COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – Mayor (in the Chair) *
Cllr. M. Fice *
Cllr T. Lang A
Cllr R. Moore *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott *
Cllr M. Long (also District Councillor) *
Cllr I. Hatch *
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne *
Cllr Miss D. Ward *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce A
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
Tom Ladds Kingsbridge Gazette N
WPC Jo Pengilly A
1. 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. Ongoing advice was that Cllr Long would not take part in planning decisions due to him being on the District Development Management Committee.
Cllr Long advised of his interest in the Cliff House Trust matter and requested that following planning item 6 Covid be brought forward and discussed and then he would leave the online meeting.
Cllrs Mrs Sinnott, Miss Ward and Hatch declared an interest in the rent holiday item.
2. OPEN FORUM
No member of the public being present this was dispensed with.
District and County Councillor Reports
Cty Cllr Gilbert had no report but was there to support and answer questions.
Cllr Moore asked if enforcement could check on pavement parking as he had seen five cars with wheels on pavements. Cty Cllr Gilbert did not believe there was any legislation to enforce unless the vehicles were blocking a fire station or such property. Cllr Moore believed there was something that could be used so long as one tyre was touching but Cty Cllr Gilbert disagreed. He had requested additional enforcement as members of Salcombe Town Council had written so he felt they had been visiting.
Cllr Hatch arrived in the meeting.
The vehicles parking in Coronation Road were over the pavement forcing people into the road. It was Cllr Moore’s belief that if no tyre was touching any point of the pavement it was not an offence but a number had been. Cty Cllr Gilbert sympathized but noted that many visiting Salcombe considered a £30 fine cheap parking compared to what they paid elsewhere on a daily basis, so double yellow lines were not a deterrent. County had talked about reviewing fines but felt such would not be fair on locals as for them the current fine was a high amount of money.
Cllr Fice had wished to raise exactly the same point so this had dealt with his. Cty Cllr Gilbert advised he would state Coronation Road in his email of being of particular concern. Cllr Mrs Sinnott asked about vehicles being completely on the pavement along with a couple of motorbikes so that people waiting for bus could not sit in the shade. This occurred on the pavement outside the doctors surgery. Cty Cllr Gilbert was to check whether this would be County Enforcement or police.
Cllr Mrs Sinnott noted on her daily walk coming up over Bennett Road/Devon Road, the two main arteries into town, which at Bennett Road there was overgrown greenery and foliage on the road covering the yellow lines so reducing road width. She asked if this could be cut back. Also there were two large properties in Bennett Road that were utilising large heavy vehicles and cars were having to break sharply when faced with them and vegetation. Outside Hipplefield was another pinch point for accidents. Potholes were disgraceful and this road was a bus route into town, potholes should be reported online. Cty Cllr Gilbert remembered that the previous year these hedges were growing out and the highway officer wrote to the owner advising they must clear. Cllr Mrs Sinnott was asked to send these details with photographs to be passed to the highway officer and copied to Cty Cllr Gilbert and he would follow up.
Cllr Fice wished to pass a compliment on to those dealing with street lighting. A problem was encountered in Buckley Street whilst they were changing street lights and one unit fell apart. They had installed a very appropriate light fitting and earlier in the week he received a phone call to check that all was well and he was happy with this type of light. It had been a superb service. Cty Cllr Gilbert was pleased on this as County had removed the previous contractors and just appointed a new contract for five years and this would have been the new contractor so he was pleased to be able to give this feedback, they were Scottish Southern Electric. Cllr Mrs Bricknell noted that vehicles were still going through Fore Street as she had been passed by six cars who were not accessing. Could the Regatta Committee be asked to provide a Road Closed barrier? Whilst most wished this it was not permissible within the Traffic Notice to block the road.
The hair braiders had returned and yet it was believed they had been advised that they could not do so under their licence this year due to Covid. Dist Cllr Long advised he was awaiting advice from Guy Pedrick and licensing. He was not sure whether the licence was revoked but the same problem had arisen in Padstow when ten hair braiders turned up. Environmental Health and the police said there was a legal loophole as hair braiding was outwith of the legislation and guidance. Dan Taylor, the locality officer, had questioned the hair braider but she was complying by wearing a face mask and had Perspex covering the braids. It was questioned whether she was cleaning the area by the flowerbed where people waited and Dist Cllr Long had seen her wiping down so it appeared she was complying.
The Mayor questioned if there was a schedule for enforcement visits or was it a rota, or could town council just request them to attend more frequently. Cty Cllr Gilbert said they could request but the rota was rolling and the operatives only received their attendance daily, it changed on a daily basis so no one could predict where officers would be visiting. He would email the contact address for enforcement. Cllr Mrs Sinnott noted that the previous week she used the reporting system to report Market Street and had received a fast response to say that the enforcement officer had taken 35 tickets after her request. During Covid 19 the lack of enforcement had meant that people were used to parking anywhere but this would be dealt with.
Cllr Miss Ward found it interesting as last week at North Sands she viewed a sign in the car park stating the only form of payment was by telephone but no one could get a phone signal in North Sands. Dist Cllr Long would take this matter up.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
Cllr Payne joined the meeting having had trouble logging in.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce emailed as she could not be present at this meeting. She advised that the District external audit was closing now and it looked like the council had a surplus of £112k which would immediately go towards plugging the huge hole they had in this year’s budget. A lot more was required but District would be working on that over the summer. Government was only going to reimburse 75% of lost fees and charges over the first 5% loss for District which totaled about 28.5% loss to be borne by District Council. At the moment that looked like about £1.3 million pounds deficit on the budget as set for this year, but it was still a moving feast depending on how the Covid pandemic went forward.
She hoped the removal of cars on Whitestrand was proving successful and could only apologise for the problems there had been emptying bins around Salcombe over the last. Enforcement officers were set up to catch any overnight campers at North Sands car park this weekend due to the recent reports. She hoped District could open up the play equipment in Courtenay Park for the rest of high season as it had long been her desire that the completely outdated play equipment should be replaced, both for the benefit of local children and young visitors.
Dist Cllr Long referred to the discretionary grants to businesses and noted final payments were being made this week and hopefully 400 businesses would have received payment. Some businesses in the early tranche would be receiving more. There had been a good response from businesses that had received discretionary grants as they had not been eligible for any other Government payments.
Bins, dog bins and road sweeping had been on his agenda for the past few weeks. Issues with bins and timings of collection head meant there was a meeting that day between District officers and FCC over timing of collection and response by employees being patchy with weekends being poor. He was awaiting that outcome. There was supposed to be road sweeping but over the weekend the road sweeper had only done a litter pick and there were bits scattered everywhere. This was a perennial problem and he felt they must increase the capacity of the bins and increase collection. He observed Whitestrand with those coming in late off beaches and getting off at Normandy Pontoon and dropping off their rubbish as they came up Normandy circa 6p.m. so by 8p.m the bins were full. Therefore each morning there was a lot of rubbish around Whitestrand. He had seen the Kings Arms staff going around in the morning picking which he was grateful for. At North Sands it was the same situation with volume and capacity. Over this weekend District would be having two members of council staff coming in from localities and/or enforcement walking through town to monitor street sweeping/bins, monitoring and asking people to put dogs on leads as they were required to. They had ability to issue on the spot fines if people refused. Extended leads were not a dog under control.
Cllr Fice referred to bin emptying as suddenly they had stopped having late or early evening collections and the last few days they had not been emptied early evening. Dist Cllr Long asked if a text could be sent to let him know of problems and he could report them directly. Responses had been lack of staff, vehicle breaks down, agency staff and all the usual excuses but he felt District had outsourced to cover these problems. Dist Cllr Long did not believe they were carrying out the contract but paid compliment to those faithful retainers who previously worked for District Council and moved across, as it was obvious when they were on shift. It was questioned how to stop people putting their household rubbish in pubic bins to which Dist Cllr Long responded that ‘if you figure it out let us know’. In one case where someone was spotted and a photograph taken they were given a £100 fine for fly tipping. The problem was they must be caught at it. When out on patrol on Saturday and Sunday the officer would have gloves and would try to ascertain who had dumped their rubbish. It was acknowledged that most cases were down to instructions left in rented properties.
Cllr Miss Ward advised that she Dist Cllr Long and Cllr Moore had met with Hayley, District Waste Officer, to talk about bins and asked if the officer had reported back. The report was due following day after the meeting with FCC. Walking into Whitestrand car park there were nine bins of four different types and still they had rubbish around them. During Covid everybody were using cafes etc and District had to try to identify which takeaway this was. The Winking Prawn cleared up around their property and car park, as the Kings Arms was along with The Fort. These were businesses who were taking steps to look around their places. At North Sands the bins at the top of the car park were full and overflowing but the recycling bins the other end were empty. It was noted that there were Costa paper cups lying around which the nearby businesses did not use so where did they come from. It was noted they were in Co-op and Spar so obviously being taken down there and discarded.
Dist Cllr Long highlighted alcohol free zones around town and had spoken to licensing, read the Act and established ESPOs and zones prohibited drinking in streets in hot spot areas. It was there an offence to continue to drink when asked not to do so by authorised people and it was an offence to fail to surrender alcohol. This was the bit that nobody understood as it should be noted that such zone cannot ban drinking, the offence was failing to comply with a request to stop or surrender. People could drink but must adhere to behavioral expectation. Alcohol Free Zone was a bad naming.
Dist Cllr Long had raised a matter by email, the suggestion that the newly installed play equipment at Courtenay Park remain fenced till the end of August to reduce anti-social behaviour in this area during the events. Access could be allowed during the day by opening one section of fencing.
Cllr Hatch felt that such opening could not be policed. It was advised that a local neighbour had offered to open and lock up. The concern was that no one wanted the new equipment damaged nor to have broken glass where children ran around bare foot. Cllr Hainey felt the area should be opened and everyone to be positive otherwise they were just giving in and depriving children of something special. He firmly believed after reading the emails it should just be opened. It would attract more vandalism if it was fenced off. Cllr Mrs Sinnott felt completely the opposite and if neighbours could open and shut the area it could be reviewed in a few weeks especially with youngsters around drinking alcohol. Cllr Fice agreed it should be open as the same issue might happen the next year and he did not feel that those vandalising around town were visitors. Brand new equipment left with heras fencing did not entice people to use it. Cllr Mrs Bricknell agreed it should be opened and had three residents living above the park that had offered to pay for fencing and would pay for it to be maintained around the perimeter of the actual park. This was to ensure no dogs. Cllr Miss Ward also agreed to open the park as it could be vandalised all year round and she supported the need for a fence due to dog mess. Cllr Hatch wanted more police attendance but to open the park as there was no point in spending money and keeping the area contained, everyone must get in there and enjoy. Cllr Mrs Bricknell wanted all the local children to be invited down for the opening with something in the Gazette. The Mayor sympathized but due to Covid not allowing crowds felt that it would need to be a soft opening. Cllr Moore referred to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce’s email and the points therein were correct and the park should be opened. He observed that it was quite normal for some parks to be closed at dusk so that was no big problem but the town needed to face head on any antisocial problem. Open it, fence it, try and close in evening and deal with dogs and vandals. Cllr Payne felt that the park should be opened but perhaps they needed to bring in security. Maybe shut it later and secure it with a patrol. Dist Cllr Long had experienced the paranoia being in town till midnight and seeing the behaviour and broken bottles, he agreed with everyone to take the heras away would need guaranteed attendance of a road sweeper and bin emptying first thing in the morning due to broken bottles. It was probably local but certainly some visitors. If all agreed, which they did, he would ask District to remove the heras on Monday or Tuesday. It was noted the neighbour to the park had already found four people using the park before it was officially deemed open and thrown them out.
The Minutes of the online meeting dated 8th July 2020 were approved to be duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
4. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The applications below were considered by councillors and the following response submitted to District Planning by the Town Clerk under delegated authority:
• 1724/20/HHO Householder application for single and two storey extensions The Valley House, Sandhills Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JP – Response 14th August – No comment.
• 1913/20/HHO Householder application for alterations to dwelling Carrswood, Fortescue Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8AP – Response 7th August – No comment.
• 2002/20/FUL Proposed access bridge and entrance 3 Stonehanger Court, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HJ – Response 14th August – No comment.
• 2016/20/LBC Listed building consent for minor internal alterations (amendment to 3525/18/LBC) Boatyard Building, Thorning Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DW – Response 14th August – No comment.
• 3391/19/HHO Appeal reference: APP/K1128/D/20/3250594 Proposal: Householder application for rebuilding of boundary wall following partial collapse (Retrospective) Cheesewring, Sandhills Road, SALCOMBE, TQ8 8JP Appellants Name: Mrs Sheila Jansen Appeal start date: 29th June 2020. Comments as previously made remain.
• 0313/20/HHO Appeal reference: APP/K1128/D/20/3250424 Proposal: Householder application for construction of garage and associated worksn: “2 Devon Villas”, Devon Road, Salcombe Appellants Name: Mr & Mrs Brian Lavender Appeal start date: 29th June 2020
Support as given remains.
Cllr Fice referred at a previous meeting to an area of land adjacent to Batson Hill, below the new development, where four market houses and six affordable had been proposed and he responded these sat within the separation policy in the Neighbourhood plan. The six affordable were removed from the offer and it was now proposed that four market houses be placed on the land which had been removed from the separation land. Access was questioned and the footpath discussed with regard to landscaping and better connectivity to the town.
A suitable response was that town council were not supportive of market houses on this site and to remind the person querying of the principal residence policy. Cllr Long asked if a pre application discussion with District planners had taken place, as he was not aware of such, and being within the AONB basically it would have to be an exception site sitting outside the development boundary. The JLP refused houses in the AONB unless they were exception sites. Cllr Moore referred to the Prince’s Trust and that it was strong on settlement separation and felt a response should refer to this. Cllr Hatch noted that going down Batson Hill there was a large soakaway and again halfway up. Just by that entrance was where water was supposed to go in the field and he would include these as highway issues. Overall it was not an appropriate site for development, highways issues, location and being outside the development boundary and therefore guidance must be sought with a pre application with District. The water supply for the council houses went through this land but this was technical rather than a planning issue.
The development chaos around Spion Lodge due to deliveries and turnings was raised along with the fact that actually there were five developments in that location with Plantation House, Mariners, Uppercot, Spion Lodge and another. The property was being taken down quickly and the Construction Management Plan had a requirement to inform on issues. There had been a couple of occasions that heavy plant delayed movement and Dist Cllr Long noted this for these were small roads and tight especially for the time of year, but this was not a planning matter with Government pushing ever forward on development. If works continued to hold up movement he could go for a breach of condition but he had been provided with all contractors mobile numbers so could call and talk to them on any issues.
Andy Hainey had to leave meeting due to personal commitments.
5. DELEGATED AUTHORITY FOR PLANNING
The continued delegated authority to the Clerk to respond to planning applications received during the August recess to comply with planning response times, following observations received from councillors was AGREED.
Cllr Fice advised he would send around a list of matters raised for discussion for all councillors to input on during August.
6. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
A statement to be sent to SHDC to formally request a modification to SALC H3 re the Principal Residence requirement was proposed and AGREED.
7. RENT HOLIDAY
The recent rent holiday allowed during the Covid pandemic for the following was AGREED to be amended as follows:
(a) Salcombe Maritime Museum – No rent for 2020-21 would be requested and thus no any application for a grant would be considered during this term.
(b) Salcombe Information Centre – Staff were paid the 20% on top of the Government 80% furlough payment. As most income received would be through the next advertising guide, for which work would start again in September, it would probably be a difficult year as many businesses might not be able to afford to advertise next year. Town Council would revisit the rent at their October meeting and would formally request a financial statement of their affairs at that point to assist this decision.
(c) Harbour Hotel parking at Bonfire Hill – Town Council to commence charging for use of the parking area from August – October.
The town council insurance had been reviewed by telephone and the cover for travel removed giving a saving of £400 along with an increase to fidelity to cover all monies held by town council at an increase of £10. It was ntoed that there was still an increase in premium of about £11 so this would be questioned but otherwise APPROVED for the annual payment.
The Mayor advised she and her husband completed spray painting footprints along Island Street and Cliff Road. Additional signs approved were obtained and fitted. She and the Clerk met with the Highway Officer on 15th July to go through the TTRN and discuss enforcement and thereafter she and the clerk walked the town and checked all signs. On Saturday morning she met with Chris Howell on the air field due to major concerns regarding the landing of a commercial Castle Air Helicopter landing at Salcombe rugby club. She had since written to the Rugby Club and would await a response but intended to put in an official complaint as this company did not follow regulations. They should not have been flying over such a densely populated area as they must always consider where they would land if an emergency occurred.
She attended the Devon County Webinar regarding an electric vehicle charging network across Devon. She would in due course forward slides from this presentation but felt it was early days, complicated, expensive and there were so many options. The reason for viewing this webinar was tied into the approach made by County for use/installation at the park and ride field.
On the forthcoming Tuesday the Mayor advised she had arranged a walk around town with Insp Nicky Baker who would be in attendance for 1.5hours. She did not want to overwhelm the meeting with too many people so asked councillors to email any points or concerns and she would collate these and advise. Dist Cllr Long had been invited to this meeting so matters could be raised with him beforehand also.
The Mayor requested noted that Pete Robinson had been asked to keep a record of planning responses from town council and decisions at District to compare final decisions. She requested that a comparison report be provided in relation to response to understand and consider opposing views. Pete Robinson noted this and advised producing such would be no problem.
• Cllr Fice – Had intended to raise an issue with regard to the lack of police presence in town but felt that if the Inspector was to visit he would send an email of concerns especially in relation to underage drinking which appeared ridiculous this year. The Citizen of the Year nomination request was on the website and Facebook but he wondered about putting something in the Gazette. The Town Clerk would ask if inclusion of an article was possible.
• Cllr Long – Advised that he and Pete Robinson walked round of all of the land at the Berry, Bonaventure, Redfern, Cemeteries and any boundary walk to primarily to look at ash trees and their condition. There was a large 40 foot one in Redfern Woods and 4 smaller ones at The Berry which would need to be removed due to ash die back. The report would be circulated for September and quotes for this obtained. Consideration needed to be given to the number of ash trees at Town Council properties and whether there should there be an arboricultural survey to check all. Redfern and Bonaventure trees could fall onto roads and at the Berry there were footpaths etc. Initially there were only four but not to the level of 30% that wanted action. An expert survey was required for which quotes would be obtained. The trees of concern were now marked and Cllr Long wondered whether there should be a notice to advise that these had been identified to warn people with felling during the autumn.
• Cllr Miss Ward – Noted the large weeds and that nobody was doing this work and they were getting two foot high. Cllr Long noted the District comment regarding spraying and no payment had been made by town council and felt it was an odd cop out for District to cite sweeping after spraying etc. Money was set aside and contrary to what Cllr Long was told as to why District was not weed spraying their operatives were still trained to do this. If they died off when sprayed and were swept District felt they would be gone but Town Council felt last year areas were missed. Cllr Long said he would get back to District and if areas were sprayed and needed sweeping this could be request from FCC within the contract. Cllr Miss Ward advised that from Grenville Road down weeds were 2 ft high.
• Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Had received a weeds complaint along the lane but the message explained nothing about the location. She had asked about placing planters at the top of Courtenay Park. The old planters were gone but the Clerk had asked and had new planters along with compost arranged by District and the plants were to be donated so all would arrive.
• Cllr Moore – Meeting noted his meeting with Hayley from District regarding bin provision and collection along with Cllr Long and Miss Ward. Little new was discussed and she was new to the area and impressed with the town. One statement she made was more bins meant more rubbish! District was not providing any more bins so their strategy was for standardisation. If all were black bins this would effectively double capacity. Dist Cllr Long would ensure they matched and were a good size as the town would look nicer. Cllr Moore had provided Captain Morgans with a seagull bag to help in the meantime. He also noted that the increase in huge takeaway pizza boxes was a causing the problem. All takeaways were semi responsible and should do a litter pick after they closed. Dist Cllr Long noted Captain Flints and The Fort were also doing takeaway pizza so officers needed to identify where the main amount of rubbish was coming from but he would mention this to locality and enforcement officers to call in and ask the business to pay greater attention and get a member of staff for each walking around clearing up pizza boxes. The previous day there had been four pizza boxes left on the benches by Whitestrand and yet there was a bin there. Also the fish and chip shop provided meals in boxes rather than paper.
• Cllr Payne – With regard to the police he asked what was happening regarding the madness in town with fights and complete disorder. Walking to Whitestrand it was like a major town and no one was taking any notice. The Mayor advised that the police inspector was coming down and this point would be raised. Cllr Payne continued that if the police could not handle the problem what about private security personnel. Salcombe wanted to encourage people to observe acceptable behaviour otherwise they would end up with a bad reputation. Cllr Miss Ward noted that Salcombe was dubbed the English Magaluf the previous week.
• Adam Keay had advised that The Wardroom pavement licence had been withdrawn.
• Suggestion received that the wall of Jubilee Gardens opposite the park and ride entrance be added into the Covid TTRO as no parking, loading etc. Mayor noted cars with trailers blocking the access to the junction. Mike agreed as a temporary but felt it was a requirement going forward. Best free space for a camper van!
• County and District had been approached with regard to the planters to be created on the pavement above Courtenay Park. Cllr Mrs Bricknell was kindly planting these out but the old planters had been removed. County advised that this land was District. The District officer dealing with the installation of the play equipment acknowledged that the old planters had been removed and had offered two replacement ones from the yard. Cllr Mrs Bricknell had agreed these and would plant them up having been given the go ahead by District.
• It had been noted that bus drivers were not wearing masks and customers asked why they should do so if the driver did not. Tally Ho advised that the Department of Transport guidance was that drivers should wear a mask when taking passengers on but no mask should be worn in case it obstructed vision whilst driving.
• A report was received of one user not being able to make payment at the town council car park due to the App service. A complaint to enforcement at County had advised that a tender had gone out and the service would be switching to a new provider, Ringo, on the 1st August 2020. It was advised that the phone number should transfer and remain constant.
Current Account £501.00
Deposit Account £435,186.06
APPROVED Internet payments to:
Banner Kid – TTRN signs and banners £217.14
HMRC – Tax and NI £766.14
NEST – Pensions £177.01
PayPoint – Mobile phone top up £10.00
Amazon – Brother Yellow Inkjet Cartridge Yellow £15.98
Wages – £1808.57
C. Wood – Hawk final payment £660.00
11. NEXT MEETING
Town Council meetings recess during August so the next Town Council Meeting would be held at 6.30p.m. on Wednesday 9th September.
……………………………………………….. 22nd July 2020.
Meeting ended: 20.32 p.m.