Busy September meeting for North Tawton Town Council

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Monday 26th September 2016 2:30 pm
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A MEETING of North Tawton Town Council was held at the Council Offices on Tuesday, September 6.

No matters were raised by electors or others during the Open Forum.

Apologies were accepted from four members and there were no declarations of interest.

The minutes of the six previous meetings, including committee and sub-committees were approved and signed.

UPDATE

Cllr L Watts reported that West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) and South Hams District Council (SHDC) have both voted to set up a Local Authority Company.

This company will be able to offer services (e.g. to other councils) thus providing an extra income stream. The Councils are currently looking at the waste contract to see if it is viable to put this via the new company.

Any income generated through the new company will belong to the respective Councils to do with as they wish. Cllr Watts also reported that a new Leisure Contractor has now been chosen.

PROTOCOLS

Cllr Mrs Burrow has studied the relevant documentation concerning the Protocols and Advice on the death of a senior national figure and recommends that a small group be formed to formulate an action plan.

The group to consist of representatives from NTTC, the Churches, and members of the public. It was also recommended that the Council purchase a book suitable for use as a Book of Condolence, to be retained by the Council until such time as it may be needed.

NORTH TAWTON DIRECTORY

Cllr Whiteley advised that part of the Directory is the Emergency Plan, which is statutory and the Council have to pay for this. The Emergency Plan should be checked and amended if necessary. Some local businesses have expressed an interest in sponsoring litter bins within the Town - to be discussed in October, at which time the final costs of bin installation should be known.

DEN BROOK WIND FARM

The masts have been erected, most of the turbines are installed, and it appears to be on course to start generating in October.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

The transport working group is taking up issues relevant to raise separate to the Neighbourhood Plan. The NP group is meeting on Wednesday, September 7 and will be going through the draft plan.

Reference the meeting with South West Water consultant regarding the possible development of their site adjacent to Devonshire Gardens, it was reported that some provision for assisted living was one of the ideas for inclusion.

The consultant has recently circulated a copy of his minutes of the meeting. There was a consensus opinion that South West Water should hold a public consultation reference their plans for the site.

ONGOING ISSUES

Air Ambulance – the clerk was requested to make enquiries as to progress of proposed floodlighting installation.

New/re-sited bins – final decision will depend on what fixings are required, a decision to be made further to site visit with Highways Engineer.

Parking problems – parking enforcement to be contacted and requested to visit, daytime and evening visits needed.

Trees at Strawberry Fields – quotation received for the removal of the oak trees on the relevant areas of land. It was further proposed that the Council progress possible sale of the land in question to residents. The Estates Committee are to progress this issue.

Tree Roots on Footpath leading to Bathway Fields – Devon County Council Highways said this is not a problem within the terms of what is considered dangerous under their policies. Clerk requested to reply stating NTTC completely disagree, and consider this an unacceptable response, also requesting a site meeting.

Table Tennis Table – It was noted that there is public support for this suggestion. Suggest either the Park Committee meet again to progress plans for the park, or that the matter be put to the Estates Committee.

Pavement Gullies – Noted that it is householders’ responsibility to clear pavement gullies taking water from their properties to the road drains. Further noted that following resurfacing work in Fore Street, the road gullies are full of Tarmac debris, the Clerk will contact DCC Highways ref this issue.

Street sweeping – further to recent meeting, it was confirmed that the contractor would prefer to have more clear direction as to what areas need sweeping and when. It was suggested that these instructions be emailed. The Estates Committee are to consider setting up a monitoring programme.

HIGHWAYS RELATED ISSUES

The detailed responses of the Highways Engineer to queries regarding speeding, dangerous junctions, footpaths and 30mph signs were noted.

The issue of the 30mph signs, which should be moved out to the Batheway site entrance, is being progressed. The only suggestion for improvement at The Bridge is to remove the "virtual footpath" which may be giving pedestrians a false sense of security (this has been done in other areas).

There is no funding available for any other road/junction improvements, all funding is being directed to areas which are already accident blackspots. There was some discussion as to whether home-made signs can be erected, these have been successful elsewhere. The Transport Group will discuss proposals and report back to the Council.

With regard to further complaints of lorries travelling through the town centre, the Council’s Transport Group is meeting next week and will discuss these issues.

There was some discussion as to the use of a CCTV camera to record lorries travelling through the town, also the setting up of a volunteer group to monitor the lorries.

The Transport Group is to consider the issue of speeding traffic on lanes leading to and from the school, including investigating the possibility of some "home-made" signage, perhaps involving pupils at the school.

MONITORING

It was suggested that a sub-group could be formed to monitor Wain Homes and other development sites within the town.

WDBC should be responsible for monitoring Section 106 agreements, but the issue is broader than that – there should be a good relationship between NTTC and developers so that issues such as the footpath from Batheway can be subject of joint working to a solution. Cllr Ms J Trewhitt will oversee the drawing up of an itemised list of issues and arrange to meet with Wain Homes.

Further to previous discussions reference an Overgrown Conifer tree in the Churchyard, it was proposed to refer the issue back to the Church or the Parochial Church Council, as they are the owners of the tree.

This proposal was seconded and unanimously agreed. The Clerk will write to the appropriate church authorities.

SAFETY INSPECTION REPORTS

With reference to the broken bench in the Memorial Park, it was agreed to remove this and it will not be replaced at present, replacement benches will form part of the overall plan for the park development.

The yellow lines in the town centre car park to be repainted as temporary measure, pending consultation on reconfiguration of the parking spaces.

CLOCK TOWER

It was agreed to have the wooden seats and beams re-painted on the Clock Tower, and also to check the lighting and repair as necessary. The Clerk will liaise with the contractor.

With regard to the raised planting beds in the Town Centre Car Park, weeding and tidying of the flower bed, and cutting back of overgrown vegetation, is to be arranged. The Clerk will obtain quotations and liaise with contractor.

PUBLICATION OF DRAFT MINUTES

It was proposed that draft minutes of the Town Council and committees will be published on the Council’s website and noticeboard.

A hard copy will be sent to Members prior to publication, in order that Members are fully informed and therefore able to answer any queries relating to the minutes.

Any necessary amendments to minutes will only be made at the next Council meeting at which they are due to be approved and signed, as per present arrangements. The proposal was seconded and unanimously agreed.

PLANNING MATTERS

The members considered the planning applications received from West Devon Borough Council and made recommendations.

Pre-application notification – Proposed new base station installation at VF12869 – North Tawton SW, De Bathe Cross, A3072, North Tawton, EX20 2BA

Further to discussion it was agreed to respond with the following points:

• It is recognised that such an installation would be desirable, but the proposed location is the wrong place for this installation.

• Visibility from the junction towards Crediton is already poor, the installation would make the visibility worse.

• There are already several signs at the junction, and the proximity of the proposed location to the junction is considered dangerous as it could distract from relevant signage.

• There have been several accidents at the junction in the past, the proposed installation could pose a general distraction to drivers, as well as reducing visibility.

The Clerk will make a formal response accordingly.

FINANCE

Invoices. Members inspected the invoices and bank statements and appropriate payments were made accordingly.

Monthly statement. Members received the monthly statement, it was proposed, seconded and agreed that the statement be accepted, and that the appropriate transfer from the reserve account to the current account to allow payments to be made should be progressed.

Members were advised that the Council’s finances are in good order at present, even taking into account the employment of a Temporary Clerk.

With reference to the electricity invoices for the defibrillator at Strawberry Fields, the Clerk was requested to contact the power supplier and ask them to consider waiving the charge as it is for a public service device.

PARISH MATTERS

The public footpath crossing the Memorial Park from the kissing gate in Barton Street to the top of Fore Street has had the vegetation cut back on each side, but the surface of the path is very rough and uneven.

The Clerk was requested to obtain information as to the forthcoming two-day closure of North Street.

It was reported that graffiti had been painted onto walls of a workshop in Mill Lane.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next Ordinary Meeting of the Town Council is at 7.30pm on Tuesday, October 4.

The meeting closed at 10pm.

Alan Quick

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