Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 9th October 2023, 7:30pm

Clerk: Philip Edwards (CiLCA)
Subscribe for updates:

Councillors Present: H Colton, C Gay, D Hooper, J Mitchell (Chairman of the meeting) and E Weatherill

Also Present: Philip Edwards (Clerk) and one member of the public

The Parish Council agreed that Cllr Mitchell would act as Chairman of the meeting

2310_[1] Public Participation Session

A member of the public raised a question regarding parking causing obstructions on Ridge Lane near the junction with Ridge Crescent.

  • The Parish Council confirmed this was a problem and that there was a need to report the issue to authorities. It was noted that members of the council had witnessed emergency vehicles unable to proceed up Ridge Lane due to parking obstructions.
  • Members of the public were encouraged to report issues to the police if parking constitutes an obstruction.
  • Cllr Weatherill offered to draft a communication for consideration of the Parish Council to forward to BANES highways to highlight the issue.
  • The Parish Council offered to review leaving a notice on vehicles to communicate the issues caused by parking near the junction.
  • The Parish Council gave a brief overview of progress with BANES for improvement to the highway and reported that next stage in the process would be to arrange a public meeting to consult with the public once a suitable proposal had been received from BANES.


2310_[2] Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs R Ireland and G Joyce.

2310_[3] Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or personal interests.

2310_[4] Confirmation of Minutes

RESOLVED: The Parish Council meeting minutes of Monday 11th September 2023 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by Chairman.


2310_[5] Chairman’s Report

  • There was no report from the Chairman.

2310_[6] Clerk’s Report

  • Noted: correspondence shared with council members (see appendix).

2310_[7] Meetings attended

  • Cllr Mitchell reported on attending the BANES local plan meeting.
    • Cllr Mitchell reported on communications with BANES regarding suggestions to improve the consultation process, which had been taken on board by BANES.
    • Cllr Mitchell reported that it would be preferable to have a local plan options study for feedback.
    • It was noted that it would be preferable to encourage BANES to include policies in the local plan that support the local rural economy and protect rural employment. This may include resisting the change of use from commercial properties to residential properties.
  • Cllrs Colton and Weatherill reported on the Mendip AONB planning presentation. It was noted that in a recent planning appeal, the inspector commented on the absence of a policy for what is suitable for an AONB.
  • Cllr Colton reported on a public meeting with the Mayor regarding bus services and transport. Cllr Weatherill offered to draft communications regarding the need for volunteers to support a transport group on this subject.
  • Cllr Weatherill attended the Chew Valley Area Forum Climate & Nature Emergency Working Group on Tuesday 27th October. A new “Sustainable Transport Group” was proposed to continue their work at that meeting. Cllr Weatherill offered to obtain communications from existing group members regarding the need for volunteers for the new group.

2310_[8] Asset of Community Value

  • The council thanked Cllr Weatherill for work on the draft application for the Crown Inn as an ACV. The Clerk was requested to complete and submit the application.
  • Noted: the village shop is on the ACV register until 18/6/2024

2310_[9] Memorial Hall

  • Noted:
    • Some interior painting had been undertaken.
    • There had been a successful recent wedding hire in the village hall.
    • The new heaters were working well.
    • A member of the public reported that the sound system had worked well at the history society.

2310_[10] Highways

  • Correspondence sent to councillors 21-7-23 and 2-10-2023 regarding parking restrictions on the junction of Ridge Lane and Ridge Crescent had been reviewed in the public participation of the meeting.
  • Reviewed: possible dates for a public meeting to review proposals from BANES regarding highway safety studies. Cllr Mitchel offered to to communicate with BANES to arrange a date and highlight the need for a proposal to be received in time for a public meeting.
  • Purchase of wall flowers and bulbs to be planted in the triangle:
    • RESOLVED: Authority to spend: £100 for flowers and bulbs and £40 for compost.
    • Cllr Mitchel offered to contact Peter Wood regarding the purchase of wall flowers and bulbs.
    • Noted: Cllr Weatherill had been weeding the triangle and offered to arrange a date with councillors for planting.

2310_[11] Recreation Ground

  • It was reported that the grass had been cut recently.
  • Cllr Gay reported that he had arranged cutting of the hedges.
  • Noted: appendix of minutes of rec ground working party on the recreation ground.
  • Noted: The Clerk had submitted a Ward Empowerment Fund application to Cllr Wood regarding the Hornbeam tree and guard for the recreation ground. The Clerk had signed a grant agreement for £350 received from BANES.
  • Noted: The Clerk had submitted a request to utility companies for location plans of any underground services on the recreation ground with regard to proposed tree planting. Responses and maps of services had been shared and highlighted with councillors along with details of HSE publication HS(G)47 “Avoiding Danger from Underground Services”
  • The council requested Cllr Gay to proceed with purchasing the Hornbeam tree and frame materials. The Clerk highlighted that invoices should be made out to West Harptee Parish Council for payment in order to reclaim VAT.
  • RESOLVED: The clerk was requested to purchase a swing seat per the quote from Wicksteed.

2310_[12] Ward Councillor’s Report

  • A report was received by email from BANES District Cllr David Wood.

2310_[13] FINANCE

(a) Payments and income – see appendix 2023-10 Finance Reports

  1. RESOLVED: payments to approve listed in finance report, checked and signed by Cllr Ireland.
  2. Noted: payments and Income listed in finance report. The Clerk also reported that the precept had been received directly into the new Unity account this month.
  3. Noted: Bank transfer of £10,000 from council NatWest account to Council Unity Account. The council requested the Clerk to transfer the remaining balance from the NatWest account to Council Unity Account. It was suggested that the Clerk may leave the NatWest bank account open with a minimum balance to enable simplified cheque deposits.
  4. Noted: petty cash float.
  5. RESOLVED: bank reconciliation, checked and signed by Cllr Joyce.


There were no outstanding consultation requests at the time of agenda publication.


  • Noted: Changes to delivery arrangements with the post office.


RESOLVED: Date of next meeting: Monday 13th November 2023, 7.30pm at West Harptree Memorial hall.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 20:56

Agreed as a correct record,
signed by the Chairman of the meeting: _______________________ on:_______________
(Chairman initial all other pages)