TALATON PARISH COUNCIL
ANNUAL REPORT Y/End 2016
Ms Patricia Lenehan- 01404 822890 Mrs Denise Main- 01884 277356
Mrs Geraldine Hawkins - 01404 822267 Email:
Mr Don Higgs - 01404 - 823206 Homelands, Normans Green, Plymtree.
Mrs Sybil Mealing - 01404 822582 EX15 2LA
Mr Tom Samson- 01404 822234
Mr Paul Stevenson- 01404 823995
Were held regularly each month except August at Talaton Parish Hall. Planning meetings were also numerous.
Summary Receipts and Payments Account year ended 31 March 2016(unaudited)
RECEIPTS 2015/16 PAYMENTS 2015/16
Precept 8353.00 Gen. Administration 926.88 Hall/Room Hire 380.00
Interest on investments 33.72 Salary 2872.56 Insurance 211.19
Other receipts –CTDG 227.00 Grants 1650.00 Training 150.00
Grants 1400.00 Maintenance 987.67 Allotments 5.00
Website &Allotments 30.00 Clerk/Office Expenses 429.42 VAT 213.96
TOTAL RECEIPTS 10044.22 TOTAL PAYMENTS 7930.60
The Chairman’s Annual Report for the Annual Parish Meeting which was held on Wednesday 27th April 2016 as read out:
It was a baptism of fire for the new PC – in the first week we had the Appeal to the Sec of State for the development at Weeks Farm. Whilst we weren’t allowed to contribute as Councillors we nonetheless made sure that at least one councillor was present throughout the whole hearing.
In June we had our first full PC meeting and there were some pretty controversial items on the agenda that ensured we had a large number of members of the public present to witness our debut performance as councillors
· Gypsy site
· Planning appeal for 22 houses at Lees Farm – letter of objection from J Milverton, the consultant representing the development at Weeks Farm
In this same week we also had our first Drop-in and a Planning meeting to discuss five applications – I doubt whether the previous PC had had five applications in the whole year let alone in one meeting!
Hardly surprising then that at our next meeting in July, training for councillors was at the top of the agenda! We have since attended various courses and seminars where we learned a lot but one of the most valuable lessons was gained from those early meetings where our parishioners came along to let us know what they thought and what they wanted. It brought home exactly what the PC was here to do; to represent the residents and do our best to keep Talaton a wonderful place in which to live. But it taught us something else as well; that we didn’t want to be a council where people only came to us when there was a contentious issue or a problem. We want to be seen as approachable, with a human face to the public body. That means you will see and hear more from your PC than just the publication of the minutes. For example, our page in The Calendar, leaflet drops to canvass opinion, the public meeting we hosted to discuss a Neighbourhood Plan for Talaton and being the driving force behind the forthcoming Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in June.
We also embarked on some projects to enhance the lives of everyone in the Parish: -
· Welcome Pack for new residents
· Improving broadband speed
· Dog fouling
· Crocus planting
As the year progressed, we also got to grips with the everyday matters such as the maintenance of roads, verges, seats, signs and the telephone box.
Financial Support was given to the following local organisations: The Calendar, Villages in Action, Community Theatre 4all (Godspell) Tale Valley Trust and TRIP in Honiton.
MORE CHANGE …
Paperless Planning: EDDC Planning Dept will go paperless WEF May 2016. This means PC’s will no longer be sent paper plans when they are discussing applications, we shall have to view them on-line instead. This has required the purchase of a projector and screen together with the installation of a phone line in the Parish Hall for broadband and we are grateful to the board of trustees for granting their permission for this. We applied for lottery funding to cover the costs and received a grant for £600
The CPRE “Best Kept Village” award has been replaced with “our outdoors” and we shall be submitting an entry for this year’s competition. We feel that the recent addition of the allotments will be a huge plus point on our application
Local Council Award Scheme replaces the “Quality” status, as achieved by the previous PC. Unfortunately, we don’t meet the criteria for this new scheme but we will review the situation next year. We are particularly saddened by this because we know how hard the previous clerk, Andrea Down and the council, led by Chairman Chris Harwood worked in order to achieve and maintain Quality status for Talaton Parish Council.
Speaking of Chris brings me to the subject of showing praise, recognition and appreciation. In his case, this was for diligently serving on Talaton Parish Council for over 30 years. In October 2015 we held an extraordinary meeting of the PC in order that we could discuss conferring the title of Honorary Freeman of the Parish under the 2009 Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act (Chapter 5) which gives legislation for all Councils to create Honorary Freedoms. The Act permits all Councils to grant the title of Freeman on persons of distinction and to persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to that place or area.
Needless to say, Chris fitted the bill perfectly and we voted unanimously to confer upon him the title of Honorary Freeman of the Parish which was duly presented during the How D’ye Do in December. Huge thanks to Chris and all of the previous councillors for the fabulous work they did on our behalf.
I’m sorry to say that Alex Spry has joined the ranks of “previous councillors” following his resignation in March due to work and scouting commitments which prevent him attending the PC meetings. We are very grateful for the years of service that he has given to Talaton. Meanwhile, the search for his successor continues.
I would also like to thank my fellow councillors who have done a splendid job in their first year. We are an amazing team and I am confident that we can go on to achieve great things for Talaton. But we would never have survived this first year without our Clerk, Denise Main. She is an incredible powerhouse of knowledge who guides us quietly but confidently through the maze of council matters that face us every month.