Draft minutes of the Combe Martin Parish Council meeting held
on 10th October 2022 at 7pm at Combe Martin Community Centre.
Present: Cllrs. T Seldon (Chair), S Boyce, A Corner, L Lethaby, P Walker, R Watkins,
D Woodbury and M Worth.
Also in attendance: District Cllr Gubb, Andrew Wyer (Clerk)
and 8 members of the public.
208/22 Apologies – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllrs C Galloway,
D Richards and M Richards. County Cllr Davis also sent her apologies.
209/22 Declarations of Interest – Cllr Lee declared an interest in planning application 75968.
210/22 Public Participation – A question was raised about the funding for the Scar access works on the beach (BBQ area) and the status of the Greenhill Steps project. (A response would be researched and sent to the member of the public who asked the question.) Another member of the public asked about funding for the play area at Arnolds Plot and was assured that the Council was planning to add funds to locally raised funds to upgrade the equipment in the play area. Everyone at the meeting was reminded of the upcoming (22nd October) Northern Soul night at the Village Hall, raising funds for this.
211/22 Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park – Cllrs were unable to receive an update on this issue.
212/22 Minutes – It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes from the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 11th July 2022 were correct and they were then signed.
213/22 Change of order – It was RESOLVED to move agenda item 30, so it was discussed next.
214/22 Parade Toilets – Cllr Woodbury proposed that the toilets be converted by the Parish Council into accommodation units designed for walkers. Cllr. Worth had been contacted by Bobbies Bakes who had a proposal for converting the unit into an outlet for their business. It was RESOLVED to move forward with the proposal from Bobbies Bakes (subject to planning permission) and for the Clerk to start agreeing the details.
215/22 Minutes – The draft minutes of the Finance & Policy meeting held on Monday 11th June 2022 were NOTED. The following recommendations were then ACCEPTED:
To approve and adopt the Standing Orders
To approve and adopt the Financial Regulations
To approve and accept the Asset Register
To approve and accept the Direct Debits
To approve and adopt the Internal Controls
To approve and adopt the Anti-Fraud & Corruption Policy
To approve and adopt the FOI Publication Scheme
To approve and adopt the Data Protection Policy
To approve and adopt the Annual Leave Policy
To approve and adopt the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy
To approve and adopt the Emergency Dependants Policy
To approve and adopt the Equality / Diversity Policy
To approve and adopt the Expenses Policy
To approve and adopt the Flexible Working Policy
To approve and adopt the Homeworking Policy
To approve and adopt the Lone Working Policy
To approve and adopt the Maternity Policy
To approve and adopt the Disciplinary Policy
To approve and adopt the Grievance Policy
To approve and adopt the Paternity Policy
To approve and adopt the Performance Improvement Policy
To approve and adopt the Sickness Policy
To approve the Training / Development Policy
To approve and adopt the Whistleblowing Policy
To approve and adopt the Memorial Plaque Policy
216/22 Subscriptions – Following a discussion, it was RESOLVED to not continue the subscriptions to Mole Valley, The Exmoor Society and Devon Communities Together and to add PRS to the list.
217/22 Clerks Report – The report from the Clerk was NOTED.
218/22 County Cllr Davis had submitted her report, and this had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.
District Cllr Gubb asked the Parish Council to lobby the MP about the availability of assistance grants given the number being denied to local projects because we fall outside of the targeted area. She also gave an update on the reported use of the Dilkhusa Hotel by the Home Office to house asylum seekers. North Devon Council had concerns about the ability of local infrastructure to cope with an influx of people needing assistance. She also advised that some of the numbers being suggested were wildly inaccurate.
219/22 The Police reported 3 offences recorded in Combe Martin during August and 7 in September. (2 Violence (with injury), 1 Stalking/Harassment, 1 Burglary Dwelling, 1 Vehicle Offences, 1 Other Theft, 2 Criminal Damage, and 2 Other Offences.)
Cllr. Walker asked if the Police could give more information on the areas where burglary had taken place to aid crime prevention in these areas.
Cllr. Lethaby left the room ahead of the following item.
220/22 The Council RESOLVED to make the following comments on the planning applications from North Devon Council:
75855 – To SUPPORT the application for extensions to dwelling at Revel, Rews Close,
75879 – To SUPPORT the application for extensions to dwelling at 4 Orchard Close,
75968 – To SUPPORT the retrospective application for a rear extension and
alterations at Morsha, King Street, Combe Martin
75941 – To SUPPORT the application for extension to dwelling at 5 Knowle Gardens,
Cllr Lethaby returned to the room.
221/22 There were no planning applications from Exmoor National Park, relating to Combe Martin, to consider.
222/22 The Council RESOLVED to note the planning decisions from North Devon Council:
75558 – APPROVED– Extension to owners’ accommodation at guest house.
223/22 There were no decisions from Exmoor National Park to note.
224/22 Finance – The Council APPROVED the list of October payments totalling
£10401.98 and two further invoices totalling £125.38, and NOTED the receipts, payments (including cheques authorised since the last meeting for £10438.05 and £16256.41), and the Dashboard reports from July, August & September.
225/22 Conclusion of Audit – The report from the Auditors was NOTED.
226/22 Committee Membership – It was RESOLVED that Cllrs Lethaby and D. Richards would join the Assets and Land Management Committee, that Cllr Corner would join the Community Centre Committee, Cllr Woodbury would join the Finance and Policies Committee and that Cllr Corner would join the Personnel Committee.
There are still vacancies on the Finance and Policy Committee and for Council representatives to/on Combe Martin Business Association and the Bowls Club.
227/22 Pack of Cards Boundary – The Clerk had confirmed the land boundaries with Land Registry and was happy that the ownership and area with a right of way over it were well defined.
228/22 Community Centre – It was RESOLVED to agree to a proposal from the Clerk that the Council use the Community Centre to provide a warm space for residents struggling to heat their own homes this winter. The Clerk will liaise with the local churches and other organisations to ensure there is no wasted duplication of effort or provision. Additional costs should be offset by donations and grant applications.
229/22 Community Centre Defibrillator – The Council agreed that the Community Centre would be an ideal location for a defibrillator and thanked the Village Hall for offering to apply for a NDC grant to purchase the unit and then to add it to the other defibrillators in the village that they manage.
230/22 Bowls Club Wall – Cllr Worth reported that the river wall at the Bowls Club is being undermined by the river in several places. Cllrs felt that the Environment Agency would be the most useful and appropriate body to advise on how best to deal with the situation. Cllr Woodbury believed that the Environment Agency conducted regular visual inspections along the river. It was RESOLVED to ask the Environment Agency to comment / advise when they next inspected the river.
231/22 Five Year Plan – This item was deferred to the next meeting.
232/22 Mill Wier Lane – It was RESOLVED to get independent specific legal advice which would allow the Council to make an informed decision on how to proceed. The Clerk had tried to get three quotes but only had two. Company A was cheaper, but Company B had more specialised knowledge and experience in the areas of law required. It was RESOLVED to accept the estimate of £2395 from Company B. Company B is Sharpe Pritchard LLP
233/22 Hangman Path – The Clerk will continue to investigate who has vehicular rights to use the footpath (the main cause of damage to the surface) and will add the resurfacing the path onto the job when Kiln car park or Marine drive are next resurfaced.
234/22 Green Waste Policy – It was RESOLVED to approve and adopt the policy.
235/22 Grants Policy – It was RESOLVED to approve and adopt the policy. The Clerk was asked to draft a Planning Application policy.
236/22 Safeguarding Policy – It was RESOLVED to defer this to the next meeting. Cllr Woodbury offered to assist in updating the policy. It was also suggested that there should be a “lead” Cllr for Safeguarding within the Council.
237/22 Recent Inspections – The electrical report for the Community Centre, the tree inspections, and the FRA, were all NOTED. It was RESOLVED to accept the quote for the electrical work, to fell the trees identified at Hollands Park using existing Council resources and to carry out the works required by the FRA.
238/22 Workman’s Shed – It was RESOLVED to apply for planning permission for a block-built building at the Community Centre and to also apply for a simpler building at Hollands Park.
239/22 Dog exercise area – It was RESOLVED to move the entrance to the dog exercise area and to relandscape that area.
240/22 Cormelles CP expansion – Cllr Worth reported that it would cost approximately £1200 to add 5 additional spaces to Cormelles car park. It was RESOLVED to proceed if planning permission, EA approval, and the necessary Parking Order changes could all be obtained/secured.
241/22 Correspondence – The correspondence had been circulated ahead of the meeting and was NOTED.
242/22 Dates of future meetings – The next planned Council meeting will be held on 14th November. It may be necessary to hold an additional meeting if the Council wishes to update any parking prices. The Clerk will email members of the Finance and Policies Committee with suggested dates to find a date when enough members could attend.
Ahead of the next item Cllrs Seldon and Worth left the room and Cllr Lethaby temporarily chaired the meeting.
243/22 Village Hall – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should write to the complainant saying that the area was the responsibility of the Parish Council, so we would attempt to police it. The Clerk confirmed with Cllrs that there was an agreement between the Council and the Village Hall to update their lease re: the rent and insurance re-charges. The Clerk will try to get this document to the next meeting for Council sign-off.
Cllrs Seldon and Worth returned, and Cllr Seldon resumed as Chairman.
Cllr Boyce left at 21:03
244/22 Exclusion of Press and Public – It was RESOLVED to exclude the press and public for the rest of the meeting, due to the likely disclosure of confidential information.
245/22 Civil Parking Enforcement Officer cover – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should continue to research prices and options for using an outside contractor for this service.
246/22 Workman Vacancy – It was RESOLVED to continue with the current situation but to alternate the areas getting litter picked each day, to free up two hours each day.
Cllr Corner left the room ahead of the following item.
247/22 Tenancy issues and rent review – The Clerk gave a verbal report on an ongoing issue and how it may need to be resolved. Given the situation it was RESOLVED not to follow the advice of the letting agent to increase the rent.
The meeting closed at 21:50