September Update

Big kids and small mark the installation of the new equipment at Gainsborough playpark

24th August, we gathered at the Gainsborough playpark to officially ‘welcome’ the new play equipment to the park.  Our event was attended by Council members as well as by South Somerset District Councillor Sarah Dyke (pictured below with Cllrs. Robert Tizzard and Tim Carty); some local residents and their children were also present, as well as some residents who were considering co-option onto the Council.  We did speak to Cllr. Tom Campbell about his being a little too old for the tractor but he refused to get off…!

A warm welcome to our new Councillors!

We are delighted to announce that at the Full Council meeting on 7th September, two new members were co-opted onto the Council:  Lyn Harrison and Anna Wagner.  Once they have found their feet, they will be invited to join one or more of our Committees, so more news to follow.   Also, we are equally delighted to announce that Cllr. Carty was elected as our new Parish Council Chairman and we look forward to working closely with him during his tenure.

Your Parish Council requires more Members

The Parish Council’s membership is still a little low and so over the next month or so the Council will be continuing to drum up some interest and to encourage some more new people to put themselves forward to become Members.

Maybe you are new to the Parish and want to become involved with local matters, or maybe you have lived in the village all of your life and you are now looking to give something back. To qualify, you must be 18 or over and on the electoral register. The Council would benefit from a membership representing various backgrounds and various ages.

The Parish Council is involved in many different activities, from local planning matters, to managing the open spaces and working with our community groups, to delivering projects.

If you have time to spare, skills and experience that you could bring to the role and a genuine interest in our village, why not consider putting yourself forward to become a councillor?

The deadline for applications for co-option at the November Full Council meeting is 25th October 2021

For further information and/or an informal chat about the role, contact our Clerk Simon Pritchard by calling 01963 251267/07375 892631 Tuesday-Thursday, or by e-mailing (see below).

Blue Recycling Bags

If you are still without a blue recycling bag or would like a second, we have a stock of these in the Parish Council office in the Town Hall and we can issue one to you if you come to the office on a Tuesday morning between 9am and 12noon; we will ask you for your name, first line of your address and postcode so that we can inform South Somerset District Council that you have been issued with a bag. 

August Update

Memorial Bench at the Cemetery

The Parish Council has installed a new bench under the Arbour at the cemetery and it will be dedicated to the memory of John Farley (1933-2020), a long-standing member of the community who served on the council and made a significant contribution to the life of the village.  His widow, Gill Cleverly, will be providing a plaque for the bench.

Blue Recycling Bags

If you are still without a blue recycling bag, we have a stock of these in the Parish Council office in the Town Hall and we can issue one to you if you come to the office on a Tuesday morning between 9am and 12noon; we will ask you for your name, first line of your address and postcode so that we can inform South Somerset District Council that you have been issued with a bag.  If you would like to go on our list for a second blue bag, please e-mail us and we will contact you at some point in October if we have any spare:  clerk@miborneportpc.org.uk or call 01963 251268.

There’s No Time Like the Present!

And some of you will have noticed that the recently fixed Town Hall clock is permanently stuck in a ‘present’ of eleven minutes past eleven!  We are awaiting the return of the clock man to put things right again… If he hasn’t returned by Remembrance Sunday, our clock will at least be marking the commemorations appropriately…

A defibrillator has come to the Town Hall!

Many of you will be aware of the recent campaign, led by Lyn Harrison and the Women’s Institute, to raise money and have installed three defibrillators in Milborne Port. Calls for support were met in spades and the defibrillator for the Town Hall was installed 10 days ago. Follow this link for information about free CPR & Def training on Saturday 18th September.

July Update

Gainsborough playpark fun and games!

At the time of writing, work is well under way to install the new play equipment at the playpark.  It has been really exciting to see this work in progress and the new units taking shape.  We plan to officially ‘welcome’ the new equipment (there might even be the cutting of a ribbon!) on Tuesday 24th August, 5-7pm, so please come along with your children to mark the occasion with us.  Here are a few photographs of what it was all looking like mid-July.  We are very much hoping that the work will have been finished (or nearly so!) by the time you read this! 

Town Hall Office re-opens to visitors

The Parish Office, situated on the ground floor of the Town Hall, has re-opened to in-person visitors on a Tuesday morning from 9am to midday for residents to be able to just ‘drop in’.   All the doors will be open, and a new A-frame sign will be out on the pavement to indicate that someone is in the office.  Inside, you will find either Simon or Nathalie who will be able to assist you in any matter relating to the Parish Council, or if it not a Parish Council’s matter we will be able to work out whose it is.  The best way to contact the Parish Council remains by email or phone. 

Strimming Licence

Our very own local footpaths action warrior now has a Public Strimming Licence.  Cllr. Deborah Barsby, who has often over the years organised footpath clearance days, has now attended the training course offered by Somerset County Council (SCC) and has obtained her public stimming licence.  As part of the SCC scheme, Cllr. Barsby also has the use of an SCC strimmer and so armed with this, her new steel top capped boots and a few other implements, she is now smashing her way through undergrowth along some of the local rights of way.

Footpaths are the responsibility of SCC, but they do rely on local volunteers to keep many of the paths passable in the summer.  You can report any issues directly to SSC on their website at www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-with-a-public-right-of-way/   Cllr. Barsby then works in tandem with the Footpaths Officer at SCC to try and resolve the issues.

Community Grants

The Parish Council’s community grants pot is well and truly open for applications. The grants are available to most local community groups, so if you are involved in a local organisation and need some money for doing something, do have a look at the grants policy on the Parish Council’s website to see if you would qualify and if so, download the form and send it in. The cheque could be in the post more quickly than you think.

Last year, the Parish Council was delighted to be able to support Milborne Port Primary School with £2,390 to buy some tablet computers for the children who had to home school.  The playing fields committee received £2,775 grant.  Sherborne Community Kitchen received £500 for the Covid relief efforts in the Village.  The Milborne Port Food Bank was also supported through the lending of equipment.

Play Day

We are sorry to report that the organisers of this event have again put it on hold this year due to the Covid concerns. The event was to be held at Springfield Rec on Sunday 22nd August. This is of course disappointing, but we can only hope it will finally be back next year.

Laptops4Learners Drop Point

The Parish Office has become a drop point for Laptops4Learners; please see the community website for more details.  www.milborneport.org.uk/2021/02/07/laptops4learners/  We are collecting in old laptops, computers, and other electronic items so they can either be re-purposed or broken down and recycled. You can drop off on a Tuesday morning or email/phone for an appointment.

Sign of the Times

While talking on the phone and looking out of the parish council office window about three months ago, I observed the ‘South Street’ sign that is at end of the road, mounted on to one of the houses. This street sign is visible from the main High Street and I was taken aback as to how old and shabby it looked.  This raised a question that I had not thought of before: what do the District Council do about old and faded road name signs? – so I asked them.

South Somerset District Council (SDDC) were very helpful but wanted to know if it was just the one sign that was faded or were there others in the village? – only one way to find out… Armed with her mobile phone camera and a Border Terrier, Nathalie visited and photographed every street sign that looked like it needed some TLC.  Photos and locations were duly sent off to SSDC. The first thing SSDC wanted to try was just to give all the signs a wash, so they despatched one of their team to power-wash them all; this not only did not work, but in fact in many cases it has removed some of the last bits of black paint that were clinging on! So, the plan now is that black lettering is going to be hand-painted back on.  Do look out for Picasso painting a street sign near you soon!

Rotten Railings

The wooden railings at the end of Church Walk (footpath) where it joins Church Street (road) have become so rotten that they have had to be removed.  Cycling along the footpath is prohibited and it is likely that the wooden railings were originally installed in order to prevent (or at least put off) people from cycling along the path.  Since the rotten railings have been removed, the Parish Office has received conflicting views from local residents as to whether they should be replaced or not.  Some think that the railings were serving a useful purpose in discouraging cycling along the walkway; others have said they impeded people with walking frames/wheelchairs.

The pavement is part of the highway and so the responsibility for replacing the railings lies with Somerset County Council. Their local Highways Officer says that the railings can be replaced but that they would now be stainless steel ones not wooden, but they do not have to be replaced.

The Parish Council would be interested to hear your opinion if you are a regular user of this footpath. Would you like to see some new metal railings in just the same place as the wooden ones were, or are you aware that they were restricting use of the footpath for those using mobility aids? Do let us know; by email is the best way. The Parish Council will decide in September whether to formally request a replacement or not. 

A-door-able!’

Many thanks to Dave Gay who has done a fantastic job of refurbishing and repainting the tired old Chapel Museum door; it is looking really smart now! 


Make a difference

Do you want to volunteer to make a real difference to your local community and make important decisions that affect the residents and environment of our thriving village?

Your Parish Council is keen to recruit more councillors and is looking for local people aged 18 or over from a range of backgrounds and with real passion and enthusiasm to make a positive contribution to the life of Milborne Port.

If you have time to spare, skills and experience that you could bring to the role and a genuine interest in our village, why not consider putting yourself forward to become a councillor for Milborne Port Parish Council?

Don’t take our word for it!

Come and meet some of our councillors at the event to mark the installation of the new children’s play equipment at the Gainsborough playpark on Tuesday 24th August, 5-7pm; they will be happy to share their experiences and tell you what a satisfying role it is!

The deadline for applications will be Wednesday 1st September and the plan is to co-opt new members in a meeting of the Full Council on Tuesday 7th September 2021.

For further information and/or an informal chat about the role, contact our Clerk Simon Pritchard by calling 01963 251267/07375 892631 Tuesday-Thursday, or by e-mailing him at clerk@milborneportpc.org.uk.

June Update

Playtime is about to get better!

This month we are very much looking forward to the installation of new play equipment at the Gainsborough playpark!  This will be the culmination of many months of research and planning on the part of the Parish Council, especially Cllrs. Rob Lockey and Lucy MacArthur, who have spent many hours on site visits, meetings with each other, meetings with the Planning and Environment Committee, meetings with representatives from South Somerset District Council and meetings with the providers of play equipment (that’s a lot of meetings!) in order to ensure the best value and best quality outcomes for the parish’s young people.  We are so excited to be able to take advantage of the Section 106 monies that have been provided by SSDC for infrastructure developments, funded by income from Bovis Homes and the Gainsborough housing development. 

Watch Your Speed!

Members of the Planning and Environment Committee resolved at their June meeting to reinstate the Speed Indicator Device (SID) at key locations in the village where speeding is an issue and have created a Speed Watch Working Group, headed up by Cllr. Tim Carty and Cllr. Rob Lockey, to manage this activity.   The group would like to invite any interested members of the public to volunteer to join this group and help to monitor speeding in the village.  Training in mounting the SID would be provided to someone willing to commit to this initiative.  Please contact Nathalie Hetherington by email if you are interested in volunteering.

Clean-up at the Gainsborough Play Park

The Parish Ranger, Martin, has been busy in the Gainsborough Play Park and he has managed to haul his high-powered jet wash up into the park and spend a day power washing all the bird muck and other substances off of the play equipment.  Before this, Martin had spent half a day in the park removing weeds from the bushes and strimming back all the nettles from the sides.

If you are aware of any areas around the Parish that could do with a bit of attention from the Ranger, do let the Clerk know by sending an e-mail.  Martin can sweep, unblock drains, strim and hack back overgrown bushes but please note that he is not able to undertake any work on private land.

Parish Council requires more Members

The Parish Council’s membership is now a little low and so over the next month or so the Council will be trying to drum up some interest and encourage some new people to put themselves forward to become Members.

Maybe you are new to the Parish and want to become involved with local matters, or maybe you have lived in the village all of your life and you are now looking to give something back. To qualify, you must be 18  or over and on the electoral register. The Council would benefit from a membership representing various backgrounds and various ages.

The Parish Council is involved in many different activities, from local planning matters, to managing the open spaces and working with our community groups, to delivering projects.

The Council will be looking to appoint some new members at its September meeting.  If you are interested or want to know more, do send the Parish Clerk an e-mail and we will arrange to have an informal chat.  

Playday is coming!

Playday is a South Somerset District Council initiative where for half a day some play equipment is set up for kids to enjoy. The Parish Council has made a contribution of £450 towards the hiring of equipment this year. The Playday itself is planned for Sunday 22nd August 10am – 1pm @Springfield.  Put that date in your diaries now!

Town Hall Office Reopening

In common with everyone else, we would like to start working our way back to a new normal and start to open the Parish Office once again to allow residents to just drop in and see the office staff but the postponement of the end of Covid restrictions has put this on ice for another month.  However, next month we hope to be able to confirm the days and times that the Parish Office will once again be open to the Public. In the meantime, there has been a mobile number available to call since March 2020 published both on the noticeboard and on the Parish Council’s website, or simply send an email and we will get back to you.

Laptops4Learners Drop Point

The Parish Office has become a drop point for Laptops4Learners; please see the community website for more details. For now, you will need to email for an appointment to drop off your old bit of equipment:

www.milborneport.org.uk/2021/02/07/laptops4learners/

Town Hall Roof

I am sure that you will have noticed that the Town Hall continues to be surrounded by scaffolding but with not much going on! The Town Hall roof developed a leak just before Christmas and by early new year it had become rather severe; the Council needed to install the scaffolding to allow a full inspection of the problem and a specialist surveyor was required as the Town Hall is a listed building.  Many months later and the problem has been identified, a tender document drawn up and a contractor appointed to fix the issue. However, the contractor cannot start until late July. In the meantime, it would cost more to have the scaffolding taken away and then re-erected than just leaving it in place.  All repairs should be complete by mid-August, and we will finally be able to wave goodbye to the scaffolding.  

Paving the way…

A path improvement project has been completed successfully at St. John’s, a joint venture between Milborne Port Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council. These re-laid areas now provide much easier access for those with mobility difficulties and for coffin bearers. Many thanks to all those involved in this work, which has greatly enhanced the beauty as well as the functionality of the churchyard.’There is no path to Happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to Love. Love is the path. There is no path to Peace. Peace is the path.’ (Dan Millman, writer and lecturer)

Happy rambling!

If you are a keen walker and user of our many wonderful local footpaths, you might be interested to know that a new sign has been erected by the Rights of Way Warden at Somerset County Council to show where the footpath starts at the junction of Bathwell Lane and Canon Court Farm.

May Update

Ben Smith – our litter picking hero

Congratulations to teenager Ben Smith who has completed his six-month stint of volunteering for the Parish Council for his Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award!  Ben has been diligently picking up litter at the Gainsborough and Springfield play parks since the start of last October and we are extremely grateful for the great job that he has done.  What is particularly great, though, is that he has volunteered (no pressure from us – honest!) to continue with this work for the foreseeable future.   Many, many thanks from all of us, Ben, for making this valuable contribution to your community.

Reporting crime in our area

Unfortunately, there have been more incidents of anti-social behaviour in the village over the last few months or so, including further vandalism of the drinking tap at Gainsborough and further graffiti and the playing of very loud music at the skate-park.  If you witness or are aware of criminal activity which does not constitute an emergency, this can be reported easily by calling 101 or can be reported online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report.  You do not need to know everything about an incident in order to report it; the police welcome any information that the public has which helps them to build a picture of what is happening in the area. 

Allotment land wanted!

The Parish Council needs more land for allotments in or close to Milborne Port.  The pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in parishioners requesting plots and the waiting list is growing…  We are currently exploring our options and would be interested to hear from anyone who has or knows of a suitable area of land (with access to a water supply). 

April Update

Gainsborough Play Area Drinking Water Tap

We are very sorry to report that the drinking water tap that was installed last year at the Gainsborough play area has now been vandalised twice and therefore is currently out of operation. This is such a shame as we know that this facility was much appreciated by most of those using the play area. The Management Committee is currently exploring its options so that the provision of drinking water can resume.  If you have any information about who might be responsible for this vandalism, we urge you to pass on that knowledge by calling 101.

Gainsborough Allotments

The allotments holders are working extremely hard on their plots and it is a delight to walk around the site to see what everyone is planting; it is especially satisfying to see some plots that have been unused for a while gradually come back to life.  The new hedge plants are looking healthy!

Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting took place remotely on Thursday 1st April at 7pm via Zoom; this was a meeting the parishioners, not a meeting of the Parish Council, but was chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Council and organised by the Parish Clerk.  All local groups were invited to attend and submit a report.  To see a report of the meeting, please go to the Milborne Port Community website or follow this link:

http://milborneport.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Annual-Parish-Meeting-Report-2021.pdf

Parish Council Grant for Springfield

At a meeting of the Full Council on 2nd March 2021, councillors approved a grant of £2775 to Milborne Port Memorial Fields Charity; the charity plans to use this money to pay towards the upkeep and maintenance of the recreation ground at Springfield.

Improvements at Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services, Higher Kingsbury

Last year, the Planning and Environment Committee was approached by some of the tenants of Old Tannery Way who were experiencing levels of noise and dust particles from the laundry which were having an adverse impact on their well-being.  In order to support the tenants in their efforts to encourage the company to carry out improvements to its silencers and filters, the Parish Council wrote to the company to lend support to these tenants.  We have recently learnt that the company has carried out extensive alterations in order to reduce noise and emissions, which is an excellent result, demonstrating that it is possible for interested parties to work together for positive outcomes.