Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 26 th February 2008


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr A Eastman

Members - Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs S Collins, J Braund, P Hames, C K Langton, R W A Miller, R H Osborne, S R Robinson, R M M Tisdale together with 3 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs M M Cox, B M Edwards, R J Johnson

1. 15 Minute period for Public consultation

Mr Tom Andrews expressed his concern that Lakenham was under threat and he thought the Council should be doing more to have the building listed. Members expressed sympathy for this view and it was generally agreed that evidence would be gathered in order to put a case to English Heritage.

Mr Mapp, of Bay View Road, expressed his concerns regarding proposed development at Highfield. He was particularly concerned about the noise during the construction period. Councillors advised Mr Mapp to take his concerns to the Torridge District Council Planning Department.

2. Refuse Collection/Street Cleaning

Mr McCormack and Mr Haste from the District Council, in response to questions from Members, advised on the procedures and resources that are deployed for refuse collection, street cleaning, litter bins and dog bins. With regard to street cleaning, whilst they do have set rounds they also respond to requests. He advised there were no immediate plans for fortnightly refuse collection.

Members questioned whether it would be possible for the Town Council to make a contribution and thereby improve the service in certain areas. Mr McCormack advised that he was currently in discussions with Bideford Town Council who are looking to provide a street sweeper and some form of “policing”. Dog waste was perceived as a major problem and Members questioned the effectiveness of the dog warden and the lack of publicity particularly where convictions are obtained. Mention was made of the proposals to introduce a new type of street litter bin which would incorporate separate bins for recyclable materials.

The Town Mayor thanked Mr McCormack and Mr Haste for their attendance.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 29 th January 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Finance Advisory Committee

It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Finance Advisory Committee held 19 th February 2008.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Meeting with South West Water

Cllr Mrs Collins reported on behalf of the Members who attended the meeting that the South West Water representatives had been very informative. They had reassured Members that the Cornborough Treatment Plant could cope, they advised that rainfall last year was excessive which resulted in a storage problem at the various pumping stations. They advised that the ultra violet treatment at the plant would be continuous. They were fully aware of the storage problems at Eastbourne Terrace and have accepted that there is insufficient storage. They advised that they would be willing to attend a meeting of the Town Council in order that they may report further on what they have planned and to answer any questions. It was RESOLVED to hold a special meeting of the Council and invite Dr Bird and Mr Gilpin.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Office accommodation

The Town Mayor and the Town Clerk reported on a meeting that they had attended at Torrington with the Mayors and Clerks of Bideford, Torrington and Holsworthy Town Councils. The subject matter was the District Council's decision to make a charge for the office accommodation. Investigations are continuing as at this stage it does not appear that there any written agreements between the respective Town Councils and the District Council. Future meetings are planned and this will be reported to the Council in due course.

7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Robinson - “that the Council considers a petition to the House of Commons regarding Coastal Communities for Regeneration.”

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED to support the petition.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. 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)

9. Streetworks and related matters

(a) Dog bins

Cllr Braund reported that he had met Richard Haste from the District Council at Windsor Road and St George's School regarding the dog bin problems and he would be reporting the full details to the next Town Projects Advisory Committee

(b) Coastal Footpath

The Town Clerk reported that he had a response from the Devon Coast and Countryside Service to the effect that action was being taken to resolve the situation at Knapp House. Cllr Hames advised that nothing had happened to date and it was RESOLVED to contact the County again.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) Members' items

It was reported that St George's School Playing Field was being misused by dog walkers and others and Cllr Braund produced a number of photographs. It was RESOLVED to investigate the matter further as to ownership of the field and consider the matter again at a future meeting.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Campaign to protect rural England

Members considered a letter extolling the virtues of being a member of the Campaign. It was agreed that this was a worthy organisation which could be helpful to the Town Council and it was RESOLVED to become a full member.

(Vote: Unanimous)


11. Meeting with Bridge Trust

Cllr Miller and the Town Clerk reported on the meeting with the Bridge Trust held on Friday 22 nd February 2008. They advised that negotiations to purchase were positive but the District Valuer had advised the Town Council to carry out a conditions survey on the building prior to him concluding negotiations. It was RESOLVED to delegate to the Town Clerk the power to appoint a local Surveyor to undertake the survey.

(Vote: Unanimous)