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Whitestone Parish Council


PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES December 2011

Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 8th December 2011 to be ratified at the Council meeting on Thursday 13th January 2012.

Attendance: Chairman – Councillor P Nierop
Councillors Mrs M Belt, Mrs P Fisher, S Heathcote, Mrs B Netherway, M Quinn, A Skeet, 
County Councillor J Brook (for part of the meeting) 
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mrs T Taylor, Mr and Mrs Greenfield, Mr P Hanson
Apologies: Councillors D Munro, R Phillips, A Reed, District Councillor P Bromell

The meeting was preceded by the December Draw for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund. The number drawn was 18 and belongs to Linda Cox.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Mr Hanson spoke on the improvements already made at the Parish Hall and said that although things are progressing there is still work to be done and the Hall Management Committee would appreciate help from volunteers to carry the project forward.

The Chairman opened the meeting and the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 10th November 2011 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy.

County Councillor Brook reported on the cuts which will be made in the budget for Devon County Council which will unfortunately have a significant effect on core services throughout the County.

PLANNING
 
Planning Applications
Details of five planning applications from Teignbridge District Council were examined by Councillors and fully discussed. The outcomes are as follows:-

11/02752/VAR Variation of condition 2 on planning permission 09/02530/FUL to change approved garage 
to single garage with car port at Way Farm Barn. No objections.

11/0279/FUL Erection of an industrial building and demolition of two existing buildings (extension of time 
for implementation of planning permission (08/04415/FUL) at Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross. No objections but it was noted that no landscaping has as yet been completed as was directed in the original permission and the hours of use should not be altered. 

11/03845/FUL Alterations and extensions to existing dwelling (revised application) at Heath House. No objections

11/03862/FUL Installation of a solar photovoltaic and associated equipment at Attwells Farm, Rowhorne Road. It was felt that this was an inappropriate use of agricultural land. The detrimental visual impact of the array was discussed and the possibility of some screening by vegetation in the area was requested. The meeting was opened to a member of the public who voiced concerns regarding the area being made secure to obviate the possibility of cattle wandering into the area.

11/03580/OUT Outline planning application for bungalow with agricultural occupancy at Valley Farm, Longdown. The Clerk explained that this application came within the Holcombe Burnell Parish but as the site in question was right on the boundary line with Whitestone Parish this had been sent as a matter of courtesy. No objections 

Grant of Conditional Planning Permission
11/03084/FUL Retention of car port at Oak Cottage, Nadderwater
11/03489/AGR New barn at Hurston Farm
11/03196/FUL Retention of hardstanding on land known as Williams Fields
11/03240/FUL Installation of sewage treatment plant and soakaway/top soil irrigation at Cameroon

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Whitestone Parish Hall Committee of Management
The Clerk report that she had received the account for the new entrance lobby from the Hall Committee and filled in the necessary claim form for the Rural Aid Grant application which the Council had made. This grant of £4,000 has now been paid into the Parish Council account and she asked for authority for this amount to be transferred to the Hall Fund together with the £1,000 which had been authorised at the July meeting. It was resolved that the cheque for £5,000 be approved.

A letter from the Secretary of the Hall Management had been distributed to the Councillors and the Chairman referred to a paragraph requesting permission for formal agreement of the Council to the proposed development at the rear of the Hall building on land owned by the Parish Council. He had been approached as it was necessary for a trench to be dug for drainage purposes and as there were no objections to this when the original planning had come before the Council in December 2010 he had given his permission for this to go ahead. It was agreed that the Clerk should now write giving a formal agreement.

Report and recommendations of Assets Group Sub Committee 
This report had been circulated to members and Cllr Quinn discussed the findings in the absence of Cllr Phillips who is the Chairman of the group. He said that it seems clear that substantial funds are required to build up allocated reserves to ensure that proper asset maintenance and management could take place in the future and this will be reflected in the budget proposals. The Group had discussed the possibility of commissioning the services of a Surveyor’s report with a 10 year maintenance plan and they proposed that three quotes be obtained to gauge exactly how much it is likely to cost. Cllr Heathcote agreed to prepare the brief. The group also proposed that in order to ensure the Council is obtaining best value from the garage block that a full review is required of the ownership, uses, interests and keyholders. It was noted that the Parish notice board situated on the Parish Hall was in need of replacement and this should be reviewed by the Asset Group. The items contained within the report were considered and discussed. A vote of thanks was conveyed to the Asset Group Sub Committee. 

Budget and Precept for year 2012/13
Balance sheets and documentation regarding finance were circulated to members and the budget proposals were examined and fully discussed. Some items had not been determined and the following resolutions were adopted:
It was resolved that £500 be allocated as a grant towards the removal of overgrown trees at St Catherine’s Churchyard – 4 in favour 2 abstentions. (Cllr Nierop declared an interest as he is a member of the PCC). 
It was resolved that the annual membership of the Playing Field Association be continued at a cost of £35. 
It was proposed by Cllr Quinn and seconded by Cllr Heathcote that the sum of £5,150 be earmarked for asset maintenance and management. An amendment proposal was put forward by Cllr Belt and seconded by Cllr Fisher that £4,000 be earmarked for assets and £1,150 earmarked towards the Hall improvements and this was voted on with 4 in favour 2 opposed. The amendment proposal was therefore carried.
It was proposed and seconded that the proposed budget of £20,750 for 2012/13 be adopted and that the precept should remain at £7,000. 

Competitive Tenders
This matter was discussed and it was resolved that the Parish Council should seek competitive tenders for:-
a) Management of School Houses
b) Grass cutting/maintenance in 2012

It was agreed that the market value of the mower with or without repairs should be established in case the mower was not needed in the future. The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Joll for his maintenance of the grass and grounds to date. The Clerk confirmed that she had written to Mr Joll who would be invited to tender.

MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN

The Chairman reported that a meeting regarding a Parish Plan was held on 12th November which was attended by 29 people (two only part time) and he said he would like to thank all those who attended and participated. Presentations were given by Community Council of Devon, a representative of Tedburn St Mary Parish Council and himself. This was followed by discussion and questions. Feedback forms and questionnaires were also available. All but two of the people present supported the idea of developing a Parish Plan and seven volunteered to form a steering committee to take this process forward including Mr and Mrs Greenfield and Cllr Reed.

These volunteers met on the 29th November and Cllr Nierop reported on their behalf but hopes that in future we will routinely include Parish Planning on the Council agenda and that Cllr Reed or a member of the public will be able to speak on this. The group considered whether they were representative of the village, particularly in age profile. They plan to send out a questionnaire to obtain a demographic profile of the village and Mrs Greenfield undertook to compile a sample survey of questions that might be included in a full scale survey at a later date. The Steering Group will be putting a note in the Parish Magazine inviting participation of other volunteers and suggestions for items to be included in the survey. Cllr Nierop thanks the members of the Steering Group on behalf of the Parish Council for the work they are undertaking which will be a great value to the Parish.

The Chairman reported that he and Cllr Belt had attended the Teignbridge Association of Local Council’s meeting on the 24th November where there had been presentations about emergency planning. It was likely that this process would extend to Parish Council level in the not too distant future.

The Chairman also re-iterated the appeal made by Mr Hanson for volunteers to come forward to help with the refurbishment of the Parish Hall.

FINANCE
 
Expenditure The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.
• Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (December donation) - £125.00
• Clerk’s expenses - £41.94
• Society of Local Council Clerks Membership Renewal 2012 - £61.00

CORRESPONDENCE

• Devon Libraries reported that they have reviewed the Mobile Library time and that from January 2012 the times for the stop in Whitestone at Merrymeet on alternate Monday afternoons will be 5 minutes later, i.e. 16.05pm to 16.50pm. The length of the stop will remain as before i.e. 45 minutes.
• Teignbridge District Council are preparing a Core Strategy Plan for Teignbridge Planning and after discussion it was decided that the Council request attendance from a member of the Spatial Planning service to a Council meeting in the New Year to discuss the plan.
• A complaint has been received from the tenants at 1 School Houses regarding a faulty cooker and the Clerk was instructed to contact Cooksleys to arrange for someone to inspect.

REPORTS

It was reported that there had been a trailer stolen from a drive in Church Lane and information was supplied by Mr Hanson that he had heard that there had also been thefts at Top Steps and Hackworthy.

Cllr Belt reported receiving information from Teignbridge Neighbourood Watch that if a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme has lapsed, which is the case in the Whitestone Parish, that all signs need to be removed and members are advised to contact their insurance providers to advise on the change of circumstances. It would be helpful if parishioners were willing to volunteer to become a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
 
Thanks were expressed to Devon County Council Highways for the road maintenance that had resulted in potholes being repaired although it was noted that diversion notices might have been helpful in some cases where roads had been closed without prior notice.

Mrs Taylor expressed thanks that it had not been necessary to raise the Precept for 2012/13.

The meeting closed at 9.45pm

Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk