21 June 16

Minutes of a Meeting of Broomfield Parish Council
held on Tuesday 21st June 2016, 7.30 pm, Broomfield Village Hall

Present: Cllr Duncan Henderson (Chairman), Cllr Robert Sharpe, Cllr Michael Kingscote, District Cllr Anne Fraser, District Cllr Bill Revans, Peter Hall (Clerk), Matt Barrow (Connecting Devon & Somerset), 6 Members of the Public.

1) Apologies for absence:

2) Co-option of new Councillor:
The Clerk stated that there had not been a request for an election and Sedgemoor DC had confirmed that the Council could co-opt a replacement for Carol Pearson who had resigned at the Annual meeting. The Chairman proposed that Mr. Paul Trolley be co-opted and this was agreed unanimously. Mr Trolley signed the Declaration of Acceptance of office and joined the committee.

3) Declaration of members’ interests:

4) Public comments on agenda items:

5) Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the meeting on 23rd February 2016 and the annual meeting on 17th May had been previously circulated and were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

6) Matters arising from the Minutes:
• Cheque signatories – the Clerk reported that Cllrs Henderson and Sharpe were now cheque signatories.
• 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 was strongly of the opinion that this should be challenged and the Clerk agreed to provide him with the necessary documents to study and report back at the next meeting.
• The Clerk had circulated the policy on management of the Broomfield commons.
• The Chairman reported that the flooding issue on Rose Hill appeared to have been resolved.
• The Clerk had received a response from SCC rights of Way regarding the ‘dedicated bridleway’ between Pine Café and Cothelstone Hill car park, which had been circulated. The Council agreed that no further action was required at this time.

7) Queen’s Birthday Party and Harvest Supper:
The Chairman reported that the party had been a success with about 80 people attending at various times during the day. Thanks to the generosity of the public, no financial contribution was required from the Council. He expressed his thanks to all the volunteers.

The Harvest Supper was again in demand and he suggested that the same ‘crew’ would be able to organise this. The proposed date was Friday 23rd September. The Council agreed in principle to make a financial contribution.

8) Improvement of Broadband Speed in Broomfield
The Chairman reported that the pilot had gone ahead using Satellite Internet with 26 properties connected. The initial feedback from a number of triallists was fairly negative with the internet connection described a slow, patchy or non-existent. There were reports of installers not being up to the job, poor communication and zero technical support. Although the pilot was supposed to have finished at end April it appeared that no-one had been asked to sign a contract for continuing service and a number of people had asked for the equipment to be removed. There had been no requests for user feedback from either Satellite Internet or Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS).

Matt Barrow from CDS explained the background to the pilot (one of three) and was concerned about the level of disappointment, the lack of collation of feedback and stated that the priority in the short term was to fix the issues. In the longer term solutions would involve a different technology.

There followed a lengthy discussion about the voucher scheme introduced by CDS, which Enmore PC were interested in taking advantage of to create a financial contribution to a fixed wireless solution which could also cover some parts of Broomfield.

In conclusion Matt Barrow agreed to write to the Chairman on where we go from here in Broomfield, including feedback from the pilot.

9) RLT2 Play Area Funds:
The Chairman reported that he was in discussion with Nigel Garnsworthy from the National Trust, who appeared to be more positive.

10) Planning Applications:
• 10/16/00003 Erection of building to form office/studio at Quantock Edge. The Clerk had received no objections from any members of the PC on this application and permission had been granted by SDC.

11) Finance:
• The NALC/SLLC agreement on Clerk pay scales from 2016 had been published and the PC agreed an increase in the Clerk’s salary to £87.17 per month backdated to April.
• The following payments were approved
o PCC – annual grant £150
o Village Hall – annual grant for grass cutting in the car park £260
o A Manders – PAYE admin £25
• The Clerk again brought the attention of the Council to the fact that the budget includes £2900 for which projects need to be identified.

12) Cluster Report:
The Chairman reported that the recent meeting had been held at Broomfield and attended by the Police & Crime Commissioner for Avon & Somerset. Rural policing resources were unlikely to change. It was agreed that the public needed to be the ‘eyes & ears’ of the community and there had been a recent example of this where a suspicious vehicle had been reported to the Clerk and investigated by Cllr Kingscote.

13) Sedgemoor DC Proposal for New Cluster Boundaries:
The PC 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. The Clerk was actioned to write to SDC.

14) Urgent Matters to Report:

15) Public Forum:
Nothing raised.

16) Items for Next meeting:

17) Date of Next Meeting:
Tuesday 20th September 2016