MINUTES OF SILTON PARISH MEETING HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 11TH MAY 2017 AT 6 P.M.
Col. Chris Woodhouse (Chairman)
Mr Ronald Harris
Mrs Wendy Harris
Mrs Diana Masters
Mr David Masters
Mr Keith Harris
Mrs Lynda Woodhouse
Mr Michael Metcalf
Mrs Michela Metcalf
Mr Hugh Honnywill
Mrs Marian Honnywill
Mr. Neville Anderson
Mr Mike Trubridge
Mrs Fiona Trubridge
Mrs Rita Showering
Mrs Liz Marriott
Mrs Jill Marsden
Mr Tom Trouton
Mr Rob Dyer
District Councillor Mr Peter Williams
Ms Martha Bache
Mr Simon Bramich
1. APOLOGIES: Mr Charles Peel, Mrs Jenny Peel, Mrs Mary Anderson, Mr Peter Nugent, Mrs Daphne Nugent, Mrs Angela Ward, Cllr Andrew Cattaway.
2. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN: Col. Chris Woodhouse was willing to stand for re-election and was the only nomination. His election was proposed by Mr. David Masters, seconded by Mrs Marian Honnywill and unanimously agreed.
3. MINUTES: The minutes of the Meeting held on 8th November 2016 had been circulated previously and it was proposed by Mr. Mike Metcalf, seconded by Mrs Liz Marriott and unanimously agreed that they be approved and signed as a true record.
4. BRIEFING BY MS MARTHA BACHE EDP DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICES: The Parish Meeting had agreed at the last meeting that EDP Drug and Alcohol Services could rent some of the allotment plots to assist with the rehabilitation of their clients. Ms Martha Bache and her lead peer mentor Mr Simon Bramich, gave brief descriptions of their work. Simon, who had previously been through treatment himself and had gained 4 years of sobriety, is now training to support others in treatment and is an example of how treatment can impact positively on individuals, families and the wider community. Ms Martha Bache spoke of how the plots in Silton were perfect for their clients, providing a peaceful environment in the countryside with birdsong and lovely surroundings.
5.1 Copies of the accounts had been circulated and were explained by the Chairman with comments invited. The Shelter that had been erected in the Recreation Field had cost a total of £5,100.00 including VAT and Mr. Ron Harris wondered if the VAT was reclaimable but the Chairman explained that this was not possible as the Parish Meeting is not a charity.
5.2 The Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statement had been considered and approved by Mr Rob Dyer in his capacity as Responsible Financial Officer and an internal audit had been carried out by Mr. Ian Barter. It was proposed by Mr. David Masters and seconded by Mrs Marian Honnywill and unanimously agreed that the Annual Governance Statement in Section 1 of the return and the external auditor’s recommendations be accepted.
5.3 It was proposed by Mr. Hugh Honnywill, seconded by Mrs Jill Marsden and unanimously agreed that the Accounting Statement in Section 2 of the Return be approved.
6. ELECTION OF THE RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER: Mr. Rob Dyer was willing to stand for re-election and it was proposed by Mrs Rita Showering, seconded by Mr. Mike Metcalf and unanimously agreed that he be re-elected.
7. RISK ASSESSMENT: This had been updated by Mr. Keith Harris, Mr. Tom Trouton and the Chairman on 18th March 2017, copies of which had been circulated. Mr. David Masters asked if the insurers saw it and the Chairman confirmed that they did. It was proposed by Mrs Liz Marriott, seconded by Mr. David Masters and unanimously agreed that the Risk Assessment be adopted.
8. ASSETS REGISTER: The Chairman referred to the shelter built in the Village Hall Field which now necessitated the maintenance of an Assets Register, a copy of which had been circulated. The shelter would be on the register until such time that it was no longer useable or was replaced. Mr. Hugh Honnywill asked if the old telephone box should also be on the register and the Chairman agreed to investigate this.
9. PRECEPT: The Chairman explained that the precept was currently £2,600 per annum, £1,300 being paid every six months. An increase of £200 each year had been agreed at the previous AGM. Regular payments are made to the Church Hall of £1,000, £700 to the PCC towards the upkeep of the churchyard and some £300 to the insurance company. Whilst there was not much balance left at the end of each year the Chairman thought the precept should stay as it is, and this was unanimously agreed. The shelter had been paid for from the £10,000 paid to the village when the solar panels were built at Manor Farm and the balance of this money is still available to the Parish.
10. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE: The following applications had been approved by the Planning Authority since the last meeting:
10.1 To convert a barn in Waterloo Lane into a dwelling – granted on 18th March 2016, subject to a number of conditions being met. These conditions were being addressed and the required work is now out to tender.
10.2 Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness to continue occupying Valhalla in breach of the agricultural occupancy restriction imposed by Condition No. 2 of Outline Planning Permission no 2/74/129 dated 12/06/1974 – granted on 1st February 2017.
10.3 Removal of Condition No 2 from the Planning Permission at Valhalla to allow unrestricted occupancy without an agricultural restriction – granted on 21st April 2017.
10.4 Application to erect an acoustic fence between Old Barn Cottage, Cards Farm House and Silton Mill and the A303 – granted on 25th April 2017.
11. ALLOTMENTS: The Chairman reported that the Annual Allotment Meeting had been held on 18th March 2017 with some 20-25 people, most of the allotment holders, in attendance. There are now 44 plots of which 36 are rented out at £10 per plot per year. Takings so far this year are £330 with more to come. The annual inspection will take place in late July with an Open Day possibly being held at the same time to encourage more tenants. The Chairman thanked Mr. Keith Harris and Mr Tom Trouton for all their work in making the allotments such a success.
12. VILLAGE HALL FIELD:
12.1 The Chairman reported on the completion of the Shelter and said that during the winter months an all-weather floor had been installed, largely by Mr Tom Trouton and a number of volunteers, and that electricity and running water were now provided. The shelter could now be used throughout the year. The cost of materials for the floor, plumbing the electricity supply and a new gate was £350 but the labour and much else besides had been given free of charge. It was proposed by Mr. Rob Dyer, seconded by Mr. David Masters and unanimously agreed that the £350 be paid. Mr. David Masters remarked on how very good it looked.
12.2 The Chairman reported that for various reasons, Mrs Nicky Waltham-Weekes who used to carry out dog training on the field and who had been instrumental in persuading the Parish Meeting to erect the shelter, had decided to stop her classes. However, Mr. Hugh Honnywill had since requested that a local Cub Scout camp use the field for a week in late July and the Chairman had agreed to this. They would not use the Village Hall but would require the use of the field and the shelter. Mr. Keith Harris had agreed to deploy his portable toilet facilities for them and these would be properly plumbed in.
12.3 In addition Mrs Nicky Waltham-Weekes had recently asked if she could show a representative of the SW Region Medical Detection Dogs Organisation around the Village Hall and field with a view to them seeking a Regional Venue. He understood they had been very impressed with what they saw and would be getting back to the Chairman in due course.
13. SPEED SURVEY ON THE “SILTON STRAIGHT”: Cllr. Andrew Cattaway had reported to the Chairman that he has no news on this matter to date but will continue to pursue it.
14. POST BOX MOVED FROM FITZ FARM: The Chairman reported that the post box had now been moved, repainted and the information plate replaced.
15. PARISH FOOTPATHS: The Chairman reported that on the advice of Cllr. Andrew Cattaway, and with a great deal of help from Mr. Bernie Paul, a small number of volunteers had set to work to repair the fencing and the steps adjacent to the Doctor’s Surgery at a cost to the village of £280. Endorsement of this payment was proposed by Mrs Michela Metcalf, seconded by Mrs Wendy Harris and unanimously agreed. The Chairman had recently heard from Cllr. Andrew Cattaway that this cost could possibly be reimbursed by Highways.
16. ROAD SIGNS: Since the previous meeting two road signs in the village had been knocked over; the “No Entry” sign leading up to Chosen Cottage and the “River Ford” sign on Dunns Road. Both had been repaired and reinstated by Dorset County Council. He asked that
should anyone become aware of any other road signs that had been knocked down or damaged to let him know so that he could get them seen to.
17. MILESTONES: The Chairman reported that this item was still on hold awaiting his contact in Bourton. Mr. Hugh Honnywill thought that the milestone in question was actually one foot outside the Silton boundary, and the Chairman agreed to liaise with him on this point.
18. HIMALAYAN BALSAM AND RAGWORT
18.1 The Chairman reported that this pernicious weed will shortly be making yet another appearance in the fields near the river. A large amount had been removed last year but continued removal was required. Gillingham Town Council had held a meeting on 9th March to discuss their next steps towards controlling it and Mr. Neville Anderson had attended the meeting on our behalf. Three attacks had been proposed:
18.2 Week commencing 5th June for Bourton and Silton volunteers. Gillingham will meet on 10th June. Week commencing 10th July for Bourton and Silton, Gillingham on 15th July. Week commencing 7th August for Bourton and Silton. Gillingham on 12th August.
18.3 The Chairman stated that a coordinated effort between ourselves, Bourton and Gillingham will be by far the best way forward and Mr. Neville Anderson has agreed to coordinate our contribution, and would welcome volunteers. The Chairman had already made himself available during the weeks in question. It was agreed that whilst it was helpful to take off the flowers only, it is best to uproot the plants before they flower.
19. COMMONWEALTH FLAG DAY: This was celebrated on 13th March 2017 and in common with all the other celebrants across the Commonwealth, the flag was raised at 10.00 a.m. that morning on the church tower. With the permission of the PCC and Canon Bede Cooper the thirty or so participants then retired into the church for a glass of bubbles and coffee.
20. BROADBAND: The Chairman had circulated an update from Mr. Rob Dyer in early April. Mr. Dyer was invited to expand on this and take questions. He reported that most of Silton was now able to get high speed broadband and that BT could connect fibre optic to each house, at a cost of £50, which was these days a good selling point for a property. It had taken him personally four months to resolve his own problems but the connection was now running satisfactorily. Mr Dyer was thanked for his involvement and persistence in chasing BT Openreach to provide a satisfactory solution.
21. LOCAL GOVERNMENT REORGANISATION: The Chairman reported that Dorset Council’s recommendations were submitted to the Secretary of State in February but as yet no reply had been received. With a General Election taking place on 8th June it was doubtful that this would happen until afterwards.
22. DORSET CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP
22.1 The Chairman reported that every house in the Parish had been given a copy of the consultation document and that either he or Mrs Lynda Woodhouse had managed to speak to many parishioners about these proposals and concerns, particularly the CCG’s proposals for the future of the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury. Before distributing the proposals the Chairman had attended two meetings with Mr. Simon Hoare MP, the last of which had been exclusively about the future of the beds at the Westminster Memorial Hospital. Hopefully as many parishioners as possible had managed to return their comments, either on line or by post, expressing their opposition to the proposal to close these beds.
22.2 The CCG will be undertaking a further consultation in the late summer, hopefully having taken note of the concerns raised by many thousands of residents of North Dorset and Wiltshire. Cllr. Andrew Cattaway, in his capacity as Chairman of Dorset County Council, and Mr. Simon Hoare M.P. had jointly signed a very detailed letter to the CCG setting out these concerns, specifically about the proposal to close the beds at Shaftesbury.
23. PARISH WEBSITE: The Chairman reported that limited progress had been made so far due to lack of time but that someone had been found who could help construct a website and this now needed taking forward. He explained that it was intended that the village website would have strands coming from a central point to the Church, the Parish Meeting, SOFOS, the Village Hall, the allotments and possibly to local businesses also etc. It was decided that a sub-committee should be formed comprising Mr. Rob Dyer, Mr. David Masters, Mr Keith Harris Mr. Mike Metcalf and the Chairman to take this forward.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
24. A303: Following a query at the previous meeting regarding the possibility of a quieter surface being laid, the Chairman reported that part of the westbound carriageway had recently been re-laid with a quieter surface and that plans were in hand to complete part of the other carriageway during 2017/18. He had circulated to those whose email addresses he had copies of Highways England’s plans and he would continue to press them for up to date information.
25. 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day: This is to take place on 11th November 2018 to celebrate the end of WW1. There has been a request that the Silton beacon be lit at 7.00 p.m. that evening together with many other participants around the country, estimated at well in excess of 1000. It was agreed Silton should participate. However, in view of the date and the location of the beacon lit to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday in a field on Manor Farm, it was thought that these celebrations should take place at the Village Hall and Recreation Ground where there was adequate shelter from the elements. The beacon could perhaps be located on the high ground forming part of Feltham Farm where it can be seen from the Village Hall field. Consideration will be given to these points before the next meeting.
26. Use of Telephone Box outside Village Hall: The Chairman put forward the suggestion that the Phone Box could be used to house a defibrillator, and this was discussed. Mrs Liz Marriott reported that the one at Stourton had recently been stolen, and Mr. Hugh Honnywill reported that the same thing had happened in Shaftesbury. Alternative locations were discussed together with the need for someone to be trained to use it, which Mr. Hugh Honnywill said could be done quite cheaply. Consideration was to be given to the subject before the next meeting.
27. Large Vehicles using Waterloo Lane:
27.1 Mr. Neville Anderson was concerned by the frequent use of Waterloo Lane by large, heavy lorries. He had spoken to the Highways Depot at Henstridge which had told him that a request from the Parish Meeting for an official “Unsuitable for HGVs” sign would probably be approved. He knew Wessex Water tankers and the DCC rubbish lorries had to use the road, but it was long lorries with, for example builders’ materials etc. which cause the problems. Mr. Keith Harris’ sign on the finger post had helped and
vehicles accessing Manor Farm were now told to use Church Lane, not any of the alternatives. Mr Anderson also pointed out that access to Whistley Farm was better via Milton on Stour rather than Silton. The Chairman agreed to contact the Highways depot at Henstridge and to speak to Whistley Farm.
27.2 A further problem raised was the signage on the road from Milton-on-Stour to Bourton, the Bourton end being correctly signed as B3092. In Gillingham the signs also point to Bourton via the B3092 but there is no sign showing the road number at the junction by the Milton on Stour school resulting in a significant number of drivers not turning left but going straight on along the B3095 to Mere, including caravans which were then unable to turn round. The Chairman agreed to take up this point. Mr. David Masters recalled that a few years previously the Council had refused to put salt on the B3092 between Milton-on-Stour and Bourton as it had now been declassified.
28. District Councillors’ Comments. The Chairman invited Mr. Peter Williams to add any comments. Mr. Williams reported that Cllr. Peter Gould, leader of the Dorset County Council had lost his seat in the recent local elections and the feeling amongst Councillors was that Dorset County Council would become a unitary authority in two years’ time. Mr Ron Harris asked where matters were being administered from at present and Mr. Williams reported that Norden in Blandford Forum was like the “Marie Celeste” with many departments having already migrated to Dorchester, apart from the Planning Department, but some meetings were taking place in Durweston and some in Dorchester.
29. Mr. David Masters said that before the meeting closed many thanks should be expressed to the Chairman for all his hard work for the Parish during the year.
30. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 7.23 p.m.