Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. 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 Brenton and Councillor Smith. Councillor Wheatley was present as substitute for Councillor Smith.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 31 July 2023.


It was proposed by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin, seconded by Councillor Bach and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 31 July 2023 be agreed as a correct record.


(Vote: For 6, Abstention 2)


Public Participation

15 minute period for public contributions. The deadline for registering to speak is by 2pm Monday 11 September 2023.


None received.  Though, at the Chair’s discretion, members of the public took part in discussions during Item 212 of the agenda.


Action List pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To review the action list.


Chair reviewed the action list with members and the following was agreed:


·         Action 137 – Completed.  Following the set up of the Water Quality Working Group it was agreed to remove this from the action list.

·         Action 154 – Completed.  Chair updated members on the planned agenda item for DCC Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee on 21st September, which can be viewed at the following link.  It was also confirmed that North Devon and Torridge were planning a joint Committee and one of the issue suggested was dentistry.   

·         Action 192 – Ongoing.  To remain on the action list whilst a response from the MP Office is awaited.

·         Action 195 – Completed.  Chair provided members with an update since the last meeting and it was agreed to complete the action following today’s meeting.

·         Action 195 – Ongoing.  This action is to be raised at the Community Safety Partnership meeting in October. 

·         Action 199 – Ongoing.  Currently waiting to discuss the opportunity for a joint Committee with North Devon.



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 requested that the meeting times for December and March be changed to 10am.


Members raised concern regarding Stagecoach bus timetabling and the  impact of changes for members of the public.  The Head of Legal and Governance (& Monitoring Officer) confirmed that Stagecoach could be invited to the meeting, and it was suggested that this be raised under the forward plan.


Discussion moved to the state of the roads and whether Devon Highways should be invited to Committee.  It was suggested that HATOC would be the best place to raise these concerns.  The Senior Elections and Democratic Support Officer agreed find out contacts for the group and pass these to Councillor Thomas.


Mental Health Provision - draft response to Devon County Council Consultation

Opportunity for members to draft a response to the Devon County Council consultation on proposed closure of Link Centres and mental health provision in Torridge district. 


There will be a panel of guests attending who will be able to answer questions submitted from members in advance of the meeting.


Chair welcomed the presenters to Committee and provided some insight on why the Committee had been called, advising members that at the time of the meeting Devon County Council (DCC) consultation details about the Link Centre provision were still to be confirmed. Members were advised that feedback from the meeting would be shared with the DCC Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.


Chair advised that after hearing from presenters there would be an opportunity to discuss recommendations.  


Sue Matthews from Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) introduced herself to the Committee and explained the service’s involvement in challenging proposed changes to local provision in the past, as well background to the current proposals for the Link Centre locally and mental health provision in the district.


The impact of the pandemic was highlighted, along with the changes in Link Centre provision during this time. It was explained that following the pandemic these services had yet to be reinstated.  The impact of this change in provision for local providers and in terms of financial impact was noted and it was confirmed this was raised at the recent DCC Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee in July. 


The representative from SOHS also touched on the health inequality being experienced in Devon, alongside recent changes to service provision for mental health.


Anna Fors introduced herself to Committee as a service user and member of Friends of Bideford Link Centre. She went on to highlight the work that had taken place to inform the consultation process on provision and confirmed that since the DCC Scrutiny Committee in July the proposal for Link Centre closure had been withdrawn.  The new proposals were still awaited.


The level of support and recovery work provided by the Link Centre was explained for members. It was explained that the provision was for all severities, and most of the people accessing support from Link Centres have complex mental health needs. The pre-pandemic provision was explained as being a mental health hub, and it was stated that this is what NHS Community Mental Health framework recommends as best practice.


It was confirmed that there are no referral routes open to the Link Centre, but it was stated that there remained a high need for the service locally.  It was asked that the Committee support calls to reopen these referral routes. Chair advised this could be one of the recommendations considered at the end of the meeting. 


Sonia Gould, service user of the Link Centre introduced herself and spoke to the Committee about the need for referral routes to be re-opened for people to access support, stating that if referrals reopened it would be clearer how many needed the service. She went on to explain how the service had supported her, and noted that some of the alternative provision suggested through consultation wouldn’t be suitable for those with complex mental health needs. The importance of outside core hours support was also stated. 


The closure of the Link Centre in Holsworthy was highlighted, along with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 212.


Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To review the forward plan.


Chair reviewed the forward plan with members and the following was discussed:


·         12th October  - plans are still in place to hold the Community Safety Partnership at Brynsworthy.

·         1st November – It was confirmed that the focus of this meeting would be employment and education and invites had already been sent.

·         December –  This date was suggested for the planned Joint meeting  with North Devon District Council. 

·         Lendology was also suggested for the December meeting.

·         AprilPickwell Foundation were suggested and the Head of Legal and Governance (& Monitoring Officer) confirmed they were keen to attend and update members on their work.