Corscombe, Halstock and District Parish Council

 Minutes for the Parish Council meeting 7.30pm on

Monday 26th July 2021

Councillors present: Henry Lovegrove (HL) (Chairman),  Liz Southern (ES), David Hallett (DH), Roger Hallett (RH), Grant Prior (GP), David Clary (DC), Nigel Clarke (NC),  Deborah Childs (DCh), John White Hamilton (JWH).

Meeting was held at Halstock Village Hall.  The Council respectfully asks for face masks to be worn until seated and social distancing to be observed.

Public period for comments on issues on the agenda.

12 members of the public attended to primarily discuss the issue raised below.

Parishioner – Giles Bloomfield

Concern raised over the type and amount of traffic using Adams Green.

There was a vibrant discussion concerning the use of Adams Green by large HGVs allegedly mainly going to Unit 1 Common Lane and the earlier planning permission (WD/D/20/001209) given for the extension of Unit 1 which the parishioners feel has resulted in an increase in such traffic.  It was agreed that the Parish Council Clerk would write a letter to DC Highways (Paul Thatcher) and copied to MP our DC representative.  The letter would make the case for highways to urgently review the use of Adams Green by large HGVs and look at placing a weight and width limit on vehicles using this road.  It would also ask for a face-to-face meeting with highways to be set up so that Halstock parishioners could discuss their concerns with highways and find a way forward to resolve this issue with Adams Green.  A copy of the letter sent can be requested from the PC Clerk.

Post meeting note: the operator of Unit 1 has seen the pictures of the vehicles involved and has stated that the vehicles depicted are not delivering to his premises, and that Common Lane is not used by articulated vehicles delivering to his premises.

Reports from Dorset Council Councillor and police – none received

1. To receive and accept apologies and declarations of interest.

Apologies received from KSS, DR, DE and MP.  No declarations of interest

2. To approve the draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 30th June 2021 (A).Approved (9/9)

 3. To discuss matters arising from the minutes not covered in the agenda.


4. To note the statement of expenditure to date and bank reconciliation (B) and to approve the schedule of payments since the last meeting. (C). Noted and approved (9/9)

5. To receive an update regarding the Gym installation and approve the Leisure Development grant sign off. (D) ES

Sign off approved (9/9)

The PC thanked ES for all her hard work in project managing the Gym installation and its successful launch.  It is hoped that many parishioners will make use of this installation in the future, the feedback has been very positive.

6. To note playground ROSPA inspection and receive a maintenance update (verbal) RH/ES

All work has been carried out promptly to ensure the points raised by the ROSPA report have been rectified. The current monitoring system is working well.

  • Playground sign TS

Approval given for new play ground sign to be ordered from Think Signs Limited,  £34.95 + VAT

  • Grass cutting change of contractor (Verbal) TS

Approval given for change of contractor from Paul Howard to Patrick Holt under the same contractual terms.

7. Highways

  •  Salt bin – to agree purchase. (E) (TS)

Approval was given for a new salt bin to be purchased for the Crockermoor site.  Provisional cost up to £100 at the Clerks discretion with help from the Staff Working group if needed.      A note was made of a general request to avoid yellow bins to ensure it blends in with its rural environment. It was also noted that monies will be needed to lay a concrete foundation for the new bin.

A second replacement bin for Nightingale farm will be further investigated and if needed a similar provisional cost of £100 was approved for a replacement bin.

  • Halstock speed gates – to receive an update (Verbal) TH

TH has produced an excellent summary report which was read out at the meeting.  Copies are available on request from the Clerk.

NC, ES and TH were thanked for their sterling work in getting the approval of highways to allow the PC to place speed gates at the south and north entrance of the village.  The Halstock Village Trust was also thanked for its very generous contribution to the project and a formal letter of thanks will be sent to the Halstock Village Trust care of Martin Manning.

As a separate issue the PC was asked to look at the possibility of putting speed gates on Adams Green.  TH, NC and ES have agreed to look into this for the PC.

 8. To consider and note planning applications and decisions. (F) TS

Noted.  The list was verbally updated to show that the PC has supported planning applications 00991 and 01280. As well as noting a comment on planning application 00991 –  concern over this application is one of the likely increase of traffic, i.e., large tractors and tankers, along the narrow country lanes.

9. To accept the New Code of Conduct, incorporating the new complaints procedure and changes to the way councillors’ declarations of interest are now to be recorded. (See PowerPoint and document sent out earlier by email) TS

The new code of conduct was accepted.

Councillor were made aware of the new electronic Declarations of Interest that is now required to be completed by all councillors.  The site for completion of Declarations of Interest, which must legally be completed on-line now, is open from the 12th of July to the 30th of September.  Please see links on email circulated earlier.

Councillors were also made aware of new procedures for reporting complaints to DC.

DAPTC has put on good training sessions for councillors that cover these three areas.  The PC has already signed up to these and the Clerk has attended a course and circulated the supporting documents handed out.  There are a few more training dates available and councillors are strongly encouraged to book up a training slot.

10. To receive a training update TS

  • DB and ES – New councillor induction sessions DAPTC
  • TS – Data Protection Health Check for Parish & Town Councils DAPTC 18.6.21
  • TS New Code of conduct and other changes DAPTC 29.6.21
  • KSS/GP/DH/NC – 3-part Planning sessions DAPTC 
  • HL – Finance training courses DAPTC

Noted.  The Clerk will book on to a Finance Training course and Councillors have found the three planning courses very informative.

 11. Risk assessment feedback re insurance cover for Volunteers (G) TS

The PC will need to look into to the issue of risk assessments and other requirements to ensure we are covered by our insurance if people carry out volunteer work on our behalf.  As this is a complicated issue a working group will be set up to consider how we should proceed.   The working group will consist of TS, NC, RH and ES.

12. Correspondence to be discussed and noted. TS

  • Halstock Vale Watch (verbal) Response from planning (TA/RJ) Nothing has been heard back from planning re request to enforcement officer for an open meeting.
  • Dog Walking update – there are less dogs off leads but there is still an issue.
  • DC Parking review update – the report was noted, PC agreed any changes to increased parking fees in small villages like Beaminster would have a negative affect on business and parishioners. ES has fed back these comments to the DC Parking Group.
  • DAPTC Western Area meeting – HL and TS attended. A good representation of PCs were present.  Other PC are having similar problems with engaging with highways and planning at DC.
  • DAPTC Review of Town and Parish Council members’ Allowances (H)

The Clerk was asked to feedback any details concerning our current status regarding Council members’ allowances.  It was agreed that this was not an issue for us given our size and lack of formal allowances payable to councillors.  However, councillors did ask if they could claim back expenses from the PC for printing, milage etc.  Councillors are able to claim back material costs related to work undertaken for the PC. The Clerk will draw up a formal policy relating to expenses.

  • Transfer of assets transfer from Dorset Council (details circulated by TS on 17.7.21)

Transfer of assets DC correspondence.  It was agreed that given the PC size and location this correspondence was not relevant, and we could see no gain from entering into any asset transfer requests.

 Additional correspondence raised.

  • PC notice board in Halstock is in the process of being refurbished. New locks have been installed to date. Many thanks to DC for his hard work.
  • Community Governance – consultation is not yet open, but the PC reconfirmed it had no plans to request a change to our current position of a joint PC covering Halstock, Corscombe and the Chelboroughs.
  • Rights of Way have requested funding for the replacement of stiles with gates to allow easier access for disabled, elderly parishioners and dog walkers etc. It was agreed that the PC would be willing to fund this under its devolved services budget and will awaiting a full report and costings.
  • National Parks have offered to speak to the PC and parishioners about the proposal for a new Dorset National Park. This was welcomed by all councillors and a proposed date of the 27th September has been put forward.
  • A request was made by another rural Dorset parish Council to see if we would be interested in sharing a SID. It was agreed that this offer should be further explored.

13. Climate and ecology emergency action to be noted (Verbal)

  • Progress on setting up tree plant project, publishing Dorset Green living initiative and other initiatives. (Verbal) HL/DCh

DCh reported that 8 households have now been signed up to the Green Living initiative.  The first meeting will be held on the 8th of September.  Dorset Green Living will give a talk at the meeting and PC has agreed to cover any associated printing costs.

The tree planting initiative will be publicised in the September Chimes, to include a paper survey insert.

It was decided that the Queens Green Canopy initiative would be too difficult to take on at the same time.

HL reported that he had forwarded information about the PC’s Climate Emergency Roadshow in response to a request from Hazelbury Bryan PC.

  •  Tabletop sale update (Verbal) HL

 A total of £375 has now been raised.

14. To consider urgent matters to report from members and items for the next meeting.

 15. Date of next Council meeting 27th September 2021- Halstock Village Hall

Clerk to the Council: Tessa Safadi, Tel: 01935 891068