Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber,
Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 30th May 2006
PRESENT: Chairman - The Retiring Mayor, Cllr E J Davies for item 1.
Following election of the new Town Mayor,
Cllr K A Lane took the Chair.
Members - Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, R D Bradford MBE,
A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE, L Ford, P Hames, R W A Miller,
R M M Tisdale, P Waters
together with 7 Parishioners
Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs A Barnes, Mrs S A Mounce,
1. Address and Welcome by the retiring Town Mayor
The retiring Town Mayor, Cllr E J Davies, advised that he had represented the Council at many functions, the final one being the Twinning at Helmstedt, Germany. He thanked his fellow Members for being elected and having attended other Council’s events he thought that this Council should make the Mayor Making more of an occasion and he trusted this could be considered at a future meeting of the Town Council.
2. Election of Town Mayor
On a proposal by Cllr Tisdale, Cllr Lane was elected Town Mayor and duly signed the declaration of Office. Cllr Lane thanked his fellow Councillors.
3. Election of Deputy Town Mayor
On a proposal by Cllr Bradford MBE, Cllr Miller was duly elected Deputy Town Mayor.
4. Election of a Chairman for Planning
On a proposal by Cllr Waters, Cllr Lane was duly elected Chairman of the Planning Committee.
5. Appointments to Finance Advisory Committee and Outside Bodies
In respect of the Finance Advisory Committee it was RESOLVED to re-elect existing Members with Cllr Hames taking the place of Cllr Sturges.
Cllr Ford jointed the meeting at this juncture.
In respect of Outside Bodies it was RESOLVED to make appointments as recorded on the accompanying schedule. Appointments to the Northam Community Association were deferred pending clarification on their current status.
6. Appointment of Councillor for personnel matters
It was RESOLVED that the Town Mayor be appointed for personnel matters.
7. Cheque signatories
It was RESOLVED the Town Mayor, retiring Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor be authorised to sign cheques, any two signatures being required together with that of the Town Clerk.
Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber,
Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 30th May 2006
PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr K A Lane
Members - Cllrs Mrs M Cox, R D Bradford MBE, E J Davies,
A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE, L Ford, P Hames,
R W A Miller, R M M Tisdale, P Waters
together with and 7 Parishioners
Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs A Barnes and Mrs S A Mounce
The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 25th April 2006 were approved and signed.
2. Mr Paul Baker – Devon Association for Renewable Energy
Mr Paul Baker of Devon Association for Renewable Energy advised the Council on the work of the organisation which is essentially to:
(i) Offer impartial advice on renewable energy technologies and systems;
(ii) To work with local authorities, schools, communities, businesses and individuals to improve the local renewable energy infrastructure.
(iii) Undertake information research across a range of renewable technologies;
(iv) Collaborate with other organisations on energy efficiency.
Cllr Hames, on behalf of the Council, thanked Paul Baker and Stuart Coleman for
their presentation. He hoped that Members would think seriously about the crisis
facing the developed world and he was hoping that communities and individuals
would play their part and he asked for an appropriate item to be put on the agenda of
the next Town Council meeting.
3. Westward Ho! Blue Flag Beach
Members considered letters from Mr Garland and an e-mail from the Head of Operational Services at Torridge District Council in respect of the cleaning of Westward Ho! beach. Cllr Tisdale expressed his concern that Torridge District Council was not fulfilling its statutory obligations. From evidence produced it was clear that the beach had not been cleaned and he was concerned that the Blue Flag status would be lost. Other Members expressed their concerns and it was RESOLVED to write to the Chief Executive of the District Council advising him in strong terms that the Town Council had lost confidence in the District Council’s ability to carry out its statutory obligations with respect to the cleaning of Westward Ho! beach and also to advise the District Council that the contribution of the Town Council towards the costs was on hold pending an improvement in the situation by the end of June when the matter would be discussed at the Joint Liaison Committee meeting. It was also RESOLVED to investigate the powers available to the Town Council, should it be necessary, to ensure that the District Council carries out its obligations.
Cllr Eastwood OBE left the meeting at this juncture.
4. Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters - “That the Council considers what efforts it
should make in support of Appledore Library.”
Standing Orders were suspended in order that Mrs J Arnold from the Friends of Appledore Library could address the meeting.
Mrs Arnold presented strong arguments in support of the Library which showed that the Devon County Council’s case for closure is very weak.
Cllr Waters advised that the County Council was looking to save a few thousand pounds which, in the context of their budget, was a very small amount. It was RESOLVED to write to Devon County Council in strong support of the Friends of the Library urging them to maintain the Appledore Library.
5. Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters - “That the Council reconsiders the proposed development of the Seagate car park.”
Cllr Waters expanded on his Notice of Motion and advised that the District Council would be considering a planning application which if approved, and the land sold, would result in a large cash sum accruing to them. He was concerned that this was not ethically correct and was of the view that they should not be considering the application. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council to advise them and to also write to the Government Office South West requesting them to call the application in.
6. Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters - “That the Council request the District Council to take the necessary action to resolve the problem of refuse bags being put out too early In Irsha Street, Appledore.”
Cllr Waters explained that it was the practice of many of the holiday cottages to place their refuse out on days other than the official collection day. This resulted in bags being damaged by vehicles and animals with the resultant litter and refuse spread about the street. Other Councillors expressed similar problems in their areas and it was RESOLVED to write a letter to the Head of Operational Services at the District Council requesting him to take the appropriate action and for the District Council to invoke its powers to ensure that residents only put their bags out on the collection day.
7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Miller – “That the Town Council organises a Summer Fayre in Northam Square on 30th July.”
Cllr Miller explained his proposals with regard to the Summer Fayre which he hoped would become established as an annual event. The proposals would have a French Market with local stalls and supporting entertainment. It was RESOLVED to fully support this proposal and allocate a budget of £500 which would be required for road signs and other minor costs, e.g. licensing applications.
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.
(b) Receipts and payments account for the year ending 31st March
The Town Clerk presented the end of year accounts for the year ending 31st March 2006. It was RESOLVED to approve the accounts.
9. Northam Burrows
(a) Grass Management Agreement with Golf Club
Members considered the Town Clerk’s report with regard to the agreement with the Golf Club which allows them to top certain fairways during the summer months. English Nature had now issued a consent for this work which allowed the current agreement to be concluded. For the future the Golf Club were looking for a long-term agreement of ten years and have made a financial offer. It was RESOLVED to advise the Golf Club that the Town Council were of a mind to enter into a further agreement but at this time wished to reserve for future discussions how long that it should run for and what the consideration should be.
Cllr Miller abstained from voting.
(b) Stocking Levels on the Burrows - January to May
Cllr Waters reported on the observations he had made in respect of the stocking levels on the Burrows. There was considerable variation between stockholders. It was also reported that the 1716 Committee would be considering this matter shortly and it was RESOLVED to request the 1716 Committee to set up a small sub-committee to monitor the various activities on the Burrows including grazing, Golf Club etc.
(Vote: 9 For, 1 Abst)
(c) Members’ items
Cllr Miller reported that he had a conversation with an Officer of the District Council who was concerned that raw sewage was pouring onto the Burrows at Westward Ho! It would appear that the sewer in this area is overloaded in times of heavy rain and that the manholes lift and sewage is discharged onto the Burrows. It was RESOLVED to discuss this matter further with the District Council to consider the best course of action and to seek advice from the DAPC.
10. Streetworks and related matters
(a) Nelson Road Bus Shelter
Members considered a letter from the County Council who were proposing to erect a new bus shelter in Nelson Road, outside the Chalet. It was RESOLVED to advise the County Council that a bus shelter was required in the main car park in Westward Ho! and that the Town Council preferred to see the finance available for the Nelson Road site used to part fund a new shelter in the car park.
(b) Members’ items
Cllr Davies reported his concern about the weeds in the streets and the corner of The Square. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council requesting them to take the appropriate action to remove the weeds adjacent to the Leisure Centre.
Cllr Bradford MBE reported that residents were afraid to use the path to the Churchyard between the Square and the car park at night because the lighting was inadequate. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council and ask them if it could be improved.
Cllr Ford reported that the District Council were trying to sell off a piece of land in Tomouth Road but had in the meantime not maintained it with the result that it was now overgrown and needed attention. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council and ask them to clear up the site.
Cllr Tisdale reported that Fosketh Hill street lights had been out for some time and that a sign was still needed in Nelson Road indicating the route to the sea.
Cllr Mrs Cox and Cllr Hames both expressed concern about the grass cutting and the lines of cuttings left on the surface of the grass.
Cllr Eastman presented a petition from residents of The Mount and Western Avenue regarding the flight of steps that lead from Torridge Road to Western Avenue. The steps are very steep and difficult to negotiate, particularly for the less able. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council and the County Council to ascertain whose responsibility these were and request action to improve the situation.
Cllr Eastman reported that The Mount area had been neglected, a sign was missing, there were potholes in the carriageway, street sweeping was required and the were no litter or dog bins. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council and the County Council asking for appropriate action to improve the situation.
Cllr Waters reported that in certain situations in Appledore vehicles were being parked on double yellow lines and this was causing problems. He requested that the Police be asked to contact him direct for details.
Cllr Ford left the meeting at this juncture.
11. Rock Pool, Westward Ho!
Members considered a letter from the District Council which was setting out the financial contribution required from the Town Council for the life guarding of this pool. It was RESOLVED to defer consideration of this item pending further discussion at the Liaison Committee with the District Council.
12. Northam Cemetery
The Town Clerk reported on the suggestion that the land in Tadworthy Road, purchased some years ago by the District Council for the purpose of providing a cemetery, be used as a woodland style cemetery. It was thought that such a proposal might be acceptable in planning terms. It was RESOLVED to advise the District Council that this was a welcome suggestion.
13. Complaint from Parishioner
Members considered correspondence from Mr Pryce who was complaining about the increase in the parish precept. It was RESOLVED to advise Mr Pryce that the Town Council had agreed the increase in expenditure following the results of a parish survey when there was strong agreement for the Town Council to provide support for local organisations, improve the area and provide additional facilities.
Cllr Waters left the meeting at this juncture.
14. Torridge Liaison Committee
It was RESOLVED to defer consideration of this item to the Planning Committee to be held on 14th June.
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