South Perrott Annual Village Meeting

In Attendance

Jonathan Baker, Chairman SPPC

1 SP Parish Councillor

36 members of the public

Clerk, SPPC

Jonathan Baker, Chairman of South Perrott Parish Council welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded the attendees that, despite him chairing the meeting, this was not a Parish Council meeting but an opportunity to discuss issues, improvements or ideas that could benefit the village.

1. Reservoir Update

Two members of the public reported that they had seen workmen from Perrys (the contractors) at the reservoir and had learnt that the sluices were not working correctly and that some of the remedial work would need re-doing. Martyn Gillingham, River Warden, responded that he had spoken to the Environment Agency about this and they were unaware of any further work being required and the next inspection would take place in two year’s time.

There was also a question about the bridleway across the spillway still being closed.  Sue Coutanche, Footpaths Officer, explained that the bridleway would re-open once the new grass had established itself.

Following the meeting Martyn Gillingham spoke to the Environment Agency again and reports:

I have spoken again to the Environment Agency, but to a different person, and I have now been given a different story. Apparently, there is a problem with the construction of one of the monitoring manholes, near to the entrance to the Millennium Green, which needs resolving, but it is a simple job that would take no more than a couple of days, at most, to fix. Access would be obtained from within the reservoir site, within the area currently fenced off.

2. Pipplepen Solar Farm

The Chairman reported that both South Somerset District Council and Dorset Council had approved the planning application for Pipplepen Solar Farm.  The date for work to start is unknown but should be promulgated shortly.

3. Coronation Event

Tom Scott-Malden (Cllr) reported that plans for the Coronation Tea Party on Sunday 7th May from 3-5pm were well underway and requested that anybody who had not yet responded to the invitation should do so asap.  Insulated double skinned water bottles are due to be given to the children of the village to mark the event. Thanks were expressed to Jane and Jonathan Baker for offering to provide the food for the occasion.

4. Chris Loder MP

Chris Loder was welcomed to the meeting and gave a short presentation.  Topics included:

  • Immigration.  Mr Loder pointed out the need to distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants. The former would receive help from the UK but the numbers of the latter were overwhelming and needed to be managed which was why legislation was currently going through Parliament.  He also spoke about the barge which is due to be moored in Portland Harbour to accommodate 500 young single men from June 2023. Various questions were asked bout how this scheme was going to be managed and whether full attention had been paid to the affect this would have on the local area
  • The Environment. Mr Loder explained why he had recently voted against a bill to immediately ban the discharge of all sewage into water courses.  His reasoning was that an immediate ban would be exorbitantly expensive (over £600 billion) which would mean household water bills would rise.  He considered it much better to bring in measures over a longer period but in the meantime to ensure water companies were scrutinised closely and fined for any breaches resulting in shareholders dividends being affected.
  • Energy prices. Mr Loder spoke about his campaign to tackle the differences in fuel costs in different towns.  For example, at one time fuel at Morrisions in Bridport was 20p a litre more expensive than in Yeovil.  Things were improving but still not perfect.  He also mentioned his failure to understand why energy companies who provide renewable energy had increased their prices so much.

Following this he answered questions from the public.  Topics included off-grid homes and the unfairness between urban and rural communities and the local NHS with particular reference to appointments.  Mr Loder encouraged anybody who wished to take these (or other topics) further to get in touch with him at

5. Other Items

a. Village Fair

Michelle Hayes, co-ordinator, reported that the fair was beginning to take shape and that she was receiving help and useful information from various people.  She stressed that this was an event for the village, encouraging people to come forward and get involved – the more the merrier.

b. Millennium Green

A specific meeting to discuss the future of the Millennium Green is to held in June 2023.

c. Phone Mast

A new phone mast to improve mobile coverage with in the village was promised some years ago but this is not going to happen. EE were awarded the government contract to improve coverage but so far have failed to deliver.  It is hoped that the EE signal will improve in due course, possibly by increasing the heights of the existing masts in Chedington and Huish.

d. Phone Kiosk

It was reported that the door to the phone kiosk in The Pound is currently jammed.

e. Manor Close Wall

Following a discussion it was agreed to re-visit the options for fixing the wall in Manor Close. A site visit will be arranged in due course.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 7.45pm.