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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee - 27 March 2014

PRESENT:   

North Ward:   

Councillor D G Brenton (substitute for Cllr. Mrs Brenton)
Councillor D C Fulford
Councillor Mrs M Fulford
Councillor T Johns

South Ward:   

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

East Ward:   

Councillor R Vanstone
Councillor M Langmead

109  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton ( North Ward – personal).

110  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillor A T Inch declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11 (Chairman, Torridge District Council).

111  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

There was no public participation.

112  MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 February 2014 were approved and signed as a correct record.

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

113  CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

The Town Clerk advised that following further correspondence the issue of the replacement trees for the Quay would need to be revisited.  She was asked to contact DCC in the meantime and ask that they remove the dead trees.  She was also asked to ascertain who will upkeep the new trees once planted.

The Town Clerk advised that the Royal British Legion is arranging a short parade and Church Service on 3 August 2014 to commemorate the start of the First World War.  Bideford Town Council will be invited to join the parade which will go from Jubilee Square to St Mary’s Church, followed by wreath laying at the Church War Memorial.

114  ACCOUNTS

a.   Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Fulford, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Payment No: 379 for Office furniture.  Councillor Langmead felt that when the layout had been designed, the radiator had not been taken into account and therefore the furniture didn’t quite fit together, leaving two sharp corners which needed to be cushioned.  The Town Clerk reported that new office chairs had not been sourced with the rest of the furniture, and would need to be purchased separately at a future date.

b.   Members reviewed and approved the Council’s Statement of Internal Control dated March 2014.

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Statement of Internal Control dated March 2014 is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

c.   Members reviewed and approved the Council’s Risk Management Paper dated March 2014.

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Risk Management Paper dated March 2014 is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

d.   Members received and approved the Council’s interim Internal Audit Report for the financial year 2013 – 2014.

Proposed by Councillor  S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Statement of Interim Internal Audit Report is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

115  PROJECT UPDATE

Port Memorial

Members were advised that the Town Clerk has met with Torridge District Council and Devon County Council to discuss the 278 Highways agreement required for the Port Memorial project.  A legal agreement is to be drawn up to the effect that once the works are completed in accordance with the DCC specification, they will maintain the surface area and Bideford Town Council will take responsibility for the trees, benches and landscaped areas.  To draw up the document there will be a legal fee of £500 and an inspection fee of 7% of the works area.  These sums were not included within the original costings document.  This cost will be incurred now, before the final grant offer comes through, because if the legal document is not in place, this could severely delay the works. FLAG has advised that the deadline for the receipt of the tender information (and following this the final confirmation of funding) is 6 May 2014.  This timescale is very tight, given that the tenders are not being issued until the end of this week, and this is the first information that has been received from FLAG regarding this deadline.  Several Councillors advised that contractors in general are busy at the moment, and it is hoped that sufficient tenders will be returned.

War Memorial

The Town Clerk outlined the two options of temporary grass stabilisation (roll up matting) and a more permanent type matting solution, where the grass will grow through.  Following discussion, it was felt that the permanent matting solution should be explored.  It was agreed that Councillor S G Inch would lead on this project and would meet with Mr Adams (TDC) and Mr Saunders from the British Legion to establish where the matting should go as well as the dimensions and costs.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillor SG Inch will lead on the stabilisation of the War Memorial area in Victoria Park and will meet with Mr Adams and Mr Saunders to review the area, work out the dimensions of matting required, and liaise with the office with regard costing information.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Woodland – Unfenced area

Councillor Pester advised that he had visited the area behind Ford House with Phil Clarke.  The area had now become very overgrown and they couldn’t see how you could get near the ledge to fall down.  He suggested that the Council put signs at the main entrances to say that there are no recognised walks in these woods, persons using them should be aware there are steep embankments and to enter at your own risk. 

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That robust aluminium signage is placed at the main entrances to Ford Woodland making visitors aware that there are no recognised walks in the woods, there are steep embankments in places, and visitors enter at their own risk.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

116  MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS

(The full list of Manor Court Presentments is attached as Appendix A to these minutes)

Presentments 1 – 6 were discussed as follows.  The remaining Presentments were deferred until the next SFGP Meeting.

1.   That the appropriate authorities be contacted, in respect of the very poor stone  paving across the road at the bottom of the High Street in Bideford  and along Mill Street and Grenville Street where it is uneven, for urgent repair.

The Town Clerk’s assistant has contacted Highways regarding these issues and has been advised that the bottom of High Street would be regarded as a priority but Mill Street and Grenville Street less so, as only patches need repairing as safety defects.  The Mayor also advised that he had been given assurances that Bideford High Street was on the priority list for repair.

2.   That the Council contacts whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the historic bollards along the Quay, and sponsors their repainting and repair.
     Members were uncertain which bollards were being referred to and asked the Town Clerk to clarify the location and number of these bollards.
3.   That a service be held to commemorate the start of the First World War and the names of the fallen be read out by descendants.
     The British Legion are already planning a commemoration on 3 August 2014 and have agreed to descendants reading out the names of the fallen at their ceremony.
4.   That the Council sponsor local artists to work with local schools and the Arts Centre to design and make mosaics depicting aspects of modern life in Bideford, to be placed on or in the way of the 4,currently plain, bricked recesses of the Bideford Adult Community Centre at the Arts Centre, that face the Quay.
     The Town Clerk’s Assistant has ascertained that Devon County Council owns the building and it is listed. Indemnities and insurances may be required should the mosaics damage the building or passers-by and possibly planning permission as it would change the appearance of the building. Members agreed that it would not be practical to progress this project, particularly as The Town Council is already undertaking enhancements nearby.
5.   That the pavements of Allhalland Street and Mill Street be cleaned to remove the green mould and shop owners be encouraged to clean these areas in future and to display pictures of Bideford in empty shop windows to provide a better welcome for visitors.
     It was agreed that both the Tidy Town Group and Chamber of Commerce should be made aware of this presentment and asked for assistance, and Bideford Bay Creatives should be asked to clarify and expand upon their offer of creating some art for any empty windows.
6.   That the appropriate authorities be contacted to ensure that a pedestrian crossing is created from Asda Supermarket across the busy road by the traffic lights, preferably where the current pathway ends and that Asda be petitioned to help finance this project.

Devon County Council has advised that Asda have contributed to the 15X bus.  Torridge District Council Planning have confirmed that at pedestrian crossing is planned as part of the new development that includes the Brewer’s Fayre and Premier Inn, though not at the specified location , but by the traffic lights at the entrance to Atlantic Village.
Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Presentments are actioned as detailed in Minute No. 116.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

117  REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SW CONFERENCE OF LOCAL COUNCIL ASSOCIATION

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Councillors Mrs Brenton and Fulford are invited to attend the above conference.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

118  GRANT REQUEST

Members discussed the request from Bideford ATC.

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That a grant of £2353 be provided to Bideford ATC.  The grant should be made from the contingency allowance provided for in the financial year 2013/14.

(Vote For:  9, Against: 0,)

119  FLAG RAISING EVENT – GRANT REQUEST

Members discussed the request from The Chairman of Torridge District Council regarding a contribution towards the Flag Raising Event on 23 June 2014.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a grant of £500 be provided towards the Flag Raising Event on 23 June 2014.

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

120  MEMBERS’ ALLOWANCES

Members noted the report provided by the payroll provider.

Proposed by Councillor  Langmead, seconded and

RECCOMNEDED:  That allowance cheques continue to be paid three times a year and that the individual councillors who receive a tax rebate are asked if they would be willing for the rebate to be included with the next cheque.

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

121  NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor A T Inch:

“That this Council take on the raised flower bed in the park for a fitting tribute and memorial to all the young men and woman that gave their lives in the First World War, and the scattering of poppy seeds on the verges entering the town.  If agreed, I propose the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee be delegated to oversee the project and decide upon the design.  Input from all Councillors can be sent to SFGP.

Proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  Councillor A T Inch will approach Jigsaw to plant a Remembrance flower bed in Victoria Park and ask Rosemoor for assistance if required.  The bed will be divided into 2 with one half being bordered with white flowers with 1914 - 1918 in the centre and the other half bordered with red flowers with 1939 - 1945 in the centre.  If feasible, the words “Lest we forget” should be planted across the bottom of the two beds.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

122  PART II CLOSED SESSION

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, 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: 9, Against: 0)

123  STAFF APPRAISALS

Members noted the contents of the Staff Appraisals for the Town Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk, Town Clerk’s Assistant and the Market Officer.

There is a confidential minute associated with this agenda item. 

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

Presentments to Manor Court 2014

1.   That the appropriate authorities be contacted, in respect of the very poor stone  paving across the road at the bottom of the High Street in Bideford  and along Mill Street and Grenville Street where it is uneven, for urgent repair.
2.   That the Council contacts whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the historic bollards along the Quay, and sponsors their repainting and repair.
3.   That a service be held to commemorate the start of the First World War and the names of the fallen be read out by descendants.
4.   That the Council sponsor local artists to work with local schools and the Arts Centre to design and make mosaics depicting aspects of modern life in Bideford, to be placed on or in the way of the 4,currently plain, bricked recesses of the Bideford Adult Community Centre at the Arts Centre, that face the Quay.
5.   That the pavements of Allhalland Street and Mill Street be cleaned to remove the green mould and shop owners be encouraged to clean these areas in future and to display pictures of Bideford in empty shop windows to provide a better welcome for visitors.
6.   That the appropriate authorities be contacted to ensure that a pedestrian crossing is created from Asda Supermarket across the busy road by the traffic lights, preferably where the current pathway ends and that Asda be petitioned to help finance this project.
7.   That the Bideford Station approach steps, leading from the Tarka Trail to the Royal Hotel car park, which are currently neglected and overgrown, be tidied and repaired.
8.   That outside sports equipment be installed in Victoria Park for the benefit of all, for example concrete table tennis tables, more basketball hoops and football goals and that a signed fitness circuit be added. All pathways to be maintained.
9.   That the old road sign at the junction of North Road and Lime Grove, saying ‘Town Centre’ and the one saying ‘Pitt Lane’ be renovated and reinstated to preserve it.



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