Minutes of the Annual meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 16 th May 2007.
PRESENT: Chairman - The Retiring Mayor, Mr K A Lane for item 1.
Following election of the new Town Mayor,
Members -Cllrs Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs S G Collins, Mrs M Cox, J Braund, B M Edwards,
P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R W A Miller, R H Osborne, S R Robinson,
R Tisdale together with 9 Parishioners
1. Address and Welcome by the retiring Town Mayor
The retiring Town Mayor, Mr K A Lane, welcomed the new Councillors and wished them well for the next four years. He trusted that the Members would be able to work together for the benefit of the community and expressed his honour on being allowed to be Mayor for the past year.
2. Election of Town Mayor
Cllr Miller, as former Deputy Mayor, advised that for personal reasons he was unable to stand as Mayor. There was a discussion on the procedures for the future election of Mayor and there was a general consensus to maintain the traditional system.
On a proposal by Cllr Miller, Cllr Eastman was elected Town Mayor and duly signed the declaration of Office. Cllr Eastman thanked his fellow Councillors.
3. Election of Deputy Town Mayor
On a proposal by Cllr Miller, Cllr Tisdale was duly elected Deputy Town Mayor.
4. Election of a Chairman for Planning
Cllr Robinson proposed that Cllr Langton be elected Chairman of the Planning Committee. Cllr Tisdale proposed that Cllr Mrs Cox be elected Chairman of the Planning Committee. There were seven votes for Cllr Langton and four votes for Cllr Mrs Cox. Cllr Langton was duly elected as Chairman of the Planning Committee.
5. Vacancies at Orchard Hill Ward and Northam Ward
Members considered how best to fill the two vacancies and it was RESOLVED to co-opt Mr J Braund for the Northam ward and to advertise the vacancy of the Orchard Hill ward.
6. Appointments to Finance Advisory Committee
Members discussed the appropriateness of this Committee and having regard to the modest budget of the Town Council it was RESOLVED to put into abeyance for one year, the Finance Sub Committee and to consider a Grants Sub-Committee later in the year when the grants are advertised.
7. Appointments to Local Development Framework Working Group
It was RESOLVED to nominate the following Councillors:- Mrs Boyle, Mrs Cox, Edwards, Hames, Johnson, Miller, Osborne.
8. Appointments to Outside Bodies
It was RESOLVED to make appointments as recorded on the accompanying schedule.
9. Standing Orders and Code of Conduct
The Town Clerk reported that in his view Standing Orders did not need to be amended unless the Council were of a mind to take on board the suggestions of the Standards Board for England in relation to paragraph 12 (2) of the new Model Code of Conduct. It was agreed to seek further advice as to the appropriate wording for the Standing Order and to consider this matter again.
With regard to the ability of the public to speak at Council meetings Standing Orders were suspended in order that Mr Osborne from Appledore could address the Council. He advised that the Public Meeting Act of 1960 required local authorities to allow the public to address the Council at the start of the meeting. It was RESOLVED to amend Standing Orders to the extent necessary to allow members of the public to speak at the start of Council meetings, the maximum period being fifteen minutes and each parishioner being limited to three minutes.
10. Cheque signatories
It was RESOLVED that Councillors Eastman, Miller and Tisdale and the Town Clerk be authorised to sign cheques, any two signatures being required.
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