Sticklepath Village

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Meeting Minutes 2016-09-07


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 7 September 2016 7.30 pm in Sticklepath Village Hall.
Cllr Cruse (Chair), Cllr Loader, Cllr Murrell, Cllr Bell, Cllr Matthews
In attendance:
Lois Rowlands (Clerk)
Members of the general public – Mr Darken, Dora Cowland, Mike Watson
437/0 Apologies
Cllr Moore
Cllr Tansley – absent
437/1 Approval of the minutes held on 20 July, 3 August and 23 August 2016
Minutes were approved and signed as a correct record.
437/2 Declaration of Interests
437/3 Representations from parish organisations
Cllr Cruse explained this was a new item for the parish council. We will be inviting a representative from local organisations and businesses to attend a council meeting to give further information about their group, outlining any issues they have, looking at ways the Parish Council can help. In addition this gives the Parish Council the opportunity to consider the views of these groups in any plans it makes and to reflect local views in any local or national government initiatives.
Sticklepath and Okehampton Conservation (StOC)
Mike Watson – co-ordinator. The group has been running for 25 years. Started mainly by Norman Dunn who was a caterer in a centre in Okehampton for people with learning difficulties. He approached Ian Brooker, Park Ranger and suggested having a project at which the students could work. First project was the narrow walkway between Finch Foundry and Billy Green – the wall needed rebuilding. It was decided to take it further – they had strong backing from WDBC especially John Turner – StOCs was then set up – Sticklepath because first project here and Okehampton as John Turner was from Okehampton. Adults with learning difficulties still come and work with them. Can have 10-20 people working each week. Strong connections with National Park and feel that it is a treasure we should keep – National Park funding has been cut and they struggle to keep up with all the work which needs to be done with less money. They also work with Woodland Trust, local primary schools, Devon Wildlife Trust, National Trust, WDBC footpaths. Main work is to re-open and manage footpaths, management of gorse, bracken and rhododendrons, bridges (put in one behind finch foundry, and Tarka Bridge), clearing leats, exposing archaeological sites. They work on a Friday, from 10am and finish about 3pm.
Cllr Cruse asked if anything the PC can do to help. Mike said to let them know if anything within Sticklepath which they feel the group could do. Cllr Matthews asked about their storage shed – Mike feels they could do with a bigger one. Don Reason maintains the shed even though he is not able to get out on site and work with them. This is why the shed has remained in good condition after 25 years.
Cllr Cruse asked about the bench to celebrate 25 years of StOC, being sited on Billy Green. Mike explained that this area is important to StOC group – footpath to Billy Green first project worked on, foundry bridge was built by StOC, they frequently clear the path leading to the bridge and maintain the walls along path to Skaigh Woods. They thought this was an appropriate place to site a celebratory bench. All Councillors were in agreement.
437/4 Actions from last meeting
1. Village Gateway Sign – Cllr Matthews had forwarded an email from highways regarding size, spacing etc of signs. She has been out and measured the verge area – and could have a good sized sign. It will help traffic realise they are entering a village area and might slow down. It would also publicise the village. Cllrs liked the idea of having one with a speed limit sign. Cllr Matthews will look at further costings and check if highways are happy for us to have the structure of it made (rather than purchasing an expensive, ready-made one). Dartmoor Communities Grant is a possibility and there might be other avenues of funding. ACTION: CLLR MATTHEWS c/f October
2. Planting of Ladywell area – Cllr Matthews has been to look at the area. Tree stump needs levelling and removing and she suggests planting primroses, daffodils and other plants around until the stump is finally removed. Cllr Matthews will plant with help from other volunteers. Cllr Matthews asked for funds to buy bulbs etc which was agreed as we have funds specifically for this project. Cllr Matthews will continue to pursue this. ACTION: CLLR MATTHEWS c/f October
3. Dog bins/rubbish Finch Foundry – 3rd dog bin by Surgery Cottage is now being emptied by WDBC. Council to consider increasing fortnightly collection to weekly for next summer. Clerk will contact WDBC later this year regarding increase to contract and adjust budget accordingly. ACTION: CLERK
4. Sticklepath 2025 – consultation finished 31 July. There were common themes to the likes and dislikes. There were some good ideas which emerged from the 3 wishes section, some of which were already being considered by the Parish Council and others which will be considered in the future. Additional seating is being addressed by the StOCs bench on Billy Green. There is already seating on Oak Tree Green with the Millennium seat. Additional events – hopefully the glorious pavilion on the playing field will encourage further events to take place there. Also, the Heritage Group are planning a Christmas event. With regard to a community garden and additional car parking, the Council would need to acquire land for these. However, an initial project could be for the Ladywell area to be developed as a Community garden. This would also test whether people were committed to volunteering to maintain/use such an area. All agreed to look at items which are possible to achieve. Cllr Murrell has prepared an article to go in Beacon and on website. October’s meeting will discuss the Community Garden. ACTION: CLLR MURRELL
The Parliamentary Bill for neighbourhood plans has not gone through yet. We can take no further action with regard to Neighbourhood Plans until this bill is passed.
5. Playing field pavilion – Ground works done and staddle stones in place. Oak Frame company coming next week to put the frame up. Roof hopefully will be going on at the end of the month. c/f October
6. DCC Highways – Clerk updated Council and public on correspondence with Highways – we are to check for any alerts later this year with regard to changes to services provided by Highways. We will also ensure lengthsman work and gully clearing is carried out on time and satisfactorily. Lengthsman due early February 2017 and gullies once a year, next due July 2017. Clerk has diarised to check on these.
7. Dartmoor Community Fund – Sticklepath Heritage Group have applied for funding.  They will report further when they attend the next parish council meeting on 5 October.
8. Calendar of events and invitations to attend Parish Council meetings – Cllr Moore has prepared an invitation to local organisations and schedule. Heritage Group are attending October’s meeting.
9. Closure of pedestrian access to Back Lane from High Street – Cllr Cruse has spoken to those concerned who will be meeting one another to discuss this.
437/5 Planning
Application no: 0460/16 – Land adjacent to Bridge House, Sticklepath – change of use from agricultural land to domestic curtilage. Alteration to original application. No objections.
Mr Darken read out his reasons for objecting to the application. The area is closer to his property and would affect his privacy. The field is in an area at risk of flooding. The vehicles could be seen from Skaigh woods and the moor. He asked whether there could be a restriction on the parking of vehicles, other than domestic cars. He is concerned that future owners of the property would take to parking other vehicles such as caravans etc.
All agreed to add comment to response to DNP to consider a restriction on area being used for domestic vehicles – so that it cannot be used for vans, caravans etc.
437/6 Matters arising
1) Big Lottery Event Funding – No events in mind for PC but Cllr Murrell believes the Heritage Group were considering an application. Cllr Bell mentioned that the Playing Field wanted to arrange an event. Money must be for an event within the next year. Cllr Bell to consider further. c/f October (EB)
2) Defibrillator – Cllr Cruse confirmed further donations of £400 from Taw River and £100 from Nibble Club. Adoption of phone kiosk – Cllr Cruse re-stated the phone has not been used very much and only for Freephone numbers. We could have an emergency phone in the box – free for first year and £100 a year thereafter. All agreed to adopt kiosk and have emergency phone given the patchy mobile phone reception. Defibrillator – recommended by Community Heartbeat Trust – quote given by them for an unlocked box – £1,650 (no VAT) that includes training, counselling, governance. CHT manage the defibrillator and this covers a lot of services. Cllr Cruse will check when other parishes are having their training, and offer space on ours if they need it. All agreed to adopt kiosk and to sign contract for the order. ACTION: CLLR CRUSE
3) New Pavilion events – possible gathering at Christmas time. b/f October
4) Holly clearance at Billy Green – covered by StOC input earlier – Holly has been cut back as it was getting untidy; this area will be used for the StOCs 25 year bench.
5) Welcome pack to new residents – Cllr Cruse discussed draft – to include information about local groups and organisations, facilities. Councillors agreed that this should only be a letter, not a pack which would be hard and time consuming to keep up to date ACTION: CLLR CRUSE c/f October
437/7 Finance
a. Balances and budgetary figures were tabled. Transparency code – c/f to Feb to consider contract for website etc. Flood resilience – still have £525 to spend – this has previously been agreed to be spent on storage box, high viz jackets and spare hydrosnakes. Cllr Matthews will speak to Ann Verner-Jeffries with regard to siting storage box in Devonshire Car Park. Cllr Cruse to speak to emergency group for their input on choice of storage box. ACTION: CLLR MATTHEWS AND CLLR CRUSE c/f October
b. External audit – Clerk confirmed that the external audit had been completed and there were no outstanding matters which the auditors required us to deal with. There will be an invoice of £100 for the auditor’s fee. Clerk confirmed she had posted Notice of Conclusion of Audit on the website and notice board.
c. The following payments were approved:
Mrs L Rowlands Salary 2 months (Aug and Sept) £261.80
d. Transfer of Bert Stead archive funds of £250 to Heritage Group – approved.
Cllr Murrell will be attending Eastern Links meeting tomorrow at which TAP funding for verges will be discussed and the DALC annual conference where devolution of services.
437/8 Correspondence received
Correspondence was made available to Councillors.

Date of next meeting: 5 October 2016 at 7.30pm
Meeting ended at 21.47

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