2023-05 Parish Council meeting minutes 11th May 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)

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr P Orchard, PCSO Darren England

1/23        To elect a Chair

Cllr Walker nominated Cllr Hall for election as Chair for 2023/24.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Valentine.  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 2023/24 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

2/23        To elect a Vice Chair

Cllr Walker nominated Cllr Twist for election as Vice Chair for 2023/24.  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 Twist be elected Vice Chair for 2023/24 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

3/23        To receive the Chair’s & Vice Chair’s declaration of Acceptance of Office

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

4/23        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

5/23        To confirm the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 6th April 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 6th April 2023 were amended to clarify Cllr Orchard’s suggestion regarding the outdoor table tennis.  The minutes were then confirmed and signed by the Chair.  

6/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

March 2023: no reported crimes.

7/23        To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Rowe declared an interest in agenda item 18 (minute ref. 18/23), as he is a member of the village fete committee.

8/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda


9/23        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Have your say on climate change

Cllr Twiss said that people across the region are being asked to give their views on a regional strategy that will help ensure that Devon (as well as Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) can make the changes needed to cope with the worst effects of climate change. From Tuesday May 9 residents are being consulted on the Climate Adaptation Strategy for Devon, Cornwall, and Isles of Scilly ahead of its publication later this year.  To respond effectively to the climate crises, it is vital that strategies are put in place to deal with both the cause of rising greenhouse gases and their effect on our communities, also called Mitigation and Adaptation.  Mitigation focuses on tackling the causes of climate change to make the inevitable impacts of rising global temperatures less severe by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases to net-zero.  Adaptation is the process of adjusting to the impacts of climate change that we are already seeing and can be expected in the future.

The draft Adaptation Strategy has been delivered by the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Impacts Group, with the assistance of engineering and environmental consultancy RSK.  The group is a partnership of strategic organisations, including local authorities like DCC, chaired by the Environment Agency. The draft strategy specifically looks at climate impacts which require, or which would benefit from, working in partnership.  The strategy accepts that significant climate ‘shocks’ are inevitable, and as the world grows warmer, different places (depending on factors like geography and population) will be affected in different ways.  You can view the Adaptation Strategy, a series of ‘short-reads’ and respond to the consultation at https://www.climateresilient-dcios.org.uk/

The 2023 ‘BIG FIX’

Running throughout May, The BIG FIX has one aim – to fix and breathe new life into as many broken things as possible. The event, coordinated by the DCC waste team, sees skilled menders fix broken items such as electronics, garden equipment, clothing, jewellery, clocks and much more to give them a new lease of life.  Due to its huge success, The BIG FIX event is going nationwide for a third time – so far 43 Repair Cafés in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England have already registered.

Through the BIG FIX we hope to save people money, not only by repairing old items but also passing on skills to fix their own items in the future.  Repair Cafés are increasing in popularity, as people are becoming more budget and environmentally conscious. They are organised and run by volunteers who offer their time and skills to help mend broken items and keep them in use for longer.  Volunteers also help greet visitors, supply tea and coffee and restock supplies of cakes and other tasty treats.  Last year, 50 Repair Cafés and 580 volunteers took part in the BIG FIX, mending 1,100 items and saving 31 tonnes CO2. Over 830 cakes and biscuits were served alongside 1,000 cups of tea and coffee!

The BIG FIX 2023 is taking place across May to enable as many Repair Cafés as possible to take part.  Locally we have repair cafes in Axminster, Blackdown (Hemyock), Broadhembury, Honiton and Sidmouth. See https://www.recycledevon.org/reuse/repair-cafe for further details.

Is your child’s vaccination programme up to date?

Data published by the UK Health Security Agency shows that uptake of vaccinations offered to 13 and 14-year olds at school fell during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many young people now unprotected from life-threatening diseases. Though improving, uptake of vaccines that protect against tetanus, diphtheria and polio, and against meningococcal disease are well below pre-pandemic levels. Other routine adolescent immunisation programmes show similar impact from the pandemic, with uptake not yet back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Public Health Devon say that uptake of adolescent vaccines by young people in the county is generally good compared with the rest of the UK, with take-up levels for most vaccinations above the national average.

Nationally the aim is to vaccinate at least 95 per cent of children and young people who are eligible for jabs to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and polio (DTaPIPV). Steve Brown, Devon Director of Public Health says, “Your GP surgery should be able to check whether your child has had both doses of the MMR vaccine, or you may be able to access their vaccination record online through GP online services. It is never too late to catch up on any missed doses of MMR vaccination. Whilst booking your child’s MMR vaccine, check if your child is due other vaccines.  They may be able to have them at the same time.”

Cllr Bruce explained that there would be little action at EDDC until the council is reformed on 24th May, following the local elections.  Cllr Walker reported that a Church Mead had been told by EDDC that the bridge will be repaired, with the addition of a pedestrian bridge. 

Cllrs Bruce and Twiss left the meeting. 

10/23     To consider the following planning applications:

a) 22/2723/FUL Combe Garden Centre Gittisham EX14 3PD – New farm shop and associated landscaping works adjacent to the site of the existing Combe Garden Centre (amended plans)

Parish councillors resolved to object to this application for reasons of prematurity, highways and flooding. The highway upgrade required is not addressed by this application to enable decision-making, and there is no secure pedestrian access to the centre (contrary to information provided in this application).  The road approaching the centre is single carriageway, with no provision for pedestrians.  However, pedestrians use this road currently including parents with pushchairs, and it is impossible to hear approaching traffic because of the noise created by the A30.  Additional facilities in the application would potentially increase the footfall and therefore risks to pedestrians and other road users.  The area already has issues with run-off and flooding.

11/23      To consider the following street trading renewal application:

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 noted the application.

12/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices
  • 23/0453/LBC – Batts Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AJ Remove existing front door and frame and replace with new on front (south west) elevation.  Approval, colour of door to be agreed with EDDC
  • 23/0454/FUL Batts Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AJ Proposed shed/studio building to replace oil tank and fenced enclosure. Approval, but building materials must be agreed with EDDC prior to construction.
  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard sent a report, explaining that Hayne Lane bridge sign has been corrected to 13’ 9” southbound! 

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

The clerk explained that EDDC’s S106 officer had put the request for funding, and it would be several months before a decision is made.  The officer has since left EDDC.  Members discussed the possibility of purchasing the outdoor ping pong table before the approval of S106 funds.  Members resolved to buy the goal post from Fitness Sports Steel for £406 + VAT, as this does not fall within the S106 criteria.

ACTION: Clerk to check who has replaced EDDC’s S106 officer, and enquire about the deadline for spending the S106 funds and the likely outcome.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard explained in his report that the remaining books were removed from the Vale bus shelter last week, and a notice posted saying book swap is closed and take any unwanted items to Lidl, Tesco or charity shop. Fingers crossed. Cllr Twist asked why the route of the no.9 bus had been cut from Old Elm Road.

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

Cllr Rowe said the Co-Bikes representative was researching an alternative scheme for Gittisham, rather than the one originally proposed.  Members discussed the creation of a path linking Hayne Farm with the village, which they agreed would encourage residents to walk rather than drive to events, and would also be desirable from a safety point of view.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist reported that now that asking for personal financial information is illegal, it’s hoped it will stop the scammers.  Ofcom says the technology is now available to ‘phone providers to stop calls coming from outside the UK being made to look like local calls and calls from major organisations.  It is hoped this technology will be rolled out soon. (Talktalk are already using this.) Cloning of cards is on the rise again, said Cllr Twist; please make sure you keep your cards in an RFID wallet or card holder, which blocks radio waves and prevents criminals from stealing your card information.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was nothing further to report than the information he had outlined in the annual parish meeting.

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

Cllr Walker said she would speak to the lengthsman about the items that needing addressing in the annual play area safety inspection.  Members agreed that the arrival of the goal posts would be a good time to bring together a working party to clean the village play area.  The Chair thanked Paul Wakley for planting all 30 of the hedge plants, and added that the blossom was looking beautiful in the wild area. 

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman would be able to spruce up the parish bus shelters, and Cllr Rowe offered to help him take down the noticeboards for the duration.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to relay the budget (£500) to the lengthsman.

13/23     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair thanked former Cllr Fowles for her service to the parish.

ACTION: Clerk to purchase a card.

14/23     To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders

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

15/23     To review the parish council’s fixed asset register

Members noted the fixed asset register.

16/23     To consider a review of remuneration of the parish clerk in line with the annual NALC salary scales, and associated pension payments

Members resolved to raise the clerk’s salary in line with NALC recommendations to £12.73 / hr, for the year 2022-23, and to apply the increase retrospectively.  The 2023-24 pay scales are yet to be determined.

17/23     To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £235.83 Clerk’s salary

F Clampin             £234       Clerk’s backdated pay increase 2022-23

Michael Poll          £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10212)    

Fitness Sports       £488.09 (inc. VAT) goal posts

Community First Insurance              £420.44 annual insurance policy

Alvian Ltd             £102       Annual play area safety inspection

DD          NEST     £24.82   Clerk’s pension (new rate)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £23,125.81 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

Cllr Rowe left the meeting.

18/23     To consider parish council support for the village fete

Members agreed to offer £500, but requested to see a breakdown of costs.

Cllr Rowe returned to the meeting.

19/23     To consider upgrading the parish bus shelters

Cf minute ref. 12/23 (j).

20/23     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said that John and Stella Adamson had decided to step down from the care of the village defibrillator.  The Chair said a replacement would have to be found, and in the meantime councillors would carry out the weekly checks on a rota.  She thanked Mr & Mrs Adamson for their commitment over the years to a much valued asset.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to speak to Damian Furniss.  

21/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Play area concerns; footpath at Hayne Farm; postbox; dog waste bin.

22/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Twist reported that on 18th and 25th May there would be a collection at Blackdown House in Honiton of items for refugees housed in the East Devon district.

23/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 1st June and Thursday 6th July 2023 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2135 hrs.


1st June 2023