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Minutes for the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held Thursday 23 July 2015

PRESENT:   
North Ward:   
Councillor T J Johns (Substitute for Cllr. D Howell)
Councillor P J Pester (Town Mayor)

South Ward:   
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor S G Inch (Chairman)
Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:   
Councillor M C Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:   
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr A Rayner

018    APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor D Howell (South Ward (Outer), Personal)

019    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
No declarations of Interest were received at this point in the meeting.

020    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION
There was no public participation.

021    MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 June 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

(Vote – For:  8,  Against: 0)

022    CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

•    Bideford Town Centre Partnership is producing tear-off maps of Bideford to be provided during the summer to visitors.  They will be financed by advertising.  It has been suggested that Bideford Town Council may wish to take the two earpieces at a cost of approximately £20 - £30 each.  Members agreed with this suggestion.
•    The Forest school have asked permission to hold two activity days in Ford Woodland in August for groups of school children.  They have provided the necessary public liability documents and risk assessments and our insurance company has been informed.  The Forest school have also been asked to notify the Fire Service of the dates and times when they will be building a small camp fire. Members agreed with this proposal.
•    At a meeting held with Northam Town Council, St Mary’s School, and a nursery provider to discuss Springfield, it was suggested that Bideford Town Council engage the District Valuer to ascertain the value of the Springfield Centre.  The fee estimated by the Valuer for providing this estimation would be £550 + vat.  Members asked that this be discussed further at Full Council, and in the mean time for Northam to be asked to pay half the cost of the District Valuer, should Bideford Town Council agree to proceed with this.

023    ACCOUNTS

a.        Members received the list of payments.

    (Councillor A Inch left the room)

    Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

    RESOLVED:  That the list of payments is approved.

    (Vote – For: 7, Against: 0,  Out of the room, 1)

    (Councillor A Inch returned)

b.    Members received and approved the Council’s Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2015.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2015 is approved.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

024    PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN BIDEFORD WARDS

A report by Mr Rayner on public transport in Bideford Wards had been circulated to Members prior to the meeting.  Mr Rayner addressed the meeting and highlighted the inconsistency with the public transport system on evenings and Sundays between the North and the West of Bideford. He said that this leads to social isolation and means that people living outside the town centre are less likely to use the bus service.  The aim of his proposal is to provide a better service at minimum cost by using the existing vehicles more effectively.  He went on to explain the proposed route.

He advised that Stagecoach are aware of his proposal but have not come up with any direct comments. Mr Rayner would like the Town Council to back his proposal and take this forward.

(Councillor Brenton arrived at the meeting).

Discussion followed as to whether there is a need for this service and whether there are people who would make use of this.  Councillor Brenton asked if the proposals would tie in with the Pannier Market bus and was advised that there is no direct linkage with the Pannier Market service.

Members raised the difficulty a double decker would have in negotiating Moreton Park road and Mr Rayner replied that the possibility of an alternative route was perhaps something that could come out of future discussions.

The possibility of the Town Council subsidising a new route was raised, although Councillor Christie advised caution.  He suggested only committing to one year at a time.

Mr Rayner suggested that the Devon County Council Officer responsible for transport should be included in any negotiations with Stagecoach.

Proposed by Councillor A Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Stagecoach be approached in order to open a dialogue as to how best evening and Sunday services can be supplied to the area affected.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

025    FLORAL PLANTERS AND CIVIC FLORAL DISPLAYS

Members discussed the sample tender letter that had been circulated with the agenda and discussed the best format for the floral displays for Mayor’s Introduction and Manor Court.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead and seconded

That 2 pedestals of fresh flowers to be placed either side of the dais, are provided for both Manor Court and Mayor Introduction.  The flowers to be donated to the Parish Church following the ceremonies.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 6)

Proposed by Councillor A Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That 2 pedestals of fresh flowers to be placed either side of the dais are provided for Mayor Introduction.  The flowers to be donated to the Parish Church following the ceremonies. That the Manor Court flowers are provided as in previous years for 2016.  The tender letter should only invite quotations for Manor Court flowers in 2016, and not for 2017 or 2018.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 3)

026    MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS 

Presentment Number 3.

“That McColls windows overlooking Jubilee Square are untidy and an eye sore to the newly renovated Jubilee Square which was largely funded by the Town Council. That the owners are contacted and asked to consider that photo vinyl images of Bideford could be placed on the outside of the windows to make the square more attractive to the people of Bideford and our visitors?”

Members discussed the need to not only improve the look of the window, but to  tidy up the area outside the window where the wheelie bins are kept, especially as this borders Jubilee Square and is within a conservation area.  It was suggested that if McColls are not willing to allow the window area to be improved, Torridge District Council could be asked to insist they remove their wheelie bins.

Proposed by Councillor  Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a letter is sent to McColls Head Office requesting permission for the photo vinyl images of Bideford to be placed on the outside of their shop.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 4.

“That the Town Council prepares a list of properties and areas and presents to the Tidy Town committee to pursue and monitor including rubbish and chewing gum.”

Members advised that the Tidy Town committee is no longer convened following the redundancy of the TDC Officer who clerked the Committee.  It was suggested that the Tidy Town file be requested from Torridge District Council for the Committee to view.  It was also suggested that One Bideford may also wish to link into this and Councillor A Inch agreed to raise this with them.

Proposed by Councillor  Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That The Tidy Town File is requested from Torridge District Council for consideration by Bideford Town Council, and One Bideford (If they wish to become involved).

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 5.

“That a feasibility study be conducted to investigate the cost, location and general desirability of a bandstand in Victoria Park.  To consider adapting the existing Fort and utilise income from 106 agreements to finance the project.”

It was advised that the band feels that the existing fort is not big enough even if it has a cover on it.  Members discussed other possible locations for the band including the Port Memorial and the Quay.  A portable band stand was also muted.

Proposed by Councillor  S Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That The Town Band is asked for their comments on the type and location of any future band stand.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

027    PROJECT UPDATE

Information board for the gym equipment.

The Town Clerk advised that the information board had now been installed.

Matting for War Memorial

The Town Clerk advised that The Mayor, Councillor Langmead, John Adams (TDC) and she had met with Charles Mant to discuss the queries raised at the last SFGP meeting. The area to be covered by the matting was discussed and agreed by those present.  Mr Mant will provide the Town Clerk with a Method Statement outlining how the matting will be laid and what measures we/they will put in place to secure the area whilst the work is being undertaken.  Mr Adams asked that this be sent to TDC in order for permission to lay the matting to be granted.  It was agreed by all present that the most appropriate time to lay the matting would be the second week of September, once the Park becomes less busy.

Underbridge Lighting

DS Electrical has been asked to proceed with the refurbishment of the lighting. They are liaising with DCC on a traffic management plan for the long bridge.

Cycle Hoops

The Town Clerk is waiting for the paperwork from DCC as a licence is required prior to the installation of street furniture.  However, she will proceed with the installation of the majority of the hoops which will be situated on Torridge land.  She has requested details of hoop availability and their specification from Devon County Council, so she can start to get installation quotations.  She is still awaiting this information.

028    TAP FUND

Following a request from Abbotsham Town Council Members gave consideration to amending the application to the TAP fund for grass cutting from a single application made by Bideford Town Council to a Joint application with Abbotsham Parish Council.

Proposed by Councillor  Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That a joint application with Abbotsham Parish Council is submitted.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)
029    VJ DAY EVENT

Members gave consideration to the request from the Royal British Legion for funding towards the VJ Day Event on Saturday 15 August.

Proposed by Councillor  Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a grant of £250 towards the refreshments on VJ Day is provided to the Royal British Legion.

(Vote – For:  9, Against: 0)

030     1742 COAT OF ARMS PAINTING

Members gave consideration to the treatment proposal and estimate for the restoration of the 1742 Coat of Arms Painting.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the estimate of £1,280 for the restoration of the 1742 Coat of Arms Painting is accepted.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

031    ANNUAL BOUNDARY INSPECTION FORD WOODS

Members gave consideration to the annual boundary inspection required for Ford Woods.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That East Devon Tree Surgeons are engaged to carry out the annual boundary inspection of Ford Woods in line with their quotation.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

032    REFURBISHMENT OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Members gave consideration to a letter from DS Electrical regarding the budget required for the refurbishment of the existing Christmas Lights.

Members discussed the provision of alternative quotations and the demonstration of best value for money.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the additional £10,000 required for the refurbishment of the Christmas Lights is agreed.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)



033    DECORATED CHRISTMAS TREE FOR ST MARYS CHURCH

Members gave consideration to supporting the 150th anniversary of St Mary’s Parish Church via the provision of a decorated Christmas Tree.

Proposed by Councillor  A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That The Town Council provides a Christmas tree so support the 150th anniversary of St Mary’s Parish Church and asks each of the organisations who received a grant from the Town Council last year to provide a decorated bauble on behalf of their organisation.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

034    BUSINESS CARDS

Members gave consideration to  business cards for Bideford Town Councillors.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the business card template generated by the Town Clerk is used for Councillor business cards. Councillors should elect to “opt in”  if they so wish  and purchase cards at their own expense.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

035    CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, it is advisable, in the public interest, that the public be excluded for the remainder of the meeting; the tenants / traders were instructed to withdraw.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

     PART II (CLOSED SESSION)


036   
EMPLOYMENT ISSUES

a.      CONFIRMATION OF END OF PROBATION

Proposed by Councillor D Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Road Sweeper/Maintenance Officer has successfully completed the probation period.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

b.    ADMISSION TO PENSION SCHEME.

Information regarding the admittance of the Road Sweeper /Maintenance Officer to the Pension Scheme had been provided to Members in the meeting report.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch  seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Benjamin Jack, the present holder of the post of Road Sweeper / Maintenance Assistant, employee of Bideford Town Council, becomes a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme under the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997.

(Vote For :  9,  Against: 0)

Members agreed that The Town Clerk should arrange for the Road Sweeper /Maintenance Officer to attend a week spraying course.

It was agreed by all Committee Members that the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting scheduled for Thursday 3rd September would be moved to a 6.30 pm start.


The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.20 pm.


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