COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – *
Cllr Mrs M. Kemp – *
Cllr K. Baker – A
Cllr N. Rudd – A
Cllr G. Lennox – *
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – *
Cllr P. Armstrong – A
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO P. O’Dwyer – A
Chris Derrick Kingsbridge Gazette – *
The Mayor advised all present that sadly a past councillor David Cohen tragically died 10 days ago. 1 minutes silence was observed. A celebration of his life would be held on 1st September 2p.m.at the Church.
133. 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.
134. OPEN FORUM
The two potential co-optees Philip Lafferty-Holt and Mark Long were present.
Police Report – None received.
District Councillors Report
Dist Cllr Wright advised that with regard to Whitestrand he had met that morning with officers and raised all the concerns. As an explanation the date of 20th July previously provided was when the contractors were supposed to finish other works not when the planters were to be installed. The bench seats were promised to be fitted the following day but he waited to see. The planters were being produced right now and would be in place by the end of the week and fully flowered. Chris Brook from assets advised that the hairbraiders now had a formal licence to operate and when asked how this could have been agreed Dist Cllr Wright advised it was due to 250 signatures on a petition from the town and supporting paperwork of historical use from the hairbraiders. The usage had been formalised so District could then alter where the hairbraiders were situated in the future. The licence was for two traders and District could enforce this.
Chris Derrick arrived.
Those at the meeting felt that the petition was not from the town and traders and if they had been asked could have obtained more signatures against this. Dist Cllr Wright said that officers were attempting to rein them in. Although it was originally agreed that the planters would fill the roadside area it was now advised they would be situated to the sides of the trees. The rubbish bins were to be removed and replaced with a 400litre bin to the left hand side of the far side of the ATMs so there was no adverse effect on the street scene. The cycle racks and their relocation was discussed and it was questioned how much the hairbraiders had been charged for their licence but no figure was given only a response of a substantial amount. Who was going to control the hairbraiders as the tattooist had a pedlars licence and ‘could’ be moved but did not get moved on. Dist Cllr Wright advised that District could enforce on their land. It was further stated that if District had issued a licence had it now formalised that they now had a right to be there and all this was done under a petition from people who had little right to sign it. It appeared that District had ignored the position of the town council and taken the hairbraiders evidence but not come back to town council and thus disregarded them. District had now created a paper trial. Dist Cllr Wright advised they were only licenced on District Council property and that District had broken the continuity chain. The bike chained on the new fence needed to be dealt with and Dist Cllr Wright agreed it would be. Others at the meeting commented that rent paying traders were losing income from those who cycled down and were not able to use the area because of the antics of the hair braiders whilst other were losing because people were paying out for hair braids and therefore had less money to spend in the town.
When asked about the railings installed coming too far up the slipway Dist Cllr Wright advised the officer in charge of this project was on paternity leave. The Mayor noted that people now needed to climb over the railings to get into their boat, illustrating this was probably more of a hazard than no railing. However the surfacing for the newly installed bench seats blended in well.
Cllr Mrs Turton noted that now the hair braiders had a District licence did they have they public liability and were they DBS certified as they were touching children and requested that this matter be checked and town council advised.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that Captain Morgans had put a planning application in two years ago and then removed it and therefore had been sent a letter reminding that they have one month to reapply. The Wardroom had been reminded about the need for planning as well as they already had tables and chairs out. With regard to motorbike parking provision they were to be accommodated at the end of the disabled parking as there was room for more there. It was suggested that in fact more motorbike space was required.
In relation to street cleaning the officer was on sick leave but the District Councillors had been assured that from Merlin Rocket week there had been a full time sweeper. The Mayor advised that this was untrue. The response was that the only times the street sweeper was moved away was if someone was off sick but in reality in Salcombe the cover was about 3 days per week. The current operative was told not to attend when it was raining, then he had been off to help with Kingsbridge in Bloom and those present were certain that at weekends Salcombe were not getting 12 hour cover. The promise had been that the public bins were to be emptied late afternoon, early evening and this was not happening. It was vitally important for Salcombe to be neat and tidy during the height of the season so that people revisited the following year.
The following day District Council were considering whether or not to go out to consultation on whether to become a single authority, consultation would be the second week of August – first week September. The proposal needed the support of the local MPs, County Council and West Devon. Sharing resources was different to being one council which town council felt meant South Hams would fund West Devon. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce explained that South Hams District Council was just two or three years behind the West Devon situation. If West Devon was to go down the operation would be handed to South Hams District Council to sort out without any cash assistance, this was what District Council had been told in view of their joined up working together. West Somerset and Taunton Deane had to do this with Taunton Deane picking up the pieces. A referendum to increase the rates above the permitted limited would cost in the region of £120,000 and would only last for that years rates so would not be value for money. Public consultation on this one council would be carried out at any events throughout the second half of August and September and District would have members and locality officers together with other staff present. There was to be an online survey and members she advised were being strong on the fact that the questions were solid and not biased. Also there would be a statistically balanced telephone survey. District Council had to cut their cloth accordingly as they had invested in Transition 18 so there was not much option left now. The question was raised as to why District was employing contract street sweeping staff. Jobs had been advertised but no one had come forward for them but town councillors felt that this had not been advertised widely or in the right place.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that District Council investing in the commercial property project was going to full council the following day but she did not feel it would be supported. She also advised of a host of Appeals on The Grange that had been registered. Town Council had not yet been notified but they appeared on the agenda for Development Management next week. She outlined what was forthcoming.
Dist Cllr Mrs Bricknell raised concern with regard to Section 106 money when £80000 went to purchasing a Salcombe property and to be let to local people. It was noted that this funding was specifically for housing. The Mayor noted the need to produce an OSSR plan to spend funds and this had not been mentioned to release this funding. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that nowadays developers openly challenged contributions to be made and therefore a plan assisted negotiations. All parishes and towns could now find out how much contribution was available for their area by visiting the District website. The Mayor was concerned that Town Council was struggling to get feedback from organisations to create an OSSR report as many did not at this time know of projects they wanted to do. Then if a group wanted an urgent requirement town council would have to rewrite the OSSR plan before they could apply for monies.
In the Kingsbridge Gazette it was reported that District Council stated Town Council had asked for the Berry and others open space areas whereas in fact Town Council asked for The Berry to be transferred back to them and were then offered additional areas. The Mayor requested to know which officer had said this to the press and on what authority. This statement was made in response to questions asked of District Council by Chris Derrick of Kingsbridge Gazette. He requested that District Council correct this statement in the press as it sent out an incorrect message to the community. The District Councillors advised that this negotiation was being dealt with by the Trustees not members and whilst this was acknowledged by town council it was asserted that the officers were acting and speaking on behalf of District. As well it was felt that surely as ward members they should be copied in to press statements. Anything going to press which was not 100% correct made things difficult for town council.
It was asked whether the bench at Chapel End was going to be reinstated and assurance was received it was. In this locality it was noted that there were table and chairs outside a business on the pavement and asked if they had permission as this was the same as A boards and was blocking the pavement.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 12th July 2017 were APPROVED by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
The meeting was stood down to allow the co-option applicants to speak before being reconvened for the meeting to continue.
Mark Long noted his application had been received but advised that as a resident for 14 years and having previously been a councillor the reason for his application to return was due to changes in Local Government and at South Hams District. He felt with the current pressures town council needed full a membership which was diverse from experience. With the pressure that Salcombe council was coming under now and going forward this would need support from a dedicated team. As he was now semi-retired he could devote more time to council matters.
Philip Lafferty-Holt thanked town council for this opportunity and whilst he had only been resident for a few years he echoed Mark’s points. He had chosen to raise his family here and had a business and was making this his home. He wanted to give something back to the town and make it the same for everyone else. Working and living here meant he was at the forefront and he wanted to feel he was achieving something and not just living here. Maybe he would have less time with a new baby and business but he would be committed. Cllr Lennox asked if he had been on any council before. He responded no but he had been chairman of Rotaract where he lived previously and part of the Chamber of Commerce and was now chairman of the tennis club in Salcombe.
It was AGREED to co-opt Philip Lafferty-Holt and he was passed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office form to sign together with the Register of Interests to be completed and returned.
137. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 1604/17/HHO Householder application for the erection of a galvanised fence Carbery Newton Road, Salcombe – Objection as such a fence would have a severe impact on the AONB as it was visible from the estuary and footpath the other side. It was not felt to be good materials to use galvanised and would have an unneighbourly aspect.
• 1945/17/HHO Householder application for new garage adjacent to dwelling Fintry, Loring Road, Salcombe, Devon, TQ8 8BL – No objection.
• 2280/17/ADV Advertisement consent. Objection forwarded to District Planning not necessarily with regard to the signage but change of use as not marine nor boating but a large national outlet store. This application was received in the office on Monday and would be considered at a later date.
WORKS TO TREES IN A CONSERVATION AREA
• 2443/17/TCA Proposal T1 Conifer – Fell, dangerously leaning towards property at 45 degree angle 2 Croft Road, Salcombe TQ8 8DZ. The root was indeed at an angle but the tree and all branches were upright and as the tree was big and sturdy it was not felt to be a danger. The opinion of the tree officer was sought.
Dist Cllrs Wright and Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
TREE PRESERVATION ORDER: GRANT OF EXEMPTION
• 2510/17/TPO Proposal: T1: Beech – Clear fallen debris from footpath; T2: Ash – Fallen, obstructing footpath, dismantle and remove. Woodcot, Cliff Road, Salcombe, Devon, TQ8 8JU
Mark Long left the meeting.
138. DELEGATED AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO PLANNING APPLICATIONS
It was AGREED to approve delegated authority to the Clerk to respond to planning applications received during the August recess following input from councillors.
139. CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
The nominations received were duly considered and it was AGREED that the Citizen of the Year would be Deborah Hainey.
140. CIVIC LUNCH
Following confirmation of the charges for 2017 The Harbour Hotel was APPROVED as the venue for the civic lunch.
141. TREE SURVEY
Quotes for a summer survey of all town council trees were considered and it was AGREED to request Hi-Line to update their survey results for a cost of £760.
142. TOWN COUNCIL INSURANCE
Town Council was advised that WPS Insurers was the company currently used by Town Council and who operated an advice sales basis only. They were a broker and therefore totally independent of ALL insurers and could test the market for town council across many insurers and were currently carrying out an in depth assessment with 15 of the top companies specifically for parish and town councils needs identified.
It was highlighted and advised by the insurance company that the person inspecting the play equipment each week should receive some form of formal training preferably on a RoSPA course to demonstrate competence if challenged. This was being arranged.
Discussion with the broker also noted that the War Memorial was not covered and a quote advised that to add this would cost an additional £17.01, APPROVED. The Personal Accident cover for Clerical Employees was suggested to be increased to £50,000 which would increase the annual premium by £25.22 but town council felt that this exceeded requirement, REFUSED.
Shadycombe wall was not included in the insurance protection last year following the buildings assessment and this continued unless town council wanted to consider accidental damage. A quote would be sought.
For bus shelters increasing from £3800 to £6000, Business interruption increased from £16,000 to £20,000 and
Laptops and Projector increased from £1200 to £1500 there would be no additional charge.
The pre-renewal meeting, information and such advice contained therein was noted and it was AGREED to renew at £2872.11 and extend to secure a new 3 year Long Term Agreement at this rate until 2020 in view of potential changes in the insurance climate.
143. COUNCIL PROTOCOL
The major topic agreed with regard to procedure for town council communication was agreed previously to cut down on number of emails going around on subjects that should be discussed at full council. This has not stopped and some emails were felt to be bullying and recently had been very personal against specific councillors. The Mayor’s view was that if someone had something to say about another councillor or points to raise about items being dealt with this should be brought to a meeting and discussed and the writer not hide behind an email.
At the end of the day all were part of this group to represent the town and the Mayor would like to think that on the big issues all were working together to the same aim. Therefore he requested that some cut down on email traffic and he hoped that this message had been put over. The Town Clerk was employed 19 hours per week and if 12 of those hours were spent each week dealing with problems and questions not needed to be routed through email it was a waste.
Cllr Lennox felt personally that there had been a lot less emails currently going around. It was generally felt that anything put in an email should be able to be said verbally and then people around the table could debate comments as one person’s view might be wrong. Also those attacked could defend themselves.
After further discussion Cllr Lennox formally resigned and left the meeting.
Cllr Lennox left the meeting as Cty Cllr Gilbert arrived and provided his report at this point.
Cty Cllr Gilbert had attended a meeting with Dr Sarah Wollaston MP and the South West Ambulance Brigade representatives. The entire meeting had major on one topic and this was a good presentation although Dr. Wollaston had been given quite a hard time on party politics which was a shame as there was a lot to discuss.
He noted that part of the perimeter wall was down at Jubilee Gardens and that the ownership of the cycle path and wall responsibility was understood. With regard to education the percentage of schools in Devon was 93% obtaining outstanding or good. On admission into a chosen school parental first preference was 95% and second preference 99%. Cty Cllr Gilbert had attending the turning of the first turf for the building of Loddiswell’s new school. Considering the amount received per child in Metropolitan areas compared to much lower in Devon areas this illustrated that the teachers and children were excellent because they achieved fantastic results for half the price. It showed that education was not just about money. It was noted however that more money was needed to be injected into the infrastructure of schools. At Loddiswell they were successful because a farmer had given land by way of a Section 106 for this school.
He had a tour with the Harbour Master as this is under his portfolio and was pleased to noted it was still a very well run harbour due to the Harbour Master and staff.
Cllr Whitfield raised the question of A boards being removed. Cty Cllr Gilbert explained that Kingsbridge had previously had an issue and treated this subject with kid gloves. The rules were strict with regard to the right of passage on a pavement being 6ft width. If requested to enforce County Council would not pick and choose as it was all or nothing. Therefore it town council requested this action County would then remove all A boards on the public realm. The Town Clerk had written to all businesses in previous years and this warning had not been heeded. A frames should only be 1.8m from premises but some were positioned a long way away which was illegal and a copy of the Rules and Regulations could be obtained from the County website. In view of other incursions tables and chairs were included on this request. Cty Cllr Gilbert offered that maybe County could issue one warning two days beforehand and then pick them up.
There was also the issue of the tattooist cart on wheels offering henna tattoos. This was positioned on the pavement at Whitestrand under a pedlars licence with children queuing in the road. An email would be sent to Cty Cllr Gilbert and he would forward such for action. Whilst requesting items the replacement Park & Ride sign would be chased.
Foliage was growing from the side onto roads and was making the road narrower and covering yellow lines. It was requested that a list areas be provided and he would look into this. Cllr Mrs Kemp noted that Salcombe was not due for drain cleaning but that all the drains were full and when it rained they overflowed.
Cty Cllr Gilbert and Chris Derrick left the meeting.
144. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor noted that he and the town clerk had received an email from Chris Brook to advise that the proposal to transfer land was ratified at full council. This was so discussions could go forward. The Mayor advised that Chris Derrick had forwarded the response email from District on the five questions he raised to him before he composed his article. The Mayor confirmed that town council had actively sought to take ownership of the Berry and it was only at the District Council meeting that they were then offered the other areas.
He had been invited to attend South Hams Hospital for the opening of the new X ray facility which was to be formally opened by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP. He had also received a letter from Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP offering to meet to discuss The Berry issue but as town council and parliament were in recess the Mayor would suggest they make contact after September for a meeting. All councillors agreed this.
145. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Lang – Noted that at Redfern Woods there was a tree down across the path in the middle and a small section needed cutting down. He had done some gardening on the council hall removing a self-seeded buddleia. At Robinsons Row a property owner mentioned he had not been swept and weeds were growing. He mentioned this to John the District roadsweeper and was surprised to note it had already been done. A Devon County Council van was parked in the town council space which the Town Clerk confirmed was the Highway Officer in attendance at the office. It was noted this should not set a precedent for whenever the Highways Officer was in Salcombe.
Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Had received a complaint about parking along Coronation Road as vehicles were straddling the pavements and she was advised to inform the police.
• Further response with regard to details of the proposed Beach Rugby and request for permission to use South Sands Beach on 29th August 2017. Concern was still noted on the response provided with regard to the tide at the mean low water with the pitches said to be shown as a guideline. If sited where there was space there would be no beach left and the event should not move ordinary people off. Daily users must be left to sit in comfort and not be concerned about being hit. Also the organisers were expecting 200 people by boat and going to ‘talk to’ South Sands Hotel but had not ‘spoken’ and it was felt that at the height of the season their car park would be full. Logistics were not felt to have been thought out for such a quantity of people. Also it was noted that the South Sands ferry would have finished for the day before the end of the activity and rubbish created needed to be removed not in placed in the public bins on the beach. A proper plan for rubbish needed to be provided. Also there was a concern that the organisers should ensure that there was no alcohol on this beach in view of the family usage. If there were 200 attending who were then invited to go on to the gin distillery could this venue cope and if not what would the consequence be. If the organisers were taking people by boats had they consulted with the Harbour Office on this. With people watching added in there would be more than 200 expected and yet this was quite a limited area to watch from. Including Rib Eyes, Jack Wills and Salcombe Gin being involved this was now felt to be a commercial or marketing exercise as it was free to enter. This was not an appropriate use of the beach and town council now Object.
• Emailed letter received today with regard to a licence application to provide a pop up bar as part of the regatta week and an outdoor film screening. Potential live music but acoustic, not amplified on Whitestrand Car Park during Regatta week on the 11th August, all proceeds from the bar to go to the regatta charity. Objection as this was an improper use of the car park and not a designated Regatta Event. Going on to 11.45p.m. with a lot of drink being made available it was questioned what impact this would have on the licenced premises within Salcombe in their busy time. As this was not associated with the Regatta and not in keeping with this event it was not suitable for this environment during the family holiday period and unneighbourly. A donation of profits did not indicate the manner or level of support for the Regatta.
• An officer at District had advised that their land ownership records did not show that they owned and maintained the second half of the grass/footpath from the boat park to Batson and that was why they had stopped short of mowing that area. This had been disputed by town council.
• A complaint had been received with regard to the musician playing bongo drums outside the Coffee Shop. Dist Cllr Wright was investigating whether anything could be done about this.
• Letter received highlighting the narrowing of the pavement down Onslow Road from Dell Court past Bonaventure Road to the end due to the overgrown vegetation. This had already been dealt with and the Highway Officer had reviewed Onslow Road pavement and requested the Probationers Team to carry out clearance works along there and down Piggy Lane.
• Email from Openreach Poling Engineer with a request to divert a residential service via the Town Hall building and an offer to provide a wayleave. This was Agreed although the question would be raised with regard to their comment that works to town council trees would be undertaken.
• Devon Association of Local Councils AGM was due to be held on Tuesday 10th October 2017 at Exeter Racecourse at £25 per person to include keynote speakers, workshops and exhibitions. Town Councillors to advise in September if they are able to attend.
• Noted that the main A381 roadside wall bordering Jubilee Gardens had collapsed after the recent rainfall. Estimates were being obtained. Costings would be obtained and carried out under emergency work.
• A local business had enquired whether a farmers market in Whitestrand car park every week or two weeks in the height of the season would be considered or supported. In view of the forthcoming District events policy change town council was asked their thoughts. Town Clerk to respond that the aim of such an event would be to bring people into the town but at the height of the season Salcombe already had enough people. Out of season maybe this could be considered if it was to bring extra people in.
• Request received from a resident adjacent to the park and ride to consider allowing a season ticket just for the bus. Not possible at this late stage but town council would liaise with Tally Ho for next year.
• The mole catcher had visited and advised and either he could treat the area for £350 or attend once a month at a monthly cost of £45 for 12 months (£540) to hopefully eradicate the problem with humane traps. Agreed £45 per month for a year to commence immediately.
• Although approved at a previous meeting a copy of the order quotation for purchases of office IT equipment to be paid tonight was highlighted.
• South Western Ambulance Service had advised that the agreement to support the community defibrillator was for seven years during which time they would provide serving and updating of software or resuscitation guidelines changes as required. No volunteer was accountable for a fault or the defibrillator not being rescue ready as a fault could develop after it had been checked.
• District had sent out a consultation on Taxi Licensing Policy which required a response by 30th August. Numerous councils across the South Hams had expressed concerns that no meetings were held in August but it appeared that District wished to implement this policy and therefore it was being questioned whether it was possible to extend the deadline. Town Council would be sent the link but the town clerk had considered and reported and would respond to this consultation that all seemed to be covered.
• The Town Council solicitor asked for confirmation on the scope of the future work to be as follows:
o Advise the Town Council as to its liability for the sea wall and other maintenance of the transferred land. Yes
o Negotiate with the District Council over the lease renewal. Yes
o Negotiate the maintenance of the transferred land. NO Town Council would want to discuss various ideas before negotiation.
o Assist the Town Council with the transfer of land and negotiate the transfer on behalf of the Town Council. Solicitors to carry out legal negotiations but town council to put forward the remit of such.
o Investigate the District Council’s possessory title of part of the Berry land. YES
o Further investigate the Charity land. Town Council need to know the full details but felt this had already been done.
o Liaise with the District Council over play equipment in Courtney Park and the associated potential income stream from car parks. YES.
The Mayor noted at this point that he had spent the last few months setting up meetings with residents at the Berry, as some were only down certain months, to look at the fencing proposals for the area. At the April meeting it had been agreed that he, the Deputy Mayor and Cllr Lennox would attend these meetings. In view of the resignation of Graeme Lennox within this meeting Cllr Mrs Bricknell agreed to take this place.
Current Account £500.92
Deposit Account £291,916.14
Caddy bag sales £125.00
Bonfire Hill Cemetery – burials £830.00
Devon County Council – Grass maintenance £226.00
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
Greenscape – Grass maintenance July £474.33
Play Inspection Company – Jubilee Play Area audit £78.00
HMRC – Tax and NI £757.93
NEST – Pension £145.26
Wages – £1736.84
Robinson – Sundries £3.49
Will Hampton – Redfern Woods overhanging branches £370.00
Currys PC Business – Computer Equipment and software package £1593.01.
Bayleaf Gardening – Jubilee Gardens July £546.98
WPS Insurance – Annual Renewal 1st August £2904.12
147. NEXT MEETING
Town council recess in August and the next meeting would be held on Wednesday 13th September 2017 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.45p.m.
……………………………………………….. 13th September 2016.