News from BATCOMBE
Audit Requirements 2022
Under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 the Parish Council is required to publish the Annual Governance Statement 2021/2022 and the Accounting Statements 2021/22. The Parish Council is also required to publish a notice of the period for the exercise of public rights to inspect the accounts and make an objection to the appointed auditor. All these documents can be found on the Audit and Transparency Code page.
Parish Council & Unitary Council Election Results
The following seven people have been elected to Batcombe Parish Council: Jayne Cox, Peter Glaisher, Bryony Harling, Janet Jones, Clare Kingston, Tom Price and Ian Sage. New members took their place on the Council from Tuesday May 10th and the first meeting took place on Wednesday May 11th (see below).
Claire Sully and Alex Wiltshire (both Liberal Democrats) have been elected to the two seats on Somerset County Council for the Mendip South Division and will become our Councillors on the new unitary authority next year.
Annual Parish Council Meeting
The Annual Parish Council meeting took place on Wednesday May 11th and Janet Jones was elected as the Chair of the Parish Council. Peter Glaisher was elected Vice Chairman and Jayne Cox appointed the Council's Village Hall representative. Tom Price agreed to take on the role of Parish Path Liaison Officer.
June Parish Council Meeting
The June Parish Council meeting will take place on Wednesday June 1st 2022 at 8.00pm in the Old School. Please note the change of time and venue. The Agenda and Minutes can be downloaded from the Minutes and Agendas page and members of the public are welcome to attend.
Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting took place on Wednesday April 6th 2022 in the Jubilee Hall at 7.30pm. This was the first Annual Parish Meeting for three years because of the pandemic. There was no guest speaker but local residents heard a report on the Parish Council's last three years, and had an opportunity to ask any questions relevant to the parish.
Village Hall Premises Licence Application
After concerns about the new Premises Licence application being made by the Village Hall Trust were raised at the April Parish Council meeting, representatives of the Village Hall Trust stated that they would withdraw the application and make a new application to extend the Premises Licence currently limited to the Jubilee Hall to include the Old School. In fact the Village Hall Trust were able to do this without making a new application and have been granted an extended licence that covers the Old School as well as the Jubilee Hall but indoors only and with no extension to the hours that licensable activities can take place.
There are now two vacant allotments. If anyone would like to rent an allotment at £35 for the year, please contact the Clerk.
New Play Equipment - Playing Field Re-Opened
Thanks to the grant of £58,976 from the Viridor Credits Environmental Company (from the Landfill Communities Fund), the Parish Council was able to place an order with Sutcliffe Play South West for new play equipment and installation of the new equipment is now complete and open for use.
New Play Equipment Official Opening
The official opening and celebration of the new equipment took place on Sunday August 1st. Thanks are due to the Village Hall Trust for allowing the picnic and live music to take place in the Jubilee Hall after some very wet weather, but the official opening and unveiling of the plaques designed by the children was able to take place in the Playing Field.
The Parish Council would like to thank those children who entered the competition to design two plaques to go in the Playing Field, one asking people to "Please look after our Playing Field" and the other reminding people that no dogs are allowed in the Playing Field. The winning designs for each sign will be installed in the Playing Field.
Para 79 House at Valley View Farm
An application for the erection of a house under paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework at Valley View Farm was considered by the Parish Council at its meeting on Wednesday March 3rd, when the Parish Council decided to recommend refusal. Paragraph 79 of the NPPF allows a house to be built in the open countryside if it is ‘of exceptional quality, in that it is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture’. It must also ‘significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area’. The Parish Council felt this proposal meet neither of these criteria.
Details of the proposed house can be found in the Design and Access Statement that can be downloaded by clicking on the icon below. Further details of the application can be found on the District Council's planning website by entering the application number 2021/0222/FUL into the search engine at Simple Search (mendip.gov.uk)
Valley View Farm Batcombe Design and Acc[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [14.6 MB]
At its January meeting the Parish Council agreed to reduce its precept by £25 to £9,925. This small reduction in the precept means that element of Council Tax resulting from the precept will not increase this year, while ensuring that the Parish Council has sufficient reserves to meet any contingencies, such as paying for additional road salt in a bad winter.
Church Tower Broadband Transmitting Mast
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) have agreed to the installation of a temporary wireless transmitting mast on the church tower to redirect the wifi broadband signal provided by Voneus more widely around the village. The PCC note that this is a very low powered signal - weaker than a normal mobile phone signal. A full statement from the PCC can be downloaded by clicking on the icon below.
Batcombe PCC - Voneus Broadband WiFi Not[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [92.5 KB]
Parish Council Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2020
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 2019/20 can also be found on the same page. Because of the coronavirus restrictions the usual deadline for the publication of the AGAR was extended by two months to September 1st.
Details of the winter salting routes for 2019/20 have now been published. The County Council has reversed many of last year’s cuts to the salting routes and the Bruton-Evercreech road will be salted this winter. However, the road through Batcombe and the Evercreech-Westcombe road will again not be salted, so great care will be needed in on the roads in the parish during icy weather. The Parish Council has arranged for large dumpy bags of road salt to be placed at the top of Hincombe Hill and Mill Lane; and at the top of Spargrove Lane and by the War Memorial in Westcombe. Please note that any volunteers applying the salt do so at their own risk.
Bingo Evening and Bonfire Night
Many thanks to all who supported the Bingo Evening on December 7th and especially to Clare Kingston who organised the evening to raise money for new play equipment in the Playing Field. The evening raised a total of £502 for the new play equipment.
The Parish Council would also like to express its grateful thanks to those who helped with and supported the Bonfire Party despite the wet weather. After expenses, the event raised £617.30 for the new play equipment. Cllr Jayne Cox writes on behalf of the Parish Council:
I feel I have to write this letter to express how proud I am to be a resident of this parish and to thank all of the people (adults and children) who contributed in many different and important ways: from the planning stage; the use of the venue; the donations of wood and building the bonfire; donating fireworks; catering; selling tickets; providing and manning the bar; and the all-important clearing up afterwards! And also all the people who turned out in the cold and rain to support this event.
We not only raised money for the new play equipment, but proved what an amazing community team effort we can achieve. Credit where credit is due - to everyone who has helped in anyway and everyone who has donated to the Playing Field fund. Thank you. You are all brilliant!
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: www.ssepd.co.uk/PriorityServices/
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.