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Minutes of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 10 May 2018 at 6.30pm.

PRESENT:

North Ward:

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

South Ward:

Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor J Day
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor S G Inch
Councillor R I Wootton

South (Outer) Ward:

Councillor D Howell

East Ward:

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

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr R D Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield (Assistant to the Town Clerk)
Councillor L Hellyer (DCC)
10 x Members of the Public

Prior to the start of the Meeting the Mayor welcomed newly elected Councillor Jude Gubb.

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Standing Order Nineteen is suspended in order for Members to elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor by a show of hands.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

1. ELECTION OF TOWN MAYOR

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded by Councillor Brenton that Councillor Bushby be elected to fill the role of Town Mayor for the Civic Year 2018 / 2019.

RESOLVED: That Councillor Doug Bushby is appointed Town Mayor for the Civic Year 2018/2019.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

(The former Mayor and Mayoress presented the newly elected Mayor and Mayoress their respective badges of office.)

2. DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE

Councillor Bushby expressed his thanks and resolved to promote the Office of Mayor and Town; he assumed the Chair having made and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

3. ELECTION OF DEPUTY TOWN MAYOR

a. Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Councillor Howell that Councillor Christie be elected to fill the role of Deputy Town Mayor for the Civic Year 2018 / 2019.

b. Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor McKenzie that Councillor Mrs Craigie be elected to fill the role of Deputy Town Mayor for the Civic Year 2018 / 2019.

Councillor Christie:

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0, Abstentions: 7 – the vote was carried)

RESOLVED: That Councillor Peter Christie is appointed Deputy Town Mayor for the Civic Year 2018/2019.

4. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no absentees.

5. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillor Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 32. (Member, Bideford Bridge Trust).

6. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

A Member of the Public felt honoured to be the first to address the Council under the new Chairmanship of Councillor Bushby upon whom he expressed many congratulations.

He alluded to a change of name for the Bideford Bay Chamber of Commerce which he hoped would meet with the approval of the Bideford Town, Torridge District and Devon County Councils.

His greatest concern was the prevalence of run down properties in Bideford (that Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 can address). He denounced the “slum landlords” that saw young people paying top prices to live in Victorian slums.

Councillor A T Inch raised a point of order believing that there should be a return to Standing Orders.

The Town Clerk advised that Standing Order Number Nineteen specifically had been suspended, to allow for the open vote; Standing Orders (generally) were not suspended for the session.

A second Member of the Public again congratulated Councillor Bushby on his appointment. He stated that the Bideford Bay Chamber of Commerce would work with the Mayor and Council.

7. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 April 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)

8. ACCOUNTS

a. To approve the payments listed.

It was proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

b. To receive and approve the Independent Auditor’s Report – Records as at 31 March 2018.

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Independent Auditor’s Report – Records as at 31 March 2018 is approved.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

9. ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2018

The Town Clerk presented the Annual Governance Statement.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: The Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31 March 2018 was approved.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

10. ACCOUNTING STATEMENT AND ANNUAL RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2018

The Town Clerk presented the Accounting Statement and Annual Return.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: The Accounting Statement and Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2018 was approved.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

11. GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE

Councillors considered section 8 of the Localism Act 2011

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, Section 8, as set out in the Statutory Instrument Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012, Bideford Town Council hereby considers itself an ‘eligible council’ having met the following criteria:

• At the time of this resolution two thirds of the members of the Council have stood for election.
• The Clerk holds the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA), which includes Section 7 of CiLCA 2012.

(Vote for : 16, Against: 0)

12. DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL (COUNCILLOR) REPORT

Members noted the report received from Councillor Hellyer. Points included:

• Mill Street. “Walk through”.
• Torridge Bridge. Work will start on 17 September to replace the expansion joint at the eastern end of the bridge. The work will be carried out at night between 1900 and 0700 hours with one lane closed and traffic light control; there will be a speed restriction of 20 mph during the day.
• Landslip.
• Potholes.

Councillor Christie expressed horror at the tone and content of correspondence received from a Devon County Council officer regarding the benches on the Quay in response to the Town Council’s offer to refurbish them. He believed the communication was beyond contempt.

The Mayor was disappointed with the DCC stance; he indicated that some metaphorical bridges needed to be built.

13. COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR

The Town Clerk advised Members:

• Mayor Introduction Ceremony to be held on Thursday, 7 June 2018.
o Those that haven’t to advise on attendance.
o Councillors to be robed by 6.45 pm.
• Mayoral Parade/Church Service to be held on Sunday, 10 June 2018.
o Those that haven’t to advise on attendance.
o Councillors to be robed by 10.20 pm.
• The Councillors’ Allowance form to be returned soonest to enable payment of allowance in May 2018.

The Mayor advised Members:

• The Bideford Amateur Boxing Club had provided two free tickets for a boxing tournament at Kingsley School (for any interested Member).

14. APPOINTMENT TO COMMITTEES, WORKING GROUPS

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That on consideration the stated Committee Members would be voted en block.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

a. Allotments Committee

Deputy Town Mayor, Councillors Brenton, S G Inch, Pester, Mrs Gubb and Wootton.

b. Market Management Committee

Town Mayor, Councillors Brenton, Mrs Craigie, Johns, McKenzie, and Wootton.

c. Planning Committee

Deputy Town Mayor, Councillors Bushby, A T Inch, Langmead, Pester and Wootton.

d. Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee

Town Mayor, Deputy Town Mayor, Councillors Brenton, McGough, D Howell, S G Inch, Langmead, Pester and Wootton.

e. Tourism Committee

Town Mayor, Councillors McGeough, Mrs Craigie, D Howell, McKenzie and Mrs Gubb.
f. Renewable Energy Generation Committee

Councillors Brenton, Christie, Day, McKenzie, Mrs Craigie and Wootton.

g. Grievance Panel

Town Mayor, Councillors Howell, Mrs Davies and Langmead.

h. Personnel Appeals Panel

Deputy Town Mayor, Councillors S I Inch, Johns and Wootton.

i. Public Transport Working Group

Councillors Mrs Craigie, Mrs Davies, A T Inch, Langmead and McKenzie.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillors are appointed as stated.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

15. APPOINTMENT OF INTERNAL AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Pester is appointed Internal Auditor of Accounts for the financial year 2018/19.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

16. APPOINT REPRESENTATIVES TO OUTSIDE BODIES

To appoint representatives to Outside Bodies.

Bideford & District Community Town Mayor
Archive Council: Deputy Town Mayor
Councillor Langmead

Bideford Bridge Trust: Town Mayor
Councillor D Brenton (Aug 19)
Councillor J McKenzie (Aug 20)
Councillor Mrs R Craigie

Chamber of Commerce: Councillor Howell
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor D Brenton (Market)

Bideford Twinning Association: Town Mayor
Councillor A T Inch

Bideford Regatta Committee: Town Mayor
Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor R Wootton
Councillor S G Inch

Bideford Town Band Councillor T Johns
Management Committee

Burton at Bideford: Councillor D Brenton
Councillor S G Inch

Citizens Advice Bureau: Councillor Mrs Davies

DALC County Committee: Councillor Brenton

DALC Larger Councils Sub-Cttee: Councillor Brenton

Pollyfield Community Councillors Mrs Craigie and
Association: Mrs J Gubb

Ford House Woodland Cty Group: Councillor S G Inch

Home-Start Torridge: Councillor Johns

Bideford Bay Children’s Centre: Councillor Brenton

Taw/Torridge Estuary Forum: Councillor Johns

UNESCO Biosphere Champion: Councillor Johns

Snow Warden: Councillors Johns and McKenzie

Fire Liaison: Councillor A T Inch

Police Liaison Councillor Langmead

One Bideford Councillors Langmead and A T Inch

Bideford Town Centre Councillors Bushby and Howell
Partnership:

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillors are appointed as stated.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

17. CIVIC YEAR 2018/2019 MEETINGS AND FUNCTION DATES

The Members noted the content of the document, which was circulated with the agenda.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: The dates of meetings and functions for the Civic Year 2018/2019 are approved.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

18. INSPECTION OF THE DEEDS AND TRUST INVESTMENTS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COUNCIL

The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the deeds and documents held by the Council and invited Members to make arrangements with the Town Clerk to inspect them and the trust investments at an appropriate time.

19. MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 April 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

20. PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 April 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

21. ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 May 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

22. TOURISM COMMITTEE

Minute No. 100. Pilgrim Fathers’ Anniversary Event. Councillor Howell indicated that Torrington would host an event around their perennial pyromania predisposition; the Chairman suggested extending an invitation to Northam Town Council in consideration of suitably marking the occasion.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 April 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

23. TOURISM COMMITTEE – MINUTE NUMBER: 093

Members had sited quotations for the Queen Street building Digital Display monitor.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Queen Street building Digital Display monitor is purchased from Sourcetech/Promultis at £6,996.50 (VAT not included).

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

24. STAFFING FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

Minute. 150. Bus shelter at Brunswick Wharf. Councillor Mrs Craigie requested confirmation that the Bus Shelter would not be lost (as a result of the Council relinquishing the lease / maintenance responsibility).

Minute. 150. Councillor Christie advised that the Bridge Trust will support Out of the Blue with a payment of £3,000.00 and help with the provision of a disabled swing at the Pollyfield Centre.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 26 April 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

25. STAFFING FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE – MINUTE NUMBER: 152

Members were invited to consider upon a contribution towards The Way of the Wharves Project Interpretation Panel.

Councillor Howell expressed incredulity at the suggested costs of the Panels; he reflected upon the braille information notice that was sited at the Port Memorial. Councillor A T Inch concurred indicating that he was at a loss, unable to understand the seemingly inflated cost.

Following discussion it was,

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That five hundred pounds is offered towards The Way of the Wharves Project Interpretation Panel.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 1)

26. TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL ARMED FORCES FLAG RAISING CEREMONY – MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018 – SUPPORT

Members were invited to consider a request from Torridge District Council for a contribution towards the cost of the catering and drinks for the Armed Forces Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday 25 June 2018 at 6.30 pm in Victoria Park.

Councillor A T Inch reminded Members that the Council had provided a five hundred pound commitment in recent years, noting that the full amount had not been taken up, last year.

Proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That a contribution of up to five hundred pounds is made available towards the cost of the catering and drinks for the Torridge District Council staged Armed Forces Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday 25 June 2018 at 6.30 pm in Victoria Park.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

27. MILL STREET MEETING – 8 MAY 2018

Councillor Mrs Craigie had attended the Meeting and proclaimed that Mill Street was looking pretty good; it has a good finish. The Bollards, weight of vehicular traffic and the effectiveness of the DCC Traffic Order remained a concern.

The Chairman expressed regret at not attending the meeting having voiced disagreement during the process of operation conceded that it was not a bad job.

Councillor Mrs Craigie did find it odd that the work was only guaranteed for one year.

The Chairman intimated that in the short term the DCC local highway officer should address the bollards.

Councillor Langmead noted that the bollards at the top of Cooper Street do not fit and make a sound not unlike improperly secured halyards beating against the mast of a ship; he noted their cost of £10,000.00.

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Standing Orders be suspended to allow County Councillor Linda Hellyer to speak.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

Councillor Hellyer explained the Traffic Order runs out later this year. The new Traffic Order will be changed so that Enforcement Officers can deal with breach issues; there will be clearer signage. The Bollards will be used only for exceptional circumstances. There is no funding stream. Currently there is traffic signage that indicates no vehicular traffic between 10 am and 4 pm – where there is a breach it becomes a police matter.

Councillor Langmead questioned the County Councillors efforts stating that as Bideford ward members for the County Council they should be working on behalf of the Town’s needs. Given their combined budget allowance of £40,000.00 he wondered if they could not pool their resources and facilitate a scheme to place and remove the bollards.

Councillor Christie indicated that the “coffin” bollards are very expensive and are not being used. He intimated that they are a safety feature and that DCC must have known about the investment and the operation – tourists will drive through (those not familiar with the signs).

He did note that there was a noticeable gap at the curve / corner where Mill Street meets Bridgeland Street that should be filled in but believed the surface to be very good.

Councillor Hellyer wanted it recorded in the minutes that she objected to the offensive remark, “waste of space,” made by Councillor Langmead.

Discussion followed that included detailing traffic wardens, DCC enforcement officers and PCSOs (although they could not guarantee times given their primary operational task) to man the bollards. Councillor Howell noted that in driving through one wouldn’t see the signs. He reiterated the importance of pedestrian safety.

Councillor A T Inch stated that there was a trader willing to operate the bollards; he would press DCC to agree this.

Councillor Mrs Davies noted the prevalence of a driving element that was less cautious in the evenings.

Councillor Langmead apologised for the “waste of space” comment (Councillor Hellyer accepted) and referred to a different highway issue, in the proximity of Ethelwynne Brown.

RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Meeting return to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 16, Against: 0)

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Mill Street earmarked funds are released to Devon County Council.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 1)

28. DALC MEETING

No update available.

29. TAW AND TORRIDGE ESTUARY FORUM MEETING

Councillor Johns advised that the Forum, of twenty affiliated organisations including Instow, Fremington, Northam, Bideford and Barnstaple Parish and Town Councils meets quarterly.

He indicated that people at grass roots level will observe, for example, the Braunton Marshes, Instow buoy and the slipway at Appledore (many problems). He noted that Jet skis exceeding the speed limit and other issues are discussed; planning applications are viewed by a sub-committee.

The Bideford Harbour Master has proved instructive – wrecks and house boats are on his agenda.

Councillor A T Inch thanked Councillor Johns and stated that he would like the Forum to convey to Barnstaple that the hulks and wrecks on the North Devon side of the Torridge need attention.

Councillor Christie indicated that there was no urgency from the North Devon Council to affect change.

30. BIDEFORD TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP

Members noted the Minutes from the Meeting held on 4 April 2018.

31. TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor S G Inch advised:

• East-the-Water River bank wharfs - photographs have been taken of the sea wall prior to works being undertaken.

• External firm of solicitors engaged in the removal of “live aboard residents” from East-the-Water berths.

• New Homes bonus applications are being staffed.

• TDC will pay the £50,000.00 for the Mill Street works.

32. BRIDGE TRUST

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

 

The business of the meeting having been concluded the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance at the meeting which concluded at 8.07 pm.

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