About George Schofield

Posts by George Schofield:

The new Devon Waste Plan

Devon County Council submitted a new Devon Waste Plan to the Secretary of State for examination on 3 April 2014. It covers the whole of Devon, except for Plymouth, Torbay and the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks. It contains ten core policies: W1 – a presumption of sustainable development; W2 – sustainable waste management; W3 – spatial strategy; W4 – waste prevention; W5 – reuse, recycling and materials recovery; W6 – energy recovery; W7 – waste disposal; W8 – waste water treatment; W9 – management of special types of waste; and W10 – protection of waste management capacity. Of these, the most contentious could be Policy W6: Energy Recovery. This seeks to deliver 377,000 tonnes of energy recovery capacity, and identifies five locations for new facilities (incinerators) each of up to 80,000 tonnes, at Brynsworthy Environment Centre (Barnstaple), Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension, Hill Barton and Greendale Barton (east of Exeter), and Heathfield (Kingsteignton).

Preparation of the Plan included a Pre-submission Public Consultation which ended on 24th February 2014. The responses were submitted, together with the Devon Waste Plan itself and supporting documents.  The whole bundle can be viewed online at www.devon.gov.uk/dwpsubmission and hardcopy can be viewed locally at Torridge District Council Offices, Riverbank House, Bideford, EX39 2QG and at the Bideford Library.

The Secretary of State has appointed an Inspector, Mr Andrew S Freeman, to conduct the examination. The examination hearings are currently expected to be held in July 2014. To assist the Inspector, Mr Robert Young has been appointed as the Programme Officer and will undertake the administration of the examination and be the point of contact for all queries and correspondence. Contact details for the Programme Officer, together with information on the examination, will be published shortly on the Council’s website at www.devon.gov.uk/dwpexamination.

If you have any immediate questions on the Devon Waste Plan, including submission documents and examination arrangements, you are asked please to contact the County Council by either emailing wasteplanning@devon.gov.uk, calling 0845 155 1015, or writing to: Minerals and Waste Planning, AB2 Lucombe House, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD

 

 

Devon Remembers the First World War

The parish Clerk has received the following letter from Heidi Watson-Jones, who is the Project Coordinator for Devon Remembers, the project which is tasked with commemorating the centenary of the First World War in Devon.

“This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an event you will already have noticed being commemorated nationally and locally in many different ways. Some of you will have attended our launch event at the Devon Heritage Centre last year.

Devon County Council, along with the Royal British Legion, Community Council of Devon, neighbouring authorities, and other partners are working together to provide information for schools, communities, interest groups and individuals wishing to find out about available resources, events and projects taking place over the next four years. A number of nationally funded projects are also underway which will engage groups to explore the impact of the War on their local communities.

The Devon Remembers website (www.devonremembers.info) provides links to fascinating research material, news updates on projects and events, and invites local schools and groups to share First World War commemorative projects they are involved in.

Are you involved in a local history group, a member of a Book Club, interested in the First World War, or organising a commemorative event ? If so we’d love to hear from you…

The Libraries Service has compiled a comprehensive reading list of fiction and non-fiction books about the First World War which both adults and children will find interesting and which are available at Devon libraries, this includes titles such as Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. You can find the reading list on the Devon Remembers website, under ‘News’.

If you are in a Book Club, why not consider reading a book from the list and send us a review to share on the website? A Bovey Tracey book club has recently reviewed ‘A Testament of Youth’ by Vera Brittain, which you can read on the Devon Remembers website under ‘News’.

If you are involved in a First World War commemorative project, or have a review or a forthcoming event you would like to share on the Devon Remembers website, please contact:

Heidi Watson-Jones, Service Support Officer (Education & Learning) and Project Coordinator, Devon Remembers.  Her address is Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.  Her email address is devonremembers-mailbox@devon.gov.uk, her phone number is: 01392 382644 / 383000 (she works part time: Mon- Fri 8.45am – 2pm) and the website URL is: www.devonremembers.info.

 

Parish Council Meeting Agenda 22 April 2014

An additional MEETING of BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL will be held on Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 8:00pm in Buckland Brewer Village Hall

(Note added before posting, by way of explanation. Kate Little, the Joint Head of Strategic Development and Planning for Torridge District Council, has told the Parish Council that when it is consulted on planning applications it must respond within the 21 day deadline.  Otherwise its comments may be ignored.  Currently, the intervals between parish council meetings are 28 to 31 days.  To meet the new, stringent, 21 day requirement it may from now on be necessary to hold an Additional Meeting between the currently scheduled meetings.  This is the first such meeting.  J G Schofield)

Business to be transacted at the meeting:

1168 Apologies for Absence,

1169 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 9th April

1170 Declarations of Interest

1171 Public Participation

1172 To review the options for the future of the sports pavilion

1173 Members’ Reports

1174 Planning: All the relevant details can be viewed online at www.torridge.gov.uk/planningonline under the reference numbers cited below).

a) Applications:

(i) 1/0240/2014/FUL – Mambury House, erection of double garage, wood store and wood boiler room (target date 29th April 2014)

(ii) 1/0302/2014/OUT – Land adjacent to Ross House, proposed detached two storey dwelling and integral garage. (target date 29th April 2014)

(iii) 1/0194/2014/FUL – Milford Farm, Erection of an Extension to Existing Agricultural Building (target date 5th May 2014)

(iv) 1/0195/2014/FUL – Milford Farm, Erection of an Extension to Existing Agricultural Building (target date 5th May 2014)

b) Weekly Lists of Planning Applications

ALL WELCOME

 

Police and Crime Commissioner: Public Surgery

The Police Commissioner will hold a “public surgery” in Bude on Wednesday 16th April.   This is potentially a good development, suggesting that he wants to hear the views of residents.  The venue is the Parkhouse Centre, The Crescent, Bude.

We have been given relatively short notice, and Bude is a less convenient venue than Bideford.  However, should you wish to attend the surgery, or to contact the Commissioner to make your views known contact his office.

Email: opcc@devonandcornwall.pnn.police

Telephone: 01392 225555.

Parish Council minutes 12 March 2014

Draft MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 12th MARCH 2014 AT 7:30PM AT BUCKLAND BREWER SCHOOL

Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr David Lloyd, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.

Also in attendance 2 members of the public, Alison Boyle (part), PCSO Liz Rendle and Cllr. Robin Julian (part)

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1118 Apologies for Absence Cllr Robin Julian had sent apologies that he expected to arrive late.

1119 Minutes of the Meeting of 12th February 2014 The minutes of the parish council meeting held on 12th February 2014 were confirmed and signed.

1120 Declarations of Interest Kate Slocombe re item 1125 (ii) Football Pitch, Grass Cutting ; Shirley Tilley re item 1139 (a) 1 Gorwood Road planning application; Kate Slocombe and Barbara Babb re item 1126 Field Rents.

1121 Public Participation None

1122 Crime Report: PCSO Liz Rendle reported that there had been 2 crimes recorded for the parish in the past 2 months: some specialist equipment had been stolen from a vehicle (which had not been locked) and there had been another theft from the Hillpark construction site, this time of £1,500 of equipment from locked sheds. Andrew Hewitt recommended the use of wireless cameras. Liz stated that crime in rural areas remained low but these thefts proved that it is still vulnerable and that better security is needed. Liz also reported that there had been a theft of heating oil in a nearby community and advised that tanks should be securely locked.

1123 Alison Boyle: AONB Alison said that she had been appointed to the Board of the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The association had been founded in 1959 as a result of the Countryside Rights of Way Act and the local board manages the area from Hartland to Combe Martin, employing 2.4 fte staff. It maintains close links with planning issues, such as the Atlantic Array. The focus for the next year is to be on farming and land management following increasing pressures on farmers to protect the countryside. The existing 4-year plan ends this month and the next meeting of the Board, in April 2014, will concentrate on the development of a new long-term plan, which is likely to include Bucks Mill and other local issues.

1124 Clerk’s Report

I. Correspondence: A summary of various items of general correspondence was supplied to each member. The following item was specifically drawn to the Council’s attention:

• Devon County Council Adult Social Care Day Services – Stakeholder events

• Affordable Housing on Exception Sites (Policy DM21) – see item 1139 (c)

• DALC: Consultation on filming and use of social media at public meetings

• DCC: Invitation to Stakeholders: Briefing on the Consultation on the future of residential care services at 20 Devon County Council Residential Care Homes. Shirley Tilley offered to attend the meeting at Caddsdown Business Centre on 14th March 2014

• Sally Nicholl: Letter concerning the planning application for the turbine at Babeleigh Barton – see item 1139 (d)

• Easy Read Scheme – flyer and poster

• British Lichen Society Apprenticeship

• Village Green – Issue 135, Spring 2014

• DALC Newsletter, March 2014

• Emergency Management Flyer

• Healthwatch Voices: Issue 3

• Clerks and Councils Direct: March 2014

 1125 Football Pitch

i) Having obtained keys for the club house, Jim Lowe had inspected it and found 9 bottles of gas, 30 pairs of football boots, a number of footballs, a set of football shirts and a large quantity of rubbish that needed to be removed. He had obtained a quote of £300 for clearing the rubbish but it was apparent that there was a quantity of asbestos in the building. It was agreed that councillors should visit the site at 10am on Saturday 15th March 2015. Jim Lowe had already had the gas bottles removed. It was agreed to donate the footballs to the Playing Fields Association, that the shirts would be donated to an appropriate cause and that the boots would go to the recycling centre. An indicative price of £650 had been received for making the club house secure but this had been provided without the benefit of a comprehensive survey. It was agreed that the Health and Safety Executive would be asked to evaluate the state of the building.

ii) Grass cutting – One bid had been received so far for grass cutting of the pitch but further bids were expected by the end of the month so any decision on the issue was deferred until the next meeting.

1126 Parish Council Fields: Rents: The clerk had spoken to Brian Chapple, who had agreed to an increase to £340 per annum and to Mr and Mrs Babb, who had agreed to an increase to £250 per annum with effect from March 2015. Having tried a number of times to contact Peter Bromell by telephone without response, the Clerk will now write to him.

1127 Thornhillhead Communications Mast: A letter had been sent to Arqiva on 19th February 2014 accepting their offer of £1,000 without obligation but there had so far been no response. The Clerk had been contacted by a consultancy purporting to be acting for 02 and Vodafone wanting to renegotiate the rent of the mast in order to install upgraded equipment in preparation for G4 but had not, so far, made any further contact. Robert Hicks and Co. had offered to act on the Parish Council’s behalf in any negotiations at no cost to the Council as any costs would be passed on the lessee.

1128 Thornhillhead Moor: No invoice had been received from Hicks & Co. Andrew Hewitt suggested that, once the invoice had been received and it was known how much remained in the account, a pre-meeting should be held with Robert Hicks before meeting with the graziers. George Heywood reported that there were still no ‘cattle’ warning signs up.

1129 Grant Application: Victim Support: A letter had been received from the Victim Support charity appealing for funds. Any decision was deferred to the next meeting.

1130 Summer Bus Service: All three of the other participating parish councils had been asked about continuing with the service in 2014. Putford and Bradworthy had definitely agreed to carry on. Parkham Parish Council will discuss the issue at its next meeting on 1st April but their Clerk had indicated that it was “almost certain” the council would continue to support it. Jim Lowe had been told by Community Transport that there would be little or no change in the cost.

1131 Pannier Market Hopper Bus A very enthusiastic response had been received from Community Transport but there was concern expressed about the service potentially clashing with the 372 service. One member thought that the new Waitrose in Torrington might start a hopper service of their own. Jim Lowe will continue to discuss the issue with Community Transport.

1132 Best Kept Village Competition: A map is still required. Kate Slocombe has one which she will photocopy and send to the Clerk.

1133 TAP Fund Application An application has been submitted and had received a positive response from Malcolm Harris, Community Development Officer at Torridge. It now requires approval by Devon County and Torridge District Councillors. The application now includes Peters Marland and Frithelstock as well as Langtree. The submission has been supported by professional photographs taken by a local photographer, the cost of which is to be offset against the photographer’s use of the village hall.

1134 War Memorial: Grant Application Applications are now being accepted for smaller schemes so an application will be submitted to Devon County Council for the next tranche of grants. Support is required from the British Legion and Cllr Robin Julian, who agreed in person to supply a supporting letter. The clerk will formally write to both parties.

1135 Village Library: The Clerk had spoken to the vicar who was enthusiastic about the scheme but needs to ratify the decision with the PCC, which next meets at the end of March 2014.

1136 Torrington Hospital: Andrew Hewitt reported that further consultation and opinions are being sought but that he felt that the proposals will go ahead “whatever happens”. On a related issue, Cllr Julian said that he had spoken to the leader of Devon County Council about the potential closure of the Springfield Day Centre in Bideford, and others that are threatened with closure, and had been told that no decisions had yet been made. David Watson reported that they were no longer taking any referrals.

1137 Lengthsman Service/Drain Clearing: It had been confirmed with Julian Roskilly of Devon Highways this week that there no news on when lengthsman rotas will restart. Andrew Hewitt suggested that a survey of local road conditions and potential lengthsmen works should be carried and it was agreed that Andrew Hewitt and David Lloyd would do this together.

1138 Members’ Reports

Cllr. Robin Julian reported that some pothole are being temporarily patched and would be repaired properly at a later date and that many people were “up in arms” about this. There had been reports of footpath material being used to patch potholes in roads, which was unacceptable. He stated that some money was being provided by central government specifically for pothole repairs but he did not know how much would be allocated to Devon. The County Council had stated that some roads were under threat of temporary closure notices and there was a possibility that some might close altogether. He felt that more and more would need to be done by the parishes in the future, especially as Devon County was facing another £49 million of budget cuts next year.

George Heywood (i) reported an incident at Bideford Rugby Club where a defibrillator had been used to save a life. The Clerk explained the proposals for providing a defibrillator in Frithelstock, which had formed part of the TAP Fund Grant application, and gave an overview of prices and delivery options. It was agreed that the Clerk would investigate these further and report back. (ii) George also reported that it had not been necessary to use any salt this year. (iii) A pothole at the top of Orleigh Hill needed to be filled – to be reported to Devon Highways by the Clerk. (iv) He said that he thought that the licensee using the football pitch for archery was under the impression that the grass would be kept cut at all times. The Clerk will clarify the position with her.

Jim Lowe (i) reported that there had been no response to requests for repairs to the street lights and believed that this work had been sub-contracted to Southern Electric. (ii) Four questions are wanted for the guest speak at the Annual Parish Meeting. Jim will put an item in Village Scene asking for suggestions.

Kate Slocombe announced open afternoons at Buckland Brewer and Parkham Schools on 25th and 27th March respectively.

Shirley Tilley commented on the number of vehicles parked along the road. Andrew Hewitt pointed out that this was probably because the holiday cottages are occupied. (ii) Shirley also pointed out that Cornwall Fire Brigade was using a call centre based in Yorkshire and hoped that this would not happen to the Devon and Somerset Fire Service as it would lead to loss of local knowledge.

David Watson (i) reported seeing dog mess on the ramp to the community shop and behind the chapel. It was recommended by one member that ‘No Dogs’ signs could be put up but no decision was taken. (ii) David also said that the notice board ought to have softer wood or an alternative backing as it was very difficult to insert pins. Jim Lowe to discuss with Richard Dorset.

Alison Boyle and Cllr. Robin Julian left the meeting at this point.

1139 Planning

a. Applications:

i) 1/0133/2014/FUL – Removal of condition 3 from planning approval 431/1993 to allow the change of use of the existing garage in to a kitchen, The Jays, 1 Gorwood Road. It was unanimously agreed to support this application.

ii) Devon County Council Planning Application at Buckland Brewer CP School – Retention of one existing modular classroom for a further 15 years. Notice of this application had been received too late to be included on the agenda. A decision was deferred to the next meeting and the Clerk was asked to notify DCC accordingly.

iii) 1/0128/2014/FUL – Braddons Park Wind Turbine. Notice of this application had been received too late to be included on the agenda. A decision was deferred to the next meeting and the Clerk was asked to notify Torridge Council accordingly.

b. Decisions:

iv) 1/1125/2013/FUL – Variation of conditions 2 & 14 of planning application 1/0504/2012/FUL to allow change in power output from 50kW to 100kW (Height to blade tip 39.997m), Craneham Farm, Buckland Brewer, Devon – Granted permission – Noted. The Clerk and the Chairman had both reminded Torridge Council that the Parish Council had previously registered its objection to the application.

c. Rural Settlement Plan Update (i) Jim Lowe reported that most of the points raised by the Parish Council concerning errors and omissions in the draft rural settlement plan for Buckland Brewer had been corrected or re-instated, including:

• the new property for which an application has already been accepted is to be included within the settlement boundary (plot 2)

• all in-fill sites have been included

• the plot of land off Tower Hill (plot 7) has been reinstated. It had been thought that access would be too narrow but Torridge had accepted that this would be improved if a garage was demolished.

• reconsidering the limitation of the number of industrial units

• admitting that the development plot in Gorwood road had been omitted in error

It had been stated by Kate Little (Joint Head of Planning) that there was little or no hope of meeting the Local Plan’ publication deadline.

The Cock Pheasant plot (plot 1) was still not included within the settlement boundary but the Chairman had distributed an explanation of policy DM21, indicating that it could still be designated for affordable housing at a later date, and that not including it within the settlement plan could protect it from other development proposals. Jim had been contacted by a representative of Aster Homes, a housing association with properties in mid and south Devon wanting to expand into North Devon, and had asked them to attend a future meeting.

(ii) David Brown, responsible for providing the small industrial units at High Bickington, has also been asked to attend a future meeting.

d. Babeleigh Barton turbine A letter had been received from Sally Nicholl concerning an application for a wind turbine in Parkham parish. She had first written to the Chairman at this time last year suggesting that Buckland Brewer might apply to share in any community benefits from the scheme and was concerned that the issue had not been brought to the Council’s attention. The Clerk had responded to Mrs Nicholl’s pointing out that Buckland Brewer had a policy of not commenting on turbine applications in other parishes and that it had no rights in law to seek community benefits if they did not constitute part of the planning application. Jim Lowe recalled having a lengthy discussion on the telephone with Sally but could not recall having seen her first letter. It was unanimously agreed that any letters submitted to members of the Parish Council should be brought to the Council’s attention.

1140 Accounts

i) Bank balances:

• Parish Council Current Account was £3,055.46 as at 28th February 2014

• Thornhillhead Moor Account was £18,216.03 as at 19th February 2014

ii) Payments due (£1187.23)

• Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £187.23

• Buckland Brewer Village Hall – £1,000

iii) Receipts since last meeting (£80.00):

• Archery licence: £50.00

• Contribution from Frithelstock Parish Council towards training costs: £30.00

iv) Repeal of section 150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972 (two cheque signatories).The Clerk reported that legislation requiring Parish Council expenses be paid by a cheque signed by at least two signatories was being repealed. This opened the way for the use of internet banking and other forms of transaction that were not previously possible. However, his recommendation was that it was unnecessary for Buckland Brewer to change its banking practices at this time, which worked adequately for its purposes, and this was agreed unanimously.

Dates of Next Meetings:

Monday 17th March 2014 at The Chapel – 7:30pm – Parish Support Network Sub-Committee

Wednesday 9th April 2014 at Buckland Brewer School – 8:00pm

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:42 pm

Chairman: ………………………………………………………………………. Date: …………………………………

 

Volunteers required, on Thornhillhead Moor, on 24th March

The Parish is responsible to Natural England for the maintenance of Thornhillhead Moor.

Weather permitting, we are planning a controlled burn off of vegetation (aka “swaling“) on the Moor next Monday (24th March 2014).  Anyone willing to help would be much welcomed as there are not many Devon Wildlife Trust volunteers this year.    If you know anyone willing to help, could you tell them as well?

The contact for further details is Claire McIntosh at Robert Hicks (claire@roberthicks.co.uk)

 

Pat Blosse, Clerk to Buckland Brewer Parish Council

Catsborough Cottage, Catsborough Cross, Monkleigh, Devon, EX39 5LE

Telephone: 01805 624832

 

Parish Council support network sub-committee Monday 17 March 2014

In view of the proposed cuts by Devon County Council to community, social and support services, the Parish Council has agreed to set up a sub-committee to look at ways and means of supporting existing voluntary groups within the parish, or whether there is a call to facilitate any further practical support.

The meeting will take place in the Chapel School Room at 7.30pm on Monday 17 March

 

 

Help with learning to read

There are about 2.5 million adults in the UK who cannot read or who have very poor literacy skills. Read Easy is a charity which matches adults who want to learn to read with volunteers who can teach them.

  • Read Easy gives lives back to people through these one-to-one coaching sessions.
  • The tuition is one-to-one, friendly, flexible, free and fun!
  • The sessions are always in neutral venues, never in homes for safeguarding of both the Coach and Reader.
  • Read Easy Coaches are never judgemental – they just want to help the person learn to read!
  • There are two half-hour tutorials a week, on a regular timetable.
  • They use the phonics-based book ‘Yes We Can Read’.

Read Easy in the Torridge area is just starting. We have several kind people who have already offered themselves as Coaches.  The challenge is to locate the folk who cannot read. They have developed strategies to hide this from family, friends, and co-workers as embarrassment is very high. The hardest thing for them is to come forward and say, “I need to learn to read.”  So if you know someone who wants to learn to read, they might be very grateful to be put in touch with us at Read Easy.  Equally, if you would like to volunteer to help someone learn, please contact us.

Nigel Wright, Coordinator for Read Easy, Bideford and Great Torrington

Telephone: 0844 472 2983

Email: nigel@readeasy.org.uk

Web: Read Easy

Read Easy Bideford and Gt Torrington is an Affiliated Member of Read Easy UK Registered Charity No: 1151288 and is supported by BookRelief UK Reg. Charity No. 1134724 exible Fun!

Lichen apprenticeship

Would you like to know how to identify Lichens?

If so, the Lichen apprenticeship scheme identifying Lichens in Atlantic woodlands will interest you.

Plantlife and the British Lichen Society are pleased to be able to invite applications to join the apprenticeship scheme on lichens in Atlantic woodlands. This innovative programme, part of the Heritage Lottery funded ”Make the Small Things Count” project, will support interested members of the public to gain a solid foundation in lichen identification and an understanding of the ecology of lichen epiphytes (those growing on the bark of trees and shrubs) and woodland habitats. The focus of the scheme is Atlantic woodlands, which are home to some of our most celebrated lichen species.

The apprenticeship involves:

  • Attending 5 days of training taking place in Dartmoor and/or Exmoor (training days will be repeated at both locations)
  • Attending 1-2 organised survey days
  • Undertaking 2-3 independent monitoring surveys.  Apprentices will be signposted to appropriate opportunities
  • Guided private study and portfolio completion

Apprentices can expect from us:

  • Expert tuition, guidance and support
  • All resources and equipment needed to undertake the course
  • A combination of practical field work and indoor sessions covering theory and technical skills such as the use of microscopes

Entry requirements and assessment

This programme does not lead to a qualification so there is no formal assessment nor any entry requirements. Apprentices will be expected to keep a portfolio through which they will identify skills that they have gained. Apprentices are not required to have any specialist knowledge prior to starting the programme however a genuine interest in learning about lichens and a commitment to the requirements of this free programme are essential.

We are grateful for financial support for this apprenticeship scheme from the Heritage Lottery Fund,  the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund, the Dartmoor National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund, the Quantock Hills AONB and the North Devon Coast AONB.

We expect demand to be high and so would encourage you to apply early. Applications must be received by Monday 31st March 2014.

To apply, complete the application form.

Parish council minutes 12 February 2014

Meeting of Buckland Brewer Parish Council Held on Wednesday 12 February 2014 at 7:30pm at Buckland Brewer School

Draft minutes

Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr David Lloyd, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.

Also in attendance 1 member of the public

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1095 Apologies for Absence Cllr Bob Hicks, Alison Boyle

1096 Minutes of the Meetings of 8th January 2014 and 5th February 2012 The minutes of the parish council meeting held on 8th January 2014 and the Budget Review and Finance Sub-Committee meeting of 5th February 2014 were confirmed and signed, subject to a clarification of item 1087 Members’ Reports: George Heywood to which was added “George Heywood stated that Councillor Robin Julian was wrong in his statement that farmers could do no more”.

1097 Declarations of Interest Kate Slocombe and Barbara Babb in respect of item 1102: Report of the Budget Review and Finance Sub-Committee held on 5th February 2014.

1098 Public Participation None

1099 Clerk’s Report

I. Correspondence: A summary of various items of general correspondence was supplied to each member. The following item was specifically drawn to the Council’s attention:

o Devon Countryside Access Forum, request for new members – George Heywood expressed an interest

o Village Green Winter 2013 – Jim Lowe discussed the opportunity to obtain a war memorial grant and it was agreed that a professional’s opinion would be sought to assess the extent of works needed

o DCC Highways: Response re ‘priority system’ for Tower Hill – noted that no action was possible

o DALC: Invitation to Royal Garden Party – Chairman’s name has been submitted

o DCC: Flood Clean-up and Repair Work – noted that lengthsman duties delayed

o South West Heritage Trust/North Devon Record Office – it was agreed that the Clerk would write to Cllr Julian asking why the North Devon record Office could not be affiliated. Andrew Hewitt will also ask his contacts

o Winter Friends NHS Choices campaign Newsletter – It was agreed that, in the light of all the consultations taking place about support services and inevitable cuts in these services as a result of government financial policy, the Parish Council sets up a sub-committee to look at ways and means of supporting existing groups within the parish or whether there is a call to facilitate any further practical support. The sub-committee is to comprise Barbara Babb, Andrew Hewitt, Shirley Tilley and David Watson. It was agreed to co-opt Dawn Adams. Further co-options could take place to involve other interested members of the community. The group’s first meeting will be in The Chapel at 7:30pm on Monday 17th March 2014.

o Notice of Road Closure – Babeleigh Cross to Buckland Brewer to Tuckers Park 14th April – 18th April 2014 – Western Power Network

o Notice of next Torrington Area Advisory Group – 15th April 2014, 7:00pm, Methodist Church Hall, Mill Street, Torrington

o Letter of thanks from CAB for grant payment

o Application for Hire of School Premises for 2014 – future meeting dates were confirmed and the Clerk will complete and return the form

o TDC: Empty Homes Toolkit – noted, no action required

o TDC: TAP Fund 2013/14 and approach from Langtree Parish Council for a joint application. It was agreed that Buckland Brewer would submit a TAP fund application together with Langtree. Clerk to coordinate.

o DCC: Devon Mobile Library Service – new timetables

o Linking Life in the Torridge – Parish Survey

o Jane Lowe: New Hall Update

o Invitation to join a Rural Sounding Board – Jim Lowe to follow up

o Best Kept Village Competition: Guidelines and Judging Schedule. The map provided had not been satisfactory. It was suggested that Phil Slocombe should be able to supply something more suitable.

II. Insurance: Following approval of the budget at last month’s meeting, street furniture cover has now been added to the insurance policy.

III. Future Guest Speakers: A representative from WildWestNet has agreed to attend the meeting scheduled for 9th April 2014 to present their satellite broadband services and it is hoped that a representative from Tarka Housing will attend the meeting of 12th March 2014.

1100 Consultation on the Future of Youth Services in Devon It was generally agreed that a proper youth club was needed for the village but that no-one was available to run it. There will be a forum at Caddsdown Business Support Centre 1:00-3:00pm on 9th April 2014. Jim Lowe to attend. George Heywood said that what was most needed was transportation to clubs in Bideford, Torrington and further afield.

1101 Consultation on DCC Day Services The Chairman and clerk had investigated the consultation papers provided on the internet, which were comprehensive and provided for each individual day centre. It was agreed that no comments would be submitted at this stage.

1102 Report of the Budget Review and Finance Sub-Committee held on 5th February 2014

The meeting had discussed a land valuation report that had recently been received and rent reviews for the fields and allotments. The report identified approximately 20 acres of land in the Parish Council’s ownership, most of which was used for permanent pasture, with a total value of about £165,000. The Chairman and the Clerk had attended a briefing meeting with the Parish Council’s land agent prior to the meeting and had been told that three of the rental agreements were now below the market rate and ought to be increased. It was proposed by the sub-committee that the following tenant’s rents should be increased appropriately and that the clerk should write to them seeking increases of approximately 25% to take effect on or after 25th March 2015:

Mr B Chapple

Mr F Babb

Mr P Bromell

It was further proposed that all other field rents would remain unchanged until the next rent review, which would take place in 2016/17 in preparation for any rent changes to take place from 25th March 2018. It was also proposed that the Clerk should write to all tenants to inform them that the rent review has taken place and when the next review is planned. These recommendations were proposed by Jim Lowe, seconded by Shirley Tilley and agreed unanimously.

Draft letters had been prepared but the advice of the land agent was that these did not meet the requirements of a formal rent review and that approaches should be made in person initially to negotiate the increases. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the tenants

The land agents fee for carrying out the valuation was £300.00 + VAT

1103 Renting of Football Pitch June Gaydon is away on holiday for a number of weeks but she has agreed to the terms of the licence and arrangements have been made for her to sign it on 24th February 2014. George Heywood asked about income for the grass and it was agreed that this would be advertised in Village Scene. Jim Lowe has not yet obtained the keys for the pavilion.

1104 Thornhillhead Communications Mast – Response to Arqiva On the advice of Geoffrey Cox, MP, it was agreed that Arqiva’s offer of £1,000 as a one-off payment should be accepted, without obligation, and that the letter previously drafted by the Clerk should be sent subject to adding an opportunity to renegotiate the rent for “any future upgrades, such as the provision of 4G”. It was also agreed that Andrew Hewitt would obtain pictures of the mast as it is currently configured so that any future changes can be noted.

1105 Thornhillhead Moor An email had been received from Claire McIntosh. Mrs Holt was pleased to accept some spare trees to plant on their bank and 6 would be provided when the fence is complete. There is also quite a significant fly-tipping problem up there, which will have to be sorted out once the fencing is complete and it is clear how much funds are available. Claire had written a letter to the County Solicitor for advice on what the signs should say so as to not increase the Parish Councils liability should there be an accident.

1106 Summer Bus Service An invoice and breakdown of the service costs and usage had been received on 12th February 2014. The Clerk is to write to the other 3 parishes to confirm that they are willing to continue the service next year.

1107 Tower Hill/Glen Bridge A response had been received from Ian Rawle, Neighbourhood Highway Officer stating that priority points could cause confusion and complaints and that this site could not be recommended on safety grounds. A reply from Julie Pepworth regarding Glen Bridge also indicates that it is unlikely that a weight limit can be imposed.

1108 Village Green The School and Jim Lowe have planted poppies in readiness for planting out on the village green later in the year and Jim Lowe asked others to the same. Andrew Hewitt suggested that shrubs might be suitable than another tree and this was agreed unanimously.

1109 Village Library Shirley Tilley has been offered some shelving, which she hopes the church will be willing to put up. Pat Blosse, in his capacity as a bookdealer, is willing to keep the shelves stocked with books that could be borrowed by parishioners with an honesty box for small donations to church or village funds. It was agreed to proceed with the scheme and the Clerk will write to the PCC outlining the scheme and asking permission to erect the shelves.

1110 Pannier Market Hopper Bus Shirley Tilley distributed flyers outlining the Pannier Market Hopper Bus Service and suggested that the scheme might be extended to take in Buckland Brewer and other outlying villages. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Torridge Community Transport suggesting such a scheme.

1111 School Bus to Torrington Nothing to report

1112 Torrington Hospital Andrew Hewitt gave a resume of the work continuing on the consultation about the future of the hospital and the Care Closer to Home scheme. There were no new developments to report.

1113 Snow Warden Update George Heywood reported that the extra salt has arrived.

1114 Annual Parish Meeting: Torridge District Council Leader The Chairman reported that Cllr. Philip Collins, the Leader of Torridge District Council, had agreed to attend as guest speaker at this year’s Annual Parish meeting on 28th May 2014. He would like notice of about 4 questions so that he can prepare suitable responses.

1115 Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt reported that the Orleigh Hill drains had been cleared but then the hedges had been cut and the drains were blocked again. He asked if the timing of the cuts could be discussed with DCC. George Heywood pointed out that the hedge-cutting is done by contractors and that timings are subject to weather conditions. The item was noted.

George Heywood George pointed out that the Council was earning no income from Thornhillhead Moor and that the sale of some or all of the land would raise funds for the parish. – noted.

Jim Lowe reported that i) Glen Bridge was approved for a weight limit of 40 tons and that it was highly unlikely that the County would pursue a traffic order for any change, especially as this could cost £3,000, ii) he had responded to the Devon Waste Plan consultation mentioning biodegradable landfill and the use of waste to generate energy, iii) a response had also been sent on the Public Transport consultation on each of the 4 points highlighted and iv) that the plans to extend high speed broadband were continuing but that it was unclear whether Buckland Brewer would benefit.

Trevor Mills pointed out that the leaves at Glen Hill had now been removed.

Kate Slocombe i) reported that a street light was out in Barton Road. Jim Lowe will notify DCC, ii) and that her husband had dug out the drain on Gorwood Road (Buckland side of Jewels Cottage at the bottom of Friends Hill)

Shirley Tilley i) highlighted the dangers of cars dropping-off and collecting children from the playschool and ii) reported a scam concerning phone numbers staring 0809, 0284 and 0876 which, if responded to, could cost £1,500 a minute.

1116 Planning

Applications:

i) Devon County Council Planning Application at North Hele, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, EX39 5LZ Planning Reference DCC/3618/2014 – Demolition of circular slurry store and replacement with below ground slurry store, extensions to agricultural buildings and installation of new residential sewage treatment plant – noted

ii) 1/1125/2013/FUL: Variation of conditions 2 & 14 of planning application 1/0504/2012/FUL to allow change in power output from 50kW to 100kW (Height to blade tip 39.997m) at Craneham Farm, Buckland Brewer, Devon. The Council had previously objected to this application on the grounds that a dwelling was within 600m. Following consultation by email a response had already been made to restate the Council’s objection and to point out that the nearby residents would be even more adversely affected.

iii) 1/0736/2013/FUL – 2 small wind turbines at Mambury Farm, East Putford – no comment as outside the parish

iv) 1/1151/2013/FUL – Beeches Farm, Buckland Brewer, single storey conservatory extension – supported

The Chairman pointed out that some responses had been submitted to Torridge Planning department showing that the Parish Council had “no objection” but that an earlier minute of the council had agreed that all responses would be given as a positive ‘support’ or ‘objection’ as the term “no objection” implied some ambivalence and the members would prefer to be seen to be supportive where appropriate.

1117 Accounts

i) DALC Finance update – Local Government Finance Settlement – the Clerk pointed out that there was no risk that capping or referenda would be applied to parish councils’ council tax decisions in the current year but these might be considered for the largest local councils in 2015/16. It was unlikely that such conditions would be applied to small parishes in the foreseeable future.

ii) Bank balances:

• Parish Council Current Account was £3,337.88 as at 31st January 2014

• Thornhillhead Moor Account £18,724.59 as at 19th December 2013

iii) Payments due (£615.78 + VAT):

• Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £206.33 (including £30 for a filing cabinet)

• Buckland Brewer Village Hall: £7.00

• Robert H Hicks – Land valuation report: £300.00 + VAT

• Summer Bus Service: £102.45

iv) Receipts since last meeting (£40.00):

• Field rents: £40.00

v) Transfer Between Funds Members agreed a transfer of £250.00 from the Thornhillhead Moor account to the Parish Council’s general account to cover the cost of the Parish Clerk for the year 2013/14, being 2 hours per month plus a sum of about £30 towards office expenses and mileage costs.

Dates of Next Meetings:

Wednesday 12th March 2014 at Buckland Brewer School – 7:30pm

Monday 17th March 2014 at The Chapel – 7:30pm – Parish Support Network Sub-Committee

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:41 pm