Agenda, decisions and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil. View directions
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Minutes of Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 October 2022. The draft minutes can be viewed online at: https://modgov.southsomerset.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=127&Year=0
The minutes from the meeting of 12th October 2022 were approved as a correct record, and were signed by the chairman.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Paul Rowsell, Lucy Trimnell and William Wallace.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Council’s current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also “prejudicial”) in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.
Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest. Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council.
Planning Applications Referred to the Regulation Committee
The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council’s Regulation Committee:
Councillors Tony Capozzoli, Sarah Dyke, Paul Rowsell and William Wallace.
Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee. In these cases the Council’s decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee. Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee. They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.
Councillor Mike Lewis declared a personal interest regarding agenda item 9 as his wife is the director of the Old School Healthy Living Centre Queen Camel.
Councillor Sarah Dyke declared a personal interest regarding agenda item 10 as she is a trustee of Wincanton Sports Ground.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be at the Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil on Wednesday 8 February 2023 at 10.00 am.
The Chair suggested that unless there was any urgent business to discuss, that the meeting scheduled for 8th Feb 2023 be cancelled, and the next meeting of Area East Committee will take place on Wed 8th March 2023. Members will be kept informed.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public.
The Chairman referred to the District Executive Section 106 report where it was resolved that the report be circulated to all Area Chairman and members to seek assistance in identifying any missing data and at the Area Chairman’s discretion the report be presented to the relevant Area Committee for a collated response. She asked
members to consider the report, once circulated, and comments sent to Democratic Services who will collate replies before forwarding to the relevant Director for a response.
She also wished that the meeting on 8th March include a celebration of the work achieved with Area East over the years and with agreement from the Locality Manager a report would be brought to the March Committee to highlight these achievements.
Reports from Members
Councillor Mike Lewis referred to the recent report going to the SCC Executive regarding the LCN’s. He understood there would be significant changes to several parish and town councils currently within Area East. He felt consultation be made to those parishes affected and a view be taken before any decision is made.
In response, the Locality Manager confirmed that these current options were merely proposals and not ‘set in stone’ and it was the intention to consult with all parishes affected before any firm decisions were made.
Councillor Charlie Hull wished to inform members that he was now a trustee of the ‘Rail to Trail’ charity and was working closely to ensure its future success.
The Locality Officer presented the report and updated members that since the report had been published the community grant budget now showed a zero balance. She had no further updates and invited questions from members.
Following a short discussion members voiced their full support of the grant application and wished to encourage the forward progression and completion of this project. They also sought assurance that all ongoing projects continue to be monitored and reported on into the new authority.
The Locality Manager noted these comments and confirmed these projects would continue to be monitored and reported on into the new authority.
There being no further debate it was then proposed and seconded to award a grant of £4,200 to Castle Cary Town Council towards the Pavilion Improvement Project. On being put to the vote this was carried unanimously.
(Voting: 6 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)
The Locality Officer presented the report and highlighted the table of achievements for the year so far and as set out in the agenda report.
The Locality Manager also confirmed that the new authority would continue the funding for 2023/24 which will provide some continuity and stability going forward.
During a short discussion members wished it noted that there was another Healthy Living Centre at Queen Camel and asked that some form of equality of support was given which would help both organisations going forward.
The representative from the Balsam Centre expressed her support of working in partnership with the Queen Camel Healthy Living Centre and believed this to be vital when moving to county wide networks and the need to support each other going forward. She also said it was a challenging time for the organisation with various funding streams being lost, therefore she hoped that members would look to support this grant application as it was very important to help maintain the future of the centre.
There being no further debate it was then proposed and seconded to award £10,000 to the Balsam Centre for the delivery of the Healthy Living Centre work programme. On being put to the vote this was carried by 6 votes in favour, 0 against and 1 abstention.
(Voting: 6 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)
The Locality Manager presented the report and provided members with an overview of the current position of the Wincanton Sport Grounds, this included:
· Good levels of volunteering.
· Significant amount of maintenance still required
· Still dependent on grants received.
· Challenges are still there on the operating model and the reliance on volunteers.
He invited comments from members.
During members discussion these comments included:
· Questioned why the sports ground could not be jointly managed with the sports centre which would be very cost effective and help secure the longevity of both facilities.
· Believed joint management of both the sports ground and sports centre is the only way to secure long term stability.
· Need to ensure the new authority find a solution and a way of securing the success of the facility going forward.
· Caryford sports centre was also in a state of flux and that this was also in need of support going forward from the new council.
A trustee of Wincanton Sports Ground addressed the committee and reiterated the concerns raised regarding the current management arrangements. He explained the reliance on volunteers and deemed the current model did not allow for continuity. He felt with the support of the local authority and permanent management there was potential for an excellent facility and that a solution needs to be found to secure its success and future.
The Locality Manager noted the comments raised and would look to facilitate conversation regarding these issues and the main objective to provide public access of these facilities in the future.
Members noted the report.
The Chairman lead on the update to members and gave an overview or the current position and the reasoning behind the deferral of the Wincanton Regeneration Scheme.
The Acting Director for Place and Recovery also explained the latest on the levelling up funding bid and expected the outcome to be known by the end of January 2023. He also updated members on:
· That should the bid be successful there would be the option to explore a change request.
· The application for a Certificate of Lawfulness in relation to the Old Health Centre had been granted allowing E-use class activities including co-working and office space.
· Current position and final close out dates in relation to events and activities, building repair grants and Public Realm design works to Highway Safety Audit (HSA2) requirements.
During discussion members raised several comments including:
· Voiced frustration that nothing was being delivered and once again work has been shelved.
· Sought clarification and further information regarding the levelling up bid.
· Believed it was important to look to support the regeneration of Wincanton town going forward.
· Questioned other regeneration projects within the district and the need to learn from these.
In response the Acting Director, Place & Recovery explained the process of the bid, what was involved and how it would be delivered.
The Director, Place Recovery Arts & Entertainment acknowledged the disappointment voiced by members but wished to clarify that these projects would not disappear from the capital budget but simply happen a year later, however she recognised this would be dependent upon a business case being submitted. She also wished it noted that we are currently in exceptional times with construction and inflation costs rising immensely over the last few years.
The Chairman of Wincanton Town Council addressed the committee and reiterated his disappointment that the regeneration scheme has produced very little of actual value to the town, its local people, and businesses.
The Acting Director for Place & Recovery noted the comments made and would verbally update members at the next Area East meeting.
As previously discussed, it was agreed that the Locality Manager would bring an overview of the achievements of grants projects within Area East to the March committee.
Following a short discussion, it was also requested and agreed by members that the S106 update be brought to the March committee to provide the opportunity for members and the public to consider this report.
Members noted the Planning Appeals.