Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:


No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting.


At the start of the meeting all members and public held a minutes silence in honour of Councillor Peter Christie.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Thomas, Councillor Lo-Vell was present as substitute, and Councillor Shepherd, Councillor Pennington was present as substitute.


Chair welcomed work experience students, who were attending to watch the Committee.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 31 January 2024.


It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Bach and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 31 January be agreed and signed 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 11 March 2024.


None received.


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 items.


Active Torridge

To receive an update from the Active Torridge Board - Judith Gentry (Non-Executive Director) and Sean Kearney (Director).



Both Judith Gentry (Non-Executive Director, Active Torridge) and Sean Kearney (Director, Active Torridge) provided members with a detailed presentation which covered the creation of Active Torridge as a company, the Board and the Governance arrangements and responsibilities that had been agreed. 


Members were advised of the strategic direction and over all aims for Active Torridge. The work streams the Board regularly review were then detailed along with the progress in each area:


A.        Active Customers

B.        Active People

C.        Active Environment

D.        Active Compliance

E.        Active Ambition & Innovation


The Non Executive Director then provided further detail regarding the big ticket items planned for 2024-25 and members were asked for their questions.


Members queried the terms of reference for Active Torridge and Torridge District Council’s (TDC) role in terms of scrutiny. It was explained that the role of External Scrutiny was to consider the community role of Active Torridge as the contractor, the impact for residents and whether this could be improved.


Members asked what work was taking place to provide development opportunities for staff at Active Torridge. The Director provided some detail on how this was achieved for staff of Active Torridge, and it was noted the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer was an internal appointment. A People Sub-Group of the Active Torridge Board met regularly to progress this work via a People Strategy.


Discussion moved onto the development of the Bideford Library as a new space for Active Torridge and members asked about the impact of structural issues of the building. An update was provided regarding the works taking place and it was confirmed these were budgeted for by TDC. It was explained that, whilst the long term use of the building was still up for discussion by TDC, Active Torridge were looking to provide a meaningful active space for the community.


Members asked about the disabled access to the old Bideford Library space. It was confirmed that a detailed Equality Impact Assessment will be completed but initial inspections show that the building can be made more accessible, and improved access via a different route was now being explored. It was stated that a solution was possible, and this would be better than current arrangements.


Concern was raised regarding the impact of TDC moving in to the sector for other local providers. Councillor Pennington proposed a recommendation that Full Council be asked to justify the move into Leisure Provision in Torridge. There was no seconder for the proposal.


This moved discussion onto the community referral scheme and detail was provided on how funding had been used in partnership with TDC to fund memberships and create accessible routes for people recovering from illness – to date around 100 people had been supported.   Active Torridge were looking to continue to collaborate with TDC on this work, though there was a dependence on subsidy.  


GP referral work was also noted and it was explained that this would form a significant part of the 2024-25 offer, alongside other innovative ways to open up  ...  view the full minutes text for item 246.



An opportunity to hear from Operations Director, Ellie Lister, and Service Delivery Manager, Harriet Del Rey regarding the work of Lendology and the support to Torridge District Council.



Chair welcomed Ellie Lister, Operations Director, who provided members with a detailed presentation. 


Members were advised of how Lendology was set up and how the investment from Councils including Torridge was used.  Compliance and auditing processes for the company were explained as well as accreditation.


Key features of the loans were explained for members, alongside the people that could benefit from their loans. Work on fuel poverty, with the hospital discharge teams and on upgrading rental properties were highlighted.


The recyclability of the funds was explained and how this benefited Councils and their residents. Members were advised that a Social Impact Report was completed each year.


The figures for Torridge were highlighted for members, alongside some case studies of Torridge residents who had applied.


Members were advised that a leaflet about Lendology was going out to Torridge residents with Council Tax bills and a Case Study has been filmed with a resident from Torrington.


After summing up the way forward for Lendology members were asked for their questions.


Members were positive about the work of Lendology and keen to share details.


There was a query regarding the conditions on the loans, and it was confirmed holiday homes and second homes were not covered.


Members noted recent statistics from South West Water stating that 10% of buildings still have lead piping and the implications of this on drinking water. It was asked if a loan would be available for replacement of this piping? The Operations Director explained the process that Lendology followed with officers from TDC and confirmed that a home owner could apply to change piping.


Following a question regarding those in rental accommodation it was confirmed that the Landlord would be responsible for applying; the effect of this was understood in terms of improvements to rental accommodation. The Operations Director advised Lendology were working to raise issues regarding housing and private landlords with Government. 


It was proposed by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin, seconded by Councillor A Brenton and - 



That a letter be written to the MP for Torridge & West Devon raising concerns regarding the issue of lead pipes and drinking water.


(Vote: For, unanimous)


Following a question regarding means testing the application process was explained for members, as well as how repayments were tailored to circumstances.


Members asked if there was signposting and awareness raising around access to benefits. The Operations Manager advised of an Income Maximisation Tool on the Lendology Website and explained this will be embedded into applications soon. It was confirmed that team members also receive training and signpost to charities like Age UK when needed.


The types of loan products were explained in detail for members and how these are used to suit the client:


           Capital Repayment Loan

           Interest Only Loan

           Interest Roll Up Loan


Whilst discussing awareness raising work members suggested Council communications that could be used to highlight Lendology’s work. Local Area Advisory Groups were mentioned and during discussion on the video case study members agreed to contact the Chair  ...  view the full minutes text for item 247.


Action List pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To review the action list.


Member’s reviewed the action list and the following updates were  provided:


212 – Chair advised members that a Devon County Council Cabinet Meeting was taking place at the time of the meeting. It was explained that the recommendation was  for Link Centres in Bideford, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple to all close.


Chair reflected on the work of the Committee to challenge the recommendation.  Members noted the outcome of the consultation process, despite the feedback from services and councils in the area, and shared their disappointment at the outcome. The impact on communities was noted – carers were specifically highlighted. 


217 – Democratic Services provided an update and advised that Stagecoach were to make contact with the details of the review.


220 – Councillor A Brenton provided an update and advised that contact hadn’t yet been made with the Children’s Centre and a Board meeting date was awaited.


Members discussed the new provision for child care nationally it was agreed that Child Care Provision would be added to the forward plan recommendations.


221 – An update from Chris Fuller will be requested.  Members also noted the Northern Devon Economic Strategy and the date of a consultation meeting was shared -  Tuesday 9th April at Petroc from 1pm


221 – Members agreed the action regarding the Chamber of Commerce could be directed to Bideford Town Council for their consideration.


230 – Actions from the CSP were confirmed as ongoing.


237 – It was confirmed Westward Housing were added to the Forward Plan for 2024-25.


238 – It was confirmed a letter had been sent to the Secretary of State and would be forwarded to members.


238 – Members agreed that the transport links action would remain, as Petroc had agreed to take this issue to Northern Devon Futures.  Chair arranged to raise with the Leader.



Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To review the forward plan for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

Additional documents:


Members reviewed the Forward Plan and it was agreed that forward plan setting for 2024-25 would take place following the AGM.