Parish council minutes
Draft minutes of the Buckland Brewer Parish Council
Wednesday 8 October 2014
Held at Buckland Brewer School
Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe, Mrs Shirley Tilley and Mr David Watson.
Also in attendance 5 members of the public and Claire McIntosh (R Hicks & Co.)
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
1299 Apologies for Absence
PCSO Liz Rendle
1300 Minutes of the Meetings of the Parish Council on 10th and 24th September 2014
The minutes of the meetings held on 10th and 24th September 2014 were confirmed and signed.
1301 Declarations of Interest
Shirley Tilley and Barbara Babb in relation to Item 1313: Grants (Short Mat Bowls Club), and David Watson in relation to Item 1313: Grants (Buckland Brewer Church)
1302 Public Participation
1303 Crime Report
PCSO Liz Rendle was unable to attend. The Clerk read a short report indicating that there had been no crimes reported in the parish in past 3 months and giving details of a crime prevention scheme for war memorials. The Council chose not to join the scheme.
1304 Presentation by Aster Homes Ltd
The representatives were unable to attend but will come to the meeting in November 2014. Jim Lowe also suggested that a representative from the Community Council of Devon should be invited to talk to the Council about social housing sometime before next summer.
1305 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:
- BOC: Automated External Defibrillators
- TTVS: Torridge Matters, September 2014
- Messagemaker: LED Traffic Information Displays
- DCC: Agenda, Highways Conference
- Rural Services Network, Newsletter 15th September 2014
- Rural Services Network: Rural Vulnerability Service, RURAL TRANSPORT SEPTEMBER 2014
- TTVS: Snippets 72
- Care Closer to Home Commissioning Intentions
- Community Council of Devon: Official Conference Programme and Speakers
- Devon Highways: Temporary Traffic Order
- Rural Services Network: Newsletter, 22nd September 2014
- Action for Children survey – (response requested by end September)
- DALC: Autumn/Winter Events
- Rural Sounding Board Survey reminder – (response requested by 30/9/14)
- Summer 372 service report
- Rural Services Network: Newsletter 29th September 2014
- DCC Community News Roundup: Library Service Review
- TTVS: Snippets, Issue 73
- Devon Countryside Access Forum: Annual Report
- TTVS: Annual Report and invitation to AGM, 23rd October 2014, 10:00, Sea cadet Hall, Victoria Park
- DALC Update: Its Budgeting Time
- Rural Services Network: Newsletter 7th October 2014
- Healthwatch Voices, Issue 6 Autumn 2014
- Devon Senior Voice
ii) Parish Councillor Vacancy: There had been insufficient signatures received by the Electoral Registration Officer to call an election so the Parish Council was now entitled to appoint a co-opted member if they so wished. It was agreed to advertise on the notice board, website and the Village Scene for nominations to be received by 30th November 2014. A decision would be made at the December parish council meeting. If more than one nomination was received the applicants would be asked to give a short presentation.
iii) Review of Standing Orders: The Clerk presented a revision of paragraph 1.m to reflect the change in the law regarding filming of parish council meetings. It was agreed to adopt the amendment below:
A person may not orally report or comment about a meeting as it takes place, but otherwise may, with due regard to data protection law and without causing interference of any sort to the conduct of the meeting or those people present:
Film, photograph or make an audio recording of a meeting
Use any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear proceedings at a meeting as it takes place or later
Report or comment on the proceedings in writing during or after a meeting or orally report or comment after the meeting.
1306 North Devon Link Road Strategy Consultation
It was agreed to submit a comment suggesting that the A361 should be dual carriageway all the way. Jim Lowe will write to the MEP.
1307 Football Pitch Club House
Andrew Hewitt said that he now has the timber to board the doors and the job will be done soon.
1308 Thornhillhead Moor
(i) Discussion with Claire McIntosh regarding use of project funds: Claire explained that the annual income to the project will be £8,873.00. Payments of £2, 501.80 are due to Coles for 2 years maintenance works and similar costs of £1,000- £2,000 per annum should be expected in future years. It was recommended that a reserve of £5,000.00 is held to meet any unexpected expenses. The Clerk said that the fund currently has about £12,600.00in its account. George Heywood said that a similar project on Dartmoor had decided to keep all its funds in reserve to meet any costs that might arise from a TB scare. There are 319 cattle rights in all. It was proposed by Trevor Mills, seconded by Kate Slocombe and agreed by 7 votes to 1 that graziers rights of £5 per head should be settled with the graziers in the current year. The Clerk to liaise with Claire McIntosh to arrange the details and timing of the payments. A set of accounts will be presented at a future meeting of the Council.
Fly-tipping: Claire has had no time to follow this up so far.
1309 TAP Fund Project
2014/15 Application re Village Green Improvements: A quotation had been received for £3,150 + VAT for resurfacing works, which it was agreed would be taken no further. Steve Harding and Andrew Harding had planted out some bulbs for which payments were agreed. It was agreed that the benches need repainting. Jim Lowe will buy the paint and will do it when he has the opportunity.
1310 Hopper Saturday Bus/Summer Bus Service Statistics
Parkham Parish Council has shown some interest in the scheme but wants answers to some specific questions concerning the cost, the bus to be used and the volunteer drivers. These will be identified by the Clerk and relayed to the parishes. A definitive answer is expected from all of the parishes by the November meeting.
1311 Babeleigh Barton Road: 2nd Stage Complaint to DCC
It was reported that the Babeleigh Barton School Governors are very worried about the state of the road. It was agreed that more homework was needed on the traffic flow. A vehicle count will be organized by Barbara Babb to take place for one full day. Shirley Tilley suggested that the Council asks for the loan of a counter device from DCC. Jim Lowe will seek advice from the Ombudsman regarding how to progress with the complaint.
1312 Half-Yearly Budget Monitoring Statement
The Clerk presented a budget monitoring statement showing income and expenditure to date this year and projected expenditure to the year end.
1313 2014/15 Grant Applications
Six applications for grant had been received. (see summary at Appendix 1)
- Buckland Brewer Village Hall: It was proposed by Kate Slocombe, seconded by Shirley Tilley and agreed unanimously that a contribution of £500.00 per year should be added to the precept starting from 2015/16.
- Buckland Brewer History Group: Agreed – £50.00
- Buckland Brewer Playing Field Association: The Council noted that the annual grant to the Association had already been paid. It was agreed to continue to pay the Association £250.00 per year from the annual budget. (£250.00 to be included in the 2015/16 budget.)
- Buckland Brewer Under 5s Pre-School: Agreed – £100
- Buckland Brewer Short Mat Bowls Club: Agreed – £50.00
- The Church of St Mary and St Benedict, Buckland Brewer: Agreed – £250.00
1314 Priority Signs, Cleverdons
No further action.
1315 Village Library
Shirley Tilley reported that Betty’s son has a bookcase and that stocking the library can go ahead when this is delivered.
1316 War Memorial
The Clerk had already asked a contractor to make a start on the re-enamelling works but as this has not yet been started. He will chase them up again.
1317 Fields and Allotments
(i) Review of Terms and Condition: The Clerk presented a revised terms and conditions document in accordance with the decisions taken at the meeting on 24th September. The wording was agreed unanimously.
Applications for Allotments: (a) Jack Seddon is keen to get on with plots 14 and 15 and had asked for a waiver of the deposit for which he would undertake to restore the plots himself. The Council refused the offer, preferring to get the work being done by the contractor completed first. This would be done as soon as the weather permitted.
Chris Kaminski requested to erect a shed and a greenhouse on plot 13 that were both larger than size currently permitted. The application was refused.
Field Inspections, 25th October 2014: Will start from the village green at 10:00am.
1318 Village Hall: Progress Report
Jim Lowe reported that the Hallmark Certificate was presented at the recent CCD Conference. 14 houses have been sold so far and 1 reserved. Work has started on the 2nd phase of the works, which is a little behind schedule due to difficulties in obtaining materials. Jim Lowe had been approached by someone wishing to purchase the corner of the field currently used by Fred Babb but he had explained the field is not yet the Parish Council’s.
1319 Parish Clerk’s Annual Appraisal
A meeting of the Personnel Sub-Committee was arranged for Wednesday 14thOctober 2014, starting at 8:00 in the Village Hall.
1320 Members’ Reports
Jim Lowe gave a report of the Community Council of Devon Conference that he had attended last month. Further cutbacks in DCC budgets were resulting in proposals to pass more work down to the parishes, in particular the creation of Highways or Road Wardens to be responsible for organising volunteers for a range of work such as filling in potholes and tasks previously undertaken by the lengthsmen. A review of snow clearance and gritting is likely to pass more expense onto the Parish Councils, such as having to pay for salt. Picnic sites will be closed, weed treatment will be reduced and staffing in the Neighbourhood Teams will be reduced. Andrew Hewitt commented that the County should expect the Parishes to bale out the County. George Heywood felt that these policies would effectively cut off the rural population and that they were outrageous. Jim Lowe felt that things would get worse and that, if Exeter were to become a Unitary Authority it would be likely that the remaining Devon Councils would also merge into one Unitary Council, which could make things even more difficult for the rural areas. Robin Julian agreed that the agreed that that the ongoing cuts were disgraceful and unfair and that the County was asking parishes to do too many jobs. George Heywood said that he drew that at not being able to get to work. Robin Julian said that he was against the cuts and that he would pass on the Parish Council’s feelings with great pleasure. He also said that there was a possibility that the parishes would be given a small percentage of the budget to do things for themselves, for example, the County might provide tools and equipment if the parishes provided volunteer labour.
Trevor Mills said that the lengthsman had visited recently and had cut back an area near his property that had already been done twice before.
Kate Slocombe reported that there was Japanese knotweed on Glen Road, half-way down the hill. George Heywood thought it had come from fly-tipping. Jim Lowe will try to get the lengthsman to deal with it.
Shirley Tilley complained that the bungalow on the corner of Barton Road had overgrown hedges. She also felt that the vacant allotment sites had not been advertised well enough. In relation to the Best Kept Village competition, she felt that the rubbish in Gorwood Road was a factor in the village not doing so well and that it was a disgrace and needed to be cleared up.
David Watson asked whether the Parish Council planned to give further money to the Children’s Drop-in Centre. The Clerk explained that there was £300 in the budget for it but the money hsd not been authorised for payment yet.
Robin Julian said that there had been 3 bids for taking over the Springfields Day Centre and repeated that he had grant money to give to the community if the Parish Council wished to apply for it.
Appeals: (i) 1/0668/2013/FUL – Bilsford Farm Wind Turbine, Erection of a wind turbine (46.9m to blade tip, 100kw) and associated infrastructure.
1/1067/2013/FUL – Watershute Farm, Horns Cross; Wind turbine (up to 35m blade tip- 25m hub)
Late Item: 1/0954/2014/FUL – 3 Hillpark – Conservatory Although this item had been received too late to be added to the agenda the Parish Council felt that it was not sufficiently contentious to warrant an extra meeting, especially as a conservatory on another new property in Hillpark had already met with their approval. It was therefore agreed that the application would be supported.
i) Bank balances:
Parish Council Current Account was £8,487.17 as at 30th September 2014
Thornhillhead Moor Account was £12,605.51 as at 19th September 2014
ii) Payments due (£575.67)
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE: £299.92
Torridge Community Transport Association – £92.37
Ernest Martin, Grass-cutting – £82.00
P J McClymont, Website – £50.00
S Harding, Village Green bulbs – £26.38
A Hewitt, Village Green maintenance – £25.00
iii) Receipts since last meeting (£3,771.00):
TDC: Precept (2nd Instalment) – £3,000.00
Grass cutting contributions – £1.00
Field rents – £770.00
Date of Next Meeting
7:30pm, Wednesday 12 November 2014, Buckland Brewer School
Please note change of time to winter schedule.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:50 pm.