West Knoyle Parish Council
Parish Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
Minutes of a Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday, 21st March 2023 at 7.30 p.m. in West Knoyle Village Hall.
Present: Councillors Paul Yates (Chairman), Marcus Randall (Vice-Chairman) & Alex Davies
Also Jill Randall, Janet Howard & Corinne Leonard
Meeting convened with Public Session
Mrs. Jill Randall reported on an observation made by the Community Speedwatch volunteers which was that they had noticed a stark contrast in the number of cars that came through the village when the road was closed at Bay, Gillingham recently. 6 cars came through the village as opposed to 20 when the road was reopened which proves how many people use the village as a short cut to get to the A303. Janet Howard also mentioned that there were 4 volunteers on the Community Speedwatch group and one was leaving so they were looking for more volunteers to recruit. The Clerk suggested that they put out a notice in Mere Matters.
Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. Tony Davis, Paul Vita and Wiltshire Councillor George Jeans.
determined since last Parish Council meeting
Planning Application PL/126. Declarations of Interest:
- None received
at the meeting
- b) Planning applications 2022/05168 –Change of use of land from agricultural to residential to erect a self-build two-storey dwelling, modify accesses, form parking and turning area, install air source heat pump and treatment plant At: Land at The Street, West Knoyle, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 6AE – the Clerk reported that, since the last meeting, the Planning Authority had granted permission for this 127. Minutes – RESOLVED to approve the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday, 29th November 2022 as a correct record on proposal made by Cllr. Randall and seconded by Cllr. Yates.
- Matters Arising from previous meeting (not covered by other agenda items)
- Reports & Consultations
- a) Wiltshire Councillors report
- a) Planning applications to consider planning application.
- c) Government publishes its prospectus for revising the National Planning Policy Framework: see: Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Clerk informed members that suggestions are being made to reform the 5-year housing land supply so that Local Authorities are not required to continually demonstrate a deliverable 5-year housing land supply. Also proposing to boost status of Neighbourhood Plans and to provide incentives to developers to encourage them to build after planning permission has been granted. “This was a weighty consultation document which closed on 22nd March. It is clear that it is just the first consultation of many that are likely to take place to reform national planning policy. Wiltshire Council have sent us a copy of their detailed response as has the National Association of Local Councils and I am aware that the CPRE is urging the government to encourage housing development on old brownfield sites before using greenfield sites up.”
- Footpaths, Highways, Traffic & Transport
- a) Highway and footpath issues and issues for parish steward – It was reported that Highways contractors had been seen strimming the grass around all the signs and visibility splays and members felt that it was a complete waste of time doing this work at this time of year.
- b) Highway maintenance programme and planned works for C297 West Knoyle – The Clerk reported: ‘Having had quite substantial correspondence about the state of the road through West Knoyle since we last met, I was very dismayed when I recently saw, contained within the agenda papers for the South West Wiltshire Area Board Meeting (held last week) the Wiltshire Highways Maintenance Programme 2023/24 as I could see no mention of any works being carried out on the roads in West Knoyle during the next 7 years. I raised my alarm to various officers and Wiltshire Council members including the Chief Executive and also to our MP. David Button informed me that there had been some unintentional confusion in that there had been duplicated name for another site within the document and there was actually some work planned for West Knoyle. Actually, this is not technically correct. The length of road that is on the list for surfacing and carriageway repairs is from the C304 Pimperleaze Road junction to the C305 Park Corner junction (all this stretch of road is, I believe, within the Mere Parish boundary). This would appear to be 11th on the list for treatment and, I fear will only cover about one third of the carriageway issues that we raised our concern about.’ The Clerk said that she had recently discussed this with Wiltshire Cllr. Jeans who had said that he would be actively pursuing this matter with officers and cabinet members.
- Play Area
- a) Report on RoSPA Play Area Inspection report and update on schedule of actions identified (schedule attached) – Cllr. Randall reported that the play area was looking good, although the ground was wet and damp and that the schedule of actions would be considered in the spring when things might have dried out a bit.
- Matters requested for discussion by Village Hall Management Committee
- a) Finances relating to Platinum Jubilee Bench and contribution from Social Club Committee – The Clerk informed members that the Platinum Jubilee bench had cost £709.90 delivered. As the Parish Council had placed the order for the bench and the bench would be in the Parish Council’s asset register, it was therefore appropriate for the Parish Council to claim back the VAT so the net cost would be £591.58. It was agreed that the Village Hall Management Committee would make a financial contribution of £292 towards the cost of purchasing the bench.
- b) Installation of Platinum Jubilee bench – Corinne Leonard reported that Marcus had agreed to build a paved area outside the Village Hall for the bench to go.
- c) Front boundary fence – Corinne Leonard reported that quotations had been received from Bourton Fencing and Fencewize to replace the fence outside the village hall which had blown over. As the quotations were very expensive a member of the community had installed a replacement fence using materials purchased from Sydenhams which had saved a lot of money. Fortunately, there were funds left over from the Covid grant that covered these costs.
- Events – Kings Coronation
Corinne Leonard said that the Village Hall Committee had agreed to hold an event whereby they would ask everyone to bring along a picnic to the Village Hall to celebrate ‘The Coronation Big Lunch’ on Sunday, 7th May between 12 noon and 5 pm. There would be family games, children’s fancy dress etc. The Chairman thanked the Village Hall Committee for organising this event for the community.
- Finance, Policy & Resources
- a) Payments – RESOLVED to approve the following payments
L. C. Wood
Salary Q4 2022/23
PAYE Q4 2022/23
T. J. Thornley
Updates for website and adding accounts & audit information + Domain Name renewal fee
- b) Report on latest bank reconciliation – the Clerk reported on the bank reconciliation and balances at today’s date being £14,465.50
- c) To review and assess the effectiveness of internal controls (schedule attached) – members noted the report and schedule which had been distributed prior to the meeting and covered the Internal Controls, Risk Management Strategy and Annual Insurance Review/Asset Register – members agreed that they did not want to insure the Platinum Jubilee Memorial Bench under the All-Risks section of the insurance policy.
- d) Staffing matters – The Clerk reported that she was now finding it necessary to spend more time on her other job and regrettably, was finding it increasingly difficult to find the time to attend to the Clerking duties for West Knoyle Parish Council and therefore she was handing in her notice of resignation. It was agreed to advertise the vacancy on social media first and Mere Matters and Indeed and then, if necessary to advertise in the Blackmore Vale Magazine. The Clerk asked members to spread the word amongst the community.
- e) Notice from Wiltshire Council that it will seek to recover Election costs from May 2025 – the Clerk reported that, as suspected, Wiltshire Council had now given written notice that they would seek to recover the cost of administering full Town, City and Parish Council elections with effect from May 2025. Wiltshire Council had given advice on likely costs involved in contested and uncontested elections.
- Date of next meeting – RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting would take place on Tuesday, 16th May 2023 at 7.00 pm and the Annual Parish Council meeting would take place immediately afterwards.
Meeting closed at 8.35 pm