Parish Council meeting minutes 5 May 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 5th MAY 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr P Orchard, Cllr J Twist

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

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

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

Carol McCann left the meeting.

1/21        To elect a Chair

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

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

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

3/21        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

5/21        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

6/21        To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to purchase Office 2019.

8/21        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

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

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

Cllr Bond left the meeting.

9/21        To consider the following planning applications:

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

Members had no objections to a).

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

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

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

Gittisham by consumption per household 15.6t CO2e

East Devon by consumption per household 17.2t CO2e

National average consumption per household 13.1t CO2e

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

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

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

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

Electric Vehicle Charging Points.

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

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

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

Julia Barrett left the meeting.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

None.

11/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

Fly tipping

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

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

12/21 To consider public access within the parish

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

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

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

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

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

15/21     Clerk’s Report

None.

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

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

17/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

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

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

18/21     Date of next two meetings  

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

2nd June 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 April 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7th APRIL 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

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

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

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

217/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

219/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

220/20   To receive declarations of interest

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

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

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

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

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

222/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

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

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

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

223/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

Members had no objections to a). 

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

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

ACTION: Chair to contact Buckerell PC chair with update.

224/20   To consider the following appeals:

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

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

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

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

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

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

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

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there was nothing to report. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Twist to send information to Graham Hutton.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

226/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

ACTION: All to register interest with Jurassic Fibre.

Cllr Walker left the meeting.

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

1093       Playsafety Ltd                     £107.40                 Annual play area safety inspection

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

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

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

1097       DALC                                    £167.13 Annual membership 2021/22

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to investigate internet banking.

229/20   Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to monitor the situation.

231/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

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

232/20   Date of next two meetings.  

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

5th May 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 3 March 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 3RD MARCH 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward:

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

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

Emma Talbot & Matthew Galley left the meeting.

199/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

201/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

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

202/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

204/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

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

DCC Budget

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

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

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

Food poverty support for Families over Easter

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

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

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

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

Holiday Activities & Food Programme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to complete Community Asset Transfer Procedure. 

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

205/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

Members had no objections to the application. 

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

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

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

207/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members resolved to appoint Alison Marshall for another year.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Alison Marshall.

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

1087       F J Clampin                          £629       Reimbursement for laptop computer

1088       F J Clampin                          £59.99   Reimbursement for Microsoft Office individual

1089       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting, play area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

213/20   Clerk’s Report

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

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

Face-to-face meetings & scheme of delegation.

215/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

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

216/20   Date of next two meetings 

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th April 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 3 Feb 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 3RD FEBRUARY 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

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

180/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

182/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

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

183/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

185/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

Covid-19

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

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

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

Crime figures

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

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

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

Fairer funding for Schools

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

Bridges and structures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

186/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

Members had no objection to the application.

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham parish:

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

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

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

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

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

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this. 

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

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

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

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

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

188/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

190/20   To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to contact Michael Poll and thank him for his previous work.

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

1082       Gittisham PCC                     £157       Gittisham Gazette printing

1083       Gittisham PCC                     £23.50   Gittisham parish room hire 2020

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

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

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

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

195/20   Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

197/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

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

198/20   Date of next two meetings  

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd March 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 6 January 2021

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 6TH JANUARY 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

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

163/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

165/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

166/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

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

168/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

169/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cllr Orchard agreed to take on responsibility for this brief.

a) To receive an update on Highways

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

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

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

c) To receive an update on public transport

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

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

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

e) To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

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

g) To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

h) To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

171/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

Off roading vehicles on bridleways at Westgate Hill

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

Grit bins/ice on roads

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

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

Internet

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

172/20   To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Vale

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

173/20 To agree the budget for 2021/22

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

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

174/20 To set the precept for 2021/22

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

1078       F J Clampin                          £40         Reimbursement for ICO annual subscription

1079       Websites Ahoy                      £17.50       Website maintenance        

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

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

176/20   Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

178/20 To consider any late entry correspondence

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

NB Since the meeting the potholes have been filled in.

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

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

Parish Council meeting minutes 2 December 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 2ND DECEMBER 2020 via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

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

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

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

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

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

147/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

149/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

150/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

152/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

DCC Care home COVID-19 Testing

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

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

All staff to be tested twice a week

All residents to be tested weekly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mass vaccination programme

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

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

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

Waste and recycling

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

Highways

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

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

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

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

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

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

153/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

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

Tom Biddle and Graham Hutton left the meeting.

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

a) To note the latest planning decision notices

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

 b) To receive an update on Highways

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

He circulated details of forthcoming roadworks in the parish:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

d) To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

f) To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

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

h) To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

i) To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

155/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1073      F J Clampin                       £224.86 Clerk’s salary

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

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

1076      Peter Sellick                       £26.66   Gazette distribution

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

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

159/20   Clerk’s Report

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

ACTION: Clerk to look out for future course opportunities. 

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to notify EDDC of vacancy.

Cllr Wilkins left the meeting.

161/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

162/20   Date of next two meetings. 

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

6th January 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 4 November 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 4TH NOVEMBER 2020

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Gittisham Vale Ward:

Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

130/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

131/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 7th October 2020

The clerk said the pay rate in minute ref 124/20 had been incorrectly reported and should read £11.53 / hr.  The minutes of the meeting held on 7th October 2020 were then confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

132/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

133/20   To receive declarations of interest

None.

134/20   To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

The Chair said she had filled in the consultation on the Devon Local Flood Risk Management, and requested that GPC is involved with discussions on land management to alleviate flooding, such as in the Otter catchment.

The clerk said she had reported the empty grit bin at the bottom of Tommy Wax, and written to Mr Sellick regarding the gazette distribution.

Cllr Wilkins said his work on the website was ongoing.  He said that a proposed article on an electric car club was sent to all councillors on 8th October, with only one acknowledgement received.  Without endorsement from the council as a whole, he said he did not forward it for publication in the Gittisham Gazette.

135/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

DCC Social Care

Cllr Twiss said as we go in to winter and a second COVID-19 lockdown, DCC Social Care teams have been planning and preparing for dealing with the fallout of the second wave, armed with a lot more knowledge and understanding than in the spring of 2020 and the first lockdown, with a focus on vulnerable people and unpaid carers.

Designated Care Homes

The Department of Health and Social Care has written to all local authorities setting out requirements to designate care settings for COVID-19 positive people who are not quite well enough to return straight home from an acute hospital. These settings will be inspected by the CQC for assurance of infection control measures. Whilst the settings could be existing care homes, the beds would need to be on separate wings or floors in order to avoid the risk of infecting other residents, and would require a separate staff group to support these residents.  No care home will be required to accept someone with a positive test result, and we are in the process of agreeing with local NHS providers how we can ensure we have suitable accommodation available to meet this need.

Supporting carers

Unpaid carers across Devon do an incredible amount work and this has only increased during the COVID-19 period, said Cllr Twiss, with recent research suggesting that nearly two-thirds of unpaid carers have not been able to take any breaks at all in the last six months.  In response to this, alongside NHS Devon CCG DCC has made grants of between £1,000 and £15,000 available to care providers, personal assistants, and carers themselves who can develop and provide innovative opportunities that will give other carers a break, during COVID-19. See https://www.devonnewscentre.info/new-funds-available-to-help-carers-take-a-break/ for how to apply.

Waste and recycling

The regulations and guidance for the second lockdown have been tweaked a little to widen what is and isn’t classified as being open and operating.  Cllr Twiss said he had received enquiries from members of the public about the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s), but he said he could reassure members that DCC sites will not be closing.. There may be occasions where there are staff shortages and some temporary closure may be necessary but DCC will put out media communications about any situation that arises due to staff sickness/isolation.

COVID-19 funding for individuals, organisations and businesses

Cllr Twiss said DCC had allocated £192,100 from Government grants (and an additional DEFRA one using EDDC) to set up a hardship fund (with qualifying criteria) and process applications during the COVID-19 crisis. This fund is still very much open for business and applications and further details can be found at https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/financial-hardship-fund-information

Street lighting in urban and applicable rural settings

Cllr Twiss reported that DCC has recently announced that all of its 79,000 streetlights will be converted to LED lights within the next two years – reducing carbon emissions by 75 per cent.  It comes as part of a working partnership with SSE Contracting who will be carrying out maintenance of streetlights in Devon and Torbay over the next ten years – with the aim of the contract being carbon neutral by 2030.  He said the company will be building on the work it has undertaken for DCC for more than 25 years, which has already seen around 34,000 street lights converted to low-energy LED technology since 2015, as well as the replacement of more than 5,400 street lighting columns. It will also look to improve the county’s Central Management System to remotely monitor and operate lighting more flexibly and efficiently and will eventually allow us to cease night scouting, saving further costs.  This street lighting contract is extremely important as DCC continues to reduce carbon emissions. Street lights account for a significant amount of DCC’s carbon emissions, Cllr Twiss said, and the conversion to LEDs alone will reduce carbon emissions by more than 15,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off Devon’s roads.

DCC Highways

Planned works continue as near to normal as possible with maintenance and capital works taking places across the Division, including finally the lower end of Hayne Lane in the near future, where for selfish reasons Cllr Twiss confessed he was pleased as he continually finds himself in a wide rut between lanes on his bike when cycling that way, which will now be resurfaced!

Cllr Bond said that as the second lockdown is upon us, EDDC is prepared to keep the most vital services running throughout the next month (or possibly longer).  Waste and recycling services will carry on as normal.  LED leisure facilities will have to close.  Parks, gardens and public toilets which were Covid-secure will stay open.  The Community Support Hotline will be re-opened to support those in difficulty during lockdown, as well as supporting local community groups who are working hard to care for those in their areas.

Otherwise, Cllr Bond added, now that EDDC has pulled out of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan, work is underway to review the Local Plan. The first step will be a ‘call for sites’. The administration is hoping to find sufficient smaller sites to fulfil the housing requirement.

Cllr Wilkins added that EDDC had introduced its £2 / day parking for the run-up to Christmas.

136/20   To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

Cllr Wilkins said there were no new decision notices to report.

2. To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Wilkins said the situation with heavy vehicles entering and turning within Hayne farm has been raised with DCC through Phil. GPC is awaiting a proposal from DCC to solve the problem. For some reason, he said, DCC is of the opinion the issue is with articulated lorries parking overnight.  Cllr Orchard suggested that there is a clear signing strategy at similar junctions around Honiton, and asked why Meadowacre Road did not have one of these on the street name plate, plus at the junction into the closed area (junction with Hayne Lane).

Cllr Wilkins said that as Cllr Orchard had reported via email, the works on Hayne Lane were completed and the site cleared on Tuesday 27th October.  The two repaired culverts are working well and the retaining method, which he had not seen before, is neat.  It will be interesting to see how the system performs over time, he added.

Though not within the parish, Cllr Wilkins said the road through Alfington will be closed 18th -19th January 2021.  This means that traffic, including the school buses, traveling to and from Ottery will need to find an alternative route.  The diversion plan has yet to be published, but Cllr Wilkins said he suspected it will be via Fenny Bridges and Gosford Road.  He added that the road to The Forge would be closed for the same two days.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to contact Stagecoach and DCC, to explain that the January works are happening simultaneously within a mile of each other, and to ask for them to be rescheduled during the school holidays.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to contact Carol McCann to offer a roadworks item for the Gittisham Gazette, explaining that it may be subject to change.

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

Cllr Orchard said he had the details of a couple of contractors, but had taken no further action on developing a boules pitch in the village.  Cllr Valentine said he had met the architects who would be designing the proposed limited housing development in the village, and discussed with them the possibility of trying to encourage the highway authority to instigate some form of traffic control coming into the village.  It’s something which other authorities have allowed parish councils to instigate and used CIL money for that purpose, he explained.  Cllr Twiss said this was not something which could be funded by S106, and suggested members contact EDDC to check the criteria for CIL.  Cllr Wilkins added this could be a way to revisit the provision of a mandatory speed limit through the village before the affordable housing element is begun.  The entrance to the housing development would be on a slight bend, and could present a problem for traffic movements in and out. 

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to contact EDDC to research regulations and investigate potential costs.  To discuss in parallel at the CLT meeting in November. 

4. To receive an update on public transport

Regarding the roadworks on 18th November on lower Hayne Lane, Cllr Orchard said he had secured agreement in writing with the contractors for school buses to be allowed through the works area in the morning.  Cllr Twiss asked if he could be copied in to any future correspondence about the impact of any roadworks on the school buses.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to follow up email to Stagecoach and DCC schools transport team.

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

Cllr Twist said she had received an email last week from Adam Clark, Development Officer at Sovereign Housing asking a number of questions about the installation of an AED, which she circulated around the parish council.  She added that Cllr Wilkins had kindly provided some of the information required which she included in her response to the email, and a draft of the response was circulated to councillors.  A copy was also sent to Robin Palmer, Project Manager at Baker Estates.  She said she would await Sovereign’s reply.  The block of flats where it’s hoped the AED could be located has just started to be built, and Cllr Twist said it would be good to have the electric connection included in the build rather than installed later at extra cost.

6. To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist reported that the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme was featured on BBC Spotlight last week, specifically Cornwall, where there are complaints about only national firms being listed to carry out the work. It was feared that with the deadline of 31st March 2021 there will not be time to carry out the work in this region. Regarding Electric Vehicle Charging Points, Cllr Wilkins explained that he had handed this brief to Cllr Twist, as it appeared to fit better within her climate change portfolio.  Cllr Twist said there had been no further update on this for Gittisham. There was an article in the Midweek Herald on 28th October, written by Stuart Hughes of DCC about those charging points already installed in Devon and their strategy for more installations in the county.  Also for information Heron Farm has installed two electric charging points in their car park.

Cllr Twist said the police and trading standards had issued many warnings on scamming, (particularly cold calling) regarding the Green Homes grant.

7. To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said that following the appointment of ECA as the architects acting on behalf of GCLT, a project team has now been established to assist and monitor the design process. The architects visited the site on Monday together with himself, Combe Estate and the advisors from Wessex CLT.  Cllr Valentine said he will also be meeting the engineers on site in due course. The second lockdown announcement may have a number of impacts which could introduce delays into the current project plan. Cllr Valentine said they are investigating the options for engaging with the community as part of the design process. Later this week, he added, the CLT would be interviewing, by Zoom, two housing associations who have indicated an interest in becoming the GCLT’s development partner.

The GCLT delayed AGM is due to take place on Tuesday 10th November at 7.30 pm via Zoom and the next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 18th November at 7.00 pm.  Cllr Valentine also updated members on a possible timetable for next steps in the process, which he explained was a target and not a guarantee.  He said the CLT was hoping to submit a planning application during the spring of 2021, following an exhibition of the various options which would have to overcome Covid restrictions somehow.  A decision could be expected by the end of the summer 2021; if approved, construction would begin towards the end of next year, and completion by the end of 2022.  Cllr Bond advised Cllr Valentine to have discussions with EDDC as soon as possible.  Cllr Wilkins told members he had updated the Gittisham website to include the three CLT meetings currently scheduled.

8. To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Valentine said there was no update on this.

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

Members heard that the supplier of the tower had been delayed visiting the play area to look at the split wood, but was due to visit w/c 9th November. Cllr Walker said she would continue to check everything was in order at the play area, but suggested the rota of weekly cleaning and maintenance checks was not necessary over the winter period. She added that Len Abbott would also visit the play area from time to time, and she said that the cleaning tools were stored at her house.

The Chair said that with reference to the hedge originally planned to screen the view opposite King’s Cottage, councillors had agreed that it could potentially present a safety issue if parents could not see their children climbing over the gate in the upper field.  She said Mike Dawes had suggested to withdraw his request for a hedge on safety grounds.  Members resolved to remind Russell Hayman of the agreement to maintain the hedge along the road in front of the play area at its current height in future, and at a lower level outside Parkers West.

Cllr Orchard said he had distributed to members a limited selection of replacement units and costs for the toddler swings. It was agreed to defer any payment until at least March 2021, depending on how much expenditure there has been in this financial year. The Chair advised Cllr Orchard to choose seats that meet the required safety standards.

ACTION: The clerk to respond to Mike Dawes and contact Russell Hayman.

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

Cllr Walker said the lengthsman had been working on ditches etc and under the railway bridge at the bottom of Honiton Lane, and he would continue to carry out this kind of work throughout the winter.

137/20   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said the proposal to liaise with other parish councils would be carried forward to the next meeting. 

Members discussed a possible restructuring of the parish council, bearing in mind the growing numbers within the Hayne Farm development; Cllr Wilkins suggested it would be wise to have a clear idea of what was desirable before approaching EDDC.  Cllr Bond said in terms of the size of the parish council, it depends on the number of electors.  If it’s any help, she said, Feniton has seven parish councillors and it’s a bigger parish than the two Gittisham wards combined.  She offered to email the officer in charge of elections at EDDC to ask advice if GPC could set out what exactly the proposal was, and suggested that DALC could also help if required.  Cllr Twiss said with new technology, there was now much more work that could be carried out between meetings.

The Chair said the clerk had distributed descriptions of the clerk’s role and corresponding pay scales.  Members agreed with the Chair’s suggestion that the pay scale should remain at the current rate, given the clerk’s range of duties and the amount of parish expenditure.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to discuss routes to restructuring with EDDC.

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

138/20   To consider the purchase of a computer for the parish clerk

The Chair said the clerk had circulated details of a laptop computer, based on research by Cllr Wilkins and Johnny Valentine.  Members resolved to purchase this model, the Acer Aspire 5 15.6in Ryzen 7 8GB 512GB FHD Laptop – Black, currently priced at £649.99 from Argos.  The clerk said the £400 contribution from DCC’s locality budget had been received.  Cllr Wilkins suggested that the laptop should have fully licensed applications with everything licensed and registered to the parish council. The laptop should be for official parish council use only and be labelled as being the property of the parish council. There should also be a file backup process in place and internet security installed.  The clerk agreed to add the purchase of the Microsoft Office Home & Business 2019 licence to the December 2020 agenda.

ACTION: Clerk to purchase the laptop using a personal credit card and claim back the cost in December.

139/20 To amend the parish council standing orders to allow for a secret ballot on a co-option vote

Members resolved to approve the change to the standing orders to allow for a secret ballot on a co-option vote.

140/20 To amend the parish council Covid standing orders to allow for secret ballots at remote meetings to be carried out by text / private message

Members resolved to approve the change to the Covid standing orders to allow for secret ballots at remote meetings to be carried out by text / private message.

141/20 To consider candidates for the Gittisham Village councillor vacancy and proceed to co-option as appropriate

Members followed the co-option procedures adopted at March 2020’s parish council meeting, with the amendments as outlined in minute ref 140/20.  Two candidates had come forward; members voted by text message and Alex Rowe was duly co-opted to the parish council (Gittisham Village ward) and summoned to attend the next meeting.  Members felt that both were strong candidates.

ACTION: Clerk to write and thank the unsuccessful candidate.

142/20   To approve the November payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1069       F J Clampin                          £224.86 + £3.60 expenses Clerk’s salary & expenses (at new rate of £11.53 / hr)

1070       F J Clampin                          £373.64 HMRC rebate of overpaid tax

1071       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting play area (inv. ref 10054)

1072       Len Abbott                            £105       7.5 hours lengthsman work, Oct 2020 (at £14/hr)

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

Members were informed that the latest installment of CIL had been received (£6,156.58), and the current bank balance stands at £19,101.24 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

143/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk asked if any councillor would like to volunteer as a snow warden.  Members agreed with Cllr Walker’s suggestion that new Cllr Rowe might like to step forward. 

ACTION: Clerk to pass Cllr Rowe’s details on to DCC and provide him with information on the role.

144/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Cllr Wilkins said the stream on the boundary between Gittisham and St Michael’s continues to back up beneath the Old Elm Road bridge. He said he had reported the matter to EDDC once again.  There has also been an issue with raw sewage flooding gardens at the far end of Ferndale Close, said Cllr Wilkins. Though not a parish council issue, residents requested he attend a discussion with South West Water on 15th October.  Unfortunately no solution was found.

It was agreed to include the following items on the next agenda: gazette distribution & remuneration, parish council support for scam awareness and security, highways, planning, CIL / S106, public transport, climate change, Hayne Farm defibrillator, lengthsman work, play area,  limited residential development, emergency plan, representation, liaising with other parish councils. 

Cllr Rowe said he had seen a telecoms engineer inspecting the green cabinet near the Forge, and he had noticed that Gigaclear was trading once again under the same name.

ACTION: Chair to take forward with Cllr Twiss and see if there is any update on broadband infrastructure.

145/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

146/20   Date of next two meetings.  

Wednesday 2nd December 2020 and Wednesday 6th January 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

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

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 October 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7TH OCTOBER 2020

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)
Cllr P Orchard
Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

103/20 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

104/20   To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 2nd September 2020

Cllr Wilkins alerted members to a missing item regarding excessive tree felling and hedge clearance, which the clerk agreed to insert.  The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd September 2020 were then confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

105/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

106/20   To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Wilkins declared an interest in agenda item 23, as he is due to be reimbursed by the council.

107/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Twiss said that COVID-19 continues to dominate most aspects of our everyday lives where tuning in to news bulletins or reading the papers is enough to frighten anyone and heighten already high levels of anxiety.

However people in East Devon are overwhelmingly ‘playing by the rules’ currently in place, he said. Putting COVID-19 cases in to some context Devon, including East Devon has very low numbers of cases currently, with the Feniton & Honiton DCC Division experiencing something of a ‘mini spike’ recently with three cases reported in the past week.  He said this may or may not be related to a large number of cases in Exeter, (most associated with the University) where people work in Exeter, but live in East Devon.

Clearly there is no room for complacency or letting down guards, but evidently risks are very low in terms of contracting COVID-19 and even lower in terms of a much worse outcome. There have been no deaths in East Devon for the last 3 weeks, although regrettably 3 out of area in care homes situated in Plymouth since 12th September. The following web site gives you numbers of cases reported for the past week and which may be of interest to members of the Council; see www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=47574f7a6e454dc6a42c5f6912ed7076  

Wider picture / snapshot of coronavirus in the South West peninsula

Cllr Twiss distributed some recent figures for September:

  • 23rd to 29th September there were 134 laboratory confirmed cases in Devon.

East Devon 10; Exeter 78; Mid Devon 7; North Devon 10; South Hams 9; Teignbridge 13; Torridge 3; West Devon 4.

[29 in Torbay; 36 in Plymouth; 137 in Cornwall and c 31,000 in England]

So, currently confirmed cases per 100,000:  Devon 16.7; Torbay 21.3; Plymouth 13.7; Cornwall 24; England 54.8.

  • Jan 31st to 29th September there has been 1,722 confirmed cases in Devon and 218 deaths.

(Torbay 366 cases and 58 deaths; Plymouth 938 cases and 89 deaths; Cornwall 1,383 cases and 208 deaths; England 393,818 cases and 42639 deaths). 

There were 0 deaths in the Peninsula attributable to Coronavirus in the period 12th to 18th September. 139 recorded in England (that is still only 0.2 per 100,000 residents).

Please note that all deaths are not necessarily caused by Coronavirus, just that the person tested positive at some stage – at this time it is impossible to separate the cases without going back and scrutinising each death certificate.  Later figures are markedly more accurate than earlier in the Pandemic.

Confirmed infection cases show a marked increase in Devon and Cornwall. The Devon County Council figure includes a spate of positive cases at Exeter University (78) making up over 60 per cent of the Devon figure with more expected, although there is no evidence as yet of wider community transmission. The Cornwall figures rise seem to be due significantly to one food processing factory in Redruth.

With autumn here and less people affected to date in the Peninsula, it does really highlight the importance of social distancing, hand hygiene and good local communication in keeping a potential second surge in check, Cllr Twiss said.

Schools

Cllr Twiss said our local schools have done a fantastic job with staff putting in hundreds of extra hours work to ensure it is as risk free as possible for pupils and staff to return to school with attendance figures extremely good. As an example locally he quoted from Honiton Primary School headmaster, Christopher Tribble, from a meeting yesterday:

“Currently our attendance is hugely positive (despite the pandemic) at 97.6 per cent.  It is a notable success that we have managed to bring back the overwhelming majority of the populous back, which was above the national average of only 88 per cent – by nearly 10 per cent.  This is a notable success to add to the attendance success we secure during the pod/bubble era.  I believe that this is due to the strength and continued trust in the relationship we have within our parent body and wider school community. This has been no easy feat and has been achieved by building bridges and being very proactive with communications, continued visible actions relating to safety and a strong physical school presence.  The staff should feel proud of that achievement.”

The school like others in our area undertakes a regime of permanent and ongoing risk assessment which in itself is no small undertaking.

Healthcare

For those of you over a ‘certain age’, said Cllr Twiss, please remember to book your ‘flu jabs as soon as possible with either the GP or one of the local pharmacies (many of which offer online booking) with further details at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

Cllr Bond said there is little to report this month as Covid seems to be at the forefront of all our minds. Dealing with the fall-out for local businesses and residents has put considerable strain on the council. Government has now asked local councils to operate the ‘Test and trace support payment’ scheme which has to be up and running by 12 October. This scheme gives a support payment of £500 for those who are forced by law to self-isolate from 28 September, who are in low-wage jobs and cannot work from home.

Work is ongoing with other southwest councils under the Team Devon banner to look at mitigating the impact of Covid on the South West.

Otherwise, the Rural Community Buildings Fund is now open for applications, Cllr Bond reported. This is an EDDC grant scheme offering up to £5000 to village halls, community buildings and community shops to upgrade or repair their buildings. Closing date for applications are 23 November 2020 and 15 March 2021.

Cllr Wilkins asked if the £2 all-day parking in East Devon would be reintroduced for the period November – March, but Cllr Bond replied that this had not been announced, although there is a working party to discuss what parking rates would be in the future.

Cllr Bond said she had filled in the consultation on the Devon Local Flood Risk Management, and mentioned Gittisham.

Cllr Twiss added that there would be more funds coming downstream for road maintenance and repairs, so he would shortly be reviewing what needs to be done in the coming year. 

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: The Chair to fill in the Flood Risk Management consultation before 15th October 2020. 

108/20   To note the latest planning decision notices

20/0451/FUL – Shermans Farm Gittisham EX14 3AU – Construction of permanent agricultural worker’s dwelling with parking and associated development.  Approval with conditions.

20/1600/FUL 11 Ferndale Close Honiton EX14 2YN Construction of single storey rear extension and provision of render Approval with conditions.

20/1854/AGR – Rapshayes Farm Gittisham EX14 3AB Agricultural workshop and covered store Approval with time conditions.

109/20   To consider the following planning application:

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

Members resolved to object to the above application, agreeing that 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.

110/20   To consider the parish council response to the COVID-19 outbreak

The Chair said the volunteer group had supported those required to quarantine, and Cllr Bond encouraged residents to download the Track & Trace app.  

111/20    To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy & S106

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted Sulina Tallack at EDDC, who recommended that the parish council contact some reputable companies for quotes for the boules pitch.  The parish council would then choose a preferred supplier, and report back to Sulina explaining the project and the audit trail followed.  Once it has been approved, EDDC would draft a grant agreement.  It would also be run past planners, in case they were aware of any potential issues.

Cllr Orchard added that residents living alongside the river would need to be informed before the construction phase.  Cllr Wilkins reminded members that the response to the public consultation on how S106 funds should be spent had resulted in a resident suggesting that part of the money was spent at Hayne Farm.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain three quotes, and to check with Jamie Buckley at EDDC they are aware it is a thorough overhaul of an existing, ‘homemade’ pitch.  Cllr Orchard to ask Baker Estates if they recommend a contractor, and to check out EDDC’s list of approved contractors online.

112/20   To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain drains and ditches in the parish

Cllr Walker said Len Abbott had checked the status of all the salt bins. 

ACTION: The clerk to report via DCC website that the bin at the bottom of Tommy Wax hill is completely empty. 

113/20   To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Twist said that the Devon Solar panel group buying scheme had closed on 5th October.  She reported that she had investigated the Government’s new Green Homes Grant, which opened on 1st October.  Any work carried out under the grant has to be completed by 31st March 2021; applications can only be made on line and only government-approved contractors (of which there are 900 nationwide) can be used.  Cllr Twist had looked as an example at double glazing, but there were only two contractors listed.

Cllr Wilkins said there had not been too much progress on installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging point, but DCC have advised that they are working on the long list of sites and will ensure Gittisham is there.  Additionally, DCC has enquired if there would be interest from the villagers for the provision of an electric vehicle on a ‘car club’ basis?  In other words an EV that people can book and use and then pay for the time they’ve had it.  Cllr Wilkins suggested an informal consultation within the village is undertaken to establish if there would be interest in this innovative suggestion.  Once firm proposals are available for the EV charging point and possibly the ‘car club’, a further formal consultation with the village and the estate will be needed prior to the parish council deciding to proceed or not.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to draft an article for the Gittisham Gazette, and all councillors to canvass opinion on the ‘car club’ proposal.

114/20   To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said architects had been appointed to the CLT, with the successful bid coming from ECA based in Poole.  He explained that the next step would be to establish a project team, led by Wessex CLT, consultants and a number of representatives chosen through the CLT board.    Cllr Valentine added that the housing association partner has not been chosen yet, although invitations have gone out.  He said people would be seeing a number of options coming forward for development of the site, and then they’ll go to a public consultation exercise.  Once agreement is reached over a final design, it’s hoped a planning application could be submitted in the spring of next year.  The CLT AGM will be held on 10th November via Zoom.

Cllr Bond asked if this was a moment to have pre-app discussions with EDDC planners, to which the answer was yes.  Cllr Valentine said he would speak to ECA before setting up a meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to inform Cllr Bond of the date of the meeting with ECA.

115/20   To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Valentine said there was no update on this.

116/20 To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist said Baker Estates are still awaiting a response from Sovereign Housing, so there is no movement on this action.  She said the parish council had received an email from a Heart Charity- London Hearts, which procures and supplies defibrillators and cabinets, giving a discounted package and a £200 parish council grant, training for the community is free.  She said she had not followed this up as it could be a while before we are ready to move on purchasing. Also the parish council may wish to stay with their current supplier, she said. The website is www.londonhearts.org.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to continue dialogue with BE.

117/20   To consider refurbishment and maintenance of the play area

Members heard that RhinoPlay had given a date of 19th October to inspect the split wood on the tower, after which they would communicate their decision to the parish council. Members heard that the baby / toddler swings were discoloured, despite the Chair having scrubbed and bleached them extensively. Members agreed to replace them in the spring.

The Chair thanked Combe Estate for the donation of the stepping logs, and also Len Abbott for installing them. She said that she and Cllr Valentine had met Mike Dawes regarding the proposal to have a tree and hedge at the top end of the wild area, and this had been withdrawn by mutual agreement. She reported that the padlock at the top gate had been replaced by zip ties. 

Members heard that the oak tree planted earlier this year had not survived the summer, but Terry Trim had agreed to replace it free of charge as soon as appropriate.

Cllr Walker suggested that with winter approaching the play area would not be in use nearly so much, so members agreed that a monthly clean would be appropriate starting from the week after half-term.  Councillors agreed to reassess the situation at the November meeting.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain three quotes from suppliers for new seats and chains.

118/20   To consider the purchase of a computer for the parish clerk

The clerk circulated a selection of laptops recommended by Which! magazine under £500.  However, Cllr Twiss had indicated he could provide £400 from his DCC locality budget towards the cost.  Members agreed with Cllr Wilkins’s suggestion that a laptop costing between £500 and £800 would be more suitable.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to advise the clerk on possible spec.

ACTION: Clerk to investigate further with revised price range and discuss with Cllr Valentine’s son.

119/20 To consider the parish website

Cllr Wilkins said he had made minutes and agendas back to April 2020 accessible, and would now make a start on other documents as outlined in the accessibility report from Websites Ahoy.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to continue the review of documents using a Windows-based operating system.

120/20 To consider the distribution of the Gittisham Gazette

Members agreed that Mr Sellick’s remuneration should be reviewed in December 2020.

ACTION: Clerk to inform Mr Sellick and thank him for his work.

121/20 To consider liaising with other local parish councils.

The clerk said she had made contact with neighbouring parish councils including Talaton, Buckerell, West Hill, Feniton and Payhembury, and received positive responses to the suggestion of an annual meeting to share problem-solving experience and ideas. 

ACTION: Chair to investigate setting up a Zoom meeting with other councils.

The clerk left the meeting.

122/20 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 £11.55 / hr, and the pension to £22.48 which the clerk had calculated using the Money Advice Service workplace pensions calculator. 

ACTION: Clerk to investigate with DALC regarding years of service and effect on pay grade.

The clerk returned to the meeting.

123/20 To review the bank signatories and update the mandate as appropriate

Members resolved to remove former councillor Russell Hayman’s name from the list of signatories and add Cllr Twist. 

ACTION: Clerk to update with Nat West.

124/20 To approve the October payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1063       F J Clampin                          £224.86 + £3.60 expenses Clerk’s salary & expenses (at new rate of £11.53 / hr)

1064       F J Clampin                          £30.33   Remainder of clerk’s backdated pay to £1st April 2020 at new rate

1065       Len Abbott                            £126       9 hours lengthsman work, Sept 2020 (at £14/hr)

1066       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting play area (inv. ref 10041)

1067       Michael Poll                          £60         Grass cutting play area (inv. ref 10045)

Cllr Wilkins left the meeting.

1068       Andy Wilkins                        £4.68      reimbursement for play area cleaning expenses

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

Cllr Wilkins returned to the meeting.

The clerk circulated bank resolutions for June 2020 and September 2020, and thanked Cllr Twist for her help in completing them.  Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £12,966.11 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

125/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Walker said residents had informed her the Stagecoach bus was occasionally missing out the village, which left those needing it for work and appointments thoroughly inconvenienced.  Moreover, anecdotal evidence from a driver indicated that some were uncomfortable driving the lanes and missed Gittisham deliberately. 

The Chair suggested changing the format of the agendas, to group items by councillor and reflect their respective responsibilities, which was approved.

Cllr Wilkins reported that roadworks would be taking place on Hayne Lane beginning 12th October, at the Iron Bridge 29-30th October and lower Hayne Lane on 18th November.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to write to Stagecoach; Cllr Walker to furnish a list of missed dates and times.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to investigate school bus provision when the lower part of Hayne Lane will be closed, as well as in January 2021 when the road to the Forge will also be shut.

126/20   Matters to be reported to DCC / EDDC

Cllr Wilkins said there had been further complaint about disabled access through the emergency gate between Old Elm Road and Hayne Lane, including from a new resident.  Cllr Wilkins felt the response from DCC would not be welcomed by people with mobility issues, as although DCC had agreed to look at it they had not provided a timescale.  A previous query had been raised three years ago, he noted. 

There are other issues with the gate, Cllr Wilkins explained:

In February workmen installed drop kerbs on the pavements around the gate. During these works the security lock was removed and a temporary Yale combination lock used instead. The security lock was never returned and recently the temporary lock has been replaced by a small key padlock.

DCC have advised that the key is kept at the DCC/Skanska depot at Heathpark. Considering the gate is for emergency access by the emergency services, with their dispatch advising the combination to use, the current situation raises some questions.

Is it expected that emergency services divert to the DCC depot to collect they key whilst on an urgent call and return it on completion of the call?  Have the emergency services been alerted to this change in operation?  Is the depot open 24/7 with someone ready to issue the key?

Cllr Wilkins said the gate has been damaged in the past and will now not easily open or close. Last year he observed it taking three workmen and a club hammer to close it. This situation was reported to DCC at the time and DCC responded that they thought it was “a little stiff”. Cllr Wilkins said it’s more than a little stiff and could not be opened by a two person ambulance crew!

He concluded that the gate is no longer fit for purpose as an emergency access for the emergency services and DCC are aware of this. If DCC feel emergency access is no longer required can it be removed and replaced with a wall or some other permanent barrier?  Vale residents would rejoice if the access to Hayne Lane was removed for all but pedestrians and cyclists.  To add to this situation the latest version of Apple Maps, released on 2nd October, shows access for vehicles between Old Elm Road and Hayne lane. This is reflected in the associated satnav service which is routing vehicles though the gate.

Cllr Wilkins said it was reported at the last PC meeting that the boundary stream between the parish and Honiton was partly blocked at the north side of Old Elm Road adjacent to the bridge. He reported that EDDC attended and strimmed the vegetation on both banks either side of the bridge, they did not clear the blockage. The trimmed foliage was deposited into the stream thus making the issue worse; water now regularly builds up under the bridge due to the restricted flow.

There has been a rather poor attempt to maintain the balancing pond, he noted. On 5th October a digger was deployed which removed the built up debris from the water flow and grid depositing it on the pond floor. When the pond next kicks into action the debris will become buoyant and once again deposit itself from where it came no doubt restricting water flow.

In other years during maintenance debris has been taken off site, vegetation has been cleared and the area left looking attractive. It was a feature frequently used by children to play adventure games and by adults to enjoy watching wildlife. Sadly it is now unloved and unused.

ACTION: The clerk to inform DCC and EDDC respectively of the above.

127/20   For information only; items for the forward agenda

Members questioned whether the parish reflected the changing make-up of the area, and whether the parish council structure reflected its residents. 

It was agreed to include the following items on the next agenda (which will have a new format): coronavirus, climate change, lengthsman work, limited residential development, S106, parish clerk’s computer, Hayne Farm defibrillator, play area, website, representation, liaising with other parish councils. 

ACTION: Clerk to discuss representation with EDDC.

128/20   Clerk’s Report

The clerk said that the officer at DCC had told her the Planning Inspectorate have something of a backlog due to the lockdown putting a stop to public inquiries and hearings. They are just getting going with virtual inquiries so perhaps there will soon be news on the footpath at Goldcombe.

129/20   Date of next two meetings 

Wednesday 4th November and Wednesday 2nd December at 7.30pm via Zoom. 

Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

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

Chair…………………………………….

4th November 2020

Parish Council meeting minutes 2 Sept 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON 2ND SEPTEMBER 2020
via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr D Valentine

Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)
Cllr P Orchard
Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr M Walker, PCSO Darren England

76/20 To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

77/20 To confirm the minutes of the meetings held 1st July and 24th July 2020

The minutes of the meetings held on 1st July and 24th July 2020 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.

78/20 To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

The police did not send a report this month, so the clerk provided figures taken from https://www.crime-statistics.co.uk/ . In July 2020, 1 crime reported: criminal damage or arson.

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to forward to all members the weblink to crime statistics.

79/20 To receive declarations of interest

Cllr Wilkins declared an interest in agenda item 23, as he is due to be reimbursed by the council.

80/20 Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

School Transport

As we start a very unusual school term for our young people, Cllr Twiss said that DCC’s Education Department had issued a letter to parents regarding travelling safely to school and home on dedicated and public shared transport. This was distributed to all members. Cllr Twiss said he thought it likely that there would be the odd teething problem in terms of capacity, but hoped that any of these can be resolved quickly and easily, if needs be by increasing the number of vehicles to do this safely.

DCC Highways

While not a road as such, Cllr Twiss said that Footpath 3 from Buckerell Parish towards Gittisham Parish which passes over the River Otter by way of a footbridge is a good way to get out and about. He said he had got the local DCC Ranger to make repairs on the bridge which had fallen in to disrepair and was getting to the point of being dangerous. Cllr Twiss said he was also talking to the Honiton Show Committee about the possibility of a permissive path from where Footpath 3 meets the River Otter, turning right towards The Otter Inn, which may in turn be a nice distraction on a walking loop from Gittisham to Gittisham via there and possibly The Combe Garden centre! The show committee is due to meet shortly to discuss this as one of their agenda items.

Cllr Twiss added that he had now completed the ‘Doing What Matters’ review with Mike Brown, DCC Neighbourhood Highways Officer for the Feniton and Honiton Division in terms of highways maintenance and drainage, and as with the other parishes he should have been liaising with the clerk on this matter.

Broadband

Cllr Twiss said there was nothing specific to report, other than the Jurassic Fibre Broadband Ultrafast Broadband delivery is going well, despite COVID-19 restrictions and likely to reach Gittisham/Honiton at the end of this year.

Farm work Welfare App

Given the nature of our mainly rural area, Cllr Twiss said this may be of interest to members of the PC where sometimes problems are hidden in plain sight and not always spotted. The development of an app has been undertaken by the Clewer Initiative and supported by GLAA, NCA, Fresca Group and the Modern Slavery Helpline. The app is called the Farm Work Welfare App (FWWA) and launched in late July 2020.

FWWA is aimed at seasonal farm/rural workers and employers in the food picking, packing and processing sector. It seeks to provide a pocket resource for employers to aid them in strengthening their processes to prevent or identify labour exploitation within their operations, whilst also helping workers to understand their rights, learn what good practice looks like and arm them with the knowledge to identify exploitation. A reporting function is also provided which interlinks with the Modern Slavery Helpline. Content will be available in 8 languages covering the most vulnerable nationalities. Documents were distributed to all members.

Reporting of issues to DCC/EDDC

Noting comments relating to item 25 of the Gittisham PC agenda for 2nd September and in order to maintain a more accurate trail of report and response, as well as duplicating queries, Cllr Twiss said it would help enormously if issues which might be best described as of an ‘operational nature’ could firstly be raised via the clerk to the PC by E Mail to csc@eastdevon.gov.uk for EDDC and https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_content=%2523wearedevon for DCC

If the clerk is unclear as to the relevant responsible authority is, he added that both have a very good working relationship and will usually pass on the issues if not theirs to resolve. For items such as that concerning improving access though the emergency gate at the end of Old Elm Road which is outside of the routine operational nature, Cllr Twiss explained that is where he comes in, and a request by email from the clerk will enable him to log it and to the relevant DCC or EDDC system. Cllr Twiss added that if the request is of an urgent nature and the clerk is not available, please send in the same way with a cc to the clerk and Cllr Twiss.

Hospital and healthcare

As we move towards what appears towards a more usual position health care services returning towards pre COVID-19 levels, Cllr Twiss said it is evident that the RD&E NHS Trust is going have to go a long way to return to where it would want to be for elective, non-elective and clinical surgeries.

The overall position at the RD&E NHS is far from straight forward in terms of referrals, elective surgery and clinic, allied with other major procedures and not brilliant when compared to 2019. Cllr Twiss distributed the key areas of interest to all members from his Council of Governors’ performance update from 7th August for June. This month’s update is due shortly and will have hopefully improved significantly from then.

Put simply COVID-19 and the impact on all sites in the RD&E footprint has been huge, but because of many fewer cases in our area staff are now returning to their ‘day jobs’ in large numbers, which is having a month by month positive impact on the ‘metrics’ e.g. June had a 31 per cent improvement of referrals over May, but that was still only just over 67 per cent of cases handled in June 2019! Keeping the main site at Wonford fully operational and safe on non COVID and Covid work is a challenge in terms of clinical hygiene and safe staffing levels, with PPE working incredibly exhausting and adversely effecting efficiencies.

The Nightingale Hospital has currently been re-purposed to deal with the cancer referrals backlog, in advance of an anticipated winter spike in demand for a perfect winter storm pressure of flu, COVID-19 and some old people suffering from poor health, particularly during winter, where this is one of the Trusts major clinical priorities regarding early diagnosis and treatment. The Nuffield is currently contracted to do 8 clinics a day on hip replacements (Exeter world class in this field) where the backlog because of this procedure being halted in late March due to risk of post op infection massive and the Trust is working at optimum capacity taking many factors in to account, no least staffing levels.

In summary a case of clinical priorities where progress is being made in all areas, but clearly not quick enough in a system under huge pressure even before COVID-19, but where the big injections of cash and new staff recruitment is definitely helping. Cllr Twiss said he hoped outpatient appointments will be quicker to resolve than long term waiting on elective surgical procedures and the paragraph below gives me some cause for comfort, in particular the creation and now implementation of the outpatients hub and a massive technological boost via an intelligent platform patient record system called ‘MyCare’, which is going live in early October which will improve matters dramatically and quickly (£50m cost and yes, tested and has been running for some time in Exeter and other UK Hospital sites which will give the RD&E a huge advantage over todays position and other Hospital Trusts!!).

Cllr Bond said while August is normally a quiet month, full Council met to discuss the Strategic Planning Committee’s decision to withdraw from the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP). On a personal level, she said this is a hugely disappointing, politically motivated move, which is likely to leave us vulnerable to development in inappropriate areas. GESP was looking at allocating sites from 2031 (the end of EDDC’s current local plan) and 2040. The new administration at East Devon District Council (a coalition of Independents, LibDems and Greens) had no faith in the process undertaken thus far, despite having been involved in plan formation. Working co-operatively with our immediate neighbours would have given EDDC more clout in negotiating for grant funding for major infrastructure projects, Cllr Bond argued.

The plan now is to continue the work already ongoing to revise the Local Plan. Climate change, Covid and (not least) the Government White Paper on Planning due to be published this month will need to be taken into consideration. The Government proposals are to be discussed at a Strategic Planning Committee on 16 September, which will be a Zoom meeting with the usual period at the start of the meeting for public speaking.

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

81/20 To note the latest planning decision notices

a) 18/0359/V106 – Land adjacent Hayne Farm, Hayne Lane, Gittisham – Variation of requirement for affordable housing and other obligations in Section 106 agreement pursuant to application 13/2744/MOUT
Approval with conditions.

b) 20/1380/PDQ Land north of Hamlet House Weston – Conversion of agricultural building to dwelling
PDQB prior approval refused.

c) 20/0912/VAR – Goldcombe Farmhouse, Gittisham EX14 3AB – Conversion Of Existing Buildings To Holiday Dwellings (application for removal of Condition 5 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow year round occupancy of the holiday dwellings and variation of Condition 6 of planning permission 84/P0792 to allow The Cider Barn to be used as an unrestricted residential dwelling)
Approval with conditions.

82/20 To consider the following planning application:

a) 20/1600/FUL – 11 Ferndale Close Honiton EX14 2YN Construction of single storey rear extension and provision of render

Members had no objection to the above application.

83/2 To consider the parish council response to the COVID-19 outbreak

The Chair said the volunteer group in the village was still up and running, but there had been no particular need for support in the last few months. She said that she was heartened to see the village play area open and well used once again. Members heard that the village hall would be open for bookings from 5th September, with Covid-related restrictions in place.

84/20 To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy & S106

Cllr Orchard said he had contacted the environmental health department at EDDC to see if the officers had any objection to the land being used for a boules court. [NB Since the meeting the department has been in touch to inform Cllr Orchard that their only concern would be if the proposal was on contaminated land.]

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to check with Jamie Buckley at EDDC the next steps.

85/20 To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain drains and ditches in the parish

Members noted that Len Abbott had carried out strimming work on the river once again. Cllr Valentine asked if the lengthsman could check the ditches along Dark Lane, as large tractor wheels are pushing the verges into the ditch. This then becomes an obstruction to water when it rains.

ACTION: Cllr Walker to ask Len Abbott to inspect Dark Lane.

86/20 To consider maintenance of the play area, including regular safety inspections

The Chair said Combe Estate had donated some logs to replace the current stepping logs which are showing signs of rot. Members agreed that until the logs had been installed, the lengthsman should look at filling in the holes or they could be dangerous. Cllr Orchard said he felt the play equipment for younger children was looking somewhat tired, and asked if the rubber units should be replaced. The Chair said the items were not particularly old, and she agreed to tend to them to see if they could be improved.

ACTION: Chair to ask Len Abbott to fill in log holes while waiting for installation, and give toddler equipment a thorough clean.
ACTION: Clerk to write to Combe Estate to thank them for the donation.

87/20 To consider climate change measures within the parish

Cllr Wilkins reported that since the last meeting some progress has been made towards the possible provision of an electric vehicle charging point in the village. DCC is the liaison point for funding and support services, and Cllr Wilkins said he had had several exchanges with them providing information as it is requested. Initially a position near to the old telephone box (defibrillator housing) is being considered as the preferred location but is of course subject to a survey to judge suitability whilst considering the possibility of flooding and the provision of power. He said the power required for a 7kW charger is a minimum of a 32A 240V supply; a 22kW rapid charger requires a full three phase supply at 32A per phase and is probably not viable. It is assumed the land forms part of the public highway and as such DCC will undertake obtaining traffic orders and provide signage and road markings for the EV Charging bay. If the land turns out to be owned by the Combe Estate, then easements and wayleaves will need to be obtained first. Cllr Wilkins said Justin Lascelles should be kept informed of progress in this respect.

Cllr Wilkins said there will also need to be a commercial partnership established to provide the charging service; DCC will enable this arrangement. The Chair said she had had a very positive response from the village and the estate. Whist the project is progressing, Cllr Wilkins said the parish council will need to keep villagers informed and allow for comment and feedback at the main decision points. DCC has advised they will start supporting the parish council sometime this month, but timescales are rather challenging and the scheme will need to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.

ACTION: Cllr Wilkins to take this project forward and inform Combe Estate.

88/20 To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said the CLT was due to have an AGM on 19th March but the lockdown prevented that taking place. At the moment the AGM is postponed. The legal basis for the GCLT is that it is registered as a Community Benefit Society and the current society rules require the society to hold an AGM. In theory, therefore, a decision to postpone the AGM would mean that the society is in breach of its rules and members of the society could challenge the CLT through the courts on this point. Cllr Valentine said he would hope that this is unlikely given the circumstances, and added that he was investigating the possibility of holding an AGM using Email.

A number of site investigations/surveys have now been completed and the CLT’s solicitor is currently investigating the background and details of the land title. The appointment of architects will take place following interviews which are taking place on 9th September. It is intended that there will be a public consultation exercise to present the architects proposals for the site. The nature of this exercise will be subject to Covid-19 guidance.

Cllr Valentine said a project team will be formed to guide and take any necessary actions during the design and construction phases. The project team will consist of representatives from GCLT, Wessex CLT Project, the architects, the Housing Association partner, site consultants as necessary and Combe Estate. The Housing Association partner remains to be appointed. There are 3 HAs with a potential interest. Members agreed that the situation was looking positive.

89/20 To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Valentine said his work with the GCLT together with family commitments have taken priority, but that he hoped to present with Cllr Orchard a draft later in the autumn. However, he said that Gittisham was one of few parish councils to publish an emergency plan on its website. Cllr Orchard added that he had been surveying some other emergency plans from 2015, and was incorporating some of the basic detail into the developing Gittisham template. Members agreed that telephone numbers and roles and responsibilities needed to be updated.

ACTION: Cllr Valentine to discuss Environment Agency work with the Chair.

90/20 To consider the issue of dog waste in the parish and action as appropriate

The Chair said the problem of dog waste appeared to have improved, so it was not necessary to purchase a waste bin. Cllr Valentine added that he often speaks to dog walkers and reminds them of their responsibilities. Cllr Wilkins said that there were many instances of dog waste bins not being emptied in the Vale. He found that when EDDC responds to a report, the reported bin is emptied but others are not checked at the same time. Cllr Twist echoed this on the Hayne Farm development, saying that dog waste bins appear to fill up quickly. Cllr Bond encouraged them to report the issue to the Customer Service Centre, and said to report to Cllr Twiss (via the clerk) if there was no progress.​

91/20 To consider the casual vacancy in Gittisham Village ward

Members agreed the vacancy should be advertised until the third week of October, allowing a decision to be made at the November meeting.

ACTION: Clerk to advertise the vacancy.

92/20 To consider the purchase of a defibrillator for the Hayne Farm development

Cllr Twist reported good progress on a defibrillator, and said the next step was to agree the best location with all parties concerned.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to speak to Stella Adamson about next steps.

93/20 To consider the purchase of a computer for the parish clerk

The clerk said there was no update on this.

ACTION: Clerk to investigate and cost for next meeting.

94/20 To consider updating the parish website to comply with accessibility standards by 23rd September 2020

The clerk said public authority websites had to comply with accessibility standards, and Gititsham’s did so up to a point following the recent maintenance on the site. However, Clare Bryden of Websites Ahoy had advised that further work needed to be undertaken to make individual council documents accessible. Cllr Wilkins agreed to look into this.

ACTION: Clerk to forward accessibility guidance from Clare Bryden to Cllr Wilkins.

95/20 To review parish councillors’ roles and responsibilities

Members discussed assigning specific responsibilities, and the following was agreed:

Cllr Hall – water and drainage
Cllr Wilkins – planning decision notices, EV charging, highways
Cllr Walker – play area, lengthsman
Cllr Valentine – CLT and planning
Cllr Orchard – S106, grant applications, public transport
Cllr Twist – environment, climate change

96/20 To consider liaising with other local parish councils.

The chair suggested that making connections with other parish councils could be useful, to share problem-solving experience and ideas. Members agreed that an informal meeting, perhaps annually, with neighbouring parishes would be beneficial. The Chair said with Covid restrictions in place this would be deferred to a later date.

ACTION: Clerk to contact neighbouring parish councils.

Cllr Wilkins left the meeting.

97/20 To approve the September payments and to note the current bank balance

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1056 Michael Poll £60. Play area grass cutting, (inv ref. 10031)
1057 Michael Poll. £60. Play area grass cutting, (inv ref. 10036)
1058 F J Clampin. £218.79 Clerk’s salary and expenses
1059 Len Abbott. £399 28.5 hours lengthsman work, July 2020 (at new rate of £14/hr)
1060 Len Abbott £112 8 hours lengthsman work, August 2020
1061 Len Abbott. £133.91 expenses (paint, repairs to strimmer, timber)
1062 Andy Wilkins £54.04 reimbursement for play area cleaning expenses

DD NEST £17.50 Clerk’s pension

The clerk said the second half of the annual precept had been received. Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £13,492.55 (which includes the £7,000 in the business reserve account).

Cllr Wilkins returned to the meeting.

98/20 To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Orchard informed members that the A30 would be closed between 8pm and 6am for resurfacing, with a diversion via the village. He added that roadworks on Hayne Lane / Devonshire Road junction had been rescheduled to begin on 18th November. Since the meeting DCC Highways has sent formal notification that Hayne Lane embankment works will take place 12th October – 5th November 2020.

99/20 Matters to be reported to DCC / EDDC

Cllr Wilkins said that whilst not in the parish, he felt that EDDC should be praised for the excellent refurbishment of the play area next to Cherry Gardens. This is used by children from the Vale and is proving to be very popular.

Cllr Wilkins reported there had been a few comments about the recent tree felling on Hayne Lane, south of the gate on the eastern side of the lane. It appears that ten or more established trees, together with the established hedgerow have been felled and cleared, and there seems to be no logical reason for these removals. Cllr Wilkins said he was not sure if this was being carried out by EDDC or DCC, but it is a local contractor undertaking the work. There has also been a tree felled on EDDC land between the railway line and Laburnum Close, near to the rear of no.6, again with no obvious purpose. Cllr Wilkins said in the past EDDC had been reluctant to cut back problematic trees, so this wholescale removal is rather surprising. Could the EDDC and / or DCC representative investigate and provide feedback?

Cllr Wilkins said he had received comments that there are problems for people using wheelchairs or mobility scooters traveling through the pedestrian walkway next to the gate at the end of Old Elm Road. The gap is such that mobility scooters and full-sized wheelchairs cannot turn to pass through the pedestrian chicane.

Cllr Wilkins explained that following the heavy rain on 13th August, the stream on the boundary between the Vale and St Michaels is partly blocked with debris just north of Old Elm Road. He asked if this could be cleared so that water doesn’t build up. He also noted that the balancing pond north of Old Elm Road near the railway line has yet to have its annual maintenance, in the past this has been carried out in July or August.

Cllr Twist said that over the summer there has been a problem developing on the Hayne Farm estate of foreign-registered juggernauts pulling into the estate during the night. The vehicles then have major problems trying to turn round to get out. It would appear that this is a satnav problem, but it’s unclear why this has only started happening recently. Cllr Wilkins said signs with a weight limit could be installed, but as this would require a traffic order it would take time.

ACTION: The clerk to inform DCC and EDDC respectively of the above.

ACTION: Cllr Twist to keep a diary and / or collate more information on lorry movements.

Cllr Wilkins said many appreciative comments had been received about the newly installed bench in Gittisham Vale.

100/20 For information only; items for the forward agenda

Members questioned whether it was time to order replacement pads for the Vale defibrillator; one member of the public said whoever does the weekly check can use the dashboard to inform CHT.

It was agreed to include the following items on the next agenda: coronavirus, climate change, lengthsman work, limited residential development, S106, parish clerk’s computer, parish clerk remuneration, Hayne Farm defibrillator, play area, gazette distribution, website.

ACTION: Chair to ask the lengthsman to check the status of all grit bins.

101/20 Clerk’s Report

None.

102/20 Date of next two meetings.

Wednesday 7th October and Wednesday 4th November at 7.30pm via Zoom. Should restrictions on public movement be lifted, these meetings will revert to being held in the parish room or another suitable venue.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2035 hrs.

Chairman…………………………………….

7th October 2020

Parish Council extra ordinary meeting minutes 24 July 2020

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING
HELD VIA ZOOM ON 24th July 2020 at 11.30am

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward
Cllr C Hall (Chair)
Cllr D Valentine

Gittisham Vale Ward
Cllr A Wilkins (Vice Chair)
Cllr P Orchard
Cllr J Twist

In attendance: Cllr Susie Bond (EDDC), Richard Ayre (Baker Estates), Fiona Clampin (clerk),

Prior to the start of the meeting, Richard Ayre from Baker Estates exercised his right to speak as a member of the public regarding the planning application 20/1404/V106 Land Adjacent to Hayne Farm, Hayne Lane, Gittisham – Variation of requirement for affordable housing and other obligations in Section 106 Agreement pursuant to application 13/2744/MOUT. He said that members were probably aware that the government was encouraging local planning authorities to be understanding of the problems being experienced, in particular, by small and medium-scale developers and had instructed “that a pragmatic and proportional approach” should be taken. It would mean deferring Community Infrastructure Levy payments to parishes to reflect the current circumstances and uncertainty on the horizon due to the pandemic. Mr Ayre explained that if Baker Estates was able to have some flexibility on payments such as this to the district council, as well as S106, it would help the company proceed at its current rate of building affordable homes on the Hayne Farm site and employ local people. Mr Ayre said Baker Estates was looking at delaying part of the £500k housing contribution to September 2021 and the following September. Cllr Valentine asked if the parish council could expect a similar request to defer payments this time next year, but Mr Ayre insisted that while it was difficult to predict how the situation would progress, the company intended to pay the amount due in the future. He argued that the alternative was the company not being around to deliver the scheme or make the payments. In response to Cllr Bond’s question, Mr Ayre confirmed the affordable housing proportion would be index-linked in the future.

The Chair thanked Mr Ayre for his explanation.

1. To receive and accept apologies.

Apologies were received and accepted.

2. To receive declarations of interest

None.

3. To consider the following planning applications:

a) 20/1404/V106 Land Adjacent to Hayne Farm, Hayne Lane, Gittisham – Variation of requirement for affordable housing and other obligations in Section 106 Agreement pursuant to application 13/2744/MOUT

b) 20/1380/PDQ Land North Of Hamlet House Hamlet House Weston – Conversion of agricultural building to dwelling

Members discussed the potential delay that approval of a) might have on the development of the Gittisham CLT. Cllr Valentine said he had had a number of concerns about the possible impact that a delay in providing the commuted sum for affordable housing might have on the current proposals for the affordable housing scheme in the village. He had considered the timetable of the various steps required, and concluded that with other sources of income available such as EDDC’s Community Housing Fund it would be possible to proceed. He reminded members that Baker Estates was not seeking any reduction in levels of contribution – just the timetabling.

Members resolved to have no objections to the variation application.

Members resolved to have no objection in principle to b). However they expressed concern over the lack of supporting evidence of agricultural use in the permitted timescale. This is a key point in establishing whether this should proceed as permitted development or as an application for prior approval. They felt this could lead to a separate proposal to extend further down the line.

4. To consider the re-opening of Gittisham’s play area

Members discussed re-opening the play area, having considered EDDC’s proposed strategy and risk assessment regarding its own open spaces and parks. A risk assessment specific to Gittisham parish was distributed and approved.

The Chair said that subject to the lengthsman seeing to a number of maintenance issues, it would be possible to reopen the play area in one week. There will be some new rules for using the area (displayed at the entrance), including having one family at a time on each piece of equipment, hand sanitizer at the gate, a weekly inspection rota and cleaning of high use equipment by two councillors and installation of a rubbish bin. Members agreed this should comply with guidance from insurers, district council and the government.

They resolved to approve the purchase of necessary cleaning items and protective equipment by Cllr Wilkins, which he will claim back at a future meeting.

The Chair said she was grateful to parish councillors for their work in allowing the re-opening to go ahead in a safe and secure manner, and their continuing commitment to ensuring the play area meets the requirements. She added that she would get in touch with families, nearby neighbours and The Pig to inform them of the re-opening, and speak to those whose properties are close to the play area.

Action: Clerk to inform the insurer that the play area will be re-opening.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 1158 hrs.

Chairman…………………………………….

2nd September 2020