»

Full Council Meeting - 13 Feb 2006

Town Hall, Bideford 13th February 2006

TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL

MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

Town Hall, Bideford

13th February 2006

PRESENT: Councillor A G Gould (Chairman)

Councillor T Sillifant (Vice Chairman)

Councillors J Allen, A I Bewes, G Boundy, Mrs M Brown, G C Broyd, P S Christie (left meeting 7.15pm), P R Collins (left meeting 7.10pm), J W E Cowle, E J Davies, A J Eastman, A Eastwood OBE, Mrs P A Ferguson, R H Hicks, F Howard MBE, 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 (left meeting 7.25pm),

P J Sturges and R M M Tisdale.

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors H R Barton, R D Bond, H M Bone, Mrs S E I Bushby, S E L Clarke, D J Daniel, L S Ford and A T Inch.

115.

MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on the 19th December 2005 were presented.

A question was asked with regard to the decision contained in Minute 113. In response the Leader indicated that Group Leaders had been invited to discuss the issues concerned and a meeting would be arranged for this purpose.

Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 19th December 2005 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

116.

PRESENTATION BY GOVERNMENT OFFICE SOUTH WEST

The Council were advised that this presentation had been cancelled and would be rescheduled for a future meeting.

117.

PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION

Mr David Bruce spoke in connection with the recent increase in car parking charges approved by the Council. He expressed concerns with regard to the effects of the increase particularly for local businesses. He advised that his personal business had suffered a decline in trade since the works carried out on the Quay and had not fully recovered. The increase in car parking charges would therefore add additional problems. He stated that trading centres such as Atlantic Village do not charge for parking but in this instance the public were not encouraged to visit the Town of Bideford. He asked what measures the Council would take to revive trade in the Town and area.

118.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND LEISURE SERVICES COMMITTEE - 25TH JANUARY 2006

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.

119.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADING SERVICES COMMITTEE - 17TH JANUARY 2006

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

(a) Car Park Charges (Minute 69 refers)

In response to a request from a Member, the Chairman confirmed that Overview and Scrutiny 2 Committee had already examined car parking charges, but that he would be happy for them to do so again.

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny 2 Committee confirmed that he would be happy to scrutinise further the issue of car parking charges in approximately three months time, which would allow for full consideration to be given to the matter prior to proposals for car parking charges for the financial year 2007/08 being debated.

(b) Torridge District Housing Needs Survey and Dwelling Balance Analysis (Minute 72 refers)

Reference was made to the provision of affordable housing by RSL's, and to work carried out by David Couttie Associates. The Leader also sought the support of the County Councillors in respect of the provision of funding for affordable housing in Torridge.

(c) Development Site at East the Water, Bideford. (Minute 74 refers)

A Member welcomed the employment which would be established in Torridge, especially for the young, as a result of the above development.

Thereafter, it was;

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

120.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 15TH DECEMBER 2005

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

Councillor R H Hicks declared prejudicial interests in the following items/applications:-

Application No. 1/641/2005/OUT - Residential development, site access, service water attenuation and SUDS drainage scheme and footpath access to Winkleigh village centre, land between Shute Lane and Exeter Road, Winkleigh (acted for owners).

Application No. 1/1227/2003/24 - Residential development at OS 9447 and 0856 north of Calf Street, Torrington for Great Torrington Alms Houses (Act for owners).

Application No. 1/1814/2005/FUL - Extension to site to accommodate "slurry bag" for digestate storage - Holsworthy Biogas Plan, Manworthy, Holsworthy for Summerleaze Ltd (Act for objectors and negotiated alternative site with applicants).

The Minutes of the meeting were presented.

(a) Application No. 1/1916/2005/FUL - Erection of supervisory dwelling plus change of use at Beaconside House to holiday accommodation, Beaconside, Landcross, Bideford for Mr and Mrs M Singer.

In response to a Member's comment in connection with the above application, which had been refused, the Chairman advised that the Plans Committee currently had to work within the boundaries of the existing Local Plan. In this respect she also referred to the Local Development Framework Working Group, and encouraged all Councillors to attend these meetings so that they might have a better understanding of what was trying to be achieved.

(b) Application No. 1/0677/2005/FUL - Asda Stores Ltd

The Chairman read an amendment to this Minute relating to the comments received from Bideford Parish Council on the 11th May 2005. She advised that the Minutes would be amended accordingly when they were confirmed at the next Plans Committee meeting.

Thereafter it was;

Resolved: That the Minutes as presented be noted.

121.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 12TH JANUARY 2006

Councillor R H Hicks declared a prejudicial interest in the following application.

Application No. 1/2213/2005/COU - Retrospective application for change of use to regularise building/agricultural merchants operation incorporating the re-use of a redundant farm building and the construction of a shed for additional dry storage at Milford Farm, Hartland, Bideford for Gifford Supplies and Tool Hire (Applicants' family are clients).

The Minutes of the meeting were presented

Resolved: That the Minutes as presented be noted.

122.

PLANS COMMITTEE - 2ND FEBURUARY 2006

The Chairman advised that the Minutes of this meeting were not available for presentation at this time.

123.

HOUSING COMMITTEE - 18TH JANUARY 2006

Councillor W G Isaac declared a personal interest in Minute 60 (Review of Home Improvement Agency Contract) (member of TVS "Board of Management that operates the Handy Person Scheme").

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

(a) Review of Home Improvement Agency Contract (Minute 60 refers)

In response to a Member's concern relating to the implications for the Handy Person Scheme once it was absorbed within the new Home Improvement Agency contract, it was confirmed that a report on this topic would be submitted to a future Housing Committee meeting.

(b) Update on Housing Transfer Process (Minute 63 refers)

In response to a question it was confirmed that further advice was being sought from Government Office South West in respect of the commitment to serve three years on the Shadow Board.

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

124.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE - 21ST DECEMBER 2005

Councillor G C Broyd declared a personal interest in this item ("Standards").

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.

125.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE - 24TH JANUARY 2006

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.

126.

POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE - 6TH FEBRUARY 2006

Councillor Mrs P A Ferguson declared a prejudicial interest in Minute 122 (Cemetery Lodges and 18 Westcombe, Bideford) and left the meeting before the discussion and vote. (Husband Cemetery Caretake and we reside in the Higher Cemetery Lodge).

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

(a) Cemetery Lodges and 18 Westcombe, Bideford (Minute 122 refers)

In the absence of the Leader, the Chairman of the Council took the meeting for this item.

A Member expressed concern that no local agent had been appointed in respect of the proposals at Westcombe. It was noted that the appointment had been made as a result of a tendering process, and was part of the Framework Procedure.

Councillor Mrs P A Ferguson returned to the meeting and resumed the Chair.

(b) Insurance Indemnity for Members (Minute 123 refers)

Consideration of this item had been referred to Full Council for debate by the Policy and Resources Committee, as it affected all Members.

Councillor J Morrish moved, and it was duly seconded, and;

Resolved: That the extra funds for insurance indemnity for Members be borne by the District Council.

(Vote: 16 For, 2 Against, 3 Abstentions)

(c) Appledore Fishdock (Minute 136 refers)

Councillors were advised that reports relating to the Appledore Fishdock project would shortly be available in the Member's room Riverbank House, Bideford.

(d) Academy Revenues and Benefits Software (Minute 139 refers)

In response to a Member's question the Chief Executive provided an update in respect of the present position with regard to the Academy Licences.

Thereafter, it was;

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

127.

URGENCY PROCEDURE

Resolved: That the urgency procedure relating to virement of revenue from homelessness budget to salary budget be endorsed.

128.

PETITIONS

Councillor Mrs P A Ferguson presented a petition which expressed concerns with regard to the increase in car parking charges by the District Council.

Resolved: That the petition be referred to the Development and Trading Services Committee.

129.

NOTICE OF MOTION

The following Notice of Motion had been submitted by Councillor H R Barton.

"That within two months a report is brought to Council for the implementation of a scheme of public participation in meetings of the Plans Committee".

In the absence of Councillor Barton the Chairman read the following response:-

"Members are aware that this has been part of the Constitution Working Group's Programme. Officers in Corporate Support have gathered information from Authorities which have implemented public participation. The Constitution Working Group have discussed it and a report will go to the next Policy and Resources Committee. Members need to consider the implications and the scheme they wish to introduce."

130.

POLITICAL BALANCE

A report prepared by the Solicitor was submitted for consideration with regard to arrangements for the review of the political balance of the Council's Committees. Members were advised that under the provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 the Council was under a duty to review the political balance of its Committees from time to time. Following a review proposals were submitted for amendments to the current membership of the Council's main Committees.

Resolved:

(1) That each Committee of the Council listed in Appendix 3 of the Solicitor's report be politically balanced.

(2) That the political representation on each Committee of the Council listed in the Solicitor's report be as set out therein, incorporating the changes shown in italics.

(3) That in view of the above, the matter be referred to Group leaders to determine Membership of the Committees.

The meeting commenced at 6.30pm at ended at 7.50pm.