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Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 22 June 2023 at 6.34 pm


North Ward:

Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor D McGeough
Councillor K Hind

South Ward:

Councillor S Inch
Councillor Ms R Clarke
Councillor P Lawrence

West Ward:

Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor M Taylor
Councillor A Inch

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor J A McKenzie (Town Mayor)
Councillor J Hellyer


Mr R Coombes (Acting Town Clerk)
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield (Asst to the Town Clerk)
1 x Member of the Public
Rev. Robin Pirrie – St Mary’s Church


Councillor M Taylor (West Ward) - personal.
Councillor K Bines (North Ward) – personal.


Councillor Mrs J Gubb declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 3, (sister is a Co-opt Candidate), she further declared a pecuniary interest in Item 6, (husband is the Seasonal Worker).
Councillor P Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 16 (Trustee, Bridge Trust).
Councillor S Inch declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 3, (his sister is Co-opt Candidate).
Councillor A Inch declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 3, (his sister is Co-opt Candidate).


After enquiries from some members as to whether there could be a secret ballot or whether the candidates could wait outside and be called in one-by-one, the Chairman confirmed that there would be no secret ballot and that voting would be by “show of hands” and that the Candidate with the least votes would be dropped for the next round of voting. Further, he explained that the Candidates would all be in the Chamber for the presentations – he qualified this by saying that the meeting is public and therefore all Candidates had a right to hear all the presentations.

The Chairman advised members that they could vote for no more than 2 Candidates in each round.

The Chairman advised the Candidates that they had 3 minutes to present and support their applications for being Co-opted. He confirmed that there would be 4 of the 5 candidates presenting.

The presentations were completed and voting took place.

The successful Candidates to be Co-opted onto North Ward of this Council are:

Mr Keith Bines
Mr Kenneth Hind

Councillor Hind signed his Acceptance of Office and joined the meeting.


The member of the public did not wish to participate.

031.   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 May 2023 were approved as a correct record.

Proposed by Councillor Christie and seconded by Councillor Lawrence

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)


It was proposed by Councillor Ms Clarke, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 12, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)


a.   The Chairman invited Councillor Mrs Hellyer to address the Council. A written report had been circulated to members.

b.   Members raised questions and comments, that included:

• Potholes - the number and severity of them throughout Bideford was a great concern. Councillor Mrs Hellyer explained that there was a repair programme in place for some of the more dangerous potholes but there had been a delay due to more severe potholes in other areas.

• Bridge Street - The poor road surface outside the Town Hall which had been marked with yellow - Councillor Mrs Hellyer indicated that this was on the list for repair work, hopefully in 2 or 3 weeks time.

• Northam Road alongside Kenwith Valley, whilst technically on the Northam border, has issues with people parking on the blind corner to walk their dogs. It was suggested that double yellow lines are put in place. Councillor Mrs Hellyer explained that double yellow lines had been painted but had worn away. Councillor McGeough advised that as this was, in fact, his DCC area he had asked for double yellow lines to be painted on the same section and a bit further on.
There was a brief discussion about the parking area within the Reserve with the possibility of it being utilised for public parking. Cllr Christie pointed out that the parking area is for the Environment Agency and is there for their use.

• Abbotsham Road – would it be possible to bring the resurfacing date forward from the last quarter of this year to the summer holidays. Councillor Mrs Hellyer had put the order in some time ago but the job was cancelled due to a lack of funds. Unfortunately it will not be possible to bring this job forward and the repair works would be carried out as scheduled.

• Manteo Way – would it be possible to bring forward the patching job along Manteo Way. Councillor Mrs Hellyer explained that this section comes under Fremington Rural and she has to work through them. The work was postponed from last year, to this September and cannot be done any quicker as it requires an overnight closure for which there is a lead-in time of 3 months.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Mrs Hellyer for addressing the Council.


Neither the Mayor or the Town Clerk had any Correspondence.


Councillor Bushby explained to members that “No Mow May”, whilst understanding the reason for it and agreeing with it in principle, it had created a huge amount of extra work for the Maintenance Team – at an already busy time of year. Extra cutting, extra fuel, more man-hours. He would be recommending that it is not observed in the future.
Councillor A Inch suggested it be discussed at the Decarbonisation and Renewables Committee to find out the effect on wildlife.
The Chairman indicated that it would be discussed at a future Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting.

Councillor A Inch noted that the Queen Street office lease will not be renewed. He strongly suggested that the Display Screen is kept n the Town Centre.

Councillor Bushby informed members that the office space would be prime location for the Police to have a presence in the middle of the Town. This had been raised at a Torridge District Council meeting and members were in favour of this.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 June 2023 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 May 2023 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0, Absentions: 1)


Councillor A Inch indicated that he wished to withdraw from the Planning Committee.
The Chairman noted that this would be included on the next Full Council meeting agenda.

The Minutes of the Meetings held on 24 May 2023 and 14 June 2023 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)


Councillor Christie noted that the 450th Charter Anniversary needed to be included on all future agendas as had been agreed.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 June 2023 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)


Submission by Councillor P Christie.

“To set up a joint Town / Torridge District Council Tidy-Team” group to tackle the “grot-spots” in Bideford.”

Photographs of King’s Street and Conduit Lane had been circulated to members.

Councillor Christie elaborated on the condition of these areas, pointing out that they are on the Heritage Trail.

He explained that he used to chair a Tidy Towns Committee and it worked very well.
His Notice of Motion suggests setting up a group with this Council and Torridge District Council, and to make a start with the absent landlords. Further, he advised members that he had spoken with Sean Kearney at Torridge District Council who had assured him that there were some admin hours available.

Councillor Bushby was in support and informed members that he had a meeting the following day (after this meeting) with Torridge District Council Heads of Departments Sean Kearney, Helen Smith and Richard Haste, to view the areas of concern and those outlined in the Notice of Motion.

Councillor McGeough fully supported the Motion but wished it be be made clear that the ultimate responsibility for street cleanliness falls to Torridge District Council.

Councillor McKenzie seconded the Motion.

It was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That this Council works with Torridge District Council to set up a joint Tidy-Team group to tackle the “grot-spots” in Bideford.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0)


Members noted the Bideford Town Centre Partnership Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th May 2023.

Concern was raised over the poor CCTV coverage in the Town.


Councillor Bushby updated members on the following:

• 26 business applications for “beautification” grants had been received, 17 of which are for Bideford.

• The Torridge District Council Maintenance Team are still catching up on the No Mow May initiative. He pointed out that whilst a good idea for the environment there is a knock-on effect and the growth gets out of control.

• Two Food concession spaces had been created along the Fisherman’s Wharf on the Quay (opposite Bridgeland Street).

• Brunswick Wharf Quay wall repair works are under way.

• SS Freshspring’s owner is looking to bring back the Kathleen and May, to Bideford and the Authority are considering a berth for her.

• The Appledore Maritime Centre is progressing.

• Torridge District Council have been asked to produce an action plan for Government consideration to perhaps trigger the release of Levelling Up funding. Whilst not guaranteed, there is the possibility of such a Plan triggering a release of funding.


Councillor Christie gave detail on income, Estate expenditure, Grants: individual, student, group and business start ups

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.49 pm.


Table of Accounts presented for approval at Town Council Meeting 220623



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