Minutes of the Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (05/02/13)

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF GOTHAM PARISH COUNCIL 5th FEBRUARY, 2013

Held in the Memorial Hall, Weldon Room, Commencing at 7.30pm

Present:   R.Muir (Chairman), M.J.Sheppard, (Vice-Chairman), J.M.F.Royce, J.P.Anderson, E.Padden, R.Davis, K. Steed, B.J.Walker, G.Clark. C.Dabell

13/18: Apologies:  T.Vennett-Smith, E.Rodgers, D.Bexon.

13/19: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: E.Padden SECONDED: C.Dabell.  Vote: All in favour.

13/20: Declaration of Interest:

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

13/21: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on the 8TH January, 2013, be accepted as a true record, with the following amendment: Pg. 2. 13/14 Precept: replace ‘downturn’ with ‘reduction’

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard.  Vote: All in favour.

Progress from the Minutes:

13/6: Village Christmas tree: S.Watson had submitted a bill for £10 for Christmas tree collection from Costock.

13/22: 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: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson   Vote: All in favour.

S.Watson had submitted a bill for payment for his work on tree trunk logging on the Railway Walk (£25).

Unallocated monies/budget underspend to date: J.M.F.Royce confirmed that,  to date, the unallocated funds for 2012/13 amounted to £5,778.

The VAT refund from year 2011/12 was £1,325. The Diamond Jubilee underspend still to be calculated.

M.J.Sheppard reported the forthcoming sale of eleven sets of outdoor Christmas lights at £10 per set would raise an extra £110. They would be advertised in the next edition of Gotham News.

E.Perrell had kindly offered a free Christmas tree for Christmas 2013. (Environment agenda).

Horizon Quote 2013. – £3,634 showing a 3% increase on 2012, had been accepted.

Village Sculpture Funding Shortfall: The funding shortfall for the Village Sculpture was £4,612 (there was no requirement to pay NCC the licence fee of £320 as included in the Environment Minutes (29th January, 2013). J.M.F.Royce suggested the £4,612 shortfall could be raised from the 2012/13 unallocated monies (£5,778).

Approval of Budgets for 2013/14:

Paper 1 – PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the Environment Budget for 2013/14 of £5,322.36. (Agreed at the Environment Meeting – 29th January, 2013).

PROPOSED: C.Dabell  SECONDED: E.Padden  Vote: All in favour.

Paper 2 – Recreation Ground: £8,905.28

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the recommended Recreation Ground Budget of £8,905.28.

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

Paper 3 – Revenue Budget: £30,693.00

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the recommended Revenue Budget of £30,693.00.

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

Paper 4 – 2013/14 Precept: J.M.F.Royce had circulated a finance memo to Council explaining the RBC claw back of £2,420 whatever the amount of Precept accepted. There was no cap on the amount that could be raised in 2013/14. The perceived wisdom was that the Parish Council would be capped in the year 2014/15 and 2015/16 until the May, 2015 General Election. A nil increase in Precept for 2013/14 would only provide a predicted surplus of £1,671 unallocated capital. A 2.5% increase, a predicted surplus of £2,569 after taking into account the capital allocations of £1,150 already approved for the year and taking the claw back of £2,420 into account.

A nil increase for the year 2013/14 would set the predicted cap at that level for the following years. The claw back could be increased in the future. GPC’s standing overheads would inevitably increase by at least the rate of the Consumer Price Index. The Retail Price Index currently stood at 2.7% and 3.1% respectively. (Sourced from the Office for National Statistics 15/1/13).

The Chairman asked Council members to individually comment on the necessity of a nil increase or 2.5% increase in the Precept in the light of the current downturn in the financial situation of the Country. A lenghty discussion ensued.

PROPOSAL: The Precept for the year 2013/14 to be increased by 2.5% – 36,832.00, less the claw back fee of £2,420 leaving  £34,412 resulting in a predicted capital of £2,569 unallocated.

PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce   SECONDED: R.Davis  Vote: Seven in favour, two against, one abstention.

J.P.Anderson thanked the Clerk and J.M.F.Royce for their work on the calculation of the above figures.

13/23: Memorial Hall Focus Group –meeting on the 26th February, 2013.

J.P.Anderson would draw up a simple agenda for the meeting. GPC complimented the Trustees for the well run Hall over the last seven years. The focus group meeting was required to prove the status quo. There were eight or nine fundamental questions for consideration. Answers would be circulated to Councillors.

J.P.Anderson invited more questions to be sent to him, prior to the meeting.

Focus Group members –J.P.Anderson, R.Muir, B.J.Walker, R.Davis, E.Rodgers.

13/24: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee (J.P.Anderson).

J.P.Anderson reported the following planning items:

RBC Core StrategySeveral members of the Council had attended the Exploratory Meeting on the 31st January in the West  Bridgford Community Hall called by the Inspector, Ms. J. Kingbury, to test the soundness of the RBC  Core Strategy. The outcome of the meeting had proven the Core Strategy unsound. The RBC representatives were on the defensive during the meeting. K.Mafham, representing Barton, Thrumpton and Gotham had raised some valid points and the Inspector had referred to him on several occasions during the meeting. The whole premise of building a large number of houses was unsound, as per Government policy at this time. Council leader, N.Clarke, had confirmed housing numbers could be re-adjusted post 2026. Other Boroughs had extended their end date to 2028. RBC was the only rural Borough the other Boroughs being in the City. The worst case scenario was that the developers would  steamroller Rushcliffe with demands for extra housing. It was vital to get the Rural Spatial Strategy numbers repealed. J.P.Anderson had called a steering group meeting with K.Mafham on the 19th February, 2013.

A453 Widening: J.P.Anderson reported difficulty in ascertaining the numbers of cars rat running through Gotham post closure of Barton Lane. A Gotham traffic count would be held on the 12th and 14th February between the hours of 7.30 – 9.30 a.m. and 4.00 – 6.30 p.m. R.Muir would draw up a rota of Councillors to meet outside Gotham Primary School during those hours. High visibility jackets could be supplied if necessary. R.Muir would inform the Headmistress of the School of the traffic count. A further traffic count would take place post closure of Barton Lane to ascertain the traffic numbers both before and after.

Affordable Housing: Nil to report.

13/25: Planning Applications Received:

1/13: (ref: 13/00107/FUL)    2 Pygall Avenue, Gotham – side extension (revised planning application).

PROPOSAL: NO OBJECTION

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: M.J. Sheppard. Vote: All in favour.

2/13: (ref: 12/021129/ADV) Old Co-operative Nursery – 7-9 Wallace Street – Retention of individual lettering                                                                                                                                                            applied sign on front elevation.

PROPOSAL: NO OBJECTION

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

3/13: (ref: 13/00034/FUL) The Grange, Kegworth Road – Erection of single storey pole barn for the storage of tractors and fodder.

J.P.Anderson would contact RBC Planning Department for further information regarding this application.

13/26: Planning Decisions Received:  Nil.

13/27: Environmental Matters: (R.Davis – Vice Chairman).

Village Drainage System: The Environment Committee had accepted a £680 quotation from Horizon to re-instate the ditch, to improve drainage, between the Railway Walk and B.T.Exchange.

Village Pump Lighting: M.J.Sheppard would meet NCC representative M.Freeman on the 7th February, re the correct method of installing electricity to the village pump to meet safety criteria. English Heritage would be informed of the plans to meet the Grade 2 Listed Building rules.

Village Sculpture: D.Charlesworth had produced a virtual reality photograph of the planned Village Sculpture which was passed round for inspection. The height of the finished sculpture would be 22 feet. The chevrons and rubbish bin, presently situated on the grass verge, would be removed to another position. R. Muir had arranged a meeting with K.Hourd of NCC for a final inspection of the site.

PROPOSAL: To place an order for the Village Sculpture a cheque for £4,750 to be issued to cover 40% of the cost.

PROPOSED: R.Muir  SECONDED: R.Davis. Vote: nine in favour, one against.

13/28:  Memorial Hall Report:

M.J.Sheppard reported the following items:

A Soul night based on 60’s and 70’s music would take place on Saturday, 6th April, 2013.

The Moonrakers’ room was under current improvement to include a lagged suspended ceiling. P.Green would paint a wall mural and the storeroom walls would be highered to reach the ceiling.

13/29: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

The Clerk had received the latest crime figures from E.Rodgers. One reported crime of paint thrown over a car parked on Kegworth Road had been reported during January.

E.Padden reported the next Police Priority Setting Meeting would take place at Keyworth Village Hall on the 17th April, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.

13/30: Gotham News & Media:     (R.Muir/J.P.Anderson)

J.P.Anderson confirmed the copy date for the next edition was Friday, 15th February, 2013. R.Muir would bill the advertisers for the forthcoming year.

13/31: Chairman’s Report             

The Chairman thanked Councillors for their hard work on the Village Sculpture project.

13/32: Clerk’s report:

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

13/33: Matters to Report:

M.J.Sheppard had been asked by a parishioner if Wodehouse Avenue could be gritted during the recent icy road conditions. It was decided that, unfortunately, the Parish Council could not undertake the gritting of individual pavements in the village. Grit bins were place in several accessible locations for the public to use. R.Muir had personally gritted several areas of the village.

R.Davis reported anti social behaviour on The Rushes carried out a 4 a.m. on Saturday night. The Police had been informed.

13/34: Items for Next Agenda: Village Sculpture. M.H. meeting

13/35: Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting would be held on the 5th March, 2013.    Meeting concluded at  10.20 pm.