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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

DTC Minutes of Meeting - 9th December 2013

Dec 03 2013

Minutes of the Meeting of Dulverton Town Council held on Monday 9th December 2013, in the Town Hall, Fore Street Dulverton, commencing at 7.30pm.

Present:Chairman/Mayor: Mr Nick Thwaites, Councillors: Mr Rod Coyne; Mrs Chris Dubery; Mrs Judy Ernest; Mr Gerry Lewis; Mrs Margaret Rawle; Mr Neville Rimmer; Mr Keith Ross (D.T.C. and W.S.C.); Mrs Liz Schofield; Mr Les Silverlock; Mr Bruce Heywood (W.S.C.); Mrs Frances Nicholson (S.C.C.), who left at 9.10pm, 5 members of the Youth Council and their facilitator, and 21 members of the public.

Apologies: None

Deferment of Business for Comment by the Public:

The Chairman invited Ms Julia Ridge, Commissioning Officer for Early Years and School Places, S.C.C.) to address those present. She commenced by providing information concerning the process undertaken following the act by Central Government to change the funding rules resulting in the Middle School no longer being financially viable and able to provide the full curriculum as required. She went on to explain the current proposal to reorganise schools, the First School to become and Infant School, (0-7), the Middle School to become a Junior School (7-11). From the age of 11 the children will attend Kingsmead, South Molton, Tiverton or Minehead.

Ms Ridge acknowledged that the Middle School provides many community facilities and the need to retain them.

Ms Ridge explained the process by which these proposals would be considered. Consultation will be undertaken during January and February 2014 after which a Statutory Notice will be issued followed by further consultation. It is anticipated that a final decision will be made in April 2014, the changes to be implemented from September 2015.

There followed comments from several members of the public; Mrs Jan Ross, Mr Clive Goulty, Mr Steve Ford, Mr Patrick Veale, Mr Steve Puddick, Mrs Marion Silverlock and Mrs Terry Bruce. All expressed grave reservations concerning the proposals, the effects on the children, particularly the necessity to travel, as well as the wider concerns regarding the economic sustainability of Dulverton and the impact on the wider community of Exmoor.

The consensus of opinion amongst the public was that the rationale for change is not educational but financial.

Various questions were raised which Ms Ridge attempted to answer.

(Appendix A)

The Chairman commented that a public meeting should be held and that considerably more financial information was required from S.C.C. prior to the meeting. He reiterated the importance of local schools for a viable, thriving community.

Declarations of Interest:

         Cllr. Ross with regards his position as a District Councillor, Item 11, Planning and Item 17,

         Dulverton Youth Project.

Cllr Dubery with regards Item 13, Car Parks.

Chairman’s Comments & Meeting Management:

The Chairman welcomed the members of the Youth Council and the public.

He went on to inform those present that Item 18, Dulverton Middle School will be brought forward to Item 5.

             5711 Dulverton Middle School:

RESOLVED: That DTC take the lead and organise a public meeting. Proposed by Mr Silverlock, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

It was noted that further information, specifically relevant financial details should be obtained before the meeting is held.

Cllrs. Judy Ernest and Gerry Lewis agreed to liaise with the Action Group, support and facilitate the organisation of a public meeting.

Minutes of the meeting held on 11th November 2013 as circulated: were approved and signed. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mr Coyne and carried.

   5712 Matters Arising:

Minute 5693: Proposed Road Closures:

Members were informed that the Chairman and Clerk had been invited to County Hall to meet with Cllr John Osman, Leader S.C.C., on 8th January 2014.

Cllr. Judy Earnest commented that she would very much like to attend.

5713 Localism:

Feasibility Study: The financial aspects have been updated and draft 4 of the Business Case is to be circulated. Following further fine tuning and having liaised with the higher authorities the draft will be presented to DTC for ratification.

Government Roll Out of Community Budgeting: DTC is on the list of consideration to take part in the programme.

Localism Committee: Cllr. Silverlock expressed his view that he considers ‘localism’ as an issue rather than a practicality. He therefore does not consider that a Committee is necessary.The Chairman did point out that the consequence of not having a committee would mean that all spending of the "£10K grant" would need to be brought before the full council and approved/authorised before any payments could be made. Currently the committee still exists although all payment need approval prior to payment as mentioned above.

     5714 Dulverton Youth Town Council:

The Dulverton Youth Council members reported that a decision has been made to focus on four issues:

  • The creation of a cycle path from Brushford to Dulverton
  • The availability of cookery classes for young people.
  • To carry out a survey to ascertain the concerns and needs of young people in Dulverton.
  • To make available a skate board park in Dulverton.

Members were also informed that the Youth Council is actively advertising its existence with posters, on the DTC website and via Face Book.

5715 Reports from County and District Councillors:

Councillor Heywood - W.S.C.

Leat Weir Gate: Mr Steve Watts, W.S.C. has apparently agreed that the keeper of the key should preferably be someone local.

Leat Weir: Contracts are to be released on 02/01/14 with a four week return date. It is unlikely that work will commence before April 2014 and only then if further funding is secured.

Councillor Francis Nicholson:

Cllr Nicholson had two further updates over and above her monthly written report:

Barle Industrial Units: The security work to the boundary fence will not be undertaken until 30th December 2013. Once the work is completed the lighting issue will be addressed. The lights will then be reset and made tamper proof.

Part Night Lighting: The scheme is being overseen by Karen Harwood, S.C.C. Cllr Nicholson has expressed her concern in the event that the scheme is not in accordance with the rules concerning vulnerable people.

5716   Highways:

Millham Lane: The undergrounding of cables has been completed and the road surface repaired. No surface dressing is scheduled until summer 2014.

Millham Lane/ Chapel Street: The drainage culvert at the junction of Millham Lane and the school footpath has been cleared and repaired by E.N.P.A.

Hollam Lane: Currently undergoing re-surfacing works.

Lady Street: The repairs required to the pavement situated between The Paddocks and No. 14 have been reported to S.C.C. by Veolia. It will not be given high priority.

5717   Planning:

RESOLVED: To adopt the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26th November 2013 and 9th December 2013 as part of this meeting. Proposed by Mr Ross, seconded by Mr Silverlock and carried.              

5718   Accounts:

           Approval requested for:  

     Mr P. Ackland                               Cleaning Bus Shelter                                   £40.00

     Ridlers                                           Fuel                                                             £14.36

     Exclusive Cake & Catering Co.     Black Sacks – Grounds                               £21.24

     BT Services Ltd.                           ¼ rly Phone Bill                                           £57.31

     Mr P. Yeomans                             Consultation Fees – Feasibility Study       £550.00

     Various                                           Food Expenses – Localism Event 7/11/13   £83.79

     Salaries & Expenses                       November 2013                                       £1,699.58

     Mr A Takel                                     Grounds Maintenance                                 £889.50

     Parish Lengthsman                         November Wages & Expenses                   £726.82


RESOLVED: That the accounts are approved. Proposed by Mr Coyne, seconded by Mrs Rawle and carried.


     The Financial Statement was also presented and approved. Proposed by Mrs Dubery, seconded by Mr Rimmer and carried.

    5719 Car Parks:

RESOLVED: To approve the minutes of the Car Parks Committee meeting held on 21st November 2013. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mr Silverlock and carried.    


   5720 Grounds:

RESOLVED: To approve the minutes of the Grounds Committee meeting held on 14th November 2013. Proposed by Mrs Ernest, seconded by Mr Rimmer and carried.    


             5721 Society of Local Council Clerks:

RESOLVED: To renew Society membership at £147.Proposed by Mr Thwaites, seconded by Mr Coyne and carried.    


            5722 Somerset Playing Fields Association:


RESOLVED: To renew this Councils membership subscription at £10.00. Proposed by Mr Ross, seconded by Mr Coyne and carried.

             5723 Dulverton Youth Project:

Cllr. Ross informed members that the Youth Club currently had funding covering costs for the next six months.

DTC funding is to be considered at the forthcoming Legal & Finance Committee meeting.


5724 Correspondence:

Correspondence noted by members.

S.C.C. - Speed Indicator Device: The equipment has been subject to vandalism but has since been repaired and is back in service. Members requested copies of future statistical information provided.

5725 Reports from Members who have attended any other Meetings:


5726 Matters to Report:

Members noted that there had been no representation from the Police Service, at a Council Meeting, for several months.

Members commented on the success of ‘Dulverton by Starlight’ and requested the Clerk to write and thank the organisers.

Members expressed their thanks to Cllrs Dubery and Lewis for suggesting and organising the informal members’ event last month.

Cllrs. Keith Ross and Les Silverlock gave their apologies in anticipation of the next meeting.

5727 Date of next Meeting: Monday 13th January 2014

5728 Meeting Closed: 9.45pm


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chairman …………………………………………….