Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 24th February 2009


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor Cllr R M M Tisdale

Members - Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A Boyle, Mrs M Cox, J Braund, A Eastman, B M Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R H Osborne, S R Robinson together with 2 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs S Collins and R W A Miller

1. Appledore Housing Needs Survey

Susan Hitchcock, the Rural Housing Enabler for the Devon Rural Housing Partnership, reported to the Council on the results of the housing needs survey carried out in Appledore. The survey identified the need for 39 affordable homes within the next three years and recommended that provision of affordable homes to meet local needs should be made at Appledore. The survey results support the development of a suitable site or sites at Appledore, the need being for social rented and shared ownership properties. The preferred tenure mix is a 3 to 1 mix of social rented and shared ownership. The preferred housing mix being 27 x 2 bedroomed homes and 12 x 3 bedroomed homes.

At this juncture Cllr Mrs Boyle joined the meeting.

Cllr Eastman questioned whether the Section 106 Agreement would ensure that local people only would be housed. Mrs Maria Bailey of the District Council advised that in order to attract financing for the project it would be necessary to have a cascade scheme which would ensure that local people came first but that the properties could be offered to those outside the area if the locals did not respond within a reasonable time frame.

Cllr Hames questioned how key workers would fit in with the proposals. Mrs Bailey advised that the District Council needed to develop the key worker policy, the existing provisions were not robust.

Cllr Mrs Biggs was of the view that key worker definitions need to be carefully considered.

Cllr Johnson thought there should be a six-month lead in before properties would be offered outside the area.

Cllr Osborne wished apprentices at the shipyard to be considered.

It was thought that the Community Land Trust would manage the properties.

Cllr Robinson thought that demand would exceed supply.

Cllr Hames was concerned about the lack of response from young people. Mrs Hitchcock agreed that this was a concern and she was also aware that the survey can build up hope too early on in the process of providing the homes and it would be necessary to re-visit the data nearer the time when the homes would be provided.

Cllrs Eastman and Robinson declared personal interests as Members of the Appledore Community Land Trust.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 27th January 2009 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

3. Minutes of the Special meeting of the Town Council held 11th February 2009

The minutes of the Special meeting of the Town Council held 11th February 2009, as amended, were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to minute 2, The British Legion Hall, Standing Orders were suspended in order that Mr Glover, a member of the Legion, could advise Members of the latest situation. Mr Glover advised that there had been a meeting with the Appledore Branch of the British Legion on Monday where four Members of the Council had also been in attendance. He advised that there was strong support to keep the Legion Club and the Hall open and that a subsequent evening meeting had been held when a new Committee had been formed and a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer appointed. It would be necessary for the new committee to submit a business plan to the British Legion. There had been a good response from local people but it would be necessary for two Councillors to be on the Committee in an advisory capacity. It was RESOLVED to nominate Cllrs Edwards and Osborne.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Mr Glover thanked the Council for its support.

4. Minutes of the meeting of the Sustainability Working Group held 11th February 2009

Members considered the minutes of the meeting of the Sustainability Working Group held 11 th February 2009 which were accepted subject to item 7 where it was agreed that local residents be asked their views on the possibility of reducing street lighting.

5. Minutes of the Finance Advisory Committee held 17th February 2009

Members considered the minutes of the Finance Advisory Committee held 17 th February 2009.

With regard to minute 2 Purchase of land at Burrough Farm and Seagate it was RESOLVED to make an application to borrow £100,000 from the Public Works Loan Board.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to minute 3 Purchase of ties etc it was RESOLVED to purchase a suitable number of ties and badges for which Councillors would make payment.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to minute 4 Northam Hall it was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation in respect of the acceptance of a tender and quotation for works at the Hall.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to minute 6 it was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee held 17th February 2009

The minutes of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee held 17 th February 2009 were accepted.

7. Town Clerk's Report

(a) Monthly Financial Report The Town Clerk presented the monthly financial report that included payments for this month and it was RESOLVED to accept with the exception of the electricity bill which was held back pending the meter being read and a new bill issued if appropriate.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Quotations for grass cutting Northam War Memorial The Town Clerk reported on the quotations for grass cutting and he advised that the lowest was submitted by Landscapes Southwest in the sum of £397.00. It was RESOLVED to accept the lowest quotation.

Cllrs Mrs Cox and Hames declared and interest and left the meeting for this item.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Blackies Plantation

The Town Clerk reported on his discussions with Mr Waite of the District Council who was now able to offer a five-year business lease. It was RESOLVED to proceed to lease this land on the basis outlined by the Town Clerk.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Streetworks and related matters

Members' items

Cllr Eastman raised his concerns regarding the progress of sorting out the cladding to Appledore Quay. He was hoping to organise a meeting for Members to see the trial panel. Cllr Eastman agreed to investigate further and report back to Members.

Cllr Hames again raised the problems of the lack of footpath at the Churchill Way/Staddon Road junction and also raised concerns about public footpath No 1 at The Mount, Appledore where surface water was carrying material over the path making it difficult for walkers. It was agreed to contact the Footpath Service of the County Council.

Cllr Mrs Cox raised her concerns at the outstanding issues with the County Council and it was agreed that the Town Clerk would draft a suitable letter listing the areas of concern to the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Devon County Council.

Cllr Osborne requested that his concerns with regard to No Waiting in Pitt Hill be included in the letter.

Cllr Edwards reported that the street light on the Western Avenue steps had still not been sorted out and that painting of the steps was awaiting better weather.

9. Local Community Partnership

Members considered e-mails in relation to the possibility of forming a Local Community Partnership for Northam. It was RESOLVED to receive the presentation of Mr Harris, the Community Development Officer for Torridge District Council at the next meeting.

10. Parish Survey

The Town Clerk reported that he received a Parish Survey form from the District Council in relation to sport, leisure and recreation. Cllr Braund undertook to complete the survey and it was RESOLVED to accept his offer.

(Vote: Unanimous)

11. Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

Members considered the letter from the Fire Service and it was RESOLVED to invite Mr Blackburn to a future meeting of the Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

12. Liaison Meeting with the District Council

The Town Mayor, Cllr Tisdale, made reference to a letter from the Golf Club in respect of Northam Burrows. It was RESOLVED to arrange a suitable date for a Liaison Committee with the District Council . Items for the agenda to include Northam Burrows, Affordable Homes at the Methodist Church Site, Appledore and any other items e-mailed to the Town Clerk over the next week.

(Vote: Unanimous)