Annual Meeting Minutes
STOKE GABRIEL PARISH COUNCIL
The Annual Parish Meeting was held in the Village Hall on Monday 18th May 2015 at 7 pm
Present: Mr R Tully (chairman), Mr S. Avery, Miss E Bridge, Mr R. Harris, Mr R. Hunt, Mr I. Jones, Mr H. Rawlings and Mr J Robinson
Apologies Mr P Fenwick,
In Attendance County/District Cllr. R. Rowe
8 members of the public were present
1: Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 19th May 2014
Taken as read and signed by the Chairman
2: Matters arising from the minutes – None
3: Chairman’s Report
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the Annual General meeting including the three newly elected Councillors. He also thanked the re-elected Councillors for agreeing to stand once again. The District Council elections had just been held and Rose Rowe had once again been elected to represent this Parish on the District Council. The local area has now changed and Rose, Jonathon Hawkins and Hilary Bastone all represented us together with Kingswear and Townstal. The number of Councillors has also been reduced from 40 to 31.
The Chairman reminded those present that he reported this time last year that one major concern was the lack of a regular full Police presence in and around the village and indeed at the regular Parish Council meetings. With Paula Frain, our regular PSCO, leaving this situation has got worse. We do not have a regular visit from either a PSCO or our Neighbourhood Beat Manager and do not receive regular reports through the internet channels. It appears that events such as barns being broken into, outboard engine engines being stolen and dogs being stolen are not important enough. The Chairman hoped that all would agree that being a farming community on the bank of a river these issues do concern us.
Well what has been happening the past year. Cavanna has held a number of consultation days and the steering group regularly meet. I would like to thank Cllrs Fenwick and Robinson and those Parishioners who agreed to sit on the steering group committee. The consultation plans have now been submitted to the District Council. As reported last year a mail drop was conducted to gauge the level of support to having a Neighbourhood Plan. Out of 1127 Parishioners 210 responses had been received and 180 were in favour. Cllr Fenwick proposed that we should go ahead and all was approved by the District Council. A steering group will now set up under the direction of Cllr Fenwick. We have been fairly successful in objecting to planning applications of concern during the year including wind turbines, over development of the old V & A car park and a telecom mast. Sadly one application we objected to was approved by the District Council, this being Great Court Farm development.
Although we are constantly being reminded about cuts in local spending this Council has been experiencing many problems with the District Council including a complete lack of response to e-mails, telephone calls and letters. Many ongoing issues such as ownership of the public toilets, waste bins, agreeing on the public areas around the village and planning are still outstanding. Now the elections are out of the way the Chairman hoped that many of these issues could now be solved.
On the whole it has been a very successful year. The new Stoke Gabriel web site was launched during the first week of May this year and is full of interesting facts and articles about the Parish. Cllr Howard Rawlings and his business partner Paul Duckett of Cloudberry Digital developed the site free of charge and members of the Parish helped upload data. A big thank you to all those involved. The gang have been working hard in and around Hoyle Copse, the Carnival was again a great success and the winter pantomime was able to donate over £ 3,000.00 to local organisations out of its proceeds. The village has been kept tidy by Plandscape and odd repair jobs carried out by our resident builder, Trevor Sedgbeer with his assistant Horace. The plot of land purchased for a future burial site is being prepared and a hedge has been planted as a boundary.
In September we lost a prominent and long standing member of this Council. Pauline Ellis had served for over 25 years and knew every inch of the Parish including its boundaries, field and quarry names and many more facts concerning her beloved Stoke Gabriel. This Council is going to erect a garden of remembrance opposite the war memorial with shrubs and a bench. This was an area that Pauline spent many happy hours tending the war memorial flower beds,
Finally the Chairman wished to thank Cllr Robinson for continuing to act as Clerk to this Council and of course saving us money which with the cuts in spending means that this Council can afford to carry out many services from its own funds. Many thanks also to Cllr Hunt who as Vice Chairman supported me and helped me as Chairman. Grateful thanks to my fellow Councillors for all their time and support given and finally to all those Parishioners who regularly attend these meeting and support their Council. Being your Chairman is a great honour.
4: Reports from Local Groups and Organisations
Cllr Ian Jones gave an interesting report on the work carried out by the Friends of Stoke Gabriel Church. FOSGC, a registered charity was formed 20 years ago with a remit to raise funds to assist the PCC maintain and repair the Church and the grave yard together with the Old School Room. With our grade 1 listed ancient Church being an important asset in the Parish its preservation is essential and regrettably the Exeter Diocese is unable to provide funding. The PCC has always been able to pay their dues to the Exeter Church Authorities but with the ever increasing costs of repair and maintenance additional funding is always required. The Friends are run by a committee of 11 with 3 trustees and currently 140 members. During the years the Group have raised in excess of £ 200,000.00 and in the past year alone over £ 40,000.00 was paid towards the cost of the new boiler and heating system. Normally about £ 12,000.00 is kept on reserve for emergencies which can always occur. The Friends are a non religious organisation and members do not have to be a Church goer just be interested in seeing the centre piece of our village preserved for future generations. Finally Cllr Jones advised that membership was only £ 7.00 and your partner goes free! The Chairman thanked Cllr Jones for his excellent report and for all the work he and the Friends carry out on behalf of the Parish.
5 Any Other Business
There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.10pm