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Minutes of the Gotham Parish Council Annual Meeting (02/05/17)

Present: Councillors, G. Hutter, B.J. Walker, M. Wilkins, J.M.F. Royce,  J.P. Anderson,  H. Taylor,

A. Clayworth, J. Youatt, P.Bower, G. May.

17/96: Appointment of Chairman for the ensuing year: (2017-2018).

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

17/97: Appointment of Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year: It was moved by G. Hutter, seconded by J.P. Anderson that A. Clayworth be appointed Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year. A. Clayworth thanked the Council and agreed to serve as Vice-Chairman.

17/98: Apologies: Councillors, S. Kent, D.Bexon, C. Dabell, County Councillor, A. Brown, Borough Councillor, S. Matthews.

17/99: Acceptance of Apologies:

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

17/100: Report by County Councillor A. Brown (Apologies received).

17/101: Report by Borough Councillor S. Matthews (Apologies received).

17/102: Declaration of Interest: Nil.

17/103: Appointment of Committee Members/4 Trustees for the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground Trust:

Nominees to act as Trustees of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground 2017/18

D.Bexon, G.Hutter, A.Clayworth, S. Kent.

Finance Committee Members:

J.M.F.Royce, Gill Hutter, B.J.Walker, J.P.Anderson, G. May.

Planning & Development Committee Members:

J.P.Anderson,  B.J.Walker,  A.Clayworth, G.Hutter, H.Taylor, M. Wilkins, J.M.F. Royce.

Environment Committee Members:

C.Dabell, G.Hutter, J.M.F.Royce, D.Bexon, P. Bower, S. Kent, G. May, J. Youatt.

Cemetery Sub-Committee:

J.P.Anderson, D.Bexon, C.Dabell, G. Hutter, J.M.F.Royce, P. Bower, J. Youatt

PCC Representatives: D. Power, A. Farnsworth.

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

17/104: Appointment of Members for Working Parties/Groups:

Sports Arena Management Committee:

J.P.Anderson. (one other representative required, June agenda).

Gotham News Editorial.

G. Hutter, D.Bexon, M. Wilkins,  B.J.Walker.

Parish Representatives: L. Third, L. Wilkins, H. Trobridge.

Gotham Website.

(Webmaster – S. Butler)

Gotham Countryside Trust:

G.Hutter and one other. To be decided.

Snow Warden:

J.M.F. Royce

17/105: Appointment of Delegates/Representatives:

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

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

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

Police Priority Setting Meetings:  B.J.Walker, D. Bexon

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

Flood Representatives:                  G. Hutter, J.M.F. Royce.

Playground Representatives:        G. Hutter, J. Youatt, J.M.F. Royce.

Sports Arena Representatives:     J.P. Anderson (one more required).

Gotham Country Trust:                  one representative required.

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

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

17/106: Minutes of the previous meeting:

Resolved: That the previously circulated Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on the 4th April, 2017, be accepted and signed as a true record of the business transacted.

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

Progress from the Minutes:

17/80: Application for £500 Gotham Fest Grant (M. Lowe). No expense figures received, to date.

17/85: Cemetery Sub-Committee: Meeting to be re-arranged for a date in May.

17/107: Finance Acceptance of Receipts and Payments for May, 2017. :

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

Software for M. Wilkins for Gotham News production:

PROPOSAL: To authorise M. Wilkins to purchase an appropriate software package to produce Gotham News.

PROPOSED: G. May  SECONDED: G. Hutter. Vote: All in favour.

PROPOSAL: Payment of £299 plus VAT for a computer monitor suitable for the production of Gotham News.

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

Scouts’ funding application:

A sponsorship application had been received for a Gotham Scout leader to undertake the thirteen mile Great North Run in support of Gotham Scouts.

PROPOSAL:  To Sponsor the Gotham Scout leader up to £10 per mile. (£130).

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

17/108: Report by Chairman of Planning and Development Committee:

J.P. Anderson reported, the April planning meeting had been cancelled. An emergency meeting to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan to be held on the 5th May, 2017 at 2.30 p.m. Ken Mafham to attend.

17/109: Planning Applications Received:     Nil.

17/110: Planning Decisions Received:

17/2: (ref: 17/00340/FUL) 14 Nottm Rd. – Single storey rear extension. GRANTED

17/3: (ref: 17/00475/FUL)  21 Wallace St. – Single storey side and rear extension GRANTED

17/4: (ref: 17/00426/FUL)  14 Meadow End – Single storey rear extension and raised patio (retrospective)                                                                                                                                                      GRANTED

17/111: Report by the Chairman of the  Environmental Committee: (C.Dabell)

Railway Walk: A site meeting to take place on Sunday, 14th May, at 10 a.m. to discuss a three year work schedule to assist with budgetary requirements.

Swing Sign: The mobile swing sign had been removed and a discussion with the business concerned had included advice re available advertising opportunities. There had been a suggestion of holding village gala but, as this had been discontinued due to lack of helpers, G. May had suggested the Gotham Fest had been a successful village event in 2016.

Diamond Cable Box: The Clerk had reported the damaged diamond cable box and wobbly manhole cover, outside the old Post Office.

Daffodil bulbs: The Clerk will order daffodil bulbs during August 2017 to fill in the bare spaces around the village verges.

The Square paving: Some of the paving slabs in The Square require attention. Clerk to report to NCC to seek a quotation for relaying.

Litter and leaves: Litter and leaves collected under the seats outside the old Post Office. Clerk to report to D. Healey for removal.

The Square, new trees: J.M.F. Royce agreed to water the two new trees in The Square.

Strawberry Wood: Undergoing overdue coppicing and clearance under the guidance of the Forestry Commission and RSPB. Hopefully, the wood will be restored to its former glory.

Flooding Improvements: Still awaiting the outcome of the application for an RBC grant for sandbags, etc.

British Gypsum have supplied a list of emergency telephone contacts. The Council have partially cleared the culvert under Leake Road revealing a toxic mix of old diesel, branches and leaves. More work to be undertaken. The foul water has contaminated the newly formed ditch alongside the New Rectory. G. Hutter to keep pressing for work on the Moor Lane storm drain with the assistance of County Councillor A. Brown, if necessary. K. Emery to visit the next flood meeting in Gotham.

17/112: Memorial Hall Report from GPC representatives:

G.Hutter reported the next meeting of the Trustees will take place on Tuesday, 9th May, 2016.

Playgroup Improvements: The Playgroup committee is awaiting a quotation from Produlic for new equipment and playground plan. Next meeting to be held on the 8th May, 2017.

J.M.F. Royce and G. Hutter undertook a playground inspection. Regular maintenance checks can be undertaken by commercial companies, if necessary.

A decision on the removal of the concrete and replacement flooring to be made on the 8th May.

The newly laid concreted seat base has been vandalised over the weekend.

A play equipment grant from Veolia is not available due to criteria boundary changes.

17/113: Standing Orders Review:

J.P. Anderson and J.M.F. Royce had carried out further work on the Standing Orders previously circulated to Council. Suggested changes to the Standing Orders had been issued to Councillors prior to this meeting.

PROPOSAL: En block acceptance of the updated changes to Standing Orders to be incorporated by the Clerk.

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

17/114: Clerk’s Appraisal:

Date of Appraisal – 12th June, 2017 at 10.00 a.m. at the home of the Clerk. A. Clayworth to undertake appraisal.

17/115: Policing Matters/Vandalism:

March crime figures show two non-dwelling burglaries.

NALC have warned parishioners to report sightings, to the Police, of hare coursing, and illegal poaching.

17/116: Gotham News and Media:

M. Wilkins called for copy for the July edition of Gotham News. Clerk to remind clubs and social groups to send in stories.

Advertisement invoices to be issued during May.

G. Hutter to ask M. Lowe for news of the next Gotham Fest.

17/117: Report on Annual Parish Meeting – 25th April, 2017

The Annual Parish Meeting was attended by forty five parishioners.

The meeting included a report by Chairman, Councillor G. Hutter with the refurbishment of the Well House and successful Heritage Day the two key events during 2016.

Councillors Andrew Brown and Stuart Matthews and a police officer were in attendance to answer questions.

Several village organisations read their reports and others displayed photographs and reports on the available panels.

The evening ended with refreshments provided by the Parish Council.

17/118: Chairman’s Report:

G. Hutter suggested sending the draft minutes of all committee meetings to all Councillors. The minutes to be forwarded for storage on a cloud with link access.

The Well House has not yet received an electrical certificate which G. Hutter has progressed at a cost of £50. The report shows a problem with the fuses which will be rectified.

No response from M. Goodwill-Hodgson re the absence of an electrical certificate.

17/119: Clerk’s report:

The Clerk will be on holiday from the 27the May to the 2nd June, 2017.

The Clerk had almost completed the audit papers for the year ending 31st March, 2017.

17/120: Matters to Report:

J.P.Anderson suggested Councillors inspect the newly cut back orchard next to the Cemetery. The view has opened up significantly.

The next Cemetery Sub-Committee meeting to be held in the Cemetery at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, 16th May, 2017.

B.J.Walker submitted her apologies for absence at the Planning Meeting on the 16th May, 2017 at 7.30. p.m.

M.Wilkins reported, reported road pot holes are being filled in very efficiently and quickly by the Council.

P.Bower reported vandalism with broken glass at the back of the former RBL building. No news of a buyer, to date.

J.M.F. Royce to renovate Cheese Hill seat.

D. Healey to undertake seat painting beginning with the village sculpture seat.

H. Taylor suggested all meetings commence at 7 p.m. It was agreed, many Councillors would find a 7 p.m. start too early after returning from work. 7.30 p.m. start to remain unless visitors or presentations on the agenda when the start time is 7 p.m.

17/121: Items for Next Agenda:. Audit 2016/17, Flood report.

17/122: Date of Next Meeting: The next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 6th June 2017 at 7.30 p.m.

The Meeting closed at 9.30 p.m.

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting (26/04/16)

Present:           Thirty parishioners, including Gotham Parish Council members: M.J. Sheppard (Chairman), J.M.F. Royce, J.P. Anderson, H.Taylor, G.Hutter,  M.Wilkins, B.J.Walker.


  1. Welcome: The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.


  1. One Minute’s Silence:

The Chairman requested that the meeting stand for one minute’s silence in memory of those who had fallen in the Two World Wars and for whom this Recreation Ground and Memorial Hall had been donated, in their memory after the 1914-18 war.


  1. Apologies: Councillors C. Dabell, G. Holbrook, A. Clayworth, D. Bexon.


  1. Acceptance of Minutes of Parish held on the 28th April, 2015.

The Minutes of the Gotham Annual Parish Meeting held 28th April, 2015, were authorised for approval.

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


  1. GPC Chairman’s Report (M.J. Sheppard).

At the last Annual Parish Meeting in April 2015, Alan Towle addressed the meeting suggesting that the Royal British Legion would make an excellent enlarged shop and include the Post Office. The meeting voted with a show of hands their approval. A group of parishioners under John Anderson volunteered to join the Steering Group’ who would come up with proposals and prepare a bid. A great deal of hard work was done by John and the team, a company was formed and registered, bank account opened, share offer documents were distributed, and much work done to raise essential funds. The project was abandoned on 4th March, all funds have since been returned.

The Biblical story of David and Goliath sadly wasn’t to be repeated in the High Court in London last April. After all the hard work put in by John Anderson, our planning consultant Ken Mafham and Julian Coles Barton parish council (were DAVID), preparing the case to challenge Nottingham City Council, Broxtowe and Gedling Councils (were GOLIATH) in the Judicial Review of the Aligned Core Strategy. It was reported by those attended the hearing, that our barrister Richard Tearney, a leading barrister in this field, made a very strong case. The defence barrister for the opposition on the other hand was weak and ineffective. However the Judge ruled in their favour; no doubt his career progression to the upper echelons of the judiciary might have closed if he had ruled in another direction!

So the large swathe of prime agricultural land from Lark Hill, with it’s magnificent view of the landscape unfolding to the South will become a miasma of houses, large warehouses, buildings of various shapes and sizes, concrete and tarmac etc.. adjoining the Clifton estate and stretching down to the Fairham Brook and creeping nearer to Gotham …. Not a pleasant prospect, we will await the plan.

The Parish Council have decided to retain the services of Ken Mafham to challenge aspects of the plan which we consider unacceptable, and any other developments which might threaten our village. John will report on all this later

The A453 since it opened has relieved us of the rat-running in the morning and evening rush hours. However, with the frenetic house building that’s happening in East Leake currently; there is approval for over 800 more houses, that’s about the size of Gotham!  We must keep a watchful eye on the additional traffic that will come through our village from the speed and safety aspect.

A danger spot in the village now is the Kegworth Road junction with Nottingham Road, traffic doesn’t legally have to stop at this junction, it is supposed to ‘Slow’ – but that doesn’t always happen. With cars parked on both sides of Nottingham Road, and more customers visiting Spar, and pedestrians crossing the road. We will have to keep that under review too.

There is no doubt, that the tram is a boon for anyone going into Nottingham, more people from East Leake and Gotham are using it now, with the facility of parking cars at Lark Hill.

Before Christmas, we had a ceremony to switch on the Christmas tree lights, featuring Batman and Batgirl. We were fortunate to recruit Owen Trickett (Batman) and Paige Lowe (Batgirl) this was the evening after the they had appeared in the enjoyable Robin Hood pantomime. Councillor Harry Taylor drove them round the village in his open vintage D B Lagonda to attract attention. It was very well received by everyone; this is a definite pre-Christmas feature which will be repeated this year.

Because of the appalling weather on the day of the Carol sing-song, I rang the Rev Richard Coleman at lunch time, and he invited us to stage the ‘sing-song’ in the Church. During the afternoon, seats were cleared to the side, and he he spent hours before the event inputting the words of the carols into the church computer, which were then projected onto the screen. The Phil Reckless group were set up in the choir. It all worked out very well. Santa gave the children chocolates as they left. Businesses and individuals in the community had kindly given financial support for what is now a regular pre-Christmas event. It was a very successful evening again; and that this year the event will be held in St. Lawrence Church, unless the weather is mild and no wind, and we might hold it outside as before.

GOTHAM NEWS:- As copies of the East Leake Parish magazine have appeared in the Spar shop, I delivered 30 copies of Gotham News in November to the East Leake Library, which they were happy to receive; and they’ve had 30 copies of the latest edition too; we send 2 copies each to Barton, Thrumpton and Kingston. The Editorial Team decided to increase the advertising rates with effect from January 2016.

Please let me have any news of your groups, and other items of interest; reading about it in the GN may help to generate further interest. It also helps to inform the community of activities in the village which they may not know about but would be interested in.

Gotham Remembers its fallen in the Great War, is a popular feature in each edition; it is well written and interesting, a good deal of hard work goes into this by the team, Peter Inskeep, Pat Dines and Fraser Royce.

I like to feature achievements and news of sportsmen in our community, it hopefully helps to increase interest and membership of the clubs and encourage the younger competitive members of the village.

It would be good to cover all activities in turn eventually. I hope you enjoy this three times a year read; I try to keep a balance between copy and advertising. It is important to let me have your copy and pictures by the copy date, the copy date for the next edition is Friday 17th June. I have posted the advertising rates on the panels at the back of the Hall if you or your group wish to advertise.

In conclusion, I would like to say a personal thank you to all those of you who help with the various activities we have in the village without your help we would not be able to enjoy many of these things.

Finally, I have been asked to mention

West Bridgford Singers Concert in St Lawrence Church

Friday 10th June. Tickets £8 to include Pimms and Nibbles.

Some of the songs will in celebration of Queen’s birthday.










  1. Finance Officer’s Report: (J. Raven).


Gotham Parish Council Financial Report:  Year Ending 31st March 2016


Full income and expenditure accounts for the year ending 31st March, 2016 will be available for inspection from the 14th July, 2016.

Memorial Hall Car Park: The Parish Council, in conjunction with the Trustees of the Memorial Hall, shared costs to re-surface most of the car park and renew drains. The final payment of £825 was made in June 2015:  .

Cemetery Development: Ongoing improvements to the Cemetery have included regular mowing by Horizon Contractors and gardening at a cost of £2,469.

Green Belt Campaign: Our ongoing fight to save Clifton Pastures has continued in conjunction with Barton, Clifton and Thrumpton with costs shared. Gotham’s share last year: £11,457.75. This figure included the costs incurred by taking the Notts City Council Aligned Core Strategy to Judicial Review.

Well House Refurbishment: During the year, the Council has undertaken structural advice on the state of the Well House at a cost of £715. Ongoing improvements are underway with the bulk of the cost, hopefully,covered by the Heritage Lottery Grant.

Railway Walk Maintenance: Continuing improvements to the Railway Walk following last year’s vandalism, a replacement post and wire fence, to match the opposite one alongside the Brickyard Track, was installed at a cost of £360.

Village Defibrillator: After much discussion on the siting of a second village defibrillator, the Bus Company kindly removed the inside defibrillator to the outside wall and shared the costs of a cabinet. The Parish Council cost was £327.

Royal British Legion Site: At this meeting last year it was voted to try and secure the Royal British Legion Site with an Asset of Community Value order. This being successful, costs were incurred by the specially formed management committee to attempt to secure the site – £2,499. These costs have been fully covered by Charitable Grants.

Gotham Remembers: Articles appearing in Gotham News to remember Gotham’s war dead. £539.

Gotham News Costs: Production of Gotham News this year: £1,234.

Play Equipment – £862


Good causes supported in 2015/16:

Carol Singing for Christmas: £50

Church Clock: annual service: £190

Royal British Legion civic wreath:  £250.00.

DARE T Shirts. (Drugs Awareness Course at Gotham School). – £95

Gotham Rangers – £130

Barn Owl Project – £100

Grant towards publication of Gotham News: £650.

Bus Company charity mountaineering climb – £100

Cricket Club mowing and annual grant – £1,375.

Bowls Club annual grant – £900


Subscriptions paid in 2015/16:

Notts Footpath Association – £5

Notts Wildlife Trust – £33.

Information Commissioner’s Office: £35

C.P.R.E. Subscription – £36

Society of Local Council Clerks-  membership: £103

National Association of Local Councils: £263


  1. Report from County Councillor A. Brown:

In 2017 the Soar Valley Division will become Ruddington and Leake Division and comprise of two Councils with two Councillors. There is a reduction of Councillors from the current sixty seven to sixty six. This equal number might mean that nothing gets decided!

I am now a member of the Economic Development Committee (bringing new businesses to the area) and the Crime and Police Committee. An Election will take place for the postion of Police Commissioner and the two candidates are Tony Harper and Paddy Tipping.

My Councillor Fund is shared between eleven villages. This year, Gotham received a donation towards its defibrillator and the Well House refurbishment.

The rewidening of the A453 has been a great success. The Lorry Watch is supposed to deter lorries from travelling through villages. If you spot a lorry travelling through Gotham, go to the County Council website to report which road it is travelling along and details of the lorry involved. If later proven that this lorry is not supposed to be in the village, Trading Standards can impose a £1,000 fine on the driver.

A petition, with 64 signatures, drawn up by riding stables and householders along The Ridgeway re speeding traffic, was handed to me to present to the County Council at a meeting on the 25th February, 2016. A traffic survey was carried out on the straight road length within the 40mph. limit northwest of the Bunny Lane junction. The peak hours 85th percentile speeds travelling southeast were 43.9 mph. – 44.4 mph. with flows varying from 264 – 342 vehicles per hour. This meets the traffic flow but not the speed criteria for a permanent interactive speed sign. Northwestbound, the speeds in the peak hours were 48.2 mph. – 48.5 m.p.h. with flows of 257 – 387,  this meets both criteria. The site will, therefore, be considered for a future interactive speed sign programme. Cost £15,000. The carriageway surface is aesthetically poor with numerous areas of repairs and some fretting of the surgace course. The carriageway is included in the 2016/17 surface dressing programme. There is no definite start date but work should be completed during July – September, 2016.

The Kegworth Road junction with Nottingham Road has funding in place for improvements.

Fly tipping on Soldiers Lane reported. Soldiers Lane is an official bridleway.

The Recycling registration rule may cause increased levels of fly tipping.   


  1. Report from Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews. Apologies received.


  1. Report from Parish Councillor John Anderson, Chairman Planning Committee:

Councillor John Anderson thanked Andrew and Stuart Matthews for regularly attending Gotham Parish Council meetings. They had both worked very hard on Gotham’s behalf.

Clifton Pastures: Not a lot has happened recently. The Oxalis plan was two years ago and no further application has been forthcoming. David Mitchell of RBC has stated further work on Section 106 and traffic issues are still under discussion. Further archeological work undertaken and we await a report. The viability report is also awaited and then a consultation will take place with Parish Councils.

Ken Mafham is of the opinion that this is a landowner driven iniative and there is no demand for housing – as not easy to find a developer willing to take it on. Nottingham City hasn’t expanded as previously expected. RBC has been caught out as it has yet to produce a five year building plan. RBC turned down a small development of houses in Aslockton but the developer won the appeal as RBC couldn’t prove a five year housing plan meaning they are in the developer’s hands. We will find out when a new housing planning application comes out and we will take note of the traffic issues.

Notts Core Strategy and RBC Core Strategy ignored Leicestershire and the planning hub at Junction 24 of the M1 so huge developments there which will be felt by RBC. Gotham will also be affected by traffic from the eight hundred new houses under construction at East Leake.

Gotham Parish Council will retain Ken Mafham’s help. He will assist the Council in obtaining the very best outcome of any future building. The Council will also continue to work alongside Barton and Thrumpton on these matters.

Colin Raynor continues to challenge Nottingham City housing numbers. The student demand for houses has dropped considerably. Chilwell barracks has closed allowing eight hundred houses to become available.


The Barton Sand and Gravel site objection was supported by Gotham Parish Council. In December, the Mineral Local Plan did not include Barton. This was possible because of the lack of house building on Clifton pastures when a sand and gravel supply would have been useful. Some people are still pushing for the sand and gravel site.

The archeological report has not shown any dinosaurs but a medieval settlement was uncovered.

Local Plan Part Two: Gotham status in a green belt envelope and supported by Gotham Parish Council. Responses available on the internet.

Gotham Housing Survey: The Housing Survey shows support for between ten and eleven affordable houses and some three to four bedroom houses. The Parish Council support this so we need to identify a suitable piece of land. Waterloo Housing is in talks but finding it difficult to find a suitable site. We are in meetings with St. Gobain who might or might not allow us to have the land behind the former Royal British Legion site at £10,000 per plot. They have indicated that they are interested in their land South of the village to develop it into working sites.

Neighbourhood Plan: (Parish Plan undertaken in 2006). A Neighbourhood Plan is the latest version as part of a legal structure for planning. It has to work within the Local Plan with limitations but can identify village needs and architecture, etc. Is it time for Gotham to do one?

There is financial support available but we need people to come forward and volunteer to help. If you are interested please contact me.

Royal British Legion Site: Eighteen bids to purchase the site were received. Unfortunately, Gotham Parish Council wasn’t one of them. We will find out the successful bidder but it may take a while for the Royal British Legion to decide. Three Parish Councillors met with their Agent and made him aware of Gotham’s desires for the site. He was of the opinion that RBL would sell for the highest price. I am disappointed that the Community Hub failed but thank you for supporting it to the tune of £200,000. An outstanding result.


Half Hour Break for Refreshments and to have a chance to read the information boards at the back of the hall. Articles supplied by many village organisations.


P.C.S.O Cathy Lucock addressed the meeting with a report of recent activities regarding Notts Police. P.C. Kelly Warwick is no longer responsible for our area. It is now the job of P.C.S.O’s to report crime. The area includes East Leake, Ruddington and the Soar Valley villages. It has not been the best year in Gotham regarding crime with an increase in thefts of and from motor vehicles. It is always unwise to leave valuables on show in the car. Sheds, especially on allotments, have been targeted for theft and garden machinery stolen from houses along The Ridgeway. It has become a ‘right of passage’ for boys in the 14/15 age range to have been seen capable of thieving these kind of items. This has resulted in an increase in police patrols.

If you need to report an incident, please ring 101 and press the 2nd option. The control room will send the nearest police car to the scene of the crime. Contact details also available via the website. Gotham has been listed at the Police Priority Setting meetings as a priority for garden shed crime. It is advisable to sign your email address up to the Neighbourhood Alert System which spreads the word of ongoing crime to Rushcliffe South, Keyworth, Radcliffe and Bingham.


P.C.S.O. C. Lucock left the meeting at 8.35 p.m.


  1. Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations:

Peter Phillips is in charge of arranging a street party along The Mall with invitations to all the Queen’s charities on the 9th June, 2016.


Gotham will hold a celebration which could include a picnic in the park, fancy dress, maypole dancing, rounders match, special tree planting in The Square. A suggestion box will be placed inside the Spar shop and I urge you to contribute an idea or two.


  1. Defibrillators: Wallet sized information cards passed around the audience with advice on how to access the defibrillators.
  2. Hutter has kindly take on the duty of regular checks on the defibrillators to ensure they are in good working order. If an incident occurs and you suspect a heart attack victim:
  3. Ring 999 who give a code number for opening the defibrillator cabinet.
  4. Access the defibrillator. The Ambulance Service instructs you what to do next with a recorded message.

If not required, replace the defibrillator inside the box and Gill Hutter will check it is in the correct order.


  1. Any Other Business:

Well House: G. Hutter announced the successful outcome of the application from the Heritage Lottery for Well House refurbishment funding. Some changes to the building will see its original features of 1862. This will include the stanchions supported on plinths. The provision of seating inside will be smaller and, with the removal of the dais, allow access for wheelchairs and push chairs. The banding of roof tiles is to be re-introduced.

Thanks to all those people who signed the petition and wrote letters of support for the Heritage Lottery funding and to the Countryside Trust for funding the replacement finial. Other financial support was received from County Councillor Andrew Brown, Borough Councillor Stuart Matthews, Eon,, British Gypsum, Dr. Gerrard’s Trust, Sally Hudson and Gotham Parish Council. Individual donations provided one third of the funding with the Heritage Lottery, two thirds. Information boards will be installed into the roof of the Well House to include the history of the village, Church, Nature Reserve, Tales of Gotham, Gypsum mines, Batman connection. Thanks to the Gotham History Society for a wealth of information.


The opening of the newly refurbished Well House will take place at a Heritage Day. We need a team of volunteers to help with the organise the proceedings. We are joining with the Bus Company who celebrate ninety years of business and St. Gobain. Once again, the History Society will assist with historical scenes and a photographic exhibition.


The Chairman thanked Gill Hutter for her hard work on the Well House project and she received a round of applause.


M.J.  Sheppard reported, he had written to Earl Howe, whose forebears built the original Well House and laid a drain from the Weldon Spring to provide Gotham with, easier to access, water. The Earl had responded to my letter containing the official letter of GPC ownership of the Well House. He has also been invited to unveil the newly refurbished Well House in September. The refurbishment work should take place during the summer. The Heritage Day will be professionally advertised with interest already received from BBC TV.


Tithe Barn: Kevin Thorpe had received notice, from Notts City Transport, of an opportunity to view inside the Tithe Barn. Please contact Kevin, if interested.


Four years ago, Greg Farnsworth created a Heritage Trail to include Cheese Hill and the Tythe Barn. The trail takes two hours’ to walk and involves six Heritage Boards along the route.


Village Entrance Signs: E. Perrell inquired about the recent talks on replacing the village entrance signs. There is still a budget of £1,500 in the GPC capital account for signage but, as the stolen Nottingham Road sign was recovered by Police, the project was put on hold. The County Council signs are now secured to avert the problem of theft.


There being no more business, the Chairman thanked the attendees and speakers and the meeting closed at 9.40 p.m.

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting (28/04/15)

Present:           Eighty one Parishioners, including Gotham Parish Council members: M.Sheppard (Chairman), J.M.F.Royce, J.P.Anderson, E.Padden, G.Hutter, K.Steed, C.Dabell, D.Bexon, M.Wilkins, B.J.Walker, G.Holbrook.

1.  One Minute’s Silence:

The Chairman requested that the meeting stand for one minute’s silence in memory of those who had fallen in the Two World Wars and for whom this Recreation Ground and Memorial Hall had been donated, in their memory after the 1914-18 war.

2.  Presentation to Retiring Borough Councillor Trevor Vennett-Smith:

By Allan Kerr, Vice Chairman –Barton Parish Council

By Peter Inskeep, Past Chairman -Gotham Parish Council

By David Greenwood, Chairman –Thrumpton Village Meeting

Toast:- ‘to your Happy Retirement’ – Michael Sheppard

Three framed maps of Gotham, Barton and Thurmpton were presented to T.Vennett-Smith in turn by Alan Kerr, Vice-Chairman of Barton Parish Council, was assisted by Tomas Barcikowski and Mathew Harrison. Peter Inskeep, Past Chairman of Gotham Parish Council was assisted by Sam Towers, Joseph Higgins. David Greenwood, Chairman of Thrumpton Village Meeting, was assisted by Lily Taylor Francesca Greenhalgh-Jones.

Trevor was thanked and congratulated by the three speakers for his hard work and loyal service to the Borough over the past thirty two years. He responded and thanked everyone for his gifts of the  three framed photographs which he said would take pride of position inside his new hallway.

Response:- Trevor Vennett-Smith:

Many of you will be aware that I have moved out of the village to go down to Wales. This means I am no longer eligible to stand for re-election. So, this is a public good bye to you all and a huge thank you for your support and help over those 32 years. I have enjoyed representing the villages, it became a way of life. I still firmly believe that those who are elected to public office do so by the grace of the people who voted for them and not the political party. They are there because they want to serve and you have put them there. A politician is therefore responsible to the people not the party.

I would like to thank a few people who have helped me so much over the years. My friend and father of the Parish Council, Fraser Royce. I could not have coped without his sane advice when times were tough. Arthur Howick who was the best and fairest Chairman of the Parish that I served under. Pat Dines, former Parish Clerk, Mary Carswell, Mary Stephens and John Collins at Thrumpton. Julian Coles, Alan Kerr, John Hawkins, Daphne Towers, Rev. Alistair Sutherland at Barton.

3.  Ken Mafham – with John Anderson & Julian Coles ACS Judicial Review verdict by the High Court

questions & answers:

J.P.Anderson said he was disappointed at losing the ruling on the Nottingham City Council Core Strategy.  Before representatives from the Parish Councils’ knew the Judge’s decision, they thought they had a very good case, represented by Barrister, R. Turney, with the respondent (Nottingham City Council) giving a very poor case. There was enough evidence for the Judge to give a verdict to dismiss the case. J.P.Anderson thanked all the attendees for all their help with letters of response, when and where necessary. GPC need to work out what to do next, with the support of the village.

The two Local Plans are the Aligned Core Strategy and the Rushcliffe Borough Council Core Strategy. The second Judicial Review is against the RBC Core Strategy, who have decided to build on Clifton Pastures. GPC has to decide to go to Judicial Review again against the RBC decision. Are we throwing good money after bad?  What is the best way forward? Do we need to press for a village bypass to take the extra traffic associated with the Clifton development? If so, do we take the SSSI land or the top of the Recreation Ground for a bypass? These are difficult decisions. We need Ken Mafham’s advice on the new challenge ahead, i.e. getting the best outcome from the development.

Ken Mafham said he hadn’t delivered what he had hoped to in order to geth the Aligned Core Strategy thrown out. The Judge had stated, ‘our Barrister had put a good case and he fount that what Nottingham City Council had done was not illegal. The Planning Authorities are official, elected people who know what they are doing. The job of the Court is to say ‘no this is wrong’ but he decided to give them the benefit of the doubt’. We haven’t been let down by the Judge, but the standard of local Government in Nottingham who are ‘not up to the job’. The media have also let us down. We should have a good, well informed local media. As the Council are the media’s biggest advertiser, it is not in their best interest to give an unbiased report. R.Turney was unhappy at the outcome of the Judicial Review. He had worked extremely hard to press our case.

What to do now? There are differences between the two Core Strategies. Building might not even happen e.g. Sharphill.

What RBC might do, is dig a hole and state ‘they have started the development’.  What can be done is to ask the Secretary of State to ‘call it in’. I consider the best plan is to draw up a dossier of what the village wants from the development at Clifton, i.e. parks, cycleways, etc.

Questions and Answers:

Ex Borough Councillor T. Venett-Smith, congratulated Ken Mafham who he said had been ‘superb’. The RBC meeting a few days’ before Christmas had never been held that close to Christmas before. The standard at RBC had been appalling as he had told the Chief Executive, Allen Graham. T.Vennett-Smith had written articles to the Nottingham Evening Post over many issues which had not been put to print. He had finished at the Borough with a ‘poor taste in his mouth’. He had not been invited to Council meetings that involved the loss of the green belt land.

The Parish Council have done a marvellous job.

Question from S. Hudson:

What about the proposed Travellers’ Site?

K.Mafham replied: This is still on the planning application. He had not heard it had been dropped. A few spaces for travellers’ had been allocated as an obligation in a large development.

Question from Councillor, A.Kerr (Barton).

What is the process from now on? What can we object to?

K.Mafham replied: The Planning Application is an indicative one and might not be the one to happen. Clifton is being pushed by the landowners and apportioned to different builders and what is to be built. We will have opportunities to ask for what we want, i.e. the strategic landscaping, the design of the houses, etc, the local community can get involved in these issues. K.Mafham will help via the internet, looking at the six best designs. But, will they listen? The local elected councillors should listen to local wishes. Do developers want to build at Clifton? There is a big price tag on this development. The Inspector expects the developer to pay for the widening of the A52 ringroad. It might take 2/3 years before anything happens.

The RBC Local Plan Part 2 suggests a green belt envelope around the village showing where development can infill.

Question from A.Kerr:

Industrial Units, could these be developed without the housing?

K.Mafham replied: The warehousing is an unattractive prospect when there opportunities along the M1 from Bedford to Wakefield. There is not much demand for offices or factories in this area. Many offices standing empty within Nottingham. It might take a long time to push warehousing. There are restrictive height limits on the higher ground. Details must be insisted upon when plans are submitted.

Question from P. Inskeep:

What is the legal challenge we have lost and why would it influence the one against the RBC Core Strategy? What would it cost?

K. Mafham replied: There are lots of similarities between the two cases and it is obvious to think that if we lost one, we could lose the other. In 2012, the Inspector said to RBC that the proposed development of 9000 houses should, in fact, have been 13,500. Was the Inspector legally allowed to put such a suggestion to RBC? The Law changed when Eric Pickles revoked the Regional Plan and said that it is now up to Local Authorities how many houses to build. K.Mafham said he would ask the Barrister whether it would be wise to continue a legal challenge against RBC Core Strategy.

J.Potter of Clifton, thanked the three parishes for all their hard work. He had sat through both Core strategies and they are different. He has been interested in Sharphill and doubts RBC is listening to the details. He is worried we will regret not challenging RBC.

M.J.Sheppard, J.P.Anderson and J. Coles (Barton) had met the Chief Executive of RBC (A.Graham). He would not listen to any negotiations and appeared to have no interest.

K.Mafham left the meeting at 8.10 p.m.

4. Apologies: Mrs. Lymn Brewin.

5. Report/Questions/ on the Parish Meeting held on the 29th April, 2014.

The Minutes of the Gotham Annual Parish Meeting held 29th April, 2014, were authorised for approval.

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

6. GPC Chairman’s Report (M.J.Sheppard).

There’s much to report. It’s been a busy year for the village on many fronts.

Football: Last April, our team won the under 10’s Sunday League cup. A marvellous achievement, which featured in Gotham News.

Cricket Club: The Club had a good season The Festival was particularly successful and well supported by interested spectators. It will feature again in this year’s fixtures.

Gill Hutter, Andrew Clayworth and Graham Holbrook joined the Parish Council. Then, in August, sadly another of our retail shops closed. Adcock’s the butchers, a family business closed after 89 years.

The Gotham Playgroup: celebrated 50 years. Gotham Primary School increased its capacity to 191 pupils. This popular school is very successfully run by Mrs. Sue Lymn-Brewin and her team.

Gotham Nature Reserve Trust have had a huge impact restoring the SSSI. Much of the rare species of flora and fauna which, over the years, has been out of sight and overgrown, has started to reappear again. The Trust, with its team of volunteers, were rewarded for their hard work when they won the  award for ‘Protecting and Enhancing the Environment’ category at this year’s Rushcliffe Community Awards event.

Gotham Countryside Trust have also worked hard to clear the brush and created the path opening up the first part of the ‘Logan Trail’. This extends from Leake Road roundabout down nearly to the main line. Some work has been carried out by British Gypsum – St. Gobain on the other side of Leake Road back to Hill Road.

With volunteers from the last year’s Annual Parish Meeting, I formed a discussion group to plan a fitting commemoration of the start of World War 1. Reverend Richard Coleman, Eric Perrell, Ted Coles, Gill Hutter and Judy Raven joined the team. After two meetings, the decision to march from the Square to the Memorial Hall for an Act of Remembrance was made. An external War Memorial was constructed. It is a great credit to Eric Perrell and the Memorial Hall Trustees that the job was completed in record time with an inscription suggested by Gill Hutter. The march was well organised by Ted Coles. The Service of Remembrance was conducted by Rev. Richard Coleman.

It was decided to produce a four page biographical feature entitled ‘Gotham Remembers Its Fallen in the Great War.’ This will be achieved by including a  feature, on each of the 31 Gotham men and women who lost their lives, in each edition of Gotham News, for the next four years, The team – Peter Inskeep, Pat Dines, Fraser Royce and myself, work to produce this information and would appreciate any photos, letters or any other useful statistics you might know about.

A further Traffic discussion group has been considering road safety outside the school and rat running through our village. Parish Councillors from Kegworth and Kingston have attended these meetings. Now adjourned until the A453 is open.

With the help of County Councillor Andrew Brown, we held on to the pedestrian traffic lights outside the school.

The Memorial Hall staged its Annual Cabaret Night which is very popular and enjoyed by everyone. It’s thanks to Mary Howick’s hard work and expertise who, with her team, produce the fabulous dinner each year.

The Carol sing-song was even more popular this year and very well attended. The Christmas tree was generously donated by an anonymous donor. Once again, St. Lawrence Church served mulled wine and mince pies to get the evening off to a start. This year, Santa Claus arrived to distribute gifts to the children.

The 1st Gotham Scouts pantomime this year was Snow White. As usual it was well received by all the children, parents and grandparents alike.

It is sad that the Gotham Branch Royal British Legion Club has closed. Like many licensed premises, changing lifestyle has caused a fall in sales. It is not known what will happen to the building and the site which will as some point be advertised. The Royal British Legion in London, (the owners), are in consultation with Gotham Branch and will decide to either lease the building or sell it.

7. Finance Officer’s Report: (J.Raven).

Full income and expenditure accounts for the year ending 31st March, 2015 will be available for inspection from the 14th July, 2015.

Memorial Hall Car Park: The Parish Council, in conjunction with the Trustees of the Memorial Hall, shared costs to re-surface most of the car park and renew drains. The final payment, due to the Contractors in July, 201:  £902.00.

Cemetery Development: Ongoing improvements to the Cemetery have included regular gardening tidying of the front border by Mr and Mrs Hand at an annual cost of £400. Cemetery maintenance to the walls and cutting out brush: £1,060.

Green Belt Campaign: Our ongoing fight to save Clifton Pastures has continued in conjunction with Barton, Clifton and Thrumpton with costs shared. Gotham’s share last year: £3,377.30.

Railway Walk Maintenance: Due to a spate of vandalism, a new picnic table has been necessary costing £360. Pruning carried out to open up the area around the picnic table and to be able to enjoy the view: £230.

Recreation Ground: Refurbished pavilions cost £2,719. A new bin to hold grit for icy weather, for use at the Memorial Hall: £150. Playground Safety Inspection: £86.

Village Defibrillator: After much discussion on the siting of a village defibrillator, the Memorial Hall Trustees kindly allowed it to be placed outside the main entrance. The cost to include cabinet, installation and user cards: £2,220.

Village Sculpture Heritage Board: The Gotham Heritage Committee recently closed and the remaining funds of £5,183 passed to the Parish Council. Out of these funds, a new heritage board under the village sculpture was installed at a cost of £1,809.

Gotham Remembers: To commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, a fund of £500 was set aside. Articles about the Gotham War Dead will appear in Gotham News. To date, £481 has been spent of this budget.

Environmental Improvements: The Parish Council carried out extensive bulb planting around the Village Sculpture, and on Kegworth and Leake Roads at a cost of £248.

Church Clock: annual service: £221.

Carol Singing for Christmas: £400. (Sponsorship raised: £226.50)

Good causes supported in 2014/15:

Royal British Legion civic wreath:  £250.00.

DARE T Shirts. (Drugs Awareness Course at Gotham School). – £104

Gotham Junior Netball Club – £150

Gotham Senior Netball Club – £120

Gotham Scouts for Hall purchase – £700

Gotham W.I. for Over 70’s party – £150

Grant towards publication of Gotham News: £600.

Subscriptions paid in 2014/15:

Notts Footpath Association – £5

Notts Wildlife Trust – £33.

Information Commissioner’s Office: £35

C.P.R.E. Subscription – £36

Society of Local Council Clerks-  membership: £103

National Association of Local Councils: £248

8. Report from County Councillor A.Brown:

‘The temporary traffic lights outside Gotham Primary School to be removed by NCC when the A453 widening work has been completed. He is in talks with NCC re them carrying out a traffic survey following the works when, they are convinced the rat running down Kegworth Road will diminish. There have been no accidents while the traffic lights have been in place. Heavy lorries are travelling through the village due to the removal of the weight restriction sign at Clifton. The lorry drivers are not acting illegally if the weight restriction sign is not there. Heavy lorries can be reported to Lorry Watch if they break the law.

Councillor Brown is pushing for the medilink bus route to be extended out to Clifton Park and Ride. (Larkhill). When the tram starts, the No. 53 service will travel to QMC and the City Hospital.

The Councillor Community Funding has contributed towards the defibrillator, playgroup pond, scout hut. The Development Fund is to provide Gotham School with a glockenspiel.

The Labour Council have got no overall control but successfully won the Council Tax vote.

Councillor K. Cutts negotiated more say on Committees allowing three minutes time for Councillors to speak on matters concerning their patch.

Thanks to Trevor Vennett-Smith for his support over the last two years.’

8. Report from County Councillor, A. Brown:

County Councillor A.Brown reported the following items:   .

Local Bridge Repairs: County Councillor A.Brown reported the Highways Agency is in talks with Sutton Bonington Parish Council re essential bridge works, adjacent to the Parish.

Notts County Council Meeting: A twelve hour County Council budget meeting took place on the 26th February with a motion in favour of the Labour Councillor’s 1.99% increase in Council Tax. The vote was 33% in favour and 33% against so the Chairman cast the deciding vote. (Conservative Council put forward a motion for a nil increase in Council Tax).

A453 Traffic Lights at Clifton: Lainge O’Rourke had switched the traffic lights at the Crusader roundabout to a timed sequence. Gotham traffic held up to allow more traffic to flow from the A453 (from the M.1. junction 24 direction).

Nott’s County Council, RBC and North West Leicestershire District Council wish to rename the A453 ‘Remembrance Way’. Poppy seeds to be planted for one hundred metres by Laing O’Rourke.

Closure of Green Lane: The Clerk had received email advice, re closure of Green Lane, Clifton from the 12th February for the following two months. This closure had not occurred due to pressure from Lillian Greenwood M.P. and members of the Nottingham City Council.

Sutton Bonington University Litter Pick: The students of S.B. University had recently carried out a Litter Pick around the campus area.

Litter: The litter nuisance in Rushcliffe had worsened since the privatisation of Streetwise. A Gotham Litter Pick will take place on Saturday, 21st March, 2015.The Clerk had invited Gotham Scouts to take part.

Weight Restriction Sign: NCC to reinstate the missing weight restriction sign on Nottingham Road. This has caused an increase in heavy lorries travelling through Gotham village. Parishioners are urged to report sightings of heavy lorries and obtain the registration number, company name and time of offence to report to Truck Watch who can then prosecute the offending driver.

County Councillor A.Brown left the meeting at 9.00 p.m.

9. Report from Rushcliffe Borough Councillor, T. Vennett-Smith:

‘I have served with four County Councillors in my time as Borough Councillor. Councillor Andrew Brown has served Notts County Council immeasurably well.

The closure of the Royal British Legion is a sadness as it has played a big part in Gotham. I am pleased the members are continuing their meetings in the Memorial Hall.

The W.I. Christmas party is finishing. I remember attending the first Christmas Party when the guests appeared very old. Nowadays, people don’t look so old anymore. Thanks to the ladies of the W.I. for all their work over the years.

We are remembering the Gotham Fallen during the Wars. I have promised Andrew Vickers I will visit the grave of the Gotham boy buried in Rangoon one day.

Thanks to Gotham Parish Council who serve the village very well. They only have twelve nominations for the election and it should be thirteen. They should nag Fraser Royce more to get things done!

There will be a big difference if Gotham is designated a Green Belt envelope and more housing is built in the village.

Thanks to Chairman of the Parish Council, Michael Sheppard and the Clerk, Judy Raven.

A.Brown left the meeting at 9.10 p.m.

10. Possible Spar Shop/Post Office move to British Legion Building: (A.Towle).

Mr. and Mrs. A. Towle presented their plan to purchase the Royal British Legion building currently for sale with agents Innes England. They had successfully run the current Spar shop for ten years’ but are finding the premises too small. The RBL site is the only one available to set up a larger store and provide a car park. A full range of local fresh vegetables, a butcher’s counter, cheese, flowers can all be incorporated. This is an exciting opportunity.

J.P.Anderson thanked Mr. and Mrs. Towle for their presentation. He said he felt cheerful about the prospect of the former Royal British Legion site continuing to benefit the village. It would help if GPC registered the site as an Asset of Community Value (under the Localism Act). This entitles GPC to get the site preserved for a local amenity making it more difficult for a developer to acquire the site for inappropriate development. A six month moratorium will be held on the site to allow the community time to secure it with funding from grants, donations, etc.

T. Coles reported, the property was acquired by RBL in 1948 from the former Earl Howe. A caveat exists in the deed of sale that the site is ‘for the community branch’ which was very large in those days. Now, very few families have members of the Armed Services. The official view of the RBL is that their preference is that the site should remain for the good of the local community. The members of RBL have to remain independent of any plans. Decisions are dealt with at national level but our views are known and will be taken on board when the decision is made of how to dispose of the building.

M.J.Sheppard reported, he had written to RBL on behalf of GPC that the property should remain within the remit of the community. He had also written to the Earl Howe who had replied with interest. He has asked for the original copy of the Deed of Sale, together with photographs and, hopefully, we can appeal to him for his support. The original sale price was very cheap enabling him to add a caveat in for the future of the property. John Anderson has sought excellent advice for us to take action on what the village wishes to achieve from the site.

D. Brown sought support for Alan and Jane Towle. It is important to find a way and agree formally to support their plans.

P. Inskeep thought it important to pass a resolution to safeguard the site.

It was therefore, PROPOSED by P.Inskeep and SECONDED by J.P.Anderson that ‘this meeting believes 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.

D.Smith thanked Alan and Jane for running the ‘tardis’. They have done a cracking job and provide an enormous service to the village.

11. Other Parish Issues: Nil.

There being no more business, the Chairman thanked the attendees and speakers and the meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.