MINUTES OF THE PARISH MEETING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2016 AT 6 P.M.
Col. Chris Woodhouse (Chairman)
Mr Ronald Harris
Mrs Wendy Harris
Mr David Smith
Mrs Cindy Brierley
Mrs Diana Masters
Mr David Masters
Mr Keith Harris
Mrs Lynda Woodhouse
Mrs Daphne Nugent
Mrs Angela Ward
Mr Michael Metcalf
Mrs Michela Metcalf
Mr Hugh Honnywill
Mrs Marian Honnywill
Mrs Shirley Rice
Mrs Rachel Nickerson
District Councillor Peter Williams
County Councillor Andrew Cattaway
1. APOLOGIES: Mr Charles Peel, Mrs Jenny Peel, Mr Edwin Harris, Mrs Rachel Harris, Mrs Jill Marsden, Mr Tom Trouton, Mr David Desborough, Mrs Sandra Menzies, Mrs Mary Anderson, Mr Neville Anderson, Mr Peter Nugent.
2. MINUTES of the Meeting held on 10th May 2016 had been circulated and it was proposed by Mrs Marian Honnywill, seconded by Mr. David Masters and unanimously agreed, that they be approved and signed as a true record.
3. ACCOUNTS: Copies of the accounts had been circulated and were discussed. The Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2016 had been audited by BDO and notice of the conclusion of the audit had been posted on the Parish Notice Board. There were no comments of substance from BDO.
Copies of the accounts for the current financial year were circulated and explained by the Chairman and comments invited. The Barn that had been erected in the Recreation Field had cost a total of £5,100.00 including VAT.
4. GRANTS TO CHURCH AND VILLAGE HALL: The Balance Sheet showed £9,973.77 in the bank but the Chairman pointed out two liabilities soon to be discharged: £1,000.00 to the Village Hall and £700.00 towards the upkeep of the churchyard. Agreement to these for payment was proposed by Mr Hugh Honnywill and seconded by Mrs Daphne Nugent and these proposals were carried unanimously.
5. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE: There had been none since the last meeting.
6. ALLOTMENTS: The Chairman reported that the allotments were going from strength to strength since the clearance of the whole area last October and there were many new tenants, with only 6 half plots left out of a total of 44. The allotment year starts at the end of March and at the last meeting the Chairman had reported £100.00 in fees already taken and since then a further £196.00 had been taken at £10.00 for a half plot. He and Mr. Tom Trouton had carried out the first of the annual inspections at the end of July and they had also held an Open Day that day for prospective tenants. In early September they had been approached by EDP Drug and Alcohol Services who had read the Facebook page asking if they could hire a double plot to be used by one of their outreach groups. The Chairman had met with Ms Martha Bache, one of the EDP lead councillors, together with Mr. Trouton, who had earlier spoken to nearly all the plot holders and generally this request was regarded favourably. It was confirmed that they would pay the same as other tenants and that those working on the allotment would always be escorted. The Chairman thanked Mr Tom Trouton for his large part in this success and Mr. Keith Harris and his machinery for all the work he had undertaken. Mrs Diana Masters asked the Chairman for more information on the EDP as it may be a local Charity that the PCC Charity Committee could consider when deciding on the Christmas Charity Giving.
7. RECREATION FIELD: The Chairman reported on the completion of the Barn by Bourton Fencing. Set against the cost is the income that the field has raised to date, some £415.00 since the beginning of the Financial Year. There will be a solid floor, resistant to becoming muddy, being laid over the winter, and the fence was to be reinstated after being dismantled during the construction of the barn. There had been a request to dog-owners during training sessions not to go up to the adjoining bungalows and peer in. Mr. Hugh Honnywill asked for confirmation that it was the right of villagers to use the field at no charge and the Chairman agreed this was the case.
8. SPEED SURVEY ON “SILTON STRAIGHT”: Cllr. Andrew Cattaway reported that reorganisation within Dorset County Council had precluded his being able to make enquiries to date, but that he ought to be able to speak to a Manager soon on this subject. Mrs. Rachel Nickerson reported that “boy-racers” had been causing trouble in Fantley Lane where there were now small children living and this was very dangerous. Cllr. Cattaway said that he would also deal with this problem and confirmed that whilst the speed limit was 60 mph, on a road such as Fantley Lane the Highway Code applies.
9. POST BOX MOVED FROM FITZ FARM: The Chairman reported that the post box had now been moved to the entrance to Fantley Lane and had also been repainted. The information plate was very badly worn, but this should be replaced in the next few weeks. Appreciation of these new arrangements was voiced.
10. PARISH FOOTPATHS: The Chairman reported that work to the steps near the Doctor’s Surgery was still in abeyance. He had spoken to Jen Newman, a Dorset Ranger, who had informed him that the care of the steps and rails is the responsibility of Highways England who installed them. However, Christopher Pouard who represents Highways England had told him that they would have been adopted by Dorset County Council and are no longer Highways England’s responsibility. Mr Graham Stanley, Footpaths and Pavements Officer from Bourton was to look into the problem. It had been suggested to the Chairman that no one would object if two or three from the village undertook the work together with trimming the overhanging hedges and Mr. Keith Harris reported that he had seen someone with a leaf blower that day.
11. MILESTONES: The Chairman had identified the position of the milestone in Silton under a pile of rubbish and restoring it would be pursued when the Bourton contact, Mr. Bernie Sullivan, was able to do so. District Cllr. Peter Williams said that there was a man in Mere who had the template and could go ahead with the work if asked.
12. FIRST AID CLASSES: The Chairman reported that there had been two very successful First Aid Classes held in the Village Hall on 2nd August and 21st October that had been attended by 14 members of the Parish and members of SOFOS. Mr. Hugh Honnywill had provided some 3 hours of most instructive first aid lessons and techniques on each occasion and his knowledge and expertise in these matters was profound and everyone who attended the classes had benefited enormously. There was a vote of thanks to Mr. Honnywill. He said that further classes could be arranged if there was a requirement.
13. HIMALAYAN BALSAM AND RAGWORT: The Chairman reported that there had been 4 assaults on Himalayan Balsam since the last meeting and much of it had been uprooted. However, there were still pockets of it around and it needed attacking regularly every year until it was eliminated. He thanked particularly Mr. Keith Harris and his tractor and Mr. and Mrs Ron Harris, Mrs Jill Marsden, Mr. Neville Anderson and Mr. Hugh Honnywill for their efforts on a particularly wet morning in mid-June. Thanks were also given to Miss Ellie Dyer and Master Fyn Dyer for further assistance on 28th October as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He asked everyone to be on the lookout for this plant and to remove and destroy it whenever they see it as due to the recent mild weather the plant is still flowering and the seed pods are ready to explode. Mr. David Masters confirmed that on a number of occasions he had pulled out the balsam on both sides of the river where it went through his ground and he was aware that Mr. Neville Anderson had done the same on his stretch. The Chairman reported that an assault had also been made on ragwort in August and that this needed to be removed and destroyed. Mr. David Smith thought that a selective weed killer before flowering would be helpful, but it was thought that it would be difficult to identify before flowering and it would also kill the surrounding grass.
14. COMMONWEALTH FLAG DAY 13TH MARCH 2017: Participation in the Commonwealth Flag Raising ceremony next year had been requested once again and Canon Bede Cooper and the Churchwardens had given their permission. The Chairman would publish details of arrangements nearer the time, anticipating a similar ceremony to the previous one.
15. BROADBAND: The Chairman had received an update from Mr. Rob Dyer who had been extremely proactive with BT Openreach over the last 12 months. He had told him on 7 Nov that he had ascertained that the whole of SP8 5DQ, SP8 5AE and SP8 5AQ were now able to order fttp (fibre to the property) which could give up to 300mb/s. https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-getfibre.aspx was the website to check. It is not free and there is likely to be an activation fee and an increase in monthly subscriptions.
16. LOCAL GOVERNMENT REORGANISATION: The Chairman felt he had let people down as he had failed to circulate information about the proposed reorganisation just before he went on holiday. Cllr. Cattaway explained the proposals and recommended that option 2c was the best option. The consultation is now closed and the outcome will be considered and debated in December when it is hoped that there will be a firm outcome. It was proposed by Mrs Cindy Brierley, seconded by Mr. David Masters and agreed that the Parish Meeting lobby its Councillors to recommend Option 2c when they met in the New Year.
17. SHAFTESBURY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: The Chairman had recently been alerted to the fact that Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group are planning to close all the beds at the Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury including the 3 palliative care beds as part of a reorganisation of hospital
provision in Dorset. Their recommendation is that Shaftesbury Hospital becomes a Community Hub without beds but with care home beds available locally. They are also looking hard at the viability of the current location of Shaftesbury Hospital largely due to access problems and the quality of its present buildings. This exercise started in May 2015 and a number of engagement events and roadshows have been held this year to explain what is being proposed. Public consultation has just begun and will last for 12 weeks with a decision being taken in 2017. The Chairman’s understanding is that anyone who wishes to comment on what is being proposed should write to the Communications and Engagement Team, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group in Dorchester or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. He thought that a petition was being organised by the Friends of the Hospital and Mrs Cindy Brierley said that it could be signed at Gylas Travel opposite the Post Office in Gillingham. Cllr. Cattaway said that the CCG, which owns all the GP practices in Dorset, were trying to take treatment to homes with Community Nurses together with social care. They are trying to find a site for a new hospital with beds, but this would have to be funded by the NHS as proceeds from the sale of the old hospital could not be used as it had been gifted to Shaftesbury a long time ago.
18. 100th ANNIVERSARY OF ARMISTICE DAY: This is to take place on 11th November 2018 and plans are already being drawn up to light beacons across the country in much the same way as for the Queen’s 90th birthday. The Chairman had been asked if Silton would want to light a beacon again and if we wanted to appear in the official guide of those parishes and organisations taking part. Mr. Keith Harris was more than willing to organise the beacon being lit and it was agreed that Milton on Stour be invited to join as before, but otherwise it would be a closed event. Mrs Diana Masters wondered if there could be some fireworks and the suitability of this was discussed.
19. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
a. The Chairman had been asked to attend a meeting with Simon Hoare MP together with one other representative from the village, to discuss local and national matters affecting the Parish, on 9th December at Stourpaine Village Hall 16.00-18.00 p.m. There was to be no specific agenda but he anticipates broadband issues and local government reorganisation being discussed. He had pencilled the meeting into his diary and wondered if a willing volunteer would join him. Mr. David Masters agreed to accompany him.
b. The Chairman referred to having previously informed the meeting that all Parish Councils now had to have a website and he considered that the time had come for Silton to start to organise their own. Mr Tom Trouton had offered to use money he made from egg sales etc. to develop a website for the village and had currently £5-600 to put towards it. This was discussed and ways and means were to be sought.
c. A303: Mrs Diana Masters asked if a letter could be written on Silton’s behalf to the appropriate authority to enquire how soon we might expect the new quiet surface to be laid on the nearby stretch of the A303 as it has become extremely noisy and this had been promised when the road was built. It was suggested that Mrs Jenny Morgan in Bourton was already on the case and that liaison could be beneficial. Erection of an acoustic fence had been a condition of planning permission given for the new house being built between the surgery and the A303 and this should also be explored.
20. Thanks were expressed to the Chairman for all his hard work.
21. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 7.24 p.m.