Milverton, Somerset

Parish Council May meeting summary

The monthly meeting was held on 9 May shortly after flooding in the afternoon and Councillors heard first hand reports of the damage done to homes which was very sobering and sympathies are expressed to all concerned. Full minutes will appear on Milverton Parish Council but the following topics are highlighted:

  1. Mobile Phone Reception
    Milverton has had Vodafone boosters since the 2000s which improved the signal (for Vodafone users only), though admittedly perhaps not to the benefit of everyone in the parish. Vodafone, like all mobile providers, has announced plans to turn off its 3G signal in 2023, which will render the boosters obsolete. The indications are that it may offer 4G boosters in due course but there is no time scale for this. The Parish Council has therefore instructed that all the boosters are turned off with immediate effect. This may not cause inconvenience to users because of improved reception now than in the 2000s. It should also be pointed out that if you currently have a phone which only works on 3G, it will not work when the signal is switched off later this year, so it may be worth investing in a replacement now anyway. The PC has also recently learnt that EE is to lodge a planning application to add equipment on the mobile mast near Court Farm at the end of High Street, which should improve its signal strength. The mast currently provides a signal for Virgin Media O2. (NB each mobile operator’s equipment is specific to their own signal supply).
  2.  Airband
    Airband Community Internet Ltd is proposing to install equipment throughout the parish which will allow fibre to the premises (ie high speed broadband). This is no doubt a benefit for those who currently have poor broadband but it comes at a cost, both to the householder and the village. The proposal is for potentially over 20 new poles to be erected throughout the parish for the necessary additional cabling. The PC is concerned about the impact on the Conservation Area and is seeking clarification as to whether existing poles can be used rather than new ones, as well as whether cabling can be put underground instead, which would be less imposing in the long term, though not preferred by Airband as it is the more expensive option. The PC is also aware that various landowners have been approached by Airband seeking permission to put a pole on their property. If you have any queries in relation to this, please contact me or a member of the PC. (For information, poles under 15m do not require planning permission so the process to object is not straightforward).
  3. Vacancy on the Parish Council
    Katherine Botes has resigned from the Council due to work commitments so there is a vacancy that will be filled by co-option at the meeting on 3 July. If you are interested in standing or wish to find out further information about what the role involves, please contact me or any Parish Councillor. Hopefully it can be seen through the monthly reports that there are many issues that Councillors get involved with which are of concern to residents and that it is possible to make a positive difference. Thanks are expressed to Katherine for her input whilst on the PC.

The next meeting will be held on Monday 5 June at the Victoria Rooms.

Tim Payne
Parish Council Clerk