Minutes of the Village Meeting- 20/09/23
Minutes of Berwick St James Village Meeting
Wednesday 20th September 2023 at 19:00hrs
In Attendance: Julian Glyn-Owen – Chairman
Bill Hiscocks - Treasurer
Hayley Burrey - Secretary
Total attendees: 30 people
Apologies Received and Read out: Henry Colthurst, Sophie Colthurst, Kate Glyn-Owen, Jane Lock-Smith, Sarah Humphreys , Toby Humphreys, Sally Hiscock , James Hardy, Johanna Hardy, Helen Riding, Mike Riding, Ian Gibb, Gail Lovett, Gill Brasher, Pauline Stephenson, John Stephenson, Wendy Armstrong, Brian Armstrong, Christine McConnell and Carolyn MacDougall
Summary of Agenda Discussions, Actions and Decisions Agreed:
1. Hot News off the Press
• If you’re a resident with parking on BSJ High Street… PLEASE could you move your vehicle off the road for this Friday morning? The road sweeper is coming through from 10am…
2. Welcome & Apologies
Chairman (Julian Glyn- Owen) opened the meeting at 19:00hrs, welcomed all in attendance to the meeting and expressed that we had a packed agenda and would begin on time.
• Julian introduced himself and the team to those who hadn’t met us before.
• Julian said he was looking for input, enthusiasm and encouragement.
• Julian then read out all of the apologies (See top of page)
3. Minutes of the Last Meeting and Matters Arising
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) said that the minutes have been on the website for a while and asked if all were agreed that they were an accurate reflection of the meeting.
Proposed by Bill Hiscocks and Seconded by Nicky Street. All in favour and no objections.
4. Berwick Road and Winterbourne Stoke, Footpath.
With reference to the footpath on the walk to Winterbourne Stoke, Dominic Ridley provided an update from Alice Ridley.
Dominic showed a slide of the proposed footpath and said that Druids were happy with it. (Slide available on web site)
• Alice has contacted the council and they have provided information on the planning process.
• There are costs attached to this, which could run up to £3,000 -£4,000.
• They are currently discussing options of funding.
• Alice needs to find out if we have any prospect of receiving funding and can then get the application organised.
• This process could take up to two years.
• Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) thanked Dominic and passed on thanks to Alice – he then opened up for any questions.
• Neil MacDougall asked where the gate would be – which Dominic pointed to on the slide.
• A short discussion took place within the meeting and thanks were given to Dominic again.
5a. New Constituency Boundary
Treasurer (Bill Hiscocks) showed 2 slides with the existing and new constituency boundary (slides available on web site)
• Bill explained the number of MPs over Wiltshire was being increased and that Berwick would now be in a new constituency to be called East Wiltshire. He explained how the boundaries are determined and that Berwick was being separated from Salisbury.
• It is not known who will stand for the constituency and we will update when more information is available.
5b. Village Accounts
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) then moved on to the next item on the agenda of the village accounts.
• Treasurer (Bill Hiscocks) then presented a slide (please see website) and outlined, the Precept, Community Fund, A303 Fund and Bob’s Legacy Fund.
• Bob’s Legacy Fund - £1,015.00
• A303 Fund - £614.00
• Community Fund - £1426.00
• Precept - £3876.00
• Bill asked if there were any questions at this point.
• Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) paid thanks to Bill.
6. Bob Drake’s Legacy
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) moved onto the next agenda item and extended a warm welcome to Jeff Drake, who is the brother of Bob Drake and invited him to discuss his ideas.
• Jeff Drake then stood up to address the meeting and explained that he thinks we should have something to remember Bob by and was open to ideas.
• Julian asked Jeff what he would like to see.
• Jeff mentioned maybe a raised bed with flowers.
• A discussion then took place with several people discussing ideas, including flowers, a plaque, planting a tree, daffodils and the various locations.
• The consensus seemed to be daffodils, a plaque and a tree and perhaps opposite the pub – with the Bucknall’s permission.
• Julian agreed to look into the plaque and Bill agreed to follow up on permission of location.
7. Planning Applications Updates
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) outlined that there have not been any new applications or any resolutions with the existing ones.
• Gillian Bibby stated that their application has been denied, with they have no plans to apply further.
8. A303 Update
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) then moved on to the next agenda item – the A303.
• Apologies had been sent from Carolyn MacDougall, who was due to provide the update.
• Julian showed 2 x slides (available on web site) and read out the statement from Carolyn.
• Further legal challenges are being raised.
• Legal challenges are made towards due process and not towards the scheme itself.
• We now wait to see if there will be a full judicial review and we will know more in the next month.
• Please see slide for full details.
• Julian concluded we were all happy with the update and passed our collective thanks to Carolyn.
9. Fundraising Events for 2024/25
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) wished to highlight some goals /ideas to raise money for the community to continue enjoying experiences of the environment we have. Julian would like to encourage expression of ideas to generate interest of what we could take forward and who would volunteer.
• Julian showed a slide with over 20 current ideas (please see website)
• A general discussion was had referencing previous events and other new ideas.
• Julian expressed again, that he would love to work with anybody who would like to come forward.
• It was also covered that we would like to do something specifically for the children.
• Nigel Rogers commented that the Reading Room were already planning a Cheese and wine.
10. Church Garden & Church Update
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) moved on to the next agenda item of the Church Garden and Church update. Julian showed a first slide with a panoramic view including the swans. Then invited Anika Lange to provide an update and show another slide. (Please see website for slides)
• Anika provided an update following all the hard work.
• The grass has grown really well and now Greg has began strimming by the river, it looks great.
• Lots of red campion, snow drops and meadow sweet – plus wildflowers where Martin and Rosie Gairdner had worked on.
• Anika suggested it would be great to put together a working party again in the spring to tackle the nettles.
• Still waiting for news regarding the bench and planting of trees.
• We can look at planting blue bells.
• Julian asked if its ok for people to go down and use the area – which was confirmed.
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) asked Bill Hiscocks to provide a brief update on the church.
• Bill made reference to the large tree branches falling on August BH Monday – by which fortunately nobody was hurt.
• Dominic Ridley has been super helpful in liaising with official responsible for trees in Wiltshire Council, who has stated he will not allow the tree to be felled.
• A decision will be made at the PCC meeting, to decide what to do with the tree.
• It is likely to be reduced in size but cannot be taken down.
• Julian made thanks to Dominic.
• Bill made reference that Maggie (curate) has offered her support/ counselling to anybody in the village.
• The harvest festival produce will be donated to the Women’s Refuge.
• Neil MacDougall proposed a vote of thanks to Bill and the rest of his team for the Harvest Supper.
• Bill confirmed that we raised £455.00 and thanks to all who donated.
11. Reading Room
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) asked Nicky Street to give the update on the Reading Room.
• Nicky began by saying she would keep her update short.
• The photos on the wall in the Reading Room have been organised and mounted by Anika Lange.
• They are mainly photos from Nicky’s and Bill’s collections which Neil MacDougall has digitally enhanced.
• Nicky paid thanks to both Anika and Neil.
• We have recently had a great ‘Beauty of Bugs’ talk with thanks to Juliet in Stapleford.
• Also, the first of the wonderful Art talks by Brian Armstrong has taken place with more to come.
• The Tea / Cake and Chat afternoons are proving to be a great success.
• The day of these will change to Tuesdays – so as not to coincide with the Chatty Café at the Farm Shop.
• The Christmas Coffee Morning will be held on Saturday 2nd December.
• Julian asked Nicky to explain the details of the Wyle Art Trail.
• This is a group of local artists who show their work and then hand out a free brochure.
• A Bingo plus Cheese/wine evening are also under discussion.
• Julian paid thanks to Nicky and her team.
12. Speed Watch
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) welcomed Marie Perry to provide the Community Speed Watch Update. Marie showed a slide with all of the latest statistics on and explained how it works. (Please see web site for stats / slide)
• Some of the speeds are quite shocking.
• Charlie Street asked if these could be emergency vehicles.
• Rosie Gairdner suggested we have sleeping policeman – Marie explained this wasn’t possible due to the passage of farm vehicles.
• Keith Lovett asked if the speed was recorded before the vehicle actually arrives at the village.
• Neil MacDougall said this was a grey area.
• We now have our own speed device with a view to do more speed watch.
• Julian asked if any volunteers would come forward and please contact Marie directly.
13. Plant and Produce Table
Marie Perry asked to give a brief update on the plant and produce table on behalf of Christine McConnell.
• Marie showed a certificate for £640:00 which has been raised in the last year for Cancer Research. All details on the web site, with thanks to Neil for putting it on.
• Sam at the Farm Shop has also offered to put on a Spooktacular Event to raise money for the cause.
• All donations for raffle etc will be gratefully received.
• Julian paid thanks to Christine McConnell and also to Marie.
• Neil MacDougall wished to support Marie and again requested that volunteers for speed watch, please put their names forward.
14. Village Survey Initiative 2024
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) showed a slide including a live QR code and explained his idea for the new village survey.
• The survey would cover the needs and wants of the village over the next 4/5 years.
• This will be a digital survey and asked if anybody was interested in supporting the scheme and working with Julian on this.
• For those that are not digitally savvy – we can of course print it off for individuals.
• Julian is going to be driving the initiative and will provide details of the trial run and in essence the outcome of the results, at the next village meeting.
• This is a project that will be worked over the next few months.
15. Village Website & Email
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) moved on to the next agenda which, was the village website and invited Neil MacDougall to present his pitch.
• Neil proceeded to show 5 x slides (all available/please see on website) which demonstrated the functionality and capability of the user-friendly site.
• Including details of all the valuable information, including the welcome booklet and easy to read drop down menus for navigation, also covering all events.
• Neil explained that Hugo Fox have provided the web site for free since 2016.
• However, they will now be charging £9.99 per month + vat from April 2024 (£144:00 per year).
• We have 3 choices – we can either keep it for free until 4th April and then lose it all.
• Keep it for free until 4th April and then commence the £9.99 per month.
• Or begin paying the £9.99 per month from 4th October and have some additional user-friendly functions to the menu.
• Julian asked that a vote be taken to choose the favoured option.
• There were 23 in favour of paying the fee from October 4th and 2 in favour of paying the fee from April next year.
• It was agreed that we would commence payment from October 4th 2023 and enjoy the new modifications.
• Julian paid thanks to Neil for all his work behind the scenes and for keeping the web site active.
Chairman (Julian Glyn- Owen) then highlighted the current Email service for the village.
• The initial service was set up by Christian Lange back in 2005 (absorbed within his own business) and we bought the domain name of BSJ – providing 500 email addresses for free.
They now wish to charge £30 per email and if we keep those needed – it would now be at a cost of £120:00 per month.
• Julian also mentioned that now some email addresses are bouncing back.
• Julian asked if there were any objections if the email addresses change.
• Bill Hiscocks said that it would be good to retain the name of BSJ.
• Julian has looked at the costing and he will be able to implement this for approximately £60:00 per month. ( is this correct - £720 per annum ?)
• It was agreed that Julian would action this and report back at the next village meeting.
16. The Boot Inn. Update
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) moved on to the next agenda item, which was the update on the Boot Inn, displaying a photo on a slide. ( sorry- don’t understand ?)
• Julian explained that he had been in contact with Chris Faulkner -the area rep for Red OakTaverns.
• 3 couples have viewed the pub to date, although none are interested in pursuing further.
• Online the annual rent states it is £35k per year to rent with a £5k deposit.
• It would appear that there is substantial renovations are needed and this seems to be the sticking point with potential new landlords.
• We therefore need to keep an eye on the fact that we have previously registered the pub as an Asset of Community Value.
• This registration / status expires in July 2024.
• Julian asked if anybody was willing to take on the task of repeating the process and apply for new registration.
• Following a brief discussion on the matter and the previous application to both the pub and the farm shop – it was agreed that Bill Hiscocks and Neil MacDougall agreed to collaborate
on doing this and reviewing available funds if necessary.
• Christian Lange requested that, should there be any significant change to the status/ use of the pub – we should undertake that we would hold an emergency meeting.
• Julian took this as an action.
17. Asserton and St. Peter’s Church, Winterbourne Stoke, Footpath.
Chairman (Julian Glyn - Owen) then moved on to the footpath and the fencing between Asserton and St Peters Church in Winterbourne Stoke.
• Julian then showed 7 slides (please view all on web site) which detailed photographs of the fence, plus a number of emails from Druids Estate.
• These emails covered statements/ information and correspondence.
• As above – all details available on the web site.
• Julian then invited Tracey from Winterbourne Stoke to provide an update of their latest village meeting in Winterbourne Stoke – which she did.
• Julian asked if anybody had a view of supporting this kind of fencing.
• It was unanimous that we would stop it if we could and a full show of hands showed that we would like it removed if possible.
• A lively discussion continued for some time and Julian covered that we should apply logic and not make any assumptions.
• Juian asked if there would be support in the room to take action on this and explained the options on the table.
• A further detailed and lengthy discussion took place regarding the HSE and the health & safety aspect plus risk management, livestock, dog owners, the relationship with Druids, all frustrations, plus all possible routes to progress in a positive direction.
• The overall consensus was that we should not ‘poke the bear’ and that drawing attention to ourselves might cause problems later.
• Following a vote - the eventual conclusion was that we shouldn’t get involved with the personal fight with Winterbourne Stoke and that we should start a positive dialogue with John Elliott (Estate Manager) from Druids to explore all options – by nominating an individual to represent each village. (BSJ and WS)
18. Any Other Business
Chairman (Julian Glyn-Owen) summarised the meeting and outlined again that this had been a particularly packed agenda. So much so, that certain key items had been excluded – such as the Drones hovering over the village and flood prevention.
• Julian then took the opportunity to collectively say a fond farewell to Jackie Fisher, who is leaving the village after 57 years and mentioned fondly her late husband Ian Fisher (ex- village chair)
• Also, a farewell to Anne Hughes.
• A very big welcome to the new residents.
• A very special / official thanks to the previous chair Christian Lange and Co-Chair Sarah Humphreys and the superb work they had done over the last 4 years.
• A presentation (thank you gift) was then offered and a huge round of applause was given to Chris and Sarah.
• Julian also paid his personal thanks to Bill Hiscocks for remaining on as Village Treasurer and to Hayley Burrey for continuing as Village Clerk.
• A further round of applause followed for them.
19. Date of Next Meeting
Chairman (Julian Glyn-Owen) stated that the next village meeting will be held on 25th January 2024, unless an emergency meeting is called for December.
Chairman (Julian Glyn-Owen) then thanked everybody and announced the end of the meeting,
which closed at 20:59 hrs and then drinks were served.