Minutes May 2019

Minutes of the meeting of Michaelstow Council Meeting held in the Treveighan Methodist Chapel on Thursday May 2nd 2019.

Present:  Cllr. J. Marshall (chair), Cllr. A. Button, Cllr. R. East. Cllr. R. Whitby, Cllr D. Fairman (Cornwall Cllr for St Teath and St Breward wards), S. Mitchell (parish clerk). Six members of the public.

Annual Parish Meeting

Chair’s Report

Cllr Marshall welcomed members of the public. This time last year the parish council were producing a local leaflet for the parish, particularly for new residents. We were also asked to audit all of our files and information in the light of the new General Data Protection Regulations, no small task when records go back many years. The Records Office in Truro holds information on St Tudy Parish Council going back to 1895. There has been an electoral review this year that has considerably reduced the number of County Councillors and Michaelstow is now within an electoral area called ‘St Teath and Tintagel’ which also includes St. Tudy and St. Breward.

Parish councillors have advised Cormac on safety changes to the road at Knights Mill and organised an event on the Beacon to mark the centenary of the end of WW1. The parish council has kept abreast of improvements in broadband speeds locally and written to BT several times asking for improvements. Last summer the parish council provided a donation for a summer reading project for local children. It has taken 2 years of parish council letters, emails, help from our County Councillor Dominic Fairman and others to get the illegal trader site next to the B3226 cleared up and this has finally been done. An outstanding problem for the council at the moment is the water running down the lane outside to pool outside Cllr. Button’s farm and we are still investigating this as Cormac seem unable to solve the problem.

Every year the parish council is audited to examine whether it is providing best value for the people of the parish. This involves an examination of financial regulations, working practises, all of the accounts and invoices, regulations and safety procedures, code of conduct, standing orders – the audit is handled by our clerk on just 4 hours per week. Once again this year the auditor has found no problems with the way the parish council is run. The parish council is funded from council tax payments and costs about 3% of the payments you make for this. This year Michaelstow Parish Council have reduced this amount considerably – in fact by the biggest margin in Cornwall.

The council have looked at seven or so planning proposals concerning Michaelstow in the last year and provide an important check for unwarranted or undesirable development. As you know, 60,000 or so new houses are planned just for Cornwall before 2030 and there have been 2 housing estate development proposals put to the planners this year concerning Michaelstow.

In the light of global climate change, Michaelstow Parish Council is concerned as to what the parish might do to increase its resilience. Extreme weather events do seem to be increasing and we want to consider what local people might do in the light of some of the various scenario’s about to be presented to us by Paul Sousek who is giving tonight’s talk. The chair directed the clerk, who is also the ‘Responsible Financial Officer’ for the parish council to provide a financial report.

Clerk’s Financial Report

The clerk confirmed that the parish council had passed the internal audit. The council started the financial year with £4336 in the bank and finished with £7597. Expenditure on the clerk’s salary, stationery and office expenses, legal and admin expenses, Treveighan Chapel hire and footpaths was mostly down or the same. As a result the parish council had asked for less precept for 2019 – 20, a reduction of £2,500 to £5000 – the biggest reduction in Cornwall. The parish council’s ‘share’ of Council tax in 2018 – 19 was around 3% and the reduction of precept will diminish this further. The speaker for the evening had to drive back to Jacobstow to collect his slides so the chair decided to have the parish meeting first and the talk afterwards.

Parish Council Meeting

1. Public Session: Cllr. Marshall opened at the meeting at 19.05 PM.

2. Members declaration of interest: no interests were declared                    

3. Apologies for non-attendance: there were apologies from Cllr. ffrench Blake

4. Approve the minutes: the minutes of the meeting held on 4th April 2019 were signed as correct.

5. Matters arising from the above minutes:

  • Land registry and abandoned caravans on B3266: Cllr. Whitby had been researching the adoption of this land by the parish council but could not register land with ‘no title’. It had to be registered and the parish council approved his expenditure of around £30 to do this.
  • Water issues on the road outside Tregawn Farm. Cormac seemed unable to fix this issue. The councillors site meeting had concluded that the pipe under the road was blocked and the water was emerging from the verge downhill from this pipe anyway.
  • Michaelstow ‘welcome’ road signs. The clerk had researched pricing for these from ‘roadsignsdirect.co.uk’. Standard reflective signs made of 3mm aluminium were available with channel and 76mm clips. 1050mm x 750mm were priced at £111 +VAT & delivery. 600mm x 450mm were £45+ . The clerk also showed some layouts including the parish council logo. Cllr. Button had not yet arrived at the meeting so this item was held over.

6. Planning: PA19/02975. Buttercup Barn, Treveighan Farm, Trevillick Lane.  PL30 3JN. Change of use of agricultural land to domestic curtilage in association with alteration and extension to barn > 17.05. After the council viewed the plans the clerk was directed to return the following comment “Michaelstow Parish Council is fully supportive of this application and believe that the modified plans are an improvement on the existing property. The setting on the edge of the hamlet of Treveighan does not present harm to either the settlement or to the local rural environment.”

7. Accounts: Financial Matters

a. Bank Balance:        27.04.19 the bank balance stands at £9881.91 as the first precept payment of £2566.47 had been received.

b. Invoices & Payments:

  • clerks monthly salary of £281.86  paid by SO for April.
  • CALC subscription for this year at a cost of                    £133.02            [ch 0178]
  • DM payroll services for running salary                            £73                   [ch 0181]
  • SDH Accounting for internal audit services                     £100                [ch 0180]
  • BHIB Insurance services for annual parish insurance      £182.80            [ch 0182]
  • Mr Sanders for parish maintenance Feb. & April             £238                 [ch 0183]
  • Home office expenditure for the year                             £52                   [ch 0179]

c. Annual accounts & audit: The internal auditor had agreed with the accounts and the bank reconciliation. Her report showed the parish council to be run to a high standard with no outstanding issues. The chair signed-off the audit pages including the certificate of exemption from external audit, the annual governance statement and the accounting statements.

8. Local Maintenance Project (LMP): The clerk had submitted the LMP acceptance form as instructed at the previous meeting but Cormac had offered to cut the footpaths in Michaelstow this year pending a review. The chair would talk to Mr. Sanders regarding this.

9. Community Network / correspondence: The council resolved that the clerk should send a thank-you email regarding the clearing of the wood cutters encampment as drafted by Cllr. ffrench Blake.

10. Parish Matters: There was concern about the shooting range that had been installed parallel with the road opposite Michaelstow Nurseries. Councillors resolved to look into both the safety and legal aspects of this installation.

11. Date of next Meeting:

The next meeting was scheduled for June 6th but this was cancelled until July 4th as it clashed with the Royal Cornwall Show.

12. To Close the meeting: Cllr Marshall closed the meeting at 19.35 and introduced the speaker for the Annual Parish Meeting talk “Extinction or Resilience; What Can a Parish Do?” Details of this talk will be published on the parish website at : http://www.michaelstow.org.uk/extinction-or-resilience-what-can-a-parish-do.html