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Full Council Meeting - 25th April 2005

Town Hall, Bideford 25th April 2005

TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

Town Hall, Bideford

25th April 2005

PRESENT: Councillors J Allen, H R Barton, A I Bewes, R D Bond, H M Bone,
G Boundy, R C Broad, Mrs M Brown, G C Broyd, Mrs S E I Bushby,
P S Christie (left meeting 7.15 pm), S E L Clarke, P R Collins,
J W E Cowle, D J Daniel, E J Davies, A J Eastman, A Eastwood,
Mrs P A Ferguson, L S Ford (left meeting 7.00 pm), A G Gould,
R H Hicks, W G Isaac, R E Johns, Mrs C L March, Mrs S A Mounce,
J Morrish, Mrs P J Paddon (left meeting 6.50 pm and returned at 7.10 pm),
W W Pillman, J Rawlinson, D H Shadrick, T Sillifant and P J Sturges

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors F Howard MBE, A T Inch and R M M Tisdale.

1.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL

The retiring Chairman, Councillor G C Broyd, took the Chair for this item.

Councillor G C Broyd invited nominations for Chairman of the Council.

It was proposed by Councillor R H Hicks, seconded by Councillor Mrs M Brown, and;

Resolved: That Councillor A G Gould be elected Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

The Chief Executive congratulated Councillor Gould upon his appointment and invited him to take the Chair and sign his Acceptance of Office.

Councillor Gould expressed his personal thanks and those of the Council to the retiring Chairman, and presented Councillor Broyd with his past Chairman's badge.

2.

ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

Nominations were invited for Vice Chairman of the Council.

It was proposed by Councillor A I Bewes, and seconded both by Councillors S E L Clarke and Mrs P J Paddon, and;

Resolved: That Councillor T Sillifant be elected Vice Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

The Chief Executive congratulated Councillor Sillifant upon his appointment and invited him to sign his Acceptance of Office.

The Vice Chairman thanked Members for the honour bestowed upon him and promised to support the Chairman to the best of his ability, and to promote the profile of the Council.

3.

MINUTES

Resolved: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 7th March 2005 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

ELECTION OF LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

It was proposed by Councillor R H Hicks, seconded by Councillor R C Broad, and;

Resolved: That Councillor Mrs P A Ferguson be elected Leader of the Council.

5.

ELECTION OF DEPUTY LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

It was proposed by Councillor W G Isaac, seconded by Councillor P J Sturges, and;

Resolved: That Councillor S E L Clarke be elected Deputy Leader of the Council.

6.

PUBLIC CONTRIBUTIONS

The following public contributions were made.

(a) Mr W Smith of Appledore had previously circulated among Members a publication relation to the Appledore Employment Link. This organisation had been established following the closure of the Appledore Dock Yard to assist former employees to seek work. In this respect Mr Smith advised that he had written to His Royal Highness Prince Charles, drawing attention to his past visits to the Dockyard, and His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent in his capacity as President of the RNLI. Other issues touched upon by Mr Smith were correspondence received from the ODPM relating to the use of land by gypsies and homelessness.

(b) Lisa Harty of the Beaford Arts Centre referred to the decision of the Environmental & Leisure Services Committee not to grant aid this organisation. She reiterated the salient points previously submitted to the Authority in support of this grant application. These issues included the number of people engaged in the work of the Beaford Arts Centre across the region, the effect of the decision not to grant aid; the fact that Torridge District Council were key stakeholders in the recent review of the Centre; and that the organisation were deliverers of the cultural strategy.

Lisa Harty concluded by asking Members to reconsider their decision.

(c) Gill Gordon, a local promoter of the Beaford Arts Centre in the village of Petrockstowe, also urged Members to reconsider their decision and to continue to support the Centre. She detailed to Members the effect on villages if they lost the support of the organisation. She referred to the live affordable events promoted in the villages and advised that the social impact was as important as the cultural one. Reference was also made to the fact that many people were not able to access travel facilities and that events held by the Centre in local village halls enabled the residents to raise funding by means of the sale of refreshments, raffles, etc.

(d) Roger Vanstone of Bideford asked why Torridge District Council had invested so heavily in the East-the-Water Link Road, and was anxious that any overspend would have to be met by the Council tax payer. He also expressed concern that neither sewer nor water services had been installed at the site.

(e) Mr H Temperley of Northam advised that following the election, he would be seeking answers to the questions he had asked at previous Council meetings.

Mr Temperley also asked the following two further questions:

(1) When will Torridge District Council release the recent letter from the ODPM to the Leader?

(2) Following concerns expressed by electors relating to the handling of planning applications by Members, with particular regard to declarations of interest, what advice has been given by the Monitoring Board or the Chief Executive?

Mr Temperley sought a reply to these questions.

7.

RECOVERY UPDATE

The Chief Executive provided Members with an update on the Council's recovery process. He advised that massive improvements had been made in Housing Benefits, particularly with the time taken to process a new claim. He also read to the meeting a copy of a letter received from the Department of Works and Pension which advised that the Performance Development Team continued to work with the District Council towards improvement, and that no recommendations were being made to the Secretary of State for Directions and that no further action would be taken at this time.

Reference was also made to the recognised problems within the Planning Service, which was currently being rebuilt. Members noted that minor planning applications were now being dealt with more quickly.

The Chief Executive also reported on the Corporate Plan and the Performance Management System. In this respect Members noted that Service Plans were to be submitted to the next cycle of meetings, and that the Corporate Plan would be submitted to the next Policy & Resources Committee and then on to Full Council.

The Chief Executive concluded by advising Members that the Council had now established a complete set of Best Value Performance Indicators, and that these were currently going through the process of verification.

8.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADING SERVICES COMMITTEE - 15TH MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Councillor H R Barton declared personal interests in Minute 96 (Ring and Ride Grant Application) (Member of DCC and Bideford Bridge Trust) and Minute 97 (Conservation and Heritage Protection) (Member of Bideford Bridge Trust).

(a) Westward Ho! Car Parks (Minute 107)

The Chairman reported that he intended to take back to his Committee resolution 107(1) for further consideration.

Thereafter, it was;

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted with the exception of the resolution contained in Minute 107(1).

9.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND LEISURE SERVICES COMMITTEE - 30TH MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

(a) Allocation of Grants 2005/2006 (Minute 127)

Councillor H R Barton declared a personal interest in this item.

Councillors J Morrish, J Rawlinson and D H Shadrick declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the room before the discussion and vote.

Councillor H R Barton moved, and it was duly seconded, "That consideration of a grant to the Beaford Arts Centre be referred back for further consideration, and that the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Officers meet with representatives of the Beaford Arts Centre to discuss the situation."

In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, a recorded vote was requested in respect of this motion.

For the Motion:

Councillors H R Barton, A I Bewes, P S Christie, E J Davies and A Eastwood (5).

Against the Motion:

Councillors J Allen, R D Bond, H M Bone, G Boundy, R C Broad, G C Broyd, S E I Bushy, S E L Clarke, P R Collins, A J Eastman, Mrs P A Ferguson, R H Hicks, W G Isaac, R E Johns, Mrs C L March, Mrs S A Mounce, W W Pillman, T Sillifant and P J Sturges (19).

Abstentions:

Councillors Mrs M Brown, J W E Cowle, D J Daniel, A G Gould and Mrs P J Paddon (5).

The motion was therefore lost.

Thereafter, it was;

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

10.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 14TH MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

11.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 4TH APRIL 2005

Councillor H R Barton declared a personal interest in planning application number 1/2576/2004/LBC (Member of Bideford Bridge Trust).

Councillor J W E Cowle declared a prejudicial interest in planning application number 1/2576/2004/LBC.

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

12.

HOUSING COMMITTEE - 23RD MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

13.

JOINT MEETING OF DEVELOPMENT AND TRADING SERVICES COMMITTEE AND HOUSING COMMITTEE - 8TH MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Joint Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

14.

NORTHAM BURROWS COMMITTEE - 9TH MARCH 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

15.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY 1 COMMITTEE - 7TH APRIL 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

16.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY 2 COMMITTEE - 12TH APRIL 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

17.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE - 22ND APRIL 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded, together with the Minutes of the Standards Sub-Committee held on the 4th April 2005.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

18.

SPECIAL POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE - 7TH APRIL 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

19.

POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE -18TH APRIL 2005

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented and their adoption moved and seconded.

(a) Recommendations of Committee - Development and Trading Services Committee - 15th March 2005 - Ring and Ride Grant Application (Minute 205)

Councillor H R Barton declared a personal interest in this item. (Member of DCC and Bideford Bridge Trust).

Councillor W G Isaac declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting before the discussion and vote. (Director of North Devon Chamber of Commerce & Industry).

Members discussed referring this particular item back to the Policy and Resources Committee for further consideration. In this respect the Chief Executive drew Members' attention to Procedural Rule A5.2(f).

Thereafter, it was;

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

20.

MEMBERSHIP OF MAIN COMMITTEES AND OTHER COMMITTEES

The Council considered the membership of main Committees and other Committees circulated with the agenda.

Resolved: That the membership of Committees and Working Groups circulated with the Council agenda be noted and referred to the Group Leaders for finalisation.

21.

CHAIRMANSHIP OF COMMITTEES

Resolved:

(1) That the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Committees be approved as follows:

(a) Policy & Resources Committee -

-

Councillor Mrs P A Ferguson (Chairman)

Councillor S E L Clarke (Vice Chairman)

(b) Development & Trading Services Committee

-

Councillor R H Hicks (Chairman)

Councillor W G Isaac (Vice Chairman)

(c) Environmental & Leisure Services Committee

-

Councillor H M Bone (Chairman)

Councillor P R Collins (Vice Chairman)

(d) Housing Committee

-

Councillor Mrs M Brown (Chairman)

Councillor Mrs S E I Bushby (Vice Chairman)

(e) Plans Committee

-

Councillor Mrs C L March (Chairman)

Councillor W W Pillman (Vice Chairman)

(f) Northam Burrows Committee

-

Councillor Mrs S A Mounce (Chairman)

Councillor A J Eastman (Vice Chairman)

(g) Overview & Scrutiny 1 Committee

-

Councillor P J Sturges (Chairman)

Councillor J Allen (Vice Chairman)

(h) Overview & Scrutiny 2 Committee

-

Councillor A I Bewes (Chairman)

Councillor R M M Tisdale (Vice Chairman)

(i) Licensing Board

-

Councillor R C Broad (Chairman)

(j) Licensing Committee

-

Councillor R C Broad (Chairman)

(k) Standards Committee

-

P Wood (Chairman)

B Ormerod (Vice Chairman)

(2) That the thanks of the Council be extended to Councillor W W Pillman for his work over the past 2 years as Chairman of the Plans Committee.

22.

APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES

The Council considered the schedule relating to the appointment of representatives on outside bodies tabled at the meeting. Members were advised that they should indicate to their Group Leader if they had any particular organisation on which they wished to serve.

Resolved: That the appointment of representatives on outside bodies be referred to the Group Leaders.

23.

SUBSTITUTION AT COMMITTEES

Members were advised that the Constitution states that "This Procedural Rule relating to substitution shall be subject to review at each annual meeting of the Council and shall cease to apply unless the Council resolves it shall continue."

Resolved: That the Procedural Rule relating to the substitution at Committees be endorsed and continue until the next Annual General Meeting.

24.

SCHEME OF DELEGATION - PART III

Members were asked to reaffirm the Scheme of Delegation as set out in Part III of the Constitution. A copy of this information had previously been made available in the Members Room at Riverbank House, Bideford.

Resolved: That the Scheme of Delegation as set out in Part III of the Constitution be reaffirmed.

25.

NOTICE OF MOTION

The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor P R Collins:

"That following the presentation of results of Housing Needs Survey (being 'Robust data') to the joint meeting of Development & Trading Services and Housing Committees by David Couttie Associates on Tuesday, 8th March 2005 which highlighted a GROSS shortage of affordable housing within the district. Namely an annual outstanding need of 397 (of which 9 affordable units on average over past 3 years have been provided). This Council incorporates as a matter of urgency the consultants recommendation that a TARGET of 40% of new units from total of all sites in the district should form the basis of negotiation of affordable housing on all suitable sites."

Resolved: That the Notice of Motion be referred to the Development & Trading Services Committee for consideration.

26.

PETITIONS

(a) Future Development of the Brunswick Wharf and Adjacent Council Car Park

Councillor H R Barton submitted a petition relating to future development of the Brunswick Wharf and adjacent Council Car Park.

Resolved: That the petition be referred to the Development & Trading Services Committee for consideration.

(b) Trees at Chudleigh Avenue, Bideford

Councillor W G Isaac presented to the meeting a petition relating to the trees at Chudleigh Avenue, Bideford.

Resolved: That the petition be referred to the Environmental & Leisure Services Committee for consideration.

The meeting commenced at 6.30 pm and ended at 8.10 pm.