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Notice of the Ordinary Council Meeting – Tuesday 16 July 2019
at 7.30 pm in the Moorland Hall

All Council Meetings are open to members of the public and the press

Dear Councillors, You are summoned to the Ordinary Meeting of Cutcombe Parish Council to be held on Tuesday 16 July 2019 at 7.30 pm in the Moorland Hall.

AGENDA
1. Public Question Time
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Declarations of interest
4. Statement by Chairman regarding complaint received
5. To approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 18 June 2019, and any matters arising from the meeting
6. Reports from District and County Councillors
7. To consider Highways and transport matters, including
7.1 Long Lane
7.2 Popery Lane
8. Planning Applications: - none received
8.1 Other Planning Matters
9. Finance:
9.1 To agree to pay Countrywide Grounds Maintenance £1,531.50 for Cutcombe Playing Fields – Grounds Maintenance (grass cutting)
9.2 To agree to pay Moorland Hall £22.50 for May room hire and £22.50 for June room hire
10. To consider and approve the response to Rural Worker and Succession Farm Dwelling Guidance consultation:
General Comments: Document is long, confusing and while designed to help, may well put applicants off. Council understand it is designed as advice, but in reality has become very restrictive, and rather than guidelines for the applicant, can be used as constraints by planners.
Specific paragraphs:
Page 4 – Rural Worker definition is not accurate – does not include, for example, shepherd
Page 9 – para 2.9 – Occupancy restrictions have the unintended effect of de-valuing a business and preventing borrowing. Understand the need to guarantee that the new property stays with the farm. Suggest changing “Occupancy restrictions will…” to “Occupancy restrictions may…”
Page 11 – The figure Full Time Rural Worker Methodology quotes a figure of 2,200 hours. Council find this to be calculation to be questionable in today’s market.
Page 12 – table 2.15 – confusing and complex table. Eg what does “Enterprise is extensive in nature” mean?
Page 13 – para 2.18 – in modern world, multiple generations do not live in the same house.
Page 15 – para 2.24 – is the 10 year rule sufficiently flexible?
Page 16 – para 3.1 and 3.2 contradict each other. 3.1 states a maximum gross internal area of 93 sqm, and does not detail if exceptions are possible. 3.2 then states that larger dwellings will be considered.
Page 17 – para 3.3 – suggest removing “In exceptional circumstances” and para 3.3.b – suggest removing “exceptionally”
Page 17 – para 3.4 – should ensure the whole business is considered (including any diversification), not just the “farm business”. Also, when considering “investment”, this should include rental. Suggest that the last sentence should be re-worded to “Evidence of financial viability over the last 5-10 years is required”.
Page 23 – para 3.23 – suggest whole table is reviewed in light of criticisms of section 3
Page 30 – para 4.46 – to respect privacy of all occupants, may be necessary to have own access track (not necessarily onto Highway)
Summary: The document claims to be guidance, which should be helpful to the applicant. In reality, it is complex and more restrictive than the local plan sections to which it refers. Council consider that applicants will find it forbidding rather than helpful. Council have found the exercise of responding, as laypersons, very challenging and hope that Exmoor National Park recognise that non-response of other parties should not be taken as acceptance or support, but may in fact be due to being overwhelmed by the task
11. To discuss proposed changes to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
12. To receive report on Consultative Forum
13. Correspondence and meetings
13.1 Clerk’s report on correspondence received and meetings attended
13.2 Councillors’ report on correspondence received and meetings attended
14. Items for the next Agenda

Date of next meeting: Tuesday 17 September 2019


Members are reminded that the Council has a general duty to consider the following matters in the exercise of any of its functions: Equal Opportunities (race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any disability), Crime and Disorder, Health and Safety, and Human Rights.

N J Kemp, Parish Clerk
10 July 2019

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16 July 2019 at the Moorland Hall

Present: Councillors John Anson (Chairman), Eric Clarbull, John Davis, Roger Foxwell, Eric Norman, Roger Webber, Vivian White, SWT Cllr Steven Pugsley (part of meeting), and Parish Clerk Nic Kemp

Cllr Anson opened the meeting at 7.35pm

268.1 Public Question Time: None.

268.2 Apologies for Absence: Steven Pugsley (who had stated he would attend later if possible).

268.3 Declarations of Interest:
Cllr Clarbull – Item 9.2 – Personal – Trustee of Moorland Hall – Cllr Clarbull noted after the meeting that he had retired from the Moorland Hall, so did not need to declare an interest.
Cllr Foxwell – Item 9.2 – Personal – Trustee of Moorland Hall
Cllr Anson – Item 9.2 – Personal – Trustee of Moorland Hall

268.4 Statement from Chairman regarding complaint received: Cllr Anson read out the following statements:
It has been brought to my attention as your Chairman that during the last PC meeting, at one point private notes about the parish elected member results were passed by a councillor to a member of the public. Whilst I am sure that no harm was intended I have to say that this was regrettable and against the rules. That is the end of the matter. I am not going to take this any further or to allow any further discussion about it.
I would remind all Councillors that although they have visibility of various documents provided to them in their role as Councillors, they should give careful consideration as to whether these documents have been provided in confidence or whether the originator’s permission has been obtained with regards to passing the information any further.

268.5 Minutes of the Previous Meeting: The minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 18 June 2019 were approved and signed by Cllr Anson as a true record. Matters arising: 267.5 Clerk is following up Long Lane with Cllr Nicholson.

268.6 Reports from District and County Councillors: Not present.

268.7 Highways and Transport Matters:
Cllr Anson passed contact details to Cllr Foxwell as new Highways Warden, and advised that he should receive a letter from Highways acknowledging him as Warden. Clerk to request meeting for Cllr Foxwell with David Peake and all relevant parties – Jo Sharp, Kevin Bridgwater, either at Minehead or on site at Cutcombe.
268.7.1 – Long Lane – No work has been carried out.
268.7.2 – Popery Lane – Surface has been repaired by Highways, despite claiming it is not their responsibility. Clerk to write and thank Highways.
Cllr Davis raised road near Beulah Chapel – although not in parish, affects many residents with sunlight through branches, sudden darkness, and flooding. Clerk to write to Exmoor Panel requesting it be an agenda item at next meeting.
Crash at entrance to Watercombe earlier in week. Appears no vehicles were going too fast. Landowner could cut back some vegetation to improve visibility. 30mph sign not very visible. Council could push for 20mph speed limit.
CllrW hite noted that the white lines were not supposed to be included in the middle of the road from Sundial to Cattle Market (along B3224).
SIDS Device – Cllr Foxwell sited device, County Council produced an agreement to be completed prior to using device. Clerk investigating requirements of agreement. Cllr Foxwell has removed device until resolved.
Cllr Foxwell noted a blackbox collecting traffic data outside the market, quantity of vehicles and speed. Could request data from Traffic Safety.
Drain at Portway has been jetted out.
Cllr Webber queried why Cutcombe was one of the last areas for vegetation to be cut. If it was done earlier, sight lines would be better.

268.8 Planning Applications: None new applications received. Clerk had received notification of additional information supplied for GDO 19/07 Horsecombe Farm. Clerk authorised to respond on behalf of Council unless any queries on the application are raised prior to 29 July 2019 requiring an Extra-ordinary Council meeting to be called to discuss the application.
268.8.1 – Other Planning Matters – An Extra-ordinary meeting to be called if necessary for any planning applications received before the next Ordinary meeting in September.

268.10 Response to Rural Worker and Succession Farm Dwelling Guidance consultation: Taken out of order as related to Planning.
Cllr White prop (Cllr Davis sec) removing “in modern world”, and adding “necessarily” to the line Page 13 – para 2.18. Unanimously agreed
Cllr Webber prop (Cllr Clarbull sec) making Summary and General Comments bold. Unanimously agreed
Cllr Webber prop (Cllr Foxwell sec) adding “herdsmen, etc” to the line Page 4. Agreed 5 in favour, 2 abstained.
Cllr White prop (Cllr Clarbull sec) the response be submitted as below. Unanimously agreed.

General Comments: Document is long, confusing and while designed to help, may well put applicants off. Council understand it is designed as advice, but in reality has become very restrictive, and rather than guidelines for the applicant, can be used as constraints by planners.
Specific paragraphs:
Page 4 – Rural Worker definition is not accurate – does not include, for example, shepherd, herdsmen, etc
Page 9 – para 2.9 – Occupancy restrictions have the unintended effect of de-valuing a business and preventing borrowing. Understand the need to guarantee that the new property stays with the farm. Suggest changing “Occupancy restrictions will…” to “Occupancy restrictions may…”
Page 11 – The figure Full Time Rural Worker Methodology quotes a figure of 2,200 hours. Council find this to be calculation to be questionable in today’s market.
Page 12 – table 2.15 – confusing and complex table. Eg what does “Enterprise is extensive in nature” mean?
Page 13 – para 2.18 – multiple generations do not necessarily live in the same house.
Page 15 – para 2.24 – is the 10 year rule sufficiently flexible?
Page 16 – para 3.1 and 3.2 contradict each other. 3.1 states a maximum gross internal area of 93 sqm, and does not detail if exceptions are possible. 3.2 then states that larger dwellings will be considered.
Page 17 – para 3.3 – suggest removing “In exceptional circumstances” and para 3.3.b – suggest removing “exceptionally”
Page 17 – para 3.4 – should ensure the whole business is considered (including any diversification), not just the “farm business”. Also, when considering “investment”, this should include rental. Suggest that the last sentence should be re-worded to “Evidence of financial viability over the last 5-10 years is required”.
Page 23 – para 3.23 – suggest whole table is reviewed in light of criticisms of section 3
Page 30 – para 4.46 – to respect privacy of all occupants, may be necessary to have own access track (not necessarily onto Highway)
Summary: The document claims to be guidance, which should be helpful to the applicant. In reality, it is complex and more restrictive than the local plan sections to which it refers. Council consider that applicants will find it forbidding rather than helpful. Council have found the exercise of responding, as laypersons, very challenging and hope that Exmoor National Park recognise that non-response of other parties should not be taken as acceptance or support, but may in fact be due to being overwhelmed by the task.

268.9 Finance: Clerk gave financial report for first quarter (April to June). Finance Working Group to meet prior to next Council meeting. Cllr Davis to request Youth Club to write to request grant.
It was agreed to pay
268.9.1 – Countrywide Grounds Maintenance £1,531.50 for Cutcombe Playing Fields grass cutting
268.9.2 – Moorland Hall £22.50 for May room hire and £22.50 for June room hire

SWT Cllr Pugsley joined the meeting at 9.05pm

268.11Proposed changes to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service: Cllr White prop (Cllr Davis sec) writing to support protest to proposed changes in Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. Unanimously agreed. All Councillors to forward points to Clerk to collate and prepare letter with Cllrs White and Anson.

268.6 Report from District and County Councillors: Returned to item 6 to allow Cllr Pugsley to report. Cllr Pugsley understands that Cllr Nicholson has confirmed that provision of salt bags will be re-instated this winter. Closure of Porlock Fire Station could result in more pressure on Minehead and Dulverton. Porlock has the smaller appliance and expertise in moorland fires.
Cllr Webber raised the trees and hedges over the road at Beulah Chapel being added to Panel meeting. Cllr Pugsley advised also writing to Highways. Clerk to address.

Cllr Anson thanked Cllr Pugsley who left the meeting at 9.20pm.

268.12 Report from Consultative Forum:
Cllr White has been elected Vice-Chair of the Consultative Forum.
Report from Authority – officers would like more detail on reasons for supporting/objecting. Planning seems to be slower due to staffing issues. Head of Planning will attend Parish Council meeting if requested.

268.13 Correspondence and Meetings:
268.13.1 – Clerk’s report on correspondence received and meetings attended – Clerk had forwarded details on SWT Council Strategy involvement, and advised that although planning was dealt with by the ENPA it was recommended to engage. Cllr Webber suggested a SWT Council officer be invited to attend ENPA in some form. Cllr White will raise at Forum.
Clerk read out letter from local business regarding fireworks at event; advice received over insurance requirements – to be discussed by Finance Working Group; advice received over local council permitted development rights; consultations on Licencing and Gambling policies by SWT; and confirmed receipt of an update by the Standards Board
268.13.2 – Councillors’ reports on correspondence received and meetings attended – Cllr Norman reported the Snowdrop Valley committee had finalised the bus route and photographic competition. Cllr Davis reported the Youth Club’s annual trip is coming up, and they will write to request a contribution. Cllr Foxwell reported attending an Exmoor Young Voices meeting, the group is growing and plans to hold a summit in Exford in September. Cllr Webber reported on the School visit. Cllr Anson reported that an interested party was due to view the Business Unit shortly.

267.13 Items for Next Agenda: Report from Finance Working Group

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.50 pm. The next Ordinary Meeting of Cutcombe Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 17 September 2019 at 7.30pm in the Moorland Hall.

All are welcome to all meetings

 

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