Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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, 5 April 2022

Agenda for the NHPC meeting to be held at 7.30pm on 5th April 2022 at St James’s Church, Avonwick

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 1st March 2022 –

Note a correction to the minutes on the financial statement, the balance c/f should read £8,577.70 and NOT £81577.70 which was printed in the draft minutes.

6:             Matters Arising

To discuss items arising from those Minutes

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 and associated applications for information only: - application type: agricultural determination.  Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed agricultural building for the storage of feed, bedding and machinery measuring 13.72m x 9.14m x 5.58m high to ridge (Resubmission of 0591/22/AGR)

Planning Decisions: -   application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed new agricultural building 13.72m x 4.57m x 5.58m to ridge height for storage of feed, bedding and machinery. Decision: Prior Approval Required and Refused - application type: Certificate of Lawfulness Existing Use, Proposal: Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use to confirm material commencement relations to application reference 1186/18/FUL for the provision of an equestrian building.  Decision: Cert of Lawfulness (Existing) Certified

Withdrawn Applications:

Withdrawn application 2831/20/FUL 202831, The Avon Inn, Avonwick – use of land for siting of 4 pods and associated operational development for B&B accommodation.

Planning information which is of confidential nature will be circulated to the parish councillors prior to the meeting, if necessary.

9:             Correspondence

To consider correspondence received.

10:          Finance

To note recent and future income and expenditure.

11:          Highways

To consider Highway matters.

12:          Notice Board

To consider repair or replacement of Notice Board

13:          Parish Clerk Recruitment and Clerk Role

14:          Parish Clerk Remuneration

15:          Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings

To agree upon a date for the next Meeting. (3rd May 2022)  

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 5 April 2022

These minutes were approved on 3 May 2022

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 NHPC meeting held on 5th April 2022.

1:      Open Forum

Councillor Grevatt opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present, including the locum parish clerk.

There were no members of the public present.

A parishioner has brought to the attention of the Parish Council the large pothole along the road from Butterford Mill to Hepburn House.  There has been a lot of surface water due to the large pothole.  This has been reported to highways.

There are currently roadworks on the A38 to Avonwick road.  It was questioned about all the markings on the road and also the potholes which need to be reported. It is believed that the road works are in connection with Openreach Telecoms works.

Concerns have been raised by parishioners that a dog walker has been walking their small dog off the lead in the playpark, early in the day and again in the early evening.  The Dog Warden is to be contacted, as there is a sign which clearly states No Dogs Allowed.

Parking was really bad at the junction opposite Avonwick Inn, but it has improved since it was highlighted previously.  The parking will continue to be monitored.

2:      Present: 

Councillors Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Hunt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry, and Steer. Ali Kohler (locum clerk)

3:      Apologies for absence

County Councillor Thomas, District Councillor Pannell and District Councillor Smerdon

4:      Declarations of Interest

Cllr Bell re planning application 0591/22/AGR

5:      Minutes 

The minutes of the meeting held on the 1st March 2022 were confirmed and signed. The correction was noted to the finance figures due to a transformation error. Proposed Cllr Steer seconded Cllr Bell

6:      Matters Arising

The pothole at Horsebrook has been repaired and but unfortunately has failed.  Cllr Grevatt has contacted County Councillor Thomas regarding this and the road has been noted again for repairs.

Application for 20-mile zone has been made and we are now currently waiting for a reply on the application.

The interactive speed sign is not currently working.  Devon Highways to be contacted to report that it needs to be reported again.

There was a query on the placement of a tree which is to be planned as part of the Jubilee Celebrations.  It was agreed that the tree be planted in the graveyard somewhere and this be passed to the church for the decisions on the best tree to be planted and where it should be planted – proposed by Cllr Gabriel and seconded by Cllr Luscombe

There was a delay on putting a stop on the planned stop order on works at Butterfield.  A letter of complaint is needed to be sent regarding the extensive delay on issuing the stop works order.

Jubilee Celebrations – there has been application for a fete and family fun day on the Amenity Field on the Friday.  It is unclear at present whose insurance would cover the event and possibly a new insurance policy may need to be taken out.  We are unsure if the Parish Council insurance covers this or if it is an add on to our existing public liability insurance.  If it is not covered by the parish council insurance, then the organisers of the event will need see insurance – with possibility of the parish council making a contribution.  The church will be having a service on the Sunday and possibly a small celebration after the service.

7:      Reports

Devon County Council

County Cllr Thomas supplied a generic report (included with these minutes)

South Hams District Council

District Cllr Pannell supplied a generic report (included with these minutes) covering refuse collection update, Ukraine refugees, and the new housing grant which has just been launched.


RCN Landscapes was proposed to continue to use them for cutting the grass in the playpark area. They usually invoice once a year.  The play equipment is in working order.

Tree Warden

There is no report to be noted.

8:      Planning

The planning decisions were noted for the following applications:

Planning application 0591/22/AGR  - Decision: Prior Approval Required and Refused. – application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed new agricultural building.

Planning application 0294/22/CLE  - Decision: Cert of Lawfulness (Existing) Certified. For the provision of an equestrian building.

The following new application was discussed:

Planning application 0986/22/AGR - Resubmission of application 0591/22/AGR) which is an application of agricultural determination to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed agricultural building for the storage of feed, bedding and machinery.

Planning application 3808/21/AGR was brought up and discussed – see also correspondence.  This application has proved contentious. There are discrepancies with the application. It was suggested that the application needs to be pulled and resubmitted with the discrepancies corrected.  A separate application will be submitted. Locum clerk to write to South Hams District Council on this issue.

9:  Correspondence

An email has been received from a parishioner concerning the building of a surfaced track on land near Butterford Mill, which has raised alarm among their neighbours.  The parishioner is concerned that the building of a surfaced track on unspoiled grazing land within the AONB is unnecessary, and the size and siting of a new barn (See Planning) are inappropriate.

10:  Finance

An invoice has been received from John Widdecombe – approved for payment.  Any future works need to be approved before works being instructed.

Balance b/fwd.           £9,096.06        
Inc (int)                £    0.07        
Exp                      £  144.00                                
Balance c/fwd.           £8,952.13

11:  Highways

It was questioned when the South Brent Road to Avonwick road repairs are to start, County Cllr Thomas will be asked for an update.

There is a temporary road closure notice covering the road from North Huish Cross to Church Cross, North Huish from 16th May 2022 with an anticipated finish of works around 20th May 2022 with diversions in place during the road closure.

Cobbly Walk - Cobbles have been washed away and repairs are urgently needed to stop further deterioration.  An inspection is required by Devon County Council, so that it can assess what urgent repairs are needed.  A request will be made to Devon County Council for this to happen.

Haswell Hill road, the road surface is in poor condition and hopefully this will be repaired in June

12:  Notice Boards

Cllr Luscombe has looked into indicative prices for notice boards.  It is anticipated expenditure be around £1,000 per board.  Covid grants to be sought?  Clerk to investigate.  Cllr Grevatt to inspect existing notice boards in more detail.

13:  Parish Clerk Recruitment and Clerk Role

Following the resignation of the new Parish Clerk, Ali Kohler has kindly agreed to act as Locum Clerk but a long-term replacement will need to be sought.  Locum Clerk to make enquiries locally.

14:   Parish Clerk Remuneration

The SCP salary point for the Parish Clerk and Parish Council’s Expenses Policy were agreed by the Council.

11:  Items for Next Meeting

  • Replacement Noticeboards – grants to be investigated to cover the costs of replacing both notice boards. 
  • Jubilee Grants to be Investigated.
  • Advertisements for the advertising of the permanent clerk position on social media.

12:  Next Meeting

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 at 7.30pm. At St James’s Church, Avonwick


County Council Report

County Councillor's Report April 2022

Devon stands with Ukraine

Devon’s local authorities are supporting local residents who want to provide sanctuary to the Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes.

A new website now hosts the latest guidance and information as it becomes available.

Visit for further information

We are now receiving the latest information from the government on the Devon sponsors who have registered, and are carrying out DBS checks on the sponsor families. And Devon’s district authorities are using a common approach to assess each sponsor’s accommodation, which will help better assess any potential safeguarding risks.

This initial phase of the Homes for Ukraine scheme is designed to supplement the Ukraine Family Visa for people in the UK to support friends and colleagues. We are now seeing several hundred people in Devon being matched and, following permission to travel, we will start to see those families arrive in Devon.

As you will appreciate the situation is evolving quickly, with updated guidance coming through from government daily, but all Team Devon partners are working together to develop a rapid response. 

Anyone who is interested in offering accommodation can register their interest via the government website Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine. The link also contains some frequently asked questions (FAQs) for would-be accommodation providers (sponsors).

Those wishing to offer donations on the ground are advised to make financial contributions, particularly to the Disasters Emergency Committee. 

Everything you need to know about the spring booster in Devon

Spring COVID-19 booster jabs have started to be offered to people in Devon at greatest risk of COVID-19 infection, many of whom had their first booster six months ago. The groups eligible for the spring booster are:

  • people aged 75 years and older
  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • people aged 12 years old and over who have a weakened immune system  

The best time to have the spring booster is around six months after the previous booster, although the minimum interval is three months. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on the NHS site finder website or book an appointment via the National Booking System.

Check visitor arrangements at hospitals and care homes

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Devon some hospitals and care homes have taken the difficult decision to restrict visitors in order to protect vulnerable patients, residents and staff. 

If you are planning to visit someone in hospital or in a care home, please ring ahead or check their website to find out about visitor arrangements.

Holiday food support continues for Easter

Supermarket vouchers worth £570,000 have been sent to families of 19,000 children in Devon to help them buy food over the upcoming Easter holidays.

This comes from the government’s one-off ‘household support fund’, which was given to councils to distribute. Over the last year £4.7 million has provided nearly 140,000 supermarket vouchers for families who qualify for free school meals; so their children don’t go hungry over the school holidays.

District Council Report

District Councillor's Report April 2022


HOMES FOR REFUGEES: SHDC is playing a key role in delivering the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, working closely with other authorities across Devon. All host sponsors on the initial list of 22 applicants have been contacted to arrange a visit to assess the suitability of accommodation. Of those, 14 visits have already taken place, the remaining being scheduled for a later date due to confirmation that guests are not due to arrive for a number of weeks. There will potentially be up to 50 guests, including children.

Staff from our Housing and Environmental Health teams worked quickly to arrange this contact. Anyone wanting to become a sponsor must be able to offer a minimum of six months’ accommodation. This can be anything from a spare room to an empty home. They will be eligible for a £350 payment per month, per address. This will not impact benefits or single person Council Tax discounts. Refugees old enough to work are able to claim  Universal Credit and those of pension age can receive Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. Anyone offering support that is not accommodation or finance can email the council at

Additionally, the Government has published a guide for Ukrainian guests, which includes advice on a whole range of topics including how to access benefits, finding work, etc. This will be available in Ukrainian. The guide can be found at:

GRANT: At their recent meeting SHDC agreed to grant £10,000 to the DEC Ukraine Appeal, and to condemn the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.


This new scheme will help local people get a foot on the housing ladder. Anyone renting a social housing property can apply for a £5,000 Step On grant to help them with their deposit to buy a shared ownership home. It is designed to encourage families to move on, freeing up socially rented homes.


Brown bin collections resumed at the end of March and in general collections are going more smoothly. We do not yet know when those areas which have not switched to the box recycling system will do so.


SHDC has agreed to invest up to £5m in the establishment of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport. In addition to the hub in the South Yard of Devonport Dockyard this will have qualifying sites at Sherford and Langage in the South Hams. This is expected to create up to 3,500 jobs, primarily in the marine, defence and energy industries, including the development of a green hydrogen plant at Langage.

Total investment is expected to be £65m from Central and Local Government (Plymouth, Devon and South Hams) and £250m from the private sector. South Hams will borrow money from the Public Works Loan Board to fund its investment and will recoup this from the additional business rates payable, as well as making an ongoing income from this source.