Parish Council Minutes March 2024

HAWKCHURCH PARISH COUNCIL

Clerk to the Council:
Mr John Vanderwolfe FILCM Chartered MCIPD, MCMI
Newenham
5 Halletts Way
Axminster
EX13 5NB
 01297 34444
 johnvw@tiscali.co.uk

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at the Hawkchurch Village Hall on Tuesday 19th March 2024, commencing at 7pm

Present: Cllr’s Dr A Nolan (Chairman), S Bartlett, T Greenshields, J Dobson, J Baker and D Searle.

In Attendance: The Clerk (Mr J Vanderwolfe),Cllr M Mackinder (EDDC) , Police Officer , PC Middleton and six members of the public.

100 Apologies
Apologies received from Cllr I Hall (DCC)

101 Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct
Declarations in respect of payments were made by Cllr Dr A Nolan and Cllr D Searle

102 Minutes
The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 16th January, having been previously circulated; were adopted as a true record.

The Minutes of the Hawkchurch Asset Committee of the 30th January 2024 having been previously circulated; were adopted as a true record.

Cllr Nolan explained that whilst the clerk had obtained a quotation for the cleaning and restoration of the war memorial, public opinion was divided as to whether the memorial be cleaned or left to show its age. A public consultation exercise would take place. The clerk made the point that if the memorial was to be cleaned it needs to be undertaken in a professional manner, or the structure could be damaged.

Agreed that a budget of up to £500 be set aside for repairs to the pavilion. Mr Collins had kindly agreed to undertake repairs, together with volunteers. Volunteers will also clear the area by the bench. Agreed that the sum of £400 be set aside for planting. The school were keen to be involved with planting. Agreed to purchase a new notice board and look into possibility of one for Blackpool Corner.

103 Matters Arising
The clerk reported that he had been asked to find out who owned the land on which the war memorial sat. Devon County Council had stated that they do not own the land, therefore it would seem likely that there was no actual owner. The clerk suggested that it would be wise for the parish council to register the land with Land Registry This would need to be done via a solicitor. Members felt that this raised the question of who owns the area on which the bus shelter is sited and the bench opposite the play field is site. Resolved to try and register the green on which the war memorial sits and any other items, as listed above, if not seen to have ownership.

104 Democratic Period
Members were concerned about speeding through the village particularly at certain times of the day. PC Middleton informed the meeting that having been re-calibrated and would shortly be put into service. He agreed that they would undertake a speed check within the village in the near future. He confirmed that whilst prosecution could be made within the 30MPH, this did not apply for speeds below that. Confirmed that speed bumps not normally placed near to resident’s homes due to complaints of excessive noise; however residents could be consulted on this matter. Parishioners were concerned about recent vandalism to the pavilion and noted that there had also been a load of empty alcohol bottles near to the site. The officer agreed to keep a watchful eye on the area as part of the frequent patrols of the parish.
Cllr D Searle was concerned about the length of time it was taking to renew his guns license. The officer explained that following the shooting incident in Keyham (Plymouth) there had been a strengthening of the application process. He did agreed to pass on this complaint to the firearms licensing team.
A resident raised concerns about the fact that dwellings were still empty despite the shortage of housing accommodation for local people
The drain by the school within the playfield needs digging out.
105 County Council Report
A report had been circulated.
106 District Council Report
Cllr Mackinder stated that he had asked the question of the housing team as to why dwellings continued to be left empty. Whilst he accepted that somewhere being done up, he was surprised that after that had been done they were not being returned to the housing stock register. He would further investigate this.

A prosperity fund is now available, and is open to town and parish councils.

107 Accounts for Ratification
The following accounts were ratified: Timpsons £19.95, Society Clerks £100.00, Ian Churchill £70.00, Total Energies 3102.93, Smith of Derby £303.60, Mrs Fox £17.80 and GJ Searle & Sons 350.40. All invoices had been countersigned.

108 Financial Update
Members agreed the financial update spreadsheet. The financial assets of the Council were £33,857.10.

109 Planning Applications
24/0456/Ful Springfield: Hip to gable roof. Enlargement of veranda to front elevation and two porches. Support

110 Planning Determinations and Appeals
23/2099/Ful Land west of Wareham Road : Modular Battery Units. This application was withdrawn

Appeal against decision by EDDC to refuse application for a Battery Energy Storage System at Pound Road was dismissed.

111 Play Equipment –Section 106
The clerk confirmed that he had received the Section 106 signed agreement from EDDC. Zoe was thanked for all her hard work and perseverance in getting the project sorted. Zoe explained the preferred provider of the equipment had quoted a price of £11,842 plus Vat. The council would pay the Vat, and claim it back. There would be very little space within the play area for any other play equipment, however, the children had suggested some play panel screens.at £1208.35 plus VAT. Resolved that this be purchased and taken for the Solar Farm Earmarked Reserve fund. The clerk stated that as we were approaching the end of the financial year (31/3/24) it would be better to pay for all these items within one financial year, otherwise we could have to pay two lots of internal audit charges. Resolved that the equipment be ordered after the 1st April 2024.

112 Highways
It was noted that the problem with the drain near to the sewage works had been dealt with. Some potholes within the parish had been repaired, however members were critical of the workmanship and the length of time that they stay fixed. Cllr Greenshields once again pointed out that water from fields and gateways is the responsibility of the landowner and not the highway authority.

The point was made that it is very important to report any highway defects on line and not wait until a parish council meeting.

Members liked the idea of the possibility of setting up a speedwatch group.

113 Rights of Way
Mrs Fox had collated the various condition survey reports and had sent a report to the Devon ROW officers. She was thanked for her services.

114 Annual Parish Meeting
Subject to availability of the room this would be on the 28th May
115 Correspondence
Correspondence had been circulated via email by the clerk when received

116 Items of Urgency
Nil

117 Closing of Meeting
The chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.45pm.

118 Next Meeting: Tuesday 21st May 2024 at 7pm This will be the Annual Council Meeting.

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