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Draft Minutes of the Corscombe Parish Meeting 14th May 2024

Draft Minutes


7.30pm Tuesday 14th May 2024

Corscombe Village Hall

Meeting to be held at Corscombe Village Hall.

7 members of the public were present.

The meeting started at 7.30pm and was chaired by Elizabeth Southern


Apologies were received from David Warner, Henry Lovegrove, Roger Hallett, Rosemary Lovegrove, Deborah Childs, Dick Thorn, Lynne Caddick and Chris and Lesley Chapman







This has been an interesting year for the Parish Council with a number of projects taken forward or completed in support of the community. These have included:

  • Upgrading of playground equipment in Corscombe.
  • Repair of finger posts – ongoing work.
  • Additional Defibrillator sites, in partnership with the Friends of Corscombe and Halstock Community First Responders – there are now two in Corscombe, two in Halstock and one in West Chelborough.
  • Support to Public Rights of Way – fifteen new gates to replace styles.

The Parish Council has supported the Great Big Dorset Hedge Project, Community Tree Project and speed watch initiatives. We are always looking at ways to support the community and actively consider and comment on proposed highways, planning applications and report potential planning breaches. The Council is also trying to identify an appropriate site for a playground in Halstock.

We have ensured that the Parish Council undertakes its statutory powers and duties.

Richard James


One of the comments made at the meeting was the need to improve communication between the Parish Council and parishioners.

It was suggested that a questionnaire could be used to canvas residents’ opinions and obtain feedback on council projects.

To encourage greater attendance and interaction with the Parish Council a more informal meeting with councillors could be looked at e.g. cheese and wine events.

Meeting closed 8.45 pm.

Copies of the reports can be found on the Corscombe, Halstock and District Parish Council website or by request to the Clerk Tessa Safadi / 01935579783


Appendix 1


Corscombe Village Coffee Morning

The village coffee morning was resurrected last September and has been a success.  It is an informal gathering where we meet in a neighbour’s house every month or so for tea/coffee and a chat/catch up.  Everyone from the village is welcome to attend.  You can pop in for 30 minutes or stay for the full 2 hours.  Up to you.   Attendees pay £1, with the proceeds going to the upkeep of the village hall.  Sometimes, there is a small raffle if the host is up for doing this.

It is a simple way of getting to know neighbours, learning about useful contacts or just having a chat and a laugh.  The next coffee morning will be at Dick and Jenny’s on 15th May who will be holding a “sock” contest.  Participation is completely optional.  We are looking for hosting volunteers from July onwards.  If you are willing to host an event, please contact Liz Southern on 07800 901751.

Corscombe Bell ringers

Corscombe bellringers continue to meet most weeks, for a Monday evening practice, and we also ring when requested, for Weddings, Thanksgiving Services and to welcome the Melbury Team when visiting Corscombe. We have nine bellringers in our team, aged from 16 to 80’s ringing rounds and call changes, and extend a warm welcome to both novices as well as to more experienced ringers who would like to join us at any time.

This month we have been invited to ring for a wedding at Halstock Church, where the bells have been little used since the sad loss of Ken Gove who organised the team there. We would be delighted to help any people wishing to re-activate bell ringing in Halstock, with training etc.  Please contact the Corscombe tower captain, Charles Gaskell on 891127 who will be very pleased to hear from you.





Corscombe, Halstock and District Public Rights of Way Group


Report to parish meetings, May 2024

The group has been relatively inactive following the major project of producing the “Walks Guide” in the summer of 2022. Copies of the Guide are still available in Halstock Community Room or from Diana Staines.

The walks are also all available to download on both Halstock and Corscombe village websites.

We had one informal meeting during the year to discuss the future of the group. We agreed that the group should continue as a “Working Group of the parish council”, subject to the latter’s agreement. Our aim is to support and encourage use of the public rights of way in our parishes.

Walking in the local area has not been easy over the last year. Summer 2023 produced a proliferation of brambles, nettles and other undergrowth which made many routes difficult to almost impassable. The almost unprecedented wet winter meant that all routes were muddy and some very wet. Dog walkers faced a daily chore of cleaning up muddy feet and most of us lived in wellies throughout the winter. Unsurprisingly, some people who took up walking during the lockdown have dropped out!

The Group have continued to monitor local ROWs and to report problems via the Dorset Council website, but responses have been mixed. Damage to bridges, where there is a clear danger to walkers has been prompt, but other reports have taken many months for a response. Reports can be made by any member of the public by googling “report a problem on a public right of way Dorset”. We share information on problems within the group through a WhatsApp group.

We have been able to purchase three further self-closing gates to replace stiles, through funding from the Parish Council and Halstock Village Trust. These should be installed in the near future.

The group recently liaised with Rick Smith of “Wildwoods” at Higher Halstock Leigh, to arrange a walk in his coppice woods, to enhance understanding of the benefits of coppicing woodlands. We have also liaised with the Rivers Trust who are arranging a walk around the perimeter of Sutton Bingham reservoir. Beaminster Ramblers had a walk in our area, led by Simon Dalton, from whom further details of their events can be obtained.

Diana Staines




Corscombe, Halstock and District Parish Council Meeting of 14 May 2024


Friends Group Report


  1. The Friend’s Group full title is ‘Friends of Corscombe and Halstock Community First Responders’, formally known as The Friends Group
  2. The Group is not a charity but is treated as such in its ability to claim gift aid on donations made to the group by individuals.
  3. Objectives of the Friends Group, as stated in its constitution are as follows:

The Friends of Corscombe and Halstock Community First Responders is established for charitable purposes only.

In particular The Friends of Corscombe and Halstock Community First Responders is established:

To promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community in the Corscombe and Halstock area, specifically the advancement of emergency health care.

To provide training sessions to the community so that the people we serve become systematically better equipped to provide elements of Community First line support whilst waiting for the emergency service to arrive.

  1. The Friends Group historically raised funds to meet the expenses incurred in running the First Responders
  2. The Southwest Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) now covers the expenses of each First Responder, so The Friends are not now liable for these expenses.
  3. The First Responder Team is now down to one member, and there has been no success in attracting new members to the team.
  1. The Friends Group has therefore moved its focus to supporting the local community in terms of educating and training the community to provide emergency first aid for themselves until an ambulance arrives. In addition, we aim to provide emergency First Aid equipment for use by the community.
  2. The Friends Group is working in partnership with the Parish Council with respect to 2 above, which greatly enhances what each can provide. In particular, the Parish Council and Friends are working together in providing Public Access Defibrillators to the local community. The Parish Council has agreed to adopt this as essential infrastructure for the support of the community.
  3. The Parish Council is providing insurance against theft of the machines.
  4. Has resolved to maintain the provision into the future.
  5. Provision currently in place:
  6. Defibrillator and cabinet to Corscombe
  1. Replacement of a defibrillator cabinet for Corscombe and rewiring of the electrical feed to the cabinet.

iii. Defibrillator and cabinet to Halstock (external to village hall), and

power supply to the cabinet.

  1. Defibrillator and cabinet to West Chelborough, together with

electrical feed to the cabinet

  1. Provision of steps at West Chelborough to facilitate access to the cabinet.
  2. Defibrillator and cabinet located behind the Halstock Shop – with 24

hour access

  1. A familiarization session will be held in Halstock Village Hall, in the autumn. This will be a repeat of the successful event held in 2023. Each person handled the defibrillator and practiced removing it from the cabinet. The session was backed up by a British Heart Foundation interactive video presentation about defibrillators and how easy they are to use.
  1. Current Funds held by the Friends Group:
  2. Accounts as of May 2023
  3. Bonus Account: £4257.96
  4. Current Account: £303.51

iii. Petty Cash: 191.63

Making total: £4753.10

  1. Funds raised since May 2023
  2. A further £200 was gift-aided to the Friends Group, uplifted by 25%.
  3. Halstock Fete Committee donated £500 in support of the defibrillatorinitiative.

iii. Corscombe Fete Committee donated £606 in support of the

defibrillator initiative.

  1. Accounts as of May 2024
  2. Bonus Account: £4823.91
  3. Current Account: £1159.51

iii. Petty Cash: £237.63

Making total: £6221.05

  1. The accounts are audited annually, and findings are reported back to the Friends group.
  1. Strategy:
  2. To go on funding the defibrillator programme (as well as providing training)

until the funds are exhausted.

  1. The Parish Council has resolved to support the provision directly once the

Friends Group funds are spent.

iii. Funds raised by the Friends Group will be used to support the Parish

Council, thus reducing the cost to the Parish Council for as long as The

Friends Group has funds.

  1. The joint funds of the Parish Council and Fiends Group will be used

so that VAT costs can be recovered into the Friends Accounts.

  1. There are two defibrillators operated by SWASFT. These will need replacing

in 2027.

  1. The three defibrillators and cases bought this year will need

replacing in 2033.

vii. There are ongoing expenses in maintaining the defibrillators –

provision of single-use pads and kit, as well as replacement battery.

  1. Once The Friends Funds are exhausted, the Friends group will make a decision on

whether or not to close the Group.

  1. Fund Raising:
  2. The Friends Group have no plans for fund raising currently. This may change should The Friends and Parish Council identify a project that falls within the remit of The Friends Group, and for which the Friends group wish to be active.
  3. The Corscombe and Halstock Fetes have donated to the Friends each year, and a resident has made a gift payment of £200 annually. In addition, Halstock Trust has supported the Friends.


History Group

Unfortunately, the History group has folded. However, Freda is continuing her work on the History of Corscombe.

Knit and Stitch

The group meets fortnightly on a Thursday afternoon and has between 15 to 20 members.  We enjoy coffee and cake in an informal get together and a chance to share our experiences.  Money from the sale of coffee and cake and is split between the church/village hall and a nominated charity chosen each year.

Tuesday Club

We have had a successful year with the Corscombe Tuesday Club. Peter Mullins, a Corscombe resident has given two presentations on his love of fishing, with a practical session making a fly. Freda Hennessy delighted us with ‘What’s in a name’, fascinating information about our own Corscombe.

Andrew and Celia Tomkins spoke about ‘Life and work in other countries’, particularly life as a family in Africa and the fragility of the health of young children that can be remedied with some careful management.

Juliana Lodge brought her medical dog, Merlin, who demonstrated his abilities to help her when needed and explained his ongoing training. We all wanted to take him home with us!

Debbie Fry delighted us with a craft demonstration and encouraged us to ‘have a go’.

We also had some interesting outings including a Skittles Night at the Fox Inn, a fabulous Christmas lunch, the ‘Henry’ vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Numatic Factory at Chard and recently to the Shire Museum at Dorchester.

The weather was good to us for our summer cream tea at Milton Brook, donating the proceeds to St Mary’s Church and the Shire.

Stil to come are presentations by Ray Mottershaw on his experiences in the Falklands War, Debbie Childs on ‘a year in the life of a beekeeper’ and Helen Land to help us with Floral Christmas decorations.

As you can see, we have enlisted a lot of local talent.

We currently have 21 members, but many others come to our meetings as guests.

We started the year with 4 committee members. However, after many years of service both Chris Watson and Jenny Thorne are stepping down. We thank them for all the hours they have spent in organising speakers and outings. Also, as I am probably leaving the village, this will mean another resignation from the committee.  Unless some willing help is on offer the future of the Tuesday Club is in doubt.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and hope for more.

Thankyou Lesley Chapman, treasurer.

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Post meeting additions.

Hawkins Trust

The Hawkins Trust continues to support Corscombe villagers suffering financial hardship, and welcomes further applications, which will be dealt with in strict confidence.

Village Hall


Reading group


Walking Group














Tessa Safadi
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