Sticklepath Village

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Meeting Minutes 2016-04-06

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 6 April 2016 7.30 pm in Sticklepath Village Hall.


Cllr Pam Matthews, Cllr Emma Bell, Cllr Val Loader, Cllr Tania Murrell, Cllr Derek Moore,

In attendance:

Lois Rowlands (Clerk)

Jo Rumble – Dartmoor National Park

Members of the general public – Mr Darken

432/0 Apologies

Cllr Cruse

432/1 Approval of the minutes held on 2 March 2016

Minutes were approved and signed as a correct record.

432/2 Declaration of Interests


432/3 Property Development/Parish Plan

Jo Rumble attended from Dartmoor National Park and set out similarities/differences between Neighbourhood and Parish Plans.  Both can be as big or small as you need, they can focus on 1 issue or several.  A Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has statutory weight but DNP have a policy to give weight to any parish led plan.  However, if Central Government changed the law relating to planning, that could override the planning element of a NP/PP.  As the NP is statutory, it has more requirements – eg. Referendum, habitat risk assessment.  There is currently funding for a NP but a Council can embark on that process and then decide to limit itself to a Parish Plan.  Jo Rumble was asked about the difference between a Parish Plan (PP) and a Village Design Statement (VDS).  The VDS is only concerned with the design of properties and tends to add finer detail to planning and development as a whole.  A Parish can involve the community in this process also.

If a Parish wants to focus on wider issues than housing – eg parking, roads, dog fouling, tourism – a NP is the way forward.  It is not the responsibility of the Parish Council to lead it – other local organisations should be involved.  The Parish Council is the accountable body so the process would go through them.

If a PP is drawn up having gone through the due processes and consulted with the community, it will be given weight by DNP.  It is possible to upgrade to a NP at a later date but this would need to be relatively quick as the parish would want to use its findings from community engagement rather than embark on that process again.

Cllr Moore explained that the Parish Council are concerned about where development happens in the village.  Jo advised to look at the DNP housing policy to see if this fits with the Council’s requirements – for example, DNP may not have identified any additional housing need for Sticklepath.  Jo did confirm that DNP has land within the park which is identified for housing development and they are not under pressure to find alternative areas for development.

Jo Rumble suggested that the process of parish consultation can usually bring a community together and can be as beneficial as the end result.  Putting the aspirations of a community into writing is a valuable exercise.

Councillors questioned the influence a NP or PP would have on other bodies e.g. Highways. If the parish was consulted and gave feedback, an action plan could be laid out in the NP or PP to address the issues.  It wouldn’t have any direct influence over Highways’ decisions.

Jo left examples of a Village Development Plan and some general notes on Plans.

The DNP Local Plan is currently being revised and in that process they will consult with the Parish Council.  In addition, the Planning and Housing Bill is making its way through Parliament.  Both of these may affect NPs and PPs.  In view of this it is advisable to proceed with consultation of the parish and do the background work but then wait until the impact of the DNP Parish Plan and the new Act are known.

Resolved to launch the idea at the Annual Parish Meeting.  ACTION: CLERK/CHAIR

At the June meeting specifics of consultation would be finalised.  After APM it will be launched on the website and The Beacon.

432/4 Actions from last meeting

  1. Defibrillator – Funding application has been sent to Den Brook Community Fund. Cllr Cruse will also be applying to Devon Community Fund this month.  There will be a shortfall in funding of approximately £1,500.  Cllr Loader reported that Paul Jones from the Taw River will donate profit from August BBQ.  Funding appeal to be raised at Annual Meeting.  ACTION: CLERK
  2. Transparency Code – Clerk reported that she and Cllr Bell are booked on website training for 13 April.  Cllr Moore is keen for us to investigate the possibility of the Heritage Group having access the site and also to encourage other local groups to use the website.  Cllr Bell confirmed that she had encouraged the Phoenix Group to use the website but they have not been forthcoming with material.  Clerk confirmed that she would ask about direct access to the website for other groups however concerns were raised about the level of security if numerous organisations have access to the whole of the site not just their own area. Cllr Bell advised that there are websites where each user has its own access only to its own area of the website but these cost a lot of money.  It was noted that the Sticklepath Village website is not owned by the parish council; the parish council pay the website owner a fee for hosting our details on the website and for him to oversee the administration.  The recent agreement to allow the parish council to update its own pages had been negotiated to keep the hosting fee as low as possible whilst ensuring that the parish council has the additional pages and more frequent updates needed to meet the new Transparency Code requirements.  The transparency code funding we have received is to cover the design and development of the additional parish council pages, and the training to enable the Clerk and nominated Cllrs to update the information as necessary.  Cllr Moore was concerned that we do not have a full contract for the webmasters services and it was agreed to review this at a later date as the current agreement relating to the parish council pages runs until March 2017.
  3. Flood Resilience funding – The grant of £1,995 has been received. Orders for Hydrosnakes/sacks have also been received from owners of properties in flood risk areas and Cllr Murrell/Chair are collating the orders.  Cllr Murrell advised that B&Q offer the best price for the preferred manufacturer.  She will pass final order to the Clerk to order.  Resolved: to proceed with ordering from B&Q and if any surplus funds then spares will be ordered. ACTION: CLLR MURRELL AND CLERK
  4. Heritage Group – Cllr Moore reported that he has not yet met with Mike Eastman to discuss display requirements for the group. ACTION: CLLR MOORE
  5. Queen’s 90th Birthday – Cllr Loader has been advised that South Tawton are not having a meeting to discuss the lighting of the Beacon on 21 April. She has been asked to see the organiser, Bryan Woolland.  The tea party in the village hall is going ahead on 12 June. Chair will make enquiries about music or a pianist for the afternoon. Cllr Cruse to enquire with the Pheonix Group as to helping on the day. Cllr Bell will ask Jack and Jill’s to make decorations for the hall.  Also considered a “Crown” competition for all ages to be brought on the day.  This could be painting, model, collage etc.  To be advertised on website and in The Beacon for May and June.  ACTION: CLERK, CLLRS CRUSE, BELL, MATTHEWS. 
  6. Dog Fouling – A clear notice had gone in this month’s Beacon. Phil Davies is to produce some new signs.  National Trust to provide a larger bin by their car park as this keeps overflowing – although thismight be partly due to the National Trust no longer having accessible dustbins by their café and so people are putting general rubbish in the dog bin.  The bin from the car park will be sited by the bridge near Surgery Cottage. ACTION: CHAIR
  7. Phone Kiosk Adoption – Clerk reported we need listed building consent to change the phone box into a defibrillator store. We need to advise DNP on any plans to change its colour or the wording at the top of the box.  There is no charge for this.  Cllr Cruse had reported that the phone box was only used 6 times in the last 12 months all calls being to free phone numbers, no emergency calls.  Resolved to continue with adoption of phone kiosk from BT pending successful fundraising for the defibrillator.

432/5 Planning

Clerk advised no applications or notifications had been received.

432/6 Matters arising

  1. Leat Residents’ Meeting – no feedback of concerns had been received from residents so no need for a Spring meeting. Schedule for September to arrange for leat inspection/meeting.  ACTION: CLLR CRUSE
  2. Playing Field Inspection Report – Cllr Bell advised that she had contacted Creative Play for quotes for some repairs and also for some work to be done under guarantee. Malcolm Brewer has kindly carried out minor repairs/adjustments.  The Parish Council wished to thank him for this.  The goal posts are a low risk – they are sound, it is only the paint which is peeling.
  3. Pensions Regulator – Clerk made Councillors aware of the Council’s duties in relation to Workplace Pensions which come into force April 2017. Due to Clerk’s earnings, they will have no duty to provide Clerk with a pension but will need to register with the Pensions Regulator and advise staff of the position.
  4. Annual Parish Meeting – To invite Ian Brooker (DNP Ranger), Cllr McInnes (DCC), Cllr Cann (WDBC), National Trust and invite a report from the Police.  Refreshments to be provided.  ACTION: CLERK

432/7 Finance

  1. Balances and budgetary figures were tabled and up to date accounts presented.
  2. The following payments were approved:

Mrs L Rowlands        Salary 1 months (March)      £100.00

Mrs L Rowlands        Travel to training courses     £  36.00

Playsafety          Annual Inspection Playing field    £105.00

Cllr Cruse          Flag, rope and pulley for flagpole  £  45.20

 3. Resolved to appoint David Youle as internal auditor. ACTION: CLERK

Councillors which to express their thanks to Malcolm Brewer for the repairs he carried out to the bus shelter.

Councillor Loader reported on the Annual Mayoral Awards which she attended with Dora Cowland and Kath Matthews who had won the Green Award following nomination by the Parish Council.

Councillor Matthews introduced the idea of a “Gateway” to the village – she showed the Councillors a sales leaflet she had received.  To be considered further at June’s meeting.  ACTION: CLERK

432/8 Correspondence received

Correspondence was made available to Councillors.

Council went into Part 2 business and the public were asked to leave.

The Council came out of Part 2 business.

Date of next meeting:  4 May 2016 at 7.30pm (following Annual Parish Meeting at 6pm)

Meeting ended at 22.30


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