2023-06 Parish Council meeting minutes 1st June 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: Faye Cross (Airband), two members of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), PCSO Darren England

24/23        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

25/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2023 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

26/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

March 2023: no reported crimes.

27/23        To receive declarations of interest

Cllrs Rowe & Walker declared an interest in agenda item 19 (minute ref. 42/23), as they are members of the village fete committee.

28/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Members approved Cllr Valentine’s suggestion that he attend EDDC’s Local Plan webinar on 15th June, where the district council is expected to discuss the draft Local Plan in the context of the government’s Levelling Up bill which is making its way through parliament.

Cllr Walker explained that EDDC staff and contractors had visited Church Mead on 31st May to meet residents and assess the state of the bridge.  A pedestrian footbridge will be installed with disabled access, and the existing bridge will be dismantled while repairs take place.  Residents and visitors will have to park elsewhere during this period, which is expected to last approximately one month.  EDDC has approached households in Church Mead regarding garage rental.

29/23        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllrs Bruce and Twist did not send a report this month. 

30/23        To receive a presentation from Airband

Faye Cross, one of Airband’s Community Liaison Officers, explained that the company is joining forces with Connecting Devon and Somerset to bring superfast broadband to previously excluded communities.  The company plans to install new infrastructure, which would likely include poles.  The aim is to complete this work in Gittisham by the end of 2024.  Members welcomed the proposals, but felt the timescale might be too ambitious based on previous experience, combined with the challenges presented by the village setting, AONB, listed buildings and land owner negotiations.  Ms Cross agreed to send the clerk the plans for her to circulate to members. 

Faye Cross left the meeting.

31/23     To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 23/1056/FUL Unit B Weston Park Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate – installation of vents and flues on north, west and east elevations, removal of window on north elevation
  2. 23/1009/FUL Landscores Cottage EX14 3AU Single storey extension to dwelling and general purpose agricultural barn
  3. c) 23/0110/LBC Charlies Cottage 1 Beaumont Cottages EX14 3AG – Replace all windows to match existing with slim line double glazing; gas central heating; Install underfloor heating system to the entire ground floor; Block up doorway on north elevation; New window on north elevation to kitchen.; New internal doorway between dining room and created bedroom/office.; New window on east elevation to create bedroom/office; new conservation roof window to the new bedroom/office on east elevation; Open up the fireplace for an investigation, reinstate fireplace. Radiators at first floor.

Parish councillors had no objections to a), b) or c).  Regarding c), they expressed support for the commitment in the application to mitigating the effects of climate change through the proposed installation of double glazing and underfloor heating.

32/23     To consider the following licensing application:

a) Combe Farm Shop, Hayne Farm, Gittisham, Honiton, EX14 3PD Ref.055816

Premises Licence Application to include

Premises Open Hours requested

Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:00

Sunday 09:00 to 20:00

Activities – Times requested

Supply of alcohol for consumption On and Off the Premises

Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:00

Sunday 09:00 to 20:00

Members resolved to object to the application.  They expressed serious reservations about the application, considering it an inappropriate location for a number of reasons, including access, lack of lighting, impact on adjoining residential properties, crime and disorder, and an increase in traffic and pedestrian movements (especially in the vicinity of Hayne Lane).

33/23     To consider the impact of the Truck Festival, May 2023

Members discussed the significant failures in organisation, contingency planning and traffic management for this event, and the lack of awareness beyond a licensing application of a large event in the parish.  Roads surrounding the site and in Honiton were gridlocked for hours.  The clerk agreed to contact EDDC with these comments, and to request that were the event to be reproduced in the parish, it needs proper traffic management and parking. And this needs to be the same for any future events at that site.

34/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

23/0462/FUL – Gittisham Farm Gittisham EX14 3AX – Construction of an earth banked slurry lagoon. Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard reported that DCC received 57 applications for 20 mph zones across the county. Six are being taken forward.  DCC said average speed, the number of vulnerable road users in an area, speed-related collision history, and the level of support for a 20mph scheme were all factors it considered when allocating new schemes.  Other factors include the presence of an active Community Speed Watch and the community’s deprivation index ranking.

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

There was no update to report.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard explained that a new bus route X30 has been introduced by Stagecoach – Seaton to Honiton, then express to Exeter both ways. Journey time to Exeter 40 minutes from Job Centre at:

07:40     10:45     16:05

And Beggars Lane 3 minutes later. Full timetable: https://bustimes.org/services/x30-seaton-honiton-exeter

The £2 fare cap has been extended to the end of October.2023, and Cllr Orchard was pleased to report that no books had been deposited in the Vale bus shelter all month.

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

Cllr Rowe said EDDC had scarified and sown wildflower seeds at the bottom of Old Elm Road, with further plans to start tree planting along the strip of land that backs onto Ferndale Close later this year.  EDDC has leafleted neighbouring properties to inform them.  Members thanked Cllr Rowe for his work, especially as it fulfilled one of the parish council’s commitments towards mitigating the effects of climate change. 

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist reported that there are cold callers going round park homes in East Devon, to ask if people are interested in purchasing insulation.  There has also been a rise in the online impersonation of brands.  The advice is to type the address of a website you wish to use, rather than choose from a search engine. 

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was nothing further to report.

  • To consider updating the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard agreed to convene all parties listed in the plan to make sure they were well informed of responsibilities before the onset of winter.

  • To consider purchasing a dog waste bin and long term collection

Members agreed the increased precept would allow for the purchase of a standard waste bin to be installed near the turning circle on Old Elm Road.

ACTION: Clerk to check 2023-24 prices for bin and collection.

  • To consider the creation of a footpath linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village

To be discussed at the July 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 need addressing in the annual play area safety inspection.  Members resolved to purchase the net that goes with the goal post.  Cllr Orchard reported that the jubilee oak tree was not doing too well, and it was agreed that Cllr Rowe should move the memorial sign away from the ailing tree. 

ACTION: Clerk to ask Cllr Bruce for a new jubilee oak tree to be installed.

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

There was no update on this.

35/23     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said there was nothing to report this month.

36/23     To approve the June payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £239.13 Clerk’s salary & expenses (card)

Michael Poll        £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10220)   

Michael Poll        £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10228)   

Fitness Sports       £59.76 (inc. VAT) net for goal

Bluechip Payroll  £145 annual internal audit

Gittisham Parish Hall          £498.54 Coronation party expenses

DD          NEST                     £24.82   Clerk’s pension  

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £21,963.56 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

37/23     To receive and note the annual internal audit report

Members noted the annual internal audit report.

ACTION: Clerk to send the lengthsman a copy of the insurance policy.

38/23     To approve the annual governance statement 2022-23

Members resolved to approve the annual governance statement 2022-23.

39/23     To approve the 2022-23 accounting statements

Members resolved to adopt the 2022-23 accounts.  Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated the accounting statements.  The parish council ended the financial year on 31st March 2023 with a balance of £21,934.64 (inc. £7,061.99 in business reserve, with £30.93 interest accumulated this year).  There is VAT to be recovered of £414.76.

40/23     To consider the criteria for meeting exemption from the annual limited assurance review 2022-23, and approve the exemption certificate

Members agreed the criteria had been met, ie that during the financial year 2022-23 the higher of the parish council’s gross income or gross annual expenditure for the year did not exceed £25,000.

41/23     To set and approve the period for the exercise of public rights 2022-23

Members approved the period for the exercise of public rights to extend from 3rd July to 11th August 2023.

Cllrs Walker & Rowe left the meeting.  

42/23     To consider parish council support for the village fete

The Chair outlined the breakdown of start-up costs to support the village fete:

Leaflets £100

Town band £90

Revamping signs £100

Fencing, gazebos & PA for dog show £100

Initial food costs £110

Members resolved to approve the expenditure.

Cllrs Walker & Rowe returned to the meeting.

43/23     To consider decorating and / or refurbishing the parish bus shelters

Members thanked Len Abbott for agreeing to carry out this work.

44/23     Clerk’s Report

Members heard that Cllr Valentine had taken on responsibility for the village defibrillator checks. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact CHT to include Cllr Valentine on the online check system.  

Members agreed the parish council would not meet in August 2023, unless there was a large planning application to consider.

45/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Councillor vacancy; footpath at Hayne Farm.

46/23     To consider any late entry correspondence


47/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 6th July and Thursday 7th September 2023 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2125 hrs.


6th July 2023