Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Mary Richards  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr Bines, Councillor Boyle and Councillor Boundy.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2018.


It was proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded by Councillor Simmons and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 March be agreed and signed as a correct record.


(Vote: For 5, Abstentions 4)





Action List pdf icon PDF 54 KB


Minute 61(2016/17) - Tourist Information Pages on Website


It was noted that the Blue Flag Award 2018 photo was on the web.  However, an update on the new tourist pages for the website was well overdue.


Minute 75 and 77 – Task & Finish Groups – External Grants and Effectiveness of Scrutiny


Meeting tentatively scheduled for 30 May at 10.00 am at Riverbank House.


Minute 79 (a) – Letter to Police & Crime Commissioner


There had been some confusion as the Leader had written to the Chief Constable on the subject of PCSOs, although it had not been copied to External O&S.  Councillor Pennington still required that a letter be written on behalf of the External O&S Committee to the Police & Crime Commissioner.


Minutes 79 (b) – Life Expectancy in Torridge District Council


Councillor Pennington circulated a paper showing the  statistics.


It was proposed by Councillor Pennington and seconded by Councillor Simmons –




A letter be written to the CCG, the North Devon Health Care Trust and DCC Care & Scrutiny Committee asking for an explanation of the figures. 


The Senior Solicitor to meet with Councillor Pennington to draft a letter.


Public Participation

15 minute period for public contributions


There was no public participation.



Declaration Of Interests

Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.



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



Agreement Of Agenda Items Part I and II


There were no Part II items.


Urgent Matters Brought Forward With the Permission Of The Chair


There were no urgent matters brought forward.



To receive a presentation from Anne Jenkins, Chairman of Trustees.


The Chair welcomed Anne Jenkins, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Clarity.  Anne presented the Committee with statistics pertaining to mental health, for example mental health accounted for 22.4% of the National Health burden, whilst receiving only 11% of the funding; the South West had the highest suicide rate in the UK. 


The Charity started in 1996 as a framework for supporting North Devon Mental Health Services and had evolved into a service which now looked to intervene and support people with mental health and emotional issues.  Staff consisted of 4 admin personnel and 2 counsellors/therapists.


The Charity provided the following Services:


·         Counselling on a 1-1 basis

·         General support group

·         Domestic Abuse therapeutic group

·         Let’s Talk – support group for those with enduring mental health or emotional issues


90% of clients came through the statutory mental health services, including support agencies.  Demand on the service had grown from 38 in 2016 to 193 in 2017.  110 clients were receiving therapy in 2018 with a further 160 on a waiting list.


The Committee heard that the Charity relied on grant funding and that Great Torrington Town Council had recently funded a Let’s Talk group in their town.  Anne confirmed approximate figures for funding services:


·         Let’s Talk Group for one year - £3,400

·         Therapy Group (without materials) for 10 people for 15 weeks £2,000.


The ensuing discussion focused on the causes of mental health and sought to identify more clearly the gaps in the Mental Health Services which were being covered by Clarity.  Questions were raised about the Charity’s working relationship with the Community Safety Partnership, Samaritans and other mental health organisations and the evaluation methods and their relationship with mental health organisations.  Members suggested Parish Councils may well be in a position to offer funding and asked whether the New Homes Bonus scheme might also be a source of funding.  The Community Engagement Officer advised the Committee that funds from the NHB scheme could be used for capital bids but not for staffing.


The Chair thanked Anne for her presentation.


Anne Jenkins left the meeting.


1610 Leisure Services pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive a presentation from Ian Blythe of 1610 Leisure Services.


The Chair welcomed 1610 Leisure Services.  The company was represented by the General Manager and Operations Manager, the Assistant Manager – Customer Sales, the Wellness Manager and the Assistant General Manager Swimming Sports. 


An informative presentation was delivered, detailing membership statistics, financial performance, customer satisfaction  surveys and customer feedback. 

Information was given about pricing and the desire to make the service affordable to customers.  Members quizzed the reason for the substantial increases in expenditure over the last year and were advised that boiler failure at Holsworthy and aging facilities at the other sites had contributed to the higher running costs.  Services contracts were now in place offering more breakdown cover and in some cases providers had been changed.


Members were concerned about the company’s cash flow as displayed on the slides.  In response, the General Manager and Operations Manager explained how membership fees were collected.


Members raised for debate the issue of cashless cards and were reassured about the security of the cards.  1610 had no intentions of turning anybody away if they did not have a card.  Furthermore, if  customers were not confident to leave credit cards in the lockers, they could be left with the reception staff.  Members cited cases where customers had said they would no longer visit the pool/sports centre.  1610 urged members to encourage such customer to get in contact with 1610.  It was noted that a cashless card could be used at any 1610 leisure site.  1610 would discuss internally the possibility of changing the front of house service and using self serve kiosks. 


1610’s chosen charity for 2018 is the British Heart Foundation.  Last year £15,000 had been raised for the charity, MIND.  


Maintenance arrangements were discussed and Councillors listed some of the complaints they received about the leisure facilities.  It was hoped that with the introduction of a new maintenance operative, people would start to see an improvement.  1610 requested that the list of complaints be forwarded to them.


The Committee welcomed a return visit from 1610.


The Chair thanked 1610 Leisure Services for attending.


1610 left the meeting.


Health, Wellbeing & Social Care (Standing item)


The Lead Member for Health, Wellbeing and Community Safety updated the Committee on:


·         a recent policing incident in Holsworthy which had links to mental health issues.

·         EPERB Jackets – Over £4,000 of the £5,000 required to secure 75% match funding had been raised.

·         Holsworthy Hospital - Press coverage had reported that the CCG had requested that the NDHT reopen community beds.  Although there was some cause for optimism, the deal had not yet been done.  The Lead Member was concerned that the views of Dr Womersley had changed considerably since his last visit to TDC and he recommended that Dr Womersley be invited back to a future meeting of External Overview & Scrutiny.

·         Holsworthy Hospital Local Stakeholder Group – District Councillors would continue to maintain the momentum to restore beds to the hospital.

·         Road Safety – A Task & Finish Group, set up under Community Safety Partnership, had been looking at initiatives and strategies to make the Link Road safer.  The Chief Inspector had been very keen to support Operation Snap, an initiative to encourage members of the public to send in footage of dangerous driving to the police.


Review Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB


The Forward Plan was discussed and updated.