Please read our latest news reports below.
At present, due to national circumstances, the Parish Council cannot meet face to face but their work continues. “Meetings” are held remotely and copies of these (in WORD and as a PDF) or financial summaries (in EXCEL or WORD) can be requested from the clerk at any time. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It has been a busy time as usual and we hope that this finds all our parishioners and their families in good health.
Throughout the lockdown period the Council has continued its role in commenting on all planning applications, visiting wherever possible and considering the comments of parishioners. If you wish to look at any application and/or our comments please go to the Taunton Deane planning site and use the planning code or property name to view them https://www2.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/asp/webpages/plan/plapplookup.asp
• In April it was unanimously agreed that the present chair and vice-chair remain in office.
• A commitment was also made to financially support the work of the “Welly Angels” a local coronavirus support group and this was taken from our contingency budget.
• In May our chairman surveyed all the benches in the Parish for safety and condition, and there were only two that needed immediate attention, at Beacon Lane and Wrangway.
• All the remaining footpath signs have been installed where needed. At present one more which appears to have been removed will be replaced on footpath WG13/19 towards Gerbestone Manor. If there are any issues with footpaths in the vicinity please mail the clerk or log any concern at https://roam.somerset.gov.uk/roam/map and a member of staff will investigate the issue and contact the appropriate landowner.
• As the Police speed enforcement units are back in action Community Speedwatch has returned. In Ford Street there has been a significant increase in speeds, with the highest percentages in Somerset being recorded. A complementary issue was raised by a resident following accidents and near misses on the road between the A38 and Ford Street, outside the 30mph speed limit area. After much discussion of issues affecting Beam Bridge Hill, Holywell Lake and other parts of the parish it was agreed that there may be a case for seeking an amendment of the speed limits along the A38 and along the lower end of Ford Street Road. The A38 around Wellington in particular has numerous limit changes. At present this has been forwarded to the appropriate authorities but it has also been indicated after police and local authority investigations that there is no speeding issue which needs to be addressed imminently at the site of a recent fatality.
• In June the cast-iron fingerpost at Thorne St Margaret was repainted by Councillor Hasell and that at Ford Street will be repainted in the spring of 2021. At the same time minor refurbishment of the library in the old kiosk at Ford Street will be undertaken. This facility, owned by the Parish Council is extremely popular and many compliments have been given.
• The Annual Governance and Accountability Return has been completed, signed by the chair and sent to the auditors; please see below. The new arrangements for “AGAR” allow those smaller councils below both the income and expenditure limits of £25000 to be exempt from a national scrutiny, although the documentation remains unchanged and will be examined by the external auditor. This does not exempt us from what is called a limited review, or even a full external audit, but our finances are in very good shape and are subject to a full internal independent audit.
• In September the chair was involved in examining the condition and placement of the salt bins and had made recommendations. It was clear that one had been removed. It is vital that those at the top of Ford Street and Wellington Hill are retained.
• Wellington Monument Progress. It is intended that the scaffolding will be removed in the spring and that once public access has been reinstated a maximum of two people at a time will be admitted; head torches will be needed. Additional security cameras have been installed and stone from the monument is being sold to raise funds. £2,000 has so far been raised.
• Following a major issue which resulted in the closure of Wellington Hill it was considered that advance warning signs on the main highway for HGVs entering Monument Hill are needed, and those HGV signs linked to Ford Street need to be checked. This has been passed on to the Traffic Management Team who assure us that this will be undertaken as soon as possible.
• November: The website is almost complete and if you are reading this then it is proof of the hard work undertaken by our chairman.
• There was a new application for speed limits on the A38 from Swains lane to Jurston roundabout which was identical to those existing. However it transpires that this was necessary as the original application for the present speed limits was not secure. There is NO change to the limits
Finally, as clerk, I see the hard work undertaken by your councillors, all without expecting thanks or praise. I would therefore like to thank them on our behalf for their commitment.
In October 2020 the Annual Financial return noted the following.
AGAR (National Return) balance £16,470.61
The amount brought forward was £12,335.10
Income received to date is £7,465.54
Our expenditure to date is £3,330.03
on salaries and PAYE £1,941.30
on other expenditure £1,388.73
The value of our assets is £3,094.19
brought forward £12,335.10
annual income £7,465.54
total income £19,800.64
unprocessed payment £0.00
ledger balance £16,470.61
predicted bank balance £16,470.61