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

Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29th November 2005


PRESENT:     Chairman         - Town Mayor – Cllr E J Davies

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

                           R D Bradford MBE, A Eastman, L Ford, K Lane,

   R W A Miller, P Sturges, R M M Tisdale  

   together with PC Mike Tricker, Devon 

   &  Cornwall Constabulary and 2 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs A Eastwood OBE and P Waters 


1.         Agreement of Agenda between Parts I and II


It was RESOLVED to consider the Bridge Hall, item 14 on the agenda, in Part II.


(Vote: Unanimous)


2.         Claire Patchitt – Grassroots Project, Northam


            Claire Patchitt advised the Members that the work of the Torridge Voluntary Services will be extended to include this new project, which is being funded by the Home Office.  The object of the project was to find volunteers in each parish of Torridge to support local people, groups and projects, also to connect communities with the services that might help them.  These community contacts will be local people active within their community and preferably with a positive experience of volunteering themselves.  The benefits are to help local groups and projects find the volunteers they need; encouraging people to volunteer to help those within their own communities; giving everyone the opportunity to volunteer without having to travel miles to do it; keeping communities informed about events and services about events that may benefit them.


3.         Matters of report to/from Police Beat Manager


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


4.         Minutes


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


(Vote: Unanimous)


5.         Finance Advisory Committee


Members considered the recommendations of the Finance Advisory Committee held on16th November 2005.  With regard to minute 2, in respect of grants, they RESOLVED to approve grants to local organisations, as amended, on the attached schedule totalling £3250.  It was further RESOLVED that the Council, in accordance with its powers under Sections 137 and 139 of the Local Government Act 1972, should incur the following expenditure which, in the opinion of the Council, is in the interest of the area or its inhabitants and will benefit them in a manner commensurate with the expenditure of £5600.


With regard to the grant to the Torridge Community Transport Association this was agreed in principle at this stage pending clarification of the District Council’s contribution.


            (Vote: as per schedule)


It was further RESOLVED to hold a Special Meeting in May to present cheques to the various organisations who will be asked to attend. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Sturges left the meeting at this juncture.


With respect to the Budget, minute 3 of the Finance Advisory Committee, it was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation and to precept the sum of £72,000 for the financial year 2006/2007.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Barnes left the meeting at this juncture.


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.         Northam Burrows


(a)  Report from Cllr Waters on fence


Members considered a written report from Cllr Waters detailing additional work necessary to the fence on Northam Burrows.  It was RESOLVED to undertake the work.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b)  Sewage Pollution


Members considered a letter from South West Water in respect of the pollution of the Burn on Northam Burrows.  Members were disappointed with the response and RESOLVED to write again asking for a representative to attend a Council meeting.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) To consider a replacement on the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum and the District Council’s Burrows Committee following the resignation of Cllr Bell


It was RESOLVED to nominate Cllr Tisdale to serve on the Northam Burrows Committee and Cllr Mrs Cox on the Taw /Torridge Estuary Forum.


(Vote: Unanimous)


8.         Streetworks and related matters


            (a) Car parking charges


Members considered a letter from Torrington Town Council regarding proposed car parking charges in the District.  It was RESOLVED to send a letter of support.


(Vote: Unanimous)


            (b) Planter – Northam Town Square


The Town Clerk reported that he had now heard from the District Council and it was possible to take away the old pump without the necessity of planning consent and that so long as the planter was not there as a permanent feature, again, no planning consent was necessary.  It was RESOLVED to have the pump taken away, the footway surface reinstated and a planter provided for next season.


(Vote: Unanimous)


            (c) Members’ items.


Cllr Bradford MBE reported that the road direction signs in the village need cleaning.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Miller reported that the No Entry signs at the end of Cross Street were now illegible and need replacing.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Eastman reported that Midas Construction, when developing Odun Place, allowed their lorries to mount the footway in Odun Road resulting in many of the paving slabs being broken.  Midas were now denying liability and it was RESOLVED to write to the County Council and ask them to take the appropriate action.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Tisdale advised that two Christmas trees were available, one for Northam and one for Westward Ho!  The trees would be supplied and erected free of charge but new lights were required.  It was RESOLVED to provide funding of up to £300 to provide for new lights.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Lane reported that the street lights were out in Nelson Road.  The Town Clerk was to notify the Street Lighting authority.




9.         Bridge Hall


The Town Clerk advised on the District Valuer’s valuation for the property and having regard to this Members considered that it was necessary to hold a Special Meeting of the Council early in the New Year.   In the intervening period Members would gather information as to likely costs of putting the property into good order and ascertain existing and potential usage.