Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 16th December 2009


PRESENT: Chairman - Deputy Town Mayor Cllr C K Langton

Members - Cllrs Mrs S Boyle, Mrs S Collins, J Braund, A Eastman, B Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, R Tisdale together with 1 parishioner

Apologies were recorded on behalf of the Town Mayor, Cllr R H Osborne,

Cllrs Mrs P D Biggs, Mrs M Cox and S Robinson

1. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 25 th November 2009 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. Correspondence :

(a) Dog Waste Bin Goodwood Park Road

Members considered a letter from residents of Goodwood Park Road complaining about the positioning of the dog bin at the entrance to the estate. The Town Clerk reported that he had requested the District Council to re-position the bin and that this had now been done. Members took the view that this matter was now closed.

(b) Torridge District Council Questionnaire

The Town Clerk reported that he had received a questionnaire where the Town Council was being asked to respond. It was considered impractical for the Council to respond as a corporate body and Members were requested to reply on an individual basis using the online facility available from the District Councils' website.

3. Minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 2 nd December 2009

The above minutes, setting out the projects for the next financial year were considered and it was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Finance Committee held 2 nd December 2009

The above minutes, which set out the budget for the forthcoming financial year, were considered. It was noted that the total expenditure for 2010/2011 is estimated at £200,500. After making due allowance for £100,00 to be kept in reserve it was noted that the planned expenditure could be undertaken by setting a precept of £105,000, a £5,000 increase over the 2009/2010 precept. It was RESOLVED to notify the District Council that a precept of £105,000 was required for the 2010/2011 financial year.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Minutes of the Burrows Committee held 16 th December 2009

The above minutes which set out the best way of proceeding with regard to the Council's aim to acquire Northam Burrows from Torridge District Council, were considered. It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation that investigations be made into the costs of proceeding with the Business Plan.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Minutes of the Staff Appointments Working Group held 16 th December 2009

The above minutes were considered. It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation that the four applicants identified for interview be invited to attend on 12 th January 2010. The interviews would be in the presence of the whole Council and would commence at 10 am on that day. The Council would meet at 9.30 am in order to finalise arrangements and questions etc.

(Vote: 8 For, 1 abst)

7. Boundary Committee Recommendation

Members noted that the Boundary Committee had recently reported that their final recommendation for Devon was a unitary authority excluding Plymouth and Torbay. Members considered this and RESOLVED to respond as they had done before.

8. Revised Environmental Policy

Cllrs Hames and Mrs Collins reported on the revised document which had been prepared. It was RESOLVED to accept the policy as amended.

(Vote: Unanimous)

9. 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)

10. Streetworks and related matters :

Members' items

(a) Cllr Eastman reported on the ivy that was growing on the handrails to the steps at the entrance to Anchor Park and also hanging over the wall into Richmond Road. It was agreed to contact Landscapes Southwest and ask them to remove the ivy.

(b) Cllr Eastman reported that he was concerned about the number of people who park their vehicles in places where the kerbs had been dropped to enable pedestrians to cross the road. He was to take this matter up with the County Council and he asked his fellow Members to identify sites where this was a problem.

(c) Cllr Tisdale raised concerns regarding speeding on Buckleigh Road and Cllr Eastman advised on the efforts he was making as a County Councillor to resolve the problem.

(d) Cllr Hames reported that there was a problem with litter in Anchor Park and requested that the street cleaner be asked to attend.

(e) Cllr Edwards complained about the bus companies who were competing vigorously which meant that on many occasions two buses came along at the same time.

11. Reports from County Members

(a) Cllr Mrs Boyle advised that the County were involved with the wind energy project in the Bristol Channel and she was discussing with Devon Sea Fisheries the effect that it could have on fishermen.

(b) Cllr Eastman reported on the problem of smoke alarms in properties not working because they had been interfered with or not maintained properly. He advised that there would be an Early Days motion by our local MP and he requested all Members to support the motion in order that the necessary legislation could be brought into place.

c) Cllr Eastman also reported that if the Town Council had specific highways and traffic issues to raise that these be notified in advance to himself and to the Barnstaple office, then Officers would be only too happy to attend a suitably arranged meeting. He knew that the local PCSO had some information on speeding in the area.