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Whitestone Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes of Parish Council meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 14th April 2016 to be ratified on Thursday, 12th May

Attendance: Chairman − Councillor L Hickman
Councillors Ms T Baird, Mrs M Belt, Mrs B Bramhall, Mrs L Fairley, D Munro, R Phillips (for part of the meeting), A Reed.
District Councillor P Bromell (left at 8.45pm)

County Councillor J Brook (left at 7.45pm)
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mr D Friend, Mr M Quinn, Mrs B Netherway, Mrs S Greenfield, Mr C Lewis (left after giving his statement regarding his planning application)

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Mrs Greenfield reported that the road surface at Rowhorne Road had been filled in and then gave the following update from the Whitestone Parish Plan Steering Group:− “Having given due consideration to presenting the findings of the Whitestone Parish Plan Questionnaire to the community we have decided to combine shaping the draft plan and the questionnaire findings with the community at a Saturday Coffee Morning, the date of which will be announced shortly.”

Mr Quinn then requested further clarification from Mrs Greenfield regarding the Parish Plan and was informed that this would be forthcoming at the planned meeting/coffee morning.

The Chairman opened the meeting and the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 10th March 2016 having been circulated were taken as read and signed by Cllr Hickman as a true copy.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR / DISTRICT COUNCILLOR

County Councillor Brooks stated that Devon County have been informed that 2 million pounds will be allocated from the government for the necessary roadworks required. He answered a question regarding potential planning at Attwell Farm which has remained on the planning Website but said he was not aware of any recent developments and also questions regarding Springdale Farm. After giving his report he left the meeting at 7.45pm.

PLANNING

Planning Applications

Cllr Mrs Belt declared an interest in the application for White Horse Self Storage.

The following applications/plans were examined and discussion took place with the subsequent observations:−

16/00726/COU Change of use of agricultural land to self storage (Use Class B8) at White Horse Self Storage, Tedburn Road. Concerns raised regarding environmental damage and protection of agricultural land. If granted there should be a stipulation that any containers should not be more than one high. The application was not supported.

16/00595/FUL Raising of roof to form additional accommodation, extension to garage and new porch at Oak Lodge, 11 Merrymeet. Mr Lewis was in attendance to support his application and stated that alterations were being applied for in order to create more living space for his family. The application was supported with no objections.

16/00834/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and paragraph W of the GPDO for change of use of an agricultural building from agricultural use to a dwelling at Springdale Farm, Longdown. Concerns raised about further increased development on the site will lead to increased vehicle movement exiting and accessing the site to and from a busy main road. The Council believes the site should not be increased further. The application was not supported.

16/00835/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and paragraph W of the GPDO for change of use of an agricultural building from agricultural use to a dwelling at Springdale Farm, Longdown. Concerns raised about further increased development on the site will lead to increased vehicle movement exiting and accessing the site to and from a busy main road. The Council believes the site should not be increased further. The application was not supported.

16/00873/FUL Extension to existing storage and equipment building at Derek Lane and Company, Tedburn Road. Concerns expressed in regard to further increase in activity on this site specifically in regard to the entrance to the site that is situated on particularly dangerous bends which already appears inadequate for the current activity to exit and access the site from a busy road let alone to accommodate an increase in employees vehicles and increased commercial traffic. The application was not supported.

16/01036/FUL Formation of a stone gabion basket retaining wall onto Pound Lane at Hindcross, Whitestone. The application was supported.

Grant of Conditional Planning Permission

16/00076/COU Change of use of buildings and yard from plant sales, repairs, storage and breaking to plant/vehicle storage and auctions at Brookside Garage, Tedburn Road.

16/00354/FUL First floor extension including balcony at The Corner Barn, Norway Farm

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Asset Report

School Houses − The Council will remember that surveys were carried out on the houses by Teignbridge District Council and they were assessed using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System in order that they complied with Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy under Housing Act 2004. A number of improvements were made but in January Teignbridge advised us that in order to meet the E.P.C rating it would be necessary to install external wall insulation. Teignbridge District Council Housing advised that it was possible to obtain grants, which they would arrange, to assist with the cost and they offered to arrange for a free, no obligation, survey of the houses. This has now been completed by EON as follows:−

No 1

Overall cost of the work

£7,661.07

Incl VAT

EON Eco Grant

£2,558.00

Pioneer Funding Grant

£3,187.81

EON Outstanding balance

£1,915.27

Plus electricity management

£675.00

£2,590.27

No 2

Overall cost of the work

£11,646.93

Incl VAT

EON Eco Grant

£4729.00

Pioneer Funding Grant

£2,271.00

EON Outstanding balance

£4,664.93

Plus electricity management

£675.00

£5,339.93

This would mean that the estimated cost to the Council would amount to £7,930.20. It was necessary to apply for the grants before the end of May. It was noted that the figures quoted were estimated and it was agreed that if they increased drastically the proposal should be brought back to the next meeting but the Chair wished to have the approval of the Council to proceed in order to take advantage of the grants available.

Although three independent assessors had informed the Council this work was required it was suggested by a member of the public that the Council had been remiss in not confirming the legal status of this standard. After lengthy discussion it was decided to confirm that it was a legal requirement to meet the necessary conditions and if a government law is to be implemented which would prevent landlords renting out properties which did not comply.

Some Councillors felt that the Council should take advantage of the grants offered and the work should be undertaken even if it proved to be not a legal requirement as this would support the long term value of the properties. The Chair would ensure Councillors received the appropriate information in regard to the status of the requirement in due course.

Cllr Reed gave a vote of thanks to Cllr Hickman and Cllr Belt for their help during the day of the inspections and the meeting added thanks to all the Councillors for their help

Crossway Park − Cllr Bramhall reported on weekly inspections made and said that grass cutting has now commenced and noted various items including the long log, the toddler swings and the new side gate which were in need of attention.

Cllr Belt indicated that the Whitestone Sports and Social Club might raise monies towards a new swing at the Fete Day to be held on the 2nd July. Monies raised during the day would be divided between Force and Crossway Park. Cllr Hickman asked Councillors to support the day by offering support and help with the organisation.

Rural Skip

This will take place on Saturday 7th May 2016 at Crossways.

Annual Parish Meeting

This will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday 28th April when all organisations within the Parish are invited to attend.

Commemorative Coin Queen’s 90th birthday

Cllr Belt reported that she was still collating information regarding the number of purchases which would be required in order to give a coin to children within the Parish.

Parish Hall

As minuted at the March meeting the Hall Management Committee have now officially requested that the Parish Council donate 50 chairs for the Parish Hall at a cost of £1,117.50. This expenditure was proposed and seconded with all in favour.

Grants Process

Cllr Hickman informed Councillors that a request had been received from the Short Mats Bowling Group for a donation towards purchasing some matting. He felt that there should be an opportunity for all groups to apply for grants from the Council and to that end contact will be made with all relevant groups to enable them to apply and a specific amount of money will be set aside for this purpose. Cllr Bramhall would put together an outline of a financial plan that would be reviewed by the Chair and Clerk in line with the current Standing Financial Instruction.

MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN

Cllr Hickman reported that he had attended the Teignbridge Association of Local Councils meeting on the 31st March when discussion had taken place at length regarding potholes. There had also been news of the Natural Devon Local Nature Partnership. The Teignbridge District Council proposal to use IT for planning consultations with local Councils is still under consideration in view of the number of smaller Councils who felt that this would be disadvantageous in view of the lack of facilities available to them and the cost implications.

FINANCE

Parish Council accounts for year ended 31st March 2016

The Clerk reported completion of the accounts/balance sheet for the year ended 31st March

2016 and details had been circulated to the Council. The closing balance at Nat West Bank at

the year end is:−

Current A/c

200.00

Business Reserve A/c 1

17,621.29

Business Reserve A/c 2

3,402.46

£21,223.75

The Annual Audit for 2015/16 was presented to the meeting for authorisation. It was resolved by the Council that the Annual governance statement was approved and this was signed by the Chairman and the Clerk in her role as Responsible Financial Officer.

The accounting statements for 2015/16 were also presented to the meeting for authorisation and agreed for presentation to the Audit Commission and the Return was duly signed by the Chairman and the Clerk in her role as Responsible Financial Officer.

The internal audit will be conducted by Mr Ken Abrahams on the 3rd May following which the Return will be sent to the Audit Commission.

The Parish Council Annual Audit will be completed by the Audit Commission on the 10th June 2016. Notices advertising the Audit will be displayed within the Parish giving any parishioner the opportunity to view the Accounts.

Income

1 School Houses rent for April £675.00 − £64.80 (includes £10.80 VAT) = £610.20.

2 School Houses rent for March/April £800.00 − £76.80 (includes £12.80 VAT) = £723.20.

Expenditure

The following expenditure was proposed and seconded. All in favour

Teignbridge District Council (Council Tax for 2 School Houses for July/August 2015) £180.13

Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (April) £129.60

Devon Association of Local Councils Membership £164.93

Clerk’s expenses £82.31

CORRESPONDENCE

A reminder has been received from Teignbridge District Council regarding claims for the Rural Aid Grant Scheme and the Parish Hall Committee have requested that the Council apply for a grant of £1,250 on their behalf to assist in the installation of a hearing loop in the main hall. The necessary paperwork was presented by the Clerk and the meeting approved this action and the claim form was duly signed by the Chairman.

An invitation has been received for the Clerk or any Councillor interested in attending Evensong to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen at Exeter Cathedral at 5.30pm on Thursday 21st April. Places must be booked in advance.

An email has been received from Royal Mail regarding the post box situated at the Whitestone Church which will be removed due to Health & Safety issues and they asked for any comments. It will be replaced with one of their newer Lamp Boxes. During discussion It was observed that the existing postbox had been taped off without any prior notice and this had caused difficulty for those parishioners who use the box. It was affirmed that as this was on Church land the information should be passed to the Church Council. Following discussion of this issue it was noted that the letterbox at Heath Cross has now been replaced subsequent to further requests initiated by the Clerk.

REPORTS

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Mr Friend said he was still unhappy regarding the situation at Springdale Farm as he felt that a building had been installed without planning permission and that this was one of the buildings included in the planning application for change of use.

The meeting closed at 10.05pm

14th April 2016

Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk