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Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting 15 November 2012


Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee

held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on

Thursday 15 November 2012 at 6.00 pm


North Ward:

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

South Ward:

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

East Ward:

Councillor S E L Clarke OBE
Councillor Mrs P Davies
Councillor R Vanstone


Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor T Johns
Councillor M Langmead
Councillor R Wootton


Councillor Mrs P Davies (East Ward – Hospital)


Councillor Mrs Brenton declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 6.a. (Payment of travel expenses).


There were no members of the public present at the meeting


The minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 4 October were approved and adopted as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

The minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 17 October were approved and adopted as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


• The Town Clerk advised Members that Strongvox and South West Water have been in touch with the Town
Council regarding laying services from the land recently sold to them by the Town Council and provided
information on why this is necessary.  It was suggested that she contact the Water Council for
verification of information provided by South West Water.


a. The payments list was discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

b. The Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 July – 30 September 2012 was presented to
the Committee.

There was some discussion regarding the amount of money currently held by the Town Council and the level
of reserves, and the Town Clerk advised that she would check the recommended amount with the Internal Auditor.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the lnternal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 July – 30 September 2012
be approved and adopted.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


There had been a suggestion that the start time for future Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meetings
be changed to 18.30 in order to avoid clashing with Bridge Trust Meetings.  However, Councillor Pester advised
that the Bridge Trust may be changing their meeting, so this may not be necessary.

Proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That this item be deferred until the next meeting, when the Bridge Trust meeting times should
be known.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members gave consideration to how future Town Council meetings could be made more productive and efficient.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the Police be requested to attend Town Council meetings quarterly and provide a written
report for the meetings which they do not attend.  That the County Councillors be requested to alternate their
attendance, provide a bullet point report of significant issues to Members in advance of Council meetings and
that questions be limited to a period of 5 minutes, with the reporting time also being limited to 5 minutes. 
That organisations who provide presentations to Council be asked to limit their presentation to 10 minutes
and also to provide a written report for circulation to Members in advance of the meeting.  
That reports and Presentations to Council must focus on quality rather than quantity. That agendas and
reports must be thoroughly checked before distribution and that Members adhere to the rules of debate laid out
in Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 8 , Against: 0)


The updated actions  taken on the Manor Court Presentments for 2012 were discussed and the following
supplementary actions  proposed:

Presentment 1. Improvements to the Quay such as the cleaning of the inserts, and for better publicity given to
the Heritage Inserts.  The planting of beds already in situ and the statue of Charles Kingsley to be restored
and cleaned.

The Town Clerk advised that the Conservation Officer, TDC has said that she would like Bideford Town Council to
consolidate and clean the statue, but not to repair the fingers as these can be a target for vandals.  An offer
has been received from Kingsley school for their children to help clean the statue and also from the army cadets,
but advice has been taken from the Conservation Officer who feels the cleaning should only be undertaken by a
specialist company as first proposed by the Council.  The statue is very dirty and covered in lichen which requires
specialist cleaning.  Members suggested that if the statue is professionally cleaned and sealed, it may be
possible to ask the army cadets to undertake cleaning in future, once the statue is in a better state of repair.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Orchard Stonemasons be engaged to clean the statue and that the Town Clerk be delegated a
sum of up to £2,000 to have the statue sealed following the cleaning work, within the parameters of
best value.  The Town Clerk should also inform the Conservation Officer that Bideford Town Council is
minded to engage Orchard Stonemasons to repair the quill and fingers in addition to the cleaning.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

Presentment 4. Lighting, dog and litter bins in the vicinity of Devonshire Park and Grenville Ridge.

The Town Clerk has asked TDC if planning permission is required, and is awaiting a response.  Councillor Pester
has measured the area which is 186 m.  Councillor Clarke has drawn a scale map, and positioned the best areas
for the lights.  Devon County Council has been asked for permission to install solar lights in the area and
West Croft school has been consulted.  An engineer from Devon County Council has been in contact with the
Town Clerk and has advised that any lighting provided by the Town Council would need to conform to a minimum
lux standard.  Cleaning and maintenance should also be considered when choosing the design of the lights
(bearing in mind there is no vehicular access).  The DCC officer has also provided details of a mains scheme,
which if financed by the Town Council, could be adopted and maintained by DCC.  Members discussed the
possibility of a funding partnership with Devon County Council, and the risks involved of installing solar
lighting which does not comply to their lux light levels.  The Town Clerk was asked to contact Foragen and
ask whether they have any solar lights locally that could be viewed.

Proposed by Councillor A Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the specification for the Foragen lights is sent to Devon County Council to ask whether they
comply with their lux light levels, and if they do that the Town Clerk instigates the installation of Foragen
solar lights on the edge of the Westcroft playing field.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

(Councillor A T Inch requested  that a proposal to cut the height of the hedge along this area be put on the next agenda)

Presentment 8. War Memorial

The Town Clerk has clarified with the Bridge Trust that some of the funds are required for the public performance
area and has asked whether they would be willing to contribute towards this part of the project.  A response has
been received asking for further information.  Mr Geoffrey Cox MP, and Lord Burnett have also offered assistance
in finding some grant funding for the project.  A meeting is to be arranged to progress this.  It was agreed that
Councillor S Inch would be involved in this meeting.  There was discussion regarding relocating the
Chudleigh Fort War Memorial to Victoria Park.

Proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk and The Mayor meet with Mr Geoffrey Cox MP and Lord Burnett to progress
funding and that Councillor Clarke does some further work on the plan for Victoria Park.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

(There was a short discussion on how the Remembrance Sunday Service could be improved.  Councillors were
asked to make suggestions to the Town Clerk so that these can be discussed by Full Council and a check
list sent to the Royal British Legion for next year).


The Town Clerk provided Members with all the options to date for an 18 carat link for the Mayoral chain,
in a document, circulated with the agenda.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Thomas Fattorini Link be purchased and that a further £1000 be allocated for the
linkage chain.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members received information on the annual Beadle Conference and the request from Mrs V Morrish, Beadle, to attend.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the sum of up to £200 be budgeted for the cost of the Annual Conference, and subsistence expenses.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members received and noted the report on the quay lighting.  The Town Clerk advised that HSBC require
indemnification for the lights being placed on their building and this is being progressed.


The Town Clerk requested that a Bideford Town Councillor attend this meeting to represent the Town Council.

Proposed by Councillor AT Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillor Mrs Brenton represents Bideford Town Council at the Parking Charges Meeting and
makes the points listed above at the meeting.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, the public be excluded
for the following item.

(Vote – For: 8,  Against: 0)


A confidential letter was discussed by Members.

Proposed by Councillor  Pester seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to the North Devon Journal, requesting the origin of the report from which
extracts were published in August 2012.

(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 7.45 pm.

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