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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 25 July 2019 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D Bushby (Chairman)
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor J McKenzie

IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)


Councillor Mrs L Hellyer (East Ward – DCC Meeting), Councillor D Ratcliff (West Ward – personal).


Councillor D Bushby declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9. (Chairman of Conservative Club where the buffet is served by independent staff).


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

022.     MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Christie and seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb, the minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


No items were raised.

024.     ACCOUNTS

Members received the list of payments.

Councillor Wootton questioned item 23 (Roundup Provantage Professional). Members discussed the usage and asked the Clerk to make enquiries with Frome and Stroud Town Councils regarding what product they used, so that the Committee may consider alternative products.

Proposed by Councillor McGough, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb, and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Presentment Number 1:

“That this Council looks at a feature to celebrate Charles Kingsley’s 200th birthday and his book “The Water Babies” with a small art installation on the plinth of the statue and to write to TDC for permission to carry this through.”

The Town Clerk has submitted a pre-planning application enquiry to Torridge District Council and the response was circulated to Members. Councillor Christie suggested an alternative location for the plaque would be the Art school wall, next to the existing plaque which depicts the former railway. The Clerk was asked to contact Devon County Council (enclosing a photograph of the existing plaque in situ), and the Art Centre, to ask for permission to site a plaque on their wall.

Presentment Number 2:

“For this Council to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with an engraved stone or plaque near the War Memorial.”

Advice has been sought from the parishioner submitting the presentment. His advice was to contact the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, although he also said he would like to see a small ceremony organised. Members discussed the wording of the plaque and agreed it should commemorate all the civilians who had died during various atrocities. The Clerk was also asked to make enquiries with John Short.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor McGeough, and

RESOLVED: That a plaque dedicated to civilian deaths is explored, and that the Clerk makes enquiries with Mr John Short regarding the plaque.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Councillor Bushby said that he thought that the present war memorial was in the wrong position, and would be far better situated if it was next to the flag pole. He would raise this for discussion at a future meeting.

Presentment number 6:

“To investigate the ownership of the railway bridge on the Royal Hotel side to have a regularly scheduled deep-clean to keep it clear of pigeon droppings and install pigeon deterrents, also replace the fencing on the approach to the station on the right-side slope. And to replace the dilapidated benches”

Councillor Mrs Craigie asked who was responsible for the benches and the Town Clerk advised that they were owned by Devon County Council.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Craigie, seconded by Councillor Wootton, and

RESOLVED: That The Town Clerk will ask Devon County Council if they will pay for the materials if the Maintenance Team undertake to repair them.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Councillor Wootton also suggested that the Royal Hotel be asked to sponsor a bench.

Presentment number 7:

That this Council initiates, promotes and advertises a bi-monthly opening of the official rooms here in the Town Hall, for members of the public to come along for organised Tours. |This would enable the electorate and visitors with a Bideford connection to see the Town’s heritage and treasures. This initiative to be extended to the local schools.

Councillor Christie advised that he would be willing to undertake some Town Hall tours. The Town Council’s Beadle and Mace Bearer is also willing to undertake tours.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGough, and

RESOLVED: That this presentment is actioned.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Members considered the Insurance Renewal Quotations.

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RECOMMENDED: That the policy provided by Zurich on a three year basis is accepted.

(Vote: For 7, Against: 0)


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 McGeough, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That Bideford Town Council makes a contribution of £200 towards the Remembrance Sunday buffet.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0 )


Members considered correspondence from Devon County Council regarding the installation of the Welcome to Bideford banners. Members expressed disappointment that the banners could not be installed, and felt that there was a lack of co-operation from Devon County Council on this issue. Councillor McKenzie suggested that Devon County Council be asked what type of banner would be acceptable, and that Councillor Mrs Hellyer be copied into the email, in her capacity as our Devon County Councillor.

029.      VE DAY 75

Members considered what form the VE Day 75 commemoration will take following the resolution from Full Council to support involvement.

Members agreed that a ceremony is held in Victoria Park on 8 May 2020, with a procession going from the Park, and back to St. Mary’s Church. The route will be along the pavement, in order that a road closure is not required. A Maintenance Team Member will be asked to stop the traffic briefly so that the procession can cross the road from the park to the Pill safely. It was suggested that the Royal British Legion, Youth Pipe Band and St Mary’s Church are contacted for their assistance. The organisations who generally partake in The Town Council parades as well as the Chamber of Commerce and BOBB should also be invited to join in the commemorations.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That a ceremony is held in Victoria Park on 8 May 2020, with a procession going from the Park, and back to St. Mary’s Church. The route will be along the pavement, in order that a road closure is not required. Local organisations will be invited to join in the commemorations.

(Vote For 7, Against: 0)


“The provision of a bench on the large grassed area at Londonderry.”

Members discussed who owned the grassed area at Londonderry, and it was felt that this is Torridge District Council. The Clerk will seek permission from them to place a bench on the land. Councillor Bushby will speak to the resident who cuts the grass, regarding the best position for the bench.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the motion is supported.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


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

The Town Clerk advised that joint training had been arranged for one of the Operatives, together with Northam Town Council.


Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Wootton and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, the meeting moves into part II.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)


There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

034.      Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Mrs Craigie and

RESOLVED: That The Meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(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 7.23 pm.

Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee 25 July 2019



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