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Parish Council Minutes November 2nd 2021


Draft Minutes of a meeting held on 2nd November 2021 at 7.30 pm at Plymtree Village Hall.
Present: Cllrs I Robinson (IR), R Tift (RT), A Cook (AC), J Penman (JP), S Martin (SM), T Jedynak (TJ), J Franklyn (JF, Clerk)
59a/21 Apologies: S Stephens (due to illness)
59b/21 Declarations of Interest & Prejudice: None declared.

Meeting suspended to allow public questions and receipt of reports.

59c/21 Participation of members of the public and reports from representatives of Police, EDDC, DCC: No reports received
59d/21 Approval of minutes of meeting of 14th September 2021: The minutes were read, approved and signed as a true and accurate record as proposed by JP, seconded by TJ and agreed by those present at the meeting.
60/21 Actions from last meeting not otherwise on the agenda:
SM to write an article for the Parish magazine re relevant news from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. (Not done because of timelines).
SM reported that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner had recently called for bids for funding available to address the issue of road deaths. SM had submitted an outline bid for the sum of 50K to fund improved road safety near to the School. The PC had not been consulted because of short deadlines; the PC would be consulted in future should the outline bid prove successful.

An email from PCSO England re village liaison proposals and crime reporting frequency was considered.
New actions: Clerk to contact PCSO England and request that he attend at least one PC meeting. Clerk to inform PCSO England that the PC wishes to receive news of items especially pertinent to the village. The PC requests monthly crime figures to include a breakdown of the nature (category) of crimes (Done).

61/21 Finance:

Annual review of financial regulations. These had been pre-circulated by RT for consideration with a proposal for no change. SM robustly challenged the RFO re contents of the regulations with particular regard to guidance on tendering. Following a frank exchange of views the document was approved by those present and signed by the Chair. It was noted that councillors were free to read and propose amendments to the document at any time for further consideration by the PC at future meetings.

Risk assessment and management statement. It was noted that the risk assessment and management statement document had not been revised since 2013. A discussion followed re the potential importance and relevance of the document, especially in the context of a small Parish. SM sought better understanding of the mechanisms of operation of the PC.
New actions: Clerk to seek advice from DALC re appropriateness of current risk assessment document. PCs to personally review and feedback on the 2013 document. Chair to report back on the governance structure of the PC.

Balance of current accounts: Recent spends (since the last meeting as noted in the agenda) were noted and further approved.
Current balances (from 1st April 2021) were checked and agreed as proposed/signed by IR and RT, RT having pre-circulated the accounts.

It was noted there had been a recent award of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies (approx. £1500) from EDDC, with a second allocation to follow. EDDC will soon supply further information but it is so far understood that this sum allows spending on “infrastructure” with more flexibility around eligible spends than with Section 106 monies. As with Section 106 spends, parishioners are required to input to decision making.
New actions: Clerk to circulate further information re CIL once received from EDDC. SS to work with SM to create a communications plan and obtain project ideas from parishioners.

62/21 Section 106 monies (SS):
Actions from last meeting: SS to obtain formal costings for relevant projects. SM (as PC Village hall Committee rep) to discuss potential projects with interested parties including the Village Hall committee (re use of land), Cricket Club/Recreation Ground officers and Recreation Field landowner (to ascertain length of lease) (Done). SS to communicate outcomes to the PC ahead of further information being provided to parishioners via the parish Magazine etc.
In the absence of SS, SM reported that there were ongoing discussions with the Cricket Club/Recreation Ground officers who had been requested to obtain quotations for the works to the entrance of the Recreation Ground which have been provisionally agreed. Once received, SS will discuss further with Jamie Buckley and others at EDDC. Steve Newson, Village Hall Treasurer, had also been consulted; he had indicated agreement for the (provisionally agreed) outdoor table tennis table to be sited near to the Village Hall building. Mr Newson had also indicated the lease of that site, and that of the Recreation Ground, had been extended as required for these spends.
63/21 P3 activity and monies (TJ):
Action from last meeting: Clerk to hand over P3 paperwork to TJ and to facilitate TJ liaison/hand over with former Cllr Stride. (Done).
TJ agreed to liaise with Dr Stride (previous P3 officer) re P3 activities and to report back. JP had investigated information re clearance of Himalayan Balsam which has become evident on the banks of rivers in the Parish. He suggested that a working party of volunteers might be created to clear this invasive plant in early summer 2022 (in the absence of specific external funding or obvious responsible bodies).
64/21 Highways and Infrastructure and Road Warden update (RT):
RT reported that a further 19 potholes had been filled recently by road wardens led by AC. Further road warden activities necessitated re-licensing/new licensing of volunteers under Chapter 8 regulations since existing licences had expired. RT reported that three parishioners are enrolled on a Chapter 8 course (mandatory course to undertake this work and funded by DCC) on January 12th 2022. RT reported that he had chased up the replacement of new Plymtree village signs (after a previous error on the part of DCC in delivering signs of the wrong size). It was noted that DCC has re-instated its annual Highways Conference; RT and AC are registered to attend a virtual session on pot hole repairs and other relevant road warden matters on November 24th.
65/21 Creation of village interpretation board:
It was noted that there had been no recent activity due to the pandemic. TJ agreed to support RT in this endeavour in place of former Cllr Stride.
66/21 Road safety outside the primary school (SM):
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.
SM reported he had been unsuccessful in attempts to contact DCC Highways Dept. SM reported he is liaising with the Executive Head of the School, although it was noted that road markings are defined by statute and are under the remit of DCC who will therefore need to be contacted in due course.
67/21 Planning applications:
21/2388/PDQ and 21/2389/PDR Barn at Orchard Farm. Change of use to four dwellings. Submission of neutral response submitted.

21/2436/FUL and 21/2437/LBC The Granary Woodbear gardens. Replacement of roof lights, widening of doors and other internal alterations. Submission of neutral response submitted.

21/2454/FUL Land NE of Clyst William Cross. Erection of machinery store and regularisation of existing entrance onto the highway and hard standing. Submission of following objection noted: Plymtree Parish Council objects to the application based on the fact that the need for a machinery store for agricultural and forestry, as stated in the application, is not supported by an approved agriculture and forestry business currently being carried out on the site. While the application intends to regularise the existing vehicular access into the site, it makes no reference to the unauthorised residential facility currently on the site.

21/2507/FUL and 21/2508/LBC 2 Woodbear Gardens Addition of garden trellis Clerk to submit neutral response (Done)

Update re open meeting and villager feedback re proposal for Paytherden Solar farm. It was noted that no PC had attended the September open meeting on this solar farm proposal. SM had submitted an article to the Parish magazine raising the possibility of establishing a village working group to discuss the outline proposal. Two responses had been received, those responders asking to be informed of outcomes in due course. No further action was therefore proposed at this time, pending the submission of a formal planning application.
New action: SM to discuss with the School the potential availability of education-related funds awarded by the solar farm company should the development proceed.
58/21 Correspondence:
P Gimber re dead elm tree opposite school. It was noted that the tree had been felled recently.
P Gimber re Queen’s platinum jubilee tree planting (deferred from last meeting). The PC was minded to support the purchase of a tree to mark this milestone.
New action: Clerk to inform P Gimber (Tree Warden) of its agreement in principle and to suggest he consult the village and indicate a likely budget (Done).

Matters of urgency – items not on the agenda to be discussed at the Chairman’s discretion NB no voting permitted, discussion only.
SM asked for an agenda item to be added to the next meeting to discuss the use of hybrid/remote attendance at future PC meetings. This was denied by the Chair on the basis that the special Coronavirus Act powers which permitted remote/hybrid meetings to take place had lapsed such that all council meetings have to be conducted in person until such time as new primary legislation is brought forward.
Location for future meetings was discussed. All PCs agreed the Village Hall was the most appropriate venue.
New action: Clerk to book Village Hall for January, March and May PC meetings (Done).
Date of meetings for 2022: Tuesday 4th January, 8th March, 3rd May, 5th July, 6th September, 1st November at 7.30pm. January, March and May meetings to be held at the Village Hall.

Close of meeting at 9.50pm