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Friday, September 22, 2017

DTC Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting - 4th May 2016

Apr 25 2017

MINUTES of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Wednesday 4th May 2016 in the Town Hall, Dulverton, commencing at 6.30pm.

PRESENT: Councillors: Mr Nick Thwaites; Mr Mrs Judy Ernest; Mrs Christine Dubery; Mr Gerry Lewis; Mr Steve Ford; Mrs Louise Parrish; Mrs Margaret Rawle; and one member of the public.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Mr Ian Fleming and Mr Mike Willison; Mr Les Silverlock and Mr Chris Nelder.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN: Mr Thwaites proposed that Mrs Dubery be invited to chair the Parish Meeting. Seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

MINUTESof the last Annual Parish Meeting held on 11th May 2015 were read by the Clerk, were accepted and signed. Proposed by Mrs Ernest, seconded by Mrs Parrish and carried.

MATTERS ARISING: None

REPORTS FROM LOCAL ORGANISATIONS /CLUBS:

Dulverton Snooker Club: Those present were informed that the Club had won the Minehead League and came third in the Tiverton League.

Over the year a few new members have joined the Club, however there is a need to recruit more and consequently the facilities are being advertised in The Dulverton Voice. Anyone is welcome, residents and tourists.

Streamcombe Allottment Trust: Two grants were awarded during the last financial year, £50.00 to the West Somerset Food Bank and £240.00 to ‘Maise’, an organisation supporting children who have suffered the trauma of family bereavement or illness.

£9,000 remains in the account.

The criteria remain strict; however, applications and referrals will be accepted regarding anyone suffering hardship.

U3A:The Club currently has around 60 members who meet monthly in various groups concerning interests such as reading and wine tasting.

Dulverton & District Young Peoples Project:The club has been totally re-organised, new Trustees having been appointed. It was reported that the club is more involved in community events and pro-active with regards fund raising.

Dulverton Gardening Club: The Club currently has around 60 members, who enjoy organised trips and presentations. Some members have volunteered to work with children at the Infant School and hope to run a lunch time garden club involving children from the Junior School also.

The Junior Produce Show will be held on Saturday 1st July 2016.

Dulverton Cricket Club: There exist two senior teams and one colts’ team. Some of the equipment was damaged as a result of the storms in March. Negotiations with the insurance company are ongoing, however fund raising activities are being undertaken to meet the cost of repairs.

Dulverton Netball Club: The club has two teams, one in the Exeter League, the other playing in the Taunton League. All ages are involved and coached by qualified professionals.

Sports Field Management Committee: The draft Constitution is awaiting approval from the Charities Commission; and the individual club leases have been written and are also awaiting approval.

The outside of the Pavilion is to be re-painted during the summer.

Town Hall Committee: The kitchen has been re-fitted with monies raised from the Thrift Shop.

A grant was successfully obtained to purchase a new projector and it is hoped that the sound system and bar facilities will be upgraded during this financial year.

Dulverton Players: The Players have just completed a successful pantomime production of Jack and the Beanstalk. The Players consist of plenty of volunteer actors and good practical support concerning the creation of sets and costumes.

It is intended, in the near future, to launch a website offering costumes for hire.

Dulverton by Starlight Committee: The recent ‘open’ meeting was well attended and resulted in considerable enthusiasm for pursing the annual event. The current Chairman and Treasurer are stepping down; a new Committee is to be formed next week.

Community Bus: A Community Bus Club has been set up, which allows individuals to hire the service.

REPORT FROM THE MAYOR/CHAIRMAN:

NatWest – Dulverton Branch Closure: The branch was closed despite considerable opposition from both DTC and local residents. Efforts to encourage alternative Banks to open a branch in Dulverton unfortunately failed.

The provision of a weekly mobile bank has considerable limitations.

Bus Services: There has been some considerable disruption of services over the past few months but issues have generally been resolved and the services offered running smoothly.

Dulverton Schools: A decision concerning the future provision of education in Dulverton has finally been made following years of uncertainty. A positive future is anticipated.

Leat & Weir: Management of the flow of water has improved. A Trust is being formed to take over the asset from West Somerset Council. The long-term proposal is to make the area accessible and a tourist attraction.

Dulverton Flood Group: The plan has come to fruition; two sheds have been erected and are fully stocked with the necessary equipment.

The Dulverton Plan is being used by other parishes as a positive example.

All Saints Church Wall: A faculty has finally been granted and the specification is currently out to tender. The costs are expected to amount to between £50,000 and £80,000.

Dulverton & District Young Peoples Project: The future of the Club is now secure following the threat of closure.

Community Budgeting: Having secured funding, a successful event was held last year. However, the larger organisation and authorities were unable to contribute.

Sports Field Lease: It is proposed that a six-year rolling lease is implemented to ensure the future of the agreement between the Town Council and the Sports Field Management Committee.

Traffic /Speed Management: The process concerning the implementation of a 20mph speed limit throughout the Town is well under way. The lower speed restriction is expected to be imposed in the near future.

Grounds Machinery: A new tractor and Bobcat has been purchased by the Town Council who resolved to keep the maintenance of the grounds ‘in house’.

Farmers Market: A second event has been held and deemed successful, having received help and support from local traders.

Public Toilet Facilities: West Somerset Council is to cease providing toilet facilities as from 31st March 2017. The Town Council intends to consider requesting a transfer of the asset and has raised the precept accordingly to accommodate the anticipated costs.

Exmoor Lawns: The Town Council intends to consider requesting the transfer of this asset. However, the financial burden has still not been ascertained.

Dulverton Car Parks: Dulverton Town Council had successfully administered the car parks since 1994. However, in March 2016 West Somerset Council decided to take the management of them back ‘in house’; reneging on the existing Management Agreement. Although successfully negotiating that the current parking fees remain for this financial year, it is anticipated that they will rise considerably next year.

Emails: The Chairman requested that the contents of all emails are checked for accuracy prior to sending, whether from the public or members.

Councillor Resignation: Those present were informed of the recent resignation of Cllr. Liz Schofield. The Chairman thanked her for her work while serving as a member of this Council.

REPORT FROM THE CLERK:

Finances – Year Ended 31st March 2016: Members have been presented with the Financial Return and a summary of Receipts & Payments as at 31st March 2016, along with the closing balances for their approval at the Council meeting to be held at the meeting scheduled for 9th May 2016.

Due to the new Governance and Accountability Regulations, the Annual Return and the Notice advertising the rights of the public to view the accounts now must be displayed on the website. The documents will be published as required on 2nd June 2016, the inspection period being from Friday 3rd June 2016 until Thursday 14th July 2016.

Internal & External Audits 2014/15: Those present were informed that the internal audit is currently being undertaken. The subsequent report will be considered by the Finance Committee. The external audit is due on or before 10th June 2016.

 

THE SITUATION REGARDING BURIAL PROVISION IN DULVERTON CEMETERY:

One of the Town Councils many responsibilities has been to provide and maintain the cemetery in Jury Road. This facility has been provided since 1927 and it is unfortunately now almost completely full. Even with some minor alterations there are only about 30 plots available for full interments, although space for the burial of ashes would accommodate much larger numbers.

This is sufficient for an estimated five more years based on recent burial statistics.

A plan for an extension to the cemetery was drawn up several years ago, expanding into a plot of land adjacent to the existing facility. This land is not owned by the Town and there is no guarantee that the owner would be prepared to sell if approached.

The original plan, which included space for parking and improved access from Jury Road, was estimated to cost in the region of £200,000. A less ambitious plan would however still be a considerable expense, certainly in excess of £100,000, plus the cost of the land itself. It is the associated works which have to be addressed, such as the provision of access from the road, car parking fencing and paths, which will contribute to these considerable extra costs.

Increasing the size of the cemetery would also increase the annual maintenance cost, which in the financial year 2015/2016 was in excess of £4,000. All costs are met by the precept requested by the Town Council, in other words paid for by local council tax payers. There are however some funds available in the reserves currently held by the Town Council.

Any proposed location would have to be tested as to its suitability for its use as a cemetery; without doubt the current regulations are likely to be more stringent than when the original cemetery was opened.

The provision of a cemetery is not a statutory duty for the Town Council, once the existing location is full there is no legal requirement to create more space for local burials. The Town Council have an obligation to spend money raised by the precept in a prudent and considered manner, in line with the needs and wishes of the all the townspeople. The trend in burials is very much towards cremation. In the UK, it has increased from 35% in 1960 to almost 80% in 2015 making it arguably more difficult to justify the large financial commitment required.

However, with regards the Parish Plan consultation undertaken in 2010, 91% of those who responded wished to see burial facilities retained.

With this in mind, before moving forward with any new plans your Council would welcome opinions and suggestions from residents.

It is proposed that a consultation letter is sent to each household in an attempt to gauge public opinion.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr Dave Firman:

Bus Services Nos. 25, 198 and 398: It was suggested that the services provided with regards the provision of disabled access. Furthermore, the Companies running the routes fail to liaise and co-ordinate the services they provide.

Kemps Way: Mr Firman expressed his disappointment at the increasing number of seemingly abandoned cars situated adjacent to The Bridge Public House, creating an eyesore for tourists etc. entering Dulverton over the Barle Bridge.

All Saints Church: The P.C.C. is seeking a Faculty to erect a mast inside the church tower which will improve mobile phone signals in the area significantly.

MEETING CLOSED:   7.35pm

Chairman………………………………….