Horsington Annual Parish Meeting – 12 April

The  annual Parish Meeting and public forum is at 7.15 (after coffee and biscuits at 7pm) on Thursday 12 April at the Village Hall. Anyone who is interested in who is on the council, and what they do, should attend.

It’s your chance to ask questions and raise issues for debate, and to hold the councillors to account for the way they conduct their (and our) affairs. There is no excuse for not attending, as the only other worthwhile thing that night is “Follow That Girl” at Milborne Port, and we undestand Thursday night is already a sell out!

The agenda includes a Q and A session  with David Norris, Development Manager of South Somerset District Council’s Planning department, so you can ask him about some of the weirder planning decisions which happen.

You are also  welcome to stay for the full parish Copuncil Meeting after the open forum. The agenda includes a number of planning applications, including a 5MW “Solar Park”  at Grove Lane, South Cheriton (more details of this soon -Ed) and some correspondence with a David Ramsbottom about Wind Turbines.


Horsington Manor reports on its conservation programme

We promised to tell you more about Philip Colebatch, owner of Horsington Manor, and his visit to the Parish Council on 9 February. At the meeting  he explained the conservation work he has carried out in the ten years since he has owned the property.

The work includes the planting of over 4km of hedgerow (approximately 12,000 plants) together with the planting ofsome 400 new trees. Robert Rhys, the land agent, told the Blog  that Mr Colebatch provided for the Council details of a report which had recently been prepared by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG, a farming/environmental
consultancy, which went into administration in November 2011). This organisation assisted the development of the original conservation programme in 2002.

Mr Rhys said ‘These results included FWAG’s analysis that the management and restoration of the veteran trees on my client’s land is ensuring that the life of these trees is being extended’.

He continued ‘Mr Colebatch continues his dialogue with South Somerset District Council in an effort to understand their issues’, and we understand these have now been resolved, with the decision by the SSDC not to go ahead with a tree preservation order, and to rescind a Hedgerow Retention Notice.

May Diary

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Regular activities (village hall unless stated)
Mondays Pilates 6pm
Tuesdays Upholstery 10.30 am , Badminton 8pm,  Bridge Club, Half Moon 6.30. More. .
Wednesdays Adult tap dancing 6.15
Thursdays Art 10.00, 1.30
Fridays Art 10.00

Other events
2nd May 
Music Night, Half Moon, 8.45pm
3rd May W.I Millinery – Mrs Sue Bell 7.30.
10th May Parish Council Meeting,7.30
12th May North Cheriton Plant sale. N.Cheriton Village Hall 10am                                      14th May Ladies Lunch Group Queen’s Arms, Corton Denham                                        18th May St John’s Church Roof Appeal – Drinks and finger buffet at the Church 7pm  All enquiries to Anne Jones 370626 or Rosemarie Wigley 371468
26th May Jubilee Concert, St John’s Church 730pm

St John’s Church services

6th May 9.15 Holy Communion with Sunday School
13th May 11am Morning Prayer
2oth May 9.15 Holy Communion                                                                                                       27th May (Pentecost) 1030am United Service in Templecombe URC

Coming up soon in June (poetry!)
June 2-5
Half Moon Beer Festival -Jubilee weekend
June 3 Jubilee street party for Horsington & South Cheriton. More
June 4 Cricket – Horsington vs the Tabard Pilgrims
June 9  “Pawfest”, featuring Toploader, Wincanton. More



Paul Goddard

With sadness and regret we report the death of Paul Goddard ,72, who lived in South Cheriton. He died in February after a brave battle with cancer. His funeral was at Yeovil last week, with an impressive attendance of friends, past associates and members of the various clubs of which he was a member.

Paul , a retired building inspector,  came to South Cheriton a few years ago, and had many friends. During his life he was a soldier in the Horse Guards, a builder, a building inspector, a diver, a beekeeper and an angler.

The Blog sends its sincere  condolences to Barbara.

From the Parish Council Minutes. . .

From the Parish Council meeting minutes on 9 February:

Open Forum: Mr Colebatch(Horsington Manor) gave an update on the environmentaland conservation work that he had done over the years in conjunction with theFarming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Mrs Wood reported that, due to the historical value of the trees in the area, there was a lot of interest within the Parish Council and the Parish as a whole.
The Blog will be publishing a longer article on this shortly – Ed

Parish Councillor Charles James is constructing new sluice gates for the pomd. He has also mown the side of the brook through the village, and  will cut back the trees approaching the curchyard.. Well done.

Mrs J Pyne reported that there is a problem with standing water outside the chicken farm. It was thought that water was coming from the farm and from the pipe in the ditch. The Parish Clerk to write to Highways Department.

Parish Council minutes are published after approval, approximately 1 month after the meeting.

Horse tack bargains on Saturday 17 March

Robin Worsley is having a clear out and is offering a cornucopia of horsey bits – tack, mainly and other stuff, including blankets and hunting jackets – At the Horsington Village Hall on Saturday March 17 from 10.30 until 2.30.

Grab yourself a bargain!

Wincanton car parking – the SSDC acts by stealth

Diligent readers of last week’s Blackmore Vale Magazine might have noticed that tucked away in an article about the SSDC voting to freeze council tax was the announcement that “car parking fees are proposed in order to “protect community services” (or council officers’ and councilors’ expenses –Ed)

The article continues “The district council will not introduce parking charges in Wincanton and Castle Cary. Instead, it has agreed to accept a £9,928 annual fee from Castle Cary Town Council so they can remain free for the next three years. Ansford Parish Council will contribute £3,000 towards the sum. Wincanton Town Council is expected to pay £12,000 this financial year and £24,000 each year for 2013/14 and 2014/15.”

So each householder and business will be taxed to allow shoppers and others to continue to park for free in Wincanton. The decision appears to be driven by SSDC councilors who live in the larger towns and who think it unfair that people pay parking charges in, say, Yeovil, but not in Wincanton or Castle Carey.

Wincanton does not have a traffic or a parking problem, so charges are not needed in order to control parking. It appears that it is illegal for a district council to impose car parking charges as a revenue raising measure. But not to impose a”Tax” on residents by the back door.

The plight of Wincanton High Street is well known and it is difficult to see how a district council with a mission to promote business regeneration can propose such a measure. But then, they have moved the health centre away from the town centre and filled a new housing development with problem families, so anything is possible.

Nick Colbert, Wincanton’s district councillor has written an open letter to the SSDC’s portfolio holders objecting to the move, criticising the logic and pointing out its illegality. Click here to see the letter on “Wincanton Window”.
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Jubilee goings on -2-5th June

As previously reported, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend looks like being a corker, with a beer festival, a super cricket match and . . . . a street party.

Andrew Tarling and Chris Bailward are proposing to organise the party.
They write” We think the Queen’s Jubilee would be a great opportunity for Horsington and South Cheriton to get together for what most of us will be a once in a lifetime occasion. To this end, we propose holding a street party in Horsington on Sunday 3rd June.

The event will include a beef and hog roast and a barbeque, live music and entertainment. We intend to sell tickets to cover the cost, with priority given to village residents of Horsington and South Cheriton.

Any net proceeds would then go forward to fund some sort of monument to celebrate the Jubilee and everyone’s participation, and a time capsule to be placed somewhere in the parish.

Obviously any help and support in organizing this event, either physical or financial, would be most welcome. If anyone has any ideas or offers please contact Chris Bailward at Home farm, or Andrew Tarling at the Half Moon –halfmoon@horsington.co.uk .

An excellent initiative. The Blog supports it 100 percent and we hope everyone else will too. Please offer your talents and services –Ed.

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Car Parking proposal will hit everyone

An almighty row has broken out in Wincanton and other Somerset market towns (Cary, Crewkerne and Chard) over car parking charges.

South Somerset District Council (highest council tax in Somerset, £1.3 million payout to senior execs) is short of money, and wants to extract more from (no surprises) motorists and shoppers, who already pay their council tax.

Wincanton currently has no parking charges, and there is little doubt that the struggling High Street will suffer if charges are introduced. The issue has been well covered in the Wincanton Window and we urge readers to look at it in detail and write to urge our councilors to oppose the move.

Our understanding of the law is that parking controls can only be introduced to regulate traffic congestion and ensure sharing of parking resources. Wincanton has neither a traffic nor parking problem, (apart from occasionally near the Natwest Bank), so parking control can only be a revenue raising ploy, and is probably illegal. Wincanton Town Council are assessing the viability of a test case.

The SSDC’s parking strategy documents   lists an objective of “Protect and enhance the vitality and viability of Yeovil and market towns and regional centres”.  The blog fails to see how car parking charges in struggling Wincanton will help achieve this – apart from boosting Morrisons and Lidl even more.

The Conservatives pledged to fight this at the last election, less than a year ago. Lets hear the sound and the fury of their arguments.

We welcome your comments