Keith Ferguson explained that new legislation has created higher safety standards for electricity cables and restricted how close these can be to buildings. In order to comply with the regulations, Western Power Distribution has obtained government funding to improve the existing wiring in Combe Martin.
Some roads have already had the cables changed to a single overhead cable but, along most of the main road, WPD will remove the cables in between poles and run the supply underground. Whilst the power cables will be underground, it will be necessary to keep the poles to support the feed from the main cable to individual properties.
The works along the main road will start in early September, and will finish on 28 March, 2014. Depending on how much is completed, WPD anticipate returning in September, 2014, to finish the works.
Most of the work will be done using traffic lights. Work will start in September at Lynton Road and should get as far as High Cross by Christmas. After Christmas, minor works to tidy up the job will be done before work starts at Cross Street, which will be closed for two weeks during February, 2014. The works will move up the main road, until reaching King Street.
From 3 March until 28 March 2014, the main road will be closed completely between Umber Close and Kingston Avenue. The pavements will be open, so it will be possible to walk to businesses or houses in this section, and those who live or work in that section will be able to access their parking.
In response to questions, it was explained that this section of road must be closed during the works to comply with safety regulations, and there was no way of avoiding this as it is necessary to make a continuous open trench.
WPD has already changed its plans to enable the works to finish well in advance of Easter, so as not to disadvantage businesses. Some works will be done after the Easter period, but this will involve traffic lights only.
All properties in Combe Martin will receive a letter drop, and plans will be available at the Parish Council office and the Library, and WPD will do all it can to ensure everyone who is affected is aware of the works, including the emergency services, bus and schools.
Keith Ferguson and Carl James were thanked for coming to the meeting.
Whilst the road closure will create considerable inconvenience to villagers, it was recognised that the works will greatly enhance the appearance of Combe Martin’s main road.
It was AGREED to investigate how this Council can assist villagers during the road closure, possibly by providing parking at Council car parks, and accommodate the needs of WPD and May Gurney, their contractors.
Seaside Award for 2013
It was NOTED that Combe Martin Beach has been awarded a Seaside Award for 2013 and the flag and banner are all in place.
Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs John Lovering and Paul White.
a Nicky Tossell - expressed concerns that people were parking on the Bowling Green and were not purchasing a parking ticket.
It was AGREED to:
a Thank the Civil Parking Officer for coming out at very short notice on Saturday evening to move the vehicles.
b Place a ‘No Parking’ sign on the Bowling Green
c refer the matter to the Parks and Open Spaces Committee, and to consider writing to the pub landlord.
b Nicky Tossell – objected to the number of vehicles speeding through the village.
RESOLVED to ask Devon and Cornwall Police to carry out a speed check at various locations in Combe Martin and ask North Devon Council to enforce the parking restrictions at weekends and evenings, as it is understood that this is done in Lynton.
c Alan Coulstock – enquired what was happening about the planning application for the Coach Park and was advised that it needed to be resubmitted because the original application had too many parking bays. d Deirdrie Tolladay – asked what was happening about the proposals to develop Park Hills and the Local Plan procedure was explained.
Cllrs Yvette Gubb and Steve Seldon declared interests in the following item and left the room.
e Martin Worth – told the Parish Council his views about the lease and was advised that the Village Hall Community Group would be advised of this Council’s decision this week.
f Nicky Tossell – asked how much was left of the funds set aside for the Village Hall. It was explained that the VHCG had been taking the bookings monies for the hall since July 2013, but had not been paying the outgoings.
g Anne Bacon – expressed her hope that the Village Hall lease would soon be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
Declaration of Interests
Kayaks on Beach
Devon County Council’s Cabinet has met for the first time and appointed Cllr Andrea Davis to be responsible for improving health and well-being, which the County Council took over from the NHS in April. Cllr Davis is also appointed to ‘One Ilfracombe’ as a board member.
Devon’s library Service has been awarded ‘Library of the Year’ at the Bookseller Industry Awards.
Residents in North Devon are warned to be on guard against bogus officials claiming they can save them thousand of pounds through Council Tax band revaluations. Fraudsters ring residents and claim to be from North Devon Council, saying that properties are in the wrong Council Tax band. They then request money up front to process a revaluation. Villagers are requested to report any such calls to NDC or DCC. Anyone who believes their property is in the wrong band should contact the Valuation Office Agency, who provide helpful information and advice – www.voa.gov.uk - 03000 501501.
The complaint about the street lights at Seaside have been investigated. One light was shot at by a gun, so is waterlogged. This light has the control for the others, which is why the lights are on all the time. The light is going to be repaired. DCC is discussing the repair of the light outside Loverings Garage with WPD re the supply cable.
b North Devon Council
The booking line for North Devon Council's programme of summer holiday activities, known as School's Out, opens on Wednesday 12 June and bookings may be made via NDC’s website. Each year the council pulls together a varied programme of arts, sports and leisure activities to keep children of all ages active and entertained throughout the six weeks of the school summer holiday.
Local people can find out what's being done to increase affordable housing in the countryside, as part of National Rural Housing Week (10-16 June). A drop-in event is being held in Lynton on Thursday 20 June to showcase current local housing schemes. It is also an opportunity for people to help decide where rural housing schemes should be built in the future. The drop-in event is being held at the United Reformed Church on Lee Road in Lynton, from 3pm to 7pm.
Two North Devon postcodes have been placed in the UK's top ten for areas with the best food hygiene ratings. Following a national investigation by Which?, food outlets in Barnstaple (EX31) came joint first, with an average score of 4.9 out of 5. Meanwhile, Braunton (EX33) came joint second, with an average of 4.8 out of 5.
A new trade recycling service is to be launched by North Devon Council to offer a more comprehensive waste and recycling service to local businesses. Even if local businesses do not use the council's trade waste and recycling service, they can still bring their own recyclable items to Brynsworthy Environment Centre, free of charge. All they need to show is proof of a trade waste agreement.
Police and vandalism reports
PC Martin Beck and PCSO Ade Drury sent their apologies for not being able to attend the meeting.
There have been 8 recorded crimes this month compared with 7 last year for the same period. The crimes were:
Minutes of the meeting held on 13 May, 2013, and the Extra-Ordinary meeting held on 21 May, 2013, were ADOPTED
Update on the Parade
The site meeting has been held at the Parade and details agreed about the levels of the ground. The drainage pipe has been laid and connected to the building. The roof of the building extension has been removed and replaced with new. It has been necessary to make an amended planning application for the variation to the railings and pillars, although NDC’s planning officer has objected to the swan motifs on the railings.
RESOLVED that Cllr Julia Clark contact the planning officer to query her objections and explain that the swan comes from the village crest, which is why this Council wishes to put it on the railings.
District Councillors Julia Clark and Yvette Gubb drew the meeting’s attention to the fact that any observations or decisions which they made regarding planning applications at this meeting were based upon the information available at the time. Such observations and decisions might well change in the light of any information which might come
before district councillors when sitting upon North Devon District Council’s planning committee.
55693 - RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO
AN AGRICULTURAL ACCESS TOGETHER WITH
FORMATION OF PRIVATE HARD SURFACED TRACK AND
YARD AREAS AT LAND AT RECTORY ROAD
Applicant – Mr Graham Payne
RESOLVED to recommend that the application be APPROVED, subject to the planning authority satisfying itself that there is adequate drainage provided on-site to ensure that there is no run-off onto the county highway.
b North Devon Council’s planning approvals
55274 – Removal of time restraint on 55613 to allow 24 hour operation
of wind turbine at Park Hills Industrial Estate, Rectory Lane
RESOLVED to write to North Devon Council, to ask why the condition which District councillors had agreed (that the turbine should not operate on Sundays, as it is a test turbine) was omitted from the conditions shown on the approval notice.
55423 – Change of use from residential to 3 rooms for bed and
The reply from Cllr Andrea Davis stating that DCC has no funds to amend the name signs, but has no objections to the Parish Council paying to change them was NOTED.
g Min 28/13 - Use of Coach Park by May Gurney/WPD
Advice had been received that SWW needs to carry out works at the Coach Park to improve the sewage system during the winter period. It would therefore not be possible for WPD and May Gurney to use the Coach Park for their site compounds during the works to the electricity supply.
RESOLVED to advise WPD and May Gurney that they may use either Kiln Car Park or Hollands Park for their compounds, providing the car parks are left in a clean and safe condition. A fee equivalent to a six month parking permit per parking bay used will be charged.
Cllrs Yvette Gubb and Graeme Coombs declared interests in the following item and left the room.
h Min 29/13 - Response by NDC regarding extent of proposed development boundary.
NDC has stated that it will require landowners to agree to having their land included inside the development boundary and SHLAA forms completed for all land proposed for development. RESOLVED that Cllrs Nigel Brettle, Julia Clark and Trevor Kibble plus the Clerk will attend a meeting with planning officers to agree the exact boundary line being proposed and before doing so, a meeting will be held to discuss the completing of SHLAA forms.
Reports from representatives to outside bodies
a Combe Martin Museum – The alterations to the tourist information facility at the Museum are now finished and looking great. Museum volunteers are beginning to sort out their responsibilities in respect of the tourism element. They are enjoying the liveliness of their new duties with the tourists who are now taking advantage of the Museum displays.
b Community Messaging Service – When selling motor bikes on e-bay do not take a picture of the motorbike outside your home or where the bike is stored, make sure when arranging a viewing with interested parties that you meet in a neutral place eg supermarket car park, park etc. Bikes have been stolen overnight.
c Icon Ski Race – The Icon Ski Race was held successfully on Saturday, 1 June 2013. The Chairman had presented the prizes to the winners, the first of whom was a Frenchman who completed the course in 1hr 15mins. The times of the two runners up were very close to this.
a The following items were noted:
Combe Martin Tourism Association – Road closure in Cross Street –
7 July 2013 for Craft Fayre.
NDVS – Volunteer Car Driving – request for new drivers
b Northern Devon AONB – proposed Heritage Lottery Fund application
The Northern Devon AONB has put in an initial major application to the HLF for a number of projects in Combe Martin, and it has been agreed that the main grant application will go forward in 2014. In the meantime, there are some smaller grant opportunities from HLF, which the ND AONB is keen to pursue.
RESOLVED to refer the AONB’s proposal to make an interim grant application to both the HPP and POS Committees.
c Combe Martin Bowling Club – request regarding historic records
A member of the Bowling Club will come into the office to inspect this Council’s historic records of the Club.
d Jennie Sheppard – Beach huts
It was AGREED to explore the viability of putting beach huts on Combe Martin Beach.
RESOLVED to refer the request to support a petition to object to the proposed National Planning Policy Framework to the HPP Committee.
f South West Water – tanks to enhance sewage systems
South West Water wishes to install attenuation tanks at the Coach Park and head of the Beach to improve the performance of the sewage system and the bathing water results. RESOLVED to reply to South West Water, welcoming any improvements in the system that will enable the bathing water quality to pass the testing standards, providing that this Council’s properties are not disadvantaged by the installation, or that any disadvantages will be ameliorated.
g Devon Remembers – World War I Memorials Project
RESOLVED to form a working party to explore means to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War. Members of the Working Party will be Cllrs Yvette Gubb, Wendy Druce, John Lovering and Jill Sidebottom.
h Tourism Association – help with barrels for flowers
It was noted that Council’s workmen had already assisted with the flower barrels when they were delivered, and there were no objections with their helping when the barrels are filled with soil and put in their final locations.
It was also noted that the ground floor of Seacott has not yet been cleared.
The invoices for payment, set out on the Financial Reports, were APPROVED, following recommendation by the Chairman and Cllr Yvette Gubb. Cllr Julia Clark signed cheques on behalf of the Chairman, as the bank mandates will not be amended until after the co-option.
d Accounts for the year ended 31 March, 2013
RESOLVED that the Accounts and Annual Return for the year ended 31 March, 2013 be ADOPTED.
e Quotation for repairs to tarmac at entrance to Parade Car Park
A quotation had been received from the sub-contractor selected by Southcombes to tarmac the Parade area. RESOLVED to accept the quotation to cut out the section of tarmac at the entrance to the Parade Car Park and lay a Bit-Macadam Base Course with a top coat of Surface Mastic Asphalt.
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS AND RESTRICTION OF DOCUMENTS RESOLVED:
a That under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and the press be excluded from the meeting for the following items as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, ie information in respect of
which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings or, information relating to a particular employee, former employee or applicant to become an employee of, or a particular office holder, former office holder or applicant to become an office holder under the authority.
b That all reports and documents relating to the items be confirmed as ‘Not for publication’.
Matters arising from the site meeting at the Parade
a Min 25/13.3 - Works to newly exposed rock
RESOLVED to build a block with stone facing wall at the front of the first alcove, and to make a flower bed at the top. Mr Dovell is to be asked to obtain a quotation for this. The POS Committee is granted Power to Act to progress the project.
b Wall at Parade Car Park
RESOLVED to ask Mr Dovell to instruct the contractor to repair the coping on the wall and fill the crack between the wall and the tarmac with bitumen compound to prevent water ingress.
RESOLVED to accept Des Young’s quotation to re-route the electricity supply for the floodlights so that the meter and control box are in the same place as the other electricity supply at the Parade.
Renovation of Seacott
The contractor has stripped out the interior. It is not possible to obtain a cheaper kitchen or bathroom suite as the contractor has obtained such a good discount already, which has been passed on to Council.
It was AGREED to investigate the costs of separating the gas and water supplies to the ground and first floors of Seacott, but that the gas supply must be separated.
RESOLVED that the HPP Committee be granted Power to Act to deal with any queries that arise, to enable the work to be completed speedily and the property let.
RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders to enable the remainder of the business on the agenda to be completed.
Cllr Yvette Gubb declared an interest in the following item and left the meeting.
Matters arising from the meeting with the Village Hall Community Group
RESOLVED to agree to use the model lease for the Village Hall lease, subject to the following terms:
a the rent shall be a peppercorn rent of £104 per annum, reviewable after 5 years.
b the lease shall be for 25 years.
c the VHCG may give six months’ notice to terminate the lease at any time, should it wish to do so.
d the VHCG shall pay the revenue running costs of the hall since the committee took over receiving the income of the hall in July, 2012
e the Parish Council shall pay the rates on the building until it vacates the office.
f a full set of accounts is to be provided by the VHCG for the period 30 July 2012 to the present.
h the VHCG is to provide a costed scheme of works for the next five years, as promised originally.
i the Parish Council will retain use of two parking spaces at the rear of the Village Hall.
j the Parish Council is permitted to use the noticeboard at the Village Hall.
k two members of the Parish Council are to be included as members of the management committee.
It is understood that Mr Worth has told the cleaner that the VHCG is not willing to pay for her services, so she is to be found other work.
Cllr Wendy Druce declared an interest in the following item and left the room.
Gary Mallinder – Kayak hire on the Beach
RESOLVED to charge a reduced fee of £70 for a four months’ use of Combe Martin Beach for kayak hire.
Remedial repairs to Eberleigh House roof
RESOLVED that Cllr Wendy Druce should progress the matter of the remedial repairs to Eberleigh House roof through the proper channels to bring the matter to a conclusion.