Minutes – March 9th 2021

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held online on Tuesday 9th March 2021, 7.00pm

Present:  CllrSquires (Chair);  Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Tainsh; Cllr Cook; Cllr Blackmore; Cllr Grigg; Cllr MacIntyre; John Bright (Clerk); Cllr Squires (DCC); Cllrs Mott & Southcott (Borough Councillors)

Meeting commenced 7:00pm

1) Public Discussion:

Councillors received an update from Mr Stokes on the plans for re-opening the Lydford Campsite post Covid lockdown. Currently there are two manager couples on site preparing for 12th April when the site will re-open for visitors but without facilities. Presently the plans are for a full facility to be available when the country enters Step 3 (presently expected 17th May).

2) Apologies for absence:


3) Declarations of interest: 


4)   Minutes of previous meeting:

The minutes were approved as a true record. Proposed – Cllr Cook, Seconded – Cllr Skeaping. All in favour. The agreement to be noted on the published minutes.

5)  Matters arising from previous meeting:

Item 5 – Cllr Cook asked whether there were firm plans in place at DCC to clean the footpath from Hawthorn Park as it has not been cleaned to date. Cllr Philips to chase this up (AP1)

6) Reports from Outside Bodies

Cllr Squires – Nicholls Hall committee meeting: The Hall committee were happy to accept the Council back for meetings from 17th May provided the Rule of Six could be followed. From June they currently expect to be fully open again. The committee are keen to put on a “Post Lockdown Party” and wondered if the Council would care to contribute. Councillors will look at any application for grant funding should one be submitted.

Cllr Blackmore – National Trust, Lydford Gorge: NT plans to re-open the Gorge to visitors using an online booking system. Regrettably the system cannot recognise local agreements, consequently any local resident wishing to book a visit to the Gorge will be expected to give their NT I.D. or pay the visitors’ fee.

7) Report from Borough Councillors:

Report to follow. (Subsequently circulated to Councillors).  In summary: Week of 12th March a new App is available “Spring Clean Your Lifestyle” which allows users to conduct an audit of their personal carbon footprint; please make sure you complete your census return; hospitality businesses are able to apply for refunds on their council licences.

8) Climate Emergency (Standing Item)

Nothing further to add at this stage.

9) Public toilets (Standing Item)

Councillors were saddened to receive a report from Cllr Grigg that the exterior locks to both toilets had been vandalised recently. The Council is keen to ensure that the toilets are ready for opening at Easter. Cllr Grigg and a volunteer helper offered to ensure the interiors are clean and redecorated where necessary and will engage a locksmith to repair the locks. (AP2) Cllr Grigg advised the Council that exterior decoration will be needed this year; work which should be carried out professionally. 

Councillors considered the implications of a recently notified increase in the hourly rate for cleaning the toilets which would take the costs beyond what has already been budgeted for next year and asked the Clerk to work up the costs of cleaning the toilets once daily throughout the season. To the April agenda for resolution (AP3)

10) Lydford Lengthsman

Councillors reviewed the sample of work carried out in Lydford by Jim Jeffery the lengthsman from Mary Tavy.  After discussion the Clerk was asked to contact Mr Jeffery with a view to working up a schedule of work for the coming Autumn. (AP4


Future Meetings of the Parish Council

Councillors resolved to move the Annual Meeting and the scheduled May meeting to 4th May to allow them to be held online before the expiry of the legislation which permits remote meetings on 7th May. Proposed – Cllr MacAlister; Seconded – Cllr Tainsh. All in favour. Meetings for June and beyond will have to be conducted in person, under whatever Government guidance is in place at the time. Clerk to update website and Newsletter (AP5).


Inspections of the Playground equipment

The equipment has been checked through the month by Cllrs Skeaping, Tainsh and Squires. Logsheet to be so noted. (AP6)

13) Finances

a) Councillors resolved to approve the following payments: 

  1. J Bright                          £307.52           March pay
    1. HMRC                              £72.40           PAYE March
    1. J Bright                            £14.39           Zoom subscription
    1. J Bright                            £14.69           Flagpole rope
    1. Asa MacIntyre               £395.80           Website hosting 2019-21 (WIX)

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

b) Clerk talked Councillors through the draft final accounts for the year ending 31.3.2021, outlining where significant overspending had taken place (Covid cleaning, new laptop)

  • Councillors resolved that the overspend of £2,462.91 be disposed of by drawing £1,230.00 from the Covid reserve and the remaining £1,232.91 from the Emergency reserve. Proposed – Cllr Cook, seconded Cllr MacAlister. All in favour. The reserve accounts to be so noted (AP7)

14) Scheme of Delegation

Councillors resolved to accept the draft Scheme of Delegation circulated by the Clerk, which allows for the Council to fulfil its statutory obligations and conduct necessary business during periods when the Council is not able to meet, or where quoracy cannot be achieved. Proposed – Cllr Tainsh, seconded – Cllr Skeaping. All in favour.

15) Planning applications

Councillors agreed the responses to applications:

0196/21/FUL Brambleham Farm, construction of agricultural building to house cattle handling system – Support

0070/21 Beech Tree Cottage, gable end extension – Support

Councillors noted for the minutes that they had previously approved the tree works at Castle House.

16) Other Business by permission of the Chair

Cllr Squires informed the Council that he and his wife would be conducting a litter pick over the coming weekend from their property towards the Mucky Duck. 

Part Two

Councillors resolved to exclude members of the public from the final section of the meeting under The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 Sec 1 (2) because of the confidential nature of the matter to be discussed, the publication of which might be prejudicial. 

Proposed – Cllr MacIntyre, seconded – Cllr Cook. All in favour.

Meeting closed 20:50

Next meeting Tuesday 13th April 2021, 19:00. This meeting to be held online.


AP1Cllr Philips (DCC) to chase Devon CC Highways department for plan to clean the footpath from Hawthorn Park 
AP2Cllr Grigg (with volunteer helper) to clean and decorate as necessary the inside of the public toilets and arrange a locksmith to repair / replace damaged locks, 
AP3Clerk to add worked-up proposal for new cleaning regime to April agenda. 
AP4Clerk to liaise with Lengthsman Jim Jeffery to organise schedule of work to begin in the AutumnCompleted 10.3.21 To April meeting for formal approval
AP5Clerk to make necessary arrangements for Annual meeting and May meeting to be moved to 4.5.21 
AP6Clerk to note inspection on insurance logsheetCompleted 10.3.21
AP7Accounts to be annotated to show dispersals of funds to cover overspend 2020-21Completed 11.3.21