Covid-19 Update

Since the last update to this page, the residents of Milborne Port have come of one lockdown, into another and then out again into the current tiered system. It has been ‘business as usual’ for Milborne Port Parish Council, and councillors and clerks have continued to support the community and to look forward to ‘normality’ some time in 2021!

Somerset County Council continues to be an excellent source of information and some residents might be particularly interested in these extracts from their most recent newsletter:

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Plans are fully underway in Somerset to prepare for a mass Covid-19 vaccination roll out now the Government has authorised the Pfizer vaccination for use across the UK, starting from next week.

Somerset County Council is working closely with health colleagues to support the vaccination programme. This includes having hundreds of Council staff on standby ready to be redeployed to assist the programme and identifying vaccination locations.

The Council is working with the NHS on a plan to make the vaccine available to the people of Somerset in a planned way and in line with national guidance – so watch this space for more information shortly.

Resources and Further Information: For the latest local information as well as digital resources, posters and flyers please visit: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/

For information and resources on staying healthy happy and safe at the time please visit: https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/

Lest we forget

While the normal ceremonies of Remembrance Sunday were curtailed the Chairman of the Parish Council, Councillor Austin Fletcher spent some time of reflection with the Parish Clerk at the war memorial ahead of Armistice Day. Cllr Fletcher laid a reef on behalf of the whole of the Parish in remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

November 2020

Move on Over!

26th November 2020

For those of you that do visit the Cemetery, you may have seen a little yellow digger going up and down the path at the far end over the last few days and have wondered to yourself what was going on. Tongue-in-cheek speculation that a bypass for the busy A30 was being built just isn’t true.

In fact the whole length of the gravel path was being moved over by one metre as at some point in the past a grave has been dug into the path. While no records remain of why this decision was taken, clearly it feels disrespectful to the person laid to rest and their relatives to have a grave that is in the gravel path. Members of the Management Committee were keen to see the situation rectified and so Sherborne Garden Services were appointed to move the whole path over by one meter.

The area will now look a bit muddy until late spring, but it has been seeded and by the summer it should all be blending back in.

November’s News 2020

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.

Litter-picking volunteer

We would like to say a really big ‘thank you’ to local schoolboy, Ben Smith, who has started a year-long stretch of weekly litter-picking duties at our two playparks in order to achieve his next Duke of Edinburgh Award.  So if you see Ben out and about in his hi-vis jacket with his trusty litter-picking gadget in hand, do say hello and give him some words of encouragement, especially if it is blowing a gale and pouring with rain!

Applications for Community Grants

Are you involved in a local organisation or group that needs some extra funding to support its activities?  If so, here is an excellent opportunity to access a grant so that you can maintain or develop the service that you provide for the local community.

Milborne Port Parish Council is committed to supporting the local community by continuing to fund groups and organisations that bring direct benefit to residents.  In order to do this, the council sets aside an amount of money to help those groups and organisations and is now inviting them to apply for 2020/2021 funding to support existing or future initiatives.

Last year, the council awarded grants to six local organisations, including the Village Hall Management Group, which applied for a grant to fund the Moviola film showings, and the Play Days scheme.  In so doing, the council was able to make a significant impact on the quality.

This year we are particularly keen to hear from any local group or organisation that is suffering due to the effects of the Covid crisis. The application form is not too onerous, and the Council Officers will be happy to help you complete it.  

The Grants Policy, the Community Grants Criteria and the Grants Application Form can all be found at the following link:

Wessex Water Volunteers at Gainsborough Skate Park, Milborne Port

On Tuesday 29th September, a group of volunteers from Wessex Water took on the not insignificant task of jet-washing and re-painting the ramps at our skate park.  They worked really hard to try to remove all of the graffiti but unfortunately some of it was so engrained into the concrete that it would not come off.  However, they did a great job and it looks so much better up there as a result.

Huge thanks to their team and to Fiona at The Gainsborough for her hospitality and to staff at the Co-op for allowing the volunteers to use their loading bay in order to position their vehicle as close to the site as possible.  Below are some before, during and after photographs!  We hope that you agree that the area looks much smarter now!  There is still some work to do and we are hoping that this will be completed by some other village volunteers before long.

September’s News

News from the Parish Council

Visitors to the play area at Gainsborough will have noticed that a drinking water tap has been installed at the east end of the site, just near to the entrance and the two mounds; this happened as a result of some very quick thinking by the Parish Council and some fast grant application processing by South Somerset District Council (SSDC).  During the summer, we had all the old underground piping replaced because a significant volume of water was just being lost through leaks.

Repair was made in early March, but no sooner had one part of the old pipe been replaced than the next part would start to leak, so Members decided that total replacement was the best bet.  As we had a team of pipe fitters on site, it was suggested that drinking water could be provided in the playpark for a better price than binging back all the equipment and men at some other time. The water company were willing to do a deal, but as the Parish Council did not have all the money needed for the project, an application was made to SSDC for a contribution towards the cost.  Support was gained from ‘Plastic Free Milborne Port’ and a Facebook survey revealed 100% support for the project. Within a week, SSDC had awarded the Parish Council half the costs and the order was placed.  And here it is!

Eagle-eyed residents will have noticed that the work to repair the Town Hall clock has begun!  A tower went up so that its face and mechanism could be removed for repair and refurbishment by a professional team. We are not sure how long we will need to wait before we can see time flying again but keep a look-out!

We are anticipating a visit on 29th September from a team of volunteers from Wessex Water who plan to clean and paint the ramps and other equipment at the skate park at the top of the Gainsborough playpark, in so doing removing from sight the ugly graffiti that has appeared over the last few months.  We will report on their progress with some ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ photographs in November’s edition!

Some residents will already know that on Wednesday 9th September, South Somerset District Council gave the Reserved Matters Approval to housing developers Redcliffe to proceed with development of land on Wheathill Lane for 65 houses.   Some of you will know that any new development brings with it funding to provides s106 infrastructure support to the community.  At this Wheathill Lane site, part of this funding will come in the form of a Community Hub building provided by Redcliffe.  Councillors tried hard to ensure that this building would be provided with all of its facilities in place but unfortunately that was not to be, as South Somerset District Council agreed that will be provided in a ‘shell and core’ state.  It will be for the local community to access grant funding in order to finish the building and prepare it for use.  A  committee has been set up to manage this process over the next few years and no doubt we will be reporting on its progress in the future editions of this magazine and on our website.  We are working with District Councillor Sarah Dyke, the Friends of  Milborne Port Library and the History and Heritage Group to secure this community asset.  Other planning conditions, for which we have been lobbying, include a village square, viewing area towards East Hill and a proposed new commercial building, for which we welcome all ideas for potential users.

Finally, a reminder from Tim Russell, our PCSO, about how to report a crime:

  • 999 should be used when there is a danger to life or property for an immediate response.
  • 101 is our non-emergency number – for reporting incidents to the police that do not require an immediate response but need to be recorded and police action taken.
  • Avon and Somerset Police website – again for incidents that do not require an immediate response. Also contains lots of useful information.
  • Make a report at the front office of Wincanton or Yeovil police stations.

The police do not monitor Facebook so any incidents should be reported to using these options.

Parish Council Vacancies

The parish council has two vacant seats for a parish councillor. The parish council now wish to Co-opt a least one new person onto the council. Could this be you? Are you interested in becoming involved your local community?

  • Do you want to serve your Community?
  • Do you have time or expertise which could benefit your Community?
  • Do you want to make a difference to all those around you?
  • Are you concerned about your local area?
  • Do you want to represent the views of local people?
  • Do you have spare time to give to marking projects happen?
  • Are you able to work as part of a team?

If you would like to make a difference, and be involved in shaping the future of your local Community, why not step forward and apply to become a Milborne Port Parish Councillor?


You could be someone who has local knowledge of the history of the parish or has interest in the environment & planning – but mostly you would be someone with enthusiasm and time.

If you are interested, would like more information or an application form, please contact the Parish Clerk, Simon Pritchard. Email: clerk@milborneportpc.org.uk or call 07375 892631


Eligibility Criteria:
You must be registered as a local government elector for the parish; or you have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish during the whole of the 12 months before the day of co-option; or your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of co-option has been in the parish; or you have lived in the parish or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of co-option.

Timetable:

Closing date for completed applications to be with the Clerk: 30th September 2020

Co-option meeting to take place on Tuesday October 6th 2020 @ 7pm  

All the Parish Council meetings are taking place via Zoom