Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Roome and Wilkinson.


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2024 (attached). pdf icon PDF 325 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2024 (circulated previously), be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Items brought forward which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency.


The Chair invited Councillor Prowse to address the Committee with an update on the Ilfracombe Watersports centre.


Councillor Prowse advised the Committee that the Larkstone Watersports Hub, Ilfracombe had won the Michelmores Property Awards 2024.


The project cost in the end was £3.4 million with £250,000 contribution coming from the Council.  The creation of this hub meant there was a great facility to visit around the harbour when coming to the town.  He wanted to mention all the partners who had been involved in the project particularly the local building firm Pearce’s, Grainge Architects from Exeter who designed the project, Hills, Craddys, Hulley and Kirkwood, Hop Consulting, Teignmouth Maritime Services, Aquatonics and of course Pearce construction.  He also thanked the Head of Place, Property and Regeneration the project Lead officer and also most importantly the Property Manager, who he invited to say a few words.


The Property Manager addressed the committee, on her return to work at the Council in 2020 she was assigned the job, which has provided many learning opportunities.  The link from the balcony to the top of the old Kiln building had recently been completed which would increase the table covers that the café could offer.  This project had been a challenge but very worthwhile to be involved with.




Declarations of Interests.

Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Interests must be re-declared when the item is called. A declaration of interest under the Code of Conduct will be a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, an Other Registrable Interest or a Non-Registrable Interest.  If the item directly relates to your interest you must declare the interest and leave the room for the item, save in the case of Other Registrable Interests or Non-Registrable Interests where you may first speak on the item as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak.  If the matter does not directly relate to your interest but still affects it then you must consider whether you are affected to a greater extent than most people and whether a reasonable person would consider your judgement to be clouded, if you are then you must leave the room for the item (although you may speak as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak) or, if you are not, then you can declare the interest but still take part).


There were no declarations of interest announced.


Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive (attached) pdf icon PDF 405 KB

To note the urgent decisions that have been made by the Chief Executive in accordance with paragraph 3.45, Annexe 2, Part 3 of the Constitution.


·         Review Urgent Decision - 1 Lyndale Terrace - Revocation under s97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


·         Revocation of Braunton AQMA No1.


·         Ilfracombe Public Space Protection Order - Consultation

Additional documents:


The Chair brought forward item 16 Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive (attached) to allow Councillor Liz Spear to address the committee in relation to the Revocation of Braunton Air Quality Management Area No.1.


The Committee considered the Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive (circulated previously).


The Chief Executive explained that this item was for Committee to note decisions already taken by him.


Councillor Spear addressed the Committee and explained that she had been involved with the issue of air quality in Braunton before the inception of the Air Quality Management Area.  She welcomed the revocation as this indicated that there was less pollution and certainly the introduction of Electrically Charged Vehicles had helped with this reduction in pollution.


RESOLVED that the following urgent decisions taken by the Chief Executive be noted:

(a)  Review Urgent Decision – 1 Lyndale Terrace – Revocation under s97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

(b)  Revocation of Braunton Air Quality Management Area No.1; and

(c)  Ilfracombe Public Space Protection Order – Consultation.


Performance and Financial Management Q4 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 652 KB

Report by Finance Manager (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding Performance and Financial Management Q4 203-24.


The Finance Manager highlighted the following:



·         The revenue budget for 2023/24 was approved at Council on 22 February 2023 at £14,766,450.

·         As at 31 March 2024, it was pleasing to report that the final out turn position was a budget surplus of £630,000, which was an overall movement of £557,000 from the last forecast at quarter 3. The breakdown showing these movements were shown in “Appendix A – Variations in the Revenue Budget” of the report.

·         The last quarter of the financial year had seen a number of variances since the last reported position; most notably, reduction in both Planning fee income, Parking Charge Notice income and additional electricity costs throughout our assets; these had been offset by additional income, interest receivable, less interest payable on borrowing and additional Business Rates income.

·         The net movement from quarter 3 of £557,000 can be mainly attributed to:

Adverse variances: 

Ø  £89,000 Reduction in Parking Charge Notice income

Ø  £191,000 Premises Electricity

Ø  £132,000 Planning fee income

Ø  £81,000 External Audit fee

Ø  £70,000 Insurance premiums

Ø  £75,000 Transfer of Public Conveniences


Favourable variances:

Ø  £66,000 Work and Recycling Transport

Ø  £54,000 Temporary Accommodation costs

Ø  £46,000 Building Control Partnership

Ø  £41,000 Crematorium income

Ø  £57,000 Additional Grant income

Ø  £91,000 Interest receivable and payable

Ø  £760,000 Business Rates income

Ø  £52,000 Contribution from Community Housing reserve.

·         A detailed breakdown of variations in the revenue budget could be seen on pages 37 and 38 of the report.

·         The original budget for 2023/24 included a forecast to achieve £250,000 worth of salary vacancy savings. As at 31 March 2024, £332,000 had actually been achieved.

·         The National pay award negotiations for 2023/24 had been settled and was paid to staff in November 2023 salary, backdated to 1 April 2023. The pay award worked out to be an average of 6.7%, the original budget included 4%, and the additional costs of £436,000 had been funded from the Budget Management reserve.

·         Members approved in June 2021 to proceed with the acquisition of Green Lanes Shopping Centre; which the Council completed the purchase in November 2021. The purchase of Green Lanes Shopping Centre was a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire this strategic asset and complement other significant regeneration improvements being delivered within the Barnstaple town centre through the Future High Streets project. The financial modelling demonstrated that revenue income generated from the centre would cover both the repayment of the loan and asset management costs and would return a contribution to the Council which could be used towards mitigating future risks on income volatility, investment back into the centre and the overarching council budget.

·         The financial outturn for the Centre produced a net return (income less costs) for:

Ø  2021/22 year of (£243,600) due to minimal borrowing costs as these commenced in 2022/23.

Ø  2022/23 trading position produced a net return  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Annual Treasury Management Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 803 KB

Report by Head of Governance (attached)


The Committee considered a report by the Head of Governance (circulated previously), regarding the Annual Treasury Management 2023/24.


The Head of Governance highlighted the following:

·         The Council was required by regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 to produce an annual treasury management review of activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2023/24. This report met those requirements of both the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code).

·         The table shown on page 75 of the report detailed the Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) for the financial year 2023/24.

·         The Councils CFR as at 31 March 2024 was just over £26 million.

·         The figure included projects such as the building of the new leisure centre and the purchase of Green Lanes.

·         A further £1.4 million of unfinanced capital expenditure was added to the CFR during 2023/24.

·         Despite this increase in borrowing need the external borrowing from the PWLB remained at £3 million for the year.

·         There was £2.8 million borrowing in relation to our finance leases bringing the total borrowing to £5.8 million for the year.

·         The Council used £20.2 million of its own funds to make up the under borrowed position.

·         In terms of investments held by the Council – the Council maintained an average balance of circa £13 million of internally managed funds.  The internally managed funds earned £577,506 interest at an average rate of return of 4.45%.


Councillor Prowse gave thanks to the finance team for the report and noted that it was a positive that the Council could borrow from its own funds which lifted the burden on Council tax payers, this indicated good management.




(a)  That the annual treasury management report for 2023/24 be noted; and

(b)  That the actual 2023/24 prudential and treasury indicators be approved.


Vehicle fleet maintenance performance pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Report by Fleet Contract and Transport Manager (attached).


The Committee considered a report by the Fleet Contract and Transport Manager (circulated previously), regarding Vehicle Fleet Maintenance Performance.


The Head of Environmental Enhancement highlighted the following:

·         Prior to entering into contract with SFS, the Council had an aging waste and recycling collection vehicle fleet, which needed to be replaced and updated.

·         Maintenance of the fleet was undertaken by the in-house workshop.  It was a continual challenge to carry out the legally required vehicle inspections and react to the breakdowns and other repairs that were required due to the age of the vehicles and the consequential frequency of breakdowns.

·         It was agreed at the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting of March 2021 that SFS be appointed as the primary contractor, commencing on 1 October 2021 for a seven-year contract.

·         Since October 2021, the Council had acquired:

Ø  11 x 26 tonne Refuse collection vehicles,

Ø  17 x 12 tonne Romaquip recycling,

Ø  2 x 7.5 tonne Romaquip recycling,

Ø  16 vans,

Ø  2 precinct sweepers,

Ø  2 forklift trucks; and

Ø  2 mowers (for the parks team).

·         The Council had 12 refuse collection vehicles, five of which were replaced in October 2021, which resulted in immediate service improvements. 

·         In October 2023, six further vehicles were replaced and as a result missed collections due to vehicle breakdowns, had decreased.  There was one further refuse vehicle to be replaced.

·         With two spare 26 tonne vehicles and one spare 16 tonne vehicle on site, refuse collections could continue to operate seamlessly when breakdowns occurred.

·         Furthermore, SFS had access to additional 26 tonne and 16 tonne vehicles through its hire business CTS, these could be swiftly commissioned to minimise service failures where identified.

·         The HGV recycling fleet had now been completely replaced as of April 2024 with the introduction of 14 brand new vehicles and one dedicated spare.  The fleet of 2014 registration vehicles were old and problematic.

·         The collection service now provided to residents was vastly improved, with rounds previously not being completed due to breakdowns.

·         Staff morale had improved with the introduction of new vehicles and this had helped to provide a real sense of ownership.


In response to a question regarding when it was hoped to have the whole fleet switched to electric vehicles.  The Head of Environmental Enhancement acknowledged this was a good question and one that had been raised at a previous Strategy and Resources Committee meeting.  He advised that there was no timescale of when a complete switch to electric or other alternative fuel would happen, as the technology was not yet available for larger fleet vehicles operating in a rural, hilly area like in North Devon.  The Council’s target to be Carbon neutral by 2030 would need to be looked at as it was possible we would not meet this target without significant off-setting.  The team were continuing to look at different options for decarbonising the fleet and would bring future options reports to committee when more progress had been made.


The Fleet Contract and Transport Manager  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Material Recovery Facility Infrastructure update

Head of Environmental Enhancement to report.


The Committee received an update the Material Recovery Facility Improvement project.


The Head of Environmental Enhancement gave the following updates:

·         The works to improve the material recovery facility at Brynsworthy Environment Centre (BEC) had begun three weeks ago.

·         Trenching works had commenced at the entrance to BEC and would be continuing down from the top of the site to the Yard, this was to lay cables and bring services to the site.

·         Cleaning and painting of the steel beams in the process hall had begun with any spot repairs being undertaken if needed.

·         Over the next few weeks’ excavation for drainage channels and the pits for the new conveyer belts would start.  The recyclables would be tipped into these conveyor pits for collection when the works were complete.

·         Pipe works and electrics would be fitted in the roof void.

·         Works in the process hall would stop during August as this was a really busy month for collections.  To avoid any disruption to collections it was decided to halt works in the process hall for the month.

·         The new modular office building and water tanks would be fitted at the end of August and completed by December 2024. 

·         The baler system would arrive in pieces throughout December ready for the 35-day installation with completion due end of January 2025.


In response to whether, there would be any disruption likely to collections.  The Head of Environmental Enhancement said he could not guarantee there would not be any disruption but that he would ensure members were informed if this did happen.  Contingency plans were in place.




Approval of S106 Funds - CCTV, Anchorwood Bank pdf icon PDF 351 KB

Report by Place Manager (Town Centres) (attached)


The Committee considered a report by the Place Manager (Town Centres), (circulated previously), regarding Approval of S106 Funds – CCTV, Anchorwood Bank.


The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration highlighted the following:


·         There was currently no Council CCTV provision in the area which was considered a strategic location and the S106 agreement connected with the planning permission (for application 60370) specifically provided for the provision of a CCTV contribution to address this need.

·         Due to an increase in 5G and Wi-Fi all working on the same 5Ghz frequency as the current Wi-Fi links in the area along with the new buildings compromising the line of sight and resulting in significant buffering, in order to link the camera back to the CCTV control room there was a need to upgrade the Wi-Fi links.

·         The additional camera would be managed in adherence with the Council’s North Devon Public Space CCTV Scheme as a strategic location, included in the Data Protection and Impact Assessment and operated under the Council’s CCTV Code of Practice ensuring that it was managed in full compliance with the regulatory framework.

·         The cost of providing the camera and the upgraded links is £11,170 excluding contingency.  It was proposed that £11,170 was funding from the S106 capital budget form the following source:

Development Description            Application              Amount

Anchorwood Bank, Taw Wharf      60370                         £11,170.00


In response to a question on whether it was considered that there was a problem in the area.  The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration advised that she was not aware of any issue but that this was following the process of what was agreed in the S106 provision.  The provision was for one camera.




(a)  £11,170 be allocated for the provision of a CCTV camera and associated Wi-Fi links to the CCTV hub (control room) to serve Anchorwood Bank development;


(b)  Contract procedure rules be waived to enter into a contract with the Council’s current CCTV contractor to install the additional camera and upgrade the Wi-Fi links, on the basis that the current contractor has the knowledge of the current system; and


(c)  The outcomes of the Equality Impact Assessment as summarised in paragraph 6 of the report be noted.


RECOMMENDED that Council vary the Capital programme by £11,170 and the funds are released.


North Devon Council Off-Street (Parking Places) Order - Variation pdf icon PDF 346 KB

Report by Parking Manager (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Parking Manager (circulated previously) regarding North Devon Council Off-Street (Parking Places) Order – Variation.


The Head of Property, Place and Regeneration highlighted the following:

·         This variation report was seeking three areas of amendments within the Council’s Off-Street (Parking Places) Order.

·         The first was an amendment to the boundary of Queen Street/ Bear Street to accommodate the new access from Alexandra Road and to agree the new name of the combined Bear Street and Queen Street car parks, to Barnstaple Central: this had been discussed with local businesses and the key stakeholders.

·         The second was for the introduction of a ½ hour fee charge at Belle Meadow car park, which had been requested by users of the nearby medical centre.

·         The third was to amend the boundary area of the Tarka car park.  The map appended to the report at Appendix B showed an incorrect red line this would be corrected to only include the un-adopted highway.


Councillor Bell declared an other registrable interest as a member of Braunton Parish Council who was named within the Strategy, such a declaration was made for transparency reasons only.




(a)   That the boundary outline to Queen Street/Bear Street car park be amended to incorporate the new access into and out of the car park from Alexandra Road;

(b)  That the combined Queen Street and Bear Street car parks be renamed to Barnstaple Central car park;

(c)  To approve a proposed tariff change at Belle Meadow car park, to include the ½ hour 50p fee;

(d)  To amend the boundary of the Tarka car park, to include the identified access roads (as seen on the map in Appendix B of the report – to be amended to only include North Devon Council land as reported verbally to Members); and

(e)  That delegated power be given to the Head of Place, Property and Regeneration in consultation with the Leader, Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer to make the Order following consultation subject to there being no material objections or amendments necessary.


Site at South View, Bratton Fleming pdf icon PDF 489 KB

Report by Property Manager (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Property Manager (circulated previously) regarding Site at South View, Bratton Fleming.


Councillor Lane declared a non-registrable interest in this item as he knew the owner of the site but, following consultation with the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, he made it clear that this was not a close association and that he therefore did not consider that this interest clouded his judgement.

The Property Manager highlighted the following:

·         This report related to a site disposed of by the Council as a surplus asset in October 2014.

·         The subject site was a small garden plot adjacent to an area of open space still owned by the Council.

·         The site was subject to an overage provision for an uplift in value once developed.

·         There was now a four bedroomed house, partially completed on the site.

·         A report was presented to Strategy and Resources Committee in June 2023 with regard to the overage provisions on the site and vehicular access and parking.

·         Members resolved at the June 2023 Committee that the current owner pay £5,000 to release the overage and a sum of £50,000 for the right to create a vehicular access and parking to the property.  This being by granting a right of way, the route of which was at the discretion of Council Officers, as seen in Appendix A of the report.

·         Following that decision, the site owner reverted back to the Property Manager requesting an additional area for parking be agreed in order for them to be able to dispose of the four bedroomed property begin built on this site.

·         The site owner increased their offer of £50,000 for the access rights to £55,000, with the £5,000 to conclude the overage provision, bringing this to a total of £60,000, on the basis of the following:

Ø  Freehold title to land hatched blue on the attached plan (as seen in Appendix A of the report) be included for the provision of parking, this was still in Council ownership.

Ø  A right of way for both pedestrians and vehicles over the land to the south of the blue hatched land marked out as a driveway.

Ø  The right to undertake works on Council retained land to form the gravel driveway at the site owner’s expense and thereafter maintain it into perpetuity as an ongoing responsibility to future owners, as indicated on the attached plan (Appendix A of this report).

Ø  The Council agree to the right to bring services into the property as indicated on the plan, and thereafter maintain and use; and

Ø  The works to set out the retained parking spaces to be carried out by the site owner at their expense as set out in the attached drawing, as seen on the site plan at 4.8 of the report.


In response to a question about what overage was.  The Property Manager explained that overage or claw back referred to an agreement that was placed as a means of gaining a share of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


2024 Update of North Devon Council’s Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan pdf icon PDF 471 KB

Report by Sustainability and Climate Officer (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Sustainability and Climate Officer (circulated previously) regarding 2024 Update of North Devon Council’s Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan.

The Sustainability and Climate Officer highlighted the following:

·       In July 2019, North Devon Council signed up to the Devon Climate Emergency Declaration.  The Council were committed to having a carbon plan and reviewing the plan annually.

·       The first Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan was published in June 2022.

·       This report was the second annual review.

·       The Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan was a lengthy document and not easy to read.

·       Appendix A of the report showed the reviewed plan in its new format.

·       The report had been worked on jointly with Torridge District Council and North Devon Council’s Climate Action Working Team to reduce down the size of the document.


Councillor R Knight, a member of the Climate Action Team and Lead member for Climate and Biodiversity welcomed the new report.


The Chair commented the new format was well organised and easy to read.


RESOLVED that the publication of the 2024 update of the Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan for North Devon Council be approved.


Car Park Strategy - North Devon Council pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Report by Parking Manager (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Car Parking Manager (circulated previously) regarding Car Parking Strategy for North Devon.


The Head of Property, Place and Regeneration highlighted the following:

·         The draft Car Park Strategy 2024-2027 (as seen at Appendix A of the report) was a framework for how the Council would manage its parking services.

·         Car parking charges changes would still come to Members annually as part of the budget setting process.

·         The strategy identified the team structure delivering the car parking service and committed to providing the service in a positive and customer focused way.

·         Section 5 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), set out the Council’s approach to charges and tariffs including permits, variety of payment methods as well as car park designation, business use, EV charging points, signage, our approach to third party car parks, parking bay sizes, coach and lorry parking and enforcement.

·         Section 6 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), focused on the Council’s approach to our car parks in our main towns; Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and South Molton, recognising the different needs of these individual places.

·         Section 7 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), dealt with the management of Council’s Coastal car parks.

·         Section 8 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), set out the Council’s approach to monitoring the condition of its car parks and a further Programme for this was recognised as an Action later in the strategy.

·         Section 9 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), set out the Service recommendations for improved service delivery over the four-year period of this strategy.

·         Section 10 of the strategy (as seen in Appendix A of the report), have regards to the following amendments:

Ø  Ensure that the website was actively updated to ensure accurate information was available for the public,

Ø  Include additional information about electric vehicular charging points, which could include a separate strategy; and

Ø  That the car parking strategy included the Council’s approach to managing abandoned and un-taxed vehicles in its car parks.


In response to a question on whether the strategy would be circulated to all members for input.  The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that the strategy could be circulated to all members to note but that it was seeking adoption today.


In response to the classification of Croyde’s car park as Coastal and the associated costs, where it provided for locals who worked in the village.  The Chief Executive advised that workshops were held for members to have their say on budget setting issues and that a separate working group would be set up specifically for car park charges review for the coming financial year.

In relation to future withdrawing of cash payments for car parking.  The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that the use of cash to pay to park would be kept under review but that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Procurement Strategy 2023-2027 pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Report by Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Procurement Strategy 2023-2027.


The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer invited the Lead Member for Resources and Commercialisation, Helen Walker to introduce the item.


The Lead Member for Resources and Commercialisation advised of the following:

·         Having a strategy which set out how the Council would carry out its business was a very good thing.

·         The procurement strategy had been updated and the Council had signed up to work with the Devon County Council procurement team which it was hoped would make improvements on procurement of items going forwards.

·         This covered all areas of the Council’s corporate plan.

·         Items procured would not always be the cheapest but certainly would be the best item.


Councillor gave thanks to the team for their work on this strategy.


The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer highlighted the following:

·         The Council’s Procurement Strategy expired at the end of 2022. The Council had been part of the Devon Districts Procurement Strategy since 2019 and had joined in the development of a new Devon Districts Procurement Strategy but the preparation of this new Strategy had been subject to delays.

·         The Council has since lost its Procurement Officer and has signed up to partnership working with Devon Procurement Services, which was Devon County Council’s procurement team. Devon Procurement Services already works with Mid Devon District Council, East Devon District Council, Plymouth City Council, Exmoor National Park and Dartmoor National Park on the same basis.

·         Devon Procurement Services has a Procurement Strategy which Devon County Council has adopted. The Procurement Strategy they have produced is such that its partner authorities are similarly able to adopt it albeit they are also able to personalise the Procurement Strategy to suit their authority but keeping the overriding themes which are common to all.

·         The key themes covered included climate emergency, supporting the economy such as local suppliers and SME’s, Social Value, Additional Transformation, Contract Management, Value for money, Economic Commercialisation and development, Working efficiently, risk appetite, Work force skills development as well as that of Suppliers, Transparency and legal framework.

·         Not all the listed themes would be delivered for every single procurement but was a framework for Officers to keep these themes in mind when going through the procurement exercise.

·         There was a sound basis for holding a Procurement Strategy in common with Devon Procurement Services as the service they provided ensured that template documents and how advice was provided had the Procurement Strategy in mind. It was also beneficial for suppliers who did not have to deal with a different set of rules and requirements in different parts of the County.


The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer highlighted a correction in the report at section 2.1 reference to Appendix 1 should refer to Appendix A.


Councillor D Knight welcomed the strategy which would bring the Council into line with other Authorities.


Councillor R Knight welcomed that the inclusion of being mindful of the climate and environment emergency.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.