The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters f crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public
transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset, which was formed on April 1, 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Langport Rural District..The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as
education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.It is also part of the Somerton and Frome county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Parish Council Meeting 6th June 2018.Public Question Time. There were no public present.Present: Mr D Wakely(Chair), Mrs C Paul, Miss S Brooks, Miss A Cox, Mrs L Langford, Mrs J Pearce, Mr K Cox and Cllr D Yeomans1. Apologies for Absence: Mrs P Warren, Messrs C Aplin, R Dowdeswell and M Johnson.2. Declarations of Interests: None.3. Confirmation of previous minutes: Minutes for the 2ndMay were agreed and duly signed. 4. Planning: Cllrs approved the proposed extension to the front of existing garage/carport and conversion of roof space to form a hobby room at Witterings Barn, Southay, East Lambrook.After a full and frank discussion and notwithstanding the neighbours and conservation officers concerns, cllrs approved the proposed alterations and the erection of a two storey extension(part above ground floor extension) to the side and a single storey extension to the front of dwellinghouse at 1 Church View, Church street, Kingsbury Episcopi.5. Cheques:The following cheques were approved for payment and duly signed.SALC - £367.61 – Affiliation fees 2018/19.Westley Harris - £720.00 – Verge cutting.Clerk informed cllrs that she had received one complaint about the verge cutting, in that was it necessary to cut the verges back before plants had chance to reseed and also possibly disturbing the wildlife. As the majority of the Parishioners are pleased the verges are cut back from the highway safety point of view cllrs agreed it was worthwhile to continue with it. 6. Annual Audit Questionnaire:Cllrs agreed that the clerk should complete the questionnaire on the Parish Councils behalf.7. Village of the Year Competition:Cllrs Wakely and Warren have drawn up the necessary statement for the competition and submitted it. If successful the prize money will go towards putting in a sensory garden at the recreation Ground.
8. General Data protection Regulations:Clerk has drawn up a Privacy Statement for the Parish Council, which will be posted on the Parish website and a short statement will be printed on all correspondence sent by the Parish Council, referring to this statement.Cllrs also agreed that there should not a need to purchase a separate computer for the Parish Council but the clerk would set up a new email address specifically for the parish Council.9. SSDC: The Annual Area North meeting for Town and Parish Councils would be held on the 26th June at Somerton. Cllr Pearce and the clerk would attend.The Parish Ranger would be making his first visit to the Parish on the 29th June, clerk will be meeting him and going through jobs to be tackled, including the hedge on the corner opposite the Rusty Axe and the hedge at The Bristers. 10.Amenities and Community Shop Update: All still going really well with plenty of bookings. As there is not enough roof space for solar panels for both the shop and community centre they are looking into floor mounted panels. The date for the annual Playday would be the 24th August.11.Affiliated member for the Pre-School Committee:Although it is not necessary for a cllr to be appointed to the Pre-School committee, they would still like regular contact with the Parish Council, the suggestion being that perhaps someone from the Pre-School committee could attend the Parish Council meetings.12. Local Government Boundary Commission:There has been a slight change to Burrow Hill ward but the Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi has not been affected.13. Footpaths and bridleways: The footpath at West End had become overgrown, as it was known that the rights of way team had been in the area recently, cllr Brooks would check whether it had already been cut before reporting it.14. Highway Matters: The Wig-Wag lights near the Deadlands junction would need to be moved and highways have marked three alternative sites, cllrs opinions were sought as to which site would be best. It was reported that there had been a landslide from one of the gardens at Burrow Way into the road. Barriers had been placed around it and clerk would contact homeowner.It was reported that the bridge at Palmers End had been damaged again. Clerk to report.It was asked why West Coker had a 20mph speed limit all the way through the village and Kingsbury Episcopi can’t have it. Cllr Paul would investigate. 15. Date and time of next meeting: The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th July 2018 at 8.00pm.
Public questions/comments.Cllr Wakely addressed the public present with a statement of the situation along Thorney Road at present, what actions have been taken so far to try and remedy the speeding problem and what has led us to this proposal now being made by SCC. Few drivers appreciate that the 30mph limit that started at Muchelney actually continues all the way through Thorney, Kingsbury Episcopi and Stembridge. The last 30mph sign being at the river bridge in Thorney. As there are street lights from Thorney towards Kingsbury Episcopi, legislation dictates that repeater 30mph signs are not allowed.The Parish Council put forward in 2015 a ‘Small Improvement Scheme’ for a permanent ‘Vehicle Activated Sign’ on the approach to the recreation ground, unfortunately in 2017 SCC rejected this request as they did not feel there was a speeding problem going past the recreation ground. This has now prompted SCC to put forward this new scheme where the limit be reverted back to 40mph along Thorney Road, from just past Norton House to just before Moor View, a distance of approximately 800metres, this would enable new signage to be erected, stating 30mph from Moor View towards Thorney and 30mph from Norton House towards Kingsbury Episcopi. Theory being that the new 30mph signage will act as a reminder to drivers to slow down. A zebra crossing has also been requested near the recreation ground, but this is not possible as there are not pavements on both sides of the road, and it is not possible for a pavement to be made on the recreation ground side of the road.At present this latest proposal is out for consultation, so nothing has been decided, and the public’s voice will probably be more effective that the Parish Council, it is therefore advised that the residents send their comments/objections/suggestions to SCC.The Small Improvement Scheme team will look at alternative ideas to try and slow drivers down on Thorney Road and especially past the recreation ground.Several questions were then asked by the residents.Who proposed the 40mph limit? SCC as the limit had previously been 40mph(2003) as this would enable new signage to be erected reminding drivers of the speed limit as at present there are no reminders.It seems ridiculous to increase the speed limit when the aim is to slow traffic down, the police speed enforcement van won’t attend at Thorney Road as it is deemed too dangerous because of speeding traffic. If you are hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph you would probably be killed but at 30mph you could survive. The benefit of a 20mph the mortality rates drops tremendously.Was Martyn Evans from Highways invited to this meeting? Yes
but he would not attend as it is only at the consultation stage. If this scheme goes further and a wider consultation is held he probably would attend a meeting.What happens to the Small Improvement Scheme budget of £50K if this proposal is pulled? These funds will still be available to our County Councillor who can then put forward other schemes.Can the Parish Council not purchase their own Vehicle Activated Sign? Yes they could, but it would need to be placed on private land. Ongoing costs for maintenance, calibration and also who is liable if there was an incident in which a member of the public states the flashing light caused the accident, would it be the landowner or the Parish Council.What happens at the end of the consultation period? Martyn Evans will look at all responses and consult with County Councillor Paul to look at alternatives and come back to the Parish Council.Cllr Paul assured the parishioners that she would continue to campaign for a scheme that would slow traffic down on Thorney Road and on the approach to the recreation ground. District Councillor Yeomans reiterated that something needs to be done outside of the recreation ground before a serious accident occurs. Can residents put their own homemade signs at the front of their properties? Yes you can, as long as they are on your property and not the highway verge, but be aware, if someone has an accident because they claim they were reading the sign, you the householder could be made liable.Have Highways agreed there is an issue with speed at the recreation ground? Not exactly, although the figures recorded by the temporary Speed Indicator Device that has been placed there on occasions do indicate 55% of motorists are travelling between 30mph and 40mph. They calculate the 85percentile speed is the speed at which 85% of all vehicles are travelling either at or below the speed check limit of 37mph on the approach to the recreation ground. Present: Cllr D Wakely(Chair), Mrs C Aparicio-Paul, Miss S Brooks, Miss A Cox, Mrs J Pearce, Mrs P Warren, Mr C Aplin and Cllr D Yeomans.Apologies for absence: Mrs L Langford, Messrs K Cox and M Johnson.Declarations of Interest: None.Proposed traffic calming measures on Thorney Road: See public questions/comments. It was reiterated that the Parish Council are made up of cllrs to represent the Parish and will always put the safety of the public first. Highway issues are always on the agenda and we would welcome more of the Parish to attend our monthly meetings. It was reiterated that all residents should send their comments to Martyn Evans at SCC.,
Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 22nd March 2018