Col. Chris Woodhouse (Chairman) 

Mrs Lynda Woodhouse  

Mrs Diana Masters  

Mr David Masters  

Mr Charles Peel  

Mr Keith Harris 

Mrs Rita Showering 

Mrs Mary Anderson 

Mrs Jill Marsden  

Mr Hugh Honnywill 

Mrs Marian Honnywill  

Mr Ronald Harris 

Mr Richard Jenkins (Milton-on-Stour) 

Mr. Roger Bell (Dorset Highways) 

County Councillor Andrew Cattaway

1. There was a moment’s reflection before the meeting commenced for both Jasper Browell and Neville Anderson.   Strictly speaking neither were residents of Silton but both were through and through supporters of the village.   Also Mike Trubridge who lived in Rookery Cottage but who died suddenly a few months ago, both he and his wife had attended the last meeting. 

2. APOLOGIES:   Mrs Liz Marriott, Mr Michael Metcalf, Mrs Michela Metcalf, Mrs Jenny Peel, Mr Tom Trouton, Mr David Desborough, Mrs Sandra Menzies, Mr Edwin Harris, Mrs Rachel Harris, Mrs Wendy Harris, Mr Mike Burrows, Mrs Mandy Burrows, Mr Rob Dyer, Mrs Jackie Dyer, Mrs Daphne Nugent, Mr Peter Nugent, Cllr Peter Williams.

3. DORSET HIGHWAYS:  The Chairman introduced Mr Roger Bell, Community Highways Officer, who firstly gave a briefing before discussing concerns of the residents of Silton, in particular: 

 a. Fantley Lane 

(1) Speeding on Fantley Lane, specifically on the “Silton Straight”, the B3092.   It was agreed that Roger Bell would have the SLOW signs repainted on the road as it approached Silton Lodge from Gillingham together with the normal 3 markers associated with such a sign. The paint would be slightly raised but would not constitute “rumble” strips to avoid any additional noise.  

(2) It might also be possible to erect a Speed Indicator Device (SID) adjacent to the road. Mr Charles Peel indicated that he would be prepared to have it placed on his land at Lower Silton.    It was noted that Bourton already have two SIDs which they pay for themselves.

(3) It was suggested that village signs also be displayed along this road, specifically just before the series of bends around Silton Lodge, Lower Silton and Bagmore Farm. 

 b. Signing at Milton on Stour 

(1) Specifically the T junction at Milton on Stour where the B3095 and B3092 divides but there is no sign pointing towards Silton and there have been several instances of caravans heading for the caravan park at Wyndham Farm ending up in Mere. 

(2) Roger Bell said it would be possible for Silton to have a direction sign erected at this junction, at the village’s expense, although the exact location would have to be determined by Highways.   It would also be possible to put up a “brown” sign indicating the location of the caravan park, but this would be at the business’ expense. 

 c. Church Road Issues  

(1) A number of issues had been tabled by Mr David Desborough.   They included: speeding, poor visibility on bends and lack of space to take avoiding action. 

(2) The use of mirrors to provide visibility around corners was discussed.   Roger Bell advised that they were not recommended and would not be funded by DCC but should householders wish to erect them at their own cost on their own land that would be permitted. 

(3) Roger Bell advised that ALL traffic incidents in the village should be reported to the police.   At present there is no evidence of any issues and hence no evidence on which to take action. The name of our Community Police Officer is Victoria Biggs, and she should be invited to Parish Meetings and consulted on what is practicable. 

(4) The issue of speeding in the village was discussed.   There are no signs indicating the maximum speed permitted, national guidelines apply.   Church Road is in a built up area therefore the maximum speed permitted is 30 mph provided it is safe to do so.   However, the numerous blind bends do not allow this speed throughout the village.  

(5) It was generally agreed that the worst part of the road was at the junction of Church Road and Grimsey Lane, closely followed by the junction of Church Road and Dunns Lane.  Appropriate painted warnings on the road at these junctions could help slow traffic down. 

(6) It would also be possible to deploy speed watch teams, as is done in Bourton.   Those taking part in these teams will need training and the exact location of where they can operate from must be approved by the police. 

Mr Bell was thanked for his attendance and help and advice on these matters. 

 4. MINUTES of the Meeting held on 11th May 2017 had been circulated and it was agreed that they be approved and signed as a true record, after two amendments were made:  both Rev. Canon Bede Cooper and Mr. Matt Barge had sent their apologies but these had not been noted. 

5. ACCOUNTS:   The Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2017 had been audited by BDO; no comments had been made.   The notice of the conclusion of the audit had been posted on the Parish Notice Board.   Copies of the accounts had been circulated and were explained and comments invited.   It was agreed that the new shelter in the recreation field should be covered by insurance at a cost of £23 per year, but that it was not necessary to insure the phone box. 

6. GRANTS TO CHURCH AND VILLAGE HALL:  The Balance Sheet showed £10,041.68 in the bank and the Chairman pointed out two liabilities soon to be discharged:  £1,000.00 to the Village Hall and £700.00 to the PCC towards the upkeep of the churchyard.   Agreement for these sums to be paid was proposed by Mrs Lynda Woodhouse, seconded by Mrs Marian Honnywill and carried unanimously. 

7. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:  An alteration to the planning request to build an acoustic fence between the A303 and Silton Mill, Cards Farm House and Old Barn Cottage had been submitted.   The original request had been approved but the owner of Silton Mill did not want to proceed with the fence at the rear of her property, at least for the time being.   However, she had agreed that the owners of Cards Farm House could erect a fence between them and Silton Mill to screen the garden from the noise of the road from the South West.   This proposal is now with the planners awaiting their approval.   Cllr. Andrew Cattaway suggested that noise reduction resurfacing currently taking place on the A303, although patchy, might make a difference to the noise. 

8. ALLOTMENTS:  The Chairman reported that fees this year so far have amounted to £420 with a further £40 due.   The Annual inspection was carried out on 23rd July, ably assisted by Miss Isobel Knight who some might remember won the competition to light the beacon to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday.   Unfortunately the two plots let to EDP Drug and Alcohol Services were never taken up, even though they had been paid for.   The plots have since been re-let and there are no spare plots at present.   One of the plot holders, Mr John Bilby, was willing to take over as Allotments Communications Officer subject to agreement by the other plot holders.  

9. RECREATION FIELD:  The Chairman reported that formal dog training is no longer carried out on the field although there was some income from casual use of the field by Mrs Nicky Waltham-Weekes.   Shaftesbury Cub Scout Group had camped on the field during the summer which brought in £180 and it was hoped that other groups might be encouraged to take advantage of the facility.   The Scouts had requested a possible screen to provide protection from wind and rain while the shelter is being used and the Chairman had consulted Mr. Keith Harris about it.   Mr Hugh Honnywill did not think it was necessary.   It was suggested that the field could be used by dog walkers who wanted exclusive use at, say, £10 per hour.   A dog waste bin would be necessary and Cllr. Andrew Cattaway said it was possible to put up a sign warning that there would be a £70 fine for those whose dogs fowled the area. 

10. SPEED SURVEY ON THE “SILTON STRAIGHT”:  Cllr. Andrew Cattaway updated the meeting on points that had not been covered by Mr. Roger Bell.   

11. PARISH FOOTPATHS:   The Chairman reported that he had received no comments on the state of our footpaths since the last meeting.   However, Mrs Mary Anderson reported that the one which goes through the late Mr Gerald Martin’s (now Mr Andrew Martin’s) field is now padlocked.   The Chairman said that he would ask the Footpath Officer to investigate.   Cllr. Andrew Cattaway reported that there is a legal process and a charge of some £3,000 to officially move a footpath. 

12. MILESTONES:  The Chairman’s contact, Mr. Bernie Sullivan, was out of the country and the matter is still on hold.

13. HIMALAYAN BALSAM:  The Chairman reported that there had been several attacks on this pernicious weed during the summer, centred mainly on the river line where it runs through Mr. Peter Martin’s and Mr Peter Monkhouse’s land.   Neither of these areas were tackled thoroughly the previous year and a considerable amount of balsam was collected and destroyed.   He was particularly grateful to those who helped with the task and also to landowners who allowed access.   The removal will continue in the forthcoming year.    A plan was being created jointly for Bourton, Milton and Gillingham by Mr. Mike Burrows.    

14. OMMONWEALTH FLAG DAY 12TH MARCH 2018:  30 parishioners had attended this year and a similar number the previous year.   It was proposed by Mr Hugh Honnywill, seconded by Mrs Lynda Woodhouse and unanimously agreed that Silton should participate again in 2018.  

15. BROADBAND:  The Chairman reported that the service works consistently, although occasionally it does slow down and this was a matter being taken up with BT by Mr. Rob Dyer.   Mr. Dyer had reported that recently BT had upgraded everyone on fibre to a minimum of 76mb free of charge, so those with fibre should check with BT that their speed has been uplifted.   However, there is still an issue where properties in the village do not have fibre connection, e.g. Silton House and the surrounding properties.   Mr. David Desborough’s recommendation is to explore the Superfast Dorset Community Broadband Fund with the support of the Parish Meeting to try to get the last 5% of the village connected.   Cllr. Andrew Cattaway said that he could put the Chairman in touch with them.   Mrs Mary Anderson reported that she is all set up but cannot get BT to give her a price for its use. 

16. LOCAL GOVERNMENT REORGANISATION:  The Chairman reported that on 7th November last the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr Sajid Javid, announced that he was minded to support the Future Dorset plans which proposed to replace Dorset’s nine councils with two new unitary authorities.   Cllr. Andrew Cattaway reported on the advantages and disadvantages of this recommendation in relation to rural communities.  

17. CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP CONSULTATION:   The Chairman had circulated a copy of an email of Mr. Simon Hoare MP’s statement on 14th September: “I warmly welcome the CCG recommendation to retain beds at the Westminster Memorial Hospital and to explore commissioning of a new health hub.   There was a huge local campaign to retain these beds and the CCG has been as good as its word.   The CCG promised me that it would listen to local voices and it has.   There will be huge relief among my Constituents and I share that.   I will continue to work with the CCG to ensure the best outcomes for North Dorset” This was clearly good news and further news is awaited. 

18. PARISH WEBSITE:  The Chairman reported that Mr Mike Metcalf and Miss Natasha Metcalf have been very busy getting to grips with the Parish website.   It is already in draft, is available for inspection, and has been circulated internally for comments.   The front page consists of a magnificent photograph of the Wyndham Oak.   There was discussion as to whether the front page should include the church but it was felt that the picture was so good it ought to be used.   There are drop down menus for:  a description of the Village and its history;  the Parish Meeting including copies of minutes, accounts, etc.;  the Village Hall and Recreation Field;  SOFOS;  the Allotments;  forthcoming events in the Village;  past events including a photographic library.   The Church’s own website will not change but there will be a link between the two.   Mr Mike Metcalf has kindly agreed to be the Parish Web Master and all requests for changes to the website will go through him.   At present the website committee includes the Chairman, Mr. Mike Metcalf, Mr David Masters, Mr Keith Harris, Mr Tom Trouton and Mr Rob Dyer. 

19. ASSET REGISTER:   At the previous meeting Mr Hugh Honnywill asked if the telephone box outside the Village Hall should be added to the Assets Register.   The Chairman had been advised by the insurance company that it was a matter for the Parish Meeting.   It was agreed that it is a Village Asset and should be included. 

20. 100th ANNIVERSARY OF ARMISTICE DAY:  The Chairman reported on arrangements for this event to take place on 11th November 2018.  The playing of the Last Post would be just before 7.00p.m. followed by the lighting of the beacon at 7.00p.m. and the ringing of the church bells at 7.05p.m.   Milton on Stour had been invited to join and Mr Richard Jenkins was our point of contact.   It was hoped to have the event organised by the May meeting.   Funding had not been agreed yet, but it was hoped to give away the food and the bar to be self funding.   Mrs Diana Masters was to ask Henry Spencer if he would be willing and able to sound the Last Post.   Mr Ron Harris suggested that Mr Geoff Hacker should be on the committee and bring his old lorry.   Other memorabilia could be brought and the Suter family could be asked for any family memories they had. 


a. Cllr. Andrew Cattaway asked the Chairman to give him the bills for the cost of repairing the footpath adjacent to the Doctor’s Surgery so the costs could be refunded. 

b. Mr Keith Harris disagreed with some the items brought up by Mr David Desborough under item 3.   

c. Very many thanks were expressed to the Chairman for all his hard work. 


 There being no other business, the meeting ended at 7.40 p.m.