Report of the Parish Council Meeting 5th May 2021

Summary of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 5th May 2021    by Roz Fox

The meeting was held on Zoom. Present: Councillors Ruth Churchill, Julie Baker, Ann Nolan, Tim Greenshields, Sue Bartlett and Roz Fox. Apologies for absence were received from David Searle. One member of the public was in attendance.

Election of New Chairman and Vice Chairman

The first item on the Agenda was to elect a new Chairman. Ann Nolan was proposed and seconded and the vote was unanimous. Ann has a wealth of experience to offer from her work as a senior Civil Servant. Julie Baker has agreed to continue as Vice Chairman.  Ann thanked the outgoing Chairman Ruth Churchill for all her hard work over the previous years.

Membership of the Playfield Committee

Present members of the Playfield Committee remain in office but it was agreed to try and recruit some new Committee Members from the general public.

Appointments to outside bodies

Tim Greenshields – Community Shop Committee

David Searle – Village Hall Committee

Ann Nolan – Devon Association of Local Councils

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes: The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 16th March 2021 were adopted as a true record.

Matters Arising:

Cllr Baker raised the matter of some water leaks close to the sewage works and Wyld Court. Cllr Greenshields had notified South West Water who had attended and turned off the water supply! Although this stopped the leak it is not a long-term solution as there is still some seepage between the lower entrance to the sewage works and Wyld Court.

County & District Report: Neither Cllr Hall nor Cllr Hayward were in attendance nor had they submitted reports which, as the Clerk explained, was probably due the fact they were in “purdah” before the upcoming local election.


The Accounts for Payment; Financial Update; Annual Governance Statement and the Annual Accounting Statement were all approved.

S106 Update – it had previously been agreed that this item be left until the Neighbourhood Planning Process was underway as this would be incorporated in asking the community for input.

Planning Applications:

There was only one application for an annex near the stables at Woodhouse Farm and after some discussion it was agreed to support this.

Planning Determinations:

It was noted that the application involving Hawkwell Park had been refused but the Clerk explained that this application was in order to withdraw an appeal which is still ongoing.


Cllr Greenshields submitted the following report:

Highways digger in April cleared all easements and grips in the Parish but not verge ditches which are the responsibility of the landowners. They have cleared some in the past, but now have a much-reduced budget. Drains should now be clear, however next spell of heavy rain will tell! Darren will cut banks opposite playing field and Wych Court in late May when daffodils have died back. Cllr Sue Bartlett mentioned overgrown vegetation opposite the playing field at our last meeting. Most of this has now been cut back, apart from a silver birch which needs to be left until next winter. Roses in tubs also pruned, weeded and watered – perhaps Gardening Club should take this on in future.

Vehicle Activated Sign: Two poles have been erected in the village to take a VAS unit, one at Orchard House (by the bus shelter) and one at the Ropewalk. The unit is going to be shared with Axmouth and Musbury with approximately 14 weeks usage. The cost to the Parish is £108 for one post. The unit and other post has been paid for out of the County Councillor’s locality budget.

Rights of Way:

Cllr Fox submitted the following report:

The paths have recovered after the very wet winter and have almost got to the stage where they are too dry! Several villagers have reported that the landowner has been moving boundaries on FP40 (Church to Courshay) and BW 44 (Courshay to Buddlewall). This is in accordance with required distances but will be checked by DCC.  The badgers are still an issue on FP21 at the bridge on land owned by Fairwater Farm. An inspection from the relevant Council authority has been requested to see if the path needs diversion. Further along that path at the substation, the owners of the solar panels decided to make a new track around it. They were in infringement of Rights of Way and Planning regulations and have been told to apply for retrospective planning permission. Several fields in the Parish have gone into maize and the cross-field paths have not been reinstated within the required period so this will be monitored by DCC.

The Clerk asked about the Annual Grant which had not been received. Cllr Fox said she had spoken to DCC and the grant would be issued shortly.

Update on PROW

Since the Meeting took place DCC have been out to inspect the various issues and have approved the width of FP40 and BW44 and the electric fence beside them, providing that warning signs are erected along the length of the paths.

The Exchange

The former telephone kiosk is now open for business again after the books were removed for storage in Cllr Greenshields Barn. Cllr Fox and her husband had cleaned and restocked it and the Chairman thanked all concerned.

Future Parish Council Meetings

After some discussion it was agreed that in future Parish Council Meetings would take place bi-monthly with the option to hold additional Meetings if matters of urgency should arise. Virtual Meetings will no longer be permitted after 7th May as the COVID legislation that permitted them expires and meetings are subject to the previous local government legislation which requires Councillors to be physically present and the meetings to be held in public.

We would like to recruit two new Parish Council Members to bring diversity to our team. If you would like to support your community and make a difference to the village, please contact the Clerk John Vanderwolfe:  You can email him at: or telephone him on 01297 34444. If you would prefer to have an informal chat with one of the current councillors their details can be found on the village website.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 20th July 2021 at 7pm following on from the Playfield Committee Meeting at 6.30pm.

Please note that this is not the official minute of the meeting. Please see the Parish Council Documents for all agendas and minutes.