Milborne Port

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News from the Council Chamber - November 2017

Councillor Co-option

There were five candidates putting their names forward for co-option to council for the three vacancies. The local council association guidance for co-opting councillors mandates an exhaustive ballot system which is how each of the vacancies was individually decided. We are pleased to welcome Messrs. Robert Tizzard, Ian Stewart and Tom Campbell to the council and express our thanks to the unsuccessful candidates for standing.

Planning Applications

There was much interest in the two planning applications for large house development 17/03964/OUT(56 dwellings at station road), and17/03985/OUT (65 dwellings at Wheathill Lane/Station Road junction). The chairman of the council confirmed that the opposition of many residents to these applications would be reflected in the response to the planning department, but could not prejudge the overall outcome of council discussions before they had taken place. It was noted that the deadline for submissions on these applications has been extended to 1st December and whilst council had considerable discussion about the issues, it was agreed that the final response would be agreed at the planning meeting on 21st November.

Village Agent Scheme

This scheme, whereby a trained and locally aware person is available to respond to people who have individual needs not otherwise addressed by statutory provision, was discussed following a presentation at the October meeting. Councillors were divided on the need for such a scheme, given that it would have a significant cost to the village. Council agreed to seek more information about the boundaries of the village agent scheme and as part of this, anyone who knows of such persons are asked to contact the Parish Clerk. Council does not need to know names, just the fact that a person in the village who could benefit, does exist.

Big Lottery Grant

To enhance safety and deter antisocial behaviour and drug taking, the provision of a vehicle barrier and car park lighting at the Springfield Road car park, has been under consideration for a long time. Council has managed to secure a grant of £10,000 to support this project and is seeking further grant funding from the District Council. In the meantime, it is seeking quotations for the work to be carried out.

News from the Council Chamber - October 2017

In addition to the formal minutes which will be published in due course, at the full Council meeting on 3rd October, councillors asked for the following to be reported:

Somerset Village Agent Scheme

Councillors had a discussion with Mr. Raj Singh from the Community Council for Somerset about whether or not a "village agent" scheme should be considered in Milborne Port in cooperation with other local villages. The village agents scheme has trained, paid staff who are able to work locally, bridging the gap between statutory or voluntary bodies in support of isolated or vulnerable individuals in a community. With an aging population in Milborne Port, such a scheme may be very helpful at a modest cost to council. Councillors will consider the scheme at the November meeting where a motion to participate will be introduced. Anyone with views on this are invited to take contact with the Parish Council Clerk.

Dog Fouling

This issue seems to be a perennial one discussed at council. Correspondence to the Parish Council specifically concerning the fouling on the playing fields. With the winter football season in full swing , this is of particular concern. Council resolved to invite a member of SSDC to the next meeting in November to discuss what other measures can be put in place, including by-laws to prevent residents walking their dogs without leads, etc.

Conservation Area Review

Council also had a presentation/discussion with Adron Duckworth from SSDC who described SSDC's initial thoughts concerning changing the conservation areas within the Parish. He explained that determining conservation areas was the carried out by the district council based upon a 1990 acto of Parliament and they are further charged with reviewing this periodically. He stressed that this was a preliminary scheme and that any residents who would be affected, would be consulted. Councillors were asked to consider the proposals so that a response to SSDC could be formulated at next month's meeting.

News from the Council Chamber - September 2017

Our monthly informal look at council business to supplement the formal minutes.

Parking Issues

Council discussed a letter from a resident concerned about difficulties encountered from parked cars. There never seems to be enough space for parking and Council would ask residents to park safely and courteously and to be mindfull of access issues for other residents and emergency services. Highways are aware of the issues involved and recognise that similar issues occur in many villages.

Dog Fouling

Another resident has complained that she was verbally abused when pointing out to a dog owner that dogs were not allowed on the play area. Dog excrement is particularly hazardous to human health which is why we have these rules in place. Councillors have also come across dog excrement on the playing fields. Council spend a significant amount of its income on providing and emptying bins to make it easy for residents to clear up after their animals. If you are a dog owner, please do your bit to help with this. Dog fouling is an offence with a heavy fine.

Gainsborough recreation area

There has been recent vandalism on the Gainsborough recreation area, with a seat being smashed and litter left around. It was not thought to be caused by local residents. If you notice any repeat of such behaviour, please notify the Parish Clerk.

A replacement litter bin will soon be placed at the play area and in October, replacement of some of the swings will be undertaken as well as new surface below the swings. The area will be cordoned off during the work and council would be grateful for your patience whilst this is done.

Excess Chairs

Council recently carried out a safety audit of the Town Hall and placed a limit on the occupancy of the council chamber. There are more chairs that the limit allows for and council intend to dispose of the excess. If any organisation wants such chairs (metal legged, plastic seats), they should get in touch with the Parish Clerk.

Conservation area to be extended

The conservation office of the Somerset Council has announced they will be consulting on a plan to change and extend the conservation areas within the village. The initial proposals are available for inspection at the Town Hall.

Redcliffe Homes

It was asked if council could make public the response it had made to Redcliffe homes. Note that this is not a response to district based upon a planning application but a direct response to the developer in advance of his planning application. It can be read here.

News from the Council Chamber - August 2017

Another of our informal looks at Parish Council business to supplement the formal minutes of the monthly meeting.

Redcliffe Homes Proposal

Part of the agenda at the August meeting was dedicated to the Parish Council preparing a consolidated response to Redcilffe homes on their proposed development at Wheathill Way, recognising that there are many differing views about this within council and village residents in general. The Parish Council recognises that it has no authority regarding planning decisions, a point often not appreciated by members of the general public. There are in the order of 20 members of the public, several of which pleaded for the Parish Council to canvass against the development and who were angry that the Parish Council were not able to offer its draft response as a “round robin” for comment before dispatch.

Council information sources

There were concerns expressed by some residents present at the August Council meeting, that they did not know how to find information about the council activities. Parish Council full meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, with committee meetings on the third Tuesday. Agendas for all meetings are posted at least three working days in advance of each meeting on notice boards outside the council offices and the council noticeboard in the Tippling Philosopher car park. A reminder of the dates of the meetings is posted in the Milborne Port Magazine. Copies of the agenda and previous draft minutes are available on the Parish Council pages of the community website (www.milborneport.org.uk). If any resident has further ideas of how we could promulgate such information, please get in touch with our clerk, Emma Curtis.

South West in Bloom

The Judging for this was completed in July and we eagerly await the results. The Parish Council would like to thank all those in the village who helped to keep the village tidy; this helped to support our competition chances as did the wonderful Parish Council sponsored hanging baskets.

New grants system in place

The Parish Council has made small grants to some village organisations on an annual basis in recent years. Recent work by our clerk has established that this “automatic” nature of grants should not be practiced and so at the last full council meeting, a policy for grants was adopted meaning that organisations will need to apply for grant funding in future. The policy and application form will shortly be included within the Parish Council pages of the community website and will of course be available in paper form from the council offices.

Town Hall Changes

Those who have visited the Town Hall in recent weeks will have seen some changes taking place, with new fire doors and emergency lighting. This has been carried out to improve the safety and security of the building. The latest addition is a video entry system to the Clerk’s office. Shortly, the door will no longer be open and you will need to be “buzzed in”. This addition has been carried out following the review of fire and other safety measures in the Town hall, including that of personal safety of the clerk as a lone worker.

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