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Town Council Meeting Minutes 29 February 2024

Written by Claire Parsons. Posted in Town Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 29 February 2024 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor K Hind
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward:

Councillor Ms R Clarke
Councillor S Inch

West Ward:

Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor T Inch
Councillor M Taylor

East Ward

Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor J Hellyer
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr P Swan (Town Clerk)
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)

Prior to the start of the Meeting the Chairman spoke of the sad loss on the passing of Councillor Peter Christie and called the Chamber to hold a minute’s silence – which was respectfully observed.

121.   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillors D Bushby (North Ward – Personal), P Lawrence (South Ward – Personal) and Councillor J A McKenzie (East Ward – work).

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

Councillor Mrs Gubb declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9. (committee member of the Bideford Massed Pipes and Drums, Carnival Committee, Port of Bideford Regatta Committee and a member of the Youth Pipe Band.) Councillor Mrs Gubb also declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 7. (Bideford Bike Show, Bideford No 1 OAPs, Born to Skate – work involvement with the aforementioned organisations).

Councillor S Inch declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 7. (committee member / Trustee: Bideford Keyboard and Organ Club, Landivisiau Twinning Association, Bideford Massed Pipes & Drums, Bideford Town Band, Port of Bideford Regatta, Bideford Carnival Committee).

Councillor Taylor declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9. (Rotary President).

Councillor Hind non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9. (Water Festival).

Councillor T Inch non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9. (Landivisiau Twinning and Rotary Member).

123.   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

A Member of the Public gave homage to former Councillor Christie and his life work and support to local heritage, decades of historical heritage work and his being a keen supporter of the Bideford to Barnstaple rail link. The latter gained support from TDC; formal support also, from the Northam Town Council and from the Parish Council Alliance over the last fifteen to twenty years.

Bideford does warrant better bus services and traveller connectivity. Former Councillor Christie shared the campaign with fellow councillors, stakeholders and MPs.

124.   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 January 2024 were approved as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

125.   ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor T Inch, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and

RESOLVED: That the List of Payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

126.   POLICE PRESENTATION

In the absence of the local Police Inspector Members had sight of a brief report largely concerned with a ne’er-do-well, a funding bid and the potential of a police community hub to be established on Jubilee Square around Easter.

Members observed:

• Disappointment that a Police representative could not be found to attend.
o Team of seven provide twenty four hour cover.
• Reluctance to report crime is reflected in the figures not increasing.
• Young and old ladies afraid to go out at night.
o “Street Marshals,” were a benefit; there are few visible “boots on the ground.”
• A Police “front counter,” would be preferable in Jubilee Square to a “Hub.”
o Lack of funding constraints; a front office would have to be open from 8.00 am until the evening, six days a week.
o There is optimism that a Jubilee Square “presence” will make a difference.
o A number of Police counters have been reopened; the Town Council did write to and receive correspondence from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, previously.

127.   DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL (COUNCILLOR) REPORT

Members had sight of a report provided by Councillor Mrs Hellyer.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer advised that West Croft School, from January 2025, will benefit from an “early help” resource hub for up to ten children with “specific needs.” The potential benefit could keep ten children in main stream education.

Councillor Taylor advised that West Croft School had six class rooms out of action.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer indicated that only urgent repairs would be attended.

Further discussion included the consultation process for a Devon and Torbay combined authority and pot holes including the lead in period for planning a road resurface.

128.   COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR / TOWN CLERK

The Town Clerk advised the land contract should be signed within two weeks allowing for the tendering process.

Members are requested to find the time to attend events that are organised by the Tourism Committee; in addition to attendance assistance in the setting up would be welcomed.

Whilst not expected, a good commitment / attendance would in part recognise the hard work that is invested in organising them.

• Mayor’s Easter Bingo Fundraiser, Friday 5 April 2024; “eyes down,” 7.15 pm sharp, Town Hall.
• Centre of the Town Clean up day, Sunday 28 April from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Most tools provided including “high-viz.”

a.   Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance.

It was proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded by Councillor Taylor and

RESOLVED: That £500.00 be granted to part sponsor the Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance lunchtime reception at the Royal Hotel for participants representing local, regional and national stakeholder organisations.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

b.   First Edgehill and Torridge Scout grant application consideration.

Members discussed a funding request from the 1st Edgehill and Torridge Scouts Group.

It was proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded by Councillor Mrs J Gubb and

RESOLVED: That the request is not submitted to the Staffing, Finance and General Purposes (SF&GP) Committee for consideration.

(Vote – For: 2, Against: 6, Abstention: 0)

The Proposal failed; 1st Edgehill and Torridge Scouts Group to complete the Grant application form for consideration at the next SF&GP Committee Meeting following receipt.

129.   STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES (SF&GP) COMMITTEE MEETING

a.   The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 February 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

b.   The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 February 2024, included a recommendation at Minute.93: Grants to Local Organisation 2024 / 2025.

It was proposed by Councillor J Hellyer, not to accept the recommendation of the SF&GP Committee, that the grant applications are re-considered by the whole Council at the next Meeting (to be held on 4 April 2024).

Seconded by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer.

Councillor T Inch, mindful of the immense paperwork, sought to amend the proposal to provide for Members to visit the Council offices to appraise themselves of the organisations’ grant applications and supporting paperwork. (Councillor J Hellyer acquiesced.)

It was proposed by Councillor J Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer

RESOLVED: That the Grants for Local Organisations 2024 / 2025 are considered by the whole Council at the next Meeting. Members will have recourse to the documentation at the Town Hall Offices.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 3, Abstention: 2)

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 February 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

130.   PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

a.   The Minutes of the Meeting held on 31 January 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

b.   The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 February 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

131.   MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 January 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

132.   ALLOTMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 February 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

133.   TOURISM COMMITTEE MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 February 2024 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 10, Against: 0)

134.   TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor S Inch advised that there will be a Workshop Meeting to be convened on Monday, 11 March 2024 to update Members on the Levelling Up initiative.

135. BRIDGE TRUST

There was no report.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.47 pm.

 

Table of Accounts presented for approval at Town Council Meeting 29 February 2024

 

 


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