HAWKCHURCH PARISH COUNCIL
Clerk to the Council:
Mr John Vanderwolfe Chartered MCIPD, MCMI
5 Halletts Way
Minutes of the Council Meeting held by Skype on the 17th November 2020, commencing at 7pm.
Present: Cllr’s R Churchill (Chairman), R Fox, T Greenshields, L Harper, J Baker and A Nolan
In Attendance: The Clerk (Mr J Vanderwolfe), Cllr I Hall (Devon County Council) and Cllr P Hayward (East Devon District Council)
Apologies received from Cllr D Searle (work) and Cllr S Bartlett (unwell)
255 Public Question Time
No items received or members of the public present.
256 Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct
No Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct were made at this stage of the meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting held on the 20th October 2020. Having been previously circulated, were adopted as a true record.
258 Matters Arising
There were no matters raised under this item.
259 County Councillor’s Report
DCC Social care
As we go in to winter and a second COVID-19 lockdown DCC Social care teams have been planning and preparing for dealing with the fallout of the second wave, armed with a lot more knowledge and understanding than in the spring of 2020 and the first lockdown, with a focus on vulnerable people and unpaid carers
Designated Care Home
This Department of Health and Social Care has written to all local authorities setting out requirements to designate care settings for COVID-19 positive people who are not quite well enough to return straight home from an acute hospital. These settings will be inspected by the CQC for assurance of infection control measures. Whilst the settings could be existing care homes, the beds would need to be on separate wings or floors in order to avoid the risk of infecting other residents, and would require a separate staff group to support these residents.
No care home will be required to accept someone with a positive test result, and we are in the process of agreeing with local NHS providers how we can ensure we have suitable accommodation available to meet this need.
Unpaid carers across Devon do an incredible amount work and this has only increased during the COVID-19 period, with recent research suggesting that nearly two-thirds of unpaid carers have not been able to take any breaks at all in the last six months. In response to this, alongside NHS Devon CCG we have made grants of between £1,000 and £15,000 available to care providers, personal assistants, and carers themselves who can develop and provide innovative opportunities that will give other carers a break, during COVID-19. See https://www.devonnewscentre.info/new-funds-available-to-help-carers-take-a-break/ for how to apply
Waste and recycling
The regulations and guidance for the second lockdown have been tweaked a little to widen what is and isn’t classified as being to open and operate. I have received enquiries from members of the public about the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s), where I can reassure you that DCC sites will not be closing. There may be occasions where there are staff shortages, and some temporary closure may be necessary but DCC will put out media communications about any situation that arises due to staff sickness/isolation
COVID-19 funding for individuals, organisations and business
DCC Devon County Council allocated £192,100 from Government grants and an additional DEFRA one using EDDC to set up a hardship fund (with qualifying criteria) and process applications during the COVID-19 crisis. This fund is still very much open for business and applications and further details can be found at https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/financial-hardship-fund-information
Street lighting in urban and applicable rural settings
Devon County Council has recently announced that all of its 79,000 streetlights will be converted to LED lights within the next two years – reducing carbon emissions by 75%.
It comes as part of a working partnership with SSE Contracting who will be carrying out maintenance of streetlights in Devon and Torbay over the next ten years – with the aim of the contract being carbon neutral by 2030.
The company will be building on the work it has undertaken for the County Council for more than 25 years, which has already seen around 34,000 street lights converted to low energy LED technology since 2015, as well as the replacement of more than 5,400 street lighting columns. It will also look to improve the county’s Central Management System to remotely monitor and operate lighting more flexibly and efficiently and will eventually allow us to cease night scouting saving further costs.
This street lighting contract is extremely important as DCC continues to reduce carbon emissions. Streetlights account for a significant amount of the Council’s carbon emissions and the conversion to LEDs alone will reduce carbon emissions by more than 15,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off the roads of Devon.
Planned works continue as near to normal as possible with maintenance and capital works taking places across the Division.
Our Highways Officer this week sent out a very large bundle of information to all Clerks ‘Useful Information versus Legislation’ well worth a read.
260 District Councillor’s Report
Cllr Hayward reported that there are several grants available through EDDC. The one for businesses that have been forced to close during the present lockdown will be dealt with by the council contacting those eligible businesses directly. There are also grants available for certain home workers, not covered under the previous schemes as well as a hardship fund. He felt that it would be a good idea for the parish council to apply for some Covid-19 funding, which could be used if things really get desperate as the winter rolls on. He also stated that councils might need to look at having hybrid meetings in the spring of 2021. That would require all sorts of equipment at the village hall, that at present is not in place. Funding, he stated would be available for this type of thing. He would circulate details of the various funding to the clerk when the full details have been released. The EDDC Local Plan will shortly be available for consultation.
Accounts for Payment: The following accounts were agreed for payment: CPRE £36.00, Smith of Derby £272.40, Glasdon £313.49, Ian Churchill £835, Hawkchurch PCC £100, RBL Poppy Appeal £20.
262 Financial Update
The financial update had been circulated prior to the meeting, and was agreed. Total financial assets as at the 11th November 2020 were £40,450.09.
263 Section 106 Update
Report from the Chairman
. The s106 money we have is £1,640 for play and £11,848 for open space. To get some of the money we need to decide one thing that we want to do (for example improve access to the playfield) minute it, get quotes & consult as necessary then send to Sulina who writes a report with the info given to her which if it is approved we get the money and it gets done. From experience Sulina suggests that once we have one project done then there will be more feedback which could lead to the next (funds willing) and also link in with the neighbourhood plan.
Play money – needs to facilitate play
Open space – [youth] play or formal park or allotments or amenity space (so can improve field with benches, fenced off dog run etc etc)
Previously we have talked about shelter for football spectators/ mums/teens on the field
265 Highways and Rights of Way
Cllr Greenshields reported that the parish lengthsman would shortly undertake the clearing of gullies, channels and grids, prior to the icy weather starting.
There is a need for several people to undertake the Chapter 8 training to comply with health and safety on the highway.
It was understood that a Speed Indicator Device (SID) might be available for loan from Thorncombe Parish Council. It will need a post to be displayed on. The clerk would speak with the chairman of Thorncombe regarding this.
266 Old Inn Community Asset
The meeting noted correspondence from EDDC in respect of the Old Inn being on the market and that if a local group wished to show an interest in the purchase they had until the 17th December to do so. The clerk informed the meeting that the district council would contact the parish council some time before the expiry date of the present community asset registration to enable them to re-register again if it wished to.
267 Snow Plan
Cllr’s David Searle and Tim Greenshields would prepare this plan based on a template recently sent to them. A plan of which roads are dealt with by the County Council gritting team will be forwarded via our county Councillor.
268 Planning Application
There were no planning applications to be dealt with
Beech Corner, Blackpool Corner: Raise ridge level and reposition roof lights. This has been approved.
270 Neighbourhood Plan
Agreed that this be left until the February 2021 agenda
271 Items of Urgency
All relevant correspondence had been emailed to members
273 Next Meeting
The chairman closed the meeting at 8.05pm
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 22nd December at 7pm and will be a virtual meeting. Zoom will be used for this meeting hosted by the clerk