7.30 pm 28 September 2020

 Meeting held by Zoom due to concerns about Coronavirus, with arrangements for telephone participation

 Members present: H Lovegrove (Chair), K Singleton Smith, Liz Southern, David Hallett, Roger Hallett, Grant Prior, David Clary.

Dorset Councillor Mary Penfold and 6 local residents attending.

Public period for comments: Richard Fry gave a presentation on construction for related to the horse racing business at Crockermoor, and answered questions from members on the subject.  Henry Lovegrove read out a statement submitted on behalf of objectors.

Report from Dorset Councillor Mary Penfold:

Mary spoke about provision of a multi storey car park at Dorchester hospital, activities at the Dorchester Volunteer Centre, and the Dorset Council Climate Change Strategy which had now gone out for consultation. Members raised the failure of the Waste Partnership to clear  some recycling bins in Halstock, and Mary agreed to raise this on behalf of the Parish Council.

 1. Apologies and declarations of interest

Apologies had been received from Cllrs John White-Hamilton, Jo Vassie, Nigel Clarke and Don England

2. Cooption of Debbie Rix

No election had been requested so it was:

Agreed that Debbie Rix is coopted as member for Corscombe to replace Freda Hennessy, clerk to arrange for signing the necessary declarations.

3. To approve draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 August 2020

The Minutes were approved.

4. Matters arising from the Minutes not covered in the agenda

No such matters were raised.

5. To note financial statement to date

Members noted the financial statement to 10.9.20.

6. To approve payments

Payments were approved as follows:

16/06/2020 001185 Playground inspection -82.20
13/09/2020 001184 Work on playground -328.53
13/09/2020 001184Grass cutting -112.50
20/09/2020 001186 Finance for Councillors -60.00
20/09/2020 001186 Councillors Seminar -70.00
20/09/2020 001186 New Councillor Induction -40.00
20/09/2020 001186 Local Council planning system -65.00

7. To receive a report on progress with changing signatories and electronic banking.

The clerk reported that there was a delay while bank requirements were being met.

Agreed; Clerk to follow up and resolve the difficulties.

8. Common Lane improvements

It was agreed that Cllr Lovegrove would pursue the Type 1 road surface option.

9. Council website

The Council endorsed the actions taken by Cllr R Hallett in respect of setting up the website.

Agreed: clerk to treat this matter as a priority.

10. Village maintenance matters

Members received reports from Cllr Southern concerning maintenance at Corscombe Playground, where issues raised under the Annual Inspection had been addressed, and the current maintenance contractors had handed in their notice.

Agreed: clerk to continue work to find a replacement contractor.

Cllr Southern also circulated reports concerning provision of adult gym equipment for the playground.

Agreed: up to £5,000 to be made available for this purpose subject to:

  • Leafletting Corscombe residents to see if there was a favourable response to the proposal
  • Efforts being made to obtain grant funding for the scheme.

Halstock members were asked to seek potential sites for a Playground in Halstock.

11. Speedwatch

Members considered a report by Tony Hill, Parish Speedwatch Coordinator.


  • To report back on Highways and Police requirements for a council owned SID
  • To seek changing speed limits on the approach to Halstock to make them consistent and avoid the sudden reduction from 60mph to 30mph in both north and south directions

Tony to lead, assisted as necessary by Cllrs Clarke, England and Southern.

12. Highways Enforcement action at the Fox Inn

Members considered the Chairman’s report on this subject, which will jeopardise the survival of an important community asset.

Agreed: chairman to circulate a draft letter to the Dorset Council Chief Executive for agreement, expressing the Parish Council’s concerns and dismay at the action taken.

13. To consider and discuss planning applications and decisions (Appendix H)

WD/D/20/001239 for “Construct private way, bridge, and two works hardstandings” at LAND AT PONDSMEAD FARM, CORSCOMBE ROAD, HALSTOCK; and

WD/D/20/001335 for “Cantering oval for racehorse training” at HIGHER CROCKERMOOR FARM, CURRY HOLE LANE, CORSCOMBE, DORCHESTER, DT2 0PD

It appeared that validation of these applications had been delayed for months by a private contractor appointed by Dorset Council to carry out the validation, so the lack of consent may not have been the fault of the developer.

Agreed: Such delays are unacceptable; clerk to ask Dorset Council sort this out, so that applications can be properly considered and commented upon in a timely manner.

Agreed: councillors and objectors be urged to take up the offer to be shown around the development and engage with the developer.

14. Correspondence

No correspondence registered.

15. To consider urgent matters to report from member and items for the next meeting

No matters were raised.

16. To exclude the press and public because of the confidential nature of the following agenda item


17. To agree recommendations of a report from the Staff Working Group about clerk recruitment.

The Council endorsed the actions and decisions of the Staff Working Group as presented in the report.

18. Date of next meeting: Monday 30th November 2020