Minutes of the 124th Annual Village Meeting

Minutes of the 124th Annual Village Meeting held on 15th May 2017 – Semley Village Hall (light refreshments from 7.00pm) meeting commencing 7.30pm.

01/17 Apologies: None received.
02/17 Present: 33 plus people present (meeting Chaired by Andrew Ebbens).

Parish Councillors present introduced themselves and a note of thanks was given to parish councillors who retired this May; Gerry Purdue, David Pitman who has been one of the longest standing parish councillors and John Passmore, all of whom have offered to assist the Parish council where possible.






Good evening and a warm welcome to you all.  Over the past year not only has the parish council been very busy but Wiltshire Council has too.  Bridget Wayman will update us later in the meeting.

War Memorial – grant funding secured to help refurbish Semley War Memorial – work will be carried out soon (when the weather is drier!!).

Finger Post at Barkers Hill – likewise, area board grant received to assist with cost of new Finger Post, and with this post being so close to the border of Donhead St Andrew, they too have kindly contributed.   Post installed yesterday – big thank you to David Pitman and once again to Simon Dewey for his excellent craftsmanship.

Community Emergency Plan – with kind thanks to James Mackaness and his helpers, a plan has been complied and logged with Wiltshire Council.

Community Resilience Fund – again with the kind help of James Mackaness funding received to purchase a defibrillator for the community.  Location to be decided (agenda item).

Fly Tipping – last summer some village members had a very successful clean up, resulting in nearly two tipper trucks full of rubbish.  Very big thank you to you all.

Speed Indicator Device – Great concern has been raised over the years at the speed of traffic travelling through our villages, especially past Semley School, Semley Church and the village pub.   We have use of the area board SIDs, but it is hoped to purchase a SID for exclusive use within the village.  Deployment will continue the same; placed at various locations on a temporary basis, for a time period of 2-3 weeks and not to returned for several months at the same location, otherwise they loose their effectiveness.

Road width signs, Berry Wood Lane – It was hoped to install warning signs informing of pinch point ahead including road with measurements.  This required a Traffic Regulation Order through Wiltshire Council which made the costs unjustifiable.

Highways “Stopping Up Order” – Unanimous decision by the Parish Council not to support this order.  Concerned this would set a precedence in the loss of public highway especially at this narrow location.

Rights of Way – Andrew Ebbens reported that more help and self-help is always welcome.  We have 56 footpaths within our parish, six of them bridleways and two paths really serve no purpose at present.  On path 36 between Oysters Coppice and Semley, a culvert will be dug in and covered with suitable material to raise the path above the very boggy ground. The footbridge over the stream near Semley School has been temporarily repaired by the Row rep; plans are in place to make this more permanent.  Note of thanks to the Ramblers Society and Seeds4Success for the RoW work they continue to do voluntarily.

Planning – Robin Moors reported during the period of April 2016 to March 2017 a total of 17 planning applications received.  These covered a wide range of applications from various extensions, garage conversions, sun lounge, loft conversion, several listed building consents, change of use from industrial units B2 to auction rooms, erection of agricultural cattle barn and ancillary building, PNTEL 6 new antennas etc near Little Down Reservoir, PNCOU existing barn into single dwelling, OUTLINE application for agricultural workers dwelling, several retrospective applications and demolish and create new office block and showroom.  It is Wiltshire Council who make the final decisions on approving planning applications, the parish council are invited to give local knowledge and views.  Should you wish for any informal advice on planning please contact Cllr. Robin Moors.

But now, most importantly we wish to hear your thoughts.……… Thank you.

04/17 Adopt Minutes: The Minutes of 123rd Annual Village Meeting held on the 9th May 2016 were adopted and signed as a true record, proposed by Andrew Ebbens and seconded by Robin Moors.
05/17 Co-Option



At present, there is one vacancy for a Parish Councillor (Sedgehill), a co-option to be carried out at the next Parish Council meeting on Monday 3rd July 2017.  Anyone interested please contact the Parish Clerk.
06/17 Open Forum: ·      Speed Indicator Device – Following the feedback from residents, marker posts have been placed at revised locations.  Between entrances at Kirton Barn as you head out of Semley – Tisbury direction.   To bring post closer to Semley by the group of bushes as you approach Semley School.  Concern was raised at the speed of traffic on the dangerous corner just below Caleston Cottage.  Action:  Clerk to raise as issue for better signage and improve drainage.

·      Common Land Representatives – Lord Talbot is happy for assistance with views on managing the Common Land.  Following a lengthy discussion all agreed the common land should retain its original features and grazing rights.  Tree planting greatly limited, bramble encroachment must be managed grass cutting (not too short) should occur on an annual basis to promote wild flower growth.  Volunteers:  Alan Bowerman (also act as Parish Council representative), Debbie Condon, Liz Oatts, Annie Meston, Malise Reid-Scott and Rev. Richard Warhurst.   Action:  Alan Bowerman to advise Lord Talbot of support and discus way forward.

·      Telephone Kiosk, Semley – Very strong consensus for this telephone kiosk to remain with phone.  If the working phone service was ever removed, that would be the time to consider alternative use.  Please note this phone kiosk is a registered item (number 26) grade II K6 Telephone Kiosk on the register of Listed Buildings in Sedgehill and Semley, Wiltshire.  It was reported the kiosk at Sedgehill is in very poor condition and phone has been removed.

·      Defibrillator – Subject to agreement of the owner of the Benett Arms, all felt this would be the best location to place a Community Defibrillator.  Action:  Clerk.

·      Road Conditions, Potholes, and Verges – all very frustrated at the conditions of the roads and road edges within our parish.  Especially under railway bridge at Semley and the narrow part of road as you approach Wincombe Lane.  Cllr. Bridget Wayman explained this is a county wide problem with very little budget (£20m per year).  With new contractor, some progress is being made.  Please keep reporting issues on the Wiltshire Council web site or by the app that can be download on to smart phone – photos can be attached too.

07/17 Village/



·      Semley Village Hall – Tony Duthie chair of village hall management committee.  The play area is being used a lot which is great news.  Due to non-successful lottery funding application, refurbishment works have been prioritised;  work commenced on toilet facilities to include a new disabled toilet and baby changing area.   Focus next will on more parking, a 25-year lease secured on the land between railway line and village hall which will create 12-15 spaces.  It is hoped to install a large projector screen.  An application for funding being made to the Area Board.  Andy Roger is our booking secretary.  Full details available on Web-site and Facebook.  Please use this community asset.

·      Sedgehill Village Hall – Liz Stopford announced Bryan Coward has retired from the village hall committee.  A very big thank you to Bryan for many years of dedicated service and hard work in keeping this the village hall maintained and open.  Gerry, John, Liz and Karen are the new committee members and careful thought needs to be given to the future of this hall.

·      Semley Village Stores (Community Shop) – Another successful year and recently the first floor has been taken over with a new kitchen area.  Please encourage volunteers to help and people to use the shop.

·      Semley School – Teaching and learning always the priority.  Being a C of E Aided School means any bids made to the Diocese will only cover 90% of cost, so 10% match funding to be found by School.  Flat roofs have been repaired and the closed classroom now re-opened.  By extending a small classroom will enable the removal of the mobile classrooms which have well past their sell by date.  The Off-Stead report recommended improvement to the site and building security; a new reception office has been created at the front of the building before the security doors.  Site security will be more difficult without losing the countryside character of the school.  The school has space for more children and they are more than happy to show villagers around the school.

Questions:  Car Parking?

Answer:  Long term plan once the port-a-cabins are removed to create an all-weather play area in this location, which in turn will enable off road parking at the front of the school, but this will come at a cost.

·      Benett Arms – Lena Rose newly co-opted on to the parish council, explained they took over the Benet Arms on the 1st March this year.  Her husband is part-time chef; many changes within are taking place including re-decorating the accommodation rooms.  The Web-site and Facebook pages have been updated and considering re-instating quiz nights.  An evening event on the green will follow on from the Village Fete on 10th June this year.  Thank you all for making us feel very welcome.

·      Parish Council Web Site – we are pleased to announce our new parish council website, this will conform to the Transparency Code.  A very big thank you to Kim Little for his time and design work in creating the new web site.  We would also like to remember thanks to the late Charles Cumberlege for the previous web site.   We welcome your feedback so please visit    sedgehillandsemleyparishcouncil.org.uk

·      Parish Churches – Work has started on Semley Church so please do come in and take a look, opening hours will be limited.  Thanks to all of you for your support, financial and in many other ways, this has been greatly appreciated.

·      Bracher Trust –  Originally this charity was set up to assist the poor to purchase coal, more educational orientated in recent years, although funds very low now.  Rev. Richard Warhurst secretary.

·      Wiltshire Councillor – Bridget Wayman (copy of report to be attached).

08/17 Any further questions: No further questions raised.


09/17 Parish Council Accounts: The accounts for the Financial year ending 31st March 2017 have been submitted to the external auditor.  Should anyone wish to view these accounts, please contact the Parish Clerk.  Once again, the Parish Council would like to thank Andrew Oatts for carrying out the internal audit.


With no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.05pm.

Robin Moors expressed thanks to Andrew Ebbens for Chairing this meeting and to the Parish Clerk for all her hard work, especially during the changeover period of   new Chairman and Vice Chairman within the Parish Council.