Corscombe, Halstock and District Parish Council

Minutes for the Parish Council 7.30pm on Monday 27th March  2023

Meeting held at Halstock Village Hall.  Chairman Cllr. Lovegrove.

Councillors present: Elizabeth Southern (ES), Roger Hallett (RH), Nigel Clarke (NC), Richard James (RJ), Henry Lovegrove (HL), Deborah Childs (DCh), David Hallett (DH), David Clary (DC), Debbie Rix (DR) John White Hamilton (JWH), Grant Prior (GP) and Jez Hodesdon (JH)

4 members of the public were present

Public period for comments on issues on the agenda

 Fingerpost location at Halstock Village Hall (item 9) – concern was raised over the possibility that this may be moved from its current location.  The PC said there were no definite plans to move the post as it was yet to be assessed and a site visit would be arranged.

A request (see item 15) for a grant towards the coronation celebration was made in person on behalf of the Halstock Steering Group.

Electric vehicle charging points (item 19)  The village shop reported that after careful consideration there was insufficient room to accommodate an electric charging points.  Other options for charging points were suggested such as the Halstock village Hall.

Both Halstock and Corscombe noted recent patchy delivery/collection service by Royal Mail. Halstock Post Office have been informed by Royal Mail that the service would be affected due to staff shortages. The Parish Council was asked to look into this as it was felt that the Royal Mail was failing to meet its statutory requirements.  It was noted that Cllr. James has been in contact with them over this issue.  Action Clerk to liaise with Cllr. James and draft a letter from the Parish Council  to Royal Mail about concerns over patchy delivery.

The issue of blockages of drains leading to flooding was raised.

Speed watch equipment is still used.  It was also noted that verbal abuse had been experienced by speed watch volunteers.

Great Big Dorset Hedge  (item 19) was discussed in terms of the level of work being currently done to survey hedges in the parish.  Cllr Lovegrove declared an interest but was invited to respond to the question raised.

Reports from Dorset Council Councillor and Police Liaison

 Cllr. Penfold

  • Landowners are being asked to put forward land for consideration as Dorset Council has a statutory duty to maintain an up to date register of land for all types of development.
  • An application for an Energy Recovery facility from Power Fuel Portland has been refused.
  • Concerns have been raised about the number of second homes and empty properties in Dorset and the council are looking into this.
  • Domestic rates on second homes, the decision to go ahead was deferred by Dorset Council, the 31st of March decision date will not be met as the government’s Levelling Up Bill has not yet been passed.
  • The Parish Council congratulated Dorset Council on its decision to roll out and fund EV charging points to villages.
  • The Parish Council also thanked Dorset Council on the excellent Councillors Networking conference held earlier this month at Kingston Maurward and the presentations by their staff. The cabinet member for customer services (Laura Beddowes) was also introduced.

PCSO report

Earlier in the year, we had a report of damage to a salt bin in Corscombe. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the evidence to put the suspect at the scene and driving the vehicle, so we are unable to progress a prosecution at this time, pending further information.

  1. On the 12th Feb, we had a report of the theft of eggs from the side of the road in the Halstock area, close to the Somerset border.
  2. On the 15th Feb, we had a report of a suspicious vehicle in the Halstock Leigh area. A white van was seen outside the informant’s neighbour’s property, before pulling into their driveway then driving off. There have been no further issues, but please be vigilant.
  3. On the evening of the 22nd Feb, we were called to an address in the Corscombe area, with regards to a missing person. A search involving a number of Police resources was carried out and the person was found with non-serious injuries and was taken to hospital.
  4. On the 2nd March, Police were called regarding a possible abandoned caravan and a dog in the Halstock area. Police attended and spoke with the male, who appeared to be in poor health. He has been referred to the health services and has moved on.
  5. On Friday 17th March, Police were called with a concern for the welfare of an elderly male in the Corscombe area. Sadly, the body of a male had been found the following day and Police are working to identify the male, believed to be the male from Corscombe. Our thoughts and best wishes are with Family and friends at this sad time.

The police liaison Officer will be at the Halstock Community room on Thursday 20th, at 10:30 am.

Re item1 please send any evidence regarding the recent car accident and damage to  the salt bin which will then be passed on to the Liaison officer.

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

No apologies.  Cllr. Southern declared an interest in item 15 and Cllr. Lovegrove declared an interest in items 16 and 20.

 2. To approve the draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 31st January 2023 (A).

Approved 10/10

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

Statement of expenditure and bank reconciliation  noted 12/12.  Scheduled payments approved 12/12.

5.To review the effectiveness of the councils’ systems of financial internal control.

5.1 Approve draft financial risk assessment record.  Sent separately to councillors.

Approved 12/12.  Name change to Financial Procedures Record noted.

6.To consider and note planning applications and decisions. (D) TS/Planning group

No new planning applications have been received.  Appendix D for historical reference shows the status of  logged applications as provided by Dorset Council.  Enforcement notifications are to be added to the planning log in future.  Approved 12/12

6.1 Unauthorised dwellings update (Verbal) TS/Planning group

Action the Clerk to follow up enforcement concerns regarding the unauthorised dwellings at Buttercup Cottage.

Magpie Auctions, concerns were raised as another sale is scheduled soon especially given that the application has been refused and no appeal has been lodged.

Action Clerk to follow up with enforcement.

Action Clerk to contact enforcement asking for statistics looking at enforcement’s record over the last three years.  How many enforcements are logged , how many breaches has Dorset Council enforced etc. This will help the Parish Council gain a better understanding of the issues facing enforcement. Approved 12/12

6.2  Enforcement concerns  

Action Clerk to write to Dorset Forest Gardens concerning the location of their shepherd’s huts and advise they speaking to planning to ensure they have planning permission in place .  The Parish Council will contact Dorset Council voicing our concerns over the growing number of unconsented buildings in neighbouring fields, that sit with in an area of AONB.

Approved 12/12

6.3 Nutrient Neutrality update (Verbal)  

Action Clerk to contact Dorset planning voicing parishioners concern over the impact the nutrient neutrality policy may have on the future approval of essential worker accommodation and the impact this may have on local businesses.  Cllr. Penfold will also follow up on this issue.

7. To note/receive a maintenance update for the playground and outdoor gym Rospa (Playsafe) annual inspection is booked for May.

Maintenance work to remove fence etc has now been completed and the bare ground has been reseeded.

No major issues were noted on the playground inspection report. As previously reported, some of the wooden equipment supports are showing signs of some decay at the base and mole hills remain an issue.   Any remedial work to address these issues will be undertaken.   The Adult Gym equipment was also checked, and no problems were identified.

 8. To approve new policy documents. Sent separately to councillors.

 8.1 Terms of reference and delegation scheme

Approved 12/12

 9.Highways and Rights of Way

  •  Update on fingerpost repairs and grants

CPRE grant of £100 has been approved, awaiting payment.

It has been noted that the socket on the roundel for the Quiet Woman fingerpost is too large and this will need to be rectified before final fitting.

It was approved 12/12 that the name Leigh Lane Ford will be used on the fingerpost  at the Halstock Village Hall.  Plus see comments in public forum.

  • Potholes Advice is to report issues directly to Dorset Council using their self-help page. Action the Clerk will add Dorset Council links to Chimes, Facebook, and websites.
  • Fly tipping Fly tipping was reported to DC reference number is: DW-FT498587581

Action Clerk to add fly tipping information to websites and raise fly tipping concerns with highways.  The Clerk will ask for statistics on fly tipping in Dorset with the aim to better understand the scale of the situation.

Action Liz to raise issues of fly tipping with PCSO.

 10. To receive and note training updates

Clerk attended a webinar on the launch of Gallager Risk assessment  platform which may provide some useful risk assessment templates.

Cllr Lovegrove attended the  Dorset Council Councillors Networking Event  on the 9th March and a webinar on electric vehicle charge points.  Latter to be discussed under item 19.

11. Green Pond update (Verbal)

  11.1 To discuss options to progress adoption of Green Pond (Verbal) 

After research into the ownership of Green Pond and discussions with HM Land Registry the advice is to consider seeking independent legal advice to handle the registration process.  This would be a costly process and the Parish Council voted 12/12 to not proceed further with the adoption.  However, the Parish Council can claim adverse possession of unregistered land.  We can register this with HM land registry, but we need to show continued upkeep/use of the land for 12 years.  It was decided that the Parish Council would continue maintenance of Green Pond for the benefit of the community.

 12. To note bins update (Verbal)

Noted – The bin outside the Halstock shop has been removed.

13. To note update on defibrillator progress (Verbal)

The Parish Council are please to announce that all three new defibrillators are now in place.

Additional defibrillators are now installed at the phone box in Corscombe and the village hall in Halstock.  West Chelborough also now has a defibrillator.

We would like to thank the Friends of the First responders for their donations and especially Dick Thorn and Chris Chapman for all their help in this matter.

A request was noted for a defibrillator to be located near the Fox Inn in Corscombe.

Action Clerk to present a report at the next Parish council meeting.

 14. Icy Roads and Salt bins update (Verbal)

   14.1 Update on claim regarding damage to Salt bin on Court Hill – Verbal

The council has nearly finished obtaining quotes for the like for like repair of the damaged

salt bin outside the village hall.  The Parish Council’s insurers have paid out £749 in relation

to the claim made.  2 quotes had been sought and a third potential supplier was identified.

The Clerk is authorised to accept the lowest quote for replacing the damaged salt bin

like for like. 12/12

   14.2 Progress on new Salt bins (Verbal) TS

Three new bins have been ordered and received.  Thank you to Cllr. Lovegrove who will site the new bins over the next few weeks.

Salt has been ordered so all salt bins should now be full.

 15. Review Coronation plans and s167 grants (Verbal) TS

 Three applications for the £500 grant towards the Coronation have been received.

The council approved a grant for £330.75 from Sticklands School to cover the cost of coronation mugs for the 47 children who live in the parish. Approved 12/12

The council approved a grant of £50 towards the cost of the coronation celebrations being put on by the Corscombe Village Hall Management Committee.  Note Cllr. Southern had declared an interest.  Approved 11/12

The council approved a grant of £100 towards the cost of the coronation celebrations being arranged  by the Halstock Steering Group.  Approved 12/12

16. To approve the signing of licences for Primrose Corner and the Roman Villa. (E/F)

Cllr. Lovegrove had declared an interest in this item regarding the Primrose Hill Licence.  The chairing of the meeting was handed over to the deputy chair Cllr. James.

Primrose Corner Licence  approved 11/12

Roman Villa Licence approved 12/12

17. To approve the annual review of the Risk assessment (G)

The addition of point  8 was approved with a risk rating given as 2-3 overall 6

Approved 12/12

The addition of point 17 was approved with a risk rating of 1- 4 overall 4

Approved 12/12

Additional changes to the risk assessment were also noted and approved 12/12

 18. To approve the annual review of the Assets register (H)

Approved 12/12

Noted – update to show move of location of the Barton notice board.

19. Correspondence to be discussed and noted.

19.1 River Portland obstruction update (Verbal)

No update

19.2 MP Chris Loder talk to parishioners (Verbal)

Chris Loder will attend the Corscombe Parish meeting on 11th May in the Corscombe Village Hall.

 20. Climate and Ecology emergency action to be noted

 20.1 Update on environmental initiatives (K)

  • Cllr Lovegrove reported on a scheme being developed by Dorset Council to roll out 250 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points throughout Dorset.  Corscombe Village Hall, the Fox Inn and Halstock Village shop had not felt able to offer sites, and other possible locations were sought.

Suggestions arising were Halstock Village Hall, and in Corscombe, the corner of Norwood Lane and the Church car park.

Action The Council to support the scheme and Cllr. Lovegrove to feedback possible locations to Dorset Council. Approved 12/12

  • PV aggregation update. As of February 2023 10 people have accepted quotes and have had their installations completed.

20.2 To consider the Great Big Dorset Hedge  s137 Grant application (I)

Cllr. Lovegrove had declared an interest in this.  The decision was made that Cllr. Lovegrove could remain in the meeting. Approved 12/12  The chairing of the meeting was handed over to the deputy chair Cllr. James.

Grant for £250 approved 11/12

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


22. Date of next Parish Council meeting will be Tuesday the 30th of May 2023 at Corscombe Village Hall.


23. To close the meeting to the public and press due to the confidential nature of the following business.

Approved 12/12

24. Clerks’ performance and pay review (J)

Members resolved to accept items 1 to 5 as outlined in appendix J. Approved 12/12

Resolution to approve the April pay increment to SCP 24.  Approved 12/12

The meeting was closed at 9.45pm

A copy of appendices can be obtained from the Clerk and can be found on the Parish Council website

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



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