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Minutes of the Meeting of the Westleigh Parish Council held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 1st, March, 2017 at 7.30pm to consider the following business:

Present:   Cllr. K. Griffin (Chairman), Cllr. L. Burgess, Cllr L. Gear, Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts, Cllr B. Moores.

In attendance:   Mr M. Harris (Parish Clerk), Cllr F. Biederman (left the meeting at 7.50pm)

MH03/17.1: Apologies:   Cllr J. Edwards, Cllr S. Ettling.

MH03/17.2: Declaration of Interest and Dispensations

To receive declarations of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on this agenda.

None received.

MH03/17.3 Minutes of the meeting held on the 1st, February, 2017:

Cllr L. Burgess requested that the draft minutes be amended to include the following: That Cllr L. Burgess provided an update on the potential planning application, and circulated photographs of the proposals to Councillors.  As an action point Cllr L. Burgess was asked to report back at the next parish meeting, on any new developments.

Resolved: that subject to the above amendment the minutes of the meeting held on the 1st, February, 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.

Proposed: Cllr K.  Farrell - Roberts, and seconded by Cllr L. Gear (all in favour)

a)  Matters arising therein – no matters arising.

MH03/17.4 Correspondence and Communication

a)  To receive a summary of correspondence.

The following items were discussed under correspondence:

Andrew Woollacott Christie Estates –  Cllr K. Griffin reported that a site meeting had taken place with Andrew to discuss a number issues associated with Sticks Meadow.  Following the meeting an e-mail had been received which set out the proposed action to be taken by Christie Estates.  Cllr K. Griffin confirmed that as yet there was no evidence that the agreed actions had been undertaken  Action Point:  The Clerk to follow up the e-mail, and request an update on the agreed actions

Cllr B. Moores – update on planning application – 6, Langmead, Westleigh.  To be discussed later in the agenda.

Devon Air Ambulance – local landing sites – Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts confirmed that an approach had been made to Christie Estates on the potential for the cricket field to be used as a potential landing site for the Air Ambulance, yet no response had been received.  Discussion took place on the need to provide a 10-metre pole with small floodlights to illuminate the site.  Cllr F. Biederman confirmed that he would be prepared to fund the pole via his DCC Locality Fund.

North Devon Council (NDC) – details of the proposals for changes to the Recycling Service.  Circulated to all Councillors for information.

b)  County and District Council – Ward Member Reports

County Council – Cllr F. Biederman reported on the following:

Council Tax to increase by 4.99%.  3% on social care, and 1.99% on other services. The increases were necessary because of central government reducing the funds available to Local Authorities.

Road repairs – DCC have made funds available for repairs to local roads that are in a very poor state of repair.  Cllr F. Biederman invited the parish council to contact him with details of any roads that need urgent repair.

For information, it was reported that South West Highways has lost the contract with DCC, and that the Swedish company Skanska Construction Ltd will operate the contract from the 1st April, 2017.

District Council – Cllr B. Moores reported on the following:

Syrian Refugee Community Sponsorship Resettlement Scheme – NDC Executive debated the issue, and agreed to support two organisations to enter into the scheme. NDC to support 4 families.  Noted that resources are not being diverted from support for local issues.

North Devon Theatres –  NDC are committed to the provision of two theatres in Devon.  The package for the reopening of the theatres needs to be right

Fairer Funding for Schools – debate with local MP’s and central government continues the allocation of funds for ND Schools.

Funding bid – rough sleepers. Funding bid for £124,000 for a joint NDC/TDC initiative has been successful.

670k – affordable housing for community land trust schemes.  Set aside to work with local Community Land Trusts.

2017/18 – Council tax rise £5 increase for band D properties.  Necessary to balance the budget.

Planning application – 6, Langmead, Westleigh.  Cllr B. Moores confirmed that he had discussed the application with the appropriate planning officer at NDC, and had been informed that the application has still to be determined as there are issues to be resolved around the council’s policy on initial occupancy of a local dwelling.  Agreed to update as soon as a decision to approve or refuse has been taken.

Public Session – no parishoners in attendance.

MH03/17.05:  Finance

a)  Financial summary

The Clerk confirmed that the current balance in the Parish account is £6,223.  There are a number of outstanding cheques to be deducted from the balance, and a further salary payment to the Clerk.  The estimated balance as of the 31/03/17 is £4,697.

b)  Payments

The following payment were put forward for consideration:

Westleigh Village Hall – hire charges for parish meetings - £160. Grant for the operation of the Village Hall - £266. Total £426.  Cheque no’s 100418.

Resolved: that a payment of £426 be approved to the Westleigh Village Hall to cover hire charges, and a grant for the operation of the Hall.

Proposed: Cllr B. Moores and, Seconded: Cllr L. Gear (all in favour).  

c)  Income received:

     None received.

d)  Any other financial matters

     No other financial matters.

MH03/17.6:  Planning

a) New applications – no new applications received

b)  Planning decisions –  none for this meeting

c)   Other planning issues – Cllr L. Burgess confirmed that there was no further update of the potential planning application at Knapp House. Planning application – 6, Langmead, Westleigh covered under the District Council report.

7) MH03/17.7:  Review of Parish Projects, and other requested agenda items:

a)  Westleigh Footpath –  Action Point: Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts confirmed that he was awaiting a quotation for the resurfacing work.

b)  Maintenance Specification – Cllr K. Griffin confirmed that a number of quotations had been received to deliver the parish maintenance programme.  It was agreed to set a deadline for the 17th March. 2017, to allow time to receive any further quotes.  Discussion took place on the need for the successful operative/contractors to have in place public liability insurance.  Action point: Clerk to investigate the recommended level of public liability required to undertake the work, and in conjunction with the Chairman consider the quotations submitted, and appoint a contractor.

c)  Countryside Wildlife Fund – Cllr L. Burgess to report back at the next meeting.   

d) Assets of Community Value – Cllr K. Griffin confirmed that the Westleigh Public House had now been registered with NDC as an asset of community value.

MH03/17.08: – Agenda items for the next meeting

Westleigh Footpath – update.

Maintenance specification – update.

Countryside Wild Life Fund – option for funding bids.

Defibrillator – progress report.

Annual governance statement.

MH03/17.09: - Other items at the discretion of the Chairman:

Cllr L. Burgess requested that the dates for the consultative meetings on the future NHS services in North Devon, be posted on the parish noticeboards.  Action Point: Clerk to circulate the details to Cllr K. Griffin, and Mike Hudson.

The meeting concluded at 9.05 pm

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on a Wednesday, 5th, April, 2017. Commencing at 7.30pm.  Venue:  Westleigh Village Hall.