Minutes of the Meeting of SALCOMBE TOWN COUNCIL held in the Library of Cliff House, Salcombe at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 24th January 2018
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 Mrs N. Turton *
Cllr P. Lafftery-Holt A
Cllr M. Long *
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
Charley Adams Kingsbridge Gazette *
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 given.
Two members of the public were present.
Peter Williams was in attendance as he advised he was running the Cadmus development project on this hill as this was owned by his mother. An application had been to town council previously but this approach was aiming to respond to previous concerns and had the support of Wendy Ormsby in the hope that she would consider this application by 28th February. Percolation tests were being carried out within 2 days as the implication was that if they did not they would not get a decision by February. In response to comments with regard to materials and design of scheme they had discussed this with their architect and he showed the changes. As there had been an objection to zinc on the roof that had gone for slate but following discussion with Wendy Ormsby they would retain the zinc feature on the vertical elements of the building as they were integral to the look of the building, what remained he felt was modest. He went on to explain various aspects of where the building could be view from and whether there would be any impact. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce and Cllr Long picked up on a wall within one drawing which was discussed. Town council had wanted to increase diversity of materials and mix of stone in the elevation and the applicant felt they had responded showing more usage in a different configuration. The Mayor presumed a revised plan would be received from District Council and questioned that when received this would require a further three-week consultation so no decision could be made before that.
The drainage position was that JDT consultants had carried out an assessment but not with soakaway tests for percolation and they had questioned how to tap into the public sewer which had been confirmed. An A grade response was affirmative that they could use this drain. Cllr Long noted he was interested to see that on the application the response indicated no use of photovoltaic and no rainwater harvesting which was surprising as this was a brand-new property but it displayed no sustainability items. The applicant explained they had taken advice on the application and build and coming from Stroud they noted this was a requirement there and he wished houses built to the highest specification in terms of impact. However, as purchasers did not ask for photo voltaic and rainwater consideration this was not included. Cllr Long felt that this application was not prepared for optimum sustainability and with a proposed large roof with this ability for a considerable amount of rainwater harvesting this was troubling. The applicant did not feel qualified to respond and would ask his architect to do so acknowledging that this was a new build and Cllr Long felt it should take run off out of the flood water problem within Salcombe.
The Mayor thanked Mr Williams for attending as the discussion had been very helpful.
Rob McMahon of Totally Taxi was in attendance to put forward a request for a taxi stand or two within Salcombe town. He felt a problem was increasing as visitors did not know where to go for taxis and people visiting could not know where to approach. Since the change of tariff from District Council taxi providers could put an extra £5 on a fare if they travelled from a taxi rank and with taxis coming from Kingsbridge they could do this and he felt it was making local fares expensive. A concern raised was blocking of the taxi rank with one business to advertise and attract customers but town council was reassured that providers were not allowed to leave a taxi on a taxis rank stand unless it was attended and most needed to be being used.
A question was raised as to areas that would be suitable and it was suggested that Coleman’s Corner/Chapel End would be preferable as it could be accessed easily and returned uphill without entering the one-way system. Cty Cllr Gilbert advised he had been emailed and spoken to the applicant and suggested that he attend a meeting to put his case. He felt it was a reasonable request which if supported could be placed on the wish list for a forthcoming Traffic Regulation Order. No other sites were felt applicable as this was the most appropriate place to ensure the most cost-effective route out of Salcombe. Island Street was questioned but most people who called from there were working or leaving bars whereas within the centre of Salcombe people there were just looking to find a taxi. Timing was questioned and it was felt that it should be the same as Kingsbridge where taxis were available 24 hours a day the busiest times being 9a.m. to midnight. Cllr Mrs Sinnott had been aware of this need several years ago but having discussed it with another taxi company believed that a taxi firm could leave a car from their company to reserve and thus clog the space. Rob McMahon again stated that no could be left without a driver. Any taxi on any taxi rank area across Totnes, Kingsbridge and Salcombe was the same. In requesting this provision two spaces would be better. Cty Cllr Gilbert stated that if town council could support this request he would also. It was requested that this item be placed on the next agenda for discussion. Cllr Lang noted problems that could arise in the morning with regard to access for delivery drivers but Rob McMahon noted that as all cars were continually attended a taxi could move to allow access but such siting in Chapel End would allow turning. If somebody did however misuse a rank provision District Council could sort it out through the taxi provision etiquette.
Rob McMahon and Peter Williams left the meeting.
County Councillors Report – Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that there had been an increase for budgets from 2% to 3% without causing a referendum. It would not affect District but was worth an additional £7million for County. Devon County had been awarded a business rate pilot scheme worth £10million to County and £7million amongst all Districts. There had been considerable joint work between District and County working together on this pilot application.
The West Alvington road closure was still ongoing and road signage for this was not good. Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that by the time they agreed better signage however the job would be finished but so far there had been no complaints but there may be some incoming.
The Mayor raised a matter regarding waste collection although it was a District matter but acknowledged that Cllr Gilbert held this portfolio in his District capacity. On Monday the food waste collection from a caddy was chucked by the operatives in with the other bin rubbish. It was questioned whether the recycling collection was on this day but from these properties it was as they had no big black bins and were collected every week. Cty Cllr Gilbert was unaware of why but concluded that perhaps an operative was unaware. If this happened again he asked to be advised. Cllr Mrs Sinnott noted that Sophie Barnett Salcombe Holiday Homes and her visitors wanted to recycle plastic when visiting the town but there was no facility for this within Salcombe. She asked if there was a possibility there could be a public bin to take items akin to what the blue and clear bags were for that their company would sponsor, like a bottle bank.
Cllr Lang raised a matter for the Victoria Inn who in the New Year had a drain blocked which South West Water sorted but then the problem reoccurred 2 weeks later. A further operative then came out and found six inches of fat in the pipe. Cllr Lang felt this should have been spotted in the first place and they not had to close the road twice. Cty Cllr Gilbert sympathised but stated this was a South West Water matter. Dist Cllr Wright noted that he and Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce were dealing with a similar incident in Hope Cove and been speaking to Environmental Health about this and Salcombe had cropped up. District Council were concerned that there did not appear to be a management plan in place within South West Water should something go wrong. They were therefore pursuing South West Water on this point although it did not answer the question.
The Mayor questioned contractors who were taking up parking spaces in town. There was currently work at the end of Fore Street near The Fortescue and the contractors had a permit, which town council were not notified of, to divert pedestrians. Due to this two or three parking spaces been taken away to for the diversion but then the contractors were coning off more parking spaces to park their vans within on the highway. Cllr Lang noted that the same contractors were putting cones out to suit parking of their lorry etc and there would be a long works time for this project.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
District Councillors Report – Dist Cllr Wright raised a matter although he acknowledged it had nothing to do with South Hams. In a recent news report the Yorkshire Dales were asking for support with a suggestion to reduce the impact of second homes by increasing their rates to 500% for additional monies to assist the council tax bill. There would be a paper prepared for members at District Council to consider what they will do on this. He was aware of residents’ feelings and issues that Cornwall Council had encountered when a second home chose to pay business rates, which they had to after a certain amount of business period. The implication was that Cornwall said they lost out as business rates went straight to Government. As a District billing authority, some time ago, there was a 50% saving for second homes which were upped by Government so that they paid 100%. As a consequence District now must submit a section 31 notice to Government to advise them how much out of pocket they were from houses being business rates and were reimbursed.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce had nothing further to add. Cllr Lang raised the matter of the proposed parking scheme at Batson and asked if District owned the land, which they did. He continued that he had not realised that people had already been sent letters offering purchase of spaces and thought it was just at consultation. The District Councillors noted District owned the land and could put parking there officially and had approached every resident at Batson and 99% were in favour of this. Cllr Mrs Sinnott asked whether second home owners could purchase these permits for a second home with only private use. District Councillors noted that surprisingly there was a small amount of properties in Salcombe that paid business rates.
Mayor noted that the street cleaning meeting with Dist Cllr Wright was held a long time ago but nothing further had been advised for a meeting with the relevant officers. Dist Cllr Wright advised he had put together action points and would chase officers as a meeting was needed before the forthcoming season. Dist Cllr Wright advised he had met with a few shop keepers and one publican with a view to discussing their bins being left on the highway and so far talks had been positive. The Mayor had also raised this with the Chamber of Commerce.
Discussions with District Council regarding transfer of the Berry to town council had not moved as the town council solicitors had been unable to get District to respond with dates or discussion. The District Councillors advised that they were not involved in this negotiation but would ask. At the beginning District Assets wanted hurry but were now stalling with no information.
With regard to Cliff House Gardens District hoped that the new café would be open for Easter. The Mayor had noticed after the last meeting that the state of Cliff House Gardens was poor with ivy growing up and over the wall onto the street and most of the shrubs had not been touched before the start of the last summer season. District was just cutting the grass and doing nothing else and the District Councillors were asked to address this as a focal point in Salcombe.
Cllr Lang noted that during the last few months when there were no visitors Salcombe had the mechanical roadsweeper through several times a week. Was this going to continue during the summer as last year Salcombe hardly ever saw it when it was needed.
No applications having been received this was DEFERRED.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 10th January 2018 were corrected at the third line in the district councillors report s that they read ‘now’ entitled before they were APPROVED by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
The following applications were considered under delegation and such observations from town council submitted to District before this meeting.
• 3515/17/HHO READVERTISEMENT (Amended proposal and description) Householder application for replacement of garden buildings with ancillary cattery and enclose Aloha Herbert Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HN – Objection unless the enclosures were topped to ensure these animals were contained.
• 0007/18/HHO Householder application for enlarging of existing rear dormer window Widdicombe, Herbert Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HN – No objection.
• 0028/18/LBC Listed building consent for proposed roof terrace to existing flat roof 24B Fore Street, Salcombe TQ8 8ET – It was noted that the planning application 3497/17/HHO was submitted last year without Listed Building consideration being provided. Objection as the proposed materials being of stainless steel and glass for the balcony were felt inappropriate for a listed building in this location.
• Nothing further received.
ANNUAL TREE WORKS
An itemised report on works recommended by the tree expert was provided and it was AGREED to seek estimates for the following:
Cllr Long looked through the report at the previous meeting and yet to go through with Pete to ensure that all points were picked up. Report and quotes next meeting.
The cutting of the upper section of the grass verge/ bank running along Main Road from Jubilee Gardens did not need to be as frequent as laid out in the schedule as this should be maintained more as a natural wild plant area not requiring the ‘garden cuts’ to the frequency of the bedding and garden area as scheduled. To include cut after the daffodil and wild flowers (Orchids) season had died back and again in October to clear away summer growth so that it was low for spring growth. The initial preparation cut and clearance would be more than a ‘normal’ cut as bramble and other growth would need to be dealt with as it has not been cut for a few years and therefore dealt with as a supplement/addition to this contract.
The amended schedule document had been circulated and it was AGREED to seek tenders for the work detailed therein.
• From Jubilee Gardens along the inside highway verge abutting the houses to obtain quotes for a first cut and clearance of this area of the excess vegetation in readiness for bulbs and spring flowers.
• For the War Memorial planters amend dates to state ‘May/June’ and ‘October in readiness for Remembrance Sunday’
• Shadycombe Cemetery paths to be treated with weed killer and quotations to include the cost of the weed killer within the contract
• on the Berry the primrose field wording to be changed to ‘open grass area’ and not ‘children’s play area’
• Highway verges to include a statement regarding cuttings being removed and disposed of legally
• Park & Ride Field to include weeding and strimming along either side of the sleepers along with weed killer application.
• Park & Ride Field general weeding of the bus turning area perimeter to include removing rubbish/detritus removal generally across the site.
• Park & Ride bays require to be strimmed/weed killed along with weeds behind bays which encroach and overhang the sleepers.
• Weed spraying to be carried out mid to end of March prior to Easter and seven cuts April to October within the Park and Ride but strimming must be carried out all through the season to keep vegetation down with only one cut in the winter to hold growing back.
• Private bays within Park and Ride to be weed sprayed and generally trimmed.
• In addition, the wording ‘hedges and overhanging trees to be cut back a minimum of at least annually within Bonfire Hill Cemetery’ to be amended to ‘cut back hedges but not the hedgerow trees’. Overhanging tree limbs to be marked out carefully before flailing of all areas.
It was requested that all this information be obtained from contractors within a grid with dates scheduled of when works were proposed to take place and then during the contract the works could be compared against actual dates of completion.
PARK AND RIDE
Jamie Fitzpatrick was now the County Council officer liaising with regard to the park and ride contract and he had asked that he and Chris Rook meet up with town council before the season. The payment of the quarterly income monies from the car park had not taken place due to a request for such to be raised having been overlooked by County and this would be attended to immediately. Dates for such a meeting were awaited and they had advised that they now had alternative ways of hinging the Park and Walk signs which hopefully would be more durable.
The following were considered and AGREED that the instructions noted thereafter be carried out;
(a) any maintenance works required at the car park together with repairs to County signs –
• the items within the park and ride review for ongoing maintenance would be built into the grass cutting/maintenance contract.
• general weeding and grass cutting of the Harbour Hotel area should be maintained by Town Council but any extra works were up to them and their parking space chain needed removing or replacing.
• the project manager had contacted District who would replace the public waste bin.
• County signs – this provision was awaiting dates from County Council officers for a meeting to discuss.
• Car park posts – one post needed re-bedding and works to the sign on the way in. The working group advised that town council should not replace the posts knocked out as the surface delineated the end of bays adequately.
• Dog walking – there was a sign in place and a larger one would not make a significant difference. Dog walking in this space was not to be encouraged but a sign must be erected when weed spraying was in progress.
• Disabled bay – this area needed tidying and quotes for a tarmac surface which was more clearly marked would be obtained.
• Repairs to vehicle tracks – quotes for this work would be obtained at the same time as quotes for the disabled bays.
The Mayor and Town Clerk would also meet with Harbour Hotel representatives to review the licence terms and fee.
(b) dates for the seasonal bus to be run –
• it was agreed to run the bus for the Spring Bank holiday week together with various other minor changes as per attached.
• The October half term would be 20th – 27th October and it would be strongly suggested to District Council that the Creek Car park needed to remain open and not fenced off for boats. The Town Clerk would also check with Tally Ho to ascertain whether they could register a further bus service for half term later, if required. If this was possible then shops/businesses could be approached for sponsorship of this further bus.
• Discussion took place as to previous advertising on the outside of the park and ride buses. This did not continue because Tally Ho could not promise to always use the same bus on this route. There however remained advertising of business cards around the park and ride town map.
(c) provision of weekly bus permits, parking permits and charges for the bus and car park –
• Town Council to ask Tally Ho if weekly bus permits were possible. The cost of the bus fare would rely on recommendations from Tally Ho but town council felt that £3 per day for the car park continued to be a fair sum. Consideration of the bus fare for 2018 would be brought back to the following town council meeting.
• The Town Council was requested to find out from Devon County, if town council wished to change their parking fees in the future, how long this process would take (i.e. for 2019).
(d) District Council request to allow their permits to be used at the Park and Ride –
• It could not be seen how this could be accommodated due to the agreement in place with Devon County for enforcement and their percentage taken of income fee. It was felt that town council could not generate a sufficient income from parking to cover the bus and ongoing maintenance from this District proposal. A solution however could be to remove long term parking on the Creek, as many who used this had permits through holiday homes, and then town council could offer the park and ride 6 monthly/annual permits which had the ability to be exchanged between cars with different registrations and thus the permits could be sold to holiday home owners for people to park at the Park & Ride. The feeling of the meeting however was that those that used this facility wanted their car parked nearer to them.
HOUSING ALLOCATION POLICY
The District Council document had been circulated but as Salcombe had their local conditions which still applied there was no further comment.
OPEN SPACES SPORT AND RECREATION
It was felt that town council could not publish the draft plan as it was currently a list and consideration would need to be given as to how to communicate with the community so that they were involved. An article could be produced for the Kingsbridge Gazette and Cllrs Mrs Sinnott and Whitfield were setting up a page on Facebook with information but no response ability. Another suggestion was to set up a display tent on Whitestrand and encourage people to consider and talk about Salcombe. Also the Neighbourhood Plan was about to be produced and was currently going through Regulation 14 consultation so there would be meetings held for that. At the end of the day it was hard to see how much ordinary people would wish to contribute to listing future projects.
In light of discussion with Pat Whymer, Head of Planning, and for this plan to be used for future projects and ongoing needs it was AGREED that the next steps in the production of the Open Spaces Sport and Recreation plan were to get out and involve the community through a meeting to obtain a wider remit of what recreation and open space facilities people felt were needed. The Mayor would to speak to the Neighbourhood Plan group as to whether this information gathering could piggy back their public meetings. Cllr Mrs Turton agreed to summarise the points from the draft plan to date as a digest for these public meetings.
The Mayor explained that he and Cllr Lang had met with CCLA to discuss their two funds. One was a property fund and money deposited must be tied up for at least five years. The other one was a fund whereby money was
paid in and this was spread over various banks but such investment was not covered by the Government compensation scheme. There was also a 0.08 % management fee but it had far better interest. Monies held would be better secured spread over various banks across the UK with some tied up for a longer term for a greater interest return as it was earmarked for various projects that would not come to fruition at the same time.
The current investment of council funds was explained and it was AGREED to delegate authority to the finance group to invest these funds as they deemed appropriate to secure the funds on behalf of the people of Salcombe. The Finance Committee plus town clerk would look at available account offered together with terms of rates and report back.
The Mayor noted that it had previously been agreed that this year discussion would take place prior to May to select a Mayor and Deputy elect. Therefore, this would be an item on the next agenda for nominations of who would like to be put forward.
He had also received a letter from Salcombe Church requesting funding towards the upkeep of the churchyard and this would be placed on the next agenda. The Church would be asked to send a representative to speak to this item. It was noted that the town councillors list on the website was not up to date with contact details as Cllr Whitfield had not received this information and those who were yet to provide such were asked to do so immediately.
Cllr Long – Had received many complaints about the pathway to Batson as chunks of it were becoming puddles and required maintenance. When the drains were unblocked on that side the earth was dug out and put on top of the bank but had washed back in and this needed looking at too.
He also requested that town council give support to Salcombe Plastic Clever Campaign to include community projects, volunteer involvement and also town council. He advised that the Regatta Committee were behind this campaign during regatta along with the Harbour Board. His suggestion was to support the local school with books about this, a poster campaign for the school to design plus support for beach clean A boards with litter pickers at North and South Sands. It had been suggested that District might have plastic clever stickers on their bins.
Cllr Whitfield – Noted that the contractors fitting street lights on the cycle path across Jubilee Gardens had not finished the tarmac around the holes and some lamp posts wobbled. The town clerk was to enquire whether there remained work to be completed.
• A request had been received from Holy Trinity Church Salcombe that town council consider making a grant towards the maintenance of the graveyard.
• Highway maintenance agreements for 2018/19 verge cuts in April, June, July and September received. The allocation offered for this coming cutting season was £301 for four cuts and the town clerk would sign the agreement.
• Communication received regarding a local Paddle and Pick Challenge to highlight the need to stop usage and clear plastic from the sea. Town Council were invited to set an example by councillors and the office not using disposable coffee cups and water bottles themselves together with a request for sponsorship of this event. This would go to the next agenda.
• The electrical contractors who had fitted the Devon Air Ambulance switching units had written with a quote to check just the switching and controls for a sum of £79.95 plus VAT. It was not clear whether this was for a two year contract and payable per year or covered the whole period. Town council would look at any works if such defect arose.
• Saltstone Caring were looking for volunteers and would send a poster over that would be placed on the noticeboards giving people contact details.
• District was to hold the Kingsbridge Cluster meeting for town and parish councils on Thursday 1st February at Follaton House wherein the District and County Councillors representatives would decide on allocation of the TAP fund.
• Nigel Mortimer advised of a community arts project that South Devon AONB were involved with and thought that it might be of interest. Nigel would feed back on the evolution of the ‘Chrysalis’ at future Estuary Forum meetings so if town council would like to be an ‘evolutionary force’ and have an influence on its form and function, they were encouraged to join them and be involved. There was to be an introduction to this project at Slapton Ley Field Centre on Tuesday 20th February 1-3p.m.
Current Account £5700.00
Deposit Account £290,173.56
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
Sandover Associates – Neighbourhood Plan Consultancy 2nd invoice £2570.00
Devon Wildlife Management – Pest control £35.00
HMRC – Tax and NI £757.93
Wages – January £1736.84
NEST – January £145.26
Cheques: SLCC – Annual subscription (half shared with Stokenham) £112.50
The next town council meeting would be held on Wednesday 14th February 2018 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.31p.m.
……………………………………………….. 14th February 2018.