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August 2014, annual parish meeting

Clayhidon Parish Meeting


A Public Meeting of the Parish was called by the Parish Council to be held on Friday 1st August 2014 at the Parish Hall at 2pm to discuss the following matters with Mr Neil Parish MP for area.


A.      Provision of high speed broadband

B.      State of parish roads

C.      Affordable homes / barn conversion




     Mr RM Kallaway, Meeting Chairman; Mr N Parish MP; Mr FJ Rosamund, Dist. Councillor; Mrs S Hay; Mr AFJ Redwood; Mr RW Drew; Mr ME Bendle; Mr AGS Hill; Parish Councillors Mrs M Stallard, Hemyock Parish Council;  Mr G Long, Upottery Parish Council; twenty eight parishioners and Mr M Osmond, clerk


Mr Kallaway opened the meeting with a welcome to all those present and a special welcome to Mr Neil Parish, MP, who in reply stated his thanks for the welcome and for the chance to meet parishioners, but stated he was sorry he was late in arriving for the meeting. He gave background to the provision of High Speed Broadband and amounts of money from government to provide this and the role of BT to provide this. Not all details of cost were available as a confidential clause had been signed by various parties to restrict information. BT had chosen Fibre-Optic’s with Green Hubs to supply this. This was okay for most of the country, but in some areas this did not work and they had no second option at the present time. Various reviews being held and changes made to time proposed to supply this, each time further in the future.


Noted that at the present time redundant buildings such as old barns in AONB could not be converted into homes but outside of this area they could. He was willing to look further into this to get a change in policy. The Community Land Trust was a good thing and had provided affordable homes. If there were plots to build on in Clayhidon, these should be put forward, but it was noted that the planning Dept had not accepted any in Clayhidon at the present time for various reasons.


The Chairman gave some background details of work both done and needed. Dr P Norrey of DCC had come to speak to Parish Council, but that had not brought the sought improvements. Also Mr A Hill, on behalf of Parish Council, drew attention to the repair needs of the parish being sought from Highways Dept due to DCC having limited money for use.   It was from the Highways budget that money was taken for the use of other services. Mr Parish replied that the government had to reduce the amount it borrowed and as schools and health were protected, budgets were very tight for all. All the money the government had borrowed will have to be repaid together with interest, this could not be changed but changes in targeting the money available towards the best use and greatest need should be done.


Moving to “Broadband” he invited questions and Mr G Long of Upottery Parish Council drew attention to recent changes published by BT that the area which included Clayhidon on their area map put back till 2017 for a supply due to remoteness and hills. He drew attention to published information of similar places in regard to hills and remoteness, to which High-Speed Broadband had been delivered, could this be explained? The French used a system that served remote and hilly areas and it worked. BT was doing their own research on this type of system, no date of use available. Noted the government was to put £45 million more into the provision of high-speed broadband, but if areas were being excluded from supply, what was the remainder of the cash to be used for? Mr Parish thanked Mr Long for his details and he would be using this on return to London for questions to ministers as timetable of BT not acceptable as business and government would only work online in some cases, and supply needed. Noted a meeting on “High-Speed Broadband” at Smeatharpe, 11th August, “Neighbourhood Plan” was discussed and what benefits could be obtained. This was a long process to prepare and put into operation and there was a cost to be added in the preparation of the plan.


County budgets were discussed in regard to proposed Bridleway upgrade / creation in parish, when Devon was lacking money to do some things, such as road repairs. Concern as to whether this was the best use of limited resources for maximum result. Attention was drawn by the Landlord of the Half Moon Inn to vehicles / tractors going fast along road, as people and children have to cross the road to the garden. Attention was also drawn to speeding in other areas of parish by those horse riding. Options discussed to reduce speed, speed ramps, warning notices and letters to farmers. Noted the police had been contacted but had been unable to take action. Meeting wished for the County Council to be contacted to be aware of the problem and what could be done. In conclusion the chairman thanked Mr Parish for attending and noted the various topics raised by the meeting on behalf of the parish and thanked those present for attending and closed the meeting.