What does the Parish Council Do?

At the Timberscombe Annual Parish Meeting the Chairman of the Parish Council, Peter Pilkington, presented his report for the last year.

Last year we welcomed two new councillors, Allan Sutton and Kathy Walker, to the Parish Council. Allan has taken on supervision of the footpaths in the parish and Kathy is looking after the Play Area.

The Council responded to 11 planning applications in the last 12 months: The Old Dairy, Owayview, 1 Forge Cottages, River Steep, Bougham Farm, North Hawkwell Farm, Totterdown Bungalow, Embellewood, Beasley Yard and Allercott Farm (2). We also reported an apparent breach of planning, which a parishioner brought to our attention.

We have been working hard to make Timberscombe a more Eco-friendly village. We joined the No Mow May campaign and with help from many volunteers planted hundreds of wildflower seeds and plants around the village. We hope to see the fruits of our labour soon. The councillors have also planted free trees around the parish.

Councillor Cait Collins was instrumental in setting up the Eco Timberscombe group. She also managed to secure the council a grant to cover the cost of a biodiversity survey of the parish, which should be available to view shortly. A presentation of the findings was given in the village hall on 21st February.

The village hall was also used to host the West Somerset Together meeting on wildlife friendly gardening. The presentation was very interesting. The wildlife survey, giving ideas on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly, is available on the Somerset Wildlife website.

Throughout the year the Parish Council organised village maintenance including cutting hedges and grass, tidying the bank by the Village Hall, cleaning the telephone box/defibrillator interior, clearing/relaying of the gulley by the chapel.

Cllr Sarah Campbell has temporarily taken over the guardianship of the village defibrillator and we would like to thank Mr Ware, who has kindly agreed to clean the phone box regularly. We urgently need to find somebody who is willing to take on the longer-term guardianship of the defibrillator.

We contracted the dog bins and rubbish bins to be emptied and the salt bins to be refilled.

Numerous blocked drains, potholes, damaged signposts and gates were reported to SCC for repair and the vast majority of them have now been mended. The parish now has a Parish Paths Liaison Officer Garry Southon. He can undertake minor repairs and clearances, but repairs should first be reported to Cllr Allan Sutton so that he can complete online reporting of the issues.

We have had less success with the water in Great House Street, which was reported to Wessex Water and SCC. Wessex Water have tested the water and confirmed that it is natural spring water and not a burst pipe.

The Parish Council liaised with County Councillor Frances Nicholson to get white lines painted outside the Post Office, to help those with limited mobility access the Post Office. 20mph flashing signs were also installed near the school. The Parish Council donated £300 to St Petrock’s Church to help towards grass cutting in the graveyard.

As you may be aware, Somerset will shortly become one unitary council. The parish councillor representatives met with Somerset Highways at Timberscombe to discuss new ways of working.

As trustees to the JAPF the council has overseen repairs to the Play Area, including a new fence dividing it from the football pitch.

We have responded to parishioners concerns regarding the dangers on a bridleway close to a farm and access to a field on the A396.

The Parish Council wrote to Magna regarding concerns about the closure of The Old Dairy and also about the lack of support for their residents during the recent power outage.

Mr Wood, from Magna, was invited to attend the April meeting to answer the Council’s concerns regarding the lack of support for residents during the recent storm. Magna were, apparently, unaware that the Timberscombe residents were without power for a prolonged period!

Cllr Pugsley commended the work done by Timberscombe residents at this time, particularly the Timberscombe Good Neighbour (TGN) volunteers under the guidance of Joy Booth. TGN are looking to purchase emergency items such as hot water bottles, torches, flasks, etc. The Village Hall committee will be looking to buy generators to use in the Hall in a power outage for hot water /food. The Parish Council will support this work whenever possible and have asked Mr wood back to our June meeting to feedback on the concerns expressed at the April meeting.

The Parish Council has repeatedly voiced displeasure to County Councillors about the recent chaos with “emergency” road closures where diversions direct the public to closed roads, signs were left up too long after the work was finished, signs stated that the road was closed when it wasn’t, and publicised closures didn’t happen. We hope that the new Somerset Highways structure will be able to improve these problems.

Cllr Kathy Walker has volunteered to be the parish representative on the Somerset Bus Partnership Forum.

The Parish Council was delighted to host a presentation to Cllr Sarah Campbell, on behalf of the village, to say thank you for her efforts in the Post Office during the Covid pandemic. Her support for villagers has been very much appreciated. The Parish Council added its thanks to her for her work in the Post Office.

We hope that you have signed up to receive the regular website news bulletins, provided by our clerk and others in the village. You may not be aware that the Parish Council pays for the site hosting.

And finally, the Parish Council will be supporting the Jubilee Celebrations on 3rd June. We have purchased 72 Jubilee mugs to be presented to all the children in the village and the surplus to be sold.

Peter Pilkington, Chairman Timberscombe Parish Council

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