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

Northam on Wednesday 26th July 2006


PRESENT:     Chairman       - Town Mayor – Cllr K A Lane

 Members        - Cllrs Mrs M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce A Barnes, 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 6 Parishioners


1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 27th June 2006 were approved and signed.


(Vote: Unanimous)


2.         Public Forum - Mr L Garland regarding beach cleaning.


            Members considered the comments of Mr Garland in respect of the beach cleaning and discussed further the payment of £5,000 which had previously been approved to be paid to the District Council.  It was proposed by Cllr Eastwood OBE that a letter be sent to the Chief Executive of the District Council asking for an absolute assurance that the beach will be kept to such a standard that maintains the Blue Flag status for Westward Ho! and that on receipt of such an assurance the £5,000 be paid immediately.  It was so RESOLVED.


            (Vote: 11 For, 2 Against)


3.         Matters of report to/from Police Beat Manager


PC Kerry Wilson reported the various crimes committed in the past month.  Councillors expressed concern on the following items:-


Cllr Hames was concerned about the increasing habit of car drivers parking on the footways and he cited the Football Club as an example.  He also brought to the Police’s attention problems at Lilybridge where a fire had caused problems to boundary hedges to residents of Lily Close.


Cllr Eastman also drew attention to the problems at Lilybridge and the Police were asked to investigate this further and speak to the owners of Lilybridge with regard to the storage of refuse and the street lights that were not working.


In response to a question PC Kerry Wilson advised that she was unsure what was happening with the organisation of Police Beat Managers but she did offer to bring the Inspector to the next meeting of the Town Council.  It was RESOLVED to write to the Police Authority and ask them to send someone to a Council Meeting to fully explain the new proposals with the use of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s).


(Vote: Unanimous)






Cllr Waters expressed his concerns with regard to cars parking on pavements particularly in Appledore.  He expanded further on the problems of the fire at Lilybridge and it was RESOLVED to write to the management company of Lilybridge asking them to improve the lighting and security.


(Vote: Unanimous)


4.         Town Clerk’s Report:


(a) Vacancy on the Council


Members considered the advice from the Electoral Registration Officer and it was RESOLVED to advertise the vacancy and consider any applicants at the next Council meeting.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Anchor Park


Members considered the Town Clerk’s report in respect of future maintenance of Anchor Park.  It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendation that the Town Council be responsible for the future grounds maintenance and that the District Council be asked to put in order any defects, individual Councillors to inspect the site and to report back to the Town Clerk.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Blackies Plantation – Lease with the District Council


The Town Clerk advised that the lease being offered to the Town Council did not have security of tenure and that if the Town Council signed up they would be giving up their important legal rights.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council to ascertain if this had been agreed by the Committee.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Future meetings of the Council


The Town Clerk advised that it would be helpful if the Planning and Licensing Committee was permitted to consider other items so as to lessen the workload of the main Council meeting.  It was RESOLVED to allow the Town Clerk to use his discretion as to items to be placed on the Planning and Licensing Committee agenda.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e) Special meeting with Mary Breeds


Cllr Mrs Mounce reported that there was to be a meeting between the District Council and English Nature in the near future and she proposed that any special meeting with Mary Breeds be reconsidered at a later date and it was so RESOLVED.


(Vote: 8 For, 5 abst)




(f)  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)


5.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Barnes – “That the Council investigates the cost of new notice boards and invites suggestions from Residents’ Associations for their location.  Assign responsibility for maintenance if the proposal is accepted (Member proposed).”


It was RESOLVED to ascertain the cost of new notice boards.


(Vote 12 For, 1 Against)


6.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Barnes“That Northam Town Council opens negotiations with Torridge District Council on the future provision of space resource, now that the Bridge Hall has been sold to a private individual to provide wrap around child care provision.”


            The Town Clerk advised that Sarah Silvester of Kiddiwinks, the new owners of the Bridge Hall would like to speak to the Council.  In view of this the Council RESOLVED not to accept Cllr Barnes’ proposition


            (Vote: 8 For, 4 against, 1 abst)


            and to invite Sarah Silvester to the next Council meeting


            (Vote: 10 For, 3 Against)


7.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters – “That the Town Council ascertains from the District Council the full costs of the Warden Service to the Churchfields slipway and recommends to the District Council that there should be a launching fee to help offset the costs.”


            It was RESOLVED to support this Notice of Motion and to advise the District Council on the number of launchings taking place.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


8.         (a) Homestart Torridge


            A letter seeking grant aid was considered and it was RESOLVED to advise the

applicant that there will be no further grants this year and applications for next year

will need to be made in due course.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Victim Support Devon


A letter seeking grant aid was considered and it was RESOLVED to advise the applicant that there will be no further grants this year and applications for next year will need to be made in due course.


            (Vote: Unanimous)





(c) Planning Agreements


The Town Clerk advised that the Planning Committee were minded to request the District Council to seek contributions from developers towards local infrastructure (Section 106 Agreement). A policy is in place for larger developments but it was thought appropriate to expand this to include more modest development proposals.   It was RESOLVED to pursue this as an aspiration when considering individual planning applications.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


9.         Northam Burrows


(a) Draft letter to English Nature


Members considered the draft letter to English Nature which it was RESOLVED to

send with a copy to the local MP.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Sewage pollution


The Town Clerk advised that the District Council Officers now had a working relationship with the staff of the Water Company and he advised that he thought it better not to send the letter of complaint as previously resolved and it was so AGREED.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Members’ items


The problems of locking the gates and ensuring people left the Burrows in the evening were discussed and Cllr Mrs Mounce expanded on the problems being encountered.  It was RESOLVED to send a letter to Torridge District Council requesting them to enforce their decision to close the gates.


            (Vote 6 For, 1 against, 6 abst)


10.       Streetworks and related matters


Members’ items


            Cllr Bradford MBE reported that he thought the yellow slabs which replaced the old water fountain were out of keeping and that Northam Square needed a clean up.


            Cllr Mrs Mounce asked for a letter to be sent to Torridge District Planning asking when the pavement in Orchard Hill, outside Rock House, would be completed.


            Cllr Mrs Cox reported that Durrant House Hotel were interested in promoting the planting scheme on the Heywood Road roundabout and that she was meeting with them and would report back later.


            Cllr Hames reported that the salt marsh below Knapp House was being filled with thousands of tons of soil.  It is understood that Environment Agency consent has been obtained.  He was concerned at the loss of the salt marsh, the impact on the coastal footpath and the fact that no consultation had been undertaken.  There was also the possible problem of drainage from nearby properties which use septic tanks, not being allowed for.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council in respect of the coastal footpath setting out the Councils concerns, to the Environment Agency with a copy to English Nature asking why Northam wasn’t consulted and expressing concerns about the loss of the salt marsh and this natural drainage path to the estuary.  Also to write to Torridge District Council advising them of the work and asking whether a planning application would be appropriate. 


            (Vote: Unanimous)


11.       Request for Sponsorship


            Members considered a request for sponsorship from Samantha Bowden.  It was RESOLVED to award a sum of £200.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


12.       Lords Meadow Football.


            Members considered a letter and plan from the District Council and it was RESOLVED to note the contents.


            (Vote: Unanimous)