Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Please note Steve Mullineaux, representative of SHDC to advise on failure of FCC contract, and provision of garden waste service going forwards.

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, 1 November 2022

1:             Open Forum

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

Steve Mullineaux, representative of SHDC to advise on failure of FCC contract, and provision of garden waste service going forwards.

(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 4th October 2022

Matters Arising

To discuss items arising from those Minutes 

6:             Reports

To receive Reports from

  1. County Councillor Thomas
  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. Reference 3047/22/HHO. Proposal: Householder application for the construction of a garden office. Site: The Run, Avonwick.


  1. Application number 2292/22/HHO Location: Lupridge Chapel, Diptford. TQ9 7NW. Householder application for single storey rear extension to accommodate larger porch. Decision date 27/09/22. Conditional Approval.
  2. Application number 4143/21/ARC Location: Colmer view farm, California Cross to Colmer Cross, Modbury. PL21 0SG. Application for approval of details reserved by condition 14,17 & 18 of planning permission 0802/21/FUL. Decision date 27/09/22. Discharge of condition approved.
  3. Application number 3973/21/FUL Location: Burnt Pine Cottage, TQ10 9NH. Extension and conversion of outbuildings to form 2 bedroom holiday unit to be used in association with existing dwelling. Decision date 07/10/22. Refusal.

8:             Correspondence   

To consider correspondence received.

9:      Finance

To note recent and future income and expenditure.

Note Payment for notice board repairs to Cllr Grevatt still to be processed.

10:      Highways

To consider Highway matters.

11:      Graffiti

Invoice/receipts for materials to clean up still to be received.

12:      Next meeting

To consider items for future meetings

Date of next Meeting. 6th December 2022      

Approved Minutes

Approved Minutes for the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, 1 November 2022

These minutes were approved on 6 December 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 Tuesday 1st November 2022.

1:      Open Forum

Cllr Gabriel opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present. There was one member of the public present. Also present was Steve Mullineaux, SHDC representative, and his wife.   

Cllr Luscombe raised a concern regarding the affordable housing plan in Totnes, and the fact that it appears this has changed to Luxury Lodges now. To be raised with district Cllr.

Steve Mullineaux, deputy chief exec and director of customer service delivery at SHDC, thanked the council for the invitation to this meeting, and gave a report to the parish council on the FCC contract failures and provisions going forwards for the recycling of garden waste and recyclables. 

He explained he is now responsible for the waste service. Due to a non disclosure agreement with FCC, he had to be careful with reporting on the failures of the waste contract.

There was significant disruption going back 18 months, his team had tried to help FCC as much as they could, but it was decided to seek external legal advice when they realised this wasn’t working. Legal letters were issued to FCC insisting on improvement, before SHDC and FCC reached an agreement for FCC to hand the keys back and for the council to be responsible for this service again.

He said he thought the problems lay in poor round design, and also poor management and supervision of the staff.

The service was taken back in house from 3rd October. He said they are looking to stabilise and make improvements to the service. He recognised that some people have been asking why should people have to pay for garden waste collections now, however in other districts in Devon this service has been chargeable for five years. The council still need to balance the books, and there will be a charge of £49 per year for garden waste recycling. 

The intention is still that all residents will be moved to the new recycling box system where possible.

Councillor Gabriel thanked Mr Mullineaux for attending the meeting, and he and his wife left the meeting. 

Member of the public raised a matter regarding a letter that the previous clerk was supposed to be sending to SHDC regarding the unauthorised track and development near Butterford Mill.  Cllr Bell will email the details to the new clerk.   

2:      Present: 

Cllrs Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Hunt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry.

3:      Apologies for absence

Cllr Steer, District Cllrs Pannell and Smerdon, County Cllr Thomas.

4:      Declarations of Interest


5:      Minutes 

The minutes of the meeting held on the 4th October 2022 were confirmed and signed. Proposed Cllr Hunt. Seconded Cllr Bell.

6:      Matters Arising


Cllr Grevatt advised that Sutcliffe Play have now got the timber in stock, but we are still waiting on them delivering and fitting this. They have also quoted £168.43 exc VAT for one ring, without fitting charge. Cllr Bell suggested that when Sutcliffe Play deliver the timber, they make a safety assessment on the ring that needs to be replaced, as Cllr Grevatt thinks that it is actually structurally sound.


Cllr Grevatt advised that he has bought some Acetone and cleaned off some of the graffiti as best he could. He has submitted a receipt for £6.98 to the clerk at the meeting for this. Cllr Bell suggested that members of the public need to report incidences of graffiti as and when it arises to the relevant bodies ie police etc. and be vigilant.  

Jubilee Tree

Cllr Seager-Berry advised that she will be arranging a meeting with Cllr Bell next week regarding the siting of the Jubilee Tree.

North Huish Churchyard

We have received a letter from Diptford Parochial Church Council notifying us of their intent to close the churchyard and indicating NHPC as the expected recipient of it. SHDC have asked why we haven’t been in touch with them. Cllr Grevatt said there is confusion of the process in general around this and we are waiting for a formal request to adopt the churchyard before we can pass that on to South Hams. Cllr Seager-Berry said Cllr Thomas advised previously that once we have received the proper correspondence or application from Diptford PCC, we can then refuse this, and it would then fall to SHDC to take on the responsibility of the churchyard.

Donation to St James’s Church

Clerk to advise on how much and when the last donation was, and include this as an item for the next meeting’s agenda.       

7:      Reports

County Council

Cllr Thomas sent a report, and the chairman read this out in full in the meeting.

District Council

Cllr Smerdon sent a report which has been distributed to all Cllrs via their parish council email addresses, this has been requested to be sent to their personal email addresses, clerk will re-send.


Cllr Bell mentioned that one of the gate latches is broken in the playpark, he will go and assess this and report on this in the next meeting.

8:      Planning


Reference 3047/22/HHO Proposal: Householder application for a construction of a garden office. Site: 5 The Run, Avonwick. Supported. Proposed by Cllr Seager-Berry, seconded by Cllr Bell.  


  1. Application number 2292/22/HHO Location: Lupridge Chapel, Diptford. TQ9 7NW. Householder application for single storey rear extension to accommodate larger porch. Decision date 27/09/22. Conditional Approval.
  2. Application number 4143/21/ARC Location: Colmer view farm, California Cross to Colmer Cross, Modbury. PL21 0SG. Application for approval of details reserved by condition 14,17 & 18 of planning permission 0802/21/FUL. Decision date 27/09/22. Discharge of condition approved.
  3. Application number 3973/21/FUL Location: Burnt Pine Cottage, TQ10 9NH. Extension and conversion of outbuildings to form 2 bedroom holiday unit to be used in association with existing dwelling. Decision date 07/10/22. Refusal.

9:      Finance

Balance of Treasurer’s account as at 14th October £2,452.81.

Balance of business bank account £7,841.64.

Clerk advised that she is waiting on access to Lloyds bank accounts, so therefore doesn’t yet know the expenses from the accounts for this month. Two authorised signatories – Cllrs Seager-Berry and Gabriel – have signed a variation mandate form for this at the meeting, and the clerk will send this off to Lloyds tomorrow. 

Donation to St James Church agreed in principal, subject to amount to be confirmed at the next meeting.

Cllr Grevatt has now been paid by cheque as requested for all expenses submitted previously and in this meeting for repairs to the noticeboard, £89.48 in total. The cheque was authorised and signed by Cllrs Seager-Berry and Gabriel.

The Clerk asked to attend a clerks 1 online course via Zoom, on 16th November, the cost of which is £36 including VAT, this expense was unanimously approved by the council.          

10:   Highways

Cllr Luscombe asked when Kitterford Cross is going to be open, Cllr Bell said a portion has been Tarmacked, and the scheduled date to re-open is 18th November.

11:   Next Meeting

Tuesday  6th December 2022 at 7.30pm. At St James’s Church, Avonwick

County Council Report

County Councillor's Report November 2022

From District Councillor Thomas

Grave budget warning from Devon County Council leader

Deep cuts to Devon's vital local services are inevitable unless the Government provides more support, county council leader John Hart warned today.

Mr Hart said he fully agreed with new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that the country faced a "profound economic crisis".

But he urged Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to use the extra time they now have to produce their economic recovery plan to ensure the balance between tax rises and spending cuts was fair and equitable. And that local government is not singled out for cuts.

"I have been a county councillor for more than 30 years and leader of Devon County Council for nearly 14 years during which time we have been through the austerity years and the pandemic," said Mr Hart.

"But our financial situation has never been so bleak as it is now.

"Before the summer we revealed a black hole in our finances for this year due to surging demand for help and support for vulnerable children and adults, the continuing costs of the pandemic and the dramatic rise in costs and inflation.

"We have been working hard to find savings in this current financial year but it's like filling the bath with the plug out as demand for our services and our costs keep escalating.

"On top of that we now calculate that - as things stand - we face a £75 million shortfall in our budget for next year."

Mr Hart said a report from the National Audit Office had revealed a 53.7 per cent cut in Government funding for local councils between 2010 and 2020. Devon's core funding from the Government had reduced by 72 per cent in real terms in the 11 years up to 2021/22.

"Despite that, this council has maintained help and support for the young, the old and the vulnerable by becoming more effective and efficient," he said.

"When other councils were closing libraries to save money, we kept all ours open. We maintained a youth service in every district. We've seen a steadily reducing number of potholes on our roads. We've ensured communities weren't cut off by subsidising bus services. We maintained our farms estate to give aspiring young farmers a chance to begin a career in farming.

"And we've helped to drive economic growth by overseeing infrastructure improvements on the A380 in South Devon and the North Devon link road, re-opening the Okehampton railway line and other stations and investing in improving high-tech skills through developments like the new training centre at Exeter Airport and support for work hubs for start-up businesses and small companies across the county.

"We've done all that without large-scale staff redundancies and we've kept council tax as low as possible. And we’ve done it all while committing to be net zero carbon by 2030.

"I am proud of that legacy. But all of the work we do will be under threat if we have to make drastic cuts across all our services to balance the books as we are required to do by law. However that will be the reality if the Government doesn't act to protect local government."

Mr Hart said Devon was not just calling for financial support and doing nothing to help itself.

The council had already put a freeze on staff recruitment in non-frontline areas, delayed planned investment in IT and infrastructure projects, cut its heating and lighting bills, squeezed all external contracts, stopped some routine road maintenance and reduced winter gritting routes as well as reviewing its school transport contracts and public transport subsidies.

Devon MPs were being briefed so they could champion the county's case at Westminster and the authority was working with the County Councils' Network and the Local Government Association on national lobbying.

“We are here to do the very best for local people and to protect and support the most vulnerable and those in real need” he said.

“We will do everything in our power to continue to do this and find new ways to do things better and more sustainably.

“But, quite obviously,  a bankrupt council can do none of these things and we have no choice now but to make savings that will inevitably hurt some people.”

District Council Report

District Councillor's Report November 2022

From Cllrs Guy Pannell and Peter Smerdon

WASTE – Improvement in performance across the board for October

Since taking back control of the waste service from FCC on 3rd October we have seen a marked improvement in staff attendance, resulting in almost no missed collections for the month of October. Recently all the brown bin  rounds have been running, compared with an average of only 50% in recent months under FCC. SHDC is now once again responsible for all waste collection services, together with street and public toilet cleaning.  The move is likely to result in the council incurring additional costs of several million pounds in the next few years as a consequence of the mutual termination of the contract with FCC.

 A major review of all collection rounds is currently taking place, the plan being to move all residents currently on recycling bags to the new boxes by next Spring. This review should allow for better deployment of vehicles and staff, to make best use of our resources.

Preparations for subscription garden waste service

As well as easing financial pressures, ceasing the garden waste (brown bin) service from 31 October will also ease pressure on the core waste and recycling collections, helping to keep those as stable as possible in the early months of the transition from FCC.

 The Council will ensure that all households will get their brown bins emptied on or around their last scheduled collection day before the service is ceased. For a long time South Hams District Council has been able to provide the garden waste service without charging a subscription fee but doing so from spring 2023 will bring us in line with most other districts in Devon, who have  charged separately for garden waste collections for several years.

The current garden waste service will cease from 31st OCTOBER

The proposed new service will start from MARCH 2023

The subscription will be £49 per bin, with a maximum subscription of two bins per household.

If you want to sign up to the new collection service go to the website  or call customer services on 01803 861234

IMPORTANT You MUST subscribe to this service between 1st NOVEMBER 2022 and 22 JANUARY 2023

This will be a yearly service, collection every two weeks, suspended for four weeks over Christmas.

If you don’t want to sign up for this service no further action is required.

You can keep you brown bin, we would encourage you to re-use it as storage in the garden. If you want it removed go to and select ‘contact the waste team’

Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams Executive Member for the Environment, said: “We know that nobody will want to pay a subscription fee for the service, but the inescapable truth is that rising costs have forced our hand. Ultimately, we must protect our core statutory services. Ceasing the collections over the winter will help us do that as we transition to an in-house waste collection service. We consider that the fee of £49 represents good value for money. The subscription fees will purely cover the cost of the service and there will be no profit made. We will provide residents with information in due course on how they can sign up and subscribe for the service. 

We would also encourage more home composting, residents can find out more on home composting possibilities here:  

For those who decide to not sign up for the service, they can take their garden waste to all three recycling centres in the South Hams, or seek out one of the growing number of Community Composting projects locally. Full details, including opening hours, are available online at: 

 Keep up to date on the latest at:


 SHDC Full Council agreed at a special meeting on Thursday  13th October to apply to turn our Freeport areas (Sherford and Langage in the South Hams, part of the Dockyard area in Plymouth) into one of the Government’s new Investment Zones. These bring greater tax benefits for employers, to encourage inward investment and high quality jobs. In some cases in the future planning and environmental controls may be slightly relaxed, but the two sites above are currently subject to all current planning and environmental legislation as they progress through the planning process.  Details of how the change of category will affect planning procedures etc. are yet to be announced by the Government. It is very unlikely that any other sites will be approved in the SHDC area other than the two at Langage and Sherford.

The issue was hotly debated by Council Members, the vote being 13 in favour and 11 against.


COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

A total of £1.68million was made available by Government to SHDC to support businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, but have been ineligible for other business rates support.

Councils were responsible for developing and implementing a scheme based on local need, however we were unable to award relief to ratepayers who were entitled to Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme.  Relief can also not be given to unoccupied properties.

The Council has awarded rate relief totalling £1.61million to 509 business properties following a meeting of the Council’s rate relief panel on 23 September.  The amount of relief awarded is equivalent to 26% of the 2021/22 business rates liability, based on rateable value. We have primarily been able to support businesses in the manufacturing, wholesale and supply chain sectors.Ratepayers benefiting from relief will shortly receive a new bill with a covering letter explaining the terms of the award of the relief.  As the relief must be applied to the 2021/22 business rates liability, most businesses will find that their account for 2021/2022 will go into credit.  This will be transferred to the 2022/23 financial year thus reducing the amount of business rates payable.  Should a ratepayer request that any credit be refunded, a refund will be raised.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

South Hams District Council Executive agrees to ask the public for their opinion on changes to their Council Tax Reduction Scheme.The Consultation opens Monday 17 October and will run until 27 November.The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is a scheme which is run by councils across the country.  It recognises that households have different pressures and depending on where you live, your income, how many people live in your home, how many children you have and what benefits you already claim, you could have your council tax bill significantly reduced. 

Each year councils must review their scheme and decide if they are going to make changes to it or leave it the same.  

At a meeting on the Council's Executive (Thursday 13 October), the Executive agreed to go out to public consultation on the proposed changes, which would start in April next year and that reflect the extra pressures that many households are feeling right now.  

The Council are inviting the public to tell them what they think of those proposed changes, before deciding if they should make them happen.  

Cllr Nicky Hopwood, South Hams Executive Member for the Cost of Living, said: "This is a banded or graded scheme, which means the lower your income, the more pressures your household has, the greater the reduction you get. 

Bird Flu

Following a number of detections of avian influenza in poultry and wild and captive birds across the southwest of England a regional Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared on 31 August in Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly and part of Somerset.

From 17 October the Prevention zone was declared across Great Britain. 

All bird keepers must follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of avian flu.

We have received notification of a confirmed case of Avian Influenza (HSN1) within a private flock of geese at a setting located in Dartington. The flock has been culled.  This is the third notification within the Dartington area.

Annual Rough Sleeper Estimate

All local authorities are required to submit a ‘snapshot’ estimated figure on the number of rough sleepers in the local area during a specified night between 1 October and 30 November.

South Hams will be submitting an Estimate based on the number of people believed to be sleeping rough on the night of Monday 14 November through to Tuesday morning of 15 November.

We will also conduct a ‘snapshot’ count in Totnes as our main hotspot for people sleeping rough.

We choose to submit an estimate as the most accurate way of arriving at a number because due to the large geographic area of South Hams, a full count would not be able to encompass all the areas involved.