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Monday, July 23, 2018

DTC Minutes of Meeting - December 12th 2016

Dec 06 2016

Minutes of the Meeting of Dulverton Town Council held on Monday 12th December 2016, in the Town Hall, Fore Street Dulverton, commencing at 7.00pm.

Present:Chairman/Mayor: Mr Nick Thwaites (D.T.C. & W.S.C.), Councillors: Mrs Judy Ernest; Mrs Christine Dubery; Mr Ian Fleming; Mr Steve Ford; Mr Gerry Lewis; Mr Malcolm Neale; Mrs Louise Parrish; Mrs Margaret Rawle; Mr Mike Willison, and two members of the public.

Deferment of Business for Comment by the Public:

Mrs Jan Ross – Chairman, C.L.O.W.N.S. and Ms Becky Fry – Mrs Ross spoke in support of the grant request to be considered by members. Members were informed that the Charity finds itself in a financially difficult position due to the fact that many funds which have previously supported the Charity no longer exist. The mobile facility has been available since 1977, and aims to help children and parents by providing a lifeline to rural families, and early intervention when required. The service currently provided uses four vehicles including a double decker play bus and an outreach vehicle able to visit families requiring individual support. The cost to maintain the current level of service amounts to a minimum of £80,000 annually.

Ms Fry provided members with a parent’s perspective as to how beneficial the service is, particularly to those rurally and socially isolated.

Mrs Ross concluded by stating that ideas and advice regards the sourcing of funds as well as financial support would be welcome.


Mrs Francis Nicholson (S.C.C.)

Mr Bruce Heywood (W.S.C.)


Declarations of Interest:

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

Cllrs. Steve Ford & Mike Willison with regard their positions as Church Warden.

Cllr Louise Parrish with regards Item 8, C.L.O.W.N.S.

Chairman’s Comments & Meeting Management:

The Chairman took the opportunity to wish all present a merry Christmas.


Questions for County and District Councillors:

Cllr. Heywood and Cllr. Thwaites (W.S.C):

Car Parks and Kemps Way Lighting: It was reported that several lights are still not working including the lights situated at the steps in Exmoor House Car Park.

Leat Weir: The wood is to be removed by volunteers from the Leat Trust.

Cllr Frances Nicholson:

The following queries/comments were raised in Cllr. Nicholson’s absence.

Traffic Management:

It was noted that S.C.C. appear to have reversed the decision not to erect further signage encouraging the drivers of heavy vehicles to continue on the A396 when accessing the moor rather than pass through Dulverton.

Members expressed their concerns regarding a speed monitor box which has been fixed to a sign post owned by the Town Council, without consent, which will result in the post requiring repair work once the box is removed. Members also consider that the monitor has been situated in the wrong place. The Clerk was requested to impart the comments to Cllr. Nicholson.

Barle Bridge: It was reported that Wessex Water have received approval to erect two way traffic lights for a period of ten weeks early in the new year, while work is undertaken.

Minutes of the meetings held on 14th November 2016 as circulated: were approved and signed. Proposed by Mrs Ernest, seconded by Mrs Parrish and carried.


6120 Update of action points resulting from the last meeting:  

6112 All Saints Church - East Wall:

A response from Mr Simon Bastone (Structural Engineer) is expected in the near future with advice regarding the tenders received.

Cllr Ford informed members that the criteria with regards an application for a grant from the National Heritage Lottery are not met.

6112 All Saints Church – North Wall:

Repairs are ongoing.

6112 Public Access Defibrillator

         6114 Minutes submitted for approval:

         6121 Accounts:          

           Payments for approval:  

           Mr A. Takel                            Grounds Maintenance – November 2016             £707.25

         GC Stanbury & Son               Fuel (Oct)                                                              £39.00

         GC Stanbury & Son               Fuel (Nov)                                                             £12.06

         Lynx Copiers                         Monthly Service Charge (Sept – Oct)                    £40.32

         Lynx Copiers                         Monthly Service Charge (Oct – Nov)                   £40.32

         S.G. World                             Cash Book                                                             £44.40

         Grant Thornton                       External Audit Fee                                               £480.00

         Exe Pest                                 Pest Control Services Aug – Oct                         £120.02

         Viking                                     Stationery, cups and heater                                   £71.28

         Salaries Expenses & Arrears November 2016                                                 £4,913.88            

         Parish Lengthsman                 November 2016 Wages & Expenses                   £528.93

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


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


6122 Committees:

     Minutes submitted for approval:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 22nd November 2016 are approved. Proposed by Mr Lewis, seconded by Mrs Parrish and carried.




6123 Precept 2017/18:

Members having been supplied by details of the budget statement & forecast and having taken note of the recommendation from the members of the Legal & Finance Committee:

RESOLVED: That the precept for the financial year commencing 1st April 2017 is set at £65,947. Proposed by Mrs Ernest, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried by nine votes in favour and one abstention.

6124 Abbotts Way Pond – De-silting Costs.

Members were informed that due to heavy rain access across the field to the pond was not possible, consequently a price is being pursued from haulage contractors concerning the removal of silt from the site.

Cllr Lewis agreed to speak to the riparian owner of the field opposite with regards the possible disposal of the silt.

6125 C.L.O.W.N.S.

Members commented that they considered that many facilities already exist in Dulverton for local families and the amount that could be viably granted would make little difference to the overall costs. However it was acknowledged that a ‘show of support’ would assist the Charity when applying to greater funding sources.

RESOLVED: That a grant of £250 is awarded. Proposed by Mr Fleming, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried by six votes in favour and four against.

6126 Somerset Playing Fields Association:

RESOLVED: To renew the annual subscription at £15.00. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried.


6127 Late Correspondence:

   Noted by members.

Exmoor Rural Housing Network – Sue Southwell, Coordinator: Members considered the request for the nomination of a member to volunteer as a Local Housing Contact. After discussion it was concluded that the suggestion itself is an indication that the system is not fit for purpose, particularly the Home Finder Application Form.

   6128 Questions for Members who have attended additional meetings:

Patient Group Meeting – 6th December 2016: Attended by Councillor Rawle, who advised that activities are followed on the website or twitter.

Cllr. Fleming suggested that further signage was required, directing the public to the surgery.

Chairman’s Meeting – 1st December 2016: Attended by the Clerk and Cllr. Ernest. It was reported that the conversation mainly concerned the situation regarding the transfer of assets of public conveniences in West Somerset. It would appear that all the Parish & Town Councils involved consider that the procedure pursued by W.S.C. has been unprofessional at best, if not unreasonable.

Watchet, Williton & Quantock Vale Area Panel Meeting – 6th December 2016: Attended by Cllr. Thwaites who reported that the meeting was addressed by the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner who confirmed that it was not intended to cut the number of P.C.S.O.’s, who are considered to be doing an excellent job. Minutes of the meeting will be distributed.

6129 Issues to be raised with permission of the Chairman:

Magna – Housing requirements in Dulverton: Members were informed by Cllr. Ernest that Magna want to pursue the development of phase two of Allers View. Following enquires she has ascertained that more two bedroomed properties are required. Furthermore, one bedroomed flats are required for single persons and those wishing to downsize.

It was commented upon that the existing Allers View properties have proved to be economical to run however the room sizes are somewhat small for a family of four.

Flood Defence Scheme: Members of the Flood Defence Volunteer Group were called out on 20th November 2016 due to heavy rain and the threat of flooding. Several issues arose which are to be resolved, including the amount of sand that was needed.

A further shed is required to store sand.

Exmoor Lawns: Cllrs. Chris Dubery and Ian Fleming reported that they are currently creating a business plan as requested by W.S.C. to include the provision that DTC will only negotiate/consider the transfer of the freehold. This will be circulated to members prior to it being submitted to W.S.C. in the New Year.

Dual Hatted Council Membership: At the request of the Chairman, members discussed the perceived conflict of interests when a councillor is a member of two different local authorities.

Chairman …………………………………………….