COUNCIL MEETING REPORT & COUNCIL IN COURT REPORT

From the parish council meeting for November, held this Tuesday …

The village main street will be closed and through traffic across the bridge subject to diversions from 4pm to 8 pm a fortnight from this Friday, on Nov 29, for the Christmas lights switch-on concert, it was announced.

Cllr Mike Huda said all the necessary orders and signage arrangements were in place and last year’s lights had been taken down and topped up. Some breakage costs could have been avoided by doing the work earlier, he admitted, and it would be better organised next year. Meanwhile, the council agreed to spend about £800 on new lights, trees for the main street display, and mince pies, mulled wine and sweets, for the catering through London Inn. Also agreed to hand over the running of the lights to the community working party currently handling it, in association with Cllrs Beard and Huda.

The main traffic diversion will be around the back from Pencreber Road to Chapel Lane.

Programme for Nov 29 is:

4 pm Paul Hillier starts Radio Walkham broadcast from under the tree in Weir Park.

5 pm School Choir.

5.30 Handbells concert.

6 pm – Cavaliers Choir.

6.30 pm Carol Karaoke.

7 pm Lee Spencer turns on the lights.

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Council is considering putting up £1500 for match funding for more spending on benches and footpaths. Also planning to buy a power washer with its own generator to clean down the truck after gritting and wash signs, etcetera. Also chevrons and flashing light for truck, required for gritting work.

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Village hall has just cost £420 for a fix of broken guttering and roofers have recommended more work. Quotes being gathered.

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Proceedings are being launched to get the reserve ground in the cemetery consecrated, because it will be needed in a few years. The hedging of the cemetery came up for discussion and Cllr Paul Beard said he would like to replace it with a stone wall, but that was left for some other time.

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The council reluctantly agreed to pay for a survey of bat and bird impact of a new sports pavilion, in order to get Dartmoor NPA to consider their planning application.


On Thursday morning (today Nov 14), veteran councillors Eric Hemsil, Steve Roche and Paul Beard, met a barrister at the Plymouth courthouse, and agreed a peace settlement with local man Joe Sweetinburgh of Walkham Meadows in front of a judge.

Mr Sweetinburgh was trying to use a claim for damages and costs to air his grievances about the council’s handling of opposition to the Walkham Meadows expansion, now completed.

Deputy District Judge Whitford wanted more explanation of his legal arguments before anybody called any witnesses and proposed another postponement, of a case which has wearied both sides. Alternatively, she gave both parties an hour to agree a settlement out of the court room.

Over coffee, they came up with terms and a wording which is now being formalised. It was not read out but is likely to amount roughly to dropping the matter with no cost claims by either side.

Barrister Nina Pindham was sent to handle the case by the council’s legal insurers. Mr Sweetinburgh represented himself. Some hands were shaken.

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.

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