Home » Parish Council Records » Minutes » 2023-24 Minutes » Parish Council Meeting – November 2023

Parish Council Meeting – November 2023

Belstone Parish Council Logo - for Parish Council Meeting


Minutes for the meeting of Belstone Parish Council held on 20th November 2023 at Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm

Councillors Present:

Michael Ash (Chairman), Simon Hill (Vice-Chair), Jon Pike, Peter Cooper, Theresa Weaver.

Also Present:

Sally Fullwood (Clerk), 3 Members of the public, including Cllr Lynn Daniel of West Devon Borough Council (WDBC).

2023/24-090 Disclosures of Interests

There were no disclosures of interest.

2023/24-091 Apologies for Absence

Cllr Andrew Booth sent his apologies, which were accepted.

2023/24-092 Public Participation Session

Peter Grubb expressed an interest in joining the council.

2023/24-093 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 11th September 2023 were considered, agreed and signed as a correct record.

2023/24-094 Borough and County Councillor Statements

Cllr Lynn Daniel (WDBC) had sent reports for September, October and November which had been circulated. She highlighted the fact that South Zeal Post Office has now closed, and the group that were trying to take it over are considering a temporary building in South Zeal.

2023/24-095 Chairman and Vice-Chair’s Announcements

Cllr Ash thanked Cllr Boyce for his service to the council following his resignation. Action: Clerk to send a letter of thanks.

2023/24-096 Clerk’s Report

The Clerk had circulated a report detailing actions taken. This was noted. Cllr Hill highlighted the hole down Skaigh Lane, which had not been repaired thoroughly enough.

2023/24-097 Coronation Lantern

An example of the lamp that the Council is proposing to buy was brought to the meeting by resident Nigel Bennetts and was demonstrated having been charged during the day (which had been dull). The lamp is not wrought iron, but the Council were unable to source a solar powered wrought iron lamp. The Council would like to thank Nigel Bennetts for his assistance. Action: Clerk
Cllr Pike reported that:
• Planning permission is not required for the lamp.
• Listed Monument permission is required, but is free for councils.
It was agreed to proceed with the listed monument application.
Proposer: Cllr Pike, Seconder: Cllr Hill
Action: Cllr Pike will fill in the application and bring it back to the next meeting for consideration. It will require full details of how it will be fixed, Cllr Cooper will assist with this.
The Listed Building Officer would prefer a 6-sided lamp like the original, but Cllr Pike has been unable to source a solar version.
• Possible sources of grant funding have been found to cover the full cost.
• It was agreed
to approach the authority responsible for street lighting to confirm the arrangements by which the existing lamp could be turned off and the new one installed. Action: Clerk.
• The Clerk had written to Michael Reddaway regarding the ownership (23rd October) but received no reply.
• The manufacturers cannot provide a guarantee of operation, but there will be a warranty for 12 months. They had provided references from Shrewsbury Council of successful operation.

2023/24-098 Planning

A. Planning Applications

There were no planning applications to respond to.

B. Outcomes of Planning Applications

There were no outcomes of planning applications to report.

2023/24-099 Jubilee Plaque

Cllr Ash reported that he had installed the replacement plaque, and that it looked of a better quality than the previous one.

2023/24-100 Parking

• The Clerk reported that she had approached the Cricket Club regarding overflow parking. They will discuss the matter at their next meeting in January.
• She had also written to Dartmoor House requesting that they encouraged visitors to park in the Car Park, but had not yet had any response. She had also tried to contact some other local residents, with no response. The emphasis of the Council is to keep the junction free as it is a visibility issue for approaching traffic.
• In response to the suggestion of increasing the size of the car park, it was agreed that it would be too difficult to expand due to ditches and marshland beyond the current borders.
• In response to suggestions of changes to signage for the car park, it was agreed to explore options to enlarge the size of the existing car park sign. Action: Clerk to approach Highways. There is a sign at the end of Skaigh Lane, and it was believed that a sign at the end of the car park would have no effect once it was full.
• In response to the suggestion to delimit spaces in the car park and mark bays so that more cars are fitted in; it was agreed that the car park surface was not suitable for pegs or painting. Low banks were suggested, but there was concern that it would not work and would restrict the use by larger vehicles such as horse boxes and coaches.
• In response to the suggestion to place stones along the green or raise the kerb to prevent parking, it was agreed that stones could cause safety issues.
• In response to the suggestion that e-charging should be installed in the car park. The car park lease states that no profit should be made from the use of the car park.

2023/24-101 Meeting Dates 2024

The meeting dates for 2024 were agreed.
Monday January 15th Parish Council
Monday March 11th Parish Council
Monday Apr 29th Annual Parish Meeting
Monday May 20th Annual Parish Council Meeting
Monday June 24th Parish Council
Monday Sept 9th Parish Council
Monday Nov 11th Parish Council
Monday Jan 13th Parish Council
Monday Mar 17th Parish Council

2023/24-102 Vice-Chair Role

Cllr Hill announced that he was stepping down as the Vice-Chair with immediate effect due to other commitments. He will still provide IT support, and will stay on council.
It was agreed to proceed without a Vice-Chair. The Clerk will send the few emails previously filtered by the Vice-Chair direct to Councillors. The minutes will be sent out without previous approval (for amendment, if necessary, at the next meeting), and the Clerk will consult with the Chairman on the agenda.
Cllr Weaver offered to provide support to the Clerk if required, but could not formally take on the Vice-Chair role due to other commitments.

2023/24-103 Finance

A. Recent Transactions

The following transactions were noted:
• Income – Precept Second Instalment £1,750, Old School Tea Room Car Park Donation £44.
• Expenditure – Clerk’s Wages £515.66, ODCTG £30, Zoho Email via Cllr Hill £80.64, DALC Conference £27.
• Total Balance (20/11/23) £5,151,16 (including £620 election reserve, £73.89 Car Park Reserve)

B. Payments

The following payments were agreed:
• Citizen’s Advice Bureau Donation – £30.
• Clerk’s Gross Wages Oct-Dec – £646.93 (includes £91.50 backpay)
Proposer: Cllr Pike, Seconder: Cllr Weaver.

2023/24-104 Accounts Software

The Clerk had put details of the two accounts software packages that she had trialled in her Clerk’s Report. Cllr Pike had also looked at the Software, but it was felt that the software would not provide sufficient time saving for the cost.
It was agreed not to purchase any accounts software.
Proposer: Cllr Pike, Seconder: Cllr Hill

2023/24-105 Mid-Year Budget

The Clerk presented the Mid-Year Budget. This was agreed and noted.

2023/24-106 Draft 2024/25 Precept and Budget

The Clerk presented a draft 2024/25 Budget.
Sticklepath had agreed not to fund their half of the DALC conference, assuming that the Clerk will attend bi-annually. It was agreed to follow suit. Cllr Pike suggested that provision should be made for a new councillor’s training course of £72, and to increase the contingency to about £200. This was agreed.
It was agreed to accept the budget which would result in a precept of £3,745 (an increase of 7%).
Proposer: Cllr Cooper, Seconder: Cllr Pike.

2023/24-107 Co-Option

A Notice of Vacancy had been published following the resignation of Paul Boyce. Provided that there were not sufficient calls for an election by 22nd November, it was agreed to request that candidates should apply to the Clerk before Christmas, with a Co-Option meeting (in the same format as in April 2022) taking place before the Council meeting on 15th January. Action: Clerk

2023/24-108 D-Day-80

D-Day commemorations will take place on 6th June 2024. Beacons will be lit, which the Commoners usually arrange. It was agreed to pass the information to the Village Hall Committee to see if they wished to arrange something, and to forward the information to the Belstone Commoners’ Committee. Action: Clerk.

2023/24-109 Outreach Post Office

The Outreach Post Office on a Tuesday morning in the village hall had now closed. No action had been taken as very few people used it. The Clerk had received information about a mobile post office based in Ashburton. It was agreed to explore the Ashburton offer. Action: Clerk.

Cllr Pike reported that a parcel station had opened at the Whitehouse Services. It was agreed that the Clerk should investigate further with a view to promoting it on the website. Action: Clerk.

2023/24-110 Items for Next Parish Council Agenda

There were no additional items for the meeting on 15th January. In addition to a co-option meeting, the precept will be confirmed and the Standing Orders reviewed.

The meeting closed at 9:19 pm.
The date of the next meeting will be Monday January 15th 2023 at 7.30pm.