Bradford Abbas

Parish Council Minutes 1894-1896

Transcribed and donated to the OPC Project by Caryl Parsons

Minutes of the First Parish Meeting

The first Parish Meeting under the Local Government Act of 1894 took place in the Bradford Abbas Schoolroom on 4th December 1894. There was a large attendance of Electors. The chair was taken at 6.45pm by Mr Walker. The business was to elect seven Councillors for the Parish of Bradford Abbas.

During some introductory remarks Mr Albert CLAYTON advised those present to avoid the expense of a poll if possible. Sixteen persons were nominated for the seven seats, and after a show of hands had been taken the following were declared elected:

1. William LUSH Sen 52 votes
2. Albert CLAYTON 42 votes
3. Wyatt PAUL 29 votes
4. James BRAGG 28 votes
5. Samuel RING 23 votes
6. Robert JEANS 22 votes
7. Edward HIGGINS 21 votes

No poll being declared a vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the business.

Signed: W. WALKER, Chairman

Declaration of Acceptance of Office by Parish Councillors.
We the undersigned having been appointed Parish Councillors for the Parish of Bradford Abbas at a Parish Meeting held on Dec 4th 1894 do hereby agree to accept such office.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON; Wyatt PAUL; William LUSH; Edward HIGGINS; Samuel RING; James BRAGG; Robert JEANS

Dec 11th 1894
The first meeting of the Parish Council for Bradford Abbas took place in the Schoolroom on Dec 11th. Mr W. WALKER, Chairman of the Parish Meeting took the chair at 6.30pm.

The following Councillors were present:
Messrs Albert CLAYTON; Wyatt PAUL; Robert JEANS; Wm LUSH; Samuel RING; James BRAGG and Edward HIGGINS.

The first business was the election of Chairman of the Council when Mr Albert CLAYTON was unanimously elected to that office. In accepting office Mr CLAYTON said he would do his best to serve the Parish, but he hoped the people would not expect a great deal being done all at once.

The question of a Vice Chairman was allowed to stand over.

The next business was the appointment of Clerk to the Council when Mr W. WALKER was unanimously elected.

The question of an increase of salary as Assistant Overseer on account of increased duties as Clerk to the Council was left to stand over but he was assured that he would have an increase.

Mr S. WHITNEY Manager of the Wilts & Dorset Bank Yeovil was elected Treasurer and the clerk was instructed to ask for a guarantee for the sum of £40. The expenses were allowed to stand over until the next meeting as it was felt that the expenses were too small to make out a precept.

Mr E. HIGGINS proposed and Mr BRAGG seconded a proposition that the next meeting of the Council would be at 7pm, and it was carried.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

Mar 12th 1895
All the members were present at this meeting and Albert CLAYTON Esq was in the chair.
Shortly after 7pm Mr CLAYTON commenced by explaining the Parish Councils Act with regard to calling meetings and said that only on refusal of the chairman to do so did the act give that power to the members. Mr CLAYTON expressed his willingness to call a meeting at any time when there was business to be transacted.

The following agenda was gone through.
1. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.

2. Election of Vice Chairman. Mr LUSH proposed and Mr BRAGG seconded the appointment of Mr Wyatt PAUL and it was carried unanimously.

3. Admittance of the Public to Meeting of the Council. Mr CLAYTON thought that the people who had elected the Councillors to conduct the business of the Parish would have sufficient confidence in them and that they would not desire to be present. He thought that the business should be confined to those who had to discharge it and showed the disorder that might ensue through having irresponsible people present. He submitted two schemes which he thought they might consider –

a) Admit Parochial Electors only
b) Refuse admittance but let the minute book be open for the inspection of any parochial elector.
On the proposition of Mr Clayton seconded by Mr Wyatt PAUL the latter course (b) was adopted.

4. Draining and Flooding of the Village. Mr Clayton explained that for some time past he had been in correspondence with the Highway committee to secure more effectual drainage and before the last floods had managed to get a deputation from that body to inspect the drainage system of the village. Unfortunately however he could not get them to do all that was necessary and that was the reason people suffered so much during the recent stormy weather. He again reminded them that any expense they went to would be an extra burden on the rates and that farmers would have to reduce their labour bill if rates went up. With regard to the drainage he thought that ought to be done but we ought not to take upon ourselves the duties of the Highway authorities and pay out of the rates. He advised the Council to request our District Councillor to bring the matter before the Highway authorities and ask them to consider the scheme already before the last board concerning the flooding of the village.
Mr R. JEANS having confirmed certain of the remarks from Mr CLAYTON about the visit of the deputation from the Highway Authority – the following resolution was unanimously passed.
‘That the drainage of the village be enquired into and rendered more efficient by the Highway Authority of the Rural District Council.’

5. Pathways. After Mr CLAYTON had read the Act and explained it, some little discussion took place with regard to them but their improvement was left to the Highway Authorities.

6. Recreation Ground. Mr Clayton thought the village was pretty well supplied with open spaces and that as Mr WICKHAM was good enough to allow the children to play in his field he scarcely saw the necessity for one at present. If circumstances should happen which would render a recreation ground a necessity he himself should not oppose it in any way. After Messrs BRAGG, HIGGINGS and Wyatt PAUL had made some remarks Mr CLAYTON proposed a resolution to the effect ‘that there is at present no urgent demand for a Recreation Ground’ and he was supported by Messrs Wyatt PAUL, W. LUSH, S. RING and R. JEANS while Messrs J. BRAGG and E. HIGGINS thought to the contrary. Mr HIGGINS proposed that a member of the Council should interview Mr WICKHAM to find out his future intentions with regard to his field and Mr HIGGINS himself volunteered to see him. Carried.

7. Applications for Allotments. Mr Clayton first read the act referring to allotments and then explained how much land there was at present as garden and allotments in the village. He said that there was now 12 acres of allotments, which together with gardens and little plots let as gardens made 17 acres 3 per. and if he added the small holdings – that is small patches with cowhouses etc erected it gave a total of 40 acres of land let as allotments in one form or another. He also reminded the Council that the Allotments dated back to July 1860 and were thus given voluntarily by his father – as that date was earlier than the passing of the allotment act. He now said that there had been two applications for extra allotments. One of these applied for two acres of grass land. This applicant was an old inhabitant of the village and he possessed at present 40 perches of land. The second applicant was quite a new comer in the village and he (Mr CLAYTON) was given to understand that he was not an agricultural labourer – for whom the act was principally passed – nor had he been connected with agriculture. The chairman reminded the Council that if they gave land to one man they must necessarily take it from another and that from what he had told them as to the amount of land held at present as gardens and allotments in the village he thought they would agree with him that more allotments were not necessary in the village. On the proposition of Mr Wyatt PAUL the chairman put the following question to members – ‘Are you satisfied that more allotments are required in the village’ Mr HIGGINS voted in the affirmative and Messrs LUSH, R. JEANS, S. RING and Wyatt PAUL in the negative. With regard to the price of allotments Mr CLAYTON reminded the Council that a Farmer had to take the good land with the bad, had to pay rates, taxes, tithes, repair and keep in order hedges and ditches besides other expenses and that these expenses with regard to our present allotments were borne by the owner and that was one reason wy allotments were at a higher price per acre than farms. He however offered to present a requisition to the trustees of the estate to reduce the price of the allotments held by them at Bradford Abbas.

Signed: Albert Clayton, Chairman

Mar 28th 1895

The first annual parish meeting took place in the Bradford Abbas schoolroom on Thursday Mar 28th. As there was no business to be transacted there was only a small attendance. Mr Albert CLAYTON presided and explained to those present how it was that there was no business before the meeting. He told them that the parish councillors would remain in office for the ensuing twelve months. Mr CLAYTON then took the opportunity of making a statement with regards to the price of the allotments. He was glad to inform them that in future the price of the allotments would be fourpence per perch instead of sixpence and that as they had just passed through the ‘dead’ half of the year and the winter had been exceptionally severe the price they would have to pay at the coming audit for the past half year would be only fourpence. On the proposition of Mr R. JEANS seconded by Mr J. BRAGG a vote of thanks to Mr CLAYTON for his kindness was unanimously passed.

Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

April 16th 1895

(Part of the page torn off)
Present: Albert CLAYTON; Wm LUSH; Robt JEANS; Saml. RING;
Overseers The Minutes having been passed Messrs Wyatt PAUL and T.J.A. WHITTLE were elected Overseers of the poor for the ensuing year.

Assistant Overseer The appointment of Mr W. WALKER the present Assistant Overseer was revoked and he was then reappointed at a salary of £10 per annum, consideration being taken of his increased duties as Clerk to the Council.

The following bills were passed:
50 Nomination papers 3s 6d
Minute book 4s 9d
List of Parochial Electors 1s 1d
Precepts and other forms 4s
Telegram Postage Stationery etc 5s 2 ½d
and a precept was made for £3.5.0 being ¼d in the pound.

Hele’s Charity was next discussed as to the desirability of the Council administering it, and as to whether those in receipt of parish relief were entitled to participate in its benefits. As there is a similar charity at Yetminster the Clerk was instructed to write there and obtain further information respecting it and it was agreed that the administration of the charity should remain as heretofore, until the Council received further information regarding it.

Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

July 23rd 1895

An ordinary meeting took place in the schoolroom at 7pm when there were present: Albert CLAYTON Esq. Chairman, Messrs R. JEANS, Sam RING, Jas. BRAGG, and Wm. LUSH. A letter was read from Mr Wyatt PAUL regretting his absence. The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and confirmed, the question as to whether the Council should take upon themselves the administration of Hele’s Charity was discussed. After Mr CLAYTON had fully explained the Charity, showing that it was a Parochial and not an ecclesiastical one, it was decided that the management of the Charity should remain as heretofore Messrs J. BRAGG and S. RING voting for it and no one against it. A bill for financial and other forms amounting to 2/3 was passed and a cheque for £1.0.10 was given to E. HIGGINS who was down on the agenda to read a letter re Recreation ground, was not present.

Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

Feb 25th 1896

The meeting was held in the schoolroom at 7pm when there were present: Albert CLAYTON Esq. (Chairman), Messrs Wyatt PAUL, Robert JEANS, Samuel RING, James BRAGG and Edward HIGGINS.
The Chairman read a letter from Mr Wm. LUSH explaining his absence and then read the instructions of the local government with regard to the coming annual parish meeting.
Mr S. RING complained that people made a public foot path through the allotment near his home. The Council decided that as the property was private they had no power to interfere.
Mr Wyatt PAUL mentioned that he had brought under the notice of the highway board the condition of the sandy road leading to Yeovil but without success. He asked if the Council could ‘indite’ the road. Mr CLAYTON thought they had better postpone the matter and find out what legal power they had.
It was proposed and carried that a post near the railway bridge should be repainted.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman Annual Parish Meeting

March 9th 1896

The annual meeting for the election of Parish Councillors for the ensuing year took place in the schoolroom on Monday Mar 9th at 7pm. About half of the electors were present. Mr WALKER presided. The following were nominated for seats on the Council:
Albert CLAYTON Esq. 26 votes
Mr Thomas COOMBS 26 votes
Mr Wm. LANG 23 votes
Mr Richd. JEFFERY 22 votes
Rev. Gordon WICKHAM 20 votes
Mr Wyatt PAUL 18 votes
Mr Philip SMITH 17 votes
Mr Robert JEANS 16 votes
Mr Sidney PARSONS 11 votes
Mr Edward HIGGINS 1 vote
Mr Sam CHAINEY 1 vote
The first seven were declared elected, whereupon Mr Sidney PARSONS demanded a poll and as he would not withdraw the demand in the specified time, a poll was declared.
Signed: W. WALKER, Chairman

Annual Meeting of Parish Council April 20th 1896

Declaration of Acceptance of Office by Parish Councillors:
We the undersigned having been duly elected Councillors for the parish of Bradford Abbas for the ensuing year, do hereby agree to accept such office.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON, William LANG, Richard JEFFERY, Tom COOMBS, Philip SMITH, Gordon WICKHAM, Walter Wyatt PAUL
The Rev Gordon WICKHAM and Mr Wyatt PAUL were absent but as each sent a sufficient excuse permission was granted them to sign the declaration of acceptance of office at a future date.
Albert CLAYTON Esq now resigned the chair which he has occupied for the past twelve months and thanked the Council for the assistance they had rendered him.
Mr CLAYTON was re-elected Chairman for the ensuing year and Mr R. JEFFERY was elected vice-chairman.
The Overseers appointed were Mr Walter PAUL and Mr Richd. JEFFERY.
No accounts were presented as the expenditure was very small.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

Parish Council Meeting Sep 19th 1896

An ordinary meeting of the Council took place at the Schoolroom at 7pm. All the councillors were present.
The business before the meeting was to allow Rev Gordon WICKHAM and Mr Wyatt PAUL to sign the declaration of Acceptance of Office as they were absent at the annual meeting and to pass accounts. The declaration of Acceptance of Office having been duly signed by the two members, the following accounts were passed.
Mr JELFS for Services performed in the matter of election of Parish Councillors for the year 1896 £1.1.0
Audit stamp May 22nd 1896 £0.5.0
Postages etc £0.2.8
Total £1.8.8
A cheque was drawn for the above amount (£1.8.8) and signed by the Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Council.
Signed: Albert CLAYTON, Chairman

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