Following the Council’s sponsorship of a housing needs survey in North Newton, Ms Esther Carter from Sedgemoor Council’s Affordable Housing Team, presented the findings to Members and outlined the process for taking a project forward to provide houses in the village to meet the need. It was agreed to discuss the matter in detail at the next meeting, with a view to appointing a steering group to drive things forward.
Library Service Review
Mr Ollie Woodhams from Somerset County Council answered Members’ questions about the consultation that was taking place about plans to reduce the library service. He stressed that no decisions would be made until later in the year when the results of the consultation had been considered, but, given the likelihood that cutbacks would be necessary, it was felt that discussions about future options with the Town Council would be helpful. The Council already provides financial support to maintain the opening hours of the library in North Petherton and, whilst it was felt strongly that further cutbacks to the service were unacceptable, Members agreed that Cllr Revans, Cllr Mrs Hyde, Cllr Bradford and the Clerk should meet with library officials to look at practical ways forward.
Speed Indication Devices
Further to previous discussions about the County Council’s decision to no longer fund the provision of Speed Indication Devices, the Council looked at the relative costs and benefits of purchasing and operating its own equipment or joining a county wide scheme and paying the County Council to provide the service on an as and when needed basis. It was felt that the latter was likely to be the best option and Cllr Spencer agreed to attend a meeting later in the month when the county system would be explained in more detail.
Members expressed their concerns that planning permissions were being granted for major developments in the area without adequate considering being given to the impact that they would have on the existing highway and amenity infrastructure and environmental issues, particularly flooding. It was agreed that a meeting should be arranged to discuss these issues with the Planning Authority.