The parish Clerk has received the following letter from Heidi Watson-Jones, who is the Project Coordinator for Devon Remembers, the project which is tasked with commemorating the centenary of the First World War in Devon.
“This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an event you will already have noticed being commemorated nationally and locally in many different ways. Some of you will have attended our launch event at the Devon Heritage Centre last year.
Devon County Council, along with the Royal British Legion, Community Council of Devon, neighbouring authorities, and other partners are working together to provide information for schools, communities, interest groups and individuals wishing to find out about available resources, events and projects taking place over the next four years. A number of nationally funded projects are also underway which will engage groups to explore the impact of the War on their local communities.
The Devon Remembers website (www.devonremembers.info) provides links to fascinating research material, news updates on projects and events, and invites local schools and groups to share First World War commemorative projects they are involved in.
Are you involved in a local history group, a member of a Book Club, interested in the First World War, or organising a commemorative event ? If so we’d love to hear from you…
The Libraries Service has compiled a comprehensive reading list of fiction and non-fiction books about the First World War which both adults and children will find interesting and which are available at Devon libraries, this includes titles such as Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. You can find the reading list on the Devon Remembers website, under ‘News’.
If you are in a Book Club, why not consider reading a book from the list and send us a review to share on the website? A Bovey Tracey book club has recently reviewed ‘A Testament of Youth’ by Vera Brittain, which you can read on the Devon Remembers website under ‘News’.
If you are involved in a First World War commemorative project, or have a review or a forthcoming event you would like to share on the Devon Remembers website, please contact:
Heidi Watson-Jones, Service Support Officer (Education & Learning) and Project Coordinator, Devon Remembers. Her address is Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, her phone number is: 01392 382644 / 383000 (she works part time: Mon- Fri 8.45am – 2pm) and the website URL is: www.devonremembers.info.
An additional MEETING of BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL will be held on Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 8:00pm in Buckland Brewer Village Hall
(Note added before posting, by way of explanation.Kate Little, the Joint Head of Strategic Development and Planning for Torridge District Council, has told the Parish Council that when it is consulted on planning applications it must respond within the 21 day deadline. Otherwise its comments may be ignored. Currently, the intervals between parish council meetings are 28 to 31 days. To meet the new, stringent, 21 day requirement it may from now on be necessary to hold an Additional Meeting between the currently scheduled meetings. This is the first such meeting. J G Schofield)
Business to be transacted at the meeting:
1168 Apologies for Absence,
1169 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 9th April
1170 Declarations of Interest
1171 Public Participation
1172 To review the options for the future of the sports pavilion
The Police Commissioner will hold a “public surgery” in Bude on Wednesday 16th April. This is potentially a good development, suggesting that he wants to hear the views of residents. The venue is the Parkhouse Centre, The Crescent, Bude.
We have been given relatively short notice, and Bude is a less convenient venue than Bideford. However, should you wish to attend the surgery, or to contact the Commissioner to make your views known contact his office.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Parish is responsible to Natural England for the maintenance of Thornhillhead Moor.
Weather permitting, we are planning a controlled burn off of vegetation (aka “swaling“) on the Moor next Monday (24th March 2014). Anyone willing to help would be much welcomed as there are not many Devon Wildlife Trust volunteers this year. If you know anyone willing to help, could you tell them as well?
In view of the proposed cuts by Devon County Council to community, social and support services, the Parish Council has agreed to set up a sub-committee to look at ways and means of supporting existing voluntary groups within the parish, or whether there is a call to facilitate any further practical support.
The meeting will take place in the Chapel School Room at 7.30pm on Monday 17 March
Meeting of Buckland Brewer Parish Council Held on Wednesday 12 February 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 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.
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
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.
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
Present: Trevor Mills (Chair), Jim Lowe, Jane Lowe, David Watson, Dawn Dziurzynski, Steve Harding, Kevin Lobb, Alan Sutton, Tom Lloyd, Jo Birch, George Tilley and Shirley Tilley
1) Apologies: Alex Dziurzynski
2) Minutesof the Last Meeting 27th November 2013: Agreed and signed off.
3) Matters Arising:
a) The Inventory of Village Hall items kept outside of the Hall will be passed onto Dawn – Dave Watson still needs to ensure this will take place
b) Jane Lowe will also send a copy of the list of key holders to Dawn
c) Jane reminded the Minute Secretary to ensure that the draft minutes are circulated as soon as possible after the meeting to ensure that any necessary actions can take place. Dave Watson to ensure this is done
d) Jane Lowe stated that the lack of minutes meant that the planned Fun Raising Quiz Evening on Saturday 8 February had to be postponed until Saturday 15 March. Jane & Jim Lowe and the Entertainment Sub-Group will make arrangements for this event.
e) Jane Lowe will take charge of the arranging of the Budget Sub-Group Meeting which was arranged for Thursday 23 Jan 2014 at 7.30pm.
f) The Cleaners contract needs to be undertaken as soon as possible – Steve Harding will arrange this. The issue of the Cleaners pay & conditions will be considered at the Budget Sub-Group Meeting.
g) The issue of the rep for the Youth Farmers was clarified – Tom Lloyd will continue as the sole rep. Tom Lloyd will ask Sophie Grills is she wished to be a trustee in her own right.
4) Co-option of Trustee:
Jane Lowe has been in discussion with Paul Brown, who has expressed a wish to become a trustee. Jane Lowe nominated this co-option which was seconded by Shirley Tilley – All agreed to Paul Brown being co-opted as a Trustee. Jane Lowe will have further discussions with Paul Brown & to ask him to sign the Trustee Book, which she will ‘look after’.
a) Steve Harding responded to the email from Laura Odell, Chair of Buckland Brewer Under Fives and a further correspondence was passed to Jane Lowe.
6) Treasurers Report:
a)- Bi monthly bills are now being issued.
b)- The Performing Rights Society Licence has been paid – £135
c)- Kevin Lobb has contacted Allied Westminster for a quote for the Village Hall Insurance. The quote was for £414.38 for the same cover plus cash being held at Trustee’s homes. This compared to a quote from the previous supplier of £716.86.
d)- The new EON electric tariff has started & initial bills indicate a saving of at least 1/3.
e)- Jane Lowe had circulated an email in December regarding a donation towards the retirement of Fred & Barbara Babb. There had not been any objections raised & therefore a donation of £50 had been made from Village Hall Funds.
f)- A bill for £24.10 had been paid to Bridgemans for a gas bottle.
g)- There was an outstanding bill of £195.60 that had been received in December from Ray Hoyle, which Kevin needed authorisation to pay. Trevor Mills indicated that this was in relations to water coming into the Skittle Alley which had needed to be fixed. All agreed that Kevin Lobb should be authorised to pay this bill.
New Village Hall
f)- The Christmas Market profit was £811.09 which included a payment of £29 for leftover books from the Book Stall from a local bookseller.
g)- A Donation of £30 has been made towards the Children’s Hospice in respect of borrowing a marquee from Alana Smith & family.
Lloyds TSB – Current a/c – £1 468.74
Lloyds TSB – Deposit a/c – £2 907.89
New Village Hall – Lloyds Deposit a/c £34 499.64
7) Fund Raising & Future Events:
a)- The Women’s Institute Fundraising Event for the Village Hall involving Tony Beard will take place on Friday 11 April. This is being arranged by the Buckland Brewer WI.
b)- It was suggested that if any Trustees have any ideas for future events then for these to be passed onto Dawn or any other members of the Entertainment Sub-Group for discussion. The Entertainment Sub-Group will meet on Monday 10 February at 7pm at Dawn’s home.
c)- The Rosemoor Event will possibly take place on Friday 22 August. Suggestions of the entertainment will be discussed at the Entertainment Meeting.
d)- Another suggestion was for a Games Evening to be held as a Fundraising Event.
e)- The Fete Meetings will now be regularly held on the 4th Wednesday of the month starting in February to avoid any clashes with the Village Hall Meetings.
8) Signing of Hall User Contracts:
Dawn Dziurzynski informed the meeting that some affiliates have not signed the User Contracts – Parish Church, Skittles, Playing Field, Parish Council & School. These were given to various trustees to be passed to the relevant organisations for signing & return to Dawn.
9) Arrangements for Village Hall –Keys & Gas Bottle Monitoring:
a)- David Lloyd still holds the key for the Gas Bottle Cage – Jane Lowe will talk to David Lloyd regarding whether he is still willing to monitor the gas supply.
b)- Jane Lowe has collected the spare Village Hall key from Babb’s. It was felt that this key will not be passed to The Community Shop to hold.
c)- Arrangements for elections held in the Village Hall will be made with Torridge District Council prior to the event.
10) Any other Business:
a)- There was some discussions on the planned ‘Race Night’ planned in the Village Hall by the Playing Field Association. There are strict rules in place for such events because of the Gambling Laws and because of this additional paperwork was required to be completed by the Playing Field Association. Alan Sutton will deal with this issue.
Shirley Tilley expressed some dismay that this event that she originally suggested for the Village Hall, but not proceeded with due to the legal requirements, had now been put into action by the Playing Field Association.
b)- The Meeting was made aware of the Launch by Pearces of the Hillpark Development on Saturday 1 February at 10am at Atlantic Village, Bideford.
11) Update on New Parish Community Hall:
This report by Jane Lowe & following discussion was wide ranging & included agenda items on Trustees & Affiliate Organisations, Budget making & running of the present hall.
There have been ongoing discussions between Jane Lowe, Project Manager & Community Council of Devon regarding the Hallmark certification process & any application for the Big Lottery. As a result of this Jane felt that there needed to be fairly radical changes in the running of the present hall to show to the Big Lottery that we as Trustees have the skills and business ability to successfully run a Community Hall. There will need to be a change in the relationship between the Trustees & the present affiliate organisations. The forthcoming Budget Meeting will need to look at the level of hall charges and all costings to enable a sustainable budget to be put in place. That these changes will include the detailed plans for the new Community Hall and its running. That these changes will need to be in place for any chance of a suitable application for the Big Lottery.
Jane gave the Meeting 3 different options regarding the New Community Hall – To proceed with the Big Lottery Grant application; To look at alternative funding for the Hall or to abandon the project and to continue with the present hall.
After a lot of discussion all Trustees agreed to proceed with the Big Lottery Grant application.
Further discussions will take place in future Meetings. It was suggested that Trustees considered the Current Policies & Procedures and what needs to change or be adapted to improve them.
At some stage there will need for more detailed discussions with the affiliate organisations and the community, which could include future Open Meetings. Jane offered to attend meetings with Community organisations in the future to have this discussion.
The Budget Sub-Group will look at all costings & charges relating to the present hall.
There will be ongoing discussions by Jane Lowe with the Community Council of Devon regarding the Hallmark process. Jane will also begin to have discussions with the architect regarding possible simplication of the Community Hall design.
The Meeting finished at 10.25pm
DATE OF NEXT MEETING – Wednesday 19 February 2014 at 8pm
For the sake of clarity, please will all readers note that this is in the format of a progress diary which shows achievements and developments over the last 18 months –
THE STORY SO FAR:-
It is important to recognise that there is no value identified, either to the community or financially, in “doing up” the existing hall, which is on its “last legs”, for the following reasons:
• The space available prevents ever being able to comply with various elements of now mandatory legislation e.g. disability requirements.
• There is no parking available and never can be – this is a basic requirement of community halls.
• There is no storage space nor ever will be – currently trustees are storing hall equipment in their own homes – this causes major inconvenience both to the users and trustees.
• The hall is sited on a corner which is arguably dangerous and certainly very undesirable where children and older people are involved.
• The hall & floor have no foundations – any improvement would need to address this as a basic and there is no business case to apply for funding to cover the cost of making the hall fit for purpose for 21st century compliance.
• Were it possible to raise funds for the extent of improvement required to carry them out and implement them (effectively a re-build, discounting any inconvenience to residents close by),would put the hall out of use for many months thus disabling users. Trustees are bound by their governing body (Charity Commission) to ensure a usable hall for all on an ongoing basis to the best of their ability.
SUMMER –Full membership of Community Council of Devon (CCD) taken –CCD is the body which advises & facilitates all matters community
SEPTEMBER – presentation from CCD to trustees emphasising advice from lawyers & offering practical guidance on trustees’ individual & collective duties & extent of personal liability.
SEPTEMBER – receipt of long outstanding invoice from Nigel Gale ,architect, prompts invitation to Nigel to engage with trustees/committee by way of presentation in the same month. Nigel outlines 3 options to build –preferred option identified by committee (Design & Build).
OCTOBER – surveyors Gates specialise in Design & Build contract work – invited to present to BBVH committee with more detail – they offer their services at the end of the presentation, during which they also advise on current legislation re Health & Safety & liabilities on site. Lyn Brookes, specialist in this area, recommended to act as CDM (safety Professional/Practitioner who will undertake all necessary paperwork & interaction with on site service providers).
NOVEMBER – Gates & Lyn Brookes formally engaged as Employers Agents & CDM respectively.
MID – DECEMBER – fund-matching source identified between CCD & Torridge District Council (TDC). Maximum available to be £20k + £20k = £40k – funding source to be terminated at TDC end January 2013. Key requisite is planning permission needs to have been granted. This is the case for all funders.
Throughout, & prior to, the above period & ongoing into January, continued “robust exchanges & engagement” with TDC planners regarding granting overarching planning permission to Pearce (developers) to secure future of community & S106.
S106 IS THE LEGAL MEANS BY WHICH THE COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM DEVELOPERS BEING GRANTED PERMISSION TO BUILD ON A GREEN FIELD SITE. SPECIFIC BENEFITS TO COMMUNITY OF S106 ARE ACQUISITION OF SOME LAND AT A MINIMAL PRICE & DONATION OF £325K FOR NEW HALL, SUBJECT TO SALE & OCCUPANCY OF 20 HOUSES (LAND & FUNDS BECOME DUE WHEN 20TH HOUSE IS OCCUPIED).
JANUARY – continued pressure on TDC planners who eventually grant provisional planning permission only 2 days before expiry of funding availability. During the entirety of this month, trustees, using detailed costing advice & projections from Gates & advice from other local halls, compile a significant funding bid for £40k. The large document is driven to the funding committee in Exeter by a trustee to ensure closing date requirements are met.
FEBRUARY – bid fails. Full criteria of application could never have been met by BBVH within timescales – full analysis of shortcomings & put down to experience. Archived for future use/reference. TDC advice S106 has been delayed again within their own offices for “legal reasons”.
LATE APRIL – after no less than 2 years of negotiation, S106 finally signed off by all involved parties. At this time BBVH discover that they are not the direct beneficiary. As BBVH had never been party to nor consulted about the document, although Pearce shared information informally, there was no way of knowing this. S106 grants benefits to the Parish Council on behalf of Village Hall.
MAY/JUNE – BBVH engage in correspondence with Parish Council to secure “Letters of Intent” – Parish Council will sell on identified parcel of land at nominal price & immediately remit £325K to BBVH upon receipt. In return BBVH trustees accept liabilities connected to S106 viz. funds must be used within 10 years of remittance, receipts provided, unspent funds to be returned to Pearce (via Parish Council) together with market rate interest accrued on unspent sum.
JUNE – BBVH & Parish Council solicitors instructed regards land purchase/s to act when land becomes available for sale from Pearce(S106 terms).BBVH agree to pay also Parish Council legal costs incurred in acquisition of the land which will be transferred to BBVH.
JUNE – meeting with some trustees & Nigel Gale regards next steps for hall. It is known from experience that at this time all major funders require 3 tenders (or professional pricing) including in any funding application. It has been reasonably assumed that funds will be insufficient to build full approved design.
JULY – Gates prepare tender documents for submission to 3 approved (local) builders – tender documents examined by BBVH trustees individually & Gates instructed to go out to tender. Closing date for returns is mid-August.
JULY/AUGUST – numerous “smaller” (ranging from £2k-£15k) funding applications, average compilation time 6-7 hours apiece, submitted to various local funding sources. All failed except 1 which was granted with conditions. Key failure reason is that building on new hall has not commenced – when building starts, funders will reconsider (chicken & egg syndrome).
AUGUST – 3 tenders received ranging from £850k-£1M. It is evident that £0.5M grant will be needed – only funder “in the game” for this amount is Big Lottery. Only applicants in areas of severe deprivation may apply- Big Lottery confirm BBVH is eligible only for this reason. CCD re-affirm that self-build (popular in 70s/80s) is now frowned upon by them, not considered by Big Lottery, as it is fraught with personal liability risks & contractual difficulties because of current building regulations.
SEPT- “Lottery Masterclass” offered by CCD. Full day course attended by 2 trustees. Course supported by Big Lottery, CCD (who facilitate & enable Big Lottery bids in Somerset & Devon) & “pro bono” surveyor who advises on costs of build. Lottery criteria have just changed to be even more challenging – course advises of massive task ahead. Average success rate to Big Lottery building fund is 12% across England & Wales. Average timeline from start-payout in 3 stages, each potentially failing several times, = 74 months. Lottery advises “we are not interested in time wasters”. No Lottery application can be considered unless the applicant owns the land to be built upon (in addition to planning permission criteria). 50% of subscribers to course give up at the end of the day.
OCTOBER – extra committee meeting to present details on above to BBVH committee, advise of challenges ahead & request them to consider level of commitment – all agree this is last chance, & first real (as opposed to aspirational) opportunity, to deliver a new hall.
OCTOBER – scheduled committee meeting – trustees agree to commit to tasks ahead as there appear no alternatives to achieving goal. Agreement to undertake full financial health check from CCD (Sustainability) & Hallmark (3-stage NVQ-type certification for community hall management containing over 200 separate tasks & checks – examination by outside “peers”). Both ongoing qualifications essential within Lottery application (don’t ask without them).
NOVEMBER – public meeting showing current approved design & to obtain wider community support for project. Nigel Gale & Martin Rich from CCD support event, as well as David Netherway from Swimbridge VH (successful Lottery applicant – their application took 6 years).5 trustees resign, but 2 new ones who are “up for it” join committee. AGM held later that month.
JANUARY – Hallmark work starts. Selection of dates for empty hall needed for exam/examiner availability so must be during unoccupied period i.e. school breaks. Easter too early to achieve enough to pass exam 1 – summer/August hoped for.
FEBRUARY – programme of presentations to affiliate organisations commences to ensure common understanding of work ahead and advise full community engagement will be needed. Presentations will be on an ongoing basis. Newly formed Finance sub-committee meets to start analytical work & recommendations required for committee (this will be a continuous process) & to provide basis for Sustainability. Probably meeting/s Jane Lowe with CCD throughout spring/summer dependent on internal progress.
You will be aware that during this time fund raising has continued with the hope that some pleasure has been provided to the community at large, and the existing hall still has to be run. Despite negative “grapevine” from those who have chosen not to access the true picture placed at the disposal of the community, we feel we have not been idle. To make this a success we welcome & need ongoing support and input from the community. It is you we are representing. None of us is paid, there are no “hidden benefits”, and we cannot do this alone. Each & every member of the community will get out of this ongoing programme what they put into it. For more information, to join as a trustee or just simply offers of help (YES PLEASE, EVEN IF IT’S ONLY SOME WASHING UP AT AN EVENT!) contact me on the number below.
All ratified minutes of BBVH committee meetings are available for public view/scrutiny on the parish website and have been so since January 2011. Also watch Village Scene, or simply pick up the phone to me.
The next BULLETIN WILL BE TOWARDS THE END OF THE SUMMER
YOUR TEAM OF TRUSTEES :-
TREVOR MILLS (CHAIR)
JANE LOWE (PROJECT LIAISON OFFICER,VICE-CHAIR, FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE)
STEVE HARDING (SECRETARY, FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE)/GARDENING CLUB; DAVID WATSON (MINUTES SECRETARY)/CHAPEL); DAWN DZUIRZYNSKI (BOOKINGS SECRETARY, FUNCTIONS SECRETARY, FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE/SCHOOL); KEVIN LOBB (TREASURER, FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE); ALAN SUTTON(PLAYING FIELD ASSOCATION); GEORGE TILLEY (BOWLS CLUB); BARBARA BABB (W.I.); SHIRLEY TILLEY; JO BIRCH (PRE-SCHOOL); ALEX DZUIRZYNSKI; TOM LLOYD (YOUNG FARMERS CLUB); JIM LOWE; PAUL BROWN
FEBRUARY 2014 , JANE LOWE, PROJECT LIAISON OFFICER, & VICE CHAIR
BUCKLAND BREWER VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE – CONTACT 451193