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Minutes of Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee Meeting held on Thursday 11 June 2015 at 6.00 pm in Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford.

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

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)


Councillor S G Inch was proposed by Councillor P Pester and seconded.

RESOLVED: That Councillor S G Inch is appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Councillor D G Brenton was proposed by Councillor Johns and seconded.

RESOLVED: That Councillor D G Brenton is appointed as Vice Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)


Councillor D Bushby, (North Ward – Personal)
Councillor P S Christie, (North Ward – Personal)
Councillor D Howell, (South Ward (Outer) – Personal)


All Members of the Committee had received a dispensation prior to the meeting to discuss agenda item 10. (Mayor’s Allowance).


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 April 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

(Vote – For: 6,  Against: 0, abstentions: 2)


•    The Voice radio station has been in contact and invited Members of Bideford Town Council to speak on the radio on a regular basis to talk about what is happening locally and the work of the Town Council. It was suggested that possible candidates would be the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Committee Chairman depending on the topic under discussion.  The Clerk was asked to ascertain if the questions would be available prior to the session on the radio, and if any other Councils have already taken part in this radio programme.  It was also agreed that Councillors would meet with the Town Clerk prior to any radio appearance, to go through the latest project information. 

•    Tilly Clarke who is overseeing the setting up of the Burton Trust has been in touch with the Town Clerk and advised that all the required funding is now in place.  A Shadow Board of Trustees is being set up to work with the Project Group.  A skills audit will be held to ensure the correct makeup of the Board and they would like to invite Councillor Langmead to be considered as a shadow Trustee, due to his previous involvement and experience.  Solicitors have been engaged and the development of the Trust is moving forward.  Members said that they would like to select the Town Council Trustee at the appropriate time.

•    Miss Felicity Halfpenny has started work on the Mayoral scroll and has to date spent two days here, with a further day’s work pending.  She does not wish to be paid but has asked that Bideford Town Council make a donation to charity.  A figure of £300 was agreed by Committee Members.

•    The final Terra cotta plaque depicting the Bideford to Westward Ho! Railway is due to be installed Sunday 21 June.


a.   Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillor S G Inch replaces Mrs Brenton on the list of authorised cheque signatories.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor  Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Mayoral Allowance amount and allocation remains the same.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Members discussed presentments 1, 2 and 6.  The remainder will be considered at future SFGP meetings.

1.   That Bideford Town Council requests that DCC replaces the missing 9 x glass panels and the missing rubber strips from the bus stops on the quay which in their damaged state provide little protection and lead to an impression of municipal neglect rather than pride. Can I also suggest that once the shelters are satisfactorily repaired that the Town Council requests that DCC passes ownership to the Town Council going forward.

Devon County Council has confirmed that the funds to replace the glass panels have been allocated and replacement panels should be installed shortly.  It was agreed to monitor the situation.  It was also noted that the seats have been removed.
2.   That blank wall spaces (with the permission of the owners of Harbour Master’s office, Quay public toilets, Art Centre etc) throughout the Town are utilised by displaying historical and current images for regular events that happen.  Showing the images sequentially to promote the historical value of the Town over the years. 

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That The Town Centre Partnership is invited to add this to the project list for the Town Centre Coordinator role.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

6.   That Town Council considers offering its support for the re-instatement of the Bideford Music Day event which is planned for August 2015.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That The Town Council offers to support the event by providing publicity in the newsletter, on the website, and that it pays for medical cover which is suitable for the occasion.

(The Clerk was also asked to inform the organisers that Torridge District Council have a marquee).

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Proposed information board for the gym equipment

Members discussed the draft mock-up of the gym equipment information board and the quotes received for the production and installation of the board.  The Town Clerk advised that Torridge District Council had given their permission for the erection of the board, but had requested that the exact siting be agreed with John Adams.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the draft information board is agreed and that Jag Signs are invited to manufacture and install the board.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)

Matting for War Memorial area

Members discussed the quotations received for the proposed matting, the terms and conditions of the quotations and the measurements of the area.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the preferred quotation is that from Mant Leisure.  A small project group consisting of The Town Clerk, Councillors A Inch, S Inch and M Langmead will meet with Mant Leisure to confirm the meterage of the area, 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.  The decision whether to proceed is delegated to the project group and will be subject to a satisfactory site visit.  The Clerk will investigate whether the shortfall in funds (£10,000) can be sourced from the TAP Fund.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)

Underbridge Lighting

Members received a detailed report prior to the meeting on the lengthy investigations into the ownership and specification of the underbridge lighting. The quotations received were discussed and it was agreed by all that the caveats placed on the quotations were reasonable, due to the unknown condition of the underbridge lighting and wiring. 

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the quotation from DS Electrical is accepted and they are engaged to re-lamp the under bridge lights.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


An update on the current position with the website was provided and discussed.  It was agreed that The Town Clerk would research local providers and find out from other Councils / DALC who they use.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk makes further investigations and selects a Company to support staff in the maintenance of The Bideford Town Council website.     

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Members reviewed the assistance provide by the Town Clerk’s Assistant to the Town Centre Partnership.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk’s Assistant supports the Town Centre Partnership in an administrative role (3 hours/per month) for a further six months.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Members gave consideration to the dates for the proposed Councillor training and to suggesting any additional topics to be discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the joint training with Northam Town Council (at their Council Offices) is agreed for Thursday 30th July at 6.00 pm.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Members gave consideration to the attendance of the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk at the Local Council Advisory Service Seminar to be held on 22 July in Callington.

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the attendance of the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk at the Local Council Advisory Service Seminar is approved.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Members gave consideration to a request from South West Highways to confirm ownership of the stream which runs through Ford Woodland and the continuance of surface water run-off into the stream.  This is required in order for the pumping station at Rowe Close to be adopted.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to South West Water to confirm that Bideford Town Council owns the stream which runs through Ford Woodland and consents to the continuance of surface water run-off into the stream.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.20 pm.

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