Agenda item


There were three questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9.


In accordance with the Constitution a written answer to each of the questions had been circulated to Members.


Question from Councillor Lo-Vel


I understand that when charities apply to use the full length of the Quay they are charged the equivalent of the full hourly rate for the whole day for the car park i.e. £540 even though Torridge's own figures for the last five years show that the highest Sunday income for this car park in July was £285. Could Officers please explain this anomaly?


Councillor Lo-Vel

3 July 2023




All events that require exclusive use of a car park are required to pay the Council a fee equivalent to what the Council might earn from that car park on that day.  Cllrs who wish to be supportive are able to discount any fees for a charity event through the use of Councillor Grant.  This has been the policy position of the Council for some years.


The £285 figure quoted is not recognised as a maximumPay and Display income on any Sunday in July over the past 5 years.  An example is that on Sunday 17/07/22 pay and display takings were £356.


Question from Councillor Thomas


There has been huge concern in Bideford over whether or not Torridge District council and/or the police could have done more to deal with the situation after a group of travellers set up camp in the town’s Victoria Park.


However, regardless of whether or not appropriate action was taken, I’m concerned about the lack of communication with both the people of Bideford and elected local representatives.


All Councillors received an email on Monday from Staci Dorey regarding the situation, which also included a copy of a release issued on Saturday night – although it did not state who received this release.   Local Councillors did not.


Given that this encampment arrived in the centre of Bideford and soon generated very heated reports on social media, with widespread reports of anti-social behaviour, threatening behaviour, vandalism and theft – even if grossly exaggerated or wrongly attributed – it should have been very clear to TDC that this was a major public concern in Bideford.


If the Council were unable to take action, or thought action was not practical/realistic, do you not think they should have communicated this with the public – and to Councillors so that they could better explain the situation?


If the Council could have taken action but chose not to, should Councillors not have been informed as a priority?


Do you not feel that the handling of this incident reflects badly on TDC?


Councillor Huw Thomas

17 July 203





There are specific laws that we as a Local Authority have to comply with covering and protecting both our settled community and the travelling community.


During the week following the arrival of the travellers there were no specific decisions that were made around taking / not taking action, and by action I presume from the question that to be in relation to eviction proceedings.  There were numerous postings on social media that were not backed up factually, and or, accurately in terms of police evidence and adding further social media posts could have served in all likelihood to enflame matters further.  Therefore, in the circumstances the handling of the situation was dealt with in the interests of all those involved.


Councillor Thomas referred to the answer given and pointed out that his question was not about the process.  The answer refers to what the Council would do, whereas the question relates to better communicating situations to Members and the public and to explain why the Council cannot do certain things.   Members should be briefed when situations like Victoria Park arise.   



Question from Councillor Hames


Please provide a report on progress regarding restoration to working order of the EV charging points in TDC car parks which are currently out of action.



The Council is the process of reviewing the EV provision within its owned estate and will bring a recommendation for the provision of EV charging (targeted for this autumn).

The starting point has been to discuss, with the current EV provider, the working reliability of the EV points in our car parks and to seek improvements on that front.  There are currently 4 EV charging points on Council car parks, all working intermittently, and this is considered less than satisfactory.

Councillor Hames enquired as to whether this matter would go to the Councillor Climate Working Group.  The Head of Communities & Place advised that it could with agreement of the Chair.   The Parking Team had said issues with the charging points were intermittent and discussions have been taking place with the Company involved.  Details will be included in the report to come back to Members.