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Full Council Meeting - 19 December 2005

Town Hall, Bideford 19th December 2005

TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL

MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

Town Hall, Bideford

19th December 2005

PRESENT: Councillor A G Gould (Chairman)

Councillor T Sillifant (Vice Chairman)

Councillors J Allen, H R Barton, A I Bewes, R D Bond,

H M Bone, G Boundy, Mrs M Brown, G C Broyd, S E L Clarke, P R Collins, D J Daniel, A J Eastman (left meeting 7.25 pm),

A Eastwood OBE, Mrs P A Ferguson, L S Ford, R H Hicks,

F Howard MBE, A T Inch, W G Isaac, K J James, R E Johns,

Mrs C L March, Mrs S A Mounce, J Morrish, Mrs P J Paddon,

W W Pillman, J Rawlinson, D H Shadrick, P J Sturges and R M M Tisdale

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors P S Christie, J W E Cowle and E J Davies.

96.

MINUTES

Resolved: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 14th November 2005 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

97.

PUBLIC CONTRIBUTIONS

(a) Annual Car Parking Strategy

Mr Tim Langdon spoke against the Council's proposals in respect of the annual car parking strategy, and in particular the supporting of any realignment of the Authority by increased car parking fees. He felt that the proposals detailed in this strategy would be detrimental to shop owners and shoppers and the general vibrancy of the District's town centres. He asked Members to consider a recorded vote when they dealt with this topic later in the meeting.

(b) Annual Car Parking Strategy

Mr John Hadfield, who was a Bideford Town Councillor, felt that his Authority's consultation had not been given due regard by the District Council when they had considered the Annual Car Parking Strategy. He referred to a letter subsequently sent by the Town Council to all members of the District Council on this topic. Mr Hadfield objected to the proposals for economic reasons and referred to the areas weak economy and low incomes. In this connection he queried whether it was wise to increase car parking charges and asked if it was a fair way to raise required revenue. Mr Hadfield felt that motorists were being penalised and stated his objection to the proposals of the Development and Trading Services Committee.

(c) Torrington Swimming Pool

Mr Richard Rumbold, the Mayor of Torrington, referred to the Minutes of the Environmental & Leisure Services Committee and the proposals for enhancements to the existing Torrington Swimming Pool. He referred to a petition which would be submitted later in the meeting relating to the pool and confirmed that the residents of Torrington would be watching very carefully with regard to the District Council's actions.

98.

QUESTIONS SUBMITTED UNDER PROCEDURAL RULE A9

Questions were submitted under Procedural Rule A9 from Councillors H R Barton and L S Ford. Copies of the questions together with the written answer are attached as Appendices A, B and C to the Minutes.

(a) In accordance with the Constitution, Councillor H R Barton indicated that he wished to ask a supplementary question in respect of the Royal North Devon Golf Club. (Appendix A).

Councillor H M Bone declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting before the discussion (Member of Committee).

Councillor P J Sturges declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting before the discussion (member of Golf Club).

Councillor L S Ford declared a personal interest in this item (brothers members of the Golf Club).

Councillor Mrs S A Mounce declared a personal interest in this item (two sons members of the Golf Club).

Councillor H R Barton then asked his supplementary question in respect of how increases of the Golf Club's rent were determined.

(b) In accordance with the Constitution, Councillor L S Ford asked a supplementary question relating to the Higher Cemetery, Bideford. (Appendix B).

(c) In accordance with the Constitution, Councillor L S Ford also indicated that he wished to ask a supplementary question in respect of a press release following a Standard Committee Hearing. (Appendix C)

Councillor H R Barton declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting.

Councillor S E L Clarke declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting.

Councillor W G Isaac declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting (Councillor Clarke is a friend).

Councillor P J Sturges declared a prejudicial interest in this item and left the meeting (friend of Councillor Clarke).

Councillors L S Ford then asked his supplementary question and the Monitoring Officer gave his advice.

Councillor L S Ford was advised that in accordance with the answer already supplied, the Chief Executive would be asked to provide a written reply on his return from leave.

99.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADING SERVICES COMMITTEE - 22ND NOVEMBER 2005

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

(a) Annual Car Parking Strategy (Minute 58)

Councillor J Allen declared a personal interest in this item (trader).

Councillor Mrs M Brown declared a prejudicial interest in this item (blue badge owner).

Councillor H R Barton declared a personal interest in this item (HATOC member).

Councillor G C Broyd declared a personal interest in this item (HATOC Member).

Councillor P R Collins declared a personal interest in this item (use of car parks).

Councillor L S Ford declared a personal interest in this item (use of car parks).

Councillor W G Isaac declared a personal interest in this item (for reasons previously detailed and minuted plus TDC member of HATOC).

Councillor J Rawlinson declared a personal interest in this item (use of car parks).

Councillor H R Barton moved, and it was duly seconded,

"That Minute 58 be referred back to the Development & Trading Services Committee for further consideration of certain aspects, and if necessary a Special Meeting of the Development & Trading Services Committee be called."

In accordance with the Constitution, Members called for a recorded vote on the motion to refer Minute 58 back to the Development & Trading Services Committee.

For the Motion:

Councillors H R Barton, A I Bewes, D J Daniel, L S Ford, A T Inch, R E Johns, Mrs P J Paddon, J Rawlinson and D H Shadrick (9).

Against the Motion:

Councillors J Allen, R D Bond, H M Bone, G Boundy, G C Broyd, P R Collins, A J Eastman, A Easwood OBE, Mrs P A Ferguson, A G Gould, R H Hicks, F Howard MBE, K J James, Mrs C L March, Mrs S A Mounce, J Morrish, W W Pillman, T Sillifant, P J Sturges and R M M Tisdale (20).

Abstentions:

Councillors Mrs M Brown, S E L Clarke and W G Isaac (3).

The motion was therefore lost.

Thereafter, it was;

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

100.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 17TH NOVEMBER 2005

Councillor R H Hicks declared a prejudicial interest in Planning Application No 1/2388/2003/08 and left the meeting before the Minutes were presented (applicant is a client).

The Minutes of the Meeting were presented.

Resolved: That the Minutes as presented be noted.

101.

HOUSING COMMITTEE - 30TH NOVEMBER 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.

102.

ENVIRONMENTAL & LEISURE SERVICES COMMITTEE - 23RD NOVEMBER 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.

103.

ENVIRONMENTAL & LEISURE SERVICES COMMITTEE - 7TH DECEMBER 2005

Councillor R H Hicks declared a personal interest in Minute 87 (Bideford Rugby Club Expansion) (social member).

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.

104.

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY 1 COMMITTEE - 8TH DECEMBER 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.

105.

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY 2 COMMITTEE - 13TH DECEMBER 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.

106.

NORTHAM BURROWS - 24TH NOVEMBER 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.

107.

POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE - 12TH DECEMBER 2005

Councillor R H Hicks declared a prejudicial interest in Minute 103 (Old Town Cemetery) and left the meeting before the discussion and vote (acted for Free Churches).

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

(a) Substitution (Minute 95 Refers)

In response to a question from Councillor H R Barton, the Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee explained that Councillor H M Bone had been filling the Independent Members' vacant seat on the Committee caused by the suspension imposed on Councillor S E L Clarke by the Standards Committee. In view of the comments made, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that he would check the position with the Standards Board for England.

(b) Review of Chief Executive's Probationary Period (Minute 112 Refers)

Councillor D H Shadrick moved, and it was duly seconded, and;

Resolved: That Minute 112 be taken in Part II at the end of the meeting.

(c) Capital Programme 2006/07 (Minute 113 Refers)

In response to a question from Councillor P R Collins, the Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee confirmed that the letter received from the Bideford Bridge Trust reported at the Committee Meeting could be made available to Members.

Thereafter, it was;

Resolved: That the Minutes be received and to the extent necessary adopted with the exception of Minute 112 (Review of Chief Executive's Probationary Period) (to be taken in Part II at the end of the meeting).

108.

URGENCY PROCEDURE

Councillor W G Isaac moved, and it was duly seconded, and;

Resolved: That the Urgency Procedure be considered in Part II at the end of the meeting.

109.

PETITIONS

Councillor Mrs M Brown presented a petition signed by 798 residents of Torrington and district and 34 organisations belonging to Torrington Together which "sought firm assurances from Torridge District Council that they would keep their promise to refurbish the existing swimming pool in Great Torrington, internally and externally, and ensure the facility would still be available in Great Torrington to serve the town and surrounding parishes until a new swimming pool had been built in Torrington."

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

110.

2006/07 COUNCIL TAX BASE RESOLUTION

The joint report of the Strategic Director (Resources) and the Head of Customer Services was considered with regard to the calculation of the Council Tax base for the year 2006/07.

Resolved:

(1) That the report for calculation of the Council's tax base for the year be approved.

(2) That pursuant to the report and in accordance with the Local Authority's (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the amount calculated by Torridge District Council as its tax base for the year 2006/07 be £22,337.66 as set out in Appendix A and the tax base for each of the parishes for 2006/07 shall be as set out in Appendix B of the joint report of the Strategic Director (Resources) and the Head of Customer Services.

111.

APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT MEMBERS OF STANDARDS COMMITTEE

The Council considered the report of the Solicitor relating to the appointment of four additional Independent Members to the Standards Committee. Information was provided on the process for the appointment of these Members and it was noted all candidates interviewed were of a high calibre. The Solicitor reported that one of the successful candidates had declined to accept the appointment and recommended that the first reserve should take his place.

Resolved: That the appointment of the following four Independent Members to the Standards Committee be approved:-

(1) Richard De-Crausaz

(2) Mike Edson

(3) Stanley Morgan

(4) Sarah Wragge-Morley

112.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 (AS AMENDED)

Resolved: That under Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

113.

POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE - 12TH DECEMBER 2005

Minute 112 (Review of Chief Executive's Probationary Period) was presented and its adoption moved and seconded.

Following a discussion, it was;

Resolved: That Minute 112 be received and to the extent necessary adopted.

114.

URGENCY PROCEDURE

Following a discussion, it was;

Resolved: That the Urgency Procedure relating to the temporary revision of the approved Scheme of Delegation following the resignation of the Head of Planning Services be endorsed.

The meeting commenced at 6.30 pm and ended at 8.20 pm.