Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@torridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

34.

Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: R Boughton, A Boyle, D Brenton, A Eastman, D Hurley and S Inch.

35.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 6 August. 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Watson, seconded by Councillor T Inch and -

 

Resolved:   That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 August 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Vote: For 25, Abstentions 4)

 

Matters Arising

 

Minute No 18 – Public Contribution

 

Councillor Christie asked if there will be a meeting to discuss the Westward Ho! Petition. The Chair confirmed that a meeting would be held on 1st October to receive the petition.

 

Minute 23 – Constitution Update 2018

 

Councillor Lock confirmed that the recorded vote on each planning application at Plans Committee had been introduced at the last meeting and work well.

 

Minute 33 – Delegation of Statutory Officer Role

 

Councillor Christie asked when the closing date was for the Senior Solicitor position and how many applications had been received.

 

The Head of Paid Services confirmed that the closing date was the end of the following week and that they could not confirm how many applications had been received until the closing date had passed.

 

36.

Public Contributions

15 minute period for public contributions

Minutes:

Ian Ashfield, Danielle North and Kim Childs spoke in support of Councillor Cottle-Hunkin Notice of Motion to recognise the need to invest in Calf St Play Area and raising the following points:

 

·         Park is run down and families are having to travel out of Torrington to use play parks

·         State of park is encouraging poor behaviour and vandalism

·         Started to apply for grants and action group carrying out fund raising activities.

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin asked if her Notice of Motion could be brought forward on the agenda.

 

It was proposed, seconded and agreed that the item would be brought forward on the agenda.

 

(Vote: For – Unanimous)

 

37.

Notices of Motion

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor Cottle-Hunkin

 

Torridge recognises the need to invest in Calf St Play Area and supports the preparation of a project initiation document for consideration in the capital programme.


Minutes:

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin addressed the committee regarding her notice of motion that Torridge recognises the need to invest in Calf St Play Area and supports the preparation initiation document for consideration in the capital programme.

 

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin gave background information on the Calf St Play Area and informed Members on the work that has been carried out to raise funds.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin, seconded by Councillor Brown and –

 

Resolved: That a report be taken to Community & Resources Committee.

 

(Vote: For unanimous)

 

38.

Declarations of interest

Members with interests to declare should refer to the Agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is being discussed.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.

39.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II

Minutes:

There were no Part II items.

40.

To consider correspondence or other business especially brought forward by the direction of the Chair

Minutes:

There were no matters raised by the Chair.

41.

To answer questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9

Minutes:

Questions had been submitted by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin, Councillor Laws and Councillor Christie.

 

In accordance with the constitution, written answers to the questions had been circulated to all Members.

 

Question from Councillor Laws & Cottle-Hunkin

 

“Does Torridge have a strategy to protect our parks, open spaces and play areas?”

 

Answer

 

Torridge Council does not have a Parks and Open Spaces strategy.

 

The strategy closest related to is the Northern Devon Playing Pitch Strategy but this is, as the title might suggest, more about sports pitches than parks, play areas or open space.

 

The duty to protect Parks, Open spaces and Play areas is most often set out in other documents.  Certain qualifying spaces will benefit from designations like Village Green status, King George the 5th or Fields in Trust that will protect them against development or alternative use.  In some other cases Parks Open Space and play areas will be protected by covenant or by Planning Policy but this is not always the case.

 

A similar matter was raised at a recent Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee with the agreed outcome that External Overview and Scrutiny should undertake a review of the current play areas provided by TDC and consider & recommend the strategic provision for the future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Following the response Councillor Laws asked if it was possible for Officers to have delegated authority to change play equipment.

 

The Head of Paid Services said that she would discuss with Officers however if there is no budget then the equipment cannot be replaced.

 

Question from Councillor Christie

 

Given the successful outcome regarding the refusal of retrospective planning permission for the massive slurry pit at Beckland Farm, Hartland could officers explain why the applicant has been given a year to remove the offending 'lagoon' and restore the site to its former condition?

 

Answer

 

The retrospective planning application for Beckland Farm was refused on 20th June 2018.

The deadline for an appeal was 28 days and following the decision we spoke to the applicant who said that he would not be appealing the decision and would instead be re-organising his farm, his livestock numbers and overall operation to a position where he would no longer require the lagoon. Due to the involvement of livestock and the process involved, he asked for a deadline of 31st August 2019 to remove the lagoon.

 

The alternative would have been an appeal, which would have been in the form of an Appeal Inquiry. Given current timescales at the Inspectorate this would not have been likely to occur until early 2019, the decision, perhaps towards Easter 2019 and should the appeal have been dismissed, the Inspector would have undoubtedly given at least 12 months compliance, probably 18 months. This 12-18 month deadline is similar to what the Council originally informed the applicant for compliance in his enforcement notice before the planning application was received.

 

It was therefore felt that accepting the applicant’s deadline was a quicker and more cost-effective method of achieving compliance. The lagoon will be gradually taken out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Peters Marland School

To receive an update from Mr K Bennett of Peters Marland School.

Minutes:

Mr Keith Bennett from Marland School addressed the Committee. Mr Bennett confirmed that Marland School was a Devon County Council maintained special school. They currently have two sites in North Devon and one in Torridge. Mr Bennett described each school, he confirmed that the school based in Bideford was a school specialising in boys with social, emotional and mental health needs.

 

Mr Bennett confirmed that the children were aged between 6 and 11.

 

Following Mr Bennett presentation, a number of questions were raised by Councillors. Mr Bennett answered all questions and invited Councillor to get in contact if they wanted to visit the school.

 

43.

Proposed Police merger

To receive an update from Superintendent Toby Davies, Devon & Cornwall Police, on the proposed Police merger.

Minutes:

Inspector Shaun Kenneally introduced himself to the Committee. Inspector Kenneally confirmed that the local police force have had a very busy summer with a large number of tourists visiting the area and with a fair weathered summer leads to an increase in Crime.

 

Inspector Kenneally also confirmed that the domestic incident in Braunton and the Murder in Barnstaple had led to extra officers having to work on these cases which stretched officers.

 

Inspector Kenneally gave an update on the proposed merger of Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police. He confirmed that the two forces had set up a “strategic alliance” which involves sharing departments such as Human Resources and Finance in a bid to save money.

 

Councillor Hackett confirmed that he had attended a number of meeting regarding the merger and raised his concerns on the merger. Councillor Hackett confirmed a meeting was being held on 5 October to discuss the merger in more detail.

 

Following the update from Inspector Kenneally, a number of Members raised questions which inspector Kenneally.

 

Inspector Kenneally confirmed that he would come back and give a future update on the merger if required.

 

44.

Audit & Governance Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Audit & Governance Committee from the Chairman, Councillor Hackett.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hackett presented the annual report of the Audit and Governance Committee to Members. Councillor Hackett gave a detailed explanation into the key points of the report.

 

Members noted the report.

 

45.

Compulsory Purchase Policy pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Services introduced the report and explained that compulsory purchase is a legal process that allows certain public bodies including councils to acquire land for a specific purpose if the landowner is not willing to sell by agreement.

 

The Head of Paid Services explained that the Overview and Scrutiny (Internal) Committee had viewed that it could be very beneficial for the Council to have a compulsory purchase process in place.

 

Councillor Whittaker commented that the Council should have a Compulsory Purchase Policy and would propose that it is adopted.

 

Councillor Christie raised that the report explains the process however it does not explain how to initiate it.

 

The Head of Paid Services explained that the council would need a very good reason and that the project could only be completed by compulsory purchase.

 

Councillor Hicks raised his concerns with the report and stated that he would abstain from the vote.

 

Councillor Simmons commented that the old creamery site in Great Torrington is a site which could be looked at. Councillor Simmons believed if the policy was adopted that a press release should be issued.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Whittaker, seconded by Councillor Morrish and –

Resolved: That Full Council adopts the draft Compulsory Purchase Policy attached at Appendix A.

 

(Vote: For 23, Abstentions 6)

 

46.

Allocation of Seats pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Services presented the report. It was proposed by Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Whittaker and –

 

Resolved: That Full Council agree the number of seats on the Committees allocated to each of the Political Groups as set out in Appendix 1.

 

(Vote: For, unanimous)

 

47.

Lead Member for Internal Resources pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service.

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Services presented the report. It was proposed by Councillor Tony Inch, seconded by Councillor Watson and –

 

Resolved: That the Lead Member for Internal Resources role and the Lead Member for Customer Services role be combined and that Councillor Hurley becomes the Lead Member for Customer Services & Internal Resources.

 

(Vote: For 28, Abstentions 1)

48.

Transforming Torridge Programme (standing item)

To receive a verbal update from the Head of Paid Service.

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Services gave a brief update. It was confirmed that works were ongoing at Riverbank House. The former planning office has been transformed ready for Housing and Revs & Benefits to move from Bridge Buildings at the beginning of November.

49.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any)

Minutes:

There were no petitions.