Stay alert this International Fraud Awareness Week

Press Release South Hams District Council Issued: 13 November 2020

Local authorities across Devon are joining forces to protect residents and themselves to combat fraud this International Fraud Awareness Week (IFAW), which runs until 21 November.

With the Counter Fraud Services Team at Devon Audit Partnership, local authorities are aiming to raise awareness of what fraud is, as the first step in preventing it from taking place.

Raising awareness of fraud, often referred to as a scam, is more important now than ever.  Fraudsters are trying to take advantage of people during the COVID-19 (C19) crisis. They are adopting a C19 camouflage to play on residents’ fears and lack of knowledge, taking advantage of them at this unusual time.

Based on fear and risk during the COVID-19 crisis, the most common examples, reported to action organisations include:

  • victim alleged to have breached stay home regulations – scam with text messages from .GOV.UK issuing fines
  • free school meals scam – fraudulent messages (text or email) to parents entitled to free school meals
  • fraudsters pretending to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO)
  •  fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates
  • investment fraud including pension liberation fraud – fraudsters could take the opportunity to create bogus investments in commodities in high demand

West Devon Borough Council’s, Lead Member for Customer First, Cllr Jeff Moody, said: “We are constantly hearing how fraudsters are targeting our vulnerable residents with scams. It is appalling how these people can prey on the unsuspecting, especially in a pandemic where lots of people are experiencing impacts on their finances already.

“Only this week, we have heard about how one of our Horrabridge residents managed to evade being caught out with a Council Tax scam, where the scammers claimed to be from the Council and offering a refund. Always contact the Council for clarification if you are suspicious. Take the time to find out how to protect yourself and your family against fraudsters and what to do if you have unfortunately been caught out.”

Fraudsters understand how many of us think and react as human beings aiming to create a situation which causes an overwhelming and emotional response to a stimulus such as an email or text that increases our stress levels. This  triggers our fight or flight responses with normal logical thought is over ridden by the need to take immediate action.

Counter Fraud Services Manager at Devon Audit Partnership, Ken Johnson, says: “There has never been a more important time to raise awareness of fraud and those who commit it at this time of national and global crisis. It is a disgrace that dishonest people will commit fraud against another individual or organisation at any time but in the current situation is far worse.

“Committing fraud against local government at the expense of those who need local services stops funding going where it is needed the most. Every £ taken from the public purse is a £ that someone in real need has to go without. If you know or suspect someone of committing fraud then report them.”
South Hams District Council’s Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I urge residents to take the time to educate themselves on how to identify fraud. If you have been scammed, please make sure you report it to one of the trusted agencies so public awareness can be raised.

“There is no shame in having been conned by these terrible people. They make their scams very difficult to spot and we have to do everything we can to stop them so we can protect our loved ones.”

Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from these trusted sites:

Only use trusted sites and or those displaying that they are secure – site address starts with “https” or displays a padlock image next to the site address.

A case of fraud, or suspected fraud, can be reported in confidence in the following ways:


Draft Minutes 2020 November 04

The draft minutes of Dittisham Parish Council’s meeting on 4 November 2020 can be read below or downloaded as a pdf here MN_2020 November 04 DPC Draft Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of the monthly meeting of Dittisham Parish Council held on Wednesday 4 November 2020 at 7:00p.m using public videoconferencing

Present: Cllrs Tucker (Chair), Anderson (Vice-Chair), Bond, Faulkner, Green, Lloyd, Neale, Nightingale, and Quinn were present, as were South Hams District Councillor McKay, Devon County Councillor Hawkins, and A Thom (Clerk). There was one member of the public.

204/20    Apologies

All councillors present.

205/20 Declaration of Interests

Councillor Anderson declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Item 9, Dittisham Court tree application, and Councillor Nightingale declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Item 7.1 Barn at Capton planning application.

206/20 Approval of the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2020

It was resolved to approve the minutes.

207/20 Public Issues

207/20.1 Hedges overgrowing roads and footpaths

The meeting was advised that this problem is getting worse. Residents are reminded they are responsible for cutting back vegetation which grows from private property over a public road or footpath. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to some residents, in consultation with Cllr Faulkner who will provide the locations.

208/20    Community Reports

208/20.1         South Hams District Council Councillor

Cllr McKay raised the decision making process for the current Dartside garden building planning application. Cllr Anderson explained the reason for DPC’s view on the application.

208/20.2         Devon County Council Councillor

Cllr Hawkins said that SHDC and DCC are there to support residents during the second lockdown. They have grant schemes to help the most vulnerable, which can be accessed via the internet. Recycling centres will stay open. Public bus services are not affected. The planning decision for the proposed Health and Wellbeing Centre in Dartmouth will go to the Development Management Committee in December 2020. The plan is for the Centre to open in spring 2022. Cllr Hawkins has provided the Clerk with contact details for DCC staff which help with grants and funding for EV charging points. Lower Street will hopefully be resurfaced in the not too distant future and residents’ concerns about potential for damage to properties and drainage have been addressed. Officers will be on duty and will do their best to ensure that residents’ concerns are looked after. Dartmouth Caring is providing free meals to families that need them and will deliver prescriptions to Dittisham and Cornworthy. Food parcels from the Dartmouth Food Bank will be provided for distribution and replaced as necessary. Cllr Hawkins thanked Gail Mosley and residents of Dittisham for the amazing support of the Dartmouth Food Bank. Dartmouth Community Chest is providing food from Townstal Community Hall during half-term and Christmas meals for children. The Foodbank provides store cupboard staples, and can make food parcels family sized and more child friendly if required.

Cllr Hawkins met with the South Devon and Torbay NHS Trust this afternoon. They discussed the COVID 19 response. The Nightingale Ward in Exeter has been used over the summer; for seeing patients and scans etc. It is ready to be used now, and has 116 beds and 5 wards. Two of the wards could be ICUs staffed from all local NHS trusts in Devon.

Cllr Faulkner obtained confirmation that Shute Hill will be included in the resurfacing of Lower Street.

209/20    Communications in relation to planning/tree applications.

  • 1476/20/ARC Greenbank Riverside Road Dittisham TQ6 0HS Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 4, 5 and 8 of planning consent 3578/19/FUL Discharge of condition Approved.
  • 1669/20/HHO Capton Mill Cottage Capton Dittisham TQ6 0JE. Householder application for the erection of timber framed studio/workshop with washroom and replacement septic tank. Conditional Approval
  • 2515/20/HHO & 2516/20/LBC 1 Glendale Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EY Householder Listed Building applications for internal alterations, general refurbishment and installation of 2no. rooflights. Conditional Approval
  • 1126/20/ARC Bruckton Shippon Bruckton Cross To Ashplat Copse Dittisham Devon TQ6 0HW. Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 5, 7 & 8 ofplanning consent 4071/19/FUL. Discharge of condition Approved.
  • 2626/20/ARC Bruckton Shippon Dittisham TQ6 0HW. Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 4 & 5 of listed building consent 0204/20/LBC. Discharge of condition Approved.

210/20    New planning applications.

  • 3213/20/PDM Barn at SX 838 532 Capton Dittisham TQ6 0JE Application to determine if prior approval is required for proposed change of use of agricultural building to 1no. dwellinghouse (Class C3) and for associated operational development (Class Q(a+b)).

No discussion. For information.

  • 3079/20/FUL River Farm Cottage Rectory Lane Dittisham TQ6 0HE. Extension to boathouse.

The meeting discussed what impact the proposal would have on the AONB, whether further development should be encouraged in this location, why this extension is needed, and development that has already taken place.

Support with DPC’s comment on reducing light pollution (proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Faulkner, carried six votes to three).

  • 2916/20/HHO & 2917/20/LBC Chipton Barton Dittisham TQ6 0HW. Retrospective householder application for landscaping works.

Support (resolution proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Nightingale, unanimous).

211/20    New tree application

  • 3188/20/TCA Dittisham Court Dittisham TQ6 0HS. T10: Cedar – Fell due to honey fungus. T15: Eucalyptus – Crown reduction by 3-4m due to signs of decay at base. T19: Weeping Willow -Repollard to original cuts due to decay within tree. T28: Maple – Fell to improve airflow and light to waste treatment plant.

Cllr Anderson was moved to the waiting area for the duration of this item.

The applicant should try to replant 2-3 trees for each tree removed.

Support (Resolution proposed Cllr Faulkner, seconded Cllr Green).

212/20    Other tree application

No objection was raised to the following application on which comments have closed:

  • 3190/20/TCA Application Details – South West Devon Planning Search. T1: Pittosporum – Fell. Tree is dying.

213/20    Consultations

  • Department for Transport, Pavement parking: options for change, Closes 22 November 2020.

Cllr Nightingale has read the proposals, and explained they include streamlining the process for the Council to designate no parking on pavements, to fine people blocking the pavement unnecessarily, TROs and fines. Cllr Anderson asked how to police in less populated areas. It was unanimously resolved to respond as discussed.

214/20    Reports from Councillors with Specific Responsibilities / External Forums

214/20.1         Working Groups

Cllr Neale will become a member of the Communications, Maintenance and Footpaths Working Groups.

214/20.2         Finance Working Group

The Group’s report was discussed by Cllr Tucker and its recommendations were unanimously approved. The 2020 car park income is now reduced by about £7,000 compared with the same stage of 2019. The recommendations were that DPC needs to be prudent in its spending decisions, making necessary payments, and deferring discretionary spending, to make the annual loan repayment as scheduled, and the charging of VAT on the OSS Ham Hire invoice.

215/20    EV Charging Points

It was agreed that The Level and The Ham car parks are suitable sites for inclusion by DCC in a funding bid.

Cllr McKay commented that street lighting posts can be converted to EV charging points at a cost of £200-£300 each.

The Clerk is asked to include Cllr Hawkins and Cllr Nightingale in discussions and meetings.

216/20    Dog Fouling

The consultation responses received to date were discussed. This is an issue that affects the whole Parish. A task and finish group was created to consider the issue and responses, and to prepare an action plan. Its members are Cllrs Neale, Nightingale, and Quinn. They will aim to report back to the 2 December meeting of DPC. Residents are all thanked very much for your comments to the consultation.

217/20    Willow Dome Project

The meeting considered the approval of the proposal to install a 3m diameter willow dome on the former log walk site on The Ham (£406). The meeting agreed to the proposal to defer a decision to the January 2021 meeting, consistent with the Finance resolution on spending. The project’s proposer will be invited to talk to that meeting. The Playground Working Group will talk to the proposer to find out more about the proposal.

218/20    Grant Policy

It was resolved to update the Policy by including the proposed clause to permit making a grant commitment over multiple years.

219/20    Financial Matters

219/20.1         Financial Report

It was resolved to support the report which showed a balance of £68,991.08 ad unearmarked reserves of £14,435.26.

219/20.2         Payments for approval

It was resolved to approve the following payments

  • Being a Good Councillor 2, £18.00
  • Tindle Newspapers, Maintenance Contract Advert, £133.92
  • Level Car Park Lender, LCP annual repayment, £5,000.00
  • Brixham Town Council, Chapter 8 Training, £90.00

The invoice from DCC, One HGV sign, £501.20 was issued in error and a credit note is being issued by DCC.

It was resolved that the Clerk could make the second quarter VAT payment in consultation with the Finance Working Group, and that a Capton Bus Shelter Base Removal Invoice for £120 could be paid. Cllr Green confirmed the work was satisfactory.

220/20    Agreement to receive Agenda and Summons by email

It was confirmed that the Clerk will obtain signed agreement from Cllrs Lloyd and Neale.

221/20    Correspondence

  • 20/10/20 AONB 60th Anniversary Young Carers fund raising for respite days out on the coast next summer. Sponsored walk of the 60 miles of the South West Coast Path in the AONB before April 2021.
  • 17/10/20 Local electricity bill, Suggestion for councillors to organise an online visit to MP’s constituency surgery. Cllrs Anderson and Lloyd will attend for DPC. There will be two Blackawton Councillors present.
  • 26/10/20 DCC, Safety tested reused TVs, vacuum cleaners and lamps available from some recycling centre resale shops. The Clerk will include in the Parish Magazine
  • 26/10/20 Libraries Unlimited, Request funds to refurbish the mobile library van
  • 28/10/20, Notice of a homeless person – referred/supported as relevant.
  • Lower Street resurfacing, further correspondence between residents and DCC.
  • Dog Fouling – responses to public consultation.

222/20    Next Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council

The next meeting of Dittisham Parish Council, which is scheduled for 2 December 2020 at 7:00 pm, was confirmed.

 The meeting closed at 20:34.

Draft Minutes 2020 October 14

The Minutes can be read below or downloaded as a pdf here MN_2020 October 14 EM DPC Draft Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council held on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at 6:00 p.m. using public videoconferencing

Present: Cllrs Tucker (Chair), Anderson (Vice-Chair), Bond, Faulkner, Lloyd, Neale, and Nightingale, were present, as was A Thom (Clerk). There were no members of the public.

204/20         Apologies

Apologies were received from Cllr Quinn.

205/20 Declaration of Interests

None declared.

206/20         Maintenance Working Group

It was unanimously resolved to support the content of the proposed specifications for the new maintenance contract as circulated. The Clerk’s request to alter formatting and descriptions was allowed.

207/20         West Dart Bus – Ivybridge and District Community Transport Association

No councillor is being proposed to replace the retiring Blackawton based trustee. DPC will support advertisement of the upcoming vacancy.

208/20         Financial Matters

The cost of a one of cut of the Old Chapel Burial Ground was approved. £106.04 plus VAT has been quoted. The Clerk is to obtain a price which includes removal of cuttings.

The meeting closed 18:14

Draft Minutes 2020 October 07

The Minutes can be read below or downloaded as a pdf here MN_2020 October 07 DPC Draft Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council held on Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 7:00 p.m. using public videoconferencing

Present: Cllrs Tucker (Chair), Anderson (Vice-Chair), Bond, Faulkner, Neale, Nightingale, and Quinn were present, as were South Hams District Councillor McKay, Devon County Councillor Hawkins, and A Thom (Clerk). There were no members of the public.

187/20            Apologies

Apologies were received from Cllr Green.

188/20            Declaration of Interests

Cllr Nightingale declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in application 3075/20/PDM Barns at Capton. Cllr Quinn declared a personal interest in application 1105/20/HHO Dartside.

189/20            Application for Co-option as a Parish Councillor.

Ros Neale made a statement introducing herself and her application for co-option.

It was unanimously resolved to confirm co-option.

It was resolved that Cllr Neale will sign the undertaking in the presence of the Clerk at she and the Clerk’s earliest convenience.

190/20            Approval of Minutes

It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2020.

191/20            COVID-19 Response

The project to ensure that residents and visitors have access to support and information was reviewed. Devon County Cllr Hawkins responded to Cllr Nightingale’s question about DCC’s COVID 19 plans. SHDC will talk to parishes over next few months – as a learning process about how it can help in the future.

192/20            Public Issues

192/20.1   Planting of Crocus Corms

It was resolved unanimously to accept the offer from Rotary to plant 900 corms in the autumn. The purple crocus symbolises Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. It is expected that most will be planted around Ham Triangle. To be planted in consultation with the Maintenance Working Group. Cllr Faulkner will list the sites.

192/20.2   Hedge Cutting

Cllr Faulkner asked when the hedge abutting Dittisham Hill will be cut.

He was advised that the weather has made it difficult for the contractor. They are starting with the field hedges. Dittisham Hill will be done within the next 2-3 weeks. DEFRA is strict about 1 September being the earliest legal date to cut hedges.

192/20.3   Capton Stream

Cllr Nightingale said that the project to unblock the Stream is ongoing. They may get Exjet to clear silt/clay from a blocked culvert.

193/20            Community Reports

193/20.1   Devon County Council Councillor

The Neighbourhood Officer has today raised an issue with debris from hedge cutting not being cleared. Lower Street is on the circuit for resurfacing. Higher Street is also on DCC’s list for repairs. A builder on the road to The Ham has been told to move their materials off the road as soon as possible. There is £750 DCC grant funding available. It needs to be allocated by Christmas.

It was agreed that the Clerk will reforward an email from a resident about the resurfacing of Lower Street.

Cllr Hawkins emailed report notes included the following:

The first home beds at Little Cotton Farm in Dartmouth will be available next spring. A new nursing home is also being discussed for the site nearest the Health and Well-being Centre Leisure Centre. It was agreed at the last Full District Council Meeting to put £243,000 into reopening all four District Leisure Centres. This money will help pay wages costs etc up until next March. County and the eight Districts have told the Government that they do not support Unitary Devon. The Government consultation on planning regulations has been clearly told that South Hams District Council is not supportive of some of the changes. The two main concerns are that the District would have to provide twice as many houses as planned and that the raising of the threshold of 10 to 40 for an affordable contribution %. South Hams has clearly said we do not support these in an Area such as ours with AONBs and small communities.

193/20.2   South Hams District Council Councillor

Deferred because Cllr McKay was temporarily unavailable.

193/20            New Planning Applications.

193/20.1   1105/20/HHO Dartside Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plans Received) Householder application for construction of ancillary garden building (summerhouse) within rear curtilage.

Cllr Quinn raised a concern about the Design and Access statement saying that Manor Street would be blocked for 30-60 minutes while deliveries unload.

  1. It was agreed that Cllr Quinns point should be addressed in more detail in a construction method statement.
  2. The building must be ancillary to the house and not used as a separate residential unit.
  • DPC’s comment about reducing light pollution will be included in the comment.

Support subject to an ancillary use condition as above and with the comments as above (resolution proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Bond, Cllr Quinn abstained).

193/20.2   3075/20/PDM Barns at Capton Dittisham Dartmouth TQ6 0JE. Application to determine if prior approval is required for proposed change of use of agricultural building to 4no. dwellinghouses and associated operational development (Class Q(a+b)).

Relevant evidence can be submitted directly to SHDC.

193/20.3   3002/20/ARC Downton Farm Dittisham TQ6 0JD. Dittisham TQ6 0JD. Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 5-10 & 13 of listed building consent 1462/19/LBC

                  3001/20/ARC Downton Farm Dittisham TQ6 0JD. Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 10-15 & 18 of planning consent 1461/19/FUL.

Support both of the above applications (resolution proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Nightingale, unanimous).

193/20.4   2345/20/HHO Penveron The Level Dittisham TQ6 0ES. Householder application for roof terrace decking and balustrade works.

Support (resolution proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Faulkner, unanimous).

194/20            South Hams District Council Councillor

Cllr McKay reported that the Localities Task and Finish Group is ongoing. The role is under review, with learning from the COVID experience. He has sent DPC a briefing note with his view on the proposed changes to Government planning policy. There has been a cross party rejection of them. SHDC has replied to the Government’s consultation on the proposed changes to planning policy, which Cllr McKay fully supports.

195/20            Consultations

  • NALC White paper – Planning for the future. Closes 15 October 2020

Cllr Anderson said he tends to concur with Cllr McKay. The division into growth, renewal, and project areas means that Dittisham is OK. He would respond supporting protected area status of relevance to Dittisham, other parts not directly relevant. It was resolved that Cllr Anderson and the Clerk would write a response, in consultation with other councillors.

  • NALC Transparency and competition (land control). Closes 16 October 2020

No comment by DPC,

  • DCC 2021-2027 Updated Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Devon. Closes 15 October 2020

No comment by DPC. Cllr Anderson commented that there is a good executive summary.

  • SHDC Licensing Act 2003 – Licensing Policy Consultation. Closes 16 October 2020.

No comment by DPC.

  • Department for Transport, Pavement parking: options for change, Closes 22 November 2020.

Comment deferred to November meeting of DPC.

196/20            Reports from Councillors with Specific Responsibilities / External Forums

196/20.1   Habitat Review with Sustainable Dittisham

The Report and its Proposals were considered. It was resolved unanimously to accept proposals 6-9, which address proposed planting and authorise expenditure of £250.

Cllr Quinn requested that the proposal for a willow dome on The Ham be placed on the November agenda, consistent with DPC’s decision that it be reviewed in the autumn

196/20.2   Maintenance Working Group

Finalisation of the content of the proposed specifications for the new maintenance contract was deferred to an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 14 October at 6 pm.

Cllr Tucker said that DPC needs notices to explain any uncut areas. Cllr Hawkins said that planting and signs were possible uses of the available grant from DCC.

196/20.3  Car Parks Working Group

The Group’s recommendations regarding the Dittisham Sailing Club permits were reviewed. It was unanimously resolved to accept the recommendation that paper permits be continued for 2021. It was resolved unanimously that the charge for the permits would be increased by 20% because of the VAT cost. If necessary, based on the consultation response, DPC can give a rebate. The decision about whether to offer DSC permits in 2022 was deferred, for review in September 2021. The Clerk will contact and write to DSC about the price increase.

196/20.4   Flooding & Drainage Task and Finish Group

The Group’s Report and its Recommendations were considered and accepted.

The Parish lengthsman will clear blocked road drains in the village, parishioners to be encouraged in sourcing/storing materials such as sandbags, plastic sheeting etc. in readiness to alleviate flooding in their property should it be prone to flooding, and parishioners can also be of great help if they can regularly clear any loose debris, particularly leaves, from drain tops adjacent to their properties.

197/20            Village Hall Management Committee Report

It was agreed to accept the Report, and to write to the VHMC to say thank you and that DPC accepts the contents.

198/20            Dog Fouling

The Report, whether to approve installation & relocation of bins, and whether to use SHDC’s dog on lead posters were deferred to the November meeting.

Parishioners to be asked for their views and suggestions on management of this problem.

199/20            The Use of The Ham Policy

DPC considered the addition of a new section regarding access to properties and decided that it would be rejected. The Clerk will advise the owner property which requested access.

200/20            West Dart Bus – Ivybridge and District Community Transport Association

This item to consider proposing a councillor to replace the retiring Blackawton based trustee was deferred to the 14 October extraordinary meeting due to the lateness of the hour.

201/20            Financial Matters

201/20.1   Financial Report

The Report and bank reconciliation which showed a balance of £67,528.31 and unearmarked reserves of £17,644.01, were approved.

201/20.2   Payments

  • SWW, Quay Standpipe, £40.09
  • Cllr Bond, Grass Seed, £9.99
  • Clerk’s Expenses Reimbursement CE35 £111.01
  • VAT payment to HMRC £574.27
  • One of cut of the Old Chapel Burial Ground £106.04 plus VAT – deferred
  • Cllr Anderson’s expenses 21.98
  • Chapter 8 training, Cllr Bond, £75+VAT

It was resolved to approve the above with the exception of the Burial Ground cut which was deferred.

  • Overlay stickers to correct Car Park & Ham Lane signs

It was resolved to approve purchase of the stickers to correct the website and email addresses on the terms and conditions signs in the two car parks.

  • Capton Bus Shelter

The quote of £100 for a contractor to remove the remaining base and make good was approved. The Clerk was given authority to agree with the Raleigh Estate whether they want the hard core / chippings removed, or used to improve the potholes in the field access.

202/20            Correspondence

The following correspondence was noted:

  • 19/9/20 Facebook message – lack of social distancing on pontoon and bottom Manor Street
  • 18/8/20 Village Website – No found on web searches
  • 2/9/20 Tree down FP15, Dittisham Mill Creek – referred to DCC & DHNA
  • 28/8/20 Capton Mill Bridge, repair required – referred to DCC
  • 28/8/20 Resurfacing of Lower Street – passed on to DCC
  • 30/9/20, Abandoned caravan on Strete road, referred to DCC which is managing
  • 24/8/20 Dartmouth Town Council, Request for meeting and public space to extend community service
  • 1/10/20 Two phone calls members of the public, dead swan on Dittisham Mill Creek, referred & reported to SHDC.
  • 11/9/20 Access required to Blackberry Cottage for vehicle to flush drains, provided

203/20            Next meeting

It was confirmed that the next ordinary meeting of Dittisham Parish Council will be held on 4 November 2020 at 7:00 pm. An extraordinary meeting will be held on 14 October at 6 pm to agree the contents of the new maintenance contract.

Approved Minutes 2019 September 04

APPROVED Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council held in Dittisham Village Hall on Wednesday 4 September 2019 at 7:00p.m.

Present: Cllrs Tucker (Chairman), Anderson (Vice-Chairman), Bond, Green, Faulkner, Quinn and Nightingale were present, as were South Hams District Cllr McKay, Devon County Cllr Hawkins, A Thom (Clerk), and two members of the public.

145/19    Apologies

All councillors present.

Cllr Tucker told the meeting that Tony Westcott had resigned from the Parish Council.

146/19    Declaration of Interests

None declared

147/19    Approval of the minutes of the meetings held on 3 July and 19 July 2019.

It was resolved to approve the minutes.

148/19    Public Issues

148/19.1 Maintenance of St George’s Church

A Parishioner reported that the first phase of maintenance works is complete. Works will continue in September and October. The planned finish date is 31 October.

148/19.2 Coombe Farm Studios Mobile Airstream Planning Application

The applicant explained that the Airstream is for use by the chef because the cost of local accommodation is unaffordable, and then by friends and family if it is free. It has been on site since March 2019. They had thought that the Airstream was ancillary and therefore acceptable. The need for a 0.8 full time equivalent chef has been generated by a 70% increase in business.

149/19    Community Reports

149/19.1         South Hams District Council

South Hams District Council Councillor McKay reported SHDC is working on its response to Climate Change. The possibility of a Citizens Assembly is being discussed. That proposal is controversial. There is a problem with dog poo in public spaces. Cllr McKay favours Parish Councils having authority to decide on the management of local dog poo pollution problems.

149/19.2         Devon County Council

Devon County Hawkins reported SHDC has decided to proceed with the Health and Well Being Centre. It is planned to submit a planning application in November 2019 and for the Centre to open in Winter or Spring 2021. There is a proposed reduction in district nurses – which Cllr Hawkins does not support. DCC has been asked to fix the damaged wall at Shute Hill. Cllrs reported that the wall is getting worse, will eventually collapse, and they will send further photos.

150/19    Communications in relation to planning/tree applications.

  • 0847/19/TPO Firebird The Level Dittisham Devon TQ6 0ES. T0043, T0044, T0045, T0046 & T0051: Sycamore – coppice to ground level. Reason: to manage as hedgeline and encourage new growth at base. Replant with 20 native hedge mix. T0042: Ash – Fell due to showing signs of die back in crown and structurally weak union at base.  Split Decision. Grant of Conditonal Consent T0042: Elm – Fell with replanting condition under the exemption. Refusal of Consent for all other trees.
  • 1384/19/HHO & 1385/19/LBC1 The Old Brewhouse Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. Householder & Listed Building Consent application for replacement roof and conservation velux to the rear with stable door at first floor (Retrospective). Conditional Approval.
  • 1902/19/ARC Pond View Newlands Farm Blackawton Devon TQ9 7DR. Application for Approval of Details Reserved by Condition 12 of Planning Consent 1212/18/FUL. Discharge of condition Approved.
  • 3865/18/VAR Homelands Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. Application for variation of condition 2 of planning permission 18/2500/11/F to allow the building to be used for ancillary accommodation in connection with the main dwelling. Conditional Approval.
  • 0713/19/LBC Ferry Boat Inn Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. Listed Building Consent application to replace existing roof covering with new. Withdrawn.
  • 0479/19/VAR Darling Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plans) Application for removal or variation of condition 2 (APPROVED PLANS) following grant of planning permission18/0742/15/F. Conditional Approval.
  • 1680/19/FUL Little Coombe Farm Dittisham Devon TQ6 0JB. Continued use of land for the siting of an airstream caravan to be used for holiday use – previously granted permission under application18/2996/13/F. Conditional Approval.
  • 1737/19/PDM Barn at Capton Dittisham Dartmouth TQ6 0JE. Notification for prior approval for proposed change of use of agricultural building to 2no. dwellinghouses (Class C3) and for associated operational development(Class Q(a+b)). Prior Approval Given.

151/19    New planning/tree applications.

  • 2398/19/FUL Coombe Farm Studios Dittisham Dartmouth TQ6 0JA. Retrospective application for permission to site mobile airstream caravan unit on land for free use by family, friends and staff.

The Joint Local Plan supports local businesses which support the local economy. DPC is aware local hospitality businesses have a problem sourcing staff because of lack of affordable local accommodation.

Support (resolution proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Green)

  • 2583/19/FUL Land At SX 861 514 North of Seymour Drive Dartmouth. Erection of 9no. dwellings and associated works (resubmission of 0852/19/FUL).

Object on same grounds as the objection to the previous application on the same site (proposed Cllr Anderson, seconded Cllr Nightingale, Cllr Green abstained).

  • 2543/19/TCA Sunnybank, Manor Street, Dittisham, TQ6 0EX. T1: Larch – Fell.

Object because there are no supporting arboricultural grounds, the tree appears in good condition, loss of ash trees will lead to loss of mature trees in the village (proposed Cllr Nightingale, seconded Cllr Green)

152/19    Consultations

  • Proposed changes to Service Delivery within Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. Closes 20/9/19.

No comment will be made by DPC.

  • Parking in Dartmouth, SHDC, DCC and Dartmouth Town Council. Closes 14/10/19.

Will be on the October Agenda.

  • Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places, South Hams District Council. Closes 20/9/19.

No comment will be made by DPC

153/19    Camping on and Hire of The Ham

The meeting agreed that Cllrs Tucker, Anderson, and Faulkner would form a task and finish group to review the current camping policy & the hire of The Ham including possibly obtaining legal advice. It will consider the current documents and use of The Ham. It will report back to the 2 October meeting. The report will include whether obtaining formal legal advice is recommended. A second phase may involve a community consultation.

154/19    Reports from Councillors with Specific Responsibilities / External Forums

154/19.1         Playground Working Group

The meeting considered a decision to buy & install a birds nest swing. Three quotes were discussed. The cheapest was considered out of keeping with the location. Cllr Faulkner advised that the bolts in the preferred swing will loosen over time.

It was resolved to choose the middle priced contractor subject to the correct safety surface being confirmed and Cllr Faulkner and Nightingale will liaise regarding better fixings. If better fixings possible they will be purchased, if not DPC will proceed with the current fixings. The decision to proceed will be made by the Clerk taking advice from Cllrs Nightingale and Faulkner. The old swing will be disposed of, not sold, because DPC may be liable if it sells it.

It was resolved that DPC will remove the wooden edge and the black matting. It is expected that a saving will be made and a revised quote will be required.

154/19.2         Car Parks Working Group

An enquiry has been sent to SHDC regarding the possibility of issuing paperless permits to Dittisham Sailing Club. A reply is pending and the Group will report to the 2 October meeting.

154/19.3         Signs on Dittisham Pontoon

The possibility of asking DHNA to install large information signs and crabbing with kindness signs on the pontoon was discussed. Cllr Anderson will liaise with the Harbour Master in September and report back to a future meeting.

154/19.4         Picnic Tables on The Ham

It was resolved to spend up to £100 to purchase of the now damaged borrowed table. The table will be fixed in place on The Ham such that it is not in the way of the Air Ambulance.

155/19    Grant Policy

It was resolved to adopt the proposed Policy. Cllr Faulkner abstained.

156/19    Grant Request

This item was moved up the Agenda at the Chair’s discretion. DPC considered the request from St George’s Church for a grant toward the cost of grounds maintenance in the churchyard and cemetery. The Clerk summarised the S137 value requirement. It was noted that the Church is an important building in the Parish, provides an important facility, and the upkeep of the Church is important. It was resolved to grant £1,250 for one year.

157/19    Parish Lengthsman

Cllr Bond reported that the Lengthsman has started and things are going well. Cllr Bond’s list of priority drainage was discussed. The lengthsman liaises with Cllr Bond and provides a monthly written report. Cllrs Tucker and Green will assist in talking to landowners as required. The PC sends its thanks for the work done by the Lengthsman and the excellent approach.

158/19    Standards and Governance Training, 3/10/19, Follaton House

Cllr Quinn was nominated to attend. A report on the training will be emailed by Cllr Quinn to Parish Councillors. Cllr Quinn will also present the content to a meeting of Councillors if the training content justifies.

159/19    Co-option of a Parish Councillor

It was agreed that if there is no call for an election, the Clerk will advertise the two vacancies for the following two weeks. The interview of any candidates will be on Wednesday 16 October, at 6:00 pm unless Cllrs require a different time of day.

160/19    Financial Matters

160/19.1         Financial Report

The version sent on 4 September which showed a balance of £59,918.67 and unearmarked reserves of £-1,050.55 was approved.

160/19.2         Payments

It was resolved to approve the following payments:

  • Maintenance Contractor 18/19 contract                          £4,700.00
  • Rattery Sawmill    Picnic Tables – two                             £408.00
  • SHDC    RingGo overpayment reimbursement               £226.26
  • G Anderson           Copy maps                                          £26.40
  • R Bond                  Ground anchor reimbursement          £10.89
  • Clerk       Office expenses reimbursement                       £109.37

Cllr Tucker reminded Cllrs to be aware that some of the information it has access to is commercial in confidence sensitive information. Councillors can bring the council into disrepute.

160/19.3         Overtime

No overtime claim made.

160/19.4         HMRC Employers’ National Insurance

It was resolved to approve payment of historical HMRC Employers’ NI debt £317.42.

160/19.5         Interim Budget

It was resolved to approve the proposed interim budget. The budget allocates increased funds to staff costs in the current budget and to the sick leave reserve, reduces the budgeted extra loan repayment, and DPC will determine the actual extra loan repayment in its March 2020 meeting.

160/19.6         Request for grants from the Parish of Dittisham Charity

The request by DPC for grants from the Parish of Dittisham Charity to support purchase of the defibrillators and the night landing column were confirmed.

160/19.7         The Ham Toilets Pay on Entry

It was resolved to offer SHDC an annual payment of £1,000 to remove the pay on entry.

160/19.8         Dittisham Village Hall building works and processes

Cllr Tucker explained that a meeting has been held with a representative of the Village Hall Management Committee to clarify DPC’s responsibilities and liabilities for the Hall and the responsibility of representative trustees on the VHMC. It has been established that DPC is a Custodian Trustee. The VHMC is responsible for the Hall and DPC is indemnified. DPC is a leasee and at end of the lease is with the PCC responsible to hand the Hall back to the Exeter Diocese in an acceptable condition. The VHMC are all trustees. The VHMC representative suggested a sinking fund for any end of lease works. The Village Hall would put in an equal amount. This proposal will be added to the next budget. Further discussions are needed with the VHMC to formalise the proposal. DPC will request an annual report from the VHMC on the physical state of the Hall – to be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council each May.

160/19.9         Clerk’s Payscale

It was noted that the Clerk’s agreed payscale is correctly named SCP 28 on the revised scale.

160/19.10       Bank Account signatories

It was resolved to add Cllr Anderson to the mandate for both DPC bank accounts and that he will be an electronic transactions signatory.

161/19    Correspondence


  • Letter to thank the Dittisham Regatta Committee for its donation of £2,100 for a defibrillator near the pontoon
  • Valuation Office Agency Request for Information Non-Domestic Rating for The Level car park & for The Ham car park.


  • SHDC, Request for Town or Parish Council’s views on the withdrawal, over two years, of the payment of the Council Tax Support Grant.

162/19    Next meeting

It was confirmed that the next meeting of Dittisham Parish Council will be on 2 October 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Cllr Tucker gave his apologies that he will be late of possibly absent from that meeting due to a conflicting commitment.