Minutes – July 13th 2021

Minutes of the meeting of Lydford Parish Council 13.7.2021 Nicholls Hall, Lydford

Present Cllr Tainsh, Cllr Skeaping, Cllr Squires (Chair), Cllr Grigg (Vice-Chair), Cllr Blackmore, Cllr Cook, Cllr Sanders (DCC), Cllr Mott (WDBC), John Bright (Clerk). Cllr Grigg chaired the meeting.

  1. Public Session (15 minutes or at the discretion of the Chair)


  • Apologies for Absence

No apologies

  • Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, members are required to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have, in items to be considered at this meeting.  


  • Minutes of the meeting held 4th May 2021

Councillors resolved to agree the minutes without amendment

Proposed; Cllr Squires. Seconded Cllr Skeaping. All in favour. Cllr Grigg signed the minutes as a true record.     

  • Matters arising from the meeting 4th May 2021

Cllr Grigg reported that he had researched a variety of pay-on-entry systems for the public toilets as a way of preventing damage. They were all in excess of £5,000. The toilets will be decorated for the cost of materials at the close of this season.

Clerk reported that the Council’s concerns on the application to vary the licence for the Castle Inn to include an outside bar permanently had been reported to WDBC. 

  • Reports from Outside Bodies

Cllr Tainsh attended an online conference of the Climate Emergency group. to agenda item 8

  • Borough Councillors Report 

(A report from Cllr Southcott was received and circulated after the meeting was concluded).

  • Cllr Sanders reported that Covid-19 had placed severe strains on the budget of Devon CC. A new contractor called WPS has been appointed by Devon Highways in response to a number of complaints about the performance of the previous contractors.

Cllr Sanders reported that pupil numbers are falling but wanted to assure Councillors that no schools within the Devon MAT (including Lydford) would face closure. 

Cllr Mott reported that Cllr Southcott is still awaiting approval from Devon &Cornwall police for siting SpeedWatch surveys. Once that has been granted he will organize and train volunteers.

  • Climate Change Emergency (Standing Item)

Cllr Tainsh attended Devon Communities Together Climate Emergency Meeting – when the Council updates its Emergency Plan include an action plan for dealing with the smoke effects from large fires on the moor which can be expected to increase in frequency and severity. (AP1 –Clerk to note on the current Action Plan that amendment is needed)

Cllr Mott – the question of where at risk villagers can be evacuated to  is a good one to bring to the next Southern Links meeting.

  1. Public toilets (standing item)

Cllr Grigg reported that all repairs have been made and no further damage has been sustained.

Councillors considered an email received from residents offering possible CCTV support. (AP2 – Cllr Grigg to meet with them and invite them to the September meeting).

Councillors directed the Clerk to negotiate with WDBC over renewal of the contract to run the public toilets. The objective is for any new contract to be under the Terms & Conditions of the previous contract, renewable on an annual basis as a working contract. (AP3 – Clerk to begin negotiations with WDBC)

Sustrans (Devon CC) may have grants to help support Lydford with costs of toilets – Cllr Mott to investigate (AP4)

  1. Playground (standing item)

Cllr Tainsh conducted a visual inspection this month.

Cllr Tainsh sought clarity over who has responsibility for maintaining the sports ground following the donation of funds last year. Clerk to investigate who is responsible for maintaining the sports facility. (AP5)

  1. Outreach Post Office facility Nicholls Hall

Councillors discussed the upcoming review of the Post Office services provided in the Nicholls Hall following the take-over of the Mary Tavy Post Office by the new Sub-Postmaster. It was agreed that a piece in the Parish News raising parishioners’ awareness and inviting views before the Council takes a view and possible action would be the best way to proceed. (AP6 – Clerk to include paragraph in monthly submission to the Parish News.)

  1. Car wash fundraiser (FOLS).

Councillors were pleased to receive the request for support for this possible fund-raising activity. However the proposal is to use the car park opposite the Castle Inn which is owned and managed by Dartmoor National Park and is extremely busy during the summer holidays when the fund-raising was proposed to take place. (AP7 – Clerk to contact Friends of Lydford School accordingly)  

  1. Finances

Councillors resolved to approve the following payments:

  1. J Bright                   £23.99             Toilet supplies
  2. J Bright                 £307.52             Salary July
  3. HMRC                                 £72.40             PAYE July
  4. Jade Tennant                   £555.00             Toilet cleaning June
  5. J Bright                     £7.49             Meeting PPE
  6. N Grigg                   £12.76             Toilet supplies
  7. DALC                                  £36.00             Councillor training

Proposed Cllr Grigg, seconded Cllr Squires. All in favour.

  1. Actions taken under delegated authority since last meeting:
  1. Payments made –

10.5.2021 – First Rescue Training Ltd (replacement defibrillator pads & battery) £142.80

10.6.2021 –

  1. John Bright (additional dog fouling signs) – £19.90
  2. Jade Tennant (toilet cleaning) – £573.50
  3. John Bright (salary June) – £307.52
  4. HMRC (PAYE June) – £72.40
  5. John Bright (Postage – audit) – £4.73
  6. John Bright (postage – VAT return + stamps) – £11.73
  7. John Bright (printer cartridges) – £14.98
  8. John Bright (Zoom subscription May) – £14.39
  • Other actions – 

Responses to DNPA planning applications:

  1. 0242/21 – Higher Beardon: construction of manege (support)
  2. 0270/21 – Crossfield: erection of steel framed barn (support)
  3. 0313/21 – Mouse’s Back: erection of new porch (support)

Councillors noted the actions taken by the Clerk.

  1. Campaign to re-open the railway line between Okehampton and Tavistock

Councillors felt that the proposals by the TORS (Tavistock Okehampton Reopening Scheme), particularly the re-connection of Okehampton station with Tavistock and on to Plymouth could have a major impact on residents of Lydford Parish. The Council must invite representatives to come and talk to the community (AP8 – Clerk to contact TORS group with invite to consult).

Councillors felt that it is not in the community’s interest to lose the Granite Way cycle track should the proposals gain funding to proceed.

  1. Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee 2022

Following a question from parishioners about how the community might celebrate the Platinum Jubilee next year, Councillors decided to include an article in the Parish News inviting ideas and volunteers to organize the event. The Council can then bring all relevant parties together. There is a proposal to light beacons across the county; The Queen’s Green Canopy Project; The Big Jubilee Lunch. (AP9 – Clerk to include question in the Parish News)

  1. Road Safety Through the Parish

Councillors are keen to hear from more volunteers for the Lydford SpeedWatch group. (AP10 – Include mention in Parish News)

There is some suggestion that the newly installed VAS might not be operating correctly. Councillors asked whether the installing company would be willing to conduct a survey of the equipment to establish whether the VAS is triggering incorrectly because it is faulty or because of the proximity of nearby trees. (AP10 – Clerk to negotiate with Coeval to try and agree a reduced rate for a visit).            

  1. Planning Applications


  • Any other urgent business for discussion by permission of the chairman.

Councillors have been asked who has responsibility for maintaining the trackway that runs to the north of the Dartmoor Inn up to the car parking area below High Down, as its condition has deteriorated markedly. (AP11 – Cllr Mott to investigate)

            The cutting of the grass on the area by the bus shelter was discussed.

The Home Guard Bench o/s Merriment House has deteriorated to the point where it is beyond repair. Councillors wondered anyone in the village would be willing to sponsor a replacement in the same way as the bench opposite the War Memorial was replaced. (AP12 – Clerk to include paragraph in the Parish Magazine inviting offers)

Meeting closed 20:28

Signed  Clerk to the Council                     Date 13th July 2021

Date of next meeting – Tuesday 7th September 2021

Nicholls Hall, Lydford

Action Points:

01Clerk to note on the current Action Plan that amendment is needed to include consideration of action in case of moorland fires. 
02Cllr Grigg to contact and meet with the village residents offering CCTV support and invite them to the September meeting 
03Clerk to begin negotiations with WDBC on renewal of the contract for keeping open the public toilets in Lydford. Conclusion to next meeting for decision.14.7.21 first email to Emma Widdecombe. Ongoing…..
04Sustrans (Devon CC) may have grants to help support Lydford with costs of toilets – Cllr Mott to investigate19.7.21 replied. Unable to help but provided another direction to follow
05Clerk to investigate who is responsible for maintaining the sports facility. 
06Clerk to include paragraph on the potential risk to the Post Office service in Lydford in Parish NewsIncluded, 20.7.21
07Clerk to contact Friends of Lydford School with advice and guidance on proposal for car wash in public car park. 
08Clerk to contact TORS group with invite to public consultation in Nicholls Hall.Email to Northern Route Working Group 21.7.21
09Clerk to include article in the Parish News asking for ideas and volunteers to put together Platinum Jubilee celebrations 2022Included, 20.7.21
10Clerk to negotiate with Coeval to try and agree a reduced rate for a visit to inspect the VAS installed opposite Lydford Farm Shop 
11Cllr Mott to establish who has responsibility for maintaining trackway to the north of Dartmoor InnReplied 20.7.21. To Rob Taylor DNP for clarification
12Clerk to include paragraph in the Parish Magazine inviting offers for sponsorship of new Home Guard bench.Included, 20.7.21