2022-06 Parish Council meeting minutes 9th June 2022

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 9TH JUNE 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Village ward: Cllr D Valentine, Cllr A Rowe

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

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr C Hall (Chair), Cllr J Fowles, Cllr M Walker, Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

25/22        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

26/22        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 12th May 2022

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th May 2022 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

27/22        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

No crimes in the parish in April 2022.

28/22        To receive declarations of interest

Cllrs Rowe & Twist declared an interest in agenda item 10, as they are due to be reimbursed by the parish council.  Cllr Twist said she is now a member of Gittisham PCC.

29/22        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine said he was continuing to monitor EDDC’s strategic planning committee meetings, and he thought it would be late summer before EDDC would be assessing the land which has come forward in response to their call for new sites.   

The clerk reported that EDDC had agreed that moving one of the litter bins from the Vale to Hayne Farm might be an option to help reduce dog mess, but had not heard anything more.

The clerk said the parishioner whose home was due to be refurbished by Grainger had sadly died, but the council should monitor the situation with regard to the other person living there. 

30/22        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bonetta said that following the Annual Council meeting of East Devon District Council on May 19th, the council continues to work on many policies and projects affecting the entire district. Cllr Paul Arnott (Democratic Alliance Group, Coly Valley) remains as council leader, having been elected by members of every political group. The Chair of the council also remains as Cllr Ian Thomas (The Independent Group, Trinity), achieving unanimous support alongside the continuing Deputy Chair, Cllr Val Ranger (Democratic Alliance Group, Newton Poppleford and Harpford).

Due to the ongoing Parliamentary by-election for Tiverton and Honiton and his affiliations to the Labour Party, although not a candidate, Cllr Bonetta said this report will be purely factual and based on the work of himself as a Ward member and the work of the wider council. He wished everyone a happy belated Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and said he was glad to hear of the successes of the village’s events.

Ukrainian refugee resettlement

As of the EDDC Annual Council meeting on May 19th, 95 sponsor households for Ukrainian refugees have come forward in East Devon, with an estimated 300 refugees to be housed in these properties. Following the meeting of Cabinet on 8th June, wraparound support is also beginning to be provided and funded by East Devon District Council alongside Citizens Advice, on top of the Environmental Health and other work the council has already been undertaking as per national Government guidance.  The Homes for Ukraine scheme is still open for applications, meaning potential sponsors are still able to come forward and record their interest in supporting the housing efforts. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine

Flood drain clearance

Following a meeting with the EDDC StreetScene Area officer, Barry Maher, on Tuesday this week, Cllr Bonetta reported that the flood drain on the border of the Vale ward by Cherry Close is due to be cleared and works carried out within the coming few weeks. These works will alleviate the pressures on the storm overflow drain, clear the blockages on the drain itself and will also see the clearing of dense overgrowth alongside the stream to help support drainage of flood water.  Cllr Orchard said he had reported this some time ago as a matter of urgency, as it is holding back the water level which is usually lower.  Cllr Bonetta said he would ensure this work is carried out in a timely manner.

East Devon Together month

EDDC is currently running a month-long event celebrating the work of environmental volunteers across the district, representing the first time such an EDDC event has been organised to support the work of various groups and projects across East Devon. As part of this month, events have been organised across the district relating to plastic reduction, plant growth and rewilding, and energy advice to name a few.  If you are interested in getting involved with the various projects being organised across East Devon, or just want to know more about the month-long project, please visit the council website here: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/climate-change/east-devon-together/ Cllr Bonetta thanked the EDDC Climate Change Officer, Catherine Causley, for her tireless work in organising this fantastic celebration.

Community Buildings Fund

A new round of EDDC’s Community Buildings Fund is open for applications to help fund capital projects or refurbishments for village halls, shared community spaces or community shops. The scheme has proven to be very successful across the district, with schemes funded in the last financial year in Branscombe, Lympstone and Northleigh.  The closing date for the current round of applications is Monday 27th June 2022. If you would like to know more about the scheme and how to apply, please visit the following website: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/community-buildings-fund/

Cllr Twist said letters had gone out to those residents who do not pay their council tax by direct debit to explain how the energy bill rebate will be paid to them.  Around 80% of households in East Devon already pay their council tax by direct debit and will have received the payment into their bank account without needing to take any action.  But those who do not currently pay their council tax through this arrangement will need to go through a claims process for the rebate.  Councillors agreed the wording of the letter could be confusing, and urged anyone struggling to understand the process should call East Devon’s Customer Service Centre on 01404 515616.  The clerk reported that finding that number on EDDC’s website was not obvious, and members agreed this was a concern for those needing to speak to somebody.

ACTION: Clerk to write to EDDC chief executive to express the PC’s concern over a lack of telephone numbers on the council’s website.

Holiday Activities & Food Fund 2022

Cllr Twiss said he was very pleased to say the Holiday Activities & Food programme for summer has been published on the DCC website, where there are 61 approved providers across Devon delivering 44,000 places across the county for children on benefit-related free school meals [FSM] and they all include a hot meal. See https://www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/family-support/haf-programme  

The aim of the scheme is to support children to eat more healthily, be more active over the school holidays and have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition as well as be more engaged with school and other local services.  The children who take part will enjoy fun and enriching activities in a safe and sociable environment and have the opportunity to develop new skills or knowledge and try out new experiences. This could include physical activities such as football, table tennis or cricket; creative activities, for example, putting on a play, junk modelling or drumming workshops or other experiences like a nature walk or visiting a farm.  At least one meal per day will be included and the children will improve their knowledge and awareness of healthy eating. The scheme aims to help families develop their understanding of nutrition and food budgeting.  There is an extended criteria so 15% of the fund can be used for children outside of the FSM criteria.

The fund is for children aged 5-16 across Devon and £1.8 million is allocated from the DFE to deliver this project.

Fostering in Devon

Part of the services DCC operates is the county-wide fostering service, which is often and quite unintentionally overlooked by many people, unless they have some sort of involvement with fostering.

DCC needs more foster carers across Devon for the 800+ children in the council’s care. They are particularly keen to hear from people with the knowledge and skills to care for teenagers and young people with complex and challenging needs.  All foster carers receive exceptional support and training as well as competitive rates of pay. Fostering is a big commitment for any household, but DCC is confident that the right people will find the rewards worth it. If you think you have or anyone you know has the skills and compassion needed, please get in touch for an informal, in confidence chat on 0345 155 1077 or email foster@devon.gov.uk  

Below is an example of how mainstream fostering works: this is the most common form of fostering and means giving a child or young person a safe place to stay, perhaps for a night or two whilst their family are helped to resolve their problems, through to a longer-term or even permanent arrangement.  You can also be asked to offer on-going support to a family or another foster carer by looking after a child on a regular basis, say one or two weekends a month. If you have the space, you can look after brothers and sisters who would otherwise be separated.  In some cases the child will wish to stay in touch with their birth family, you will be providing the safe and stable environment which makes this possible.  Some foster carers provide round-the-clock care, helping children with the most challenging behaviour to find a safe haven, a supportive family, and a place in society. This level of foster care comes with additional support, training and higher rates of pay.  There are times when you may be asked to provide respite care.  Respite care helps ease situations where a parent has a long-term illness, or it can give families time to repair relationships before a permanent breakdown occurs, or it can provide support to another foster carer as required.

Post-Covid Economic Recovery

The economy looking forward for Devon is a potentially mixed picture, with ongoing Covid-19 impacts on the economy, rises in the cost of living and the Russian invasion of Ukraine creating global uncertainty, particularly in energy markets.  There has, however, been some recent good news over the past two years, some of which are in the wider Exeter area ‘sub-region’ not far from us, said Cllr Twiss. Below are a few highlights in a wider Devon context where the positive economic effect is likely to be felt county-wide as we continue to recover:

 • Irish-owned Exeter Aerospace taking over Flybe’s aircraft maintenance facility at Exeter Airport and immediately advertising for 100 aircraft mechanics, engineers and aviation professionals

 • Designation of Plymouth and South Devon as one of eight Freeport sites. Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is to begin operating in 2022 and has the potential to generate 3,500 jobs and add £400 million GVA into the local economy. The Freeport contains three main sites: Langage Energy Park, Sherford Employment Zone and South Yard in Devonport, areas where businesses will benefit from more generous tax reliefs, customs benefits and wider government support

• Government infrastructure funding including £60m upgrading the A361 North Devon Link Road, improvements to the A303 route into Devon, £40m of funding reinstating passenger services on the Okehampton to Exeter line (implemented ahead of time and under budget), and £38m of funding to upgrade the A382 between the A38 and Newton Abbot

• Further £5m of development partnership funding over 3 years towards re-opening stations in Cullompton and Wellington in Somerset to help reconnect local communities and support regional growth with potential for the projects to be completed during 2025

 • The sector specific Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) was extended 6 months to 31 March 2022 with domestic air passenger duty reduced from £13 to £6.50. Exeter airport has fully restarted operations and currently expects about 500,000 passengers in 2022, compared with 1m in 2019 before the pandemic.

In his absence, Cllr Bruce sent the following report: “I hope all your jubilee events were not disrupted by weather and went as planned.

Since requesting that EDDC officer contact with the parish committee also includes me, l believe it is now working better than before, and allows me the opportunity to contribute in real time with both the officers and parish. This also means l can fulfil one of the requests made of me from one of my other parishes to update the committee in between meetings rather than include it in my monthly report. It may still take time to bed in, but I’m confident this will generate a better flow of information in both directions between us.

It seems jubilee events and planning at EDDC have meant that l have little to report this month.  Not directly linked to Gittisham, but worthy of note is an update on the flooding works in Feniton.  It was great news to hear we now have a firm time frame for the flood alleviation scheme to get underway. Let’s hope these works will bring to a close a very stressful and damaging chapter in the history of Feniton.

Finally, and with some sadness, l feel l have to point the committee in the direction of a link from a recent press story from Radio Exe http:/www.radioexe.co,uk/news-and-features/local-news/east-Devon-council-bust-up-at-top/  I say sadness because l feel that it’s not relevant whether you are in power or in opposition regarding your district council being portrayed in this way. You are free of course to make up your own minds, but it may go some way to underlining the difficulties and frustrations I am experiencing trying to discharge my duties as your councillor.”

Cllrs Bonetta and Twiss left the meeting.

31/22        To receive an update on Hayne Farm from Baker Estates

The clerk said there had been a delay in Baker Estates submitting the planning application, and they would provide an update once this has been sent to EDDC.

32/22     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

22/0195/VAR | Removal of Condition No. 2 and 3 of Secretary of State’s Appeal Decision ref: APP/U1105/C/16/3146168-73 dated 14/07/2017 (East Devon ref: 13/1661/FUL dated 04/02/2014) to allow for permanent use of the land for the siting of a mobile home and touring caravans and their use for residential purposes. | Land SW Side Of Weston Lane Road From Weston Cross To Cherry Bridge Weston EX14 3NY.  Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard reported that the grill on Old Elm Road balancing pond has still not been cleared. 

Although outside the parish, people should be aware that a portion of the A35 going out of Honiton towards Axminster would be completely closed 27th June – 11th July.  Cllr Orchard also reported that some work would be taking place on the road past Pomeroy Lodge, 26th –28th July, but there was no information yet as to what kind of work this will be.

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

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to check time scales for spending S106 contributions.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said the Vale bus shelter was once again full of discarded items.

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

Cllr Twist said the new defibrillator had been installed but was not yet live.  There will be a photo opportunity with Baker Estates and Sovereign Housing on Monday 13th June, accompanied by a press release.  Cllr Twist added that the leaflets were ready to be circulated, and future residents will receive a leaflet in their welcome pack. 

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist reported that EDDC is planning to install 15 EV charging points in public car parks across the district.   

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Orchard said he had personally experienced two scams recently, but he was not taken in by them.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the Gittisham Community Land Trust would be holding an AGM on Thursday 16th June at 7.30pm in Gittisham Village Hall.

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

The clerk reported that she had contacted three local tradespeople to quote for work to the damaged fence, but had not received any bids so far.  Members suggested other tradespeople to contact.  Cllr Rowe said he had looked at the work needed to the telephone box, and felt that it was beyond what he could provide.  Members resolved to ask Honiton Glass to repair the telephone box, as the most cost-effective quote at £143.16 inc VAT. 

ACTION: Clerk to contact three other suppliers for fence repairs.

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

In her absence, Cllr Walker sent a report to say that she would check the Gittisham Vale and Hayne Farm walk ways.  She was aware of a few stinging nettles overhanging the walk through by the locked gate, opposite Hayne Farm.  Len Abbott has been busy strimming grass banks. 

33/22     To receive a report from the Chair

In her absence the Chair sent the following report: “Sorry to be missing the meeting this month. Thank you Janet for taking over.  I have no news or updates, just a big thank you to all those involved in the jubilee events last weekend. There was a good turnout from the Vale and Hayne Farm and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves. The first of many parish social gatherings at the hall this summer, hopefully. The Village Hall Committee are very short of members and are in desperate need of a hall bookings clerk and a treasurer. Neither are onerous roles, but due to resignations the positions do need to be filled ASAP. Please spread the word.

Can I also add that we need to sort out our village playground a bit. The plastic fence replacement, corner fence and various safety report works should be done soon, preferably this month, before the school holidays.”

Cllr Rowe asked if the Gittisham Fete was likely to be scheduled this year.  Members agreed it was short notice to try arranging a fete for September, so Cllr Rowe agreed to get the ball rolling for next year by setting up a working group.

34/22     To approve the June payments and to note the current bank balance

Members resolved to approve the following payments:

1167       Carol Hall             £442.74 Jubilee weekend food & associated items

Cllr Rowe left the meeting.

1168       Alex Rowe            £50 Jubilee weekend disco

Cllr Rowe returned to the meeting.

1169       F Clampin             £231.73 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamps)

1170       DALC                    £18         Being a Good Councillor, 1 x session @£18 each inc. VAT       

Cllr Twist left the meeting.  Cllr Valentine took the chair.

1171       Janet Twist            £171       Reimbursement for payment to Sidmouth Print for x500 defib leaflets 

Cllr Twist returned to the meeting and resumed the Vice Chair.

1172       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10149

1173       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10157

1174       Len Abbott           £58         Lengthsman work, 4xhrs April 2022 @£14.50 / hr      

1175       Len Abbott           £58         Lengthsman work, 4xhrs May 2022 @£14.50 / hr      

1176       Len Abbott           £33.54   Lengthsman expenses, petrol & nylon line      

1177       Alison Marshall    £150       Internal audit 2021-22

DD          NEST                     £22.86   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members resolved to approve the clerk’s request to readdress cheque no. 1166 to her, as she will pay for the bus shelter solar lights by personal credit card.  (Following the meeting the clerk circulated details of this payment to members.)   Cheque number 1165 for £500 made out to Gittisham Village Hall will be cancelled, and instead £442.74 will be paid to Carol Hall to reimburse her for the jubilee weekend food and sundry items, and £50 to Alex Rowe for the jubilee disco.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £22,807.46 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

35/22     To receive and note the annual internal audit report

Members noted the annual internal audit report.

36/22     To approve the annual governance statement 2021-22

Members resolved to approve the annual governance statement 2021-22.

37/22     To approve the 2021-22 accounting statements

Members resolved to adopt the 2021-22 accounts.  Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated the accounting statements.  The parish council ended the financial year on 31st March 2022 with a balance of £21,942.80 (inc. £7,031.06 in business reserve, with £0.70 interest accumulated this year).  There is VAT to be recovered of £609.40. 

ACTION: Clerk to draw up list for the next meeting of items to be addressed by the audit report.

38/22     To consider the criteria for meeting exemption from the annual limited assurance review 2021-22, and approve the exemption certificate

Members agreed the criteria had been met, ie that during the financial year 2021-22 the higher of the parish council’s gross income or gross annual expenditure for the year did not exceed £25,000.

39/22     To set and approve the period for the exercise of public rights 2021-22

Members approved the period for the exercise of public rights to extend from 13th June to 22nd July 2022.

40/22     To consider changes to the parish council’s banking policy

Members resolved to change the banking mandate to remove David Fallows and Russell Hayman, and add Janet Twist as an authorized signatory.

ACTION: Clerk to enquire how Nat West manages payment authorization for online banking.

41/22     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she was unlikely to make the meeting scheduled for 7th July, and would circulate possible dates.

42/22     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Internet banking policy. 

43/22     To consider any late entry correspondence

Members resolved to delegate the decision on planning application 22/1197/FUL – Curlditch House to the Chair, Vice Chair and one other councillor so that there is more time to consider the application and meet the deadline, which falls before the next parish council meeting.

44/22     Date of next two meetings  

July & August meetings 2022 tbc. 

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

Chair…………………………………….

5th July 2022

2022-05 Parish Council meeting minutes 12th May 2022

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 12th MAY 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr J Twist, Cllr J Fowles

In attendance: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Carly Wyman (Jurassic Fibre), Fiona Clampin (clerk)

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

1/22        To elect a Chair

Cllr Valentine nominated Cllr Hall for election as Chair for 2022/23.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Rowe.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Hall be elected Chair for 2022/23 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

2/22        To elect a Vice Chair

Cllr Valentine nominated Cllr Twist for election as Vice Chair for 2022/23.  This nomination was seconded by Cllr Walker.  A roll call of members present at the meeting was then taken.  It was then resolved by a unanimous decision that Cllr Twist be elected Vice Chair for 2022/23 of Gittisham Parish Council. 

3/22        To receive the Chair’s and Vice Chair’s declaration of Acceptance of Office

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

4/22        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

5/22        To confirm the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held 7th April 2022

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 7th April 2022 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

6/22        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The clerk provided figures taken from http://www.police.uk/ .

March 2022: 1 x anti-social behaviour, Laburnum Close.

7/22        To receive declarations of interest

None.  Cllr Fowles added that her husband is now a Honiton town councillor.

8/22        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine said he was continuing to monitor EDDC’s strategic planning committee meetings, and he thought it would be later this year before EDDC would be in a position to determine what land would be included for new sites.   

The Chair said she had been in touch with Grainger, regarding the state of one of their properties which is home to a parishioner who will be returning there after a spell in hospital.  She said the company would be carrying out maintenance work to ensure it would be up to standard.

Following the damage to the play area fence and the telephone box in Gittisham village in April, the clerk said she had requested three quotes for the fence.  Two companies have quoted to replace the glass.  Cllr Rowe said he would investigate costs for the piece of glass.

9/22        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: DCC has received reports that fraudsters are telephoning people, pretending to be from their local council, to con them into providing their bank details. 

The callers refer to the government’s £150 council tax rebate, which was recently  introduced to help people with their rising energy bills and for some people has not yet been paid out.  Posing as a local council, they ask the person for their bank details. The DCC Trading Standards Team flagged the scam recently and said: “It’s a scam. Councils would never cold call and ask for your bank details to make the payment. Never give your bank details to a cold caller.” 

For more information about the rebate, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/council-tax rebate-factsheet  

Remember to be tick aware this spring and summer 

As April to June brings warmer weather it can be a great time to enjoy outdoors activities, such as a walk in one of Devon’s national parks or a cycle along a coastal  path. However, it also brings the peak of tick activity.  Ticks are small spider-like creatures, which feed on the blood of host animals, including humans. They can vary in size, from the size of a small freckle to a baked bean.  Some ticks can carry bacteria which pass diseases such as Lyme disease. Public health data shows cases of Lyme disease are significantly higher in Devon when compared with the rest of the country.  Further information can be found at https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/13/what-is lyme-disease-and-why-do-we-need-to-be-tick-aware/   

Devon backs Freeport proposals

While there may well be a degree of, “how does this benefit us?” about the Devon  Freeport project, the economic spin-off is likely to spread much further beyond its borders in to wider Devon in terms of research work and high value job creation.  DCC has agreed its support for the development of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport sites. The project has the potential to unlock £314 million of inward

investment,and create more than 3,500 jobs, building on the area’s global reputation  for marine innovation and advanced engineering.  Councillors backed proposals to borrow up to £15 million of capital investment to kickstart transport infrastructure schemes, vital to the project. And they approved DCC becoming a founder member of a company, limited by guarantee, to operate  the Freeport, alongside South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council.  Three main sites have been identified to unlock 130 hectares of development land, to provide space for high value advanced manufacturing and logistics companies:  Langage Energy Park, Sherford Employment Zone, and South Yard in Devonport. 

Recognise the symptoms of scarlet fever and chickenpox 

Parents and carers are being reminded of the symptoms of scarlet fever and chickenpox, following a rise in cases across the country. Levels for both are what we expect to see at this time of year, but there has been an increase compared with 2021, when coronavirus restrictions kept cases below average.  Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but highly infectious. Symptoms include a sore throat, headache and fever, with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. It’s important to contact your local GP or NHS 111 if you suspect scarlet fever as early treatment with antibiotics is important. Anyone diagnosed with scarlet fever should stay at home for at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment, to avoid spreading the infection to others.  Chickenpox is also highly infectious, and has a characteristic rash, with vesicles on the face, spreading down the body to arms and legs. Generally a mild illness, it can be more severe in pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals. People with chickenpox should remain at home until they are better and the rash has gone. 

The BIG FIX returns! 

The BIG FIX returns after a two year break, on Saturday 14th May, with one aim – to fix and breathe new life into as many broken things as possible!  Skilled menders, fixers, tinkerers and tailors from all over the country will give their time and expertise for free to help fix items that might otherwise be thrown away.  Broken clocks, jewellery, clothing and textiles, gardening equipment, broken electronics… they can all be brought in for repair.  See https://www.recycledevon.org/reuse/repair-cafe for further information on repair cafes where coming soon locally is Honiton, in addition to those already in the Blackdown Hills, Broadhembury, Sidmouth and Axminster. 

Cllr Bruce said full council met last week to discuss the issue of returning to in person meetings. Regrettably, the vote was for council to remain meeting via Zoom. The EDA believe that this is the way forward, regardless of COVID numbers, with carbon savings and better use of officer time and child care savings among the arguments presented to support this proposal. The Conservative group voted for a return to meeting in person. Cllr Bruce said he agreed with this because, whilst recognising some of the advantages of Zoom, he believed the democracy is best served by public debate in a physical forum. Council meetings are a formal affair which is not achieved by sitting in front of a computer screen with a cup of coffee and all the distractions of home life. There is also the issue of connectivity. If for whatever reason his signal goes down during a debate, he would be unable to influence the debate nor cast his vote. This denies him the right to discharge his duty as a councillor which he was elected to do, and for which he receives an allowance to offset extra expense. So, unless something dramatic occurs, East Devon District Council meetings will now remain on Zoom until October! Gittisham parish councillors resolved to support Cllr Bruce’s position on virtual meetings.

Not directly related to Gittiisham, but commuters from the village may notice the ‘beautification of our local railway stations after funding was secured by our county councillor and local groups. Monies will be spent on planting schemes to encourage pollinators and increase biodiversity, and Cllr Bruce said he had been asked in his beekeeping capacity to advise some of those involved on what plants to choose.

Jubilee Oak signs are being rolled out following the successful tree planting scheme headed up by the chair of EDDC.

10/22        To receive an update on the roll-out of superfast broadband by Jurassic Fibre

Carly Wyman introduced herself as the new Community Engagement Ambassador for the Devon area.  She explained that a new design for the plan outlining how to bring fibre into Gittisham village has been finalized.  The next step will involve approval by Combe Estate.  Barring any delays, Ms Wyman said the roll-out could be completed in the next six months.  Cllr Valentine requested information on how fibre would be brought to the village, eg along which route and where the poles will be sited.  Ms Wyman said the intention would be to position them behind properties.  She agreed to keep the parish council informed via the clerk. 

Cllr Bruce & Carly Wyman left the meeting.

11/22     To consider the following street trading renewal applications:

a)            The Codfather Fish & Chip Van, far end of Old Elm Road, Honiton, EX14 2YJ

Dates:   RENEWAL – Annual Trader – Every Saturday

Times: 16:30 – 19:00

Members had no objection to a). 

12/22     To consider a proposed Speed Limit Order for Weston, Honiton, Buckerell & Gittisham reference B18790-5922

Members had no objection to the proposed speed limit order.  Members noted Cllr Orchard’s comment that the newly installed speed signs will have to be resited. At the bottom of the diagram the presently unadopted roads of Hayne Farm estate are scheduled to be 30mph.

13/22     To consider a Schedule 14 Application (made after January 2005 by the Trail Riders Fellowship) to upgrade Bridleway No. 9,  Landscores Lane, to Byway Open to All Traffic, points A-B-C on the  proposal map HIW/PROW/22/02 

Members agreed that no further encouragement to off roaders illegally using bridleways, footpaths and private land was desirable at Westgate Common.  If this application was allowed, it would give direct access to this area and a continuation of damage and intimidation.  Members resolved to oppose this application.

14/22     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices
  1. 22/0006/LBC Westgate Gittisham EX14 3AU – Change of use of part of paddock to habitable use and construction of 3 x bay garage/outbuilding.  Cllr Orchard said he had reported this application as withdrawn at the March meeting. Mirror application submitted the same day ref 005/FUL and that was approved on 4th April.
  2. 22/0498/FUL – Shermans Farm Gittisham EX14 3AU – Construction of metal slurry store. 

Approval standard time limit.

  • To receive an update on Highways

In his absence, Cllr Orchard reported that the closure on A35 Axminster Road did not take place as Highways England had “not completed their planning”. This will likely result in a closure later in the year, probably at the height of the tourist traffic!

Cllr Orchard added that spray graffiti has been appearing along Hayne Lane between Old Elm Rd and the river. Also around the Old Elm/Sidmouth Rd area.  The grill on the Old Elm Road balancing pond has still not been cleared.

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

The Chair said she would look at a redesign for the play area, and members agreed it would be wise to revisit the list of items at the next meeting to ensure they were the most appropriate.

ACTION: Clerk to update Cllr Orchard.

  • 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 had circulated details of the leaflet designed to be distributed to all the homes on the Hayne Farm Estate, with a print run of 500 copies.  The design and content was approved by parish councillors. Baker Estates took the defibrillator on 25th April, for installation on Wednesday 27th April. NB Since the meeting, the defibrillator has been installed.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist reported that there had been no further update regarding the installation of an EV charging point in the village. However, EDDC has issued a car parking order amendment in relation to Electric Vehicle Parking Bays.  No vehicle can park or wait in an EV charging bay unless the vehicle is an EV and it is connected to an EV charging point via a connecting lead and is being charged. The vehicle can only be left in the bay for the period required to charge the battery.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said STOP SCAMS UK with its 159 short code number had generated 75,000 calls since it was launched in September 2021.  159 has now been upgraded to enable a major expansion of the service so it can accommodate an even larger number of the UK’s banks.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said he welcomed the parish council’s ongoing support.  There will be an AGM within the next month. 

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said there were no review matters to update the document.  Members resolved to approve the plan and review in 12 months. 

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

Cllr Walker said she had moved one of the benches to stop it from rotting in its previous location.  She added that the owners of Eveleighs adjacent to the play area were inspecting the fence.  Members agreed the items highlighted in RoSPA’s annual safety report would need attending to, and Cllr Walker said she would speak to Len Abbott about this. 

ACTION: Clerk to remind Trim Plants in the autumn about the crab apple tree.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to discuss play area inspection report with Len Abbott.

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

Cllr Walker said she would pass on the parish council’s thanks to the lengthsman for cutting back the brambles on the left hand side of the link road beyond the Forge heading east, as the growth had made walking difficult. 

15/22     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the Ukrainian couple was settling into the parish, and added that other sponsors had offered to host other Ukrainian refugees.

16/22 To consider and adopt the parish council’s standing orders

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

17/22     To approve the May payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1158       F J Clampin          £226.86                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (card)

1059       Playsafety Ltd     £109.20                 Annual play area safety inspection

1160       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10138

1161       Michael Poll          £65         Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10145

1162       DALC                    £36         Being a Good Councillor, 2 x sessions @£18 each inc. VAT     

1163       Community First £420.44  Parish council annual insurance policy

1164       Parish hall             £30         Hall hire, Feb-April 2022

1165       Parish hall             £500       Jubilee events [receipts to be provided]

1166       Solar Centre          £139.98 Solar lights for two bus shelters

DD          NEST                     £22.86   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members resolved to approve the clerk’s request to readdress cheque no. 1156 to her, as she had paid for the domain name renewal by personal credit card.  (Following the meeting the clerk circulated details of this payment to members.)   Parish councillors also resolved to approve a three year long term agreement for the parish council insurance with Community First, as well as the increase in pension contributions for the clerk in line with the salary increase approved in April 2022 (minute ref. 208/21).  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £23,672.63 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

18/22     To consider Parish Council support for the Queen’s platinum jubilee, and any funding opportunities

The Chair said excellent progress had been made so far on this project.  Local companies have offered to get involved, including a bench from Combe Garden centre, 70 souvenir drinks bottles for all the parish children from CMC Garage, the oak tree from EDDC, £100 from Blamphayne Saw Mills towards the disco, with the Parish Council £500 donation making up the other £50.  The village hall committee will use the remaining £450 for the bar and cream teas, and a barbecue if remaining funds allow.

ACTION: All members to make residents aware of the jubilee weekend events.

19/22     To consider upgrading the parish bus shelters

The Chair said a working party could be convened after the summer to refurbish the bus shelters.  Cllr Rowe presented three quotes for solar lights, and members resolved to approve those provided by Solar Centre for £69.99 each inc. VAT. 

20/22     To consider changes to the parish council’s banking policy

The clerk said Nat West had referred her to their website to download a new mandate.

21/22     Clerk’s Report

None.

22/22     For information only; items for the forward agenda

Platinum Jubilee activities; internet banking policy, annual accounts and governance statement. 

23/22     To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Rowe said he had observed a man on the Honiton link road with a theodolite surveying to do with the industrial land.

24/22     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 9th June and Thursday 7th July 2022 at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2120 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

9th June 2022

2022-04 Parish Council meeting minutes 7th April 2022

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 7th April 2022

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 J Twist
Cllr J Fowles
Cllr P Orchard

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

Before the meeting, one member of the public explained that several large potholes had opened up.  The Chair suggested using DCC’s website https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/

The other member of the public suggested planting a tree or bush in the rookery to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

195/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

196/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 3rd March 2022

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

197/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Feb 2021: 1 x violence & sexual offences, Cypress Close

198/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

199/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine reported that EDDC had not yet considered the proposed land allocations as part of the emerging Local Plan, and has invited further offers.  He was concerned that the district council may start to consider sites previously considered unsuitable.   

200/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

COVID updates

Cllr Twiss said there is understandably some confusion with a number of matters relating to the COVID pandemic, as we move in to a largely open society once again. As we enter April, so did a new phase of living with COVID-19, where the virus will be managed like other respiratory illnesses. But the pandemic is clearly not over, and how COVID-19 will develop over time remains uncertain, so we all still have a part to play in helping keep ourselves and each other safe and protected.

The government has published important advice for people with symptoms of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19; people with a positive COVID-19 test result and their contacts; and advice on safer behaviours for everyone.  Cllr Twiss circulated a separate summary sheet setting out guidance and advice for all of us, with thanks to Devon CCG and DCC Public Health Teams for their contributions.

The following and other information may be helpful, he said, particularly with regard to vaccination, booster vaccinations and eligible groups:

Vaccinations for all 5-11s began on 5 April. Spring boosters are available for over 75’s, residents in a care home for older adults, and people aged 12 and over who are immune-suppressed (have a weakened immune system) including patients with chronic leukaemia or lymphoma, and those who have had immune-suppressive treatment following an organ transplant or have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Free general Covid-19 testing has ended, but some people are still eligible. In Devon, a total of 2,716,251 doses were given between 8 December 2020 and 27 March 2022. This includes 994,896 first doses, 943,496 second doses and 777,859 first boosters/third doses.

The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that people at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, will continue to get free tests to use if they develop symptoms, along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings.  Under the plans free symptomatic testing will be provided for: a) patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments and support ongoing clinical surveillance for new variants; b) people who are eligible for community COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID19. People in this group will be contacted directly; c) people living or working in some high-risk settings.

Booster vaccination – people who are 75 before the end of June can book appointments in advance; however they should not be vaccinated until they have had their 75th birthday. People do not need to wait to be contacted before coming forward. (The best time to have the booster is around 6 months after the previous booster, although the minimum interval is 3 months.) Appointments can be booked via the NHS National Booking System.

Ukraine

Cllr Twiss said events in Ukraine and the awful news we see and hear on a daily bass are never far from anyone and the impact is felt by all of us and Devon stands with Ukraine.  Local authorities across the county are supporting local residents who want to provide sanctuary to the Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and the dedicated DCC web site at https://www.devon.gov.uk/supporting-ukraine/  is regularly updated with the latest news on how residents can help.  DCC is now receiving the latest information from the government on the Devon sponsors who have registered, and are carrying out DBS checks on the sponsor families.  And Devon’s district authorities are using a common approach to assess each sponsor’s accommodation, which will help better assess any potential safeguarding risks.

This initial phase of the Homes for Ukraine scheme is designed to supplement the Ukraine Family Visa for people in the UK to support friends and colleagues. We are now seeing several hundred people in Devon being matched and, following permission to travel, we will start to see those families arrive in Devon.

The situation is evolving quickly, with updated guidance coming through from government daily, but all ‘Team Devon’ partners are working together to develop a rapid response. Anyone who is interested in offering accommodation can register their interest via the government website at https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine. The link also contains some frequently asked questions (FAQs) for would-be accommodation providers (sponsors).

Those wishing to offer donations on the ground are advised to make financial contributions, particularly to the Disasters Emergency Committee at https://www.dec.org.uk/

Voluntary Sector, grants and funding

The voluntary sector plays an increasingly important part in our everyday lives, but in many cases requires funding and grants to survive, which can be something of a minefield, particularly for new enterprises.

A good starting point is the DCC Funding News, where you can sign up for regular online updates and another particularly helpful source of information at which to begin can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/fundingnews/useful-links/  

Cllr Twiss said the Rural Services Network was another valuable resource in pointing people and organisations in the right direction, and he encouraged members to sign up for the newsletter.  This month’s digest, which can be found at https://rsnonline.org.uk/rural-funding-digest-april-2022  has a mixed bag of ‘something for everyone’.

Cllr Twiss said the attenuation pond was on EDDC’s radar; Cllr Orchard warned that the level is rising.

Cllr Bruce said that after three attempts to get a response from EDDC regarding the Church Mead garages, an update had come through this morning, as follows:

“Dear Alasdair

Thank you for your email. I can confirm that the Allocations team have visited the garages with a view to ascertaining whether or not they are in a decent enough condition to let. A request was made to the Property & Assets team on 18th March requesting an inspection. My colleague Graham Baker, Property & Asset manager, will update you when a date has been arranged for the inspection, which will be necessary in order for a decision to be made.”  Cllr Bruce said he would update as soon as he had any news.

Although not directly affecting Gittisham, Cllr Bruce said he was saddened to see an attempt to garner favour with the electorate from the controlling party a week or so back. An extraordinary full council meeting was called to discuss just one item, the redesigning of a single car park in Sidmouth to a shoppers-only car park. It was passed, despite no evidence being presented as to why only in Sidmouth and not other towns in east Devon were worthy of consideration. This was an overtly political move in his opinion, and does a grave disservice to all our other towns he said.

Cllr Bruce said a number of ward members had been in touch regarding the low flying by Western Power helicopters, centred on the standing charge levy. He had contacted our respective MPs, and Simon Jupp has agreed to investigate why helicopters are being used when drones would be cheaper.

Cllr Bruce said he wished Mr and Mrs Stansell well in their renewed planning application, adding that he was unsure how it would progress unless their agent has managed to address the concerns raised by planning at the last attempt.

Meeting in person at district council is still not happening despite the rest of the country getting back to the new normal, Cllr Bruce reported, and a promise by the chair to regularly review the situation. Cllr Bruce said he would continue to press for this to change as it has been shown to greatly hamper the smooth running of the council for all of us.

In his absence, Cllr Jake Bonetta wished everybody a happy Easter and said he hoped to resume regular reports ready for the next meeting.

Cllrs Twiss and Bruce left the meeting.

201/21 To receive an update on the roll-out of superfast broadband by Jurassic Fibre

The clerk said Jurassic had been obliged to cancel because of staff sickness.  Before leaving, Cllr Twiss said he had been assured the village was cabled, but members said they had not seen any Jurassic staff working on this.  Cllr Twiss agreed to ask Matt Galley at JF for an accurate picture of the situation.

202/21   To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 22/0498/FUL Shermans Farm Gittisham EX14 3AU – Construction of metal slurry store
  2. 22/0195/VAR Land SW side of Weston Lane EX14 3NY – Removal of Condition no.2 & 3 of Secretary of State’s Appeal Decision ref: APP/U1105/C/16/3146168-73 dated 14/07/2017 (East Devon ref: 13/1661/FUL dated 04/02/2014) to allow for permanent use of the land for the siting of a mobile home and touring caravans and their use for residential purposes.

Members had no objection to a).  Regarding b), members discussed at length the application.  Councillors took a vote on the removal of conditions, the result of which was 5:2.  It was resolved to object to the removal of conditions 2 & 3.  They expressed support for traveller sites in the community and urged EDDC to do more, but the PC was not able to support this application because of a risk of flooding and the likelihood that climate change will make flooding worse in future. 

203/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/2882/LBC Westgate Gittisham EX14 3AU – Installation of Tortoise fireboxes, flue liners, terracotta twin wall liner to top of chimney and bird guard.  Approval with conditions.

22/0107/FUL Blamphayne Sawmill Gittisham EX14 3AN – Extension to existing Machinery Store.  Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there was no update this month.

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

The Chair said she would look at the proposals to see if any modifications could be made that would make it easier to secure contractors. 

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said the Vale bus shelter is still being abused to the detriment of bus passengers. All items have been removed.  Cllr Valentine added that some buses are still avoiding the village, and the Chair said people should report this on the village WhatsApp group so there was a log of issues.

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

Cllr Twist said all parties had now signed the host agreement.  A leaflet for all Hayne Farm residents explaining how to use it once it is installed is in production.  The defibrillator and its cabinet are still sitting in Cllr Twist’s hallway, until the exact location is identified.

One member of the public left the meeting.

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

Cllr Twist reported that Devon Climate Emergency is running a public consultation until 14th April.  Cllr Rowe said there was no update from EDDC’s Countryside team.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said there had been numerous scam alerts sent out regarding Ukraine, lateral flow tests, HMRC and subscription refunds.  She said BBC 1’s three-week series “Scam Interceptors” is worth watching.  It shows how persistent and convincing scammers can be.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there would be a board meeting w/c 11th April where the lack of progress would be discussed.  He hoped to have more positive news next month. 

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

Cllr Twist said the Hayne Farm play area was progressing, and the Chair reported that the new oak had been planted in Gittisham village play area to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  The other trees are doing well.  Members discussed replacing the damaged oak, and it was agreed to replace it with an ornamental crab apple if space allows.  The Chair said she had affixed additional ties to the top gate, as it was being left open.  Cllr Walker will top up the hand sanitizer.

ACTION: Clerk to order crab apple from Trim Plants.

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman had looked at the build-up of stones at the Riverside bridge and the build-up of silt at the village bridge bypass culvert. He advised that this was not the parish council’s role to dredge a river bed.  Cllr Walker agreed to feed back that the vegetation and strimming should continue in this area.  The Chair added that Hamish Hall would produce a report assessing the situation. 

Cllr Walker agreed to discuss the fence bordering the play area with the owners of Eveleighs.  The Chair asked if the lengthsman could cut back the brambles on the left hand side of the link road beyond the Forge heading east, as the growth makes walking difficult. 

204/21   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the parish was due to receive a Ukrainian couple imminently.

205/21 To consider upgrading the parish bus shelters

The Chair said the bus shelters could do with a fresh coat of paint, and she would report back with a proposed colour scheme.  She encouraged members to suggest a suitable person to carry out the refurbishment, which will include the noticeboards, solar panels and sensor.

206/21 To consider changes to the parish council’s banking policy

This was deferred for discussion at the next parish council meeting.

207/21 To consider a review of remuneration of the parish lengthsman

Members resolved to raise the lengthsman’s remuneration by 3.5 per cent in line with the national increase.  From 1st April 2022 the rate will be £14.50 / hr.

208/21 To consider a review of remuneration of the parish clerk in line with the annual NALC salary scales, and associated pension payments

Members resolved to raise the clerk’s salary in line with NALC recommendations to £11.73 / hr, for the year 2021-22.  The 2022-23 pay scales are yet to be determined.

209/21   To approve the April payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1150       F J Clampin                          £226.86                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (card)

1151       F J Clampin                          £46.80               Clerk’s backdated pay increase for 2021-22

1152        Leonard Abbott                      £56       Lengthsman work, 4hrs Mar 2022 (@14/hr)

1153       Michael Poll                            £65        Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10133

1154        DALC                                     £193.32      Annual subscription 2022-23

1155       34SP                       £95.40   Annual professional website hosting renewal, 16th April 2022

1156       34SP                       £15         Domain name hosting, 16th April 2022

1157       Trim Plants           £90         Crab apple

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

The clerk said the first half of the precept for 2022/23 had been received.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £25,292.84 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

210/21 To consider parish council support for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and any funding opportunities

The Chair said the village hall committee would like to organise an event with cream teas and sandwiches.  Members offered other suggestions, including a disco in the evening, a fancy dress competition for children, a tree planting, a commemorative coin for all children in the parish and a bench by the balancing pond in the Vale. 

ACTION: Clerk to keep a file of funding opportunities and activities to support.

211/21   Clerk’s Report

The clerk outlined the situation regarding the likelihood of acquiring two new dog waste bins at Hayne Farm, having enquired with Baker Estates and EDDC; the stumbling block appears to be the emptying of any bins.  Members discussed the possibility of resiting a litter bin currently in the Vale alongside the railway line, as these are often empty. 

ACTION: Clerk to ask EDDC to inform her of any changes to dog waste bin policy, and request resiting of bin.

212/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Platinum Jubilee activities; internet banking policy; bus shelters upgrade.

213/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

The clerk agreed to pass on to the Chair contact details for Grainger, in connection with a parishioner returning to one of their rented homes after a spell in hospital.

214/21   Date of next two meetings.   Thursday 12th May and Thursday 9th June at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2145 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

12th May 2022

2022-03 Parish Council meeting minutes 3rd March 2022

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 3rd March 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr A Rowe
Cllr M Walker
Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr J Twist
Cllr J Fowles
Cllr P Orchard

In attendance: Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Richard Ayre & Graham Hutton (Baker Estates for agenda item 7), Fiona Clampin (clerk)

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

177/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

178/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 3rd February 2022

Cllr Orchard requested a change to minute ref 164/21, to remove the line “Cllr Bruce thanked Cllr Twiss for sorting out the blocked exit of the balancing pond south of Old Elm Road” as this is pending.  The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd February were then confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

179/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

There was no update on figures available on the Police UK website since the last meeting.

180/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

181/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Twist said she had contacted the mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) about QR codes on benches, and had received a good response.  She thought it would be possible to attach these to existing benches.

Cllr Orchard had enquired about DCC’s school transport safeguarding policy with Matthew Joll, and received a comprehensive response.  The county operates a strict ‘no pass, no travel’ policy.   

ACTION: Cllrs Twist & Orchard to send information on the above to Cllr Twiss. 

182/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

DCC budget

Cllr Twiss said the Devon County Council Budget was approved at full council on 17th February after many months of work in what has been the most challenging one in living memory, for a variety of reasons, not least the pandemic.  Members are probably aware that the DCC part of Council tax will go up by 2.99 per cent, the lowest increase in 7 years, adding 87p per week or £45 a year to Homes in the Band D Council tax bracket.  As portfolio holder for Finance at DCC, Cllr Twiss said he had put back £1m in to Highways for cyclic maintenance, drainage schemes and pothole repairs, as well as £329k of funding for community organisations, which had been invaluable during the pandemic.  He said that in recognition of greater healthcare working between the NHS and DCC, the council has received £10m to offset high service needs in the Adult Social Care sector and currently negotiating with the Department for Education on a multi-million pound settlement to help with the Special Educational needs deficit in Devon.

Council Tax rebate

Details of the Government Council tax discount, helping to counter some of the hike of upcoming fuel price increases are now known. They are an automatic one-off grant, which is not means tested, spreading across Council Tax Bands A-D. DCC has now received details of the total sum, which will then be split across the district councils to distribute as the collection authority. The £150 discount will be applied automatically and deducted from the bill, when issued.  Cllr Walker asked if residents who did not pay by direct debit could slip through the net, so Cllr Twiss asked that if councillors knew anybody in this category they should follow up on this.

Energy costs

Cllr Twiss said these are clearly a major concern for the overwhelming number of our population.  The Government has announced a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth around £9bn in 2022-23. He circulated a factsheet from the County Treasurer. This offers a step by step guide as to how this will work (as well as other help with the cost of living), and support in the form of grants will be administered via the District Councils, as with the Council tax discount.

Funding allocations of the allocations for the Devon Districts is shown below:

Local Authority

Discretionary Fund (£)

Non-Discretionary Fund (£)

Total Fund               (£)

East Devon

269,850 

7,116,750 

7,386,600 

Exeter

188,700 

7,426,800 

7,615,500 

Mid Devon

143,550 

4,228,800 

4,372,350 

North Devon

192,000 

5,655,750 

5,847,750 

South Hams

173,700 

4,332,600 

4,506,300 

Teignbridge

273,300 

7,107,900 

7,381,200 

Torridge

143,250 

4,039,050 

4,182,300 

West Devon

110,550 

2,875,350 

2,985,900 

Total

1,494,900 

42,783,000 

44,277,900 

Devon County Council has recently released its Council Plan, setting out its key objectives and ambitions for the people and county of Devon, with climate change and the environment at the top of the tree. This document will run like a golden thread though everything that DCC does and you can view more details of the key points at https://www.devon.gov.uk/news/council-publishes-its-priorities-for-the-next-four-years-and-invites-public-to-be-part-of-achieving-them  

Those priorities are:

  • Helping Devon respond to the climate and ecological emergency, and working to protect and improve our natural environment
  • Working together to ensure all children are safe, healthy and can thrive with opportunities to fulfill their potential
  • Helping Devon achieve inclusive economic recovery and sustainable growth, ensure more people can take advantage of opportunities, and invest carefully to improve infrastructure
  • Making Devon a fairer place, address poverty, health and other inequalities, and ensure support for those people and families struggling most
  • Help people to be healthier and more resilient, ensure everyone gets the care they need, and support people to live their lives well
  • Support all our communities to be safer, better connected and more resilient with a focus on communities at greatest risk or in greatest need

Green transport

As a cyclist Cllr Twiss said he was particularly pleased that South Western Railway (SWR) has completed the installation of Co Bikes docking stations plus 30 e-bikes at Cranbrook and Honiton stations, launching a new eco-friendly onward travel option for their customers.  He hoped this scheme will be rolled out to Axminster as well.  The e-bikes, supplied by Co Bikes, will provide SWR customers with a green and efficient transport alternative, helping to tackle congestion on roads, improve air quality and give locals and visitors alike an alternative way of travelling around East Devon and Exeter, where there is already an extensive network.  Over £200,000 has been invested in the schemes, which has come about  through a network of partnerships between SWR, the Department for Transport, Devon County Council and others, as well as Co Bikes.  There are e-bike docks available at Cranbrook Station and another 10 at Honiton and to use the new Co Bikes, people will need to download the ‘Nextbike’ app on a smart phone and register for an account. To activate the account, customers make a £10 payment which is then used for their first e-bike trips and off you go!  Cllr Twiss added that DCC will be looking at making trains and buses more integrated, as the current situation is based on historic service times which do not always match up.

Covid

Covid is still very much present in our communities and while there are huge grounds for optimism, caution needs to be maintained.  Cllr Twiss circulated the latest update issued by the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group on 25th February.

Cllr Bruce said in view of the current situation in Ukraine, he could not help feeling somewhat surreal writing this report and wondering what the effect would be on us all.   He said he felt sure we will be able to play our part if we are called upon to help our fellow Europeans, as they look for sanctuary and support.

The rest of this report seems somewhat irrelevant in the light of this, he said, but here we go:

The strategic planning meetings continue to go through the motions towards releasing the draft plan to the public. He noted in the meetings he had attended, that the villages within his ward have been almost exclusively represented, with little input from other areas affected by this report. So he felt reasonably confident that our views have been well presented to the committee, and left them in no doubt over our concerns.

Cllr Bruce reported he was pleased to have attended a cheque presenting ceremony on behalf of Gittisham PC and EDDC, at the invitation of Baker Estates.  Cheques were handed over to Admiral Nurses and Hospiscare.

Cllr Bruce said he was glad to see the parish have taken up the offer of a jubilee oak tree from EDDC as part of the celebrations, although he suspected these may be somewhat muted given the current circumstances. However let’s hope we can put on a good show for Her Majesty.

The council received hundreds of calls for assistance after the trio of storms that battered us last week.

On Friday (19 February) there were 603 calls, followed by 434 on Saturday (20 February) and 376 on Sunday (21 February).  EDDC’s Home Safeguard Team has been working hard over the last week to check up on vulnerable residents to offer assistance after power outages meant they were not able to make hot food and drink, over the weekend of the storm.  There have also been a steady flow of repair calls about other issues that were referred to other agencies such as DCC for fallen trees.

It is good to report, said Cllr Bruce, that more than 100 East Devon council homes are now more eco-friendly thanks to a special project that helped them upgrade their insulation, heating systems and much more.  EDDC has been running a Green Homes Grant programme since 2020.  The Government scheme is designed to help councils fund the cost of reducing the carbon footprint and environmental impact of its housing.  The project has also allowed residents on low incomes to save energy and significantly lower their utility bills.  EDDC has now installed a variety sustainable, eco-friendly technologies into the homes involved in this project – including air source heat pumps, solar panels, new radiators and pipework, upgraded insulation, smart controls, and intelligent hot water cylinders that harvest surplus energy generated by solar panels and store it as hot water.

Improvements to parking access to the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths should be nearing completion shortly, Cllr Bruce explained.  This fragile and highly valued ecological/geological area offers a rare chance to walk across a unique landscape, formed by pebbles from rivers that ran across a desert environment during the Triassic era, some 240 million years ago. These now raised beds form heathland support specifically adapted plant and wildlife, including the Dartford Warbler.  As most visitors travel by car to get here, it was important to work up a parking improvement plan that allowed access, whilst ensuring the preservation of this very important site.

In his absence, Cllr Jake Bonetta circulated slides from the recent presentation to EDDC by consultants acting on behalf of Combe Estate regarding potential development in the parish.

Cllrs Twiss and Bruce left the meeting.

183/21 To receive an update on the Hayne Farm development from Baker Estates

Graham Hutton & Richard Ayre from Baker Estates outlined the proposal to build an additional 37 dwellings to the south of the current Hayne Farm development.  If approved, access to this area will not be directly from Hayne Lane and there will also need to be a pumping station.  If the proposed footpath between Hayne Lane and Goldcombe is granted, it will cut through this part of the development.  Any temporary diversion during construction could be accommodated.  It was estimated that 15-20 per cent would be affordable housing; at the entrance the density and character of the properties will be similar to the existing site, and then properties will be more spaced out further away, to give a more rural, traditional feel.  There will be a consultation on 15th March where Baker Estates will be happy to answer questions from residents, and those living in properties close by on Old Elm Road.  Graham Hutton reported that a site investigation had been done and they found what they’d expected in terms of contaminated material, although from experience he said he did not rule out the possibility of finding more. 

Members discussed the naming of this development, and Graham Hutton said he would think about this. He said he would also enquire about a postbox.  The plans are expected to be submitted to EDDC in May.

Graham Hutton & Richard Eyre left the meeting.

184/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/3165/TRE – 7 Ferndale Close Honiton EX14 2YN T1, T2 : Inspect and crown clean of 2 x Oak trees, crown lifting the Oak trees to approximately 6 m. Refusal.

22/0006/LBC – Westgate Gittisham Honiton EX14 3AU : Change of use of part of paddock to habitable use and construction of 3 x bay garage/outbuilding.  Withdrawn.

22/0201/FUL – 2 Drillers Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AQ : Replacement windows & replacement porch on south elevation, facade repairs on north & south elevation, new internal floor finish.  Withdrawn.

  • To receive an update on Highways

7th–11th March road from Chineway to Hare & Hounds closed for SW Water works. 

Cllr Orchard said recent repairs on Hayne Lane had not addressed the collapsed part of the road, so another closure would surely be in the offing.

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

Cllr Orchard said he would be meeting the 14th contractor on site at the play area at the weekend, and warned that with the extensive delays already noted, previous quotes could rise in price.  The Chair highlighted the requirement to comply with procurement policies.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said he had removed a substantial quantity of unwanted items in the Vale bus shelter, as they were taking up too much space.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to attach another sign to deter people from dumping items.

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

Baker Estates expressed surprise that Cllr Twist had taken delivery of the defibrillator some time ago, and agreed to take it off her hands immediately.  It will need a sign to indicate it is not yet in use.  Cllr Twist said Sovereign Housing are still in the process of agreeing the host agreement, and the leaflet is still in its early stages of design.  

ACTION: Clerk to discuss wording of leaflet with Cllr Twist, and Cllr Twist to investigate printing costs.

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

Members agreed a replacement oak tree was needed in the village play area, at a cost of approximately £85. 

ACTION: Clerk to order quercus robur from Terry Trim. 

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said a national alert had been issued for the E.On email scam; criminals are impersonating the energy company E.On promising an £85 refund in an attempt to steal personal details and money.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Members heard that Cllr Valentine had made a short presentation to EDDC’s Strategic Planning committee voicing the parish council’s opposition to any development west of Hayne Farm, which is under discussion as part of EDDC’s draft Local Plan.  The presentation was circulated.  Developers and land owners have been promoting possible development opportunities to EDDC.  The promoted land is both a prominent and extremely sensitive landscape and whilst not in the AONB, any development would have a serious detrimental impact on both the setting of the AONB and the village of Gittisham. It would encroach into the valley within which Gittisham is located and bring development to within 400m of the village.  The proposal cannot support a sustainable development and car use will inevitably be the primary form of transportation contrary to the principles within EDDC’s own existing and proposed local plan policies.

ACTION: All to keep abreast of development proposals, so information can be correctly communicated to the parish.

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

Cllr Walker said she would empty the dustbin.  Members heard the jubilee oak would probably be delivered w/c 7th March, and the equipment for the Hayne Farm play area was due to be delivered on 22nd March.

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman had carried out some work near to Goldcombe. He has advised that work is needed to address the build-up of stones at the Riverside bridge and the build-up of silt at the village bridge bypass culvert. This work will need a mini digger. Cllr Walker will investigate how the council carried out this work in the past, using M Locke contractors. The Chair said she will assess the engineering aspects of the reported problems and advise on exactly what’s required. A report will be provided to the next meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to investigate the use of private contractors for such work in the past.

185/21   To receive a report from the Chair

Members resolved to support the 20 is Plenty campaign to request Devon County Council to normalize a 20mph limit/zone throughout all residential roads and areas in the parish of Gittisham.  The Chair said the PC should notify Devon CC (Stuart Hughes cabinet member plus the local highways officer) of the PC’s support and also make contact with neighbouring parishes to tell them what the PC has done. The Chair said that Wales and Cornwall have a 20 mph speed limit in all residential areas and this campaign aims to persuade DCC to do the same.   If adopted by DCC, this would establish a 20mph limit throughout the residential areas of the parish, namely Gittisham village, Gittisham Vale and Hayne Farm.  Research by RoSPA has demonstrated a link between the introduction of 20mph zones and a subsequent reduction in casualties.  Cllr Twiss had indicated he would support this, but advised that if a large number of parishes come forward in support of the campaign, DCC will have to assess them according to priority (such as villages with schools).

The Chair said the Gittisham community has clearly expressed in the past, and continues to express, its concerns about the impacts of speeding traffic on the residents of the parish, particularly on vulnerable road-user activity (by children, older people, cyclists, mobility scooter users, parents with prams/buggies/etc, horse riders, and so on).  Gittisham village has no pavements and there are no speed limit restrictions in the village or surrounding lanes, ie 60mph. The lanes in the parish are narrow and without pavements and are used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The Vale and Hayne Farm have 30mph limits but would also like to see a residential area speed limit of 20mph.

Gittiisham Parish Council is aware of an increasing number of pedestrians using the roads for leisure walking, with the expansion of the Hayne Farm housing development and a post-Covid rise in walking and cycling in the parish. GPC is also supporting the DCC climate change initiative and considers all relevant measures when addressing all aspects of parish life. A 20mph limit would be consistent with, and would underpin, these measures through, for example, significantly reduced vehicle carbon emissions throughout the parish.

Many residential areas such as Alphington, Exwick, Kenn, Starcross, have extensive areas covered by 20 mph zones/limits, in many cases with no substantive traffic calming measures having been introduced. RoSPA states: 20mph limits without traffic calming also reduce traffic speed. Their lower cost means that wider areas can be covered.

186/21 To consider upgrading the parish bus shelters

This was deferred for discussion at the next parish council meeting.

187/21   To approve the March payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1146       F J Clampin                          £224.86                 Clerk’s salary 

1147       Michael Poll                            £65        Grass cutting, inv. ref. 10129

1148        Leonard Abbott                      £28       Lengthsman work, 2hrs Feb 2022 (@14/hr)

1149        DALC                                        £18        Being a Good Councillor 1 (training course, Cllr Fowles)

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

The clerk said the VAT rebate for 2019/20 had been received, totalling £2,597.78.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £21,942.10 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

188/21 To consider parish council support for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and any funding opportunities

The Chair said the village hall committee had begun to consider holding an event, which the parish council may be able to support in some way. 

ACTION: Clerk to keep a file of funding opportunities and activities to support.

189/21   To consider the parish council’s grant-giving policy, publication scheme, complaints policy, anti-fraud & corruption policy, Freedom of Information Scheme and code of conduct

It was resolved to approve the above policies.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to upload the FoI scheme to the Gittisham website.

190/21   To consider the parish council’s Statement of Internal Control, Financial Regulations and Risk Management

It was resolved to approve the above policies.  Councillors with authorization agreed to sign a letter to Nat West allowing the clerk to discuss internet banking with them.  

191/21   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she had discussed the high printing costs of the gazette with Carol McCann.  It was agreed to keep this under review.

192/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Platinum Jubilee activities; internet banking policy; bus shelters upgrade.

193/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Twist and the Chair agreed to attend the Baker Estates drop-in on 15th March.   

Councillors agreed to take some 20 is Plenty stickers.

194/21   Date of next two meetings.   Thursday 7th April and May tbc at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th April 2022

2022-02 Parish Council meeting minutes 3rd Feb 2022

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 3rd February 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr A Rowe
Cllr D Valentine
Cllr M Walker
Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr J Twist
Cllr J Fowles
Cllr P Orchard

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

159/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

160/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 6th January 2022

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

161/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

1 crime, December 2021:

1 x anti-social behaviour, Parsonage Lane.

162/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

163/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine said he had watched online the meetings of EDDC’s Strategic Planning committee the previous week at which developers and landowners were given 15-minute slots to promote their development opportunities before the committee. Consultants on behalf of Combe Estate gave a presentation on 25th January, where they argued that an allocation for residential development would sit comfortably with the employment land to the north of the railway land around Hayne Lane and “round off” development to the west of Honiton.  It was also claimed that the development would meet sustainability criteria, given the proximity of the employment allocation and local supermarkets and access to public transport. It was put forward that access would be through the Hayne Farm development and that land has been retained to secure this access. When asked about numbers, the consultant suggested a figure in the region of 300 dwellings. There was no comment about the relationship of any development to the village, to the AONB nor to the sensitive nature of the landscape and impacts of development encroaching into the Gitt valley.  There was no comment by the consultants or by the district council.

Cllr Valentine said there would be opportunities for the parish council to comment at meetings of the same committee where Honiton draft allocations are considered – possibly 8th February and 8th March.  Members agreed that Cllr Valentine would be best placed to present on behalf of the parish council.  The Chair added that she was concerned about the possibility of housing and other development in the parish and the responsibility that this council has in keeping up with proposals. She thought GPC’s recent involvement in the local plan and boundary matters has shown that GPC is keen to be involved in consultations. She urged members to be proactive and represent the parishioners.

ACTION: Clerk to request a public speaking slot from EDDC for Cllr Valentine.

164/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Broadband

Cllr Twiss reported that he had met Jurassic Fibre staff who are committed to rolling out ultrafast broadband to Gittisham. He said their work is hampered by blocked Openreach ducting, which they can access to run their fibre optic cable through, but road closure notices are in place for March to enable this work to be done so that the service can go live with those who subscribe to it.  The Chair said it was a shame that the apparent delay discussed by members in November appears to be ongoing, and she looked forward to hearing a definite date so GPC can keep expectant parishioners up to date.

Emergency access gate, Old Elm Road

Cllr Twiss said DCC’s Highways contractor would remove one of the narrower, restricted access points at the emergency access gate between the western end of Old Elm Road and Hayne Lane, which will allow motorised buggies and large prams to pass through easily.  He said he was optimistic that this work will be completed by the end of the current financial year on 31st March.

Footpath

Following residents’ requests, Cllr Twiss said he had been asked to look at the viability of a shared cycle/footway on the EDDC footpath that runs from the railway bridge on Sidmouth Road towards Hayne Lane which runs to the south of the railway line. He said he had written as an EDDC ward member, but part of the route passes over DCC Highway assets.  Having had an initial look, he felt that the footpath was too narrow to accommodate both sets of users, but he will be guided by the advice that comes back from EDDC.

Cllr Fowles thanked Cllr Twiss for the recent ‘grumble walk’, which included a look at parking issues on Old Elm Road.  Cllr Twiss said he would seek a view from DCC Highways as to whether it is practical to put some lines down to keep the road clear on grounds of safety, or leave as is because the parked vehicles slow traffic down.

Energy costs

This is clearly a major concern for the overwhelming number of our population, said Cllr Twiss.  The Government has announced a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth around £9bn in 2022-23.  He circulated a fact sheet produced by the County Treasurer which offers a step by step guide as to how this will work (as well as other help with the cost of living).  Support in the form of grants is likely to be administered via the district councils, but details are still be finalised on that in the next few days.  Cllr Bruce added that among the rising costs of living, prescription charges were changing.  An online petition to oppose the change has already gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

DCC’s Council Plan

Cllr Twiss said the recently released Council Plan set out DCC’s key objectives and ambitions for the people and county of Devon, with climate change and the environment at the top of the tree. This document will run like a golden thread though everything that DCC does.  More detail can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/news/council-publishes-its-priorities-for-the-next-four-years-and-invites-public-to-be-part-of-achieving-them/  

Those priorities are:

  • Helping Devon respond to the climate and ecological emergency, and working to protect and improve our natural environment
  • Working together to ensure all children are safe, healthy and can thrive with opportunities to fulfil their potential
  • Helping Devon achieve inclusive economic recovery and sustainable growth, ensure more people can take advantage of opportunities, and invest carefully to improve infrastructure
  • Making Devon a fairer place, address poverty, health and other inequalities, and ensure support for those people and families struggling most
  • Help people to be healthier and more resilient, ensure everyone gets the care they need, and support people to live their lives well
  • Support all our communities to be safer, better connected and more resilient with a focus on communities at greatest risk or in greatest need

Levelling Up

Cllr Twiss said he was skeptical as to how much difference the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda would have in the region.  He circulated the 300-page document to members.  However, he maintained an open mind and said to be prepared to be surprised if some real ‘new money’ heads our way!

Finally, a slightly unusual offer that might be of interest to talented young musicians in our midst.

Pipe up Devon is an opportunity for young people aged 11-18 to receive subsidised tuition for professional tutors to learn organ playing and test their skills in the local church, contributing to the local community. Cllr Twiss circulated details, and encouraged anyone interested to visit www.exeter.anglican.org/resources/worship/pipeup-devon

Cllr Bruce said EDDC’s Strategic Local Plan is grinding through its draft phase and it is important to maintain the parishes’ concerns in the eye of the committee. He said he hoped that what has been said so far will be noted when it comes for the draft document to go out for public consultation.

It was regrettable, said Cllr Bruce, that the Stansell’s planning application failed, despite a very similar application being rejected by one vote. It is yet another example of planning being shown to be inflexible when it comes to the changing needs of our communities, he said.

Cllr Bruce announced a small one-off community grant is available for voluntary, community and other not for profit groups. Grants of up to £500 are available. Deadline is December this year and for more details please contact East Devon small grants through the council website.

In his absence, Cllr Bonetta sent the following report:

As the days begin to get longer now we leave the darkness of winter, the administration of EDDC has been busy at work on a multitude of projects. The budget for 2022/23 is due to be set at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting on 23rd February, taking place at the Ocean Centre in Exmouth. As well as this, the Strategic Planning Committee has received presentations from developers across the district, bidding for land allocations in the emerging Local Plan.

Local Plan developer presentations

On 25th January, Strategic Planning Committee received two presentations from developers relating to land surrounding the Honiton St. Michael’s ward. Of particular interest to Gittisham parishioners will be the presentation relating to the allocations “Gitti_01” and “Gitti_05”, on behalf of Combe Estate, detailing plans for further extension of Honiton westwards. I have sent to the clerk the presentation which I have received detailing their bid, and a recording of the presentation itself can be found on YouTube via the following link (fast-forward to 5:39:10): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rk-pqVTGTw

When it comes to agreeing the allocation, as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, I am determined to ensure that the green belt between Honiton and Gittisham village is preserved and protected. This proposed development extends to within 400m of the village, which could potentially damage the heritage of the area indefinitely. I am of course happy to speak to individual councillors and residents about this.

EDDC Council Tax

In the next budget year, EDDC will be raising its council tax by £5, representing an annual council tax charge of £156.78 per Band D equivalent property. This is a 3.29% increase on last year, and is in line with assumptions made by national government on funding available to the council. This of course does not mean every household will be paying the above figure into EDDC’s budget – this will depend on your property. Although regrettable that taxes have to go up, there are serious funding gaps at EDDC that need to be filled – and the overall tax from EDDC represents well under 10% of the overall council tax bill in Honiton St. Michael’s.  This rise will go into supporting recycling and waste collections across the district, as well as providing better leisure and sports facilities through the council’s service level payment to LED. It will also go towards updating the council’s archaic salary structure, which will help to alleviate the pressures on staff in the council and support them with the hard work that they do.

Wild Honiton project

As part of the Countryside and Leisure Service Plan for 2022-23, an exciting project will be launched in Honiton to deliver a local Nature Recovery Network pilot. The project, titled “Wild Honiton”, has been successfully rolled out in Exmouth through their own version of this project, and will see open space improvements and investments in our biodiversity across the town. There will also be numerous volunteering opportunities through this and opportunities for art and activity trails that link the town centre with its green spaces. I am looking forward to working closely with the Countryside team on this project, and I hope that the parish council also gets involved in this important project across the Vale ward.

Cllrs Twiss and Bruce left the meeting.

165/21 To consider the following planning applications:

  1. 22/01075/FUL Blamphayne Sawmill Gittisham EX14 3AN – Extension to existing machinery store
  2. 22/0005/FUL Westgate Gittisham EX14 3AU – Change of use of part of paddock to habitable use and construction of 3 x bay garage/ outbuilding
  3. 21/3165/TRE 7 Ferndale Close Honiton EX14 2YN – T1, T2 : Inspect and crown clean of 2 x Oak trees, crown lifting the Oak trees to approximately 6 m. above the public footpath pruning back to the main branch collar the 3 lowest limbs make 1 x 100 mm cut and 2 x 75 mm cuts pruning the branch tips by no more than 10% volume and making natural target pruning cuts of approximately 25 mm. in diameter.
  4. 22/0202/LBC 2 Drillers Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AQ – Replacement windows & replacement porch on south elevation, façade repairs on north & south elevation, new internal floor finish
  5. 22/0201/FUL 2 Drillers Cottages Gittisham EX14 3AQ – Replacement windows & replacement porch on south elevation, façade repairs on north & south elevation, new internal floor finish

Members had no objections to a, b, or c.  Regarding d) and e), members had no objections in principle, but said they would prefer to see double glazing, so it is in accordance with EDDC’s and national policies regarding measures to deal with climate change. 

166/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/2474/FUL Goldcombe, Gittisham – Change of use of holiday let to dwelling.  Refusal.

21/2906/FUL 3 Lower Green Way, Gittisham – Installation of first floor window in north elevation (retrospective).Retrospective approval (no conditions).

  • To receive an update on Highways

9th Feb – Road to Catshayes Farm for BT pole installation

22nd–26th Feb – Chineway to Hare & Hounds for water works

28th Feb–2nd March Hayne Lane for pot hole repairs

2nd–3rd March (inc) road from Gittisham Farm to Eveleigh’s for gully works (overnight)

Cllr Orchard reported that the railway bridge at the Forge was inspected 18th January night.  On Weds 20th January the old A30 under the new A30 dual carriageway was flooded during extended rain. The balancing pond south of Old Elm Rd was also 70 per cent full, part due to DCC’s summer 2020 response not to clear the outlet grill.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had received a quotation from a contractor for the play area, and he would discuss next steps with EDDC.  The clerk added that Honiton Town Council had been in touch to enquire about progress, as it was keen to spend any S106 money that Gittisham might offer.  EDDC had replied to say that as Gittisham was in the process of obtaining quotes for its own projects, there was no definitive cost for their projects as yet.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Valentine reported that a student had been refused entry recently to one of the school buses, as they were unable to provide a bus pass.  This caused the student and their family some distress, especially as the student had been taking the bus regularly since September 2021.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to write to DCC’s Matthew Joll requesting DCC’s safeguarding policy on school transport.

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

Cllr Twist explained that the defibrillator had arrived, and she had informed Baker Estates and they are organising the installation date when a qualified electrician is available.  The newly amended host agreement has not yet been signed by Sovereign Housing. Sovereign can sign on to the WEBNOS system to see that the weekly checks have been carried out. They have also requested a copy of the insurance certificate from Community Heartbeat.  Cllr Twist said she would like to produce a leaflet for distribution on the estate, and would appreciate help on layout and wording.  She said this was an opportunity for the parish council to have publicity on the estate.  The Chair thanked Cllr Twist for her work on this.

ACTION: Clerk to discuss wording of leaflet with Cllr Twist, and Cllr Twist to investigate printing costs.

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

Cllr Twist provided some details on EV charging:  she said plugging into a regular 3-pin socket is classed as a slow charger, charging from empty could take more than 24 hours.  Home charging points vary in price, but broadly somewhere between £350 and £800. There is a government grant towards having one installed, it will cover 75% of the price, but is capped at £350, and the grant is set to end on 31st March 2022.  In order to take advantage of the scheme you have to be using a government-approved company installing an approved unit.

Check your eligibility for an energy efficiency grant. There is a new grant fund called LAD2 which helps tenants and owner occupiers improve the energy efficiency of their home. For details visit the East Devon District Council website.

Sign up for the Planet Pledge, to reduce home energy wastage, it started on 17th January 2022. Participants will receive a welcome guide to introduce as many as nine new energy saving behaviours each to be completed for a minimum of 66 days. For more details and to sign up visit www.planetpledge.co.uk    

Cllr Rowe said that there was a new Green Spaces Development Officer in post at EDDC, Russell Giblett, with whom he was consulting about the wildflower project. Members discussed how parish residents could get involved.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

Cllr Twist said criminals are targeting parents by pretending to be a child in need of financial help, particularly on Instagram.  She added that Devon Trading Standards has produced a guide to scams, rogue traders and doorstep crime.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was no update on this while the legal and financial issues remain unresolved.  

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

Cllr Walker said she had given the village play area a general tidy and removed some of the brambles.  She had spoken to the lengthsman about the mole hills.  Cllr Twist reported that work had begun on the Hayne Farm play area.

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

Cllr Walker said she had spoken to the lengsthman about the work Cllr Twist had requested.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask the lengthsman to look at overgrown brambles on the Honiton link road.

167/21   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said she had attended the Zoom meeting which explained the Devon-wide campaign for 20 is Plenty, and she was supportive of it.  With the council’s agreement, the Chair said she would add this to the agenda for the March meeting. There is a template for parishes to use to make a formal resolution at the parish council and then to contact their county council.  The Chair added that she’d agreed to contact other parishes to increase awareness, which she will do following the discussion at the next GPC meeting. She encouraged members to watch a short video the campaign has produced https://www20splenty.org/parish_council_motion .

168/21 To review the budget for 2022-23

Members welcomed the revised budget which had been drawn up by the clerk and Cllr Twist.  Members resolved to set budget expenditure at £13,652, the balance to be taken from reserves.

ACTION: Clerk to discuss gazette printing costs with Carol McCann.

169/21   To consider progress on the Hayne Farm development

The clerk said Baker Estates would attend the March 2022 meeting.

ACTION: Clerk to discuss dog waste bin with EDDC and order as appropriate.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to ask DCC’s Mike Brown if the unused grit bin after the turning for the A30 can be moved to the junction with Meadow Acre.

170/21 To approve a supplier for the Gittisham play area maintenance contract

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.

171/21   To approve the February payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1144       F J Clampin                          £229.70                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (petrol, stamps)

1145       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for January meeting

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

The clerk circulated a bank reconciliation for January 2022.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £19,702.66 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

ACTION: Clerk to discuss the frequency of village hall hire payments with Judith Turner.

172/21 To consider parish council support for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and any funding opportunities

Members agreed to speak to residents about what kind of projects they would like to see for the platinum jubilee, in addition to tree planting, a street party and bus shelter upgrades. 

ACTION: Clerk to keep a file of funding opportunities and activities to support.

173/21   Clerk’s Report

None.

174/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Platinum Jubilee activities; Hayne Farm including dog poo bins; bus shelters upgrade; 20 is Plenty.

175/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Valentine said the barrier on the Curlditch side of the bridge by Riverside Cottages was rotten and therefore unsafe.  It will be reported to the appropriate authority as a safety issue.

Cllr Twist suggested fitting QR codes to benches in the parish, as had been featured on the Netflix programme Afterlife.  The QR code provides a link to a mental health charity.

ACTION: Clerk to report barrier defect to EDDC / DCC.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to investigate QR codes on benches.

176/21   Date of next two meetings.   Thursday 3rd March and Thursday 7th April at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2130 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

3rd March 2022

2022-01 Parish Council meeting minutes 6th January 2022

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 6th January 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr A Rowe
Cllr D Valentine
Cllr M Walker
Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr J Twist
Cllr J Fowles

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

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

143/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

144/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 9th December 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th December 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

145/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

1 crime, November 2021:

1 x violence & sexual offences, Parsonage Lane.

The clerk said she had shared posters from the police with Cllrs Twist and Orchard about livestock worrying to put on the parish council noticeboards.

146/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

147/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Valentine outlined his presentation to EDDC’s Strategic Planning meeting on 14th December in relation to the draft Local Plan.  The major consideration at this meeting was the working draft of the East Devon Local Plan 2020-2040. This document (more than 1,000 pages!!) rolls forward the current Local Plan and revisits all of the current LP’s policies, introduces new policies to address emerging planning issues and seeks to prioritise development opportunities throughout the district. There will be further opportunities to comment on policies. The draft plan currently recognises that given the development constraints surrounding Honiton, that only modest residential development is achievable (228 dwellings). Land previously identified as being “available” is ranked in the plan on a scale 1-6 (1. being no chance and 6. favoured for development). Inevitably land south and west of the current Hayne Lane development and south of the railway line, has been promoted (by Combe Estate) as being available. Such a development would potentially bring development into the Gitt valley and within 400m of the village. The ranking given to this land is 2 or possibly 3 (there is confusion in the documents supporting the draft plan). This would suggest that this land is not suitable for development.  However, there are caveats in the report that indicate that if figures are not achievable elsewhere in the plan that land suitability would be reviewed.  The meeting did not conclude its business and will reconvene on 11th January. Members agreed they were happy for Cllr Valentine to speak on the parish council’s behalf at future strategic planning meetings.

Cllr Valentine also reported that he and the Chair had attended a briefing regarding the Hayne Lane steering group.  This relates to the employment allocation in the current Local Plan which is located north of the railway line between Hayne Lane and the Forge. EDDC has established a steering group to discuss and share information and views, as the project progresses, in bringing forward this land for employment purposes. It was previously agreed that GPC should be represented on this steering group. The first meeting of the steering group took place on 16th November. There was no GPC representative available for the meeting, but Cllr Valentine and the Chair had received a briefing from the steering group administrator on 17th December (via Zoom).  He distributed a copy of the minutes of the initial steering group meeting to all members.  The project will be the subject of a Master Plan exercise and tenders are currently been assessed with a view to appointing a consultancy to prepare the Master Plan. Once the consultant has been appointed further meetings with the steering group will take place. The Master Plan will be the subject of public consultation before a final document is presented. The next meeting is expected towards the end of February.

Cllr Twist said the blocked drains at Hayne Farm had been cleared by Baker Estates, but had promptly filled up again with the heavy rain.  However, they are not as bad as before.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to ask Cllr Bruce if he can reiterate the parish council’s position at the next strategic planning meeting on 11th January.

148/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

In his absence, Cllr Twiss sent the following report: “short and sweet this month following the Christmas recess at County Hall for the majority of departments, where everyone who can is back at their posts, in the ‘virtual world’, unless their role legally requires face to face meetings or visits for those such as DCC Highways workers or social care staff.

Locality Budget

A reminder that I have something called a Locality Budget available for use in your community, where typically I am able to support small-scale applications for items such as village notice boards, footpath improvements, tree planting etc. More details and how to apply can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/democracy/councillors-nav/locality-budgets/ The process runs until 31st March and from 1st April for the next financial year, so if you have any projects in mind you will need to put your thinking caps on quite soon!

Scrutiny of the draft budget

The target figures for each of the main services at DCC go to the Cabinet for approval next Wednesday, before a series of scrutiny meetings by the three committees, and then on to full council in February for final approval. This is likely to be the toughest budget DCC has had to set in living memory.  What has become very clear is that with massive demand pressures on Adult and Children’s services in particular, (for a variety of reasons, not least the impact of COVID-19 and its variations) the increase in council tax is going to be the maximum 2% allowable without a referendum and an additional 1% for the social care precept, despite a very large amount of DCC reserves going to balance the books for 2022/23.

Cllr Bruce apologised for not attending, but said he had been identified as a close contact of someone testing positive for Covid-19.  He reminded members that the next round of meetings to discuss the local plan are coming up towards the end of this month. They are scheduled to look at specific towns and villages with regard to housing allocation. It’s therefore important to register if anyone wishes to speak to the agenda item. He said he would be presenting arguments on behalf of Feniton at the beginning of the first meeting, so if the parish council wished him to speak on its behalf to let him know.

In his absence, Cllr Bonetta wished all members a happy new year.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to speak to Cllr Twiss regarding Mike Brown’s recent visit.

ACTION: Clerk to ask Cllr Twiss if he can arrange an update from Jurassic Fibre on the rollout of superfast broadband.

ACTION: Available Vale councillors to join Cllr Twiss on another ‘grumble walk’ on 29th Jan at 10.30am.

149/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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.

  • To receive an update on Highways

In his absence, Cllr Orchard sent a monthly report asking if the parish council can use its CIL money to spruce up the bus shelters that are looking a bit scruffy.  He reminded members that CIL funds can be spent on the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure.  Cllr Orchard reported that the grill on Old Elm Road balancing pond has still not been cleared.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted three more contractors for play area since last month. One declined work, the other two he met on site, but no further contact to date.  The Chair said that EDDC was sympathetic, as all councils were experiencing supply issues.

  • To receive an update on public transport

There was no update on this.

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

Cllr Twist explained that Baker Estates are ready to install, and the electrics are in place for the defibrillator. Once the expenditure has been approved and the cheque sent to Community Heartbeat Trust, there is a 5-6 week lead in.  The host agreement has not yet been signed by Sovereign Housing, there are on-going discussions on one of the clauses in the agreement, and Sovereign have also requested they be able to check that the weekly checks are being carried out.  Cllr Twist said she hoped that all this may be sorted within the 5-6 weeks lead time.  One member of the public explained that his wife is the primary checker for the existing defibrillators in the parish, and he is the secondary.  Cllr Twist said that she was happy to be the primary checker for the Hayne Farm defibrillator, and would put out a call for a back-up on the Hayne Farm Facebook page.

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

Cllr Twist said she had received an email from Alastair Mumford of DCC, which said: “Still working on phases 1 & 2 of the charge point roll out. Phase 1 should be breaking ground in January, and Phase 2 is out to tender about the same time, with both completing by the end of 2022. Hope to be planning Phase 3 in the spring.”  Members thanked Cllr Twist for persevering with this.

Cllr Rowe presented details of rewilding proposals for land along Old Elm Road. Seed mixes are £15 / 100g.  1 kilo is £80.  EDDC’s Horticultural officer had talked about adding oxeye daisies, £20 / 100g and yellow rattle £38 / 100g.  Members heard that land is more fertile nearer the gate, and they agreed the parish council should pursue other funding sources including the AONB, Combe Garden Centre and match-funding from EDDC. 

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was a 4th Feb deadline for the VAT matter to be resolved.  

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

The Chair said she would contact Russell Hayman about the damaged oak tree. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to speak to the lengthsman about mole hills.

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

Members thanked Len Abbott and Cllr Rowe for clearing debris from under the railway bridge, following flooding over Christmas. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask the lengthsman to trim the hedge and brambles on the LH side just south of the railway bridge on Hayne Lane.

150/21   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said there was no update this month.

151/21 To agree the budget for 2022-23

The clerk outlined likely expenditure for the rest of the current tax year, and circulated a spreadsheet showing forecast expenditure for 2022/23.  Councillors suggested new lines for 2x bus shelter solar panels (£200), bus shelter refurbishment (£500), rewilding materials for Old Elm Road open space (£500), new benches (£1,500) and a party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (£500, estimated prices).  Members resolved to set budget expenditure at £16,502 which includes contingency and depreciation of play area items. The forecast expenditure details have been circulated.

ACTION: Clerk to discuss refining budget spreadsheet with Cllr Twist. 

152/21   To set the precept for 2022-23

Councillors agreed to keep the precept at the 2021/22 level of £8,323.20, the balance of the budget to be taken from reserves.  Councillors said they recognised the difficult circumstances brought about by the pandemic.

153/21   To approve the January payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1137       F J Clampin                          £225.71                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamp)

1138       Leonard Abbott                   £42         3hrs lengthsman work, Dec 2021

1139       CHT                                       £2,280   Hayne Farm defibrillator, inc annual support package & carriage

1140       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for December meeting

1141       Information Commissioner£40        Annual membership

1142       Gittisham PCC                     £215       Gazette printing & paper, 2021

1143       Arthur J Gallagher Ins         £248.37                 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 £19,964.84 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

154/21 To consider changes to the parish council meeting schedule

Members resolved to move future parish council meetings to the first Thursday of the month in order to make use of the village hall. 

155/21   Clerk’s Report

None.

156/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Budget 2022/23; maintenance contract; Platinum Jubilee activities; Hayne Farm including dog poo bins.

157/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Valentine said he had come across a man from DCC taking measurements along Dark Lane towards Pomeroy Lodge, with a view to resurfacing this part.

158/21   Date of next two meetings.   Thursday 3rd February and Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd February 2022

2021-12 Parish Council meeting minutes 9th December 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 9th December 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr A Rowe
Cllr D Valentine
Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr P Orchard
Cllr J Twist
Cllr J Fowles

In attendance: Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), Richard Ayre & Graham Hutton (Baker Estates), one member of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: Cllr M Walker, Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

123/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

124/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 4th November 2021

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

125/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

2 crimes, October 2021:

1 x anti-social behaviour, Ferndale Close, 1 x violence & sexual offences, Parsonage Lane.

Members agreed the police newsletter was informative and would be useful to receive on a monthly basis.

ACTION: Clerk to feed back to PCSO Darren England on police newsletter.

126/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

127/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

None.

128/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said he is regularly asked by residents about lowering speed limits to 20mph in built-up areas. There has been a pilot scheme in Newton Abbott since 2019 that DCC has been undertaking, and the results of that have been evaluated to a point where the Cabinet has approved a framework for this to happen.

Cllr Twiss circulated a paper as evidence that there is quite a bit of work for communities to undertake, including setting up a Community Speed Watch if one doesn’t already exist. Further details on this can be found at https://www.communityspeedwatch.org/FRONT-v2-Home.php and clearly this is likely to provoke debate on the merits of this in each area. A reported collision data map for the previous five years can be found at https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/safe-travel/road-safety/collision-data/collision-map/ which is not to say that in areas with low or no records, people couldn’t drive more responsibly, particularly in areas with a national speed limit.  Cllr Twiss added that as we move towards Christmas and what might usually be regarded as winter, he was pleased to report that DCC salt and grit barns are fully stocked to cope with demand if needed during cold spells.

DCC Budget 2022/23

Cllr Twiss explained that the process of budget setting has now begun in earnest and is likely to be the most testing for the authority in living memory, where DCC is legally obliged to set a balanced budget.  This is likely to impact on services provided by the council who are going to have to rise to the challenge of working in even more effective ways, having risen to the challenges thrown at it by the Covid pandemic.

Pressures being faced by services are mirrored both locally in Devon and nationally. The unprecedented circumstances we face have exacerbated and created demand growth, an increasing cost base, labour market dynamics and staffing shortages.

The autumn spending review gave some indication of the funding that may be available in the coming year, but at this time DCC has had to estimate what this may mean for Devon. There remains a risk that funding may not be at this level, but also the potential that it may be a bit better when the final settlement figure from Government is known.  Cllr Twiss said as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, it is going to be a bumpy ride for a few years.

Social Care

One of the biggest challenges facing all Tier 1 Councils is the provision of social care, which is a huge problem in rural and not so rural areas in Devon. The recently published Government White paper sets out 3 core principles to fix the clearly broken system, as below:

  • Everybody has choice, control and support to live independent lives
  • Everyone can access outstanding personalised care and support
  • Adult social care is fair and accessible for everyone who needs it

For this and the ‘levelling up’ agenda to work most effectively, local authorities in largely  rural areas such as Devon must be properly funded, after suffering from years of historic underfunding compared with urban areas. DCC will be looking for financial reform to bridge the funding gap for social care budgets to ensure that they can meet growing demands on the service and current levels of unmet need for various reasons.

The full White Paper can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/people-at-the-heart-of-care-adult-social-care-reform-white-paper  

Cllr Bruce announced with regret that meetings at EDDC will remain via Zoom, and that final responsibility for fundamental policy decisions will remain with the chief executive. Whilst he appreciated the safety concerns expressed by members of the ruling party, particularly around the latest variant of Covid-19, we are now very much out of step with regard to most of the district councils in the South West.  He expressed concern that this model of running a council is undemocratic and therefore the ability, and some might argue, the relevance of a district councillor is rendered irrelevant. He had tried to put forward an amendment to shorten the four month extension to two, but did not get support from the ruling party. He did however get a promise from the chair that the decision will be reviewed regularly and would be brought back for debate, if the landscape changed for the better. 

In his absence, Cllr Bonetta sent the following report:

Life at EDDC continues as always at full pace, with the administration working hard on many projects and policies as we approach the new budget season.

Public Toilets

At last week’s Cabinet meeting, and yesterday’s Full Council meeting, the final plans for public toilets across East Devon were approved and announced. This means that the loos in Lace Walk Car Park will remain open and operated by EDDC as Category A conveniences, and the King Street public loos have been given a stay of execution after his recommendation to the Overview Committee and Cabinet was passed. This means that both public conveniences in Honiton will remain open in one way or another, and he was proud to have played his part in securing these for the benefit of the residents of Honiton St. Michael’s. Although this does not directly affect Gittisham Parish Council, it is important to note, considering the close ties between the communities, and the strong need for town centre amenities to be protected and even enhanced.

Safeguarding

At the EDDC Council meeting on 8th December, Cllr Eileen Wragg read out a statement from a victim of a former Exmouth district councillor and convicted paedophile, John Humphreys, regarding his treatment by Humphreys and the police. This statement was extremely moving and has prompted the Leader of the Council, Paul Arnott, to announce that mandatory safeguarding training will be required to be undertaken by all district councillors. This, along with two letters that were written to the Conservative Party regarding their internal investigation and Devon and Cornwall Police asking for a referral to the IOPC, will hopefully resolve as a substantive effort by the administration to root out and prevent forever the rot of abuse that Humphreys committed.

Local Plan

In his report, Cllr Bonetta explained that work has continued with the East Devon Local Plan, with a 650-page draft copy of the plan being released last week for public viewing. Although we are not yet in the public consultation period, it is important to note the proposals within the Gittisham Village ward of the village, on the border with the Vale ward, especially surrounding the designated employment area and housing allocations between Hayne Lane and the Forge. Consultation is due to open into the document in March 2022, and therefore Cllr Bonetta highly recommended that the PC take part in the consultation to ensure its interests are heard. The document is available here: https://democracy.eastdevon.gov.uk/documents/g1671/Public%20reports%20pack%2014th-Dec-2021%2009.30%20Strategic%20Planning%20Committee.pdf?T=10

Cllr Valentine asked if it was possible to identify the guidance given to officers and members about consultation with parish councils, as he was very unhappy that so little consultation appeared to have taken place on the parish boundary review.  Cllr Bruce agreed to investigate, and Cllr Twiss added that he would ask EDDC’s Jamie Buckley who carries out public consultations.

Cllr Valentine added that there were documents circulating in connection with the draft Local Plan, looking at a variety of measures and justifying the selection of sites.  He hoped that these documents could be made public so that it would be possible to comment before the sites had been allocated.  Cllr Twiss advised him to attend EDDC’s next strategic planning meeting on 14th December to make this point.  He said the documents would be available with the agenda.

ACTION: Clerk to send strategic planning agenda to Cllr Valentine.

Old Elm Road gate

The clerk said that the issue over disabled buggy access was due to be resolved by Highways at the end of November.  Cllr Twiss agreed to ask Highways for the current state of play, and said he would suggest this could be resolved using DCC’s Doing What Matters budget.  Cllr Fowles also raised the issue of parking along Old Elm Road by the electricity substation, where there have been some near misses of late.

ACTION: Cllr Twiss to contact Cllr Fowles about walking the road on a Saturday morning to experience the issue.

Hayne Lane drains

The clerk said a resident had reported blocked drains on Hayne Lane opposite the emergency gate several times, and was unhappy with DCC’s response.  Cllr Twist said the issue appeared to originate with material emanating from tractors using the lane, and there was concern that any flooding on this corner where the lane meets the estate access road would be very dangerous in icy weather.  Graham Hutton from Baker Estates said that he and Cllr Twiss would come to a solution and let the clerk know the outcome.

129/21   To receive an update on the Hayne Farm development from Baker Estates

Cllr Bruce said he and Cllr Twiss had carried out a ‘grumble walk’ on the Hayne Farm development, and this had given them a good understanding of the proposed bus route.  He thanked Cllr Twist for facilitating this and said he considered this an important part of councillor work and an excellent way of highlighting specific issues on the ground. He would be taking forward all the identified elements that came out of this walk.

Cllr Bruce added that there was an issue with traffic sweeping round the corner into the development at a higher speed than the road was designed for.  He was concerned that when the development was finished and more children present, this could get worse.  Graham Hutton replied that at the planning stage the road had been widened to allow large agricultural vehicles to navigate down the hill.  Cllr Twiss said he would enquire with Highways whether it was possible to consider a traffic calming measure on this section of road into the site, which has now been adopted by DCC as a public highway.

Richard Ayre outlined Baker Estates’ plans for the former farmyard site (which does not include the shop and café), arguing for a logical development in a sustainable location.  It has been indicated as a potential allocation in the emerging local plan.  He said they would look to bring access through the existing Hayne Farm development when the road is finally adopted.  In terms of the design, he said there would be a natural transition from something similar to the existing estate to something more rural in design to reflect the edge of the urban area.  There will be an affordable housing element out of a total of approximately 35 dwellings, although it’s not sure how many will be affordable yet.  There would be no development on open fields with this site.  There will be a public consultation around February 2022, with a view to submitting a planning application in the early spring.  Graham Hutton said he would be happy to meet residents to discuss, and to come back to the parish council early next year.

Cllr Bruce asked if would be possible in future to have an idea of the inclination on the site, and the Chair suggested using 3D technology to communicate their plans.  Cllr Bruce queried the fake chimneys and the gas infrastructure, but Graham Hutton said it was still critical to install gas infrastructure for when hydrogen power may or may not come on stream.  Mr Hutton explained that building regulations would be changing next year, which would allow for a 31 per cent increase in energy efficiency.

One member of the public asked if nearby residents could be assured of the safe removal and disposal of any asbestos or hazardous materials on site. Graham Hutton replied that hydrocarbon oil-based contamination had been identified.  He said demolition contractors could not be appointed without a rigorous asbestos survey, and those appointed would have the necessary certification.   

Cllr Twist said drainage had been an issue on the existing development because of low-lying land, and Cllr Rowe asked if there would be an increase in surface water capabilities.  Graham Hutton said there would, and Baker Estates would be able to install new attenuation systems on site. 

Cllr Valentine enquired whether Baker Estates had any plans to extend the site in a westerly direction, but Richard Ayre said the company did not.  Graham Hutton said he was aware of the potential for allocation in that direction, but Baker Estates was not involved.

One member of the public asked if residents could be assured that the proposed build will not impact the light and privacy currently enjoyed by those occupying the current Hayne Farm site, particularly as the land rises behind Hodges Close towards the farmyard.  Graham Hutton said the member of the public was correct about the level change, and that respectable back-to-back distances would be considered.  He added that the first planning application would be outline, followed by a reserved matters application which would include more detail on point distances, heights and locations.

Members discussed the proposed defibrillator, which appeared to have stalled because Sovereign Housing had not signed the host agreement.  Graham Hutton said he would pursue the matter with Sovereign and confirm the location with them, as everything else was ready to go.

Graham Hutton agreed that Baker Estates would purchase a bin for dog waste, and the parish council would pay for a second.

Cllr Orchard enquired about progress on the play area.  Graham Hutton apologised for the delay, and said the equipment was on track to be delivered in February 2022.  Cllr Twist asked if there would be a fence next to the play area, due to the gradient.  Graham Hutton said there would be.  The Gittisham PC noticeboard will be installed by the public open space; it is currently in site containers.

The Chair thanked Richard Ayre and Graham Hutton for sharing their plans at this early stage, and for being open to discuss any issues arising with the current development.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to send Graham Hutton the defibrillator host agreement.

130/21   To consider the proposal for a parish boundary review

Members discussed the recent proposal for a boundary review, which had been discussed by EDDC Cabinet on 1st December.  Cllr Bruce, the Chair and Cllr Orchard had both spoken at this meeting.  The proposal did not gain widespread support and was therefore deferred until after the EDDC Local Plan was issued and the implications of it better understood, including any development around Hayne Farm and the garden centre.

In his report, Cllr Bonetta said he was pleased to see strong representation from Gittisham at this meeting.  He had aired his views on the subject, but was in complete agreement with the outcome of the meeting in that more consultation and discussion is needed here – especially considering the poor overall consultation response and engagement from Honiton Town Council members. Therefore, he was happy that a deferment was sought on this matter and looked forward to having fruitful discussions with the council in the future about this.  The Chair thanked Cllrs Bruce and Twiss for having supported the process.

Cllr Twiss, Richard Ayre, Graham Hutton and one member of the public left the meeting.

131/21   To consider the following planning applications:

a)         21/2882/LBC – Westgate Gittisham EX14 3AU – installation of tortoise fireboxes, flue liners, terracotta twin wall liner to top of chimney and bird guard

b)          21/2906/FUL – 3 Lower Green Way Gittisham EX14 3FT – installation of window to north facing dormer

Members resolved to have no objection to a) or b).  

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

132/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/1756/FUL – Erection of a storage building on land adjacent to Combe Garden Centre

Retrospective approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

2-3 March 2022 road closure for Jurassic Fibre – Ironbridge to Gittisham Farm.

Cllr Orchard raised the possibility of using CIL funds to spruce up the bus shelters.  He added that the grill on Old Elm Road balancing pond had still not been cleared, and that Combe Garden Centre had added stop lines to their exit on to the lane.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted a further three contractors for the play area works since last month. One declined, two met him on site, but there had been no further contact since.  So far he has been in touch with 13 contractors, but frustratingly the plans are no further on.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to update Sulina Tallack at EDDC on progress so far.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Members agreed to keep an eye on the developing situation as regards buses serving the Hayne Farm development.

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

Cf minute ref. 129/21.

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

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said there had been reports of criminals following delivery vans and stealing parcels left for residents who were not at home to receive them.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was no update on this. 

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said this should be reviewed in May 2022, and the Chair said in the meantime it could be removed from the agenda.

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

There was no update this month.

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

There was no update this month.  Cllr Twist asked who is responsible for the land on the left hand side of Hayne Lane going downhill to the culvert, as brambles have started to overwhelm the pavement. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask the lengthsman to trim the hedge and brambles there.

133/21   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said she had been focused this month on the parish boundary review, which had been discussed earlier in the meeting.  She circulated the statement she had made to EDDC at the Cabinet meeting. The Chair thanked all members for their work on behalf of the parish, thanked their families for supporting them and wished all a happy Christmas.

134/21 To consider traffic and the state of the road and associated infrastructure in Gittisham village and on Hayne Lane.

Members discussed problems with water that is gushing down Hayne Lane and taking rubbish and other items with it.  Land management techniques could be investigated to address the problems of surface water run-off from fields at Hayne Lane and in the wider parish.   

ACTION: Chair to discuss with Cllr Bruce.

135/21   To consider support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Members resolved to support the bill.

136/21 To approve and sign the annual CIL report 2020/21

The clerk distributed details of CIL income and expenditure for 2020/21, available at https://gittisham.org.uk/2021/12/09/gittisham-parish-council-cil-report-2020-21/.  Members resolved to approve the document, and it was signed by the Chair.

ACTION: Clerk to upload the CIL document 2020/21 and send to EDDC.

137/21   To approve the December payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1134       F J Clampin                          £234.85                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (printing paper)

1135       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for November meeting

1136       CHT                           £324      Annual support package for 2 x defibrillators

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

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £23,048.40 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  Members discussed measures to reduce the reserves, including sprucing up the bus shelters, installing solar panels for lighting inside the bus shelters, wild flower planting, Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.  The Chair encouraged all members to speak to residents about what they would like to see.

ACTION: All to consider future expenditure to reduce the reserves, and send details to clerk in time for budget setting next month.

138/21 To consider changes to the parish council meeting schedule

Members agreed that future parish council meetings could move to the first Thursday of the month in order to make use of the village hall.  The clerk said the next two meetings would be on a Thursday.

ACTION: Clerk to canvass opinion on proposed changes from district and county councillors.

139/21   Clerk’s Report

None.

140/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Budget 2022/23; precept; day of meetings; Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill.

141/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

142/21   Date of next two meetings.   Thursday 6th January 2022 and Thursday 3rd February at 7.30pm in the village hall. 

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

Chair…………………………………….

6th January 2022

Parish Council meeting minutes 4 Nov 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 4th November 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr A Rowe
Cllr D Valentine
Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr P Orchard (acting Chair)
Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr C Hall (Chair), Cllr M Walker, PCSO Darren England

In the absence of Cllr Hall, Cllr Orchard agreed to chair the meeting.

104/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

105/21   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 6th October 2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 6th October 2021 were confirmed and signed by Cllr Orchard. 

106/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

1 crime, September 2021: burglary, Devonshire Road.

Cllr Twiss added that he had attended a meeting with senior police officers including Sgt Hutter.  Cllr Twiss reported that a new method of reporting crime figures would be trialled, with a report formulated for larger towns each month.  For parishes there will be a trial newsletter that will be more relevant, targeted and specific.

ACTION: Clerk to distribute police newsletter.  All to feed back to Cllr Twiss their thoughts on the newsletter.

107/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

108/21   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

None.

109/21   To consider EDDC’s Community Governance Review (CGR) and Honiton Boundary Review

Members approved Cllr Orchard’s motion to move this item up the agenda.  Parish councillors expressed their disappointment that neither GPC nor Honiton Town Council had been informed well in advance of a report proposing a review of the parish and town boundaries that went before EDDC cabinet on Wednesday 3rd November. 

Cllr Bonetta explained that at its meeting last night, the Cabinet of EDDC resolved that – pending consultation with and representations from both Honiton Town Council and Gittisham Parish Council – officers be given delegated authority over whether or not to proceed with a boundary CGR in time for the next local elections in May 2023. This constitutes a major step towards a CGR and changed boundaries, and therefore much greater consultation with GPC is needed on this. It is important to note that this CGR would only affect the parish boundaries, not the district ward boundaries.

He added that with his Honiton Town Council hat on: he is personally supportive of a move towards a CGR, and he made this clear at the Cabinet meeting yesterday. The form that this takes and the physical extent that the boundary review goes to will obviously come from conversations had between all three councils involved, and it would not be his place as a single ward member to comment on where the lines should be drawn as of yet.  Any CGR he said, would include a three-month public consultation.  However, he offered his support towards a transfer of the Gittisham Vale ward into Honiton Town Council boundaries, based on not only current EDDC ward boundaries but the neighbourhood currently split in two between parishes.  Cllr Bonetta declared an interest as a member of Honiton Town Council, and apologised for not declaring previously at this meeting his membership of Honiton Forward.  He invited members and residents to address any specific concerns or comments, so that he could forward them to the relevant team at EDDC.

Cllr Valentine said he had watched the discussion online, but there appeared to be no reference to the concerns expressed to EDDC’s officers by both HTC and GPC.  Members agreed that any change in the parish boundary between Gittisham Vale and Honiton St Michael’s in particular could have significant implications for council tax rates, and even the existence of the parish council itself.  Cllr Orchard had crunched the numbers, and estimated that with a Band D precept for Gittisham presently around £25, and Honiton £75, if the Vale transferred to HTC, the income for GPC would fall around a third, meaning an increase of around 50% for the remaining households in Gittisham parish.  If Hayne Farm also transferred that would be a loss of around two thirds of the total properties in the parish, meaning an increase of around 300% for each of the remaining households in order to retain the parish income level. 

Members agreed there are those in Gittisham Vale and Hayne Farm who feel strongly that they are part of Gittisham parish, and the importance of this should not be ignored.  Particularly during Covid, the parish has worked hard to bring residents together, encourage support networks and organise events which have attracted people from across the parish.  Discussions have taken place at GPC about representation to ensure that the number of councillors in the two wards of the parish reflect the size of the community in the Vale, Village and Hayne Farm, although these did not include a discussion of changing the ward boundaries.

Members heard that the item was deferred for further consideration by EDDC on 8th December.  They agreed to ask EDDC for the discussion to be postponed until a proper consultation can take place.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to draft some further points, and clerk to send update and request for postponement to EDDC’s Mark Williams & Henry Gordon Lennox.

110/21   To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bruce said that having managed to clear up the incorrect information supplied to the parish council at the last meeting concerning the status of the Church Mead garages, he had since contacted the officer concerned for an update.  He has been assured an update on whether/if they need any work before being available for rent will be available before the next parish meeting.

District council is still hosting meetings via Zoom , and Blackdown House remains a virtual ‘Marie Celeste’, said Cllr Bruce. This is not a satisfactory situation for the proper functioning of EDDC. He fully appreciates the concerns expressed by a number of councillors over Covid-19, but with a large number of town and parish councils meeting face to face in the district, the council finds itself at odds with the general picture.  Cllr Bruce said he remained hopeful that the situation will be resolved in January 2022.

After the last meeting where Mr Elkins gave an impassioned description of his flooding experience recently, Cllr Bruce met him to see if the district could offer anything to help. He was able to provide some practical tips based on his own experience and assured him that he would continue to ensure that DCC made sure the drains were kept clear. Without a wholesale dismantling of our drainage system, the most practical steps we can take is to ensure the system we have works to its maximum at all times. Cllr Bruce has proposed to Cllr Twiss that a major change is needed within the Highways section at DCC, which he concurs with. We need to shift from a reactive system to one which either preempts heavy rainfall events (after all we now have one of the most powerful weather predicting computers in the world just down the road), or uses another method to ensure that the drainage system works at 100 per cent most of the time. Cllr Bruce has serious reservations as to whether any of the above will be achieved, but it is clear the current system does not serve the needs of our communities.

On the same front it was a great relief to hear that funding has now been secured for the final phases of the flood defence system  in Feniton. This been given a push, not least due to the Environment Agency being in a position to stump up the money as EDDC does not have any. We now await a date from Network Rail as to when they will close the main line to allow the culvert to be placed through the embankment.

Cllr Bruce said he welcomed the news from central government that more than £500 million  is to be allocated to encourage developers to favour  brown field sites. This is not a new initiative by any means and successive governments have tried to get these sites developed before greenfield locations, something we would all wish to see. However, the right form of incentive needs to be in place for any developer to look at these old sites before they will take on what can be problematic issues, for example contaminated land.

Cllr Bruce said he and Cllr Twiss had met Baker Estates w/c 1st November to go over the proposed plans in more detail. It was useful to see the planned loop road to help facilitate a future bus run which Cllr Bruce said he knew Cllr Twiss will take forward for us. He also asked questions regarding the infrastructure planned and built in to cope with increased volumes of field run off from storm events. Cllr Bruce was assured that most of the system is in place and being added to. He also enquired what system was being used to insulate these properties. As someone who has built his own home to A++ level, he said he was acutely aware of the massive impact this can have on energy costs, and was promised a walk round the estate to see the works for himself.  There was also good news to report on the playpark trigger being met with new build and equipment on order. However, this will not be available until early next year for well-documented reasons.

Seaton Jurassic

Cllr Bruce reported he had attended a meeting today regarding the fate of Seaton Jurassic.  He explained his involvement in it from the beginning.  He felt much progress had been made, and the options presented were well laid out.  Cllr Bruce said he hoped it would be possible to find a way of working with a commercial partner in future.

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

Roads

Cllr Twiss said that adverse weather conditions have taken their toll on Devon Highways in recent weeks, and locally the Feniton & Honiton Division is no exception ranging from serious flooding to road surface damage etc.  Hayne Lane as you may be aware is one such place where DCC Highways has been preparing a scheme to lay kerbs and channels to protect the edge from erosion, but when NHO Mike Brown visited the site recently with the contractor’s agent to discuss the necessary work, they saw that the recent storms a couple of weeks ago had caused a complete collapse of the bank.  The DCC reactive works team has tried placing sandbags and barriers to keep the lane open but the permanent works are of a scale which will now need referring to the structures team.  Cllr Twiss said he feared that any further deterioration will lead to closing the road until a new scheme can be put in place and he had no fixed timescale for this currently.

Members discussed the current state of Hayne Lane, with some in favour of turning it into a green lane if further extreme weather damages the road in future.  Cllr Orchard remarked that the traffic survey he had undertaken with Cllr Twist showed that traffic turning out of Hayne Farm tended to turn downhill, rather than travelling up Hayne Lane where the state of the road is particularly poor. 

Cllr Rowe asked if the yellow lines would be painted back on Devonshire Road, and Cllr Twiss said they would.

Broadband

Cllr Twiss reported that Jurassic Fibre are preparing for installation of fibre optic cable in to Gittisham and he was waiting for an update on a potential ‘Plan B’ access route from Matt Galley at JF who is their partnerships Director. This follows an email from Cllr Hall, who had bumped in to a surveyor from JF who expressed concerns that the current infrastructure that Openreach are obliged to share may need to be upgraded.

Buses

DCC has produced an updated bus strategy (which was circulated to members) where broadly, once Hayne Farm is ‘built out’ will trigger a regular bus service hopefully encouraging a reduction in car trips in to Honiton and beyond, the population trigger being 500 people.  Cllr Twiss aid he had written to DCC Transport to put this on to their radar re Hayne Farm a year or so down the track.

Cllr Jake Bonetta said that as‌ ‌with‌ ‌every‌ ‌month‌ ‌at‌ ‌EDDC,‌ ‌the‌ ‌administration‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌very‌ ‌busy‌ ‌working‌ ‌towards‌ ‌the‌ ‌delivery‌ ‌of‌ ‌major‌ ‌projects,‌ ‌and‌ ‌hisy‌ ‌work‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌Honiton‌ ‌St.‌ ‌Michael’s‌ cCouncillor‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌no‌ ‌different.‌ ‌Many‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌achievements‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌council‌ ‌over‌ ‌this‌ ‌previous‌ ‌month‌ ‌have‌ ‌happened‌ ‌outside‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌area,‌ ‌with‌ ‌major‌ ‌advancements‌ ‌being‌ ‌achieved‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌Sidmouth‌ ‌Beach‌ ‌Management‌ ‌and‌ ‌Flood‌ ‌Alleviation‌ ‌Schemes,‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌Council‌ ‌Plan‌ ‌focusing‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌of‌ ‌EDDC‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌greener‌ ‌and‌ ‌more‌ ‌economically‌ ‌prosperous‌ ‌East‌ ‌Devon.‌ ‌

Cllr Orchard said he had received a complaint about the overflowing dog poo bin at the Old Elm Road terminus, which was echoed by Cllr Twist. Cllr Bonetta explained that there are discussions at EDDC about the situation with dog waste bins across the entire district, and he would speak to StreetScene for an update.  He reminded members that if a dog waste bin is full, the waste can be double-bagged and placed in a standard black bin.  

Working Together for the Future of East Devon Conference 2021

Cllr Bonetta said that voluntary organisations, as well as parish councils, are being invited to book places on the free conference, taking place virtually on November 16th from 9:30am to 1:30pm. This conference will be a great opportunity to network with voluntary organisations from across the District and to celebrate their achievements, as well as looking at East Devon’s work in areas such as Citizens’ Advice, Poverty Strategy and the Local Care Partnership / Community Mental Health Framework.  Places must be booked in advance for the free conference, so if representatives would like to attend on behalf of Gittisham Parish Council or another organisation then they will need to email jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk (or call 01395 517569) with their name, contact details and the name of their organisation by 5pm next Wednesday, 10th November.

ACTION: Members to ask Baker Estates for an update regarding dog waste bins when they attend the next meeting. Cllrs Orchard & Twist to ‘grumble walk’ the Hayne Farm estate.

Cllr Twiss and Cllr Bonetta left the meeting.

111/21   To consider the following planning applications:

a)            21/2741/VAR – I Hamlet Cottages Weston EX14 3PB – Variation of condition number 2 (approved plans) of application 21/1295/FUL (Demolition of existing workshop to be replaced with a new self-build dwelling)

b)            21/2603/LBC – Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Single-storey extension to side with raised patio, installation of porch canopy to courtyard west elevation and east elevation, and internal alterations, involving demolition of existing porch to side

c)             21/2602/FUL – Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ – Single-storey extension to side with raised patio, installation of porch canopy to courtyard west elevation and east elevation, and internal alterations, involving demolition of existing porch to side

Members resolved to have no objection to b) or c).  In relation to a), members resolved to object to this application 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.

112/21   To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale ward and proceed to co-option as appropriate

Jan Fowles was elected by a unanimous vote to represent Gittisham Vale ward.

ACTION: Clerk to send Cllr Fowles register of interests form and investigate training courses for new councillors. 

113/21   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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..  Approval.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

11-12 November Road closure for Western Power – Road past Shermans Farm.

22-24 November Road closure for Jurassic Fibre – Ironbridge to Eveleigh’s Farm.

Cllr Orchard reiterated the previous discussion on Hayne Lane, pointing out that the road is washing away again adjacent to where it was repaired last year. There are warning cones in place.  He said the Old Elm balancing pond downstream exit grill is blocked. EDDC is aware and has appointed contractors urgently.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard said he would follow up with DCC School Transport to ask what DCC is doing about the school buses during the closure.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted a further four contractors for the play area works. One declined, two not answering their phones and one will call back later (hopefully). K C Builders had told Cllr Orchard last month that he is finding it impossible to get a price for tarmac, so can do the boules court and leave the skittles and t/tennis for someone else to surface.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to update Sulina Tallack at EDDC on progress so far.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said he had removed more items from the Vale bus shelter since the last meeting.  He added that the Stagecoach staff strike had been called off at the last minute.  Trains are running only as far as Gillingham or Salisbury, following the collision last weekend.

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

Cllr Twist said she had received no response from Baker Estates since the email sent on 13th September.

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

Cllr Twist said she had received no response from DCC since an email on 25th January 2021.

Cllr Rowe said he had not received a reply from Goren Farm regarding seeds, so he had been investigating prices online.  However, he felt that transporting them from elsewhere would be counter-productive.   

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to discuss rewilding with Cllr Bonetta.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined two current scams: 1) a scammer impersonating an EDDC officer regarding re-banding of council tax rings and asks for money.  Please hang up and call EDDC on their official number.  This scam was also outlined by Cllr Bonetta before he left the meeting.  2) Tesco “free prize draw”.  This is an email scam, asking you to complete a survey for the chance of winning a prize in order to steal people’s bank details.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the speed monitoring box installed temporarily at the west end of the village had found that the vast majority of traffic (90%) travels at less than 30mph.  Members noted that 3,445 traffic movements were recorded over a seven-day period. 

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

The clerk said she had publicised the emergency plan, including ‘phone numbers, on the website and noticeboard.  Cllr Rowe said he had checked all the grit bins in the parish, and all was well.

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

There was no update this month.

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

There was no update this month.

114/21   To receive a report from the Chair, including considering any potential action on measures to alleviate flooding

The Chair did not send a report this month.

115/21 To consider traffic levels and speeds in Gittisham village and on Hayne Lane

Cf items 113/21 h) and 110/21.

116/21 To consider the parish council’s position on a proposed footpath between Hayne Farm and Goldcombe

Members discussed the history of the proposal for a path, and took a vote to clarify the parish council’s position.  One councillor was in favour, and four abstained. 

117/21   To consider support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

This was deferred until the next meeting.

118/21   To approve the November payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1130       F J Clampin                          £226.84                 Clerk’s salary & expenses (stamps)

1131       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 101xx)

1132       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for October meeting

1133       Len Abbott                           £210       Lengthsman work, 15 hours, Oct 2021

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

The clerk said that £3,829.87 had been received in CIL money.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £23,639.73 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account).  The clerk circulated the half-yearly budget.

ACTION: All to consider future expenditure to reduce the reserves.

119/21   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said she was unable to make the meeting scheduled for 1st December.  Members discussed whether future parish council meetings should move to a different day in order to make use of the village hall.  The clerk said that Baker Estates would like to attend the December meeting.

ACTION: Clerk to arrange date for December meeting.

120/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Hayne Farm development, to include a presentation by Baker Estates; parish boundary; Hayne Lane; day of meetings; Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill.

121/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

122/21   Date of next two meetings.   December 2021 (tbc) and Wednesday 5th January 2022 (tbc) at 7.30pm. 

ACTION: Clerk to ask Judith Turner about village hall availability in January 2022.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2120 hrs.

Chair…………………………………….

9th December 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 6 Oct 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 6th October 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward Cllr C Hall (Chair) Cllr A Rowe Cllr M Walker Cllr D ValentineGittisham Vale Ward Cllr P Orchard Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr Jake Bonetta (EDDC), PCSO Darren England

Prior to the start of the meeting, one member of the public exercised their right as parish resident to speak regarding concerns over flooding outside Eveleigh’s Cottage.  He said that on Monday 4th October the torrential rain had resulted in a situation where drains could manage the water flow, to being completely overwhelmed, with water pouring down the road.  The water almost reached his front door and came into his garden.  The lane past the Village Hall was also flooded.  The resident said that he appreciated there was a flood plan in place, but expressed his concern over the state of the drains in this area.  He said that the Chair had lodged a blocked drain with DCC, and a contractor had been to investigate it earlier this year.  The resident said he felt the tools used for this particular drain were inadequate, and explained that he had also tried to unblock the drain from time to time as it affects his property.  He said that someone should take responsibility for cleaning out the drains and doing it regularly.  He’s doing as much as he can to keep the water out, but the overflow has happened twice in five months.  Climate change will make such ‘freak’ events more common, he said. 

Cllr Walker said she had been told by staff at South West Water that the drains were inadequate, built many years ago.  Her comments were echoed by Cllr Valentine, who said that the network itself is not fit for purpose.  He argued that someone has to recognize that and generate the appropriate solutions, or the parish will find itself in this situation year after year.  Cllr Walker said the lengthsman would be visiting the resident’s property to see what could potentially be done, and he would also look at other drains in the area to pass on to DCC where they are blocked.  The Chair said she would walk the area with him to investigate upstream causes.  The Chair acknowledged how hard the resident had worked to remedy the problem as much as possible.  She agreed to write a report which the parish council can share with DCC, EDDC and the Environment Agency. There is unlikely to be funding for anything, she said, but awareness that the village in particular is vulnerable to flashy storms might give Gittisham higher priority for drain cleaning.  She reminded members that people should avoid wading or driving through flood water.

Cllr Twiss said the responsibility for water flow was complicated, depending on where the water was, and there is therefore no single accountable body to resolve the problem.  He explained that DCC has overspent in some areas, and there is no financial support for installing new drainage.  Cllr Twiss advised the Chair to speak to her counterpart at Feniton PC, as they have many years of experience of managing flooding.  He told members he would be meeting the senior management of DCC Highways and other heads of services about their ambitions for DCC’s budget for 2022-23.  He pledged to represent the views of this parish when it comes to the budget process.  The Chair stressed the need to work with landowners and farmers to manage the flow of water.    She said that individual property owners can install air brick covers, flood barriers to doors, etc. and sign up to the Environment Agency’s flood warning service to be ready to install these measures. The alert warnings are issued during daylight hours.  The resident said he appreciated it was not the parish council’s responsibility, but asked if it would be possible to initiate a review with DCC Highways to look at the drainage system within the village to try to maximise what is there. He offered to be part of any workforce to clear the drains.

Cllrs Orchard and Twist said that the Vale and Hayne Farm had not been badly affected by the recent rainfall, although Hayne Lane was full of debris.  

ACTION: Chair to ask VH committee if some sandbags can be stored in the village hall shed, to avoid wading through floodwater to reach supplies at Curlditch.  Clerk to publicise the emergency plan, including ‘phone numbers, on the website and noticeboard.  Chair to speak to those listed on the emergency plan.  Chair to summarise points in a plan that can be shared with other agencies.

Two members of the public spoke regarding the planning application under discussion at minute ref. 94/21.  They asked if the application could be decided by committee at DMC, if the planning officer was minded to refuse.  Cllr Bruce said he would keep a watching brief.  The residents thanked the parish council for their support in the past. 

87/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

88/21     To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 7th September 2021

An amendment was made to minute ref. 85/21 to clarify the situation regarding the Vale defibrillator.  The minutes of the meeting held on 7th September 2021 were then confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

89/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

There were no crimes reported in August 2021.  In response to PCSO Darren England’s request for the kind of information the parish council would like from the police in terms of contact and reports, Cllr Orchard said the police should feed back information to the PC occasionally.  Members agreed a drive-through on occasion would be reassuring.  Cllr Twiss added that he would be meeting Sgt Roy Hutter, the new neighbourhood sergeant.   

90/21     To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Valentine declared an interest in minute ref. 94/21, as he has been advising the applicants.

91/21     To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The clerk agreed to send Cllr Bruce the report submitted by Cllr Bonetta.

92/21     To receive reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said the whole of the DCC Highways and Traffic Management Service is experiencing real difficulties in recruiting staff.  The team is currently operating with 33 vacancies from a total workforce of approximately 240.  This reduction in staffing numbers is putting added pressure on the remaining workforce at a time when the team have been dealing with the added challenges of the different ways of working and reduced tolerance in our communities brought about by the pandemic.  They continue to work with colleagues in Human Resources and look for different ways to promote the opportunities that are available.

A significant backlog of smaller lining works has built up over the last 18 months, he said. The Traffic Management Team is aware of the impact these changes have on communities and the frustration it can generate. DCC has formed new partnerships with several lining providers and are now working through the backlog at pace with a view to catching up by the end of this month.

This year’s arboriculture surveys have thankfully seen a reduction in the number of actionable Ash Dieback reports and general tree defects across the county.  The team is working with their legal colleagues around areas of landowner responsibility and promoting the need for land owners to do their bit in relation to trees, vegetation and drainage.

Planning is underway for a virtual Parish and Town Council conference, held via Teams, before the end of the year.  Parishes were asked for feedback on what topics they would be interested in understanding more about.  The aim is to create an interactive event for parish and town councillors as well as DCC’s own members.  Attendees will be able to participate in the sessions that interest them.

With the recent change in weather, Cllr Twiss said he was pleased to inform members that the Winter Service operations are well prepared for what this season has to offer.  Over the summer all the equipment has been serviced with the gritting lorries recalibrated to ensure the correct amount of salt is spread onto the network.  Despite the HGV driver issues, the salt barns are well stocked.

With a change in weather comes another set of challenges.  The team have been looking at how they can manage the drainage cleaning budget in a different way.  The challenge is ensuring all gullies, grips (drainage channel dug from road to ditch), easements and buddle holes (holes or pipes that carry water through a hedge or bank as part of road drainage) are cleaned in line with DCC policy while maintaining the ability to deliver a reactive service as and when the need occurs. This challenge is even greater in the South West with a limited supply chain to cope with sudden increases in demand.

Waste and recycling

The 2020/21 performance statistics have just been published and Devon’s recycling rate reduced to 55.3% from the previous year’s 56.6%.  The reduction can be linked to the provision of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) which closed for seven weeks during the first lockdown commencing end March 2020.  Subsequent social distancing measures reduced site capacities, closure of resale shops and the introduction of booking systems also impacted on the amount of waste processed leading to a reduction in recycling performance.

East Devon once again achieved the highest recycling rate amongst Devon’s Waste Collection Authorities (WCAs) with 60% marginally down from previous years 60.5%.  The other seven WCA figures as follows: Teignbridge (55.9%); Torridge & West Devon (55.2%); South Hams (54.7%); Mid Devon (53.7%); North Devon (49.5%) and Exeter (27.8%).

While HWRC recycling performance remains high at 72%, 2020/21 saw a small reduction from previous year (75%).  Reductions across all streams were noted for Devon’s HWRCs, notably organic material down 22%.  The closure and restrictions to HWRC re-use shops last year resulted in a 64% reduction in sales, equating to 666 tonnes less materiel resold to members of the public; all HWRC re-use shops have now re-opened.

Covid 19 etc (lots of numbers but an improving overall position)

The summer spike peaked on 20th August, with the position currently flattening to around 2,000 cases per week in Devon and a reduction in all ages except in the school, college and university settings, where in the last 10 days DCC has notification of around 700 cases in educational settings.

•              22nd to 28th September there were 2,284 laboratory confirmed cases in Devon.  384 in Torbay; 880 in Plymouth; 1,958 in Cornwall.  England 188,750

Currently confirmed cases per 100,000: Devon 279.7; Torbay 281.8; Plymouth 335.7; Cornwall 342.4.  England 335.3

•              Breakdown of cases in Devon’s Districts as follows: 

East Devon 405 (276.9 per 100,000); Exeter 321(281.8); Mid Devon 158 (192.1); North Devon 287 (295.4); South Hams 317 (364.4); Teignbridge 363 (270.6); Torridge 213 (312.1); West Devon 180 (322.6)

Of the 5,446 cases in the Peninsula, just 542 were over 60 (about 10%)

•              There were 21 possibly Covid-related deaths – 12 in Devon; 2 in Torbay; 4 in Plymouth and 3 in Cornwall.  England 622

•              As at 28th September there were 75 (15 in ICU) Covid-related patients in Devon’s four hospitals – RD&E, Derriford, North Devon and Torbay – which is about 2.4% of total capacity!  Overall capacity running at around 88% which is higher than normal at this time of the year.

•              Cases across Devon by age group per 100,000:

0 – 19     =              657.5

20 – 39  =              213.5

40 – 59  =              249.9

60 – 79  =              89.9

80 plus   =              69.6

•              Vaccinations (over 16) in Devon:  First dose 93%; Second dose 86%.

Devon funding news

COVID-19 Outbreak Management Grant (Self-Isolation)

This grant is now available to voluntary and community groups/organisations and social enterprises that help people by providing practical, social, and emotional support when they have to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

Organised by local councils or voluntary and community groups, this could include support with:

•              accessing food and other supplies.

•              caring responsibilities

•              practical tasks such as dog walking

•              mental health and wellbeing, including loneliness and boredom

•              communications to improve awareness of when people need to self-isolate

•              maintaining a contingency support offer, even when demand is low

•              identifying gaps and opportunities for further COVID-19 self-isolation-related support and funding.  See https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/keeping-safe-well/covid-19-outbreak-management-grant-self-isolation-guidance/  and application form at https://tinyurl.com/4p86kk5m  

Cllr Bruce said it had been a relatively quiet few weeks at council since the last parish meeting, and there remains some difficulty in accessing staff to resolve local issues. For example, he said he was still awaiting a reply regarding the EDDC-owned garages and their future. He will ensure the PC has an answer before the next parish meeting.

The local plan continues to grind its way through the council machinery, Cllr Bruce explained. However, a revised version is due to go out to public consultation in March next year. This important body of work is going to fundamentally shape the future of our villages and towns and the provision of open space and recreation facilities for our communities. In particular, focus will be on the elements that parish councils can influence such as transport, planning, development and environment.

Cllr Bruce said he had recently been involved in communication regarding flooding with our two MP’s and County Cllrs. As a result of a number of conversations with local farmers and his own personal experience, there is a clear disconnect with what farmers feel they are responsible for and what the council expects them to do regarding drainage.  He said he was sure this is not a new observation to the parish councillors, but before any sustainable and costed plan is launched regarding local flooding issues (or for that matter national), it has to work at the very point where it starts. His experience suggests this is currently broken but is fixable.  This has been brought into sharp focus after the severe flooding events in Feniton on Sunday night, and will undoubtedly bring fresh pressure to get the flood mitigation project completed and signed off.

Cllr Bruce apologised for missing the last parish meeting, due to a full council meeting which debated the merits of the purchase of a parcel of land adjacent to a nature reserve near Seaton by EDDC. Whilst the council were ultimately unsuccessful in the purchase due in part to sensitive information leaking out, and a price tag that had many questioning its value for money including Cllr Bruce himself, the principle is one that would see him supporting this kind of initiative. Some may justifiably argue that all areas should see a fair share of council money spent across the district; he said one-off purchases like this can help to enriched our environment, whilst not being right on the doorstep but nonetheless accessible to most of us.

In his absence, Cllr Jake Bonetta sent the following report: “We have been busy within the administration of East Devon District Council over the previous month.  Not only has it been a busy and productive party conference season for me, I have also been getting deeply involved in council work and casework across Honiton St. Michael’s as we move towards a finalised version of the emerging Local Plan. There are also many other strategy consultations that will be making a show over the coming months, of which I will keep you updated.

Garages at Church Mead

Thanks to Cllr Walker for pointing me in the direction of the garages at Church Mead last meeting. I have since spoken to the relevant officers at EDDC about this to clarify the status of the garages. According to the officers involved, the three garages owned by EDDC are currently vacant as the area has been earmarked for potential development.  If the area is not deemed suitable for development then EDDC will look to let these garages in the future once checks have been made that they are suitable to be let. Please do let me know if the Parish Council deems this to be the case.

[Members agreed there appeared to be some confusion over the information regarding the garages, and Cllr Bruce added that he too had been investigating the situation.] 

Fuel poverty

As our days and nights continue to get cooler the closer we move towards Christmas, the more important it is to talk about fuel poverty. A study by York University suggests that, due to a cumulative 15% increase in gas and electricity bills over the past year as well as the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit payments, an extra 1m households will face fuel poverty in the UK this year, up from 2.5m households last year. In East Devon earlier this year, 10.5% of households were deemed to be in fuel poverty.  There is help available both from national Government, as well as energy companies through East Devon District Council. I would be grateful if the Parish Council could distribute the following links, for support that can be offered to those in need across Gittisham in the coming months:

Warm Home Discount Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme

Discretionary Housing Payments to help with rent if that becomes unaffordable: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments

Energy companies and East Devon District Council’s criteria for funding help: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/housing-and-homelessness/housing-in-the-private-sector/energy-efficiency  

ACTION: Cllr Bruce to discuss with Cllr Bonetta a way forward for attendance at meetings and reports.

Cllr Twiss and Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

93/21     To consider the rollout of superfast broadband, and a presentation by Jurassic Fibre:

Matt Baker from Jurassic Fibre gave a short presentation to bring councillors up to speed on the company’s plans to extend broadband infrastructure to Gittisham.  He said he’d received confirmation from the construction team that the engineers were on track for the infrastructure to reach Gittisham village by November.  That would mean the link to homes would happen in the first quarter of 2022.

Mr Baker encouraged residents to register their interest on the Jurassic Fibre website.  This does not commit them to taking the service.  Cllr Orchard reported his experience of being quoted £500 for his property to be connected to Jurassic Fibre, but Cllr Twiss said this was a mistake.  Mr Baker said that prices start from £25 / month for 30Mbps download speed, and an £80 / month package is available which offers a download speed of 950Mbps.  This does not include the telephone line.  He agreed to return to the parish council meeting in January 2022 to provide an update.

Cllr Valentine asked if Jurassic could make sure public transport & school transport providers were informed of the planned road closure, 22-24 November, for Jurassic works.  Cllr Orchard added that in future, if works affect school transport routes then they should be scheduled for school holidays.

Matt Baker left the meeting.

94/21     To consider the following planning applications:

a)            21/1756/FUL – Land Adjoining Combe Garden Centre Hayne Lane Gittisham – Regularisation of laying of hardstanding and use as overflow parking area for staff and construction of building for storage of stock for Combe Garden Centre

b)            21/2474/FUL – Goldcombe Farmhouse Gittisham EX14 3AB – Change of use of holiday let to dwelling

Members resolved to have no objection in principle to a).  However, they would like to see an additional passing place and give way signs for motorists leaving the centre. Provision for surface water drainage also needs to be addressed to prevent it flowing onto the highway.

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

Members resolved to have no objection to b).  Parish councillors fully support the application, and welcome having additional rented properties in the village.

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

95/21     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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)  Approval with conditions.

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).Approval with conditions.

20/1404/V106 Deed of Variation to defer the following planning obligations: £500.000.00 Affordable Housing Contribution due by 100th occupation as follows – £200,000.00 by September 2021 and £300,000.00 by September 2022; £381,980.00 (£462,000.00 currently with indexation) Education Contribution due by 145th occupation as follows – 12 months after 145th occupation; £105,000.00 (£116,000.00 currently with indexation) Sports Pitch Contribution due by 150th occupation as follows – 12 months after 150th occupation. – Land West Of Hayne Lane Honiton

Legal agreement issued.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

12 October Exeter Road/Heathpark Way closed for resurfacing for 3 nights.

11-12 November Road closure for Western Power – Road past Shermans Farm.

22-24 November Road closure for Jurassic Fibre – Ironbridge to Eveleigh’s Farm.

Devonshire Road double yellow lines consultation last spring is about to be implemented with yellow lines through from Hayne Lane.

30mph signs installed Hayne Lane between Devonshire Road and Hayne Farm.

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

The Chair said she would pass on another possible contractor to Cllr Orchard.   

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to update Sulina Tallack at EDDC on progress so far.

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said he had removed a large pile of records and CDs from the Vale bus shelter since the last meeting.  He added that Stagecoach staff might be striking on 18th October.

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

Cllr Twist said Baker Estates sent an email, stating Sovereign Housing had agreed to the defibrillator being sited on the block of flats, as originally proposed. This means that if the Parish Council wish to have the managed route the Host Agreement has to be signed by Sovereign. She replied to Baker Estates explaining this, and has not heard anything since.

One member of the public said he had requested a new battery for the village defibrillator.

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

Cllr Rowe said he and Cllr Orchard had met Megan and Jon from the EDDC Countryside team and Paul from EDDC Streetscene.  They were interested in the sites Cllr Rowe outlined for rewilding.  They are very happy for the parish to look after/ rewild these sites with their help too if we as a council wanted to do this they would then make sure that the cut regimes are changed to meet the requirements of rewilding.  Work to prepare the sites for wild flower seed will require a volunteer base.  It is a bit late in the year to start now as we would need to get people together.  However we could start work in the spring but the EDDC team said that the end of August next year is the best time to get seeding so that would give us preparation time.

We would need to get funding for seeds.

Site ideas discussed included:

Bottom of Old Elm (by the rocks)

Between Ferndale Cl and stream

Cllr Rowe said the cheapest option for both these sites is to leave them to “overgrow” then cut occasionally.  However, he acknowledged that some people may find this untidy and planting some flowers may make it look a bit nicer and perhaps bring a good bit of community engagement between the Village and the Vale.

Cllr Rowe explained there is a new project that may be beginning called Wild Honiton, a lead-on from the Wild Exmouth project that EDDC have been running over the past few years. These Gittisham sites may be in contention for that and EDDC are more than happy to give us advice and help create these areas maybe on a small level at first.  The Chair said Lottery and / or AONB funding could help if successful.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to consider the best way forward and prepare numbers and budget.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said more than £4million a day has been stolen every day in the first half of this year. This represents an increase of 71% compared to the first 6 months of last year. A total of £754m was stolen through fraud, with less than half being refunded by banks.

A new number 159 is being trialled, for a year, by STOP Scams UK, a group of banks and telephone firms.

Contacting this number will automatically connect you to your bank’s fraud prevention service.

Not all banks are signed up currently, it is hoped it will become a universal service.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to publicise the number on the Hayne Farm Facebook page, and the Chair to distribute on the village WhatsApp group.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said asbestos had been found in the agricultural buildings, which would require removal.  The speed monitoring box has been installed at the west end of the village.  The Chair said this time the data report needs to show the high speeds, not just the average speed.  It’s the lunatics zooming through that are the problem, she said, and that’s the reason there needs to be an appropriate speed limit.  Cllr Valentine said an AGM would be scheduled for November 2021.

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

The clerk agreed to to publicise the emergency plan, including ‘phone numbers, on the website and noticeboard. 

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

Cllr Walker thanked Cllrs Orchard & Rowe for installing the replacement swing seats.  She said she had removed a rotten tree in the wild area. 

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman had cleared debris left by Monday night’s downpour.  She said he would keep an eye on the drains, and members agreed that if there was money in the budget to cover additional work for the lengthsman this should be recommended for approval. 

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask the lengthsman to quote for additional work on drains and gullies. 

Cllr Valentine and four members of the public left the meeting.

96/21     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said that as we move into winter weather conditions and with Cllr Twiss’s report explaining the shortage of staff in DCC Highways, we need to be vigilant with looking after our own, in terms of flooding and ice. The last couple of weeks of storms has shown us how well the village has reacted quickly to trees down, blocked road drains and deploying sandbags. Residents have been keeping drains clear where they know they will be affected if they’re blocked and the lengthsman was busy yesterday (Tuesday 5th). If there is anything that needs similar attention in the Vale or Hayne Farm we can deal with it in a similar way. Please remind people of the facility to report blocked road drains on the DCC Highways ‘report a problem’ website, the Chair said.

The local young farmers group have just been up to Westgate Hill and cleared all the debris left by off-roaders. The Chair said she had thanked the organiser via Facebook.  The Chair added she had had no feedback from the estate about the off-roading and trespass.  She suggested to them that the parish council has done all it can and will pass any concerns received to the estate. There are no routes for vehicles on the hill there so any off-roaders are either misusing footpaths and bridleways or are trespassing on estate land. The police are more aware of the problem now, so that will hopefully help.

The new footpath from Hayne Farm to Goldcombe is still outstanding.  The clerk said that the Planning Inspectorate has now opened the file, and contacted all parties to formally confirm whether DCC Rights of Way is happy to proceed with written representations. The officer has confirmed DCC is happy with this and Combe Estate has previously indicated that they are. A start date and schedule could be released within the next few weeks, though no guarantees of course.  The Chair asked if the parish council could do anything to progress this, as she felt it would be a really important connection between the new houses and the village and much safer walking route now that our lanes are so busy.

ACTION: Clerk to write to thank Sid & Otter Vale young farmers club.  All to encourage the public to write to EDDC and DCC councillors regarding the Goldcombe footpath.

97/21 To consider traffic levels and speeds in Gittisham village and on Hayne Lane

The clerk said she had received the 20 is Plenty stickers, and would pass them to the Chair.

98/21 To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale ward

The clerk said the vacancy had been advertised on the noticeboards and website, with a deadline of Sunday 31st October.

99/21     To approve the October payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

  • 1124       F J Clampin                          £224.86                 Clerk’s salary & expenses
  • 1125       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area (inv. ref. 10114)
  • 1126       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for September meeting
  • 1127       Len Abbott                           £140       Lengthsman work, 10 hours, August 2021
  • 1128       Len Abbott                           £7.59      Lengthsman expenses, August 2021
  • 1129       Len Abbott                           £28         Lengthsman work, 2 hours, Sept 2021
  • DD          NEST                                     £22.48   Clerk’s pension (5% employer, 5% employee)

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £20,339.18 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

ACTION: Clerk to prepare half-yearly budget for next meeting.

100/21   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said the resident who had asked about bonfires, had asked if the parish council could offer any additional advice to limit the lighting of bonfires. Members heard that the Chair had put out a message on the village WhatsApp group to remind people that some house insurance companies suggest that no bonfire should be lit within 100m of thatched properties.  She also said in the message there was information about bonfires on the East Devon website, although the parish council is not in a position to provide further advice over and above what EDDC provides.

ACTION: Clerk to reply with links to government advice on bonfires.

101/21   For information only; items for the forward agenda

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

102/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

103/21   Date of next two meetings.  

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

ACTION: Clerk to ask Judith Turner about village hall availability.

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd November 2021

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.