Minutes – May 12th 2020

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held online on Tuesday 12th May 2020, 7.00pm 

Present:  CllrSquires (Chair); Cllr Cook; Cllr. MacIntyre;  Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Blackmore; Cllr Tainsh; John Bright (Clerk); Cllrs Mott & Southcott (Borough Councillors) 1 member of the parish.

Meeting commenced 7:00pm

Public Discussion:

Tony Purnell expressed the gratitude of the village to the owners and staff of the Lydford Farm Shop who had done so much to support so many in the village, and to those Councillors who answered the Lydford Help Line for their help and advice to so many parishioners since the lockdown began. The Chairman thanked Mr Purnell for his comments.

1) Apologies for absence:

Cllr Grigg. Accepted.

2) Declarations of interest: 

None declared.

3)   Minutes of previous meeting:

After two amendments, the published draft minutes of the meeting of 10th March 2020 were approved as a true record. Proposed – Cllr Squires, Seconded – Cllr Blackmore. All in favour. The minutes to be duly amended and agreement noted.

4)  Matters arising from previous meeting:

The Covid-19 emergency fund has now been established. Grants from Cllrs Mott & Northcott (Members’ Locality Fund), DNP, DCC and WDBC have been placed in the fund.

5) Reports from Outside Bodies

None received

6) Report from Borough Councillor:

WDBC has opened a Welfare Support Fund which can provide small emergency payments to help with basic essentials including household essentials such as sanitary products or nappies or electricity key and gas card top ups, etc. to help people in financial difficulties.

WDBC meetings are now being held online and are published live on YouTube.

7) Emergency Planning

Cllr Tainsh outlined recent Government proposals on future funding which might be used to create more space for social distancing outside the primary school. Clerk to liaise with DCC Highways to explore possibilities (AP1)

8) Audit

i) Feedback from internal audit

Clerk outlined the feedback, which was very largely positive. A small number of procedural changes were suggested by the auditor, which Councillors agreed to accept. 

ii) Production of required documents for external audit

Councillors resolved to  approve the external audit documents –

  • Certificate of Exemption
  • Annual Governance Statement
  • Accounting Statements

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

Councillor Cook commended the clerk for his work on the audit process.

9) Climate Emergency (Standing Item)


10) Public toilets (Standing Item)

Councillors noted the content of the latest briefing note from DNP which stated that their public toilets will remain closed until further notice because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed that the Council will follow the lead of DNP and keep the Lydford toilets closed.

11) Finance:

a) Payments: 

Cllrs resolved to make the following payments –

  • J Bright                        £ 249.28          (Pay April)                   

HMRC                          £ 57.80            (PAYE April)

N Grigg                        £ 91.00            (Toilets)

Penny Clapham           £ 55.00            (Internal audit fees)

West Devon BC           £ 67.12            (2019 elections recharge)

J Bright                        £ 61.65            (Toilet consumables)

Proposed – Cllr Squires, seconded Cllr Tainsh. All in favour.

b) Cllrs noted the payment made under Financial Regulation 4.1 to Alpha Flags for £131.00 

All payments to be made online

12) Planning Applications

None received

13) Correspondence

All noted

14) Other Business by permission of the Chair

VAS remains un-installed. Can we chase the suppliers (AP2)

Cllr Skeaping raised a concern, expressed to him by a parishioner, regarding some recently approved tree work. There was some uncertainty as to whether or not the correct trees had been felled, and the question was asked as to whether there was a way that in future trees could be more accurately identified, thus avoiding the present conflict. The clerk was requested to make an informal contact with DNP to explore this. (AP3)

There are two dead trees on the bank of the Castle overlooking the bridleway and pub car park, and two ash trees on the same bank which appear to be suffering from Ash Die Back disease. The clerk was requested to contact English Heritage and inform them (AP4)

Closed Session

At 19:50 the Council entered a closed (“Part 2”) session to discuss an issue and the presence of the public was felt likely to result in the Council breaching its legal obligation about the keeping of confidential information.

Meeting closed 19:55

Next meeting Tuesday 9th June 2020, 19:00. This meeting to be held online.


Agreed online (See minute 4, 9.6.2020)

AP1Clerk to make contact with DCC Highways to explore how Government’s “Relocation of Roadspace for Active Travel” initiative could be best deployed for Lydford.First contact with DCC Highways community officer 15.5.2020
AP2Clerk to contact VAS suppliers to get the sign installed.1.6.2020 Supplier’s agent attended. There are issues with the post’s size and location.
AP3Clerk to make contact with DNP Planning re trees.15.5.2020 Email to DNP planning. Acknowledged, but no undertaking of future action.
AP4Clerk to inform English Heritage of dead and dying trees on Castle bank.15.5.2020 Emailed. Response from EH that the matter will be looked into and fed back to Council