Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 30 th September 2009


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr R H Osborne

Members - Cllrs J Braund, A Eastman, B Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R W A Miller, S Robinson, R Tisdale together with 2 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs P D Biggs, Mrs A Boyle, Mrs S Collins and Mrs M Cox

1. The Reverend David Morris opened the meeting with a prayer.

2. Minutes 

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 29 th July 2009 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

3. 15 minute period for public contributions

Mrs Linda O'Dell gave a presentation on behalf of Northam Majorettes and this was followed by a presentation by Mr Hugh Brading in support of the new heating scheme for the Northam Community Hall.

4. Correspondence

(a) More Powers for Parish and Town Councils – Noted.

(b) Gambling Act – Review of Statement of Principles

It was RESOLVED to refer this to the next Planning Committee for consideration.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Street Naming – New development Hanson Park

It was RESOLVED to accept the developers suggestion of Appletree Gardens.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(d) Car Parking Policy

The Town Mayor read the Members a letter from the District Council who were convening a meeting on 26 th October to consider car parking policy for 2010. The Council is being asked to send a representative or two and it was RESOLVED to nominate Cllrs Osborne and Edwards.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee held on 6 th August 2009

The Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Miller, presented the minutes which were accepted.

He advised that a section of the Great Plain had been cut as a trial and that at some future date Mr Slade would like to make a presentation on his proposals for coast defence works.

Cllr Eastman advised that he had been in discussions with the County Council's Solicitor regarding lifting the restrictive covenant that currently exists on the transfer deed of Northam Burrows from Devon County Council to Torridge District Council. The County solicitor was apparently willing to ensure this was done and was waiting for further details from the District Council.

Cllr Robinson advised that on 21 st October the District Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be looking at the details of income and expenditure for Northam Burrows and the meeting was open to the general public.

6. Minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 29th September 2009

The Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Miller, presented the minutes which were accepted.

7. Minutes of the Finance Committee held 29 th September 2009

The Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Edwards, presented the minutes which were accepted. With respect to minute 6 – Allotments – the recommendation to increase the rent to £25 for a full plot and £12.50 for half a plot were approved.

(Vote: 9 For, 1 abst)

8. Notice of Motion – “We the undersigned under the rules of Standing Order 15 wish to rescind the decision made at full Council agreeing to Northam Town Council submitting the planning application on behalf of the Westward Ho! Tennis Club.” Councillors: - Robinson, Eastman, Edwards, Braund, Biggs, Langton, Osborne, Hames, Miller, Collins.

It was RESOLVED to rescind Minute 2 of the 24 th June 2009.

(Vote: Unanimous)

9. 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) Allotment – Notice to Quit – The Town Clerk reported that an allotment holder had failed to cultivate his allotment for some considerable time and was therefore in breach of the terms of the tenancy and he was therefore recommending that the

tenant be given Notice to Quit. It was RESOLVED to give the tenant of allotment

No 4 Notice to Quit.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Reports from County Member

Cllr Eastman reported that he had a meeting in Appledore with County staff and other County Members regarding the parking problems in the village. He was to hold a special meeting in Appledore to which the Residents' Association, Ward Members and others would be invited to listen to the County Council Officers setting out the benefits and problems associated with permit parking. He also advised that following a site inspection it had been agreed that double yellow lines would be introduced as soon as possible on Pitt Hill.

At this juncture Cllr Eastman and Cllr Tisdale left the meeting.

11. Town Clerk's report continued

(a) Allotments – requests to keep bees and chickens – Members considered the survey results from the allotment holders in respect of requests to keep bees and chickens on the allotments. It was RESOLVED to raise no objection to bees but to object to the keeping of chickens.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Ennisfarne Road Public Conveniences – This matter was referred to the Town Projects Committee for consideration.

(c) Northam Hall – To consider setting up of a Trust - This matter was referred to the Northam Hall Management Committee for their consideration.

12. Streetworks and related matters

Members' items

Cllr Edwards reported that the street light at Western Avenue was still not working.

Cllr Miller reported that the overgrown hedges outside the office had been reported to the County Council.

Cllr Osborne reported that the Pitt Avenue unlawful sign was still there.

Cllr Edwards reported that the amphibious ferry vehicle running around the estuary had been refused consent to use the Churchfields slipway and car park. He requested that a letter be sent to the District Council asking for a short trial so that any safety issues could be examined.

13. Reports from District Members

Cllr Robinson advised that the CEO had resigned.

Cllr Johnson reported that an interactive CD of Bideford, including parts of Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! had been produced by the District Council and would be distributed nationally for publicity.


14. The Town Mayor reported that the Town Clerk had submitted his resignation. Members RESOLVED to hold a special Town Council meeting to consider how to proceed on the 14 th October following the Planning meeting scheduled for that day.

(Vote: Unanimous)

15. Burrough Farm and Seagate

Members discussed the access arrangements at Burrough Farm from Dane Court and also the tenancy situation with regard to the Seagate. It was agreed that once the properties were in the hands of the Town Council appropriate negotiations would take place to improve the situation.

16. National Salary Award

It was RESOLVED to accept the National salary award of 1%.

(Vote: Unanimous)

17. Special Presentation

Cllr Edwards, reported on a sporting first for Devon and it was RESOLVED to support a special presentation, Cllr Edwards to report back at the next Council meeting.

(Vote: Unanimous)