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Summer Reflections

Posted on 28th September, 2014

It's been a while since my last Blog but BOB has been busy about Bleadon in the Summer and has more than a few issues to share and they can be found below: 

PC Vacancy

Deadline is almost upon us for electors to claim an election or to put themselves forward ............

 

Please see http://www.bleadon.org.uk/whatsnew.html?part_id=158463&post_id=18820&action=view_comments

 

In case you didn't know..........Ian Findlay, who was elected in May 2013, has unfortunately had to resign as Councillor in order to continue his role as Village Ranger because BPC belatedly realised the conflict of interest in the dual roles after his appointment as Ranger in June 2014.

 

Apparently, as is their norm, BPC intend to fill this vacancy by co-option and, prior to the legal official notice being published, have already approached Ian Gibson (Halls Treasurer) with the Parish Clerk asking him to speak about why he should be chosen at the September public PC meeting. 

 

However, there may be others who may also wish to become elected as a parish councillor and represent the views of the electorate. Anyone wishing to do so can contact parishclerk@bleadonparishcouncil.gov.uk for further information. BOB has also assisted with the democratic process as per the linked notice.

 

Remember, the whole council must be re-elected in 2015, perhaps you'd like to put yourself forward at that time. Either way anyone interested can get further information here http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-and-community-council-elections-in-england-and-wales. You don't have to live in Bleadon to be elected.

 

Footpath Woe

BOB is sad to report that the appeal against the Diversion Order of Footpaths on South Hill has not been upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

 

Despite agreeing with many of the objections raised against the order the Inspector decided (as is unfortunately quite common) to agree with the LA (see map), stating in conclusion: 

  • " that it is expedient to confirm the Order in the interests of the landowner; the proposed routes will not be substantially less convenient to the public; there will be no adverse effect on public enjoyment, on the land served by the existing path, or the land over which the proposed path will pass." 

I suppose it all depends on your point of view (or actually the inspectors) but we still disagree........There is a possibility to appeal to the High Court and this is being considered. However, the Inspector has confirmed that our main concerns regarding the historic use of South Hill as Open Space and the circuitous route need to be dealt with under different legislation. Unfortunately the waiting list to decide these issues of primary benefit to public can take many many years to be even considered by NS, strange but true. It is no wonder people give up the fight for rights.

 

BTW, this may be pure coincidence but the South Hill landowner has now applied for prior approval to convert the agricultural buildings near these diverted footpaths into residential properties. See Planning Applications below

 

BOB is still in correspondence with the PC on the broader and deeper topic of financial accountability for footpath maintenance and other matters. If you're interested in the details read here.

 

Finally, there is some good news. BOB has been asking North Somerset since August 2013 to clear the vegetation off the A370 foot/cyclepath from Accomodation Road to Uphill Road South but to no avail. So I asked John Penrose for help and following his intervention, after an intial cut back they intend this winter to finish the job making it much safer to use than it is currently.

 

Bus Service

The recent meeting between bus users, North Somerset & Weston Town councillors and NS officers has had some success. 50-60 people (including 2 Bleadon Parish Councillors ID Clarke & Steve Hartree) attended the open meeting held at Bleadon Post House Cafe and although it was stated there will be no 8am or Sunday services, it was said that the timetable will return to an hourly based service and the use of Double Deckers will also be reviewed. The service will no longer include Worlebury but will stay more local servicing Hutton instead.

 

The 'new' service will not start until March 2015 due to existing contracts and requests from North Somerset to monitor and feedback to them via Councillors Terry Porter (Hutton) and Peter Fox (Bleadon Hill) and/or Paul Connolly (NS Transport Planning Officer) Another 'people power' result, well done to all involved let's keep pushing for more services. See more

 

Planning Applications

Buy one Wake Park get a Caravan Park free 

A proposed request for change of use from Seasonal Boot Sale to Caravan Park is planned on the land adjacent to the proposed Weston (Bleadon) Wake Park citing the Wake Park as a good reason to do so!

 

BTW, there is already a Wake Park in Middlemoor, Wollavington which is expanding to include a velodrome and athletics track so do we really need 2 Water Parks within 30 mins of each other? http://www.middlemoor.co.uk/ 

 

Middlemoor is placed between Puriton and East Huntspill, 2 of the other 4 councils that our clerk is also employed by.

 

Farm Cottage conversions planned outside settlement boundary

As previously mentioned in footpath woe, the South Hill Farm owner has applied to convert existing agricultural buildings into residential properties. Strange as the landowner wanted to keep public away from the farm, stating he didn't want people walking through a working farm as one of the main reasons for a PROW diversion but it appears that property development is more lucrative. This will be a residential development outside the Bleadon settlement boundary so lets see how the PC & NS react to this application. Like the Quarry Development, it will bring further potential transport congestion at the A370 junction of Bleadon Mill/Bridge Road. 

  

SOUTH HILL Open Space 

I sometimes think that it's felt in some quarters BOB makes blog material up, So thought I would share the following email received from a concerned Bleadon Resident about Notices posted on South Hill.


 

To: BOB CC: xxx

Subject: RE: Bleadon Parish Council Minutes & Agenda Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2014 08:02:58 +0000

 

Hello Chris,

All the entrances to South Hill have proposals for a revised ‘footpath’ which denies access to members of the public across the field (which we have enjoyed for generations) and uses the road – including the dangerous Shiplate corner instead of the field. I’ve had a quick look but this doesn’t appear to have been discussed by the Parish Council and wondered if you knew how I can go about voicing my disapproval?

Many thanks,

xxx


 

More detailed correspondence and how you can interact with the process can be found within the useful links here which highlight issues that PC is possibly unaware or cares not to challenge.

 

Summary

Phew that was a real marathon but hopefully an insight into the length of time it takes to get almost nowhere when asking simple questions of our parish council via the parish clerk and they wonder why most have given up and are trying to work around them....Solar Farm, South Hill, Bus Service, A370 Traffic & Pavement problems, Marshalls Quarry, etc, etc.

 

Communications with the PC may get worse as at the September PC meeting, following a suggestion by the clerk (not our councillors), it has now been made even harder to speak at PC meetings. Both councillors ID Clarke and Steve Hartree felt this was a backward step but the motion was carried!

 

See you around and keep letting me know your village updates, activities and concerns so that we can all share them.

 

BOB

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