Draft minutes of the Annual Combe Martin Parish Council meeting,
held on 22nd May 2023 at 7pm at Combe Martin Village Hall.
Present: Cllrs. Cass, Corner, Everett, Galloway, Lethaby, Masters, Optix, Richards, Seldon, Smallridge, Watkins, and Worth.
Also in attendance: Andrew Wyer (Clerk), and 6 members of the public.
As Chairman during the previous year Cllr Seldon chaired the first item on the agenda.
001/23 Election of Chairman – Cllr Seldon was elected as Chairman for the 2023/2024 year. She signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and chaired the rest of the meeting.
002/23 Election of Vice Chairman – Cllr Galloway was elected Vice Chairman for the 2023/2024 year.
003/23 Apologies – There were no apologies from Parish Councillors, but County Cllr A Davis sent hers.
004/23 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.
005/23 Public Participation – A question was asked about the lack of a response to questions raised at a previous meeting. The Clerk was asked to send the information requested, on Cllr Seldon’s behalf.
006/23 Minutes – The draft minutes of the meeting held on 17th April were approved and signed by Cllr Seldon as an accurate record.
007/23 Clerk’s Report – The Clerk made the additional update that two dates had been confirmed for Covid booster Drop-In sessions at the Community Centre (12th and 26th June 2023). The Report was then NOTED.
008/23 County & District Cllr reports – County Cllr Davis had distributed her report ahead of the meeting, and from it the Clerk highlighted that £2 Bus fares was being extended until October. District Cllr Lethaby reported that since the election he had been busy with the induction process and that he looked forward to bringing a proper report to future meetings.
009/23 Police Newsletter – This had been circulated ahead of the meeting and only reported two crimes in Combe Martin. The newsletter was NOTED.
010/23 Planning (NDC Applications) – The Council RESOLVED to support the following applications:
76833 – Extension and alteration to existing ground floor flat, alteration to front façade windows with addition of Velux windows on the roof together with a loft conversion to facilitate additional bedrooms at Ashbourne House, Combe Martin
Methodist Church, Castle Street, Combe Martin, Devon, EX34 0JF
77085 – Erection of agricultural shed and associated works at land adjacent
Nutcombe Hill, Combe Martin, Devon, EX34 0PQ
011/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Applications) – There were no applications to consider.
012/23 Planning (NDC Decisions) – These decisions were NOTED:
76450 – Parade car park Toilets – Approved
76742 – Park Hills, decision in principle – Withdrawn
76838 – Bristol Channel View, demolition of garage, etc – Approved
013/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Decisions) – There were no decisions to note.
014/23 Finance – It was RESOLVED to approve the lists of payments to be made plus 3 additional invoices (NDC, National Grid, & Audit), totalling £17049.10.
015/23 Finance – It was RESOLVED to note the list of payments made, receipts received and the April Dashboard report.
016/23 Committee Memberships – The following Cllrs were elected to the following Committees:
Finance & Policy Committee – Cllrs Cass, Everett, Galloway, Masters, Optix, Richards, and Seldon.
Assets & Land Management Committee – Cllrs Cass, Everett, Galloway, Lethaby, Richards, Watkins, and Worth.
Community Centre Committee – Cllrs Cass, Corner, Optix, Seldon, Smallridge, Watkins, and Worth.
Personnel Committee – Cllrs Corner, Optix, Seldon, Smallridge, and Worth.
Emergency Committee – The Chairman (Cllr Seldon), Vice Chairman (Cllr Galloway), The Clerk (A.Wyer), Cllrs Lethaby, Richards and Worth. Cllr Worth was also elected to the position of Emergency Officer.
Parish Council Representatives – The following Councillors were elected to be representatives of the Council at/with/for:
Combe Martin Primary School: Cllr Corner, Leys Charity: Cllr Cass, Combe Martin Museum: Cllr Galloway, Combe Martin Village Hall Community Group: Cllr Seldon, Combe Martin Business Association: Cllr Lethaby, Exmoor Parish & Consultative Forum: Cllr Galloway, Combe Martin Coastal Community Team: Cllr Worth and Combe Martin Bowls Club: Cllr Optix.
017/23 Meetings Calendar – It was RESOLVED to approve the draft calendar of meetings. The Calendar will be available on the website and posted on the Council Notice Board.
018/23 General Power of Competence – The Council RESOLVED that as it has met the criteria, it would assume the General Power of Competence.
019/23 Civility and Respect Pledge – The Clerk was asked to defer this item for 6 months.
020/23 Councillor Training – The Clerk introduced the new DALC Councillor Development Framework and explained that there is a budget for Councillor training so Councillors should read through the scheme and identify which courses they wanted to complete. There may be a financial saving available if a number of Councillors wanted to be on the same course.
021/23 Office Hours – The Clerk confirmed that the Office Staff had brought this item forward without any prompting. Following the winter when the Community Centre was open as a warm space during the day, the office staff were used to and happy to, have the office open 9-3 Mon-Fri. The Council RESOLVED to approve the new office opening hours.
022/23 Workman’s Shed – The Clerk gave a verbal update on the project to locate the Workman’s shed at the Community Centre site. The original planning permission application has been withdrawn but that a replacement application for just the proposed entranceway was about to be submitted.
023/23 Annual Document review – The following documents were re-adopted or amended and adopted. (Amendments shown in brackets)
Financial Regulations (Clerk delegated power to authorise a mid-month payment run.)
Terms of Reference: (All references to the frequency of meetings to be amended to say “As agreed at the Annual Meeting and/or as required”)
Assets & Land Management Committee
Community Centre Committee
Finance and Policies Committee
Insurance – The Clerk confirmed insurance cover was in place.
Complaints Procedure (Will be reviewed at next Finance & Policies Committee meeting)
Data Protection Policy
Employment Policies (16 policies)
024/23 Greenhill Steps – The condition of the steps and the possible encouragement of people to use the SWW concrete pipe cover as a path (without permission from SWW) were discussed. It was RESOLVED to erect proper notices at the top and bottom of the steps stating they were closed.
025/23 War Memorial – Following a verbal report from Cllr Worth, it was RESOLVED that the War Memorial garden should be kept cut and well maintained at all times.
026/23 Correspondence – The correspondence was NOTED.
027/23 Exclusion of Press and Public – It was RESOLVED to exclude the Press and Public from the last agenda item as it involved the likely disclosure of confidential information.
028/23 Council Leases – The Clerk gave an update on three Council Leases and how they were progressing.