2022-05 Annual Parish meeting minutes




Present: Cllr C Hall (chair), Cllrs D Valentine, M Walker, J Twist, A Rowe, J Fowles, Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Fiona Clampin (clerk), one member of the public

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

1. Introduction by Council Chair

Cllr Hall welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.

2. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were accepted and approved.

3. Report on the Council’s activities over the past year

The Chair thanked all members for their work in the parish in 2021/22, as well as the clerk, Susie Bond (former EDDC councillor), Len Abbott and Carol McCann. 

She said it had been a busy year for the parish council and she was grateful for all the work that councillors had done to support our community. We are from a diverse set of backgrounds, which ensures lively debates at times, but definitely ensures we consider all aspects of an issue. Fundamentally, we all have the best interests of our parish close to our hearts.

The housing at Hayne Farm is ongoing, with a few changes to tie in with housing market needs to ensure a good mix of small and large homes, as well as looking at developing houses on the old farmyard. Hayne Farm residents are included in all invitations to events at the village hall and kept informed of parish news using the Gittisham Gazette and social media. The small scale housing being developed by the Community Land Trust is making very slow progress due to legal matters, but EDDC have been very positive about the pre-planning submission.

In the village playground a scheme to spend approx. £40k of CIL or S106 money on a table tennis, boules and skittles has been developed but there have been no contractors interested in doing the work. We will look at an alternative design which still incorporates these features. New swing seats have been installed and a new hedge planted, with plants from The Woodland Trust.

According to maps and DCC, there is no vehicle access for “off-roading” across Westgate Common, just one track leading up there (Summer Lane). As we suggested, the public have been reporting sightings and damage to the police and the landowner, which is ongoing and makes a horrible mess of a beautiful area. There is also intimidation from the perpetrators to anyone suggesting they shouldn’t be there.

There have been a few changes to our councillors this year. As Susie Bond has moved away, we have a new councillor in her place, Alasdair Bruce. We will miss the diplomacy and local knowledge that Susie has, but in Alasdair we have an expert in conservation matters as well as a great understanding of political matters in the area. And we have a new parish councillor to represent the Vale Ward, Jan Fowles – “welcome and thank you for joining us”.

Superfast broadband has still not reached Gittisham village. The reason for the delay is unclear and fortunately some residents have the expensive village-wide wifi system. There is also a delay in installing the defibrillator in Hayne Farm.

At EDDC we have been involved in an unexpected and unjustified parish boundary review, which appears to have been ‘kicked into the long grass’ but we will keep an eye on the situation. We have also been looking carefully at the EDDC Strategic Plans, considering the details and implications for the parish. We are concerned about large scale housing development in the ‘valley’ of Gittisham village, spreading across from Hayne Farm.

We have plenty of plans for the coming year and are very excited to be working with the village hall committee to put on events over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend and asking businesses within the parish to get involved. We’ll also look at rewilding work with EDDC, and the 20 is Plenty campaign to reduce speeds through the village. We will also keep an eye on extensions to the housing development at Hayne Farm to ensure the long term interests of the parish are upheld.

4. Annual Police Report

The police did not send a report. 

5. County and District Council Representatives Reports

Alasdair Bruce:

Cllr Bruce said it had been somewhat daunting to follow in Susie Bond’s footsteps, but he was enjoying working with Gittisham Parish Council and looked forward to the challenges on the horizon.    He said it was regrettable that EDDC had not returned to in-person meetings, and hoped this would change very soon. 

6. Reports by Village Organisations

Gittisham CLT

David Valentine said that nearly a year had passed since the CLT’s public exhibition in Gittisham Village Hall, which was well attended.  The vast majority present were supportive, he said.  Since that date a number of difficulties have arisen with bringing forward the agreement required that leads to the transfer of land to the CLT.  This has delayed submitting the planning application, and may require an updated housing needs survey.    

7. To consider any matters raised by residents

One member of the public said he had submitted a new appeal regarding his property to EDDC planners, and hoped that the parish council would continue to be supportive.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 1950 hrs.


May 2023


14 Crimes – 2021/22  

17 Crimes – 2020/21 17 Crimes 2019/20 11 Crimes 2018/19