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Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting 4 October 2012

Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 4 October 2012 at 6.00 pm


South Ward:
Councillor Mrs M P Fulford
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 Mrs E A Brenton (North Ward - Personal) 
Councillor D C Fulford (North Ward –Illness)
Councillor A T Inch (South Ward – Work Commitments)


There were no declarations of interest.


A Member of the public spoke on the proposed Councillor grants and Devonshire Park.


The minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 23 August were approved and adopted as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


•    Catherine Bishop has been asked to look at repairing the top of the mace which has broken off.  It may need to be recast as a repair may no longer be sufficient. Councillor Clarke thought that he may be able to get it repaired and has taken the top of the mace to be examined.
•    The Town Council has been enhancing the Christmas lighting Scheme each year.  The Town Clerk suggested that Bideford Town Council may wish to consider extending it along Grenville Street to lead the way to the Pannier Market and Members agreed this could be put on the next Town Council agenda for discussion.
•    The Town Clerk was asked to request a bullet point lighting review from DS Electrical. 
•    The Town Council has successfully been reaccredited as a Quality Council.  The Committee asked that the Town Clerk thank the staff for their hard work and contribution to this achievement.
•    The Town Clerk reported that the Pollyfield land sale has gone through and the funds should be received shortly.
•    The Town Clerk was asked to ascertain whether the power supply in Jubilee Square has been removed and if so, ask Devon County Council who authorised this.


The payments list was discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone  seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk briefed Members on the possibility of sharing a handyman with Northam Town Council.  She also provided details of a self-employed handyman, who has previously undertaken work for the Council.  There was a discussion on how long each job would take and how it could be monitored and priced.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Mr Hobbs is engaged on a self employed basis to undertake handyman duties for Bideford Town Council.  A ceiling of £400 per week is set as a maximum spend.  Councillors will submit jobs to the Town Clerk who will compile a schedule of works and get an estimated price from Mr Hobbs before work commences.  The price will be agreed by the Chair/Vice Chair of the SFGP Committee and Town Clerk.  Members will be responsible for checking that the work they have submitted is completed satisfactorily.

(Vote For: 6, 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 provided Members with a quotation from Orchard Stonemasons to clean the statue. Torridge District Council has been consulted and there are no records of any previous inspections of the Kingsley Statue.  Councillor Clarke suggested that he could get a second quote for the cleaning and protection of the Kingsley Statue and it was agreed this should be deferred until the next meeting.

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

The Town Clerk provided details on the cost of solar lighting and advised that a response has been received from Devon County Council advising that they do not have a budget available for providing lighting in this area.  It was agreed that she will investigate whether planning permission is required for installing lighting and that Councillors Clarke and Pester will measure the Westcroft walk way to ascertain how many lights will be required.  Members reviewed the solar lighting quotations and agreed that the preferred supplier is Forgen Renewables and a budget of £8,500 should be reserved for this project subject to a site visit and Planning permission.

Presentment 8. War Memorial

A response has been received from the Bridge Trust advising that they do not wish to provide funds for this project.  Members asked the Town Clerk to clarify with the Bridge Trust that some of the funds are required for the public performance area and ascertain whether they may be willing to contribute towards this part of the project.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That a budget of £98,000 be reserved for the repositioning of a new War Memorial and a public performance area of 1,500 M2.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Council take the above steps to action the presentments.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that the Mayor’s Chain is 18 carat solid gold.
Catherine Bishop (jeweller) has inspected the chain and has provided some possible suggestions as to where a new link could be placed.  Members examined the chain and agreed that the Jubilee link should be 18 carat gold and discussed their preferred position for the link.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED: That The Town Clerk investigates the possibility of sourcing a gold sovereign link via the Royal Mint as well as asking Catherine Bishop jewellers for a quote for something similar.  A budget of £3,000 will be reserved and it was agreed that the link will be suspended across the middle of the chain in order not to create any further length.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


Members discussed the parameters for the preparation of the draft budget which will be prepared for presentation at the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes meeting on 15 November.


Members discussed the possibility of purchasing a banner to advertise the Christmas parking initiative.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a banner is purchased to advertise the free parking being provided by Bideford Town Council during the Christmas period.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)


a.  Submission by Councillor S Inch
“That the Town Council partly funds the refurbishment of Cooper Street and that the SFGP investigates this and comes back to Full Council with a recommendation on a way forward.”

Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a budget of £20,000 is reserved for the refurbishment of Cooper Street and that a meeting is arranged with the appropriate bodies to discuss the way forward.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)

b.  Submission by Councillor A T Inch
“To give consideration to a Councillors’ Community Grant Scheme consisting of £2,000 per year per Councillor.”

Proposed by Councillor  Pester seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the Councillors’ Community Grant Scheme of £2,000 per year per Councillor be supported.  The scheme will be administered along the same lines as that run by Torridge District Council with criteria to be agreed by the SFGP Committee.  It is also recommended that grants distributed via the main grant scheme are allocated once per year only.  It was recommended that the grant budget for 2013/14 be set at £40,000 with Councillor’s Community Grants amounting to a further £32,000.
(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)

(Councillor Mrs Davies left the meeting).

76 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: 5,  Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk move to the next scale point from 1 November 2012.

(Vote: For: 5,  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.

Signature of Town Mayor:  ………………………………….  Date:  ……………………........

Signature of Chairman:  ……………………………………..  Date:  ……

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