The Parish Council is delighted to welcome a new member of the team in the form of our new ranger, Martin Amos. Some of you might already have seen him working his new patch in the last few weeks, especially at Coldharbour and Pope’s Lane. Martin is an employee of South Somerset District Council but is deployed by the Parish Council on a Wednesday to complete a variety of maintenance tasks, including hedge cutting and tree surgery, clearing overgrown areas and helping the volunteers who tend to the Ball Court and Grove Garden. Do say ‘hello’ if you see him!
Safety and Parking Improvements Requested by the Parish Council
Over the last year, the Parish Office has been in receipt of many complaints with regards to dangerous parking along the A30; complaints have also been made to South Somerset District Council, Somerset County Council, and the Police. It seems it is not a case of waiting for an accident to happen, as two already have.
Back in late summer, some Members of the Parish Council, the Deputy Parish Clerk and the Senior Highways Officer from SCC conducted a site visit, walking the full length of the A30 as it passes through the village; they also looked at some other areas that have featured in complaints.
The SCC Highways Officer was then able to make recommendations to the Parish Council as to what SCC could do to address the problems. Originally, the Parish Council wanted time to consider and consult on the changes but the council was informed that a decision needed to be made by early November if the safety improvements were to be put into SCC 2021 programmed works. So, at the Full Council meeting at the start of November, Parish Council members agreed to approve the Highways Officer’s recommendations. The proposed changes are:
- Yellow lines around junctions coming off the A30 (as parking on the same is dangerous).
- Yellow lines in the narrow parts of the A30 (as parking in the same is leading to accidents).
- Yellow lines at the top of South Street to stop parking in front of the dropped kerb (following complaints that it has been blocked).
- A disabled parking bay introduced opposite the chemist.
- Time restricted parking directly outside the shops (with the support of the proprietors).
The council considered and rejected the notion of parking restrictions in North Street and Gainsborough.
The Parish Council has now issued a formal request to Somerset County Council (SCC) Highways Department for these safety improvements to be made. Somerset County Council will begin a consultation process in the new year.
Large Grant Awarded to Milborne Port Primary School
The Parish Council has been approached by the Primary School for financial support towards the purchase of 35 Chrome Books for pupils who, under the current Covid-19 restrictions, are studying from home. The school has no budget for this contingency and is applying to every source of grant funding it can find. Members of the Parish Council were pleased to be able to award £2,390 towards the total costs; this should buy 10 Chrome Books.
Springfield Play Park Refit
At the risk of raising expectations of anything happing soon, it is a fact that work is underway for planning for improvements to the Springfield Play Park. One of the upsides of new homes being built in the village is that each housing developer is obliged to help fund improvements to local infrastructure and money is now becoming available for extending the Play Area at Springfield. Over the coming months, many different ideas and plans will be looked at and consultation will be undertaken with the users (and parents!) to see if there is any preference as to what people would like to see added or changed. As with most projects in local government, it is likely that there are many hoops to be jumped through before any work on the ground starts but this is certainly a project that the Parish Council hopes will be completed by the end of 2021.