Agenda and minutes

Venue: Caddsdown Business Support Centre - Caddsdown Bideford EX39 3BE. View directions

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No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Thomas and Councillor Bach.


Councillor Lo-Vel was present as substitute for Councillor Thomas and Councillor Hodson was present as a substitute for Councillor Bach.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 13 September 2023.


It was proposed by Councillor Harding, seconded by Councillor Smith and



That the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 13 September be agreed as a correct record.


(Vote: For 5, Abstentions 3)



Public Participation

15 minute period for public contributions. The deadline for registering to speak is by 2pm Monday 30 October 2023.


None received.


Action List pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To review the action list.


Members reviewed the action plan.


Members restated their concern regarding bus services in the local area. It was agreed to contact Stagecoach and request they attend a future Committee to discuss consultation and bus routes. It was also suggested that North Devon could be made aware of the meeting.


It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Lo-Vel and


To invite Stagecoach to future Committee.


(Vote: Yes, 5, abstention 1)


During an update on actions relating to the Link Centre provision members queried if the petition would be heard at Full Council and it was confirmed it was on the forward plan.


Following discussion on the Link Centre provision in Holsworthy and the previous venue for the Link Centre it was agreed that Cllr James and Cllr Shepherd would be asked to report back on their meeting.


Cllr Bach joined the Committee at 18:16. Following a query regarding substitution at Committee meetings it was explained that Councillor Hodson would continue as the substitute and take part in any votes.




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


Chair provided members with an update on the Mobile Library service and highlighted concerns regarding access to childcare provision, which had been raised with her by a constituent.  Members discussed the issues regarding access to provision and national policy and it was agreed the issue may feed into the future committee schedule.


ACTION: Councillor Brenton arranged to contact the Children’s Centre in Bideford for some perspective. 



Education & Employment in Torridge

To hear from partners regarding education, employment and apprenticeships in Torridge. 


Attending the meeting are:


Peter Morrish, Technology and Customer Support Manager Condition Monitoring Technology Group (CMTG) Torrington


Tom Hart, General Manager Harland & Wolff Appledore

Tony Cole, Training Manager Harland & Wolff Appledore


Chris Fuller, Economic Development Manger – regarding Northern Devon Futures


Sean Mackney, Principal and CEO PETROC

Bill Blythe, Vice Principal Finance Resources & Regional Affairs PETROC




Chair welcomed the panel members who had been invited to speak and provided apologies for PETROC.


The panel then introduced themselves to committee:

        Peter Morrish, Technology and Customer Support Manager Condition Monitoring Technology Group (CMTG) Torrington

        Tom Hart, General Manager Harland & Wolff Appledore

        Tony Cole, Training Manager Harland & Wolff Appledore

        Chris Fuller, Economic Development Manger – regarding Northern Devon Futures


The Training Manager for Appledore Shipyard (Harland and Wolff) provided a presentation for members, along with a short video which had been created by young people from PETROC and helped to show the role of apprenticeships at Appledore.


More detail was provided regarding recruitment processes and the timetable for applications.  The induction programme was explained, along with the general scope of the apprenticeship and how those taking part were supported to find their preferred skills.


Following the presentation from the Training Manager at Appledore Shipyard a question and answer session took place.


There was discussion regarding retention and take up of apprenticeships at the shipyard and the General Manager and Training Manager provided members with statistics regarding the take up for the last 3 years.  It was explained it would be 18 months before retention rates would be available as this would be when the first group of apprenticeships complete.


Members discussed how the apprenticeship worked for the person taking part, and the role of PETROC was highlighted in supporting the learning journey of apprentices. The process of matching someone’s skills to the needs and future plans of the company was explored and explained for members.


Discussion moved onto qualifications and speakers confirmed the expected grades and reflected on the changes in apprenticeship model and how the grading compared to University qualifications.


It was stated that apprenticeship salary rates were comparable with minimum wage. All speakers confirmed that mature apprenticeships were also taken on.


Chair passed over to Peter Morrish who provided a summary of his background and the work of CMTG. He reflected on the ethos of the company to provide lifelong learning and explained this in terms of apprenticeships - detailing the types apprenticeships that have been completed at the company.


The importance of the work of PETROC locally was restated and they were explained as a vital cog in the plans for the area moving forward.


A question and answer session followed, using the questions submitted by members prior to the meeting.


Members discussed gender balance.  It was explained this was a local and national issue within the industries present at Committee and there was acknowledgment of the barriers experienced by women, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 


Access to childcare provision, mentioned during an earlier agenda item, was recognised as one of those barriers. It was suggested that national figures on apprenticeship take-up may provide an answer.


The Economic Development Manager highlighted work with Maritime UK South West to raise profile of the sectors and challenge the potential imbalances and the Crown Estate was also mentioned in terms of their work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 221.


Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To review the forward plan.


Chair reviewed the forward plan with members.


Members were also advised that a date for the joint Community Safety Partnership Update with North Devon District Council was being considered and would be confirmed shortly.  Provisional suggestions were for 30th November. 


An update was provided regarding plans to arrange a joint meeting with North Devon on Dentistry.


The following additions were suggested:


·         6 December 2023 – Invitations to PETROC or Lendology


·         31 January 2024 – Invitation to Stagecoach.


·         13 March 2024 –  Active Torridge. Councillor Cottle-Hunkin declared a personal interest as a member of the Active Torridge Board.


·         24 April 2024 – Invitation to Pickwell Foundation.