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The Latest Parish Council Minutes

Churchstow Parish Council


Of the meeting held on Thursday 9th May 2019

Held at Churchstow Church Hall @ 7pm

Present:  Cllrs Hind (Chair), Stewart, Woodley, Barrett-Burn, Williams, Green, Johnson, Louisa Pepperell (Clerk).

Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, including the village resident who was in attendance for the AGM which was scheduled for 7pm prior to the usual meeting commencing thereafter.  The Chairman also welcomed Lee Johnson to the committee since being awarded a seat at the recent elections.

AGM Business:  Cllr Hind was appointed as Chairman of the Council.  Cllr Stewart was appointed as the Responsible Financial Officer.  The Council has adopted the West Devon Code of Conduct.

Apologies: Cllr Gilbert (DCC)

Minutes from the last meeting (14/03/19):  These were approved.  Signed by Cllr Hind.

Matters arising from last minutes:  Cllr Stewart reported that the solar panels for the speed sign had been ordered and he was awaiting contact from someone with regard to drilling the holes necessary to facilitate the panels.  The Chairman explained the situation regarding the speed signs and solar panels to the member of the public present.

The Chairman was in possession of the forms needed to set up a third banking signatory, himself, Cllr Stewart and Cllr Woodley were to complete and return the forms to the bank.

The subject of new village signs was discussed, Cllr Green had dome some research in to wooden signs and the cost had been £1000 per sign, it was agreed that that was definitely too costly and all Councillors are to do some more research and discuss again at the next meeting.

The cutting of the public grass was discussed and it was agreed that Bayleaf Gardening were doing a great job and the grass looked good.  A cheque was raised for the latest Bayleaf invoice.  The Clerk is to speak to Bayleaf to request monthly invoicing for the hours done specifically that month rather than the annual quoted amount spread over the year so they are up to date at all times.

Cllr Gilbert was not present to give a report.

Cllr Bramble was not present due to the very recent election of the Liberal Democrat member, Kate Kemp, taking his seat.  The Chairman relayed a message he had had from Cllr Bramble to say he would miss the contact and involvement with the Council and thanking them for their support over the last 8 years.  It was agreed across the Council that Cllr Bramble had been a pleasure to have at the meetings and his impeccable attendance to the monthly meetings and his thorough reporting and continuous support and advice had been truly valued.

It was agreed that the Clerk would ensure that the new Liberal Democrat representative was invited to, and sent an agenda for, all future minutes.

Clerk’s Report:  The Clerk gave all Councillors their Declaration of Acceptance and Register of Interest forms to complete in relation to the recent elections, these were all completed and returned to the Clerk for her to submit accordingly to SHDC.  Cllr Williams gave the Clerk his completed Election Expenses form and also provided the Clerk with the means to ensure all other Councillors could complete theirs, the Clerk is to ensure that this is done and all forms are returned to SHDC accordingly.

Cllr Gilbert had recently shared information relating to a Community Grant Fund which is available to Parish Councils, it is a maximum of £300 to be put towards aiding community connections.  The Clerk suggested it may be used towards costs for the Christmas Lights Party, it was also suggested that it may be used towards costs that may be incurred in trying to obtain the piece of land below Reeves Way.  The Clerk is to find out more information regarding the criteria and application process.

Cheques were raised for Bayleaf Gardening (see above) and for the Clerk salary.

Additional Matters:  Cllr Hind had attended a Neighbourhood Plan meeting for the Business and Economy focus group where they had discussed desires for Kingsbridge which had a theme of wanting to encourage more commercial business, Cllr Hind had stressed the point that Churchstow did not want any more commercial building within the village and its desire to protect its rural village aspect.

Cllr Stewart had attended a Neighbourhood Plan meeting for the Roads and Transport focus group where he had stressed the point that Churchstow is to have different consideration to Kingsbridge, that there is no footpath between the village and town and that car parking and speeding are issues in the village. He reported that specific solutions to the speeding on Pump Lane would be looked in to.  He had also made the point that if any further development was to take place in the village then infrastructure and footpaths need to be of serious consideration including the provision of a safe crossing on the A379 such as pelican crossing.  Cllr Stewart had also received the contact details of a planning lawyer who may be able to assist the Council in regard to the area of land adjacent to Reeves Way, Cllrs Stewart and Hind are to look in to this.

The Chairman reported on the latest communication regarding the Neighbourhood Plan, they had released a press release.  He also reported on the Joint Plan survey results.  The Chairman is to attend a meeting at Follaton House to discuss the affordable housing needs in Kingsbridge where a decision is to be made as to whether a housing survey is needed.

Any Other Business:  The Clerk had recently had the council laptop returned to her by the previous clerk, due to its condition Cllr Stewart was to dispose of it accordingly.  The Clerk is to request any final council possessions be returned by the previous clerk by the end of the month as it is a legal requirement for the Council to retain all records and want to submit aged records to the County Archive.

The Clerk is to email all Councillors with correct email addresses for each of them to ensure all future correspondences reach all councillors.

The meeting closed at 8:30pm.  

Next meeting to be held in the church hall at 7:30pm on Thursday 13th June 2019.