Meeting of the Exmoor Parish Council

Thursday 30th January 2020, 7.30pm at The Simonsbath Old School

Attendance: Parish Cllrs: F. Schott (FS)-Chair, J. Chanter (JC), A. Chapman (AC), T. Gowlland (TG) , District Cllr: S. Pugsley(SP), County Cllr: F. Nicholson (FN) and Clerk and RFO C. Hornsby (CH) and Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) Historic Buildings Officer T. Thurlow (TT)

19/62                  Apologies for Absence  Cllr A. Vigar                                                                                                   

19/63                  Declarations of Notifiable Interest     None                                                                            

19/64                  Approval of Minutes - dated  28/11/19    These were proposed by FS and 2nd by TG

as a true and correct record and all agreed. The chair then duly signed the minutes.                                                                                     

19/65                  Matters arising from the Minutes    Clerk stated that she had, due to an oversight, not been in touch with the Highways concerning matter 19/53. FN advised the Cllrs that it was ideal to personally record any faults for Highways (drains, road damage, potholes), directly on to the SCC website where there was a specific place that faults could be marked on a digital map.    

The Chair brought point 19/74 forward so that Mr T Thurlow could give his report earlier in the proceedings.

19/74                  Simonsbath - a possible Conservation Area     TT reported to the Cllrs the reason for Simonsbath becoming a Conservation area was due to the special architectural historical merit of the Knights story. The village was created by the Knights and so was of significant historical interest. Positives were that any grant and funding applications and road improvement schemes for areas of conservation were always favourably viewed. Negatives were an extra line of bureaucracy when it comes to development rights and works to significant trees. TT stated he would be writing to all residents of the parish informing of the proposal and he was invited to attend the parish event on 28th February with a stand detailing the information. The Cllrs had many questions and TT answered all. For more information please contact Mr T Thurlow at ENPA.                                                                                                                                                                                 

19/66                  Finance Report - Bank Reconciliation: £4622.85                                                          Invoices:  for payment for website renewal to Mrs C Hornsby £29.95 Chq No: 254                  SALC for a full day of clerk training for £75 which is being shared between Withypool & Hawkridge, Timberscombe and Exmoor. Withypool and Hawkridge have been invoiced and so EPC to pay Withypool & Hawkridge £25.00 Chq No: 255                                                                                           The Chair reported that the RFO had suggested that the EPC give a donation to the Simonsbath and Exmoor Parish Trust (S&EHT) to get them started so they can set up a bank account. Three of the four members present were S&EHT Trustees and so AC who was the only Cllr present who was not a trustee, proposed a donation of £500.00. The Chair 2nd the proposal and all agreed. Under the circumstances the Cllrs who are also Trustees had to vote on the matter as there is not enough Cllrs to make a quorum. The Council has 5 members in total, three of who are S&EHTustees. Clerk to arrange the payment with the Trustees Finance officer.                                                                              

19/67                  Highways    FN reported on the recent meeting detailing the problems with road closures on Exmoor which was very productive. The proposed pathway on the main bend in the village was discussed and if a grant could be found then FN stated highways would look favourable on that. TG to look in to grants. FN stated that she will make sure that the previously proposed closure of the main road near Winstitchen lane during necessary works in the Autumn, will be 24hr traffic lighted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

19/68                  Planning None at time of Publication of Agenda Results of previous planning applications as follows: GDO and no prior approval needed for the Water Tank near Gallon House. The following were approved with conditions:  Honeymead – Swimming Pool, 1 Westgate Cottages – stable block and Simonsbath Barton – Greenhouse.                                                                                     

19/69                  Parish Maintenance Date for clearing leaves on the village paths – Saturday 25th April. Time to be confirmed at next meeting. Clerk reported that the noticeboard is very damp inside and needs replacing. AC had been looking at the maintenance of the noticeboard and has stopped the leaks however it is very damp internally and the water in condensing inside on the glass. Clerk will report back in March with prices.                                                                                                              

19/70                  Correspondence (i) CLOWNS – JC proposed and FS 2nd a grant donation of £50 to CLOWNS, all agreed. Clerk to organise payment. (ii) Trading Standards monthly articles warning of scams, Clerk to see if they can be uploaded on to the Website. (iii) Deadline of 23rd September 2020 for compliance with the Public Sector Bodies in relation to Websites and Mobile Applications Accessibility Regulations 2018 – Clerk to check that the website is fully compliant and if not will advise the PC on any costs involved to upgrade.                                                                                        

19/71                  Report from District Councillor       SP reported on the recent panel and consultative meetings and that the ENPA are catching up with their planning back log.                                                                              

19/72                  Report from County Councillor      FN had nothing further to add to the Highways details she gave in point 19/67                                                                                                                          

19/73                  Report from the Simonsbath Steering Group/Trust    (i) JC state that herself and Lorna Vigars are doing a lent lunch in the Simonsbath Old School room to raise funds for the building on Wednesday 19th March – any help gratefully received.  (ii) The Trust reported that the business plan that ENPA asked for is nearing completion. There have been a few issues over the transition phase but nothing too onerous. The Trust’s role is to prove to ENPA that they have the ability to take on the building. (iv) ENPA have a booking system in place for the Simonsbath Old School for bookings, please contact them. (v) JC said she wanted all Trustees to help deliver the invitations for the 28th March Parish Event (6pm – 7.30pm in the Simonsbath Old School) which will give the community the opportunity to view the buildings and speak to the Trust. CH to set up a table at the event with info on the Parish Council, Ashcombe Gardens, logging of Highways issues and TT will have a stand about the proposal for a conservation area. There will be a film show on a loop of 12 months’ worth of photos of the restoration and the gardens work which has been created by Bob Walters. Wine and soft drink will be available. A Car Park Full sign will be created to ensure that cars do not get stuck. (vi)  CH reported on the recent meeting to discuss the forthcoming work in the Ashcombe Garden.                                                                                                                                                  

19/75                  Items for next                                                                                                                                   

19/76                  Date and Time of next Meeting -                                                                                                                  Thursday 26th March 2020 at The Simonsbath Old School -TBC

Future dates for your diary:                                                                                                                                                       Thursday 21st May 2020 (tbc) and Thursday 30th July 2020 (tbc)