Minutes of the Parish Council meeting
Held on 10th June 2021
in Gittisham Village Hall
and via Zoom
Present: Gittisham Village Ward
Carol Hall (Chair)
Gittisham Vale Ward
In attendance: Phil Twiss (DCC), Fiona Clampin (clerk)
Apologies: Cllr M Walker, PCSO Darren England
19/21 To accept and approve apologies
Apologies were received and accepted.
20/21 To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 5th May 2021
The minutes of the meeting held on 5th May 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.
21/21 To receive the Beat Manager’s Report
No crimes were reported in April 2021.
22/21 To receive declarations of interest
23/21 To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda
The clerk said she and Cllr Rowe had worked further on the parish council section of the Gittisham website, and the clerk had asked Websites Ahoy to confirm that it now meets accessibility standards. Parish council document from 2017/18 onwards, the parish plan and the emergency plan should now be fully accessible.
Cllr Orchard said he had cleared out the Vale bus shelter, but people were still depositing unwanted books in there.
The clerk said she had purchased and installed Office 2019 on the parish council’s laptop.
The clerk outlined the correspondence with Kompan regarding the replacement swing seats and chains for the toddler swings. She will send frame measurements to the company, in the hope that they can confirm whether their seats and chain will correspond.
The clerk reported that Baker Estates had not yet responded regarding the dog poo bins.
ACTION: Clerk to upload accessibility statement, dependent on response from Websites Ahoy.
Clerk to provide Kompan with swing frame measurements, and order replacement seats and chains if suitable.
24/21 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives
Members heard that Cllr Bond had stood down as district councillor, and a replacement was anticipated. The Chair said she had received an email from Cllr Bond saying what a privilege it had been to serve Gittisham parish. Councillors agreed how supportive Cllr Bond had been over the years, and expressed their gratitude.
Cllr Twiss said that after a very different Devon County Council election held in sometimes difficult and unprecedented circumstances, he was delighted to have been returned for a second term of office as the Division member for Feniton & Honiton. Like you, said Cllr Twiss, he would be working and acting in the best interests of everyone in the division as well as the county in a wider sense.
He explained that his responsibilities had changed at DCC, moving away from a previous focus on healthcare across Devon, which he would miss enormously despite the massive challenges of the previous 16 months, to a more senior role on the council as the Portfolio Holder for finance. Cllr Twiss assured members this does not change at all his commitment to increased local delivery of healthcare services in Feniton & Honiton division as we emerge step by step from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number one ‘postbag’ item for Cllr Twiss is that of Highway issues, he said, whether that is potholes, drainage, footways, reducing speed limits, parking enforcement and many other related items. It is certainly a good idea and to save time to report any issue direct to DCC on the ‘Report a problem’ web site for items such as potholes (the definition of what constitutes one is shown) to defective road markings, fallen trees etc. He emphasized that actions reported on this site are undertaken on a risk to life, safety first policy so may not be dealt with immediately if sufficient resources are not available. The link to the site is https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/
DCC has a ‘framework’ of contractors to undertake the various roles that maintain our highways and byways, with a main one for the bulk of works and arrange of others for specific roles. A new main contractor M Group (you may know them in another iteration as utility services group Morrison’s) has been appointed to take over from Skanska, where clearly more working efficiencies will be sought within the contract based on what is called the DCC ‘Doing What Matters’ policy.
Cllr Twiss explained that Devon County Council is committing significant human and financial resources to addressing climate change issues, with carbon reductions a major part of that, with DCC leading by example working with partners for all sectors and areas of life in Devon and beyond.
It is without doubt one of the biggest challenges that DCC has ever had to address and covers massive range of areas nationally, regionally and locally in order to influence change. You can read more at the specialist climate emergency web site https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/
Cllr Twiss urged everyone to ‘buy in’ to this agenda and from a very local perspective, he was delighted that our local community transport provider TRIP have invested in a no emissions electric mini bus to show us the way forward, operating from their base in Honiton serving our area and beyond!
The Integrated Care System for Devon (ICS) is being rolled out currently and aims to provide a one stop shop from primary care to acute care under one commissioning (funding) umbrella, with the sole purpose of improving how healthcare is delivered in Devon. To coin a phrase, said Cllr Twiss, this really is a ‘game changer’ with an emphasis on keeping people, fitter, healthier and longer, putting less pressure on to the whole healthcare system. You can find further details on this by clicking https://www.icsdevon.co.uk/ or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org where he can point people in the right direction if an immediate answer is not possible.
Cllr Twiss explained that the Jurassic Fibre CEO had assured him the network build would be happening in Gittisham. He added that he had also met Connecting Devon & Somerset senior managers to understand the alternatives, including Airband which is proposing to bring high speed broadband to the parish.
Emergency gate, Old Elm Road
Cllr Twiss said a resident had pointed out that mobility scooters could not pass through the bollards between the end of Old Elm Road and Hayne Lane. A long diversion was required via the Heathpark Industrial Estate. Cllr Twiss said he had taken up the issue with Mike Brown at DCC Highways.
Cllr Twist asked about electric vehicle charging points, and Cllr Twiss replied that while there was no detail as yet, DCC would be looking at this area as part of its green agenda. He added that DCC aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Cllr Twiss left the meeting.
ACTION: Chair to reply to Cllr Bond.
25/21 To consider the following planning applications:
- a) 21/0945/LBC Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ Localised repairs and reinstatement of section of collapsed garden boundary wall.
- b) 21/1354/VAR Coign Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AB Variation of condition No. 2 (Approved plans) and condition No. 3 (Materials) of planning permission ref: 20/0584/FUL to allow for a change of materials used and alterations to the proposed plans
- c) 21/1295/FUL 1 Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB Demolition of existing workshop to be replaced with a new self-build dwelling
- d) 21/1420/VAR Unit 5 Weston Park Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton EX14 1ST Variation of condition 1 (extension to opening hours) of 19/2150/VAR
- e) 21/1350/FUL Land West of Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton Construction of two storey offices (Unit D) for Use Class E (g) (i), alterations to car park layout, and internal access. Installation of covered bike store to front
- f) 21/1165/FUL Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room.
- g) 21/1166/LBC Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room
Members had no objections to a).
Regarding b), members had no objection in principle to this application, but would like to raise a slight concern regarding the use of non-traditional materials to this part of Devon.
Members resolved to object to c) on the grounds outlined previously, ie granting permission would establish a new residential unit in the countryside without agricultural need being sought, and it will act as a precedent for other opportunities in the future which would be detrimental to the overall policy-making of EDDC. Parish councillors also raised concern about the proposed materials in terms of the roofing.
Regarding d), parish councillors objected to this application on the grounds of adverse impact on a residential amenity. There were concerns over noise at night and proximity to homes, caused by music, traffic and people.
Parish councillors had no objection in principle to e), but would like to raise concerns that surface water must not be allowed to drain into the existing water course.
Regarding f) and g), there was concern among parish councillors that there is an absence of a flood risk assessment linked to this application. As a parish council they therefore wish to understand how that matter is going to be addressed and would like to make further comment once that information is received. The property is in flood zone 3, and therefore a flood risk assessment including floor levels is required.
26/21 To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:
- To note the latest planning decision notices
- To receive an update on Highways
Cllr Orchard said there had been some flooding during recent heavy rain.
Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish: Road from Chineway Head to Hare and Hounds closed 14–25 June for South West Water works; Alfington Road closed for Jurassic Fibre 29/30 July.
- To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy & S106
The Chair presented the results of the public consultation on ‘sports pitch’ funding, which forms the basis of decisions made on new amenities for sport and physical activity in the parish. The results are as follows:
Thirteen people replied to the request for parishioner’s ideas on how to spend S106 sports pitch funding available to GPC in Summer 2021. This was to be in addition to the already suggested and agreed Boules Court.
|Number of suggestions
This could be added to the new boules court at the same time as it is being built. A very popular choice and one that has been discussed for years. Can be installed at the same time and in the same area as the new boules court.
The village playground doesn’t have a big enough flat area for this. If the large grass area was turned into a tennis court then that would take away a good amenity, grassed area for ball games, picnics, etc.
The PC considered a village-led project with donated materials, but will not progress as a previous, similar facility was unused and fell apart.
This could be added to the side of the boules court. A concrete slab with a run for the return of balls. There used to be a facility in the village hall and it was well used. Would be nice to see this again.
Grid for hopscotch
Perhaps the grid could be added / painted on to the skittle alley above.
Pergola or shelter
Not suitable for this allocation of funding but perhaps there is Covid funding or DCC locality project funding to provide a shelter. Particularly useful to encourage outdoor meeting during Covid.
Mini astro turf
pitch for football
See reasons for not having a tennis court, above. Not enough space. Reduction of existing grass amenity area.
PC will investigate potential equipment and sites in the village playground and in the Vale near the boulders.
The PC considered providing a hoop on the skittle alley, but felt the intrusive noise and proximity to homes would be unsuitable. Therefore no further progress.
Not suitable for this allocation of funding – check this though. Also, we have a small climbing wall on the slide tower. An actual climbing wall or bouldering wall might be too intrusive because of its height.
Not suitable for this allocation of funding.
Removable net considered, but would not be robust enough to withstand misuse.
Members discussed various scenarios:
1.Go ahead with a project to provide a boules court, skittles alley, and
a.Draw up plans, b. Get quotes, c. Aim to build in summer 2021
NB there are skittles in the hall which could be kept in a locked box, or provide a new set for
2.Investigate funding sources for a pergola or shelter. Consider Covid funding and DCC locality budget. If successful, get 3 quotes and install asap to encourage outdoor meeting in the summer for Covid safety. Summer 2021
3.Investigate adult exercise bike costs and funding sources for this. Deadline Winter 2021.
4.The following suggestions will not be progressed as they are unsuitable for the village play
area (too big): tennis court, badminton court , climbing structure, zip wire, mini astro turf pitch.
Members resolved to go ahead with the resurfaced boules pitch, hopscotch and skittle alley, table tennis facility, subject to cost and quotes. Cllr Orchard will discuss with EDDC to understand how this is paid for. Cllr Valentine said that the parish council should be cautious when investigating a shelter or pergola, as a structure over a certain size will require planning permission. He asked if the PC would consider purchasing a secure storage area for any equipment associated with any eventual sports facility.
Councillors discussed the purchase of a badminton net, but it was felt they were not particularly robust. There was concern over the potential maintenance cost of an adult exercise bike, and whether it would be better placed in Gittisham Vale. It was agreed to defer discussion to a later date.
ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain quotes for boules pitch, hopscotch and skittle alley, table tennis facility from suppliers. Chair to investigate cost of pergola or shelter and any relevant funding opportunities.
To receive an update on public transport
Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.
To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development
Cllr Twist said she attended a meeting on 25th May with Toby Curtis (Surveyor, Baker Estates), Robin Palmer (Site Manager, Baker Estates), and Tina Sauvage (Community Heart Beat Trust). The meeting was organised following Adam Clarke’s email, (previously circulated) confirming the electricity supply for the defibrillator cabinet, and that it would not be sited on the block of apartments as originally suggested.
The defibrillator would be sited on posts on communal ground about 20 yards away from the block. The fixture and the site is not a problem, but there now is an additional cost of channelling the cable. Toby Curtis wants to try again with Sovereign Housing on the siting of the defibrillator, otherwise we will have to see if Baker Estates will want to bear the extra cost. November is seen as the goal date for going live, so Cllr Twist said she would contact CHB for lead times and costs.
To consider climate change measures within the parish
Cllr Twist said she had not received any further information regarding the EV charging point.
Cllr Rowe reported that he was waiting for a response from DCC about verge cutting in the Vale. He said he was also awaiting a reply from EDDC about the land at the end of Old Elm Road and whether parts of that can be allowed to be left to nature. The ones he had seeded personally will be in flower over the next few weeks, and he said hopefully there will be a good display. He added that EDDC’s Countryside Team would be carrying out a site visit in the near future to assess.
To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security
Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:
Phishing remains the most successful of the cyber scams. As of 30 April 2021 more than 5.8 million e-mails were reported to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service set up last April. The most common was the TV Licence scam with reported losses totalling £5.3 million. Report suspicious emails to email@example.com and suspicious text messages forward to 7726.
Mimicking Fraud Department Telephone Numbers: scammers are somehow mimicking the telephone numbers of bank fraud departments, examples are, Barclays, First Direct, Lloyds. Please avoid using the number printed on the back of your card, go into branch or use another number.
Post vaccine survey scams: either phone, text or email promising cash or a prize, and asking for card details.
To consider limited residential development in the parish
Cllr Valentine said the public exhibition/consultation, displaying details of the development, will be taking place in the village hall tomorrow (11th June) with viewing available between 3.00pm and 8.00pm.
Representatives from the architects, South Devon Rural Housing Association (the CLT’s development partner), the Combe Estate, the GCLT and its advisors will be available to answer questions and receive comments. The scheme will then be reviewed in the light of any comments received and amended if appropriate. It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted to EDDC at the end of June or early July.
To consider the parish emergency plan
Cllr Orchard reported that the revised plan had been published on the Gittisham website. Review due May 2022. He said that a briefing to bring all flood marshalls up to date would be required.
ACTION: Chair to arrange meeting with emergency plan councillors and named flood marshalls.
To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area
Cllr Walker sent a report in her absence:
With the improving weather, she noted that the playground is now getting much busier. All seems to be in good working order and the wild area provides an attractive seating area for parents, carers, grandparents etc. She has made a mental note to fill the hand sanitiser today. She will also empty the bin, which she knows is being used. Thankfully, there have been very few sweet wrappers etc. needing to be picked up around the play equipment. Cllr Walker added that the lengthsman had completed the tasks outstanding from the annual safety inspection.
To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain ditches and drains in the parish
Cllr Walker said the lengthsman would keep an eye on all the work needing to be carried out as we go through the year. If any councillors has noted something needing to be done, please let Cllr Walker know and she will pass details on to him.
27/21 To receive a report from the Chair
Members approved the Chair’s application to the Woodland Trust for a grant for hedge plants, which will be installed along the wall between the field and the bottom play area.
The Chair explained that DCC had clarified the Rights of Way on Westgate Hill, and there is no vehicle access link across the top. Therefore the illegal activity from off-roaders is on private land, and Combe Estate as the landowner is responsible for installing measures such as barriers, in consultation with DCC. There has been no progress on the Ramblers’ appeal regarding a proposed footpath from Hayne Farm to Goldcombe, due to Covid.
ACTION: Chair to apply for Woodland Trust grant.
28/21 To consider the purchase of a printer or copier for the Gittisham Gazette
Members discussed the future distribution of the Gittisham Gazette, and it was agreed to ask the editor how many hard copies would realistically be needed post-Covid. The current figure stands at 70. The PC will consider sharing the cost of a printer with the church, possibly in the form of a grant. Cllr Twist said the gazette could be posted on the Hayne Farm community Facebook page. The PC would like the gazette to be more of a parish-wide publication, eg welcoming new parishioners in the whole parish, not just the village.
ACTION: Chair to arrange meeting with Carol McCann. Cllr Twist to investigate uploading the gazette to FB.
29/21 To approve the June payments and to note the current bank balance
It was resolved to approve the following payments:
1101 F J Clampin £224.86 Clerk’s salary
1102 F J Clampin £44.25 Remaining reimbursement for Microsoft Office 2019
1103 Michael Poll £60 Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10077)
1104 Michael Poll £60 Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10084)
1105 Community First £495.17 Parish council annual insurance policy
1106 Alison Marshall £150 Internal audit 2020-21
1107 Len Abbott £147 Lengthsman work, 10.5 hrs May 2021 @ £14/hr
DD NEST £22.48 Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)
Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,855.93 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). The clerk said a VAT rebate of £749.17 had been received, for the year 2018-19.
30/21 To receive and note the annual internal audit report
Members noted the annual internal audit report.
31/21 To approve the annual governance statement 2020-21
Members resolved to approve the annual governance statement 2020-21.
32/21 To approve the 2020-21 accounting statements
Members resolved to adopt the 2020-21 accounts. Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated the accounting statements. The parish council ended the financial year on 31st March 2021 with a balance of £16,232.55 (inc. £7,030.36 in business reserve, with £2.86 interest accumulated this year). There is VAT to be recovered of £226.12.
33/21 To consider the criteria for meeting exemption from the annual limited assurance review 2020-21, and approve the exemption certificate
Members agreed the criteria had been met, ie that during the financial year 2020-21 the higher of the parish council’s gross income or gross annual expenditure for the year did not exceed £25,000.
34/21 To set and approve the period for the exercise of public rights 2020-21
Members approved the period for the exercise of public rights to extend from 14th June to 23rd July 2021.
35/21 Clerk’s Report
The clerk said a representative from Airband would be attending the July meeting.
36/21 For information only; items for the forward agenda
37/21 To consider any late entry correspondence
The Chair reported that the No Mow May initiative would be continuing in the churchyard. Cllr Valentine warned that the rollout of superfast broadband could be held up by connections to listed buildings.
38/21 Date of next two meetings
Wednesday 7th July and Wednesday 4th August (village hall) 2021 at 7.30pm. Public via Zoom. The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2105 hrs.
7th July 2021