Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 14th March 2012

For the sake of clarity: These are not official minutes of the Whitwell Parish Council.  These are notes 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.  Whilst we strive to make them 100% accurate, mistakes do unfortunately happen – If you spot a mistake, please let us know so that we may correct it as soon as possible.

We recommend that you read these notes in conjunction with the Whtiwell Parish Council meeting minutes when they become available from the Community Centre or on the Parish Council Website.

Please note: Some information has been omitted from these minutes as it is not appropriate for it to be in the larger public domain on the ground of security.

In Attendance

  • Cllr. Julie Burdett
  • Cllr. Scott Ellis
  • Cllr. Sandy Frow
  • Cllr. Stuart Maiden (Chair)
  • Cllr. Viv Mills
  • Cllr. Tom Munro
  • Cllr. Jeanne Raspin
  • Cllr. George Webster
  • Barry Woodcock (Clerk)
  • Cllr. Duncan Kerr
  • Cllr. Ken Stevenson
  • A Police Officer
  • 6 members of the public

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 County Councillor

Cllr. Stevenson stated that there are two big issues – alterations to elderly care and alterations to the youth service. In terms of elderly care Cllr. Stevenson is pressing the administration to find out where it is going. It is a drawn out process and will be over a couple of years. DCC are saying they want to knock down existing facilities and then build new ones. Cllr. Stevenson thinks that it should be the opposite way around to reduce trauma on the people involved as one move is bad enough let alone two or three.

Cllr. Stevenson explained that the youth service consultation ends in a fortnight. The petition is at 10,000 signatures already and so will get debated in council. There has been a change from a strong stance to DCC agreeing to look at youth services.

Regarding the Station Road re-surfacing, Cllr. Stevenson explained that before he found out that Station Road was on the agenda for the end of the financial year he had a meeting to discuss issues affecting Whitwell, for example lorries. DCC brought part of a team around and discussed the issue. What Cllr. Stevenson wanted is a one-way system for high lorries. They would go to the square but leave using Hodthorpe and then back up Southfield Lane. There are signs in Worksop and on the M1 and it is the reason for the temporary lights on Hodthorpe bridge – to reduce the risk of a lorry meeting another vehicle on the bridge. Cllr. Stevenson has said that the lights need to be permanent but there is a high cost.

There is currently a scam regarding the highways. Contractors are going around the country knocking on doors saying that they can put white/yellow lines on roads outside houses. They produce a letter on council headed paper. Cllr. Stevenson stressed that if it was DCC people would not be asked to pay. Cllr. Stevenson reported it to WPC so that they know it is a scam. If it occurs in the village, WPC should contact DCC.

With respect to Derbyshire Fire & Rescue, the Derbyshire Chief Fire Officer is pushing for sprinklers in all new properties. Cllr. Stevenson went to a demonstration in Chesterfield and saw a big difference in the properties with and without sprinklers. Nick from Crimewatch is fronting the promotion. Within 2-3 days houses could be occupied again after a fire if sprinklers are fitted. In Wales it is already a requirement. They were trying to encourage all authorities to encourage developers to put them in. This goes alongside having a fire alarm/smoke detector which Fire & Rescue will put in and householders maintain.

A member of the public queried if any progress had been made regarding the pavement at the entrance to The Green which is now breaking up. Cllr. Stevenson responded that after it had been reported last the contractor has to be given time to deal with it. Cllr. Stevenson thinks that the contractor is still in the time frame but will raise it again. After the timescale DCC can do the work.

Cllr. Mills asked if the contractors working on Station Road have contacted the utilities companies to avoid it being dug up following the resurfacing. Cllr. Stevenson stated he is not aware of this but added that they should have done.

Cllr. Maiden asked what criteria are used to decide which roads to resurface. Cllr. Stevenson did not know. Cllr. Maiden requested that he find out as High Street is worse than Station Road was. Cllr. Stevenson stated that the position with High Street is that after the meeting he was asked to give a synopsis of what is wrong. He did this over a couple of days picking up all the details. DCC stated that High Street will be put into next year’s budget. Cllr. Stevenson stated that he did not know that Station Road was in budget but acknowledged that there have been complaints especially around the bridge. There have also been complaints about Southfield Lane where they have done something. Cllr. Webster agreed that it has improved.

A member of the public stated that the speed bump on Welbeck Street is breaking up again. It didn’t look to have been constructed properly. Cllr. Stevenson stated that the one by the Co-op has been done recently. The problem is that frost gets into the cracks. The council are getting pot-holes reported. The member of the public stated that the speed bump is very thin.

2.2 Police

The PC from Creswell gave apologies for PC Taylor and PCSO Lee. The crime figures for February are:

  • 2 thefts from vehicles
  • 1 damage to vehicles
  • 5 criminal damage
  • 3 thefts (other)
  • 2 drugs offenses
  • 2 non-dwelling burglaries
  • 1 violence

The main concern has been anti-social behaviour and the PC has been called over from Creswell due to it. Last night the PC took a couple of youths home and spoke to them in front of their parents. The police have also stepped up patrols which is helping. Criminal damage incidents mentioned in the figures are tied in to this problem. Clowne and Shirebrook police are also coming down to help. There have been as many as 50-60 kids at a time. Parents have been positive as they were not aware what their kids were doing. People need to keep reporting the problems.

Cllr. Maiden asked if the calls of anti-social behaviour are not considered crimes. The PC confirmed they are not, they are reported incidents and agreed to feed back the query. Cllr. Maiden stated that he would like to know how many complaints of anti-social behaviour are being made compared to the crime figures. The kids are now moving from The Square to Butt Hill and are causing problems in people’s gardens. They are knocking on windows and looking through bedroom windows. The kids wandering around Whitwell are not all from Whitwell. The PC responded that the dispersal order in Creswell has now run out. Many of the kids are from Hodthorpe.

Cllr. Frow asked what WPC would have to do for there to be a dispersal order in Whitwell. The PC explained that it is based on the reported incidents. In Creswell they were getting 30 calls a night. Police have to provide evidence that an order is needed as criteria have to be met. He will ask Faye for further details but warned that there is a negative – dispersal orders tar the village when they are publicised.

A member of the public added that at Butt Hill fencing has been smashed around a garden.

Cllr. Mills stated that when she came to the meeting before 7PM the kids were standing together by the pizza place. The PC confirmed he saw them. He added that For Sale signs have been removed from properties. Cllr. Mills requested that the PC checks by the Co-op when leaving the meeting.

2.3 District and Parish Councillors

A member of the public highlighted that there are still no signs for The Green. Cllr. Webster stated he had had a row with the relevant people yesterday. He has been assured that it will be this week. The ones that had been prepared were not suitable for the curved wall.

Cllr. Munro stated that the week before last he had got so fed up of litter in the bushes at the corner of Bakestone Moor that he borrowed equipment from the handyman and started from new build to the corner collecting litter. Cllr. Munro went back the next morning and the District Council was there and so he went home. The day after it looked like nobody had been. Cllr. Munro is very concerned about this. He has noticed that the verges into the village are in a terrible state over the last fortnight. He requested that the BDC councillors follow up on the quality of work being done. Cllr. Webster stated that there were people out yesterday but he has not checked what they have done. Cllr. Kerr agreed to take this up. He is aware of the problem but not of any gangs being out to tidy up. He will check what was done yesterday first. Cllr. Kerr has had complaints about the road between Whitwell and Hodthorpe. Cllr. Webster acknowledged that it is a major problem particular on the clearing between Brook Mill Pond and the A619.

Cllr. Frow asked about Thacker’s Garage. She has heard different theories going around. Cllr. Webster confirmed that the Co-op have not bought the site. The site is in the receivers’ hands as the bankruptcy papers have been submitted. Nobody has bought the site yet.

A member of the public picked up on the litter issue – about two weeks ago when he went to Clowne there were two BDC people doing the west side and were doing a good job.

Cllr. Maiden highlighted that there has been fly-tipping on the green at the top of High Street. There was vegetation and other items including a Christmas tree near the bench. He asked if BDC could remove it. Cllr. Webster stated that they can but he would prefer to find out who put it there to take action against them. Cllr. Maiden stated that it was at a point with no cameras. Cllr. Mills stated that when somebody has taken the trouble to load the waste into the vehicle she does not understand why they do not take it to the tip.

Cllr. Munro stated that the grass verges on the A619 and A60 are just as bad but this is a highways issue and as the A619 is the responsibility of DCC and suggested WPC contact them. Cllr. Webster stated that they will write back stated that it is now BDC instead that is responsible.

A member of the public asked when the chippings will be spread on Bakestone Moor allotments. Cllr. Webster stated that it would be done when the soil has been taken away. The contractor there had several people telling him what to do and so left meaning that WPC need to find someone else. Cllr. Frow stated that contractors need a thick skin and to get on with the job. In Hodthorpe the allotment paths have been done and look lovely.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

  • Moved

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

Regarding the litter, Cllr. Maiden suggested that WPC write to BDC expressing concerns about the quality of the litter picking and frequency.  Cllr. Mills requested that the letter include the state of the A619 and request that it is cleaned up.  The clerk suggested that they hold fire until the District Councillors have checked the sites.  Cllr. Maiden responded no, the district councillors can check and WPC can write.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes were considered a true record.

  • Cllr. Mills highlighted that 2.3.4 should state “by an average”.
  • Cllr. Raspin highlighted that 14 should read “for use”.
  • Cllr. Munro added that 14 should read “H&BPC”.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

Cllr. Munro referred to 2.2 asking if there is any update on the level of problems caused by youths in terms of the Community Centre. Cllr. Frow stated it has got better as the police are making patrols. The problem has moved over the road. There are a couple still coming in but not causing damage. Cllr. Webster confirmed there have been no complaints.

Cllr. Webster stated that in terms of 2.3 a sign has been ordered for Fox Road and it should be up in the next fortnight.

Cllr. Mills asked if the Fire Safety Officer had been invited to a meeting as per item 6. The clerk-in-waiting has emailed them but there has been no reply. She will chase it up.

7. Approval and Signing of Agreement for Establishment of Joint Cemetery Committee

The clerk explained that the committee between WPC and H&BPC has been approved and the agreements now need to be signed by both councils. H&BPC have signed and returned their agreement. Cllr. Munro moved the action for Cllr. Maiden to sign the agreement for WPC.

The clerk explained that just under 12 months ago a H&BPC resident made an application for burial. At the time the fee was double that for Whitwell residents and the clerk felt that as a gesture of goodwill it would be appropriate to refund the difference. Cllr. Webster moved the gesture. Cllr. Maiden confirmed that one of the cheques is for this.

A second person has not been charged double as their application has been made recently. This action aligns the two.

8. Change of Date for Future Budget Meetings

The clerk felt that as there was not much time to get the papers ready he would like to move the meeting to the first week in February in future years. Cllr. Maiden added that when the budget is set in January there was an increase of 6.something %. That was affected by information provided by Bolsover. The figures were revised so that there are less properties to pay taking the 6.something % to 7.something %. If the information had been available in January it may have impacted on the discussions made, but the information is not available until the end of January. Cllr. Maiden warned that there is still a strict timetable to get the figures to BDC for their precept meeting. The change to the meeting was agreed.

9. Physical Protection for Staff

Cllr. Frow: at the meeting last month regarding damage by young people. In the time she has lived in Whitwell the Community Centre has got busier and there are times when staff are on their own and may not be able to see what is happening in all parts of the centre. Cllr. Frow acknowledged that the Community Centre Manager does worry for the other staff. Cllr. Frow highlighted that she has not seen a lone worker policy and asked what protection WPC are offering staff.

The clerk confirmed that there is no lone worker policy. Cllr. Munro stated that one is definitely needed. Cllr. Frow continued that last month she was helping in the kitchen and four youths came in knowing that the door was open. They did leave on request. Cllr. Frow highlighted that it could have been adults not just young people. Cllr. Munro supported Cllr. Frow in what she said especially regarding the lone worker policy stating the he did not realise there was not one. Cllr. Munro worked in health & safety and had a policy that all lone workers had to know. It should also cover the handyman as a lone worker so that there is a system in place for him to make contact and get back-up.

Cllr. Frow queried whether there was a health & safety policy or fire wardens. The clerk-in-waiting confirmed that there is a policy. The clerk suggested that two members of the WPC and the Community Centre manager get together. Cllr. Munro stated that there is plenty of information in the public domain that can be used and he would be happy to sit on the committee. He would also look at other policies if needed. Cllr. Frow would also be happy to sit on the committee. Cllr. Munro explained that it will need to cover the clerks, handyman and Community Centre workers.

Cllr. Maiden suggested they have a meeting and report back at the next WPC meeting. Cllr. Munro stated that May would be better and Cllr. Maiden agreed that it will be an agenda item for the May meeting.

10. Accommodation for Credit Union

Cllr. Munro expressed his surprise that the item was on the agenda as he thought that it had been deferred to the April meeting. He explained that he would like to invite Two Shires Credit Union to attend the April meeting to offer them accommodation at the Community Centre for one hour per week to provide the facility for Whitwell. Cllr. Munro helps out as a collector in Clowne and confirmed that the service is well used.

Cllr. Munro explained that a credit union is a not-for-profit method of banking. It is owned by the members and regulated by the FSA. Once a person is an adult member they can have a loan to repay at 1% per month. They also encourage saving habits. Cllr. Munro is to speak to the head at the school in Clowne to encourage the school to use the facility. It would be good for WPC to be involved.

The credit union will loan up to £500 in one go depending on a person’s ability to repay. The manager Eric Thompson would be able to answer more technical questions.

The clerk explained that the item is on this agenda to help keep the April one smaller for the inauguration of the new clerk.

It was agreed to invite the credit union to the meeting but Cllr. Munro gave his apologies as he will not be there.

11. DCC Youth Services Consultation

WPC will send a response to the DCC proposals for the youth service provision changes. The clerk read out the letter from DCC received in January. The changes to the youth services will mean:

  • No longer deliver front-line activities
  • DCC will continue to provide youth workers to support vulnerable and those needing specialist support
  • DCC will set up a grant scheme for voluntary groups
  • Will review youth centres to dispose of the buildings

There is a display of how to access the services as many youths have not used them. The request was to display this until the end of March.

Cllr. Webster stated that they want more service not less. He was going to suggest to Cllr. Stevenson that if any of the pubs close they could be taken over and turned in to a youth centre but that will not happen now.

Cllr. Frow stated that she would be interested in the grants. She wants something for the kids. It could be based at Bakestone Moor and it sounds like money may be available.

Cllr. Raspin stated that there is an issue on training and if parents are involved the kids won’t want to be. “Changing the way” the service is provided is a good way of saying they are stopping it.

Cllr. Frow had been told they would provide trained youth workers. This will not happen now.

Cllr. Maiden stated that no-one around the table is in support of point 1. This has rarely been provided in this area anyway. All concerned that they have not got suitably qualified staff and have got people in the village doing CRB checks which stops parents being involved in the scouts. Cllr. Munro asked if there was any reference to free CRB checks. If people are scout or guide leaders it is funded. If disbanding the service for volunteer groups, did DCC say if they will provide CRB checks and training? Voluntary groups will not take off as there are too many regulations. Cllr. Maiden stated that there are no criteria given for getting funding mentioned. Cllr. Frow stating that if DCC are cutting back there will not be money for any more youth workers.

Cllr. Munro stated that the response should also include that when there is rising youth unemployment youths turn to these services and it is disturbing that they are being taken away.

Cllr. Maiden stated that all were agreed and the clerk is to send the letter.

12. Accounts for approval and payment

Cllr. Munro queried what book had cost £58.50. The clerk explained that it is for local council administration. Cllr. Maiden explained that the new clerk needs to read it. This price was a discounted price.

There were no other questions and Cllrs. Munro and Webster signed the cheques.

13. Financial Reports

The clerk reported that everything was fine. Cllr. Webster moved the agenda item.

14. Correspondence

Cllr. Mills asked what the letters of February 24th and March 5th were regarding Anti-social behaviour responses from Derbyshire. The clerk explained that there was a reply to the letter to the divisional commander for the Bolsover area including an apology for delay. The queries were passed on to Inspector Layman. The Divisional Commander understands the concerns and sees no reason for not following procedure.

The Inspectors response stated that he/she understood that officers have been on patrol and that officers are doing ASBO discussions at school. Letters have gone to parents. Diversions are being set up, for example Ozbox. The inspector confirmed that the patrols are still happening with the local beat team and others. Cllr. Maiden highlighted that youth services are no use as DCC is taking them away.

Cllr. Maiden has received a letter from a 13 year old boy asking for a skate park in the village. The clerk wrote back informing him that it will be considered at the meeting. Cllr. Maiden would like to personally thank the boy and invite him to the next initiative group and ask him what it should look like, what needs to be included. The group can then look at costs. Cllr. Munro stated that one of the best he has seen is in Clowne. Cllr. Munro endorses inviting the teenager to the meeting. Cllr. Maiden suggested he could bring friends with him but added that the date of the next meeting is not yet known.

The clerk stated that there is a letter for item 20.

The next letter is from the local history group. They were not sure if it was a council issue, which it is. Cllr. Frow declared an interest and left the room. The group is in need of a building to store their archive and they have found a building that meets their needs. The group meets every Tuesday. With discussion with the Community Centre Manager they have earmarked land. The group needs to get permission from DCC and WPC. Cllr. Maiden asked where the planning permission is and also if other facilities will be needed such as utilities. Cllr. Webster stated that the facility is fully equipped and electricity is from a battery. The clerk stated it was proposed to be at the top of the yard. Cllr. Maiden asked if there were any objections – it is basically a free-standing metal shed. It would need to be at the group’s own risk.

Cllr. Munro suggested that if it is free-standing it would need to be anchored to prevent ill-willed people pushing it over. It should be fixed to at least one wall. Cllr. Maiden suggested fixing it to the floor. Cllr. Burdett queried if it would be too heavy to tip.

The clerk stated that if WPC give permission it would all be the responsibility of the local history group. Cllr. Maiden responded that it is the responsibility of WPC not DCC as the site lease holders. Cllr. Maiden would be happy for it as long as it is temporary.

Cllr. Webster highlighted that the ground slopes and so it would need to be built up. Cllr. Mills queried how the battery will be recharged – Cllr. Maiden stated that will be for the group to decide.

Cllr. Raspin stated that WPC need to point out the points of concern. Cllr. Munro suggested that WPC should state that they recognise the problem and would like to help. The clerk suggested that they ask for WPC to be indemnified against costs and responsibilities. Cllr. Munro stated that the letter should be sent but WPC are responsible.

15. Planning Matters

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

A planning application was received for 5 Jubilee Place for a single story extension to the rear of the property. There were no objections.

16. Progress Reports

Cllr. Munro gave an update regarding the footpaths. The issues raised about paths 25 and 26 missing sign posts: Cllr. Munro has had correspondence and the problem has been reported. The rangers dealt with it. Cllr. Mills stated that the sign on Doles Lane has not been dealt with but she is unsure of the footpath number. Cllr. Munro will check.

Cllr. Munro continued that the other issue was path 23 (66) from Hanger Hill alongside Biggins and the top-side of the Welfare (Old Green). The contractor had temporarily blocked off the 66 part. Cllr. Munro has been in touch and the contractor has agreed to reinstate the path once 1 or 2 properties have been occupied to prevent vandalism. Cllr. Maiden queried it being opened with just one property being filled in the whole property – if the occupants were the other side of the building to the path they would not see anything. Cllr. Munro agreed. He added that it was not an alteration to the footpath. Cllr. Webster stated that BDC were told that the contractor was waiting for the parking spaces to be completed. They have been and so BDC have contacted DCC; he will check for the response.

Cllr. Munro did copy BDC in on correspondence to Mr Coleman and had the same response of 1-2 properties filled. Cllr. Webster responded that the condition was for parking spaces. Cllr. Frow stated that it makes sense to wait until the site is occupied. Cllr. Webster stated that there was a public enquiry for the path to be kept open. Cllr. Munro will continue pushing.

Cllr. Frow suggested Cllr. Raspin give the update on the Easter Activity Club. The club has been set up for 2-5 April and four out the nine people interviewed have been appointed. It is set to be a good scheme and Cllr. Raspin thinks it will be a good team. The leaders are getting the resources ready. Cllr. Frow added that there is a meeting next week to check CRBs, bank details, certificates and to carry out the induction.

Cllr. Webster gave an update on apprenticeships at Bolsover. The DVD has been completed and if WPC would to see it the can get a representative to give a talk. The DVD last about 20 minutes. Cllr. Maiden was happy for this to happen and requested it be added to the June agenda.

Cllr. Mills will be starting on the hanging baskets soon.

Last Friday Cllr. Maiden attended a presentation by Notts Sport at the Copthorne Hotel. The company provide artificial grass surfaces. The website states that there is fast funding and no grants are needed. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Cllr. Maiden asked Notts Sports, if WPC agree, for them to meet WPC to set out their service and how it is funded. It is similar to a loan situation whereby they finance and WPC pay back over time. Cllr. Maiden had checked with the clerk and it would be covered by the works loan. Notts Sports could be employed to do the whole process for WPC including the planning. The presentation was aimed towards large pitches but they also do MUGAs. Cllr. Maiden asked if they could provide information just for these. Cllr. Maiden is hoping that the company will provide suggestions before the end of March. Cllr. Maiden has emailed the clerk-in-waiting a copy of the presentation which all WPC members can see if they wish. It could be considered at the next initiative & funding group meetings.

Cllr. Webster asked if it is a plastic surface. Cllr. Maiden responded it is artificial grass. The company has been involved with top sports clubs and there are different types of surface each with different costs. There is a mobile cricket pitch which rolls up providing better bounce than current matting. It costs £3000 but is usable in all weathers. Cllr. Maiden will inform WPC of the date when Notts Sports can come and see them. Cllr. Mills asked if there would be samples. Cllr. Maiden responded that they would bring a sample of what is underneath. Cllr. Webster explained that this has been used at Chesterfield football ground and people from Wembley came up to see it after their pitch was re-laid 15 times.

17. Date of the Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on 11th April 2012. There will also be the annual Open Parish Meeting on 18th April 2012.

18. 15 Minute Open Forum

A Member of the public stated that the kerb on the memorial was fixed and has come dislodged again. He has informed Cllr. Stevenson who will ask those doing the road to look at it.

Cllr. Kerr raised the subject of multi-agency teams. These are made up of the police and youth services and are not being cut. Young people have not been mentioned but this agency has recognised the problems. Cllr. Kerr will ask them to contact WPC to discuss what they do.

Cllr. Kerr explained that John Tipton of Extreme Wheels has a regular program for Hodthorpe and would like to link up with Whitwell. There is a need for funding but it can be obtained. Extreme Wheels would provide something for the kids to do and start communication. Cllr. Kerr has a meeting on Monday morning at 11AM if any of the councillors wish to attend.

A member of the public asked if the CAN Rangers are involved with the youths. They are. Cllr. Kerr added that Extreme Wheels are also involved and suggested that the groups co-ordinate.

19. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

  • Moved

Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 8th February 2012

For the sake of clarity: These are not official minutes of the Whitwell Parish Council.  These are notes 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.  Whilst we strive to make them 100% accurate, mistakes do unfortunately happen – If you spot a mistake, please let us know so that we may correct it as soon as possible.

We recommend that you read these notes in conjunction with the Whtiwell Parish Council meeting minutes when they become available from the Community Centre or on the Parish Council Website.

In Attendance

  • Cllr. Julie Burdett
  • Cllr. Scott Ellis
  • Cllr. Sandy Frow
  • Cllr. Stuart Maiden (Chair)
  • Cllr. Viv Mills
  • Cllr. Tom Munro
  • Cllr. Jeanne Raspin
  • Cllr. George Webster
  • Barry Woodcock (Clerk)
  • Cllr. Duncan Kerr
  • Cllr. Ken Stevenson
  • Mr Alastair Morley (Guest speaker)
  • PC Taylor
  • 12 members of the public

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 County Councillor

Cllr. Stevenson explained that the budget for the county council is massive and there is no rise in council tax.  A £7m government grant is being taken but Cllr. Stevenson stated he does not know how far it will go in the £1bn. budget.  Due to the cuts there will be massive job losses: 600 in 2012/13 up to 2000 by 2015.  The grant doesn’t cover the savings as £2m needs to be saved up to year 2015/16 and this could go up more.  This will result in compulsory redundancies.

Cllr. Stevenson stated that the latest savings include £2m from the highways department who cover pot-holes and gritting; and ~£800,000 from the youth service.  A consultation is going around the county about what to do.  Cllr. Stevenson warned that any recovery will be slow growth and they will be getting rid of youth workers or want other businesses to take them over.  There is a big campaign against it and young people want a better service not cuts.  It was stated in a report that only 28% of youth are taking up the service but Cllr. Stevenson believes that this isn’t bad however for the Arkwright meeting the figure was revised to 6% reflecting that the figures were an orchestrated script for the consultation period.  Cllr. Stevenson explained that there is no plan B if the consultation goes against the planned action.

In addition £1.5m has been cut on elderly day care service and those people provided with their own budget which will be spent privately instead.

Cllr. Stevenson’s party was asked what would have been their alternative budget and in their first year in opposition one was put forward.  They thought it was good but failed on the vote.  Since then they have not put one through but will put one through in the election year 2013 that will best support Derbyshire.

In terms of the capital budget there is £1m for the big society which is grants for local organisations to spend on community projects.  This amount will not go far in Derbyshire especially when £300,000 of the budget is going on dredging Cromford Canal.  Cllr. Stevenson believes this could be better spent helping more people.  All of Cllr. Stevenson’s party voted against the revenue budget and went with the capital budget with the two reservations: youth service and elderly day care service.

The report on high vehicles was discussed at a Cabinet meeting.  Cabinet Officer Spencer agreed that Cllr. Stevenson could attend and he was given the opportunity to speak.  He put forward all of the issues in the report and that were discussed at the site visit.  The Cabinet were “poo-pooing” the issues.  They claimed that changing the bridges would be too expensive and the signage has been checked and is as it should be.  Traffic lights had been suggested for High Street but Cllr. Stevenson had been told before the meeting that these would cost more than the £20,000 to place a sign on the M1 stating there is a block on the A619, take the A57 instead.  The Cabinet did not go with the ideas.  For a one-way system to be put in place a roundabout would be needed and it would affect the other routes.  There was a suggestion of a speed limit change to make it 20mph but that would need restriction to make it work such as speed humps.  Additionally, vehicle activated signs were an option.  Cllr. Stevenson noted that these were going to be installed in the village previously but they were not put up.

Cllr. Stevenson wanted the condition of the highway to be improved, activated road signs and a sign on the M1 as sat-navs direct people to the A619.   However, foreign drivers would still use sat-nav and they do not always read the signs on the A619.  The cabinet went with the recommendation to include the steep section of High Street in a future maintenance scheme (2013) and installation of the activated sign.  In response, Cllr. Stevenson emailed Cllr. Spenser stating that the whole of High Street needs resurfacing especially the section from The Square to the church, mainly because of the high lorries carrying animals and effluent.  Cllr. Spenser’s response was that the request is technical in nature and will be submitted for consideration by the relevant team.  Cllr. Stevenson stated that he tried and the Cabinet listened.

A member of the public queried the position on youth clubs stating that as an OAP they were disgusted about it.  The DCC councillors are old, who is speaking for the young people?  The member of the public stated that halving expenses would keep them open.  Who had offered to do this?  Cllr. Stevenson replied that the councillors are shouting for the service and the young people are too, but it is Cabinet members who have a set agenda.  The member of the public stated that councillors need to think back to when they were young and had youth centres.  Cllr. Stevenson responded on the point of expenses that the leader of his party had been granted 45% of the council leaders salary and she had refused it while others are not getting pay increases.

One member of the public pointed out that joined up thinking is needed – last week the roads were gritted and the following day the road sweeper came round.  Cllr. Stevenson stated that it is DCC and BDC thinking that needs to be reviewed.  Cllr. Maiden highlighted that at least the grids would not be getting blocked up with the grit.

A member of the public referred back to the Cabinet comments on the road signs – the road signs are different and the conversion is wrong.  He asked how that can be adequate.  Another member of the public stated that this had been raised and they had been told there is a formula.  Cllr. Munro responded that it is ridiculous, a farce and that no formula is needed to round up/down when it is a simple calculation between feet/inches and meters.  Cllr. Stevenson agreed that it is nonsense.

Another member of the public acknowledged that trucks seem trivial against the youth and elderly cuts but stated that he is disappointed.  Cllr. Stephenson who presented the report starts with a negative and then tries to support it.  The report contains spurious claims and states that numbers have reduced when a letter states it has increased.  Cllr. Stephenson is about everything that they cannot do and not what they can actually do.  The member of the public stated that the man from VOSA was good and was going to have a go.  Another member of the public asked how Cllr. Stephenson can be removed from office; Cllr. Stevenson responded, through maladministration.  Cllr. Maiden suggested he be one of the job cuts!  Cllr. Stevenson stated that all arguments from the site visit were put in to the report but all but two were put-down.  Cllr. Stevenson wanted signage on the M1.

A member of the public asked what if the public raise the money for signage?  Cllr. Stevenson stated that they could get the Highways Agency to sanction it and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough to OK it as they deal with the A57.  However the Rotherham council want to do work at Todwick due to it being an accident black spot.  A member of the public pointed out in the report that Rotherham council had no objection.  Cllr. Stevenson stated that in the meeting the council had concerns around Todwick/Anston as there has been a high number of accidents and so they want to do work to reduce it.  Since the meeting Rotherham council have stated they have got to find an alternative route for traffic whilst they do the work – Whitwell!  Cllr. Stevenson wants to press the “powers that be” to avoid this.

Cllr. Webster had checked on the footpath from Welbeck Street to the Recreation Ground and it belongs to DCC.  Cllr. Stevenson acknowledged that it is in a poor state and he will put it through.

2.2 Police

There were 14 crimes during January:

  • 4 violence
  • 1 criminal damage
  • 6 thefts
  • 3 burglaries (dwelling and non-dwelling)

A member of the public raised concern that during the Junior Players in the last few weeks it has been dreadful outside the Community Centre.  If the youths are asked to leave they give abuse.  The children have even been threatened and so ask to be escorted to the toilets.  The youths were kicking the door which had been locked to keep them out.  It was opened to let the History Group in and locked again.  They were then hitting at the door.  At night there is only one person working at the Community Centre – it should be two people.  Something needs to be done.

Cllr. Frow added that the youths are doing damage and are throwing drinks about in reception.  Staff are frightened.  Last night there was at least 20 youths heading towards the Community Centre but if complaints were made and came to anything it would be their word against the adults’ and in today’s society it would be the children’s word that was taken.  The youths have been banging on the Council chamber door, in the foyer and car park.  It is on CCTV what they are doing.  Cllr. Frow acknowledged that there are no facilities for the youths but added that the council is working on this but they need money.  In the meantime people will stop using the Centre.  Tuesday is a busy night with people arriving between 6pm and 6:40pm.  Once people are in the rooms at 7pm the youths return and it starts.  Cllr. Frow did call the police and a PCSO from Clowne came.

The member of the public explained that the Junior players are aged 7-15 and they are scared.  The Junior Player leaders can go out to say something but get threatened; they are concerned that they will lose people.

PC Taylor acknowledged that there has been a problem for a while with a particular group.  The police have stepped up patrols and include the Community Centre.  Nuisance letters have been sent to the relevant parents informing them that their children have been involved in more than one incident and that this could lead to an ASBO.   A second lot of letters have now gone out.  When two letters have been sent to the same person the next stage is an ASBO.  Cllr. Frow argued that ASBOs are regarded as badges of honour.

PC Taylor continued that the police have been able to identify most of the youths on the CCTV.  The Community Centre Manager has put up a notice to stop people coming in if they are not using the centre and stating that no scooters etc. are permitted.  PC Taylor believes that there is one person who is the main instigator.  All of the youths will be visited in the coming week with a view to taking them to the police station.  The next stage is ASBO.  The police now have a signed-up vehicle that they can bring down but they need to identify the youths and see what they are doing.  The police will make arrests if seen at the time.

Cllr. Frow commented that the youths had been riding their bikes on the memorial last night.

Cllr. Raspin asked if they were Whitwell children.  PC Taylor responded that most of them were last night.

Cllr. Maiden asked what recourse the public has if the youths get an ASBO – do they get to know who they are?  PC Taylor stated that they can issue a leaflet showing who has got an ASBO and why.  Also people can ring the police if the youths are in the Community Centre and they will be arrested for breaching the ASBO.  They may then be warned and the ASBO extended.  She added that somebody had been publicised by leaflet in Creswell.

A member of the public asked what the point is if the ASBO will just be extended if it is breached.  PC Taylor explained that she is not sure if they will go to court straightaway or if it is a ‘two strikes’ approach.  Cllr. Mills stated that she is aware of someone in another part of the country who breached their ASBO 19 times before being taken to court.  PC Taylor reiterated that the approach is sending letters followed by an ASBO.  Cllr. Frow stated that we have just got to put up with it as the police do not phase the youths.  PC Taylor stated that people need to ring when it is happening and the police will deal with it.  Cllr. Frow stated that we do not want to end up like Creswell with nothing in the evenings at the centre because of the anti-social behaviour ruining it.

PC Taylor stated that they are trying to encourage Ozbox to take the trouble-makers off the street.  She confirmed that if members of the public are in fear they can ring 999, if it is a general report they should dial 101.

2.3 District and Parish Councillors

A member of the public highlighted that the Fox Road sign is missing at the junction with Welbeck Street.  Cllr. Webster made a note of this.  Cllr. Maiden suggested it could have been taken for scrap.

Another member of the public asked when the new Green street sign would be put up.  Cllr. Webster stated that it should be going up next week.

Following discussions at the last meeting, a member of the public wanted to highlight that they had observed the street cleaners clearing dog dirt on Welbeck Street.  Cllrs. Webster and Munro confirmed that they had also complained about mess.  Cllr. Munro added that he had complained about the section Holmefield Road to Welbeck Street and got a reference number.  Cllr. Webster reiterated that if the council find out who it is they will be dealt with.  Action that has been taken will be included in the next newsletter.

Cllr. Kerr informed the meeting that BDC are considering a 9% increase in social housing rents which is high.  Cllr. Webster responded that it is the government to blame as they have said the figure has to be at housing association levels.  Cllr. Kerr highlighted that it is only guidance from the government not an instruction and continued that it is unacceptable for low income people to pay high rent increases.  Cllr. Webster agreed.  Cllr. Kerr stated that the council need to consider this next week.

Cllr. Maiden referred to Cllr. Kerr: at the Alkane meeting last week there was a woman who was in discussion with H&BPC about use of the land, what was it?  Cllr. Kerr explained that if they want to sell the land for a low price, H&BPC could buy it.  They would be happy to share it with WPC.  Cllr. Kerr believes that it should be owned by local people as they have the best connections for users and know best what is wanted.  The site is being re-valued by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) and H&BPC are waiting to see the outcome.  Cllr. Maiden explained that he has stated in previous Alkane meetings that WPC want to know about buying the land.   He asked that Cllr. Kerr keep them up to date and in writing for record purposes.  Cllr. Kerr agreed.

A member of the public asked what RFO stands for: Responsible Financial Officer as it was missing from the list of abbreviations used, as was WPC.

Cllr. Maiden asked if there would be any objection to suspending orders at agenda item 9 so that a member of the public could put forward his proposal.  There were no objections.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

  • Moved

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

Cllr. Stevenson left the meeting.

Cllr. Munro asked if WPC should be requesting a copy of the report from Cllr. Stevenson as WPC is a very interested party.  He added that WPC should be on the distribution list and be able to respond.  Cllr. Maiden agreed.

Cllr. Frow was concerned about staff safety and said that they cannot deal with the problems at the Community Centre now.  Cllr. Maiden agreed that it is not their responsibility as WPC are their employers.  Cllr. Frow continued saying that people are frightened and that WPC owes the staff a duty of care.  Cllr. Frow stated that WPC should offer them protection.  Cllr. Munro suspected that there should be bodies that WPC can consult to get proper advice on how to deal with the problems.  He added that given the budget WPC cannot increase the supervision.  The first call should be to get professional advice to support the staff. 

Cllr. Mills  stated that she did not what WPC can do – only the police and CAM rangers can do anything.  Cllr. Maiden suggested that WPC look into the options.  Cllr. Munro stated that the Community Centre Manager should be asked to contact the Safety Officer.

Cllr. Mills asked the clerk if records are kept of communications with the police and their responses.  Cllr. Maiden stated that the Community Centre Manager keeps a record of the calls.  Cllr. Mills suggested that this may give them more backing if they have a record of what the police did.  Cllr. Frow stated that last night they were offered an officer and a PCSO from Clowne arrived who did not know anyone and had to leave because of an incident.  Cllr. Kerr stated that the police were at the H&BPC meeting at the time.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

The clerk had an amendment to the minutes.  On page 2, item 7 the value of £184,005 had been missed out after “precept is now”.

There were no other amendments and the minutes were agreed as a record of the meeting.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • (2.4.1) Cllr. Frow asked Cllr. Webster if anything had been done about the land.  Cllr. Webster confirmed that he had been with officers to look at it and it was agreed that money would be put into next year’s budget for it.  The plan is to tidy it, put the coping stones back and re-plant.
  • (4) Cllr. Mills asked if the clerk had done anything about item 4.  Cllr. Munro stated that he was surprised that they were inviting the fire service adding that it should be a public forum not a WPC meeting.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it is part of the minutes and Cllr. Mills stated that she has no objection to an open meeting.  Cllr. Maiden suggested that it could be a special meeting.  Cllr. Munro proposed that there is a well-publicised special meeting with free gifts to encourage people to come – he suggested perhaps the annual Parish Council meeting.  Cllr. Mills stated that it would need to be soon as the fire service will get booked up.
  • Cllr. Mills asked if the clerk had written to BDC about the choice lettings.  He had not, Cllr. Munro asked what would he be writing about as it is not clear in the minutes.  Cllr. Maiden responded “what you asked for”.
  • (6.13.1) Cllr. Munro asked Cllr. Webster if there was any update for 6.13.1.  Cllr. Webster stated that he could not give the information at the time but can now confirm that a bankruptcy notice has been served and BDC are waiting for action on it.

7. Training – Statement of Intent

The clerk explained that in view of getting Quality Status by September it is necessary to have a Statement of Intent for staff and councillor training.  Cllr. Maiden asked if anybody had any issues with this, there were none.  He asked if there were any objections, again there were none.  Cllr. Munro moved the action.  The statement was therefore approved on 8 February 2012.

8. Provision of Grit Bins

Cllr. Munro stated that the clerk may have taken action to apply for grit bins for year 2012/13.  He believed that it may have been done.  The clerk stated that he had put in a bid for two bins on the sites proposed.  Cllr. Maiden asked where in the minutes does it state that it is the WPC policy to apply for the bins?  Cllr. Mills confirmed that it did not.  Cllr. Maiden continued that it was a suggestion and asked if the council wants to apply and pay the costs.  DCC will provide one bin free and will fill it the first time for free, afterwards it would be down to WPC to pay for and organise.  He asked if the council wants WPC to pay for something that is DCC’s obligation to provide and that people pay their council tax for them to provide.  He also added that there has been a petition in the Community Centre against the cuts and ask that by asking for a bin, WPC is actually supporting these cuts.  There is a cost of £75 per fill and recently it has been put on people’s drives and footpaths rather than the roads.  Cllr. Maiden stated that he cannot agree to take on another council’s obligations.  Cllr. Maiden proposed that WPC do not go down that route.

Cllr. Burdett asked that if there is a need for more, could WPC ask DCC for another bin that they maintain?  Cllr. Maiden stated that WPC has done and DCC objected due to money.  He added that people have asked for extra bins but not in the areas suggested at the previous discussion.  Cllr. Raspin stated that she thought they had to be where they could cause obstruction if a vehicle was stuck.  Cllr. Maiden stated that he is not aware of the criteria and highlighted that the bins are not in the worst areas now, for example Bakestone Moor.  It is DCC’s job and if the criteria apply they should be there.  Cllr. Ellis asked that if WPC take up the free bin, are they signing up to be responsible for it?  Cllr. Maiden confirmed, yes but added that he is against the idea as they get abused.  He raised the question after last week’s snow would WPC refill the bin now for next week’s snow? 

Cllr. Burdett asked if WPC would become responsible for the bins in the future with the community changes.  Cllr. Webster did not know.  Cllr. Burdett suggested that WPC take advantage of the free bin to avoid paying for one in the future. 

Cllr. Maiden reminded the council that there is a proposal in.  Cllr. Munro stated that there are criteria set out in the DCC pdf for requests and asked why they are there if DCC did not think it was valid use of BDC and parish council budgets?  It is a safety issue and that is why the two areas were suggested.  He added that DCC are cutting back, it was heard at the meeting tonight, and the bins will not be supported.  He did however accept the arguments that people will use the grit inappropriately.  Cllr. Burdett stated that she is inclined to take anything that DCC offer.  Cllr. Maiden responded: “and then pay £75 for each fill every time it snows?”  Cllr. Raspin suggested that WPC agreed to fill the bin once a year.  Cllr. Mills asked what the point in an empty bin is.  Cllr. Webster asked what WPC would tell the areas without a bin, that they are paying taxes for other people?

Cllr. Maiden returned to the proposal.  Cllrs. Maiden, Webster and Mills were in favour; Cllrs. Burdett, Raspin, Ellis and Munro were against.  Cllr. Frow abstained.  The proposal was defeated – WPC will be asking for the bins.

Cllr. Munro proposed that the criteria are forwarded to the clerk and WPC apply for bins in the 2012/13 budget and include it in the budget meeting.  Agreed.

9. Audio Recording of Meetings

Cllr. Webster moved that WPC came out of standing orders for this item.

A member of the public explained that the idea of recording meetings was raised in July last year when he was on holiday.   He explained that recording meetings is standard at district and council meetings and an audio recording would give a fuller and more accurate record of the meeting.  Further research suggests that it may help with the Quality Status based on two guides from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

It would help to inform the public who are currently only informed by those attending.  The minutes are brief and give no intent behind the decisions. 

The member of the public continued that in a letter dated 23 February 2011, Bob Niell MP requested transparency and public access to bloggers and “citizen journalists” as Whitwell gets no press from the established media, only from those who live in the village and provide such news.

The member of public stated that many of the councillors will have seen the notes put together and gave out copies.  He highlighted that they could be wrong and recording could help to avoid any mistakes.

The member of public suggested that WPC could record the meetings but there would be a cost.  The equipment however is less than £100 and could be saved from the website budget which is three times more than it needs to be.  Alternatively the member of the public could record the meeting and give a copy to WPC with a written agreement providing safeguards.  He provided a copy of a draft agreement.

Cllr. Munro asked that if that is the case, will the whole recording be put up on the website without editing?  The member of the public stated it could.  On his website there would be a full transcript and the full recording bookmarked for each section.  Agreement item 6 – if using a clip, clearer provide a link to the full recording.

Cllr. Maiden asked if there were any questions.  The clerk responded that it is a recognised practice that minutes record the decisions made and are not verbatim.  The member of public agreed but stated that even in comparison to the brief minutes of Creswell and Clowne councils those of WPC are very brief.  The clerk stated that he is aware that some town and parish councils record meetings but they destroy them after the minutes are made.  Cllr. Webster stated that BDC keep the recordings for 12 months.

Cllr. Frow stated that she is concerned about who records the meeting and stated that it should be WPC’s own recording.

Cllr. Mills sated that there is no option.  It would help blind people who cannot read the meeting minutes but could listen to the tape.

Cllr. Maiden stated that all the paperwork was on the table.  He proposed that WPC obtain the equipment to record and make it available to the public.  Cllr. Munro stated that WPC would need to say how they would be made available.  Cllr. Maiden responded: through the website.  He suggested an alternative proposal: To resolve to obtain equipment to audio record the meetings and make it available on the website.  Cllr. Munro stated that in normal circumstances the minutes are not made available until they are approved so would the recording need to be available a month on?  The member of the public asked why a recording would need approval?  Cllr. Munro explained that he was trying to be water-tight legally.  The member of the public responded that he agreed but that the minutes are an interpretation.  Cllr. Maiden stated that the minutes would still record the actions.  First WPC need to agree if they are going to do the recording and then look at the details.  Cllr. Munro responded that they need to know the details before voting for example how it would be managed.

The clerk stated that Cllr. Munro mentioned managing the recordings and stated that they cannot if it is available to the public.  Cllr. Munro stated the issue is when it is available to the public.  Cllr. Maiden stated there would be copyright.

Cllr. Mills asked the members of the public present if they would feel intimidated by the meeting being recorded, the answer from all present including Cllr. Kerr had no objections and were in favour of it happening.

The members of the public stated that why would they hold back because of a recording; the recording would show the here & now; once something has been said it’s been said; if going back on something it would need to be talked about at the next meeting – if it was said it would need to be backed up.  A member of the public stated that they wonder if there is an interest.  Another member of the public said that there may be people who cannot attend the meetings. 

The proposing member of the public stated that 30-40 people read the notes on his website.  Cllr. Frow confirmed that she had been asked where the notes could be found.  A member of the public asked where the finance would come from.  Cllr. Maiden reiterated it was in the notes provided that it could come from the website budget.

Cllr. Burdett stated she had concern that when something exists as a recording it is there for people who can edit anything.  Not everybody is a good speaker or articulate and it may make people reluctant to speak because of how they speak.  People can approach the councillors at anytime to discuss things.  Cllr. Raspin agreed that people could feel uncomfortable and concerned that what they say does not come across well or how they intend it to.  She stated that phone numbers and email addresses are available if people want to ask about decisions etc.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it is the ethos that councils should be transparent.  He thinks that recording is the most transparent and gives the what and why.  Everyone would be able to understand the debate.

The proposing member of the public stated that, not wishing to offend the councillors, they are not getting any younger and so future councils will not necessarily know why the decisions were made.  Cllr. Frow asked how long the recordings should be kept for.  A member of the public suggested 12 months.  Cllr. Munro stated that is what BDC do but it was not decided for WPC.  Member of the public asked how long the paper records are kept for, they are kept forever.

A member of the public asked what if people do not have internet access.  Cllr. Maiden stated that there is access in the library with staff to help.  There would not be a hardcopy of the recording.  The clerk re-iterated that people would still get the minutes.  The member of the public stated that they would want to know more be voting (if they were in a position to do so).

Cllr. Maiden stated that there is a proposal which had been seconded and no amendments were given.  A member of the public asked if the proposal stated “in its entirety”.  The clerk repeated the proposal.  The member of the public said it should state in its entirety.  This was agreed.  A member of public asked if would include non-confidential business only?  Cllr. Maiden stated that the decisions on confidential business are released to the public.  Cllr. Kerr stated that whilst the confidential items were part of the meeting they often contain details that relate to members of the public/staff that should not be disclosed at that moment in time.

Cllr. Maiden stated if people disagree with what is agreed in meetings they may turn up.  A member of the public stated that it is discussions and not decisions that get debate flowing.

The meeting returned to standing orders and the proposal was voted on.  Cllrs. Mills, Webster and Maiden were in favour; Cllrs. Frow, Munro, Burdett, Raspin and Ellis were against.

10. Accounts for Approval and Payment

The cheques were approved and signed.

11. Financial Reports

There were no issues or concerns to report.

12. Correspondence

Cllr. Munro asked what the “healthy future for transport” was and if they want a response or if it is a waste of time.  There was no discussion.

There was a leaflet about keeping Derbyshire roads in a good state of repair.

There was an email from VOSA who attended the early morning meeting.  They will allocate two days in March for an enforcement officer to gather evidence in an unmarked car to assess the vehicles and if they are legal or not.  VOSA will then contact those illegal vehicles to advise them of this.  They would also contact the legal vehicles asking them to look for an alternative.  They will also contact Derbyshire road policing.  The officer is aware that a Monday is good and asked for another suitable day.  Cllr. Maiden stated that the councillors should think about it and then get back to VOSA.  In the letter it suggests that WPC do another 24 hour survey.  The clerk stated it was not in the email.  The response will be that WPC will get back to VOSA.

Matt Bennett has asked if a charity day can be held on the recreation ground on 6th May 10AM-6PM.  He would need the gate keys and the event will include games and a bar.  Licensed security would be present.  There will be no charge and Mr Bennett will sort out the paperwork.  The charities will be Bluebell Hospice and one other.  The clerk stated that it was held last year.  The councillors agreed they have no objection as long as it is held in line with the relevant requirements.

There was correspondence from DCC regarding the proposal for changes to the youth services.  The 10 week consultation began on Monday 9 January and the closing date is Sunday 18 March.  Cllr. Maiden suggested that it is an agenda item for the next meeting and a formal response be sent.  It was agreed.

There was an additional letter regarding the youth service that says the same thing and gave dates for meetings, four of which have past.  The next meetings will be on 24 February at County Hall and 25 February at Erewash.  Cllr. Maiden stated it should be included in the agenda-ed item.

Mr Robinson of Milton Keynes paid a recent visit to the cemetery and found that renovation to a memorial stone was needed.  He was shocked at the prices given: £75 to clean and restore the stone paid to the council; and £175 for a new stone.  He stated that he found these prices surprising and asked if there was any room for negotiation and what the purpose of the money was.  The clerk had responded on the use of the money.  Mr Robinson also asked if more remains could be added to his parents’ grave.  Cllr. Maiden stated that there are two issues, the first being the stone on the grave of Mr Robinson’s parents.  Cllr. Maiden did not recall any fees for renovation or replacement.  There is a charge for the first stone and adding names to it.  The clerk responded that there is an added complication in that it is a headstone in the cremation area and the policy now is to only have desktop (flat) stones.  He advised Mr Robinson.  Cllr. Maiden had no objections to the headstone being cleaned with no charge.  He was not however sure about a new one as it would need to be a desktop stone where a headstone had been.  Cllr. Maiden would prefer Mr Robinson to have it renovated at no charge.  Cllr. Munro agreed that it would be in keeping.

Cllr. Maiden stated that there is the second problem of whether others can be put under the stone.  He asked if the stone would need to be changed and if it is physically possible to do it.  The caskets are 2 feet square in area and they would need to be moved down to add others – would this be exhumation?  The clerk responded that it would.  Cllr. Munro said that it needs to be reported back.  Cllr. Maiden stated that WPC need to be definitive that it is not physically possible.  The WPC response would therefore be that Mr Robinson could renovate the stone at no cost but other relatives would have to be put in another area of the cemetery with the agreement of the joint committee.  Reasons would have to be given.

A further letter related to the youth service meetings.  The schedule has been amended and there will be a meeting on 15 February in Buxton.

13. Planning Matters

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

There was an application from DCC for a piece of plant at the Whitwell works – a Mr Bowman for Steetley.   Cllr. Frow asked if she needed to declare an interest as she sites on the panel for Steetly but as she does so on behalf of WPC she did not need to do so.  Cllr. Maiden stated he had no objections as it would prolong the use of the site and support employment.  Cllr. Munro moved that there were no objections.

The clerk had received three applications for the same thing but at different sites from BT Openreach.  The applications were for equipment cabinets at 20 Hangar Hill, 6 Smithfield Lane and on the green opposite 1 Worksop Road.  It was stated that the cabinets are already there so these would be replacements.  Cllr. Kerr broke standing orders to highlight that they are for additional cabinets not replacement ones.  All councillors then reviewed the plans.

Cllr. Mills stated that they would need to consider the handrails as they were put there for health & safety reasons.  All were reasonably happy and acknowledged that there would be better broadband.

There was an application for an extension and alteration to stables at 1 Hillside Close.  Cllr. Frow asked if it is the property that had the bungalow extended, Cllr. Maiden confirmed that it is.  Cllr. Frow asked if she should declare an interest but other councillors agreed that she lives far enough away.  The property is not in the conservation area.  There were no objections.

There was an application for the construction of an extension to the front of 55 Bakestone Moor.  It would be two storeys and a single storey extension.  There were no objections.

Cllr. Webster returned to the meeting.

14. Progress Reports

Cllr. Frow stated that the advert for new playscheme staff had gone out and there were 10 replies.  Norma sent out the form and all have the relevant qualifications.  Interview dates have been set.  For Easter there should be a full staff.  The clerk stated that the Playscheme is £400 over budget and that the advert had cost £450 and is considered a consumable.  Cllr. Frow stated that she thought it would come from the WPC advertising budget.  She added that the playscheme will find the money and overall they are on track.

Cllr. Munro attended the second BDC local liaison group who were spoken to by Eric Thompson, Chief Executive of the Two Shires Credit Union which services Bassetlaw and BDC.  They want to encourage councils to offer a facility for Two Shires Credit Union to have a collecting point in the village.  Cllr. Munro had got leaflets for all and requested that it is put on the agenda of the next meeting and invite Eric Thompson to give a presentation to consider if it would be possible.  Cllr. Webster highlighted that there had been one in the past that Dennis Reynolds ran.

Cllr. Maiden asked if could be April and not March as the agenda is looking full.  Cllr. Munro responded that this would be OK but at a time in society where there is a lot of lending there are doorstep lenders in the village now who have extortionate rates unlike the Credit Unions.  He stated that WPC need to act quickly to help people.

Cllr. Frow asked to give a quick update on the initiative and fundraising.  They have identified funding streams that are accessible and are acting on what the youth are looking for.  The initiatives and Funding Group are meeting regularly and identified where the need is in the village and the streams of funding.  They have contacted the relevant people.   A MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area!) would be the best use.  The Group are having meetings to agree and put together a bid to take to the funders.  They are on course but it is time consuming.

Cllr. Ellis stated that at the last meeting it was agreed to include Whitwell Forward and he had spoken to Wayne who agreed to join.  Cllr. Frow stated that Whitwell Forward may be able to get other funding that is not available to WPC.  Cllr. Maiden confirmed that they are looking at Bakestone Moor as well as the recreation ground – wherever it is needed in the village.

Cllr. Maiden explained that WPC and H&BPC agreed on the creation of a Joint Cemetery Committee (JCC)to run the cemetery for WPC.  The idea was that as Hodthorpe & Belph residents are not part of Whitwell Parish would pay double the cost.  The Joint Management Committee means that H&BPC pay a proportional amount of the maintenance costs and residents pay the standard rate and not the double charge.  The Committee is made up of four councillors from WPC and two from H&BPC.  The first meeting will be in May when they are elected at the May Parish Council meeting.  However, the Joint Management Committee will be running from 1 April 2012.

15. Date of the Next Meeting

14th March 2012

16. 15 Minute Open Forum

A member of the public asked about the grit bins – how do WPC inform DCC that the bins need filling?  Cllr. Maiden responded that they just wait for them to do it and do not know when that will be.  DCC will fill the bins when asked under the scheme.  The member of the public responded that a record should be kept of when the bins are filled.

A member of the public stated that with regards to BT, as at the end of January people should be able to get an upgrade to 24 meg if they talk to their service provider. Also Sky broadband is now available in the village as part of Sky’s low cost bundle packages.

A member of the public (the proposing member) stated that they were highly disappointed on the decision about recording the meetings despite the government letter.  Another member of the public was also highly disappointed that WPC felt threatened by the public being able to scrutinise their performance.  Westminster is televised.  Cllr. Munro stated that they had a debate and it is at an end.  Cllr. Raspin stated that it is the problem of WPC not owning the recording.  Cllr. Webster questioned what they would do if they climbed the ladder to BDC where the meetings are recorded.  Cllr. Raspin responded that she would deal with that if she went up the ladder.

A ember of the public stated that they are an ex-police officer and listened to the discussions.  He explained that he thinks the council is going wrong in that they need to contact he divisional commander and keep a record of the call outs.  The PC is doing her best but the council needs the divisional commander to come in and take action.  The clerk stated that he has only emailed the local commanders and that contacting the divisional commander has not done any good in the past.  A member of the public stated they had identified and reported a car with no tax but had not luck.  He contacted the commander and got an apology the next day for action not being taken.

Member of the public:  Cllr. Munro said that WPC should see DCC document about the proposal for the trucks.  The member of the public was going to ask if WPC could respond.  It was agreed that WPC need to.

17. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

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