Parish Council Minutes September 2023


Clerk to the Council:
Mr John Vanderwolfe FILCM Chartered MCIPD, MCMI
5 Halletts Way
EX13 5NB
 01297 34444

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at the Hawkchurch Village Hall on Tuesday 19th September 2023, commencing at 7pm

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

In Attendance: The Clerk (Mr J Vanderwolfe), Cllr I Hall (Devon County Council) and Cllr
D Mackinder (East Devon District Council) and two members of the public.

046 Apologies

047 Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct
Cllr D Searle –declaration of an invoice for payment for his company.

048 Minutes
The Minutes of the meetings held on the 18th July 2023 were adopted as a true record.

049 Matters Arising
Axminster Football Club were now using the playfield for a small rent. They had provided a key fob box at their expense.

A date would be agreed to meet with the Community Assets group next month.

050 Democratic Period
A member of the public was concerned about parking problems in the main street recently. Whilst it was generally accepted that the villagers did not wish to have yellow lines on the road he wondered if there was any other solutions to the problem. There could be major problems if the emergency services needed access. There had, he understood, been problems getting farm vehicles through the road because of the large amount of on-street parking.
The fete had been a great success and a number of organisations would be provided with donations to assist their causes.

051 County Council Report
Cllr Hall had forwarded a report, which had been circulated to all members prior to the meeting. He was pleased to announce that the banking hub would shortly open in the former Lloyds bank premises in Axminster. Concerns were expressed about the low number of ATM facilities in Axminster following the closure of the last bank in the town. A recent Facebook article had highlighted the many facilities that are available from Axminster Hospital. Often people are referred to Exeter for surgery and other medical appointments when they could have possibly been seen in Axminster hospital. The Axminster health forum has teamed up with a larger Devon area forum to look at the health needs for both urban and rural communities in Devon.

052 District Council Report
Cllr Mackinder commented on the recent emergency planning meeting, which had been a joint parish initiative. Devon Communities Together does have funding to enable a council to set up an emergency plan, or to provide various emergency items like HV clothing and radios. There is a need for each community to undertake a risk assessment. It was felt that it might be a good idea for Thorncombe and Marshwood to become involved with the plan.

EDDC Scrutiny Committee had examined the process for S106, and had agreed that there was a need to improve this, and the communication with parish and town councils. There had been long term problems caused by staff sickness and then staff shortages. The council had also moved from a paper based system to a computer based system, which seems to have caused further problems. He made the point that the councillors had been very concerned to learn that Hawkchurch had lost out on some of the S106 funds because they had been returned to the developer, and noted that assurances had been made that this would not happen. There was now a need to ensure that further funding was not lost in the same way

053 Accounts for Ratification
The following accounts were ratified: Mrs Fox £33.12, G J Searle £642.60, Papergami £42.00, DALC £88.33 and Total Energies £56.72

054 Financial Update
Financial update note. Financial assets : £40,267.93

055 Section 106
The chairman stated that she had been involved with a number of emails relating to the funds that had been returned to the developer, despite many assurances in the past that this would not happen. She had requested the Head of Planning to provide the deadline date for using the remaining £11,800 funding. The point was made that a great deal of work had been undertaken by Zoe Gage on the survey with the children, which had resulted in them requesting a climbing frame. After some discussion it was resolved that, if necessary, funding for some of the installation costs could come from the Solar Farm earmarked fund. It was also understood that the Deputy Leader of EDDC was trying to recover the lost S106 money from another source. A vote of thanks was recorded for all the work being undertaken by Zoe Gage.

056 Highways
Cllr Searle commented that he had been unable to cut some hedges because of overhanging trees. This, he pointed out, was the responsibility of landowners.

Cllr Greenshields informed the meeting that the Lengthsman was scheduled to undertake a great deal of work, but that he could not diary it in until another three weeks.

057 Rights of Way
A report had been received and circulated. Funding from Devon County Council had now been received. There had been some difficulties getting works done due to adverse weather conditions.

058 Report of EDDC Planning Meeting
The EDDC Planning committee had rejected the Pound Road application following a report from the fire service. It was understood that the Government were looking at renewable energy schemes again following concerns raised by the fire services.

It was felt that the planning officer had failed to provide the planning committee with all the relevant reports so that they could make a balanced decision on the risks of such a planning application to the local community. The officer had recommended approval even though these missing reports had raised big safety concerns. Resolved that an official complaint be made to EDDC regarding the manner in which this had been conducted.

There are another two days scheduled for the planning appeal in October.

059 Planning
23/1630/Vat Axe Vale Solar Farm. A landscape report had highlighted that previous conditions had not been adhered to. The Parish Council resolved not to support this application, pointing to the comments made in the landscape report

Members would inspect an application in Scouse Lane for a farm building, and report back.

An application for a property known as Coblers had been rejected.

060 Correspondence
Correspondence had been circulated via email by the clerk when received

061 Items of Urgency

062 Next Meeting : 21st November 2023 at 7pm

Meeting closed at 8.50pm

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