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Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting 3 January 2013

Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall,
Bideford on Thursday 3 January 2013 at 6.00 pm


North Ward:

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton
Councillor D C Fulford
Councillor Mrs M P Fulford

South Ward:

Councillor S G Inch (Town Mayor)
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)

East Ward:

Councillor S E L Clarke OBE
Councillor M Langmead (Substitute for Councillor A T Inch)
Councillor R Vanstone


Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor P S Christie


Councillor A T Inch (South Ward – Holiday).
Councillor Mrs Davies (East Ward –Personal).


Prior to the start of the meeting all Members had requested a Dispensation for agenda item 13
(Consideration of the draft budget) which had been granted.


Mr David Glaholm spoke to congratulate Bideford Town Council for the work it does for the community and
commented on how well New Year’s Eve had been organised.  He requested that the Council reviews which
documents it includes with agendas for the public.  He would like to see the reports made available to
the public.  He also proposed that Bideford Town Council suggests to Torridge District Council that the
Town Council takes over the running of the Council Chamber and facilitates weddings in this room to generate
an income for the Town Council.


The minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 15 November were approved and adopted as a correct record.

Minute No.096.  Councillor Mrs Brenton advised that she had attended the Parking Charges meeting held by
Torridge District Council as the Bideford Town Council representative.  She reported that she had been very
disappointed with the meeting in that it was a general meeting and she was only given 2 minutes to speak. 
She felt it was not a true consultation.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0, Abstention 1)


There was nothing to report under this item.


a.      The payments list was discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For:  8, Against: 0)

b.    The Internal Audit Report for the period 1 April – 30 November 2012 was received and the
recommendations noted.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Internal Audit Report for the period 1 April – 30 November 2012 is accepted.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that Bideford Town Council needs to make a formal approach to Torridge District
Council regarding the proposed works in Victoria Park.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillors Clarke and Inch will make the formal approach to Torridge District Council and
generate a Scope of Works.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk updated Members on the projects currently being progressed as follows:

Manor Court Presentment 1. Restoration and cleaning of Charles Kingsley statue.

The Town Clerk advised that Orchard Stonemasons will be undertaking this work at the end of January/beginning
of February.  She is currently liaising with them in order to get the best possible price for the scaffolding.

Manor Court Presentment 4. Lighting around the Westcroft Walkway.

The Town Clerk has ascertained that Planning Permission will be required from Torridge District Council and
will apply from this once she has received permission from Devon County Council to install lighting on their
land.  She is currently liaising with the Estates Department and Foragen Lighting regarding the required
specification and positioning.  Written permission has been received from Westcroft School, and they are very
supportive of the project.

Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Link

Thomas Fattorini from whom the commemorative link is being purchased has provided a price for 500mm of gold
link to attach the commemorative link to the chain.  It would be difficult however for them to fit the
commemorative link as they are based in Birmingham and the cost of transporting the chain securely to
Birmingham is prohibitive.  A local jeweller with in house facilities, is being looked for to do the work
and possibly also supply the linkage chain.


Bideford Town Council resolved in 2009 to dissolve this account, but a statement has recently been received
showing funds of £1,848.14, still remaining.  There was a discussion regarding how the funds in this unused
account should be disseminated.  Councillor Christie advised that he has some information on this charity
and offered to make it available to the SFGP Committee.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RESOLVED: That this item is deferred pending further information from Councilor Christie.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the request from Councillor Christie to reframe two historic Town Council photographs
he has recently acquired and to hang the National War Savings plaque next to the Rolls of Honour.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the photographs are reframed and an additional copy of the one with Bideford Maine in
America is made and sent to Bideford Maine.  A maximum budget of £250 is allocated for this project.
The National War Savings Plaque will be hung next to the Rolls of Honour.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

Once the photographs have been reframed a decision will be made as to where they should be displayed. 
It was suggested that if they are displayed in a building other than the Town Hall, then a small plaque
should be inscribed with “On loan from Bideford Town Council”.


Councillor A T Inch has received a request from a householder on Union Close which backs on to the West
Croft path to cut the height of the hedge.  The Town Clerk has requested information on the ownership of
the hedge from Devon County Council.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That this is deferred until ownership is established.  If it is established that Devon County
Council is not the owner of the hedge then Councillor A T Inch is requested to liaise with the householder
and ascertain who owns the hedge.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)


A complaint has been received from a Member of the Public in that agendas for the public are currently
issued without reports.  The feasibility of providing draft minutes and reports with agendas for the
public was discussed.  The Town Clerk advised that some of the reports attached to the agendas are from
a third party, and they would need to be made aware of any change in procedure.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That draft minutes are put on the web once the Chairman has agreed them, and this may be
before ratification by Full Council, in order that they are available to the public.  Several copies
should also be made available at the Town Council meeting along with the agenda reports.  It is not
recommended that the agenda reports are put on the web-site, as this would involve further staff resource.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

111 BUDGET 2013/2014

The Town Clerk presented the ‘Draft’ Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2013/2014.  Following discussion
a final draft copy was agreed which is attached and forms part of these Minutes.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the Council approves the budget of £385,775.00 and a Precept of £328,731.00 (which is less
the Council tax support grant of 57,044.00) to be submitted to Torridge District Council in respect of the
Financial Year commencing 2013 and that the Council’s reserves are set at £130,000.00.

(Vote For: 7,  Against: 1)

The Town Clerk recommended that the non-earmarked reserves should be allocated, and it was agreed this would
be discussed at the next meeting.


Members considered information on the Localisation of Council Tax Support from NALC which had been circulated
with the agenda.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the letter drafted by NALC to Mr Pickles expressing extreme disappointment at the response
from the Government to its second consultation regarding the localisation of council tax support is prepared
by the Town Clerk for signature by the Mayor.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

113 PART II (Closed Session)

Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded 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)


Proposed by Councillor  Pester seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk progresses the actions agreed.

(Vote: For: 8,  Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance a
nd the meeting concluded at 7.35 pm.

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