Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 12th October 2011

For the sake of clarity: These are not official minutes of the Whitwell Parish Council.  These are minutes taken and produced by Whitwell.info for the benefit of the community so that you may see the discussions and reasons around the decisions made, not just that a decision was made on your behalf as a resident.

Update: The minutes have been updated to correct an error in item 16 since first published.

1. Apologies

  • Cllr. S Ellis
  • Cllr. J Burdett was also not present but no apologies were read out.

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 County Councillors

Cllr. Stevenson provided a brief report:

  • The Sunday service on the Robin Hood Line ceased on the 9th October, although it had been running as a bus service for a couple of months prior.  A consultation by the Derbyshire County Council (DCC) had been carried out and it worked out that each passenger on a Sunday was in effect being subsidised £50 on their journey.  It was raised that if it were a better i.e. hourly service instead of every two hours, more people may be interested in using it.  But with current passenger numbers it was thought this would not even be tried.  Cllr. Stevenson was worried how this might affect the Creswell Crags UNESCO World Heritage Site bid as this was part of it, in how visitors would reach them.
  • The consultation paper on the turning off of street lights should be arriving shortly, it was thought this would include items such as streets with a single light would have it turned off (Seems somewhat backwards to us).  Cllr. Stevenson again raised his concerns on the issue of where they would be turned off, if it had to happen it has to be in the right places and that it could affect CCTV images.  Cllr. Stevenson requested a copy of any comments that Whitwell Parish Council (WPC) send.
  • A member of the public said that he was disappointed with the lack of feedback and comment from DCC with regards to trucks in the village.  Cllr. Stevenson said he had tried to chase up feedback but it was difficult as the individual in question was often on official civic duties and it had been made more difficult by a power cut at the Matlock offices today.  Cllr. Stevenson said he is going to try and get the road re-surfacing put in the plan/budget for 2013 – for a proper re-surface, not just a top-dress.
  • Cllr. Munro enquired if there had been any more information on Snow Wardens and what it entailed.
  • Cllr. Frow asked for it to be confirmed about members of the public being protected from litigation if they cleared paths outside of their property.  Cllr. Stevenson replied that this was the case.
  • Cllr. Stevenson said that Steetly and Lafarge had both replied that they would not be interested in the £200 payment to help keep tertiary routes open.  Lafarge had looked heavily in to this as they did want to do it, but there were too many grey areas around liabilities for any damage to cars, roads etc. and that £200 would not come anywhere near to covering their insurance for it.
  • Cllr. Munro enquired if there should be a cycle track along Worksop Road to where it joins the A619, Cllr. Stevenson responded that there should not be.  Other Cllrs. said there should be a path to Doles Lane but it had been out of use and overgrown for many years.
  • Cllr. Mills raised the issue of the railings on the corner of High Street and Worksop Road – Noting that a 2nd length of railings had been added, but going around the corner, and not up Worksop Road where they are needed, as the bars start after the steep section on the corner begins (So you could be on your behind before you get to the railings!).  Cllr. Stevenson said he would have a word with them about it, but it was unlikely anything more would be done for now.

2.2 Police

There were a total of 29 crimes for September in the Parish.  Unfortunately my handwriting is lacking in speed and I didn't catch most of what they were – so we will try and get this info from them direct to add in.

  • Cllr. Munro raised the issue of a recent increase in cat-flap burglaries where cat-flaps are being used to gain access to keys, then the property and asked if the Police would consider putting something in the WPC newsletter.  PC Taylor responded that something had gone in the newsletter about cold callers but they would try and get something in about the cat-flap burglaries before the Friday deadline.
  • A member of the public asked if the Police were aware of charity collectors coming round late at night – in this instance Macmillan at 8:45PM.  The police were not aware of this, there was a small debate around them being legitimate where several members of the public said their badges etc. all looked in order.
  • A member of the public asked if anything else had been done to organise spot checks on trucks by VOSA and the police as they were planned in August but canceled due to being short staffed because of riot cover for London/  The police are currently trying to organise this with VOSA and the traffic police whom are unfortunately short staffed at the moment.
  • The same member of the public also enquired if there had been any progress on the promised speed checks as well with the speed gun and organising for members of the public to be present via the Community Speed Watch program. PCSO Lee is trying to organise this.  It was not known when the speed gun was last used in the village.
  • Cllr. Mills enquired if there was any update on the traffic survey that had been discussed on High Street.  PCSO Lee is currently organising and waiting for the CREST system to be installed over the road so that the survey may begin.
  • PC Taylor left the meeting.

2.3 District and Parish Councillorss

District Council

  • A member of the public enquired with Cllr. Kerr if there was any news on the relocation of the BDC offices from Bolsover.  Cllr. Kerr provided some information:
    • Morrisons Supermarkets are in the process of agreeing purchase of the Sherwood Lodge site at Bolsover.
    • BDC will move staff to the old college site at Clowne.
    • Cllr. Kerr wants to see more transparency in the process and meetings on the finances behind the deal and on the design process.
    • Cllr. Kerr is concerned that the deputy leader of BDC was "delighted" with the Morrisons deal – as BDC are the planning authority, they will have the say on planning permission and design, can they be truly impartial in the process?
    • Cllr. Webster stated that there is a public consultation on the process from 10:30AM to 7:30PM on the 2nd November 2011
    • Cllr. Stevenson said that the people of Bolsover were generally positive about Morrisons taking over the site, especially as they did not want to see Tesco have the site.
  • A member of the public enquired if there was anything happening with regards to street cleaning.  Cllr. Webster replied that he thought a meeting had been held during the day on the issue.
  • The same member of the public enquired with Cllr. Kerr if Hodthorpe had it's own street cleaner, to which Cllr. Kerr replied they did not and Cllr. Webster replied that a lot of parishes no longer have a cleaner any more.  Cllr. Kerr said he would need to talk to the Cleansing Manager to find out any more information and it was suggested that they could be asked to attend the next WPC meeting.
  • Cllr. Stevenson brought up the BDC policy of moving towards a fortnightly collection of black bins as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has stated that money will be made available for councils to move back to weekly collections.
    • Cllr. Stevenson said he much preferred the fortnightly collection as it saved money for BDC and for DCC on landfill and it also promoted recycling of waste.
    • Cllr. Webster said he wanted to know more from Mr Pickles as it was only a 5 year scheme – so where would the money come from after this.  Although BDC are pushing ahead with the fortnightly collections from November as all the feedback they have had has been positive as people just aren't filling their black bins on a weekly basis.
  • Cllr. Mills enquired with Cllr. Kerr if there was any feedback from his meeting with the homes and Communities Agency (HCA) who are now the new owners of the land on Southfield Lane, formerly owned by EMDA.
    • HCA received the land at the start of September
    • They have not been approached by Alkane Energy Plc.
    • Their remit is to work with local communities on regeneration, job creation and building sustainable communities.
    • HCA will be talking to Welbeck Estates with regards to the old pit tip site and how developments on Southfield Lane could effect it.
    • HCA will send someone to the next Whitwell Against Alkane (WAA) meeting.
    • They have no binding agreements with Alkane Energy over the site.
    • They are investigating and correcting some minor boundary discrepancies and surveying the site after which they will market it for industrial use as it is currently zoned for.
    • There may be a potential for a local brick manufacturer who needs to relocate to use the site, as they take a lot of their raw materials from Lafarge anyway.
  • With regards to Alkane Energy
    • Their deadline for completing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is Autumn – this is fast approaching – they are looking to obtain a 1 year extension on this deadline.
    • Cllr. Kerr will be pushing DCC to reject the extension, although Cllr. Stevenson said it was normal practice for extensions to be given.  Hodthorpe & Belph Parish Council (HBPC) are writing to DCC to push for the application to be rejected/withdrawn.
    • They are looking at the possibility of a smaller installation on their existing site – although in the past they rejected the idea as not viable.

Cllr. Webster provided an update:

  • A member of the public had reported a damaged window in the old Biggins site which was in a dangerous condition.  Cllr. Webster has reported it to BDC enforcement who have looked at it but as yet not done anything about it.  Cllr. Webster has chased the issue up but so far got no reply.
  • There are 4 newly appointed directors at BDC.
  • Cllr. Webster thanked Cllr. Mills for all the hard work that she did as a previous elected member of BDC to keep social housing dealt with by BDC and not out-sourced to another company despite pressure from the government to do so.  Many councils are now having to bring social housing back in-house due to the problems with the contractors and sort out the problems caused by them.

Parish Council

  • A member of the public enquired if the footpaths group had stopped their public walks as there had been none since the newly elected council came to be.  The response was that they had not met yet since the new Footpaths Working Group was formed (Consisting of: Cllrs. Ellis, Maiden and Munro.) but Cllr. Munro will look in to rectifying this.
  • Cllr. Kerr brought to the attention of those present that the Leader Funding scheme should be receiving more funds shortly and that BDC may be able to get more money from it and that no projects in the Whitwell area had in the past received funding for projects and that time was possibly right for projects to access the funds for job creation, tourism or WPC projects – especially with developments that are happening at Welbeck and the Crags.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

Moved.

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

  • Cllr. Stevenson to chase up DCC on issues raised, including the railing on High Street/Worksop Road.
  • Cllr. Munro to arrange details for Footpaths Working Group at the end of the meeting.
  • Cllr. Mills proposed that WPC write to DCC asking that no extension is given to Alkane Energy and to copy Cllr. Kerr in.

Cllrs. Kerr and Stevenson left the meeting.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

Moved.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • Item 6 – Tactile paving not done, railings not really completed as needed on High Street/Worksop Road.
  • Item 9 – Invite the councillor in charge of street cleaning to attend the next WPC meeting, although the Clerk suggested awaiting a response to a previous letter sent.  Cllr. Webster said he would chase this up.
  • Item 14 – A contractor was supposed to take the top surface off and lay down the chippings for the car park on the 10th October but did not show up.

7. Approval of the Minutes of the Cemetery Committee Held on 28th September 2011

  • Item 4.1 – Should say contractor not contract.

Moved

8. Approval of the Cemetery Contract Specification for 2012 to 2015

  • Item 13 – Cllr. Mills thought it should state "prior to funerals taking place" rather than "whilst funerals are taking place" it should state, "prior to funerals taking place".  Otherwise it implies that the contracts have to remove tools and vehicles whilst funerals are taking place which is not what we want.  This was approved.
  • Cllr. Maiden as Chair of the Cemetery Contract Committee recommended acceptance of the new contract.
  • There will be a meeting on 19th October 2011 at Bakestone Moor Community Hall to select and appropriate contractor.

9. Celebration Events for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (Cllr. Mills)

  • Cllr. Mills informed that the letters to groups have been sent out but most groups will not have had a meeting yet to discuss it, although he Local History Group have replied enthusiastically about it.  Cllr. Mills will also ring groups personally to chase up replies.
  • Cllr. Frow enquired if there had been any thoughts to how it would be funded, a discussion then ensued
    • Cllr. Mills has asked Cllrs. Stevenson and Webster if any funds may be forthcoming from DCC and BDC and it will also need to be discussed by WPC at budget time.
    • Cllr. Munro is in favour of celebrations providing they do not place and extra burden on the community centre staff who will already be very busy having just finished May Day celebrations and approaching the Gala.  Cllr. Mills responded that it was never the intention that the community centre staff would organise it, but a committee formed of members of the organisations that wished to take part.
    • Cllr. Frow said she had a gut feeling that one larger event may be better.  Cllr. Mills agreed that this may be the case and is something that needs to be worked out once groups respond.
    • Cllr. Raspin thought that some groups may already be planning themes/events around the jubilee anyway so it would not place a burden on community centre staff.
    • Cllr. Webster said that groups who had mentioned it to him did not like the idea of a week long schedule of events and that most of the community centre staff would be on holiday in the week around the 5th June 2012

10. Accounts for Approval and Payment

  • Cllr. Webster queried a cheque for £393 to Thorpes and was informed this was for pipework for Bakestone Moor Community Hall and items for the cemetery such as postmix.
  • The cemetery car park has cost £500 so far and work is progressing.
  • Cllr. Mills enquired about another cheque issued for repairs in Parks and Open Spaces and was informed it was for repairing swings that had been damaged at the same time as the soft surfacing was damaged – Which is why all swings were taken down, as those over the area where the surface was okay, were damaged.

Moved

11. Financial Reports

  • Wages: Moved
  • Budget: All okay, although the Parks and Open Spaces budget is nearly all gone.  Cllr. Mills enquired if the current budget monitoring report included repairs to the parish clock, the Clerk confirmed it did.  Moved.

12. Correspondence

  • Cllr. Webster enquired if there had been anything from Lafarge with regards to Tommy Moor Lane. The Clerk informed that it had been dealt with previously and that there would be no barriers erected other than what were already in place.
  • Cllr. Frow enquired if there were any DALC (Derbyshire Association of Local Councils) courses of interest. There were several courses but non of immediate interest.
  • Cllr. Maiden enquired if there had been anything from the Boundary Commission with regards to changes taking place to electoral constituencies and was informed the consultation runs until the 5th December 2012.  Cllr. Webster informed that the plan as is would give Bolsover 4 additional parishes to bring it inline with the 70,000 population size.
  • An application for rolling road closures had been received for the Clown Half Marathon on 27th November 2011, running along Bakestone Moor, through The Square and up past the Church.  These would happen between 10AM and 1PM.  Cllr. Munro asked that signage be placed out at least 2 weeks prior.  No objections were raised.
  • BLSP (Bolsover Local Strategic Partnership) liaison meeting will take place on 17th October 2011 – Cllr. Munro has been provided with the agenda and previous minutes.
  • Cllr. Webster informed that WPC may be able to get £1000 funding from BLSP towards newsletters and publications as other councils have received.

13. Planning

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

  • An application for a 2 story dwelling on the land at the rear of the former Jug & Glass public house has been received. No objects were raised providing it strictly adheres to the conservation area requirements.
  • An application for change of use from a garage, office and flat to one dwelling was received for the Plantation Garage on Bakestone Moor.  No objections were raised and Cllr. Munro thought this was a positive move as it was always quite dangerous moving cars in/out of the business due to location.
  • An application to fell one Sycamore tree at 45 Middlegate Field Drive was received.  Cllr. Frow commented that Sycamore trees were like weeds.  There were no objections.

Cllr. Webster re-joined the meeting.

14. Progress Reports

Cllr. Frow provided a report on the Summer Playscheme whilst apologising for the delay:

  • Very successful scheme with good numbers attending on all days
  • The money received covered the cost of consumables funded by WPC
  • One particular child is thought to have benefited greatly from the scheme.
  • The management committee have discussed changing the format for next year to bring in some new ideas and perhaps involve other local groups i.e. the group could come in for an hour and do some work with the children around their event/activity.
  • The management committee would also like to extend the scheme to Year 7 & 8 children even if not every day.
  • Letters were sent to parents of all children that attending asking for their input, one of the key questions being, "Would you prefer the Summer Playscheme to be extended but the Easter Playscheme to be dropped" – To which the overwhelming response was, "Can we have the 4 days at Easter and 6 weeks in summer?"
  • The management committee would like the fee income to be ring-fenced in the council budget so that it can be used expansion of the scheme and/or changes to it.
  • It was thought that 9 staff were not enough, whilst it met the legal requirements on the ratio of staff to children it was not as easy to run the scheme and would have been made very difficult if it hadn't been for a number of previous staff volunteering their time for free to help with the scheme.  Cllr. Maiden said that this was something for the next budget meeting.

Cllr. Frow updated the meeting with regards to the two funding sub-committees, stating that a questionnaire should be going to everyone in Whitwell in the next WPC newsletter.  Cllr. Munro thought this had been sent through to Norma already but would need to double check.

15. Date of Next Meeting

9th November 2011

16. 15 Minute Open Forum

  • A member of the public enquired what the effect of street lights being turned off would have on the Christmas lights in the village.  Cllr. Maiden stated that the street lights being turned off in selected locations was currently only a proposal and didn't think it would have any effect this year.
  • A member of the public stated he was disappointed with the police response to issues that have been raised with them lately.  It was suggested that WPC write to them about this.
  • Cllr. Webster reported that work to install new kitchens in the Hawthorne Leslie bungalows was now complete and that work on the Horseshoe Bungalows at Bakestone Moor could start next year, with the possibility of one being completed within this year's budget.

17. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

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

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