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Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 10 August 2017

PRESENT:   

North Ward:   

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D A D McGeough
Councillor P J Pester

South Ward:   

Councillor J Day
Councillor A T Inch

East Ward:   

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

IN ATTENDANCE:    Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr R D Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Inspector S Kenneally (Bideford Police Station)
5 x Members of the Public

055  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillors T Johns (North Ward – personal), D Brenton (South Ward – personal), S G Inch (South Ward – personal), B Wootton (South Ward – illness) and D Howell (South (Outer) Ward – personal).

056  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillor Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 21.  (Member, Bideford Bridge Trust). 

057  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

There was no public participation.

058  MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 June 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

059  MINUTES

The Minutes of the Extra-Ordinary Meeting held on 25 July 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

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

060  ACCOUNTS

To approve the payments listed.

It was proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

061  REPORT FROM THE POLICE SERVICE ON ISSUES WITHIN THE PARISH

a.   The Chairman welcomed Inspector Shaun Kenneally to the Meeting. 

b.   Inspector Kenneally thanked the Chairman and addressed the Members.

He introduced the term “County Lines”, a national issue experienced locally where drug networks with command and control centres in London despatch individuals to towns such as Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.  Vulnerable and minor local drug players are intimidated, infiltrated and exploited, through fear, by the out of town agents. 

An individual who recently stood up to the menace was stabbed a number of times and spent time in hospital; the perpetrators (not known by the Police locally) were caught and are currently residing in Exeter prison.   

(Councillor Day joined the Meeting.)

The Police have wrestled with their approach to those targeted local ne’er-do-wells, establishing whether they are victims or criminals.  It has been noted that there are three organised groups one operating in each of Plymouth, Swindon and London.

Councillor Langmead indicated that although the picture painted was somewhat bleak there had been some successes.

Inspector Kenneally said of the young girls and boys who are sent down by train from London to Tiverton and onward one recent out of place seventeen year old, acting in fear of retribution and clearly lost in Barnstaple, was taken into protective custody and has subsequently been placed in foster care.

The Police do have knowledge of the local (delinquent) groups and individuals; cold calling of known dubious households had resulted in the apprehension of a miscreant from Swindon (trying to make good his escape from the rear of the property).

Councillor Bushby believed that in the criminal versus victim debate the individual should be treated as a criminal.

Inspector Kenneally indicated that often they are vulnerable, however, if they are not receptive to police help then indeed they will be subject to the rigours of justice.

Councillor A T Inch indicated that the members of the public should be the eyes and ears of the community and recognise those strangers.

Inspector Kenneally indicated that the success of the operations had seen the outside element staying in hotels and B&Bs; agents will continue to be sent down, to this and other areas.

On advising on the successful conviction of a local man responsible for a number of shed “break-ins” he then spoke on other dark and disturbing areas of criminality including:

•    Child sex (on line) exploitation.
•    Sexting.
o    Blackmail.

He alluded to local perpetrators and young victims; the activities, though are becoming far more prevalent.

Inspector Kenneally spoke on the recent traffic fatalities where the victims had been holiday makers.

Comments followed that included:

•    Large financial cost of (tragic) accidents.
•    Consider marked cars.
o    In terms of fatal accidents, they have little effect.
•    Impact on drivers following an accident / viewing notice boards giving detail of accidents / fatalities.

Inspector Kenneally indicated that a combination of road design, visibility and education (Petroc initiative aimed at seventeen year olds involving members of all the accident and emergency services) was necessary in reducing serious accidents.

Councillor Langmead declared that he was the Chairman of the Torridge District Council External Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  He will hold meetings and compile a report into (the) road traffic tragedies / issues.  He felt very seriously as a District Councillor and as a Town Councillor; he will present details of his report to the Town Council at a future meeting.

He advised that a new Neighbourhood Sergeant would soon be on the team and concluded with reservations on the bridge closures and the impact on the services’ emergency call outs.

c.   The Chairman in thanking Inspector Kenneally for addressing the Meeting alluded to changes to the manner in which the work to the Bridges would be conducted that would find favour with him.

062  DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL COUNCILLOR REPORT

Members had received a report from Councillor Tony Inch that included:

•    The Mill and Allhalland Streets resurfacing programme will commence in January 2018.
•    The next HATOC meeting will address the yellow lines at BJs.
•    Encouragement of pot hole reporting.

a.   The Chairman welcomed Councillor A T Inch to address the Meeting.

Councillor Inch thanked the Chairman and greeted the Members.  He indicated that the Torridge Bridge works would now commence in the New Year and would also straddle two financial years.  The works would be restricted to a window from 09.30 am through to 3.30 pm.  The Expansion Joints have worn and reached their “life”; they will be replaced with those that have a longer life expectancy.  

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

•    In the event of the Free School at Bucks Cross failing what would be the outcome?  What would happen to the building?  Who owns it?
o    County Councillor requested to investigate and advise the Council at the next Meeting.

c.   The Chairman thanked Councillor A T Inch for addressing the Meeting.

063  COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE TOWN CLERK  / MAYOR

a.   The Town Clerk reminded Members that the Council will be hosting the Landivisiau Twinning Associations in the Pannier Market on Saturday 26 August 2017 at 10.30 am.  She requested that those attending should advise Lesley, Assistant to the Town Clerk.

b.   A member of the Rotary Club of Bideford, Mr Euan Eddy, returned from a recent trip to Manteo with various gifts, including a clock that will be formally presented to the Mayor.

c.   The Chairman remarked on the poor attendance at the recent EGM addressed by Dr Alison Diamond.  With ten Members absent he expected better attendance at future EGMs.

Councillor Robinson felt that the presentation was thorough and informative.

064  MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

It was confirmed that the Meeting was held on 3 August 2017.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 August 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

065  PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 July and 9 August 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

066  TOURISM COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 July 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

067  STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 July 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

068  MAYORAL INVITATION TO THE MERCHANT NAVY COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE AT TRINITY GARDENS AND ST HALLOWS CHURCH, LONDON

Members had received information regarding an invitation for the Mayor and Mayoress to attend the Merchant Navy Commemorative Service at Trinity Gardens and St Hallows Church, London.

In seeking to approve the travel and accommodation costs, including the carriage of the Chains, Members were also asked to consider the appointment of a temporary Beadle (escort) for the Event (in the absence of the Council’s Ceremonial Officers).

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That:

•    The Mayor and Mayoress attend the Merchant Navy Commemorative Service at Trinity Gardens and St Hallows Church, London.
 
•    The travel and accommodation costs are met by the Council, including those of Mr Glen Alaia, who will fill the role of Beadle.

•    The Chains are transported in “Felt Wraps”.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

069  MILL / ALLHALLAND STREETS RESURFACING

Members noted the correspondence providing an update on the financing of Mill and Allhalland Streets.

070  NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor D McGeough:

“To give consideration to the employment of an Apprentice Maintenance Operative to work alongside the current team.”

Councillor McGeough added that the initiative provided a positive outlook and benefit to the Town; it would provide an opportunity for a younger person.

Full discussion followed that considered the merits of an apprenticeship, training generally (including providers), costs, enhanced salary, grant funding and opportunity to enhance the current team.

The Motion was seconded by Councillor McKenzie.

Councillor McGeough reminded Members that the prime mover for the Motion was to give consideration to the idea of employing additional workforce by offering an apprenticeship package / opportunity.

Further discussion introduced an opportunity for an employee to be supervised on the job training and specific training, as the role dictates.

Councillor McGeough proposed an amended Motion:

To give consideration, in principle, to the employment of an Apprentice / Trainee Maintenance Operative to work alongside the current team.

Councillor McKenzie seconded the amended Motion.

RESOLVED:  That the amended Motion is supported.  Further information is obtained regarding costs, funding and providers. 

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

071  NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor J Day:

“To consider an invitation from the National Energy Action for Councillors and Council staff to attend free fuel poverty training events in August or September.”

Councillor Day advised Members that the Council’s Renewable Energy partners had been working with Intagr8 providing their clients with help in addressing utilities; they have also worked in the Ilfracombe and Barnstaple areas.

He introduced the Motion which would provide training to councillors and those council staff who have “frontline” contact with members of the electorate / public. 

He spoke about identifying fuel poverty, the risks (in not addressing the issues) and providing advice that could be acted upon.  The Energy Companies are governed by statue to direct people to cheaper tariffs.

The training consists of one three day and one three hour courses to be held in Ilfracombe and Brynsworthy.

Councillor Langmead metaphorically applauded Councillor Day; he could not commit three days but would be willing to attend the shorter course, if time permits.

Councillor Bushby was also supportive but Councillor A T Inch seconded the Motion, indicating that if he could attend, he would.

Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded

RESOLVED:  That the Motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 11, Against: 0, Abstention: 0)

072  TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP

Members received the minutes from the Town Centre Partnership Meeting held on 12 July 2017.

The Members noted the Minutes.

073  DALC MEETING

Councillor Mrs Craigie attended a DALC Meeting which she found very interesting.  It included a presentation from the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s current director of finance and performance Andrew Robinson.  She indicated that there would have to be a saving of £87 million next year and £36 million following and that the savings would have to be drawn from staff cuts.  Natural wastage would be preferable to the expense of a redundancy tranche.

There would be another consultation in January.

She provided further points on NALC lobbying the Government over Business Rates, Devolution hampered through loss of staff and grant funding availability for one off payments.

074  TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor Christie stated that TDC collected Business Rates for Central Government then redistribute the monies in the local area under the Government’s direction. He noted that TDC did collect Renewable Business Rates, that they were retained by them and are currently worth three quarters of a million pounds.

He referred to the development near Moreton Park where a Multi-Use Games Area will be installed; an area of land is still available that could lead to a community hall being built.

Brunswick Wharf is proceeding.

075  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 8.06 pm.


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