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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 5 January 2017 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:   

North Ward:   
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor P J Pester
Councillor D McGeough

South Ward:   
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor S G Inch (Chairman)
Councillor R Wootton

South (Outer) Ward:   
Councillor D Howell (Town Mayor)
   
East Ward:   
Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:   
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)

091   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

All Committee Members were present at the meeting.

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

There were no declarations of interest.

093   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

No members of the public were present at the meeting.

094   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 November 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1 )

095   CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

The Town Clerk advised that the drum clock at the High Street needs servicing.  Smith of Derby generally services it on an annual basis. The Town Clerk has looked to find alternative quotes but has been unsuccessful, so will continue with the current contractor.

The Town Clerk advised that she would like the Maintenance Operatives to attend the Zurich training day along with the office staff and this was agreed.

096   ACCOUNTS

a.    Members received the list of payments.

      Proposed by Councillor  Pester, seconded and

      RESOLVED:  That the list of payments is approved.

      (Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

b.    Members received and approved the Council’s interim Independent Auditor’s Report for the Financial Year 2016 – 2017.

      Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

      RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Interim Independent Auditor’s Report for the Financial Year 2016-2017 is approved.

      (Vote For: 9,  Against: 0)

      Thanks were given to Mrs Wilkin for carrying out the audit.

c.    To authorise the Town Clerk to purchase a gift for the Manor Court speaker.

      Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

      RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk is authorised to purchase a gift for the Manor Court speaker with a budget of up to £250.

      (Vote For: 9,  Against: 0)

097   PROJECT UPDATE

•     Mill Street Consultation

The Town Clerk advised that the Mill Street Consultation had been completed and she had put together the New Home Bonus application form.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That an application is made to the New Homes bonus for £150,000.  It should be made clear in the application that it is for the new funding round.  The Town Clerk will also write to both our County Councillors with a copy to John Hart for them to strongly encourage Devon County Council to make up the remainder of the funding.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0 )

•     Band stand for Victoria Park

The Town Clerk advised that she had been in contact with Mr Floyd about a more detailed quotation for the two options he presented, but in order to pursue this further he needed more guidance.  She noted that Councillor McKenzie had some plans for an amphitheatre which he was currently looking into.  It was unlikely that the park could support both projects, so it seemed sensible to determine which project would go forward.  It was agreed to await the result of the notice of motion which Councillor McKenzie intended to put to The Council before pursuing the bandstand for Victoria Park further.

•     Maintenance Operatives

The Town Clerk provided a detailed account of the work carried out over the last few weeks by the Maintenance Operatives.  She advised that Members of the Public are contacting her on a regular basis to praise the work of the operatives.  She was asked that this become a standing agenda item.  There was discussion about the division of activities between East the Water and Bideford West, and the need to be mindful for the Maintenance Operatives not to be instructed to carry out tasks which should be done by other commercial organisations. The Town Clerk suggested that she could apply to the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund for further equipment to support the work of the Operatives.  She suggested an application for the purchase of a flymo and it was also agreed that she should apply for funding towards the purchase of a pressure washer to clear problem areas of Pidgeon droppings. 

In addition it was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That The Town Clerk explores taking over the maintenance of the flower beds in the Torridge District Council car parks, on the condition that remuneration is received for this activity.

(Vote For: 9,  Against: 0)

098   Members received the information requested regarding licensing tables and chairs on the highway.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Bideford Town Council applies to Devon County Council to take over the licensing tables and chairs on the highway.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

099   Members gave consideration to the publication of a snow and ice policy for publication on The Town Council website.  Councillor Bushby indicated preference to the use of our Maintenance Operatives to volunteer snow wardens for the purposes of gritting the pavement and Highway.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the snow and ice policy is adopted (with an amendment to point 3. as noted by the Clerk).  It was agreed that Members would send a list of “hot spots” in their wards of areas that are particularly prone to being icy in cold weather, and a map will be generated for priority gritting.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

100   Councillor Brenton updated Members on the response from DALC on the purchase of Condolence Stationery. Most parishes had not considered this question and those that had, wished to purchase individually.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk purchases the appropriate amount of condolence stationery.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

101   NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor D Brenton
“That Bideford Town Council take the lead in progressing a community centre at the Redrow/Bloor site.”
At the Town Council meeting on 15 December 2016 it was resolved to support the Notice of Motion in principle, but that Councillor Brenton should gather further information on costings, and ascertain the position with the legal agreement with the developer, in order for the motion to be further explored by SFGP.  Discussion followed regarding a planning application that had recently been received for the site, and the current position with permissions.

Proposed by Councillor McGeough, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to Dr Bowser and enquires how the Bideford Town Council funds of £20,000 were spent, given that the planning application work was pro bono.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk writes to Torridge District Council to ascertain the current position with the developer and what monies are available for a community centre.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

102   NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillor P Pester

“The replacement of the deteriorating festoon lighting along Bideford Quay with Led festoon lighting.” 

Members received confirmation of the specification on the quotes received.

Councillor Langmead asked if the proposed LEDs would be as bright as the current illuminations and Councillor Pester confirmed they would be.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That DS Electrical is employed to replace the festoon lighting with LEDs at a spacing of 1000 mm.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

103   BIDEFORD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

a.    Members were informed of the verbal resignation of the Christmas Committee from the organisation of the Christmas light switch on event.

      There was a short discussion as to the possibility of involving another group with the event who could deliver it on behalf of Bideford Town Council
      However as the resignation had not currently been received in writing, Members agreed to note the item and await a formal resignation. 

      Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

      RESOLVED:  That the information provided by the Town Clerk regarding the verbal resignation of the Christmas Committee is noted.

      (Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

b.    Members considered the requirement for pull testing the brackets which hold the Christmas Lights.

      Councillor McGeough advised that pull testing should be undertaken at the point when the Christmas lights are erected.  He advised that a road closure should not be required, and that each section of pavement could be cordoned off        in turn.  The Town Clerk was asked to talk with other Councils and Nalc to find out how they deal with pull testing.

      Proposed by Councillor Simon Inch, seconded and

      RECOMMENDED:  That £5,000 is allocated for pull testing in 2017.

      (Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

c.    Members considered whether to continue with the current arrangement of a fixed price contract for the repair, installation and dismantling of the Christmas Lights. 

      Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

      RECOMMENDED:  That DS Electrical continues to install, repair, maintain and dismantle the Christmas lights under the current arrangements.

      (Vote – For: 8,  Against: 0, Abstention 1)

104   BUDGET 2017/2018

The Town Clerk presented the draft Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2017/2018.

Following discussion a final draft budget was agreed which is attached and forms part of these Minutes.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the Council approves the budget of £402,112, which is an increase of 1.96% on a band D, in respect of the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2017 and that the Council’s reserves remain at £130,000.00.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

105   PART II CLOSED SESSION
Proposed by Councillor Pester, 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: 9, Against: 0)

106   STAFFING MATTERS

There is a confidential Minute associated with this item.

107   Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded 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   8.18pm.


 

 

 


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