Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 31st March 2009


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

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

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs P Biggs and J Braund

1. 15 Minute period for public contributions

Mr P Reveley, on behalf of the Appledore Residents' Association, thanked the Council and in particular Councillors Mrs Cox and Hames for the tree planting in Anchor Park. He requested that Blackies Plantation be used for planting of trees, especially those recovered from Anchor Park after the vandalism. Cllr Mrs Cox advised that the vandalised trees had been recovered and planted elsewhere for this season. It was planned to replant them next season.

At this juncture Cllr Miller joined the meeting.

2. Local Community Partnership

Mr Malcolm Harris, Community Development Officer for TDC, presented a discussion paper whereby he was advising that the time is now right for a Community Partnership for Northam. There were a number of benefits to be obtained from such a partnership inasmuch that it brings people together who would work collectively for the overall benefit of the community, it would act as a route to additional funds and it had the ability to make things happen.

The Chair of the Local Community Partnership would have a seat on the Strategic Body providing the key services.

The idea would be to use the existing Town Plan as a basis and with the Town Council taking the lead a new Community Action Plan would come out following consultation with the people.

Members discussed the proposals and whilst there were both strong reservations and a desire to move forward it was agreed that Mr Harris would bring back more detailed proposals and that the Town Council would request the Town Projects Committee to set up a small sub-group in order to further investigate the proposal.

(Vote: 11 For, 1 abst)

The Town Mayor thanked Mr Harris for his attendance.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 24 th February 2009 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Notice of Motion from Cllr Eastman – “That the Town Council resolves to support the Appledore Community Land Trust in providing Local Needs housing for Appledore”

Members considered the above Notice of Motion. Cllr Eastman advised that the District Council required to know whether the Town Council were in support of the Appledore Community Land Trust. Members were very appreciative of the work carried out by

Cllr Eastman and others and it was RESOLVED to advise the District Council that the Town Council is in full support of the Appledore Community Land Trust in providing Local Needs housing for Appledore.

Cllrs Eastman and Robinson declared personal interests in this item and did not vote.

(10 For; 2 abst)

5. 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.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Reports on purchase of land at Appledore and Northam – The Town Clerk advised that due to the confidential nature of the business this matter be considered in Part II later in the meeting. It was so RESOLVED .

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Lease of Blackies Plantation – The Town Clerk advised that a full business lease was now being offered by the District Council for a period of five years and he had now received the draft lease document. It was RESOLVED to place this matter in the hands of the Council's Solicitor with the object of completing the lease as soon as possible.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(d) Appledore Skate Park – The Town Clerk advised that following earlier problems when the lowest tenderer had withdrawn a new contractor had been found specialising in this field and his tender, in the sum of £20,000, had just been received. It was RESOLVED to accept this tender subject to Big Lottery being satisfied that the scheme may proceed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(e) External presentations to Council – The Town Clerk advised that he had a number of people wishing to come to speak to the Council and he was concerned that this would drag on if the Council were to stick to its policy of only one presentation per meeting. It was RESOLVED to invite the Torridge Planning Officer to the Planning meeting on the 28 th April and the Senior Council for Devon and Neighbourhood Watch Group to the Town Council meeting on the same evening.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Streetworks and related matters

(a) Request from parishioner for litter bin outside Northam Library

The Town Clerk advised that the local parishioner reported that people were using the takeaway food outlets in the village and then sitting on the seats outside the library. The result was that the leftovers from the meals, packaging etc were being left on the ground outside the seats and they requested that a litter bin be provided. It was RESOLVED to refer this matter to the Town Projects Committee.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Members' items

Cllr Johnson advised that two dog bins were being requested at Morwenna Park. It was RESOLVED to refer this matter to the Town Projects Committee.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Hames referred to the meeting with the County Council on 9 th April and requested that the matter of the footways along Churchill Way be placed on the agenda. It was necessary for the verges to be cut back as they were encroaching excessively on the footway making it very narrow. It was so RESOLVED .

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Hames also reported that the Environment Agency were working to have the debris and other items deposited on the public slipway at the bottom of South Road removed. It was understood that an Enforcement Order had been served on a Mr Glover.

Cllr Osborne requested that the following items be placed on the agenda for the meeting with the County Council on 9 th April:-

The completion of the Padshall Park i.e. the connection of the drains with the main drains system. This would require the partial closure of Heywood Road from Raleigh Hill to Hanson Park.

Mandatory 40mph speed limit on the A39 from the Buckleigh Road Junction to a point considerably east of the Westleigh Junction. This would include the link road from the A39 to the Roundabout from Bideford East to Instow. The current speed limits are not enforceable. There have been many serious accidents, shunts and near misses at both the Heywood Road Junction (especially eastbound on the A39) and at the Westleigh Junction, due to excessive speed. Now that there is a weight restriction on the Bideford Long Bridge, far more HGV's turn right onto the A39 at the Westleigh Junction, and it has been observed that the A39 eastbound is blocked by long vehicles turning right onto the A39 westbound.

The removal of the “Welcome to Bideford” signs on the A39 each side of Heywood Road Roundabout as they are both well within the Orchard Hill Ward of Northam.

Reason for the introduction of slippery road signs wherever possible during summer 2008. They should only be shown where necessary as “familiarity breeds contempt” and they will be ignored where they are needed most.

Weight restriction on the whole length of Pitt Hill / Pitt Lane form Richmond Road to Wooda Road. Lorries (presumably guided by sat-nav) are using this narrow road and getting stuck, blocking it for all users.

Consideration of speed cameras on Heywood Road between the A39 roundabout and Churchill Way.

Bend right sign (including warning of “Traffic in middle of road”) and SLOW sign painted on the road on the A386 between Fairway and the blind corner before approach to Staddon Road. There is no pavement on this bend, and vehicles are usually parked on the right hand side of the road beyond the blind bend, forcing approaching traffic into the path of traffic going round the corner at speed. This is an example of where the “slippery road” sign is inappropriate.

It was so RESOLVED.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Edwards reported that the lights on the Western Avenue steps had been repaired but unfortunately were out again and the white line had not yet been done.

7. Liaison Committee Meeting with Torridge District Council

(a) Northam Burrows

Members reported that there had been a general discussion about the Burrows and that some of the costs had been presented. If the Town Council were going to pursue transfer of the Burrows themselves it would be necessary for them to prepare a business plan. However, before embarking on this it would be necessary to carry out further investigations and it was RESOLVED to appoint Cllrs Mrs Boyle, Eastman, Edwards and Miller to open informal discussions with Torridge District Council Officers and report back in due course.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Other items

Cllr Eastman reported on the situation with regard to the new panels that were being manufactured to clad the Appledore Quay wall. He was hoping to visit the site at New Road, Bideford with Cllrs Tisdale and Robinson and Mr Reveley from the Appledore Residents' Association.



It was RESOLVED that in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded and they are instructed to withdraw.  

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Purchase of land – Seagate car park, Appledore and Burrough Farm, Northam

The Town Clerk reported that the application of the Town Council to borrow monies for this purpose was being processed. He had been advised that the DAPC had now processed the application and were forwarding it to the Government Office for approval.

With regard to the Seagate car park he advised on certain constraints. It was RESOLVED to place the matter in the hands of the Council's Solicitor with a view to completing the transfer of this land from the District Council. The Town Clerk to report back on any unforeseen problems prior to completion.

(Vote: Unanimous)

In respect of Burrough Farm fields there were some issues that needed to be resolved but these could be done at the conveyance stage and it was RESOLVED to place the matter in the hands of the Council's Solicitor with a view to completing the transfer of this land from the District Council. The Town Clerk to report back on any unforeseen problems prior to completion.

(Vote: Unanimous)