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Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council

held at the Village Hall, Holne on

Tuesday 6 November 2012 at 8.00pm



Cllr Mrs B Owen (Chairman)

Cllr Mrs E Ross

Cllr D Troake


In attendance

Suzanna Hughes (Clerk), County Cllr Pennington and 3 members of the public.


Open Forum:


Cllr Pennington

Commented that DCC has dealt with flooding issues around the County very effectively.


South West Highways has purchased six new gritting vehicles.


Advised that he has money available in his capital fund for the Holne & Community Shop and Tearoom.


The highways issues raised in previous meetings have been dealt with by Lisa Corston, DCC.  She is aware of the water issues beyond Hangmans Pit and has been speaking to the DNPA to see if there is anything that can be done to try and alleviate the amount of water that flows from the moor.


She has spoken to Ross Gray regarding the issues at Little Cross by the leat though she has already requested that works are undertaken here in the form of fencing and tidying up the leat to make it more obvious to drivers.


The issue with the overhanging trees has been passed back to the Clerical Team to be forwarded to the National Trust as landowners for inspection.


The Chairman reported that towards Bearwood, the leat running is coming out into the road rather than through the field and has worn away the tarmac.  She asked if this could be reported to DCC.


Ross Gray

Advised members of the imminent road closure from Little Cross to Brackenwood.  [The Chairman advised that the Council was aware and there was a notice displayed on the noticeboard].  Speaking on behalf of a parishioners, he asked whether  the road from the pub to the shop could be repaired/resurfaced at the same time as it is in a poor and dangerous condition.  Cllr Pennington agreed to raise this with Lisa Edmunds, DCC.


Also made some suggestions about designations of footpaths/bridleways etc:

       Michelcombe Hill.



Michael French

Suggested that someone walks all the paths to check their condition.


District Cllr Smerdon

Reported the following:

Council Tax support is being withdrawn by the government for South Hams.


White Cleaves quarry has submitted an appeal.


He is pleased to see that the Town and Parish fund application was successful.


He is a South Hams representative for ‘Visit South Devon’ – a small commercial company set up to promote tourism.  Research was commissioned into the impact that tourism has on South Devon.  He revealed that £230 million was spent in South Hams in 2011 (down 7% on last year).


South Hams Connect Services have held a series of events in Rattery Village Hall.  This is an information service which provides details of local information/voluntary services etc.  If interested, this is something which could be organised for Holne.


The Chairman opened the meeting at 8.45pm.




Apologies for Absence

  • Cllr C Jones
  • Cllr G Simpson





Casual Vacancy

An application had been received from a parishioner to be considered by the Parish Council.


It was unanimously agreed that as there were only three members present this item should be deferred until the next meeting.




Vice Chairman

It was unanimously agreed that as there were only three members present this item should be deferred until the next meeting.




Declarations of Interest

Members were reminded of their responsibility to continually update their Notice of Registerable Interests and invited to state whether they have any interests in any matter to be discussed during this meeting.


No interests were declared.




Dispensations and Setting the Precept 2013/14

The clerk advised that as council tax payers in this parish, all Members will need to seek a dispensation to consider and set the precept. (Section 31, Localism Act 2011).  Legislation which previously allowed councillors to discuss these matters was repealed in May 2011.  Members will therefore need to complete a ‘Dispensation Request Form’ and submit to the Clerk before the December meeting for consideration at that meeting in readiness for setting the precept in January.

Further, the Secretary of State now has the power to set a limit to the percentage increase in the Band D level of precepts charged by town and parish councils Last year the Secretary of State chose not to use that power for local councils. The following points issued by NALC cover the process that will happen this year, and the implications for the setting of precept levels.

Local councils should not make the final decision on their precept demand until January to be sure that there is no risk of going over any limit set by the Secretary of State.

If any limit set is breached, the council concerned would face a referendum to agree or not agree the proposed increase. If a council is considering a large (greater than 2%) increase in the Band D figure, they should prepare a back- up budget to allow them to move forward on the reduced figure if required.

  • Any "Excessive Council Tax Increase" trigger will be set by the Secretary of State in the Local Government Finance Report - a draft is made to Parliament in late November or early December each year. This Report is then debated and made final in the late January following – the ensuing one will appear in late January 2013;
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer is making his Autumn Statement on 5th December, 2012. The National Audit and Accounts Advisor would expect the Draft Local Government Finance Report to be in a Written Statement to Parliament on Thursday 6th December, 2012;
  • No precept should be formally approved until after the publication of the Draft Report (early December, 2012). Each local council should also wait for the Tax Base figures to be issued by the Billing Authorities on 1st December, 2012;
  • For every local council the need to look at the rate of increase in Council Tax Band D means that formal setting of Precept should be concluded in January. This really means that the bulk of the work can be completed in November but only resulting in a "minded to" decision of a local council which is then ratified in January when the Tax Rate values can be calculated;








Ratification of Minutes

Members present received the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of 2 October 2012.


It was RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Parish Council meeting dated 2 October 2012 be signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the meeting.





(i)  It was RESOLVED to approve the following invoice for payment:

  • S Hughes – £7.20 (stamps)







(i)  Leaking leat – the clerk advised that the leaking leat had been reported to  

      DNPA.  The request has been sent to Jon Stones who organises the day to    

      day work programme for DNPA’s works team.  DNPA has advised that

      they should be able to help with this but don’t know when as the works

      team have a lot on at the moment and it will be a case of adding it to the

      work schedule.


(ii) Cllr Owen reported that a playpark event has been arranged for 18

      November involving the creation of a willow structure and planting

      bulbs.  It was agreed that the cutting of the hedge would be discussed

      next month.






Field Shelter at Holne Bridge

Members discussed the field shelter visible from the road at Holne Bridge and they agreed that they are visually intrusive and distracting to vehicles.  The clerk was therefore directed to express these opinions to DNPA.






Town and Parish Fund

Members noted that the Parish Council’s joint application for funding with Buckfastleigh West Parish Council for the benefit of Holne Community Shop and Tearoom had been successful and a grant of £501.60 has been made. 








Parish Footpaths

Members reviewed the definitive map of the parish and having given consideration to the observations of Ru Roberts and other parishioners  members agreed that a review of the paths was an important matter which needs due consideration.  It was therefore agreed that members would walk the paths in the parish, in particular those being reviewed, to understand their state and condition.  It was further agreed that Cllr Troake would lead on this and he was appointed the council’s paths warden.  Members also agreed that this item would become a monthly item on the agenda.











Dartmoor National Park Authority Forum

The clerk advised that the deadline for nominations for new members was 9 November.






Holne and Scoriton Housing Group

Standing Orders were suspended to allow a report to be given from Mr P Arrowsmith.  He advised that following the drop-in session on 10 October, the majority of members of the Housing Group were happy with the amendments to the design of the houses made by Hastoe that had previously been suggested to them by the Group.  He further added that an application for planning permission will be submitted in January.    He  went on to request, on behalf of the Housing Group, that the Parish Council write to Hastoe to thank them for making these amendments and stating their acceptance of the development (albeit for any fine tuning and reserving the right to put to them any issues or irregularities which may crop up during the process that follows).


With Standing Orders reinstated, and after a discussion, members present agreed unanimously not to write to Hastoe as requested at this stage as it might prejudice the imminent planning application and, as representatives of the parish, it was important to hear the views of all its parishioners when the final plans were released before making any formal comment.  Further, not all members present felt they had been provided with enough information to comment to Hastoe in the way that had been requested by the Housing Group and once the planning application had been submitted would be able to examine the proposals more thoroughly and give a considered view. 






Potholes, highway maintenance reports and other highways issues

No new issues were reported other than those already reported by and to County Cllr Pennington in the Open Forum.







Clerk’s or Councillor’s 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

Items for next month’s agenda:









Members received and noted a letter of thanks from Scoriton Village Hall Management Committee for the donation. 







Date of Next Meeting

It was confirmed that the date of the next Parish Council meeting will be Tuesday 4 December 2012 at 8.00pm.  








The meeting closed at 9.45pm







Cllr Mrs B Owen




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