Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 7.30pm. Virtual Meeting held by Zoom.
Present; Cllr. Jonathan Baker, Cllr Chris Kennett, Cllr David Lines, Cllr Balavant Barber, Cllr Yvonne Harris
In Attendance: Jane Thicknesse, Clerk, and 8 members of the public.
|Public discussion of items on agenda
A resident requested discussion reference flooding at Sarum and Langmoor Lane both of which were items on the agenda.
|Apologies / Declarations of interest / grant of dispensations
Apologies were received and accepted from Alex Bishop (PCSO)
|Approval of Minutes of meeting held on 10th September 2020
The minutes of the last meeting were approved, and signed by the Chairman. Proposed by Cllr Baker and seconded by Cllr Kennett.
|Matters arising from Minutes of meeting held on 10th September 2020
a. Pipplepen Solar Farm Project
The Clerk reported that she remained in regular contact with Michelle Howley, Elgin Energy. Recent developments included changes to the Elgin Energy website (https://www.pipplepensolarpvproject.com/consultation-drawings) to show a new detailed site layout plan, adjusted site boundary and new access construction access track. Planning has still not been submitted but it is hoped it will be done before the end of 2020.
b. Finger Arm Post
Since the last meeting the Clerk had received and circulated information from the Dorset Fingerpost Restoration Project (under the auspices of Dorset AONB) which detailed a possible refurbishment process. Discussion took place about the priority of such a project. No decision was made and it was agreed to do some further research and bring the subject back to the next meeting.
c. Langmoor Lane
Work has been completed on the repair. Further work may be required but no information about this is currently available.
d. Parish Council Noticeboard
Cllr Kennett reported that she had found a website (www.noticeboardcompany.com) which provided a selection of noticeboards including some made of metal which looked very similar to the existing one but would be longer lasting. The cost of this particular model would be approximately £1098 + installation costs (Cllr Baker suggested that Dorset Highways may be able to help with installation). Cllr Kennett was asked to circulate details so that a decision could be made at the next meeting. Cllr Baker reminded people that the precept is for spending on village maintenance/improvements/enhancements and that it is the duty of the Council to keep the village up to date as required. The Clerk asked about displaying the minutes of meetings if the new noticeboard was too small to accommodate them. Although there is no legal requirement to display minutes (a notice on the Parish Council Noticeboard saying where they are displayed is sufficient) some people prefer to read a hard copy. It was suggested that maybe a copy could be put in the church porch or/and a Councillor could be responsible for providing a copy if requested. No decision was made.
e. Britain in Bloom
At the last meeting Mike Gardner had suggested that the village should enter the Britain in Bloom competition. Regrettably, due to a combination of misunderstandings and mis- communications he subsequently decided he no longer wished to have any involvement. Councillors felt that there was still support for the principle, particularly as it complemented other enhancement activities going on in the village. It was suggested that something less ambitious might be a good starting point; for example, a village wide competition with three or four different categories, local judging and small prizes. If this was a success and popular then there may be a reason to enter the next level of competition the following year. Cllr Kennett agreed to ask the Gardening Club if they would be prepared to organise such a competition.
|Dorset Councillor Councillor Knox reported that Dorset Council was coping well with the COVID 19 pandemic. Once the country emerges from the second national lockdown, Dorset Council will oppose any regional lockdown preferring to use the Local Outbreak Management Plan which would mean very local lockdowns as required. At the moment Dorset still has the third lowest numbers of infections in the Southwest. Dorset Council’s continued support for local businesses and non-statutory services is likely to have an effect on future budgets and precepts for all communities. It is possible that the focus will change to the most important issues, for example local community action. Cllr Knox reminded everybody to keep their eyes open for people who may be finding it very tough and, if appropriate, to contact her to get non -intrusive help for those in need. Cllr Knox completed her report by saying that she had no further information about the status of the Coach and Horses planning application but had requested that the case is heard by Committee if the decision by the Planning Officer is contrary to that of the Parish Council.
|Police. PCSO Bishop sent his apologies and a short report which is available at the end of these minutes.
|River Warden The River Warden read his report which is available at the end of these minutes. Discussion followed about flooding at Sarum which has been a problem for a number of years and still has not been resolved satisfactorily. In 2018 Dorset Council proposed to jet the culvert but this work did not take place. A letter was sent from Dorset Highways to a local homeowner explaining why the work could not take place, but informing him that there were revised proposals for dealing with the flooding issues. Nothing was done and the following year, the matter was again raised. Highways agreed to put a camera into the culvert to see if it was blocked but there is no evidence that this happened.
Photographic evidence shows that two of the three culverts work but the middle one is dry, indicating that there is still a blockage. The Homeowner is sure that there is concrete blocking the culvert resulting from some work done on the footpath several years ago. Dorset Council remain convinced that regularly jetting the culvert is sufficient but recent photographic evidence would indicate that this is not the case.
The Clerk was asked to put together a portfolio of all documentation to send to Dorset Council to get this problem resolved, hopefully by investigating with a camera and then doing the necessary remedial work.
|Clerk & Chairman
|Footpaths Officer The Footpaths Officer read her report which is available at the end of these minutes.
a. Applications handled since last meeting
WD/D/20/001708 Coach and Horses Cllr Harris declared an interest and temporarily left the meeting. The Clerk reported that she regularly checked the Planning Portal but no progress had been made with the application. A recent email exchange with the Planning Officer responsible (Jo Riley) reported that the case had not yet been looked at. The Clerk will continue to monitor.
b. Decisions notified by DC since last meeting WD/D/20/002059 Rehoboth – Approved
c. New applications to be considered – None
d. Tree applications since last meeting – None
e. Other Planning Matters - None
a. Speed Indication Devices (SIDs)
The Clerk reported that on October 15th 2020 she had attended a SIDs meeting with Cllr Baker, Cllr Kennett, Neil Deinhardt (resident), Rob Camp (Dorset Road Safety Team) and Joe Allen (Principle Technician – Data). Possible sites for the location of two SIDs were considered, details of how the scheme would work and the costs involved were explained. It was agreed that the Clerk would put together a report for the Council to consider at the next meeting and Dorset Highways would speak to the signage department to see if some of the existing signs (including an important HGV one) at the western end of the village could be relocated to enable the SID to be placed in the best (and only) suitable location. Disappointingly, the signage department concluded that they could not relocate the HGV sign to make room for the SID and they would not recommend a second post as it would be too much information in one location. This would only allow the option of one SID at the eastern end of the village. The Council expressed disappointment and then discussed possible alternatives to try and solve the problem of speeding vehicles through the village. Suggestions included yellow warning lines on the road before reaching the 30mph signs, clearing, cleaning and making the gateway to the village signs more obvious, a chicane on the eastern approach to the village, an appeal against the decision by the signage department or to investigate only having a SID at the eastern end of the village. The Clerk offered to speak to Rob Camp about the possibility of having only one SID as well as the other options and to report back to the Council asap.
b. A356/Picket Lane Junction
Recently there had been a second near miss between a tractor and a cyclist at this junction. Blair Turner, Community Highways Officer, had re-visited the site and concluded that the problem was the height of the hedge, rather than it overgrowing the highway and that there is nothing in Highways Act 1980 section154 to make a landowner cut down trees on his or her property if it is not encroaching on the highway. The Councillors agreed that it was a very difficult junction with many visibility difficulties and that there was no easy answer. It was hoped that if installed a SIDs scheme would help by reducing the speed of traffic.
a. Tree and Shrub Planting Scheme
Jill Turner reported that the scheme was proceeding well and had been well received in the village. The survey had been distributed in September with 28 positive responses offering space, suggestions for communal spaces and help to organise, transport and plant. Spaces for 130 plants (mainly shrubs) had been offered in private spaces. Currently plants are being sourced with one supplier being Tree Conservation Volunteers (TCV) who will provide free packs of plants delivered between mid-December and mid-March. The plan is to organise delivery for mid-February to coincide with half term to try and get as many people as possible involved with the planting. The next steps are to source more plants, keep people informed of progress and make plans for planting. The Council expressed their thanks for all Jill’s hard work and commitment.
|Advent Festival of Light
Michelle Hayes thanked the Parish Council for inviting her to speak at the meeting and also for the support she had already received ref publicity for the Advent Festival of Light which is due to run between 5-13 December 2020. She reported that the idea had been well received throughout the village and she was hoping for good participation, COVID 19 permitting. In addition to the help already received, Michelle Hayes asked if the Council might be prepared to: Be responsible for lighting a couple of prominent trees which are on public land eg one in The Pound, end of School Lane and possibly the Churchyard.Provide a Christmas Tree for the display in the Church. The Council thanked Michelle for her efforts and requested time to discuss between themselves and get back to her within a few days.
|Finance a. Financial Status for South Perrott Parish Council as at 11th November 2020
The Chairman reported that the Annual Governance and Returns had been completed, signed off by the Auditors (PKF Littlejohn LLB) and is available on the parish council website. He thanked the Clerk for her work getting this done. c. Budget/Precept Copies of the 2020/21 budget including actual 6 month and projected end of year expenditure had been circulated prior to the meeting. The Chairman asked if there were any comments on this year’s figures and also for thoughts about the 2021/2022 budget as it would need to be set (along with the precept) at the January 2022 meeting. After discussion it was concluded that the best way forward was for Councillors to make a list and obtain estimates for priority projects. This would be circulated, alongside regular expenditure, before the next meeting for consideration and to enable the budget/precept to be set.
|Matters of report and items for the next meeting
The Chairman reported that recent correspondence about the Dorset Dog Related Public Spaces Protection Order 2020 had led to debate about the need for more signs ref dog fouling or/and dog waste bins. After discussion it was decided that no more signs were required but more bins would be of benefit. Possible locations were suggested and the Clerk agreed to investigate cost, location etc.
The Clerk reminded the Councillors that training from DAPTC was available on a number of topics. She urged Councillors who had not donethe New Councillor training to consider signing up. The DAPTC AGM is scheduled for 14 November and she will be attending (virtually) on behalf of the Council. She thanked them for responding giving permission for her to be the nominated voter for the parish and indicating their voting preferences on the proposed motions.
Cllr Kennett reported that Mike Gardner had published a book with jokes and thoughts for the day which had been shared in the village during 2020. The cost is £5 with £3 being donated to the Church Vestry Fund. For copies or more information please contact Mike firstname.lastname@example.org or Cllr Kennett CllrChrisKennett@southperrottparishcouncil.org
|Dates of Future Meetings
Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm.
The meeting closed at 9.40pm
|Public Session to raise items for future agendas
Sue Coutanche reminded the meeting that the next edition of the Pump and Pound (No56) would be published at the end of November. Any items for inclusion should be sent to the editors by 23 November 2020.
|Police Report from PCSO Alex Bishop – November 2020
My report is fairly short this month, as fortunately there has been little crime. I would like to advise all to keep vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us on 101, or 999 if you believe a crime is in progress. I would also like to advise all to be vigilant around cold calls. Remember to hang up on any call where you are being advised about orders you haven’t made, or fraudulent/suspicious activity in your accounts. Never pass any details over the phone. I would finally like to wish everyone well and keep safe.
|River Warden’s Report – November 2020
Since the last meeting, we have had the first named storm of the 2020/21 winter season, Storm Alex, which brought stormy conditions with strong winds to the South of England in early October. In fact, 3rd October was the UK’s wettest day on record!
Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall has again caused flooding outside ‘Sarum’ in South Perrott, with standing water partially blocking the A356. There are three culverts under the road which should allow the flood water to drain away into the River Parrett. On inspection, only two of these were discharging water, which suggests that the middle culvert is still blocked, despite previous efforts by Dorset Highways to clear the blockage.
This location in the village is the only one where the Parish Council has taken responsibility for putting out the ‘Road Flooded’ signs. I am asking Dorset Highways to supply the small triangular ‘Road Flooded’ signs, which were delivered last year, but then recovered during the Summer, as the official signs are too bulky for frequent use.
On 31st October, the road again flooded, but the volume of water in the River Parrett covered the culvert outfalls, restricting the amount of flood water that could drain away.
Flooding outside Sarum has been a constant problem over the past few years.
I reported the problem to Simon Roberts at County Highways on 12 October 2018, and he confirmed that Highways were proposing to jet the blocked culvert on 19th November 2018, which would involve traffic control on the A356. However, these proposed works did not proceed, and I gathered that Highways had revised proposals for dealing with the flooding issues.
On 10 October 2019, ex Parish Councillor Sue Coutanche raised the problem with Mike Westwood at Dorset Highways, and was told by Dawn Heath, Community Highways Team Leader, that a camera crew would be attending by 18 October 2019 and, once they had reported back on their findings, the site agent, Colin James, would notify her of the works which would be carried out. As far as I am aware, nothing further happened.
|Footpath Officer’s Report – November 2020
Many of the footpaths in South Perrott and adjoining parishes continue to be used regularly and in the last month we have had a few newcomers to the village who are also keen walkers, (I will be giving them copies of the illustrated map produced by Desmond Thomas an ex resident of SP).
I am delighted to report that since the last PC meeting:
1. Langmoor Lane – The repairs to the bank have now been made;
2. Footpath No.1 (Old School, Pipplepen Lane to County Boundary at Wood Dairy Farm). An excellent job has been done to create a ‘sleeper bridge’ with a hand rail between the first and second fields and new waymarks have been placed between the second and third fields.
Outstanding matters reported to Dorset Councils Senior Ranger (West) are:
1. Langmoor Lane. A section of the bridleway near the stone bridge is in need of repair;
2. Footpath No.1 needs more waymarks beyond the third field as the route to the County Boundary is still not clear;
3. Footpath No. 10 (Tumberlands Lecher Lane to Chapel Court Farm), still needs waymarks to replace those that are damaged and missing.
I received contact from the Senior Ranger today and he has promised to respond next week.
I have recently emailed my counterpart in North Perrott as some footpaths extend across the parish/county boundaries, and to ascertain if they have been in contact with Elgin Energy as the proposed solar farm is likely to involve re-routing one of the footpaths.
A big thank you to all walkers who have continued to cut back overgrown vegetation where necessary, and especially to Ian Neal, the landowner of the permissive path off of Bailey’s Lane who allowed an overhanging branch to be sawn off.
Again, a reminder to dog walkers who use the footpath through the churchyard – you must keep your dog on a lead and remove any fouling, which of course includes all public spaces. KEEP WALKING!