PC 24 November 2014


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

Monday 24th November 2014 at 7.30pm at The Resource Centre


Present: Cllrs Jopp, Beasant, Burchell, Davey, Dawson, Gentilli, Langton, Murphy, Ovel, and Ward Cllr Davies
Apologies: Cllrs Exley, Kent, Taylor and Ward Cllr Francis-Pester and J Smart (Clerk)



Public Participation

a) Mr Collins reported that the hedge at 69 Westward Drive was encroaching badly onto the pavement.

Also that the lighting of the steps onto the footpath between Westward Drive and Water Lane were very dark: can the light be adjusted.  Action: Clerk

b) Messrs Hunt and Belcher asked what progress was being made on the issue of noise from the railway.  Cllr Davey said that a meeting had been held with Richard Allard from NSC Environmental Health who said that a further noise survey was needed and suggested that a solicitor’s letter might be sought on the question of ‘reasonableness’ regarding the circumstances.  NSC had not reported the results of the existing noise survey to Mr Hunt.  Agreed that a further meeting should be held with Cllrs Davies, Exley, Davey and Taylor with Messrs Hunt and Belcher to agree next steps.

c) Mr Belcher reported that the lane behind Severn Road (which is the residents’ official front door access) is in a terrible state.  Network Rail is failing to deal with very intrusive overhanging brambles etc and the lane is very dark.  It was felt that immediate improvement might be difficult to achieve but that the light should be considered for an upgrade to LED in the next financial year.

d) Mr Hunt complained about dog-fouling and the riding of motor-bikes, often with 3 people on each, on the cycle way leading to the M5 bridge.  Action: Clerk to report to PCSO Julie Lewis




Minutes of the last Parish Council Meeting


The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 24th October2014 (previously circulated) were signed as a true record.


Declarations of Interest







Ward Councillor’s Reports


Cllr Don Davies

a) NSC has refused permission at The Tynings to knock down the greenhouse, but without mentioning the loss of employment.  (See Planning C’tee meeting minutes)

b) he and Dave O’Brien have surveyed the buses again:  80% arrived within 10 minutes of scheduled time, but 1 in 12 was cancelled.  He had a useful meeting with First Bus:

i) Real time information on the service should be available in Pill in the New Year:  he pressed for it show cancellations when applicable

ii) Company is pleased with big increase in usage following new service arrangements

iii) heavy congestion in both Bristol and Portishead is causing many delays

iv) cancellations arise mainly because of driver shortages – they are using drivers from NE England, put up in hotels, to ease the situation.

Cllr Stone asked if there was any public record of cancelled/very late services as parents were concerned that children were being punished for lateness they could not avoid.  No certainty about the situation.

c) he had also had a very unsatisfactory meeting with the police re parking and the lack of enforcement in NS.  Police view is that a car abandoned on the road is not breaking any law, even if not MOT’d, unless an attempt to move it is made!  Also that none of the (quite appalling) examples of bad parking he had shown them were, in their view, dangerous – hence no action.  Parking on double yellow lines is now frequent.

Cllr Jopp suggested a press release about the matter: agreed.  Action:  Cllrs Davies and Jopp

d) he is concerned that NSC are one of only 8% of Councils in England who regard Child Maintenance Payments as income when assessing liability for Council Tax, and that this may be causing significant hardship for some families.  He asked for any affected to be referred to him and will speak to Citizens’ Advice about the matter.





Crime & Disorder

Cllr Davey reported on the Latest PAC meeting, at which PCSO Lewis was upset that official figures represented only 50% of actual crime in our area.  A further letter to Sue Mountstevens was discussed – agreed that this should wait until her reply to the recent email was received.  Action (in due course):  Cllr Jopp


6. Clerk’s Report


Reported street lights not working at Rudgleigh Road, Westward Drive, The Breaches, Stoneyfields, Debecca’s Lane and The Moorings.


Reported fly tipping at the recycling facility, Lodway Farm, Marsh Lane and Rudgleigh Road.


Reported pothole at bottom of Westward Drive.


Reported dangerously slippery mossy pavement at the top of the hill at Brookside.


Report Lodway Garage for removing boundary wall into Newsome Avenue and using it as access to the site.


Hedges now cut at Macrae Road, but requested David Smith to use mini digger to remove verges encroaching on to the road.



The new road sign at the bottom of Churchpath Road was reported and it’s intelligent siting commented on.








Maintenance & Highways Issues

Hedges on Cross Lanes opposite farm have still not been cut back:  Cllr Davies and Clerk have both chased Curo about the matter.


Painting of zig-zags on Lodway:  NSC has stated now that this can’t be taken out of the small works budget and will be postponed to next year. Cllr Davies suggested he would lobby NSC regarding inconsistencies in use of small works budget (particularly large overspend on Carlton Street Car Park in Weston-super-Mare) if he had a copy of NSC response. Agreed we should go back to NSC emphasising the danger of the situation, copied to Cllr Davies and David Turner.  Action: Clerk







Reports fromCommittee Meetings


Playing Fields & Open Spaces

Nothing to report, but it was confirmed that the Inspector’s report re the Prior’s Fields village Green application has not yet been received.


Environment, Highways & Transport

All matters reported on elsewhere in this meeting, except that the closure of Portbury Road is going ahead on 8 December. There has been no response from either Nigel Ashton or David Turner on this.


Public Footpath & Rights of Way Sub-Committee

Cllr Dawson reported that the group is now undertaking weekly walks to clear footpaths and investigate problems:  the stile on the path leading from Haberfield to Markham brook is in a very poor state.  She will contact NSC to check if they will pay installation costs if the PC purchases the materials.  F&PC will consider expenditure out of contingency when the situation is clear.  Cllr Dawson agreed that a budget request for 2015/16 would be put together once a fuller picture of the general state of stiles in the Parish was available. Action: Cllr Dawson


Finance & Personnel Committee

Cllr Langton reported, referring Cllrs to the meeting minutes for further information.  Key points:

a)      Review of expenditure against budget was mainly satisfactory – most budget lines on track.  The expenditure on street lighting improvements was significantly over budget because of an unexpected charge of £200 per light for reconnection.  Various expenses had been met from contingency – most notably the work on the War memorial.  Income from VAT was greater (by almost £1000) than expected.  Overall, the committee expects final expenditures to be within budget.

b)      Any proposals for items for development not listed in the minutes should be made to the committee before its January meeting.

c)       Negotiations over football pitch charges etc continue:  the committee is looking for an outcome that maintains current Council policy of supporting sporting and other activities within the village, whilst maintaining a reasonable balance between different activities.

d)      The committee considered a very considerably improved version of the council Business Continuity Plan which Cllr Ovel had drafted:  whilst some further modifications of this plan will be debated at the January meeting, it was proposed that the current draft version be adopted temporarily.  However, it was realised that this version of the plan had not been circulated beyond members of F&PC and so it was agreed that all Cllrs should receive the plan before it was considered at the meeting on Dec 8.  Any suggestions for amendments should be made to the Clerk, and copied to Cllrs Jopp, Langton and Ovel well before the meeting.  Action:  Clerk and all Cllrs





See below.





Reports of meetings with outside bodies and other organisations


NSC Rail Noise Monitoring  See above


Community Forum: meeting held on November 17, but no noteworthy outcomes.


10. Correspondence requiring action not covered elsewhere


None, but it is anticipated that the Clerk will attempt to clear up the confusion over payments to Haven power.


11. Fair Trade Group

Cllr Langton outlined the history of the Fairtrade campaign in the village and asked the Council to pass the resolution already circulated:

The Parish Council of Pill and Easton-in-Gordano is pleased to note the progress that has been made over the last 6 years by the Fair trade campaign in our community as recognised by the successive awards of Fairtrade Village status by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The Council resolves to continue to actively support this campaign in all appropriate ways.

Agreed, nem con.


12. Accounts for Payment


Haven Power Public Lighting Electricity – November DD 21/11/14 625.00
Haven Power Public Lighting Electricity – November DD 21/11/14 77.51
Unicom Fax & Phone Bill – November DD 27/11/14 21.79
North Somerset Council Dog Bin Emptying 172.80
Chilie Davies (Pill in Bloom) Bulbs for Fire Station Boat 22.54
Anita Pearce (Pill in Bloom) Nine hanging baskets for precinct 198.00
Brackenwood Garden Centre Pill in Bloom Accounts x 2 59.42
G.B. Sport & Leisure Play Equipment Inspections 120.00
Glendale Grounds Football Pitch Grass Cutting x 4 153.60
Somerset Rural Training Group Brush Cutter Course, Registration, Assess & Certification 150.00
G.B. Sport & Leisure Play Equipment Inspections 120.00
K&E Property Maintenance Hardwick Road Play Equipment Repairs 487.00
Mark Fuller Salary 761.38
Julie Smart Salary 1,335.37
Post Office Limited Tax & NICs 395.47
Bath & NES Council Pension Contributions 357.26
TOTAL   £5,057.14
Cllr Langton proposed, seconded by Cllr Murphy, approval of the accounts for payment. Passed nem con.
13. Issues for Future Meetings

Report on Railway noise monitoring and meeting proposed with Richard Allard


Council Business Continuity Plan – see 8. above


Cllrs to notify Julie of any further issues for Dec 8 a.s.a.p.


Portishead Cruising Club gate proposal – informal meeting prior to 4th December and if unsatisfactory outcome it will be an agenda item for 8th December.




Signed:  ………………………………….



Date:  …………………………………….












1.         The following applications had been received:-




The Nursery

The Tynings

Martcombe Road


Prior approval for change of use from a garden nursery store to a dwelling within use class C3 plus associated operational development comprising the insertion of doors and windows.


It was decided to object on the grounds of inappropriate development in the Green Belt, and loss of employment.  Also to point out that the planning status of the existing building is very questionable and should provide no precedent with regard to footprint:  this application should not be regarded as a change of use. Action:  Clerk



Mulberry House

Happerton Lane



Erection of a single storey rear extension.


The plans for this application were not posted on the NSC website in time for our meeting and so comment on this occasion was not possible.  We reserve the right to comment at the meeting planned for December 8.  Clerk to make this clear to NSC.



3.         The following application had been refused:-


14/P/2041/F The Tynings

Martcombe Road


Erection of detached dwelling with detached double garage following demolition of greenhouse and 2No. polytunnels.

NSC to be informed that, whilst we are pleased that the application was refused, we were disturbed to see that loss of employment in the area was not cited amongst the reasons for refusal.  This oversight may be regretted if the applicant goes to appeal.  Action:  Clerk



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