Approved Minutes 2023 October 03

Oct 13, 2023 | Minutes

The minutes can be read below or downloaded here: MN_2023_October BPC Approved Minutes

APPROVED Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Blackawton Parish Council held on
Tuesday 3 October 2023 at 7:30 p.m. in Blackawton Village Hall

Open Forum

a. DCC’s Cutting of Vicarage Road Verges

A member of the public said that DCC has recently cut the grassy verges on Vicarage Road. They are willing to maintain the verges and DCC does not need to do so.

b. French Furze Update

Vistry has started to resolve drainage under the MUGA. It is currently responsible for the playground.

Present: Parish & South Hams District Cllr Rake (Chair), Parish Cllrs Ougton(Vice-Chair), Coe, Hadow, Mardon, and Thomas were present, as was Devon County Cllr Brazil (for his report), A Thom (Clerk), and two members of the public.

  1. Apologies

All Councillors present.

  1. Declarations of Interest

None declared.

  1. Minutes of Previous Meetings

It was resolved to approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 September 2023.

  1. Report from South Hams District Council Councillor

Cllr Rake reported that at a local level SHDC is trying to fund the rebuilding of the Village Hall: just under £50,000 from French Furze s.106 funds. Meeting SHDC’s requirement to show that value is being obtained is difficult due to the large amount of volunteer labour.

SHDC’s Strategic Plan is out for consultation. It includes better located, designed, and priced affordable housing. Climate and biodiversity issues are the other main thing. The delivery plan will follow. The updated SHDC website goes live tomorrow. SHDC has acquired seven houses in Sherford under a government scheme for acute social housing need. The housing was under budget – SHDC bought eight and has bid for funding in next round. Waste containers have been distributed. There are 8,000 to distribute and they need to be out by end of this month.

Cllr Thomas asked about parking at the new Health and Wellbeing Centre. There is a part of the road adjacent to the eight free one hour slots which looks a space and the disabled bay is a distance from from the metre. Cllr Thomas will describe the issues directly to the relevant SHDC Officer.

  1. Report from Devon County Council Councillor

DCC is still struggling. It has a new Chief Executive. DCC is in consultation with SHDC about a council tax reduction for carers. The Special Education Needs debt will be £160 million by end of the financial year. The deadline to resolve the problem is March 2026. The debt will be bigger than the realisable assets. There is a Slapton Line meeting on 20 October, including the economic assessment consultancy’s report. DCC will produce a new plan for planning permission. There will be some road closures: in Stoke Fleming in January, February, March, and in East Charleton for three weeks in November. The meeting asked about a nighttime closure of the A3122 near Dartmouth which will be looked into.

  1. Planning Applications

    1. SHDC Planning Decisions

The following decisions were noted:

  • 2204/23/PDM Land At Sx 801 505 Blackawton. Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed change of use of agricultural buildings/barns to 1No dwellinghouse (class C3) & for associated development (Class Q (a+b)). Prior Approval Refused.

  • 2649/23/PDM Land At Sx 806 495 Blackawton. Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed change of use of agricultural buildings/barns to 1No dwellinghouse (class C3) & for associated development (Class Q (a+b)). Prior Approval Refused.

    1. Review of New Applications
  • 2815/23/FUL West Hartley Bungalow Blackawton TQ9 7DH. Provision of replacement dwelling.

Support (by resolution, five votes in favour, Cllr Rake abstained).

  1. Consultations
  • SHDC, Draft Corporate Strategy. Closes Monday 23 October.

  1. Legal Advice regarding Legal Responsibility for the Maintenance of the closed St Michael’s churchyard

BPC considered its response to the legal advice received that BPC does not have legal responsibility for maintenance of the closed churchyard. It was resolved unanimously to endeavour to arrange a meeting with the PCC Chair to endeavour to regularise the current arrangements.

  1. Phone Box Restoration

Cllr Thomas provided a verbal report. More information is needed about the options available. This will be an item on the next BPC Agenda.

  1. Dead Ash Tree in Blackawton Cemetery

The proposal to retain the tree, remove its lowest branches, and grow plants up it – to support biodiversity was considered. It was agreed that the Clerk would take advice on the safety of the proposal and in the interim Cllr Rake will remove the broader low branches with a hand-saw, with the Clerk.

  1. Finance

    1. Update on Current Financial Position

The Reports showed total funds of £61,539.73 and unearmarked general fund of £17,847.84, and the bank accounts reconciled.

    1. Payments & Receipts

It was resolved to authorise the following payments:

  • Clerk, Expenses reimbursement, includes hedgecutting safety signs, £159.86

The following receipts were noted:

  • Precept, second instalment, £9,500

  • Interment and EROB, Lawn cemetery, £250

  • Interment and EROB, Cremation area, £120

  • Interment & additional inscription, Lawn cemetery, £330

    1. Overtime Claim

The Clerk’s claim for ten hours overtime from July to September was approved.

  1. Correspondence

The following correspondence was noted:

  • A Mangall MP, Invitation Open Meeting SWW, Dartmouth, 19/10/23, 17:30.

  • 18/9/23, DCC regarding local flooding. Responded regarding local incidents.

  • Electrical Safety Fund grants scheme for local projects, closes 22 October 2023

  • Farming Community Network, request for support & information services available

  • 22/9/23, to DCC, BPC Support for the 20s Plenty For Us Campaign

  • 19/9/23, Householder request for Parish lengthsman support, passed on to Lengthsman

  • 18/9/23, Consultant, Inclusion in A379 Slapton Line Economic Impact Assessment by SHDC

  1. Next Meeting

It was confirmed that the next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 7 November 2023 at 7:30 p.m. The venue is to be confirmed.

  1. Closure of the Meeting

It was resolved, in accordance with the 1960 Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act, to exclude the public and press during consideration of the following item because of the commercial-in-confidence nature of the business.

  1. Grounds Maintenance Contract

It was agreed that the contract is coming up for renewal and BPC needs to decide what to do.

The meeting closed at 21:25.