Exmoor Parish Council Meeting

Held at The Sportsman Inn, Sandyway on Thursday 25th July 2019 at 7.30pm

In Attendance: Parish Cllrs F Schott (FS - Chair), J Chanter, A, Chapman, T Gowlland (FS),                                              County Cllr F Nicholson (FN), Mr Steven Pugsley and Clerk & RFO C. Hornsby

Members of the public: 0

19/19 Apologies for Absence   A. Vigars (AV),                                                                                                   

19/20 Declarations of Notifiable Interest   - None                                                                                    

19/21 Approval of Minutes - dated  21/05/19   These were proposed by TG and 2nd by AC as a true and correct record of what took place and the Chairman duly signed the minutes.                                                                                      

19/22 Matters arising from the Minutes      None                                                                                    

19/23 Finance Report    Bank Reconciliation:    £5726.75    Signatures for Chqs: As Brian Duke is no longer a member of the Exmoor Parish Council it was AGREED by all present that FS shall be the replacement signatory on the cheques. This makes the three signatures, FS - Chair, AV - Vice Chair and CH - Clerk. Clerk to organise mandate for FS to sign and take in to Nat West Bank as soon as possible.                                                                                                                                            Invoices: The following Invoices were AGREED to be paid.

1.       SALC Affliation Fees:  £38.91   and SALC Clerk Training on Code of Conduct:  £30.00 (Shared 50:50 cost with W&H so W&H will pay £15.00 in Sept) CHQ No: 232 £68.91 SALC

2.       Laptop Payment: The original agreement was that Exmoor had a budget of £300 and W&H had a budget of £500 and so the split between the two councils would be 3:5 ratio. This has been carried on through with the final split of the cost. The clerk works 1.5 Hours for Ex and 2.5 hrs for W&H and so the 3:5 ratio works again. Exmr: 4hrs of total clerk work divided by 8 x 3 = 1.5hrs W&H: 4hrs of total clerk work divided by 8 x 5 = 2.5hrs. Total cost including VAT was £626.98 which includes, laptop, office package, security package, one-month cover with PC World (in case of problems) and a bag. This was paid in full by W&H PC in March 2019. VAT has been claimed by W&H PC and so total cost without VAT is £ 523.99. The 3:5 split means that Exmoor PC are to pay £196.50 to W&H PC. CHQ No: 233 £196.50 to W&H PC

3.       Clerk expenses                                                                                                                                   April Training – Clerks free course – mileage shared with W&H 0.45p per mile            £22.50                  July Training – Code of Conduct – Mileage shared with W&H 0.45p per mile              £22.50     July PC meeting at Sandyway – Mileage 0.45p per mile                                              £6.30                  Brian Duke Gift                                                                                                                           25.53

Total expenses                                                                                                                     £76.83

            CHQ No:  234 £76.83 Mrs C Hornsby

Accounts have been published on Website and public are able to view the full records by appointment but all info is very clear on the website. The public viewing date of the bank statements and invoices is until Friday 26th July but the accounts will be on the website indefinitely.        Financial Regulations (FR) FR need to be brought up to date however the model FR from NALC are 26 pages and the RFO will look at thinning down these to make them relevant to EX PC. Clerk to email the FR over the next few months for Cllrs to view and then these can be adopted at the next PC meeting in September.                                                                                                                 Minute Book - The minute book was raised several meetings ago as a requirement as EXPC only have two ring binders and these are not suitable for Somerset Records office. The clerk has finally tracked down a company that makes the same one that W&H PC use. This will cost £135 plus VAT each but it will last at least 10 years so is a cost of £13.50 per year. The Cllrs AGREED that this was a worth while investment especially as the County Records office will not take ring binders. Clerk to organise.

Clerk appraisal and pay review: FS reported that an appraisal had been discussed with the clerk and that after a discussion with all the parish council it was agreed to offer the clerk a pay rise to the amount of £10.676 per hour. This figure comes from the Spinal Column Point pay scale for part time clerks and SCP21 was agreed. The clerk was originally on the SCP17 - £9.705 per hour. The clerk accepted this revised hourly rate which will come in to effect on 1st July 2019 for the pay in October 2019.

19/24 Highways Including salting of parish roads (i) FN reported that even though there has still be no press release, the gritting policies are back to where they were. The small bags are no more but parish councils are being encouraged to use their increased precept on Salt bins that would be topped up throughout the year. The good news is that the Simonsbath to Politmore Arms road past the Fortescue monument will be salted. (ii) it was noted that there is a lot of tree and vegetation growth through the bank on this same road towards South Molton. St Audries Walls were dismantled on the A39 in the 1990’s and this was used by the County Council to build the walls. Therefor it is the Highways responsibility. Clerk will email Highways to let them know about this.  (iii) Waterflow off Mount Pleasant causes a problem in the winter and FS to talk to Mark de Wynter-Smith (MdWS) about the situation as it is on Sir Gilbert Greenall’s (GG) land that the water is coming from.  FN then left the meeting                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

19/25 Planning: The Old Forge - FS stated that a resident had come to him with concerns over the demolition of the Old Forge. FS has spoken to MdWS about this who has taken the comments to the owner (GG). The parish council felt though that as the building is not listed and as it is not being replaced it might not require planning permission.                                                                                                          6/14/19/107              Kinsford, Simonsbath, Somerset Proposed variation of condition 2 of approved application 6/14/18/107 to allow changes to approved drainage. The parish council raised concerns over the continuing changes which resulted in a new development and that these latest changes are a direct result of this. It was suggested that a site meeting with the owners would be a good way of fully understanding what is happening. Clerk to email residents to arrange a meeting.                                                                                                                                                     

19/26 Parish Maintenance FS thanked all cllrs for the pathway and sign cleaning that was carried out. It was AGREED by all that this needs to be a regular yearly event. It was suggested that a knap sack sprayer over all the path ways in the village would help to restrict the latest weed growth. TG to look in to this.                                                                                                                                                                         

19/27 Aims and Objectives The clerk presented the new Aims and Objectives that have been added to due to the advice by the internal auditor. FS proposed and TG 2nd that these been adopted and all AGREED. These will be published on the website.                                                                                    

19/28 Correspondence Porlock Fire station closure – clerk to email a response. Upgrade of Bridal way on Devon/Somerset border – Devon Publics Rights of way officer wishes to look at the minutes dating back to 1894. Clerk has arranged a meeting with the officer as she has the archive.                                                                                                               

19/29 Report from District Councillor SP reported that the Big Picnic was very successful and all who attended had a wonderful day.                                                                                                                                 

19/30 Report from County Councillor FN had nothing further to add.                                                                                 

19/31 Report from the Simonsbath Steering Group SP stated that the registration to the charity commission could be ready by Dec 2019. FS and JC were now looking in to the NLHF and CH updated everyone with the latest information about Ashcombe Gardens. A lot of people were very interested at the Ashcombe Garden stand at the Big Picnic which has led to many people asking to be kept up to date with the latest news.  CH also stated, in her role as Clerk, that when the school room is suitable for meetings the parish council will need to hold all meetings there as they are only allowed to use a public house for meetings if there is nowhere else to meet.                                                                                       

19/32 Items for next      Financial Regulations                                                                                         

19/33 Date and Time of next Meeting -                                                                                                      Thursday 26th September at The Exmoor Forest Inn at 7.30pm -confirmed