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Westleigh Parish Council – Minutes of Remote (Zoom) meeting Wednesday 7th Ocober 2020

The next remote meeting of Westleigh Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday 4th November

Attendees – Cllrs Fairbrother, Gear, Heard, Frajbis, Burgess, and Farrell-Roberts. Also CCllr Frank Biederman and Parish Clerk Roger Levick (PC)


1. Apologies received in respect of the meeting – DCllr and MP Selaine Saxby

2. Declarations of Interest – to receive Declarations of Interests from Councillors of any disclosable, pecuniary, or other Interests in items on the agenda – none received

3. Minutes – to confirm and agree the signing of the minutes of the meeting held on the 2nd September 2020. Actions agreed to be updated – all actions completed apart from the painting of the Eastleigh phone box (defibrillator) PC to contact NM to chase. Cllr Gear asked for dates from Cllr’s to meet up with Tapeley regarding the possible Orchard in Sticks Field. Cllr Gear to chase. Cllr Farrell-Roberts informed the meeting that the footpath signs at Treyhill are still missing – PC to write to relevant persons.

4. Correspondence and Communications – to include a summary of C&C received from the Chair and Clerk – a 1:10,000 Parish Map had been recieved from DCC, showing all footpaths and rights of way. PC tasked to obtain copies in a smaller size for all Cllrs. Cllr Heard attended remotely the Litchardon Cross Solar meeting – report below
I attended the meeting via zoom on 30th Sept to discuss how best to administer the Community Benefit Fund should Aura Power be successful in their planning application for the Litchardon Cross Solar Farm. As you will see from the minutes of the meeting it was considered appropriate for Horwood, Lovacott and Newton Tracey to act as the administrator of the Fund. The 5 nearby Parish Councils should each nominate a representative to form the Trust and will duly have one vote. If the developer is able to secure planning permission for the scheme proposed, the yearly payment to the Trust would be £17,465 for 35 years. Of this, £2000 a year is to be set aside for local schools to attend educational sessions. Alternatively, the developer would be prepared to make a single lump sum payment of c £188k. Clearly until we know if the planning application is successful all we can do for now is decide if we are all happy to accept what was discussed at the meeting and to report back to Aura Power accordingly.

5. County and District Ward Members reports – in person or via email – CCllr Biederman updated the Council on the concerns that had been raised, notably the ongoing concern regarding the speed of vehicles at the junction of the Bideford-Instow road with the turn to Westleigh. The Council strongly feel that it is going to take a death to make DCC Highways sit up and take notice. CCllr Biederman assured the Council that he will ‘keep on’ until something is done! Again, a DCC Highways issue is that large vehicles still attempt to squeeze through Westleigh’s narrow streets, with another example of the wall outside the Old Chapel being demolished. CCllr Biederman was asked to look into additional signage, warning of the narrow roads, and the possibility of informing Sat-Nav companies of these issues. DCllr Saxby although not present, continues to maintain regular contact with the Parish, and has offered a £200 grant towards the completing of the phone box décor at Eastleigh. The Council were unanimous in their acceptance. PC to apply through the usual channels

Public Session – as the meeting is not an Open Meeting due to Covid-19 restrictions, and the unavailability of the Parish Hall, there will be no Public Session. However, Parishioners are asked to forward any questions, or subjects they would like raised to the Parish Clerk on Westleigh.Clerk@gmail.com by the 6th October – an email had been received regarding the possibility of a ‘dog poo’ bin being sited in the village, following a large black bag full of said ‘dog poo’ being left on the side of the road. After much discussion, it was decided not to apply for one, as this was deemed to be a ‘one-off’, and also when bins had been provided before, they caused more issues than they solved.

6. Finance – to receive an update on the current position, to receive accounts to pay, to note any income received, and any other matters relating – 2 invoices needed payment authorising, 1) Clerk’s quarterly salary (£522.22), and 2) Grass cutting from Harris Gardening Services (£75). Effective balance after authorisation was £5631.90p

7. Planning matters – any issues that need raising – none raised

8. Eastleigh Defibrillator – update on phone box painting – already covered in minutes

9. Highway issues – already covered in CCllr report

10. Footpath signage update – PC already tasked

11. Environmental issues update – it was noted that due to fields not having been ploughed, the run off onto the main Bideford Instow road was much less, and cleaner. Mr Beale from West Living had also made some ‘improvements’ to the drainage which he had shown to the adjoining Farmer, which he considered was progress in sorting the ‘mud’ issues affecting his, and others properties. Cllr Burgess noted that she had observed a Peregrine Falcon on her garden fence – ‘a beautiful sight’ she said!

12. Bus shelter mural and sponsorship update – nearing completion

13. Agenda items for the next meeting (Wednesday 4th November)

14. Any other business not covered – none received

Cllr David Fairbrother – Chairman