Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 31 st October 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, L Ford, P Hames, R W A Miller, R M M Tisdale, P Watersm together with 5 Parishioners
Apologies were recorded on behalf of the Cllrs H Brading and A Eastman.
The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 26 th September 2006 were approved and signed.
The minutes of the Local Development Framework Advisory Committee held 11 th October 2006 were considered as follows:-
(1) Local Plan ideas Parish Plan It was RESOLVED to ask for a Liaison meeting with the District Council as soon as possible to discuss the future of the Northam buildings and the Knapp House development.
(2) Anchor Park It was RESOLVED to hold a site meeting as soon as possible and invite Mrs Braddick of the District Council to attend.
(3) Bridge Hall It was RESOLVED to invite Mrs Saunders of the District Council to a future meeting of the Council to advise on the options for the Community Centre.
(4) Works on the Burrows It was RESOLVED to ring fence any compensation payments paid by the Golf Club in respect of cutting the fairways and that this money be used solely for the Burrows.
(Vote: 10 For, 1 abst)
(5) Dog Bins It was RESOLVED to investigate further the organisation of the collection of dog waste and the Town Clerk is to take this up with the District Council.
(6) Planters It was RESOLVED to seek sponsorship for the proposed planter in Northam Square from local businesses.
3. Report of Town Mayor on visit to Mondeville
The Town Mayor reported on his trip to Mondeville with the Northam Town Twinning Association. He advised on the number of activities he had attended and was very appreciative of the warm welcome extended to all the visitors by their French hosts.
4. Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters That the Town Council opens discussions with Torridge District Council with a view to purchasing the Windmill Lane offices and the adjoining car park. That the Town Council forward planning on financial matters is such that this purchase is catered for and that the annual cost of rates and upkeep is allowed for.
Members considered the above Notice of Motion and were generally supportive. Following a debate it was RESOLVED to approach the District Council with a view to opening discussions to regain the ownership of the Windmill Lane offices and the adjoining car park. It was further RESOLVED to discuss with the District Council the possibility of regaining the ownership of the Community Centre in Fore Street, Northam and it was also RESOLVED to write to the DAPC to seek advice regarding the return of assets such as the Council Offices from District Councils back to the local Councils.
5. Town Clerk's Report
(a) Vacancy at Northam Ward
The Town Clerk advised that it was now for the Town Council to co-opt a Member as there had been no response to the advertisement which allowed for an election. It was RESOLVED to put an advertisement in the North Devon Gazette with copies on Notice Boards
The Town Clerk reported that the contract for the current photocopier was coming to an end and that a new photocopier which would allow for double sided copying and colour would cost in the order of £590 per annum. It was RESOLVED to approve the contract for a new photocopier.
(c) Notice Boards
The Town Clerk advised that he had received details of various Notice Boards that were available. It was RESOLVED to defer this to a Local Development Framework meeting who would be asked to explore the possibility of these being constructed locally.
(d) Police attendance at meetings
The Town Clerk reported that PC Kerry Wilson was no longer looking after Westward Ho! and that it may not be possible for the Police to attend every meeting. It was
RESOLVED to ask the Police to attend on a quarterly basis or more frequently if there was an urgent matter.
(e) Monthly Financial Report The Town Clerk presented the monthly financial report that included payments for this month and it was RESOLVED to accept.
6. Northam Burrows
(a) Proposed letter to Natural England
Members considered the draft letter to Natural England in respect of the state of the Burrows. They also considered some suggested amendments from Councillor Waters. It was RESOLVED to send the letter as drafted and to retain the observations of Councillor Waters, should it be necessary in any future response.
(Vote: 9 For, 2 Abst)
At this juncture Cllr Barnes left the meeting.
(b) Members' items
Cllr Miller reported on the erosion that had taken place during the recent high tides.
7 Streetworks and related matters
(a) Appledore Slipway
Members discussed the management of this slipway and were concerned that the launching fee should cover the cost of operation. The Town Clerk advised that he had written to this effect and he was expecting a report back from the District Council in due course.
(b) Puffin crossing at Northam bypass
The Town Clerk advised that the work on providing this crossing was soon to be commenced.
(c) Annual Review of car parking
The Town Clerk advised that the District Council would not be holding the Annual Special Meeting, which allowed representations from Parish and Town Councils to be considered but that they were open to comments and ideas. It was RESOLVED to send again the request for free parking at Odun Road and Bone Hill for half an hour from 8.30 to 9.00 am to allow the school children to walk from the car parks to the schools.
(d) Members' items
Cllr Davies reported that in Goodwood Park Road brambles and hedges were overhanging pavements and these sort of complaints can be communicated to Devon Council Council through their website.
Cllr Tisdale again expressed his concerns with regard to the speed of traffic in Westward Ho! and the Residents' Association were to invite John Wilde of Devon County Council to one of their meetings.
Cllr Mrs Cox reported that following further discussions it was best if the Durrant House Hotel scheme for planting was proceed with on a three year basis.
Cllr Hames again reported the hedge to the allotments overhanging the pavement in Churchill Way. He also reported that the footpath at Bidna/Bidna Lane had been partially washed away and it was RESOLVED to report this again.
Cllr Hames also expressed his concerns with the closure of Appledore Post Office. It was RESOLVED to write a letter urging the Post Office to find a new sub Postmaster.
Cllr Mrs Mounce requested that a letter be sent to Devon County Council thanking them for their work on the Heywood Road roundabout, which had been well done and well organised, and it was so RESOLVED.
8. Local Works
Members considered a letter from Local Works and it was RESOLVED to send a letter to the local MP asking him to sign the Parliamentary Motion entitled Early Day Motion Number 641 and asking him to agree to adopt the Bill if he is in a position to do so.
9. Request from Allotment Holder to erect a greenhouse
The Town Clerk advised that a new Allotment Holder wished to erect a small greenhouse. It was RESOLVED to agree to the request on the understanding that the greenhouse is to be removed when a tenant vacates the allotment.