Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 24 th February 2010

PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor Cllr C K Langton

Members - Cllrs Mrs S Boyle, Mrs S Collins, B Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, R Miller, R H Osborne, S Robinson, R Tisdale together with 2 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs P D Biggs, Mrs M Cox and Cllr A Eastman

1. Minutes

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

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. 15 minute period for public contributions

Mr Barry Taylor, on behalf of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee, reported on progress in setting up new areas for Neighbourhood Watch. He advised that attempts in Appledore and Westward Ho! to establish groups had been unsuccessful. They would try in Northam and there were two meetings planned at the Leisure Centre. They were also now looking at the Orchard Hill ward, which for Police purposes comes under the Bideford Police Constable, and a meeting was to be held at the Springfield Centre. Mr Taylor agreed to supply names of the co-ordinators to the Town Clerk once these were known.

The Town Mayor thanked Mr Taylor for his attendance.

3. Correspondence :

(a) Parish Council Emergency Planning Support Sessions

Members considered the invitation from the Environment Agency who were seeking Parish Councillors to attend an Emergency Planning Session. It was RESOLVED to nominate the Town Mayor, Cllr Langton, as the Town Council representative.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Northam History Project

Members considered a letter from Anthony and Julia Barnes, who are seeking the Council's support towards a community project in preparing a consolidated history of Northam. It was RESOLVED to endorse the project and request further details as to what support was specifically being requested.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Energy Saving Trust

Members considered a letter from the Energy Saving Trust requesting that the Council become a Member of Green Communities, the benefits of which would be to give the Council access to funding advice and free consultancy on energy efficiency matters. It was RESOLVED to become a Member.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Committee held 2 nd February 2010

The minutes of the Northam Burrows Committee held 2 nd February were considered and the actions noted.

5. Minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 16 th February 2010

The minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 16 th February 2010 were considered. Cllr Hames raised his concerns about the use of herbicides. It was pointed out that the Council had followed the advice of the Allotments Regeneration Initiative South West Mentor.

6. Matter referred from Planning Committee Election of Chairman for Planning Committee.

Cllr Langton advised that as he had now taken on the role of Town Mayor, he thought it appropriate that the Chairmanship of the Planning Committee should be undertaken by another Councillor. The view was expressed that this was a role that should be taken on by the Deputy Mayor and Cllr Mrs Boyle was duly proposed and seconded. On being put to the vote it was RESOLVED to appoint Cllr Mrs Boyle as Chairman of the Planning and Licensing Committee.

(Vote: Unanimous)

7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Hames With reference to the section in the Council's Environmental Policy which aims to encourage energy reduction in the use of transport in the Parish and with reference to the increasing volume of traffic on Churchill Way, it is proposed that the Council writes to Babcocks at Appledore Shipyard to ask whether the company has a transport policy which, for example, encourages its employees to car share and to use alternative forms of transport.

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and whilst there was general support for the principle concern was expressed that the Council would be selecting one individual employer. Cllr Edwards proposed an amendment that the Council write a suitable letter to the Press to encourage car sharing in general and it was so RESOLVED.

(Vote: 9 For, 1 against)

8. 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) Quotations for Grass Cutting The Town Clerk reported that he had received three quotations for grass cutting at the War Memorial site and Northam Hall and that the lowest quotation had been provided by Four Seasons in the sum of £1440. It was RESOLVED to accept this quotation.

(Vote: Unanimous)

9. Streetworks and related matters:

(a) Street Lighting Part night lighting

Members considered the above topic and RESOLVED to advise the County Council that the following streets need to remain lit all night:

(i)  Hanson Park road and footway to the riverbank, past the Council Offices and Rugby Ground and Victoria Park to Bideford Quay.  This is an important footpath link late at night for people walking home from town.  Many of the pubs are open to 2 am.

(ii)    Fore Street, the Square, Sandymere Road and part of Diddywell Road.  This is the main link to the residential area of Northam and pubs remain open in the village centre to late hours, also Bay View Road as a main link to the top part of the town and to Buckleigh.

(iii)    Cornborough Road to remain lit to the edge of the development, and Bay View Road the whole length from Northam to Stanwell Hill and Golf Links Road from the junction with Nelson Road to Kingsley Park.  There are many licensed premises which go on to the early morning. 

(iv)     Appledore - The Quay, Churchfields, Irsha Street, Jubilee Road and Market Street.  A number of reasons here, the proximity of the sea, with unprotected edges, the number of licensed premises that remain open to the early hours, the access to the lifeboat slip all given reason to keep on all night. 

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Members' items

Cllr Edwards reported that the May to September No Waiting signs were missing on Appledore Quay, that the direction sign for the public amenities was mis-aligned and that the signs indicating the closure of the gates to the Burrows were not clear.

Cllr Osborne reported that the Pitt Avenue Tarka Housing sign was still in place.

Cllr Hames reported that the coastal path from Boat Hyde to the Shipyard had been filled in and remained a quagmire. It was agreed to write to the Coast and Countryside Service.

Cllr Tisdale reported on the ongoing problems of speeding in Buckleigh Road.

10. Reports from District Members

Cllr Johnson reported that he was now a Director of North Devon Plus.

Cllr Robinson reported that the District Council had now set their budget.

Cllr Tisdale reported that the Potwalloping Festival was to be revived and that he had used part of his Torridge allowance to help fund it and in a similar way he had helped Seize the Moment to purchase a table tennis table. He also advised that he was concerned that there is no agreed timescale for the necessary works at Westward Ho! and that he was pressing for this to be actioned as monies were now due to come in as part of the planning agreements on the new developments. He also advised that there had been discussions taking place on proposals to construct a new road linking Atlantic Way, from Commons to Golf Links Road opposite the Golf Club, with the land currently protected as a rural gap being developed. Members expressed their concern at this proposal and Cllr Tisdale undertook to investigate the matter further and report back.

11. Reports from County Members

Cllr Robinson reported that Northam Road was to be subject to a 20mph speed limit with further traffic calming measures.