologies for escaping to the far side of the globe this month!

There were no contentious planning issues during the year. I note that one of the first issues raised a year ago was a question about the Moor End Nursery development relating to ensuring that Moor Lane was properly maintained during and after the development. Subsequent to the April 2016 meeting we learnt the scheme to build 14 houses with 5 affordable homes had been allowed on appeal, the scheme to build 10 open-market homes had already been passed. Since then the site was but that marketed, but the sale fell through, and Shepperton Homes, associated with the original owners Halsall Homes, plan to develop the 10 homes with an advised start date of the middle of this year.

The parish council have been pleased to work with the Village Hall committee during the year, allowing the improvements to be made as will be reported elsewhere. Thanks are due for the hard work of the volunteers who have helped to get this work done.

As usual highway issues feature regularly on the agenda, and will be reported elsewhere. The effect of a recent decision to pay SSDC Street Scene for extra drain and gully clearing, as routine maintenance by SCC is inadequate, will be closely monitored. We thank Neil Dyer for his very effective liaison between SCC and the PC on highway issues.

We continue to be members of the parish ranger scheme, which gets maintenance work done around the village. The new supervisor, Nick Allen, is getting better at ensuring that this work is properly documented and reported. I would ask parishioners to let the PC know of work that needs doing around the parish, and may be within the remit of the ranger.

We are now the proud owners of 2 red telephone kiosks, in response to parishioners' requests, but still need to find a use for them! One suggestion is to use one or both as 'information hubs', but we would need some volunteers to tidy them up a bit, and other ideas would be welcomed.

High-speed fibre broadband has finally arrived for at least some residents of Hardington Moor; to find out if you are one check out availability with

We have been members of the Coker Councils' Forum, set up by chairman of Stoford PC Mick Clark just before the 2016 Annual Assembly. These meetings are a very useful way to meet other councillors and discuss issues of common interest. Mick also arranges interesting speakers to address the forum on topical issues, and I think they are very valuable.

I have tried to keep this report reasonably brief, full minutes can always be seen on the village web-site once approved, and I am always happy to try to answer queries you may have."


Anne Lunt spoke on behalf of The Hardington Players

"Our membership numbers have increased this year and we have been delighted to welcome new members from both within the village and further afield.

  1. In July we staged a Murder Mystery evening with supper. This was very well supported and we raised £600 for the Village Hall and Church
  2. January saw a return to a traditional pantomime - Treasure Island. After some decline in audience numbers over the last few years we only did 3 performances instead of the usual 4 and I am pleased to report that these were all but sold out. We had an all-time record number of 15 junior chorus members and I would just like to repeat one of the many positive comments we had from parents:
    "Just want to thank you all for welcoming all the Juniors so brilliantly. Without exception, they seem to have had a ball. They have seen how you get from words on a page to an exciting vibrant performance, made new friends and strengthened bonds within the village. All such precious experiences and we are grateful that they have been able to be part of it all".
  3. Our summer production will be 2 one act comedies on 18 and 19 August. This is being directed by Jon Margetts, a member of that well-known local theatrical dynasty. This is a first for him and it is great that we have younger members now taking on such a big role.
  4. We now have a regular meeting night on the first Monday of the month irrespective of whether we are in rehearsal. We have a planned programme of talks and social activities which are published in the Messenger. Non-members always welcome to these and also to our AGM on Monday 8 May at 8.00pm.
  5. Finally The Players are looking at refurbishing the stage area. As well as needing repair and repainting we are considering how the space might be made more flexible for general use. We are investigating outside funding and will report further in The Messenger ."

Neil Dyer distributed a report on the Highways

"Routine repair of highway defects has continued throughout the year. Most attention is routinely drawn to potholes and blocked drains. For those not familiar with the process established by the Parish Council, a monthly report of defects is made to Somerset County Council (SCC) Highways Department. A member of the Highways Department then inspects the issues drawn to its attention, and allots them a priority for repair: 28 days for 'routine' defects (eg potholes greater than 40mm deep), or a 24-hour response for safety concerns, or potholes greater than 100mm deep.

59 defects have been reported during the year to the end of March, and details of these, and the response by SCC, can be viewed on the rolling 12-month report contained in the Highways section of the Hardington website. To find it on the website click on the Navigation menu, select Parish Council, followed by Highways. SCC does normally accept a reported defect for repair, but occasionally does not. Defects which are not accepted for repair are monitored for further deterioration, and reported again if necessary.

The quality of repairs is generally sound, and work is either carried out by SCC repair teams or the current contractor, Skanska. Some repairs seem not to last very long, and some need regularly re-doing. SCC are aware of this but are satisfied that the overall condition, monitored to national standards, gives value for money. This is not always clear to taxpayers, but where work does not seem satisfactory it is drawn to the attention of SCC. Two major repairs have recently been carried out to a high standard: pre-surface dressing repairs to Penn Lane (over 80 patches) due to be finished this summer, and the complete resurfacing of Ridge Lane on the boundary between Hardington and West Coker Parishes.

The clearing and jetting of blocked drains continues to be a low priority for SCC, and many drains remain blocked. One or two drains have received attention, and in addition the Parish Council has made use of the SSDC gulley sucker operated by their StreetScene department at a reasonable cost. Once again, villagers are encouraged to "Adopt a Drain!" and keep any easily accessible drain grills near their home clear of leaves and silt.

The County has been allocated some additional funding from Central Government for Highways work starting this year. This will be split between the constant battle with potholes, and some of the major projects faced by the County over the next few years, such as access to Hinckley Point, Junction 25 of the M25, and Yeovil's western approaches.

The development of the old nursery site in Moor Lane appears to be progressing. It is possible that building work may well result in some damage to the highway, and possibly other property. Residents are advised to monitor large or heavy goods vehicle movements and report any damage. SSDC (the Planning authority) has advised that owners should take up damage to private property with the individual or company involved in causing it.

If you see work that requires attention within the Parish please feel free to report it directly to SCC via 0300 123 2224, or to the Parish Council's Highways Representative, Neil Dyer, on 863706, or to him by email at"

Peter Bysouth spoke on behalf of the Village Hall Committee

"Review of 2016/17

Last year I reported that the Village Hall Committee was considering how to replace the oil based hot air heating system. As a result of a lot of work and research by our Treasurer, John Gilmore, we decided to install 10 electric radiators - 6 in the Main Hall, one on the stage, 2 to replace the storage heaters in the toilets, and one in the table / chair storeroom. We are grateful to the Parish Council for supporting this project, and for using their grant to the Village Hall Committee to pay for the works so that the VAT could be recovered. The new heating system was then run continuously so that the dampness which has been a problem in the Hall could be dealt with. The boiler room is empty, and can be used for other purposes. The removal of the oil tank means it is much easier to park around the side of the Hall, and people have already started to do so.

Now that damp problem has been dealt with, it was decided to repaint the Hall. The opportunity was taken to make the Hall more attractive to users. The redundant picture rails were removed; new plug sockets were fitted; the curtains will be replaced with blinds; the window surrounds were repaired and a new window sill fitted. However, the most noticeable change was chasing in the electric trunking to give the Hall a much more uncluttered appearance. We also took the opportunity to chase in trunking for new wall lights, should we decide we wanted these in future. Again, I would like to thank the Parish Council for funding this work from their grant so that VAT could be recovered.

The Reception Area has received attention - new, matching notice boards have been fitted; the curtains have been cleaned; there is a clock that works; the area has been repainted. The taps in the Ladies' toilets needed replacing, so we also took the opportunity to fit new sinks, worktop, cupboard and flooring. It also made financial sense to fit new flooring in the Mens' toilets as well, and to repaint the corridor to the toilets at the same time.

We have received very positive comments about the improvements that have been made. The new heating is popular, as the Hall is warm when users arrive, but is flexible enough to provide an immediate boost if required. The absence of noise from the hot air ducting has been a major benefit. The Mini Music group actually moved here from Odcombe Village Hall because our Reception Area provided a better acoustic, and our Hall provided a safe, clean and warm area for the toddlers to play.

Despite all these works, our funds at the end of the year (£5,100) were only £100 less than they were at the start of the year. Hire Income was budgeted at £2,500, but was actually £3,300 as Hall usage increased. On the other hand, we spent £4,000 on electricity in order to keep the heating on continuously. John Gilmore reviews our usage annually, and changes to an alternative supplier if necessary to get the best rates. Against this, we received £900 in Feed In Tariff from our Solar PV Panels, plus the use of the electricity we generated, and we have saved on oil and boiler servicing.

We are very fortunate to have 10 people on the Village Hall Committee, and I would like to express my thanks to the other 9 for their work and support. I am sure the other Committee members would join me in giving particular thanks to our Treasurer, John Gilmore; our Secretary, Daphne Creed; and our Bookings Secretary, Karen Clotworthy, for all the work they do in keeping the hall going. A special word of thanks must be given to Karen Dodge in organising many of the works in the Hall, and to the many volunteers she has persuaded to help. Karen has worked tirelessly to make the Hall attractive and welcoming - supplying flowers; dusting and removing cobwebs; weeding and removing leaves; cleaning the floors and fascia boards, and in many other ways.

We would also thank all those who have raised funds for the hall - Stewart Ogden and the Street Fayre team; Jack Clotworthy and the Bonfire Night team; the WI; the Yeovil Rotary Club raffle; the Hardington Players; and, of course, the Parish Council for their financial provision for the Village Hall, and for their support, advice and encouragement generally.

2017/18 Review

As I reported last year, we use a voluntary team to clean the Hall, and it has been very satisfactory arrangement so far. Daphne Creed is organising the rota, so if anyone who is interested in helping should contact her.

The Village Hall Committee's main focus in 2017/18 is to create a Business Plan to guide and inform our planning and decisions for the next three to five years. There are many projects that need undertaking, and they need prioritising and costing. Some of the things we need to consider (although the list is not exhaustive) are external repairs and repainting; works on the stage area (in conjunction with the Players); the main hall ceiling and insulation; the main hall floor; the garage and storage areas; car parking; lighting; disabled access and provision; and a PA system and hearing loop; In addition there are all sorts of administrative things to do - reviewing our conditions of hire and hire charges; publicising and marketing the Hall; updating our policies and risk assessments; identifying and encouraging new users; improving our communications; improving our finances; reducing our environmental impact; meeting the Community Council's Hallmark standards; and looking at how we organise and manage ourselves. Our aim is to produce a Plan showing the actions, improvements and projects to get us from where we are now to where we want to be, and showing how we will monitor and evaluate our progress.

There will be plenty of opportunities for anyone who likes a challenge, and who has some spare time over the next few years, and we would welcome and seek advice, comments and suggestions from all who care for the Hall, and wish to see it continue as a valuable village resource for many years to come.

Finally, I would like to invite everyone to our AGM which will take place here, in the Hall on Monday, 15 May at 7.30 pm."

Alan Grassam reported on the Hardington and West Coker Cricket Club

"The Cricket Club continues to thrive. Last season was particularly successful with the Satuday senior team gaining promotion to the Somerset League 5.

We were pleased to raise over £700 for our chosen charity last year. This season we are raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Players have been practising for the last few weeks in the nets while head groundsman Barry Knibbs has been busy preparing the square. Unfortunately we are unable to raise a team to play in the mid-week league this season.

We will again by running a junior team in the Somerset league. Free coaching takes place every Friday at the ground in Halves Lane, West Coker. All youngsters are invited to join us.

We are still hoping that a new pavilion will be built at Halves Lane but the latest newsis that this will not be for at least 5 years."

Linda Lines spoke on behalf of the Hardington and Pendomer WI

"Hardington & Pendomer WI meet once a month, mostly in the village hall. We have been meeting here since the school was converted to the village hall which is for almost 50 years. We currently have 29 members. Last month, our WI celebrated its 76th birthday.

Our programme covers talks, demonstrations, visits and social events. This year we have welcomed a living historian, dressed as Henry VIII, who entertained us with the life and times of this great king; participated in making Christmas lanterns; and enjoyed trying out indoor Kurling at our birthday meeting to name just a few of our evenings. Details of our activities can be found on our Facebook page.

Apart from our monthly meetings, members have taken part in skittles tournaments, quizzes, even a poetry and puds evening organised by our Crewkerne group, and various events organised by the Somerset federation. Members have attended a willow workshop in the hall and made willow hens. Many of us also attended a very useful car care course for ladies run by Kwik Fit. In June, members again enjoyed a day at Lyme Regis where the WI hired a room overlooking the sea on Marine Parade. In December we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas lunch at the Royal Oak. Several members also attended WI carol services at Wells Cathedral and St Michaels and All Angels church at Haselbury Plucknett.

We ran a stall at the village Street Fayre, and organised another successful Village Breakfast which raised £375 each for Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance, and our village hall, with the remainder being retained by our WI. Our table top sale in the village hall raised £250 for the village hall, where the WI provided refreshments. We also provide refreshments for the village flower show in August as well as for the very successful Crewkerne 'Flu Fun Day' in October, organised by Crewkerne Health Centre, which raises thousands of pounds for Children in Need.

Our WI always welcomes new members and visitors, and annually has an open meeting in October which is very well attended by villagers. This year Tony Burges will be talking about The Devon and Dorset Jurassic Coast and its Hinterland.

I would like to finish by thanking the Parish Council on behalf of Hardington & Pendomer WI for the work you do for the community."

Rosemary Richards read Rod Heal's report on behalf of the Gardening Club

"The Club enjoyed another successful year with a varied programme of talks, some of which were informative, such as why do some plants die, to the potentially interesting but, in the end, rather confusing one on sowing and harvesting plants according to the moon's phases. What was clear from the talk though, was that there appears to be no scientific evidence to support the theory.

Two garden visits were arranged and proved popular, one to Burrow Farm Garden, near Axminster in the Spring and the other to see some wonderful Autumn colour at Lift the Latch, near Chard.

Our stall at the Street Fayre raised nearly £100 for village funds and we hope to support it again this year.

Membership of the Club is still holding steady at around the 40 mark but, like other organisations in the village, we are desperate to recruit fresh faces, especially to join the committee. At least three of the seven committee members will be stepping down next year, so unless new faces come forward, the Club faces an uncertain future.

Finally, don't forget our Plant Sale which will be held here on Saturday May 6 at 2pm. There will be plenty of plants at bargain prices, so please pass the word around. Thank you."

Mike Bickerton spoke regarding the Nature Reserve

"Wildlife is in decline throughout the Country. This is mainly due to population increase and modern farming methods. Hardington is typical of this trend. However, the Nature Reserve is one of the best wild flower areas in the country. Hardington is also fortunate to have Hatherton woods (now in its 17th year) and the wildflower meadow at the Community Field. Please continue to encourage the growth of wildflowers!"

Mike Bickerton spoke regarding The Messenger

"It is thought that most people in the village look forward to receiving the Messenger each month, now in its new booklet form. It helps ensure that everybody knows what is going on in the village. Thank you to all the volunteers who help produce and deliver it. It is funded by donations - and so the team are grateful for any received. Please keep contributions coming - we don't want it to become dull!!"

Ernest Kong read Robin Carpenter's report on the Community Field;

"The field is now well established, and much enjoyed by parishioners and people from further afield. There has been little physical change during the year. Minor problems with dog poo, and occasionally dogs not kept on leads as requested have occurred. Please ensure that, if you are a dog owner, you do not fall into this category. We do not want to have to make a decision to make the field a no-go area for dogs!

A second November 5th in the field was much enjoyed, and a second wedding reception for a local couple was a success. There is now a protocol written down if you wish to approach the parish clerk with this in mind.

A decision was made this year to accept the maintenance quote from SCC's Street Scene team, and we will monitor the success of this decision. The same team, at no cost to the PC, are emptying the waste bins in the field, which saves me a tiresome and not very pleasant job!"

Andy Webb read Daphne Creed's report on behalf of St. Mary's Church

"The most notable event of 2016 was the arrival of The Reverend Colin Simpson who has settled in well. With seven parishes to cover, we still have to rely on retired clergy and lay persons to take many of our services which includes myself, Rev. Trevor Farmiloe, Ernest Kong, Richard Middleton, Eve Lloyd, Fiona Chadwick, Derek Lawson and I thank them all for their time and dedication.

Both Harvest Praise followed by lunch in Church and the Carol Service followed by mulled wine and mince pies were well attended. The Christingle and Nativity service again proved to be popular with parents, grandparents, children and friends.

We had 3 funerals, 1 christening and 2 weddings during 2016 and we have 4 weddings booked for this year so it is good to know that it is being used by the wider community.

Richard Middleton is actively working on obtaining grants for the work required on the tower. A number of village events have raised significant sums of money and a grant of £1,500 has been received from Batten's solicitors. We extend our thanks to Richard for all his invaluable work on behalf of St. Mary's.

Fundraising continues which included light lunches and cream teas during the Street Fayre, a Turkey Supper, Jumble Sale and Chinese evening and thanks go to all involved in this. We thank the Street Fayre Committee who donated half of the total proceeds to the Church.

Throughout the year, the regular congregation has supported the Lord's Larder, the local food bank in Yeovil for use by people in the community who fall into financial difficulty. We have also sent donations to the Children's Society from collection at the Christingle service,

The Earl Haig Fund from collection at the Remembrance service and most recently £825.00 to the DEC East African Famine Appeal from the afternoon tea at Springfield.

The monthly coffee mornings hosted by church members in their home have continued to be popular as a means of welcoming newcomers to the village as well as those living alone - thank you to all those hosts and hostesses.

I would also like to thank the Sidespersons, Church Cleaners, the Church Flower Arrangers, Bellringers, Derek Lawson our organist, Robin Carpenter and the Benefice choir, Neil Dyer for the many maintenance jobs he undertakes, Brian Dodd and Rae Mouldon for looking after the Church Clock and P.A. System, Jonathan Chadwick, Bob Grave, Mike Bickerton, Derek Richards for the Christmas lights, Jane Humby for helping me with the Christmas Tree, and Paul Hiscutt for examining the financial reports.

Thank you to the Parish Council for their annual donation towards our insurance costs and to Bill Turner for the loan of his sheep and donkeys to keep the grass down - they also give a great deal of pleasure to visitors.

Last, but certainly not least, a special thank you much go to our Treasurer, Peter Bysouth who keeps our finances in excellent order and reports to members in a clear and concise manner.

Finally remember, St. Mary's is your Church - the doors are open during daylight hours when you are most welcome to go in for peace and quiet."

Andy Webb read Brian Dodd's report on the website

"The website is now in its twelfth year and over the last year there have been 55,284 hits. The most popular page (after the home page) has been the village hall application form followed by the church, parish council minutes and further details about the village hall. Village activities are regularly advertised on the home page and there is always room for more.

The oil purchase pages have been removed but can quickly be reinstated if a new organiser comes forward.

The WI now has a Facebook page so a link has replaced the old pages on the village website.

Finally and interestingly, one sixth of visitors are now using iPads!"

Andy Webb read Shirley Heal report on behalf of the Arts & Crafts Group

"Our membership is still too small and we struggle to have enough members available to meet twice monthly. Since my report at the 2016 Annual Assembly, we have only managed to meet eight times, nine if you count our annual meal in the pub.

We do appreciate the new heating in the village hall. This is crucial when a such a small gathering of people, who may be very busy with art work, are nevertheless sitting still and therefore not generating much heat!

For the moment we carry on, but I think it is inevitable the Art Group will have to admit defeat, due to lack of numbers and interest. I am looking to step down as co-ordinator, but so far there are no takers for the job.

When we do meet we enjoy ourselves and are still a happy group, so if anyone has thought of joining us, do get in touch."


There being no further business the Chairman declared the Assembly closed.

Refreshments were then served.