Minutes 13th January 2021


Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 7.30pm. Virtual Meeting held by Zoom.

Present; Cllr. Jonathan Baker, Cllr David Lines, Cllr Balavant Barber

In Attendance:  Jane Thicknesse, Clerk, and 6 members of the public.

Item No. Action
  Public discussion of items on agenda
a. The Chairman started the meeting by expressing sadness at the passing of Tony Kennett whose participation and contribution to the village would be much missed.
b. Damage to 30mph signs at the junction of Lecher Lane and A356 were discussed and will be reported.
2021/01 Apologies / Declarations of interest / grant of dispensations 
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Yvonne Harris and Alex Bishop (PCSO)
2021/02Approval of Minutes of meeting held on 11th November 2020
The minutes of the last meeting were approved, and will be signed by the Chairman. Proposed by Cllr Baker and seconded by Cllr Barber.
2021/03 Matters arising from Minutes of meeting held on 11th November 2020

a. Pipplepen Solar Farm Project
The Clerk reported that she had spoken to Michelle Howley, Elgin Energy who said that they were optimistic that the application would be submitted by the end of January 2021.

b. Finger Arm Post
No progress

c. Britain in Bloom
Cllr Barber reported that he had been in contact with members of the Gardening Club who were happy to be involved in a village competition but did not want to take on the organisation. He offered to continue to pursue the matter. (Cllr Barber has taken up this matter due to the resignation of Cllr Kennett.)

d. Advent Festival of Light
On behalf of the Council the Chairman expressed his thanks and congratulations to Michelle Hayes for the very successful Advent Festival of Light. Thanks were recorded to all those involved and to Little Groves for providing a Christmas Tree for The Pound.

e. Tree Planting Scheme
Jill Turner reported that a total of 28 households had responded to the survey offering homes to about 120 trees and shrubs in private gardens. Communal spaces were still to be decided.
The Beaminster Eco Group had offered a selection of trees, shrubs and hedgerow plants that have been donated by the Tree Conservation Volunteers, a tree planting charity. These should be arriving in Beaminster mid-January. They also have some shrubs in their own nursery that will be available. They are asking for a small donation in return.
The 28 households have been emailed to let them know what species are available, with links to the RHS website plant finder where there is information about the best soil, light/shade needs of each species. The plan is to match available trees and shrubs with appropriate sites by the end of January ready for planting over the next few months.
Thanks were expressed to Jill for her continued hard work with this project.
Cllr Barber
a)Dorset Councillor
Councillor Knox reported on the following issues:
  • The decision to allow local communities to use patches of land owned by Dorset Council e.g. planting on verges, adding flower planters.
  • The availability of laptop/tablet equipment for children at Parrett and Axe Primary School.
  • The increase in fly-tipping and the need to report.
  • The requirement for the police and other authorities to enforce the current lockdown measures and a request for people to report things that don’t seem quite right.
  • The early success of the Bridport vaccination centre which was running very efficiently and currently has a good supply of vaccine.
People were invited to contact Councillor Knox or the Clerk if further information was required on any of these matters.
PCSO Bishop sent his apologies and a short report which is available at the end of these minutes.
c)River Warden
The River Warden reported that after remedial work by Dorset Council the flooding issue at Sarum appeared to have been resolved.
His full report is available at the end of these Minutes.
d)Footpaths Officer
The Footpaths Officer read her report which is available at the end of these minutes.
2021/05Planning Matters
a. Applications handled since last meeting
WD/D/20/001708 Coach and Horses
The Clerk reported that despite regular enquiries there was little progress to report. Concern was expressed that the Statutory Expiry Date for the Planning Application had passed and it was suggested that a letter of complaint should be written and sent to Dorset Council (with a copy to the CEO). Cllr Baker suggested that it might be worth taking the case to the Local Government Ombudsman if a satisfactory answer is not provided.

b. Decisions notified by DC since last meeting – None
c. New application to be considered  – None         
d. Tree applications since last meeting – None
e. Other Planning Matters  – None
Clerk and Chairman
2021/06 Highways Issues

a. Sarum
See item 2021/04/d

b. A356/Picket Lane Junction
The Clerk reported that she had been in contact with Paul Eastwood, Technical Officer for Collision Prevention, who had offered to add an extra SLOW marking with yellow bars on the A356 westbound approach to this junction and also a GIVE WAY triangle marking to the junction from Picket Lane. Additionally, he had offered to put yellow lines (3-2-1) on the A356 by the gateposts at either end of the village.
The Council unanimously approved the addition of all the extra safety measures.

c. Road Narrows Sign
Blair Turner, Community Highways Officer, had offered to have a new sign with a different (offset) bracket made which would, hopefully, not be hit and damaged as frequently.

d. School Hill
The Chairman reported that there were constant complaints about the state of the pavements in School Hill, particularly those for which Dorset Council are responsible. Some spraying of vegetation has been done but further remedial work is required. Another request will be submitted. 

Emails have been received/sent reference Sarum, Highways, Precept, Coach and Horses
Clerk and Councils Direct 


a. Financial Status for South Perrott Parish Council as at 13th January 2021

Income since last meeting




Payments made since last meeting                                        

Clerking Work (Nov, Dec)


Payroll Admin







New payments for consideration – Village Enhancements £39.99


Bank balance as at 11th November 2020:                             £8320.99   

b. Clerk’s Salary
The Chairman expressed a view that the Clerk’s salary should be paid by either Direct Debit or Standing Order with any additional expenses reimbursed by one off payments. Approved.

c. Budget/Precept including Village Enhancements
Discussion took place about the draft budget which had been circulated before the meeting and the impact of proposed village enhancements. The following decisions were made:

  • Speed Indicator Device System (SIDs) Purchase and installation of a SIDs on the A356 (approach from Chedington). Funding to be provided out of capital. (Approximate cost £4500)
  • Noticeboard Purchase of a replacement PC Noticeboard from capital was approved. (Approximate cost £1000)
  • Litter Bins Purchase of two new litter bins for the village was approved. Cost and installation of the bins will be taken from capital and the emptying costs added to the budget. The exact location of the new bins is to be decided. (Approximate cost £450)
  • Lengthsman Prior to the meeting the Chairman had suggested a Lengthsman should be employed to do a variety of small jobs e.g. cutting back vegetation, clearing pavements, painting signs, moving the SIDs) which would improve the appearance of the village. The Clerk reported that she had spoken to a Dorset Lengthsman who would be interested but his charges were quite high. After discussion it was decided to try and find somebody local to do this work on an ad hoc basis and £1000 was added to the budget to cover any costs.

The purchase of the SIDs, noticeboard and litter bins from capital is made possible because of a significant amount of money that was received by South Perrott PC after the disbandment of Parrett and Axe Parish Council and the division of funds. Councillors felt that there was too much money in the account and that some should be spent on village enhancements. After this expenditure the balance in the bank account will still be more than £2000 which would seem more appropriate.

Concern was expressed about the impact of these decisions on the size of the precept and a lengthy discussion ensued. The view was taken that while the percentage increase was significantly greater than the current rate of inflation, the impact in pounds and pence on a Grade D household (£8.19pa) was relatively small. It was noted that the total precept would still be below that of Mosterton, even after this increase.
Following this discussion, the budget was set and a precept request of £4717 was approved. Proposed by Cllr Barber, seconded by Cllr Baker.

2021/09Matters of report and items for the next meeting

a. Chairman
The Chairman reported that due to personal circumstances Cllr Kennett had regrettably resigned. She was thanked for all her work, particularly on highways and the newsletter during the first lockdown.

As a result of her resignation there is a Casual Vacancy for a new Councillor. This opportunity will be advertised widely – it is essential that this position is filled as the minimum number of Councillors is 5.

b. Clerk
The Clerk informed the Council that a DAPTC delegate is required. Cllr Baker offered to take this on with Cllr Lines as reserve.
The Clerk also reminded the meeting that a National Census was due to be held on Sunday 21st March 2021 and encouraged everyone to take part and to spread the word.

c. Members

2021/10Dates of Future Meetings
Wednesday 10th of March 2021 at 7.30pm.  The meeting closed at 9.0pm
 Public Session to raise items for future agendas
SSue Coutanche reminded the meeting that the next edition of the Pump and Pound (No57) would be published at the end of January. Any items for inclusion should be sent to the editors by 22nd January 2021.
 Police Report from PCSO Alex Bishop – January 2021
Fortunately, I have nothing to report crime/incident wise for the South Perrott area. Of note, I would like to mention that during the last lockdown period, we saw a rise in people using the countryside for exercise, which is nice to see, but a few minor concerns were raised by land owners and other members of public, such as gates being left open (allowing livestock to wander off, or potentially get onto the highway), dogs worrying livestock (which is an offence, so please put dogs on leads around other animals. If you are not sure whether a field is empty of livestock, do not let you dogs just run off the lead) and issues such as trespassing and straying from footpaths. Most of these incidents are easily avoidable, but please bear in mind.
I would like to advise residents to continue to be vigilant around unsolicited and cold calls. Most people are by now aware of scams that take place, but these are ever changing and some are very convincing. I advise that should you receive an unsolicited call from someone, to just ignore it and hang up (the most common calls at the moment are from people purporting to be from Amazon or automated calls regarding Amazon purchases/orders, or from people purporting to be from BT). I remind all to remember not to confirm or provide any details to callers. It is also a good idea to look into call screening (via your phone provider) as a means of reducing communication with scammers (it will not stop all the calls being made, but it will advise you of who the caller is before choosing to accept it). If anyone would like further advice, please contact me and if anyone is in contact with someone they feel is vulnerable to these calls, please provide them with this advice.
I wish everyone my best regards and to stay safe.
Alex Bishop PCSO 5404
 River Warden’s Report – January 2021 On 14 November 2020, the A356 outside ‘Sarum’ flooded again, and following pressure from the Parish Council, Dorset Highways visited the site on 17th November and flushed out the four gulleys and cleared one of the blocked culverts. Following heavy rainfall on 18th December 2020, I checked the A356 outside ‘Sarum’, and there was no evidence of flooding so, hopefully, Dorset Highways has resolved the problem.
I had received two reports from residents of a tree down in the River Parrett, just at the end of the ford in Bailey’s Lane, and on 17th December 2020, in advance of heavy rain forecast in the run up to Christmas, I removed a small tree from the water and cut it up using my chain saw.
The amber weather warning associated with Storm Bella on 26th/27th December 2020 passed with no signs of any damage in the village.
Martyn Gillingham
Tel: 891931, email: mcvgillingham@btinternet.com
 Footpath Officer’s Report – January 2021
Here we are in Lockdown again and it is good to see so many locals including our newest residents exploring the many footpaths that are right on our doorstep. I am also pleased to report that thanks to Dorset Council’s Senior Ranger and his team way markers and hedges have been cut back and I have received positive feedback from other walkers when they’re out enjoying their daily exercise.
New gates (which are easier to open and close), plus new way markers have been erected along the Chedington section of the Parrett Trail for which we thank the owners of Chedington Court.
I will continue to liaise with the North Perrott Footpaths Officer. At the moment he doesn’t think that the proposed Solar Farm will involve any footpath diversions although he’ll keep a watching brief!
At this time of the year the footpaths, especially around gates and stiles, are very muddy so remember to wear appropriate footwear.
Please keep reporting any footpaths issues to me. Remember to follow the Countryside Code and dispose of dog excrement by taking it home or depositing in the appropriate bin/s.
And … Keep Walking!
As a reminder, the illustrated Footpaths Map, produced by Desmond Thomas (a former resident of South Perrott) are available from me Sue Coutanche