Parish Council meeting minutes 7 Sept 2021

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present

Gittisham Village ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr A Rowe

Cllr M Walker

Cllr D Valentine

Gittisham Vale ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England, two members of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC)

71/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

72/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 4th August 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th August 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

73/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Two crimes were reported in July 2021:

1 x anti-social behaviour, Laburnum Close

1 x criminal damage & arson, Cypress Close

The Chair said members were delighted to see PCSO Darren England at the meeting.   PCSO England outlined changes to staffing among the force, and expressed his desire to work with the parish in reducing and preventing crime.  He said he would like to attend between two and three PC meetings per year.  He explained that communication was improving with regular newsletters, and parishes would see more information on trends in rural crime and how to help the police tackle it.  He encouraged residents to sign up to the various schemes relevant to their individual circumstances, including Horse Watch and Farm Watch and Devon & Cornwall Alert.  (The latter is a two-way community messaging system where you can select what type of information you receive.)  He said that in general rural crime levels were low. 

Cllr Twist outlined the ways in which she was communicating information to the parish about scams.  Cllr Orchard asked why certain locations appeared to recur in the crime statistics, and PCSO England agreed to come back to him via the clerk with more information.

ACTION: Clerk to email PCSO England with meeting dates; Clerk to pass PCSO England’s email address to Cllr Twist; Clerk to investigate whether the police newsletter can be attached to the Gittisham Gazette.

PCSO Darren England left the meeting.

74/21     To receive declarations of interest

None.

75/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The Chair reported that one of DCC’s Rights of Way officers had inspected the signage at Westgate and was satisfied it was clear enough; no signs have been erected by the farmer to date. 

Cllr Orchard explained that disabled access via the gate at the end of Old Elm Road may be resolved by the end of November. 

The Chair said she had not heard from Carol McCann regarding a contribution from the parish council towards the church photocopier for printing the gazette. 

ACTION: Clerk to email DCC regarding status of Ramblers’ appeal at Goldcombe; Cllr Twiss also agreed to check. 

76/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bonetta said that work has continued full pace at East Devon District Council over the summer months, working towards many important policy goals and consultations. He said he had started work as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, which is discussing the new and upcoming Local Plan. He explained he had also been active in speaking at Full Council, including in supporting proposals for expansion of our nature reserves across the District, to benefit not only our biodiversity but the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Public Toilets

Although not directly linked to the village of Gittisham and any toilet provisions within the village, EDDC is currently going through an important consultation stage with regards to the public toilets that it owns and operates. However, this consultation is vital in making sure that all our towns and villages are properly served with public conveniences across the district, especially in our principal and main towns. As a Honiton Town and East Devon District Councillor for Honiton St. Michael’s, Cllr Bonetta said it is extremely important to him that the public toilets at King Street, Honiton, are maintained and opened immediately – and he alongside other councillors have been lobbying for this in the strongest terms. This is to enable greater pedestrian support within the town centre, as well as to maintain much-needed disabled toilet access to the Southern half of the High Street.  He urged members to get involved with the consultation, which closes at 5pm on October 1st, 2021.

Housing

Over the past 2 months of representing Gittisham Vale on EDDC, Cllr Bonetta said he had taken up a number of casework items relating to council and social housing across his ward. It is extremely important to him that EDDC’s tenants are well looked-after and supported by the Council and their representatives. If any resident would like to discuss a council housing issue with him, from any part of the district, please do get in touch at jbonetta@eastdevon.gov.uk

Cllr Walker said she had been told that there were no vacancies for garages at the ex-local authority properties on Church Mead, but she knew this was not the case as there are three garages currently vacant.  Cllr Bonetta said he would follow this up.

Cllr Valentine said he would let Cllr Bonetta have the details of the Gittisham CLT.

East Devon Local Plan

At a meeting of Strategic Planning Committee earlier today, 7th September, it was resolved that a refined draft version of the East Devon Local Plan will be recommended for public consultation in March 2022. This draft plan will contain items for consultation covering multiple items referring to the powers of Gittisham Parish Council, such as planning and development, environment, and transport. At the meeting, discussions took place on the importance of town centres, as well as in protecting the individuality of our villages and introducing Green Belts to stop towns from encroaching on surrounding villages. It is therefore important that every Parish Council across the District feeds into this process, and he suggested Gittisham Parish Council include an agenda item on the Local Plan consultation in the New Year.

Enhanced Covid response area

Cllr Twiss said that as the peak summer holiday season draws to its conclusion it has clearly been an economically good one in the South West, including East Devon. However, it appears the trade off with our big temporary population swelling hugely when compared to the permanent one, the downside is that Covid case rates in Devon are currently very high, especially in our late teens and younger adults, which is to be expected since the removal of restrictions, the opening up of opportunities to socialise, and our popularity as a major visitor destination. 

The impact of coronavirus is being felt hard across the entire health and social care system, he said, with those services struggling to cope with demand and workforce pressures. The number of cases are rising again nationally, and in Devon, they are far higher (622 per 100,000 of the population) than the latest national average (332).  The government has designated Devon, Cornwall, Plymouth, Torbay and the Isles of Scilly, an ‘enhanced response area’, in response to high case rates of coronavirus.  It means additional support will be available from the government, to those areas for the next five weeks in order to try and reduce infection case numbers.

He said this doesn’t mean another local lockdown, but it does mean that authorities across the South West have more flexibility to introduce additional public health measures if considered necessary, to those in other parts of the country.  Public Health Devon is urging people to:

  • Limit your social contacts to stop the virus spreading
  • meet others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside
  • continue to wear face coverings when indoors in public places
  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • have the jab if you are an adult and haven’t yet had it. Please have both doses as soon as you can. If you’re aged 16 to 18, please take up the vaccination when offered to you
  • self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
  • self-isolate and arranging a PCR test if you show any symptoms of having the virus – the high temperature, new and continuous cough, or change of your usual sense of taste or smell

Covid news and Vaccination Programme update

Uptake of the vaccine among 16/17-year-olds has been high.  More than 1.7m doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given in Devon.  Between 8 December and 29 August 917,236 first doses have been given while 809,425 second doses have been given; a total of 1,726,661 doses.  People who have both vaccine doses or are under 18 don’t have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19.  You can book an appointment online or by calling 119.  The Devon Vaccine Support Team can support carers who can’t leave the person they care for or those who can’t use the national booking system because they aren’t registered with a GP.  Contact:

d-ccg.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net   / 01752 398836 Support the health and care system by getting vaccinated.

Employment opportunities

Cllr Twiss said for a variety of well-publicised reasons there are a wide variety of job vacancies across many sectors of our economy including retail, hospitality and commercial. For those looking for a long term career path or simply a change of direction new staff are needed across all sectors of the health and social care sectors.  There are opportunities from apprentice, to part and full time The Proud to Care campaign provided plenty of information and links to jobs including those in the Honiton area at https://www.proudtocaredevon.org.uk/   

Devon jobs at https://www.devonjobs.gov.uk/  is another resource advertising many vacancies, as is the EDDC https://jobs.eastdevon.gov.uk/  and he urged members to share these links to anyone who they thought might be interested in seeking employment.

Cllr Twiss added that he had been reassured by Jurassic Fibre that the roll-out of superfast broadband in Gittisham village was heading in the right direction.  Cllr Rowe said he had also been speaking to a representative from the company, and Cllr Valentine expressed his concern that the proposed development in the village did not appear in any broadband infrastructure plans.  Cllr Twiss also promised to report back as to whether the front desk at Honiton Police Station will be reopened, following lobbying of the Police & Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Bonetta left the meeting.

Cllr Rowe enquired whether Honiton or Ottery had any plans to support an e-bike scheme.  Cllr Twiss said he was not aware of any, but said that DCC would be looking to spend money on projects to reduce carbon emissions. 

In his absence, Cllr Alasdair Bruce sent the following: Things have been very quiet at council recently, not helped by a council workforce working to rule due to ‘interference’ by some members or the ruling party. An apology has been submitted so the issue may resolve itself soon. You may already be aware of this, but it has made contacting officers over issues such as fly tipping and enforcement much harder. I am assured that communication will improve and have been asked to be patient.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to invite a Jurassic Fibre representative to a future meeting and cc Cllr Twiss.  Cllr Valentine to email Cllr Twiss & Cllr Bonetta details of the Gittisham CLT plans.

Cllr Twiss and one member of the public left the meeting.

77/21     To consider the following planning applications:

a) 21/1165/FUL Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room. (amended plans concerning revision to extension)

b) 21/1166/LBC Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room (amended plans concerning revision to extension)

Members resolved to have no further comments to make on the amendments.

78/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

a. To note the latest planning decision notices

21/1420/VAR Unit 5 Weston Park Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton EX14 1ST Variation of condition 1 (extension to opening hours) of 19/2150/VAR  Approval with conditions.

b. To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

11-12 November, Road past Sherman’s Farm – Western Power works

22-24 November, road from Ironbridge to Eveleigh’s – Jurassic Fibre works

See also minute ref. 80/21.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted eight contractors for the play area works. One declined, six had not responded.  He had met J Coles on site and K C Builders yesterday.  Given the criteria for the funding, three written quotes are required and therefore progress will be delayed until a further quote can be obtained.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain an additional quotation.

d. To receive an update on public transport

Members heard the replacement bus for King’s School pupils in September would arrive for the first time on Weds 8th.  The Chair said it was a good result after many years of lobbying.

e. To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist expressed her frustration at further delays to the installation.  She said the Community Heartbeat Trust had sent her a lengthy contract, which includes a contract for a host.  She is therefore waiting for a response from Baker Estates as to who owns the land where the defibrillator will be located.  Members discussed the possibility of an alternative site for the defibrillator if the delay persists. 

ACTION: Chair to contact Graham Hutton at Baker Estates.

f. To consider climate change measures within the parish, including rewilding proposals for land along Old Elm Road

Cllr Twist said there was no update on EV chargers.  Cllr Rowe said he had met James Chubb from EDDC’s Countryside team to look at rewilding a patch of land along Old Elm Road, close to the stream.  Mr Chubb said he could liaise with EDDC’s StreetScene to mow the grass less frequently, put wild flower seeds down and protect some of the saplings.  The Chair added that hedge plants would arrive for the play area in mid-November.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to contact StreetScene to find out whose responsibility any rewilding project should be.

g. To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said 13-17th September there would be a publicity campaign running called Take Five, where people are encouraged to pause when asked for financial or personal information by would-be scammers.  Cllr Twist added that the new booster for Covid would likely be the next target for cyber criminals.

h. To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was a pause while solicitors worked on some loose ends.  He was pleased to report there was funding in place for a new speed survey on the hill in Gittisham village, and hoped this might take place in October. 

i. To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.

j. To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker thanked Cllr Orchard for his work obtaining quotes for the new facilities.  It was agreed some strimming may be needed around the bench.  The Chair agreed to speak to a resident who had raised concerns over a potential increase in noise levels when the new facilities were being used.

ACTION: Clerk to ask Michael Poll when he will be trimming the wild area grass.

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman had kindly given Cllr Twiss a tour to point out issues, including the pothole by Rapshayes where a drain also needs fixing.  The Chair said there were two drains outside the Village Hall which silt up, and could cause problems with flooding in wet weather.  The Chair encouraged all members and residents to report issues via the ‘report a problem’ page on the DCC website.  She added she had done this for the silted up drains.

Cllr Orchard reported that no further work had been done to cut the hedge along Old Elm Road.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask the lengthsman about the silted up drains.

79/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said she hoped all councillors had enjoyed a summer break. She said there was nothing specific to report, but she would like to recognise the ongoing work of our councillors in ensuring the various initiatives we have underway are making good progress. Thank you for all that you do for our parish.  

She asked if members might support a bid to fund two community e-bikes, financed by Lottery funding.  She explained that one of the students in our parish has suggested that they could take further if we could support them if needed.  The Chair said this would be a great way for us to get out and about in this hilly area, which often puts people off from getting bikes out in the first place. The project would need support in ongoing maintenance, booking and charging.  She promised to report back at a future meeting. 

ACTION: Chair to investigate funding of two community e-bikes.

80/21 To consider traffic levels and speeds in Gittisham village and on Hayne Lane

Members heard that Cllrs Orchard & Twist had carried out a traffic survey on Hayne Lane.  The results were circulated.  Cllr Orchard reported that although the perception was that traffic numbers had increased, the numbers from the survey did not bear this out.  The Chair thanked them for their work and said it was good to have data. 

Cllr Twiss had indicated that taking measures to close Hayne Lane was not possible, but members agreed that road conditions make it unsafe to walk.  Councillors also questioned the cost benefit of maintaining the road which is in such poor condition, and agreed to continue lobbying.  Cllr Rowe added that the speed limit signs will be covered up until the correct signage is in place.  Cllr Twiss had also said he would investigate a footway from the end of Devonshire Road to lower Hayne Lane, as the road appeared to be busy with people.

ACTION: Clerk to order 10 x ‘20 is Plenty’ stickers.

81/21 To consider candidates for the Gittisham Vale councillor vacancy and proceed to co-option as appropriate

The clerk said no applications had been received by the latest deadline of 5th September.

ACTION: Clerk to re-advertise the vacancy ASAP.

82/21     To approve the September payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1120      F J Clampin                       £224.86 Clerk’s salary

1121      Michael Poll                      £60        Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10109)

1122      Michael Poll                      £60        Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10105)

1123      Gittisham Parish Hall        £10        Hire for August meeting

DD         NEST                                 £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the second half of the annual precept had been received; the current bank balance stands at £20,847.11 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

83/21     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said a resident had asked if the parish council could take any action to limit the lighting of bonfires.

ACTION: Chair to investigate official rules on parishioners lighting bonfires.

84/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Traffic speeds in Gittisham village inc Hayne Lane; casual vacancy.

85/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

The Clerk reminded members that she had emailed councillors to notify them that the defibrillator had been deployed, following an email from Mr A Wilkins, upon whose property the equipment is situated. 

86/21     Date of next two meetings  

Wednesday 6th October (village hall) and Wednesday 3rd November 2021 (venue tbc) at 7.30pm.  The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.

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

Parish Council meeting minutes 4 August 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 4th August 2021 in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

  • Gittisham Village ward
  • Cllr Carol Hall (Chair)
  • Cllr Maggie Walker
  • Cllr Alex Rowe
  • Gittisham Vale ward
  • Cllr Peter Orchard
  • Cllr Janet Twist

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr D Valentine, Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

55/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

56/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 7th July 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th July 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

57/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Two crimes were reported in June 2021:

  • 1 x violent crime
  • 1 x other theft

ACTION: Clerk to invite PCSO Darren England again to a future parish council meeting.

58/21     To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Orchard declared an interest in item 66/21, as he is due to be reimbursed by the council.

59/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk reported that Baker Estates had not yet responded regarding the dog poo bins, as Graham Hutton is on holiday.  

The clerk reported that it’s now possible to publish the accessibility statement for the parish website.

60/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss did not send a report this month, due to annual leave.

In his absence, Cllr Jake Bonetta (Honiton St Michael’s) sent the following: I would like to express a massive thank you to the community of the Gittisham Vale ward for entrusting me with the office of District Councillor. I am humbled to be able to represent you at District Council level, sharing this responsibility with my role as a Honiton Town Councillor. There is so much work to do to make Honiton an even better place to live – and the work starts right away.

At the last EDDC Full Council meeting on Tuesday 27th July, I was also appointed as the Assistant Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure, Tourism and Sport by the Leader of the Council. I am excited to bring my all to this role, in developing our open spaces and youth infrastructure for the next generation to enjoy. This does not retract from my overall focus, which is to ensure that everyone across Honiton St. Michael’s ward is represented equally, fairly, and wholly.

Recycling issues

I have received a number of complaints from residents in Honiton St. Michael’s about missed recycling collections over the past couple of weeks/month. After consultation with strategic officers and other Councillors, I have discovered that this is linked to the wider problems seen across the transport and seasonal sectors, in lack of staff available due to the Coronavirus lockdowns as well as new Brexit restrictions. The StreetScene department, along with almost every identical Council department across the UK, is struggling to keep to recycling schedules.  I have been assured that any missed recycling collections will be picked up within a couple of days of the scheduled collections. The StreetScene department are working overtime to ensure that this happens, and that late collection routes are prioritized for timely collections the next week.

Jurassic Fibre

A number of Vale residents have contacted me about recent works that have taken place by Jurassic Fibre within the Vale area. This work is to install fibre-optic internet access for homes in the area, on the Jurassic Fibre network. I have been personally shocked at the state that pavements have been left in.  Although this is not specifically an EDDC issue, I want to highlight that I have been talking to officers at EDDC about this issue to see if there is anything that the District Council can do. Hopefully we will be able to come to a reasonable conclusion to sort the pavements out.

Members welcomed the other new district councillor, Alasdair Bruce.  He began by saying that he considered himself a district councillor first, a Conservative second, and he hoped to be able to follow in the footsteps of the excellent work done by former Cllr Susie Bond.  He explained that since being elected, he had attended two council meetings via Zoom, not in his opinion a satisfactory way to hold these meetings, especially as we are now all holding parish meetings face to face. However, the controlling group at District has managed to vote through this retrograde step which looks like being in place until January next year, he said.

The one item during the full council meeting on July 27th of interest was an embryonic policy proposed by Cllr Bailey to try and beef up the council’s response to abuse of the planning process when it comes to the felling of trees, often during the pre-planning process. Laudable as this is to try and close this glaring loophole, it needs careful and informed debate to produce a fully supported, fully funded and sustainable policy. Cllr Bruce said he had raised the issue of Ash dieback, which often requires a rapid response due to public safety issues and cannot wait for planning approval as an example. This would also apply to farmers trying to manage trees on their land and forestry businesses.

Related to the above was the issue of planning enforcement raised at the Scrutiny meeting on July 29th. During the debate it was clear that the frustration of members dealing with planning abuses was unable to be effectively tackled by the council’s enforcement team. A perfect storm of shortfalls in funding, lack of officers and poor legislation find the officers struggling to keep on top. Given the constant pressure on councils to increase their housing stock, the appropriate checks and balances need to be in place to produce safe housing of the best quality. Planning enforcement is a vital part of this.

Staff morale at the council was also debated with a frank report by the chief executive officer presented and comments made about the apology offered by the controlling group, the East Devon Alliance. Cllr Bruce said he was not privy to what transpired over the last two years to bring the council to this sad situation, nor had he any wish to know. The debate ended with a clear sense that all members agreed staff morale was key to a properly functioning council and are committed to a respectful and professional work environment.

Members discussed with Cllr Bruce the parish ward boundaries, as well as hedge cutting in Gittisham Vale.  (see minute ref 63/21 b)

61/21     To consider the rollout of superfast broadband, and a presentation by Airband

Lynda Sudlow from Airband gave a presentation via Zoom to members, explaining the company’s plans to bring superfast broadband to Gittisham parish.  She said the work would happen in several phases, beginning in August, with the build planned for early 2022 and completion later in that same year, although the section past Beech Walk will take longer.  All representatives working in the area will have identity cards.  She insisted that there would be no need to dig up roads or erect telegraph poles, as the plan was to attach the fibre cable to the existing copper network.

The service provided is fibre to the premises, and there are a range of packages offered starting from £30 / month for 100Mbps download, an 18-month contract and installation cost of £99.  Lynda Sudlow said that residents could express an interest on the Airband website, and this would not commit them to taking the service. She explained that the router could be placed anywhere in the property, and there would be no issue with connectivity and thick walls. The Chair reminded Lynda Sudlow that most properties in the village were listed buildings.

Members discussed previous problems unique to this parish which had been experienced by other broadband infrastructure providers, and had prevented the roll-out of superfast broadband in the past.  Lynda Sudlow said she would be interested to hear more about this to avoid running into similar problems.  She also emphasized that as Airband is contracted by the government to provide superfast broadband to underserved rural communities, some of the past issues would not apply.  Members agreed this was encouraging news.  Cllr Rowe asked if Airband’s infrastructure would be available to other providers in the future, and Lynda Sudlow replied that the company would be able to offer a wholesale service to other ISPs in future phases.

ACTION: Clerk to circulate Lynda Sudlow’s email address to members.

Lynda Sudlow left the meeting.

62/21     To consider the following planning applications:

a)            21/1165/FUL Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room. (amended plans)

b)            21/1166/LBC Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room (amended plans)

c)             21/1756/FUL Land Adjoining Combe Garden Centre Gittisham Erection of a storage building on land adjacent to Coombe Garden Centre for the storage of stock

Members welcomed the presence of an updated detailed flood risk assessment for a) and b).  Members had no objections to c), but raised a concern over whether there is adequate onsite storage of surface water to prevent any additional run-off onto the A30. 

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

63/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

a) To note the latest planning decision notices

21/0944/FUL Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Outdoor pool with plant in existing outbuilding and re-grading / landscaping works within the walled garden; localised repairs and reinstatement of section of collapsed garden boundary wall. Approval with conditions.

21/0945/FUL Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Localised repairs and reinstatement of section of collapsed garden boundary wall. Approval with conditions.

21/0730/VAR Phases 1 – 4 Hayne Lane Gittisham Variation of condition 1 of application 20/2179/VAR (Variation of condition 1 of application 18/0454/MRES (Proposed construction of 291 no. dwellings and associated parking, garages, roads, drainage and landscaping (approval of reserved matters pursuant to outline planning permission 13/2744/MOUT), amended proposal to reduce total number of units from 300 to 291) to amend unit types and/or numbers on plots 132-136, 162-166 and 299-230; design changes to units on plots 92-95, 105-110, 167-170 &172-175; layout changes to plot 137, and; provision of additional parking to plots 167-170.  Approval with conditions.

21/1354/VAR Coign Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AB Variation of condition No. 2 (Approved plans) and condition No. 3 (Materials) of planning permission ref: 20/0584/FUL to allow for a change of materials used and alterations to the proposed plans.  Approval with conditions.

21/1295/FUL 1 Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB Demolition of existing workshop to be replaced with a new self-build dwelling.  Approval with conditions.

b) To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there was no progress on the overgrown hedges on the south side of Old Elm Rd between Honeysuckle Close and the bus turning circle. Cllr Walker said some of the hedge had been cut, and members resolved to ask the lengthsman to strim enough of the hedge at head height so access was possible. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask Len Abbott to trim above-mentioned hedges in the Vale as described.

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

Cllr Orchard circulated a draft spec to members for the play area’s new items, in line with May’s public consultation exercise, which was approved. ‌ The spec includes a table tennis facility, outdoor skittles alley and boules court.   

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain quotations from interested companies.

d) To receive an update on public transport

Members heard the replacement bus for King’s School pupils in September would call at the village at 08.15 and 15.44.  Cllr Orchard said the deposit of books in the Vale bus shelter had stopped.

e) To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she was waiting to hear from the Community Heart Beat Trust as to how long the lead-in time is from ordering the defibrillator to installation.  The expected go live date is November 2021.  Members resolved to approve the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development at a cost of £1,760 + £25 carriage.  The annual support package is £135, with a minimum 4-year contract. 

ACTION: Cllr Twist to obtain a letter of commitment from Baker Estates.

f) To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said that homeowners and renters across East Devon can now get free advice on how to save money and make their homes energy efficient. Exeter Community Energy (ECoE) provides confidential and tailor made advice and practical information on keeping your home warm. They do not make cold calls or sell products.  The energy advisers will give you general advice, in depth telephone advice assessments, make home visits, drop in energy advice clinics, they will help with, tariff checks and supplier switching, applying for the Warm Home discount, energy and water saving tips and advice, grants for insulation and heating smart meters and more.  To arrange a free impartial advice call or home visit call 0800 772 3617 or mailto:healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk

New regulations came into force in May 2021 for those who have wood burners or open fires, coal and wood products have to be certified and labelled by suppliers, for more information go to gov.uk/restrictions on sale of coal and wet wood for home burning.

g) To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

Home electric vehicle charging points can be hacked. Two home chargers Wallbox and Project EV have been found to be lacking adequate security when used with an accompanying app for smart phones.  Updated software is now available and owners are being encouraged to update their software ASAP.

h) To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine sent a report in his absence: the public exhibition was extremely well attended with 42 visitors viewing the plans and model that were on display. The majority of comments received (both verbal and written) were very supportive of the proposals that were being presented. There were some very useful comments which were noted and the architects have been looking at how these can usefully be incorporated in the plans for submission with the planning application. A lot of work has also taken place looking at the options for ensuring an energy efficient development.

We must always remember that there has to be a balance to be found with the cost limitations arising from the grant funding and meeting every ones expectations in respect of design etc.  Alan at South Devon Rural HA is currently costing up the proposal and assessing whether we can achieve those expectations within budget. There is a delay with the option agreement between ourselves Gittisham and the Estate. I would simply say “solicitors” and I am sure you will all understand where the delay is occurring. Unfortunately this is a document that we have to include as part of the package of documents to accompany the planning application.

We are nearly ready to submit the planning application (hooray) and perhaps we can celebrate a successful submission in October – just in time for the GCLT AGM!!

i) To consider the parish emergency plan

The Chair said she was in the process of asking the flood marshalls’ views on pinch points in the parish.  Cllr Rowe volunteered his services for observing where issues might arise.   

j) To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker said the play area was being well used, as were the sanitary measures.  The Village Hall committee has agreed to the picnic benches in their front garden being used by the public for picnics and will install a notice at the playground to advise that this is available.  Cllr Orchard said he expected the replacement swing seats and chains to arrive on 8th October.  He, Len Abbott and Cllr Rowe will install them.  Cllr Twist added that there appeared to be no progress on the Hayne Farm play area. 

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

As per item 63 b).

64/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said she had been contacted by parishioners about three matters in the past month.

1. Councillor vacancy – how can we fill the Vale rep vacancy? Can we do a re-run of our recruitment campaign?  Members agreed to renew their efforts to fill the vacancy; the clerk and Cllr Orchard said they had re-advertised the position on the website and Vale noticeboard.

2. Litter – Hayne Lane and Beech walk and the Vale bus shelter have litter problems, according to local Facebook groups. Is there anything we can do?

3. Hedge and verge cutting. Members discussed whether the right balance was being struck between leaving areas to go wild and making sure the practicalities of using paths and roads are not adversely impacted.  Cllr Rowe said he would be meeting James Chubb from Wild East Devon to discuss projects of this nature.

65/21 To consider traffic speeds in Gittisham village

Members agreed that Hayne Lane and Beech Walk were becoming terrible rat runs for motorists.  Hayne Lane in particular is difficult to walk, the state of the road is poor and there is a large amount of litter.  Members agreed to ask Cllr Twiss if a traffic count survey could be carried out.  A suggestion has been made that Hayne Lane could be made “Farm Traffic Only” and this will be investigated via DCC.

The Chair said the 20 is Plenty stickers had been fixed to bins and other structures in Gittisham village. Cllr Rowe suggested attaching one to one of the grit bins. 

ACTION: Chair to contact Cllr Twiss about Hayne Lane (speed and litter), Beech Walk (litter) and village (speed).

66/21     To approve the August payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1115       F J Clampin                          £436.51                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamps)

1116       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10098)

Cllr Orchard left the meeting.

1117       P Orchard                              £666       Reimbursement for replacement swing seats & chains

Cllr Orchard returned to the meeting.

1118       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for July meeting

1119       Len Abbott                           £119       Lengthsman work, 8.5 hours, July 2021

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £17,062.85 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk circulated a bank reconciliation for 30 June 2021.

67/21     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she had contacted DCC’s RoW officer for the area regarding the Westgate signage, and the officer said she would take a look.  The clerk added that following Fiona Moores’ promotion, there is a new general manager at The Pig, Chris Charles.

68/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Traffic speeds in Gittisham village inc Hayne Lane; casual vacancy.

69/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

70/21     Date of next two meetings.  

Tuesday 7th September (village hall) and Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 7.30pm.  The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.

ACTION: Clerk to ask Cllrs Bruce & Twiss if there are forthcoming dates they are unable to make, given that the village hall will no longer be free on a Wednesday evening.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2110 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

7th September 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 July 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7TH JULY 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

and via Zoom

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr A Rowe

Cllr M Walker

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Twist, PCSO Darren England

39/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

40/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 10th June 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

41/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Three crimes were reported in May 2021:

2 x anti-social behavior

1 x violence and sexual offences

42/21     To receive declarations of interest

The Chair said that with respect to the planning applications discussed at the June meeting, 21/1165/FUL and 21/1166/LBC, she had taken some water level measurements for the applicant but was not involved in the interpretation of any data for them.

43/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk reported that Baker Estates had not yet responded regarding the dog poo bins.  

The Chair’s said she had made an application to the Woodland Trust for a grant for hedge plants, which will be installed along the wall between the field and the bottom play area.

44/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Members noted that the election for a new district councillor would be held on 8th July. 

Vaccination Programme

Cllr Twiss said as we approach the 19th of July and the further lifting of restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he thought that an update on the progress of the vaccination rollout would be helpful to members and whilst we are nowhere near out of the woods just yet as the school holidays are rapidly approaching, bringing with them the anticipated very large influx of visitors.  He said that like all of us he hoped that every day brings us closer to a more normal state of affairs for the majority of our population and learning to live with the virus.

•              The vaccination programme across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay continues make progress with all adults now being offered the vaccine. To date over 1.5 million doses have been given across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with 679,000 people having received their second dose. The local NHS delivered the ‘Grab a jab’ weekend in late June enabling all adult to make walk-in appointments; plans are being developed to repeat this over the summer. There was also a walk-in clinic at the Devon County show last weekend and DCC Staff were offering lateral flow tests to show visitors.

•              Proof of vaccination can now be demonstrated using the NHS COVID Pass service where you can view and share your COVID Pass for event trials and travel abroad.

•              Following a central government public consultation, from October 2021 people working in CQC-registered care homes must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption. It will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider, those employed by an agency, volunteers and those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors. A further consultation will be launched on whether to extend this new requirement to other health and social care settings.

Superfast Broadband

As the digital megabit age is finally reaching our rural areas, (albeit not fast enough in too many cases) it highlights the importance of addressing the challenges our small rural businesses face in gearing up for the opportunities this will bring. Cllr Twiss circulated a recently published paper, which he said is a very interesting read on how they might compete with larger, better resourced organisations.

Rural affordable housing

The topic of the affordability of housing for local people is a very live and pertinent one today as people look to inward migrate to our part of the world, many as a result of new ways of working due to the pandemic with less physical time spent in the office or other workplace.  This is reducing the supply of homes in all sectors and making it much more difficult for local people to compete in with buying or renting homes with affordable schemes for local people increasingly important.  Cllr Twiss circulated a Parish Councillors guide to affordable rural housing, which he said highlights the issues.

Paths and gateways

Cllr Twiss said he had discussed with DCC Neighbourhood Highways Officer Mike Brown to find funding to make the emergency gateway at the end of Old Elm Road where it meets Hayne Lane wheelchair and motorised wheelchair accessible.  He hoped that this work can be done in 2021/22.  With more people choosing to walk for exercise, he said he would like to see the informal footpath from the end of Old Elm Road towards the A30 and Otter Inn, Garden centre and Heron Farm beyond a more substantial one and will see what progress can be made to completing this in 2021/22 or beyond, depending on funding allocations.  Whilst just on the other side of the parish boundary with Honiton, this would of course benefit residents on Hayne Farm and Gitisham Vale.

Cllr Valentine said there is an increasing frustration and anger among village residents about the speed of traffic coming through, and he asked if he could draw this to the appropriate department at DCC.  Cllr Twiss added that there is a trial taking place in a number of South Devon villages to reduce speeds to 20mph, and depending on the outcome recommendations will flow from there. 

The Chair asked Cllr Twiss if there was the potential to progress the Goldcombe / Hayne Farm footpath appeal.

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Twiss to send Devon Funding News to the clerk, as well as information on the 20 is Plenty scheme.  RESOLVED: Clerk to order £15 of 20 is Plenty stickers to attach to bins, and claim back at next meeting.  Cllr Twiss to investigate status of Ramblers’ appeal.

45/21     To consider the rollout of superfast broadband, and a presentation by Airband

This was deferred to the August meeting.

46/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

21/1354/VAR Coign Cottage Gittisham Honiton EX14 3AB – Variation of condition No. 2 (Approved plans) and condition No. 3 (Materials) of planning permission ref: 20/0584/FUL to allow for a change of materials used and alterations to the proposed plans. Approval with conditions.

Appeal Ref: APP/U1105/W/21/3267313 Conversion of existing buildings to holiday dwellings (application for removal of condition 5 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow year round occupancy of the holiday dwellings and variation of condition 6 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow The Cider Barn to be used as an unrestricted residential dwelling) at Goldcombe Farmhouse, Gittisham.  Appeal dismissed.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said he had received a complaint from a resident about overgrown hedges on the south side of Old Elm Rd between Honeysuckle Close and the bus turning circle. Members discussed whose responsibility this might be, and agreed to ask the lengthsman to cut the hedges back to prevent people from getting scratched. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish: Resurfacing A375 Sidmouth Road – closed Tuesday 20th  July Gittisham Hill to Exeter Road.  Working hours 1900-0700 for 12 weekday nights in two phases:  south of Old Elm Rd roundabout then to the north. The roundabout will be totally closed at 2300 each night. Vale residents have been leafleted by Devon Highways.

26/7th July Devonshire Road. Priority boards for Jurassic Fibre works.

29/30th July Alfington Road closed for Jurassic Fibre works.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask Len Abbott to trim above-mentioned hedges in the Vale.

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

The Chair explained that she and Cllr Orchard had met EDDC officers to understand the next steps in progressing new items in line with May’s public consultation exercise. ‌ The meeting had given clarification on funding sources and allowed us to proceed to the next stage. A table tennis facility, outdoor skittles alley, boules court and hopscotch grid had all been agreed, and Cllr Orchard is preparing a specification.  Members agreed that the next stage would be to inform neighbours of the works and their timings, followed by sourcing quotes in line with EDDC’s policy.  The Chair said she was very pleased with the plans and see the new playground facilities as being useful to families, older children and adults.


She added that EDDC had also sent some information about potential funding sources for a shelter. The Chair reported that she had shared this with the village hall committee, which is looking to install an awning at the back of the hall which could help with Covid safety at village events.

ACTION: Clerk to inform residents of properties neighbouring the play area of the plans.  Cllr Orchard to work on specifications.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Members heard there was no update on the replacement bus for King’s School pupils in September, nor whether from 19th July when Covid-19 restrictions are due to be eased whether the pupils-only bus would be continuing.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist sent a report in her absence, saying that the information she’d requested from Community Heart Beat for consideration by the Parish Council had been circulated.  She added that she had not received any further communication from Baker Estates.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said she had not received any further information regarding the EV charging point, and asked if the parish council is registered with Parish and Town Council Wildlife to receive their newsletter.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

  • A cold caller impersonates a legitimate mobile network operator or supplier.  There is also a Covid Vaccine Passport scam email purporting to be from the NHS; clicking on the link will take you to a fake NHS website where you are asked for personal and payment details.  In reality details of your vaccine status are available free via the official NHS website. 
  • A suspicious SMS message, claiming to be from a delivery company, asking you to click on a link to track the delivery status of a package. These messages are actually linked to a banking Trojan called “FLUBOT”. It asks receiver to install a tracking app to track the status of the package, when its intention is to steal credentials and other personal data.

Cllr Twist advised users not to click on links in SMS messages, not to install apps from anywhere but the official app stores, and ensure mobile telephones are protected with security software.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the public exhibition/consultation, displaying details of the development had attracted more than 40 visitors.  Some changes had been made to the design as a result of comments.  It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted to EDDC at the end of July.

  1. To consider the parish emergency plan

The Chair said she was in the process of arranging a meeting with emergency plan councillors and named flood marshalls, and hoped this would take place before the August meeting.

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

Cllr Walker thanked Cllr Orchard for taking responsibility for the new items (see minute ref 46c).  The clerk said that she was still corresponding with Kompan regarding the replacement seats and chains for the toddler swings, and had provided them with photographs and measurements with the aim of selecting the appropriate items.  As it has been difficult to make progress due to the company’s lengthy reply times and sending the wrong quote to the clerk, Cllr Orchard agreed to investigate ordering the items.

ACTION: Clerk to forward correspondence with Kompan to Cllr Orchard.

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

Members noted that the lengthsman had cut a passing place on the road to Catshayes Farm, which would be useful for both motorists and walkers.  They also noted that he had cut back foliage along Dark Lane / Shaggy’s, for which they were grateful. 

47/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair echoed Cllr Valentine’s comments about traffic speeds, and agreed to write to The Pig to ask the management to remind staff and residents to drive carefully.  Cllr Valentine added that a new speed survey on the hill beyond Clysthayes may form part of the GCLT work.

The Chair reported that Combe Estate would be installing signs at both Beech Walk and Westgate.  The purpose of the signs is to try to combat various anti-social behaviours that that have taken place recently.  She reminded members that DCC had clarified there was no vehicular access at Westgate, across the top and down to Alphington.  Any vehicles using that area are doing so illegally.

The Chair explained that a local farmer had raised concerns about walkers getting lost between Westgate and the village.  Walkers have ended up on a private farm track which leads from Sherman’s Farm to Catshayes Farm, and the farmer is worried about the public getting hurt by boisterous cows.  (There have been reports in the press of cows hurting people elsewhere.)  Members agreed that temporary signs, a review of signage with DCC and a letter to Combe Estate and The Pig to raise awareness was an appropriate response.

ACTION: Chair to write to Fiona Moores at The Pig regarding drivers.  Clerk to write to DCC RoW, The Pig, Len Abbott and Combe Estate.

48/21 To consider the purchase of a printer or copier for the Gittisham Gazette

The Chair said she had discussed with the Gittisham Gazette editor, Carol McCann, and agreed that the PC would continue to cover ¾ of the cost of printing and copying.  The aim is to reduce the number of paper copies, while recognizing that some residents require them.  The editor has agreed to report back to the Chair with an estimate of ongoing costs. 

ACTION: Chair to discuss with Carol McCann how to make the Gittisham Gazette more parish-wide. 

49/21 To approve the appointment of Alison Marshall as internal auditor for 2021/22

Members resolved to appoint Alison Marshall as internal auditor for the financial year 2021/22.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Alison Marshall.

50/21     To approve the July payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1108       F J Clampin                          £226.37                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamps)

1109       Len Abbott                           £91         Lengthsman work, 6.5 hrs June 2021 @ £14/hr

1110       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10094)

1111       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10084)

1112       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for June meeting

1113       Websites Ahoy                     £195       Maintenance and updates on website

1114       Len Abbott                           £7.24      Lengthsman expenses, June 2021 (petrol)

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,183.84 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

51/21     Clerk’s Report

The clerk agreed to inform regular contributors to the Gittisham website about the need to conform to accessibility guidelines.  Recently uploaded items will need to be amended to reflect this, and then the accessibility statement can be published.

52/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Traffic speeds in Gittisham village.

53/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

54/21     Date of next two meetings

Wednesday 4th August (village hall) and Wednesday 1st September 2021 at 7.30pm.  Public via Zoom.  The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2025 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

4th August 2021

  

Parish Council meeting minutes 10 June 2021

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 10th June 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

and via Zoom

Present: Gittisham Village Ward

Carol Hall (Chair)

David Valentine

Alex Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Janet Twist

Peter Orchard

In attendance: Phil Twiss (DCC), Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies: Cllr M Walker, PCSO Darren England

19/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

20/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 5th May 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 5th May 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

21/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

No crimes were reported in April 2021.

22/21     To receive declarations of interest

None.

23/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk said she and Cllr Rowe had worked further on the parish council section of the Gittisham website, and the clerk had asked Websites Ahoy to confirm that it now meets accessibility standards.   Parish council document from 2017/18 onwards, the parish plan and the emergency plan should now be fully accessible.

Cllr Orchard said he had cleared out the Vale bus shelter, but people were still depositing unwanted books in there.

The clerk said she had purchased and installed Office 2019 on the parish council’s laptop.

The clerk outlined the correspondence with Kompan regarding the replacement swing seats and chains for the toddler swings.  She will send frame measurements to the company, in the hope that they can confirm whether their seats and chain will correspond.

The clerk reported that Baker Estates had not yet responded regarding the dog poo bins.   

ACTION: Clerk to upload accessibility statement, dependent on response from Websites Ahoy.

Clerk to provide Kompan with swing frame measurements, and order replacement seats and chains if suitable. 

24/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Members heard that Cllr Bond had stood down as district councillor, and a replacement was anticipated.  The Chair said she had received an email from Cllr Bond saying what a privilege it had been to serve Gittisham parish.  Councillors agreed how supportive Cllr Bond had been over the years, and expressed their gratitude. 

Cllr Twiss said that after a very different Devon County Council election held in sometimes difficult and unprecedented circumstances, he was delighted to have been returned for a second term of office as the Division member for Feniton & Honiton.  Like you, said Cllr Twiss, he would be working and acting in the best interests of everyone in the division as well as the county in a wider sense.

He explained that his responsibilities had changed at DCC, moving away from a previous focus on healthcare across Devon, which he would miss enormously despite the massive challenges of the previous 16 months, to a more senior role on the council as the Portfolio Holder for finance.  Cllr Twiss assured members this does not change at all his commitment to increased local delivery of healthcare services in Feniton & Honiton division as we emerge step by step from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highways

The number one ‘postbag’ item for Cllr Twiss is that of Highway issues, he said, whether that is potholes, drainage, footways, reducing speed limits, parking enforcement and many other related items. It is certainly a good idea and to save time to report any issue direct to DCC on the ‘Report a problem’ web site for items such as potholes (the definition of what constitutes one is shown) to defective road markings, fallen trees etc. He emphasized that actions reported on this site are undertaken on a risk to life, safety first policy so may not be dealt with immediately if sufficient resources are not available. The link to the site is https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/   

DCC has a ‘framework’ of contractors to undertake the various roles that maintain our highways and byways, with a main one for the bulk of works and arrange of others for specific roles. A new main contractor M Group (you may know them in another iteration as utility services group Morrison’s) has been appointed to take over from Skanska, where clearly more working efficiencies will be sought within the contract based on what is called the DCC  ‘Doing What Matters’ policy. 

Climate Emergency

Cllr Twiss explained that Devon County Council is committing significant human and financial resources to addressing climate change issues, with carbon reductions a major part of that, with DCC leading by example working with partners for all sectors and areas of life in Devon and beyond.

It is without doubt one of the biggest challenges that DCC has ever had to address and covers massive range of areas nationally, regionally and locally in order to influence change. You can read more at the specialist climate emergency web site https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/   

Cllr Twiss urged everyone to ‘buy in’ to this agenda and from a very local perspective, he was delighted that our local community transport provider TRIP have invested in a no emissions electric mini bus to show us the way forward, operating from their base in Honiton serving our area and beyond!

Health

The Integrated Care System for Devon (ICS) is being rolled out currently and aims to provide a one stop shop from primary care to acute care under one commissioning (funding) umbrella, with the sole purpose of improving how healthcare is delivered in Devon.  To coin a phrase, said Cllr Twiss, this really is a ‘game changer’ with an emphasis on keeping people, fitter, healthier and longer, putting less pressure on to the whole healthcare system.  You can find further details on this by clicking https://www.icsdevon.co.uk/   or emailing phil.twiss@devon.gov.uk where he can point people in the right direction if an immediate answer is not possible.

Broadband

Cllr Twiss explained that the Jurassic Fibre CEO had assured him the network build would be happening in Gittisham.  He added that he had also met Connecting Devon & Somerset senior managers to understand the alternatives, including Airband which is proposing to bring high speed broadband to the parish.

Emergency gate, Old Elm Road

Cllr Twiss said a resident had pointed out that mobility scooters could not pass through the bollards between the end of Old Elm Road and Hayne Lane.  A long diversion was required via the Heathpark Industrial Estate.  Cllr Twiss said he had taken up the issue with Mike Brown at DCC Highways.

Cllr Twist asked about electric vehicle charging points, and Cllr Twiss replied that while there was no detail as yet, DCC would be looking at this area as part of its green agenda.  He added that DCC aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: Chair to reply to Cllr Bond.

25/21     To consider the following planning applications:

  • a)            21/0945/LBC Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ Localised repairs and reinstatement of section of collapsed garden boundary wall.
  • b)            21/1354/VAR Coign Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AB Variation of condition No. 2 (Approved plans) and condition No. 3 (Materials) of planning permission ref: 20/0584/FUL to allow for a change of materials used and alterations to the proposed plans
  • c)             21/1295/FUL 1 Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB Demolition of existing workshop to be replaced with a new self-build dwelling
  • d)            21/1420/VAR Unit 5 Weston Park Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton EX14 1ST Variation of condition 1 (extension to opening hours) of 19/2150/VAR
  • e)             21/1350/FUL Land West of Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton Construction of two storey offices (Unit D) for Use Class E (g) (i), alterations to car park layout, and internal access. Installation of covered bike store to front
  • f)             21/1165/FUL Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room.
  • g)            21/1166/LBC Bakery Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AF Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room

Members had no objections to a). 

Regarding b), members had no objection in principle to this application, but would like to raise a slight concern regarding the use of non-traditional materials to this part of Devon.

Members resolved to object to c) on the grounds outlined previously, ie granting permission would establish a new residential unit in the countryside without agricultural need being sought, and it will act as a precedent for other opportunities in the future which would be detrimental to the overall policy-making of EDDC. Parish councillors also raised concern about the proposed materials in terms of the roofing.

Regarding d), parish councillors objected to this application on the grounds of adverse impact on a residential amenity.  There were concerns over noise at night and proximity to homes, caused by music, traffic and people.

Parish councillors had no objection in principle to e), but would like to raise concerns that surface water must not be allowed to drain into the existing water course.

Regarding f) and g), there was concern among parish councillors that there is an absence of a flood risk assessment linked to this application. As a parish council they therefore wish to understand how that matter is going to be addressed and would like to make further comment once that information is received.  The property is in flood zone 3, and therefore a flood risk assessment including floor levels is required.

26/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

None.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there had been some flooding during recent heavy rain.

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish: Road from Chineway Head to Hare and Hounds closed 14–25 June for South West Water works; Alfington Road closed for Jurassic Fibre 29/30 July.

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

The Chair presented the results of the public consultation on ‘sports pitch’ funding, which forms the basis of decisions made on new amenities for sport and physical activity in the parish.  The results are as follows:

Thirteen‌ ‌people‌ ‌replied‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌request‌ ‌for‌ ‌parishioner’s‌ ‌ideas‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌spend‌ ‌S106‌ ‌sports‌ ‌pitch‌ ‌funding‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌GPC‌ ‌in‌ ‌Summer‌ ‌2021.‌ ‌This‌ ‌was‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌in‌ ‌addition‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌already‌ ‌suggested‌ ‌and‌ ‌agreed‌ ‌Boules‌ ‌Court.‌ ‌

Suggestion Number of suggestions GPC comments

Outdoor‌ ‌table‌ ‌

tennis‌ ‌

5‌ ‌

This‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌added‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌boules‌ ‌court‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌time‌ ‌as‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌being‌ ‌built.‌ ‌A‌ ‌very‌ ‌popular‌ ‌choice‌ ‌and‌ ‌one‌ ‌that‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌discussed‌ ‌for‌ ‌years.‌ ‌Can‌ ‌be‌ ‌installed‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌time‌ ‌and‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌area‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌boules‌ ‌court.‌ ‌ ‌

Tennis‌ ‌court‌ ‌

3‌ ‌

The‌ ‌village‌ ‌playground‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌big‌ ‌enough‌ ‌flat‌ ‌area‌ ‌for‌ ‌this.‌ ‌If‌ ‌the‌ ‌large‌ ‌grass‌ ‌area‌ ‌was‌ ‌turned‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌tennis‌ ‌court‌ ‌then‌ ‌that‌ ‌would‌ ‌take‌ ‌away‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌amenity,‌ ‌grassed‌ ‌area‌ ‌for‌ ‌ball‌ ‌games,‌ ‌picnics,‌ ‌etc.‌ ‌ ‌

Benches‌ ‌and‌ ‌

blackboard‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

The PC considered a village-led project with donated materials, but will not progress as a previous, similar facility was unused and fell apart.

Skittle‌ ‌alley‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

This‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌added‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌side‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌boules‌ ‌court.‌ ‌A‌ ‌concrete‌ ‌slab‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌run‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌return‌ ‌of‌ ‌balls.‌ ‌There‌ ‌used‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌facility‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌village‌ ‌hall‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ ‌well‌ ‌used.‌ ‌Would‌ ‌be‌ ‌nice‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌this‌ ‌again.‌ ‌ ‌

Grid‌ ‌for‌ ‌hopscotch‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

Perhaps‌ ‌the‌ ‌grid‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌added‌ ‌/‌ ‌painted‌ ‌on‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌skittle‌ ‌alley‌ ‌above.‌ ‌ ‌

Pergola‌ ‌or‌ ‌shelter‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

Not‌ ‌suitable‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌allocation‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding‌ ‌but‌ ‌perhaps‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌Covid‌ ‌funding‌ ‌or‌ ‌DCC‌ ‌locality‌ ‌project‌ ‌funding‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌a‌ ‌shelter.‌ ‌Particularly‌ ‌useful‌ ‌to‌ ‌encourage‌ ‌outdoor‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌during‌ ‌Covid.‌ ‌

Mini‌ ‌astro‌ ‌turf‌ ‌

pitch‌ ‌for‌ ‌football‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

See‌ ‌reasons‌ ‌for‌ ‌not‌ ‌having‌ ‌a‌ ‌tennis‌ ‌court,‌ ‌above.‌ ‌Not‌ ‌enough‌ ‌space.‌ ‌Reduction‌ ‌of‌ ‌existing‌ ‌grass‌ ‌amenity‌ ‌area.‌ ‌

Adult‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌

equipment,‌ ‌eg‌ ‌

exercise‌ ‌bike‌ ‌

4‌ ‌

PC will investigate potential equipment and sites in the village playground and in the Vale near the boulders.

Basketball‌ ‌hoop‌ ‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

The PC considered providing a hoop on the skittle alley, but felt the intrusive noise and proximity to homes would be unsuitable.  Therefore no further progress.

Climbing‌ ‌structure‌ ‌

2‌ ‌

Not‌ ‌suitable‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌allocation‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding‌ ‌–‌ ‌check‌ ‌this‌ ‌though.‌ ‌ Also,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌climbing‌ ‌wall‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌slide‌ ‌tower.‌ ‌An‌ ‌actual‌ ‌climbing‌ ‌wall‌ ‌or‌ ‌bouldering‌ ‌wall‌ ‌might‌ ‌be‌ ‌too‌ ‌intrusive‌ ‌because‌ ‌of‌ ‌its‌ ‌height.‌ ‌

Zip‌ ‌wire‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

Not‌ ‌suitable‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌allocation‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding.‌ ‌ ‌

Badminton‌ ‌Court‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

Removable net considered, but would not be robust enough to withstand misuse.

 ‌

Members discussed various scenarios:‌ ‌

1.Go‌ ‌ahead‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌project‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌a‌ ‌boules‌ ‌court,‌ ‌skittles‌ ‌alley, ‌and‌ ‌

hopscotch.‌ ‌ ‌

a.Draw‌ ‌up‌ ‌plans,‌ ‌b.‌ ‌Get‌ ‌quotes,‌ ‌c.‌ ‌Aim‌ ‌to‌ ‌build‌ ‌in‌ ‌summer‌ ‌2021‌ ‌

NB‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌skittles‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌hall‌ ‌which‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌kept‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌locked‌ ‌box,‌ ‌or‌ ‌provide‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌set‌ ‌for‌ ‌

this‌ ‌project.‌ ‌

2.Investigate‌ ‌funding‌ ‌sources‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌pergola‌ ‌or‌ ‌shelter.‌ ‌Consider‌ ‌Covid‌ ‌funding‌ ‌and‌ ‌DCC‌ ‌locality‌ ‌budget.‌ ‌If‌ ‌successful,‌ ‌get‌ ‌3‌ ‌quotes‌ ‌and‌ ‌install‌ ‌asap‌ ‌to‌ ‌encourage‌ ‌outdoor‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌summer‌ ‌for‌ ‌Covid‌ ‌safety.‌ ‌Summer‌ ‌2021‌ ‌

3.Investigate‌ ‌adult‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌bike‌ ‌costs‌ ‌and‌ ‌funding‌ ‌sources‌ ‌for‌ ‌this.‌ ‌Deadline‌ ‌Winter‌ ‌2021.‌ ‌

4.The‌ ‌following‌ ‌suggestions‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌be‌ ‌progressed‌ ‌as‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌unsuitable‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌village‌ ‌play‌ ‌

area‌ ‌(too‌ ‌big):‌ ‌tennis‌ ‌court,‌ ‌badminton‌ ‌court‌ , ‌climbing‌ ‌structure,‌ ‌zip‌ ‌wire,‌ ‌mini‌ ‌astro‌ ‌turf‌ ‌pitch.‌ 

Members resolved to go ahead with the resurfaced boules pitch, hopscotch and skittle alley, table tennis facility, subject to cost and quotes.  Cllr Orchard will discuss with EDDC to understand how this is paid for.  Cllr Valentine said that the parish council should be cautious when investigating a shelter or pergola, as a structure over a certain size will require planning permission.  He asked if the PC would consider purchasing a secure storage area for any equipment associated with any eventual sports facility.

Councillors discussed the purchase of a badminton net, but it was felt they were not particularly robust.  There was concern over the potential maintenance cost of an adult exercise bike, and whether it would be better placed in Gittisham Vale.  It was agreed to defer discussion to a later date.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain quotes for boules pitch, hopscotch and skittle alley, table tennis facility from suppliers.  Chair to investigate cost of pergola or shelter and any relevant funding opportunities. 

To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.

To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she attended a meeting on 25th May with Toby Curtis (Surveyor, Baker Estates), Robin Palmer (Site Manager, Baker Estates), and Tina Sauvage (Community Heart Beat Trust). The meeting was organised following Adam Clarke’s email, (previously circulated) confirming the electricity supply for the defibrillator cabinet, and that it would not be sited on the block of apartments as originally suggested.

The defibrillator would be sited on posts on communal ground about 20 yards away from the block. The fixture and the site is not a problem, but there now is an additional cost of channelling the cable. Toby Curtis wants to try again with Sovereign Housing on the siting of the defibrillator, otherwise we will have to see if Baker Estates will want to bear the extra cost.  November is seen as the goal date for going live, so Cllr Twist said she would contact CHB for lead times and costs.

To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said she had not received any further information regarding the EV charging point.

Cllr Rowe reported that he was waiting for a response from DCC about verge cutting in the Vale.  He said he was also awaiting a reply from EDDC about the land at the end of Old Elm Road and whether parts of that can be allowed to be left to nature. The ones he had seeded personally will be in flower over the next few weeks, and he said hopefully there will be a good display.  He added that EDDC’s Countryside Team would be carrying out a site visit in the near future to assess.

To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

Phishing remains the most successful of the cyber scams. As of 30 April 2021 more than 5.8 million e-mails were reported to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service set up last April.  The most common was the TV Licence scam with reported losses totalling £5.3 million.  Report suspicious emails to phishing@gov.uk and suspicious text messages forward to 7726.

Mimicking Fraud Department Telephone Numbers: scammers are somehow mimicking the telephone numbers of bank fraud departments, examples are, Barclays, First Direct, Lloyds.  Please avoid using the number printed on the back of your card, go into branch or use another number.

Post vaccine survey scams: either phone, text or email promising cash or a prize, and asking for card details.

To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the public exhibition/consultation, displaying details of the development, will be taking place in the village hall tomorrow (11th June) with viewing available between 3.00pm and 8.00pm.

Representatives from the architects, South Devon Rural Housing Association (the CLT’s development partner), the Combe Estate, the GCLT and its advisors will be available to answer questions and receive comments. The scheme will then be reviewed in the light of any comments received and amended if appropriate. It is hoped that the planning application will be submitted to EDDC at the end of June or early July.

To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard reported that the revised plan had been published on the Gittisham website. Review due May 2022.  He said that a briefing to bring all flood marshalls up to date would be required.

ACTION: Chair to arrange meeting with emergency plan councillors and named flood marshalls.

To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker sent a report in her absence:

With the improving weather, she noted that the playground is now getting much busier.  All seems to be in good working order and the wild area provides an attractive seating area for parents, carers, grandparents etc.  She has made a mental note to fill the hand sanitiser today.  She will also empty the bin, which she knows is being used.  Thankfully, there have been very few sweet wrappers etc. needing to be picked up around the play equipment.  Cllr Walker added that the lengthsman had completed the tasks outstanding from the annual safety inspection.

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman would keep an eye on all the work needing to be carried out as we go through the year. If any councillors has noted something needing to be done, please let Cllr Walker know and she will pass details on to him.

27/21     To receive a report from the Chair

Members approved the Chair’s application to the Woodland Trust for a grant for hedge plants, which will be installed along the wall between the field and the bottom play area.

The Chair explained that DCC had clarified the Rights of Way on Westgate Hill, and there is no vehicle access link across the top.  Therefore the illegal activity from off-roaders is on private land, and Combe Estate as the landowner is responsible for installing measures such as barriers, in consultation with DCC.  There has been no progress on the Ramblers’ appeal regarding a proposed footpath from Hayne Farm to Goldcombe, due to Covid.

ACTION: Chair to apply for Woodland Trust grant.

28/21 To consider the purchase of a printer or copier for the Gittisham Gazette

Members discussed the future distribution of the Gittisham Gazette, and it was agreed to ask the editor how many hard copies would realistically be needed post-Covid.  The current figure stands at 70.  The PC will consider sharing the cost of a printer with the church, possibly in the form of a grant.  Cllr Twist said the gazette could be posted on the Hayne Farm community Facebook page.  The PC would like the gazette to be more of a parish-wide publication, eg welcoming new parishioners in the whole parish, not just the village.

ACTION: Chair to arrange meeting with Carol McCann.  Cllr Twist to investigate uploading the gazette to FB.

29/21     To approve the June payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1101       F J Clampin                          £224.86                 Clerk’s salary

1102       F J Clampin                          £44.25   Remaining reimbursement for Microsoft Office 2019

1103       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10077)

1104       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10084)

1105       Community First                 £495.17  Parish council annual insurance policy

1106       Alison Marshall                    £150       Internal audit 2020-21

1107       Len Abbott                           £147       Lengthsman work, 10.5 hrs May 2021 @ £14/hr

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,855.93 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk said a VAT rebate of £749.17 had been received, for the year 2018-19.

30/21     To receive and note the annual internal audit report

Members noted the annual internal audit report.

31/21     To approve the annual governance statement 2020-21

Members resolved to approve the annual governance statement 2020-21.

32/21     To approve the 2020-21 accounting statements

Members resolved to adopt the 2020-21 accounts.  Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated the accounting statements.  The parish council ended the financial year on 31st March 2021 with a balance of £16,232.55 (inc. £7,030.36 in business reserve, with £2.86 interest accumulated this year).  There is VAT to be recovered of £226.12. 

33/21     To consider the criteria for meeting exemption from the annual limited assurance review 2020-21, and approve the exemption certificate

Members agreed the criteria had been met, ie that during the financial year 2020-21 the higher of the parish council’s gross income or gross annual expenditure for the year did not exceed £25,000.

34/21     To set and approve the period for the exercise of public rights 2020-21

Members approved the period for the exercise of public rights to extend from 14th June to 23rd July 2021.

35/21     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said a representative from Airband would be attending the July meeting. 

36/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

None.

37/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

The Chair reported that the No Mow May initiative would be continuing in the churchyard.  Cllr Valentine warned that the rollout of superfast broadband could be held up by connections to listed buildings. 

38/21     Date of next two meetings

Wednesday 7th July and Wednesday 4th August (village hall) 2021 at 7.30pm.  Public via Zoom.  The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th July 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 5 May 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 5th MAY 2021

via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr P Orchard, Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Fiona Clampin (clerk), two members of the public

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

Before the meeting, Carol McCann (editor, Gittisham Gazette) explained that she would no longer be able to print the gazette at St Paul’s in Honiton.  She asked if there was any funding available to purchase a printer or copier that both the parish council and Gittisham PCC could use, when hard copies are distributed once again.  Cllr Hall said the parish council would investigate, and members agreed to discuss this at the June parish council meeting.

Carol McCann left the meeting.

1/21        To elect a Chair

Cllr Walker nominated Cllr Hall for election as Chair for 2021/22.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Valentine.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Hall be elected Chair for 2021/22 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

2/21        To receive the Chair’s declaration of Acceptance of Office

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

3/21        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

4/21        To confirm the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held 7th April 2021

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 7th April 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

5/21        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from http://www.police.uk/ .  In March 2021, 2 crimes reported: 2 x violence and sexual offences (Cypress Close and Parsonage Lane). 

The clerk said she had received a reply from PCSO Darren England regarding off-roading above Westgate.  He said he had been in touch with Combe Estate, who had informed him that they were in touch with the county council regarding rights of way.  PCSO England told the clerk he had attended the area, and had installed signs warning people not to use off-road vehicles.  He arranged for officers to patrol the land one weekend in April.  PCSO England explained that he has been tasked with looking at all rural crime for East Devon, and hoped to engage more frequently with the parish.  However, he pointed out that he is now required to cover four areas, not one.  An additional PCSO has been recruited to work in Honiton to allow him to do this.

The clerk added that she had corresponded with Inspector Gait, the new area division commander, and read out his email to members.  Insp Gait had told her that a new rural crime initiative has begun, which is gathering momentum. Insp Gait said he is keen to maximise his officers’ time on the streets, delivering valuable, impactful policing and doesn’t want them to spend too much time doing administrative functions, which is researchable elsewhere. He hoped the parish council could embrace and support this approach.

Members discussed current police engagement with the parish, particularly in the light of recent rises in the police proportion of council tax.  Cllr Orchard offered to attend a public session next week in Honiton, and members agreed that inviting PCSO England to a meeting would start the ball rolling.

ACTION: Clerk to invite PCSO Darren England to a future meeting.  Cllr Orchard to attend public session in Honiton w/c 10/05.

6/21        To receive declarations of interest

None.

7/21        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Rowe said he had made progress with making documents accessible for the parish website, and had sent them to the clerk.  

Cllr Twist said she had received feedback from Hayne Farm residents regarding tentative proposals by Baker Estates to build additional houses on the old farmyard site (as reported at the April parish council meeting).  Residents had commented that the farmyard is not derelict, and there is still a considerable amount of farmyard traffic, with two slurry pits and a barn to store hay.  There was concern over roof height and surface drainage, and the presence of asbestos in the farm buildings, although Cllr Rowe suggested the roof panels could be made of cement fibre which looks similar.  There are also bats on site, and migratory birds nest there too.  Cllr Walker suggested it might be difficult to develop a site with farm buildings still in use.  Cllr Valentine said it would be wise to reserve these comments to bring to the attention of Baker Estates in the event of any future planning application.  Cllr Bond reminded members that it would be in the call for sites in the Local Plan review.

The clerk asked members if they would prefer to purchase a subscription to Microsoft Office (£59.99) for the parish clerk’s laptop, which would incur ongoing costs, or purchase the standalone package Office 2019 (£119.99).  [The £59.99 was agreed at the March 2021 meeting, ref. 211/20.] Members agreed the standalone package was the best option, and the clerk agreed to claim back the additional cost at the next meeting. 

ACTION: Clerk to purchase Office 2019.

8/21        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bond explained that as part of the Local Plan review, meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) have been scheduled for each month with the intention to have a draft plan put before the committee at their December meeting. This will then go out to consultation in January 2022. At their most recent meeting, the Strategic Planning Committee decided that developers can come to a special meeting of SPC in November to promote their sites. These would be only strategic sites and officers would remove the ones which are immediately unacceptable. The developers will be given a time-limited slot to present their sites. SPC members and ward members must be mindful that they don’t prejudice their position for any future planning application.  This is the link to the March SPC agenda with a timeline for progress of the Local Plan: https://democracy.eastdevon.gov.uk/documents/s11803/1.Local%20Plan%20cmtte%20work%20programme%20for%202021%20ver%2003.pdf  

There’s been no progress on the Heathpark Extension masterplan as the lead officer is on sick leave.

Cllr Bond said that at the moment, the Government and High Court have indicated that local authority meetings must return to normal immediately after 7 May, i.e. remote Zoom meetings will not be allowed. However, there is still hope that Government will find time to legislate to continue Zoom meetings at least until the summer. Meanwhile, EDDC is working on how to hold its Annual meeting, currently scheduled for 26 May, given the requirements for social distancing. There is no appetite among councillors to meet up, particularly for a meeting which is often highly fractious! However, it’s a legal requirement that Annual Council is held before the end of May.  Otherwise, the possibility of hybrid meetings is being explored to keep numbers to a minimum in the Council chamber.

Cllr Bond left the meeting.

9/21        To consider the following planning applications:

a) 21/0944/FUL Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Outdoor pool with plant in existing outbuilding and re-grading / landscaping works within the walled garden; localised repairs and reinstatement of section of collapsed garden boundary wall.

Members had no objections to a).

10/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/0437/FUL Part of Honiton Showground Nags Head Road Gittisham – Use of the land as a caravan site for up to 100 tents, touring caravans and motorhomes from April to October of each year and siting of portable toilets and showers.  Withdrawn.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said approximately 10 reflective posts had been installed on Hayne Lane south of the railway bridge to discourage drivers mounting the soft verges.

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

Cllr Orchard reported that no significant works planned, although the road through Alfington will have temporary signals on Thursday 13 May, while Jurassic Fibre conduct works.

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

Cllr Orchard said the manufacturers (Handmade Swings) of the present swing charge £595 (£714 inc VAT) plus £35 £42) carriage for replacement of 2 cradle swing seats including attaching shackles. Total £756.

The only other robust manufacturer he had been able to find is Kompan. They come in two designs: cradle swing seat £260 + VAT (2 for £576 inc VAT), and a baby surround seat £240 (2 for £552 inc VAT) plus carriage.  He said that EDDC had agreed for S106 funds under the following terms: “The PC needs to sign off on the project and minute that this is what they want, are happy to maintain and to enter into a grant agreement to secure it.”

Members resolved by a unanimous vote to replace the current toddler swing seats and chain with one cradle swing seat and one baby surround seat from Kompan with stainless steel chains.  Members also resolved to maintain and enter into a S106 grant agreement with EDDC to secure the items.  Cllr Walker agreed to ask Len Abbott to install the swings, and bill this separately.  The Chair said the current seats and chains should be disposed of responsibly or recycled.

The Chair explained that if the parish council wished to include additional items funded by S106 to the boules pitch, it would be easy to carry out a further consultation.  Members agreed this should be done via the gazette, and any online fora and posters throughout May.  Once GPC has agreed any additions to the project, EDDC will include it with the allocation for funding.

ACTION: Clerk to purchase replacement swing seats and chains from Kompan; Cllr Orchard to contact Sulina Tallack at EDDC to progress entering into a S106 grant agreement.  Chair to write a short item for the gazette, asking residents for any ideas for additional items in the play area that meet S106 criteria.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said most of the books were removed from the Vale shelter after the April meeting, and a sign put up asking people not to deposit more than the basket on the bench can hold.  However, since then there have been two significant deposits since including ‘X’ rated DVDs, enough to fill at least three recycling boxes.  Cllr Orchard has removed these, and members offered to help him dispose of any further items.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to monitor the situation with the Vale bus shelter.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she had received no further information from either Baker Estates or Sovereign Housing since the last meeting, although she had sent them the documentation requested.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said the Devon Climate Emergency Council Support Network report contains a link which will take you to the village’s carbon footprint, both by territory and consumption.  There is also the ability to compare against other parishes, councils and nationally:

Gittisham by consumption per household 15.6t CO2e

East Devon by consumption per household 17.2t CO2e

National average consumption per household 13.1t CO2e

The Chair encouraged all members to read the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, or the eight points that are summarised on this link: https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/  She said there is also a document which explains what parish councils can do, and this is an extract “… try to involve as many businesses and households as possible. Many Parishes are rural, so don’t forget your farming community and businesses, they too have major key roles to play in tackling the two emergencies. Community/Council engagement is fundamental in declaring a Climate emergency. “ https://actionclimateteignbridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ACT-TP-Pack-what-can-councils-do-v1.0-1.pdf

She also urged councillors and residents to use the World Wildlife Fund’s carbon footprint calculator https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#   This is not so much about comparing our scores, she said, but more about “how can I change my own score” and understanding how our personal choices affect our carbon footprint. 

The Chair added that she is working with licensed lay minister Julia Barrett to look at ‘no-mow May’ for the churchyard and hopefully extending this longer term into a project to have just mown paths in the churchyard, similar to the play area.  Julia Barratt said she would be speaking to the PCC about this, and would request volunteer help from the parish for further rewilding if approved.

In terms of food waste, the Chair said a parishioner volunteers at the Ottery Food larder and if there is excess bread on Saturdays she brings it to the village bus shelter for sharing. Please spread the word. It needs eating and you can just help yourself.

Electric Vehicle Charging Points.

Cllr Twist said she had received no further information on the charging point for the village.

Members discussed the possibility of wild flower planting in the parish, similar to projects in Honiton, as this would potentially encourage pollinators, increase wildlife and bring joy to people walking past. 

ACTION: All to keep eyes open for new climate change initiatives that the PC can support.  Cllr Rowe to contact EDDC’s Street Scene to investigate wild flower planting.  Cllr Walker to ask her oldest granddaughter to write an article for the gazette on the carbon footprint calculator.

Julia Barrett left the meeting.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said the parish council had received an email from Ashley Jones, the Regional Fraud Protect Adviser, part of the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU). The post is being funded by the Home Office. The role is improving awareness and promoting preventative measures, as 80 per cent of fraud is preventable.  There is the offer of a fraud safety presentation, to groups, lasting 35-45 minutes including a question and answer session. There is also a narrated film presentation available via YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oyc3ITOxvsY , which the Parish Council are asked to promote, along with the Little Book of Scams which we are asked to share. The publication is 60 pages and contains the 17 most used scams, alongside information on reporting and avoid falling victim to scams.

ACTION: Clerk to upload Little Book of Scams to parish website.  All to promote film presentation on scams.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said following the Pre App response from EDDC the project team has been looking at addressing the issues that were raised in the response. This required liaising with the consulting engineers, DCC Highways, the HA and the architects. A detailed response is in preparation and will be issued later this week. Some minor adjustments have been made to the site layout and work is now progressing with detailed design work. It is proposed that a public exhibition of the proposed development be put on display for comment in the Village Hall on Friday 11th June between 3.00pm and 8.00pm.  The Chair said she was delighted at this progress, and members offered to assist at the consultation event if necessary.

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Members resolved to adopt the parish emergency plan.  Cllr Walker reported that Len Abbott was happy to be included as a snow warden.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to upload the completed plan to the parish website. 

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

Members thanked Cllr Orchard for his work investigating replacement swings. Cllr Walker agreed to speak to Len Abbott regarding any outstanding items in the annual play area inspection report. 

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

None.

11/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said there had been no progress on defining which paths are ones that off road vehicles can use. She said she had been corresponding with Combe Estate, and had sent DCC a map showing that there’s no route across the top of Westgate Common. There’s no connection for vehicles between Alfington Summer Lane and the tarmacked road on the top of Westgate Common as far as maps show. But no word from DCC rights of way yet.  The problem of destructive use and litter continues.

Fly tipping

The Chair said she would encourage any parishioners noticing fly tipping to report it using the EDDC app. They do respond quickly.

ACTION: Clerk to contact DCC Rights of Way for clarification on bridleways and unmetalled roads / green lanes at Westgate hill; also for update on Ramblers’ appeal. 

12/21 To consider public access within the parish

The Chair said there is widespread and ongoing concern about the interaction between walkers, cyclists, traffic and cattle.  She said she had witnessed a car crash outside her house where the car pulling out did not stop or even look left. Thank goodness they hit another car coming down the hill, she said, and not a bike or child. And that was on the same day as she noticed the tractor driver coming down the hill was texting whilst driving.

Members discussed disappointment among some parishioners over increasing restrictions on exercising dogs off the lead.  It was agreed that access to private land was not a matter for the parish council, and the Chair said she would ask Combe Estate if they wished to write a short piece for the gazette explaining the situation.

13/21 To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders

Members resolved to adopt the parish council’s standing orders, replacing the supplementary standing orders which expire on 7th May 2021.

14/21     To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1098       F J Clampin                          £226.56                 Clerk’s salary & expenses

1099       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10072)

1100       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10073)

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance of £19,307.66 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

15/21     Clerk’s Report

None.

16/21     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Annual accounts and governance statement; printer / copier for Gittisham gazette. 

17/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Twist asked if there had been any update from Baker Estates regarding additional dog waste bins; she said they filled up quickly on the Hayne Farm estate, and this could increase once the new play area is installed.  The clerk said she had not received a reply.

ACTION: Clerk to follow up dog poo bin situation with Graham Hutton.

18/21     Date of next two meetings  

Wednesday 2nd June and Wednesday 7th July (village hall) 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  The Chair asked all to observe social distancing and bring along a mask and hand sanitiser.

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

Chair…………………………………….

2nd June 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 April 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7th APRIL 2021

via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Graham Hutton, Chris Watton & Tom Biddle (Baker Estates), Fiona Clampin (clerk), two members of the public

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, Baker Estates (BE) explained the background to their S73 application and gave an update on the current situation with the Hayne Farm development.  Graham Hutton thanked members for their support on the previous application, which has been approved.  He reported that as a result of that amendment, five of the latest homes to be built had been reserved through the Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers.  Tom Biddle explained that the current application does not represent a fundamental change but rather focuses on cosmetic aspects.  It affects 27 properties in total, and would allow BE to respond to changes in the market and feedback from current residents.  BE is proposing to move some of the affordable units elsewhere on the site, change the size and internal figuration of some properties, and provide new house types which were not on the original application.  He said that none of the changes affect height parameters, highway design or public open space provision.  Graham Hutton added that the mix and number of homes had not changed, and the overall size of the homes is reducing.  The original plan would have left BE with quite a lot of large homes to sell in one go, and the company would now prefer to have a mix of smaller and larger properties.

Graham Hutton said that by May, BE should have reached 150 units and therefore it is approaching the half-way point in the development.  He promised to email the most up to date figures to the clerk.  Cllr Bond said there appeared to be a change with the attenuation pond from 3 down to 1, and Graham Hutton said this had already been approved by DCC as the lead flood authority.  Cllr Orchard enquired as to progress on the play area, and Graham Hutton replied that BE’s commercial team was in the process of organizing the equipment and placing orders.  He could not give a start date however.

Graham Hutton told members that BE had an option with the Combe Estate to build 40 additional homes on the old farmyard site, and he has met EDDC for a pre-application meeting.  There would be no additional access off Hayne Lane.  He said more engagement and public consultation is necessary, and the proposal is at a very early stage.  Cllr Walker asked if there would be an affordable element, to which the reply was yes.

217/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

218/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 3rd March 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd March 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

219/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ .  In February 2021, 2 crimes reported: 2 x violence and sexual offences (Cypress Close). 

ACTION: Clerk to follow up with PCSO Darren England regarding off-roading above Westgate.

220/20   To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Valentine declared an interest in item 8b (minute ref. 224/20), as he has previously advised the applicant.

221/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk said she had not yet purchased Microsoft Office for the parish council laptop (as agreed at the last meeting), but would do so.

Cllr Rowe said he had attended all four of DALC’s Being a Good Councillor courses, and found them very informative.  He said he had worked through the 2019/20 transparency code documents on the website, and had passed them to the clerk for review.  He explained that DALC had advised councillors to note on their parish websites that work on making documents accessible is ongoing.  The Chair said it was good to be making progress on this. 

ACTION: Clerk to send original Word documents to Cllr Rowe.

222/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said that as this version of Devon County Council draws to its conclusion, with a new Council to be elected on May 6th his report is intentionally brief due to being in election purdah.  He said that a lot has happened in his time as your County Councillor, and of course he could not tell whether electors in the Feniton & Honiton Division would elect him to be their representative at County Hall in May for a further four years.  He said he was grateful for the support he had received from Gittisham Parish Council members both current and previous, who work very hard on behalf of parishioners’ interests, despite being something of a thankless task.  He said he was particularly pleased to have been able to offer financial support from the DCC Locality budget to help projects in the village and see superfast broadband reach the village firstly from wireless provider Voneus and shortly a fibre-to-the-premises service from Jurassic Fibre.

Ordinarily he suspected that his ‘end of term’ report would have seen potholes, drains and ditches as key feature.  But the inescapable fact is that COVID-19 has dominated all of our lives for most of 2020 and in to 2021.  Cllr Twiss added that as we all look forward to a much brighter future, he would end on a positive note with an update on the vaccination programme (circulated to members) which continues at pace and will see our lives and those of our family and friends return to a more normal state of affairs sooner than later.  The Chair thanked Cllr Twiss for his active involvement in the parish.

Cllr Bond explained that work on the local plan review carries on apace, with the ambitious target of December for publication of a draft local plan. An Urban Capacity Study has been undertaken to look at possibilities for building within the BUABs of the main towns and approximately 750 sites have been identified, although there is no indication that landowners will want to put their land up for development. The total of 750 sites is far less than the 950 houses required to be built by EDDC every single year.

Cllr Twist asked Cllr Bond why a proposal for an industrial estate on Hayne Lane would that not have appeared on searches conducted by people buying their homes, or their solicitors?  Cllr Bond replied that this would only appear if there was a planning application in the system.  Regarding the estate, she said at the moment there is a proposal to see whether it will be a viable option and what sort of office space or units would be suitable there.  Cllr Valentine added that results often depend on search terms, and also that railway lines often act as a demarcation line between one area and another, so even applications close by will not be classed as ‘in the vicinity’. 

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

223/20   To consider the following planning applications:

a) 21/0730/VAR Phases 1 – 4 Hayne Lane Gittisham Variation of condition 1 of application 20/2179/VAR (Variation of condition 1 of application 18/0454/MRES (Proposed construction of 291 no. dwellings and associated parking, garages, roads, drainage and landscaping (approval of reserved matters pursuant to outline planning permission 13/2744/MOUT), amended proposal to reduce total number of units from 300 to 291) to amend unit types and/or numbers on plots 132-136, 162-166 and 299-230; design changes to units on plots 92-95, 105-110, 167-170 &172-175; layout changes to plot 137, and; provision of additional parking to plots 167-170

b)            21/0437/MFUL Part Of Honiton Show Ground Nags Head Road Gittisham Use of the land as a caravan site for up to 100 tents, touring caravans and motorhomes from April to October of each year and siting of portable toilets and showers

Members had no objections to a). 

Graham Hutton, Chris Watton & Tom Biddle left the meeting.

Regarding b), the Chair said she had discussed the application with the chair of Buckerell Parish Council.  Gittisham parish councillors resolved to object strongly to this application for the following reasons: the information given in the application is minimal and sometimes incorrect, and it does not address concerns over flooding, highways, traffic, the scale and siting, use of land, and proximity to settlements.  There are no suitable services and utilities close by, it is not sustainable, the sewerage system is already exhausted and environmental concerns are not addressed in the application.  Members said they would be happy to provide more detail to EDDC on every single item of concern, if requested.

ACTION: Chair to contact Buckerell PC chair with update.

224/20   To consider the following appeals:

  1.  APP/U1105/W/21/3267702 Land North Of Hamlet House Weston Conversion of agricultural building to dwelling

Members resolved they did not wish to add anything more to the parish council’s previous comments.

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

2. APP/U1105/W/21/3267313 Goldcombe Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB Conversion Of Existing Buildings To Holiday Dwellings (application for removal of Condition 5 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow year round occupancy of the holiday dwellings and variation of Condition 6 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow The Cider Barn to be used as an unrestricted residential dwelling)

Members resolved they did not wish to add anything more to the parish council’s previous comments, but would like to reiterate the parish council has no objection this appeal.

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

225/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

21/0428/FUL 34 Meadow Acre Road Gittisham EX14 3FE Construction of single side/rear storey extension.  Approval.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there was nothing to report. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

19-23 April 2021. Vodaphone are working on A30 between Ironbridge junction and Turks Head junction. Not clear whether the road will be closed at night, or just reduced lanes.

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

The Chair explained that she, Cllr Orchard and the clerk had met Honiton Town Council’s new clerk, HTC’s leader and Sulina Tallack from EDDC to discuss how S106 money from the Hayne Farm development (which belongs to GPC) can be spent, what proportion could be spent in Honiton itself and on what.  It had been agreed at that meeting, the Chair said, that Gittisham would decide whether or not to go ahead with upgrading the boules pitch and installing a table tennis table which would take the overall expenditure to approximately £40,000.  Cllr Orchard had asked Sulina if it was necessary to go through the public consultation process once again, but has not yet received a reply.  Cllr Walker added that there was support within the village for the additional items.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said the Stagecoach bus had failed to collect Kings School students on the last day of the Easter term (again), but he did not know why.  The clerk added that DCC has confirmed it will be providing a privately contracted service for Kings School pupils from September 2021.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she had provided the information on the type of defibrillator so the appropriate electrical connections could be made, and would resend this to Graham Hutton at Baker Estates.  Sovereign has given permission to locate the new defibrillator on their building.   

ACTION: Cllr Twist to send information to Graham Hutton.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said she had read the Resource & Waste Management Strategy for Devon & Torbay 2020-2030 and responded to their online questionnaire.  She presented some of the main points to councillors, who agreed that the parish council should measure the carbon footprint and environmental impact of its actions in future.  The Chair suggested that parishioners be encouraged to ask their parish council to consider the climate agenda, for example land use.  Cllr Twist explained that the Government’s Green Deal Grant was scrapped on 31st March.  The £300m will now go to local authorities to target lower income families to achieve energy efficiency.  The Chair welcomed the news that there had been a litter pick along Devonshire Road in March.

Cllr Rowe asked if wild flower planting projects similar to those in Honiton might be an option, and it was agreed to put this on the next agenda.

Cllr Twist said she had received no further information about the village EV charging point.  Plans to install 30 electric vehicle charging points in several district car parks goes before EDDC full council on 21st April. (Honiton Lace Walk 4 bays, Blackdown House 4 bays).

ACTION: All to keep eyes open for new climate change initiatives that the PC can support.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said the alert this month is regarding the census and cold callers informing people they have incorrectly completed the census form and there is a fine to pay.  This is a scam, and Cllr Twist reminded members that the Office for National Statistics will not contact people this way.  It is important to keep anti-virus software up to date as “dwell times” can be six months or more (where a virus is planted in your laptop etc but not activated immediately).  Cllr Twist added that another new scam doing the rounds is called “fleeceware”.  This is a mobile application that comes with excessive subscription fees.  The provider offers a short free trial for three days, and then the subscription can be £50 / week.  If you delete the app, said Cllr Twist, you still have the money taken, so you have to follow steps to delete or cancel the subscription as well.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said he had previously reported that a pre-app submission had been prepared and submitted to EDDC. A response has now been received and work is now taking place to address some of the comments that have been received. The response is positive and concludes “the principle of development is acceptable providing the application is accompanied by the relevant needs survey and supporting information. The layout and design may require some alterations; however the general concept is supported.”  It is hoped that a preferred scheme will be finalised later this month and that GCLT will then bring forward a public consultation during May.  Details will be publicised as soon as possible.

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said the plan had been completed and distributed to councillors. It needs further snow wardens, training and flood line connection for flood wardens, and then publication date.  Cllr Walker said Len Abbott was often involved in clearing snow, and may be interested in becoming an official snow warden.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to complete plan.  Cllr Walker to ask Len Abbott if he is interested in being listed as a volunteer snow warden. 

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

Cllr Walker reported that the bin had been installed.  The Chair said a large quantity of hand sanitizer was available from her house.  All members agreed to help Cllr Walker if the cleaning became too arduous.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to keep hand sanitiser at the entrance to the play area topped up.

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

Cllr Walker said that Len Abbott would most likely submit an invoice next month. 

226/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said she would like to make progress on the play area as soon as possible, which could involve redoing the consultation exercise to encourage a few more people to get involved.  She said she thought both upgrading the boules pitch and installing a ping pong table were feasible. 

The Chair reported that she had not heard back from DCC as to which tracks can be used by off-roaders above Westgate, if any, and neither had Combe Estate.

She encouraged all councillors and residents to register an interest on Jurassic Fibre’s website.  This does not commit the user to take up their services, but would help to show the level of demand and encourage the roll-out of superfast broadband.

ACTION: All to register interest with Jurassic Fibre.

Cllr Walker left the meeting.

227/20 To consider the practicalities of returning to face to face meetings from 7th May 2021, including a review of the scheme for delegation to ensure continuity of the Council functions (as far as practicable)

Cllr Bond explained that at the moment, the Government has indicated that meetings must return to normal immediately after 7 May, i.e. Zoom meetings will not be allowed. Their reasoning is that there is no time to extend the legislation. A case is being taken to the High Court to challenge this and it is hoped that Zoom meetings will be permitted as long as the pandemic continues.

The clerk said she had attended a DALC briefing on the issue.  The Chair said the parish council was prepared for the return to face to face meetings, and although not ideal given the concern surrounding this, the village hall had been booked for the June parish council meeting. 

228/20   To approve the April payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1092       F J Clampin                          £226.18                 Clerk’s salary & expenses

1093       Playsafety Ltd                     £107.40                 Annual play area safety inspection

1094       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10065)

1095       34SP                                       £95.40   Annual professional website hosting renewal, 16th April 2021

1096       DALC                                    £36         Being a Good Councillor, 2 x sessions @£18 each inc. VAT     

1097       DALC                                    £167.13 Annual membership 2021/22

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that half of the current financial year’s precept had been received, giving a current bank balance of £19,676.69 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

The clerk said other councils had reported that the road to internet banking was a difficult one, but she agreed to pursue internet banking in future.

ACTION: Clerk to investigate internet banking.

229/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said no one had come forward to fill the parish councillor (Vale) vacancy.  EDDC had advised her that the parish council does not need to go through the casual vacancy process again, and the parish council should keep the vacancy advertised until someone expresses an interest.  Until such time, the post will remain vacant.  She advised members that the next meeting would be the annual council meeting which begins with the election of a Chair, and Vice-Chair if thought necessary. 

230/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Wild flower planting; public access around the parish.  Cllr Orchard said that he had cleared items from the Vale bus shelter earlier in March, but books, DVDs and magazines had once more found their way into the shelter and were threatening to take over.  The Chair said as it is a bus shelter, there needs to be space for seating that allows for social distancing.  If there are books, they should be confined to a small box. 

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to monitor the situation.

231/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Orchard asked if there was any information regarding the proposed footpath at Goldcombe, but the clerk said there was no update from DCC.

232/20   Date of next two meetings.  

Wednesday 5th May and Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Should the law allowing remote meetings be lifted as expected, the June meeting will be held in the village hall with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

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

Chair…………………………………….

5th May 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 3 March 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 3RD MARCH 2021

via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward:

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Fiona Clampin (clerk), Emma Talbot & Matthew Galley from Jurassic Fibre

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, Jurassic Fibre gave a short presentation to bring councillors up to speed on their plans to extend broadband infrastructure to Gittisham.  Emma Talbot explained that once construction was underway in summer 2021, the company would be in a position a few months down the line to offer individual installations.  She encouraged residents to register on the Jurassic Fibre website so the company could gauge interest, and  Matthew Galley added that registration did not oblige anybody to sign up for their services.  He said fibre to the premises broadband packages start from 30mbps / second and are based on rolling 30-day contracts.  Cllr Twiss asked for reassurance that the roll-out would happen sooner than the end of 2021, but Matthew Galley said applying for road closures and such like for construction usually takes three months.  He said they could not commit to a date until they understood fully the type of equipment needed to build the connection.  Cllrs Orchard & Valentine asked about installation costs.  Emma Talbot replied that in most cases this was not necessary, although Cllr Orchard said he had been quoted £500.   The Chair agreed to send to Emma Talbot the addresses which had previously indicated an interest in superfast broadband for information only. 

Emma Talbot & Matthew Galley left the meeting.

199/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

200/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 3rd February 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd February 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

201/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ .  In January 2021, 1 crime reported: 1 x anti-social behaviour (Laburnum Close). 

The clerk agreed to contact Darren England again, and also follow up with the new area division commander, to see if it is possible to have more detailed reports from the police and more parish involvement in combating crime.

ACTION: Clerk to follow up with PCSO Darren England and Inspector John Gait.

202/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

203/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine said he would circulate to members a suggested response to EDDC’s issues and options report, and invited councillors to comment by email in time for him to submit Gittisham PC’s response before 15th March 2021.

204/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said in what has been a very difficult past year due to the pandemic, there is finally genuine cause for hope that we are emerging from it with the roll out and escalation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, a reduction of daily cases, hospital and community deaths and a cautious roadmap in lifting lockdown restrictions, where we can look forward with optimism towards a good summer for us and our families and friends, as well as the recovery of our economy.

Cllr Twiss argued that the Government budget announced today has many positives items in it, not least the continuation of support to individuals and businesses on what is sure to be a long road back to recovery. Devon County Council has to set its own budget and below are some key extracts from the 2021/22,169- page budget document.

DCC Budget

Financial targets are set for all the areas of activity that are undertaken by the County Council. Day-to-day expenditure and income are referred to as revenue and investment in assets is referred to as capital.  Elected members approve all budgets of the authority and throughout the year monitoring of expenditure and income is undertaken to ensure that spending remains under control.

The funding for the budget currently comes from several sources including council tax, business rates and government grants, fees and charges.  The 2021/22 Budget is set in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic. The virus has had a devastating impact on public health, social care, the NHS and the economy. The national response has cost billions of pounds and has seen national debt rise to more than £2 trillion, levels not seen since the last world war.  In November the Chancellor announced a Government Spending Review (SR2020); it had been hoped that it would be a multi-year spending review, but this was not the case. The one-year spending review was followed in December with a one-year provisional settlement. Whilst not a generous settlement, Cllr Twiss said it is better than it might have been in the current economic climate and has allowed the authority to set a balanced budget with only modest savings being required.

Cllr Twiss outlined February’s Final Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22, which is £103.2 million.  For DCC, there is to be an increase for a Band D Council Tax property by 4.99 per cent to £1,511.28 per household

Food poverty support for Families over Easter

The DCC holiday food voucher scheme is a way of providing funds to ensure families of children who are eligible for free school meals during term time are able to purchase food over the holidays; to replace the meals a child would have received during a school day.

Devon’s level of food insecurity has risen over the past 12 months, with rates of more than 20 per cent in Mid Devon, North Devon, and Teignbridge. The scheme will mean almost 16,000 food vouchers will be distributed to those families in need and that qualify.  The offer over the Easter period will be similar to that provided at Christmas and through the recent half term week. The main form of support will be through vouchers (£15 per week per child) which can be redeemed at a range of supermarkets. For families not able to access a supermarket (online or in person) a food parcel will be available.  The voucher scheme will continue to work alongside District Council COVID Hardship Funds, enabling a package of support (e.g. power, travel, advice services) to be awarded to applicants in tandem with food.  Additional funds remain available via the Early Help system so that families in need can be provided with other support alongside food.

Cllr Twiss said the COVID Winter Grant scheme run by Citizens Advice is also continuing, providing households with a grant to help towards energy costs. This helps clients who are facing a choice between heating and eating, this money is designed to cover the ‘heating’ element for a short period of time.

Devon Community Foundation have also been commissioned to map organisations providing food across Devon and help to build networks of support in each area, ensuing that food and associated needs are coordinated.

Holiday Activities & Food Programme

In November 2020 the Government announced a significant expansion of its tried and tested Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. In areas of high deprivation this programme has provided healthy food and enriching activities during the summer holidays to children who receive benefits-related free school meals (FSM). It offered valuable support to families on lower incomes, giving them the opportunity to access rewarding activities alongside healthy meals over the school holidays. For 2021 the programme has been expanded to reach all Local Authority areas and will cover the Easter, summer and Christmas holiday period. As a result, Devon County Council has recently been allocated a substantial grant of up to £1,793,720 to develop, co-ordinate and deliver the programme which will offer:

• An activity and Food programme for children aged 5 -16 years who are eligible for Free School Meals; with the aim of making it a universal offer where possible.

• The programme will offer inclusive and accessible provision (for example, SEND, young carers, etc).

• The offer will consist of at least 4 hours, for 4 days a week, per child for 4 weeks in the summer, and for one week in Easter and Christmas holidays.

Devon County Council is keen to work with a wide range of partners to maximise resources and opportunities in the development of a county-wide HAF programme. Cllr Twiss said the council aims to do this by publicising what’s already on offer, upscaling provision where needed and offering support to develop new provision where gaps have been identified. The Easter programme will focus on the areas of Devon listed below (top 30 per cent deprivation indices) which is approximately 3,000 children. The intention is to roll it out over the whole county for all 16,000 children who wish to attend over the summer holidays and Christmas period.

Cllr Bond reminded members to complete the EDDC survey on the issues and options for a revised Local Plan (see minute ref 203/20).  The questionnaire is available here: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/news/2021/01/have-your-say-on-future-developments-in-east-devon-local-plan-consultation/ .  It can be completed by individuals, as well as the PC.

A first meeting of the Hayne Lane employment site Working Group is envisaged for the next couple of months. This is a site which was allocated for employment in the Local Plan and initial work will be carried out to assess options, including viability of the site. The working group will consist of officers from EDDC, Cllr Paul Hayward (Economy portfolio holder), the ward member for Gittisham, a representative from each of Gittisham Parish Council, Honiton Town Council and Combe Estate.

Meanwhile, EDDC approved an increase in Council Tax of 3.41 per cent, which represents £5/year for a Band D property. Devon County has increased their element of Council Tax by 4.99 per cent (which includes 3 per cent for adult social care), the Police by 6.73 per cent and Fire by 1.99 per cent. The average Town and Parish precept increase across the district is 2.37 per cent.

Car Park charges across the main car parks in East Devon were set to increase by 20 per cent (i.e. from £1 per hour to £1.20 per hour). However, this increase has been deferred to 2022 in an attempt to help businesses during the Covid recovery.  Meanwhile, Cllr Bond said the parish council would have received a survey on the Community Asset Transfer Procedure. It would be useful to complete even if there are no EDDC assets with the parish, so that EDDC has a complete picture across the district.

Otherwise work continues on coping with Covid and the rollout of business support and discretionary grants, to both businesses and individuals in East Devon.

ACTION: Clerk to complete Community Asset Transfer Procedure. 

Before he left, Cllr Twiss reminded members that next month, due to local elections in May, he would be entering the purdah period. 

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

205/20   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 21/0428/FUL 34 Meadow Acre Road Gittisham EX14 3FE Construction of single side/rear storey extension

Members had no objections to the application. 

206/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

20/2656/LBC Winsor Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AS Ground floor: remove walls in kitchen/breakfast room and install new door and removal of stone cladding around fireplace and under 2no. windows in lounge. First floor: remove and construct walls and doors in bedroom no.4; create door opening from bedroom no.1 onto landing for bathroom; remove and construct walls in bedroom no.1 to create ensuite and replace existing metal stair balustrade with timber balustrade.  Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said on 9th February the signage for closure of the lane to Catshayes Farm had caused some confusion, leading to buses missing the village.  He said he had reported a blocked pipe in Hayne Lane to DCC Highways on 4th February, but not yet had a response.  Work on Hayne Lane for drainage, clearance of foliage and tarmac patching at the north end had been completed ahead of schedule. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

10 March              Outside parish, but road west of Buckerell from Orchard Cross will be closed for two days.

Cllr Walker said she thought potholes behind Truances Cottage had been repaired, and Cllr Bond urged everyone to use the appropriate website to report potholes as it appeared to be having some effect.  Cllr Rowe asked if the resurfacing had taken place at the junction with the Heathpark estate, but Cllr Orchard said it had been deferred several times.  Cllr Bond encouraged Cllr Rowe to mention this via the reporting website.

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

The Chair explained that Honiton Town Council’s new clerk is keen for her to meet HTC’s chair to discuss how S106 money from the Hayne Farm development (which belongs to GPC) can be spent, and what proportion could be spent in Honiton itself.  Members discussed the history of these funds, suggestions put forward in the past and their viability.  Cllr Bond reminded councillors that the criteria for spending the S106 money is strict, and can only be spent on sports provision.  Members agreed that as the money came from the Hayne Farm development, it should mainly benefit those residents who would primarily be using sports facilities in Honiton.  They felt Gittisham should earmark roughly £40k for use in Gittisham parish on a new boules pitch, and for anything that would likely arise at Hayne Farm.  Cllr Bond encouraged Cllr Orchard to explore the new boules pitch in Seaton and how this had been acquired.  Advice from EDDC indicates that Gittisham PC must be consulted on how Honiton TC would spend the remaining funds.  Cllr Orchard reminded members that he had carried out a consultation exercise last year, and members heard that Honiton TC had also done this but would have to wait until all the money had been received before making any decisions on spending in consultation with Gittisham PC.

  • To receive an update on public transport

See Highways item above.  The clerk said the 10.46 Stagecoach bus had failed to turn up this morning, but Cllr Orchard said he did not think a real-time display board would be a priority for the company.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to try getting more information on an alternative location for the defibrillator in time for the next meeting.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.  Members discussed whether it was possible to support particular renewable energy providers, but concluded that this was best done on an individual level.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to comment on DCC’s draft resource & waste strategy.

ACTION: All to keep eyes open for new climate change initiatives that the PC can support.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said a piece had appeared in February’s Gittisham Gazette.  She warned members that the next scam would undoubtedly be focused on the census, which is due on 21st March.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the pre-app submission to EDDC Planning was made on 25th February. The planning officer has 30 days to respond. In the meantime the focus will be on dwelling design and site infrastructure development. There will need to be (hopefully) a short period following receipt of the planning officer’s comments for any amendments before putting the proposals forward for public consultation. Details of this event remain to be finalised.

Regarding the use of CIL funding for a village “gateway”, the Chair said she had started a discussion on the village WhatsApp group and there appeared to be strong support.  She said the discussion had led to comments about speeding in the village, and therefore it would potentially be necessary to revisit this.  She suggested printing and laminating some ’20 is plenty’ signs to put on black bins etc, especially as children would start emerging in the spring.

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said he had tidied up the text and added emergency contact numbers.  Cllr Rowe had smartened up the grit bin map and added lettered locations.  All that remains, he said, was to fill in the names and numbers of the various responsibilities.  Cllr Orchard added that as a result of his article last month in the Gittisham Gazette, one person from the Vale and one person from the village had come forward to offer help in the event of any emergency. 

ACTION: Chair to add parts about flooding, and meet Cllr Orchard to discuss the names currently in use within the document. 

  • To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area, and approve the annual play area inspection visit

Cllr Walker reported that the play area had been used recently in fine weather.  Members agreed to invite the RoSPA inspector to carry out the annual play area inspection.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to keep hand sanitiser at the entrance to the play area topped up, install rubbish bin and carry out regular inspections during fine weather and Easter holidays.

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

Cllr Walker said that Len Abbott had maintained ditches and drains in February for three hours. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to notify the lengthsman that Cllr Valentine would like to discuss a drainage ditch further up Dark Lane.

207/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair thanked all members for their work, and said that the council appeared to be keeping on top of issues of concern and making progress on some of its initiatives.  She said it was unfortunate there had been an unpleasant situation over people using the private parking in front of the play area, and she would find out if the residents intended to put up some kind of sign. 

The Chair explained that the swap system in the village and Vale bus shelters would finish at the end of the month.  Items in good condition would be passed to charity shops, and those in poor condition would be disposed of. 

The Chair asked if grit bins should be topped up after a cold spell.

ACTION: Clerk to laminate signs for the Chair to put up in the bus shelters.  Cllr Walker to sweep the village bus shelter.

208/20   To consider updating the parish website to comply with accessibility standards

Cllr Rowe said he had discussed this with the clerk to understand how the site can comply with the latest accessibility standards.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to continue work on council documents online.

209/20   To approve the internal auditor for 2021/22

Members resolved to appoint Alison Marshall for another year.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Alison Marshall.

210/20  To consider the practicalities of returning to face to face meetings from 7th May 2021, including a review of the scheme for delegation to ensure continuity of the Council functions (as far as practicable)

The clerk explained that Gittisham PC does not have a scheme of delegation, and this might be necessary if face to face meetings return but members are uncomfortable with that or the council cannot be quorate.  Cllr Bond said it was possible to hold meetings outdoors.  Members agreed with the Chair that it was acceptable to wait until the next meeting to decide whether to pursue a scheme of delegation for this purpose, although Cllr Valentine indicated that it would be wise to have a scheme of delegation in place in future for such things as emergency payments.

211/20   To approve the March payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1086       F J Clampin                          £226.37                 Clerk’s salary & expenses

1087       F J Clampin                          £629       Reimbursement for laptop computer

1088       F J Clampin                          £59.99   Reimbursement for Microsoft Office individual

1089       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area

1090       Len Abbott                           £42         3 hours lengthsman work, Feb 2021

1091       DALC                                    £36         Being a Good Councillor, 2 x sessions @£18 each inc. VAT    

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £16,185.60 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

The clerk said that the website hosting would need to be renewed at the beginning of April before the next meeting to ensure continuity of service, but she had not yet received an invoice.  The Chair said the clerk should avoid where possible paying this from her personal account, and suggested the provider should agree to maintain the service until payment could be approved at the next parish council meeting.  Members discussed the possibility of using internet banking in future; Cllr Twist said it was possible to set limits on payments done this way, and members agreed that with a scheme of delegation it would be easier to make necessary payments that needed to be done quickly.  The clerk said the current standing orders did not permit internet banking for a variety of reasons, including a need for two signatories.

ACTION: Clerk to enquire with other councils how they handle internet banking.

212/20   To consider the council’s grant-giving policy, publication scheme, complaints policy, anti-fraud & corruption policy and code of conduct

It was resolved to approve the above documents, once former councillors’ names had been removed and Chairman replaced with Chair.

213/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she had not yet received any applications for the parish councillor vacancy.  The Chair encouraged all members to contact likely candidates.

214/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Face-to-face meetings & scheme of delegation.

215/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Walker said one resident had been distressed by some young cyclists passing at speed through the village, playing loud music, and all members agreed to be alert to this.

216/20   Date of next two meetings 

Wednesday 7th April and Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th April 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 3 Feb 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 3RD FEBRUARY 2021

via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, one member of the public suggested that an additional rubbish bin would be useful for the village green.

180/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

181/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 6th January 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 6th January 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

182/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ .  In December 2020, 5 crimes reported: 4 x violence & sexual offences (Laburnum Close, Parsonage Lane, Cypress Close), 1 x anti-social behaviour (Parsonage Lane).

Having circulated the annual crime report, the clerk said she had raised questions with Darren England, asking if the parish council could do more to help combat crime.  Cllrs Orchard and Twist said that the parish council would like to have more detailed reports to know if the PC could be more proactive, as rising crime figures can affect things such as house insurance prices.  The clerk agreed to contact Darren England again.

ACTION: Clerk to follow up with PCSO Darren England to see how the police can be more involved.

183/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

184/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Twiss said he hoped Mike Brown from DCC Highways would be in touch with Cllr Rowe regarding grit bins.

185/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said it is very much a case of two steps forward, one step back this month.  But the vaccine rollout being delivered at a rapidly escalating pace in Devon and beyond gives a great deal of hope for a measured lifting of current restrictions and a much better summer than 2020, improving all of our mental health and wellbeing, as well as the local economy including jobs and inbound income from a likely ‘staycation boom”.

Covid-19

As we all see from media outlets, infection rates in the UK appear to have peaked and are now beginning to recede due to the impact of lockdown and the vaccination programme to a lesser degree. Thankfully we have no seen COVID variants in our area and with the new door to door testing regime in areas identified let’s hope it remains that way.

Cllr Twiss reported that he was able to visit County Hall last week where a pop-up testing site has been set up  and at full tilt is able to test up to 2,000 people each day, adding to other sites around Exeter. It is quite likely that in due course a vaccination site will also be sited at County Hall to add significant capacity to the programme, as well as more jabs being delivered at local G.P. surgeries and some private pharmacies in supermarket locations that have space to maintain social distancing.

A significant number of beds occupied by COVID patients at the RD&E NHS Trust sites are because of ‘out of area’ patients, but large numbers of frontline staff have been vaccinated and staff numbers returning to work is improving to ease the pressure a little.

Crime figures

Cllr Twiss said he recently met via Zoom Alison Hernandez, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall to discuss a wide range of issues and concerns, with Neil Parish our MP sitting in as his post bag is much the same as mine, albeit with a much higher volume of correspondence!

One of the matters raised was a lack of report of crime statistics to Parish and Town Councils by way of a regular report. The Devon and Cornwall Police web site at  https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/your-right-to-information/our-people/our-performance/crime-figures/ is now providing regular ‘high level’ data but does not enable you to drill down to parish level.  Cllr Twiss added that for him, he can only refine to Honiton Rural and Honiton Town, which helps, but only a little.

He said all parties had agreed that resources are problematic and that an annual parishes meeting (online and physical to maximise attendance) might have more relevance than bare statistics which are often skewed by one or two rarely occurring crimes and don’t really provide reasons or analysis behind the figures. Cllr Twiss said he was aware this idea has been mooted before and has been trialled successfully in the DCC Axminster Division, but he said he would actively try to make this happen. He circulated the data for Devon and Cornwall for September where the Honiton area features on pages 99 and 100 of the attached document.

Fairer funding for Schools

DCC is part of the F40. ‘Fairer funding for schools’ campaign where we lag significantly behind other counties and is clearly unfair. Cllr Twiss circulated the latest update on the issues facing our schools and education from all f40 members. This briefing has gone to MPs in the f40 areas,

Bridges and structures

For a change something a little more day to day about the work of DCC, said Cllr Twiss.  It’s the time of the year when the RAC Foundation release their annual bridge with 3,105 bridges (defined as structures over 1.5m in span) defined as being substandard. This was 1.6% up on the 3,055 figure twelve months before.  Devon County Council is responsible for more bridges than any other authority in the UK and is recognised as one of the UK’s leading authorities in structures asset management.

The term ‘substandard’ does not mean there is a problem with the bridge, he explained; it means we are managing 233 bridges that cannot carry the full 40 tonnes ‘standard’ highway load and only 3 of these need upgrading.  In 2019 this figure was 244. Ninety of these are ‘clapper’ bridges on Dartmoor National Park, which are performing well, and the remainder are either scheduled for strengthening work or have a weight limit. Those with weight limits are suitable for the road they are on, such as small lanes where large vehicles are unlikely to require access. DCC manage their bridge stock effectively in accordance with national guidelines to maintain the safety of the public.

Devon’s chief engineer made comment to the RAC Foundation following this year’s survey saying “Whilst the number of substandard bridges may appear worrying, there is often a good reason why a bridge falls into this category; it does not mean the bridge is unsafe as it will be managed by the Local Authority usually by a weight limit.

A restriction such as this may be wholly appropriate for the class of road and/or location, however the survey shows local authorities would want to remove 2,256 bridges out of this sub-standard category which can only be achieved by more investment through Government funding.”

The Chair said she would like to reiterate the difficulties experienced by people working from home and pupils home schooling with regard to slow or ineffective broadband.  Cllr Twiss acknowledged that broadband was still a problem in the village particularly, and he hoped to make progress on this very soon.  The Chair thanked Cllr Twiss for his work in the community.

Cllr Bond said East Devon District Council is currently consulting on the issues and options for a revised Local Plan. The questionnaire is here: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/news/2021/01/have-your-say-on-future-developments-in-east-devon-local-plan-consultation/  and it’s important for people to make their views known at this early stage of the review process.  Meanwhile, in the last 3 years, a total of 2,868 new homes were built within the district, which is comfortably over the target of 928 per annum.  The Chair said she welcomed the news that the district had exceeded its housing quota.

Cllr Bond explained that EDDC’s Cabinet had been meeting this evening to discuss whether to part-fund a masterplan for an extension to the Healthpark Industrial site at Hayne Lane. This is a site which was allocated in the Local Plan for employment. Consultants will be looking at the site primarily to establish viability and how best to bring the site forward.  Cllr Bond said she had added a recommendation that one member from Gittisham PC, Honiton TC and Combe Estate be invited to attend meetings of the working group.  The Chair thanked her for stressing Gittisham’s need to be involved in the process.  Cllr Valentine said he wanted to highlight that this is the first stage of the review of the current Local Plan; this is always the publication of an issues and options report, where the district council identifies what it sees as the key issues over the next 20 years.  Cllr Valentine urged the council to express either support for some of what EDDC is saying such as the renewables and energy-saving features, or concern regarding future growth for Honiton.  He reminded members that previous planning applications such as that for the south side of Honiton above the Vale may well come back into focus.  The consultation period expires on 15th March, so Cllr Valentine proposed to study the report and present his findings at the March PC meeting where the parish council can decide on its submission. The Chair encouraged all members to look through EDDC’s report and email him any thoughts.  If anyone would like a copy, please contact Cllr Bond.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to prepare a report for the March meeting. 

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

186/20   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 20/2656/LBC Winsor Cottage Gittisham EX14 3AS Ground floor: remove walls in kitchen/breakfast room and install new door and removal of stone cladding around fireplace and under 2no. windows in lounge. First floor: remove and construct walls and doors in bedroom no.4; create door opening from bedroom no.1 onto landing for bathroom; remove and construct walls in bedroom no.1 to create ensuite and replace existing metal stair balustrade with timber balustrade

Members had no objection to the application.

187/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

Cllr Orchard said there were no updates since the last meeting.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said the railway bridge at the Forge was inspected the night of 18 January.  On Weds 20 Jan the old A30 under the new A30 dual carriageway was flooded during extended rain; DCC was aware of this, he said.  Cllr Orchard reported that the balancing pond south of Old Elm Rd had been so 70 per cent full, partly due he felt to DCC’s summer 2020 response not to clear the outlet grill.  However since 2nd February the grill has been cleared.  Cllr Orchard said he will get in touch with DCC’s Mike Brown to inform him of a blocked pipe at the entrance to a field on Hayne Lane.

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham parish:

09 Feb:  Lane to Catshayes Farm: BT pole installations.

22-26 Feb              Chineway to Hare and Hounds. Water works.

24 Feb    Hayne Lane again: Pot hole repairs 24 Feb-05 Mar

Members heard that https://one.network/  is a good guide to all works. You may need to log in to create an account (free) to see forthcoming works up to 3 months hence.

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

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this. 

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said he had received a refreshingly honest apology from the Stagecoach Operations Manager about the non-arrival of the school bus on 18 December 2020, last day of term.  He said there was nothing else to report, but considering the police annual report is that in the parish there were 40 transport crimes of a total of 87 in the year, something is not adding up.

  • To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she had received an email from Adam Clark, Development Officer at Sovereign Housing asking for further information, which she has supplied. Cllr Twist believes his main point was asking about the electrical contractor we would use to install the defibrillator. She responded that the parish council agrees a contractor with themselves and Baker Estates.  The Chair said there was nothing more to be done for now.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said she had investigated the provision of renewable energy suppliers, of which there were 4 including Ecotricity. However changing companies is not the best route to take, she cautioned, as some companies (especially smaller ones) are going bust with alarming regularity, and your account is transferred by OFGEM to which ever company is prepared to take the accounts.

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

Cllr Twist reported that she had received an email from Alastair Mumford (Corporate Energy Manager, DCC), who stated they were in the process of providing more information to ORCS, and hoped to get back to her in about 4 weeks.  There is additional funding available from the Government, announced yesterday.

Cllr Twist said she had spoken to Bob Nelson the Chair of Broadhembury PC about their EVCPs which have been installed for about 2 years. They received their funding through a grant from the Department of Transport, via the Energy Saving Trust, and received 75 per cent of the cost. They chose Pod Points (EDF) which are accessed via an app.  Cllr Twist said she had also spoken to Talaton’s parish clerk about their plans.  The Chair said perhaps the electric pool car would be worth pursuing alongside the charging point, and encouraged people to come forward with other energy-saving ideas for the parish.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said that information released last week shows that fraud including credit cards, identity and cyber, is the most prevalent crime in Britain costing £190 billion a year.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to draw up a poster based on Neighbourhood Watch information about vaccine scams, and Cllr Orchard and the clerk to put on noticeboards.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said preparations are in hand for having a pre-app meeting with EDDC planning (no date finalised yet). It has been necessary to extend the boundary of the site in a westerly direction for about 10 metres to help with accommodating a turning circle for larger vehicles, extending gardens and helping with surface water attenuation proposals.  It is not anticipated that this will introduce any new planning problem since the previous planning permission granted in 1999 extended the site significantly in a westerly direction. Cllr Valentine reported that we are close to having a preferred scheme and details will be advised asap.  Members agreed they endorsed the progress taking place with the Gittisham CLT, and the work it has been undertaking to date.  Cllr Valentine said the Government appeared to be positive towards community-led developments, as it has recently given a further £4m to the Community Housing Fund.  This is revenue funding, not capital, to help organisations such as CLTs get to the point of securing planning permission.

Cllr Valentine said that EDDC has 30 days from the pre-app meeting to feed back any comments, and after that there is the potential to move forward to submitting a planning application.  At that point, Cllr Valentine said he would like to arrange a community event in March to seek wider community support for the proposal.  Members discussed how this could be organised given the current Covid restrictions in place; the Chair confirmed it was not possible to use the village hall, and thought it was likely the other venues in the village would present the same issues.  It was agreed an outside event might be a possibility, with display boards installed so that people could attend at their own convenience while respecting social distancing.

Regarding the use of CIL funding for a village “gateway”, Cllr Valentine said this was not as straightforward as anticipated.  He had received a message from Tom Vaughan at DCC who said that if the community is considering investing in this, DCC may be able to support it if there is evidence of consultation and community approval.  However, Mr Vaughan described issues with traffic speeds in Gittisham as “perceived”.  Members agreed that the traffic monitoring system had been installed in the wrong location previously, and did not therefore provide the necessary data to show speeding as an issue.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to speak to Hamish Hall regarding online public consultations.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to write an article for the Gittisham Gazette asking if people would support the parish council’s investigation into a village gateway.

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said Cllr Rowe had uploaded the old plan and template for the modern plan onto Google Drive.  He added that there was now an additional paragraph on the location of defibrillators and how to use them, as well as ‘phone numbers for external agencies.  Cllr Orchard said there was a need for volunteers to come forward who could act in the event of an emergency weather event.  The Chair said she would contact the group of Covid volunteers, and Cllr Walker suggested one representative in the village, Hayne Farm and Vale respectively would be sensible.  Cllr Orchard said there would also be a private list of vulnerable people in the parish, and he had access to advice from Devon Communities Together on how this could meet data protection law.  The Chair asked for the emergency plan to be completed by the date of the next meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to write short article for the Gittisham Gazette asking for volunteers who would be able to assist in the case of extreme wet weather (flooding threat), and snow and ice for village, Vale and Hayne Farm areas.

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

Cllr Walker reported that a new family in the village had told her how delighted they are with the play area.  She said she would return the hand gel to the entrance, and keep the cleaning rota under review. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to put hand sanitiser at the entrance to the play area.

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

Cllr Walker said that Len Abbott had unblocked a drain on Honiton Lane where the pond had flooded after recent heavy rain.  He had also found another drain he was unaware of, so he will wait for the water level to drop before he excavates it.  The Chair said the heavy rain had mostly disappeared down the river, thanks to the lengthsman’s excellent work.

188/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the off roading situation is improving with the involvement of Combe Estate, DCC  rights of way, Cllr Twiss, the police and locals.  All were using the proper channels, she reported, and thanked everybody for increasing the visibility of this problem.  The Chair said she would be contacting the local parish council chairs.

189/20   To consider a temporary solution to the absence of a postbox in Gittisham village

Members heard that the postbox had been taken down briefly while work continues on the building, but the box has since been reinstated.

190/20   To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

The clerk said EDDC had informed her no requests had been received for an election to fill the vacancy, and the parish council could now proceed to co-opt.

ACTION: Clerk to put co-option policy into action.

191/20 To consider updating the parish website to comply with accessibility standards

The clerk said since the resignation of Andy Wilkins, she was looking for a volunteer to update the parish website to ensure it complies with the latest accessibility standards.

ACTION: The clerk to forward details of the requirement to Cllr Rowe, although there is no obligation on him to undertake this if the workload is not manageable with other commitments.

192/20 To approve a supplier for the Gittisham play area maintenance contract for 2021/22

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 and thank him for his previous work.

193/20 To consider the frequency of parish council meetings, and to discuss the practicalities of returning to face to face meetings from 7th May 2021

Members agreed with the Chair that the schedule of meeting was not onerous, and they resolved to carry on as things stand.  Cllr Orchard added that if parish council meetings were less frequent than once a month, sub-committees would still have to meet for items such as planning.

The clerk explained that from 7th May 2021 the legislation regarding holding remote council meetings is due to end, and it was therefore necessary to plan for meeting face to face.  Prior to the meeting, she circulated guidance from DALC.  Members discussed how meetings could be held face to face, including half the council meeting one month and keeping meetings as short as possible.  Cllr Valentine cautioned that due diligence would have to be observed. Councillors agreed to review the scheme for delegation at next month’s meeting, so that the parish council is prepared to carry on business if there is no change in the legislation.

194/20   To approve the February payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1080       F J Clampin                          £225.52                 Clerk’s salary & expenses

1081       Combe Estate                      £10         Play area rent 01/01/2021-25/12/2030

1082       Gittisham PCC                     £157       Gittisham Gazette printing

1083       Gittisham PCC                     £23.50   Gittisham parish room hire 2020

1084       Len Abbott                            £84         6 hours lengthsman work, Jan 2021

1085       Arthur J Gallagher Insurance £266.81 public liability insurance (lengthsman)      

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £17,261.44 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

195/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said the alternative laptop was out of stock.  She explained that Cllr Rowe was due to attend DALC’s Being a Good Councillor four-part course in March, which the PC had approved at a previous meeting.  Regarding dog poo bins at Hayne Farm, she said she had not yet received a reply to the PC’s message to Baker Estates.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to ask his son for recommendations of in-stock laptops. 

196/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Internal auditor’s contract 2021/22; website; face-to-face meetings, review of any outstanding policy documents

197/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

The Chair said she was pleased to see how proactive councillors had been.

198/20   Date of next two meetings  

Wednesday 3rd March and Wednesday 7th April 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd March 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 6 January 2021

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 6TH JANUARY 2021

via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Fiona Clampin (clerk), one member of the public

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

163/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

164/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 2nd December 2020

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd December 2020 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

165/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ .  In November 2020, 1 crime reported: 1 x shoplifting.

166/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

167/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk said she had not yet contacted Mr Sellick regarding the gazette distribution, but would be writing to him.

Cllr Rowe said he had visited the store in the village and was satisfied there was a good supply of grit, salt and sandbags.  The Chair suggested that stocks of grit and salt should be kept under review as part of the parish emergency plan.  Cllr Orchard reminded members that there is a stock of sand at Gititsham Farm, and Cllr Rowe agreed to follow this up.  Cllr Twist said spreading some salt where Hayne Lane meets Meadow Acre would be worthwhile, and it was agreed to approach Cllr Twiss about a new green salt bin at the entrance to Old Elm Road by the gate. 

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to contact Russell Hayman about sand supplies at the farm. 

ACTION: The clerk to contact Cllr Twiss about the possibility of a new green salt bin. 

168/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bond said she welcomed the news that the Government had bowed to pressure following their consultation on housing numbers and withdrawn the plan to impose annual development numbers of 1,614 houses on East Devon. Instead, the current number is 928 new houses per year, which in itself will be a difficult number to achieve, she said, but will be used as the benchmark for the ongoing Local Plan review.

169/20   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. a) 20/2657/FUL 26 Cypress Close Honiton EX14 2YW  Construction of single storey rear extension

b)    20/2437/FUL 2 Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB Construction of single storey rear extension

c)     20/2751/FUL Land At The West End Of Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton Construction of single storey industrial unit for use classes E, B2 & B8 including alterations to car park layout approved under 07/3056/MFUL

The clerk explained there had been a misunderstanding over the deadline for submitting responses to a) and b) because of the Christmas period.  However, councillors had no objections.

Members resolved not to object to c) subject to satisfactory measures being put into place to deal with surface water. 

170/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices
  2. 20/2437/FUL Construction of single storey rear extension 2 Hamlet Cottages, Weston, EX14 EPB  Approval (standard time limit)
  3. 20/2657/FUL Construction of single storey rear extension – 26 Cypress Close Honiton EX14 2YW Approval (standard time limit)

Cllr Orchard agreed to take on responsibility for this brief.

a) To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard agreed to take responsibility for the Highways brief, given his past career related to this area.  He explained that Network Rail is due to complete an annual inspection of the bridge by the Forge on the night of 18 January. The signs, with all the relevant information, explain what needs to be said, but unfortunately the contractors have put them by Hayne Lane bridge.  Cllr Orchard said he had informed Network Rail of the error.

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

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.  The Chair said she will ask a highways engineer for examples and costings for gateway schemes, if this can be funded from CIL.  Cllr Valentine said he had emailed Tom Vaughan at DCC to enquire about costs.  Cllr Bond said she had believed similar schemes existed which had been part-funded by CIL money.

c) To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard reported that having had early assurances direct from Stagecoach that an earlier school bus would take children from King’s School on the last day of term 2020, the bus did not materialize.  Stagecoach had replied to say they were aware of it, and had received several complaints.  As yet, Cllr Orchard said he had not yet heard from the Operations Manager.

d) To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

e) To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.  The clerk said Broadhembury PC’s chair had been in touch with her regarding the experience of securing an Electric Vehicle Charging point. 

ACTION: Clerk to forward Broadhembury chair’s email to Cllr Twist. 

f) To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist warned members and the public to be aware of the latest scam, which involves a message asking people for their personal details in connection with a Covid-19 vaccine.  She circulated the Devon Trading Standards newsletter to all the parish councillors.

g) To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the current work of the project team is focused on working with the architect in designing a suitable footprint for the proposed development having particular regard to access, surface water management and relationship with the adjacent Conservation Area and Listed Buildings with a few (!) design issues thrown in for good measure. A major challenge is producing a scheme which meets the expectations of the GCLT, the Combe Estate, the Housing Association and not forgetting the Planning Department at EDDC. It is hoped that a preferred option can be agreed within the next couple of weeks and that further discussions will then take place with EDDC Planners. This will be followed by a short period of amendment which in turn will be followed by a public consultation on the preferred option (details to be announced later).

h) To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said that he had been filling in some of the gaps in a template for the future when councillors an get together and address this properly.  The Chair said there will be some overlap between Councillors Valentine, Orchard and Rowe on this and advised them to stay in touch and produce a revised version as soon as possible.  Cllr Rowe suggested saving a version on Google Drive or similar, so that those involved could contribute to one saved document rather than multiple versions.

i) To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker explained that the play area will stay open during the current lockdown, although it is used infrequently during the winter.

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

Cllr Walker said that Len Bartlett, very kindly, will be addressing the surplus water that runs from just below the bend at Catshayes to Talbot cottages.  Len Bartlett intends to address the lack of a ditch, as water simply pours out of the bank just below the big barn and creates a fast-flowing stream.  Members agreed to ask Pierre Graeber to draw a card to mark Len Abbott’s birthday.

171/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the Covid-19 village support network is still in place, with recent contact to confirm volunteers are still able to help.  Some members said they knew of people in the parish who had received their first vaccination.

Off roading vehicles on bridleways at Westgate Hill

The Chair said she had encouraged parishioners to report damage to the DCC Rights of Way and to report illegal vehicles to the police.  She had also been in touch with Combe Estate to establish their position and Councillor Twiss has asked the DCC Rights of Way team for advice. Members hoped this would go some way to alleviating the problem, as a physical solution such as a barrier is unlikely. 

Grit bins/ice on roads

The Chair said there had been some correspondence around New Year’s Day and offers from villagers to spread grit in dangerous areas.  She advised that this needs to be comprehensively covered in the parish emergency plan.  Cllr Rowe has done a check on the bins again following the new year freeze and will request top-ups and investigate a central store. The Chair felt that the grit is there to be used in situations such as we face at new year but not for private ground, or the full length of the village or long term. The response at new year was appropriate, she said.

The Chair said she had not yet contacted the neighbouring parish council chairs about an annual meeting to share experiences and work together.

Internet

Councillor Twiss is making progress on improved broadband, the Chair reported.  Members agreed that with people working from home and school pupils now learning online, this cannot come soon enough.

172/20   To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

The clerk said she had notified EDDC, and the councillor vacancy had been advertised.  If by 22nd January a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at EDDC by 10 electors for the ward, an election will be held to fill the vacancy; otherwise it will be filled by co-option. Members agreed to fill the Vice Chair position once the parish council was up to full strength.

173/20 To agree the budget for 2021/22

The clerk outlined likely expenditure for the rest of the current tax year, and circulated a spreadsheet showing forecast expenditure for 2021/22. Councillors suggested new lines for an additional defibrillator £2,000), dog poo bins (£450) and replacement for toddler swings (£500) in the village play area (estimated prices). Members resolved to set budget expenditure at £15,205 which includes contingency and depreciation of play area items. The forecast expenditure details have been circulated.

ACTION: The clerk to contact Graham Hutton at Baker Estates to request a dog poo bin at Hayne Farm, if the parish council funds a second.

174/20 To set the precept for 2021/22

Councillors agreed to increase the precept by 2 per cent in 2021/22, the balance of the budget to be taken from reserves. Councillors said they recognised the difficult circumstances brought about by the pandemic, but agreed it was necessary to balance the books and cover the council’s increasing costs.  The increase amounts to £163.20 shared across the whole parish, not per elector.

175/20 To approve the January payments and note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1077       F J Clampin                          £224.86  Clerk’s salary & expenses

1078       F J Clampin                          £40         Reimbursement for ICO annual subscription

1079       Websites Ahoy                      £17.50       Website maintenance        

DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension in line with new rate of pay (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,050.75 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk circulated a bank reconciliation showing the financial picture as of 30th November 2020.

176/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said the chosen laptop was still out of stock.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to ask his son for recommendations of in-stock items. 

177/20 For information only; items for the forward agenda

Play area maintenance contract 2021/22; frequency of parish council meetings; website.

178/20 To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Valentine said the pothole problem opposite Gittisham Farm was getting worse.  The Chair explained that this is on the Highways team’s to-do list, but encouraged as many people as possible to report the situation to DCC https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/ Cllr Bond said people should take photographs.

NB Since the meeting the potholes have been filled in.

179/20   Date of next two meetings.   Wednesday 3rd February and Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom. 

Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2040 hrs.

Parish Council meeting minutes 2 December 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 2ND DECEMBER 2020 via Zoom

The Parish Council Meeting has to take place remotely for reasons of social distancing brought in by HM Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Tom Biddle (Baker Estates), Graham Hutton (Baker Estates), Fiona Clampin (clerk), one member of the public

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, Tom Biddle & Graham Hutton from Baker Estates (BE) spoke as members of the public regarding agenda item 7a).  Graham Hutton provided an update on the Hayne Farm development, and told members that 43 of the affordable homes have either been handed over or are close to being handed over.  He explained how Baker Estates and its contractors had managed during the first lockdown.  He said many staff had been furloughed and turnover was down by one third, and this situation was part of the reason for the amendment to the application proposed, a Section 73 application which allows developers in principle to slightly modify approved consent.  Tom Biddle showed members plans of the site, and explained that BE had reviewed the site because of the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent impact on the business.  He said for plots 235–239, BE was proposing to replace the four one-bed and the one two-bed apartment with four two-bed houses and one three-bed house.  He explained that the storey height would stay the same, although the units would be different.  If approved, he said this would allow BE to make sales securely and help the company move forward over the next 12–18 months.  Graham Hutton added that Honiton Town Council had been supportive of the application at its meeting two weeks ago.

Cllr Valentine asked about the current projections for completion.  Graham Hutton replied that the affordable homes are forecast to be finished around the end of 2023, and the entire site within seven years (from the start date).  The open market properties would take longer, and at the time of publication the development was around half-way through construction.

Cllr Bond asked about the state of the market, and Graham Hutton replied that in general it was quite good.  He anticipated a wobble in the future however.

Cllr Orchard asked when the noticeboard frame was likely to be installed.  Graham Hutton responded that he would follow this up with the supplier, and members heard that in the future the board would be moving to the public open space near the substation.

Graham Hutton enquired as to how the residents of the development had integrated with the community.  The Chair said that pre-lockdown some residents had taken part in village activities.  Cllr Twist added that the development has its own Facebook page, and residents are definitely using the noticeboard to keep themselves informed.

147/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

148/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 4th November 2020

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2020 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

149/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ .  In October 2020, 3 crimes reported: 2 x anti-social behaviour, 1 x public order.

150/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

151/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk said she had not been able to purchase the laptop, because it appeared to be out of stock in the two shops where it had been available previously.  Cllr Valentine said that stocks had diminished quite dramatically in computer components, and Cllr Twiss advised the clerk to wait a little longer for items to come back in stock as long as the DCC Locality Budget is spent before the end of financial year 2020/21.

Cllr Wilkins reported that he was in the process of setting up a suitable computer to review the website documents.

Cllr Wilkins said he had contacted Carol McCann to offer a roadworks item for the Gittisham Gazette, explaining that it may be subject to change.

Cllr Wilkins explained that the issue of traffic speeds and whether CIL money could be used to support traffic calming measures coming into the village from the west is being managed by the CLT Project Team.  He said that DCC rather than EDDC will be their contact point for any authorisation required, and funding would be considered once authorisation for the possible design is agreed.

Finally, Cllr Wilkins said he had contacted EDDC’s Electoral Services to discuss routes to restructuring the parish council, but was awaiting a response. 

152/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

DCC Care home COVID-19 Testing

Cllr Twiss said that as is well documented, older people are generally more vulnerable to contracting COVID and the challenge is to given them maximum protection, keep them out of an acute hospital setting and through no fault of their own using up resources.

However, he explained that the Department of Health and Social Care is about to launch a huge expansion of testing in care homes, with their pledge being that by 18th December all care homes will have received sufficient test kits to enable:

All staff to be tested twice a week

All residents to be tested weekly

Up to two visits by two visitors every week (i.e. testing for up to four visits a week for every resident)

Most of the test kits will be the new ‘Lateral Flow Devices’ which give results in less than 30 minutes. This is really good news for the many care homes in East Devon and beyond, Cllr Twiss said.

This is a small-scale pilot involving eight care homes in Devon and DCC is one of three Local Authorities (also Hampshire and Cornwall) who were selected, based on low prevalence rates.  The aim of the pilot is to examine the role of how testing of visitors, alongside other existing infection prevention/control measures, maximises safety. It will run for four weeks from 16 November to 13 December 2020. Homes received training through online webinars on 12/13th November before commencing the pilot on 16th November.

The testing will use a combination of new rapid-results tests, as well as the tests already in use:

Weekly swab testing of regular visitors, using existing PCR swab testing technology

new Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) tests which are taken before visitors enter the home with results available within 15 to 30 minutes.

As LFDs are new technology, any positive tests will be confirmed with a PCR test.  Feedback from the homes is collected through weekly online sessions, facilitated by the DHSC, and this has been mainly positive said Cllr Twiss.  It’s been reported that the process is simple to follow, and meaningful contact whilst wearing full PPE is appreciated. Relatives and residents have been very emotional with the pilot bringing hope and a glimpse of the new normal.  Thirty visitors had been tested as of 20th November.  One visitor tested positive and went home to isolate whilst awaiting the result of the PCR result.  One visitor refused testing because they didn’t feel comfortable.

Mass vaccination programme

Cllr Twiss explained that the national COVID-19 mass vaccination programme is to commence in December 2020.  The focus of initial vaccination will be in staff and residents in care homes and those over 80 years of age.  A significant amount of work is taking place locally across the Devon-wide system to co-ordinate activity and ensure coverage across the county, and that there is an awareness how and when people can access the vaccine at their GP surgery or regional centre (Exeter).

He added that the Exeter Nightingale hospital has now received its first COVID-19 patients.  Since the beginning of July, the Nightingale Hospital Exeter has been providing local people with fast and safe access to a range of important diagnostic tests. These additional services will now stop at the Nightingale facility to allow the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients. Diagnostic tests will continue to be available to those who need them through existing diagnostic services across the region.  The 116-bed hospital is designed to provide care for patients with COVID-19 and can support both ventilated and non-ventilated care. Patients with COVID-19 who need the additional services available within an acute hospital will be cared for there.

ACTION: Cllr Twiss to email Cllr Bond with current occupancy figures.

Waste and recycling

All DCC-operated recycling Centres are open, but from recent personal experience in recent weeks very quiet, said Cllr Twiss.  Winter opening hours are in operation for most sites this is 9-4.30 Monday to Friday and 10-4.30pm Saturday and Sunday. They will be closed on Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Highways

Cllr Twiss said he was pleased to report that volumes of work across the Highways teams remains really high.  He reported that the recent wet weather has seen a significant number of problems on the network, but this has not held up the winter maintenance programme which officially started on 15th October, with the salt barns fully stocked, and all vehicles ready. 

Additional COVID-related contingency plans are also in place should they be required.  In many ways, Cllr Twiss said we are quite fortunate to have as many depots as we have, including one in Honiton that serves the eastern end of East Devon.  You may have seen recently that the new Network Operations Control Centre that has been set up now in Great Moor House to make sure our roads stay functioning throughout the year.  He added that with the recent second lockdown, traffic flows on the A-road network have again fallen, during the last couple of weeks week by about 30 per cent and at weekends by about 40 per cent, compared to the equivalent week in 2019.  With schools remaining open, the morning peak flows are virtually unchanged; the main changes are during the daytime and evening periods.

The DCC Highways Asset Team is extremely busy delivering its highest ever capital programme.  This larger budget is allowing the team to look beyond the normal priorities of Devon’s main A-roads and address some of the deterioration on the county’s important lower category roads.  These improvements and renewals across the network are beginning to be noticed by the travelling public as this work continues, said Cllr Twiss.  As ever, at this time of year, the DCC gully cleaning policy is under scrutiny as we experience a combination of leaf fall and an extended period of wet weather.  The team has carried out a detailed review of its approach to drainage cleaning which has resulted in a number of improvements. 

The second Doing What Matters project focused on the rebuild of the safety defect process and is now beginning to look at new software development with a view to rolling out a trial ‘beta’ system in the New Year.  The primary aim of the project is to improve the number of defects repaired at the first visit.  In order to achieve this, Cllr Twiss said DCC is investing in the amount of advance information recorded by its safety inspectors.

Cllr Bond said EDDC’s Cabinet has resolved to grant LED a subsidy to the tune of £732,000 to help mitigate the impact of Coronavirus. Leisure East Devon operates as a charitable trust and is therefore unable to access Government grant funding. (Had LED been operated by EDDC, it would have been eligible for funding, Cllr Bond explained.)  Given the importance of LED, which operates nine leisure and fitness centres including swimming pools and tennis courts across East Devon, to the health and well-being of residents, Cllr Bond said the council had no alternative. Full information is available here https://eastdevon.gov.uk/news/2020/11/east-devon-cabinet-recommends-urgent-subsidy-for-its-leisure-operators-following-impact-of-coronavirus-pandemic-and-requests-mp-and-government-assistance-for-a-level-financial-playing-field-with-other-councils/

Cllr Bond said she had circulated to parish councils a distilled version of the Government guidance on tiers and their restrictions, particularly now that East Devon is in tier 2. These will be reviewed on December 16.

153/20   To consider the following planning applications:

a) 20/2179/VAR Land West of Hayne Lane Gittisham Variation of condition 1 of application 18/0454/MRES (Proposed construction of 291 no. dwellings and associated parking, garages, roads, drainage and landscaping (approval of reserved matters pursuant to outline planning permission 13/2744/MOUT), amended proposal to reduce total number of units from 300 to 291) to amend unit types on plots 235-239 from apartments to 4 x 2 bed and 1 x 3 bed dwellings, amend the shape and size of the rear gardens associated with plots 234 and 240, and allow for a garage to be constructed serving plot 235.

b) 20/1726/FUL 1 Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB Change of use of an existing workshop (use Class B1(c)) to a residential dwelling (use class C3) with minor alterations

Cllr Twist explained in relation to a) that the density would not be greater with this variation, and that the two-bedroom houses had been very popular, more so than the flats.  Members agreed with the Chair’s comment that it was positive to see BE adapting to the market, and the proposal had no impact on drainage.  Councillors resolved to have no objection to the application.

Members resolved to object to b) on the grounds outlined previously, ie granting permission would establish a new residential unit in the countryside without agricultural need being sought, and it will act as a precedent for other opportunities in the future which would be detrimental to the overall policy-making of EDDC.

Tom Biddle and Graham Hutton left the meeting.

154/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

a) To note the latest planning decision notices

20/0781/FUL and 20/0782/LBC Rapshayes Farm, Gittisham EX14 3AB Conversion of barn to holiday let accommodation.  Approval.

 b) To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Wilkins said there had been no response from DCC regarding the situation with heavy vehicles entering and turning within Hayne Farm.

He circulated details of forthcoming roadworks in the parish:

18–19th January 2021 Lane Past Gittisham Forge, road closed for detailed bridge examination

9th February 2021 Lane to Cathayes Farm, road closed for replacement of two BT poles

22nd–26th February 2021 Outside Putts Corner caravan site, traffic control (two-way signals) to install back-to-back hydrants on the water main

25th February–5th March 2021 Hayne Lane from Hayne Farm to Beech Walk, road closed for patching

3rd March 2021 Road past Truances Dairy closed for replacement of one BT pole.

Cllr Orchard suggested that DCC should not carry out roadworks on school bus routes during term-time as a matter of policy.  Cllr Twiss replied that the situation with roadworks planned in Alfington for January could change, as things often do depending on the weather, staff availability and the holiday season.

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

The Chair said that there had not been any real progress on whether CIL money could be used to support traffic calming measures at the entrance to the proposed new development opposite Clysthayes.  Cllr Bond reminded members that CIL can be used to mitigate the impact of any development.  Cllr Twiss alerted councillors to the fact that a road crossing at the Beehive in Honiton had cost in the region of £50,000. 

The Chair said the parish council and the CLT could write to DCC to request a new traffic survey further up the hill going west, to support any application for traffic calming measures.  Cllr Twiss advised them to write to Tom Vaughan.

ACTION: Cllr Bond to contact EDDC about the possibility of using CIL money for the above-mentioned purpose. 

ACTION: Cllrs Wilkins & Valentine to contact DCC about the possibility of a new traffic survey. 

d) To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said the service over the past month had been good, on the whole.

e) To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said she had received an email from Adam Clark, Development Officer at Sovereign Housing, who is now considering the request for a defibrillator to be installed.  The company would also be raising the request at their next site meeting, and hoped to provide Cllr Twist with an update before Christmas.  See also update from Graham Hutton before minute ref 147/20.

f) To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist reported that the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme had been extended until March 2022.   Regarding Electric Vehicle Charging Points, Cllr Twist said she had registered an interest but received no further information from DCC about a proposal for an EVC for the village.  The clerk said Talaton PC’s clerk had been in touch asking if it was possible to share experiences on securing an EVC. 

ACTION: Clerk to pass on Cllr Twist’s details to the Talaton clerk; Clerk to obtain more information from Broadhembury regarding its two charging points behind the village hall. 

g) To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said she had submitted a short article to the Gittisham Gazette in November, about scam awareness.  She explained that there are many websites that warn about scams and how to recognise scams, and she was focused on how we might recognise those people who are being scammed, and how we could distribute information to residents, for example if there were doorstep callers working in the area.  The Chair suggested that Facebook and WhatsApp could be a good way to do this.  Cllr Rowe said providers such as BT and TalkTalk have alert lists of scammers, which could be good for the older members of the parish.

h) To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said South Devon Rural Housing Association had been appointed as the GCLT’s Housing Association partner. A project team has now been formed and consists of representatives from the GCLT Board, the architects (ECA), the housing association, the engineering consultants, Combe Estate and GCLT’s advisers, Wessex CLT Project. Cllr Valentine explained that the project team will lead and advise through the design stages and report back to the GCLT on a monthly basis. Initial options for the development of the site have been presented to the project team, and further options are currently in preparation. There will be a public consultation in the new year and further details will be published in due course.

i) To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Valentine said work on this had recommenced and further progress will be undertaken in the new year.

j) To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker said the repair of the tower planks had been carried out to a high standard. 

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

Members resolved to approve Cllr Walker’s suggestion for the lengthsman to carry out more work in the village play area.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to speak to Len Abbott about playground maintenance.

155/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said that while there had been no definite decisions made on how the parish council should be structured as the parish grows, she reminded members of Cllr Twiss’s suggestion that with the help of technology, it might not be necessary to meet at the same frequency as in the past.  She thanked councillors for their work during the year, and for bearing with the idiosyncrasies of Skype and Zoom since March.  She wished all members, their families and those who support the parish council a happy Christmas and a healthy 2021.

ACTION: All councillors to reflect on frequency of meetings and discuss at the February 2021 meeting.

156/20 To review the current state of gazette distribution and remuneration

The Chair said as the gazette had been distributed online since the first lockdown, it might be worth re-evaluating its distribution in the future.

ACTION: Clerk to write to Mr Sellick to inform him that the distribution is under review.

157/20 To approve and sign the annual CIL report 2019/20

The clerk distributed details of CIL income and expenditure for 2019/20. Members resolved to approve the document, and it was signed by the Chair.

ACTION: Clerk to upload the CIL document 2019/20 and send to EDDC.

158/20   To approve the December payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1073      F J Clampin                       £224.86 Clerk’s salary

1074      Len Abbott                         £147      10.5 hours lengthsman work, Nov 2020 (at £14/hr)

1075      Community Heartbeat Trust £324    Annual support cost for two defibrillators      

1076      Peter Sellick                       £26.66   Gazette distribution

DD         NEST                                 £22.48   Clerk’s pension in line with new rate of pay (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £18,356.24 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

159/20   Clerk’s Report

Members agreed that the parish council would pay for any future attendance on a DALC new councillors course for Cllrs Orchard and Rowe.  Each course (there are four) costs £15 + VAT.

ACTION: Clerk to look out for future course opportunities. 

160/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Cllr Wilkins said it would be necessary to include an item on the forward agenda for a new casual vacancy, as he was tendering his resignation from the parish council with immediate effect.  The Chair thanked Cllr Wilkins for his years of service and tenacity in serving the local community.  Members all agreed that when current Covid restrictions were lifted, a suitable outing to thank Cllr Wilkins could be arranged.

ACTION: Clerk to notify EDDC of vacancy.

Cllr Wilkins left the meeting.

161/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

162/20   Date of next two meetings. 

Wednesday 6th January and Wednesday 3rd February 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2055 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

6th January 2021