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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 13 February 2020 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby (Chairman)
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie

West Ward:

Councillor D Ratcliff

IN ATTENDANCE:
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
1 x Member of the Public

111.      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence.

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

There were no declarations of interest.

113.     PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

No Members of the public wished to speak.

114.    MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Christie and seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb, the minutes of the meeting held on 09 January 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)

115.    CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

The Town Clerk advised that the Landivisiau Twinners had asked that a Civic reception be held for the visiting Twinners on 30 May 2020. The Town Clerk would be taking this to the next Town Council meeting for approval.

The Town Clerk updated Members on advice received from NALC on the Proof of Life Service currently offered by some Town Councils (including Bideford), and the use of the Town Council stamp/seal. Members agreed that following the advice received, The Town Council could no longer continue providing this service.

116.    ACCOUNTS

a.       Members received the list of payments.

Two Members advised that they did not approve of the proposed payment to Royal Images for the purchase of official prints of HM the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to be held in conjunction with Operation London Bridge.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0, Abstentions: 2)

b.      INTERNAL FINANCE INSPECTOR’S REPORT

Members considered the Internal Finance Inspector’s report.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 October – 31 December 2019 is accepted.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Members thanked Councillor Ratcliff for his work as Internal Finance Inspector.

c.     STATEMENT OF INTERNAL CONTROL

Members reviewed and approved the Council’s Statement of Internal Control for the Financial year 2019 – 2020.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Gubb, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Statement of Internal Control for the Financial year 2019 – 2020 is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

d.    RISK MANAGEMENT PAPER

Members reviewed the Council’s Risk Management Paper.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Ratcliff and

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Risk Management Paper is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

e.    FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Members reviewed the Council’s Financial Regulations

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RECOMMENDED: That the Council’s Financial Regulations are amended to reflect the fact that Petty cash is held by the Town Clerk (£150), by the Deputy Town Clerk (£100 for Pannier Market purchases), and by the Development Officer (£100). In addition it is recommended that the sum which can be resolved upon by the SFGP Committee is increased to £5,000 (from the current sum of £1,000).

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

117.      FIREWORK DISPLAYS FINANCED THROUGH BTC GRANT FUNDING

Members considered the comments and Report received on the Firework displays held during the Christmas Light switch-on and New Year’s Eve celebrations, and any grant conditions considered necessary for future public firework displays funded via the Bideford Town Council grants scheme.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: It is a condition of any grant funding for events where fireworks are deployed that the firework display organisers use an area in the vicinity of the former Cornwall Farmers (as per the site used by the NYE Orgnisers in 2019) if that is available, or if not, no closer than this to the Old Bridge. Furthermore, it is a condition that the least noisy fireworks possible are deployed at all times, with a maximum level of 120db. Excessively loud thunder flash type fireworks are not to be used at any time. The conditions must also detail specifically whether part of the funding is to be used for fireworks, and if so, they must cite the above safeguarding conditions. This is as good a compromise as possible to provide both a firework display whilst doing everything that is reasonably feasible to avoid disturbing roosting birds, or indeed any other animals or wildlife.

(Vote: For: 9, Against: 0)

118.      PROVISION OF SMALL CHRISTMAS TREES

Members considered correspondence from Seldons regarding the provision of small Christmas trees on their property and neighbouring properties.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That Seldons are thanked for their suggestion, but advised that the Town Council does not have a budget to provide Christmas trees and lights on their property and neighbouring properties, even if they provide the brackets. If they wish to go ahead with such a scheme on their buildings at their own expense, the Town Council respectfully requests that the lights are white to complement the existing Town Council Christmas Lighting scheme.

(Vote: For: 9, Against: 0)

119.      TOWN PLANTERS

Members considered a suggestion from the Postcode Gardener to undertake some colourful edible displays in some of the Town Planters.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Craigie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That this request is not approved, and that the Town Planters should solely be planted with floral displays.

(Vote: For: 9, Against: 0)

120.     MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES

Members received an update on the tasks undertaken by the Maintenance Operatives and some of the specific jobs were discussed.

Members praised the team for the drain clearance and manufacture of new brackets on the High Street, and the speedy removal of glass from a children’s play park in East the Water.

Councillor Wootton noted that the Marland path was uneven and difficult for mobility scooters. The Town Clerk advised that traversing this path was also made more difficult due to a lump of dried cement. She was ask to enquire with the Maintenance Team Supervisor if this could be chipped away.

121.      PART II CLOSED SESSION
Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, the meeting moves into part II.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

122.      STAFFING MATTERS
There is a confidential Minute associated with this item.

123.      Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 19.08 pm.

 

Accounts SFGP 130220


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