Town Council Meeting Minutes - 26 January 2017



PRESENT:   

North Ward:   

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor D A D McGeough
Councillor T J Johns
Councillor P J Pester

South Ward:   

Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor J Day
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor S G Inch
Councillor R I Wootton

South (Outer) Ward:   

Councillor D Howell (Town Mayor)

East Ward:   

Councillor Mrs R M Craigie
Councillor M C Langmead
Councillor J A McKenzie
Councillor S Robinson

IN ATTENDANCE:   

Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Mr R D Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Inspector S Kenneally ( Bideford Police Station)
Mrs J Gentry (Burton Art Gallery & Museum)
Mr T Langford (British & Commonwealth Middleweight Boxing Champion)
8 x Members of the Public
2 x Member of the Press

Prior to the start of the Meeting the Town Clerk confirmed the Building Evacuation procedure, to the assembled.

147  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Mrs P Davies (East Ward – illness).

148  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Councillors Christie and Howell declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 23.  (Member, Bideford Bridge Trust). 

149  TOWN SHEILD PRESENTATION – TOMMY LANGFORD

The Mayor invited Mr Jeff Facey, Bideford Amateur Boxing Club (BABC), to address the Meeting.

Mr Facey was fulsome in his praise for Mr Langford, congratulating him on his boxing achievements he declared that he had “put Bideford on the Map”.  He added that he was a fine ambassador for the Town and also the BABC.

Mr Facey took the opportunity to thank the Council for the grants and support received by the BABC.  The funding provided opportunities to those less able in the community to finance their club membership fees and more widely reduce the financial cost of travelling to competitions as far afield as London, Liverpool and Newcastle.

He concluded by wishing Mr Langford and the Town Council “all the best for the future.”

The Mayor in echoing the sentiment advised that Councillor Pester had suggested bestowing a Council Shield to Mr Langford, in recognition of his boxing success, which had been unanimously supported by the Council.

He congratulated Mr Langford on attaining the three titles; he further remarked upon the achievement attained at such a young age.

He thanked Mr Langford for not forgetting his roots, where it (his journey) started.  Whenever reported in the media he never fails to state that he is a Bideford Person.

Mr Langford indicated that it was a real honour (to be recognised by the Council).  He restated his Bideford origins and his indebtedness to the Town.  He remarked upon “the fans”, general public and the backing of Town officials, including the Bridge Trust who had provided grant support to the BABC and also towards his studies which saw him through (to) University.

He confirmed that he would continue to represent the Town and alluded to World Title aspirations.

The Mayor thanked Mr Langford advising the Tables at the Civic Dinner had been named after famous people associated with the Town and that Langford was, from this year, among them!

150  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

There was no public participation.

151  MINUTES

Councillor Pester stated that his Apologies should read “illness” not “personal” given that he had been hospitalised.

The Town Clerk confirmed that the Minutes would be amended.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 December 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 13, Against: 0, Abstention: 2)

152  ACCOUNTS

Councillor Brenton demanded that the charge for the Hire of the Car Parks during the Festive period should be challenged.  He stated that people had made payment despite the free parking initiative.  The signs advising of the gratis opportunity were set to the side of the ticket machine; the machines should be covered.  He resented that TDC would have profited; something needed to be done.

Both Councillors S G Inch and the Mayor had seen patrons making payment and had advised against their course.  The Mayor did suggest that those wishing to “buy time” for the Sunday would have made payment.

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That TDC are requested to advise the Council on how much money was paid into parking ticket machines during period covered by the Christmas Free Parking initiative.  Payment of the bill should be deferred until this information had been obtained.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

The Mayor noted that the car parking on the Pill is now free from 12 noon on Saturdays through to 8.00 am on the following Mondays.  TDC will be updating their signs to reflect the change, in due course.

To approve the payments listed.

It was proposed by Councillor A T Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the List of Payments be approved (with the exception of the TDC car parking payment – to be confirmed).

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

153  POLICE REPORT / PRESENTATION

a.   The Chairman welcomed Inspector Shaun Kenneally. 

b.   Inspector Shaun Kenneally thanked the Chairman and advised the Members that crime figures had increased by 2.7% following a reduction, year on year for the last six years. 
He stated that crime levels were low in Torridge, the area was the safest and the rate was the lowest in the Country.  He attributed the community local knowledge within the rural area that prompted the reporting of incidents.

He noted the “Jimmy Saville” and other National cases had given rise to reviewing historic cases that put greater demands on Force resources.

Domestic abuse is on the rise with an increased confidence in reporting – neighbourhood police roles include protecting the vulnerable.

A change in crime placed further demands on policing.  Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), cyber-crime, modern slavery and, indeed, terrorism now challenged all Forces.

Referring to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s four year plan he confessed to not having the expertise; computer specialists were needed to address the issues.  Local Officers are required to be trained in Fire Arms to support a National requirement should the need arise.

The Plan would also see an increase of 100 Police Officers (over the next four years) at the cost of reducing the PCSOs by 200 to 150.

Inspector Kenneally highlighted the importance of the PCSO in the more rural, town / village setting where they represented the eyes and ears / connectivity in the Town. 

He finished by stating that the Station in Bideford committed to local concerns in the face of national issues.

c.   The Chairman invited Members to raise questions and comments that included:

•    Fraud.
o    Not good at online crime.
o    Not on top of international crime given that many countries abroad do not share the same approach / concerns.
o    It is a Pandora’s Box.

Inspector Kenneally also advised:

•    That the operation to search for the missing Clive Collins had been scaled down.
•    A recent drug operation had seen three arrested (with an anticipation of further arrests).
•    A man who had a brandished a knife recently had been apprehended and was now residing at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

d.   The Chairman thanked Inspector Kenneally for addressing the Meeting.

154  DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL COUNCILLOR REPORT

Members had received the report from Councillor Dezart that included the name of the South West Highways replacement: Skansa and details of those benefiting from his “My Locality Budget”.

155  FESTIVALS’ COMMITTEE PRESENTATION

Apologies had been sent with a desire to attend a future Meeting.

156  BURTON ART GALLERY AND MUSEQUM PRESENTATION

a.   The Chairman welcomed Mrs Judith Gentry. 

b.   Mrs Gentry thanked the Chairman and introduced herself to the Members as the Chairman of Trustees to the Burton at Bideford.  She thanked the Council for their payment of £20,000.00 towards the transition cost from operating under the auspices of TDC to Charitable Status.

She confirmed that the Burton at Bideford is a Limited company and a Registered charity with a Board of Trustees (meet monthly) and a Board of Directors (quarterly meeting) – all volunteers who enjoy no financial benefit

She spoke of the importance of good governance and leadership for:

•    Funding & Income generation.
•    Complying with their governing document.
•    Responsible management of their resources.
•    Public Benefit.
•    Openness and accountability.

Mrs Gentry spoke of Year 1: 2016/17 and their focus on:

•    Clarity of staff responsibilities and accountabilities.
•    Increase sales & profit for shop and craft.
•    Branding and signage for the new entity including new web site.
•    New web site and social media (funded by Friends of the Burton).
•    Application for reaccreditation.
o    Awarded by the Arts Council, the accreditation attracts greater exhibitions but the submission does present challenges.
•    Applications for National Portfolio Organisations (NPO) status.
o    Enormously helpful in providing advice and fundraising.

Year 2: 2017/18 strategic opportunities:

•    Cultural hub opportunity to work footprint harder.
o    Library relocation will include building out to further develop the building’s potential.
•    Poor storage facilities to be addressed.
•    Build on accreditation and NPO status for 2018/19 exhibitions
•    Opportunities to work with other cultural providers to develop cultural hub.
•    Enhanced volunteer scheme.

c.   The Chairman invited Members to raise questions and comments that included:

•    Success of Clangers, Bagpuss and Co V&A exhibition with 19,000 visitors and successful schools engagement / exhibitions.

•    Reaction to Gazette publication of unjustified and inaccurate letter.
o    Invitation to Gazette to look at the work with schools and the local community.

d.   The Chairman thanked Mrs Gentry for addressing the Meeting.

157  COMMUNICATION BROUGHT FORWARD ON THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR

No items were brought forward.

158  STAFFING, FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

Minute number 101.  Councillor McGeough having been advised by the Town Clerk that Dr Bowser had not yet provided a response on how the Bideford Town Council funds of £20,000 were spent, insisted that a further letter from the Council be sent requesting the information.

Minute Number 102.  Councillor A T Inch advised that Councillor Pester’s name be included as the proposer (of the Recommendation).

Minute Number 103.b.  Councillor McGeough requested an indication on the replies requested for the next S,F & GP meeting, to date.  The Town Clerk advised that Torrington carry out bi-annual checks, Barnstaple annual and that she was also meeting with a Pull test contractor.

Minute Number 104.  Councillor A T Inch proposed, was seconded, that the Budget for 2017/18 should see an increase of 4.9%, instead of the Recommendation of 1.96%.  The Vote – For: 3, Against: 12 saw the proposal lost; the Recommendation remained an increase of 1.96% on a band D.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 January 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

159  PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 January 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

160  MARKET MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 January 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

161  TOURISM COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 January 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

162  RENEWABLE ENERGY COMMITTEE

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 January 2017 were approved and adopted.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

163  COMMONWEALTH (FLY THE FLAG) DAY – 13 MARCH 2017

Members agreed to participate in Fly the Flag at Riverbank House in a repeat of last year’s commemoration.

Councillor Langmead explained that he would be absent and would ensure that the Mayor would lead the Commemoration.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Council mark the Commonwealth Day at Riverbank House on Monday, 13 March 2017.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

164  A NATION’S TRIBUTE & WW I BEACON OF LIGHT – 11 NOVEMBER 2018

Members had previously received correspondence on the commemoration and remembrance of the end of the World War I with Beacons of Light being lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories at 7 pm on 11 November 2018 – a century after the guns fell silent.

Councillor S G Inch volunteered to take the lead role in organising a Beacon vigil at Pollyfield Community Centre.

Proposed by Councillor S G Inch , seconded

RESOLVED:  That a Lighted Beacon vigil be held on 11 November 2018; Councillor S G Inch to organise.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

165  NOTICE OF MOTION

Submission by Councillors D Howell:

“To hold a Save our Hospital Services (SOHS) Campaign public meeting in the Town Hall.”

Councillor Howell advised that the Motion should read Host as the SOHS would organise the Meeting.  He felt that a reasonable impetus was growing following other public Meetings.  He added that it was reasonable given that the Town had been at the forefront of the Campaign.

Councillor McKenzie seconded the Motion.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded

RESOLVED:  That the Motion is supported; the Council will host a public meeting to be organised by SOHS.

(Vote – For: 15, Against: 0)

166  TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 January 2017 were received.  It was noted that the Meeting was poorly attended.

Councillor Christie, responding to a misinformed and inaccurate statement by Councillor Julian desired that a letter should be sent to Councillor Julian (copies to Mr J Roskilly, Highways Officer and Councillor Hart, DCC) requesting clarity on his understanding that the Council had not accepted a money offer of £100,000.

167  DALC MEETING

Nothing to report.

168  TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL – UPDATE

Councillor Langmead advised:

•    TDC are in discussions with Redrow / Bloor Homes regarding the S106 agreement and community build in Moreton Park / Londonderry.
•    To date only one person had expressed any interest in Brunswick Wharf.
•    Devolution – stagnant.
•    Transformation – a regeneration working group (including him) has been set up to consider the disposal / future for Bridge Buildings / Town Hall.

169  BRIDGE TRUST

Councillor Christie briefed Members on the income, expenditure, charitable donations and grants figures.  He advised that the new Chairman is Mr Oliver Chope.

The business of the meeting having been concluded the Mayor thanked the members for their attendance at the meeting which concluded at 8.10 pm.



























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