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Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 21 July 2016 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:   

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

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

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


IN ATTENDANCE:   
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)

021   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor S G Inch (South Ward – personal) 

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

No declarations of interest were made at this point.

023   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

No Members of the public were present at the meeting.

024   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 June 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

025   CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

    •    The Chairman requested that a condolence card be sent to Councillor and Mrs S Inch on behalf of Bideford Town Council following a recent family bereavement.

    •    The former Consort of Barnstaple, Mr Elkin, has been in hospital.  It was requested that a letter is sent to him wishing him well.

    •    Members requested that financial information outlining the current financial position of the Wings project is requested from Dr. Paul Bowser prior to the next Town Council meeting.

026   ACCOUNTS

    a.    Members received the list of payments.

    Concern was raised at the condition of the planters outside the Pannier Market. The Town Clerk was asked to remind the provider of the terms of the contract.

    Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

    RESOLVED:  That the list of payments is approved.

    (Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)

    b.    Members received and approved the Council’s Internal Auditor’s Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2016.

    Proposed by Councillor  Howell, seconded and

    RESOLVED:  That the Council’s Internal Auditor’s Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2016 is approved.

    (Vote For: 8,  Against: 0)

The Committee thanked Councillor Bushby for his work as Internal Auditor.

027   MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS 

Presentment Number 1:

“That the Kingsley Road approach to Bideford (the football ground wall) is dirty and unattractive for a first impression when entering the Town.  It is currently painted pale blue with seagulls.  It needs cleaning and redecorating.  Must have an annual maintenance programme.  Invite local schools and clubs to take each section and perhaps redesign.”

Councillor Langmead advised that he had spoken with TDC Officers who have advised that no changes will be made to the Football Ground wall for the foreseeable future.  Members discussed the possible options for refurbishing the wall, including working with the Art department at Bideford College to paint “Bideford through the ages” on to timber panels, which could be fixed to the wall.  Councillor Langmead will contact the school to progress this possibility.

Presentment 4;

“That the Council write to all licensed establishments asking them to provide adequate facilities for the disposal of cigarette ends and maintain those facilities.”

The Town Clerk advised that letters had been sent to all licensed establishments as detailed in the presentment.  Members requested that she check who had agreed to provide disposal facilities for cigarette ends and that an additional letter be sent to Quenchers, as there is a particularly bad cigarette end problem outside their premises.

Presentment Number 5:

“That the Council seeks permission for a commemorative plaque to be erected showing Edward Capern (Bideford’s Postman Poet) who lived at 28 Mill Street (now Braddicks Funeral business).  Charles Kingsley who was a friend of the Poet rented a room in this house to hold drawing lessons for young men.  Edward Capern came to the attention of the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston for his patriotic poems during the Crimean War for which he was awarded a Civil List pension.  That this Council requests that this be added to the Heritage Trail.”

Both Councillors Christie and Howell have now spoken with Mr Braddick who has given permission for a plaque to be mounted on his building. Councillor Howell offered to progress the provision of a plaque.

Presentment Number 7:

“That Devon County Council be requested to install “dropped” kerbs at the junction of Broadlands with Karen Close, Cleavewood Drive, North Avenue and South Avenue to enable those using mobility scooters, prams and pushchairs ease of access.  Currently these is very limited on/off access to pavements unless it is a

The Town Clerk has written to Devon County Council and made the request detailed in Presentment 7.  She received the response that “drop crossings are currently funded from an aids to movement budget which is oversubscribed each year. Broadlands has been a consideration for a scheme for some time now, but other sites have been of a higher priority. While this is not a no, is it regrettably a not at this time. However, the area will be considered for the future should the funding allow.”


Presentment Number 8:

“The reinstatement of the Pollyfield footpath/cycle track and street lamps which have been removed following the housing development, to ease access to and from Chubb and Churchill Road.  That this Council writes to Torridge District Council to ask about the progress of this subject.”

The Town Clerk has written to Devon County Council and made the request detailed in Presentment 8.  She received the following response:

    •    As previously stated the path etc is not being reinstated and has been removed as per the Planning approval, the issued licences from TDC and DCC etc and the sale of the land to a Housing Assocation. So it cannot be         simply “reopened”.
    •    As many are aware there have been several ongoing disagreements with Strongvox related to their attitude towards the matter.
    •    The new path to connect from the cycle path to the Pollyfield Centre will be commenced shortly, which will provides a macadam link from Chubb/Churchill to the Centre, and is being funded by TDC. Hence access to the Centre         is being eased considerably.
    •    We have had some discussions with Cllr Robinson regarding the new owner of the Industrial Land but these to date have not come to any conclusion and we cannot obviously guarantee they will (as it is subject to land         ownership and money etc.)
    •    This details above are as have been stated over several months

Councillor Langmead advised that whilst progress is slow, TDC Officers are pursuing the reinstatement of the path in the correct manner, and reinstatement will be achieved.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the actions agreed in connection with the presentments are executed.

(Vote – For: 8, Against: 0)
   
028   PROJECT UPDATE

•    Councillor Name Badges

Members discussed the quotations and proofs.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That Quotation A is accepted.  Members should be asked if they prefer a magnetic or pin fastening.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 1, Abstention: 1)

•    Multi skilled Maintenance Personnel

Councillor Bushby advised that he and the Town Clerk had visited Northam Town Council Maintenance Personnel to look at their equipment, accommodation and to talk about their work schedule.  This proved an extremely useful visit.  The Town Clerk and Councillor Bushby have produced a job description, person specification and draft work schedule and have also updated the equipment specification.  Councillor Bushby advised that Jigsaw are willing to provide the Town Council with  a storage area where we will site a container.  The vehicle and tools will be kept inside the container, with an additional container being purchased if required.  Provision has been made within the budget for ground rent, but this hasn’t been requested to date. Jigsaw are keen for their clientele to work with our team if possible.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the proposal is moved forward with a set up budget of £35,000 (TAP money to be used towards initial capital costs) and an annual budget for ongoing costs of £50,000.

(Vote For: 8 , Against: 0)

It was proposed, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Town Clerk, and Councillors Bushby, Inch and Howell start the recruitment process and agree the salary scale within the budget provision.  This sub-committee has delegated authority to purchase the equipment required within the agreed budget.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

•    One Bideford Update

The Town Clerk and Councillor Langmead advised that The One Bideford Team feel that the employment of a part time Co-ordinator on a One Year fixed term contract (initially) is essential to moving the project forward.  The Fire Service and Intagr8 will put some money towards the project and Bideford Town Council still has £4,000 available towards admin costs.  Intagr8 could host the post on a temporary contract as a pilot.  The group will need to agree specific objectives and generate a job description and person specification.  Some funds will also need to be available for projects and travel costs. 

029   VICTORIA PARK FORT

Members considered the letter from the Town Band advising that they had performed on the Fort in the Park and that they felt that it would make a suitable location for a band stand.  The Town Clerk provided information on similar bandstands to that suggested.  Members agreed the need to retain the castellations on the Fort and considered columns on the outside, which would support a cupped roof.  A bespoke, locally constructed bandstand was suggested, and the Town Clerk was asked to contact Babcock in the first instance. 

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That the Town Council goes ahead with the provision of a bespoke bandstand in principle.  The Town Clerk will contact Babcocks and will also investigate the possibility of Heritage Lottery funding.   

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

030   MILL STREET/ALLHALLAND STREET CONSULATION

The Town Clerk advised that she had not yet received the designs or the costings for the proposed resurface of Mill Street and Allhalland Street.  However, in order to apply for the New Homes Bonus, she would need both costings, and the results of a public consultation.  She therefore wanted to be ready with a consultation plan and had contacted Julian Roskilly who had advised that it would be in order for the Town Council to lead a consultation.  He has suggested that once the plans are available we look at the plans and costs with him before going to consultation, to choose the most viable options.  The Town Clerk was asked to contact the County Councillors and the Senior DCC Officer to hasten the costings.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Bushby works with the Town Clerk and Mr Roskilly to organise a consultation on the resurfacing of Mill Street once the options are available.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

031   ANNUAL GRANT APPLICATION FORM

Members reviewed the Annual Grant application form.

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the Grant Application form is revised to include:
•    A section which details the spend of last year’s grant (if awarded).
•    Details of fundraising undertaken in the last year.
•    The caveat that the grant cheque must be collected in person at the Annual Parish meeting – unless there are exceptional circumstances preventing attendance. 

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

032   TREE SURGERY AT FORD WOODS

Members considered a request and associated details, from a householder at Rowe Close for tree surgery in Ford Woods.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That permission is given for the Tree Surgery as detailed in Mr Wolfe’s report, providing there is no cost to The Town Council.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

033   GRANT REQUEST OAPs

Members considered the belated grant request form received from the Secretary of the Bideford OAPs.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a grant of £500 is awarded to the Bideford OAPs.

(Vote For: 8, Against: 0)

034   GRANT REQUEST DEVONSHIRE ASSOCIATION

Members considered a grant request from the Devonshire Association with regard to a grant towards the Devon to Newfoundland Festival.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That a grant of £200 is awarded towards the Devon to Newfoundland Festival.

(Vote For: 6,  Against: 0, abstentions: 2)

PART II CLOSED SESSION

Proposed by Councillor  Brenton, 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)

035   STAFFING MATTERS

There is a confidential Minute associated with this item.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 19.47 pm.



Minutes of the Staffing, Finance & General Purposes Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Thursday 31 March 2016 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:   
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor P J Pester (Town Mayor)

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

South (Outer) Ward:   
Councillor D Howell

East Ward:       
Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:   
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor T Johns

120   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor A Inch (South Ward – Work Commitments)

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

Councillor P Pester declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 13 (Proposed one of the candidates).

122   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

There was no public participation.

123   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 February 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

(Vote – For: 7,  Against: 0)

124   CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

No items were raised.

125   ACCOUNTS

Members received the list of payments.

Members questioned the payment of refreshments for the contractors erecting the Market Hall shed units (PV No. 370) and asked that the payment be considered by the Market Management Committee.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the draft list of payments is approved  with the exception of PV No. 370 which should be presented to the Market Management Committee for consideration.

(Vote – For:  7,  Against: 0)

126   MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS 

Presentment Number 3:

“To erect a bronze form of Tarka the Otter at the Longbridge end of the Quay (opposite Mr Chips) to commemorate the book and pay homage to the wildlife that lives in and on the River Torridge.  The idea has attracted interest already from RSPCA and local media with a view to it becoming of interest to tourists. A local sculptor has been located.  Bronze is a strong material and will last for future generations. There will be a commemorative plaque made from slate and a local stonemason will do the work.”

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That Bideford Town Council match funds the amount raised by the Bideford Town Centre Partnership to a maximum of £7,500.  The funding will be on condition of the wording on the plaque being agreed by all parties and that it reflects the contribution the Town Council makes.

(Vote – For:  6,  Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

Presentment Number 1:

“That the Kingsley Road approach to Bideford (the football ground wall) is dirty and unattractive for a first impression when entering the Town .  It is currently painted pale blue with seagulls.  It needs cleaning and redecorating.  Must have an annual maintenance programme.  Invite local schools and clubs to take each section and perhaps redesign.”

Members discussed the possible options for refurbishing the wall, including working with the Art department at Bideford College to paint “Bideford through the ages” on to timber panels, which could be fixed to the wall.  However, due to the current ongoing negotiations by the football club to extend the lease, it was felt that an interim solution may be more appropriate, which could just be to paint and stencil the wall, or perhaps engage a street artist.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:   That Councillor Bushby will ascertain the cost per panel to engage a street artist (Andy Hamilton) to paint the wall, Councillor Langmead will check with Torridge District Council that planning permission isn’t required and The Town Clerk will arrange for Morrisions to be approached for possible funding, and will also ascertain with TDC whether any Section 106 money for public art is still available.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Presentment Number 2:

“To consult a specialist with regard to stopping the flooding at the edge of Ford Woods near to Rowe Close.  To look at options to remedy the problem permanently and implement them.”

Following discussion about the exact location of the area referred to within the woodland, and the nature of the problem, it was agreed that a site visit is required before any decision is taken.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:   That The Town Clerk arranges for a site visit.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

127   SECURITY OF BANK DEPOSITS

The Town Clerk advised that she and Councillor Howell had met with the Relationship Manager and Risk Manager from Lloyds Bank to discuss the security of bank deposits.  It has been confirmed that The Town Council is not protected under the Financial Protection regulations.  They provided documentation on the financial strength of Lloyds, which the Clerk had circulated with the agenda.  They discussed moving some funds to a 32 day notice account, to give a higher interest rate.  However, Members agreed that no monies should be moved until after the EU Referendum, but that the Town Clerk would continue to research some higher interest accounts.

The Town Clerk had also asked The Lloyds representatives whether purchases would be better protected if the Council used a credit rather than debit card, and whilst they thought this was the case, again they said they would confirm.  (They have not confirmed to date, but The Town Clerk had found information on line to suggest that the debit card was covered against fraudulent purchases.)

The Town Clerk had asked if a process could be implemented where the wages were paid automatically at the end of the month, and it was suggested that this could be done via on-line banking.  Councillor Howell advised that he could work with The Town Clerk to look at how this could work in terms of two sets of authorisation. 

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Howell works with the Clerk to look at online banking and that the movement of any funds to a higher interest account is deferred until July, but in the meantime alternative savings accounts are investigated.

(Vote – For: 7,  Against: 0)

128   MEMBERS’ ALLOWANCES

Members noted the report.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the allowances rate remains unchanged for the Financial Year 2016/2017.

(Vote For: 7, Against: 0)

129   QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY BEACONS

Councillor Inch advised that he had been in contact with Pollyfield and that entertainment and a buffet is being put together. They are hoping to arrange a Mayor of Shamwickshire and for both The Mayor of Bideford and Shamwickshire to light the beacon together.  The Tarka Pipe band will play, with the National Anthem being played before the beacon is lit, and Happy Birthday following.  A Message from Prince Charles has been received that will need to be read out.  It is hoped that the Boxing club will put on some displays.  The beacon will be lit at 7.30 pm.

The Town Clerk asked who would conduct a risk assessment for the event and provide the Public Liability Insurance and Councillor Inch advised that this would be Pollyfield.

Councillor Inch was asked to check if the Mayor of Shamwickshire needs to live in
East-the-Water and whether the spoof chain still existed.  It was suggested that the famous photo of the two Mayors shaking hands could be re-encacted.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That £100 is donated towards the cost of the buffet.

(Vote – For:  6,  Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)

130   CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, it is advisable, in the public interest, that the public be excluded for the remainder of the meeting.

(Vote – For:  7,  Against: 0)

PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

131   Railings and Wall at Victoria Park

Members considered the fixed price quotations for the proposed railings at Victoria Park.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the contract is awarded to Mike Burton, and that the option of galvanising the railings is taken.

(It was agreed that a crown should replace the ship’s wheel within the design and that the Town Clerk and Councillor Johns are nominated to work alongside Mr Burton on any design decisions.)

(Vote – For:  7,  Against: 0)

Members considered the fixed price quotations for the proposed wall at Victoria Park.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the contract is awarded to Matthew Westaway subject to the assistance with the installation of the railings cited on the quotation being included in the price.

(The Town Clerk suggested that she gets a quotation for the installation of the cycle hoops from the same contractor, as it would make sense to install these at the same time.)

(Vote – For:  7,  Against: 0)

132   Grass Verge Cutting

(Councillor Langmead declared a non-pecuniary interest at this point, as one of the contractors who has supplied a quote, cuts his grass.)

Members considered the fixed price quotations for cutting the grass verges within the town.  The qualifications of the contractors were taken into consideration.  Councillor Inch requested that two additional areas be added to the schedule.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the contract for two supplementary cuts is awarded to ISS. The Town Clerk will update the schedule to include the layby and verge at Little America and a small area at Devonshire Park.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0, Abstentions: 1)

(Councillor Christie left the meeting.)

133   CITIZEN’S AWARD

The Members discussed the nominations received for the Citizen’s Award. 

There is a confidential minute associated with this Minute Number.

134   Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That The Meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 6,  Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.11 pm.


PRESENT:   
North Ward:   
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P S Christie
Councillor P J Pester (Town Mayor)

South Ward:   
Councillor D G Brenton
Councillor A T Inch
Councillor S G Inch (Chairman)
Councillor R Wootton
       
South (Outer) Ward:   
Councillor D Howell
       
East Ward:
Councillor M Langmead

IN ATTENDANCE:   
Mrs H J Blackburn (Town Clerk)
Councillor  T Johns

086   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

All Members were present.

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

None received.

088   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

There was no public participation.

089   MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 November 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record.
 
(Vote – For: 9,  Against: 0)

090   ONE BIDEFORD

The Town Clerk advised that she had attended the One Bideford Meeting yesterday along with Councillors A T Inch and Langmead.  The agencies currently involved are moving forward with a co-ordinated Town Team type approach, with a “Go Live date” of 29th February.  The aim is to run the project for a month before the launch date which is likely to be on 3 April 2016 (to coincide with the Beautiful Bideford – Taking Pride in our Town day). Councillors Langmead and A Inch have agreed to be joint Chair of the “One Bideford” Project Meetings and the Town Council is being asked to lead this initiative.  Members need to agree on a level of support that can be provided.
The other agencies are contributing resources as follows: (this is an approximate list)

Police: crime scheme funded Radios, increase to radio coverage, anti-graffiti kits, “One Bideford” badges.
TDC: mobile phone, possibly office accommodation if required.
Fire Service: Some financial resource available.

The initial contact point for the public will be via a mobile phone (text), which will be held in the first instance by the Town Clerk’s Office.  After a month, the nature of the calls will be evaluated, and if it is felt that the phone should be manned by another agency, it will be transferred.

As the lead body, Bideford Town Council will need to provide some admin support to the Chairs of the meeting, and some co-ordination ability.  The Town Council will also need to generate and maintain a web site, and possibly co-ordinate targeted activities. The Town Clerk suggested a budget of £5,000 allocated as follows: Launch £500, website £500, admin/co-ordination £4,000.

Councillors Langmead and A Inch added further information about the radio system and advised that the concept is not to spend money, but to save money.  Both Councillors expressed their admiration for how well the group is working together and becoming involved in cleaning up the town. It was noted that the work of One Ilfracombe is perceived very well within their town.

The Town Centre Partnership is also very supportive of One Bideford.

Members also talked about the launch and the need for not just leaflets, but other ways of advertising the initiative (banners, stickers, press etc.).

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the contingency sum of £5,000 is put in the budget towards the launch of “One Bideford”, website and administration.  Delegated authority for the spend of the fund (within the allocated budget), is given jointly to Councillors Langmead, A T Inch and the Town Clerk.

(Vote – For:  9, Against: 0)

091   CHAIRMAN’S ITEMS

•     Flowers are being sent to the Macebearer, who has just come out of hospital.
•     The coach shelter on Landivisiau Walk has been vandalised.  This has been reported to the Police and the Insurance Company, and is likely to cost in the region of £1,200 & vat to repair.  Councillor Howell suggested it may be more cost effective to replace the end panel with a solid “Discovering Bideford” sign, and offered to look into the feasibility of this.
•     The Torridge District Council Caretaker who currently covers Bideford Town Council meetings is happy to continue to act as Caretaker for Bideford Town Council after April 2016.  If the BTC Meetings are held at the same time as Torridge Meetings, they will cover the cost.
•     A dummy run to move the furniture out of the Town Hall is being organised for Thursday 28 January – prior to the Town Council meeting.  The time of 17.45 was agreed, and the Town Clerk will arrange for an email to be sent to Councillors advising them of the arrangement and asking them to watch the Manual Handling video if they are able to participate.
•     Members requested that the next SFGP meeting on 11 February 2016 is held at 6.30 pm as it clashes with a Bridge Trust Meeting.  This was agreed by all Members present.  The timing of future meetings will also be placed on the next SFGP agenda.

092   ACCOUNTS

Members received the list of payments.

Concerns were raised about the payment to Torridge District Council for the Christmas parking.  It was generally felt that as it had not been possible to cover the payment machines, some people had paid, even though the parking should have been free.  The Town Clerk was asked if this revenue could be identified and repaid to the Town Council, with a view to it being passed on to a local charity.  Some Councillors also felt that some Members of the Public had been unclear about which authority was paying for the free parking days.
   
Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the draft list of payments is approved. The Town Clerk will ask Torridge District Council if the overpayment sum can be identified, with a view to donating this to Charity.

(Vote – For: 9, Against: 0)

The Town Clerk advised that following the payment for the arboricultural work in the woods, there were sufficient funds remaining to engage a tree surgeon to survey the boundary with the neighbouring estate, with a view to identifying any trees which if they fell, would land on property.  The affected trees could then be trimmed, to reduce the threat.  This was agreed, and the Town Clerk will organise some quotations.

093   GIFT FOR MANOR COURT SPEAKER

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and 

RESOLVED:  That a budget of £150 is set for a gift for the Manor Court Speaker.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

094   MANOR COURT PRESENTMENTS 

Presentment Number 4.

“That the Town Council prepares a list of properties and areas and presents to the Tidy Town committee to pursue and monitor including rubbish and chewing gum.”

A clean up day “Beautiful Bideford – Taking Pride in our Town”, is currently being organised by volunteers from both the Town Council’s Tourism Committee, and other local organisations.  The first day is scheduled for Sunday 3 April 2016.

Presentment Number 5.

“That a feasibility study be conducted to investigate the cost, location and general desirability of a bandstand in Victoria Park.  To consider adapting the existing Fort and utilise income from 106 agreements to finance the project.”

The Town Clerk advised that the Town Band have been made aware of the dimensions of the fort in Victoria Park, and are going to check if the area would be sufficient to accommodate them if adapted to become a band stand.

095   SECURITY OF BANK DEPOSITS

The Clerk advised that she had contacted NALC for advice on how to mitigate the risk of holding all funds with one financial institution, and had circulated the response prior to the meeting.  She has also asked Mr Norton at Torridge District Council, who has advised that their funds are held with different institutions to spread the risk. Members agreed that the sum of £200,000 could be moved to another financial institution, and Councillors Howell and Bushby both said that they had contacts, who could advise on safe propositions.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillors Bushby and Howell will obtain more information on investment possibilities for The Town Council funds, and will report back to the next meeting.

(Vote – For: 9,  Against: 0)

096     COMMONWEALTH FLAG

Members gave consideration to the procedure for raising the Commonwealth flag on Monday 14 March 2016.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and 

RECOMMENDED:  That on Monday 14th March The Commonwealth flag is raised at the Town Hall, with the Mayor and Councillors attending the flag raising at Riverbank House.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

097                                                                                                        QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY BEACONS

Members gave consideration to correspondence from Bruno Peek, Pageant Master, regarding The Queen’s Birthday Beacons – 21 April 2016.  Members discussed the whereabouts of the Beacon used during the Diamond Jubilee, and Councillor Howell offered to check with Pollyfield if they still had it.  Councillor S Inch suggested that The Town Council should become involved in lighting a Beacon and offered to lead this initiative.

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and 

RECOMMENDED:  That the Town Council supports lighting the beacon under the leadership of Councillor S Inch.  The Town Clerk will advise the Pageant Master that a Beacon will be lit in Bideford.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

098    FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Members gave consideration to the Financial Regulations as required by clause 49 and the suggestion from the External Auditor.

Proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and 

RESOLVED: 

That the Financial Regulations are amended to fully differentiate between the current auditor roles.  The terminology used will be as follows: Internal Auditor (currently Councillor Bushby), Independent Auditor (currently Mrs M Wilkin) and External Auditor (Currently Grant Thornton).

That The following clause is added to the Financial Regulations:

On a regular basis, at least once in each quarter, and at each financial year end, The Internal Auditor (who is not the Chairman or a cheque signatory) shall be appointed to verify bank reconciliations (for all accounts) produced by the RFO. The Internal Auditor shall sign the reconciliations and the original bank statements as evidence of verification. This activity shall on conclusion be reported, including any exceptions, to and noted by the Finance Committee.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

099   NOTICE OF MOTION: Councillor T Johns/S Inch

“To enhance the existing area at Victoria Park where the Old Public toilets stood, by erecting iron railings and a concrete wall to match existing enclosure of Victoria Park.”

Councillor Trevor Johns spoke on the background to the motion, which was supported by Councillor S Inch.

The Town Clerk advised that John Adams, TDC had obtained two quotes for the work, which were circulated to Members. More had been requested, but had not been forthcoming.  £3,870 TAP money is still available, and anything left over from the provision of cycle hoops can be put towards this project, as it will enhance the visibility of the proposed storage area for the cycles.

The Town Clerk has spoken with John Adams about whether it would be more efficient to install the cycle hoops at the same time as the wall enhancement, and he feels this would be the case. 

Councillor Christie expressed support for the project, but wondered whether the current railings could be replaced with ironwork which is more in keeping with the ornate gates, and which reflects our maritime history.  He suggested there may be FLAG money available for this.

Whilst there was general support for the original motion, Members wished to explore the enhanced ironwork proposal further.  The possibility of removing the bushes which are currently the other side of the fencing was also suggested in order to open up the view into the park.

An amendment to the motion was proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded and

RECOMMENDED:  That the original motion is supported, but that the possibility of replacing the current railings with ironwork which is more in keeping with the ornate gates, and which reflects our maritime history is investigated.

(Vote For: 9, Against: 0)

(It was agreed that The Town Clerk and Councillors S Inch, Christie and Johns would make a site visit and carry out some investigation into enhanced ironwork for the project).

100   BUDGET 2016/2017

The Town Clerk presented the draft Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2016/2017.

Members generally felt that the precept would need to be increased this year to make up for the reduction in Council Tax support grant provided by The District Council, followed by its complete withdrawal next Year.  Members also suggested that with continuing County Council and District Council cuts, more and more will be expected from the Town Council in future years.  It was advocated that any increase should be coupled with a full explanation to the public of why this is necessary.
Members asked The Town Clerk to amend the “Option C” budget to include £6,000 for grass cutting, which would be taken from the “Projects” Budget Line.

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 £ 399,101.00 in respect of the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2016 and that the Council’s reserves remain at £130,000.00.

(This will be a Band D increase of approximately 3.94 % or 56p/week).

(Vote For: 8, Against: 1)

101   CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor Pester, seconded and

RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, it is advisable, in the public interest, that the public be excluded for the remainder of the meeting.

(Vote – For:  9, Against: 0)

    PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

102   EMPLOYMENT ISSUES

There is a confidential minute associated with this agenda item. 


The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 19.37  pm.

 

 

 


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