MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON
WEDNESDAY 13th JULY 2016 AT 7:30 AT BUCKLAND BREWER SCHOOL
Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Miss Rosie Beer, 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, Cllr. Robin Julian and Cllr. Alison Boyle
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
- Apologies for Absence PCSO Liz Rendle, Marie Douglas
300. Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council held on 8th and 27th June 2016: The minutes of the meetings held on 8th and 27th June 2016 were confirmed and signed.
- Declarations of Interest None
- Public Participation None
- Clerk’s Report:
- Correspondence: The Clerk had distributed 40 items of correspondence by email since the last meeting. He highlighted i) feedback from the Planning Engagement seminar that some members had attended relating to material planning considerations and the conversion of farm buildings to dwellings, ii) information from the Fire Service that had been added to the website, iii) invitations to some public meetings and iv) the coming year’s surgery dates for Geoffrey Co, MP. He had not had any further contact from DCC Highways about the PO Van markings but had contacted Cllr Robin Julian, who reported that he was discussing the situation with them.
- Parish Website: The Clerk had met with Jane Lowe to outline an approach to improving the parishes website and this was explained in detail by Jane Lowe. (see appendix 1) Jane and the Clerk were asked to proceed with the scheme as outlined and to identify 3 potential suppliers to develop the website. It was agreed that the Webmaster and any other volunteers and helpers should not be out of pocket and that all reasonable claims for expenses would be reimbursed by the Clerk.
- Rubbish Collection at Hillpark: The Clerk had brought the matter to the attention of Cllr Robin Julian, who had said that he would take up the case but that it was unlikely that it could be speeded up.
304. Devon Air Ambulance: Feedback from Public Meeting, 15th June 2016: The Clerk had consulted with DALC, who had confirmed that any contributions by the Parish Council to this scheme would come under s137 powers. This limits the Council’s to spending more that £4,900 per year on all s137 activities. They had recommended that it would be a suitable scheme for a TAP Fund application. It was agreed that the fund would need to be managed by the Parish Council and that the equipment would be owned and maintained by them. Jim Lowe reported that Toby Russell of DAAT had attended a public meeting in Buckland Brewer Village Hall on 15th The scheme had received a lot of positive support with offers of donations being made straight away. Cllr Andrew Hewitt also offered to make a donation to get the fund started off. Jim Lowe is organising a Quiz Evening for 25th November, with the proceeds going to the scheme. Cllr Julian said that he had already donated some money towards another remote landing control system and that he would be happy to approve a grant of about £500 for this one as well, for which the Council offered their thanks. A further public meeting is arranged for 14th July 2016.
- Consultation re PRS for Music Licenses: The Clerk pointed out that the Parish Council had no need to pay any Performing Rights Fees and recommend referring the consultation to the Village Hall, which was agreed.
- 372 Bus Service: Discussion introduced by Jane Lowe Jane Lowe explained that she had pursued her complaint about this service with DCC Transport Services but had received no satisfactory replies about either the quality of the service of the allocation of subsidies. She has also written to the contractors and to Geoffrey Cox MP, Cllr Parsons of Torridge Council and Cllr Julian of Devon County. There had been no response from the contractor but the three elected members had been supportive. Mr Richardson-Dawes of DCC Transport has said that the complaints have been taken up with the contractor, who has been issued warning notices and he hoped that this would result in an improved service. However, he had explained that rural services are subject to exemptions that meant it did not have to meet the usual standards for providing a service suitable for the disabled. He had suggested using the Ilfracombe Ring and Ride service, but Jane felt this was not suitable for the elderly as trips have to be booked in advance and circumstances often change from day to day with elderly and disabled passengers. Cllr Julian said that the driver who had driven past Jane on one occasion, and failed to either take any money or keep to the scheduled route, was under investigation. A comparison was made with the Westward Ho! Service which is advertised as running every 10 minutes, but almost empty buses are often seen arriving in Bideford hard on each other’s heels.
- TAP Fund 2016/17: Joint Lengthsman Scheme: The Clerk had contacted all of the parish councils sharing a border with Buckland Brewer and Peters Marland, which had previously joined in applications submitted by this council. Peters Marland had responded to say that they preferred to pursue a ‘health’ scheme (either a defibrillator or first aid courses). Frithelstock were interested but wanted reassurance that they would have control over who was employed to work within their parish and were consulted about how the scheme would work. Shebbear meets next on 12th Parkham had discussed the issue but they already had a reciprocal arrangement for clearing ditches and similar works with Woolsery and are now contacting them to see if they have any similar project in mind. None of the other parishes had yet met to discuss the proposal. It had been announced that any unclaimed amounts from 2015/16 could be rolled-over and this means that Buckland Brewer is now entitled to claim £718 for 2015/16 and £730 for 2016/17, making a total of £1,448.00. On reflection, members decided that a joint Lengthsman scheme was probably too complicated to operate and they preferred to make an application for funds to help towards the night time flying scheme. The Clerk will contact the neighbouring parishes again with a proposal.
- Village Green: Shirley Tilley said that the village green was looking untidy and that the person that had previously cut the grass had now moved from the village. There is an annual budget of £220 for grass cutting and maintenance of the village green. Members agreed to give the Clerk delegated authority to obtain quotes and appoint a suitable local contractor. Shirley Tilley and Trevor Mills are to contact known individuals to ask them to contact the Clerk.
- Fields and Allotments:
- Blackhorse Fields Tenancy There had been no contact from Bob Hicks yet. The tenant will be cutting the grass in the next few weeks.
- Fencing of Blackhorse Fields The fencing cannot be done until the grass is cut. It was reported that a bill is expected from Richard Metherell for hedge trimming.
- Works to Amenity Field George Heywood had offered to spray the field but his insurance would not cover him for the work. He will ask Tom Wood if he can do it. Trevor Mills will cut the rest of the grass areas. He has already cut the school field. Andrew Hewitt suggested that Trevor should be reimbursed for the cost of his diesel but Trevor declined the offer. Tom Wood will also be asked to trim the edge of the footpath.
- Additional Gate for Allotments/Allotment Deposits Members decided not to pursue this suggestion any further. Mario d’Agostino of plot 12 is due a refund of his deposit. Andrew Hewitt will inspect the plot this week.
- School Playing Field Trevor Mills reported that a meeting had taken place this afternoon at the school with representatives from Devon County Estates Services and the school. An amicable agreement had been reached about the fencing, location of gates, grass cutting and maintenance issues. DCC will compile a management agreement. Trevor also said that the s106 agreement had been sent for signing off today and that this should mean that the planning application for the new community hall will be approved in the very near future. Pearce’s have said that they plan to start work on the site on 8th August with a target completion date of May 2017.
- Thornhillhead Moor Mast: Bob Hicks is continuing to negotiate terms with Arqiva. George Heywood will contact him for a progress report.
- Members’ Report: Barbara Babb gave a report of the Queen’s Birthday street party and thanked the parish council, the ladies of the Jubilee Committee and other helpers who had all worked together to make it a great success. Barbara provided a detailed breakdown of the receipts and payments for the event. (see Appendix 2) There is a sum of £277.17 remaining in the Jubilee Fund. It was agreed that this should stay in the fund for future events of this nature.
Andrew Hewitt summarised a report of the DALC Larger Councils sub-committee held on 9th June 2016. He felt that they were unaware of the issues surrounding devolution and the threats to health services, particularly in the north of the county. Andrew will circulate a copy of the minutes.
Shirley Tilley i) said that she had experienced a long wait to collect money from the Post Office van recently and that she knew that this was a regular problem which particularly affected elderly parishioners who rely on the van to collect their pensions. The delay was due to the ATM system not working due to poor internet access and it was believed that the van was still using the old broadband network. The Clerk will write to postmaster at Woolsery Post Office. Ii) Shirley also said that there was still a problem with cars parked at the corner of Gorwood Road but it was felt hat little could be done about in a rural area like this.
Alison Boyle reported that the Boundary Commission’s review of the wards within Torridge was still in progress. Following the meetings which she had held with parish councils, and a subsequent meeting with Cllr. Whittaker, the decision had been made by TDC to initiate a third Advisory Board which would be based in the Bideford area. She believed there would be an annual meeting which would focus on the rural issues in the Bideford area.
Robin Julian spoke about progress with devolution. He had attended an LGA meeting recently where various governance options had been discussed but no firm agreements had been made, except that Cornwall had decisively declined to take part in the process. He was concerned about the possible closure of A & E at North Devon Hospital and the loss of services like ENT. He hoped that recent changes in central government might improve matters. The next full council meeting for DCC is 28th July.
Police Report The Clerk read a report provided by PCSO Liz Rendle. In the past 2 months there had been 2 crimes: 1 telecommunications crime and 1 complaint of a dog not under proper control. Liz Rendle and John McGovern had attended the fete last weekend, where they offered parishioners crime prevention advice and answered their questions. July is national scam awareness month. For more information on scams follow this link: http://www.thinkjessica.com/
- Application: 1/0589/2016/FUL – Hembury Orchard, Proposed general purpose agricultural building It was proposed by Jim Lowe, seconded by David Watson and agreed unanimously to support the application.
- Application: 1/0649/2016/FUL – Cross View, Ground floor extension with alterations to the roof to provide first floor accommodation. It was proposed by George Heywood, seconded by Jim Lowe and agreed unanimously to support the application.
- Receipts and Payments
- i) Bank balances as at 30th June 2016:
- Parish Council Current Account was £10,620.53
- Thornhillhead Moor Account was £12,137.25
- Savings Account was £18,004.37
- ii) Payments due (£2,341.15 +VAT)
- Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE (June 2016): £327.43, including £58.40 PAYE
- Buckland Brewer Village Hall, Hall Hire – £17.00
- Transfer to Thornhillhead Moor Account, VAT Reclaim 2015/16 – £100.00
- Mario d’Agistino, Allotment Deposit Refund: £175.00
- Torridge Council, Election Costs: £1,721.72 + VAT
iii) Receipts (£1,707.47)
- Allotment Rents: £30.00
- Allotment Deposits: £100.00
- VAT Reclaimed 2015/16: £1477.47
- Transfer from General Account re Thornhill Moor VAT Reclaim 2015/16: £100.00
- Internal Audit Report: This had been reported at the previous meeting
- Quarterly Budget Monitoring Report: The Clerk distributed copies of a budget monitoring report for the first 3 months of 2016/17 showing that 63% of the year’s income had been received in the first quarter as this included half the year’s precept and field rents, most of the year’s allotments income and nearly £1,500 of recoverable VAT. Only 20% of the year’s expenditure budget had been spent but some major items such as the election costs for last year, fencing for two of the fields and the annual grants had not yet been spent at all. (see Appendix 3)
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:50 pm.
Date of Next Meeting:
Parish Council: Wednesday 10th August 2016 (Buckland Brewer School, 7:30pm)