Minutes from the Council meeting held on December 11th 2023

Minutes Uploaded on December 20, 2023

Present: Cllrs. Seldon (Chairman), Cass, Corner, Everett, Galloway, Lethaby, Optix, Richards, Smallridge, Watkins, and Worth.
Also in attendance: Andrew Wyer (Clerk) and 6 members of the public.

154/23 Apologies – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr. Masters.
155/23 Declarations of Interest – Cllr Lethaby declared that as a District Councillor, the views he gives (and how he votes) at this meeting will not necessarily be the same as he does at a District Council meeting. The Clerk confirmed that Councillors had a dispensation for agenda item 18 (Minute 174/23) and Cllrs Lethaby and Everett declared interests in Planning application 77801.
156/23 Public Participation – There were several speakers who wished to highlight their concerns about the safety of the Covid jab and potential health risks should there be any issues at the Community Centre when it was being administered.
157/23 Minutes – The draft minutes of the Council meeting held on 13th November 2023 were approved and signed by Cllr Seldon as an accurate record.
158/23 County & District Cllr reports – County Cllr Davis had distributed her report ahead of the meeting but was not present to highlight any particular aspects of it.
District Cllr Lethaby had nothing to report. He explained that he felt the District Council was doing nothing for Combe Martin, so he had nothing to report.
159/23 Council Representative Reports –There were no reports.
160/23 Clerk’s Report –The report had been shared with the agenda. The report was then noted.
161/23 Police Newsletter – This had been circulated ahead of the meeting and reported 10 crimes in Combe Martin, 1 in Berrynarbor, and 81 in Ilfracombe. The newsletter was noted.
162/25 Planning Map – The Clerk explained that this would allow residents to better understand where applications are – especially in a village with so many house names, rather than numbers. Residents can enter their postcode (or any) and the map will centre on that postcode.
Cllrs Lethaby and Everett left the room for the following item.163/23 Planning (NDC Applications) – The Council resolved to support the following planning application.
77801 – Retrospective application for replacement of timber framed outbuilding/shed together with reinstatement of retaining wall to driveway at Manleigh Lodge, Manleighs, Kiln Lane, Combe Martin, EX34 OLYCllrs Lethaby and Everett returned to the room.
164/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Applications) – None
165/23 Planning (NDC Decisions) – The Council noted the following decision:
77536 – Approved. Application for a lawful development certificate for an existing completion of a residential dwelling in accordance with planning consent 6635. West Park Farm, Park Lane, Combe Martin, EX34 0BA.
166/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Decisions) – None
167/23 Planning Correspondence : None
168/23 Finance – It was resolved to approve the lists of payments to be made, totalling £10,054.24.
169/23 Finance – It was resolved to note the lists of payments made, receipts received and the November Dashboard report.
170/23 Land Purchase – The Council resolved to transfer earmarked funds allocated to the Community Centre window repairs into the fund for the workman’s shed. Using this money, and any additional required, from the car park resurfacing fund, the Clerk was authorised to negotiate with the landowner and try to purchase the land. The land would be used for community allotments, a council workman’s shed and community amenity land.
171/23 Risk Assessments – The Council approved and adopted the Risk Assessments for the Council. This should fulfil the requirement made in the last audit report.
172/23 Vexatious Persons policy – The Council adopted the policy, which identifies the various ways that could be considered vexatious and the alternatives the Council can choose from when dealing with a vexatious complainant.
173/23 Car Park Ticket machines – The Council were impressed with the new style machines and resolved to enter into a “Machines as a Service” contract for the next five years.
174/23 Budget and Precept – The Clerk had prepared 2 budgets ahead of the meeting (either excluding or including the cost of the Ticket machines). Councillors resolved to increase the precept by 9p per week / 5%, by requesting a total of £89,150.
175/23 The Precept – The Council resolved to authorise the Clerk to amend the Precept request as necessary, once the final Tax base figure is known, to ensure the final request is 5%.
176/23 Off Street Parking Order – The Clerk explained that after discussions with NDC about the viability and practicalities involved, it was necessary to remove the additional charge the Council had intended to charge motorhomes, from the Off-Street Parking Order.
177/23 Tourists – The Council were concerned about the decline in the number of retail shops, both because of the reduced number of things for tourists to see / do but also because it made the village look very empty. They were aware that most tourists rarely walk further than the very core of the seafront shops, so miss places like the Pack of Cards and the museum. They wondered how the whole seafront area could be made more pedestrian friendly.
178/23 COVID jabs – The Council considered arguments from both sides but were reassured that nurses giving jabs are trained to deal with any likely medical emergency. The proposal that Council owned sites were not suitable locations for invasive medical procedures (e.g. COVID jabs), was defeated, so the Community Centre could remain a Covid jab walk in centre.
179/23 Correspondence – The correspondence was noted.
Next Meetings –
Full Council will meet on 15th January at 7pm. This is the 3rd Monday in January as Staff holidays around Christmas make it impossible to get everything ready for the 2nd Monday.