Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@torridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Harding, Hepple and Inch. 

26.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 16 September 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed.

 

Councillor Lock referred to Minute 14, specifically that “consideration be given to agriculture within the Devon County Declaration, and the Agricultural Industry be consulted”.  She informed the meeting that the NFU had issued a statement to say they will try to achieve net 0 for agriculture by 2040.  A local branch meeting had been organised for 4 November.

 

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Hackett and -

 

Resolved:   That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Vote: For 27, Abstentions 6)

 

27.

Public Contributions

15 minute period for public contributions

Minutes:

Mrs Joyce Comfort addressed the meeting on the subject of homelessness.  She referred to her own circumstances and spoke passionately about the plight of the homeless in the district, the number of empty houses and unsuitable accommodation which often cost the Council a lot of money.

 

She asked that consideration be given by the Council to using Bridge Buildings as a wellbeing centre.

 

Finally, Mrs Comfort thanked everybody who had been involved in making the new Londonderry play area possible.

 

The Chair advised Mrs Comfort that she would get a written response.

 

28.

Declarations of interest

Members with interests to declare should refer to the Agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is being discussed.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.

29.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II

Minutes:

There were no Part II items.

30.

To consider correspondence or other business especially brought forward by the direction of the Chair

Minutes:

The following matters were raised by the Chair:

 

A request had been received to change the order of the agenda to bring forward the Atlantic Racquet Centre item.

 

It was proposed and seconded –

 

That:

 

The order of the agenda be changed to bring forward the Atlantic Racquet Centre item.

 

(Vote: For - unanimous)

 

 

The Vice Chair was invited to give an update on the recent flooding.  The Fire Service had attended an emergency at Bank End Bideford, although it was unclear exactly what had happened.  The Cattle Market car park had been under 18” of water and, once dispersed, traces of faeces and toilet paper had remained.  The Vice Chair felt this was a major issue which needed to be taken up with South West Water.

 

 

Members were reminded about the Council Capital Day scheduled for 4 November, and were urged to let Democratic Services know whether they would be attending or not.

31.

To answer questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9

Minutes:

A question had been submitted by Councillor Hames under Procedural Rule A9.

 

In accordance with the constitution, a written answer to the question had been circulated at the meeting to all Members.

 

Question from Councillor Hames

 

In the light of the proposed movement of 200,000 tonnes of pebbles from the Skern to protect Westward Ho! Golf Course (which was discussed at the recent C and R Committee meeting) I would like a report on how the movement will affect sea defences regarding the rest of Northam Burrows.

 

Answer:

 

Initially as a point of correction Royal North Devon Golf Club has submitted a request for the proposed movement of 20,000 tonnes of pebbles to protect part of it’s golf course.

 

At Community and Resources Committee 14 October 2019 the application was discussed in Part 2 of that agenda.  However, it was discussed in the open agenda Part 1 at the Harbour Board meeting on 10 October 2019.

We do not hold this information as Natural England are responsible for granting this type of permission.

 

32.

Schedule of Committee Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Service presented this item, following which the proposed schedule of committee meetings for 2020/2021 was approved.

33.

Atlantic Racquet Centre

To receive a Presentation from the Atlantic Racquet Centre

Minutes:

Mr David Vinall from the Atlantic Racquet Centre (ARC) thanked the Chair for the opportunity to give a presentation to Council on the facilities at the Centre.  

Anoushka Lynd, Financial Director, and one of the nine volunteer Trustees commenced her introduction by giving a brief history of the Centre.  She advised that ARC is a charitable organisation which was established in April 2015.  She provided information on the services offered, statistics on the users of ARC and financial details.  To complete the final phase of the build an estimated £510,000 was required - funding of £375,000 had been granted from the LTA, with an additional £100,000 from S106 monies from the Authority.

Tom Vinall, Head Coach and Centre Manager addressed the meeting giving details of the outside organisations that use the facilities and receive coaching – these included primary schools, behaviour schools, colleges and a Mental Health Charity.  The biggest Partnership in the community is Northam Care Trust.  ARC also operates their own Grant Scheme.

Mr David Vinall concluded the presentation by reiterating that ARC is a community Charity and not a Private Members Club.  He referred to the S106 monies for which he said the ARC are grateful, but added that the funds are required for the final phase of the build.   

The Planning and Economy Manager advised that the S106 monies are in relation to the Daddon Hill development in Northam and would not be released for a number of years.

The Chair recommended that this matter be discussed with Mr Vinall.

Memory sticks of the presentation and videos were available at the meeting for Members if required.

 

34.

Local Government Finance Settlement 2020 - 21

To receive a verbal update from the Strategic Manager (Resources)

Minutes:

A verbal update was given by the Strategic Manager (Resources), particular for those new Councillors who were unsure as to how the Government Finance System fits in with the Councils budget.

 

The update included the following key points:

 

The Government held a spending round last month and what that means for the Authority is setting the big picture scene in terms of funding for Local Government.   It was hoped that it would be a multi year spending review which would give the Authority more certainty of funding over a number of years, but unfortunately it is a one year spending round which does not help in setting the financial strategy for the next couple of years.

 

In terms of financial planning there is a Capital Project Workshop scheduled for Monday 4 November and a date of 3 December to start looking at the Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Following the spending round the Authority will then get a draft Financial Settlement and that provides the individual data figures for each Authority.  This is expected to come out between now and the end of November, with the final settlement expected around February.   If an election is called then the time table will change.

 

There are a couple of notable changes in the spending round in terms of finances for Local Government, these are :

 

·         The allocation of New Homes Bonus which had been used to support Capital Investment, to support the Revenue budget and to support the Community Grant Scheme.  As the allocation planned for the next financial year is for one year only, it is likely the Scheme will change from 2021/22 and be replaced by something else.

 

·         Council Tax Referendum Limit indicated to be set at 2% for 2020-21, which is a change from previous years where it was greater of 2% or £5 per Band D – further information to be brought to Members when received.

 

 

35.

Treasury Management pdf icon PDF 394 KB

To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources) which had been deferred from 16 September 2019 Full Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager (Resources) presented this item, which had been deferred at the Council meeting held on16 September 2019, to enable Members to have sight of information with regard to historic loans.

The Strategic Manager (Resources) addressed the concerns raised by Members at the previous meeting, and confirmed that no loans had been given out in the last five years.

Councillor Christie referred to ethical investment and asked whether the Authority had given consideration to this type of investment and disinvesting in bodies directly opposed to climate change.   The Strategic Manager (Resources) advised that if Members wished to consider ethical investment it is possible.  However, Internal Overview & Scrutiny had recently reviewed the Treasury Management Policy but had made no recommendations to change it. 

Councillor Ford referred to recommendation 3, and asked that it be noted he was against setting the limit for Local loans at £250,000 and recommended it be lowered to £100,000.

Councillor Newton proposed that recommendation 3 should include the following:

·         That the requirement for such loans to include that there be an identifiable benefit to the local community,  and

 

·         That the Authority retain control of every such loan, and therefore all loans to be subject to support from Community & Resources Committee and endorsement by Full Council.

Councillor Newton endorsed that £250,000 was a realistic limit.

The Strategic Manager (Resources) advised that in any event if approved it would be reported to Community & Resources Committee and then to Full Council.

It was proposed by Councillor Newton, seconded by Councillor McGeough and –

Resolved:

·         That the Treasury Management Report for 2018/19 be noted.

 

·         That the Actual Prudential Indicators for 2018/19 be noted.

 

·         That the update to the TM Policy for Local Loans as set out in appendix 2 attached to the report and setting the limit for Local loans at £250,000 be approved.  To also include a statement that any loan to have an identifiable benefit to the local community and to reiterate the process of approving all loans, and all loans to be scrutinised by Community & Resources Committee and endorsed by Full Council.

 

(Vote: For 27, Against 5, Abstentions 1)

 

36.

Strategic Plan pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To receive the report of the Leader/Head of Paid Service

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Paid Service presented this item, the purpose of which was to advise Members on the progress to date and to agree the next steps.  A brief overview of the report was given.

Members noted the work that had been carried out to date and that further works are required to be undertaken to prepare a draft Strategic Plan.   The draft Plan to be brought back to Full Council for adoption and approval.

 

37.

Climate Change pdf icon PDF 725 KB

To receive a presentation from the Lead Member for Climate Change.

Minutes:

Councillor Hames, Lead Member for Climate Change, gave a slide presentation, following which there was a question and answer session.

 

The slide presentation highlighted the following:

 

·         The Climate Emergency Response – Members were advised on the progress of the Council’s own Climate Emergency Response Project and will be asked to approve that TDC sign up to the Devon County Climate Declaration.

 

·         Devon County Council Climate Emergency Declaration – a declaration in February 2019 committed DCC to carbon neutrality by 2050.   In October 2019 this target had changed to 2030 and the Carbon Plan to be expanded to include biodiversity.

 

·         County Structure – this included a Net Zero Task Force consisting of 14 members with expertise in topics relevant to carbon reduction and Chaired by a leading climate expert – Professor Devine-Wright.   Emphasis was put on the importance for TDC’s Plan and action to complement and support the County Carbon Plan whilst ensuring that efforts are not duplicated.

 

·         TDC declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 – to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  Goal – to develop for approval an updated Carbon Plan for Torridge by the end of the financial year.

 

·         Devon Climate Declaration – prepared by a consortium of public, private and voluntary organisations collaborating through a Devon Climate Emergency Response Group.   Individually a review (within six months) will be undertaken of the plans to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions to meet or exceed targets, including ensuring those we carry out business with are doing the same.  A report of carbon emissions to be published annually.

 

Councillor Craigie referred to her previous amendment to have a Councillor Climate Change Working Group to ensure that a wide range of what can be done in the area is looked at.  Despite a vote having been taken for a Working Group to be set up, this had not happened. 

 

Councillor James advised that the Climate Change Working Group was for Officers to build up a programme of what to look at and then to open up to a wider Working Group.  Natural England have agreed for their Officers to continue the work on biodiversity and will submit a report in due course.

 

The Leader, Councillor Dart, explained the Authority had signed up to be part of a pioneering project via the Local Plan Working Group because of joint working with ND Council.  

 

Councillor James explained Officers are now preparing Supplemental Planning Documents which includes biodiversity.

 

The Planning and Economy Manager responded to an enquiry raised by Councillor Christie regarding the Local Plan which did not allow permission to be granted for wind turbines.   Following a proposal by Councillor Bushby to vote to make changes to the Plan at the meeting, the Head of Paid Service explained that a decision cannot be made at the meeting and reminded Council it had been a Member decision not to include wind turbines/Energy Policy in the Local Plan. The Local Plan had been approved by the Planning Inspectorate and any changes would again need to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Constitution Working Group

To receive a verbal update from the Leader/Head of Paid Service.

Minutes:

The following verbal update was given by the Leader, Councillor Dart:

 

  • Group Leaders had selected representatives from their Group to sit on the Working Group, but if required, a more appropriate person could still be selected.
  • The next meeting of the Working Group to be held on 5 November.
  • Meetings previously held had been positive.
  • All Members interested were encouraged to attend the meetings.

 

39.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any)

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

40.

Notices of Motion

40a

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor Cottle-Hunkin

Great Torrington Town Council passed this motion at their Full Council meeting on Thursday 5th September 2019:

 

“Great Torrington Town Council recognise the importance and the urgency of the climate crisis we are currently in and are working on solutions to the problem.  

 

“Great Torrington Town Council would support a planning policy to make it compulsory for all new builds (for dwelling and employment use) to have sources of renewable energy (such as solar panels) fitted and ready to use on completion.

 

“Great Torrington Town Council also propose that Torridge District Council should lead the way on this and fit solar panels on the roof of Great Torrington’s swimming pool and other Council-owned buildings across Torridge.”

 

I would ask that Torridge District Council support this motion and extend it to the whole of the area and lobby the Government where necessary.  As well as the use of renewable energies it is also essential to include in any policy the importance of energy efficiency of buildings both in terms of design and materials used.

 

Minutes:

Great Torrington Town Council passed this motion at their Full Council meeting on Thursday 5th September 2019:

 

“Great Torrington Town Council recognise the importance and the urgency of the climate crisis we are currently in and are working on solutions to the problem. 

 

“Great Torrington Town Council would support a planning policy to make it compulsory for all new builds (for dwelling and employment use) to have sources of renewable energy (such as solar panels) fitted and ready to use on completion.

 

“Great Torrington Town Council also propose that Torridge District Council should lead the way on this and fit solar panels on the roof of Great Torrington’s swimming pool and other Council-owned buildings across Torridge.”

 

I would ask that Torridge District Council support this motion and extend it to the whole of the area and lobby the Government where necessary.  As well as the use of renewable energies it is also essential to include in any policy the importance of energy efficiency of buildings both in terms of design and materials used.

 

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin presented the Notice of Motion and added supplementary information on climate change.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Craigie and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the Notice of Motion be referred to the Climate Change Working Group.

 

Councillor Craigie spoke about the benefits of fitting solar panels, making the suggestion that future Councillor Grants be reduced to £1000 per Councillor leaving £36,000 which could be put towards solar panels to the roof of Great Torrington’s swimming pool.

 

(Vote: For 28, Against 5, Abstentions 1)

 

Councillor Laws left the meeting.

40b

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor D Bushby

That Torridge District Council seriously look at re-establishing a direct labour force.

 

The town councils of both Bideford and Northam have done this and it has proven to be very effective in terms of work done and value for money.

 

 

Minutes:

That Torridge District Council seriously look at re-establishing a direct labour force.

 

The town councils of both Bideford and Northam have done this and it has proven to be very effective in terms of work done and value for money.

 

Councillor Bushby presented the Notice of Motion.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Gubb and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the Notice of Motion be referred to the Community & Resources Committee.

 

(Vote: For 16, Against 15, Abstentions 2)

 

The motion was carried.

 

 

40c

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor D Bushby

That due to the fact that we have a new council, with roughly half that number being newly elected and having no knowledge whatsoever about any development on Brunswick wharf, and several members of the previous council having little or no knowledge of what is proposed or not, that all such negotiations with the preferred developer be shelved with immediate effect. Also that any future development of this area be subject to full public consultation to decide the way forward. 

 

I realise that this may incur costs on the council but consider this to be the lesser of two evils.

 

 

Minutes:

That due to the fact that we have a new council, with roughly half that number being newly elected and having no knowledge whatsoever about any development on Brunswick wharf, and several members of the previous council having little or no knowledge of what is proposed or not, that all such negotiations with the preferred developer be shelved with immediate effect. Also that any future development of this area be subject to full public consultation to decide the way forward. 

 

I realise that this may incur costs on the council but consider this to be the lesser of two evils.

 

 

Prior to presentation of the Notice of Motion, Councillor Langford raised a Point of Order, referring to paragraph A5.2 (d) of the Constitution.  She believed this clause of the Constitution allowed for debate on the Notice of Motion.  The Senior Solicitor advised that the Constitution set out quite clearly that no further discussion was permitted, citing paragraph A6.1.

 

The Notice of Motion was presented by Councillor Bushby and seconded by Councillor Craigie.

 

A vote was taken.

 

(Vote: For 6, Against 23, Abstention 4)

 

The motion was lost.

 

Councillor Ford wished to have recorded that he had abstained.

 

 

 

 

40d

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor D McGeough

That Torridge install two swings, which are suitable for use by children with physical disabilities.  One swing to be installed in Victoria Park and the other swing at the Pollyfield Play area.  This will provide Inclusion in play activities for children with physical disabilities.  I believe this is a moral duty of the district council to provide such facilities in the 21st century.

 

 

 

Minutes:

That Torridge install two swings, which are suitable for use by children with physical disabilities.  One swing to be installed in Victoria Park and the other swing at the Pollyfield Play area.  This will provide Inclusion in play activities for children with physical disabilities.  I believe this is a moral duty of the district council to provide such facilities in the 21st century.

 

Councillor McGeough presented the Notice of Motion.

 

Councillor Christie proposed an amendment to the Notice of Motion that all the papers developed by Bideford Town Council be made available to the Community & Resources Committee.  Councillor McGeough agreed to the amendment.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Clarke.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Notice of Motion be referred to the Community & Resources Committee/Capital Programme and for consideration within the developing Play Strategy.  All the papers developed by Bideford Town Council will be made available to the Community & Resources Committee.

 

(Vote: For 20, Against 10, Abstentions 3)

 

The motion was carried.

 

 

40e

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor D McGeough

I would urge the members to support a retractable cover for the pool in Victoria park, we have lots of anti social behaviour in the park with mindless people throwing glass into the small pool.     A cover would prevent this and provide every resident and visitor to the park with peace of mind when choosing to use this great facility in Torridge!

 

Minutes:

I would urge the members to support a retractable cover for the pool in Victoria Park, we have lots of anti social behaviour in the park with mindless people throwing glass into the small pool.  A cover would prevent this and provide every resident and visitor to the park with peace of mind when choosing to use this great facility in Torridge!

 

Councillor McGeough presented the Notice of Motion adding that this measure would also reduce costs to the Council.  Furthermore, he was happy to procure funding as well.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Inch and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the Notice of Motion be referred to the Community & Resources Committee/Capital Programme.

 

(Vote: For 27, Against 4, Abstentions 2)

40f

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor D McGeough

The cleaning of the Kingsley statue is in urgent need of attention. The statue belongs to TDC and the BTC who cleaned it as a manor court presentment back in 2012-13, at the cost of the Town Council’s budget  As the ward member lots of residents have asked me to carry out this request.  After chatting with Sean Kearney I can confirm the Town council has not contacted him or TDC for the Maintenance team to clean it.    So I now look for our authority to do so.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The cleaning of the Kingsley statue is in urgent need of attention. The statue belongs to TDC and the BTC who cleaned it as a manor court presentment back in 2012-13, at the cost of the Town Council’s budget  As the ward member lots of residents have asked me to carry out this request.  After chatting with Sean Kearney I can confirm the Town council has not contacted him or TDC for the Maintenance team to clean it.    So I now look for our authority to do so.

 

Councillor McGeough presented  the Notice of Motion.  He advised the meeting that he had provided the Authority with all of the information and pointed out that last time the statue was cleaned it had been expensive as repairs had been required.  Councillor McGeough will provide the scaffolding gratis and without advertisement.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Christie.  Councillor Christie gave the Notice of Motion his wholehearted support, particularly as 2019 commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Kingsley. 

 

Resolved:

 

That the Notice of Motion be referred to Community & Resources.

 

(Vote: For 31, Against 2)

 

 

40g

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor Ford

The consultation for the restructuring of the Fire and Rescue Service has been extended.

 

However, I have been talking to other Councils where closures have been proposed and it has been suggested that we join together to fund a Judicial Review of the process.

 

I would like to get support in principle to join in with this but recognise our financial position.

 

If this Notice of Motion is supported tonight, I would ask that Community and Resources Committee consider a contribution of £2,500 - £5,000.

Minutes:

The consultation for the restructuring of the Fire and Rescue Service has been extended.

 

However, I have been talking to other Councils where closures have been proposed and it has been suggested that we join together to fund a Judicial Review of the process.

 

I would like to get support in principle to join in with this but recognise our financial position.

 

If this Notice of Motion is supported tonight, I would ask that Community and Resources Committee consider a contribution of £2,500 - £5,000.

 

Councillor Ford commenced by thanking Members and Officers for their support and guidance in putting together the paper.  He told members that he believed North Devon Council and Somerset Council were putting forward a similar Notices of Motion as were several parish councils.

 

The Notice of Motion was seconded by Councillor Hackett.

 

Councillor Hackett gave details of the potential impact if the Fire Service proposals were to be passed.  He stated that the figures provided in the consultation were flawed.

 

Councillor Inch declared an interest – dual hatted, Devon County Council. 

 

The suspension of procedural rules was raised and the Senior Solicitor re-iterated the advice given earlier.

 

Councillor Jones raised a Point of Order, seeking clarification that the judicial review was being sought of the basis of procedural impropriety.  This was confirmed.

 

It was proposed, seconded and agreed that a recorded vote be taken.

 

The votes to refer the Notice of Motion to the Community & Resources Committee were recorded as follows:

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

BOUGHTON, R

X

 

 

BRENTON, D G

X

 

 

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

 

CHRISTIE, P S

X

 

 

CLARKE, M

X

 

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

DART, A L

X

 

 

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

X

 

 

HACKETT, P J W

X

 

 

HAMES, P

X

 

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HICKS, R H

X

 

 

HODSON, C

X

 

 

HURLEY, D

X

 

 

HUTCHINGS, J

X

 

 

INCH, A T

X

 

 

JAMES, K J

X

 

 

JONES, D

X

 

 

LANGFORD, S

X

 

 

LEATHER, C

X

 

 

LOCK, R A

X

 

 

McGEOUGH, D A D

X

 

 

McKENZIE, J

X

 

 

MANLEY, J

X

 

 

NEWTON, S

X

 

 

PENNINGTON, P W

X

 

 

ROSSI, G

X

 

 

WATSON, P

X

 

 

WISEMAN, R

X

 

 

 

(Vote: For – unanimous)

 

The motion to refer the Notice of Motion to Community & Resources was carried.