Update on Parish Council activities April 2018


Parish Council April 2018

Unfortunately, the March meeting of the Parish Council had to be postponed for two weeks, hence there was no entry in the magazine last month.

March Meeting

Cllr Taylor reported on his attendance at a meeting to discuss future Local Government finance in North Somerset. Councillors were concerned to hear that North Somerset Council (NSC) will experience a shortfall in funding for the forthcoming financial year.

Councillors were all concerned about the Bristol Airport Master Plan, and the blight that it might cause to properties in Downside. Councillors unanimously agreed to seek legal advice on this issue.

The mobile library will no longer stop at Backwell Leisure Centre, but would increase the time to two hours in Rodney Road. Cllr Ould asked if a request could be made to NSC to allow the library to remain until 4.15pm to allow school children to access it after school, a proposal that was unanimously accepted.

Cllr Power asked the Council if stone chippings could be placed to alleviate the situation in the footpath gates near West Leigh Infants' School, which had become very muddy and wet. The Council all agreed and the work should go ahead in April.

Cllr Mitchell informed the Council that the proposed safety measures in Station Road would be carried out by NSC, possibly in the summer holidays. The works programme for Downside Road is also scheduled for action. Proposed works at West Leigh Infants' School were being progressed, and NSC has advised the Council that an engineer will shortly lay out some proposals to improve the Dark Lane/ Church Lane area.

Cllr Langston proposed using the redundant telephone box in Westfield Close as a library. Councillors were unanimously in favour and this will be progressed.

Councillors unanimously supported in principle the development of 65 homes in Moor Lane as it was in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan, and asked NSC to be mindful of their input and comments when considering the application.

April Meeting

Councillors were delighted to hear that the Secretary of State had upheld NSC's decision to refuse planning permission to build on Farleigh Fields. However, Cllr Taylor urged caution as Persimmon Homes had six weeks to appeal on any point of law they considered had not been properly followed.  This period ends in the second week of May.

Cllr Taylor updated Councillors about the Working Party's efforts in relation to addressing the soundness of the Joint Spatial Plan. It is still early days and there is much work to be done.

The Notice Boards at Fairfield Mead and Moor Lane are beginning to fall into disrepair. Councillors unanimously agreed to have them renovated at a cost of £820.

Backwell Youth outreach will continue to receive support from the Council, and the next tranche of funding, £1,440, was unanimously agreed.

Councillors also unanimously agreed to support the Village Show by contributing £315 for new signage.

The Council expressed its frustration that litter bins had been removed from the village by NSC without consultation. The situation will be monitored and a solution sought.

Cllr Mitchell again addressed the issues with Station Road. NSC had undertaken a full study of Station Road, and had concluded that whilst there were problems, the road itself was not dangerous. The Station Road Working Party had worked hard with NSC to improve safety, and would continue to monitor the situation.

There were six planning applications. The Council had no objection to four, subject to some comments regarding parking arrangements. However, Councillors fully supported the concerns and objections of local residents to the application to build a two storey dwelling in Chapel Hill. The site is within a conservation area, and councillors felt that it would be out of character with the locality, as well as other objections regarding flooding and the impact on adjacent buildings. These comments would be submitted to NSC Planning Department.

The next full Parish Council Meetings will be on Thursday, 3rd May and Thursday, 7th June 2018 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. All are welcome to attend.