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Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held in the Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 3 March 2022 at 6.30 pm
North Ward:
Councillor P S Christie 
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor J Herron
Councillor T Johns
South Ward:
Councillor S Inch
Councillor Mrs S Langford
Councillor P Lawrence
West Ward:
Councillor Mrs K Corfe
Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor D Ratcliff (Town Mayor)
East Ward:
Councillor J Craigie
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor Mrs J Gubb
Councillor J A McKenzie
Mrs H Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Councillor Wilton-Love (DCC)
Mr M Teare (Way of the Wharves)
Ms F Sylvester (Way of the Wharves)
4 x Member of the Public
Councillor Mrs R Craigie (East Ward – personal).
Councillor P Christie declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 19 (Trustee, Bridge Trust).  Councillor Mrs J Gubb declared a pecuniary interest in Items 3 and 5 (Husband is the Seasonal Worker).
A member of the public addressed the Members in support of Item 16.
He told the Members that for the last twenty years he had laid a wreath at the Victoria Park Remembrance Service on behalf of the Bideford Rugby Club and for a Royal Marine.
He noted that the attendance for the Park Service and extended along the Quay in support of the Parade, had grown immensely (over the years).
Whilst the Stone Memorial had no names of the Bideford fallen in conflict, a “plaque,” though had been installed, in recent years, naming those who had perished in the WWI (replicated at Chudleigh Fort).
There is no acknowledgement of those fallen Bidefordians in WWII and subsequent conflicts.
He explained that he had grown up with Michael Fowler and for three years they travelled by bus to the then North Devon Technical College, Barnstaple.  It had been Mike’s sole intention to join the Marines after finishing his schooling.  
Sixteen British Servicemen were killed during the Suez campaign, including Michael Fowler aged nineteen in 1957.
The Member of the Public added that he had researched there had been seventeen conflicts since WWII.
Michael Fowler had been buried at Sea; the Public Member should like a plaque installed to recognise the Suez conflict of 1956 / 7 (fallen) for all to see.
He would be happy to organise an appeal to raise funds.
He thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Council.
137.    MINUTES
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 January 2022 were approved as a correct record.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
138.     ACCOUNTS
It was proposed by Councillor Mrs J Gubb, seconded and
RESOLVED:  That the List of Payments be approved.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
a.    The Chairman invited Councillor Wilton-Love to address the Council.
b.    Councillor Wilton-Love thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Members.
He had been humbled by the number of people in the area who had contacted him wishing to help in the face of the humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.
He explained the importance of supporting the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal from the Disasters Emergency Committee.  He noted that the UK Government will match donations from the public pound-for-pound up to £20 million (largest ever aid-match contribution).
He advised that he had correlated and published a list of agencies supporting the Ukraine disaster:
Choose Love - where you can donate actual items
International Rescue Committee 
Embassy of Ukraine in the UK 
Revived Soldiers Ukraine - giving aid directly to soldiers on the front line.
For children affected by the invasion 
Ukraine Humanitarian Fund
British - Ukrainian Aid
Councillor Wilton-Love made reference to the Multi Use Games Area (muga) equipment at College Park.  He aimed to address the issues that could involve him fund raising in order to raise the potential £76,000.00 it would cost to move the equipment.
He recognised there were Highways / parking issues at West Croft School with the crossings and the double yellow lines being ignored at Bideford College and that improvements were needed to address the situations.
The County Budget would require “belt tightening,” locality budgets have been reduced by £2,000.00 but the overall view suggested that it was not as challenging as first feared.  There would be a drive to more County engagement and fund raising events.
c.     Members raised questions and comments, that included:
Councillor Mrs Corfe invited the County Councillor to contact her regarding the offering of help and advice to those wishing to support the Ukrainian disaster.
Councillor Christie explained the frustration over planning developments where schools provision is identified yet there is no response from DCC committing to the running or support thereof.  He should like a DCC representative to address the issue.
He added that there was a road traffic issue, albeit outside Bideford and the County Councillor’s remit, at Raleigh Hill, next to Rydon’s Garage, where indiscriminate parking was creating a real traffic problem.  Double yellow lines could be introduced.
Councillor Inch listed a number of traffic issues:
• Clovelly Road is very dangerous for pedestrians and drivers through the weight of traffic which will only increase following further housing development.  Any s106 monies should be addressed at road improvements.
• Clovelly Road / Bowden Green a drain has sunk, despite repair works, at a pinch point in the road that cannot be avoided.
• Moreton Park Road / Lidl / BJs / Caddsdown delineation white lines that provide for vehicle placement have faded.  A collision involving a motor cycle occurred there recently.
• B&M / Brewers Fayre very dangerous for pedestrians who have recourse to use the road in absence of any pavement.
• Poor sequencing of traffic lights when leaving Asda / Affinity have led to confusion and the potential for collisions.
• Buckleigh Road (B3236) / A39 new traffic light junction is within a 60 mph speed limit.  Local people are aware of the potential need to reduce speed on approach but without phased reduction / warning of traffic lights visiting drivers may be caught unawares.
• Double yellow lines have been painted at Westcroft School.
Councillor Lawrence noted that the Westcroft PTA had raised concerns over the “dangerous,” Clovelly Road fifty five years ago (his mother was on the board).
d.     The Chairman thanked Councillor Wilton-Love for addressing the Council. 
a.     The Chairman invited Michael Teare, Chairman of Ways of the Wharves Community Charity and Felicity Sylvester, a former resident of Springfield Terrace, to address the Council.
b.     Mr Teare thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Members and introduced Ms Sylvester.
He observed that the signs on entering Bideford announce an “ancient maritime town,” but once in the Town there is no central point or celebration of this heritage; a missed opportunity.
The Way of the Wharves have researched the history of East-the-Water, created a website, conducted “walks and talks” Events and have published “A History of East-the-Water, Bideford,” book.
The re-development of the East-the-Water wharves creates a one-off opportunity to have a permanent site for maritime heritage at the heart of the estuary and on one of the historically most important sites.
Heritage is important, bringing communities together instilling a sense of belonging.  A visitor centre could incorporate both heritage and environment.
The estuary is important, incredibly productive for birds providing an abundant food source, fish rely on the sheltered waters as protected spawning places.  The salt marshes absorb the influx of water during storm surges and provide buffers; they also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As an aside he noted that cleaning up estuaries will help clear the seas of pollution.
Mr Teare spoke about conducting a feasibility study to establish a community space / heritage centre on the Wharves, East-the-Water.
Historic England, who have been approached for grant funding to carry out the study are receptive.  The Burton at Bideford Museum have expressed enthusiasm and support for the initiative.  Red Earth are not opposed to the idea of creating a maritime heritage centre on the re-development site, although they insist that it can only be on commercial terms.  Retail and craft units are planned.
Ms Sylvester spoke about Community engagement, local interest, links between Devon, Newfoundland, Bideford and the East Coast of America.  
The development of the Centre would provide for potential tourist interest and revenues.
The Way of Wharves would welcome support from the Town Council 
Councillor Bushby thanked Mr Teare and Ms Sylvester for the presentation.  He questioned what was meant by Red Earth’s Commercial Terms driver noting that they had received an £800,000 grant for the sea wall.  Given the grant funding had not originally been budgeted he wondered if they should not be approached (for funding / support) as a gesture.
Ms Sylvester indicated that the commercial terms related to siting with the other planned units.  She spoke of support from local councillors, the Council and members of the Community, including small amounts of match funding (£20,000), which will be important to ensure a successful grant application and realising the project.
Councillor Bushby agreed that there was a rich maritime heritage in the Town and that both District and Town Councils should provide written support but not financial; he reiterated an approach to Red Earth based on their £800,000 unexpected bounty.
Councillor J Craigie fully supported the estuary museum that would provide for heritage, history and benefit tourism.  He indicated that it was not just the Wharf Site along Torridge Street and that an approach to the Regeneration Board could also be made.
c.    The Chairman made reference to the Barnstaple / Bideford track reinstatement, carbon reduction and the Kathleen and May (recent history).  He invited the Way of the Wharves to provide an update in the future.
Both Councillors Herron and Mrs Langford were fully supportive and spoke of the need for (success of) the project.  The location was ideal although there are other locations within the District Council portfolio, including the scheduled to be vacated Library building.
Councillor Christie asked in relation to the Red Earth Commercial terms whether the Heritage Centre was first in line for a Unit or follow up.
Ms Sylvester confirmed that the Wharves remained in contact with Red Earth.
She requested a letter of support from the Council, the Feasibility Funding needs the support of the Town.
Councillor Christie agreed on the suggestion for approaching other bodies and cited Brend Hotels. 
Councillor Bushby indicated that the Development would take a number of years to complete yet the Library would be vacated within twelve months.  It is sited on the River, overlooking Brunswick Wharf, the main area for tourists and a substantial building; it would be equal to, if not better, than the Red Earth offer.
It was proposed by Councillor Craigie seconded and,
• a letter of in principle support to is sent to Way of the Wharves at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
• a letter is sent to TDC requesting a review of their estate for possible alternate housing offer to site the Heritage Centre
• TDC are invited to send a letter of support to Way of the Wharves.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
d.    The Chairman thanked Mr Teare and Ms Sylvester for addressing the Council. 
The Mayor advised that TDC had actioned a number of requests to address issues in the Town Hall, Council Chamber and Council offices.  He was pleased that the work had been completed (the Fire Exit is soon to be addressed that will return the Hall to capacity) and had written a letter of thanks to the Chief Executive.
Council Meetings will return to the Council Chamber in April 2022.
The Minutes of the Meetings held on 10 and 17 February 2022 were approved and adopted.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
The Minutes of the Meetings held on 26 January and 16 February 2022 were approved and adopted.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 February 2022 were approved and adopted.
(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 February 2022 were approved and adopted.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
The resignation of Councillor Mrs Corfe from the Decarbonisation and Environment Committee provided for a vacancy.
Councillor Mrs Hellyer volunteered to fill the vacancy.
It was proposed by Councillor J Craigie seconded and,
RESOLVED: that Councillor Mrs Hellyer is elected to the Decarbonisation and Environment Committee.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
Members considered a request from the TDC Economic Project Officer to select two councillors to join the Bideford Regeneration Board, which is being created with DCC to collectively develop a shared vision for the Town and “opportunities to move forward.”
The Chairman reminded Members of Councillor Christie’s request on the future of the scheduled to be vacated Library building adding that he had received a number of replies.
He noted that there would be a costly fix to the roof which might attract a regeneration bid.
The Way of the Wharves initiative, Railway Track reinstatement, Tourism and a Central Hub on the Pill could be considered.
Councillor J Craigie indicated that he would very much like to be on the Board.
Councillor Inch felt that it was an exciting opportunity to push the Town forward and should also like to be considered.
Councillors Mrs Hellyer, Bushby and Christie believed that they were already involved through their respective County / District positions.
It was proposed by Councillor Bushby seconded and,
RESOLVED: that Councillors J Craigie and Inch are elected to the Bideford Regeneration Board.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
Members considered the request from the Twinning Association to hold the Landivisiau Reception on Saturday, 27 August 2022.
It was proposed by Councillor Bushby seconded and,
RESOLVED: that a Landivisiau Twinning Reception is hosted by the Town Council in the Pannier Market on Saturday, 27 August 2022 at 6.00 pm.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
Submission by Councillor P Christie.
“To add a second plaque to the war memorial in Victoria Park recording the names of those Bidefordians who have died in conflict since the First World War.”
Councillor Christie referred to the eloquent entreaty made in the public forum.
He spoke about addressing the logistics of incorporating the additional Bidefordian names of those fallen in conflict after WWI; he advised against having a separate plaque recognising the Suez Conflict.
Councillor Bushby seconded the Motion.
It was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded
RESOLVED:  That the Motion is supported.
(Vote – For: 14, Against: 0)
Consideration of the Notes of the Meeting held on 23 February 2022 were deferred until the Council Meeting to be held on 9 April 2022.
Councillor Bushby advised of two surveys on the TDC website:
• Interest in Community led Electric Bike and Electric car rental schemes.
• Public Space protection order – proposed dog control regulations.
He advised that in June 2018 TDC introduced a Public Places Protection Order across the District for the control of dogs – fouling, dogs on leads and designated exclusion areas.  The Public have the opportunity to respond by 28 March 2022.
Councillor Christie gave detail on income, Estate expenditure, Grants: individual, student, group.  
He noted that the Atlantic Racquet Centre had received the second largest grant provided by the Trust.  He spoke highly of the Centre noting their solar array, heat pumps, battery storage but also changing room facilities for the severely disabled that were open to the public.
The Members expressed their approval of the Trust’s benevolence by spontaneously breaking into applause.
The business of the meeting having been completed, the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.35 pm.
Table of Accounts for approval at Town Council Meeting 030322


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