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Minutes of the Meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 8 March 2018 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor T Johns
Councillor D A D McGeough (Town Mayor)
Councillor P J Pester

South Ward:

Councillor D Brenton
Councillor J Day
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor B Wootton

South (Outer) Ward:

Councillor D Howell

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs R M Craigie
Councillor Mrs P Davies
Councillor M C Langmead
Councillor J A McKenzie

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr R D Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Councillor L Hellyer (DCC)
Mr A Smith (Bideford & District Chamber of Commerce)
Mr M Fitton (Franchise Business Mngr, Southern Co-op)
Dr P Bowser (Wings)
5 x Members of the Public

Prior to the start of the Meeting the Chairman spoke of the sad loss on the passing of Councillor Sam Robinson and called the Chamber to hold a minute’s silence – which was respectfully observed.

153.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor S G Inch (South Ward – illness).

Councillor Mrs Davies advised Members that she had attended the Meeting on account of the six month ruling. She alluded to her having recently suffered a stroke and as a consequence was unlikely to see the Meeting through, not being in the best of health.

The Chairman wished her a speedy recovery and wished her well. He invited her to leave the Meeting ascertaining that transport was available.

Councillor Mrs Davies left the Meeting.

154.     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillor Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 23. (Member, Bideford Bridge Trust).

155.     PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

No members of the public came forward to participate.

156.     MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 January 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

157.     ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

158.     BIDEFORD AND DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

a.         The Mayor welcomed Mr Alan Smith, Chairman of the Bideford and District Chamber of Commerce.

b.         Mr Smith thanked the Chairman and addressed the Members by reading a report that included:

• Monthly meetings are held with guest speakers.
• Desire to support TDC in the development of Brunswick Wharf and addressing the supply of industrial land required for the expansion of business.
• Support a permanent home for SS Freshspring sited closer to the centre of Bideford.
• Expression of support for the Land Train initiative.
• Appreciation of resurfacing works in Mill and Allhalland Streets.
• The Chamber has noted that effective policing in the District is dictated by financial constraints.
• Seeking appeal to a wider catchment area, through possible name change, to increase the membership attendance and influence.
• In receipt of excellent support from both Bideford Town and Torridge District Councils.
• AGM will be held at the Pier House on 3 May 2018.

c.        The Chairman invited Members to raise questions and comments, that included:

• Reference to the resurfacing.

d.        The Mayor thanked Mr Smith for addressing the Meeting.

159.     DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL COUNCILLOR REPORT

a.         The Mayor welcomed Devon County Councillor Mrs Linda Hellyer.

b.         Members had received her report that included:

• Mill Street. Positive response from traders and general public. Locking and unlocking of the bollards still to be addressed.
• Bideford Long Bridge. Meeting to be arranged with the DCC Head of Bridges and Structures and councillors to discuss the maintenance works, once completed.
• Torridge Bridge. Replacement of cover plates that allow access to the abutment chamber will delay completion.
• Cooper Street / Jubilee Square. Request for loading bay in Jubilee Square.
• Budget. Council tax increase of 4.99%.

c.         The Chairman invited Members to raise questions and comments, that included:

• East-the-Water Land slip.
o Highway is safe, there is vehicular access and recent new ownership has complicated the already complicated liability position.
 Raleigh Hill slip had similar background yet was resolved much more quickly.
• Mill Street / Allhalland Street.
o Social Media suggests that local people are not happy with the surface. Councillor Howell stated that assurances had been made that the finish (not colour) would be the same as the Port Memorial.
o Surface outside the Heavitree in particular, edges around building and drains are poor.
o Councillor Hellyer advised that Simon Hill had indicated that the “finish” of the surface may not be apparent immediately, albeit that the Quarry cannot guarantee the finish.
o Suggestion that the more attractive granulated finish specified by the Town Council at the outset, if not delivered could result in a breach of contract.
o Councillor Hellyer stated that “white sparkles” will become apparent on wearing.
o Councillor Howell would like an inspection meeting to be called prior to the works being signed off and the Council’s agreed commitment of £114,000.00 should not be paid until (Members are) happy.
• Long Bridge.
o Dismay that replacement stone wall bricks were not weathered prior to installation.
• Poor state of bus shelter on Chubb Road (attention needed) – believed to belong to DCC.
• Request for double yellow lines at the Biddiblack Way / Fillablack Road junction feeding off Manteo Way; the entrance is proving dangerous.
o Councillor Hellyer advised that the DCC consider Traffic Orders in June.
• Jubilee Square / Cooper Street. Request for common sense approach to loading bay. Understanding of local traders’ needs – taxi people are not moved on.
o Bridge Trust specified no traffic when contributing £40,000.00 to cost of precinct; Jubilee Square was not to become another car park.

(The Chairman briefly adjourned the Meeting for a short period as he had to excuse himself from the Chamber.)

• Highways.
o Torridge Hill / Grange Road repair has failed.
o Adoption of road at the bottom of Churchill Road – when will DCC adopt it?
o Councillor Hellyer indicated that part of the criteria for DCC adoption of a road included the signing off by the utility companies – which could be a couple of years. Councillor Howell noted that it took fourteen years for Rowe Close to be adopted (awaiting utility companies).
o Incredulity that Councillor Hellyer does not have a direct line to DCC officers.

d.        The Chairman thanked Councillor Mrs Hellyer for her attendance at the Meeting.

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

The Town Clerk advised:

a.        That the Commonwealth Flag would be raised on Monday, 12 March 2018 at 10.00 am in a brief ceremony held at Riverbank House; all were welcome to attend.

b.        The proposed German Towns’ visit has been postponed.

c.        The new Maintenance Officer, Mr Alex McKenzie, joined the Team on 1 March 2018.

d.        Winkleigh Parish Council is leading on a Neighbourhood Planning Training Day - those Members wishing to attend are requested to advise the Office.

The Mayor praised Councillor Day for his presentation at a recent 361 Energy CIC Event.

161.    STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 February 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

162.     PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 31 January and 21 February 2018 were approved and adopted.
(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

163.     MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Minute 145. Following additional information the Chairman of the Market Management Committee sought to amend the Resolution: offering Mr J Herron Unit 21, with Unit 8 serving as a “pop up” Unit during maintenance works.

The Minutes of the Meeting, including the amendment, held on 7 March 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

164.    TOURISM COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 January 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

165.    RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 February 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

166.    MAYORAL REQUEST TO WEAR CIVIC REGALIA AT CHRISTENING

Members considered a request from the Town Mayor to wear the Mayoral Robes and Chains at the Christening of his son, Atlas Alaia Martyn McGeough.

Discussion covered tradition, Civic occasions, dilution of importance, lack of authority, past precedent, promotion of the Town, community inclusion and guidance from the Office of the Town Clerk.

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor McGeough may wear the Mayoral Robes and Chains at the christening of his son, on a date to be determined, during his term of office.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 2, Abstention: 1)

167.     LOAN OF COUNCIL ITEMS FOR THE BEACON LIGHTING CEREMONY ON 11 NOVEMBER 2018 AT POLLYFIELD CENTRE

Members were invited to consider loaning the Rolls of Honour, the WW I display and the Dais to the Pollyfield Centre for the Beacon Lighting Ceremony on 11 November 2018.

The Town Clerk confirmed that the WWI display, including the Cabinet, would be loaned only following advice obtained from the Council’s insurers.

Councillor Christie, noting that an item was loaned from the Barnstaple Record’s Office, advised that the Heritage Trust should be consulted.

Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Rolls of Honour, the WW I display and the Dais are loaned to the Pollyfield Centre for the Beacon Lighting Ceremony on 11 November 2018 subject to confirmation from the Council’s insurers.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

168.     NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor P Christie:

“That this Council investigates the possible exhibition of sections of the “New World Tapestry” at this year’s Heritage Day.”

Councillor Christie provided further detail on the longest tapestry in the world advising that former Mayor, Councillor Pam Paddon, had applied stitches as had the Queen and the Prince of Wales, who added the final stich in 2000.

He should like one or two panels to be loaned to the Burton, noting that numbers two through to six covered the expedition to Roanoke; it is currently held in Bristol - the Assistant to the Town Clerk has made enquiries.

Councillor A T Inch seconded the proposal believing it to be good for the Town.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

169.      NOTICE OF MOTION

Councillor Mrs R Craigie withdrew her submission:

“To continue the efforts of Councillor Sam Robinson to reinstate the pathway from Churchill Road to Pollyfield. If access is allowed, as promised to Councillor Robinson, the Town Council will pay for the footpath across the corner of the private land and request that TDC pay to continue the path across Pollyfield to the Community Centre. The resulting path to be named Robinson’s Walk.”

Councillor Mrs Craigie said she should like Councillor Robinson’s name recognised when the Planning Committee next consider the naming of a thoroughfare.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs R Craigie, seconded

RESOLVED: That the Motion is withdrawn.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

170.      COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR THE OLD TOWN CHILDREN’S PLAY PARK

Members were invited to consider what action the Council could take to support the volunteers who wish to refurbish the Children’s Play Park in Old Town.

Councillors Brenton and Christie advocated that the volunteers should form and register themselves as a charitable organisation. Councillor Christie was mindful to provide, on approach, part of his remaining TDC grant monies to the initiative.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded

RESOLVED: That the Council support the volunteers’ action.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

171.      INVITATION TO THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE

Members had received a report from the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer for Torridge District Council offering attendance from Members of the Standards Committee to address specific issued raised by the Town Council.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded

RESOLVED: That the offer is declined.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

172.      TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP

Members received the minutes from the Town Centre Partnership Meeting held on 21 February 2018.

The Members noted the Minutes.

173.      DALC MEETING

Councillor Brenton referred Members to the latest Minutes.

174.      TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor Langmead referred to Councillor Mrs Craigie’s withdrawn Motion and advised that the footpath will not return to TDC until DCC have completed the Churchill Road works. He added that the late Councillor Robinson’s name will be added to the planning list.

A design solution for the BMX slope stability will be considered once the access and logistics issues have been resolved; there will be a minimal cost to TDC but an improvement for the Club.

There had been a delay, on account of the weather, in removing boats adjacent to Brunswick Wharf; the expected date of action is Tuesday 20 March 2018.

“Transformation” is going ahead albeit that there are complications with leaking roof issues exacerbated by the solar panel installation.

Councillor Mrs Craigie expressed dismay at TDC and, therefore, the public purse having to incur any cost to correct an edifice that was not safe and should not have been erected. She believed the BMX club should remove the soil.

Councillor Christie was similarly concerned at the number of customers using Bridge Buildings, including the disabled, who would soon have to make their way to Riverbank House.

He also noted that a TDC Councillor Vacancy had been promulgated; the Town Clerk confirmed that it was posted alongside a Town Council vacancy.

Councillor Day expressed disappointment that TDC had voted not to pay the Real Living Wage.

175.      BRIDGE TRUST

Councillor Christie briefed Members on the income, expenditure, charitable donations and grants figures.

176.      CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, it is advisable, in the public interest, that the public be excluded for the remainder of the meeting; those Members of Public remaining were instructed to withdraw.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

177.      PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

178.     COMMUNITY CENTRE AND RETAIL STORE

Mr Mike Fitton, Franchise Business Manager, Southern Co-op provided a full and dynamic presentation on the viability of a store at the Redrow/Bloor Site as part of a proposed plan for a Community Centre and retail store.

179.      RETURN TO OPEN SESSION

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and
RESOLVED: That those members of the public who were instructed to withdraw are invited to attend the remainder of the meeting.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

(Councillor Day left the Meeting)

180.      LONDONDERRY COMMUNITY CENTRE AND RETAIL STORE

Member considered the Notes from the Exploratory Meeting to discuss a Community Centre for Londonderry held on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 2.00 pm

The relevance of the Shop was questioned in relation to the status of the planning application / building and the TDC position.

Councillor Christie felt that the Shop was a real winner but questioned any Town Council involvement given the staffing implications. He felt that the Council could support the overall project but timing was significant given that TDC want a rapid response as they feared the loss of Bloor Homes.

Councillor Howell agreed support in principle for a Community Centre (this (west) side of the Water). He warned against the Council becoming too closely involved; he also agreed that the Shop, in theory, should work.

Councillor A T Inch concurred that a Community Centre was needed.

Councillor Bushby noted that a Community Centre was planned for Winsford and questioned whether there was a need for two Community Centres within a quarter of a mile radius. Members speculated whether Winsford would go ahead and the time duration.

Councillor Brenton believed that the Council should have a say in the development of a Community Centre. Funding streams could be investigated – the Council could take a prominent position.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That, in principle, the Council supports the building of Community Centre on the west side of the Water.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)

 

The business of the meeting having been concluded the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance at the meeting which concluded at 9.20 pm.

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