2023-04 Parish Council meeting minutes 6th April 2023

Held in Gittisham Parish Room


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

Vale ward: Cllr J Twist (Vice Chair), Cllr P Orchard

In attendance: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), nine members of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Fowles, Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, Russell & Edmond Hayman spoke regarding their planning application (minute ref. 193/22).  They explained that environmental regulations require farmers to update dairy units, and without this lagoon the herd size would have to be halved.  They explained that an earth-banked lagoon has the lowest carbon footprint, the longest life span, and there is nowhere suitable on the farm to support a concrete structure.  They reported that the Environment Agency had expressed no objections.  Access will be along either Chaghayes (Shaggys) or Dark Lane, and it should result in fewer agricultural vehicles on the road moving slurry.

Two members of the public spoke in support of the parish council’s decision to purchase an outdoor ping pong table for the play area, following a public consultation and votes for the most popular suggestion. They argued that table tennis is a sport for all ages, and younger children are already well provided for in the village play area.  They felt an outdoor table would enhance the play area facilities (especially for older children), promote fitness and health, and encourage adults and children to gather socially.

Two members of the public, supported by two additional members of the public, spoke against the parish council’s decision.  They argued that the parish council had not considered the impact of noise, intrusion and potential anti-social behaviour.  They pointed out that a ping pong table already exists in the village hall, and could be used more without the potential disruption to neighbours of an outdoor facility in the play area.  They urged the parish council to find something that would be acceptable to the whole community.

The Chair explained that in order to obtain S106 funds allocated to the parish council for sport, leisure and play, it had had to go through a public consultation process mandated by EDDC.  She said the majority of those who responded had suggested an outdoor ping pong table; of all the suggestions put forward by parishioners, this was the item which had received the most votes. 

Five members of the public left the meeting.

187/22        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

188/22        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2023 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

189/22        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Feb 2023: no reported crimes.

190/22        To receive declarations of interest

The Chair declared an interest in agenda items 7a) and b), as she is the owner of a neighbouring property (minute ref. 193/22).  Cllr Valentine declared an interest in agenda item 7d), as the applicant is the freeholder of a property in Town Farm Buildings and holds shares in the company of which Cllr Valentine is managing director.

191/22        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk said she had spoken to James Fuller regarding the parish council’s position on tendering for work on the lych gate, and would await further information before bringing the item back to council.

192/22        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: “as we are now in a restricted election period, commonly referred to as ‘purdah’ in the run-up to town, parish and district council elections on May 4th this report focuses on matters in a more ‘global sense’. I am personally not seeking re-election to EDDC, but wish all those who have put their names forward to stand for election all the very best.

Voter ID requirement 

From 4 May 2023, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections.

This will apply to:

Local elections

Police and Crime Commissioner elections

UK parliamentary by-elections

Recall petitions

From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections. If you don’t have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate from EDDC, or register for a postal vote.  See https://eastdevon.gov.uk/elections-and-registering-to-vote/voter-id-2023/ and https://eastdevon.gov.uk/elections-and-registering-to-vote/voter-id-2023/acceptedforms-of-photo-id/  for further information.

Devolution deal for Devon, Plymouth and Torbay moves a step closer

A new deal that will transfer money and powers into the hands of local leaders across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, has moved a step closer with the backing of the Government’s LevellingUp Minister, Dehenna Davison.

Outline approval has been given for a Devon-wide devolution deal which could bring greater local control and allow partners to tap into additional resources to help tackle key local priorities, such as affordable housing, better public transport and connectivity, and providing for the skills that the local economy needs.  The deal wouldn’t require a change to the established democratic structures across the area, or the need for an elected mayor. Instead, new powers would be devolved to a partnership of existing local councils who would deliver on a joint programme working alongside a wide range of other local stakeholders.  Local partners across Devon have now been invited to work together to prepare a final business case to present to Government for approval later in the year. Any final deal would require local consent with the full agreement of all the constituent councils as well as parliamentary approval.

Every penny of the extra £9.4m will be spent making our roads more resilient

Every penny of the extra £9.4 million for Devon, announced in the Chancellor’s budget recently, will be spent on improving our roads and making them more resilient. In addition a further £5.5bn of funding for Highways maintenance was announced on 31st March. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-street-works-regime-to-clamp-down-onpothole-pain Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the extra cash specifically to fund vital highways maintenance.  Most of it will go towards the Local Area Capital Programmes, which will reflect local priorities identified through our elected members and Neighbourhood Highway Officers. Using inspections and survey data, the remaining funding will be directed to preventative works to stop potholes forming in the first place. Prolonged spells of very wet weather and freezing road temperatures this winter have been hugely detrimental to the condition of our 8,000 mile road network. To tackle it, over the past few months, we doubled the number of pothole teams, introduced weekend working and extended working hours across the network. That resulted in up to 2,200 potholes being repaired each week.

Household Support Fund

DCC has secured additional funding to help households weather the rising costs of living, to help pay for food, energy and other essential items.  This is the fourth tranche of the government’s Household Support Fund that we’ve been able to secure. The latest bid amounts to a little over £10 million, to cover the period from April 2023 until March 2024. It will take Devon’s total level of Household Support Funding received so far to just over £25 million. The funding is to support households in most need that are struggling to pay for food, energy, water bills and other related essentials. And specifically, those households that may not be eligible for other support that is already available from the government.  We have to submit plans mid-May to the Department of Work and Pensions, setting out how we, with our Team Devon District and City councils and other voluntary and community partners, will make the latest funding available. Plans are expected to include:

A funding allocation to specifically support families in receipt of Free School Meals, to provide food vouchers that can be exchanged at supermarkets to buy food during school holidays. 20,000 children in Devon were eligible for free school meal vouchers during the last holidays

Some funding will also go to provide financial support for food, energy and other essentials to eligible low income households with children and young people, via the County Council’s Early Help service.

Team Devon’s District/City councils will plan to continue helping households that are in greatest financial need and struggling to pay for food, energy and other related essentials. They will publicise further details soon, once plans have been finalised

Citizens Advice Devon will continue to receive funding to support households that are using pre-payment and credit meters, to help with energy costs

working with the Sustainable Warmth project, the fund will also be used to pilot a scheme to provide minor but rapid energy efficiency improvements to the homes of eligible households

and the Devon Community Foundation is exploring how best to deploy funds to voluntary and community organisations that support specific groups who may struggle to access the help and support they need.

The Household Support Fund is one aspect of the support that councils across the county are making available to households. For further information about the range of support available please visit https://www.devon.gov.uk/cost-of-living/


New roadside posters encouraging road users to slow down for horses and their riders are being displayed in parts of Devon.  We’re supporting The British Horse Society’s (BHS) “Dead Slow” road safety campaign, teaming up with the BHS, Horses & Road Safety Awareness (HRSA) and Vision Zero South West to promote the campaign in the county.  The aim is to educate motorists on how to approach and pass horses safely on the

county’s roads, with the posters advising drivers to reduce their speed to a maximum of 10mph and leave at least two metres space.  Since 2018, around 375 incidents involving equestrians on Devon’s roads have been

reported to the Police and the BHS. These collisions have left 19 horses injured and three dead, while 29 horse riders have been injured and one rider killed. Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society, said: “Horses are still being killed and injured on our roads, riders continue to be seriously injured and too many drivers underestimate the importance of driving carefully around horses. This is detrimental to the safety of equestrians. You only have to look at the two horses who were tragically killed in the space of just two weeks at the beginning of 2023.  Together, we can stop these tragic incidents from happening over and over again.  To do this, it is essential that we all follow the Highway Code guidelines in place, which are aligned with our key Dead Slow behavioural messages. Collaborating with Devon County Council, and displaying these posters, will be a critical step towards driving greater awareness and ultimately improving the safety of all vulnerable road users.”

Cllr Bruce reported that at last, repairs are underway on the much mentioned EDDC garages. He was grateful to be alerted to this by a very helpful resident of Gittisham, having not been advised by EDDC directly. He is still awaiting a report from EDDC whereby the parish council can take over control of these garages, so that this long and protracted saga will not be repeated.

Tree planting at EDDC has moved into top gear, according to Cllr Bruce, and there is an initiative coming forward for wild flower meadow planting.

Cllr Bruce explained that purdah precluded much of what he might wish to include in his report to council so this one is about as brief as it gets. He concluded by thanking the parish council for its support this term and said it had been an honour to serve this wonderful village as your council representative at District. If he prevails at the elections, Cllr Bruce said he would look forward to carrying on the fight to get the best for Gittisham.

Cllrs Bruce and Hall left the meeting.  Cllr Twist took the Chair.

193/22   To consider the following planning application:

  • 23/0453/LBC Batts Cottage, Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Remove existing front door and frame and replace with new on front (south west) elevation
  • 23/0453/LBC Batts Cottage, Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Proposed shed / studio building to replace oil tank and fenced enclosure

Members resolved to have no objections to a) and b).  The Chair returned to the meeting.

  • 23/0436/FUL Blamphayne Sawmill Gittisham EX14 3AN – Proposed storage building for timber.

Members resolved to have no objections to c).  Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

  • 23/0462/FUL Gittisham Farm Gittisham EX14 3AX – Construction of earth-banked slurry lagoon.

Parish councillors resolved to have no objection to d) in principle.  However, members had concerns over access for large farm vehicles via Chaghayes (Shaggys) Lane, and would like use to be mitigated where possible.

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

194/22     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

23/0096/FUL – Nags Head Farm, Nags Head Road EX14 3AW – Extension to agricultural building. Approval.

23/0308/FUL & 23/0309/LBC – Pomeroy House EX14 3AJ – Internal and external remodelling with new kitchen extension.  Approval.

23/0329/TCA 2 Mitchell Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AF G1 – 4x Lawson Cypress Conifer – dismantle to ground level.  G2: 3 x Lawson Cypress Conifer – to dismantle to ground level.  Approval.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard reported that the illuminated overhead signs installed on Hayne Lane bridge show 13’ 9” limit northbound, and 14’ 0” southbound.  There was a bit of disrupted parking in Old Elm Rd during the closure for installation.  Members heard that the railing on the lane to Catshayes Farm has been repaired, and moss removed from the pavement and the hedge cut along Old Elm Road.

Cllr Orchard reported that the Vale bus shelter had once again been swamped with books, but they had since been removed.

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

(See also presentation by members of the public before the start of this meeting.)  Members discussed the concerns raised by members of the public over the outdoor ping pong table.  Cllr Orchard suggested future tournaments could be held in the village hall to minimise noise, and the Chair said she had received some hedge plants from the Woodland Trust which could potentially shield the adjoining properties.  Cllr Walker felt strongly that by being a councillor she had promised to give young people in the parish a voice, and this facility could address the lack of facilities for older children.  Cllr Walker proposed the purchase go ahead as planned previously, seconded by Cllr Orchard.  A vote was taken, with five in favour and one opposed.  The Chair confirmed that the outdoor ping pong table would be purchased from Redlynch at a cost of £3,079 + VAT and a goal post from Fitness Sports Steel for £406 + VAT.  The Chair suggested that an ongoing monitoring of noise levels and disruption should be discussed at forthcoming meetings.

ACTION: Clerk to check with EDDC’s S106 officer that she has all the information needed to release the funds, and at what point the table should be ordered.

  • To receive an update on public transport


  • To consider climate change measures within the parish, including proposals for rewilding land in the parish

One member of the public said he had started a community vegetable growing project near Clapper Lane, Honiton. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact Baker Estates regarding the Hayne Farm allotments.     

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist reported the Take 5 campaign is being relaunched 17th–21st April.  She added that a new scam is circulating on WhatsApp.  A criminal gets in touch via a group chat and sends you a six-digit code.  Taking action on this will lock you out of your account, and allow the criminal to send the same scam to your address book.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine explained that following South Devon Rural Housing Association’s decision to leave the project, he was pleased to report that another housing association had expressed an interest in being involved with GCLT.

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

The clerk reported that the ‘no dogs’ sign had been reinstated.  Members thanked Cllr Rowe for repairing the closure of the small gate.  Cllr Walker said some large patches of bramble would need removing, but the mole hills had gone, thanks to the lengthsman.  Cllr Orchard showed members the new plaque in memory of Lilian Hayman, which will be added to one of the trees in the play area. 

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

Cllr Valentine said there was an amount of debris eg laurel foliage near Riverside that can block the overflow, which presumably had arisen from work done by contractors for The Pig with respect to the shepherds’ huts.

ACTION: Clerk to ask The Pig to remove the debris.

195/22     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said an event would be held in the village hall to mark the Coronation on 5th May, with a live screening of the event.  There will be a bring your own barbecue, free drinks and disco.

196/22     To approve the April payments and to note the current bank balance

                F Clampin             £295.99 Clerk’s salary & expenses (train ticket & return travel to attend March PC meeting)

                Sara Trumper       £224.99 Reimbursement for food & sundries, Gittisham Community Kitchen, March 2023

Michael Poll        £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10210)   

DALC        £260.67 annual subscription 2023-24

Gittisham Parish Hall £992.45 Hall rental for Community Kitchen, 2022-23

34SP £95.40 Website hosting gittisham.org.uk

DD          NEST                     £22.86   Clerk’s pension  

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £24,600.47 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk reported that half the annual precept had been received, as well as the grant (in arrears) from Devon Communities Together for the Community Kitchen.

197/22     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she would speak to Cllr Twist regarding the land where the Hayne Farm postbox is proposed, as the clerk has the information on land ownership from Baker Estates which is needed to apply to Royal Mail.


The clerk said there was a strong possibility she would not be able to attend the next meeting, due to other work commitments abroad.  Members agreed to pay a replacement clerk for the evening.  The May meeting has to be moved to 11th May, due to the election, and can only be held between 10th and 25th May inclusive.  At this meeting a Chair and Vice Chair will be elected for the coming year.

ACTION: Clerk to check parish room availability and source a temporary clerk for 11th May.

198/22     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Annual parish meeting; clerk remuneration; play area concerns.

199/22     To consider any late entry correspondence


200/22     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 11th May and Thursday 1st June 2023 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2055 hrs.


11th May 2023