Notice of public rights 2023-24 – exempt authorities

WHAT EXEMPT AUTHORITIES NEED TO DO TO ADVERTISE THE PERIOD DURING WHICH ELECTORS AND INTERESTED PERSONS MAY EXERCISE RIGHTS RELATING TO THE ANNUAL ACCOUNTS

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require that:

1. The statement of accounts prepared by the authority (i.e. the Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) Part 2), the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested, during a period of 30 working days set by the smaller authority and including the first 10 working days of July.

2. The period referred to in paragraph (1) starts with the day on which the period for the exercise of public rights is treated as having been commenced i.e. the day following the day on which all of the obligations in paragraph (3) below have been fulfilled.

3. The responsible financial officer for an exempt authority must, on behalf of that authority, publish (which must include publication on the authority’s website):

(a) the Accounting Statements (i.e. Section 2 of the AGAR Part 2), accompanied by:

(i) a declaration, signed by that officer to the effect that the statement of accounts will not be audited on account of that authority’s self-certified status as exempt, unless either a request for an opportunity to question the auditor about the authority’s accounting records under section 26(2) or an objection under section 27(1) of the Act, results in the involvement of the local auditor;

(ii) the Annual Governance Statement (i.e. Section 1 of the AGAR Part 2); and

(iii) the Certificate of Exemption (i.e. Page 3 of the AGAR Part 2); and

(b) a statement that sets out—

(i) the period for the exercise of public rights;

(ii) details of the manner in which notice should be given of an intention to inspect the accounting records and other documents;

(iii) the name and address of the local auditor;

(iv) the provisions contained in section 25 (inspection of statements of accounts etc), section 26 (inspection of documents etc) and section 27 (right to make objections at audit) of the Act, as they have effect in relation to the authority in question;  

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

You will meet statutory requirements if you fully and accurately complete the notice of public rights pro forma in this document; and publish (including publication on the smaller authority’s website) the following documents, the day before the public rights period commences:

  1. the approved Sections 1 and 2 of Part 2 of the AGAR; and
  2. the completed Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Annual Governance & Accountability Return (Exempt Authority). Please note that we have pre-completed it with the following suggested dates: Monday 3 June – Friday 12 July 2024. (The latest possible dates that comply with the statutory requirements are Monday 1 July – Friday 9 August 2024); and
  3. the notes which accompany the Notice (Local authority accounts: a summary of your rights).

Smaller authority name: GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN (EXEMPT AUTHORITY)

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2024

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 25, 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

NOTICENOTES
    1. Date of announcement_17th June 2024____________________________(a) 2. Each year the smaller authority prepares an Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR).  The AGAR has been published with this notice. It will not be reviewed by the appointed auditor, since the smaller authority has certified itself as exempt from the appointed auditor’s review. Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the AGAR, the accounting records for the financial year to which it relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2024, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:   (b)             Fiona Clampin (clerk, Gittisham Parish Council), Tel. 07899 932620 email:   commencing on (c) __Monday 24 June 2024 _______________________     and ending on (d) ___Friday 2 August 2024 ________________________   3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:   The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.   The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.   4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is only subject to review by the appointed auditor if questions or objections raised under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 lead to the involvement of the auditor.  The appointed auditor is:   PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team) 15 Westferry Circus Canary Wharf London E14 4HD ()   5. This announcement is made by (e) Fiona Clampin Clerk / Responsible Financial Officer Gittisham Parish Council      (a) Insert date of placing of the notice which must be not less than 1 day before the date in (c) below                     (b) Insert name, position and address/telephone number/ email address, as appropriate, of the Clerk or other person to which any person may apply to inspect the accounts   (c) Insert date, which must be at least 1 day after the date of announcement in (a) above and at least 30 working days before the date appointed in (d) below   (d) The inspection period between (c) and (d) must be 30 working days inclusive and must include the first 10 working days of July.                                               (e) Insert name and position of person placing the notice – this person must be the responsible financial officer for the smaller authority

LOCAL AUTHORITY ACCOUNTS: A SUMMARY OF YOUR RIGHTS

Please note that this summary applies to all relevant smaller authorities, including local councils, internal drainage boards and ‘other’ smaller authorities.

The basic position

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) governs the work of auditors appointed to smaller authorities. This summary explains the provisions contained in Sections 26 and 27 of the Act. The Act and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 also cover the duties, responsibilities and rights of smaller authorities, other organisations and the public concerning the accounts being audited.

As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of smaller authorities. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the area to which the accounts relate you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them. You do not have to pay directly for exercising your rights. However, any resulting costs incurred by the smaller authority form part of its running costs. Therefore, indirectly, local residents pay for the cost of you exercising your rights through their council tax.

The right to inspect the accounting records

Any interested person can inspect the accounting records, which includes but is not limited to local electors. You can inspect the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records. You can copy all, or part, of these records or documents. Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts. You cannot, for example, inspect or copy documents unrelated to the accounts, or that include personal information (Section 26 (6) – (10) of the Act explains what is meant by personal information). You cannot inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public and there is not, set against this, a very strong reason in the public interest why it should nevertheless be disclosed.

When smaller authorities have finished preparing accounts for the financial year and approved them, they must publish them (including on a website). There must be a 30 working day period, called the ‘period for the exercise of public rights’, during which you can exercise your statutory right to inspect the accounting records. Smaller authorities must tell the public, including advertising this on their website, that the accounting records and related documents are available to inspect. By arrangement you will then have 30 working days to inspect and make copies of the accounting records. You may have to pay a copying charge. The 30 working day period must include a common period of inspection during which all smaller authorities’ accounting records are available to inspect. This will be 24 June-2 August 2024 for 2023/24 accounts. The advertisement must set out the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights, how you can communicate to the smaller authority that you wish to inspect the accounting records and related documents, the name and address of the auditor, and the relevant legislation that governs the inspection of accounts and objections.

The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records

You should first ask your smaller authority about the accounting records, since they hold all the details. If you are a local elector, your right to ask questions of the external auditor is enshrined in law. However, while the auditor will answer your questions where possible, they are not always obliged to do so. For example, the question might be better answered by another organisation, require investigation beyond the auditor’s remit, or involve disproportionate cost (which is borne by the local taxpayer). Give your smaller authority the opportunity first to explain anything in the accounting records that you are unsure about. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can question the external auditor about the accounting records.

The law limits the time available for you formally to ask questions. This must be done in the period for the exercise of public rights, so let the external auditor know your concern as soon as possible. The advertisement or notice that tells you the accounting records are available to inspect will also give the period for the exercise of public rights during which you may ask the auditor questions, which here means formally asking questions under the Act. You can ask someone to represent you when asking the external auditor questions.

Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask your smaller authority other questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act.

You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.

The right to make objections at audit

You have inspected the accounting records and asked your questions of the smaller authority. Now you may wish to object to the accounts on the basis that an item in them is in your view unlawful or there are matters of wider concern arising from the smaller authority’s finances. A local government elector can ask the external auditor to apply to the High Court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, or to issue a report on matters which are in the public interest. You must tell the external auditor which specific item in the accounts you object to and why you think the item is unlawful, or why you think that a public interest report should be made about it. You must provide the external auditor with the evidence you have to support your objection. Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful. To object to the accounts you must write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, including the information and evidence below and you must send a copy to the smaller authority. The notice must include:

  • confirmation that you are an elector in the smaller authority’s area;
  • why you are objecting to the accounts and the facts on which you rely;
  • details of any item in the accounts that you think is unlawful; and
  • details of any matter about which you think the external auditor should make a public interest report.

Other than it must be in writing, there is no set format for objecting. You can only ask the external auditor to act within the powers available under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

A final word

You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against your smaller authority.  You should take such complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre or to your solicitor. Smaller authorities, and so local taxpayers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections.  In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved, they will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. They may also decide not to consider an objection if they think that it is frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor’s decision not to apply to the courts for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, you will have to pay for the action yourself.

For more detailed guidance on public rights and the special powers of auditors, copies of the publication Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights are available from the NAO website.  If you wish to contact your authority’s appointed external auditor please write to the address in paragraph 4 of the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return.  

Certificate of Exemption – AGAR 2023/24 Part 2

To be completed by smaller authorities where the higher of gross income or gross expenditure did not exceed £25,000 in the year of account ended 31 March 2024, and that wish to certify  themselves as exempt from a limited assurance review under Section 9 of the Local Audit  (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015

There is no requirement to have a limited assurance review or to submit an Annual Governance and Accountability Return to the external auditor, provided that the authority has certified itself as exempt at a meeting of the  authority after 31 March 2024 and a completed Certificate of Exemption is submitted no later than 30 June 2024 notifying the external auditor.

Gittisham Parish Council

certifies that during the financial year 2023/24, the higher of the authority’s total gross income for the year or total gross annual expenditure, for the year did not exceed £25,000

Total annual gross income for the authority 2023/24: £10,426
Total annual gross expenditure for the authority 2023/24: £14,872

There are certain circumstances in which an authority will be unable to certify itself as exempt, so that a limited  assurance review will still be required. If an authority is unable to confirm the statements below then it  cannot certify itself as exempt and it must submit the completed Annual Governance and Accountability Return Part 3 to the external auditor to undertake a limited assurance review for which a fee of £200 +VAT will be payable.

By signing this Certificate of Exemption you are confirming that:

  • The authority was in existence on 1st April 2020
  • In relation to the preceding financial year (2022/23), the external auditor has not:
  • issued a public interest report in respect of the authority or any entity connected with it
  • made a statutory recommendation to the authority, relating to the authority or any entity connected with it
  • issued an advisory notice under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 8 to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (“the Act”), and has not withdrawn the notice
  • commenced judicial review proceedings under section 31(1) of the Act
  • made an application under section 28(1) of the Act for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, and the application has not been withdrawn nor has the court refused to make the declaration
  • The court has not declared an item of account unlawful after a person made an appeal under section 28(3) of the Act.

If you are able to confirm that the above statements apply and that the authority neither received gross income, nor incurred gross expenditure, exceeding £25,000, then the Certificate of Exemption can be signed and a copy submitted to the external auditor either by email or by post (not both).

The Annual Internal Audit Report, Annual Governance Statement, Accounting Statements, an analysis of  variances and the bank reconciliation plus the information required by Regulation 15 (2), Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 including the period for the exercise of public rights still need to be fully completed and,  along with a copy of this certificate, published on the authority website/webpage* before 1 July 2024.  By signing this certificate you are also confirming that you are aware of this requirement.

*https://gittisham.org.uk

ONLY this Certificate of Exemption should be returned EITHER by email OR by post (not both) as soon as possible after certification to your external auditor, but no later than 30 June 2024. Reminder letters incur a charge of £40 +VAT

Annual Internal Audit Report 2023/24

Signed by the Responsible Financial Officer

Clerk Signature

Date 06/06/2024

Signed by Chairman

Date 06/06/2024

I confirm that this Certificate of Exemption was approved by this authority on this date: 06/06/2024

as recorded in minute reference: 35/24

Generic email address of Authority:

Telephone Number 07899 932620

Published Web address www.gittisham.org.uk

Gittisham Parish Council

www.gittisham.org.uk

During the financial year ended 31 March 2024, this authority’s internal auditor acting independently and on the basis of an assessment of risk, carried out a selective assessment of compliance with the relevant procedures and controls in operation and obtained appropriate evidence from the authority.

The internal audit for 2023/24 has been carried out in accordance with this authority’s needs and planned coverage. On the basis of the findings in the areas examined, the internal audit conclusions are summarised in this table. Set out below are the objectives of internal control and alongside are the internal audit conclusions on whether, in all significant respects, the control objectives were being achieved throughout the financial year to a standard adequate to meet the needs of this authority.

Internal control objectiveYesNo*Not covered** 
A.  Appropriate accounting records have been properly kept throughout the financial year.Y   
B.  This authority complied with its financial regulations, payments were supported by invoices, all expenditure was approved and VAT was appropriately accounted for.Y   
C.  This authority assessed the significant risks to achieving its objectives and reviewed the adequacy of arrangements to manage these.Y   
D.  The precept or rates requirement resulted from an adequate budgetary process; progress against the budget was regularly monitored; and reserves were appropriate.Y   
E.  Expected income was fully received, based on correct prices, properly recorded, and promptly banked; and VAT was appropriately accounted for.Y   
F.  Petty cash payments were properly supported by receipts, all petty cash expenditure was approved and VAT appropriately accounted for.  Not applicable 
G. Salaries to employees and allowances to members were paid in accordance with this authority’s approvals, and PAYE and NI requirements were properly applied.Y   
H. Asset and investments registers were complete and accurate and properly maintained.Y   
I. Periodic bank account reconciliations were properly carried out during the year.Y   
J. Accounting statements prepared during the year were prepared on the correct accounting basis (receipts and payments or income and expenditure), agreed to the cash book, supported by an adequate audit trail from underlying records and where appropriate debtors and creditors were properly recorded.Y   
K. If the authority certified itself as exempt from a limited assurance review in 2022/23, it met the exemption criteria and correctly declared itself exempt. (If the authority had a limited assurance review of its 2021/22 AGAR tick “not covered”)Y   
L. The authority publishes information on a website/webpage, up to date at the time of the internal audit, in accordance with the Transparency code for smaller authorities.Y   
M. The authority, during the previous year (2022-23) correctly provided for the period for the  exercise of public rights as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations (evidenced by the notice published on the website and/or authority approved minutes confirming the dates set).Y   
N. The authority has complied with the publication requirements for 2022/23 AGAR  (see AGAR Page 1 Guidance Notes).Y   
 O. (For local councils only)   Trust funds (including charitable) – The council met its responsibilities as a trustee.Not applicable
   

For any other risk areas identified by this authority adequate controls existed (list any other risk areas on separate sheets if needed).

Date(s) internal audit undertaken                              Name of person who carried out the internal audit

04/06/2024 – 06/06/2024                     Trudie Jenkins Avery

Signature of person who carried out the internal audit  

                        

Auditor Signature
  Date06/06/2024
*If the response is ‘no’ please state the implications and action being taken to address any weakness in control identified (add separate sheets if needed). **Note: If the response is ‘not covered’ please state when the most recent internal audit work was done in this area and when it is next planned; or, if coverage is not required, the annual internal audit report must explain why not (add separate sheets if needed).

Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2023/24

We acknowledge as the members of:

Gittisham Parish Council

our responsibility for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control, including arrangements for the preparation of the Accounting Statements. We confirm, to the best of our knowledge and belief, with respect to the Accounting Statements for the year ended 31 March 2024, that:

Agreed
 YesNo‘Yes’ means that this authority:
1. We have put in place arrangements for effective financial management during the year, and for the preparation of the accounting statements. Y prepared its accounting statements in accordance   with the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
2. We maintained an adequate system of internal control including measures designed to prevent and detect fraud and corruption and reviewed its effectiveness.  Y made proper arrangements and accepted responsibility  for safeguarding the public money and resources in  its charge.
3. We took all reasonable steps to assure ourselves      that there are no matters of actual or potential              non-compliance with laws, regulations and Proper       Practices that could have a significant financial effect              on the ability of this authority to conduct its        business or manage its finances.  Y has only done what it has the legal power to do and has complied with Proper Practices in doing so.
4. We provided proper opportunity during the year for  the exercise of electors’ rights in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations.  Y during the year gave all persons interested the opportunity to inspect and ask questions about this authority’s accounts.
5. We carried out an assessment of the risks facing this authority and took appropriate steps to manage those risks, including the introduction of internal controls and/or external insurance cover where required.  Y considered and documented the financial and other risks it faces and dealt with them properly.
6. We maintained throughout the year an adequate and  effective system of internal audit of the accounting  records and control systems.  Y arranged for a competent person, independent of the financial controls and procedures, to give an objective view on whether internal controls meet the needs of this smaller authority.
7. We took appropriate action on all matters raised  in reports from internal and external audit.  Y responded to matters brought to its attention by internal and external audit.
8. We considered whether any litigation, liabilities or  commitments, events or transactions, occurring either during or after the year-end, have a financial impact on this authority and, where appropriate, have included them in the accounting statements.  Y disclosed everything it should have about its business activity during the year including events taking place after the year end if relevant.
9. (For local councils only) Trust funds including  charitable. In our capacity as the sole managing  trustee we discharged our accountability  responsibilities for the fund(s)/assets, including  financial reporting and, if required, independent  examination or audit.N/Ahas met all of its responsibilities where as a body corporate it is a sole managing trustee of a local trust or trusts.
   

*For any statement to which the response is ‘no’, an explanation must be published

This Annual Governance Statement was approved at a meeting of the authority on:

06/06/2024

Signed by the Chairman and Clerk of the meeting where approval was given:

Chairman

Chairman Signature

       Clerk

Clerk Signature

and recorded as minute reference: 33/24

Other information required by the Transparency Code (not part of the Annual Governance Statement)
The authority website/webpage is up to date and the information required by the Transparency Code has  been published.Yes
  

www.gittisham.org.uk

Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2023/24 for

Gittisham Parish Council

Year ending
 Notes and guidance
31 March 2023 £31 March 2024 £Please round all figures to nearest £1. Do not leave any boxes blank and report £0 or Nil balances. All figures must agree to underlying financial records.
1. Balances brought  forward21,94321,935Total balances and reserves at the beginning of the year  as recorded in the financial records. Value must agree to Box 7 of previous year.
2. (+) Precept or Rates and Levies8,3239,307Total amount of precept (or for IDBs rates and levies) received or receivable in the year. Exclude any grants received.
3. (+) Total other receipts3,1451,119Total income or receipts as recorded in the cashbook less the precept or rates/levies received (line 2). Include any grants received.
4. (-) Staff costs3,0623,590Total expenditure or payments made to and on behalf  of all employees. Include gross salaries and wages,  employers NI contributions, employers pension  contributions, gratuities and severance payments.
5. (-) Loan interest/capital repayments00Total expenditure or payments of capital and interest made during the year on the authority’s borrowings (if any).
6.  (-) All other payments8,41411,282Total expenditure or payments as recorded in the cashbook less staff costs (line 4) and loan interest/capital repayments (line 5).
7. (=) Balances carried forward21,93517,489Total balances and reserves at the end of the year. Must equal (1+2+3) – (4+5+6).
8. Total value of cash and short term investments21,93517,489The sum of all current and deposit bank accounts, cash holdings and short term investments held as at 31 March – To agree with bank reconciliation.
9. Total fixed assets plus long term investments  and assets30,30833,844The value of all the property the authority owns – it is made up of all its fixed assets and long term investments as at  31 March.
10. Total borrowings00The outstanding capital balance as at 31 March of all loans from third parties (including PWLB).
11. (For Local Councils Only) Disclosure note re Trust funds (including charitable)N/AN/AN/AThe Council as a body corporate acts as sole trustee for and is responsible for managing Trust funds or assets.
 NN.B. The figures in the accounting statements above do not include any Trust transactions.

I certify that for the year ended 31 March 2024 the Accounting Statements in this Annual Governance and Accountability Return have been prepared on either a receipts and  payments or income and expenditure basis following the guidance in Governance and Accountability for Smaller  Authorities – a Practitioners’ Guide to Proper Practices  and present fairly the financial position of this authority.

Signed by Responsible Financial Officer before being  presented to the authority for approval:

Clerk Signature

Date 06/06/2024

I confirm that these Accounting Statements were approved by this authority on this date:

06/06/2024

as recorded in minute reference: 34/24

Signed by Chairman of the meeting where the  Accounting Statements were approved

Chairman Signature

2024-06 Parish Council agenda 6 June 2024

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Ms Fiona Clampin

Clerk to the Council

31st May 2024

Members of Gittisham Parish Council

You are hereby summoned to attend the June Parish Council Meeting to be held in Gittisham Parish Room on Thursday 6th June 2024 commencing at 7.30pm to discuss items on the Agenda and to make resolutions as appropriate.

Prior to the start of the meeting a period of 15 minutes is allowed to permit any resident to bring appropriate matters to the notice of the Council.  Please contact the clerk if you would like to do this, preferably by email in advance of the meeting, with a question you wish to be raised with Councillors on your behalf. 

  1. To accept and approve apologies
  2. To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd May 2024
  3. To receive the Beat Manager’s report
  4. To receive declarations of interest
  5. To consider actions from last meeting not otherwise on the agenda
  6. To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives
  7. To consider the following planning application:
    • 24/0539/LBC 2 Riverside Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AE – Replace existing porch with enlarged lead flat roof porch on south elevation; replace existing extension on north elevation to create bedroom and bathroom and glazed canopy over rear door 
    • 24/0988/FUL Parkers East Gittisham EX14 3AS Proposal to repair and preserve existing brick and timber greenhouse within the curtilage of a listed building
  8. To receive an update from Baker Estates on the Hayne Farm development, including the play area and possible footpath routes
  9. To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:
  • To consider the provision of superfast broadband in the parish (Cllr Powell)
  • To note the latest planning decision notices (Cllr Orchard)
  • To receive an update on highways (Cllr Orchard)
  • To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy and S106, including publicity (Cllr Orchard & Cllr Twist)
  • To receive an update on public transport (Cllr Orchard)
  • To consider climate change measures within the parish, including proposals for rewilding land off Old Elm Road (Cllr Twist / Cllr Rowe)
  • To consider limited residential development in the parish (Cllr Valentine)
  • To consider the creation of a traffic-free amenity route linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village (Cllr Rowe / Cllr Powell)
  • To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area (Cllr Walker)
  • To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain drains and ditches in the parish (Cllr Walker)
  1. To receive a report from the Chair
  2. To approve the June payments and to note the current bank balance:

F Clampin £254.34 + £10.13 expenses (travel Ottery – Gittisham x3) 

Len Abbott lengthsman work, £tbc

Len Abbott expenses £tbc

Michael Poll play area grass cutting £130 (inv. 10316)

Gittisham PCC gazette printing Jan-April 2024, £60

Gittisham PCC parish room hire April-June 2024, £45

Bluechip Payroll, annual internal audit £145

NEST (clerk’s pension) £26.78

  1. To receive and note the annual internal audit report
  2. To approve the annual governance statement 2023-24
  3. To approve the 2023/24 accounting statements
  4. To consider the criteria for meeting exemption from the annual limited assurance review 2023-24, and approve the exemption certificate
  5. To set and approve the period for the exercise of public rights 2023-24
  6. Clerk’s report
  7. For information only; items for the forward agenda
  8. To consider any late entry correspondence
  9. To note the date of the next two meetings, Thursday 4th July and August tbc 2024 at 7.30pm. 

F J Clampin – Clerk

Explanation of variances 2023/24

Name of smaller authority: GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

County area (local councils and parish meetings only: DEVON

Please provide full explanations, including numerical values, for the following:

  • variances of more than 15% between totals for individual boxes (except variances of less than £200);
  • a breakdown of approved reserves if the total reserves (Box 7) figure is more than twice the annual precept/rates & levies value (Box 2).
Section 22022/23 £2023/24 £Variance £Variance %Detailed explanation of variance (with amounts £)
Box 2 Precept or Rates and Levies    8,3239,307-984-11.82n/a  
Box 3 Total other receipts      3,1451,1192,02664.41GPC received a start-up grant for the community kitchen in 2022/23 for £2,142.45 but in 2023/24 the kitchen was self-funding. 
Box 4 Staff costs        3,0623,590-528-17.24The NALC recommended salary scales for the previous tax year were delayed, and then implemented and backdated in 2023/24.
Box 5 Loan interest/ capital repayments      NILNIL    NIL    NIL    n/a  
Box 6 All other payments      8,41411,282-2,868-34.09
In 2023/24 GPC paid for an outdoor ping pong table, £3,694.80 inc VAT.  However the cost (minus VAT) will be reimbursed in 2024/25 by EDDC through S106 funding. 
Box 9 Total fixed assets & long term investments & assets30,30833,844-3,536-11.66n/a
Box 10 Total borrowings      NILNILNILNIL    n/a  
Explanation for ‘high’ reserves       
Box 7 is almost twice Box 2 because the authority held the following breakdown of reserves at the year end:
 
£7,156.88 Contingency
£6,493.32 CIL

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL PAYMENTS OVER £100 1 APRIL 2023 TO 31 MARCH 2024

DATEPAYMENT – VendorPAYMENT – DescriptionPayment TypeITEMAMOUNT INC VATVAT
       
06.04.2023ClerkClerk’s salary & expensesClerk salary & expenses5£295.990
06.04.2023Sara Trumper
Reimbursement for Gittisham Community Kitchen food costs & sundriesGeneral administration6£224.990
06.04.2023Devon Assoc of Local CouncilsAnnual membershipMemberships7£229£31.67
06.04.2023Gittisham Parish HallHire of village hall for weekly community kitchenGeneral administration10£992.450
13.05.2023ClerkClerk’s salary Clerk’s salary & expenses13£235.830
13.05.2023

ClerkClerk’s salary (backdated pay at higher rate)Clerk’s salary & expenses14£2340
13.05.2023Alvian LtdPlay area annual inspectionPlay area16£85£17
13.05.2023Fitness SportsGoal postPlay area17£406.74£81.35
13.05.2023Community FirstAnnual insurance policyPlay area & assets18£420.440
01.06.2023ClerkClerk salary & expensesClerk salary & expenses20£239.130
01.06.2023Gittisham Parish HallCoronation party expensesGeneral administration23£498.540
01.06.2023Bluechip PayrollAnnual auditGeneral admin24£1450
01.06.2023Gittisham Parish HallGittisham FeteGeneral administration26£5000
06.07.2023ClerkClerk salary & expensesClerk salary28£240.330
06.07.2023Redlynch LeisureOutdoor ping pong tablePlay area31£3,079£615.80
06.07.2023ClerkClerk salary Clerk salary 34£235.830
07.09.2023ClerkClerk salaryClerk salary39£235.830
07.09.2023Len AbbottLengthsman workLengthsman42£333.500
07.09.2023Len AbbottLengthsman workLengthsman44£166.750
02.10.2023ClerkClerk salaryClerk salary46£235.830
02.11.2023ClerkClerk salary Clerk salary 49£235.830
02.11.2023Len AbbottLengthsman workLengthsman51£123.250
02.11.2023Len AbbottLengthsman workLengthsman52£101.500
07.12.2023ClerkClerk salary & expensesClerk salary56£248.320
07.12.2023EDDCWaste bin & installation, Old Elm RoadGeneral administration59£357.800
07.12.2023Community Heartbeat TrustDefibrillator maintenance subscriptionGeneral administration61£270£54
07.12.2023The Sandbag CompanySandbags & deliveryGeneral administration62£199.92£34.39
04.01.2024ClerkClerk salary Clerk salary & expenses64£254.340
04.01.2024ClerkClerk salary & expenses (backdated pay at higher rate)Clerk salary & expenses65£175.500
01.02.2024ClerkClerk salary Clerk salary & expenses74£254.340
01.02.2024Community Heartbeat TrustDefibrillator (Hayne Farm) maintenance subscriptionGeneral administration76£135£27
01.02.2024Arthur G Gallagher Ins.Public liability insurance (lengthsman)Lengthsman77£308.420
07.03.2024ClerkClerk salaryClerk salary79£254.340

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL RECEIPTS AND PAYMENT ACCOUNT FOR YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2024

RECEIPTS20232024
Precept£9,307.41£0
VAT£0£0
Community Infrastructure Levy£723.93£0
DCC Locality Budget£300£0
Grants£0£0
Other£0£0
Interest on business reserve £94.89
TOTAL RECEIPTS£10,331.34£94.89
PAYMENTS20232024
Clerk’s salary£2,349.38£938.52
Clerk’s expenses£87.54£0
Clerk’s pension£221.42£80.34
HMRC / PAYE£0 £0
Parish room / village hall hire£992.45£0
Subscriptions£229£35
Audit£145 
VAT incurred£1,032.36£27
Lengthsman£899£0
Lengthsman expenses£139.11£0
Maintenance£780£0
Donations S137£0£300 
Website & related£95.40£81.67
Defibrillator (Hayne Farm) £0£135
Defibrillator annual maintenance x2£270 £0
Insurance£420.44£0 
Insurance (lengthsman)£0£308.42
Gittisham Gazette printing £0£30
Other miscellaneous expenditure£5,274.52£0
TOTAL PAYMENTS£12,935.62£1,935.95
TOTAL PROFIT / LOSS FOR THE YEAR-£2,604.28-£1,841.06
RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS SUMMARY 
Balance b/f£18,934.64
Gross income and reserves£13,426.23
Less total payment£14,871.57
TOTAL£17,489.30
BANK BALANCES 31.03.2024 
Nat West Business Reserve£7,156.88
Nat West Current Account£14,027.22
Unpresented payments£3,694.80
TOTAL£17,489.30

RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS ACCOUNT FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31 MARCH 2024

RECEIPTS

Precept£9,307.41 
CIL£723.93 
Other£300 
VAT rebates£0 
net interest (on business reserve a/c)£94.89 
Gross receipts


PAYMENTS
 £10,426.23
Administration£87.54 
Salaries£3,287.90 
Pension£301.76 
S137 / Transport£300.00 
VAT payments£1,059.36 
Maintenance£780 
Lengthsman£1,323.35 
Other£7,731.66 this doesn’t include £3,000 moved to business reserve, see below)
Total payments£14,871.57
Excess of receipts over payments

BANK RECONCILIATION
£-4,445.34
Balance b/fwd 1 April 2023£18,934.64

Gross Receipts current and reserves accounts (includes the £3,000 moved to the BR in 2017) £13,426.23

less total payments          £14,871.57

Cashbook Balance                                                                                                                       £17,489.30

Bank balance as at 31 March 2024      Current Acc                                             £14,027.22

Reserves Acc        £7,156.88

less unpresented payments               £3,694.80

Bank Account Balance         £17,489.30 as per cashbook balance

Responsible Financial Officer 

Fiona Clampin

Clerk Signature

 Chair         

Carol Hall

Chairman Signature

6th June 2024





2024-05 Parish Council meeting minutes 2nd May 2024

Held in Gittisham Parish Room

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr Adam Powell, Cllr P Orchard

In attendance: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), one member of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Twist, PCSO Darren England

1/24        To elect a Chair

Cllr Orchard nominated Cllr Hall for election as Chair for 2024/25.  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 Hall be elected Chair for 2024/25 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

2/24        To elect a Vice Chair

Cllr Hall nominated Cllr Rowe for election as Vice Chair for 2024/25, Cllr Twist having stood down.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Orchard.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Rowe be elected Vice Chair for 2024/25 of Gittisham Parish Council.  Members thanked Cllr Twist for her work in the role previously.

3/24        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 & Rowe made a Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

4/24 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

5/24        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4th April 2024

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th April 2024 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.  

6/24        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

March 2024: 0 crimes reported.  The clerk said the online crime map appeared to be working again. 

7/24        To receive declarations of interest

None.

8/24        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Orchard said he had placed a clipboard inside the village bus shelter to allow passengers to report late-running buses or no-shows.  Cllr Rowe reported concern over grass verges towards Gittisham Farm that had been damaged.  This was due to Devon Highways digging the hedge to fill in concrete below.

9/24 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss expressed his pleasure that thanks to hard work and reorganisation at DCC, the council will present a balanced outturn.  He reported having found some additional funding which will go towards repair of the highways network, which has taken a battering with the wet weather.

DCC to receive additional funds to support households struggling with higher energy and food costs

Citizens Advice is reporting that average energy costs are as high as last winter for many households, and that despite energy prices falling this month, around 5.3 million people are currently living in households in debt to their energy supplier. So, it’s welcome news that we are able to confirm that Devon County Council have been allocated a little over £5 million from the government to help households struggling to pay higher bills for energy, food, water, and other essential items.

This will be the fifth round of Household Support Funding received from the Department for Work and Pensions, to run between April and September 2024. It will take Devon’s total level of Household Support Funding received so far to just over £30 million.  The funding is to support households in most need, but specifically those that may not be eligible for other support that is already available from the government.

Plans must be submitted by mid-May to the Department of Work and Pensions, setting out how DCC, with Devon’s district, city and borough councils and other voluntary and community partners, will make the latest funding available.

Plans are likely to include:

A specific funding allocation to support families in receipt of Free School Meals, to provide food vouchers that can be exchanged at supermarkets to buy food during school holidays. 21,700 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, through the County Council’s Early Help service. 

Team Devon’s district/city/borough 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

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

Devon and Torbay Devolution Deal – Combined County Authority

The proposed deal will transfer significant decision-making powers and funding from Whitehall to Devon and Torbay, so that important decisions on local priorities, such as jobs and skills, housing, and the environment, can be made locally.  Following a wide ranging consultation, the proposal itself was met with a wide range of views both for and against, although unanimous support is not a prerequisite to moving forward.

One thing is clear; The ‘deal’ may have Devon County and Torbay Councils’ signatures on the paperwork, but for devolution to work well for the one million or so residents across Devon and Torbay, the task in hand will require all levels of local government across the two areas – County and Unitary, city, district and borough, and town and parish councils – to work much more closely together.  It will also need the strong influence of advisory groups comprising experts in local industry and the voluntary sector, and geographically representing all parts of Devon and Torbay, working with the Devon and Torbay CCA.

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act as passed by Parliament makes county and unitary councils responsible for leading Combined County Authorities. The responsibility for leading this CCA therefore falls to democratically-led representatives from Devon County Council and Torbay Council.  However, it is critically important that Devon’s district councils have a voice in the Devon and Torbay CCA, and the ability to influence its work.

It is proposed that Devon’s city, district and borough councils, the Devon Association of Local Councils representing Devon’s town and parish councils, the County Council and the two National Park Authorities, will all sit as part of a formal ‘Team Devon’ Joint Committee to offer its collective voice in the CCA.  District councils and housing associations will also work with Torbay Council’s housing function and the CCA to accelerate delivery of more housing across Devon and Torbay.  District councils will also be involved in the formation of a joint strategic transport plan for Devon and Torbay so that land-use and housing plan areas align to transport plans and sustainable transport options.

In addition, advisory groups comprising representatives with experience and expertise in given fields, e.g. health, housing or climate change, will have a role in providing formal advice to the CCA. As will voluntary sector and social enterprise organisations, that will need to work closely with the CCA, making sure that decision-makers are responding to local interests and addressing local priorities.

Through Local Skills Improvement Plans, the proposed CCA will work with business and education leaders to create a stronger, joined-up relationship between employers and schools, colleges and universities to provide the skilled workforce the local economy needs for the future.

Do you have a scheme to benefit the community? Grants are available

If your community group has a project that could improve people’s well-being, reduce hardship, provide a warm safe space to work, learn, or socialise within you area, you can apply for a grant.  This is the third year DCC have made funding available to support local schemes through the Growing Communities Fund.  Since July 2022, funding has been awarded to hundreds of local projects to help them respond to a specific local need.

This year’s funding allocation will mean that since the fund was launched, DCC has made more than £1.1m available to help communities build self-reliance and resilience.

Groups with schemes that bring communities together, alleviate food poverty or tackle loneliness, isolation and build self-esteem, for example, are invited to apply.  This could include offering advice, peer support or guidance on budgeting, cooking low-cost nutritional meals or supporting the recruitment, training and retention of volunteers.  Organisers of projects that have a clear and direct community benefit, such as improving the environment, or that use innovation to improve efficiency or proposals that seek to expand the reach of an existing scheme are also encouraged to apply.  For further information visit https://www.devon.gov.uk/communities/growing-communities-fund

Cllr Bruce said there was little that’s new on which to update the parish council.  EDDC’s planning officers are working through new legislation to understand the detail.  On a separate matter, the flood prevention scheme at Feniton has been delayed.

Cllr Twiss encouraged people to register their interest on the Airband website, which appeared to show some Gittisham village postcodes likely to be served by the rollout of superfast broadband at some point in the future.  Cllr Powell queried this, as he had intelligence that suggested Airband is reassessing the contracts it has with Connecting Devon and Somerset (the rural broadband programme).  The company has just appointed a new managing director.  Cllr Twiss said he was waiting for a response from CDS.

Cllrs Bruce & Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Twiss to send the clerk details of how to apply to the Locality Budget and the Growing Communities Fund.  Chair to complete and let Cllr Twiss know when done.

10/24   To consider the application for a proposed upgrade to the existing radio base station installation at CS_121551, SWEB Tower EX14 3TZ (NGR: E314620, N096545)

Councillors resolved to have no objection to this application. 

11/24      To consider a response to Honiton Town Council’s request to identify projects for the 2nd tranche of S106 funds

ACTION: Chair to draft a reply with suggestion for public consultation on projects.

12/24     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices
    • None.
  • To receive an update on Highways 

3–20 June 2024 road through Alfington is closed for gas works.

4–5 June 2024 Old A30 by Kings Arms farm, temporary traffic signals for Highways.

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

The clerk said she was awaiting a response from EDDC’s S106 officer as to whether a plaque referring to the district council’s support is necessary.  She had not heard from Cllr Arnott regarding the invitation to attend the Father’s Day table tennis tournament in the village play area.  Members agreed to take photographs at the event and publicise in the gazette and potentially the Midweek Herald afterwards. 

ACTION: Clerk to invite Cllr Bruce to the Father’s Day tournament. 

  • To receive an update on public transport

Members heard the bus service had been unreliable in recent weeks, but appeared to be back on track.  It was agreed to publicise the delays clipboard on the village WhatsApp and in the gazette.

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

Cllr Rowe said EDDC had mown the section of land at Old Elm Road in preparation for laying the grass matting that will go underneath a footpath suitable for pushchairs in the rewilded area.  Volunteers will be needed nearer the time, he said, to help lay down the 20m-length rolls of matting and hammer in the staples but it needs a spell of dry weather.  Heavy duty grass seed will go on top.   ACTION: Cllr Powell to drum up support at the Hayne Farm development. 

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

There was no progress to report.  Cllr Valentine provided a year overview to the Annual Parish Meeting.          

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

The clerk reported that representatives of Baker Estates would be attending the June parish council meeting to discuss the footpath, along with other matters.

ACTION: Clerk to invite Karissa Marker to the June meeting.

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

Councillors agreed to attend to the items highlighted in the annual safety inspection report, and Cllr Walker said she would share the report with Len Abbott. 

ACTION: Chair to ask residents near the village play area how use of the ping pong table is shaping up.

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

The Chair reported that Jack Bartlett (farmer) had identified a blocked culvert upstream of Catshayes.  He has cleared the blockage and now the water is flowing as it should with far less travelling down the road. 

13/24     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said some residents of Hayne Farm had drawn up a list of items they would like to see in the play area, with all agreeing it was important to stress that until the ownership of the land had been established on a more permanent footing (likely in two years’ time), the parish council was limited in what support it could provide.  Suggestions were made such as a play area committee and a community garden at Hayne Farm.

ACTION: Cllr Powell to investigate whether any Hayne Farm residents would like to attend the June parish council meeting.

Cllr Rowe said he had drawn up a flyer for the Gittisham Fete, and suggested perhaps it could include on one side some information about the parish council. 

14/24     To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders

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

15/24     To review the parish council’s fixed asset register

Members noted the fixed asset register.

ACTION: Clerk to add ping pong table and goal posts.

16/24     To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £254.34 Clerk’s salary + £16.85 expenses (travel Ottery – Gittisham 7.5-mile round trip x 5 for agendas, minutes & police election notices in March & April @0.45p / mile)

Michael Poll        £65 play area grass cutting (inv. ref. 10300)

Michael Poll        £65 play area grass cutting (inv. ref. 10303)

Alvian Ltd £102 play area annual safety inspection (inv. 1068)

Community First Trading £420.44 annual insurance policy

DD          NEST                     £26.78   Clerk’s pension

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £21,351.62 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk said the first half of the annual precept had been received, as well as two VAT rebates for 2020-21 and 2021-22 (£224.72 and £608.48).  Members resolved to request Bluechip Payroll’s services for the annual internal audit.

17/24 Clerk’s report

There was nothing to report.

18/24     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Hayne Farm update; annual accountability & governance; broadband

19/24     To consider any late entry correspondence

As the Annual Parish Meeting had taken place earlier that day, members discussed Cllr Powell’s suggestion that other meetings focusing on single issues such as climate change could be held in a larger space.  Cllr Valentine suggested some meetings could be held at a location on the Hayne Farm development or in Gittisham Vale.

Cllr Valentine said the temporary barriers at Riverside had been there for more than one year.

ACTION: Clerk to ask EDDC when the bridge railings will be repaired.

20/24     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 6th June and Thursday 4th July 2024 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2115 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

6th June 2024

2024-05 Parish Council agenda 2 May 2024

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Ms Fiona Clampin

Clerk to the Council

25th April 2024

Local Government Act 1972

NOTICE OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING FOR GITTISHAM PARISH

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT

The Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting for Gittisham will be held in the parish room on Thursday 2nd May 2024 at 7.30pm

The meeting will be open to the public.

Annual Parish Meeting Agenda

  1. Introduction by Council Chair
  2. Apologies for absence 
  3. Report on the Council’s activities in 2023/24 by the Council Chair
  4. Annual Police Report
  5. County and District representatives’ reports
  6. Reports by village organisations
  7. To consider any matters raised by residents.

Annual Council Meeting Agenda

25th April 2024

Members of Gittisham Parish Council

You are hereby summoned to attend the Annual Council Meeting to be held in Gittisham Parish Room on Thursday 2nd May 2024 commencing at 7.30pm (following the Annual Parish Meeting) to discuss items on the Agenda and to make resolutions as appropriate.

Prior to the start of the meeting a period of 15 minutes is allowed to permit any resident to bring appropriate matters to the notice of the Council.  Please contact the clerk if you would like to do this, preferably by email in advance of the meeting, with a question you wish to be raised with Councillors on your behalf. 

  1. To elect a Chair
  2. To elect a Vice Chair
  3. To receive the Chair’s & Vice Chair’s declaration of Acceptance of Office
  4. To accept and approve apologies
  5. To confirm the Minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 4th April 2024
  6. To receive the Beat Manager’s report
  7. To receive declarations of interest
  8. To consider actions from last meeting not otherwise on the agenda
  9. To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives
  10. To consider the application for a proposed upgrade to the existing radio base station installation at CS_121551, SWEB Tower EX14 3TZ (NGR: E314620, N096545)
  11. To consider the following planning application: 24/0539/LBC 2 Riverside Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AE – Replace existing porch with enlarged lead flat roof porch on south elevation; replace existing extension on north elevation to create bedroom and bathroom and glazed canopy over rear door | 
  12. To consider a response to Honiton Town Council’s request to identify projects for the 2nd tranche of S106 funds
  13. To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:
  • To note the latest planning decision notices (Cllr Orchard)
  • To receive an update on highways (Cllr Orchard)
  • To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy and S106, including publicity (Cllr Orchard & Cllr Twist)
  • To receive an update on public transport (Cllr Orchard)
  • To consider climate change measures within the parish, including proposals for rewilding land off Old Elm Road (Cllr Twist / Cllr Rowe)
  • To consider limited residential development in the parish (Cllr Valentine)
  • To consider the creation of a traffic-free amenity route linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village (Cllr Rowe / Cllr Powell)
  • To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area (Cllr Walker)
  • To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain drains and ditches in the parish (Cllr Walker)
  1. To receive a report from the Chair
  2. To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders
  3. To review the parish council’s fixed asset register
  4. To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance:

F Clampin £254.34 + £16.85 expenses (travel Ottery – Gittisham 7.5-mile round trip x 5 for agendas, minutes & police election notices in March & April @0.45p / mile)

Len Abbott lengthsman work, £tbc

Len Abbott expenses £tbc

Michael Poll play area grass cutting £65 (inv. 10300)

Alvian Ltd play area annual safety inspection £102 (inv. 1068)

Community First Trading annual insurance policy £420.44 [tbc]

NEST (clerk’s pension) £26.78

 

  1. Clerk’s report
  2. For information only; items for the forward agenda
  3. To consider any late entry correspondence
  4. To note the date of the next two meetings, Thursday 6th June and Thursday 4th July 2024 at 7.30pm. 

F J Clampin – Clerk

2024-04 Parish Council meeting minutes 4th April 2024

Held in Gittisham Parish Room

Present:

Village ward: Cllr D Valentine, Cllr M Walker, Cllr A Rowe

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

In attendance: Fiona Clampin (clerk)

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

177/23 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

178/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7th March 2024

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th March 2024 were confirmed and signed by the Vice Chair.  

179/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Due to an error on the Police UK website it was not possible to report the crime statistics accurately. 

180/23        To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Twist declared an interest in agenda item 10 (minute ref. 186/23), as she is the treasurer of Gittisham PCC.

181/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

None.

182/23 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: “As we move towards spring and summer, it seems that our traditional four seasons are now more like the Northern Territory of Australia with just two, the wet from November to April and the dry, May to October.  Unfortunately our wet season seems to be far longer than the dry one, having a detrimental impact on the Devon Highways network, particularly in rural areas where the potholes are all too obvious to see, appearing on what are effectively former cart tracks with tarmac on the top. In urban areas, most roads are purpose built with proper foundations that are generally more robust.

This state of the public highway is by some distance the item that features most in conversations and correspondence with constituents and below is a more detailed report on how this last winter has gone for DCC Highways who are trying to keep up with rising demand, combined with limited human and financial resources.

Winter 2023/24 Highways update

DCC has established a ‘Planned and Reactive Maintenance: Potholes and Drainage Task Group’ first reporting in March 2019 and an updated Performance Dashboard Report has now been produced to councillors.  As is typical for the winter period, DCC Highways has recorded a gradual increase in the number of publicly reported pothole defects (PIPs) since November, mainly via the ‘Report a Problem’ web site. A team of Highway Safety Inspectors undertake assessments, using extended weekday and weekend working where resource allows. The main contractor called Milestone are currently in the process of recruiting three additional permanent inspectors to assist in driving further efficiencies and timely inspections.

There have been more pothole defects this financial year than 2022/23. Whilst a further 12 months of network deterioration has occurred, the impacts on network condition of the relatively early and harsh freeze/thaw cycles experienced during last winter (2022/23) were felt deep into the summer months of 2023, added to by a number of severe storms and torrential rainfall.

Additional in year Government funding of £7.5 million is enabling more reactive, short notice and planned works, including minor hand patching and dragon patching will be delivered on the minor network in Devon as a result of it. 

While there have been challenges around plant breakdowns and availability relating to gully cleaning, it is anticipated the programme to clean 150,630 gully assets will be completed on time for the current financial year. The additional high pressure jetting resource is currently resolving approximately 800 recorded issues per month, effectively maintaining pace with the number of issues reported during the flooding events experienced over the 2023/24 winter period. The service continues to trial a different approach to cleaning both urban gullies and gullies that require multiple cleans per year.

Special Educational Needs Deficit (SEND)

After a protracted and very difficult period of negotiation, a high-level agreement has been signed between Devon County Council and the Government, which will see an extra £95 million of national funds set aside to reduce the deficit on special needs education.

The cumulative spending on education for children with special needs and disabilities (SEND) over the past 10 years is set to create a deficit of £163 million by the end of this financial year.  In common with many councils across the country, DCC had been negotiating with the Government for extra funding for special needs education under the so-called Safety Valve programme.  Ten million pounds have been set aside in 2023/24 to help bring down the deficit.  The new agreement will see the Government contribute £38 million by the end of March with the remaining cash being spread out over the following eight years.  We will contribute a further £5 million a year from its revenue budget and £20 million from reserves to bring the deficit back into balance by the end of the agreement.

It is recognised that DCC must improve its service to children needing help in this area and is committed to doing this, as well as managing its finances most effectively, keeping the council on a long term sustainable basis.

Locality Budgets

Devon county councillors have a small amount of money each year called a Locality Budget to support projects in their division with small grants, where demand invariably outstrips supply.  The fund opens up again in mid-April and budget for 2024/25 is £8,000 per councillor. Further details of qualifying projects and an online application form can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/democracy/councillors-nav/locality-budgets/

In his absence, Cllr Bruce sent the following report: “Last week at planning this council took what I consider to be a retrograde step. Two toilet blocks are to be removed and replaced by an ugly pay to use prefab literally craned into place. One in Honiton and the other in Budleigh Salterton. Now we are often told that councils do not have to provide free toilet conveniences, but it is something we have ‘enjoyed’ for many years so it is in effect a loss of amenity.  I for one have always believed it should be a right to use a public convenience for free. To be blunt those people of a certain age and/or with a medical condition rely on finding somewhere to go and often in a hurry. So to now be faced with the option of needing to use this grotesque monstrosity, in place of the previous sanctuary of relief, and pay for the privilege is a backward step. Neither buildings contribute any aesthetic value whatsoever to these towns, and to many this change will become a contributing factor in the calculation of a shopping trip out. So in future the public and visitors in Honiton is faced with either paying to pee (providing the locks work), relying on the good graces of a certain coffee shop, or, use the facilities of the large church and leave a contribution.

“The ongoing disgrace of the quality of our rivers and seas continue to attract media attention, but with little matching concerted action by our government. It is to be hoped that the growing number of action groups and legal action will bring about a profound change in how our water is managed and safeguarded for us all.”

183/23   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 24/0652/TRE – 1 Beaumonts Cottages, Gittisham EX14 3AG – T1, Willow: pollard to approximately 8m above ground level; maximum diameter cuts of 20cm; western limb over building; reduce to 3m off main stem.

Councillors resolved to have no objection to this application. 

184/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices
    • None.
  • To receive an update on Highways 

20 May–7 June 2024 road through Alfington is closed for water works.

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

The clerk reported that the outdoor ping pong table was now installed.  The delivery company had suggested that a set of bats and balls should have been included, but the supplier said this was not the case.  Members thanked Carla Hulbert for donating the ping pong kit.  Cllr Walker said a tournament was planned for Father’s Day, and members agreed this would be a good moment to arrange some PR and the plaque to indicate EDDC’s support.

ACTION: Clerk to invite Cllr Arnott to a Father’s Day tournament and order a plaque. 

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Rowe suggested leaving a clipboard in the village bus shelter for people to log when the Stagecoach bus is late or does not turn up.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to source a clipboard and pen.

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

There was no update to report.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said EDDC had requested further information from interested parties including Combe Estate about the planning application.          

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

Cllr Powell reported he had emailed members with a summary of the points raised at the meeting with Combe EstateJustin Lascelles said he would be progressing this matter with the Marker family, tenant farmers and estate trustees. 

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

Cllr Walker said the heavy rainfall had left the play area waterlogged.  She agreed to walk the area with the lengthsman to find out if any maintenance is needed, including to the hedge, after the annual safety inspection report.

ACTION: Clerk to check status of safety inspection.

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

The clerk reported that Len Abbott had spoken to Len Bartlett (farmer) about the run-off at Catshayes, but she did not know the outcome of the conversation.  The Bartlett family has assured residents that they will step in to help should there be a flooding problem resulting from the recent work.

185/23     To receive a report from the Chair

The Vice-Chair reported that residents of the Hayne Farm development had been asking if the play area could be improved there.  Members agreed that until the ownership of the land had been established on a more permanent footing (likely in two years’ time), the parish council was limited in what support it could provide.  It had been pointed out on previous occasions that the equipment in the village play area was provided through fundraising, not capital expenditure.  The parish council is happy to assist with providing advice / support on fundraising.  Councillors agreed that it was time to invite Baker Estates to a parish council meeting to provide an update on the development, and answer concerns raised by residents about the play area to understand where the parish council might be able to get involved.

ACTION: Clerk to invite Graham Hutton to attend a parish council meeting.

Cllr Powell reported that he and Cllrs Walker and Rowe had met Richard Foord MP earlier in the day to discuss the delay in rolling out superfast broadband.  Combe Estate representatives had been unable to attend the meeting.  The MP has agreed to follow up with DCC as well as the Digital Minister in Parliament.  It appears that Gittisham parish is no longer on the list of locations for Airband, the remaining full fibre broadband infrastructure provider in the area.  Members thanked Cllr Powell for raising the profile of the lack of decent broadband. 

ACTION: Cllr Powell to reflect on how GPC can help progress Richard Foord’s media campaign on this issue.

The Vice-Chair reported that the TruckFest which had caused so many traffic problems last year in the parish had been moved to Smeatharpe. 

Cllr Twist left the meeting and Cllr Valentine took the Chair.

186/23     To approve the April payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £254.34 Clerk’s salary

34SP.com             £119.40 web hosting renewal

34SP.com             £15 domain name registration

Gittisham PCC     £21.10 electricity bill [parish council use]

Michael Poll        £65 play area grass cutting (inv. ref. 10291)

DALC                  £400.50 annual subscription 2024/25

Len Abbott           £101.50 (lengthsman work, 7 hrs Dec 2023)

Len Abbott           £14.50 (lengthsman work, 1hr Jan 2024)

DD          NEST                     £26.78   Clerk’s pension

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £16,399.29 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

The clerk said this did not include the first half of the annual precept, which is due to arrive in the parish council bank account.  She added that the cost of the ping pong table had already been accounted for at the July 2023 meeting, and she would invoice EDDC to have the amount (minus VAT) paid to the parish council from S106 funds.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Bluechip Payroll to arrange annual audit. 

Cllr Twist returned to the meeting.

187/23 Clerk’s report

There was nothing to report.

188/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

The May meeting will be held following the annual parish meeting.  Clerk to find out if Baker Estates can attend in May.

189/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

190/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 2nd May and Thursday 6th June 2024 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2100 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

2nd May 2024