MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON
WEDNESDAY 12th OCTOBER 2016 AT 7:30 AT BUCKLAND BREWER SCHOOL
Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mrs Marie Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance 1 member of the public
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
- Apologies for Absence Rosie Beer, George Heywood
- Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council held on 14th and 29th September 2016: The minutes of the meetings held on 14th and 29th September 2016 were confirmed and signed subject to a change being made to item 342 to amend the words “Old Vicarage end” to “Gorwood Road end”.
- Declarations of Interest None
- Public Participation None
- Clerk’s Report:
- Correspondence: The Clerk had distributed 43 items of correspondence by email since the last meeting. He highlighted the date of the first meeting of the Bideford & Northam Area Advisory Group, which is to be held at 7:00pm at Bideford Town Hall on 25th October 2016 (Andrew Hewitt to attend), invitations to this year’s Devon Highways Town and Parish Conferences (Hatherleigh, 22nd November – Andrew Hewitt to attend) and notification of a public examination of the Draft Local Plan, also on 22nd November starting at 10:00am (Jim Lowe to attend). Jim Lowe had read in correspondence from the Rural Services Network about the possibility of grants for local bus services and will investigate this further. He also asked for an item about the threatened closures at North Devon District Hospital to be added to the next agenda.
- Invitation from Cllr. Barry Parsons to Attend a Parish Council Meeting: County Councillor Barry Parsons has asked if the Parish Council would like him to attend a Parish Council meeting in view of the boundary change that will see Buckland Brewer falling into his division with effect from 2017. The Clerk will send him a list of forthcoming dates.
- Reporting Potholes and Other Highways Maintenance Issues: The Clerk reminded members that there is now an interactive website that can be used by anyone to report potholes, fallen trees, drainage problems and most other highways issues. This is by far the most effective way to report problems as it used by Devon Highways as there works ordering system. He asked that in future members should use this site themselves or recommend it parishioners who bring matters to their attention. The person who has seen an issue is the best person to report it as they can pinpoint the position on the map more effectively. As a last resort the Clerk will report them but he needs an accurate description of the problem and its exact location before he can do that. The Clerk recommended that members do not wait until a parish council meeting to raise issues.
- Setting a date for the Clerk’s Annual Appraisal: Barbara Babb suggested that item357 should be discussed by the Personnel sub-committee during the Clerk’s annual appraisal. This will take place in the Chapel at 7:30pm on Monday 21st November 2016 at 7:30pm in the chapel.
- Website Development Update: The Clerk and Jane Lowe had visited a company in Exeter today to discuss the Council’s requirements. The meeting had enabled them to see what that particular company could offer and to get a better understanding about the support and training they could offer. He will now put together an overview of the Council’s website requirements and an outline site map and will obtain a minimum of three quotations with a view to having a replacement website online by Christmas.
- Air Ambulance Night Time Flying Fund: Enid Booth has emailed the Clerk to say that she has received further donations amounting to £79.00. The Fund, including the £1,000 offered by the Parish Council, now stands at £6,623.90 with a further £2,118.00 committed from TAP Fund grants. Parkham Council has responded to a request to contribute by saying that they are themselves looking into the provision of a helipad in Parkham. Jim Lowe has obtained a quotation from Western Power for the installation of a supply (£579 + VAT) and the stack will cost a further £760.00. The erection of the landing lights for night-time flying has been reported as £5,595.56. It was proposed by Jim Lowe, seconded by Andrew Hewitt and agreed unanimously that the works should now go ahead. Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that improvements were needed to the entrance to the field.
- Hillpark, Refuse Collection: The Clerk read an email that had been received from the officer at Devon County responsible for road adoptions explaining the legal definitions. A resolution to the problem seems no closer. Without any further intervention, it could take up to 2 years before the road is adopted. The Council agreed to investigate the possibility of erecting a temporary open compound in the layby on the opposite side of the road from the entrance to the estate where residents could leave their refuse sacks for collection. (Trevor Mills an Andrew Hewitt to liaise.)
- Review of Cabinet Responsibilities/Delegation of Duties to the Parish Clerk: It was agreed that these matters would be discussed by the Personnel sub-committee during the Clerk’s annual appraisal.
- Communicating to Parishioners Who Does What in Local Government: Jim Lowe said that some parishioners are still unsure about who does what in local government and who to contact for help and advice. He will prepare a paper for inclusion in Village Scene and on the website.
- DALC Consultation: Council Tax Referendum Principals: Following a brief discussion, the Clerk was asked to draft a suitable response expressing the Parish Council’s disagreement with the principles.
- Buckland Brewer School:
- Foundation/Charitable Status: The Clerk had discussed this with the Headteacher, Gina Finch. There had been a lot of support from the consultation exercise. There will now be a further 4 weeks of deliberation by the Governors and Charitable Trust after which the Governors will make their final decision. The Parish Council’s proposal to co-opt a parish councillor to the Governing Board will be discussed at that time. The Clerk will invite the Head teacher to attend another Parish Council to report back.
- School Field Tenancy: No further information.
- Fields and Allotments:
- Blackhorse Fields Tenancy Andrew Heywood had not completed this piece of work before returning to college. It is now being done by Claire McIntosh.
- Fencing of Blackhorse Fields The works required by the parish council have been done by Andrew Hewitt and Trevor Mills. Further fencing works are needed by the tenant which he will need to do before introducing sheep.
- Works to Amenity Field Brenda Mills had written to the Parish Council to say that next year’s fete is to be held at the new village hall (provided that it is complete by then) on 9th July 2017 and will want to hire the field for the event. No guarantee can be given at this stage that the field will be ready. Most of the fencing and levelling work is being done by Trevor Mills and Andrew Hewitt and the top dressing will be carried out in conjunction with the building of the village hall. There was some discussion about the advisability of not employing contractors to carry out the work. Jim Lowe pointed out that there was a budget of £8,000 for fencing works. However, Trevor and Andrew said that the cost of employing contractors to do all of the work could be far in excess of the available budget. Marie Douglas suggested that the Young Farmers might be willing to help. It was agreed that fees and charges for the field would be considered together with the budget for 2017/18.
- Vacant Allotments One allotment plot has been let this month. Numbers 2 and 10 are still available. An Allotment Holders meeting has been booked in the Village Hall for 30th November 2016 starting at 8:00pm. The Clerk will write to all the allotment and field holders at the end of this month.
- Thornhillhead Moor Mast: There has been no movement. Bob Hicks is waiting for a response from Arqiva. Andrew Hewitt will take another batch of photographs for comparison purposes.
- Thornhillhead Moor: Review of Graziers’ Payments: Claire McIntosh is finalising an up-to-date graziers’ list. The Clerk had discussed the forecast income and expenditure for the SSSI for the remaining 6-year term. The figures were virtually unchanged from the forecast done last year with an annual excess of income over expenditure of over £3,000 and an anticipated surplus at the end of the term of between £30,000 and £40,000, depending on how much is needed for fencing repairs and renewals. A worst case scenario of having to replace all of the fencing would still leave a substantial surplus and it was recommended by Bob Hicks that the graziers payment ought to be increased as it is the graziers who are entitled to any surplusses. It was proposed by Andrew Hewitt, seconded by Jim Lowe and agreed unanimously to increase the payment from £5.00 per head to £7.50 per head, which amounts to an annual increase in expenditure of about £750.00. Hicks and Co. had drafted a number of letters to graziers explaining the current situation and requesting confirmation of various changes to the names on the list. These were all approved unanimously.
- 372 Bus Service: Deferred to next meeting.
- Members’ Reports
Barbara Babb (i) The WI had held another defibrillator/CPR training session that had been well attended. David Watson reported that when they had gone to fetch the defibrillator for the meeting they found the heated box, with the machine still in it, taken down from the wall. It has now been replaced. The Clerk will investigate. (ii) Barbara also reported that the bench by the village green is damaged and needs a coat of paint. Andrew said that he would see if he could mend it and Jim Lowe offered to repaint it. (iii) Barbara talked about the article in the last Village Scene saying that there was no summary of the Parish Council meetings. She said that some parishioners were worried that the website was going to take over from the Village Scene and that they felt that too much money was being spent on it. It was pointed out that there had been no report last month because, at the moment, Marie Douglas is too busy at work to do it. Andrew Hewitt said that the Parish Council has a statutory duty to post minutes and agendas on the website and Jim Lowe reminded the Council that minutes are also posted on notice boards and in the Council’s information point. Marie Douglas felt that she could not produce the summaries until her workload reduces, possibly after next January. In the meantime, Jim Lowe offered to produce monthly summaries on her behalf.
Marie Douglas reminded the Clerk that he had undertaken to put a template of the allotment terms and conditions on the website. The Clerk thought this had already been done but will check again.
Andrew Hewitt had attended a DALC HTOC meeting and supplied a summary of what had been discussed. It was noted that DCC depots at Torrington and Okehampton might close as a result of the change in Highways contractor from SWH to Skanska.
Jim Lowe reported that he and Andrew Hewitt had attended the DALC Conference. The leader of DCC had talked about Devolution but Jim felt that this discussion was going round in circles and seemed unlikely to happen. Neighbourhood Plans had been discussed. These seemed expensive and time consuming and their worth in comparison to the existing settlement Plan was questioned. It was felt that the Council would need professional advice before starting such a project.
Shirley Tilley agreed that there were some parishioners who could not or don’t want to access information from the website.
- Decision: 1/0706/2016/FUL – 6 Castle Meadow, Erection of single storey garden room, to be built on the rear (south elevation) – Granted Permission
- Decision: 1/0791/2016/FUL – 26 Hillpark, Single Storey Garden Room – Granted Permission
- 1/0763/2016/AGMB – Agricultural building at Woodwall – Granted Permission
- 1/0761/2016/AGMB – Agricultural building at Woodwall – Refused (Insufficient Information)
- Additional Local Plan Consultation:
- Proposed Main and Minor Modifications No comments
- Traveller Site Allocations Development Plan Document No comments
- S106 Consultation, 1/0088/2016/OUTM, Land at Southwood Meadow Members offered the following possible uses for S106 funds from this and any future planning applications:
- Re-tarmacking of the village green
- Tarmacking of the village hall car park
- Dressing rooms or other similar extensions to the village hall
- Resources for road wardens
- Salt supplements and other bad weather contingencies
- Receipts and Payments
- i) Cash book balances as at 1st October 2016:
- Parish Council Current Account was £17,958.75
- Thornhillhead Moor Account was £12,237.25
- Savings Account was £18,004.37 (The interest rate on this account reduces from 0.25% to 0.05% wef 1st December 2016)
The Clerk recommended that a sum of £10,000 is transferred to the savings account and a letter of authorisation was signed by the Chair and Vice-Chair
- ii) Payments due (£865.20 +VAT)
- Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE (September 2016): £353.62, including £63.90 PAYE
- D & I Bridgeman & Son, fencing materials – £210.28 + VAT
- Grant Thornton, Audit Fee – £200.00 + VAT
- Tamar Trading, Fencing materials – £71.14 + VAT
- Slee Blackwell Solicitors, disbursements – £30.16
iii) Receipts (BBPC: £5,786.42, Air Ambulance Fund: £1,080.00)
- Air Ambulance Fund donations – £80.00
- Bridge Trust, Air Ambulance Fund Grant – £1,000.00
- TDC: 2nd instalment of precept – £5,561.42
- Field Rents – £185.00
- Allotment rent and deposit – £40.00
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:55 pm.
Date of Next Meeting:
Parish Council: Wednesday 9th November 2016 (Buckland Brewer School, 7:30pm)
Personnel Sub-Committee: Monday 21st November 2016 (Chapel, 7:30pm)