Buckland Brewer parish

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.

 

Councillor David Lloyd

At the meeting of Buckland Brewer Parish Council last Wednesday, the Chairman announced with deep sorrow that Councillor David Lloyd had died suddenly on 2 July.  David had been a parish councillor for many years and was a former Chairman of the council.  All those at the meeting stood in silence as a mark of their respect.

David’s funeral and memorial service will be held at Barnstaple Crematorium on at 3pm on Thursday 17 July.

There will be a tea served in Buckland Brewer Village Hall afterwards, to which all are welcome.

No flowers please. There will be a collection.

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.

Hospital transport for cancer patients

The parish clerk has received the following press release from Sharon Lynch, Manager, Go North Devon Ltd , about a new free hospital transport car service for cancer patients needing to get to North Devon District Hospital.

If you would like any further information about it please contact Sharon Lynch or use the contact phone number.

NDCCCT Car poster 2014

A new door to door trial service for cancer patients who need to get to North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) for oncology or chemotherapy treatment and who would struggle to get there has been launched this week.

The service which is funded by the North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust (NDCCCT) and co-ordinated by Go North Devon (GND) will collect patients from the Torridge area on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from the North Devon area on Tuesday and Thursday. The service will run twice daily to NDDH arriving at 9am and 1pm; departing at 1.15pm and 5pm. The VW Caravelle can carry five passengers on each run and booking is essential.

NDCCCT and Go have worked together for the past 17 years helping North Devon cancer patients who needed to get to Exeter on a daily basis for Radiotherapy. However an NHS funded service is now in place to help patients with these journeys so the NDCCCT Trustees felt the time was right to investigate new ways to help cancer patients in the area.

There is currently no charge for using the new service which is funded by NDCCCT from donations and fundraising. James Bonetta, Chairman of NDCCCT said “Our charity began with the goals of helping cancer patients attend appointments and offering support to the chemotherapy unit at NDDH. With the new unit opening next year this new service will combine those original aims and, we hope, help many people in the future.”

For more information or to book a seat please telephone 01271 314332 Monday to Friday 09.30 to 4.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays).

Email: Lorraine.Inch@torridge.gov.uk

Buckland Brewer Bus: schedule from 4 July to 3 Sept 2014

Summer Holidays late Friday Afternoon Replacement Bus Service from Bideford Quay to Buckland Brewer and on to Bradworthy

Petroc College term ends on Friday 4th July.  Thereafter and until Wednesday 3rd September there will be no early (8.55am) 372 Beacon bus from  Buckland Brewer to Barnstaple nor late (4.30pm) afternoon bus back from Barnstaple.

As in previous years Bradworthy, Buckland Brewer, Parkham and Putford Parish Councils, with the help of Torridge Community Transport, will be running an replacement service from Bideford Quay to Buckland Brewer and on to Bradworthy to meet the needs of parishioners.

It will run every Friday afternoon, starting on July 19th at 5.05 pm from Bideford Quay (Stop A).  It will continue for Seven Fridays until the new term starts at Petroc College.

Buckland Brewer Parish Council apologises for missing the first two Fridays.  This year there have been difficulties with the traffic commissioners beyond their control.

Please note that the normal 10.25 am Monday to Friday Beacon 372 services from Buckland Brewer that returns from Barnstaple at 1.30pm and 1.55pm from Bideford Quay will continue as normal throughout the summer.

Village Hall Committee Minutes 19 March 2014

Minutes of the Buckland Brewer Village Hall Committee Meeting 19th March 2014 at 7.45 p.m.
Present: Trevor Mills (Chair), Jane Lowe(minute taker for this meeting), Jim Lowe, George and Shirley Tilley, David Watson, Dawn Dziurzynski, Steve Harding,  Jo Birch, Alan Sutton, Alex Dziurzynski, Barbara Babb, Tom Lloyd, guest speaker  Martin Rich, Project Development Officer ,Community Council of Devon(CCD)

The agenda was rearranged at the meeting to accommodate Martin Rich, the agenda numbers may not match fully minutes, meeting conducted in this order:-

Apologies:   Kevin Lobb
Presentation by Martin Rich. Contents circulated separately, key points being actions required of this committee to ensure acquisition of funding to progress to new hall build as follows:-
Reinforcement of last Octobers presentation by Jane (Project Liaison Officer), advising of the input required to submit an application
The requirement for the internal appointed project manager to be able to separate from the day to day management of the hall and its related business
The indispensable value of Hallmark accreditation, at least Stages 1 & 2
Need to maintain absolute financial sustainability of the existing business including all local users covering running costs in full and no “free rides”.
Despite the apparent Hallmark requirement of only 70% of non-mandatory tasks, this was a “red herring” as everything should be completed unless it was simply not applicable to the premises.

Alex asked, once the business rigour had been achieved, what track record needed to be established before funders would consider applications – Martin indicated that a likely view would be that funders would accept any lessons had been learned and that we would as a consequence continue to do things to right way, thus applications then need not be further delayed. Shirley queried whether funders wanted to see a development started before they would help financially – Martin suggested this was not his experience but Project Liaison Officer informed Martin that 4 applications submitted last summer had all been rejected for this reason. She also reminded Martin that we did not yet own the land. Martin reminded of the risk of the S106 inasmuch as the developer could at some stage sell on the development prior to completion, thus nullifying the S106. This is not likely but must be accepted as a risk. Jane asked what notice would be needed for Hallmark exam/test –  August is an acceptable proposal, 6-8 weeks notice, for “cost effectiveness” for examiner both HM 1 & 2 to be taken together. Marginal failures, if they can be evidenced by a subsequently provided letter/certificate/invoice for work done, can be resolved by correspondence with CCD. Larger failures will require a “re-sit”  but Hallmark Champions are available to offer support prior to taking the tests – more info available from  CCD.
Hallmark report delivered by Steve H. Notes already circulated to all trustees & retained for the record – key additional points:-
Jane confirmed that whilst the named documents had not previously been circulated to trustees, she had taken guidance from Martin Rich’s presentation in 2012 and had advised updated all new trustees regarding their responsibilities and an overview of issues and developments. All trustees had been circulated with a document advising what was required of them after Martin’s visit in 2012(confirmed within the trustee signature book).
Trevor is carrying out an electrical consultation regards heating improvement to comply with Hallmark standards and expressed concerns regards heating left running-timers may be needed if meter is dispensed with (deemed desirable)and all heating is run from direct source(cost to be factored into pricing structure). ACTION Trevor to speak to heating specialists and report back in full with recommendations by next meeting.
White board reports a requirement to store rubbish outside ACTION Alex to lend a green wheelie bin to protect black waste sacks placed outside pending collection, to observe hygiene requirements. Nicky to be asked to buy better quality bags.
Full review & design of rigour for bookings from initial hire to admission of customer into Hall – 31st March with Booking Secretary.
Treasurer to be invited to a future meeting to ensure completeness of financial processes – required Internet access mandate to be with Treasurer by end of week.

Following actions proposed Jim (for Hallmark team), seconded Shirley, agreed unan.
Expenditure for curtain cleaning (incl .fire retardant) ACTION Jim
Adoption of policies regards Public & Community, Health & Safety (subject to one minor amendment),Trustees responsibilities/What is a Quorum initial draft proposal( with revisions & additions)
Resignation of Minutes Secretary. David is unable tocarry out these duties because of other personal obligations – Chair thanks him for his help since his election last November. Steve offered to take over – proposed Dawn D, seconded Barbara B. No other nominations, elected unan. Steve advised that he would be absent for a future meeting – assurance given that either Jane or Dawn could always sit in on a temporary basis.
Minutes of last meeting – since e-circulation this morning there had been a need to make significant additions & an amendment. David had brought a revised paper copy for each trustee – scanned copy circulated with these minutes. Alex suggested best means of ratification was by e-mail provided that this was done within next few days – ACTION ALL TRUSTEES to review and inform to new Minutes secretary (Steve Harding) if they had any further amendments to make. Non reply by 26th March will indicate agreement that revised minutes are in order.
Matters Arising – ladies toilet mechanism repaired by Andy Dennis (local plumber);outside door has been repaired & is now easily locked; David Lloyd has agreed to continue to monitor gas supply; Zumba issue has been managed by Dawn without need for correspondence; Trevor has passed Ray Hoyle’s bill (leaking roof in storms)tonight to Treasurer; Hallmark sub-committee now set up (Chair Jim) & functional, reporting into Project Liaison officer and this committee; proposed Big Breakfast – Shirley (supported by other committee members) expressed frustration that the date set & booked for 27th April & agreed (by concensus on 19th Feb) & so advertised,  had been compromised by a very late booking for a slightly earlier identical function from another organisation. She explained that some years ago there had been an agreement that co-ordination between organisations would prevent this type of thing happening and much support from within committee was offered for re-instatement/observance of this practice. Young Farmers have “one in mind”, no date set – ACTION Tom to ensure that this is fed back to YFA to ensure no future conflicts. Village hall Big Breakfast re-arranged for Sun 8th June ACTION Jane to ensure advertising is managed.
Correspondence:

Non-domestic rates Torridge District Council set as NIL for coming year.
Treasurers Report: (delivered by Jane Lowe in absence of treasurer)
Bi-monthly bills now issued;
SWWA £39.24 paid;
Whilst annual electric bill has decreased the usage had increased and must be factored into future pricing (refer to finance sub-committee recommendations & item 3 above) viz.:12/13 usage 5255KWh £1057.90, 13/14 usage 5348 KWh £861.93
Lloyds Bank will issue a payment for £400 on Matched Fund scheme for Treasurers time.
Plumber paid – see Matters Arising – £66.80
Mindbender Quiz raised net £194.50 (after payment for hall hire as agreed).
Savings account is earning 0.05%- consider re-investment. Principality is not accepting new customers at present – other offerings appear high risk. Agreed all that watching brief whilst economic upturn develops & Bank of England moves to increase interest rates – no action yet.
Balances –

Lloyds TSB

Current a/c – £1,719.78                Deposit a/c £2,908.13             New Village Hall £34,688.65

Total £39,316.56

Caveat from Jane reminding trustees of shortfall in projected budget and possible erosion of reserves (deposit account) unless footfall/income is somehow increased – acknowledged by committee.

Organisations – reminded that if they need to cancel this must be to Bookings secretary and 24 hours notice must be given

Finance sub-committee report

i)New hourly rate re-considered – proposed Jane revise scoped £12 per hour to be reduced to £10 per hour, seconded George, agreed unan. To be effective subject to next Hallmark committee meeting when method for implementation will be devised.  Info shared with Chapel by historic arrangement. Barbara queried whether Church was involved in this pricing agreement – nothing known ACTION Dave will speak to PCC when they next meet & report back with a view to liaison & agreement.

ii) Should we limit use of urn to larger events only + a charge (uses a lot of electricity), very few further options of cost-cutting available if we are not to reduce hall to an unappealing proposition. Agreed that whilst kitchen water heater remains inefficient we may inadvertently breach hygiene regulations (urn is used to heat washing up water) – defer for discussion/resolution by Hallmark committee & Trevors research (Item 3)

iii) Cost of hire of crocks tables etc to remain the same subject to review but must be enforced & respected by all – failure to maximise ability to raise income may place entire future of hall at risk – we are fighting for financial survival (see also Item 2).These items remain in Trust and must be accessed only by agreed process – no individual has a right to remove items without prior booking & agreed payment.

iv) Premises & key control is the key to price enforcement. This sub-committee will work closely with Hallmark to develop a policy & process that will protect the Trust & ensure Hallmark certification. Next meeting is May 1st.
Upkeep & ongoing work on existing Hall – much discussed & resolved under Items 3 & 6.In addition, debate around storage and the need to have all items on hall inventory under central control so that it can be monitored & hired out. Trevor suggests p.a. can be placed in specially built cupboard in the  ladies’ toilet. Agreed as W.I.P. to be resolved at May meeting.
Fund Raising events
Thanks delivered to Jim & Jane plus supporting helpers for Quiz.
Tony Beard night 11th April report by Dawn (liaising with W.I.). W.I. will provide hot supper (eating before entertainment, 7 for 7.30).Tickets £10 p.h. Staging required -  stored in school, event during school holidays so access to be resolved. Gus (David Blight) has agreed to run bar, Jane to be licensee (therefore must attend event) – agreed all £21 may be paid for Temporary Events Notice ACTION Jane – this will be added to the annual tally of licenses(18 permitted each calendar year, each individual licensee has an allowance of 6).Large advertising boards requested – agreed Trevor ACTION Dawn to sort details with Brenda. ACTION ALL TRUSTEES Manpower required 4 p.m. set up. & onward to clear up afterwards. Support of event (buy a ticket) requested. Agreed that Village Hall cash may be used for fee payment (£150) plus provision of float for door & raffle.

Next meeting to be at Alex’s on Monday 24th 7 p.m. – more trustees/support needed and welcomed.
New Hall Update – from Project Liaison Officer(Jane)

Advised that ongoing work with Hallmark, finance sub-committee & especially liaison with community at large indicates that there is no business case for making application to Big Lottery. Requested help has not been forthcoming despite a number of direct approaches, commitment not truly evidenced, and organisations and individuals appear to have ( understandably) placed their own interests & needs ( a number of examples given) in priority to “walking the extra mile” & making necessary sacrifices & compromises that demonstrate a collective wider view that a new hall is regarded as the most important community project. There is also inadequate footfall to justify a build of the size aspired to (operations such as hoped for “blood bank” have been reduced during recession). The fear remains that the magnitude of the application and what it involves has not still possibly been recognised and that there is a collective hope that “someone else” will do the work of what needs to be a significantly sized team of professionals – this is not a single-handed task nor a simple form filling exercise – see Item 2. Project Liaison Officer has also, despite agreement with committee last year, not yet been able to separate from the day to day management of the business & take a back seat in fund-raising events although it is accepted that it is essential to have the present business situation (Finance & Hallmark sub-committees) in order to define how the future may evolve. Options offered for way forward and indication that choices must be made before autumn when Pearce plans to leave site.

Barbara advised that this needed to be discussed in the round and that committee should come with an open mind to debate next steps. Agreed by all that next meeting should be dedicated to decision making and that other matters may need to be deferred to May, dependent upon time availability.

 

AOB:

Official welcome to Barbara from Dawn.

Alex suggested a “positive spin” on kit hire rigour – agreed all – ACTION Jane to advertise hall kit for hire in a positive manner.

Trevor advised all present that the staging (Item 11 & Hallmark) belongs to him (in a business relationship with RHS Rosemoor) – he is happy for it to remain stored in the school, and that the school is aware that it should remain at the disposal of the village hall subject to suitable notice of access being given .
DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS –

Wednesday 16th April, Wednesday 21st May. The meeting closed at 10.20   p.m.

Signed……………………………………………                   Date………………………..

Village Hall Committee Minutes 15 January 2014

Buckland Brewer Village Hall Committee:  Minutes of the meeting on 15th January 2014
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

Apologies: Alex Dziurzynski
Minutes of the Last Meeting 27th November 2013: Agreed and signed off.
Matters Arising:
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
Jane Lowe will also send a copy of the list of key holders to Dawn
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
Correspondence: Steve Harding responded to the email from Laura Odell, Chair of Buckland Brewer Under Fives and a further correspondence was passed to Jane Lowe.
Treasurers Report:

Existing Hall

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.

Balances –

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

Total £38,876.27
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 possible 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Signed……………………………………………                   Date………………………..
 

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

New Community Hall Development: Update on Progress

The following report was presented by Jane Lowe to Buckland Brewer Parish Council on 14th May 2014, to update the Council on progress.  The report is Appendix 1 to the draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting.

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 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?