Exmoor Parish Council Meeting

Thursday 29th November 2018 at The Sportsman Inn, Sandyway at 7.30pm

In Attendance: Cllrs B. Duke (BD - Chair), A. Vigars (AV), J. Chanter (JC), F. Schott (FS), and Clerk C. Hornsby

Members of the public: 0

Before the meeting started Sue Southwell of the Rural Housing Survey spoke about the new survey that will be created in the spring and asked if the Parish would consider taking part. It was AGREED by all Cllrs present that the parish should take part in the survey. Ms Southwell left and the chairman opened the meeting.

18/50                  Apologies for Absence      County Cllr F Nicholson and District Cllr S Pugsley                                                                                                

18/51                  Declarations of Notifiable Interest     None                                                                            

18/52                  Approval of Minutes - dated 27/09/2018   These were approved and Proposed by JC and 2nd by FS as a true and the chairman signed them as a true and correct record of what took place.                                                                                                                                                                       

18/53                  Matters arising from the Minutes     Discussed as points raised during the meeting                                                                            

18/54                  Finance Report -             Reconciliation as of 5th Nov 2018 £4028.68     Clerks pay and expenses: The clerk had previously circulated to all Cllrs the information from the National Association of Local Councils about the expected way to pay clerks. Exmoor PC has always paid a monthly amount and an extra for expenses but it is now more suitable to pay the clerks by the hour using a Spinal Column Point system and for them to claim for expenses on top. The pay is very nearly the same, just calculated by the hour and not a lump sum. The Cllrs discussed the matter and AV proposed and JC 2nd that this should be the way the PC pays the clerk. All Agreed. The clerk will now be paid on an hourly rate of £9.705 and is contracted to work one and a half hours a week. The clerk gets paid quarterly and so the pay will be £189.25 a quarter. This will be reviewed in July 2019 after an appraisal. Clerk is in the process of organising a contract.


Cheque No: 225 £ 119.00 - Simonsbath Sparkle one day event insurance Paid to Mrs C Hornsby as she organised the Insurance for 10th Nov 2018

N.B: Cheque No 226 was void.

Cheque No: 227 £203.05 - For Clerk pay for Oct, Nov and Dec (£ 189.25) and stamps and mileage expenses (£ 13.80) to be paid in January 2019 (Dated 5th January 2019)

Laptop: The clerk reported that Withypool & Hawkridge Parish Council (W&HPC) understood the maximum amount that Exmoor Parish Council were prepared to spend was £300 and that W&H PC were happy to keep their amount as £500 as there is more work for the clerk to do for W&HPC. Mr Tony Howard (W&HPC Chairman) and the Clerk will organise a new laptop to the value of £800.00. Website upgrade: The website is coming to end of free allowance and will exceed the 33 free files in the New Year. The cost will be £29.95 and the clerk explained that she will pay for the upgrade and claim back in the January or March meeting. All agreed that this was necessary.         

Budget: The matter was raised about the future costs to the parish for Salt as the SCC will not be paying for it in the winter of 2019/20. After much discussion it was agreed to raise the Precept from £2035.00 to £2500.00 which might help to go some way to pay for some Salt. At present there are 7 bags distributed around the parish which could end up costing over £1200.00 which means the amount of Salt bags distributed could may have to be reduced if the cost is too high for the parish council. Discussions are still being held at County level and the final decisions will not be announced till later in 2019. Precept: This was agreed by all Cllrs present to be raised to £2500.00 and was signed by the Chairman and Clerk. Clerk to send Paperwork to SCC.                                                                                                   

18/55                  Highways       AV raised the issue that The Sportsman Inn had mentioned the fact that during the last heavy rainfall, the water was rushing off the roads toward to pub. The Clerk to email Highways asking them to jet the drains and make sure they are free flowing.  Salting issue was discussed in Finance Report – See 18/54. There was concern over speed of traffic through Simonsbath for people on horseback.                                                                                                   

18/56                  Planning:  none at time of Agenda publication                                                           

18/57                  Parish Maintenance:  Telephone Box - the clerk raised the issue over the sad state of the Telephone box and will look in to finding out about cleaning and restoring it.                                                                                               

18/58                  Correspondence:    Information on the new Warding pattern                                                                                                            

18/59                  Report from District Councillor:       none                                                                                

18/60                  Report from County Councillor:      none                                                                               

18/61                  Village Social:  - Feedback on Simonsbath Sparkle - Saturday 10th November. All agreed that it was an excellent event which was well attended and was greatly helped by the good weather. Thanks to all who helped to make it a success and extra thanks to Lorna Vigars for the fantastic food. The PC hoped it will be the start of many more village social events.                                                                                                            

18/62                  Report from the Simonsbath Steering Group:    Trust is taking shape and Steering Group members are being asked to consider becoming as Trustee.  There will be a Walk and Talk by Rob Wilson-North and CH about volunteering for the gardens restoration on Friday 18th January at 11am at Ashcombe.                                                                                                                    


18/63                  Items for next Agenda: Nothing extra                                                                                                                    

18/64                  Date and Time of next Meeting

Future meeting dates:                                          

                                                                                      Thursday 7th February 2019 Simonsbath tbc

                                                                                      Thursday 28th Mar 2019 Sandyway tbc

                                                                                      Thursday 30th May 2019 Simonsbath tbc