Minutes – March 10th 2020

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held on Tuesday 10th March 2020, 7.00pm in the WI Room of the Nicholls Hall, Lydford.

Present:  Cllr Cook (Chair);  Cllr Grigg; Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Blackmore; John Bright (Clerk); Cllrs Mott & Southcott (Borough Councillors); 3 members of the parish.

Public Discussion:

It was brought to the attention of Councillors that a dog had died recently as a result of what was believed to be Alabama Rot, and that this was the third Lydford dog that had died of the illness in four months. The Council agreed to bring this matter to the attention of the members of the parish through these minutes and a release to the press. (AP1)

Councillors were informed that the drop in group were making plans to help parishioners who were having to self-isolate, by providing a warm meal on request. There were also plans to provide support through the church. 

The welcome booklet for new arrivals to the village has been re-written. A letter in support of verbal request for financial support made and agreed in principle at last month’s meeting was submitted. (AP2)

Meeting commenced 7:15pm

1) Apologies for absence:

Cllr Squires – holiday, Cllrs MacIntyre & Tainsh – self isolation, Cllr Grigg – business commitment. All accepted.

2) Declarations of interest: 


3) Update from National Trust (NT), Lydford Gorge

Catherine Parsons gave Councillors an update on developments:

  1. The developments around Tucker’s Pool have been placed on hold following requests from the Council and parishioners, pending further consultations & research;
  2. There has had to be a degree of tree clearance following the recent storms and Ash Die Back;
  3. Another busy holiday season is expected. The NT is trying to encourage visitors to use alternate means to come to the Gorge. The example of discounts for those who arrive by public transport was cited. There has also been a lot of effort put into trying to spread the activities and parking more evenly between both ends of the Gorge;
  4. Staff at the Gorge are expecting to carry out surveys of the wildlife within the site, and are asking for local volunteers to assist with the work.

The chairman thanked Catherine for her update and expressed his appreciation for the ongoing and productive dialogue between the Council and the staff at the Gorge.

4) Minutes of previous meeting:

The published draft minutes of the meeting of 11th February 2020 were approved by all and signed by the Chair as a true record. Proposed – Cllr Skeaping, Seconded – Cllr Cook. All in favour – duly signed by the Chairman.

5) Matters arising from previous meeting:

The second VAS should be installed in early April.

Two “two yard” Union flags have been ordered.

6) Reports from outside bodies:


7) Report from Borough Councillor:

Cllr Mott gave an update from WDBC.

8) Emergency Planning

Councillors agreed to form a working party to expedite the development of the Lydford Emergency Plan and to work up a Council response to Covid-19. It was felt that the Council needs to maintain a watching brief and be ready to respond as circumstances change.

9) Climate Emergency (standing item)

The declaration circulated by Cllr Cook was adopted. However it was agreed after discussion that the declaration lacked appropriate targets. Parishioners should be invited to submit ideas and volunteer to get involved with the Council on improving the parish’s carbon footprint. 

10) Public toilets (standing item): 

Councillor Grigg stated that the toilets will be decorated prior to their re-opening in the spring, and that LED lights will be installed to improve energy consumption. The volunteers who look after the toilets have asked whether they could have a copy of the key to the Wallgate facility so that they could top up the liquid soap as needed. There being no such keys with the Council, WDBC to be asked to supply a copy. (AP3)

11) Finance:

a) Payments: 

The following payments were approved –

  • J Bright (Pay February)                        £ 249.28                      Payment online
    • J Bright (expenses)                              £ 11.06                        Payment online           

HMRC (PAYE February)                       £ 57.80                        Cheque 300006

Evans Plumbing (toilets)                     £ 78.50                        Payment online

West Devon BC (Toilets)                     £ 84.00                        Payment online

Cllrs resolved to add further signatories to the Council online bank account (AP4)

It was further agreed to investigate risk-free methods for ensuring that the Council gets best value for the credit balances held online. (AP5)

All proposed: Cllr Cook, seconded: Cllr Grigg. All in favour.

12) Planning Applications

0058/20          Wastor Farm, Prior notification         Cllrs noted the response from DNP

0072/20          1 South View, extension                     Cllrs agreed to support, with a strong

recommendation for the inclusion of solar panels or other provision for reducing environmental impact

20/0012          Castle Inn, tree works                         Cllrs expressed no objection to the proposed 


Cllrs resolved that the position adopted over application 0072/20 should be consistently applied to all comparable applications going forward.

All proposed: Cllr Blackmore, Second: Cllr Grigg. All in favour.

13) Correspondence:

Previously circulated. 

14) Other Business by permission of the Chair


Meeting closed 20:35

Next meeting Tuesday 14th April 2020


AP1Cllr Cook to write release to press / local media on matter of Alabama Rot. Article written by Cllr Cook. Released to press and parish magazine 20.3.2020
AP2Clerk to arrange for payment to be made on previously approved grant application.Completed 12.3. 2020
AP3Clerk to contact WDBC regarding key to the WatergateCompleted 20.3.2020
AP4Clerk to arrange for completion of the process for adding Cllrs Tainsh and Grigg as signatories 
AP5Clerk to investigate instant access savings accounts.Deferred, awaiting available clerk time.