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It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our former Mayor and Councillor, Phil Pester. Phil Pester

Phil was a Town Councillor from 2007 until 2019 as well as serving as a Torridge District Councillor.  Also elected as Mayor twice, Phil served the Town in 2010 – 2011 and again in 2015 – 2016. On both occasions he was immensely proud to be Mayor and put his heart and soul into the role.  He had a great love for Bideford and was very proud to have served as a Councillor for so long.  Many would know him for his forthright views and his no-nonsense attitude to getting projects completed. 

Phil worked hard with DS Electrical to project manage the amazing Christmas Lights we have in Bideford.  He also led the project to provide the coach stop by Landivisiau Walk. Phil was the Town Council's Internal Auditor for several years, and also served as Chair of a number of Committees during his time with the Council, including Staffing and Finance and The Allotment Committee.

A huge supporter of Bideford Football Club, Phil could often be seen in “the shed” shouting for the Robins, always dressed very smartly and upright.  He had a marvellous sense of humour and would brighten up the Council offices with his jokes and bright personality.

A big character who, even though he was no longer an active Councillor, will be very sadly missed by many here at Bideford Town Council.
The Town Clerk, Heather Blackburn, who had worked with Phil during his time at Bideford Town Council and as Mayor, said that she was deeply saddened by the news.  "Phil was a very dedicated Councillor, with Bideford's interests at his heart.  He was a great support to the staff and when Phil came into the office, it was always with a smile and a story to tell.   He will be deeply missed."
Councillor David Ratcliff, paid tribute saying " Phil was always full of cheer and a pleasure to know. A cheery smile with good humour and his commitment to Bideford will be his epitaph. My thoughts are with his family at this time."
Councillors Mrs Jude Gubb paid homage to Phil and said "My thoughts go to Pam and family. Phil was a great man, who worked hard throughout his time as a Town Councillor,  President  of the Bideford Reds Rowing Club and Chieftain of the Bideford Youth Pipe Band.You will be sorely missed. R.I.P. my dear friend."
Lesley Dixon-Chatfield  -  Assistant to the Town Clerk remembered Phil saying "Phil was so kind to me when I first joined the Council and made me feel very welcome and not at all like the “new girl”.  He always brightened up the office when he visited and we had some great telephone banter.  He was easy to work with on projects and was a very willing Mayor when it came to booking events.  I am very saddened that we have lost him so quickly and my warmest wishes go to Pam and to their family."
Councillor Doug Bushby said that he had first met Phil about ten years ago when he joined the Conservative Club in Bideford. "Phil was the Chairman at that time and we got on very well together. Several years later Philip encouraged me to run for a position on the Town Council when he was the Mayor. It soon became clear that Philip was a passionate supporter of all things Bideford and a very good Councillor. It was amusing at times to listen to Philip voicing his opinion on a variety of topics in a way that only he could! He will be sadly missed."
Our condolences and sincere thoughts are with Pam, and  family.  



Christmas Parking

Bideford Town Council are pleased to offer free parking in a number of car parks during the lead up to Christmas.

Free Parking will be from 10.00am on the following dates:

Saturday 30 November - free parking in Bridge Street, The Pill, Pannier Market (Honestone Street), The Manor and The Quay car parks.

Sunday 1 December - Christmas Lights Switch On. There will free parking in Bridge Street, Pannier Market (Honestone Street) and The Pill car parks.

In order to allow set up for the Christmas Lights Switch On, The Quay and the Manor car parks will be closed from 6.00pm on Saturday 30 November and will rreopen on Monday 2 December at 8.00am.

Saturday 14 and 21 December - Free parking in Bridge Street, The Pill, Pannier Market (Honestone Street), The Manor and The Quay car parks.

In support of the "Small Business Day" event on Saturday, 7 December, there will be free park in all Bideford car parks from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm, courtesy of Torridge District Council.

On street metered parking is NOT included at any time.

Further information can be obtained from the Parking Office - Torridge District Council - 01237 428981 or 428897



Cooper Street Installation of Heritage Statues Mayor Peter Christie, Heather Blackburn - Bideford Town Council Clerk, Peach Shaw (red coat), Bill Shaw, Cllr. Doug Bushby, Rob Braddick, Cllr. Dermot McGeough.


Photo by Ray Goldsmith  -

Two heritage statues were unveiled today in Cooper Street, Bideford by Council officials and local business sponsors. Crafted from mild steel, copper and brass the galvanised statues are the first of four, and were made in Northam by bespoke metal workers Bill and Peach Shaw.

The idea was first borne a decade ago by the late Cllr. Steve Clarke who had the inspiration to make a metal arch at the bottom of Cooper Street stating 'this way to the heart of Bideford'. Unfortunately this was ruled out due to CCTV, fire and emergency vehicle access requirements.
Rob and Graham Braddick of Braddicks Leisure Ltd. funded the 'Cooper', the first piece of art which is now situated at the bottom of Cooper Street.

Rob commented, "As time went by all went quiet until I approached the then Mayor of Bideford in 2017, Dermot McGeough, to run an initiative of displaying street art on four buildings in Cooper Street with the aim of creating an attractive area and to regenerate an interest in the town. Dermot's response to this was to propose a motion to forward the project on April 18th of that year. After it passed we assisted by purchasing the first piece of art."

"The idea was that each individual piece would illustrate a time in the history of the little 'White Town'. Dermot generated funding for a further three of the four pieces.This was followed in 2018 by the then Mayor Doug Bushby's assistance who also helped with funding and pushing the project forward. Current Mayor Peter Christie also supported the project from the outset."

Cllr. Dermot McGeough, Conservative group Leader of Torridge District Council said, "This is an ongoing project that I gave full support to when I was Mayor and presented the notice of motion to acquire one of the pieces of art work. It brightens Cooper Street up and shows the important heritage links that we need to promote to encourage visitors to our town."

Bill Shaw said, "Well, after a decade's wait it's great to finally see the work on the wall in Cooper Street. I think people tend to whizz past Bideford so anything that attracts visitors and generates interest in our town and heritage has got to be a good thing. Peach and I are looking forward to finishing up the next two statues."

Regarding the other statues, the next one, the Bideford merchant, was funded by Bideford Town Council. The next two street art pieces are currently in early production and will be funded through Torridge District Council's Community Grants Scheme.

Special thanks go out to former Council Head Jane Whittacker who arranged extra funding through the New Homes Bonus Scheme. This was topped up by a Communities Together Grant from Devon County Council in conjunction with Torridge District Council.


Introducing the Mayor and Deputy Mayor

Mayor and Mayoress Mayor and Mayoress of Bideford - Cllr Peter Christie and Ms Annette Goodwin 

On Thursday, 16 May, the full Town Council elected the Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor for 2019-2020.  Councillor Peter Christie was elected Mayor for the year and Councillor Ruth Craigie was elected Deputy Mayor for the same period of time. 

Councillor Peter Christie, representing Bideford North Ward on the Town Council, is a semi-retired teacher, well-known local historian and author of historical books.  He is the longest serving councillor on Bideford Town Council, and has previously served as Mayor of Bideford in 1985-1986 and 2004-2005.

Councillor Ruth Craigie was elected as Deputy Mayor.  Councillor Craigie, representing Bideford East Ward, has been a serving councillor on Bideford Town Council since 2015. 

Councillor Ruth Craigie Deputy Mayor 2019-2020 


  • Our latest newsletter 'Winter 2019' edition is available at the Town Council Offices at Bridge Street and is delivered to households through local newspapers to our residents and voters.
    Front cover newsletter winter 2019

    View and Download here

  • View our Town Guide at your leisure?

    You can download it as a set of documents to your local device.

    Bideford Town Guide 19 20 Page 01

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