All previous Council Documents can been downloaded from the Village Website by clicking here and using the menu to navigate to the documents you require.
This is the first opportunity for the Council to meet in person for over 15 months. Those wishing to attend will have to follow basic social distancing rules. Please wash your hands before attending and bring a face mask. We may be required to leave the windows open, so please dress accordingly.
Like a bus that never arrives, two Parish Council projects have come together at once and will be signed off as “complete” at this weeks Bi-monthly meeting.
British Telecommunications (BT) has a longstanding wish to decommission public phone boxes where they have fallen into disuse. North Perrott Parish Council (PC) entered into an agreement to adopt our Phone Box, as it is generally accepted to have become part of the accepted scenery of our Conservation Area. This agreement includes BT continuing to pay for illumination inside the box and the PC maintaining the fabric. The public payphone has now been removed.
The project to refurbish the Phone Box was initiated by Cllr Tom Winder, before he stood down as a Parish Councillor. He took the project as far as purchasing spare windows, rivets, door braces and paint and made a start of the detailed work of paint stripping.
However, the glory of the finished article goes to Harvey (and Councillor Steve) Coate, who have spend many hours rubbing down the old paint and prepping the framework to restore it to a fully functional and weather proof structure. They have included picking out the royal crown in gold and recently completed the replacement of broken and missing window panes. Refurbishment included changing the illuminated signs in the top of the box to now read DEFIBRILLATOR, indicating its change of use from a public payphone.
During the Telephone Box project, the Parish Council also initiated a plan to purchase a defibrillator for village use. Following the initiative of other villages, the redundant telephone box seemed a sensible place to house it. Its central location, opposite the Village Hall and next to the Village Green seemed a sensible location.
The Parish Council owes a sincere debt of thanks to the Friends of Crewkerne Hospital who donated 50% of the purchase cost of the defibrillator, thanks to a local initiative widely publicised by Tony Foot, the Treasurer of the charity.
The purchase of the defibrillator included a training session for up to 12 people, but Covid lock-down 16 months ago, interrupted being able to book this service. Hopefully we will be able to hold a training session in the Village Hall in the near future.
The defibrillator is there to be used in case of emergency, when someone has suffered a cardiac arrest and has stopped breathing. The defibrillator is a fail-safe device to assist in keeping a patient alive until the emergency services arrive. In order to have a good chance of saving the life of a patient in cardiac arrest, the most important skill is a knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). this involves the correct positioning of the patient, chest compressions, opening the airway and giving rescue breaths.
In the case of someone suffering from cardiac arrest (no heart beat), the most important thing is to call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Then commence CPR and only locate and use the defibrillator when you are sure that simple CPR has not revived the patient. If there is more than one person present, then several of these steps can be taken at once, but it is most important that CPR commences as soon as possible and continues until the ambulance arrives.
If the patient has not responded to CPR then the use of the defibrillator might be critical to restarting the patients heartbeat and this will be important in keeping them alive until the emergency services arrive.
The defibrillator is a self contained unit with simple and clear instructions. It includes all the consumables required, including wipes, electrical pads, scissors and gloves. When in use, the unit will talk the operator through each stage of use and most importantly, it monitors the patients heartbeat. This is crucial in the safe operating of the machine and it will NOT administer an electrical shock if the patient does not need it. Throughout the procedure, it will advise if CPR should be continued or if you should stand clear, ready for a shock to be administered.
We sincerely hope that the defibrillator will never need to be used, but North Perrott is quite a distance from the two nearest Ambulance stations at Yeovil and Illminster and so it is felt that in a cardiac arrest emergency, it could be a life saving tool.
In addition to the defibrillator, the bright red box will also contain a village information pack, that will include print-outs of some of the information that can be found on the village website http://www.northperrott.org including the Heritage Trail and quiz that was commissioned by the PCC for their own website http://www.northperrottchurch.co.uk
A big thank you to those who turned out for the Village Tidy-up on Sunday. Despite short notice, a baking sun, and our ongoing lockdown status we still managed to smarten up the village and enjoy a pint afterwards
The fact of the matter is that the village has a secret group of very energetic litter pickers who regularly whisk away the cigarette butts and discarded plastic bottles on their daily walks….Thanks to them Sunday’s haul was a mere two bags. But the Tidy-up team set about with bucket and broom to cut back the foliage and scrub down the algae infested road signs and report any damage that needs fixing, which will keep our roads safer. Motorist beware, no excuses now for ignoring the speed limits the signs in the village are all legible.
Thanks also to the Manor Arms whose doors opened just as we were packing up our equipment, and the Chair of the Parish Council who stood us all a pint, so we could enjoy the beer in the sunshine. (Entirely within Covid regulations).
So having listened to everyone’s views I had the impression we should schedule Village Tidy Ups somewhere around May and October (but they might be the worse time for you) in the future….It would be ideal to do it just after verges have been cut but as that is unpredictable and everyone complained particularly loudly about not enough warning I am not sure there is a way of working around that.
Best wishes, Helen Sturridge.
PS. If anyone took some “Team” photos, and is willing to post them here, please use the Contact page to let us know.
The report of a drone flying North/South above the village this morning prompted a inquiry from a concerned resident. What is the legal position concerning drones flying above private property?
The answer required a little research. Click on the photo to find out more.
There are two aspects of Law that seem to apply. Aviation Law states that drones must keep at least 50m away from a member of the public. That means that while it isn’t illegal to fly over private property, it must be at above a height of 50m or preferably more.
But Privacy Laws also apply. If the drone is filming someone who is in an area that would normally be considered to private from public scrutiny, then Privacy Laws are likely to override Aviation Law. The problem here is that at 50m, cameras are quite capable of hi-resolution pictures and how does one know if the camera is pointing at you or the skyline. The answer is that you can’t, so operators should follow some simple rules.
Remember, however innocent your intentions are, you are the intruder. Make sure you ask permission before overflying private property and never film at a resolution that might infringe on anyone’s right to privacy. There are many routes to publicising your activity, if you are likely to be overflying a village or larger conurbation, by announcing your intentions on a website or social media. Ultimately, if your drone is capable of flying at an altitude of 100m, why not make sure your activities are almost invisible to those below? They are much less likely to be worried if they know they can’t be seen on camera at that range.
Finally, there is always resort to training and qualification. Most, if not all professional operators hold a licence and will be aware of how to operate their drone safely and within the law. If you are an amateur operator that has grown bored of filming on your own property, why not invest in some training to get more out of your hobby and not raise concerns from neighbours?
If you were concerned by the drone or have information you wish to add, please post it here or on the North Perrott facebook page.
The sad passing of HRH Prince Philip has made those planning to mark a major step in the relaxation of lock-down rules on 12th April, to re-evaluate and perhaps make the celebration more fitting to a country in mourning?
(Anyone wishing to display a small Union flag from their property is welcome to collect one from the Farm Shop on Sunday or Monday.)
Monday is still the first day this year that the public can meet outside a hospitality business to drink and socialise. It therefore seems sensible to use this opportunity to celebrate the life of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
If anyone is interested, The North Perrott Farm Shop will be open at 6pm on Monday 12th April, when we are assured the “sun will be over the yardarm”. Drinks will be served to those seated outside only and benches and chairs will be arranged in groups of 6 at the required distance. To help with planning, please let the Farm Shop know if you wish to attend. Click here to see more details
It has been suggested that the reopening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality might be worth hanging out the Village Bunting?
The Village Green and farm shop will be decorated with bunting in time for Monday 12th April and everyone is welcome to join in by decorating their properties in anyway they see fit to mark this small but significant return to normality.
Please remember that the Prime Minister has urged everyone to act with caution as the government relaxes COVID regulations and that there will remain a limit of meeting a maximum of 6 people outdoors.
However, outdoor hospitality will be allowed for the first time this year and if there is sufficient interest, it is hoped that an arrangement for COVID compliant drinks and snacks might be possible in the afternoon and evening. Watch this space……..
From 6th April, the A356 will be closed at Misterton for repairs to the culvert at the Globe Inn. The works are expected to take up to 6 weeks. This will disrupt the 96/96A bus service through North Perrott.
Tony Reese from Friends of Yeovil Bus Station has negotiated for the 96/96A bus route to still service North Perrott but instead of travelling through the village, it will approach from Haselbury and stop at Townsend, in front of the Farm Shop. The bus will turn around at Townsend and return to Haselbury on both legs of the Crewkerne to Yeovil route.
There will be no collection from the village green.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who uses this service and if you see anyone waiting for the bus on the Village Green, please advise them to move to the Farm Shop.
It is with deep regret that I announce the sad news of Tony’s passing.
In 2000, Tony and Gill came to North Perrott to live in Peel House with their daughter Natasha, who attended Perrott Hill School. They were valued members of our community until they left in 2013.
It would not be an overstatement to say that both Tony and Gill threw themselves into village life and the mark they left will be of benefit to our community for many years to come.
Tony was a diligent Parish Councillor during his tenure but perhaps his crowning glory was his service to the Village Hall committee, where he excelled with innovation and in successfully completing multiple grant forms. One notable anecdote was when he and the Chairman of the time, bussed in half the population of North Perrott to a SSDC meeting where he was going to present one of his larger grant applications (it was for the extension to the Village Hall). Tony had understood that the various grants would be voted on at the end of the presentations and he thought it a good idea to weigh the odds in North Perrott’s favour. It was a good application, well presented and surely would have been awarded anyway. However, it’s fair to say the other applicants were somewhat overwhelmed by his popularity at the ballot box! As a result, the extension to the village hall that now houses the extra storage space and the office was largely down to his initiative and the hard work of the committee at the time.
While Tony was a Parish Councillor, our Clerk left, so in true Lean style, Gill took on the job and was a very efficient and proactive Clerk until her retirement. Together they were active in all aspects of village life, especially if artistic flare was required. As well as creating his own art studio with potters wheel and kiln, Tony started running pottery courses and Gill got roped in when they turned into residential retreats. Tony and Gill were founding members of Art in the Barn (before it earned that name) and with Judith and Gordon Hall, held a very successful summer exhibition in the Manor Farm Barns, where of course he was a major exhibitor, along with Natasha, who must have inherited his talent. That event morphed into Art In the Barn and over the years has become a major fund raising event for the Village Hall.
At the annual village fete, Gill’s place was on the flower stall and for many years, Tony and I were a double act on the BBQ. Tony had retired as a practicing Doctor before he arrived in the village but I was always amused by his total lack of concern about the risk of under-cooked meat. The second year of our partnership, I introduced him to a digital meat thermometer, which as Tony remarked, significantly increased the length of our queue but I quietly glowed in the thought of the lives that I might have saved, not to mention his reputation as a retired MD!
A fact not widely known to many, Tony was an active member of the hastily organised 2nd Platoon, North Perrot Civil Defence Force (think “Dad’s Army”), that we formed at the height of the lead thefts from the roof of St.Martin’s Church. From memory, Tony, Bill Stevens, Cyril Golding and I were all given precise roles should the alarm go off on the church roof, no matter what time of day or night it occurred. Predictably, the first alarm was after 2am on a particularly wet and windy night. The alarm went off, phone calls were made and everyone drove to their respective positions in order to cut off any vagabond making a hasty escape from the village. Tony’s position was on the corner of Downclose Lane, where I was meant to join him. Bill and Cyril were to meet at Townsend, so we would have safety in pairs. As I drove down past the church to rendezvous with Tony, I could clearly see the outline of a person moving in the churchyard. So it was with great excitement and anticipation that I sped up the main road towards Downclose Lane. So quick was I driving that I almost hit Tony as he jumped out from behind his car into the middle of the road, the flash of his camera almost blinding me! When my night vision returned and no-one had driven out from either end of the village for over 10 minutes, the Police arrived. We proceeded to the Church in full confidence that an arrest would be made, only to find that my plans had not quite been followed to the letter. Being a retired policeman, all be it aged nearly 70, Cyril had taken it upon himself to go straight to the Church without back-up and leaving poor Bill alone at his station (evidently, we had a Corporal Jones in our ranks!). Rapidly backtracking on my enthusiasm and having to persuade the police officer to let his quarry go, it also sadly it turned out to be a false alarm. However, we must have been the “Shout” of the night because after the forth police car had arrived and even the milkman had stopped to find out what the commotion was about, we were all given a hearty pat on the back by the officers in attendance and congratulated for our efforts. Soon after that, Alison gave the order to strip the rest of the lead from the roof. There was never another alarm call and so the North Perrott Platoon drifted into obscurity. Regrettably, by the time the grant applications for funding a new roof had begun, Tony and Gill had moved closer to London to be nearer to their family. Otherwise, his grant filling skills would have been put to yet further use.
Tony and Gill made a lasting impression on the village and there is much left here to remember him by, especially at this time of year. Gill was largely responsible for planting the daffodils on the road at both ends of the village but I’m sure that planting them would have been a double act.
Gill says there will be a celebration of Tony’s life at some time in the future, the date yet to be decided.
The Government has been promising to roll out Super-Fast Broadband to rural areas in the South West for many years. Having stalled for a number of years, installation appears to be back on track but may still take 4 more years before it arrives in North Perrott. Are you willing to wait that long? A story printed last week in the Chard & Ilminster News says that Super-fast Broadband will reach here by 2024. Click here to read the story.
1. HOW FAST IS YOUR CONNECTION?
2. HOW RELIABLE IS YOUR CONNECTION?
3. HOW DO YOU USE YOUR INTERNET, BUSINESS, HOME USE or BOTH?
4. WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN A SUPER-FAST CONNECTION TOMORROW?
TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST in joining a COMMUNITY INITIATIVE to bring Super-Fast internet to North Perrott immediately- please compete the short survey by clicking here.
(It would be sensible to have your Broadband bill to hand when completing the survey.)
(A Zoom meeeting will be announced when the level of interest has been assessed).
5. PLEASE ALSO WRITE TO BT Openreach
Adrian Hopper is collecting letters of complaint to forward to a contact he has made in BT management. If the current roll-out of super-fast broadband in the South West will take 4 years, there must be a list and order of connection. Adrian’s hope is that those that shout loudest are more likely to rise to the head of the queue and wants us to be at the head. When BT get wind of a community broadband hub, it may also focus their attention on keeping their customers in North Perrott and not losing them to a community initiative. Please write an email addressed to BT openreach, complaining about your service and asking for a fibre connection as soon as possible, include your phone number. Send your email to Adrian at email@example.com and he will collate our community response directly to higher management.
There are a number of ways to check your internet speed, which is normally expressed in Mbps (Megabits per second). This isn’t the whole story though. Using clever gizmo’s, your line can be shared with other users in what is expressed as a contention rate. A contention rate of 1 means your are on a dedicated line. A contention rate of 6 means you are sharing capacity with 6 other users and if your contention rate is as high as 50, although your rated speed might be 20Mbps, when most of the other users are on line, the bandwidth (usable speed) will be severely reduced. You may not notice this for sending emails or reading the news but if you are trying to stream a video or exchange large volumes of business data, you certainly will. The likelihood is that broadband connections in North Perrott maybe in the region of a contention rate of 50. The nearest Fibre Optic connection to North Perrott is at the Village Green in Haselbury, but the copper wires that take the signal to our BT junction box at Townsend, severely limits the speed and it is almost half the distance again to the south end of the village. Getting a fibre connection to Townsend will improve everyone’s speed but is unlikely to improve contention. For every home in North Perrott to receive super-fast broadband, there will have to be a fibre connection to every home. This will take time and a lot of money. Are you prepared to wait? There are a number of speed checking websites such as https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/ none of which will give the exact answer, which for the technically minded, can be found by logging into your router’s settings and look for the “DSL sync rate”. This will give the exact speed that your router has synchronized with the DSLam (situated in the green cabinet at Haselbury).
Because of North Perrott’s rural location and the reliance on copper wires for broadband connection, reliability is always going to be worse than fibre. This is because metal wires are subject to variable resistance, corrosion and power leakage from water ingress. This is why, especially in wet and windy weather, our phone calls have increased background noise and our internet speeds slow down and sometimes lose connection altogether.
How important is the internet and broadband speed to you? Is it holding up your business sales or are you wasting valuable time waiting for important pages that never download? Would you like the internet to be similar to browsing through a magazine rather than walking through toffee? A high speed connection will open up a world of buffer-free video streaming and near perfect call quality for voice an video calls. With high quality digital calls it is possible to dispense with the expense of a land line, while still maintaining a land line number through a VOIP service.
Fed up of waiting for a promise of improved service? Fed up with paying the same for a broadband contract with 15Mbps as someone with 50-100Mbps? Is it time to do something about it? A Community hub would be a group of villagers who get together to purchase and share a high-speed leased line, sharing the costs not for profit. This involves bringing in a dedicated Fibre connection to a pole positioned in North Perrott. This would provide a 1,000Mbps leased line that the community hub can distribute to individual homes via a Wifi connection (similar to the Wifi in your own home). This could provide a 100Mbps connection into upto 40 homes and would be entirely private to our hub. No sharing with other BT customers and we would be in control of contention rates. This of course comes at cost but that cost could be as low as we are paying at the moment, or even less if a member decided to do away with their land line. It depends on several factors, most important of which is how many people would be interested in joining a community hub. The costs are divided into three areas. Installation of the line. Monthly cost of the line and the initial connection costs for each home or business. The cost of installing a leased line is unknown but might be as little as zero. The monthly cost is likely to be in the region of £430 inc. vat for a 36 month contract. With 30 members the connection cost would be £14.33 per month and with 50 members, the cost drops to £8.60. That looks cheap but there are installation costs for each connection. Each member would have to purchase a directional Wifi aerial and install it. The cost of a Wifi aerial is between £75 and £95 (depending on distance from the pole). Fixing and wiring will vary depending on each location and will probably vary between £50 and £150 (depending on the level of DIY). If we share buying power and resources, costs will be minimised.. A suitable router will also be required in your building. In some cases your existing router may be sufficient but we are suggesting that another £50 for a router. For budgeting purposes, we are quoting a maximum connection cost in the region of £300. Spread over 3 years, the initial cost would be £8.33 per month. As a rough guide, the cost of membership of the community hub would be in the region of £22.66 per month with 30 members. Slightly more with less members but less with every new member that joins. The opportunity for cutting costs will vary. Most people will already be paying for a landline, an internet connection and call costs, which might be part of a prepaid package. Most people will also have a contract that specifies an end date, before which a penalty may be due if the contract is ended early. It is also possible that you may be paying one company for your landline and calls and another company for your internet connection. The proportion of your bill that applies to your broadband connection is normally in the region of £5-£20. This will depend on speed and download capping. The Community hub would provide tens times the speed and capacity for about the same price (although the cost is front loaded). With a high speed internet connection, it is possible to dispense with a land line and call charges. Anyone prepared to take this step will make large savings over what they are currently paying (the appearance of a landline number can be retained using a VOIP service). When the level of interest has been assessed, a Zoom meeting will be announced, to give everyone a chance to ask questions about a Community Wifi hub and how it might work for them. Robson James is our technical expert and has offered to administer the technical aspects of operating the hub. The group itself would most likely be a subsidiary of the Parish Council. If it is determined that a Community Hub is a viable proposition, then Robson will start to obtain quotes to firm up the budget and establish accurate costs before anyone is asked to commit to the idea.