Whitwell Parish Council Election 2015 – Results

The results from the 2015 Whitwell Parish Council Election are as follows:

CandidatePartyVotesElected
WEBSTER, George OwenWhitwell Residents Association799Yes
MUNRO, TomLabour785Yes
MILLS, VivWhitwell Residents Association761Yes
ELLIS, Darren MichaelIndependent740Yes
MAIDEN, StuartIndependent722Yes
RASPIN, Jeanne MarjorieLabour650Yes
RASPIN, Frank PhilipLabour649Yes
GREEN, Harriet ElizabethLabour630Yes
BURDETT, Simon CharlesLabour624No
RITCHIE, Malcolm JohnLabour624No
AUSTIN, Karl Peter HillIndependent617No
WALE, SharleneWhitwell Residents Association530No
WALE, James RutledgeWhitwell Residents Association453No
WALE, John BrianWhitwell Residents Association436No

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

  • Moved

Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 11th January 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)
  • PCSO Katie Lee
  • 14 members of the public

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 Alastair Morely – DCC Community Rail Officer

Alastair Morley is the Community Rail offer at Derbyshire County Council (DCC) came and explained the Community Rail Partnership.  20 years ago the Derwent Valley Community Rail Partnership was set up with work done to promote services and improve the stations.  DCC now want other parts of the county to do the same.  Mr Morley is looking at issues and trying to get more people using the railways.  He is working with Network Rail, DCC and passengers.

Of the attendees at the meeting there were six people who use the Robin Hood line and one who uses it daily.  The Robin Hood Line (RHL) re-opened in stages during the 1990s with government funding.  East Midlands Trains (EMT) run the service and are responsible for the platforms, ramps and bridge.  The non-public land is owned by Network Rail.

Of the services run from Whitwell, 31% of passengers travel to Mansfield, 23% to Nottingham and 16% to Worksop.  6% travel to Shirebrook and the rest to other stations in small numbers.  Mr Morley gets figures from East Midlands every four weeks.

In 2010/11 (the year runs April – March) there were 21000 passengers from Whitwell, up 6% since 2006/7.  Up to 10th December 2011 there was an increase in passengers and it is expected there will have been 24000 by the end of March.  DCC wants to see an increase in awareness in the local community of the service.

There is an hourly service Monday to Saturday.  The Sunday service was introduced on a trial basis in 2008 with council funding (Nottingham CC 90% and DCC 10%).  It was hoped there would be sufficient use for DETR to pick up the cost as it does for the weekday service.  However passenger figures were low and the cost was £214000 with the usage cost of £10.58 per passenger.  In contrast the bus subsidy costs £1.25 per person.  There was a consultation and a survey of passengers as well as a quality impact assessment.  A bus replacement was put but it was not used well.  As a result NCC cut their funding and trains only ran to Mansfield Woodhouse at an average cost of £50 per passenger to run to Worksop.

With regards to the station, last year the first noticeable improvements were made since it opened 15 years ago.  New shelters were installed, new signage, repainting and the scrolling timetables were replaced with real-time screens.  There are also automated announcements which should announce delays.  There are also induction loops for the hard of hearing.

The station is unstaffed and is some distance from where EMT operate from.  They send cleaners once or twice a week.

EMT want local people to get involved by becoming station adopters.  Station adopters are the “eyes and ears”.  If they notice something they can report it.  In other stations there are small teams who report issues and look after planting boxes, paintings by local groups and they have taken over embankment areas and cared for them, for example by landscaping them.

Mr Morley had forms for people who were interested in joining the scheme to complete.  Users will be able to say what problems there are including service problems.  There was a postcard campaign with local artists to get feedback on the service and DCC are looking to re-introduce it.  They are also considering putting up banners.  DCC worked with local schools for artwork and murals.  In Matlock Bath the painting the groups did was part of the Town in Bloom and got recognition for East midlands in Bloom.

Adopters can be individuals or groups.

Mr Morley noted an area of land by the station car park where the houses finish is very untidy.  It appears to be part of the railway land.  Mr Morley asked who owns it.  Cllr. Webster stated that Chapman Brothers at Chesterfield had offered it to WPC but he did not know if Terry Robinson had accepted it.  Mr Morley suggested it could be included in the plan.

Mr Morley had brought with him timetable books which DCC are producing and should be available in the library.  Mr Morley wants to put up local timetable displays in the community using bus-stop style display cases.  They include information on fares and the time to the different stations.  He wants them to be located in central points (the WPC stated “good idea”) and will put in a bid to purchase the cases.  In Whitwell Mr Morley suggested The Square by the signpost for the station; by The Co-Op (Spring Hill road sign); and the Community Centre noticeboard.  Cllr. Mills suggested Bakestone Moor outside the Friendship Hall.  Cllr. Rasping suggested the Health Centre.  Mr Morley stated they could produce smaller versions also for indoor locations.

A member of the public stated on a website may be helpful as it had taken over an hour to find the timetable.  The sign was passed around the attendees.

Mr Morley would also like to involve schools as DCC do school trips near Nottingham and Derby.  Train travel is cost effective for schools as, unlike with coach travel, only seats used are paid for.  In addition groups of 10+ get 26% discount.  Information leaflets have been produced in Matlock for schools informing them of the fares and places that the schools can visit near to the stations.  There is a lot of space on the trains during the day.

Mr Morley asked for ideas and issues from attendees.  A member of the public stated the train would be used more if the train companies had joined up time-tabling.  RHL is good but there is an hour wait in Worksop for the Sheffield train each morning.  Northern have only recently increased the service to four carriages from two overcrowded ones.  The 7:05 train arrives in Worksop at 7:08 but has to wait outside the station for the Sheffield train to leave – the train people are most likely to want to catch.  Many people drive to Kiveton to catch the train or to Halfway to use the tram.  Going the other way however you can be in London in 2.5 hours when going through Nottingham which is very good.  Mr Morley responded that some work has been done with the connections but that it does need to be looked at.

Another member of the public stated that more people go to Sheffield from Whitwell.  He uses the train a lot and did use the Sunday service but now goes to Chesterfield to get the train now.  His wife commutes daily between Whitwell and Hucknall but has to go to Worksop to get a monthly season ticket as it is not available on the train, online or at the stations.  A lot of people in the village originate in Sheffield and Rotherham and so travel there socially and for work.

Cllr. Stevenson responded regarding the Sunday service stating that with the current austerity DCC cannot pay £50 per passenger to run the service.  If the suggested project generates more passengers they could look at bringing the service back.  From a political view, Cllr. Stevenson wants to get World Heritage Status for Creswell Crags which would increase the use of Whitwell and Creswell stations.  He acknowledged it is a walk but can be done and there is always the option to bring back the service.  At the moment it can be quicker to use the bus to Creswell.  In addition, he joked, can Whitwell have their train station building back? It is currently in Butterly.

Mr Morley asked PSCO Lee if there was a crime problem around the station.  She responded that there is good CCTV with two cameras so any issues are dealt with quickly.  There have been no issues other than thefts on the line which were dealt with by the British Transport Police.

Cllr. Mills asked if Mr Morley had any influence on repairs as there have been problems in the past including getting lights replaced.  Mr Morley responded “I think I do”!  He added that he can send the problems directly to the person who deals with them.

Cllr. Mills then asked if the Adopt a Station scheme has any funds.  Mr Morley stated that the projects need to get funding.  At the moment they have no budget.  The Head of Stations has been in place for about one year and the other staff have been working with the communities.  They will “chip-in” to make things happen.  In Matlock Bath there have also been Community Days where local people got together with the Head Office in Nottingham to do a blitz on the projects.

Mr Morley is trying to get DCC to become a member of the national Rail Communities Organisation which will help to get funding.  One of Mr Morley’s jobs is to get money and resources together.

Cllr. Raspin stated this is a project which could “grow and grow” with groups applying for their own funding.  She asked if there is any training for volunteers, for example young people, which could be shown on CVs.  Mr Morley said that there is no training programme but confirmed they do have to do Health & Safety training.  He has worked with unemployed groups in the past. 

A member of the public stated that there are two platforms like bus stops but no station building.  He raised concern that the platforms would not be wide enough for planters and that they would restrict the width, risking safety.  Realistically there could only be a couple of planters installed.  Mr Morley responded that that is why he mentioned the piece of land by the station.  There are areas by the ramps which have been improved.  Access to them would need to be sorted however.  He added that at some stations there are only two planters.

Cllr. Maiden stated that it is good to hear things can be done and that there is a way to get things done through Mr Morley.  People can now be reasonably convinced that something can be done.

A member of the public said that they had raised things of interest to the police which were passed to the British Transport Police a few days later.  He added that because of the problem of copper theft between Whitwell and Creswell people are driving to Woodhouse for the train instead.  Additionally, Nottinghamshire County and City councillors get tax-free loans to purchase annual tickets through their salary.  Mr Morley suggested he could look into this for DCC.

Another member of the public asked if the information was in electronic form anywhere for use on websites to publicise it.  Mr Morley agreed to email this to him.  Cllr. Mills stated that WPC and the Community Centre have websites which could be used.  Mr Morley suggested that the WPC newsletter could be used; Cllr. Maiden agreed that this could be accommodated.

A member of the public asked if any communication had taken place in Hodthorpe who have a different parish council but also use the station.  Mr Morley stated that he had sent letters to each parish with a station and had not “picked-up” that Hodthorpe are separate.  Cllr. Munro stated it would be worth Mr Morley contacting H&BPC.

Mr Morley had brought with him a copy of the station adoption agreement which people should send back to him if they are interested.  It included his contact details.

Cllr. Maiden thanked Mr Morley on behalf of WPC stating that he hopes Mr Morley gets assistance from the parish.

Two members of the public left the meeting.

2.2 County Councillors

Cllr. Stevenson highlighted that over the Christmas period Derbyshire Fire Service were called out to two fatalities; one in Whaley Thornes and the other in Eckington where somebody had been microwaving mince pies.  Mr Stevenson wants to encourage everyone to have home fire safety checks as in the fires mentioned the alarms had not worked.  There was also an incident in the High Peak the day before the meeting.  Cllr. Maiden asked how people can get the checks.  Cllr. Stevenson responded that people should call the fire & rescue head quarters who will contact the local station, 01332 771221.

Cllr. Stevenson explained that there was a Cabinet Report prior to the council meeting about cuts including the Youth Service.  The Leader put questions to the cabinet but got nowhere.  It was raised at the Council meeting but it didn’t seem to make any difference.  Barry Lewis who is in charge of the KYA proposed that the council no longer directly deliver services for teenagers and close the youth centres and mobile services.  There was a mobile service within Whitwell to help police and there is a youth centre in Creswell which they are looking to close.  Mr Morely added that the properties are being sold off.  Cllr. Stevenson is now trying to get a petition a petition signed to present to the council.  At the debate a 19 year old girl attended and went away to come back with the idea for a petition.   Cllr. Stevenson is using this petition and stressed that we need the youth service.

A member of the public asked about the pavement by The Green which is a trip hazard.  He queried if it had been taken up with the developers.  Cllr. Stevenson stated it has been taken up with them and is with the developers to sort but he will chase the issue.

Cllr. Munro stated that at the budget meeting it was suggested that WPC set aside money to replace grit in the free bins.  He was told that WPC have to pay.  Cllr. Stevenson stated that the Snow Warden scheme, which DCC put forward and is not being taken up by BDC or WPC, allows a bin to be purchased for £250.  There is a separate agreement where an application can be made to DCC for a bin to be put in the place it is needed.  The first fill of this bin will be free and re-fills paid for by parish councils.  BDC and Creswell are doing this.  Cllr. Munro suggested that two sites would benefit – the top of Spring Hill and where Southfield Lane meets Bakestone Moor; he added that there used to be a bin there.  Cllr. Mills asked how much the bins are to fill.   Cllr. Stevenson stated it is not always worth asked DCC to fill and so would cost around £75 privately.

A member of the public asked if Whitwell is on the Olympic Torch route.  It was confirmed that it isn’t but Bolsover is.

2.3 Police

PCSO Lee provided the crime figures for December:

  • Burglary: 3
  • Violence: 6 (3 were at the same address)
  • Criminal Damage: 5
  • Theft: 2

Four of the theft and criminal damage were at the Crags.

At a previous meeting it was mentioned that Stephen Priest had been arrested for burglary.  PCSO Leestated that he has now been charged with another 10 burglaries and has been sentenced to three years.  A person in Whitwell has also been charged for intent to supply cannabis.

A member of the public complained about people parking on pavements.  There is somebody on Middlegate Field Drive who does this daily and has a plant that protrudes on to the pavement and these are becoming a danger.  PCSO Lee confirmed that if the vehicle is obstructing the pavement it is an obstruction and that the police can take action.  Cllr. Frow added that where The Dicken joins Scotland Street there is a white van that parks on the wrong side of the road about 10 feet from the junction.  This means that people cannot use the correct side of the road and has resulted in some near misses.  In addition there is now a red car in front of the van parked on the grass.  PCSO Lee stated that she has been down there but the van wasn’t there at the time.  She will try again.

Mr Morley left the meeting.

2.4 District and Parish Councillors

Cllr. Ellis asked Cllr. Webster if he took up the issue of the land at the top of New Street being untidy.  Cllr. Webster agreed he will do this again.  Cllr. Ellis added that the capping stones are also untidy; Cllr. Webster will also take this up.

A member of the public addressed Cllr. Webster regarding the footpath from Welbeck Street to the Recreation Ground.  The member of the public had been told that BDC are responsible for this.  Cllr. Webster stated that they are only responsible for the piece by the flats on Holmefield Lane.  He will check the plans and confirm with the parish clerk if WPC are responsible.

A member of the public stated that before the election there was talk about a regeneration fund for the villages.  Cllr. Munro explained that a group has been set up to seek funding and the questionnaires were sent out for villagers to state their priorities which will be used for the funding.  The council has budgeted for partnership funding.  Cllr. Frow added that to get funding there has to be a project confirmed with a proven need, hence the questionnaire.  It is a drawn out process.  Cllr. Frow added that some members of WPC have been to seminars about making applications.

Cllr. Kerr explained that BDC are changing the procedure for choosing council housing to Choice Lettings with Assigned bands.  There are four bands which depend on need.  The properties are advertised on the website and in the Clowne contact centre where people make a bid for a property in their band.  The incentive is to chase the properties and not use the list.    Cllr. Kerr suggested that WPC request a weekly email from the Clowne Contact Centre to advertise the properties in the Community Centre.  In time it will be possible to get housing association and private landlord properties in this way too.  Cllr. Webster added that people can also apply for Bassetlaw Housing and letters have been sent to those currently affected.

A member of the public stated that the agenda for the meeting on the website was dated 15/12/11 and had 19 items unlike the agenda provided in the meeting.  The councillors responded that they also have 19 items but this was because some numbers had been missed out.  The member of the public also requested that the recording of meetings is added to the agenda for the next meeting as it is now 6 months since this was last discussed.  Cllr. Maiden agreed.  The member of the public stated that in his notes of the last meeting there were 6 sides for item 1 but only a paragraph was put on the minutes giving very little information about what was discussed.

More members of the public left the meeting.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

  • Moved

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

Cllr. Webster stated that he will see the officer about the land next to the station the day after the meeting.

Cllr. Mills asked if the Fire Safety Officer could be invited to a meeting to discuss the checks.  Cllr. Maiden agreed.

Cllr. Munro suggested that the Choice Lettings could be displayed in the Health Centre, Community Centre and library.  WPC could offer space in the Community Centre and ask BDC to request Clowne Contact Centre to provide displays.  This was agreed.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

There were no amendments and Cllr. Webster moved that the minutes were a true record of the meeting.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • (2.3.1) Cllr. Munro stated that two days ago he saw the concrete roof and cannot see how it is safe or what is holding it up.  Cllr. Maiden stated that with the BDC assurances WPC has no liability in the event of an incident.  Cllr. Mills asked if there had been a letter regarding the HGVs.  The clerk confirmed there would be in Correspondence.
  • (7) Cllr. Munro asked if this was in Correspondence – yes.
  • (10) Cllr. Munro stated that he would not be available and asked if it could be deferred to the 25th.  Cllr. Maiden agreed.

7. Approval of the minutes of the Budget Meeting of the Parish Council held on 4 January 2012 and approval of the precept for 2012/13.

The Clerk apologised to the council.  The current contract has a further year to run and that it runs out in March.  Therefore in the budget agreed last week there is insufficient funds to pay for the current contract and plants anywhere else.  The value for item 5c should be £6,218 not £5,000.  The clerk asked if the WPC want to review the rest of the budget to save money elsewhere as the increase makes the precept £184,005. Cllr. Maiden asked if the council wanted to add extra to the budget or alter it.

Cllr. Frow proposed to add it on as the budget had been discussed thoroughly.

Cllr. Mills suggested that it be taken of the new projects fund however Cllr. Frow stated that there are concerns within the parish about projects and that the money can be used to apply funding.

Cllr. Munro asked how changing the budget would affect the rates.  For Band D the increase would be 80p per month or £9.60 per year.  Cllr. Munro suggested it should be absorbed as the charge is miniscule compared to what was agreed.  Cllr. Mills added that an increase anyway would not be good in the current climate.

Cllr. Munro seconded the proposal to add the extra to the budget.  Cllr. Mills proposed an amendment to take £1,000 from the New Projects budget head and avoid increasing the council tax any more than it already had been.  The amendment was defeated and the original proposal was accepted.  The precept will increase to £184,005.

Cllr. Maiden asked if there were any other changes to the minutes.  Cllr. Munro stated concern that there was no reference to the issue about setting aside £100 miscellaneous funds to fill the free grit bin.  There was no reference in the minutes that the discussion had taken place and it should be after item 3.10 even though after debate the motion was defeated.  The clerk stated that if the proposal was withdrawn there was no official decision to record.  Cllr. Munro argued that it means that he cannot discuss it in matters arising as in the meeting tonight attendees had heard that the meeting was mislead over the matter.  Cllr. Maiden requested that a paragraph be added.  Cllr. Munro stated that there should be a new 3.11 item – it was proposed for a budget head for grit at £100 to replenish bins provided at no cost by DCC.  Cllr. Mills responded that it should be “could be provided” and not “are provided”.

Cllr. Frow moved that the minutes were approved.

Cllr. Maiden stated that there was no agenda item for matters arising from these minutes.  Cllr. Munro asked that this be an agenda item at the next meeting.

8/12. Accounts for Approval and Payment

Cllrs. Webster and Munro signed the cheques.

9/13. Financial Reports

The only item likely to be up slightly is for Playscheme but this has been known for some time.

10/14. Correspondence

There were no comments about the list of correspondence.

  • The Clerk explained that an email has been received from H&BPC stating that they welcome the suggestion for a joint cemetery committee and want to discuss one item.  A date for a meeting was set with WPC and Cllr. Kerr for 1 February at 7pm.
  • A letter was received from VOSA just before Christmas.  It was agreed in a phone call that Mr David Grabbel will come out to look at the problem.  It was agreed to raise the suggestion and see if others would like to attend.  Cllr.  Munro suggested asking Mr Grabbel to be present 7am to 12pm to see the variation through the day however Cllr. Maiden responded that 7am would be too late.  Cllr. Maiden suggested a 6am start on Monday 16th January or 23rd January on the High Street by the George Inn.
  • An email had been received from BDC stating that a draft infrastructure study and delivery plan are available on the website.  Cllr. Maiden asked if views and consideration had been requested.  The clerk stated it is to review and confirm the accuracy.  Cllr. Maiden stated that everyone look at WPC and issues be referred to the clerk.

Cllr. Munro stated he will be attending the liaison meeting on Monday.

11/15. Planning Matters

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

  • 27 Jubilee Road – extension to first floor rear. No objections.
  • DCC proposal for application for a sewage monitoring kiosk.  No objections.

Cllr. Webster returned to the meeting.

12/16. Progress Reports

Cllr. Frow has sent out letters to see who can work over Easter at the playscheme.  She will place an advert if more people are needed.  Cllr. Frow stated that they will definitely need two new people.

13/17. Date of the Next Meeting

8th February 2012.

14/18. 15 Minute Open Forum

A member of the public stated that they are not available on 16th January for the traffic visit but would like to attend.  Cllr. Munro suggested 23rd January which was agreed.

A member of the public asked if there was an update on the old Thackers site.  Cllr. Webster stated that it was in the papers this week.  It has got to go to the council before he can say anymore.  In four weeks time he should be able to give more information.

Cllr. Stevenson sated that the grit bins need to be applied for and a bid put in for next year.  Cllr. Stevenson will email the contact details to the clerk.  Cllr. Raspin asked when the money is allocated.  Cllr. Stevenson responded before winter.

A member of the public queried the budget for the website stating that if it is just for the hosting it is 3-4 times more than it needs to be.  Cllr. Maiden will investigate this further.

A member of the public stated that it has been raised before but Severn Trent has been lumped the allotment and cemetery together in item 11 of the meeting.  He has asked for them to be shown separately but they haven’t.

A member of the public asked if there would be a grit bin on Holmefield Road – No, they will be where the elderly are.

15/19. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

Moved

No Audio Recording of Parish Council Meetings

Correction: Unfortunately we published Cllr. Frow’s vote wrong when this was first published.  Cllr. Frow did not abstain.  Perhaps we need to video record the meetings instead, then we can avoid this problem in the future? :)

Well we tried, and unfortunately failed to get Whitwell Parish Council meetings recorded.  We offered up several options:

  1. Do nothing
  2. We record them and provide them to the council, with a legally binding agreement on how we will use the recordings.  You can see a copy of the draft agreement, Clause 6 is the one of main interest.
  3. The parish council records them and makes them available in whole to the public. (We even worked out where in the budget the money could be saved from to pay for it!)

A proposal was formulated around option 2 and formally voted upon, “that Whitwell Parish Council precure the equipment to record the meetings themselves and make them available to the public in full.”

The votes were as follows:

  • Cllr. J Burdett – Against
  • Cllr. S Ellis – Against
  • Cllr. S Frow – Against
  • Cllr. J Raspin – Against
  • Cllr. S Maiden – For
  • Cllr. V Mills – For
  • Cllr. T Munro – Against
  • Cllr. G Webster – For

Cllr. Kerr was also in favour of the audio recording of meetings, but as he is one of our elected district councillors and not a parish councillor he was unable to vote on the matter.

Amongst the points and concerns raised were:

  • That some members of the council and public are not very articulate and would not want to make themselves look foolish as the recording would be a permanent record once released to the public.
    • Neither are some members of the public, myself included as I stumbled a bit through my arguments.
  • That if parishioners wished to engage with the council and the meetings then they are free to attend the public meetings and that councillors have their phone numbers & email addresses on the parish council website if they want to discuss an issue with them.
    • Presumably this means then that because there is a public gallery in the House of Commons that BBC Parliament should be scrapped?  We’re not talking the same level of decision making of course – but arguably the decisions the parish council take affect people more directly than those in parliament.
  • That members of the public may be put off from raising points if they are recorded:
    • This was put to the 8 members of the public still present and not a single objection was raised, in fact all members were in favour of the recordings being made.
  • There was concern over how long the recordings would be kept for after it was mentioned that the recordings would provide an invaluable tool for future parish councillors in say 10 years time so they could hear exactly why a decision was made – Some faces were aghast at the thought of them being kept for that long, stating that it sounded “sinister”.
    • Council minutes are currently kept indefinitely.

There was no suggestion of further discussion to see how it could be made to work for all parties – unfortunately this is democracy in action, which means we now have to wait six months until we can raise the issue again.

The case we presented for the recording of meetings was based around a letter from Bob Neill MP the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government with regards to access to and recording of council meetings, some highlights from the letter include:

“In short transparency and openness should be the underlying principle behind everything councils do and in this digital age it is right that we modernise our approach to public access, recognising the contribution to transparency and democratic debate that social media and similar tools can make.”

“Bloggers, tweeters, residents with their own websites [my emphasis] and users of Facebook and YouTube are increasingly a part of the modern world, blurring the lines between professional journalists and the public.”

“The public should rightly expect that elected representatives who have put themselves up for public office be prepared for their decisions to be as transparent as possible and welcome a direct line of communication to their electorate.”

Cllr. Maiden (Chair of the council) commented that there was nothing more transparent than a recording of the meeting.

We also used documents from the National Association of Local Councils related to Quality Status – which is something Whitwell Parish Council is hoping to achieve by September 2012, some of the quotes we used:

“In order to thrive, democracies need active, involved, informed and engaged citizens.”

“Good communications and community involvement is critical to earning and maintaining the good will of the community you serve.”

“As statutory public bodies councils should be embracing modern communication methods to engage with their communities.”

You can find our full argument below as a PDF along with all other documents we used.

What we would like to have seen (other than allowing us to take recordings) given that members of the public stated they were in favour of meetings being recorded is the item being tabled for more debate and investigation, unfortunately it was flat out rejected rather than an amended proposal being put forward.  Many of the points raised were reasonable points and questions that needed to be asked, most of which had already been addressed in my information pack, those that weren’t were ones that could have been finalised once it was agreed to record the meetings – such as how long to keep recordings for, how quickly to make them available etc.

We believe in open, transparent governance, free from party politics, where every member of the parish can be informed of discussions made and decisions taken in their name without having to attend long meetings at often inconvenient times.  We will be continuing our efforts to get meetings recorded and freely available for all to listen to.

This may seem like an un-important issue to many, but whilst the official council minutes continue to provide the least possible information we (other than attending in person) are currently the most detailed source of information available on the happenings of Whitwell Parish Council and we’d like to make sure our information is at all times 100% accurate.

Reasons Why Parish Council Meetings Should Be Recorded

Department for Communities and Local Government Letter

Draft Recording Agreement

NALC Guidance Notes – Democracy and Citizenship

NALC Guidance Notes – Communication and Community Engagement

Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 14th December 2011

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.

In Attendance

  • Cllr. J Burdett
  • Cllr. S Frow
  • Cllr. S Maiden (chair)
  • Cllr. V Mills
  • Cllr. T Munro
  • Cllr. J Raspin
  • Cllr. G Webster
  • Barry Woodcock (clerk)
  • PC F Taylor
  • Mr A Lowrie
  • 5 Members of the public

1. Apologies

  • Cllr. S Ellis
  • Cllr. K Stevenson

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

The format of the meeting was briefly explained to Mr Lowrie and the chair proposed that Mr Lowrie’s item (2.4) be moved in front of the other items so as to not unduly delay him. This was agreed by all.

2.4 Mr A Lowrie, Street Services Manager, Bolsover District Council

Mr Lowrie was invited to attend the Parish Council meeting by the council due to the problems with litter in the village and complaints from parishioners since the retirement of the local litter picker.

  • Bolsover District Council carried out a review of street services which included the studying of industry standards.  It found that productivity and performance levels were not high due to over-resourcing in some areas and under resourcing in others across the district.  It also found that there is more ground maintenance than street cleaning.
  • The village litter picker finished on grounds of ill-health and figures show that Whitwell does not warrant a permanent picker on a like for like basis.
  • Bolsover District Council (BDC) is now looking at all part-time staff across the district, there are currently nine working between 15 and 37 hours per week and reviewing how the service can be delivered.  BDC want to avoid any redundancies. Three are in in Bolsover, two in Shirebrook, one in Tibshelf, one in Pinkston/South Normanton.
  • Other places within Bolsover District may be treated the same as Whitwell in the future.
  • The new structure of cleaning was agreed in June, to be effective from September 2011, with a target to be in the top 20% of performance, value for money and customer satisfaction in the country.
    • As part of this a satisfaction survey will be carried out every year.
  • Members of the public were unhappy that residents of Whitwell pay the same council tax as other parishes but do not appear to be receiving the same level of service and that there are three cleaners in Bolsover.  It was asked if they all in Bolsover town?
    • Mr Lowrie responded that he is not responsible for council tax and his role is not primarily concerned with the amounts of tax paid by one area or another, but with the fact that different areas create different problems with littering such as anti-social behaviour which can take a disproportionate level of resources.
    • The aim of BDC is to meet its statutory obligations for street cleaning as set out by the government.
    • There is one cleaner in Bolsover town, one is deployed to surrounding areas and the other is currently on long term sick leave.
    • All cleaners/pickers will be part of the review being undertaken.
  • Mr Lowrie went on to explain (after a question was raised) that there is a picker in Clowne who is based in Clowne and another in Creswell who is based there and that they will also be part of the review.  If they retire they will not be replaced.  Mr Lowrie stated that he cannot make a decision for Whitwell based on what happens in Creswell or Clowne.  In Barlborough there is a part-time litter picker who splits his time one day in Barlborough and one day in Whitwell.  He has scheduled and responsive work which mean that he is deployed where there are reports of littering.
  • A member of the public asked that when the BDC offices move to Clowne will there be more cleaners in Clowne?  Mr Lowrie said that his decisions are not based on where the council offices are.
  • A member of the public asked if dog fouling came under his remit.  Mr Lowrie confirmed that cleaning did, but the causes of the problem came under Environmental Health for enforcement.  He was then asked if there was still a dog warden as they were rarely seen in Whitwell.  Enforcement is carried out in areas where large numbers of reports are received.
  • It was felt that despite Mr Lowrie stating that BDC do deal with complaints of dog fouling that nothing was actually being done and that the contact centre did not take reports seriously – despite the problem on Welbeck Street causing people having to walk on the road to avoid it.
  • One member of the public complained that they had mess from horses on their house and when reporting this were laughed at. He suggested that cameras be put up adding that a lot of people are wanting help but not getting it. Mr Lowrie agreed he would report back regarding the cameras. Cllr. Webster stated that if possible people should get photographic evidence which makes it easier to prosecute people.
  • PC Taylor suggested using the mobile CCTV van used for litter patrols.  Mr Lowrie stated that BDC look at the figures for service and complaints for where to take action.  In terms of Whitwell they are not top of the list.  He will ask the enforcement group to use the mobile CCTV if possible.  PC Taylor stated that the camera van had been used for dog fouling on Butt Hill.  If lots of people ring in it will help.  She will take up the issue with the CAN Rangers.
  • Mr Lowrie stated that when there is a genuine problem, an education day may be used.  This will involve people in hi-vis jackets stopping and talking to dog walkers.  It does have an impact.
  • Cllr. Frow returned the discussion to litter stating that there was not a problem in Whitwell when there was a man in Whitwell who did the picking.  They lived here and were proud and would pick litter regardless of being on/off duty.  Other than Cllrs. Webster and Munro who does it now?  Cllr. Frow stated that a letter has been sent to BDC but Bolsover did not answer the question.  As it is in the Bolsover remit, Cllr. Frow asked why they cannot devolve money to Whitwell to hire someone.  There is litter top to bottom of High Street.  Cllr. Frow recognised that it is the people in Whitwell who litter but it is worse than it was.
  • Cllr. Maiden stated that he recognised that there are budget restrictions but the timing of the current service is a problem.  The cleaning is done on a Friday and so within 24 hours the village is no better off.  Cllr. Maiden asked how many hours was the previous litter-picker paid for and how many hours are the current pickers paid for?  Cllr. Kerr had suggested an agency arrangement to Cllr. Maiden whereby BDC pay WPC to do the work.  He added that the two should work together and that the view around the table favours the agency approach.  Cllr. Frow added it would be nice to have some input.
  • Mr Lowrie responded that the picking is on a Friday and can look at the rota etc. but the resource they have is the resource they have got.  Cllr. Maiden stated that he accepts that it could mean that someone else may end up with Friday and the same problems.  An agency agreement may be better.  Cllr Maiden asked if the pay included travel; Mr Lowrie responded it does not.
  • Mr Lowrie stated that the previous village litter-picker was paid for 30 hours over six days.  The resource now allows for six man hours per week of pure litter picking; the large sweeper which has just spent a week in Whitwell; bin emptying; and the small sweeper every 10 days.  Cllr. Frow commented that this did a good job on the leaves.  Mr Lowrie continued that looking at dedicated Whitwell litter picker, that it has not gone to the council yet, but the plan is that no town in the district will have a barrowman it would be part of the team for the area.  He added that he could discuss an agency arrangement but it would not necessarily be enough.
  • A member of the public asked if Mr Lowrie was in charge of bin collections as these had been reduced saving paying 5 men and he was quibbling over paying one person for four hours per day.  Mr Lowrie stated that they are not quibbling.   There was a regional efficiency programme and in Bolsover there is poor performance and high resource which needs to be swapped.  It is early days but BDC have got to improve performance and want to be in top performing councils which will not be easy when reducing resources.  Waste collection and street cleaning have separate budgets and money cannot be moved between them.  Cllr Maiden suggested that the way finances worked was that they aren’t making savings as such that can be used elsewhere, that they are just given less of a budget to work with each year.  Mr Lowrie responded that as a rural district there is a low population density and as the budget is based on the population this effects the resources available.  Mansfield has double the budget of Bolsover, but Bolsover has three times more roadways and pavements to deal with and has to meet the same standards.  It is about trying to get it right.
  • Cllr. Maiden stated that WPC wants to be involved in discussions on Whitwell and highlighted that there are two views on cleaning and that they need to meet somewhere.
  • Cllr. Mills said that the start of the meeting Mr Lowrie had stated that street cleaning has got to be at an acceptable level.  She asked acceptable to whom?  Mr Lowrie responded government standards.  Cllr. Mills commented “not the people who see it”; Mr Lowrie responded “no!”  Cllr. Mills asked if the standard is available to which Mr Lowrie confirmed that it can be downloaded from DEFRA and can be found by Googling: Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse.  Mr Lowrie will email the link to the councillors if they have a problem.  He explained that the document is a public document explaining the standards, action methodology; parish council obligations, county council obligations and other statutory undertaker responsibilities.
  • Cllr. Mills asked when the review will be finished.  Mr Lowrie stated that it had been hoped for this year but the strategic alliance with East Derbyshire has put reviews on hold until the structural review has been concluded in February.
  • Cllr. Mills added that if Mr Lowrie is responsible for litter bins, does he know why the bin has been missing from by the school for three months?  Mr Lowrie did not.
  • Member of the public asked if Mr Lowrie can be emailed directly as emails through the switchboard area do not get through to the right department.  Mr Lowrie stated that if they do get emails directly they have to be sent back to Enquiries as it has to be on the CRM system.
  • Cllr. Raspin asked how many emails or calls warrant a response.  Mr Lowrie stated that they will respond to them all.  Cllr. Maiden asked to be kept up to date.  Mr Lowrie responded that he will include WPC in the next phase.  Cllr. Mills suggested she would like Mr Lowrie invited back to discuss refuse collection.

2.2 Police

PC Taylor reported the crime figures for November:

  • 8 crimes total
  • 3 theft
  • 2 violence
  • 2 criminal damage
  • 1 non-dwelling burglary

 

  • A member of the public asked about CCTV given that the nights are darker and crime would be going up.  There has been a house fire and gas pipe ripped from a property for the copper.  He stated that cameras are needed as the elderly do not feel safe and the police do not have time to be in the village constantly, especially in the middle of the night when a lot of the problems occur.  Cameras have been asked for for a couple of years but nothing has been done.  People will want to live here again if the crime levels are reduced.   People are scared to say anything because of reprisals.  It will save money by putting up cameras.  PC Taylor responded that cameras can be good but it depends on the resolution.  PC Taylor understands that they provide reassurance.  PC Taylor and PCSO Lee are not walking about at night but there are cars out patrolling.  Member of the public responded that if we pay for good quality at the start it will get sorted.  Why can it be done in cities but not villages?  Another member of the public responded that cameras are easily defeated by hoodies.
  • A member of the public asked if the report regarding people rooting through recycling bins had been reported.  PC Taylor confirmed that it had been received but she had not heard any more.  She added that there have been scenarios where front gardens have been emptied.
  • A member of the public stated that there had been mention of people in vans being stopped and details checked in terms of collecting scrap and asked if any had.  PC Taylor stated there had and been and some were caught without a license.  At the end of each period this will be reported on.  Cllr. Munro added that he has received one Ringmaster report.  PC Taylor added that they do ask about financial situations.
  • Cllr. Frow commented that where the Dickin merges with Scotland Street  when people rent the cottage they park on the road and it is dangerous.  There is a white van parking there at the moment.  She added that there are also problems in and around the Community Centre.    Cllr. Frow stated that she felt threatened by a gang hanging around the health centre.  On a visit to the Community Centre there was a lot of noise and the door was kicked in; there is also damage being done in the foyer.  Last night a gang was throwing things and screwing things up.  She added that someone else present had named them all and they had cleared.  Tim reported the incident but they are always told to ring and then nobody rings back.  Cllr. Frow observed that the dispersal order in Creswell has lead to damage in Whitwell.  It tends to start at 7pm in The Square.  When Tim locked up at 9pm one night there were 20+ on the bus and another lot getting on and that they all know each other and organise to meet on Facebook etc.
  • A member of the public added that it is the same with the thefts – they all know each other.
  • Cllr. Frow continued that the teenagers are coming in groups.  PC Taylor stated that she had received three names of teenagers from Whitwell who were coming into the Community Centre but admitted that the dispersal in Creswell is having a knock-on effect.  Dispersal is not an answer.
  • A member of the public stated that you cannot stop people coming to Whitwell, but it is the groups that are the problem.  PC Taylor responded that if they do hit hard, the groups get bored and move on.
  • The same member of Public stated that there is nothing in Whitwell for young people to do.  Cllr. Frow responded that WPC is trying to do this.  Member of the Public argued that that has been the case for the last 20 years and nothing has been done.  Cllr. Frow sated at WPC needs funding and that is the point of the questionnaires which focused on younger people.  PC Taylor stated that Ozbox was in Creswell but for it to be used in Whitwell it is dependent on uptake and there are very few taking it up.  For Game Zone they had to drag the kids to it.
  • Member of the public stated that in Mansfield Woodhouse they introduced teachers to the kids to help them learn a skill at the Community Centre making boxes etc.
  • Cllr. Maiden asked about progress with the vehicle surveys.  PC Taylor stated that VOSA let them down again by pulling out due to other commitments at the last minute.
A member of the public left.

2.1 County Councillors

In Cllr. Stevenson’s absence there were no questions for him.

2.3 District and Parish Councillors

  • Cllr. Munro raised concern about the concrete roofs that were not removed from Thacker’s garage.  He stated that it did not look safe and the brick rubble looked to have fallen out.  He emailed BDC to see if they were aware but there is no security on site.  Cllr. Munro stated that they need to prevent access due to the risk for the roofs falling in.  He was told that Steve Whittingham has inspected the site and considered it safe with no safety hazard.  Cllr. Webster responded that Mr Robinson reported and Cllr. Webster sent Mr Whittingham to look at it.
  • Cllr. Frow asked what was happening with the site, to which Cllr. Webster reported nothing has been done with the sale of the site because of the solicitors and the costs keep increasing.  The costs are now £70-80,000.  He added that there are problems with the land registry and he wants more information.  Cllr. Webster is on to Kevin Silleto daily to get site up for auction but have to go through the legal procedure first.
  • Cllr. Webster stated that several months ago the Peers Report on Certificate for Excellence and BDC was one of five in the country to get it.  There were five things to take action on:
    • Not published decisions in planning – this is now done
    • Delegated list for Bolsover – now done
    • Scripts for information given to tenants – now done
    • Choice lettings (bid for property) – in the latest report to circulate to Clowne contract centre on 11th January or Sherwood offices and to have it completed by end of January.
  • Cllr. Webster added that they had been awarded a silver medal for how good the council is.
  • A member of the public stated that work on Butt Hill had been started (old Biggins site).  Cllr. Maiden explained that there had been planning permission granted and now they have started building.  Member of Public stated he had heard there were plans to lift and make one level.
  • A member of the public stated that the new allotment agreements had been sent out using second class stamps yet most were to people in the village – at a cost of around £25.  He asked if it could be done more cost effectively as little items build up.  Cllr. Maiden stated they could look at this.  A member of the Public asked if there was any comment from Barry – no.  The member of the public was concerned that it may be a case of £25 here, £50 there and the amounts soon add up.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

  • Moved

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

  • Need to be proactive – write to the enquiry desk at BDC regarding the unsatisfactory responses mentioned earlier in the meeting so that it is brought to the attention of senior managers.
  • WPC should write to VOSA copying in Derbyshire County Council (DCC) and the police regarding the dismay at their absence again to conduct the survey of abuse of the high lorry route.  Cllr. Maiden has seen four lorries in the last week and Cllr. Munro noted at least two were transporters for Steetly Dolomite.
  • Cllr. Raspin stated that she had seen a car transporter in Hodthorpe which had gone over the rail bridge.
  • Cllr. Mills stated that people need to ensure they get the CRM reference number if they contact the council so that it can be traced.
  • Regarding letter-picking Cllr. Mills stated that Mr Lowrie was not interested.  Can the Crown Prosecution service help with those on community service orders?  Cllr. Maiden sated an agenda item was needed.  Cllr. Webster highlighted that under the localism bill it may come to the WPC.

Cllr. Munro requested a window be opened as it was getting very warm.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

There were no significant comments regarding the last minutes other than some typing errors on 2.2, 4 and 7.  The minutes were approved.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

Item 4: Cllr. Munro asked if there was anything in correspondence about street lighting.  Barry responded that the parishes would be consulted when a decision was made.

Item 12.2: Cllr. Mills asked about the notices.  Barry responded that Alastair Morley would be attending the January meeting.  There are now notices at the station and in the Community Centre.

7. Approval of minutes and recommendations of the Cemetery Committee held on 30th November 2011.

It was asked if there has to be a record if there are errors.  Cllr. Munro asked if it should be at the next cemetery meeting,  the clerk responded that there might not be one.  Cllr. Munro moved them.

The councillors had reviewed the draft agreement.  Cllr. Maiden stated that if agreed it could be taken to Hodthorpe to form a joint committee.  Cllr. Webster had no objections.  The clerk stated that if approved it is not set in stone as it is still a draft and Hodthorpe may have other proposals.

In paragraph five it stated percentage based on BDC figures for finance agreements.  Cllr. Maiden asked for a proposal to take the draft on.  Cllr. Webster moved the proposal and Cllr. Munro seconded.  There were no objections.

Regarding cemetery charges, Cllr. Munro explained that there is a set of proposed charges.  At the top by the contractor, at the bottom the charge by WPC but collected by the contractor for administration.  Of the set of charges (currently £610) the most expensive is £605 meaning a stand-still situation.  If Hodthorpe enter the agreement they will be in the ‘all category’, if not they will be ‘non-residents’.  The clerk stated that the burial admin fee by Whitwell of £50 & £100 is wrong; it should stated £150 & £300.  The minutes are correct.  Cllr. Munro sought the council approval to proceed.  Cllr. Webster moved and Cllr. Frow seconded.  Cllrs. Raspin, Munro and Webster were all in favour.

8. DCC Street Lighting Proposals

DCC are undertaking a review of the thoughts on turning off street lights at certain times.  WPC has not had much definite contact from  DCC yet.  Does WPC want to voice an opinion in this meeting?  Cllr. Maiden stated it is difficult without having the details of the proposals.  He has been to places with no lights and there have been no problems.  Places where lights go off at 11PM have had no major problems but Cllr. Maiden admitted it is disconcerting.  In principle, Cllr. Maiden is not against the idea but wants to know which lights.

Cllr. Burdett asked if DCC will ask the community and suggested that if there are two lights opposite each other then one could be turned off.  Cllr. Maiden stated that his understanding is that there will be consultation with WPC who can open it up to the public for their views.

The clerk stated that in Nottinghamshire a few months before there was a consultation and when the plans were done the parish councils got a say in the detailed consultation for their area.  He stated he cannot say if the parish councils were listened to but they had the opportunity to raise their views.  The clerk has been told it will happen in Derbyshire.

  • Cllr. Mills made a number of points:
    • There is a crime problem now.
    • It is a paper exercise – the lights will go off whatever.
    • Maps may be no use – if they are the same ones as used for the hanging baskets they are not right.
    • She would like DCC to agree to put the lights back on if crime increases.
  • Cllr. Raspin stated that she would like the statistics from other areas where lights have been turned off.  Cllr. Munro stated that South Yorkshire and Rotherham areas have already done this, it may be possible to use their figures.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it is already darker but the crime figures have reduced – Cllr. Mills emphasised that this is only reported crimes.
  • Cllr. Munro stated that the crime rate is low as a community.  Cllr. Mills added that anti-social behavioural will be a problem.  Cllr. Frow stated that the kids are going to the lights – if there are no lights they will go away.
  • Cllr. Webster asked if the cost of the gadgets to switch the lights off was known.  Cllr. Maiden stated they should wait for the information and then make comment.

9. Grounds Maintenance Contract 2012 to 2015

The clerk explained there had been a tender to start 1st April, he summarised the responses:

  • One was too small for the work involved and did not tender.
  • A tender was received from Town & Country Gardens.
  • A tender was received from Planteria, the current contractor.

One of the tenders as for £5569 per annum and the other £5184 per annum.

  • Cllr. Munro asked if WPC is happy with the current contractor and observed that there is a relatively low price difference.  The clerk responded that there have been complaints about the standard of work from councillors.  There have been three occasions over the last two and a half years and the answer was that work had been done in line with the specifications in the contract.
  • Cllr. Webster stated that in the playground they are cutting exactly as he wanted.
  • Cllr. Mills stated that the contract stated that they should cut up to the edges at the recreation ground and they don’t – there are nettles and brambles growing.  At the Dickin also they were told to do around the styles, it gets done a couple of times then goes back to not being done.  The contract states up to the boundary but they are not.
  • Cllr. Maiden stated that they had the handyman go round and show how the grounds must be maintained.  Are they keeping it in that state?  Potentially no.  Cllr. Maiden asked for other observations.
  • Cllr. Burdett asked what is known of the other company.  The clerk stated that another parish council had used them up to April 2011 and were satisfied.  They changed in the past year due to price.
  • Cllr. Mills stated the award should not go to Planteria.  Cllr. Maiden asked who was in favour of £5569 – it needs to be looked at on price. Cllr. Mills disagreed stating that WPC should look at quality of service.  Cllr. Munro asked the clerk if the council were entitled to know which quote came from which company, they are.
  • Cllr. Raspin asked if it had to be for three years – the clerk explained that that is the contract that was put out to tender.
  • The clerk explained that Town & Country based near Newark tendered £5184 and Planteria £5569.
  • Cllr. Burdett stated that the issues are a normal part of a contract.  Cllr. Maiden asked who was in favour of Planteria – he proposed to keep the current contractor as WPC know who they are.  Cllr. Webster seconded.  All present were in favour except Cllr. Mills.  The proposal was carried to look into the terms & conditions of contract.

10. Initiatives and Funding Groups

There have been no meetings for two months.  Cllr. Webster suggested starting again in January.  Cllr. Maiden suggested the 18th and Cllrs. Munro and Mills agreed.  Cllr. Maiden stated that he has got document for multi use games area.  The meetings will take place at Bakestone Moor at 7:30pm.

11. Accounts for Approval and Payment

  • Cllrs. Webster and Munro signed the cheques
  • Cllr. Mills queried item 10844 asking if it was new as the price was high – the clerk responded that it is for the service of the lawnmowers and other equipment.  Cllr. mills also queried 103387 asking if it was only for the allotments – Cllr. Maiden stated it was also for the cemetery.

12. Financial Reports

  • Cllr. Frow asked why the wages summary showed an overspend for the playscheme as she worked out it was not.  The clerk responded that 107% had been spent on payroll which was due to an additional specialist staff member.
  • Cllr. Frow stated she had not yet got a full report.  The clerk stated there was a £387 overspend.  Cllr. Frow stated she had kept a hold on the budget.  Cllr. Frow felt the insurance etc. should not be counted as consumables.
  • Cllr. Maiden suggested that this be looked at in the precept meeting with an item for insurances for all.  The clerk disagreed stating it would be better to have another heading for playscheme admin.
  • Cllr. Maiden queried an item in the budget monitoring report for £900 and the clerk informed this was for the land valuation on Station Road.
  • Cllr. Maiden observed that there was a £418 spent but not budgeted for – this money had come from the reserve for the item and was not actually an overspend as it had been put aside previously to finish that project.
  • Halfway through December 66% of the budget has been spent – it is on track.

13. Correspondence

  • The clerk stated that there is one item for discussion plus the list.
  • Cllr. Munro asked if the information in the letter November 8th re. GP Services is of interest to the general public as people worry about the future of GP services.
  • The clerk stated that the last item on the list was the Lafarge railway report – he had a copy if anybody wanted to see it.
  • The clerk stated that a public consultation ended in October and the findings were enclosed.  There were two proposals to tender for NHS services.  A FAQ document was enclosed.  The PCT has strong user view included and a decision will be made using the views.  The final decision was due on 7th December.  Cllr. Maiden emphasised that this does not affect patients of the Crags Healthcare service.
  • The clerk stated that he had received a tender for next years’ hanging baskets.  A total of £4662 + 10% discount for a three year contract, making the tender £4195.80.  Cllr. Frow asked if it had been decided to have a floral display.  Cllr. Maiden stated there had not been a decision.  He added that the tender is cheaper than at present and it should be discussed on the 4th January.  Agreed.

14. Planning Matters

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

  • An application was received for a new fascia at Arrow Farm.  There were no objections. It was noted that they do good food.
  • 1 Vine Cottages on Sandy Lane has applied for a porch extension.  Cllr. Munro had no objection and Cllr. Frow seconded this.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it is a stone cottage and they are some of the oldest in the village so it needs to be in keeping.  Cllr. Munro stated he had no objection as long as it is in keeping.
  • There was a variation of condition to change the Welfare from 12 apartments to 11.  Cllr. Maiden had no objection stating it will be good to get it occupied.  Cllr. Munro observed that the flats are very small.
  • The application to prune four lime trees in from of 4 Lime Cottage, High Street had no objections as the trees will regenerate.

Cllr. Webster returned to the meeting.

15. Progress Reports

Playscheme – The playscheme had spoken to parents to change the name to appeal more to older children.  They aim to improve it by removing Easter but due to work most people want to keep it.  Therefore it will be four days at Easter and three weeks over summer.  The playscheme is trying to get local groups involved e.g. short mat bowls and try to involve years 7 & 8 children.  Cllr. Maiden asked about the financial impact.  Cllr. Frow stated they are trying to involve the groups so that there will be no major additional expense except expenses on consumable.  For Zorb balls there was a deal of less than £500 for a day.  It cannot be extended further due to the cost.

16. Date of the Next Meeting

The dates of the next meetings will be 4th January 2012 for the budget meeting and 11th January 2012 for the ordinary meeting.

17. 15 Minute Open Forum

  • A member of the public referred Cllr, Webster to the Welfare and asked why the notice had only just gone up to reduce the number of flats.  Cllr. Munro highlighted that Cllr. Webster had declared an interest in the planning and this may compromise his position.  Cllr. Webster stated he had no idea why the notice had only just gone up explaining that it is delegated not done by Planning.  Cllr. Maiden stated that the notification is only dated 7th December 2011.  Cllr. Webster agreed to ask Planning.
  • A member of the public asked if allotment agreements could be emailed and not posted.  The clerk will consider this.  The member of public also noted the minutes were single-sided when last month they were double-sided.
  • Another member of the public responded regarding the allotment agreements stating that emailing would need to be checked as they are legal documents.  He also asked what was being discussed in the review of the minutes earlier – it was confirmed to be water.
  • A member of the public stated that there had been discussion before about the handymen doing grounds maintenance.  Cllr. Maiden confirmed there had been but the machine they have is no use in the cemetery.  A new machine would cost £20,000 plus running costs –  the machine’s life-time is unknown.  Cllr. Munro stated it was resolved not to go down that route.  Cllr. Webster stated that in the localism bill grass cutting may fall to WPC.

18. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

The public meeting closed so that confidential matters could be discussed.  Cllr. Maiden thanked all for attending and wished them a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – December 2011

The December 2011 Whitwell Parish Council meeting will take place at 7:30PM on Wednesday 14th in the Whitwell Community Centre meeting room as usual.

Once again the new cemetery contract is on the agenda, as are Derbyshire County Council’s plans around street lighting.

The full agenda can be found on the Whitwell Parish Council website.

Whitwell Parish Council Meeting – 9th November 2011

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.

Correction: Under item 2.2, Cllr. Mills suggested a two pronged attack on BDC not DCC and Cllr. Webster would chase it up with Sharon Gillett not Sharon George (also corrected in item 4).

In Attendance

  • Cllr. J Burdett
  • Cllr. S Ellis
  • Cllr. S Frow
  • Cllr. S Maiden (Chair)
  • Cllr. V Mills
  • Cllr. T Munro
  • Cllr. J Raspin
  • Cllr. G Webster
  • Cllr. D Kerr (District)
  • Cllr. K Stevenson (County)
  • B Woodcock (Secretary)
  • PCSO K Lee
  • Four members of the public

1. Apologies

  • Cllr. Burdett apologised for her late arrival.

2. 15 Minute Open Forum

2.1 County Councillors

  • Cllr. Stevenson noted that it had been quiet across Derbyshire County Council (DCC) in the past month, he then went on to express his thanks to everyone who had signed the petition with regards to winter maintenance by DCC.  There are currently around 4000 signatories with 7500 needed before the petition is presented to DCC on the 7th of December to trigger a full council debate on the issue.  Cllr. Stevenson said if this is not achieved he will still try and push for it to be debated.
  • Cllr. Stevenson reported that there have been other groups with mixed feelings regarding the street lighting consultation.  Cllr. Stevenson agreed that the argument for reducing the carbon footprint is fine.  However he disagreed with the argument that switching off of lights between 12am and 5am is not relevant to a lot of people.  He added that he would welcome the thoughts of Whitwell Parish Council (WPC) and stressed that it should be safety first and that the lights should help to protect people, even if they are dimmed instead of being switched off.
  • The barrier (handrail) on High Street and Worksop Road – at the last meeting requested that the barrier had been extended upwards.  Cllr. Stevenson raised this with DCC and got some dim looks as putting the barrier around the corner had been a safety factor.  BT then chipped in as under safety regulations they need to be able to open their green boxes at 90 degrees for their people to work on them.  Some of the barrier going down High Street therefore had to be cut off.  Cllr. Stevenson requested that any complaints regarding this are now put to DCC.  Cllr. Mills thanked him for getting the barrier put in.   Cllr. Maiden observed that on the Wednesday DCC put down the tactile footing but then on Thursday they took it up again to extend the barrier.

2.2 Police

  • There were 21 incidents, down from 32 the previous month:
    • 2 Theft from Vehicle
    • 7 Violence – 2 at the same address
    • 2 Attempted Burglary
    • 1 Theft of Vehicle
    • 3 Criminal Damage
    • 3 Dwelling Burglary
    • We do seem to have missed some of the numbers unfortunately – we’ll be trying to get these emailed to us next time so we don’t miss any.
  • Arrests have been made for the burglaries and criminal damage.
  • PCSO Lee is trying to get funding for schemes such as OzBox to provide youths with something to do, which has been successful in Creswell.
  • The new non-emergency Police number has now been fully launched. It is 101, for emergencies you still need to call 999.
  • A member of the public raised the issue of young people sitting on the seats outside the New Middle Club, he did not know if they were drinking or not, but thought it should be looked in to.  A discussion on youths then ensued:
    • Cllr. Maiden said that in terms of the youths gathering in the Health Centre car-park they are not from Whitwell.
    • PCSO Lee confirmed that whilst some are from Whitwell they are mainly from Barlborough, Creswell and Clowne and that although there is a dispersal order in place in Creswell the youths do not give this as a reason for congregating in Whitwell – it is that they all attend the same schools.
    • Ways of dispersing them from the Health Centre car-park are being looked at, such as barriers and “mosquito alarms”.
  • PCSO Lee thanked those who attended the litter pick that had been organised:
    • Cllr. Mills noted that whilst herself and Cllr. Webster had been on the litter-pick, the next day there was already litter by Pizza Time – Although the bin provided was full and overflowing as it is quite small.  Cllr. Mills asked if their could be a two-pronged “attack” on BDC asking for a larger bin, or for it be emptied more often.
    • It was noted that Pizza Time (and other food outlets) are responsible for litter in a specified radius around their premises.  Cllr. Webster will take this up with Sharon Gillett at Bolsover District Council (BDC).
  • PCSO Lee thanked the Parish Council for the opportunity to place an article in the recent Parish Council Newsletter as it allowed them to reach a lot more people.
  • Cllr. Maiden raised the issue of scrap metal merchants in the area as he had had many people come and ask if a cast iron bath in his driveway was for scrap, which it was not.  On the only day that he was not at home, the bath was taken along with a kettle – the concern being that someone had been watching to know what was in his yard and when he was not at home.
    • Cllr. Ellis added that he has had radiators taken from his yard as well in the past.
    • PCSO Lee stated that action is currently being taken to try and combat this issue, with scrap merchants being stopped and their documentation checked.
    • Cllr. Mills stated that since BDC started charging for collection of bulky items a lot more people are leaving such items to be collected by scrap merchants.

2.3 District and Parish Councilors

  • A member of the public asked Cllr. Kerr if he had heard anything more about the BDC offices at Bolsover.  Cllr. Kerr did not know any more, but has asked for the prices negotiated to be released via a Freedom of Information request along with Radio Sheffield.
  • A member of the public informed Cllr. Webster that the low hanging cable at Mill Lane allotments was now a problem again since being repaired last year.
  • Cllr. Frow asked Cllr. Webster if BDC could give WPC the money to employ a litter picker.  Cllr. Maiden noted that this would be covered under correspondence later.

3. Resumption of Standing Orders

  • Moved

4. Matters Arising from Item 2

  • Cllr. Munro stated that there is a responsibility for food outlets to keep areas free of litter.  He asked if WPC should write to all outlets and remind them of their responsibilities although the Clerk did note that litter collection is the responsibility of BDC.  Cllr. Webster said he would take this up with Sharon Gillett.
  • Cllr. Mills asked if WPC can write to DCC about the safety issues surrounding the turning off of street lights.  Cllr. Maiden asked if the Clerk had received anything from BDC about the previously mentioned consultation, and he had not.  Cllr. Stevenson said he will try and find out why not.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • Cllr. Mills asked if in item 2.1.3 it should read Worksop Road, not Worksop Lane. Cllr. Maiden confirmed that it should.
  • Cllr. Mills highlighted that in item 2.3.2 that the fortnightly bin collections had not started, but they have since then.
  • The minutes were approved with the above changes.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting

  • Item 2: Cllr. Stevenson re-iterated that he thought the issue was now fully resolved.  Cllr. Frow said that she thought the railings looked terrible, like scaffolding poles – Especially bad considering it is a conservation area.
  • Item 2.3.4: Cllr. Webster stated that the window was now boarded up, and that it was unbelievable the amount of red-tape he had to go through to get it done.
  • Item 4: Cllr. Maiden stated that WPC had asked DCC not to extend the planning period for the Alkane Energy Plc. proposal on Southfield Lane, but there has been no response so far.
  • Item 6: Cllr. Webster stated he had not done this, but there should be a letter in the correspondence, the Clerk stated there was not and Cllr. Webster will chase the contractor about it.
  • Item 12.2: Cllr. Munro investigated the funding and was told that WPC had received two amounts of £400 and that they had been used towards establishing the Whitwell Parish Council Website.  Cllr. Frow asked if all £800 had been spent on the website, Cllr. Munro confirmed that it had.  Cllr. Munro will investigate further to see if there is any more money available as he was unfortunately not able to attend the meeting as it clashed with a prior appointment, but he will be attending the next one.
  • Item 16: Cllr. Munro stated that he is still stopping HGV drivers, or attempting to do so.  He recently stopped one on Southfield Lane that was going to Lafarge or Steetly

There was some confusion at this point, as some councilors had not got the correct version of the agenda that matched to the one posted on the notice boards and made available to members of the public at the meeting.  After a brief debate, Cllr. Maiden decided that they would follow the agenda made available to the public.

7. Cemetery Fee Policy

  • The Clerk informed that there had been a written request from Cllrs. Burdett, Munro and Raspin to revisit the decision made in July on cemetery fees for residents of the Hodthorpe & Belph Parish.  The letter was read out.
  • The decision taken in July was to treat Hodthorpe as an outside parish.  Since then it has become apparent there have been precedents set by Barlborough who at no additional cost use the cemetery at the edge of Clowne.  Barlborough had no burial ground.  A Joint Burial Board was set up with an independent clerk.  There is a precept for the cost of maintenance and the clerk.  Hodthorpe has no burial ground and the people have historically been buried in Whitwell.
  • Cllr. Munro suggested  that an investigation be carried out into the plausibility of a Joint Burial Board between the councils.
  • From 2012 there will be an administration fee from WPC – Cllr. Munro suggested Hodthorpe residents be charged the same as Whitwell until the board has been investigated.  As there will be a new contractor who charges the same for whomever is interned (as for him it is the same work to be done irrespective of where they used to live).
  • Cllr. Munro accepts that there would be a bigger charge if all had their own burial ground and felt that now WPC would only levy an admin charge and not the burial charge, it should be the same for Hodthorpe while WPC consider a burial committee and get the money in from Hodthorpe.
  • Cllr. Frow stated that she thought there would not be so much of a problem once the much lower admin charges were introduced, as it would not be double the total fee, just a double admin charge.
  • Cllr. Munro stated that they he did not want to scrap anything and accepts the new contract.  The issue is that a precedent has been set in other communities for a Joint Burial Board and Hodthorpe people are traditionally buried in Whitwell.
  • Cllr. Mills questioned if this discussion should be happening now as it is not on the Agenda, as the discussion has moved on to charges and the letter is about burials.
  • Cllr. Munro stated that it is difficult because the structure has since been altered by the new contract.  Following the advice given three signatures were obtained.  He was not aware that there needed to be debate regarding the original decision.
  • The Clerk stated that as far as he was concerned the three councilors had followed the regulations as required to re-open debate on the matter.
  • Cllr. Maiden stated that he thought the question now was if WPC should form a Joint Burial Board and that at this stage there was not enough information to decide this and that it was better to wait until there was and leave things as they are until such a time that a decision is made – As it is far easier to refund over-payments made (if things are changed) than go back and ask people for more money later (if they are not changed).
  • The Clerk asked for clarification from Cllr. Munro on when he wished for any revised policy to take effect, 2011 or 2012.  Cllr. Munro stated 2012, to which the Clerk replied that there would be no need to refund unless the current decision was reversed, to which Cllr. Munro agreed.
  • Cllr. Frow asked how many requests for burials of those from outside the parish there are each year, to which the Clerk replied they could usually be counted on one hand and there had been one this year from Hodthorpe.  Cllr. Frow stated that even with a double fee it therefore brought little extra money in.
  • Cllr. Maiden stressed that the double fee was not to raise money but to act as a deterrent to those outside of the parish, so that the burial plots could be kept for those who lived within the parish, Cllr. Raspin agreed that this was the right approach.
  • Cllr. Maiden stated that is a Joint Burial Board were formed then the charges could be retrospectively applied from April 2011 and refunds given.
  • Cllr. Frow suggested that things be left as they are until the new contract starts in April 2012.
  • Cllr. Munro proposed that WPC investigates with Hodthorpe & Belph Parish Council (HBPC) the possibility of establishing a Joint Burial Board to operate with effect from April 2012 and until that date the admin charges will be as agreed in the cemetery contract.  Cllr. Raspin seconded.
  • Cllr. Mills highlighted that the new contract starts in April 2012 and that until that point there are no admin charges, only burial charges and so the proposal should be for burial charges to remain as agreed in the cemetery policy (not contract).
  • As Cllr. Raspin had quickly seconded the proposal by Cllr. Munro Cllr Maiden pointed out that Cllr. Mills’ comments would need the proposal to be amended.  Cllr. Munro agreed with the amendments, “WPC investigates with Hodthorpe Parish Council the possibility of establishing a Joint Burial Board to operate with effect from April 2012 and until that date burial charges will be as agreed within the current cemetery policy.”.  Cllr. Raspin seconded the amended proposal.
  • Cllr. Munro stressed that he had not shared his proposal/request with anyone from HBPC, but now that it was public anyone was free to comment.
  • The proposal was voted on: For = 4 (Cllrs. Burdett, Ellis, Munro and Raspin); Against = 0; Abstain = 4 (Cllrs. Frow, Maiden, Mills and Webster).
  • Cllr. Maiden asked that as the precept meeting happens in January (but is scheduled as Agenda item 9 at the current meeting) and this is when fees would traditionally be set that should the fee setting be deferred until January or or until any Joint Burial Board is in place?
  • It was agreed to obtain all information needed for the December meeting as an agenda item.
  • Cllr. Frow queried the vote and who had voted.  The Clerk said he did not note this as he was not asked to, and that the vote was only to look at taking things forward, not an agreement to make any changes.
  • The Clerk suggested a committee to meet with HBPC be formed.  Cllr. Mills suggested all those on the Cemetery Committee should take part and all were happy to do so.

8. Approval of the minutes of the Cemetery Committee held on 19th October 2011

  • Moved

9. Cemetery Contract 2012-2015 – Administration Fees

  • Deferred until the outcome of Item 7 is known

10. Accounts for Approval and Payment

  • Cllr. Maiden clarified that one of the cheques was for some one off work done by someone and they would not be doing any future work for WPC.
  • The Clerk informed that one of the cheques was a replacement for one issued in May but not cashed.  Cllr. Mills enquired if the original had been canceled, the Clerk stated that it had not due to the cost of cancelling a cheque and he did not believe there was a risk of the original being cashed.
  • Cllrs. Mills and Webster signed the cheques.

11. Financial Reports

  • Nothing to be aware of.

12. Correspondence

  • Cllr. Mills enquired why a letter dated 31st October 2011 did not need to be brought to the attention of the council.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it related to an agenda item so was already dealt with.
  • A reply from BDC was received in response to the Clerk chasing a letter sent in August with regards to WPC having money from BDC for litter picking instead of a “blitz” team that BDC send out once a week.
    • Re: Your complaint – the letter was not a complaint.
    • BDC have been unable to find the August letter, which was sent to the Chief Executive.
    • BDC state that they have met all requirements to fully discharge their duties with regards to litter picking and that most places do not get a daily service.
    • BDC do not think there is a litter problem most of the week and that there are no major problems in Whitwell.
    • Cllr. Webster stated that he spots litter most days, but does not believe there is a major problem within the village.
    • Cllr. Frow said that she is sometimes ashamed when she comes in to the village along High Street.
    • Cllr. Maiden stated that the letter did not address the concerns of WPC, as the original letter did not complain about the service, but asked for the service to be stopped and the money that would have been spent be given to WPC to arrange their own service.
    • Cllr. Mills suggested that as the BDC letter stated that other parishes supplement the BDC service themselves that it may be worth contact other councils and request the money as a group of parishes to arrange their own services.
    • Cllr. Munro was concerned that as it is BDC duty in law to provide litter collection services, which they do in Whitwell on a Friday, all the way down to Belph, that if councils pull out it could put people’s jobs at risk and that BDC already have all the facilities such as land-fill etc. in place which WPC do not.  Cllr. Munro suggested that BDC be asked to write to the local food outlets with regards to their responsibilities for litter around their premises.
    • The Clerk stated that BDC believe they have addressed the issue and feel there is no value in taking it further.  This was noted by the council.
  • A letter was received from East Midlands Trains (EMT) with regards to the railway station.
    • They have recently installed new screens for announcements and timetables as well as new CCTV.
    • They are looking for local members of the public/groups to “adopt” the station, to help inspect them and improve them.  Other areas have done this successfully.
    • Someone from EMT can be at the next WPC meeting to discuss the process.
    • Cllr. Munro asked if something could be included in the next WPC newsletter.
    • Cllr. Maiden asked why they don’t advertise it on the station itself as people who use the station regularly would be the most suitable candidates.
    • Cllr. Webster said he was not confident in the CCTV as both himself and Cllr. Mills had asked to go to Chesterfield to see the camera system and nothing ever came of it.
    • Cllr. Munro said that he had used the service whilst unable to drive and that it was a useful service.
    • Cllr. Mills suggested that a notice be placed on the parish notice board.

13. Planning Matters

Cllr. Webster declared an interest and left the room.

  • An application for retrospective planning permission for the erection of a conservatory on Southfield Lane was received.  No objections.
  • An application to erect a single story extension to the rear of a property on The Poplars, for the Nottingham Regional Society for Autistic Children and Adults.  No objections.

Cllr. Webster re-entered the room.

14. Progress Reports

  • Cllr. Munro thanked Cllr. Mills for the copies of the 2003 footpaths maps, definitions and descriptions.  He has now studied these and requested up-to-date copies from Martin Coleman who has passed the request to one of his sub-ordinates.  Cllr. Munro will report back when received.
    • Cllr. Mills highlighted that there are missing footpath signs at Doles Lane, and on the A619.  Cllr. Munro will follow it up.
    • Cllr. Mills asked what would happen if there were any further problems with footpaths, Cllr. Maiden suggested a meeting with DCC may be useful to clarify what they are responsible for.  Cllr. Mills stated that they generally do not sort anything unless pushed on the issue.
  • Cllr. Frow asked if there had been any responses to the questionnaire sent out with the WPC newsletter and if WPC should start to look at the responses and prioritise areas to look at.
    • Cllr. Maiden asked if a deadline for replies had been put on the questionnaire.  There was not.
    • Cllr. Munro thought waiting until the end of December for replies and meeting in January between the two relevant groups be held.
    • It was agreed it would be an agenda item for December to discuss and set a meeting.
  • Cllr. Webster spoke to Chris Rogers with regards to the burial ground and it was consecrated by the Bishop of Derby.

15. Date of the Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was set for 14th December 2011.  Cllrs. Burdett and Ellis gave their apologies in advance.

16. 15 Minute Open Forum

  • A member of the public referred to the letter from BDC with regards to litter, stating that he thought Cllr. Webster represented Whitwell and should not have disagreed with the letter sent from WPC about litter being a problem in the village and that he should have defended the letter.   Cllr. Webster stated that he had spoke to the relevant person about the issue and that yes he had stated he didn’t think litter was a major problem.  The member of the public again challenged Cllr. Webster on the issue.  Cllr. Webster stated that as well as representing WPC he also has to represent BDC and stand by their code of conduct.
  • A member of the public queried if Cllr. Burdett should have declared an interest in the planning.  Cllr. Burdett stated that a member of her family in the past had worked at the property on The Poplar but no longer did so.  The member of the public thanked her for her response.
  • Cllr. Kerr stated that HBPC had looked in to the possibility of refunds with regards to cemetery fees (as they had also independently looked at a Joint Burial Board) and that refunds were not possible.
  • Cllr. Kerr stated that there are over 60 parish councils that have arrangements in place where they are responsible for litter except on arterial routes.  The parish councils received payments for this.  He also stated that the Localism Act 2011 may give the power to request this.
  • A member of the public asked if the meeting with the people from East Midlands Trains would be public or just with councilors.  Cllr. Maiden stated that it would happen at a WPC meeting, and therefore be for the public and that the notice would ask for people to get in touch.

17. Resolution to Exclude Members of the Public

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