Annual Parish Meeting 29th May 2023

Minutes Uploaded on July 19, 2023


DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held.

In Cornworthy Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 29th May 2023

Present: Cllr Tuppen (Chair), Cllr Bailey (Vice Chair), Cllr Hunt, Cllr Finn, Cllr Fowler, Cllr Thompson, Cllr Hubbard, and Cllr Hawkins (DCC) were present as was C Campos Parish Clerk.

  1. Chairmans Report

Cllr Tuppen  opened the meeting by thanking  the previous Parish Council for their many years of service. He noted that a Parish meeting should be about listening, not just reporting so suggested that after each item,  there  could be questions from the floor about that item before moving on to the next one. He then asked every Councillor to briefly introduce themselves. He noted that the Council has received a solid mandate from the people of Cornworthy and on behalf of all  the Council  undertook that they would do their very best to serve the community and asked anyone who had a problem to get in touch to discuss any issues.

  • Finance Report

Cllr Hubbard noted that in January 2022 the Council had  £24,000 in the bank including the legal requirement to hold a year’s running costs in reserves . This year  the Council has its reserves and the Council’s running costs with not much left over.  A resident asked if it was possible to see an updated Asset Register. The Clerk replied that this will be uploaded to the CPC website once it has been updated. A resident asked if there were any big, unexpected costs Cllr Hubbard referenced the need to employ a Lengthsmans to maintain the Village. He also mentioned that many tasks are handled  by other authorities such as SHDC. Cllr Tuppen took that opportunity to thank the resident who has performed the lengths man role for many years.

  • VETS

A resident explained the scheme is  run by volunteers  who are contactable by a single telephone number in the event of  a resident needing  a Defibrillator or basic First Aid. A handout explaining the scheme will be designed and distributed to every household in the Parish in the next few weeks. She noted that in the event of the Cornworthy De Fib not working a contingency plan has been put in place.

  • Defibrillators

Cllr Fowler said that he had only recently assumed responsibility for the defibs  so was still learning the ropes. A new battery for the Cornworthy defib will be ordered and both the Community Heartbeat Trust and Southwest Ambulance Services are  aware of the situation. There have been issues with reporting the status of the Parish defibs, but he hopes to resolve these issues. Cllr Tuppen also  assured the meeting that every effort was being made to sort this out. Cllr Fowler emphasised that although the Cornworthy defib was showing a low battery, it still has nine charges and that there are two other fully functioning defibs in East Cornworthy and Allaleigh. A  resident asked if there would be any further training. The VETS co-ordinator confirmed that this will be formally organised on annual basis and several informal sessions will also be arranged.

  • Climate Change

Cllr Tuppen explained that the Cornworthy Ward Member for SHDC, Cllr McKay is also the portfolio holder for Climate Change and Nature. He was unable to attend the APM but had sent a report which was read out by Cllr Thompson. He reported that there will be a target to reduce CO2 emissions across the district by 12% per year, giving a 40% reduction over 4 years.

There will be an annual budget of £0.5M for Climate Change and Nature, which represents about 5% of the Council’s budget and is a recognition that we have a real emergency to be dealt with.

SHDC  will be setting up a small Advisory Panel of local experts whose brief will be to help design a programme of work to achieve the carbon reduction targets and the natural environment recovery required. This needs to be an integrated plan and not just a series of unconnected projects.

Parish Councils will be key partners in this process. One idea is to invite members to a series of hybrid meeting (i.e., at Follaton and online) to help outline plans and to get ideas and feedback. A resident mentioned that other communities have set up organisations such as Sustainable Ashprington and Sustainable Dartmouth and asked if there would  be interest in setting up Sustainable  Cornworthy. Cllr Tuppen thought there would be  and said he will meet with the resident to discuss moving this initiative forward.

  • P3 Parish Paths

Cllr Finn  explained the scheme is a partnership between Parish Councils, local volunteers, and Devon County Council. The aim is to harness local resources, knowledge, and skills to complement the work of DCC in improving the condition of the local Rights of Way and keeping them open and used in a correct and responsible way.

P3 involves an agreement between the Parish Council and Devon County which highlights responsibilities and paths included for maintenance and in return the Parish receives a grant towards the upkeep and improvement work. The grant can also be spent on training, equipment, insurance and promoting paths and parish walks.

To receive the grant an annual inspection survey is undertaken of all paths. This assessment of the conditions of the rights of way is the basis on which the grant calculation bid is made.

Cornworthy has 16 footpaths totalling 6.74 miles.

In 2022-23 Maintenance work was carried out on footpaths 1, 5 and 6 which involved replacing signage, cutting back hedges and adding anti-slip mesh to a footbridge.  An invoice from the contractor  for £423.00 was received on 3/2/23 and this has been paid.

DCC also undertook tree clearance due to ash die back on footpath 1a and 1b in November 20022.

All footpaths have been surveyed, and a funding bid was made in February 2023. Funding of £1,000 was confirmed by DCC in May. Bringing the  balance of the P3 account to £1,077.00.

CPC will need to find another contractor/volunteer group to undertake future Right of Way works as the present incumbent  has confirmed that he will be retiring shortly. Cllr Finn wanted to record grateful thanks to him as he  has undertaken the footpath works and liaising with landowners over the last five years.

A resident asked of any local groups had been  involved in the project. Cllr Finn said not to her knowledge but if such a group  did want to get involved there were resources such as training that they would be able to access. A resident asked how the Parishes footpaths were promoted.

Cllr Finn mentioned that a new map showing all the parish’s footpaths was being sourced . Also, she would like  to organise a  Beating the Bounds where an event to walk the Parish boundaries is arranged and open to all. She suggested a leaflet showing all the paths could be produced and placed in the Church, Pub etc for visitors to use  to enjoy the lovely local walks. A map  could be  put on the  CPC website.

  • Charlecombe Woods

Cllr Hunt reported that the Woodland Trust were planning to come and cut the paths mid to late

June. She asked Cllr Finn if  the bridges in the wood fell into the P3 remit. Cllr Fin replied that they would be the responsibility of the Woodland Trust. A resident asked what the Woodland Trust position was on Ash Dieback . Cllr Hunt said they just let it take it’s course unless there is a danger to the public.

  • Village Hall

Cllr  Finn stated that It has been a successful year for Cornworthy Village Hall; the first year since the Covid outbreak that the hall has been fully open and operating without any restrictions. The committee have held four popular fund- raising events over the year and the Hunter’s Lodge has been generous in their support of the hall arranging two events where proceeds were shared between the hall and other charities. A film night, with the newly formed Film Club, in celebration of the Coronation was  organised and the Hall hosted ‘People and Place’s a celebration of Cornworthy life over the Coronation weekend.

On behalf of the Committee, she  thanked to all the volunteers who worked so hard to support all these events which  have raised about £4,000 and covered the running costs of the hall this year.

The Building Surveyor has updated her estimates and the VHC have a 5-year maintenance schedule (including both capital upgrades and repair items) with which to prioritise and plan necessary works.

The  first priority is to mend the leak in the dormer window neighbouring the graveyard and this work is scheduled for June. The hall has been repainted and on behalf of the VHC she thanked everyone who has donated their professional skills, electrical and decoration, in particular in support of the improvements and essential upgrades over the last year.

The VHC have been successful in moving to the second round of the ACRE Jubilee Village Hall grant application process. They are bidding for works up to the value of £75,000 of which the grant would contribute 20% (£15,000) if successful. The Hall Committee needs to find a further £60,000 in match funding. Fundraising, with the Just Giving appeal and private donors has raised £26,500. The hall has reserves of £20,000 it is putting towards the bid. The Committee would like to thank the PC for their previous support and grant of £750 towards this funding bid. With further grant applications and fund-raising it is hoped  the VHC  can meet the shortfall or the grant would need to be returned.

If the grant funding bids are not successful, then they do have the funds needed (from donations and reserves) to progress repair works identified as being urgent under the maintenance schedule and would also include the upgrades to the heating.

Cllr Tuppen then spoke to clarify the Parish Council’s position on the Village Hall. He stated that  Cornworthy has a village hall and  that the council unanimously supports the village hall, with all future council meetings being held in the hall. He urged the whole village to support the trustees and make the most of the only village hall we currently have. He noted that for the past eighteen months there has been some discussion, misunderstandings and even dispute around the possibility a new village hall. He has discussed this with some of those involved in that proposal and it was agreed that such a scheme would take several years to reach completion, with many hurdles along the way, not least planning approval but including fund raising expected to be in excess of £400,000.

He said if a fully costed design and build package plus a viable fund raising and operating plan for a new village were to be prepared and presented to this Council, it would be given the Council’s full and balanced consideration. He raised the question of a village vote but concluded that currently there is nothing to vote on. A resident asked if outline planning permission  for a  new village hall had been paid for and submitted in CPC’s name . Cllr Tuppen said it had not and that earlier the Council had reversed a resolution made in March not to support the Village Hall.

  • Dame Elizabeth Harris & John Peter Charity  

A Trustee stated  that during the 2021 financial year, 28 gifts were made to 37 parishioners at a cost of about £1,238. The sum distributed was roughly double the usual amount and took into account monies which had accrued but not been distributed in 2020 due to the practical difficulties arising from the pandemic. The charity’s main source of revenue in the year was rental income from land. A meeting took place on 16th November 2021 to approve the accounts to 31st December 2020. These show a total of £1,741 in the current bank account and in hand, and £1,029 in the Business Reserve account (these figures do not include payments made during the year but not cleared through the bank account by the end of it). The trustees intend to hold a further meeting in the Autumn of 2022 following which it is expected a further distribution will be made.

  1. Cllr Jonathan Hawkins DCC

Cllr Hawkins introduced himself and stressed he was happy to be contacted by residents. He suggested that CPC could apply to the  Highways Enhancement Fund to offset the Lengthsman costs. He offered the Parish Council  £750 from his Locality Fund for a specific project. He mentioned that the Dartmouth Youth Group is open to Cornworthy young people and is completely free. He also mentioned that the Dartmouth Food Bank is available for any resident that needs help.

A resident noted that the Councils benches  were overdue to be treated. Another  resident observed that the retaining wall by the Oak tree should be kept free of weeds. It was asked if this meeting had been a one off and Cllr Tuppen replied that it was an annual meeting to a prescribed format but that he was keen to meet with  residents on an informal basis. Cllr Fowler reminded everyone that all Parish Council meetings are open to the public. Cllr Tuppen thanked everyone for attending.

The next Parish Council Meeting is on Monday 12th June 2023 at 7.30pm


DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held.

In Cornworthy Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 29th May 2023