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Whitestone Parish Council


Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 14th October 2011 to be ratified at the Council meeting on Thursday 10th November 2011

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

The meeting was preceded by the two Draws for the 100 Club in support of the Parish Hall Development Fund The first draw was the last of the 2010/11 draws. The second was the first of the 2011/12 draws which will be drawn each month up to and including September 2012. The numbers drawn were 53 (Mike Quinn) and 67 (David Gill).

Minutes of the Council Meetings held on 9th and 22nd September 2011 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chairman.

The Chairman then asked County Councillor Brook if he had a report and he gave some information applicable to the grant which had been applied for by the Hall Management Committee. He also said that Devon County Council would be arranging workshops in the Central Library, Exeter, at 6.30pm on 27th October and The Boniface Centre, Crediton at 6.30pm on 7th November where Councillor John Hart (Leader of Devon County Council) would be addressing the way in which Devon County would endeavour to cut their budget requirements by £40 million.

Planning Applications
11/02955/AGR Barn for storage of hay and agricultural machinery at Oakfield, Heath Lane. The Clerk reported that the previous application had been refused by Teignbridge owing to the need for protection of the hedgerow and this new application had altered the positioning of the barn. As the Parish Council had no objections to the previous application she assumed that this new application had met with their approval. As this was an agricultural application it had only needed a 14 day turnaround and indeed approval was given to the applicant on the 6th October.

11/02084/FUL Retention of car port at Oak Cottage, Nadderwater. The plans and application were examined and the meeting was opened to allow comment from Mr Robinson. The meeting was then closed to the public and there were no objections to the application.

11/03050/FUL Side, rear and first floor extensions with rear terrace at 25 Merrymeet. The plans and application were examined and the meeting was opened to allow comment from Mr Oatway. The meeting was then closed to the public and there were no objections to the application.

11/03176/FUL Use of land for the siting of 2 mobile homes and 3 touring caravans for residential use as a single gypsy family group at Springdale, Longdown. The Planning Statement had been circulated to Councillors and discussion took place regarding this application which had been downgraded from the previous application in January 2011 which had been refused by Teignbridge District Council. Concern was raised and the Clerk was instructed to request that the site be monitored to ensure that any permissions are complied with. Councillors felt that the Parish already have two other gypsy sites and hoped that further sites would not be considered appropriate. The Chairman then asked for Councillors to vote on this application and five were against and five abstained.

Grant of Conditional Planning
11/02087/COU Change of use of stable building to cattery at Glebe Farm
11/02461/FUL Single storey front extension at Fursdon,Tedburn Road

The Clerk reported on the successful conclusion of the Annual Audit by the Audit Commission for the year ended 31st March 2011, with no matters giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met. Notices have been posted on notice boards within the Parish. The account for £342 was submitted for approval in the expenditure section of the agenda. A vote of thanks was passed to the Clerk for her work in regard to this.

The Chairman had requested guidance from Teignbridge District Council on siting of caravans/mobile homes and this information was distributed to Councillors for their information.

The initial Public Meeting to discuss the setting up of a Parish Plan for Whitestone has now been confirmed for 2.30pm on Saturday 12th November when a member of the Community Council of Devon will attend and make a Presentation on this subject.

Income 2nd Half Year Precept £3,500
As reported at the September meeting there had been a request for a replacement shower unit at No 2 School Houses which had been priced at £240 which had been agreed. However after investigation it had been found that this was not necessary as an isolation switch had burnt out and the repair had amounted to £111.98. The Portable Appliance Test at No 2 School Houses had been carried out at a cost of £35. These amounts had been deducted from the rental.

It was reported that there is a problem with the ride on mower used at Crossway Park and the Clerk has asked for some indication as to the cost of repairs as with both the Chair and Vice Chair being away when she was approached to authorise this she did not feel able to do so without knowing the extent of the expenditure.

Expenditure The following accounts were proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour.
Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (Oct donation) - £125
Clerk’s expenses/quarterly salary £254.04
Audit Commission – Annual Audit fee £342.00
British Legion (Poppy Wreath) £17
Crossway Park/Bus Stop maintenance £562.52
Devon Association of Local Councils – attendance for 2 Councillor at AGM £30

Pre-Budget Submissions and draft proposals
Councillor Quinn submitted an updated statement regarding Budget Proposals for 2012/13 and this was distributed and he went through the items with the Council.

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (June 2012) 
Councillor Belt declared an interest in this item as she is serving on the Whitestone Sports and Social Committee which is organising events for the celebrations. 
An application was read from this Committee requesting that the Parish Council assist in the funding of the purchase of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Royal Mint £5 coin for children in the Parish who are 16 years or younger. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee 100 such medals were purchased with all ‘spare’ medals being sold to parishioners for their other children/grand-children. This action was supported and it was proposed and seconded that a cheque for the sum of £250 be passed to the Sports and Social Committee so that they could initiate the purchase of the coins. All in favour. Councillor Belt then gave some information regarding events which will be arranged over that weekend. 

Whitestone Churchyard
A request had been received from the Parochial Church Council for consideration to be given to a grant of 50% towards the costs of felling trees on the north border of the burial ground and repairing to the fence. The PCC has obtained an estimate of £4,320 for felling the trees and the fence will probably add a further £300. It was agreed that Councillor Belt would ask the PCC to obtain a further two quotes before this could be considered when arranging the budget for 2012/13.

Notes from Newton St Cyres Parish Council on the meeting held on 14th September on the wild boar situation in the area were distributed to the Councillors.

A request from Mr Brett Varker of Rowhorne Farm regarding installation of grit bins at Eastern Plateau had been received by the Clerk and she has written to Devon County Council but as yet received no response but in view of the approaching winter months will be chasing this up.

Boundary Commission for England are consulting on initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies in England and will be conducting public hearings. Information is available on line at www.independent.gov.uk/boundarycommissionforengland

Devon Association of Local Councils and Community Council of Devon Conference – Councillors Belt and Quinn had attended this day on 8th October and Councillor Quinn provided his written account which was distributed to Councillors. Both Councillors noted disappointment with the Conference which this year, because of the 50th Birthday of the CCD, had been a joint venture.

Councillor Belt reported on attending the Teignbridge Association of Local Council meeting which had included information regarding the appointment of snow wardens which did not seem to be supported by the smaller parishes as they would not have the organisation in place to facilitate the process. 

District Councillor Bromell had been in touch with Councillor Belt as residents of Crossways had been concerned by the report in the September minutes that Devon County Council would be turning off their street lighting from 12.30am for 5 hours as some of the occupants are elderly. He has investigated this and reports that he has been assured that this would not be instigated.

The state of the two telephone boxes was raised again as they are sadly in need of painting and cleaning. Although the Clerk has written on several occasions regarding these no response has been received. It was suggested that she write again and inform BT that the Council will instigate the responsibility for painting these if they receive no response.

It was noted that the Devon Driving Centre are going to organise workshops for older drivers and Councillor Belt suggested that if enough interest could be raised the Parish Council might be asked to fund the hiring of the Parish Hall for such a workshop. It was suggested that the Parish Hall Committee be asked to provide accommodation for this event on a no charge basis. This matter to be discussed when the interest has been determined.

Councillor Netherway wished to give thanks for the repair of the gate latch at Crossway Park which the Chairman said has been carried out by Councillor Munro.

Councillor Phillips gave a reminder to all property owners that now is the time for them to cut back their hedges as some within the Parish are very overgrown and it is their responsibility to do this.

Councillor Quinn noted a Training Event on Budgets and Precepts which was being organised by the Devon Association of Local Councils on 8th November at a cost of £25 plus VAT and requested that he be nominated to attend. It was proposed and seconded that the Clerk should make the necessary application.

Councillor Nierop requested that the Asset Group which had been set up in July should convene a meeting. Owing to the resignation of Councillor Munro from the group Councillor Heathcote volunteered to fill the vacant place and Councillor Phillips agreed to co-ordinate the meeting.

Mr Hodges said that at the September meeting a request had been made for clarification regarding the portable appliance testing carried out at School Houses. The Clerk reported that she had investigated this and it has been ascertained that it is testing that is required for anything electrical supplied by the Landlord including showers, night storage heaters etc, and anything which has to be plugged into the electrical supply.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm.