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Whitestone Parish Council

PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES MARCH 2012

Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7 pm on Thursday 8th March 2012

Attendance: Chairman – Councillor P Nierop
Councillors Mrs M Belt, Mrs P Fisher, S Heathcote, D Munro, A Reed, 
A Skeet, R Phillips, M Quinn.
County Councillor J Brook (for part of the meeting)
District Councillor P Bromell (for part of the meeting
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mr D Fisher (for the Active Village Presentation) 
Mr L Blades (for his planning application)
Mrs S Greenfield 
Apologies: Councillor Mrs B Netherway 

The Chairman welcomed Mr Ben Ayres, Active Villages Co-ordinator for Teignbridge District Council, who gave information regarding the programme which is being organised countywide to raise participation levels in sport and physical activity in rural communities. Each parish has access to their own pot of funding (approximately £3,000) and it can fund anything needed to set up and kick start an activity or could help an existing club expanding provision. Mr Ayres can help set up the activities and offer guidance and help if needed. If parishioners would like to apply for some funding they should contact him at 
ben.ayres@teignbridge.gov.uk or on 01626 215606. Discussion followed and the Chairman thanked Mr Ayres for his presentation and various members expressed interest in the project and asked questions.

The Council Meeting was preceded by the March Draw for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund. The number drawn was 66 and belongs to John Small.

The Chairman opened the Council meeting and invited County Councillor Brook to make a report to the meeting. Cllr Brook said that the Devon County Council budget has now been set. He mentioned the Connecting Devon and Somerset to Broadband survey that was being conducted. Anyone supporting the improvement of broadband speeds is urged to participate in the survey and response can be made via www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk or call 0844 4636887. Further information is on the Devon County website. Cllr Brook was asked to confirm the status of the grit bin promised for Rowhorne Road.

District Councillor Bromell spoke and said that Teignbridge District Council have frozen their Council Tax and Councillors’ wages. He also mentioned that following complaints one of the grit bins situated at Barton Head Hill had been moved to a different location.

PLANNING
Planning Applications
12/00254/FUL Loft conversion to include raised roof height and dormer on side (west) elevation, single storey extensions to side (west) and front and provision of rear terrace at Raintree, 9 Merrymeet.
Councillor Belt declared a personal interest in this application. The meeting was opened to allow Mr Blades to give some insight into the application. Councillors discussed the application and plans and there were no objections.

12/00433/FUL Two storey rear extension at Russetts, Halsfordwood Lane. Councillors discussed the application and plans and there were no objections.

Grant of Conditional Planning
12/0037/FUL Extension to existing garage to create storage in roof space at Edenfield, Whitestone.


MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1 School Houses
It was reported that the kitchen refurbishment was going ahead and will commence on 12th March. As the internal decorating following previous repair works had not yet been completed the Clerk was instructed to obtain a quote for the extra painting which would be required when the work on the kitchen was completed. 
The kitchen units and metal end cap had been obtained at a cost of £333.20 by Cllr Phillips. Cllr Phillips then declared an interest in this item. It was resolved that this account be passed for payment.

Condition Survey and 10 year asset maintenance plan
The Chairman reported that having examined documentation regarding the tenancy agreements he had discovered that Whitton and Laing would offer this service for in the region of £300 and as this was cheaper than the other estimates discussed at the February meeting he recommended that this be accepted and the meeting resolved that this be authorised. Mention was made of electrical safety inspections and the Clerk was instructed to obtain a price from them for organising this as the 5 year NICEIC inspection for No 1 is due now. Cllr Phillips said that there was some electrical work being carried out with the kitchen installations at No 1 and the electrician had said he could carry out this NICEIC inspection at a cost of £150 and do it in conjunction with the current work.

Quotes for management of tenancy agreements for School Houses
The Chairman reported that the seven quotations and agreements brought to the February meeting had been examined and discussed by the Asset Group and it was recommended that Devon Sales and Lettings be given the contract as their commission rate was the lowest and the level of service was the same as at present. Discussion followed and it was resolved that this action be taken.

Parish Hall Management
Request from for the Parish Council to apply for a Teignbridge District Council Rural Aid Grant for Phase 4 of the building work and quotations have been provided for the work required. The Clerk explained that the necessary application would need to be completed by the Parish Council by the 4th April and it was resolved by a majority vote that this be activated and the Chairman signed the necessary form.

The Building and Contents Insurance for the Parish Hall has now been paid by the Parish Hall Committee of Management and they request re-imbursement of £1,249.98. It was resolved that the sum of £1,160 as previously quoted by the Committee be authorised as this was the amount set aside in the Parish Council budget.

A question raised by the Hall Management regarding the outside toilet at the Hall was discussed and it was 
agreed that the Parish Council did not wish to take over the responsibility of these and there may have been some misunderstanding over a previous statement made in the November 2010 Council minutes.

Grass Cutting Tender
Quotations had been invited for a grass cutting and maintenance contract for 2012 and four quotations were placed before the meeting:-
1. £2,075.00 plus VAT
2. £1,640
3. £905
4. £960
It was resolved that Tender 3 should be accepted and that they should be asked to do two additional cuts to the recreation area and bus stop before the contract commences on 1st May. The Clerk was requested to ask if they could make sure that the area was “tip top” before the Diamond Jubilee Weekend on 2nd June as the area will be used for celebrations.

It was resolved that DJM should be asked to sell both the ride on mower (most recently valued at £300.00 and the strimmer on behalf of the Council.


MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN
Cllr Nierop said he had been investigating the Council’s insurance cover and recommended that the Council should seek quotations for next year as the cover ends on 1st June. There were several items on the existing policy which seemed surplus to requirements.

FINANCE
Receipt of grant of £250 as contribution towards Diamond Jubilee Coins for Whitestone children allocated from Teignbridge District Council Councillors Fund as arranged by District Councillor Peter Bromell and a vote of thanks was passed to him.

Expenditure The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.
• Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee - March donation(£125), hire of room for Parish Plan meeting on 24th January 2012 (£7.50), Insurance £1,160.00.
• Councillor Phillips £333.20 
• Clerk’s expenses/quarterly salary £228.08
• Clerk’s Income Tax £50.80.

CORRESPONDENCE
• Devon County Council Neighbourhood Highway Officer. Response regarding the ice formation at Heath Cross raised at the February meeting. This was caused by concrete channels being blocked with debris/vegetation and this has now been resolved. Grit bags will be replaced at Friars Ball Farm, Eastern Plateau and also Trillow Corner. 
• Request from the Whitestone Jubilee Committee who are organising a Jubilee Beacon. They have found that the insurance costs for them to run this would be in the region of £130 and they request that the Parish Council consider making a contribution towards this figure. Two parishioners have made it known that they would be happy to contribute to this expense as this would mean the Parish being mentioned in the Book of Beacons to be presented to the Queen. The Chairman ruled that as this was not included on the agenda and involved expense it should be placed on the April agenda for a decision.
• Request from Mrs J Kellagher that the Council reconsider the decision made at the February meeting regarding the publication of the minutes was read to the meeting. The Chairman stated that under Standing Orders a decision properly made by the Council could not be reviewed until six months had elapsed. Some Councillors reported that they were aware of other parishioners who were of the same opinion as Mrs Kellagher.

REPORTS
The Clerk was asked to report the following matters:-
• Sign post missing at Pound Down Corner
• Damaged road surface between Rebecca Springs and Southlands

The meeting closed at 9.45pm

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Mrs Greenfield said that owing to illness the Parish Plan meeting for March had not taken place so she had nothing to report.

Mrs Greenfield asked if a request could be published for the attention of parishioners using the footpath from East Kent to Deerslake. In the vicinity of the style it would seem that walkers were pulling back the netting on the boundary. This is causing great difficulties with lambs straying out of the field and becoming separated from their mothers..

Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk