Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29th January 2008

PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr A Eastman

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs M 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 M M Tisdale together with PC M Tricker, PCSO J McGovern and 3 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllr Mrs S Collins.

1. 15 Minute period for Public consultation

Mr Andrews questioned whether the Council had responded to the consultation on the Shoreline Management Plan. The Mayor advised that Cllr Humphrey Temperley, the Chairman of the Shoreline Management Group was to be invited to the next Town Projects Advisory Committee.

2. Matters of report to/from Community Constable

PC Mike Tricker and PCSO John McGovern gave details of crime statistics and their involvement with the youth over the past few weeks. The Youth Clubs at Northam and Appledore continue to thrive but there is a problem with a group, probably in the 18 to 19 age group, who do not wish to be involved with any organised arrangements. For the most part there are no serious problems with the groups of youngsters moving around the village from place to place.

In the Cleave, Limers Lane area a Neighbourhood Watch was now set up and J H Taylor Drive was being planned for Neighbourhood Watch. Mention was made of the small grants available from the Neighbourhood Equipment Fund.

Councillors thanked the Officers for their diligence. Cllr Braund advised that there had been a noticeable improvement in rapport with the children and it was essential that the Halls in the village be kept.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 18 th December 2007 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee

It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee held 14 th January 2008.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Minutes of the Local Development Framework Committee

Members considered the recommendations of the Local Development Framework Committee held 21 st January 2008 and RESOLVED as follows:-

(a) With regard to the title of the Committee this to be re-named the Town Projects Advisory Committee .

(Vote: 11 For, 1 against, 1 abst)

(b) With regard to speed signs it was agreed to write a letter to the local County Councillor requesting him to obtain a reply from the County Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Bridge Hall – Members discussed who should meet the Bridge Trust and it was agreed that Councillors Edwards, Johnson and Miller, together with the Town Clerk would represent the Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(d) The Marina at Knapp House was discussed and it was agreed to write a follow up comment in respect of the Baker Report consultation to the effect that there should be no marina at Knapp House.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(e) The proposal to place a boat on the Heywood Road roundabout was further considered and it was agreed to write a letter to Bideford Town Council advising them that nothing should be placed on the roundabout or in the parish of Northam without consultation. It was also agreed that a copy of this letter be sent to the County Councillor. Members were concerned that whatever was placed on the roundabout needed to be insured, maintained and not an attraction to youngsters and this was to be conveyed to Bideford Town Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to the other recommendations of the Committee these were accepted.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Minutes of the Sustainability Working Group

It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Sustainability Working Group held 21 st January 2008

(Vote: Unanimous)

In addition it was also agreed to write a letter to the District Council with the object of discussing the proposal for allotments at Tadworthy Road.

7. Minutes of the Finance Advisory Committee

It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Finance Advisory Committee held 22 nd January 2008.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to the proposal for a small sub-committee to run a business plan for the Bridge Hall, Councillors Boyle, Edwards, Miller and Johnson were nominated.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Notice of Motion from Cllr Johnson – “That the Council considers making a financial contribution to the restoration of the ‘Bideford Paper Boy' statue recently vandalised in Mill Street.”

Councillor Johnson advised that the shop owners in Bideford had approached him and that a £400 reward had been put up by them in the hope that they could find the person who destroyed the statue. Councillor Johnson proposed that £100 be made available by way of a grant towards the cost of a replacement statue. It was so RESOLVED .

(Vote: Unanimous)

9. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Boyle – “ That a business plan is provided for purchasing Bridge Hall.”

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and Councillor Mrs Boyle expanded on the basis of the plan which would consider the following items:-

The purpose of purchase;

The proposed funding;

Confirmation of an independent survey;

Estimated costs of annual maintenance;

Servicing of the loan;

and the fallback provision if purchase does not proceed.

The plan would be sharp and succinct and the four Councillors nominated from the Finance Advisory Committee would prepare the plan and report to the Finance Committee.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox – “That following the Liaison meeting with Torridge District Council Northam Town Council send a business plan regarding their aspirations to acquire assets from the District Council.”

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and there was some discussion on how this could best be done. Councillor Hames referred to the Joint TDC/Northam Town Council Community Services Working Party which would be looking at the assets of the District Council in the village. Torridge Councillors referred to the District Council's list of assets and at this stage it was RESOLVED to accept the proposal of Councillor Robinson that a list be circulated to all Members.

(Vote: Unanimous)

11. 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) Quotation for grass cutting – Members considered two quotations for grass cutting for the War Memorial site and it was RESOLVED to accept the quote of Eric Birchall in the sum of £400 excluding VAT.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Notice Board – The Town Clerk reported that the notice board at the library had been destroyed by recent high winds. It was agreed that the Town Clerk report back on the cost of replacement Notice boards.

12. Northam Burrows

Necessity for this item

The Town Clerk questioned whether a specific item for Northam Burrows was now necessary in view of the establishment of a Northam Burrows Advisory Committee. It was RESOLVED that all matters relating to Northam Burrows be referred to the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee.

(Vote: Unanimous)

13. Streetworks and related matters

Members' items

The responsibility for and the effectiveness of the street cleaning was discussed. It was RESOLVED to ask the responsible Officer at the District Council to come to a future meeting.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Braund advised that he had not been able to make much progress with regard to dog bins and it was agreed to discuss this with the District Council Officer when he attends a future Council meeting.

Cllr Mrs Cox reported that the four trees had been planted on the Heywood Road roundabout.

Cllr Hames was concerned about the amount of litter at Bloody Corner and requested that a letter be sent to the District Council He also advised that the footpath at Bidna Lane was severely flooded and the water was unable to escape due to the earthworks that had been carried out. It was RESOLVED to write a letter to the Footpath Officer seeking action to overcome this problem.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllrs Osborne and Edwards made reference to road safety issues and it was agreed that these be taken up with the Road Safety Officer at the next Town Projects Advisory Committee.

14. The Child Contact Centre Project

Members considered a request for a grant towards the above project. There was general support for the project but concern that this was a late application outside of the Council's agreed grant awarding system. However, it was RESOLVED to advise the applicants that the Council was mindful to award a grant of £500 subject to the receipt of a satisfactory grant application, the power to award this grant on this occasion to be delegated to the Finance Advisory Committee.

(Vote: 10 For, 3 abst)

15. Appledore Community Trust

Members considered a letter from the Appledore Community Trust who were seeking to resolve the problems of the Appledore Hall. Members RESOLVED to give their support in principle and nominated Cllr Edwards to be a member of the Committee. They were, however, concerned that the project was not yet clearly defined and trust that this will be firmed up.

(Vote: 12 For, 1 abst)

16. Consultation on Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Services

Members considered the e-mail and it was RESOLVED to write to the Fire Service to the effect that the front-line service was absolutely essential and that the Appledore Station must remain an active fire station as it covers the whole parish and was situated in an area where there were heavy industrial uses.

(Vote: Unanimous)