Town Council Meeting Minutes – 14/10/2016

Present Councillors:

 

Cllr A Britton             Cllr Mrs J C Goold              Cllr J McGrath

Cllr R Browne           Cllr Mrs A J Hull                  Cllr D Pearson

Cllr R Darby              Cllr I Lawton                         Cllr C Rice

Cllr D Grindell           Cllr R MacRae                    Cllr Mrs S Roome

 

67/2017         Apologies for absence

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: Mrs C Bollen, P Ensor,

Mrs S Ensor, J Longdon, E B Hull and Ms J Townend.

 

68/2017         Declarations of interest

 

Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J C Goold, Mrs A Hull and J McGrath declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding the Town Council Allotments.

Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J C Goold, R MacRae, J McGrath and C Rice declared an interest regarding any matter relating to Broxtowe Borough Council by dint of their status as serving Councillors on Broxtowe Borough Council.

Councillor: R MacRae declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding the Town Centre Team.

 

69/2017         Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 2ndSeptember 2016

 

The Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 2nd September 2016 were approved and signed by the Town Mayor.

 

The Town Clerk apologised to the Meeting for the glitches that had appeared on the Minutes.  As Councillors Were aware the Computer issues had not yet been full rectified and the overprinting on page 4 directly above 59/2017 does not appear on the soft copy and the last two paragraphs under 61/2017 had copied from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 29thJuly 2016.

 

These errors would be rectified and the Meeting noted this explanation.

 

70/2017         Request(s) made by any member of the public to address the Town Council

 

The Town Clerk reported that she had received no requests to address this Meeting.

 

71/2017          Mayor’s Engagements

 

The Town Clerk informed Members that the Mayor had received a number of invitations since the despatch of this Agenda.

 

Member’s attention was drawn to the Village Ventures event being held on 20th October and it was noted that tickets were still available.

 

 

 

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 71/2017contd.

 

The Town Clerk took this opportunity to thank Councillors who had volunteered to assist at Remembrance Sunday Services.  Further, Members were asked to note that following liaison with Broxtowe Borough Council it had been agreed that the Walter Parker VC Square would be   thoroughly cleaned and weeded during the last week in October.


The Town Clerk had been informed, by Broxtowe Borough Council, that  this work would cost just under £1,000; it was also noted that Broxtowe Borough Council would, at a cost, of £175, tidy the privately owned area, adjacent, to the Walter Parker VC Square at the same time to ensure a high environmental standard was maintained for the Remembrance Service.

 

Councillor McGrath raised a number of points with regard to Walter Parker VC Square and felt very strongly that there was a need for a greater level of maintenance at this site. The Town Clerk requested that it be noted that the maintenance of the Walter Parker VC Square was the responsibility of  Broxtowe Borough Council and that as  a Borough Councillor, as well as, a Town Councillor, Councillor McGrath would be better approaching  Broxtowe Borough Council directly regarding his wishes for the upkeep of the Walter Parker VC Square.

 

The Town Clerk further reported (for the benefit of Members newly elected in the Local Elections in May 2015), that the previous Administration of Stapleford Town Council had paid £2,000 in 2015 for refurbishment works on the Walter Parker VC Square.

 

Returning to the Mayor’s Engagements, the Meeting was asked to note the date and time of the Christmas Lights Switch On: Saturday, 26th November 2016, with activities starting at 3.30p.m.

 

72/2017         Parliamentary Boundary Changes      

 

The Town Clerk reported that she had been made aware of the proposed changes to the Parliamentary Boundary and how it will affect Stapleford.  Councillor Pearson supplied copies of the relevant documents to Members who had not previously viewed them.

 

Councillor Pearson commented that he was very concerned that it was proposed to split the Broxtowe Constituency in two, when the Borough was already split in two between the Broxtowe and Ashfield Constituencies.   He was further discomforted by the prospect of Stapleford being included with areas that were part of the City: Bilborough and Hucknall and also Strelley. With regard to the reasons for these proposed changes, while he accepted the need to align the size of constituencies and that the population norm was suggested at between 71,000 and 78,000 electorate per constituency the current Broxtowe Constituency fell right in the middle of this projected ideal, so he asked the question why it needed changing.

 

Following discussion it was agreed that the Town Clerk should write to the Boundary Commission expressing the Town Council’s disquiet at this proposed change to the Parliamentary Boundary.

 

Further it was noted that Councillor Mrs Goold confirmed that Broxtowe Borough Council was also objecting to the proposed changes to the Parliamentary Boundary.

 

Councillor R MacRae declared an interest in the following item.

 

 

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73/2017         Town Centre Management Team (TCT)

 

The Town Clerk reported that she had not attended the last meeting held by the TCT. As the date had been altered four times and she was unavailable to attend the re-arranged Meeting.

 

However, the latest draft newsletter had been received and Members noted the following information TCT:

 

  1. Was still investigating the provision of free wifi in the Town Centre.
  2. Was looking into an environmental project for 2017.

 

Councillors:  R Darby, Mrs J Goold, Mrs A Hull, J McGrath and Ms J M Townend declared an interest in the following item.

 

74/2017         Allotments

 

The Town Clerk informed Members that she had received an email from Councillor R MacRae and taking advice on the matter had been advised not to answer the email but report it with the answers to this Meeting.

 

Councillor R MacRae was complaining about the allotment hedges, lack of weed killing and weed encroachment onto jittys etc adjacent to the allotment sites.   The town Clerk asked the Meeting to note:

  1. That Broxtowe Borough Council was now acting as the Town Council’s agents re the annual hedge cutting exercise. This would enable all hedges etc in the Town to be cut as one exercise.   This work was underway.  Once again the Town Clerk requested that Members note it is not cost effective to cut hedges too early in the season, the more you cut them the faster they grow and the hedges are planted primarily to prevent access to the allotment sites.

 

  1. Weed killer has been sprayed at the Peatfield Site-double gate entrance. However, it can take 21 days for the chemicals to take effect and given the mild, wet weather this climate is more conducive to weeds growing rather than dying.

 

  • Plotholders had been advised that if they were adjacent to a jitty or public highway they should ensure that weeds were not allowed to escape from the allotment site to the public footpath area.

 

  1. A number of similar issues relating to footpaths etc, which were the responsibility of Broxtowe Borough Council, had been listed in the email and the Town Clerk had referred these items to the appropriate officer at Broxtowe Borough Council.

 

Councillor Pearson was not pleased that so much time was being spent on this matter.  He felt that the discussion re the allotment hedges had been sufficiently discussed at previous Meetings and that Members should be aware of the annual cutting procedure.   He emphasised that the Town Clerk was not employed to provide secretarial backup for Members and that too much time was being wasted on matters that were already being dealt with.

 

The Town Clerk’s oral report re the Allotment sites was noted.

 

 

 

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75/2017         Neighbourhood Planning

 

 

The Town Clerk reported that an inaugural Meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group had been held and that four sub groups had been established to discuss various aspects relating to: Transport, Housing, retail/business/commercial and community. These areas of discussion would then be brought back to be incorporated into the main scheme.

 

Further the Town Clerk had been approached by Mr Ken Mafham an independent planning consultant, who was currently working with both Kimberley and Greasely on their respective Neighbourhood Plans and that a presentation had been arranged and Members of the Town Council, together with members of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group would be invited to attend this event.

 

Councillor MacRae was not happy re the organisation of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group and that he had not been informed of any of the sub group meetings.  The Town Clerk informed the Town Council that Councillor MacRae had left the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group Meeting immediately following the decision on who should be the Chair, Deputy Chair and take the minutes of this Group.

 

Two residents had volunteered to operate a web page and face book page on behalf of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group and one of these volunteers wished the Town Council to run its web page in conjunction with the Neighbourhood Plan. The Town Clerk understood and been advised that the two areas should be kept separate and did not have the capacity within her allocated working hours to administer such a web page. Once details were receive d the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group web page could be linked to the Town Council Web Page.

 

76/2017         Update Re Computer System

 

The Town Clerk informed the Meeting that given the problems that had arisen re the computer systems following the incident where an encryption virus had been accidently uploaded. An updated system had been installed together with enhanced security.

 

Previously Broxtowe Borough Council had been employed to assist with computer issues as and when required.  However, the IT Department at Broxtowe Borough Council was currently short staffed and could not provide the solutions required in the necessary time frame and it had been necessary to look elsewhere  for assistance.   A new contract had been undertaken with a local IT firm and it was now hoped that once the new system was finally installed the computers would be running without problems for the foreseeable future.

 

77/2017         Audit Report           

 

The Town Clerk reported that she had received the completed audit documents from the external auditor.

 

In the financial year 2017/18 the External Auditor had requested that the Town Clerk carry out the tasks in relation to the Audit:

  1. That the period for the exercise of public rights includes the first two weeks in July.
  2. An updated Register of Assets is created.
  • That the Governance and Accounting Statements are taken as two separate Agenda items and note as one item as been the practice in this Town Council.

 

 

 

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78/2017         Pasture Road Parking Issues

 

This item was placed on the Agenda at the request of Councillor MacRae who was concerned re safety issue on Pasture Road due to parking near to the entrance to the Albany Allotments site.

 

It was noted that Nottinghamshire County Council were currently investigating this problem and it was agreed to wait for the outcome of that bodies investigations re this matter.

 

79/2017          Items For Future Agenda

 

It was noted that there are a number of items to be reported back to the Town Council and no
further items were requested at this Meeting.

 

80/2017         Correspondence

 

Broxtowe Borough Council – Field Farm – The Town Clerk has been informed that the Planning Inspectorate has decided to change the appeal procedure, (re Field Farm), from written representations to a hearing.  Provisionally 13 December 2016.

 

This matter was noted.

 

Councillor Stan Heptinstall – Nottinghamshire County Council Town Centre Regeneration Programme. The Town Clerk has been informed that Stapleford has not been included in this programme and that Broxtowe Borough Council submitted a request to Nottinghamshire County Council for funding under this heading for Beeston Town Centre, only.

 

Members were most disappointed regarding the outcome of this matter and the absence of a bid for Stapleford and the other Town Centres in Broxtowe, other than Beeston Town Centre.  Councillors, who also served on Broxtowe Borough Council were mystified as to who had made this decision or where the matter had been discussed as none of these individuals* present at this Meeting were aware of this decision and the first they had heard of it was from the Town Council.

 

* Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J C Goold, R MacRae, J McGrath and C Rice all serve as Broxtowe Borough Councillors. .

 

Following discussion it was agreed that Broxtowe Borough Councillors would pursue this matter through Borough Council channels and that the Town Clerk be instructed to write to the Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Councillor Richard Jackson for clarification of this matter.

 

Shale Wealth Fund – Government Consultation – For information please see www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachmentdata/file/544241/shalewealth fund final pdf.

 

This matter was noted.

 

81/2017         Payments

 

Payments were noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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82/2017         Change of Date

 

The Town Clerk reported that following discussions with the Leader of the Town Council it had been suggested that the scheduled date for the January Meeting of the Town Council should be.

 

That would hopefully ensure that all necessary information would have been received from Broxtowe Borough Council to allow full and frank discussion re the budget for the financial year 2017/18.

 

83/2017         Date of Next Meeting

 

The next meeting of the Town Council would be held on Friday, 25thNovember 2016, commencing at 7.00 p.m. at the Carnegie Centre.

 

Members are invited to join the Town Mayor for Sherry and Mince Pies at the end of this Meeting to mark the commencement of the Festive Season.