Agenda and minutes

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

Media

Items
No. Item

147.

Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

148.

Public Contributions

15minuteperiodfor public contributions(The deadlinefor registeringtospeak isby 2pmThursday18 February 2021.Toregister pleaseemail dem.services@torridge.gov.uk).

 

Minutes:

Keeley Alin, Mayor of Great Torrington, told members that the Town Council had been asked to comment on the Notices of Motion put forward by Councillors Bright and Cottle-Hunkin.

 

Great Torrington Town Council urged Torridge District Council to either keep parking charges the same as last year, or, if that was absolutely impossible, to keep the same level of fee for at least two hours.  It was hoped the coming year would be one of “retail recovery” in the small market towns.

 

Economically speaking, the retail trade had been through an unprecedented year of difficulty which had seen “non-essential shops” closed for 3 separate lockdown periods for almost 6 out of 12 months during the past year.

 

There was much hope that once restrictions were lifted, there would be an upsurge in spending locally.  This would be helped massively by low parking charges.

149.

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.

150.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II

Minutes:

There were no Part II Items.

151.

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

Minutes:

The were no matters arising.

152.

Budget 2021-22, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021-22 - 2025-26 pdf icon PDF 1018 KB

To receive the report of the Finance Manager & s151 Officer

 

To also receive the recommendations from External & Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committees

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) delivered a presentation on the Budget 2021/22, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 – 2025/26 with a focus on:

·         The impact of Covid, specifically the reduction in income from fees and charges, increased expenditure pressures and interest from treasury deposits

·         Funding sources

·         The 2021/22 local government settlement

·         The capital programme

·         Risks and uncertainties

·         The possible extent of the budget and funding shortfall

 

A detailed explanation was given in relation to the proposed Council Tax increase including projected collection rates and the effects of not making an increase.

 

The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) advised members that the figures in table 12.4 on the agenda were incorrect as they showed last year’s figures.  However, the correct figures were presented on screen.

 

Following the presentation, the Leader of the Council, commented on the pressures from central government on local authorities which meant councils either had to cut services or raise charges.  Although not optimal, it made sense to increase Council Tax.  The Leader referred to the Members’ Capital PID day, which had been attended by 30 of the 36 Members.  This meeting had given a steer that the council’s discretionary services should be protected.  He also spoke of the hardship facing residents and told members that the council’s Hardship Fund will be progressed with reports going to the Community & Resources Committee shortly.

 

The Deputy Leader thanked and commended the Finance Team for putting together the budget report under such challenging circumstances. 

 

A concern was raised that there had been insufficient discussion and ambiguity in the recommendations presented to both Community & Resources and Internal Overview & Scrutiny in relation to the increase in parking fees.  The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) stated that the recommendations in the reports had been quite clear.  The Head of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer) provided clarification on the call-in procedure and the decision-making powers of the Community & Resources Committee.  She added that, as no call-in had been exercised, the decision to increase parking charges stood.

 

Confirmation of the value of the council’s land and building property portfolio was sought, as it was cited as £30 million in the report, but the presentation slides gave the figure as £38 million. The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) will check and report back.

 

In response to a query about home working, the Chief Executive advised that the evaluation was ongoing.  He also provided clarity on the proposed next phase of the refurbishment of Riverbank House.  Some buildings had come to the end of their life, requiring the potential relocation of staff and there were specific works still to be done relating to heating and ventilation in some offices.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that a series of reports will be presented to Full Council for consideration detailing costs for options relating to leisure services.

 

It was proposed by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor Hodson and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the following recommendations made by Community and Resources to Full Council on the 25th of January 2021 and Internal Overview and Scrutiny  ...  view the full minutes text for item 152.

153.

Council Tax Resolution pdf icon PDF 172 KB

To receive the report of the Finance Manager & s151 Officer

Minutes:

Members were required to vote to formalise the decision taken in relation to setting the Council Tax and Council Tax precept. 

 

It was proposed by Councillor Watson, seconded by Councillor Manley and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the formal Council Tax Resolution for 2021/22 set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

A recorded vote was taken.

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

       AGAINST

    ABSTAIN

 

BOUGHTON, R

X

 

 

BRENTON, D G

X

 

 

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

X

 

 

CHRISTIE, P S

X

 

 

CLARKE, M

X

 

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

 

DART, A L

 

X

 

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

X

 

 

HACKETT, P J W

X

 

 

HAMES, P

X

 

 

HARDING, S

X

 

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HEPPLE, K

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

 

 

LAWS, N

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 35, Against 1)

154.

Treasury Management Report & Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive the report of the Finance Manager and S151 Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Capital Accountant presented the report, advising members that the Code of Practice on Treasury Management required an annual report to set out the strategy for the next financial year. He briefly explained that the Treasury Management Report and appendices set out the approach to managing cash movements during the year; prescribed the parties with whom money can be deposited; the amounts which can be borrowed; the amounts to be set aside for debt repayment and the long term strategic policy, linking asset management plans and strategic goals.

 

Members had expressed an interest in investing in green and sustainable enterprises.  This had been considered by the Income Generation Working Group and the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee had made the following recommendation:

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy be updated to include “Green Treasury Deposits”, and to prioritise such deposits providing:

 

·         With UK Banks (or Building Societies) that are F1 rated.

·         Investment Period appropriate for cash flow management.

·         The interest rate is within 0.2% of Standard Treasury Deposits*

 

*This sets a limit to the foregone interest of £2,000 per £1m invested per year.

 

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

That        ? The Treasury Management and Investment Strategy and Counterparty List, Prudential Indicators and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy be approved.

 

                ? Updating the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy to prioritise “Green treasury Deposits” as detailed in Appendix 6 be approved.

 

              ? The Capital Strategy be approved.

 

A recorded vote was taken.

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

       AGAINST

    ABSTAIN

 

BOUGHTON, R

X

 

 

BRENTON, D G

X

 

 

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

X

 

 

CHRISTIE, P S

X

 

 

CLARKE, M

X

 

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

 

DART, A L

X

 

 

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

X

 

 

HACKETT, P J W

X

 

 

HAMES, P

X

 

 

HARDING, S

X

 

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HEPPLE, K

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

 

 

LAWS, N

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 35, against 2)

155.

Pay Policy requirements of the Localism Act pdf icon PDF 337 KB

To receive the report of the Leader and HR & Comms Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive, Head of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer), Head of Communities & Place and Finance Manager (S151 Officer) left the meeting for this item.

 

The Leader of the Council presented the report, drawing members’ attention to the tables in the appendix which illustrated the levels and elements of remuneration for each chief officer; the full-time rate of pay for the lowest paid employee and the multiplier of remuneration of the Chief Executive and other officers based upon taxable earnings.

 

A question relating to minimum wage was responded to by the HR & Comms Manager who confirmed that Torridge District Council salaries comply with the national minimum wage.  The lowest hourly rate paid by Torridge District Council is £9.24 compared to the national minimum wage of £8.72.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor James and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the Pay Policy be approved.

 

A recorded vote was taken.

 

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

       AGAINST

    ABSTAIN

 

BOUGHTON, R

X

 

 

BRENTON, D G

X

 

 

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

X

 

 

CHRISTIE, P S

X

 

 

CLARKE, M

X

 

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

 

DART, A L

X

 

 

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

X

 

 

HACKETT, P J W

X

 

 

HAMES, P

X

 

 

HARDING, S

X

 

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HEPPLE, K

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

 

 

LAWS, N

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 Chief Executive, Head of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer), Head of Communities & Place and Finance Manager (S151 Officer) re-joined the meeting.

156.

To answer questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9

Minutes:

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

 

In accordance with the Constitution a written answer to the question had been circulated to all members

 

Written Question from Councillor McGeough

 

I would very much like to have the costings on how much money it costs to maintain the baby pool in Victoria park, cleaning the pool when rubbish is thrown in, the re-painting of the bottom of the pool when the paint has peeled off, general cleaning of the water for health reasons, glass being removed, needles and syringes being removed- of which I’ve witnessed myself. Can we go back 5 years to give a true costing as the pandemic does not give us a true indication.

 

It is my hope that long term the retractable cover will provide a cost saving to our council and predominantly provide the public with a great asset they deserve and in a safe manner.

 

The report on the informal meeting provided costings for the retractable cover over being £56k for the pool of which never made it to the Community and Resources meeting which is the correct forum, one motion was prior to the current Pandemic and was not acted upon! This was unfair to my residents within Bideford North Ward and Torridge as a whole. I also presented Two motions in total for this and I do not feel it has been dealt with the urgency it deserves.

 

Answer

 

The annual cost of maintain the paddling pool is very difficult to accurately pinpoint.

 

a. 2020 the facility was closed. – No maintenance cost

b. 2019 the pool had no maintenance because of the work done in 2018

c. 2018 a major overhaul and investment took place. Cost Circa £5K

d. 2017 the repairs were more extensive because the refurbishment was needed.

 

Each year there are recommissioning costs associated with getting the pool up and running for the Summer season. Each year we pay a specialist company for the recommissioning of the pool plant.  Annually this costs the Council £500 and this will need to continue even if a retractable cover is introduced at some point in the future.

 

The pool has an annual clean down and every few years a repaint. 

 

If we base things on an average year.  In 2017 we did slightly more than we would in a normal year and the total cost was around £1,000.  We paid £450 for paint and the labour was provided by the Park Wardens.  There were some small additional costs that haven’t been captured in that figure for things such as PPE, Tools, sand and cement, etc.  Total max cost £1,300

 

We do not capture the cost of cleaning the pool of glass and other hazardous objects because that is a daily task for the Park Wardens and comes at no additional cost to the authority beyond their salary and equipment already provided.  On very rare occasions the pool has been emptied because of and incident and there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 156.

157.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any)

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

158.

Notices of Motion

158a

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor Cottle-Hunkin

I propose that this council considers either freezing the parking charge for 2 hours at £1.20, or reducing it to £1 in our town centre car parks (Great Torrington/Holsworthy/Bideford) to encourage people to park for longer and spend more time in our town centres

Minutes:

I propose that this council considers either freezing the parking charge for 2 hours at £1.20, or reducing it to £1 in our town centre car parks (Great Torrington/Holsworthy/Bideford) to encourage people to park for longer and spend more time in our town centres.

 

 

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin explained that she had submitted the Notice of Motion based on the fact that there are 3 budget special meetings.  She felt it was logical that Community & Resources and Internal Overview & Scrutiny consider the recommendations and that the final debate be had by Full Council.  She referred to the agenda reports which stated the recommendations were to be made to Full Council.  She did not feel fees and charges had been debated in full enough detail at the previous meetings.

 

The proposal had been put forward with the aim of encouraging shoppers and visitors to stay longer in the town centres to support local business. 

 

Councillor Cottle-Hunkin read out extracts from correspondence from 3 members of the public in support of the Notice of Motion.

 

Councillor Brown voiced her support for the motion and spoke of the difficulties facing communities because of Covid.

 

The Notice of Motion was proposed by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin and seconded by Councillor Brown.

 

A recorded vote was taken.

 

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

    AGAINST

  ABSTAIN

 

BOUGHTON, R

 

X

 

BRENTON, D G

 

X

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

 

X

CHRISTIE, P S

X

 

CLARKE, M

X

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

DART, A L

 

X

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

 

X

HACKETT, P J W

X

 

HAMES, P

X

 

HARDING, S

X

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HEPPLE, K

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

 

 

LAWS, N

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 8, Against 21, Abstentions 7)

 

The motion was lost.

158b

Written Notice of Motion from Councillor Bright

I propose that we do not change the parking charges in Bideford, Great Torrington and Holsworthy car parks as proposed in the recent Community and Resources committee, and that we continue to use the parking charges for those towns which were in place previous to that decision. 

 

Coming out of covid we should be supporting our town centres, instead of giving residents a reason to drive to the larger chain stores who supply free parking.

 

Minutes:

I propose that we do not change the parking charges in Bideford, Great Torrington and Holsworthy car parks as proposed in the recent Community and Resources committee, and that we continue to use the parking charges for those towns which were in place previous to that decision.

 

Coming out of Covid we should be supporting our town centres, instead of giving residents a reason to drive to the larger chain stores who supply free parking.

 

 

Councillor Bright declared an interest – Councillor Bright purchases both a residents’ permit and a business permit.

 

Councillor Bright presented the Notice of Motion, stating that the recent changes to car parking charges supported neither residents nor businesses. He referred to the Community & Resources’ decision that car parking charges be increased by 50% per hour over the next 3 years, suggesting this would discourage people from going into towns, particularly as large chain stores offered free parking; a greater range of hours and had been less affected by the pandemic.

 

Councillor Bright made reference to residents facing cuts in household incomes due to Furlough or losing jobs because of Covid and to small businesses who had been forced to close or whose takings had been greatly reduced.  He acknowledged that the increased fees would balance the books but felt it did not take into consideration the financial strain on residents.

 

Councillor Bright amended his Notice of Motion as follows:

 

I propose that we do not change the parking charges in Bideford, Great Torrington and Holsworthy car parks as proposed in the recent Community and Resources committee, and that we continue to use the parking charges for those towns which were in place previous to that decision, whilst a review of parking charges and permits is carried out with a view to reducing the burden on residents and local businesses.  We could partly fund this using the surplus which was created by the recent budgetary changes.

 

Coming out of Covid we should be supporting our town centres, instead of giving residents a reason to drive to the larger chain stores who supply free parking.

 

Councillor Hutchings spoke in support of the Notice of Motion, stating that he wished to see car parking charges reviewed and come up for further discussion.

 

Councillor Inch declared an interest – Councillor Inch purchases a season ticket each year from Torridge.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bright and seconded by Councillor Hutchings

 

A recorded vote was taken.

 

COUNCILLOR

FOR

     AGAINST

  ABSTAIN

 

BOUGHTON, R

 

X

 

BRENTON, D G

 

 

X

BRIGHT, C

X

 

 

BROWN, M

X

 

 

BUSHBY, D

 

 

X

CHRISTIE, P S

 

X

 

CLARKE, M

 

X

 

COTTLE-HUNKIN C

X

 

 

CRAIGIE, R

X

 

 

DART, A L

 

 

X

FORD, L

X

 

 

GUBB, J

 

 

X

HACKETT, P J W

 

X

 

HAMES, P

 

X

 

HARDING, S

 

X

 

HAWKINS, C

X

 

 

HEPPLE, K

 

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

 

 

LAWS, N

 

X

 

LEATHER, C

 

X

 

LOCK,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 158b