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Kilmington Parish Council

Parish Clerk – Mrs Ruth Burrows      Email:


Present:  Cllr G Cotton (Chairman), Cllrs. Flower, Mrs Hames, Meeker & Reeves;  
Cllr G Jeans (arrived at 19.45) and Mrs Ruth Burrows (Parish Clerk)                           

Apologies were received from Cllrs Curtis and Hunt.  The Clerk said that Cllr Jeans was expected to attend the meeting but would be a few minutes late as he was first attending the Zeals Annual Parish meeting.

Cllr Cotton opened the meeting at 19.31 hrs.

The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 10 May 2018, previously circulated as well as displayed on our website were taken as read and approved without amendment.
The Chairman signed the Minutes.

Firstly, I would like to thank Councillor George Jeans for his continued commitment to the Mere area and his support of Kilmington Parish Council in particular. Also, huge thanks to Ruth Burrows who has been such a support during her first year as our Parish Clark.
It has been a busy year as Wiltshire Council seeks to devolve more responsibility to Parish Councils because, bluntly speaking, ‘they will do the work for nothing’. Of course historically PCs have always worked on the basis that local people volunteer their time to their local communities as a contribution to community life. However, the increasing demand on Councillors’ time makes it harder so I am grateful for the support and input from my fellow Council members.
Planning: We have had 10 applications to review over the past year including 2 re-submissions. Some of these have been complex and contentious, one or two have required significant input for the Council and I think in the future some applications will require more input in terms of site visits and fuller discussion.
Roads: The mirror at the top of Combe Barn Lane required a ridiculous amount of work by me and by George Jeans to get it re-instated. As you all know, this has now been achieved.  And, an indirect result of those efforts is that the junction warnings on the B3092 are to be enhanced.
The year has seen a continuing battle to get potholes filled and other essential maintenance carried out. Details are agenda items later.
Parking: The Council is making an attempt to improve the parking for Brookside Terrace and I am grateful to Ian Meeker who is heading up this effort.
SID Scheme: The scheme, part financed by Wiltshire Council and part by participating Parish Councils, is now operating. The SID is shared by Kilmington, Stourton & Zeals. I would like to thank Roy Flower for his efforts on this.
Meetings: I have attended 2 South West Wiltshire Community Area Transport Group (CATG) Meetings to lobby for Kilmington related items. I have also attended 2 South West Area Board meetings to represent Kilmington.

Copies of the PC’s Receipts and Payments for the year ending 31 March 2019 had been previously circulated to Council members. The meeting noted that they showed an income of £13,626.45, expenditure of £15,192.69 with a closing balance of £5,153.81.    The Clerk explained the significant variances – on receipts the figures include the Section 106 R2 monies applied for in order to purchase the new swing set and the SWWAB grant for the SID.  On payments there had been an overspend on various repairs to equipment in the playing field and that due to the  purchase of the swing set and SID, our VAT claim would be considerably more than in previous years. The Clerk said that the P.C.’s internal auditor – Mr Eugene Read – had audited the accounts and all was found to be in order.  The accounts will be approved and signed during the Annual Parish Council meeting.

I was informed by Wiltshire Council officers at the start of my term, this would be the worst term financially ever to serve and I am finding some truth in the statement.
For instance our South West Area Board has lost its Community Engagement Manager and has to share with the Southern Area Boards manager being Karen Linaker who luckily use to live in Mere and has knowledge of Mere. Karen has to cover an area from the New Forest to us. Funds were to be cut to the local Rosemary Goddard Centre however at the 11 hour the council decided to maintain the grant as is for one more year.  Further Wiltshire’s intention to become fully electronically transactional to cut their cost, I have found disadvantages to some, those who submit cheques to pay their council tax, if the cheque is returned say for not being completed correctly, Wiltshire Council are refusing to return the cheque to the drawer, simply sending a demand letter with no reason given why, this is not friendly and has upset some. With increased dependents placed on digital services, Mere library as all Wiltshire Libraries provides free access to computers. This has included Universal Credit applications and Homes 4 Wiltshire applications.
I sit on various Task Groups, Project Boards and committees for Wiltshire Council. I learn from the The Financial Task group Wiltshire Council spend about £1M a day. I now recently sit on The Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee, this will involve training for me in London or Cardiff, the amounts of money we discussed are enormous. The Broadband Project board I have sat on for say 8 years and I report to scrutiny.  Broadband through the Wiltshire Online programme, from which Mere and some of the surrounding villages have also gained. The areas Wiltshire intervene in is where commercial providers consider the area to be financially non-viable, this is known as the Intervention Area.
Road closures have been high up on my agenda. Mere and the surrounding villages have been impacted. The roads have been in need of repair and it all appears to have come at once, Highways England working on the A303T and Wiltshire Council working on the B3092 and 5. Road closures apply to “through traffic. Everyone wanted the roads repaired and everyone wanted them repaired on another day to when it was programmed!

I attended and spoke at the enquiry for the proposed dwellings on Gillingham corner, which were refused by the inspector. It was not too late in the day the local population began to take interest in the application. I think it worth saying the redevelopment of the former Beaumont chimney factory site seems to be drawing little attention at present, I was informed by a local  resident, despite reading Mere Matters had missed a full page consultation advert regarding the site. The Local Planning Authority now allocate housing numbers to Neighbourhood Plans and now to assess viability of allocated sites before submission to examination, this will impact on Mere’s developing  Local Plan.

Parking is a problem, I am being asked for white lines outside of properties with vehicle access, in the area I cover including the villages around Mere and Mere itself, in that area many are parking in the turning circles at the end of cul de sacs, space is left sometimes for a car to turn, however supermarket delivery vehicles cannot always. It has been suggest to me yellow lines should be put in these turning areas and I intend to pursue this, may be a white line if not yellow. A 30 MPH limit for Shaftesbury Road, Mere especially now with The Woodlands development well under way, is probably required. Parking and traffic management is poor elsewhere and I think the local population might have to accept they cannot always get in their car and go, there are too many others with the same desire.

Housing, Wiltshire Council has been focused on building new council housing from which Mere has and will benefit.  This building program is for the next 10 years at least, county wide. Wiltshire Council are also looking at the wider housing picture and have set up a Local Development Company to purchase existing housing which Wiltshire can then let out at a affordable rent (80% of market rent) to groups of people. Wiltshire are also working with Wiltshire Community Land Trust to look at ways of providing smaller housing developments to meet the needs of our rural communities. Wiltshire will introduce new commercial services including housing development for both sale and rental investment in commercial property where it will provide a good return on investment.
I cover a larger area  than Mere regarding individual case work and community issues, individuals case work I cannot often discuss however community issues I can, a flavour  being Kilmington, parking issues by the play field and The Norton Ferris junction. Zeals play area. West Knoyle Stoney Bridge proposed parking scheme. Stourton and Gasper chasing salt spreader repairs. Mere proposed new council housing. Sitting on charities for Mere and Zeals. Speed indicators across the area. I also try to attend as many local community functions as I have time to spare and I try and publicise local events I have attended in the local media. One function I particularly remember this last year was in Zeals, a fund raising event for The Air Ambulance in memory of a Zeals resident Ian Flower who was taken too soon.

I continue to drive on occasion two mini busses that were largely paid for by Wiltshire Council, mainly for the elderly of the area being Lynch Close residents, plus The Rosemary Goddard Centre at Mere also on one occasion the youth from Seeds for Success which also come from across the area and beyond. 

Finally I am involved in raising the St George’s flag which this year, it needed raising the day before, being Easter Monday. When by myself I use a lever to start off the process of lowering the flag pole on Castle Hill. Archimedes is famous for the quote: Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth with a lever, he obviously never tried to move the flag pole on Castle Hill. I was extremely pleased when a local young person Brad Hurst volunteered to help me. We slightly older people do need youth around us where ever we live.


Kilmington Amenity Fund: Cllr Mrs Hames statement of accounts is attached as Appendix 1.  She reported that the balance in the bank was £1914.43 with £76.27 held in cash.  Numbers had dropped by at least ten but there were also some new joiners.  Some donations had been received for the loan of chairs and the bucket on the gate of the fireworks display had added up to £86.27.  The prize money had been increased to £20, £15 and £10 per month.

John Hooper Charity: Mr N J Meeker had given a hand written statement of accounts to 31 December 2018 as follows:



 B/F                    £32.92

Distribution £ 9.00

 Dividends        £12.77                                                

Kilmington LCC £ 5.00


Balance in hand £ 31.69



Kilmington News – Mrs. Hames reported on the accounts as outlined below.  She said that all postage and stamps are generously donated and the income and expenditure results in a balance to carry forward of £29.30

Income    2018/19 Expenditure   2018/19
Subscriptions & Sponsors
Mr.C.E.Reed (pink paper)
Kilmington Parish Council (donation)
American Thorough Breed Products Ltd (printing)                            £ 191.98
£259.00 £229.70


7. Public Session – no members of the public were present.

The meeting closed at 19.58


NOTE: The minutes will be reviewed and formally ratified by the PC at the next Annual Parish Meeting in May 2020