News from BATCOMBE

September Parish Council Meeting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 4th September 2019 at 8.00pm in the Old School, Batcombe.  Residents are welcome to attend and to participate at the discretion of the Chairman.  The Agenda and Minutes of the previous meetings can be downloaded from the Minutes and Agendas page a week before the meeting.


New Play Equipment Needed

All residents should receive, or may have already received, a letter (below) from the Parish Council explaining that the Council is seeking to replace the current wooden play equipment with metal equipment to avoid the problems we have had with the wood rotting.  The Council is hoping to obtain a grant of £60,000 to cover the cost of this for which we need to raise £6,000.  We are currently half way towards this target, so any contributions are welcome.  Please contact the Clerk for further details.

Playing Field - New Play Equipment Needed
Play Equipment Letter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [287.2 KB]


Road Closure at Wanstrow

Please note that the road will be closed at the railway bridge in Wanstrow on the evening of September 7th from 11.00pm to 5.00am.  This is to allow Network Rail to fit missing bridge chevrons to both elevations of the bridge.        



All ten allotments are now taken.  If anyone would like to join a waiting list for when an allotment next comes vacant, please contact the Clerk.


Parish Council Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2019

The notice of the period for the exercise of public rights to inspect the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) can be found on the Audit and Transparency Code page.  The various sections of the AGAR: the Certificate of Exemption; the Internal Audit Report; the Annual Governance Statement and the Accounting Statements for 2018/19 can also be found on the same page.


Parish and District Council Elections

Only five candidates were nominated for election to the Parish Council and so these five candidates - Mary Comley, Jayne Cox, Peter Glaisher, Janet Jones and Ian Sage - have been elected without a contest and took office from Tuesday May 7th.  See below for the Declaration of Result from the Returning Officer.  


The two remaining spaces were filled by co-option at the first meeting of the newly elected Parish Council on May 8th.  Five people expressed an interest in serving on the Council and after a paper ballot David Stevens and Justin Witcombe were co-opted onto the Council.  The Parish Council would like to thank all those willing to serve as Councillors. 


Michael Gay from Wanstrow has been elected as the new District Councillor for the Postlebury Ward of Mendip District Council (which includes Batcombe).   


Declaration of Result - Batcombe Parish Council Election
Declaration of Result - Batcombe Parish [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [12.7 KB]


Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting took place at 7.30pm on Wednesday April 3rd in the Jubilee Hall.  Chairman John Sommer reported on the past year's activities of the Parish Council and there were comments from our retiring District Councillor Dick Skidmore and our County Councillor Nigel Hewitt-Cooper.  This was followed by a slideshow of photographs from the Heritage Room illustrating the changes in Batcombe over the 125 years that the Parish Council has been in existence.  


Annual Parish Council Meeting

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday 8th May 2019 Mary Comley was elected the Parish Council Chairman and Janet Jones the Vice Chairman.  Justin Witcombe was re-elected as the Parish Council's Village Hall representative.   


Shindig Weekender Premises Licence Appeal

We have been informed by the organisers of the Shindig Weekender that they have been granted a Consent Order by the Magistrates Court allowing the festival to take place over the proposed dates in May 2019 and at the proposed capacity of 9,999.  There is one amendment to the licence applied for in that all music will cease on the Saturday at 3.00am instead of 4.00am.  140 Licence conditions have also been imposed by the police and Environmental Health.  The application for a premises licence had been refused by South Somerset District Council because of the late submission of documents relating to health and safety, last minute agreement of conditions with the police, concern over the increase in the size of the festival from 6,500 to 9,999 people and representations from Batcombe Parish Council and from local people who had been impacted by the noise from previous music festivals. 


Icy Roads

The Parish Council has arranged for two dumpy bags of salt to be placed at the top of Mill Lane and Hincombe Hill.  Great care should be taken in applying the salt and in driving in icy conditions as none of the roads in Batcombe are now salted.  Both activities are undertaken at your own risk.  



At its January meeting the Parish Council agreed to increase its precept for 2019/20 to £9,750 to contribute to the costs of new play equipment in the Playing Field and to cover the cost of the Parish Council election.  This is an increase of 6% on this year’s precept.  However, an increase in the tax base for Batcombe means that the resulting increase in residents’ Council Tax will only be just over 4%.  


Planning Application for five social rented 3 bedroom dwellings and one market housing 3 bedroom dwelling on land at Westcombe Stables Lane, Westcombe. (Ref: 2018/2819/FUL) 

Shortly before the extraordinary Parish Council meeting called to consider the above planning application, the Parish Council were informed that the application had been amended to being for two social rented 2 bedroom dwellings, three social rented 3 bedroom dwellings and one market housing 3 bedroom dwelling.  As the Parish Council could only consider the application it had before it, it decided to recommend refusal of the application for six 3 bedroom dwellings, on the understanding that an amended application had been submitted, and to ask that the full consultation period be provided for that amended application.  However, instead of being amended the application has now been withdrawn by the applicant.  


The Parish Council is aware of a letter from "several concerned residents of Westcombe" that has commented on this application, but which contains a number of misunderstandings about the nature of affordable (social rented) housing and the Parish Council's position on this.  The paper below seeks to address these misunderstandings.

Social Rented Housing in Westcombe
Social Rented Housing - Westcombe.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [66.0 KB]


Playing Field - Zip Wire

The zip wire has been repaired with Mainstay Projects reconcreting the stays to prevent the flexing of the timber supports.  And following the annual RoSPA safety inspection of the Play Field the zip wire can now be used again.  Please note that the zip wire should only be used by one child at a time.


Batcombe Telephone Kiosk

BT have now removed the telephone kiosk in Batcombe, which had not been used for a year.  The Parish Council adopted the telephone kiosk in Westcombe, which is now a listed building - but decided not to adopt the Batcombe kiosk, as this was a modern replacement.


Somerset County Council - New Telephone Number

0300 123 2224 is now the single telephone number for all enquiries to Somerset County Council.  This number replaces the previous 0845 numbers including the number for reporting safety defects on the roads. 


Priority Services Register

Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution have a Priority Services Register for anyone who needs electricity for home medical equipment, or who is disabled, has a young baby or receives a state pension.  Those on the Register are promised support during a power cut.  To register call 0800 294 3259 from a landline or 0345 072 1900 from a mobile or see the webpage for more details of the Register:


Planning Applications

Details of all applications the Council considers can be found by following the link to the District Council's planning search page from the Planning Applications page.


Guide to Information Available from the Parish Council

The Freedom of Information Act requires the Parish Council to publish "A Guide to the Information Available from the Parish Council."  Now that the Council has a website, this guide is available to download from the Parish Council Documents page along with the Parish Council's Standing Orders and other policies and papers that the Parish Council is required to publish.