Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Key information

Meeting location: On-line

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, 6 October 2020

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.)

1:             Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence (if any)

2:             Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest (if any)

3:             Previous Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the meeting held on 1st September 2020

4:             Matters Arising

To discuss items arising from those Minutes

5:             Reports

To receive Reports from

  1. County Councillor Hosking
  2. District Councillor Pannell or Smerdon
  3. others (if any)

6:             Planning

To consider Planning Applications and to note decisions:

  1. Proposal to place a static caravan on agricultural land at Horsebrook Farmhouse
  2. Proposed siting of 4 pods at the Avon Inn, Avonwick

7:             Correspondence

To consider correspondence received.

8:             Finance

To note recent and future income and expenditure.

9:             Highways

To consider Highway matters.

10:          Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings

To agree upon a date for the next Meeting. (3rd November 2020?)

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 6 October 2020

These minutes were approved on 3 November 2020

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.

1:      Open Forum

There was one member of the public present. The Council was informed of damage caused to a car parked in the layby opposite Higher Moor. It is understood that the damage has been reported to the police. The identity of the person who caused the damage is unknown. Parishioners are asked to be aware of the possibility of such damage occurring in this rather restricted area of road.

The question of who is responsible for the maintenance of the bank behind this parking area was raised. It is reported as being over grown and obstructing road signs.

The rather large van parked at the entrance to the North Huish road in Avonwick is causing concern to parishioners. It has been there for some considerable time. Clerk to investigate.

Concern was raised by a parishioner over a request to planning for a caravan to be placed on land at Horsebrook. It was felt that such a request should be refused as the land was not appropriate for such a placement. c/f planning.

2:      Present

Councillors Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry, Steer and County Councillor Hosking.

3:      Declarations of Interest

Planning – Avon Inn Cllr. Seager-Berry

4:      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held the on 1st September 2020 were confirmed and signed. Proposed Cllr. Seager-Berry seconded Cllr. Bell.

5:      Matters Arising

A response to the letter sent by Cllr Grevatt to the main providers of mobile ‘phone coverage in the Avonwick area has received the support of our local MP who has elicited a response from EE. This recognises the poor local signal and states that work will be carried out to try to improve the situation.  No other provider has, as yet, responded. The Chairman thanked Cllr Grevatt for his work.

The interactive speed sign in Avonwick is still awaiting repair.

6:   Reports

County Council

County Councillor Hosking reported on the situation regarding the Coronavirus in Devon. The incidence of the illness is still low compared with other areas, although the student population, particularly at Exeter University, is recording a somewhat higher level of infection

Cllr Hosking asked that the grit bins and salt supplies for roads should be checked before the winter arrives. He informed the Council that repairs to the dip on the Avonwick – Diptford road were planned to take place in the new year. He asked the clerk to contact the County Officer to record concern raised over the damage to the river bank in Cobbly Walk.

District Council

District Councillor Smerdon had submitted a detailed report which is available on the Parish Council website (below).

Playpark.  The clerk reported that work had been carried out on the play park equipment.

6:      Planning

The Council recommended refusal of a request to install a caravan on land at Horsebrook. It was considered that the scale of development was excessive and that it did not match the reason given for the placement of a rather large caravan. The Clerk was asked to invite District Councillor Brazil of the SHDC Development Management Committee to a site meeting to discuss concerns raised.

The Council gave its support to a request to install 4 pods for B&B use at the Avon Inn in Avonwick. It was felt that every encouragement should be given to the landlord of the inn to maintain and improve this local business.

The Council opposed the use of The Cottage as a separate dwelling house at Barons Hill farm which it believes has always been an integral part of the farm

7:      Finance

Balance c/f  7,336.03
Inc (int)  0.06
Exp (Park repairs)  121.98
Exp (Buddle holes)  120.00
Balance  7,094.11

8:      Next Meeting

Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 7.30pm. This will be a virtual meeting.

District Council Report

District Councillor's Report October 2020

Parish Councils update from South Hams Cllrs. Pannell & Smerdon OCTOBER 2020


There has been a marked increase in local lockdown announcements over the last week and it is apparent that a second wave of COVID-19 is now upon us. Rates of infection in the South Hams are still low but numbers are increasing in the region and there has been well publicised local outbreaks in Cornwall and Exeter. You can find the latest figures here.

We are taking steps to prepare for a range of scenarios by updating our Business Continuity Plans and using lessons learnt from the first wave of the pandemic. These include making sure we have measures in place to minimise the disruption to services caused by as yet to be known impacts.

Whilst there are obvious comparisons with the first wave it would appear that lockdown measures may vary and hence the challenges we face may need a different response. It is clear that alongside national measures there will need to be a local response and therefore potentially a greater demand on, for example, our Environmental Health and Communications Teams.

We are working with the Police and Devon County regarding enforcement strategies and carrying out multi-agency exercises to refine our response to outbreaks in a number of different settings.

To date we have only dealt with sporadic cases but it is highly likely that an outbreak will occur and be linked to a premises in the Council area which we will have responsibility to investigate.

Track and Trace Hardship Payment Scheme

The Government has launched its Track and Trace Hardship Payment Scheme. This is when people who have been advised they need to isolate for 14 days and are unable to work are eligible for a £500 payment. This launched on the 28 September and the Council needs to have its scheme up and running by the 12 October (with backdating to the 28 September where required).  This date is mandated by Central Government. Our work will include designing the application form and process, including how to get the money to the people who need it most. We are confident that we can deliver this in time.

Whilst the criteria is clear as to who is eligible for the scheme, there is an additional discretionary scheme which allows local authorities to make payments for people who are not in receipt of benefits, but are unable to work from home, if their employer is not able to pay them sick pay and self-isolation will cause them hardship. We are working with our colleagues in the other Devon authorities to ensure our scheme is joined up, robust and will help those that need it the most without creating a postcode lottery

We are taking steps to prepare for a range of scenarios by updating our Business Continuity Plans and using lessons learnt from the first wave of the pandemic. These include making sure we have measures in place to minimise the disruption to services caused by as yet to be known issues