20 Sept 16

Minutes of a Meeting of Broomfield Parish Council
held on Tuesday 20th September 2016, 7.30 pm, Broomfield Village Hall

Present: Cllr Duncan Henderson (Chairman), Cllr Robert Sharpe, Cllr Rebecca MacDonagh, District Cllr Anne Fraser, County Cllr Richard Brown, Peter Hall (Clerk), Barrie Harding & Paul Zeigler (121 Turnaround), Laetitia Kelly (Friends of Quantock), 2 members of the public.

1) Apologies for absence:
Cllr Paul Trolley, Cllr Michael Kingscote.

2) Declaration of members’ interests:

3) Public comments on agenda items:

4) Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the meetings on 21st June 2016 and 6th September had been previously circulated and were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

5) Matters arising from the Minutes:
• The Clerk reported that he had received a response from Somerset Highways (previously circulated) who had stated that verges between the carriageway and land boundaries were part of the public highway network, but that verge overrun was a county-wide problem and that there is no budget to undertake repairs. Ideally those who damage the verge should arrange repairs. Reference was made to page 22 of the SCC Highway Safety Inspection Manual. Cllr Sharpe had written to Somerset Highways to challenge the email regarding verge maintenance and a representative would be attending the next meeting.
• The Chairman had received no response from Matt Barrow of Connecting Devon and Somerset regarding next steps for broadband in Broomfield. He expressed his disappointment with the lack of support and felt the satellite pilot had been an unmitigated disaster and that the Parish had been let down. He would follow up with Mr. Barrow.
• The Chairman had received new application documents from SDC for RLT2 play area funds and would pass them to Nigel Garnsworthy of the National Trust and follow up.

6) Request to use Broomfield Common:
Mr. Barrie Harding from 121 Turnaround explained his request to use Broomfield Common for outdoor survival type training for disadvantaged children (teenage boys) from Bridgwater and Taunton schools. There followed a discussion on the potential issues and benefits and the Council agreed to the proposal in principle. Mr Harding would detail the proposal in writing to the Chairman and then meet with Cllrs MacDonagh and Kingscote to go through all of the issues with a view to bringing a detailed proposal to the next meeting. In the meantime the Clerk would consult the AONB service to try and identify any legal barriers to such use of the Common.

7) Access to Broomfield Hill Common:
Ms. Laetitia Kelly from Friends of Quantock expressed her concerns regarding the damage caused by large agricultural contractors’ vehicles using the commons access to harvest maize in the fields behind Duckspool in 2015. She had also informed the council that the padlock to the gate was missing.

The Chairman reported that he had investigated and confirmed that the farmer in question did have rights of access across the common and was one of the keyholders. However other 4×4 vehicles had also been seen.

It was agreed that the Chairman would purchase a new padlock and that the council would write to all keyholders explaining the conditions to access. Cllr Sharpe agreed to draft a letter.

8) Harvest Supper:
The Chairman reported that preparations for the traditional Harvest Supper to be held on 7th October were in hand and that the new Rector had agreed that the entertainment could be held in the Church.

9) Community Health Checks:
The Clerk had received an invitation from ToHealth/SCC to host a free community NHS Health Check in the Parish. Cllr MacDonagh agreed to be point of contact to set up an event in Broomfield.

10) Planning Applications:
The following had been received since the June meeting and Councillors had no observations to make.
• 10/16/00005 Application for Certificate of Lawfulness at Woods Barn – under consideration by SDC
• 10/16/00006 Erection of building at Watery Bottom – permission refused by SDC
• 10/16/00007 Conversion of garage and extensions at Shooting Lodge – under consideration by SDC

11) Finance:
• The Clerk again brought the attention of the Council to the fact that the budget includes £2900 for which projects need to be identified.

Cllr MacDonagh asked whether money could be used for a study into communication with parishioners, however the Clerk pointed out that a number of methods had been tried in the past and that a significant proportion of people simply did not read or respond to any form of communication.

12) Village Hall:
Following the resignation of Carol Pearson from the PC there is a vacancy for the council representative on the Village Hall committee. After some discussion it was agreed that Cllr Henderson be nominated for that role.

13) Sedgemoor DC Proposal for New Cluster Boundaries:
The PC had agreed to support the objection of the Quantock cluster to the proposal from SDC to reduce the number of clusters and include the Quantock parishes with North Petherton and Bridgwater and the Clerk had written to SDC. Cllrs Henderson and Sharpe are attending an ‘All Parish’ meeting at SDC on 22nd September at which the results of the consultation are to be presented.

14) Urgent Matters to Report:
The Chairman had received the resignation of Cllr Kingscote from the Council. The Clerk reported that the vacancy was being advertised and unless 10 electors request an election, the PC will be able to co-opt a replacement at the next meeting, assuming one can be identified.

15) Public Forum:
Cllr Fraser advised the PC to be vigilant once work started at Hinkley Point.
Cllr Brown confirmed that the mobile library stop at Broomfield was to terminate at the end of the year and the small number of users would be informed with suggested alternatives.
Cllr Brown also informed the PC that signpost maintenance was to be devolved to Parishes and lottery funding may be available.

16) Items for Next meeting:
Andrew Turner, the Highways Service Manager has agreed to attend to discuss Highways issues and Cllr Sharpe asked members to be prepared for the meeting.

17) Date of Next Meeting:
Tuesday 22nd November 2016