Minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Kingswear Parish Meeting

Held in the Trust Room on Tuesday 8th May 2012

Cllr.J.Hawkins (Chairman of the Parish Council) welcomed all to the meeting and thanked all for their contribution and hard work for the community.  There were representatives or reports submitted from the following organisations in attendance:

       Carlow Bequest Trustees

Friend of Saint Thomas of Canterbury

Junior Sailing Group

Kingswear Combined Charities

Kingswear Historians

Kingswear Parish Council

Kingswear Regatta Committee

Kingswear Rowing Club

Kingswear Swords

Kingswear Village Hall

Kingswear Waterhead Preservation Society

Maxey Trust

Royal Dart Yacht Club

Save the Children

Shakespeare By The Creek

Women’s Institute 

APOLOGIES

Apologies were received from PC R Hewett , Cllr H Bastone, Waterhead Creek Preservation Society, Women’s Institute and Kingswear Swords.

 

MINUTES

The minutes of the last APM on the 22nd March 2011 were signed as a correct record.

 

MR R HARKNESS, SOUTH HAMS DISTRICT COUNCIL, GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

The Chairman thanked Mr Harkness for attending and for the work completed at Avenue Gardens in Dartmouth. The following was discussed between the group with advice from Mr Harkness:

A summary was given of the options for the park surface parallel to the boats, which has become worn. A surface of scalpings has been placed, which has caused concern regarding the appearance and function with some.  It is recognised that the appearance of scalping is always a problem. One recommendation is grass with a honeycombed structure over. It could be possible for the regatta committee to look at as a project for support next year.  Finance is a problem as a solution is likely to be expensive. The precept will need to be kept high to fund.  It has been agreed to look at costings for a more sympathetic replacement. It is recognised that it is important to have a defining area for people to drive on, but also to meet the needs of others for example children who may be playing in the area. Drainage is of concern ad the area floods.  Further advice and thought will be given.

 

ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL

Councillor Jonathan Hawkins, Chairman, gave his annual report of the Council:

He thanked all members of the parish council for their hard work and dedication throughout the Kingswear and Hillhead Wards.

This year has been a hard one financially but through careful financial management projects have moved forward. Work has taken place on the Cemetery as well as many improvements to the Lodge. The income from the Lodge is key to parish finance. Updates were also given on the new office building at the railway. with the parish council belief that Planning Permission is needed.

The Chairman thanked the Lighthouse Beach working group for their work and reported that fundraising has started for a public inquiry.

It is hoped that this year improvements will be made to Jubilee Park. Mr Harkness from the District Council is in attendance at the meeting to provide advice on the surface to the slipway. It is hoped that the council will be able to find a scheme that is more sympathetic to the area.

We have been fortunate to have received County Council funding for a towed gritter for bad weather and also a grant of £4000 to help the restoration of the Lime Kiln. There will also be an educational sign on the area and a new bench. This will form part of a Jubilee Project.

Thanks were given to Devon County Council for replacing the steps from Jubilee Park to Hoodown Lane.

Through South Hams and Devon County Council a number of grants have been accessed.

Tribute was given to Dr David Williams.

A housing needs survey has now been completed, identifying a need for more affordable homes within the parish. Further work will take place.

This year marks the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen. The weekend in June is being well supported including a dance, street party, river pageant, planting of memorial trees, commemorative mugs for school children, a cream tea and lighting of a beacon. It should be an exciting and memorial time.

Cllr Hawkins then highlighted some of the work that individual councillors and the clerk had been involved in throughout the year.

Tribute was paid being the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War to Col H Jones, with a minute’s silence.

 

REPORT OF THE COUNCIL ACCOUNTS

Emma Illingworth, the Clerk to the Council reported:

The most recent audited accounts were presented for the year ending 31st March 2011, as signed off by the District Auditor. In addition the current balance sheet was presented clarifying the KPC financial situation up to 31st March 2012. The clerk advised that the balances now included the Carlow Bequest figures. This was to show the complete financial situation. However it was pointed out the all Carlow monies are keep separate from KPC and would only used in accordance with the Bequest instructions. The balances show a deficit of £6553.  This has been taken from reserves. The deficit is explained as follows:

  • Loss of tenant at Cemetery Lodge ( New tenant in place from March)
  • Essential repairs to property. (Bathroom, re decoration, cooker, carpets, damp proofing and repairs.

 

The council has strict financial regulations which have been reviewed this year. Everyone is aware of the need to negotiate and secure best value for the parish. If the improvements to the Lodge had not had to have been made a much more positive financial situation could have been reported. The precept for this year has been increased to offset shortfalls in income and to give a contribution to Lighthouse Beach legal expenses from £18k to £21k A through cost reduction exercise has also been conducted on the budget, with savings made where possible.  The clerk recommended considering reducing staff costs. The income and expenditure figures were distributed for the financial year 2011 to 2012.

 

Balances as of the 31st March 2012, stood at £17200.93. (Including Carlow Bequest £9011.10).

REPORTS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Verbal reports were given/ submitted by the following organisations ( The following have been received for inclusion)

Kingswear Regatta Committee, Gill Davies

As in the previous year, the 2011 Kingswear Regatta was held in the middle of the summer, this time on the 23rd and 24th of July. The weather remained reasonably kind and a lot of fun was had by all. The increasingly popular dog show on Saturday morning included an agility display undertaken as much by the owners as by the dogs and had everyone in fits of laughter. The vintage and classic cars, not to mention a bus, were truly impressive and greatly admired.

On the day of the main fete on Sunday, as well as ducks, games, stalls and good food, entertainment was provided by Kingswear Fencing Club, local children demonstrating Tae Kwondo and a traditional Punch and Judy show. The dunk tank proved a big success with many thanks going to the good-natured souls who raised money by allowing themselves to be dipped in freezing cold water, especially the male staff at Kingswear Primary School and a certain Kingswear Parish Councillor ! The weekend was rounded off with prize-giving at the Village Hall and a post-Regatta party.

On both days the rowing events were so popular they were over-subscribed and there were some closely-fought races, including a Royal Castle Challenge Race won by the Ship and a Chairman’s Challenge Race against Dartmouth won by Kingswear. The Primary School governors, still smarting from a defeat by the staff, were quietly content to see them beaten across the line later by the school pupils.

In August the Regatta Committee were very pleased to be able to donate £1600 equally between Help for Heroes and Froward Point National Coastwatch. Kingswear Rowing Club also received £800 towards maintenance of the boats used for Regatta. As the costs of so many things escalate each year, it would simply not be possible to stage Kingswear Regatta, without incredible and generous support from local companies and many, many individuals who volunteer their time and effort. Unfortunately the Regatta Committee cannot thank everyone personally here but we would like to say a special thank you to Chris Ryan, who ‘retired’ last year after being a pivotal driving force for Regatta since its ‘modern’ inception in 2006. We will miss his energy and enthusiasm.

This year Kingswear Regatta is being held over the weekend of September 8th and 9th. We are hoping to raise money primarily for the Dartmouth RNLI, and we also hope to support Kingswear Fireworks and sponsor a children’s entertainer for the Diamond Jubilee street party. We always welcome any help or feedback offered and we hope to see you there !

2012 Kingswear Regatta Committee : Catriona Bratten, Liz Canham, Gill Davies, Marilyn Holberry-Reed, Ed Jones, Jody Newstead, Caroline Pymm, Howard Quartly, Jimmy Wright

Kingswear Rowing Club, Steve Ainsworth

 

The club currently has over 100 members who have joined in the last year, and we are hoping for a similar membership for this year.

We have four coxed boats available, 2 two-man and 2 four-man, which are all used on a regular basis.

Last year, on average, there was a crew on the river for two hours every day.

We encourage crews of all abilities and ages. One of the main aims of the Club is to make rowing on the river accessible to all. We have a very active cox training program, for rowers and non-rowers alike. So for those who don’t wish to row, there is still a way to get out on the water.

 

We particularly want to encourage younger rowers to learn to row.

We currently have around 15 youngsters, rising 9’s to 11 years old, who are learning to row with us on the creek on a Sunday, weather and tide permitting.

We also have a number of older children now experienced and strong enough to row on the river.

For all children 18 or under there is no joining fee and for 19-25 year olds, the fee is £10 per year.

 

The adult rowing attracts people with all sorts of abilities and aims. From those who want a paddle up the river with coffee and biscuits to those who train hard for events such as “The Head of the Dart” race and the “Great River Race” on the Thames. For the winter, we have two “Ergo” machines on the village hall balcony and this winter there has been a monthly challenge for the serious trainers. Regardless of usage, the fee for adults is £30 per year.

 

It is doubtful that the Club would be financially viable without the help of others.

Our District Councillors are asked nearly every year to help with projects, and last year we were able to purchase new oars with their generosity. This year we are also hoping for their help.

Darthaven Marina have always been great supporters, with very favourable rates and endless patience, particularly recently when we often seem to end up on the wrong side of the new gates without a key.

We are also very grateful for the support of the Dart Harbour Port Authority.

I also must mention the Kingswear Regatta which always makes a generous donation to the club.

 

This year the Club is participating in quite a few events; The Olympic Torch procession, The Jubilee River Pageant, our own Totnes River Row, The Dartmouth Regatta, The Kingswear Regatta, The Great River Row, and the Head of the Dart Race.

 

So finally, I have to mention all of the members who by volunteering keep the Club running smoothly. This can be organising events, helping with the youngsters, being willing to cox and train new crews or helping with the equipment maintenance. The committee is very grateful for their help and support.

 

Save The Children Fund, Kingswear And Dartmouth Branch, Jacky Neild

 

Once again, we have several enjoyable and successful fund-raising events of the past year.  We have 11 willing and hard-working committee members.

 

The year began with our regular Ridley Hill Open Garden fundraiser, where perfect weather, wonderful gardens and the warm welcome of their owners made our day a great success.  Thank you to Mr and Mrs Molloy and Mr and Mrs Curry for their generous hospitality and hard work in preparing the gardens.

 

Towards the end of April we hired the Kiosk in Royal Avenue Gardens and served home made cakes, filled rolls, savoury pies, tea and coffee to the many visitors who were enjoying Dartmouth on a warm and sunny day.  People stepping from their holiday coaches across the road from the park were delighted to sit in the sun, enjoy our good baking, and support a charity at the same time, before setting off around the town.  Their cheerfulness kept us going on what was a long and tiring day!  We repeated the day in September with even greater success.

 

In October, Joy and Mike Baylis kindly opened their home for a well-attended coffee morning where everyone enjoyed the panoramic views over the river.

 

The Bridge lunch at the end of the month was another successful event held in the Village Hall, where the players enjoyed a ploughman’s lunch and ended their play with tea and cakes.

 

In December we served coffee and mincepies at the Christmas craft and coffee event at the yacht club and later in the month visitors to the Carol Service enjoyed music by Ella’s Angels followed by mulled wine in the village hall.

 

In all, we raised  £4254.75 for the Save the Children Fund.

 

We receive generous help and support from the local community and especially Jude at the Post Office and Chris and Ella at the shop who display our posters and sell tickets for our events.  A big thank you to all.

 

In total we sent £4254.75 to the Save the Children Fund.

 

Dart Sailability, Kevin Helmore

2011 proved to be another busy season for Dart Sailability Group.  Membership numbers continue to increase which at times stretched our resources but I am pleased to say that we always managed to accommodate everybody who attended and I think it is reasonable to say that our sailors enjoyed a very active season.

For those sailors who wished to participate we ran a number weekday race sessions either based on our local waters at the Noss or, which were always popular, races to Dittisham and back.  Due to tide and wind each of these races presented their own challenges and gave plenty of opportunity for our sailors to test their skills.

Not all of our sailors wish to participate in racing and for these sailors our two Keel boats proved their worth as they were both fully manned for each session and the crews always seemed to have great fun sailing up and down the Dart.

As a group we continued to take part in the Royal Dart Yacht Clubs Wednesday evening race nights and this gave our sailors the opportunity to compete against some very experienced and enthusiastic crews and thereby helping to increase their skill levels.  Overall during the season they again proved to be competent and gained some good placeing’s on the race nights.

We again entered the Dartmouth Royal Regatta were again the crews performed well but unfortunately the Saturday race proved wetter than they would have liked when due to a wind shift their boat was capsized.

We continue to take an active part in the RYA On Board scheme, providing sailing and boating opportunities to 3 Special Needs Schools from Dartington, Torquay and Dawlish and for 2012 we will be having an additional school from Exeter.  During the course of these sessions we endeavour to provide an instructive framework providing either a one to one instruction in a dingy or group instruction using a Keel boat or those who would rather a more leisurely experience they can have a river cruise aboard our Dory Nab boat.  We have endeavoured to structure these sessions in such a way as to provide formal training appropriate to the needs of the students taking part to ensure that they all receive some form of certificated award at the end of the season.

During the summer the first local regatta took place at the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth involving several Sailability Groups.  This proved to be very successful and it is proposed for 2012 this is extended to a 2 day event involving both Keel Boats and Access Dingy plus other water based activities.  We anticipate that following the success of last year’s event we will be taking a much bigger team this year.

For 2012 we again anticipate a busy season and this could not take place without the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers who continue to give freely of their time and expertise throughout the year.  In preparation of the new season we have already obtained a new safety boat which due to the improved seating arrangement will make it easier for us to give Power Boat Instruction to any of our sailors who are interested in seeking this qualification.  Our next big project is the replacement of our Dory Nab which is the boat which we use to provide river cruises for those who are unable to sail.  Due to the delays over the redevelopment of Noss Marina we are still somewhat uncertain about pontoon and mooring facilities and have delayed our discussion as to the exact replacement boat we will purchase until we know what size berth will be available to us.  The type of boat being considered is likely to cost in excess of £30,000 and therefore once the decision regarding the actual boat has been made we will need to look into some serious fund raising. 

 

Waterhead Creek Preservation Society, Chairman Paul Folca

We apologise for there being no representative present to give this report.

Waterhead Creek Preservation Society is in its 10th year and maintains a healthy membership of local residents keen to preserve and protect the natural beauty and tranquillity of Waterhead Creek and Jubilee Park.

In the past twelve months WCPS has welcomed two new members to its committee – Jonathan Salmon of Church Park Cottages and Rosemary Taylor of Waterhead Close. The society has been involved in a number of consultations, including the design and details for an ecology interpretation board for visitors. This is being provided by South Devon AONB Estuaries Partnership to show visitors what may be of interest in and around the creek. Several years ago WCPS commissioned an extensive wildlife survey of the creek.

 The Chairman Paul Folca has also planted a yew tree in the clearing above the steps at the head of the creek. All parishes were offered a yew by the Conservation Foundation formed by David Bellamy and the Bishop of London, to mark the millennium. These have all been grown from cuttings taken from yew trees known to be living at the time of Christ. It has taken a few years for the tree to mature enough to be moved. Our tree comes from a tree growing in the churchyard at Staunton, Gloucestershire. A plaque will be fitted to explain its source.

Most recently WCPS members assisted the Parish Council prepare the lime kiln on the creek for renovation. A very worthy project.

WCPS is keen to continue working with the Parish Council to effect improvements, and so is pleased to see the new steps up to Hoodown Lane from Jubilee Park being constructed by Devon County Council. There are however concerns for the flooding of the Park due to the introduction last year of scalpings and a “turning circle” for vehicles. WCPS is pleased the Parish Council is currently discussing options for resolving this problem and re-instating the grass.

It is hoped to stage a 10th anniversary drop-in celebration in Jubilee Park for WCPS during June this year, but details will be announced in the annual newsletter due at the end of May.     

 

Kingswear WI, Secretary Aubrey McIlrath

§  2011 was a busy and enjoyable year with a varied and entertaining programme of events starting with an illustrated talk by Nigel Smallbones on the history and wildlife of the nature reserve and former fort at Berry Head.

§  A humorous talk on Tin Baths & Liberty bodices amused us in February, followed at our March meeting by a talk on life in Curacao with its fascinating Dutch heritage, blue liqueur which we sampled, and remarkable acid dripping trees.

§  On a beautiful warm day in April members travelled to Katie Franks’ Alpaca farm, where we were able to get close to the animals and also enjoy a cream tea.

§  Members set off in a minibus for our Meeting on Wheels on a warm day in June for a day at Powderham Castle and enjoyed a walk through the rose gardens, followed by an al fresco lunch and a Deer Park Safari.

§  For our July meeting, Julia Fox Curator of the Totnes Costume Museum revealed the Secrets of a Victorian Toilette.  Beautiful hand-sewn garments, from garters to silk dresses and bonnets were on display.  A much enjoyed afternoon!

§  The weather kept us indoors for our August Garden Party held at the home of the Secretary, but between the showers some of the ladies did venture outside to play Quoits.

§  Members from Brixham, Galmpton and Stoke Gabriel Institutes joined us for our September meeting.  We explored the life and work of Gustav Holst with Amelia Mariette and enjoyed a minds-eye journey to Jupiter and Mars as we listened to an early recording of The Planet Suite. We also celebrated the 90th birthday of Eileen Holden, a long-time member of the WI.  The Silver Rose Bowl for our autumn theme competition was presented to winner Barbara Lawrence, President of Brixham WI, for her beautiful silk scarf.

§  West Country Ghosts and the supernatural was the theme at our October meeting and in November Vicky Pearce introduced us to Winter Bloomers and countless ways of decorating a baked bean tin – resulting in beautiful displays of floral arrangements.

 

§  For our contribution to 2011 village life, we held our very popular Pudding Evening in February with some pudding enthusiasts sampling all 13 puddings on offer.

§  More than 60 residents were treated to a cream tea party in the village hall on the 29th of April to celebrate the Royal Wedding.  A joyful and highly commended event organised by Virginia Stevens with support from Marie Higgins and a happy group of helpers. 

§  The WI refreshment stall was very popular at the Kingswear Regatta in July which generated £500 for a donation to Shelterbox and our Macmillan Coffee Morning and Raffle in October raised £160.00.

§  Our Christmas Fair was a well attended and successful event and the craft group is already busy creating gifts and goodies for the next Christmas Fair to be held in November 2012.

§  The theatre group enjoyed a trip to Torquay to see the musical ‘Legally Blonde’, and the book club members continue to enjoy their monthly gatherings and lively discussions.

§  We celebrated the year end with Christmas Lunch at The Ship and our popular Christmas Party.

 

Our goal in 2012 is to increase membership. We offer friendship, education, fun and support and if you would like to ‘test the waters’ before becoming a member, contact our President Sandra White (on

01803 752293), who will be delighted to welcome you to one of our meetings.

Kingswear Swords, Alan Payne

We have had a good year and have increased our core numbers.

We were strongly supported at the South West Senior Epee Championships (which included wheelchair fencing – awesome) and have recently competed in an invitation match at HMS Raleigh.

We are looking to do more competitions and matches with other clubs.

As there have been no elections this year our usual trip to Jubilee Park has not happened so we would like to Fence there on June 28th weather permitting.

We are still trying to get the family session going again from 6 – 7 on a Thursday before the main session.

As usual all are welcome, no previous experience required all equipment provided, come and enjoy this noble art.

Carlow Bequest, Kingswear Parish Council

Mrs Carlow left sums of money to eighteen different village organisations. For Kingswear Parish Council the instruction “The Chairman and other officers for the time being of the Kingswear Parish Council for the use at their discretion in helping and benefiting the old people living in the Parish of Kingswear”.

When the estate was finally wound up the money amounted to £13,000 to each organisation. The money is quite separate from council funds and cannot be used to reduce the precept. The Councillors and the Clerk are the Trustees.

The current funds stand at about £9011.10, inevitably reducing. Each year the Bequest funds the Senior Citizens’ lunch. This year the event was moved from the village hall to the Royal Dart Yacht Club for a change. This year’s event was again a very enjoyable occasion.

The Bequest this year has financed the repair of Benches in the Cemetery and re location in the US Garden. There is a necessity to preserve capital for future lunches so additional projects have been considered yet, although this is reviewed within the council. Bank accounts provide little increase in interest as the balance is below £10K.

 

Kingswomen

Chairman’s final comment

The Chairman thanked all for attending and their input. He invited the attendees to give any feedback regarding the format of the evening to the Clerk, as the council is very keen to make the meeting what the community wants.

 

He congratulated all on a fantastic community.

 

There followed a cheese and wine party.

 

 

 

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