COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – Mayor (in the Chair) *
Cllr. M. Fice *
Cllr T. Lang N
Cllr R. Moore *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott *
Cllr M. Long (also District Councillor) *
Cllr I. Hatch A
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne A
Cllr Miss D. Ward A
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
Tom Ladds Kingsbridge Gazette *
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.
2. OPEN FORUM
No member of the public being present this was dispensed with.
District and County Councillor Reports
Cllr Gilbert advised there was a £4.5 million overspend at County due to Covid arrangements and this would reduce reserves. Ash die back was taken effect and would cost in the region of £1.3million to carry out works. He noted the concerns with regard to the status of Beadon Road and felt everyone was more informed following the information forwarded on by Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce. Bennett Road vegetation overgrowth had been discussed with the Highway Officer and works necessary would be done by a contractor.
On the Plymouth Road tree cutting was due to start in November so there would be delays for traffic as this was a huge job.
Cllr Mrs Sinnott had problems logging in and joined at this point.
He enquired how the ticket arrangements at the park and ride were going after the bad start due to faulty machines and change of provider for the payment APP. All felt that no news, or complaints, was good news and Cllr Mrs Sinnott noted it had been a lot easier at the Tourist Information Centre since the change to the system.
Cllr Fice complimented County on the works being done at Ditch End where the road was undermined, a wonderful job and looked splendid. This had cost Cty Cllr Gilbert about £30,000 from his County budget and he was happy it was being done and appreciated. Cty Cllr Gilbert thanked everyone for all they were doing for the town and looked forward to meeting everyone when group meetings were possible again.
Cllr Mrs Pearce started by advising of the opening of Courtenay Park which had been a nice day and she felt that the children were having a great time using the new play equipment.
She had forwarded to the Clerk an interactive map advising about bin collection rounds changing and this would be circulated. This would commence from 5th October and some were changing collection days and some bins and day. The reason was that District was starting new recycling in the Spring. This had been due earlier but due to all sorts of Covid closures had not but meanwhile they were rationalising the rounds. Teams would spend longer at the kerbside at each property as they would be collecting a lot more things. For some during the changeover they may have two weeks collection of either brown or black bins but this would then settle into a rota. Every household would get a letter which clearly set out everything and for any problems there would be a catch up ability and District would pick up. The District changed shape when new houses were built so that routes became overloaded or underused.
The District Covid deficit was £1.3million and District had been hit a lot harder as County had huge amounts of Government Grant for PPE and other services. The first payments made were per capita and she believed that rural areas had a harder time due to distance travelled but they were getting a further £1.4 million although they had to dip into reserves. They had managed to take most expenditure out of ear marked reserves so far.
Cllr Hainey joined the meeting at this point.
The Covid Recovery plan was going to Executive the following week to be finalised in December.
There was a Devon Local Management Outbreak Plan on the Devon County website and a Covid page where information was provided as to how many cases there were with up to date information for hot spots. Currently there were only two cases in South Hams over the last week whereas the previous week it was seven. In Salcombe so far there had been no outbreak that had been caused by holidaymakers or visitors. Outbreaks were 18-30yrs returning from Greece and Spain. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt that there could not have been more done in Salcombe than had been put in by Town Council.
She apologised for Bottle Banks not being emptied before the Bank Holiday. Litter bins were under better control but it was a hard job with the amount of takeaway packaging this summer. The tonnage of waste collected was four times the equivalent per week than the year. Locality officers had being doing well patrolling and reporting in. Early morning patrols had meant that people camping at North Sands car park were ticketed. At Beadon Road a report by County footpaths in 2004 was sent to her but the long and short of it was that there was access from both ends of Beadon Road for properties that accessed on to the road. Beadon Lane was paid for by properties that fronted it as they owned into the middle of the track. The other side of the track was a bit of a muddle.
Dist Cllr Long acknowledged bin emptying and felt a positive for August rubbish collection was having operative crews over Saturday, Sunday and Monday who only serviced Salcombe. They had also logged additional commercial waste that was not picked up with one operative in place who was so good that if he saw anything he picked it up.
For toilets they had a good set of operatives going through who were conscientious but late evenings after clean up users had complained but this was some poor users as operatives were fantastic. Locality officers went through every weekend and during the week checking everything and advising people (dog walkers with dogs not on leads) checking shops and businesses compliance so that the two things together of foot teams and operatives made things far better and there were fewer problems in August than previously! He felt District needed to build on these lessons for following years.
St. Dunstans play area heras would remain in place until the rope bridge was replaced as it was corroding. This would take 5-6 weeks. Works were underway on the old hockey pitch with ash being removed due to ash die back. One half was done but once they went higher there was a pigeon nesting and sitting so they had to leave. They would be returning 2-4th November so people would see a substantial amount of ash coming down. The boundary bank on the hockey pitch was overgrown so this would be substantially cut back. An Oak in Courtenay Park was being crown lifted due to the play equipment as he had discussed. They could not do too much in one go because of tree shock but would do this then monitor and progress on the landscaping plan.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
Dist Cllr Long continued that at Development Management the Thorning Street boat yard application to change to upper residential and lower marine storage was heard but unfortunately the vote went 7 to 5 to allowing this. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce spoke in favour of the application and he spoke against. With discussion taking 1.5hrs the Mayor did her bit but it was frustrating as some comments from other District Councillors seemed they were not aware of the damage this decision would do to the employment area in Salcombe.
Cllr Fice advised he had been listening to the Harbour Radio and wished to compliment the Harbour employees in dealing with local people and visiting yachts as how they dealt with some difficult conversations portraying a good imagine of the town. Dist Cllr Long said he would pass this comment back and noted the harbour staff caught someone from nearby flats using a dingy to go to harbour bins. So misuse was the other way round this time and enforcement were advised.
The Minutes of the online meeting dated 22nd 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:
• 1602/20/HHO Householder application for proposed rear extension 9 Croft Road Salcombe TQ8 8DZ – Response 27th August – No comment
• 2111/20/FUL Replacement first floor window 70 Normandy Watch, Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8BU – Response 4th September – Objection as this design of window was not conducive to the Conservation Area, it was also contrary to Salcombe Neighbourhood Plan policy B1 as it did not integrate with the local surroundings
• 2189/20/HHO Householder application for replacement first and second floor rear balconies. Garden level French doors and extended patio 10 Egremont Terrace, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8EZ – Response 28th August – No comment
• 2230/20/VAR Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of householder consent 0664/20/HHO to amend the proposed access Rockledge, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HJ – Response 28th August – No comment
• 2325/20/FUL Replacement dwelling with associated landscape work (application to resubmit and renew details as previously conditionally approved under planning consent 1125/17/FUL) Sandnes, Beadon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LU – Response 4th September – No objection but town council required a Construction Management Plan prior to work commencing
• 2341/20/HHO Householder application for addition of rear dormer 42 St Dunstans Road Salcombe TQ8 8AN – Response 27th August – No comment
• 3678/19/HHO Appeal reference: APP/K1128/W/20/3246818 Householder application for installation of 2 roof dormers, 1 Strand Court, Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8ET Appellants name: Mrs Carolyn Hovey Appeal start date: 21st July 2020. Due to a problem with IT systems the Salcombe Town Council comment on this application was not recorded on the South Hams District Council planning system. Town Council would like to put forward their original comment – Objection as this proposal would have a negative impact on the roofline and detract from the original design which was to replicate the previous boatyard. This was contrary to NDP policy B1 in respect of being in keeping with the local area.
The applications below were considered by councillors and responses submitted to District Planning.
• 0434/20/FUL READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plans Received – addition of photovoltaic panels and cycle storage) Demolition of existing buildings, retention of southern boundary wall and quay, erection of building containing commercial units and 4no. residential units, associated car parking Brewery Quay, Island Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DP – Response 11th September – Objection as although Town Council do not have a problem with the proposed changes re solar panels and cycle storage, their original objection of 4th March 2020 should be taken into account and reiterated.
• 2315/20/HHO Householder application for proposed works to external cladding material Alveston, Kingsale Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8AS – Response 11th September – No comment.
• 2344/20/HHO Householder application for erection of a timber outbuilding to provide the appropriate bat mitigation Sandnes, Beadon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LU – 11th September – Objection as Town Council did not have a problem with the bat house but felt that this application should be deferred until the main house application (4063/19) had been determined.
• 2407/20/VAR Application for variation of condition 2 of planning permission 1721/19/FUL Resubmission of 0641/20/VAR) Middle Deck Flat 2, Gardenhurst, Raleigh Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8BH – Response 18th September – No comment.
• 2497/20/HHO Householder application for proposed rebuilding of upper level of existing boathouse and alterations to proposed garage permitted under planning permission 0996/17/FUL Westcombe, Lower Batson, TQ8 8NP – Response 24th September – Whilst there was no problem with the proposed work Town Council requested a condition that the boathouse remained ancillary to the main dwelling.
• 2555/20/VAR Application for variation of condition 2 of planning permission 0926/20/FUL Rockledge, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HJ – Response 24th September – No comment.
• 2567/20/HHO Householder application for proposed formation of outdoor swimming pool in garden lawn Highwood, Moult Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LG – Response 1st October – No comment.
TREE PRESERVATION ORDER WORKS
• 2636/20/TPO T416: Ash – Fell due to ash dieback and decay Land At Sx 735 385 Devon Road, Salcombe –No objection to the felling but town council suggesting it should not be cut fully to ground level but leave a standing stump that could die back and provide habitat. A replant requirement for perhaps beech or oak should be made close by.
Cllr Fice advised that he had noticed when viewed from the water that a lot of trees within Plantation Wood had gone and now there was a good view from the Rough. Cllr Long noted that a beech tree lost a large limb that split away and due to way it split and other limbs doing the same it had to be felled. No one had wanted it down but it came down of its own accord. Sadly with the age of the tree along with ash dieback there was a need for replanting around Salcombe.
PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE – nothing further received.
5. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROPOSED MODIFICATION
It was advised that there was a lot more work involved than Town Council were advised as it now appeared that a public consultation would be required before submitting the amendment to District Planning. It would then need to be reviewed by an independent examiner. If District Officers would not support the amendment it would be hard for an independent examiner to approve something not supported by the local planning authority.
Development Management and the S106 Officer had said this proposal could be achieved with a planning condition. Cllr Long noted that agents or applicants would not enter into a Section 106 if it was not specified in a Neigbhourhood Plan. It was AGREED that Cllr Long would take this matter up directly with Pat Whymer as he felt Town Council should have a Section 106 in their plan for principal residence. Thurlestone had this in their plan so why would District Council not support Salcombe.
A decision on whether to proceed would be DEFERRED until the next meeting for Cllr Long to report back.
Cllr Long left the meeting after the parking permits had been brought forward to be discussed here.
6. CITY SECURITY
It was AGREED that the decision to select City Security out of the quotes received, from companies approached, to provide two teams of street wardens for each evening till the end of the peak summer season be approved. This service finished 6th September with an outlay of £7168.00 plus VAT. It was acknowledged that the company did a good job.
7. WHITESTRAND CAR PARK
A response already provided to District was AGREED as follows; that Town Council could not fund District providing Whitestrand parking area for outside seating and this must be a District decision whether they extend.
8. DISTRICT PARKING PERMITS
The consultation proposals had been forwarded to town council and a response to District Council by 11th September was sent as follows;
Town Council did not understand the District reasoning for increases and noted that Dartmouth and Salcombe had always had the highest rate charged for permits so why increase their rate. As District was not issuing any new licences then it would be the same people applying and what was the point for Salcombe to be higher than rest of the District especially considering Totnes. The people currently working in town on lower salaries or who lived in Salcombe would not change so the ratio of parking spaces available would remain the same.
South Hams residents permits could be used from 4p.m to 10a.m. so what was the justification for increase in these as they were meant for residents not visitors; this was just penalising council tax payers. A suggestion was District could restrict the amount of permits allowed per house. During peak times the boat car park could be used to increase parking for day visitors as it was not in use for boats. It was acknowledged that District and County Council were being squeezed on budgets but some of the suggested rises were counterproductive for community and businesses. Various comments received from the community relating to permits increasing were noted and the businesses were notably upset. The continued use of Salcombe for District income only happened due to the amount of visitors. People wanted to park for a few hours near to town but found there was no parking yet for those who lived in Salcombe they could not afford what was being proposed. Holiday homes were a business and applied for a permit but charged for recompense through their rent fee. However the businesses in situ that served the visitors would find that if this increase came in they would be unable to get staff or provide parking and the cash cow would die. Comments were received with regard to on street residential parking but this was a County matter and just noted.
9. CIVIC EVENTS
Due to the Covid restrictions on meeting and size of groups various scenarios and options in providing annual civic events during the current restrictions were considered and it was AGREED to continually review what could be possible but presently the following would apply;
(a) Civic Lunch – postpone to 2021 be able to properly celebrate and as no nominations for Citizen of the Year received leave this also to 2021.
(b) Remembrance Sunday – There was a need to mark this as a Remembrance Day and wreaths would be laid by a small representation of the Vicar, and a couple of additional layers. This would be amended depending on Government recommendation in November.
The Mayor noted that much of what she had been doing since the last council meeting had already gone out into the public realm:
1. BBC interview with Jonathan Morris on the 24th July
2. Walk around town with police Inspector Nicky Baker, Dist Cllr Mark Long and Town Clerk, 28th July
3. On 30th July Cllr Fice and she signed the Lease for the offices at Cliff House, and she completed the Statutory Declaration in front of a solicitor with respect to Sections 24 to 28 of the Landlord and Tenant Act – specifically that the removed the right of tenure at the end of the lease period, as with the previous lease.
4. Walk around town with Anthony Mangnall MP, Dist Cllr Judy Pearce and police Sergeant James Timmis on the 7th August
5. On the 13th August she cut the ribbon at the official, very low key Covid-secure and socially distanced, opening of Courtenay Park after its redevelopment. Also attending were the two Salcombe District Councillors, the new Chief Executive of District Council, Andy Bates, Alexis Huggins who oversaw the project, two representatives from Wicksteed, who were awarded the contract, Angela Cater who kept a close eye on the area during lockdown and kept the new grass alive, and Judy Pearce’s delightful grandchildren. Luckily, it was a sunny afternoon after the poor forecast, and the park had enough families using it when everyone arrived for there to be a lovely atmosphere despite not being able to make it a really big occasion.
6. The complaint the Mayor made regarding the Castle Air helicopter landing on the 17th July was followed up by the Civil Aviation Authority. They did not actually address the specific concerns raised by the local flying club about the suitability of using the rugby field, located as it was in the middle of a densely populated residential area when there were more suitable large fields very close by, and a perfectly satisfactory official airstrip also very close by, even allowing for Castle Air being banned from there for routinely not following official regulations. She had received an answer from the CAA on the 19th August that they would not be taking the matter any further.
7. On the 29th August she participated in a promotional video for the Information Centre aimed at reassuring Salcombe visitors that everyone was doing their utmost to make them safe and welcome. This involved singing new words to the tune of ‘Go West’ by the Pet Shop Boys – she apologised to everyone in advance of hearing it!
8. She attended the Devon Communities webinar with the Clerk on the 2nd September, entitled Devon’s Local Outbreak Management Plan and Your Community.
9. At Jayne Lavender’s request, on the 3rd September she met with Dist Cllr Mark Long, and Cllr Mrs Bricknell at Courtenay Park to discuss the park and as yet unfinished grounds maintenance situation. Jayne also raised the issues of lighting and the lack of dropped kerbs on the Devon Road pavements making accessing Baptist Lane and the park difficult for wheelchair and pushchair users, which would be raised with Devon County Council.
Cllr Fice noted the mixed messages from police inferring there was not enough crime in Salcombe for police to attend so everyone report everything via 101 and then a message from Sgt Timmis that this was overloading their reporting system. Once Salcombe Town Council put in place private security at a cost then the police attended. The mayor invited Cllr Fice to join a proposed meeting with the police and other agencies.
Cllr Moore requested a town council group debrief to discuss what did and did not work over the summer season.
• Cllr Fice – Letter received from a property owner at Victoria Quay about the sea wall under the quay noted there were lots of holes and this had been raised before. This letter was addressed to him as a town councillor together with comments on the path around to Victoria Quay so he had passed this to District and advised the correspondent that he had done this. The correspondent then responded referring to the other quay around the outside and he replied this was private property. So this was for information only as not a town council matter.
He continued that the Finance Group had been advised that the NALC contract pay scales had been increased by 2.75% from 1st April so this back dated element and increase would be applied to staff wages. Town Council had pre budgeted for more than this so it should be effected. All agreed.
• Cllr Moore – At Island Street he noted the road sweeper was keeping weeds down. He enquired what was happening regarding weed spraying. The Clerk advised that District had pulled this service but not advised until it was too late to implement anything for this year.
• Cllr Hainey – A house was sold in Ember close and he believed it had an 80% tie but no one had heard anything. He asked Town Council to raise the question as to how this could be sold on the open market as if it was allowed now the Community Land Trust may have problems keeping their housing stock in future.
• Cllr Mrs Sinnott – She had been advised that the Creek Car Park was congested but the boat park remained empty so day visitors were coming in and being unable to park leaving. Could this issue be addressed during these unusual times and allow people to park in the boat park. The two seats along Devon Road above the woodland area provided a lovely view. However someone, a home owner in front, had planted leylandii and this would grow tall quickly and the view might be obscured.
• Cty Cllr Gilbert had discussed the overgrown vegetation on Bennett Road with County Highways and it was hoped that a private contractor would be engaged to carry out these works as it had been impossible to contact the property owner.
• Chris Brook, District Place and Enterprise Office, had spoken with Kathy Harrod for the Chamber of Commerce with regard to holding a Zoom meeting regarding District capturing contacts for businesses in Kingsbridge and Salcombe so District could engage and better understand what support or lobbying was required. Kathy Harrod had emailed asking whether the town Mayors and Clerks of Kingsbridge, Salcombe and Modbury would be available on 30th September or 1st October, 2p.m. onwards, but no contact had been made directly with the town clerks so no further information was available.
• District Council were to review their South Hams and West Devon Playing Pitch Strategy. The consultants had made contact to introduce them and ask for a telephone discussion or response to questions. They had advised that no input from the clubs was required at present but without that information the responses might be misleading. Kingsbridge Town Council had received the same request and it had been suggested that a meeting to discuss might be more beneficial. Further feedback was awaited.
• Devon County was running a scheme to compliment their Devon Climate Strategy to incentivise homeowners to install solar panels and enter into collective purchasing of the equipment required. Homeowners were to be asked to register their interest in such scheme.
• Caroline Flage, Lecturer in Art and Design at Plymouth University wished to set up a Community Interest Company to promote community arts and activities and had asked whether she could utilise the Shadycombe Mortuary building.
• Due to Government releasing confirmation that Town Councils were eligible for the COVID grant scheme, if they met the criteria, District Council Accounts had reviewed the Town Council account. Town Cuncil did not meet the criteria but it also highlighted that Town Council were not eligible for rate relief on the Council Office. However since the initial letter Cllr Fice had advised and District Accounts realised ahead of a communication that whilst the office payment needed to be paid the car park field was in fact eligible. Therefore back dated calculations had been completed and after payment for the Council Office was deducted from the relief of the car park Town Council was to reclaim a refund of £8,634.23.
Current Account £501.00
Deposit Account £421,310.57
Receipts: Bonfire Hill – Sims £850.00
Ratified August Internet payments to:
Banner Kid – Further TTRO signs to replace those vandalised £119.94
HMRC – August Tax and NI £766.14
NEST – August Pensions £177.01
Wages – August £1808.57
SHDC – June Maintenance £998.95
SHDC – Bonfire Hill Trade Waste Collection Sept. 2020 – August 2021 £459.27
SHDC – Berry Lease £1.00
City Security – Security patrol 12th – 23rd August £4320.00
APPROVED September Internet payments to:
Play Inspection – Annual report £78.00
City Security – Security patrol 24th August – 6th September £5040.00
Amazon – Wireless Mouse replacement for project officer £9.99
Pear Technology – Annual Technical Support and Software updates for cemetery program £270.00
SHDC – August Maintenance £998.95
12. NEXT MEETING
Town Council meetings recess during August so the next Town Council Meeting would be held at 6.30p.m. on Wednesday 23rd September.
……………………………………………….. 23rd September 2020.
Meeting ended: 19.50 p.m.