2022-05 Parish Council meeting minutes 12th May 2022



HELD ON 12th MAY 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall


Village ward: Cllr C Hall (Chair), Cllr D Valentine, Cllr M Walker, Cllr A Rowe

Vale ward: Cllr J Twist, Cllr J Fowles

In attendance: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Carly Wyman (Jurassic Fibre), Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr P Orchard, Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), PCSO Darren England

1/22        To elect a Chair

Cllr Valentine nominated Cllr Hall for election as Chair for 2022/23.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Rowe.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Hall be elected Chair for 2022/23 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

2/22        To elect a Vice Chair

Cllr Valentine nominated Cllr Twist for election as Vice Chair for 2022/23.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Walker.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Twist be elected Vice Chair for 2022/23 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

3/22        To receive the Chair’s and Vice Chair’s declaration of Acceptance of Office

In accordance with Section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972, Cllr Hall & Cllr Twist made a Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

4/22        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

5/22        To confirm the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held 7th April 2022

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 7th April 2022 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

6/22        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The clerk provided figures taken from http://www.police.uk/ .

March 2022: 1 x anti-social behaviour, Laburnum Close.

7/22        To receive declarations of interest

None.  Cllr Fowles added that her husband is now a Honiton town councillor.

8/22        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine said he was continuing to monitor EDDC’s strategic planning committee meetings, and he thought it would be later this year before EDDC would be in a position to determine what land would be included for new sites.   

The Chair said she had been in touch with Grainger, regarding the state of one of their properties which is home to a parishioner who will be returning there after a spell in hospital.  She said the company would be carrying out maintenance work to ensure it would be up to standard.

Following the damage to the play area fence and the telephone box in Gittisham village in April, the clerk said she had requested three quotes for the fence.  Two companies have quoted to replace the glass.  Cllr Rowe said he would investigate costs for the piece of glass.

9/22        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: DCC has received reports that fraudsters are telephoning people, pretending to be from their local council, to con them into providing their bank details. 

The callers refer to the government’s £150 council tax rebate, which was recently  introduced to help people with their rising energy bills and for some people has not yet been paid out.  Posing as a local council, they ask the person for their bank details. The DCC Trading Standards Team flagged the scam recently and said: “It’s a scam. Councils would never cold call and ask for your bank details to make the payment. Never give your bank details to a cold caller.” 

For more information about the rebate, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/council-tax rebate-factsheet  

Remember to be tick aware this spring and summer 

As April to June brings warmer weather it can be a great time to enjoy outdoors activities, such as a walk in one of Devon’s national parks or a cycle along a coastal  path. However, it also brings the peak of tick activity.  Ticks are small spider-like creatures, which feed on the blood of host animals, including humans. They can vary in size, from the size of a small freckle to a baked bean.  Some ticks can carry bacteria which pass diseases such as Lyme disease. Public health data shows cases of Lyme disease are significantly higher in Devon when compared with the rest of the country.  Further information can be found at https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/13/what-is lyme-disease-and-why-do-we-need-to-be-tick-aware/   

Devon backs Freeport proposals

While there may well be a degree of, “how does this benefit us?” about the Devon  Freeport project, the economic spin-off is likely to spread much further beyond its borders in to wider Devon in terms of research work and high value job creation.  DCC has agreed its support for the development of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport sites. The project has the potential to unlock £314 million of inward

investment,and create more than 3,500 jobs, building on the area’s global reputation  for marine innovation and advanced engineering.  Councillors backed proposals to borrow up to £15 million of capital investment to kickstart transport infrastructure schemes, vital to the project. And they approved DCC becoming a founder member of a company, limited by guarantee, to operate  the Freeport, alongside South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council.  Three main sites have been identified to unlock 130 hectares of development land, to provide space for high value advanced manufacturing and logistics companies:  Langage Energy Park, Sherford Employment Zone, and South Yard in Devonport. 

Recognise the symptoms of scarlet fever and chickenpox 

Parents and carers are being reminded of the symptoms of scarlet fever and chickenpox, following a rise in cases across the country. Levels for both are what we expect to see at this time of year, but there has been an increase compared with 2021, when coronavirus restrictions kept cases below average.  Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but highly infectious. Symptoms include a sore throat, headache and fever, with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. It’s important to contact your local GP or NHS 111 if you suspect scarlet fever as early treatment with antibiotics is important. Anyone diagnosed with scarlet fever should stay at home for at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment, to avoid spreading the infection to others.  Chickenpox is also highly infectious, and has a characteristic rash, with vesicles on the face, spreading down the body to arms and legs. Generally a mild illness, it can be more severe in pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals. People with chickenpox should remain at home until they are better and the rash has gone. 

The BIG FIX returns! 

The BIG FIX returns after a two year break, on Saturday 14th May, with one aim – to fix and breathe new life into as many broken things as possible!  Skilled menders, fixers, tinkerers and tailors from all over the country will give their time and expertise for free to help fix items that might otherwise be thrown away.  Broken clocks, jewellery, clothing and textiles, gardening equipment, broken electronics… they can all be brought in for repair.  See https://www.recycledevon.org/reuse/repair-cafe for further information on repair cafes where coming soon locally is Honiton, in addition to those already in the Blackdown Hills, Broadhembury, Sidmouth and Axminster. 

Cllr Bruce said full council met last week to discuss the issue of returning to in person meetings. Regrettably, the vote was for council to remain meeting via Zoom. The EDA believe that this is the way forward, regardless of COVID numbers, with carbon savings and better use of officer time and child care savings among the arguments presented to support this proposal. The Conservative group voted for a return to meeting in person. Cllr Bruce said he agreed with this because, whilst recognising some of the advantages of Zoom, he believed the democracy is best served by public debate in a physical forum. Council meetings are a formal affair which is not achieved by sitting in front of a computer screen with a cup of coffee and all the distractions of home life. There is also the issue of connectivity. If for whatever reason his signal goes down during a debate, he would be unable to influence the debate nor cast his vote. This denies him the right to discharge his duty as a councillor which he was elected to do, and for which he receives an allowance to offset extra expense. So, unless something dramatic occurs, East Devon District Council meetings will now remain on Zoom until October! Gittisham parish councillors resolved to support Cllr Bruce’s position on virtual meetings.

Not directly related to Gittiisham, but commuters from the village may notice the ‘beautification of our local railway stations after funding was secured by our county councillor and local groups. Monies will be spent on planting schemes to encourage pollinators and increase biodiversity, and Cllr Bruce said he had been asked in his beekeeping capacity to advise some of those involved on what plants to choose.

Jubilee Oak signs are being rolled out following the successful tree planting scheme headed up by the chair of EDDC.

10/22        To receive an update on the roll-out of superfast broadband by Jurassic Fibre

Carly Wyman introduced herself as the new Community Engagement Ambassador for the Devon area.  She explained that a new design for the plan outlining how to bring fibre into Gittisham village has been finalized.  The next step will involve approval by Combe Estate.  Barring any delays, Ms Wyman said the roll-out could be completed in the next six months.  Cllr Valentine requested information on how fibre would be brought to the village, eg along which route and where the poles will be sited.  Ms Wyman said the intention would be to position them behind properties.  She agreed to keep the parish council informed via the clerk. 

Cllr Bruce & Carly Wyman left the meeting.

11/22     To consider the following street trading renewal applications:

a)            The Codfather Fish & Chip Van, far end of Old Elm Road, Honiton, EX14 2YJ

Dates:   RENEWAL – Annual Trader – Every Saturday

Times: 16:30 – 19:00

Members had no objection to a). 

12/22     To consider a proposed Speed Limit Order for Weston, Honiton, Buckerell & Gittisham reference B18790-5922

Members had no objection to the proposed speed limit order.  Members noted Cllr Orchard’s comment that the newly installed speed signs will have to be resited. At the bottom of the diagram the presently unadopted roads of Hayne Farm estate are scheduled to be 30mph.

13/22     To consider a Schedule 14 Application (made after January 2005 by the Trail Riders Fellowship) to upgrade Bridleway No. 9,  Landscores Lane, to Byway Open to All Traffic, points A-B-C on the  proposal map HIW/PROW/22/02 

Members agreed that no further encouragement to off roaders illegally using bridleways, footpaths and private land was desirable at Westgate Common.  If this application was allowed, it would give direct access to this area and a continuation of damage and intimidation.  Members resolved to oppose this application.

14/22     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices
  1. 22/0006/LBC Westgate Gittisham EX14 3AU – Change of use of part of paddock to habitable use and construction of 3 x bay garage/outbuilding.  Cllr Orchard said he had reported this application as withdrawn at the March meeting. Mirror application submitted the same day ref 005/FUL and that was approved on 4th April.
  2. 22/0498/FUL – Shermans Farm Gittisham EX14 3AU – Construction of metal slurry store. 

Approval standard time limit.

  • To receive an update on Highways

In his absence, Cllr Orchard reported that the closure on A35 Axminster Road did not take place as Highways England had “not completed their planning”. This will likely result in a closure later in the year, probably at the height of the tourist traffic!

Cllr Orchard added that spray graffiti has been appearing along Hayne Lane between Old Elm Rd and the river. Also around the Old Elm/Sidmouth Rd area.  The grill on the Old Elm Road balancing pond has still not been cleared.

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

The Chair said she would look at a redesign for the play area, and members agreed it would be wise to revisit the list of items at the next meeting to ensure they were the most appropriate.

ACTION: Clerk to update Cllr Orchard.

  • 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 had circulated details of the leaflet designed to be distributed to all the homes on the Hayne Farm Estate, with a print run of 500 copies.  The design and content was approved by parish councillors. Baker Estates took the defibrillator on 25th April, for installation on Wednesday 27th April. NB Since the meeting, the defibrillator has been installed.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist reported that there had been no further update regarding the installation of an EV charging point in the village. However, EDDC has issued a car parking order amendment in relation to Electric Vehicle Parking Bays.  No vehicle can park or wait in an EV charging bay unless the vehicle is an EV and it is connected to an EV charging point via a connecting lead and is being charged. The vehicle can only be left in the bay for the period required to charge the battery.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said STOP SCAMS UK with its 159 short code number had generated 75,000 calls since it was launched in September 2021.  159 has now been upgraded to enable a major expansion of the service so it can accommodate an even larger number of the UK’s banks.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said he welcomed the parish council’s ongoing support.  There will be an AGM within the next month. 

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said there were no review matters to update the document.  Members resolved to approve the plan and review in 12 months. 

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

Cllr Walker said she had moved one of the benches to stop it from rotting in its previous location.  She added that the owners of Eveleighs adjacent to the play area were inspecting the fence.  Members agreed the items highlighted in RoSPA’s annual safety report would need attending to, and Cllr Walker said she would speak to Len Abbott about this. 

ACTION: Clerk to remind Trim Plants in the autumn about the crab apple tree.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to discuss play area inspection report with Len Abbott.

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

Cllr Walker said she would pass on the parish council’s thanks to the lengthsman for cutting back the brambles on the left hand side of the link road beyond the Forge heading east, as the growth had made walking difficult. 

15/22     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the Ukrainian couple was settling into the parish, and added that other sponsors had offered to host other Ukrainian refugees.

16/22 To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders

Members resolved to adopt the parish council’s standing orders.

17/22     To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1158       F J Clampin          £226.86                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (card)

1059       Playsafety Ltd     £109.20                 Annual play area safety inspection

1160       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10138

1161       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10145

1162       DALC                    £36         Being a Good Councillor, 2 x sessions @£18 each inc. VAT     

1163       Community First £420.44  Parish council annual insurance policy

1164       Parish hall             £30         Hall hire, Feb-April 2022

1165       Parish hall             £500       Jubilee events [receipts to be provided]

1166       Solar Centre          £139.98 Solar lights for two bus shelters

DD          NEST                     £22.86   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members resolved to approve the clerk’s request to readdress cheque no. 1156 to her, as she had paid for the domain name renewal by personal credit card.  (Following the meeting the clerk circulated details of this payment to members.)   Parish councillors also resolved to approve a three year long term agreement for the parish council insurance with Community First, as well as the increase in pension contributions for the clerk in line with the salary increase approved in April 2022 (minute ref. 208/21).  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £23,672.63 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

18/22     To consider Parish Council support for the Queen’s platinum jubilee, and any funding opportunities

The Chair said excellent progress had been made so far on this project.  Local companies have offered to get involved, including a bench from Combe Garden centre, 70 souvenir drinks bottles for all the parish children from CMC Garage, the oak tree from EDDC, £100 from Blamphayne Saw Mills towards the disco, with the Parish Council £500 donation making up the other £50.  The village hall committee will use the remaining £450 for the bar and cream teas, and a barbecue if remaining funds allow.

ACTION: All members to make residents aware of the jubilee weekend events.

19/22     To consider upgrading the parish bus shelters

The Chair said a working party could be convened after the summer to refurbish the bus shelters.  Cllr Rowe presented three quotes for solar lights, and members resolved to approve those provided by Solar Centre for £69.99 each inc. VAT. 

20/22     To consider changes to the parish council’s banking policy

The clerk said Nat West had referred her to their website to download a new mandate.

21/22     Clerk’s Report


22/22     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Platinum Jubilee activities; internet banking policy, annual accounts and governance statement. 

23/22     To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Rowe said he had observed a man on the Honiton link road with a theodolite surveying to do with the industrial land.

24/22     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 9th June and Thursday 7th July 2022 at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2120 hrs.


9th June 2022