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Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee Minutes 23 August 2012


Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 23 August 2012 at 6.00 pm

PRESENT:
South Ward:
Councillor D C Fulford
Councillor Mrs M P Fulford
Councillor D G Brenton (Substitute for Mrs A E Brenton)
Councillor S G Inch (Town Mayor)
Councillor P J Pester (Chairman)
East Ward:
Councillor S E L Clarke OBE
Councillor Mrs P Davies
Councillor R Vanstone
IN ATTENDANCE:
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)

043 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs E A Brenton (North Ward - Personal) 
Councillor A T Inch (South Ward - Inch Personal)

044 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

045 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

No members of the Public were present at the meeting.

046 MINUTES

The minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 12 July were approved and adopted as a correct record.

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

047 CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

•    The Town Clerk has passed the CiLCA Power of Competency module which therefore allows the Council to pass a resolution to become a Competent Council.  It was agreed this should be placed on the next Town Council agenda.
•    The audited accounts have been returned from the Audit Commission with an unqualified certificate and no action points.
•    The Civic regalia and artefacts have been reassessed at a value of £310,000 – the insurance has been updated accordingly.
•    East Devon Tree surgeons have requested some variations to the works required at Ford Woodland following a meeting with the Torridge Tree Officer and this was acceptable to Members.
•    Torridge District Council has accepted the Town Council’s offer to sponsor some bulbs in the park on a matched basis.

048 ACCOUNTS

The payments list was discussed.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the list of payments be approved

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

049 FLORAL PLANTERS AND CIVIC FLORAL DISPLAYS

The Committee considered the refurbishment costs for the planters and discussed the planter that had been trialled using gold paint.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a £1,000 is budgeted for signing and repainting the planters.  The refurbishment is to be organised by the Town Clerk within the principles of best value.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

050 MANOR COURT

The updated actions  taken on the Manor Court Presentments for 2012 were discussed and the following supplementary actions  proposed:

Presentment 1. Improvements to the Quay such as the cleaning of the inserts, and for better publicity given to the Heritage Inserts.  The planting of beds already in situ and the statue of Charles Kingsley to be restored and cleaned.

Following a recommendation from North Devon District Council it was agreed that a quote for cleaning the Kingsley Statue should be obtained from Orchard Stonemasons. A letter will be written to the Royal Hotel advising that we are in the process of cleaning the Kingsley Statue, and that this may be an opportune moment to engage the same firm to clean the Pine Coffin Statue.  The Town Clerk will check with John Adams if they have previously commissioned an inspection of the Kingsley Statue.

Presentment 4. Lighting, dog and litter bins in the vicinity of Devonshire Park and Grenville Ridge.

The Town Clerk has requested that the dog bins are regularly emptied in this area. Councillor Mrs Boyle has advised that she could offer £1,000 towards jointly funding lighting in this area with the Town Council subject to their not being any issues with the road not having been adopted.  It was agreed that the Town Clerk will look into the possibility of Solar lighting in this area.  The committee thought that approximately 6 lights would be required.  In addition the Town Clerk will write to Devon County Council requesting that they provide lighting for the walkway around West Croft School.

Presentment 8. War Memorial

It was agreed this would be dealt with under agenda item 16.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Davies, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Council take the required steps to action the presentments.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

051 BADGES FOR BEADLES’ UNIFORM

The Town Clerk provided Members with the cost of providing the Beadles with crest emblazoned badges and gloves to form part of their uniform.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk purchases emblazoned badges for the Beadles’ gloves (minimum quantity 10) and 12 emblazoned badges for the Beadles’ jackets.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

052 DIAMOND JUBILEE COMMEMORATIVE LINK

Prices for a Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Link had been provided to Members in the meeting report.  The various alternatives were discussed.

Proposed by Councillor P Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the gold carat of the Mayor’s chain is ascertained and that a price for a commemorative link of the same carat is obtained.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

053 TWITTER MODULE

The Town Clerk advised that this had been suggested by Mark Jones of ElectricOoze who had originally designed the Town Web Site.

Proposed by Councillor D Brenton, seconded and
RESOLVED:  Not to proceed as the communication tools employed by the Town Council are deemed to be sufficient.

(Vote – For: 8,  Against: 0)

054 LICENSING ACT CONSULTATION

Members discussed the document that had been circulated prior to the meeting.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Statement of Principles document is acceptable to the Town Council.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

055 MANAGEMENT OPTIONS FOR FORD HOUSE WOODLAND

Members discussed the management options for Ford House Woodland following the meeting with the Tree Officer, Torridge District Council and the Devon Wildlife Trust representative.  The Town Clerk also advised that Tom Hynes from AONB has suggested a woodland opening event - perhaps coupled with some practical work, followed by a walk around.  Members advocated that perhaps the schools could be involved with this.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Bideford Town Council asks the Tree Surgeon at Torridge District Council to generate a management plan which will recommend the frequency of inspections.  He will also be requested to inspect the woods at the frequency rate recommended by the management plan and following inspections to prepare maintenance tender documents.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

56 STAFF TRAINING.

Staff training options had been provided to Members in the meeting report.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Davies seconded and

RESOLVED: 
a) That the administrative assistant undertakes the CiLCA following the successful completion of the first 6 modules which will be assessed by the Town Clerk.
b) The Town Clerk attends the Society of Local Council Clerk’s Conference and Annual General Meeting.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

57 ADMISSION TO PENSION SCHEME.

Information regarding the admittance of the Admin Assistant to the Pension Scheme had been provided to Members in the meeting report.

Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Claire Elizabeth Scott, the present holder of the post of Administrative Assistant, employee of Bideford Town Council, becomes a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme under the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997.

(Vote For : 8,  Against: 0)

58 WAR MEMORIAL INITIATIVE

The Town Clerk reported that she and the Deputy Town Clerk had met with Lord Burnett and Members of the Royal British Legion in Victoria Park to discuss the resiting of the War Memorial.  They agreed in principle, provided the hedge is removed as shown on the plan, and that the corner of the triangular base to the Memorial is removed and replaced with two long steps to enable easy access for the disabled. 
Councillor Clarke reported that he had been in discussion with Torridge District Council and they have agreed to the principle of repositioning of the War Memorial, the stabilisation of the ground and the removal of the hedge.  Councillor Clarke showed members a sample of the polished granite material which is proposed for the Memorial.  He has priced the whole project at £85,000.  It was suggested that the Bridge Trust could be approached to part fund this community project.  In addition information should be placed in the next newsletter.  Councillor Clarke will liaise with the Town Clerk regarding the content of the article.

Proposed by Councillor Clarke seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to the Bridge Trust and suggests the relocation of the War Memorial could be part funded by them as a joint venture with the Town Council.  She will also liaise with Council Clarke regarding a newsletter article.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

59 TOWN AND PARISH FUND

Members discussed the Town and Parish fund whereby £1.10 per head of elector can be spent on a joint project with another Council.  Northam Town Council has approached Bideford Town Council regarding a pre-school project.  Members did however feel that such a project will not benefit sufficient members of our community and will decline the offer. 
Members then discussed approaching Barnstaple Town Council with a view to proposing a joint Further Education College having first allowed the Leader of Torridge District Council to establish political agreement. 
The eligibility of the venture has been agreed by Torridge Officers and those at North Devon District Council.

Proposed by Councillor Pester seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Barnstaple Town Council is approached concerning a joint venture for a possible Further Education College using the Town and Parish fund.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

60 HM COURTS & TRIBUNALS SERVICE SITTING PATTERN

There was a short discussion regarding how a decision can be made on an emergency matter, and the Town Clerk agreed to investigate this.

There was further discussion on the requirement for the continued current service level at the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the proposal which was made at the Town Council meeting of 9 August is confirmed and that a letter is written to HM Courts & Tribunals Service expressing the sentiments made at this meeting.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

61 RAGWORT INFESTATION

There was a discussion regarding how to deal with this issue.

Proposed by Councillor Pester seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk researches the legislation surrounding Ragwort and investigates the cost of removal if necessary.

(Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

62 PART II (Closed Session)

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone seconded 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)

(Councillor Mrs Davies left meeting.)

63 TENDER FOR FLORAL PLANTERS & CIVIC DISPLAYS

Proposed by Councillor Inch seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Moreton Nurseries is offered the three year contract for the Floral Planters and Civic Displays.

(Vote: For: 4,  Against: 0, Abstentions: 3)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.25pm.

Signature of Town Mayor:  ………………………………….  Date:  ……………………........


Signature of Chairman:  ……………………………………..  Date:  ………………………....

 

 


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