Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 11 April 2023

Key information

Meeting location: The Church of St James, Avonwick

Meeting time: 7.30 pm

Sound Recording You can download the audio recording for this meeting or use the player embedded in this page after the download link. Download the audio file here.

Agenda for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 11 April 2023

Agenda for the NHPC meeting to be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11th April 2023 at St James’ Church, Avonwick. TQ10 9NA.

1:             Open Forum

For parishioners to raise matters of concern relevant to the work of the Parish Council

(NB matters concerning other bodies e.g. SWW, SHDC and DCC should normally be referred directly to such bodies.  The Parish Council would try assist where difficulties arise after such a referral has taken place.)

2:             Present

3:             Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence (if any)

4:             Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest (if any)

5:             Previous Minutes

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 7th March 2023

6:             Matters Arising

  • Kitterford Cross Roundabout near miss reported in the March meeting, and the safety report.
  • VAS sign not working in Avonwick
  • Defibrillator in North Huish
  • Parish Clerk recruitment

7:             Reports

To receive Reports from

  1. County Councillor Thomas
  2. District Councillor Pannell or Smerdon
  3. Play Park inspection
  4. others (if any)

8:             Planning

To consider Planning Applications and to note decisions:

Planning application ref 0830/23/FUL
Proposal: Provision of a manege
Location: Land at SX703 573 Barons Hill Farm, Avonwick. We are consulted as a neighbouring parish. Comments to be submitted by 27th April 2023.

Decisions: None to note this month.

9:             Correspondence

To consider correspondence received.

  • John Rawlinson re: Primrose Trail
  • Heron Valley Cider Ltd re: Primrose Trail
  • AONB request to attend future meeting

10:      Finance

  • To note recent and future income and expenditure.
  • To approve Invoice ref 2006 from J& MJ Widdicombe £105.60 for payment, for clearing drains/buddleholes in March.
  • To approve renewal of DALC membership for 2023/24, £128.60 quoted. Invoice to follow shortly.

11:      Highways

To consider Highway matters.

12:      Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings, to agree a date for the Annual Parish meeting, and the Annual meeting of the Parish Council in May.

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 11 April 2023

These minutes were approved on 9 June 2023

Please noteEvery care has been taken to present this accessible copy of the minutes with accuracy, but the formal record of the meeting remains the signed paper copy of the minutes.

N.B. Minutes approved with amendments, indicated by struck-through words.

1:      Open Forum

The chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, including new [from May] councillor Lesley Ring, and three members of the public who were in attendance.

A member of the public asked about the position of the parish council regarding the plans for the Primrose trail, and discussed the group’s recent canvassing activities, including a recent article in the Kingsbridge Gazette.

The chairman explained that when they proposed their plans previously to the parish council about 2 years ago, the parish council was not enthusiastic, due to landowners not being consulted properly, which created some animosity, Cllr Hunt also pointed out that we asked to see formal plans at the time, which was never received. Cllr Grevatt also said at the time that we raised a number of questions about their plans, which were unanswered, however they have published these instead on their website under their frequently answered questions section.

The chairman proposed that the representative, John Rawlinson, who has recently asked to attend a meeting, be asked to discuss their plans to the full council in the Annual Parish Meeting next month on 9th May, for them to update everyone of their current plans for the Primrose Trail. Then the council can decide on their position on this, going forwards.

Another member of the public asked if the AONB would be invited to attend, and the chairman explained they will be.

David Hancock, Lib Dem candidate, introduced himself to the council and advised he would be standing in the district elections shortly.

Cllr Grevatt said he’s been asked by North Huish to ask Royal Mail to order and fit some mail brushes in the post box in North Huish, as there is a problem with snails going into the post box. HeClerk will contact Royal Mail about this.

2:      Present:

Cllrs Gabriel, Grevatt, Seager-Berry, Steer, Hunt, Bell and Luscombe. District Cllr Pannell. Three members of the public attended the meeting.

3:  Apologies for absence

County Cllr Thomas and District Cllr Smerdon.

4:  Declarations of Interest


5:  Previous Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on the 7th March 2023 were confirmed and signed. Proposed Cllr Seager-Berry, Seconded Cllr Hunt. Cllr Seager-Berry requested an amendment to the date of the church service to commemorate the King’s Coronation which was incorrectly recorded in the minutes. Clerk to amend this.

6:  Matters Arising

Kitterford Cross Roundabout – the near miss reported in last months meeting was raised with County Cllr Thomas, and his reply was circulated, sadly there is no system in place currently for reporting near misses. The safety report was also circulated to councillors during the month.

VAS sign not working, this has been reported and awaiting an update from highways on this. Ongoing.

Defibrillator in North Huish – Cllr Grevatt has been resetting this as and when needed. Ongoing.

Parish Clerk Recruitment – The chairman explained that 3 candidates applied for the role and have been interviewed, one has the necessary skills and experience required and therefore has been asked to attend this meeting, where the chairman had hoped to recommend him for the role. However, he hasn’t attended, we are unsure of the reason just yet, so the chairman will try to contact him to ask if he is still interested.

7:  Reports

County Council

No report has been submitted for this month.

District Council

A report has been circulated to the council and was discussed in the meeting, a copy of the report will be published on the website. Cllr Pannell explained that he and Cllr Smerdon are coming to the end of their four year term of office, and thanked the parish council for their friendly and co-operative approach.


Nothing to report this month, it is fine.

8:  Planning


Planning application ref 0830/23/FUL

Proposal: Provision of a manege

Location: Land at SX703 573 Barons Hill Farm, Avonwick. We are consulted as a neighbouring parish. Comments to be submitted by 27th April 2023.

This was supported, proposed by Cllr Steer, seconded by Cllr Bell.

No decisions to note this month.

9:  Correspondence

A request from John Rawlinson regarding plans for the Primrose Trail was discussed in the open forum, and it was agreed unanimously to invite him to outline their plans in the Annual Parish Meeting.

A request from the AONB to attend a meeting was also discussed and it was agreed unanimously to invite them to the same meeting.

An email containing correspondence from Heron Valley Cider Ltd has been circulated to the full council and noted.

Cllr Pannell and all members of the public left the meeting.

10:  Finance

Invoice ref 2006 from J&MJ Widdicombe for £105.60 was approved for payment. Proposed by Cllr Hunt, seconded by Cllr Steer.

Invoice for £128.60 from DALC for renewal of membership for 2023/24 was approved for payment. Proposed by Cllr Bell, seconded by Cllr Luscombe.

Opening balance of treasurers account as at 14th February 2023 was £321.10, payments during the month were as follows:

01/03/23 Clerk’s salary £106.10

01/03/23 PAYE £24.00

09/03/23 South Brent PC £15.53

Closing balance of treasurers account as at 9th March 2023 was £175.47.

Opening balance of the Business Bank Instant Account as at 14th February 2023 was £7,851.62, interest received during the month was £3.70.

Closing balance as at 9th March 2023 was £7,855.32.

11:  Highways

Cllr Steer raised an issue regarding potholes on the road outside the tennis club, it was again mentioned that potholes need to be reported by residents as and when seen, on the county council website.

Cllr Bell asked for an update on the grit bins in the parish, these have been reported and where needed, re-filled. There will be a cost to provide two new grit bins if required, it was discussed that it would be pertinent to wait until after the district elections, and to address this further then.

12:  Next Meeting

Cllr Seager-Berry explained to the full council that she will not be standing again, and the council thanked her for her long service and good work. She also explained that going forwards, the church will no longer be available for monthly parish council meetings, it was proposed that the clerk will contact the Tennis club and ask if monthly meetings could take place there.

Cllr Luscombe is also standing down, after 20 years, and the council also expressed their thanks and appreciation to her.

It was proposed to hold the Annual Parish Council Meeting and the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday 9th May 2023 at an earlier time of 6.30pm, at Avonvale Tennis Club, Black Hall Lane, Avonwick, TQ10 9EJ. Proposed by the chairman , seconded by Cllr Bell.

District Council Report

District Councillor's Report April 2023

Council Tax

South Hams District Council has agreed a rise in the council’s element of the Council Tax of £5 a year for a Band D property. This equates to just under 2.8%, 10p a week, and is slightly less than the maximum 2.9% allowed by the Government. A Band D property in South Hams will pay £185.42pa.

Devon County Council’s increase is the maximum 4.99%, a rise of £77.67 a year for a Band D property - £1,634.13pa,

Devon and Cornwall Police increase by 6%, a rise of £15 to £261.56pa

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue increase by 5.45% rise of £5 - £96.79pa

Average Parish Council Precept 3.5% to £80pa (varies according to Parish)

  • Council agreed to charge double Council Tax on second homes, joining several other Local Authorities across the country who have agreed to implement this rise. This is dependent on legislation being passed by the Government to allow it to happen. If enacted it will make a useful addition to Council income, as there are over 4000 second homes in the South Hams.
  • Council voted for toilets in Council ownership to return to having free admission. There will be discussions on supporting town and parish councils which have taken on responsibility for their toilets

Hydrogen Power Hub to be sited in South Hams

Energy infrastructure provider Carlton Power, who developed the Langage gas fired power station and the nearby Langage Solar Farm, have announced they have secured Government support to build and run a hydrogen production facility at Langage Industrial Estate near Ivybridge. The site has important connections to the National Grid for both gas and high voltage electricity.

This plant will be the first of its kind in Devon and Cornwall and will form part of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, which secured Government backing in 2022.

Under the scheme, Langage will provide local companies, such as transport fleets and heavy construction machinery with easy access to hydrogen fuel. In addition, the site will support the further growth of renewable electricity generation in the South West by producing and storing hydrogen at times when renewable output is high, but electricity demand is low.

In addition, the Council is in negotiation with defence contractor Babcock who are interested in a potential large site next to the A38 at Deep Lane, part of the Sherford development.

Babcock want to use the site for service and storage of equipment as part of their contract for maintenance of Royal Navy non-nuclear vessels

These two sites if they go ahead should provide stable, high quality employment for workers in our area.

Voter ID

There may be residents without access to the internet or a computer who require extra support applying for Voter ID. Residents can call the election team to make an appointment to help complete their application.

Call the team to make an appointment to help complete your application for Voter ID online or at the SHDC election office.

Tel: 01803 861434

We will need your National Insurance number and date of birth.

Key Dates for Residents

  • Register to vote by 11:59pm on Monday 17 April
  • Apply for postal vote by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April
  • Apply for Voter Authority Certificate by Tuesday 25 April

Garden Waste Update

The new South Hams garden waste collection service first collections took place within two weeks of 6 March. New collection rounds have been set up, serving more than 11,000 residents, who are charged £49 a year. After four days staff had visited 4,700 subscribed properties and only had 22 missed collections reported by the public, which for the first week of a new service is a fantastic achievement. We are encouraging residents to check their garden waste collection day as it may be on a different day to their refuse and recycling by visiting

SHDC is on target for the predicted 25% take up rate, we anticipate that this will increase once the growing season begins.

The Governments long awaited Environment Bill is due to be published shortly. It’s expected it will contain changes to regulations affecting waste and recycling collections by Councils. SHDC Officers are waiting to see what the implications of these proposed changes are before making further plans to change and upgrade the waste and recycling service we currently provide.

UK Emergency Alert Service launched – test taking place on 23 April 2023

The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger. It will be used to warn you in the event of emergencies, such as severe flooding. The Emergency Alerts system will allow the government to get urgent messages quickly to nearly 90 percent of mobile phones in a defined area. A UK-wide alerts test will take place in the early evening of 23 April, which will see people receive a test message on their mobile phones.   Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • Make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent.
  • Vibrate
  • Read out the alert.

The sound and vibration will last for about ten seconds.

It is important to note:

  • Alerts will only ever come from the government or emergency services, and they will issue a warning, the details of the area impacted, and instructions about how best to respond.
  • Emergency Alerts will be used very rarely – only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives – so people may not receive an alert for months, or even years.
  • Initial use will focus on the most serious severe weather-related incidents, including severe flooding in England.
  • Alerts are secure, free to receive, and one-way. They do not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.
  • If you don’t have a mobile phone and in the event of an emergency, you will be informed via other channels such as TV and radio.

For more information visit:

Raising Awareness around the Cost of Living

As part of our Cost of Living action plan, SHDC Communications team has been supplying local newspapers with articles on the cost of living, for both South Hams and West Devon. SHDC will continue to raise awareness around these issues, and the support available.

Wild About Devon Grants

Grants of up to £500 are available for Devon community wildlife projects.  The Wild About Devon grant scheme is open for new applications, having been extended following from a successful first round.

The aim of this grant scheme is to provide an easy way for community groups to access small amounts of funding to start a wildlife group or carry out activities that promote wildlife. Funds can be used for advice, equipment and other resources.

The Big Help Out

The Big Help Out is encouraging us all to roll up our sleeves and volunteer in the local area on Monday 8 May to celebrate the King's Coronation.

This is a great opportunity to reflect on the legacy of His Majesty's service and showcase the impact of volunteering within communities.

Residents can visit the Big Help Out website to find out how they can lend a hand within the South Hams this May. This event is a great way to get involved in the local community and meet like-minded people!

There is something for everyone to get involved in from lending a hand to improve a village green to helping the Ramblers keep our public footpaths in action. It is also a great way to promote volunteering opportunities.  Organisations can register with The Big Help Out to be matched with willing local volunteers.

New Local Electric Charging Points

Scottish Power have recently commissioned some further electric charging points within our car parks. Electric Charging Points are now available at the following car parks:

  • Glanvilles Mill car park, Ivybridge (Highways England)
  • Mayors Avenue car park, Dartmouth
  • Creek car park, Salcombe
  • Poundwell Meadow car park, Modbury
  • Pavilions car park, Totnes
  • Victoria Street car park, Totnes
  • Quay car park, Kingsbridge

Awaiting installation/commissioning are:

  • Fore Street car park, Kingsbridge
  • Park & Ride car park, Dartmouth

Further works are required to paint the EV bays and this will be carried out in due course. In the meantime, all these sites are available for use by the public.