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Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 4 April 2024 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor K Bines
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor K Hind

South Ward:

Councillor Ms R Clarke
Councillor S Inch
Councillor P Lawrence

West Ward:

Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor T Inch
Councillor M Taylor

East Ward

Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor J Hellyer
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr P Swan (Town Clerk)
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)

136. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillors D McGeough (North Ward – DCC Meeting) and J Craigie (East Ward – Personal).

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

Councillor Mrs Gubb declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. (committee member of the Bideford Massed Pipes and Drums, Carnival Committee, Port of Bideford Regatta Committee and a member of the Youth Pipe Band.)

Councillor S Inch declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 7. (committee member / Trustee: Bideford Keyboard and Organ Club, Landivisiau Twinning Association, Bideford Massed Pipes & Drums, Bideford Town Band, Port of Bideford Regatta, Bideford Carnival Committee). Councillor S Inch also declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 8. (Planning Application, very close to his own property, affects him personally).

Councillor Taylor declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. (Rotary President).

Councillor Hind declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. (Water Festival).

Councillor Ms Clarke non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. (TTVS).

Councillor Bines non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8. (Handy Cross Allotment Site, Allotment Holder).

Councillor T Inch non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. (Landivisiau Twinning and Rotary Member).

138. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

There were no members of the Public.

139. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 February 2024 were approved as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0, Abstention: 3)

140. ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

141. DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL (COUNCILLOR) REPORT

a. The Mayor invited Councillor Mrs Hellyer to provide Members with an update.

b. Councillor Mrs Hellyer advised:

• The consultation on the draft proposal to establish the Devon and Torbay Combined County Authority has now closed. It will be presented to the Full Council on 29 April 2024.

• The North Devon Link Centres in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Bideford have closed. The buildings will be retained and operated by the statutory funded Devon Mental Health Alliance.

• The Minor Injuries Unit at Dawlish reopened on 2 April 2024; there is no news on Bideford’s closed facility.

• There has been an increase in the foster carer allowance in the face of increased need but fall in the number of foster parents.

• Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon and Exeter and Greater Devon Coroners Courts will merge. (She did not know if this would impact North Devon / Torridge; Councillor Inch expressed concern for bereaved families having to travel to a central office, at a difficult and sensitive time, should the South Molton office be subject to such a merger.)

Councillors T Inch observed the Morrison’s paraphernalia having a detrimental impact upon Jubilee Square.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer indicated that although Jubilee Square remained a Highways’ responsibility her advice had been, in the absence of the Highway Officer, to engage with Morrisons at a local level, in the first instance.

Councillor Busby indicated that the Planning Enforcement Officer would have a responsibility. He noted that their storage of cages and packing represented a fire risk.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer spoke of the difficulties in establishing responsibility and enforcement action (for Councils) citing a caravan sited on Old Barnstaple Road. If it is abandoned TDC hold the responsibility. If it is occupied / dwelling, DCC hold the responsibility albeit by forcing a move simply places the issue elsewhere, with the same scenario.

c. The Mayor thanked Councillor Mrs Hellyer for her contribution.

142. COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR / TOWN CLERK

The Town Clerk advised that the Citizen / Young Citizen Award request for nominations will be posted on the Council website / social media; closing date: 25 April 2024 (to be considered at the SF&GP Meeting to be held on 2 May 2024).

The Chairman advised that the Mayor’s Easter Bingo Fundraiser will be held (tomorrow) Friday 5 April 2024; “eyes down,” 7.15 pm sharp, Town Hall.

143. PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

a. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 March 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

b. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 April 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)

(Councillor S Inch, having declared a pecuniary interest, did not participate in the vote.)

144. TOURISM COMMITTEE MEETING

The Chairman of the Committee, Council Mrs Gubb, advised Members that on Sunday 28 April from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm there will be a Town Centre Clean-up day. Councillors are invited to attend and support the initiative. Most tools will be provided including “high-viz.”

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 April 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

145. MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 March 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

146. GRANTS FOR LOCAL ORAGNISATIONS

Members considered the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee grant recommendations.

Discussion points included adherence to criteria, importance and benefit to the (wider) community and the future need to introduce Policy and review criteria.

It was proposed by Councillor T Inch, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the Grants recommendations made at the Staffing Finance and General Purposes Committee Meeting held on 15 February 2024 are approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 2)

(Councillor K Hind, having declared a pecuniary interest, did not participate in the vote.)

147. ORDER OF BUSINESS

The Chairman, supported by the Members, brought forward item 13. Standing Orders to provide for consideration prior to the adoption of the Staffing Finance and General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes.

STANDING ORDERS – TO ADOPT NALC MODEL INCLUDING AMENDEMENTS

Members engaged in full discussion including Mayor and Deputy Mayor Committee membership, size of Committees and meeting protocols.

It was proposed by Councillor Hawkins, seconded by Councillor Ms Clarke and

RESOLVED: That the NALC Model Standing Orders 2018 (England) – Updated April 2022 are adopted, including the following amendments:

a. Committee numbers and constituent members:

Meeting (numbers) Mayor / Deputy Mayor Councillors

SF&GP (9) Mayor and Deputy Mayor 7
Market Management (7) Mayor 6
Planning (7) Mayor 6
Tourism (7) Mayor 6
Decarbonisation & Environment Mayor 6
Allotment (9) Mayor 6 (+ 2 Allotment tenants)

b. All reference to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Council to be amended to Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

c. Chapter 3. Meetings Generally paragraph i: to be amended to allow for a person to remain seated, when requesting to speak and stand when speaking (except when a person has a disability or is likely to suffer discomfort). The chair of the meeting may at any time permit a person to be seated when speaking.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 2)

148. STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES (SF&GP) COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 March 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 2)

149. NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillors K Hind.

To amend Standing Orders Section 4a Committees and sub Committees.

Councillor Hind explained his Motion that had been circulated to Members. It provided for each councillor to have an equitable opportunity to serve on a Committee.

Councillor J Hellyer seconded the Motion.

Members engaged in full and robust discussions reflecting upon established procedures and protocols that had evolved and the desire for greater clarity and transparency in the present.

It was proposed by Councillor Hind, seconded by Councillor J Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported. Standing Orders Section 4a Committees and sub Committees to include the following:

The Council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be necessary and:

i. shall determine their terms of reference.
ii. shall determine the number and time of the ordinary meetings of a standing committee up until the date of the next annual meeting of the Council.
iii. shall permit a committee, other than in respect of the ordinary meetings of a committee, to determine the number and time of its meetings.
iv. shall, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c), appoint and determine the terms of office of members of such a committee.
v. may, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c), appoint and determine the terms of office of the substitute members to a committee whose role is to replace the ordinary members at a meeting of a committee if the ordinary members of the committee confirm to the Proper Officer (2) days before the meeting that they are unable to attend;
vi. shall, after it has appointed the members of a standing committee, appoint the chair of the standing committee.
vii. shall permit a committee other than a standing committee, to appoint its own chair at the first meeting of the committee.
viii. shall determine the place, notice requirements and quorum for a meeting of a committee and a sub-committee which, in both cases, shall be no less than three.
ix. shall determine if the public and press are permitted to attend the meetings of a sub-committee and also the advance public notice requirements, if any, required for the meetings of a sub-committee.
x. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a sub-committee that they are permitted to attend; and
xi. may dissolve a committee or a sub-committee.
xii. Committees of the Council shall be defined as be primary and secondary. The primary committees are Staffing and Finance, Market Management, Tourism and Planning Committees. The secondary committees are all other committees.
xiii. Every councillor shall sit on one primary committee.
xiv. Chairs and deputy chairs of each committee will be elected by the Committee for one year unless they resign or decease.
xv. No Councillor may be chair of more than one primary committee in any one year.
xvi. Prior to the Annual Council the Town Clerk will consult with all individual councillors to establish their committee choices and recommend to the Annual Council the membership of committees, taking into account as far as possible the preferences expressed by councillors.
xvii. Any issues about councillors’ membership of committees will be resolved by the annual council, if necessary, by vote.

(Vote – For:10, Against: 3)

150. NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillors K Hind.

To amend the Levelling Up document submitted to TDC and the Levelling Up Partnership:

a. Amend the report to remove proposal for Petroc to create a campus in Bideford but retain proposal for the Methodist Church to be a community centre and performance venue for the town.

b. Offers to take responsibility for the running and maintenance of the Methodist Church in partnership with an Arts and Performance Trust to be created, subject to survey and business plan created for the centre.

c. Requests that the Levelling Up Partnership Place Board recommend to the government that the capital cost of purchasing the church be obtained from the Levelling Up Fund and the title in the land and buildings be transferred to Bideford Town Council or Torridge District Council.

d. The Councils amended proposals be sent to TDC, Torridge MP, all members of the Levelling Up Partnership Place Board, and the government.

e. The Councils Levelling Up Proposals be promoted in the press and social media, so Bideford residents are aware of what is being done in their name.

Councillor Hind explained that Petroc had withdrawn their interest in the Project. The Purchase of the Methodist Church would provide for the setting up of a trust to appeal to the (Performing) Arts. The 500 seater building has wonderful acoustics and a number of side rooms.

Councillor J Hellyer seconded the Motion.

Councillor Bushby did not believe that TDC would countenance acceptance of the title in the land and buildings. He further believed that the running and maintenance costs would be a “mill stone” to the Town Council.

Discussion developed including reference to the Pannier Market Hall the development of which is hoped to include cultural and musical Events.

Councillor Bushby proposed and was seconded by Councillor S Inch that the Motion be rejected.

The vote for the Motion, was taken first, proposed by Councillor Hind, seconded by Councillor J Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 3)

151. BIDEFORD TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP MEETING

The Notes from the Meeting held on 15 March 2024 were received.

152. TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor Bushby advised:

a. That a meeting will be held at the Pollyfield Centre on 9 April 2024 to discuss the TDC Maintenance Facility. It is a public meeting; everyone is encouraged to attend.

b. The Victoria Play Park facility has just been signed off; the Mayor will be invited to attend the opening; everyone is encouraged to attend.

153. BRIDGE TRUST

Councillor McKenzie gave detail on income, Estate expenditure, Grants: individual, student and group.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.35 pm.

 

Table of accounts as at 280324

Table of Accounts presented for approval 040424

 

 


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