Key information and documents

Meeting location: On-line

Meeting time: 7.30pm

Please note: Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Parish Council Meeting

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.


Annual Parish Council Meeting

Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman.

Annual Parish Meeting

1:        Chairman’s Report.

2:        Feoffees Report

3:        Other Reports (if any).




Annual Parish Council Meeting


Councillors Gabriel, Bell, Grevatt, Hunt, Luscombe, Seager-Berry, Steer


The clerk called for nominees to take the chair for the year ahead. Cllr Gabriel was proposed by Cllr Luscombe seconded by Cllr Seager-Berry. There being no other nominees Cllr Gabriel was elected.

The Chairman called for nominees for Vice Chairman. Cllr Grevatt was proposed by Cllr Seager-Berry seconded by Cllr Luscombe. There being no other nominees Cllr Grevatt was elected.

Annual Parish Meeting

Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman felt that there was no need to remind everyone of the extraordinary year that had just gone – the like of which we have never seen before. He thought it perhaps time to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful area which has had one of the lowest Covid 19 infection rates in the country. Some of us have been able to carry on with our rural lifestyles impacted by the pandemic much less that most.

Our on-line meetings have been remarkably successful and thanks must go to Cllr. Grevatt for setting these up. We shall soon be required to return to Covid secure face to face meetings. By cancelling the June meeting we may well be able to return to the Church.

Planning applications continue to be sent to us. However, thanks to the miracles of modern technology, the details are virtually impenetrable. As our input and decisions are habitually ignored it probably matters little.

Our major achievement this year has been the near completion of the project to install a cardiac defibrillator in North Huish. Thanks must go to Devon County Council and Richard Hosking; South Hams District Council and Parishioner Vince Rosson for their financial input.

Our major expenditure on an annual basis is for the maintenance of highways within the Parish – repair of potholes and clearance of drains and buddleholes. This expenditure is very worthwhile as it directly impacts on parishioners.

Into the future we shall have to carefully oversee the appropriate use of the playpark and supervise its upkeep. Use of this amenity has certainly increased over the years.

At some point the impact on the Parish of the proposed Primrose Trail may become an issue but this controversial project seems a long way away from becoming a reality at present.

Feoffees Report: 

The Trustees of North Huish Feoffees – the Bowden and Perring Charity.

Mrs M Luscombe  Chairman

Mr J Bell  Treasurer

Mrs M Seager-Berry, Mr A Mitchell, Mrs V Pearse

Mr R Cooper, Mrs D Lethbridge.

The lack of water to Mary Park field has been thoroughly investigated. Due to the obsolete pipe it will not be possible to attach it to the mains. Although there is a natural spring it can dry up and it has been suggested that the tenant provides a temporary supply during these times.

We are waiting for the fences around the field to be ameliorated.

Three families benefitted from Christmas donations.

The Pemberton Trust now gives the proceeds as a gift to any child baptised in the Parish.

The Feoffees are aware of these difficult times and welcome any notification of anyone in need of a small grant.



2020/21 will be remembered as the time of Coronavirus. The virus has prematurely ended many lives, disrupted the economy and our ways of life.

May I congratulate you all on your acceptance of and adaptation to the new circumstances and technology that has made Virtual Meetings a part of Council and everyday life.


I note with sadness the recent death of HRH the Prince Philip at the age of 99, and thoughts are with HRH the Queen & the Royal Family. The Duke’s lasting legacy for the South West will be the Ten Tours expedition, part of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards challenge.


The Team Devon Local Outbreak Management Board has met throughout the last year to monitor, help to fund, provide guidance and intervene where necessary in the fight against Coronavirus, including overseeing the setting up of the Nightingale Hospital.

The UK development, procurement and delivery of vaccines has been a success story. As I write, over two thirds of the adult population in Devon have received at least their first vaccination, and the 40 and over age range are now invited to book their first jab. 

The number of cases has fallen and the latest available data to the week ended 28th April show just 117 cases in Devon, AND for the first time, since the second spike, no deaths in the week ending 4th May.

The availability of testing is increasing with the objective of identifying (if possible), those who carry the virus without symptoms.

We are all looking forward to taking the 4 steps to freedom as they progress through the early summer.

The Government responded to the crisis with financial support for the economy, and in Devon we endeavoured to make funds available where needed to avoid hardship.

There is an ongoing need for vigilance as the holiday season makes a slightly cool debut this bank holiday weekend. Good to enjoy the atmosphere of a favourite pub on Friday, however it looked more like an Everest Base Camp than a place of entertainment.


         One of the truly heartening stories of Coronavirus is the spontaneous creation of support networks by volunteers throughout the Division and Devon. Many congratulations and thanks to you all. You have made such a difference to the lives of so many people shielding, isolating and struggling.


The approximate budget headlines this year are;

  1. Devon County Council have presented another balanced budget for the 2021/22 financial year.
  2. The overall expenditure is £578.5 million, an increase of 6.6%.
  3. Within the budget there are increases of;
  • £12 million for mainly increased demand for Education Health and Care plans in Children’s Services;
  • £22 million for Adult Care & Health Services; and
  • 5% for Corporate Services;
  1. There remains a deficit of some £50 million on our balance sheet for the overspend on the High Needs Block over the last 2 years. We await Government instruction on how this is to be financed;
  2. We have increased the DCC element of the Council Tax precept by the maximum permitted 4.99%.


With the ambition of improving the integration of services we are taking the Babcock contract for children’s services in house from 2022.

Devon is promoting an Early Help strategy in an attempt to tackle issues at source and wrap help around families to reduce the demand for Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCPs) at a later stage. The increased number of EHCPs has put significant pressure on our budget for the last two years.



Connecting Devon & Somerset has recently awarded a new contract to Airband to complete fibre to the premises connections for the 90 to 95% sector of properties that do not as yet have Superfast Broadband in the period 2021 to 2024. Maps showing planned connections across the Division are due to be published soon.

          For those business premises not included in the Airband stage of the rollout do have a look at the Government Gigabit voucher scheme which can be helpful particularly for groups of premises.


          Businesses in Not Spots please see the Connecting Devon and Somerset initiative;

which plans to benefit 1,250 premises with a voucher for a mobile signal booster.


          In the South Brent & Yealmpton Division we have made an application for a feasibility study to reinstate an active station in South Brent.

As part of the national Restore your Railway Scheme a daily railway service has been promised for the Okehampton to Exeter line.


          Devon County Council had a budget of £102m for roads in the last financial year, more than has ever been spent before.

          In the Division we have benefited from Safer Road Funding for improvements to the A3121 from Hollowcombe Cross, past Ermington to Wrangaton. This will include two new roundabouts at the junction of the A379/A3121 and the B3196/A3121 at Kitterford Cross.


         A report on the responses to an extensive consultation are now being compiled, and we are expecting this to be published in the summer of 2021. Devon County Council remain committed to achieving net zero carbon status.

         Within the County Council we continue to reduce our Carbon Footprint. As part of our strategy the conversion of streetlighting to LED should be completed in about 18 months.


Devon County Council have purchased the former Flybe Training Academy and are turning it into a high-tech Future Skills Centre specialising in digital, engineering, construction and clean growth. The Centre will cater for learners of all ages, skills, and qualifications and prepare them for the economy of the future. 

At County Hall we are developing online support for business start-ups, the self-employed, innovation and growth.


         This has been a challenging year for schools and we congratulate teachers who have delivered lessons online and parents who have found themselves adapting to a second career in front of a virtual blackboard. We hope their endeavour and the catch-up programme now unfolding will ensure that our children’s education will not suffer.

         The gradual drift to Academy status continues in Devon schools, and we remain committed to ensuring that maintained schools receive the very best support we can offer. Per pupil funding has now increased to £4,000 per primary school pupil and £5,000 per secondary school pupil. Whilst we have moved up the rankings slightly in terms of average funding we are still towards the lower end of the table. Lobbying will continue to ensure that the full costs of rurality are taken into account.


VAS (Vehicle Activated Speed) SIGN

         An order has been made for a further inspection by an engineer. The VAS appears to be working only intermittently for Cllr Steer.

Parish Councils – Annual Report  2021

District Councillors Pannell and Smerdon

Of course the past year has been dominated by Covid. It has impacted deeply on the council in two ways: Firstly by transforming the way we work - almost everyone has been working from home to reduce exposure to the virus. We have had to suspend some services which brought us into direct contact with the public, including site visits for planning. SHDC also supported community efforts in caring for the vulnerable etc.Secondly considerable staff time had to be switched to administering and paying out Govt. grants to businesses impacted by the lockdowns:

From March 2020 to March 2021 SHDC paid out £42,425,000 to 3,691 businesses through the Government Mandatory Grants, with a further £2,309,000 to 317 businesses through a Local Discretionary Scheme (Govt funded). From November onwards during the recent lockdown period SHDC has paid out £18,234,527 through the payment of 9,233 Mandatory Grants, and a further 971 grants totalling £1,221,115 through the Local Discretionary scheme

The total paid up to this April since March 2020 is £64,189,642, and officers are still processing and paying Lockdown Grants. Now a new scheme has started of Recovery Grants for businesses opening up again after the latest lockdown, particularly those in the hospitality sector etc.

One contentious issue is the payment of grants to second home owners who have registered their properties for Business Rates. While paying out nothing in Council Tax, and benefiting from Small Business Rate relief those in the South Hams have received well over £10m in grants, even if they have suffered little or no financial loss. This Business Rate loophole is something the Council has been lobbying the Govt. hard on and we have recently heard that the Govt. intends to tighten the regulations so that these homes have to be run as proper businesses and be available for hire over a longer period in the year.

One of the longer-lasting impacts of Covid may be that more staff work flexibly, from home more often, thus reducing the demand on office space at Follaton House. Will we look for an alternative in the long run? We don’t know – it also depends on the possibility of the Govt. wanting Devon to adopt a Unitary Authority model, either covering all of the county or in two or three areas. It is quite likely that Torbay may be included in any reorganisation.

Another issue SHDC has been grappling with is Climate Change and Biodiversity. The Council has now set aside more than £500,000 for work on this and continues to look at schemes which will further this work. Each Councillor has been allocated a fund of £3,000 to award in grants which fit the objectives.