Minutes May 2016

Minutes of the meeting of Michaelstow Council Meeting held in the Treveighan Methodist Chapel on Thursday 12th May 2016

Present: Cllr. J. Marshall, Cllr. A. ffrench Blake, Cllr. A. Button, Cllr R. Whitby, S. Mitchell (parish clerk).

  1. Public Session: Mr Jeremy Bonner was present at the meeting concerning Michaelstow Holiday Village. The holday village was of concern to the parish council because it was no longer being used as a holiday village, but as an unsanctioned residential base for migrant workers. The situation was under review by the planning department, case no. EN16/00401. Mr Bonner lives at Bearoak, next to the holiday village and represented three other owners of properties there. He was objecting to the inconveniences caused by the migrant workers on five different fronts. Firstly the noise of 15 vans filling with workers to depart at 5.30 in the morning in the winter, was causing a lot of noise and waking up the residents of Bearoak. Secondly there was a lot of litter being deposited in the area especially Bearoak Hill. Thirdly there was a substantial increase in traffic and Mr Bonner knew of two road traffic accidents concerning migrant workers. Fourthly there was an increase in social disturbance requiring a police presence. There were also agitated gatherings being held outside by the migrant workers. Fifthly, Mr Bonner questioned the legality of having housing units within 10 feet of his boundary. Some of these chalets seemed in very poor condition, even semi derelict and of a very poor standard. Some of them were next to a water course and he questioned their habitability. The chairman thanked Mr Bonner for his report and suggested that the parish council move straight to item 6 in the agenda, for Mr Bonner’s convenience. For consistency in the minutes this item is still summarised as item 6.
  2. Members declaration of interest: There were no interests declared.
  3. Apologies for non-attendance: Cllr. East had emailed the clerk that he was unable to attend this meeting
  4. Approve the minutes: The minutes of the April meeting were approved.
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
  • Mr. D. Pluess re: Community benefit donation from turbine. The clerk reported that a payment of £1500 had been made to the parish bank account. Cllr. Whitby said that he had approached the bank to set up an account for the ‘Michaelstow Community Fund’ but that they insisted that all signatories visited the bank in Wadebridge to register their identities. The clerk had uploaded a draft constitution suitable for a community fund to the parish website and asked councillors to look it over.
  • wood carving trader/traveller set up on junction back route to Hengar – although no one in the parish had complained about this the clerk was asked by the council to email the county council to get the traveller moved on.
  • the projection screen was still not installed and the clerk would get to it before any new planning documents needed to be viewed digitally.
  • The clerk reported that the new transparency guidance recommends a ‘sentence on each councillor’ and their ‘specialities within the council’ for the website – and asked the three councillors who hadn’t done so to provide one.
  • gate blocking a public right of way as reported by Mrs. Bass [alteration 15.06.16: Mrs Bass is the landowner, not the complainant who was not identified in the minutes]. The clerk had researched this situation and reported that if a public path is blocked deliberately it’s a criminal offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980. Offenders can face a fine and criminal record. The complainant should complain to the local highways authority, which is the county council or unitary authority. A recent case [The Barcroft Lane case] clarified that you cannot put a gate across a public right of way, even across part of it, if that puts people off using it. The chairman suggested just leaving this since Mrs Bass was no longer complaining and the other councillors agreed.
  • the internal auditor had observed that a ‘Friends of Michaelstow Church’ meeting had followed the parish meeting and contained the same members. He said that there was a law from 1890 which prohibits a parish council from donating money to the church. Cllr. ffrench Blake suggested that the clerk find out more and report back to the parish council and other councillors agreed.
  • Phone call to clerk from Stephen Knightley who had prepared planning application for Land opposite School House PA16/02477. The clerk reported he had received a phone call from Stephen Knightley, who was a county councillor, enquiring why he had not been informed of the date of the parish meeting as he had intended to make a presentation. The clerk confirmed that the notice board next to the land in question had information on meeting dates for the year, with links to the parish website which had agenda information and full contact details.
  • The Queens birthday celebrations at the beacon had gone well and the clerk reported that he had put photographs from the event on to the parish website.

6. Planning:

Migrant workers in residence at Michaelstow Manor EN16/00401. Cllr. ffrench Blake had attempted to get PC Esder to a council meeting as he was the police representative for the migrant workers. Cllr. Button explained that the owner of Michaelstow Manor used the migrant workers to offer gang labour to people who needed it. Although he too, used migrant workers, they were responsible to him and he had never had problems such as those presented by Mr Bonner. He was also concerned that faeces had been found desecrating the church and suspected that this might be due to a migrant worker relieving themself there and that this was unacceptable. Cllr. Marshall asked the other councillors for their opinions. Cllr. ffrench Blake thought that the council should investigate what was going on and that the holiday village had not been designed for such a use. He said he worked re-invite PC Esder to a council meeting for clarification. Cllr. Whitby thought there was a dangerous precedent being set. The holiday village was a known entity bringing a reasonably predictable local benefit of tourists. The migrant workers seemed to present no benefit to the community of Michaelstow, only problems. Cllr Marshall agreed and thought that the migrant worker base seemed detrimental to the parish and its people. The parish council asked the clerk to send a letter to the county council supporting the investigation and registering the objections to the illegal residential base as reported by Mr Bonner.

  1. Accounts: Financial Matters

Bank Balance: all payments cleared to 27.04.16 – £5777.13 [£2328.80 from CC & £1500 from Farm Energy]

Invoices: clerks salary of £251.33 paid in arrears by direct debit May. 03

CALC membership renewal due: £105.89

Invoice from internal auditor: South West Internal Audit £50

Payroll admin: £58 to Diane Malley

Insurance renewal by BACS only: Due 1st June £199.73 .Approval and signatures given for letter to request BACS payment, online banking & debit card paperwork from Bank.

audit: audit completed on 18th April with 2 issues. Audit was signed off by the chairman to send to external auditor. Governance approval listed as item 7c/May2016. Accounting statements listed as item 7c1/May2016.

Issues identified from internal auditor:

  • governance needs to be addressed every year
  • standing order review needs to be made evident (every 2 years)
  • Statement of Internal Control and Risk Assessment need to be made annually & noted in minutes. The councillors viewed the updated Statement of Internal Control from 2014 and this was signed by the chairman. The clerk presented a financial risk assessment for the council giving a projection for the coming year that showed a 117% increase in the funding needed to run the council.
  • VAT for projection equipment not shown on Amazon invoices. To track these down and enter them into the accounts.
  • close attention will be paid to transparency code & websites next year
  • auditor suggests a parish visa debit card for PC purchases online rather than clerk’s Paypal account

Locum clerk work for St Tudy needs to be invoiced through Michaelstow Parish Council as this cannot be invoiced on a S/E basis. The clerk requested permission to do this and claim a payment cheque once processed. Printing charged at 7.5p per copy. Stamps at cost. (Payroll also adds £15 for adding a one-off payment to HMRC accounts chargeable to St Tudy).

  1. LMP: Cornwall Council Local Maintenance Project –

The council had received a letter from Mr Sanders to roll and scarify the village green at Michaelstow Churchtown. The councillors discussed whether it needed rolling or not and decided that it did and that they agreed with the estimate of £240 that it would cost for hire and labour. They asked the clerk to write back to Mr. Sanders confirming their acceptance. Mr Sanders also said that if he was shown which footpath was awarded an LMP grant for cutting, he would supply a separate invoice for this making the LMP claim more straightforward.

  1. Community: Network / Correspondence



  1. Parish Matters and Items for News:

The clerk had received a request for councillors to review their Register of Interest Statements and there were no changes needed.

Cllr Button reported that there was still a stream running down the road outside the driveway to his farm and asked the clerk to write to highways to divert this under the road by the driveway at Lower Tredarrup so that it stopped pooling at Clarks well

St Tudy Community shop had asked the parish council to supply a letter of support for their grant application for the shop extension and the clerk was asked to supply this.

  1. Date of next Meeting: Dates for year’s meetings 2015 – 16:
02.06 07.07 04.08 01.09 06.10 [APM] 03.11

The next meeting was set for Thursday 2nd June

  1. To Close the meeting:

Cllr Marshall closed the meeting at 20.57

These are draft minutes untill approved at the meeting Thu. 2nd June

Action extraction:


  • write to planning dept re: EN16/00401
  • write to county council re: traveller/wooden mushroom seller
  • letter to highways re pooling water at Clarkswell
  • letter of support for St Tudy Stores
  • letter to Mr. Sanders confirming estimate for green
  • supply LMP map to Mr. Sanders showing ‘gold footpath’
  • install projection screen at Treveighan Methodist Chapel
  • find out the 1890 law concerning church donations from PC
  • track down VAT amounts spent on digital planning equipment
  • invoice St Tudy Parish Council for locum clerk work
  • email regarding register of interest statements – no changes


  • Cllr. ffrench Blake to re-invite PC Esder to a parish meeting
  • Cllr. Button, Cllr Whitby, Cllr. East: supply a couple of sentences on their background and interest in being on Michaelstow Parish Council for website.
  • All. Consider draft constitution for community fund at: http://www.michaelstow.org.uk/documents/unadopted-documents
  • All. Visit Wadebridge Barclays (?) to set up account identities for community fund.