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Minutes, December 2013

Clayhidon Parish Council


A Meeting of the above council was held, on Monday 2nd December 2013 at the Parish Hall, Clayhidon at 7.30pm.


The following Business was brought before the council:-


1.           Confirmation of Minutes of Preceding Meeting.

2.           State of Parish Roads with Dr Phil Norrey of DCC

3.           Matters arising from the minutes

4.           Payment of Accounts – Grants to Local Organisations

5.           Reports of County / District Councillors

6.           Precept for 2014 / 2015

7.           Correspondence

8.           General business



Mr RM Kallaway, Chairman; Mr AFJ Redwood; Mr RJ Pike; Mrs S Hay; Mr AGS Hill; Mr RW Drew; Dr P Norrey, Chief Executive od Devon County Council,; Mr RF Radford, County Councillor; Mr FJ Rosamond, Dist. Councillor; Parishioners Mr N Carter; Mr BR Clowney; Mr B Hill; Mr M Hudson and Mr MC Osmond, clerk



            An apology was received from Mr ME Bendle as unable to attend.

            On opening the meeting the chairman gave a warm welcome to all present in particular to Dr Phil Norrey of DCC.




The minutes of meeting 7th of October 2013 were taken as read (copies having been previously circulated), were confirmed and signed.


State of Parish roads

            The chairman then introduced Dr Norrey and thanked him for attending. Mr Alex Hill would speak on the Parish Council concerns for the parish roads and enlarge on the prepared survey that had been done. Copies had been given to members and a copy sent to Dr Norrey. Mr Hill spoke of the background work done arising from the copies of parish road maps held by Highways Dept. This was the basis for road maintenance. The higher the grade of importance as a main collector road would be maintained to a higher standard than a lower minor road. It was believed that Clayhidon is disadvantaged because it is a large parish with a small population and a relatively long road network. Noted money for road repairs falls short of need to be spent and to this end sought to establish a regular and clear communication channel between the Parish Council and the Highways Dept, for the best use of the limited resources available. The Parish Council would like to be advised of the annual budget for the road maintenance and if divided between routine and emergency repairs. The scope of the Lengthsman’s visits to parish, what are his priorities in the time allocated? Are there any plans for Parish Councils to take up part of these responsibilities and what support from the Highways Dept for any that would do this? Are there legal restrictions on work that can be carried out by private individuals and the legal liabilities on any work undertaken? In conclusion attention was drawn to road classification, one significant road is at present in the Parish Council’s opinion classed at too low a level. This road from Shackle’s Cross to Whitedown Cross should be upgraded from service to minor collector classification, bringing it into line with other roads with similar traffic level as not only services 20 homes but carries through traffic heading north/south through the parish. The surface condition of two roads as a matter of priority was raised. A) The road running south from Shackle’s Cross to Burrow Farm. B) The “minor collector” road from Parish Hall going East past Belletts Farm to Hidewood Farm. The matter of road signage was raised to draw attention to the high quality and extensive repairs again at Gladhayes Bridge including rebuilding of the parapet. The Parish Council believe that a clear sign should be placed at the top of Gladhayes Lane (junction of Rosemary Lane) to advise long vehicles not to use this lane. The sign being non-verbal, showing a lorry with red line across it. A similar sign should be placed at top of Ford Street crossway to discourage long vehicles from driving south into Clayhidon to go to Hemyock. Dr Norrey in response thanked the Parish Council for the invitation to speak on the behalf of the County Council and for the concerns raised by the Parish Council. He began with some background details to help understand how the budget money is spent. Devon is the largest highway authority for length and number of grades of roads, with the cost of £60 million a year to maintain. DCC is heading for a drop in the money spent on this. Various surveys of the public had been done with variable satisfaction on the standards, but could do better if there were greater resources. Last winter, flooding cost £12 million with only £3 million from the government to help pay for this. There was major concern on highways in rural areas, in part due to poor communications with Parish Councils. He wished to use the knowledge they had on problem areas. It was planned that DCC would contact parishes in the future. Surface dressing of roads was important to get the best value of resources and that money is not used on non-urgent work. The details of what had been spent in Clayhidon would be available in due time and sent. Costs of filling potholes at present was £40 and a metre of surface dressing cost £150 in patching but when on whole road it was seven times more to do. Attention was drawn to road through Bolham with water and surface problems and this he agreed with. Parishes can do more for themselves and he was keen for this to go ahead. The parish “Snow Warden” was an example. The “Lengthsman” service was discussed and he wished there were more staff. If Parish Council wished to have a “Lengthsman” there was a legal liability and any would need to be trained and listed under section 8 to cover Health and Safety regulations. Written confirmation was sought from DCC to Parish Council if they wish to employ a contractor to clear ditches. Noted DCC in contact with local MP, Neil Parish to get any increase in government funding. The road from Hall to Hidewood Ford was raised and Dr Norry stated he had also visited and seen the condition. He noted the point raised on the size of the contractors tractors used in the narrow parish roads for hedge trimming and not being able to make a good job with areas missed that needed doing for visibility. After speaking on the state of roads a general discussion was held on “Broadband” noting that Clayhidon was out of the area to receive this. This was in the group of last 5% and not resolved at present as to how to provide this to them. Mr Carter spoke of several home businesses which relied on this service and thought all should be done to get connected. Dr Norrey stated that a further sum of money on offer from the government to get service to the last 5% with problems. This was being applied for by DCC he was then thanked by the Chairman for attending and speaking to the Parish Council.


Matters Arising from the Minutes

Affordable Home

            No correspondence received on the home. Noted that house for sale on the corner was still on the market.


TA P Fund

            Clerk stated that a letter had been sent to Hemyock Parish Council for the application to be made jointly as agreed.

Hidon Wood

            Mrs Hay reported that a Grant had been received from the Forestry Commission for the management plan of the wood. Also noted that a party of Marines had been on site, tree felling training. Attention was drawn that the annual survey of the parish footpaths due to take place and be ended by end of January. Markers at junctions had now been erected as part of Neroche Project of walking routes across parish.


Hemyock Affordable Homes

            The Chairman stated that the trust had set their criteria for occupation of the 12 dwellings available and notice given to 12 families from the waiting list. Noted the scheme was first in Devon of this type and, due to the demand, further schemes to be considered to meet the demand. Mr N Carter as the Treasurer to the Trust was thanked by the Chairman for his work and details he had also provided to the meeting.


Charity Income

            No correspondence received at the time of the meeting.


District Councillor

            Mr Rosamond gave a short report to the meeting. He noted the broadband access problem in the parish and this was discussed in regard to the home business and social aspect for parishioners. Council had also raised with Mr P Neil Parish more funding needed for the roads. Budgets under review as need to save half a million pounds. Jobs to be left vacant as they arise. Grants to community groups being reduced. Consultation to start on eastern extension for 1500 homes and a roundabout on to Blundell’s road. Details given for proposals for area of regeneration at junction 27, there was some opposition to the proposals at the present time. Review of the recycle collection in the district, a working group set up to advise best practice for the future.


County Councillor

            Mr Radford gave a short report as Dr Norrey had spoken on roads but he did report that as a part of the budget review in hand that £500,000 was to be taken out of road maintenance possible Lengthsman. This was noted. The DC C had to save £30 million in the 2014 budget due to a cutback from the government and other spending that had to be maintained like social services. Cost of “parking on street” increased, under review now as at present £800,000 to provide. From “Tough Choices” need to save £30 million in 2014 budgets. A universal standard collection service for recycle across the county in hand, the details to be published for consultation. Thanks given for the reports.


Payment of Accounts

            It was proposed by Mr Redwood seconded by Mr Pike and agreed that the annual “Grants” to local organisations for 2013 be as for year 2012. An amended proposal that the grant to the Blackdown Support Group be increased by £50.00, in view of their other funding resource being reduced, was carried.

Blackdown Support Group


£    500.00

Cameo Club, Hemyock


£    110.00

St Mary’s, Hemyock

“Pump” magazine

£      65.00

Tiverton & District Transport Assn

“Ring & Ride”

£      60.00




Precept 2014

            Clerk had prepared a draft statement of the year’s accounts and copies given to members. This was discussed. The general account opening balance of £5573 with precept for 2013 of £6750 and the expected expenses would leave a balance of £7295. Noted there had been some minor income from TAP fund and VAT. In 2015 it was planned to hold Parish Council elections. It was then proposed by Mr Redwood seconded by Mrs Hay for a precept of £7000.00. This was agreed by all.



            Mid Devon Register of Heritage Assets. Local Plan part 3 adopted and can be seen on their website. DC C copy on the impact of storm events of 2012 on Highways and the legacy. Noted cost of £12.2 million. Notice of Footpath workshops in autumn. Notice of changes to mobile library service, stops with 3 persons or less to be ended. Others to be monthly in place of two weekly. Notice of salting of roads programme by DCC or Highways agency. This was for higher grade roads only. Other correspondence listed and noted.


Planning Applications

            These were discussed by members at the last workshop meeting of 25th of November for meeting with Dr P Norrey.  A/ Lower Grays - single-storey extension.  B/ The Old Rectory - change of use of rear extension for a holiday let.


General Business

            Mr Pike stated his son-in-law would shortly be attending a training session to be parish Snow Warden, not official till this had been done. Details for contacting to be put on parish website agreed. Noted there was still a quantity of salt at sites in the parish for the winter at present. A general discussion was held on the purchase of the small salt spreader. Noted possible need for spreader at Dunkeswell, agreed clerk contact their clerk were details for consideration at the next meeting.


Date of next meeting

            As there was no other business the meeting was closed after it was agreed on Monday, 10th February 2014 for next meeting at the Parish Hall and those present being thanked for attending.