March 2015 Minutes
A meeting of Stoke Gabriel Parish Council was held on Monday 30th March 2015 in the Village Hall
9 Members of the public were present
A Presentation was given by Cllr Howard Rawlings on the new up dated Parish web site. A number of questions were asked and it was agreed to finalise the web site at the next Parish Council Meeting in April. It was unanimously agreed that it was an excellent web site and the Council members gave Cllr Rawlings a round of applause. The Chairman then thanked Cllr Rawlings for all his hard efforts in bringing the web site up to date.
Present: Mr R Tully (Chairman), Miss E Bridge, Mr P. Fenwick, Mr I Jones, Mr H Rawlings and Mr J Robinson.
1:Apologies – Mrs C Hunt, Mrs R. Garner,
In Attendance - District Cllr Rose Rowe
2: Police Report – Cllr Robinson advised that he had not received any notifications from the Police. He did advise that there were a number of incidents during the month including an accident in Flood Street involving a car and a pedestrian, a local resident being reported as missing and the discovery of a war time bomb in a garden in Flood Street. It was thought that this was more likely to be a hand grenade. Also an incident was advised and explained by Cllr Bridge about an attempted abduction of a young lad and his dog in Aish Road late one evening. Both dog and lad were safe and this incident had been reported to the Police and local schools were contacted and advice given.. It appears that on a number of occasions a white van has been seen in and around the village and in other areas and it appears that the driver may be after the dogs for fighting to be used either as bait or to fight. Dog owners were advised to be vigilant. Cllr Robinson advised that he had not received a response to his second letter to the Police about the lack of communication and also advised that when he visited Paignton Police station to discuss this issue he found that the station had been knocked down. Cllr Rowe advised that the nearest station was now based in Torquay.
3 To confirm the minutes of the last meeting on 2nd March 2015
Taken as read and signed by the Chairman,
4 Matters arising from the Minutes – Cllr Jones advised that he had requested under item 12 that the Parish Plan group consider changing their name to avoid any confusion over the title Parish. He noted that in the April issue of the Parish Magazine it was still advertised as “Parish”. The Council agreed that it was causing a great deal of confusion as residents were querying why there were two Council meetings each month both at different times and venues. The Chairman then suspended standing orders in order to allow members of the public to speak. Cllr Bridge asked what the group had achieved in bringing issues raised in the original 2008 plan document forward and it appeared that nothing had been achieved. It was also suggested that as a new neighbourhood plan was in the early stages of being formed there was now no need for a Parish Plan as this would be super ceded and as was shown at the DPD Inspector’s meeting over Rowes Farm was not consulted or considered a legal document. The Chairman then re-instated standing orders. Cllr Fenwick reported that on the Parish Plan Group page on the new web site they in fact refer to themselves as a Community Group and members of that group that were present were asked to consider this change. He suggested he meet with Group members to review the site content.
5 Chairman’s Report – Cllr Tully advised that he had nothing to report.
6 Reports from County & District Councillors Cllr Rowe advised that there had been an alert over a T.B. scare in humans after a pupil and two former pupils had contracted the illness at a Newton Abbot school. Devon and Cornwall Police are joining forces with Dorset Police to streamline operational services across the three Counties but it should not seen as a potential merger at present. The Totnes High Street traffic order is still awaiting a final decision after the present ruling was overturned. A task force group has been set up by the County Council to see what makes a strong community. Ideas such as having an active Parish Council, meeting places for residents, social groups and events and supporting those in need. It was generally agreed that Stoke Gabriel was very lucky in all of these areas. Regarding the District Council Cllr Rowe reported that not much had happened as there were no further meetings until after the local elections. A new group manager for customer first had been appointed. Tracey Beeck would be responsible planning, housing, benefits, council tax, environmental health and customer care. Cllr Rowe suggested that she would be very busy. After 5th April an additional ten minutes grace would be given on a valid car parking ticket in council run car parks.
7 Reports from Sub-Committees Cllr Fenwick reported that Cavanna have advised that their plans have been submitted to South Hams today. The clerk will get a CD which will short circuit the line for information from SHDC. Regarding the Torbay Local PlanCllr Fenwick attended a meeting of the Paignton Neighbourhood Forum on Thursday March 19th to review the final submission of their response to the Torbay Local Plan Independent Examination. Following this, as agreed at the last meeting, an endorsementof their response, in addition to some other salient points, was submitted and acknowledged. It was also copied to SHDC who made their position clear. Cllr Fenwick quoted on their input to the duty to cooperate statements in the plan. “Firstly, so there is no misunderstanding, there is no undertaking for SHDC to take additional development from Torbay. We have worked with Torbay and Teignbridge on preparing the Duty to cooperate statement at the request of the Torbay examination inspector. We provided comments on this to ensure the individual decision making of the respective planning authorities is maintained. The presumption is that each planning authority will meet their housing needs within their own area”. Senior officers were aware of this undertaking and briefed leading members. Both Cllr Robinson and Cllr Fenwick attended a meeting on 28th March hosted by Dartington Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to discuss and share issues and information of common interest with other NP groups in South Hams and West Devon. 9 Town/Parish Councils attended (1from West Devon). 1 District Cllr attended. We were very much observers but this was an extremely interesting and informative session. Several key points came out of this for me:-
- Steering/core groups need to be well resourced
- The Plan must represent and be shown to represent the views of the population through effective consultation.
- The South Hams ‘Our Plan’ is being at best poorly communicated, is late, and there are benefits in getting moving quickly particularly with respect to housing needs and sites .
- West Devon seems to be in better shape.
- A separate web-site is of benefit since it allows blogs etc.
It was agreed that this was a beneficial meeting and there will be a follow up in June. With respect to the composition of our Steering Group we are still thin on the ground, and since the Cllrs / Parishioner count in the terms of reference could change after the election compared to the terms of reference Cllr Fenwick proposed that the next meeting is held in May with a call for help going again in the Parish magazine.
There were no planning applications to consider at a meeting held on 31st March which the following Councillors were present: Fenwick Tully, Robinson, and Bridge.
Planning Applications Granted by SHDC – None
Planning Applications refused by SHDC – None
Applications Withdrawn – None.
Appeals Received by SHDC – Proposed wind turbine – Lower Longcombe. Cllr Robinson advised that a further letter had been written to the Planning Inspectorate.
Ongoing Applications – Cllr Robinson advised that a letter had been received from the Department of Communities and Local Government advising that the Secretary of State had considered the request to call in planning application for the proposed dwellings on land at Great Court Farm. Unfortunately he had decided not to call in the application as it should be determined by the local planning authority.
9 Items raised on behalf of the Clerk – Cllr Robinson advised that he and Cllr Jones had met with members of the local branch of the Royal British Legion regarding the war memorial area in the village. It was suggested that the present area needed tidying up and the paving slabs re-pointed. The area opposite the war memorial also required tidying up and it was suggested that this area could be turned into a quiet area with a bench and some planters and be in memory of the late Cllr Pauline Ellis. Cllr Jones requested agreement that a plaque should be sited with the wording to include in grateful thanks for the work carried out on behalf of the village and the British Legion. It was unanimously agreed that these proposals should be accepted. It was also agreed that work should be started without delay in order for it to be completed well before the May celebrations. A letter had been sent to the Secretary of the Stoke Gabriel PCC confirming agreement for them to use the Parish orchard on 2nd May for the village May Fair. Cllr Robinson advised that the recent village pantomime had raised over £ 3000.00. Donations had been made to various local organisations including the school, scouts, preschool, the toddler group, the SGBA and the British Legion. It
was suggested that a letter should be written to the organiser congratulating them. Cllr Robinson then advised that the long awaited meeting with the two leading Cllrs at South Hams District Council had taken place on 12th March. At the Parish meeting it had been noted that six new bins had been requested to be sited in Rowes Meadow, along Aish Road, Vicarage Road and at the mill. This Council had agreed to pay for the bins and had just requested the District Council to arrange the emptying of the bins when the existing bins were emptied. Cllr Robinson had learnt from the Dog warden that the District Council were unable to assist with this request and at the meeting was told that the District Council try to encourage residents to use any litter bins in the village, of course the residents can always take the dog waste home and use the grey bin.
Every extra bin that is installed means that the lorry has to stop and with sixty one Towns & Parishes that takes many hours it is unlikely therefore that new bins will be made available within the village. Cllr Robinson also advised that he queried why it appeared that the Parish was receiving more that its fair share of affordable housing. Whilst he appreciated that affordable housing had to be made available he reported that new developments at Brixton had received 23%, Ermington 21% and the new development at Dartington only 20% of the number of dwellings would be affordable. The reply that both Cllr Robinson and Cllr Tully received at that meeting was simply that it depended on how much of a slope on the land would constrain the number dwellings being erected. It was quickly suggested that as Rowes Meadow was completely flat this was the reason why 30% affordable houses were allocated. The allocation of affordable houses on the new Paignton Road site had been proposed at 35%. Considerably more than anywhere else in the District. The developers had advised this Council that if they were forced to supply that number then they could not afford to supply any community buildings or land within the new site. Both Cllr Robinson and Cllr Tully had advised the District that this would not be accepted. It was agreed that further discussion could take place at the consultation stage.
10 Hoyle Copse Cllr. Jones’s reported that work had continued on the improvement to the western footpath and a number of users of the Copse had thanked the gang for this work. Cllr Jones also said that he had planted a new fair Maid of Devon cider apple tree in the village orchard.
11 Highway and Hedgerow Matters – Cllr Bridge remarked on the number of pot holes. Cllr Robinson advised that a meeting will be arranged to discuss this issue with Devon Highways and obtain their agreement for this Council to repair some of the pot holes. Cllr Robinson requested urgent thoughts regarding the state of the verges on the approaches to the village. He proposed that local boulder should be placed along both sides of the road on the verges without delay to stop further damage to the already badly damage grass areas. It was agreed that Cllr Tully would look into this issue.
12 Matters raised by Councillors – Cllr Bridge advised that she had received assistance from Devon Communities Together regarding a Parish housing needs survey would be carried out. The cost would be £ 2743.00 plus VAT and additional costs for postage. The form included certain questions which the Council felt were inappropriate for the village and Cllr Bridge agreed to discuss this with DCT and report back to Cllrs Robinson and Fenwick who will discuss the final version with her before it is dealt with on our behalf by DCT. Cllr Robinson passed round some 1946 photographs of two vessels moored in the creek one of which was the Glory.
It was proposed by Cllr Bridge and seconded by Cllr Rawlings to make the following payments:
Stoke Gabriel Village Hall – Hire January to March: £45.00
R Hunt and sons – Apple tree for Parish Orchard: £32.00
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.15pm
Date of next Meeting- The next meeting will be held on Monday 27th April 2015