This year we will be holding our AGM at the Community Hall 7.30pm this coming Thursday, 18th of November.
In recognition of the fact that Covid numbers are still pretty high in our area we plan to conduct the meeting cautiously.
We will be keeping some windows open so do wrap up warm. If it is appropriate for you to wear a mask we would ask you to do so.
Ladies Club - We will be making decorations under the guidance of our lovely Sue Williams. She sells her own cards in Wells and is great with getting us non-artists making amazing decorations.
Thursday 18th November
Wookey Hole Residents’ Forum (WHRF) AGM
Saturday 22nd January
WHRF Bring and Share Supper
Grant available for Environmental Improvement to our village
St Cuthbert (Out) Parish Council are offering Environmental Grants of up to £500 to each of 4 villages, 1 per ward.
Tree planting, rewilding, renewable energy projects, repair workshops and improving footpath and cycle links are all examples of what could attract parish council funding.
Easton, Wookey Hole, Coxley, Polsham, Dulcote, Dinder and The Horringtons all lie within St. Cuthbert (Out) and the Council would like to award a £500 grant in each of its four wards. The closing date for applications is 30th November 2021.
Melitta has decided to step down from the role of looking into the possibility of reinstating the Trout’s Bend footpath. If anyone else thinks they might be interested do let us know. Melitta has gathered quite a lot of information that she would be happy to pass on to anyone else who might like to take this on.
Food Bank Donations
A year ago, following last years Harvest Festival, we started monthly collections to donate to Wells Food Bank. Thanks to everyone who has supported this over the last year. Our donations are still needed. There is a box in the church porch and donations can be left at any time throughout the month and will be taken to the Food Bank on the last Wednesday of the month. All gifts are welcome but things that are always needed are tinned meat, tinned meals, Fray Bentos pies , tinned fruit, coffee, cereals. laundry pods, toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel. Undamaged egg boxes are also very useful.
Minutes of WHFC meeting held at Wookey Hole Caves’ picnic tables 16th June 2021
Present: Julia Scarth (Chair), Doug Robinson, Roger Hancock, Sarah Chambers, Charlie Chambers, Chloe Parrish
1: Apologies for absence: Sarah Mardle
2: Minutes of last meeting 14 April 2021 agreed and signed
3: Treasurer’s report (Sarah C) As at the previous meeting, the current balance is £1588.50, of which £520 is being held for the parish council neighbourhood plan grant and £540.73 held for LWTS, leaving a balance of £527.77.
4. Traffic in the village (Sarah C) Sarah C reported that all street surveys are now completed, awaiting Milton Lane report. Traffic count to take place in summer.
Two offers materialised from Julia’s email requesting help with the traffic counting and surveys, one of which offered to help with the lighting survey. Sarah C confirmed that street lighting is included within the group’s remit.
The next working group meeting will be used to clarify what’s being looked at by the group and the surveys.
Thanks to SCC and the Parish council for their support and funding of traffic counters.
Help is required to put together and format the final report. Julia to request volunteers in the next email.
Julia noted that traffic was one issue raised and considered by the inspector as part of the Armchair Fields planning application review (see 6, below).
5. Future events - Bring and Share supper and date for AGM (Roger H) Roger felt that, without a venue in which to hold the B&SS and/or limits on numbers allowed to convene together due to Covid-19, the complex logistics involved in arranging separate events in people’s houses made this idea untenable at present. He also felt this approach lacked the sociability of a large village group event.
Julia has been informed by Alec Lewis that the village hall requires building/maintenance work and is unlikely to be available for use before September. The Club was suggested as a venue but it was noted that the room upstairs has accessibility issues due to the stairs. There are also similar access issues at the Church, and as it lacks a kitchen it was felt this was not an appropriate alternative venue for the B&SS.
Sarah C suggested holding the event later in the year, when the hall may be ready. She also noted that, if the club remains closed on Wednesdays, we could potentially hold it there, downstairs. The club has the added benefit of excellent kitchen facilities.
Roger suggested asking WH Caves if it could be hosted by the hotel.
The various options will be revisited and discussed at the next meeting, with a decision made then once Covid regulations for the rest of the year are likely to be clearer, following the expected announcement on July 19. Likewise a date and venue for the AGM will be discussed and agreed upon at the next meeting, once we have a better understanding of Covid-Related regulations regarding numbers at public gatherings etc.
6. Armchair Field and other local planning applications updates Julia explained that the developers had appealed MDC’s decision to deny planning permission, leading to a public enquiry. The inspector heard all arguments and visited the site. He upheld MDC’s decision, primarily on the basis of the effect on the landscape of the proposed development.
Thanks was expressed to Ivor Tetley for all his hard work convening residents and enlisting the help of a Chartered Town Planner.
Julia noted that, as yet, no decision to appeal the refusal of planning permission has been lodged by Gladman for the Glencot Road site.
Sarah noted that the Coombe Brook/Homestead Park application is on hold pending the outcome of the phosphate issue.
7. Parish Council (Julia) Julia informed the group that Ed is keen to see an information or notice board installed at or in the old bus shelter. The shelter however requires maintenance works. Colin has kindly had a look and suggested some ideas for seating.
The Assets Management Committees of the Parish Council has suggested that villages might set up Village Participation Working Parties who would take responsibility for looking after council-owned property in the village. The working parties would comprise of 4 members, of whom 2 would be Parish Council members and 2 other village residents. Any works would be covered by Parish Council insurance. Other council-owned assets in the village include the allotments (which have their own management committee) and the triangle.
Suggested members for the Wookey Hole Village Participation Working Group are Ed, Colin Babb, Julia Scarth and Paul Cannon. The suggested members were agreed.
Julia to keep the group informed of developments.
8. AOB An update on the footpath at Trout’s Bend - Julia said Melitta Izzard was having problems accessing the necessary form on line and was intending to phone the relevant SCC Department. However it may be a slow process - at a recent NFU webinar on public access it was highlighted that in 2019 SCC received 303 applications and processed 3!
A report is awaited from Mendip District Council explaining how the concrete paths on Holeground are permissible.
9: Next meeting Thursday 26 August 2021, 19.30. Venue TBC.
Present Julia Scarth-Chair, Sarah Mardle-Secretary, Doug Robinson, Roger Hancock, Sarah Chambers, Charlie Chambers, Chloe Parish
1: Apologies for absence. none
2. Minutes of last meeting 10th February 2021 were agreed and signed & will be posted on Wookey Hole Website
3: Treasurers Report - Sarah C Sarah C reported one expense for the shelving in the phone box. The current bank balance is £1588.50 (£520 being held for Parish council grant) and we are holding £540.73 for LWTST leaving WHRF's balance of £527.77
4: The Phone Box book exchange Colin Babb very kindly built some shelving for the phone box. A team of 6 volunteers have taken on the task of monitoring it & keeping it organised. It is now filled with a good selection of books, puzzles & seeds.
5. Road working group. Sarah C reported that they have been working on the road sheets supplied by Ed, marking where current signs are & highlighting possible obstacles & parking areas. This information will be passed to the Parish Council to be submitted as part of a report to be submitted to Somerset County Council. Julia to send out an email asking for volunteers to help collect information.
SCC have just funded some Automatic Traffic Counters to measure the traffic flow in & around the village. This data will be collected during the summer months.
The residents of Priddy have managed to get some roads taken off Satnavs via a web site that links to Google maps & Satnavs. Sarah M will speak to Paul Cannon to see if he knows how they did it.
6) Future Events - Roger Roger has emailed Julia a list of ideas, we will discuss these further at the next meeting when we know more about the easing of lockdown. The village hall is not due to be available until September due to works needed to the roof. Julia reported that there will be a village picnic in the church grounds on 18/7/21 after the church service.
7) Trout Bend Footpath - Julia Melitta Izzard is leading this project & has received a few residents witness statements. Melitta has been trying to download the form from MDC to submit the statements but has been unable to. She is waiting for MDC to get back to her & help her.
8) Food Bank Donations - Julia The donations are tailing off but the collections will continue on the last Wednesday of the month for the foreseeable future.
9) Planning Applications - Julia Armchair field - The Planning Inspectors hearing is taking place via Microsoft Teams on 5th May. Daniel Foster has submitted an objection & is attending the hearing on behalf of the 37 residents who have funded an appeal. Coombe Brook - No decision has been made yet Concrete paths at Holeground - Doug has written to MDC & an enforcement case has been started. Jim Hardcastle from AONB has been informed by a number of people & has notified Historic England & Natural England who are both doing a site visit shortly. Ros Wyke, leader of MDC has been notified. Julia to speak to Mike Pullen & Ed Danson Land at back of LA Moore site - Haybridge Residents have been voicing their concerns about the large area that has been cleared recently & asking what was being planned for the area. Julia to speak to Mike Pullen.
11) AOB Ed Danson is trying to get a Village history/ Information hub set up in the old bus shelter at the bottom of School Hill. Julia to put out a request for volunteers to help maintain the garden around the shelter & repair the roof.
12) Next meeting will be held 16th June 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed.
Minutes of WHFC meeting via Zoom 10th February 2021
Present Julia Scarth-Chair, Sarah Mardle-Secretary, Doug Robinson, Sarah Chambers, Charlie Chambers, Chloe Parish
1: Apologies for absence. Roger Hancock, Sue Lee has stood down from the committee
2. Minutes of last meeting 9th December 2020 were agreed and signed & will be posted on Wookey Hole Website
3: Treasurers Report - Sarah C Sarah C reported that the current bank balance is £1622.14 (£520 being held for Parish council grant) and we are holding £540.73 for LWTST balance of £561.41
4: Road working group. Sarah C reported that they have now decided on aims and objectives and will be meeting again in March. Sarah thinks that signage will be the most probable outcome.
5: Lockdown experiences publication - Sarah M So far we have received 1 publication. Les Cloutman has provided a lockdown wildlife report for January, this has been put on the website & has had 185 hits. Sarah & Charlie C have created some lockdown experiences & will forward to Sarah M to put on the website. Julia has just forwarded Les Cloutmans 2nd wildlife report for Feb & Sarah M will put on website.
6: Trout Bend Footpath - Julia Melitta Izzard has volunteered to lead this project, there are a few residents that have said they will provide statements to show they regularly use the path. It was agreed that we should put Paul Cannons article about Green Lane on the web site. New signs have been provided by the private owner of Green Lane, information on these will go out on the next email by Julia. It was bought up about the uncertainty as to if there are signs at the bottom of the Green lane approach in Wookey hole. Sarah C informs that there are no lost footpaths in Wookey hole that have been indicated on the Ramblers web site.
7: WH Village Website - Sarah M John Grange has kindly tweeked the website so we can now load on lockdown experience videos. Sarah provided a report of the amount of viewings each article had received. The residents forums minutes for October had 285 hits, for Augusts one 653 hits, Junes 885 hits. The Coronavirus article had 3021 hits.
8) Future Events - Roger No progress due to lockdown, we will discuss at next meeting
9) Food Bank Donations - Julia Sandy Witters reported to Julia that the donations were gratefully received. The collections will continue to be on the last Wednesday of the month, especially needed were egg boxes & tinned ham. A reminder will be sent out to the mailing list a week before each collection is due.
10) Ivor Tetley Planning Appeal - Julia The Armchair field appeal currently has over 30 people signed up for the Zoom meeting with Daniel Foster on Thursday 18th February at 4pm. Doug points out that there is nothing about the appeal on the actual planning website.
11) AOB The committee agreed that on Julia's next WHRF info email, we would pay a tribute to Gerry Cottle who has recently passed away.
It was also agreed that a copy of Julia's WHRF newsletters should be published on the WH Village website.
Following the publication of the Residents Forums AGM newsletter, Julia has received 2 thank you's from residents.
Sarah C reported that the Conservation Report for the proposed development behind Coombe Brooke had been published & it was not in favour of the residents objecting to the planning permission. Sarah C agreed to create an email to send out to the mailing list asking for objections.
Chloe suggested setting up a book/games/puzzles exchange in the Church porch. Julia said it gets quite damp in there. Chloe suggested the old Telephone Box.
Julia mentioned a local resident who was looking for a garage or off road space to park his campervan. Julia agreed to put this request on the next newsletter.
12: Next meeting will be held via Zoom 14th April 7.30pm
If you are interested in keeping up to date on the application for 9 new proposed houses on Homestead Park (2020/0668/FUL) and have not yet seen the documents uploaded in December 2020 and this year please take a look now https://publicaccess.mendip.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q7SJMDKPLEZ00 . The Conversation Officer’s critical report states amongst other things “ A design which genuinely attempts to engage with the local distinctiveness of the area, rather than just stating as such should have greater regard to its setting within a visually distinctive village.” If you have comments or objections you wish to raise, now would be an opportune moment to submit them to Mendip.
Request for plants