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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 28 November 2019 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

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

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie

West Ward:

Councillor D Ratcliff


Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor T Johns
6 Members of the public


There were no apologies for absence


Councillor Bushby declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8 (Member of the Town Centre Partnership) and agenda item 10 (Member of the Chamber of Commerce).

Councillor Mrs Hellyer declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8 (Member of the Town Centre Partnership).


No Members of the Public wished to speak.

077.     MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and seconded by Councillor Wootton, the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


• The Town Clerk advised that a letter had been received from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which had been circulated. Councillor Mrs Hellyer offered to represent The Town Council with Councillor McKenzie offering to substitute for Councillor Mrs Hellyer should she be unavailable once the meeting date was circulated. The Town Clerk was also asked to forward a copy of the letter to the Chamber of Commerce.

• The Town Council has now taken over the guardianship of the Bideford Bowl. A press release will be organised by the Port of Bideford Regatta Committee.

• The position of the “Welcome to Bideford” Christmas Lights on the Quay has been moved back slightly due to structural concerns about the lamppost where one of the signs is normally positioned.

• Councillors agreed to a photo recreation for a new book being put together by The Mayor and Graham Hobbs where old and new photographs will be melded together. The new photograph will be taken immediately before the Town Council procession sets off for the Signing of the Lease on Saturday 7 December.

079.      ACCOUNTS

a.         Members received the list of payments.

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

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

b.         Members received the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 July – 30 September 2019.

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

RESOLVED: That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 July – 30 September 2019 is accepted.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

Councillor David Ratcliff was thanked for his work as Internal Finance Inspector.


The costings for altering the entrance signage into the town to read “Charles Kingsley’s Little White Town 1855” were circulated. Councillor McGeough advised that he did not wish to pursue the proposal to alter the Town entrance signs as the strength of feeling in the town against this proposal had persuaded him against the idea.

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Christie and

RECOMMENDED: That the in view of the passionate response from the residents of Bideford against the implementation of the motion, that the entrance signs into the town are not changed.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

(Councillor McGeough left the meeting.)


Members gave consideration to making a financial contribution to the Hanging Basket refills for 2020 and underwriting the contribution to be collected from the traders in order that the hanging baskets can be ordered.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RECOMMENDED: That The Town Council underwrites the full cost of the Hanging Basket project in the Town Centre (£5,650), with a minimum contribution of £25 per trader being requested to reduce the Town Council contribution to (£4,050). The Town Centre Partnership will administer the issuing of invoices to the traders and receipt of monies with any surplus funds being held by The Town Centre Partnership as an ear-marked reserve as a float for future years. The Town Council will pay for the hanging baskets outside the Pannier Market at a cost of £405.

(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 advised that the cost of a circular plaque based on the illustration chosen would be in the region of £1500 - £1800.

The artist is unable to obtain Peter’s Marland Clay, but could do a terracotta plaque or white clay plaque, and use a glaze to colour it. During the process she could show us some different colour samples.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Mckenzie, and

RECOMMENDED: That the quotation for a circular plaque in white clay based on the illustration chosen is accepted. The Town Clerk will request that glaze samples are furnished during the process, to asses if this aspect of the plaque should be implemented. The Town Clerk was also asked to check with the artist about the possibility of adding white slip around the outside of the adjacent terracotta plaque to tie the two together.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 2:

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

The Town Clerk advised that permission had not yet been received from Torridge District Council to install an engraved stone and plaque. It was therefore agreed to defer this presentment until the next meeting.


Members considered the correspondence from the Chamber of Commerce requesting a financial contribution from the Town Council towards an Online Chamber hub.

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

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council defer this request and ask the President of the Chamber of Commerce to attend the January SFGP meeting with a view to providing Members with more information on which to make a decision.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

084.      VE DAY 75

Councillor McKenzie advised that the Officer who had been asked to organise the day time event to be held in the Pannier Market would be leaving the Council in December. Therefore the organisation of this event would need to be reconsidered.

Councillor Mrs Gubb advised that she had spoken with the Youth Pipe Band. They felt that the most appropriate course of action would be for the Mayor to attend Chudleigh Fort with a Lone piper where the Last Post should be played at 2.55 pm. They will then meet the Councillors and Youth Pipe Band at the Royal Hotel where Battle’s O’er will be played at 3.00 pm with a march over the old Bridge up to the Pannier Market.


Members considered the fixed price quotations for the annual boundary survey required at Ford Woodland.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That Glendale are engaged to undertake the annual boundary survey required at Ford Woodland. Glendale will also be asked to identify areas where more trees could be planted.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)


Members reviewed Standing Orders.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Hellyer and

RECOMMENDED: That Section 5. (Ordinary Council Meetings) J ix., x., xiv., xv., xvi., xvii., xviii., xix., xx. within the Standing Orders are removed and added to the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes Committee Delegation. (Appendix A).

Councillor Ratcliff said that he felt that not all Members were fully conversant with Standing Orders, and that efforts should be made by all Members to rectify this.

(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 the Maintenance Team had completed some excellent work in preparing for the new doors to be installed in the Pannier Market. This had involved a very early start on Monday, and a long day.

The Town Clerk advised that the new Maintenance Operative will be starting on Monday. Training has been arranged for The Maintenance Team and Market Officer at the CTA Centre at a cost of £475 & vat.


Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Christie 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.

090.      Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That The Meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For 8, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.30 pm.

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