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Parish Council Minutes – July 2019


  Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 16th July 2019

 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall Meeting Room

Present: Michael Ash (Chairman), Ann Norman (Vice Chairman), Paul Boyce, Peter Cooper, Susan Norrish, Jon Pike, Theresa Weaver and Kate Little (Parish Clerk).

In attendance: None     

14.     Apologies: None

15.     Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on 21st May 2019:  These were agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.

16.     Matters Arising: None

17.     Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting also held on 21st May 2019:

          These were agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.                  

18.     Matters Arising:

  • It was noted that the pub sign in the car park had changed. The Parish Council, as lessee of the car park, has advised of the correct procedure for erecting advance directional signs.  It was decided that there was no immediate need for rules for the use of the car park to be drawn up.
  • The approved plans for the conversion of the barn at Resugga to an art gallery are different from the as built design, but not significantly so and were thought acceptable.

19.     Declarations of Interest:  The Chairman declared an interest in the planning      item for Steeperton.

20.     Urgent Items raised by the Chairman:  It was agreed that the Chairman would draft a letter of thanks to former parish cllr Elisabeth Emerson for her          years of service to the Council and to the Skaigh Wood Trust.

21.     WDBC Cllr Lynne Daniel:  The Chairman welcomed our new Borough      Councillor.  As a member of the Green Party, Cllr Daniel is very interested in       climate change issues and is a member of the Climate Change and Diversity    Working Group at WDBC, which has signed up to the pledge to reduce global        warming by 45% by 2030 and by 100% by 2050.  Parish Councils can also    sign up to this pledge.  The main objective of the working group is to deliver        sustainable and long lasting housing built of sustainable materials, which are        self sufficient in energy use.  It is also seeking to improve public transport via          railways and cycle tracks, together with creating communities and not           housing estates.  Unfortunately the Exeter to Okehampton line project        currently has a £70m funding shortfall.

          There is to be a 23rd Climate Change Workshop in Exeter on 23rd July.

          There will be a £500,000 deficit in WDBC’s 2020-21 budget which has to    planned for.  One efficiency will be a change in the waste collection/recycling regime.  Aluminium and clear and white plastic containers will be collected   weekly at the doorstep in a white bag, but black bag waste will only be collected once every three weeks.  Other collections will be as now.  Black      bag waste is going to the incinerator at Plymouth – none currently goes to        landfill.  Plastic goes to Manchester, but looking to keep it local.  The new           system will save £150k pa.

          An Invest for Profit Group has been set up looking a green energy projects to           invest in.

          With the pending funding shortage WDBC may have consider renting out it’s           Tavistock offices and operating as a virtual Council, now the decision not to           combine with South Hams Council has been made.  A survey of what local people would like to Council to do, within the funding constraints will be        undertaken.

22.     Correspondence:

  • Eastern Links Meeting 20th June – Ann Norman attended and reported that the white bag recycling collection would start in August with the three weekly black bag system possibly in November.  Although no DCC rep attended it was explained that there was s shortage of carers and that £½m had been set aside for fuel poverty.  The TAP fund had ceased to operate, but no decision has been taken on how to use the residual funds. There was a new fund for loneliness and the elderly and the Locality funding still exists.  Devon Crowd funding has been set up for seed funding for small projects.  The DNP Local Plan is proceeding and the police are be involved directly with speeding vehicles on the moor by regularly patrolling.  Fly tipping should be reported online at DCC, but nothing should be touched or removed.  [A full set of notes from the meeting is available from the Parish Clerk].
  • Email from Sampford Courtenay Parish Council regarding collaborative purchasing.  It was agreed that a reply should be sent saying that none of the suggestions were appropriate for Belstone PC, but to come back if new options come forward.

23.     Clerks’ Report:

  • Review of Seats and Assets – The list of seats on the Common was reviewed and updated.  All seats bar one, are in a satisfactory condition, now that the Westlake Seat on Great Green and the West Cleave seat have been replaced.  The outstanding seat is the one on Skaigh Hill which has been damaged and repaired by person(s) unknown.  However it will be necessary to replace the upper back plank.  The stocks and the Pound are fine, but it will be necessary to inspect the bus shelter at Tongue End – The Chairman and Peter Cooper to cut back the ivy which is invading it.
  • Lamp Post –  It was noted that the lamp post in the centre of the village has been knocked.  This has been reported to Devon Highways (which owns it) together with the information about which vehicle did the damage.
  • Register of Interests – These are now on the village website.
  • Fire Service Consultation – Clerk to respond to support the Okehampton service, including it’s 4×4 vehicle.
  • Community Grant Fund – No suitable project at present.

24.     Finance:

  • Internal Auditor – It was resolved to purchase a £20 gift token for the internal auditor as thanks for his work on the annual accounts.
  • Bank statements for the 1st Quarter – The Current Account stands at £1,107.12 and the Business Account stands at £1,999.32, at the end of the 1st quarter.  No payments have been made since the last meeting.
  • At the end of the first quarter the annual budget spend/income is as predicted.
  • HMRC tax returns – the Parish Council is up to date with it’s tax returns.
  • Council Diary – All the relevant tasks were signed off as completed.

25.     Planning Items:

  • Proposal to dismantle and remove lean-to porch and replace with lean-to with off-set ridge glasshouse at Steeperton, Skaigh Lane.  DNPA application no. 00278/19.  It was resolved to raise no objection.
  • Advance directional signs for Farmer Luxton’s shop, on the A30 slip roads Okehampton.  WDBC application nos. 2013/19/ADV and 2014/19/ADV.  It was resolved to make no comment due to a conflict of interest – the PC acting as Trustees for Skaigh Wood is the applicant’s landlord.
  • The intention to replace the thatch with slates at Taw Croft was noted.  No planning consent is required.

26.     Village Car Park:  Three quotes have been received, but it is necessary to          get all three onto an equal basis (including diagrams and measurements)         with a clear specification of what is required.  Clerk to write to possible       funding partners to seek information on how much is available to help suport       the project.  The likely cost will be in the region of £6-7k inc VAT.  Devon         Highways will need to sign off the scheme and the necessary consents will be           required to work on/alongside the public highway.  The final decision will be        taken at the next meeting in order to commit the grant funding the PC has        secured by December.

27.     AOB:

  • Liability for accidental damage in the car park – No disclaimer signage was believed necessary or appropriate.
  • Gully between Moor Plot and Well Park – Clerk to ask DCC Highways for lengthsman to clear this, copying in the local WDBC and DCC cllrs.
  • Pipe Bin – This is be discussed at the next meeting.

There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.42pm.