To provide additional communication and interaction with residents, this page contains the Parish Council notes from the parish clerk published in the “Eagle” village magazine each month. (The December issue also covers January of the following year.) This page will contain the latest notes together with those for the previous two issues of the “Eagle”.
The outgoing year has been challenging and unpredictable for all of us. We had to adapt to a new way of living and working. This is also true for Yarnscombe Parish Council: we had to adjust our ways of communication and decision making while following changing guidelines laid out by central government and legal advice given by the National Association of Local Councils. Our last face-to-face meeting was back in March, in the form of a gathering of the Emergency Committee; it was then becoming clear that the Coronavirus pandemic would have a serious impact on Yarnscombe and its residents.
Thanks to the efforts of Cllr. Pengilley we were able to hold meetings online, first via Zoom and since August via Jitsi, the latter being free, no matter how long meetings are and providing a meeting point for at least 30 participants. Naturally there are occasional technical difficulties: so far we have always overcome them. One consistent problem was the fact that two of our councillors had variable or no access to the internet. That in turn meant that should one of the other councillors be unable to attend the meeting we would not have a quorum. Fortunately, two residents of Yarnscombe stepped forward to fill in the remaining vacancies on the council. Ian Newberry and Peter Jeffery have been co-opted and our future meetings look secure.
We have been very lucky in that County Councillor Saywell and at least one of our District Councillors have either attended meetings online or sent detailed reports. All of them kept us up-to-date with the latest developments regarding the pandemic, but also reported other relevant local news.
On a more positive note, the light mast for the Air Ambulance site has finally been installed on the playing field; thank you to Cllr. Williams for liaising with the Air Ambulance Trust and following through with this project.
Following advice from Cllr. Saywell, council has forwarded areas of concern re. road conditions to Devon Highways. If you, as residents of Yarnscombe, feel there are potholes or drainage issues that need to be addressed, either contact the clerk or email directly to Darryl Jagger at Devon County Council.
Should it turn cold and icy, be assured that the snow gritter has been maintained throughout the year and we have plenty of grit left from last year.
We wish all our residents a happy Christmas, whatever the circumstances may be, and, fingers crossed, a happy, healthy new year!
Everyone living in the parish is well aware of the poor road conditions. It is therefore worth noting that Devon Highways are looking for feedback from local communities as to what people consider a priority re. potholes and general repair. Hopefully, we can arrange a meeting with Darryl Jagger, our local Neighbourhood Officer, and pass on relevant information. Councillors will collate their own sources of information but any input from parishioners would be very welcome. Please pass this information on or contact the clerk or any of the councillors.
Regarding the Air Ambulance site on the playing field: one goal post has been modified so that it is movable. Cllrs. Cooke and Williams will meet up on the playing field to ensure that the appropriate area is kept free. One goal post can be permanent subject to approval by Toby Russell (Air Ambulance Trust). Chippings to be used at the entrance of playing field are in a secure location for now and will be laid down as soon as weather allows.
In these times, Covid-19 touches every aspect of our lives. Apart from holding meetings online, the council is in contact with district and county councillors and any relevant information will be published on this website (yarnscombe.org.uk) or on the Yarnscombe Facebook page. If you can, it is well worth a look, as the situation changes almost on a weekly basis and any advice given and published will reflect this.
Good News!! Two members of our community have come forward to stand as councillors and fill the two remaining vacancies. At our last meeting, Ian Newberry was co-opted and next month Peter Jeffery hopes to do the same. Both men are well known within the community; over the last few months Ian did an excellent job chairing the Yarnscombe Community Response Team and Peter has been working as a general handyman within the parish for years.
As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating, the council has decided to continue with online meetings. After using ZOOM for the first few months, from next month on we will be using JITSI as our online platform. It offers vital advantages: it is free, video conferencing for up to thirty participants doesn’t present any problems and there is no time limit on meetings. As with ZOOM, basic instructions and meeting ID will be provided on agendas. Any member of the public who would like to join a meeting can contact the clerk to obtain the password.
Finally, we realise that not everyone is able or indeed inclined to rely on online communication. In the past, minutes, agendas and any other news were put on the village notice board for everyone to see. It has been refurbished, but we are now looking for a new, suitable location. If you would still like to have a village notice board, please suggest a location or locations, and we will investigate to find the most suitable one.