COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* Denotes Attendance
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – A
Cllr H. Taylor – A
Cllr. R. Wheeler – A
Cllr D. Cohen – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr Miss J. Clark – *
Cllr Mrs R. King – A
Cllr R. Collings – A
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr J. Valentine – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – A
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO D. Gibson – A
Toby Leigh Kingsbridge Gazette – *
379. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were invited to acknowledge any declarable interests, including the nature and extent of such interests that they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting. Cllr Biggs noted that he would leave the room should any matter relating to his work that was not apparent from the agenda come to his attention as the meeting progressed. Cllr Fice noted that the applicant of 2844/14F was a neighbour and Cllr Cohen advised that the applicant of 2881/14/F was a friend.
380. OPEN FORUM
Police Report: PCSO Gibson emailed the following report:
For the last fortnight there had been three crimes recorded for Salcombe. These were two burglaries and one criminal damage which was in effect an attempted burglary. These all occurred the previous Thursday night/early hours Friday at Overbecks wherea garden store was broken into and 1 x STIHL leaf blower and a small chainsaw were stolen, in De Courcey Road where a site store was broken into and 2 x BOSCH kango drills, a STIHL disc cutter, a DE WALT drill with bit adapter and an extension lead were stolen. A further property in Moult Hill had a plastic roof panel removed and offenders looked inside but nothing was taken.
The police were still investigating these but PCSO Gibson advised of the importance of property marking and noting serial nunbers of any article that may be attractive to thieves. It could be possible there may be more properties affected which had as yet not been discovered (ie. Second homes etc.)
He urged everyone to report any suspicious activity especially around building sites and remote buildings.
District Councillor Mrs Pearce – Noted the Gas Works Appeal decision and wanted to thank everyone locally for turning up at the Appeal as it showed if the community put up a good show with assistance from Town and District Council locals could win and others should not be defeatist.
The site visit to the proposed Tides Reach Hotel took place. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt it was a worthwhile visit and brought home to District members how big this structure was going to be. They Mayor noted concern that the District officer in attendance pointed out elements that were in favour of the development and not those against. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce had observed this and did try as the local member to point out other aspects by taking members to the other side of the cove to illustrate visual impact. As the officer must write the report and then have such signed off by Malcolm Elliot the points relied on the planning policy chosen and as such would be presented thus. Therefore Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt she had illustrated viewpoints from the other side than what the architects wanted to see and the Mayor agreed that the members did thus get a balanced view. It was unfortunate that not everybody turned up to the site visit from District but there was a good proportion. Cllr Lang asked what was going to happen about the public toilets that were owned by District which appeared to be in Tides Reach car park. It was noted that the plans showed a red line around the development which did not include toilets. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt a contentious aspect was that the dustbins were to be sited next to the public toilets but by virtue of this would be opposite the South Sands Hotel and this was not neighbourly. Cllr Miss Clark asked how locals could have known about the site meeting. She was advised that site meetings were always 10 days before a committee meeting. Members of the public were allowed to listen to the discussions of the planning committee at the site visit but not take part. As the Environment Agency had come up with an objection against the flooding of the lower area this application would now be delayed and go to District’s January meeting. Another hotel application would be on this list and there was a concern that these two applications were to be on together. Cllr Cohen felt angry about the pre application process as at the last town council meeting he felt it was patently obvious that the developers had not been discouraged in fact they stated they were advised by District they were on the right track. At that meeting as Dist Cllr Coulson could not give comfort on this point Cllr Cohen felt that the public should come out with outrage. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt that the process had gone along as it should and officers could substantiate opinion with professional advice. It was also noted that Dist Cllr Coulson had passed his Planning Committee role over to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce so she was the District Councillor that could not give a commitment as this would be predetermination.
Cllr Cohen responded that District Council should listen to Town Council as they had many skills around the table. Town Council had three weeks to make points known and if it was a major application there could be other consultees who would also give comments over a number of weeks and they were all listed. All views were very important but they often arrived later in the process and town council could not know of these when they made their comments. District look at things in the round with all comments received and it was not always what you want but a matter of considering all the policies and weighing them up. Town Council were consultees but District made the decision.
The Mayor noted that everyone did have to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework so there had to be good planning reasons for objecting and such that could be substantiated at Appeal. The hearing for the Gas Works Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt was ‘a cake walk’ compared to a hearing with cross examination.
Town Council had raised legitimate reasons but whether they were substantial enough to stand against the pro benefits needed to be considered. District Planning Committee could come up with different weighting to policies than officers but on the whole it did not often happen and it had to be considered would it get through Appeal. Appeals were very expensive and people with money would use this against smaller District Councils.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 12th November 2014 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
382. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
Councillors considered the following applications and sent such observations to the District as Planning Authority:
Cllr Fice left the meeting whilst the next application was considered and Cllr Biggs chaired this point.
• 2844/14/F Householder application for replacement of existing balconies and erection of new shed 30 Buckley Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DD – Applicant Mr P. Davies – No objection.
Cllr Cohen left the meeting whilst the following application was considered.
• 2881/14/F Householder application for construction of open fronted garden shed 4 Beacon Court, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8LA – Applicant Mr P. Higginbottom –No objection.
• 2898/14/F Householder application for demolition of single storey garage, replacement with two storey side extension and single storey rear extension, single storey side extension to south west. Widening of driveway and gate posts, enlargement of terrace and associated works Sotherly House, St. Dunstans Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JN – Applicant Mr and Mrs N. Andrew – Objection as this application information did not cover all works proposed as drawn in the plans. There was also a single width dormer window which the applicant wanted to extend to triple width with recessed balconies and dormers. Further plans and information with regard to all proposals were requested as this application did not state enough details considering the increase in size..
• All emails received had already been forwarded by email to all town council for information and consideration before viewing the applications.
• Received a copy of an anonymous letter dated 10th November 2014 relating to unauthorised development at Hanger Farm, Beadon Lane. Town Council had visited this location and noted that about 150 yards up on the left hand side of this lane there was a sign which indicated Hangar Farm and the building resembled a garage. However it was noted that it being used as a residential property as there were signs of a kitchen, tables, and satellite dish together with a mail box and South Hams District Council brown and black refuse bins. This information would be notified to District Enforcement.
383. COUNTY PROPOSALS FOR A HIGHWAY WARDEN AND COMMUNITY SELF HELP PLAN
The Mayor summarised that County would like each town and parish to appoint a Road Warden on a voluntary basis but they would have to comply with training which would take 3 days. This person would be responsible for the minor upkeep of the roads within the parish and would put together a little team but where appropriate would provide some of the materials. County had the statutory duty for maintaining the roads but listed benefits of a town representative but said nothing about saving money for County.
It was AGREED that town council would respond that they would not be interested in joining this scheme as County were responsible for the roads.
384. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN UPDATE
The Mayor advised he had spoken to Cllr Wheeler who wished to step back from his town council duties and the Neighbourhood Plan for a period. Therefore as Cllr Cohen replaced Cllr Mrs Pickering the Mayor would stand in for Cllr Wheeler for now.
He went on to note that it was encouraging that the Neighbourhood Plan group did seem to be moving forward and they had presentations from consultants with regard to PR. One presenter felt communications would get an explanation and message out in the community and the other presenter was of benefit later in the process for meetings and collecting information. He had made it clear to the group that they had a fixed budget and needed to keep money back for production of the Plan and expert advice needed later.
It was AGREED that Cllr Fice would deputise for Cllr Wheeler until he returned. Cllr Lang was concerned as in her presentation Jo Widdicombe Planning Aid advised that the process could be taken over by single issue people/groups and there appeared a bias towards business but he was assured this was raised last meeting. The Steering Group were only there to steer the process and not for their personal views. The group seemed a ‘rounded bunch’ and there was some good discussion from various sides of the community.
385. PRECEPT 2015 – 2016
The Mayor advised that the draft had produced a 4.1% increase on the current year precept. National increases had been advised on salaries and there was a proposal to increase Pete Robinson’s hours from 12 to 21 hours. There were the usual outgoings on rent, rates and insurance and a major additional to insurance was for Jubilee Gardens and the play area. Some other budget figures had reduced dramatically i.e. cemetery management and the mortuary due to works having been carried out. There was no money in the precept for any internal Council Hall works and if this project was pursued it would need extra fund.
To illustrate the reserves entries had been included in the sheet provided but any transfers could not be carried out until agreed and at the end of year but this was an illustration of what was available going forward. There was a substantial reserve for the P&R as there were works to do and such float needed to be kept in reserve in case of a bad summer and loss of income for the bus hire. Also there remained £25000 ring fenced section 106 contribution for the landscape maintenance at Jubilee Garden.
It was AGREED to defer this decision for further consideration of proposals.
386. CEMETERY TABLE OF CHARGES
It was AGREED to update and amend the wording for the criteria for the Table of Charges January 2010 by inserting the words ‘Current living’ at the beginning of Category A and B explanations and changing the Category C amount of days in resident to 186 with no change to the charges applied at present.
387. TREE SURVEYS
It was AGREED to request Hi Line to provide such surveys and recommendations as per the quote due to the fact that he could provide GIS mapping and Excel spreadsheet. The Town Clerk would check that there would be no additional travel costs added before accepting the quote.
388. PARK AND RIDE
Cllr Valentine noted he had seen lorries and vans offloading in the car park and enquired could town council not provide an area for offloading. Others questioned how control could be implemented to stop other lorries going in the area without permission. Cllr Biggs noted he wished to help people and business but if such winter use was allowed there would be considerable amount of maintenance work required to enable the area to be used during summer as the car park. It was asked how did town council manage this and stop people abusing it and this was the difficulty. The Mayor noted that if town council changed the Traffic Orders they would have to spend a lot of money properly resurfacing the area and they did not have these sorts of funds. Cllr Cohen felt this was Neighbourhood Plan territory which he did mention at the time of the RA3 discussions suggesting that an area elsewhere along on the main road be provided so that larger transfers could come down and decant for shops et al and this could be a future discussion. The Mayor noted that the majority of larger traffic over the last few months had been for the building on Bonfire Hill.
It was AGREED;
(a) to defer this item as only one quotation had been received for installing a height and width restriction barrier across the car park access and any works required to upgrade the surface.
(b) that Cllrs Biggs and Valentine would meet with Tally Ho and discuss a firm criteria for inviting advertising on the Town Council seasonal bus and at the car park in order that costings and available placement be provided for interested parties to offer on for a suggested three year contract. With regard to such advertising Tally Ho were to be asked what happened if a bus went out of service.
(c) that the dates and times of provision of the seasonal bus during 2015 were to run as last year ending on the 4th September 2015. The Town Clerk was to ask County if they were able to provide usage data and whether this could be provided monthly.
Toby Leigh left the meeting.
389. PLANNING RESPONSES
It was AGREED to approve delegated authority to the Town Clerk to formulate all comments received from the public in conjunction with the Planning Working Party to any planning applications received during the Christmas recess period and submit these to District Council to be ratified by town council at the 14th January 2015 meeting.
390. EMERGENCY PLAN
It was AGREED to defer this matter.
391. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor noted that the Gas Works and Tides Reach matters had been covered earlier.
Simon Evans at the RNLI had made contact by email to say they were considering commemorating the lifeboat disaster in October 2016 and wished to meet with him to discuss the Mayor asked if anyone had ideas please to let him know. Harrison Sutton had contacted Town Council and wanted to meet with regard to land owned in Salcombe by their client and such had been set up for Tuesday 2nd December 10.30 for any councillor who wished to attend. Salcombe Christmas lights would be switched on Tuesday 6p.m. and the Salcombe Christmas Lights Group would be celebrating their 30th Anniversary with the Gospel Choir also coming along to sing. There would also be singing round the Christmas tree on Whitestrand at 6p.m. on 22nd December 2014.
392. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr Lang – With regard to footpaths he had already started their annual report check and had personally chopped a branch off at Coombe Road to relieve the blockage. He was also checking ownership on the path down by Hipplefield and believed it belonged to Woodcott. The Mayor noted a tree down at the end of Knowle Road but thought it may have been cleared. The lights reported as being out down Fore Street had people sent from Southern lighting to look at them but they had just checked the bulbs but now advised Western Power needed to attend with regard to distribution.
• TAP Fund application had been made but working together with Stokenham could not be shown and thus District had stated this would not be put forward.
• Devon County had advised that although they were awaiting the response to the Tough Choices consultation for the 2015/16 budget reduction target they were advising that the proposal could restrict/remove any funding for roadside grass cutting other than visibility.
• A resident who lived adjacent and used there at The Berry noted that the bench seat had still not been replaced and requested that her email was read out noting that such should be installed and funding could be sought from organisations such as the Rugby Club. Another lady emailed to complain that the children’s area had plenty of seats within that and yet there was no provision for older people walking dogs and enjoying the open space.
• Tozers solicitors advised that a file would be archived and kept until 2024 before which access could be made but that they would not contact the town council before destroying it after the due date.
• All the Parish Paths Partnership forms for the annual reviewed had been received and Cllr Lang would be carrying out an inspection ready for submission in February 2015.
• Following a report by Cllr Lang of a tree fallen down across Footpath 22 it had been identified by Devon County Footpath Warden as the responsibility of The Tides Reach and noted that BT had already been out and that the owners had instructed a contractor. The Tree Warden had also requested local knowledge with regard to land adjoining FP24 and was awaiting further feedback from Cllr Lang as to whether the land owner’s gardener could carry out such vegetation works.
• The Floodline emergency number had been changed to 0345 9881188. Whilst the original number would run for a little while longer the transition would be made shortly to only the 0345 number and therefore only this should be used in literature. The Emergency Plan had been updated with this information.
• Malborough Parish Council received TAP funding to provide chicanes along the cycle path. This had encountered problems as the highway safety officer did not agree to such as those using such areas would not use them if they found they could cycle up and around them making a new track. It was felt along this path they could. Thus at present further signage would be erected by Devon County but Malborough were seeking to change the use of their TAP funding to further cuts along the cycle path and especially for visibility at the farm entrance junctions. The grant originally requested was £2000 with the proportion as allowed for TAP fund last year being applied. Agreement to such change to funding usage was sought from Salcombe Town Council and South Huish Parish Council whilst permission was being sought from District Council. THIS was original request from SALCOMBE so no.
• Iain Randall noted that the cemeteries were slippery due to all the moss from the recent damp conditions. He had purchased weedkiller and would charge for this on top of his contract, as agreed, and was just letting the town council know that these works would be carried out.
• Response received from Devon County Council Waste Management with regard to Town Council’s response to the consultation in which they requested further information. The Impact Assessment listed the new items which would be charged for and these would be at £3.50 each item. If implemented charges would be published in February 2015 so that people carrying out DIY could assess the costs. On the recycling credits voluntary organisations can currently sell their textiles in their shops or on the open market and the current price is £350/tonne. This would not change. The recycling credits which would go are £55/tonne which County feel is relatively small. Increase in flytipping.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £228,937.82
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
003246 Salcombe Christmas Lights – Grant £1000
003247 Adrian Mundy – Memorial headstone repair £270
003248 The Galley Girls – Civic Lunch £971.25
003249 SHDC Refuse Bonfire Hill £14.59
003250 Royal British Legion – Wreath £20.00
003251 Greenspace – Reimbursement for the cost of the weedkiller £189.42
003252 HMRC – Tax and NI £543.21
003253 and 4 Wages £1402.34
003254 Notice-It Ltd – Noticeboards at Spar and Information Centre £1830
003255 Greenspace – Maintenance Contract October £446.33
003256 Vision ICT – Town Council website hosting January 2015 to December 2015 £300.00
Members of the public and press were excluded from this part of the meeting as the item under discussion contained information exempt under the LGA 1972, Schedule 12(a) Park 1, Section 1 and the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960.
394. LEGAL MATTERS
It was AGREED that a Complaints Committee comprising of Cllrs Fice, Miss Clark, Valentine and Whitfield be set up to meet the following week and consider this matter.
395. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 10th December 2014 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.20p.m.
……………………………………………….. 10th December 2014.