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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 5 September 2019 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

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

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor J Craigie (Substitute for Councillor Mrs R Craigie)
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie

West Ward: Councillor D Ratcliff

IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)

035.      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs R Craigie (East Ward, Personal).

(As The Chairman, Councillor Bushby had been delayed, Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Vice-Chairman) took the Chair until his arrival at the meeting.)

036.      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillor Mrs J Gubb declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 10. (Chairman of Carnival Committee.)

037.      PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

038.      MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Christie and seconded by Councillor McGeough, the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 1)

039.      CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

The Town Clerk advised that she had been looking into alternative weed killer to Roundup, and a product used by Glastonbury Town Council called Foam stream looked promising. Northam Town Council are also investigating this product and a joint demonstration with Northam Town Council would be arranged. The Town Clerk will forward the data brochure to Members.

040.      ACCOUNTS

a.         Members received the list of payments.

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded by Councillor Craigie, and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

INTERNAL FINANCE INSPECTOR’S REPORT

b.         Members considered the Internal Finance Inspector’s report.

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Internal Finance Inspector’s Report for the period 1 April – 30 June 2019 is approved.

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

(Vote For: 7 Against: 0)

(Councillor Bushby arrived at the meeting, and took the Chair).

041.      FUNDING REQUEST

Members considered a funding request from a student at Bideford College towards a trip to Uganda in association with Bideford College’s primary charity Edukid.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Craigie and

RESOLVED: That the sum of £150 is awarded to the Bideford College student to assist with funding the trip.

(Vote: For: 8, Against: 0)

042.      MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS

(Councillor McKenzie arrived at the meeting.)

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 she now has permission to site a plaque on the wall of the Art Centre. It was agreed that she would take out a copy of “The Water Babies” from the library so that an illustration can be chosen to be depicted on the plaque. This will enable the artist to provide a quotation.

Presentment Number 2:

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

The Clerk provided the costs of a memorial stone by John Short.

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

RESOLVED: That the cost of £775 & vat for a plaque mounted on Beam stone is approved. The exact wording for the plaque will be agreed at the next meeting.”

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

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”

The Town Clerk advised that The Highway Officer had said that the benches are down for replacement, but she was waiting to hear the timescale. It was agreed that this would be reported at the next meeting.

Presentment number 8:

“The red Christmas light banner at the bottom of the High Street is moved to the East the Water Railway bridge and that the High Street has a white one to match the rest of the Town.”

The Town Clerk was asked to ask Devon County Council “in principle” permission.

Presentment number 9:

“That this Council writes to Stagecoach Bus Company regarding the poor bus service East the Water compared to the west side, to bring equality to both sides of the river, i.e. Sundays and evenings services.”

Councillor Mrs Hellyer advised that she had contacted Stagecoach about the poor bus service and had been told that further services, beyond what is already available are not viable. The Committee agreed that they could not influence the service provided by Stagecoach further and that the Presentment be discharged.

Presentment number 10:

“That this Council writes to DCC to request a mirror for the right turn out of Grange Road into Torrington Lane to help drivers with a virtually blind entrance. That this Council considers funding for this work to be carried out.”

Councillor Mrs Hellyer advised that she had contacted DCC to request a mirror for the right turn out of Grange Road into Torrington Lane and had been advised that due to liability issues, DCC do not provide or allow such mirrors. The Committee agreed that they could not influence this decision further and that the Presentment be discharged.

043.      DASHCAM PROPOSAL FOR BIDEFORD TOWN COUNCIL VEHICLES

Members considered the request from One Bideford for a dashcam to be purchased for each of the Town Council’s Maintenance Vehicles.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That a dashcam is purchased for each of the Town Council’s Maintenance Vehicles.

(Vote: For 7, Against: 2)

044.      CARNIVAL

Members considered a request from the Carnival Committee to use the Town Council Maintenance vehicle to pull a carnival float on September 14th 2019 for the Bideford Carnival, September 21st 2019 for the Barnstaple Carnival and 28th September 2019 at the South Molton Carnival.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Craigie and

RESOLVED: That the request from the Carnival Committee is approved and that the appropriate additional insurance is purchased.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

045.      WELCOME TO BIDEFORD BANNERS

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 discussed alternative possibilities. The Chair advised that the banners were at the end of their life, and if the initiative were to continue, both new banners and bespoke poles would be required.

046.      FREE PARKING COSTS

Members considered the Parking cost received from Torridge District Council for the free parking initiative during the Christmas period. Members felt that the free parking provided by Torridge District Council during small businesses day should be in line with the timings offered by the Town Council, to avoid confusion.

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded by Councillor Craigie and

RECOMMENDED: That Bideford Town Council agrees to fund the free parking initiative at the cost of £2,500 & vat, with Torridge District Council being asked to align the free parking times for the Small Business Day with those of the Town Council.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

047.      ANNUAL GRANT CRITERIA AND GRANT FORM

Members reviewed the Annual Grant criteria and Grant form.

Proposed by Councillor Craigie, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That the grant criteria remain as currently stated, and that an additional box be inserted into the grant form to read: “Please state (if appropriate) whether your group has considered your environmental impact and what measures you are taking to reduce your carbon emissions.”

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

048.      OPERATION LONDON BRIDGE

Members reviewed the draft Operation London Bridge protocol.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Ratcliff and

RESOLVED: That the draft London Bridge protocol is adopted, the appropriate symbols of mourning are purchased, and the Burton is approached to enquire whether they would be able to house the Book of Condolence during the signing period.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0 )

049.      RBL BIDEFORD BRANCH

The Town Clerk advised that the RBL Bideford Branch is not currently active. They are however appealing for new Members. Lord Burnett will not be attending Remembrance Sunday. The Town Marshall will read The Ode of Remembrance.
Wreathes should be ordered direct from the National branch. The Town Clerk advised that without an RBL contribution to the post-service buffet, the available funding would be halved.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That The Town funds the post-service buffet in its entirety at a total cost of £400.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0 )

050.      VE DAY 75

Members re-considered what form the VE Day 75 commemoration will take following further information from the Pageant master on the timings of specific events throughout the country.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RECOMMENDED: That the Town Clerk circulates the official event timings prior to the next meeting, and that it recommended to Full Council that the previous recommendation for a parade is withdrawn, as this probably will not fall in well with planned national events.

(Vote - For: 7, Against: 1, Abstentions: 1)

051.      NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCILLOR BUSHBY:

“To re-site the War Memorial next to the flag pole in Victoria Park.”

Councillor McKenzie seconded the motion on the proviso that some form of matting is provided in the vicinity of the War Memorial. Councillor Mrs Gubb suggested that a public consultation be held as the last time it was suggested that the Memorial be moved, the idea did not pass the public vote. Other Members however felt, that the idea had previously failed due to the high cost of providing a new Memorial, whilst this motion was simply to move the Memorial and not to replace it. The current motion would only incur a modest cost. Members were very keen that geotextile matting is hired for Remembrance Sunday as this area of the park can become very wet. It was suggested that consent will be required from the Royal Marines and Torridge District Council.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RECOMMENDED: That the motion is supported with the proviso that matting is provided in the vicinity of the War Memorial.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 3)

052.      RECRUITMENT FOR MAINTENANCE OPERATIVE

Members discussed the Membership of the recruitment team for the new maintenance Operative.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That Councillors Bushby, Mrs Gubb, The Maintenance Team Supervisor and The Town Clerk form the recruitment team.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

053.      MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES

Members received an update on the tasks undertaken by the Maintenance Operatives and noted the report. Councillor Ratcliff detailed an issue he had reported to the team and commended them on the speed and efficiency with which the problem was resolved.

054.      PART II CLOSED SESSION

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

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

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

055.      STAFFING MATTERS

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

The Town Clerk was authorised to organise the staff training she had requested for the Maintenance Team and Office staff.

056.      Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That The Meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(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 8.00 pm.

 

SFGP 190905

 


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