Draft Minutes


7.30pm on Wednesday  17th of  May 2023

18 members of the public were present as well as Tessa Safadi (Parish Council Clerk) and Parish Councillors Richard James, Grant Prior, David Clary and David Hallett

Councillor Richard James chaired the meeting which opened at 7.30pm and ended at 9.15pm.




Thank you to Dave Thomas and Sarah Milne who came and presented information on the proposed further development of the Halstock Water Recycling Centre down Watery Lane. The main aim of this work is to ensure there are fewer instances where wastewater is discharged into the river. The planning application will be made later in 2023, with work commencing in 2024 and completed in 2025.


  • Concern was raised about access to the site during building works – a new entrance and road,  off the Yeovil road will be created to minimise disruption.  After the work is completed, this will be returned to its original state. It was hoped that there would be no or little increase in the number of lorries which currently use Watery Lane.
  • Concern was raised over the size of the Lorries bringing in materials during the building work and the direction of deliveries approaching Halstock given the narrow lanes and low bridge at Sutton Bingham.
  • Concerns on the impact of the development on the surrounding habitat. Parishioners were assured that all efforts would be made to not only replace but improve on the local habitat and that any hedging that had to be removed would be replanted with local species following guidance from organisations such as Natural England.
  • Concerns over access of the current footpath along the river. This may need to be closed temporarily for safety reasons while work was being undertaken but would be reinstated.

Cllr. Hodesdon


The draft minutes  were read out and approved.


There were no maters arising.


This was read out by the chairman. See appendix 1 attached.  Appendix 1 can be obtained from the Parish Council Clerk or found on the Halstock website and PC website.

  • Parish Rights of Way PROW
  • Halstock Community Hall
  • Halstock Fete which will include a Flower Show this year arranged by the Gardening Club

The parish wanted to thank Peter Brinck for all his work over the years on the Village Fete.

  • Friends of St. Juthware and St. Mary church
  • Halstock community Theatre
  • Halstock community Room
  • Community Speed watch(CSW)
  • Halstock village Cinema (HVC)
  • Halstock Art group (HAG)
  • PCC
  • Halstock Village Trust AGM
  • The Royal British legion
  • Halstock Village Shop Ltd

See appendix 2 attached for copies of the reports given. Appendix 2 can be obtained from the Parish Council Clerk or found on the Halstock website and PC website.

  • Could the posts on the village square be replaced as many are now rotten.
  • Concerns were raised over new plans to extend the Halstock Village shop.  After discussion, it was a proposed that the Village Shop be asked to hold an AGM and present a business plan for the extension of the shop, to include the wider Halstock community. Proposed Richard James, Seconded David Wright. Votes in favour of the proposal 11.


Clerk to the Council: Tessa Safadi, Tel: 01935 579783

Email: CHparishclerk@gmail.com




Appendix 1



  1. This was a relatively quiet year for the Council, allowing it to consolidate its work supporting and representing its community.
  2. Particular areas of investment have been:
  3. Deployment of new defibrillators in partnership with the local First Responders
  4. Installation of additional grit bins
  5. Fingerpost renovation
  6. Extending the grassed area at Corscombe Playground.
  7. The Council has explored avenues to formally adopt the Green Pond at Halstock, which have proved difficult, but remains committed to the future upkeep of this area.
  8. It has fed into the Dorset Deserves Better campaign and continues to support efforts to mitigate the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
  9. It continues to maintain the Corscombe Playground and provide open spaces at Primrose Corner and the Halstock Roman villa site.
  10. It has continued to feed into the Dorset Council planning process by representing local views on planning applications and reporting potential planning breaches.
  11. Finally we have to congratulate our Clerk, Tessa Safadi, who has continued to provide excellent service and has now achieved her CILCA qualification, which could enable the Council achieve Power of General Competence status after the next Parish Council election.

Henry Lovegrove

Chairman       11 May 2023

Appendix 2

Halstock groups 23/24

Parish Rights of Way Group
Report to Parish Meetings, May 2023

Following the launch in May 2022, the first print of our Walks Guide was taken up very quickly and the decision was made to print a second batch of 120 A5 guides and 36 A4 guides. These were printed professionally, funded by sponsorship, at a cost of £440 for printing and £302.78 for folders, with assembly being done by members of the group.

Approximately 50 A5 and 15 A4 guides are still available, from Halstock Community Room, Diana Staines or Deborah Childs.

A dozen self-closing gates were purchased by the Parish Council in 2022, with match funding from Halstock Village Trust. These were installed by the Dorset Council Ranger’s team, to replace stiles, with the agreement of landowners. By the time of the parish meetings, all twelve should have been installed but it has not always been easy to find suitable sites and obtain landowners’ agreement. A decision has yet to be made on whether to ask the Parish Council to purchase more gates, especially in view of a substantial increase in price.

The group has only met once since the effort of producing the Guide, on the 10th November 2022, when Stuart Semple, Dorset Council Ranger responsible for ROWs in our area spoke to us about his role and what he can and can’t do.

Although the group has not met formally for some months, we have set up a WhatsApp group and we are in regular communication regarding PROW issues. We continue to liaise with Dorset Council on Problem Reports and we also do limited way marking and clear encroaching vegetation where we find a need.

Problems on footpaths and bridleways can be reported on line directly by members of the public, or you may want to discuss an issue with one of the group.




The hall management committee continues to meet on six Monday evenings during the year.

Most of the usual events still take place in the hall, Coffee Morning with Craft and Chat on Tuesday Mornings, badminton Tuesday evenings, art classes on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month and short mat bowls on a Friday afternoons,

The P/A system that we had had for many years was developing problems and a request for funds to purchase a new system was submitted to the Village Trust.  We are very grateful to the Trust for giving us the funds to purchase a new system.  The first use of the new equipment was at the Fete last year.

Film nights continue to be a great success, with the April film ‘Living’ being very well attended.  With the help of our in house sound engineer the audio quality of the film shows has been much improved by using the new audio equipment.

Several years ago we improved the main toilets so we thought it was now time to make modest improvements to the toilets attached to the changing rooms.  These are not used as much as the main toilets but are used when we have a performance from groups such as Artsreach.  This work has now been completed.

Finally I would like to thank all the committee members for their help during the year and I honestly can say that our meetings are quite enjoyable and laughter can often be heard coming out of the committee room.  Also a big thank you to people who are not on the committee but continue to help in so many ways.

Peter Brinck (Chairman, Halstock Community Hall Management Committee)




Due to the restrictions of Covid, 2022 saw the first Fete foe three years.  We had most of the usual attractions but it was decided that there would not be a Punch and Judy show this year.  The weather was good and I hope everybody enjoyed themselves.  It was very pleasing to welcome several new members to the committee which relieved me and others of some of the jobs we had done in the past.

Unfortunately the Gardening Club were unable to organise a Flower Show but this did have the benefit that the Fete could use the hall for some activities.  This was particularly useful for the book stall as normally all the books have to be taken out to the marquee on the morning of the Fete and taken in again in the evening.   The model aircraft flying display was moved to a new sight which made the display much more visible to visitors.

After many years of being involved with the Fete I informed the committee that I would be steeping down from the committee after the 2022 Fete.  We had some meetings after the Fete to make sure that the Fete would still take place this year and I am very pleased to say that a new structure of the committee has been formed and that this year will be as good as ever with lots of new ideas. I am sure Tony Hill, who is co-ordinating the Fete this year will be happy to give you more information.

Now to the financial result of last year Fete, we raised £3,441.34 which was donated to local charities. The list of donations was published in the Chimes.

Finally I would like to say how much I have enjoyed my time working with the various committees over the years and to thank everybody for their help and friendship.

Peter Brinck


Friends of St. Juthware and St. Mary Church

‘The Friends’ remain in operational suspension for the time being, apart from the 100 Club which continues to operate, although we will continue to receive and consider funding requests from the PCC whilst funds permit. In order to resume full functioning we need an Honorary Secretary, as I cannot perform the duties of Chairman without that support given the very limited amount of available free time my care responsibilities leave me with. Enquiries around the village for a volunteer candidate have not so far been successful, so if anyone can identify such an individual I would be very grateful if they would please contact me as soon as possible.

Michael Clark

Halstock Community Theatre 

 Report for Parish Meeting 2023

Halstock Community Theatre is a charitable organisation made up of a small number of local volunteers with the aim of bringing a variety of high-quality professional shows to our community at a subsidised cost through our collaboration with Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring organisation and to perform our own amateur productions when possible.

Our collaboration with Artsreach involves an agreement with them to host events in return for a cost which is usually set at 80% of our ticket sales. We also agree to organise all publicity, ticket sales, booking and hire of the hall etc as well as looking after the performers and providing them with food and accommodation.

With any funds that we have left over and these are boosted by our sales of refreshments we aim to support local organisations including our hall and last year we sponsored a Yeovil based young dance company called Project Dance. We were delighted to be able to host this extremely talented company last February, again brought to us by Artsreach.

During lockdown when we were unable to host indoor performances we decided to use the hall field for the first time and accept Artsreach’s offer of two outdoor family shows. Since both of these proved to be very popular we decided to do the same again last year hosting the Festival Players with their excellent performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. We provided a hog roast supplied by Adge Diment as well as delicious home-made vegetarian options and a bar all of which proved to be very popular with the audience of over 150.

Our outdoor summer show for this year takes place on Friday 1st July and is called Lucky Pigeons. Having seen and enjoyed this show last year I can thoroughly recommend it. Details are in the Chimes.

Another first for us which has proved to be very popular are children’s creative workshops. We offered two of these in the summer holidays of 2021 and two last year.

These workshops give our children a wonderful opportunity to try something different, learn new skills and hopefully be inspired in a safe and fun environment at a minimal cost.

Again these are all brought to us by Artsreach and we hope to be able to offer two more this summer.

Late in 2021 with the fear of covid not so acute we were able to host an indoor performance by Kuumba Nia Arts with their powerful true story of Mary Prince who was born into enslavement in Bermuda in 1788 and went on to become a British auto biographer and abolitionist. We started the season of 2022 by hosting AKA Dance a Taunton based company with their community inspired show called A Real Fiction followed by the outdoor show in July. In December we were entertained by a Bristol company called Gadarene with an exciting musical performance of foot stomping folk tunes and this February by Project Dance with their new show Fragments.

I would like to thank all the committee members and extra helpers for all their support and hard work and of course all of you who attend our shows and make the effort involved worthwhile.

We always welcome new members to help with our Artsreach shows but also to boost our flagging energy which lately has prevented us putting on our own production.

Deborah Childs Chair of HCT

Halstock Community Room

The Community Room remains a valuable resource to the village although, post-covid, its usage by hirers is still taking time to recover to previous levels.

It remains surprising that a flexible space such as this is not better used by the village, given it offers a comfortable meeting space for a dozen or more people, is bookable during the daytime or after shop hours, has a kitchette, a toilet and free wifi – all for a hire fee of £5 per half day session!

Casual use of the room is quite healthy and, although this kind of footfall is hard to quantify, small impromptu gatherings of individual coffee drinkers, are increasing in number.

The regular weekly, drop-in Thursday coffee mornings, open to everyone, offer a really important service in bringing people together and are as well attended now as before covid, often attracting twelve or more attendees who value greatly the Community Room’s existence as well as the lovely home-made cakes served for just £1 a slice.

Sales of good quality coffee from the bean-to-cup machine have shown a significant uplift in the last year, despite the necessary increase in price to £1.50 per cup – still remarkably good value compared to commercial coffee shops, and the machine undoubtedly brings increased footfall for the shop.

An Art and Craft sale through December was popular and others of this nature will be organized in the coming months.

The Community Room is a unique and valuable resource which the village community seems to undervalue at the present time. Please consider how you might be able to use it.

Tony Hill – 12th May 2023


Community Speed Watch (CSW)

It is a fact that the number of fatalities due wholly or in part to speeding is four times greater in rural community areas than in urban. Speeding in a community such as ours is nowadays a considerable concern to an increasing number of people and the quality-of-life issue is just as important as that of feeling safe when using the roads recreationally.

CSW operates in Halstock in partnership with the Parish Council and in close association with Dorset Police’s ‘Dorset Road Safe Partnership’. CSW is a voluntary national scheme aimed at being both a reminder and a deterrent to speeding drivers – a reminder that they should expect speed monitoring to be in place at any time in the location in question.

To strengthen this considerably, Halstock CSW has several times recently been supported by the physical presence of a Police Officer using a TruCam portable speed enforcement camera, able to issue Notices of Intention to Prosecute.

In 2020, the Parish Council and CSW were unsuccessful in a bid to introduce Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) in selected places, which would have presented drivers with a clearer and far more obvious flashing reminder of their speed. CSW has now secured from Dorset Police, the three-month loan of a portable SID connected to a Bushnell Radar Gun. This should enable the collection of data for a long-term bid for permanent SIDs in the villages as well as for the possible establishment of a 40mph buffer zone on the southern approach to Halstock and the gathering of evidence of speeding in other places around the village.

However, whilst the number of Speed Watch volunteers in Halstock has increased in the last year, our numbers are small and more volunteers will be needed if the opportunities mentioned above are to be fully realised. We monitor only in hours of daylight and when weather conditions make it safe to do so, and usually for about an hour or so at a time. The support we receive from the local population is considerable and feedback almost entirely positive and we are grateful for that support. But if speed reduction and increased safety in Halstock are to be achieved, more volunteers will have to come forward.

Tony Hill (Speedwatch Coordinator tonyhill45@btinternet.com)




Halstock Village Cinema (HVC) is run by volunteers aimed at offering monthly social gatherings based around a shared interest in cinema and chosen from of what might be called, ‘light art-house’ films, which have been relatively recently released, give that we clearly rank lower in importance than first-run cinemas. The HVCs secondary purpose is to raise funds for the Village Hall.

Thanks to an application to the British Film Institute’s Neighbourhood Cinema Fund, we have a high-quality Blu-ray disc player, a 4000 lumens digital projector, integral amplifier and sound system and 3.5-metre wide screen, making us financially free to obtain films, on a split-of-box-office arrangement.

The supplier we use is Moviola Ltd., itself a not-for-profit company which negotiates with all the major film distributors on behalf of over 300 community cinemas nationally, to provide a cost-effective programming and film booking service for small venues like ours.

So, for several years now, Halstock Village Cinema has been hiring-in and showing films in this way, usually within 3 months of their first-run cinema release dates, making them topical and popular for our audiences to enjoy, here in the heart of our village community, and for a ticket price of just £6.50. Drinks cost around £2 or less and ice creams £1.

Through regular email marketing, ‘what’s on’ listings, websites, local advertising and social media, our screenings have regularly reached average audiences of 35 and have been higher than 50 on occasions. At last numbers appear to be recovering from the downward effect of lockdown.

Profits from ticket sales, bar takings and raffles have been ploughed back into village hall projects, improving facilities such as the refurbishment of the ‘backstage’ toilets. In the last year the hall has acquired a new PA system which now integrates with the film equipment to provide even better sound quality

From time to time, we introduce film titles which people would not automatically have chosen for themselves. In that way, new discoveries are made and tastes are widened through new experiences. The resulting positive responses from audiences are pleasing and indicates a genuine trust between our audience and ourselves as programmers.

An evening at Halstock Village Cinema is a social event as much as a cinema experience and for this reason we work hard to optimise the time people can spend meeting and chatting with friends as well as watching the film. We are grateful to all our friends who make up our audiences, for their loyalty and support and we always look forward to seeing them and to their appreciative words and smiles on leaving. Equally, we are grateful for all those who are able to assist on the night, selling tickets, running raffles or offering teas & coffees, and would welcome more assistance of that kind, if you feel inclined to help occasionally.

Tony Hill (May 2023 tonyhill45@btinternet.com)



Halstock Art Group meets in the village hall in the evening of the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, and provides an opportunity for artists from Halstock and surrounding villages to meet in a friendly and relaxed environment to develop their artistic abilities.  We have been asked to give an idea to the parish council of the sort of activities which we have been involved in over the last year.

The group welcomes artists of all abilities. While our members are free to bring whatever they want to get on with on the night, we do also set a project for anyone who wants to try something different.  This can include a still life for those who prefer to work from life, an image from our collection of reference photos, or a themed evening.

In summer we take advantage of the field at the back of the village hall, which provides inspiration for landscape artists, and there is always the option for our members to draw and paint each other, sometimes with props and accessories. Our last year has included a Spaghetti Western night with two friends who kindly agreed to model, and an “arty” evening with the group invited to come in


character (including a suitably bandaged Van Gogh), all helped by wine and nibbles. Lately we have been able to add photos of events and artwork to the village Facebook site, with further posts as and when.

At Christmas we have our end of year get together, with wine in modest quantities (so far as we can remember).

In this last year we have held a number of displays and exhibitions of our members’ work.  From time to time the group is featured in the community shop window, and examples of our work can be seen in the community room.

From last October to January this year the group was invited to hold an exhibition of work in the Yarn Barton Centre in Beaminster.  This was originally planned for three months, but we were then asked to exhibit for a further month.  We had a lot of work to display so we were able to regularly refresh the look of the exhibition.  The work was well presented and very well received, one of our members actually sold out while others sold prints and original pieces, and there were a lot of favourable comments in our comments book which is currently with our display in the community room.  As a result of the exhibition we have had an offer to display work in the Red Lion in Beaminster, and Yarn Barton Centre have asked us to hold a further exhibition later in the year.

Further displays in the shop window will take place from time to time, dates to be agreed and notified, and when the weather permits there will be outdoor painting sessions at a suitable venue with drinks and nibbles and friends as  models if possible.

We have a regular and enthusiastic membership and would welcome enquiries from local artists of all abilities.  If anyone is interested please pass on our contact number which is 01935 892359.  We also have a page on the village website with examples of our members’ artwork if anyone would like to have a look, along with examples of work posted from time to time on the Halstock Village Facebook page.

Vivien and Paul Walters,

14, Hollis Way



Report to the Halstock Annual Parish Meeting 17th May 2023.

From Mary Clegg Assistant Church Warden

The Church needs a Secretary and a Treasurer to function.  Without these posts being filled the PCC  cannot function and thereby the Church may have to close.  If this were the case Halstock would become a Hamlet and lose village status.  I am not sure many villagers know this.  We are making every effort to canvass people to fill these posts.  As part of a village communication exercise a Halstock News and Views website has been set up on Facebook with 227 villagers regularly taking part and seeing posts connected to the village.  We post items connected to the church but also wider village issues and it is proving a popular conduit for information.

The next PCC meeting is 13th June at Lis Dowding’s home and any villager with an interest is welcome to attend.  Please ensure that you are on the Church Electoral Roll.  Liz Dowding is the Electoral Roll Officer.

There are many villagers who help out with the church running who may not attend church regularly but are part of the community that we are trying to build.  They are:  Churchyard maintenance, brass and church cleaning, door opening and closing 24/7 365 days a year, flowers for festivals and regular display and we intend to have a thankyou party to all of them on Friday 7th July at 6.00pm as part of the St Juthware Festival weekend.  We are one of the only villages in the country to have our own Patron Saint and the story is celebrated that weekend.

Please join us in what ever capacity you can.  We will meet you on your faith journey wherever you are.

From Mary Clegg Assistant Church Warden


Village Trust to report (AGM)




The Halstock Village Trust holds village money to help fund village projects and amenities for the Village – as determined by the Trustees.

HVSL profits are covenanted to the Village Trust.  Last year we received £5000 plus interest on the loan of £59,500 which has been provided to HVSL. The Trust is the major shareholder in HVSL and thus has a controlling interest.

The Trust is accountable to villagers and this is the forum for you to give your views; it is our AGM.

Our usable reserve stands at a healthy £90000. Although little business was done during the pandemic, over the past 3 years we have paid out over £7000, which has included:

2022 Village PA system 597
PCC for covid related shortfall 1548
Village website 154
Platinum Jubilee Insurance and posts 135
Admin 22
2023 Defibrillator 600
Coronation lunch insurance 93

The main item for the Trust for the next 12 months is help with any shop extension if decided on by HVSL.  We have pledged £50,000 should this go ahead with village support.  You might have heard suggestion by some that the shop extension should take over some of the Community Room but this is firmly resisted by the Trust as, although HCR usage has been less since the pandemic, it was much used in the past and is a great central facility for such use again in the future.  It would be very unwise to lose it and it needs the current size for events such as markets and classes. This approach has also been agreed by the HVSL Board.

The Trustees will seriously consider all requests for funding. At the same time, we are mindful that funds may be required in the future for a large project such as a children’s’ playground or an extension to the shop or hall so a healthy reserve, which may increase in coming years, is a good thing. We are also likely to have reduced receipts for the next 7 years if the shop extension goes ahead.

If anyone has any questions about Trust activity, then please do contact me or a Trustee. If you need funds, which benefit the whole community, not just personal or small-group events, then please contact one of the Trustees who are Chris Chambers, Bardy Griffiths, Allison Rees, David Wright, and Martin Manning (as Chairman and Treasurer).

One Trustee comes forward for re-appointment by trustees each year.  This year it is Bardy Griffiths.  Please let me know if there are any other nominations for the Trustees to consider.

Do you have any questions?                      MGB Manning, Chairman




Our Branch, along with many other branches and indeed other organisations, is struggling.  When I joined 27 years ago we had a membership of about 40, today we are down to 10.  Several of the remaining members have moved out of the area so obviously cannot be active members so now we are down to four active members.  This means we are no longer able to form a committee as required by the Charity Commission for any charity holding a bank account.


There are two possible solutions to the problem, the first being to close the branch which we do not wish to do.  The second is to become a County Supported Branch which would require us to pass any money the branch holds to the county committee but would be ring-fenced for our use.  A County Supported Branch would require there to be two people with email accounts who would be primary contacts.  The other requirements are that we have two meetings a year and we try to recruit active new members.  Unfortunately the choice is not ours as the County will make the decision.

Now to a more positive part of my report.  The Poppy Appeal year runs from 1st October to the 30th September and for the year ending 30th September 2022 the branch raised £3971.72, this money goes directly to head office for welfare use and is not handled by the branch.  The functions we now hold to raise money for the Poppy Appeal are limited to two coffee mornings a year.  Other events have been tried but have had to be cancelled due to lack of interest.  I would like to quote a section of the branch report to this meeting for 2009, ‘The events we ran were much the same as in previous years.  The first event was the 2009 Hog Roast, which is our flagship event, which raised over £800 for the Poppy Appeal’.  How times have changed.

If you would like to help save the branch please get in touch with me.

Peter Brinck,

Acting treasurer, secretary and membership secretary.


Halstock Village Shop Limited

Report to the Halstock Village Meeting – 17 May 2023


The accounts for the year ended 31 May 2022 are available on the village web-site.

Shop sales in that year totalled £379,170 and the company made a pre-tax profit of £16,481.  There was capital expenditure of £14,000, the largest item being the renewal and improvement of the flooring, and the company made a donation of £5,000 to Halstock Village Trust.  It also paid the Trust £1,380 interest on its loan.

Sales in the current year are expected to be about £389,000, which is 2.5% up on last year.

The continuing success of the shop would not be possible without the tremendous efforts of both our employed staff and our many volunteers and the support of the local community, both of which are greatly appreciated.

 Shop extension

At last year’s Village Meeting, we reported that we were considering building an extension to the shop so that a wider range of goods can be stocked and better displayed and to improve the shopping experience more generally.

We had plans drawn up, which were displayed in the Community Room, and have applied for and received planning permission.  Building costs are expected to be in the range £100,000 to £120,000.  Halstock Village Trust has offered to give a grant of £50,000 towards this but obtaining a commercial loan to fund the balance is not now seen as a viable alternative in view of recent increases in interest rates and the other costs associated with obtaining such a loan.  We are therefore currently hoping to raise £70,000 by 20 interest-free loans of £3,500 each from members of the village, repayable in equal instalments over 7 years.  Rosemary Clary has kindly volunteered to lead the marketing campaign so can anyone prepared to make a loan to the shop please contact her (rbclary@icloud.com).


The shop would not be what it is without our volunteers.  We are always on the look-out for new volunteers so if anyone has a few hours spare and would like to volunteer, please contact Graham or Donna in the shop or Di Staines (distaines19@gmail.com).

David Warner



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