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Town Council Meeting Minutes 24 June 2021

Written by Claire Parsons. Posted in Town Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 24 June 2021 at 6.45 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor J Herron
Councillor T Johns

South Ward:

Councillor Mrs S Langford
Councillor P Lawrence

West Ward:

Councillor Mrs K Corfe
Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor D Ratcliff (Town Mayor)

East Ward:

Councillor J Craigie
Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs H Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield (Ass to Town Clerk)
Mrs C Higley (Head - ETW School)
Mr & Mrs S Kenneally (Former Police Insp)
Cllr J Wilton-Love (DCC)
Mr C Fuller – Torridge District Council
Rev. C Rose-Casemore
Rev. C Hutchins
1 x Member of the Press
3 x Members of the public

 

Before the start of the meeting, the Mayor presented a Town plaque to Mrs Catherine Higley, Head Teacher at ETW Primary School, for her long service to the School and Bideford. He then presented a Town plaque to Mr Shaun Kenneally, the Former Police Inspector, for his service and dedication to Bideford.

 

020.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs R Craigie (East Ward) – personal.

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

Councillor P Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 23 (Trustee, Bridge Trust).

022.    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

A member of the public spoke in support of agenda Item 19 – Notice of Motion to lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour through Bideford.

023.    MINUTES

The Minutes of the Zoom Meeting held on 4 May 2021 were approved as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

024.    ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

025.    TO CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH 2021

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31st March 2021 is approved.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

026.    TO CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS WITH THE ANNUAL RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH 2021

It was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Accounting Statements with the Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2021 is approved.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

027.    DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL (COUNCILLOR) REPORT

Councillor J Wilton-Love introduced himself as the newly elected representative for Devon County Council Bideford South. He apologised for having nothing to report, having only been in post for one month. He assured members that he would have a report for them in two months’ time, when he would next attend this Council’s Full meeting.

The Councillor asked members to feel free to contact him, should they have any concerns for him to look at.

028.    TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON THE ISAAC’S YARD LEVELLING UP FUND

Members had received a #bidforbideford Isaac’s Yard flyer from Mr Chris Fuller, Economic Development Officer of Torridge District Council. He addressed members enthusiastically, saying that whilst everyone was bitterly disappointed not to have been successful with the Future High Streets Fund for this project, he was optimistic for a successful Levelling Up Fund bid. He was hopeful that an answer to the bid would be forthcoming this Autumn and that, unlike the High Streets bid, this would be on time.

Mr Fuller asked members for questions:

Councillor McGeough wished to thank everyone who had worked on the bid and was optimistic for a successful outcome.

Councillor Christie reiterated the previous Councillor’s sentiments, adding that, if successful, the bid would unfold the very heart of the Town – the Isaac’s Yard area being a “secret” part of Bideford – and he felt that a lot of Bidefordians will be surprised to see what is revealed. He wished the bid every success.

029.    COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR / TOWN CLERK

The Chairman had received no correspondence.

The Town Clerk advised:

That she had received several positive comments about hanging baskets, which were well received again this year.

That a letter had been received from Geoffrey Cox MP regarding the use of Polystyrene surf boards as outlined in the Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs S Langford, further to a letter sent from this Council on her behalf.
Councillor Langford noted that the next step would be further leverage to make an appointment with the Prime Minister on the matter.

That an update email had been received from Ms Booth of Devon County Council regarding the streetlights at East the Water. This was in response to a letter sent from this Council following a Notice of Motion from Cllr Mrs L Hellyer. The response from the County outlined that lights would be installed in Mines Road before, it was hoped, Winter 2021. Funding for streetlights along Old Barnstaple Road was yet to be decided.

030.    STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING

There was a brief discussion regarding Item 007 of the minutes, regarding the ownership of the riverbank wall and the maintenance of such.

Councillor Bushby noted a correction of the amount in Item 007 to read £797k, following a query from Councillor Herron.

The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2021 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

031.    MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

Councillor Lawrence raised a concern that there were conflicting names on social media for the Pannier Market and asked Councillor McKenzie for clarification, which he felt was essential for the progress of the Pannier Market.
Councillor McKenzie would discuss this with the Market Development Officer.

The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th May 2021 were approved and adopted.

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

032.    PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the meetings held on 12 May, 2 and 23 June 2021 were approved and adopted.

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

033.    ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2021 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

034.    DECARBONISATION AND ENVRIONMENT COMMITTEE METING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 May 2021 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

035.    TOURISM COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the meetings held on 11th May and 15 June 2021 were approved and adopted.

(Vote - For: 14, Against: 0)

036.    EMERGENCY PLANNING WORKING GROUP

Councillor Lawrence had a query about the storage of the Aquasac sandbags. Councillor Christie explained that the Town Hall was close to the river and in an extreme situation could flood. The Pannier Market was the obvious choice for storage and access was available in the case of an Emergency. He then gave a brief explanation of how the Aquasacs work as a flood barrier.

The Minutes of the meetings held on 7th June 2021 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For:14, Against: 0)

037.    MAYOR’S INTRODUCTION CEREMONY AND PARADE

The Chairman advised that, following the recent delay in lifting the current social distancing regulations, the agreed date of 1st July for this Ceremony has been cancelled. He would hope for a date in September for the Ceremony and would advise members of a date in due course.

038.    NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor J Herron.

“To lower the speed limit in Bideford to twenty miles per hour throughout the town.”

Councillor Herron had sent out information to members regarding the “20 for 20” campaign together with a questionnaire. He added that by supporting this Motion, members would increase the safety of people and reduce the levels of pollution. He proposed writing a letter to Devon County Council.

Members discussed at length the issues this subject raised:

• Breaking of speed limits
• Cost implications of setting the infrastructure a 20mph limit versus costs of accidents
• The areas that already have a 20mph speed limit
• Parking implications caused by setting a 20mph speed limit
• More action from the Police
• Educating the public into staying within the speed limits
• Should 20mph be specific areas or through the whole Town ie East and West

Councillor Mrs Hellyer explained to members that Devon County Council would not be considering any 20mph limits until they had completed their trials in Newton Abbot – they are currently trialling a 20mph speed limit with and without the infrastructure in place. These trials, the Councillor added, would not be completed until the end of the year and until then there would be no consideration for other areas.

Councillor Christie suggested that if a letter is sent it will be ignored and a standard reply, along the lines of what Councillor Mrs Hellyer had outlined, would be received. He further suggested that if writing to County the wording “A 20mph speed limit throughout Bideford be considered as soon as the Newton Abbot trial is finished” form part of the letter.
Members discussed the wording of the letter, many saying that Councillor Christie’s suggestion of wording would be crucial to any success, and that a time scale be put in, to show County the seriousness of the situation.

Councillor McKenzie asked that the wording to be included in the letter is made clear, the Clerk read “That a letter is written to Devon County Council asking that the speed limit in Bideford is reduced to twenty miles per hour throughout the town. This should take place as soon as possible after the Newton Abbot trial us completed.”

 

The Chairman asked Councillor Herron if he would accept this amendment to his Notice of Motion, Councillor Herron agreed.

The Chairman asked the seconder, Councillor Craigie if he accepted the amendment, Councillor Craigie agreed.

Councillor McKenzie further requested that a recorded vote be taken.

It was proposed by Councillor Herron, and seconded by Councillor Craigie

RESOLVED: That the amended Motion:

“That a letter is written to Devon County Council asking that the speed limit in Bideford is reduced to twenty miles per hour throughout the town. This should take place as soon as possible after the Newton Abbot trial is completed.”

(Vote – For: Cllrs Christie, Mrs Corfe, J Craigie, Mrs Gubb, Hawkins, Mrs Hellyer, Herron, Mrs Langford, Lawrence, McKenzie, McGeough, Ratcliff, Against: Councillor Bushby, Abstentions: Councillor Johns)

039.     NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor P Christie.

“To ascertain and make a note in the minutes of this meeting, the names of those Councillors who give permission to be contacted in the event of an Emergency. No prejudice or bias would be shown towards those who prefer not to be contacted. No reason needs to be given by those who prefer not to be contacted.
This is purely to have those Councillors who are happy to be contacted included in the overall Emergency Plan.”

Councillor Christie requested members to let the Assistant to the Clerk know if they would be willing to be added to the Plan. This would need to be done before 1st July as the Plan is to be finalised at the next Emergency Planning Meeting on 5th July. He added that he was still waiting for two of the Emergency Risk Assessments to be submitted.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Bushby

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

040.    NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer.

“For Bideford Town Council to adopt the MND (motor neurone disease) Charter in order to publicise their issues, and those of other people with disabilities. This has already been adopted by councils around the country.”

Councillor Mrs Hellyer gave a brief description of the debilitating disease requesting that this Council support the Motion and encourage other Councils to do likewise.

Members recounted their own experiences of having friends who they had lost to MND and the dreadfulness of the disease. But before accepting the Motion they wished to clarify the requirement of staffing resources involved.

The Chairman added that he, too, felt that compiling databases and directories could potentially over-stretch staffing resources and suggested that a Champion Councillor could work with MND in support.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer explained that it would be more promoting events and webinars through social media and the website, sharing with other organisations and Councils.
Councillor Bushby would be happy to support the Motion if it were set out as Councillor Mrs Hellyer had explained.

Councillor McGeough noted that, as a District Councillor, he would take this to Torridge District Council.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and seconded by Councillor McGeough

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)

041.     TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor Bushby advised members that he had carried out a tour of the dilapidated buildings around the Town with a view to applying Section 215 orders to those in the worst condition. This would be looked at with a degree of urgency. He added that it could have a ripple effect throughout those property owners who had not maintained their buildings, by word of mouth.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Bushby for his update.

042.     BRIDGE TRUST

Councillor Christie gave detail on income, Estate expenditure, Grants: individual, student, group. The Business Start Up grants were being rolled out after being restarted, and they were working on a backlog. He noted that there has been a great entrepreneurial spirit shown in the Town.

Councillor Christie explained that the Trust had, whilst converting old offices into flats, been informed by a Torridge District Authority officer that a Green Infrastructure levy of £16k would be payable by the Trust. He wished to bring attention to members, who were District Councillors, that these monies have always had the Ward Councillor involvement in the spend, and usually for the Ward from which the money has been paid. He pointed out to District Councillors that they needed to be aware of this.

Councillor McGeough passed on thanks to the Bridge Trust, from St Mary’s School for items supplied to them.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Christie for his update.

 

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 20.13 pm.

 

Table of accounts for approval at the Town Council Meeting held on 24 June 2021

 


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