Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 1 December 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, 1 December 2020

 Open Forum

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

1:             Present

2:             Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence (if any)

3:             Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest (if any)

4:             Previous Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2020

5:             Matters Arising

To discuss items arising from those Minutes

6:             Reports

To receive Reports from

  1. County Councillor Hosking
  2. District Councillor Pannell or Smerdon
  3. Play park inspection
  4. Others (if any)

7:             Planning

To consider Planning Applications and to note decisions:

  1. 3528/20/HHO Mr And Mrs J & H Holgate
    Householder application for erection of covered area for hot tub and raised terrace, 9 Higher Moor Avonwick Devon TQ10 9FE.

8:             Correspondence

To consider correspondence received.

9:             Finance

To note recent and future income and expenditure. To consider proposed budget for 2021-2022

10:          Highways

To consider Highway matters.

11:          Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings

To agree upon a date for the next Meeting. (5th January 2021?)



  1. We emerge from Lockdown at 1-minute past midnight on the morning of Wednesday 2nd December into Tier 2 restrictions. I have forwarded details of the change in restrictions to each Parish. There will be a review on 16th December, and we are all hoping that this will result in Devon moving into Tier 1.
  2. There have been 614 cases confirmed in Devon in the week to 29th November bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the County to 8,158. There are also 12 deaths confirmed in the week to 20th
  3. The Government has now made funding available for families facing hardship over the Christmas break. This will be co-ordinated by
    An online application form can be found on the South Hams Website and the helpline telephone number is (01803) 861297.
  1. This additional funding has freed up money Devon County Council had allocated for this purpose, and we are able to offer grants of £300 to £700 for Parish Councils and voluntary bodies to help those obliged to self-isolate or quarantine and guidance including how to apply is provided on the Devon County website at
  1. The Chancellor has announced further measures to protect jobs and help the self-employed in the Winter Economy Plan. This includes extension of the Furlough scheme, potentially until March 2021, and other grants and reliefs. A new grant is available for businesses who are not subject to Non-Domestic Rating who have suffered significant financial impact or have been closed between £500 and £934.
  2. Guidance on how to obtain help is available for Parishioners through;
    • a) the Citizens Advice Bureau 0344 411 1444

and soft touch signposting for businesses through;

    • b) the Heart of the Southwest Local Enterprise Partnership 03456 047047
  1. Thank you for providing details of the Devon County Council offer of a scheme to repair the riverbank and bridle path at Cobbly Walk. I hope that the Environment Agency have approved the works as an emergency.

Good wishes for Christmas 2020.

Pleased to answer any questions.

Parish Councils update from South Hams Cllrs. Pannell & Smerdon



The second set of national restrictions ends on 1st  December. Our area has seen an increase in cases of COVID 19, but the latest information appears to show a levelling off of this trend. The encouraging news with regard to several vaccines becoming available, at first to the most vulnerable and then more generally, is very welcome. The whole of Devon has been placed in the Tier 2 level of restrictions. This brings some good news with the reopening, in a COVID compliant way, of a range of businesses including non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms. The news isn’t as positive for the Hospitality Sector who will be able to open but will be subject to a range of restrictions for what is traditionally their most lucrative time of the year. There are similar restrictions on the general public in terms of who they can mix with. It is understood that the arrangements will be reviewed on a two-weekly basis but how and what that may mean for the District is not clear. SHDC’s two most immediate priorities are to continue to process applications for business grants and to support our towns as many more retail outlets reopen post lockdown. Whilst attention at SHDC remains firmly focussed on providing support to businesses, individuals and the wider community, conversations are now beginning around the logistics of delivering a national vaccination programme. It is early stages and nothing is confirmed but residents can be assured that the Council is exploring what it can do to support the programme and we will continue to update everyone as matters become clearer.


Businesses that were open as usual, but were then required to close between 5 November and 2 December 2020 may be eligible for this support. Further details are available for qualifying businesses on SHDC website.


The ARG provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates, as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG. The policy will be based on business need. District Councils across Devon are aligning distribution methods, a key proposal is to fund wider business support measures as part of the total budget, as well as business specific grants. This Grant is evidence based and so a period of time is needed between lockdown start and scheme commencement to allow evidence gathering. Village and Community Halls may be eligible for this payment of between £500 and £2,100 a month. Go to the SHDC website for details and an application


A key part of our activity will be to support local business to comply with COVID secure requirements and to enable them to trade safely and help encourage the public back into the high street. SHDC and WDBC have appointed five COVID Compliance Officers (THREE IN South Hams) for a six-month period. These posts are Government funded. Their role is to support our Environmental Health Specialists dealing with business compliance of COVID regs. This will include proactive visits, visible high street presence and dealing with complaints from the public and other businesses. They will always help businesses to comply where possible, but can take enforcement action where necessary. Please send any enquiries regarding COVID regs compliance to this mailbox

The enforcement responsibility for COVID regulations falls to a number of Agencies. Broadly speaking the Police   will deal with issues regarding people and domestic property (gatherings, house parties, second homes, etc) and our Council will deal with issues at business premises. The HSE will enforce at larger manufacturing premises and building sites. South Hams District Council is working in collaboration with The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out COVID-secure spot checks on business premises where we are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation.


You may be aware that there have been significant teething problems with some of the rounds. We (Peter and Guy) have been working with our SHDC staff and FCC our contractors to help get the service back to the normal good standard. Additional crews and vehicles put into service last week have brought the number of missed collections down significantly.

  • Those collections which appear to have been repeatedly missed are now being checked on a daily basis. The additional resources will remain in place until the new service is embedded next spring.
  • The second lockdown resulted in recycling banks filling quicker than normal, as was the case last time. Additional measures have been brought in to relieve this pressure.
  • If a collection is missed the householder should report it via the South Hams Council website the following day. a missed collection
  • The contractors have three working days to remedy the situation. If this is not done please contact Peter or Guy.
  • SHDC continues to monitor the waste contract through constant examination of a range of data. These issues are taken up with the contractor on a daily basis and SHDC has worked hard to ensure the customer has remained the focus.
  • Some staff at the Ivybridge depot are having to self isolate. This means there may be some impact on collections of recycling sacks etc. If this happens please take the sacks back in to await the next collection. It may not be possible to report this on the SHDC website. If essential take material to the Devon CC recycling centre.


These reopen on Wednesday 2nd December, with revised hours. Check on whether it is necessary to book in advance.


The Government has made available a Winter Support Fund to support households in extreme hardship. This has been created in particular to address the gap filled by Free School Meals in term time leading to the significant issue of Holiday Hunger. For Devon, the following actions have been agreed

  • A £15pw supermarket voucher will be offered for all pupils eligible for Free School Meals to cover the Christmas holidays. This can be redeemed in six supermarkets (Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose, and M&S) and each supermarket will provide a help desk. There will also be some funds/vouchers available via Social Services and SHDC for anyone who is vulnerable and may not be covered.
  • DCC is also developing a series of food networks to draw together organisations including foodbanks, community kitchens, holiday clubs, local business, wider charities and schools. Grant funding will be offered for programmes as appropriate. That means, looking ahead there will be a wider range of solutions for applicants to the hardship funds, and also more involvement of local businesses.

Devon Community Foundation will lead on this work and help SHDC to understand what the needs and opportunities are in our area. They will also keep us informed about what organisations have signed up and what programmes are being supported.


The 2020 Spending Review was announced on 25 November. It outlines the Government’s spending plans for 2021/22 by setting budgets for each central government department. This year’s Spending Review provides more certainty for councils next year, but the long-term outlook remains unclear. Public finances will undoubtedly be under huge strain in the years ahead but investment in our local public services is critical to our national recovery next year and beyond.


SHDC is offering Green Home Grants worth up to £10,000. The grants can be used to install either an air source heat pump heating system or solid/single wall external insulation. To be eligible:

  • Your property must be rated E or below on your Home Energy Performance Certificate, and
  • You or someone in your household must receive a means tested benefit or you must have a net household income of less than £30,000 a year.

Installations will be subject to a technical survey as not every property will be suitable. The funding is limited. You can register your interest at, confirming what measure you would be interested in.


On 7 December the 25 organisations who make up the Devon Climate Emergency (DCE) partnership, will be launching a consultation on their Interim Carbon Plan.

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan will be updated to a final plan after the Citizens’ Assembly which has been postponed due to Covid-19.

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 1 December 2020

These minutes were approved on 5 January 2021

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.

Minutes of the Virtual NHPC meeting held on 1st December 2020.

Open Forum

There were no members of the public present.

The Council was informed of damage having been done to the footbridge crossing the North Huish road at Black Hall. No one has admitted to causing the damage. Information concerning this would be appreciated.

The Council was also informed of repairs that had been carried out to potholes in the Huish Cross area. Thanks were given to highways for their work.

A parishioner has asked for an update on the situation regarding the maintenance of the roadside bank by the parking area opposite Jubilee Cottages in Avonwick. It is understood that there is a disagreement over who should maintain it. The Parish Council is not responsible for this area but is trying to help where it can.

1:      Present

Councillors Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Hunt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry, Steer, County Councillor Hosking and District Councillors Pannell and Smerdon.

2:      Declarations of Interest

Cllr. Seager-Berry declared an interest in “donation to Avonwick Church Council”.

3:      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held the on 4th November 2020 were confirmed and signed. Proposed Cllr. Grevatt seconded Cllr. Seager-Berry.

4:      Matters Arising

Parishioners in Avonwick have received a letter from their MP outlining progress that he had made with the Telecoms company EE over the poor mobile signal in the Avonwick area. Thanks were given to him for his support of this Parish Council initiative which has been led by Cllr. Grevatt.

5: Reports

County and District Council

Reports from Cllrs. Hosking, Pannell and Smerdon are available on the Parish Council website. They are largely concerned with the Councils’ response to the Covid 19 situation.

The Council was informed of problems over waste collection due to staff absence caused by the Corona virus.


Cllr. Bell reported that all is well with the park equipment. He also told the Council of positive feedback that he had received from a parishioner concerning the appearance of the play park.

Thanks were given to Cllr. Steer for his work in trimming the hedge alongside the road by the park.

6:  Planning

The Council gave its full support to a revised application for pods to be installed at the Avon Inn.

Having received no input from parishioners, the Council had no comment to make on an application for the erection of a covered area for hot tub and terrace at a house in Higher Moor in Avonwick.

The Council was informed that a certificate of lawfulness had been granted for the use of a Cottage at Barons Hill as a separate dwelling house.

The Council was also informed that the use of a holiday home as a residence in North Huish had  ended and that the breaching of planning controls had now ceased.

7:   Finance

Balance c/f  9,086.17
Inc (int)  0.08
Exp (Website)  17.99
Exp (Buddle holes)  120.00
Balance  8,948.26

The Council agreed to make its usual donation to the Avonwick Church Council.

The Council agreed a Budget for the year 2021-21. This kept the precept at its present level.

8:   Next Meeting

Tuesday 5th January Month 2021 at 7.30pm. This will be a virtual meeting.