Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Gotham Parish Council (12/05/15)

Present: M.J. Sheppard, B.J.Walker, J.M.F.Royce,  C.Dabell, J.P.Anderson, G.Holbrook, A.Clayworth, G.Hutter, (7.25 p.m.) G.Clark (7.25 p.m.)  In Attendance: Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews.

The Clerk received the Acceptance of Office Forms from Members of the Council following the uncontested election on the 7th May, 2015. Declaration of Interest Forms were collected by the Clerk to be submitted to the Returning Officer at RBC. Election expenses forms to be collected for submission to the Returning Officer.

15/71: Appointment of Chairman for the ensuing year: (2015-2016).

It was moved by J.P.Anderson, seconded by G.Holbrook and duly carried by unanimous vote, that M.J.Sheppard should be appointed Chairman for the ensuing year. M.J.Sheppard thanked the Council and agreed to serve as Chairman and signed the Acceptance of Office form.

15/72: Appointment of Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year:

It was moved by J.P.Anderson, seconded by M.J. Sheppard that B.J.Walker be appointed Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year. B.J.Walker thanked the Council and agreed to stand as Vice-Chairman and signed the Acceptance of Office form.

15/73: Welcome to new Councillors:

The Chairman welcomed H.Taylor as a new member to Gotham Parish Council.

15/74: Apologies: D.Bexon,  County Councillor A.Brown.

15/75: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: M.J.Sheppard  SECONDED: G.Holbrook. All in favour.

15/76:  Declaration of Interest: Nil.

15/77: Casual Vacancy:

The Clerk reported one vacancy exists on GPC. There are thirty five days from the date of the Election (7th May, 2015) in order to co-opt a new Councillor. If this is not achieved, a Casual Vacancy notice would be displayed.

The Chairman introduced newly elected Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews to the meeting.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders.

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

Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews introduced himself as a local man having been brought up in Ruddington and serving twelve years on East Leake Parish Council. Now living in Ratcliffe on Soar he is keen to put something back into the Community having recently sold his successful business. He is contracted to continue to work for the new owners for the next two years’. He would like the parishioners of Thrumpton, Ratcliffe on Soar, Barton, Kingston and Gotham to benefit in kind as much as West Bridgford. His Councillor Divisional Fund is £6,000 to be shared among the five villages.

A discussion, led by J.P.Anderson, took place re the purchase of the redundant Royal British Legion building by the owners of the Spa Shop who had Spa’s backing to remove the shop and provide a greater range of goods and a post office. Parking would be available. This shop would prove a vital amenity for the community. A decision by the Agents re the successful purchaser will be made on the 6th June when sealed bids will be opened.

J.P.Anderson and M.J.Sheppard had appealed to Samantha Edmunds, British Legion Property Manager for the West Midlands, to assist the village in securing the RBL building for the Community. Ms. Edmunds did not seem interested in the original 1948 Conveyance covenant re the Building should be retained for the benefit of the Community. It was apparent that the Royal British Legion would be likely to sell to the highest bidder. The Registration of a building ring fenced for an ‘asset to the Community’ takes eight weeks. S. Matthews confirmed he would put the case for retaining the building for a shop to RBC planning department. Another method of saving the building for the Community would be to designate it as a Public House. This might save the site from becoming a housing development and provide a meeting room for the members of the RBL social clubs together with the shop and other small businesses. Village produce would be available to parishioners. It might be too late to take out a moratorium to prevent the sale of the RBL for six months.

PROPOSAL: J.P.Anderson submits an appeal to RBC for the Royal British Legion to be registered as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.

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

S.Matthews to make enquiries on GPC’s behalf on the 13th May, 2015.

PROPOSAL: Resumption of Standing Orders.

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

The Chairman read out a report from Nott’s County Councillor A. Brown re the following matters:

The A453 is due to open on the 29th May, 2015.

The traffic lights outside Gotham Primary School will be removed on the 22nd May, 2015.M..J.Shepppard suggested a celebratory reception in the Memorial Hall to congratulate Messrs Lainge O’Rourke on the A453 opening. M.J.Sheppard to progress.

H.Taylor commented the traffic lights at the Crusader Roundabout only let a few cars through at a time leading to a long tailback which had not improved the traffic situation for Gotham residents.

The Chairman thanked Borough Councillor S.Matthews for his attendance and he left the meeting at 8.10 p.m.

15/78: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council held on the 7th April, 2015, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted, with the following amendments:

15/56: Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts: Last sentence: Insert ‘well’ after represented.

15/60: Village Bench: reword: G.Hutter reported the preferred site for the memorial bench was adjacent to Cuckoo Bush Mound. Clerk had sought permission to install the seat from A. Gorringe, Estates Manager for St. Gobain and informed Mrs. Padgett.

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

Progress from the April, Minutes:

Pg. 2 15/68: Bus Depot: The Clerk had not yet contacted Nottingham City Transport re the shabby exterior of the Gotham Bus Depot office.

15/68: Barton in Fabis Sand and Gravel Quarry: J.P.Anderson had submitted a report to Nottingham City Council re Scoping at Barton in Fabis. He had alerted the Council to the increased traffic problems in the area in the event of the siting of a sand and gravel quarry at Barton in Fabis.

Faulty Street Lights: The Clerk had reported the faulty street light in The Square. M.J.Sheppard reported another faulty streetlight adjacent to The Gas. The Clerk would re-advise NCC of both lights, via the internet.

15/56: Finance Monthly Payments and Receipts: Barn Owl Box: C.Dabell reported the Barn Owl Box had been installed in the New Rectory ash tree. A donation of £100 had been forwarded to RBC Barn Owl Project.

Donation from Thrumpton P.C. towards the retirement gift for Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith. The Clerk had not yet received the £50 donation from Thrumpton. J.M.F.Royce offered to follow the matter up with the Chairman of Thrumpton P.C.

15/79: Appointment of Committee Members/4 Trustees for the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground Trust:

Finance Committee Members:

J.M.F.Royce, G.Clark, B.J.Walker,  M.Sheppard, J.P.Anderson, H.Taylor.

Planning & Development Committee Members:

J.P.Anderson,  B.J.Walker,   G.Clark,   A.Clayworth,  M.J.Sheppard, G.Hutter.

Environment Committee Members:

G.Clark, C.Dabell, M.Sheppard, G.Hutter, G.Holbrook, J.M.F.Royce.

Cemetery Sub-Committee:

J.P.Anderson, D.Bexon, C.Dabell, G.Clark, J.M.F.Royce. – PCC Representatives: D.Power, A.Farnsworth.

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are ex officio members of all Committees and sub-Committees of GPC..

Nominees to act as Trustees of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground 2015/16

D.Bexon, G.Hutter, A.Clayworth, H.Taylor.

15/80: Appointment of Members for Working Parties/Groups:

Sports Arena Management Committee:

J.P.Anderson, M.J.Sheppard.

Gotham News Editorial.

D.Bexon,  M.J. Sheppard, G.Hutter, B.J.Walker – Photographer – H.Trobridge.

Gotham Website.

(Webmaster – S.Butler)

Gotham Countryside Trust:


Snow Warden:

J.M.F. Royce

15/81: Appointment of Delegates/Representatives:

N.A.L.C:                                           B.J.Walker/Clerk

Parish Paths Partnership:              C.Dabell, to assist ex Councillor, K.G.Thorpe.

Neighbourhood Watch:                  B.J.Walker

Police Liaison:                                D.Bexon, B.J.Walker

C.P.R.E:                                           B.J.Walker, Clerk

PROPOSAL: To accept the list of Councillors to serve as representatives on the aforementioned Committees.

PROPOSED: M.J.Sheppard  SECONDED: G.Clark. Vote: All in favour.

15/82: 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: Acceptance of Finance monthly receipts and payments in May 2015.

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

Acceptance by the Parish Council of the Audit for Year end  2014/15:

The Chairman read out the financial conditions that the Council had  adhered to during the year 2014/15.

PROPOSAL: To accept the Audit of the Accounts for the year 2014/15.

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

The Chairman and Clerk signed the Audit sheet. The Clerk would forward the accounts to the Internal Auditor, Mr.G.Stafford for his  inspection and approval.

Gotham Rangers continued contribution of £65 towards pitch mowing costs of £1,100. (G.Hutter)

G.Hutter reported, the Trustees of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground had agreed with A.Litchfield, Chairman of Gotham Rangers that, since the football pitches has ceased to be rolled since 2011, the annual rental of £60 should be waived. Regarding the £5 annual rental charge levied to Gotham Rangers, it was agreed, that in view of the new system whereby the Trustees are responsible for collection of rents, the Parish Council will no longer continue with this charge.

It was PROPOSED that £130 paid since 2011/12 should be refunded to Gotham Rangers.

PROPOSED: J.P Anderson SECONDED: B.J.Walker. Vote: All in favour.

GPC Grants Policy (Clerk – on condition copy of Cricket Club accounts received)

The Clerk had asked the retired Treasurer of the Cricket Club, the newly appointed Treasurer and the Chairman for a set of Cricket Club accounts. All to no avail. She would write a letter to T.Burton, Chairman seeking a response. On receipt of the Cricket Club Accounts, the GPC Grants Policy can be reviewed.

Gotham Garage Three Peaks Challenge sponsorship:

A.Carver-Smith, representing Gotham Bus Depot, had applied for sponsorship for his challenge to climb the North Yorkshire Three Peaks in order to raise money for Cancer Research. He had since e-mailed the Clerk with photographic proof of his success.

PROPOSAL: To support Cancer Research with a £100 donation (to be forwarded to A.Carver-Smith).

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: G.Holbrook. Vote: three abstentions, six in favour.

Aon Insurance: The Clerk had applied to Zurich Insurers for a cheaper quotation for the GPC annual insurance. On inspection, Aon Insurers offer a better deal with an excess payment of £125 on a claim against Zurich’s excess payment of £250. It was, therefore, agreed to continue to insure with Aon at an annual premium of £524.13.

15/83: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:

RBC Core Strategy/Aligned Core Strategy progress: J.P.Anderson reported the Judicial Review on the Aligned Core Strategy had been dismissed by the Judge. This outcome had been discussed by K.Mafham and barrister, R.Turney who had circulated the Judgment. He was surprised and upset by the judgment and maintained that Nottingham City Council ‘had not won but that the Judge had won it for them’. R.Turney gave an exceptionally good delivery and argument which was defended by a very poor plan and equally poor Inspector. i.e. Rushcliffe proposed nine and a half thousand houses but the Inspector raised the numbers to thirteen and a half thousand which was a huge mistake. As RBC have carried out a green belt review, the housing numbers is the only argument GPC has.. It seems the argument to Save the Green Belt is just not strong enough. It is a definition of sustainability that the planners get what they want which is a very sad outcome for the future of the Nation’s green belt. It would perhaps be advisable to spend time on concentrating on the Planning Application and to employ K.Mafham to assist with this.

To sum up, GPC gave a good argument but the Judge gave the City Council the benefit of the doubt.

PROPOSAL: GPC withdraw from a Judicial Review on the RBC Core Strategy.

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

Thanks recorded to K.Mafham for his professional work and a good working relationship with Barton and Thrumpton. A letter of thanks to be sent to K.Mafham, drafted by J..P. Anderson.

B.J.Walker gave thanks to J.P.Anderson who had spent a great amount of time on the project to save Clifton Pastures. All agreed.

The issues and options of the first consultation stage of the Local Plan which will bring changes to Gotham’s green belt status from green wash to green envelope. J.P.Anderson invited other Parish Councillors to assist with the work pertaining to this matter. GPC can achieve a lot to improve Gotham to counterbalance the destruction of the green belt at Clifton Pastures.

Green Belt Campaign Costs: J.P.Anderson reported more bills expected pertaining to the Judicial Review and K.Mafham’s charges for professional advice when the VAT situation has been decided.

15/84:  ‘Asset of Community Value:’

See Item 15/176.

15/85:    Planning Decisions Received:    

15/86:    Planning Applications Received:               

15/3 (ref: 15/00681/FUL) 9 Naylor Ave. – Single storey rear extension.(date for return to RBC 13/5/15)


PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: H.Taylor. Vote: two abstentions, seven in favour, two against.

Comment: Work had commenced prior to consultation.

No need for a Planning and Development Meeting during May 2015.

15/87: Environmental Matters: (C.Dabell).

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

The next meeting will be held on the 19th May, 2015.

15/88: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:

G.Hutter reported car park drain had been successfully repaired.

15/89: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

No crime figures for April, to date. B.J.Walker to progress.

15/90: Gotham News & Media: Editorial Team: Editorial Team: M.J.Sheppard,  B.J.Walker and D.Bexon.

M.J.Sheppard reported a meeting of the Editorial team due to take place on the 27th May, 2015.

15/91 : 2nd Defribrillator :

G.Hutter reported she had arranged the defibrillator cabinet order with Community Heartbeat Trust who had forwarded the sales order acknowledgement to the Clerk. The total cost of the cabinet was £630 plus £25 carriage. This was £110 more that expected due to the cabinet being of a better quality steel. In view of the Bus Depot taking on the maintenance and insurance of the equipment, it was agreed that the extra cost was acceptable. The Clerk had forwarded a copy of the order form to Nottingham City Transport seeking half the cost, as previously agreed.

15/92 : Report on Annual Parish Meeting – 28th April, 2015 (RBL resolution)

The Chairman reported a successful Parish Meeting took place in the main hall of the Memorial Hall on the 28th April, 2015 with approximately one hundred parishioners in attendance.

The meeting commenced with a presentation of three framed prints by Barton, Thrumpton and Gotham to retiring Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith. The evening continued with a report by planning adviser K.Mafham on the outcome of the Judicial Review on the Aligned Core Strategy.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Towle presented their plan to purchase the Royal British Legion building currently for sale with agents Innes. The original conveyance signed in 1948 by Earl Howe on the building’s purchase by RBL, contained a covenant whereby the property should be held as a Community asset. It was therefore PROPOSED by P.Inskeep and SECONDED by J.P.Anderson that ‘this meeting believed that the British Legion site should be developed in such a way that will prove a benefit to our village and recognise that an enlarged village shop and post office is a vital village amenity.’ Vote: All in favour.

The meeting continued with light refreshments and an opportunity to inspect the display panels showing details of various village Clubs and Societies.

15/93: Formal Adoption of the ‘Effective Management of Recording at Parish Council meetings’ Rules for S/O’(item:1.Meetings). The Clerk had circulated the document entitled ‘Effective Management of Recording at Parish Council meetings’ to Councillors for inspection prior to incorporation to Standing Orders.

PROPOSAL: Incorporation of Appendix 7 ‘Effective Management of Recording at Parish Council meetings’ into Standing Orders. PROPOSED: B.J.Walker SECONDED: G.Holbrook. Vote: All in favour.

Village Design Statement Update 2015 formal adoption for Standing Orders (acknowledgement appendix 1).

PROPOSAL: incorporation of (acknowledgement appendix 1). Village Design Statement Update 2015 formal adoption for Standing Orders. PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard. Vote: All in favour.

15/94: Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman thanked Councillors for their support and assistance at the Annual Parish Meeting. He would make notes re the format of the meeting which had proved successful with display panels, etc. It was noted that more time was needed for the enjoyment of the buffet. Less time for verbal reporting.

15/95: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk would be on holiday from the 13th – 28th June, 2015.

15/96: Matters to Report:

G.Hutter reported J.Freeman of Nott’s County Council Highways had inspected and approved the Ridgeway ditch and would organise improvements when possible.

A recent accident involving a horse rider had occurred on the Ridgeway. On telephoning for an ambulance, the advice was to wait an hour to ascertain if the rider still required treatment. Eventually, when medical assistance arrived, it was suspected that the horse rider had sustained two cracked vertebrae. It seems apparent that the ambulance service is reluctant to attend call outs since its privatisation. A.Clayworth offered to raise this point with Arriva at a forthcoming meeting.

G. Clark reported fly tipping on the Logan Walk had been cleared by the Countryside Trust and awaiting collection.

B.J.Walker reported that the bag of drug paraphernalia deposited on Cheese Hill had, eventually, been collected.

J.P.Anderson suggested a circulation of information sheets around the village re the plans for the Royal British Legion site.

M.J.Sheppard confirmed the copy date for the next edition of Gotham News is the 20th May, 2015.

15/97: Items for Next Agenda: Grant Policy: 

15/98: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 2nd June,  2015 at 7.30 p.m.

Meeting closed at 10.20 p.m.