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Widecombe Parish Council Minutes March 2017

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Parish Council Minutes March 2017


                                                    WIDECOMBE PARISH COUNCIL
                          Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council  held on Thursday 2 March 2017
                                                      in Church House, Widecombe

Present:  Councillor Newbolt-Young (Chairman), Booty, Fenton, Morley, Routley, Southcombe and Welby
Also present:  County Cllr Gribble and District Cllr Jeffery
Members of the Public: There were four members of the public present.
Clerk:  Suzanna Hughes
4099  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
  None.
4100  OPEN FORUM 
A member of the public informed members that an open day for The Forge had been arranged for Sunday 12 March and, as one of the organisers he sought the permission of the Parish Council to use the green for a marquee and craft stalls. They would be raising money for Alzheimer’s.  Members agreed to the request subject to their being insurance provision in place and an assurance that the grass would be repaired.
Margaret Rogers informed members that she and Andy Crabb have been discussing another community dig.
4101  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATIONS
Councillors were reminded of their responsibility o 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.
  There were no declarations of interest.
4102  RATIFICATION OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 2 March 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record.
4103  POLICE REPORT
             No report.
4104  COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT  
Cllr Gribble reported that Devon County Council’s budget has been agreed with a general increase of 1.99%   and a further 3% for adult social care.   The clerk advised that she had been contacted by a parishioner about the straying stock in the village and considered that the main reason for this was the lack of cattle grids and that it is DCC’s responsibility.  The parishioner was concerned for the safety of those walking their dogs etc who felt vulnerable when encountering cattle, sometimes with their young, in public spaces.  Cllr Gribble advised that he would be happy to talk to the parishioner on the telephone.  Cllr Fenton commented that, in his opinion, more cattle grids were not necessary and that the absence of stock in this rural village would somewhat spoil its character.  
4105   DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT                                                                                                                                                       No report

4106   No reports.

4107  MATTERS ARISING
(a)  Defibrillator
Members were informed that the defibrillator will be installed on 24 March.  Members were asked to consider whether they wished to purchase additional insurance cover to protect the device against damage.  The cost for this would be £9.90.  It was agreed that the additional cover should be taken (cheque no 943).
(b)  Grazing Licence 2017
Members received, considered and accepted one tender of £100 from Katie Bearne for the grazing licence for the Parish Field (1 April – December 2017).
(c)  North Hall Field
Members were informed that DNPA has had independent site appraisals carried out for the land at North Hall and the matter has been discussed by the Leadership Team.  DNPA is now able to offer a new long lease of 50 years, to include break clauses every 10 years.  Members were advised that DNPA may also be able to offer a lease to the Sports Club who as a charity would benefit from business rate relief.  
After discussion, the Parish Council agreed to accept a 50 year lease as proposed.  However, it was suggested that the piece of land currently licenced to the Parish Council to use as a car park, incidental to the adjoining playing field, also be incorporated into the new 50 year lease so that there is only one lease for the whole area.  The Parish Council will sub-let the sports field to the sports group (as previously).
(d)  Church House Committee
  It was agreed appoint Cllr Fenton as the Parish Council’s representative on the Church House Committee to replace Norma Tempest. 
(e)  The District of Teignbridge (Off-Street Parking Places) Order 2017
Members received and considered the Notice of Proposals affecting parking charges in Widecombe car park.  After brief discussion, members agreed to object to the proposed increase in charges for a half an hour stay in Widecombe car park which equates to an increase of over 33%.  The Parish Council believes that this will have a detrimental impact on the businesses in the centre of Widecombe used by locals popping into the shop and post office, for example.  It was considered that 40p for half an hour is excessive and it was agreed that the Parish Council requests that this is reviewed with a view to leaving the cost of parking for half an hour at 30p.
Two other issues were also raised regarding the car park in Widecombe.  Firstly, the Parish Council agreed to ask TDC to make the sign advising customers that parking over the winter is free more visible.  It is well known that people are putting money in the machine over the winter period despite it being free and this is because the sign is not clear enough.
The other issue is that the sign directing cars into the car park needs replacing as the existing sign has faded and is unclear.  Whereas it is obvious where coaches should park, it is not at all clear where cars should go.
  (f)  Annual Parish Meeting
  The meeting will be held on Wednesday 15 March at 7.00pm in Church House.  Cllr Fenton will give an update on the ‘Welcome to Widecombe’ project and there will be the usual community reports.        
  (g)  Parking in front of the sports ground
Members received a request to use this space for extra parking on 12 March to accommodate vehicles attending the official opening of The Forge, if necessary.  Members agreed that the space could be used for the families and friends of those who had organised it to create additional parking elsewhere in the village.
4108  PLANNING 
(a)
  New applications:
             0084/17 – Demolition of existing agricultural building and erection of replacement agricultural building at Higher Venton Farm, Widecombe-in-the-Moor
    Members agreed to support this application.
            00648/16 – Erection of agricultural workers dwelling, Land at Blackdown Piper Farm,
Widecombe-in-the-Moor
    Members noted that DNPA has refused to grant planning permission.
4109  FINANCE AND GOVERNANCE
   (a)  Payments for approval:
    The following payments were approved: 
    Cheque no 000935 - Widecombe Fair Committee - £1,532
Town Criers - £168 x 50% = £84
Medical Cover- £1000 x 25% = £250
PA system - £169
Skip hire - £408 x 50% = £204
Traffic and pedestrian management - £3,300 x 25% = £825
  Cheque no 000942 - Clerk’s salary and disbursements (March) - £239.07
11.2  Members agreed to vary the bank mandate deleting Norma Tempest as a signatory and adding Cllr Fenton. 
11.3  Members noted that the Council’s internal auditor will be unable to carry out any future audit work and agreed the appointment of Hania Lee of Lee Accounting to carry out future internal audits of the Council on the same terms.
4110  HIGHWAYS  
Cllr Routley expressed ongoing concern that the drains on Dartmeet Hill are still blocked with leaves and need clearing to ensure that surface water drains away effectively.
Cllr Booty advised that there are no warning signs in respect of the CCTV camera at Newbridge.  A question was also asked about who checks the camera.  It was agreed to follow this up with County Cllr Gribble. 
4111  CORRESPONDENCE
A concern was raised on behalf of a parishioner about dog poo bags being left on the moor instead of being appropriately disposed of.  It was agreed that the Parish Council had little power to do anything about this.
4112  MATTERS OF INFORMATION AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN
The Chairman advised that Mel Stride MP had received a response from the Minister of State for Housing and Planning in response to concerns raised by him on the Parish Council’s behalf.  The letter confirmed that it would be the District Council that would investigate any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.45pm.


Signed     …………………………………………..         Dated     ……………………………………….

 

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

 

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