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  Clifford Coates    Clifford Coates receiving his Landivisiau Town Medal from the Mayor of Landivisiau, Laurence Claisse

Clifford Coates receiving his Landivisiau Town Medal from the Mayor of Landivisiau, Laurence Claisse    

Clifford Coates.2

Clifford with Dr Luc Daniel of Landivisiau at a Twinning Reception in the Town Hall.

It is with great sadness, especially at this Festive time, that we announce the passing of Clifford Coates, who passed peacefully in his sleep, just two weeks before his 97th birthday.

Clifford was Mayor of Bideford for the 1976-1977 term, a time when the 1974 Boroughs Act was settling in and Bideford was changed from  a Borough to a Town Council – with emergence of Torridge District Council as the Authority.

During Clifford’s term as Mayor, he co-founded (with the Mayor of Landivisiau) the Bideford/Landivisiau Twinning Association (which will celebrate its 45 year Charter in 2022). The Association is still going strong and is still as popular with a visit each year here to Bideford and from here to Landivisiau (under normal circumstances).

Clifford has always shown a great interest in Bideford Town Council, in his advancing years and has attended many of the Civic functions, enjoying meeting up with Councillors for a newly installed Mayor’s Introduction, coming along to Manor Court and attending the Twinning Receptions. And not forgetting his attendance to every Remembrance Day even including this year when he enjoyed catching up with Town Council staff and Councillors.

Clifford will be very sadly missed by all who knew him.

Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.  The Bideford Town Councillors have made the following tributes:


Councillor Dermot MCGeough said:

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of such a great man who was loved by so many people.
He was a war hero, Bideford’s fire station chief, Mayor, local businessman, but most of all a family man. I will miss visiting him at his house, enjoying a rum with him listening to his stories and his passion for Bideford..!

My condolences to Clifford’s family, now he can be at peace with his beloved wife…

Sincerely and fraternally
Dermot McGeough

Councillor Peter Christie, who provided the photograph of Clifford from when he was Mayor in 19977 said: I am very sad to hear of Clifford's passing. I remember Clifford mainly from his days on the Bridge Trust where, as an ex-Marine, he was adamant that every child in Bideford should be able to swim. His fellow trustees agreed to his suggestion that we should fund swimming lessons at the Northam Pool - and pay for transport there - something we still do today - a practical memorial to Clifford. 

Councillor Simon Inch said:

Such sad news about Clifford. Whilst I did not serve on the Council at the same time, I did meet him on several occasions at Civic functions.
Clifford served Bideford well as Mayor and his country when he was in the Marines. He always attended the Remembrance Parade and Service, as he did this year.

He was a very well respected gentleman and always came across as a fun and a friendly man.

My condolences to his family at this sad time.



In light of the recent increase of Avian Influenza cases in the UK, the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed to bring in new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian flu.

From MONDAY 29 NOVEMBER, it is a legal requirement for ALL keepers of poultry and captive birds in the UK to keep their birds indoors in a safe covered area and to follow the strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.

Keepers must now do the following:

House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds.

Cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds.

Minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.

In addition, keepers are now legally bound, with immediate effect, to follow strict biosecurity measures to protect poultry and birds.

All information can be found here:





On the left wearing his Chain of Office Town Mayor David Ratcliff with Mayoress Mrs Philippa Ratcliff 

Councillor David Ratcliff - Town Mayor 2021-2022

01237 424921
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On Tuesday, 4 May, the Town Council elected the Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor for 2021-2022.

Councillor David Ratcliff was elected Mayor for the year and Councillor Jude Gubb was elected Deputy Mayor for the same period.

A Councillor for Bideford West Ward, this is David Ratcliff’s second time as Mayor of Bideford, he first took the role in the term 2007-2008.

David is an ex-businessman, Bideford based, of 22 years. Now retired, and after a few health battles, he decided to return to Town Council after being asked to stand for election in May 2019.

David managed to secure funding, put forward and formulated the plan for the Old Town Planters which has created a floral gateway to Clovelly Road. He wants to see Bideford thriving and moving forward, especially after the Covid-19 Pandemic.

His membership on Council Committees & Outside Bodies are: Staffing, Finance & General Purposes, Market Management, Grievance & Disciplinary, Emergency Planning, Bideford & District Community Archive, Bideford Bridge Trust, Bideford Twinning Association, Bideford Regatta Committee.


Cllr Jude Gubb Deputy Mayor 2021 2022

Councillor Jude Gubb - Deputy Town Mayor 2021-2022

01237 475455
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Jude Gubb has lived East the Water for more than 30 years and is probably more widely known as DJ Jude. When she is not DJ’ing she practices music therapy at residential homes where she combines Music Memories with a bit of Keep Fit. Jude works tirelessly in organising events along with her fellow Councillors on the Tourism Committee and is central to the success of Bideford Fair. She is also a member of the Bideford Youth Pipe Band.

Jude first joined the Town Council in 2018 and was successful again in the May 2019 elections.

Jude's membership on Councillor Committees & Outside Bodies are: Staffing, Finance & Gen Purposes, Allotments, Tourism, Personnel Appeals Panel, Bideford Bridge Trust, Bideford Regatta Committee.

Jude is also a District Councillor sitting on Torridge District Council.





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