Skip to main content

bideford logo

Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee - 12 June 2014


North Ward:   

Councillor E A Brenton
Councillor Mrs M Fulford
Councillor T Johns

South Ward:   

Councillor D G Brenton (substitute for Councillor A T Inch)
Councillor S G Inch
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)

East Ward:   

Councillor R Vanstone
Councillor M C Langmead (Town Mayor)
Councillor D R Ratcliff


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


Councillor P J Pester was proposed by Councillor Vanstone and seconded.

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton was proposed by Councillor Brenton and seconded.

Councillor Pester: (Vote: For: 5, Against: 4)

RESOLVED: That Councillor P J Pester be appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.


Councillor R Vanstone was proposed by Councillor Langmead and seconded.

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton was proposed by Councillor Brenton and seconded.

Councillor Vanstone: (Vote: For: 4, Against: 5)
Councillor Mrs Brenton: (Vote: For: 5, Against: 4)

RESOLVED: That Councillor Mrs E A Brenton be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.


Councillor A T Inch (South Ward – Work)


Councillor Langmead declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 12. (He has given part of his Torridge District Council Councillor’s grant towards the Water Festival)


There was no public participation.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 01 May 2014 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 7,  Against: 0, Abstentions: 2)


The Clerk advised that a number of organisations had sent in thank you letters and emails following receipt of a grant from the Council.

The Clerk advised that she had completed the Community Payback Competition form making a bid for help with cleaning up the town centre.

Councillor Mrs Brenton advised there is still money available for the renovation of First Word War Memorials, and that the stabilisation of the ground around the memorial would qualify.  Councillor Inch advised that this project is on hold for the moment pending news on the possible extension of the Burton/library.  It was agreed to put this on the Town Council agenda for consideration.


Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments is approved.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that the Council currently holds funds of £23,039.87 in the General Fund which are not ear-marked, plus a further previously ear-marked sum of £2,500.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the non-ear-marked funds totalling £23,039.87 be allocated to the Town Project budget within the General Fund and the further sum of £2,500  is put into the Allotments budget.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Port Memorial – The Town Clerk advised that due to sickness at North Devon Plus there has been a delay with the final verification of the FLAG funds.  The proposed contractor has been advised, and will not be instructed until funds are in place.  In addition the percentage of funds eligible to the Council has been reduced from 52% of the project cost to 50%.

Friends of Ford Woods – The Town Clerk advised that there are some public access issues surrounding the proposed entrance gate into the woods which she is helping the Friends investigate.  It was agreed she could purchase a further document from the Land Registry at a modest cost as well as the definitive map of Devon for rights of way.

Finger Posts – This has been on-going for some time, awaiting the availability of resource to complete the work.  It was therefore suggested that a price be obtained from a professional painter for completing this work.  There will need to be liaison with the contractor concerning which fingers are replaced.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the projects are actioned as detailed in Minute No. 010

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

It was noted that actions are on-going on a number of the Presentments.  Those requiring further action at this point were discussed as follows:

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.

Councillor Stuart Hughes has been contacted a progress update requested.  He has advised that temporary repairs have been undertaken to this area in the past but these have not proved to be successful in the long term.  Rather than do this again, they are proposing to take up and relay a larger section of the cobles.  In order to facilitate these works the High Street will need to be closed for a period of time.  As this is a strategic route into the town centre, they will need to designate an appropriate date and advertise this on site.  They will endeavour to plan the works and resources so that there is minimal impact on the town.

2.   That the Council contacts whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the historic bollards along the Quay, and sponsors their repainting and repair.  The costs associated with replacing the damaged bollards which need replacement were discussed and it was decided that the responsibility to replace these bollards lies with Devon County Council, and they should be notified which bollards require replacement.  It was agreed that paint for the remaining bollards should be purchased and the painter asked to do a sample bollard as he suggested and provide a price for doing the remainder.  Prior to this however, the Clerk will send the paint specification to Devon County Council advising of our intentions with a response required with 28 days.

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 ares in future and to display pictures of Bideford in empty shop windows to provide a better welcome for visitors.      A Project proposal and costs have been received from Bideford Bay Creatives to display art work in empty shops.  The question was raised whether the shop owners would be in agreement to this proposal, but this was not known. Bideford College Students will be making improvements to the Talbot Inn and it was felt this could be an option for the empty shops. It was generally felt that the costs presented by BBC were quite high and it was agreed to put this on hold with a view to perhaps asking Bideford College to help if the Talbot Inn project works well.  It was also felt that there are currently very few empty shops in Bideford, which are not undergoing some form of repair or activity.

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.  Mr Adams, TDC can find an area of the park to install the equipment but would not be able to finance or manage the installation.  TDC would not be willing to take over either the maintenance of the new equipment, nor the insurance.  A supplier has been contacted for a figure to install 2 pieces of equipment.  Members need to consider the requirement for maintenance and fortnightly checks.  It was suggested that this could perhaps be achieved in partnership with a local sports club or the park run.  Members were concerned that equipment should be sourced without any form of upholstery in order to be vandal proof.  It was noted that there is equipment of this type at Pilton Park in Barnstaple. It was agreed that Councillor Inch will take a couple of photos of the equipment and the type of equipment will be investigated.

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.  Councillors Mrs Brenton and Johns have visited the sign and reported that the leaves need to be cut back as the sign is obscured.  The white sign which points to the town centre with an arrow, needs the lettering and arrow defined in black.  This will be added to the finger post task.
Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Presentments are actioned as detailed in Minute No. 011

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Members considered a grant request from the Rotary Club of Bideford towards the Bungee Jump being held at the Water Festival. It was noted that several TDC Councillors have given some of their grant money towards this.  The Clerk was asked to ascertain whether the jump is going to take place from the new bridge or from a crane on the Quayside.  There was concern about why the grant application has been received outside the normal grant application period.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That a grant of £2,500 is given in principle towards the bungee jump on the basis that the jump takes place from Bideford Quay.  The Rotary Club will also be asked to ensure that in future they apply for a grant at the correct time of year.

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

Members considered the quotation provided for the inspection of the woodland.

Proposed by Councillor  Ratcliff, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That East Devon Tree Surgeons are engaged to conduct the boundary inspection.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0, abstentions: 3)


Members considered the proposal from the North Devon Gazette to incorporate the newsletter within the “My Town” magazine. It was however felt that the present arrangement of a stand-alone newsletter would be more effective at communicating with parishioners.

Proposed by Councillor  Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the newsletter continues to be produced as a stand-alone publication.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that there is one free place at this seminar as the Council subscribes to the LCAS provided by Zurich Municipal.  She requested that the Deputy Town Clerk also attends at a cost of £30.00.
Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  The Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk attend the Local Council Advisory Service Seminar.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Members formulated a policy which is attached a forms part of these minutes.
Proposed by Councillor Brenton , seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Local Government Pension Scheme Discretions Policy as formulated by the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee is distributed at Full Council for adoption.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Members considered the revised Licensing Policy for sex establishments presented by Torridge District Council.
Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the updated policy is supported.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)


Submission by Councillor P S Christie:

“That the Council employs a part-time road sweeper to supplement the service provided by Torridge District Council.”

Members discussed the costs of purchasing the services of a road sweeper either from a recruitment agency or Torridge District Council, as well as who would monitor the work.

Councillor Christie suggested someone who may be willing to monitor the work, and was asked to make an informal approach at this stage.  The Town Clerk was asked to check how Barnstaple and Northam check the quality of work undertaken.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That additional services are purchased from Torridge District Council commencing as soon as possible until 31 October 2014 within the allocated budget of £8,000.  A working group consisting of Councillors Mrs Brenton, Christie Pester and Ratcliff are delegated the authority to decide the hours and tasks of the road sweeper in order to improve services.  A working group to investigate the viability of employing someone to commence next year will be convened in the autumn.

(Councillor Christie suggested the possibility of purchasing a small vehicle with TAP Fund money.)

Proposed by Councillor  Mrs Brenton, 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)


Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the County Councillors are asked to come in and meet with The Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and that the frequency with which they are invited to attend Council Meetings is put on the next Town Council agenda for review.

(Vote For: 7,  Against: 2)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.07 pm.

♦Delivering the information you need about our decision making processes and supporting community participation in local democracy♦

♦ Helping to make the beautiful Town of Bideford a better place to live and work in! ♦

Bideford - A Fairtrade Town

fairtrade & Living Wage employers

Fairtrade is about equitable pricing, good work conditions, sustainability and fair trading for farmers and workers in the developing world. Bideford is a registered Fairtrade Town - Support local and world farmers - look for the fairtrade logo on your shopping items.

Visit the site...

facebook twitter instagram

Coach friendly


© Bideford Town Council 2015 Gingerweb Ltd site design and SEO In North Devon