The Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 1st December 2021 at Oakford Village Hall at 7.30pm
Present: Cllr’s Mrs H Warne (Chair), Miss J Gannon, R Gibson, Miss L Moore and I Vigus.
In attendance: Two members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs J Larcombe.
67/12/21. To receive apologies. Apologies were accepted from Cllr Milton and Cllr Griffin.
Apologies were received from District Cllr Ley.
68/12/21. Disclosure of interests in items on the agenda. There were no disclosures.
69/12/21. To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 6th October 2021 as an
accurate record of the meeting. The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.
70/12/21. Matters arising from the minutes, not included on the agenda. There were no matters arising.
71/12/21. Public Questions. There were no questions from the members of the public present.
a) To make a recommendation on any planning applications received by the council before the meeting. No applications received.
b) To note any decisions made on planning applications by NDC. No decision notices received.
c) To report that Maria Bailey, NDC Service Manager (Development Management), has remained with NDC and will be attending the February2022 PC meeting. Noted.
d) To agree to complete a S106 Open Space Funding Expression of Interest Form to register the replacement of play equipment on the Village Green as EAPC’s priority in the NDC Community Priorities Database. It was agreed that the Parish Council’s priority for any S106 Open Space Funding from East Anstey planning applications is the replacement of the play equipment on the Village Green. The Clerk will complete the form accordingly and return to NDC.
e) Any other planning matters. There were no other planning matters.
73/12/21. Highways: any highways issues. The sign at Woodburn Cross has been repaired. It was reported that the direction sign to East Anstey at Blackerton Cross is missing.
a) District Cllr. No report.
b) County Cllr. No report.
a) To approve invoices for payment. It was resolved to make the following
payments: Devon Association of Local Councils – £60.49 annual subscription (Payment ref: 2122/23)
Mrs J Larcombe – £189.35 salary and expenses for October & November (Payment ref: 2122/24)
Community Heartbeat Trust – £151.20 annual support cost (Payment ref: 2122/25). This invoice had not been received earlier in the year.
b) To note payments made since the last meeting. No payments.
c) To compare budget to actual April to November 2021 and year end predictions. The budget for 2021 – 22, the receipts and payments for April to November 2021 and a prediction to 31st March 2022 were included in the budget setting document. There were no concerns about receipts and payments in
comparison to the budget.
d) To agree the budget for 2022-23 and the precept to be requested. A draft budget was circulated prior to the meeting. Due to predicted increases in costs it was agreed to request a precept of £4988.00 for 2022-23. This was an increase of 5% from 2021-22 for the total amount of precept but because of an increased
tax base for 2022-23 the increase to a Band D rate will be 1.4%.
e) To note the VAT advice provided by the Parkinson Partnership. At the last meeting on the 6th October it was agreed that the Parish Council would pay for professional advice to clarify the position on whether it could reclaim VAT on the building of an extension for West Anstey Village Hall. The Clerk investigated who
could provide that advice and found that councils who are members of Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) were able to obtain advice from the Parkinson Partnership LLP as part of their membership. This company provides specialist advice on VAT and financial matters to town, parish and community
councils in England and Wales. The Clerk, with the email backing of the Council, made the decision to become a member of DALC. Councillors considered the advice provided, which was:
A council can only reclaim VAT on costs that it has incurred itself. It must also generally incur those costs for non-business purposes. In principle, undertaking building work at the council’s expense and then making a gift of the work will qualify as a non-business activity. In order to demonstrate that the council, rather than another party, actually incurred the VAT, VAT Notice 749 section 6.1 states that a council must:
• place the order
• receive the supply
• receive a tax invoice made out to it, and
• make payment out of its own funds (including funds awarded to it such as grants).
In practice, meeting these requirements has to be more than just a paper exercise. The council must actively engage the contractors, supervise the work and take on full legal responsibility as the client with regard to issues such as contract law, health and safety and legal liability. It would be unusual for a grant-giver to offer a grant for a building extension to a body that has absolutely no legal interest in the land or building. Also, the council would not be treated as undertaking a non-business activity if it accepted any payment (directly or indirectly) for its services or towards the works, from any party that will benefit from the works. This means that no money can be received for the works from the other parish meeting, the
committee or anyone else using the facilities in question. If the proposed work is going to exceed the council’s available budget, the simplest approach would be to hand over the party completed work and allow the owners to undertake finishing and fitting out at their own expense, without
the council being involved in any payments. Having considered the advice Councillors agreed that East Anstey Parish Council did not want to take on full legal responsibility as the client and would not
apply for the grant for the extension to West Anstey Village Hall on behalf of West Anstey Village Hall Committee.
76/12/21. Play Area
a) Any issues arising from playground inspections. No issues reported
b) To agree who will carry out inspections for the next two months. It was agreed that Cllr Mrs Warne will carry out the inspections.
77/12/21. To agree to write a letter on behalf of the Parish Council to support the change of name of West Anstey Village Hall to Anstey Community Hall. It was agreed that the Clerk would write a letter for the Parish Council to support the change of name.
78/12/21. Correspondence. The following correspondence was noted:
Notice of the making of the Devon County Council (bridleway No 6, East Anstey) Public Path Diversion and Definitive Map and Statement Modification Order 2021. This arrived on the morning of the meeting.
DALC – DCC briefing with Cllr John Hart, Councillor Leader, for North Devon Councils remotely on 7th December 2021 at 5.30pm.
In response to a question, it was confirmed that the notice board at Oldways End is not owned by the Parish Council.
79/12/21. To agree the date and venue of the next meeting. The next meeting will be held on 2nd February 2022. The venue will be confirmed.