Minutes – December 8th 2020

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held online on Tuesday 8th December 2020, 7.00pm 

Present:  CllrSquires (Chair);  Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Tainsh; Cllr Cook; Cllr Blackmore; John Bright (Clerk); Cllr Sanders (Devon County Councillor); Cllr Southcott (Borough Councillor).

Meeting commenced 7:00pm

1) Public Discussion:

There being no public present it was resolved to proceed directly to the agenda items.

2) Apologies for absence:

Cllr. Grigg; Cllr MacIntyre; Cllr Mott. Accepted.

3) Declarations of interest: 


4)   Minutes of previous meeting:

Approved as a true record. Proposed – Cllr Cook, Seconded – Cllr Tainsh. All in favour. The agreement to be noted on the published minutes.

5)  Matters arising from previous meeting:

  • Cllr Tainsh – can the question of traffic passing outside the school be moved to the January agenda (AP1)
  • Coeval are willing to come and inspect the VAS. If it is found to be faulty then they will repair it at no cost to the Council. However, an invoice will be raised if the erratic behaviour is found to be caused by the surrounding tree cover.

6) Reports from Outside Bodies

Cllr Squires to meet virtually with the Chair of WDBC as part of the latter’s annual round of meetings.

7) Report from Borough Councillors:

  • A mobile Covid-19 testing unit is available at Mill Road car park, Okehampton 09:00 to 15:00 daily for prearranged Covid tests 
  • If you have a question regarding compliance with COVID-19 restrictions or need to pass on a complaint regarding a business in your area, please email environmental.health@swdevon.gov.uk
  • Cllr Southcott stated that the Lewdown Speedwatch group are now able to travel to survey sites within the wider area which might be experiencing problems with speeding motorists. They can survey the traffic at a time when the problem is thought to be at its worst and report back on their findings. 

Cllr Sanders outlined the issues caused by very large numbers visiting the National Park during the pandemic, particularly related to parking. A number of steps have now been taken and problems are easing.

8) Covid-19 crisis

Cllr Tainsh ran briefly through the Devon Resilience Forum’s preparation for problems caused by high levels of snow fall in the area, particularly focussed on emergency rest centres for those who are prevented from travelling and are forced to take shelter locally.

9) Climate Emergency (Standing Item)

Nothing to add.

10) Public toilets (Standing Item)

Clerk has established that at present the current cleaner is able to continue cleaning next year, and has proposed a regime of cleaning twice daily during peak periods (school holidays) and only once during less busy periods. Cllrs recognised that this is in line with national guidance and resolved to adopt the regime – proposed; Cllr Blackmore, seconded; Cllr Skeaping. All in favour.

11) Grant Applications

Councillors felt that whilst the application for support from the Citizen’s Advice was worthy of moral support, they did not feel that they are in a position to support the application financially because of the burden they are already under because of Covid-19. Clerk to pass on their regrets (AP2)

12) Dog Fouling – Lydford Sports Field

Councillors noted with regret the report from Cllr Skeaping that quantities of dog mess are being found around the field. More disappointing was the realisation that the mess was probably being left by local dogs. It was agreed that the Council’s monthly contribution to the Parish Newsletter will include a reminder to parishioners of their obligation to clean up after their dogs. (AP3)

13) Budget 2021

Councillors were very concerned about having to raise the precept at this difficult time. Cllr Blackmore expressed particular objection to placing any financial burden on the community, but after much debate it was considered inevitable – given the expected burden of keeping the toilets Covid-secure during 2021/2 – that the budget would have to increase as a consequence. However it was agreed that only 50% of the increased cost would be passed on and 50% would be drawn from reserves. 

Resolved – to increase the 2021/2 budget from £9541.00 to £12,088.00 (an increase of 26.7%), and to increase the precept from WDBC from £9541.00 to £10,815.00 (an increase of 13.4%) effectively running a deficit budget of £1,273.00 which will be funded from Council reserves.

Proposed – Cllr Cook, Seconded – Cllr Blackmore. All in favour.

14) Finances

a) Payments: 

Cllrs resolved to make the following payments –

  1. J Bright                             £14.39           Zoom subscription (monthly)
    1. Evans Plumbing               £30.00           Toilet draindown
    1. J Bright                           £369.52           December pay & backpay
    1. HMRC                               £88.00           PAYE December

Councillors agreed that the outstanding invoice from Coeval for installation of the VAS could be put on the January agenda for payment. (AP4)

  • Councillors agreed to pay on invoice for a new waste bin for the bus stop.

All – proposed: Cllr Squires. Seconded Cllr Skeaping. All in favour.

All payments to be made online.

14) Planning Applications


15) Other Business by permission of the Chair


Meeting closed 20:10

Next meeting Tuesday 12th January 2021, 19:00. This meeting to be held online.


AP1Clerk to include item on reducing the speed limit past the School on January agenda.Completed
AP2Clerk to inform Citizens’ Advice Devon of Council’s regrets at not being able to fund them this year.Emailed 10.12.2020
AP3 Clerk to include item on dog fouling in monthly summary to Parish MagazineEmailed to Sue Powne 18.12.20
AP4Clerk to include Coeval invoice on January agendaCompleted