HOLNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting
on 27 March 2013
in Holne Village Hall at 7.30pm
IN ATTENDANCE: 16 members of the public including councilors, guest speaker and the clerk.
- District Cllr Smerdon
- Rev’d Corynne Cooper
APM270312.02 MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 2012
The minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2012 were approved by all present and duly signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record.
APM270312.03 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
A report was received from the Chairman, Cllr B Owen (attached).
APM270312.04 FINANCE REPORT
A report was received from the Clerk (attached).
APM270312.05 GUEST SPEAKER
The Chairman welcomed and introduced Shaun Lang, Team Manager, Plymouth Rural East, Western Power Distribution.
Plymouth Rural East area starts from Ermingotn to the River Dart , Salcombe, Kingsbridge, Trago Milles, Totnes, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh and outskirts of Ivybridge. 30 members of staff look after the area. Fed from a sub-station near Buckfastleigh (Sweaton). Previously SWEB. 24/7 company, on-call for emergencies, deal with the maintenance of the system, faults, conversions etc. Technology has developed significantly over the years. 3 trades of craftsman in each team. Predominantly overhead lines which need ongoing maintenance. Last year, all the poles in the vicinity were inspected (generally they last 40 years), inspected every 7 years. This year they will make any necessary repairs as a result of last year’s inspections. Changing the poles takes about half a day and can often be undertaken without turning the power off. If the power does have to be switched off, they will connect up a generator so as not to impact on homeowners. This kind of work is generally carried out in the summer. Western Power’s helicopter department is based at Havenbank, near Bristol. Helicopters fly the circuit to spot faults - proactive rather than reactive. Helicopter is due to fly over this year in the next couple of months. We are an open company. Aims to get everyone back on power within 18 hours. Regulated company so regulatory body sets standards for the company to achieve. They present to the body a five year business plan. If agreed the plan is put in motion and is reviewed at the end of the five years. Have performed well. Hold stakeholder events giving groups in order to encourage interaction. Happy for people to talk to him direct if they have an issue they wish to discuss. Can offer safety advice, can provide plans of underground cables, etc. Will be undergrounding nine spans of overhead lines at Vennford later in the year. Always investing in trying to ‘keep the lights on’. Switches can be operated from a control centre.
Q. Low flying helicopters are a danger for those on horseback. Is there a system where riders
can sign up to be alerted if a helicopter is going to fly?
- Not currently, but it is something that can be explored.
Q. Whose responsibility is it to get electricity to the meter?
A. The terminals in the black box is where Western Power’s responsibility ends. The wires that
come out of the fuse belong to the supplier.
Q. Responsibility of maintaining trees which overhang the lines?
A. It is the landowner’s responsibility.
Q. Where do you get your money from?
A. The supplier, e.g. EON (£100 a year of the consumer’s bill goes to Western Power Distribution)
Q. Who has the contract for tree maintenance?
A. One contractor (ProArb) currently has the contract (which will last for ten years).
Q. Where do you get your electricity from?
A. Power stations all over the country and from sources in Europe. Locally, sources include Mary Tavy water turbine, wind farms in Cornwall, PV cells on rooves etc
Q. Two parishioners commented on problems they had experienced with the contractors ProArb –
leaving gates open, driving quickly through the lanes etc.
A. These problems were noted and would be fed back.
Q. What type of weather creates the most problems?
A. Wind and rain are probably worst which can cause expansion and contraction of insulators
when they dry out. We don’t experience the volume of snow in the south west to cause significant problems. The cold doesn’t tend to cause a problem (other than possible overload as people are
utilising their appliances more).
Comment: Pleased with the speed in which problems have been rectified by Western Distribution.
Q. How well publicized is the phone number to Western Power Distribution?
A. It’s in the phone book, probably on the electricity bill (or the supplier will transfer the call through to Western Power)
Q. What is your advice about computers in electric storms?
A. Unplug them. You can purchase a UPS to protect against power failing.
APM270312.06 COUNTY COUNCILLOR PENNINGTON
No increase in council tax from DCC. He compliments John Hart for his work in gathering the views of people living in the county. The county will have lost 31% of its revenue during the 4 years running up to 2015 and significant savings have had to be made.
16,500 participated in a consultation seeking views on how money should be spent/saved. More than 250 people attended one of the public events, 600 people took part in on-line survey and 6,000 people looked at the website. The key findings of this consultation were that the majority of people wanted to protect current spending in almost all areas. In particular, retention of community care facilities (93%), safeguarding vulnerable children (92%) and residential and nursing care (91%). Savings identified for potential savings were: street lighting (68%), planning and development control (61%), countryside, heritage and the arts (60%) and early years’ services (59%).
Final Devon County Council budget is £224million. The government’s contribution is £100million.
Following the consultations, DCC agreed that more investment would be put into children’s centres and reinstatement of planned reductions for winter maintenance and realignment of the road safety defects, welfare reform measures, gulley maintenance and lenghtsman service, renewable energy feasibility studies, CAB and infrastructure development.
APM270312.07 REPORTS FROM PARISH ORGANISATIONS
Fleur Powell– Friends of Playpark
Paul Arrowsmtih – Holne Community Shop and Tearooms
Paul Arrowsmith – Housing Group
Mike Cunniam – Second hand book sales
There are many books at Hill Top (approximately 6000 – 7000 books), which are donated by people both in the village and outside the village. The books are changing all the time. They
hold regular book sales but are open all year round. The books will be on sale in the Village Hall over Easter. The money raised last year was £1,952 and was donated as follows: £533.90 to the village hall, £100 to Playpark, £180 to the Parish Council to purchase Jubilee mugs, £390 to Devon Air Ambulance, £100 to the Parish Link, £400 to Holne shop and tearooms , £100 to PCC towards the pulpit and £41.31 to the Fete Committee. Total money raised since starting amount to £7,380.
Keith Evans – Holne Village Fete Committee
The fete will be different this year. Stalls have changed and the way the committee is operating is also changing. They are trying to make running the fete less onerous. There is a committee of 5-6 people currently but essentially they are looking for people to commit to helping in whatever capacity they can either in the run-up to the event or on the day.
Ross Gray – Tree Warden
Judy Henderson – Garden Group
Another successful year. The group presented a seat to the village in memory of Ann Belam. There have been a series of events and outings during the year. They average around 25 people on their outings and would invite anyone to attend.
APM270312.08 PUBLIC FORUM
Q. Mike Cunniam – there are individuals in the village who are helping to maintain their leats, unblocking buddle holes etc. Is there a case for the village to take initiative to obtain additional lengthsman services?
A. The Chairman advised that funding has been secured for around 25 hours of additional lengthsman service through the TAP fund.
Q. In poor weather, when the roads are impassable through the village due to ice or snow, people park their cars at Butts Cross and Mr Cunniam expressed concern that the gritter is not coming through the village to Playcross.
A. Paul Arrowsmith, Snow Warden, is aware of the problem and it has been raised with DCC Highways. He advised that it is not on the gritting route though occasionally some gritters will go as far as Playcross. Salt is therefore distributed manually by the snow warden and volunteers.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9.05pm.
Cllr Belinda Owen Suzanna Hughes
FINANCIAL REPORT MARCH 2013
Balances held March 2013
Current Account £ 2,829
Savings Account £ 3,906
Total £ 6,735
Grants Donated 2012/13
St Mary’s Churchyard £ 400
Scoriton Village Hall £ 100
Parish Link £ 60
Major Sources of Income 2012/13
Precept £ 5,280
Grants (Elector Fund) £ 902
___________ £ 6,182
A short but positive finance report this year with no unexpected major costs and prudent management of finances resulting in a year end balance of £6,735 compared with last year’s figure of £6,020. This leaves us with a healthy contingency fund as we enter the next financial year.
The Parish Council has no major sources of income other than the precept (£5,280) which incidentally, will not be increasing this year. This year, it has been fortunate to secure three grants from the Town and Parish Fund – a sum of money which has been made available by DCC and SHDC to Town and Parish Councils working together. Holne joined forces with Buckfastleigh West to secure £901.60 towards Food & Hygiene training for those working in the shop and tearooms and a further sum of £1,757 shared with Staverton Parish Council towards the cost of an additional lengthsman. The grants are a sum based on £1.10 per elector in each parish.
The Jubilee celebrations did not require financial assistance from the Parish Council. A grant of £100 was received from our District Councillor and £720 was received from donations from parishioners and the sale of Jubilee mugs. To mark the occasion, a stone was erected and engraved, the cost of which was shared between Holne and Buckfastleigh West Parish Councils.
The Parish Council has once again been in a position to give a grant of £400 towards the maintenance of St Mary’s churchyard. It has also granted £100 to Scoriton Village Hall as a contribution to the cost of their annual community firework event and £60 to the Parish Link.
As always, I report that the Parish Council continues with its annual repayments of almost £1,149 to the Public Works Loan Board with the amount outstanding currently at around £3,753.
Playpark Report AGM 2013 - March 27th, 2013
Formalising the working group who had already been planning improvements for a number of years into a Charity has brought a positive and active enthusiasm to the on-going task of improving our community space. While we may not yet have done everything on our ‘to-do’ list, we are very proud of what we have achieved so far.
Community and fundraising events over the last year or so have included: a competition at our Village Fete in 2012 for the community to design a name and logo for our Charity and a Jumble sale in the Village Hall. In November last year we had a great turn out to our ‘Planting in the Playpark’ day. Members of the community, young and old came to support the event in spirit and in pocket. As well as raising around £80, we planted a living willow sculpture, planted bulbs around the leat, cleared the leat, drank mulled wine and hot chocolate and ate jacket potatoes by the fire. A great day was had by all, exactly what we aspire the space to be used for and more regularly! The bulbs have come through and Hannah has also donated and planted some snowdrops around the willow sculpture.
Holne Books, a village charity supporter very kindly donated £300 to us which enabled us to buy 2 picnic benches, and just in time for the Village Fete.
In October last year we submitted a grant request to the DNPA Celebrate Your Community Fund, and were successful in raising £400.00 towards the cost of a new fence for the play area which is around £1000.00. Replacing the fence has been highlighted in the SHDC reports to the Parish council previously as requiring urgent attention, and replacing it is one of our most urgent objectives. We have recently requested further donations from the Parish Council, District and County Councillors and await a response.
With the possibility of 7 new families to the village, the need for our community space to be improved seemed ever greater. We opened up a dialogue with the Housing Association Hastoe and with DNPA before and during the planning consultation process and while their responses were positive and supportive of our cause, it does not seem likely that the Playpark will benefit from any contribution from them. We were hoping that any granted development may condition that a contribution be made to Holne’s community space. We are however, pressing the issue with the PC, SHDC, Hastoe and the DNPA in the hope that our community space and all who use it, may benefit from the neighbouring and proposed linked development.
We continue to strive to keep a good working relationship with both HCCT, the owner of the land and HPC, its tenants, keeping the relevant parties informed of our plans and requesting permissions where necessary. We are always keen for new members to join us and for any interest and participation in the fundraising and events we plan and hold. It is the community who run, support and ultimately benefit from our efforts.
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