Tuesday 14th July 2020 7.30pm via Zoom

In Attendance: Parish Cllrs:  A Howard (Chair), K Branfield, A Collins, J Down, T Lloyd, P. Soltau, W Lock. District Cllr S. Pugsley. County Cllr F. Nicholson and Clerk C Hornsby

Members of the Public present: 3

15/20                  Questions from the public. A statement was read out by the clerk from a member of the parish concerning the amount of people using the river and parking in the village during the holiday season. The Parish Council (PC) decided to discuss this in more detail at the September meeting. It will go on the Agenda.

16/20    Apologies of Absence - None

17/20    Declarations of notifiable interests -None

18/20    Approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting on 02/06/2020 These were proposed by TL and 2nd by AC as a true and correct record. All AGREED and the Chair duly signed them.

19/20    Matters arising from the Minutes of 02/06/2020 - None

20/20    Matters managed using the Business Continuity Motion – The clerk informed the PC that the Clerks pay and Exp for Apr, May June was paid on 5th July. All were happy with this.

21/20    COVID 19 for the parish update - None

22/20    Report by the District Councillor & 23/20 Report by the County Councillor (SP) - (i)Kitridge Mast: (102/19) no further updates at this present time. (ii) BT Phone box: There is a notice in the BT Box stating that it will be removed after a certain time as no one is using it. SP said that SW&TDC had not received any contact about BT phone boxes being removed and will look in to this asap. (iii) Unitary Authority: The decision on this will be made by the Sec of State and until then there will be a lot of discussion about the possible outcomes. FN joined in with SP and stated that there was a lot of questions from many parish and town councils on Exmoor and some felt it would be a good idea, however other parish cllrs feel it is not. What ever happens, both the SP and FN agreed that the voices of the Exmoor area must remain to be heard and this may mean parish councils group together for certain areas of decision making but at the present time there is still a lot of discussion and the parish council should try and be involved if there are any consultations. (iv) Glover Review: The ENPA will still be responsible for the planning even if the Unitary Authority goes ahead however, the Glover Review could mean a national board not local members and this board will determine the local plan. This could be detrimental to the local area if the board does not contain local voices. SP encourage the PC to make sure that local voices are heard in this matter. Cllrs agreed to draft a letter to ENPA.

24/20    Highways – (i) WL reported that the cattle grid near Slade lane on the Devon/Somerset border is blocked again. Clerk to email Devon Highways as it was agreed that they manage this grid. FN will double check with Somerset Highways. (ii) WL reported a lot of traffic through the village of Hawkridge which is possibly due to Apple satnavs sending people this way. FN stated that the Somerset County Council have worked with Google to make sure that certain roads are not on routes but she will check to see if they work with Apple. (iii) AC stated that he thought that Somerset Highways do a really good job as pot holes and any road damage is mended quite quickly compared to the Devon roads that the Withypool & Hawkridge Parish borders. FN thanked AC for his comments and agreed with him. 

25/20    Finance report – (i) Bank reconciliation - £9658.03 (ii) VAT claim £153.20 ( for Grit bins and Minute book) (iii) Invoices paid since 1st April 2020:  Insurance £183.13 CHQ No:  507          Bench £414.00  CHQ No:  508        Clerk Pay and Exp £336.78   CHQ No: 509        (iv) Invoices to pay: SALC fees £57.27  CHQ No:              (v) Clerk explained that the website must meet government regulations by 23rd September to enable people with certain difficulties to be able to access all the information on the website. The clerk said it was quite a long process however she should be able to do it with out the need to pay a professional.

26/30    Planning - None at time of Agenda Publication.  It was noted that the following planning had been withdrawn:  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                                                                                                                                                 

27/20    Parish Gardens - tenancy agreement renewals to be sent to two tenants in August. (i) Hedge cutting- It was agreed that the present tenancy agreement is clear that the hedge must be kept in the state that it was when the tenancy was taken on. (ii)  It was raised by WL about whether the tenancy should be a rolling renewal or whether the tenancy should be put to tender at the end of the three-year agreement as there were several parties interested in the land. WL stated that he was not asking for specific people but was asking for clarity on the situation as there was more than one person interested in renting the land. Clerk will check the legality of the situation but the majority of Cllrs who commented on the situation felt that the rolling tenancy was the right way to carry on. Clerk will send out the renewals in August.

28/20    Parish Maintenance (i) Volunteer strimmer (VS). There is a Somerset Strimmer Scheme run by the County Council. The County Council trains and equips volunteers to manage rights of way in their parish. Usually volunteers collaborate with the relevant Parish Council but due to being in Exmoor, the VS has been liaising with the ENPA. The VS stated that there are parts of some paths within the parish that get very overgrown in the summer and she has agreed to help keep them clear. Chairman asked the Clerk to email a thank you (ii) New bench – KB stated the new bench is really good, comfortable and from 20 paces looks like wood even though it is recycled plastic. It will be put in position by the end of the week by KB and WL. The two benches in the village were for the Queens Jubilees. The older one of the two benches has fared better and will remain until the PC feel that needs to be replaced. 

29/20    Chairman’s Notices – (i) AH asked for a few moments silence to remember May Collins who was laid to rest in Hawkridge today. She had been a very big part of the parish and would be missed. (ii) The Chairman stated that he has paid for the last two Zoom meeting and will pay for a further two months however, he felt that he would like to try a Google meeting as it is free. AC stated that the Chairman must bill the PC for the cost of the meeting and WL said that any further costs must be billed to the PC and all agreed. AH to give the invoices to the Clerk.

30/20    Parish Community – including the social media page. No comments

30/20    Correspondence – Clerk read out details of fundraising that the Exmoor Surgery were doing for the prescription delivery service. AC proposed and PS 2nd to donate £100 as there were many in the parish who benefit from it: all agreed. Details of the fundraising required will be put on the website, social media and in the shop to help promote the cause.

31/20    Report from representatives of other groups:

Withypool Village Hall – KB reported that the they had been given the government grant of £10,000. They had also decided to not hold the fete and flower show this year.  Hawkridge Village Hall -WL reported that they had also received the £10,000 grant for the hall and that they too had decided not to hold the Hawkridge Revel and gymkhana this year. Henry Leigh Trust KB – Next meeting in September.  Exmoor Panel – SP stated that they had not had a meeting due to CV19 however, they hope to do a meeting online soon as there are a few urgent matters.  Consultative & Parish Forum – SP stated that this might also have an online meeting but that will be up to the present Chairman.

32/20    Items for September 2020 agenda – Increased people using the village during the good weather.

33/20    Date and time of next meeting:

                                           8th September 2020 to be confirmed