Minutes of a Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (03/11/15)

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

In Attendance: Borough Councillor S.Matthews

The Chairman welcomed Borough Councillor S.Matthews. to the meeting.

A One Minute Silence was observed in memory of the War Dead.

Donations of Food and Cosmetics were collected by the Clerk to pass to the St. Lawrence Church Food Collection to then be delivered to Clifton Food Bank. The Chairman thanked participating Councillors.

15/178: Apologies:  A.Clayworth, County Councillor A. Brown.

15/179: Acceptance of Apologies:

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

15/180:  Declaration of Interest:

G.Hutter, H.Taylor, D.Bexon, in matters relevant to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground.

J.M.F.Royce in the donation towards the Civic Wreath.

15/181: County Councillor A.Brown: N/a – apologies received.

15/182:   Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews:

M.J.Sheppard thanked Borough Councillor S. Matthews for his generous gift of a strimmer to the Gotham Nature Reserve Committee. The strimmer is to be stored in the safekeeping of Councillor C. Dabell and three other GNR members. It is important it does not get lost among the volunteers who work on the GNR. It will be maintained and insured by the GNR. It is for the use of the members of the Logan Trust and GNR but not for outside contractors. S.Matthews expressed thanks to the many volunteers for their hard work maintaining the Logan Trail and the GNR.

Councillor S. Matthews reported the following items:

No sign of RBC Core Strategy Part 2.

The grass riverbank is very overgrown at Ratcliffe on Soar. The land is thought to be the property of the adjacent farmer. C. Dabell thought it was the duty of the National River Authority to clear overgrown banks.

15/183: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on the 6th October, 2015, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted with the following amendment:

Pg. 2: 15/165: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee: 7th line after ‘envelope’ start next sentence with ‘J.M.F.Royce’. 3rd paragraph  change Part 2 to Part ‘1’. 6th paragraph – start with ‘Councillor A.Brown’.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the October 2015 Minutes. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard. Vote: All in favour.


15/167: Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts: D.Bexon had researched the projector on sale at £10 – £15 but had discovered it would not be large enough for the Memorial Hall requirements.

15/184: 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.

PROPOSAL: Additional payment to be included in favour of S. Douglas for the prompt delivery of posters for the ACV. (Asset of Community Value).

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

Contribution to the Civic Wreath: PROPOSAL: A donation of £250 to defray the costs of the Remembrance Day wreath. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: Ten in favour, one abstention. (Dec. of interest).

Recommendations by Environment Committee:

a)       Acceptance of NCC estimate of £575.23 (+VAT) for paving around village sculpture seat.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of NCC quotation of £575.23 to pave around village sculpture seat.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: C.Dabell. Vote: All in favour.

J.M.F.Royce explained the plan to include the removal of the Kegworth Road seat to a new site outside Gotham Primary School, opposite to the entrance of the Railway Walk. The Clerk had asked K. Hourd, of NCC Highways, for permission, and an estimate for the work, which could be carried out at the same time as the paving.

b) Acceptance of M.Goodwill-Hodgson architectural project management of well house refurbishment £1,540.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of M.Goodwill-Hodgson’s quotation to project manage the well house refurbishment at a cost of £1,540. PROPOSED: G.Holbrook SECONDED: G.Hutter. Vote All in favour.

G.Hutter reported, no planning permission required for the refurbishment, as confirmed by James Bate, RBC Heritage advisor.

Recommendations by Finance Committee:

a) Repayment of Precept overcharge:

J.M.F.Royce had spoken to Ms. A. Hall-Wright, (RBC finance team) who had confirmed that the overcharge on the 2015/16 Precept amounted to £1,918. It was PROPOSED by J.M.F.Royce SECONDED by J.P.Anderson that  the 2016/17 Precept should be reduced by that amount. Vote: All in favour.

b) Gotham Remembers  £500:

It was PROPOSED by M.J.Sheppard SECONDED by G.Holbrook, that the Gotham Remembers budget should be credited with £500, from the 2014/15 underspend, to cover the costs of research. Vote: All in favour.

This project is much appreciated but proving an arduous task.

Recommendation by Planning Committee:

a)  SHLAA Assessment by K. Mafham £1,000.

It was PROPOSED by J.P.Anderson SECONDED by J.M.F.Royce that K. Mafham, (with GPC input), carry out an assessment of planning applications in Gotham that had been previously rejected by RBC at a cost of £1,000. Vote: All in favour.

Date of next Finance Meeting will be the 24th November, 2015 at 7.30 p.m.

15/185: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:

Royal British Legion:  J.P.Anderson reported, the survey of village financial support, for the purchase of the former Royal British Legion building, had resulted in fifty responses totalling £109,000, in the form of shares, bonds or loans. This amount will perhaps increase in the run up to Christmas. The Plunkett Foundation had assured J.P.Anderson that a 2% uptake was normal at this stage in the proceedings. There might be an application to GPC for financial support. Thanks to those parishioners for their generous support.

There will be another public meeting in January with a view to a submission in April 2016. J.P.Anderson is viewing the inside of the building to ascertain possible extra uses, other than a shop and post office. Alan and Jane Towle have now retired from the Steering Committee as their presence might cause a conflict of interest. There will be weekly up-date meetings with them for information purposes. C. Dabell suggested that some parishioners were confused about the proceedings, despite two public meetings and house to house information sheets. The January, 2016 meeting will explain clearly what the Steering Committee are hoping to achieve. J.P.Anderson to write a report on proceedings to purchase the RBL building in Gotham News.

General Power of Competence: During the recent period of financial austerity,the  Local Government Association has helped shape the Localism Act 2011, which seeks to empower Councils to make a difference to their communities and continue to deliver vital services. Councils are encouraged to make use of the freedom the Localism Act offers to find innovative ways to improve communities. J.P.Anderson suggested, this power may come into play when we seek to take control of the British Legion building.

3 Meadow End – decking: The decking at 3 Meadow End is still in place despite the Enforcement Officer’s order to have it removed. Clerk to check the length of time allowed within notice of removal.

Proposed Sand and Gravel Extraction at Barton in Fabis: J.P.Anderson reported, Barton in Fabis Parish Council had circulated a newsletter re a Notts County Council meeting to discuss the Minerals Local Plan proposals, to include sand and gravel extraction at Barton. The letter asked for letters of opposition to the proposals to be sent to Notts County Council. PROPOSAL: The Clerk to send a repeat of the GPC letter of opposition, to sand and gravel extraction at Barton in Fabis, to the nine County Councillors’ who serve on the NCC Environment and Sustainability Committee. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.Wilkins. Vote: All in favour.  (Copy to the Clerk to Barton P.C.)

15/186: Planning Applications Received: None

15/187:  Planning Decisions Received: None

15/188: Casual Vacancy: The Clerk reported no applications to serve on GPC to date. Councillors to invite parishioners willing to serve as a Councillor to apply to the Clerk.

15/189: Report by the Chairman of the  Environmental Committee: (C.Dabell)

C.Dabell reported the following matters:

1) Christmas Carols 15th December, 2015: Pledged donations to date total £140.

2) Autumn Bulb Planting: The Clerk had received 600 daffodil bulbs to be divided out for planting by J.M.F.Royce, G. Hutter, C. Dabell and A.Urry.

3) Kegworth Road Seat: The Clerk had contacted K. Hourd of NCC Highways, seeking permission to remove the seat from its dangerous site on Kegworth Road, to a more useful site outside Gotham Primary School. The NCC Estimates Team will be invited to submit an estimate for its removal and resiting to be carried out at the same time as the Village Sculpture paving around the seat on Nottingham Road.

4) Railway Walk Seat: J.M.F.Royce had asked Arthur Howick to remove the dilapidated seat at the Kegworth Road end of the Railway Walk.

5) Well House refurbishment: G. Hutter reported, she is  progressing with applicatioins to grant funders. The 2016/17 Precept will add £1,000 to the capital fund which will then total £7,850. G. Hutter requires letters of support for the refurbishment work from members of the public. Councillors’ were asked to send personal letters of support for the work to satisfy the funding applications criteria. i.e. evidence of need by the Community. An evidence of commitment to continue maintenance of the building must also be demonstrated. It was, therefore, PROPOSED by M.J.Sheppard, SECONDED by G. Holbrook, that GPC will make good any shortfall in the cost of the Well House refurbishment work. Vote: All in favour.

G.Hutter reported the Samfire Creative Arts representative had visited the Well House to discuss the installation of artistic tale boards in the roof space. Two other companies had sent in quotations without the benefit of visiting to inspect the Well House. It was,  therefore, PROPOSED by G.Hutter and SECONDED by G. Holbrook to accept a quotation of £1,800, plus fitting, for five artistic panels produced by Samfire Creative, subject to the agreement of James Bate, (RBC Conservation Officer) and the structural architect.

15/190: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:

G.Hutter reported there would be no Memorial Hall cabaret evening this year.

15/191: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

D.Bexon reported, no October crime figures to date.

M.J.Sheppard and G.Holbrook had set up the Moonrakers’ room for the quarterly Police Priority Setting Meeting held on the 26th October, 2015, chaired by Sam Boote. The meeting concerned general crime in East Leake. Both Bunny and East Leake reported speeding traffic and anti-social behaviour.

15/192: 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 circulated the draft copy of the ‘new look’ Gotham News. He had worked hard on this edition with a great many articles to incorporate and some new advertisers. He thanked the editorial team for their help and support. G. Hutter had asked to retire from the editorial team but M.J.Sheppard urged her to remain.

J.M.F.Royce commented on the loss of the ‘speckled and barred breasted cuckoo with barred wings’ on the masthead, in favour of the golden hare. M.J.Sheppard replied that the cuckoo too much resembled a pigeon.

The Clerk to include Barton, Thrumpton and Kingston Parish Councils in the postal list.

PROPOSAL: Extension of meeting beyond 9.30 p.m. to reach the end of the Agenda.

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

15/193: Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman reported a ceremony to switch on the Christmas Tree lights will be held on the 6th December at 6.p.m. attended by Batman and Robin. H. Taylor offered to drive them to the venue of the Well House in his vintage car.

15/194: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk asked if any Councillor would be willing to 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 reminded Councillors that correspondence should be directed through her, not to individual Councillors, for continuity and filing reasons.

15/195: Matters to Report:

M.Wilkins reported a meeting concerning Fracking is to be held at St. Mary’s Church, East Leake on the 16th November, 2015 at 7 p.m.

G.Hutter reported, the Memorial Hall defibrillator is a year old and would be ready for a service costing £40. An annual service contract would cost £126 per year. As G. Hutter carries out regular checks, and the equipment has not yet been used, it was agreed that no check was required at the present time. GPC to take over checks should G. Hutter be unable to continue.

The Clerk had registered G.Hutter to attend the Armed Forces Event at County Hall on the 12th November, 2015.

J.P.Anderson reported fly tipping of black bags on Kegworth Road, between the mini roundabout and Wood Lane. Clerk to report to Streetwise.

J.M.F.Royce will attend the East Leake Service of Remembrance on the 8th November, 2015.

M.J.Sheppard will lay a wreath at the Service of Remembrance at Gotham.

15/196: Items for Next Agenda: Christmas meetings. Carols by the Well House.

15/197: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 1st December,  2015 at 7.30 p.m. Nibbles and celebration drink to take place before the meeting.

Meeting closed at 9.50 p.m.