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Minutes of the Meeting of the Westleigh Parish Council held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 1st, July, 2015 at 7.30pm to consider the following business:

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

In attendance: M. Harris (Parish Clerk)

There were 5 members of the public in attendance.

MH07/15.1: Apologies: Cllr F. Biederman

MH07/15.2: Declaration of Interest and Dispensations

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

Cllr J. White declared an interest in respect of item 12 on the agenda. This item was moved into public session, and discussed under item MH07/15.4.


Chairman to move: Agreed for the meeting to be adjourned and go into Open Forum.

MH07/15.4 Open Forum – Residents are invited to give their views and questions for the Parish Council on issues on the agenda, or raise issues for future consideration.

All Councillors agreed to take Item 12 – Shipping container and hedge bank – Oxman’s Cottages in the Open Forum. Cllr J. White left the meeting during these discussions.

Cllr K. Griffin explained that he had been contacted by two Parishioners who had complained that there is a continuing breach of planning enforcement in respect a shipping container at 8, Oxman’s Cottages. A member of the public explained that the Planning Officer at North Devon Council (NDC) had confirmed that there were no outstanding planning requirements associated with the consent. This, on the basis that in time the Shipping Container will be removed and the gap in the hedge will be reinstated.

It was confirmed that intentions is to remove the shipping container, once the work at the property had been completed.

Police, County and District Council Ward Members Reports:

a) Police Report – no reported crime since the last meeting held on the 20th, May, 2015.

b) Devon County Council – No report.

c) North Devon Council – Cllr B. Moores confirmed there was nothing to report from NDC.

Chairman moved to end the adjournment.

MH07/15.5: Minutes of the Meeting held on the 20th, May, 2015.

Proposed by Cllr K Farrell – Roberts, and seconded by Cllr. J. White that the minutes of the meeting held on the 20th, May, 2015, with the agreed amendment, are approved a true and accurate record. The minutes were duly signed by the Chairman.

MH07/15.6: Matters Arising/Review of Actions items not on the agenda.

Review of actions from meeting held on the 20th, May, 2015:

a) MH05/15.7 – Eastleigh bench – DCC application form for permission to locate on a highway was completed and forwarded to DCC.

b) MH05/15.7 – War Memorial Gardens – no action to improve maintenance, follows a visit to the site by Councillors.

c) MH05/15.7 – Highway Issues – Clerk confirmed that the issues with potholes in the Parish had been reported to DCC Officers. No response had been received. The Clerk has reported the outcome to Cllr F. Beiderman.

d) MH05/15.9 – Councillor training – Clerk reported that two Parish Councillors had attended the “Being an Effective Councillor” course.

e) MH05/15.12 – The Clerk confirmed that a response had been received from NDC in respect of Myrtle Cottage in Westleigh, and that at present no enforcement action could be taken. However, NDC Officers will be writing to the owners to request that the owners carry out improvements on the property.

f) MH05/12 – The Clerk confirmed that he had contacted Christie Estates and reported the incident at Sticks Field. The Estates management will contact the owners of the horses.

MH07/15.7: Review of Parish Action Plan:

Eastleigh Bench

The bench is being made, and should be ready to fit in middle to late July.

Provision of Footpath – Westleigh

Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts confirmed that the work to provide the footpath will go ahead within the next 2-3 weeks. Christie Estates have identified an additional cost of £300 to complete the work. Cllr B Moores confirmed that he will allocate £200 from his Councillor grant, the remaining £100 to be paid from Parish funds. Action: Clerk to contact NDC to confirm Councillor Grant

War Memorial Gardens – Maintenance

All agreed to take no further action under this heading. However, it was agreed to design a poster inviting Parishioners to attend a future Parish Council meeting to discuss maintenance issues across the Parish, and how best to organise activity on a local basis. Action: Cllr J. White to design a poster for the Parish noticeboards and the website.

Highway Issues

Repairs to potholes in Parish have not been undertaken by DCC . Reported to DCC, no response. Cllr F Beiderman informed of the lack of response from DCC.

Casual vacancy – Parish Council

The Clerk introduced the item by giving a background to the current vacancy, following the election process. The Clerk confirmed that following taking advice from NDC Election Officers that the vacancy was not in fact casual, but a vacancy for a Parish Councillor. Further that the Parish Council were able to advertise the vacancy, and accept applications. The Clerk confirmed that one application had been received in respect of the vacancy.

A lengthy discussion took place on the process adopted to fill the vacancy. It was decided that a vote be taken on the one application received.

Proposed by Cllr J. White, and seconded by Cllr L. Gear that the application received to fill the vacant Parish Councillor post be consider by voting by a show of hands. A majority of Councillors were in favour of the application (ref: Westleigh Parish Council – Standing order 3.11).

Confirmed that John Edwards be appointed as a Westleigh Parish Councillor.

MH07/15.8: Chairman’s Report.

Cllr J. White had circulated a report prior to the meeting. Agreed to note the report.

Action: Clerk to arrange for Councillors to have individual Parish e-mail address.

MH07/15.9: Correspondence

Two items of correspondence were received:

Barclays Bank change of cheque signing arrangements. Action: Clerk to respond.

A letter from Richard Squire NDC Officer relating to Myrtle Cottage, Westleigh, Devon, EX39 4NL Action: NDC to write to the owner and send copies of photographs taken during the inspection, and advise that the owner looks to sort out the problems identified.

MH07/15.10: Finance

The following request for cheque payments were put forward for consideration:

A cheque for £10.58 to Community First – additional Insurance policy renewal – to include the two Parish noticeboards on the schedule.

A cheque for £334.96 for the Clark’s quarterly salary, and administered cost.

A bank statement to June 2015 – confirmed balance of £4,527.53

Resolved by all Councillors: That the above cheque payments are approved for payment.

MH07/15.11: Planning.

a) New applications – 59039 – Listed building works replace existing UPC double glazing at the Pines, Eastleigh, and Bideford. Action: No comments on the application from the Parish Council

59385 – Extension to dwelling at Firsview, Ashridge, Eastleigh.Action: Cllr J. White confirmed she had visited the site. Action: No comments on the application from the Parish Council.

b) Planning decisions – 57608 – Appeal Under Section 78 – Erection of a 500KW Wind Turbine – Land at Eastleigh Barton. A previous letter dated 3rd, July 2014 was sent by the Parish Council to the Case Officer at NDC, in response to the original planning application. Agreed that the Parish Council has nothing further to add in respect of the Appeal.

c) Knapp House – Cllr L. Burgess had circulated a written report prior to the meeting. The report was noted. It was proposed by Cllr B. Moores that a vote of thanks be recorded to Cllr L. Burgess for all her hard work in following the public enquiry, and reporting back to the Parish Council

MH07/15.12: matters raised by Councillor’s.

The vacant position of Vice Chair was discussed, and it was proposed by Cllr K. Farrell – Roberts that Cllr K. Griffin be appointed as Vice Chair of the Parish Council, this was seconded by Cllr B. Moores.

After a vote at the meeting by a show of hands, Cllr K. Griffin was duly appointed as Vice Chair.

MH07/15.13: Agenda items for the next meeting.

It was agreed to include the following items on the agenda for the next meeting in September:

Oxman’s Cottage – Planning issues

Protection of bats in the Parish

Use of the Village Noticeboards

Date of next meeting:

Note the next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on a Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015. Commencing at 7.30pm. Venue: Westleigh Village Hall.