Minutes of the Meeting of the Westleigh Parish Council held at the Village Hall on Wednesday,  5th, July, 2017 at 7.30pm to consider the following business:

Present:   Cllr. L. Burgess, Cllr L. Gear, Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts, Cllr J. Edwards, Cllr B. Moores,  Cllr S. Ettling.    

In attendance:   Mr M. Harris (Parish Clerk), 3 members of the public

MH07/17.01: Apologies:   Cllr K. Griffin, Cllr F. Biederman.

MH07/17.02: Declaration of Interest and Dispensations

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

None received.

MH07/17.03 Minutes of the meeting held on the 24th, May, 2017

Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting held on the 24th, May, 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.

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

a)  Matters arising therein – none.

MH07/17.04 Correspondence and Communication

a)  To receive a summary of correspondence.

The following items were noted under correspondence:

North Devon Council – consultation on Playing Pitch Strategy – response not required.

ND Biosphere Reserve – Tom Hynes – agenda item 7 b)

Internal Auditor – recommendations from audit 2016/17 – agenda item 5 d)

b)  County and District Council – Ward Member Reports

Devon County Council – Cllr F. Biederman – no report for this meeting.

North Devon Council – Cllr B. Moores – highlighted the following items:

The extension to the Barnstaple Museum will now go ahead.

Land at Brynsworthy has been allocated for a new waste transfer station.

The new Waste & Recycling arrangements have experienced some teething problems, especially with the collection of food waste.  These issues are being addressed.  Any residents having problems should report these direct to NDC – customer services.

Public Session – issues regarding food collection, and the non delivery of food caddies were addressed to Cllr B. Moores.  He reiterated the need to report any problems to NDC, and assured residents that the Council were aware of teething problems.

MH07/17.05:  Finance

a)  Financial summary

The Clerk confirmed that the current balance in the Parish account is £5,779.10

b)  Payments

The following payments were put forward for consideration:

James Adamson – Parish Maintenance  –  £100 cheque no 100430

Community First – Parish insurance 2017/18 additional items - £12.37 cheque no 100428

Parish Clerk – Expenses – Annual Internal Audit - £40.33 cheque no 100429

Resolved: that all the above be approved for payment.

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

c)  Income received:

 None received.

d)  Any other financial matters

Internal Auditor Report – key recommendations:

All expenditure should be supported by an invoice.

Regular Income/expenditure reconciliation should be undertaken by Councillors in conjunction with the Clerk.

The assets register should be updated, and insurance schedule should include the kissing gates, laptop and printer.

MH07/17.06:  Planning

Cllr J. Edwards declared an interest in this agenda item.  He agreed to update under 7 b) on the status of the planning appeal for 6, Langmead.

a) New applications – no new applications received

b)  Planning decisions –  Planning Appeal 6, Langmead, Westleigh

Cllr J. Edwards informed the meeting that the outcome of the appeal to provide an open market dwelling was dismissed.  The outstanding application for a local needs dwelling will now be withdrawn.  

c)   Other planning issues – no other issues.

7) MH07/17.07:  Review of Parish Projects, and other requested agenda items:

a)  Westleigh Footpath –  Action Point: Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts confirmed that he had not received a quotation for the resurfacing work.  However, after a discussion it was agreed that the option to provide grass matting would be explored. Action Point:  Cllr l. Burgess to investigate local availability and costs

b)   Countryside Wildlife Fund – A response had been received from Tom Hynes to confirm that there  is no record of a biodiversity audit having been undertaken in the Westleigh Parish.  Cllr L. Burgess subsequently contacted Sarah Jennings (County Ecologist), to confirm if any biodiversity data was available for the Westleigh Parish.  Action Point:  Clerk to contact Andy Bell (Biosphere Reserve) to a future Parish Meeting to discuss the Countryside Wildlife Fund, and the development of Parish based projects.   

c)   Councillors Code of Conduct – After a discussion it was agreed to circulate the current North Devon Council – Code of Conduct to read and identify on an individual Councillor basis, if there is a training need.  Action Point: Clerk to circulate the Code of Conduct.  Councillors to respond to the Clerk, where there is a training need.

d)   Old School Rooms – Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts confirmed that following assessments of the investment required to take forward the project, that no further action would be taken.

MH07/17.08 – Resignation of the Parish Clerk – A letter of resignation had been received from the Clerk explaining that he is unable to commit to 9 meetings in a year.  The Clerk indicated that reducing the meetings to 6 per year in line with an identified work programme could improve the efficiency of business for the Parish Council.  Following discussion it was agreed to put the proposal that the Parish reduce the annual meeting cycle to 6 to a vote, subject to the Clerk forwarding meeting dates with agreed key tasks to Councillors for consideration.

Proposal:  that the number of annual Parish Meetings be reduced from 9 to 6, subject to the Clerk circulating proposed meeting dates with identified key tasks, and consulting with Cllr F. Biederman, and Cllr B. Moores on the best day for Parish meetings

Vote:  5 in favour with one abstention. Proposed:  Cllr L. Gear.  Seconded: Cllr J. Edwards

MH07/17.09: – Agenda items for the next meeting

Westleigh Footpath – update on grass matting.

Countryside Wild Life Fund

Bus stops – safer road crossing.

MH07/17.10: - Other items at the discretion of the Chairman:

Cllr B Moores raised an issue relating to the provision of a crossing at the bottom of road from Westleigh Village to the bus stop and Tarka Trail.  Following a previous site meeting with DCC Highways, no further action has been forthcoming.  Action Point:  Cllr B. Moores to raise the issue with Cllr F. Biederman and report back to the next meeting.

The meeting concluded at 8.55 pm

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on a Wednesday, 6th, September, 2017. Commencing at 7.30pm.  Venue:  Westleigh Village Hall.

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