COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – Mayor (in the Chair) *
Cllr. M. Fice *
Cllr Mrs Bricknell *
Cllr R. Moore *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott *
Cllr I. Hatch *
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne *
Cllr Miss D. Ward *
Cllr P. Lafferty-Holt *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce A
Dist Cllr M. Long *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
Tom Ladds Kingsbridge Gazette A
WPC Jo Pengilly N
The Mayor welcomed everyone and wished them a Happy New Year.
Before commencing with the agenda, she advised officially that Tony Lang had, by virtue of the 6 month rule, resigned his seat on Town Council. She thanked him for all his years of commitment to the council and his hard work as the Footpath Warden.
Additionally, she had sadly accepted Mark Long’s resignation from Town Council. She thanked him also for all his hard work, particularly in relation to town woodlands and open spaces, but understood the pressures of being on two councils and not being able to give 100% to both. Luckily for Salcombe Mark was still one of the District Councillors and town voluntary Tree Warden, so everyone would see very little difference as he would continue to attend council meetings, and would still be called upon to help on a whole range of issues that the town faced.
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.
2. OPEN FORUM
No members of the public being present this was dispensed with.
District and County Councillor Reports
Cty Cllr Gilbert emailed the following report earlier so it could be circulated. He hoped that the pay n display monies would have been sorted. He advised he had corresponded with a Mr. Lewis re flooding in Thorning Street and following this a budget had been applied for and hopefully work would be carried out this year.
The Department of Education were providing devices (laptops and tablets) for disadvantaged children who:
a) Had no digital devices in the home
b) Only had a smart phone
c) Only a single device in the home.
He had also sent the latest information on superfast fibre to the premise for broadband delivery and advised that recycling centres were to remain open through this lockdown. Highways had a lot of flooding damage to clear up after recent heavy rains.
At the meeting he advised he had been communicating with someone at Beadon Lane and resolved the enquiry and he would not go into detail but if anyone had issues in this area to check with Cty Cllr Gilbert first as this could save time. In his next report he would cover van permits to access recycling as this would be an easier system to ascertain when they would be charged or not and more descriptive for vehicles. Also the next report would cover finances as the County numbers were huge and did not mean a lot unless he advised of what was specific to this community. There was still a certain amount of debate as to whether local elections would go ahead on 6th May this year. Clarity would be needed by 20th February so they were waiting as there were conflicting reports. It was the consideration of Polling stations and Covid contact.
The Rural Travel Consultation email had been sent with a link and councillors could each decide whether to fill it in and take part.
Cllr Fice noted in Cty Cllr Gilbert’s report that he had hoped that Town Council Park & Ride monies would be sorted but they had not been. Cllr Fice wondered whether he should now go directly to Cty Cllr John Hart and if he did Cllr Gilbert asked to be included on this email as he had been doing his best. He continued that the officer had been doing his bit but somewhere, home working, someone was not doing their job. Initially Cty Cllr Gilbert suggested an email be sent to Meg Booth Head of Highways and copied to him so he could attach a footnote to add support to the complaint. Cllr Fice agreed he would do this and copy Chris Rook in too. Cty Cllr Gilbert felt it was a shame to see Mark Long and Tony Lang go as town councillors but was pleased Dist Cllr Mark Long continued to work hard with the town council.
Cllr Payne advised of a huge puddle adjacent to the park and ride cycle path when crossing from the P&R to the garage side heading to Malborough. People who were waiting for traffic to pass were getting drenched. Cty Cllr Gilbert asked Pete Robinson and Cllr Payne to take photographs to illustrate the problem.
Cllr Lafftery-Holt noted a lot of gullies were heavily blocked again, North Sands and central town ones were full of sediment. The Highway Officer should be contacted to advise when these are next to be done, much of the blockage was builders sediment.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
Dist Cllr Long noted a lot of changes since the last meeting from moving into Tier 3, then lockdown, along with Christmas, New Year and although he was back working on day 8 it felt like working week 8. With regard to Covid 19 this area was in a better position than the rest of the country but numbers were going up. Death rates were close to average. A Community testing program for A-symptomatic people was being nationally rolled out and then local key workers would be done first. They were developing sites for testing and hoping they might be based closer. Vaccinations planned networks were being established so there would no need to travel more than 10 miles by the end of January. There would be a 54,000 per week capacity in Devon with places in Plymouth and Exeter. District Council was looking at its own circumstances for officers out working and maintaining service as much as possible in the best way, like planning enforcement, locality officers etc. Everything depended on staff and their own personal circumstances with children, shielding etc.
Compliance officers had been in place over the festive period and were fairly busy during Christmas and New Year talking to pubs, restaurants and shops staff and checking things were in place to safeguard with 143 being visited between 23 December – 4th January with 10 noncompliance issues. They were still operating and offering advice to those able to stay open during lockdown. They were working with the police but if a complaint involved groups of people then it was for the police, if it was a premise probably Environmental Health and thereafter compliance officers. The previous day there was an announcement of new guidance with a potential increase in the enforcement role.
Business grants was key for people in this area with further assistance coming out similar to the first round but based on Rateable Value of premises. This was announced but District Council was awaiting guidance as to how it was to be operated. There were two other grants the National Lockdown Grant and a Discretionary grant for those not mandated to close but restricted. Dist Cllr Long’s plea was for everyone to apply as any money was better than none. From 19th November – 7th January there had been 1453 grants given out reaching over £2.5million. District Council was trying to simplify the website to guide people to the appropriate forms. The clinically and extremely vulnerable people and those shielding who had been sent a letter would have to shield till 21st February and anybody who joined that group after 11th November would also get a letter. District Council had been contacting them to make sure they had appropriate support. Around the Salcombe area this was a fairly low number of people. There was assistance with rent, council tax and homeless prevention so those eligible should see if there was any funding. Specific help was being offered to parents to help toward the cost for children needing to access remote learning and this fund should be requested through schools. Citizens Advice was providing one off payments for people struggling with energy costs.
Cllr Hainey enquired about traffic wardens and asked why they were wandering around town ‘slapping’ tickets on cars as this just appeared to be a financial income stream. Were the officers Covid tested and was it safe for them to be around. Dist Cllr Long sympathised but advised that as this was enforcement on the street it was County Council. District car park enforcement had been asked to be more aware if people were stopping to go to chemists or the like.
Cllr Miss Ward asked for numbers of people asked to leave Salcombe and return to homes by police. Dist Cllr Long knew there had been such but had no figures. Some people were requested to leave the previous day but he noted there were still second homes with a lot of lights on. He was aware that the police were looking into this and it was being logged. Cllr Miss Ward noted that over Christmas and New Year people had a lot of reasons but since then they should not be around. Any number of people gathering noted by compliance officers had been pointed out to the police.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce had advised by email that the application for Land adjacent to West End Garage had been withdrawn today.
The Minutes of the online meeting dated 9th December 2020 were to be amended to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce and not Judy before being 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:
• 3820/20/HHO Householder application for addition of balcony with associated works St Christopher’s, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HQ – Response 7th January 2021 – Already considered and delegated decision submitted during Christmas break – No comment.
• 3880/20/HHO Householder application for demolition of single storey extension and construction of single and two storey extensions, including dormer, additional roof lights and other external structures Woodcot Cottage, Cliff Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JU – Response 14th January 2021 – No comment.
• 3906/20/HHO Householder application for ground floor extension, new UPVc windows, additional car parking and decking to rear 6 Beadon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LX – Response 21st January – No comment.
• 3919/20/HHO Householder application for proposed balcony 6 Platt Close, Salcombe, TQ8 8NZ – Response 14th January – Objection as the privacy screen at the western edge of the balcony did not prevent overlooking of the neighbouring property (no. 8) due to both the design of the screen and the fact that the balcony went beyond the house.
• 3941/20/HHO Householder application for extension to kitchen / dining area to rear of dwelling The Retreat, Onslow Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8AG – Response 14th January 2021 – No comment.
• 3966/20/HHO Householder application for reinstatement of historic vehicular access, with associated works and landscaping Cross Garden Cottage, Market Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DE – Objection as the vehicle access was in a very dangerous position on an extremely busy road. The application stated that there was historical vehicle access but apart from the unapproved use when the wall fell down there has not been a vehicle access, which is reinforced by the lack of a dropped kerb.
• 3979/20/HHO Householder application for reconstruction of roof (with dormers and gable) and single storey extension to dwelling, plus new pitched roof over existing flat roofed garage Richmond, Main Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JW – Response 14th January – Response 14th January – Objection as the large amount of glass on the south west elevation would cause significant light pollution to the AONB and as such was contrary to Salcombe NDP policy ENV1. There should also be a condition that the space over the garage remained as a store or games room and was not used as residential space.
• 4106/20/LBC Listed Building Consent for conversion of existing loft space into new bedroom with one conservation rooflight on North elevation Ferry Cottage, Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JE – 4th February – No comment.
SERVING OF A TREE PRESERVATION ORDER 2020
Ref: 1607081 No. 1025 Elworthy Cottage, Higher Batson, Salcombe, TQ8 8NF
The reasons for serving the Order are:-
1. In the interests of preserving the significant public visual amenity benefits of the subject trees which presently serve to add extensive varied amenity benefits as a large and mature wooded group.
2. Development pressure may lead to further tree clearance to allow available space for construction, leading to further tree loss contrary to the public visual amenities of the local and wider landscape.
APPLICATION FOR WORKS TO A TREE PRESERVATION TREE
• 3902/20/TPO T1: Holm Oak – Lateral reduction by 1m on East side as view is obstructed. T2: Holly – Lateral reduction by 1m on East side as view is obstructed. T3: Holly – Fell; tree dead/ damaged. T4: Holly – Fell;tree dead/ damaged. T5: Holly – Fell; tree dead/ damaged. T6: Holly – Fell; tree dead/ damaged Headlands, Main Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JW – Response 13th January – In an area Order these would have to be very large trees to be covered and the Holm Oak had been coppiced previously and so there was a concern whether the adjacent trees would be covered. This was previously a developed site which had landscaping points. Objection with regard to T1 as such works should not be for a view and therefore Objection to T2 as this was the same. It was noted that T3, 4, 5 and 6 were damaged and dying as these were areas where previously bonfires had caused damage and therefore it was reasonable for these to be removed.
• 3974/20/TPO Works in accordance with Woodland Management Plan Ref: WMP-BAR-19 v2 (resubmission of 0920/20/TPO) Bar Lodge, Sharpitor, Salcombe, TQ8 8LW – 6th January – Objection on the grounds that there were elements that were inconsistent with a Woodland Management Plan but if revised with a lesser removal of undergrowth with a consistent and phased replanting there would be no objection.
At the request of Dist Cllr Long to leave the meeting to attend another parish item 6 was taken out of the agenda at this point.
It was AGREED to;
(a) appoint Matt Lamble to carry out the maintenance/repainting of the Council Hall at £5860.00 plus VAT and to also use Tony Glynn Scaffolding at a further charge of £5800 plus VAT.
(b) appoint H2 Environment for fencing at Bonfire Hill cemetery, the Park and Ride and Jubilee Play area at a cost of £886 (plus VAT).
6. TREE WORKS
It was AGREED to;
(a) appoint Knowle Tree Services when the various approvals were received for works identified within the tree reports at a cost of £1100 plus VAT. It was advised that the trees in Shadycombe Cemetery were covered by TPO and the tree in Market Street was within a Conservation Area. As such both sites required authority from District Council and applications had been submitted but District had requested further detail.
(b) that due to Covid restrictions for volunteers the tree warden would go out and start planting on basis he could explain he was permitted to do this work over the next month. Debbie Hainey, Tim Hore and Cllr Hatch also volunteered to assist with the planting of 350 whips, if allowed. Martin Payne would assist if he could stay away from people and help.
At this point it was noted that there had been a fallen tree in Plantation and the tree warden had notified this to Harbour Trees who advised they were looking at this as the contractor for this area. However it was noted that Richard Turton had cleared the tree from the footpath days earlier.
Before Dist Cllr Long left Cllr Miss Ward asked for clarity from the Harbour Board as to whether the waterways/estuary was open or closed. Visiting yachts could not come in and stay overnight. However users were allowed to exercise with paddleboards, kayaks etc but the use of boats on the harbour was still a question mark as it was not so much exercise but leisure and recreation so believed, no. Cllr Miss Ward said the Harbour needed to put something out to state what could or could not be done. A letter had gone out to all harbour users, therefore paying users so if they were registered with the harbour authority they should have been advised Individual rowing was also acceptable so a copy of this letter should be forwarded to the Information Centre as it did go on Facebook 6th January.
(c) DEFERRED as much discussion took place but it was felt that more consideration was needed and it should return to the following meeting.
Dist Cllr Long left the meeting at this point and town council returned to consider the previous agenda item.
7. NEWLY PURCHASED HP PRINTER
Consideration was given as whether town council wished to purchase extended warranty cover at £25 for an extra 1 year, £46 for 2 years, £57 for 2yearsPLUS (plus being additional benefits not years) and AGREED to leave it with only the factory warranty lasting one year from date of purchase.
8. PARISH PATHS PARTNERSHIP REPORT 2021
The paths list had been provided and sections to be walked, checked and a report provided on each, per the County Footpaths requirements. It was AGREED that paths would be allocated via email and a report returned to be submitted by 15th February 2021.
9. REOPENING HIGH STREETS FUNDING
Further funding obtained from District towards additional signage and works to be carried out or purchased before the end of March was advised of. It was AGREED to instigate works to reinstate the yellow footprints and that this repainting should proceed as soon as District Council operatives could carry out such works, this would also be paid for out of the additional funding. A Keep Left spray template should also be obtained for these works.
The Mayor reported that on the 10th December she attended an online workshop run by South Dartmoor Community Energy on Fuel Poverty. The group offered advice to both householders and landlords, and their qualified energy advisors were funded to carry out free home energy visits and/or phone calls for people living throughout the South Hams.
They advised on reducing energy bills and keeping a home warm. They offer practical assisted action, for example:
• help switching to a cheaper supplier
• arranging for free, no obligation surveys for insulation or heating improvements (when funds were available)
• help with programming your heating
• applying for other services from a supplier, and so on
Further information was available on their website www.sdce.org.uk
On the 14th December she attended Devon County Council Leader, John Hart’s online Budget Report.
Cllr Hart said that they had £43million additional money to help deal with Covid last year, but did not yet know how much would be needed for the first quarter of this year. The minimum wage was due to be raised, Adult and Children’s Services made up 70% of County’s spend each year, Special Needs had overspent by £25million, Devon County had 330 care homes looking after 8,500 people, they were also supporting 20,000 older people in their own homes, and School Meals had increased from 12,000 to 14,500 in the last 3 months. Cllr Hart stated that they would manage, would set a fair budget, but there would be tough choices to make next financial year with a possible pruning of non-direct services.
With regard to the upcoming precept considerations, Cllr Hart stated (several times throughout the meeting) that more self-reliance of the lower tier councils was key as they could do more, eg Road Warden Scheme, clearing drains, verge maintenance, sign washing, etc, and Cllr Roger Croad suggested that town and parish councils raised proper money to cover the costs involved.
On the 6th January she attended an online Kingsbridge & Salcombe Chamber of Commerce committee meeting.
A joint application with the Devon Chamber for the Government Kickstart Scheme had been successful. The scheme provided funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long term unemployment. Businesses who previously expressed an interest were now being approached.
With all events in 2020 cancelled a large proportion of the discretionary expenditure was donated to charities instead, although Salcombe Christmas Lights were awarded a grant of £500. With the assumption that this would continue during 2021, different charities were being sought, probably in Salcombe and Modbury this time, with names being brought to the next meeting on the 10th March. They also, proposed to create a pot of money from existing funds and donations from local councils and councillors to support businesses, possibly in the form of a competition with under-25s putting forward their innovative business ideas with the winner being awarded enough money to get them started. Also, possible small grants being made to local businesses looking to improve signage or their frontage. Kingsbridge Town Council was funding new street furniture and way markers in the town centre. New shops had opened up in both Kingsbridge and Modbury. The Mayor reported at the Chamber meeting that Salcombe’s covid safety measures had been lifted for the moment but were ready to reinstate as needed, and that the closure of Whitestrand car park for the main summer season was well received. Salcombe Information Centre had created a 2021 guide, but Kingsbridge had not yet done so.
It was questioned what the current benefits of the Chamber were with the main draw, the Business Clubs, not currently taking place. The answer, the support network and ability to offer help along with funding and training opportunities, sharing of government advice, and the ability to lobby as a group with close connections to the Member of Parliament, would be circulated generally in a bid to increase membership.
On the 7th January she attended, along with the Town Clerk, the police and community online review meeting. 7District Cllr Judy Pearce chaired, and police sergeant James Timmis attended. Kathy Harrod, Clerk to Malborough, West Alvington, South Milton and South Huish, was unable to attend.
The report from Sgt Timmis indicated that the area was quiet now, but second homeowners were continuing to come down. There awee standard levels of routine work, eg domestic disputes, drink drivers, etc. Regarding second homeowners, Sgt Timmis said that these instances must be reported on 101 and these reports were then passed on to their ‘Covid Cars’ to follow up, but that it took time to process through the system. It was stated that these reports were marked as ‘closed’ once it had been passed along, which was queried, and Sgt Timmis agreed to get this clarified. In a follow up email, Sgt Timmis reported that quite a few logs have been re-opened and tasked for attendance, and that they had been following up second home breaches all week. There can often be legitimate reasons for second home occupation, but he had confirmed that at least one couple have been told in no uncertain terms to leave. Sgt Timmis confirmed that those breaking the rules came from a range of age and work groups, including fishermen and builders, so it was not just the second homeowners. This had led to cases of covid increasing significantly in this area.
The Town Clerk reinforced the issue with Sgt Timmis that Salcombe had a set period when it was exceptionally busy, the main summer season, and that this happened every single year, yet the police did not allocate resources to deal with this extra work. He said he would raise this issue with his boss. But because Salcombe did not report issues then resources were allocated to other areas. Town Council needed to encourage reporting, as they did last year, so that the computer system the police relied upon highlighted the need for police attendance. It was a Chicken and egg situation, really.
Sgt Timmis asked if Salcombe would be employing Street Marshals again this year, and the response was that this was not known yet. All acknowledged that they did a good job last summer. The Public Space Protection Orders were being renewed now, and it was requested that a wider group of people should be included with the power to remove alcohol from those breaking the PSPO, for example Street Marshals. This would be followed up.
• Cllr Fice – With so many London registered cars around over Christmas and New Year it was suggested it might be appropriate to write to all letting agencies and ask them what their policy was in dealing with people coming down from Tier 4 areas.
• Cllr Miss Ward – Highlighted the vandalism at the Bird Hide in North Sands as she was very disturbed by this. Dist Cllr Long had already been advised. It was noted that this structure had already been permanently sealed due to the last damage but this time they had broken in through all the screws et al and there had been people been living in there. Also it was advised that public toilets in North Sands had been renovated but the light within which was left on permanently was so bright it meant people did not even need to take a torch for the evening to walk the dogs! District would be advised.
• Cllr Moore – Wished to approach the police to ask them to look into some of the holiday people around as he noticed a lot of lights across town. He felt the police should ask for confirmation that they were following guidelines and regulations. The Mayor advised she reported matters all the time and would provide him with the link to report.
• Cllr Hainey – Raised concern regarding a property at Ember Close where the house was sold to someone from outside the area and residents were questioning how this happened to social housing. It should have remained rental only and as it was shared ownership an owner should never be allowed 100%. It had previously been advised that some houses in this development were put through without any restriction on how high percentage ownership could go up. There was no Devon covenant placed on these houses. Cllr Miss Ward totally agreed but this had happened and it had been sold on the open market so something needed to be done now so it did not happen again.
• Consultation received with regard to District Draft Housing Strategy Better Homes, Better Lives invited responses by 10a.m. 1st February. The response form however asked how the respondent was replying whether a Service Provider, Staff, District Councillor, Parish Councillor or as a partner. In this case it would be better for each councillor who wishes to feedback individually.
• Malborough Parish Clerk had highlighted significant earth works adjacent to the Malborough end of the Salcombe to Malborough path and asked if anyone was aware what was being undertaken.
• Devon County Council had launched a third tranche of Covid 19 grants alongside a separate fund towards funding food projects. The funding end date was set at 5th March but could be extended if funds were still available. Grants would be in the region of £300 – £700.
• Mole activity had been noted within town council land and the previous mole catcher approached. The formula for charging for this work had changed and it was felt that further providers should be contacted. It was advised to contact Kevin Yeoman Malborough. 07980 961472
• The Interim Devon Carbon Plan – Devon Climate Emergency was now out for consultation and all were encouraged to view it and comment. Anyone not able to access this online could request a paper version at 0345 155 1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• 2021 Census day was 21st March and posters had been sent encouraging all to take part. These posters provided a link, advice and information for those with internet connection. This could be circulated through Town Council Facebook but ways to engage those not online would be needed.
• Brian and Jill Hillman had emailed regarding the report of works to trees in Cliff House Wood. They took issue with the report given to Town Council as Minuted as they advised it was in fact, they who had been there at the time doing the works and nobody approached them to question it whilst they were doing so. It was explained that the Minutes as recorded had been approved and thus stood but their contention with this report would be included in this Clerk’s Report so that it had been raised. They believed the work was good woodland husbandry and having received an Enforcement letter threatening legal action had responded to address these statements and highlight previous works carried to a Tree Preservation Order tree without their knowledge or any approach to the committee. This matter was now a District Enforcement matter as Brian and Jill Hillman wanted to know who approved and paid for the unauthorised works to the TPO and why they had not been approached directly for this or approached about the current maintenance works.
• The Future of Transport Rural Strategy consultation was forward to all for online completion by 16th February.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £455.017.14
Receipts: Salcombe Information Centre – Covid reduced rental payment £1616.67 2020 – March 2021.
APPROVED Internet payments to:
Play Inspection – Jubilee Gardens operational inspection £60.00
SLCC – ½ membership contribution to subs. £144.50
SHDC – October Maintenance (Inv. Dated 15th Dec.20 arriving after December meeting) £998.95
SHDC – November Maintenance (Inv. Dated 7th January 21) £998.95
12. NEXT MEETING
The next Town Council Meeting would be held at 6.30p.m. on Wednesday 27th January 2021.
……………………………………………….. 27th January 2021.
Meeting ended: 20.25p.m.