Minutes of a Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (07/04/15)

Present: M.J.Sheppard, (Chairman) K.Steed (Vice-Chairman) Councillors, J.M.F.Royce, B.J.Walker, G.Holbrook, G.Clark,  G.Hutter, J.P.Anderson, C.Dabell, E.Rodgers, D.Bexon In attendance: Mr. M.Wilkins, Mr. and Mrs. A.Towle.

The Chairman welcomed Mr. Wilkins and Mr. and Mrs. A. Towle to the meeting.

15/53: Apologies: County Councillor A.Brown, , Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith., H. Taylor Absent: A.Clayworth

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

15/54: Declaration of Interest:

Trustees, G.Hutter, K.Steed, D.Bexon and G.Clark in matters relevant to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders.


Mr. Towle had submitted a letter of interest to the Royal British Legion HQ re the acquisition of the redundant Royal British Legion building, as it stands,  for the purpose of transferring the Spa Shop to a more spacious venue. The range of stock could be extended and there would be room to incorporate a Post Office. Over the years, fourteen shops in the village have been lost and it would greatly benefit the community if more goods became available to compensate for the loss of these shops. The property is due to come onto the open market for sale and will be advertised nationally by Messrs. Frank Innes. The property has adequate car parking space with separate entrance and exit onto Nottingham Road. The pressure of cars parked outside the existing shop, on Nottingham Road, would be alleviated.

The Chairman invited Councillors to give their opinion on the proposal and it was unanimously agreed that a larger shop would be greatly valued by parishioners.

The Chairman wished Mr and Mrs Towle success with the venture and thanked them for attending the meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Towle left the meeting at 7.55 p.m.

PROPOSAL: Re-instatement of Standing Orders:

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

15/55: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council held on the 3rd March, 2015, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted, with the following amendments:

15/40: Core Strategy – third sentence alter ACS to RBC.

15/40: Nott’s County Council Meeting – delete last sentence.

Progress from the December Minutes:

15/4  GPC ref: 14/16: (ref: 14/02339/FUL) 3 Meadow End – Install decked roof terrace on existing flat roof to rear, safety fencing, around the deck (1.2me high picket fence)alter window to glazed French door. REFUSED

It had been noted that, to date, the above installation had not been removed. Clerk to query with Mr. M.Baugh, RBC planning enforcement officer.

15/56: 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.

The Clerk reported two uncashed cheques at the 31st March, 2015 amounting to £180.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of Finance monthly receipts and payments.:

PROPOSED:J. P. Anderson SECONDED: G.Hutter  Vote: All in favour.

Appointment of Internal Auditor:

PROPOSAL: Appointment of G.Stafford to carry out an internal audit on the accounts for the year end 31st March, 2015.

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

GPC Grants Policy Review: Amount of Total Annual Allocation: (last reviewed in 2012).

The Clerk had contacted A.Pearson for a copy of the Cricket Club accounts but, to date, not received them. The new Treasurer is Kim Daykin who she had attempted to contact but been unsuccessful. J.P.Anderson suggested contacting the Chairman of the Cricket Club, Mr. T. Burton for further advice.

Until further review, it was agreed to continue the grant to the Bowls Club as formerly. The Clerk would draw up a cheque for unspent monies from the grant for the year 2014/15 and forward it to the Bowls Club Treasurer.

Application for a Grant to Ruddington Cadets:

The Clerk was asked to issue an invitation to R.Jones of the Ruddington Cadets to attend the June meeting to explain the application for funds/ whether Gotham parishioners were involved, cost of next trip to the War Graves, etc.

Application for funds towards the RBC Barn Owl Project:

C.Dabell suggested writing to the Barn Owl Trust seeking information on the cost of a nest box with a view to GPC funding one box to be sited in the lime trees in the Rectory garden, Leake Road. Clerk to progress.

J.M.F.Royce explained the progress of acquiring A2 size framed aerial photographs of Gotham, Barton and Thrumpton at a cost of £120 each. He sought permission to order the photographs to be presented to retiring Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith. The shortfall in the budget, amounting to £139.90 will be made up by Barton and Thrumpton Parish Councils, as confirmed by Councillors D.Greenwood and B. Harrison.

PROPOSAL: Order three photographs at a total cost of £360, for presentation to Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith on his retirement with a plaque containing wording, as follows: ‘Presented by Gotham Parish Council to Trevor Vennett –Smith, Rushcliffe Borough Councillor, 1983 to 2015, on the occasion of his retirement. A man of great personal integrity who represented well, the people of Gotham for 32 years’.

PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce  SECONDED: J.P.Anderson. Vote seven in favour, four against.

15/57: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:

RBC/Aligned Core Strategy progress: J.P.Anderson reported the Judicial Review on the Aligned Core Strategy had been held at the Royal Courts of Justice  on the 24th March, 2015. Attendees from GPC were Councilors’ J.P.Anderson and B..J.Walker, together with J.Potter who represented Clifton and J.Coles, Barton in Fabis. Also in attendance was K.Mafham. Barrister, R.Turney, spoke for three hours delivering a flawless account of the proceedings leading up to the Judicial Review. The barrister, representing Nottingham City Council replied with an ill prepared defence. Summing up, J.P.Anderson reported the case for GPC was strong which was not fully addressed by the respondent. The verdict on the Judgment is awaited but can take weeks’ to arrive.

RBC Core Strategy: J.P.Anderson reported no date agreed for the RBC Judicial Review on which the Oxalis Planning Application depends. The planned housing should have been subject to a two stage application followed by an environmental sustainability study upon which the Inspector failed to insist. Should the Judicial Review on the Aligned Core Strategy be lost, costs will be due and a decision will be required whether to proceed with the Judicial Review on the RBC Core Strategy. If the case is won, the respondents will pay GPC’s costs.

Village Design Statement Update:

J.P.Anderson had produced an updated version of the Village Design Statement. A master copy would be kept on file by the Clerk. The document now contains the new small housing developments within the village since 2012, the A453 widening and tram terminus and car park at Clifton.

PROPOSAL: Adoption of the updated Village Design Statement 2015.

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

15/58: Planning Decisions Received: Nil.

15/59: Planning Applications Received: Nil.

15/60: Environmental Matters: (C.Dabell).

C.Dabell reported a meeting of the Environment Committee was held on the 24th March.

Railway Walk Fencing: The Railway fencing quotation from Terrier Groundcare was accepted. Cost £320.

The slope down to the Railway Walk from the Schoolhoue Track had become slippery. G.Holbrook had spoken to K.Thorpe, Parish Paths representative, re the installation of steps, similar to the newly installed steps on the extension to the Logan Trail, adjacent to  Gypsum Way. K.Thorpe to speak to the same contractor who will be asked to price similar steps for the Railway Walk.

Village Pump Stanchions:  Clerk progressing contact via West Leake PCC re grant for listed building.

Village Bench: G.Hutter had spoken to Mrs. A. Padgett re provision of a memorial bench. The suggested site was the Cuckoo Bush Mound, adjacent to the top gate to Wood Lane. The Clerk to contact A.Gorringe of British Gypsum seeking permission for Mrs. A. Padgett to install a memorial seat adjacent to the Cuckoo Bush Mound.

Traffic Hazard: M.J.Sheppard had reported, to Notts Highways, the dangerous junction at Kegworth Road with Nottingham Road. If Nottingham Road is clear from the right, traffice travelling down Kegworth Road tends to turn straight out onto Nottingham Road causing a potentially dangerous situation to pedestrians crossing the road to the Spa shop or alighting from park cars outside  adjacent houses or the Spa shop. The Highways Dept. had confirmed that the white lines at the end of Kegworth Road would be repainted indicating the need to halt before pulling out onto Nottingham Road.

Daffodil Bulbs: The Clerk had received advice from Mr. P. Inskeep re the loss of the border of bulbs on Nottingham road at Cheese Hill, due to recent water pipe work undertaken by Severn Trent. It was agreed, it would be difficult to get the daffodil bulbs replaced by Severn Trent but the area will be considered in November when new bulb planting is planned.

Cemetery Sub-Committee: J.P.Anderson had held a site meeting of members of the Cemetery Sub-Committee (attended by J.P.Anderson, A.Farnsworth, D.Power, J.M.F.Royce and the Clerk) to discuss tree pruning and grave improvements. He had obtained some quotations for maintenance work. Annually, £2,000 is drawn down from Cemetery Capital funds for maintenance purposes. There are three burial plots still available at the top of the Cemetery before the re-ordered middle section is used.

Cemetery maintenance to be undertaken in 2015:

Front border requires two sessions to manure/replant. Cost: £375 x 2.

Two maple trees at the front too big. Prune and remove spoil. . Cost: £150

Fifteen yew trees require trimming and clear up of far border hedge. Cost: £480.

Health and Safety check on headstones. Cost: £100

Graves need spraying with weedkiller and eight refurbished. Cost: £200.

D.Power seeking permission from Southwell Diocese re grave stone work. Bark mulch to be spread on graves to prevent weeds.

PROPOSAL: Maintenance work costing £1,680 to be undertaken in 2015.

PROPOSED: J.P. Anderson  SECONDED: G.Holbrook. Vote: nine in favour, two abstentions

15/61: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:

J.M.F.Royce had attended a site meeting at the Memorial Hall car park re a problem of water collecting in puddles in the middle drainage area (behind the Bowls Club). This is due to a depression along the central gulley caused by a certain amount of settlement. Query enough compaction of the ground before the top coat of tarmac administered. The estimate for the work from Bowers is £825 plus V.A.T to be shared equally by GPC and the Trustees.

PROPOSAL: GPC meet half the cost of remedial work on the Car Park –  £412.50.

PROPOSED: B.J. Walker SECONDED: G.Hutter. Vote: All in favour. The Clerk will send a letter of confirmation to the Trustees.

15/62: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

No crime figures for March, to date. A Police Priority Setting meeting to be held in Keyworth next week attended by Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.

The bag of drug paraphernalia spotted by B.J.Walker and E.Padden while litter picking on Cheese Hill, on the 21st March, 2015,  has been reported to P.C. Kelly Warwick who had alerted Streetwise for collection. To date, it is still in situ.

15/63: Gotham News & Media: Editorial Team: Editorial Team: M.J.Sheppard, K.Steed, B.J.Walker and D.Bexon.

M.J.Sheppard thanked Councillors’ and other delivery volunteers for their continued work. He suggested it is time for an editorial restructure of Gotham News and a review of the advertising prices for 2016. There had been a complaint re lack of photographs of the Scouts. In line with recent legislations, permission needs to be sought and confirmed in writing by parents, prior to printing photographs of children. Some photographs from mobile telephones had proven of too poor to quality for printing.

M.J.Sheppard had invited Hazel Trowbridge to take a photograph of the Village Sculpture for entry into the Best Kept Village Competition 2015. He suggested Mrs.Trowbridge might be appointed as Gotham News Photographer. A meeting of the Gotham News Media Team will be arranged to discuss future format.

15/64 : 2nd Defribrillator :

G.Hutter reported she had spoken to Chris Nesbitt of Gotham Bus Depot re the installation of the Depot’s defibrillator to be placed into a cabinet on the outside wall, provided by GPC and the Bus Depot, sharing the cabinet cost equally. Total cost of the cabinet is £510 plus VAT.

PROPOSAL : To provide half the cost of a defibrillator cabinet. £255.

PROPOSED : G. Hutter.  SECONDED : J.P.Anderson. Vote : All in favour.

G.Hutter to organise. The Chairman thanked G.Hutter for her efficiency.

15/65: Arrangements for Annual Parish Meeting on the 28th April, 2015

The Chairman reported, Ms. Lymn-Brewin had offered to select six pupils, two from each village of Barton, Gotham and Thrumpton, to present a retiring gift to Borough Councillor, T.Vennett-Smith at the Annual Parish Meeting on the 28th April, 2015. A short thank you speech for Trevor’s hard work will be made from a representative from each village Council, lasting up to four minutes each. M.J.Sheppard will propose the closing toast. The Clerk had drawn up an agenda for the formal meeting to commence at 7.45 p.m. Display panels will be available for village groups and clubs to post photographs. Hire cost of panels – £120.

PROPOSAL: To hire display panels from ‘Off the Wall’ at a cost of £120.

PROPOSED : M.J.Sheppard .  SECONDED B.J.Walker. Vote : All in favour. (M.J.Sheppard to arrange).

D.Bexon, B.J.Walker, G.Hutter and the Clerk to provide refreshments. Wine and soft drinks could be served from the Memorial Hall bar.

15/66: Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman read out a letter from W.I.Chairman, Mrs. Pat Basford, re the decision of the Gotham W.I. to discontinue the annual Christmas Party for the Over 70’s. This decision was made due to the hard work entailed which fell on the W.I. members, most of whom were in their 70’s and finding the evening too onerous. The Chairman wished to thank the ladies of the W.I. for their wonderful work over many years providing a generous and enjoyable evening. The Clerk will write and thank them formally.

15/67: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk had met Jeff Saxby, Electoral Officer at RBC on the 31st March, 2015 and submitted eleven Council nominations. One Councillor had passed her own nomination application into RBC and another Councillor chose not to stand for re-election. There is, therefore, one vacancy to be filled.

The Clerk had received details of NALC training for new Councilors. M.Wilkins expressed an interest and the Clerk will alert H.Taylor to the offer. Cost £25 each.

15/68: Matters to Report:

J.P.Anderson had received a letter of request from Notts County Council for Scoping for sand and gravel at Barton in Fabis. J.P.Anderson to respond, on behalf of GPC, citing traffic problems in the area.

G.Hutter reported the Rushcliffe Golf Club had cleared the ditch at Ridgeway but it was not a particularly good job. Laing O’Rourke to assess the road after the widening of the A453 has been completed. A non slip road surface is to be advised when the road is resurfaced for the provision of extra safety for horse riders.

C.Dabell asked the Clerk to contact Nottingham City Transport re the shabby exterior of the Bus Depot offices on Leake Road.

J.M.F.Royce reported street light no. 3 in The Square was switched on all day and night. The Clerk confirmed she had already reported it to Nott’s County Council.

J.M.F.Royce sought permission for the Clerk and himself to sign urgent cheques before the next main meeting due on the 12th May, 2015. The delay in the meeting date is due to the Elections taking place on the 7th May, 2015.

PROPOSAL: To permit the Clerk and J.M.F.Royce to pay cheques to cover payments due before the date of the next meeting.

PROPOSED: G.Hutter  SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce. Vote: All in favour.

15/69: Items for Next Agenda:

Grant Policy:

Report on Annual Parish Meeting – 28th April, 2015

Audit for 2014/15.

15/70: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 12th May,  2015 at 7.00 p.m.

Meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.