Minutes – February 13th 2024


Minutes of the meeting held on

Tuesday 13th February 2024 at 7:00pm

Present – Cllrs Skeaping (Chair), Hulett, L Lenton, Gilpin, Moyse. Cllr Southcott (WDBC), Brian Cook, Simon Thompson (NT)

  1. Public Session (15 minutes) 
  2. Simon Thompson requested time to update the council on the new operating model which will take effect at the March re-opening of the Gorge site. Climate change has meant that two new walks will be open and one popular walkway closed. The exact details are contained as an appendix. Simon will ensure that the full details are on the updated website and will be published in the parish newsletter.
  • Apologies for absence – Cllr K Lenton (delayed at work – accepted), Cllr Sanders (DCC), Cllr Mott (WDBC), Richard Drysdale (DNPA)
  • Declarations of Interest


  • Adoption of council Vacancy policy (previously circulated).
  • After the inclusion of the fact that West Devon Borough Council are the district council for Lydford, the council resolved to adopt the policy. Proposed Cllr Skeaping, seconded Cllr Hulett. All in favour.
  • Co-option of Councillor to fill the casual vacancy arising from the resignation of Cllr Grigg.
  • Brian Cook was duly co-opted onto the parish council, to serve as a Councillor for the remainder of the council’s term.
  •  Minutes of the meeting 9th January 2024 
  • Councillors resolved to accept the minutes as a full and accurate record. Proposed Cllr Hulett, seconded Cllr L Lenton. All in favour.
  • Matters arising from the meeting 9th January 2024
  • The Clerk read out an email from Susanne Kiff, Deputy Trust Leader, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust dated 23rdJanuary; a response to the council’s request for clarity on the proposed purchase of the field adjoining Lydford Primary School and the funds raised by the Lydford community to help with the purchase –

“…. I wanted to give you clarity as to where we are with this matter. We have completed on the smaller parcel of land that is accessed from the road and used to park staff cars on. We have not been able to proceed with the purchase of the larger parcel of land, as we were unable to meet agreement with the vendor over some matters in relation to this.

All of the money that was raised towards the purchase has been returned to the relevant organisations that fund raised in relation to this matter.”

  • The Clerk gave details of two members of the village who have offered to have 20’s Plenty signs displayed on their land.  Their details have been passed to the Okehampton office of Miller T&C who will arrange for the signs to be erected. Councillors agreed that once these first signs were up, the council will press harder to try and find others in strategic positions in the village who might be willing to have a sign on their land.
  • Nicholls Hall update

(Fuller report attached)

  • Business for the hall appears to be picking up, with the booking calendar full for the coming year.
  • Trustees are keen for the hall to be included in any new community-based council website.
  • At the recent AGM trustees asked whether it might be possible for the council to arrange further public training on the use of the defibrillator installed at the hall. (AP1 – Clerk to include item in March agenda.)
  • Council website
  • Cllr Gilpin explained that he had been engaged in discussions with many community groups about the opportunities that might be available through a new community website.
  • Cllr Gilpin felt that the best option would be to build a new website for the council with community pages for groups such as the Nicholls Hall, Sports Field etc. Each page would be the responsibility of each group with a site manager in overall control of content etc.
  • The Clerk reminded the council of the urgency of maintaining the clerk’s email address after the term expires with the council’s existing provider on 14th April. Cllr Gilpin felt that it was not a problem to transfer the account to a new provider for very little cost. 
  • Cllr Gilpin has produced a demonstration site which he will share with Cllrs, together with updates as they become available. (AP2)
  • Cllr Gilpin to arrange the transfer of the Clerk email address to a new internet provider before 14th April (AP3)
  1. Lydford School

(Fuller report from Cllr L Lenton, attached)

Things at the school are reportedly now stable following a good Ofsted inspection. Although low, pupil numbers are increasing.

  1. Gorge Hill
  2. It was agreed by Councillors that the council should take direct action to try and prevent further damage from cars parking on the verge, and that this was particularly important in light of the anticipated charging coming into effect at the car park at Easter.

AP4 – Clerk to order 12 verge markers for Cllrs to install.

  1. Thermal Imaging Camera

Cllr L Lenton has booked a camera for the week of 19th-26th February. The first week will be one of discovery but it is hoped that a successful week will see increased demand for the future.

(AP5 – Clerk to inform the parishioner who has already expressed an interest in borrowing the camera).

  1. Car Park

Motion to request Members revisit their decision to charge, submitted at DNPA’s February meeting.

  • Cllrs were disappointed that the motion failed to progress at the meeting for lack of a seconder, and charging is expected to start soon after Easter.
  • The Chair thanked Sue Powne, Cllrs Moyse and Gilpin for giving their time and effort in presenting the parish’ case.
  1. Lydford Emergency Plan (Previously circulated)
  2. The plan was adopted without further discussion. Proposed Cllr Gilpin, seconded Cllr L Lenton, all in favour.
  3. The Chair thanked Cllr Hulett for his efforts in preparing and writing the plan.


  1. Cllrs resolved to approve the payments:

Proposed Cllr Skeaping, seconded Cllr Hulett. All in favour.

  1. J. Bright             £368.24           February salary
    1. HMRC                              £87.60           PAYE February
  • Cllrs noted the Payment made by the Clerk under the Scheme of Delegation –
  •   22.1.24 G&J Maunder £570 – repairs to swing
  • Appointment of Internal Auditor 2023-24

Cllrs approved the appointment of Penny Clapham as internal auditor to the council.

  • Banking reconciliation 31.01.2024

Cllrs noted the reconciliation –

Opening balance 1.4.23         £10,015.25                              Bank holdings at 31.01.24

Add receipts                              £9,648.77                  Deposit Account         £12,150.21

Less payments                         £7,485.27                  Current Account                 £28.54      

                                                £12,178.75                                                      £12,178.75

  1. Planning

The council responses to applications were agreed – 

  • 0020/24 Full application – Extension and alteration of existing shop and office, Lydford Caravan and Camping Park, EX20 4BE – supported.
  • 0030/24 Full application – change of use of land adjacent to Lydford Primary School EX20 4AU for the provision of staff and visitor parking. – supported.

Cllrs noted the DNPA approval of applications –

  • 0429/23 – Change of use of land from agriculture to the siting of a shepherd’s hut holiday let, Raddon Farm, EX20 4BP
  • 0525/23 Amended full application; listed building – replacement windows and fascia, Lyd Barn EX20 4AW
  • 0539/23 – Change of use from agricultural to light industrial, Hall Farm Barn, Lydford, EX20 4BJ
  • 0010/24 Prior Notification – erection of polytunnel for agricultural purposes, Lydford House, EX20 4AU 

And the DNPA refusal of application – 

  • 0441/23 – Change of use of garage to mixed use as annexe / holiday let, Raddon Farm, EX20 4BP
  1. Business not listed on the agenda below, by permission of the Chair.
  2. Cllr L Lenton stated that the two new noticeboards are expected to be installed by the end of February, thanks to the estate management staff of Dartmoor MAT.

Meeting closed at 20:48 

PointAction by –Action requiredOutcome
1ClerkInclude item on defib training for the community in March agendaIncluded
2Cllr GilpinCirculate demonstration website to Cllrs 
3Cllr GilpinArrange for the transfer of the Clerk email address to a new internet provider before 14th April. 
4ClerkOrder 12 verge markers.6 ordered 5.3.24
5ClerkTo inform Craig Langman of the dates during which he can arrange the loan of the thermal imaging camera.Completed