Summaries of Parish Council business

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Col. Cornish Henley, of Leigh House, was elected Chairman of Winsham Parish Council at its first meeting held in the Jubilee Hall on Thursday,13th December,1894 at 6.00pm

First Meeting-Thursday, December 13, 1894 at 6.00pm
Chairman - Mr Northcombe. Members - Colonel Henley and Messrs Fowler, Sylvester, JH Hodder, Henry Marks and W.Hodder.
Proposed by Mr Fowler and seconded by Councilor Marks, Colonel Henley was unanimously chosen as Chairman. Mr Fowler was elected Vice-Chairman. Mr Northcombe became Clerk and Mr A.D.Paul Treasurer. Mr J.H.Hodder was chosen to become Waywarden for Street and Leigh.
A vote of thanks to Viscount Bridport for use of the Jubilee Hall concluded the meeting.
Further meetings were held in both the Jubilee Hall and Schoolroom before the annual meeting on April 17 1895. Subjects discussed concerned the water supply, school lighting, location of the parish map and the business of The Burial Board.


Annual General Meeting April 17 1895      
Colonel Henley was unable to attend due to illness. Despite this, he was elected Chairman for the next year. Mr Fowler took charge of this meeting. A letter was read from Mr D.Andrews offering to do the Overseers Office free in return for a salary as Clerk to the Burial Board! Council Members took on the task themselves! The salary was £21 a year. A second letter from Mr Andrews in his role as Clerk to the Burial Board stated that he could not return the accounts until he had seen the Manager of “Wilts and Dorset Bank” and had received fees due on headstones in the cemetery.
Fred Bridport asked for a playground for the school but the Council considered it outside their powers. It was decided to pay the clerk twenty five shillings for his services from December to April. The meeting lasted two hours.

Summer 1895
Four meetings were held in the summer of 1895. A precept of £14 a year was made out for the Overseers, the duties of the Burial Board taken on by the Parish Council and its account moved to Stuckeys Banking Company. The Clerk was asked to write to Mr.R.Persey “with regard to rent of field which now falls into the hands of the Parish Council”.

Autumn 1895
Autumn saw some important issues coming to the fore. Back Street had no water supply at this time . Mr Sylvester said on 8th Oct.  that at the next meeting he would propose “that the owners of property be called upon to accommodate their tenants with an adequate supply of water”. His idea received no support when the Council met on 12 November .
The saga of the Burial Board documents continued and the Council decided to call a Parish Meeting to consider the adoption of the “Lighting Act”. That meeting, held on 27 November, “resolved unanimously not to adopt the “Lighting Act”.
A report by the Medical Officer, Dr Stephens, recommended that the cesspools in Back Street be cleaned out! This was to be reported to the Rural District Council.


Spring 1896
The Rural District Council was quick to react .The “Inspector of Nuisances” at Crewkerne served notices to responsible owners. 
The Burial Board books were returned at last and Mr Persey tried to have his rent for the Parish Field reduced but to no avail. 
The meeting on March 30 voted unanimously to write to the Railway Company urging the necessity of a station at Winsham.

Annual Meeting April 15 1896
The meeting was held in the Jubilee Hall at 6.30pm. Colonel Henley was re-elected as Chairman. Topics discussed were, Winsham Station (a letter had been received from The Railway Company –a firm no), a reduction in rent on the Parish Field (decision delayed until next meeting), “nuisance in Back Street" (a task for The Sanitary Inspector in due course). 
Mr F.B.Fowler was unanimously chosen as Vice –Chairman.

Summer 1896

The topic of the Parish Field rent was raised by Mr Persey on May 12. He complained saying it was “£2 more than it is worth as well as paying the rates and taxes”. The Council disagreed but granted a 10% reduction for the current year. They then decided to let the field to tender from Lady Day with an advertisement in the paper. On June 9 the Clerk was instructed to write to Mr W. Hodder as follows:
“The Parish Council wish to draw your attention to the unfair way of taking such large quantities of water from the wells in Fore St and that unless stopped they must take steps to protect the wells from being used in such a manner.”

At the meeting on 15 July it was decided to form a Water Committee to determine the state of the wells in Back Street.
The dispute over the Parish Field continued into August when the Clerk was told to write to Mr Persey asking for the payment of rent to Lady Day 1896 and to say that “unless paid without further delay the Council would be compelled to take proceedings for the recovery of the same.”

Autumn 1896
The first meeting of the Autumn was on 8 September. The only topic was the Parish Field rent. The Clerk was told to write to Mr Persey (having deliberately not done so since the last meeting) threatening a Court Summons unless payment was made by 15 September. Mr Persey sent his cheque before the deadline! However the Council decided to advertise the field to be let from Lady Day 1897 in Pulmans Weekly News. 

The meetings leading up to Christmas were quiet with little business done apart from a proposal to buy a bier for the cemetery.


Spring 1897
On 12 January it was decided to postpone the purchase of a bier due to cost. 

At the subsequent meeting on 9 March “a claim for tithes paid by mistake by Mr Persey was received and the Clerk was instructed to write to him saying that he had no claim against the Council  (no love lost between them). A tender of £6 was received from Mr Cross for the Parish Field. The Council agreed to offer it to him for £6.10.0 tithe free. 
Various routine bills were settled .
The Meeting agreed that after the election of Councillors on 18 March they would consider how to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty. 
A vote of thanks was offered to Colonel Henley for his services over the past year.

The next Meeting was on 24 March at which it was decided to accept the tender made by Mr Cross for the field of £6 tithe free for the year from Lady Day 1897. 
A cheque for £4.4.5d was authorised to pay interest due on the old Burial Board debt (this liability was taken on by the Council when it took on the responsibility for the Cemetery). 

On 15 April the newly elected Council met. Colonel Henley was voted in as Chairman, William Pile and George Whinsley Overseers of the Poor and Mr. F.B.Fowler Vice-Chairman. Other members were Mr. Sylvester, Mr. Perham and Mr. Dommett. 
Closure of the footpath leading from West Street to the Cemetery was discussed but no resolution passed .
The Clerk was instructed to write to Mr Persey (again!) for rent due on Lady Day.

Summer 1897
There was only one meeting in the summer, on 11June.Here the finances were sorted out .Mr Persey sent his cheque but asked for a discount, which was refused. Cheques were signed for the Cemetery Caretaker’s salary and grave digging, the tithe on the Parish Field and for the Winsham School account.

Autumn 1897
There were only two meetings held in the autumn. At the first on 14 September, concern was expressed about the condition of the footbridge over the river below Ford (no e) Abbey.

At the next meeting on 14 December the Chairman agreed to visit the owner, Mr Herbert Evans. This second meeting also discussed the provision of allotments in Winsham. The Clerk was tasked to obtain what information he could from other parishes before the next meeting.


 Spring 1898
The first meeting of the New Year was on 8 March. It dealt with routine matters mainly, the exceptions being an intention to inform the Sanitary Inspector of the dangerous state of some outbuildings in Court Street and an application to Rev Spencer for the deed referring to the Charity Field. The freshly elected Council met on 15 April.

 Summer 1898
On 6 June the Council tasked Messrs Sylvester and Whinsley to report on the state of the Churchyard wall near the cottages in Poole’s Lane. 
Repairs were authorised for the repair to the underground pipes connecting the wells in Fore Street, damage caused, apparently, by a traction engine. The Council decided to seek compensation.

Mr Fowler chaired the meeting on 13 September. It was reported that the repairs to the wells had been completed satisfactorily and that an estimate was needed for repairing the Churchyard wall. 

There was a meeting on 25 October but nothing of note happened. The Clerk writes of the meeting on 8 November “the business was merely of a formal character”. 

On 30 November a special meeting was held to consider The Telegraph Office Guarantee. It was decided that Mr Fowler (who again acted as Chairman) should see Mr Fry to discuss the Guarantee. (It is believed that Mr Fry was living at Cricket St Thomas at this time). 

The final meeting of the year took place on 13 December. Mr Fowler reported the result of his meeting with Mr Fry and it was proposed by Mr Dommett and seconded by Mr Perham “that the Clerk see Mr Fry and obtain a letter concerning the Telegraph Office and then write to the Secretary of the General Post Office informing him that the Council had agreed to become guarantors for the sum required for the establishment of a Telegraph Office in Winsham”.
The meeting also decided to write to Colonel Henley informing him of what the Council had done and to  wish him the compliments of the season and to say that although absent he was not forgotten. (The Minutes Book offers no explanation for Colonel Henley’s prolonged absence. He missed all the Autumn meetings).


 Spring 1899
There were two meetings in January, on the 10 and 13.
Little business was done apart from discussing and agreeing the Draft Agreement from the General Post Office for the Telegraph Office. 
Colonel Henley resumed his role as Chairman for the meeting on 7 February and signed the General Post Office Agreement. 

At the next meeting on 14 March Mr Hodder applied to draw water from the well in Fore Street. Permission was granted and an agreement was to be drawn up. 
The poor state of repair of the roads at Purtington and Fore Street was discussed. 
It was decided to ask Mr Churchill to repair the Parish Pump. 
The Relief List was checked carefully and a few alterations suggested. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to both the Chairman and Clerk. 

April 18 was the date of the next meeting, following an election to form the new Council. Colonel Henley continued as Chairman with Mr Fowler Vice-Chairman. Members were Messrs Budge, Eveleigh, Dommett and Perham. Messrs Whinsley and Wyatt were re-appointed Overseers for the ensuing year. 
The Council decided on a rent of one shilling a year for the use of water by Mr Hodder in Fore Street and an agreement was signed. Messrs Henley and Fowler were appointed Trustees of Holsworthys Charity.

On May 9 the Council met in the Jubilee Hall .
Mr Budge reported that he and Mr Perham had inspected Mr Hodder's “Dipping Well “ and found it incomplete. It was agreed that they should visit again and report .It was also agreed that rent for the water should be paid in advance on 15 April each year. 
Mr Budge proposed that the Council carry out repair work to the road at Paul’s Ash Lane. He received no support and the matter was left in abeyance in the hope that it would be settled amicably in time. 

At the meeting on 13 June Mr Perham reported that Mr Hodder's well had been inspected and found to be satisfactory. A cheque for £1.6.0 for Mr Cook’s salary for grave digging was signed.

 Autumn 1899
There were two meetings in September, on 12 and 27.
A letter from Mr Cross concerning the footpath from Fore Street to Court Street was discussed at the first meeting. Mr Budge was tasked to visit the owner. 
The Clerk agreed to obtain an estimate for repairs to the Churchyard wall. 
The Relief List was studied at the second meeting and a few alterations made. It was to be sent to Mr Hawks, the Relieving Officer. 

On October 10th Mr Fowler chaired the meeting. Mr Budge reported on the state of the footpath from Fore Street to Court Street. He considered the path from Gospel Hall to Fore Street to be in good condition but that the stile and footpath leading from Verdhay to Malthouse was in need of repair. The Clerk agreed to write to the owners asking them to erect a substantial stile and to keep water from the footpath. 
Mr Bowerman's estimate for repairs to the Churchyard wall was examined .The Council decided to inspect the wall carefully and to obtain a second estimate if they thought that necessary. 

The meeting on 14 November began on this subject. It was agreed to put off repairs until the Spring. 
It was reported that Mr Raisin had erected a new stile on the footpath between Verdhay and Malthouse.

The final meeting of the year was chaired by Mr Dommett on 12 December. Routine matters were dealt with but “other business was put off for a fuller meeting of members”.

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