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Whitestone Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes of Parish Council meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday, 16th February 2017 at 7.30pm to be ratified on 9th March 2017

Attendance: Chairman − Councillor L Hickman
Councillors Ms T Baird, Mrs M Belt, Mrs B Bramhall, Mrs L Fairley, D Munro, R Phillips, A Reed
District Councillor P Bromell (left at 9pm)
County Councillor J Brook (left at 7.45pm)
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mrs B Netherway, Mrs S Greenfield

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Mrs Greenfield gave the following report from the Parish Plan Steering Committee:‐

“ Group members are working hard to quality assure and finalise our Parish Plan and Action Plan documentation prior to making items available to parishioners.’

The Chairman opened the meeting and the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 12th January 2017 having been circulated were taken as read and signed by Cllr Hickman.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR / DISTRICT COUNCILLOR

County Councillor Brook updated the meeting on the Devon County Council budget saying that there would be an increase in Council Tax for 2017/18 owing to increasing demands on expenditure. Some of the increase would come about in respect to the need for the reforms in Social Care in regard to the elderly population. In answer to a query from the Chair he stated that monies would be ring fenced for this provision and not used to fund other financial deficits.

District Councillor Bromell stated that the Teignbridge District Council budget would be decided on Thursday next.

Cllr Hickman then asked the views of the two Councillors on the documentation for the new electoral arrangements for Teignbridge District Council which had been received with the final recommendations for new electoral arrangements. It is proposed that a single‐councillor Whitestone and Ide ward alongside a two‐councillor Exminster and Kenn ward will be implemented and called the Kenn Valley ward. The Commission believes the recommendations meet their statutory criteria to deliver electoral equality for voters, reflect local community interest and identities, and promote effective and convenient local government. The full report and detailed maps can be viewed at: consultation.lgbce.org.uk. Both Councillors acknowledged that they were aware of the recommendations.

PLANNING

Planning Application

Cllr Reed declared an interest in the application.

The following application/plans were examined and discussion took place with the following observations:‐

16/03287/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) and paragraph W of the GPDO for change of use of three agricultural buildings from agricultural use to three dwellings at Lower Hare Farm, Folley Lane. The application was not supported as the site is in a rural location, and due to the extent of the proposal to change agricultural properties to residential housing it fundamentally changes the function of the farm, including a substantial increase in domestic traffic within the environment and an increase in traffic entering and exiting onto an already very busy road.

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

School Houses

Repair work and treatment for dry rot had been completed to the floor at No 2 School Houses at a cost of £1,800 and repairs to rear guttering and a handrail had been organised by the Letting Agents at a cost of £66.70. Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment carried out at 1 and 2 at a cost of £96 also organised by the Letting Agents. Cllr Reed reported that there is a blocked drain at No 2 and he is arranging for this to be dealt with.

Crossway Park

The following quotations for work on fencing and new access and gate for disabled were placed before the meeting:‐ 1. £2,089.00 + VAT, 2. £980.00: 3. £2,629.04 + VAT: 4. £1,760.00 + VAT. After discussion it was resolved that the quotation for £980.00 was accepted with assurance being sought regarding the pathway required for disabled access.

Cllr Bramhall then gave her report on inspections of Crossway Park and noted various items, i.e. Spring Bear needing attention and recommended removal of the trail log. The extent of the work will be assessed in due course.

Cllr Belt had obtained a quote for a replacement balancing beam installation at a cost of £1,608.75 plus VAT but in view of the expenditure it was noted that other quotes should be obtained.

Parish Hall

A request received from Parish Hall Management Committee for a grant towards installation of the Hearing Loop which had been fitted last week at a total cost of £3,224 including VAT. A successful bid has been made to Rural Aid for £1,250 but the Hall Committee is asking if the Parish Council can give any assistance towards the remaining £1,974. In light of this year’s Parish Council commitment to improving accessibility for people with special requirements following considerable discussion it was resolved that a Grant of £1,000 be allocated from the Parish Council funds and a cheque was authorised. A further request for support in funding the Periodic Test of the hall&rs quo;s electrical systems will be considered at a later date.

Cllr Baird left the meeting

MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN

• Cllr Hickman reported that a further Neighbourhood Watch meeting will take place on 13th March and expressed appreciation to Cllr Baird for her work in leading on the Scheme and forming the Pals Group and a Knit and Natter Group to promote connecting and supporting parishioners. Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association had supplied information regarding Crime Prevention Products for personal and property protection. He mentioned that as part of this programme there would be a Dementia Friendly Talk on Alzheimers at 7.15pm on 29th March at the Parish Hall to raise local awareness.

• Cllr Hickman gave congratulations on the excellent Pantomime that had taken place last week and indicated that he would be writing to Laurence Blades and Judith Read who had primarily been the organisers to express appreciation of the pleasure given to all within the Parish.

• Cllr Hickman referred Councillors to a decision made at the November Council meeting that Standing Orders be reviewed at the March meeting. The Clerk distributed copies of the existing Standing Orders and the Financial Regulations in order that they could be examined prior to the March meeting together with a draft suggestion regarding the wording of Standing Order 3.

FINANCE

Bank Balance at Nat West at 31st January 2017

Current A/c

£200.00

Business Reserve A/c 1

£28,730.34

Business Reserve A/c 2

£3,403.57

£32,333.91

Income

1 School Houses rent for February £675.00 ‐ £64.80 (includes £10.80 VAT) = £610.20

2 School Houses rent for February/March £800.00 ‐ £60.60 (includes £10.10 VAT ) = £739.40

Expenditure

The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.

Parish Hall Management Committee (February) £108.00 (Cheque 319)

Orchard Preservations £1,800.00 (includes £300 VAT) (Cheque 320)

Clerk’s expenses £25.52 (Cheque (321)

Parish Hall Management Committee £1,000 (Cheque 322)

CR Kibbey £96.00 (includes £16 VAT) (paid through Devon Sales & Lettings)

SG Property Maintenance £66.70 (paid through Devon Sales & Lettings)

CORRESPONDENCE

The Clerk reported that she has ascertained that Teignbridge District Council have replied to the consultation from British Telecom on the removal of phone boxes and have requested that the boxes at Whitestone and Nadderwater are not removed. They stated that their removal would adversely affect the built heritage and that pay phones provide an important amenity and reassurance to the community as not all areas of the district are well served by mobile phone signal; objectors have highlighted the importance of being able to make a 999 call.

Information had been received from Teignbridge District Council regarding the Great British Spring Clean to take place between 3rd and 5th March. The Clerk had forwarded this to Philip Nierop in view of his organisation of litter picks in the past and received information that he has organised a litter pick for the 4th March.

Invitation received from Teignbridge District Council to attend the Raising of the Comonwealth Flag at Old Forde House on Monday 13th March.

Information received that PC Jon Croft will be conducting a Police Surgery at the Parish Hall from 6pm to 7pm prior to the Parish Council meeting on Thursday 9th March.

Letter from the Whitestone Gardening Club had been received asking for clarity regarding the fixed sum of £125 per annum. However the Parish Council believed the gardening Club had been informed that a new grant system had been put in place. Due to the lack of clarity in respect of the historic arrangement the regular fixed sum was no longer appropriate. It was noted that £250 had been given as a Grant to enable a revamp of the Community Garden following a commitment by the Gardening Club membership to undertake the work.

REPORTS

Cllr Bramhall requested that the Neighbourhood Watch should be placed on future agendas as an item.

Cllr Phillips reported very deep potholes at Tom Head Cross to Church Cross.

Cllr Munro reported that he was currently completing the P3 Footpath survey.

Cllr Belt reported that it had been noted that there have been some dogs running loose in surrounding fields and that parishioners should be aware that this was an offence.

The meeting closed at 10pm

Comments by email welcome

info@whitestone-devon.org.uk