Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Mary Richards, tel 01237 428705  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received form Councillor Langmead, Councillor Cottle-Hunkin and Mr Rice.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Confirmation of the minutes held on 19 June 2018.


It was proposed by Mr Harper, seconded by Councillor T Inch and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June be agreed and signed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:


Minute 3 – Action List - Compulsory Purchase Strategy


Deletion of the sentence, as this information was incorrect.


Devon County Council had put the former Manager’s House on the market, subject to the buyer being responsible for the demolition.


(Vote: For 7, Abstentions 2)


Matters Arising


Minute 97 - Cornwall County Council Rolling Investment Fund / Community Land Trusts


Councillor Whittaker to check when CLT presentation will go to Full Council.


Action List pdf icon PDF 52 KB


The Action List was reviewed and updated.


Minute 7. 19/06/18


End of financial year QBR – Land charges.  It was noted that the turn around figure currently stood at 8 days.




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.



Urgent Matters Brought Forward With The Permission Of The Chair


There were no urgent matters brought forward.


Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II


There were no Part II items.


Compulsory Purchase pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To receive an update from the Leader of the Council/Senior Solicitor.

Additional documents:


Councillor Whittaker stated that Torridge District Council did not have a Compulsory Purchase Policy in place and that the Senior Solicitor had drawn up a draft.  She outlined the purpose of the policy; the circumstances in which it could be used; the scope and legislative context; and the process for acquisition.


The Senior Solicitor added that the policy had been written so that it could be applied to any project going forward.  He illustrated the process using the flow chart appended to the report.


In conclusion, Councillor Whittaker affirmed her support for such a policy.  The Lead Member for Housing added her support for the policy also.


Members discussed the policy further, expressing concern that any owner subject to a compulsory purchase should not be put in a position of financial risk or be adversely affected in any other way and that, if possible, a safeguarding clause should be built in.  The Senior Solicitor responded that a clause could be inserted to prompt periodic reviews during a compulsory purchase to ensure that the purpose was still achievable; and to evaluate any unexpected impacts on owners.  It was agreed that an additional paragraph should be included to incorporate the aforementioned concerns. 


It was noted that the flow chart should read “proof of evidence and summaries” (page 2, process “Consideration of objections to the CPO by the Secretary of State”).


The amended draft to be circulated to all Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee Members.


It was proposed by Councillor T Inch, seconded by Councillor James and –




That the draft policy, with the agreed addition of a further paragraph, be approved and referred to the next Full Council meeting.


(Vote: For – unanimous)


Councillor Whittaker left the meeting.


GDPR Update

To receive a position statement from the Senior Solicitor.


The Senior Solicitor recapped that the date for implementation of the changes to the General Data Protection Regulation had been 25 May 2018.  In his capacity as Data Protection Officer, the Senior Solicitor had been charged with overseeing work to ensure TDC met its obligations.  A lot of work had been involved and the services of the Devon Audit Partnership had been enlisted to get the operation underway.


The Information Commissioner’s Office had identified a list of principles and the Senior Solicitor updated Members on the progress against that list as follows:



·         Training sessions had taken place for Members and Officers.

·         The website had been updated.

·         Populating the register required a lot of data input.

·         DAP had produced a general privacy notice on the website and had drawn up specific notices for various teams.

·         Approximately 50% of the required work had been completed so far.


Right to information and retention of data

·         There had to be a lawful basis for holding information – this had yet to be determined in some areas.

·         DAP was in the process of establishing whether there was a need for manual removal of some data from electronic systems.


Age of children

·         Less applicable to TDC as TDC was not responsible for children’s services or education.



·         Procedures were in place to capture breaches.


Data Protection Office


·         Registration with ICO completed.

Information relating to oversees data


·         Not applicable.


The current position was that approximately 2/3 of the work had been completed; the greatest risks having been prioritised but the rest of the task still had to be finished.  The Senior Solicitor warned of the risks if the work was not completed.  Fines can be imposed for breaches of the legislation up to a maximum fine of 4% of turnover.


The monies allocated for DAP to carry out the work had been spent and the Senior Solicitor did not have time to complete the task.  However, there was a legal requirement to sufficiently resource the appointment of Data Processing Officer.


The Chair thanked the Senior Solicitor.


The Strategic Manager (Resources) referred the Committee to the measures agreed by Full Council to address the resourcing and advised that a discussion had taken place with the DAP about further assistance.


The issue of software was a concern because some systems had been in use for a very long time and might not be capable of accommodating the necessary changes.  The Planning and Economy Manager stated that he was quite comfortable with GDPR within Planning.


In response to a question relating to the retention of information by Councillors, the Senior Solicitor advised that councillors were independently registered.  The asset register and retention schedule prescribed how long data should be retained.  It was good practice to delete anything you had finished with.


Councillor S Inch suggested that GDPR should be a standing item on the agenda.


The Senior Solicitor left the meeting.


Partner Evaluation pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To receive an update from Mr Topham, Non-elected Member.

Additional documents:


Mr Topham delivered a PowerPoint presentation to the Committee.  He explained:


·         That, over the last 2 years, he had interviewed 10 organisations diverse in size, funding and contacts.  He had met with Senior Managers and Executives and conducted semi-structured interviews.  Audio recordings of the interviews had not been made but extensive notes had been taken during the interviews


·         The principles of thematic analysis


·         The themes explored and the findings analysed from the feedback


·         The recommendations based on the feedback which had all been approved by the External Overview & Scrutiny Committee.


The presentation was discussed with a particular focus on the feedback from partners.  Members discussed whether the process could be adopted to evaluate internal partners.


The Chair thanked Mr Topham for the interesting presentation.



Progress of Tourism Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive an update from the Planning & Economy Manager.


Councillor Pennington declared an interest – his wife owns a holiday cottage.


The Northern Devon Tourism Strategy was presented by the Planning and Economy Manager.  The strategy had been written by John Vernon of ND+ in collaboration with North Devon Council and the Northern Devon Marketing Bureau and was to form part of a suite of sub-strategies contributing to the Economic Strategy.  Members’ attention was drawn to the page covering the strategic framework which set out the mission and themes.   The productivity plan presented the overarching goals that the strategy aimed to achieve.


An outline of the themes, principles and delivery and activity plans was detailed. The final section of the strategy addressed the measuring progress which presented a role for the internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee.


Members raised the following points:


The Mayflower celebrations in Plymouth – The Planning and Economy Manager confirmed that the Northern Devon Marketing Bureau was collaborating with Plymouth and actively involved.  The Ward Member for Torrington added that the Cavaliers were also part of the Plymouth celebrations and had already commenced the construction of a life size replica, all of which was supported by Facebook and Twitter.


Festivals – Consideration was given to whether the many festivals in the district could be co-ordinated and a large combined festival could be staged. The Planning and Economy Manager said there appeared to be a lack of interest and a shortage of people to support such an initiative.


The Lead Member for Community, Culture and Leisure welcomed the strategy but urged fellow Members not to forget the poor road connections.  The district was dependent on National Government to make better road connections and letters needed to be sent encouraging some sort of commitment.


The statistics contained in the strategy prompted debates around school holiday v. off peak and shoulder seasons; employment in the tourism sector; overseas visitors and the Visit Cornwall Company.


The Planning and Economy Manager concluded by saying that partnerships and enhancing the offer were key to the success of tourism in Northern Devon.



Economy Strategy

To receive an update from the Planning & Economy Manager.



The Planning and Economy Manager informed the Committee that work had commenced on a digital strategy and an innovation strategy. A meeting was to be held week commencing 13 August and a report would be brought back to Internal Overview & Scrutiny.


External Grants Task & Finish Goup

To receive an update.


The External Grants Working Group had met once and had looked at how councillors spent their grants and how this compared to the way other authorities use the grant fund to deliver their strategies.  An analysis was being carried out which will then be mapped against the strategic priorities. This will be considered the Working Group at its next meeting on 23 August.


Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To review the Forward Plan.



Items for the Forward Plan were discussed. 




Some performance information had not been quite ready, although the finances were, therefore QBR Q1 had been moved to the September meeting.


Council Tax Discretionary Discount


Had not yet been enacted and consideration of this item at the next meeting will be dependent on whether it is ready.


Affordable Housing


The Planning and Economy Manager will ask Rachel Webdell to attend the next meeting to provide an update on:


What has been achieved on affordable housing. 

The challenges of affordable housing.



The Effectiveness of LA O&S Committees


To be moved to November as the Strategic Manager (Resources) will not be at the September meeting.


Play Area Provision


Following discussion, it was agreed this item should be scrutinised by the External Overview & Scrutiny Committee as it was being considered as part of the much wider leisure offering, with a need for a decision by Members as to which sites should be retained.  Internal Overview & Scrutiny to be invited to the meeting.