COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – A
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – *
Cllr Mrs M. Kemp – *
Cllr K. Baker – *
Cllr N. Rudd – *
Cllr G. Lennox – *
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – *
Cllr P. Armstrong – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO Dave Gibson – *
Chris Derrick Kingsbridge Gazette – *
43. 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 declared.
44. OPEN FORUM
Janie Moor from Citizens Advice attended the meeting. She noted they had been in contact with all the parishes and felt that not all parishes appeared to know what they did so this was why she had attended. They were a Charity so not statutorily funded but received grants from District, County and Parish Councils and whatever other charities they could.
She explained that most thought they always engaged face to face with people but in fact a lot of their work was over the telephone which was much easier due to the rural area. They could also provide advice by email, webchat and in extreme situations some home visits to those ‘house bound’. All advice given was impartial, confidential and independent so basically they did not as an organisation take on the ‘values’ of their funders. Their advice was also quality assured and they did not use old information advice but had a huge database of advice. Therefore this was not advisors personal experiences but bona fide informed advice. They were measured and quality assessed on their data which was entirely confidential but if anyone moved from the area they could access records in other areas. A change of name had removed the word bureau off the end. They could demonstrate a social return on investments and people could see them about any problem and these queries were categorised into 16 areas – i.e. benefits. She then provided illustrations of what they had done to sort and make things better for people.
They had outreaches in 3 locations – main office Totnes, Ivybridge, and on Tuesdays at Quay House, from 9.30 – 12.30 and Dartmouth. There was now also an opportunity to see them at Chilington or Woolwell doctors’ surgeries to sort underlying problems (i.e. employment, debt etc).
Out of 4000 enquiries just over 5% lived in Salcombe and Thurlstone. They had obtained £1.5million this year to assist clients. The Mayor asked, if, as they were based at Follaton House with outreach areas did this influence more approaches from these areas? The Woolwell figures had been very low and since opening there the figures doubled. At the Woolwell and Chillington Surgeries they had a paid case worker for this work to ensure a guaranteed level of service. This project was in the pilot phase and ran till August and if additional funding was obtained yes they would grow this project. A question was asked what the Citizen Advice shortfall was each year and they needed to obtain grants of £50000 p.a. so every year she had to raise this.
Janie Moor then left the meeting.
Police – PCSO Gibson advised that the crime report recently was a criminal damage down Island Street when car rear wipers were snapped off and a hanging basket stolen. Since boats had been off the water the police had been patrolling all storage areas around the estuary and the only incident was a theft from storage at Frogmore when there was a substantial theft of outboards. He asked all to keep their eyes open and advise of any concerns. This would be his last council meeting before go to full police training and his replacement would be PCSO Paul O’Dwyer. He thanked the town council for what he felt was a good working relationship and hopefully after training he would end up back this way. All present wished him well for the future and thanked him for his support during his time at Salcombe.
PCSO Gibson left the meeting.
David Parkes explained he was attending this meeting to introduce himself and explained he was working alongside the Assets team and looking at development with regard to the Berry, Shadycombe and other areas around Salcombe. He questioned what town council felt their relationship was like with South Hams District Council and personally felt that there was a history with Salcombe before he had arrived. He invited town council to step into a new relationship through him. There were some issues in Salcombe that he felt needed to be addressed and this should be done collaboratively. One initiative he was personally promoting he said was community housing and he was pleased South Hams District Council had picked this up and was running with it. Places like Salcombe appeared prosperous on the outside but had a problem with maintaining the lifeblood of the local community and the difficultly was to support such through affordable homes due to low and medium incomes along with those around that could not even rent because properties were used as holiday lets. If this was not done the consequence would be that the lifeblood became smaller and smaller and maybe started to risk some of the local health provision, education support and eventually vitality of businesses. He felt there was an acute relationship between earnings to house prices and recognised that businesses were also struggling when shops were expanding into Island Street and the original marine businesses were finding it hard to maintain a foothold. That was why he had asked to meet representatives and discuss the Berry, Batson and Shadycombe the latter being a site which could deal with these issues. He asserted that District Council would welcome the opportunity to form a more constructive platform with the town council.
Cllr Armstrong explained that he was a new member on town council and wished to know what exactly David Parkes or District Council’s interests in the Berry were. He responded that District Council owned the land and part of it had been leased to town council, such lease which expired this year. He therefore said he had suggested to the Mayor that they needed a plan for the future of the Berry. In view of this he had met with the town council OSSR group to discuss the Berry to see how they could move forward and deal with the Berry charitable covenants and be clear what they were trying to do together. Cllr Armstrong noted that much of the land at the Berry was covered by a charitable trust which David Parkes agreed. It was noted that District Council had failed to file accounts with the Charity Commission since 2014 and David Parkes acknowledged this. The trust had been set up when the land was transferred to Salcombe Urban District Council and those covenants still existed. Cllr Armstrong asked therefore if these covenants were written in stone and requested David Parkes to confirm that District Council did not want to change anything at the Berry. David Parkes responded that the question was what everyone wanted, what these areas can be used for, what were the constraints and what opportunities were there and how were these to be made. He continued that the wider view included the rugby club land and parcel of land at Fortescue Road which had never been used for the purposes it was originally given for. David Parkes felt that these discussions must be had and all recognise that people previously had taken the lid off and it must put back on. Cllr Armstrong said that he personally felt most wanted to keep everything as parkland. David Parkes responded that he was interested in Cllr Armstrong’s and town councils views and that was why he had sat down with the OSSR group and as yet was awaiting a report back from them in terms of the recreational potential use and he must take all things into consideration as to what was the best use of the space for the community but it was an open dialogue. Cllr Rudd responded that he felt everyone welcomed working collaboratively but noted David Parkes mentioned the area of land within Fortescue Road housing, which was a registered charity in itself, and that town council had to have an ‘in camera’ discussion about their thoughts on the land due to a request to keep such discussion restricted and he wished to know why such had to be ‘in camera’ which was realistically a gagging order on such discussions. Could this be lifted? David Parkes noted that five town councillors were present at the OSSR group meeting with him so he did not feel that this had been restricted access. David Parkes continued that he acknowledged there were difficulties in understanding the charitable trust and how it could be dealt with going forward and noted that so far there were varying legal opinions on this and if these discussions went into the public domain before such was understood this could cause confusion and that was why discussions were ‘in camera’. David was not happy behind closed doors but it was inappropriate on occasions without knowing the legal outcome and district legal were looking at the charitable status. Cllr Lennox asked who managed the charity and David understood that the charity trustees de facto were District Council. Cllr Lennox questioned further whether District had been managing the trust properly and Cllr Rudd responded evidently not because recent the accounts had not been filed. David Parkes acknowledged this but responded there were different levels and constraints.
District Councillors report – Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt most points had been covered last time. Regulation 19 consultation on the Joint Local Plan would be covered through the session in Salcombe Primary School Tuesday 4th April 3-7p.m. She advised that it was only worth attending to if anyone wanted to make comment on the soundness of the plan as to whether all the correct regulations were followed in putting the allocated sites within the plan. Any comments made at these consultation events around the South Hams would be collated by the council officers but would go directly to the Inspector for consideration rather than the district council. The inspector then considers comments and if there is anything to raise this is put down for a matter for discussion at a public hearing. The Town Clerk enquired why a large scale map for Salcombe and had not been included in the pack sent showing where the boundary was or any change? Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce responded that she and Dist Cllr Wright had dealt with such issues with regard to Gould Road and the car park of the petrol garage not being included and the maps could be viewed online. The Mayor noted that this consultation would be brought to the agenda in the first meeting in April after the public consultation.
Dist Cllr Wright noted that district was enormously grateful to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce and the time and work she had put into the draft Joint Local Plan and he thought it was a cracking good plan. With regard to community housing he noted David Parkes had instigated they were rolling out a policy which was going to District Council for ratification and both he and David Parkes were starting to lobby MPs to get this proposal to continue and wished an affordable scheme to roll out each year. Therefore the recent £1.88million they received they wanted to ensure it continued in future years. He noted the extra/additional discretionary business rate relief that Government announced and the additional/allocated sum of money provided to soften the blow due to change of £307,000 this year that District had to distribute. He continued to explain its roll out and further payments in future years but that people/businesses must apply for the funding.
With regard to Cliff House Garden public toilet roof and its repair he was chasing and there were various issues so he did not think it will be completed by Easter but it would be tidied up. The waste sacks being left out on streets was resolving itself. With regard to the Citizen Advice presentation and the outreach workers in Woolwell and Chillington he had been very involved with this and money provided from a fund from Devon County but only these two health centres allowed such a pilot as other had refused to get involved. So far they had provided £17,000 funding but hopefully the pilot would continue. At the Community Safety Partnership he represented the area on, which covered West Devon and Teignbridge and included all other organisations, they all met and were concerned about losing PCSOs as this was the largest source of information feedback from the local community. Therefore they were responding and asking for PCSOs to be retained especially for rural areas.
The Mayor advised he went on the District planning portal it seemed to have lost the ‘download all’ button. Dist Cllr Wright noted this had been advised by another town councillor earlier and he would check this matter. The Mayor was also concerned after he attended the gin distillery in an official capacity and met Wendy Ormsby, District planning officer, there. Discussion mentioned a potential development in Island Street and spoke of Creek House and Wendy Ormsby stated that the first floor would be residential. The Mayor noted that this was not in the plans and had printed off the District decision notice and officer’s report which he read out. It stated that the permission did not allow residential on the first floor. Therefore he expressed concern that if this was right in the middle of industrial land and there was no other residential along that side and there would be concern if such was residential option was permitted. The District Councillors were unaware of this matter and noted the point and application number and would report back.
Cllr Lang noted concern that although District Council was assisting with business rates currently but he felt that many would cease to exist because the revised rates had gone up so much. Dist Cllr Wright sympathised but stated that District did not set business rates and were just tasked with collecting.
The Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 8th March 2017 were considered and duly AGREED for the Chair to sign as a true and correct record.
46. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations submitted to District Planning as below:
• 0610/17/HHO Householder application for alterations and extension to dwelling (resubmission of 3857/16/HHO) 6 Bonfire Hill, Salcombe TQ8 8EE – No objection.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 0515/17/TPO Location: Asman Sandhills Road Salcombe Devon TQ8 8JP Proposal: G1-G6: Various spp – works to include felling, coppicing, crown thinning, crown lifting, pollarding as described in Description of works 1 & 2; T1-T13: Various spp – works in accordance with supporting information as described in Description of works 1 & 2 – This was felt to be a significant project and therefore the response would be left to the Tree Warden.
• 0757/17/TPO Location: Treeways, Balls Cross To Batson Hill, Lower Batson, Devon, TQ8 8NJ. Proposal T1: Lime – Fell – A response for this from the Tree Warden would also be awaited.
• 0684/17/CLE Lawful Development Certificate for existing use as class C3 dwelling (resubmission of 41/3102/14/CLE) Hangar Farm Bungalow, Beadon Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JT – Town Council was asked if they were able to provide by 12th April 2017 any factual evidence from personal knowledge with regard to the site which might support or refute the claim. A response would be put together outside of the meeting.
• 0844/17/PAD Application for prior notification of proposed demolition of existing bungalow Midships, Knowle Road, Salcombe TQ8 8EQ. Sent by District Planning for information only and noted.
Dist Cllrs Mrs Pearce and Wright left the meeting.
The summary of works obtained by the Harbour Office and Police to extend the CCTV coverage were discussed and it was AGREED town council could make a contribution but felt that businesses should be approached to show their support along with District Council and police funding must contribute a large proportion.
48. WHITESTRAND SEATING PLAN
Draft future layout proposals for seating within this area had been circulated and it was AGREED that the current tiered seats facing the view was what residents and visitors wanted in order to sit and look out to sea.
49. DISTRICT EVENTS POLICY
The District draft events policy had been circulated and it was AGREED that this proposal would affect Crab Fest, the Gig Regatta, Town Regatta and Marine Awareness Day. It was noted that the Town Regatta had been holding this event for many years and therefore these events should be able to continue to use the car parks as previously. It was AGREED that town council objected to the introduction of a £55 fee nor consideration of loss of parking revenue as these were local charitable and not for profit groups who were providing these events and bringing additional income into the community so that those visiting made more use of the other car parks. This policy should not apply to these events in Salcombe who already covered all their event overheads themselves. Town Council sought assurance that these events could continue on their historic agreement and not be charged as proposed.
50. OPEN SPACES SPORT AND RECREATION
Cllr Baker advised that he had reviewed all the paperwork and template plan provided and intended to rebuild the questionnaires into one and modify such to the initial letter that was sent out. He would circulate this to the rest of the working group for comment and then seek further information from people/organisations who had responded with projects. From further reading he noted that any consultation should ask about how much use of the existing facilities people also had. The draft document could be put together initially with what had been collected and it was AGREED that the next step would be for Cllr Baker to bring the revised questionnaires back to the meeting and others in the group to put together the brief summaries already received.
51. OPEN SPACE
It was AGREED to approve;
(a) the proposed wording to offer adjacent resident’s assurance with regard to use of the land to be fenced as ‘The intention of protecting this land with fencing is to ensure its safeguarding and ongoing use for public recreation for residents and tourists’ and for this to be sent to the resident’s solicitor for comment.
Chris Derrick left the meeting.
(b) the course of action currently advised and incur legal costs up to a limit of £8000.
52. EMERGENCY TREE WORKS
The owners of Midships, Knowle Road advised that a tree had fallen down within Redfern Woods with the upper branches crushing the bottom end of their fence, one panel. They had a requirement for the site to be secure under health and safety for their building works to commence on 3rd April and therefore Will Hampton had been asked to visit the site as a matter of urgency to check the safety aspect and would commence removal on 27th March at a cost of £370. Further works had been highlighted in that an ash further along was showing signs of rot and should be removed. Its angle of fall should be upwards but with weather conditions the health centre vulnerability below was of concern. Due to the change in condition of further trees in the wood since Will last carried out works at Redfern Woods he suggested that these trees might also require works.
The expert advice provided with regard to the fallen tree was noted and town council APPROVED that immediate works required to be carried out be undertaken on 27th March. Further works highlighted and agreement as to these works and the overhanging branches were to be discussed on site if the property owner was agreeable to reinstating his broken fence panel himself and it was AGREED that further works up to £1000 to ensure the site was safe could be expended.
The following requests for a grant were considered and AGREED as follows:
(a) Citizen Advice – Town Council would support a town based outreach worker but at present would distribute the Citizen Advice literature around town and reconsider a grant in six months if there was any noticeable increase in numbers of those in Salcombe using such service.
(b) Safe Place – No grant provided.
(c) Community Voluntary Service – No grant provided.
54. INTERNAL AUDIT
In preparation for the annual internal audit town council were asked to highlight any areas that they wished to be specifically reviewed by the internal auditor and it was AGREED that consideration could be given to the administration of the newly set up pension fund and how this was working.
Cllr Lennox left the meeting
55. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor and Cllr Mrs Turton met with Mrs Mascerella who owned the property opposite the town council parking space and she advised she wished the town council tree shaped. The volunteer working group who tended this area were going to cut some branches overhanging the pavement but town council felt there was no need to prune this tree further.
At Shaw’s Corner hedge cutting had not been done when the tractor was in town but the Mayor had met with the Contractor and he would be carrying out this job today. The Mayor attended the Gin Distillery as they have been put forward for an award on ‘planning and cooperation’ and Wendy Ormsby, planning officer, was in attendance. When asked why they had not been put in for a design award they architect explained that it was not a significant building. However the planning had been done to fit in with the community and make use of unused land and this was the criteria for the award. It was noted that the 20 year flood plan had the height of flood water predicted at 1-1.5 metres above ground level so the area could only be used for boat storage.
He also attended the Acute Services review in Kingsbridge on 9th March as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan by the NHS. He explained what services this looked at and the concern that there was a shortage of staff in all major hospitals in Devon with not enough new people coming through to take on jobs. Due to this they might bring back State Enrolled Nurses.
Consideration was given to the town meeting which was called annually by the Mayor. He explained to those who were new to town council that they had tried in the last couple of years to hold this meeting in different places and to have different events but these were poorly attended. Kingsbridge held theirs last year at their Farmers Market in the square but further details were awaited on this. The Mayor proposed to hold the Salcombe meeting before full council on 26th April commencing at 6p.m.
As the public meeting was to be held on 4th April by District Council on the Joint Local Plan consideration of this would come back to the next full council. An article announcing this would be placed on the website.
Lastly with regard to seagull proof sacks the Mayor took photos as some were causing severe obstruction and since providing these photographs the locality officer had visited all properties and dealt with issues. Anyone seeing sacks left out should take a photograph and then this problem could be dealt with.
56. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Mrs Turton – She attended the Coastal Communities Team meeting and they were ready to sign off their Economic Plan and further to putting forward to projects, the Council Hall and Mortuary town council was advised by DR to include the Ferry Pier. Any project that could be seen to generate income into the area should be put forward. The next meeting was to be early May.
Cllr Mrs Sinnott – Asked who was responsible for street Lights as all around town they were out. She was directed how to report this on the Devon County website.
Cllr Lang – Raised awareness that the flashing lights by the school crossing had not worked for the last 18 months but others present believed this had now been sorted as they had been flashing in the last day or so.
• Letter dated 16th March 2017 received from Salcombe Information Centre requesting clarification on the proposed start/end dates of the Park and Ride. It also noted that local traders felt that business was potentially lost due to the service ending shortly after Bank Holiday last year and it was recommended that the service continue till Sunday 3rd September. Consideration of parking for campervans within the park and ride or elsewhere in the town was also requested. Firstly it was noted that the timetable had already been considered and this information was on the town council website. All present felt that if businesses wished this service to run for longer to assist their business then they must contribute. The current service was provided out of residential council tax to alleviate parking within the town during the height of the season. The height restriction had been installed to stop larger vehicles churning up the car park. As this directive was part of the current Traffic Regulation Order so no change would be possible this season. However campervan parking provision was felt more applicable as part of discussions regarding Batson Creek and Shadycombe. Dist Cllr Wright was involved in parking and should be approached for better use of those car parks for daily basis rather than people leaving vehicles there for a whole week. It was suggested that perhaps District could designate an area for camper vans and install signs to indicate this. It was noted that close by were the campervan sites at Ilton and Alston and most of these vehicle users had bicycles, small cars or could use the footpaths.
• Steve Mattock from USL had requested permission to access Shadycombe Cemetery on foot to carry a pole into position and place in the back garden of 16 Coronation Road. The proposal was to enter from Forster Road end. A site visit indicated that access through the cemetery was difficult and could damage graves and it was suggested that USL could take the pole through 15 Coronation Road or from Forster Road along a back garden alley past 18 and 19. The alley stopped at 17 but it was possible they could get the pole there and then through the garden. This was felt a better route than through the cemetery but if the cemetery was used town council would need it in writing from USL that they would rectify any damage caused. The cemetery manager would liaise.
• Cathy Aubertin Operational Manager for Car Parks had emailed to note that District was increasing parking income by 2% in the next financial year. District had a ‘community led’ tariff policy and therefore town council was being asked if they wished to design the tariffs in Salcombe. Whilst the need for provision for Camper vans possibly at the creek was noted it was felt that currently the tariffs in place were acceptable.
• Salcombe Distilling Company intended to apply to amend their premises licence to extend the opening hours of the bar from 10.30p.m. to 11.30p.m. Before the application was made the offer was extended that they could attend a town council meeting to discuss. The town clerk was asked to request their attendance at the next meeting.
• SHDC increase in charges notification for Bonfire Hill cemetery bin and disposal of commercial waste. From 1st May 8% increase on all residual and recycling, bins and sacks together with 240-360 litre bin charge increase of 11p per bin per day and 15p on 660-1100 litre bins.
• With regard to the review of rateable value in relation to Bonfire Hill cemetery the current list was questioned by town council. Following the Park and Ride being split off within the list the cemetery should have been reduced and now was been amended from £1,950 down to £1,250 with effect from 1st April 2015 (limited by Government legislation). The proposed rateable value for the 2017 rating list was now amended from £3,400 to £2,075 with effect from 1st April 2017. District Council would be notified of these changes for both lists and it may be that town council was due a reimbursement from 1st April 2015 till March 2017.
• Town Council was asked to consider the reinstatement of the damaged bollard within the Park and Ride. It was felt that a heavier duty bollard was not necessary at present, just reinstatement.
• The fence separating Bonfire Hill Cemetery from the Park and Ride had collapsed and consideration was needed as to whether to remove it and allow the hedge to act as the border or reinstate. The fence section would be removed.
• It was noted that District Council had advised on their Street Cleansing Reflection and this was reported back by copies being provided by email to town council. The Mayor and Cllr Mrs Kemp were to meet with District officers the following Monday to discuss waste management and would report back to the following meeting.
• A further operational report had been received from Play Inspection with regard to Jubilee Gardens play area and feedback on the matting specification was still awaited from Mant Leisure.
• Funding applied for within the Community Reinvestment Fund had been achieved and town council was awarded £20,000 towards the Bonfire Hill street lighting.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £265,485.17
Receipts: Devon County Council – Parish Paths Partnership payment £310.00
Town Council approved Internet payments below to be made in March to:
HMRC – Tax and NI £749.98
NEST – Pension payment £143.82
Wages – £1719.36
VAT – Underpayment on an invoice £4.82
DALC – Annual subscription £437.52
Cliff House Trust Ltd – Rent for office 1st Feb 2017 to 31st Jan 2018 £3678.00
Play Inspection Company – Jubilee Gardens £60.00
Krystal Hosting Ltd – Renewal for 2 years for council domain name £60.00
M.J. Hallett – Hedge trimming around Salcombe £390.00
Cheques APPROVED for signature: None
58. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 12th April 2017 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.50p.m.
……………………………………………….. 12th April 2017.