Minutes of the Meeting of Gotham Parish Council 4th September 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, J.P.Anderson, E.Padden, R.Davis, T.Vennett-Smith.

12/159: Apologies: E.Rodgers, D.Bexon, C.Dabell.

12/160: Acceptance of Apologies:

PROPOSED: R. Davis SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard.  Vote: All in favour.

12/161: Declaration of Interest:

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

12/162: Minutes of the previous meeting:

RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council, held on the 3RD July, 2012 as circulated, be signed as a true record of the business transacted.

Progress from the Minutes: Nil to report.

In the absence of Councillor J.M.F.Royce, the Chairman asked that item 6 (Planning Report) be discussed as the next Agenda item.

12/163: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee (J.P.Anderson).

J.P.Anderson reported that no meetings had been held during June and July 2012. The response to the RBC Core Strategy was in the process of being uploaded. A Public Enquiry was likely and would be probably held in February, 2013. The traffic model response had proven that, development on Clifton Pastures would inevitably result in rat running through Gotham.

12/164:            Planning Decisions Received:

(ref 12/00905/FUL) 19 The Rushes – GRANTED

12/165:            Planning Applications Received: Nil.

J.M.F.Royce arrived at the meeting at 7.35 p.m. He apologised for his late arrival.

12/166: 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.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson Vote: All in favour.

T.Vennett-Smith advised Council, that the printers had charged VAT on the production of leaflets and booklets which were not liable for VAT. The Clerk would return the invoices to the printer for alteration. Cheque no. 303279 for £674.40 was therefore withdrawn.

Bank Signatory (one extra): E.Padden suggested the need for an extra bank signatory should be debated at the next Annual General Meeting, especially if the current bank signatories were likely to be unavailable for a specific period of time in the year.

Decision on One Year Bond Investment: The Santander Bond would mature on the 1st October, 2012. The Clerk had received an offer of 3.20% per annum from Santander. J.M.F.Royce had researched offers from Close Brothers (2.9%) and The Cambridge Investment Bank (1.75%). B.J.Walker was unhappy to continue to invest with Santander, due to the current banking crisis in Spain which might ultimately affect the bank. Investment funds were currently underwritten by the FSCS scheme up to the sum of £85,000 so would not be in danger. M.J.Sheppard would speak to Glen Harris, retired banking director, and the Clerk would seek advice from RBC, re future Bond investment.

GNR start up loan of £4,500 (query from Treasurer, D.Power). The Clerk had circulated an email from D.Power, Treasurer of Gotham Nature Reserve, querying the status of the £4,500 ‘start up fund’ currently held in the GPC budget. He sought advice from the Council on whether the loan could be considered a ‘grant’ for GNR costs. It was agreed that the decision would depend on the success of future GNR grant applications

Finance Meeting: Next meeting of the Finance Committee would take place on Tuesday, 30th October, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.

12/167: Environmental Matters:

Village Sculpture Quotation: R.Muir had received a quotation of £11,895 for manufacture of the Village Sculpture from F.Lunn. This sum would cover production of the sign but not landscaping or erection. A further meeting would take place with F.Lunn, D.Charlesworth and NCC for discussion on all matters concerning the sculpture costs. Costs for landscaping, extra figures and the architect estimated to approximately £4,500.

PROPOSAL:  Acceptance of the quotation of £11,895 for the manufacture of a village sculpture.

PROPOSED: B.J.Walker SECONDED: E.Padden A recorded vote was requested by J.M.F.Royce.

Vote: In favour: B.J.Walker, E.Padden, J.P.Anderson, M.J.Sheppard, G.Clark, R.Muir, R.Davis.

Against: J.M.F.Royce. Abstention: T.Vennett-Smith.

The Clerk would write to F.Lunn, a letter of acceptance of the quotation. A firm order would not yet be placed until the outcome of the meeting with the manufacturers had taken place and a satisfactory cost for erection of the sculpture, landscaping, etc. had been agreed.

The next meeting of the Environment Committee would take place on the 18th September, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.

12/168: Memorial Hall Report from GPC reps. (M.J.Sheppard)

M.J.Sheppard reported, no July minutes available.

A Cabaret evening would take place on the 24th November, 2012. Tickets £18.

Improvements underway to include stage extension, lighting, sound system.

A complaint re driveway flooding had been received from a neighbour during a heavy thunderstorm. Temporary drainage improvements had been investigated until future car park resurfacing could be undertaken. B.J.Walker was in favour of a car park upgrade, in line with the hall improvements, together with low level lighting.

An application, by the Trustees,  had been submitted to the Football Association for free football pitch floodlighting.

12/169: Meeting with MH representatives re Recreation Ground responsibilities:

R.Muir would arrange a meeting with Trustees and GPC Focus Group members. Notes taken by E.Rodgers at the GPC Focus Group meeting on the 10th July, 2012. would be debated. The 17th September, 2012 was a possible date and would be confirmed by members’ of the Focus Group.

12/170:            Casual Vacancy:

The Clerk had notified the Electoral Officer of a Casual Vacancy on Gotham Parish Council resulting from the resignation of Councillor Gary Lowe. She had posted a notice of the Casual Vacancy on the noticeboard on the 22nd July, 2012. No applications had been received to date. The Chairman apologised for lack of notification to Council of Councillor Lowe’s resignation, prior to an article in Gotham News. This was due to the imminent copy date and her intent to publish the Casual Vacancy in the July edition.

12/171: Code of Conduct 2011/Declaration of Interest (Comparison with former document).

The Draft Code of Conduct had been accepted by Council at the July, 2012 meeting. The definitive document was now available but the Clerk had encountered difficulty with downloading from the NALC website. She had sought the advice of Hilary Gibbons of NALC who would assist with the download of the document. On receipt of the Code of Conduct, the Clerk would circulate it to Council.

12/172: Policing Matters/Vandalism (E.Rodgers and D.Bexon)

July crime figures circulated. E. Padden explained, the Police Priority Setting procedure whereby Councils emailed the crimes they wished the Police to prioritise and which was re-assessed on a three monthly basis. Car crime was the priority in Gotham at the present time.

12/173:            Gotham News & Media        (R.Muir/J.P.Anderson)        

The July edition of Gotham News had been very well received with excellent photographs of the Jubilee celebrations. Thanks recorded to the editorial team for their hard work. The next edition was due out in November with an end of October deadline for copy.

A small amount of advertising revenue was outstanding.

12/174:  Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman had received the following correspondence:

RBC Super Broadband Campaign.

Post Office Counters – A letter of confirmation re the closure of Gotham Post Office on the 10th September, 2012 with the intention of the continuation of a village service, as soon as possible.

RBC offer of five bags of winter gritting salt. Clerk would submit an application with directions for delivery to Councillor J.M.F.Royce for storage.

12/175:            Clerk’s Report:

The Clerk would attend the Town and Parish Forum on the 13th September, 2012 at the Civic Centre. The subject was ‘Affordable Housing and Housing Needs’.

The Clerk had contacted P.McManus re the Pilot Lengthsman Scheme. More details would be forthcoming of the job criteria. A parishioner had expressed an interest in the pilot scheme.

The Clerk had submitted an application to RBC for a free standing Christmas Tree in The Square. The cost of Blachere illuminations decoration of the existing fir tree in the churchyard would be £2,000.

Appointment of External Auditor, for five years from 2012/13, would be Messrs. Grant Thornton UK LLP.

12/176:  Matters to Report:

The Clerk would contact C.North, Secretary of the Environment Trust, inviting her co-operation in arranging meetings on an alternative weekday, other than a Tuesday, which was becoming overbooked. Councillors who served on sub-committees found they were double booked on a Tuesday evening on numerous occasions.

J.M.F.Royce had strimmed around the seat at the entrance to the Ridgeway.

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

E.Padden reported the Bus Depot was not due for closure for the forseeable future.

B.J.Walker had received a complaint re the reduced street lighting on Kegworth Road.

T.Vennett-Smith had received a complaint re the closure of Gotham Post Office. He had explained that the Parish Council had no control over the closure.

12/177: Items for Next Agenda: Civic Wreath.

12/178: Date and Time of Next Meeting:

The next meeting would be held on Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Weldon Room of the Memorial Hall

Meeting closed at 10.00 p.m.