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Newton St Cyres Parish Council

Minutes of Newton St Cyres Parish Council Meeting held in the Parish Hall Club Room on Thursday 2 December 2021 

The meeting commenced at 7.00pm

Members present

Cllr J Enright (Chair)                              Cllr S Parker

Cllr R Cashmore                                     Cllr G Quicke

Cllr D Hodge                                          Cllr C Southcott

Cllr L Ouldridge                                     Cllr P Taylor

In attendance:  4 members of public (3 left after the Public Participation), J Hole, Parish Clerk

Public Participation

A representative from the Newton Environment and Wellbeing Group reported that the project to map places that parishioners value was progressing.  The group were proposing to host a Community Forum event in April 2022 to look at climate issues and to find out what parishioners want to see in the parish.  This could help with the Parish Councils Neighbourhood Plan.  The group would value the Parish Councils support and assistance.  Cllr J Enright noted that assistance could be given with publicity and other assistance could be considered nearer the time.

A parishioner spoke in favour of turning the Village Green into a wildflower meadow and an outline proposal had been circulated.    Discussion took place and it was agreed that a more detailed proposal was required including how and who would maintain it, together with wider consultation of parishioners, especially those who live close to the Village Green.   It was hoped this could be picked up in one of the surveys which would be conducted next year as part of the Neighbourhood Plan

A letter was read out from a Tytheing Close resident asking for the new houses on the old school site to have at least 3 car parking space to stop cars parking at Tytheing Close.  It was noted that overall there were in excess of 20 parking spaces which was considered to be adequate.

A parishioner suggested that white lines in Station Road might help with pedestrian visibility.  Clerk to ask DCC.

Climate Officers report – notes from the second meeting with MDDC Climate Emergency Officer had been circulated, two councillors had attended.  Two specific ideas had emerged from the meetings – information boards and a series of articles for the Newton Wonder which would detail climate related actions that parishioners could consider.  Both were waiting for MDDC to finalise and the Climate Officer would chase these up.

Formal Business 

01/12/21      Apologies

Cllr G Scopes, Cllr M Squires (another meeting) 

02/12/21      Declaration of Interest

None noted

 03/12/21      Minutes of the last meeting held on Thursday 4 November 2021

Agreed and signed as a true record 

04/12/21      Mid Devon District Council

4.1                 Planning Applications:

21/01501/FULL - Demolition of existing school buildings, including adjacent detached classroom buildings and erection of 8 dwellings with garages at former Primary School Site, Newton St Cyres – Revised plans.   Clerk to comment that paved areas are not specified as permeable paviours and this is preferable particularly on slopes as it deals better with surface water run-off. 

21/01602/HOUSE - Erection of two single storey extensions and conversion of garage to habitable accommodation at Priestcombe, Newton St Cyres – no comment

4.2                 Planning Decisions:             


4.3                 To note consultation on Crediton Neighbourhood plan


4.4                 District Councillor, Cllr G Barnell, to report on MDDC business relevant to the Parish to include

i) Update on New Estate bank ii) A377 Action Group meeting and iii) repairs to council housing

Cllr G Barnell reported that following the estate walkaround with the MDDC Housing Officer, pot hole repairs would be undertaken in Tytheing Close.  Car parking in Tytheing Close were making it difficult for the refuse lorry to make collections and MDDC would be sending letters to residents and may also consider erecting signs stating no parking.   At New Estate, MDDC had agreed to clear a blocked footpath and would also cut the hedge by the road to aid visibility, with no re-charge to home owners.  Trees planted in gardens were the responsibility of the home owner to cut and maintain and this would be noted in the press report in the Newton Wonder.

The notes from the last A377 Action Group meeting had been circulated. An urban environment study commissioned by Crediton Town Council suggested ways to make the environment more pedestrian friendly and this could be of interest to areas such as Half Moon.  DCC had agreed to fund a route suitability study for the Boniface Trail concentrating on the route between Crediton and Newton St Cyres. The consultants would start work in the new year and consultation would take place with the Boniface Trail Group.

With regard to the planning application at old school site, the result of the arbitration re whether a S106 contribution would be due was still outstanding.  Cllr G Barnell and Cllr J Enright had met with DCC Senior Highways Development Manager at the site and they had agreed that a crossing should be considered.  If a S106 contribution was due then it was important that the contribution was earmarked for a crossing and Cllr G Barnell would inform the Planning Officer that a crossing scheme was being worked on.   The size of the gate in Sand Down Lane had been reduced and the hedge would be reinstated.  The developer had stated they would maintain in perpetuity a small grass strip close to Sand Down Lane.  It was suggested that the new residents should set up a Management Committee to negotiate with the developer and perhaps request a sum of money for the residents to maintain the area.


05/12/21      Finance

5.1                 Update on Change to Unity Bank

The Clerk reported that the current account would transfer from NatWest to Unity on 8 December.  Cllrs had been sent login details and would let the Clerk know when they had successfully gained access to the internet account.

5.2                 Parish Council Receipts Current Account:  None

5.3                 Parish Council Payments Current Account:

These were agreed as: 




Amount £


Ron Nethercott

Grass cutting new churchyard



Stephen Parker

Contribution towards electricity used by Vodafone booster




RWS equipment



J Hole

Reimbursement for defib pads for Rec



J Hole

Reimbursement for Code of Practice for RWS



J Hole

Salary and expenses






The Clerk was waiting for Greenham’s to set up an online account.  The company would not accept cheques.  Once two councillors could access internet banking, the clerk would confirm the total cost and this would be paid online.

5.4                 To approve signatures for this month’s cheques 

Cllr L Ouldridge and Cllr R Cashmore

5.5                 Balances (after above transactions)

5.5.1               Parish Council Current Account balance: £14,097.89

5.5.2               Footpath Account: £268.02 

5.5.3               Car Park resurfacing fund balance: £7,514.65

5.6                 Financial Statement and Budget Monitor


5.7                 Bank Reconciliation – for checking and signing by cheque signatories

5.8                 To agree budget and precept for 2022/23

A draft budget had been circulated.  It was resolved to keep the precept the same as last year at £13,431.00.  

06/12/21      Matters raised by the Chair

6.1                 Update on Neighbourhood Plan

This would be picked up again in the new year once MDDC had confirmed the end of the consultation process.        

6.2                 Update on Affordable Housing grant for Community Led Affordable Housing             

The Clerk had received details of how to apply for the affordable housing grant.  The Affordable housing developer was willing to pay for a Housing Needs Survey but Devon Communities Together (DCT) were not able to tailor their housing needs survey to include specific questions.  MDDC may also consider paying for the survey and would liaise with DCT. 

07/12/21      Councillor’s Reports            

7.1                 Areas of Responsibility reports

7.1.1              Allotments – update

Letters to make improvements had been sent to two allotment holders and it was reported that one untidy allotment would be given up soon.  The Clerk had received an enquiry for an allotment and it was agreed to wait until either one plot is given up or notice is given to the unkempt plots. Cllr L Ouldridge had visited the allotments and generally they are looking much tidier.

7.1.2              Surgery - Report from November

Reports of Dog mess in Pump Street – Clerk to put up MDD Signs

Clerk to confirm date of next surgery and Cllr J Enright to attend

7.1.3              Maintenance of rain gauge – visit scheduled for 21 December


7.1.4              Footpaths – Cllr S Parker reported that two large trees were in the river by FP 4.  Clerk to report to the Environment Agency and inform PROW.  An article was circulated which detailed actions land owners with PROW on their land should consider.  A new tree disease had been found in Cornwall (phytophthora pluvialis) which affects western hemlock, Douglas fir, tanoak and several pine species.  Sighting should be reported to the Forestry Commission

7.1.5              Arboretum – were considering re-instating the pond in order to increase biodiversity

7.1.6              Community Resilience Plan – a co-ordinators meeting was scheduled for next week.


08/12/21      Clerk’s Report

8.1                 To agree Christmas card list

Clerk to send ecards to volunteers 

09/12/21      Parish Council

9.1                 Climate – update from Climate Officer; feedback from MDDC Climate session for Councillors; to consider paper on Village Green

Discussed in the public session

9.2                 Road Warden Scheme – update on storage for tools and equipment

One of the volunteers would be able to store the hand tools on a temporary basis.  The Parish Hall would consider a storage unit in its grounds and once the tools had been purchased, the size of storage could be estimated. Long term, storage was still required for a lockable trailer.

9.3                 To consider delegating authority to the Clerk to respond to planning applications that are received in December and January following email correspondence with Councillors

This was agreed.

9.4                 To consider options for Cloud Storage

Cllr R Cashmore suggested that any correspondence circulated to Cllrs should be stored in the cloud so it could be easily accessed by parishioners through a published link.  Clerk and Cllr R Cashmore to discuss further in the New Year.

9.5                 Trains stopping at Newton St Cyres station

Cllr C Southcott reported that following the opening of the Okehampton to Crediton line, trains were stopping at NSC Station a couple of times a day.  Clerk to publicise. 

10/12/21      Devon County Council

10.1               Outstanding Highways issues

There were no updates.  It was noted that the grit bin had been moved across to Tytheing Close

10.2               New Highway issues  

None noted

10.3               Update from Highways Conference

Councillors had not attended.

10.4               County Councillor, Cllr M Squires, to report on DCC business relevant to the parish

There was no report 

11/12/21      Miscellaneous Correspondence

Various newsletters circulated; Consultation by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service 

12/12/21      Minor Matters and Items for Future Agenda

None noted

13/12/21      Date of next PC meeting: Thursday 3 February 2022, 7pm in the Club Room, Parish Hall

End of Formal Business

Public Participation - There was none and the meeting closed at 9pm

Agreed budget and precept