Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Key information

Meeting location: The Church of St James, Avonwick

Meeting time: 7.30 pm

The agenda for this meeting will be published at least three days before the meeting.

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 6 May 2014

These minutes were approved on 3 June 2014

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.


There were three members of the public present. The question of Fibre Optic Broadband provision was discussed. South Brent exchange is being evaluated as part of a government funded programme which  means that planning and surveying work is needed before roll-out details are confirmed. To check back for further updates that may include your area. - See more at:

It has been advised that it is still useful to register your interest in having fibre broadband. This is the link

The problem of identifying offending owners of dogs whose mess was left unattended was discussed. It seems that some offenders object to ‘photos being taken.

It was noted that the minutes of the last meeting had not appeared on the notice board in North Huish. Apologies were given by the person concerned.


Councillors Childs, Cooper, Hunt, Luscombe, Pearse, Seager-Berry, and District and Parish Councillor Steer.


County Councillor Vint.


Councillor Steer Avonwick Hall project and Wind Turbine at Charford Farm. Councillor Seager-Berry Wind Turbine at Charford Farm. Councillor Seager-Berry left the room while the Wind turbine proposals were being discussed.


The MINUTES of the meeting held on 1st April 2014 were confirmed and signed. Councillor Steer corrected two errors in the minutes both concerning information that he had given concerning solar farms/ wind turbines.


The clerk outlined various communications that he had had concerning the lack of community engagement with the Police.  Sarah Wollaston MP had been most supportive of the Council in its attempts to improve matters. The clerk was again instructed to contact the police to request a simple report of crimes and/or criminal activity occurring within or in the neighbourhood of the parish each month. Police surgeries would now take place each month outside the shop – see notice board for dates and times


District Councillor Steer reported on two site visits that he had made concerning a wind turbine and a solar farm. Both applications were to be considered by the Planning Committee in the week following this meeting. Councillor Steer outlined changes that were to take place in the senior management team at Follaton House. There would be a reduction from nine to six staff at this level. Other line managers would have to reapply for their jobs. Staff were already leaving for work with other authorities.

Councillor Steer updated the Council on matters concerning the Sherford development. The development would start on land belonging to Plymouth City Council. Councillor Steer had been invited to sit in on Plymouth’s meetings concerning this development.

The objections that Sarah Wollaston MP had recently voiced concerning Solar Farms and Wind Turbines were noted. South Hams District Council has to follow national as well as local policies when considering such applications.

Councillor Childs reported on the play park development. She stated that the work was almost complete. There has to be a period of time now for the new turf to settle before the park can be opened for use. There are a few details to be ironed out with the suppliers of the park equipment. Councillor Childs was delighted with the work of the local contractor who had installed the park. She thanked Councillor Hunt for supplying and delivering the soil for the mound. This had proved to be more difficult than expected but he had ensured that the work was completed. The final handing over of the land should take place in the near future.


The Council gave the following response to a letter received from the Avonwick and North Huish Community Hall Project Committee requesting £250 for a Consultation evening:

  1. The Council acknowledges that a public meeting is necessary to determine whether or not there is sufficient interest in the village to support the provision of and future use/maintenance of a village hall.
  2. The Council feels that until the need for a hall has been established it would be pointless to proceed with further planning.
  3. The Council believes that the group working towards the provision of a Parish Hall needs to be both larger in size and more representative of the community. It is assumed that if sufficient interest is forthcoming from the suggested public meeting then it would be appropriate to include such other people in the Project Group.
  4. The Council is willing to receive three quotations from you for the cost of printing a simple leaflet seeking a response from parishioners to the possible provision of a village hall and inviting them to a meeting to assess public interest and, if it considers the quotations  to be reasonable, to cover the cost of printing them.
  5. The Council believes that the first public meeting should be a simple one lasting for no more than an hour. This meeting could be held under the auspices of the Council in which case it would be covered by the Council's insurance and could be held in St. James Church. The Council is willing to cover the cost of such a meeting held in the Church. It is not willing to commit itself to any other costs such as the provision of food/drinks etc as it does not believe that these are necessary
  6. The Council wishes to state quite clearly that the funds held by the Council now known as the Community Fund have been committed to the provision of the new Play Park in Avonwick. There is no further funding available apart from that which originates from the Council Precept.  The Council holds precept money on behalf of the Parish and would not normally consider requests for funding of a social activity from this source.
    The council regrets that apart from the funds to cover leaflets and the use of the Church it is not willing to provide additional funds to meet your request.

The council had received advance notice of a proposed wind turbine at Charford Farm.

A number of Councillors had already been made aware of the concerns of parishioners.

Observations of councillors included:  Why a turbine when the farm roof could carry solar panels? Why so tall? Would the “ flicker” cause problems for drivers on the nearby road?


The Council approved the Annual Return Accounting Statement for

the year ended March 2014 and signed the Statement of Assurance.

The Council agreed to change its insurer to Zurich Insurance and to pay the insurance renewal costs.

Monthly statement


Balance c/f 7132.70
Income (interest) 0.23
Expenditure (park) 320.00
Expenditure (office) 350.00
Expenditure(insur) 69.25
Balance c/f 6393.68


This balance is made up as follows:


P3 Money 149.40
Community Fund 1686.63
Council funds 4557.65
Total 6393.66



Knotweed was reported on the Avonwick – Brent road, at Huish Cross and at Rectory Cross. Action clerk

The Council was informed that the new Avonwick sign on the Totnes road had been damaged – presumably by a motor vehicle. Councillor Hunt was repairing it. He was thanked by the Council for undertaking this work.

Potholes were again reported. Parishioners are reminded that there is a weblink on Devon County Council’s site that they can use to report potholes and other problems with the highways.


The dog warden to be invited to attend when possible.


Tuesday 3rd June 2014 at 7.30pm at St James Church, Avonwick.