Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 14th July 2020 via Zoom Conferencing


Members Present

Mrs Julia Borland (Chairman)

Mrs Caroline Broom

Mr D Yeomans

Mr Frank Freeman

Mr Mike Best (Somerset County Councillor)

Mrs S. Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor)

Also present

1 Members of the Public

Miss Jackie Parsons (Parish Clerk)



1.         The Chairman, Vice-Chairman Joint Burial Committee members had agreed to stand for the next year in view of the regulations coming out due to Covid 19.  This was agreed by everyone at the meeting.


2.         Apologies for Absence.

            Roger Franklin and Frank Freeman (Parish Councillors) both were having technical difficulties joining the meeting, although Mr Frank Freeman did join the meeting at a later stage.


3.         Public Open Forum

            The one member of public had nothing to say at this stage of the meeting.


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

            None of the Parish Councillors declared any Pecuniary or non-statutory interest in any items on the agenda.

5.         To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 10th March 2020.

            The minutes were approved by the meeting and proposed for approval by Mr D Yeoman and seconded by Mrs C Broom.


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

            No matters were brought up for discussion.


7.          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): 20/00293/HOU  The Coach House Henley Manor Henley Cross Crewkerne TA18 8PQ,  External Alterations to replace one velux roof light and install one new velux roof light on front elevation of dwelling.  Received 30th January 2020.

Application permitted with conditions on 7th April 2020

B): 20/00423/TPO  Hillside Farm Hewish Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8QS,  Application to fell one deciduous tree as shown within the South Somerset District Council (WECR 1) 2010 Tree Preservation Order, Woodland 5, Confirmed 15.11.10.  Received 30th January 2020. 

Application permitted with conditions 17th March 2020

C). Fuzzy Ground and concerns raised.  Update from Councilor Best regarding his discussions with the planning enforcement department at SSDC.

Councilor Mr Mike Best stated that he had reported the matter to the enforcement team at the Planning department but he had heard nothing back from them.  Mr Tim Wills the enforcement officer has now left South Somerset District Council.  Mr M Best has an executive meeting on Thursday and will try and find out the person who has taken over the case.   Mrs J Borland stated that she had seen within the last week to ten days vehicles being removed from the site but there was still a lot of vehicles on the site,  Mr M Best (Somerset County Council  will follow the matter up. D): 20/00292/HOU  The Coach House Henley Manor Henley Cross Crewkerne TA18 8PQ,  External Alterations to replace one velux roof light with a conservation roof light and the  installation of one new conservation roof light on front elevation of dwelling.  Received 30th January 2020.

Application permitted with conditions 7th April 2020

E): 20/00737/HOU Batternhay Hewish Lane West Crewkerne TA18 8PU.  Existing garage to be demolished and erection of a new garage.  Received 30th March 2020

Application permitted with conditions 12th May 2020.


8.         Highway Matters.

Planning permission having been given for the 150 houses off Lang Road, will safety improvements be put forward by Councillor Best for Cathole Bridge Road crossroads.

Mr M Best (Somerset County Councillor) stated that Crewkerne Town Council is taking legal advice over the decision to allow the 150 houses off Lang Road.  Also shown on the Inspector decision document is the re-routing of a footpath on to the road.  Mr M Best stated that as far as he was aware this did not go through planning.  Also the Inspector who approved the planning application visited the site during lockdown.  Although there is an upgrade to the Cathole Bridge Road there is no mention in the application of any improvements to the cross-roads, so Mr M Best has started a dialogue with the Small Improvement Scheme team at Somerset County Council but he has also had discussions with Somerset Highways over the increased traffic this development is going to cause on Cathole Bridge Cross Roads. .  Mrs S Osborne stated that the re-routing of the footpath was not presented at the Area West meeting and the regulations Committee meeting and re-routing footpaths is fraught with obstacles.

 Roundham Small Improvement Scheme - Work has been completed. 

The scheme now needs to be evaluated and the Chairman Mrs J Borland asked Mr D Yeomans if he would contact the Police Inspector he had been dealing with to either set up a meeting with himself or set up monitoring equipment to evaluate the number of vehicles going through and the speeds at which they are travelling.  Mr D Yeomans will arrange this course of action.

Mrs J Borland stated that there had been a lot of resurfacing work carried out on the B3165 and gullies dug out by Somerset Highways but they have not always dug out the drains so that flooding will still occur if the drains are blocked.


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

Mr M Best (Somerset County Councillor) stated that Somerset County Council Highways have received extra funding and are putting that money into the maintenance of the roads.  The Somerset County Council is looking to get all children back to school by September this year.  The Somerset County Council is going down the route of preparing a case to become a unitary authority and submitting their proposals to Central Government when an approach is made to them by Central Government.  Whatever business case is approved then they will be working probably over the next two years to implement the plan.

 Mrs S Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor) the District Council has implemented all the Government schemes and has just finished work on a recovery plan after Covid 19.  They are also looking at entering into a joint scheme with Devon County Council to provide electric charging points in South Somerset District Council car parks so that the Council retains control over the land.  There are holes in the District Council budget due to Covid-19 pandemic which the District Council is looking at ways to make up the shortfall and the forecasts for the budget is also probably going to drive the re-organisation of local government.  Simon Fox from planning has left South Somerset District Council and he was the lead specialist in the planning side of the business case that the Local Councils in Somerset are working on to put forward as an alternative to the Unitary Authority that the County Council favour.  Again this plan will be submitted to Central Government when called for by the Secretary of State.  Mrs S Osborne concluded by saying that South Somerset District Council are working extremely hard at this present time as well as delivering Covid 19 recovery and support.

Mrs J Borland had nothing to report.  Mrs C Broom had nothing to report.   At this point Mr F Freeman joined the meeting, having overcome his technical difficulties and had nothing to report.   Mr D Yeomans stated that the top of Stakers Cross continues to be a dumping ground for rubbish that people do not wish to take to the recycling centre.  Mrs S Osborne stated that Streetclean or environmental health could be asked to install hidden CCTV cameras there for a short time to capture any offenders.  Mr D Yeomans stated he would monitor the situation and review at a later date.


10. Finance

                   A) To pay:-

1. Clerk Salary of £316.15 which includes travelling expenses.  Cheque No.331

2. HMRC - £73.00 Cheque No.330

3. Crewkerne Joint Burial Board Precept of £3170.00  Cheque No.332

4. Annual Public Liability Insurance of £257.60.  This has already been paid.   Cheque No. 329

                        5. SALC Annual Subscription when received

6.Grant to the Village Hall as agreed in the Precept of £800.  Agreed by the Parish Councillors.


B)  The Clerk proposes to exempt the West Crewkerne Parish from the External    

Audit.  The approval of the Parish Councillors is needed to take this course of action.  Proposed for agreement by Mrs J Borland and seconded by Mrs C Broom and agreed by all the Parish Councillors on the Zoom meeting.

C)  To approve the Annual Governance Statement  Proposed for approval of the Annual Governance Statement by Mrs C Broom and seconded by Mr F Freeman and agreed by all the Parish Councillors present at the Zoom meeting.

D)   To approve the Annual Receipts and Payments account for the year ended 31st March 2020.  The Annual Receipts and Payments proposed for approval by Mrs J Borland and seconded by Mr D Yeomans and all Parish Councillors in agreement.

E)   To agree the bank reconciliation as at 31st March 2020.  Proposed for agreement by Mrs J Borland and seconded by Mrs C Broom and all the Parish Councillors were in agreement.

F)  To approve the Annual Statement of Accounts to 31st March 2020.  Proposed for approval by Mrs C Broom and seconded by Mr F Freeman and all the Parish Councillors were in agreement.

G)  The exercise of Public Rights to the financial records of the Parish Council will be available from Monday 20th July 2020 to Friday 28th August 2020.  The start date had been amended to Tuesday 21st July 2020 as the paperwork was being signed on the 20th July by the Chairman.

H)  To confirm the appointment of the internal auditor.

Mr M Wilson had agreed to be auditor for next year and the Parish Council thanked him for his work this year.



11. Correspondence;

A): Various e-mails. Coronavirus updates from various sources, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset Waste Partnership and Rural Bulletin.


B): Broadband coverage in West Crewkerne- what plans for completion of coverage in this area? (this question raised by a parishioner)

Gigaclear lost the contract for the installation of Broadband and there has been nothing since then either from Somerset County Council or South Somerset District Council.  The area of West Crewkerne which is a rural area needs a reliable Broadband coverage.  The Chairman asked if Mr M Best could follow this up with the County Council.

C): A query has been made regarding the siting of a mobile home and the erection of a sign within the parish.

The Clerk was asked to write to the Planning office at South Somerset District Council to ask whether planning permission was needed for the siting of this mobile home and then contact the owner to make the necessary application for planning permission.


12.   To confirm that the next meeting of the West Crewkerne Parish Council will be 

         held on Tuesday 8th September 2020 either by Zoom or at Clapton & Wayford 

         Village Hall at 7.00pm.  Confirmed that meeting will be held on the above date.

         The Chairman stated that the village hall committee were meeting mid-august 

         to discuss when the hall would be opening again.