Minutes of a Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (05/11/13)

Present:   M.J.Sheppard, (Chairman) J.M.F.Royce,  R.Davis,    B.J.Walker,   J.P.Anderson, K. Steed,  C.Dabell,  R.Muir, D.Bexon.

One minute silence in memory of the War Dead.

The Council stood for one minute of silence in memory of Gotham’s War Dead.

The Chairman requested Item 7b on the Agenda, Bridging Loan, be discussed as the first item.

Finance – 7b Bridging Loan:

The Chairman announced the necessity for the Parish Council to take out a bridging loan of £10,000, for a six month period, to cover the increased cost of the Memorial Hall car park refurbishment, due to unforeseen work. Funds currently invested in a Santander Bond would be available to the Council within this timescale.

R.Muir spoke in favour of a lesser amount of money being tied in a Bond in future. She had voted against the decision to invest such a large amount of money which she had deemed unwise.

PROPOSAL: That the Parish Council arrange a bridging loan to the sum of  £10,000 for a six month period to cover the cost of extra work on the Memorial Hall Car Park.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: R.Davis  Vote: eight in favour, one abstention.

13/160: Election of Vice-Chairman:

It was moved by M.J.Sheppard, seconded by R.Muir that Karen Steed be appointed Vice-Chairman of Gotham Parish Council.

K.Steed accepted the position of Vice-Chairman and thanked Council.

Vote: All in favour.

13/161: Apologies: G.Clark, E.Rodgers, E.Padden, Notts County Councillor A.Brown.

13/162: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: R.Muir Vote: All in favour.

13/163: Declaration of Interest:

Royal British Legion members, C.Dabell and J.M.F.Royce in Agenda item 7c Civic Wreath.

13/164: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council held on the 1st October, 2013, be accepted as a true record of the business transacted, with the following amendments:

13/142: Apologies: Remove ‘Chairman’.

13/148: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee: (Chairman J.P.Anderson) remove heading: ‘Progress on Consultation re RBC Core Strategy.’

PROPOSED: R.Davis  SECONDED: J.P.Anderson Vote: All in favour.

Progress from the Minutes: 13/146 : Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts: The Clerk had reported to D.Power of the PCC, GPC’s intention to award a grant of £230 towards the cost of repairs to the church clock.

13/165: Casual Vacancy:

G.Hutter had attended the October meeting and was in the process of registering on the Electoral Roll in order to attain eligibility to serve on the Parish Council.

13/166 : 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.

D.Charlesworth had submitted an invoice for travelling expenses incurred during the work on the Village Sculpture.

a)  Quarterly Financial Update – The Clerk would circulate the budget sheets to members before the next meeting. Agreed to defer to the December meeting when invoices for the Village Sculpture could be included.

b) Bridging Loan – (already discussed Item 1)

c) Civic Wreath  –  PROPOSAL: To donate £100 to the Gotham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion to defray the cost of the wreath. PROPOSED: R. Muir  SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. Vote: six in favour, one against, two abstentions. (Two declarations of interest).

d) Date of Finance Meeting: The next meeting of the Finance Committee would be held on the  26th November, 2013 at 7.30 p.m.

R.Muir suggested a fourth bank signatory should be appointed. (Deferred for further consultation).

13/167: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee: (Chairman J.P.Anderson)

Progress on Consultation re RBC Core Strategy: B.J.Walker had attended some sessions of the Aligned Core Strategy Public Inquiry currently being held. K.Mafham represented Gotham and surrounding villages. Unfortunately, the Inspector had quoted the housing numbers ‘objectively sound’. K.Mafham was pressing hard for more attention to building on brown field sites within the City. The lack of public consultation was criticised by A.Soubry M.P. The deadline for the RBC vote was the 12th December, 2013.

Traffic Lights: The proposed traffic lights outside Gotham School were not yet in place. County Councillor A.Brown was progressing their installation and had brought about increased street lighting during the night on the main roads. M.J.Sheppard reported on Radio Nott’m’s  live programme coverage with Cllr Andrew Brown, Head Teacher Sue Lymn-Brewin and several parents outside the school and the ongoing campaign for traffic/ pedestrian lights, which started in May. The Clerk was asked thank County Councillor A.Brown for his help.

J.P.Anderson had attended a Community Community Consultation & Community Led Planning Rushcliffe Parish Forum on the 30th October, 2013. The meeting had primarily concerned the drawing up of a Parish Plan which Gotham had already achieved. The Parish Plan would form a basis for a Neighbourhood Plan which was important to protect the village from further inappropriate development. The Gotham Village Design Statement now required updating. J.P.Anderson had brought a copy of the Cropwell Butler Neighbourhood Plan as an example.

P.Marshall had attended the GPC Planning meeting held on the 22nd October 2013. He had also suggested GPC draw up a Neighbourhood Plan which would be especially beneficial should a green belt envelope be imposed upon Gotham.

13/168: Planning Decisions Received: Nil.

13/169: Planning Applications Received: Nil.

13/170: Environmental Matters:

C.Dabell reported the Railway Walk picnic seats had been repaired and replaced by S.Watson and D.Urry.

13/171: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:

J.M.F.Royce had requested and received a set of the Memorial Hall minutes.

K. Steed reported an extension to the bar was planned to improve drinks storage.

Election of one more representative to serve as Trustee. For review at the December meeting.

13/172:  Memorial Hall Car Park Refurbishment Report:

J.M.F.Royce reported the 10% financial contingency for the car park refurbishment had been exhausted by unexpected costs to the drainage system and the car park. The total cost was £36,101.20 plus VAT.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of final cost of car park refurbishment – £36,101.20 plus VAT.

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

The Chairman expressed thanks and congratulations to the Project Group, members of the Memorial Hall Trust and the Parish Council, who together with architect, Jeff Jones, and the contractors, Colin Bowers and Son Limited, had worked  very efficiently to deliver on time and within budget – almost!

13/173: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

D.Bexon reported no crime recorded during the month of October. A handbag theft from a house on Wodehouse Avenue had recently occurred. A serious road accident on Nottingham Road had caused the road to be closed. Traffic had to make a detour of approximately ten miles to reach the centre of the village.

13/174: Gotham News & Media:  

Editorial Team: M.J.Sheppard, R.Muir, K.Steed and D.Bexon. R.Muir had produced an excellent draft copy of the November edition of Gotham News with the assistance of the editorial team. D.Bexon would pass the June crime figures to R.Muir for inclusion. R.Muir requested all Councillors carry out their Gotham News delivery.

PROPOSAL: The mugs depicting the sculpture icons would be supplied to the village pubs. (Batman and Robin icon would be excluded as written permission would be required from DC Comics.)

PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson  SECONDED: K.Steed. Vote: All in favour.

R.Muir left the meeting at 9.20 p.m.

13/175: Royal British Legion Remembrance Sunday 10/11/13 – Wreath laying at Gotham Service 10.45 a.m.)

J.M.F.Royce would attend the Gotham service and lay the wreath on behalf of the Chairman from the parishioners of Gotham. J.P.Anderson would attend the East Leake parade.

13/176: Gotham Countryside Trust – 2 GPC Representatives:

R.Davis offered to continue as a Trustee of the Countryside Trust. G.Clark had expressed a wish to retire. The matter would be further debated at the next meeting.

13/177:  Revised Code of Conduct 2013:

The Clerk reported a minor change to the Code of Conduct, forwarded from RBC, whereby subsection 6 of the new code calls on a councillor to divulge if they are a member of a Trade Union, whereas before it did not ask this in regard to divulging interests.  

13/178:  Church Christmas Tree Exhibition – Decorations for GPC tree

B.J.Walker, D.Bexon and the Clerk would decorate a Christmas tree with photographs of the village sculpture icons. D.Bexon offered to assist with a selection of photographs.

Carol Singing – 10th Dec – letter from Rev. R. Coleman:

A letter had been received from the Rev. R. Coleman supporting the Christmas Carols in The Square with an offer of refreshments in the Church. The Clerk would accept the offer but make it clear that the focus of the Carols would be in The Square. C.Dabell would supply chocolate Santa’s for the children. The Gotham Primary School children would be singing a carol. It is hoped that a  small gazebo would be situated next to the bicycle racks in which they could perform.

13/179: Chairman’s Report:         

The Chairman had received the following correspondence:

An invitation to the RBC Mayor’s reception to be held on the 22nd January, 2014. The Chairman and Clerk to attend.

13/180: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk had received the following correspondence:

RBC Winter gritting salt – The Clerk would order the five free bags of gritting salt.

The Clerk had reported the stolen ‘Gotham’ entrance sign from Nottingham Road to K.Hourd of NCC Highways.

13/181: Matters to Report:

J.P.Anderson reported, paint peeling off the Village Sculpture plaque. This was due to damage caused when the protective plastic seal was peeled back.

J.P.Anderson reported the Notts County Minerals Local Plan was available on the website.

The Clerk had received a reply from K.Hourd of NCC re speeding traffic into the village. She had offered to carry out a site visit.

B.J.Walker asked the Clerk to arrange sweeping of the leaves under the seats in front of the old Post Office.

M.J.Sheppard reported Radio Nottingham had inquired about the Village Tales for their website. They had been diverted to B.Dabell for advice.

13/182: Items for Next Agenda. Casual Vacancy, Clerk’s Salary Award, De-Fibrillator.

13/183: Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting would be held on the 3rd December, 2013. at 7 p.m. with a Christmas Reception arranged by the Chairman. Meeting concluded at  10.00 pm.