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Parish Council Meeting – October 2021


Minutes for the meeting of Belstone Parish Council held on 19th October 2021 in the Meeting Room, Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm

Councillors Present:

Michael Ash (Joint Chairman), Ann Norman (Joint Chairman), Paul Boyce, Peter Cooper, Susan Norrish, Jon Pike, Theresa Weaver.
Also present: Sally Fullwood (Clerk), Lynn Daniels (West Devon Borough Councillor), James Reddaway.

2021/22-59 Disclosures of Interest

Peter Cooper mentioned that he was a member of the Standing Committee of the Belstone Commoners’ Association, which would be mentioned in Item 66 and 67, but this was not felt to be prejudicial.

2021/22-60 Minutes

It was agreed that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held 7th September 2021 were signed as a correct record.

2021/22-61 Apologies for Absence.

Cllr James McInnes (Devon County Council) and Mr Ian Brooker (Dartmoor National Park Warden) sent their apologies. They were both at the Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council meeting on the same night.

2021/22-62 Borough Councillor Statement

Cllr Lynn Daniel was present at the meeting; she had also sent a statement previously covering grant money still available for market traders and community grants, fly tipping, Plan for West Devon and Waste Collections. There had not been fly tipping in Skaigh Woods, it was a mistake. (Statement)
Action: Clerk to put link on website to page for Waste Collection announcements.

2021/22-63 Chairman’s Announcements

Cllr Norman reported that the Clerk had been overwhelmed with work, and after a meeting with Cllr Pike, Cllr Norman and the Clerk it had been agreed that her Clerk’s report and Beacon articles could be suspended at the moment, the budgets could be just twice a year, and she should not become as involved in correspondence. The councillors will have to take on some of the tasks. All items should come to the council meeting, not be forwarded to councillors. Cllr Norman said that as the council does not want to lose its excellent clerk, councillors will have to step up and do more work. The workload will be reviewed regularly.
Cllr Norman proposed that the Clerk should be paid for extra hours for website work and payroll, which were additional tasks.
Action: Clerk to time how long the additional tasks take, for inclusion in next year’s budget.

2021/22-64 Finance

A. Second Quarter Budget

It was proposed by Cllr Pike and seconded by Cllr Norman that the second quarter budget be accepted.
Resolved that:
The Second Quarter Budget was accepted.
(See Budget)

B. Internal Auditor

Action: Cllr Norrish will approach Chris Walpole, who audits the Belstone Commoner’s Association accounts.
The clerk is waiting for a reply from Devon Audit Partnership.

C. Administration Expenses

Cllr Cooper and Cllr Norrish moved that the clerk should be reimbursed for some ink cartridges.
Resolved that:
£25.60 (+VAT) be reimbursed to the clerk.

D. Grant Application

The Okehampton District Community Transport Group had requested a donation. Cllr Norman and Cllr Norrish proposed that £25 be donated again.
Action: Clerk to make donation.
Resolved that:
The Council will donate £25 to the Okehampton District Community Transport Group under Section 137 payments.

E. Current Finances

The council currently has a total balance in its two accounts of £4,463.17.

2021/22-65 Kerbing at the Great Green

The Highways Agency had written to say that they didn’t believe kerbing would deter parking, and that stones could be well secured into the ground. The council also discussed the possibility of putting up a ‘No Parking’ sign.
Action: Clerk to write to the Belstone Commoner’s Association suggesting the fixed stones and/or the sign.
Resolved that:
Clerk will liaise with the Belstone Commoner’s Association.
Power to plant trees and shrubs and to maintain roadside verges Highways Act 1980, s. 96

2021/22-66 Car Park Actions

A. Removal of Grass (Resolution 2021/22-34 B)

The clerk has approached the Village Hall Committee and the Belstone Commoners’ Association for contributions towards the £500 cost for the removal of the grass. The Village Hall has agreed to provide £200.
Action: Clerk to write to Dartmoor National Park Authority, The Tors Inn and The Old School Tearoom for donations.
Resolved that:
Further funding will be sought.

Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles. Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss. 57, 63

B. Purchase of A-Frame (Resolution 2021/22-34 C/D)

The A-Frame noticeboard was displayed at the meeting.
Action: Clerk to add to assets register.
There was concern that the suggested layout plan produced by Peter Grubb showed parking beyond the trees. The new car parking surface was only planned to extend up to the trees, as that is the car park boundary.
Action: Clerk to thank Peter Grubb.
The proposed layout will be reviewed again after the work on the grass has been done.
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles. Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss. 57, 63

C. Removal of Tree Guards (Resolution 2021/22-34 E)

Cllr Ash reported that this had not been done yet.
Action carried forward from 27th July: Cllr Ash, Cllr Boyce, Cllr Cooper and Cllr Pike will take down all the tree frames apart from the first frame on the left to which some notices are attached as soon as possible. They will provide alternative positions and support for any memorial name plates and the Parish Car Park notice board.
Action: Cllr Cooper will obtain a quote for stakes to hold the Car Park notice board.
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles. Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss. 57, 63

D. Electric Vehicle Charging Point

Nicholas Bull had provided information on the options for providing a parking space. The council were concerned that they would lose a space in the car park, that a commercial charging point would encourage people to come to the car park if the Whitehouse Services points were out of action, and that cattle might cause damage to it.
It was agreed that the council should offer advice to parishioners about installing their own charging points.
Action: Cllr Weaver will research grants for private electric vehicle charging points, and produce an article for the website.
Resolved that:
The Council will not arrange the installation of an electric vehicle charging point in the car park, but will advise parishioners on private charging points.
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles. Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss. 57, 63

2021/22-67 Planning – Rew Meadow

The Clerk has reported the possible enforcement breach. Nick Savin, Planning Officer had contacted the Clerk to say that he had made a site visit, and was awaiting an opportunity to speak with the owner and re-visit to measure the structure. He stated that the structure might be within Permitted Development limitations, meaning that no planning permission is required.
Resolved that:
The Council will take no further action until the outcome of the visit is known.

2021/22-68 Report from DALC Conference

Cllr Weaver and the Clerk had attended the Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) Virtual Conference. Cllr Weaver reported some of the suggestions from the sessions and the communications course that she had attended. The council did not feel that the information was relevant to Belstone.
Cllr Weaver encouraged Councillors to attend the excellent training available from DALC.

2021/22-69 Planning – The Tors Shed

A resident had asked if a Change of Use application was required for the Shed. Dicky from The Tors had sent an email saying that he had contacted his solicitor to confirm the legal status of the Shed.
Resolved that:
The Council will take no further action until the solicitor has confirmed the legal status.

2021/22-70 Dartmoor National Park Byelaws Consultation

The Dartmoor National Park were requesting responses to their proposed byelaw changes.
There was a lengthy discussion, but it was felt that responses could not be agreed at the meeting.
Action: Cllr Weaver to collate the councillors’ responses to the consultation, produce a draft Council response and submit it. The deadline is 1st November.
Resolved that:
The council will submit a response, collated by Cllr Weaver.

2021/22-71 Uncut roadside Hedges

An email had been received requesting action. The Highways Department had suggested that the public should report incidents on their website.
Action: Clerk to produce a website article encouraging parishioners to report uncut hedges.
Resolved that:
The Council will advise parishioners on reporting hedges.

2021/22-72 West Devon Borough Council Consultations

West Devon Borough Council had sent through 3 documents for consultation:

A. Draft Memorandum of Understanding

Resolved that:
The Council will not respond to this consultation.

B. Draft Gambling Statement of Principles

Resolved that:
The Council will not respond to this consultation.

C. Draft Planning Validation Checklist

Resolved that:
The Council will not respond to this consultation.

2021/22-73 Village Light

The lack of a timer on the village light has been reported to the Lighting Department at Devon County Council. They will attend to this fault on or before 22 October 2021.

2021/22-74 Eagle House Salt Bin

The damage to the salt bin has been reported to the Highways Department at Devon County Council. They claimed not to be able to find the bin, so it was re-reported on 19th October.

2021/22-75 Building a Conversation with your Community

Cllr Weaver had given feedback following the DALC/Breakthrough Communications training course on 15th September in item 68.

2021/22-76 Lion’s Mouth Water Fountain

Ian Brooker had asked whether the Parish Council would consider adopting the fountain as a parish asset.
Cllr Norman proposed and Cllr Norrish seconded that the council should not take on any more responsibilities.
Resolved that:
The Council will not adopt the Lion’s Mouth Water Fountain.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30 pm.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday November 30th 2021 in the Meeting Room of Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm.