Minutes of the Meeting of Gotham Parish Council 3rd July 2012



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, E.Rodgers, J.P.Anderson, D.Bexon. C.Dabell. E.Padden.

12/140: Apologies: R.Davis, T.Vennett-Smith, G.Lowe. In attendance: Mr. and Mrs. J.Birtles.

12/141: Acceptance of Apologies:

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

12/142: Declaration of Interest:

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

12/143: Future of Gotham Post Office (.J.Birtles)

The Chairman welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Birtles to the meeting.

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders.

PROPOSED: E.Rodgers  SECONDED: J.P.Anderson.  Vote: All in favour.

Mr.Birtles advised Council, that only e-mail communication had taken place with the Post Office. The closing date of Gotham Post Office was the 12th September, 2012. Should the business be taken over by A.Towle and J.Samson of the Spar shop, the usual police checks would be run. If it proved a viable proposition for them to run, the Post Office might continue but would probably take six months’ for re-instatement. The Spar shop had been granted planning permission for an extension which might allow space for the Post Office counter, although it would not contain a sorting office which would most likely be re-located to Clifton. Should the Clifton sorting office prove too small, both Clifton and Gotham mail sorting might be moved to Beeston. A Post Office representative was due to visit the Spar premises and Mr. and Mrs Birtles during mid July. The Clerk would contact RBC and Notts Rural Community Council for advice and help re retention of the Post Office service in the village.

The Chairman thanked Mr. and Mrs. Birtles and they left the meeting at 7.47 p.m.

PROPOSAL: Re-instatement of Standing Orders.

PROPOSED: E.Rodgers  SECONDED: J.P.Anderson.  Vote: All in favour.

12/144: Minutes of the previous meeting:

RESOLVED: That the Minutes Meeting of the Parish Council, held on the 12th June, 2012 as circulated, be signed as a true record of the business transacted, with the following alteration: Pg. 1. Core strategy –(last sentence replace ‘public’ with ‘barrister’).

12/135: Staffing Issue: (R.Muir). Re-write sixth sentence down to end of paragraph, as follows:

‘J.P.Anderson apologised for inadvertently adding his signature to a blank cheque in the cheque book. The Chairman asked several times for Councillor Royce to issue an apology to the Clerk and, after discussion, he eventually proffered an apology. He added that he thought he had apologised at the time of the incident. The Chairman then concluded the matter, asking Councillor Royce for his assurance that such an incident would not occur in the future which he was unable to promise. As a result of this issue, re the blank cheque, GPC would review the payment and signatories’ procedure in line with financial regulations’.

Progress from the Minutes:

B.J.Walker commented, that during her Chairmanship, GPC had almost come to the point of a Quality Parish Council. She considered it was now becoming dragged into the mire. It was the Chairman’s duty to uphold standards.

M.J.Sheppard and R.Muir had attended an RBC Forum on the 2nd July and had taken advice from the Monitoring Officer, re the recent staffing issue.

12/145: 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.P.Anderson  SECONDED: J.M.F.Royce  Vote: All in favour.

The Chairman suggested a fifth bank signatory should be appointed. (September agenda item).

12/146: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee (J.P.Anderson).

Green Belt: J.P.Anderson read out a breakdown of expenses incurred in the fight to save the green belt. Costs would be shared by Barton and Thrumpton with Gotham and Barton sharing a fifty-fifty split, as they were more affected by the development on Clifton Pastures than Thrumpton. It had been agreed that Thrumpton would contribute a nominal amount, as follows:

Gotham: £1,500  Barton: £1,500 Thrumpton: £618.39 (£117 to Gotham and £501.39 to Barton).

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of breakdown of costs pertaining to the fight to save the green belt.

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

More costs were expected from K.Mafham for his work on the response to the Nottingham Core Strategy. C.Raynor assisting with details of housing numbers. P.Randle of RBC,  had warned of a delay in the Examination in Public due to a query over the housing numbers required in Nottinghamshire, which might return to the earlier forecast of fifteen thousand.

J.P.Anderson had been unable to contact Wendy Le-las who was away from her office. He would keep Council informed of any progress in discussions with her.

Affordable Housing: J.P.Anderson had spoken to the Housing Officer re affordable housing in the village and the Gotham bus depot would be added to a list of suitable sites. There was concern, that the land behind the British Legion, might be contaminated and on different levels and therefore unsuitable for building. J.P.Anderson would seek further information from A.Gorringe of British Gypsum.

12/147:  Planning Decisions Received:

12/00583/FUL- 12/8:  – 37 Leake Rd – Extensions to form attached double garage & home office  – GRANTED

12/00671/FUL –12/9: –   2 Wallace St. – Demolition of Garage and erection of a two storey side extension. – GRANTED       

12/148:  Planning Applications Received: Nil.

12/149: Environmental Matters:

Village Sculpture Quotation: R.Muir reported that F.Lunn had reported a useful meeting had taken place with a manufacturer. He was keen to draw up a meeting with GPC,  Notts Highways, D.Charlesworth and the manufacturer for a discussion on detail. He would then be in a position to provide a quotation for the sculpture. The meeting would be arranged for mid-July.

Environment Trust: A successful meeting was held on the 14th June, 2012 with formal appointment of T.Jones as Chairman, M.Howard, Vice Chairman, P.R.Dines, Treasurer and C.North, Secretary. R.Davis, G.Clark and D.Bexon would represent GPC. Six other parishioners were appointed Trustees. The Clerk had kept D.Logan informed of progress, to date. The next meeting of the Environment Trust would be held on the 24th July, 2012. G.Clark would suggest another weekday, other than a Tuesday, for regular meetings due to a conflict of Tuesday bookings with GPC meetings.

Gotham Nature Reserve: Lease awaited from solicitor, S.Kassell.

Christmas tree: A site meeting had taken place in The Square re the suggestion for a free standing Christmas tree, next to the Village Pump, planted into a suitable cylinder. The Clerk had contacted Notts Highways for a site meeting re permission. Up to date, this had not taken place. Another suggestion was the lighting of the conifer in the Churchyard, adjacent to the front entrance to the Church. The Clerk would contact Blachere Christmas Lighting Company re a quote for dropping lights over the conifer. The problem of the Church electricity supply might negate the conifer’s use as a Christmas tree. A faculty from Southwell Diocese might be required to use the tree.

12/150: Memorial Hall Report from GPC reps. (M.J.Sheppard)

M.J.Sheppard reported, due to a conflict of dates with the GPC main meeting, there had been no GPC representative at the last meeting of the Memorial Hall Trustees. Reading from the minutes, he reported the following items:

CCTV not receiving clear pictures due to a new part being required. Cost £1,000.

New heater for the Cheeserollers’ would be fitted by C.Anstey.

R.Wilkinson researching new sound system for the stage.

Glen Harris, ex retail banker of Barton, had been approached to join the Trustees.

12/151: Meeting with MH representatives re Recreation Ground responsibilities:

E.Rodgers would take notes during an interim  meeting for a discussion re a list of objectives for discussion with Memorial Hall representatives. The meeting would take place on the 10th July, 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cheeserollers’ Room. The Focus Group would consist of B.J.Walker, J.P.Anderson, E.Rodgers, R.Davis, M.J.Sheppard and G.Clark.

12/152:  Policing Matters/Vandalism (E.Rodgers and D.Bexon)

Crime figures circulated. Three incidents of break-ins and petty vandalism to vehicles occurred in June.

12/153:  Gotham News & Media    (R.Muir/J.P.Anderson)    

R.Muir reported a lengthy issue was due out in July.

12/154:  Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman reported the following matters:

Appraisal with the Clerk. New working conditions were circulated to Councillors. A Sage accountancy package would be priced.

Town and Parish Conference:The Chairman and Vice-Chairman had attended the Town and Parish Conference re the Localism Act 2011. This Act was concerned with Parish involvement with a host of jobs formerly undertaken by the Borough Council. Gotham already undertook a good deal of jobs such as ground maintenance, litter collection, etc. The precept might need to be raised to cover the costs of extra parish involvement with routine jobs. There was a large budget available for the start up and running costs of community shops which could be housed within community halls. West Bridgford Police Station had a new Contact Centre. L.Ogilvie of NALC gave a talk on the General Power of Competence.

Correspondence: The Chairman had received a formal complaint from an elector against a member of the Council.

A letter had been received from a parishioner re the appalling parking habits of some parents of children at Gotham Primary School. The Clerk had explained to the complainant that this was a Police matter and had already been discussed at an earlier meeting when P.C. Kelly Warwick had attended. The Chairman agreed the parking was dangerous, especially in the vicinity of the bus lay-by. An article re this matter would be contained in Gotham News.

A letter of thanks had been received from Mr. and Mrs. Bradley for the gift of a hydrangea from GPC to mark their recent  Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

12/155:  Clerk’s Report:

The Clerk had received notice from NALC that the last Code of Conduct had ended on the 30th June, 2012. The new, simplified, Draft Code of Conduct 2012, circulated to Councillors, was to be formerly adopted by the 1st July or as soon as possible after that date.

PROPOSAL: Adoption of the new Draft Code of Conduct 2012 with appropriate changes suitable for GPC, i.e. name, etc.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: E.Rodgers  Vote: nine in favour, one against.

September agenda (Comparison of documents new with old).

The Clerk had circulated the newly formatted declaration of interest forms for completion by Councillors. She would submit the completed forms to D.Swaine, RBC Monitoring Officer. Absent members had been posted a form with return envelope.

12/156:  Matters to Report:

J.M.F.Royce had attended the Armed Forces Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday, 23rd June, 2012. The ceremony was followed by tea at St.Gile’s Church Hall.

Nottingham Road Verges: Negotiations still underway with Notts Highways South re improvements.

British Telecom and British Gas in negotiation over finalisation over pavement improvements at the North side of The Square.

Temporary bollards were in place, opposite the entrance to Manor Farm, for protection of the pavement during current house building.

D.Bexon had been approached by a parishioner complaining about cars parked on Cheese Hill with suspected drug takers and dealing in the local public houses. She would report the matter to the Police.

J.P.Anderson had received final documents re plans for the widening of the A453.

C.Dabell reported recent storm damage to trees along the Railway Walk. S.Watson had removed a fallen tree from the pathway.

NALC booking form re The Localism Act 2011 at Trowell Village Hall on 23rd July, 2012. B.J.Walker and E.Padden to attend. Cost £60 per head.

12/157: Items for Next Agenda: Code of Conduct (Check variance between old and new).

12/158: Date and Time of Next Meeting: Cancellation of August meeting for Holiday. 

Agreed: Cancellation of the August meeting for the holiday period. J.M.F.Royce suggested a meeting could be held on the 31st July, 2012 should there prove adequate business for discussion and to alleviate a lengthy September agenda. To be agreed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman by the 20th July. E.Rodgers and D.Bexon would be unavailable to attend on the 31st July. M.J.Sheppard would collect GPC mail from the Post Office during the Clerk’s holiday.

September Meeting would be held on the 4th September, 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Weldon Room of the Memorial Hall.  (E.Rodgers tendered her apologies).

Meeting closed at 9.40 p.m.