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

Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 27th March 2007


PRESENT:     Chairman       - Town Mayor – Cllr K A Lane

                      Members       -  Cllrs Mrs M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce, A Barnes,    R D Bradford MBE, H Brading, J Braund, A Eastman,L Ford, P Hames, R W A Miller, R M M Tisdale, P Waters together with 3 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllr E J Davies


1.         Mr Alan Partridge, Devon & Cornwall Housing Association


The Mayor welcomed Mr Alan Partridge who was attending the meeting to advise the Council on the Association’s proposals for the redevelopment of the Bridge Hall site in Northam.  The situation being that the Association would like to build approximately 14 units on the site consisting of three terraced houses for rent, 3 terraced houses for shared ownership and a block of flats at the apex of the site, which would be for rent.  Currently the land is owned by the Bridge Trust and the Association have made an offer but the deal has not been finalised.  As part of the agreement with the Bridge Trust it will be necessary for the Association to identify a suitable property within the area for the current users of the Bridge Hall.   The scheme proposed will be grant aided by the Housing Corporation and this grant comes with a time limit in that work must start on site by March 2008.   Expenditure on such projects is very tightly controlled but the Association may be able to factor in some on costs which would help recover refurbishment and decorating of the Community Centre in Fore Street, Northam.  There seemed to be a view that this would be an interim measure pending a new Community Centre, public Library etc, on a site yet to be identified.  Members expressed concern that there was growth in the use of both centres although Cllr Hames indicated that he thought there were under used rooms at the Community Centre.  A view was expressed that a working group should be established and Mr Partridge indicated that he was agreeable to being involved in that group.  When pressed on financial contributions towards the alternative venue it seemed that the maximum of £15,000 would be forthcoming from the Association.  


2.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 27th February 2007 were approved and signed.


(Vote: Unanimous)


3.         Minutes


The minutes of the Local Development Framework Advisory Committee held 14th March 2007 were considered .


Minute 2(d) – Cllr Brading reported on the latest situation with regard to the provision of public conveniences at the Community Centre.  He advised that he had obtained costings for cleaning the facility and these were £257.50 for a period of 3 months.  Consideration of this figure was deferred until later in the meeting.


Minute 2(e) – Cllr Miller reported that the date for the fair in the Square was to be 22nd July and that it would be necessary to organise road closure etc as early as possible.  It was RESOLVED to set a budget of £1,000 for this event.


(Vote: 12 For, 1 abst)


Minute 3 – The LDF had recommended extending the funding for the Youth support at the Bridge Hall and it was RESOLVED to provide a further £1200 for this purpose on the understanding that the young people are involved with and support the Fair to be held at the end of July. 


Cllr Brading declared a prejudicial interest and left the meeting for this item.


Minute 4 – Cllr Barnes and Cllr Hames reported on the additional work they had undertaken on the Spatial resources and it was agreed that further work was necessary to bring the report together for presentation at the Liaison Committee with the District Council.


The case for carrying out a structural survey of the Community Centre was again discussed and there was  a strong feeling that the survey should be undertaken.  The previous decision of the Council not to carry out the survey was reconsidered, Standing Orders being suspended in order that this may happen.  It was RESOLVED to undertake a structural survey of the Community Centre at a cost of £300 plus VAT.


(Vote: Unanimous)


            Members then returned to the question of cleaning of the toilets at the Community Centre and it was RESOLVED to agree a trial period of 3 months.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


4.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Ford – “Would this Council support a donation of £1,000 to the scheme designed by Terry Bailey to place the ‘Hubba’ stone at Hillcliff Terrace, Appledore? Torridge has agreed the use of this location.”


Cllr Ford advised that he would be able to match the sum of £1,000 using funds he had available as a County Councillor.  There was general support for the project and it was RESOLVED to agree to the expenditure of £1,000.


(Vote: Unanimous)


5.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Waters“That Northam Town Council obtain from DEFRA the procedure and criteria for establishing a ‘Commons Association’ for Northam Burrows as contained in the Commons Act 2006.  Once obtained the information to be widely published with a view to establishing such an Association if there is sufficient support.”

Cllr Waters expanded on his Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED to write to DEFRA accordingly.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Tisdale left the meeting at this juncture.


6.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox – “That the Council commits to supporting environmental projects for schools.”


There was a general discussion on how best the children from the local schools should be encouraged to be involved in climate change, local issues, etc.  There was general agreement that further clarification was required and that a detailed Notice of Motion would be considered at the next meeting.         

Cllr Eastman left the meeting at this juncture.


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)


            (b) Bus Shelter – Golf Links Road


            The Town Clerk advised that a pane of glass had been broken and it was RESOLVED not to replace it at this time.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


8.         Northam Burrows


(a) Request to graze 1 horse


The Town Clerk reported an application to graze one horse.  The applicant met the required conditions and there was adequate capacity within the allocation.  It was RESOLVED to approve the application.


 (Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Northam Burrows Committee – 12th April


Members considered the items for this agenda and it was RESOLVED to ask for the following items to be placed for consideration:-


Bassetts Bridge, The Burn, Appledore Bridge, Cutting the great plain.

(Vote: Unanimous)


            (c) Consultation on the protection of Common Land in England


            Members considered the response from the Northam Burrows 1716 Committee with

regard to the Conservation document on the Protection of Common Land in England.  It was RESOLVED to put forward these comments as the Town Council’s response.


(Vote: Unanimous)


            (d) Golf Club Summer Work Programme


Members considered the proposed summer work programme of the Golf Club and it was RESOLVED to advise the Golf Club that it was satisfactory with the Town Council subject to clearance by Natural England.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e)  Members’ items


            Cllr Waters reported on the grazing situation as follows:-

Throughout the first three months of 2007 there were 30 horses on the Burrows.  At the end of March horse numbers dropped to 20.  With regard to sheep there were 60 at the beginning of the year and this dropped during January and February and at the beginning of March there were only 20 sheep on the Burrows.  On March 11th there were only 10 sheep, March 14th 40, March 17th 60, March 19th 60, March 20th 60, March 22nd 130 and the first lambs, March 27th 130.  Graziers did not expect to graze the Burrows in a serious manner until early May.


9.         Streetworks and related matters

Cllr Bradford MBE reported again that the road signs in Northam were still dirty.  At Bone Hill the dog bin was set too near the seating area and it was suggested that it be moved around the corner.  In Cross Street street sweeping was required to remove litter and leaves.

Cllr Mrs Mounce reported that the slipway at Appledore Churchfields car park will be manned from the 1st April, commencing at 2 hours before high water.  From 14th April the Marine volunteers are going to be supervising.  It was RESOLVED to seek further details from the District Council

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Miller reported that there was to be a new entrance from Benson Drive onto the National Trust land at Burrough Farm.  There was also to be a planting scheme.

Cllr Barnes questioned the situation with regard to the public seat at Boat Hyde.

Cllr Waters left the meeting at this juncture.

Cllr Ford reported on bus shelters in Richmond Road, dropped kerbs in Tomouth Square and advised that the additional yellow lines in Appledore should be done by May.

Cllr Hames reported that the County had cut the hedges back from Bloody Corner to the football club in Churchill Way but the footway by the allotments needs further attention as the weeds are growing back and resurfacing is required.   It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)


10.       Youth Shelter and other facilities


Cllr Braund advised that he was still consulting on the possibility of providing the youth shelters and was waiting to hear about possible funding.  He hoped to be in a position to give a full report at next month’s meeting. 

Cllr Ford left the meeting at this juncture.


11.       Anchor Park Fence


The Town Clerk advised that part of the boundary fence at Anchor Park was broken.  He was seeking a price for repairs.  It was RESOLVED to authorise the Town Clerk to proceed with the necessary works. 

(Vote: Unanimous) 


12.       Liaison Meeting with the District Council


It was RESOLVED to request the following items be placed on the next Liaison meeting with the District Council:-

            (a) Planning enforcement

            (b) Lords Meadow fence and football posts

            (c) Resources in Northam

            (d) Spatial report to be presented by Cllrs Barnes and Hames

            (e) Bridge Hall – Devon & Cornwall Housing Association proposals           

            (Vote: Unanimous)


13.       Membership of the Devon Association of Parish Councils

Members considered a letter from the Association and it was RESOLVED to continue with membership. 

(Vote: Unanimous)