Parish Council Meeting of 16th May 2013

Written by Brian Frith.

The Parish Council meeting on 16th May was preceded by the Annual Open Parish Meeting, starting at 7 pm. Present at the meeting were Councillors Brian Frith, Beverley Humphreys, Claire Jordan, Jackie Bowers, Gillian Barnes and David Peacock. Also present were County Councillor Bev Spratt (for part of meeting), District Councillor Bob McClenning (for part of the meeting) and 13 members of the public. Apologies were received from Councillor Terry Henderson and 6 members of the public.

Chair Brian Frith began by announcing that he had received the resignation, with immediate effect, of Parish Council Clerk, Sarah Berwick, a few days before the meeting. Reports were received from no less than 15 village groups and organisations, revealing a wide variety of activities, events and initiatives taking place in our community.

After a brief break for refreshment the Parish Council meeting began at about 8.15 pm, the first items of business being to re-elect Brian Frith as Chair and Bev Humphreys as Vice-Chair for the coming year.

In an adjournment to allow public participation, two residents raised the issue of highway problems in the area of Low Road, Forncett St Mary. As another resident had already been in touch with the Council about a similar matter, it was decided to ask NCC Highways if a site meeting could be arranged to discuss the issues. Another resident queried the process of editorial decision making (in particular in relation to the obituary for Neville Chapman) for the Forncett Flyer, arguing that the Parish Council, as a major source of funding, should be more closely involved. A lively and sometimes heated discussion followed.

Later, after the Parish Council meeting had resumed, Councillors reaffirmed the view that 'The Flyer' is an independent publication, and that it was most regrettable that the arguments over the obituary had perhaps overshadowed what had been Mr. Chapman's remarkable record of 52 years unbroken service to the Community.

There were no new planning applications to report. A message had been received stating that conditions relating to the permission to build on the former 'Fourways' site at Forncett End (to maintain adequate visibility on the corner) were in the process of being formulated.

Councillors agreed to accept a quotation for the Council's annual insurance at a considerably lower premium than the previous year, with no loss of cover.

The 'Orchard Close / Bentley Road' footpath link had been added to our 'wish list' of projects in the coming year in the NCC scheme to encourage local highway improvements. We wait to hear whether the applications we have made for this footpath and the improvements in the area of the school have been accepted for the 75% grant - necessary to enable them to proceed.

Full minutes of the meeting will be available here when they have been agreed by the Council.

The process of appointing a new Clerk is underway: in the meantime, if you have any matter you wish to draw to the attention of the Council, please contact the Chairman, Brian Frith, on 01953 789882 or email: (our new 'dedicated' Parish Council email address)