It was Election year in 2015, and in May the High Littleton Parish Council had 4 new Councillors join us. The resignation of Mrs Vicki Smith, Mr Keith Marshall, Mr John Shears and Mr Nicholas Pearson created these positions. Mr Paul Allen, Mr Peter Savage, Mr Leonard Sheen, and Mr Marc Anderson became our new members, however Mr Marc Anderson tendered his resignation in the Autumn due to work commitments. Our Council advertised the post, resulting in 13 parishioners asking for an election. The election took place in March 2016, which was contested by two parishioners. Mr John Petchey from High Littleton won the election and was duly elected.
Planning Applications and Developments
In the course of the year the Council dealt with 44 planning applications, this is 21 more than last year. These included resubmissions, revised plans and TPO’s,
the most notable resubmission was the outline planning application for a residential development of up to 71 dwellings and associated infrastructure at Langfords Lane, which we had previously Objected to in Principle. The Council again offered its detailed and thorough representations to the resubmission. The application was refused.
The other notable Outline application was the erection of 15 dwellings and associated infrastructure in Wells Road, Hallatrow. The Council Objected in Principle. This application was also refused.
Parish Plan for Highways and Environment
The Council continue to address and consult with B&NES Traffic Department on traffic and safety issues within the Parish, some examples are as follows:-
- Phase 2 (the installation of the footway from Langfords Lane A39 to Highbury Road, Hallatrow), was programmed for last year, however our district Council still continue negotiations on the footway installation.
- The chicanes on the A39 in Hallatrow, by the Tennis Court Farm House and Bloomfield Cottages have given rise to complaints from parishioners, of cars not giving way and that are dangerously driving on the footway. The Council wrote to a high ranking Police Officer bringing this matter to the Police’s attention, plus the problem has been discussed with the B&NES Traffic Engineer. It was agreed that a site visit should take place, and last month, representatives of the Parish Council, Police, B&NES Traffic Department and the District Councillor met to look into what can be done about the traffic issues. The Police are currently monitoring the traffic and B&NES have promised the install two bollards in the area
Last year we negotiated a replacement bus shelter by the new Curo Housing development. Curo kindly donated money to the project and the B&NES Public Transport Department undertook the task of arranging the replacement installation.
Parish Council “News and Views”
The Parishes “News and Views” continues to be a popular success. We wish to thank our ex-Councillor Vicki Smith for continuing to oversee the “News and Views” on our behalf.
Recreation Ground Committee
The Recreation Ground Committee saw the resignation of Rosie and John Shears as prominent trustees, at the last AGM this year. Rosie and John have given so much of their time to the upkeep and running of the Recreation Ground and play area over many years. The people of the parish, people from afar, clubs, organisations and the High Littleton School have enjoyed and benefited from their hard work. We thank them for all their hard work. Our Council continues to support the Recreation Ground Committee financially under the agreed ‘Terms and Conditions for the Financial Support to the Recreation Ground’.
Cemetery & Grass Cutting
Our Parish Council continues to finance the grass cutting and are very pleased with work carried out by the contractors.
We also have financed phase 1 and 2 of a 3 year programme to improve the health and condition of the trees in the cemetery.
This year we agreed to the following grant awards:-
Midsomer Norton, Radstock & District Dial-a-Ride – £175
Mary Jones Charity £225
Carol Singing Committee (sweets for children) – £20
The 5 allotments at the end of Highbury Road in Hallatrow are fully allocated.
Our Council is at present looking into undertaking a new agreement with a new contractor to provide a thorough street clean throughout both villages. The Council wish to thank the voluntary litter picking team led by Mr Barry Gilbert who have carried out a wonderful job of picking up the litter in the two villages.
Future of the Methodist Church
The Methodist Senior Circuit Steward contacted the Parish Council to discuss ideas as to the future of the Methodist Hall, because the Methodist Church are considering selling the hall. The Methodist Church is still being used as a place of worship. The Council sent out flyers and it was seen necessary to see how much support and public involvement there may be and what opportunities could be explored.
In the March 2016 meeting the Chairman of the High Littleton Scout Group addressed the Council explaining the Scouts interest and financial position regarding the Methodist Hall purchase. The Chairman of the Scout Group assured the Council and members of the public that if purchased by the Scout Group they would allow the Community to use the hall
The Council is looking into listing the Methodist Hall as a community building.
Improved Communication with the Public
The Council has debated improved ways of communicating with the public in addition to emailing the Clerk, the Council website, notice boards and the option of attending the Parish Council meetings. It was agreed that a News Bulletin page be added to the website as well as a Contact Page. The Council are presently looking into having a facebook page.
Legal and Procedural Issues and Statutory Requirements
The Councils Accounts for 2014- 2015 successfully withstood internal and external audit, with no material observations raised.
I wish to give a special thank you to all the Councillors and the Clerk for their dedication and hard work throughout the term.
Chairman of High Littleton and Hallatrow Parish Council Paul Wyatt