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Minutes of the Westleigh Parish Council Meeting held on 27th July at the Parish Hall

Attendees – Cllr David Fairbrother (Chair), Cllr Chris Heard (Vice-Chair), Cllr Lesley Burgess, Cllr Colin Frajbis, NDCllr (&MP) Selaine Saxby, Roger Levick (Parish Clerk)


1. Apologies received in respect of the meeting – Cllrs Lyn Gear, Kevin Farrell-Roberts, and DCCllr Frank Biederman

2. Declarations of Interest – to receive Declarations of Interests from Councillors of any disclosable, pecuniary, or other Interests in items on the agenda – none received

3. Minutes – to confirm and agree the signing of the minutes of the meeting held on the 5th May 2021 - Unanimous

4. Correspondence and Communications – 1. Paul Nethercott (Airband Liaison) wanted parishioners reminded that they could still register their interest in hi-speed broadband on www.airband.co.uk if they hadn’t already done so. 2. PFK Littlejohn (National Auditors for Local Councils) had agreed and signed off WPC accounts. 3. Various Climate & Environmental emails had been forwarded to all Councillors

5. Public Session – 15 minutes where Parishioners can raise any issues of concern within the Parish, or concerning the Parish – No parishioners attended, and no questions had been received.

6. County and District Ward Members reportsNo report from DCC due to personal circumstances. The PC had previously forwarded the Council’s condolences. NDCllr (&MP) report – see appendix 1

7. Finance – to receive an update on the current financial position of Westleigh Parish Council, and also to confirm authorisation of those payments made between May 5th and July 21st – see appendix 2. Unanimous

8. Planning mattersit was noted that planning applications 73420 (Pines at Eastleigh) and 73233 (Manor Lea) had been approved

9. Eastleigh Defibrillator – defibrillator training  - it was agreed that dates should be sought for training in Sept/Oct as life should have settled somewhat following the lifting of lockdown.

10. Highway issuesno specifics apart from the usual complaints about potholes, although it was noted that the 2 at the junction of the Westleigh turn, had been filled

11. Environmental issuessee appendix 3

12. Agenda items for the next meeting (Wednesday 1st September) to include possible co-option of a Parish Councillor

13. Any other business not covered – Cllr Frajbis asked if the Council were still planning to hold a Village Fete in 2022. Unanimously agreed

14. The meeting closed at 21.10 hrs

Appendix 1 – NDCllr (&MP) Selaine Saxby

Broadband concerns have been lodged with the Openreach parliamentary team for 3 separate postcodes in Westleigh and Eastleigh as discussed.

Met with Police and Crime Commissioner, County Council and police to discuss potential solutions to parking in Instow, and across North Devon.  County and District Councils are now looking at how they can better share resources so same enforcement officer is working in car park as well as double yellows.  There are vacancies across Devon for enforcement officers.  Letter to ministers to ask for additional messages centrally to encourage visitors to tourist destinations to park considerately to enable emergency vehicles to gain access.

Planning concerns around Barton Lane in Instow as had been raised at Instow Parish Council last week; and raised concerns about the unpopularity of the Local Plan and how the five year land supply is increasingly under threat where developments in the plan are not proceeding.  The Local Plan link has been shared with the clerk post meeting. https://consult.northdevon.gov.uk/portal/planning/localplan/adoption/

Affordability was discussed and definition has been forwarded to Cllr Frajbis and the clerk https://www.devonhomechoice.com/how-it-works

Planning restrictions on holiday lets also discussed and whether can be reversed.  Information from new Head of Planning shared with Council (DM18(3)). Paragraph 13.109 states ‘Proposals for the removal of holiday occupancy restrictions will be supported when it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority that the accommodation is no longer required to meet the tourism needs of the locality. The Local Planning Authority will require applications for the removal of occupancy conditions to demonstrate there is no demand for the property in the locality. Marketing will be considered to be appropriate when the property has been presented to the market at a reasonable price, with appropriate conditions identified and for a period of at least 12 months prior to the application's submission’

Planning White Paper coming forward in September and have raised directly with MHCLG ministerial team some of the issues being experienced in North Devon with planning apps

Advised that a virtual COP26 event is being held on 18th September, details to follow

Offered to meet with Christies team to discuss matters of concern to the parish council as have previously undertaken for Instow Parish Council

Appendix 2

Painting of Eastleigh Phone Box     £110

Clerk’s Salary – 3 monthly      £495.40

Parish Insurance       £256.92

Internal Audit Fee       £36

Clerk’s expenses – stamps & stationery    £43.84

Bank Balance as at 27th July      £4065

Appendix 3 – Cllr Burgess

Green Lane leading to quarry, Westliving- Cllr Burgess emailed WPC regarding her concerns about a fence, now placed but not yet installed, across the access to the lane. PC to forward the email to Andrew Woollacott. No reply to date.
Councillor Burgess had contacted Martin Caddy (Footpaths Officer) to confirm it was not an established footpath. Cllr Frajbis said the lane had been used by villagers for many years.
Action: to check whether there are any rights to roam which could enable access.
Westleigh Memorial Garden- Councillors confirmed the garden is now looking much improved and no longer a concern.
Westleigh Planting of wildflowers Project- Cllr Burgess noted that since verges and margins have been left uncut and uncultivated, flowers are growing naturally. She questioned whether we needed to plant seeds, when the plants and flowers are there already.
Action: WPC speak to Jez on ways forward
Clifford Darke - PC to speak to Clifford regarding our ideas and interest in the field.
Hedge Cutting- Concerns were expressed again about the severe cutting of hedges in the parish and elsewhere. Action: Selaine to email Cllr Burgess with further information about hedges and good practice.  
https://hedgerowsurvey.ptes.org/healthy-hedgerows-on-your-land                                         Climate Emergency - Selaine advised that there were grants coming through and advised the Council to apply for everything they could.