Parish Council Minutes June 2017

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Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on Thursday 8 June 2017
in Church House, Widecombe

Present: Councillor Newbolt-Young (Chairman), Booty, Hassell, Lomax, Morley, Routley, Southcombe & Welby Also present: County Cllr Gribble, Bill Allen (DNPA Ranger)

Members of the Public: None Clerk: Suzanna Hughes


    •  Cllr G Fenton

    •  District Cllr Jeffery

  2. 4148  OPEN FORUM

    Bill Allen (DNPA Ranger) reported that it had been a busy and demanding year particularly in Deeper Marsh. Litter is still a big problem. [DNPA spend £18,000 a year on disposing litter]. He reported that there had been two abandoned vehicles recently (Deeper Marsh Lane and Dartmeet car park). It was thought that these have now been removed. DNPA have adopted the ‘two minute beach clean’ idea for the moor. Those taking part can upload an image of themselves on social media to encourage others to get involved. There have been no problems in the parish during lambing season although there have been problems on Holne Moor of dogs worrying sheep. The Outreach van has been out and about. The Junior Ranger scheme is going from strength to strength with a focus on repairing fire pits and barbecue patches. The voluntary wardens are also doing a great job carrying out the rights of way surveys, litter picking etc. Bill reported that on Remembrance Sunday he had had the pleasure and privilege of taking Fred Hill to the RAF stone. Finally, he advised that the Moors Otter Trail has now been launched (there is a trail of 100 of them) and is proving to be very popular.


    Councillors were reminded of their responsibility to continually update their Notice of Registerable Interests and to declare any disclosable interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they have in any items to be considered at this meeting. Unforeseen requests for a Dispensation to be considered at this point only if there was no way a Councillor would have been aware of such before the meeting.

    Cllr Southcombe declared her interest in items 4155 (b)(i),(ii) and (iii) as a member of those organisations.

    There were no other declarations of interest or requests for dispensation.


    Members received the minutes of the meeting of 4 May 2017 which were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record.

  5. 4151  POLICE REPORT

    No report.


    Cllr Gribble informed members that he was both pleased and honoured to have been re-elected. He referred to the issue raised at the last meeting regarding straying livestock and reported that he had been pursuing the Parish Council’s concerns with DCC’s legal and insurance teams. In summary it is a farmer’s responsibility to secure their livestock (though on the moor, farmers are likely to have the right to graze their stock). Farmers will have their own public liability insurance in place. If DCC is found legally liable in a claim against it for injury/damage/death, then its own public liability cover will be operative. Cllr Gribble advised that he also intended to speak to DCC’s legal department. With regard to the installation of cattle grids, there is no funding available at present. Cllr Gribble was informed that on Bonehill livestock are straying from common land which used to be secured by gates until they were removed by DCC, hence a parishioner’s request that a grid be installed. Cllr Gribble was unaware of this and agreed to follow this up with DCC.

    Cllr Routley asked whether recent damage to Newbridge had been caught on the newly installed CCTV. Cllr Gribble was unable to confirm this. He did advise, however, that signage warning vehicles that the CCTV cameras were operational had now been erected.


    No report.


    Cllr Southcombe reported that she was in the process of arranging training for the defibrillator. This was likely to be some time in July.

    Cllr Morley reported that he had attended a recent meeting of WDSG as the Council’s representative at which there had been a discussion about the new flood lighting. There was also a discussion about the Sports Group’s finances as the cost of the new flood lights had taken up most of the Sport’s Group’s reserves.


    1. (a)  Annual Walkabout

      The following items had been observed:

      •   Signage to be created and put up around the parish to advertise the location of the defibrillator. The clerk to contact Mike Nendrick at DNPA to access the notice board in the car park.

      •   The bus timetable needs to be corrected in the bus shelter to show that the 672 operates on a Wednesday and not on Thursday.

      •   The sandbag store needs to be unlocked.

      •   It was agreed that the trees on the green need crown lifting to create more light on the green.

        Geoff Partridge had given a verbal quotation of £150 -£180 to undertake this on behalf of the Parish Council. It was agreed to ask him to carry this out once the work had been agreed by DNPA’s Brian Beasely.

      •   It was agreed to ask Geoff Partridge to undertake the annual strimming of the village.

      •   It was noted that the bank adjacent to the new gates to the sports field car park is being

        destroyed by sheep jumping over it. It was agreed that the gates should be left open where possible. Bill Allen will also speak to Jonathan Stones and ask him to have look at whether any fencing could be erected to protect the bank.

      •   The trees overhanging the highway opposite the tennis court (believed to be on land at Combe) would need trimming at some point. It was agreed that the clerk would follow this up with DCC.

    2. (b)  Grant requests (s.137 LGA 1972)
      Members considered requests for a grant from various organisations in the parish. It was agreed that as the Parish Council had sufficient reserves, the budget of £1,000 would be increased in order to benefit those organisations in the following way:

      1. (i)  Widecombe History Group Memorial Garden Project
        Members acknowledged that this was a worthy project but that it was not sufficiently advances to be considered for a grant at the moment. They asked that the History Group keeps the Parish Council informed of its progress so that a grant can be considered at a more appropriate stage of the project.

      2. (ii)  St Pancras PCC
        A grant of £200 was awarded towards the upkeep of the churchyard. (cheque 953)

      3. (iii)  Widecombe & District Sports Group
        A grant of £1000 was awarded towards the cost of the new floodlights. It was noted that these had cost the Sports Group £4,058.03 + VAT and had wiped out their reserves. (cheque 952)

      4. (iv)  Widecombe Pre-School and Toddlers
        A grant of £500 was awarded towards the cost of heating Church House. It was noted that this had cost £358 over the last two terms. (cheque 954)

      5. (v)  Leusdon Church
        A grant of £450 was awarded to the upkeep of the churchyard and other costs which had resulted from the quinquennial survey including fireproofing the boiler room. (cheque 955)

      6. (vi)  New Village Hall
        An application had not been submitted. It was noted however, that a grant of up to £50 was awarded at the last meeting to help cover the costs of printing and distributing the questionnaire.

    3. (c)  Communication
      Members considered a proposal put forward by Cllr Hassell to improve communication within the parish. He advised that he had looked into an email sign up facility by creating a MailChimp account for the Parish Council on Widecombe’s website. The idea is to create various databases depending o the type of information parishioners wish to receive. A discussion ensued about the logistics of the proposal and the role of the Parish Council after which it is was agreed that Cllr Hassell would speak to Roger Claxton to clarify the details of how the system would operate.

      (d) Village Green
      Members received a map to accompany the Village Green Register (VG12) showing that the green is in two locations. The Village Green Register (registered by the Parish Council in 1967) and held at DCC confirms that there are no rights to graze on the Village Green.
  1. 4156  PLANNING

    1. (a)  New applications/appeals

      1. (i)  0208/17 - Tennis court for domestic use, Higher Natsworthy Farm, Widecombe-in-the-Moor Members had no objections to this application.

      2. (ii)  0229/17 – Formation of new vehicular access incorporating alterations to boundary treatments and change of use of land at Hatchwell Hall, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

        Members had no objections to this application.

      3. (iii)  0273/17 – Alterations to existing barn, Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

        Members had no objections to this application.

    2. (b)  Decisions
      No decisions were reported.


(a) Payments

Members received and approve payments for approval:
Cheque no 000949 - Clerk’s salary and disbursements - £226.45
Cheque no 000950 - Lee Accounting (SW) Ltd - internal audit fee - £108

(b) Insurance

Members received and agreed to renew the Parish Council’s insurance with Community First at a cost of £192.56 (cheque 951).

  1. 4158  HIGHWAYS

    No matters were raised.


    Members received correspondence seeking information in connection with an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct. A response was agreed and further advice would be sought from TDC.


    Cllr Routley reported that the gate at Dartmeet had been left open again during the Dartmoor Discovery and that she had collected two carrier bags of plastic bottles which had been thrown on the ground by participants and not collected by the organisers. She also advised that on narrow parts of the route it was dangerous for runners to be on the road which hadn’t been closed to traffic. Cllr Hassell offered to take it back to the organisation. In the meantime, he advised that it had been suggested that the date of the event is changed to avoid the half term week and that the organisation was very conscious of litter on the course. He also advised that the event was heavily marshalled and was surprised that the gate at Dartmeet had been unmanned.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.06pm.

Signed .................................................. Dated ..............................................

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Thursday 6 July 2017 at 7.30pm. 


The information on this page was last modified on July 06 2017 09:26:52.

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