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Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting 25 July 2013


 
PRESENT:

North Ward:   

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton
Councillor Mrs M Fulford

South Ward:   

Councillor D C Fulford
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)

East Ward:   

Councillor SEL Clarke OBE
Councillor  D Howell (Substitute for R Vanstone)
Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:   

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

024 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor S G Inch (South Ward – Personal) and Councillor R Vanstone (East Ward – Personal).

025 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

None declared.

026 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

Councillor Christie advised that he had attended the Burton Forum meeting and has been informed that Devon County Council has put aside £1 million for a new library.  He muted the idea that if the library becomes vacant the Town Council could take it over.  There is a suggestion that a new library could be built next to the Burton Art Gallery and Museum and Miranda Clarke from the Burton will be attending the next Town Council meeting to talk about this.
Councillor Christie then informed Members that Geneva school is being sold.
Councillor Inch talked about the necessity of lobbying our Devon County Councillors and asking for help on issues which they are able to influence.

027 MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 June 2013 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6,  Against: 0, Abstentions: 2 )

028 CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

Thomas Illman result

The Town Clerk updated Members on the meeting to discuss the distribution of the Thomas Illman Charity Fund.  She reported that it had been agreed to distribute £200 to the following 3 groups, on or around 1 December for the next 3 years:

St Mary’s Church for the Christmas meal
Harbour Bideford
Foodbank

The balance of the account (£48) will be given to the Mayor’s charity.

Jimmy Mullen – Golfing achievement

The Clerk was asked to put the suggestion of a small civic reception in the Town Hall for Jimmy Mullen and his family on the next Town Council agenda in recognition of his Golfing achievements.

Free Christmas Parking

The Clerk was asked to get quotes from Torridge District Council on the same basis as last year.

Port Memorial

The Town Clerk advised that an Expression of Interest has been submitted to FLAG for funding the Port Memorial area.  This has been successful and a full bid will now need to be submitted. Officers at Torridge District Council have put together some initial drawings and costings in consultation with Devon Highways. It is proposed that a consultation board will be put on site outlining the plans.  The next steps and the actions required by Bideford Town Council will be put to the Full Town Council meeting for approval.

Computer

The Town Clerk advised that a new pc will be purchased shortly to replace the old and ailing pc currently used by the Administrative Assistant.  Councillor Mrs Brenton advised that Windows 8 should be avoided.

029 ACCOUNTS

Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

INTERNAL FINANCE INSPECTOR’S REPORT

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report is noted.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

EXTERNAL AUDITORS CERTIFICATE AND OPINION 2012/13

Proposed by Councillor  Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the external auditor’s certificate and opinion 2012/13 is noted.

(Vote For:  8, Against: 0)

030 CHEQUE SIGNATORIES

The Chairman advised that it would be helpful to staff to have an extra signatory available for cheque signing.
Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That Councillor Mrs Brenton is added to the cheque signatory list.

(Vote For: 6 , Against: 1, Abstention: 1)

031 PROJECT UPDATE

Victoria Park

The Town Clerk provided Members with the list of votes and comments received to date regarding the choice of War Memorial.  It is expected that further votes will be received once the newsletter is published.

Lighting adjacent to West Croft Path

The Town Clerk advised that she is still waiting permission from Devon County Council Estates/Surveyor for the revised number of lights.  She has spoken to Sam Robinson and he will chase this up.  It was suggested that Councillors Dezart and Julian are contacted and requested to hasten this process.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a letter is sent to Councillors Dezart and Julian requesting that they hasten the permission for the Foragen Lighting.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

Cooper Street Archway

Councillor Clarke reported that the CCTV issue is being resolved.  Concern was expressed about the marks and dirt on the York stone in Jubilee Square as well as vehicular access. It was reported that it is due to be cleaned and sealed.  Concern was also expressed whether the appropriate permissions and pedestrianisation order have been obtained for the Cooper St. project.

032 MILLENIUM PLAQUE

The Town Clerk advised that the Millennium Plaque on the High Street Planter is broken. 

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the broken Millennium plaque is replaced with a Town Council plaque.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

033 TOWN FLAG

Members considered the costs and samples provided.

Proposed by Councillor Howell , seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Tradboats be selected to produce a new town flag.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 1)

034 FORD HOUSE WOODLAND

Members considered the work schedule associated with the Management Plan. It was suggested that other organisations be contacted for advice on inspection frequency and woodland management.  Those suggested included NALC, the Fortesque Estate, Bideford College, TDC/NDDC tree surgeon and Rosemoor.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That advice is sought from other relevant organisations on the management of the woodland and that independent arboriculturists are asked to provide quotes on inspecting the woodland with a recommendation on the frequency this should take place.

(Vote For: 8 , Against: 0)

035 THREE YEAR TENDER

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  To defer this item until advice is received on the work plan for Ford House Woodland.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0 Abstentions: 1 )

036 MANOR COURT

5. That Bideford Town Council requests the appropriate authorities to establish that basic housing standards are maintained and local residents don’t live in squalor.

It was agreed to invite a representative from Transform to a future Town Council meeting in order for them to talk about their work and for Members to ask how Bideford Town Council can help and influence this situation.  Councillor Mrs Fulford suggested that she had a helpful leaflet which she will bring in for the Clerk to scan and distribute.  Concern was then voiced about private and absent landlords.  The Clerk was asked to write a letter to Torridge District Council  asking them what processes they have to ensure that basic housing standards are maintained in the Town.

6. That the Council contacts the Police and Devon Highways to raise concerns with them about the growing problem of parking on verges and pavements around the town.

It was noted that this question has been raised with Bideford Town Council on previous occasions.  The Police and Highways have been asked about this and it seems that as long as reasonable pedestrian access is maintained, the Police are unable to prevent vehicles parking on verges and pavements.  They will however take action if access is completely blocked.

7. That Bideford Town Council consults with local faith groups and schools to rally support for a Holocaust Memorial Day with a ceremony in Victoria Park.

It was agreed that the Clerk would pass on the details of the event in Barnstaple to the person who had put forward the presentment.  In addition they will be advised that if an event is arranged in Bideford, Councillors would support this.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the steps agreed above are taken to progress the Manor Court presentments.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

037 BIDEFORD ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Members considered the following Notice of Motion by Councillor Howell.

Will the Town Council appoint a small number of councillors to approach the Bridge Trust to explore the possibility of setting up a joint “Bideford Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Also if the outcome of the approach is positive for the councillors to work with the Trust to establish the logistics of the Award and to report back to the Council.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillors Howell, Pester and Langmead liaise with the appropriate organisations and report back to SFGP.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

038 INSURANCE QUOTATION

Members considered the four insurance quotations and the level of cover comparison which had been prepared by the Clerk.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Zurich Municipal is selected as the Insurance Provider for the next 3 years.

(Vote For:  8, Against: 0)

039 PART II CLOSED SESSION

JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT.

Following discussion on the documents available, and how they relate to each other it was proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and
   
RESOLVED:    That the Town Clerk provides job descriptions and the Nalc model contract of employment to Members of the SFGP by email.

(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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