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DTC Minutes of Meeting - 9th november 2015

Nov 03 2015


Minutes of the Meeting of Dulverton Town Council held on Monday 9th November 2015, in the Town Hall, Fore Street Dulverton, commencing at 7.30pm.

Present:Chairman/Mayor: Mr Nick Thwaites (D.T.C. & W.S.C.); Councillors: Mrs. Judy Ernest; Mrs Christine Dubery; Mr Steve Ford; Mr Gerry Lewis; Mrs Louise Parrish; Ms Liz Schofield; Mr Mike Willison and Mr Bruce Heywood (W.S.C.).


Deferment of Business for Comment by the Public: None

Apologies: Cllr. Frances Nicholson (S.C.C.).

Declarations of Interest:

Cllr. Nick Thwaites with regards his position as District Councillor.

Cllrs. Steve Ford & Mike Willison with regards their position as Church Warden.

Cllr. Judy Ernest with regards her membership of the Royal British Legion.

Cllr Dubery with regards the Dulverton by Starlight grant request.

Chairman’s Comments & Meeting Management:

Item 12, is to be brought forward to Item 9.

Questions for County and District Councillors:

Cllr. Frances Nicholson S.C.C:

The following report was given in Cllr. Nicholson’s absence.

Bus Service 198: The timetable that is being tendered has some of the journeys starting and ending at Brushford rather than Dulverton. Cllr Nicholson intends to attempt to persuade them to do this with most or all of the journeys.

Bus Service 25: The current provider is withdrawing. The cost saving proposal is to run one bus service between Dulverton and Wiveliscombe on a two hourly service which is the same frequency as now, from Monday to Friday, and continuing to go through Brushford on both legs of the journey.  The timetable would allow 10 minutes to change at Wiveliscombe between it and the Wiveliscombe to Taunton bus, both on the outward and the return journey. It would add 10 minutes to the journey and would save something in the region of £66,000 from the previous cost to the County Council (of something in the region of £140,000).  The bus would start at Dulverton in the morning and end there at night.  People would still be able to go to work in Taunton by bus from Dulverton and get back at the end of the day. They would also be able to live in Taunton and come to work in Dulverton and get home again. And during the day the two hourly service would continue. The Saturday service would cease. 

Consultations regarding both proposals commenced today. Providers themselves may make suggestions within the price and if these are deemed improvements to the service, they will be welcomed.

Town/Parish Council Priorities: Due to the amount of financial savings that are required to be made, S.C.C. is currently canvassing for Town/Parish Council for their priorities:

Cllrs. Bruce Heywood and Nick Thwaites W.S.C.:

Town Leat: Members were pleased to report that the Leat is flowing at a reasonable depth thanks the efforts of Mr Keith Richards, W.S.C. who has gone to considerable lengths to remedy the problems. Members were informed that tampering with the water gate is an offence and moves were underway to make doing so very difficult.

Flood Mitigation: W.S.C. members were asked to pursue Mr Richards regarding the request for two half filled dumpy bags of sand to be placed in the erected flood sheds, in anticipation of filling sand bags.

Exmoor Lawns: The outstanding tree maintenance work situated on the river bank is still to be carried out.

Exmoor House Car Park: The broken fence has been cleared and the vegetation cut back.

Guildhall Car Park & Kemps Way: The lights have not been working for the past six weeks. This has been reported to W.S.C. on several occasions by both D.T.C. members and the public. W.S.C. members were requested to ascertain when the problem will be remedied.

Leat Path: W.S.C. is to investigate the creation of a flower bed which is encroaching onto the path, restricting access.

Minutes of the meetings held on 12th October 2015 as circulated: were approved and signed with the following amendment. Minute 5948, Guildhall Car Park changed to Exmoor House Car Park. Proposed by Mrs Parrish, seconded by Mr Willison and carried.

5960 Update of action points resulting from the last meeting:

5953 All Saints Church Wall:

Members were informed that a meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday 16th November 2015 at 1.30pm in the lower Town Hall involving all interested parties with the objective being to reach a compromise and secures an agreement concerning the refurbishment of the wall.

Following lengthy debate it was:

RESOLVED: To allow the Chairman to agree to Option Five. However an alternative can be agreed providing that there exists matching liability insurance concerning the future of the whole length of the wall, leaving DTC with no financial liability. Proposed by Mr Lewis, seconded by Mr Ford and carried.

5961 Accounts:

Request for approval:        

Mr P. Ackland                               Cleaning of Bus Shelter                             £40.00

British Telecom                            Internet Services 1/10 - 31/12                     £59.40                

         Lynx Copiers                                 Monthly Service Charge                             £18.38  

         G.C. Stanbury                                 Fuel                                                              £68.65

         Kier Recycling CIC                       Bin Rental Sept – Nov                             £102.80

         Viking Direct                                 Ink Cartridge & Cups                               £59.869

         BNP Paribas Solutions                   Hire of Copier                                             £81.00      

         Mr A. Takel                                   Grounds Maintenance – October 2015       £710.00                    

Salaries & Expenses                       October 2015                                         £1,743.33

         Parish Lengthsman                         October 2015 Wages & Expenses             £740.42    

RESOLVED: That the accounts are approved. Proposed by Mr Willison, seconded by Mrs Ernest

and carried  

Financial Statement:

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


5962 Policy & Procedure Committee Remit:

Members were requested to consider and adopt the proposed remit for the Policy & Procedure Committee.

RESOLVED: That the draft remit for the Policy & Procedure Committee is adopted by this Council. Proposed by Mr Willison, seconded by Mrs Rawle and carried.

5963 Committees:

     Minutes submitted for approval:

  1. Planning Committee:
  2. Policy & Procedure Committee:
  3. Legal & Finance Committee
  4. Traffic Management Committee:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 3rd November 2015 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Parrish and carried.


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Policy & Procedure Committee meeting held on 29th October 2015 are approved. Proposed by Mr Willison, seconded by Mrs Rawle                             and carried.

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Legal & Finance Committee meeting held on 29th October 2015 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Dubery, seconded by Mr Willison and carried.


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Traffic Management Committee meetings held on 3rd November 2015 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Schofield                     and carried.

5964 Standing Orders:

Members were requested to consider and adopt the draft Standing Orders as presented by the Policy and Procedure Committee.

Councillor Ernest informed members that the Standing Orders had been amended to incorporate the proposed new Code of Conduct.

Members felt that they required more time to consider the amendments and agreed that the proposal is deferred until the next meeting.

5965 Code of Conduct:

Members were requested to consider and adopt the new Code of Conduct as presented by the Policy and Procedure Committee.

Councillor Ernest provided members with details of the proposed amendments, however members considered that they required more time to consider the changes and therefore agreed that the proposal is deferred until the next meeting.

5966 Precept 2016/17:
Members, having been given copies of the Budget Statement and budget considerations discussed the proposal to increase the current precept by 12%.
Cllr Ford expressed concerns that there should exist justification for any increase. Members responded by suggesting that the reserves held were necessary to ensure that sufficient funds existed to cover the cost of projects such as the extension of the cemetery and the refurbishment of the church wall. It was also noted that a considerable sum had been ring fenced to cover other anticipated expenditure. Furthermore, members acknowledged that Parish/Town Council precepts could be subject to capping in the future.
As recommended by the Legal & Finance Committee it was:
RESOLVED: That the precept for the Financial Year commencing 1st April 2016 is set at £60,447.52. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Schofield and carried with one abstention.
 5967 DDYPP:
Having considered the request for emergency funding and the financial information supplied by the DDYPP, members raised various concerns and queries including the recent appointment of paid staff, the actually amount of emergency funding being requested, attendance figures and how much financial support is being provided by other Parishes whose residents use the service.
It was commented that the DDYP appear to be developing services, despite the apparent lack of sustainable funding.
It was consequently agreed to request further financial information and invite representatives from the DDYPP to attend the following meeting in order that the issues raised can be clarified. 

5968 Royal British Legion:

RESOLVED: That according to custom and tradition a grant of £50.00 is awarded. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried

5969 Dulverton by Starlight:

Grant Request: It was proposed that a grant of £450 is awarded. However, an amended amount was proposed of £350.

RESOLVED: That a grant of £350 is awarded. Proposed by Mrs Ernest, seconded by Mr Lewis and carried

Free Parking:

Members were informed that according to the existing License Agreement, DTC does not have the authority to provide free parking without the consent of WSC.

It was agreed any incentive to market our Town as a shopping destination is a sound investment. In previous years people have taken the advantage of free parking and consequently an increase in trade has been seen by local businesses.

The economic sustainability of Dulverton and the support of local businesses are high on the list of this Councils' priorities.

RESOLVED: That a recommendation is made to W.S.C. that free parking is offered on 6th December 2015. Proposed by Mr Thwaites, seconded by Mrs Rawle and carried

5970 Accessible Transport West Somerset:
Members rejected the request for funding on the grounds that there appeared to be no evidence that residents in Dulverton benefited from the scheme.
5971 DTC Round Up 2015:

Following debate it was agreed that the publication of an annual news letter should take place just before the Annual Parrish Meeting in May 2016.


5972 Late Correspondence:

Correspondence noted by members.

S.C.C. – Subsidized Local Bus Services& Discretionary Concessionary Fares Policy Consultation: Members were requested to respond to the consultation.

E.N.P.A. Planning Update: The Clerk was requested to contact Mr David Wyborn to accept the invitation to secure an early date for a planning workshop.

Youth Action Group: Cllrs. Judy Ernest, Gerry Lewis and Nick Thwaites are willing to attend the Youth Action Group session on 20th December 2015.

5973 Questions for Members who have attended additional meetings:

Exmoor Panel Meeting – 3rd November 2015:

E.N.P.A. - One Stop Hub Proposal: Continued discussion concerning the sharing of premises. Members agreed that consideration is only given to an alternative office if the proposal offered greater space and better easier access.

West Somerset Flood Group – 28th October 2015: The meeting mainly concerned offering advice to the farming community concerning water drainage.

5974 Issues to be raised with permission of the Chairman:

DTC Meetings: Members agreed to pilot the proposal to commence Council meetings at 7.00pm.

Risdon Hosegood: The Clerk was requested to confirm as to whether legal services are still available at the Dulverton branch.

Chairman …………………………………………….