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Parish Clerk’s Progress Report 6th September 2019


 From: Sue Grimes Acting Parish Clerk

 06 September 2019

This is a brief resume of what I have done following the former Parish Clerk’s resignation. If you know of any other issues that I have not identified, please let me know soonest. I have done my best.


At or around time of May meeting the Parish Council’s computer crashed. Believed to have suffered hard drive failure and any data saved on it was not available. It has been sent to have the hard drive replaced.


10 June – The former Clerk resigned her position, giving one month’s notice, at the Parish Council meeting. During the notice period, the Clerk had no access to the PC computer or emails and she replied to parish emails from her own laptop/phone. A new email account was set up – Publow with Pensford@ outlook.com


 1st July – Pending recruitment of new Clerk; it was agreed I would deal with PC emails. Other councillors are covering and dealing with planning application administration, finance, post & allotments, appointment of new clerk + investigating a place to store physical files and general HR matters.

2nd July – The agenda and minutes for July meeting was issued by the former Clerk

4 July – Webmaster set up an official Clerk’s mailbox on the Parish Council server. clerk@publow-with-pensford-pc.gov.uk

 8th July Parish Council Meeting – with Locum Clerk

I agreed to be nominally the “acting clerk” until we recruit a replacement.

9th July – The former Clerk went on holiday for approximately 10 days, having left our employment.

Initially I was able to send and receive parish emails using a webmail account.  Although I could send & receive current emails, I did not have access to any past emails, as the Parish Clerk’s computer was still unavailable and with the IT Company.

I informed as many known contacts as possible to use the new email address.

I spoke to IT technician a couple of times asking him to return the computer. He kindly said he would forward some e-mails.

The former Clerk had set up a new e-mail address publowwithpensford@outlook.com. It appears many emails to this address did not receive attention during this period. This may be due to the technical difficulties outlined above. Unfortunately, arrangements to forward incoming emails to the new address had not been set up.  Therefore, it was not possible to take prompt action on these during this period.

23 July – some old emails were forwarded to the new address. Once received I dealt with these as appropriate.


6 August – The Parish Council computer and printer/scanner was delivered back and had clearly been re-built and a new copy of Windows installed. This meant that the computer was effectively in “as new” condition but required significant work to set-up. There was no USB printer cable, the Wi-Fi adapter was not working, and there was no printer ink or paper.  I have purchased ink and paper and have found a spare cable of my own.

Set up the new email account for clerk@publow-with-pensford-pc.gov.uk.

NOTE: The new clerk might require us to supply a new Wi-Fi adapter (although I have worked round that issue for now).

I found 80 unnamed emails with 350 attached emails from the old email account (braggs1@tiscali.net) forwarded on 28 June. These had to be unscrambled and amalgamated individually into the clerk’s new email account. Some were duplicates, some had received attention, and some had (apparently) not. I found important documents including the Parish Public Liability Insurance policy documents within these emails.

The Webmaster has now incorporated all these emails into the new main mailbox.

There is no record of any sent emails from the Parish Clerk between 11/12/2015 and 2/7/2019 (apart from one on 14/6/2017).  After unsuccessfully searching the hard drive for these, the Webmaster assumes that the data has been lost due to the hard drive failure.

There appears to have been no back-up arrangements in place for the former Clerk’s computer and implementing suitable procedures would be a sensible precaution to eliminate the risk of future data loss.  We will need to look into an external back up drive to make sure that this cannot happen again.

We only have the beginnings of an address book.

22 August – Remembrance Day bundle sent to BANES. Huge amount documentation required Including a 14 Page Management Plan.

23 August –

The ex-Clerk brought me a box containing allotment paperwork, agenda file, current & new chequebook & the 2 clerk’s books. Emails to the braggs1 account will be forwarded. The allotment lease etc. needs to go in a fireproof cabinet.

There is a large cabinet full of records, being put into boxes. The new clerk will have to obtain these records.

  • The councillor managing the allotments has collected the box., as a resident wants a plot
  • Minutes received from Locum Clerk and agenda agreed with Chairman and Vice Chairman.
  • Agenda Minutes distributed.
  • The hall key has been obtained

I was surprised at the extent of the work required.  I have only done the emails and essentials, such as Remembrance Day plans, but I have had to do at least 14 hours a week to keep everything together.

Five councillors have also undertaken a huge amount of work that would normally be undertaken by the Clerk.

Consequently, I am satisfied that the previously agreed 14 hours a week for an experienced clerk is justified to carry out the duties to the standard required.  Some weeks will be more some less.

Parishes Liaison meeting 24 July …. Nobody from the Parish attended

New cabinet:

Cllr Dine Romero Council leader

Cllr Richard Samuel Cabinet member Resources & Deputy leader

Cllr Neil Butters and Joanna Wright Cabinet Members for Transport Service

Cllr Kevin Guy Cabinet member Children’s Services

Jane Wildblood Corporate & Community Sustainability Manager gave a presentation on climate change. On 14 March, Bath & North East Somerset declared a climate emergency. Council will identify work to reduce emissions & enable a carbon neutral Bath & North East Somerset by 2030. Council opposed expansion of Bristol Airport. Better transport links are required.

Rural Transport update due to concerns in rural areas. Group is carrying out a survey

Impact on Communities regarding unregulated holiday lets (Air BNBs). Now developed into full house rentals rather than as a way for people to rent spare rooms in their house. Evidence gathering was taking place regarding properties that were causing disturbances for residents.

Fix my Street: System is still not accurately recording issues as matters are often logged as having been completed when the work has not been carried out. They are looking for people to help with user research

Telephone Box in Hillcrest has been repainted.

Hedges and trees that grow on the boundary of the highway or on adjacent land but overhang the highway are generally the responsibility of the adjoining property or landowner. Bath & North East Somerset Council will intervene if there is a safety concern associated with the encroaching vegetation, for example, if it is forcing footway users into the road in order to pass by. This includes vegetation that causes an obstruction on adopted footways and highways or vegetation that reduces visibility on junctions, entrances and corners.

In the event that the landowner does not remove obstructions due to overhanging trees or protruding hedges/plants after enforcement, the Authority may remedy the problem and recharge the landowner.

To report an overhanging vegetation obstruction on the footway please use the online report it form, or contact Council Connect on 01225 394041 or email Council_Connect@Bathnes.gov.uk.

Remembrance Sunday

I submitted the following documentation to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s web portal.  Much of the information also needed to be input a second time to the Bath & North East Somerset Events database:

Route Plan, a 14 page Event Management Plan, Risk Assessment and Public Liability Insurance.

Bath & North East Somerset are now asking for safety information. I have queried this, as already included in the Risk Assessment.

A road closure has been applied for as follows:
Notice is given that Bath and North East Somerset Council in exercise of its powers under section 21 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 has made an order the effect of which will be to close temporarily to vehicles Church Street, Pensford from its junction with the A37, for a distance of approximately 30 metres.

This order is required in order to prevent obstruction during the Remembrance Day Parade and will be operative on Sunday 10th November 2019. The closure will be for approximately 45 minutes and is scheduled to start at 10:45 hrs to 11:30 hrs.

Bath & North East Somerset have also informed me that the following must be complied with:

The applicant must:

  1. Maintain pedestrian (and vehicular where possible) access to frontages where applicable.
  2. Undertake to inform all interests known to be directly affected by the proposed restriction including all frontages on the length of road concerned.
  3. Provide, erect and maintain diversion signs, the type and siting of which must be in accordance with the requirement of The New Roads and Street Works Act, 1991, ‘Safety at Street Works and Road Works’ Code of Practice, read in conjunction with the Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 8, and approved by the Council.
  4. Print, laminate the notice and erect one week prior to the closure and at either end of all affected roads to warn pedestrians of the upcoming closure.
  5. Liaise with frontages/businesses before the closure can go ahead, if businesses are going to be affected then you must provide a Business Open as usual sign.

Information board

An information board must be displayed at every street and road works site except mobile works, short duration works and minor works that do not involve excavation. Information boards are still highly desirable at these sites where it is safe and practicable to provide them. This board should be placed so that it does not obstruct footways or carriageways but can be clearly read by pedestrians, and any drivers who have stopped close to the board. The information board must give the name of the organisation undertaking the works, any principal contractor and an emergency contact telephone number. Wherever practical, it should also contain other information that will be helpful in explaining to the public why the road is closed and how long it is closed for.