Minutes of the Meeting of Gotham Parish Council 2nd October 2012


MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF GOTHAM PARISH COUNCIL 2nd OCTOBER, 2012, held in the Memorial Hall, Weldon Room, COMMENCING AT 7.30 P.M.

Present:    R.Muir (Chairman), M.J.Sheppard, (Vice-Chairman),

J.M.F.Royce, B.J.Walker, G.Clark, J.P.Anderson, E.Padden, R.Davis, T.Vennett-Smith, E.Rodgers, D.Bexon

In the Clerk’s absence, E.Padden recorded the minutes of the meeting which commenced at 7.35 p.m.

12/179: Apologies: C.Dabell.  In attendance: Mrs. K. Steed.

12/180: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: R. Davis SECONDED: D.Bexon.  Vote: All in favour.

12/181: Declaration of Interest:

Trustees, M.J.Sheppard, E.Padden and G.Clark in matters relevant to the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground.

British Legion members, J.M.F.Royce and T.Vennett-Smith on Agenda item 6. Civic Wreath.

12/182: Minutes of the previous meeting:

2/165: delete 7.40pm and insert 7.35 pm in its place.

12/166: last sentence of first paragraph: delete £562 and insert £674.40 in its place.

12/167: delete “amounted” to “estimated” in the fourth sentence.

12/168: in the last sentence, insert “by Trustees” after “submitted and before “to”.

12/176:  in the fourth sentence, insert “, British Gas” after “Telecom” and before “and”.

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on the 4th September 2012, be amended as noted above and afterward accepted as a true record.

Progress from the Minutes:

12/66: Regarding the bill for printing costs from Caine Douglas, J.P.Anderson requested a copy for presentation to Barton Parish Council for its records and to allow payment of half the amount to Gotham Parish Council.

12/171: The following Councillors requested a paper copy of the Code of Conduct: T.Vennett-Smith, J.M.F.Royce, and E.Rodgers. C.Dabell had also requested a copy.

12/173: A cheque in payment of a Gotham News advertisement was returned to Richardson’s Carpets due to a payee error. This was still outstanding.

12/183. Casual Vacancy

Resolved: that the Vice-Chairman (M.J.Sheppard) would take the chair during this item.

Proposed: R. Muir Seconded E. Rodgers.

C. Dabell arrived at 7.50pm.

K.Steed left the room during the discussion and returned after the vote.

Resolved: that the meeting go into camera due to the nature of the discussion.

Proposed: J.M.F.Royce   Seconded: J.P. Anderson.

Council voted using ballot papers. There were four applicants.

Following discussion and voting, Mrs Karen Steed was elected by the required majority.

Resolved: the meeting should return to full session.

Proposed: T. Vennett-Smith. Seconded: J.M.F.Royce.

12/184: 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. (The October payment sheet would be circulated to Council, as soon as possible). The Cheques were signed for payment.

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

12/185: Civic Wreath.

Resolved: That a Civic Wreath be obtained through the Gotham and District Branch of the British Legion and that GPC’s donation of £250 be given as in previous years, the cheque to be dated after 11th November 2012.

Proposed: B.J.Walker Seconded: J. P. Anderson. Vote: Ten in favour, Two abstentions (due to interest): T. Vennett-Smith, J.M.F.Royce.   Carried.

12/186: Playground Equipment and letter from Trustees.

A quotation by Wick steeds for a replacement “Sputnik” was received along with a letter from the Trustees advising of its suitability. The item cost was £2,912 plus VAT, the delivery charge being £145.60 plus VAT.  Resolved: that above item is purchased for the playground using funds in the Capital Budget.

Proposed: J.P.Anderson Seconded: J.M.F.Royce. Vote: All in Favour.

12/187: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee (J.P.Anderson).

A training meeting on Localism had been attended by E. Padden and B.Walker which they had found informative and reported to the last Planning subcommittee meeting.

E.Rodgers reported that there was evidence of a traffic survey in the village being carried out in the village, and that David Prior thought it would be unhelpful data given the works at Clifton.  J. P. Anderson felt it was likely to be NCC and offered to try and find out more details.

The Local Plan process appears to have stalled. It was suggested that we write to ask Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) for an up to date schedule of all the relevant projected events and activities.  J. P. Anderson plans to investigate the possibility of joining with Barton representatives in meeting with RBC to further our understanding of the procedures after meeting with Ken Mafham.

The Village Walk aimed to identify suitable sites for building affordable homes.  Waterloo Housing Association had completed its report and the results have been received, though from Waterloo Housing Association rather than directly from RBC.  In addition, Midland Housing had already contacted landowners of the four most promising sites from a planning point of view without passing their information to us first.  Some of these have responded but the picture is not clear yet.  Investigations continue with regard to our preferred site behind the British Legion.

12/188:  Planning Decisions Received:     Nil.

12/189:  Planning Applications Received:

 (Ref: 12/01596/FUL) 12/11 Oaklands, Eyres Lane – single storey front and side extension.


PROPOSED: R.Muir SECONDED: E.Rodgers. Carried.

12/190: Environmental Matters:

Village Sculpture Quotation: A meeting is being arranged to enable the representatives appointed by the Environment Committee to meet with the relevant professionals assisting with the practical aspects of the project.

Post Box: It is a significant problem that a central post box is no longer available in the centre of the village.  With proper strategic planning, the old box might have been relocated, successfully and to the advantage of all, near to the existing telephone box.  The two small post boxes are not sufficient for the village’s needs, although E. Rodgers suggested that increased frequency of collections might offset this problem.  T. Vennett-Smith has written to Royal Mail and awaits a reply.  BW has asked questions and been told that it would take a minimum of two months to implement change.  J.M.F.Royce is to be provided with the relevant phone number to aid our enquiries.

A strong letter is to be sent to the Royal Mail in view of the distress to villagers caused by a stubborn lack of strategy on the part of the company, despite having information to the effect of several months’ notice that changes would be necessary.

Christmas Tree: The committee continues to consider a range of options with a view to providing a Christmas Tree for the village.  Arthur Howick had offered to help make a large planter, to be placed between the pump and the church wall, which would securely hold a large tree during the Christmas season and provide a raised flowerbed at other times.  Since it may be possible to set up a cascade of sectional planters using the central sleeve when the tree is removed, prices are to be obtained for this.  Suitable trees could cost approximately £80 from Oldham’s farm, Costock.

12/191:  Memorial Hall Report:

Notable events being planned at present are a Curling Tournament and a Christmas Cabaret.  The Curling event will be on Saturday 27th October at 7pm, tickets costing £8 and a hot supper being provided.  The Cabaret will be on 24th November, tables of 8 to be booked at £18 per person and a festive dinner to be provided.

Further matters regarding item 11 were held over until after item 12.

T. Vennett-Smith left the meeting at 9.20 p.m. giving his apologies for next month’s meeting.

12/192: Meeting with Memorial Hall Representatives re Recreation Ground responsibilities: (proposed meeting: 23rd October).

This meeting, of representatives of both the Trustees and the Council, was to take place on the date above but will now be held on Tuesday 27th November at 7.30pm: details are still to be confirmed.

Meeting held on 10th July: E. Rodgers reported that initial discussions had shown that the views of Councillors would be useful to bring forward to the next meeting on the 27th November, 2012.

All members agreed that the Trustees have done noteworthy work maintaining, improving and developing the Hall and the Recreation Grounds.  The following discussion centred on how best to support them in the carrying out of their responsibilities.

Approximately £12,000 of the annual precept is  currently spent on assisting with the maintenance of the Hall and Recreation Ground. A number of members felt that that an annual, or monthly grant of this or a similar amount directly to the Trustees might have benefits for that group, including direct control over its own budgetary decisions and quicker availability of funds when required.  (Some members also felt that such a system would be respectful towards the people who give their time to the Hall and Grounds.)  As the Trust cannot claim VAT exemption, money would not buy as much when spent by this way, so this independence could be expensive, adding to either the fundraising burden of the Trustees or to the tax burden on parishioners.

It was pointed out that if we are to make such an arrangement, the amount should be in line with the proportion of the precept we currently devote to this end, so might be subject to increases or decreases accordingly.  However, some members wished to make it clear that, as Councillors we have a responsibility to support this important facility and should the Trustees need further support in the future this should not be refused purely on the basis that they had been awarded their funds.

B. J. Walker left the meeting at 9.50 p.m.

12/193: Memorial Hall Report (continued)

A letter from A.Vickers (Chairman of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground Trustees) was read out giving a résumé of the condition of the car park and some options for its improvement.  Quotes and advice had been obtained. To cover the full list of improvements thought advisable, £25,000 plus VAT would be needed.  In the short term, some urgent improvements are called for and our support was requested.  Environment subcommittee is to consider this in more detail.

There was a call for clarity in the headings of the spreadsheets so that items relating particularly to the Memorial Hall might be easily identified by any councillor.

12/194: Policing Matters/Vandalism (E.Rodgers and D.Bexon)

September crime figures not yet circulated.

12/195:  Gotham News & Media   (R.Muir/J.P.Anderson)

The police are making an appeal to all householders to keep access doors closed, thus preventing opportunist thieves from entering their homes.  They would like this subject mentioned in Gotham News.

12/196: Chairman’s Report            R. Muir thanked all Councillors for their work.

12/197: Clerk’s report      Nil.

12/198: Matters to Report

A villager has requested clarification regarding the status of Eyres Lane as a private road or otherwise.  J.P.Anderson to find out more from the Highways authority.

The Clerk had ordered the Winter Salt supply.

12/199: Items for Next Agenda: A quotation for work on the car park.

12/200: Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting will be on 6th November 2012.    Meeting concluded at 10.10 pm.

T.Vennett-Smith recorded his apologies for the December Council meeting.