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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee July 12 2012

Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 12 July 2012 at 6.00 pm


South Ward:   
Councillor Mrs A E Brenton
Councillor D C Fulford
Councillor Mrs M P Fulford
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor S G Inch (Town Mayor)
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)
East Ward:
Mrs P Davies
Councillor R Vanstone
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor M Langmead
1 x Member of the Public


Councillor S E L Clarke OBE (East Ward - Personal)


There were no declarations of interest.


The Member of the Public present at the meeting raised the following issues:
•He suggested that the peeling gold bands around the floral planters be replaced with gold paint, rather than tape.
•He suggested that the local supermarkets be requested to sponsor the plaques on the planters.
•He made reference to the Manor Court presentments, and advised that in his opinion, not all those from 2009 were complete.
•He expressed the view that the town should offer 2 hours free car parking.
•He felt that Bideford Town Council should not offer to pay for planting in the park, as Torridge District Council are responsible for this.
•He made reference to the fence between the park and Ford Woodland and felt that it is in disrepair in places.


The minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 14 June were approved and adopted as a correct record.

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


No items were raised.


a.The payments list was discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, 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 April – 30 June 2012 was presented to the Committee.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and

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

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

It was requested that a vote of thanks be recorded to Councillor Pester for his role as Internal Finance Inspector.


The Committee considered the draft fixed price quotation request document.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That tenders for the maintenance and storage of the floral planters, and the provision of floral displays for the civic functions be invited via a newspaper advertisement. The tender specification document is to be available from the Town Clerk and the Town web site.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that Moreton Nurseries could fix the plaques and tape themselves for a nominal charge.  Moreton Nurseries have advised that the tape is the most urgent as it does look very tatty, but the plaques would be easier to fix off site at the nursery.  They have reported that generally the units are in a reasonable condition, with just a little rusting on the lower tier support brackets.  It was agreed that the following further information should be obtained before a decision is made:

•The cost of engraved plaques (Councillor Fulford to progress)
•An alternative price to the one already provided for a printed plastic plaque (Town Clerk)
•Whether the charge for tape application is per planter (Town Clerk)
•To ask the handyman to apply gold paint to one planter only instead of tape, to see how this would work.

Proposed by Councillor A Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Council defer the decision on the refurbishment of the planters to the next meeting, but with handyman to trial gold paint on one planter.

(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 detailed the quotes that had been received to inspect the Charles Kingsley and Pine Coffin statues and recommend a cleaning process.  During discussion the following issues were raised:

The Charles Kingsley statue may need some repair. If this is the case, does the conservation officer have any funding available?
Mr J Short could be asked for his opinion (Councillor Fulford to pursue)
Mr Waite to be kept appraised of the type of report the Town Council would like to commission, in case this has any implications for Torridge District Council.

(Councillor S Inch left the meeting)

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk investigates how Barnstaple clean and maintain the statue in Queen Anne’s Square.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)

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

The handyman has removed the weeds from this area.  There was no update available regarding whether Councillor Mrs Boyle would be in a position to jointly fund lighting in this area with the Town Council.  The Town Clerk was asked to check that the dog bins are regularly emptied in this area.

Presentment 6.

It was agreed that no further action could be taken as it is not practical to pursue.

Presentment 7.

It was agreed that this would be dealt with under agenda item 10.

Presentment 8. War Memorial

The Town Clerk advised that she is still trying to make contact with Lord Burnett as President of the Royal British Legion.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

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

(Vote For: 7,  Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that the Chamber of Commerce would like free parking (from 10.00 am) on Saturday 1, 8, 15 and 22 December (to include the free day traditionally provided by Torridge District Council).  It was agreed that the other free day usually provided by Torridge should be allocated for the Christmas Light Switch on (2 December).  The Town Clerk had not been able to contact the Torridge District Council Officer responsible for parking (due to holiday), to confirm that these days were being provided this year.

Proposed by Councillor A Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk writes to Torridge District Council, advising on which days the Council would like free parking (1,2,8,15,22 December 2012), and obtain the optimum cost price to Bideford Town Council.  These costs will then be reported to Full Council for agreement.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


Councillor Brenton declared a personal interest in this item (Governor, Bideford College).  He explained that the decision is currently being made as to whether they will become an academy or a co-operative group, and until this is known, the make-up of their board will also be unknown.

(Councillor Mrs Davies left the meeting)

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That this item is deferred until such time as the new status of Bideford College is known.  The Town Clerk was asked to write a letter to Bideford College wishing them well, and noting that the Town Council would like to take an interest in the College in the future.

(Vote For: 6 , Against: 0)


Notice of Motion – Councillor Fulford:

“That Bideford Town Council contributes £500 towards the planting of flowers at the entrance of Victoria Park from the contracted services budget.”

An amendment to the  motion was proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton:

“That Bideford Town Council contributes £100 from the contracted services budget towards the planting of spring bulbs at the entrance of Victoria Park, provided this is matched with an equal amount from Torridge District Council

RESOLVED:  That the amended motion is supported.

(Vote – For: 5,  Against: 0, Abstention: 1)


The Town Clerk reported that she and Councillor Powell had met with Gendale with a view to them putting together a management suggestion document for consideration by the Town Council.

Prior to this approximately ten organisations had been contacted by the Town Clerk’s office, outlining the status of Ford House Woodland and asking for expressions of interest in its management.  Up until a few days ago, only Glendale had shown an interest, but in recent days, an expression of interest has been received from Devon Wildlife Trust.  Members decided that it would be useful to invite Devon Wildlife Trust to a site visit, and also ask the Tree Officer, Torridge District Council to attend.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That this item is deferred pending a site visit.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)


The walk over survey had been distributed prior to the meeting and three fixed price quotations were presented to Council and evaluated.  The requirement for the Picus Tomograph testing was discussed as its necessity had been questioned by one of the tree surgeons.  It was agreed that this be deferred until a site visit had taken place and a greater understanding of what is required for the management of the woodland achieved.  It was however agreed that the urgent arboricultural works as specified in the walkover survey be commission immediately.

Proposed by Councillor A Inch seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the quotation from East Devon Tree care be accepted with the inclusion of their additional recommendations and the omission of the Picus Tomograph testing.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0)

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

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

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


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