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Parish Council Meeting – September 2021


Minutes for the meeting of Belstone Parish Council held on 7th September 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.
Also present: Sally Fullwood (Clerk), Lynn Daniels (West Devon Borough Councillor), Stella Hudson

2021/22-40 Disclosures of Interests

Peter Cooper mentioned that he was a member of the Standing Committee of the Belstone Commoners’ Association, which would be mentioned in Item 47, but this was not felt to be prejudicial.

2021/22-41 Minutes

It was agreed that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held 27th July 2021 were signed as a correct record.

2021/22-42 Apologies for Absence

Cllr Weaver sent her apologies.
Reason: Accompanying her elderly mother on a trip.
Resolved that:
Cllr Weavers’ reason for absence be accepted.

2021/22-43 Borough Councillor Statement

Lynn Daniels was present at the meeting; she had also sent a statement previously covering problems with waste collection and her locality grant of which she has £200 left for community projects. (Statement)
She mentioned that DCC have an On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) fund for on street parking electric charging points. We could install an electric charging point in the Car Park.
Action for Clerk to investigate the scheme.
Lynn Daniels was asked about the building of the new Okehampton Parkway station. The money earmarked for the re-opening of the railway (including the station) has been spent on the first stage of the project. The £120 million cost for the station will have to come from a government grant with Devon County Council (DCC) contributing 10%.

2021/22-44 Chairman’s Announcements

There were no Chairman’s Announcements.

2021/22-45 Finance

A. First Quarter Budget

It was proposed by Cllr Pike and seconded by Cllr Norman that the first quarter budget be accepted.
Resolved that:
The First Quarter Budget was accepted.
See Budget

B. Change of Bank Accounts

It was proposed by Cllr Norman that the Parish Council bank accounts should be moved to Lloyds Bank.
Resolved that:
Parish Council move bank accounts from Nat West to Lloyds Bank in order to facilitate internet banking and authorisation.

Action for Clerk

C. Internet Banking Volunteers

Two signatories would be needed for each transaction, so as many councillors as possible should apply. Cllr Weaver had indicated prior to the meeting that she was willing to volunteer.
Resolved that:
Cllr Weaver, Cllr Cooper, Cllr Boyce and Cllr Pike will apply for internet banking in order to authorise transactions.

Clerk will liaise with them regarding forms to fill in.

D. Reserve for Election Expenses

Cllr Cooper and Cllr Norrish moved that the budgeted election expenses be moved to the reserve account, together with the budgeted Car Park Reserve.
Resolved that:
£150 for last financial year and £150 for this financial year should be moved to the reserve account for election expenses, and £100 for the car park.

Action for Clerk

E. Current Finances

The council currently has a total balance in its two accounts of £3,312.44 following the payment of the Clerk’s membership to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC).

2021/22-46 Access to Telephones in the Village

The clerk asked if there was also a problem with broadband speed in the village, the council agreed that there was not. There is fibre to the cabinets.
Action for Clerk to contact WDBC Digital Enhancement Officer for advice on the mobile network.
Cllr Pike moved that the facts about the telecommunications situation be publicised using an article on the website and noticeboard, with the addition of a comment about there being mobile signal in some places, so villagers should ask their neighbours.
Resolved that:
The Clerk will publish an article on the website and noticeboard.
Link to Article.

2021/22-47 Car Park Actions

A. Rocks around Great Green (Resolution 2021/22-16)

The Commoners’ Standing Committee felt that placing large rocks at the top of a slope opposite a public house ran the risk of people being tempted to try to push them downhill. They suggested extending the kerbing, and would supply fixing materials and labour.
Work had previously been done on the kerbing in the 1990s.
Dartmoor National Park Authority have confirmed that the kerbing has to be granite.
Resolved that:
Cllr Cooper to get quotes for granite kerbing.
Clerk to write to Highways re visibility and emergency vehicles and alternative solutions.

Power to plant trees and shrubs and to maintain roadside verges Highways Act 1980, s. 96

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

Cllr Cooper reported that 10 tons of sub base aggregate would cost around £300 for the left-hand side of the car park. The full cost could be about £500. Using a digger to remove the grass would hurt the roots of the trees, so it requires manual shovelling. Michael Reddaway has offered to provide transport for the sub base. Using weed killer instead would leave mud on the car park, so manual clearance would be better.
It was proposed that we attempt to share the costs with other village organisations, as the council has only budgeted £100 a year for Car Park maintenance.
Resolved that:
Clerk will approach the Belstone Commoners’ Association and the Village Hall Committee to share the £500 cost.

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

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

The clerk has asked Ink Print of Okehampton to supply an A-Frame and a printed A1 version of the Car Park notice, and invoice the Parish Council. Expected cost £91.20 + VAT. Expenditure already authorised by Parish Council on 27th July 2021.
Action carried forward from 27th July: Clerk to purchase A-Frame and posters.

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

D. 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

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

2021/22-48 Seat in Pound

The seat to the left of the gate in the pound, originally donated by Belstone Ladies Club (2007) has been removed. The site is now vacant.
Resolved that:
The site will be left vacant until a new application is made to the Council.

2021/22-49 Planning – Rew Meadow

The planning application approved in December 2020 was for a different structure to the new building.
The new building appears to be a garage on the right-hand side of the gate by the road hedge. Some parishioners have been asking what is being done about it.
Resolved that:
Clerk will contact the planning authority to ask what action they will be taking about the Rew Meadow unauthorised building.

2021/22-50 Invitation from Village Hall Chairman

It was agreed that no action would be taken on the invitation from the Village Hall Chairman to attend a community event in September.

2021/22-51 Communication

A. Facebook Account

Cllr Pike proposed that the Council should open a Facebook Account to share Parish Council information, and provide a way for residents to message the council.
Resolved that:
Clerk will create a Facebook Page for the Parish Council.

B. Parish Council Logo

It was agreed that the Council should adopt a logo. There was a suggestion that the logo should incorporate the stocks and the initials BPC.
Action: Clerk to bring a suggestion to the next meeting.
Resolved that:
The Parish Council will adopt a logo.

2021/22-52 Procedures

A. Use of Attendance Books

The Clerk has discovered during her training, that attendance books are not required, and that a record of attendance in the minutes is sufficient.
Resolved that:
Attendance Books will no longer be used.

B. Standing Orders

The Clerk made the members aware that, (according to Belstone Parish Council Standing Order Number 36), once a decision is made, it should not be reversed within six months.

2021/22-53 Grant Giving Policy

The Grant Giving Policy had not previously been ratified. It was agreed that not all policies needed to be on the Website, and that there should be a notice to contact the clerk if members of the public wished to view Employment Policies. Action for Clerk.
Resolved that:
The Grant Giving Policy be ratified and published.

2021/22-54 Conference Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC)

A. Virtual Attendance

DALC will be holding a virtual conference on 5th – 7th October 2021. Cllr Weaver and the Clerk have expressed an interest in viewing some of the sessions.
Resolved that:
Cllr Weaver and the Clerk should book as delegates for the DALC virtual conference at a cost of £50 (+ VAT)

B. Vote for Candidates

The Parish Council has the right to vote for members of the board of DALC at the AGM, should they so wish. It was agreed that after reviewing the candidates, the Council had no preference, so would not vote.

2021/22-55 Conference Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC)

The Clerk’s job description states that she should attend the national conference of the SLCC “as required”.
Resolved that:
The Clerk will not attend the conference this year, but will wait until next year when she has completed her current training.

2021/22-56 Queen’s Jubilee

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will take place in June next year. Councils are being encouraged to light beacons, hold a big lunch and plant trees in celebration.
It was expected that the Belstone Commoners’ Association would arrange the lighting of the Beacon, and that the Village Hall Committee would probably arrange a big lunch.
It was agreed that the large Ash Tree outside the Methodist Chapel could be replaced with a ‘Jubilee Tree’ with a plaque.
The memorial stone in the centre of the village has been engraved to commemorate the previous three jubilees, it was agreed that it should be engraved for the Platinum Jubilee too. Action: Clerk will find details of the previous engraver. Resolved that:
1. The Parish Council will ask the Lord of the Manor whether they can plant a Jubilee Tree to replace the old Ash Tree. (Action: Clerk)
2. The memorial stone will be engraved to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

2021/22-57 Dog Poo Bags

Following email from Olivia Treglown of Birchy Lake regarding action to stop dog poo bags being discarded.
Resolved that:
1. The Clerk will respond to Olivia to say that the Council’s policy remains in line with the Dartmoor National Park Authority, to have no dog bins. (Action: Clerk)
2. The Clerk will create signs to be placed on the two moor gates asking dog owners to take bags home. (Action: Clerk)

Environment Power to issue fixed penalty notices for litter, graffiti and offences under dog control orders. Clean neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.19, s.30, Part 6

2021/22-58 Dartmoor National Park Bye Law Changes

The Dartmoor National Park Authority are planning to ban camping on various areas of Dartmoor, which include Belstone Cleave, Taw Marsh and Cullever Steps.

Items for next agenda

  1. The Village Light should be off at night, but the timer doesn’t seem to work anymore. This is the responsibility of Western Power.
  2. The Salt Bin opposite Eagle House has been damaged by a vehicle. The bin needs to be replaced and located on a proper stand. Cattle come past the location, and disturb it.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10 pm

The next meeting will be on Tuesday October 19th 2021 in the Meeting Room of Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm.