Local Parish Council Members for 2023
Mr Jonathan Perry - Chairman
Mr John Walker - Vice Chairman / Tree Warden
Mrs Patricia Hollard - Footpath Warden
David Williams - Highways & Potholes
Mr Roger Beale
Mrs Patricia Amos
Ms Nicola Handlay - Treasurer & Website
Mrs Sue Osborne - SDC Representative
Meetings take place bi-monthly at Speke Hall at 7.00pm on a Monday unless otherwise noted
Next Dowlish Wake Parish Council Meeting to be held on Monday the 25th September 2023 at 7pm
Please note that future meetings after September may be commencing earlier but will be minuted and announced on this web site
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Speke Hall on the 24th July 2023
In attendance: John Perry John Walker David Williams Nicky Handlay Roger Beale and Pat Amos.
Apologies: There were no apologies
Minutes: The minutes of the meeting held on the 22nd May 2023 having been previously circulated were approved and signed.
Accounts and Annual Governance: Nicky Handlay went through the receipts and payment Account for 2022 / 2023 and these were approved by all present. The Annual Governance report was discussed and it was agreed that we complied with all aspects of this and that we were exempt and on this basis it was signed accordingly. This report would be put on the Dowlish Wake website.
Planning: No applications had been received since the last meeting but it was noted that a further comprehensive report had been submitted re environmental matters
Finance: The new bank had now been finally opened by Nat West. It was agreed that the old Account be closed and the balance transferred to the new account. The following payments were approved – Bei Looker re footpaths £110.00 and £760.00 / John walker wood for signpost £17.78 / SALC £160.09 / BHIB annual insurance / Somerset County Council speed limit scheme Kingstone £1000. The current bank balance was £6453.92 which includes the £4000 precept recently paid. The grants allocated at the last meeting totalling £4000 had yet to be paid. When paid we would be left with £2453.92 which should more than cover any expenditure for the coming year. There was £122.40 hosting fees due re the village website. Nicky Handlay said she would check if she could find a cheaper host.
Highways: The 30mph speed limit scheme at Kingstone was now in operation and a smiley face warning sign installed. It was presumed that this had been paid for by local subscription. David Williams offered to contact SCC Highways to ask that a sign be installed at Ludney saying the road to Dowlish Wake / Cudworth was unsuitable for HGV’S. He also said he would contact them regarding the overgrowing hedge on the T Junction at Kingstone which was particularly dangerous. It was noted that the enforcement office had yet to take any action re the non compliance with planning conditions of The Old Cider Barn at Kingstone.
There was a general discussion regarding speeding through the village and it was agreed that we would all think about this before the next meeting with the aim of renewing old and installing new rumble strips and slow signs. None of us could remember if there were please drive slowly signs on the major roads into the village other than on Mill Lane.
Footpaths Report; In the absence of Pat Hollard it was noted that we were all grateful for the good and successful work she carries out on the footpaths and it was a testament to this that the County council footpaths officer wanted to use us an example to all other villages in Somerset. It was noted that gates had been installed at Mill Farm despite the owner’s objections thanks to the County Council footpaths officers intervention.
Tree Warden Report: Phil Poulton was meeting with John Walker and Catherine Cavender regarding a yew tree in the churchyard which was in a poor condition. The tree guards on the trees at the playing field had been taken off as they were no longer needed. John Perry said he would cut off the lower branches of the Maple tree in the middle of the village.
Local Council Network: Nicky Handlay had attended a meeting on our behalf at Donyatt. There was little to report other than a great deal of the meeting consisted of electing officers! There was however one good thing that came out of the meeting and that was that everyone wanted better contact with County Council officers and that something will be done about this.
County Councillor Reports: There were no councillors present. Sue Osborne’s briefing had been previously circulated. It was much appreciated and it was agreed that we ask for this prior to future meetings which would enable us to ask any questions that arise from this rather than go through it all at the meeting.
AOB: It was asked who had offered to look after the flower troughs by the road signs coming into the village but we were unsure about this owing to the work involved. David Williams asked if anyone else had hears sirens on odd occasions other than known emergency sirens but nobody had.
Next Meeting: Monday 25th September. It was agreed that we should hold winter meetings earlier but we would discuss this at our next meeting.
DOWLISH WAKE PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES OF A MEETING HELD ON THE 27TH MARCH 2023 IN THE SPEKE HALL
In Attendance: John Perry, Pat Hollard, Roger Beale, David Williams, Nicky Handlay, Sue Osborne and 6 members of the public
Apologies: John Walker and Pat Amos
Minutes: The minutes of the meeting held on the 25th January having been previously circulated were approved and signed.
Matters Arising: Any matter arising were covered in the agenda.
Planning: The application for Byways at Kingstone Cross was supported by all present and John Walker. No enforcement action had been taken at The Old Cider Barn to comply with the planning conditions.
Finance: It was agreed that the last two years subscription to SALC be paid. As it was not possible to amend our current bank account with Nat West to add a new signatory it was agreed that a new business bank account be opened with Nicky Handlay, John Perry and David Williams as signatories. A discussion was held regarding the grant allocation within the village and Pat gave us details of the grass cutting costs of the churchyards at both Dowlish and Oxenford which were quite substantial. The Playing Field also made their case for funding. It was decided to leave the allocation until the next meeting and in the meantime to ask Speke Hall for their running costs.
Highways Report: David Williams said that following the recent heavy rain storms the roads were in a very poor state and that he would be reporting various issues. He had reported the water on the bend coming down from Kingstone but was not certain if anything had been done about this. Pat Amos was worried that motorists would come out of the 30mph zones at Kingstone and think they could go 60mph. We would keep an eye on this but it was thought that generally there wasn’t a speeding issue through Dowlish itself.
Footpaths Report; It was agreed by all that we still support funding to upgrade the footpaths. Work on these had slowed down at present due to illness. Pat would look into hanging gates at Kitchells to replace the existing difficult wooden styles.
Tree Wardens Report: In John Walkers absence there was no report.
Code of Conduct: The Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct 2020 having been circulated to all councillors was adopted unanimously.. This Code had been designed to protect our democratic role, encourage good conduct and safeguard the public’s trust in local government.
Oldway Lane: The County Council have written to us saying that they are in the course of determining the application to reinstate Oldway Lane as a bridleway. The original application had been made in 2003 with what at the time seemed to have the support of all parties. No action was taken on this by the council until 2013 when there was no longer the support of the landowners concerned. Nothing more happened about this application until now 10 years later. It was proposed and agreed by all that in view of the ill feeling caused in 2013 we do nothing at this time and do not reply to the Council as we have nothing to add to this. In the County Councils words in submitting any evidence it is important to note that, under curren legislation, opinions on the desirability or otherwise of the proposed modifications are irrevelant. Instead the County Council is tasked with deciding what, if any, public rights already exist over the route in question .They are under a duty to record the true status of the ways concerned and our decision can only be based on the evidence available.
Correspondence: The only relevant correspondence has been dealt with i.e. the code of conduct and Oldway Lane.
County Councillors Report: Sue Osborne gave us an update on the A358 and A303 works, the new planning procedures which councillors would now be involved with, the new unitary council and area committees, planning and the new phosphate credits systems and Ilminster’s PCSO leaving. She also had some further things to say about the Oldway Lane application and that all records appertaining to this were public records. Mr Perry said yes he and the Council were well aware of this and that all records had been kept .and were available to view. She also had some things to say about us not having a clerk but this was not a decision for her but us as is wasn’t causing a problem at present.
AOB: John Walker had asked if we could find someone to make a new notice board in the middle of the village. John Perry said that he would purchase a new one in memory of his mother. There being no other business was closed.
MINUTES OF DOWLISH WAKE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 23RD JANUARY 2023
IN ATTENDANCE: John Perry, John Walker, Pat Hollard , David Williams, Nicky Handlay, Pat Amos and Roger Beale. There was one member of the public.
Apologies; Sue Osborne
Minutes Silence: A minutes silence was held for ex-councillors Margie Perry and Hugh Reilly both of whom had served our council and village well for many years.
Matters Arising: Any matters arising from the November meeting were covered in this meetings agenda..
Planning; There were no objections to the revised planning application for Kitchells. No enforcement action re the dangerous corner at the Old Cider Barn had taken place, The Carnival Park application had been overturned at appeal but it was not known what would happen next.
Finance: It was agreed that the £1000 donation to the speed limit works at Kingston would be paid when the County Council submitted an invoice for the work carried out. The current bank balance is £5027.96.
Highways: David Williams had been very successful in getting potholes mended and it was suggested that he be named as the person to contact for these matters on the neighbourhood watch emails.
Footpaths: Pat Hollard gave a report on works to be carried out which included the hunting gate at the sewer works. There were gates available and suggestions were made where these could go.
Tree Warden: John Walker reported that the Chestnut Trees at Higher Farm were in a dangerous state but nothing had been done about this by the landowner.
Local Council Network: Nicky Handlay said that there were no further developments as regards our council.
Code of Conduct: There is a new code of conduct but before adopting this it would be circularised and discussed at our next meeting.
District and County Councillors Reports: In Sue Osborne’s absence there were no reports.
AOB; David Hill gave a report re the Playing Field Finances and there annual running costs which include grass cutting emptying dog bins etc. The parish councils grant towards these costs were very necessary. It was also noted that the Speke Hall and Church needed similar support. The Church was hoping to make acess easier for the elderly and disabled. It was noted that there were defibrillators in the Playing Field Pavilion and also outside the New Inn and Perry’s Cider offices. A meeting was to be held to organise the villages celebrations for the upcoming Coronation Celebrations.
Next Meeting 27th March 2023
Minutes of a meeting of Dowlish Wake Parish Council held in Speke Hall on Monday the 21st November 2022
In attendance: John Perry, John Walker, Pat Hollard, David Williams, Nicky Handlay, Pat Amos, Roger Beale, Sue Osborne and two members of the public.
Minutes: The minutes of the meeting held on the 26th September having been circulated were, subject to one amendment, approved. Any matters arising are dealt with in our present agenda.
Planning: The application for Harp Cottage had been approved with no major amendments despite there being objections from a neighbour. The enforcment officer
had been notified that the planning conditions on the Old cider Barn re the roadside bank were not being adhered to at the expense of road safety. The decision on the Carnival Park application had been overturned at judicial review as councillors involved had not declared their interests. Mr and Mrs Pearce were in attendance regarding their planning application at Oxenford, but as this was not within our parish boundary it was not discussed.
Finance: After much debate the precept for 23/24 was set for £4000. It was thought that the Playing Field, Speke Hall and Church all important village assets, needed more support. Bills approved for payment were Bei Looker re footpaths £220 , John Walker timber for fingerposts and Nicky Handlay £122.40 for Wix.com village website.
Highways: David Williams reported that he was successful in having potholes mended and would keep a watchful eye on other problems. There had been an accident on the dangerous bend at Kingstone but little was known about this. The speed limit works at Kingstone were progressing slowly.
Tree Warden: There was nothing of any consequence to report.
Footpath Officer: There were continued good works, finger posts, with John Walkers, assistance were being installed as were new gates. Someone had cut their hand on the footpath gate at Mill Farm (the owner was reluctant to let us install a safer gate). Pat asked for suggestions where new gates could be installed.
Local Community Network: Nicky had attended a conference but felt that this whole issue was being aimed at larger councils than ours.
Civility and Respect Pledge: Our council fully supported the aims of this pledge but couldn’t actually sign up to it as it would entail training.
Correspondence: A letter had been received from SCC re the 2003 bridleway application at Oldway Lane saying that a new investigation was being instigated. Those that were on the Council in 2012 noted how divisive this application had been with the landowners involved.
District Councillors Report: Sue went through in detail the reasons why the Carnival Park application had been overturned and what was likely to happen next. She also let us know the likely groupings, based on the old District areas, of the new unitary county council.
AOB: There being no other business the meeting was closed.
Next Meeting Monday the 23rd January 2023
Dowlish Wake Parish Council Meeting Minutes 26th September 2022
In Attendance: John Perry, John Walker, Pat Hollard, David Williams, Pat Amos, Nicky Handlay, Roger Beale and Sue Osborne
Minutes: The Minutes of the July 2022 Meeting having been previously circulated were approved for signature .Any matters arising were dealt with in the meeting.
Planning: The Harp Cottage had been previously circulated and approved. It was noted that a neighbour had objected on the grounds of scale and although the council could understand his concerns decided that they couldn’t amend their original decision. Ian Davis had submitted an application for a steel framed building agricultural building on his farm. The council had not been asked to comment on this application by the planning department. Sue Osborne confirmed that she had contacted the SSDC enforcement office regarding the planning conditions re The Old Cider Barn. It appeared that the height conditions of the verge on this dangerous corner had not been complied with. It was noted that there were still problems with the district council planning portal which was not acceptable.
Finance: There were no bills to pay. The mandate adding Nicky Handlay to the bank mandate had been returned and will be re submitted with hopefully the correct entity entry! It was agreed that the Council would reimburse any costs incurred with the new finger posts that Mr Walker was making. Current bank balance £5150.36. £1000 has been earmarked for the speed limit costs in Kingstone.
Highways: The new 30 mile an hour speed limit had gone through the consultation process and was now in the design stage. Mr Williams volunteered to be our Highways Warden. This will be a great help to the Council. He had already reported some potholes. Mr Walker said that the pothole outside his house will necessitate a road closure which met with some dismay. It was noted that unlike previous contractors the Gigaclere contractors had been helpful. It appeared that the lorries mentioned in a previous meeting had been delivering rather than using the village as a rat run.
Footpaths Report: Mrs Hollard gave an update. New finger posts were being put up at Stretford Water and Spring Cottage. Mr Davis had installed some new gates on the footpaths crossing his land.It had been asked if the railings on the church footpath could be painted. These railings to the best of our knowledge had never been painted and if they were would require regular upkeep. They being currently being galvanised with no upkeep needed. Could it be a case og creeing gentrification of the village?
Tree Warden: Mr Walker reported that The Gale’s had applied to cut down a conifer at Keepers Cottage in the conservation area. There appeared to be a dangerous limb over the road on an oak tree in Chard Lane which Mr walker was going to look into.
County Councillor: Mrs Osborne gave us a resume of the proposed new local community network. It appeared that this would add to the work load of the parish council and it was agreed that we wouldn’t get involved at this stage. Mrs Handlay said that she would attend a meeting at Westlands outlining the proposals. The county council were projecting a current deficit of £28 million this year. The council are in the process of giving up their lease on Dillington House as a result of continual losses. The planning application for the Carnival Park was now subject to judicial review. The financial position re SSDC’s property investment was unkown.
AOB; Shooting had been reported but no one new quite where this was taking place. It was thought that clay pidgeon shooting was taking place in Tony browns field at Sheepwash. Shooting should not take place over public footpaths. It was reported that the Environment Agency may be clearing the river downstream from the pack horse bridge which would help with the flooding problem in the village. This has not been verified. The council had cut the grass in the village twice since our last meeting. Hopefully they will continue to cut more often next year as we were not happy with the results of rewilding in the village.
Next Meeting Monday 21st November 2022
DowlishWake Parish Council Meeting held on the 27th July 2022
Present: John Walker, Pat Hollard, Pat Amos, David Williams, Nicky Handlay, David Williams and Roger Beale.
Minutes: The minutes of the July meeting having been circulated weew approved and signed. Any matters arising were dealt with in this meeting.
Planning;The District Council confirmed that the footpath running across the Kitchells site was not being diverted as a result of the development and that being so there were no objections to the application. It was not known whether Sue Osborne had contacted the enforcement office about the breach of planning conditions concerning the height of the verge on the dangerous corner at the Old Cider Barn.
Finance: The payment of £1120 to Bei Looker for work on the footpath was approved as was the payment of £248.96 reimbursing Nicky Handlay for the councils annual insurance. Current Bank Balance £5150.36.
Highways: The recent road closures were discussed and the general consensus was that the parish had been badly treated by the contractors who in the main were very unhelpful and took too long. Further closures to put right Gigaclears work were planned. The speed limit at Kingstone was going through the necessary approval procedures. There were bad potholes and Mr Williams said he would contact the council accordingly. There had been builders vans blocking the lower entrance to the Playing Field and Mr Walker said he would ask them to park elsewhere.It was reported that construction lorries had been going through the village and it was agreed that an eye be kept on this. It was thought they could have been delivering locally.
Footpaths: Mrs Hollard gave an update. There were various gates available and it was suggested that the stiles at Kitchells be replaced with gates.
Tree Warden: Mr Walker reported that the dangerous tree at Holloway had been taken down by contractors working for the Clarke’s who had accepted responsibility.
New Inn; The application to have the New Inn listed as a community asset had been accepted.
Councillors Report: There were no councillors at the meeting. Sue Osborne’s report had been previously circulated.
AOB: It was generally agreed that the re wilding of the open spaces in the village was not successful and if this was to continue into the future that the council pay to keep these areas cut.
Next Meeting: Monday 26th September 2022
Dowlish Wake Parish Council Meeting held on the 23rd May 2022
Apologies: Mrs Pat Hollard
Officers: The following were proposed and seconded as officers of the Council for the following year: Mr Perry Chairman, Mr Walker Vice Chairman, Mrs Handlay treasurer (FRI), Mr Walker Tree Warden and Mrs Hollard Footpath Officer. There being no one willing to stand as Clerk Mr Perry said he would continue to cover this role.
Declaration of Interests and Acceptance forms for the new council were all completed other than Mrs Handlay. Mr Perry to send the Declaration of Interset forms to SSDC.
The Minutes of the March Meeting having been previously circulated were approved and signed. There were no matters arising.
Finance: The Annual Accounts and Governance and accountability Return were presented to the Council and these were approved. There was a balance in the bank at the year end of £5057.32.
It was agreed that the late Mrs Kemps unpresented cheque of £40 be split equally between the Parish Church and Fern Animal Sanctuary.
Planning: The plans for The Mill and Beam Ends were discussed and approved. The Council continued to be concerned about the new application at the Cider Barn in Kingstone because of the dangerous road junction. It appeared that the planning conditions on the Cider Barn regarding the roadside verge had not been adhered to.
Highways: The Council were not at all happy with the contractors who had laid the new gas pipe. They were unhelpful and could have kept the road open a lot of the time. There was damage to the wall on the Green which had not been repaired. Mr Perry said that the speed limit at Kingstone was going ahead and that he had been invited to a meeting with the Highways traffic Officer and residents. There was also considerable erosion on the diverted roads as a result of the road closures which need looking into.
Footpaths: As Mrs Hollard was not at the meeting there was no full report although she had passed on the message that work was to be carried out at Moolham,that the Coombe’s had made the access through their land less accessible and the new footpath officer was really helpful with the offer of gates etc.
Tree Warden: Mr Walker said that contrary to what we had thought the dangerous tree in Holloway had not been cut down as the landowners were squabbling about who was responsible for this.
Flooding: Mr Perry reported that he had been in contact with a group in Ilminster who were looking into how this could be alleviated in the Ilminster catchment area.
Better Accountability to the Parish: It was thought that it might be a good idea to circulate the council minutes when they had been approved to hopefully get the parish more involved and better informed of village matters. Also the Agenda should be put on the village website.
District Councillors. Mrs Osborne gave a report of what was happening with the new Unitary Council and also the planning controversy concerning the Carnival park at Longforward Lane. There was a full report about this in the Leveller magazine. It would appear that senior councillors had not fulfilled their roles as they should have done. It was agreed that Val Keitch our other Somerset County Councillor shoul be invited to our meetings in future.
AOB: Dead birds had been reported near to the footpath across to Stretford Lane and it was thought that it could have been avian flu which should be reported to Defra.
Wednesday 27th July
Monday 26th September
Monday 21st November
Monday 23rd January
Monday 20th March
There being no other business the meeting was closed.