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 Minutes of the Tourism Committee held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 27 January at 6.00 pm


East Ward:   
Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor J McKenzie
Councillor S Robinson

North Ward:
Councillor D Bushby

South Ward (Outer):   
Councillor D Howell (Chairman)

Atlantic Village TIC   
Mrs R Benney

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield (Town Clerk’s Assistant)


None received


No declarations of interest were made at this point.


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 September 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


Councillor McKenzie advised that no update was available at present, but he will keep in contact with the organising body, and advise Members again when there is something to report.


The Town Clerk’s Assistant suggested that the theme of the Food Fest could be a “Taste of the Torridge” and suggested a number of food and beverage producers who could be approached.  She has made a list, and Members discussed this and added suggestions.

Councillor Bushby offered to make contact with the Food Technology Department at Bideford College, who he thought would be keen to showcase their skills.

It was agreed that the Town Clerk’s Assistant would make initial contact with the organisations suggested, and if there is sufficient interest, this will be progressed in the New Year.

Members agreed that two Food Fests could be held – on a Sunday during Whitsun and the October half term.  It was agreed to start with one day initially, but if a lot of interest is generated, the Food Fest could be expanded to cover two days. 

The Town Clerk’s Assistant will speak with the Deputy Town Clerk to choose some provisional dates at the Pannier Market within the time periods specified.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:   That Town Clerk’s Assistant contacts local food and beverage producers with a view to holding a Food Fest at the Pannier Market on a Sunday in Whitsun and during the October Half Term.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


Members were updated as follows:

•     Craft Fair – Mrs Ruth Benney advised that she had been looking at possible dates in early December (perhaps the second Sunday), or a Sunday in August.  She agreed to see what interest there would be in these dates amongst craft traders.  Councillor McKenzie advised that he will be meeting with Phil Morgan in the New Year to look at a German style market and it was suggested that  perhaps these two events could be combined.

Members raised the question of the charge for a table at the craft fair – and it was felt that the maximum price would be £5.  Members discussed who would staff the Pannier Market, particularly as the Sunday opening would incur additional hours for the Market Officer, as he doesn’t generally work on a Sunday.  The possibility of a Councillor opening and closing the Pannier Market was suggested.

•     Classic Bike Show – Councillor Bushby has approached the Taw and Torridge Classic Bike Club (At this point Councillor Bushby declared a non-pecuniary interest – (Chairman of Club)).  The person who organises their events is very supportive of the idea, and a summer show, probably on a Sunday, was discussed.  The Club are not able to suggest a date until the New Year, as the dates for other events in the New Year are not known yet.  Councillor Bushby showed Members a copy of the Old Bike Mart - which would be a good place to advertise the event and attract visitors from all over the County.  Councillor Bushby advised that the display would be for classic bikes. He will progress the idea and come back with a provisional date.  The issue of insurance was discussed, and Councillor Bushby advised that his club has Public Liability Insurance up to £5 million. Councillor Bushby is willing to be the point of contact.  He suggested that if the Committee were able to offer some prize for various categories, this would help attract more numbers.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:   That the Classic Bike Show and Craft Fair events are pursued and updates are provided at the next meeting.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

Members received the very positive feedback from discussions with the Town Centre Partnership/BOB.  It was agreed that a meeting would be set up in January between a sub group of the Tourism Committee (Councillors Bushby, Howell and McKenzie, Town Clerk and Town Clerk’s Assistant) and representatives from The Town Centre Partnership, BOB, Chamber of Commerce and the Community Champions with a view to arranging a series of clean-up days  before the end of the summer.
Councillor Bushby offered to provide and operate pressure washing facilities.

It was agreed that Mill St and the Town Centre are priority areas.  A preliminary survey should be undertaken to identify target areas.

Proposed by Councillor Robinson, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:   That a meeting is set up in January between the agreed groups in order to set a date for the Clean up days, discuss priorities and progress the practicalities.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


Members gave consideration to the possibility of a programme of Street Theatre for 2016.  The following ideas were suggested and discussed:

•     A re-enactment of the Witches’ trial.  (Perhaps involve the schools, and Bideford 500.  A series of events could be planned to take place both outdoors and in the Town Hall).
•     A Punch and Judy Show.
•     Unicyclist.
•     Street Illusionist – (Perhaps contact Magic Circle).
•     Captain Coconut and his bubbles.
•     Balloonist –  (Needs to be indoors).
•     The Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Members also discussed the possibility of providing a marquee or gazebo, although it was felt that this may incur the need for a street licence.

Councillor Howell offered to obtain prices for the various acts suggested, with the aim of putting together a programme of events for approximately 5 weeks during the summer, tailored to the budget.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:   That Councillor Howell contacts the street entertainers suggested and asks for their prices with a view to agreeing a programme of events at the next meeting.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

Julian Roskilly / DCC have agreed that Bideford Town Council can take over the management of the sign at Little America on the condition that The Town Council insures it and makes sure it stays safe and fit for purpose.

A competitive cost has been obtained to:

•     Remove and replace the four information panels with high quality print covered in a clear anti-graffiti film. (Details to be provided by us).
•     To replace the one missing panel.
•     To clean and tidy up the site and complete the sign structure.

Members discussed the content for the signs, and the following categories were agreed:

1)     A potted History of Bideford (Based on the plaque outside the Town Hall).
2)     An adapted Discovering Bideford Map.
3)     What’s here in Bideford – Pannier Market, Burton, emergency numbers, etc.
4)     What on – This will be generic for each month and will include the QR codes for the Town Council and Pannier Market.

Photographs of Bideford should be incorporated into the Board.

Councillor Howell advised that the site itself is very scruffy, and would need to be cleaned up if the Town Council take over the Board.  He asked all Members to visit the site before the next meeting, and consider how it could be cleared up.  Members agreed that the adoption of the board should be subject to tidying the site.  As such, the sub group will not spend too much time on the layout of the board at this stage.
Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:   That The Town Clerk, Assistant Town Clerk and Chairman meet to form a draft plan of the Board detail and that Members visit the site prior to the next meeting.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)


It was agreed that the next meeting would be scheduled for Thursday 27 January 2016 at 6 pm in the Council Chamber.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.20  pm.


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