COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) = *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr. R. Wheeler – *
Cllr D. Cohen – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – *
Cllr Mrs A. Clacy – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – A
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO D. Gibson – A
Chris Derrick – Kingsbridge Gazette reporter – *
783. 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. None received.
784. OPEN FORUM
One member of the public who declined to speak.
Police Report – WPc Jo Pengilly had emailed the following report:
In the past two weeks there had been one recorded crime: Telecommunications Act Offence.
There had been fuel thefts from boats moored in Kingsbridge and Salcombe and these were unfortunately on the increase. However people were not recording the crime with the Police so they were not being placed on their crime figures. The police encouraged all persons to report these incidents as it built a crime pattern for them to work with although reporting by 101 sometimes was a long wait on the phone. Crimes could now be emailed to the force via the Devon and Cornwall Police Web page. Theft from motor vehicles and theft of tools had increased from vehicles and properties. People were urged to ensure that all property was secure and marked. On the 30th March 2016 the police were holding a Crime prevention Day with the Harbour Office in Salcombe and the Harbour Master had purchased some Selecta dot DNA Kits. Also police Outboard covers would be for sale to encourage the marking of property and everyone was invited to support this event to be held at Whitestrand Car Park, Salcombe between 1000 – 1500 hours. The kits could be used for all sorts of property.
The Harbour Office had their CCTV cameras upgraded and whilst speaking to the engineers who fitted these they stated that to get CCTV coverage through Fore Street the town would only need the erection of one more aerial which was wireless and the erection of two cameras depending on the areas that were required to be covered. The police asked if this could be something the Town Council may be interested in with the busy season approaching as these cameras would provide the police with excellent coverage in the one way street where travelling criminals had to pass.
The latest theft of outboards WPc Pengilly believed was five in one go and these were loaded into a vehicle that entered into Fore Street down the Slipway, loaded then drove out again with clearly no registration number gained owing to no coverage by CCTV. CCTV would help considerably with this and also in the prevention and detection of Criminal Damage, Shop lifting, Anti-social behaviour and also Burglary. The company obviously only gave an estimate but said that the aerial would cost approximately £1,000. This company also fitted the cameras for Looe. The cameras could be viewed via an app on a mobile phone which in their case would assist if the police were not in Salcombe as they could view what was occurring from wherever they were.
Many shop lifting offences in Salcombe were undetected owing to lack of CCTV as shops did not have it and clearly if it was in the street then hopefully the police could identify the suspects who would soon learn of the CCTV and it may deter them visiting the area. Town Council noted that the slipway should be covered by the Harbour Office cameras and it was felt that those attending the Annual Town Meeting and businesses could be asked what they thought. More information was required as it was felt that £1000 for an aerial was excessive and perhaps the Harbour Office or police could arrange for someone to talk to town council to explain further.
A road safety drive for this month was seatbelts and WPc Pengilly had spoken to many people who lived in the area and in the past issued them with warnings so she urged everyone now to wear their seatbelts.
County Councillors Report – Cllr Gilbert noted he had sanctioned the payment of a grant towards the Park and Ride Traffic Order amendments. He had nothing much to report but attended to receive any questions on current matters around Salcombe. He noted he had met with John Cooke with regard to the forthcoming Crab Fest and was going to provide him with some funding also to be used to offset car parking charges. Cllr Wheeler enquired about the need for a total road closure along Buckley Street rather than the usual area that was shut off for community projects. The Mayor noted that the Town Council had emailed with regard to this road closure as there were discrepancies between the wording of the Order and the map. If this closure were put in place it would block off a lot of property access as usually it terminated at Thorning Street as vehicles could then turn around and still had some access. The Town Clerk was asked to write to County Highways again copying Cty Cllr Gilbert in.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
District Councillor Report
Cllr. Wright noted that Council Tax bills were to be issued this Friday along with an invitation to view and register for access to council tax and other things on the District website. From this if anyone made a complaint at any time it could be tracked from now on. South Hams District Council had been put forward at the awards and won Best Council of the Year and Best Council Innovation through staff awards. With regard to a request for busking Cllr Wright asked what Salcombe wanted and it was noted that it was hair braiders they were worried about due to where they sat. There was sewage at South Sands as there was a problem with a blockage between South Sands and Malborough so it was being taken out by lorry and South West Water would continue round the clock to deal with the situation. They were liaising with the South Sands Hotel manager and trying to control the smell.
Cllr Cohen sought clarification as to whether it was hair braiders and buskers but those present did not see such a problem with buskers. There had been previous concern with buskers at Clifton Place and outside the ice cream shop where they took up the pavement space.
Cllr Biggs felt the District website was so slow it made it unusable for planning applications. When they were loading information at District it slowed and did take time but Cllr Wright’s feedback was it was better and there was now more information there. Another change coming for Easter was a Google bar to be added which would be trialed and hopefully make searching within the site easier. The Mayor advised that previous District Councillors used to pass on comments when they passed a planning application that Salcombe had objected to. Either they would furnish an explanation or the Officer’s report. He had recently looked at applications on the District website for the officer’s report and on quite a few these was not there. Cllr Wheeler noted the new link to District planning through Salcombe Town Council’s own website was good. Cllr Biggs noted the North Sands gulley slip.
Cllr Biggs continued that with regard to the Grenville Cottage, Grenville Road application town council objected to this last year on various grounds but one comment they made was, in view of the site being in effect land locked, if it was passed District should consider and condition how materials were to be accessed to the site. There was a path adjacent to the site and the town council advice was ignored and now the condition of this path was a problem. The path was blocked at certain times of the day and the development was creating a mess on the pavement and path and there was concern for safety with the increase of people wishing to use both during summer.
The Mayor had been in Tavistock on Monday and noted that all the workers carrying out works over there were in South Hams District Council vans. As there were many jobs to be done around Salcombe and the South Hams why was the crew over there? Cllr Wright noted this point. Cllr Lang asked if anything was being done with regard to the District owned land over which Footpath 24 crossed.
Dist Cllr. Wright left the meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 24th February 2016 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
DEFERRED due to no further applications.
787. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and town council observations submitted to District Planning:
• 0034/16/HHO Householder application for flat roof Brook Cottage, Horsecombe Cross to Batson Hill along Zc320, Higher Batson, Devon TQ8 8NF – Applicant Mrs A. Watson – This application whilst advertised as a flat roof was in fact to remove a flat roof and install a pitched roof. Therefore town council felt that this application should be amended and readvertised.
• 0353/16/FUL Installation of new door in place of window to rear, replacement of existing windows with double glazed windows, installation of new external steel staircase to roof terrace, renovation of existing dormers 61A Fore Street, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8ET – Applicant Mr R. Powell – The plans provided did not include any proposed elevations nor floor plans so town council had no idea what the intentions were and could not consider this application. Thus they requested further information and an extension to the response time.
• 0414/16/HHO Householder application for extension to existing dwelling Landmark, Main Road, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8JW – Applicant Mrs J. Kilcoyne – This proposal was not visible from the road although it may be from the footpath up North Sands valley. The increase in size of rooms to include a larger expanse of glass was not favoured but town council had no objection in principle. However due to the amount of glass proposed, where currently there was no significant benefit of a view but an amount of trees of value to this environment, it was requested that the tree officer should survey and record the trees.
• 0703/15/F Appeal No: APP/K1128/W/3143575 Appeal Starting Date: 25th February 2016 Site Address: Demolition of existing structure and erection of new dwelling and raised parking area site to rear of The Hollies, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HQ Appellant’s name: Mr R. Jemmett. No further representation required and earlier comments would stand
Member of the public left the meeting.
• Most information already passed on to town councillors.
• 3051/15/HHO Email from District planning providing revised drawing for Bigbury Cottage, 11 Church Street and inviting town council to comment further should they wish. It was noted that the installation of the lantern had been removed but everything else remained the same. Town Council had initially objected to the raising of the wall due to loss of light to the neighbouring downstairs room and garden and therefore even with these revised drawings their Objection stood.
• 3069/15/HHO Richard Muxworthy architect on behalf of Bridleway House applicants requested to meet with town council to outline the reasons for the Readvertisement of the application. Further documents received from District with the Readvertisement notification and advice that representations needed to be made by 1st April 2016 were also received. The architect would be offered attendance at the following Open Forum.
788. COUNCIL PROPERTY
The interim report from the Working Party with regard to consideration for future use, maintenance and renovation of Town Council owned buildings advised that they had looked at the Mortuary and there were lots of issues with the building. There was no power to the building and Cllr Biggs needed to relook at the Vickery Holman report. The building could be used for other uses but in its current form it needed extension to the outer edge of the canopy and then enclosing with a cut through the existing wall to provide an adequate sized building. Cllr Wheeler explained what was required to provide electricity either up the driveway or down from Forster Road as it was closer but acknowledged the route would be weaving due to graves. The Mayor felt the thought process should be ‘what works could be done’ and those ‘practicalities considered’ so council could obtain quotes and compare the two. Cllr Biggs felt that any alterations would impinge on the car parking/turning area so as to make it restricted and he also felt that conversion costs were prohibitive but Cllr Lang did not and it was AGREED that quotes should be obtained. Once viable alternatives were obtained the community could be consulted. In the interim the blind side of the roof and canopy was falling apart and Greenscape had been removing the ivy which was causing damage as there was a need to protect the fabric of the building and make it watertight. Cllr Lang felt that if this project was to go ahead town council needed to be hands on in obtaining quotes for individual sections and project managing.
789. PARK AND RIDE
It was AGREED to ratify the expenditure by the current chosen contractors to mark out the area for the bus turning and access and egress to the car park up to a cost of £810.
790. WORKS TO TREES
It was AGREED to remove the Holm Oak, as advised by the town council tree expert, rather than just deal with the defective limb and accept the quote from Hi Line for works to trees identified in the Tree Report at a cost of £1200 plus VAT.
791. COUNCIL MEETINGS
It was noted that members were summoned to a meeting not invited. There should therefore be good reason for a councillor not to attend a meeting and although this sometimes occurred it was important that reasons given were definitive. There was also a concertive effort needed to fill the vacancies. Consideration was asked to be given by those present as to how well they portrayed town council outside the meetings and maybe this was sending out a negative message. An article in the Gazette each week was suggested but it was noted that such was done every month by Cllr Wheeler and he had also used a Facebook page to try another avenue. The message was that being involved was not about power but was about steering decisions and influencing things on behalf of the town. It was offensive being rubbished by some and it was about achieving things and was not about using the council parking spaces in town but working hard to help. There were a significant amount of assets town council looked after and this took time. A further suggestion was to target parents around the town and tell them what town council actually did and encouraging them to come forward. This could be a topic for the Annual Town Meeting and it was noted that most were disenchanted about what was happening (i.e. planning wise) around town and therefore disillusioned. The website could have a piece from each councillor about what the councillor got out of serving the town and Cllr Whitfield welcomed this as he had been updating and putting such on. Town Council could not gauge how many people read the small article in the Gazette and looked at the new website. However an article could be placed on the website and in the Gazette inviting residents to come along and learn who is responsible for what and the various Town, District and County Council tiers at the Annual Town Meeting as maybe attending a Cliff House Council meeting was intimidating.
It was AGREED to use the Annual Town Meeting to explain the various tiers of local government and seek further councillor representation.
The following item was deferred until the end of the meeting when Gill Claydon and Pete Robinson left the room whilst town council discussed it. Minute later provided by the Mayor as detailed below.
792. STAFF PENSION PROVISION
It was AGREED to set up an auto enrolment pension scheme with NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) with initial contributions set at 3% of pensionable salary for both employer and employee contributions.
793. CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
Due to no nominations being received for Citizen of the Year 2016 it was AGREED that contact would be made with all on the businesses and organisations emailing list inviting them to nominate someone. Also the previous Citizens of the Year would be written to and asked if they had any nominations. The matter would be placed on the April Agenda with Friday 8th April being the last date for nominations to be received.
Cllr Biggs left the meeting and due to items being taken out of order the quotes for tree works had not as yet been discussed.
Cllr Wheeler noted legislation covering town council grants would allow public clocks. Accounts for the church to the end of December 2015 and assets were noted. It was AGREED to grant Salcombe Holy Trinity Church £500 towards the cost of refurbishment of the town clock once an invoice was provided.
795. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor attended the Chamber of Commerce committee meeting wherein most matters discussed were related to Kingsbridge. He had however advised the group of the proposed parking permits for the Salcombe Park and Ride and noted the availability for advertising on the bus and noticeboard at the car park. As nothing had been forthcoming the town clerk was asked to circulate this information to the town council business list. Within the meeting it had been stated that in other towns permits were available for £200 but this rate was set in line with other Salcombe car parks.
There were a pile of sand bags at Clifton Place which were leaking and District was to be asked to remove them. Also the town clerk was asked to chase completion of the flood gate wall. St. Dunstans Park maintenance had been previously reported as all planting carried out from Section 106 monies was swamped by bind weed but nothing had been done so a further reminder was to be sent and copied to District Councillors noting that Tavistock was full of South Hams District workers.
A resident raised concern that at the top of Courtney Park where plant pots had been placed there was a car parking and a bench should be installed either by or obtain permission from District Council. Town council agreed to this installation and placing of bench.
The Mayor also noted from the recent Gazette that District had gone out to tender on placing tables etc on Whitestrand Car Park without the District Councillors providing further information or mentioning this.
796. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr. Wheeler – Advised of his posts on the Salcombe Facebook site. He merely wanted to direct people onto the Town Council website and from just past Monday had been adding invitations through his personal contacts list to go to the website. They were now up to 88 people on Salcombe Facebook and it had received one comment about ‘what town council do?’ Also there was an invitation for people to come forward as town councillors. It was questioned whether it was a good idea to have Facebook for town council. Cllr Wheeler felt that the right answer to questions should be given but it was not in place to enter into personal response. There were over 2000 people in Salcombe but the reality was that Salcombe Facebook had an audience. He wished to know if everyone agreed having this contact as he could not do as a noticeboard only as Facebook had to be a dialogue. The Mayor noted that this matter was talked about before and he recalled that Facebook was agreed, he had concerns but it was a useful tool. What must be made sure was that only factual messages went out and he did wonder if, for some messages, whether they should be agreed by a group of people (i.e. IT group) before being put on. Discussion took place with regard to if only one person was responsible and maybe not available at any time then the link stopped operating and that was the worst option as Facebook followers would wonder what was going on. This was an opportunity to state who was responsible for what and then people could be directed to County, District or whomever. It was a Salcombe Town Council Facebook so people had to engage with them. Administrators currently were Cllrs Wheeler, Whitfield and the Project Manager. An area of concern raised was if a question or comment on something was posted which could be a difficult issue to deal with by IT. Cllr Mrs Sinnott noted she currently ran the Salcombe Information Centre, Salcombe Players and her own Facebook so she knew how to be mindful of who she was speaking on behalf of each time. The Mayor enquired if Cllrs Wheeler, Whitfield and the Project Manager were happy to put things up and Cllr Whitfield declined explaining that he would merely post people’s articles but would not create anything.
• Cllr Cohen –Attended Salcombe Swimming Pool AGM and all was fine apart from finding committee members. He had offered to organise a fundraiser for them which did not conflict with town council business and was a party at the pool and a music youth programme.
• Cllr Lang – Mentioned his meeting with the local Locality Officer who did said he would deal with Footpath 24. With regard to the missing bin from outside the ice cream shop another three people had mentioned this to him. Cllr Wheeler also noted that the recycling bins were placed at the back of the car park in North Sands where it tended to flood. Cllr Lang continued that he had gone through all the old files in the office but could not find any diagrams of the Mortuary. There were however interesting diagrams of the old sewers along with photographs. He suggested that signs should be installed at Whitestrand to state that the bars were for the parking of bikes only as when the hairbraiders came they took this space. District also needed to be advised that Piggy Lane was very slippery as it was covered in moss.
Chris Derrick Kingsbridge Gazette left the meeting.
• Letter dated 26th February2016 from Roger Barrett Salcombe Maritime Museum thanking town council for allowing a grant of £3000 and confirming that on being given three months’ notice to vacate the Mortuary Building they would remove all their effects from therein.
• Commemorative medal HM Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday provided for town councils to consider purchasing for schools and councils. It was felt that consideration should be given to presenting such a memento to children at PreSchool, Beehives and the Primary School so that children attending Salcombe Schools, even if they are outside the area, could receive something.
• Devon Air Ambulance as of October 2016 was looking for sites within communities for a night time Heli landing pad. The communities would have to manage, fund and light these areas themselves for when they were used. Suggestions were the Rugby Club or old Hockey Pitch, football club and school. It was noted that the school would need lights installed but the Mayor would speak to the Rugby Club.
• District Customer Services had forwarded an enquiry with regard to buskers in Salcombe to town council. On enquiring with regard to any changes on this policy at District, Dist Cllr Wright had asked for clarification and advised that Chris Brook would respond directly.
• Debbie Hainey advised that they proposed to hold a Street Party for the Queen in Camperdown Road Salcombe on the 12th June 2016 with all locals invited. She asked that town council be informed and noted she would be applying for a road closure for Yvonne Billings who would be organising the event.
• Wording for the plaque for the tree within The Berry needed to be considered and placement of such.
• Town Council’s solicitor had been advised of the comments from the last meeting and was prepared to write a letter that could be copied by town council and delivered to those adjacent to the area to be fenced. Town Council would revisit the area and consider a map for quotations.
• The South Hams District Council solicitor had been chased for further action with regard to the South West Water boundary on The Berry. She had advised that they were to have a plan drawn up by the District Engineer and were going to register for adverse possession. The plan sent when this response was received was unclear as to the area to be challenged on adverse possession and the town council solicitor agreed that further clarification should be sought along with a sketch of the area in question. The District solicitor had declined to provide a plan as she did not feel able. She had however advised that the only covenant on the South West Water land appeared to be that they needed to seek permission from the South Devon Land Company before erecting a house or building. The solicitor advised that she had checked all parcels of land and then provided the South West Water Land Registry document so it appeared that the whole area was sold together and yet original documents show a smaller parcel of land. Discussion had taken place with the town council solicitor and the town clerk would revert to him with this latest information. It is not known how long it would take for the District engineers to produce this plan and for this matter to proceed.
• District had responded on the consultation response sent with regard to the Playing Pitch and Open Space consultations. It had been suggested that a MUGA could assist with rugby and football training and Town Council was advised of this point. The Berry pitch with recently formed football club was also highlighted and a note within the document stated that South West Water may be enlarging their boundary to the adjacent water treatment works which would impact on a desire to enlarge the pitch to a full size, senior. Pitch drainage and maintenance was required and suggested there needed to be changing facilities. Town Council would consider the matter within their Open Spaces, Sport and Recreation Plan discussions.
• Noted that there was to be a talk on Marine litter and plastics on 14th March 2016 5.30p.m. Kingsbridge College.
Current Account £5541.
Deposit Account £ 212,223.43
Income – Museum and Allotment Rent plus Bonfire Cemetery £5342.40
Councillors APPROVED the following payments:
Torr View Forge – Parking Barriers £252.00
Bayleaf Gardening Ltd – Jubilee Contract £546.98
SHDC – Bonfire Hill Bin £14.45
Concorde I Ltd. – Photocopier £14.12
Rattery Sawmills – Bench St. Dunstans £717.60
Greenspace – Maintenance contract £474.33 and Taps and handrail/Handyman at TIC £116.12 = £590.45
Cheques APPROVED for signature:
003444 Survey Monkey (Andy Barsby) – Subscription Neighbourhood Plan £299.00
798. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 9.10p.m.
……………………………………………….. 23rd March 2016.