DRAFT MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 12th JUNE 2013 AT 8.00PM AT THORNHILLHEAD METHODIST CHAPEL
Members Present: Mrs Barbara Babb, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, Mrs Kate Slocombe Mrs Shirley Tilley, Mr David Watson,
Also in attendance 7 members of the public, PC John McGovern (PCSO), Clair McIntosh (R Hicks & Co.) and Beth Simons (Bluecoats Children’s Centre)
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
KEY: Actions are shown in blue type Decisions are shown in red type
939 Apologies for Absence
Mr David Lloyd and Mr George Heywood
940 Minutes of the Meeting of 8th May 2013
The minutes of the meeting held on 8th May 2013 and the AGM on 22nd May 2013 were confirmed and signed.
941 Declarations of Interest
Barbara Babb in relation to the new housing development.
942 Public Speakers
One member of the public registered disappointment that the agenda had not specified which wind turbine was to be discussed. The clerk apologised for the oversight. The Chairman explained that it concerned the potential turbine at Bowden Farm. The member of the public chose not to speak any further on the issue.
943 PCSO Report
There was discussion about the van reported as sticking out into Gorwood Road. Jim Lowe is to write to the owner mentioning that the matter has been brought to the PCSOs attention. John McGovern reported that there had been no crimes reported in the parish in the past 2 months and was looking forward to being able to report a crime free year. There had been changes in staffing at the station with the appointment of Sgt. Paul McWhinney as Torridge Neighbourhood Team Leader and Insp. Andy Brock as Sector inspector for Torridge and Bideford. He and PC Dick Rowlands had spent most of their time on crime prevention activities, running action days, visiting libraries etc. He gave an overview of crime figures for the Torridge area and explained that crime figures were down all over the county. This seems to have coincided with improved relations between police and the public. Kate Slocombe asked if he could patrol close to the school at key times but PCSO McGovern explained that would depend on any calls they had to attend.
944 Bluecoats Children’s Centre: Presentation by Beth Simons
Beth Simons wanted to raise awareness of what the Bluecoats Children’s Centre does in caring for the needs of 0-5 year olds and working together with other agencies, including Parish Councils, to support both the children and their families. The centre is based at Torrington’s Bluecoats school. Every member of staff has an outreach area. Beth’s role is to ensure that events are taken out into the community. They have a ‘Togetherness Programme’ working in partnership with pre-school groups and help with such things as raising Common Assessment Frameworks (CAF), a national procedure for identifying children’s needs. The Centre runs activities such as singing and reading sessions, breast-feeding and smoking support groups. All services are free and they are currently seeking funding support. It was suggested that Beth submits an item for the parish magazine. She can be contacted on 01805 625830.
945 Clerk’s Report
Review of Standing Order. The Clerk reminded members that Councils are recommended to review their standing orders annually. A copy had been distributed to members prior to the meeting and they were asked to review the document and submit any written motions for amendments by 1st July 2013. Item 5.a.xvii does not currently specify a limit on the value of expenditure that can be authorised without the need for a written notice of a motion. He felt that this could be clarified but that he had no other recommendations for amendments.
Correspondence. Various items of general correspondence were distributed including the following that were drawn to the Council’s attention:
3 – Littleham Parish Council Arts & Music Festival (posters previously distributed by email)
5 – Kay Bromhead: Cows on Thornhillhead Moor and related article It was agreed that a copy would be forwarded to Clair McIntosh by the clerk.
7 – DALC News: Food Poverty (Responses requested from members)
8 – DALC Training: Planning Explained. Andrew Hewitt elected to attend.
9 – Petition for Amendment of the National Planning Policy Framework (request for support by signing petition)
10 – Devon Remembers: World War I Memorials Project (feedback and future programme of events) The papers were passed to Mrs Layton to action.
11 – DALC Training: Rising to the Challenge
12 – Application to transfer lease of Plot 12 (It was agreed to transfer allotment plot 12 from Shirley Lulham to her son, Darren, who lives in Orleigh Close)
The procedures for distributing correspondence did not appear to be working. It was agreed that the clerk would prepare a report each month which briefly explained each item of correspondence, which could be distributed to members by email prior to each meeting.
946 Summer Bus
The Chairman reported that arrangements had been put in place to run the Summer Bus Service from 5th July 2013 to the end of August, jointly funded by Buckland Brewer, Parkham, Bradworthy and Putford Parish Councils.
947 Localism Act
No further information had been received about the impact of this legislation.
948 Thornhillhead Moor
Clair McIntosh reported that the six-monthly payment had been received. There had been some problems with cattle getting out but this had stopped since the gaps in the fence had been fixed and there was now more grazing. Works were done by hand because equipment was not permitted during the bird-nesting season. A member of the public said that they had found gates open 4-6 times. Clair reported that this was due to poor latches which she would get replaced or mended. Andrew Hewitt reported that the Council’s public liability insurance did not cover incidents on common land and any issues, such as the recent concerns about dogs, are at the public’s own liability. If stock causes a problem it is the owner’s responsibility. The clerk will investigate insurance cover further and report back at a later meeting. Clair asked if more signs were needed. Andrew Hewitt stated that the previously erected sign had been stolen because it was made of aluminium. It was agreed that more signs would be posted on the gates warning of the presence of cattle.
949 Thornhillhead Communications Mast
Although an acknowledgement was received from the Chairman of Arqiva saying that the matter would receive their attention, no further correspondence had been received so the clerk had sent a reminder on 10th June.
950 Village Hall
S106 Agreement The section 106 agreement in respect of the new housing development had been received and signed by the Chairman. It called for the transfer of 4 plots of land for community use (for a football pitch, community hall, parking and footpath) at the nominal sum of £1, and the payment of £325,000 towards the provision of a new village hall on or before the completion of 20 dwellings. The agreement had been previously distributed by email and the Chairman provided a copy of the plans for each member. Andrew Hewitt said that no resolution had been passed before the document was signed. The Chairman stated that his understanding was that all the members of the parish council were aware of the contents and agreed to its conditions. For the avoidance of any doubt the clerk suggested that a motion should be moved to confirm the Chairman’s action in signing the S106 agreement. The motion was approved by 5:1. (Proposed by Kate Slocombe and seconded by Shirley Tilley) Barbara Babb did not take part in the discussion or the vote.
Letter from the Secretary of the Village Hall Committee A letter had been received from the Village Hall Committee explaining that they were in the process of applying for additional funding for the provision of a new hall. The submission had to be made by early July 2013 and its success could depend on the Village Hall Committee demonstrating that it was exclusively entitled to both the land and the S.106 financial distribution. The Village Hall was therefore seeking a letter of intent from the Parish Council that it would transfer both the land, at its nominal value of £1, and the full value of the financial proceeds to the Village Hall Trustees. In return the Village Hall Committee offered to compensate the Parish Council for any legal and professional fees reasonably incurred. The clerk reminded the members that, whatever, agreement they might enter into, in the event of a new hall not being built within 10 years of the completion of 20 dwellings, the land and financial contribution would be repayable at a rate of interest linked to RPI (probably higher than could be obtained through investment) and that they would need to safeguard against this possibility. Andrew Hewitt felt that independent advice should be sought and Kate Slocombe said that any agreement needed to be ‘watertight’. It was agreed that advice would be sought from Bob Hicks, who acts as the Council’s land agent, and that a letter of intent would be sent to assist with the Village Hall Committee’s application for additional funding. There was some discussion about the potential use of the site of the old village hall and it was agreed that Ian Rowlands of Torridge Planning Department would be informed that there could be a further site suitable for the development of 2 or 3 houses for the purposes of the Rural Settlement Plan.
951 Wind Turbine (Bowden Farm)
The Chairman reported that this issue would probably now be reported at the July meeting of the Torridge Council Planning Committee.
952 Tuckers Park: Tarka Housing
Andrew Hewitt explained that Tarka Housing appeared to have changed their rental policy in respect of these properties, which had originally been given consent as residences for ‘older people’. This was causing problems including parking in the area. It was decided that the Clerk would write to Tarka Housing asking if there had been a change in the renting policy for these houses.
953 Rural Settlement Plan
The Chairman reported that the Rural Settlement Plan had been delivered to Torridge Council on time and that they had been impressed with Buckland Brewer’s contribution. A copy of the narrative submission had been posted on the website and it was hoped that a copy of the plan could be added. A copy is also available at the Community Shop.
954 2013/14 Local Grants
The Chairman explained that £500 had been earmarked in this year’s budget for distribution to organisations in the village seeking grants. An advert would be posted by Jim Lowe in the Village Scene requesting written submissions which will be considered at the Council’s October meeting. The clerk had received a letter from The Voice seeking a donation towards establishing a North Devon radio station. This, and the application previously received from the Playing Fields Association would be considered at that meeting.
955 Members’ Reports
Barbara Babb Reported that works to the road at Thornhillhead had left the road surface so high that water now pours over the gate to the Methodist Church. Jim Lowe will email Julie Petworth in the Highways Department at Devon County Council.
Andrew Hewitt provided photographs of allotment plot 3 which had recently been leased to Catherine Fry. He also reported that plot 15 was in a poor state and ought to be reinstated before it is handed back to the Parish Council. Shirley Tilley said the hedge along one side of plot 15 had been pushed in by the adjoining farmer and it was agreed that this was not the responsibility of the allotment holder. The farmer was aware of the problem and had undertaken to clear it. Andrew asked for the allotments to be added to the next agenda. He also stated that the Council’s insurance policy did not cover the Council on its own land, the notice board etc. Barbara asked if this included the stones on the village green. The clerk will review the issue of insurances and will add the item to the next agenda.
Jim Lowe had attended a Healthwatch event but had found it disappointing and little more than a “talking shop”.
Trevor Mills reported incidents of fly tipping between The Glen and Catsborough Cross. Trevor will email the Clerk with details so that it can be reported to the appropriate body.
Kate Slocombe informed members of a road closure notice she had received for patching works in the village on 27th and 28th June 2013.
Shirley Tilley asked whether the future of Torridge Hospital had been discussed at the Healthwatch meeting. Jim Lowe said that it hadn’t but the Devon Rural Partnership had not met yet.
David Watson had attended a course on Affordable Housing and asked for the item to be added to the next agenda so that it could be discussed fully. David will provide some background papers to be distributed by the Clerk by email. David also pointed out that the road between Buckland Brewer and Parkham was still in a poor state along the stretch within Parkham parish. He asked the clerk to write to Parkham to ask if any improvements could be sought.
(i) 1/0384/2013/LBC – Repair of existing chimneys, No 1 Orleigh Court Members wished to make no comment.
(ii) 1/0417/2013/FUL – Change of use industrial unit to agricultural use, 1 Mambury Moor Estate. There was a discussion about the implications of this application being approved and in the light of the units proposed in the Rural Settlement Plan. A vote was taken and members wished to record no objection by 4:3.
(iii) 1/0391/2013/FUL – Installation of 1 no. micro scale turbine (14.97 m to hub, 5.6 diameter blades), Lambert Farm, Langtree Members wished to make no comment.
1/0831/2012/FUL – Erection of wind turbine at Battledown Farm, Buckland Filleigh – application withdrawn (Noted)
Internal Audit Report. The internal auditor’s report for the accounts for 2012/13 was distributed. The following matters had been highlighted and the actions being taken by the clerk were noted:
From previous year:
Lack of an asset register. Documentation had been supplied by Andrew Hewitt and a valuation has been requested
VAT Overclaim. £97.20 overclaim to be deducted from next VAT claim
Savings Interest had not been made up since October 2008
Bank Reconcilliation Error due to omission of two savings accounts (rectified by the Clerk on the day of the audit)
Bridging Loan. Clerk has agreed to ensure that the Council held an appropriate loan sanction
External Audit became due on 10th June and the return was submitted before that date. The external auditor’s report will be presented to members at a later meeting.
Savings Account balances of £518.46 (Lloyds TSB) and £100 (plus any interest due) have been or are in the process of being liquidated and funds have been transferred to the Council’s current account.
Invoice for Hire of Village Hall Members confirmed their use of the hall on 5 dates during 2012/13 included on a recently received invoice from the Village Hall Committee
Parish Council Current Account was £2,436.30 as at 31st May 2013
Thornehillhead Moor Account £9,786.09 as at 31st May 2013
Receipts since the last meeting, credited to the account after 31st May. include:
£518.46 transfer into the current account from the closure of the TSB Flexible Savings Account (including £1.87 interest accrued since October 2008). £191.00 wayleaves from BTOpenreach
Application has been made to transfer £100 and any accumulated interest from the national Savings certificate to the Council’s current account. A form has been received that needed to be witnessed but confirmation of this transac0tion has not yet been received. Kate Slocombe witnessed the clerk’s signature.
Payments due (£284.90):
Parish Clerk’s salary, expenses and associated PAYE to 31st May 2013 (£249.90) (Included additional hours due to extra meeting [AGM] and preparing the Rural Settlement Plan.)
Buckland Brewer Village Hall re hall bookings (£35.00)
Confirmation had been received from Barclays Bank that the change in the mandate has been received and actioned.
The meeting closed at 9:50 pm: Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 10th July 2013 (8:00pm School Hall)