Parish Council meeting minutes 7 July 2021




in Gittisham Village Hall

and via Zoom


Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr A Rowe

Cllr M Walker

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

In attendance: Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Twist, PCSO Darren England

39/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

40/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 10th June 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

41/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Three crimes were reported in May 2021:

2 x anti-social behavior

1 x violence and sexual offences

42/21     To receive declarations of interest

The Chair said that with respect to the planning applications discussed at the June meeting, 21/1165/FUL and 21/1166/LBC, she had taken some water level measurements for the applicant but was not involved in the interpretation of any data for them.

43/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk reported that Baker Estates had not yet responded regarding the dog poo bins.  

The Chair’s said she had made an 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.

44/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Members noted that the election for a new district councillor would be held on 8th July. 

Vaccination Programme

Cllr Twiss said as we approach the 19th of July and the further lifting of restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he thought that an update on the progress of the vaccination rollout would be helpful to members and whilst we are nowhere near out of the woods just yet as the school holidays are rapidly approaching, bringing with them the anticipated very large influx of visitors.  He said that like all of us he hoped that every day brings us closer to a more normal state of affairs for the majority of our population and learning to live with the virus.

•              The vaccination programme across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay continues make progress with all adults now being offered the vaccine. To date over 1.5 million doses have been given across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with 679,000 people having received their second dose. The local NHS delivered the ‘Grab a jab’ weekend in late June enabling all adult to make walk-in appointments; plans are being developed to repeat this over the summer. There was also a walk-in clinic at the Devon County show last weekend and DCC Staff were offering lateral flow tests to show visitors.

•              Proof of vaccination can now be demonstrated using the NHS COVID Pass service where you can view and share your COVID Pass for event trials and travel abroad.

•              Following a central government public consultation, from October 2021 people working in CQC-registered care homes must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption. It will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider, those employed by an agency, volunteers and those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors. A further consultation will be launched on whether to extend this new requirement to other health and social care settings.

Superfast Broadband

As the digital megabit age is finally reaching our rural areas, (albeit not fast enough in too many cases) it highlights the importance of addressing the challenges our small rural businesses face in gearing up for the opportunities this will bring. Cllr Twiss circulated a recently published paper, which he said is a very interesting read on how they might compete with larger, better resourced organisations.

Rural affordable housing

The topic of the affordability of housing for local people is a very live and pertinent one today as people look to inward migrate to our part of the world, many as a result of new ways of working due to the pandemic with less physical time spent in the office or other workplace.  This is reducing the supply of homes in all sectors and making it much more difficult for local people to compete in with buying or renting homes with affordable schemes for local people increasingly important.  Cllr Twiss circulated a Parish Councillors guide to affordable rural housing, which he said highlights the issues.

Paths and gateways

Cllr Twiss said he had discussed with DCC Neighbourhood Highways Officer Mike Brown to find funding to make the emergency gateway at the end of Old Elm Road where it meets Hayne Lane wheelchair and motorised wheelchair accessible.  He hoped that this work can be done in 2021/22.  With more people choosing to walk for exercise, he said he would like to see the informal footpath from the end of Old Elm Road towards the A30 and Otter Inn, Garden centre and Heron Farm beyond a more substantial one and will see what progress can be made to completing this in 2021/22 or beyond, depending on funding allocations.  Whilst just on the other side of the parish boundary with Honiton, this would of course benefit residents on Hayne Farm and Gitisham Vale.

Cllr Valentine said there is an increasing frustration and anger among village residents about the speed of traffic coming through, and he asked if he could draw this to the appropriate department at DCC.  Cllr Twiss added that there is a trial taking place in a number of South Devon villages to reduce speeds to 20mph, and depending on the outcome recommendations will flow from there. 

The Chair asked Cllr Twiss if there was the potential to progress the Goldcombe / Hayne Farm footpath appeal.

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Twiss to send Devon Funding News to the clerk, as well as information on the 20 is Plenty scheme.  RESOLVED: Clerk to order £15 of 20 is Plenty stickers to attach to bins, and claim back at next meeting.  Cllr Twiss to investigate status of Ramblers’ appeal.

45/21     To consider the rollout of superfast broadband, and a presentation by Airband

This was deferred to the August meeting.

46/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

21/1354/VAR Coign Cottage Gittisham Honiton 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. Approval with conditions.

Appeal Ref: APP/U1105/W/21/3267313 Conversion of existing buildings to holiday dwellings (application for removal of condition 5 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow year round occupancy of the holiday dwellings and variation of condition 6 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow The Cider Barn to be used as an unrestricted residential dwelling) at Goldcombe Farmhouse, Gittisham.  Appeal dismissed.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said he had received a complaint from a resident about overgrown hedges on the south side of Old Elm Rd between Honeysuckle Close and the bus turning circle. Members discussed whose responsibility this might be, and agreed to ask the lengthsman to cut the hedges back to prevent people from getting scratched. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish: Resurfacing A375 Sidmouth Road – closed Tuesday 20th  July Gittisham Hill to Exeter Road.  Working hours 1900-0700 for 12 weekday nights in two phases:  south of Old Elm Rd roundabout then to the north. The roundabout will be totally closed at 2300 each night. Vale residents have been leafleted by Devon Highways.

26/7th July Devonshire Road. Priority boards for Jurassic Fibre works.

29/30th July Alfington Road closed for Jurassic Fibre works.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask Len Abbott to trim above-mentioned hedges in the Vale.

  • To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy & S106

The Chair explained that she and Cllr Orchard had met EDDC officers to understand the next steps in progressing new items in line with May’s public consultation exercise. ‌ The meeting had given clarification on funding sources and allowed us to proceed to the next stage. A table tennis facility, outdoor skittles alley, boules court and hopscotch grid had all been agreed, and Cllr Orchard is preparing a specification.  Members agreed that the next stage would be to inform neighbours of the works and their timings, followed by sourcing quotes in line with EDDC’s policy.  The Chair said she was very pleased with the plans and see the new playground facilities as being useful to families, older children and adults.

She added that EDDC had also sent some information about potential funding sources for a shelter. The Chair reported that she had shared this with the village hall committee, which is looking to install an awning at the back of the hall which could help with Covid safety at village events.

ACTION: Clerk to inform residents of properties neighbouring the play area of the plans.  Cllr Orchard to work on specifications.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Members heard there was no update on the replacement bus for King’s School pupils in September, nor whether from 19th July when Covid-19 restrictions are due to be eased whether the pupils-only bus would be continuing.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist sent a report in her absence, saying that the information she’d requested from Community Heart Beat for consideration by the Parish Council had been circulated.  She added that she had not received any further communication from Baker Estates.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said she had not received any further information regarding the EV charging point, and asked if the parish council is registered with Parish and Town Council Wildlife to receive their newsletter.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

  • A cold caller impersonates a legitimate mobile network operator or supplier.  There is also a Covid Vaccine Passport scam email purporting to be from the NHS; clicking on the link will take you to a fake NHS website where you are asked for personal and payment details.  In reality details of your vaccine status are available free via the official NHS website. 
  • A suspicious SMS message, claiming to be from a delivery company, asking you to click on a link to track the delivery status of a package. These messages are actually linked to a banking Trojan called “FLUBOT”. It asks receiver to install a tracking app to track the status of the package, when its intention is to steal credentials and other personal data.

Cllr Twist advised users not to click on links in SMS messages, not to install apps from anywhere but the official app stores, and ensure mobile telephones are protected with security software.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the public exhibition/consultation, displaying details of the development had attracted more than 40 visitors.  Some changes had been made to the design as a result of comments.  It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted to EDDC at the end of July.

  1. To consider the parish emergency plan

The Chair said she was in the process of arranging a meeting with emergency plan councillors and named flood marshalls, and hoped this would take place before the August meeting.

  • To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker thanked Cllr Orchard for taking responsibility for the new items (see minute ref 46c).  The clerk said that she was still corresponding with Kompan regarding the replacement seats and chains for the toddler swings, and had provided them with photographs and measurements with the aim of selecting the appropriate items.  As it has been difficult to make progress due to the company’s lengthy reply times and sending the wrong quote to the clerk, Cllr Orchard agreed to investigate ordering the items.

ACTION: Clerk to forward correspondence with Kompan to Cllr Orchard.

  • To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain ditches and drains in the parish

Members noted that the lengthsman had cut a passing place on the road to Catshayes Farm, which would be useful for both motorists and walkers.  They also noted that he had cut back foliage along Dark Lane / Shaggy’s, for which they were grateful. 

47/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair echoed Cllr Valentine’s comments about traffic speeds, and agreed to write to The Pig to ask the management to remind staff and residents to drive carefully.  Cllr Valentine added that a new speed survey on the hill beyond Clysthayes may form part of the GCLT work.

The Chair reported that Combe Estate would be installing signs at both Beech Walk and Westgate.  The purpose of the signs is to try to combat various anti-social behaviours that that have taken place recently.  She reminded members that DCC had clarified there was no vehicular access at Westgate, across the top and down to Alphington.  Any vehicles using that area are doing so illegally.

The Chair explained that a local farmer had raised concerns about walkers getting lost between Westgate and the village.  Walkers have ended up on a private farm track which leads from Sherman’s Farm to Catshayes Farm, and the farmer is worried about the public getting hurt by boisterous cows.  (There have been reports in the press of cows hurting people elsewhere.)  Members agreed that temporary signs, a review of signage with DCC and a letter to Combe Estate and The Pig to raise awareness was an appropriate response.

ACTION: Chair to write to Fiona Moores at The Pig regarding drivers.  Clerk to write to DCC RoW, The Pig, Len Abbott and Combe Estate.

48/21 To consider the purchase of a printer or copier for the Gittisham Gazette

The Chair said she had discussed with the Gittisham Gazette editor, Carol McCann, and agreed that the PC would continue to cover ¾ of the cost of printing and copying.  The aim is to reduce the number of paper copies, while recognizing that some residents require them.  The editor has agreed to report back to the Chair with an estimate of ongoing costs. 

ACTION: Chair to discuss with Carol McCann how to make the Gittisham Gazette more parish-wide. 

49/21 To approve the appointment of Alison Marshall as internal auditor for 2021/22

Members resolved to appoint Alison Marshall as internal auditor for the financial year 2021/22.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Alison Marshall.

50/21     To approve the July payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1108       F J Clampin                          £226.37                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamps)

1109       Len Abbott                           £91         Lengthsman work, 6.5 hrs June 2021 @ £14/hr

1110       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10094)

1111       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10084)

1112       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for June meeting

1113       Websites Ahoy                     £195       Maintenance and updates on website

1114       Len Abbott                           £7.24      Lengthsman expenses, June 2021 (petrol)

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,183.84 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

51/21     Clerk’s Report

The clerk agreed to inform regular contributors to the Gittisham website about the need to conform to accessibility guidelines.  Recently uploaded items will need to be amended to reflect this, and then the accessibility statement can be published.

52/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Traffic speeds in Gittisham village.

53/21     To consider any late entry correspondence


54/21     Date of next two meetings

Wednesday 4th August (village hall) and Wednesday 1st September 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 2025 hrs.


4th August 2021