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

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.