Whitestone Road sign

Whitestone Parish Council


Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 9th June 2011

Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 9th June 2011 to be ratified at the Council meeting on Thursday 14th July 2011
Attendance: Chairman – Councillor P Nierop
Councillors Mrs M Belt, Mrs P Fisher, S Heathcote, D Munro, 
Mrs B Netherway, R Phillips, M Quinn
District Councillor P Bromell 
County Councillor J Brook 
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
20 members of the public.

Apologies: Councillors A Reed and A Skeet

The meeting was preceded by the June Draw for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund and the winning number was 65 and belongs to Rosemary Holder.

Mr Hodges referred to the minutes of the April Council Meeting when a letter had been sent requesting financial information regarding School Houses. At that time the Clerk had asked that this item be referred to the June meeting as the May meeting would be the first meeting of the newly elected Council. Mr Hodges said that parishioners were attending tonight because they understood that this discussion would take place and now found that it was not on the agenda. The Chairman responded that information was still in the process of being collated and he drew attention to the fact that this item was not listed on the agenda for this meeting.

Several members of the public then voiced their disapproval of any suggestion that the School Houses were to be sold to finance work to the Parish Hall and in particular were concerned for the tenants of the houses being upset by the inference that this might happen and lengthy discussion followed. The Chairman disputed the information which was being circulated and said that the request which had been made was merely to clarify the position regarding the Parish Council finances.

It was suggested from the public that any decision to sell the houses should be placed before the parishioners and that a Public Meeting should be called in order for parishioners to voice their concerns.

The Clerk then read two letters of objections to the sale of the houses to fund the building work to the Parish Hall received from Mr E Beeching and Ms A Bird who had believed that the item was to be on the agenda for tonight.

The Chairman then closed the meeting to public participation and proceeded to the agenda.

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12th May 2011 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chairman.

Planning Applications
11/01522/FUL Two storey side extension and extend roof to rear at Ham Farm, Tedburn Road. The application and plans were examined and the Chairman opened the meeting to allow the owner of the property, Mr Peter Rich, to explain the application. Councillors then discussed the application and there were no objections.
Letter of notification from Teignbridge District Council 
10/03576/COU Springdale Farm, Bondhouse Lane this application will be discussed at the Development Control Committee meeting on Monday 13th June at 9.45am
Grant of Conditional Planning
11/01112/LBC Replacement of render on south elevation and replacement of timber lintels at Deerslake, Halsfordwood Lane.
11/00872/FUL Alterations and extensions to existing dwelling at Heath House
11/00957/FUL Garage at Heath House.

The Clerk reported receiving notification of a planning application for Poole Farm, Tedburn St Mary. No details have as yet been forwarded and as it will require comments within 21 days a decision was made for a meeting to be called for Thursday 23rd June at 7.30pm in order to discuss this.

County Councillor Brook requested that he give a report as he had another meeting to attend. There is going to be a meeting to address Highway issues and he was made aware of the very significant undermining of the road which has occurred at Nadderwater brought about by the heavy vehicles travelling to Tops Steps which is causing concerns and promised to raise this matter. He reported that Cross Park Farm is being visited by the Planning Officer following complaints from a large number of residents.

School Houses
The Chairman updated the meeting on damp proofing works which had been carried out and informed the Council that the contractors, after commencing the work and acting upon the advice of their surveyor, had found it necessary to amend the original schedule of work. Some extra remedial work had also been necessary. This has increased the amount of the invoice to £5,270.40p, which included £878.40 VAT. The work has now been completed and it was resolved that this invoice is paid.

Following a query regarding the outstanding payment due for exterior painting to School Houses a satisfactory explanation was submitted to the meeting and it was resolved that the payment of £625.55 should be made.

The Clerk distributed four estimates for the work required for the repair of the garage roofs. As the contents are so detailed it was agreed that Councillors should examine these and this item be placed on the agenda for the 23rd June in order for a decision to be resolved.

Parish Hall
The Clerk reporting receiving information from Rural Aid Scheme that a grant award for £4,000 had been approved for the Parish Hall extension. A vote of thanks was given to Councillor Belt who serves on the Rural Aid Committee for her support in gaining this Grant.

In answer to a request for the relocation of the Public Footpath sign at the entrance to the Hall car park approval has now been received from the Public Rights of Way for the Parish to undertake this task and it was agreed that Councillor Munro will liaise with the Hall Management regarding this.

Bank Mandate
Owing to the election of a new Council the signatories on the Bank Mandate were discussed. At present they are Councillors Belt, Munro and Netherway and Mrs Vaughan. It was resolved that Councillor Nierop be added and the necessary paperwork was completed.

Planning for community infrastructure and facilities 
Councillors Nierop and Quinn had gone through the questionnaire and the Council gave approval to the answers provided with a few additions. The Clerk was instructed to return the information to Teignbridge District Council.

Proposal to improve consideration of planning matters
The Chairman put forward his ideas for improvements to the consideration of planning applications. A successful vote was taken for the establishment of an advisory sub committee to consider the applications prior to the Parish Council and give guidance and explanations to the Council. The Chairman then called for Councillors who would be willing to serve and as no one came forward it was agreed that this proposal would have to be abandoned. Discussion followed regarding the nomination of two Councillors who would attend organised site visits and Councillor Phillips recommended that it should be the Chairman or Vice Chairman accompanied by whichever Councillor lived in the vicinity of the site and this was agreed as a satisfactory option.

Proposal for a Parish Plan for Whitestone 
The Chairman read his proposal to the meeting and closed the meeting and requested comments from Mrs Pat Moody, Chair of Tedburn St Mary Parish Council, where they already have a Parish Plan. After discussion within by the Councillors it was resolved that arrangements should be made for a presentation by the Community Council of Devon to advise on the process for carrying this project forward.

The Clerk reported on the Independent Internal Audit completed by Mr K Abraham on 1st June as follows:-
“In order to carry out the internal audit a financial risk assessment was carried out and the Council was assessed as a low risk and all tests were satisfactory. The records were well organised and provided a clear audit trail. There were no issues arising from this year’s testing to draw to the attention of the Council. The Council may wish to consider adopting the new model standing orders for local councils, published by NALC in 2010, in place of present standing orders.”
This report together with the Audit Commission Annual Return has been sent to the Audit Commission for official audit purposes. Mr Abraham submitted his account for £135. and it was resolved that this payment be made. A vote of thanks was relayed to the Clerk for her work as Responsible Financial Officer for the Council.

A budget review that had been completed by Councillor Quinn, in consultation with the Clerk, was distributed to the meeting. Councillor Quinn felt that this information would inform the Council on their budgetary requirements over the year and thanks were expressed for the insight that it provided. Councillor Heathcote requested that a proposal to commission a survey of the assets of the Council should be placed on a future agenda to inform on probable expenditure that may be needed.

Discussion took place regarding a request from Hall Committee of Management for a grant to cover insurance costs as the Parish Council have in the past been responsible for this but which has now been placed on a separate Policy. It was resolved that this payment of £631.81 be reimbursed to the Hall Committee.

Expenditure The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour
Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (May and June donation) £250.00
Clerk’s expenses – £46.33
Farr Ltd – battery for ride on mower £36.00

Devon County Council – response regarding the Highway Matters that were brought to the May meeting. A copy of this letter was sent to the residents who raised the complaints.
Devon County Council – Public Rights of Way. Notification that no P3 Grant payment will be made this year. Thanks extended to Councillor Munro for his surveys during the year.
Letters of thanks for donations from Whitestone Gardening Club and Parochial Church Council.
Letter from DCC Highways regarding complaints raised at the May meeting. Councillor Phillips requested that the Clerk send a letter of appreciation be sent for the prompt removal of the concrete which had set on the road at Twiscombe Corner.
Teignbridge Association of Local Councils – minutes of May meeting. Passed to Councillor Belt.
Devon Association of Local Councils – Nomination paper for selection of four candidates to serve on the County Committee 2011-2015. Discussion ensued and four names were selected.

Councillor Quinn requested that it be placed in the Minutes that all the Councillors serving on the Parish Council were elected at the uncontested election on 5th May 2011.

Mr Greenfield raised a complaint regarding footpath 17 and Councillor Munro will look into this. He also reported that someone has been using a laser beam within the village and stated how dangerous this could be.

The meeting closed at 10.10pm