(Draft) MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 10th JULY 2013 AT 8.00PM AT BUCKLAND BREWER SCHOOL
Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr David Lloyd, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe Mrs Shirley Tilley. Also in attendance 3 members of the public and Parish Clerk, Patrick Blosse
959 Apologies for Absence
Mr George Heywood and Mr David Watson
960 Minutes of the Meeting of 12h June 2013
The minutes of the meeting held on 12th June 2013 were confirmed and signed.
961 Declarations of Interest
Barbara Babb in relation to item 967, the new housing development.
962 Public Participation
Alison Boyle reported that, although she was no longer a county councillor, she had been co-opted to the Atlantic Array Committee and could now devote more of her time to it. The planning inspectorate will announce that the scheme has been accepted for examination on 12th July and that there will be a 14 day consultation period. She urged members to make specific and relevant responses and offered to send links to the online consultation process via the clerk. Central government had contributed £74million to the scheme in 2012 but the subsidy was being reduced from 25% to 15%. She believed that there were so many windfarm developments being approved that it was likely that this one would also go ahead and would be the biggest in the world. Wind power currently contributes about 7% of the country’s energy needs and its maximum contribution would be about 20%. There was some discussion about the relative merits of alternative energy sources and members were generally agreed that harnessing tidal energy would be preferable. Members were concerned about the impact on the countryside of the cable access to the scheme, especially in relation to Littleham and Moorhead. David Lloyd believed that the plans would entail crossing an international conservation area.
Alison is also involved with the Fishing Liaison Action Group (FLAG) and is a governor of Bideford College
963 Clerk’s Report
Insurances There was a discussion about the level and types of cover provided by the parish council’s current insurance policy. It was believed that there could be some significant omissions in relation to parish owned land (including the allotments) and street furniture. The clerk was asked to investigate the legal requirements and recommended standards and to obtain relevant quotations.
Review of Standing Order. On the recommendation of the Clerk, it was unanimously agreed that item 5.a.xvii would be amended to read “To authorise the payment of monies of any amount.” (Proposed by David Lloyd, Seconded by Trevor Mills)
Correspondence. A summary of various items of general correspondence was supplied to each member. The following items were specifically drawn to the Council’s attention:
2: Torridge DC apologised that the re-issued Council Tax bills also contained errors. This time only relating the percentages of parish precepts and not the amounts levied. Legal advice was that it was not necessary to produce a third set of bills and the issue was being taken up with Capita, the company responsible for producing the bills.
3: The next meeting of the Torrington Area Advisory Group will be held on Tuesday 16th July at 7:00pm in the Methodist Church, Mill Street, Torrington
4: PCSO John McGovern sent apologies that he will not be able to attend the fete on Saturday
8: Torridge DC had confirmed that the 2013/14 TAP Fund grants were now available and that the unclaimed grants from 2012/13 were being rolled over. It will now be possible to pursue an application for additional lengthsman duties with Parkham and Alwington Parish Councils.
12: Woodland Vale Care Home had been designated a centre of excellence for dementia care and development works would be starting soon.
13: DALC Training Courses. It was agreed that Jim Lowe would attend the Budget and Precepts Seminar in Exeter in 22nd October (£25) and that the clerk would attend the CiLCA 1 day intensive course in Exeter on 20th November 2013 (£120 – clerk to seek to share the costs with Frithelstock Parish Council)
DALC Training. Andrew has been booked to attend the Planning Training on 16th October at Okehampton.
964 Localism Act Nothing to report
965 Thornhillhead Moor
An update had been received from Clair McIntosh:
“Natural England have allowed us to now go in with a machine to do the scrub cutting for the remaining fencing, this will be far more efficient. It is however subject to a bird nesting survey which I am in the process of organising with Becky Aston from Devon Wildlife Trust.
Cattle are back out in the moor now, and signs were put up prior to them going out as requested. I am waiting to hear back from Becky before I speak to Mark Walter about the fencing so I will query him about the latches at that point.”
966 Thornhillhead Communications Mast
The Clerk read a letter received from Arqiva dated 13th June 2013 offering a one-off payment, “without prejudice”, of £1,000. Various possible responses were discussed. Jim Lowe explained that the rateable value of the mast and building were in excess of £10,000 and the council tax payable each year was over £5,000. It was generally believed that Arqiva’s offer was not a very generous offer and that further advice should be sought from Geoffrey Cox, MP. The clerk will write to Arqiva and seek a meeting with the MP.
967 New Housing Development: Purchase of Land Request
The Chair reported that an owner of a house next to the new development wanted to extend his garden into land which will potentially come into the Parish Council’s ownership. The meeting agreed with the chair that no decisions could be made until the land was actually owned by the Parish Council and even then it is questionable whether such an action could be taken under the terms of S106 agreement.
Rachel Webdell, Strategic Development Officer for Torridge, will write an article for the Village Scene outlining the procedures for applying for eight affordable houses.
Kate Slocombe reported that the contractors had been very good at liaising with the school and that children will be permitted to visit the site roughly every month throughout the development.
A meeting had been held with Bob Hicks, the Council’s land agent, to discuss the terms of the S.106 agreement and the Council’s proposals in relation to the Village Hall Trustees. Mr. Hicks had clarified an issue about which Council (DCC) needed to be consulted about access issues. His opinion was that he wondered if the initial parking provision was big enough for the community hall. He also advised that the Council should ensure that it does not release any land for any purpose other than the community hall development until those works are completed. His major concern was that all the developer’s profit was in the first 19 houses, after which it has to release the S.106 financial contribution and provide the affordable housing units but that the Parish Council has no control over how that development will progress.
968 Tuckers Park: Tarka Housing
Clerk had written to Tarka Housing asking if there had been a change in residents policy. The query has been forwarded on to Christian Blackbear but there had been no reply so far.
The clerk reported that he had spoken to Mr Harvey, the lessee of plot 15. Notice had been given on plots 14 and 15 and these should be cleared, with the help of Mr Harvey’s relatives, over the school summer holidays. Mr Harvey had also confirmed that he had given notice on plot 13 last year and that this one was now available for re-letting. The hedge that had been knocked over onto plot 15 will be discussed with David Heywood by Trevor Mills. Kate Slocombe recommended that an allotment inspection should take place in the Autumn.
970 Torrington Hospital Andrew Hewitt had nothing to report.
971 Members’ Reports
Barbara Babb reported that the tree at the end of the path in Orleigh Close needed to be removed. Jim Lowe to report to DCC.
Andrew Hewitt reported that the tree on the village green also needs replacing. It was suggested that another flowering cherry would be suitable and Andrew will find out the cost. He also reported work suitable for the lengthsman: the ditch near Orleigh Lodge needs cleaning and the drain three-quarters of the way up Orleigh Hill needs clearing. Clerk to report to DCC.
Jim Lowe had visited the owner of the car, parking in a way that was forcing vehicles onto the pavement outside the old shop premises as the Parish Council was looking to repair the pavement sometime in the future. He was given an assurance that the cars position would be changed.
He reminded the Council that it had agreed that a contribution of £250 would be made to the PCC for path maintenance and that this could now be paid.
Peter McClymont had advised that the Parish Council website should be refreshed as it was “looking tired” and it was agreed that the Council would meet the expense subject to advice at the next meeting from George Schofield about the likely cost.
Jim reported positive feedback he had about Buckland Brewer’s contribution to the Rural Settlement Plan. It was apparently “one of the best produced”. It had identified more potential development than that maximum recommended by Torridge but nevertheless the plans were supported by Councillor Hicks and would enable Buckland Brewer to act as a hub for developing the rural areas. Jim supplied an A4 version of the settlement boundary which the clerk will copy and distribute.
Trevor Mills reported that no verges were being cut at dangerous corners. Jim Lowe will approach DCC Highways.
Kate Slocombe reported that the planned admission numbers for the school were currently 7 per year but she had requested that this should be increased to at least 10.
Shirley Tilley reported that the corner of Northwood Lane had been damaged by farm vehicles. The Council had previously supported an application for a dog waste bin by the Playing Fields Association. This would cost £115.00 + VAT and the association was concerned that, if the Parish Council paid for the bin, it would not also support an application for a donation towards other maintenance costs. Shirley is aware of cheaper bins and will negotiate with Andrew Fenge at Torridge DC to get the best deal.
(i) 1/0223/2013/FUL – Hembury Orchard, Creation of Wildlife Pond (Retrospective) No comment
(ii) 1/0528/2013/FUL – The Beeches. Erection of single storey agricultural workshop etc. No objection
Also a late application had been received 1/0589/2013/FUL – Change of use of former shop and post office to a residential dwelling. As no papers were yet available for inspection a decision was deferred to the next meeting.
1/0384/2013/FUL – No 1 Orleigh Court. Repair of existing chimneys. Application Granted. Noted
Parish Council Current Account was £2,637.86 as at 28th June 2013
Thornehillhead Moor Account £14,794.04 as at 19th June 2013
Receipts since the last meeting include:
£182.50 field and allotment rents (including £137.50 credited to the account after 30th June), £4,436.61 for the 6-monthly capital payment in respect of Environmental Stewardship of Thornhillhead Moor and £571.34 for the final claim in respect of Year 2 of the agreement (mainly work carried out by Coles).
We are still awaiting confirmation of the transfer of £100 and any accumulated interest from the national Savings certificate to the Council’s current account.
Payments due (£640.09 + VAT):
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE to 30th June 2013 (£140.09)
John Coles Contractors re trough for Thornehillhead Moor (£85.00 + VAT)
Fishleigh’s of Galsworthy re salt spreading 17th and 22nd January 2013 (£400.00 + VAT)
DALC, Affordable Housing Training Course (D Watson) (£15.00 + VAT)
The meeting closed at 9.40 pm
Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 14th August 2013 (8:00pm School Hall)
Chairman: ………………………………………………………………………. Date: …………………………………