Hoyle Copse

May 2016 Minutes

The Annual Parish meeting of Stoke Gabriel Parish Council was held on

Monday 16th May 2016 in the Village Hall


9 Members of the public and one small dog were present

Present: Mr R Tully (chairman), Mr P. Fenwick (vice chairman), Mr S. Avery, Miss E Bridge, Mr R. Harris, Mr R. Hunt, Mr I. Jones and Mr J Robinson

In Attendance:   County Cllr Rose Rowe, District Cllrs Bastone and Hawkins


1     Apologies –  Mr H. Rawlings

2     To elect Chairman and Vice Chair – 

It was proposed by Cllr Robinson and seconded by Cllr Fenwick that Cllr Tully be re-elected as Chairman. This proposal was carried unanimously. It was proposed by Cllr Robinson and seconded by Cllr Tully that Cllr Fenwick be elected as Vice Chair. This proposal was carried unanimously. Cllr Tully thanked the Councillors for their support and for the honour of being Chairman for another year.

3     Sub committees

Cllr Robinson advised that in order to save time in the main meeting a planning sub committee meets at 6.30pm prior to the full Council meeting to discuss any sundry planning applications. These applications are only minor applications such as a replacement of a canopy or re-roofing a porch. Major applications are not discussed at these meetings and are always included on the agenda of a full Council meeting. Members of the planning subcommittee are expected to be able to attend planning site meetings which are also carried out during the working day to tie in with District planning officers and agents and occasionally meet at times other than Parish Council meetings.  The present members are Cllrs Robinson, Tully, Fenwick and Bridge.

The planning subcommittee meetings are open meetings and both members of the public and Cllrs can attend. Decisions are not made at these meetings but recommendations are made under item nine of the full Council meeting agenda when Councillors can request further discussion and vote on a recommendation if they feel it is necessary. Cllr Robinson then proposed that the current Cllrs continue as members of the planning subcommittee. This was agreed unanimously.


4     Police Report – Cllr Tully advised that he had great pleasure in introducing the Parish PCSO Kirsty Powell who has taken over from Paula Frain. Kirsty advised that she was still learning her way around the Parish but had regularly been in the village normally at the Village Stores. Kirsty intended to make a regular visit at least once a week and would advise Cllr Robinson the days that she intended making her visits. Kirsty advised that she was always available for a chat and give advice and was contactable either through Cllr Robinson or police number 101. She took on board various issues including obstructive parking and other local police matters. She would attend some monthly village functions such as the outreach luncheons so Parishioners could meet her and discuss any concerns. Cllr Tully on behalf of the Council thanked Kirsty for her time and looked forward to seeing at future Parish Council meetings.

5          To confirm the minutes of the last meeting on 25th April 2016

            Taken as read and signed by the Chairman,

6          Matters arising from the Minutes –  None.

7          Chairman’s Report  Cllr Tully welcomed everyone to the Annual meeting and thanked all Cllrs for giving up their time in helping to maintain out wonderful Parish and dealing with the monthly concerns and issues. Having looked back over the last few years policing issues have not improved. However having lost our previous PCSO he was delighted that Kirsty Powell had joined us this evening and now hoped that we would receive regular updates on the crimes. Cllr Tully hoped that with the election of a Police Crime Commissioner police matters would improve. During the past year the result of the Boundary Commission review was announced thus linking the Parish with Dartmouth and Marldon. It was suggested that being with Berry Pomeroy would have made more sense as it appeared the Commission had forgotten about the River Dart. This moved the chairman onto the Neighbourhood Plan and wished it minuted that credit should be given to Cllr Fenwick for starting the Parish NP on its path and assisted by Cllr Harris. He was however concerned by the lack of volunteers coming forward to help with the workload. The Neighbourhood Plan could change our jewel of the Dart picturesque village with the impact of any planning applications in White Rock, Yalberton and the Collaton area. The larger picture is the massive effect on the environment of Port Bridge and the Mill Pool. The realisation of the need for housing must be linked with jobs. With the houses at Rowes Meadow and the proposed houses at Coombe Shute and Paignton road the number of affordable houses will outweigh the 18 the recent survey showed that we needed. Cllr Tully suggested that the Government needs to focus on Brown field sites first and when they are exhausted focus on green field sites.

To support this idea the Parish should get behind the C.P.R.E. in its long term strategy of protection of areas like our Parish. The Chairman asked what difference will the joint local plan make and he hoped that working on new homes and jobs with West Devon, Plymouth City Council, Dartmoor National Park and South Hams District Council would make a difference. There was the ongoing problem of the Torbay development moving closer to our boundary with the great possibility of further road congestion and environment issues now the South Devon link road which opened in December pushing more traffic towards Tweenaway Cross and The Parkers Arms junction. Another concern was the safety of the former Gabriel Court hotel. Dog fouling with their irresponsible owners and fly tipping was on the increase. Regarding the issues over the village weed spraying and other Council led initiatives the Chairman advised that when the Council employs contractors Parishioners must not contact them but go through the proper Council channels. On the positive side the Rowes Meadow play area is soon to be completed, the successful scarecrow festival, the moving of the post office to the Stoke Gabriel stores with Roz being in charge, Hoyle Copse and all the work that Cllr Jones and his mighty gang do all add up to the improvement of the village and enjoyment of village life. The burial site will soon start progressing with the appointment of Peter Swallow of Hopwood Swallow to guide this Council; through the planning process. Our own web site is up and running which is helping residents, visitors and business. Cllr Tully expressed his thanks to Cllr Rawlings and his team for all their hard work. A new event which hopefully will become an annual one was organised by Cllr Fenwick who turned the walking of the parish footpaths into a community event. Thanks were given to Peter and Cllr Bridge who provided well earned food and drink after the walkers returned to the village. The Council advised that this Council receives support from County Cllr Rowe and District Cllrs Bastone and Hawkins. The District Council has a new planning and IT system called our plan for South Hams which it is hoped will improve the monthly issues encountered.


Finally the Chairman thanked Cllr Robinson for continuing to act as Clerk and Cllr thus saving the Council additional expenses and allowing this Council to spend money on the continued up keep and general services of the Parish. Thanks also to Cllr Fenwick 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. . 


8          Reports from County & District Councillors Cllr Row advised that during April there have not been many meetings for the committees of which she was a member. The Peoples Scrutiny Committee continues with its work to keep a watchful eye on any overspend within the peoples budget as this tends to be one of the areas where costs can be high .With looking after children in care, helping care leavers in their transition into adult life, finding suitable accommodation if it is needed and setting up home for the first time probably on their own. The people’s budget also deals with the elderly and vulnerable people and this takes up a lot of time and money to help those that need care and to be looked after in an acceptable way. Superfast broadband is a subject which frequently comes up at Parish Council Meetings. It is defined as 25mbps to reach 95% of the U.K.by 2019..Rural areas are under concern, as businesses may not be able to receive this. High Speed Broadband is essential for modern life and the lack of capacity in some rural areas is holding back the country side both socially and economically. South West Peninsula Rail Task Force is a working group set up after the Dawlish Storm in 2014 which cut of much of Devon and all Cornwall to main line train services from Exeter. It has launched a consultation on a vision to update the railways. The County Council has a representative on this group who is the chairman and he says the scale of the job is huge. We must aim for a faster more efficient service with improved links .There is a draft report available at www.peninsularailtaskforce.co.uk. At a farm estates committee meeting at the end of April there was a discussion with reference to the use of certain chemical sprays which are used for spraying i.e. herbicides, pesticides etc...Some of the chemicals are having an adverse effect on our wild life in particular at present we are concerned about Bee life. We are consulting to get a better advice on the effects and how we can help to address the outcome of the consultation. At the recent in house County elections Cllr Rowe was elected the Vice Chair of the County Council and the parish chairman wished her well in her new post.

District Cllr Bastone advised that the District Council continued to undertake a significant change programme in addressing the £1m budget gap predicted by 2020 in the Council’s funding position. The Council currently shares the majority of staff and systems with West Devon Borough Council which has resulted in significant savings for both Councils. Both Councils have jointly commissioned Pricewaterhouse to explore the detailed business case for developing a Local Authority Controlled Company. A local Authority Controlled Company will enable the Councils to bid for contracts to deliver services for other 

organisations and to be able to charge a profit margin for those services. If successful the profit could be reinvested in services to both Districts and help to reduce the funding gap. Residents and Parish Councils should notice no difference with services continuing to be delivered by the same staff from the same locations as they are now. The detailed business case will be considered at full Council meetings in June.  

9         Reports from Sub-Committees Cllr Fenwick advised that Cavanna have signed the 106 agreement regarding Paignton Road which is now with South Hams. Contracts have been exchanged on the sale of the house and the former Gabriel Court hotel and completion is scheduled for the end of July. The agent who acts for the seller was not able to reveal the identity of the out of County developer who has a portfolio of builds in Devon and Cornwall but it is understood  that pre –application meetings have taken place between the buyer and South Hams.

10        Neighbourhood Plan Report  Cllr Fenwick advised that the Steering Group met on the 27th April.  The first Grant Application submitted and the full village questionnaire was in final draft and would go out to in late May followed by a Feedback event in July. Pre-paid envelopes with additional drop off points and on-line survey monkey will be used. Articles in each issue of Stoke Gabriel News would be prepared. Cllr Fenwick advised that there were 35 Neighbourhood plans across SHDC and West Devon and SHDC workshops would be held in the next 2 weeks. The District has appointed a NP coordinator and Alan Storer will attend the next meeting on Wednesday 18th May. Cllr Fenwick requested agreement to have cheques signed between meetings to ensure that the process is carried out in time and it was agreed that both he and Cllr Robinson could authorise payments prior to Council meetings.  


Cllr Bastone asked whether Wi-Fi had been considered since the last meeting and it was agreed that Cllr Rawlings would be reminded to look at this possibility.  


11        Planning  The following planning applications had been considered at a meeting held on 16th May.


  1. 1.   0913/16/COU Benison, Flood Street – Retrospective application for replacement wooded shed in front garden for use as dog grooming business. As the awaited additional Information had not been received it was agreed to request this and a further extension.


  1. 0011/16/OPA  Land at Four Cross, Paignton Road – 9 dwellings – Additional ,information received The additional information has been discussed and it was agreed to remain with our original recommendation of objection


  1. 3.   1083/16/HHO  2 Paignton Road – Alterations and extension to the rear   Support of extension to original dwelling at rear but recommend refusal of changes to the existing garage  

Ongoing Applications –  Cllr Robinson advised that he was very concerned about decisions being made by planning officers which were not in accordance with instructions given by District Ward members. It was agreed that a list be prepared and sent to the Parish ward members. Cllr Robinson advised that progress was being made regarding the burial site. 

12        Items raised on behalf of the Clerk – Cllr Robinson advised that he had looked into the costings of defibrillators and prices differed greatly. Cllr Hawkins advised that Kingswear had recently purchased a machine and suggested that it would be worth discussing the issue with them. Cllr Robinson advised that a first aid trainer would be willing to arrange defibrillator training to a small group of about 15 attendees. It was agreed to write to the Chair persons of the village groups and organisations to offer them the opportunity of attending. It was agreed that the Mayor elect of Totnes could wear her chain of office to the annual village art exhibition in August. Cllr Robinson advised that the Post Office would be moving to the Stoke Gabriel Stores on 29th June and opening the following day. Progress was being made with the transfer of the village toilets and the paperwork had been passed to the District legal department.

13        Hoyle Copse Cllr. Jones advised that not much work had been carried out but the Copse was looking very good. The new seats had been received and one in memory of Les Knapman had been positioned near the lime kiln. A second seat in memory of Nick Hill will be sited once agreement had been received from Bunty Hill. Discussion would take place as to the repairs required to the lime kiln.

14        Highway and Hedgerow Matters – Cllr Avery advised that he had received a letter from a resident of Rowes Meadow whose garden backed onto the burial site. A request had been made to allow him to tidy up the joint boundary Devon bank. This was agreed and a letter would be written. He also advised that he had been in contact with Torbay Council regarding the state of the roads both in Yalberton Road and Galmpton Road at the top of the hill leading down into Galmpton Village. As Torbay had some spare cash they confirmed that this would be considered.  Cllr Robinson advised that village weed spraying would be carried out when the weather was clear and not windy. It was agreed to accept the quote received from Plandscape of £ 325.60 to prepare the three flower beds on the approach to the village. The quote for the hanging baskets was considered expensive and it was agreed to see if it would be reduced. He read out an e-mail received from the District Council regarding the rising problem of dog fouling and reminded those present that there was a hefty fine if someone was caught. It had been noticed that a number of people still allow their dogs to wonder in the village orchard without a lead despite notices being attached to the access gates. Cllr Bridge advised that a horse had recently died from eating a dog poo bag that had been left hanging on a bush.  Cllr Avery advised that the Rowes Meadow kick about area was almost finished. There had been reports of anti social behaviour in Rowes Meadow which was being dealt with by the police. The issue concerning Andrews Park was still ongoing and it was suggested that contact should be made with the newly appointed enforcement officer. Cllr Robinson will deal with this issue. Cllr Robinson read out a news release received from the District Council regarding fly tipping. They advised that this practice was increasing and the District Council welcomed Government plans to raise fines for those that blot the landscape with fly tipping. From 9th May the minimum fine would be £ 150.00 with a maximum fine of £ 400.00. It costs Council tax payers a massive £ 31,998.00 each year. Cllr Tully suggested that the fines should have been increased further to stop with unacceptable practice.     


15        Matters raised by Councillors –  Nothing was raised under this heading.

16        Accounts  It was agreed that Cllrs Tully and Robinson could sign the annual audit form and submit it to the External auditors


It was proposed by Cllr Avery Bridge and seconded by Cllr Hunt to make the following payments


                                                                                                                                  VAT Reclaim                     

John Robinson – May Expenses                                     £    250.00

Ian Jones – Purchase of two benches for Hoyle Copse     £    397.99                                £  66.33    

Plandscape – Verge and orchard cut April 2016               £    114.00                                £  19.00



There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.45pm


Date of next Meeting-  


The next meeting will be held on Monday 27th June 2016