Present: M.J. Sheppard, (Chairman) J.M.F.Royce, J.P.Anderson, G.Hutter, G.Clark, H.Taylor, D.Bexon, M.Wilkins, A.Clayworth, G.Holbrook, C.Dabell.
In Attendance: County Councillor A. Brown, Borough Councillor S.Matthews, Mr. S. Watson, Ms. E.Rodgers.
The Chairman welcomed attendees to the meeting.
15/159: Apologies: B.J.Walker (Vice-Chairman)
15/160: Acceptance of Apologies:
PROPOSED: G.Clark SECONDED: G.Holbrook. All in favour.
15/161: Declaration of Interest:
G.Hutter, H.Taylor, D.Bexon, A.Clayworth in matters relevant to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground.
15/162: County Councillor A.Brown:
County Councillor A.Brown reported the following matters:
Councillor Brown has been elected as a member of the Nottingham Police and Crime Panel.
The meeting of the Environmental and Sustainability Committee re mineral extraction over the next ten years, has been delayed for further information to be brought forward; over one thousand protesters are expected to attend the next meeting,, as this committee has received applications for exploratory drilling for fracking.
GPC’s application for a donation towards the Village Well House refurbishment, is being administered.
GPC’s application for a donation towards the provision of a second defibrillator is under consideration.
Councillor Brown is unable to attend the East Leake Remembrance Service, as he has accepted an invitation to lay the wreath at the Sutton Bonington service. (date of service, 8th November, 2015).
15/163: Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews:
Borough Councillor S. Matthews reported the following matters:
He had attended a Rushcliffe Borough Council meeting last week, when the accounts were passed. The reserve fund totals fourteen million pounds.
The building of the new Council Civic Centre, on Rugby Road, is progressing despite an arson attack which had destroyed an indoor bowling green.
Councillor Matthews, has generously agreed to fund a new strimmer to the village of Gotham. It will be presented to the Chairman of the G.N.R. committee, a photograph will be printed in the November issue of Gotham News. The approximate cost of the strimmer is £1,000 which will be paid out of his annual council allowance of £6,000.
Councillor Matthews is unable to attend the Remembrance Service in East Leake as he will be away on business.
The Chairman announced that Item 9 on the Agenda would be debated next in consideration of Ms. E. Rodgers.
15/ Planning Applications Received:
15/12: (ref: 15/01459/FUL) 15 Wodehouse Avenue – Replacement of single storey front porch. .
Suspension of Standing Orders: PROPOSED: J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. All in favour.
Ms. Rodgers explained the present porch is in need of repair and too small to accommodate wheelchair access which may become necessary for her parents to visit. It is, therefore, prudent to enlarge the footprint of the porch which requires planning permission.
Ms. Rodgers left the meeting at 8.15 p.m.
Re-instatement of Standing Orders: PROPOSED: J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. All in favour
PROPOSAL: NO OBJECTION re 15 Wodehouse Avenue – replacement porch. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: G. Hutter. All in favour.
15/164: Planning Decisions Received:
15/11: (ref: 15/01647/FUL) Woodland, Kegworth Rd.- Levelling of area and importation of topsoil to facilitate grass growth to create grazing land for horses/fencing/gates. APPLICATION GRANTED CONDITIONAL.
15/165: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:
Village Envelope: J.P.Anderson, and other Councillors, had recently attended meetings with Rushcliffe Borough Council and British Gypsum re discussions on Gotham’s green belt status. At the present time, building in Gotham can only be on brown field sites. The RBC Core Strategy part 2 has designated Gotham a green belt envelope meaning GPC needs to change policy to allow input into where future development takes place, within the envelope, which is due to be implemented in two years time, following a public examination. Any land within the green belt envelope will be eligible for development with RBC planning permission. GPC should agree settlement boundaries for local need. The land behind the former Royal British Legion building should be included in the RBC Strategic Land availability assessment if it is within the envelope.
J.M.F.Royce commented that, if the envelope was extended to natural boundaries, it would be too big. If implemented, it would be the most significant change to the status of Gotham for thirty eight years. If the village stays in the green wash, it will have no say in future development.
J.M.F.Royce thought the proposal to decide a green belt envelope at this stage was premature and K. Mafham’s advice that an ‘envelope’ was not ‘set in concrete’ could develop into a scramble to build. He called on further enquiries to be made re Gotham’s future green belt status, by asking K. Mafham and Councillors Brown and Matthews whether there is any possibility of insetting Gotham in a wash, in view of the seven hundred plus house development at East Leake and possible three and a half thousand house development on Clifton Pastures.
J.P. Anderson confirmed it was important to identify the two pieces of land, behind the former Royal British Legion and the King’s site on Hill Road, to offer RBC to add to the SHLAA.
J.M.F.Royce suggested purchasing all the land behind the British Legion to prevent it falling into the hands of a developer. He suggested monthly meetings to properly discuss the green belt envelope and its finance.
G. Hutter thought a lack of village infrastructure should prevent building en masse in Gotham. At the present time, there is good quality building taking place in the countryside on brown field sites.
Councillor A. Brown reported, that East Leake building development is out of control and the Neighbourhood Plan had been poorly supported by the parishioners. The pumping station is unable to cope with the extra housing sewage needs, which will be further exacerbated by the refurbishment of Stanford Hall, into a military rehabilitation centre, causing additional drainage requirements. There is outline planning permission for a major NHS rehabilitation unit to run alongside Stanford Hall.
PROPOSAL: GPC accepts the drawing of a village envelope as part of the Core Strategy Part 2 of the Rushcliffe Local Plan. GPC agrees that this envelope must follow settlement boundaries around the entire circumference of the village, except for the possible inclusion of a limited number of sites, to satisfy local housing need only.
PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: M.J. Sheppard. Vote: seven in favour, three against, one abstention.
J.M.F.Royce requested a Recorded Vote.
In Favour: J.P.Anderson, M.J. Sheppard, G.Hutter, H.Taylor, D.Bexon, A.Clayworth, G.Holbrook,.
Against: J.M.F.Royce, M.Wilkins, C.Dabell.
Abstention: G. Clark.
The Chairman thanked County Councillor Brown and Borough Councillor Matthews for attending the meeting and they left at 8.27 p.m.
15/166: Minutes of the previous meeting:
Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on the 1ST September, 2015, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted with the following amendment:
Pg. 2: 15/145: Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts: Grants Policy: after ‘£2,000’ add ‘per annum.’
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the September Minutes. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: C.Dabell. Vote: All in favour.
15/147: Royal British Legion: J.P. Anderson had received a letter from RBC advising that the former Royal British Legion building is for sale from the 2nd October, 2015. This extends the moratorium on the building to the 2nd April, 2016.
Resulting from the Public meeting, held on the 10th September, 2015, a second news bulletin will be sent to Gotham parishioners with a personal funding survey sheet attached to provide essential advice on how much individuals are prepared to invest in the purchase of the building.
GPC had previously sent a formal notice to RBC in June, 2015, following a public decision, to post an interest to bid for the building. The Royal British Legion did not appeal against the listing of the building being an Asset of Community Value. A second notice of GPC’s interest to bid will be required by RBC.
PROPOSAL: That GPC serve as an Associated Body on behalf of the local Community to express an ‘Interest to Bid’.
PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard. Vote: All in favour.
15/167: 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.P.Anderson SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce. Vote: All in favour.
Cemetery Gardening: The Clerk will thank Mr. and Mrs. Hands for their excellent work on creating a colourful front border at the Cemetery.
Projection Screen: D.Bexon reported she can buy a second hand projection screen from an acquaintance for £10 – £15.
All agreed this purchase as it will save the cost of screen hire, which cost £33, for a recent public meeting.
Plunkett Foundation: J.P.Anderson reported, the Plunkett Foundation will reimburse the costs of the Royal British Legion planning application – £192.50 and other set up costs.
Horizon Contractors: J.M.F.Royce reported, the Horizon mowing costs to rise by 2% in 2016. (Accepted and agreed).
The Clerk had queried the lack of a herbicide spray to the Cemetery perimeter which had been overlooked by the Contractor. They had offered their apologies.
Budgets for 2016/17 – Environment Budget Paper 3 £4,043.01 (Recommendation by Environment Committee).
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the Environment Budget 2016/17 of £4,043.01.
PROPOSED: M.J.Sheppard SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. Vote: All in favour.
S.Watson Small Claim Court Judgement: Case for £30:
M.J.Sheppard had received a confidential letter, in July, 2015, from D.Swain (Deputy Chief Executive of RBC) inviting him to answer allegations re a complaint about his manner towards S.Watson at a previous meeting. M.J.Sheppard had since received a letter from D.Swain advising that after due consideration and, in conjunction with an Independent Person, no action would be taken as his behaviour did not breech the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct.
M.J.Sheppard explained the matter of a Judgement for £96.78 being made against GPC by S.Watson plus £15 Court costs.The Court had refused to accept GPC’s defence statement due to a technical error. A meeting of M.J.Sheppard, B.J.Walker, J.P.Anderson and M.F.Raven (on behalf of GPC) had agreed it would not be worth going to Appeal. S.Watson had accepted a cheque for £96.78 in full payment and signed a receipt. M.J. Sheppard read out the following statement re the Judgement of the Court being no fault of GPC:-
‘In respect of this claim, because of a series of events outside the control of Gotham Parish Council, no defence was entered , and a judgement was consequentially made against them.
Gotham Parish Council would like to stress that this payment does not imply that they accept that they were at fault in the matterof the original claim in any way.’
The matter is now closed
PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders.
PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: G.Hutter.
S.Watson re-stated his reason for taking out a small claim action against the Council for £30. He stated his dissatisfaction at the allegedly domineering and rude manner of the Chairman of GPC.
S.J.Watson left the meeting at 9.08 p.m.
PROPOSAL: Re-instatement of Standing Orders.
PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: C.Dabell.
15/168: Casual Vacancy:
The Clerk reported she had not received an application for the Casual Vacancy on the Parish Council, within the fourteen day period of a public notice. The Council are now eligible to co-opt a new Councillor.
15/169: Report by the Chairman of the Environmental Committee: (C.Dabell)
C.Dabell reported the following matters:
1) Christmas Tree: A Christmas tree had been offered, free of charge, by an anonymous donor.
The Clerk to order a string of 100 solar powered fairy lights from Lights4Fun at a cost of £9.99. The lights will be tested to ascertain their suitability for stringing in the Rowan Trees in The Square.
2) Autumn Bulb Planting: The Clerk to order four boxes of daffodil bulbs. C.Dabell and A. Urry to plant.
3) Kegworth Road Seat: M.J.Sheppard had contacted A.Vickers re the re-siting of the village seat on Kegworth Road. A. Vickers had suggested the seat be removed to Moor Lane, outside the Old Garth, or outside Red Roofs, (former cattery). Defer to Environment Committee for final decision re position of the seat. Councillors were in favour of a seat outside Gotham School.
4) Village Sculpture – paving in front of seat: K.Hourd of NCC had sent a copy of the Clerk’s suggestion that NCC pave the area to accommodate wheelchair users, to the NCC Estimates Team. The work was more involved that anticipated with a curved verge and incline to overcome.
5) Well House refurbishment: G. Hutter reported donations offered by British Gypsum of £100 and the Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station of £500. She had contacted the Arts Council re the suggestion of installing boards in the roof depicting the Gotham Tales. The Arts Council offer a grant of up to £15,000 without the restrictive conditions attached to the Heritage Lottery Grant.
The architect to project manage the refurbishment will be considered at the next Environment Meeting on the 20th October, 2015.
15/170: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:
G. Hutter reported the fencing, behind the netball post, had been ‘sturdily’ repaired.
15/171: Policing Matters/Vandalism:
D.Bexon reported, no crime reported in September.
The Clerk had reported fly tipping on Gypsum Way which had since been removed. She had since noticed black bags dumped in the verge, between the first and second gateways, at the Kegworth Road end. She would report the matter to Streetwise.
15/172: Gotham News & Media: Editorial Team: (Editorial Team: Councillors: M.J.Sheppard, B.J.Walker, G. Hutter and D.Bexon. Parishioner: B.Sherratt. Photographer: H.Trobridge).
M.J.Sheppard reported he is redesigning the masthead of Gotham News. Beth Sherratt had joined the editorial team to help create a ‘new look’.
PROPOSAL: In line with new meeting time limits, the meeting should now close at 9.30 p.m. It was PROPOSED by J.M.F.Royce and SECONDED by M.J.Sheppard to continue the meeting until the end of the Agenda. All in favour.
15/173: Chairman’s Report:
The Chairman reported the Heinz new product promotion titled ‘Gotham renamed Heinz for the day’ with D.C Comics, which was approved by Rushcliffe Borough Council, ltook place on the evening of Tuesday 15th September, with laser beam images of Batman beamed onto various trees and clouds around the village . Some residents received a free box of Heinz products on their doorsteps the following morning. An article had appeared in the Loughborough Echo and would be printed in Gotham News.
15/174: Clerk’s report:
The Clerk asked if any Councillor could attend the NALC A.G.M. on the 18th November, 2015, at Epperstone Village Hall, to claim the cheque for the £100 prize for the Best Kept Village newcomer – promoting the Village Sculpture.
The Clerk had been asked by A. Farnsworth, for a donation from GPC towards the food bank collection in St. Lawrence Church. Donations are sent to Clifton food bank on a monthly basis. Councillors were invited to bring tinned food items to the next meeting for the Clerk to deliver to the Church.
15/175: Matters to Report:
H.Taylor reported the need for a litter sign in the field entrance, opposite to Elliott’s Transport garage.(Environment Agenda).
J.M.F.Royce reported, he had strimmed around the seat, dedicated to E. Smith, on Wood Lane.
G.Hutter will attend the Armed Forces Event at County Hall on the 12th November, 2015.
15/176: Items for Next Agenda:
Budgets for 2016/17.
15/177: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015 at 7.30 p.m.
Meeting closed at 9.50 p.m.