10 Sept 19

Draft Minutes of a Meeting of Broomfield Parish Council
held on Tuesday 10th September 2019, 7.30 pm, Broomfield Village Hall

Present: Cllr Paul Trolley (Chairman), Cllr Richard Coate, Cllr Alicia Aras, Cllr Stephen Hughes, Cllr Stephen Tierney, Peter Hall (Clerk), District Cllr Gary Wong, 2 members of the public.

1) Apologies for absence:
District Cllr Alan Bradford, County Cllr Bill Revans

2) Declaration of members’ interests:
Cllr Aras declared an interest in the planning application at Valley Farm.

3) Public comments on agenda items:
A member of the public asked whether Parishioners would be able to collect firewood from the Common when work commences. The Chairman stated that there is no Commoners’ right to take firewood from the Common and that money from any wood that could be sold would be earmarked for ongoing maintenance.

4) Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the meeting on 4th June 2019 had been previously circulated and were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5) Matters arising from the Minutes:
• Somerset Wood – the Clerk had clarified the request for financial support from Cheddon PC and ascertained that there were six fallen from Broomfield in WW1. The Chairman proposed that the Council donated £150 to cover the maintenance of six trees over 5 years. This was agreed on the understanding that the funds would be ring fenced by the County Council.
• It was confirmed that Justine Comer was organising the Harvest Supper and bookings were being taken by Lindy Mansfield.
• The Chairman had followed up on the flooding issue on the Rooks Castle road and John Hardwick has confirmed the drainage outfall on his land was not blocked. The drainage had been installed on the clear understanding that Highways would be responsible for maintenance and this was being followed up with them.

6) Broomfield Common management plan:
The Chairman reported that he had received some comments and offers of help from members of the public following publication of the plan. Only one negative letter had been received. He believed the application for Heritage Lottery funding had been submitted by the AONB Service. Sedgemoor DC had approved the plan in principle and the Forestry Commission was about to approve the felling licence.

Councillors agreed that the work was necessary in view of the likelihood of Ash Dieback and to improve the environment on the Common. It was agreed no work would commence until Autumn 2020 and this was dependent on the result of the funding application.

Cllr Hughes stated that there were a number of fallen branches on Broomfield Hill Common and expressed concern that some beech trees may be dangerous. It is considered that Sedgemoor DC is the lead custodian of the Common and Cllr Wong agreed to refer the issue to Officers at the Council.

7) Memorial Bench:
The memorial bench to Ann White on the Village Green had deteriorated beyond repair and it was agreed that the Council would purchase a new one made of recycled plastic at a cost of approximately £600. The Clerk would pass details to Cllr Wong who would ascertain if the PC could take advantage of Sedgemoor DC’s purchasing contracts.

8) National Trust:
The Chairman reported that he had spoken to staff at Holnicote who believed the NT owned the verges outside Fyne Court. However they had agreed to take part of their adjacent field out of countryside stewardship to use as an overflow car park on event days. ‘No Parking’ signs are also being put out by the entrance.

9) Four Year Plan:
Cllr Tierney had been on the SALC training for new councillors and it had been suggested that Parish Councillors could have a four year plan which included projects which could be funded by an increased precept (which is not capped). He put forward some ideas for Broomfield. It was agreed that Councillors would consider the suggestions and each put forward three to five priorities for further discussion. The Clerk pointed out that there was already approximately £5500 earmarked for such projects which would be available in 2020/21 and it was agreed there should not be a substantial increase in the precept for that year.

10) Planning applications since last meeting:
– 10/19/00004 – Non material amendment of permission 10/19/00002 at Valley Farm – permission granted by SDC

11) Finance:
• The following payments were agreed:
o SALC (Councillor training) – £75
o E G White (Topping on Commons) – £252
o Somerset County Council (Somerset Wood) – £150

12) Parish Clerk Vacancy:
The Chairman reported that Peter Hall had resigned as Clerk and given three months notice, rather than the contractual one month. He thanked Peter for his thirteen years with the Council as Councillor, Chairman and Clerk. The position would be difficult to fill but was being advertised on the SALC and Parish websites, the Parish facebook page and in next month’s Link Up.

13) Urgent Matters to Report:
• The Chairman stated he had had contact with Connecting Devon and Somerset, but there was no solution to the issue with Gigaclear yet identified.
• It was noted that resurfacing work had been carried out on some roads in the Parish.
• The Chairman stated there had been a spate of burglaries in the local area, including at his own property.

14) Public Forum:
There were no further comments from the public.

15) Items for next meeting:
• Budget and precept for 2020/21
• VE Day

16) Dates of Next Meetings:
Tuesday 19th November 2019
Tuesday 25th February 2020