News

Hospital transport for cancer patients

The parish clerk has received the following press release from Sharon Lynch, Manager, Go North Devon Ltd , about a new free hospital transport car service for cancer patients needing to get to North Devon District Hospital.

If you would like any further information about it please contact Sharon Lynch or use the contact phone number.

NDCCCT Car poster 2014

A new door to door trial service for cancer patients who need to get to North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) for oncology or chemotherapy treatment and who would struggle to get there has been launched this week.

The service which is funded by the North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust (NDCCCT) and co-ordinated by Go North Devon (GND) will collect patients from the Torridge area on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from the North Devon area on Tuesday and Thursday. The service will run twice daily to NDDH arriving at 9am and 1pm; departing at 1.15pm and 5pm. The VW Caravelle can carry five passengers on each run and booking is essential.

NDCCCT and Go have worked together for the past 17 years helping North Devon cancer patients who needed to get to Exeter on a daily basis for Radiotherapy. However an NHS funded service is now in place to help patients with these journeys so the NDCCCT Trustees felt the time was right to investigate new ways to help cancer patients in the area.

There is currently no charge for using the new service which is funded by NDCCCT from donations and fundraising. James Bonetta, Chairman of NDCCCT said “Our charity began with the goals of helping cancer patients attend appointments and offering support to the chemotherapy unit at NDDH. With the new unit opening next year this new service will combine those original aims and, we hope, help many people in the future.”

For more information or to book a seat please telephone 01271 314332 Monday to Friday 09.30 to 4.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays).

Email: Lorraine.Inch@torridge.gov.uk

Buckland Brewer Bus: schedule from 4 July to 3 Sept 2014

Summer Holidays late Friday Afternoon Replacement Bus Service from Bideford Quay to Buckland Brewer and on to Bradworthy

Petroc College term ends on Friday 4th July.  Thereafter and until Wednesday 3rd September there will be no early (8.55am) 372 Beacon bus from  Buckland Brewer to Barnstaple nor late (4.30pm) afternoon bus back from Barnstaple.

As in previous years Bradworthy, Buckland Brewer, Parkham and Putford Parish Councils, with the help of Torridge Community Transport, will be running an replacement service from Bideford Quay to Buckland Brewer and on to Bradworthy to meet the needs of parishioners.

It will run every Friday afternoon, starting on July 19th at 5.05 pm from Bideford Quay (Stop A).  It will continue for Seven Fridays until the new term starts at Petroc College.

Buckland Brewer Parish Council apologises for missing the first two Fridays.  This year there have been difficulties with the traffic commissioners beyond their control.

Please note that the normal 10.25 am Monday to Friday Beacon 372 services from Buckland Brewer that returns from Barnstaple at 1.30pm and 1.55pm from Bideford Quay will continue as normal throughout the summer.

A386 closure overnight 23 to 24 June 2014

 

The Clerk to Buckland Brewer Parish Council has received a Road Closure notice from  Joanna Cole, Customer Liaison Administrator, South West Highways.

There will be a NIGHT TIME Road closure on the A386 Bideford to Torrington Road from Weare Giffard Cross to Rakenham Toll House Cross, Monkleigh, during the evening/night of Mon 23rd June.  During the works, a diversion route will be signed and maintained as also shown on the map (click on Map A386 Weare Giffard to Rakenham Toll House.)

It is to enable SWH to carry out patching works on behalf of Devon County Council.    Circumstances and weather permitting, the anticipated working times will be 7pm – 7am.   Please be aware however, that the dates may need to change at short notice.

South West Highways apologise for any inconvenience.

If you have any queries please email Joanna Cole (joanna.cole@swhltd.co.uk) or telephone her at 01805 622395 ext  2017

 

Village Hall Committee Minutes 19 March 2014

Minutes of the Buckland Brewer Village Hall Committee Meeting 19th March 2014 at 7.45 p.m.
Present: Trevor Mills (Chair), Jane Lowe(minute taker for this meeting), Jim Lowe, George and Shirley Tilley, David Watson, Dawn Dziurzynski, Steve Harding,  Jo Birch, Alan Sutton, Alex Dziurzynski, Barbara Babb, Tom Lloyd, guest speaker  Martin Rich, Project Development Officer ,Community Council of Devon(CCD)

The agenda was rearranged at the meeting to accommodate Martin Rich, the agenda numbers may not match fully minutes, meeting conducted in this order:-

Apologies:   Kevin Lobb
Presentation by Martin Rich. Contents circulated separately, key points being actions required of this committee to ensure acquisition of funding to progress to new hall build as follows:-
Reinforcement of last Octobers presentation by Jane (Project Liaison Officer), advising of the input required to submit an application
The requirement for the internal appointed project manager to be able to separate from the day to day management of the hall and its related business
The indispensable value of Hallmark accreditation, at least Stages 1 & 2
Need to maintain absolute financial sustainability of the existing business including all local users covering running costs in full and no “free rides”.
Despite the apparent Hallmark requirement of only 70% of non-mandatory tasks, this was a “red herring” as everything should be completed unless it was simply not applicable to the premises.

Alex asked, once the business rigour had been achieved, what track record needed to be established before funders would consider applications – Martin indicated that a likely view would be that funders would accept any lessons had been learned and that we would as a consequence continue to do things to right way, thus applications then need not be further delayed. Shirley queried whether funders wanted to see a development started before they would help financially – Martin suggested this was not his experience but Project Liaison Officer informed Martin that 4 applications submitted last summer had all been rejected for this reason. She also reminded Martin that we did not yet own the land. Martin reminded of the risk of the S106 inasmuch as the developer could at some stage sell on the development prior to completion, thus nullifying the S106. This is not likely but must be accepted as a risk. Jane asked what notice would be needed for Hallmark exam/test –  August is an acceptable proposal, 6-8 weeks notice, for “cost effectiveness” for examiner both HM 1 & 2 to be taken together. Marginal failures, if they can be evidenced by a subsequently provided letter/certificate/invoice for work done, can be resolved by correspondence with CCD. Larger failures will require a “re-sit”  but Hallmark Champions are available to offer support prior to taking the tests – more info available from  CCD.
Hallmark report delivered by Steve H. Notes already circulated to all trustees & retained for the record – key additional points:-
Jane confirmed that whilst the named documents had not previously been circulated to trustees, she had taken guidance from Martin Rich’s presentation in 2012 and had advised updated all new trustees regarding their responsibilities and an overview of issues and developments. All trustees had been circulated with a document advising what was required of them after Martin’s visit in 2012(confirmed within the trustee signature book).
Trevor is carrying out an electrical consultation regards heating improvement to comply with Hallmark standards and expressed concerns regards heating left running-timers may be needed if meter is dispensed with (deemed desirable)and all heating is run from direct source(cost to be factored into pricing structure). ACTION Trevor to speak to heating specialists and report back in full with recommendations by next meeting.
White board reports a requirement to store rubbish outside ACTION Alex to lend a green wheelie bin to protect black waste sacks placed outside pending collection, to observe hygiene requirements. Nicky to be asked to buy better quality bags.
Full review & design of rigour for bookings from initial hire to admission of customer into Hall – 31st March with Booking Secretary.
Treasurer to be invited to a future meeting to ensure completeness of financial processes – required Internet access mandate to be with Treasurer by end of week.

Following actions proposed Jim (for Hallmark team), seconded Shirley, agreed unan.
Expenditure for curtain cleaning (incl .fire retardant) ACTION Jim
Adoption of policies regards Public & Community, Health & Safety (subject to one minor amendment),Trustees responsibilities/What is a Quorum initial draft proposal( with revisions & additions)
Resignation of Minutes Secretary. David is unable tocarry out these duties because of other personal obligations – Chair thanks him for his help since his election last November. Steve offered to take over – proposed Dawn D, seconded Barbara B. No other nominations, elected unan. Steve advised that he would be absent for a future meeting – assurance given that either Jane or Dawn could always sit in on a temporary basis.
Minutes of last meeting – since e-circulation this morning there had been a need to make significant additions & an amendment. David had brought a revised paper copy for each trustee – scanned copy circulated with these minutes. Alex suggested best means of ratification was by e-mail provided that this was done within next few days – ACTION ALL TRUSTEES to review and inform to new Minutes secretary (Steve Harding) if they had any further amendments to make. Non reply by 26th March will indicate agreement that revised minutes are in order.
Matters Arising – ladies toilet mechanism repaired by Andy Dennis (local plumber);outside door has been repaired & is now easily locked; David Lloyd has agreed to continue to monitor gas supply; Zumba issue has been managed by Dawn without need for correspondence; Trevor has passed Ray Hoyle’s bill (leaking roof in storms)tonight to Treasurer; Hallmark sub-committee now set up (Chair Jim) & functional, reporting into Project Liaison officer and this committee; proposed Big Breakfast – Shirley (supported by other committee members) expressed frustration that the date set & booked for 27th April & agreed (by concensus on 19th Feb) & so advertised,  had been compromised by a very late booking for a slightly earlier identical function from another organisation. She explained that some years ago there had been an agreement that co-ordination between organisations would prevent this type of thing happening and much support from within committee was offered for re-instatement/observance of this practice. Young Farmers have “one in mind”, no date set – ACTION Tom to ensure that this is fed back to YFA to ensure no future conflicts. Village hall Big Breakfast re-arranged for Sun 8th June ACTION Jane to ensure advertising is managed.
Correspondence:

Non-domestic rates Torridge District Council set as NIL for coming year.
Treasurers Report: (delivered by Jane Lowe in absence of treasurer)
Bi-monthly bills now issued;
SWWA £39.24 paid;
Whilst annual electric bill has decreased the usage had increased and must be factored into future pricing (refer to finance sub-committee recommendations & item 3 above) viz.:12/13 usage 5255KWh £1057.90, 13/14 usage 5348 KWh £861.93
Lloyds Bank will issue a payment for £400 on Matched Fund scheme for Treasurers time.
Plumber paid – see Matters Arising – £66.80
Mindbender Quiz raised net £194.50 (after payment for hall hire as agreed).
Savings account is earning 0.05%- consider re-investment. Principality is not accepting new customers at present – other offerings appear high risk. Agreed all that watching brief whilst economic upturn develops & Bank of England moves to increase interest rates – no action yet.
Balances –

Lloyds TSB

Current a/c – £1,719.78                Deposit a/c £2,908.13             New Village Hall £34,688.65

Total £39,316.56

Caveat from Jane reminding trustees of shortfall in projected budget and possible erosion of reserves (deposit account) unless footfall/income is somehow increased – acknowledged by committee.

Organisations – reminded that if they need to cancel this must be to Bookings secretary and 24 hours notice must be given

Finance sub-committee report

i)New hourly rate re-considered – proposed Jane revise scoped £12 per hour to be reduced to £10 per hour, seconded George, agreed unan. To be effective subject to next Hallmark committee meeting when method for implementation will be devised.  Info shared with Chapel by historic arrangement. Barbara queried whether Church was involved in this pricing agreement – nothing known ACTION Dave will speak to PCC when they next meet & report back with a view to liaison & agreement.

ii) Should we limit use of urn to larger events only + a charge (uses a lot of electricity), very few further options of cost-cutting available if we are not to reduce hall to an unappealing proposition. Agreed that whilst kitchen water heater remains inefficient we may inadvertently breach hygiene regulations (urn is used to heat washing up water) – defer for discussion/resolution by Hallmark committee & Trevors research (Item 3)

iii) Cost of hire of crocks tables etc to remain the same subject to review but must be enforced & respected by all – failure to maximise ability to raise income may place entire future of hall at risk – we are fighting for financial survival (see also Item 2).These items remain in Trust and must be accessed only by agreed process – no individual has a right to remove items without prior booking & agreed payment.

iv) Premises & key control is the key to price enforcement. This sub-committee will work closely with Hallmark to develop a policy & process that will protect the Trust & ensure Hallmark certification. Next meeting is May 1st.
Upkeep & ongoing work on existing Hall – much discussed & resolved under Items 3 & 6.In addition, debate around storage and the need to have all items on hall inventory under central control so that it can be monitored & hired out. Trevor suggests p.a. can be placed in specially built cupboard in the  ladies’ toilet. Agreed as W.I.P. to be resolved at May meeting.
Fund Raising events
Thanks delivered to Jim & Jane plus supporting helpers for Quiz.
Tony Beard night 11th April report by Dawn (liaising with W.I.). W.I. will provide hot supper (eating before entertainment, 7 for 7.30).Tickets £10 p.h. Staging required -  stored in school, event during school holidays so access to be resolved. Gus (David Blight) has agreed to run bar, Jane to be licensee (therefore must attend event) – agreed all £21 may be paid for Temporary Events Notice ACTION Jane – this will be added to the annual tally of licenses(18 permitted each calendar year, each individual licensee has an allowance of 6).Large advertising boards requested – agreed Trevor ACTION Dawn to sort details with Brenda. ACTION ALL TRUSTEES Manpower required 4 p.m. set up. & onward to clear up afterwards. Support of event (buy a ticket) requested. Agreed that Village Hall cash may be used for fee payment (£150) plus provision of float for door & raffle.

Next meeting to be at Alex’s on Monday 24th 7 p.m. – more trustees/support needed and welcomed.
New Hall Update – from Project Liaison Officer(Jane)

Advised that ongoing work with Hallmark, finance sub-committee & especially liaison with community at large indicates that there is no business case for making application to Big Lottery. Requested help has not been forthcoming despite a number of direct approaches, commitment not truly evidenced, and organisations and individuals appear to have ( understandably) placed their own interests & needs ( a number of examples given) in priority to “walking the extra mile” & making necessary sacrifices & compromises that demonstrate a collective wider view that a new hall is regarded as the most important community project. There is also inadequate footfall to justify a build of the size aspired to (operations such as hoped for “blood bank” have been reduced during recession). The fear remains that the magnitude of the application and what it involves has not still possibly been recognised and that there is a collective hope that “someone else” will do the work of what needs to be a significantly sized team of professionals – this is not a single-handed task nor a simple form filling exercise – see Item 2. Project Liaison Officer has also, despite agreement with committee last year, not yet been able to separate from the day to day management of the business & take a back seat in fund-raising events although it is accepted that it is essential to have the present business situation (Finance & Hallmark sub-committees) in order to define how the future may evolve. Options offered for way forward and indication that choices must be made before autumn when Pearce plans to leave site.

Barbara advised that this needed to be discussed in the round and that committee should come with an open mind to debate next steps. Agreed by all that next meeting should be dedicated to decision making and that other matters may need to be deferred to May, dependent upon time availability.

 

AOB:

Official welcome to Barbara from Dawn.

Alex suggested a “positive spin” on kit hire rigour – agreed all – ACTION Jane to advertise hall kit for hire in a positive manner.

Trevor advised all present that the staging (Item 11 & Hallmark) belongs to him (in a business relationship with RHS Rosemoor) – he is happy for it to remain stored in the school, and that the school is aware that it should remain at the disposal of the village hall subject to suitable notice of access being given .
DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS –

Wednesday 16th April, Wednesday 21st May. The meeting closed at 10.20   p.m.

Signed……………………………………………                   Date………………………..

Village Hall Committee Minutes 15 January 2014

Buckland Brewer Village Hall Committee:  Minutes of the meeting on 15th January 2014
Present: Trevor Mills (Chair), Jim Lowe, Jane Lowe, David Watson, Dawn Dziurzynski, Steve Harding, Kevin Lobb, Alan Sutton, Tom Lloyd, Jo Birch, George Tilley and  Shirley Tilley

Apologies: Alex Dziurzynski
Minutes of the Last Meeting 27th November 2013: Agreed and signed off.
Matters Arising:
The Inventory of Village Hall items kept outside of the Hall will be passed onto Dawn – Dave Watson still needs to ensure this will take place
Jane Lowe will also send a copy of the list of key holders to Dawn
Jane reminded the Minute Secretary to ensure that the draft minutes are circulated as soon as possible after the meeting to ensure that any necessary actions can take place. Dave Watson to ensure this is done
Jane Lowe stated that the lack of minutes meant that the planned Fun Raising Quiz Evening on Saturday 8 February had to be postponed until Saturday 15 March. Jane & Jim Lowe and the Entertainment Sub-Group will make arrangements for this event.
Jane Lowe will take charge of the arranging of the Budget Sub-Group Meeting which was arranged for Thursday 23 Jan 2014 at 7.30pm.
The Cleaners contract needs to be undertaken as soon as possible – Steve Harding will arrange this. The issue of the Cleaners pay & conditions will be considered at the Budget Sub-Group Meeting.
The issue of the rep for the Youth Farmers was clarified – Tom Lloyd will continue as the sole rep. Tom Lloyd will ask Sophie Grills is she wished to be a trustee in her own right.
Co-option of Trustee:   Jane Lowe has been in discussion with Paul Brown, who has expressed a wish to become a trustee. Jane Lowe nominated this co-option which was seconded by Shirley Tilley – All agreed to Paul Brown being co-opted as a Trustee. Jane Lowe will have further discussions with Paul Brown & to ask him to sign the Trustee Book, which she will ‘look after’.
Correspondence: Steve Harding responded to the email from Laura Odell, Chair of Buckland Brewer Under Fives and a further correspondence was passed to Jane Lowe.
Treasurers Report:

Existing Hall

a)- Bi monthly bills are now being issued.

b)- The Performing Rights Society Licence has been paid – £135

c)- Kevin Lobb has contacted Allied Westminster for a quote for the Village Hall Insurance. The quote was for £414.38 for the same cover plus cash being held at Trustee’s homes. This compared to a quote from the previous supplier of £716.86.

d)- The new EON electric tariff has started & initial bills indicate a saving of at least 1/3.

e)- Jane Lowe had circulated an email in December regarding a donation towards the retirement of Fred & Barbara Babb. There had not been any objections raised & therefore a donation of £50 had been made from Village Hall Funds.

f)- A bill for £24.10 had been paid to Bridgemans for a gas bottle.

g)- There was an outstanding bill of £195.60 that had been received in December from Ray Hoyle, which Kevin needed authorisation to pay. Trevor Mills indicated that this was in relations to water coming into the Skittle Alley which had needed to be fixed. All agreed that Kevin Lobb should be authorised to pay this bill.

New Village Hall

f)- The Christmas Market profit was £811.09 which included a payment of £29 for leftover books from the Book Stall from a local bookseller.

g)- A Donation of £30 has been made towards the Children’s Hospice in respect of borrowing a marquee from Alana Smith & family.

Balances –

Lloyds TSB – Current a/c – £1 468.74

Lloyds TSB – Deposit a/c  - £2 907.89

New Village Hall – Lloyds Deposit a/c £34 499.64

Total £38,876.27
Fund Raising & Future Events:

a)- The Women’s Institute Fundraising Event for the Village Hall involving Tony Beard will take place on Friday 11 April. This is being arranged by the Buckland Brewer WI.

b)- It was suggested that if any Trustees have any ideas for future events then for these to be passed onto Dawn or any other members of the Entertainment Sub-Group for discussion. The Entertainment Sub-Group will meet on Monday 10 February at 7pm at Dawn’s home.

c)- The Rosemoor Event will possible take place on Friday 22 August. Suggestions of the entertainment will be discussed at the Entertainment Meeting.

d)- Another suggestion was for a Games Evening to be held as a Fundraising Event.

e)- The Fete Meetings will now be regularly held on the 4th Wednesday of the month starting in February to avoid any clashes with the Village Hall Meetings.
Signing of Hall User Contracts:

Dawn Dziurzynski informed the meeting that some affiliates have not signed the User Contracts – Parish Church, Skittles, Playing Field, Parish Council & School. These were given to various trustees to be passed to the relevant organisations for signing & return to Dawn.
Arrangements for Village Hall –Keys & Gas Bottle Monitoring:

a)- David Lloyd still holds the key for the Gas Bottle Cage – Jane Lowe will talk to David Lloyd regarding whether he is still willing to monitor the gas supply.

b)- Jane Lowe has collected the spare Village Hall key from Babb’s. It was felt that this key will not be passed to The Community Shop to hold.

c)- Arrangements for elections held in the Village Hall will be made with Torridge District Council prior to the event.
Any other Business:

a)- There was some discussions on the planned ‘Race Night’ planned in the Village Hall by the Playing Field Association. There are strict rules in place for such events because of the Gambling Laws and because of this additional paperwork was required to be completed by the Playing Field Association. Alan Sutton will deal with this issue.

Shirley Tilley expressed some dismay that this event that she originally suggested for the Village Hall, but not proceeded with due to the legal requirements, had now been put into action by the Playing Field Association.

b)- The Meeting was made aware of the Launch by Pearces of the Hillpark Development on Saturday 1 February at 10am at Atlantic Village, Bideford.
Update on New Parish Community Hall:

This report by Jane Lowe & following discussion was wide ranging & included agenda items on Trustees & Affiliate Organisations, Budget making & running of the present hall.

There have been ongoing discussions between Jane Lowe, Project Manager & Community Council of Devon regarding the Hallmark certification process & any application for the Big Lottery. As a result of this Jane felt that there needed to be fairly radical changes in the running of the present hall to show to the Big Lottery that we as Trustees have the skills and business ability to successfully run a Community Hall. There will need to be a change in the relationship between the Trustees & the present affiliate organisations. The forthcoming Budget Meeting will need to look at the level of hall charges and all costings to enable a sustainable budget to be put in place. That these changes will include the detailed plans for the new Community Hall and its running. That these changes will need to be in place for any chance of a suitable application for the Big Lottery.

Jane gave the Meeting 3 different options regarding the New Community Hall – To proceed with the Big Lottery Grant application; To look at alternative funding for the Hall or to abandon the project and to continue with the present hall.

After a lot of discussion all Trustees agreed to proceed with the Big Lottery Grant application.

Further discussions will take place in future Meetings. It was suggested that Trustees considered the Current Policies & Procedures and what needs to change or be adapted to improve them.

At some stage there will need for more detailed discussions with the affiliate organisations and the community, which could include future Open Meetings. Jane offered to attend meetings with Community organisations in the future to have this discussion.

The Budget Sub-Group will look at all costings & charges relating to the present hall.

There will be ongoing discussions by Jane Lowe with the Community Council of Devon regarding the Hallmark process. Jane will also begin to have discussions with the architect regarding possible simplication of the Community Hall design.

 

The Meeting finished at 10.25pm

DATE OF NEXT MEETING –  Wednesday 19 February 2014 at 8pm Signed……………………………………………                   Date………………………..
 

New Community Hall Development: Update on Progress

The following report was presented by Jane Lowe to Buckland Brewer Parish Council on 14th May 2014, to update the Council on progress.  The report is Appendix 1 to the draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting.

At the end of 2013 I advised Parish Council that Village Hall Committee intended to apply for Big Lottery funding to the extent of appx. £0.5M. In order to do this a number of tasks needed to be addressed before an application could even be considered.

1) Ongoing communications with the public starting with my attendance at meetings with talks to associations affiliated to Village Hall. Where I have been able to secure an invitation to present to associations (I have managed only 3 with a further one cancelling at fairly last minute) the response has been lukewarm. I have not experienced any intimation that anyone who is not already involved from within these associations, or the wider public, has any appetite to get seriously involved, and support and help the committee build a new hall.

2) Financial health – we have successfully formed a finance sub-committee (accountable to the full committee) which consists of our secretary, the retired Head of Finance for TDC, our treasurer, a practicing branch bank manager, our bookings secretary who knows the booking and payment habits of users, led by me, a retired bank manager of 33 years’ experience and qualification in internal audit, project management & operational and credit risk. The task was to ensure the practice of annual budget and cash flow projection is carried out formally, ensuring that income covers outgoings with a little left in reserves. This is a mandatory function for this Trust, as with many, and must continue on a formal basis for the duration of the Trust.

After only one meeting of the sub-committee it became evident that not only has no money been placed to reserves for many years, but that no user is currently covering the basic cost of running the hall- effectively the village hall subsidizes all its users, thus eroding existing reserves, and this cannot continue. People may ask how this has come about. There are compound reasons but one key factor is over recent years we have seen an aggressive rise in costs of electricity and water. To remedy, our treasurer will continue to shop around for the best deal on power but water price is not negotiable, and is probably the greatest used commodity. A price rise of 11.4% is to be effected from September which will account for Cost Price Index compounded since the charges were last reviewed in 2008, but at this stage we cannot reasonably impose the full increase required (55%) to break even. Other measures will include ensuring that everyone pays, which may not always have been happening in the way advised and guided as essential for survival   by our advisory body, Community Council of Devon, with greater controls being placed over fixtures and fittings. The age of the hall, its poor condition and the winter storms have led to a significantly increased spend on repairs. In addition it is clear that the hall is under- used to the point of causing us concern. We have been advised by Community Council of Devon, and Hallmark (the national hall benchmark) champions, broadcasting on Radio Devon recently, that a village hall is closing every month owing mainly to lack of use, and we are at this stage very keen to ensure we do not become one of that number. The finance sub-committee has further remedies yet to pass by the full committee intended to stabilize the finances further, although increase in use remains critical to the success of any venture.

3) Hallmark – a National Qualification in 3 parts which proves the trustees competent to run a hall and that the premises are being maintained to an acceptable standard. Clearly there are some areas where we can never meet the grade with the present building, but it is important to stress that many hours from a number of trustees every week since January have gone into ensuring standards will be satisfactory. At this stage we are cautiously confident that we will be ready to undertake an examination for Parts 1 & 2 in August (when the hall will not be occupied during the day).This standard must then be maintained – no slippage allowed, certification is renewed every 3 years. The Hallmark exam itself costs nothing but we have had to spend some cash from reserves, and also completely review and revise our ways of doing things in order to comply. If you hear that we have changed, it is true – we have, as we have to demonstrate we run our hall to a nationally accepted standard, and this means being businesslike.

Where we are now – it is clear to the trustees that as 2 of the 3 above categories stand, we do not have what is needed to consider an application for Big Lottery Funding at this time. HOWEVER, we have come a long way in 5 months, and we have planning permission to build. We know the shelf life of the current hall is reaching an end – regardless of what is done to it, it cannot affordably survive many more seasons and even if it were sensible to effect improvements, we would have to close and lose revenue for a considerable time to allow a refit which may only last for a year or two. We also know that Pearce is making good progress towards fulfilling the conditions of the S106.

You may recollect that during the tender process of 2013 Pearce was not a preferred supplier to build the new hall with the tender being far too expensive. In recent weeks Pearce has made an approach to us suggesting that they would like to deliver value in kind (we understand there are a number of reasons why this could be useful to Pearce, but we too can benefit from this).As a committee we have recognized that what would work for us is to negotiate with them in terms of a full hall build for value in kind as part of a sum which we believe we can reasonably afford. That sum will include the value of the £325k within the S106 but is much less ambitious than previously considered. A part build to be completed later, as initially suggested by Pearce, would possibly become an uncompleted eyesore or a white elephant which we would seek to avoid. We also genuinely believe that a new hall, priced reasonably, will generate increased footfall and regenerate the fortunes of the hall. We are cautiously optimistic that despite our current financial trading situation, because we have stemmed the rot and shall have a Hallmark qualification, which is vital these days to show to any funder regardless of size of sum requested, we can secure smaller sums to make up the shortfall, inclusive of a very generous donation from a wind turbine. This will allow us to replace the existing hall with a complete operational building smaller than the design already approved, but working within the confines of the existing planning permission. If successful, the community would be able to develop the build to full size as needed over a number of years, should they need & desire. Those negotiations are ongoing between village hall, our agents & architect, and Pearce, and at present whilst talks are very much alive, Village Hall is unable to comment further. We will advise you of an outcome as soon as we are able, so may I suggest that you disregard rumours or any other source of information on this matter as it is not positioned to be accurate.

What will impact Parish Council, and I am to request your help and support please, is that I have identified that should Pearce deliver in kind, they could become at risk within the legal confines of the S106 as it speaks only of payment of hard cash (a legal loophole could create a future request for them to pay cash even though they have already settled in kind).Clearly if this is recognized, which it will be, and we don’t address it proactively, it could inhibit our future relationship with Pearce.  I have taken legal advice from Torridge District Council (TDC), who initiated the S106, and they confirm that a Deed of Variation to the S106 would be required should we consider pursuing this route. TDC have already stated that they would be completely willing to enter into this amendment. All parties to the S106 would need to be equally willing, the only change being that the document would need to speak of Pearce delivering to Parish Council (with Village Hall becoming ultimate beneficiaries as before) either the sum of £325k OR the value in kind of £325k, and thus no negative impact to any of the parties to the original Deed. I am hopeful that Parish Council may find this of some appeal as it would potentially prevent the need for an audit fee incurred by the transition through its bank account of the S106 funds. If the Deed becomes necessary, i.e. we are able to secure a deal with Pearce, I would see this as my role to secure the paperwork and Village Halls responsibility to ensure that it is paid for. Should the need arise I am sure it will be possible to have this requirement reiterated in writing from within TDC.

Please may I have your consideration of this and advise me as soon as you are able?

 

Local Police Newsletter: May 2014

One of our local Police Community Support Officers, Liz Rendle, reviewed the past year at the May Parish Council meeting.  One of the recent innovations she mentioned is a monthly local police newsletter.  This is of interest to all us parishioners because it includes contact information and other useful items and so it has been posted on the website.

Road closure Stowford cross to Nattimoor cross

A road closure is due to take place Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 May 2014, from Stowford Cross to Nattimoor Cross, Thornhillhead,  to enable SWH Ltd to carry out patching works on behalf of Devon County Council.

During the works, a diversion route will be signed and maintained as also shown on the map, all affected properties will be letter dropped and SWH Ltd will endeavour to maintain access to properties within the closure.

However there may be times when access is restricted, and South West Highways would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused by these essential works.

If you have any queries, please call Joanna Cole,Customer Liaison Administrator for South West Highways Ltd., on 01805 626327 DDI or 01805 622395  Ext: 2017

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