Annual Parish Report from WMPC

West Monkton Parish Council

2017 Annual Report

 

2016/2017 has been yet another very busy year for the Parish Council. Regular reports are made to Taunton Deane on planning applications, potholes, footpaths, fly tipping and bus shelters. Dog fouling is a continuing problem where owners do not pick up their dog faeces, or when they do, they bag it and throw it into people’s gardens or hang it on bushes/trees. There are dog bins around the Parish to use, or they should take it home.

In October, the new Primary School and Brittons Ash Community Hall (BACH) came into use.

We have now appointed an assistant Clerk to help Tricia with the growing amount of Parish Council work.

Parish Council meetings are open to all Parishioners to attend and they can speak in public question time when they can ask questions if they so wish.

 

A few words from the Chairman 2015/16

Again, I must thank my fellow Councillors and Mrs Tricia Cavill, our Clerk and Finance Officer, and Stuart Haskins, the Vice Chairman, for all the support they, and the other councillors have given me over the year. There are challenges facing the whole Parish now, and in the next few years with the proposed developments. So, I and my fellow Councillors will aim to keep you all informed of any changes that we are told about; and we will be vigilant to preserve our Communities, Villages and Hamlets to the best of our ability.

This has been my seventh year as Chairman, and although it has been enjoyable, stimulating and sometimes challenging, I have decided that I will relinquish the position at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council in May.

I will continue as a councillor.

Once more I have asked each of my fellow councillors to write about the things that they have been doing throughout the year and this will update you as to who they are and what has been happening within the Parish. You will also note that I have included our email addresses.

Hazel Ellis [email protected]

March 2016

 

 

Stuart Haskins – Vice Chairman/Allotments

[email protected]

 

2016 saw 2 Spital Allotment plots change hands to new tenants and whilst the season may not have been one of the best for growing, most tenants have returned again this year. At present, we have 1 vacant plot and no waiting list but I’m sure this won’t be the case for long once word gets out.

The 11 Spital Allotments have for many years satisfied our Villagers’ demand for plots with the waiting list very rarely being more than 1 or 2 prospective gardeners.  However, I anticipate this will change in the coming months and years as the size of our Village continues to increase. With the next stage of development now in its planning phase there will be land specifically identified for use as allotments. When the time comes and subject to demand, it is likely these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. As yet the location of the allotments is unknown, which may influence demand of course. It would therefore be helpful to the Parish Council if anyone wishing to rent a plot in the future could register their interest by sending an email to the Clerk of the Parish Council.

Tricia Cavill – The Parish Council Clerk

[email protected]

 

It is responsibility of the Clerk to ensure the smooth and lawful running of the Council, and advise Councillors accordingly. The Councillors’ Code of Conduct, Financial Regulations and Standing Orders are revised, reissued and adopted every year at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (equivalent to its AGM). The Register of Councillors’ Disclosable Interests is maintained and filed at Taunton Deane Borough Council. If an application for ‘Dispensation’ fits the rules, then the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, can issue ‘Dispensation’ to Councillors to allow them to speak where they might otherwise be prevented from speaking on particular matters. The Clerk administers grant applications made under the General Powers of Competence: this power allows the Parish Council to support individuals and groups to deliver projects of benefit to the community. The Clerk annually reviews, revises and maintains the Parish Council policy documents that are available on the website.

The Clerk maintains the Parish website www.westmonkton.net.

The Clerk is also the Responsible Financial Officer, and therefore keeps the accounts of the Parish Council; paying for goods and services, maintaining the payroll and HMRC, obtaining quotes, and monitoring the budget. In preparing the Budget and Precept for the year ahead, the Clerk takes into account the services that Borough and County Council can deliver (based on grants given to Local Authorities from government); the needs generated by ongoing and increasing growth of the Parish; and the Council’s desire to maintain all of the Parish as a safe and pleasant place to live and work.

This year the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has taken shape as a result of the hard work of volunteers, Councillors and consultants. The levels of expertise, detailed knowledge, determination and enthusiasm has been inspirational. The NP will soon be available for public consultation before final finishing ready for official submission.                           The other significant effect this year on the life of the Clerk and Council has been the Brittons Ash Community Hall (BACH) – built as part of the s106 planning requirements of the 1000 house mixed use Urban Extension. This purpose-built community facility offers the means to reinforce the growing community of Brittons Ash/Bathpool and to integrate those newly arrived with the residents who have lived in the area for longer. The kit-out and setting up the Management structure for the BACH has taken time, but plenty of guidance and understanding is available from a number of sources (not least Community Council for Somerset). The Parish Council meets in the BACH on the second Wednesday of every month at 7.00pm. The public are always very welcome, and they can speak in Public Question time. This provides the opportunity for the public to raise issues, and gives the Parish Council valuable feedback from the community. The BACH is available for hire for classes, meeting groups, activities, and private functions.

Barry Gage – Footpaths

[email protected]

 

This year as Footpath Officer I would like to thank Andrew Pritchard, Shaun Rolls and Martin Ellis who are all voluntarily working on your behalf to keep our footpaths open. Many of the stiles that currently exist will be replaced by kissing gates as part of the Taunton Garden project.

I have also taken on the role of Chairman for the new community hall at Brittons Ash (BACH). The hall will eventually become the property of West Monkton Parish Council with charitable status and will be managed by its own committee. Until then it will be run by a number of councillors and volunteer’s. My thanks to Maggie Little who has assumed the role of Bookings Officer (01823 323662) plus Jane and Richard Doble who are providing help and support. The hall is currently being used by Taunton Table Tennis Club, a number of keep fit groups and some local organisations. It is also available for birthday parties etc. and has a kitchen attached.                                                                   Hire costs are currently as follows:

Activity Room £6.00 per hour

Committee Room £6.00 per hour

Kitchen £3.00 per hour

These charges will be reviewed quarterly.

Ray Tully – Village Hall               rayb[email protected]

As West Monkton Parish Council representative on the West Monkton Village Hall committee I am very pleased to report that the hall is going from strength to strength. The hall has once again been awarded Hall Marks ONE – TWO and THREE for excellence this is all down to the hard work of the village hall chair Mrs. Joyce Keyte and the members of the committee, not forgetting all the volunteers. This gives our village one of the best village halls in the county. This will be the last report that I will be submitting as the Parish Council representative of the village hall, like many things in the village there are changes ahead.

I will however still be a trustee and hope to act as liaison between both organisations.

Gloria Day – Trees

[email protected]

I live at The Forge West Monkton and I am proud to have been one of your Parish Councillors for over 18 years. I have lived in West Monkton village for most of my life.

I have spent much of my working life in finance but latterly over the past 18 years I worked in the newspaper industry. I am currently Tree Warden for the Parish, trying to ensure many of our old trees and those under tree preservation orders are protected.

It is paramount that the parishioners are made aware of events in the Parish, in particular planning. Over the past 21 years the Parish has grown beyond all recognition and continues to grow, further large developments are currently being built with hundreds, possibly considerably more houses proposed.

I am independent in my views and decisions.

 

Mark Besley – Highways

[email protected]

 

We have had a busy and at times frustrating year regarding highways in the Parish. We seek to ensure that the ‘back roads’ are modeled as part of the planning exercise for the next phase of development to take into consideration the effects of development on minor roads. We regularly correspond with the developers and management company regarding issues such as unfinished footpaths and raised metal works in the new housing and hopefully will see some action here. The Parish Council are concerned that the through traffic on Bridgwater Road is posing a danger to residents and children using the new school and supports the idea that now that the Eastern Relief Road, A38, is open, the Bridgwater Road should be closed or at least an HGV restriction put in until the bus gate is complete. We are assured that the Bridgwater Road bus gate will be finished in the summer holidays of 2017. The lanes around West Monkton experienced almost grid lock on two occasions during the closure of the A3259 for road works. This prompted concerns from both residents and businesses regarding the proposed bus gate on the A3259 which would cause the same issues. The Parish Council has to weigh up these concerns and those of the residents at Pavilion Gardens who were promised the bus gate. The Parish Council has gained an assurance from SCC that a bus gate on the A3259 will NOT be considered before the Western Relief Road is complete and its need will be thoroughly assessed prior to a decision made.                 For up to date information regarding the new buildings and development in the village please email [email protected] – we have over 160 people currently registered for this service.

 

 

Michael Thompson

[email protected]

 

As I enter my second year on the council, I continue to focus on ensuring the significant housing developments in the parish are carried out with due consideration for residents’ needs. I am specifically taking an active interest in the impact of future road developments on the increasing habits of drivers to find alternative routes, often speeding along the narrow roads to the north of the parish. I also continue to work on identifying where localised flooding occurs and specifically at Bathpool, where temporary pipes and mobile pumps have already been installed to help reduce flooding back from the point where the water flows exit into the River Tone just south of the village. I am also researching potential attenuation sites in the hills upstream from the Parish to try and reduce the rate of water flow during periods of high rainfall.

 

Wendy Ling

[email protected]

 

I have now been a West Monkton Parish Councillor for almost 2 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed the position. I live and work in the Parish, and I take a huge interest in listening to parishioners that I meet, and trying to find solutions for local problems.

 

Norman Cavill – Taunton Deane

[email protected]

 

The building of the School and the adjoining Brittons Ash Community Hall – BACH, was completed in October 2016 and formally opened in January 2017. Construction of the Local Centre area opposite the school is under way, as ever houses first, then the shops and the apartments above them. Road traffic calming adjacent to the School is being monitored with further improvements to Bridgwater road planned. The land and funds to deliver the Western Relief Road (WRR) are now in place.

The improvements planned for Junction 25 and A358, have been on show for public comment. Funding bids have also been made for Creech Castle and adjoining road schemes. The Master Planning for ‘Phase 2’ of the Urban Extension has been ongoing this year requiring additional staff at TDBC: the developers have had a number of early information gathering conversations with the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) Steering Group. The development of the NP has brought the community’s desires and aspirations into focus, it will be a requirement that these views are given consideration as the Master Planning develops. Improvements to enhance the environment continue to move ahead: ranging from smaller schemes in Monkton Heathfield, to the large scheme of the Green Park between Nerrols Estate and Monkton Heathfield, an objective of the Neighbourhood Plan. Drainage improvements planned at Bathpool as part of the Taunton Strategic Flood Plan have moved forward. An interim measure, with some funds in place, is that pipes and pump base have been installed to ameliorate flooding risk at Bathpool.

 

David Fothergill – Somerset County Council

Councillor for Monkton and North Curry Division.

Cabinet member for Highways and transport.

[email protected]

 

The further development of the new housing in Monkton Heathfield over the past year has continued to bring significant traffic challenges; and the construction of the Western Relief Road with its associated traffic calming measures is a key infrastructure project which the Consortium needs to deliver as a priority.

 

On a more positive note the construction and opening of the new West Monkton Primary School has been a real highlight of the past year. It is widely accepted that the quality layout is a model which should be replicated on other new school sites across the County.

 

Norman Cavill, Denise Webber and Richard Parrish

Are our Ward Councillors on Taunton Deane Borough Council. They regularly update us of matters that concern our parish, as and when necessary.

 

Meeting Schedule 2017 / 2018

Meetings are now held in the committee room, Brittons Ash Community Hall (BACH) commencing at 7.00pm.

 

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING DAY: FROM MAY  2017 ONWARDS THE COUNCIL WILL MEET ON THE SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH

 

All parish council meetings are open to the public and there is always a Public Question Time (at around 7.30pm) where the formal meeting is suspended whilst questions and comments are welcomed from anyone living in the parish.

Annual meeting of the Parish Council 9 May 2017

13 June

11 July

8 August

12 September

10 October

14 November

12 December

 

 

 

 

2018

9 January

13 February

13 March

10 April

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council 8 May 2018

 

Annual Parish Meeting Tuesday 27 March 2018

This is not a parish council meeting. The meeting is one of the Council’s statutory duties, so we arrange an informal meeting for residents with refreshments and speakers on matters of local interest. There is an opportunity to meet and mingle with the speakers and fellow residents; all are welcome.

 

 

Annual Report Clerks and Financial report 2016/17

The accounts for 15/16 were inspected by the Internal Auditor in May 2016 and subsequently submitted to the Audit Commission appointee Grant Thornton, in accordance with statutory requirements. Grant Thornton pronounced them satisfactory. The Annual Return to Grant Thornton was published on the website.  Provisional figures up to the end of March 2017 indicate that Parish Council expenditure is likely to remain within budget and below income.  Grant Thornton is the appointed External Auditor for the year end March 2017, but thereafter a Sector Led Body will inspect the Annual Return and report to government. The internal auditor will inspect the accounts and records in May 2017.

 

The budget for 2017/2018 has been set; the precept has increased this year primarily due to the addition of the Brittons Ash Community Hall (BACH) to the Parish Council’s assets.  It is considered important for the health and well-being of the new community in Bathpool to support the BACH initially as it establishes its role as a community hub.  The ambition is that the BACH will become self-funding.  As further areas are built in the Urban Extension, there may be other community centres and other facilities for which the Parish Council will have to budget.

 

The work of the Parish Council is increasing as the population grows and to manage the increasing work load, an assistant clerk has been appointed. We welcome Mrs Amy Shepherd as our Assistant Clerk, starting in April.  Legislation is changing the way Parish Councils in England conduct their business, including mandatory ‘opting in’ to the government workplace pension scheme: West Monkton Parish Council joined this scheme in February 2017 and the council has appointed the services of Tailored Auto-Enrolment to deliver this mandatory scheme.

 

All Parish Councils in England are required to have a web site and the West Monkton Parish Council site www.westmonkton.net is managed by the Clerk, supported by Somerset Web Services, who provide back-up, updates and training. You can find all the Parish Council’s policy documents, minutes, council notices, agendas, and other information on the website and it is updated regularly.

 

The Parish Council looks after aspects of the community environment, including regular maintenance of street furniture and some open spaces.  The Parish Council will shortly embark on a program of restoration of the historic SCC finger posts in the Parish.  This is a County Council initiative for Parish Councils to restore these historic features.  It is only the finger posts with triangular tops that will be restored.  There are four in the Parish: at the bottom of old Greenway on A3259, Sidbrook cross roads, Gotton Lane, and New Cross.  Any others should be reported to the Clerk.

 

The Parish Council continues to accumulate reserves for major projects (as yet unidentified) that may emerge as a result of the Urban Extension in Monkton Heathfield.  Certainly, there are issues about the green spaces that will need resolution.

 

The ‘Business listing’ on the website continues to attract support by about a dozen business that are based in the Parish. The list appears on the website. The businesses are invited to produce flyers for inclusion the Welcome Pack which is delivered to every home in the new development.  Items of local business interest are forwarded to the Business List subscribers.

 

SCC and TDBC are reducing services again for the year 2017/2018, as they have in previous years, because the grant made to Local Authorities by central government is diminishing year on year.  Consequently, the Parish Council has set in place its own arrangements to continue delivering various services.  You can see these arrangements reflected in the Parish Council’s budgeting. The Parish Council is in the process of renewing the grass cutting contract for 2017 for 8 cuts of the verges in the Village; the A38 verges are cut by SCC as a major trunk road.  The Parish Lengthsman has an ongoing list of jobs around the Parish, and he, and our litter picker Andy Pritchard, continue to do sterling work to keep the Parish in an orderly state.  The assistance given on a regular basis by other unknown helpers is gratefully acknowledged.  As the TDBC Dog Warden service is reduced, and in view of the Parish Council’s determination to reduce dog fouling, more dog bins have been introduced.  Due to current legislation, dog bin emptying has to be carried out by certified operatives (TDBC) and this is an annual cost to the Council.  Evidence of owners allowing dog fouling will be reported to the TDBC Dog Wardens.  Disruptive and anti-social behavior is a nuisance which is not acceptable.  All incidents should be reported on 101 to the Police, so that they can build a picture of areas of concern.

 

The provision of allotments is now statutory for new developments, but this does not apply to the first phase of the development currently being constructed.  The only allotments in the Parish are the Spital allotments which the Parish Council maintains and administers. The Parish Council carries out regular mowing of the paths and other maintenance work and pays the water rates.  The fence between the bungalows and the allotments will be mended and the further gate will be repaired in the next few weeks. Allotments do not stay empty for long, please contact the Clerk or Cllr Haskins if you are interested.

 

As a growing Parish, the Council makes special efforts to ensure that communication with the Council is easy:

  • All information is put on the website, and there are 9 open noticeboards available for residents to use;
  • Councillors’ phone numbers and email addresses are published, as is the Clerk’s.
  • There is a monthly surgery at the BACH on the second Thursday 8.30 – 10.00am.
  • There are two mailing lists operating – the ‘New Buildings and developments’ and the ‘Neighbourhood Plan’.  If you wish to subscribe to either or both lists, please send your details to the Clerk.
  • All Parish Council meetings are open to the public and there is a ‘Public Question Time’ at every meeting.  Meetings (from May onwards) will be on the second Tuesday of every month at the BACH.

 

The Parish Council, owing to the qualifications and training of its Councillors and Clerks, fulfills the criteria for ‘General Powers of Competence’.  This means that the Parish Council is able to award grants to organisations and individuals for projects that will increase the economic, social, health and well-being of the community.  Grants this year have included support for the Baby and Toddler Group at West Monkton Village Hall. The Grants Policy document is on the website and gives advice on how to make an application.

 

During the year 2016/17, work has continued towards the West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine Neighbourhood Plan.  Whilst the majority of the cost has been supported by grants from Locality, some cost has been carried by the two Parish Councils.  Provision has been made in the budget to cover further costs in 2017/18, but it is anticipated the NP will be made by the end of this year. Extra Clerks’ hours have been paid for by each Council.

 

 

Tricia Cavill, Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer (RFO)

16th March 2017

 

The spreadsheet above shows the Financial Sheet up to and including March 2017.  One of these sheets is produced each month, enabling a check of expenditure against budget and a bank reconciliation to be carried out.

The year-end accounts are not finalized yet.

16th March 2017

2016 Annual Report

West Monkton Parish Council

2016 Annual Report

 

2015/2016 has been yet another very busy year for the Parish Council. The role of the Parish Councillor has continued to grow busier. As well as the normal twelve meetings that take place every year we have had several planning meetings to keep up with the amount of plans that have been submitted for us to comment on. We have also taken on board some of the lesser responsibilities of the Borough Council. This is, of course, a benefit to Parishioners as these decisions are grass roots.

There were also the workshops, seminars, training, precept and site meetings. Regular reports are made to Taunton Deane on planning applications, potholes, footpaths, fly tipping and bus shelters.

The table tennis table will be fitted in the Farriers Green Park for all to use by the time that this goes to press. We will continue to look for a place to put a skateboard park for the older children of our Parish.

Parish Council meetings are open to all parishioners to attend; and they can speak in public question time when they can ask questions if they so wish.

 

A few words from the Chairman 2015/16

Again I must thank my fellow Councillors and Mrs Tricia Cavill, our Clerk and Finance Officer, and Stuart Haskins, the Vice Chairman, for all the support they have given me over the year. The challenges facing the whole Parish now, and in the next few years with the proposed developments are still looming. So I and my fellow Councillors will aim to keep you all in touch with any changes that we are informed about and will be vigilant to preserve our Communities, Villages and Hamlets to the best of our ability.

This has been my sixth year as Chairman. It has been enjoyable, stimulating and sometimes challenging.

At the election last year all the serving councillors stood for election, plus two others. Bill Gulliford was not elected, Wendy Ling joined the Council as a new Councillor. Our total number of Councillors is nine.  David McCubbin left us to live in Scotland and was replaced by Michael Thompson.

Sadly, in December we lost the previous Chairman, John Reeves, after a battle bravely fought. One of his last gifts to the Parish Council was a collection of photos for use in the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire and in the new website, www.westmonkton.net.

Once more I have asked each of my fellow councillors to write about the things that they have been doing throughout the year and this will update you as to who they are and what has been happening within the Parish.

You can contact the Council via the website and Councillor’s email addresses have been included.

Hazel Ellis March 2016

[email protected]

 

Tricia Cavill – The Parish Council Clerk

[email protected]

It is responsibility of the Clerk to ensure the smooth and lawful running of the Council, and advise Councillors accordingly. The Councillors’ Code of Conduct, Financial Regulations and Standing Orders are revised, reissued and adopted every year at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (equivalent to its AGM). The Register of Councillors’ Disclosable Interests is maintained and filed at Taunton Deane Borough Council. If an application for ‘Dispensation’ fits the rules, the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, can issue ‘Dispensation’ to Councillors to allow them to speak where they might otherwise be prevented from speaking on particular matters. The Clerk also administers grant applications made under the General Powers of Competence: this power allows the Parish Council to support individuals and groups to deliver projects of benefit to the community. The Clerk annually reviews, revises and maintains the various policy documents that are filed on the website. The Clerk maintains the Parish website www.westmonkton.net

The Clerk is also the Responsible Finance Officer, and therefore keeps the accounts of the Parish Council; paying for goods and services, maintaining the payroll and HMRC, obtaining quotes and monitoring the budget.

In preparing the Budget and Precept for the year ahead, the Clerk takes into account ongoing cuts in grants given to Local Authorities from government which affect the services that the Borough and County Council can deliver; the needs generated by increased growth of the Parish; and the Council’s desire to maintain the Parish as a safe and pleasant place to live and work.

 

 

Stuart Haskins – Vice Chairman/Allotments

[email protected]

Another growing year is once again upon us and it seems only yesterday that the Parish Council Chairman was chasing me for the 2015 report. Interest in allotments seems to be on the increase throughout the country as more and more families are wanting to experience the joys of growing their own produce. The recent changes in planning rules will, in time, give many more people the opportunity to get down to tilling their own plot and developing their green finger skills. Until then, the Parish has only eleven plots in total, with one currently vacant. So if you fancy feeding your appetite and getting some exercise, do not delay, do it today.

 

Barry Gage – Footpaths

[email protected]

I continue to be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Public footpaths within the Parish. This year there has been only one request for remedial work, the replacement of a stile with a kissing gate. My thanks go to Martin Ellis who continues in the role of Parish Footpath Liaison Officer.

Please report any problems with footpaths to myself on 01823 413433 and I will happily pursue the issue with Somerset County Council.

I am also a member of the bus gate working party and have attended a number of meetings at County Hall. I am pleased to report that as a result of these meetings and pressure applied by the Parish Council we have convinced Somerset County Council Highways to re-examine the traffic flows through and around the villages with the aim of producing an acceptable solution.

 

Gloria Day – The Spital Trust/Trees

[email protected]

I live at The Forge West Monkton. I am the Parish Council representative on the Spital Trust, an organisation which provides, and is responsible for, four dwellings.

Over the years the role of Parish Councillor has grown and as a body we have had much input in local planning which involves more ‘ad hoc’ meetings. Parish Councils are taking on board some of the lesser responsibilities of the Borough Council. This is, of course, a benefit to the Parishioners as many of these decisions are at ‘grass roots’ level.

Over the past 21 years the Parish has grown beyond all recognition and continues to grow, further large developments are currently being built with hundreds more houses in the pipeline. I am independent in my views and decisions, sadly attendance of Parishioners at meetings is still very low.

 

Ray Tully – Village Hall

[email protected]

Once again I can report that the Village Hall is very busy and is already taking bookings for next year. Unfortunately, we have had to remove three trees in the last year, two alongside the road and one at the bottom of the car park due to disease, on the advice of the Borough Council. Also a length of fencing in the overflow car park needs to be replaced after the bad weather last year.

To make it easier for the users of the Heathfield Hall and the kitchen, an enclosed walkway is now in place. The hall is always pleased to see new people at Thursday’s coffee mornings, and as I stated last year, we urgently need young people to join the Management Committee.

Once a month I attend, with others, a liaison meeting at Taunton Deane’s offices to discuss all the new developments in our Parish and I am a member of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group.

 

Mark Besley – Highways

[email protected]

2015/16 has been another busy year for highways issues in the parish. Concerns regarding increased traffic flows on minor roads caused by the proposed bus gate on the A3259 have been abated somewhat through meetings with County Council Highways Department at which the Bus Gate Working Party was assured that no bus gate would be built on the A3259 with the current road infrastructure.

A bus gate on the A38 will be in place before the new primary school in occupied (target completion is Autumn 2016), this will effectively close the A38 to through traffic forcing motorists to use the new Eastern Relief Road.

When the Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted, it is hoped that the Parish Council can have more input on road matters.

Flooding continues at the bottom of Blundells Lane and over the A3259 during excess rain, a new culvert was put in place to help the flow of water to the main pipe under the A3259 however the real issue is that this main pipe is at capacity and requires enlargement. The Parish Council continues to monitor and inform the Highways Department of the issue.

The Parish Council has a good relationship with the Highways Department in addressing small issues such as potholes.

On a positive note the TDBC ‘litter line’, open for all to use (01823 356356), appears to be working well.

As always we are grateful to parishioners for reporting any highway concerns. I can be contacted on 01823 412269.

 

Michael Thompson

[email protected]

I recently joined the Council to try to help ensure the significant developments in the Parish are carried out sensibly and with due consideration for the residents’ needs. I have already attended a training session on councillors’ responsibilities and have attended all council meetings since I started in October last year. Whilst I am still learning about the different planning and development processes, I am starting to appreciate the need for an active council to support existing residents as the new housing developments impact on our daily lives. As a resident of Goosenford, I am specifically taking an active interest in the impact of any future road developments, and on the increasing habits of drivers to find alternate routes, often speeding along narrow roads to the north of the parish and onwards through Cheddon. I have also volunteered to take on the role of co-ordinating with TDBC on any flooding flashpoints in the Parish so that we can try to ensure the drains and bottlenecks along our brooks are kept clear of debris during periods of bad weather.

 

Wendy Ling

[email protected]

I was elected onto the Parish Council in May last year.

I live in School Road, Monkton Heathfield and I also work in the Parish. I have an interest in the parks and open spaces. I am still getting to grips with the way the Parish Council works and how issues are dealt with.

 

Norman Cavill – Taunton Deane

[email protected]

As the building of new houses continues, the s106 (triggered at 401 houses occupied) requires a new Primary School and will be reached by the end of the year. The building of the new School and Community Hall has now started. Road traffic calming adjacent to the school will be installed and Somerset County Council is drawing up plans for the bus gate, on the A38 between Canal View and Milton Hill. Development on this scale has brought with it many issues that need resolving, not all of them to everyone’s satisfaction and the building work has inconvenienced all of us to a degree.  However, the framework of the Master Plan for this site has been followed by the developers and the next major s106 is the delivering of the Western Relief Road, which will assist in the delivery of a coherent plan.

Schemes have gained Government funding that will enable the improvement of junction 25 and the A358 dualling, the first section of the A358 being from the improved junction 25 through Henlade.

Funding bids for other schemes, for Creech Castle and roads, have been made. Taunton Deane has set aside £16 million to support these improvements.

 

David Fothergill – Somerset County Council

[email protected]

I am the County Councillor for Monkton and North Curry Division, and the Cabinet member for Highways and Transport.

It has been a particularly busy time for the Parish. The year started successfully with the installation of the new pedestrian crossing near to Elms Estate. After many years of arguing for this facility it was pleasing to see it installed and widely used. The opening of the new Eastern Relief road brings forward the opportunity to traffic calm and bus gate the old A38. This will dramatically improve the quality of life for those living along this route as the majority of traffic is diverted away. It is also vital for when the new Primary School opens in the Autumn term.

Further work is now being undertaken to traffic model the impact of the planned Western Relief road (Bathpool to Nerrols Farm). In addition, some traffic calming measures for Greenway have now been consulted on and are awaiting implementation.

Finally, a key on-going concern is the capacity of Creech Castle junction and I’m pleased to say that a scheme has been developed and is being promoted by Somerset County Council for a grant application under the Government’s Growth

Deal 3.

 

Norman Cavill, Denise Webber and Richard Parrish

These are our Ward Councillors on Taunton Deane Borough Council. They regularly update us on matters that concern our parish, as and when necessary.

 

Meeting Schedule 2016 / 2017

Meetings are usually held in the committee room, West Monkton Village Hall, commencing at 7.00pm.

All parish council meetings are open to the public and there is always a Public Question Time slot (at around 7.15pm) where the formal meeting is suspended whilst questions and comments are welcomed from anyone living in the parish.

April – Wednesday 13th

May – Wednesday 11th

Annual Meeting of Parish Council.

June – Wednesday 8th

July – Wednesday 13th

August – Wednesday 10th

September – Wednesday 14th

October – Wednesday 12th

November – Wednesday 9th

December – Wednesday 14th

 

2017

January – Wednesday 11th

February – Wednesday 8th

March – Wednesday 8th

March – Wednesday  26th

   Annual meeting of the Parish.

This is an annual meeting organised by the Parish Council for the residents of the Parish (not a parish council meeting). The Parish Council invites speakers on matters of local interest, and is happy to respond to requests for speakers from residents.

 

Getting in touch with the Parish Council

You can contact Councillors directly by using their email addresses as published in this newsletter.  You can contact the Clerk by email at any time or by phone during normal working hours (01823413524).

Additionally, there are two mailing lists running in the Parish. These lists are run using ‘Mail Chimp’ software.  You need to give your permission to be added to either list and your information will not be shared with third parties.

The first list provides information about new buildings and development, and is collated by Mrs J Besley.

The second provides information about the Neighbourhood Plan.

You can sign up to either list by contacting any councillor or the Clerk or at

[email protected]

 

By providing your name and email address you will be giving permission to add your name to the list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Report: Clerks and Financial report 2015/16

The accounts for 14/15 were inspected by the Internal Auditor and subsequently submitted to the Audit Commission appointee Grant Thornton, in accordance with statutory requirements. Grant Thornton pronounced them satisfactory.  Provisional figures up to the end of March 2016 indicate that Parish Council expenditure is likely to remain within budget and below income.  Grant Thornton is the appointed External Auditor for the year end March 2016, but thereafter a Sector Led Body will inspect the Annual Return and report to government.  The budget for 2016/2017 has been set and the precept will be only very slightly increased from the past two years. Legislation is changing the way Parish Councils in England conduct their business, including mandatory ‘opting in’ to the government pension scheme: the opt-in date for West Monkton Parish Council is February 2017.  Financial arrangements are changing too, and Parish Councils are now able to have a debit card and pay for goods and services on line.

 

All Parish Councils in England are required to have a web site and the West Monkton Parish Council site www.westmonkton.net has been upgraded by Somerset Web Services, who will provide support, back up and maintenance services on an annual contract.  The improved site means that all policy documents, minutes, council notices, agendas, and other materials can be put on the website to satisfy transparency requirements.

 

Acceptability of the use of emails has been endorsed by the National Association of Parish Councils and now the summons and agenda can be served by email.  All correspondence received by email is now forwarded by email.  This reduces the amount of paper used and reprographic costs for the Parish Council.

 

As well as regular maintenance of street furniture and some open spaces, the Parish Council has budgeted for a new bus shelter (the developers are only required to provide bus stops).  The Parish Council has managed to secure TDBC commitment to refurbish the play areas at Acacia Gardens and St Quintins during 2016/17.  Thanks to a contributory grant from Somerset County Council the Parish Council has been able to afford a table tennis table for Farriers Green Park.  The Parish Council is accumulating reserves for major projects (as yet unidentified) that may emerge as a result of the Urban Extension in Monkton Heathfield.

 

Other improvements have included drainage works at the junction of Blundells Lane and the A3259 at Prockters. The cost of jetting under the A3259 would have made the project too expensive, but the Parish Council is optimistic that the attenuation systems put in around the cricket ground and the Charles Church development will be of sufficient quality to allow the cleaned ditches on the other side of the junction to function efficiently and drain away.

 

The project for the clock in the public open space behind the primary School has been referred to Taunton Deane Parks department, and put on ‘the back burner’ for the time being.  The costs are quite high and the Parish Council wishes to assess the opinion of the residents in the houses that will be nearby before continuing. However, the Parish Council remains committed to installing a piece of public art/sculpture/time piece to add interest and individuality to the network of footpaths and public open spaces in the new development.

 

The ‘Business listing’ on the website continues to attract support by about a dozen business that are based in the Parish.  They produce flyers that are included in the Welcome Pack which is delivered to every home in the new development.

 

SCC and TDBC are reducing services again for the year 2016/2017, as they had in previous years, because the grant made to Local Authorities by central government is diminishing year on year.  Consequently, the Parish Council has set in place its own arrangements to continue delivering various services.  You can see these arrangements reflected in the Parish Council’s budgeting. The Parish Council is in the process of renewing the grass cutting contract for 2016 for 8 cuts of the verges in the Village; the A38 verges are cut by SCC as a major trunk road.  The Parish Lengthsman has completed his third year; and he, and our litter pickers, Miss Kimber and Andy Pritchard continue to do sterling work to keep the Parish in an orderly state.  The assistance given on a regular basis by other unknown helpers is gratefully acknowledged.

As the TDBC Dog Warden service is reduced, and in view of the Parish Council’s determination to reduce dog fouling, more dog bins have been introduced.  Due to current legislation, dog bin emptying has to be carried out by certified operatives (TDBC) and this is an annual cost to the Council.  Evidence of owners allowing dog fouling will be reported to the TDBC Dog Wardens. Some posters from the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ organization, reminding dog owners to clear up after their pets will shortly be appearing around the Parish.

 

The provision of allotments will, from now on, be statutory for new developments in the Parish, but this does not apply to the 1000 houses agreed under the old ‘Local Plan’ currently under construction.  Maintenance work is ongoing on the Spital allotment site, but the Parish is short of allotment land.

 

The Communications Volunteer has been maintaining a ‘New developments’ page to keep up to date the various ‘parcels’ of land being developed in the Urban Extension at Monkton Heathfield.

 

During the year 2015/16, West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Councils resolved jointly to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.  The application to designate the area was granted by Taunton Deane Borough Council.  A questionnaire has been delivered to every house in the NP area, the returns will be analyzed, and from those results, a Neighbourhood Plan will be written. This will be inspected by an independent Inspector before going to a referendum.  TDBC has covered most of the costs of the exhibitions, and will cover the costs of the referendum; but West Monkton Parish Council as the lead council has paid some of the preliminary costs of room hire and purchase of survey software, stationary and ink. Extra Clerks’ hours have been paid for by each Council. Government grants have been awarded to cover most future costs. including technical advice.

.

Tricia Cavill, Clerk

16th March 2016

 

The March financial sheet follows.  A financial report, presented as the monthly financial sheet, is made to the Parish Council every month.  The financial sheet shows monthly receipts and payments, total spent so far, variance with budget, and a bank reconciliation.

 

 

 

 

  Budget Variance Total to Date 01/04/15 01/05/15 01/06/15 01/07/15 01/08/15 01/09/15 01/10/15 01/11/15 01/12/15 01/01/16 01/02/16 01/03/16 31/03/16
Brought forward 31101.70 31101.70 31101.70 25847.42 46082.04 44749.57 43452.6 42015.91 37661.33 36013.95 38218.85 35081.03 33438.05 32189.69 36187.66
Receipts
Precept 28379.00 0 28379.0 28379.0
Interest 20.00 -20.22 40.22 3.68 3.53 3.92 3.68 3.83 3.78 3.69 3.94 3.34 3.43 3.40
Allotment rents 275.00 50 225.00 50.00 25.00 150.00
Burial grnd grant 340.00 0 340.00 340.00
Footpath grant 100.00 0 100.00 100.00
Insurance contribn 0.00 0 0.00
VAT reclaimed 700.00 -4175.07 4875.07 1952.04 2923.03
Other grants/income 0.00 -10701 10701.00 8.00 353.00 4500.00 5840.00
TD Council Tax Support grant 1800.00 -143 1943.00 1943.00
Bus Dir/other 190.00 9 181.00 90.00 16.00 30.00 30.00 15.00
MillBk & CEP/CIL 0.00 -4527 4527.00 4527.00
Total receipts 31804.00 19507.29 51311.29 0.00 32335.72 3.53 3.92 3.68 3.83 886.78 7469.72 33.94 3.34 4558.43 6008.40  
 
incl brought forward 62905.70   82412.99 31101.70 58183.14 46085.57 44753.49 43456.28 42019.74 38548.11 43483.67 38252.79 35084.37 37996.48 38198.09 36187.66
  `
Payments -50.10
Wages S 1050.00 34.25 1015.75 87.25 87.25 87.25 87.25 87.25 87.25 87.25 87.25 56.00 87.25 87.25 87.25
Clerks salary S 8482.00 891.46 7590.54 550.83 639.81 640.01 639.81 640.01 639.81 640.81 640.01 640.01 639.81 639.81 639.81
Employer PAYE/NIC S 1000.00 62.09 937.91 49.00 71.60 74.35 74.55 74.35 74.55 76.49 74.55 88.15 94.89 97.80 87.63
Employer PAYE/NIC NP 14.00 51.47 20.00 29.40 33.60 18.80
ClerksNP salary(exCEP) 500.00 -68.75 568.75 37.97 122.04 80.00 117.97 134.83 75.94
Clerks expenses GA 750.00 336.25 413.75 118.91 198.84 96.00
ClerksNP(exCEP)exp GA 80.00 25.2 54.80 54.80
Sundry admin GA 110.00 -4723.33 4833.33 50.10 31.50 16.00 4719.73 16.00
Audit fees GA 500.00 115.4 384.60 144.60 240.00
Training GA 300.00 55 245.00 20.00 225.00
Subscription/affiliation 900.00 -94.23 994.23 40.00 783.23 131.00 40.00
Room hire GA 250.00 -90 340.00 45.00 10.00 30.00 88.00 39.50 50.50 77.00
Insurance premuim GA 1000.00 102.68 897.32 897.32
Insurance excess GA 275.00 275 0.00
Burial grnd grant GD 340.00 0 340.00 340.00
Burial grnd maint CM 1000.00 0 1000.00 1000.00
Footpath maint FSTR 150.00 150 0.00
General repairs GA 200.00 200 0.00
Seats/noticebrds/sign N 2000.00 1240.4 759.60 423.60 336.00
Buslter/provn/rent/repr 600.00 590 10.00 10.00
Communications exStreet lights FSTR 1000.00 700 300.00 300.00
Litter/grit bin DB 1500.00 -1246.77 2746.77 2448.00 141.60 157.17
Dog bin purch/empt DB 2500.00 1541.54 958.46 958.46
Allotment rent/rates A 500.00 434.14 65.86 49.09 16.77
Local dev/folder fund F 100.00 100 0.00
Publicity F 200.00 60.7 139.30 104.30 35.00
Website F 200.00 -970 1170.00 585.00 585.00
Bye-election GA 3000.00 1014.96 1985.04 1985.04
Env/community ENV 14000.00 -2661.35 16661.35 1953.22 8530.93 1867.20 4250.00 60.00
lengthsman services 2000.00 804.2 1195.80 125.98 87.50 183.99 245.27 182.50 135.00 75.00 160.56
GPCgrants GPC 5000.00 4500 500.00 500.00
Contingency GA 200.00 200 0.00
IT 0.00 0 0.00
Total payments 49687.00 3578.84 46108.16 5254.28 12101.10 1336.00 1300.89 1440.37 4358.41 2534.16 5264.82 3171.76 1646.32 5806.79 2010.43 0
 
Carried forward 13218.70 36304.83 25847.42 46082.04 44749.57 43452.6 42015.91 37661.33 36013.95 38218.85 35081.03 33438.05 32189.69 36187.66 36187.66
   
Bank statements   unpres chqs no. 001956  
Lloyds Business a/c 14334.05        
Lloyds term deposit 0.00        
Lloyds TSB chq a/c 11729.60        
Lloyds CIL a/c 4527.00 38229.34      
Lloyds TSB NP a/c 702.39 38198.09      
NS&I a/c closed 0.00 31.25   total 0.00
Santander 6936.30        
Total 38229.34
   

 

 

2015 Annual Report

2014/2015 has been another very busy year for the Parish Council. Over the years the role of Parish Councillor has continued to grow busier. As well as the normal twelve meetings that take place every year we have had several planning meetings to keep up with the amount of plans that have been submitted for us to comment on. Under the powers of the Localism Act, Parish Councils are being encouraged to take over some of the services formerly delivered by District Councils. In West Monkton this is of course, a benefit to Parishioners, as decisions made are absolutely custom made for the Parish.  There were also the workshops, seminars, training, precept and site meetings. Regular reports are made to Taunton Deane on planning applications, potholes, footpaths, fly tipping and bus shelters. The Exercise equipment that was installed just inside Farriers Green Park in 2012 is being used regularly by many parishioners, and another piece was added in 2014. The playground has been updated with extra equipment and was opened by the Mayor in February 2015. We will continue to look for a place to put a skateboard park for the older children of our Parish. The Parish Council meetings are open to all Parishioners to attend and they can speak in public question time when they can ask questions if they so wish.

A few words from the Chairman 2014/15

Again I must thank my fellow Councillors and Mrs Tricia Cavill, our Clerk and Finance Officer, and Stuart Haskins, The Vice Chairman, for all the support they have given me over the year. The challenges facing the whole Parish in the next few years with the proposed developments are still looming. So I and my fellow Councillors will aim to keep you all in touch of any changes that we are informed about and will be vigilant to preserve our Communities, Villages and Hamlets to the best of our ability. This, as my fifth year as Chairman, has been again a very enjoyable, stimulating and sometimes challenging experience. This year is an election year for the Parish Council and notices will be put up around the Parish soon. Once more I have asked each of my fellow councillors to write about the things that they have been doing throughout the year and this will update you as to who they are and what has been happening within the Parish.

Hazel Ellis March 2015

Tricia Cavill – The Parish Council Clerk

It is responsibility of the Clerk to ensure the smooth and lawful running of the Council, and advise Councillors accordingly. The Code of Conduct, the Financial Regulations and the Standing Orders are revised, reissued and adopted every year at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (equivalent to its AGM) to keep up to date with new legislation. Councillors are required to complete the Register of Members Interests which is kept at Taunton Deane Borough Council. The Clerk as Responsible Financial Officer administers the finances of the Parish Council and administers the grant applications made under the General Powers of Competence: this power allows the Council to support individuals and groups with projects of benefit to the community. The fundamental duties of the Parish Council remain little altered but the effects of the Localism Act are extending the powers of the Parish Council. The Parish Council has an ongoing programme providing and maintaining seats, notice boards, outdoor gym, dog bins, litter bins, grit bins, bus shelters, and the Phone Box/book exchange. The Lengthsman continues to keep weeds at bay, pavements tidy, drains clear, road signs clear and legible, refurbishment of benches and all sorts of other jobs that contribute to making the Parish a pleasant place to live. The Parish Council’s robust budget has taken into account ongoing cuts in the grants given to Local Authorities from government which affects the services that they can deliver, and allowed the Parish Council to engage in some self help initiatives e.g. summer time grass cutting of verges in the Parish and the use of the Lengthsman’s services.

Stuart Haskins – Vice Chairman/Allotments

Another year has passed and spring is just around the corner. Thankfully unlike last year the ground is a lot dryer this year so the tenants should be able to make an early start on getting the plots ready for this year’s crops. For anyone interested in growing their own veg, we have one plot available this year. It’s a bit overgrown at present but with a little work, I’m sure it will produce some worthwhile results this summer. So come on, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a budding Alan Titchmarsh contact Tricia Cavill the PC Clerk for more details and an application form. Happy growing!

*STOP PRESS*

The remaining allotment has been taken, but if you are interested in an allotment please let us know, we keep a waiting list and the Parish Council is constantly searching for land that could be used as allotments.

Barry Gage – Footpaths

The public rights of way within our parish continue to be enjoyed by a large and increasing majority of the parish residents. In general the condition of the footpaths are very good with a few exceptions, this is due to the hard work of our footpath volunteers Shaun Rolls, Andrew Pritchard and our Footpath Officer Martin Ellis. The broken kissing gate into Woodballs Plantation has recently been replaced with a robust metal one. If you become aware of a footpath that requires attention please ring me on 01823 413433.

Bill Gulliford

I was co-opted onto the Parish Council in January. I have served as a Parish Counsellor in another district so was very aware of what it entails. I regularly walk the footpaths of the parish.

Gloria Day – The Spital Trust/Trees

I live at The Forge West Monkton and I am proud to have been one of your Parish Councillors for over 16 years. I have spent much of my working life in finance but finished work having worked in the newspaper industry for 14 years. My elected position on the Parish Council is that of tree warden. Some areas in the parish are Conservation Areas, for example An Area of Outstanding beauty at Church Hill, West Monkton. Many other trees within the parish are protected under Tree Preservation Orders. Permission to cut down large trees must be sought from Taunton Deane Planning department. I am also the PC representative on the Spital Trust, an organisation which provides and is responsible for, four dwellings and the welfare of the resident ladies. Many improvements to the dwellings have been made over the past few years. Our role as Parish Councillors has grown over the years and we have as a body much input in local planning which involves more ‘ad hoc’ meetings. The PC is taking on board some of the lesser responsibilities of the Borough Council. This is, of course, a benefit to the Parishioners as these decisions are ‘grass roots.’ Over the past 21 years the Parish has grown beyond all recognition and further large developments are currently being built with hundreds more houses in the pipeline. It is important that I and my fellow councillors make the right decisions for parishioners, both individually and collectively for the whole community. I am independent in my views and decisions; sadly attendance of Parishioners at meetings is low.

Ray Tully – Village Hall

The Village Hall has again had another good year serving both local and other users from around Taunton Deane. Over the year they have held a number of events, talks by guest speakers on various subjects, a Christmas Market as well as a Christmas Carol evening. The Harvest Supper was also held there. Every Thursday morning the Ladies of the Committee, with other helpers, hold a coffee morning in the Heathfield Hall where all are welcomed and our local P.C.S.O does attend when possible. Due to the increase in numbers, the West Monkton Cub Pack has had to move to a new venue. The hall’s Booking Officer, Mrs Lyn Batt informed the committee that she had already started taking bookings for this year before the end of 2014. The WMVH is a charity and the Management Committee are made up of representatives of groups that use the hall plus co-opted and voluntary members most of whom are trustees. There is a lack of young people on the committee. They could bring new and fresh ideas, so if you are interested finding out all about us or would like to join us, come along or ask a committee member how you could help. Remember the Village Hall is there for you.

David McCubbin – Open Spaces

I am a Parish Councillor living in Farriers Green. As well as attending the monthly parish council meetings I have been involved with the parish council’s work in the re-development of the Farriers Green play area. The play area has been redeveloped with funding from the new development and West Monkton Parish Council. It was opened by the Mayor in February. I have also assisted local residents with problems of litter and anti-social behaviour in the field next to West Monkton Primary School.

Norman Cavill – Taunton Deane

After many years of campaigning, persistence has at last achieved a planning application for the Western Relief Road. With funds now available this road can at last be built. One of the next stages is the provision of the New Primary School and Community Hall. My work has been to ensure that what has been promised in the S106 agreement is delivered and it has been good to have all involved constructively working to achieve that outcome. One of the next objectives is the development of the planned employment land for the benefit of all.

Mark Besley –  Highways

2014 was another busy year for highways issues in the parish ranging from the routine to concerns regarding the new and proposed developments; such as the traffic calming and location of bus gates on the A3259 and the proposed ones on the A38. One worry is that the back lanes around West Monkton, Cheddon, Goosenford and Kingston St Mary may become ‘rat runs’ to avoid the new road system but we are working with the Somerset County Council and Cheddon Parish Council to try to stop this from happening. We have been having regular meetings with SCC which a few of us have been attending. We are still working on a way to make School Road easier for both Schools and Residents. On a positive note the TDBC ‘litter line’, open for all to use (01823 356356), appears to be working well. As always we are grateful to parishioners for reporting any highway concerns. I can be contacted on 01823 412269.

David Fothergill – Somerset County Council

I am the member for Monkton and North Curry. I attend as many as I can of the Parish Council meetings, taking it in turn with the other Parish Councils I support. I have taken forward and fought very hard to get the new Pelican crossing on the A3259. This is scheduled for installation in March this year.

Norman Cavill, Denise Webber and Umi Palmer – Taunton Deane Borough Council

The ward of West Monkton has three Councillors on Taunton Deane Borough Council. They regularly update us of matters that concern our parish, as and when necessary. Norman Cavill is our Parish Councillor.

Meeting Schedule 2015 / 2016

Meetings are held in the committee room, West Monkton Village Hall, commencing at 7.00pm. All parish council meetings are open to the public and there is always a Public Question Time slot (at around 7.30pm) where the formal meeting is suspended while questions and comments are welcomed from anyone living in the parish.

2015:

April – Wed 8th
May – Wed 13th – Annual Meeting of Parish Council.
June – Wed 10th
July – Wed 8th
August – Wed 12th
September – Wednesday 9th
October – Wednesday 14th
November – Wednesday 11th
December – Wednesday 9th

2016:

January – Wednesday 13th
February – Wednesday 10th
March – Wednesday 9th
April – Wednesday 13th
March – Wed 31st Annual Parish Meeting.  This is not a parish council meeting, but a meeting set up for residents. It is free. The meeting will either be a forum of speakers, or one speaker on a subject of local interest. Refreshments are served, and all are welcome.

Annual Financial Report 2014/2015

The accounts for 13/14 were inspected by the Internal Auditor and subsequently submitted to the Audit Commission appointee Grant Thornton, in accordance with statutory requirements. They were pronounced satisfactory. Provisional figures up to the end of March 2015 indicate that expenditure is likely to remain within budget and below income. Grant Thornton is the appointed External Auditor for the year end March 2015. The budget for 2015/2016 has been set and the precept will be much the same as it has been for the past two years. The Parish Council is qualified for Powers of General Competence which means that it can make grants to individuals or organisations to support schemes contributing to the social, economic or well being of the community. Grant recipients this year include the Parochial Church Council for car parking spaces in the new car parking area to ensure that non-denominational visitors have access to the burial ground. If you have a scheme needing support that matches the criteria, please contact any Councillor or the Clerk. The Parish Council is accumulating reserves for major projects (as yet unidentified) that may emerge as a result of the Urban Extension in Monkton Heathfield. Meanwhile the Council continues to support various improvements to the environment by the ongoing refurbishing of Parish Notice boards, additional litter, dog and grit bins, additional outdoor gym equipment, improving the landscape and looking after the environment. Please let the Parish Council know if you think there is a need for litter/dog/grit bins or a seat in your area. SCC and TDBC are reducing services again for the year 2015/2016, as they had in previous years, because the grant made to Local Authorities by central government is diminishing year on year. Consequently, the Parish Council has set in place its own arrangements to continue delivering various services. You can see these arrangements reflected in the Parish Council’s budgeting. The Parish Council is in the process of renewing the grass cutting contract for 2015 for 8 cuts of the verges in the Village; the A38 verges are cut by SCC as a major trunk road. The Parish Lengthsman has completed his second year, with many pieces of street furniture refurbished, and projects for the next months endorsed by TDBC who will provide materials for the refurbishment of seats in St Quintin Park Play area. Our litter pickers, Miss Kimber and Andy Pritchard are doing sterling work to keep the Parish in an orderly state. Please encourage everyone to use the litter bins that the Parish Council has installed; the Parish Council has gone through the lengthy process of licensing to get more bins installed in response to a perceived need at certain sites. Drinks cans and crisp packets contribute largely to the problem, for which there is no need as bins are available for use. Sadly, during the year another grit bin disappeared, which was replaced, only to have the contents of the bin taken away… perhaps the bin itself was less attractive being bright yellow and marked WMPC. The bin that went missing from New Cross has been replaced, another bright yellow one marked WMPC. As the TDBC Dog Warden service is reduced, and in view of the Parish Council’s determination to reduce dog fouling, more dog bins are being introduced. Due to current legislation, dog bin emptying has to be carried out by certified operatives (TDBC) and this is an annual cost to the Council. Evidence of owners allowing dog fouling will continue to be reported to the TDBC Dog Wardens. The provision of allotments will, from now on, be statutory for new developments in the Parish, but this does not apply to the 1000 houses agreed under the old ‘Local Plan’ currently under construction. Maintenance work is ongoing on the Spital allotment site, but the Parish is short of allotment land. The web site carries important local Parish information and has recently had a face-lift. We hope you are enjoying the new format, which should be easier to use. The Communications Volunteer has been in place since October, and her efforts will guide you through the new development as it progresses. The ‘Business listing’ shows businesses based within the Parish – there are more than you might expect and cover a wide variety of activities. The website carries head line news; agendas and minutes; reports in response to consultation; and much more on www.westmonkton.net. The notice boards in the Parish are available for use by residents to advertise events and services; you do not need to ask permission, but the boards are checked and regularly edited. Having successfully obtained grant funding from SCC, the Parish Council has been able to orchestrate a significant drainage improvement scheme at Dyers Brook in Acacia Gardens. Other agencies became involved and the extent of the clear up spread to Taunton Road and Yew Tree Lane, across to the Swingbridge. Volunteers are needed to maintain the banks free from balsam, and other obstructions. Please get in touch – Clerk 01823 413 524. The refurbishment of Farriers Green Play area has come about because of the play funds from Canal View: the Parish Council was delighted to add to the equipment and also provide a seat and a litter bin. The new park was opened by the Mayor in February.

Tricia Cavill, Clerk

This Annual report was published for the Annual Parish Meeting 25th March 2015.

It will also appear in the Village News

Upcoming Events

Jun
8
Thu
2017
8:30 am Parish Surgery @ Brittons Ash Community Hall
Parish Surgery @ Brittons Ash Community Hall
Jun 8 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Parish Surgery @ Brittons Ash Community Hall | Monkton Heathfield | England | United Kingdom
Come and have a coffee/tea and a chat about ideas you may have for the community, or things that concern you. County Councillor David Fothergill, Taunton Deane Councillor Norman Cavill, and Parish Clerk Tricia Cavill[...]

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