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Annual Parish Meeting – 11th March 2020

Annual Parish Council Meeting, 11 March 2020 – Agenda and Presentation slides

Slapton Parish Council are hosting the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 11th March 2020 at Slapton Village Hall. The meeting will commence at 7.30pm with a tea and coffee reception from 7pm.

All parishioners and clubs of the parish are invited to attend to hear an update on the past year and share plans for 2020.

Due to the Coronavirus, the Parish Council are following SHDC’s approach to the emerging situation which is based on Government and PHE advice. At the moment it is business as usual regarding public gatherings although a sensible approach is encourage and anyone not feeling well on the day is asked to consider staying at home. Also if you do have hand sanitiser, please bring this with you to use and hand washing facilities are available at the hall.


A copy of the minutes will be available upon request 2 weeks after the meeting and these will also be downloadable from the Parish Council website to ensure everyone is fully informed of the discussions who is not able to attend. Meanwhile, the presentation slide deck is available above.

I look forward to meeting you all at the meeting and thank you for supporting the arrangements.

Julie Hinder, Chair of Slapton Parish Council



Minutes – Annual Parish Meeting 11 March 2020

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 11th March 2020 at 7.30pm.


In attendance: 8 Parish Councillors, Cllr J. Brazil, 23 members of the public.
Apologies for absence –. Cllr R Foss, Cllr G Wollacott

  1. Welcome – Chair.
  2. Police report – The Chair reported the Council were in the process of joining the Devon and Cornwall Police Councillor Advocate scheme to ensure the parish had access to regular police updates. The new police contact was Billy Morris based at Dartmouth Police Station.
  3. County and District Councillor reports: District Council report – Richard Foss: Covered in Cllr J Brazil’s update
    ounty Council (DCC) Report Cllr J. Brazil:
    Budget Update:
    Council Tax: 3.99% DCC Tax increase (1.99% allowable amount, 2% ring fenced for adult social care). The budget focus is on supporting Adult Social Care which will receive additional funding in 2020, Education where there is a large deficit and special education needs and Highways Maintenance and pothole funding via a central Government grant.
    Government grants have been cut at DCC level resulting in service cuts including drain and buddle hole cleaning. A proactive approach at local level by PC’s is encouraged to take on the work relative to the parish needs but this will have an impact on precepts.
    District budget: £400K is allocated to support local projects.
    Potholes: Parishioners were asked to report all pot holes via the DCC website which allowed the location to be specified. There is a 28 day turnaround service level to review and repair the pothole.
    Climate Change: At DCC and District level, plans are in development to address Climate Change. In the Autumn DCC set up the Citizens Assembly Forum involving focus groups across the County to capture feedback on climate change. District are looking at more localised plans to address the issue. A meeting was held with the Coleridge Association comprising of all PC’s from Kingsbridge to Dartmouth in Feb 2020 and it was agreed to set up a local Climate Change forum and invite people to volunteer to help with specific projects. If parishioners wish to get involved they should contact Cllr J Brazil directly.
    Waste collection services: From 28th Sept 2020 these will be standardised across Devon County and at the end of August/ September full details will be released. Glass, batteries, toner cartridge and plastics will be collected from the doorstep as part of the changes. No changes to black bin collections, kitchen caddy food waste will be collected weekly. All plastic bags will be removed and replaced with boxes.
    Saltstone Single Neighbourhood Plan. It was reported that 2nd and holiday homes are an issue for ensuring sustainable villages. All new dwellings under the plan across 4 parishes will have primary residence clauses added to the deeds. The consultation is in early stages: the areas have been designated and the next steps are to invite all parishioners in these areas by leaflet drop to comment on the plan, followed by a public meeting to share the results and a final referendum. The process is much quicker that undertaking a full Neighbourhood Plan.
    Slapton Line Partnership (SLP) – It was reported that if the A379 road goes in the next 5 years it is unlikely will be re-aligned as there is no more space to do this. Funding is in place for a new community engagement office who will look at all the issues consulting with the parishes. If the road breaches at the turning to Slapton, plans are being considered to turn Slapton into a tourist destination but extra parking is required and Stokeley Farm Shop and Strete Gate are being considered.
    War Memorial relocation – The monument will be moved to Strete Gate and the FSC have kindly given permission to host on their land behind the wall at the entrance of the car park. All parishes in the Coleridge Association have agreed to contribute an annual maintenance allowance to ensure the upkeep of the monument and surrounding land. The move is planned for autumn after the busy summer season and Strete PC will take the lead for all parishes.
  4. Minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2019 – Read, approved and signed by the Chairman.

  5. Annual Powerpoint report of the Parish Council – Chair Julie Hinder.
    All members of the new parish council were introduced along with an overview of the role, powers and rules that govern a local Parish Council and those in particular that were relevant to Slapton.
    b. Planning: 22 Applications, 21 uncontested, 1 opposed, nil appeals, plus 5 tree work applications.
    A379 Road. An image was shown of the road in 1964 v’s the collapse in 2018 to highlight the rate of erosion.
    c. An overview of all the work of the PC carried out over the year was presented. A copy of the presentation containing full details can be requested via the clerk or viewed on the PC website
    A special thank you was conveyed to the Queens Arms pub for hosting the new defibrillator on the wall of the pub next to the entrance.
    e. The PC are joining the DCC P3 pathway maintenance scheme so have access to grants to help maintain the definitive and permissible paths in the parish. It was reported that the deadline for the Rights of Way consultation was 2026 and this was being led by the Ramblers Associations ‘Don’t loose you way initiative’. The Chair asked if any volunteers would like to get involved in the P3 scheme to contact the clerk to register interest.
    f. Safeguarding: The PC have introduced a new safeguarding policy and specialist training is planned for all Cllrs and the clerk.
    g. Brook Street drains: This is a persistent issue and the road is still flooding due to the new drain works not being made to the correct standards. Remedial works have been agreed need to take place with DCC but unfortunately the pc has been informed not a priority as DCC are dealing with wider flooding issues due to the ongoing storms. Parishioners are invited to write to the chair with their concerns who will send all replies to DCC to help prioritise.
    h. Carr Lane: The leet has been cleaned to stop flooding on the road and a new shale surface has been laid on the land next to this to provide more car parking spaces in the village.
    i. Dog Bins: The existing bins are being relocated to ensure there is an even coverage of bins around the village to help reduce the ongoing issue dog fouling.
    j. DCC Road Warden Scheme: The PC has signed up to the DCC road warden scheme to enable access to grants for maintaining DCC owned properties eg drains, buddle holes, road furniture and signposts as part of devolution. 3 Road Wardens are being trained so that the village can be self-sufficient.
    k. Lengthsman trial: This is being run by the trained road warden starting late spring. The PC are looking at ideas for local composting and parishioners are invited to contact the Chair or Clerk with suggestions.
  6. Financial report:
    Due to the devolution of services to PC’s by DCC, the 2020 precept saw the first increase in 3 years from £9,709 to £10,645 with a buffer from the PC reserves of £523.
    Precept allocation: £5,050 fixed operational costs / £6,706 Discretionary costs for village maintenance eg: mowing/drains.
    Bank account Ring-fenced funds:
    £2,365 cricket club donation for sports grants.
    £500 White Close Trust – 1 year mowing grant (subject to terms).
    £2,910 Clerks Cilca Certificate exams.
    £4,799 – Pavement repair and traffic calming.

    Estimated cash at bank at year end 2019/20- £22,853
    All requests for funding to the parish clerk
    Thanks was given to all the Cllrs, Tree Wardens, Richard Foss, Julian Brazil, the clerk and all parish organisations for their support.

  7. Community Group Reports

    There were 12 reports from the following parish groups: Village Shop Committee, Village Hall Committee, Horticultural Committee, SAP’s, Slapton Strollers, Slapton Line, St James Church, Field Study Centre (FSC), Slapton All Stars and Whist and Euchre, Pickleball and White Close Trust.

    Village Shop Committee 
    – Apologies from the Chair Jo Bird.
    – Gill Hall-Smith reported that Mandy Mitchelmore was standing down at Easter and Mo Boscombe would be promoted to joint manager. Recruitment was in progress for another assistant manager to work alongside Mo.
    – There were currently 40 volunteers with an additional 2 new volunteers joining at the AGM.
    – The lease is ready to be signed with the FSC to build new storage facilities. A big thank you was conveyed to Jim and Di McPetrie for allowing use of their barn.
    – Financials: Annual turnover £190K, £151K Net, £38K profit. The shop does not break even in winter and the management team was looking at ways to encourage more purchasing and use of the shop. A price comparison was undertaken by David Murphy across 31 standard household items eg Milk, bread, papers. The shop on average across these items is 5% less in cost than Tesco and 2% less than Morrisons. If the cost of fuel, time and online delivery charges are considered, then the shop is very competitive and also supports climate change and reducing carbon emissions. Parishioners were asked to consider what items they would like to see in the shop and send in their requests. A final appeal was made to all parishioners to support the shop by doing what they could to use it which would also support the 40 volunteers.
    – A 5* hygiene rating has been awarded.
    – The committee are looking to set up an independent charity from the shop for tax efficiencies, to help with village improvements and development. Funds offered in principle to the White Close Trust after the build has taken place.
    – Tracie Langton has graduated from the business trade-up programme and the shop has received a grant of £10K

    Village Hall Committee
    – After 40 years’ service, Mike Bowles has stepped down. A big thank you was given for his significant contribution over the years.
    – AGM meeting to be held 22/4/20. All are invited. 30mins in duration.
    – Annual income reported at £11K.
    – A spring clean had taken place with a new cupboard being installed in the small meeting room
    – Sam Southern has been appointed as the new cleaner.
    – Participating in a Nationwide Village Hall survey looking at safeguarding.

    Horticultural Show
    – This year’s show was very popular and thanks was given to all that helped to support the event and to the Whilst and Euchre Club for their donation.
    – 2020 show to be held on 8 August 2020.
    – AGM to be held on 22 April 2020 after the Village Hall AGM, all are invited.

    – David Murphy gave thanks given to all those who were involved and supported the ‘Village Evening’ which was a big success and donations were made to Children in Need.
     AGM to be held on 24th March 2020 at the Tower Inn at 7.30pm. All are invited to join and there are lots of backstage roles available (Bar/Tickets/Make-up), if people do not want to take to the stage.
    – 2020 will be a pantomime but a shorter show with a meal introduced.

    Slapton Strollers – No report.

    Slapton Lines
    –David Murphy reported a reasonable profit and subscription prices are being kept the same with copies also being sold in the shop. Also looking at establishing as an independent charity to hold the reserves.
    – There is a focus on quality and a plea was made for everyone to keep contributing content especially for clubs and society events.
    – Christmas printer deadlines and shut down was challenging to manage and so the next issue will be in three months’ time to reset the timetable to deliver a January edition which will include Christmas content.

    St James Church – Apologies
    – Resourcing services was challenging at the current time due to a shortage of priests.
    – Looking at new ideas for fundraising income including a Christmas market and Silvington Singers concert.
    – Bob Troake is retiring from bell ringing after 20 years and was thanked for his service. The church are looking for new recruits to ring the bells every Sunday and at special services. Training will be provided to anyone interested and please contact Jane Cumberlidge, captain of the bell tower if interested.

    Field Study Centre
    – Apologies were sent from Andy Pratt Head of Group (West) Field Studies Council (FSC).
    – Kate Payne reported the FSC were restricting and there had been some staff losses. The FSC Chantry Hill owned property had been sold and a welcome to the village was conveyed to the new owners. Work was being undertaken at Uplands property and people were invited to view and to contact Kate the manager to arrange a viewing.
    – The news of the Covid-19 virus had resulted in 2 cancellations so far and there may be further impact.
    – June had been the busiest month with over 200 guests per week using the tuck shop via the village shop
    – Slapton Centre was the busiest of all the centres.
    – In June the National Citizen Scheme (NCS) will be trialled for 16,17 and 18 year olds over a 3 year contract.
    – The date for the annual ‘Celebrate Start Bay’ event was being confirmed for 2nd August 2020.
    – The use of the grounds for the annual village fete had been offered to the village.
    – The new bus stop had been installed at the beach.
    – A thank you was conveyed to all Tuesday and Wednesday volunteers.
    – A parishioner raised the issue of access to toilet facilities at the centre. By exception the FSC agreed it was allowed to use the outside compost toilet.

    Slapton All Stars
    – Julie Hinder reported that 3 activities had been held during the year being; Karate taster session for parents and their children, bell ringing taster session and Low Ropes at the FSC. All 22 participants had reported it was a good mix of activities and had been enjoyable. A thank you was conveyed to Hillary Soper and the Slapton Lines editors for supporting with the publicity in the Kingsbridge Gazette and village magazine.
    – The organiser is looking to bring the club, (designed to help bring together school age children from the local primary schools and surrounding area) under the Parish Council structure to properly formalise and run events every quarter during 2020. Updates and future event details will be advertised on the groups Facebook page @slaptonallstars.

    Whist and Euchre – No report.

    White Close Trust
    – Hillary Davis introduced the White Close Trust and presented a location map of the field and a brief synopsis of its history:
    – Lady Judith Hawkins, Lady of the old Manor House, used the walk across the field to the Church.
    – Pigs were originally kept in the field.
    – In 1999 the field was acquired for the village as part of the millennium project. Trees were planted on the boundaries from donations from villagers in memory.
    – The field has a picnic space and the benches are donated.
    – Historically the FSC helped to cut the field with volunteers. In 2016 the new Trustees agreed to plant trees in the field to help lessen the maintenance.
    – The current situation is the maintenance is still difficult to manage and requests to help support with this had been made to the PC and Village Shop who had both agreed to support in principle.
    – There had been a very good response from a request to help in the Slapton Lines and over 12 volunteers had come forward to help with machine and trimming work.
    – The trustees are looking at future usage which will need access works to enable. The options are do nothing and seal of the site so no insurance cover needed or cut back and develop as a picnic area with pathways through the trees and for dog walking, blue bell planting, plant fruit trees for apple and cider, enable bee keeping with sales from honey contributing to the upkeep, fitness trail, allotments and a vineyard and making the area available for village event, local groups and open gardens.
    – All ideas on how to develop the site are welcomed and please email to Hillary Davis. A volunteer’s day is also being held on 21st March 2020 to start the clearance of the site. Access for cars is required and the trustees are looking at funding options.

    Pickle ball
    Zia Soothill-Ward introduce the sport of Pickle ball. A very popular game in the US and a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis, played indoors and very good fun in all weathers. If any parishioners wished to have a go, to contact Zia who is organising the bookings and will help you with the rules and how to play. Cost is £3 per head plus hire of the hall costs which includes use of the kit and instruction. The fees will initially be re-invested to recoup the cost of the kit and then maintain and upgrade over time. If there is enough interest regular games will be scheduled.

  8. Matters for discussion- 3 year PC Plan Presented by the Chair (Julie Hinder)
    a) Traffic survey – it was reported that a meeting was held with DCC highways and several Cllrs / the clerk, in Nov. 2019 to discuss the issue of speeding in the village and on Sands Road to the beach. DCC advised the options available to pursue by the PC were as follows: Relocate the 20MPH signs a cost of £5K as involves a legal court process to change Sat Nav’s, Maps and emergency and police services maps; Install a mobile camera managed by volunteers at a cost of £4K; paint 20mph road surface signs on the road £400 x 4 locations; install formal village gateways circa £3K; install new official blue advisory signs at village entry locations circa £130 each. Note that all costs are estimate subject to tendering.An indicative vote was held on each of the above options that were in the gift and budget of the PC to introduce, results as below:
    – Blue advisory signs: In favour 16, against 0, no opinion 0.
    – 20MP road surface signs: In favour 7, against 3 no opinion 11.
    Informal Village entrance (Trees/ planters): In favour 8, against 0 no opinion 5.
    b) The issue of effectiveness v’s cost was raised by a parishioner.
    c) Lengthsman trial – The PC asked for parishioner to give their thoughts on how weeds should be managed in the future in the road sides: An indicative vote was held, results as follows:
    – Using Round-up: 0 in favour
    – Manually/no chemicals: 12 in favour 16
    d) This was in line with the PC’s wish to remove all road weeds manually via the new Lengthsman in an environmentally friendly way, working with the FSC to provide consultancy on what weeds needs to be removed to ensure no damage to bio-diversity.
    e) Mowing Contract – A meeting was being scheduled with Tom Pinches of the FSC top develop a village mowing scheme that would support bio-diversity.
    f) Footway from the Park and Walk to the old bus stop – It had been confirmed at the DCC Highways November meeting that the ‘Footway’ was the legal responsibility to maintain but due to other priorities this was not likely to be soon. The Chair asked all parishioners to write a letter of complaint to highways cc the Chair to help spotlight the need to repair the path surfaces asap.
    g) Climate Change Declaration – The PC had adopted a climate change policy which can be viewed on the PC website. Parishioners interested in supporting this were invited to get in touch with the Chair.
    h) Neighbourhood Plan for the parish – It was reported this was significant work to undertake at the moment.
    i) Village events calendar – The organiser is looking for a volunteer to help with the management of this. 5 people reported they used it.
    j) Public Spaces – The chair had met with the SHDC Assets Manager to look at options to develop the playing field such as Zip Lines, push bike cycle track, pocket park scheme. Volunteers are needed to help take forward and please contact the Chair to register interest.
    k) Village Assets Register – This has been updated and re-insured.
    l) Trees and Wildflower planting – A project to look at wildflower planting into verges and native hedgerows has been published in the Slapton Lines. Anyone interested to contact Cllr Val Mercer for autumn and winter planting help.

9. Open for Parishioners to raise other matters:

a) Damage to a wall on Deerbridge Road was reported due to a fallen tree. It was agreed the PC would
report this to SHDC via the ‘SHDC Report-it’ website.

10.  If anyone has any comments please either contact the Chair or feedback via the village shop feedback box.

The Vice Chair on behalf of the PC thanked the Chair for all their efforts and progress being made.

There being no further business the Chair thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9.30pm

SIGNED Chairman: Date: 4/5/21

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