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Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Meeting 17 October 2013


North Ward:

Councillor Mrs M Fulford
Councillor Mrs E A Brenton

South Ward:   

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

East Ward:   

Councillor SEL Clarke OBE
Councillor R Vanstone
Councillor M Langmead


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


All Committee Members were present at the meeting.


Councillor Clarke declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 12.  (The Festival Committee has previously provided the roadshow for the Christmas Light Switch on)


A Member of the Public spoke in support of agenda item 13. (Wings Community Sports Complex).  He felt such a facility was needed in Bideford, as there was both a lack of sports facilities and community infrastructure.


The Chairman advised that the growth of 3 trees on the Quay would affect the string lighting within the trees which will be turned on for Christmas.  The Town Clerk was asked to arrange for East Devon Tree Surgeons to meet with DS Electrical and provide a cost for trimming the trees.


Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor  S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Victoria Park

Councillor Clarke reported that he and the Town Clerk are currently putting together an information document detailing all the plans and information regarding the War Memorial which will be submitted to Torridge District Council for approval.

Cooper Street Archway

Councillor Clarke reported that Torridge District Council require 6m clearance from the lowest point of the arch if placed at the bottom of Cooper St. or 5m clearance if placed halfway up, due to CCTV visibility requirements.  The Town Clerk was asked to investigate if Mr R Braddick from Crabby Dicks would make his CCTV available to mitigate any loss of visibility caused by the arch (and whether this would be acceptable to TDC).  She was also asked to investigate if the Community Right to Challenge could be invoked to challenge the positioning of the current CCTV.

Solar Lighting

The Town Clerk reported that the lease has been received and is with Bazeley, Barnes and Bazeley, for checking.

Finger Posts

Councillor Pester has met with the Handyman, who will be able to complete the work following an imminent period of paternity leave.  The finger posts will be sandblasted prior to being painted.

Proposed by Councillor A T Inch , seconded and

RECOMMENDED That Councillor Pester progresses the refurbishment of the town centre finger posts with the Handyman and that a maximum budget of £3,000 is allocated for this task.

Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk reported that a funding application has been sent to FLAG for some grant funding.  The initial plans had been drawn up by Grainge Architects and costed by Hills.  The costings had come in over budget, and the Town Clerk, Councillor. Christie, Mr Harris (TDC) were meeting with Grainge to see how these costings could be reduced.  Although it should be possible to reduce the costings, an additional funding requirement is still very probable and a further £9,000 was therefore requested from Bideford Town Council towards the project.  Councillor Clarke asked the Town Clerk to obtain the Bill of Quantities, so that he could obtain some comparison figures.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That a further £9,000 is allocated towards the Port Memorial Project, bringing the total spend to £30,000 (including the initial £1,000 being spent on drawings and costings).

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Councillor Christie advised that there may be further FLAG funding available for other projects and the Town Clerk was asked to email Members the parameters of the FLAG funding.


The Town Clerk advised that Torridge District Council has requested that Bideford Town Council supports a Pedestrian Order (24 hours) for Cooper Street. They have advised that they have had informal talks with the traders along Cooper St. who are in favour of this.  There will be no cost implication for the Town Council.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council supports this in principle subject to written confirmation that the majority of traders in Cooper St. support this.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that there had been an underspend of £1,724.05 on Jubilee Square, and Members had been asked to make a recommendation to Full Council on how this should be allocated.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RECCOMMENDED: That the surplus funds from Jubilee Square are returned to the Bideford Town Council Major Project fund.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0, Abstention, 1)


Members considered the requests from the Ford Woodland Community group as follows:

•   For an entrance gate from Newland Rise into Ford Woodland.
The land on the other side of the proposed entrance gate is owned by Torridge District Council who has given agreement in principle, subject to approval of location of gate and route
Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That this request is agreed in principle, but the Community Group needs to supply costings for the gate, and an access plan.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

•    To plant a number of saplings in the woods and fund the required tree stakes and guards.

The Community Group would like permission to plant up to 210 saplings in the woods, which they will source from the Woodland Trust, in order to introduce more variety of a native kind. Advice has been taken from Mr Hynes of the AONB on possible locations.  The Town Clerk explained that the main intended area for the saplings was the perimeter of the woodland which adjoins the field area.

Proposed by Councillor SG Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the majority of the trees should be used to form a perimeter hedge in the suggested location and that any trees planted within the woodland are restricted to replacing young sycamores.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 1)

(Councillor S G Inch advised that he could supply the supports and guards for the saplings and that the group should contact him directly.)

Members considered the possible repairs to the Macebearers robes.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the braid selected by the committee should be purchased, provided that it was £10/metre or less and that Carol Dart be asked to affect the repairs.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


(Councillor S E L Clarke declared a pecuniary interest in the item and took no part in the discussion or vote.)

Members gave consideration to providing additional funds to those granted for the Christmas Light Switch-on event.

Proposed by Councillor P Pester , seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That funds of up to £5,000 be made immediately available to the Christmas Committee, less the amount raised at their upcoming charity event. 

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0,  abstention, 1 (SC))


Members gave consideration to providing the Wings Community Sports Complex Project with £20,000 to enable them to make the grant applications required to raise £5,000,000 for this project and an additional £180,000 once the capital sum has been raised.

It was agreed that Mr Paul Bowser from Wings should be invited to a special Town Council Meeting to make a presentation on the project and in particular respond to the following issues; Information on how the running costs will be met, information on other partners and their funding, and the opportunity for the people of Bideford to have some ownership of the project, possibly in the form of a trusteeship.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED: To defer the decision on Town Council support and funding for the Wings Community Sports Complex until a meeting has been held with Mr Paul Bowser of Wings.  The Town Clerk will appraise Mr Bowser of which questions in particular Members would like to see addressed during the presentation.

(Vote For: 9, 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.

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