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

 Northam on Tuesday 27th September 2005


PRESENT:     Chairman         - Town Mayor – Cllr E J Davies

 Members        - Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce, Barnes, J Bell,

                           A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE, L Ford, K Lane,

   R W A Miller, R M M Tisdale

   together with PC Tricker, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary and                  

   4 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Bradford MBE, and Waters 


1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 26th July 2005 were approved and signed.


(Vote: Unanimous)


2.         Matters of report to/from Community Constable


            PC Mike Tricker reported on crime figures for the past month.


3.         Local Development Framework Advisory Committee


Members considered and RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Local Development Framework Advisory Committee held on13th September 2005.  With regard to the Parish Plan, Cllr Barnes offered to pursue this if five Councillors would support him.  He advised that the work of the MCTi and the DAWN can be used in putting the Plan together.  Cllr Mrs Cox volunteered to support Cllr Barnes.


(Vote: Unanimous)


4.         Finance Advisory Committee


Members considered and RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Finance Advisory Committee held 13th September 2005.  With regard to the proposal to increase the precept by £48,000 this was accepted in principle at this stage and would be subject to final consideration at the budget meeting later in the year.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Barnes left the meeting at this juncture.


5.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Ford


“That this Council awards a one-off grant of £2,000 to the Ring and Ride Scheme subject to Torridge agreeing to fund a similar amount.”


Members considered the above Notice of Motion which Cllr Ford amended as follows:-


“That this Council awards a one-off grant of £2,000 to a new provider for a Ring and Ride scheme in the Northam Town Council area subject to Torridge agreeing to fund a similar amount.”


It was RESOLVED to agree to the Notice of Motion and to write to the Town Clerk of Holsworthy Town Council to ascertain further details of the scheme operated there.


(Vote: Unanimous)


6.         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)


7.         Renewable Energy


Cllr Mrs Cox reported on the Renewable Energy Seminar she had attended earlier in the year and advised that there had been balanced debates on the pros and cons of the various proposals.  She advised on the benefits of small communities co-operating to set up renewable energy schemes as local jobs can be created and money can come back to the local area.  She advised that the first thing that everyone needs to consider is conservation and this led Members to consider the planning policies of the District Council in respect of the energy efficiency of new buildings.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council asking them to implement appropriate planning policies that would require developers to build more energy efficient houses and gave as an example the recent development at South Molton.


(Vote: Unanimous)


8.         Northam Burrows


(a) Horse round-up


Cllr Miller reported on the round-up which had been very successful.  There was a problem of one grazier not being registered and another not removing their animals and these matters would be borne in mind when the allocations are decided for next year.


Cllr Miller and Cllr Ford declared a prejudicial interest and left the meeting.  Cllr Mrs Mounce declared a personal interest.


(b) Northam Burrows Golf course


Members considered a letter from the Chief Executive of Torridge District Council.  It was RESOLVED to respond to the effect that the request of the Golf Club to purchase the golf course had not gone through the proper channels at the District Council and that the minutes

of the Policy and Resources Committee were circulated to the general public prior to the Council meeting.  It was further RESOLVED to stress that the Chairman of the Burrows Committee, the Members of that Committee, the Town Council as Lords of the Manor and Trustees of the Common Right, should have been made aware of the request before any consideration by the District Council. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Letter from Golf Club


Members considered a letter from the Golf Club regarding their request to purchase the golf course and it was RESOLVED to advise them that out of courtesy the Town Council would have expected the Golf Club to advise them of their approach to the District Council. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Golf Course Winter Work Programme


Members considered the above programme and RESOLVED not to raise any objections.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllrs Ford and Miller rejoined the meeting at this juncture.


(e) Members’ items


Cllr Eastwood OBE raised the question of the future management of Northam Burrows in view of the forthcoming Commons Bill and the Town Mayor advised on a discussion he had with Baroness Miller, who lives in the Town Council area.  It would seem that she was able to come and speak to the Council on a Friday evening about the provision of the Bill and was willing to take back to the House of Lords the concerns and observations of the Town Council.  It was RESOLVED to arrange a special meeting of the Council on a Friday evening to suit Baroness Miller.  It was further RESOLVED to invite all local interested parties to the meeting.


(Vote: Unanimous)


9.         Streetworks and related matters


(a) Provisional Devon Local Transport Plan 2006 – 2011 and Rights of Way Improvement Plan


The Town Clerk advised that this Plan was now published in provisional format and Cllr Mrs Cox agreed to study the document and report back.


(b) Greysand Crescent, Appledore- Bus Stop clearway markings


Members considered a letter from Devon County Council who are proposing to put bus stop


clearway markings on the carriageway.  It was RESOLVED to agree to this proposal.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Appledore car parks review


 It was RESOLVED to advise the District Council that there are bus-turning problems in the Churchfields car park and that perhaps a boxed area was necessary.  It was also considered that the car park needed to be brightened up by providing some appropriate planting. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Members’ items


Cllr Eastwood OBE questioned the progress on the removal of the old fountain in The Square as there was some misunderstanding over requirement of planning consent.  The Town Clerk is to investigate further.


Cllr Eastman was concerned that the new drainage to be provided in the Churchfields retaining wall overlooking the childrens’ play area could cause problems.  It was RESOLVED to take the matter up with the County Engineer.


(Vote: Unanimous)


10.       Funding for Westward Ho! Rock Pool


Members considered a letter from Torridge District Council requesting a contribution towards the lifeguard costs at Westward Ho! Rock Pool.  Members also had to hand the latest advice from the Health and Safety Executive with respect to these sorts of facilities.  It was RESOLVED to decline making a contribution to the District Council as it was considered that this was a matter for which they were totally responsible.  It was also RESOLVED to send a copy of the latest safety advice to them and ask them to re-assess the requirements for this pool.  


(Vote: Unanimous)


The Town Mayor, Cllr Eastman and Cllr Tisdale undertook to meet with the Head of Regeneration in an effort to resolve this problem.


11.       Northam Library


Members considered a letter from the County Library Service advising on the repair works following the recent fire and also the need to re-position the Town Council’s notice board on a temporary basis.  The Town Clerk advised that the notice board was in a poor state of repair and really needed replacement.  It was RESOLVED to provide a new notice board on completion of the library repair work.


(Vote: Unanimous)



12.       Grassroots Project


Members considered a letter from Claire Patchitt regarding the new Grassroots project.  It was RESOLVED to invite her to a future meeting of the Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


13.       Torrington Area Advisory Group


            Members considered the necessity of having a meeting with the District Council separate from the Torrington Advisory Group and RESOLVED to put forward the following items for the agenda: -


            Northam Burrows; Golf Club; the Rock Pool; the Beach; Northam Square; public buildings in Northam; main car park Westward Ho!; Churchfields car park, Appledore; over-development of Westward Ho!; development in Northam; cemetery for Northam.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


14.       Naming of residential development – Heywood Road


            Members considered the suggestion of the developer and were of the view that this was not appropriate and RESOLVED to nominate the name Heywood Park.


            (Vote: Unanimous)



15.       Campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill


Members considered correspondence from Local Works, the Campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill and it was RESOLVED as follows:-


That Northam Town Council


(i) expresses it concern at

·        the decline of local services and facilities which affects local communities and in particular the elderly and people on the lowest incomes;

·        the resulting decline of local jobs and local economies and the resulting extra traffic and pollution caused by the need to travel further


(ii) and notes that this combination of factors increases people’s feelings of exclusion and lack of involvement; and so


(iii) supports the concept of local sustainability as envisaged in the Sustainable Communities Bill, namely;


·        the promotion of local economies

·        the promotion of local services and facilities

·        the protection of the environment

·        the reduction of social exclusion and

·        measures to increase involvement in the democratic process


(iv) and accordingly resolves to support the Sustainable Communities Bill which


·        requires the government to assist councils and communities in promoting local sustainability in ways decided by them; and

·        sets up a participative process whereby councils and communities can drive the way in which government uses its power and influence to assist with the promotion of local sustainability; and

·        notes that this Bill is therefore fully in accord with current thinking in local government in that it impacts on central authorities and does not impose any new duties on councils but instead enables them to influence how government uses its resources and influence to help councils and communities; and

·        specifically provides that where councils themselves decide to take action to promote local sustainability that they should be given the resources to do so; and so


(v) and further resolves


·        to inform the local media of this decision;

·        to write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill; and sign EDM (Early Day Motion) No 641; and

·        to write to Local Works, the Campaign behind the Bill, (at 94 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF) expressing its support.


(Vote: Unanimous)