Withiel Parish Council has reduced its precept for 2015, meaning that people in Withiel will pay less tax to the council next year. The precept has been cut by £250, a small saving for every household. Councillors discussed cutting the precept even further, but decided in the interests of prudence to maintain a stronger reserve. With the County Council facing cuts of £194 million, the economic situation is far from clear.

From a financial standpoint the last year has been very successful for Withiel. The council’s inadequate cash reserves have been rebuilt and now meet the guideline of 50 percent of the precept. While a careful rein has been kept on spending, a major benefit arises from the fact that Councillor Simon Coy acted as Clerk on an honorary basis, reducing our biggest item of expenditure to near zero. This situation could not continue indefinitely, but

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Minutes of the meeting of Withiel Parish Council held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 3rd December 2014, starting at 7:15 pm.

347/14 Attendance: Cllr Kirkby (Chair) Cllr Shearer, Cllr Harper, Cllr Cubitt, Cllr Coy. Cllr Malone. Apologies: Cllr Nott-Bower, out of county on business and County Councillor Batters. Also present: PCSO Linda Thomas, Parish Clerk R Turner and six members of the public.

348/14 Members Declaration of Interest and any requests for dispensations. Cllrs Coy and Harper advised the meeting that they were using recording devices for their own benefit.

349/14 Invitation to address the meeting: Members of the public. None

350/14 To approve the minutes of the meeting of 12th November 2014. Proposed Cllr Shearer and seconded Cllr Malone. Vote unanimous.

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Members of Withiel Parish Council are hereby summoned to attend:

Withiel Parish Council Meeting

Village Hall

Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 7.15 pm

Members of the Parish and Public are invited to attend

AGENDA

347/14 Attendance.

348/14 Members Declaration of Interest and any requests for dispensations.

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Draft Minutes

of the meeting of Withiel Parish Council

held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 12th

November 2014

starting at 7:20 pm

after the reading of some parish notices including a tribute and minute’s silence led by Cllr Coy to the late Ivan Martyn, an ex councillor and parish clerk .

332/14 Attendance Cllr Kirkby (Chair) Cllr Shearer, Cllr Harper, Cllr Cubitt, Cllr Coy. Cllr Malone, Cllr Nott-Bower. Also present: PCSO Linda Thomas, County Councillor Chris Batters, Parish Clerk R Turner and ten members of the public.

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathNovember 2014

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953 she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream of becoming a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depressions. She grapples with difficult relationships and a society that refuses to take her aspirations seriously.

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The intractable problem of motorcycling in Cork Woods, which has defeated Parish Councils for years, seems to be coming to a resolution, Withiel Parish Council believes. At its November meeting, clarity was obtained for the first time on who owns what land, and Councillor Harry Harper said he had stopped the motorcycling in his fields and the portion of Cork Woods he owns.

The Council is also pushing ahead with the Neighbourhood Emergency Plan and has begun planning for next year’s precept, and is warning that with Cornwall Council facing budget cuts of £194 million over four years, services they currently provide may disappear. If town and parish councils take the work on, they’ll have to pay for it themselves.

The meeting opened with a tribute to the late Ivan Martyn. Councillor Coy said Ivan had given years of service to Withiel Parish Council as Clerk and as a Councillor. He brought to the Council the benefit of his wide legal experience and a wealth of local knowledge, and was instrumental in getting the Village Hall built. A minute’s silence was observed in recognition of

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purple hibiscusOctober 2014

Purple Hibiscus is the story of fifteen year old Kambili and her family. Set in post-colonial Nigeria, it is a turbulent time to be growing up, as a military coup overthrows the government. This is not however a political novel, although the events do touch the life of the narrator.

Kambili comes from a devout Catholic family. As the story starts, her older brother Jaja has caused a family row by not attending communion. Threat is heavy in the air from this opening incident, both in the reaction of their father and in Kambili’s silent pleas to her brother to ‘seal his mouth’.

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stonerOctober 2014

Stoner was a great hit. The novel tells the story of William Stoner, a farm boy whose parents made huge sacrifices to send him to college to study agriculture, but he fell in love with literature and became an English professor – assistant professor – married, had a little girl, taught through both World Wars, and lived what most would call an unremarkable life.  One of our member’s experience with the book was typical for most of us:

“I was a reluctant reader with this book, for quite a while. I read the first couple of chapters and left it, knowing I’d probably allow it to filter to the bottom of my book reading stack. However, with such a lovely summer, my book pile started to shrink and Stoner was back on top. I began with the intention of skim reading, but slowly Stoner sucked me in.

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North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson attended the October meeting of Withiel Parish Council but held out no hope that he would help stop the spread of wind turbines. He was more positive on better broadband, and on the money Withiel is owed for the solar farm at Kerriers – but on turbines, the shutters are down.

It was pointed out that while Cornwall Council claims it is encouraging the proliferation of turbines because of national policy, other counties have not interpreted that policy in the same way – in fact this tiny parish has more wind turbines than Surrey, Sussex and Kent put together. Mr Rogerson said this was because the wind was in the west, but if you’ve stood on Beachy Head or Box Hill you’ll know there are many places in the Home Counties where wind turbines would be just as valid – or as useless – as Withiel. If the government was doing to the Home Counties what it is doing to Cornwall, there would be a riot.

Mr Rogerson said that the distribution of wind turbines was “unfair” but

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A list of 15 complaints by former Withiel Parish Council Chairman Richard Thomas against Councillor Patrick Malone and Councillor Janet Shearer under the Code of Conduct have been rejected by the Monitoring Officer for Cornwall Council after investigation.

Mr Thomas sought a review of the rejection of some of his complaints against Councillor Shearer, but his appeal was also rejected, with Mr Thomas being described as “disingenuous” for complaining of actions which he had himself effectively endorsed in writing.

Mr Thomas’s complaints against Councillor Malone included

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