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News Update 18/04/2020

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There has been much to adapt to over the last few months or so and Parish Council clerks, Simon and Nathalie, have been responding to government advice and guidelines regarding the conduct of council business during the Covid-19 crisis:

  • In line with Government guidelines, the Gainsborough Playpark and Springfield Playpark have been formally closed by the Parish Council; this means thay anyone using the Playpark is doing so without permission. The regular safety inspections will not be made during this time, so there is no guarantee that the equipment is safe to use and anyone entering the playparks at this time would be trespassing.  Sadly, that is the situation we are in. 
  • The Cemetery is closed with the exception of interments or (a maximum of) two people from the same household visiting a loved one at rest.  Any other gathering is trespass and should be reported to the police by residents.  Reports of gathering of youths late in the evening have been disturbing.
  • As you would expect, all in-person meetings of the Parish Council are suspended until further notice; however, Planning applications continue to come in from South Somerset District Council and rather than matters slowing down in the planning world they appear to be speeding up. Therefore, the Planning & Environment Committee will be sticking to its timetable of meetings (third Tuesday of the month) and will be meeting via Zoom to give the appropriate level of scrutiny to all the applications that we have received.  Please see the Meeting section of the website for the Agenda and Minutes of these meetings.
  • While on the subject of planning applications, we have now been informed by South Somerset District Council (SSDC) that they will no longer be sending the Parish Council a paper copy of all the planning applications.  It is not clear if SSDC intend to return to sending out paper applications in the future but given the move away for paper by most other local planning authorities in England, it is very unlikely. The only way planning applications can now be viewed is on the SSDC website.  If the Parish Council ever start receiving paper applications again, you will be informed.
  • The Parish Office is closed and will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future.  Simon and Nathalie are working from home, but the fact is that with all the meetings and project being put on hold, there isn’t as much to do, so Simon has voluntarily cut his hours until a time when things become a bit more normal.
  • Next month will mark the point when Simon first became associated with the Parish Council.  Back in May 2019, the outcome of the local elections had changed the Membership of the Parish Council and with the position of Proper Officer (Parish Clerk) also being vacant, it was a very different Parish Council which entered the summer months of 2019, reviewing its structure and moulding new projects.  A year later, the Parish Council has seven new projects that it wants to undertake, and it has the budget to do them.  While the global pandemic has put much on hold, we are determined that it will only prove to be a blip and that it will still be possible to deliver all of the projects by 2021.
  • Allotment holders have been particularly busy with a bit more time on their hands than usual!  The allotment area at Gainsborough is looking really healthy and blooming!  Only 3 half-plots remain available; please contact us if you are interested, although be aware that all 3 require quite a bit of TLC to bring them back into action…  This is a useful website for advice on allotment keeping:
  • The council’s Facebook group page has been relaunched; please visit and join us at
  • This group has been set up on Facebook to help people from the local area to access support:
  • Please scroll down on the website for information about how to access local help during these difficult times, including information on local shops and services. 
  • This is the best link to the guidance and support from South Somerset District Council:
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