October 2023 Mins



Digby Parish Council 

The notes from the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 9th October 2023 at 7pm, in Digby War Memorial Hall.


Present – Ian Davies (ID) Chairman; James Bourne (JB); Darren Drysdale (DD); Gerald Garton (GG); Karen Groves (KG) and Ken Hand (KH)

In attendance – Angie McDonald, Clerk and Proper Officer


Public Forum

No members of the public present.


District & County Councillors' Matters

District Councillor Amelia Bailey reported she had received messages about parking issues on Church Street and antisocial behaviour from Station Road.  It was agreed that some of the information from her report could be included in the proposed newsletter the parish council is currently considering.

Apologies received from County Councillor Kendrick.


The Chairman opened the meeting.


1.  Chairman's Opening Remarks (23/148)

a) Welcome.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 2.  Apologies & Vacancy (23/149)

a) Apologies.

All councillors present.

b) Co-option of a Councillor.

An application from Mike Lewington has been received.  It was proposed by ID, seconded by GG that Mr Lewington be co-opted onto the parish council.

Action:  The Clerk to notify Mr Lewington and NKDC and arrange for the relevant forms to be completed.

3.  Declarations of Pecuniary Interest & Applications of Dispensation (23/150)

a) None

4.  Signing of the Minutes (23/151)

a) It was proposed by GG, seconded by KH and RESOLVED to accept the notes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 11th September 2023 as a true and accurate record of that meeting.

5.  Planning Matters (23/152)

a) Planning Applications Received

Nil to date

b) Decision Notice Received.

Nil to date.

6. General Parish Matters (23/153)

a)  Update on from Historic England regarding the Cross.

Tim Allen from Historic England has been and inspected the Cross and states it is in pretty good condition.  With regard to protecting The Cross from vehicles he agreed there is no room for additional physical protection but suggests slowing vehicles on the approach to the junction may help.  He will be forwarding his thoughts to Highways for advice.

With regard to cleaning the Cross he recommends sweeping the loose debris with a soft brush and cleaning with cold water. The lichen is probably not doing any harm.

b)  Update on the adoption of footpath ‘The Smoot’ from North Street to Green Dykes. 

No news received from Cllr Kendrick to date.

c)  Update on the painting of the Telephone Kiosk.

The painting of the kiosk has been completed and has received favourable comments from residents.

Action:  A message of thanks will be sent to Cllr Kendrick and the team of volunteers.

d)  Wreath for the Remembrance Service.

The wreath has been ordered.

e)  Grant request towards the upkeep of the Churchyard.

A request for £300.00 has been asked for, a copy of the accounts has been received, as requested.

ID proposed a grant of £300.00 be given to help maintain the churchyard, as a focal public amenity, and an important feature of the centre of the village, this was seconded by JB, all agreed.  

Action:  The Clerk to arrange payment of grant.

f)  Newsletter/information sheet.

ID apologises the newsletter is still in the process of being produced and will present it at the next meeting.

g)  Replacement Electrode Pads for the Defibrillator.

The main electrode pads expire by 28th Nov.  It was proposed by KG, seconded by DD that the pads are ordered.

Action:  The Clerk to order new electrode pads.

7.  Highways (23/154)

a) Pot Holes or Highways Issues.

KH has re-erected the mobile 30mph reminder on North Street that had fallen down.  JB reported Digby Fen Road still very bad, the bits of patching carried out is not improving it.

Action:  The Clerk to inform County Cllr Kendrick

b)  New Street Light on B1188, Community Speed Watch Equipment and the School Safety Zone.

The collation of the information required by NKDC for the new street light is almost complete.  The Chairman is still to collect the resident’s responses and then the formal application will be sent off.

Action: Information to be sent to NKDC

The second batch of CSW signage has arrived and has been handed over to the group.

The School Safety Zone area has now been implemented by LCC Highways, the signage and road markings are in position.

c)  Public Footpath No.5 

A detailed response from the Countryside Officer has been received detailing the situation with the current route.  It was agreed to place this item on the next agenda as more information may be available by then.

Action:  Add item to next agenda

8.  The Village Hall (23/155)

a) Village Hall Committee Meeting.

The committee are meeting 9th Oct and the minutes will be distributed as soon as they are received.

b)  Installation of Internet.

This is to be discussed at their meeting and we will be notified of the decision

c)  Village Hall Lawn.

The scarifying has taken place.  It was agreed grass seed could now be sown in any thin areas to help improve the lawn for spring.

Action: KH to purchase grass seed and sow the seed in the affected areas

9.  Drainage (22/156)

a) Drainage Issues.

JB reported the IDB are working their way along the major dykes.

b)  The Beck

The IDB will be cutting the bottom of the Beck during October.

10. Playing Field, Play Areas and Village General (23/157)

a)  Play Equipment Monthly Inspection.

GG has completed the monthly meeting.

b)  Repairs Highlighted on the RoSPA report.

The Chairman and Clerk, on site, worked through the report provided by RoSPA and agreed the minor points highlighted can be dealt with inhouse.  It was agreed a date will be arranged for the councillors to meet on the playing field and action these points.  The small areas of decaying wood highlighted will be monitored, as requested by RoSPA, by the councillors carrying out the monthly inspections.

Action: The Chairman to arrange a work party date.

c)  Dog Show. 

The risk assessment had been received prior to the Dog Show taking place.  

It was a very good event and well attended.  There was no damage to the field and the site was cleared up and left neat and tidy.  The organisers are considering a further event next year.

d)  Bowls Club Lease.

Since the last meeting ID organised a meeting with GG and the Clerk to go through the draft lease.  As there were several questions raised, a meeting was arranged with the solicitor. Since that meeting a revised draft lease will be produced and sent to us.  Meanwhile, a Schedule of Condition of the Bowls Club (photos of the current club house and grounds) needs to be produced and added to the lease.  It was agreed a letter from the council be sent to the solicitors that hold the deeds, permitting the Chairman and Clerk access to the deeds to check on a covenant held with the playing field deeds, so this information can be forwarded to the solicitors producing the lease. All agreed.

Also, it was proposed by JB, seconded by KH and all agreed to request Adie/Pepperdine Ltd to change the address on the deeds for the playing field, the Allotment and the village hall with the Land Registry. 

Action:  ID and the Clerk to organise producing the Schedule of Condition.  The Clerk to write to our solicitors, and, the Clerk to arrange the change of address details.

e)  Ground Maintenance on Playing Field.

The litter picker has been asked to remove rubbish dumped/dog mess in the vicinity of the hardstanding near the Bowls Club.  ID is prepared to remove the metal bin.

The four trees, around the perimeter of the field, that have died this year due to Ash die back will be monitored for safety and are currently not felt to be an issue, the majority of the council agreed with this action.  GG wanted it recorded that the trees should be removed now.

11.  Allotments (23/158)

a) Allotment Committee.

No updates

b)  Repairs to the Roads at the Allotments

KG reported the repairs are due to be carried out on 24th Oct.

12.  Finance (23/159)

a) Bank Balances and Approval of Bank Reconciliation.

PC General Account   21,555.65

Allotments Account       6,851.48

Mary Gresswell Trust          5.46

It was agreed the bank reconciliation was approved.

b) Income Received.

There was no income received in the last month.

c) Approval of Payments.

It was proposed by ID, seconded by KG that the following accounts be paid.


                                                                    Amount           VAT         Total Amount

Salaries/expenses                                        738.43                            738.43

MalcFirth                                                      440.00         88.00          528.00

CJP Garden Services                                    75.00                              75.00

Protect Signs (CSW signage)                       91.43          18.28          109.71

Mrs McDonald -Paint/equipment for kiosk    106.62        21.32          127.94

Greensleeves - Village Hall Lawn                 248.33        49.67          298.00

P & P French Tree Services                       1,500.00      300.00       1,800.00

Autela Payroll Services                                   45.48          9.10            54.58


13.  Correspondence (23/160)

a) LALC Newsletter - Distributed to all councillors

b) NKDC Newsletter - Distributed to all councillors

c) Electrical Safety Fund Opening in 2023

d) A new conservation officer appointed at NKDC, looking to update list of non-designated heritage assets and notice of possible grants.

e)  LCC have announced a further £10m available for maintenance of roads

f)  Police and Crime Commissioner – invite to engagement session 7th Dec via Teams

g) Royal Mail – Mail Box enquiry.  The request to replace the post box on Beck Street is being dealt with

h) Audit – Council Email addresses – PKF Littlejohn have confirmed a council specific email address meets their requirements.

i)  NKDC Community Infrastructure Levy – Annual report required by 31st Dec.

14.  Dates of Future Meetings (23/161)

Parish Council meetings

   For 2023 - 13th Nov, 11th Dec.

15.  Any Business to Note for the Next Agenda (23/162)

Budget planning

Review Ground Maint contract

Playing field road improvements 

Footpath from Harrowby close to North Street, overgrown

Two bales still on Station Road

16.  Closed Session (23/163)

For confidential items in accordance with the Public Bodies Act 1960, if required.

This item was not required


20.20hrs – There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed.