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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 29 March 2018 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby 

Councillor P S Christie

Councillor McGeough

Councillor T Johns (Substitute for Cllr. Pester). 

South Ward:

Councillor D Brenton

Councillor S G Inch (Chairman)

Councillor R Wootton

South (Outer) Ward:

Councillor D Howell

East Ward:

Councillor M Langmead


Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk) 


Councillor Pester (North Ward – Illness)


All Members had previously applied for and been  granted a Dispensation for agenda item 7 (Members’ Allowances).


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

135.      MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Langmead and seconded by Councillor Howell, the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

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


The Town Clerk advised that work on Mill Street was due for completion and asked Members if they would like her to arrange a meeting with the contractors to inspect the workmanship prior to payment being made.  Councillor Langmead advised that a snagging process would be undertaken by the contractors, following which a meeting should be arranged between the Engineering representative and Members.  The Town Clerk was asked to request feedback from The Businesses of Bideford and the Chamber of Commerce.  Members asked the Town Clerk to query whether permission had been given for slabs to be taken from the compound area next to the Long Bridge.

137.      ACCOUNTS 

Members received the list of payments.

Questions were raised concerning:

The payment for the plants for the Port Memorial bed which seemed quite high. Councillor Howell advised that other similar quotes had been obtained, and that the recommendation from The Tourism Committee had been passed by Full Council.  Members questioned whether the plants could be reused in future years?

Councillor Johns questioned the cost of the Manor Court flowers, and what had happened to them following the ceremony.  The Town Clerk advised that they had been taken to the local nursing homes. Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded by Councillor Brenton  and

RESOLVED:  That the draft list of payments is approved. 

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


Members considered the report.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Christie and

RECOMMENDED:  That the allowances rate remains unchanged for the Financial Year 2018/2019.

(Vote For:  9, Against: 0)


Members considered a request from the Community Engagement Officer at Torridge District Council to fund additional recreational facilities at the new Skate Park development.

Members discussed the siting of the skatepark and how much Community engagement and consultation had taken place.  Some Members had originally thought it would be positioned near the Cattle Market and queried the noise levels for the Kingsley Road location.Councillor Christie advised that the plans will go out for consultation, and there will be an acoustic fence.  There is an outstanding query about the leaves falling on the park and making it slippery. Members discussed the size of the site and what additional recreational facilities could be fitted into the area.  Members also discussed the funding, although it was advised that the funding for the skatepark itself has been secured, it is the funding for the additional recreational facilities which is required.   Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded by Councillor Howell and

RECOMMENDED:  That a contribution to additional recreational facilities is agreed in principle, but Members would like some more detail.  The Community Engagement Officer will be asked to attend the next SFGP meeting and Members would like to know in particular, how much input young people have contributed to the  design of the skatepark.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 1)

140.     BUS SHELTER

Members considered an email from the Legal Services Manager at Torridge District Council to surrender the current lease on the land housing the bus shelter on Barnstaple Street, with a view to this being relocated.
Members discussed the position of the bus stop, the value of the land, and the conditions of the Lease.  Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council writes back to Torridge District Council and ascertains the location of the new site before agreement is given.  If the bus shelter is to be re-located, the new structure must be of equivalent quality and workmanship.

(Vote: For: 9, Against: 0)


Presentment Number 1:

“That an Act of Remembrance take place at the War Memorial, Chudleigh Fort, Bideford on the 11th November 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice of 1918.”
Councillor Inch advised that it was intended to read out the names of those listed on the scroll of honour at the Beacon Lighting Ceremony that was currently being planned at Pollyfield for 11 November 2018.  Councillor Christie advised that some of the names on the Roll of Honour were incorrect, and suggested a local historian who could supply a correct list of names.  Members discussed the war casualties who died following the war but who have no memorial at all. It was suggested that the Archive Group might like to research this to get a full list of the First World war dead. Councillor Howell advised that the Tourism Committee was proposing to replicate the Roll of Honour using a professional sign producer. It was intended to site the replica Roll of Honour next to the Commemorative Bed at the Port Memorial, but he suggested two plaques could be made, so that one could also be placed at Chudleigh Fort.  He advised that he has a quote for £172.50.

Proposed by Councillor  Howell, seconded by Councillor Langmead and 

RESOLVED:  That Two replica Rolls of Honour are made for Chudleigh Fort and the Port Memorial.  Mr Morris will be asked to check the names for accuracy prior to the manufacture of the Boards.  The Act of Remembrance will take place at Pollyfield.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 2:

“That the Council writes to Torridge District Council, Devon County Council and the MP for Torridge requesting a proper look at the infrastructure in place for the developments built and those in the pipeline, focusing on East the Water.”
Members discussed the above presentment and felt that they constantly raise the issue of required infrastructure in conjunction with planned development, as well as suggesting conditions on planning consultations, but receive limited response.  Councillor Christie suggested that perhaps the Town Council’s comments on the District Plan could be revisited.
Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Christie and 

RESOLVED:  That The Town Clerk writes to the Local MP and requests that a percentage of 106 money is allocated to Town and Parish Councils that are affected by development.  A list of the development planned for East The Water should also be requested from Torridge District Council in order for it to be given to the person who submitted the above presentment.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 3:

“A Changing Places facility in Bideford for those who are disabled or wheelchair bound.” Members discussed possible locations for A Changing Places facility and Councillor Inch advised that such a facility is to be installed at the Racquet Centre. Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Councillor Wootton and 

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to Torridge District Council and Atlantic village and asks them if they could provide this facility or convert an existing facility.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

(Councillor Christie expressed concern that if Torridge District Councillors voted on Presentment number 6 at a future meeting, it could be deemed as pre-judging the application.)


Members considered the fixed price quotations for the work required at Ford Woods and expressed concern about the considerable sums of money involved.  The Town Clerk advised the figures that had been negotiated for the quotes received.  She was asked to obtain further detailed figures for future quotations, which should include the number of man-hours work involved, and for how many people, and for how long.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Howell and  

RESOLVED:  That Hooper Tree Surgeons are engaged to undertake the arboricultural work in Ford Woods.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 1, Abstention: 1)


a.          Members received an update on the tasks undertaken by the Maintenance Operatives and noted the report.

             Members received the costings for work undertaken on Devon County Council property.

b.          Proposed by Councillor  Langmead, seconded by Councillor Christie and 

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk sends the detailed breakdown of work and costings to Devon County Council requesting payment.  She should also point out that the Highways Superintendent is aware that the Maintenance Operatives have carried a great deal of work and grass cutting, as the Bideford area has not been maintained to a satisfactory standard by Devon County Council.  She should also request a contribution towards this work from our Devon County Councillors. 

(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. 55 pm.

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