PRESENT:  Councillor Miss G Edsell (Chairman, Councillors J Bennett, Mrs J Lock (arrived during Minute No. 137.2), K Moore, B Tilbury, Mrs L Wilkinson.

Also in attendance:  County Councillor F Biederman, District Councillor B Moores, 1 member of the public and Mrs S Squire, Parish Clerk.

133.     Apologies.   None.

134.     Declarations of Interest. 
Councillor Moore declared a Prejudicial Interest in Minute No. 139.1 – Planning Application 58715, erection of a 4.5mW solar photovoltaic power plant at Collacott Farm, Newton Tracey.

135.     Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting held on 07/01/15.
Approved and signed as a correct record.

136.     Public Participation regarding items not on the Agenda.
No items raised.

137.     Reports:
137.1   Police.  Not present. Subsequent to the Meeting, it was advised there had been no reported crimes for the period 12/1/15 to 11/2/15.

137.2   County Councillor F Biederman spoke about the Old Barnstaple – Bideford Road, particularly mentioning the potholes.
Councillor Bennett advised they had been filled and informed that previously, a young lady moped rider had crashed because of hitting one, writing off her moped.  A claim is being pursued against DCC as a result. 
County Councillor Biederman advised that DCC had secured £7 million funding for road works from the government.

137.3  District Councillor B Moores advised there was noting of any note to report.  Preparations were being made for the District Council Election on 7 May.
District Councillor Moores enquired if The Orchards had been completed and it was confirmed by Councillor Tilbury that the development was finished with the last three properties allocated.  It was considered that a very good job had been done

137.4   Mrs S Squire, Parish Clerk – Attendance at ‘Preparing for Elections’ training course organised by the Devon Association of Local Councils in South Molton.  A written Report would follow. Mrs Squire advised that nomination papers would be available from 9 March and it was important that anyone wishing to stand completed their form earlier rather than later to give adequate time for any errors to be corrected.
It would be necessary for those who wished to stand to hand deliver their nomination form in person to ND Council Election Office which would be based at the Civic Centre until June 2015, who were not moving to Lynton House in April with the other Departments.

Mrs Squire explained that if seven or less nominations were received in respect of the number of seats for the Wards of Horwood Lovacot and Newton Tracey, there would not be an election and those people who had put themselves forward would be deemed to have been elected, regardless of whether there had been an election or not.
It was essential for newly elected Councillors to sign the relevant paperwork by 25 May. 
It would not be possible to have the May Meeting on the second Wednesday in the month (13 May) as the Parish Council election votes would not be counted until Monday 11 May.  This would not allow the three clear days notice to be given for a Meeting.
Councillors noted that usually in May, the Annual Parish Meeting was held ahead of the Annual Parish Council Meeting (AGM).

It was decided to hold the Annual Parish Meeting ahead of the April Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday, 8 April at 7pm.
The Annual Parish Council Meeting (AGM) would be held on Friday, 15 May at 4pm.
This would include the election of officers.

It would not be necessary for any of the present Councillors to resign, as the life of the current Council would have come to an end at the Election and therefore Councillors’ term of office would automatically expire.  It could not be assumed that current Councillors wished to continue and that it would be necessary for a nomination form to be completed if they wished to stand for the next four year term.

138.     Matters Arising.
138.1   Information Board by the Memorial at Horwood.  This was further discussed.
An email had been received from a member of the public enquiring clarification on the Chairman’s thoughts.
A reply to be sent informing that the proposal had never been for a notice board to be at the site, rather a small information board containing supplementary information about the six airmen who lost their lives in the field adjoining the memorial site.
After further discussion, a most generous offer was made by the Horwood Councillors that this information could appear on the Horwood Website and in Horwood Church.  The information will be replicated on the notice boards at Lovacott and Newton Tracey.
Action Point:  Clerk to reply to the email.

138.2   Fly Tipping.  It was noted that the tractor tyre on the road towards Horwood had been reported.   Councillors advised it was still at the location. 

139.     Planning.
139.1   58715 – Erection of a 4.5 Mw solar photovoltaic power plant, together with inverters, transformers, substation & other ancillary equipment – Collacott Farm, Lane to Collacott Farm, Newton Tracey.
Councillor K Moore declared a Prejudicial Interest, left the room and did not take part in the discussion, decision or voting thereon.

It was resolved to reply:
Horwood Lovacott & Newton Tracey Parish Council as the adjoining Parish wish to recommend refusal on the grounds of:
Visual impact on our parishioners at Holmacott and possibily also Horwood.
Further cumulative industrialisation of the landscape when added to Collacott’s existing turbine.
Further visual distraction to motorists again added to the turbine.
Sun glare hazard for motorists using the two roads passing nearby, one of which is an A road.

140.     Planning Correspondence. 
140.1   Application 58565 – Approval of details in respect of discharge of Condition (4) attached to Planning Permission 50965 at Marsh Farm, Lower Lovacott, Newton Tracey.  A letter from ND Council was noted confirming that after consideration of the details submitted, these are acceptable.  The requirement to provide acceptable details of these conditions is therefore discharged.

140.2   Newton Tracey Development.  It was noted that the Clerk had sought guidance from Ms J Jayes, Housing Official at ND Council as per Minute No. 126.1 of the Meeting held on 14/1/15, who confirmed that the Parish Council had acted correctly and followed the correct procedure not to carry out a Survey which was the responsibility of the developer. 

140.3   Application 58574 – Prior approval Application for change of use from agricultural building to a dwelling house MB (A) (B) at barn at Holmacott, Holmacott Farm, Instow.  It was noted that the Application had been WITHDDRAWN.
These details had been received after the Agenda had been prepared and sent.

141.     Finance. 

141.1   The following payments were approved and authorised:
Mrs S Squire   (Cheque No. 000058)                                                 
February Salary                                                                             £89.44
Back Pay from January                                                                  £  2.01
Consolidated payment (final)                                                         £  6.00
Contribution towards Broadband                                                   £  3.00
Photocopying                                                                                 £14.85
Contribution towards petrol expenses (6 months)                             £ 30.00          
Shared contribution for DALC Election course, parking & petrol   £  4.55          
Reimbursement for 2 x vouchers (Citizen of the Year) & postage £20.99  £170.84                       

HMRC  (Cheque No. 000059)                           February PAYE                £  22.40

141.2   Balance of the Lloyds Treasurers Account as at 21/1/15: £8,366.87

            Balance of the Santander Business Account as at 7/2/15: £13.74

            Budgetary figures for January 2015 were circulated.

 141.3   2015/16 Parish Precept / Parish Grant. It was noted that the paperwork had been submitted to ND Council.

 141.4   Appointment of Internal Auditor for 2015. The accounts and Annual Return now have to be inspected by a qualified accountant in accordance with details received from the Parish Council’s insurance providers.
The Clerk suggested appointing South & West Internal Audit with whom she deals with for a number of her other Councils.  The staff are ex Audit Commission employees.
The scale of charges are based on expenditure and having checked the last two years accounts, it was noted that this fell into the tier of up to £10,000 at a cost of £90.

Proposed by Councillor Bennett, seconded by Councillor Mrs Wilkinson and unanimously agreed to appoint South and West Internal Audit to be the Parish Council’s internal auditors. 

Action Point: Clerk to convey the Parish Council’s thanks to Mr K Stoate for auditing the accounts in the past and request the services of South & West Internal Audit. 

142.     Correspondence.
142.1   Department for Communities & Local Government.  Transparency code for smaller authorities.  Taken by Councillor Miss Edsell to read and circulate to other Councillors.

142.2   Rural Housing Alliance.  Affordable Rural Housing: A practical guide for Parish Councils.  Taken by Councillor Bennett to read and circulate to other Councillors.

142.3   DCC. Details of a road closure on 16/4/15 for one day.  Road from Horwood Cross to Newton Cross, Lower Lovacott outside the Village Hall to install a new duct.
Notices advertising this had been printed by the Clerk and taken by Councillors for the three notice boards.

142.4   DCC.  Details of a road closure from 10/3/15 – 12/3/15 from Furze Ball to Hoopers Cottage for patching works.
Notices advertising this had been printed by the Clerk and taken by Councillors for the three notice boards.

142.4   ND Council.  Details of an Open Halls Event in April 2015.  Circulated to Councillors.

142.5   ND Council.  Details of Timetable for District & Parish Elections on 7/5/15.  Circulated to Councillors.

142.6   TAP (Town & Parish) Fund Meeting of Fremington Rural held on 19/1/15.

142.7   DCC Highways. Following a request concerning the clearance of debris along the Lovacott Cross towards Lovacott Green route, a reply had been received from Highways advising that this work would be added to the potential cleaning list for next year (2016/17) dependent upon available funding.  If the Parish was interested, this would be ideal works for the proposed Road Warden Scheme.
Action Point:  The Clerk to reply that the Road Warden Scheme had not progressed so the work could not be taken up in this way and Councillors hoped that the work could be done during 2016/17.

143.     Parish Council Compliance.

143.1   Statement of Internal Control. This is a new item for audit this year.
Councillors had studied the document.
Proposed by Councillor Miss Edsell to adopt, seconded by Councillor Bennett and unanimously agreed.            

143.2   Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme.  This was deferred to the March Meeting.

143.3   Policies:  The following was reviewed: 
Equal Opportunity
Grant Giving
Complaints Procedure

Proposed by Councillor Bennett to approve and adopt, seconded by Councillor Tilbury and unanimously agreed. 

144.     Notices & Publications Received   None received.

145.     Items raised by Councillors/Clerk.
145.1   Councillor Bennett raised his concerns about the state of roads and verges.
The potholes at Pill Head House were again discussed.  Councillor Bennett considered that despite what is said about extra funding being received from the government for road repairs, rural areas appear to be missing out, adding that the  verges towards Rooty Cross are in a terrible state, the edges of the road are collapsing. 

In addition the road receives a lot of traffic due to accidents on Belladown Hill.  It was felt that the roads are in such a state that the time has come for them to be repaired.
Action Point:  The Clerk to send a letter of representation to DCC Highways.

145.2  Councillor Miss Edsell spoke about Newton Cross junction where the grass had been churned up by heavy lorries.  In an effort to put the area back to as it looked before, Councillors will assist her in stepping down the mud.

146.     Items for the next Agenda.    Those identified from these Minutes and quarterly inspection of Parish Council assets.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 11 March 2015 in Horwood & Newton Tracey Primary School at 7.30pm.    The Meeting ended at 9.20pm.

Horwood, Lovacott and Newton Tracey Parish Council