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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 30 August 2018 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor P S Christie (Chairman)
Councillor D Bushby (Town Mayor)
Councillor P J Pester

South Ward:

Councillor A Inch (Substitute for Cllr S Inch)
Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr J Jarroudi (Community Engagement Officer ,Torridge District Council)

023.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor D Howell, South (Outer), (Personal), Councillor S Inch, South Ward (Personal).

Councillor D G Brenton contacted the Town Clerk following the meeting to advise that he had tried to attend the meeting at 7.30 pm following his Bridge Trust meeting, but had been unable to access the meeting, as the front door had been closed.

024.      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

025.      PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

026.     MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 July 2018 are approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0, Abstentions:1)

027.     CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

• The Town Clerk advised that the New Homes Bonus Application submitted to Torridge District Council for £10,000 towards the decorative columns for Cooper St. had passed the scoring stage.

• The Town Clerk, Councillor Bushby and The Projects Officer from Torridge District Council, are in the process of completing a Leader 5 application for the purchase of a second hand Dotto Train.

• The Town Clerk asked Members to clarify the wording to be put on the Order of Service on Remembrance Sunday, and it was agreed to state that the Town Council was contributing towards the event.

028.    ACCOUNTS

a.        Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded by Councillor Langmead, and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

b.        EXTERNAL AUDITOR’S CERTIFICATE AND OPINION 2017/2018

Members considered the external auditors certificate and opinion 2017/18.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RESOLVED: That the external auditor’s certificate and opinion 2017/18 is accepted.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

029.    NEW BIDEFORD WHEEL PARK DEVELOPMENT

The Community Engagement Officer from Torridge District Council gave a presentation on the new Bideford Wheel Park development. He advised that he has been working on this project for several years with the aim of providing a real go-to destination activity, rather than just a standard skate park.

Planning permission has been confirmed for the site, which is the redundant tennis courts within the sports ground. £50,000 has been secured from Sport England, £125,000 from Torridge District Council and £10,000 from Torrington Landfill.

Mr Jarroudi showed Members the design and advised that Canvas has won the tender. He is still looking for funding for some of the elements within the project.

The Additional elements were specified as:

• 2 x planters
• Landscape seating
• Hardstanding seating
• Bideford long bridge block
• River concrete
• Concrete picnic benches
• CCTV
• Flower beds
• Art walls - (some will be taken from existing park)
• Flood Lighting

Members discussed the possibility of funding the landscape seating which would act as a buffer to sound. Members asked how high this would be, and Mr Jarroudi advised that he didn’t have this figure, although an acoustic survey had been undertaken, and it would conform with these recommendations. Councillor Bushby noted that noise would not just be generated by the skateboards, the sounds of the participants needed to be taken into account. Members need to be sure that the earth bank will do its job. Mr Jarroudi said that he would let the committee know what the height will be as the acoustics has been the main point for consideration. Councillor Christie brought the planning application up on his tablet, and said that he thought that the Landscape seating looked to be about 2.5 m.

Members raised questions concerning the fencing between the Wheels Park and the football ground and whether football matches could be seen for free over the fence. Mr Jarroudi advised that there would be no view of the matches from the Wheels Park. Members questioned whether footballs are likely to go over into the Wheels Park, possibly causing injury. Mr Jarroudi advised that ROSPA deems it to be within the bounds of safety. Torridge District Council will provide the insurance .

Councillor Inch asked whether the Wheels Park would be of an Olympic standard? Mr Jarroudi advised that it will not, it is for recreational usage, although it will accommodate all levels from novice to high standard.

Members asked about adjacent facilities and the differences between these and the planned facility in Bideford. Mr Jarroudi advised that in designing the flow of the park, feedback had been taken into consideration.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council will contribute the cost of the landscape seating (£5,850) subject to the height being sufficient to act as a buffer to sound.

(Vote: For: 5, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

030.    MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS

Presentment Number: 5 – A Changing Places facility in Bideford for those who are disabled or wheelchair bound This enables families with a member who is incontinent to be changed with dignity in a dry housing with the necessary equipment and facilities. Currently in Bideford the options are to either not go out for the day in the Town or change the person on the floor. We request this Council writes to Torridge District Council and Atlantic Village requesting future plans for such a facility.

The Town Clerk advised that she had sent reminders to both Atlantic Village and Torridge District Council of this request. Atlantic Village have written back to advise that they have passed this on to head office who are considering it. No response has been received from Torridge District Council. Members discussed where such a facility could be incorporated within Bideford and the toilets at Victoria Park were deemed to be the best option.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RESOLVED: That The Town Clerk writes to Torridge District Council and asks if it would be possible to put a Changing Places Facility in Victoria Park.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0 )

Presentment Number: 5 – That the Council investigates installing Recycling bins for Plastic on the quay for cyclists, runners, visitors to deposit their empty bottles etc. and that this council investigates the possibility of installing hygienic water fountains in Victoria Park and on Bideford Quay with Plastic recycling bins nearby to show support for the campaign to stop using plastics.

Councillor Christie advised that he had not been able to source a fountain that incorporates a drinking facility for dogs underneath, although a dog bowl could be secured to the fountain via a chain. He showed Members the fountain he had selected as the most appropriate choice, following his research. It is very sturdy, which will be required given its proposed location, and has both a drinking facility and water bottle refill facility. The cost is £576 including vat. Councillor Christie advised that if Members were in agreement, he would progress permission to place the fountain on 1 Queen St..

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the water fountain is purchased at a cost of £576 (following permission from Torridge District Council), and that Councillor Christie requests permission to install it from the owner of the building, Torridge District Council.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0 )

031.     STANDARD FOR THE MAYOR’S CADET

Members considered the purchase of a standard for the Mayor’s Cadet during parades and decided they would like the standard to display the Town Flag rather than the Union Flag.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RESOLVED: That a standard bearing the Town Flag is purchased for the Mayor’s Cadet during parades.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0 )

032.     GRANT CRITERIA

Members considered the criteria against which grant applications are measured following advice published by NALC with regard to grant payments to religious organisations. The NALC advice states “In respect of religious organisation, section 8 of the Local Government Act 1894 prohibits a town council from contributing to the cost of works on the property of an ecclesiastical charity. This is defined as including a charity for “any spiritual purpose which is a legal purpose.”

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the grant criteria are updated to reflect the Nalc advice. The Town Clerk will write to the two churches who have applied for a grant to maintain their buildings, advising them of the criteria. She will advise that although their current applications cannot be accepted, there is still time to make an alternative application if they wish.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

033.     FREE PARKING COSTS DURING THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD

Members considered the Parking cost received from Torridge District Council for the free parking initiative during the Christmas period. Members discussed whether this was something the public wanted and appreciated, and agreed it was. Members also discussed the measures that could be taken to prevent customers putting in parking money by mistake. The Town Clerk advised the usual process for this (advertising, A frame display, notice next to payment slot on meter).

The Town Clerk advised Members that the organisers of the Bike Show had asked whether they could use one of the town’s free parking days, but it was felt that these were need for the Christmas free parking initiative, and the Bike Show’s request should be addressed under the grant application process.

Members felt that the free parking provided by Torridge District Council during small businesses day should be in line with the timings offered by the Town Council, to avoid confusion.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council agrees to fund the free parking initiative at the cost of £2,300 & vat, with Torridge District Council being asked to align the free parking times for the Small Business Day with those of the Town Council.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

034.     TOWN PLANTERS

The Town Clerk advised that she had visited the Handy Cross Allotments with The Mayor and Maintenance Team and had identified an area of land, together with the Chairman of the Handy Cross Allotments where the planters could be stored during the winter months. The land would need to be levelled for this purpose, and she had obtained 3 quotes, which also included levelling the land required to house the two new storage containers which were being provided via a Devon County Council grant supported by Devon County Councillor Tony Inch.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Councillor Inch and

RESOLVED: That the quotation from Eddie Pollit is accepted. (It was also noted that the town planters look magnificent this year.)

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0.)

The Town Clerk advised that the plants for next year will need to be ordered soon. She will need to send out a tender document, and Members suggested she asked Moreton Nurseries for the current quantities within the planters. She asked if she could agree which tender to accept in conjunction with Councillor S Inch.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Inch and

RESOLVED: That The Town Clerk and Councillor S Inch are given delegated authority to select the supplier for next year’s plants for the town’s planters. This is to be based on a similar display to that provided this year.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0 )

035.     NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCILLOR D BUSHBY

“The Provision of hanging baskets along Mill Street including hanging brackets and a full irrigation system as part of the regeneration of Bideford Town Centre.”

Councillor Bushby explained that the proposal was for 120 hanging baskets to be positioned along Mill Street. He has visited each of the shops involved and has an in principle agreement from each trader. The supplier will install irrigation, brackets, baskets and remove the baskets at the end of the season for storage. Shopkeepers will be encouraged to buy their own basket refills the following year and subsequent years at a cost of approximately £35. The overall cost of setting up the project initially, including the first year costs will be £14,000. The funding proposal is as follows:

£5,000 - Contribution from the remaining Asda 106 money.
£4,000 - Contribution from the Chamber of Commerce.
£5,000 - Contribution from Bideford Town Council. (To be applied for from TAP fund)

(Councillor Inch left the room).

Members asked the following questions:

• Who will pay for the water? - The detail of this is yet to be worked out, but there are offers from traders to do this. The water consumption will be approximately 1litre per basket per day.
• The baskets will need to be high enough to avoid collision with high vehicles.
• Will the baskets drip water? - They will be watered either early in the morning, or late in the evening.

(Councillor Inch returned to the meeting).

• Where will the baskets be stored in the winter? – With the supplier.
• The permission of the owner of the building will be required.
• Who will collect the replanting payment the following year? – Bideford Town Council.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council contributes £5,000 (via a TAP fund application) towards the provision of hanging baskets along Mill Street provided written permission is obtained from the owner of each building.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0 )

036.     NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCILLOR D MCGEOUGH

“The purchase of a second vehicle for the Maintenance Team.”

This item was counted as withdrawn as Councillor McGeough was not at the meeting.

037.     MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES

Members received an update on the tasks undertaken by the Maintenance Operatives and noted the report.

• The Town Clerk advised Andy Curtis had been appointed as Maintenance Team Supervisor.
• Councillor Langmead advised that the refurbishment of the benches had been really well done and asked that The Town Clerk passed this on to the Maintenance Team. This was agreed by all Members.

038.     PART II CLOSED SESSION

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Pester and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, the meeting moves into part II.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

039.     STAFFING MATTERS

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

040.     Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RESOLVED: That The Meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.02 pm.

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