Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 7 June 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, 7 June 2022

Agenda for the NHPC meeting to be held at 7.30pm on 7th June 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

4:             Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest (if any)

5:             Previous Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the meeting held on 3rd May 2022

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 – Only Councillor Pannell
  3. Play Park inspection – net support issues
  4. others (if any)

8:             Planning

To consider Planning Applications and to note decisions:

Planning Applications to be discussed:

NB: these refer to two different locations known as 'Butterford' within the parish.

1592/22/FUL: A part retrospective application to regularise & retain an agricultural access track.  Land at Butterford, North Huish, Totnes, TQ9 7NL Comments to be submitted by 23rd June 2022.

1492/22/FUL: Erection of two storey barn, to reinstate the “lost” 1802 barn on its original site and reinstate courtyards form and use where possible. Butterford, North Huish, TQ10 9NF.  Comments to be submitted by 30th June 2022.

1490/22/LBC:  Listed Building consent for erection of two storey barn to reinstate the “lost” 1802 barn on its original site and reinstate courtyards form and use where possible.  Butterford, North Huish TQ10 9NF.  Comments to be submitted by 30th June 2022.

Planning and associated applications for information only:

Planning Decisions:

None to be noted

Withdrawn Applications:

None to be noted.

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.


Interest Received -                 £     0.07


A Kohler – Clerk Pay May 22 -       £   176.80
A Kohler – Clerk Expenses May 22 -  £    20.90

Balance at Bank as at 1st June 2022
Treasurers Account -                £ 1,296.81
Business Bank Instant Account -     £ 8,840.52
Balance                             £10,137.33

11:      Highways

To consider Highway matters and note highways notices.

  1. Temporary Prohibition of Through Traffic and Parking. From 20 June 2022 for maximum of 5 days.  Roads affected CHARFORD CROSS TO WONTONHILL CROSS, DIPTFORD. Alternative signed route.  This is for road patching – Devon Highways.
  2. Temporary Prohibition of Through Traffic and Parking. From 27 June 2022 for maximum of 5 days.  Roads affected CHARFORD CROSS TO WONTONHILL CROSS, DIPTFORD.  Alternative signed route. This is for road patching – Devon Highways

12:      Notice Board

Update on Repairs

13:      Recruitment of Parish Clerk

14:      Church Graveyard

Refer to the email with documents which requires to be discussed

14: Strimmer/Brushcutter Courses Available

Free courses available for volunteers and parish councillors

15:      Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings

To agree upon a date for the next Meeting.

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 7 June 2022

These minutes were approved on 13 July 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.

1:      Open Forum

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

There were 3 members of the public present.

The jubilee events were well attended and enjoyed by those from the local community.  A big thank you to the committee and volunteers who organised the events.

Excessive Knotweed has been reported and location advised, as it requires to be removed.

A previous planning matter had been under review by Planning Enforcement and could not be discussed further in the general Parish Council meeting. A new planning application for the same site near Butterford Mill Gate has been received, and a member of the public raised objections to the application. A second member of the public who has sent in a letter advising of issues regarding the application advised the parish council of his objections and the reasons behind them. A third member of the public made further objection to the development of the site.

2:      Present:

Councillors Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Hunt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry, and Steer. County Councillor Thomas, District Councillor Pannell and Ali Kohler (locum clerk)

3:      Apologies for absence

District Councillor Smerdon

4:      Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest

5:      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on the 3rd May 2022 were confirmed and signed.

6:      Matters Arising

No update on the works to Cobbly Way of a start date but it is in hand and works should take place between June and November 2022.[NB: since scheduled for 4th July]

Work is in hand for the noticeboards.

Jubilee tree update – hopefully a copper beech can be sourced at a cost of approximately £112 but it cannot be planted until around November.  Quotes are currently being obtained for everything required like tree guards but it will be planted during the Jubilee Year.

Cllrs had asked how many parishioners were members of the Avon Vale Tennis Club as the club were seeking a grant. The club has advised that it is approximately 10 but the club does benefit the parish as an amenity. For example, the tennis club allowed the parish the use of their facilities during the jubilee celebrations.

7:      Reports

Devon County Council

County Cllr Thomas supplied a generic report (included with these minutes).  Cllr Thomas will chase up the outstanding work on Cobbly Walk which is due to take place between June and November 2022. If the PC were to give Devon County Council the option of taking over the adoption of the churchyard in North Huish, it is his experience that adopted churchyards have been looked after acceptably by DCC.

South Hams District Council

District Cllr Pannell and District Cllr Smerdon supplied a generic report (included with these minutes. There is a new Chair of SHDC.  The brown bin collections are still not acceptable. The only advice given is to keep putting the bins out. There is a special meeting of the council to discuss the issues with FCC. It was asked why Shipley Bridge car park was now a charging car park; there is also no disabled parking facility. The facility is now run by the South West Lakes Trust and the charge has been introduced to help fund the public convenience.  Any queries for this should go to Cllrs Thomas, Pannell and Smerdon.


There was an issue with the steps to the slide.

A loose bolt on the support of the climbing net is a symptom of the support becoming hollow. The support may need to be replaced to make sure it is safe to use.  A qualified person needs to look at it and a quote is needed for any works required.  Can the guarantee be checked as the equipment has been there less than 10 years?  Cllr Grevatt to follow up.

Tree Warden

There is no report to be noted.

8:      Planning

The following new applications were discussed: NB two different places called ‘Butterford’.

Planning application 1592/22/FUL - a part retrospective application to regularise and retain an agricultural track on Land at Butterford, SE of North Huish, Totnes, TQ9 7NL. Cllr Bell to raise email regarding this site to SHDC as it was felt that planning protocol had not been followed correctly on the original associated application for an agricultural building, which was now being used to support the new application, and this needs to be revised from the beginning. Notwithstanding the previous application, Parish Council objects to the current application.

Planning application 1492/22/FUL – Erection of a two-storey barn, to reinstate the “lost 1802 barn on its original site and reinstate courtyard form and use where possible.  Butterford, W of North Huish, TQ10 9NF - Supported

Planning application 1490/22/LBC – Listed building consent for erection of two storey barn to reinstate the “lost” 1802 barn on its original site and reinstate courtyards form where possible. Butterford North Huish, TQ10 9NF - Supported

9:      Correspondence

Email received regarding the planning application for land at Butterford, North Huish, TQ9 7NL dealt with in matters arising and Planning.

10:   Finance

To note recent and future income and expenditure


Interest Received -  0.07


A Kohler – Clerk Pay May '22 -  176.80
A Kohler – Expenses May '22 -  20.90

As At 1st June 2022

Treasurer’s Account  1,296.81
Business Bank Account  8,840.52
Balance c/fwd.  10,137.33

11:   Highways

To advise of Highways matters and note highways notices

Interactive speed sign is still not working.

  1. Temporary prohibition of through traffic and parking. From 20 June 2022 for maximum of 5 days.  Roads affected CHARFORD CROSS TO WONTONHILL CROSS, DIPTFORD. Alternative signed route.  This is for road patching – Devon Highways.
  2. Temporary prohibition of through traffic and parking. From 27th June 2022 for a maximum of 5 days. Roads affected CHARFORD CROSS TO WONTONHILL CROSS, DIPTFORD. Alternative signed route.  This is for road patching - Devon Highways.

Speed monitoring on the road above the New Bridge in Avonwick had detected significant numbers of speeding vehicles.

12:   Notice Boards

Cllr Grevatt has sourced materials and has repaired the noticeboard and it has just got to be revarnished.

The quotes for the replacement notice board have been circulated by Cllr Luscombe for consideration. The last quote seemed the most comprehensive and has been agreed.  £900 has been obtained in grant funding from Cllrs Pannel, Smerdon and Thomas. The cost from Parish Council funds will be around £356 as VAT can be reclaimed.  Lettering on the notice board was discussed and agreed

13:   Parish Clerk Recruitment

Still ongoing – updates to follow.

14:   North Huish Church Graveyard

It was agreed that the Parish Council would not taken on the maintenance of the church graveyard in North Huish.  The district council has a statutory duty to taken on the maintenance of the graveyard.

15:   Strimmer/Brushcutter Courses Available

Free courses are available for volunteers and parish councillors.

16:   Items for Next Meeting

Grant funding for the tennis club.

17:   Next Meeting

Wednesday 13th July at 7.30pm, at St James’s Church, Avonwick.

County Council Report

County Councillor's Report June 2022

From Cllr Thomas

DCC Chief Executive

Dr Phil Norey, DCC Chief Exec for many years, is taking early retirement at the end of the summer

Budget situation

See for details.

20mph speed trials

At Cabinet this Wednesday, a report will be submitted detailing the next steps in the county wide 20mph speed trial.

Project launched to equip young people with entrepreneurial skills

A new project has been launched to support young people in Devon to develop key employability skills and gain an insight into entrepreneurship.

'Young Entrepreneurs' is being funded through our £6million recovery programme in response to the pandemic.

Devon has a high number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses, so provision of good quality enterprise education is vital in preparing young people for their future employment in the county if they plan to be self-employed or work in small enterprises.

The initiative is being delivered through four organisations:

  1. SETSquared and Volt Entrepreneurs Ltd
  2. South Devon College
  3. Space Youth Services
  4. Young Enterprise

The Young Entrepreneurs project supports the delivery of enterprise education across Devon, particularly in disadvantaged communities. It aims to allow young people to consider alternative routes into employment and will encourage them to pursue their ideas and aspirations to create new businesses and products.

More at

Lower-income households invited to apply for free energy efficiency improvements to their homes

Residents in a household with an income of less than £30,000 a year, who live in Devon or Torbay, may be eligible for free energy efficiency improvements to their home worth thousands of pounds.

From this week members of the public can check their eligibility and apply through the Cosy Devon website (

The scheme is being delivered by the Cosy Devon partnership which consists of Devon County Council (DCC), East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, Torbay Council, West Devon Borough Council, Exeter City Council and Plymouth City Council.

It follows the partnership securing nearly £10m of government funding. The scheme will offer householders the chance to improve their homes by ensuring that they are warmer, less draughty, and less damp.

Improvements will also reduce their energy bills and lower their home’s carbon emissions. More than 20 per cent per cent of Devon’s carbon emissions are caused by our homes.

Devon has higher levels of fuel poverty (13%) than the UK (10.6%). Many homes in Devon need substantial investment and the Cosy Devon partnership is committed to reducing Devon’s domestic carbon footprint and lifting communities out of fuel poverty.

The scheme is available to Devon residents who have an annual combined household income of less than £30,000 and whose homes have an energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G.

If you are a homeowner, and live in that property, you can access funding to cover 100 per cent of costs to retrofit your home up to a cap.

District Council Report

District Councillor's Report June 2022

Parish report from your District Councillors, May  2022

Council Chairman for 2022/23

Congratulations to Cllr Austen, (Ivybridge West) our new chairman, and to Cllr Taylor,(Charterlands) our new vice-chairman for the year ahead following yesterday's Annual Council. A resident of Ivybridge for over 25 years, Cllr Austen previously worked in business before lecturing in accountancy. Cllr Austen is married with two daughters and in his spare time, he enjoys walking on Dartmoor.This is the second time Cllr Austen has been a councillor for South Hams District Council. He was first elected for a four-year period from 1999 to 2003 and was again re-elected to the Council in May 2019.

Cllr Lance Austen is congratulated by the outgoing Chairman Cllr Richard Foss

Council Tax Energy Rebate

Just over 9,000 households who live in Council Tax bands A to D and who paid by Direct Debit on 1 April have now been paid their £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate by South Hams District Council. Despite guidance issued to councils stating that payments should be made by the deadline of 30 September, South Hams District Council knew that their residents needed this extra help as soon as possible.

Staff worked rapidly to set up the systems to those already registered by direct debit, so they could be paid as early as possible. Whereas some councils nationwide have told their residents that they won't receive payment until as late as the September deadline.To date, the Council has issued just over 9,000 payments, which was paid to residents' bank accounts last week.

Those with different direct debit payment dates throughout April will receive similar payments soon. An application form is live on the Council's website, for those who do not pay by Direct Debit, and these will be processed from May.

Solar Panels on South Hams Leisure Centres

In a meeting on 7 April, the Council's Executive Committee heard about the steady progress being made by the organisation since the approval of its Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy in December 2020.The goals set in this strategy include reducing the Council's own carbon footprint to net-zero by 2030 and increasing biodiversity on its own land by 10% in 2025.

To back up the organisation-wide efforts to lower carbon emissions, the Executive Committee approved plans to loan Fusion Leisure £500,000 for the installation of solar panels at all four District Council leisure centres.A study on greenhouse gas emissions caused by Council activity was commissioned last year. It showed that the biggest proportion of the organisation's emissions relate to its activities from leased assets, franchising and outsourcing. That includes the four leisure centres.

The installation of the panels will reduce the carbon emissions of the centres by 131 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCOe), equivalent to the annual energy emissions of 38 homes.Predictably, the emissions study also found that the reduction in staff travel caused by the pandemic led to a big saving in CO2 released into the atmosphere; a saving of 234 tCOe was made, the equivalent of powering 66 homes for a year.

Climate Infrastructure Fund launches

We have launched a new fund to support and boost sustainable infrastructure in the area - and we're inviting applications from the community.

The new Climate Infrastructure Fund has been created to invest in the development of infrastructure related projects to help the South Hams reduce its carbon emissions. Organisations applying can ask for between £1,000 and £25,000 to support their projects.

Feel free to share information on the project to any groups or organisations that you think might be interested - the application process closes on 9 June. To find out more visit our climate change website.

Ukrainian Refugees

It’s been a busy time leading the district support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We are doing all we can to ensure that we rapidly undertake the accommodation checks and are now also undertaking more visits to Ukrainians that have arrived, in order to get some essential financial support to them, and this has been done this week. The total number of host properties successfully matched with Ukrainian guests so far is 61 in South Hams (and the team are also supporting another 34 in West Devon).

There is of course a time lag in the data being received by the Council from Government. We anticipate the actual number to be higher than this. To date we have undertaken 79% of the accommodation checks we’ve been notified of; so far we have been informed of 60 Ukrainian guests actually arriving in the South Hams through the scheme.

For each guest arriving through the scheme, the government will provide funding to Councils of £10,500. We are pushing Devon County Council to understand how much of it they will ‘top-slice’ and therefore how much we have available to fund wrap-around support.

We do however now need to focus on what the longer term wrap-around support looks like. With that in mind, in the past week we have:-

  • Arranged a drop in briefing session for Town and Parish Councils to ask any questions on the scheme or to share any steps they are taking to support Ukrainians on a locality basis.
  • Worked with Team Devon to develop a series of webinars for Hosts and Sponsors over the coming month. Sophie Cobbledick from our Housing Team continues to play a lead role on the Team Devon work strand.
  • Finalised plans with the CVS to deliver signposting, linking up translators to hosts / community groups / other organisations supporting our Ukrainian guests,

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:

A recently launched website - - is the single point for information in Devon.

Waste Update

Significant disruption to the garden waste collections continue  due to staff shortages. These are mainly due to illness and the difficulty in recruiting workers. The waste and recycling collections are fully resourced and are operating as we would wish.

FCC are unable to carry out any recovery of the garden waste as recovery of black bins and recycling is being prioritised.

If a resident's bin is not collected on their scheduled day, we are advising residents to keep their brown bin out until 5pm the following day and if it isn’t collected, then to take their bin in and present on their next collection day.

Officers continue to work closely with FCC to ensure as many collections are made as possible, but in order to ensure we can hold FCC to account contractually please encourage all residents to report their missed collection online.

We do not yet know when those areas which have not switched to the box recycling system will do so.

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

The first electric charging points will be commissioned the week commencing 13 June at Mayors Avenue car park, Dartmouth as part of the Deletti project. This will provide two electric charging bays for the public to use.

Powered by the renewable energy through a green tariff, the charge points are compatible with all makes of EVs and will fully charge a 50 kWh battery in two to four hours, providing a range of up to 200 miles depending on vehicle specification.

The rate of charge is dictated by the vehicle's inverter however these chargers can deliver enough electricity for up to 88 miles of travel in one hour. This means the points are ideal for both shorter stops, such as shopping trips, and regular charges by residents.

As these points are for public use, they are also available for visitors of Devon wishing to charge their electric vehicle.

The cost to fully charge a 50 kWh battery, providing a range of up to 200 miles, would be in the region of £17.50.

For ease of use, drivers will be able to pay via Scottish Power’s app, which is free to download, or through a scannable QR code which will be displayed on the charge point.

Scottish Power do not charge a subscription fee or a minimum vend. Users may need to purchase a parking ticket as normal, please check at each site.

These charging points are part of the larger DELETTI programme, a £1.3 million project which is being largely funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Scottish Power intend to carry out civil works to install the charging point at Creek car park, Salcombe the week commencing the 14 June followed by Western Power Distribution connection works the week commencing 21 June followed by commissioning for use the week commencing 11 July. These dates may be subject to change.

Press releases and social media coverage regarding the EV charging points will be carried out.

Emma Widdicombe

New Household Support Fund

Details are starting to emerge of the government's intentions on this. Last year the funding, which gets allocated to upper tier authorities, had very little guidance. This year the government have stated that 33% of the funding should be spent on supporting children, 33% on pensioners, with the remainder allocated based on local need.

While we are still awaiting final funding allocations, initial Team Devon discussions are proposing that DCC use the children’s element as they did last year, to provide additional free school meals and the suggestion is that a one-off payment is made to those of pensionable age in receipt of Council tax support i.e. already in receipt of a benefit. Across Devon that equates to some 19,000 individuals and would result in a payment of around £85.

Additional Funding for the Council

We have been successful in a funding bid to DCC / Public Health on behalf of all Devon Districts for funding to support further outbreak management. District Councils will be continuing promotion of infection, prevention and control measures within workplace settings to limit outbreaks of infection and knock on effects of impacts on local communities. The Council will receive £55,000 and the funding is required to support public health activities directly related to the COVID-19 response, such as testing, non-financial support for self-isolation, support to particular groups (CEV (clinically extremely vulnerable) individuals, rough sleepers), communications and engagement, and compliance and enforcement.

To help guide applications, examples of the types of project the fund will consider supporting are:

  • Digital skills and inclusion projects
  • Social inclusion and connectedness projects
  • Mental health interventions
  • Employability skills
  • Projects increasing community access to outside space
  • Inter-generational support projects
  • Befriending services
  • Innovative solutions to combating loneliness.

Let's Talk Teenagers

After the success of the first Let’s Talk Teenagers sessions piloted earlier this year, a second series of the online sessions will be held in June.

These sessions are an opportunity for parents and carers of teenagers to hear about the challenges young people are facing today whilst being offered tips, techniques and resources to explore for more help and support.

Funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Safer Devon Partnership, South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership and Teignbridge Council for Voluntary Service, these evening, 90 minute sessions will be running on consecutive Wednesdays at 7.00pm on 15, 22 and 29 June. Designed to empower parents and carers to support their teenagers through the challenges they are faced with daily, topics covered include:

  • substance misuse
  • exploitation
  • healthy relationships
  • safety online
  • social risks

Please feel free to promote the sessions by sharing information with your communities and partners. Follow this link to book on the course and find out more.