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Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council

held at the Village Hall, Holne on

Tuesday 4 December 2012 at 8.00pm



Cllr Mrs B Owen (Chairman)

Cllr C Jones

Cllr Mrs E Ross

Cllr G Simpson

Cllr D Troake


In attendance

Suzanna Hughes (Clerk), District Cllr Smerdon, John Nutley (DNPA representative) and 8 members of the public.


Open Forum:


District Cllr Smerdon

Read a letter from SHDC in respect of the town/parish precepts 2013/14 which stated that the Government is replacing the existing national council tax benefit scheme with a “local Council Tax Support Scheme”.   In financial terms the new scheme will have the effect of reducing the council tax base for an individual Town or Parish Council, normally represented by the “Band D equivalent”.  In contrast, if the local scheme adopted for Council Tax Support, includes income from introducing technical changes to Council Tax (such as removing the 10% second home discount), this will have a beneficial effect of increasing the council tax base for an individual Town or Parish Council.  This is a significant change which SHDC is currently working through and at the moment they don’t know what the effect these two changes will have on your Town/Parish Council’s tax base. Due to these changes, NALC (National Association of Local Councils) are advising Town and Parish Councils to hold their precept setting meetings in January 2013.  SHDC will be requesting the return of the precept amount by Friday 1st February 2013.


2000 sandbags have been filled and will be available for those in need of them.


SHDC Executive Committee has been looking at assets of community value for inclusion on a list of assets of community value.  Parishes are also encouraged to do this.


SHDC will be cutting grass next year unless DCC increase the number of cuts back up to 6.


A new website is going to be launched and Parish Council’s will be invited to join and have their own microsite on SHDC’s website.


John Nutley

Attended the Forum meeting. 


The DNPA will be undertaking a management review. 


Expressed concern and offered support with the Priddons planning application.  He was particularly concerned that enforcement action has taken place before being presented to members.


Ross Gray

Commented on the report to DNPA members which accompanied the Priddon’s planning application which was being considered by the Development Management Committee on 7 December and advised that, in his view, it was a biased document which contained incorrect information.


Paul Cooper

Further to the Parish Council’s request for the PCC to supply details of their General Funds, he thought it would be useful to explain to members the importance of their continued support.  He stated that a contribution by Parish Councils to PCCs was normal regardless of ability to pay.  He further stated that the church and burial ground is for the use by parishioners and therefore hoped that the Parish Council would continue to provide financial support.


Keith Evans

Expressed concern about the report given by Mr Arrowsmith at the last meeting in particular the accuracy of the date provided which the planning application by Hastoe will be submitted.


Cllr Jones confirmed that having spoken to Hastoe, it was hoped that the application would be submitted in early January provided DNPA’s planning officers are happy with the designs.  It was likely therefore that the application would be considered by DNPA’s Development Management Committee on 1st March. 


Mr Evans further stated that following the event on 10 October, he understood that feedback from the event would be sent to the Housing Group and there would be a formal pre-application meeting between the Housing Group and Hastoe.  However, Hastoe appeared to have no details of such a meeting.


Cllr Jones confirmed that he was trying to arrange a meeting of the Housing Group before Christmas.


Mr Evans questioned whether it was appropriate for Mr Arrowsmith, a non-member of the Parish Council, to give a report on behalf of the Housing Group.  Members considered that as Chair of the Housing Group, it was acceptable for him to give a report.


Michael French

Advised that a bigger drain/pipe was needed at the bottom of Michelcombe Hill


Paul Arrowsmith

Was unable to attend the meeting but sent a short report with the following key points:


He confirmed that he has withdrawn his application to fill one of the casual vacancies.


He would be arranging the village Christmas tree.


The Parish has nearly five tonnes of salt and grit in stock, bags and a spade.


There is no further Housing Group report other than evidence shows that there is no problem to the bats of the parish and he encourages the Council to write to Hastoe and thank them for their support and hard work for getting us thus far and to agree that the current plans be accepted without prejudice and all bar minutiae detail corrections.  He shall call a full meeting of the Housing Group if members so wish.


He hopes that the Council will continue its support the Priddons application and hopes that someone that someone attends and speaks in support of the application at the Development Management Committee meeting on 7 December.






Apologies for Absence






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.


  • Cllr Jones declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 10 (iii).


  • Cllr Owen declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 9 (iii).




Requests for Dispensations

Written requests for dispensations were received from Cllrs Owen, Simpson, Ross, Troake and Jones, as council tax payers in the parish of Holne, in order to consider and set the precept.  


RESOLVED unanimously that these dispensations be granted until the day after the next ordinary elections (thought to be 8th May 2015).




Casual Vacancy

It was reported and noted by members that an application received last month which was due to be considered at this meeting had now been withdrawn leaving two casual vacancies still to fill.




Vice Chairman

Following the resignation of Cllr Arrowsmith, embers considered electing a Vice Chairman.


RESOLVED unanimously that Cllr Simpson would be elected as Vice Chairman to this Council until the Annual Meeting of the Council in May.





Ratification of Minutes

Members present received the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of 6 November 2012.


RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the Parish Council meeting dated 6 November 2012 be signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the meeting.




General Power of Competence

The clerk explained that the ‘general power of competence’ gives eligible parish councils “the power to do anything that individuals generally may do”.  It is a power of first resort which has been introduced through the Localism Act 2011 Section 1(1) – (8)].  There are eligibility criteria which the Council must satisfy in order to qualify to use it and whilst it has a clerk with the relevant qualification, the number of councillors elected at the last ordinary elections does not equal the required two thirds or more of the total number of councillors.  Members noted, therefore, that Holne Parish Council does not qualify to adopt the ‘general power of competence’.





It was RESOLVED to approve the following invoice for payment:

  • Cheque no 661 – Village Hall – £6.00
  • Cheque no 662 – Project Cosmic (annual hosting of website) - £150.00
  • Cheque no 664 – Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal) - £17.00










(i)  Cllr Owen reported on a successful leat clearing, bulb planting and  

      willow structure making event at playpark which was attended by    

      around 60 people and made around £80.


(ii)  Members received the six monthly inspection report carried out by 

       Allianz on behalf of SHDC.  It was agreed that the playpark committee

       should consider this at their next meeting and a report made to this

       Council for consideration in January.


(iii) Having declared a disclosable pecuniary  interest, Cllr Owen, left the meeting for    

       this item.

       Members considered the cutting of the hedge at playpark.  It was agreed

       to ask Peter Owen to cut the hedges as before asking that care be taken

       not to graze the trees and that the road edge just to be uprighted.


       Cllr Owen returned to the meeting.






(i)  0581/12 – Alterations and extensions to reform garage and outbuildings

      and erection of single storey extension at Stares Nest, Holne


      Members agreed to support this application.


(ii)  Members noted that the applications for the construction of agricultural   

       livestock building 1 and 2 plus associated works on land at Mill Leat

       Farm, Holne, have been withdrawn.


(iii)  Having declared a disclosable pecuniary interest, Cllr Jones left the  

        meeting for this item.


       The Clerk advised that despite the DNPA’s Director of Planning  

       promising a response by 12 October to an email sent by this council, a

       reminder sent by the clerk prompted a response which stated that the

       recent planning application at  Priddons Farmhouse ‘has been the subject of

       protracted discussions with our legal team and I didn’t want to respond until

       such time as the position is absolutely clear. I will however respond as soon as I

       am able to and before the application is formally determined’.  The clerk

       advised that the application was due to be formally determined in three

       days time but a response from the Director of Planning has still not been



       After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that the clerk would write to all

       members of the DNPA in advance of the Development Management

       Committee meeting on  7 December apprising them of the position and

       asking at the very least that the application be deferred until all necessary

       information has been received relating to the ‘protracted discussions’

       referred to by the Director of Planning in his email.


       Cllr Jones returned to the meeting.






























Field Shelter at Holne Bridge

This item was deferred awaiting more information.





Town and Parish Fund

(i)   Members received and noted an email from Buckfastleigh West Parish

       council stating that members wished to be informed and involved in how

       the grant received was going to be spent.  It was agreed that the clerk

       would advise Holne Shop and Tearooms through its vice chairman, Mr P

       Arrowsmith, that funding would have to be approved by both councils

       before payments are made.

(ii)  Members received details of an additional meeting of the Northern  

       Cluster on 23 January 2013 at which, due to funding not being fully

       allocated, applications for additional funding would be considered.  It

       was agreed therefore that Holne Shop and Tearooms would be invited to

       make an application for further funding, if required, to supplement their

       original project.













Parish Footpaths

It was agreed that a ‘parish walk’ would take place on Saturday 29 December starting at 10.00am with all invited to attend.  Cllr Troake would advertise the event.  The intention of the walk was to familiarise oneself with the parish paths.










Lengthsman Service

Members received an email from Staverton Parish Council seeking their views (along with other rural Parishes) on the Lengthsman service.  Staverton Parish Council feel sure that other unsatisfied Parishes must be making their thoughts known on an individual basis but that, possibly, there may be a case for joining together to try to improve the service.


Members agreed that they would be happy to be involved in making a group representation to help improve the lengthsman service.













Community Right to Bid

It was agreed to defer consideration to the nomination of local assets for inclusion on the South Hams List of Assets of Community Value until next month.




Holne and Scoriton Housing Group

See open forum.






Potholes, highway maintenance reports and other highways issues

Re the culvert under the road from Holne to Langaford, the granite stones have sunk and rubble needs clearing from the culvert.




The bank near Mill Leat Farm from Stumpy Oak to Buckfastleigh has caved in and will start to erode the road.


Little Cross – a large branch needs removing from the leat before it causes a blockage.


The warning posts which were put back up have fallen and need putting back up.


Members wished to note the good work of Mike Cunniam at Hill Top for keeping the leat clear.







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:
















Date of Next Meeting

It was confirmed that the date of the next Parish Council meeting will be Tuesday 8 January 2013 at 8.00pm.  








The meeting closed at 10.05pm







Cllr Mrs B Owen



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