Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 12th March 2019 at Clapton & Wayford Village Hall


Members Present

Mrs Julia Borland (Chairman)

Mrs Caroline Broom

Mr Barrie Carter

Mr Frank Freeman

Mr Mike Best (Somerset County Councillor)

Mrs Sue Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor)

Also present

5 Members of the Public

2 Representatives from Gigaclear

Miss Jackie Parsons (Parish Clerk)



1.         Apologies for Absence

Apologies received from Mr D Yeomans


2.         Public Open Forum – Each member of the public present is entitled to speak once only, in respect of business itemised on the agenda and shall not speak for more than 5 minutes.

            No member of the Public wished to speak on any item on the agenda.


3.         Declarations of Interest in items on the agenda (Pecuniary or non-statutory interests).

            None of the Parish Councillors declared any interest (Pecuniary or Non-Statutory interests) in items on the agenda


4.         To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 9th January 2019

            The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 9th January 2019 were approved by the Councillors present after they were proposed for adoption by Mrs C Broom and seconded by Mr F Freeman.  The minutes of the Extra-Ordinary meeting of the 26th February 2019 were also approved by the Parish Councillors and were proposed for adoption by Mr F Freeman and seconded by Mr B Carter.


5.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere on the Agenda.

            Mr B Carter (Parish Councillor) asked if the Freedom of Information angle had been followed through and whether the Parish Council had received any information from Somerset County Council regarding Roundham.  The Chairman Mrs J Borland stated that the Freedom of Information angle had not been pursued at this moment in time because events with regard to Roundham had overtaken the need to pursue the Freedom of Information Angle.  It was however, something to keep in mind to maybe use in the future.


6           Planning Matters.

             West Crewkerne Parish Council is a Statutory Consultee for Planning Applications

and as such does not make the final decision on any application.  Any decisions        and comments made by the Parish Council will be fed into the planning process and added to the report by the Planning Officer.  South Somerset District Council is the Planning Authority and will issue the final decision notice (Planning Determination) once their investigations into the application, consultation period and decision making process has been completed.


A): 18/03701/COU.  15th November 2018 A H Warren Trust Ltd Coombe Farm Roundham Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8RR, Partial change of use to include café, retail sales and organic butchery.

Application permitted with conditions.

The Chairman stated that the planning process had taken quite a considerable time to agree, with a number of inputs from the Highways Department.

B): 18/03873/HOU. 14TH January 2019 Clapton Court , Clapton Road West Crewkerne Crewkerne TA18 8PT, Alterations to dwelling including replacing a single building with new single storey garden room and conversion of part of an existing outbuilding into a games room and yoga studio.

This planning application is still ongoing, but the Parish Councillors had no issues with this planning application.

C): 19/00301/HOU. 5TH February 2019 Manor Barns (10) Manor Barns Annexe (10A) Henley Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8PQ, Erection of a fence to separate 10 and 10A.

The Parish Councillors had no issues with this planning application.

D): 19/00297/HOU 5TH February 2019 1 Wetstone View Council Houses Hewish Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8QX, Demolition of existing porch and rear conservatory and erection of side, front and rear extensions.

The Parish Councillors had also looked at these plans and had no objections to the plans.  The Chairman stated that the Paper copies of the last two planning applications would be forwarded to Mr D Yeomans for him to view and make any comments.


7.          Highway Matters

The Chairman Mrs J Borland stated that on highway matters she would move Gigaclear to the top of the list as we had two representatives from Gigaclear who were going to give an overview of the project so far and then they would be free to leave the meeting.    The two representatives introduced themselves, they were Mr Richard Olive from Gigaclear and he was part of the Community Liaison Team and Mr Dave Avery who worked for their prime contractor Telent on this project.  Mr R Olive stated that the project was referred to as the Roundham project although it covered all of West Crewkerne Parish.  The project was to install a fibre optic broadband with connection points to each property they had connected to the system.  When the project was completed the sales team would then contact each household as to whether they wish to connect to the fibre optic broadband through Gigaclear.  Mr R Olive pointed out that it was an open access network so your connection did not necessarily have to be through Gigaclear.

Mrs J Borland (Chairman) asked how far through the Roundham project installation were the contractors?  Mr D Avery stated that they were about 25% through the project and in the next three and a half months they hoped to complete another 25% subject to landowner’s permission.

Mr B Carter (Parish Councillor) brought to the attention of Mr D Avery of Telent that the contractors had left about 4 tonnes of dirt and rubble dumped in the car park of the pub in Roundham and that the pile of rubble had been there since January.  Mr D Avery apologised for this oversight but the contractor was under the impression that the rubble had been removed, this will now be attended to.

Mrs J Borland stated that herself and another Parish Councillor Mr D Yeomans both had had work done outside their properties and she just wanted to pass on how polite the workmen were and understanding.  Mrs J Borland stated that along her road Axe Road, with this rain today, there are different levels in the tarmac in some places by half an inch and if remedial action is not taken the road will be eroded.  Mr D Avery stated he would send one of his agents out to look at the problem and take the necessary action.  Mr D Avery also gave the Parish Council a list of the proposed notices that will be applied for in the next three and a half months for work to be carried out in the Parish. 

Mrs S Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor) also asked several questions with regard to Parishes that she is closely connected with.

Mrs J Borland thanked the Gigaclear Representatives for coming to the Parish Council meeting.

Footbridge at Woolminstone for repair.

A footbridge has been closed which is the footbridge to Wayford but is not the footbridge that Mr H Ploszek had reported at the last Parish Council meeting.  Mr H Ploszek had taken off a map from the Rights of Way site and marked the correct bridge to be reported.  Mrs J Borland stated she would report the new bridge that needed repair.

Flooding at Dunshams Lane

Mrs J Borland had contacted Mr F Broom and he stated he would clear out the ditch.  At present the ditch has not been cleared.  Mrs J Borland will follow this up with Mr F Broom, as she feels that once the ditch is cleared the water will run away better in Dunshams Lane.

Finger Post for Seaborough

Mrs J Borland referred this matter over to Mr M Best (Somerset County Councillor).  Mr M Best stated that Somerset Highways have no money especially for finger posts.  Mrs J Borland stated that she had forwarded the name of the Company whose driver was responsible for the demolition of the finger post to Mr M Best.  The Somerset County Councillor stated that was the only way that the repair to the post or a new post could be done because it would be through their vehicle insurance that a claim could be made.

Mrs J Borland stated that at the January meeting it was reported that somebody had gone into the bridge at Clapton.  Somerset Highways had repaired that bridge very quickly and also repaired the bridge going up to Wayford and had sorted out some of the flooding on the road up to Wayford.


8.         Reports from Councillors, including District and County Councillors.

Mr M Best (Somerset County Councillor) gave his report stating that Council Tax had now been set and all of the authorities contained within the Council Tax had gone for the maximum 2.99% and of course there is no Central Government funding this year, so all services have to be paid for out of Council Tax which is putting enormous pressure on County and Local Councils.  Somerset County Council still has to make two million pounds of savings.  They have cut the funding to child carers and they have completely cut the funding to the Citizens advice bureau.

Mrs S Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor) gave her report stating that the District Council had put their part of the Council Tax up by just under the 2.99%.  Mrs S Osborne backed up what Mr M Best was saying that local and County Councils were now having to deliver more of the frontline services but their budgets were being capped in the process.  It may well be that Parish Councils may find themselves having to pay for some services to be done because there is either no monies at County or local level or to get the repair done is taking too long.  Mrs S Osborne stated that the extra £24 that the Police have got from each home is for extra policemen but whether rural communities will see extra police presence remains to be seen.

Mrs S Osborne stated that she had attended a Rural Services Network conference and one of the things they are pushing for is a rural network strategy.  There is disparity between urban and rural funding and the Rural Services Network feel there should be a strategy in place for rural areas so they do not miss out on funding and grants.

Mrs S Osborne stated that she is standing for re-election again as a District Councillor and hopes that she is re-elected but if she is not then she wants to take this opportunity to say thank you to West Crewkerne Parish Council for all the help and support she has received from the Parish Council over the last 8 years.

Mrs J Borland asked if any of the Parish Councillors had anything to report. 

Mrs C Broom brought up about the bush that is over hanging the road and making it very difficult to see when pulling out.  Mrs J Borland stated that it needs to be reported on the Somerset Highways website and either Mrs C Broom or her friend Mrs J Williams need to report the matter.

Mr F Freeman had nothing to report.

Mr B Carter reported that someone had dumped some asbestos sheeting in a layby on the Cathole Bridge lane coming from Henley Manor way.  Again Mrs J Borland stated that this should be reported to the District Council as fly tipping on their website.  She asked Mr B Carter if he could report the matter on the website, Mr B Carter said he would try, however Mr F Freeman, stated he would report the matter.

Mrs J Borland said that all she had to report was that she keeps the drains flowing by removing any debris from the top of the drains in her area and that if everyone did this then the drains would flow more freely.  A member of the public Mr L Graham-Gleed stated that he tries to keep the drains free of debris but there is one culvert in farm lane in Woolminstone that constantly blocks because the bore of the pipe is too small.  Mrs Borland asked if he had reported the matter to Somerset Highways Mr Graham-Gleed stated he had done so on numerous occasions over the past six years but nothing ever satisfactory gets done.  Mrs J Borland stated that if he would report it on the Highways website, she would do so as well and the more people that reported the fault then the more notice, it would appear, is taken of the complaint.


9.         Finance

                   A): To pay the Clerk’s Salary of £205.10 Cheque No.306

                   B): To pay HMRC  £51.40 Cheque No.305


10.       Correspondence;

Various e-mails  which mainly came from the Avon and Somerset Police Commissioner and Rural Services Network and any road closures go straight on the website.


11.       Parish Council elections and the process to follow.

The Chairman passed over this part of the meeting to the Clerk as she had been on a seminar regarding Parish Council elections.  The Parish Clerk stated that she had the nomination forms if anyone wished to stand as a Parish Councillor.  The forms have to be given out personally to anyone wishing to stand or you can download them from the District Council’s website.  The Clerk read out the criteria for standing for election together with what is contained within the nomination pack.  The nomination form has to be in by 4pm on the 3rd April to Democratic Services or if you would like to bring them over to the Clerk then she will take them down to the District Council.  Unlike previous years there is no cooling off period, once you have put in your nomination form there is no retracting the nomination.  This Parish Council should have six councillors.

Mrs J Borland stated that Crewkerne Town Council had organised a seminar last Monday evening for anyone who was thinking of becoming a town or parish councillor.  The meeting was chaired by the Town Clerk and a town councillor and had been well advertised.  Mrs J Borland was the only one who turned up.  She felt it was such a shame considering the effort that had gone into preparing for the seminar.

The Parish Clerk also stated that if the Parish Council got the required number of Councillors then there would be no election for the Parish and the West Crewkerne Parish Council needed a quorum of 3 councillors.  If we failed to meet these requirements then another election could be called and if that failed then District Councillors would step in and run the Parish Council.

            Mrs J Borland stated that what was worrying was the number of vacancies for Parish Clerks.

The District and County Councillor both stated that as more day to day stuff is being off loaded on to Parish Councils and Town Councils the job is becoming more complex.  The Parish Clerk stated that more applications are asking for the clerks to have the Cilicia qualification.  The District and County Councillors both stated that this is because of the work involved and the monies they are handling.


12.       To confirm that the next meeting of the West Crewkerne Parish Council will be the Annual Parish Council Meeting together with the Annual Parish Meeting and will be

             held on Tuesday 14th May 2019 at Clapton & Wayford Village Hall at 7.00pm.

            The above was confirmed at this meeting.

The Chairman thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.  The meeting closed at 8pm.