Parish council

Parish Council minutes 9 July 2014

Draft minutes

Meeting held at the Buckland Brewer School, Wednesday 9 July 2014

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

Also in attendance  2 members of the public, Claire McIntosh (Hicks & Co.), PCSO John McGovern

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

The Chairman opened the meeting with the sad announcement of the death on Wednesday 2nd June of Councillor David Lloyd who had offered many years of excellent service to the parish council including a period as Chairman. All assembled stood in silence in his memory for one minute. His funeral will be at 3:00pm on 17th July 2014, meeting afterwards in Buckland Brewer Village Hall.

1224 Apologies for Absence:  Andrew Hewitt and Cllr. Robin Julian (DCC)

1225 Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council on 20th June 2014:  The minutes of the meeting held on 20th June 2014 were confirmed and signed.

1226 Declarations of Interest: Trevor Mills regarding item 1242 (a)(i) – Cleave planning application.

1227 Public Participation: None

1228 Crime Report:  PCSO John McGovern reported that there had been no crimes reported in the last 3 months. The team had been busy attending fetes and fairs etc. and would be attending the Buckland Brewer Fete on 12th July. He said that a new newsletter was being published for the whole of Torridge District and that he would ensure that this was sent to the clerk. Jim Lowe asked whether any of the equipment stolen earlier in the year had been recovered. John said that the equipment stolen from the van had not been found but the equipment from the locked storeroom on the building site, which he thought had been deliberately targeted, had been discarded not far from the scene. John had put an article in Village Scene recently.

1229 Clerk’s Report

Correspondence: A summary of various items of general correspondence was supplied to each member. The following item was specifically drawn to the Council’s attention:
Rural Services Network: Parish views sought on rural housing
SLCC Newsletter – Practitioners’ Guide
TTVS: Snippets, Issue 66
TDC: Community Infrastructure Levy Draft Charging Schedule: Consultation notification
TDC: North Devon and Torridge Local Plan: Sustainability Appraisal, Consultation notification
TDC: Statement of Community Involvement, Consultation notification
Rural Services Network (RSN), Seminar, Localism In Practice
DCC:  Devon Remembers – Website Link
DCC: Day Services – Message from Councillor Stuart Barker
DCC: Residential Care Services Review
DALC: Newsletter, July 2014
Go North Devon: New Free Service for Cancer Patients
Rural Services Network: Weekly Email News Digest – Monday, 7 July, 2014
Torridge Area meeting – REMINDER – Langtree Village Hall, Wednesday 10th September, 6:00pm
RSN: Rural Vulnerability Service, RURAL BROADBAND – JULY 2014
Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2014
J Parker’s Wholesale Catalogue
Plantlife: Events Calendar

1230 Football Pitch Club House:  Jim Lowe explained that Andrew Hewitt was going to obtain shuttering to secure the doors but this had not yet been done. A ‘keep out’ notice had been supplied by Phil Slocombe and this had been put in place. Councillor Robin Julian had offered to support the dismantling of the club house with a grant of £1,500 from the DCC capital grant scheme and had supplied the clerk with an application form. It was agreed unanimously to pursue the grant application and the form was signed by the Chairman. The clerk had not yet written to the FA for additional funding but undertook to do this in the near future.

1231 Thornhillhead Moor: Claire McIntosh reported that scrub clearing had been completed. The RPA had withheld £1,000 of the payment for these works because some stumps had not been treated and this sum had been held back from the payments to the contractors. A resident at Nattamoor could not get her pony and trap out of her property so it had been necessary to move some of the fencing. A claim had been submitted to RPA for the fencing works. This was not expected to be paid for another 4 weeks. An extra gate has been installed at one of the tenant’s expense. Flailing needs to be done before the end of July. All the ‘cattle grazing’ signs are now up. Natural England have posted a sign about their involvement in the scheme. The British Horse Society had complained that horses were cutting themselves on barbed wire by the gates. It was planned to resolve this by covering short stretched of wire by the gates in a protective sleeve. Fly tipping was still going on and Claire felt that there was nothing that could be done about it. PCSO John McGovern explained that this was a crime and should be reported to the police whenever anyone is seen doing it. Evidence can sometimes be obtained from the rubbish tipped if examined soon enough. Claire also reported that Japanese Knotweed was becoming a problem and would need to be dealt with.  An attempt had been made to call a Commoners’ Meeting but there had been little interest shown. She suggested that discussions about payments to the graziers should be held once the payment for the fencing had been received. Shirley Tilley asked what would happen to the moor after the 10-year scheme was finished. Claire did not know but it was thought that the moor would probably revert to its previous state. The clerk reported that one of the contractors had asked for a cheque that had been made out to his company to be re-issued in his name and had supplied a new invoice. This was agreed and a new cheque was issued. Claire McIntosh returned the original cheque.

1232 Broadband: Jim Lowe reported that the PCC had agreed to the installation of an aerial on the church tower at a rent of £300 per year and that it was planned to install this by the 23rd July. The company had agreed to tie in a session to explain their services to potential new customers when they were in the area installing some of the systems that had already been ordered.

1233 TAP Fund Project:   (i) Footpath restoration, Progress Report: A bill for £1,138.00 had been received from a local contractor for the works completed so far to Northwood Lane and Back Lane. It was agreed unanimously to settle the bill. Trevor Mills had carried out an inspection and explained that Northwood Lane had been re-surfaced up to the playing field and that it now had a ‘pretty good’ surface. One of the landowners had not been happy about loose stones choking his drains. Back Lane had been done along a short stretch around the dog bin and part of the way down the lane. It was agreed that Trevor would use some more of the Council’s scalpings to create a slope to rectify the stretch where water was still pooling. Trevor agreed to get the footpaths inspected by DCC. It was noted that some of the hedges needed trimming. George Heywood will talk to the residents. Barbara Babb reported that Lyn Layton was not satisfied with the footpath. Trevor Maggs had produced photographs for the grant submission and it was agreed that the Council would meet the cost of some Village Hall hires for him as compensation.

(ii) 2014/15 Application: There was a discussion about the possibility of submitting a claim for works to lay tarmac to the east of the village green. It was thought that this might cost in excess of £4,000 but the TAP Fund contribution this year would be less than £750.00. Trevor Mills will obtain a more accurate quotation.

1234 Hopper Saturday Bus: No response had yet been heard from the neighbouring parishes regarding the Hopper Bus Scheme. Jim Lowe had put an article in Village Scene but this had prompted no responses so far.

1235 Village Library: Plans were coming together and the Clerk had agreed with the PCC that shelves would be supplied in both the schoolroom and inside the church so that children in particular had some access to the books at any time.

1236 Babeleigh Barton Road:  There had been no response to Jim Lowe’s letter to Cllr Stuart Hughes at DCC. Kate Slocombe reported that her son had recently sent a strongly worded email to Devon Highways. George Heywood suggested that the clerk should write to John Rouse, the High Sheriff of Devon, who owns property in Parkham. It was agreed that Jim Lowe would send another email to Devon Highways and that a formal complaint would be raised.

1237 School Bus Route: Jim Lowe reported that he had raised a formal complaint procedure on 8th July regarding the school bus route, as agreed at the previous meeting.

1238 Village Hall progress report: Jim Lowe reported that the Village Hall Trustees were making good progress in obtaining Hallmark Accreditation, which was an essential step in securing finance for the new community hall. This needed to be submitted by 21st August. Negotiations were under way with the developer, Pearce Construction, for the building works to be undertaken by them.

1239 War Memorial: Jim Lowe was still waiting for a quote for the pointing works so It was agreed that work should be started on the re-enamelling. Kate Slocombe suggested getting the schoolchildren to put out some small extracts of First World War poetry on the village green and it was agreed, subject to discussion with the PCC, to tie-in a small ceremony with the church service on 3rd August 2014. David Watson and Kate Slocombe would discuss the details outside of the meeting.

1240 Allotment & Field Tenancy Review: To set date for Finance sub-Committee Meeting: It was agreed that this matter would be discussed at a full meeting of the Parish Council on 23rd July 2014 as it would be necessary to call a special meeting to discuss planning applications on that day. The meeting will be in the village hall starting at 8:00pm. Barbara Babb, Kate Slocombe and David Watson offered their apologies in advance.

1241 Members’ Reports

George Heywood said that if a fence was erected between the club house and the allotments it would be possible to use the football pitch for more things, such as letting it out for sheep in the winter months. He undertook to obtain a quotation.

Trevor Mills (i) said that DCC had sent a lengthsman out recently who had undertaken work that he though was unnecessary and a repeat of what had been done before. (ii) He had tried to find details of the Buckland Brewer rural settlement submission in the recently issued website of the draft local plan but had not been able to do so.

Shirley Tilley asked if there had been any response to the request for contributions to the grass cutting in Orleigh Close. The clerk explained that he had not had time to write to them all yet but would do so shortly.

David Watson suggested that a Parish Council meeting should be held at Thornhillhead and it was agreed to hold the September meeting there.

1242 Planning

a) Applications:

(i) 1/0499/2014/AGRPD – Cleave, Prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house – The Council unanimously supported the application but asked the clerk to point out to TDC that the covering letter talked about 1 dwelling house but the plans were to convert 2 agricultural buildings to 2 dwellings.

(ii)  1/0593/2014/LBC – Higher Thorne Cottage, Proposed alterations & replacement porch – supported unanimously

b) Decision:1/0386/2014/FUL – Horras Farm: Retrospective change of use of agricultural building to car repair workshop  – Granted permission

c) Ross House: Jim Lowe had drafted a letter to Kate Little, Strategic Head of Planning for North Devon and Torridge and it was agreed unanimously to send the letter as drafted.

d) Old Shop Driveway: Jim Lowe had discussed this issue with the Enforcement Officer at TDC, Andy Fenge, but he could not help.  Jim had been referred to a Tim Jones at Western Power, who had laid the drive as a form of compensation to the house owner not realising that it was no-man’s land. A site meeting had been arranged for 1:30pm on 10th July 2014. David Watson had not yet been able to find a map of the area.

e) Torridge/North Devon Draft Plan Consultation request: It was agreed that members would study the document on the TDC website and that the item would be added to the agenda for 23rd July 2014 for members’ feedback.

1243 Accounts:

i) Bank balances:
Parish Council Current Account was £8,483.39 as at 30th June 2014
Thornhillhead Moor Account was £20,481.81 as at 19th June 2014

ii) Payments due (£5,072.90)
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £227.90
Tom Lloyd, scrub clearance – £3,600.00 (to replace cheque previously made out to ‘Tom’s Fencing & Woodland Care’
Buckland Brewer Village Hall, Hall Hire 28/5/14 – £7.00
Ray Hoyle, Works to Northwood Lane and Back Lane – £1,138.00 + VAT

iii) Receipts since last meeting (£3,625.25):
Contribution from Frithelstock Parish Council re SLCC Fee – £25.25
Returned cheque, Tom’s Fencing & Woodland Care- £3,600.00
(iv) Standing Order for SLCC Fee: The Clerk requested permission to set up a standing order for the payment of the SLCC Fee and this was agreed unanimously.

Date of Next Meeting:

Wednesday 23rd July 2014 (Village Hall, 8:00pm)

Wednesday 13th August 2014 (School Hall, 8:00pm)

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

 

Parish council minutes 20 June 2014

Draft minutes

Meeting held at the Buckland Brewer School, Friday 20 June 2014

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

Also in attendance  2 members of the public,

Parish Clerk:  Patrick Blosse

1204 Apologies for Absence Trevor Mills and Cllr. Robin Julian.

1205 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 14th and 28th May 2014:The minutes of the meetings held on 14th and 28th May were confirmed and signed.

1206 Declarations of Interest None.

1207 Public Participation  None.

1208 Clerk’s Report

Correspondence: A summary of various items of general correspondence was supplied to each member. The following item was specifically drawn to the Council’s attention:
Rural Services Network: Newsletter 19th May 2014
RSN Seminar: Sustainable Tourism Strategies
Bideford Police Newsletter
Torridge and North Devon LEADER funding for 2015: Survey
TTVS Snippets Issue 64
RSN Online: Rural Vulnerability Service – Broadband
RSN Online; Spotlight on Small Business and Rural Economy
Town and Parish Council meetings
RSN: Update re Rural Sounding Board
Community Infrastructure Levy Seminar
DALC Newsletter, June 2014
Devon Youth Service Review update
Invitation to School Food Event, 26th June 2014 (It was confirmed that there was no limitation on numbers attending)
Village Green – Issue 136, Summer 2014
TTVS: Snippets, 11th June 2014
Environment Agency Conference: Local Resilience 2014: Building Capacity, Planning for Emergencies – Wednesday 25th June 2014, Central London
Torridge Council: Updated Recycling Booklet
DCC: Grass Cutting Programme
DALC Finance Update – Governance and Accountability
DCC: Residential Care Services Review – Proposed variations of service
NIGHT TIME Road closure A386 Weare Giffard Cross to Rakeham Toll House X Monkleigh Mon 23rd June
DCC: Emergency Management Flyer

Flying Start Federation: Meeting Request: The Chair of Governors had invited the Parish Council to meet the Headteacher, Mrs Gina Finch, as she was keen to include the community in everything they do at the school. It was agreed unanimously to meet at the school. Kate Slocombe is to suggest suitable dates during the Autumn Term (September to December).

1209 Report of the Annual Parish Meeting, 28th May 2014                     Jim Lowe gave a brief overview of the Annual Parish meeting. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Cllr Phil Collins to thank him for attending the meeting and providing answers to a number of tabled questions.

1210 Football Pitch Club House/Allotments   (i) Leon Dzuirnynski had kindly provided some plastic fencing which has been erected around the club house. All doors have been secured but some shuttering is required to make them moreso. It was agreed to erect a ‘Keep Out’ notice to be made by Phil Slocombe. George Heywood suggested that the clerk should write to the FA to ask for a contribution towards the cost of dismantling the club house and this was agreed unanimously.

(ii) A quotation of £150 had been received for clearing allotment plots 13, 14 and 15. It was agreed unanimously to accept the quotation.

1211 Thornhillhead Moor:    Invoices had been received for scrub clearance and for the provision of ‘Cattle Grazing’ signs. It was agreed that these should be paid, withholding £500 from each of the two contractors for some spot spraying that is yet to be done on the advice of Claire McIntosh. Payment had been received from the Rural Protection Agency for these works and the 6-montly Environmental Stewardship. The Clerk was asked to invite Claire to the next meeting to provide an update.

1212 Broadband                  A recent announcement named a number of villages that would be getting fast broadband but Buckland Brewer was not included. The PCC had agreed to the installation of an aerial on the church tower at a rent of £300 per year. The clerk was asked to invite Tim Newman of WildWestNet to hold an event in the village hall to advertise his services. The PCC had said that would be willing to support such an event.

1213 TAP Fund Project:   (i) Footpath restoration, Progress Report:       All work had been completed in Northwood Lane. Trevor Mills is to check whether any more work is needed in Back Lane where it believed an overgrown drain needs to be cleared.

(ii) 2014/15 Application:    Langtree is enthusiastic about entering an application to top up the funds raised from last year’s scheme. Peters Marland have no plans to carry out any further maintenance to their village green at the moment. Frithelstock might like to top up their defibrillator fund but are still considering that and other possible schemes. It was agreed that the east side of the green needs tarmacing. Jim Lowe will investigate the costs. It was also agreed that the green should be made one-way to prevent possible accidents and that signage could be added to the tarmac surface.

1214 Hopper Saturday Bus:  Jim Lowe reported that the Summer Bus Service will now only operate for 7 Fridays instead of 9 due to an administrative problem at Community Transport. It was agreed that an item would be put in Village Scene to gauge opinion about whether parishioners would prefer the Saturday Hopper Bus option throughout the year instead of the Summer Bus service.

1215 Village Library:  The PCC has agreed to host the village library in the church schoolroom. David Lloyd is taking his shelves up to the church in the near future. The shelves offered by Brian and Ann Smith were not now available but Andrew Hewitt has some that he offered.

1216 Grass Cutting:  A quote for £30 had been received to cut the verge in Orleigh Close and Jim Lowe had asked the contractor to cut the grass already. Payment was approved but Kate Slocombe stated that she felt the matter should have been discussed by the Parish Council first. It was agreed that the clerk would write to the residents of Orleigh Close about future grass cutting.

1217 Babeleigh Barton Road:  (i) The Clerk has supplied a covering letter to Parkham Parish Council to accompany the report prepared by Andrew Hewitt and David Lloyd and a subsequent letter of report received from Dr. Layton. Jim Lowe had submitted a letter to the cabinet member for highways at Devon County but had not yet received a response. Kate Slocombe explained that the state of the road was getting worse every day and Jim Lowe reported that the coach company had made complaints about the road condition. It was agreed to leave the matter for 1 more month before taking any further action.

1218 Taxi Licensing Consultation     Jim Lowe undertook to complete the questionnaire and it was agreed that he would add a comment recommending that prospective taxi drivers should be able to demonstrate local ‘knowledge’.

1219 School Bus Route       The issue of the school bus continuing to use the dangerous crossing at Catsborough Cross was discussed. The route had been checked by DCC inspectors who had passed the route as being safe but this was unanimously disputed. Jim Lowe will pursue an official complaint about the matter.

1220 Village Hall:                 (i) Progress Report              Jim Lowe reported that the Buckland Brewer Village Hall Trust had held a referendum which decided by a vote of 94.5% in favour of selling the village hall to contribute towards the cost of a new community hall. A minimum of 75% of those present at the meeting had been required. Andrew Hewitt had received a letter against the proposal but, as the letter was addressed to the Village Hall Trustees, it was not considered to be within the remit of the Parish Council to respond to it.

(ii) S.106 Variation – Proposed payment in kind Jim Lowe explained that a variation to the S.106 Agreement was required to enable the developers to contribute the £325,000 value of the agreement in kind by undertaking the building work themselves. All the landowners had agreed to the proposal. It was proposed by Kate Slocombe and seconded by David Lloyd to agree to the variation order and the motion was passed with 7 in favour and 1 abstention.

1221 Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt reported that the hedges alongside the road over Yeo Bridge just beyond the telephone box need to be trimmed.

George Heywood reported that the stretch of road from Moorhead Road to Bowden Green Road was overgrown. He also thanked Jim Lowe for the work he had done in clearing hedges. George pointed out that Eric had cut the football pitch but had left the plastic bales in the field and that these needed to be moved to prevent damage to the field. Related to this, and in relation to the proposed review of field and allotment tenancies, he stated that the Council should be more business-like in future. It was agreed that a meeting of the Finance sub-Committee would be called to review all tenancy agreements and that George Heywood would be asked to attend as well.

Jim Lowe discussed the driveway outside the old shop which had been laid across ‘no-man’s land’, which he felt was wrong and dangerous. He had spoken to Andy Fenge at Torridge District. The driveway had been laid by Western Power and Jim was waiting for a call back from a Mr Jones. Andrew Hewitt suggested putting up plastic bollards. David Watson undertook to provide a map of the area for the next meeting.

Kate Slocombe reported that the poppies had been planted by the school children.

Shirley Tilley asked whether the cars that are often parked outside Tower Cottages could be parked behind the properties. George Heywood said that he would speak to them. It was generally agreed that parking was getting more difficult. It was also agreed that the clerk and chairman would obtain quotations for the additional work proposed for the War Memorial wall.

1222 Planning

a) Decisions:

(i) 1/0194/2014/FUL – Milford Farm: Erection of an Extension to Existing Agricultural Building – Granted permission

(ii)  1/0195/2014/FUL – Milford Farm: Erection of an Extension to Existing Agricultural Building – Granted permission
1/1067/2013/FUL – Watershute Farm, Horns cross, Wind turbine – Refused
1/0302/2014/OUT – Land adj. to Ross House, detached two-storey dwelling and integral garage – Granted Permission. Kate Slocombe stated that this property was apparently part of a development of up to 20 houses. Jim Lowe is to investigate further with Torridge Council.
1/0386/2014/FUL – Horras Farm, retrospective change of use of agricultural building to car repair workshop – Granted permission

b) Torridge District Plan/Parish Rural Settlement Plan: Jim Lowe explained that the next phase of consultation will be distributed on 26th June and that there will be 6 weeks to respond. The final draft is to be submitted to the Secretary of State in January 2015 and should be agreed by Summer 2015.

c) 21-Day Consultation Period: A letter had been received from the Dept. of Communities and Local Government in response to the Chairman’s letter to Eric Pickles, MP of 24th April2014. It pointed out that there was no provision in the order requiring Parish Councils to be informed of planning applications for an extention the time period for consultations. The Clerk reported that a request had been received after the agenda for this meeting was issued that required a response 24 hours before the next meeting. It was agreed that the item would be discussed at the meeting on 9th July in the hope that any comments would be in time to be included. It was agreed that an extra meeting would be held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, in the Village Hall, starting at 7:00pm, to discuss applications that could not be accommodated in the usual cycle of meetings and that these meetings were not expected to last more than one hour.

1223 Accounts:

i)  Bank balances:
Parish Council Current Account was £7,002.49 as at 30th May 2014 (+£281 VAT Claim and £201 rents and wayleaves subsequently received = £7,484.49)
Thornhillhead Moor Account was £8,016.03 as at 19th May 2014 (+ £8,029.17 stewardship fee & £4,436.61 6-monthly payment & £1729.60 VAT Claim subsequently received = £22,211.41)

ii)  Payments due (£7,619.33)
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £342.53
Robert Hicks & Co, Cattle Signs – £46.80 + VAT
Tom’s Fencing, scrub clearance – £3,600.00
R A Metherell, scrub clearance – £3,600.00 + VAT
M F Garden Services, grass cutting – £30.00

iii) Receipts since last meeting (£14,677.38):
Rural Payments Agency, Thornhillhead Moor Stewardship- £12,465.78
VAT claim: £2,010.60 (£1,729.60 to be transferred to THM account)
Wayleaves and allotment rents – £201.00  (Andrew Hewitt asked the clerk to email him details of the wayleaves received as he believed that others might also be due.)

(iv) Annual Accounts and Audits: The Clerk reported that the annual return had been completed and submitted to the external auditor by the due date of 9th June 2014. An income and expenditure statement for 2013/14 was distributed for members’ information.

Date of Next Meeting:  Wednesday 9th July 2014 (School Hall)(8:00pm)

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 10:10pm.

Parish Council minutes 28 May 2014

Buckland Brewer Parish Council draft minutes, Wednesday 28 May 2014

Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr David Lloyd, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance 17 members of the public, and Cllr Philip Collins, Leader, Torridge District Council
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1197 Apologies for Absence None
1198 Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting on 14th May 2014: The minutes of the meetings held on 14th May 2014 were confirmed and signed.
1199 Declarations of Interest Barbara Babb and Trevor Mills in relation to item 1203(a)(i), Horras Farm planning application
1200 Public Participation None
1201 DCC: Flood Risk Management – Sandbags: DCC wished to add the Council’s policy on sandbags to a central database. Although the Council has an emergency plan it does not specify any procedures for obtaining sandbags. Cllr Collins advised that aqua bags might be available from TDC.
1202 TDC: Licencing Policy for Sex Establishments – Consultation: A questionnaire and a link to the revised policy had been distributed to members. It was agreed to make no submission.
1203 Planning
a) Applications:
(i) 1/0386/2014/FUL – Horras Farm, Retrospective change of use of agricultural building to car repair workshop – It was proposed by Kate Slocombe, seconded by David Lloyd and agreed to support the application
(ii) 1/0503/2014/FUL – Cross View, Removal of agricultural occupancy conditions – supported unanimously
b) Decisions:
(iii) 1/0240/2014/FUL – Mambury House, Erection of a double garage, wood store and wood boiler room. – Granted permission – Noted
Members noted the report submitted by WildWestNet to the Annual Parish meeting and re-iterated its support for the scheme. David Watson is to liaise with the Parochial Church Council to progress the scheme.
Date of Next Meeting: Friday 20th June 2014 (Parish Council Meeting deferred from 11th June 2014)(School Hall)(8:00pm) There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:40 pm

Parish Council minutes 14 May 2014

Buckland Brewer Parish Council draft minutes, Wednesday 14 May 2014

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

Also in attendance 3 members of the public, PCSO Liz Rendle (part) and Jane Lowe (part)

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1175 Apologies for Absence Cllr. Robin Julian

1176 Election of Officers: (i) Chair: Jim Lowe was proposed by David Lloyd, seconded by Barbara Babb and was unanimously re-elected as Chair. (ii) Trevor Mills was proposed by ­Kate Slocombe, seconded by Shirley Tilley and was unanimously re-elected as Vice-Chair.

1177 Election of Sub-Committee Members: (i) Budget Review and Finance Sub-Committee: The following members were re-appointed: Jim Lowe, Andrew Hewitt, David Lloyd, Shirley Tilley and Trevor Mills

(ii) Personnel: The following members were re-appointed: Jim Lowe, Andrew Hewitt and Kate Slocombe

(iii) Support Network: It was agreed that the Support Network Sub-Committee would be disbanded for the present time.

1178 Planning Sub-Committee: It was agreed that, to meet the statutory 21-day consultation deadline for planning applications, an extra meeting of the full Parish Council would be held towards the end of each month, if required.  Jim Lowe is to investigate the availability of the Village Hall. It was agreed that an application that had just been received (and any others received by 22nd May) will be considered by a meeting of the full council immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting on 28th May 2014.

1179 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 9th and 22nd April 2014:  The minutes of the meetings held on 9th and 22nd April were confirmed and signed.

1180 Declarations of Interest Barbara Babb and Kate Slocombe in relation to Item 1152 (i): Field rents.

1181 Public Participation  PCSO Liz Rendle gave a report of police activity for the previous year as she will be unable to attend the Annual Parish Meeting on 28th May 2014. There had been 8 crimes – all thefts and half of those had been from the Hillpark construction site. Liz also reported that a new quarterly newsletter was now being distributed and that the Torrington Neighbourhood Team had recently started a Facebook page.

1150 Clerk’s Report

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

Waterfront Planning: Conference Schedule
Rural Services Network: Rural Opportunities Bulletin
DALC: Chairmanship Courses
Torrington Area Advisory Group: Highways Report
Rural Services Network: Sustainable Tourism Strategies
Torridge and North Devon LEADER funding for 2015
TDC: TAP Fund Scheme 2014/15 (see Item 1186 (ii))
Community Infrastructure Levy Event

Late Items:
Buckland Brewer Village Hall: Hire of Village Hall
Road closure Stowford Cross to Nattimoor Cross
Healthwatch Voices: Issue 4, Spring 2014
Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2014
The Clerk Magazine, May 2014
Mark Group: Free cavity loft insulation posters and flyers
Western Power Distribution: Free Parish Council Pack- Helping to cope during power cuts
DALC Newsletter, May 2014
Torridge DC: First World War – Remembering Our Fallen Heroes (see Item 1187 (ii))
Junkmail: Recycling and composting news
(ii) Date of Next Meeting:   As the clerk will not be able to attend the meeting scheduled for 11 June 2014, it was agreed to postpone that meeting to Friday 20 June 2014.

1183 Football Pitch Club House   Andrew Hewitt reported that the generator recovered from the club house was a saleable item (a 1942 power unit) and that he would try to sell it on Ebay. Jim Lowe explained that the Council had already agreed that club house should be demolished as soon as practicably possible but that no funds were available at the moment. No contributions had, as yet, been offered by Councillors Hicks or Julian. It was agreed that Jim Lowe would enquire about the cost of safety fencing as a temporary measure.

1184 Parish Council Fields and Allotments:

(i) Fields: (i) Trevor had met with Richard Mills about the potential lease of Hymns Peace. Richard would like to alter the water course and the dump needs to be levelled. Richard has offered to keep the hedges trimmed. No decision was made. (ii) The single farm subsidy that the Parish receives for the football pitch will cease from 2015 because the rules have changed and it will be payable only on plots of 5 hectares or more. The Parish’s entitlement is for a plot of 1.13 hectares. The Council’s land agent had advised that the entitlement should be sold in the Spring of 2015 and suggests that it should attract a value equivalent to about one year’s subsidy. It was agreed to instruct the land agent to pursue sale of the entitlement.

(ii) Allotments: Trevor Mills reported that Matt Fry has offered to spray, rotovate and remove the rubbish from plots 13, 14 and 15 at a cost of £150. It was agreed to accept his offer subject to a written estimate. Following a general discussion it was agreed that the allotment agreements need to be reviewed to protect the Council against future circumstances that leave the Council with unexpected maintenance costs. Item to be added to next agenda.

1185 Thornhillhead Moor:   No signs have yet been erected. Clerk to ask Claire McIntosh for update.

1186 TAP Fund Project:   (i) Progress Report: David Lloyd and Jim Lowe had met with Ray Hoyle. There was some disagreement over the nature of works required in Back Lane and it was agreed that Andrew Hewitt and Trevor Mills would also meet with Ray. It was also agreed that works should be done on Northwood Lane first.

(ii) 2014/15 Scheme: The Clerk explained that the TAP Fund Scheme has been extended for a further year. Roll-overs of any unclaimed grants will not be permitted after the current year. Members were asked to consider suitable schemes for the current year’s grant, which would amount to £718.00. It was agreed to ask Langtree if they wished to enter another joint claim.

1187 War Memorial: (i) Grant Application   An application has been prepared but the clerk is awaiting some responses from other parties before it can be submitted. Deadline is 30th May 2014.

(ii) Proposed Torridge Memorial: David Watson will provide the Clerk with a list of the names appropriate to Buckland Brewer of those who died in the First World War for the memorial being planned by Torridge District Council.

1188 Village Library: The PCC is very keen to pursue the proposal. Shelves are available from a contact of Shirley Tilley’s, Andrew Hewitt and Kate Slocombe. Shirley Tilley is to organise a date for a viewing of the room.

1189 Torrington Hospital: The next meeting of the review group is 29th May 2014.

1190 Lengthsman Service/Drain Clearing/Pothole Survey:(i) The Clerk is to supply a covering letter to Parkham Parish Council to accompany the report prepared by Andrew Hewitt and David Lloyd and a subsequent letter of report received from Dr. Layton.

1191 New Village Hall/ Hillpark Development Update: Jane Lowe presented a report on the progress of the new village hall scheme. The key points of the report were:

Difficulties in submitting a lottery grant application
Creation of a Finance sub-Committee that has identified a lack of reserves and a shortfall of income required to cover existing running costs
The requirement to obtain Hallmark status
An offer from Pearce Construction to provide S106 monies ‘in kind’ by undertaking the building works which would require a Deed of Variation to the S106 Agreement
1192 Community Defibrillator: It was agreed that the Council should approach The Bridge Trust and the Health Lottery. The Clerk will explore these options.

1193Devon County Council’s Library Service and Children’s Centres Reviews: No comment.

1194 Members’ Reports

Barbara Babb said that she had received more complaints about potholes.

Andrew Hewitt reported that the Highways representative had not turned up at the last meeting of the Torrington Area Advisory Group so he had not received a response to his questions.

George Heywood reported that a ‘pit-bull type’ dog had attacked some of his sheep. He had reported it to police. He also pointed out that dog faeces can infect sheep and humans and they need to be regularly wormed.

Jim Lowe had received a letter from Mr Paul Dennis about the possibility of purchasing the corner of Fred’s field, which is due to be transferred to the Parish Council. Jim will tell Mr Dennis that no action can be taken until the Council owns the land. Jim also needed more question for Cllr Collins for the Annual Parish Meeting.

Shirley Tilley (i) suggested that the Hopper Bus scheme could be extended as far as Parkham, Bradworthy and Woolsery on a Saturday. The Clerk will write to the parishes to gauge their reaction. (ii) Shirley also reported the smell of sewage at Cornborough. The Clerk will write to South West Water.

1195 Planning

a) Decisions:

(i) DCC/3618/2014 – North Hele: Demolition of circular slurry store and replacement with below ground slurry store etc. – Granted permission

(ii) DCC/3647/2014 – Buckland Brewer CP School, Retention of one existing modular classroom for a further 15 years – Granted Permission

b) Reviews:

(iii) 1/0589/2013/FUL Former Shop and Post Office. The Clerk had been informed that notice of the review should have been sent by post but it had not been received.

1196 Accounts:

i) Bank balances:

Parish Council Current Account was £7,544.58 as at 30th April 2014
Thornhillhead Moor Account was £8,016.03 as at 31st March 2014
ii) Payments due (£839.66)

Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £232.67
Insurance annual premium: £189.57
Village Hall, hall hire – £7.00
TTVS Annual Subscription – £10.00
South and West Internal Audit – £325.00
J Lowe, poppy beds – £25.42
R Dorsett, repairs to notice boards – £50.00
iii)                  Receipts since last meeting (£3.154.00):

Grass cutting football pitch- £75.00
Allotment rents: £69.00
Precept, first instalment 2014/15 – £3,000
D Blight, Allotment rent – £10.00
(iv)         Annual Accounts and Audits: The Clerk reported that the annual internal has been completed and the annual return for the external audit will be submitted by 9June.

Dates of Next Meetings:

Wednesday 28th May 2014 (Annual Parish Meeting) (Village Hall) (8:00pm)

Friday 20th June 2014 (Parish Council Meeting, deferred from 11th June 2014, School Hall, 8:00pm)

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 10:15 pm

Appendix 1

Report by Jane Lowe to Buckland Brewer Parish Council, 14th May 2014

Community Hall Development: Progress Update

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?

Parish Council minutes 22 April 2014

Draft minutes of the Buckland Brewer Parish Council meeting Wednesday 22 April 2014

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

Also in attendance : 1 member of the public

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1168 Apologies for Absence: Kate Slocombe, David Watson and Cllr. Robin Julian.

1169 Minutes of the Meeting of 9th April 2014: Some members had not been able to open the email with the minutes of last meeting attached so this item was deferred to the next meeting.

1170 Declarations of Interest: None

1171 Public Participation: None

1172 To review the options for the future of the sports pavilion: Jim Lowe presented his report on the options available for the future of the sports pavilion. (see Appendix 1) Each option was discussed. It was agreed that selling land to pay for any works was “not an option”. Due to the poor state of the building it was agreed that it should be taken down rather than ‘made good’ or refurbished. The water supply was discussed and it was agreed that Jim Lowe would talk to John Adams about it. George Heywood felt that the water supply might be useful for the allotment holders if it were possible to use it. The building had been erected by the Football Club many years ago. Barbara Babb and Shirley Tilley felt that the Football Club should be asked to pay to have the building taken down. The lease had only covered the land. No action had been taken to insist on the removal of the building and it was generally believed that it was now too late to do so. The Clerk pointed out that the Parish Council has a duty of care. The building contains asbestos and is in a dilapidated state. A quote had been received to carry out an asbestos safety survey at a cost of £280.00 but it was agreed that this would be unnecessary if the building was going to be dismantled anyway. Two quotes had been received for removing the building, neither of which relied on having a safety check done first. The cheapest quote was for £2,420 + VAT. The Parish Council’s general reserve, topped up with the £1,000 recently received from Arqiva, would just cover this cost but would leave the Council with no funds in reserve. It was agreed that a limit of £500 could be allocated from the reserves towards demolishing the building. The remainder of the reserves must be held back as there may be further unseen costs that may have to be covered within the 2014-15 financial year. It was agreed that the building should be demolished as soon as practicably possible but that further potential sources of funds to help towards the cost should be sought first. The Clerk will contact Councillors Julian and Hicks. Jim Lowe will contact John Adams to find out if there are any Football Club funds available to make a contribution.

1173 Members’ Reports

Jim Lowe: (i) As the TAP Fund grant has now been received Jim suggested that the Council should discuss the works to be done to Back Lane etc. with Ray Hoyle. Jim Lowe, David Lloyd and Trevor Mills will meet with Ray to progress the works. (ii) Hopper Bus: Jim explained the details of a scheme whereby a bus could be hired to the Council, which would provide a suitably qualified driver. A PSV licence is not required but the driver would have to pass a DCC test. Jim is to continue with his research. (iii) Annual Parish Meeting: Jim reiterated that questions were needed for the speaker by no later than 19th May. (iv) Highways: The Clerk reported that the Highways representative who had been expected to attend the last Torrington Area Advisory Group had not turned up so Andrew Hewitt would not have been able to put his questions. The Clerk had received confirmation that Parkham Parish Council were happy to make a joint approach to Highways about the problem of potholes, especially along the road linking the two villages and the Clerk will draft a suitable letter. (v) Hymns Piece: Jim reminded members that a meeting needed to be arranged to discuss Hymns Piece.

1174 Planning

a) Applications:

(i) 1/0240/2014/FUL – Mambury House, erection of double garage, wood store and wood boiler room (target date 29th April 2014) Members supported the application and were pleased to see the inclusion of solar panels.

(ii) 1/0302/2014/OUT – Land adjacent to Ross House, proposed detached two storey dwelling and integral garage. (target date 29th April 2014) Members discussed the application at some length. Although there were no objections to the construction proposed it was noted that the site was outside the settlement boundary that had been proposed by Buckland Brewer Parish Council and which was to be included in the new Local Plan which had now been endorsed by Torridge District Council. The TDC Strategic Planning office had advised Jim Lowe that developers were at liberty to apply for planning permission wherever they chose. It was agreed to oppose the application on the grounds that it falls outside the proposed settlement boundary.

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

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

b) Weekly Lists of Planning Applications: The Clerk explained that Torridge Planning were no longer sending weekly schedules of planning applications for each parish showing applications received in the parish and any of its neighbours. Instead, they were issuing a weekly list of all applications in the District and each parish would need to pull out or highlight those that it was interested in. Options for raising a search on the website, in order to receive a notification of any applications containing the words ‘Buckland Brewer’ (or any other selection requested), were discussed, but this was deemed unnecessary as the Clerk would still be notified of any consultation requests and the Council had a policy of not commenting on applications in other parishes.

Dates of Next Meetings:

14th May 2014 (Annual Meeting of the Council) (8:00pm) (School Hall)

28th May 2014 (Annual Parish Meeting) (Village Hall) (8:00pm)

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:10 pm

Parish Council minutes 9 April 2014

Draft minutes of the Buckland Brewer Parish Council meeting Wednesday 9 April 2014

Held at Buckland Brewer County School

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

Also in attendance 6 members of the public, Claire McIntosh (Hicks & Co.), Tim Newman (WildWestNet) and Cllr. Robin Julian (DCC)

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1145 Apologies for Absence None

1146 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 12th and the Support Network Sub-Committee on 17th March 2014 The minutes of the parish council meeting held on 12th March 2014 and the Support Network Sub-Committee held on Monday 17th March 2014 were confirmed and signed subject to correcting item 1139(d) to Miss Nicholls instead of Mrs Nicholls.

1147 Declarations of Interest Kate Slocombe re item 1151 (ii) Football Pitch, Grass Cutting and item 1152 Field Rents.

1148 Public Participation Maggie Melville spoke to oppose the application for a wind turbine at Braddons Park on the grounds that it would affect property values and could makes homes unsaleable. She was disappointed that many parishioners had not been invited to the consultation offered by the applicant and asked the Parish Council to oppose the scheme.

1149 WildWestNet: Broadband Supply Tim Newman gave an overview of the service provided by his company, WildWestNet, which provides satellite broadband to rural areas that cannot take advantage of fibre-optic cabling. The company taps into the internet supply and broadcasts from the top of the Civic Centre building in Barnstaple. A receiver has already been installed at Orleigh Lodge and is used as far away as Woolsery and Bittenden – a distance of more than 20 miles. Distance is not necessarily an issue but a clear line of sight is essential. No planning permission is required for a receiver (about the size of a housebrick). A dish can also be supplied to provide the service for a group of properties (up to about 20). A high spot could be needed for a booster and the church tower was suggested as the most suitable position. Tim has already spoken to the Dioceses Office who is very keen on the idea. 80% of users use their receivers to bounce the signal on to other users. The cost is £100 to install plus £25 per month. There is no minimum contract period and the equipment cost would be refunded if cancelled within the first month. Free broadband could be supplied for village halls on a casual use basis only (limited hours). There is no requirement for a minimum number of users in the village. Increasing the number of users should have no impact on speeds as the company currently has the option to buy extra capacity whenever it needs it. Speeds of 15-20 mbps can be expected. Jim Lower recommended that the company sets up a demonstration in the village hall at the Annual Parish Meeting on 28th May 2014. The Clerk is to send Tim a copy of the settlement plan which would demonstrate the village’s plans for development over the next 30 years.

1150 Clerk’s Report

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

• Marretta Corliss: Proposed building of 550 new houses Junction of Littleham road and Clovelly road The Clerk is to write to the Planning Department asking for guidance should the issue of complaints from people who move into the area about existing farming and other businesses become an issue in Buckland Brewer.

• SLCC: Newsletter March 2013 (Repeal of two signatories rule and new Transparency Code)

• Turbine application in Peters Marland The Clerk had already informed the correspondent about Buckland Brewer’s policy of not commenting about turbine developments in other Parishes

• The Big List: Big Issue subscription request – declined

• RSN Online: Rural Vulnerability Service, Broadband 2014

• Rural Services Network newsletter March 2014

• DALC Newsletter: April 2014

• TTVS: Snippets Issue 60 – [Annual subscription due]

Late items:

• Police Commissioner’s Surgery, Bude, 16th April

• Kate Little, Torridge Planning – the Planning Department will no longer permit extensions for comments on planning applications. The Chairman called a special meeting for 22nd April 2014 (8:00pm in the Village Hall) to discuss the application that had already come in too late to be discussed at today’s meeting but which must be responded to by 29th April, and any others that might arrive in the meantime.

(ii) TTVS Subscription: The Clerk explained that TTVS now require a £10 annual subscription. It was agreed that the Parish Council would subscribe.

(iii) Audit & Accounts Training – Truro: The Clerk asked for permission to attend a training course being organized by the Cornwall Association of Local Councils at a cost of £30 + VAT, subject to spaces being available. Permission was granted.

1151 Football Pitch

i) Club House: Andrew Hewitt has removed 2 white-lining machines, a gas stove and a generator from the site. Jim Lowe had distributed a report of the options available for the repair, replacement or demolition of the club house. It was agreed to defer the discussion to the special meeting on 22nd April 2014, when there would be more time to give the report proper consideration.

ii) Grass cutting: The Clerk reported that there had been 2 bids for grass cutting of the football pitch. The higher bid had been received from Eric Tucker and the Council agreed unanimously to accept his offer of £200 per year.

1152 Parish Council Fields and Allotments:

(i) Rents: The clerk had written to Peter Bromell setting out the proposed rent increase for Job’s Field to take place with effect from 1st June 2015. Mr Bromell had been asked let the Council know if he wishes to object to the increase by 3rd May 2014. Once the final rent figures have been agreed with Mr Bromell, Mr Babb and Mr Nicholls, Hicks & Co. will be asked to revise their agreements.

(ii) Allotments: Mrs Catherine Fry had asked to take over vacant plot 2. She already has plot 3. Normally allotments are limited to one per household but as there had been no other applicants and there are a number of empty allotments it had been agreed, in consultation with the Chairman, to permit Mrs Fry to take a second plot. Letters have been sent asking for the annual rent, which increased to £10 (£6 per half plot) from 1st April 2014. It was agreed that plots 13, 14 and 15 need clearing. Jim Lowe to advertise in Village Scene.

1153 Thornhillhead Communications Mast: A letter had been received from Arqiva enclosing a cheque for £1,000.

1154 Thornhillhead Moor:

(i) A presentation was given by Claire McIntosh. Cutting had finished and a claim will be submitted to RPA. All the fencing is nearly complete. There has been a lot of fly-tipping which needs to be cleared. Grazing starts on 1st May 2014 and Claire will organize a Graziers Meeting. The recent swaling was disappointing as Devon Wildlife Trust could not supply volunteers because their insurance did not cover them for it. Although it had not been done this year it will be possible to catch up with it next year. Getting agreement to suitably worded signs had been difficult but it 7 innocuous signs saying “Cattle Graze This Common” will be erected. It was recommended that about £4,000 should be retained in the Thornehillhead Moor account as a reserve and that about £4,000 should be shared between the graziers.

(ii) Invoice from Hicks & Co. The Clerk had suggested that it could be financially advantageous (in respect of the audit fee) to pay the invoice that had been received from Hicks & Co. before the end of the financial year. Councillors had been contacted by telephone and email prior to the meeting and had agreed unanimously to this suggestion.

1155 Summer Bus Service: Parkham Parish Council had confirmed that they wished to join in the scheme this year. Jim Lowe had made the necessary arrangements and the bus will run every Friday from 11th July to 29th August.

1156 Pannier Market Hopper Bus Jim Lowe had made further enquiries about the possibility of a hopper bus and now needs to talk to the Prince’s Countryside Fund and to other local parish councils. The hope is to establish a service to run once a week to and from the Bideford Pannier Market.

1157 Best Kept Village Competition: A map was supplied by Kate Slocombe both as a hardcopy and on a CD. This can now be passed on to the organizing committee. There are 3 flower boxes in the village which need replanting. David Lloyd is to do one and Jim Lowe the other two.

1158 TAP Fund Application/Village Green Confirmation had been received that the TAP Fund application had been successful and payment had already been received. Council approved payment of the elements of grant due to Langtree Parish Council (£1,456), Peters Marland Parish Council (£168) and Frithelstock Parish Council (£333). A bill had been received from Ernest Martin for £75 for maintenance of the village green and it was agreed that this expense would be applied to the TAP Fund project. Jim Lowe is to develop a plan for the refurbishment of the footpaths in the village.

1159 War Memorial: Grant Application The Clerk is awaiting written confirmation from the Royal British Legion and Cllr. Robin Julian that they approve of the grant application. He is also required to contact the Conservation Officer and/or the DCC Historic Environment team.

1160 Village Library: The PCC had responded favourably to siting a small village library in the back room of the church and had suggested that it should be made available to parishioners on Fridays to coincide with the coffee mornings? The Clerk is to discuss arrangements with Betty Walters.

1161 Torrington Hospital: Andrew Hewitt reported that the review panel were awaiting the results of today’s referendum organised by Torrington Town Council.

1162 Lengthsman Service/Drain Clearing/Pothole Survey: Andrew Hewitt and David Lloyd had carried out a pothole survey on 1st April 2014 and Andrew presented a written report (see Appendix 1). He also stated that he had tabled questions to be addressed at the next Torrington Area Advisory Group meeting on 15th April 2014. It was agreed that a joint approach with Parkham might be more effective as it was the road between the two villages that required most attention. The Clerk is to write to them.

1163 New Development Update: An update on the progress of work on the new development had been received from the Contract Manager, Paul Knox:

• We have 20 of the 40 homes in production and have reservations on 12 of these.

• The necessary infrastructure (roads drainage and services) is in to facilitate occupation of these 20 homes

• First occupations on the site will be occurring at the end of this month (April)

• We anticipate allowing the school to re-occupy the open space behind the school after Easter via a casual arrangement between us and the school and there will be ongoing dialogue with the school if that position needs to change for safety reasons.

• We will be facilitating a visit to the site for up to 60 school children from Buckland Brewer and Parkham schools on the 6th May and Pearce are sponsoring some design competitions that the children will undertake after the visit for prizes

• The second phase of 20 homes will start this spring and we hope that we may be able to make a start on the village hall subject to negotiations.

1164 Community Defibrillator: The Clerk presented a report on the Community Heartbeat scheme, which he recommended as offering the safest and best supported arrangement for a community defibrillator. The equipment would be registered with the local ambulance service and it would be guaranteed that they could support the equipment supplied. The scheme would cost over £2,500, of which £500 would be met by a grant from the Community Heartbeat Fund. In addition, it would be the responsibility of the Parish Council to meet the cost of installing the electricity supply and meeting electricity charges and the cost of consumables. Members supported the principal of the scheme and expressed a preference for the equipment to be sited in the centre of the village. It would be necessary to consider how the funds could be raised. Members agreed to continue to discuss the project.

1165 Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt reported that consultation about library services was available on the DCC Tough Choices website. Cllr Robin Julian explained that there had been a County Council meeting today, that there were no plans to close any libraries at present and that he would oppose any such proposals. David Watson suggested that similar consultation on Youth Services had been ignored and that proposed cuts were already decided. Robin Julian regarded these as essential services and did not want to see any shut down. He was keen on one-to-one contact within the community and had been fighting for services to be retained and had “ruffled a few feathers”. Andrew Hewitt asked members to respond on the Tough Choices website. Jim Lowe said that he thought the rural bus services would be the next services to be cut. Robin Julian said that the County should be fighting harder to keep revenues coming in rather than cutting more services.

David Lloyd said that he had experienced problems with email. Other members had also been unable to open some attachments sent by the Clerk. The Clerk said that he would investigate alternative email systems.

Jim Lowe (i) asked for 4 questions to be put to Cllr Phil Collins when he attends the Annual Parish Meeting. First on the list will be the question of being given only 21 days to respond to planning application consultation requests. Three further questions are needed. (ii) Jim asked whether members wished to move the stones from the village green. It was agreed to leave them where they were for the time being. (iii) Jim has a dozen saplings for planting in public places.

Trevor Mills (i) informed members that the planning application for the Old Post Office, which had been refused, had gone to appeal but the Parish Council had not been informed. The Clerk will write to Torridge D C asking for an explanation. (ii) Trevor stated that Richard Mills would like to take on Hymns Piece. Richard had submitted an unsuccessful bid in December 2012 when the plot had been leased to Joe Wolfe. Trevor will organize a meeting on site with Richard to discuss what he proposes to do with the land.

Kate Slocombe had reported a faulty light but had been told that it could not be done because the sub-contractor would only visit if there were two or more lights not working. It was reported that Western Power has sub-contracted repair works to Southern Electric and the new arrangements showed a noticeable deterioration in the level of service. Jim Lowe said that he would report the fault again.

Shirley Tilley reported that the bungalows at 3, 4 and 5 Gorwood Road were experiencing problems with deliveries and needed a suitable sign. It was agreed that this was necessary but that it would be the responsibility of the residents.

1166 Planning

a) Applications:

(i) 1/0128/2014/FUL – Erection of a wind turbine, measuring 34.6m to tip with associated infrastructure, Braddons Park, Buckland Brewer, Devon. Members discussed the application at some length. George Heywood wished to support the application on the grounds that one of the residents living less than 600 metres from the turbine had no objection. Three other members stated that the Council had adopted a policy not to support any turbines within 600 metres of habitable dwellings and that there were two such properties affected, albeit that one was thought to be a holiday cottage. A vote was taken and it was agreed by 8 votes to 1 to oppose the application.

ii) Devon County Council Planning Application at Buckland Brewer CP School – Retention of one existing modular classroom for a further 15 years: Supported unanimously.

(iii) 1/02450/2014/FUL – Mambury House, erection of double garage, wood store and wood boiler room had been received too late to be added to the agenda for today’s meeting. Decision deferred to a special meeting to be held on 22nd April 2014.

b) Decisions:

(iv) 1/0133/2014/FUL – Removal of condition to allow the change of use of the existing garage in to a kitchen, The Jays, 1 Gorwood Road – Granted Permission

(v) 1/1151/2013/FUL – Erection of a single storey conservatory extension, change to the rear elevation of dwelling with fitting of a new glazed bi-fold door, Beeches Farm – Granted Permission

(vi) 1/0654/2013/FUL – Installation and operation of a single 250kW wind turbine Land At Langtreemoor Lane, Fore Street, Langtree – Refused

(vii) 1/0801/2013/FUL – Proposed siting of 1 x 24.8m high (hub) wind turbine with a tip height of 34.5m, Land at Tuttsclump Farm, Parkham – Refused

1167 Accounts

i) Bank balances:

• Parish Council Current Account was £4,924.23 as at 31st March 2014

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

ii) Payments due (£10,950.15 + VAT)

• Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £183.06

• Hicks & Co. (Cheque dated 28th March 2014 – £8,500 + VAT

• Ernest Martin, Village Green maintenance – £75.00

• Langtree Parish Council (TAP Fund Grant) – £1,456.00

• Peters Marland Parish Council (TAP Fund Grant) – £168.00

• Frithelstock Parish Council (TAP Fund Grant) – £333.00

• Flying Start Federation (Hall hire) – £50.00

• DALC (Annual membership) – £175.09

iii) Receipts since last meeting (£1,812.00):

• Field Rents: £770.00

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

• Allotment rent: £12.00

• Arqiva – £1,000.00

(iv) Audits: The Clerk reported that the annual internal and external audits were due and notices would be posted in due course

Dates of Next Meetings:

22nd April 2014: (Special Parish Council Meeting; 8:00pm; Village Hall)

14th May 2014 (Annual Meeting of the Council; 8:00pm; School Hall)

28th May 2014 (Annual Parish Meeting; Village Hall; 8:00pm)

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 10:05 pm

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

Appendix 1

Potholes in Buckland Brewer

On Tuesday 1st April Councillors Hewitt and Lloyd drove around the parish to try to ascertain the extent of the pothole problem in Buckland. This is a very regular subject at Parish Council meetings where there is a strong feeling the DCC is not even trying to maintain the roads in a serviceable condition.

Basing the route for the tour of inspection on the number of references to the road at Parish Council meetings the councillors drove first along Barton Road. This is the shortest route between Parkham and Buckland and is heavily used by the staff of both schools, which are federated, necessitating much travel between the two by both staff and pupils. The Parkham end of Barton Road at Bableigh Barton Farm, right up to the Bradworthy/ Holsworthy road junction, is almost completely covered in potholes, and the edges of the road are breaking up. Also, some of the holes are quite small currently, but if left, they will increase in both area and depth. Heading back to the village, the edges of Barton Road are badly damaged. Being a narrow road, with unsupported edges creates situations where heavy vehicles, e.g. tractors, are forced out on to the edges so that they collapse under the loads for which they were not designed. Where the lane that leads to Twitchen and Brendon joins the Parkham end of Barton Road, the nearside of the road is virtually all potholes. Some repairs have been carried out in that area. There is a properly formed concrete gulley which is currently full and breaking up past Bableigh Barton for about half a mile. There is a passing place in this area that is so damaged as to be a hazard. In the area close to the unmade-up lane that leads to West Stone the road is effectively reduced to about two metres wide. Upon inspection one is left with the inescapable conclusion that attempting to repair potholes along this road is not feasible. What is required is complete resurfacing with a properly supported surface that would endure that type of use to which it is subjected. How this could be financed is not immediately obvious.

Councillors Andrew Hewitt & David Lloyd, Buckland Brewer Parish Council, 1st April 2014

Parish Council minutes 12 March 2014

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

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

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

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

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

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

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

1121 Public Participation None

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

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

1124 Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Easy Read Scheme – flyer and poster

• British Lichen Society Apprenticeship

• Village Green – Issue 135, Spring 2014

• DALC Newsletter, March 2014

• Emergency Management Flyer

• Healthwatch Voices: Issue 3

• Clerks and Councils Direct: March 2014

 1125 Football Pitch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1138 Members’ Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1139 Planning

a. Applications:

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

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

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

b. Decisions:

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

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

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

• all in-fill sites have been included

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

• reconsidering the limitation of the number of industrial units

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

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

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

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

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

1140 Accounts

i) Bank balances:

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

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

ii) Payments due (£1187.23)

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

• Buckland Brewer Village Hall – £1,000

iii) Receipts since last meeting (£80.00):

• Archery licence: £50.00

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

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

Dates of Next Meetings:

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

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

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

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

 

Parish council minutes 12 February 2014

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

Draft minutes

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

Also in attendance 1 member of the public

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1095 Apologies for Absence Cllr Bob Hicks, Alison Boyle

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

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

1098 Public Participation None

1099 Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

o Letter of thanks from CAB for grant payment

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

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

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

o DCC: Devon Mobile Library Service – new timetables

o Linking Life in the Torridge – Parish Survey

o Jane Lowe: New Hall Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr B Chapple

Mr F Babb

Mr P Bromell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1111 School Bus to Torrington Nothing to report

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

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

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

1115 Members’ Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

1116 Planning

Applications:

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

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

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

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

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

1117 Accounts

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

ii) Bank balances:

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

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

iii) Payments due (£615.78 + VAT):

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

• Buckland Brewer Village Hall: £7.00

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

• Summer Bus Service: £102.45

iv) Receipts since last meeting (£40.00):

• Field rents: £40.00

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

Dates of Next Meetings:

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

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

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

Parish council minutes 8 January 2014

Meeting of Buckland Brewer Parish Council Held on Wednesday 8 January 2014 at 7:30pm at Buckland Brewer School

Draft minutes

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

Also in attendance 6 members of the public including Claire McIntosh of Hicks & Co. and Cllr Robin Julian (DCC)

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

1072 Apologies for Absence Cllr Bob Hicks, Alison Boyle

1073 Minutes of the Meeting of 11th December 2013 The minutes of the meeting held on 11th December 2013 were confirmed and signed.

1074 Declarations of Interest None.

1075 Public Participation None

1076 Clerk’s Report

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

o Clerks & Councils Direct: January 2014

o Torridge Household Waste & Recycling Guide – updated – distributed by email 8/1/14

o DCC: Public Transport Consultation It was agreed that Jim Lowe would respond on behalf of the Parish Council

o DCC: Adult Social Services Accommodation Strategy – members to submit their own responses

o ‘Be Prepared’ Newsletter – distributed by email 8/1/14

o Best Kept Village and Pam Parker Maps Competitions – It was agreed that the an application would be submitted

o Changes to the Mobile Library Service – noted. Jim Lowe reported that there would still be1 library van per month

o Renewable Energy Planning Masterclass – distributed by email 8/1/14

o TTVS: Snippets Issue 48 (inc. Police Small Grant Scheme)

o Schedules of Planning Applications

ii. Insurance – A response had been received from Community First regarding Public Liability cover. “The Property Owners Liability is covered automatically under the PL. We consider the ownership of land to be an expected activity of a PC so where the PC are held to be legally liable the policy would pick it up.”

iii. Website – work completed, invoice received for £50.00 – payment approved

1077 Budget Review/Setting 2014/15 Precept Following a discussion about the proposed budget and the need to provide sufficient funds to meet the costs of snow clearing, increased hours for the clerk and a reserve to meet the costs of the elections in 2015/16, it was proposed by David Lloyd, seconded by Barbara Babb and agreed unanimously to approve the budget and set a precept of £6,000 (including the amount of the support grant element).

1078 February Meeting, Budget Review and Finance Committee The clerk had received a comprehensive valuation report from Robert H Hicks & Co. which will be presented to the Budget Review and Finance Sub-Committee when it meets on 5th February 2014.

1079 Renting of Football Pitch There was no objection from any of the parish councillors to the licence that had been distributed by email and it was agreed that the clerk should complete the agreement with June Gaydon as soon as practicably possible. No response has been received from Maurice Knuckey about the keys to the pavilion. Jim Lowe to contact Roger Vanstone and John Adams.

1080 Thornhillhead Communications Mast No response had yet been received from Geoffrey Cox, MP.

1081 Thornhillhead Moor

Claire McIntosh reported that she had met with Lin Holt as there are a number of unforeseen side effects of the management of the moor which affect her and her property. Of all the local residents she has been the most affected. Although they are graziers, they do not have cattle grazing rights and therefore do not stand to benefit from the agreement in any way. Cattle gather by her gate and she sometimes cannot get her pony and trap out. Her chimney pot has been blown off and her solar panels damaged, which she thinks is as a result of the recent cutting, and the subsequent loss of some of their shelter. As there is quite a sum in the account for the moor now, Claire thought it would be a good gesture to offer to buy them a few young trees to plant into their bank. This was agreed and Jim Lowe offered to supply 6 from those that have been donated to the parish.

Scrub clearance was done in December for which payment needs to be arranged. Mark has started the clearing for the additional fencing and this ready to go. Swaling needs to be arranged.

Claire stated that Hicks & Co.’s management fee needs to be charged and, once the fencing works are complete, a meeting should be arranged to discuss the accounts and the distribution of the graziers surplus. Following this, a graziers meeting is needed for next grazing season.

George Heywood pointed out that there were still no signs about the presence of cattle. Claire said that she had asked for quotes and was researching the appropriate wording to safeguard the Council against litigation.

1082 Summer Bus Service Jim Lowe is to chase a bill for this year’s service.

1083 Tower Hill Roger Walter has lost his guttering again as there is not room for 2 cars to pass by his property. Jim Lowe suggested a priority system and will progress the issue with DCC Highways.

1084 Torrington Hospital In the absence of Andrew Hewitt there was nothing to report.

1085 School Bus To Torrington Jim Lowe had complained to DCC about the route that the bus was taking. However, DCC experts had apparently driven the route and confirmed that it was safe and suitable.

1086 Snow Warden Update George Heywood reported that he had not yet found out about any possible salt deliveries.

1087 Members’ Reports

Kate Slocombe reported that the school had developed good links with the contractors building the new houses and school visits to the site were being arranged.

Jim Lowe i) Pearce are hosting an event to launch the sale of the properties at Hillpark at 10:00am on Saturday 1st February 2014 at Atlantic Village

ii) Jim still has some saplings left for use around the village.

iii) The 2 end allotments are in a mess and might need to be rotovated. Trevor Mills recommended sowing with red clover.

iv) Jim had received a call from Dawn Adams regarding the provision of landing lights for the Devon Air Ambulance helicopter. He felt that the recreation area of the new housing estate might be a suitable site.

v) Jim suggested that the Leader of Torridge Council, Cllr Philip Collins, should be invited as the guest speaker to the Annual Parish Meeting on 28th May 2014. This was agreed unanimously and Jim will contact him.

George Heywood i) had heard an item on the radio saying that lengthsman services should be the same in all counties

ii) George asked Robin Julian about the comment he had made at the last meeting suggesting that, in response to the county’s budget cuts, farmers could be asked to do more, stating that he did not think that they could do more than do already. Cllr Julian did not specify what extra works he expected farmers to do.

David Lloyd Noted that potholes around the village were getting bigger.

Trevor Mills reported that the leaves at Glen Hill had still not been swept.

Shirley Tilley i) warned about a virus known as ‘Ransom’ which locks computers and demands payment of a fee to restore it.

ii) noted that a report of activities was now included in the North Devon Journal and that the information is apparently being taken from Village Scene

iii) asked if Tarka Housing could be invited to attend a future meeting to provide an update on Tucker Park. Clerk to arrange.

Robin Julian (DCC) had emailed officers in DCC Highways about the leaves at Glen Hill, the bridge and other issues reported to him but had received no responses yet. He also stated that he had taken on board George Heywood’s comments.

1088 Planning

(i) North Devon and Torridge Local Plan: Part 3 Engagement There was a discussion about the draft document supplied and a number of errors and omissions were noted. It was agreed that the Chairman and Clerk would liaise and submit a response including:

a. No mention of the 24 property development on the old factory site

b. Seeking clarity on status of Cock Pheasant field

c. Plot 2 excluded from plan/ should be included

d. Plan include provision for infilling but makes no mention of plots 3 and 4

e. One residence is excluded from the boundary

f. It had been agreed to increase size of Plot 5 on advice from Torridge but this was not shown on the map

g. Plot 7 excluded from the plan/ should be included

h. Clarification needed why allotments, playing fields and football pitch not inside boundary

i. Question the criteria for industrial development adjacent to the football pitch

j. Question who designated the conservation area and whether it can be lifted

Applications:

ii) 1/1067/2013/OUT: Wind turbine, Watershute Farm, Horns Cross (Late item) – no comment

Decisions:

iii) 1/1027/2013/FUL: The Cottage, Gorwood Road, remove porch and erect conservatory – Granted Permission – noted

1089 Accounts

Bank balances:

• Parish Council Current Account was £3,489.1 as at 31st December 2013

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

Payments due (£339.43 + VAT):

• Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £119.42

• Peter McClymont – Website redevelopment and maintenance fees: £50.00

• DALC: Clerk’s One-day Course: £120.00 + VAT (£60.00 rechargeable to Frithelstock and Monkleigh Parish Councils)

• Citizens Advice Bureau – £50.00

Receipts since last meeting (£4,695.15):

• Thornhillhead Moor Stewardship Fee: £4,436.59

• Single Farm Payment (Football Pitch): £258.56 (Received in THM account, to be transferred to Council’s General Account)

Dates of Next Meetings:

Wednesday 5th February 2014, Budget Review Sub-Committee at The Chapel – 8:00pm

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

The meeting closed at 9:15 pm

Parish council minutes 11 December 2013

(Draft) MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 11th DECEMBER 2013 AT 7:30PM AT BUCKLAND BREWER SCHOOL

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

Also in attendance 10 members of the public including Jane Lowe (Village Hall Committee) and Cllr Robin Julian (Devon County Council)

Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse

KEY: Actions are shown in bold blue type Decisions are shown in bold red type

1059 Apologies for Absence Barbara Babb, Kate Slocombe and Alison Boyle.

1060 Minutes of the Meetings of 13th November, 19th November (Personnel Sub-committee) and 3rd December 2013 (Budget Review Sub-committee) The minutes of the meeting held on 13th November, 19th November and 3rd December 2013 were confirmed and signed.

1061 Declarations of Interest None.

1062 New Community Hall Jane Lowe gave a presentation about the new Community Hall. Jane provided a transcript of her presentation, which is attached at Appendix 1.

1063 WildWestNet: Broadband Opportunity The representative from WildWestNet did not attend the meeting.

1064 Public Participation Alex Dziurzynski explained that he had submitted an outline planning application for a new property on land off Gorwood Road and hoped that it would meet with the Council’s approval.

1065 Budget Review Sub-committee Report: The Clerk provided a resume of the Budget Review Sub-committee held on 3rd December. A budget paper was distributed and explanations were provided on any significant changes in the proposed budget, including:

• Supplementary Support Grant (not previously in the budget), £50.00cr

• Increased field and allotment rent income, £464.00cr

• A proposed increase in Clerk’s hours to 24 per month following receipt of guidance from NALC and a recommendation of the Personnel sub-committee – an increase of £1,033.00

• Establishment of a training budget, £300.00

• Other administration costs, website maintenance and subscription fees, £233.00

• Contribution to Election Costs Fund, £750.00

• Legal Fees relating to land transferring to the Parish Council, £500.00

• Increased contractors fees for Salt Spreading, £900

• Contribution towards Playing Fields Association regular maintenance costs, £250.00

• Budget reductions for completed projects (Village Hall, PCC cobblestones and Back Lane), £1,650.00cr

The clerk explained that a small part of the budget could be met from reserves. This would leave a balance in reserves of just over £3,000, roughly 52% of net expenditure (excluding precept) and that he would not wish to see reserves any lower than that. The proposed net budget that would fall on the precept amounted to £6,000. No decision was required at this stage as the Council has until 31st January 2014 to submit its precept amount to Torridge Council. It was agreed that members would consider the budget report during the next month and that a final decision would be made at the next meeting.

1066 Personnel Sub-committee Report The Chairman gave an overview of the Personnel Sub-committee held on 19th November which was held solely for the Clerk’s 6-monthly performance review. It was agreed that the clerk’s hours would increase to 24 with effect from 1st April 2014 and that his appointment would be formally confirmed.

1067 Clerk’s Report

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

o Lyn & Chris Layton: Objection to grazing on the football pitch

o BB History Group (Lyn Layton): Thank you for grant

o Alison Boyle: Christmas wishes and congratulations to Andrew Hewitt on his appointment as vice-chairman of the Torridge Area Advisory Group

o Claire McIntosh: Fencing at Thornhillhead Moor: Members agreed to proceed with the fencing as proposed

o Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm: Withdrawal of planning application

o DCC: Devon Local Flood Risk Management Strategy public consultation 27th November – 27th January: Chairman and Clerk to liaise to draft a response

o Citizens Advice Bureau: Application for grant: Members agreed to a grant of £50

o DCC: Devon Waste Plan: Pre-submission Consultation: Jim Lowe to attend

o Torrington Community Cares Oversight Group Meeting: Tuesday 18th November 2013

o Richard Cottrell’s Campaign West

o Peter McClymont: Mock-up of redesigned website: Members were asked to review the site and report any feedback directly to Peter McClymont

o Geoffrey Cox: Christmas card

o Maggie Melville: Email regarding wind turbines

o Torridge Household Waste & Recycling Guide A-Z:

 

II. Allotments Notice had been received on plot 8 (R J Thompson, wef 28/2/14), who plans to leave his shed for the next tenant and on plot 2 (G E Hasler, wef 31/3/14), who might be prepared to manage a half-plot if anyone wishes to share it.

III. Archery The clerk reported that a licence has been drawn up for use of the football pitch for archery. Clerk to distribute copies to members.

IV. Insurance Community First have confirmed in writing that our public liability risks are adequately covered in respect of the use of parish-owned land. A quotation for an increased annual premium of £37.04 for street furniture has been provided.

V. S.137 Spending Limit 2014/15 The government has announced that the limit that a parish council may spend under S.137 powers will be £7.20 per elector for 2014/15 – equivalent to £4,745 per annum.

1068 Thornhillhead Communications Mast A letter has been received from Arqiva suggesting that they were not prepared to increase their offer, Geoffrey Cox, MP has been contacted and has undertaken to take up the matter on the Council’s behalf.

1069 Members’ Reports

Andrew Hewitt reported as a member of the Clinical Commissioning Oversight Group that the beds at Torrington Hospital had now been withdrawn. Only 3 bed places had been provided recently with only one patient, for whist 24/7 nursing cover had been provided.

Andrew also reported that the school bus had been seen going via The Glen. Jim Lowe to call DCC to complain.

Jim Lowe reported that no invoice had yet been received for the Summer Bus service and that he would chase it up.

George Heywood stated his concern that there were no facilities for 8-14 year-olds and asked whether the youth club should be restarted. Jim Lowe pointed out that a basketball hop and volleyball court had been provided. David Watson pointed out the difficulty of finding someone to run it.

George also asked whether it would be economically sensible to ask for a settlement figure on the BT wayleaves. Clerk to investigate.

David Lloyd asked if Pearce Construction could review their traffic movements as their route seemed questionable. Jim Lowe to contact the site manager, Paul Knox.

Trevor Mills reported that leaves on the road at The Glen were causing a problem and the annual sweep was needed. Jim Lowe to contact Highways.

Shirley Tilley asked if the Parish Council would agree to bellringers going round the village on the following Tuesday. There was no objection.

Shirley also asked Robin Julian, the DCC representative, to report on his activities:

Robin Julian (DCC) said that he managed a locality budget of £10,000 and that the parish Council should consider making an application for funds for a suitable scheme. He said that DCC would continue to provide services such as the Lengthsman, but that parishes and farmers were being asked to do more for themselves. Cllr. Julian is a member of the Highways Committee and said that he will always fight for work to be done on potholes and other highways issues but that he need to be told exactly where the issues were located. He was informed about various works that were required.

1070 Planning

(i) Communications with Torridge DC re Settlement Plan (Lower Abbots) Jim Lowe reported on discussions that had taken place with Torridge Planning regarding Lower Abbots. It had been suggested by Torridge that the site proposed in the Settlement Plan was too small for any significant development and that the Parish Council should consider extending the boundary to include the whole of Lower Abbots. Jim Lowe reported that this was acceptable to the landowners. It was proposed by Shirley Tilley, seconded by David Lloyd and carried by 6 votes to 1 that the whole of Lower Abbots should be included in the Settlement Plan.

Applications:

ii) 1/0981/2013/OUT: Land off Gorwood Road, outline application for single dwelling and garage – No objection

iii) 1/0654/2013/FUL: Land at Langtreemoor lane, Langtree – Installation and operation of a single 250kw (hub height of up to 30m and 45m to blade tip) – Affecting a right of way – No comment

iv) 1/1027/2013/FUL: The Cottage, Gorwood Road – Remove porch and erect conservatory – No objection

Decisions:

v) 1/0864/2013/FUL: 15 Southwood Meadows: Proposed extension – Granted Permission

1071 Accounts

Bank balances:

• Parish Council Current Account was £4,295.53 as at 29th November 2013

• Thornhillhead Moor Account £14,029.44 as at 29th November 2013

Payments due (£256.23):

• Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE

Date of Next Meeting:  Wednesday 8th January 2014 at Buckland Brewer School – 7:30pm

The meeting closed at 9:30 pm

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

 

APPENDIX 1

Agenda Item 1062

New Community Hall: Presentation by Jane Lowe 11th December 2013

 

THE LAST 12 MONTHS –

The following information has been shared with the public at AGM and is regarded as a matter of public record.

Last November we hoped to have planning permission for the new development, including our own project, signed off & agreed with Torridge. We knew only when that had happened could we make a beginning.

During November 2012 Village Hall engaged Gates as Employers Agents (in effect they will act as our site project managers and deal with all matters builder) and also as CDM (Care Development Manager), effectively site Health & Safety managers & enforcers, now a legal requirement. This gives us, as trustees, comfort that we have a full & proper professional umbrella which will shield us from personal liabilities connected with site and building contract matters.

Towards the end of last year, we were led to believe that there was a significant amount of matched funding available (£20k + £20k) between TDC & Community Council of Devon, available only to submissions received by 31st January 2013 – a lot of pressure was put on TDC to sign off the planning permission – this proved elusive, with nominal sign off only being agreed in the last week of January. The bid for funding on this occasion was, whilst thorough, not successful mainly because of the enforced rush and inability to prepare, outside our control, but the work put into this will form a significant part of the foundation for future large bids.

The S106 agreement, which (as you are aware) is Village Hall’s quasi guarantee of funding and land upon which to build, was not signed off by TDC until spring 2013. Only at that stage, did Village Hall discover that, for all the proper reasons, we were not direct beneficiaries of the S106 as it was pointed to you, the Parish Council, who are rightly regarded as guardians of matters community. To remind us all, the basic terms of value to Village Hall are that as soon as 20 houses are built, sold and occupied, £325k will be released to the community & a parcel of land will become available for sale at a nominal price. You will also be aware of the correspondence between us and yourselves regarding letters of intent to ensure that as soon as the terms of S106 are complied with, Village Hall will receive the funds, and solicitors for both sides have already been instructed to effect land purchase – Village Hall will cover legal fees for both Parish Council & Village Hall for their specific portion of land, having given various assurances about return of unspent funds, interest charges etc. To affirm, Village Hall regards Parish Council as our partner in this venture.

During July & August, a few fairly complex applications for funds had been made – with only limited success, it has become apparent that funding will only be agreed when we can evidence that the hall is under construction ( a chicken and egg scenario) – we have to accept that in such times, and with much fraud having taken place over recent years, this is a reasonable precaution from funders and we will have to respect these conditions. Also during this time we instructed Gates to go out to tender with full building spec – we have invited builders to quote using local labour where possible. Quotes were a little staggering, ranging from just short of £1M at the top, to £850k at the bottom including a cost to hold to price for one year. Any idea of self-build has been vehemently discouraged by Community Council of Devon (apparently quite common in the 1970s & 80s) and common sense on many levels bears this out in analysis with massive changes in building regulations, Health & Safety Law, and not having the in depth knowledge of builders track records to know who can deliver within the set timescales without placing us at serious financial risk. It is probable that prospective funders would not pay out on self-build either – it is simply no longer considered acceptable practice.

In recent times Village Hall has created a new officer role – Project Liaison Officer – dealing with all matters new village hall, including planning the overall project, applying for funds and interfacing with the professionals e.g. Nigel the architect, & Gates. As I have been doing this “off the side of a desk” for many months, alongside the secretary role, it makes sense to stand aside and concentrate purely on this, which will become increasingly time consuming.

The key challenge for us in the coming months is to make ourselves fit for a Big Lottery funding application. At the end of September I attended (along with Parish Council Chair) a Lottery Funding Masterclass – I believed that at the end of this day I would be “genned up” to know how to fill in successfully a 100 page application and away we would go. THIS PROVED TO BE FAR FROM THE CASE. Many participants of that day simply gave up at the end of it. Lottery representation was there on the day, and made clear they were not interested in time wasters (their words, not mine). The hurdles are immense and average time from start to finish in terms of Lottery is 74 months.

I presented to this Village Hall committee in full at the beginning of October, half expecting people to find the cross between “Dragons Den “ & “The Apprentice” just too challenging. However, all of us genuinely believe that if we don’t achieve a new hall this time, we can bury our ambitions for future generations forever. So following a “blind ballot” the majority of trustees opted to go for Lottery funding (as opposed to giving up or seeking an alternative solution).

Before we can apply to Lottery at Stage 1, we must own the land on which we wish to build. Whilst we wait for houses to be built and sold, we see this as our chance to get ourselves in the best position to be at the top of the application pile (finding funding is competitive, we are up against the rest of the country). We are seeking an accreditation called Hallmark – this will start in earnest in January – and an independent bill of health approved by Lottery for our financial set-up (known as Sustainability) – we know we may have a lot of work to do on our operational model, but we also know that without this, any application to Lottery is likely to be among the first to be discarded. I now have the pack which will start us on the road to Hallmark and it is my intention to review this over Christmas and try and put together a programme for us that is manageable (bit size chunks). We will need to address properly formulated policies as a start – I am informed that we don’t necessarily need to “reinvent the wheel” – there are some “off the peg” ones Community Council of Devon (CCD) can help with although we will have some of our own that will have to be included. I have already identified to our trustees areas I regard as financially vulnerable but CCD will certainly add some meat to those bones and help us find solutions. I have starter meetings “pencilled in” at Community Council of Devon for early February to construct an overarching project plan for agreement by our trustees which will include “Plan B “ and possibly “Plan C” too and to commence a full financial analysis. We shall be seeking funding i.r.o. £0.5 M. There is only one alternative funder identified who will potentially provide a sum of this size and they will be equally challenging in demands of us.

Also during this time we are seeking to get outline planning permission for the old hall – simply high level change of use, so that it will auction quickly when needed – it is not realistic to assume we will be able to maintain 2 properties for long so a quick sale is vital. We will not be able to sell – we will be prevented by both TDC now – they need to be satisfied we are not “selling the family silver”, & Charity Commission at contract stage, as they have control of the freehold (the freehold is registered in the name of Official Custodian) and a public vote is needed – until we can evidence that we have an alternative for the community to use, so the community as a whole is not at risk.

It is important to point out that at AGM, 5 trustees resigned and one fresh face joined us – we await representative trustees from church, WI & skittles which will bring our trustee contingent back to 16 – we will still have 2 places and have made it clear that we both welcome and need new blood on our committee.If anyone from Parish Council can help us with this it would be regarded as a great service both to the hall and to the community.

Finally, as the S106 names the Parish Council as beneficiary, I am advised to request that you approach Pearce fairly regularly (monthly?) for an update regarding the sale and occupancy of the housing – it is probable they will not proactively seek to part with funds and land as a first priority and a request for information should form part of the S106 agreement made between them and Parish Council.

Jane Lowe, Project Liaison Officer & Vice Chair, Buckland Brewer Village Hall

Dec 2013