2022-01 Parish Council meeting minutes 6th January 2022

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 6th January 2022

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

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

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

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

143/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

145/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

1 crime, November 2021:

1 x violence & sexual offences, Parsonage Lane.

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

146/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Locality Budget

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

Scrutiny of the draft budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

There was no update on this.

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

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

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

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

150/21   To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair said there was no update this month.

151/21 To agree the budget for 2022-23

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

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

152/21   To set the precept for 2022-23

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

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

1140       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for December meeting

1141       Information Commissioner£40        Annual membership

1142       Gittisham PCC                     £215       Gazette printing & paper, 2021

1143       Arthur J Gallagher Ins         £248.37                 Public liability insurance, lengthsman

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

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £19,964.84 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

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

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

155/21   Clerk’s Report

None.

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

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

157/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

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

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd February 2022

2021-12 Parish Council meeting minutes 9th December 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 9th December 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

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

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

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

123/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

125/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

2 crimes, October 2021:

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

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

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

126/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

None.

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

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

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

DCC Budget 2022/23

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

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

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

Social Care

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

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

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

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

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

In his absence, Cllr Bonetta sent the following report:

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

Public Toilets

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

Safeguarding

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

Local Plan

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

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

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

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

Old Elm Road gate

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

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

Hayne Lane drains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

131/21   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

Retrospective approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

Cf minute ref. 129/21.

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

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine said there was no update on this. 

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

There was no update this month.

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

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

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

133/21   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

ACTION: Chair to discuss with Cllr Bruce.

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

Members resolved to support the bill.

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

1135       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for November meeting

1136       CHT                           £324      Annual support package for 2 x defibrillators

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

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

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

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

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

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

139/21   Clerk’s Report

None.

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

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

141/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

6th January 2022

Parish Council meeting minutes 4 Nov 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 4th November 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

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

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

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

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

104/21   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

106/21   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

1 crime, September 2021: burglary, Devonshire Road.

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

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

107/21   To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seaton Jurassic

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

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

Roads

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

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

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

Broadband

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

Buses

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

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

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

Working Together for the Future of East Devon Conference 2021

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

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

Cllr Twiss and Cllr Bonetta left the meeting.

111/21   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

Members resolved to have no objection to b) or c).  In relation to a), members resolved to object to this application on the grounds outlined previously, ie granting permission would establish a new residential unit in the countryside without agricultural need being sought, and it will act as a precedent for other opportunities in the future which would be detrimental to the overall policy-making of EDDC. Parish councillors also raised concern about the proposed materials in terms of the roofing.

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

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

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

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/1350/FUL – Land West Of Devonshire Road Heathpark Industrial Estate Honiton – Construction of two storey offices (Unit D) for Use Class E (g) (i), alterations to car park layout, and internal access. Installation of covered bike store to front..  Approval.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to discuss rewilding with Cllr Bonetta.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

There was no update this month.

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

There was no update this month.

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

The Chair did not send a report this month.

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

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

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

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

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

This was deferred until the next meeting.

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

1132       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for October meeting

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

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

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

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

119/21   Clerk’s Report

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

ACTION: Clerk to arrange date for December meeting.

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

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

121/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

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

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

9th December 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 6 Oct 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 6th October 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

87/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

89/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

90/21     To receive declarations of interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waste and recycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0 – 19     =              657.5

20 – 39  =              213.5

40 – 59  =              249.9

60 – 79  =              89.9

80 plus   =              69.6

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

Devon funding news

COVID-19 Outbreak Management Grant (Self-Isolation)

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

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

•              accessing food and other supplies.

•              caring responsibilities

•              practical tasks such as dog walking

•              mental health and wellbeing, including loneliness and boredom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garages at Church Mead

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

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

Fuel poverty

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

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

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

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

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

Cllr Twiss and Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

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

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

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

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

Matt Baker left the meeting.

94/21     To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

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

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

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

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

Legal agreement issued.

  • To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

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

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

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

We would need to get funding for seeds.

Site ideas discussed included:

Bottom of Old Elm (by the rocks)

Between Ferndale Cl and stream

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

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

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

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

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

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

96/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

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

100/21   Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

102/21   To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

103/21   Date of next two meetings.  

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

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

3rd November 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 Sept 2021

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

Present

Gittisham Village ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr A Rowe

Cllr M Walker

Cllr D Valentine

Gittisham Vale ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC)

71/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

73/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Two crimes were reported in July 2021:

1 x anti-social behaviour, Laburnum Close

1 x criminal damage & arson, Cypress Close

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

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

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

PCSO Darren England left the meeting.

74/21     To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Toilets

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

Housing

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

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

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

East Devon Local Plan

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

Enhanced Covid response area

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

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

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

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

Covid news and Vaccination Programme update

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

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

Employment opportunities

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

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

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

Cllr Bonetta left the meeting.

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

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

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

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

77/21     To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

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

a. To note the latest planning decision notices

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

b. To receive an update on Highways

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

See also minute ref. 80/21.

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain an additional quotation.

d. To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

ACTION: Chair to contact Graham Hutton at Baker Estates.

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

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

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

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

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

h. To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

i. To consider the parish emergency plan

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

79/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to re-advertise the vacancy ASAP.

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1120      F J Clampin                       £224.86 Clerk’s salary

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

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

1123      Gittisham Parish Hall        £10        Hire for August meeting

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

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

83/21     Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

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

85/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

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

86/21     Date of next two meetings  

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

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

Parish Council meeting minutes 4 August 2021

Gittisham Parish Council

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

Present:

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

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

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

55/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

57/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Two crimes were reported in June 2021:

  • 1 x violent crime
  • 1 x other theft

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

58/21     To receive declarations of interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recycling issues

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

Jurassic Fibre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lynda Sudlow left the meeting.

62/21     To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

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

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

Cllr Bruce left the meeting.

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

a) To note the latest planning decision notices

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

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

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

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

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

b) To receive an update on Highways

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to obtain quotations from interested companies.

d) To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

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

f) To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

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

h) To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

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

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

i) To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

As per item 63 b).

64/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

65/21 To consider traffic speeds in Gittisham village

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

Cllr Orchard left the meeting.

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

Cllr Orchard returned to the meeting.

1118       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for July meeting

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

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

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

67/21     Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

69/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

70/21     Date of next two meetings.  

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

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th September 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 July 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7TH JULY 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

and via Zoom

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr A Rowe

Cllr M Walker

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

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

Apologies for absence: Cllr J Twist, PCSO Darren England

39/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

41/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Three crimes were reported in May 2021:

2 x anti-social behavior

1 x violence and sexual offences

42/21     To receive declarations of interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vaccination Programme

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

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

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

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

Superfast Broadband

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

Rural affordable housing

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

Paths and gateways

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

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

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

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

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

This was deferred to the August meeting.

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

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

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

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

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

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  1. To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

47/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to contact Alison Marshall.

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

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

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

1112       Gittisham Parish Hall          £10         Hire for June meeting

1113       Websites Ahoy                     £195       Maintenance and updates on website

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

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

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

51/21     Clerk’s Report

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

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

Traffic speeds in Gittisham village.

53/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

None.

54/21     Date of next two meetings

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

4th August 2021

  

Parish Council meeting minutes 10 June 2021

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting

Held on 10th June 2021

in Gittisham Village Hall

and via Zoom

Present: Gittisham Village Ward

Carol Hall (Chair)

David Valentine

Alex Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Janet Twist

Peter Orchard

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

Apologies: Cllr M Walker, PCSO Darren England

19/21     To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted. 

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

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

21/21     To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

No crimes were reported in April 2021.

22/21     To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highways

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

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

Climate Emergency

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

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

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

Health

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

Broadband

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

Emergency gate, Old Elm Road

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

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

ACTION: Chair to reply to Cllr Bond.

25/21     To consider the following planning applications:

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

Members had no objections to a). 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

None.

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

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

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

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

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

Suggestion Number of suggestions GPC comments

Outdoor‌ ‌table‌ ‌

tennis‌ ‌

5‌ ‌

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

Tennis‌ ‌court‌ ‌

3‌ ‌

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

Benches‌ ‌and‌ ‌

blackboard‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Skittle‌ ‌alley‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Grid‌ ‌for‌ ‌hopscotch‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Pergola‌ ‌or‌ ‌shelter‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Mini‌ ‌astro‌ ‌turf‌ ‌

pitch‌ ‌for‌ ‌football‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Adult‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌

equipment,‌ ‌eg‌ ‌

exercise‌ ‌bike‌ ‌

4‌ ‌

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

Basketball‌ ‌hoop‌ ‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

Climbing‌ ‌structure‌ ‌

2‌ ‌

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

Zip‌ ‌wire‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

Not‌ ‌suitable‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌allocation‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding.‌ ‌ ‌

Badminton‌ ‌Court‌ ‌

1‌ ‌

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

 ‌

Members discussed various scenarios:‌ ‌

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

hopscotch.‌ ‌ ‌

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

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

this‌ ‌project.‌ ‌

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard said there was no update on this.

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

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

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

To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist outlined the latest scams:

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

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

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

To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

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

To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker sent a report in her absence:

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

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

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

27/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

ACTION: Chair to apply for Woodland Trust grant.

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

1101       F J Clampin                          £224.86                 Clerk’s salary

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

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

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

1105       Community First                 £495.17  Parish council annual insurance policy

1106       Alison Marshall                    £150       Internal audit 2020-21

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

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

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

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

Members noted the annual internal audit report.

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

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

32/21     To approve the 2020-21 accounting statements

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

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

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

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

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

35/21     Clerk’s Report

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

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

None.

37/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

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

38/21     Date of next two meetings

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

7th July 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 5 May 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 5th MAY 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

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

Vale ward: Cllr P Orchard, Cllr J Twist

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

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

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

Carol McCann left the meeting.

1/21        To elect a Chair

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

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

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

3/21        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

5/21        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

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

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

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

6/21        To receive declarations of interest

None.

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

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to purchase Office 2019.

8/21        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

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

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

Cllr Bond left the meeting.

9/21        To consider the following planning applications:

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

Members had no objections to a).

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

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

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

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

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

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

Gittisham by consumption per household 15.6t CO2e

East Devon by consumption per household 17.2t CO2e

National average consumption per household 13.1t CO2e

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

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

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

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

Electric Vehicle Charging Points.

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

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

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

Julia Barrett left the meeting.

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

None.

11/21     To receive a report from the Chair

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

Fly tipping

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

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

12/21 To consider public access within the parish

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

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

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

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

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

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

15/21     Clerk’s Report

None.

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

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

17/21     To consider any late entry correspondence

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

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

18/21     Date of next two meetings  

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

2nd June 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes 7 April 2021

GITTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON 7th APRIL 2021

via Zoom

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

Present:

Gittisham Village Ward

Cllr C Hall (Chair)

Cllr D Valentine

Cllr M Walker

Cllr A Rowe

Gittisham Vale Ward

Cllr P Orchard

Cllr J Twist

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

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

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

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

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

217/20   To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

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

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

219/20   To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

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

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

220/20   To receive declarations of interest

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

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

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

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

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

222/20   Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

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

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

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

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

Cllr Twiss left the meeting.

223/20   To consider the following planning applications:

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

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

Members had no objections to a). 

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

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

ACTION: Chair to contact Buckerell PC chair with update.

224/20   To consider the following appeals:

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

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

Cllr Valentine left the meeting.

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

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

Cllr Valentine returned to the meeting.

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

  1. To note the latest planning decision notices

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

  • To receive an update on Highways

Cllr Orchard said there was nothing to report. 

Forthcoming road closures in Gittisham Parish:

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

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

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

  • To receive an update on public transport

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Twist to send information to Graham Hutton.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish

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

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

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

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

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

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

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

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

  • To consider the parish emergency plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

226/20   To receive a report from the Chair

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

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

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

ACTION: All to register interest with Jurassic Fibre.

Cllr Walker left the meeting.

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

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

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

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

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

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

1093       Playsafety Ltd                     £107.40                 Annual play area safety inspection

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

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

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

1097       DALC                                    £167.13 Annual membership 2021/22

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

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

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

ACTION: Clerk to investigate internet banking.

229/20   Clerk’s Report

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

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

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

ACTION: Cllr Orchard to monitor the situation.

231/20   To consider any late entry correspondence

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

232/20   Date of next two meetings.  

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

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

Chair…………………………………….

5th May 2021