Minutes – September 10th 2019

Minutes of the  Meeting of Lydford Parish Council held on Tuesday 10th September 2019, 7.00pm in the WI Room of the Nicholls Hall, Lydford.

Present:  CllrSquires (Chair); Cllr. MacIntyre;  Cllr. Skeaping; Cllr Cook, Cllr Mott (Borough Councillor); John Bright (Clerk).

Public Discussion:


1) Apologies for absence:

Cllr. Grigg, Cllr Tainsh, Cllr Blackmore. Apologies accepted.

2) 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.  Members are also reminded

that any change to their Declaration of Interests must be notified to the Monitoring Officer at

West Devon Borough Council within 28 days of the change.  

None declared.

3)   Minutes of previous meeting:

The published draft minutes of the meeting of 7th July 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 reported that the VAS has been stored with the supplier for the time being, reducing the number of movements and reducing delivery costs as it will be brought by the engineer when a decision has been reached as to the location for its installation. Highways had been notified about the presence of Japanese knotweed near the Lydford Farm Shop and, after visiting the site, declared that the plants were on private land. Councillors were uncertain as to the ownership of the land.

5) Reports from other bodies:


6) Report from Borough Councillor:

Cllr Mott encouraged councillors to visit some of the recent installations in Devon associated with using waste and avoiding landfill. Specifically Cllr Mott was keen for people to visit the biodigestion facility in Holsworthy and the energy from waste plant in Plymouth.

Cllr Mott has secured training from D&C Police for members of the borough Speedwatch group and is now looking for volunteers and suggestions for locations requiring their attention. Interested parishioners should make contact with Cllr Mott via email – Cllr.Caroline.Mott@westdevon.gov.uk

7) Response to WDBC’s proposal to remove the Support Grant:

Cllrs felt there was nothing to be gained by responding as the Grant constituted only 1.5% of the precept and was reducing each year. Replacing the funds by raising the precept if necessary would need only a very minimal increase, amounting to just over 70 pence per year for a Band D property..

8) Road Safety:

8a) VAS (Vehicle Activated [speed] Sign) installations on A386

Cllrs felt that the trigger speed for the existing VAS on the south-bound carriageway of the A386 below the Fox & Hounds PH  was set too high and that it should be reduced from 45mph to 40mph. (AP1) 

DCC Highways Dept. have criticised the location proposed by councillors for the installation of the second VAS on the north-bound carriageway of A386 by the junction with School Road because of overhanging trees which would interfere with the solar panels designed to charge the sign. Councillors wondered whether the solar panel could be detached and relocated to a more favourable location, keeping the sign in its suggested location. (AP2)

8b) Safety at the junction of A386 with School Road

Cllrs felt that the installation of a new VAS near the junction, and the attention of members of the newly created Speedwatch initiative led by Cllr Mott should help to reduce the dangers faced by the driving public at the junction, but asked parishioners to keep the Council informed should the issues persist.

8c) Speed limit through the village

Clerk reported that DCC were not looking for more villages to participate in the experimental reduction to 20mph intended for Newton Abbot and Kingskerswell in 2021. In the absence of Cllr Tainsh who has taken the lead on this issue it was felt that nothing more could be added to the ongoing debate and the matter should be held over to the next meeting (AP3)

9) Public toilets (standing item): 

9a) Improvements to the public toilet facilities.

Cllr Cook reported that devices installed to measure the number of users of both toilets showed that over the toilets had been used over 17,500 times during the season. The toilets are due to be closed for the winter at the end of October until the start of April 2020 and there was discussion about how they might be kept open all year. Grants are available to improve public toilet facilities, specifically but not exclusively for cyclists (see 9b below). Cllrs were asked to give some thought to how the toilets and associated installations could be improved and what could be applied for as grants cover only capital costs and not ongoing (running) costs. To October agenda (AP4)

9b) Signage for public toilets:

Cllrs were very concerned over reports human excrement being left by users of cycle route 27 (Granite Way) are using the fields around the junction with School Road. This is particularly disappointing in light of the fact that a public convenience is available only 600 yards away in the village. Clerk to get prices for appropriate signs directing people to the toilets. (AP5)

10) Response to Fire Service consultation:

Cllr Squires shared correspondence between himself as Chair of the Parish Council and Geoffrey Cox MP on the matter. Other cllrs stated that they had made representations online and/or to Geoffrey Cox MP. There being no members of the public present and no representative of the Fire Service was available, it was not felt that more could be done.

11) Public seating in the village:

Cllr Skeaping reported on his survey of current seating in the village. One seat needs to be replaced whilst the remainder need care and maintenance. Cllrs formed an informal working group to look at maintaining those seats which do not need replacing. Clerk to explore possibility of grant funding and gather quotes for bench (AP6)

12) Council banking arrangements:

The Clerk reported that despite initial suggestions, none of the popular high street banks were able to offer online banking facilities which were able to meet the Council’s Statement of Internal Control, notably the need for dual authorisation of all online payments. Only Unity Trust Bank were able to offer such a provision. TSB having informed the Council that the existing banking facility will close by 14.10.2019 to comply with current banking legislation it was felt that the process of opening an account with Unity Trust bank should continue, with £500 being transferred by cheque as an opening balance and the majority of funds being moved across once the account was fully opened. The TSB account should be allowed to close on 14th October when TSB will forward a cheque for the balance. Clerk to complete the application to Unity Trust Bank (AP7) Proposed – Cllr MacIntyre, seconded – Cllr Squires. All in favour by show of hands.

13) Finance:

  1. Payments: 

The following payments were approved –

  1. Carne Associates               1389                £14.20 (Dog waste stickers)
  2. J Bright                                          1390                £498.36 (Pay, July & August)
  3. J Bright                                          1390                £21.74 (Tissue for public convenience)
  4. HMRC                                            1391                £115.80 (PAYE)
  5. A MacIntyre                                  1392                £133.28 (Website hosting)
  6. Michael Jones                               1393                £5.34 (Repair to bus shelter)
  7. Lydford Parish Council      1394                £500 (Opening balance for Unity Bank a/c)

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

  •  Grant Applications:

None received.

14) DALC Annual Conference & AGM – Exeter Racecourse:

Clerk asked the Council’s permission to attend. Funding implications – £25.00 attendance fee, £40.00 mileage. The Council agreed to meet the cost of attending. Proposed – Cllr Squires, seconded Cllr Skeaping. All in favour by show of hands.

15) Planning:

  1. Councillors noted the approval (with conditions) of application 0226/19 Mill Cottage 
  2. Councillors noted the withdrawal of applications 0320/19 Lydford House Hotel and 0340/19 Forda Farm
  3. councillors resolved to support applications 0347/19 and 0396/19 Forda Farm, 0353/19 Rossmoyne and 0397/19 Highdown

16) Correspondence:

All matters were noted. No action required.

15) Any Other Business

Cllr Skeaping reported that it would appear a number of trees in the village are suffering from Ash Dieback. None appear to be in need of cutting down at present and he will monitor the situation.

Councillors agreed Cllr Skeaping’s suggestion that it make a formal recognition of the work Michael Jones has contributed to the village by constructing the new bus shelter and approved the purchase of a token of the village’s appreciation. Proposed Cllr Skeaping, Seconded Cllr MacIntyre. All in favour by show of hands.

There was concern about the amount of Lydford Gorge visitors’ cars parked in the road on August Bank Holiday Monday. In places close to the village cars were parked on both sides of the road and would have proved an obstacle to larger traffic wanting to use the road at this time. Clerk to write to NT estate manager at Killerton expressing concern and suggesting overflow parking be arranged for periods which are expected to be busy. (AP8)

The gate to Lydford Castle is broken and in need of repair. Clerk to inform English Heritage estates (AP9)

Meeting closed 20:50

Next meeting Tuesday 8th October 2019


AP1Clerk to find out how to upload instructions to, and download data from, existing VASNot yet completed
AP2Clerk to enquire of Coeval engineers whether solar panel can be detached. Response to October agenda.Coeval confirm that the sign is a complete unit and cannot be separated. October agenda item 7a
AP3Reducing speed limit through the village to October agendaOctober agenda item 7b
AP4Improvements to public toilets to October agendaOctober agenda item 8a
AP5Clerk to find prices for street signs Done. October agenda item 8b
AP6Clerk to investigate possibility of DCC grant funding for replacement bench and collect quotes.Alternative solution possible. October agenda item 9
AP7Clerk to complete procedure for opening business account with Unity Trust Bank.Completed. Account opened. October agenda item 10
AP8Clerk to write to NT estate manager re parkingDone
AP9Clerk to write to English Heritage re broken gateDone