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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 17 October 2019 at 6.30 pm


North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby (Chairman)
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

East Ward:

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)
Councillor J Craigie


There were no apologies for absence


There were no declarations of interest at this point.


No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

060.     MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb, the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0 Abstention: 1)


The Town Clerk advised that The Macebearer and Town Mayor along with Councillor Bushby had conducted three very successful Town Hall tours for St. Mary’s school.

The Town Clerk advised that Bobb had returned the grant for Wikked week.

062.     ACCOUNTS

Members received the list of payments.

Councillor Bushby declared a pecuniary interest on payment 8. (Owner of Watertown Garage).

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Hellyer, and

RESOLVED: That the draft list of payments is approved.

(Vote – For: 8, 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.”

Members chose an illustration from “The Water Babies” to enable the artist to provide a quotation.

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

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk contacts Maggie Curtis and asks for a quotation for a circular plaque based on the illustration chosen.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 2:

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

Members discussed the wording for the plaque.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and

RESOLVED: That the wording for the plaque will be: In memory of all civilians killed as a result of conflict and war. Erected by Bideford Town Council 2020.

(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 Public Rights of Way team has instructed the repair of the benches and this is now complete. Members discussed the possibility of the Maintenance Team painting the benches with a coat of teak oil to preserve them, and this was agreed. Councillor Mrs Hellyer will seek permission for this from The Public Rights of Way team.

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 Devon County Council Area Rights of Way Warden has agreed “in principle” permission as long as the fixings do not damage the bridge and that the headroom is not restricted. The Town Clerk will enquire into the feasibility of this proposal (for 2020) with DS Electrical.


Members gave consideration to the quotations received for the Town Planters.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the quotation provided by Merry Harriers is accepted

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the storage of the Bideford Bowl.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That The Bideford Bowl is insured by the Town Council and displayed in the Mayor’s Parlour under the terms requested by The Port of Bideford Regatta Committee.

(Vote: For 8, Against: 0)


Members reviewed the honorariums payable to the Town Council Civic Officers.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor McGeough and

RESOLVED: That the Honorariums are set at the following levels:

Town Beadle: £600
Mace Bearer: £600
Town Crier: £350
Town Marshal: £250
Town Hall Tour Guide: £200

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered the response from Northam Town Council on whether to share a Community Warden.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Craigie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That Bideford Town Council pursues the employment of a part time Community Warden and that the cost of a part-time position is added to the salary budget for the new financial year.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)


Members considered a proposal from the TDC Economic Development Officer regarding a funding proposal for the Postcode Gardener.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That Bideford Town Council supports the funding proposal for the Postcode Gardener.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

069.     VE DAY 75

Members 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. It was agreed that the Last Post should be played on Friday 8th May 2020 at Chudleigh Fort at 2.55 pm. From here the Youth Pipe Band will be asked to play Battle’s O’er at 3pm and march over the old Bridge up to the Pannier Market. A celebration event will be held in the Pannier Market during the afternoon, followed by a Cry for Peace by The Town Crier at 6.55 pm, and the Church Bells ringing at 7.00 pm.

There will be Church Services of celebration and commemoration held nationally on Sunday 10 May 2020 at 10.30 am, and The Town Council will join St Mary’s for their service.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the ideas suggested are raised at the Tourism and Market Management Committee meetings next week, under Chairman’s items, with a view to progressing the organisation of VE Day 75.

(Vote - For: 8, Against: 0)


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

Councillor Bushby advised that the shortlisting for interview to fill the vacant Maintenance Operative position has taken place.


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: 8, Against: 0)


There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

073.     Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor McGeough 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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