Parish council

Minutes of Buckland Brewer Parish Council, 9th March 2016



Members Present:             Mrs Barbara Babb, Miss Rosie Beer, Mrs Maris Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.

Also in attendance             ­­3 members of the public and PCSO Liz Rendle

Parish Clerk:                        Not present (minutes were taken by Cllr Barbara Babb)


  1. Apologies for Absence Clerk, Patrick Blosse and Cllr Alison Boyle
  1. Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council held on 10th and 24th February 2016: The minutes of the meetings held on 10th and 24th February 2016 were confirmed and signed.
  1. Declarations of Interest None
  1. Public Participation                PCSO Liz Rendle gave a brief crime report. Here had been one crime reported recently involving the slashing of car tyres. Liz also recommended that parishioners should be extra vigilant about sheds and outhouses as thee had been an increase in break-ins of this type recently. Shirley Tilley had reported a van that had been parked in Gorwood Road for 4 days but the police had not responded when she called 101. Liz provided Shirley with an alternative email address that was connected to 101.
  1. Parish Council Representation on the Village Hall Committee Marie Douglas agreed to continue as the Parish Council representative on the Village Hall Committee and understood that this involved becoming a trustee of the Village Hall Charity.

 Clerk’s Report:

    1. Correspondence: The Clerk was not present. Jim Lowe suggested that the consultation paper that had been distributed concerning the Draft Local Plan should be deferred to a special meeting on 23rd March 2016 but also suggested that Buckland Brewer’s Wind Turbine policy should remain unchanged.
    2. Renewal of TTVS Subscription: It was agreed unanimously to renew the subscription to TTVS. (Increased from £10 to £25 per year)

229.  Funding for the North Devon Record Office: An outline management plan had been received from Barnstaple Town Council setting out how the North Devon Record Office would be administered and funded in future. The Clerk had already responded to say that the Parish Council had established an annual budget of £200 as its contribution to the running costs. Approval was proposed by Andrew Hewitt, seconded by Jim Lowe and agreed unanimously.

  1. Queen’s Birthday Celebrations: Temporary Events Notices: Jane Lowe had written to the Parish Council asking for recognition that she is the approved representative of the Parish Council in respect of the Temporary Event Notice for the Queen’s Birthday Celebrations and that the event would be covered by the Council’s public liability insurance. This had been confirmed by the Clerk prior to the meeting. It was proposed by George Heywood, seconded by David Watson and approved unanimously that Jane’s role for this event was recognised.
  2. Review of Parish Plan/Emergency Plan:
    1. Progress report from Working Group Jim Lowe has nearly completed a revised contacts list. No further work will be done once this is completed as a full review of the plan will be done in 2017.
    2. Grant applications for flood and community resilience schemes Barbara Babb had not heard any news about the grant application and will ask the Clerk to chase it up.
    3. Community Helipad/DAAT Nothing to report

232. Fields and Allotments:

  1. Blackhorse Fields: Invitations to Tender Deferred in the Clerk’s absence
  2. Thornhillhead Moor Mast: Following the request from Arqiva for permission to install new equipment on the mast, they had now made an offer of a one-off payment of £1,000. Members felt that this was not sufficient and therefore refused their permission at this stage and asked for the matter to be referred for the Council’s land agent, Robert Hicks & Co. Members noted that Arqiva had offered to meet any legal and professional fees.
  1. Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt (i) talked about government policy in relation to Social housing/ housing Association houses re the decision to allow tenants to buy them after 5 years. ii) He said that a review of District Council ward boundaries was planned and that, as many parish council seats are difficult to fill, it could result in the amalgamation of some parishes. (iii) Reminded members of the forthcoming DALC Highways Event that he will be attending.

David Watson said that the defibrillator training events had taken place but that they were not very well attended.

Barbara Babb suggested that further training could be organised through the WI in September and she will contact Julia Landolfi.

Jim Lowe (i) asked about the devolution plans for Devon and Somerset. Andrew Hewitt felt that the business plan being put forward at the moment had been too hastily put together and, at this stage, were at too high a level to be relevant to the parish council. (ii) Alex Dziurzynski, one of the village hall trustees, had telephoned him earlier in the week, and asked if he(Cllr Lowe) could speak to TDC Planning Department about the ongoing problems relating to the ‘Discharge of Conditions’ on the ‘S106 agreement’ which was being handled by RGP Architects to help move the project along. Cllr. Lowe questioned RGP’s involvement in the process. Cllr Lowe then contacted the Planning Officer, Sarah May, who asked if the Parish Council could e-mail her and let her have the details of the PC’s plans and proposals re the enclosing/fencing of both the amenity/sports field and the multi-use/school play area. (iii) He asked whether work could be started on the fence for the ‘school field’. Trevor said that work would start as soon as the weather improved.

George Heywood pointed out that it was lambing season and asked for parishioners to ensure that dogs were kept on leads and to be wormed and inoculated.  He also reported a blocked manhole in Thorne Lane.

Shirley Tilley said that the Post Office van now parks in an inconvenient place and asked if it could be moved further back down the road and away from the point where the road narrows to one lane. The Clerk will follow make enquiries. Andrew Hewitt suggested that a box should be painted on the road where we would like the van to park.

Maria Douglas said that she thought that the Goutisland Barn planning application that had been supported at the last parish council meeting was the same barn that the council had objected to at the meeting on 27th January 2016. The Clerk was asked to check the applications.

234. Planning

  1. Application: 1/0125/2016/AGMB: Woodwall, Frithelstock, Prior notification for the change of use of agricultural building to No1 dwelling under Class Q (a) It was proposed by Andrew Hewitt, seconded by David Watson and agreed unanimously to support the application

235. Charitable Trust Deferred to next meeting

236. Accounts: Deferred in the absence of the Clerk

Date of Next Meeting:

Parish Council: Wednesday 23rd March 2016 (Buckland Brewer School, 7:00pm)

Parish Council: Wednesday 13th April 2016 (Buckland Brewer School, 7:30pm)

BBPC Minutes 090316_draft

Parish Council minutes 24 February

Draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting Wednesday 24 February 2016

held at Buckland Brewer School
Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Miss Rosie Beer, Mrs Marie Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance ­­Cllr. Robin Julian (DCC)
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
Read on…

Parish Council minutes 10 February

Draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting Wednesday 10 February 2016

held at Buckland Brewer School

Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mrs Maris Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance ­­2 members of the public
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

Read on…

Parish Council Election Results

The results of last Wednesday’s Parish Council election were as follows: Rosemarie Anne Beer, 123 votes; Teresa Jane Bird, 75 votes. Rosie Beer was duly elected and plans to take up her role at the next meeting on Wednesday 24th February 2016.

Declaration of results_Feb 2016

Parish Council minutes 27 January 2016

Draft minutes Parish Council meeting 27 January 2016

held at Buckland Brewer School

Members Present

Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.

Also in attendance ­­7 members of the public and Cllr. Robin Julian (DCC)

Parish Clerk

Patrick Blosse

185. Apologies for Absence

Marie Douglas and PCSO Liz Rendle

Marie Douglas had told the Clerk that she was not prepared to take on the responsibility of a trustee of the Village Hall but had not yet discussed this with Trevor Mills, who is Chairman of both the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee. The matter will be discussed further at the next meeting.

186. Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 13th January 2016

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2016 were confirmed and signed.

187. Declarations of Interest

Barbara Babb and George Heywood in respect of items 196, Proposed Diversion of Footpath 02, Bowden Cross and 198.b, Fields and Allotments.

188. Public Participation

The Clerk explained that he had been contacted by Sally Anne Moreton, who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness, about flooding/icing at Eckfield. It was agreed that Andrew Hewitt will deliver a supply of salt and the Snow Warden was made aware of the problem.

189. Report by Buckland Brewer History Group

Devon Remembers Event 14th January Janet Few gave a resume of a one-day conference held in Torquay recently by Devon Remembers. It celebrated life in Devon 100 years ago. Local history groups were encouraged to submit their research for the Devon Remembers archives and Janet had supplied a copy of their plans for the WWI events in Buckland Brewer, like the work done with Class 2 researching names for the war memorial. This had identified a number of new names that they felt had a right to be listed on the memorial. Janet was disappointed that the event attracted a number of people from the Torquay area but very few from further afield. The Buckland Brewer History Group is hoping to hold a parish event in November 1918, which will mark 100 years from the end of the First World War. Trevor Mills thanked Janet for her contribution.

190. Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations

Lyn Leyton, representing the Playing Field Association, had been approached by the Parish Council to organise a beacon or bonfire on 21st April 2016. She felt it should be a community/collaborative event. She has 12 people already interested in helping who represent a good cross-section of the community, and is convening a meeting next week to progress the event. She was concerned about the expense and did not feel that the Playing Field Association should be absorbing any costs. It was explained that the Parish Council had set aside a budget of £300 for the Queens 90th Birthday celebrations and that some of this could be provided to get the event off the ground. Any surpluses or unused funds could then be used to fund a street party in June. Jim Lowe said that the Parish Council had said that it was not in favour of purchasing a beacon but Shirley Tilley said that a beacon previously made by David Lloyd was still available. Andrew Hewitt will contact Margaret Lloyd and undertake any repairs that are necessary. The event needs to be formally registered, which Lyn Layton will do, in the name of Buckland Brewer Parish Council.

Barbara Babb had spoken to the members of the Jubillee Party committee and all were willing to reconvene to arrange a street party in June 2016. It was agreed that the beacon and street party would be organised by one committee combining both groups and that the first meeting would be chaired by Barbara Babb.

191. Clerk’s Report

The Clerk explained that he had not included a review of the Risk Assessment document deferred from last month’s meeting as this agenda was rather full. It will be added to the next agenda.

a. Casual Vacancy: Progress Report Two nominations had been received by the Elections Officer and an election has been called for 18th February 2016. The two nominees are Rosie Beer of Mill House, Littleham and Teresa Bird of Beech Tree Farm. Poll cards are being printed and will be delivered to parishioners shortly. Shirley Tilley was very disappointed that the Parish Council would now have to meet a bill of £1,600 for what she felt was an unnecessary election, especially as the 10 people who had requested the election had not put up a candidate. Andrew Hewitt agreed but pointed out that this was the cost of democracy. He felt that it was important that anyone taking on the responsibility of becoming a Parish Councillor should be committed to fulfilling the whole 4-year term.

b. Correspondence: A summary of ­­­39 items of general correspondence had been provided. Most of the correspondence had been distributed by email prior to the meeting. The Clerk highlighted a newsletter from DALC which invited nominations for a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on 24th May. There were no nominations. A letter had been received from Citizens Advice thanking the Parish Council for its grant. Jim Lowe highlighted one or two items that had come to his attention, including the closing date for nominations for the CCG and the results of the Boundary Commission consultation on Devon County Council, which will result in Buckland Brewer coming under ‘Holsworthy Rural’ with effect from the next County elections.

192. Thornhillhead Moor

The Clerk had contacted Claire McIntosh again about the graziers list but this has not been prepared yet.

193. S106 Land and Community Hall Monies Transfer

Stephen Harding said that papers for the drainage easement that had been requested by the Village Hall Committee were being prepared by their solicitors. The Clerk reported that invoices had been received from Slee Blackwell for their work on the S106 Agreement and land/money transfers. The bill for the Parish Council was £1,262.50 + VAT and the bill for the Village Hall was £800 + VAT. The bill for the Village Hall’s element was passed to Trevor Mills for payment by the Village Hall Committee in accordance with the agreement between the two parties. This action was proposed by Jim Lowe, seconded by Andrew Hewitt and agreed unanimously.

194. Progress Report by Village Hall Secretary on the new community hall scheme

Steve Harding said that a new design had been agreed with Pearce; one which the committee can now afford. A new planning application has been submitted and planners have confirmed that they have no problem with the reduced size and are looking to discharge the conditions. A deed of variation is required to refer to the new planning application; this will be referred to the District Council’s solicitor, Jamie Hollis. Once approved, a 26 week build period is planned with a target to complete by September 2016. Jim Lowe said that there had previously been a regular update in Village Scene. Steve said he would do this again.

George Heywood said that his wind turbine was now operational and that he had always intended that it should be a community project. As such, he was pleased to offer the Village Hall Committee a cheque for £50,000 for use towards the new community hall, which he presented to Steve Harding. George was thanked by all present.

195. Defibrillator

The heated box and security light have been installed in the bus shelter, as agreed at the last meeting. The Clerk has been in touch with the suppliers and a local CPR trainer and is arranging a suitable training event at the Village Hall as soon as possible, after which the defibrillator will be installed. An invoice had been received from Les Babb for the electrical works, at a cost of £605.00 + VAT. David Watson felt that a suitable sign should be erected at the entrance to the bus shelter and this was approved unanimously. Barbara Babb will provide possible dates for training sessions to the Clerk – one in the afternoon and one in the evening. David Watson said that that the chapel had agreed that they would absorb the cost of electricity for the defibrillator.

196. Proposed Diversion of Footpath 02, Bowden Cross

George Heywood had declared an interest in this matter but was permitted by the Chair to explain the reasons behind the request. He explained that the footpath was well-trodden but that it crossed land that he wished to expand his free-range chickens onto and this would require infection control/ There might also be a future planning application for a further shed. The diversion takes the footpath around the edge of the field instead of across it and should have little impact on users of the footpath. It was agreed unanimously to support the request.

197. Review of Parish Plan/Emergency Plan

Progress report from Working Group

a. Progress report from Working Group Jim Lowe will update the contacts register

b. Grant applications for flood and community resilience schemes It was possible to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for tools and equipment suitable for use by Parish Councils with a suitable emergency plan. It was agreed that Barbara Babb will submit a claim.

c. Community Helipad/DAAT Jim Lowe said that he felt the provision of a helipad would be a community project and suggested hiring the village hall so that DAAT could talk to parishioners. Although the Parish Council might be able to help with costs it would require a substantial community contribution. It would be necessary to see the results of the DAAT survey of the two sites in the village.

198. Fields and Allotments

a. Blackhorse Fields: Invitations to Tender Members considered a late application from someone wishing to tender to use the field. It was agreed unanimously to include the applicant in the tendering round. Some amendments to the documents prepared by Robert Hicks had been suggested, mainly concerning use of the fields during winter months. Trevor and Andrew explained that the suggestion was for a 5-year lease requiring the tenant to make good at the end of the term, and that the tenant would be responsible for the cost of fencing. George Heywood said that from November to February the field would look a mess. It was agreed that the Parish Council should pay for repairs to the existing fence along the roadside and to fence the area behind the old pavilion where the field opened onto the allotments. Allowing for the cost of a water trough, it was agreed to add £1,000 to next year’s budget for these works. It was agreed that tenderers should be asked to state how they intend to use and maintain the field in their submission. In light of the discussion, Trevor Mills and Andrew Hewitt will review the tender document and report back.

b. Any Other Matters The Clerk read a statement from Barbara Babb and George Heywood representing the landowners of the ‘amenity lands’ who object to the use of the land for grazing sheep (other than as a temporary measure until 2018) as this was against the terms of the S106 agreement This states that it should be used for sport, education and as an open space. It was agreed that members would reflect on the issue and discuss it further at the next meeting.

199. Report by Jim Lowe of the Clerk’s Annual Review

Jim Lowe read the minutes of the Clerk’s Review Meeting held on 18th January 2016, which are shown at appendix 1. To ease some of the pressure on the Clerk, it was agreed that Jim Lowe would take an overview of communication, that Andrew Hewitt would take responsibility for putting up notices on the Buckland Brewer notice board and that the Clerk would be paid an extra 2 hours in any month when there was an extra meeting.

200. Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt (i) explained that the closure of Barton Road was to provide sewerage to his mother’s old house, (ii) There is a Highways event being organised for 16/17th March 2016 which Andrew will attend, and (ii) Fibre optic cables have been supplied to the village but super-fast broadband is not being provided by all suppliers yet.

George Heywood, following the successful installation of a wind turbine, presented a cheque for £20,000 to the Parish Council. He repeated that he hoped that the turbine would prove of benefit to the community and wished this donation to be managed by a charitable trust to be used for supporting education and other activities within the parish. George is establishing a small team of advisors to establish the terms of the trust. In the meantime, the Clerk was asked to open a separate bank account for the monies.

Trevor Mills reported that the fish and chip van is returning to the village (The Whiddon Fryer), on Friday evenings between 5:00 and 7:00 pm.

Shirley Tilley complained that there had been frequent, intermittent power cuts recently. The Clerk explained that he had called out Western Power to a serious issue at Catsborough Cross that morning, which had been repaired. This might have solved the problem.

Cllr. Robin Julian reported that the Devon County Council precept increase would be 4% as the County was taking advantage of the opportunity to raise an additional 2% for welfare purposes.

201. 2016/17 Budget and Precept Setting – Final Approval

Following a discussion of the additional expenses that had been approved earlier in the meeting, including the need to replace the Elections Reserve following the election on 18th February, it was agreed to add the following items to the budget for 2016/17:

  • Fencing works etc. at Blackhorse Fields – £1,000
  • Clerks salary (cost of extra meetings) – £250
  • Elections – £1,600

It was proposed by Jim Lowe, seconded by George Heywood and agreed unanimously that the precept should be raised to cover all of these costs and that, therefore, a precept of £11,000 should be levied for 2016/17. This will have the effect of increasing the Council Tax for a band D property by £12.36 per year.

202. Planning

a. Application: 1/1309/2015/FUL, Goutisland Farm, Change of use of one barn to one holiday let George Heywood reported that he had been approached by the neighbour to this property who had not been consulted by Torridge Council. He has a barn that adjoins the barn in the application, in which he keeps bullocks. The neighbour was advised to talk to the District Councillor and to ask him to call-in the application and ask for a site visit. It was agreed unanimously to object to the application as the barn adjoins another barn used to house livestock.

b. Application: 1/1177/2015/FULM, Land at Bulkworthy, 5 megawatt solar park and ancillary development (on 14.6 hectares of land) It was agreed to make no comment as this property is outside the parish boundary.

c. Decisions: 1/0890/2015/AGMB & 1/0891/2015/AGMB, Barns at Braddons Park, Change of use to dwellings – Refused (significant structural requirement did not comply with the requirements of the act) – Noted

d. Decision: 1/1205/2015/FUL, Barn 1, Tythecott Farm, Variation of condition 2 of application 1/0140/2008/FUL to allow for agricultural occupancy – Granted Permission – Noted

203. Accounts

i) Bank balances:
Parish Council Current Account was £11,223.59 as at 31st December 2015 (£8,000 subsequently transferred to Savings Account)
Thornhillhead Moor Account was £8,175.64 as at 19th December 2015
Savings Account was £10,000.00 as at 01/12/15 (+ £8,000 subsequently transferred in)
It is necessary to transfer some monies back into the general account as a number of large bills are now payable and a bill for the election of about £1,600 is expected next month. Instructions to transfer£5,000 back into the general account were signed by Jim Lowe and Barbara Babb.

ii) Payments due (£2,830.52 + VAT)
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE (December): £832.11 includes reimbursement of £573.00 for a laptop computer)
Lyn Layton, travel expenses re Devon Remembers Conference – £65.70
L & R Babb, Defibrillator electrics – £605.21 + VAT
Devon County Council, School Hall Hire – £65.00
Slee Blackwell, Solicitors Fees re S106 Agreement – £1,262.50 + VAT

iii) Receipts (£220.00)
Field Rent: £220.00

Date of Next Meeting

Parish Council: 10th February 2016 (Buckland Brewer School, 7:30pm)

Parish Council by-election 18 February 2016

Two nominations have been received for the councillor vacancy so an election has been called for 18 February 2016. Torridge District Council will send poll cards to parishioners on the electoral register.

Candidates (in alphabetical order)

  • BEER, Rosie
  • BIRD, Teresa Jane

Statement of persons nominated  [PDF 9KB]

Parish Council minutes 13 January 2016

Draft minutes

Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mrs Marie Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance ­­5 members of the public
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

Read on…

Notice of Parish Councillor vacancy

Due to the resignation of Councillor Sally Nicholls, a vacancy has arisen on Buckland Brewer Parish Council. If by the 6th January 2016 a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer of Torridge Council by TEN or more electors, an election will be held. If no requests, or less than ten signatures are received, the vacancy will be filled by co-option. If you wish to contact the Returning Officer please write to ‘Returning Officer, Riverbank House, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QG’.

Parish Council minutes 11 November 2015



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

Also in attendance            ­­3 members of the public, Cllr. Robin Julian (DCC), PCSO John McGovern and Graham Rooke (Devon & Somerset Fire Service)

Parish Clerk:                       Patrick Blosse


  1. Apologies for Absence Shirley Tilley and Sally Nicholls. Marie Douglas was absent but had not sent apologies.
  1. Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council held on 14th and 28th October 2015: The minutes of the meetings held on 14th and 28th October 2015 were confirmed and signed. There was some discussion about the delay in distributing the minutes from 14th It was agreed that, in future, any papers distributed by the Clerk for members’ comments should be responded to in no more than 7 days after which the Clerk would use his discretion about what action to take.
  1. Declarations of Interest Cllr Barbara Babb in respect of item 160a, Termination of Brian Chapple’s Tenancy.
  1. Public Participation                Margaret Sandon said that there was much more traffic now and asked whether the Parish Council would support a one-way system at Barton Road. Andrew Hewitt said that this had been considered in the past but HGVs would not be able to use Barcott, making the idea impractical. David Watson also pointed out that tractors would also not be able to use that road. PCSO John McGovern gave a crime report. There had been 3 call-outs since his last report: a public order issue, a break-in to an outbuilding and a domestic issue. He advised members and parishioners to check online where they could find a detailed explanation of the proposed cuts in police budgets from £54 million to £39 million per annum, which would have inevitable effects on services provided and the number of police and other staff.
  1. Presentation by Graham Rooke, Devon & Somerset Fire Service Graham explained that the Devon & Somerset Fire Service not only deals with fires but also with floods, chemical spills, road traffic accidents and other incidents. One of his responsibilities as the Local Risk Manager is to promote prevention, such as ensuring that every home has working fire and carbon monoxide alarms. He hoped that the Parish Council might have knowledge of especially vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and infirm and would welcome their help in getting the message to all residents that his team can do home visits to give advice and to fit alarms where needed. He said that the fastest that a unit could respond from Bideford or Torrington would be 15 minutes. There have been 80 fire related deaths in Devon in the last 5 years and in 90% of cases the properties did not have working smoke alarms. He provided posters and leaflets for distribution and it was agreed to advertise the service on the website and in Village Scene. It was also agreed to invite John to the Christmas Fair on 5th December. 
  1. Clerk’s Report
    1. Correspondence: A summary of ­­­­35 items of general correspondence had been provided. All of the correspondence had been distributed by email prior to the meeting. The Clerk highlighted:
      1. A new grant fund established by TESCO financed from the 5p carrier bag fee for local community initiatives
      2. Letters of thanks had been received from Torridge Volunteer Cars and the Playing Field Association for the recent grant approval. Trevor Mills had also received a letter of thanks from the Bowls Club.
  • A further request from the North Devon Record Office for a donation towards short term funding to meet current year expenses. It was agreed unanimously to send a donation of £100. 

Jim Lowe noted from other items of correspondence this month that a considerable sum was being spent nationally on infrastructure projects but little was being spent in Devon. He also noted that DALC is offering some Neighbourhood Plan funding which might be able to provide funds to help towards the revision, printing and distribution of the Parish Plan. He will pursue this issue. He also raised the matter of parking at Bideford Medical Centre. 

Meeting Dates for 2016: The Clerk had distributed a list of the full and potential extra meeting dates for 2016 which were approved, together with a provisional date for next year’s Annual Parish Meeting of 18th April 2016. Jim Lowe confirmed that Jane Whitaker had agreed to attend as guest speaker. It was agreed that the meeting of 13th January 2016 would be given over mainly to the 2016/17 budget with only other urgent matters being considered at that meeting. This would be followed by another full meeting on 27th January to finalise the budget, set the precept and consider the remaining matters for that month. 

  1. Consultation re Gambling Act 2005 – Review of Statement of Principles: Members will respond to this consultation individually online if they wish to make any comments. 
  1. Devon County Road Warden Scheme – Report by Andrew Hewitt Andrew provided some handouts and gave a summary of the issues raised at the recent Highways Conference. Potholes are only being dealt with as ‘safety defects’ and must exceed certain depth and width criteria before they are dealt with. If parishes have 75% or more of their salt supplies intact they will not be topped up this year. Gritting routes are to be further reduces by 2017, some emergency salt spreaders are to be sold off or not replaced and £13 million is to be invested in replacing street lights with LEDs to generate long-term savings of £1 million per year. He said that the Parish Lengthsman Scheme will continue but there will only be one visit per year. He recommended that the Road Warden Scheme and accompanying Chapter 8 training would not be suitable for Buckland Brewer. The Parish would only be able to take on grass cutting and some ditch clearance but the financial contribution for grass cutting would not meet the costs and the cost of travelling to a depot to collect tools and materials would be prohibitive. It was agreed unanimously not to support the Road Warden Scheme.
  2. Complaint to DCC re Vicar’s Walk- Update from Jim Lowe Jim gave a resume of his discussions with County officers. He had been told that ownership of the Vicar’s Walk at that point was ambiguous. An apology had made that the Parish Council had not been consulted but the request for a refund of last year’s maintenance costs was refused. Jim noted that the light was not operating yet. 
  1. Thornhillhead Moor: Facilitation Fund                Sally was not present to give a report but Trevor Mills reported that Sally had recommended that the Parish Council should sign up to the scheme as this should improve the Council’s prospects of attracting sufficient funds to continue to support the moor in future years.
  1. S106 Land and Community Hall Monies Transfer
    1. Monies Transfer: Update from the Clerk: The full amount of £325,000 had been transferred via the Parish Council’s and the Village Hall Trustee’s solicitors accounts to the Village Hall and Stephen Harding had confirmed its safe receipt on 27th October 2015. 
  1. Land Transfer: Update from Trevor Mills: The Clerk had received the transfer documents earlier today and had not yet had an opportunity to check them. Two signatures were required on behalf of the Parish Council (Chair and Vice-Chair) and, in the case of transfers of land to the Village Hall Trustees, the signatures of Stephen Harding and Kevin Lobb were required. As portfolio holder for this matter, the documents were passed to Jim Lowe, who will thoroughly check the documents together with Andrew Hewitt, and will organise the signing of the documents as appropriate.
  1. Defibrillator:                The Clerk brought with him the defibrillator, which had been received a few days earlier, for members’ inspection. The heated boxes are coming from a different supplier and should arrive in about 10 days’ time. The Clerk had discussed the placing of the box and the electrical supply with Brian Chapple, who had offered to co-ordinate the installation on behalf of the chapel using their regular electrician. This cost will be charged to the parish council. The Clerk recommended that a standing order should be set up for £20 per year to compensate the chapel for the electrical supply. David Watson was nominated to undertake the weekly and monthly checks of the machine and to forward these reports to the Clerk and South West Ambulance. Once the machine has been installed the Clerk will arrange a training session. It was agreed unanimously that the Clerk should purchase a suitable security light with CCTV, at an estimated cost of £80 – £100, to be fitted at the same time as the heated box.
  1. Community Bed Closures: Petition Request Petition forms have been distributed and will be returned to the Clerk at the end of the month.
  2. Review of Parish Plan/Emergency Plan: Progress report from Working Group The working group had met on Monday 9th November. Barbara Babb reported that it had been agreed that the most likely emergency that the parish would need to deal with that would not be managed by the emergency services, would be a severe snowfall which might cut off the village and some outlying parishioners. However, it was also agreed that in such an event an effective network of neighbours, including farmers and drivers of 4×4 vehicles would work together to ensure that roads were cleared as quickly as possible and that any vulnerable residents’ needs were cared for. The working group had therefore concluded that a detailed emergency plan in the format recommended by the County Council template was unnecessary. It was recommended that the Parish Plan Supplement should be updated to ensure that it contained the most up-to-date contact names and telephone numbers and that information should be added about the emergency helicopter landing procedures, the availability of gas at the village hall and a small generator in the event of electricity power cuts. The revised supplement should also include details of the settlement plan. The Clerk will write to the village hall to set out guidelines for the Parish Council and Village Hall Trustees to work in partnership in the event of an emergency. George Heywood will contact the farming community to compile a list of people and equipment that could be made available if needed. Cllr Robin Julian will check to ensure that farmers would have the permission of the County to clear the roads in an emergency.
  3. Grant Request: Citizens Advice It was agreed unanimously to make a donation of £50.00.
  4. Fields and Allotments:
    1. Termination of Brian Chapple’s Tenancy Brian has been away recently and Trevor has not seen him yet. The Clerk had spoken to Brian a few weeks’ ago and Brian had said that he would not now be terminating until September 2016 as it would be Spring before he could reseed the field where the hay bales had been stored. Sally Nicholls will be asked to finalise the details with Brian, including the question of the small farm entitlement. Jim Lowe pointed out that it was necessary to know what the Council intended to do with the field for the purpose of next years’ budget. 
  1. Blackhorse Fields: Expressions of Interest The Clerk had distributed a list of 7 expressions of interest in leasing the old football pitch. Four were for grazing horses, two for sheep and one for the grass. Trevor Mills had spoken to Bob Hicks today and had been advised that the Council should consider 12 month licences if the fields were to be used for grazing. George Heywood had been approached by some parishioners who had said that, if the fields were given over to horses, it would spoil the look of the entrance to the village. Barbara Babb recommended that horses should not be grazed between 1st November and 31st March or in severe weather conditions to protect the fields. George Heywood recommended that grazing for horses or sheep should require a substantial deposit to ensure there were funds in the event of damage. Andrew Hewitt believed that the Council already had a template for a basic grazing licence and also recommended that the Council should meet the costs of fencing the field. Trevor Mills and Andrew Hewitt will liaise with Bob Hicks to get an agreement drawn up by the next meeting. The Clerk will write to all of the applicants to tell them that they will be invited to tender in due course. 
  1. Vacant Allotments Only plot 7b is now still available. 
  1. Members considered what needed to be done with the amenity field that will be transferred to the Council shortly. Trevor Mills and Andrew Hewitt will investigate the potential costs for fencing, gates etc. in preparation for considering them for next year’s budget. 
  1. Members’ Reports

Barbara Babb reported that Back Lane has now been cleared.

Jim Lowe reminded members that the Clerk’s annual appraisal is due. It was agreed to add Barbara Babb to the Personnel sub-committee and he will arrange a date for the meeting.  Jim also reported that the Clerk had written to Geoffrey Cox about the Council’s concerns about the delay in submitting the draft local plan. A meeting has been arranged with him for 10:00 on 12th December 2015 which will be attended by Jim Lowe, Andrew Hewitt and George Heywood.

Trevor Mills reported that Savilles have asked to hold a public exhibition for another village development. This will take place in the village hall on 27th November. Andrew Hewitt raised his concerns about the impact of new developments on surface water drainage.

David Watson asked whether there was any progress on Hymn’s Peace. Trevor Mills will speak to Richard Mills about it.

  1. Planning
    1. Decision: 1/0887/2015/FUL, Adjacent to Ross House, Erection of 2 dwellings (resubmission of 1/0889/2014/FUL) – Granted Permission
  1. Torridge & North Devon Draft Plan Consultation A letter had been received from Torridge Council announcing further consultation on:
    1. Provision of affordable homes.
    2. Starter homes and exception sites.
    3. New policy for wind energy development.

It was noted that this was a complex consultation document and members were advised to inspect them online and submit their comments as appropriate.

  1. Accounts:
  2. i) Cash book balances:
  • Parish Council Current Account was £12,867.94 as at 30th October 2015
  • Thornhillhead Moor Account was £13,739.05 as at 18th October 2015

ii) Payments due (£1,924.69)

  • Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE (October): £329.69
  • Cardiac Science: Defibrillator – £805.00 + VAT
  • DALC: AGM & Conference – £40.00 + VAT
  • Playing Field Association, Grant – £350.00
  • Bowls Club, Grant – £100.00
  • Torridge Volunteer Cars, Grant – £300.00

iii)           Transfer of Funds

It was agreed to transfer £8,000.00 from the general account and £10,000.00 from the Thornhillhead Moor account to the newly established Saver Account and a letter to the bank was countersigned by Barbara Babb and Jim Lowe


Date of Next Meeting:   Parish Council: 9th December 2015 (Buckland Brewer School) (7:30pm)


There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:45 pm.