Report from SHDC Barrie Spencer

As presented to Bickleigh Parish Council during the Parish Council meeting on 04 July 2019

From     Cllr Barrie Spencer

Bickleigh & Cornwood Ward, South Hams District Council

Sophie Hosking (Chief Executive) had a meeting with the leaders of the other Devon councils.  All District Councils in Devon have new Leaders and many administrations have changed politically.  There are now three Councils without any overall control, 2x Liberal Democrat Councils, Ix Labour and SHDC and WDBC which are Conservative controlled.  Despite the different political standpoints there was a clear will from all to work collaboratively together.  Some key issues were identified for collaborative action were independent building control inspectors, discussion with DCC regarding their business rates gain from District Council development, climate change action plans and shared back office servives.

Climate change continues to be high on our list of priorities including an assessment of whether targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the viability of a 2030 target date (to reduce global carbon emissions by 45%) can be met.  This follows ongoing discussions with Plymouth City Council, Devon County Council and many of the Devon Districts.  There will a debate agenda’ed for the next Council meeting on 25 July.  

The Council has spent some time considering the corporate risk register and have taken a decision to completely review it.  The register identifies the key corporate risks facing the Council, considers their likelihood and impact.  The new register should be available by the autumn.

Sophie Hosking and other leaders of both Councils met with John Hart and the DCC Chief Executive (Phil Norrie).  There was a wide ranging and positive discussion about waste and recycling, climate change and appropriate action plans, second homes and business rate relief, District Council commercial developments and the business rate benefits this brings to DCC, car parking and on-street/off-street enforcement, working with Public Health to pilot any health initiatives, Bere Alston to Tavistock railway and alternatives, street cleaning particularly the A30 and A38 trunks roads.

During the next couple of weeks there will be a ramping up of the focus on customer satisfaction.  Leaders of the various departments will be holding regular feedback sessions with case managers to discuss issues that have negatively impacted on customer satisfaction.  The issues identified will be published and resource applied to resolving them.  This is also an opportunity to review what went well and made a positive impact.  The overall exercise is about improving customer satisfaction across the board.

As you may have heard 17 SHDC staff have been specially trained by the Police and now have special powers to help combat anti-social behaviour.  The Council specifically teamed up with Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, run by the Police.  This scheme allows officers who have been trained, to assist in helping with some of the most complained about anti-social behavioural issues such as uncontrolled dogs, dog fouling and drinking in the streets.  The new powers will help the Council enforce these orders.  

The Council will also be working on its Capital Strategy which was approved by the outgoing Council in March, with its ability to borrow up to £60m.  If developed this might mean work on a hotel in Kingsbridge, 10 acres of land at Sherford for business use and a Heath and Well Being Hub at Townstal.

Can I remind Councillors that there is a planning workshop at the Woolwell Centre on Monday, 08 July.  You have all been invited to attend the workshop hosted by the Council.  An invitation ahs been extended to Cornwood and to Shaugh Prior Councils who are both coming – 5/6 from Cornwood 2/3 from Shaugh.  This is an ideal opportunity to meet Parish Councillors from your neighbouring Parishes and I have warned them about you all.

  • Had discussions with local people about matters of local interest including planning, waste collections in Wotter, street scene issues in Roborough, fly tipping in Roborough, debris left following road works in Bickleigh, dust blown up from the Wolf mines and sewage systems in Lee Moor, dealing with fallen tree branches in Bickleigh and provided help to Cornwood Parish Council regarding funding prospects for the renewal of the play park in Lutton

Lastly, my Council email address is still suspect.  Please use my personal email address for the time being.

Barrie Spencer

04 July 2019

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