Agenda For Meeting of Stapleford Town Council Friday 13th January 2017 at 7.00p.m.
Meeting of Stapleford Town Council Friday 13th January 2017 at 7.00p.m.
In the Carnegie Centre, Warren Avenue, Stapleford, Notts.
**Please note public meetings can now be filmed by members of the public- Chairperson to ascertain at the start of the meeting if anyone will be filming in order for those who do not wish to be filmed to vacate the room * *
1 Apologies for absence
(The Town Clerk will report any apologies for absence she has received in writing prior to
the start of the meeting.)
2 Declarations of interest
(Members will be invited to declare any interests they may have on any item to be
discussed at the meeting. They will also be advised that should it become apparent to any
Member during the meeting that they do have an interest in a particular item they should
alert the Chair and the Town Clerk immediately.)
3 Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 25th November 2016 Document 1
4 Request(s) made by any member of the public to address the Town Council
5 Mayor’s Engagements Document 2
6 Town Centre Management Team (TCT)
(To receive feedback from The Town Clerk)
7 Christmas Lights –Feedback
8 Neighbourhood Planning
(To receive: Feedback regarding this matter)
9 Requests For Dispensations.
(The Localism Act 2011 removes the automatic dispensations for local councillors to discuss the setting of budgets. Members who are resident in Stapleford who wish to discuss the setting of the budget and annual precept should declare their intention at this point in the Meeting. Likewise any Member, who is in receipt of a Civic Allowance, represents the Town Council in a Civic capacity or who may do so during the municipal year 2016/17 or 2017/18 and wishes to discuss items referring to Civic matters should also request a dispensation at this point in the Meeting.)
10 Budget Report/Precept Report Document 3
(The Town Clerk will present her report regarding Town Council expenditure. This report has been discussed in draft form by the Finance and General Purposes Committee and that Committee’s comments have been incorporated into this report.
(The Leader of the Town Council will present his report with regard to setting the Budget for 2017/2018.)
Nottinghamshire County Council: Submission of Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan.
All information relating to the examination of the Minerals Local Plan will be made available on our website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/mineralslocalplanexamination, including correspondence between the Council and the Planning Inspector and the documents that make up the Minerals Local Plan evidence base. The Planning Inspectorate has produced a document to explain the process for examining Local Plans, which is available via the following website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/examining-local-plans-procedural-practice
Hs2 Information Events. Full details of the events schedule can be found here:
13 Planning Applications
(Please note that should any planning applications be received prior to the Meeting such items will be notified as an addendum.)
(To note the payment schedule.)
15 Date of next meeting. The next Meeting of Stapleford Town Council will be held on
Friday, 17th February at 7.00p.m.
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON 25TH NOVEMBER 2016
Cllr R Darby Cllr Mrs J C Goold Cllr I Lawton Cllr Mrs S Roome
Cllr Mrs C Bollen Cllr D Grindell Cllr J McGrath Cllr Ms J Townend.
Cllr P Ensor Cllr E B Hull Cllr D Pearson
Cllr Mrs S Ensor Cllr R MacRae Cllr C Rice
84/2017 Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: A Britton, R Browne, Mrs A J Hull and J Longdon.
85/2017 Declarations of interest
Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J C Goold, E B Hull, J McGrath and Ms J Townend declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding the Town Council Allotments.
Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J C Goold, R MacRae, J McGrath and C Rice declared an interest regarding any matter relating to Broxtowe Borough Council by dint of their status as serving Councillors on Broxtowe Borough Council.
Councillor: R MacRae declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding the Town Centre Team.
Councillors: R MacRae, and J McGrath declared an interest in item 13 Section 137 Funding as they had both been actively supporting the Onwards and Upwards project, which had applied for Section 137 Funding.
Councillors: R Darby and C Rice declared an interest in item 13 Section 137 Funding as they had both been actively supporting the Annexe Project at St Helen’s Parish Church. Councillor R MacRae also declared an interest as a relative was a member of this church‘s congregation.
86/2017 Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 14th October 2016
The Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 14th October 2016 were approved and signed by the Town Mayor with the following amendment.
With the following amendment: Councillor Grindell informed the Meeting that under Minute number 76/2017 he had asked that the work of the Town Clerk and her staff be noted in their attempts to deal with the issues raised by the computer problems. These comments had been omitted and he asked that they be noted as he felt strongly that the staff should be recognised for their work.
It was agreed that that Councillor Grindell’s comments be noted.
87/2017 Request(s) made by any member of the public to address the Town Council
The Town Clerk reported that she had received a request from Onwards Upwards to address this Meeting. However, the representative of the Project was unable to attend until 7.15p.m. and she had requested that this item be taken later in the proceedings of this Meeting.
It was agreed that on this occasion, this item would be taken immediately prior to item 13 on the Agenda: Section 137 Funding.
88/2017 Mayor’s Engagements
The Town Clerk drew Member’s attention to the Village Ventures event held on 20th October 2016 and thanked James Laverty Music for once again running the sound desk and Front of House services on the evening in question. This had been a great evening of entertainment and she recommended the next event on 8th December 2016: ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’s Christmas Party’ it was noted that tickets were still available.
Overall the Town Clerk was pleased with how the Remembrance Events had been executed and the feedback from Members of the public had been very positive. The Town Clerk thanked Councillors: P Ensor, Mrs S Ensor, Mrs A Hull, I Lawton, D Pearson and Dr B Laverty for their assistance as stewards at the Remembrance Sunday Services. She also thanked Mr C Warren, who played the Trumpet, and James Laverty Music, who played the djembe, at the 11th of November Service.
Both Services were very well attended with over 150 people turning out on the 11th of November and over 500 individuals being present on the Walter Parker VC Square for the Remembrance Sunday Service. The Town Clerk further thanked Revd. P Huxtable from St Helen’s Parish Church, who led the Service, the Salvation Army for its support and Town Council Staff.
Given the number of people attending this event it was now seen as necessary to hire a pa system to assist with the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month event and stewards will be required in 2017. The Town Clerk was distressed to inform the Meeting that both Town Council staff and volunteer stewards had been subjected to abuse from members of the public due to the road closure to enable the Remembrance Service and while this is unacceptable it proves the need more stewards to assist at the Remembrance Sunday Service in 2017. In particular there was a need for two stewards at Halls Road, with local knowledge.
However, there had been one glitch when an inexperienced Borough Councillor had nearly caused an incident during the Wreath Laying. The Town Clerk had discussed this matter with the Chief Executive and Civic Office of Broxtowe Borough Council and they had agreed, on this occasion, to treat this matter as a fault due to the individual concerned lack of experience. In order that this does not happen again and to further clarify this matter Members were asked to note that the order of precedence for wreath laying was: (If in attendance the Monarch or delegated representative e.g. Lord/Deputy Lord Lieutenant) The Town Mayor, The Mayor of Broxtowe/or Representative, Local M.P./or Representative, Local County Councillor, Political Parties, then others e.g. Veterans, Uniformed Organisations, Community Groups etc. The Town Clerk had spent considerable time checking this order of precedence and she trusts that this would be the end of this discussion as it was time consuming and wasting. Further, Members were asked to note that the planning that goes into this event considers the health and safety issues associated with the wreath laying part of the Service and that the logistics of moving individuals safely back and forth across the Walter Parker VC Square.
Councillor MacRae requested that the order of wreath laying be published and the Town Clerk would ensure that this matter was noted in the Minutes and that it was published with the information for Remembrance 2017. It was requested by Councillor Grindell that those involved in the event were thanked and particularly the Town Clerk for her commitment to this particular event.
The Town Clerk requested that Members note the events as listed on the Town Mayor’s Engagements.
Councillor R MacRae declared an interest in the following item.
89/2017 Town Centre Management Team (TCT)
The Town Clerk reported that no Meeting of this group had taken place since the last Town Council Meeting.
Councillors Mrs Goold and MacRae informed the Meeting that due to staff reorganisations at Broxtowe Borough Council it was not known which officer/officers would be responsible for this group in the coming financial year.
It was noted that Broxtowe Borough Council was considering funding free Wi-Fi in the Stapleford Town Centre Area
The Town Clerk was instructed to maintain this item on the Agenda for future Meetings.
90/2017 Christmas Lights – Feedback
The Town Clerk reported that the Christmas Lights event was taking place on 26th November 2016 and that the organisers, Liberty leisure (for Broxtowe Borough Council) were using the Carnegie Centre as its Hub and that if any individual Councillors wished to assist at the event they should make themselves known to the officers stationed at the Carnegie Centre.
Councillor Grindell informed the Meeting that he was looking forward to the event. The Town Mayor, together with the Mayor of Broxtowe and selected individuals would be on hand to Switch on the Lights.
A debrief of this event would be held and the Town Clerk would report back to the next Meeting of the Town Council regarding this matter as part of the budget presentation.
91/2017 Neighbourhood Planning
The Town Clerk reported that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group had met and discussed a number of issues it wished to include within the Neighbourhood Plan. Sub Groups were working on various distinct areas and reports, would be brought back to the main Steering Group for discussion and incorporation into the main scheme. .
It was noted that the Town Clerk had reported to this Steering Group re the presentation by Mr Ken Mafham, (an independent planning consultant, who was currently working with both Kimberley and Greasley on their respective Neighbourhood Plans) and attended by representatives of both the Town Council and Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group.
Members note that both Councillors MacRae and Pearson had had contact with Mr Mafham by association with STRAG and its involvement with the Core Strategy.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group was enthusiastic re the possibility of engaging Mr Mafham to assist it with producing the Neighbourhood Plan. It was noted that the Steering Group felt it could produce the content for a draft submission. However, it would need fine tuning of such material to meet the requirements in planning terms. At its Meeting the Steering Group had discussed the relative time scales and what its perceived requirements were and given the time scale required to go out to tender for consultancy services and it did not feel it would need extensive advice, it was asking the Town Council to engage Mr Mafham to assist with this process.
It was noted that the Planning Department at Broxtowe Borough Council had also confirmed it would offer advice if required and that the Town Clerk had spoken with both the Chief Executive and Planning Officers re the possible engagement of Mr Mafham.
Following discussion, it was agreed that the Town Council would sanction the employment of Mr Mafham to carry out consultancy services for the Neighbourhood Plan up to a maximum of £1,500.
92/2017 Site Allocation Workshop-Broxtowe Borough Council
The Town Clerk reported that together with Councillor Pearson she had attended the Sites Specific Workshop hosted by Broxtowe Borough Council. This event had also been attended by Cllrs: J Longdon and R MacRae in their capacity as Broxtowe Borough Councillors.
It was noted that the event had focused very much on Bramcote and the potential development associated with the Bramcote School area. However, the identified space near/adjacent to Bramcote Crematorium and the area on Coventry Lane, which are in Stapleford were recognised as areas that could be sacrificed, if necessary, to prevent further encroachment on the greenbelt.
The results re this current consultation on Site Allocation for Potential Development was likely to be published early in 2017. Cllr Pearson asked that it be noted that the Head of Bramcote School and the consultant acting on behalf of the Federation were surprised that the Field Farm development had not kept the top section of the site as part of the wildlife corridor.
It was noted that the decision on HS had been published and that the hub adjacent to Toton Sidings had been confirmed. The new consultation documents re the changes to the original consultation documents were available from the Town Clerk. However, it looked as if the only, actual changes affecting the Stapleford area were: the relocation of the station nearer to Long Eaton and the proposal for a new junction off the A52.
There did not d appear to be any proposals to improve either the Bessel Lane access or the road bridge over the railway that forms the border between Stapleford and Sandiacre, at Derby Road. Councillor McGrath informed the Meeting that he was aware that some of the businesses directly adjacent to the railway had received compulsory purchase orders.
The consultation period for this matter runs until 9th March 2017 and it was agreed to continue this matter to a future Agenda in the hope that more details re the possible impact on the Town would be available for discussion.
Councillors: R Darby, Mrs J Goold, E B Hull and J McGrath declared an interest in the following item.
The Town Clerk introduced her report requesting that Members take decisions re the charges for allotments in 2018/19 and other essentials, as detailed in the report, at this Meeting to enable all relevant material to be despatched with the new tenancy agreements at the end of December 2016.
Following discussion, it was agreed that:
- Due to the high level of vacancy on the Albany, Bessel Lane and Peatfield sites plots may be let to individuals’ resident outside of the Town and that an individual may rent more than one plot on these sites only.
- The Town Council will continue with the policy re Community Projects as listed in the report.
- There will be no increase to the rental or water charges for plots for the financial year 2018/19.
- Bonfires on allotment sites would be allowed on 4th November 2017 ONLY.
- It was noted that the Town Clerk would be meeting with Broxtowe Borough Council re the issues affecting the cutting of the Bessel Lane site hedges and hopefully a solution can be found to the problems re this matter.
- The need for fencing works at the Albany site were being investigated.
95/2017 Reply to: Councillor R Jackson, Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council
RE: Nottinghamshire County Council Town Centre Regeneration Programme
The Town Clerk requested that Members note the letter sent and email exchange between herself and Councillor Richard Jackson, Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council; regarding the Nottinghamshire County Council Town Centre Regeneration Programme. She informed Members that to date she had not received a reply to this letter.
Councillor MacRae was thanked for raising this matter at the last full Council Meeting at Broxtowe Borough Council. It was noted that the rules governing Meetings of the full Council at Broxtowe Borough Council only allow for one Councillor to ask a question on any one issue and that Councillor MacRae had asked this question on behalf of the Town’s Borough Councillors.
The Leader of the Town Council was not satisfied with the email reply received from Councillor Jackson in reply to Councillor McRae’s question, and felt that the comments were most unsatisfactory. He was of the opinion that the Town Council deserved a much fuller explanation of why the other Town Centres in Broxtowe, particularly Stapleford, had been excluded from this round of bidding for funding.
It was noted that the Leader of the Town Council had offered to meet with Councillor Jackson to discuss this matter and that previously Councillor Jackson had been invited to a Town Council Meeting but had declined the invitation.
Councillor Mrs Goold was most unhappy regarding this situation and following a discussion it was agreed that the Town Clerk would write once again to Councillor Jackson regarding this matter and that Councillor Mrs Goold would hand deliver this letter and emphasise the importance that the Town Council be placed on the urgent need to regenerate the Town Centre of Stapleford.
This item would be maintained on the Agenda for the next Meeting of the Town Council.
As previously agreed this item was moved to this point in the Meeting.
96/2017 Request(s) made by any member of the public to address the Town Council
Ms S Cormack of Onwards and Upwards made a short presentation informing Members of the work being carried out by the project and of her vision for future growth. She further invited Councillors to two Open Days being run by the Project on 12th and 16th of December 2016 to find out more about the scheme.
At this point in the proceedings the Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor C Rice, relinquished the Chair to the Town Mayor who had just arrived following a Civic Engagement.
Councillors: J McGrath and R MacRae declared an interest in the following item as they had been assisting the Onwards and Upwards Project.
Councillors: R Darby and C Rice declared an interest in the following item as they attended St Helen’s Parish Church. Councillors R MacRae informed the Meeting that his mother attended St Helen’s Parish Church. However, this was not deemed pertinent.
97/2017 Section 137 Funding
Onwards and Upwards (On-Up)
There was considerable discussion re the fact that this project was being run as a Social Enterprise. For information re this matter and the funding situation the Town Clerk had contacted several colleagues in both the Association of Local Council Clerks and Broxtowe Borough Council regarding this matter. However, of the individuals she contacted, no one had received a similar request.
The Town Clerk advised the Meeting to look carefully at this application and to take particular note of how it felt the application served the residents of the Town. Following full and frank discussion it was agreed to look at this and any further applications from Social Enterprises on such applications individual merit.
Members carefully examined how this project would serve the local community and the need for such a project in the Town. Further it looked carefully at the information provided in the report and reflected on the specifics supplied by Ms Cormack in her presentation to this Meeting.
to award £500 to Onwards and Upwards (On-Up) for the purposes of assisting with the cost of creating a Kitchen area at its premises in Whiteley Mill, Stapleford.
St Helen’s Parish Church
Members noted the history behind this application and that in 2015 the Town Council had intimated that it would consider further requests from St Helen’s towards this Project in 2015.
Following discussion, it was;
To award £300 to St Helen’s Parish Church towards its Annexe Project.
The Town Council has fully supported this project and in November 2015 made an award of £500 towards this scheme and given the importance of this proposal to not only the Church but to the wider community, it was agreed that the Town Council would entertain further requests for assistance with the creation of the new community annex and that each application would be considered independently.
Please note the Town Council had previously contributed towards works to: the Church Tower, re-roofing the Memorial Chapel and refurbishment of the main church building.
- Post Office: Stapleford Post office, Proposed Move to New Premises and Branch Modernisation – Consultation
This item engendered considerable debate and following full and as a result of full and frank discussion the following points were noted:
- While a number of Councillors expressed their concern regarding the proposed move to new premises of the Post Office, Bargain Booze; the Leader of the Town Council pointed out, for information, that there were already 20 Post Office’s situated within Bargain Booze premises.
- Councillors McGrath and MacRae were distraught because the Post office had not offered any other businesses in the Town the opportunity to bid to host the Post Office within their premises. (There ensued a discussion re the franchisee situation surrounding Post Offices on the wider High Street and the fact that businesses/individuals interested in hosting a Post Office needed to register online with the Post Office to be considered for this type of franchise.)
- Councillor MacRae raised the issue of individuals who belonged to particular religions which did not allow their members to drink alcohol. There was some discussion re whether or not this discriminated against such individuals. However, it was noted that where the Post Office was situated within major High Street supermarkets, alcohol was available to purchase. Mention was also made of a number of religions that objected to Sunday Trading.
- Councillor Mrs Bollen was extremely concerned regarding the access and egress to Bargain Booze. She stated that individuals using, wheelchairs and baby buggies had difficulty accessing the current Post Office building and she felt that the premises occupied by Bargain Booze would not offer any improvements for wheelchair or baby buggy users.
- Councillors McGrath and MacRae had met with the Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council and the local MP and representatives of the Post Office regarding their concerns regarding this matter. A letter objecting to the proposal and requesting the Post office to offer the franchise to other local businesses had been written from the MP’s Office.
- It was noted that the Town Council had not been invited to this meeting. They further informed the Meeting that two separate petitions against the proposed move of the Post Office to Bargain Booze had attracted around 600 signatures.
- Mention was also made of concerns, for recovering alcoholics if the Post office was re-positioned within Bargain Booze. Councillors McGrath, MacRae and Mrs Bollen in particular felt it was inappropriate to site a Post Office within premises that sold alcohol.
- The Town Council did not wish to see Stapleford Town Centre area left without a Post Office.
It was agreed that the Town Clerk should reply to the consultation informing the Post Office of Town Council’s concerns re access and egress to Post Office premises and asking that wherever the Post Office was relocated to, that there was sufficient access/egress for wheelchair users and baby buggies to wheeled in and out of the premises.
Further it was agreed that the Town Clerk should mention in the submission that the Town Council was aware of the petition against the move to Bargain Booze and that individuals who were adherents of particular religions, who forbade their followers to partake of alcohol, had raised their concerns regarding this proposed relocation.
However, it was essential that the Town Council’s point that the Post Office should be maintained in the Town Centre area was also stated.
- Broxtowe Borough Council – Field Farm – The Town Clerk had been informed that the Planning Inspectorate had confirmed the date for the appeal procedure as 13 December 2016.
This matter was noted.
Councillors: R Darby and R MacRae declared an interest in the following applications.
99/2017 PLANNING Applications
- 16/00732/ROC Variation of condition 3 of planning permission 15/00285/FUL to allow for retail d store to be open to customers prior to completion of all dwellings on the site-Pinfold Trading Estate &Nags Head, Nottingham Road, Stapleford.
This application engendered considerable discussion and Members considered the impact the recent closure of the Co-op Store in the Town Centre was having on the Town. It was felt that it was unusual that a company as large as Aldi could not organise the construction of the ten residential units on the site and The Leader of the Town Council was concerned that if the variation was allowed these housing units would never be built and the Town would be left with a piece of derelict land blighting the area.
Following discussion, it was agreed that the Town Council wished to see Aldi construct and open its store as soon as possible and regarding this matter it would be content to see a variation that allowed for the construction of the store to commence, with the proviso that the housing units were built no longer than 12 months after the opening of the store.
The Town Clerk was instructed to send a full Minute Reference to Broxtowe Borough Council regarding this variation.
- 16/00748/OUT Outline application to construct two dwellings, including demolition of an attached garage and alterations to access driveway to facilitate the proposal (with some matters reserved). 29, Toton Lane Stapleford.
Members considered this application and had no objections to the proposal.
- 16/00777/FUL Change use from outbuilding to micro brewery, 9 Lime Grove, Stapleford
Members were very concerned regarding this application. The Leader of the Town Council was not impressed by the quality of the plans and the lack of technical details on them and he wished o complain to Broxtowe Borough Council regarding this lack of detail and quality and felt that these plans should not have been accepted with regard to this application and that the Planning Authority should have asked for more professionally produced plans/specifications regarding this matter. It was also noted that the buildings were already on site and that the micro brewery was already in operation.
Councillor Lawton, had been contacted by residents who lived adjacent and near the premises concerned and they were worried with regard to noxious smells originating on the premises and making it difficult for them to use their gardens. It was further note that Councillor Lawton had been informed that there was already a large flue constructed on site.
Councillor Lawton was advised to recommend to the constituents, who had contacted him to write direct to Broxtowe Borough Council with their complaints as well as the Town Council taking them on board, when considering this application.
It was agreed that the Town Council would object to this application due to:
- This application should not have been for change of use but retrospective change of use as the premises was already being operated as a microbrewery.
- The inconvenience being caused to neighbours through this industrial process being carried out in what was a residential area. It was felt by the Meeting that there are a number of industrial units on several sites within the Town that could be utilised for this purpose, rather than carrying out the brewing process in a back garden area.
The Town Clerk was instructed to send a full minute reference to Broxtowe Borough Council and request that the Enforcement Officer and Environmental Services investigate the source of the noxious smells.
100/2017 Items For Future Agenda
It was noted that the next scheduled Meeting of the Town Council would primarily examine and decide the Budget for 2017/18. No items were requested for future Agenda at this Meeting.
Payments were noted.
102/2017 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Town Council would be held on Friday, 13th January 2017, commencing at 7.00 p.m. at the Carnegie Centre.
The Meeting was reminded that this date had been altered from 6th January 2017, to allow for as much information as possible to be available re the budget process.
Members are invited to join the Town Mayor for Sherry and Mince Pies at the end of this Meeting to mark the commencement of the Festive Season.
STAPLEFORD TOWN COUNCIL
Friday, 25th November @ 7.30p.m.
Service of Dedication Christmas Tree Festival
Stapleford Methodist Church
Saturday, 26th November @ 10.00a.m.-4.00p.m.
Stapleford Methodist Church
Saturday, 26th November
Activities start at 3.30p.m.
Switch On at 4.30p.m.
Fireworks at 6.30p.m.
Christmas Lights Switch On
Derby Road, Stapleford
Saturday, 26th November @ 7.00p.m. for 7.30p.m.
An Evening of Music (fund raising concert)
St Helen’s Parish Church, Stapleford
Tuesday, 29th November @ 7.30p.m.
Stapleford Flower Club’s Christmas Open Demonstration
Trowell Parish Hall
Friday, 2nd December @ 5.00p.m.
St Helen’s Parish Church
Thursday, 8th December @ 7.00p.m. for 7.30p.m.
Shoo Shoo Baby’s Christmas Party
St Helen’s Parish Church
Friday, 9th December @6.00p.m.
Re-opening of the Re-Branded Chequers Inn
Town Mayor & Escort
Monday, 12th December @ 11.00a.m. -1.00p.m.
Open Day OnUp
Deputy Town Mayor
Saturday, 17th December @ 5.00p.m.
Grand Raffle In Aid of Stapleford Town Football Club
The Old Cross
Past Town Mayor
Friday, 30th December @10.30a.m.
Golden Wedding Visit
Mr M & Mrs S O’Keefe
Town Council:13.01.17 Document 2:2
Sunday , 29th January @ 1.00p.m.
Unveiling of a Roll Of Honour at Stapleford Combined Services Club
Bramcote & Stapleford Conservative Club
Town Mayor & Escort
Sunday , 5th February @ 10.00a.m.
St Helen’s Parish Church
Town Mayor & Escort
Report of the Town Clerk
The Town Council is required to set a budget for the coming municipal year 2017/2018 in order that the necessary steps can be undertaken to secure the Town Council’s precept for that year. It has been traditional for a report to be presented to the Town Council and this I have prepared in conjunction with the budget arrangements. Please note the figures quoted at this Meeting are up to 31st December 2016. The comments of this Committee have been incorporated into the main body of this report.
As reported last year I have prepared this report in line with the financial regulations that came into being in 1997/98. As per this legislation I am obliged to take as my base figure for the year the full precept figure as received from Broxtowe Borough Council in April 2016. I have examined the Town Council’s costs and detailed items, projects, repairs, etc. that need to be prioritised.
I have been instructed by the Leader of the Town Council to look for savings where possible and also to make savings within the current financial year as appropriate.
The Town Council’s main source of income is its precept, which is drawn from the Council Charge levied on properties within the Town. A limited income is derived from letting premises. Allotments: all monies derived from the renting of allotment plots must be spent directly on or for the good of the Town’s allotment sites.
Town Council expenditure is predominantly split between the cost of maintaining the Carnegie Centre, the allotments, providing a service to the electors and ensuring that Civic Initiatives such as sponsorship of the Village Venture Scheme, Christmas and summer activities continue to be available to the community. Thus, the more active the Town Council is, the greater the expenditure over the financial year will be.
Many organisations identify the Town Council as a main source of sponsorship in the Town and also as an information point. The majority of Council costs are fixed costs, which are determined by external agencies, for example, the cost of utilities, etc.
Monies are held by the Town Council as reserves and thus the contingency. From this fund the Town Council is able to draw to cover such costs as, special projects and ring fenced sums.
It is not necessary to precept for contingencies provided that the Town Council budgets its estimated expenditure for the next financial year and is sufficient to cover its commitments. Failure to do so will
mean continued drawing against the contingency fund.
Establishment costs are rising and this is unavoidable. In 2017/2018 the Town Council will need to accept that costs will rise further.
Supply of utilities, telecommunications, insurance, banking etc. are all due to increase throughout the period. The cost of power is negotiated through a local authority agreement as part of a consortium and allows the Town Council to gain discounts as part of a larger group. Discounts have also been achieved with electricity costs as part of a loyalty scheme.
Insurance costs were checked and a competitive quote achieved. I have looked at telecommunications costs and the BT scheme is no better, no worse than the others I have looked at. Unfortunately, the size of the Town Council precludes any big discounts and the Town Council is not eligible for the incentives offered to residential customers.
The nature of activities embraced by the Town Council leave little room for manoeuvre in the area of possible savings. I look to maximise savings in administrative procedures but the Council’s small size make it unsuitable for any large economies of scale. As much material, as possible is sent by e-mail, however, legislation requires calling notices and agenda to be despatched by mail or hand delivered.
It should be noted that while the Town Council is despatching information by e-mail, so too are other organisations and this means that posters, documents etc. that would once have been delivered as hard copies now need to be printed for display or distribution. As an economy measure only one poster for each local event is being reproduced for display and Members are directed to web sites when appropriate.
At the Meeting to determine the budget for 2016/17 it was agreed to cease charging concession rates.
The allotments are a main aspect of Town Council expenditure. At its Meeting on 25th November 2016, the Town Council agreed not to increase rent and water charges in 2018/19. Rents were increased for 2017/18, as resolved by the Town Council in January 2016. (Notice of Allotment Rent increases must be notified 12 months in advance.)
To date the following monies have been spent: £2,709
To date the following revenue has been collected: £9,668
Please note that budgeted expenditure in relation to refencing, hedge cutting clearance work will be applied as soon as invoices for these works are received.
10 Civic Initiatives
The following paragraphs list a number of Civic Initiatives for consideration by the Town Council:
10:1 Hanging Baskets
It was agreed by the Town Council in January 2016 to cease supporting the Hanging Baskets Scheme due to the high cost of this project. This decision caused a considerable amount of complaint from the Town Centre Team (TCT) and the Town Council invited that body to pursue the project and then approach the Town Council for a contribution towards the scheme. However, the TCT was no more successful than the Town Council in garnering support from local businesses to pursue this project.
The Rt Hon Anna Soubry M.P. offered to approach major High Street Retailers to ask for support for this scheme and the Town Clerk supplied the Local M.P. with a list of major retailers in the Town, in June 2016. However, to date no promise of funding via this channel has been forthcoming either.
It was agreed at the Budget Meeting in 2016 that the Town Council would look again at this project for 2017/18 and Members are asked to decide whether or not they wish to standby its decision of last year to no longer support this scheme or reinstate this project.
For information, the costs associated with this project in 2015 were:
- manpower to erect/dismantle baskets
- maintenance costs (including element to cover replacement due to vandalism)
- watering costs
- testing of lighting columns and licence (carried out by NCC on a rolling programme, if same columns used as for Christmas Lights cost halved with Broxtowe Borough Council).
- cost of sponsorship is: £25 per basket per year
- cost of plaque (a one-off cost): £25
- cost of provision of the baskets: £2,000
- cost of maintenance £2,400
- cost of licence/column testing: £573 (2010)
- sponsorship: £1,600 (including £1,000 from TCT)
This is a high cost project which in 2015/16 cost £4,400 and should the Town Council be mindful to re-instate this project it would need to budget at least £5,500 to cover projected costs.
10:2 Christmas Lights etc
A major refurbishment to the lights has been carried out this financial year by Broxtowe Borough Council. At its Meeting in June 2016 the Town Council agreed to partnership fund, with Broxtowe Borough Council, to enable a refurbishment project to renew the Christmas lights at a cost of £6,300 over the next three financial years including 2016/17. The Town Council had not budgeted for this project but agreed to pay £2,300 from Reserves in 2016/17, with £2,000 being raised from the Precept in 2017/18 and 2018/19; together with an element to cover the cost of the initial £2.300 expenditure in order to return such monies to the reserve funds. It was further agreed an amount should be budgeted for each year to allow for future expenditure on the Christmas Lights if/when required; to maintain the Christmas Lights to an acceptable level.
New Christmas tree lights have been purchased and the higher resolution is obvious. The blue and white theme to match the tree lights has been continued. However, they do clash with the red and yellow coloured lights on lamp columns on the Walter Parker VC Square. The lamp column lights were previously purchased by the Town Council to match the original tree lights. Unless further funding is forthcoming these lights will not be replaced.
10:4 Village Ventures
The Town Council has supported this scheme, for over 20 years, providing professional drama and music in the community and sponsors at least two and if possible as many as four productions through the Village Ventures Scheme in any one municipal year. This financial year the Town Council has promoted music and drama with productions being presented in St Helen’s Parish Church.
The cost of mounting these shows is as follows:
- the cost of a production is between £240-£350 dependent upon content
- the cost of hiring premises; St Helen’s Church costs £150
- staff time to administer the event, etc. (Costs relate to both pre and post production)
- refreshments, (proceeds of which are traditionally donated to the Mayor of Broxtowe’s Charity).
- The estimated cost of mounting productions in the current financial year was £1,000
- Tickets are currently priced at £10.
- Any profit made from these productions must be split with the company.
The cost of hiring premises is a major cost to the Town Council as it now has to pay for performing space. Members should note the importance of such events in community terms. A number of individuals, look forward to and regularly attend Village Ventures events, as might be expected, they wish to see the Town Council continue to support this scheme. Likewise, those who are not interested in drama or music see this area of expenditure as a luxury.
The Village Ventures season runs differently to the Town Councils’ financial year and there is one performance booked to take place in April 2017 which will kick off the Town Council’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations.
Please note at the time of writing this report the Town Clerk is unaware of Broxtowe Borough or Nottinghamshire County Council’s intentions regarding the continuation of the Village Ventures Scheme and any further information will be reported to the Meeting.
The Town Council needs to decide whether or not it wishes to continue to support this initiative.
10:4 Hemlock Happening
The Town Council previously sponsored the Hemlock Happening since its inception. At the Budget Meeting in 2016 it agreed not to support this initiative in 2016. It was agreed at that Budget Meeting that the Town Council would look again at this project for 2017/18 and Members are asked to decide whether or not they wish to pursue this project should it be held in 2017.
Stapleford Town Council has supported this event since 2009. Last year it allocated £1,500 to enable the Playday to take place. To date there is no information as to whether or not there will be a Playday event in 2017.
The Town Council is asked to decide whether it wishes to allocate £1,500 for this purpose in 2017, with the proviso that if a Stapleford Playday does not take place the money allocated will be returned to reserves or reallocated to a suitable project.
10:6 Stapleford Carnival
The Town Clerk has no information regarding the future of this event.
The Town Council is asked to decide whether it wishes to allocate funding for the Carnival in 2017. It is suggested that an upper limit of £100 is set for Town Council involvement should this event be held and that any further information re the Carnival be received it be reported to a future Meeting of the Town Council.
10:7 Summer Garden Competition
This scheme is popular with residents who take part. The cost of staging this event in 2016 was £287, plus administration and staff costs.
The only possibility to economise on this event would be to cut the prizes either monetarily, or reduce the number of categories.
Should the Town Council be mindful to continue with this project the Town Clerk will continue to investigate economies where appropriate.
The Town Council is asked to decide whether it wishes to continue with the Annual Garden Competition and if it wishes to alter the categories and cost of prizes awarded.
11 Civic Costs
The Town Mayor attends events both within and out with the Town. Publicity generated by the Town Mayor’s activities is central to the Office and the identification of the Town Council through this Office makes it important that the Town Mayor attends as many functions within the Town as possible. However, incumbents of this role should not ask for invitations or invite themselves to events.
It should be noted that the office of Deputy Town Mayor is not officially recognised and if the Town Council wishes it does not need to appoint an individual to this role. However, this would cause problems where the Town Mayor is unable to attend an event for any reason.
Town Mayors do not have official Escorts. Custom and practice means that some organisations will automatically invite the Town Mayor and Escort. However, it has been noted that an increasing number of invitations are to the Town Mayor alone and that even when an Escort is invited a number of Civic Dignitaries are choosing to attend on their own without an Escort.
The Town Clerk has noted that the number of invitations to events has been decreasing over the last year or so and this may be due a reduction in overall civic events and organisations cutting back on their activities and ceasing to invite civic guests or actually run events. This is clearly demonstrated in the reduction in invitations to Nottinghamshire County Council events.
Civic Allowances currently stands at £400 for the Town Mayor and the £100 for the Deputy Town Mayor with tickets to all events both out with and within the Town for the Town Mayor and their Escort, if invited, paid for by the Town Council in addition to the Civic Allowance.
Members should note that the Town Clerk is aware that there has been some discussion within the Clerk’s Association regarding the payment of this allowance and that technically the allowance should only be used for the payment of actual Civic Costs, whatever they may be. This matter is being monitored and the Town Council will be advised as required.
Members should bear in mind that attendance at events is to promote the Town and on deciding whether to bear the cost of funding the Civic Allowances and the cost of invitations it should be considered what benefit will accrue to the Town from the Town Mayor’s presence. Broxtowe Borough Council has a ‘scoring system’ in place to indicate the benefit to the Borough of the attendance at events. This process is unnecessary for the Town Council’s purposes, the relative size of the two authorities make it unnecessary to follow such a process. However, it is important that the Town Clerk oversees which invitations are accepted and the suitability of events.
The current situation regarding Local Government Finances and the Town Council’s need to economise and cut back on expenditure makes it essential that the Town Council examines all areas of expenditure, including the Civic Allowances.
The Town Council needs to decide whether or not it continues/discontinues the following practices:
- pays for all tickets to events for the Town Mayor/Deputy Town Mayor and Escorts where an official invitation has been received; OR
- discontinues this practice and invites the incumbent of the office to pay for such tickets;
- maintains the Civic Allowances at the present rate; OR
- amends amount paid in respect of Civic Allowance; OR
- discontinues the Civic Allowance.
12 Mayoral/Civic Events
The Town Mayor hosts a number of events throughout the year at the Carnegie Centre and elsewhere in the Town, e.g. Coffee Mornings, Civic Service, Remembrance Sunday etc. These are excellent opportunities for the Town Mayor to meet the local populace and demonstrate the Town Council’s commitment to the Town.
Civic Events tend to run up costs for the provision of light refreshments, staff time, publicity, PA systems and donations. I have compiled a list of events and commented as relevant:
Coffee Mornings: Held usually to support a Charity (during this municipal year the Town Clerk has donated her time for such events held in support of Armed Forces Day and the Mayor of Broxtowe’s Charities).
Such events help to raise the profile of the Town Council and encourage individuals to enter the Carnegie Centre and find out about the Town Council. The Armed Forces Day event cost the time of one staff member.
There has been one event supporting the Mayor of Broxtowe’s Charities within this financial year: An Easter themed Coffee Morning will be held in the next financial year.
Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day: Both these Services are well attended and bring all sectors of the community together. The main costs are staff time, administration, printing, hiring of the PA system and road closure costs.
Given the high numbers attending the Armistice Day Service on the 11th of November the Town Clerk recommends that a PA System is hired for this service together with barriers along the stretch of Derby Road, adjacent to the Walter Parker VC Square.
Please not that in the in the financial year 2017/18 Remembrance Costs will be shown separately from other Civic Costs
Annual Town’s and Annual Council Meetings: Catering and staff costs. It is traditional to provide catering following these events. By holding them on the one night it keeps the cost down. The holding of these Meetings is a statutory requirement. (Cost 2016 £75)
Sherry and Mincepies: Provided for those present at the last Town Council Meeting before Christmas. (Taken in with other Christmas expenditure)
Town Council Civic Service: This is an annual event and is hosted by the Town Mayor. There are costs to the Town Council in staff time, printing etc. The actual monetary cost for refreshments, donations to the church concerned are relatively low. This year’s Civic service is scheduled to be held on 5th February 2017.
In 2015 the Town Council resolved to continue to hold the Civic Service for the life of this Administration. Given the financial restraints currently being experienced Members may if they wish re-examine the continuance of this event.
Flowers: Traditionally the Town Mayor visits Stapleford residents on the following occasions: Birthdays – 90, 95, 100 and 100plus. Anniversaries 50, 60, 70 and onwards.
In the financial year 2010/11 it was agreed that an orchid plant or similar would be presented rather than a basket of flowers.
The final bill for this element of the mayoral year is dependent on how many birthdays/anniversaries there are in any one municipal year.
Flowers are also sent on other occasions, e.g. presentations to the outgoing/incoming Town Mayor etc., bereavements, illness, and special presentations. Again, costs are dependent on the number in any one year. The cost for flowers to date is: £148 (to include Royal British Legion Wreaths).
Members may if they wish decide if they wish to continue or discontinue this process.
The Town Council is asked to continue to fund in 2017/2018, the Civic Expenses and Civic initiatives Budget Heads and decide expenditure on the items listed in this report.
13 Section 137
Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 enables local Councils to make awards to groups for specific projects which will benefit the Town. The Town Council makes a budget allocation for this purpose.
There is a list of guidelines with regard to the allocation of such funding. Members should note that Town/Parish Council’s may allocate £7.42 per head of electors to this budget head. However, as with most Town/Parish Council’s this amount would place a considerable strain on this Town Councils precept.
Last financial year the Town Council agreed to allocate £1,000 in the budget to this expenditure. In 2016/17 £1,000 was awarded under this budget head which has now been spent. Should any further projects be submitted they will be considered in the new financial year.
The Town Council is asked to continue to allocate a fixed sum of £1,000 to cover this expenditure.
- i) Carnegie Centre
The Town Council raises a small amount of income from the letting of the main hall and Council Chamber for meetings to community groups. Both areas are relatively small and are not suitable for large meetings. Many organisations have held inaugural meetings and start up events within these premises and gone on to develop and require larger premises.
The small amount of income achieved from renting rooms must be set against the costs of caretaking and housekeeping, monies received up until 31st December 2016 £1,000. Overall this activity has to be viewed as a service rather than a revenue producing activity. Lettings during the day are most cost effective as the building is open and staffed, while evening lets require the services of the caretaker and rarely cover the costs of staffing and provision.
A number of one off meetings have been held free of charge during the day: e.g. FRAMEWORK Project, meetings held by individual Councillors on a one to one basis. The Town Clerk has previously, also donated her time to enable the local Treetops Hospice Shop to hold a very successful charity Fashion Show in the Carnegie Centre.
£12 per hour is charged to voluntary groups using the premises on a one-off basis. Traditionally the Town Council does not charge when lettings are cancelled.
Established Groups pay £14 for two hours with no discount.
The Town Clerk also operates a degree of discretion when letting premises for special events/initiatives or long term arrangements.
Town Council is asked that it continues to let premises as per the current arrangements.
- ii) Carnegie Centre Annexe
Situated in the car park this building was let to Broxtowe Youth Homelessness, (BYH). BYH has now given notice and will vacate the premises on 31st January 2017.
It is unfortunate that this organisation did not inform the Town Council of its plans sooner than 20th December 2016 as it has necessitated alterations to this report and revision of the budgetary process that had been completed prior to this date. This has cost the Town Council time that could have been spent on other projects that will now not be accessed until the New Year. The Town Council does have a representative appointed to the management group of BYH and it is that individuals’ responsibility to report to the Town Council any issues that affect the Town Council. Unfortunately, the individual concerned failed to do so or was not informed by BYH as to its plans. Either way it has caused the Town Council an inconvenience at a very busy time of the year and it is just fortunate that the Town Clerk was available to pursue this point.
The Town Council now has the opportunity to investigate the best use of its premises and possible re-organisation of viable working spaces. A report will be made to a future Meeting of the Town Council regarding this matter.
Meanwhile the Town Council is always interested in accommodating suitable organisations on long term or short term lets and interested parties should contact the Town Clerk for further information.
Building maintenance will be carried out as and when required.
Recommends that the Town Council continues to allocate funds for building maintenance as per the current arrangements.
Members should note that a sum of £1,000 is allocated annually towards future upgrades to the computer system. The photocopier is leased from Danwood.
The Town Council is asked to note this section of the report.
Members should be aware that in the event of a casual vacancy occurring, while Members might agree that calling a by-election would not be financially prudent, such a vacancy would need to be advertised and any ten residents listed on the electoral register may call a by-election. It is impossible to know when a by-election will occur as matters out with the control of the Town Council may cause such a state of affairs.
The bill for the By- Elections in July 2016 was £7,877. While for the Local Elections in 2015 it was £10,966. This cost was less than expected, due to the costs being split three ways between the Town Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, and Central Government; as the General Election was also held that day.
However, in 2019 it is likely that the cost will split only two ways, between the Town and Broxtowe Borough Council. Costs will also have risen re the organisation and administration of the elections and thus the Town Council must consider that the cost of this process will be in excess of £15,000 for the next Local Elections.
The Carnegie Centre is used as a polling station and the Town Council charged Broxtowe Borough Council £300 for this purpose.
However, this cost must be balanced against the recharge cost to the Town Council as the higher the rental charges for polling stations the higher the cost to the Town Council for its share of the election costs.
Please note that as the Carnegie Centre, Main Hall is used as a polling station, the Town Council Office cannot open when an election is held. There are strict conditions within the relevant legislation governing the running of elections and the use of premises for polling purposes. Office staff are given the day off when an election is held.
The Town Council could, if it so wished, withdraw the use of the Carnegie Centre as a Polling Station. However, this would cause inconvenience to both the general public and Broxtowe Borough Council.
There is a shortage of suitable venues to utillise as polling stations throughout the country and local authorities are particularly advised against using schools wherever possible. If the Town Council was mindful to withdraw the Carnegie Centre as a polling station I would need to let Broxtowe Borough Council know immediately. Please note it is committed to providing the use of the Carnegie Centre for the County Council Elections scheduled to be held in May 2017.
The Town Council is advised to make an annual allocation of at least £4,000 towards the costs of local elections. It is for Members to decide how much they wish to allocate for this purpose on an annual basis.
The Town Council is asked to agree to allocate and ring fence sufficient funds to meet future election costs and continues to rent the Carnegie centre for use as a polling station.
The Town Council is asked to note that the NJC agreed a 1% increase for local authority staff, on 1st April 2016, through to 31st March 2018.
Town Council:13.01.17 Document 3:11
Please note the Town Council is a living wage employer and pays an allowance to cover this expenditure.
As detailed in the Precept Report you are required to set the precept for 2017/2018.
Members will recall from the last Budget Report that Town/Parish Councils are now, following changes to legislation, expected to contribute towards the local council tax support scheme (LCTSS). In the current financial year, 2016/17, Broxtowe Borough Council passed on a percentage of grant funding from Central Government to assist Town/Parish Councils with this massive increase in expenditure.
At the time of writing this report the Town Clerk has been informed that Broxtowe Borough Council will be considering what if any assistance will be made to Town/Parish Councils regarding this scheme on 9th January 2017 and details will be reported to the Meeting on the 13th. It is thought likely that the voluntary grant received from Broxtowe Borough Council will be at a reduced level in the financial year, 2017/18, in line with the expected reduction in Broxtowe Borough Council’s Revenue Support Grant.
The Town Council should be aware that it is expected that this voluntary grant will disappear as the Revenue Support Grant applied to Broxtowe Borough Council is reduced in future financial years. Members are advised to be mindful of this situation.
Members are requested to note that I have prepared this report using the accounts up to 31st December 2016.
The Town Council is asked to:
- approve this report;
- instruct the Town Clerk to enact the recommendations for the financial year 2017/2018 agreed following discussion of this report and
- give further instructions to the Town Clerk following discussion of this report as required.
DRAFT PRECEPT 2017/2018
Report of the Town Clerk
The Town Council is required to set a precept for 2017/2018. Following consideration of the half-yearly finance report I trust Members are now in a position to do so.
The present condition of the building, probable increases in costs of goods and services and the need to maintain the service provided to the public by the Council were all taken into consideration when discussing this matter. Together with the discussion of charges related to (LCTSS), as discussed in the Budget Report.
4) Proposed Government Freeze on Council Tax
I can report that Secretary for State has stated that the government freeze on Council Tax will not affect Town and Parish Councils. In the financial year 2016/17 the average rise in the precept of Town/Parish Councils was 6.3%.
However, such bodies have been asked to show restraint when setting their precepts and it is understood by the Town Clerk that the relevant government department is currently investigating the funding of Town/Parish Councils. Thus, future restraints to the setting of precepts cannot be ruled out.
3) Increase/Decrease? Maintain at present rate?
At the time of writing I am not aware of what increase either Broxtowe Borough Council or Nottinghamshire County Council will be making on the overall rate.
When deciding on the Precept for 2017/18 Members will need to decide whether or not to pass on any or some of the costs associated with the reduction in the voluntary grant and falls in revenue, as discussed in the Town Clerk’s report.
The following options are open to the Town Council:
- an increased precept,
- delete activities to cover or part cover the costs of meeting this requirement,
- take some or part of the costs out of Reserves.
However, using money from reserves to cover such a cost is a purely short term measure as reduced funds will not meet the cost in future years and will result in the reduction of such funds to meet emergencies or support future projects.
When discussing the precept for 2017/2018 I have listed below the percentage increases relevant to the precept. For Members’ information, the percentage rises between 0% and 15% are shown below:
(The current precept is: £70,344) % £ % £
1 703 1.5 1,056
2 1,407 2.5 1,759
3 2,110 3.5 2462
4 2,814 4.5 3,166
5 3,517 5.5 3,869
6 4,221 6.5 4,573
7 4,924 7.5 5,276
8 5,628 8.5 5,979
9 6,331 9.5 6,683
10 7,034 10.5 7,386
11 7,738 11.5 8,090 12 8,441 12.5 8,793
13 9,145 13.5 9,496
14 9,848 14.5 10,200
15 10,552 15.5 10,903
The Town Council is asked to instruct the Town Clerk regarding the following options:
- whether or not to maintain the precept at the current level; or
- whether or not to increase the precept by %;
- whether or not to allocate monies from reserves to assist with the setting of the
- give further instructions to the Town Clerk