Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 22nd July 2003.


PRESENT:     Chairman          - Town Mayor – Cllr A Barnes,

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

   R D Bradford MBE, E J Davies, A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE,

   L Ford P J Sturges, Dr P Tamplin, P Waters, T J Williams

together with Inspector S Pepper, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and       24 Parishioners



1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 24th June 2003 were approved and signed. 


2.         Matters arising

(a) Min 5(e) – Northam Square Fountain  – The Town Clerk reported that the District Council had accepted responsibility for the structure.  The Council were of the view that it was the duty of the District Council to repair or replace it and it was RESOLVED to request the District Council to carry out the necessary works and have the fountain reinstated as a feature. 


(b) Min 7  - Tadworthy Road – Cllr Bradford MBE reported that the works required were more substantial than just cleaning as suggested in DCC’s letter of 9th July.  It was RESOLVED to request the County Council to carry out the necessary works as soon as possible.   


3.         Public Forum – Northam Youth Group


Mrs Janet Day and Miss Amy Brading addressed the Council and explained the work of the Youth Group.  They presented a document detailing the aims and principles of the group, the financial, staffing and attendance figures.  Their most immediate concern was in attracting funding to allow the group to continue as the National Lotteries Charities Board Award is coming to an end.  They also expressed concern over the condition of the building.  It was estimated that there would be a shortfall of £5,000 this financial year.  Members congratulated the group on their work and recommended to them that they ensure that the District Council were made aware of the list of repairs as detailed.  Members RESOLVED to consider, at their September Council meeting, the question of providing financial support to this group.


4.         Matters of report to/from Police


Inspector Pepper explained that he was responsible for policing in the Bideford area which included the whole of the Northam parish and extended as far as Hartland and Welcombe.  Following a review it had been identified that Northam parish was under-policed and an additional Officer, WPC Wilson, would be in post on 11th August.  She would be looking after Westward Ho! and Abbotsham parish leaving PC Tricker to deal with Northam and Appledore.  He advised that PC Tricker was absent from the meeting as he was with the Chief Constable receiving an award as runner up for Community Constable of the Year.  Inspector Pepper advised that in the Northam and Appledore area there had been 68 crimes mostly of criminal damage of which 40% had been detected which was the highest rate for his area.  In the Westward Ho! and Abbotsham areas there had been 28 crimes.  Over the past two weeks they had served drug warrants on 3 premises in this area, all with positive results and included one where there was mass growing of cannabis.  A couple of youths had been removed from the area under a Care Order.  He was aware of the incidents at Appledore concerning drugs. 


At this point the Mayor allowed Members of the public to express their views and a number of people from Appledore reported on their concerns and the actions they had taken to record events and report these to the Police.  Concern was expressed that the public were losing faith in the Police’s actions to deal with this problem and as a result of the aggressive nature of the offenders people were becoming afraid to go out at night.  It was thought that the police were too remote and that a local base for them needed to be established. 


Members thanked Inspector Pepper for coming along and asked him to make his best efforts to resolve the drug problem in Appledore.  It was RESOLVED to write to the Chief Constable expressing the Council’s serious concern about the lack of policing in Appledore to deal with the problem of drugs.  The Council welcomes the addition of one Constable in Westward Ho! but believes this is totally insufficient.


5.         Town Clerk’s Report


(a) Code of Conduct – The Town Clerk reported on the latest information from the Standards Board and advised that he had received a training video.  It was RESOLVED to present this video at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 30th September prior to the Town Council meeting. 


(b) Town Council Allotments – The Town Clerk reported that it had been some years since the rents had been increased and he recommended an increase from £7 to £10 and it was so RESOLVED.  He also advised that four allotments were not being cultivated and that there could be varying reasons for this.  It was RESOLVED to delegate to the Town Clerk the necessary action to ensure that tenants complied with the conditions of tenancy.


(c) Monthly Financial Report – The Town Clerk presented the monthly financial report that included payments for this month and it was RESOLVED to accept. 


6.         Notice of Motion


Council considered a Notice of Motion from Cllr Williams – “That this Council seeks to have a dog bin provided on footpath 24 between Fosketh Terrace and Kipling Terrace”.  Following a discussion Members considered that the existing dog bin in Bay View Road was poorly situated and little used and they RESOLVED to ask the District Council to relocate it to footpath 24 between Fosketh Terrace and Kipling Terrace.


7.         Streetworks and related matters     


(a) Undergrounding of cables in Northam – Members considered a letter from Western Power Distribution regarding the possibility of undergrounding electricity cables.  The Distribution Manager had offered to attend a Council meeting and it was RESOLVED to invite him to attend a future meeting of the Council. 


(b) Members’ items


Cllr Mrs Mounce requested that the Council press Torridge District Council to have the bus shelter erected at Rydon Garage.  It was so RESOLVED.


Cllr Eastman reported that a dumped car was at the bottom of Tomouth Road.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council.


Cllr Bell reported that reinstatement works by the Utilities from Polywell to Broad Lane and Pitt and Pitt Hill had been poorly carried out.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council asking them to ensure that the Utilities carried out reinstatement works in a proper manner. 


8.         Planning applications


            1017/03           Proposed extensions to existing dwelling to form Granny annexe – 21

Highfield, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


            1178/03           Proposed single storey rear extension – No 4 The Maltings, Odun Road,

Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval subject to there being sufficient curtilage.


1181/03           Proposed new dwelling house, garage and access – Southbrook, Daddon Hill, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval subject to the District Council being satisfied on the sewerage arrangements.


1184/03           Proposed erection of dwelling in part grounds – Briarlea, Hilltop Road – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


1213/03           Proposed new detached two storey three bedroom dwelling house, garden of 6 Daddon hill, Northam - RESOLVED – Recommend approval subject to the District Council being satisfied on the sewerage arrangements.


1249/03           Proposed variation of Planning Permission 1475/2000 to allow use of black Marley modern tiles to match new stable block, also allow wood effect upvc windows and doors – Follyfoot Equestrian Centre, Sandymere Road, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


1258/03           Proposed building of 2 bed bungalow, land and workshops opposite 14 Eastbourne Terrace, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


1260/03           Proposed erection of conservatory – 5 Broadlands, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


1264/03           Proposed extension and refurbishment – Briarlea, Hilltop Road – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


9.         Education Act – Reconstitution of Governing Bodies


Members considered a letter from the County Council’s Director of Education regarding the appointment of minor authority governors.  Councillor Mrs Mounce pointed out that this only applied to County schools and that Church schools i.e. St Margaret’s, would continue to appoint governors as they sought fit.  Members thought it was a retrograde step to exclude an automatic representation from the minor authorities and it was RESOLVED to advise the County Council accordingly.




10.       Developers’ contribution to Education infrastructure


Members considered a letter from Devon County Council and were concerned that unless the local school is full no contribution can be demanded.  They thought the system was not fair and needed to be assessed in a different manner.  There was no mention in the special planning guidance from the District Council that the school had to be full before a contribution could be demanded.   


It was RESOLVED to ask the Education Officer to a meeting of the Council in respect of this matter with a view to having the assessments modified to ensure contributions from developers towards the local infrastructure of schools.


11.       Supplementary Planning Guidance


Members considered a letter from County Councillor Collins and it was RESOLVED to accept his offer and invite him to a future Planning meeting of the Council.


12.       Grants for 2004/2005


Members RESOLVED to set up a working group of Councillors Eastwood OBE, Waters,

Mrs Mounce and the Town Mayor to consider a new format for the grant application form.

13.       Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Public Entertainment Licences


Renewal of Licence – St Mary’s Church Hall, [Main Hall] Appledore – RESOLVED – No objection.


14.       Transfer of Justices Licences


            (a) Durrant House Hotel, Heywood Road, Northam – RESOLVED  - No objection.


            (b) Beachcomber Café & Bistro, Nelson Road, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – No objection.


15.       Matters brought forward at Chairman’s discretion


(a) Cllr Williams reported that from his observations a seat was required on the steep part of Fordlands Crescent where many older people find it hard work climbing the hill.  It was RESOLVED to fund the cost of a seat in this location and to ask the District Council to erect and maintain it.


(b) Cllr Barnes reported on his discussion with the Director of Planning and Technical Services in respect of the necessary works required at the Community Centre.  Mr Pinney had agreed that a  meeting would be arranged in order that the users of the building could put forward their views.  It was RESOLVED to write to the Director of Planning and Technical Services to remind him of this agreement.