Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, 10th March 2022, 7:30pm

Parish Council Clerk: Philip Edwards | Tel: 07988 471568 | clerk@hintonblewettpc.co.uk


Held at: The Village Hall, Hinton Blewett
Present: – Councillors T Bowler, D Duckett (Chairman), C Elliott, D Elliott, D Huffadine, A Mills and J O’Nians.
Also Present: Philip Edwards (Clerk), B&NES District Councillor D Wood.


There was no participation from the public.


There were no absences.


Cllr T Bowler declared an interest in the planning application reference number: 22/00993/FUL 


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 13th January 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

22/846. REPORTS

– Ward Councillor’s Report

Dst Cllr Wood arrived at 7.50pm and gave his report following the Chairman’s report:

  • It was reported that during the budget season, B&NES have had to find £13M saving in the budget. £2M has been added to highways which will help achieve a steady state of maintenance for highways. £1M has been added to cleansing services which will help support a 50% increase in gully clearing. This should enable visits once a year rather than once every two years.
  • The toad patrol have completed their patrols this season and figures regarding the number of toads rescued are being released.

– Chairman’s Report

  • The Chairman has continued to highlight dangers and problems on Coley Hill to B&NES. Landslides on Coley Hill have been reported, but B&NES have responded that they do not have records of any slippages. Collapsing and sliding trees have been reported to B&NES.
  • The conditions of road verges are being discussed with B&NES and local farmers to investigate solutions to clear the debris from verges on the roads. A local landowner has offered to accept any soil that is removed to support this work.
  • The Chairman expressed his appreciation to Dst Cllr Wood regarding the quality of work and courteousness provided by the road surfacing team who have recently resurfaced Lower Road.
  • The Chairman requested a site meeting with Dst Cllr Wood to discuss the condition of Coley Hill and the roads around Hinton Blewett.
  • It was noted that fly tipping has started again at the quarry. Cllr D Elliot offered to write to the environment agency regarding putting up a fence.
  • It was requested that details be added to the newsletter, to gain community feedback, regarding plans to buy a seat to go around the oak tree on the Barbury to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. All councillors were requested to look out for ideas and suppliers for a seat.
  • It was noted that the Queen’s Jubilee beacon lighting is planned to take place at 9.15pm on 2nd June.

– Clerk’s Report:

  • Correspondence was sent and received from Ofcom regarding poor mobile signal and communication in an emergency. Further responses to specific queries raised in the original correspondence had been requested but had not been received.
    See: https://hintonblewettpc.co.uk/documents/ofcom-correspondence-feb-2022/
  • The council requested that the Clerk write letters, to the following parties, regarding the absence of communication options during a power cut and the subsequent risk to residents in an emergency:
    • The council requested a formal complaint to be sent to Ofcom regarding the lack of response to the follow up request.
    • The council requested the Clerk to write to the local MP
    • The council requested the Clerk to write to the local telecoms companies. (BT Openreach)
  • The clerk reported on updates to the website to improve the user experience. These include a responsive layout so that agendas, minutes and reports may be viewed more easily on all screens including mobile phones. Printer friendly features have been added so that documents print well from the website. Updates have been made to the layout of councillor contact details to improve appearance and content. Future updates could include a review of the colour scheme and the addition of a banner photograph. The SSL certificate has been renewed. Google analytics have been arranged to monitor activity.
  • It was noted that the council are required to publish contact details for councillors. This means that scam emails may be received pretending to be from a councillor or chairman. Councillors are reminded to be aware of scams asking for purchase of vouchers, payments or transfers of funds. Financial activities should only be done by the Clerk/RFO following the financial regulations.
  • The new mobile phone and phone contract had been organised. The renewal of the Microsoft subscription had been completed with a discounted purchase on amazon.
  • A request has been received from the Town and Country Harriers to set up a checkpoint in either the village hall car park or on the Barbury for a running event on 23rd April 2022. The village hall have responded to offer the car park.
  • The Clerk reported that preparations are being made for the end of year internal audit in April. Preparations are being put in place to do this remotely.
  • RESOLVED: The asset register was reviewed and approved.

– Report on any meetings that Councillors have attended in their agreed role as representatives to outside bodies

  • Cllr O’Nians and the Clerk attended the B&NES new Local Plan planning briefing. Cllr O’Nians gave a report on the briefing to the council.
  • Cllr D Huffadine reported on the Climate Emergency Working Group. A questions was raised with Dst Cllr Wood about planning criteria for solar farms and suitable land. Dst Cllr Wood gave a summary of planning criteria and it was noted that the policy is for guidance.
  • Cllr D Huffadine reported that he had completed a survey regarding electric vehicle charging points, which included the village hall as a suggestion for commercially available charging points.
  • Cllr C Elliot reported that 40 trees have been distributed to the community for planting. The sowing of seeds for wildflowers was discussed.


Noted: Planning application updates.

Noted: The council discussed the planning consultation request for application reference: 22/00993/FUL.

Cllrs D Duckett, C Elliott, D Elliott, D Huffadine, A Mills and J O’Nians all informed the Clerk that they supported the planning application. The council requested that the consultation response be delegated to the Clerk to submit this response to planning under the scheme of delegation.

Noted: The B&NES press release regarding planning rules for retrofitting

22/848. FINANCES (Refer to appendix 2022-03 finance reports)

  • RESOLVED: Payments to approve as shown in the appendix.
  • Noted: Payments and receipts for January & February 2022.
  • Noted: Bank reconciliations to 28.2.2022. Confirmation was received from Cllr Huffadine to confirm bank reconciliation balances, cash book and bank statements have been checked. (FR2.2)
  • Noted: Receipts and Payments against budget.


It was noted that the B&NES public rights of way officer has asked for feedback regarding any public rights of way that could be considered for volunteer work. This may include overgrown areas or gates / styles. Photos and locations would be helpful to feed back any suggestions.

The arrangements and rates in place for the maintenance of footpaths was reviewed. Two distinct activities were highlighted, the monitoring and light duty pruning of footpaths, and the heavier duty strimming, brush cutting and hedge trimming of overgrowth.

  • RESOLVED: Philip Edwards would survey the rights of way and report back to the council. A fee of £135 was agreed for this survey.
  • RESOLVED: Approved: the quotation for grass cutting of the Barbury.
  • RESOLVED: Approved: the quotation for the grass cutting for the playing field.

Refer to: https://hintonblewettpc.co.uk/documents/footpath-maintenance-and-grass-cutting-quotations-march-2022/

The council requested that the costs of upkeep of the playing field be highlighted to residents in the newsletter for community feedback.


  • RESOLVED: To implement the new pay scale rates as agreed with the NJC for Local Government Services as specified in the Clerk’s contract of employment.
  • RESOLVED: Approved: back pay from Dec 2021 – Feb 2022 for the Clerk
  • RESOLVED: Approved: Clerk’s salary scale from 1st March 2022: SCP20 in accordance with the job offer confirmed by resolution 22/824
  • RESOLVED: Approved: Clerk’s salary scale increment: SCP21 from April 2022 in accordance with the Clerk’s contract of employment.


Plans were considered for the annual meeting of electors. It was agreed to invite local residents to the village hall for wine and refreshments. The wine to be provided by Councillors at the next meeting.


Discussed: content and dates for the next newsletter. Printing and distribution arrangements.


  • RESOLVED: Date of Annual Parish Meeting of Electors: Thurs 12th May 2022, 7.00pm at the village hall.
  • RESOLVED: Date of Annual Parish Council meeting: Thurs 12th May 2022, 7.30pm at the village hall.

The meeting ended at 21:15

Signed by the Chairman of the meeting: ____________________________ Date:______________        (Chairman to initial all other pages)