Minutes of a Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (07/02/17)

A One Minute Silence was observed in memory of retired Councillor Liz Reid, who sadly died last week.

Present: G. Hutter, (Chairman), B.J. Walker, (Vice-Chairman), D. Bexon, J.M.F. Royce, P. Bower, H. Taylor, M. Wilkins., G. May, C. Dabell, J.P. Anderson, A. Clayworth.

In Attendance: M. Raven

17/25: Apologies: County Councillor A. Brown, Borough Councillor S. Matthews.

17/26: Acceptance of Apologies:
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: M. Wilkins. Vote: All in favour.

17/27: Report by County Councillor, A. Brown: N/a (apologies received)

17/28: Report by Borough Councillor, S. Matthews: N/a (apologies received).

17/29: Declaration of Interest:
Memorial Hall Trustees in any business pertaining to the Memorial Hall.
M. Wilkins in Agenda item 20. Gotham News and Media.

17/30: Minutes of the previous meeting:
Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on the 3rd January, 2017 be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted, with the following amendments:
17/14: Flooding Progress Report: 4th line, replace ‘drain’ with ‘culvert’.
17/18: Gotham News and Media: 2nd sentence, correct spelling from ‘Wilcox’ to ‘Wilkins’.
Acceptance of amended Minutes: PROPOSED J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: All in favour.

Progress: Pg. 3 Item 17/17: B.J. Walker reported the Police Priority Setting Meeting to now be held on the 8th February, 2017 at 10.00 a.m. at Keyworth Village Hall. B.J. Walker, to attend.
Pg. 3 17/7: Formal acceptance of the Revenue Budget 2017/18: £32,661.31. The Revenue Budget had increased to £32,787.31 to include the Defibrillator annual maintenance charge of £126. PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: J.M.F. Royce. Vote: All in favour.

17/31 Acceptance of Revised Standing Orders:
J.P. Anderson reported the reviewed Standing Orders, carried out during August, 2016, had been circulated to Councillors at the December, 2016 meeting for them to check their accuracy. The twenty-two-page document is complicated and produced from the NALC Model Standing Orders and amended to suit Gotham Parish Council’s specific needs within the legal framework to include statutory laws. The Standing Orders and Policies should be reviewed on an annual basis.
J.M.F. Royce had drawn up a list of alterations required and would forward them to J.P. Anderson. He suggested checking sections of the Standing Orders during the next six Parish Council meetings.
a. 18b Clerk’s appraisal – The Council will, upon a resolution, conduct a review of the performance and annual appraisal of the work of the Parish Clerk. The resolution shall determine who will carry out the appraisal. The review and appraisal shall be reported in writing and is subject to approval by resolution by the Council.
PROPOSAL: Adoption of Revision 1 of the Standing Orders dated 1st January 2017.
Next revision to be conducted in April in time for the AGM in May 2017.

PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: M. Wilkins. Vote: ten in favour, one against.
Reason for objection: The document is incomplete and not properly verified.

17/32: Two Casual Vacancies:
The Chairman had received a letter of resignation from R. Webster who had recently accepted the position of Councillor but found she was unable to continue with her membership, due to work commitments. The Clerk had informed the Electoral Officer and posted a Casual Vacancy notice on the Public Noticeboard. Therefore, there are still two vacancies.
An item in Gotham News to be placed which will hopefully attract two new applicants.

M. Raven left the meeting at 8.10 p.m.

17/33 Acceptance of Clerk’s Temporary Assistant (M. Raven).
Thanks recorded to M. Raven who has assisted the Clerk during the change to new computer software. NALC had been informed of the situation and reported many Parish Clerks worked with an assistant.
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of M. Raven’s role of temporary assistant for six months’ when the situation will be reviewed.
PROPOSED: J.M.F. Royce SECONDED: A. Clayworth. Vote: six in favour, five against.

M. Raven returned to the meeting at 8.15 p.m.

17/34: Finance: Monthly Payments and Receipts:
Monthly Payments and Receipts
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of Payment and Receipts.
PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: J.M.F. Royce Vote: All in favour.

Recommendations from the Finance Committee:
Precept for 2017/18 Nil increase.
J.M.F. Royce had spoken with RBC Financial representative, Ms. A. Hall-Wright who had confirmed a nil increase in Precept would result in an extra payment of £40. i.e. £36,440. This is due to the fluctuation in the number of payees of Council Tax which results in a flexible payment overall. The Revenue Budget has increased by 7% in 2017/18. B.J. Walker commented that the Cemetery gardening costs were excessive. (Agenda item for Cemetery Sub-Committee meeting agenda).
PROPOSAL: In view of an expected rise in Council Tax due to the expectation of RBC levying a charge for Social Care, it would be prudent for GPC to vote for a nil increase in the Precept for 2017/18.
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: G. May. Vote: ten in favour, one against.
Gotham News Printing by Temple Printers:
quotations had been received for the future printing/layout of Gotham News.
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of Temple Printers quotation of £805 for nine hundred copies. The cost may be reduced to £380 for printing only. Gotham Remembers inserts to cost £125 for printing only.
PROPOSED: G. May SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: ten in favour, one abstention.
M. Wilkins had kindly offered to carry out the layout of the March edition of Gotham News.

Permission for RFO to transfer monies from Handelsbanken to Co-op, if necessary.
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: J.M.F. Royce. Vote: All in favour.

Application for £500 Gotham Fest Grant (M Lowe). [Deferred until March Meeting]

17/35: Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:
An RBC Public Consultation on Local Plan Part 2 –to be held in the Memorial Hall 9th March 2017 3 – 8 pm.
(item in Gotham News) Parishioners to be invited by RBC notices to every household.

J.P. Anderson read a report re a recent appeal to a development in Aslockton which had been turned down by the Inspector. Ref APP/P3040/W/16/3/31 43126.

The Clifton SUE (Sustainable Urban Extension) has been stalled by the progress of an outline planning application, although the Council are endeavouring to expedite matters with the aid of a planning performance agreement. However, the anticipated on-set development is now expected to be delayed by three years and the dwellings to be delivered within five years are reduced by 575 to less than half of those envisaged in the trajectory. J.P. Anderson had contacted Borough Councillor, S. Matthews, to get clarification on the reason for the three-year delay but no reason was forthcoming. The Local Plan is seemingly unviable.
K. Mafham has carried out an appraisal on available pockets of land within Gotham. The appraisal has not yet been sent to RBC. J.P. Anderson had arranged an informal meeting to be held at the home of B.J. Walker on Thursday, 9th February, 2017 to meet J. Coles of Barton P.C. and Ken Mafham to discuss green belt issues and the way forward re a potential problem with building around Gotham. Article to appear in Gotham News if time allows before the next issue goes to print.
Before any new building in Gotham be considered, the problem with drains must be tackled. The storm drain at Dead Man’s Island is blocked.
The Royal British Legion site is still under offer.

17/36: Planning Decisions Received: Nil.

17/37: Planning Applications Received:
17/1: (Ref: 17/00196/FUL) 329 Leake Road – 1st side extension single storey rear extension, loft conversion (resubmission).
PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: G. May. Vote: All in favour.
Reason for objection: The garage is in front of the building line and would set a precedent for all the properties along Leake Road. (The Ridgeway).

17/38: Report by Chairman of the Environment Committee:
Bidwell Crescent to Gotham Garage Tree Planting Project: In view of the amount of services identified below ground, it was agreed shrubs would be more appropriate along the Nottingham Road verge. Extra attention to verge mowing would tidy the area.
Relocation of 5 Village Seats: A site meeting took place on the 5th February, 2017 in The Square. Two former Well House seats to be sited next to the church wall.
PROPOSAL: To site two black seats from the Well House against the church wall and offer the two wooden seats to the Trustees of the Memorial Hall.
PROPOSED: G. May SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: All in favour.
A. Howick to quote to re-instate the NCC benches. Suggestions for siting the third black seat included Cheese Hill bus stop. (Environment Agenda item)

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders to allow M. Raven to speak.
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: J.P. Anderson. Vote: All in favour.

PROPOSAL: Re-instatement of Standing Orders to allow M. Raven to speak.
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: J.P. Anderson. Vote: All in favour.

At 9.30 p.m. it was PROPOSED: To continue the meeting until the end of the Agenda.
PROPOSED: M. Wilkins SECONDED: J.P. Anderson. Vote: All in favour.

Recommendations from the Environment Committee to main Council:
Tree species for planting in The Square. (Revised Proposal) Advice from Six Acres Nursery made the choice of white beam or cherry trees inadvisable due to the amount of root space available. It was therefore, PROPOSED by B.J. Walker and SECONDED by D. Bexon to choose Liquidambar trees. Cost £150 – £200 depending on size. Vote: All in favour.
Railway Walk Quotations for removal of Elders: Three quotations had been received for the removal of elders along the Railway Walk. J. Taylor had advised that the method of removal would be sawing off which would not disturb the badger setts. Cost £1,750 plus VAT.
PROPOSAL: Acceptance of J. Taylor’s quotation of £1,750 plus VAT for elder removal along the Railway Track.
PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: G. May. Vote: All in favour. (G. May to inform J. Taylor).
PROPOSAL: Funding for elder removal to be taken from the Railway Walk budget and environment improvement budget increased by vired underspends, if necessary.
PROPOSED: G. Hutter SECONDED: M. Wilkins. Vote: ten in favour, one against.
Village Litter Pick: The date has been changed from the 11th March to the 18th March, 2017. B.J.Walker unavailable. An item in Gotham News to advertise the event.

17/39: Memorial Hall Report:
D.Bexon had run a successful survey at Gotham School to gain parents’ preferences re new playground equipment.
Adult equipment might be incorporated. G. May offered to join a sub-committee made up of GPC representatives, parents and Trustees of the Memorial Hall. A great deal of sponsorship money is currently available for sports/play equipment.

17/40: Flooding Progress Report:
A well-attended meeting of the Flooding Action Group took place in the Memorial Hall on the 30th January, 2017. The plan is to continue working with County Councillor A. Brown who will work on Gotham’s behalf at County Hall. The new ditch, running adjacent to the New Rectory, has been dug out. NCC to clear the culvert running under Leake Road to meet the new ditch. The Clerk had advised M. Simes of the newly dug ditch and M. Simes had confirmed she had checked the ditch alongside her field for blockages

PROPOSAL: To suspend Standing Orders to allow M. Raven to speak.
PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: All in favour.

17/41: Data Access Request:
A Subject Access Request for personal data has been received from retired Councillors M.J. Sheppard and G. Holbrook. The data search will involve reviewing emails and correspondence, but not Minutes of Meetings. M.Raven is currently undertaking this work, having taken advice from the ICO and NALC. A charge for the search of £10 per applicant is the maximum that can be levied. (A Data Access Policy should be included in revised Standing Orders).

17/42: Clerk’s Appraisal:
PROPOSAL: Date of Appraisal to be arranged when A. Clayworth has completed an appraisal course.
PROPOSED: G. May SECONDED: M. Wilkins. Vote: All in favour.

17/43: Policing Matters/Vandalism:
Sheds broken into and car theft during January. B.J. Walker to enquire at the Police Priority Setting Meeting, why GPC not alerted to current crime in the village.

17/44: Gotham News and Media:
Thanks to M. Wilkins for his kind offer to lay out the March edition of Gotham News. He is currently awaiting copy.

G. Hutter left the room at 9.55 p.m.

C.Dabell left the meeting at 9.55 p.m.

B.J. Walker had written a long article for Gotham News in respect of retired Chairman, M.J. Sheppard’s work for GPC.
PROPOSAL: A five-line paragraph to mark the work undertaken by M.J. Sheppard during his Chairmanship of GPC to be included in the March edition of Gotham News.
PROPOSED: A.Clayworthl SECONDED: M. Wilkins. Vote: five in favour, four against.

G. Hutter returned to the meeting at 10.00 p.m.

17/45: Chairman’s Report:
G. Hutter thanked Councillors for their hard work over the last two months.

17/46: Clerk’s Report:
The Clerk reported, the Memorial Hall Honours Board had been updated.
17/47: Matters to Report:
H. Taylor enquired whether Gotham’s roadside entrance signage was to be improved as per previous discussions. The Chairman explained this had been unnecessary due to the discovery of the stolen sign from Nottingham Road having been returned by Police. The three GOTHAM entrance signs had since been firmly secured by NCC to prevent further theft.

17/48: Items for Next Agenda:
Standing Orders – continued review.

17/49: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 7th March, 2017 at 7.30 p.m.

Meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.