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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held via Zoom on Thursday 29 April 2021 at 6.30pm


North Ward:

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

East Ward:

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

West Ward:

Councillor D Ratcliff


Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)


All Members were present at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

250.    MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff and seconded by Councillor McKenzie, the minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


No items were raised.

252.    ACCOUNTS

a.        Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Christie and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the Internal Finance Inspector’s report.

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 October – 31 March 2021 is approved.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

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


The Town Clerk advised that at the end of the Financial Year 2020/21, £69,073.71 remained in the General Fund.

The Chairman advised that the non-earmarked funds remaining from the financial year 20/21 could be transferred into the project budget to allow further projects to take place. The funding currently in the project budget will be required for the agreed projects: Pollyfield path, Maintenance Team accommodation rent and small project expenditure. The transference of this funding to the project fund will allow the Town Council to move forward with more projects during the next financial year, not least to help finance a new Maintenance Team facility which will be required. Councillor Bushby explained that he will be bringing forward a costed Notice of Motion for the purchase of land on which to develop a purpose-built yard and facility for the Maintenance Team.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RECOMMENDED: That the non-earmarked funds (£69,073.71) are added to the current project budget.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


The Chairman updated Members on the fund and its parameters which had been supplied by the Development Officer, who had attended a meeting on the Welcome Back fund that afternoon. He reported that The District Council will pass over funds to the Town Councils who will then be responsible for implementing the projects and completing the paperwork. The Town Councils will need to agree to a Service Level agreement as Financial Delivery Partners. It will make the Town Council liable for any spend that does not fall in line with these rules or the grant funding agreement. Councils have two weeks to put their proposals to the District Council to see if they are relevant for the grant funding.

Councillor Christie who had attended the Meeting advised that a total of £187,000 is available across the District. The District Council will retain £60,000, with the rest being shared between the Town Councils. The final allocation is still to be decided. The expenditure can only be revenue and not capital. There are 2 new strands of activity: ‘Support to promote a safe public environment for a local area’s visitor economy’ and ‘Support Local Authorities to develop plans for responding to the medium-term impact of Covid-19 including trialling new ideas particularly where these relate to the High Street’. Councillor Christie then listed the ideas put forward by all the participating Councils at the meeting.

Members explored ideas and opportunities for Bideford, which included:

• Graffiti / litter removal / cleaning and painting bus shelters.
• Tidying up play parks.
• Additional planters.
• Special events in the Pannier Market /free taster day stalls/youth events.
• Dog Warden.
• Street markets.
• Cleaning up grotty areas /sign washing /planter watering (Employment of an additional seasonal staff Member for this activity).
• Marketing of the town.
• Creating a place of safety for homeless/anti-social people to go where they are not threatened or forced to conform but equally don't impact in a negative way on the town.
• Painting the Kingsley Wall, with the possibility of creating a mural on the wall.
• A temporary ice-skating ring, possibly in Jubilee Square.

Members agreed to select the most feasible ideas to present to the District Council.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RECOMMENDED: That the following proposals are put to the District Council for funding through the Welcome Back Fund:
• To carry out works to ensure that all the entrances to the town are clean and tidy, and to introduce some floral planters.
• To employ a seasonal Maintenance Team Member, to assist with watering, washing signs and to concentrate on cleaning up any grot spots in the town centre. (Chapter 8 training will be required).
• To fund free taster introductory stalls in the Pannier Market and a special occasion/event.
• To employ a seasonal Street Marshal (This could be something the Police and Crime Commissioner may also help fund).
• To paint the Kingsley Wall, with the possibility of creating a mural on the wall.
• A temporary ice-skating ring, possibly in Jubilee Square in the winter.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members received an update on the tasks undertaken by the Maintenance Operatives.

The Town Clerk advised that the Maintenance Team Supervisor had advised that the summer watering is now taking up a full two days per week. He has enquired whether there would be any possibility of hiring a Member of staff for two days a week during the summer period.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Craigie and

RECOMMENDED: That should the funding for a seasonal Maintenance Team member not be approved by the Welcome Back Fund, then the Town Council employs an additional Member of staff for two days a week during the summer period to water the planters.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

Councillor Mrs Hellyer asked for clarification on the Jobs Pending list concerning Pitt Lane. The Town Clerk will check the position of this task with the Maintenance Team and report back.


Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

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

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


There is a confidential Minute associated with this item.

257.    Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.40 pm.


Accounts for approval at Staffing Finance General Purposes Meeting 29 April 2021 



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