27 Feb 18

Minutes of a Meeting of Broomfield Parish Council
held on Tuesday 27th February 2018, 7.30 pm, Broomfield Village Hall

Present: Cllr Duncan Henderson (Chairman), Cllr Rebecca MacDonagh, Cllr Paul Trolley, District Cllr Anne Fraser, County Cllr Bill Revans, Peter Hall (Clerk), 18 members of the public.

1) Apologies for absence:
Note: Cllr John Ogle resigned from the Council after the last meeting and the statutory vacancy notice has been placed on the noticeboard and website.

2) Co-option of Councillor:
Mr Richard Coate gave a short presentation on his background and view of the Parish and Cllr Henderson proposed he be co-opted to the Council to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Cllr Bachelor. Cllr Trolley seconded the proposal and Mr. Coate was duly co-opted as Parish Councillor, signed an acceptance of office and joined the committee.

3) Declaration of members’ interests:
Cllr MacDonagh noted that she lived in proximity to Broomfield Common, but did not consider this to affect her judgement in the agenda item.

4) Public comments on agenda items:
Three members of the public spoke regarding the item on Broomfield Common and made the following points:
– The camp constructed by 121 Turnaround had been removed but scars, cut trees, fire remains and a dugout still remained and the company should be asked to put it back the way it was.
– The Common was home to various plants and wildlife and was a precious commodity which should be preserved. Not only had damage been caused by 121 Turnaround but also by Outposts in the past. He was happy to help in the formulation of plans to preserve the Common.
– Thanks were expressed to the Council for terminating 121 Turnaround’s use of the Common and there were better places for their activities. Parishioners with concerns should volunteer to help.

One member of the public spoke about the state of the roads in Rosehill and Shelthorne Hill. Residents were having to carry out remedial activity themselves. There should be a minimum tree overhang of 5.2m and the drains were not trapping water due to the damage caused by wide farm vehicles.

5) Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the meeting on 21st November had been previously circulated and were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

6) Matters arising from the Minutes:
• Cllr MacDonagh is planning a community health check event in Broomfield in conjunction with a social involving tea/cakes on 17th March. Post Meeting Note – The NHS can no longer make the 17th so a new date will have to be found.
• The Chairman had heard from Nigel Garnsworthy (National Trust) that the proposed use of the RLT2 Play Area funds was not acceptable to Sedgemoor DC. The Chairman agreed to forward the email to District Cllr Fraser who would follow up with SDC.
• The Clerk had submitted the forms necessary to change the bank account signatories but the bank had not recognised Cllr Henderson’s signature. He now needs to visit the local branch.
• Councillors agreed to hold an informal meeting to discuss ideas for using PC surplus funds and would report back at the next meeting.

7) Licence to Work on Broomfield Common:
The Chairman referred to the statement issued by the Council on 31st January. He stated that he and Cllr Trolley had experience of woodland and estate management and that there had been a precedent for the proposed use of the Common in that Outposts Ltd. had been holding such training on the Common for a number of years. Indeed Michael Kingscote had been a Councillor at the time of 121 Turnaround’s application and had provided advice. The AONB Service had been approached to provide advice on how to legitimise the activity and it had been recognised that Sedgemoor DC and Somerset CC would have to approve any agreement as they were co-custodians of the Common.

However 121 Turnaround had overstepped the agreed remit and their activities had not been in the spirit of the agreement. Everything had been removed and remedial work would be carried out.

8) Broomfield Common Management Plan:
Cllr Trolley stated that a management plan was required that was more than ‘non-intervention’. The Common was comprised of semi natural woodland that needed light touch management to preserve it and avoid the introduction of invasive species. He pointed out the Commoners right to cut 50 stakes a year is not achievable as coppice has been lost due to lack of management and canopy cover. If a plan were put in place then grants could be applied for.

However he said this must be a community effort and volunteers would be welcomed. Representatives from the AONB Service as well as District/County Councils would need to be involved. The first step would be to carry out an inspection in the spring.

9) Highways Maintenance:
Cllr Trolley reported that he had provided Somerset Highways with a list of the worst areas in Broomfield which required repair following the recent diversion and bad weather. He stated that residents did need to report issues themselves in order to keep up pressure (there is a link on the website).

District Cllr Fraser congratulated Cllr Trolley on the job he was doing liaising with Highways and that as a result Broomfield has a higher profile. There is a lack of funding but any increased traffic or HGVs as a result of the Hinkley Point construction should be reported.

10) Great British Clean-Up:
Cllr Trolley reported that he was co-ordinating a litter pick up in the Parish and that the event was being extended to end March due to the expected bad weather. He appealed for volunteers.

11) Planning Applications since last meeting:
– 10/17/00007 Erection of two storey extension to Old Post Office. The PC had supported this and permission had been granted by SDC.
– 10/18/00001 Erection of a first floor extension to North elevation, erection of a second floor extension to East elevation, erection of a two storey extension to South elevation, on site of existing (to be demolished) and alterations to existing entrance and gate at Westleigh Manor – the applicant made a statement regarding the development and after discussion the Council agreed to support the application.

12) Finance:
The following payments were approved:
o Annual subscription to SALC – £60.69
o Website domain – £16.00
o Village Hall hire – £91.00

13) Thai Night:
The Chairman reported that the Thai food night had been very successful and an Indian food night was planned for 16th March.

14) Village Hall:
The Chairman reported that the Village Hall held £30k in funds.

15) Urgent Matters to Report:
The Clerk reported that new government Data Protection regulations were due to be implemented on 25th March but it was unclear whether Parish Clerks could act as the Data Protection Officer for the Council. He would keep Councillors informed.

16) Public Forum:
The following items were raised
o Off-roading by 4×4 vehicles was still happening on Restricted Byways. It was recognised that Police couldn’t act without at least number plates being reported. Parishioners were encouraged to report incidents online so that a crime reference number was raised.
o It was suggested that there should be mechanism for ‘flash news’ in the Parish. The Clerk suggested that the Parish website and facebook page could be used for this, although he obviously wasn’t available 24/7. He agreed to publicise them in Link-Up.

17) Items for next meeting:
As per actions above.

18) Date of Next Meeting:
Tuesday 17th April 2018.