Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 24th April 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, E J Davies, A Eastman, P Hames, R W A Miller, R M M Tisdale, P Waters together with 4 Parishioners

1. Appledore Arts

A representative from Appledore Arts gave a presentation on the work of the group who were now a registered charity. This will be the tenth anniversary of the festival and in addition to the festival itself, which was becoming more and more popular there was a project being initiated over a ten to twelve month period supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to capture the oral history on Appledore’s Maritime past activities. The Arts Committee were also pursuing the suggestion of having a tidal bell situated near the entrance to the old Richmond Dock.

Cllr Miller joined the meeting at this juncture.

2, Minutes

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

(Vote: Unanimous)

3. Minutes of the Local Development Framework Advisory Committee

The minutes of the Local Development Framework Advisory Committee held 10th April 2007 were considered as follows:-

Cllr Miller reported on the siting of the speed monitors referred to in minute 2.

Cllr Brading reported that the toilets to the rear of the Community Centre were now up and running.

Cllr Miller reported on the Fair in the Square proposal and advised that the small committee had been set up who would be pursuing this event to be held in July.

The proposal in Minute 3 to provide the steps to the Windmill Lane car park was considered and it was RESOLVED to proceed with this project. The Town Clerk would report back on costs and requirements.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to the Leisure Centre in the Square it was reported that the flats would not be transferred to the new Housing Association. With regard to the Community Centre Cllr Brading advised that the cost of a structural survey would be £500 and it was RESOLVED to proceed with the survey.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Bradford MBE left the meeting at this juncture.

Cllr Barnes, referring to item 4 on the minutes, expressed his concerns with regard to the possibility of a fortnightly refuse collection service, particularly in the holiday areas such as Appledore where clearly properties would be only occupied on a week by week basis.

Cllr Tisdale advised that the District Council were to carry out a waste management audit and this would report to the District Council and advise on the best route to follow with regard to refuse collection and recycling.

Other Members thought it was important to advise the District Council now on concerns that the weekly collection was essential. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council expressing the Town Council’s concerns over the possibility of the weekly collection being lost.

(Vote: 8 For, 3 abst)

4. Notice of Motion from Cllr Barnes – “That the Council writes to local schools confirming the Northam Town Council’s concern on the impact of energy usage on global warming, and the impact of climate change on people and the local environment. We invite schools to propose suitable projects for their students to undertake to make use of grants of up to £2,000 per school. This could include presentation to the Town Council.”

It was RESOLVED to implement this motion.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Town Clerk’s Report
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)

6. Northam Burrows

Members items

There was a general discussion on the state of the pebbleridge and the need for the recharging operation to continue. Mention was made of the report which has been commissioned by the Coast and Countryside Service and the Environment Agency and it was agreed to await the report before pursuing any action.

Cllr Waters reported on a letter in the North Devon Journal which inferred that the District Council are wantonly neglecting the Burrows. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council asking them to confirm or deny the suggestion. It was also RESOLVED to write to the District Council seeking a response in connection with the Good Neighbourhood Act.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Waters reported on the grazing during April. The numbers of horses had fluctuated between 15 and 30 and by the end of the month stood at 25. The number of sheep had remained fairly steady at around 150 and towards the end of the month this had increased to 220 which included the lambs. The grazing over the first four months of the year had been low compared to the allocations.

7. Streetworks and related matters

(a) Request for dog and litter bins

Members considered letters from residents who were seeking dog bins at Lords Meadow. It was RESOLVED to supply two bins at the entrances to the play area and subject to the District Council agreeing to empty them. It was also RESOLVED to supply another bin at Bloody Corner, again subject to the District Council agreeing.

(Vote: Unanimous)

There was a general discussion on the provision of dog bins and it was thought the whole area needed to be looked at and assessed and this could be something for the new Council.

(b) Footway from Bloody Corner to Appledore Football Club

The Town Clerk reported that the County Council considered the footway in a reasonable condition at this time.

Cllr Hames asked for their attention to be drawn to the state of the footway where the overhanging hedge had been removed and where the surfacing is being affected by plants growing through. It was RESOLVED to approach the County Council again.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Members items

Cllr Tisdale requested that a letter be sent to the County Council regarding the condition of Seafield car park.

Cllr Eastman advised that someone had removed a chain between two bollards on Marine Parade adjacent to the bus stop and was driving over the footway and parking their car. It was RESOLVED to write a letter to the District Council and the County Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Waters, who was attending his last meeting as a Town Councillor, thanked his fellow Members for their courtesy and co-operation over the years and extended his thanks to the staff.

8. DAWN Strategy and Supplement planning documents

Members considered a letter from the District Council who were consulting and were looking for a response by the 25th May. It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council and seek an extension of one month.

(Vote: 10 For, 1 against)