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Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council
held in Holne Village Hall on Tuesday 12 April 2016 at 7.30pm


Cllr B Owen (Chairman), Cllr D Higman, Cllr T Powell & Cllr D Troake
Also present
Suzanna Hughes (Clerk) and two members of the public.
The meeting was opened by Cllr Troake at 6.45pm.



Apologies for Absence

  • Cllr G Simpson
  • Cllr E Ross
  • District Cllr Smerdon
  • County Cllr Rowe


Open Forum
Ross Gray thanked the Parish Council for dealing with the oak tree in Playpark.  With regard to item 8.1, he advised that there was not enough water coming down the leat and that it only became an issue if there was flooding.  There is Japenese Knotweed going down the leat which needs spraying.  He expressed concern about the future of the Church House Inn and was worried about the hole in the village green where the Christmas tree was.  He advised the Parish Council to give consideration to the future management of the land near Bearwood.


District and County Councillors’ Report
District Cllr Smerdon was unable to attend the meeting but sent a written report, attached.

County Cllr Rower was unable to attend the meeting but sent a written report, attached.


Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation
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.

There were no declarations of interest or requests for dispensation.


Ratification of Minutes
Members present received the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 1 March 2016 and agreed unanimously that they be signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the meeting.


6.1    New applications:
          None received.

6.2   Decisions:  
         6.2.1   055/16 - Installation of mobile telecommunications and ancillary equipment involving the  
                     erection of a 12m high telegraph pole with eight consumer antennas and four backhaul  
                     antennas and 150m of trenching to power source at Land at Mill Leat Farm, Holne

                     Members noted that DNPA has granted conditional planning permission.
         6.2.2   0078/16 - Erection of hay storage ad general purpose building at Gibbycombe, Higher 
                     Mitchelcombe Farm, Holne

                     Members noted that DNPA has approved the work in this notification             



    •   Members approved the following payments:

         Cheque no 758 - Max Bayles Professional Tree Care Ltd (Work to oak tree in Playpark) - £408.00
         Cheque no 759 - SHDC (Election costs May 2015) - £84.26
         Cheque no 760 - HMRC (PAYE) - £143.00

7.2   Members agreed to continue the Council’s membership to DALC - £60.90 (to be taken from the   
         first instalment of the precept)


 8.1   Members continued discussions about whether it was necessary to consider a permanent
          solution to control the flow of the leat at Church Park.  After a brief discussion, it was agreed to
          have a site visit prior the June meeting before taking the matter forward.
8.2     The Chairman stated that the Parish Council needs a plan for the ongoing clearance of the sump     
           in Playpark which unless cleared regularly becomes blocked up very quickly.  Buddle hole 
           clearance also needs to be addressed.


Church House Inn
It was understood that the lease had been sold and it was therefore agreed that  no further action by the Parish Council was necessary at this stage.


10.1  It was reported that Playpark is going from strength to strength and is very well used.  There
          had been a successful Easter egg hunt despite the poor weather and there were more plans for
          fundraising.  They are hoping to have a community barbeque/picnic and a celebration of the
          one year anniversary of the new equipment being installed. 

10.2   It was agreed to renew the grass cutting contract with Birbeck Landscapes on the same terms
           as in 2015/16.


Potholes, highway maintenance reports and other highways issues                                       
Cllr Higman commented that he was very happy with the work undertaken by DCC over the winter to clear the drains and gullies near Chase Gate Farm.


Clerk’s or Councillors’ reports on matters authorised by the Council at previous meetings not otherwise on this agenda



Chairman’s urgent business for action by the clerk if covered by delegated powers or for inclusion on the agenda of the next meeting
Cllr Troake sought clarification about the defibrillator project.  The clerk confirmed that £800 had been secured from the District and County Councillor’s community fund.  She believed that the project would cost around £1,800 to include the installation of a fully automatic device with heated cabinet, batteries, child pads and training.  She would forward this information to Cllr Torake who agreed to lead on the project.

The Chairman advised that the speaker for the Annual Parish Meeting was unable to attend.  It was agreed to invite him to a meeting on 3 May.   If he was able to attend it was agreed that May’s Parish Council meeting would commence at 6.45pm with a public meeting to start at 7.30pm.


The Chairman advised that the was to be a talk about the Birds of Holne Moor on 27 April at 7pm in  Holne Village Hall.


Date of Next Meeting
It was confirmed that the date of the next meeting as 3 May 2016 at 6.45pm to be immediately followed at 7.30pm by a Public Meeting to which Matt Barrow, Engagement Officer, Connecting Devon and Somerset.


The meeting closed at 7.23pm.



Cllr B Owen



District Councillor Smerdon’s report

Central Government have now confirmed the amount of grant money that SHDC will receive this year. The lobbying done by our MPs and the Local Government Association has resulted in a better than expected settlement for rural authorities, our Council will gain an extra £305k.

At the Council Budget meeting on 11th Feb the decision was taken to increase the Council Tax precept by the maximum amount allowed, £5 or 3.5%, for a Band D property. Of the money South Hams collects in Council Tax 9% goes to services provided by us, the rest goes to Devon County, Town and Parish Councils, and the Fire and Police services.

Our recent radical  programme of changes to the management structure and ways of working, known as T18, has enabled us to reduce costs and by March we will have made £3million of savings from our transformation programme. If we had not embarked on this we would now be struggling to deliver the front line services our customers need.

However we are well aware that our main funding, the Revenue Support Grant will probably disappear completely, and we are exploring options as to how we can generate our own income. One option is for the Council to transfer some of the services we provide into a commercial company  that can bid for contracts elsewhere to generate revenue. The next step is for members to discuss the issue in detail and decide if the Council should progress this idea further.
Changes have been made to the Duty Planning Service, this will no longer operate as a drop in service but will be by appointment only. The number of days and hours that the service is available have been extended.

It is also planned to improve the Planning Enforcement service so that it operates in a more effective way and can provide a quicker response. One option is to make use of the Locality Officers to make initial assessments of reported enforcement issues and report back to Enforcement.

Work is progressing on 'Our Plan: South Hams', and both the refreshed delivery plan and the Local Plan elements are moving ahead. A detailed update will be put before the next Executive meeting on 10th March. We are still considering combining with West Devon and Plymouth in this exercise.



Since the end of January 2016 when the budget was fixed along with the level of Council Tax payable for 2016/17 work has been quite quiet .I have attended a People`s Scrutiny meeting where we spend a great deal of time discussing issues relating to Children, Older people,Vunerable people and their needs. Social care and Schools including Ofsted reports.

At this particular meeting we received representations on the closure of Sutcombe County Primary School which is out Nr.Holsworthy in the very North of the County. There are now only 21 Children aged between 4 and 11 on the school role. The building is in need of updating and is very expensive to run. There has not been an acting Head teacher there for 2 years as no one wants the position. An agency head has been employed costing £560.00 per day on 2 days a week. The funding from D.C.C. was 3 times per pupil of the average allowance paid to other similar primary schools in Devon. The Scrutiny Committee endorsed the decision taken by the cabinet members to close the school from July 2016 .There are other schools and transport available in the area.

I attended a Corporate Services Meeting were Devon Youth services will be run out of house via a tendering process similar to the Library service which is now being run by a Mutual trust from the 1st April.

We had our local Southern area H.A.T.O.C. Meeting on the 1st April at Follaton House and we were informed that D.C.C. has been awarded around an extra £38 million for 2016/17 and over the next 4 years going down to £34 million in 20/21 This is from a Special Highways Incentive Funding Scheme to use best practise to make efficiency savings. So it will have to be justifiable. Issues discussed included drainage and gullys, ditching, buttleholes and rain water (we cannot control the amount of rain water we have to deal with!)The Parish lenghtsman service is NOT run in conjunction with the parish Councils any more. They still exist and aim to visit each known problem area once or twice a year. I think it is best to send the information as to where the service is needed to Lisa Edmonds our locality highways officer by email and hopefully she will pass it on .This then brings me on to The Community Road warden Scheme. Training for people willing to carry out work voluntarily will be financed by D.C.C. Workers must be safe. Parish councils can employ someone as long as they are trained to do the job and have insurance cover. The project officer for this is someone called Victor Goff .There is also the Community Pay Back Scheme which costs 3160.00 per day. These are people who have been ordered to do Community work through the Magistrates courts. I am told their work is very good.

We went through lots of R.T.O. `s and Marldon and South Brent featured on the lists.

I am sure there are many other Highways issues which keep coming in, potholes, poor road surfaces, Pavements, Footpaths, grass banks, Hedgerows etc. Some Parishes club together to employ someone to do some of the work and either allow for this on their Parish precept or from their council members locality Funding.

I hope to visit most of you this month. It is difficult when 2/3 councils meet on the same night at the same time 20 miles apart.

Rosemary Rowe.




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