Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber,

Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 23rd February 2005.



PRESENT:     Chairman         - Town Mayor – Cllr L Ford

Members                                  - Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce, R D Bradford MBE, 

   E J Davies, R W A Miller, P Sturges,

   together with PC M Tricker, Devon & Cornwall  

   Constabulary and 8 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs A Barnes, J Bell, A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE,

K A Lane and P B Waters


1.         Mr Richard Ewen, Exchange Teacher from Australia, presented the Councillors with some small mementos from the people of Northam, Western Australia, to recognise the bond between the towns.  Cllr Mrs Mounce, on behalf of the Council, thanked Mr Ewen for the presentation and trusted that he would have an enjoyable stay in Northam. 


2.         Public Forum


The Council received a presentation from Mr L Garland regarding some deficiencies, as he saw them, in the Local Investigation Procedure rules regarding standards in Local Government.  In particular he was concerned that not all the documentation was available at a recent investigation.


3.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 25th January 2005 were approved and signed. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


4.         Matters of report to/from Police Beat Manager


PC Tricker reported the crime figures for the preceding month.


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) Vacancy for Councillor at Westward Ho!  


The Town Clerk reported that Cllr Tamplin had resigned and, at the request of Councillors, read out his letter of resignation.  He reported that the necessary Notices advertising the vacancy would be posted in the next few days. 



(c) Royal Garden Party


It was RESOLVED to nominate Cllr Davies to go forward to the County Ballot.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Appledore Skateboard Park


Members considered the draft lease for the skateboard park at Appledore and the Town Clerk reported that he had now received a quotation of £945.00 to extend the Council’s Public Liability insurance for this facility.  Councillor Sturges reported that the District Council were willing to carry out the monthly inspections and the annual ROSPA inspection on a re-chargeable basis to the Town Council and that Council Officers were willing to work with the Town Council and Skateboard Committee to seek an Awards for All grant.  It was RESOLVED to accept the draft lease and to sign it as soon as practicable, to set up a small working party of Appledore Councillors to meet with the Skateboard Committee and to work with Mrs Braddick of the District Council with regard to the Awards for All grant.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e) Mayor’s Reception


The Town Mayor reported that his Reception would be on Sunday 15th May at Skern Lodge and invitations would be sent out in due course in the usual way.


            (f) Declarations of Interest


The Town Clerk reported that he had noticed that many authorities have an early item on their agendas as a reminder to Members to declare any interests.  It was RESOLVED to include such an item on future agendas for Northam Town Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


6.         Jet Skis


In the absence of Cllr Waters this item was deferred to the next Council meeting.


7.         Notice of Motion


Members considered a Notice of Motion from Cllr Miller – “That the Council forms a sub-committee to examine and consider the results of the Parish Questionnaire and report to Council”.   Following a debate it was RESOLVED to form a Working Party of Councillors Mrs Cox, Barnes, Miller, Davies and Waters with other Councillors being welcomed should they wish to attend, the object being to prepare a report in time for the Annual Parish Meeting in April.


            (Vote: Unanimous)



8.         Northam Burrows


Cllrs Miller and Sturges declared a personal interest in the Burrows as Members of the Golf Club.


            (a) Allocations for Grazing for 2005/2006


The Town Clerk presented the schedule of applications for grazing for 2005/2006, which fell short of the grazing limit and advised that since these had been prepared, Mr Breetz of Westward Ho! had requested three horses.  It was RESOLVED to approve the allocations on the understanding that until horse passports were presented grazing allocations would not be sent to the respective graziers. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Northam Burrows Pass


The Town Clerk reported that an applicant for a Northam Burrows Pass, due to the nature of his job, was unable to supply a registration number for the vehicle.  It was RESOLVED to seek the use of a passport photograph as a means of overcoming this particular problem.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Letter from Northam Burrows Committee


Members considered a letter from Northam Burrows Committee regarding the problem of strangles in horses on the burrows.  It was RESOLVED to write to all graziers when issuing the allocations for the forthcoming year seeking their support to reduce the problems of this disease and to report back to the Council on any horses seen to be suffering.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Summer Work Programme


The Golf Club’s summer work programme was discussed and some concerns were raised but on balance it was considered that the proposals were satisfactory and it was RESOLVED to approve the programme.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e) Members’ items


Cllr Mrs Mounce proposed that Cllr Miller be nominated to replace Cllr Tamplin on the Burrows Committee.  It was so RESOLVED.


 (Vote: Unanimous)



9.         Streetworks and related matters


 Members’ items


(a) Cllr Miller reported that at a recent Residents’ Association meeting John Wilde from Devon County Council had attended and advised that funding was very short for highway works and they were limited to patching repairs on the minor network of roads. 


(b) Cllr Miller reported that the new traffic calming measure had been constructed at the junction with Sandymere Road and Golf Links Road as part of the virtual bus arrangements for the school children.  However, there were concerns about the design in relating to road safety and it was RESOLVED to write to the Devon County Council accordingly.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Cllr Miller reported that residents of Windmill Lane had received a notice, supposedly from Torridge District Council, regarding refuse being deposited in collection points.  There was concern that the notice was rather aggressive by nature and did not identify the sender.   It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council expressing concern and advising that there are no collection points in this area.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Cllr Davies reported that the dog bin outside the swimming pool was more often than not over full resulting in dog faeces being spread around on the surrounding grass area.  The dog bin itself was also insecurely fixed.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e) Cllr Mrs Cox reported that the planting scheme on Heywood Road roundabout was moving slowly forward and the Rotary Club were to pay for the planting.  It was intended that a ship’s mast be erected in the centre of the roundabout and this was being priced.  It was likely that the local Councils would be asked to contribute towards the cost.


10.       Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill


            Members noted these proposals and Cllr Bradford MBE referred to the lack of recycling of glass by hotels, public houses etc.  It was thought that this was simply picked up as commercial waste and dumped.  It was RESOLVED to write to TDC and Devon County Council to see if a solution could be arrived at whereby the glass would be recycled.


            (Vote: Unanimous)





11.       Guidance on the Development of a Community Self Help Plan


It was RESOLVED to defer this item  to a future meeting.


(Vote: Unanimous)


12.       WRVS


            Members noted the letter from the WRVS seeking a grant and RESOLVED to defer consideration until later in the year when the grants are considered for 2006.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


13.       Planning Master class


            It was RESOLVED to nominate Cllr Mrs M M Cox to attend this master class on the 13th April.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


Cllrs Davies and Sturges left the meeting while planning applications were being discussed.


Cllr Miller declared an interest in planning application 0154/05 and this application was

therefore deferred to the next Council meeting as the meeting was not quorate. 


Cllr Bradford MBE declared an interest in application 0138/05 and this application was

therefore deferred to the next Council meeting as the meeting was not quorate. 


14.       Planning applications


2426/04           Proposed conservatory - 12 Riverside Close, Bideford – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


2578/04           Proposed replacement PVCU framed double glazed units to assist

with energy conservation - 53 Irsha Street, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend approval, subject to the Conservation Officer being satisfied.


(Vote: Unanimous)



2587/04           Proposed supported living housing within Class C3. Culloden House, Fosketh Hill, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED  - Recommend approval


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)



2631/04           Proposed Direction Sign for development. Heywood Road roundabout – RESOLVED - Recommend refusal to the sign at Heywood Road roundabout.  Not required at this main road location where the direction to Bideford is obvious.


                                    (Vote: 4 For, 1 abst.)


0019/05           Proposed erection of semi-detached bungalow in garden of 524 Kingsley Park plus alterations to existing bungalow. 524 Kingsley Park, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED  - Recommend approval subject to there being sufficient room.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


0057/05           Proposed conversion to form 4 no apartments. The Bell Inn, Newquay Street, Appledore – RESOLVED  - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


0064/05           Proposed 1st floor extension - 33 Bay View Road – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


0090/05           Proposed approval of reserved matters – new house - Land adjacent to Copper Springs, Durrant Lane – RESOLVED - Recommend approval but concerned about the trees.  In particular the two black poplars should be kept and the one that is unsafe, made safe by appropriate tree surgery and the two ash trees should also be kept.  Black poplars are a rare species, which deserve to be kept if at all possible. -


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


0155/05           Proposed residential development of four properties – reserved matters. Witten Lodge, Heywood Road, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


Cllrs Davies and Sturges re-joined the meeting at this juncture.


15.       Cemeteries


            Members considered a letter from Torridge District Council regarding a review of the cemeteries.  Members were concerned that a new site had yet to be found for Northam and it was RESOLVED to request the District Council to consider the Burrough Farm field.  It was also RESOLVED to write to the Diocese of Exeter with regard to the poor state of the footpaths in St Margaret’s cemetery, Northam.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


17        Transfer of Justices Licence


            Transfer of Licence – The Quay Gallery and Restaurant, Appledore – RESOLVED –

No objection.


(Vote: 4 For, Cllrs Mrs Mounce, Davies and Sturges abstained)