Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 25th March 2008.


PRESENT: Chairman - Deputy Town Mayor – Cllr R M M Tisdale

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs S Collins, Mrs M M Cox, B M Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R W A Miller, R H Osborne, S R Robinson together with 6 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllr A Eastman

1. 15 Minute period for Public consultation

(a) Mrs Avery from Appledore enquired as to whether approval had been given for artificial stone blocks to be used to face Appledore Quay wall. Members were of the view that consent had been given but they were not sure of the detail.

(b) Mr Griffiths, the current Chairman and Secretary of the Blue Lights Hall, advised of a Management Committee problem. He himself was having to stand down at the next AGM in October and a number of the Committee members, who were elderly, were also likely to go. The hall is well used and is financially sound, however to date it has been difficult to attract volunteers to sit on the Management Committee. A recent letter, circulated by Mr Griffiths highlighting the problems and the possible closure of the hall, has resulted in a number of volunteers coming forward who are willing to sit on the Committee but unwilling to take up the job of Chairman. Mr Griffiths asked if it was possible for an Appledore Councillor to take on the role of Chairman this coming October. Cllr Edwards volunteered to be Chairman and other Councillors agreed to sit on the Committee if needed. Next year would be the 50 th anniversary of the Hall and it was hoped to celebrate this in some way.

(c) Mr Peach of Richmond Park in Northam expressed his concern over a possible parking permit scheme to be introduced at Torridge Pool. The scheme, if implemented, would require users of the pool to place in their car a parking permit which they would obtain when buying their ticket to use the pool. This scheme, which would necessitate two journeys from car to pool and back again, was being considered to prevent misuse of the car park. However, it appeared that there was little, if any, misuse and the District Councillors advised that the proposal was held in abeyance.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 26 th February 2008 were approved and signed.

Cllr Mrs Collins, responding to minute 1 with regard to the Lakenham property, advised that she was able to obtain photographs of the interior and exterior and it was agreed that these would be made available to the Town Clerk who would make application to English Heritage with a view to having the property listed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

3. Minutes of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee

Members considered the recommendations of the Northam Burrows Advisory Committee held 12 th March 2008.

The decisions of the Committee were generally accepted. With regard to the litter bin for Sandymere it was RESOLVED that expenditure should not exceed £1000.

(Vote: 11 For, 1 abst)

With regard to minute 5(f) Clearing of Ditches, it was RESOLVED to agree funding of up to £1000.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to Bassetts Bridge it was RESOLVED to obtain quotations for its removal.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With respect to the Shoreline Management Plan Cllr Miller advised that Cllr Temperley had visited the site and was concerned that the situation was worse than he had envisaged. He was making efforts to have some emergency works carried out and there was a possibility of Professor Pethick being brought back to advise. Following the television news report Mr Webster, of the District Council, had been in contact with the County Council regarding the landfill site and he was concerned that insufficient effort was being put into having the necessary survey work undertaken. Mr Webster was to speak to Natural England with a view to obtaining their consent to allow some recharging to take place.

Cllr Mrs Collins advised of a recent case where Natural England were resisting coast protection works being undertaken but that an Inspector had upheld the landowner's human rights to protect his property.

Members discussed the proposal with regard to the model cars and model aeroplanes and concern was expressed that a decision had been made, apparently by Officers, to the effect that both would be banned from the Burrows. It was RESOLVED to write to Mr Webster at the District Council and ask for a full explanation.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Town Projects Advisory Committee

Members considered the recommendations of the Town Projects Advisory Committee held 18th March 2008. The decisions of the Committee were generally accepted. With regard to minute 4, District Council's assets, it was RESOLVED to approach the District Council and seek a long-term full repairing lease of the Community Hall in Fore Street, Northam.

(Vote: Unanimous)

It was further RESOLVED to convene a Business Plan Sub Committee Meeting on Tuesday 1st April at 10 am in the Council Chamber, Northam to consider the Community Hall, the Burrough Farm field and any other assets currently held by the District Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

It was also RESOLVED to hold a Finance Committee Meeting on Tuesday 8th April to consider the financing of the Bridge Hall and other matters referred to it from the Business Plan meeting.

(Vote: Unanimous)

It was RESOLVED to delegate to the Finance Committee authority to engage professional services as necessary in support of the projects.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Meeting of the Sustainability Working Group

Members considered the minutes of the Sustainability Working Group held 18 th March 2008. With regard to waste water kits it was RESOLVED to refer this to the Finance Committee for further consideration.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox – “that the Council pilots a scheme to identify more wildlife corridors in our wards.

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and Cllr Mrs Cox advised that many of the environmental policies were being brushed aside by the planners because policies such as the ones that protect wildlife corridors were not formally established. It was RESOLVED to invite Mr Paul Winter and Mrs Vanessa Saunders to the next Council meeting with a view to establishing wildlife corridors and also to consider a pilot area for more Tree Preservation Orders.

(Vote: Unanimous)

7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs Cox - “to write to the Chief Executive of Torridge District Council requesting that the Town Council be kept informed at all stages of any meetings or proposals regarding the possibility of a marina and other development at Knapp House”.

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED to write a letter to the Chief Executive, with copies to the Leader of the Council and District Council Appledore Ward Members, with a view to seeking transparency in the way that the District Council conducted its business in this manner.

(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. Requests for grant aid

Members considered 3 requests for grant aid. With regard to the Appledore Community Primary School it was RESOLVED to award £2000 towards the cost of implementing a feasibility study for the use of recyclable energy in school.

(Vote: Unanimous)

With regard to the request from Seize the Moment and Torridge District Council these were referred to the Finance Advisory Committee.

10. Bridge Hall

Members referred the setting up of a Management Committee for the Bridge Hall to the Business Plan Sub Committee.

11. Re-organisation of local Government

The Town Clerk advised that he had received from the District Council a questionnaire/consultation paper which needed to be returned by the 28 th March. It was RESOLVED that Members would make their own individual responses.

(Vote: Unanimous)