Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 14th September 2011

1. Apologies

  • Cllr. Munro
  • Cllr. Raspin

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 – County Councillor

Cllr. Stevenson provided a brief report:

  • Lorries: A site meeting with DCC cabinet support & highways has been held.  All concerns were put to them but little comment was made.  The biggest concern is the road surface, which was demonstrated when a lorry was stopped and unable to get going again due to the poor quality of the surface – it had to mount the pavement to get any grip to get going again.  Cllr. Stevenson is trying to get this placed in next years budget allocation as a priority.  The cost of allowing lorries under the Darfould’s Bridge has been quoted at £2m+ in the past and would now be much more due to inflation.
  • Winter maintenance: DCC want to cut £1m from the winter maintenance budget.  DCC wish to create 3 route types, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary – Primary routes would be gritted the most, but only once a severe frost or snow has fallen, rather than before.  Tertiary routes would fall to local farmers and businesses which have taken up a one off payment and agreed to clear routes.  Lafarge and Steetly have expressed an interest, but only once issues around liability for any surface damage etc. can be cleared up.  There is a petition at the Community Centre looking for 7500 signatures to trigger a debate at DCC over the issue of winter maintenance.

Cllr. Frow raised the issue of the willow tree on the one way system blocking the signage, which happens each year.

Cllr. Mills thanked Cllr. Stevenson for the handrail that had been installed on the corner of Worksop Road and High Street, but noted that it was inadequate for the job as it started at the bottom of the steep incline and was only half the length needed.  Cllr. Stevenson had not seen the new hand rail, it having only been installed 2 days prior and said he would look in to it.

2.2 – Police

Unfortunately no police could be in attendance due to a major incident in Clowne.  They did however leave the crime figures for the meeting.

  • The crime figures were reported for August, a total of 18 crimes:
    • 3 criminal damage
    • 3 theft from vehicle
    • 4 violence
    • 4 theft
    • 4 burglary

2.3 – District and Parish Councillors

  • A member of the public asked Cllr. Webster if there was any time requirement for developers to install street lighting on new developments – specifically on the Whitwell Green development.  Cllr. Webster was not aware of any time requirement but said he would look in to it as it may have been part of the planning requirements.
  • Cllr. Mills asked Cllrs. Kerr and Webster what they had achieved for Whitwell since they were elected.
    • Cllr. Webster responded that:
      • All older persons bungalows have now had new kitchens fitted with the tenant choice of colour, even including those on Bakestone Moor that were previously refused.
      • New windows and doors have been fitted to a number of properties as well, with some still in progress.
      • Thackers Garage is still progressing with a letter having gone to the Land Registry with the additional information they requested for it to be placed in to administration.
    • Cllr. Kerr responded that:
      • 70% of issues he has dealt with have been in relation to housing, with some relating to issues over the new front doors which were due to open outwards.
      • He has met with Welbeck Estates to discuss their plans for the area, believing Whitwell can benefit from these even if not directly as long as we are organised and ready.
      • Has a meeting planned with the Homes & Communities Agency to discuss the former EMDA site on Southfield Lane.
  • Cllr. Webster informed that the plans to move black (general waste) bins to a fortnightly collection would go ahead in November.  Families that cannot cope with this will be able to apply for a larger black bin.
  • A member of the public brought it to the attention of the councillors present that though the Police had said no one attends their meetings the last one had the time changed at the last minute and then cancelled.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

  • No actions needed to be taken.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • 2.1.4: Cllrs. Mills said that it should be to Belph (A60) not Worksop Road.
  • 10: Cllr. Frow pointed out that the agreement to carry our immediate emergency repairs was not mentioned.
  • 18: Cllr. Maiden stated it was not his intention in his paper to pass the responsibility for setting prices to the contractor.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • Cllr. Webster mused if Whitwell Parish Council would get any money back from the lights going off as he had looked in to it and when the street lights were handed over DCC charged a 5p council tax rate for lighting.
  • Cllr. Mills commented on the hand rail on High Street/Worksop Road and that it looked like it was being prepared for tactile paving to be installed.
  • Cllr. Maiden was not voted on to the Derbyshire Association of Local Councils.

7. Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Cllr. Mills would like to try and organise a celebration in the village for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to bring people in the village together.  Ideally this would be in a week long festival format, with something happening every day.  Perhaps tying in with the Gala, and involving all local groups such as Whitwell4ward.  Cllr. Mills brough the item up at this time as there may be potential budget issues that need addressing in January so an early start was needed.

Cllr. Frow thought it was a good idea.  Cllr. Burdett suggested sending a standard letter to local groups asking them if they would like to be involved.  Cllr. Maiden suggested the Community Centre staff could write these letters as they know many of the local groups in the village.  All councillors agreed this would be a good idea.  Cllr. Mills suggested it should be stressed that the Community Centre staff would not be expected to organise the whole event.

Cllr. Webster mentioned that for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee there were flowers and bunting throughout the village.  Cllr. Webster also pointed out he wasn’t there.

Cllr. Mills suggested the Parish Council could perhaps organise something like a treasure hunt or a village walk.  Cllrs. Ellis suggested coming to the next Parish Council meeting with ideas as it was new to him as he had not been at the last meeting.

8. Bakestone Moor Community Hall

Cllr. Frow raised the situation at Bakestone with regards to essential repairs – believing it was not fair for the Community Centre Management Committee (CCMC) to fund repairs to the fabric of the building that in her view were obviously present when the building was handed over to the CCMC, as a survey should have been carried out on the building and these items rectified.  Cllr. Frow thought it made the job of the Community Centre manager that much harder when having to come up with funds (or show a large loss) for such work which we only cause further deterioration if not carried out.  An example cited was that after the building was handed over the electrics immediately needed replacing.  The doors are being repaired/replaced week beginning 19th September and the roof repairs were carried out for a modest £90 and the drains unblocked.

Cllr. Maiden raised the point that the Parish Council at the time agreed along with the CCMC that ongoing repairs were the responsibility of the CCMC and that the issues may have developed since the building was handed over to which Cllr. Frow replied they were likely there from the off, the electrics obviously so, but we couldn’t no for sure as it did not appear a survey had been carried out at the time.

Cllr. Mills agreed with Cllr. Frow that it was unfair on the CCMC to pay these bills if the issues were present at handover.

Cllr. Maiden explained the situation to newer councillors around how the Parish Council came to own the building, because WRVS could not afford the maintenance on the building.

Cllr. Mills stated she thought the building had been handed over in a sub-standard condition and pointed out that it was not the decision of the CCMC to purchase the building, but Whitwell Parish Councils decision.

Cllr. Maiden highlighted that there was no budget for repairs to buildings as these are the responsibility of the CCMC, although there is a general rapairs budget head.

Cllr. Frow asked that WPC pay for the doors and roof repairs totalling £810.  Cllr. Mills proposed this and it was seconded by Cllr. Frow.  There were 3 votes in favour (Cllrs. Frow, Mills & Webster), 0 against 3 abstaining (Cllrs. Burdett, Ellis and Maiden).

9. Street Cleaning in the Parish

Cllr. Webster reported that Bolsover District Council (BDC) had now agreed that no Parish would be having their own litter picker, instead BDC would be moving towards a “Blitzing” system of cleaning where a team of several people would come perhaps once a fortnight for 3-4 hours to clean the village.  A request for new cleaning vehicles had been placed but this would not be discussed until a meeting in October.

Cllrs. Mills and Frow were concerned that this was not good enough and that it would be far more effective to use those man-hours to have a litter picker in the village for a couple of hours several times a week as it would keep the village much tidier.

10. Accounts for Approval and Payment

Cllr. Mills queried one point, was it the Playscheme or the Playground, it was clarified it was the Playscheme to which Cllr. Frow commented that the Playscheme had actually brought in more money than the cost of its consumable items budget.

The Clerk again noted that he was still waiting for signature forms for the bank for Cllrs. Burdett and Mills to be returned – leaving only Cllrs. Maiden, Mills, Munro and Maiden able to sign cheques.

11. Financial Reports

The Clerk reported that he had no concerns and all items were on target.

12. Correspondence

Cllr. Webster enquired if there had been a letter from Pam Brown at Bolsover with regards to a Parish Liaison.  This had not yet been received.  Cllr. Webster said he would chase it up as it was sent several days ago.

Cllr. Mills asked if there had been anything from DCC about Winter Gritting.  The Clerk said there has been a letter about the “Snow Warden” scheme, which would basically pass a lot of responsibility on to WPC.  Cllr. Maiden said it would be best to wait for a decision to be made by DCC before taking any action.

A letter was received from Hodthorpe & Belph Parish Council (HBPC) asking if they could form a joint sub-committee with WPC with regards to cemetery fees.  The Clerk pointed out that the issue could not be discussed as WPC was still within the 6 month period after a decision had already been made – the only way this could be overcome was if 3 councillors signed a letter to the Clerk asking for it to be discussed.  Cllr. Maiden pointed asked any councillors considering this that they remember that a new way of charging for the cemetery is currently under discussion.  The Clerk pointed out that whilst the fees for non Parish residents was double, there was nothing to stop HBPC from funding the difference in rates on behalf of their parishioners.

HBPC also wrote with regards to the Christmas Lights, they would like to use the WPC handymen to put them up when those in Whitwell Parish are done.  It was agreed as long as they paid the rates for doing so, that they could.

BDC asked for comments about the current polling situation with a consultation open until 3rd October 2011.  During the discussion Cllr. Webster said that he had already asked BDC to change the name from Bakestone Moor WRVS to Bakestone Moor Friendship hall, to which Cllr. Maiden responded it should be Bakestone Moor Community Hall.  All agreed that the current situation of 2 locations was fine and that it was better if 2 rooms were used at the Community Centre.

13. Planning

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

  • Application to extend time limit for development on Gypsy Hill Lane: No objections, planning already granted, just a time extension.
  • Extension on Worksop Road: No objections
  • Demolition of bungalow and erection of 2 story dwelling on Doles Lane.  Cllr. Mills declared an interest and left the room: No objections.

Cllrs. Mills and Webster rejoined the meeting.

14. Progress Reports

  • Playscheme: Well attended, regular numbers. 40+ EYFS (4-8 years), slightly less juniors.  Good staff of volunteers.  A full report will be available shortly.
  • Stone for Bakestone Moor allotments.  Arrangements have been made for this to be collected from Lafarge and deposited.  Allotment holders had been informed that they would need to keep the gate open so it can be tipped.
  • Markham Growth Zone: Cllr. Webster reported that BDC are concerned at the amount of empty space and that a joint bid with Chesterfield and Sheffield was being submitted to get Enterprise Zone Status for at least part of the site.

15. Date of Next Meeting

12th October 2011

16. 15 Minute Open Forum

  • A member of the public was concerned that village talent was not being exploited to help the village.  The same member of the public also gave some names to the council who may be able to help with any Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • Mrs. Bartle representing Whitwell Against Trucks said that Steetly had agreed to loan noise measurement equipment and personnel to operate it once they had received their new updated equipment.

17. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

The public meeting closed so that confidential matters could be discussed.

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