Casual Vacancies for Two Parish Councillors

Dittisham Parish Council

Local Government Act 1972 Section 87(2)

CASUAL VACANCY

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that two vacancies exists in the office of Parish Councillor for Dittisham Parish Council.

Unless ten or more electors of Dittisham Parish, on or before Thursday 9 May 2024, submit a request in writing for an election to be held, the Parish Council will take steps to fill the vacancies by co-option.

Requests must be sent to the Returning Officer, South Hams District Council, Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes, TQ9 5NE.

Annette Thom

Parish Clerk

18 April 2024

Draft Minutes 2024 April 03

The Minutes can be read below or downloaded here: MN_2024 April DPC Draft Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council in
St George’s Church Dittisham on Wednesday 3 April 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

  1. The meeting was relocated from the Village Hall because there was no water in the Hall, due to management of the collapse of part of the Hall’s retaining wall. The relocation was advertised as widely as possible. The Parish Council is grateful to a member of the public who was at the Hall from 6:45 to 7:15 to direct people to the new location.

  2. a. Public Forum

i. Fall of part of the Village Hall’s Retaining Wall on The Level

Part of the retaining wall fell overnight last night. The wall is the Village Hall Management Committee’s responsibility. The Parish Council has been working to support communication and to reduce the impact on residents. The Fire and Ambulance services have been notified, as have holiday cottage operators and South Hams District Council (regarding waste collection). The Clerk was asked to also notify Police, RNLI, and Coastguard.

It was noted that access for people with mobility issues will need to be considered if The Level is not fully open to traffic during the wall’s reconstruction. It was observed that improving the surface of the access track from Rectory Lane towards Bozomzeal would make the village more resilient including if access was restricted during the wall’s reconstruction, however Rectory Lane is a private road, and the track is currently one vehicle wide with no passing places and is not suitable for motor vehicles.

ii. D-Day 80 year Commemoration

A resident described the extensive and important local involvement in D-Day. They asked the Parish Council to make further efforts: to ask the private landowner to have the beacon ready and for the event to be commemorated in the Parish.

iii. EV Charging Points

The Parish Council has been approached about the installation of public EV charging points. This will be an Agenda item in 1 May meeting.

iv. Parking Format in The Ham Car Park

The meeting agreed that the preferred parking is at 90 degrees on The Ham side and at 45 degrees on the north Ham side. The Clerk will post temporary advisory notices and plan to install permanent signs, with a view to making better use of the parking area when it is busy.

Present: Cllrs Nightingale(Chair), Bond(Vice-Chair), Golding, Hodge, Neale, and Unitt were present, as were A Thom (Clerk), Devon County Councillor Hawkins, and one member of the public was present for the open forum. There was no Zoom audioconnection.

Absent. Cllrs Green, Lloyd, and Tucker.

  1. Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Green, Lloyd, and Tucker, and from South Hams District Cllr McKay.

  1. Declaration of Interests

Cllr Golding declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in the Bozomzeal Manor planning application.

  1. Approval of Minutes

It was resolved to approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2024.

  1. Community Reports

    1. South Hams District Council Councillor

Deferred in the absence of SHDC Cllr McKay.

    1. Devon County Council Councillor

DCC Cllr Hawkins commended progress made with clearing the fallen part of the Village Hall’s wall. DCC will support reopening The Level as soon as possible.

The Dartmouth Park and Ride was open for the Easter weekend.

  1. Financial Matters

    1. Financial Reports

It was resolved to approve the Financial Reports, which showed total funds of £81,740.40 and an unearmarked general fund of £28,738.63, and the Bank Reconciliation was noted.

    1. Payments

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

  • Devon Communities Together annual membership fee, £50.00

  • SHDC, 22/23 Payroll, £120.00

  • SHDC, Ham Car Park Rates, £3,285.17

  • SHDC, Level Car Park Rates, £3,112.26

  • Clerk, March Expenses reimbursement, £22.31

It was noted that the Clerk and Chair will approve payment of the following three invoices which were received after the Agenda was circulated: annual payments for the car park machine maintenance agreement and the defibrillator support agreement, and a South West Water invoice for the tap on the Quay.

  1. SHDC Planning Decisions

The following decision was noted:

    1. 3830/23/TCA Mill Creek Cottage, Lower Street, Dittisham, TQ6 0HY. T1-T6: Leylandii/fir trees – Fell trees due to them being vigorous growers & are taking the light from other recently planted trees that are trying to establish themselves, originally planted to quickly establish privacy from neighbours & are no longer required & particularly so if other indigenous trees & shrubs are allowed to grow, these trees kill the ground underneath them & prevent anything else from getting established, are unattractive & overpowering, surrounding deciduous trees/plants would provide a much better vista, more in keeping with the local countryside. Approved.

  1. New Planning Applications

    1. 0398/24/HHO Mulberry House DittishamTQ6 0ER. Householder application for single storey extension to kitchen, replacement of veranda with new garden room, insertion of window to rear elevation, replacement of upvc windows and doors with timber units, replacement of single glazed timber conservatory with double glazed timber, installation of air source heat pump and internal alterations.

Support and make the same comment as for the corresponding listed building consent considered by the 14 March meeting (by resolution).

    1. 0928/24/LBC Bozomzeal Manor Bozomzeal DittishamTQ6 0JG. Listed Building Consent for repair works to main house & pump house & new floor to garage.

Cllr Golding left the meeting.

Support (by resolution).

Cllr Golding returned to the meeting.

  1. Production of a Dittisham Neighbourhood Plan

It was resolved to approve the proposal to invite a speaker to present to Parishioners about the production of a Neighbourhood Plan and to announce that meeting at the Annual Parish Meeting. The purpose is to properly inform the Parish and see if members of the public wish to take this ‘project’ forward.

  1. Request for Paper Copies of Plans

DPC’s response to residents’ request for provision of paper copies of planning application plans for residents to view in Village Hall was discussed. Historically the paper copies were provided by South Ham District Council. SHDC ceased providing them many years ago. Paper plans are not available at SHDC. Production by DPC was considered however it cannot currently print A3 and printing would increase the impact on the environment. It was resolved to respond to residents explain the history of the copies and to trial being in the Hall from 6 p.m. before the monthly meetings of the Parish Council. DPC will project the plans requested by residents and also be available to discuss other matters of interest to Parishioners.

  1. Reports from Councillors’ Working Groups and External Forums

    1. Manor St. Turning Bay Refurbishment Project

The Report from a working group of residents and a Councillor was considered. It was resolved to implement the first two items (about the management of the neighbouring wall and to weed and tidy up the area) and to obtain quotes for a contractor to resurface with donated granite sets.

    1. Fire Task & Finish Group

It was resolved to close the Group. Its functions have been taken on by the work on the Emergency Plan.

  1. Licence to Occupy agreement with SHDC to Install a Defibrillator on The Ham Toilet Block

It was resolved to approve signature of the proposed Licence and to authorise the Clerk to sign it on behalf of DPC.

  1. Review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations

It was resolved to approve the reviewed Standing Orders.

It was resolved to approved the reviewed Financial Regulations.

  1. Code of Conduct

The meeting discussed the practical application of the Code.

  1. Cyberinsurance

It was resolved to approve the Report which has risk assessed cyberinsurance and recommends not taking insurance now, to continue cloud and offline hard drive backups, and to seek view of 23/24 internal auditor.

  1. Reinstatement of Ham Car Park Surface post Site Compound

It was resolved to take no further action at this time, to monitor the surface, and to review in twelve months.

  1. Dittisham Sailing Club Car Park Permits

It was resolved to confirm that the Permits are only valid if the vehicle registration number has been written on them legibly in the white space under the date, and that the Clerk will update the issue date on the related DPC Regulations.

  1. Dittisham Residents’ Permits

It was noted that there was a period of time when renewals didn’t require evidence of current Council Tax and that this has been resolved. It was resolved to take no further action in relation to this matter.

  1. NatWest Notice Accounts

It was noted that 35 day notice and 95 day notice accounts have been opened with balance transfers of £15,000 and 25,000 respectively.

  1. Correspondence:

The following correspondence was noted:

  • Notice of election for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election being held on 2 May 2024

  • Meeting request – potential residential development in Dittisham

  • Cllr Hawkins, Change to Ashprington gritting route & Parish tow along gritter suggestion

  • Notice of wall collapse Dittisham Mill Creek. DCC PROW and Dart harbour now informed.

  • Repair of fence next to Shinners Cottages. DPC reported owner and then to DCC PROW

The Clerk will follow up on this unresolved matter.

  • Community Compost Opportunities-Repurposing Brown Bins 4/5/24 & 2day Community Composting 27-28/4/24

  • DHCG, Dart Harbour interest in reinstatement of shower in The Ham toilet block. Referred to SHDC.

  • Emergency flood plans for Totnes, 11/4/24 6:30-8pm, Totnes Guildhall. Speaker from the Environment Agency.

  1. Next Meeting

It was confirmed that the next monthly meeting of the Parish Council and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on 1 May 2024 at 7:00 pm.

The meeting closed at 21:01.

Draft Minutes 2023 Annual Parish Meeting

The Minutes can be read below or downloaded here:  MN_2023 04 19 Annual Parish Meeting DPC Draft Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in
Dittisham Village Hall on Wednesday
19 April 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Eleven members of the public were present, as were Parish Councillors Anderson, Nightingale, Bond, Hodge, Lloyd, Neale, Tucker, and Unitt, and A Thom (Clerk).

1. Dittisham Parish Council Report

Cllr Nightingale reported on the Parish Council’s activities over the last year.

DPC looked at at least 32 planning applications, took part in various consultations. Councillors represented Dittisham on various groups and external forums, went to working meetings, and met with contractors.

The Dart 10K came up with new proposals for the swim and, because we felt that the event was important, we devoted a lot of time to it. Unfortunately in the end we couldn’t justify the impact on the community of the new proposed way of running the event.

DPC tried to help Parishioners to access cost of living support. A Warm Place trial event was held in The Red Lion Inn. We published energy saving information via the Parish website, DPC Facebook, and leaflets were distributed in the Village Hall and elsewhere, and we investigated grant support for those in energy hardship.

DPC also spent a lot of time dealing with some internal issues. Improvements have been made and the Council is not vulnerable to that happening again.

There is a new Personnel Committee which is looking at training, data security, healthy working conditions and a safe, pleasant and competent environment for us all.

The Clerk completed the Certificate in Local Council Administration.

We are looking at signing the Civility and Respect Pledge to address growing concerns about bullying, harassment and intimidation within the sector and to seek to collaborate with other Parish Councils to achieve that. We already benefit from good links with other Councils, including Ashprington, Blackawton, Brixton, Aveton Gifford, and Slapton.

One of our aims this year will be to improve our communication and consultation, and to involve more non-councillors in the Council’s projects.

Cllr Anderson is leaving the area and the Council. We are very sorry to see him go. He has been a great Chair, giving a jovial yet business-like character to our meetings, and his planning knowledge has been very helpful.

2. Dart Harbour Master

The Harbour Master was very pleased to attend the Meeting to discuss the work being done by Dart Harbour and talk with Dittisham’s Parishioners.

They said that Dart Harbour’s new Strategy was launched in 2022 following consultation. Dart Harbour is also working on new policies – including mooring management, with changes prioritising local residents, especially those within walking distance. A 20 year vision is to be published.

Dart Harbour will be talking to owners of boats which lay up in Dittisham Mill Creek over the winter.

A holding tank requirement is being phased in. Dart Harbour is communicating with South West Water. The water quality measure is good 95% of the time. Dart Harbour is looking into bathing water status designation for some areas but it does not yet know about the rules which govern that.

Dart Harbor is investing in a couple of physical pontoons, including Fisherman’s in Dartmouth. There is a new visitor pontoon in Dartmouth which should help Dittisham.

Dart Harbour is looking at expanding facilities for cruise ships.

There is a possible project working with other groups to map the salt marshes.

3. The Habitat Group – Hedgehog Highways

A representative of the Group discussed some of its activities.

The Habitat Group’s booklet has been a great success. It has been distributed to 850 residences in Dittisham and neighbouring parishes and 4,500 requested for Totnes.

There is a project to reintroduce water voles into the River Gara. No water voles were found in mink traps which were in place for four months. 800 water voles will be released to four sites over two and a half years. The water voles are a keynote species and so will have a positive effect on habitat.

There has been a devastating reduction in the hedgehog population over the last twenty years. This is due to cars, pesticides, and loss of habitat. The Group is encouraging the creation of hedgehog highways. The hedgehogs need a hole the size of a CD in fences. They can travel two to three miles in a night. They eat slugs and snails.

The speakers were followed by refreshments and conversation.