GEORGINA Ford, from East Village, was welcomed as a new Parish Councillor at the April meeting of Sandford Parish Council.

In the Open Forum David Hope gave details of fund raising efforts by Sandford Scouts to purchase a minibus. The estimated cost was £16,000.

The Sandford Festival, a major fundraising event, was planned on the Millennium Green on July 8, 2017.

This would include music, poetry, variety and stalls. A special festival website was being created.

It was envisaged that the minibus could be used by other organisations in the Parish and the Sandford Bus Users Group had already expressed an interest. Suggestions were given by the Parish Council to access funding.

The list of suggestions for the use of the Mill Lane call box now included a Library (plus collection point to share magazines), a food bank and a information point for Parish footpaths.

It was agreed to make a final decision at the May meeting. There was no news on the supply of red paint and spare window panels.

The chairman reported on a message from The Gorwyn Trust over the acquisition of the car park at “Creedy View” - “...we have decided to gift to the village, the car park and the land to the right of the entrance to Creedy View, with a claw back (or overage) of 50 per cent if either site is developed.

“We hope the village will be happy with this decision, and we can get the solicitors to draw up the agreement as soon as possible, all expenses to be paid by the village.”

Subject to clarification of the legal term “claw back” the Parish Council agreed to accept this very generous offer.

Further discussion then took place over the need for the necessary signs for both the car park and the new play area.

The clerk had obtained a copy of the Legal Topic Note “Local Council’s Powers to provide Parking Spaces” for reference. It was envisaged that the owners of the camper vans currently parked there would be asked to remove them.

Wales and West Utilities – A response had been received to the request to make a connection of Gas mains extension to Sandford.

The nearest “relevant main” was at Stonewall Lane in Crediton, a distance of some 4,247 metres away. The cost would be in the region of £720,886 and it was also advised:

1) Total number of properties included within the scope of the scheme = 303 ?2) Penetration Level of properties to to connect within 20 year = 212 ?3) Acceptance level before proceeding = 85

4) Mains contribution per Property = £3,400

5) Typical Service Cost-= £1,200?6) Total estimated cost per property = £4,600.

It was felt that at a cost of £4,600 per property there would be insufficient interest.?Surprise was expressed by the Parish Council that a connection could not be made from where the gas mains, for North Devon, crossed the Playing Field and it has been agreed to ask why this is not possible?

It was agreed to re-arrange the date of the 2017 Village Spring Clean to around the time of the Sports Pavilion Opening in early July.

The clerk reported two donations from parish organisations towards the Sandford Community Sports Pavilion of £500 from “The Crossing”, and £100 from Sandford Parish Hall. Any other donation from individuals, or parish organisation, should sent them to the Parish Clerk, Malcolm Vallance, Myrtle Cottage, Sandford, made out to Sandford Parish Council.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on May 11 as there are Devon County Council elections on May 4.