Cllr A Britton Cllr I Lawton Cllr D Pearson
Cllr R Browne Cllr D Grindell Cllr Mrs S Roome
Cllr R Darby Cllr R MacRae Cllr Ms J Townend
Cllr Mrs A J Hull Cllr J McGrath
103/2017 Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: Cllr Mrs C Bollen, P Ensor, Mrs S Ensor, Mrs J C Goold, E B Hull and C Rice
104/2017 Declarations of interest
Councillors: R Darby, Mrs A J Hull, J McGrath and Ms J Townend declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding the Town Council Allotments.
Councillors: R Darby, R MacRae and J McGrath 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.
Any items relating to specific matters on the Budget would be noted when these items were reported.
105/2017 Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 25th November 2016.
The Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 25th November 2016 were approved and signed by the Town Mayor.
106/2017 Request(s) made by any member of the public to address the Town Council
The Town Clerk had received no requests to address the Town Council.
107/2017 Mayor’s Engagements
The Town Clerk drew the Meetings attention to the Village Ventures event held on 8th December 2016 and thanked James Laverty Music for once again running the sound desk and Front of House services on the evening in question. This had been a great evening of entertainment and she recommended the next event on 9th April 2017; tickets available in the New Year.
It was noted that the Town Mayor had been busy attending a number of events.
Councillor R MacRae declared an interest in the following item.
108/2017 Town Centre Management Team (TCT)
The Town Clerk reported that she had attended a meeting of the TCT and that she was pleased to inform the Town Council of the following points:
- Broxtowe Borough Council would make its decision re the delivery of free wifi in the Town before the end of February.
- The TCT had developed an ambitious plan for Town Centre Improvements. However, it had no money to implement such a scheme and would need to look to applying for funding from Nottinghamshire County Council, (however, no guarantee that funds would be available from this quarter), crowd funding, individual sponsorship and it would also be approaching the Town Council.
- The Town Clerk had suggested that it would be useful for a representative from the TCT to address the Town Council, at the appropriate time, to discuss this proposed project.
- An open evening would be held during February 2017 when both local businesses and residents could give their views on the Town Centre. It was hoped that this event would be held in a local business and would straddle the afternoon/early evening period.
This report was noted.
109/2017 Christmas Lights – Feedback
The Town Clerk reported that the Christmas Lights event had taken place on 26th November 2016 and that the organisers, Liberty leisure (for Broxtowe Borough Council) had co-ordinated and led the event.
The Leader of the Town Council, Councillor Pearson, and Councillor MacRae were not happy with the debrief or lack of it that had been held and while the Town Clerk was promised further information she had not yet received the detailed information re the running of the event as requested. .
The Town Clerk was very concerned regarding inferences that had been made that the Town Council should take over the running of the event. She asked the Meeting to note that she had neither the resources, funding nor staff to take on this project as allocations re funding for Town Council events now stood.
Further it was note that while the Town Council had made a commitment to fund an element of this event while Liberty Leisure/Broxtowe Borough Council were in charge of the running of the Christmas Lights Switch On; should the management of the event change, then the new project managers would need to approach the Town Council with their business plan and organisational scheme before the Town Council could commit to fund such a project. Such a plan would need to include liability insurance cover, health and safety/risk assessments, as required, and first aid coverage.
The Town Clerk would report back to a future Meeting of the Town Council regarding this matter once she has relevant information.
With regard to the Christmas lights display it was noted that new digital rope lighting had been purchased and erected in the Town and lit throughout the Christmas period. The blue/white lighting scheme had proved appropriate. Unfortunately, the red/yellow combination on the lamps on the Walter Parker Square, which had been purchased by the Town Council to match the previous Christmas Tree light combination, did not match the blue/white scheme. Given the current financial restrictions there were no plans to purchase further lights for this area at this time. These matters were noted.
110/2017 Neighbourhood Planning
The Town Clerk reported that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group was meeting regularly and the various Sub Groups were continuing to pull together relevant information for inclusion in the main plan.
A meeting of this group was scheduled for early December and it was noted that the best way to utilise the employment of an independent consultant would be discussed. The Leader of the Town Council and the Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group hoped to meet with Mr Mafham, the independent consultant, early in the New Year.
111/2017 Requests for Dispensations
It was noted that the Localism Act 2011 removed the automatic dispensations for local councillors to discuss the setting of budgets. Thus Members who are resident in Stapleford who wished to discuss the setting of the budget and annual precept declared their intention at this point in the Meeting.
Likewise any Member, who was in receipt of a civic allowance, represented the Town Council in a Civic capacity or who might do so in 2017/18 and wished to discuss items referring to Civic matters also requested a dispensation at this point in the Meeting.
The Town Council agreed unanimously to grant such dispensations as follows: Dispensation to discuss budgetary matters: Councillors:
R Browne, R Darby, Mrs A J Hull, D Grindell, I Lawton, J McGrath, R MacRae, D Pearson,
Mrs S Roome and Ms J Townend
Dispensation to discuss Civic matters: Councillors: R Darby, Mrs A Hull and Mrs S Roome.
112/2017 Budget Report/Precept Report
Members considered and noted the items that needed to be approved for expenditure in the next financial year 2017/2018. It was noted that the Finance and General Purposes Committee had not met as in previous years, as the information from Broxtowe Borough Council had not been available until late in December 2016 and it was considered more cost effective to bring this information straight to the Town Council for discussion and decision.
After full and frank discussion the following points were noted:
Councillors: R Darby, Mrs A J Hull, J McGrath and Ms J Townend.
- Allotments – It was noted that the Town Council had considered the matter of allotment rents etc at its Meeting on 25th November 2016 and it had been agreed not to increase the rents in the financial year 2018/19.
However, following the decision made by the Town Council during its budget deliberations in 2016/17 the cost of both rental and water for the allotment plots would be increased for 2017/18 and that the monies for these plots was currently being collected.
- Hanging Baskets – It was noted that in 2016/17 the Town Council had, reluctantly agreed to no longer undertake this project due to the cost. It had been agreed to revisit the subject at this Meeting. Following discussion it was agreed that the Town Council could not, at the present time financially support this project.
- Christmas Lights etc. – Members agreed to maintain its commitment to the purchase of the lights over the three year period 2016-2019 as detailed in the Town Clerk’s Report and detailed by Mr M Batterham at the June 2016 Meeting of the Town Council.
Further it was agreed to maintain the funding towards the Christmas Lights Switch On event as previously outlined by Liberty Leisure at the Meeting held in September 2016. However, should there be any change in the management of this event it would need to be fully discussed with the Town Council and no guarantee of funding could be given for any new initiative or change of management until it had been fully vetted and the Town Council was satisfied with the proposals.
- Village Ventures– Following full and frank discussion of the merits of this project it was agrees to continue sponsoring this scheme, providing both Broxtowe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council continued to support the scheme, as the Town Council could not afford to take on any further expense associated with the project.
Councillor D Grindell declared an interest in the Hemlock Happening as a Member of the organising committee for this event.
- Hemlock Happening – It was noted that in 2016/17 the Town Council had, reluctantly agreed that it could no longer financially support the Hemlock Happening. It had been decided to revisit the subject at this Meeting. Following discussion it was agreed that the Town Council could not, at the present time financially support this project.
- Playday – The Town Clerk was unable to confirm whether or not this event would be run by Broxtowe Borough Council in 2017. Following discussion it was agreed that £1,500 should be allocated for this project with the proviso that should it not take place the money would be returned to Reserves or re-allocated to a suitable project.
- Stapleford Carnival – The Town Clerk had no information on the future of the Stapleford Carnival. Following discussion it was agreed that no more than £100 should be allocated for the Carnival should it take place and that information regarding the future of the event should be reported to the Town Council once it was available.
- Summer Garden Competition – Agreed to continue this project and that the Town Clerk should look for savings were possible.
- Civic Costs – Following full and robust discussion it was agreed that the Civic Allowances should be maintained at the current level and that the Town Council should continue to pay for tickets as appropriate for the Town Mayor/Deputy Town Mayor/Past Town and Escort.
- Coffee Mornings – It was agreed to sponsor such events as required.
- Remembrance Sunday/11th Hour of the11th Day of the 11th Month – This matter was fully discussed at the Meeting of the Town Council in November 2016 and the Town Council was pleased to see these events continue.
However, the Town Clerk wished to bring it to Members attention during the discussion of the Budget, to ensure that they were aware that there would need to be further expenditure to ensure health and safety requirements were met. This matter was noted.
- Mayoral Civic Events – It was agreed that the remaining events listed under this heading would continue as stated in the Town Clerk’s report.
- Section 137– Monies were allocated under Section 137 to support local organisations helping to improve the lot of people living in the Town. It was agreed to support this arrangement at the existing level, as set out in the Town Clerk’s report.
- Carnegie Centre – The Town Council agreed to instruct the Town Clerk to continue to let the premises re the current arrangements.
- Carnegie Centre Annexe –Members attention was drawn to the information contained in the Town Clerk’s report re information that Broxtowe Youth Homelessness had given notice re their tenure of this building and that the Town Clerk had not been informed of this matter until 20th December 2016.
Councillor MacRae, the Town Council’s representative on this body, informed the Meeting that he had not told anyone of the plans because it was confidential. However, the Town Clerk informed Councillor MacRae that he was appointed as the Town Council’s Representative to this Management Committee and that he was attending on the Town Council’s behalf and that this had been explained at the Annual Council Meeting.
It was further noted that the Leader of the Town Council and the Town Clerk had met with the Chair of the Management Committees who had not informed the Town Council of any plans to vacate the premises.
A report will be made to a future Meeting of the Town Council re the future use of this building.
- Maintenance and Equipment – These allocations were noted.
- Elections – Agreed to allocate and ring fence sufficient funds to meet the future costs of elections and to continue to rent the Carnegie Centre for Use as a polling station.
- Salaries – Noted that a 1% increase had been agreed by the NJC for local authority staff from 1st April 2016 through to 1st April 2018.
- Note and approve the report of the Town Clerk; and
- Instruct the Town Clerk to carry out the instructions as detailed in the Minutes of this Meeting following full and frank discussion of the matters listed there in.
At this point in the proceedings a short adjournment was held.
113/2017 Proposed Budget/Precept
Councillor D Pearson introduced this item and reminded Members once again of the many and varied activities organised and supported by the Town Council. He further explained the strains on the Town Council’s finances and the need to budget carefully to fulfil its commitments.
He informed Members of the probable expenditure for the current financial year and the recommendations for expenditure in the financial year 2017/2018 as discussed at this Meeting.
To assist Town/Parish Councils for this year Broxtowe Borough Council would allocate a grant of £5,155 from the Local Tax Support scheme. The reduction to this grant was in line with the reduction of the allocation of the Local Tax Support scheme to Broxtowe Borough Council as a whole.
Councillors Grindell and MacRae thanked Councillor Pearson and the Town Clerk and her staff for their efforts in preparing and presenting the budget.
Members examined the information presented to them and it was proposed by Councillor Mrs A Hull and seconded by Councillor D Grindell that the precept should be raised by 4.5% following further discussion it was agreed that it would be prudent to amend this proposal, to raise it by a further ½% and to allocate this extra ½% to the Election Fund. This was agreed and upon a vote it was agreed that the precept be raised by 5%.
RESOLVED: That the precept should be raised by 5% for the financial year 2017/2018.
The Town Clerk was instructed to inform Broxtowe Borough Council of this decision.
Nottinghamshire County Council: Submission of Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan.
This item was noted.
HS2 Information Events.
Members were encouraged to attend one of the information events, details of which were detailed on the Agenda for this Meting and information was also displayed on Town Council Notice Boards.
This item would be discussed at the next meeting of the Town Council and a reply to the consultation formulated at this point.
115/2017 Planning Applications
It was noted that no planning applications requiring Town Council attention had been received prior to the Meeting this evening.
Councillor MacRae asked the Town Clerk why no comments had been sent by Broxtowe Borough Council regarding the applications discussed at the last Town Council Meeting on 25th November 2016, relating to:
the application by Aldi to vary a planning condition on its approval to develop ten houses adjacent to the site it intended to erect a supermarket on; and the application to retain a micro brewery.
The Town Clerk drew the meetings attention to the Minutes of the last Meeting and informed it that she had sent the minute references as requested to Broxtowe Borough Council. She was not aware of any reason why the Town Council’s comments had not been included in Broxtowe Borough Council’s reports on these matters.
However, she would investigate and report back to the next Meeting of the Town Council.
This item was noted.
117/2013 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Town Council was scheduled to place on Friday, 17th February 2017 commencing at 7.00p.m.