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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 12 March 2015 at 6.00 pm
PRESENT:
North Ward:
Councillor Mrs E A Brenton
Councillor Mrs M Fulford
Councillor T J Johns

South Ward:    
Councillor S G Inch
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)

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

IN ATTENDANCE:    
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)

102  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor A T Inch (South Ward – Work Commitments).  (Councillor A T Inch had given his apologies prior to the meeting, and reminded the Clerk of the occasion following the meeting, as she had not tendered them on his behalf).

103  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
None.

104  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION
No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

105  MINUTES
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 January 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record.  

(Vote – For: 8,  Against: 0)

106  CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS
•  The Clerk advised that a further letter had been received from Saga Law, following their unsuccessful attempt to claim damages from South West Highways after their client’s collision with a lamp post banner.  The Clerk was instructed to forward the letter from our insurance company who were consulted on the matter and who repudiated the claim.
•  Stepping Stones from East the Water have provided the Town Clerk with further quotations for the building work that has been completed, in compliance with their grant conditions.  They have sent their thanks to the Town Council for the grant
•  The Town Clerk advised that the office laptop which is used to take minutes at meetings is failing.  It was agreed that she should purchase a replacement laptop, with the appropriate software.  She agreed to include local companies when prices are compared prior to purchasing the laptop.

107  ACCOUNTS
a.  Members received the list of payments.

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

PV number 351 was queried.  (The Clerk clarified following the meeting that the amount was for six loads and not one, as shown on the payment list.)

PV 353 – It was noted that Bideford Football Club had cleaned the wall well at Kingsley Road.  Councillor Mrs Brenton advised that Councillor Brenton has approached the Art Department at Bideford College, with a view to them repainting the wall.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

b.  Members received and approved the Council’s Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 October to 31 December 2014.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 October to 31 December 2014 is approved.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That a vote of thanks is extended to Councillor Ratcliff for his work as Internal Finance Inspector.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

c.  Members reviewed and approved the Council’s Statement of Internal Control dated March 2015.

Proposed by Councillor  Mrs Brenton, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Statement of Internal Control dated March 2015 is approved.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

d.  Members reviewed and approved the Council’s Risk Management Paper dated March 2015.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Risk Management Paper dated March 2015 is approved.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

108  PROJECT UPDATE
Gym equipment - This is due to be installed on Wednesday 18 March unless the weather is inclement.  A covered cycle shelter will be located next to the installation as part of the TAP project to provide more cycle storage provision.  It was suggested that a sign is put on the shelter to advise when the park is locked.

Port Memorial – The Town Clerk advised that preparations are being made for the Port Memorial Gardens to be officially opened on 11 April 2015 at 11.00 am.

109  REPAIR TO QUAY BENCHES
Members received the quotation for the Quay benches.
 
Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff seconded and  
RESOLVED:  That the quotation from G Marsh is accepted.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

110  MEMBERS’ ALLOWANCES
Members noted the report.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and
RECOMMENDED:  That the allowances rate remains unchanged for the Financial Year 2015/2016.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

111  UNDERBRIDGE LIGHTS
Members discussed the requirement to inspect the lights and agree what is needed.  

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded and  
RESOLVED: That this item is deferred until more information is available.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

112  NORTHERN DEVON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY – GRANT REQUEST
Members gave consideration to the letter from the Northern Devon Sustainable Energy Community Interest Company requesting grant funds towards promoting an event in the Pannier Market.

Members expressed concern that the grant request was outside the normal grant period, and did not appear to constitute an emergency request.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, seconded and  
RESOLVED:  That the grant request is refused on the grounds that it is not an emergency grant request and is outside the normal grant period. The applicant will be advised that if the details are forwarded to the Town Clerk, the event will be advertised on the Bideford Town Council website.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 2)

A counter-proposal:  (That £200 is awarded but in future The Town Council will not be able to countenance any applications which are received outside the grant period, unless they are of an emergency nature) had been put forward by Councillor Mrs Brenton, and seconded, but did not go to the vote, as the first proposal was carried.

113  DEVON BIO-DIVERSITY RECORDS CENTRE
Members gave consideration to the letter from the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre requesting permission for a free wildlife survey within Ford House Wood.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and  
RESOLVED:  That the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre is given permission to conduct a free wildlife survey within Ford House Wood.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

The Clerk was asked to check if The Town Council will be able to publish/use the report when it has been completed.

114  FORD WOODLAND
a.  Members discussed a letter from the Tree Officer at Torridge District Council advising that the Tree Preservation Order placed on the trees at Ford Woodland was never confirmed and is not valid. Councillor Inch was concerned that the trees would not be sufficiently protected.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and  
RESOLVED:  That the letter is noted.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

b.  Members gave consideration to a letter from a householder at Rowe Close requesting permission to engage Taw and Torridge Tree Surgeons to undertake some tree surgery at the rear of his property.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Brenton, seconded and  
RESOLVED:  That permission is granted to the householder at Rowe Close to  undertake tree surgery at the rear of his property on the following conditions:
•  Before the work commences the Town Clerk/Chairman of SFGP must be provided with a more detailed specification of the work to be undertaken in order for them to agree it.  The    work should be in line with that authorised by Torridge District Council in 2012.
•  The work should be undertaken by Taw and Torridge Tree Surgeons as specified in the application, and who must have the appropriate insurances and risk assessments in place.
•  The work is to be done at the householder’s own cost, with no liability to Bideford Town Council.
•  The work should be undertaken outside the nesting season.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

115  ADMISSION TO PENSION SCHEME.
Information regarding the admittance of the Town Clerk’s Assistant to the Pension Scheme had been provided to Members in the meeting report.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead seconded and
RESOLVED:  That Lesley Caron Dixon-Chatfield, the present holder of the post of Town Clerk’s Assistant, employee of Bideford Town Council, becomes a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme under the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997.

(Vote For :  8,  Against: 0)

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:  8,  Against: 0)

116  STAFFING MATTERS
a.  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.  

b.  Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That in future, annual appraisals will be conducted a month prior to the anniversary of the Employee being engaged in their role.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

117  CITIZEN’S AWARD
The Members discussed the nominations received for the Citizen’s Award

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and
RECOMMENDED:  That the Citizen’s Award is made as specified in the Confidential Minute 117.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

The Town Clerk was asked to ensure that the nomination forms for the Young Citizen’s Award are distributed more widely next year (Bideford College, Sure Start Centre) to encourage applications.

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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