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January 2010

Minutes of Meeting held at 7pm on Monday 18th January 2010 at Bideford Town Hall
Members present; Chairman: T. Pratt (NDYC), S. McKay (Env. Agency), M. Portman (MOD, .P. Fronteras (Maritime Volunteer Service and Westleigh PC), A.Atkinson (N.D. Sea Anglers), M. Roberts (Coastwise North Devon), C. Hassel (Rolle Canal Soc and CPRE), A. Littlejohn (RNLI), J.Kelly (RSPB), S Brown (Maritime Volunteer Service), A. Knight( Natural England), R. Hoad (Harbourmaster Bideford), A. Bell (Biosphere and ND Council), R. Day (AONB), C. Dukes (NDCCS), P.Haimes (Northam PC).
1) Introductions
The Chairman welcomed those attending.
Apologies for absence were received from: R. Knight (Barnstaple Town Council), W. Silver (Fremington P.C.), M. Shapland (Braunton P.C.), J. Earnshaw (GAIA Trust), Dr. M. Ford (Braunton Countryside Service)
2) Election of Officers
The Chairman reiterated his earlier statement that he was unable to continue in his present role and invited nominations for the posts of Chairman and Honorary Secretary.
None were received.
There being therefore no one to chair the meeting, it was proposed (by P.Fronteras, seconder S.Brown) that T.Pratt continue as Chairman for this meeting only. This was agreed.
Accordingly, the Chairman moved forward to 
Agenda Item 9, the future of the TTEF. :
Tony Pratt stated that as the Forum already knows he is standing down as Chairman at this meeting and in theory without a Chair the meeting cannot proceed. However, he was prepared to stand as Vice Chairman for which he required a proposed and seconder. He was not prepared to run future meetings.
After discussion it was agreed that there was little point in having a Vice Chairman under those circumstances and his offer was declined.
The TTEF was, therefore, in the unfortunate position of having no officers. 
The P & C Committee have been considering the possibility of no chairman forthcoming and have some ideas as to a possible way forward. These are;
a) the Forum would be allowed to lapse,
b) it might in some way be subsumed as a sub-committee/partner of the Biosphere
c) the P & C Sub-Committee might continue to hold meetings as a stop-gap,
d) the number of main meetings might be reduced, Chairman required
e) it could become in some way virtual run online using Facebook or some other device, reacting to suggestions from members,
f) any other suggestions?
The following were the main points of discussion;
R.Day stated that the Forum is the largest community group in north Devon. It particularly values its independence (from such bodies as Councils) and that independence is essential to its effective operation.
M.Portman noted that the problem of no person feeling able to take on the role of Chairman has not been solved in the last year and may indeed not be soluble. Perhaps the Forum has run its course or needs a paid Chairman. Alternatively, the role of Chairman could be made more attractive (and less onerous) if many functions were delegated to the Secretary, and that Secretary were sensibly paid to perform them. This was generally agreed.
P.Haimes stated that the Forum has continued in the past year to do valuable work. It must continue and we must work out a suitable way of achieving this. TP rephrase if desired 
The Chairman proposed that the membership be surveyed to establish what they found valuable in the actions of the Forum and for their ideas and opinions on its future, A.Bell seconded. This was accepted, 8 votes for, 2 abstentions. 
The Chairman thanked Chris Hassel, Malcolm Roberts and David Graham for their valuable work on the Consultation and Planning sub- committee and asked for additional volunteers to join it. DG is standing down, having retired from the MoD. It was agreed that a letter of thanks be sent to him.

3) Annual Accounts
Accounts, audited by Mary Jane Scott (to whom a letter of thanks will be sent), are attached. They were adopted as a true record. 
It was noted that the honoraria to Chairman and Hon Secretary have not been claimed. It was unanimously agreed however, that they should be maintained.
4) Annual Subscriptions 
With the future of the Forum in question, much discussion was given to the matter of subscription levels and timing. However, it was unanimously decided to maintain it at its present level of £20 per annum.

5) Minutes
Minutes of previous TTEF Meeting (19th October 2009)
Adopted, subject to the addition of Wayne Silver’s name to those attending.

6) Notes on Meetings of Policy and Consultations Committee (27th November 2009, 18th December 2009, 15 January 2010)
7) Matters Arising from the Minutes
Estuary Report 
M Portman stated that Fremington Camp has now closed. The MOD target for its disposal is the end of March 2010. The Braunton Burrows Training Area can hence no longer be run from Fremington and will therefore be run from Okehampton. This was therefore MP’s last meeting of the Forum.
Capt. R,Hood gave his report as Harbourmaster (attached).
Appledore Quay Wall: it is believed that a design of concrete panel has been selected.
Houseboats/ liveaboards on the estuary. The Chairman continues to try to elicit a response from Mr Bines, Planning Officer of North Devon Council.
Refreshing the Estuary Management Plan: C.Dukes presented a report (summary attached). Stakeholder discussions should start in late February.
Biosphere Reserve A.Bell reported that
A response has been given on the Shoreline Management Plan. 
The reserve is represented on Finding Sanctuary’s Devon Consultation Committee.
A beach clean at Broadsands is being undertaken on 21st March in conjunction with wildfowlers.
A lockable bollard is now in place at the south end of Instow beach. A lock has also been added to the gate at the north end.
AONB R.Day presented a report on this, their 50th anniversary year.(paper attached)
Estuary Officers Group: R.Day reported (summary attached) on the meeting of 9th December.
District Council Liaison: No D.C. personnel attended.
Waste to Energy Plant. The proposal has been shelved sine die.

8) Consultations
The Forum objected, on traffic grounds, to the retrospective application re the concrete batching plant at Yelland. NDC nevertheless gave permission.
Knapp House Marina Village. Opposed.- it would close the rural gap, the proposed marina would not be viable, it would create traffic for which the applicant’s solutions are inadequate, it would lose valuable landscape and habitat, its suggestions re flooding are unacceptable. A. Knight stated that Natural England is also opposed, owing to lack of information from the applicants on environmental and wildlife matters. Northam TC is also opposed.

9) Urgent Matters brought forward by the Chairman. Dealt with in (2) above.

10) Correspondence received.
a) Surf Bus Press Release 3/12/09
b) LSP Delivery Board Federation Event 28/01/
c) Info on ‘Consultation on marine plan areas within the English Inshore and English Offshore Marine Regions'
d) Winter Edition of Exepress E-mail if you want to see any
e) Movie Bus Project
f) TTVS Events Bulletin Dec. 09.
11) Agenda items proposed for next meeting: await the results of the survey.
12) Any Other Business:
Andrew Littlejohn stated that a new Tamar Class lifeboat is due to come to Appledore by early April.
Andrew Atkinson reported that local sea anglers had met Finding Sanctuary to report activity and catches for their Fishermap project. He also stated that the closure of the gate at Northam Burrows is a cause of major inconvenience to anglers. No keys have been given out.
Dates of next meetings (subject to the future of the Forum) were agreed as;
Monday, April, 19th – Barnstaple
Monday, 19th July – Bideford
Monday, 18th October – Barnstaple
Monday, 17th January, 2011 – Bideford

Important Note. Subsequent to the meeting it was discovered that the Civic Centre, Barnstaple was not available on the 19th April and so the meetings will now be as follows;
Monday, April, 19th –Bideford
Monday, 19th July – Bideford
Monday, 18th October – Barnstaple
Monday, 17th January, 2011 – Barnstaple