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Parish Council Minutes 4th May 2021

PLYMTREE PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING

Draft Minutes of a virtual meeting held on 4th May 2021 at 7.30 pm.
Present: Cllrs I Robinson (IR), R Tift (RT), A Cook (AC), JI Penman (JP), S Stephens (SS), J Franklyn (JF, Clerk)
26a/21 Election of chairman: Cllr Robinson was elected Chairman unanimously (as proposed by RT, seconded by AC) and duly accepted office.
26b/21 Casual Vacancy: The recent resignation of Cllr Amanda Stride was noted. She was thanked for her excellent contribution to the PC, especially as P3 representative.
New actions: Clerk to complete casual vacancy paperwork and send to Electoral Services Officer of EDDC to allow consideration of requirement for an election (Done). Informal approaches to be made by PCs re filling of casual vacancy.
26c/21 Election of vice chairman and other positions of responsibility: The following positions were appointed unanimously: Vice Chairman: J Penman, RFO: R Tift, Church House Charities rep: A Cook, Highways and infrastructure: R Tift, Village Hall committee rep: S Martin, Section 106 monies liaison: S Stephens. Responsibility for Pathways/P3 matters was not allocated pending appointment of a new Parish Councillor.
27a/21 Apologies: None received.
27b/21 Declarations of Interest & Prejudice: None declared.

Meeting suspended to allow public questions and receipt of reports.
27c/21 Participation of members of the public and reports from representatives of Police, EDDC, DCC:
Chris Sowerbutts of Lightrock Power attended virtually; he outlined plans for the proposed Paytherden solar farm near Clyst Hydon and answered questions from the PC as well as one parishioner (T Matthews) and a member of the public from a neighbouring parish (M Jones).
It was noted that Lightrock Power plans to host consultation meetings in person (once allowed) and provisionally in June/July, having prolonged its consultation process in light of the pandemic.
Lightrock Power aims to submit a planning application in mid July. This may be for a site of 140-160 acres generating up to 49 megawatts of electricity.
Any application will include a land management plan (which will be binding). Numerous plans to address ecological and environmental objectives were displayed and outlined. The proposed site has been reduced by two fields in view of feedback re visual impact. The viability and effectiveness of sheep grazing were outlined.
The PC was asked to provide specific input re Lightrock Power’s proposal to create an interpretation board re local ecology adjacent to the footpath traversing the site and running between Plymtree and Clyst Hydon. The PC was also asked to consider provision of potential support by Lightrock Power (via funding and/or expertise) to local community projects addressing their “pillars” of environment, ecology and education. It was noted that the PC (via Cllr Martin [who was absent]) plans to invite parishioner views on the wider proposal through establishment of a small working party which might also address these specific proposals for community enhancement from Lightrock Power.
27d/21 Approval of minutes of meeting of 2nd May 2021: The minutes were read, approved and will be signed as a true and accurate record as proposed by AC, seconded by SS and agreed by all.
28/21 Actions from last meeting not otherwise on the agenda: None

29/21 Finance:

The final accounts for 2020-21 had been circulated before the meeting and were approved by all as proposed by RT and seconded by AC and signed off by IR and RT.

Balance of current accounts: Recent spends (since the last meeting as noted in the agenda and additional recent spends re DALC subscription and cost of dog bin emptying) were noted and further approved. Current balances (from 1st April 2021) were checked and agreed (subject to correction of a minor error) as proposed/signed by IR and RT.

It was noted that Sarah Morgan had kindly recently completed annual internal audit of accounts and financial matters; she was thanked for this important contribution.

The Annual Internal Audit Report for 2020/21 was signed off on 2nd May 2021 by the Internal Auditor.

29a/21 The Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2020/21 (AGAR) Certificate of Exemption were considered and approved by all as proposed by RT and seconded by AC.

29b/21 The AGAR Annual Governance Statement was approved by all, as proposed by RT, seconded by AC.

29c/21 The AGAR Accounting Statement was approved by all, as proposed by RT, seconded by AC.

Arrangements were made for signatures to be added by IR, RT and Clerk prior to submission to the external auditors and publication of relevant papers on the village website.

30/21 Section 106 monies: SS reported that a large number of “votes” for various proposals had been received from parishioners following publication of eligible outline proposals in the parish magazine and on village notice boards. SS plans to collate those “votes”; no specific deadline has been set but once votes cease to be submitted an end date will be established and results disseminated.
31/21 P3 activity and monies: It was noted that no specific actions are required at this time. It is hoped that a replacement PC will accept this area of responsibility once appointed.
32/21 Highways and Road Warden update (RT): It was reported that some verge/bank areas had been “strimmed” recently; others will be strimmed soon. It was noted that there are potholes which require filling.
New action: RT to order new materials for pothole filling
RT reported ongoing discussions with DCC re run off of highway water into the village recreation ground (which is being explored further) as well as a potential underlying problem re emergence of large potholes and partial road collapse close to Hayne Cross.
It was agreed that the village information box (old phone box) requires repainting along with the two village bus shelters.
New action: RT to obtain three tenders for the painting of phone box and bus shelters.
It was noted that new village signs ordered via DCC had yet to arrive. RT will chase up.
33/21 Creation of village interpretation board:
It was noted that there had been no recent activity; RT will progress as soon as feasible, perhaps alongside new PC.
34/21 Road safety outside the primary school:
Action from last meetings: SM to contact Phil Morgan of DCC Highways Dept in the first instance to discuss potential changes to road marking and other safety measures outside the village school. (Not yet done).
35/21 East Devon local plan consultation: It was noted that the Clerk had posted notices inviting parishioners to comment directly on the draft plan. No responses had been received by the PC.
36/21 Coronavirus matters: It was noted that the next PC meeting (scheduled for July) will be held in person (subject to contrary government advice). It was noted that there may be a requirement to hold an annual village meeting (despite lack of activity by many groups in view of the pandemic); the Clerk will establish that requirement.
37/21 Planning applications:
The earlier presentation and feedback session involving Chris Sowerbutts of Lightrock Power re preliminary notification of a future planning application for creation of Paytherden Solar Farm near Clyst Hydon was noted. It was noted that SM had written a short article for the Parish Magazine requesting expressions of interest to join a small working party to discuss.

It was noted that a planning committee meeting of Mid-Devon DC to consider the proposed solar farm at Langford had recently been held remotely; a decision had been deferred pending a site visit by the committee and further information being required.

21/0756/LBC Normans Green House Replacement/refurbishment of windows, rendering etc. Submission of neutral response noted.
21/0789/FUL Hayne Farmhouse Construction of covered silage clamp. Submission of neutral response noted.
38/21 Correspondence:
Email re littering with dog poo bags (Mrs J MacKintosh) New actions: IR to submit a short piece to the parish magazine outlining the problem and indicating the significant cost to parishioners (via the PC) of regular emptying of the three available bins. Clerk to respond additionally to correspondent (Done).

Emails (multiple) from neighbouring parishioners re proposed Paytherden solar farm (see earlier item). These had largely raised issues re the duration/virtual nature of the preliminary consultation; these had now been addressed.

Email re financial contribution to shop purchase of bike stand (via Cllr Stride). It was noted that provision of bike stands is one of several active proposals under consideration for funding via section 106 monies. It was agreed to defer a decision/response until section 106 spends have been clarified.

It was noted that IR had been approached by a parishioner re parking of contractor vans near to the house building site at Norman’s Green. IR had responded and SS was monitoring.

Matters of urgency – items not on the agenda to be discussed at the Chairman’s discretion NB no voting permitted, discussion only. None.
Dates of meetings for 2021: 6th July, 14th September [note later date], 2nd November all at 7.30pm. Note changed venue – meetings at Village Hall.
Close of meeting at 9.29pm.