Minutes – October 8th 2019

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held on Tuesday 8th October 2019, 7.00pm in the WI Room of the Nicholls Hall, Lydford.

Present:  CllrSquires (Chair); Cllr. MacIntyre;  Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Cook; Cllr Grigg; Cllr Tainsh; Cllr Blackmore; Cllr Southcott (Borough Councillor); John Bright (Clerk), 11 members of the parish.

Public Discussion:

  1. Tony Williams informed the parish that despite a number of adverts there had not been a large take up for the remaining funds raised for the Playground equipment. He invited further applications.
  • A parishioner pointed out that a recent resurfacing of the road outside the Castle Inn had removed the white lines for traffic exiting the car park and asked the councillors to contact Highways about getting the lines replaced. It was agreed that the clerk would take the matter up with DCC Highways (AP1).
  • There was considerable concern arising from an article in the Dartmoor Magazine which outlined proposed changes to the Lydford Gorge site, specifically the opening of a path to Tucker’s Pool and the suggested construction of a pedestrian bridge nearby. Parishioners were concerned:
  • About the possible threat to historical and archaeological remains 
  • With the possible risk to wildlife within the SSSI 
  • With the anticipated increase in visitor numbers during peak periods and associated parking issues, particularly in light of recent experiences on the August bank holiday Monday.

Parishioners asked councillors to voice their concerns and objections to the National Trust and to try and develop effective lines of communication between the community of Lydford and those who manage one of its most popular attractions. Specifically they were keen for a representative of the National Trust to attend a future council meeting so that they could engage directly with their community. Councillors agreed to discuss the matter under AOB and agree the most effective method of getting concerns across to the National Trust.

1) Apologies for absence:


2) Declarations of interest: 

None declared.

3)   Minutes of previous meeting:

The published draft minutes of the meeting of 10th September 2019 were approved by all and signed by the Chair as a true record. Proposed – Cllr Squires, Seconded – Cllr Cook

4)  Matters arising from previous meeting:

The clerk outlined actions taken from last meeting

5) Reports from other bodies:


6) Report from Borough Councillor:

Cllr Southcott advised that the Speedwatch initiative is now open throughout the ward and looking for volunteers from all parishes. Volunteers can concentrate on their own parish or operate throughout the ward.  Interested parishioners should make contact with Cllr Mott via email – Cllr.Caroline.Mott@westdevon.gov.uk

The new white recycling bags will be delivered to householders soon, and the new arrangements for waste collection will begin on 2.12.19

7) Road Safety:

7a) VAS (Vehicle Activated [speed] Sign) installation on A386 northbound. 

The owner of the land abutting the proposed site for the VAS has agreed to the lowering of the hedge so that leaves do not obstruct sunlight reaching the inbuilt solar panels and charging the device.

DCC Highways Dept. to be tasked to erect the post necessary to take the device (AP2)

7b) Speed limit through the village.

Cllrs were keen to move forward with parishioners’ requests to reduce the speed of vehicular traffic through the village. It was resolved that DCC Highways department should be asked for a variety of methods by which traffic may be slowed without the need for street furniture (AP3), following which Cllr Southcott be asked to assist others with a sample survey of the actual speeds vehicles are reaching when travelling through the village, after which the council will call a public meeting to discuss the facts and options with parishioners. Cllr Tainsh to summarise DCC recent report from Traffic Speed Task Group (AP4) Proposed Cllr Squires, seconded Cllr Skeaping. Passed by a show of hands 6:1 in favour.

8) Public toilets (standing item): 

8a) Improvements to the public toilet facilities.

After considerable debate cllrs resolved to continue with the existing opening period from the start of spring half term to the last day of October half term. 

9b) Signage for public toilets:

Cllrs resolved to order two signs to be placed: i) near to the end of the Granite Way where it joins School Road; ii) on a post in the parking area to the north of the bridge on School Road near the junction with the Granite Way Proposed Cllr Tainsh, seconded Cllr Cook.(AP5)

9) Replacement of “Home Guard” public bench:

Cllrs felt that the existing bench by the War Memorial was beyond any kind of meaningful repair and needed replacement. The council have received an approach to replace the bench in memory of their deceased father who was a resident of the village. It was resolved that this approach be followed up (AP6) and a new bench ordered (AP7), on the understanding that the bench bear two plaques – one in remembrance of the recently departed and the other in recognition of the builders of the original bench which is to be replaced. Proposed Cllr Squires, Seconded Cllr MacIntyre. All in favour. 

10) Parish Council Banking Arrangements:

  • Cllrs received an up to date summary of the transition from TSB to Unity Bank and agreed to ratify the actions of the clerk – proposed Cllr Squires, seconded Cllr Cook, all in favour by show of hands.
  • No Cllr wished to have access to view the Unity Trust bank account on line.
  • Cllr Tainsh was proposed as an additional signatory to the Unity Trust account. Proposed Cllr MacIntyre, seconded Cllr Squires, 6 in favour, one abstention. Clerk to arrange paperwork. (AP8)
  • Cllrs resolved to accept the new Statement of Internal Control, necessitated by the change of banking provision. Proposed Cllr Cook, seconded Cllr Squires. All in favour by show of hands.

11) Finances:

11a) the grant application from West Devon CAB was refused


  • Cllrs resolved to accept the financial report but asked that future reports include a running total for each budget line so that Cllrs can more readily gauge spending against budget.
  • Cllrs agreed to clerk’s request that outstanding sums from previous projects be transferred to general reserves. It was however agreed that a separate strand of £522.35 be maintained in reserve for future employment of a Lengthsman. Given that the parish might be losing its current lengthsman in the near future Cllr Squires suggested he approach a person who may be an appropriate replacement, who could take on the role of Road Warden. (AP9)
  • Questions were asked about how funds held on behalf of the Playground were to be distributed and the final monies dispersed. Cllr MacIntyre to discuss with fundraisers and report back (AP10)

11c) Payments: 

The following payments were approved –

  • J Bright (Pay September)                    £ 249.28                      Payment online
    • J Bright (Expenses)                              £ 3.76 (Postage)          Payment online

HMRC (PAYE September)                    £ 57.80                        Cheque 300001

Proposed – Cllr Squires, seconded – Cllr Cook, all in favour by show of hands.

12) Planning:

No applications received

13) Correspondence:

Cllrs were disappointed to receive a report that litter is again being dumped at the back of the village car park. Visitors are reminded that bins exist nearby. Cllrs will pay more attention to the car park verges.

14) Any Other Business

There was considerable discussion on the fears expressed by parishioners at the start of the meeting regarding issues associated with current and future activities at Lydford Gorge. Cllrs were extremely disappointed to note that no reply had been received to their letter sent to Killerton following last month’s council meeting regarding problems produced by the large number of visitors’ cars parked on the road on August bank holiday Monday. They were also disturbed about the proposals raised in the Dartmoor Magazine which suggested the re-opening of a footpath from Tucker’s Pool upstream and the reinstatement of a footbridge at the site, potentially leading to the loss of habitat in an area of the Gorge which has remained unspoilt for almost 50 years. It was felt that at this point concerns could be most effectively progressed by engaging the management of the National Trust in dialogue. To that end it was resolved that the clerk would compose a letter outlining the concerns of the community and inviting a representative to meet with the Chair of the council in the first instance, after which it was hoped that they will agree to come to a meeting of the Parish Council where they can engage with representatives and members of the community. (AP11)

Meeting closed 21:30

Next meeting Tuesday 12th November 2019


AP1Clerk to request Highways to repaint the lines outside the car park. 
AP2Clerk to request Highways to erect post in the layby opposite Lydford Farm Shop. 
AP3Clerk to establish from Highways the best methods for slowing traffic through the village. 
AP4Cllr Tainsh to summarise DCC recent report from Traffic Speed Task Group 
AP5Clerk to place an order for two road signs directing visitors to public WC. 
AP6Clerk to speak to member of family offering to pay for the new seat, to ask if she will be happy with two plaques on the seat, and if so …… 
AP7Clerk to order 2.25M bench from Morwellham Furniture. 
AP8Clerk to arrange to have Cllr Tainsh added to the list of authorised signatories to the bank account. 
AP9Cllr Squires to enquire whether a member of the parish would take on the role of Road Warden to the parish. 
AP10Cllr MacIntyre to enquire of Playground fundraiser how the remaining sums of money held by the council are to be dispersed, and the need for proper written authority for this to be done. 
AP11Clerk to compose letter to the National Trust expressing concerns and inviting them t engage in dialogue. 
AP12Clerk to find out how to upload instructions to, and download data from, existing VAS (from previous meeting)