Minutes of the Meeting of Gotham Parish Council – 8th January 2013

held in the Memorial Hall Weldon Room COMMENCING AT 7.30 P.M.

Present:    R.Muir (Chairman), M.J.Sheppard, (Vice-Chairman), D.Bexon, J.M.F.Royce,  J.P.Anderson, E.Padden, R.Davis, T.Vennett-Smith, K. Steed, B.J.Walker, G.Clark.

The Chairman wished Council and attendees a very happy New Year.

13/1: Apologies:  E.Rodgers, C.Dabell.  In Attendance: P.R.Dines, J.Turner, E.Perrell, A.Vickers, A.Howick, C.Howe.

The Chairman welcomed the members of the public to the meeting.

13/2: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: R. Davis SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard.  Vote: All in favour.

13/3: Declaration of Interest:

Trustees, M.J.Sheppard, D.Bexon and G.Clark in matters relevant to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground.

13/4: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on the 4th December, 2012, be accepted as a true record, with the following amendment: Pg. 1. 12/220 W.I. – donation to Over 70’s Christmas Party: Remove title ‘Borough Councillor’ before ‘T.Vennett-Smith’.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: G.Clark.  Vote: All in favour.

Progress from the Minutes:

12/224: Post Office: The Clerk confirmed she had written a letter to Ms. A.Wallace, Post Office Field Change Advisor for advice on the re-siting of the village post box.

13/5: Carol Singing Complaint from Parishioner:

The Chairman had received an official complaint from a parishioner over the episode of carol singing outside her home, following the public session held on the 18th December. The Chairman issued a written apology on behalf of GPC for any distress caused. £30 collected at the time had been awarded to the Brooke Donkey Sanctuary, the aforementioned parishioner’s choice of Charity.

Members of the Public involved in the above incident wished to add their comments so a PROPOSAL of Suspension of Standing Orders was PROPOSED by: R.Muir and SECONDED by E.Padden.

A short discussion on the Carol singing incident took place.

Re-instatement of Standing Orders PROPOSED by J.P. Anderson SECONDED: G.Clark.

13/6: Village Christmas Tree:

The Chairman read out an explanation of the successful erection of the first village Christmas Tree in The Square. Unfortunately, the Christmas lights had been displayed minus a transformer which could have proved a risk to the public. The Carol Singing session went ahead with members of the Council and Public instructed to guard the public from the perimeter of the tree. The safety risk had been reported to NCC who had removed the fuse from the lights. A.Howick kindly offered to loan a 24 volt car battery to the Council and had worked hard to achieve a new set of battery lighting. NCC were unable to inspect this method of lighting but the Environment Committee were satisfied there was no risk to the public if the lights remained switched on during the Christmas period with safety barriers protecting the public from the base container. The Chairman thanked Councillor Royce for his advice re the safety of the lighting and, although the experience was a regrettable error, which had not been picked up by the qualified electrician, NCC representatives or the lighting salesman, the Council had resolved to ‘learn from its mistake’ and make good the electricity supply for future displays. The Clerk was asked to contact NCC for exact lighting procedure advice.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders: PROPOSED: R.Muir, SECONDED: G.Clark.

A. Howick explained his initial concern at the lack of an RCD but was too late to act due to NCC’s removal of the fuse. He had been confident that there had been no danger to the public from the 24 volt car battery method of power. The Chairman thanked A.Vickers and A.Howick for their considerable assistance with the Christmas Tree lighting.

Re-instatement of Standing Orders PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P. Anderson

The Chairman thanked the members of the public for their attendance and they left the meeting at 8.40 p.m.

13/7: Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts:

Receipts and Payments: RESOLVED: That the receipts, since the last meeting, are noted and the Accounts in Appendix F1 be confirmed and authorised for payment.

PROPOSED: R.Davis SECONDED: B.J.Walker   Vote: All in favour.

Budget 12/13 Rolling Balances: The Clerk had circulated budget papers for the three monthly update on rolling balances. J.M.F.Royce commented on the lack of time for preparation of the papers due to the closure of the Council during the Christmas period. The bottom line figures showed the figures were within acceptable limits at this stage of the financial year.

A paper showing the Gotham News budget showed a shortfall of approximately £1,000 due to advertising revenue due in February 2013 which should re-cover the costs of printing. GPC allowed a £600 grant towards printing costs in the event of an   advertising revenue shortfall.

2013/14 Precept: J.M.F.Royce had contacted Ms. Peacock of RBC financial dept. who had confirmed that Parishes would most likely not face capping in the year 2013/14. An increase in tax would be paid up to 2%. GPC needed to be aware that finances would face a reduction in the following year with the expectation of quite dramatic cuts in funding. The RBC Cabinet Meeting on the 15th January, would make the final decision over the tax cuts and GPC would receive confirmation by 16th January, 2013. Taxation workshops for Town and Parish Councils would be held in the Spring for clarification of the new financial circumstances.

13/8: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee (J.P.Anderson).

J.P.Anderson reported the following planning items:

A453 Widening: A meeting in Barton had been held with Laing O’Rourke Construction Co. representatives in attendance. An explanation of the A453 widening plans, to include the final closure of Barton Lane for the storage of spoil and heavy construction equipment. Discussions had included the inevitable rat running Gotham would endure and procedures that could be implemented to impede extra traffic through the village. The Contractors would ensure no heavy lorries involved in the work on the A453 would pass through Gotham. J.P.Anderson had spoken to the Headmistress of Gotham School re concerns over safety to pupils on Kegworth Road due to heavy traffic. Nott’s Highways would be contacted to provide temporary traffic lighting outside school.  A village traffic count in February, prior to Barton Lane closure and then in April following the closure might help calculate the difference in traffic numbers.

RBC Core Strategy: K.Mafham continued with his study of the Core Strategy in order to present the Inspector with a meaningful defence for the Green Belt. The Core Strategy had been criticised by the Inspector for its lack of a 70% build next to the urban area as suggested by the Regional Spatial Strategy. RBC had given a good account for their housing numbers. The justification for building the City’s overspill at Clifton was taken from historical figures which were pathetically outdated. The City would produce its Core Strategy in March 2013. There had been no traffic problems evinced by RBC and no attempt to run a traffic model. K.Mafham was gaining feedback from CPRE and working on a building good relationship with the Inspector in order to present the best defence campaign to save the green belt.

Affordable Housing: J.P.Anderson confirmed good feedback from St.Gobain regarding the possibility of securing land behind the Royal British Legion for affordable housing. Regarding a site in Gotham for affordable housing, J.P.Anderson and M.J.Sheppard had met representatives of The Royal British Legion to explain the possibility of a small housing development on land behind its premises.

13/9: Planning Applications Received: Nil.

13/10: Planning Decisions Received:

12/12 (ref: 12/01127/COU) 17 Moor Lane – Conversion of garage to a dog grooming parlour. –  GRANTED

12/14 (ref:   12/01663/FUL) 309 Leake Road – Single storey rear extension; first floor front extension:                                                                                                         Demolish side extension. – GRANTED

12/15 (ref:  12/01787/FUL)  2 Pygall Ave. – Side Extension. –   WITHDRAWN

13/10: Environmental Matters: (R.Davis – Vice Chairman).

Village Sculpture Quotation: R.Muir had drawn up the full costs of the village sign to include delivery, erection and site license. The batman figure would be cancelled. The cost of the sculpture would be £17,931. There was a shortfall of £2,741 from the present funds in budget. J.M.F.Royce thought the sum would exceed this amount due to a ten per cent allowance for unforeseen costs. The question posed was to either find the extra funding or pull the plug on the scheme which would mean repayment of donated funds and payment to the architect for his work to date. R.Muir asked Council to express their individual views on the project.

T.Vennett-Smith stated he could not personally support the scheme in the light of the fall in the economy. He considered the scheme would cost the wrong amount of money at the wrong time.

A lengthy discussion of the project ensued when the following points were made:

  • The years of work that had been spent on the project would be wasted.
  • The amount of time taken, must prove the project was flawed.
  • The grant monies and other donations would be returned.
  • The sculpture would be a unique piece of work that the village could treasure. The village and its history was worthy of this piece of work.
  • The project would raise the village profile.

T.Vennett-Smith requested a recorded vote:

PROPOSAL: That GPC should continue with the project and place the order with a 40% deposit and full payment when the work had been satisfactorily delivered.

PROPOSED: B.J.Walker   SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard.

Vote In Favour: E.Padden, R.Muir, G. Clark, D.Bexon, J.P.Anderson, R.Davis.

Vote Against: T.Vennett-Smith, J.M.F.Royce, K.Steed.

In accordance with Standing Orders, the Agreement for the erection of a village sculpture would lay on the table for 28 days.

E.Padden accepted R.Muir’s invitation to join the Village Sculpture project management team.

T.Vennett-Smith declared an interest in the next item: (Village Drainage System).

Village Drainage System: T.Vennett-Smith and R.Muir had inspected the Railway Walk drainage system, adjacent to the B.T. premises, which was blocked in several areas. A quotation of £900 had been obtained for drainage clearance.

PROPOSAL: Due to recent heavy rainfall which had caused flooding, the Clerk would obtain two more quotations, as soon as possible, for work to be carried out for a final decision on the best value quotation to be made by the Environment Committee.

13/11:  Memorial Hall Report:

M.J.Sheppard reported the following items:

A good December meeting was held, including enjoyable refreshments.

Future fundraising ideas – a Soul night, Bollywood night, Fashion Show.

J.M.F.Royce left the meeting at 10.25 p.m.

Memorial Hall Focus Group – thoughts on agenda for meeting on the 26th February, 2013.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of remit drawn up by J.P.Anderson.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: B.J.Walker Vote: eight in favour, two abstentions (declarations of interest).

In order to gain an insight into Councillors’ concerns re GPC’s role and responsibilities to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground complex, J.P.Anderson offered to draw up a resume of ideas received via email. The Clerk would inform Councillors’ of the opportunity to submit their thoughts/queries to J.P.Anderson to enable him to build up a list of items for discussion with Trustee representatives.

13/12: Gotham News & Media:     (R.Muir/J.P.Anderson)

J.P.Anderson would produce a four page edition of Gotham News for village information on the A453, RBC Core Strategy, Barton Lane closure, Village Christmas Tree.

K.Steed would join the Gotham News Editorial Team. R.Muir would approach Harry Carlton School for media apprentices.

13/13: Policing Matters/Vandalism (D.Bexon)

D.Bexon reported nil crime reported in Gotham during December, 2012.

E.Padden reported the Police Priority Setting meeting dates. She offered to attend the first meeting on the 16th January. The current priority for Gotham was speeding traffic.

T.Vennett-Smith left the meeting at 10.40 p.m.

13/13: Chairman’s Report             

The Chairman had attended an excellent W.I. Christmas Party. She considered the donation of £25 from GPC was derisory.

13/14: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk had sent a letter of thanks to A.Austin for her past work in organisation of the Gotham Luncheon Club.

A telephone message of thanks for the £250 grant to the Royal British Legion had been received. (Letter to follow).

A letter of thanks was read out from A.Howick for the case of wine received from GPC/MH Trustees thanking the family for their continued hard work towards village projects.

The Chairman and Clerk would attend an RBC environmental forum on the 7th February, 2013.

13/15: Matters to Report:

B.J.Walker reported the need for village noticeboard repairs due to dampness.

B.J.Walker called for shorter reports on environmental and planning issues due to the existence of minuted meetings circulated to Council prior to the main meeting. The item – discussion with the Memorial Hall representatives should gain a higher slot on the February meeting agenda.

13/16: Items for Next Agenda: Village Sculpture. M.H. meeting

13/17: Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting would be held on the 5th February, 2013.    Meeting concluded at  10.55 pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Environment Committee – 20 November 2012



Due to the cancellation of the Planning and Development Meeting, the Environment Committee agreed to meet at 7.30 p.m.

Members Present:   C.Dabell (Chairman), R.Davis, (Vice-Chairman) E.Padden, G.Clark, B.J.Walker,   M.J.Sheppard,

1/    Apologies: R.Muir, K.Steed,   British Gypsum representative: A.Gorringe.

2/    Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: R.Davis SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard     Vote: All in favour.

3/   Declaration of Interest: Nil.

4/ Minutes of the Previous Meeting:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the Environment Committee, held on the 23rd October, 2012 as previously circulated, be confirmed and signed as a true record of the business transacted.

PROPOSED: B.J.Walker SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard Vote: All in favour.

5/  Progress arising from previous Minutes: Nil to report.

6/ Village Sculpture Meeting with Engineers/NCC

R.Davis had obtained the quotation received by R.Muir, from NCC to supply and install a 1 x 7.5m galvanised tubular steel post 168mm diameter in concrete foundation 1.5m x 1.5m x 1.1m on the verge outside the Royal British Legion. The cost would be £911.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the above quotation of £911 for the supply and installation of the steel post.

PROPOSED: R.Davis   SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard. Vote: All in favour.

Full costings of the project would be presented to main Council at the December meeting.

7/ Church Christmas Tree: (now referred to as ‘Village Christmas Tree).

C.Dabell reported progress since May, 2012 had steadily been achieved culminating in a vist to Notts Highways to deliver a risk assessment following a previous site meeting. NCC had provided a map of the underground utilities in The Square and had confirmed the project could be given the go ahead. RBC had confirmed in writing there was no requirement for planning permission given the small scale of the project. The fixture beneath the ground would sink to a depth of two feet so would not reach the water pipe which lay 1.7m beneath ground level.  A licence had been applied for with a cheque for £320 being forwarded to NCC. The costs of the tree and planter were as follows:

Christmas Tree                       £   100.00

Licence                                     £   320.00

Lighting                                    £   200.00

Planter/Fixing                          £   900.00

Electrician                                 £     60.00

Total:                                         £1,580.00

B.J.Walker and C.Dabell would obtain small chocolate santas for younger children.

A band would be hired to play carols for approximately one hour.

The local public houses had been invited to provide mulled wine paid for by consumers.

PROPOSAL: The date of the opening Carol Service was Friday, 14th December, 2012 at 6.p.m.

PROPOSED: M.J.Sheppard  SECONDED: C.Davis   Vote: All in favour.

M.J.Sheppard would provide posters.

8/  Lime Trees Planting on Leake Road:

The Clerk had received six broad leafed lime trees at a cost of £117 from Six Acre Nurseries, Costock. E.Padden, C.Dabell, R.Davis and G.Clark would plant the trees at 2.30 p.m. on Monday, 3rd December, 2012. Meet at the Old Rectory for tree collection.

9/  Pilot Lengthsman Scheme:

The Clerk reported she had been unsuccessful in her attempts to find an interested person to take on this responsibility.

10/ Any Other Business:

The Clerk reported several incidents of fly tipping had been reported on Hill Road. She had asked Streetwise to collect it.

B.J.Walker reported bollards, installed outside British Gypsum entrance on Leake Road, obstructed the pathway. The Clerk had spoken to British Gypsum maintenance crew who would question the reason for their installation. The Clerk would follow this up with an email to A.Gorringe.

11/ Date and Time of Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Environment Committee would be held in the Weldon Room of the Memorial Hall on the 17th January, 2013 at  7.30 p.m.

Meeting closed at  9.05 p.m.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning & Development Committee – 18 December 2012


Present:  J.P.Anderson (Chairman)   E. Rodgers, (Vice-Chairman) B.J.Walker, E.Padden, G.Clark, R.Muir,  K.Steed.

1/    Apologies: M.J.Sheppard,T.Vennett-Smith.  

2/    Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: R.Muir, SECONDED: B.J.Walker    All in favour.

3/    Declaration of Interest: Nil.

4/    Minutes of the Previous Meeting:  (There had been no meeting held in November, 2012).

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the Planning & Development Committee, held on the 30TH October, 2012, as previously circulated, be confirmed and signed as a true record of the business transacted.

PROPOSED: B. J. Walker   SECONDED: E.Padden. Vote: All in favour.

5/    Progress from the last Minutes, not on the Agenda:.

Item 10: Affordable Housing in Gotham: . An NCC representative had inspected the site behind The Royal British Legion and had submitted a report on the site to GPC. It had been copied to St.Gobain for their comments on the scheme.

6/    Planning Decisions Received:

12/13 (ref: 12/01666/FUL)  97 Nottingham Rd – Use part of premises for sale and display of upholstery                                                                                    products and for assembly of furniture – GRANTED

7/    Planning Applications Received: Nil.

8/    A453 Widening:

The Chairman had attended a meeting in Barton, together with representatives of the building contractors, Laing O’Rourke.  The timescale for the A453 widening was January, 2013 until the end of 2015. The main points were, closure of Barton Lane, flooding issues and planting of shrubbery adjacent to Barton. Barton Parish Council was happy with the plans and most of the meeting concentrated on final closure of Barton Lane in March, 2013 with work commencing in January, 2013. The reason for closure is mainly for safety issues regarding heavy plant and spoil storage. The implications of Barton Lane closure for Gotham were significant with extra vehicles rat running through the village and past the school. Some traffic slowing procedures might be implemented such as traffic lights at the Crusader roundabout, pedestrian crossing in Gotham to deter rat runners. A roundabout would eventually be built at Fabis Road crossroads to speed traffic flow. There would be no right turn from the A453 into the Clifton Petrol Station and the junction at the power station would be made difficult for right turners to further deter rat runners through Kegworth and Gotham. None of the above deterrents would be in place by March, 2013 so it would inevitably prove a difficult traffic situation in Gotham in the first months of the Barton Lane closure. NCC representative, Karen Nurse would put GPC in contact with transport manager, Peter Goode who might be able to implement the installation of temporary traffic lights at Gotham School to safeguard children and deter rat running down Kegworth Road. A pedestrian crossing near to the School would prevent inappropriate car parking as parking on the zig zag lines, either side of a crossing, was illegal.

B.J.Walker reported that Midland Station was being closed on a temporary basis in March, 2013 during the development of the transport hub. Rail passengers would use The Parkway Station which could further congest the A453. Public information evenings on the A453 widening were to take place at Clifton Leisure Centre on the 11/12th January and at Kegworth on the 13th January.

9/  Green Belt Issues:

The Chairman reported the Inspector had responded to the RBC Core Strategy critically due to the non conformation to the Regional Spatial Strategy in that too few houses were planned for the urban extension, as dictated in the original Strategy which referred to a ‘B Line Housing Policy’. The whole thrust for Gotham was to get the Regional Strategy repealed by March, 2013. GPC had the support of the Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clark and Planning Consultant, Ken Mafham would consult C.P.R.E. on this point. If the Regional Spatial Strategy was revoked, it would take a great deal of pressure from our situation. The Inspector had also complained about the lack of public consultation which was  another valid point. K.Mafham considered that these points would hold up the whole planning procedure. Their sustainability appraisal was weak and may not be upheld by the European Court. Another point for consideration is the current lack of mortgage availability which was not being taken into account by the Inspector’s insistence that not enough housing numbers were in the RBC Core Strategy. From the traffic aspect, RBC had run mitigation studies which would bring down the number of travellers’ initiatives. Travel options were: walking children to school, cycling, public transport, shuffle buses to the tram. All called ‘Smart Travel’. The report stated ‘there would be congestion in the local villages and it is up to the Developer to sort this problem out’. Without a development brief, RBC had taken the traffic responsibility out of the equation. It was obvious that if Clifton Pastures was developed, the problem of rat running would begin again. When the A453 is working and Barton Lane is closed, we would be able to gauge the affect on Gotham. GPC could run its own traffic study at that time. Finally, GPC needed to await the reaction of RBC to the Inspector’s report. The Chairman would continue to keep the Planning Committee updated on events with relevant emailed bullet points. In the worst case scenario,  with a large housing development at Clifton, the Chairman suggested a continuation of the Gotham by-pass might be an option to cope with extra traffic. The new transport hub at Junction 24 on the M.1. might influence traffic flow through Gotham. A SSSI is no barrier to the Highways Agency who could remove rare specimens to another site. E.Rodgers suggested an extension to the ring road could be routed around the Eastern side of the village, to join the mini roundabout on Leake Road. A discussion took place on the ring road issue and R.Muir suggested a village census on a by-pass continuation.

10/   NET:

The discovery of Iron age remains had stopped work at the Larkhill site.

11 /  Matters to Report:

R.Muir suggested a gift of wine for the Howick family to thank them for their work on the village Christmas Tree installation.

PROPOSAL: A gift of a £50 hamper of wine to be purchased for the Howick family.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: E.Rodgers. Vote: All in favour.

M.J.Sheppard to purchase and deliver the wine.

The Clerk was asked to contact NCC Highways to ask them to cut back vegetation on Leake Road outside St. Gobain and adjacent to the beginning of The Ridgeway.

12/ Date & Time of Next Meeting: The next meeting would be held in the Weldon Room of the Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 22nd January, 2013 at 7.30 p.m.

Meeting closed at 8.55 p.m.