Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29 th July 2008


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr R M M Tisdale

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs M M Cox, Mrs S Collins, A Eastman, B M Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R H Osborne, S R Robinson together with PCSO John McGovern and 6 parishioners.

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs J Braund and R W A Miller

1. 15 Minute period for public contributions

Mr D Bushby, the Chairman of the Royal North Devon Golf Club, advised the meeting of the Club's concerns in respect of the erosion of the pebbleridge. The Club were hopeful that works to re-charge a section of the ridge in the vicinity of the 8th tee would proceed. The Club had been in contact with Natural England and had also had a meeting with the Chief Executive, Leader and Lead Member for the Burrows in respect of seeking financial support for the works. The Club were hopeful that the works would be funded by the District Council with support from the Town Council. In response to a question from Cllr Edwards Mr Bushby advised that the estimate of the works was in the order of £25,000.

2. Matters of report to/from Community Constable

PCSO John McGovern advised Members of the various crime statistics of the past three months. He expressed concern that dog fouling was on the increase and he thought more bins were required, particularly in the Limers Lane area. He was pleased to advise that school vandalism was down and that evening patrols by himself and others were continuing. He advised that he had been able to access £500 for the Appledore Youth Club, £500 for the skatepark and also £1750 worth of health and safety equipment for the Surf Club. He continued to receive complaints about the goal posts in Lords Meadow.

The Town Mayor thanked Mr McGovern for attending.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 1 st July 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Sustainability Working Group held 1 st July 2008

Cllrs Mrs Cox and Hames reported on the minutes as follows: -

In respect of housing insulation, this was free for the over 70s and needed to be well publicised. The display at Appledore Library had been initiated by Cllr Hames and he was hoping to be able to do a similar exercise at the Northam Library. The Staddon Road footpath was seen as a sustainability matter as its provision would encourage more pedestrian use. Cllr Hames undertook to put a notice of motion to the next full Council. The possibility of the Council giving away fruit trees and fruit bushes was considered and it was hoped that District Councillors would use their new allowances for this purpose.

5. Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Town Council held 16 th July 2008

The minutes of the Special Meeting of the Town Council held 16 th July 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Town Council held 17 th July 2008

The minutes of the Special Meeting of the Town Council held 17 th July 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Hames – “That the Council considers the best way forward with regard to the Northam Community Centre.”

Cllr Hames reported that the trustees had a fruitful meeting with an Officer of the District Council. The District Council did not want to sell the property but they were obliged to renew the lease. The Community Centre now had a new management committee who were hoping to take the Hall forward. They would be pursuing funding from various bodies and Cllr Hames hoped that the Town Council would be committed to the Hall. Cllr Hames proposed that Standing Orders be suspended in order that the Chairman of the Management Committee could speak. On being put to the vote the proposal was lost.

(Vote: 2 For, 10 against)

Following further debate it was RESOLVED to write to the Chairman of the Committee and ask for a written explanation as to the proposals for the future of the Hall.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Notice of Motion from Cllr Hames – “That the Council considers how best to secure for the future the South Road slipway.”

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and the Town Clerk advised that this matter had been considered on numerous occasions in the past. If the route is to be secured as a public right of way then evidence forms need to be submitted to the County Council as Highway Authority. Various Members undertook to ensure that this would happen.

9. Notice of Motion from Cllr Hames - “That the Council considers becoming a Member of the Devon Association of Community Buildings.”

There was general support for this Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED to refer the matter to the Finance Sub-Committee for consideration.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Notice of Motion from Cllr Eastman – “That the Town Council considers making a contribution to the cost of works at the pebbleridge in support of the Golf Club and Torridge District Council.”

Cllr Eastman spoke in support of his Notice of Motion outlining the meetings he had with the Council's chief Executive and Leader in his role as a District Councillor and Lead Member for Northam Burrows. He then advised that he had a prejudicial interest and left the meeting.

Members expressed various views. There was concern that the works would not be effective but at the same time they wished to see the Northam Burrows defended.

Cllr Eastman's Notice of Motion was put to the vote and it was RESOLVED to approve.

(Vote: 10 For, 2 against)

It was also RESOLVED to refer the matter to the Finance Sub-Committee for consideration as to the appropriate contribution.

(Vote: Unanimous)

11. Town Clerk's Report

Monthly Financial Report – The Town Clerk presented the monthly financial report that included payments for this month and it was RESOLVED to accept.

(Vote: Unanimous)

12. Streetworks and related matters

(a) Bone Hill, Northam – Crossing improvement

Members considered the proposals of the County Council and it was RESOLVED to advise them that the Council fully supports and welcomes this improvement.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Members' items

(i) Cllr Johnson raised the matter of street cleaning in Northam village and how best to resolve the situation. It was agreed that this would be considered at the next Town Projects Committee.

(ii) Cllr Robinson expressed the view that the new footpath from Windmill Lane to Bloody Corner was too wide.

(iii) Cllr Eastman was concerned about the state of the planters on Appledore Quay and it was agreed to write to TDC. He also raised the problem of the lack of footpath on Churchill Way near the Staddon Road junction.

(iv) Cllr Mrs Cox enquired as to the latest situation with regard to the cycle path on Heywood Road. It was agreed to contact Mr Mike Newcombe.

(v) Cllr Hames thought that the new footpath from Windmill Lane to Bloody Corner acted as traffic calming on Churchill way. He expressed concern about the amount of litter on Churchill Way after grass cutting and it was agreed to contact the District Council.

(vi) Cllr Osborne complained about the invasion of road signs and gave as an example a new warning sign on the Richmond Road bend advising of a slippery road.

(vii) Cllr Edwards reported that there were raised manhole covers on the quay opposite the Seagate Hotel. It was agreed to contact the County Council. He also advised that during the Appledore and Instow regatta nobody was controlling the slipway in the Churchfields car park. It was agreed to write to the District Council and ask them to replace the notices that had been removed by persons unknown.

(viii) Cllr Langton reported that a number of the road directional signs were partially covered by overgrowing trees and hedges. He also thought that the dog bin on Bone Hill needs repositioning and that graffiti has appeared on the memorial. It was agreed to contact TDC.

13. The Boundary Commission's Structural Review for Devon

a) To consider the report

Members considered the report and agreed to assemble questions for the Leader and Chief Executive when they meet the Council on 27 th August 2008.

(b) Notice of Motion from Cllr Robinson – “ That this Council, in the strongest possible terms, refutes and deplores the inferred subsuming by the Boundary Committee of Northam into a greater Bideford entity. We speak as Lords of the Manor, Trustees of the Common Right and as elected Councillors representing the ancient towns and villages of Northam, Appledore, Westward Ho! and Orchard Hill, this being particularly pertinent in that the population of Northam vastly exceeds that of many of the other 28 towns listed in the Boundary Committee's interim report. ”

Following a discussion Cllr Robinson withdrew his Notice of Motion.

14. Westward Ho! Tennis Club

Members considered whether to meet with the Tennis Club to discuss their proposals. It was agreed that in view of the imminent public consultation by the Club that consideration of the meeting be deferred to a later date.

15. Bridge Hall

Cllr Edwards reported that a Surveyor had been approached with a view to preparing the necessary drawings and specifications. The Committee had met on a number of occasions and matters were generally in hand.

16. Skateboard Park, Appledore

Cllr Edwards reported that the specification for the works had now been finalised and the next step was to go out to tender.

17. Burrough Farm Field and Seagate car park Business Plans

Cllr Mrs Boyle reported that there had been a helpful meeting with an Officer of the District Council. The Business Plan Group were to meet again to finalise the plans with the intention that the final documents be submitted to the District Council in mid August. It was anticipated that the District Council would consider the matter at their meeting in September.

Cllr Mrs Biggs and Mrs Collins left the meeting at this juncture.

18. Appledore War Memorial

The Town Clerk reported that the British Legion had requested that the memorial be cleaned up. In the main this would require weeding of the paved areas and possibly clean down of the stonework. It was RESOLVED to carry out the work.

(Vote: Unanimous)