Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 30th March 2010


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor Cllr C K Langton

Members - Cllrs Mrs P D Biggs, Mrs S Collins, Mrs M Cox, B Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, R H Osborne, S Robinson, R Tisdale together with 6 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs J Braund, A Eastman R Miller

1. Minutes

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

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. Correspondence :

(a) Letter from Minister for Defence

Members considered the letter from Quentin Davies MP, the Minister for Defence, Equipment and Support which set out the proposals of the Ministry with regard to the helicopter search and rescue service from RMB Chivenor. Members were very concerned at the proposed loss of the night time service, particularly having regard to the local marine activity e.g. the Lundy ferry, the Oldenburg, the local fishing fleet and the many recreational sailors using the Taw Torridge estuary with the dangerous bar. It was RESOLVED to respond to Mr Davies highlighting the concerns and making the point that nothing less than full 24 hour cover was required.

(Vote: Unanimous) 

(b) Reply from Skern Lodge

Members considered the reply from Skern Lodge regarding fencing and hedge removal. It was RESOLVED to refer the letter to the Town Projects Committee who would be asked to consider offering a grant to Skern Lodge towards the cost of providing a hedge along Torridge Road.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Dog Bin

Members considered an email from a resident who was seeking a dog bin at the junction of Southlea with Cluden Road. It was RESOLVED to refer this to the Town Projects Committee for consideration.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(e) Northam Lodge

Members considered a letter from Northam Lodge who were seeking a pedestrian crossing on Heywood Road in the vicinity of the Lodge. Members were supportive of the idea and RESOLVED to pass the matter to the local County Councillor who was the Chairman of the HATOC Committee requesting that the suggestion received serious consideration.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(f) Burrough Farm Field

The Town Mayor reported the letter received from a resident regarding the weed spraying on Burrough Farm Field in preparation of the allotment site. He advised that he had sent a holding reply. The Town Clerk advised that he had received another letter regarding the allotments and also an e-mail and it was RESOLVED to refer these to the Town Projects Committee for action.

(Vote: Unanimous)

3. Minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 4 th March 2010

The minutes of the Town Projects Committee held 4 th March 2010 were considered and the actions noted.

4. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Committee held 10 th March

The minutes of the Northam Burrows Committee held March 2010 were considered and the actions noted.

5. Notice of Motion from Cllr Hames That arrangements be made for information to be placed on the Notice Boards telling the public what the Boards are for and where the keys can be obtained in order to put up notices.

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and it was agreed that the Town Clerk would produce a suitable notice for insertion in the Notice Boards and that Ward Members would take responsibility for placing appropriate notices.

6. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox With the allotment waiting list building up fast again - now nearly 40 - and having a statutory duty to provide allotments I propose that we enter negotiations with TDC for the Tadworthy field to be leased to NTC for the purpose of providing allotments." -

Members considered the above Notice of Motion. Cllr Mrs Cox explained that it would take some time to resolve all the issues with regard to this land as it was subject to an agricultural tenancy. It was RESOLVED to contact the District Council with the purpose of commencing negotiations to acquire all of the land currently owned by the District Council at Tadworthy Road.

(Vote: Unanimous)

7. Matters of Report to/from the Police

PCSOs John McGovern and Andy Elston were in attendance to advise Members of the recent crime figures which had seen a blip during the month of February, possibly due to a travelling team moving through the area. It was reported that the Northam Youth Club had been closed due to theft of confectionery and investigations were continuing.

8. Notice of Motion from Cllr Eastman - "that one of the two free days that the Town Council is allowed by the District Council for free parking be allocated to Churchfields car park on Sunday 18th July 2010 for the purpose of the Appledore Pilot Gig Club Regatta".

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED that the District Council be advised that one of the free days allocated to the Town Council be as requested by Cllr Eastman.

(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) Mayor's Chain The Town Mayor reported on the difficulties of the existing chain due to its size. It was agreed that something needed to be done and the matter was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration.

10. Streetworks and related matters:

Members' items

A letter from Mr Graham Andrews was considered, who was concerned at the closure of the footpath alongside Northam House. Members expressed concern that planning consent had been given for the erection of the gate which was now permanently locked and Cllr Robinson agreed to pursue the investigations as to the status of the path being carried out by the County Council.

Cllr Johnson referred to the brown signs on the link road and was concerned that there were none at the Heywood Road roundabout directing people to Westward Ho! or Appledore.

Cllr Tisdale was concerned about the number of potholes and also the problems on Stanwell Hill which in parts was very narrow and where there have been a number of near misses.

Cllr Langton, referring to signs in general, and the fact that many of them were fading, proposed that there be an item on the next full Council meeting to consider signs in general and it was so RESOLVED .

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Edwards was concerned that the seats on Appledore Quay were in a poor state and that the flower tubs needed to be planted out. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council requesting action to be taken.

11. Reports from District Members

Cllr Johnson reported that in his tourism role with the District Council he was seeking to ensure that the Burton Art Gallery remained open seven days per week from Easter to the end of September. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council in support of Cllr Johnson's efforts.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Mrs Cox reported that the LDF consultation was completed and that there would be a meeting in May to finalise the document. She also advised that she was a member of the Diversity Group on Torridge District Council who were currently concerned with the decline of the swift.

Cllr Leather (TDC Member) attended the meeting to advise Members that he was the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee who were currently looking at Northam Burrows. He was interested to hear of the proposals of the Town Council with regard to them possibly becoming responsible for the Burrows.