Minutes of a Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (01/03/16)

Present: Councillors, M.J. Sheppard, (Chairman) B.J.Walker (Vice-Chairman), J.P.Anderson, D.Bexon, A.Clayworth, M.Wilkins, G.Clark, G.Holbrook, H.Taylor. J.M.F.Royce, G.Hutter.

In attendance: Mr. and Mrs. S. Watson, Mrs. G.May, Mr. P. Harris, Ms. S. Dixon, Ms. S. Wilson, Mr. G.Harris.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

16/50: Apologies: Councillor C.Dabell, County Councillor A. Brown, Borough Councillor S.Matthews.

16/51: Acceptance of Apologies:
PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson. SECONDED: B.J.Walker. All in favour.

16/52: Declaration of Interest:
J.P.Anderson and M.J.Sheppard in matters relating to the purchase of the Royal British Legion site.(Items 7 and 8).

16/53: Minutes of the previous meeting:
Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on the 16th February, 2016, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted, with the following amendment: 16/48 Grant to Gotham Community Hub Limited: item 3) add: ‘An 80% majority vote in favour would be used in deciding whether to go ahead with the idea of recovering the Grant via a tax rise in the village’.
PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: B.J.Walker . Vote: All in favour.
Accuracy: G.Hutter suggested taping the meetings on a dictaphone in future would probably assist with the accuracy of the minutes. The Clerk thought this might be confusing when and if Councillors spoke together which can occur during the meeting.
Progress from the Minutes: Nil to report.

16/54: Public Consultation:
PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce.
All in favour.

S.Watson asked for the result of the recent Public Consultation carried out in respect of the proposed Council Tax increase of £7 per annum on a band D house.
The Clerk reported, she had received 116 emails/letters of protest, the majority on inaccurate FORM letters, 33 letters in support of the proposal and 34 spoilt papers, (illegible signatures, duplicates). The number of electors on the electoral roll is 1,347. (May 2015).

A discussion ensued re the pros and cons of the process of raising enough capital to be in a position for the Gotham Community Hub to make a sensible bid for the RBL site in April, 2016.

Councillor A.Clayworth took great exception to comments made by P. Harris regarding the Council’s integrity.

PROPOSAL: Re-Instatement of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce.
All in favour.

Having previously declared an interest, Councillors, M.J. Sheppard and J.P.Anderson left the meeting at 8.05 p.m.

The Vice-Chairman, B.J.Walker took over the Chair.

B.J.Walker spoke of the Parish Council’s best intentions to assist the Gotham Community Hub to acquire the RBL site. She outlined the history of the process, to date. The time frame of the consultation had been short, compared with other historic undertakings in the village, such as the refurbishment of the Memorial Hall. The 81 parishioners who had attended the Annual Parish Meeting on the 28th April, 2015 had supported the registration of the site as an ACV with or by a unanimous vote in favour.

16/55: Finance:
a/ Monthly Payments and Receipts
b/ GPC loan to £26,000 to the Gotham Community Hub.
c/ GCHL loan – Sources of Funding
Item c/ to be next discussed: Gotham Community Hub loan – Sources of Funding:
M.Wilkins called for Councillors who had invested in the Hub, to leave the room as they would have a conflict of interest, i.e. a capital gain.
G.Clark described the difference of ‘capital gain’ and ‘interest’. Investors would not gain from the Capital invested. The community will ‘gain’ a valuable site for the future.

P. Harris indicated his desire to speak.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: G.Clark SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce. All in favour.

Question from Mr. P. Harris.

‘Who will pay for the inside refurbishment of the building?’

Answer from Councillor G. Clark.

‘The Tenant’.

PROPOSAL: Re-Instatement of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: G.Clark SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce.
All in favour.

Two PROPOSALS were then put before Council.

1. PROPOSAL: As a result of the Public Consultation, which closed on the 29th February, 2016, that GPC does not impose a levy on the Council Tax of £7 per Band D house for a period of 20 years.
PROPOSED: G.Clark SECONDED: G.Holbrook. Vote: seven in favour, one against, one abstention.

2. PROPOSAL: That GPC resolves to continue to support the Gotham Community Hub Limited with funds totalling £100,000. This is to be partially made up of an £80,000 grant sourced, via a loan from the Public Works Loan Board. The first year PWLB loan repayments of £6,000 will be raised by way of cuts to the revenue budget.
PROPOSED: J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: A.Clayworth. Vote: seven in favour, one against, one abstention.

b/ GPC loan of £26,000 to the Gotham Community Hub.

PROPOSAL: That GPC resolve to provide a loan of £20,000 to the Gotham Community Hub Limited from existing capital reserves and accumulated current revenue and other underspends.
PROPOSED: J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: A.Clayworth. Vote: seven in favour, one against, one abstention.

The Clerk reported, the project to financially support the purchase of the former Royal British Legion site has been presented to the Public by way of a public consultation, newsletter and public meeting.

Councillor, G. Hutter spoke against the scheme as, in her opinion, it was not a sound investment.

J.M.F. Royce confirmed that the Well House capital fund is fully protected up to £10,000.

Ms. Dixon left the meeting at 8.45 p.m.

Councillors, J.P.Anderson and M.J.Sheppard returned to the meeting at 8.45 p.m. accompanied by K. Mafham.
Councillor M.J. Sheppard resumed the Chair.

S.Watson requested a further Suspension of Standing Orders.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce. SECONDED: G.Hutter. All in favour.

S.Watson registered his annoyance that his overcharge for pruning clearance of the Railway Walk had not initially been paid to him, in view of the Council’s financial status.

PROPOSAL: Re-Instatement of Standing Orders. PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce. SECONDED: G.Hutter
All in favour.

Mr. and Mrs. S. Watson and Mr. G. Harris, left the meeting at 8.48 p.m.

a) Finance Acceptance of Receipts and Payments:
PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. Vote: All in favour.

16/56: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:

The Chairman welcomed K. Mafham to the meeting:

K.Mafham had drawn up and circulated a report including his recommendations, as follows:

Rushcliffe Local Plan, Part 2
Ken Mafham Associates to prepare representations on the Rushcliffe Local Plan, now out for consultation with a deadline of 24th March, 2016. A copy of the Plan has been emailed to Members.
A proposed boundary for the greenbelt, shown on Figure B4 on page 92 of the Local Plan, that more or less follows the boundary of the existing built up area and allows for no open areas of any size to be excluded from the greenbelt.

That the current policy of allowing the redevelopment and intensification of existing St. Gobain complex, South of Gypsum Way, be carried forward into the part 2 Local Plan but the site is retained in the greenbelt.

The Waterloo Housing – Affordable Housing in Gotham:
GPC support a bid by Waterloo Housing Association to St Gobain for approximately one acre of land at the back of the Royal British Legion; to be developed for affordable housing purely to meet local needs.
It seems the funding is there: a suitable site is required. It is a rural exception scheme so needs to be a site that would not otherwise get planning permission. SG 4, the land behind the RBL is the most favourable and that is being pursued but there is no certainty as to the outcome. In a previous report two other possibilities were mentioned .

The Housing Needs Survey is currently being collated by Midlands Rural Housing and the results are to be made available by the end of March, 2016. J.P.Anderson reported there had been a 21% response to the Housing Survey.

The Neighbourhood Plan:
K.Mafham was previously instructed to submit a proposal to Rushcliffe Borough Council for the whole of Gotham Parish to be designated as a Neighbourhood Area. This has now been done. Further steps to be contingent on a report on the likely financial implications of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.

The boundary shown on B4 would allow some infill development and redevelopment within the village envelope. The location and capacity of such sites is a proper matter for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Recommendation :
That the boundary of the greenbelt shown on the attached Plan B4 would allow some small sites for infill development/redevelopment within the village envelope.
The Local Plan is at an early stage and could well change over the next 18 months. The Parish Council may yet need the additional leverage of a draft Neighbourhood Plan for presentation at the Public Examination.

A Neighbourhood Plan can help influence the nature of St Gobain employment proposals

Positive proposals for the village

Control over quality and location of development within the greenbelt boundary

The St Gobain site South of Gypsum Way:
The draft Local Plan proposes that this be retained within the green belt but that some intensification of the site be allowed.

Recommendation :
That the policy be supported subject to safeguards regarding landscaping, noise and traffic which can be set out in the Neighbourhood Plan. The aim should be that any development should result in a net gain so far as environmental impact is concerned.

PROPOSAL: GPC agree with K. Mafham’s recommendations, as above.
PROPOSED: M.J.Sheppard SECONDED: B.J.Walker. All in favour.

K.Mafham left the meeting at 9.15 p.m.

Fracking: (M.Wilkins).
M.Wilkins had submitted an article on the latest developments regarding Fracking. Egdon Resources had been invited to a meeting at the Memorial Hall on Thursday, 12th May, 2016. A show of hands resulted in all Councillors being interested in attending the meeting.
County Councillor A.Brown sits on the NCC Planning Committee but has not commented on the subject.

The Chairman thanked M. Wilkins for his report.

Mr.P. Harris and Ms. Wilson left the meeting at 9.25 p.m.

16/57: Planning Applications Received: Nil

16/58: Planning Decisions Received: Nil.

16/59: Report by the Chairman of the Environmental Committee: (C.Dabell)
In the absence of C. Dabell, Vice-Chairman G.Holbrook reported the following matters:

Well House: A quotation of £550 for a new laminated oak finial and coronet had been received.
The original finial could be stored in the Gotham Museum.

Village Sculpture: G. Holbrook commented on the crocuses now showing around the Village Sculpture.
K.Hourd attempting to give the Clerk a date for the paving slabs around the village seat in front of the Sculpture.

Trees in The Square: The Clerk had not yet heard from Monty Haw, RBC arborist, re replacement trees for the dead Rowan trees. She had priced suitable replacement trees at approximately £32 each.

Gotham Litter Pick: Posters being circulated in the pubs and put on Facebook. (currently 115 Facebook members).
M.Wilkins to produce an A3 poster.
H.Taylor reported an ongoing problem with litter deposited opposite to Eric Elliott’s Transport premises on Hill Road. The Clerk to send the Company a Litter Pick poster in the hope they will undertake a litter pick of the site.

PROPOSAL: Extension of meeting beyond 9.30 p.m. in order to complete the business, as per the agenda.
PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. Vote: All in favour.

16/60: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:
G.Hutter reported, the Trustees of the Memorial Hall had invested £10,000 in shares in the Gotham Community Hub.
The Trustees had offered support for a function at the Memorial Hall in celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. The Memorial Hall bar and other facilities could open for refreshments for the community to enjoy the view of the beacon. M.J.Sheppard suggested another ‘Picnic in the Park’. (Official birthday celebrations – 11th and 12th June, 2016).

16/61: Policing Matters/Vandalism:
D.Bexon reported, the crime figures for February, 2016 were not yet received.
A stolen car, abandoned at the Leake Road entrance to the Logan Trail, had been reported to the Police.

16/62: Gotham News & Media:
M.J.Sheppard reported, the next edition of Gotham News will be delivered before the Easter weekend i.e. 25th March, 2016. More advertisers had applied to the Editor. The edition will enclose a reply to the Gotham Hub consultation.

16/63: Casual Vacancy:
M.Wilkins had invited an interested parishioner to the meeting.

16/64 : Heritage Day – Notts Bus – 90th anniversary:
Heritage Day: The Chairman suggested a theme based on what happened in Gotham 90 years’ ago. Earl Howe could be invited to attend.

16/65: Notts Bus – 90th Anniversary: M.Wilkins reported, a low key celebration is due to be held in the Sun public house on the 12th March, 2016. D.Bexon offered to photograph the advertisement for the event to post on the village Facebook page.

16/66 : H.M. Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations :
A dedicated working party is required to organise this event. The event could host a King/Queen dressing up parade, barbecue or hog roast.

16/67: Date of Annual Parish Meeting:
Suggested date for the Annual Parish Meeting – 26th April, 2016. The form of the meeting to be discussed as an Agenda item, at the next main meeting. (5th April, 2016).

16/68: Chairman’s Report: Nil to report.

16/69: Clerk’s report: (Best Kept Village Award 2016)
The Best Kept Village Award application form passed to G. Holbrook. M.Wilkins offered to photograph an attractive area of the village. Gotham won £100 new entrant prize for the Village Sculpture in 2015. (Environment Agenda item).

16/70: Matters to Report:
G. Holbrook suggested a polite reminder to dog owners about the increased incidence of dog mess being left on the pathways in the village. The Clerk had noticed tied bags of dog mess thrown into the adjacent fields or hedgerows, especially around the Railway Walk.

G.Hutter reported, an interactive speed sign is to be installed on The Ridgeway.

16/71: Items for Next Agenda:. Heritage Day Celebrations, Annual Parish Meeting.

16/72: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 5th April, 2016 at 7.30 p.m.

Meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.