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Whitestone Parish Council


PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES September 2011

Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 8th September 2011
(to be ratified at the Council meeting on Thursday 13th October 2011)

Attendance: Chairman – Councillor P Nierop
Councillors Mrs M Belt, D Munro, Mrs B Netherway, A Reed, A Skeet, M Quinn.
District Councillor P Bromell 
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mr C Hodge, Mr and Mrs Greenfield, Mr N Thom, Mr P Hanson
Apologies: Councillors Mrs P Fisher, R Phillips

The meeting was preceded by the September Draw for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund and the number for was 5 and belongs to Neil Davies.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Mr Hodge requested that the Chairman give an assurance that there would be a referendum/Parish Meeting. In the event of the Council proposing to sell an asset. The Chairman responded that there were no plans to sell any assets.

Mr Greenfield wished to enquire regarding the life span of Springdale Tip as he understood that the licence had been given for a 20 year period which must now be nearing conclusion. 

Mr Thom was in attendance to express his criticism that, as he had noted in the July minutes, his planning for The Forge had been queried at the meeting resulting in Teignbridge District Council instructing him to make a fresh application as he had to amend his original plans. He felt that if he had been approached by the person making the report he could have given a satisfactory explanation without the necessity of having to make another application. 

Minutes of the Council Meetings held on 14th July and 18th August 2011 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chairman.

Arising from the Minutes Councillor Quinn asked if the grant of £1,000 promised in Minute 56.8 had been given to the Hall Development Fund. The Clerk explained that it was understood that this request had been made in order that the Hall Committee could include this promised grant when completing an application to the Community Council for Devon for a County Council grant to help finance their development project. In the original request it was stated that the assumption was that the money would not be required until the start of 2012 at the earliest. Councillor Quinn said that his interest was in the fact that this sum would be included in this year’s financial statement and it was noted that this would be so.

Councillor Quinn also felt that in view of Mr Thom’s comments individual Councillors should have the backing of all the Council before items were passed to relevant authorities. Discussion followed but it was noted that parishioners brought concerns to Councillors with the express purpose of them being pursued. The Chairman suggested this should be reviewed in the context of Standing Orders.

The Chairman then asked District Councillor Bromell if he had any items he wished to report. Councillor Bromell had nothing to report.

PLANNING 
Refusal of Planning Application 
11/02218/AGR Hay/implement store at Oakfield, Heath Lane. Refusal by Teignbridge District Council was because the siting of the building, which is too close to the mature hedgebank to the north, would damage the hedgebank and therefore unacceptably impact on the character and appearance of the designated Area of Great Landscape Value contrary to Policies.
11/02132/FUL Demolition of existing boat store and rebuild with storage above at Merry View, Church Lane. Refused by Teignbridge District Council was because the proposal is contrary to Policies because it is not designed to blend satisfactorily with the style and appearance of the existing dwelling and garage.
Grant of Conditional Planning
11/01794/FUL Installation of 16 solar panels to south elevation at Whitestone Parish Hall.
11/01522/FUL Two storey side extension and extend roof to rear at Ham Farm, Tedburn Road.
11/02808/FUL Two storey extension at Poole Farm, Tedburn St Mary.
11/01960/TPO Felling of 11 trees at Whitestone Lodge.
11/01207/FUL Replacement of existing open ended shed with slightly larger in same position at Merry View, Church Lane.

The Clerk brought to the notice of the Council that she has received two planning applications which will require response within a 21 days deadline and it was agreed that a meeting would be held on Thursday 22nd September to discuss the applications and make the necessary comments for Teignbridge District Council.

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
School Houses The Clerk reported satisfactory quarterly reports from Cooksleys. There had been a request for a new shower unit for No 1 at a cost of £240 plus VAT (£186 for shower, £54 for labour) because the existing had failed and this had been sanctioned.

Parish Hall Councillor Quinn declared an interest as a member of the Hall Management Committee. 
The Council were asked to consider a request from the Hall Committee of Management to make an application for loan of £11,275.84 from the Public Works Loans Board to fund a grant for the purpose of the provision of solar panels. In return for such consideration the Council would cease its existing monthly payments of £125 to the Committee of Management made in respect of the provision of a caretaker. Such consideration to be re-considered at the end of the period of the loan.

Information had been obtained from the National Association of Local Councils regarding borrowing by parish councils and the Chairman had investigated the cost of such a loan over a ten year period and this would be £12,673 (including interest) requiring twice yearly payments of £698, i.e. £1,396 per annum. The total sum equivalent to nearly two years precept or roughly £200 per elector. 

Further comments were provided by the Chairman after discussion by Councillors and the request being placed to a vote it was resolved with regret that the Council were not able to undertake this commitment.

The Hall Committee of Management requested permission to establish a suitably signed Fire Assembly Point inside the children’s play park for the benefit of users of the Parish Hall as part of Fire Regulations for the Hall with a plastic sign to be permanently erected. Discussion followed and it was proposed that this permission be granted with the proviso that the sign be placed on the wire fencing in a visible position and not fixed to a tree as had been suggested by the Committee.

The Hall Committee of Management made an offer of one of the outdoor seats presently situated at the rear of the Hall as they understood that the Council was considering replacing a seat in the children’s play park. 
Discussion followed and it was resolved that this offer be accepted with thanks. The seat would be positioned initially in the play area and later, if a new wooden seat became available, it would be moved to the garden area.

Parish Plan The Chairman brought forward his plans for the instigation of an initial Public Meeting to discuss the setting up of a Parish Plan for Whitestone saying that he had obtained the agreement of a member of the Community Council of Devon to give a talk and make a Presentation on this subject. After discussion it was suggested that Saturday afternoon (possibly 12th November) or failing that in the evening of Thursday 17th November be investigated. The Chairman will look into this and planning will be put in place to publicise the event. Agreement was given for placing a small advertisement in the Parish Magazine.

Winter Snow Warden Scheme Information was placed before the Council regarding the Devon County Council’s Snow Warden Scheme. Several parishes have signed up to the scheme which involves a representative undertaking basic training to assume responsibility for the organisation of self help. It was decided not to pursue this further.

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in June 2012 This item had been requested by Councillors Fisher and Belt as it was felt that planning should begin for any events that could be arranged. It was suggested that this would be organised by a group of parishioners although perhaps Council support might be sought by perhaps providing Commemorative items for children in the Parish. Councillor Bromell stated that Tedburn St Mary Parish Council had thought they might be involved in organising a Beacon at Heath Cross and would welcome an amalgamation with Whitestone if this came to fruition.

MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN
The Chairman requested that a pre-budget discussion be placed on the agenda for the October meeting to ensure adequate time for discussion of items to be included in the budget prior to determining the Precept requirement for 2012/13 in November. Organisations anticipating requesting financial support from the Council during 2012/13 were asked to make draft submissions prior to the 13th October meeting 

He had reported to Teignbridge District Council a number of mobile homes/caravans which have appeared within the Parish. This is clearly a matter of concern to residents and he has asked Planning Enforcement to provide written guidance regarding regulations as to the siting and use of caravans

He had discussion with Devon County Council regarding the installation of a bus stop at Heath Cross and had been informed that there was no funding or support available for the site. If the Parish Council wished to fund this it would probably cost in excess of £8,000. Discussion followed as to the need for this shelter and Councillor Belt volunteered to ascertain the exact numbers of children which would be advantaged by this shelter.

A report had been received from Cooksleys in response to the queries raised regarding their contract and the Chairman requested that this be filed together with the Contract taken out for their management.

FINANCE 
Expenditure The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.
Hewitt & Son (roofing of garages/stores) £2,345.51
Teignbridge District Council – Charges for uncontested elections £156.70
DJM Engineering £16.37 (parts for repair to mower carried out by Mr Joll)
Portable appliance test for 1 School Houses £35.00
Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (Sept donation) - £125
Clerk’s expenses £40.36

Councillor Quinn requested clarification regarding the portable appliance test for School Houses and the Clerk will investigate this. Regarding the replacement shower unit at 1 School Houses he was informed that this invoice would be deducted by Cooksleys from the rent but invoiced to us separately for VAT purposes.

CORRESPONDENCE
Newton St Cyres Parish Council – As reported at the April meeting a meeting to review the wild boar situation will be held at 4.30pm on Wednesday 14th September in Newton St Cyres Village Hall.
Devon County Council – Report that approval has been given to changes for street lighting which will be turned off from about 12.30am for 5 hours. This is being implemented to reduce both carbon emission and energy costs. This applies to Crossways.
Devon Association of Local Councils AGM will be held in conjunction with Community Council of Devon at Exeter Racecourse on Saturday 8th October from 9.30am to 4pm. Councillors Belt and Quinn were proposed to attend and the fees of £15 per head were authorised.
Teignbridge Assocation of Local Councils – Meeting 6th October.
It was reported that so far quotes for the making good of internal decoration in School Houses had been received from only two of the four firms approached. All quotations would be discussed at the meeting on 22nd September.

REPORTS
Road subsidence at Gratton House
Mobile home at the rear of Woodside
Parishioner had passed a complaint regarding the large number of cars parked on the road at Rebecca Springs
Following a comment regarding the roof on the shed which contains the mower the Chairman requested that the Sub Committee set up at the July meeting to inspect and report on the condition of assets should report on this. Councillor Munro regretted that he wished to resign from this group owing to other commitments and Councillor Quinn agreed to organise a meeting.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Mrs Greenfield requested that two potholes in Kennel Lane be reported to the Highways for repair and also complained about the lack of road notices given with regard to recent road surfacing work which had taken place resulting in considerable inconvenience to residents who had found roads closed. The Chairman thanked Mrs Greenfield for raising this and asked that the County Highways telephone number 0845 155 1004 be included in the minutes for the benefit of Parishioners wishing to contact County Highways direct. Highway faults can also be reported on line.

Mrs Greenfield also raised the point of the notice board at the Parish Hall now being unavailable owing to the building work and asked if it would be possible for Parish Council notices to be placed on the notice board at the Hall entrance. Mr Hanson said that he was a keyholder for this board and would be willing for the Clerk to liaise with him regarding notice of meetings.

Mr Hodge re-iterated his request that the Chairman give assurance that a referendum be called before the sale of any assets of the Parish. The Clerk informed the meeting that on her understanding of the Local Government Regulations it would be necessary to call a Parish Meeting to determine any action regarding the sale of assets and also gain permission from the Secretary of State.

Mr Hanson felt that the meeting to discuss the possibility of a Parish Plan should be circulated to all parishioners.

The meeting closed at 9.45pm


Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk