The Meeting of the Parish Council of Withypool and Hawkridge

Hawkridge Village Hall, Tuesday 12th November 2019 at 7.30PM

Attendees: Parish Cllrs: A Howard (AH - Chairman), K Branfield (KB), A Collins (AC), J Down (JD),         T Lloyd (TL) , W Lock (WL), P Soltau (PS) County Cllr F Nicholson (FN), District Councillor S Pugsley (SP) and Clerk C Hornsby

Members of the public: 0

55/19   Apologies of Absence


56/19   Declarations of notifiable interests Can be raised at specific points of the meeting. AH – Planning - Hobbs Cottage, Withypool


57/19   Approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting on 10/09/19 These were approved and the chairman duly signed them.


58/19   Matters arising from the Minutes of 10/09/19 – was discussed at the various points on the agenda.


59/19   Report by the District Councillor (i) SP advised all to read the Glover Review as it details the future of National Parks, the changes may have an impact on Exmoor. However, the outcome of the General Election in December may change the recommendations. (ii) The Consultative and Parish Forum will have four meetings a year with an extra one should it be required. These will be a mixture of day and evening meetings across the area. (iii) The summit for the Exmoor Voices was held and they invited representatives from District and  County Council as well as ENPA and the Housing Association. All invited will return in the new year with thoughts that they are prepared to do to help the young people on Exmoor.


The order was changed as FN was attending another meeting and would arrive later.


63/19   Finance report


(i)                  Bank reconciliation as of 1st Nov 2019 £8830.18

(ii)                Invoices:  Minute Book CHQ No: 237 £162.00 (incl VAT) To Shaw & Sons Ltd. Gift for internal audit – refund clerk CHQ No: 238 £30.00 To Mrs C Hornsby. Clerks pay and exp CHQ No: 239 £362.68 To Mrs C Hornsby

All agreed that the invoices should be paid. AH & KB signed the cheques.

(iii)              Budget: Clerk presented the budget to the council for all to discuss.

(iv)              Precept: After the budget was discussed it was proposed by TL and 2nd by KB for the Precept to remain the same at £3500.00 as more salt bins may be purchased next year and all AGREED. The paperwork had not arrived by the time of the meeting so the Clerk will take to AH to sign and then send it off immediately.

(v)                Presentation of accounts for Cllrs to view – The clerk stated that the full accounts will now be available for all to view at the November meetings as stated in the Financial Regulations.


64/19   Planning 6/42/19/105 Hobbs Cottage, Quarry Head Lane, Withypool, Somerset - Proposed rear first floor extension             

Voting:        All in favour of planning with one abstain. All agreed that it would not cause any problems to neighbouring properties and would add to the cottage giving a better sized third bedroom.              


65/19   Parish Gardens – (i) update on repairs to Jubilee Gardens. AC has repaired the area and all thanked him.


66/19   Parish Maintenance – (i) Benches – WL reported that he had been advised

by Andrew Blackmore that the benches should really be replaced as damage is beyond   

repair. AH to speak to the original donator of the bench to ask if they wish to replace the

bench themselves and if not, the parish council will replace. Clerk to get prices on

benches for the next meeting (ii) Tree felling quotes – Three quotes were given and

after much discussion it was agreed to go with Three Atop due to the thoroughness of

their quote and also by spreading the work fairly across the Exmoor area. Quotes

attached to the end of the minutes.  (iii) update on carpark repairs – Andrew Blackmore

cleared the area and WL asked for a thank you to be sent to him. Clerk to arrange. AC

and AH looked for the reported hole in the fence between the carpark and housing but

could not find it.

FN Arrived


60/19   Report by the County Councillor FN spoke about (i) the recent road closure between Exford and Simonsbath and stated that it is such an important road that greater consideration must be taken by Highways on how they deal with it in the future. It is the main road for Exmoor and as such closing it for four weeks has caused a lot of problems. (ii) KB asked about the process that Highways have after doing a ‘gully suck’ of drains. FN stated that if this does not clear the problem then a ‘jetter’ comes to clear it. KB stated that this does not always happen. (iii) It was reported that the two drains at the top of Blakeway Hill have a problem. The water goes down one, then comes back up the second and then continues along the road. FN stated to report it – Clerk to do so.


61/19   Highways – including updates on the following: (This list was given to


(i)                  Slade Bridge near Hawkridge – Devon Highways state that cattle grid cleaning gang will look at it.                                                                     

(ii)                Tarr steps slip way – work completed but FN asked for it to be checked -WL will wait until water lever has dropped, before he can do this safely.

(iii)              Fire hydrant cover – AH to chase this       

(iv)              Damaged road Hawkridge side of Tarr Steps – Clerk to check with FN      

The following are all the same road:        

(v)                Collapsed drain by Oliver’s Cottage – No response from Highways – Clerk to check with FN                                        

(vi)              Withypool Cross to Lower Willingford Bridge – Highways states they are on to it.                                 

(vii)            Blocked drains between Cloggs Farm and Lower Willingford Bridge. – No response as yet, clerk to check with FN


62/19   Salt bins: Update on Sites for salt bins. Highways were emailed info on 15th Oct about the new salt bins. Salt bags had been delivered but no salt had been put in to the new or existing bins. FN is aware of the situation. All thanked AC for his hard work in placing each salt bin in its place and digging it in. It was also noted that one salt bin that was put in place above Landacre bridge on the moors has gone missing.


FN Left


67/19   Correspondence – The clerk read out many items and will forward the following to cllrs: Highways update on planned works in SW&T; Highways salting route map; Highways Winter service 2019/20; Somerset Rivers Authority Annual Report 2018/19; Housing Need Survey results.


68/19   Report from representatives of other groups:

Withypool Village Hall – KB reported on the successful harvest supper, however, it was raised about the lateness of the event on a Sunday which means many children in the parish can not attend. KB to take this back to the committee.

Hawkridge Village Hall – On going about the insurance and risk assessment required for the Gymkhana.

Henry Leigh Trust – meeting in January 2020

Exmoor Panel – Sign post project is continuing with Parish Highway Wardens now being asked to keep an eye on sign posts. Funding is now smaller and so they want to do regular maintenance on the posts rather than letting them become unsightly.

Consultative & Parish Forum – The previous meeting had a talk by ENPA Tim Braund on Health and Well Being.


69/19   Items for January 2020 agenda Nothing extra


70/19   Date and time of next meeting:

                                    Tuesday 14th January 2020 Withypool Village Hall 6.30pm


There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 8.20 pm.




Signed ………………………………………………………………………………………..Date………………………