2024-02 Parish Council meeting minutes 1st Feb 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

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Twist (Vice Chair), Cllr P Orchard, Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), PCSO Darren England

147/23 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

148/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4th Jan 2024

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th January 2024 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.  See also minute ref 156/23.

149/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Due to an error on the Police UK website, it was not possible to report crime statistics accurately.  The clerk said she had been in touch with D&C Police to raise the issue, and made Cllr Twiss aware.

150/23        To receive declarations of interest

None.

151/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Powell said he had drafted a letter to Richard Foorde MP regarding the continuing delay of installing superfast broadband in Gittisham village.  Members agreed he should use the village WhatsApp group to build a picture of the issues people experience.  Cllr Powell reported that Airband had told him the rollout would happen in the first half of 2024, which was at odds with an email the clerk had received from the company.  Members noted that Airband vehicles had been seen in Fenny Bridges.

ACTION: Cllr Powell to email Airband and invite one of their senior staff as well as the MP, to attend a PC meeting.

Members reiterated the parish council’s support for the community kitchen, and asked Cllr Walker / Cllr Hall to enquire whether the organisers would like the parish council / village hall committee to apply for a grant on their behalf to cover the cost of rental.

Cllr Rowe reported that the village fete is scheduled for 31st August.  He encouraged people to sign up as volunteers.

152/23 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report:

As we have literally weathered the storms of post-Christmas, let us hope that we are able to move beyond what passes for winter this year and look forward to more spring-like condition quite soon. Damage to our highways in January has caused the DCC Highways teams considerable headaches in keeping up with emergency repairs and those of a temporary (prior to resurfacing) and permanent repairs.

Further down this report is quite a lengthy section about devolution, which really is a big deal for Devon, together with Torbay Council.

Highway repairs

An almost permanent fixture in County Councillors email inboxes is potholes, and residents’ concerns are shared by us and the officers and staff.  On 4 October 2023, the government announced £8.3 billion of additional highways maintenance funding over the period 2023 to 2024 and the next 10 years for local road resurfacing and wider maintenance activity on the local highway network. This includes £2.8 billion for Local Authorities in the East, South East, South West and London. Devon’s share over 11 years is £222 million consists an additional funding allocation of £6.663m in each of 2023/24 and 2024/25:  Currently potholes repairs in Devon are funded by ‘in year’ revenue, where for more permanent patching and repair of a higher quality this must be funded by longer term capital investment with the minimum qualification area being 1 square metre.  Significantly, it has now been agreed that DCC are able to reduce this qualification to half a square metre funded by capital funding, which will provide for better quality, long lasting repairs, rather than less durable ‘temporary’ fixes. (It is important to remember that emergency repairs are often temporary before a more permanent one is made).

Devolution – levelling up

In what is regarded by many as a very positive step forward devolving powers and money, Devolution for Devon and Torbay has taken a big step forward with the publication of Government proposals for a ground breaking deal that could re-draw the future relationship between local government in Devon and Torbay, and Whitehall. It’s hoped that additional powers with the cash that follows will happen in future years.

This would enable more decisions to be made locally by people who know their areas best and on things that matter to local people such as building more affordable homes, investing in new quality jobs and skills, and improving public transport. This could see the transfer of a range of powers and funding to a Devon and Torbay

Combined County Authority (CCA), subject to public consultation. Under the proposals, the new body would have direct control of adult education to create up to 50,000 new training and retraining opportunities by 2030.

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.

The Government is proposing to transfer over £16 million of new funding to invest in new green jobs, homes, skills, and business growth and accelerate Devon and Torbay’s transition to a net-zero economy, capitalising on the area’s world-leading expertise in green science and technology.  The Government is offering a stronger partnership with Homes England, capitalising on the Affordable Housing Programme and Brownfield Infrastructure and Land Fund to create a joint action plan for affordable housing schemes for local people and reduce homelessness. The proposal includes additional land assembly and compulsory purchase powers and would facilitate greater Community Land Trust-led delivery.

On transport, the proposed deal builds on Devon County Council and Torbay Councils’ long history of working well together on local transport planning. The proposed Deal will strengthen this joined-up approach with Devon and Torbay working as equal partners on a CCA and improving the efficiency and co-ordination

of public transport. There is an ambition to introduce a single ticketing system for travellers and investment in services to provide greater access to public transport.  The Government is also offering to transfer responsibility for developing, designing and delivering the next stages of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund from 2025.

The CCA would be responsible for working with Devon County Council, Torbay Council, District Councils and the business and education sectors to support high growth business sectors such as advanced marine engineering, defence, photonics and digital, and improve the look and feel of local communities with street and town centre enhancement.

Do you have community equipment you no longer use?

Devon residents, who have been loaned community equipment that they no longer need such as walking frames, are being urged to take advantage of the final week of an equipment ‘amnesty’ and to arrange for it to be collected, free of charge. Every month, around 5000 items of equipment are returned, more than 80 per cent

of which are refurbished, sterilised and then put back onto warehouse shelves ready for reuse. Almost 70 per cent of the equipment collected and refurbished in this way is reissued within a month to someone in the community.  Returning these items not only reduces how long people who need them have to wait it also saves on having to buy new equipment – it saves up to £100,000 a month which could then be spent on other things.

There are hundreds of pieces of community equipment, such as four-wheeled walking frames, toileting equipment, hospital beds, clinical mattresses, pressure cushions and hoists that are not being used, sitting in garages and in storage for instance.

So, Devon County Council, NHS Devon CCG and Millbrook Healthcare Ltd, which provides community equipment to people on their behalf, launched an equipment ‘amnesty’ last month, asking those who no longer need their community equipment, to organise a collection free of charge.  The previous amnesty in 2021 resulted in hundreds of items being returned, refurbished, sterilised and put back into use in the community. This amnesty is now in its final week and will run until Monday 5 February. People should call 0330 124 8214 to arrange a collection.  Wheelchairs, however, are not part of the amnesty, because these are not provided

by the community equipment service Millbrook delivers.  Collection of the equipment from people’s homes is free, and Millbrook staff will collect the items from the property.

Devon funding news

Just a reminder that Devon funding news is a mine of useful information for individuals and organisations supporting the community and the Rural Services Network equivalent is also a useful source on information and possible funding. See https://www.rsnonline.org.uk/category/rural-funding-digest . Sign up at https://www.devon.gov.uk/fundingnews if you haven’t already.

Cllr Bruce said that coastal damage from storm Henke was much less than Ciarán with the beach defences at Exmouth doing the job they were designed for. A small cliff fall was reported at Budleigh, but nothing on the scale of the collapse at Jacob’s Ladder which also did not reactivate at the time of writing.

The focus on sea water bathing quality is a hot topic at present and rightly so, said Cllr Bruce. Speaking to fellow cold water swimmers (what Cllr Bruce simply called going for a swim), there is much anecdotal evidence of a major deterioration in the quality of our coastal waters. Many experience stomach illness and ear infections, even dog walkers tell him their animals are sometimes poorly after a stroll on the beach. This situation is wholly unacceptable, he said and we are seeing a retrograde step in how we take care of our waste in this country.

With this in mind, Cllr Bruce thought the parish might be interested in some figures recently released by the EDDC coastal officer:

1) Permitted Discharges from CSOs (storm overflow discharge): In total in 2023 there were the following (the number in brackets is the number that fell within the formal bathing season May 15th to September 30th)  Sandy Bay 21 (8), Exmouth 40 (15),  Budleigh 44 (15), Sidmouth 28 (10) Beer 32 (13), Seaton 31(12).   Given that in their Water Fit document South West Water (SWW) commit to achieving no more than 20 discharges at any given beach, this is pretty poor performance.

Currently only two of our beaches are tested for water quality by the Environment Agency, but we are pushing for all to be tested. The trail to operate electric water quality signage at Exmouth failed due to the sign frying itself due to sea water penetration. However, manual signage with the relevant sites to get up to date information are almost ready to be deployed. For all our safety, it is clear that there needs to be a sea change (excuse the pun) in how the water companies operate and a much greater level of accountability and responsibility to the rate payer. Sadly, the district has little leverage to apply as major change can only come from government, said Cllr Bruce. He can only hope that off the back of the Post Office / Horizon IT scandal some serious pressure will now be brought to bear on all our utility companies.

Potholes continue to be a scourge of our road network. It is to be hoped that new money released by government will go some way to addressing this. However, Cllr Bruce remained concerned at the level of poor repair of potholes. He was sure he is not the only person who sees repairs done that will obviously fail in short order, nor where reported holes are removed from the potholes map despite complying with the criteria. Cllr Bruce would like to see a greater level of oversight of repairs by DDC, with contractors who fail to undertake a satisfactory repair not paid until it is done correctly. Now it may be that this does happen, but if so it’s not good enough. Perhaps one step would be a reporting system whereby members of the public can report such instances to the council. Much like the current pothole map.

There are two major planning applications before the planning committee coming up this week which may have broader implications for our parish: the redevelopment of the Knowle site, and a development of 72 houses at Colyton.  Whilst not directly impacting on us, it presents the committee with an opportunity to question the sustainability of infrastructure, with particular emphasis on sewerage capacity and road layout. Cllr Bruce said he was not showing prejudice, but with two major developments in the system heading for Feniton, it will be interesting to see the direction of travel.  The Chair added the importance of recording the experiences of parish residents when it comes to sewerage and flooding.

Cllr Bruce reported that the Combe Farm Shop application had been taken off the agenda, in order for the applicant to address flooding issues raised.

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

153/23   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 24/0055/TRE 8 Campion Way Honiton EX14 2YR – T1, Oak approx. 14 metres high and 14 metres wide at all points; to pollard back to previous pollard position when work last carried out in 2016
  2. 24/0019/VAR Rapshayes Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB – Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0782/LBC (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay roman tiles to natural slate
  3. 23/2583/VAR Rapshayes Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB – Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0782/LBC (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay roman tiles to natural slate
  4. 23/2725/FUL Kings Arms Farm Nags Head Road Gittisham EX14 3AP – House of multiple occupation (HMO), that provides individual living-rooms for vulnerable people; the facility includes communal areas for socialising, cooking and dining set with private and secure gardens

Parish councillors resolved to have no objections to the above applications. 

154/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

There was no update this month.

  • To receive an update on Highways 

20th March road to Catshayes closed to install sewer level equipment.

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

There was no update this month.

  • To receive an update on public transport

There was no update this month.

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

Cllr Rowe said he had met EDDC officer Paul Feely and a colleague, who felt some revision of the proposals for land at Old Elm Road was necessary. EDDC may look at obtaining a capital grant and is considering a tarmacked path to link the green space to other paths.

ACTION: Clerk to revisit Sulina Tallack’s S106 document to see if any S106 funding could be released to fund a track that supports running or other physical exercise.      

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

There was no update this month.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said GCLT was waiting for a response from a housing association they had approached to take on the project, as well as further commitment from Combe Estate.         

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

Members discussed next steps towards the creation of a permissive path and Cllrs Powell and Rowe agreed to draw up an agenda for points of discussion with Combe Estate.

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

The clerk reported that she had accepted the offer of a free silver birch tree from Devon Wildlife Trust, which is due to be delivered w/c 5th February.  The organisation is offering parish councils in East Devon, North Devon and Torridge a “landmark” tree.  DWT plans to plant and nurture 250,000 trees outside of woodlands to help combat the devastating effect Ash Dieback is having on the landscape with a significant proportion of ash trees due to die in the coming years.  The tree, (around 1.2m – 2m), is designed to be planted in a community space that can act as a focal point and be enjoyed by everyone.

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

Members discussed the level of insurance cover for the lengthsman.  Cllr Walker agreed to explain to him that there are activities which are not covered by the policy, and the parish council can only ask him to carry out work which falls within the policy cover.  If the lengthsman chooses to undertake other work, this is at his own risk. It may be necessary in future to contract another person to carry out activities such as those at height. 

155/23     To receive a report from the Chair

There was no report this month. 

156/23     To approve the February payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £254.34 Clerk’s salary

Gittisham PCC     £30         Gazette printing for Nov & Dec 2023

CHT                       £162       Defibrillator annual support package

AJ Gallagher Ins  £308.42 Public liability insurance, lengthsman

DD          NEST                     £26.78   Clerk’s pension

The clerk reported that the Information Commissioner fee was now paid by direct debit, so the fee reported last month had been reduced from £40 to £35 / year.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £17,698.53 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

157/23 To approve a supplier for the Gittisham play area maintenance contract 2024/25

The clerk said she had approached three contractors to invite them to bid for the annual maintenance contract.  Members resolved to appoint Michael Poll for another year.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Michael Poll.

158/23 Clerk’s report

The clerk said she had contacted Combe Estate regarding concerns over the continuing run-off on the lane to Catshayes. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to speak to Jack Bartlett (farmer). 

159/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Traffic-free amenity route.

160/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

The Chair said she had asked Gittisham PCC for a list of where hard copy gazettes are left.

161/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 7th March and Thursday 4th April 2024 at 7.30pm. 

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th March 2024

Gittisham Gazette February 2024

A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council
    What’s On?   
               
Village hall  

Auction of promises Saturday 10th February  

Pierre’s Kitchen
Sunday, Feb 11th  

Tip Tip Toe
Tuesday, Feb 13th 4.30 pm Open to all children from the parish. Bring a plate of party food.  

Skittles and family fun
Friday 1st March  


Church Services

Sunday, Feb 11th 11 am Holy Communion, St Paul’s Honiton with Bishop Jackie  

Ash Wednesday, Feb 14th Holy Communion Imposition of Ashes St Paul’s Honiton 11 am & 7 pm
St Michael’s Imposition of Ashes 7pm  

Sunday, Feb 25th 11 am Holy Communion  



  Job Vacancy

Village Hall Treasurer Details from Hamish Hall
07880 178297    
Haggis and dancing at the village hall (Midweek Herald)  Hamish Stabbing Haggis
A wonderful write-up in the Midweek Herald about our legendary Burn’s Night celebration at the village hall “Haggis, mashed potatoes swedes were served followed by a trio of tray bakes with ice cream. To say the food was delicious is an understatement as it truly was outstanding and there were even seconds for everyone who could manage it after the generous first helpings.” A well-stocked raffle followed, with lovely prizes. Winnie from the Honiton Carers said “Folk dancing followed with caller Mary who as usually kept us going nonstop. This is definitely a highlight of the evening as so much fun is had by all the participants who try to carry out Mary’s instructions with much enthusiasm.
Village hall committee serve burns night food
“Thank you to organiser Hamish and the committee for allowing us to join them all again this year. We will definitely be back next year, as this is an evening not to be missed for sure.” Get in touch with Win on winniekjaer@btinternet.com or phone 07974 636926, to find out more about the Honiton Carers.   Honiton Youth Club are looking for a fun and dynamic person to join our youth club sessions as a paid, part-time support worker. You’ll be supporting the Lead Youth Worker on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to support and engage the young people and children of Honiton. Experience with young people is highly desired, qualifications are not essential. admin@honitonyouthclub.co.uk

Table Talk

A Game of Conversations

Do you like to ponder on the big questions of life and wonder what others think? There will be an opportunity to think about a topic a week over five weeks to do just that!

Bring a friend, grab a drink, join a table and pick a question you fancy.

At the Otter Inn, Weston every Wednesday 7pm starting 21st Feb and continuing throughout Lent. Convened by Julia Barrett gshaminister@gmail.com

Changes to the 200 Club

The 200 club was first started in1984 as a way of raising much need funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the Church and it remains a popular way of enabling everyone within and beyond the Parish to maintain a connection with our beautiful village church. However, the value of £1 since 1984 has depreciated considerably – the equivalent value today of £1 is 25p! During which time, the 200 subscription cost of £12 per annum (£1 per monthly draw) has not changed while the running costs have risen considerably. St Michael’s PCC has therefore carried out a much-needed review in order to ensure that the 200 club remains viable while at the same time fulfilling its original purpose and has decided to raise the subscription fee while at the same time also raising the prize money to ensure the 200 club remains attractive to its members. We really don’t want to lose you! A tall order, one might think! But having discussed this at length and consulted with our ‘Coffee Together’ members who are also enthusiastic 200 Club members, we believe we have come up with a solution that will enable the 200 Club to thrive for many more years! The timetable for implementation of changes is as follows:

February – all present 200 Club members will receive letters informing them of the changes, new subscription rates and increased prize money.

March – the last draw under the present system will take place March 16th at Coffee Together at the Coffee Together Club in the Parish Room.

April – no draw to allow time for the set-up of the administration of the new 200 Club

May – May 18th Launch of new 200 Club with first draw at ‘Coffee Together, Parish Room.

If you are not already a member of the 200 Club and would like to join please contact Janet Twist at gittisham.200@gmail.com for further information.

February 200 Club

Prize Winners

1. Jackson King

2. Jonathan Aylen

3. John Boswell

4. Emma Fuller

5. Phyllis Broadhurst

The Beehive, Honiton

March is packed full with live music at The Beehive Honiton.

We have the sensational Elton John Show on Saturday 2nd March. If French music is your thing, why not come along to our evening show with Fifi La Mer and be transported to Paris on 7th March. We have the brilliant Gary Moore Blues Experience coming to Honiton on Saturday 9th March and The Beehive’s residency – Deane Big Band on March 21st, expect an evening in the 1970’s from Fusion to Disco!  Dance the night away with From Gold To Rio on Friday 15th they’ll take you on a nostalgic journey back to the New Romantic era which ruled the charts for over a decade- Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran. Baskery will be performing on 16th March who play a combination of classic ‘roots music and Americana’. 

Come and visit us at The Beehive Honiton where you can find out lots more about our other shows including A Country Music Songbook theatre show as well as The All Seasons show celebrating the work of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.

Beehivehoniton.co.uk.

01404 384050. The Beehive, Dowell Street, EX14 1LZ. 

Broadband

Please share your experience of issues caused by the continuing delay in installing superfast broadband in Gittisham village with your Parish Council via adam.powell@gittisham.org.uk or telephone 07535 233558.

PARISH COUNCIL – FEBRUARY 2024 REPORT

Five councillors met for the February meeting. Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) was also present.

Water quality. The focus on seawater bathing quality is a hot topic at present and rightly so, said Alasdair Bruce. He explained there is much anecdotal evidence from outdoor swimmers of a major deterioration in the quality of our coastal waters. Many experience stomach illness and ear infections, even dog walkers tell him their animals are sometimes poorly after a stroll on the beach. With this in mind, Alasdair Bruce thought the parish might be interested in some figures recently released by the EDDC coastal officer:

Permitted Discharges from CSOs (storm overflow discharge): In total in 2023 there were the following (the number in brackets is the number that fell within the formal bathing season May 15th  September 30th) Sandy Bay 21 (8), Exmouth 40 (15), Budleigh 44 (15), Sidmouth 28 (10) Beer 32 (13), Seaton 31(12). Given that in their Water Fit document South West Water commits to achieving no more than 20 discharges at any given beach, this is pretty poor performance.

Devolution. In his absence, Phil Twiss sent a report explaining that the Government had published proposals for a deal that could re-draw the future relationship between local government in Devon, Torbay and Whitehall. It’s hoped that additional powers with the cash that follows will happen in future years. This would enable more decisions to be made locally by people who know their areas best and on things that matter to local people such as building more affordable homes, investing in new quality jobs and skills, and improving public transport.

Finance. Members agreed on the finances.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics.

Planning applications.

a) 8 Campion Way, Honiton – T1, Oak approx. 14 metres high and 14 metres wide at all points; to pollard back to the previous pollard position when work was last carried out in 2016. No objection.

b) Rapshayes Farm, Gittisham – Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0782/LBC (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay Roman tiles to natural slate. No objection.

c) Kings Arms Farm Nags Head Road, Gittisham– House of multiple occupation (HMO), that provides individual living-rooms for vulnerable people; the facility includes communal areas for socialising, cooking and dining set with private and secure gardens. No objection.

Road closures. 20 March: the road to Catshayes closed to install sewer-level equipment.

Broadband. Adam Powell said he had drafted a letter to Richard Foorde MP regarding the continuing delay of installing superfast broadband in Gittisham village. Councillors agreed he should use the village WhatsApp group to build a picture of the issues people experience. To share your experience, please contact adam.powell@gittisham.org.uk or telephone 07535 233558.

Play area. The clerk reported that she had accepted the offer of a free silver birch tree from Devon Wildlife Trust. The organisation is offering parish councils in East Devon, North Devon and Torridge a “landmark” tree to help combat the devastating effect Ash Dieback is having on the landscape.

Next meeting. Thursday 7th March at 7.30 pm in the parish room.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                          https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/

Emergency Plan               https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/emergency-plan/

Parish Council Clerk       Email: Clerk@gittisham.org.uk                   Tel: 01404 851442

2024-02 Parish Council agenda 1st Feb 2024

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Ms Fiona Clampin

Clerk to the Council

Garlands

Gittisham

Honiton

EX14 3AJ

01404 851442

clerk@gittisham.org.uk

26th January 2024

Members of Gittisham Parish Council

You are hereby summoned to attend the February Parish Council Meeting to be held in Gittisham Parish Room on Thursday 1st February 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 4th January 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 applications:
    • a) 24/0055/TRE – 8 Campion Way Honiton EX14 2YR – T1, Oak approx 14 metres high and 14 metres wide at all points; to pollard back to previous pollard position when work last carried out in 2016.
    • b) 24/0019/VAR – Rapshayes Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB – Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0782/LBC (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay roman tiles to natural slate
    • c) 23/2583/VAR – Rapshayes Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB – Variation of Condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0781/FUL (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay roman tiles to natural slate
    • d) 23/2725/FUL – Kings Arms Farm Nags Head Road Gittisham EX14 3AP – House of multiple occupation (HMO), that provides individual living-rooms for vulnerable people; the facility includes communal areas for socialising, cooking and dining set with private and secure gardens
  8. 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, inc 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 parish council support for scam awareness and security (Cllr Twist)
  • To consider limited residential development in the parish (Cllr Valentine)
  • To consider the creation of a footpath linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village (all)
  • 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 February payments and to note the current bank balance:

F Clampin £254.34 clerk’s salary & expenses tbc

Len Abbott lengthsman work £tbc

Len Abbott expenses £tbc

Arthur J Gallagher Insurance (lengthsman cover) £308.42

Gittisham PCC £30 gazette printing Nov & Dec 2023

NEST (clerk’s pension) £26.78 

  1. To approve a supplier for the Gittisham play area maintenance contract for 2024/25
  2. Clerk’s report
  3. For information only; items for the forward agenda
  4. To consider any late entry correspondence
  5. To note the date of the next two meetings, Thursday 7th March and Thursday 4th April 2024 at 7.30pm. 

F J Clampin – Clerk

Gittisham Gazette January 2024

A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council

    What’s On?  

Weds 9th Jan 5.30-7.30pm Pizza Van at the church  

Sunday 14th Jan 10-4 Pierre’s Cafe  

Sunday Jan 14th 11am
Holy Communion, St Michael’s Church, Gittisham  

Tuesday 30th Jan 5.30pm
Fete meeting. Come along if you’d like to get involved  

3rd Feb
Burns Night     at the village hall. Tickets from       Hamish Hall  

Saturday 10th Feb    
Auction of Promises  

Sunday Feb 11th   11am
Holy Communion at St Paul’s Honiton with Bishop Jackie  

Sunday Feb 25th   11am
Holy Communion at St Michaels  

Skittles at the village hall 1st March    

January 200 Club Winners 1.Vicky McLachlan Clark
2.Julia Barrett
3.Ann Stansell
4.Auralia Wakley Beddows 5.Paula Madden  

Gittisham Cabaret 13&14 December Contact                      Sara Agg-Manning if you’d like to be involved with acting, writing, etc. All welcome  

Connor’s Graduation

Connor Graduation photo

Connor passed his degree in Rescue and Emergency Management. His graduation was on the 10th November and was held in Truro cathedral. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments over the last few years. Looking forward to see what other goals he will achieve. Well done

Community Kitchen Meeting

Directly following the meal on Thursday 25th January we will be having a short meeting to discuss the progress of the community kitchen and arrangements for the coming year.  We hope to start the meeting at about 7.30pm so please stay on after the meal or for those who don’t want to eat, feel free to turn up at around that time.  If you are not able to make it on the day please pass on any views you may have to someone who is going to attend.  The following are usually a pretty safe bet: Sara and Bill, Sue and David, Stella or Alex. It would be good to have as many views as possible from all interested parties so we’ll hope for a good turnout!

Superfast Broadband

Jurassic Fibre (now All Points Fibre) will not be installing superfast broadband to Gittisham Village. The Parish Council asked their Head of Strategic Partnerships to join their recent meeting but due to issues with broadband it was not possible to connect to enable this remote meeting. Councillor Phil Twiss said that the company Airband will now be the most likely to deliver fibre. The Parish Council is writing to Richard Foorde MP to explain our situation and the delays we’ve experienced.

Pierre’s Café

Banish the January blues with a visit to Pierre’s pop-up café, Sunday 14th January.  We’ll be open from 10am until 4pm in Gittisham Village Hall, serving a range of homemade meals including croissants, pastries and cakes.  Please book if you’d like to come for lunch so we can have an idea of numbers.  Pierre will be making galette des rois for one of the desserts, a sweet puff pastry pie made with almonds traditionally eaten at this time of year in France.  For further information or to book, call 07545 214940.  Bon appétit!

St Michael’s Church, Gittisham

Nativity photo

All our Advent and Christmas Services including our Advent Concert and Carols at the Lychgate were well attended and enjoyed by everyone. The concert was a wonderful start to the season and raised over £700 with the proceeds donated to the Force Cancer Charity and St Michael’s Church. And so a big ‘Thankyou’ to all who came, support and helped to make it such a lovely occasion and also of course to David and Alison and her fellow singers!

Our Carol Service with the Children’s Nativity Tableau also proved popular as did Carols on the Green with the Honiton Band which has become an annual event with the band already booked for Christmas 2024! Finally, it was lovely to see you so many at our Christmas Midnight and Morning Services and again thank you to all who gave so generously with fifty per cent of the collections taken going To the Force Cancer and Hospiscare Charities.

With all good wishes for the New Year from Julia and all at St Michael’s.

Gittisham Fete

The fete will be on August 31st this year. We will be having a planning meeting on Jan 30th at 5.30pm in the hall. All are welcome.

Auction Of Promises Saturday 10th Febuary 7pm, Gittisham Village Hall

Gittisham Village Hall

Tufty Tots

Hello! My name is Jasmine, I am a great niece of Uncle Reg and Pam Chown and have strong family connections with Gittisham. My family and I now live in Honiton but enjoy visiting the park. My husband and I have two young daughters- who keep us very busy. Tom is a graphic designer and I am a primary school teacher. During my childhood visits and family parties  I often visited the Gittisham Village Hall. The beautiful building and space has now inspired me to start up TuftyTots, baby and toddler classes.

I will be running- Tufty Tots – on a Thursday morning. The classes will run from 9.30-11.30 with inclusive activities tailored for children from 6 months- 4 years old. The sessions will include stories, songs, sensory activities and tuft tray activities to ignite curiosity and imagination. To look after the adults there will of course be a selection of homemade cakes and strong coffee!  And time for a good natter. 

TuftyTots classes will be informed by the Early Years Framework- to develop a love for learning and help children to reach their milestones.

On the last Saturday of each month we will also be running a family  – stay and play brunch – these will be themed, based on books and children’s interests such as dinosaurs or princesses! No age limit. 

TuftyTots is still in the planning stages, but soon we will have a website and more information available. TuftyTots will be launched in March, but booking will be available from February. During the Thursdays in February I will be running pilot sessions for families and friends so you may see and hear little people mischief in and around the hall! I ask for your patience with families parking in and around your lovely village. If there are any problems or parking queries please do not hesitate to pop in and see me or ask Carol Hall for my contact details. 

Kind regards and best wishes, Jasmine Chugg-Rogers tuftytots@gmail.com

Beehive Honiton Whats On

PARISH COUNCIL – JANUARY 2023 REPORT

Six councillors met for the January meeting. One member of the public was also present.

DCC Budget. In his report Phil Twiss (DCC) said that setting DCC’s budget for the next financial year would once again be a challenging task. More than 79% of the net revenue budget of £743.4 million proposed for 2024/25 is spent on children’s and adult service areas i.e. £588.5m with £154.8m for the others. The council is identifying savings and alternative sources of income, including grants, but the majority is derived from council tax and business rates. He explained that social care provision is particularly impacted by increases to the national living wage, which at first glance a 30p per hour increase announced by the Government does not seem vast. However, it will add an extra £25.7m to the DCC wage bill, which will need to come from further savings and efficiencies.

Broadband. Following the acquisition of Jurassic Fibre and three other internet service providers, All Points Fibre (APF, part of Fern Trading) has looked again at the business case for bringing full fibre broadband to Gittisham village. A representative of APF was due to join the meeting remotely, but due to issues with broadband it was not possible to connect. Members expressed their profound disappointment that the company would not be pursuing its roll-out, which APF explained was no longer commercially viable. Phil Twiss indicated in a recent email that the contract for Airband to deliver the roll-out under the Connecting Devon & Somerset scheme appeared to be the most likely option.

Finance. Members agreed the budget for 2024/25 and the parish precept was increased to £10,139.08; as the population of the parish has increased, this should not represent a rise at the individual level.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics. In his report, Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) said the ongoing issue of anti- social behaviour on the Hayne Farm development has been raised with Sovereign Housing and the council officer whose brief it is.

Donations. Members agreed to donate money to Force, Diabetes UK, TRIP, Citizens Advice and Hospiscare.

Road closures. 20 March: road to Catshayes closed to install sewer level equipment.

Play area. The Chair and Vice Chair signed the grant funding agreement for EDDC to release S106 funds to allow the parish council to go ahead with the purchase of the outdoor ping pong table.

Limited residential development. David Valentine said Gittisham Community Land Trust was drawing up a memorandum of understanding with Combe Estate. The planning application is due to be submitted very soon. Research into a possible housing association partner is ongoing.

Footpath. Councillors discussed how they could take forward the proposal for a permissive path connecting the Hayne Farm development with Gittisham village. All agreed it would fit with the parish council’s climate change agenda and take cars off the road. Adam Powell (new parish councillor, Gittisham Vale) highlighted the success of a recently created path linking Feniton and Colestocks.

Next meeting. Thursday 1 st February at 7.30pm in the parish room. The Chair wished everyone a happy New Year.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                          https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/

Emergency Plan               https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/emergency-plan/

Parish Council Clerk       Email: Clerk@gittisham.org.uk                   Tel: 01404 851442

Gittisham Gazette December 2023

Gittisham GazetteDec ‘23 Edition  
A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council

What’s On?

at St Michael’s Church, Gittisham

Carol Service

Sunday Dec 17th 4.45 pm

Festive drinks and mince pies during the interval

Carols on the Green

Friday Dec 22nd 5pm

at the Lychgate with the Honiton Town Band, Sausages and Mulled Wine

Christmas Eve

Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm

Christmas Day

Holy Communion at 11am

ANIMALS IN THE NEWS

Village dogs Reggie and Fig, both celebrated their 2nd birthdays this month

And this little chap paid an unexpected visit after about 400 years of absence:

Christmas Message from Julia Barratt  

As I write, we are still at the beginning of Advent when we are reminded of God’s time breaking through into our ordinary human time as we prepare to celebrate God’s coming among us in the form of vulnerable human baby‘ God with us’, entirely dependent on our care. The infinite breaking into the finite as glimpsed in moments of joy and wonder at the Advent Sunday Concert in our beautifully decorated Church filled with people, music and song, when it felt like Christmas Day had already arrived! God’s time ‘Kairos’ that is not dependent on ‘Chronos’ – human clock time. How often do we arrive at Christmas Day exhausted after weeks of preparation, of shopping and baking, making or buying and wrapping presents, writing cards, racing to catch the last post, cleaning and decorating the house so as to be ready for guests- only to find that we are disappointed, that somehow our expectations of the day itself are not fulfilled? My own experience of Christmas is that special moments of ‘wonder and awe’ come when I’m not expecting them. At a time unbidden, as it did a year or so ago when out for a walk one late December afternoon, as I describe in this poem ‘Winter Solstice’.   Winter Solstice The sun, low in the sky, winter’s bride, trailing shadows of our former selves, freshly bared branches – the thin end of the year. Slant-eyed, down little-used lanes, byways to a forgotten world – a hidden path; a flash of wings, scattering the hedgerows, anticipating our arrival. A long barn, peep-through slats, horned head of cattle, early lambs, wary mothers sensing our presence; a farmer mucking about with hay, a child watching – as if dreaming. Turning for home, a screech owl haunting, the sky smoking red, returning another way.   Whenever Christmas comes for you, may you be ready to recognise and receive the gift, to accept with the Shepherds and the Wise Men of Old, the invitation to ‘Come and See! To Come and Worship!   With Love and Christmas Blessings from all at St Michael’s Julia Barrett. Licensed Lay Minister in the Honiton Team Ministry. Dec 2023.
New year’s resolution? Do you need to improve your posture, balance and mobility?   Fit for Life – Margaret Morris Movement International (MMM) Classes are held in Gittisham Village Hall on Tuesday morning 10am to 11am. Cost £4 a session plus a retainer of £6 for each group of sessions. I run a group of six sessions with one week break throughout the year. My aim is to improve posture, breathing, balance, mobility and more. Our next session is on the 9th January 2024.   Margaret Morris Movement (MMM) is a unique system of exercise, dance and movement training. It encompasses recreational, therapeutic, athletic and creative elements of dance and exercise for all ages. Developed by Margaret Morris a Scottish dancer and choreographer it achieves a perfect balance between set exercises and free movement expression.   Contact Marjorie (marjmadge14@gmail.com 01404 41090 07870530766     Presentation to Carol McCann   We had intended to make a presentation Carol McCann for almost 30 years of service as Churchwarden earlier in the year at the Fete and Flower Festival Service but sadly Carol was not well enough to attend. However Sarah Agg-Manning recently visited Carol at Sunningdale House in Honiton where she is at present residing and where on behalf of the PCC, Sarah presented her with two pictures representing her long term tenure as Churchwarden at St Michael’s.   The picture, showing aspects of the church, is now proudly hanging in her room. The other – a portrait taken by Julian Barjzert will be hung in the church alongside the portrait of Fred Blackmore who was another stalwart of the church in Gittisham. Carol was delighted with the pictures and the many donations from those who wanted to show their appreciation of her service. She sends her love and thanks and would be pleased to receive phone calls or visits though please note that the policy at Sunningdale is that all visits should be booked 24 hours in advance.
A message from Carol McCann
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As I’m still in Sunningdale care home I can’t do much about cards etc. I do hope you all have a wonderful time.  I think I will be here for a while and hope not forever.  It would be good to have visitors. I’m allowed out when I want but not on my own, I’m hoping to have a go at driving. I need to go to West Point to practice in my own car, it will give me more freedom and will help me to get out and see more people. Look forward to seeing you soon.  Much love C xxx

Oh! Christmas Tree

Over the Christmas period in our village church a Christmas tree (kindly donated by Combe Garden Centre) will be placed by the alter with lights and beside it will be tags that everyone is welcome to write a prayer or memory of someone or something special and place it on the tree.

Auction of Promises

Saturday 10th February 7 pm at the Hall

Do you have a service or skill you could donate as a lot? This would be placed in a catalogue for Auction in February in the village hall, bar and nibbles available on the night

Helen Hayman is preparing catalogues for viewing. Lots which will also be for sale with a glass of wine for entry!
Details from Helen Hayman. 07806480246

haymanhelen@gmail.com

PARISH COUNCIL – NOVEMBER 2023 REPORT

Five councillors met for the December meeting.

Flooding Councillors noted the recent flooding along the Honiton Link Road which has made it impassable. They highlighted the statement in the outstanding planning application for the proposed Combe Farm shop that the development will not increase the flood risk elsewhere. Councillors expressed serious concerns that the recent rainfall and surface water flooding have shown this proposed development to be unsuitable, and will highlight this to EDDC planners.

Councillor Walker reported that the lengthsman had been clearing the drains up Parsonage Lane, and he had also dug a hole along that stretch which had kept one entrance to Gittisham village free from flooding.

Finance. Councillors noted the finances.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics. However other sites report 1 x violent crime in Aug 2023 for Honiton Rural, which covers several parishes. Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) said he had passed on information to EDDC and Sovereign Housing regarding an incident of anti-social behaviour at Longlands Way at Hayne Farm. Apparently this has been aggravated by unnamed residents removing the security locks on the main doors.

Road closures. 7th January 0930-1530 road through Alfington closed for BT pole work

Trains. The railway line between Salisbury and Exeter St David’s is expected to re-open on 11 th December, following work to remedy a landslip at Crewkerne. Rail replacement buses have been affected by the recent flooding.

Buses. Phil Twiss (DCC) said the £2 bus fare is to be continued until end 2024 (although there

are still cheaper fares available, depending on the journey). Not only does this help with the cost of living, it also encourages more people to use buses thereby reducing congestion and helping with decreasing carbon emissions. The revised Stagecoach timetables beyond the parish are now bedding in and there are a lot fewer complaints. Unfortunately, the changes coincided with an increase in illness, mainly respiratory infections amongst bus drivers. Resilience will improve as Stagecoach now has a full cohort at the bus training school.

Councillor vacancy, Gittisham Vale. Adam Powell was elected parish councillor for Gittisham Vale by an unanimous vote.

EDDC Local Plan. David Valentine reported that East Devon District Council has decided to proceed with the development of a second new town of 8,000 homes between Exeter Airport and Crealy. He said this was likely to have some sort of impact on the reallocation of development sites in the Local Plan.

Scam awareness. Janet Twist said WhatsApp users are being encouraged to be vigilant after scammers

hacked into accounts and asked their victim’s friends and family for money.

Beavers. Following the visit of a beaver to the River Gitt for the first time since their re-introduction, the clerk said she had reported this to the Devon Wildlife Trust who have suggested giving a presentation on how parishes can manage beaver colonies.

Next meeting. 4 th January in the parish room at 7.30pm. The Vice Chair wished Councillors, their families and all those who support the parish council a merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                          https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/

Emergency Plan               https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/emergency-plan/

Parish Council Clerk       Email: Clerk@gittisham.org.uk                   Tel: 01404 851442

2024-01 Parish Council meeting minutes 4th January 2024

Held in Gittisham Parish Room

Present:

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

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

In attendance: One member of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

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

127/23 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

128/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7th December 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th December 2023 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

129/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

ACTION: Clerk to contact D&C Police & Crime Commissioner to understand how to obtain timely and accurate crime figures for Honiton Rural.

130/23        To receive declarations of interest

None.

131/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

An Acceptance of Office form was signed by Adam Powell and the clerk. Register of Interests form completed to return to EDDC within 28 days. Cllr Powell took his seat at the meeting.

132/23 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report:

Happy New Year as DCC ramps back up to full speed after the Christmas holiday break, which I hope will be a prosperous and healthy one for all of you, your families and friends. This month’s Division member’s report focuses on the finances of Devon County Council ahead of target setting for the various service areas of the council ahead of next month’s budget setting for 2024/25 in what is going to be an interesting year for everyone in local and national government.

DCC Budget

Setting the DCC budget for 2024/25 is, like any year, a huge task for a large scale organisation. Over 79% of the net revenue budget of £743.4 million proposed for 2024/25 is spent on children’s and adult service areas i.e. £588.5m with £154.8m for the others.  Demand in these two areas in particular continues to surge, where DCC must legally provide them, often at very high costs, over and above what is termed discretionary services such as routine roads maintenance (other than safety issues) of a 12,000 mile road network, bus service subsidies, climate change initiatives and much more.

The funding for this comes from a wide range of core funding income from the Government and other grants totalling around £236.4m, but the majority of the income is derived from council tax and a share of business rates.  This is set against set against a background inflationary cost of living pressures and huge challenges to local government in general. Social care provision is particularly impacted by increases to the national living wage, which at first glance a 30p per hour increase announced by the Government does not seem vast. However, it will add an extra £25.7m to the DCC wage bill, which will need to come from further savings and efficiencies.

There is an above inflation proposed 10.4 per cent increase in the revenue budget for children’s services with a 6 per cent rise in adult services and 4.7 per cent extra for climate change, environment and transport.  Reductions in other departmental spending means an overall rise of 6.3 per cent in the council’s budget for next year within the total spend of more than £743 million where officers of the council have worked closely with the DCC Cabinet to secure best value across Devon’s operations and ensure continuing financial sustainability.

To set a balanced budget, savings, alternative funding and additional income of £49.6 million have been identified. Overall, there is additional funding of £43.8 million or 6.3% for services next year. It is not planned to support the proposed budget targets by using general reserve balances. This reflects a strategy of DCC living within its means and to set service budgets that are affordable within anticipated income and funding totals for next year.

In his absence, Cllr Bruce sent the following report:

It’s been a quiet few weeks around Christmas with only two incidents/topics to report on. Firstly, there is still an ongoing issue on the Hayne estate regarding anti-social behaviour, with a resident becoming increasingly fearful. I have raised this with Sovereign Housing and the council officer responsible.

Secondly, having gone through the recently published NPPF hoping to find some material changes that could protect our communities. I am profoundly disappointed to find none of the changes to planning promised by Gove. Instead the ‘presumption to approve’ developments remains in place making it harder to refuse. As a result, I am seeking a meeting with the head of planning at EDDC to see how he feels this new document affects our local planning policy going forward. I am also instigating changes to our local constitution to bring it in line with other districts. For example at present any member of the planning committee who does not attend a site visit is precluded from voting. I have argued that this is a ruling that is not applied by all districts, and that the information provided by officers should be sufficient to make a decision with or without a site visit. This is now being actioned. Also I have asked for the powers to summon officers from the EA, Highways and the water companies to planning meetings, to be applied. This should allow members to question statements made by these companies and raise the level of accountability. I have also asked for the ability to defer decisions on applications if these companies do not attend.  I will keep you informed as to how these changes pan out.

Cllr Valentine agreed to report back to members on the latest iteration when he’d had a chance to go through it.

133/23     To receive an update from All Points Fibre (formerly Jurassic Fibre) on superfast broadband

Stephen Harris, Head of Strategic Partnerships from All Points Fibre (APF) was due to join the meeting remotely, but due to issues with broadband it was not possible to connect.  Members expressed their profound disappointment that the company would not be pursuing its roll-out, which APF explained was no longer commercially viable.  Cllr Twiss indicated in a recent email that the contract for Airband to deliver the roll-out under the Connecting Devon & Somerset scheme appeared to be the most likely option.

ACTION: Cllr Powell to liaise with Broadhembury Parish Council which is experiencing similar issues, and draft a joint letter to Richard Foorde MP.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Airband and invite them to a meeting to provide an update.

134/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

There was no update this month.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Road closure: 7th January 2024 0930-1530 road through Alfington closed for BT pole work. 

20th March road to Catshayes closed to install sewer level equipment.

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

Cf minute ref. 142/23.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said rail passengers had had a rough time recently, with disruption caused by landslips and stormy weather. 

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

The clerk reported that Cllrs Rowe and Orchard had been unable to meet EDDC officer Paul Feely in December, owing to staffing issues.   

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

There was no update this month.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said GCLT was drawing up a memorandum of understanding with Combe Estate. The planning application is due to be submitted very soon.  Research into a possible housing association partner is ongoing.             

  • To consider updating the parish emergency plan

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to arrange a meeting with flood / snow wardens. 

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

Members discussed the creation of a permissive path and agreed that there would be funds available to pay for hedges, fences etc.  It would fit with the parish council’s climate change agenda and take cars off the road.  Cllr Powell highlighted the success of a newly created path linking Feniton and Colestocks, and he said he thought the path would receive widespread support on the Hayne Farm development. 

ACTION: Cllr Powell to take forward.

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

There was no update this month.

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

The clerk reported that DCC’s Mike Brown had been in touch regarding the collapsed pipe at Pig Sty Corner.  Cllr Walker agreed to ask Len Abbott whether the tip of the tree which fell down into the stream at Church Mead can be removed without risk.  Members noted that water appears to be staying put in the ditch by Truances, following remedial work.    

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to follow up with Mike Brown (DCC Highways).   

135/23     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair wished all parish councillors a happy new year. 

136/23     To consider donations to organisations under S137 and Transport

Members agreed to donate £60 each to TRIP, Force, Hospiscare, Citizens Advice and Diabetes UK.

137/23     To consider a review of remuneration of the parish clerk in line with annual NALC salary scales, and associated pension payments

Members resolved to raise the clerk’s salary in line with NALC recommendations to £13.73 / hr, for the year 2023-24, and to apply the increase retrospectively.  This increase also applies to pension contributions.  The 2024-25 pay scales are yet to be determined.

138/23     To approve the January payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £254.34 Clerk’s salary

F Clampin             £175.50 9 months’ backdated pay for 2023-24 at new NALC hourly rate, SCP12

Information Commissioner               £40 Annual membership

TRIP                      £60         Donation

Force                      £60         Donation

Hospiscare            £60         Donation

Diabetes UK         £60         Donation

Citizens Advice    £60         Donation

Websites Ahoy      £81.67   support and maintenance during 2023

Sandbag Co          £28         Additional delivery charge of sandbags to EX postcodes

DD          NEST                     £26.78   Clerk’s pension

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,480.07 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

139/23 To agree the budget for 2024/25

The clerk and Cllr Twist outlined likely expenditure for the rest of the current tax year, and circulated a spreadsheet showing forecast expenditure for 2024/25.  Councillors agreed to add £100 to the donations list.  Members resolved to set budget expenditure at £12,662 for the year.

140/23 To set the precept for 2024/25

Councillors voted unanimously to increase the precept by 8.5 per cent to £10,139.08, the balance of the budget to be taken from reserves.  Members agreed that as the population of the parish has increased significantly, this should not represent a rise at the individual level.

141/23 To update the parish council’s bank mandate

Councillors resolved to approve the clerk’s appointment as a Payment Controller on Bankline.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to contact Nat West.

142/23 To consider entering into the grant funding agreement with EDDC (S106 monies) relating to land at Gittisham play area, money for outdoor table tennis table

Councillors resolved to enter into the grant funding agreement, which will see £3,079 (net) released from S106 monies to part-fund the outdoor ping pong table in the play area.  Cllrs Hall and Twist signed the agreement, witnessed by the clerk.  The clerk advised members that costs for the table would likely have changed / increased.

143/23 Clerk’s report

The clerk reported that a parishioner had expressed concern over the continuing run-off on the lane to Catshayes. 

ACTION: Clerk to write to Combe Estate to outline concerns and ask whether hedge will be restored on the same road. 

144/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Play area maintenance contract 2024-25.

145/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

None. 

146/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 1st February and Thursday 7th March 2024 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2105 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

1st February 2024

2024-01 Parish Council agenda 4th Jan 2024

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Ms Fiona Clampin

Clerk to the Council

Garlands

Gittisham

Honiton

EX14 3AJ

01404 851442

clerk@gittisham.org.uk

28th December 2023

Members of Gittisham Parish Council

You are hereby summoned to attend the January Parish Council Meeting to be held in Gittisham Parish Room on Thursday 4th January 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 7th December 2023
  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 receive an update from All Points Fibre (formerly Jurassic Fibre) on superfast broadband
  8. 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, inc 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 parish council support for scam awareness and security (Cllr Twist)
  • To consider limited residential development in the parish (Cllr Valentine)
  • To consider updating the parish emergency plan (Cllr Orchard)
  • To consider the creation of a footpath linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village (all)
  • 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 donations to organisations under S137 and Transport
  3. To approve the January payments and to note the current bank balance:

F Clampin £254.34 clerk’s salary & expenses tbc

F Clampin 9 months’ backdated pay for 2023-24 at new NALC hourly rate, SCP12 £175.50

Len Abbott lengthsman work £tbc

Len Abbott expenses £tbc

Information Commissioner annual membership £40

Websites Ahoy support & maintenance during 2023 (inv. ref. W23-GPC-2) £81.67

NEST (clerk’s pension) £26.78 

  1. To agree the budget for 2024-25
  2. To set the precept for 2024-25
  3. To update the parish council’s bank mandate
  4. To consider entering into the grant funding agreement with East Devon District Council (S106 monies) relating to land at Gittisham play area, money for outdoor table tennis table
  5. To consider a review of remuneration of the parish clerk in line with the annual NALC salary scales for 2023-24 (pub. Nov 2023), and associated pension payments
  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, February tbc and Thursday 7th March 2024 at 7.30pm. 

F J Clampin – Clerk

2023-12 Parish Council meeting minutes 7th Dec 2023

Held in Gittisham Parish Room

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr J Twist (Vice Chair), 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

111/23 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

112/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd November 2023

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

113/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Due to an error on the Police UK website, it was not possible to report crime statistics accurately.  However, another site published figures for the whole of Honiton Rural, for which 1 reported violent crime in August 2023.

114/23        To receive declarations of interest

None.

115/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine reported that EDDC has decided to proceed with the development of a second new town of 8,000 homes between Exeter Airport and Crealy.  He said this was likely to have some sort of impact on the reallocation of development sites in the Local Plan.

116/23 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report:

Transport: Bus

The £2 bus fare is to be continued until end 2024.  Not only does this help with the cost of living, it also encourages more people to use buses thereby reducing congestion and helping with decreasing carbon emissions.  The revised Stagecoach timetables are now bedding in and there are a lot fewer complaints. Unfortunately, the changes coincided with an increase in illness, mainly respiratory infections amongst bus drivers. Resilience will improve as Stagecoach now has a full cohort at the bus training school.

Transport: Rail

The unexpected, but for us very good news that some of the allocated HS2 funds would be reallocated around the country was very welcome.  Devon is very proactive at having schemes ready or in the pipeline to go when

opportunities arise and DCC actively lobbies for money for schemes. The investment in time at Westminster is not wasted as all the schemes outlined to the minister by DCC have now received a commitment to funding.

  • Tavistock to Plymouth; confirmed project would be funded to delivery subject to ongoing business case development
  • Wellington and Cullompton stations- this would lead to an hourly service for these communities.

More rail news! On December 10th the launch of through tickets on our integrated bus routes, for example someone travelling from Leeds could get a through ticket to Honiton. The integrated working with GWR is producing excellent results and Devon is looked at with a lot of envy from around the country. For a large rural county we have achieved more already than urban areas, with hopefully more to come.

Transport: Roads

Safety Defects

Following the extremely high numbers of publicly reported potholes across the network during the first part of the year, and the increase in repair gangs as a response, numbers have gradually stabilised through the spring and into the summer.  However, they remain above average for the time of year. This has meant that there is still some residual pressure on inspection teams in assessing backlogs.  Evening and weekend working has remained in place in some areas to assist with this.

Work is underway to improve the messaging on the ‘report a problem’ webpages to reduce the number of defects that are incorrectly reported – since January this year this represents around 55% of all reports received.

Following a very challenging winter for road condition and safety defects, the numbers recorded across the network had reduced sufficiently that Highway Safety Inspectors (HSI) were able to re-start the identification of non-safety or ‘serviceability’ defects in June. This process offers HSIs the discretion to record defects that do not meet investigatory criteria in our Highway Safety Policy.  The ‘Elastomac’ product being used is envisaged to provide a lower carbon and cost-effective means of repairing carriageway defects. The mastic product uses up to 70% recycled materials, including lorry tyres, that would otherwise be incinerated and, in the right scenarios, allows reactive works gangs to undertake repairs much more quickly when compared with conventional techniques.

DCC welcomed the Government’s announcement of an £8.3 billion investment for road maintenance over the next 11 years.  We’re receiving an extra £6.66 million this financial year, from the funding redirected from the scrapped HS2 rail line extension to Manchester. It will be followed by the same amount next year, and then there will be a minimum of £208.6 million between now and 2033/34, according to the Department for Transport.  The funding will help address some of the repair backlog on Devon’s 8,000 miles of roads, the biggest highway network of any authority in the country. Some of the money will be used to carry out patching work and other repairs before potholes deteriorate further this winter due to the wet and freezing conditions of the season.  The majority of the funding for this financial year will enable us to bring forward resurfacing schemes earmarked within our future works programme.

Winter Service

Preparations for winter took place over the summer, with the fleet of gritters receiving their annual servicing and calibration checks. Works to install solar panels on some of the salt barns have also been progressed and salt stocks have been replenished ahead of winter.  By keeping the age of the gritting vehicles less than 10 years old maintenance costs are reduced and ensures the fleet is safe and appropriate for the task in hand. In preparation for this winter, eight of our oldest/most costly gritters will be traded-in against six nearly-new vehicles. This will reduce the secondary fleet from 12 vehicles down to 10, an appropriate balance of service resilience against financial pressures.

Gully cleaning 

Over 5,000 drainage issues identified by the gully cleaning crews and highway officers have been resolved since April. The challenge remains dealing with more than15,000 outstanding reported issues with funds available.

The ongoing trial to pre inspect gullies due to be cleaned on the cyclical programme has shown 49% of gullies inspected to date do not require cleaning. The aim of the trial is to ensure plant and equipment is deployed where it is most effective.  A joint trial with Devon’s Flood team to place gully sensors in selected streets in Devon is in the preparation stages. It’s hoped this externally funded trial will offer insight into whether technology can be used to inform policy or reaction for cyclical gully cleaning. The trial intends to run for an 18-month period from the winter period.

Grass cutting

Despite a challenging growing season, the planned first cut of rural grass had been completed by the end of August. Working alongside Torbay Council, efficiencies have been realised in our operations in the south of the county.

Ash Dieback [ADB]

The expert tree inspections have recorded 113 individual reports of ADB, which is an increase when compared with 96 records at the same point last year. This mirrors the overall increase in the total number of individual trees reported with ADB, which is 437 compared with 235 trees at this point last year.

In his absence, Cllr Bruce sent the following report:

There is still no timetable available as to when the National Planning Policy Framework legislation will transit Parliament. This is very frustrating, given the deluge of large applications being inflicted on Feniton. On which subject, I’m getting very little steer from EDDC planning regarding the Taylor Wimpy [TW] pre app. However, in my brief and non-committal correspondence with TW, they have said they are aware of the super inquiry and the judgement but feel it does not apply to them as the housing numbers are significantly less for this application. I felt there was little point in going back to clarify the obvious flaw in their logic, it can wait for a later conversation! I mention the ongoing issues with Feniton in this report as they have implications for all of us.

As I write this report we are experiencing heavy rainfall but I understand that no houses have, at this point, been affected in the ward. Given the district-wide nature of this rain, and the number of flooding rivers, I suspect flooding may well be on the news later tonight.  Of course pothole issues are going to be aggravated by this weather, but I’m assured by DCC that, despite a significant shortfall in funding yet to be addressed by government, the repair teams are doing their best to prioritise damage that has the most impact.

An incident of anti-social behaviour has been reported to me regarding Longlands Way at Hayne Farm. Apparently this has been aggravated by unnamed residents removing the security locks on the main doors. I have reported this to both EDDC and Sovereign.

Both councillors wished the parish council and all residents a wonderful festive season and said they looked forward to 2024.

117/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

Members noted the recent flooding along the Honiton Link Road which has made it impassable.  They highlighted the assertion in the outstanding planning application 22/2723/FUL for the proposed Combe Farm shop that the development will not increase the flood risk elsewhere.  Councillors expressed serious concerns that the recent rainfall and surface water flooding have shown this development is unsuitable.

ACTION: Clerk to draft a response with photographs to EDDC Planning and send to Cllr Valentine for approval.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Road closure: 7th January 2024 0930-1530 road through Alfington closed for BT pole work. 

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

The clerk said she was due to sign EDDC’s draft grant funding agreement to release the S106 money (£3,079 net) towards the cost of the outdoor ping pong table.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said trains had been suspended from 7-10December between Yeovil Junction and Salisbury for planned engineering works with a rail replacement bus in service.  However, since those works were scheduled a landslip has occurred at Crewkerne which has closed the line between Exeter and Salisbury.  The line is not expected to reopen before 13th December. 

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

Cllr Rowe said he and Cllr Orchard would be meeting EDDC officer Paul Feely this month.  Cllr Walker said a resident had expressed concern about the apparent use of pesticides in the rewilding area of Hayne Farm.   

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said WhatsApp users are being encouraged to be vigilant after scammers hacked into accounts and asked their victim’s friends and family for money.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said he had been re-elected as the chair at the recent board meeting / AGM, and the GCLT planning application was due to be submitted.  The clerk told Cllr Valentine that a page on the Gittisham website could be created for the GCLT.             

  • To consider updating the parish emergency plan

Councillors resolved to purchase pre-filled sandbags at a cost of £178.31 for 90. 

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

There was no update on this.

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

There was no update on this.

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

Cllr Walker reported that the lengthsman had been clearing the drains up Parsonage Lane, and he had also dug a hole along that stretch which had kept one entrance to Gittisham village free from flooding.  In addition he had cleared a ditch behind Church Mead to stop those houses from flooding.  Len Abbott has asked for DCC to be reminded of the collapsed pipe at Pig Sty Corner, grid reference 50.778538, -3.225841 as fixing this will have a positive impact elsewhere. 

118/23     To receive a report from the Chair

There was no report this month. 

119/23     To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

Adam Powell was elected by a unanimous vote to represent Gittisham Vale ward.

ACTION: Clerk to send Cllr Powell register of interest forms.

120/23     To approve the December payments and to note the current bank balance

F Clampin             £248.32 Clerk’s salary & expenses (paper & drawing pins)

Michael Poll        £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10275)   

Leonard Abbott       £87 (6 hours lengthsman work, Nov 2023)

EDDC       £357.80 waste bin & installation

EDDC       £60.92 weekly waste collection total from 13th Oct to financial year end

CHT        £324 annual defibrillator maintenance package x2

The Sandbag Co        £178.31 10kgs pre-filled sandbags x90     

DD          NEST                     £24.82   Clerk’s pension

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,887.43 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  Cllr Twist said that as members had resolved to change the clerk’s status on Bankline from ‘viewer’ to ‘payment controller’, a new bank mandate was needed. 

ACTION: All to come with suggestions for budget setting at the January meeting.

122/23 To approve and sign the annual CIL report

The clerk distributed details of CIL income and expenditure for 2022/23.  Members resolved to approve the document, and it was signed by the Vice Chair.

ACTION: Clerk to upload the CIL document 2022/23 and send to EDDC.

123/23 Clerk’s report

The clerk reported that parish & town councils were due to receive a framed photo of King Charles III, should they wish to. Members agreed to liaise with the village hall committee.

Following the visit of a beaver to the River Gitt on 2nd December for the first time since their re-introduction, the clerk said she had reported this to the Devon Wildlife Trust who will give a presentation on how parishes can manage beaver colonies.

ACTION: Clerk to find out whether DWT would like to hold an information session in the village hall.

124/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Budget; bank mandate.

125/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

None. 

126/23     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 4th January and Thursday 1st February 2024 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2030 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

4th January 2024

2023-11 Parish Council meeting 2nd November 2023

Held in Gittisham Parish Room

Present:

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

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

In attendance: one member of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

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

Before the start of the meeting, councillors discussed the flooding in the parish which had occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning, 2nd November. The member of the public, who works for a flood risk organisation, advised the parish council that when serious flooding occurs, getting involved in mitigating its effects during the event can be dangerous and it is often best to wait until the worst has passed. For example inspection covers often lift in floods and can’t be seen under water or in the dark. Flood risk is best dealt with proactively, he said, and the parish council is not in a position to advise individuals. All agreed that with climate change bringing about more extreme weather events, people would have to adapt their behaviour and take further precautions to try to minimise flood damage.

96/23 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

97/23        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October 2023 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

98/23        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Due to an error on the Police UK website, it was not possible to report crime statistics for August & September 2023.

99/23        To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Valentine declared an interest in agenda item 7j) (minute ref. 102/23j), as he owns an electric vehicle.

100/23        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Twist reported that the waste bin has been installed at the end of Old Elm Road.

101/23 To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Budgeting and living with the means available

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: Devon County Council is going through a major restructure currently of how the ‘business’ operates, so that it can best serve the needs of the residents of Devon with the physical and financial resources available to it. There is a lot of publicity currently about the financial health of local government and a number of them issuing what is called a section 114 notice. In effect, this is a declaration that they cannot meet their obligations in producing a legally required budget.  They are therefore ‘handing back the keys’ to central Government to send in commissioners to run services at the minimum legal level. There is often no one single reason for this but certainly growing demand for services, children’s in particular, combined with inflation, are major factors in many instances.

Devon County Council took early steps to address this, reorganised and as part of this are currently in advanced negotiations with the Department for Education for a very significant financial settlement (called the ’safety valve’) and DCC is not currently at risk of having to issue a section 114 notice.  Setting a balanced budget early next year is going to be very difficult, resulting in some very difficult choices having to be made where core spending power has reduced in real terms by 27 per cent since 2010/11 as councils remain firmly in the eye of the inflationary storm and finances are under pressure like never before.

Levelling Up

The Levelling up & Regeneration Bill recently received Royal Assent.  A raft of new measures came into force which the government says will “put local people at the heart of development”eg county and district councils will be expected to work with a faster and less bureaucratic planning system with developers held to account; more beautiful homes (whatever that means in Devonshire English!), built alongside GP surgeries, schools and transport links, and environmental enhancement; communities taking back control of their future with new powers to shape their local area.  This all sounds very good, but of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it will be interesting to see how councils interpret the Bill where clearly it’s critical in protecting our rural green spaces, but much of it seemingly has a more urban than rural focus and must not just be a tick box exercise.

The Act says it will:

  • Boost local services – requiring developers to deliver vital infrastructure. This will put an end to lifeless edge-of-town developments with no community assets and ensure developers deliver the schools, doctors surgeries and public services communities need and expect. Further details on these measures will be set out shortly.
  • Rebalance the housing and land markets, giving local councils the power to increase council tax on empty homes and reforming compensation for compulsory purchase orders by removing ‘hope value’ where justified.
  • Encourage developers to get building; giving communities updates on the progress of development and giving councils the chance to consider slow ‘build out’ rates when approving planning.
  • Bring high streets back to life, giving councils the powers to work directly with landlords to bring empty buildings back in to use by local businesses and community groups through high street rental auctions. It will also make it faster for local authorities to give hospitality businesses permission to use outdoor seating.

Station ticket offices proposals and other railway news

Although not a primary function of DCC, many concerns have been raised with colleagues and me by residents about proposals to close all railway station ticket offices, with much reduced staff and hours of operation for larger or busier ones where staff would be on hand to help.  Following a lengthy nationwide consultation and much lobbying, the government has determined that they must be scrapped; not reaching the threshold of an acceptable replacement that was fair on all users of the railways. I think we all recognise that times are changing with most people buying tickets online from machines at railway stations but these proposed major changes were too extreme at this time

The Friends of Honiton Station recently won the gold award for the second year running, for the community planters on the station. They are now working on a project with the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton Primary school, Honiton Town Council, South West Trains and Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership to install children’s artwork relating to Honiton Lace, and the ‘Honiton Hippos’ on the inside of the footbridge at the station.

Highways 

DCC Highways teams have taken an absolute battering this year where climate change, and flooding events in particular have decimated planned maintenance.  But despite that, Highways are pressing on with as much of the programme as possible when not dealing with ’risk to life’ events or clearing up after flooding, fallen trees and damaged buildings.  They are doing their best to keep all of the plates spinning and I would ask that you understand that they must prioritise workload those ‘risk to life’ events while not diminishing the priority of things you have reason to contact them for.

Cllr Bruce explained that a large housing development to the north of Honiton had recently been approved. There were many objections raised against this application, not least the limited access onto narrow lanes. However, it appears the main factor that saw it through was the lack of a five year land supply, which the committee were told would make it difficult to defend were it to be rejected and an appeal raised. Whether this approval will take the pressures off other areas in the ward remains to be seen. Cllr Bruce also voiced his concern over the timing and duration of full council meetings, which do not make it easy for those with working

In his absence, Cllr Bruce sent the following report:

I have to report, with some regret, that East Devon District Council saw the retirement of one of the longest serving Chief Executives in the country. Without delving into the array of conspiracy theories flying about, it is suffice to say he leaves a big pair of shoes to fill.

I took some encouragement from the definitive statements that have come out of last Strategic Planning Committee meeting. If implemented in full they could offer us an element of protection from the scourge of never ending developer-led mass housing applications.  The Government will be issuing a new NPPF in the near future. At its core is the following statement:

“The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act is at the heart of this long-term plan and will ensure new development is built more beautifully, produces more local infrastructure, like GP surgeries, schools and transport links, is shaped by local people’s democratic wishes, enhances the environment, and creates neighbourhoods where people want to live and work.”  This should help empower our planning committee to make a stand against inappropriate development.  A case in point was last week’s refusal of the application for 63 houses to the south of Ottery St Mary. Despite officer recommendation, the committee decided to refuse. It remains to be seen if the council lawyers come back with reasons why these grounds will fail (an unfortunately familiar scenario).

With the ongoing spell of unpredictable weather, all our minds turn to the issue of flooding. As of 27th October I understand that, although some roads have been affected,  no houses in the ward have suffered. I hope this remains the case by the time this report appears. In the meantime I can only hope that the incoming Storm Ciarán does not cause too much damage.

Finally, I’d like to express my very grateful thanks to all those that have written to me recently. Your fine words and support at this difficult time have been of great help to me. Thank you.

ACTION: Clerk to advise Cllr Twiss that Jurassic Fibre has not responded either way to the invitation to attend a parish council meeting.

102/23     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

22/1206/FUL The Lodge Gittisham EX14 3AD – Demolition of internal wall, removal of roof to existing extension, construction of new extension with parapet and roof lanterns.  Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard reported that the internal channel of the balancing pond has filled with rubble, so it needs to be cleared out. Cllr Rowe said the broken grit bin on the road heading west out of the village had been reported.

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

The clerk said she had approached EDDC for an update, but had not received a reply.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said the 44a service through the village had been rather unreliable over the past few weeks. The clerk said she had written to Stagecoach.

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

Cllr Rowe said he and Cllr Orchard would be meeting EDDC officer Paul Feely in December.   

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said a lot of information about scams had been circulating.  In the first half of 2023, 1.4 million cases of fraud through scams were recorded.  Cllr Twist said the online safety bill soon to come before parliament should help to bring down cold calling about finance.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to order some Take 5 stickers which people put on their ‘phones.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the GCLT board had decided to press ahead with the planning application, in spite of the lack of housing association involvement. The decision is subject to the availability of funds.                 

  • To consider updating the parish emergency plan

Given the recent weather, members were reminded that there are various locations marked on the emergency plan where sandbags are stored. Councillors resolved to purchase additional sand for the sandbags. In the event of a flood, those affected should call the emergency services. The Chair thanked Cllr Rowe for clearing the drain under the railway bridge by the Forge.

ACTION: The Chair & Cllr Rowe to check how many sandbags are currently filled and to feed back to the clerk. 

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

ACTION: To be discussed at the next meeting.

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

  • To consider the purchase of an electric vehicle charger.

Members discussed the likelihood of finding a suitable location and getting approval from the landowner, as well as the high cost of a charger fast enough to be suitable for visitors to the village. It was agreed to put this ambition to one side for now, but to continue investigating grants for the project.

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

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

    The Chair confirmed the memorial plaque had been moved.

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

    The Chair thanked Len Abbott and the bridge contractors working at Church Mead for removing the fallen tree.

    103/23     To receive a report from the Chair

    The Chair said there was no report this month. 

    104/23     To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

    The clerk said that no applications had been received. Members agreed to re-advertise the vacancy, with a deadline of 23.59 on Sunday 3rd December 2023 for applications.

    105/23 To consider updating the financial regulations

    The clerk circulated the current financial regulations and an internet banking policy to reflect the changes in the parish council’s banking methods.  Members discussed at length the best way to retain the system for two councillors to authorise payments, as NatWest’s Bankline for Communities does not allow those who are not authorised signatories to process payments.  Members resolved to allow the clerk to become an authorised signatory and payment controller, which will give her the ability to generate payments to be approved online.  (Cllr Twist is currently doing this.)  Once the clerk has raised the payments, they will be checked and authorised by one of the authorised signatories on the account (Cllrs Hall, Twist & Valentine).  A second councillor will check each invoice against the bank statement, sign and report back at the following meeting.

    106/23     To approve the November payments and to note the current bank balance

    F Clampin             £235.83 Clerk’s salary

    Michael Poll        £65 Grass cutting (inv. ref. 10264)   

    Leonard Abbott       £123.25 (8.5 hours lengthsman work, Sept 2023)

    Leonard Abbott       £101.50 (7 hours lengthsman work, Oct 2023)

    DD          NEST                     £24.82   Clerk’s pension

    Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £20,233.60 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk said that a payment to Leonard Abbott for £53.48 in September had not gone through, as Bankline will reject additional payments when one is pending for the same payee. Cllr Twist agreed to add £53.48 to the amount owing to Len Abbott as outlined in November’s payments. 

    107/23     Clerk’s Report

    None.  

    108/23     For information only; items for the forward agenda

    None.

    109/23     To consider any late entry correspondence

    The clerk agreed to alert Cllr Twiss about the inadequate ditch clearance reported by a village resident near Truances Cottage. The ditch overflows and the road requires more than patching. 

    110/23     Date of next two meetings  

    Thursday th December 2023 and Thursday 4th January 2024 at 7.30pm. 

    There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2105 hrs.

    Chair…………………………………….

    7th December 2023

    2023-12 Parish Council agenda 7th Dec 2023

    GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

    Ms Fiona Clampin

    Clerk to the Council

    Garlands

    Gittisham

    Honiton

    EX14 3AJ

    01404 851442

    clerk@gittisham.org.uk

    1st December 2023

    Members of Gittisham Parish Council

    You are hereby summoned to attend the December Parish Council Meeting to be held in Gittisham Parish Room on Thursday 7th December 2023 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 November 2023
    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 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, inc 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 parish council support for scam awareness and security (Cllr Twist)
    • To consider limited residential development in the parish (Cllr Valentine)
    • To consider updating the parish emergency plan (Cllr Orchard)
    • To consider the creation of a footpath linking Hayne Farm with Gittisham village (all)
    • 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 the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale
    3. To approve the December payments and to note the current bank balance:

    F Clampin £235.83 clerk’s salary

    Len Abbott lengthsman work £tbc

    Len Abbott expenses £tbc

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

    EDDC waste bin, installation & collection tbc

    NEST (clerk’s pension) £24.82 

    1. To approve and sign the annual CIL report 2022-23
    2. Clerk’s report
    3. For information only; items for the forward agenda
    4. To consider any late entry correspondence
    5. To note the date of the next two meetings, Thursday 4th January and Thursday 1st February 2024 at 7.30pm. 

    F J Clampin – Clerk