WESTON-IN-GORDANO

PARISH COUNCIL

 

Clerk:  Mrs C Dixon                                                                           3 Black Rock Villas

Tel: Portishead (01275) 849200                                                         Clevedon Road

Email:blackrockcfd@hotmail.com                                                      Portishead

Website: www.westoningordano.co.uk                                              BS20 8PN

 

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 22nd MARCH 2018 AT 7.30 p.m. IN THE VILLAGE HALL, WESTON IN GORDANO

PRESENT:    Cllrs. Mrs S Chambers, D Down, D Giles, M Squire and P Yates-Round   

                       5 parishioners    

                       Mark Thyer, Audio Visual Direct,            

                       Mrs C Dixon, Parish Clerk

 

The Parish Council meeting due on 1st March had been cancelled due to snow.

 

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:  Cllr J Bennett.

 

2. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING: The minutes of 1st February 2018 meeting were agreed and signed off by Cllr Yates-Round

 

3. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES AND ACTIONS: see separate items.

 

4. FINANCE:

Bank balance:  £10,579.97

Balance at this time last year £8,268.71

Clerk’s monthly expenses: £4.99

Invoices:  SSE - electricity for Cadbury Lane lamp and phone box-   £11.16

                 Part Clerk’s Salary + £50 expenses                                     £375.00        

Chairman opened up the meeting to Mark Thyer of Audio Visual Direct, who explained how a loop system in hall worked for people with hearing aids.  Following discussion Mr Thyer offered to instal a system for £470.00 + VAT and all Parish Councillors present agreed for the Parish Council to pay for this.  This would take a half day and Clerk will confirm this price and arrange a suitable time for the installation in collaboration with the Village Hall Committee.   

5. PLANNING: :  Grant Permission for 17/P/5077/FUH – Honeysuckle Cottage Clevedon Road –creation of a driveway and parking.  Conditions – must be begun before expiry of 3 years from date of permission; development shall be carried out in accordance with plans; materials to be used shall be in complete accordance with approved plans; parking area shall not be occupied until parking area has been constructed in accordance with approved details and approved sustainable drainage scheme. Parking area to be maintained and be permanently retained in accordance with details and drainage scheme. Vehicular drop crossing is required and must be constructed to the council’s specifications. 

Applications 17/P/5567/FUH and 18/P/2232/LBC – Plum Tree Cottage, Clevedon Road -  Erection of a single storey side extension following the demolition of the existing single storey side extension and conservatory.  21 day comment period ended 26th Feb.  Following Clerk contacting all Parish Councillors, agreed no need to have extra meeting as all happy with proposal.    This had now been given planning consent with materials to be used as per plans. -NOTED

17/P/5301/FUH – Weston Cottage, Clevedon Road – Demolish part of front wall of property to create new opening for a driveway.  Following Clerk having given details of this to the parish councillors prior to the meeting, all councillors agreed that there were no objections to this proposal and Clerk will put a supporting comment on the planning portal.

There was discussion on parking on parishioners’ properties.

 

5. PLANNING: :  (continued)

The Sprigg Farm appeal (enforcement case no. 2015/0076) has been adjourned until 27th April.

Chairman opened up the meeting for owners of Moor View to say they have now redesigned their addition to their property in collaboration with North Somerset Council.

 

6. HIGHWAYS/PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY:  Following the implementation of the 20mph signs, Chairman advised he had received some adverse comments personally and via the media that the parish council had put them up and that they were not official or legal.  Cllr Yates-Round read out a letter which had been sent to Rob Thomson and copied in to the Clerk:

“I have been a resident of Clevedon since 2006.  During that time, I have observed with increasing irritation the proliferation of traffic calming measure sin Weston in Gordano.  I can see that with a B-road passing through the village and occasionally carrying high volumes of traffic when the M5 is closed or very slow, some measures are necessary to prevent accidents, especially as (unexpectedly for a B-road) there is a short section of the road in the centre of the village which is not wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other.  But I would submit that there is not a problem with speed in the village: I have never seen anyone drive through the place at excessive speed and the community speedwatch group seem largely to have stopped bothering to monitor the situation, judging by the long intervals at which their noticeboard is now updated.   The narrow section of road in the centre of the village very effectively prevents anyone roaring through, except perhaps when the road is very quiet at night.   There also seems to be no schools or old people’s homes in the village which might justify exceptional measures being taken to limit speed  I cannot see that there is any more justification for a 20mph speed limit here than in other built-up areas.

The measures that have been taken in recent years appear, however, to have been designed to limit speed through introducing artificial friction in the traffic flow through the village rather than to avoid accidents per se. And the most recent changes, last year introducing projecting kerbs that stick out into the roadway and now placing low wooden planters actually in the roadway (without any warning signs beyond some hatched white lines on the road) are clearly actively dangerous.  People have obviously already hit the projecting kerbs (the marks are visible) and I confidently predict that the planters will cause accidents in the coming weeks.  I am not alone in my view: there is a long string of complaints about the new measures in the Hello Portishead online community. 

I would urge you to think again about the whole question of road safety in Weston in Gordano.  Please remove the 20mph speed limit, the misguided planters and kerbs and the white lining which introduces an artificial constriction at the northern end of the village.  Notices alerting drivers to the need to give way where the road narrows in the centre of the village would be helpful, but otherwise the current system of giving drivers from both directions equal priority seems to work surprisingly well.  I would suggest that a single official speed camera in each direction would be a more effective deterrent than the present amateur monitoring arrangements, or the creation of friction in the traffic flow, which just irritates drivers and increases the probability of accidents.

Finally, I would urge you to advertise any future road works proposals in a manner that provides regular road users as well as local residents with an effective opportunity to comment.  I for one was taken completely by surprise by the latest changes and I suspect that there are no mechanisms to consult road users about change which affect them more than anybody.

I look forward to hearing from you when you have had an opportunity to consider my letter; a response by email will be quite satisfactory.”    

 

6. HIGHWAYS/PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY:  (continued)

Clerk suggested sending a brief reply, but it was agreed by all parish councillors that there should be no reply. Councillors disappointed at the attitude of the writer of this letter.

 

Chairman asked councillors and parishioners what they thought of the 20mph limit.  It was believed it is slowing down traffic.  Councillors were disappointed at the size of the two planters in the road with the “20mph” sign on, as they believed they would be larger.  Cllr Giles advised that having spoken to Rob Thomson at Highways, replacements will be made.  Cllr Squire advised where the 17 planters on the pavements will be (like the one installed by the Bellows) and it is hoped they will be sponsored by families.  A contractor will look after the public spaces.  

Cllr Yates-Round said he had asked the police to undertake a speedwatch in the area.

The weight restriction is still being considered.   Village Green has now been turfed where the tarmac was.     

   

7. ROUTINE CORRESPONDENCE:

From North Somerset –– 2 Register of electors updates. NOTED

                                       -  Notice of Town/Parish forum 14th March, Castlewood,

7 p.m. – No-one able to attend.         

 

Clerks & Councils Direct – Newsletter – NOTED

Elancity – Radar Speed signs advertisement. - NOTED

 

8. SPEEDWATCH:  Following the two falls of snow, Cllr Squire said more speedwatches will be undertaken now.

 

9. GORDANO GREENWAY:  North Somerset Council has now put this on its “to do” list and will be able to obtain grants for the project. Surveys ongoing.    Avon Wildlife Trust still supports this.      

 

10.NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:  Co-ordinator still required for the area.  Having a Neighbourhood Watch means a discount on household insurance.  A parishioner may be interested in taking on this role and Clerk to obtain more information about this from the police.

    

11. RURAL BROADBAND:   Now a new provider is in charge the project looks set to go ahead.  Discussion about how projects take so long.   

  

12. MIDDLE HILL COMMON BRIDLEWAY:  Clerk to ascertain from North Somerset Council the update on the bridleway.

 

13. ANNUAL ASSEMBLY: It was suggested and agreed that this be held on Thursday May 3rd after the parish council meeting, which will start at 7pm.  Chairman said he would look to ask District Cllr Nigel Ashton, Sue Mountstevens, representatives from Clevedon and Portishead Town Councils, a representative from the Rural Broadband provider to attend and have a “Question Time” type evening.  All agreed.

 

14. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:   Cllr Squire showed a prototype history noticeboard which will be put on the village green.   This will now be produced.

Chairman advised that a Mothering Sunday event at the church had been attended by 55 parents and children, who had made posies for their mothers.  It is hoped to have similar events for children in the future.

Clerk had received copy emails from other parish clerks advising that it was very varied whether councils had a police presence at meetings and be given crime statistics.

 

Chairman thanked councillors and parishioners for attending the meeting, which closed at 9pm.  

 

Future PC meetings (all Thursdays): – 2018 5th April, 3rd May, 7th June, 5th July, 2nd August, 6th September, 4th October, 1st November and 6th December.