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Minutes of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 28 June 2018 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

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

South Ward:

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

South (Outer) Ward:

Councillor D Howell

East Ward:

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


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)
1 x Members of the Public


Councillors D A D McGeough (North Ward – work), T J Johns (North Ward – personal), A T Inch (South Ward – personal), and Mrs P Davies (East Ward – Illness).


Councillor Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 19. (Member, Bideford Bridge Trust).


There was no participation from the public.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 May 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


To approve the payments listed.

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


The Chairman advised that the Report from the Chamber of Commerce will be deferred to the next Meeting.


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

• Mill Street. Bollards in situ.
• Barnstaple Street. Pavement closed (large hole) on the bridge over the Tarka Trail; DCC establishing the extent of the problem.
• Landslip.
• Potholes. There are thirty eight “Pothole gangs” in the County – 16,000 potholes reported were in February, double the amount this time last year.
o DCC are trialling a new way of repair in East Devon.
• DCC has said it will be plastic free by 2020.
• The Barnstaple to Exeter train service is to be improved in 2019: there will be earlier and later trains with improved rolling stock (air conditioning and Wi Fi).

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Hellyer and invited her to address the Chamber.

• East-the-Water Landslip.
o An accord has been made with the new land owner.
o Date for works will be established next week.

• East Devon Potholes. An initiative is being trialled where less than the minimum size for pothole work will be categorised as a serviceability defect but will be attended to
where in the past it would not.

• Springfield Centre. The School, Torridge Academy, is undergoing refurbishment / improvement works. The Pupils are attending Marland School, which has been expanded to accommodate thirty extra places.

Councillor Howell took the opportunity to thank Councillor Hellyer for facilitating the bollards in Mill Street – safety has been improved.

Councillor Langmead gave thanks and praise for the Mill Street improvements; he noted too the positive (land slip) feedback. He explained that the hole in the Bridge was caused by a reversing lorry.

Councillor Johns highlighted the poor repair of the highway at the Port Memorial and similarly the defective condition of the road at the bottom of Bridgeland Street. Councillor S G Inch added that the bottom of the High Street was in a similar condition. He highlighted the need for the work to be addressed siting the September Carnival Route.

Councillor Christie speculated on the Council taking responsibility for the land outside the Pannier Market, north side. The roots of the DCC trees, which he regarded as fantastic features, are pushing up the flagstones. The whole area requires attention.

Councillor Hellyer indicated that the trees were too big, being the root cause to the damage. The intention is to replace the trees with a smaller variety, although not until the end of the bird nesting time. (Councillor Christie stated that DCC had planted the present species and reiterated that the Council should take over the area.) Councillor Hellyer will investigate the opportunity.

Councillor Brenton indicated that the Market Management Committee had expressed a desire to engage with DCC in taking over the area. He spoke about the arrangement with DCC that Tavistock Market enjoyed, using the area outside the Market whilst DCC maintained it.

He noted that the Trees had outgrown their site, the leaves were a problem in the autumn both in terms of the need to clear and slippage. The Committee, he said, would welcome ideas to develop the area.

Referring to the boarded up Springfield Centre / Torridge Academy he had feared another “Rectory” and “Geneva”. He believed there was a desperate need for respite care in Bideford; he would though withdraw his Notice of Motion.

Following Councillor Wootton’s interjection on single use plastic Councillor Hellyer stated that DCC had set up a genuine initiative.


The Mayor reminded Members of the Big Clean Up in the Town on 14 July 2018; Members should encourage take up – the more participants the better.

The Town Clerk made reference to the Communities Fund, Town and Parish, being available.


Councillor Pester noted that in substituting for Councillor Johns at the 21 June 2018 he had voiced his apologies for absence.

The Minutes of the Meetings held on 24 May and 21 June 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meetings held on 16 May, 6 and 27 June 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 June 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 June 2018 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


Councillor Brenton referred to a full presentation that he, Councillor Mrs Craigie, the Town Clerk and other office staff attended. He believed there were huge advantages that empower the Community thereby dictating and influencing the content of the Local Plan.

He spoke of the Council leading a Steering Committee of seven involving business, education and community personnel.

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Brenton represents the Council on the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)

The Chairman requested the Members to recommend a list of potential candidates to populate the Committee.

Councillor Brenton stated that there would be public consultations; maximum input should be garnered, for the future of the Town.

He advised that the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan prohibits new dwellings being used as second homes. While he conceded that Developments could not be stopped an Adopted Plan could decide what could be built.

Councillor S G Inch suggested that local residents from each ward could be approached.

The Chairman reiterated returning to the item at the next Town Council Meeting.


Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded

That the Motion, “Bideford Town Council lobbies Devon County Council to re-open the purpose built Springfield Centre,” is withdrawn.

RESOLVED: That the Motion is withdrawn.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0)


Members noted the Minutes from the Meeting held on 23 May 2018.


No update available.


The Town Clerk advised that Councillor Johns was not in attendance – there was no update. The item though, would become a future standing item to the Council agenda.


Councillor S G Inch advised:

• There is progress on Brunswick Wharf.
o House boats have had Notice served.
 Some owners had sought mediation.
• The TDC Leader and Deputy Leader will take a tour of the SS Fresh Spring on 5 July 2018 with a view to the vessel’s move to a more prominent berth following improvements.
• The TDC Solicitor is leaving. TDC aim to appoint a permanent successor.
• A Travellers Site is being considered.


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 7.12 pm.


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