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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

DTC Minutes of Meeting - 13th February 2017

Feb 07 2017

Minutes of the Meeting of Dulverton Town Council held on Monday 13th February 2017, in the Town Hall, Fore Street Dulverton, commencing at 7.00pm.

Present: Chairman/Mayor; Mr Nick Thwaites (DTC & W.S.C.), Councillors: Mrs Judy Ernest; Mrs Christine Dubery; Mr Ian Fleming; Mr Gerry Lewis; Mr Malcom Neale; Mrs Louise Parish; Mrs Margaret Rawle; Mr Bruce Heywood (W.S.C.) and Mrs Francis Nicholson (S.S.C.) who left at 8.15pm.


Deferment of Business for Comment by the Public: None

Apologies:   Mr Steve Ford

Declarations of Interest:

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

Chairman’s Comments & Meeting Management:

The Chairman welcomed Ms Liz Dagger and Ms Colleen Blake and thanked them for attending.


Ms L. Dagger, Senior Project Worker, Centre for Sustainable Energy – Smart Meters  

The Centre for Sustainable Energy is a Charity which has received funding from the Government to provide information to the public concerning smart meters. At present smart meters are not available in this area due to the lack of mobile phone signal. However the aim is that everyone will be offered smart meters by 2020. The existing meter will be replaced, and an ‘in- house’ display will be provided, which will inform as to how much energy is being used. Customers will need to engage with the ‘in – house’ display for it to be effective. Half hourly readings will automatically be sent to fuel suppliers who will be able to issue ‘real time’ bills. Savings should be made by all involved including customers, and switching suppliers should be easier.

It is probable that if customers fail to install smart meters they will be penalised by having to pay an increased tariff.

Ms C. Blake, W.S.C. – Community Employment Hub

There already exist Community Hubs in Williton, Watchet, Stogursey and Minehead which have proved successful in supporting those wishing to find employment. Staff work closely with the West Somerset Advisory Bureau. The scheme is community led by volunteers who work on receipt of referrals. Not all clients are unemployed, some require help with regards the updating of C.V.s, preparing for interviews and completing application forms for benefits and jobs.

Dulverton Library has allocated space for the Hub on the first Thursday of the month. Between three and six volunteers will be required to run the facility, who will receive training from Ms Blake. The IT equipment has been gifted and will remain with the Library whatever the success of the project.

Questions for County and District Councillors:

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

Guildhall Car Park - Lighting: Members extended their thanks regarding the cleaning and repair of the light.


Cllr. Frances Nicholson S.C.C.:

Speed Limit Assessment Feasibility Report: The report has been completed and the outcome is positive. The next stage is to determine, in consultation with D.T.C. and E.N.P.A. as to what action is to be taken to achieve a 20mph speed limit. A relatively simple scheme will cost in the region of £10,000 to implement.

Minehead Hospital – Proposed Closure of Wards: Members were informed that it is claimed that the closure of wards is due to the lack of nursing staff and an inability to recruit in the area. Cllr. Nicholson also considers that there exist management issues which need to be resolved. Members are urged to encourage qualified nursing staff to apply for vacancies.

Cllr Nicholson commented that she considers that there exists a greater issue concerning social mobility; the opportunities for young people to be offered work experience, creation of job prospects for the young and middle aged, as well as developing educational and career aspirations.

Barle Industrial Units: Cllr. Nicholson is to check if the lights are constantly on.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2017 as circulated: were approved and signed.

Proposed by Mrs Dubery, seconded by Mrs Parrish and carried.

Minutes of the meeting held on 24th January 2017as circulated: were approved and signed. Proposed by Mr Fleming, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried.

6146 Update of action points resulting from the last meeting:

6130 All Saints Church - East Wall:

The repairs have been successfully completed.

6130 All Saints Church – North Wall

A Contract has been awarded and the work is expected to commence after Easter 2017. There still exists the issue regarding the placing of consecrated soil removed from the base of the wall.

Requests with regards a contribution towards the funding of the project are to be sent to the Diocese of Bath & Wells, E.N.P.A. and the local P.C.C. Members agreed that the letters are to be published.


6147 Accounts:

Kier Recycling CIC       Waste Management Services, 01/01/17 -31/0/3/17         £125.03

Dul. Club & Rd. Rm     Office Rent, 01/07/16 – 31/03/17                                 £1,500.00    

Mr A. Takel                   Grounds Maintenance – Dec 2016                                   £462.87

BNP Paribas Solutions Hire of Photocopier, 31/01/2017 – 29/04/17                     £129.00

British Telecom             Internet Services                                                                 £65.04    

HMRC                           ¼ rly Tax & N.I.                                                              £1,508.20

Dul. Town Hall             Hire of Hall, 2016/17 @ 11 sessions                                 £594.00

Viking                           Stationery & Cartridges                                                       £41.35

Shaw & Sons                 Burial Receipt Book                                                             £23.82

Mr A. Takel                 Grounds Maintenance - January 2017                                 £488.25

Salaries & Expenses     January 2017                                                                   £1,553.49

Parish Lengthsman       January 2017 Wages & Expenses                                       £528.93

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


Financial Statement:

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

6148 Committees:

     Minutes submitted for approval:

Legal & Finance Committee Meeting - 17th January 2017

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Legal & Finance Committee meeting held on 17th January 2017 are approved. Proposed by Mr Fleming, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried.

Planning Committee Meeting – 24th January 2017

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting held on 24th January 2017 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Rawle, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

Grounds Committee Meetings - 24th January 2017 and 7th February 2017

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Grounds Committee meeting held on 24th January 2017 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Parrish, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Grounds Committee meeting held on 7th February 2017 are approved. Proposed by Mrs Dubery, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

Abbots Way Pond: Cllr. Ernest reported that there still remain problems concerning the disposal of silt. A quote for pumping out and disposing of any remaining silt has been requested from Chris Stephens & Sons. A layer of ‘hard core’ has been identified covering a further layer of silt. Furthermore natural springs exist which would create problems should the pond be filled in at some time in the future.

Town Management Committee: 31st January 2017

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Town Management Committee meeting held on 31st January 2017are approved. Proposed by Mr Fleming, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried.

Members were informed that the application concerning the provision of a ZOLL AED Plus defibrillator, an Aivia 200 cabinet and a Call Push Rescue Training Kit has been approved by the British Heart Foundation. The award is funded by the Department of Health.

Policy & Procedure Committee: - 7th February 2017

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Policy & Procedure Committee held on 7th February 2017 are approved. Proposed by Mr Lewis, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

6149 Internal Auditor – Year Ending 31st March 2017:

Members were informed that Mr Howe was not available to act as an Internal Auditor for DTC for the Year Ending 31st March 2017. An enquiry has been made to S.A.L.C. and other local Clerks regarding a possible replacement.

6150 Exmoor National Park Local Plan:

The consultation concerning the proposed new planning policy ends on 24th February 2017.

Members commented as follows:


  • That the document is difficult to understand.
  • That the policy concerning rural workers and the restriction to build a dwelling no larger than 93sqm with no option to extend in the future should be reconsidered. It was noted that the Planning Committee has already passed comment to E.N.P.A. concerning this issue confirming their support for a policy allowing more than the 93sqm and suggesting that planning applications should be considered on an individual basis.

Members were advised to forward any further comments onto the Clerk before 24th February 2017.

6151 Appraisal Procedure & Clerk’s Contract:

RESOLVED: To adopt the Appraisal Procedure as recommended by the H.R. Committee.

Proposed by Mr Lewis, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried.

RESOLVED: To offer a new contract to the Clerk as from 1st April 2017 as recommended by the H.R. Committee. Proposed by Mr Fleming, seconded by Mrs Dubery and carried.

6152 Farmers Market:

Cllr. Parrish provided members with a report concerning the Farmers Market events held during 2016. It is anticipated that the costs involved this year will be reduced, resulting in a possible profit of around £1,000.

RESOLVED: To underwrite the six events to be held this year by £1,500. Proposed by Mr Lewis, seconded by Mrs Ernest and carried with one abstention.

     6153 DDYPP - DTC Representative:

RESOLVED: That Cllr. Judy Ernest retains her position as representative of this Council on the Committee despite becoming a Trustee of the DDYPP. Proposed by Mr Thwaites, seconded by Mr Fleming and carried.

Members were informed that a Youth Worker has been appointed as from 3rd January 2017, however no further volunteers have been recruited. Furthermore, the number of club members have diminished considerably.

Somerset County Council are intending to carry out an assessment as from 3rd March 2017.

     6154 Late Correspondence:

Correspondence noted by members.

Ms Donna Lindsay, Dulverton Junior School – Swimming Pool Grant: Members considered and agreed to a request to draw down part of the grant awarded to help meet the cost of creating interim changing rooms in the classroom next door, in anticipation of the submission of a lottery grant and planning application regarding the proposed new changing rooms and swimming pool cover.

It was noted however that in the event that the applications were unsuccessful the remaining grant could not be reallocated and used for any other purpose.

     6155 Questions for Members who have attended additional meetings:

     Dulverton Town Hall Committee – 14th December 2017: Cllr Parrish informed members that there was nothing further to report since the last meeting when details concerning the refurbishment of both the ground floor and the shop were discussed, as well as the bar area.


   With regards the heating system, the quality of the stream water is to be monitored to ascertain the worst possible level of pollution in order to determine the filtration required.

   Exmoor Panel Meeting – 17th January 2017: Cllrs. Mr Nick Thwaites and Mrs Margaret Rawle attended. A report of the meeting was circulated to members. Updates were provided by representatives from Magna Housing, Somerset & Avon Police, Somerset Fire Service, E.N.P.A., S.C.C. Highways and W.S.C.

     West Somerset Flood Group – 25th January 2017: Attended by Cllr. Dubery, who following the meeting met with the Senior Contingencies Officer, S.C.C., and discussed the disposal of used sand bags. As a result residents are to be informed that it is their responsibility to dispose of sand bags used on their own property.

6156 Issues to be raised with permission of the Chairman:

Councillor Vacancy: The Clerk informed members that following the resignation of Mr Willison as a member of this Council the vacancy had been published and requests for an election invited.

In the event that none are received members will be able to co-opt a new member at the meeting to be held on 13th March 2017.

Rural Housing Network: Members agreed that Cllr. Fleming is requested to act as the local Housing Liaison Officer.

DTC Legal Representation: To be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Chairman …………………………………………….