Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 19th December 2006.

PRESENT: Chairman - Deputy Town Mayor – Cllr R W A Miller,

Members - Cllrs Mrs M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce, A Barnes, H Brading, J Braund, E J Davies, A Eastman,

R M M Tisdale, P Waters together with 2 Parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of the Town Mayor, Cllr K A Lane and Cllrs

R D Bradford MBE, L Ford, P Hames

1. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 28 th November 2006 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. Minutes of the Special Meeting held at Anchor Park on 6 th December 2006

The recommendations contained in these minutes were referred to the next Local Development Framework Committee meeting for consideration.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the local Development Framework Advisory Committee held on 19 th December 2006 were considered. With regard to item 6, the Burrough Farm site, Cllrs Davies and Eastman reported on the District Council's Officer's statements as to the latest situation with regard to the proposals of the Westward Ho! Tennis Club to relocate to this site. It would appear that there was no firm commitment from the District Council and it was understood that the Tennis Club were examining other sites. Nonetheless, concern was expressed that this site could be lost as an open area and it was RESOLVED to write to the District Council's Chief Executive as follows:-

“The Town Council is aware of negotiations between Officers of the District Council and the Westward Ho! Tennis Club who wish to relocate their facilities to a field at Burrough Farm, currently an open space. The Town Council wishes to remind the District Council that this land is earmarked for recreational use and the District Council previously resolved to sell this land to the Town Council for a nominal sum. This resolution has not been actioned and neither has it been rescinded. The Town Council strongly believes that this land must remain as open space for general recreational use. Councillors would like to discuss this with yourself at the meeting on 16 th January.”

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Barnes left the meeting at this juncture.

4. Report of Town Clerk on Windmill Lane Offices and Liaison Meetings

The Town Clerk reported that a meeting had been arranged with the Chief Executive and others at Riverbank House on 16 th January 2007 at 2.00 pm . It was RESOLVED to nominate the following Councillors to attend that meeting:-

The Town Mayor, Cllr Lane , Deputy Town Mayor, Cllr Miller, Councillors Mrs Cox, Davies, Ford and Tisdale.

He also advised that the Liaison meeting would be on the 30 th January 2007 .

5. Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters - “That Northam Town Council write to Local Government Secretary, Ruth Kelly MP, with copy to Geoffrey Cox MP as follows: -

In view of the anticipated changes in local government structures which will require Town Councils to expand and take on more responsibilities, we suggest that premises that are occupied by Town Councils and are suitable for the anticipated role of Town Councils, be identified and reserved for their use. Such a step will avoid the need for Town Councils to acquire/build new offices.

This motion is prompted by the situation which exists at Northam. In 1934 the Northam Urban District Council built the existing Council Offices at Windmill Lane , Northam. These offices were paid for by the inhabitants of Northam and have served the community up to the present time as the offices of the Urban District Council until 1974 and as the offices of the Town Council since.

The 1974 re-organisation of local government resulted in the ownership of the offices passing to the Torridge District Council. This Council is now considering the sale of these offices and the adjoining car park. If this takes place the Town Council will need to acquire new offices at a considerable cost to the inhabitants of Northam. Such an expense is unnecessary, cannot be justified and should be avoided. The Council would ask Government to take the necessary action to avoid such a situation arising. ”

Members considered the above and it was RESOLVED to support and action this Notice of Motion

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox - “ In the light of the so-called 'Merton rule' (see background paper attached) this Council urges Torridge District Council to re-write its development policy so that developers applying for planning permission are EXPECTED to incorporate renewable energy production equipment in residential and non-residential developments in order to provide at least 10 per cent of the predicted energy requirements for those developments.”

Members considered the above and agreed to delete the words development policy and substitute “Local Development Framework” and support and action the Notice of Motion.

(Vote: Unanimous)

7. 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.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Northam Burrows

(a) Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters - “That the Council proceeds with the grazing allocations for 2007 in the normal way with the addition that graziers who receive allocations are advised that during the appropriate months they are required to reduce the number of animals that they place on the burrows so as to comply with the grazing restrictions imposed by Natural England and that the Council informs Natural England of its intentions in February/March 2007.”

Members RESOLVED to support and action this Notice of Motion.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Grass Management Agreement

Cllr Miller and Cllr Mrs Mounce declared personal interests in this item

The Golf Club were advising that Natural England were agreeable to a one year extension of the existing agreement for the topping of the fairway. The Town Council RESOLVED to extend the agreement for one more year pending finalisation of the Site Management Plan.

(Vote: 8 For, 1 abst)

(c) Application for grazing 1 horse

The Town Clerk advised that a Mrs C Willis had applied to graze one horse on the Burrows. She had submitted her horse passport and allocation is not fully subscribed. RESOLVED to approve the application.

(Vote: Unanimous)

9. Streetworks and related matters

(a) Emergency phones on North Devon link road

Members considered a letter from the County Council regarding their intention to remove emergency phones from the North Devon Link Road . Some concern was expressed as parts of the road are remote from any habitation and it was RESOLVED to advise the County Council that if the phones are to be removed then signs should be erected making the public aware that there are no emergency phones on this stretch of road.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) Members items

Cllr Mrs Cox reported on the new plans for the planting of the Heywood Road roundabout which would consist of a mixture of small trees and shrubs established around a central cross of grass. It was RESOLVED to approve the design and to seek tenders for the works to be reported to the Special Meeting on the 17 th January 2007 .

(Vote: Unanimous)

Thanks were expressed by the Council to Cllr Mrs Cox and Mr Birchall for the design work.

Cllr Eastman advised that he had received representations from residents of Bude Street who were seeking a one-way system. It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council to seek their views.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Waters enquired as to the latest situation with regard to the stone facing of Appledore Quay wall and it was RESOLVED to make further enquiries from the Environment Agency.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Letter from Appledore Residents

Members considered a letter from Appledore Residents with regard to the Standards Committee of the District Council. There was general agreement with the sentiments set out in the letter and it was RESOLVED to acknowledge receipt.

(Vote: Unanimous)