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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 26 July 2018 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D Bushby (Town Mayor)
Councillor T Johns (Substitute for Cllr Howell)
Councillor P J Pester
Councillor D A D McGeough

South Ward:

Councillor S G Inch (Chairman)
Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)


Councillor D G Brenton (South Ward – Personal), Councillor D Howell, South (Outer), (Personal).


There were no declarations of interest.


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

013.    MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Pester and seconded by Councillor Bushby, the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0, Abstentions: 2)


• The Town Clerk circulated a letter from Councillor Simon Inch, Chairman of Torridge District Council thanking Bideford Town Council for its help and support during Flag Raising.

• The Senior Estates Officer from Torridge District Council has sent an email, suggesting that the Town Council may be interested in adopting a 100 m2 grassed area of land at Mines Road, which comes with the commuted sum of £8,000. There is a bench and stepping stones on the land. Members asked the Town Clerk to add this to the Full Council agenda for discussion.

• The Town Clerk updated Members on the advice received from the Legal department at Zurich regarding alleged damage to a tree on private property.


a.       Members received the list of payments.

The Town Clerk advised that she had a quotation to repair the lateral pull fitness machine in the park, but was awaiting a second quotation.

Questions were raised concerning:
• The location of the bus shelter in Alverdiscott (Road).
• The British Gas payment for electricity at 1 Queen St.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded by Councillor Langmead, and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the Internal Finance Inspector’s report.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 April – 18 June 2018 is approved.

Councillor Pester was thanked for his work as Internal Finance Inspector.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


The Town Clerk advised that the Community Engagement Officer at Torridge District Council was unable to attend the meeting, as he had been selected to undertake Election duty. He would however be attending the next meeting on 30th August.

Councillor Christie suggested that perhaps Bideford Town Council could fund a graffiti wall for the Skate Park, and would raise this with the Officer.

Councillor Bushby advised that the Football Club had spoken with him about the possibility of a tall fence between them and the skate park to prevent footballs landing on the area. Councillor Christie said he would raise this with the Planning Committee.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the discussion with the Community Engagement Officer regarding the new Skate Park Development is deferred until the next meeting.

(Vote: For 8, Against: 0)


Presentment Number: 7 – That sitings be investigated for sheltered bicycle racks at the Tarka Trail and near the old Railway, East the Water.

Member discussed the information received on covered cycle racks and the advice that the best position for cycle racks is in areas where they can be monitored by the bike owner or CCTV.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Pester and

RESOLVED: That having fully considered this item, the Committee feel that covering the current cycle racks will not enhance the facility, and that this presentment is not pursued further.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

Presentment Number: 5 – That the Council investigates installing Recycling bins for Plastic on the quay for cyclists, runners, visitors to deposit their empty bottles etc. and that this council investigates the possibility of installing hygienic water fountains in Victoria Park and on Bideford Quay with Plastic recycling bins nearby to show support for the campaign to stop using plastics.

Councillor Christie circulated the information he had obtained on water fountains and said that they would need to be robust given their location. He also said that he had discussed the possibility of installing a water fountain with the Senior Estates Officer at Torridge District Council. Councillor Bushby advised that vehicles drive very close to the walls on Queen St. / Jubilee Square so it may be wise to install a protective steel post either side of the fountain. Members discussed the increased demand for water fountains, and the possibility of a fountain that incorporates a drinking facility for dogs underneath.

Councillor Christie offered to research fountains which incorporate dog bowls and bring the information back to the next meeting.


Members considered the level of contribution to be made by The Town Council to the Royal British Legion towards the buffet served on Remembrance Sunday.
Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded by Councillor Pester and

RESOLVED: That Bideford Town Council makes a contribution of £100 towards the Remembrance Sunday buffet, with this contribution being recognised in the Order of Service, and a receipt being provided.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 1)

019.    FORD WOODS

Members considered the request from a householder to undertake some arboricultural and scrub clearance works in Ford Woods.

The Town Clerk advised that the Maintenance Team do undertake some scrub clearance to keep paths clear in the woods, and to prevent the brambles spilling on to the pavement. She is also aware that some householders undertake some bramble and scrub clearance near their properties.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Langmead and

RESOLVED: That the householder is asked to provide a report from a suitably qualified tree surgeon, on the proposed works, and the likely effect this will have on the tree. Delegated authority is given to Councillor S Inch to make the decision on whether to allow the tree works, at the owner’s expense, following receipt of the report.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 1)


Members considered the additional information received on the Digital Display Monitor for the Queen Street building.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council agrees the recommended upgrade to the digital display monitor (an additional £1,925 & vat) given the light levels that were monitored during the site visit.

(Vote: For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the request for financial support from Barnstaple Town Council to assist with securing the short and longer term future of the North Devon Records Office and Local Studies Centre.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council continues to support the North Devon Records Office and Local Studies Centre with a contribution of £2,333 for the period March 2019 to October 2019, followed by a further £4,000 per annum for a period of 5 years commencing in October 2019.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


a.       (Councillor Langmead left the room)

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

(Councillor Langmead returned to the meeting)

Members discussed the request put to the Town Clerk by an Officer at Torridge District Council for the Maintenance Team to secure a private property which is in need of repair. Members felt that the appropriate course of action would be for Torridge District Council to serve a 215 notice to secure the building. The Town Clerk was asked to convey this information to the Officer, as well as the Senior Solicitor and Leader of Torridge District Council. Members did suggest however, that if Torridge District Council has difficulty accessing a workforce to do this quickly, the Maintenance Team could be subcontracted to Torridge District Council providing their labour costs are covered and the control and responsibility for the work lies with Torridge District Council.

Members considered the Job Evaluation provided by South West Employers for the Supervisor’s role within the Maintenance Team.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the evaluation of (scp 19 – 22) is accepted with the position being offered at scp 21.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 1)

(Councillor Langmead left the meeting)

b.       Members considered approving the refurbishment of a bench on Abbotsham Road near Bideford College.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Christie and

RESOLVED: That the refurbishment of the bench on Abbotsham Road is approved.

(Vote For: 7, Against 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.56 pm.

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