Minutes of the Online Meeting of the Parish Council of                    Withypool and Hawkridge

Tuesday 2nd June 2020 at 7.30PM via Zoom

Attendees: Parish Cllrs: A Howard -Chair (AH) K Branfield (KB), A Collins (AC), J Down (JD), T Lloyd (TL), W Lock (WL), P Soltau (PS) District Cllr S. Pugsley and County Cllr F. Nicholson and Clerk C Hornsby; Members of the public: 8   

Before the meeting started the Clerk apologised for the Agenda stating it was an extraordinary meeting, this was incorrect as it was a normal full parish council meeting. All Cllrs noted this amendment.              

01/20                 Questions from the public. None


02/20                 Apologies of Absence None


03/20                 Declarations of notifiable interests Planning 6/42/20/106: AH declared that he did not have a declaration of interest, JD declared she did have an interest as land owner.


04/20                 Approval of the Minutes of the last meeting held on 10/03/2020 Proposed by AC and 2nd by KB and all AGREED. The Chair signed the minutes.


05/20                 Matters arising from the minutes of 10/03/2020 (i) 93/19 – FN reported that she had not spoken about the remaining signs due to COVID 19. (ii) 98/19 – discussed under 12/20 later in the meeting.  (iii) 99/19 – PS reported that a FB page had been created to keep the parish informed about events and to help anyone in need especially during the COVID 19 situation. (iv) 102/19 – SP will get an update on the Kitridge mast and report back to Clerk

Cllr JD was asked to leave the meeting as was placed in a ‘Zoom side room’ while the next point was considered.


06/20                 Planning 6/42/20/106 Land adjacent to New Bridge - Application under Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992 for the proposed reinstating of access to common land via new gate in existing post and rail fence All Cllrs were given the chance to speak on the above planning application. The vote results were as follows from the remaining 6 Cllrs: 2 Abstentions; 4 Against.   The following will be emailed to the ENPA:  The Withypool and Hawkridge Parish Council do not support the planning application on the grounds of Health and Safety. The traffic at this point coming over the bridge can, sadly, be very fast. It can also be a blind area therefore a gate directly on to the road, so close to the bridge, is very dangerous in the Cllrs view. It was raised that the planning states it was under the CROW act which is for pedestrians however, it was understood that the Park intended this gate to be used by horse riders too. This causes more issues regarding the safety of riders so close to the road. The council believe that a site meeting would enable the Park Planning Committee to actually see the situation, rather than just from photographs.                                                                                                                              Cllr JD returned to the meeting once the above point was finished.                                                                                                                           

07/20                 Finance the Clerk read out the following: (i) Report from Internal Auditor – There were a couple of typing errors in the minutes which the clerk as amended. (ii) Approval of gift vouchers for the Internal Auditor- it was AGREED by all Cllrs that £30 be given as a gift to Mrs L Fisher, the Internal Auditor for her work.  (iii) Presentation of 2019/2020 accounts (previously circulated) (iv) The Adoption of Accounts was Proposed by JD and 2nd By TL and all AGREED. The Bank Reconciliation was then signed by Chair and the RFO will sign once they have been passed to her.                                                                                                                  

08/20                 Section 1 of Audit: Annual governance statement 2019/20 was approved by all the Cllrs and was then signed by the Chair (RFO will sign once she has received them)  

09/20                 Section 2 of Audit: Accounting statements 2019/20 – was approved by all the Cllrs and was then signed by the Chair (previously signed by RFO)                                              

10/20                 Audit Certificate of Exemption – Was approved by all the Cllrs and was then signed by the Chair (previously signed by RFO)       RFO informed the Council that the date for the Exercise for public rights will be implemented as soon as the audit paperwork is on the website. (NB: Since the meeting the Clerk has set the date for 22nd June – 31st July for the public to view the full accounting records and all accounts are on the website for public viewing)                                                                                                                                                                                                       

11/20                 District and County council reports. SP- Park Member and District Cllr spoke about the Park and how it is continuing to meet via the internet to conduct its business. He also reported from the SW&T DC that there were two distinct sets of grants in light of the COVID 19 situation. The first is for businesses, paying business rates with a rateable value of less than £51k in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector, including self-catering holiday letting businesses, camp sites, pubs and village halls (as long as the village hall is not owned by a PC as they cannot apply as they receive a precept from the DC). These grants are allocated to the DC to administer and is a considerable sum of money. The second of the grants has been added as of 1st June and is a Discretionary Grant system, aimed at businesses that don’t pay Business Rates. This has much less money (2 million pounds covering all of SW&T DC) and the government are quite prescriptive about what types of businesses are eligible in the first instance (including Bed and Breakfast establishments and businesses in shared premises). If the take up for these grants is slow then the Councils can broaden the eligibility criteria. As the amount per grant can be up to £10,000 this will not go far.   FN – County Cllr spoke about the local authorities working together to help vulnerable people and that the was a combined phone number to call which will get you to either the CC or the DC: 0300 7906275  This number has already been used by many people to see if they can get any advice on problems they have as a result of COVID 19. Many vulnerable people have said they are fine. Now that schools must have smaller classes, smaller groups and more space a new curriculum has been worked out by the SCC, with the help of a number of organisations, notably the National Park. They have put together an Outdoor Curriculum for use in primary schools anywhere to enable the children to study half the day outside and half inside.                                                                                                                                           

12/20                 Parish Maintenance (i) This matter was mentioned in 04/20 – AC informed the council that since the last meeting in March he collected the salt in the dumpy bags and filled each salt bin before they were removed by the CC. AH thanked him for his work. (ii) It was AGREED by all to purchase one bench and then remove the bench in most need and replace it. AH, AC and KB to look at the benches and decide which to remove. Clerk to organise purchase of bench to be delivered to KB.  (iii) Carpark – this has been closed during the restrictions but the Cllrs felt it was time to open it up as so many cars were now parking in the village. As the cars cannot be stopped it was AGREED that it was safer to open the Carpark to try and get a few of the cars off the road. AH said he would re-open the Car Park as soon as the meeting was over.                                                                                                                                               

13/20                 Parish Gardens – Roadside hedge cutting of parish garden Plot D part of OS5151 - the tenant of the afore mentioned parish garden raised the following issue via email: In the past the road side hedge of the parish paddock has always been cut by contractors, we have only cut the top and inside of the hedge. We noticed that as of the 21 May that all the hedges on the other side of the road have been cut but not the parish garden side. Whose responsibility is it?     This point was answered by FN of SCC who said that all sides of hedges are the responsibility of whoever is responsible for the field it belongs to as Highways are now cutting less and less hedges. It was AGREED by all Cllrs that the hedge cutting is the responsibility of the tenant of the parish gardens. Clerk to inform tenant via email. AC stated he had not noticed that the hedges, mentioned by the tenant, had been cut.                                                                                                          

14/20                 Date and time of next meeting: TBC for July 2020

There being no further business the chair thanked everybody for their patience with the Zoom meeting and closed the meeting at 8.37pm



Signed by:

Chair ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Date……………