The elections for Parish and District councils are nearly here: election day for both is 2 May. Nominations must be submitted by 4pm on 4 April. Nomination forms for the Parish Council are available either from our Parish Clerk or from Taunton Deane Electoral Services. I think we would all welcome some fresh blood on the PC!

The plan for the Annual Parish Meeting on 16 April remains to invite all District Council candidates to give a short talk so that we know who and what we will be voting for, but it has been pointed out that this will only be viable if all candidates are available. The full list is only published when nominations close on 4 April, and if any candidates cannot come to the meeting, we could be accused of partiality if we are only able to offer a platform to the remaining ones, so in that case we would have to think again. Plan B would be announced on the village website.

Following some very windy weather, we received a complaint about recycled plastics blowing all over the roads, and we agreed to raise this matter with Somerset Waste Partnership who collect the recycling. The simplest way to avoid this problem however is for all householders to ensure that their boxes are placed in such a way that they cannot blow over, or that the contents cannot blow out of them. On a related matter, we understand that the contract for recycling collections is due to change in June, following which it is hoped that the rules on what can and cannot be recycled may change to include more plastics and metal items.

PC Claire Escott has been replaced as the village Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) by PC Jake Edwards, and we look forward to welcoming Jake at the upcoming Annual Parish Meeting. All contact details for the Police can be found on the village website, both in Contacts and on the Police page.

The fate of the Willey Road housing application remains in the balance, and as of writing a date for the Planning Committee meeting to decide it has still not been set. There has been some misinformation flying around about this application on FaceBook. An amendment has been submitted to both housing and pavilion plans incorporating a new footpath along Willey Rd. There is no need for objectors (or supporters) to resubmit comments since their previous comments will still be taken into consideration, but if they wish to add comments in the light of the amendments they are free to do so. The PC was made aware of these amendments at the same time as all those who had submitted comments.

Finally, though the Heart of the Village is not strictly PC business since the team behind it is now an independent entity, the PC initiated the project and continues to support it. The news on this front is that HOTV is now officially a Community Benefit Society, and is limbering up to present to the village a business plan to buy the Royal Oak and run it as community pub, incorporating a shop and café. There is to be a public meeting in the Village Hall on 4 April to explain the plan and invite comments. As an added draw, there will be a free beer tasting laid on by Fine Tuned Brewery.