Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th November 2013
Attendance: Chairman − Councillor P Nierop
Councillors Mrs M Belt, Mrs P Fisher, S Heathcote, L Hickman, D Munro, R Phillips, A Reed.
County Councillor J Brook
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
Mr D Friend, Mrs B Bramhall, Mrs L Fairley, Mrs S Greenfield,
For part of the meeting re their planning application − Mr G Radford,
Mr and Mrs Radford-Lewis and representative.
Apologies: Councillor M Quinn, District Councillor P Bromell.
75. The Chairman opened the meeting and the minutes of the Parish Council Meetings held on 10th October 2013 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chairman.
76. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR
County Councillor Brook reported on the disruption on the Valley Road with road closure and speed restrictions for some considerable time in order that work can be carried out to repair damage before it degenerates beyond the repair situation. He also again reiterated the service reductions which will be put in place by Devon County Council because of budget cuts which includes ceasing the mobile library service which will affect Whitestone residents. Cllr Hickman raised a query regarding care home facilities and Cllr Brook said that the situation regarding all cuts is still under investigation. He then left to attend another Parish Council meeting.
The Council examined the following applications and members of the public were allowed to answer any queries in support of their applications. The following are the Council’s decisions:-
77.1 13/01686/LBC Replacement windows at Chants Cottage, Heath Cross. The Council examined the application and there were no objections
77.2 13/03192/OUT Outline − dwelling for a rural worker at Bickhams Farm Livery. The Council discussed the outline application and there were no objections
77.3 13/03197/COU Change of use of stables to additional accommodation and domestic storage ancillary to Nadder Park, Nadderwater. The Council discussed this application which was not supported and it was felt that if granted there should be conditions imposed that it was for family use only and should not be used, let, leased or otherwise disposed of for any other commercial purpose.
Granting of Conditional Planning Permission
77.4 13/02739/AGR Barn for hay storage at Woodlands, Halsfordwood Lane
77.5 13/02774FUL Erection of detached garden studio/shed at 2 Merrymeet Cottages
78. MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
78.1 Co-option of Councillor to fill the Casual Vacancy
Applications have been received from Mrs B Bramhall and Mrs L Fairley and the members of the public were asked to leave the room in order that Councillors could discuss their applications. The members of the public then rejoined the meeting and a ballot was conducted and as a result Mrs B Bramhall was co-opted as a Parish Councillor and duly signed a Declaration of Office.
Cllr Nierop thanked Mrs Fairley for applying on this occasion and she expressed interest in being considered should another vacancy occur.
78.2 Parish Paths noticeboard repair
It was reported that a border has now been placed around the notice.
Report by Asset Management Group
78.3 The Asset Management Group supplied a report of a meeting with Devon Sales and Lettings regarding issues connected to School Houses. After discussion it was resolved that new tenancy agreements be issued to the tenants as the existing agreements were made with Cooksleys and Devon Sales and Lettings felt that clear relationships and expectations would be supported by an up to date contract.
78.4 It was resolved that the Asset Management Group’s recommendations to repair the current fireplace at 1 School House be implemented following the chimney sweep report. Cllr Nierop offered to provide an electric heater for use as auxiliary heating until the open fireplace has been repaired.
78.5 It was agreed that the handrail on the stairwell at 1 School House should be made secure
78.6 It was resolved that the estimate for alteration to window at 1 School Houses (£408 + VAT) and repair to glass on the inner entrance door at 2 School Houses (£42 + VAT) should now be authorised
78.7 The installation of extract fan in bathroom and replacing of faulty time switch controlling hot water at 2 School Houses had been arranged by Devon Lettings at a cost of £306.54 (including £51.09 VAT).
Repairs to Store roof
78.8 It was reported that following investigations by Cllrs Hickman and Reed repair work has now been completed to the roof on the store used by the Whitestone Players and information has been received that this has proved satisfactory. Cllr Hickman submitted receipts for materials used and requested reimbursement of £22.52. A vote of thanks was expressed for the work which had been done.
78.9 The Clerk reported that the noticeboard situated at the Royal Oak Nadderwater is broken away from its posts. Cllr Hickman said he was aware that the landlady at the Royal Oak has moved it. The Asset Group will investigate the repair work necessary.
Draft Budget Review for 2014-2015
79.1 Cllr Nierop went through the budget statements which had been distributed to Councillors and gave explanations to the meeting and answered questions. Mrs Greenfield has applied for a grant of £1,000 for the Parish Plan. It was proposed that the rent for the garage and store should be raised from the current nominal £15 to £160 charged in proportion to space occupied by the three organisations using these facilities. It was noted that the Precept will be set in December 2013.
79.2 School Houses rents for November £1,425 − Letting Agency fees £136.80 (including £22.80 VAT) = £1,288.20
79.3 Rural Aid Grant for Parish Hall roof £1,850.00
79.4 Whitestone Baby and Toddler Group £5.00
79.5 Electrical work at 2 School Houses £306.54 (incl £51.09 VAT)
79.6 DALC Attendance at AGM for Cllrs Nierop and Belt on 12th October £48.00 (incl £8 VAT)
79.7 British Legion − Poppy Wreath £20
79.8 Renewal of hosting domain for Whitestone Website £36
79.9 Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee (November) £125
79.10 Hire of Parish Hall for Parish Plan meeting £7.50
79.11 Mr G Dicker grass cutting and grounds maintenance £1,250
79.12 Clerk’s expenses £21.42
79.13 Whitestone Parish Hall Management Committee £2,850
79.14 Mr L Hickman £22.52.
81. MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN
81.1 Cllr Nierop raised concern regarding a tree needing attention in the area by the bus stop and Cllr Phillips said that he thought trees at Crossway Park needed trimming back. The Clerk was Instructed to write to Mr Crumby of Greentrees requesting that he contact Cllr Nierop regarding this.
Cllr Nierop reported that the replacement deeds and land registry was still ongoing.
There was some concerns regarding the parking of cars in the Hall car park as people should be aware that there was no insurance cover for any damage.
Cllr Nierop then spoke at length regarding the need for a working group to review our continued ownership of School Houses, other options available and the implications of any changes, reporting back in the New Year. It was agreed that Cllr Hickman, Cllr Belt and Cllr Bramhall would assist him in this respect.
Mrs Greenfield gave the following report on the Parish Plan Steering Group:- “We have had two committee meetings since the last report and work continues on the full questionnaire. Mrs Margaret Neirop and Councillor Tony Reed have resigned from the Group and we thank both of them for their invaluable contributions since the inception of the Group”.