Godmanchester Town Council Minutes.
The Minutes of the Godmanchester Town Council are provided simply to increase ease of access for fellow residents here in GMC. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the webmaster (Stuart Bond) or Godmanchester Community Association. The Minutes are released to the public once they are approved.
Please note that the financial details are not held on this website and that only the entire Minutes as recorded in the Minutes Book have legal standing. Hard copies are posted around the town on the noticeboards and also sent to Huntingdon Library. If you have any queries please contact the Town Clerk by e-mail or telephone / fax 388 870.
Godmanchester Town Council Minutes January 2010
GODMANCHESTER TOWN COUNCIL
PRESENT: M COHEN Town Mayor, D BROWN, Deputy Mayor
10/01 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES AND REASONS FOR ABSENCE
CLLR CANT: attending Cllr Professional Development Training; CLLR BUTCHER: holiday; CLLR WELTON: holiday; CLLR HYAMS: unwell; CLLR RICHARDSON: unwell; CLLR MRS HULL: previous engagement. CLLR VANE PERCY: absent
10/02 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
CLLR BROWN: Item 10/13 a personal interest in one of the payments to be made. CLLR WILSON: item 10/08 as Environment Agency employs him.
10/03 MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th December were duly APPPROVED and signed as a complete and accurate record.
10/04 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION:
Mr Williams confirmed he had e-mailed a list of the faulty street lights to CLLR WILSON following the last Town Council meeting. CLLR WILSON would follow this matter up.
Mr Kynoch raised his concerns regarding the safety and location of the fishing platforms on Queen’s Walk.
10/05 CO-OPTION TO FILL CASUAL VACANCIES:
Mr Alan Martin and Ms Jennie MacLeod outlined their reasons for wishing to become Town Councillors. It was AGREED that both candidates should be co-opted to fill the two casual vacancies. Town Clerk would ensure necessary paperwork was completed.
10/06 TOWN MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
THE MAYOR reported he had represented the Town on 13 occasions since the last meeting and the DEPUTY MAYOR on one occasion.
THE MAYOR confirmed the ice-skating evening at Judith’s Field had gone well and asked that the Town Council’s thanks to Adrian White, Manager of the Co-op be recorded for his sterling work in organising and funding the event. A collection to benefit the Mayor’s charities and the Co-op’s charity (RNID) had been taken on the night.
CLLR TAYLOR thanked the Mayor on behalf of the Churches Together team who had organised the Christmas lunch for those spending Christmas Day on their own. They were most grateful to the Mayor for his attendance at the event.
THE MAYOR reminded all that a choral evening would take place on Saturday 23rd January in aid of his two charities. Tickets available from the Town Office, or on the door.
THE MAYOR confirmed that the replacement of the Chinese Bridge had been delayed due to poor weather conditions. A new date had not yet been advised.
10/07 TOWN CLERK’S REPORT ON MATTERS ARISING:
Cllrs were asked to note the ongoing matters as listed.
Play Pathfinder: CLLR TAYLOR advised all was progressing well for the equipment to be installed with work starting mid-February. Discussion was ongoing regarding the details of the natural features. It was anticipated the formal opening of the scheme would take place on 27th March 2010.
Property: CLLR Mrs WORTHINGTON reported an initial liaison meeting between Town Council and PCC had taken place and as no further correspondence had been received from the Diocese of Ely regarding a Faculty for the urgent repairs in the churchyard, it had been AGREED that the work should go ahead as a matter of urgency for Health and Safety reasons. The Diocese had been informed. It had also been AGREED that the Town Council would write to CCC regarding ownership and responsibility of the boundary wall between school land, and that owned by the Non-Conformist Burial Ground to progress the matter further. Clearance of the Non-Conformist Burial Ground was discussed, and CLLR BROWN offered to liaise with the Community Payback Co-ordinator with a view to getting the area cleared of weeds, brambles and self seeded trees etc. Town Clerk would write to advise Mr Sursham of this development, as he had offered to fund this project in the past.
10/08 FISHING PLATFORMS:
The Environment Agency (Fisheries Division) had approached the Town Council requesting approval to modify the two fishing platforms along Queen’s Walk. Following discussions with CLLR BROWN this request had been changed to relate only to the platform closest to the Chinese Bridge. CLLR BROWN confirmed the proposed improvements would include improved access to the platforms, backfilling under the platform (which currently has a water flow beneath it) and provision of safety rails and signage. The majority of Cllrs present voted in favour of approving these modifications subject to further assurances from the EA on matters outstanding from the original provision of the two platforms. CLLR BROWN would confirm these points in a letter to the EA.
CLLR PAULEY confirmed he and CLLR COHEN had met with representatives of the Community Association to discuss the way forward for the 2012 sub committee. The next meeting of the 2012 group would take place on 28th January 2010 at 7.30pm in the Queen Elizabeth School, when it was hoped a Chairman and formal committee would be appointed. Cllrs were concerned that the meetings were not being well advertised and it was clear more support for moving the project forward was needed. CLLR PAULEY hoped that following the next 2012 meeting, there would be a more focused approach. All Cllrs were invited to attend the next 2012 meeting. The Town Clerk would arrange for a banner advertising details of the meeting to be displayed a week before the meeting.
10/10 DISTRICT/COUNTY COUNCIL REPORTS
CLLR WILSON reported that CCC is collating information on potholes needing attention and he asked that all Cllrs report the location of any potholes either through the website or through him.
10/11 CORRESPONDENCE - See Appendix A
THE MAYOR reminded all Cllrs that if they were dealing with any matters involving Godmanchester that they kept the Town Council informed by ensuring a copy went to the Town Office.
A resident had asked some time ago whether the Town Council had considered fencing off Devana Park (from the Sweetings Road entrance) to prevent vehicular access. It was AGREED that the Town Clerk would reply advising it was not Town Council policy to enclose open areas of land.
10/12 TO CONSIDER AN APPLICATION FOR A GRANT FROM FIRST STROKES SWIMMING CLUB
The Town Council considered the information provided and AGREED to approve a grant in the sum of £245 which would be paid at the next Town Council meeting. Town Clerk to advise.
The list of payments to be made in Appendix B was approved. Councillors received a copy of the Petty Cash Reconciliation for the period to 14th January 2010; a copy of the budget report on the year to date, and a copy of the monthly bank reconciliation as verified by THE MAYOR, and a quarterly bank reconciliation.
A Finance Working party would be held on 20th January at 5 Crowhill at 7.30pm to review budgets and arrangements for internal audit. All Cllrs welcome to attend.
10/14 PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE
The applications and correspondence set out in Appendix C were considered. The Town Clerk would advise HDC of the Council’s recommendations.
The Town Council had been given advance notice of the forthcoming consultation on the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). This would be considered at the next Planning working party. All Cllrs should note that this is an important issue.
Judith’s Field Open Meeting: It was AGREED that a notice should be sent to local papers informing all residents of the forthcoming open meeting to discuss the future of Judith’s Field, which would invite them to attend or make their views known. Posters would be displayed in local shops and a large notice would be displayed on the vicarage wall a week before the event.
10/15 COUNCILLOR’S SURGERIES
CLLR PAULEY proposed the Town Council should create opportunities for sections of the Community to engage with the Town Council to provide and receive information by holding sessions at weekends or during an evening when specific groups could be invited to attend. It was envisaged these informal sessions would improve communication throughout the community, providing an insight into the work of the Town Council and feedback from the community groups it represents. It was AGREED to hold quarterly sessions, the first to take place in April 2010, and that a review of this working practice would be reviewed after 9 months. CLLR PAULEY would liaise with the Town Office to organise this event.
10/16 GRIT BINS
CCC has offered the Town Council the opportunity to purchase grit/salt bins at a reduced price. These would be placed in areas of the Town to serve the most people and would be filled by CCC, but all distribution of grit would be on a self help basis and no Council employee would be responsible for distribution of the grit. A list was considered and it was AGREED that 3 additional grit bins be purchased and located: at the junction of Pinfold Lane and Old Court Hall; on the footpath through Devana Park; on Tudor Road close to the junction of Almond Close. It was reported that the junction of Crowhill and Bluegate had been particularly treacherous in recent icy conditions and the Town Clerk would contact CCC to ask that this junction be gritted as part of the County’s regular gritting programme.
10/17 SPEED LIMITS IN GODMANCHESTER
CLLR PAULEY suggested that Godmanchester Town Council should write to CCC to request that Godmanchester be considered to trial a 20mph speed limit to apply to the whole town. Following discussion this was AGREED. Town Clerk would write to CCC.
It was reported that in the current edition of the Hunts Post which had been published the day before, a letter had been written regarding Godmanchester’s intentions to request a 20mph speed limit by ‘Colin Hyams’. CLLR Mrs WORTHINGTON asked that it be minuted that she considered this wholly inappropriate behaviour to report on something that the Town Council had not yet discussed. THE MAYOR would meet CLLR HYAMS to discuss this matter.
CLLR WILSON reported on the recent meeting with our PCSOs to explain how Speedwatch worked. It provided the Police with a mechanism to build up data on speeding vehicles and take appropriate action. This initiative was aimed at members of the public getting involved and anyone interested could contact the PCSOs for more information.
CLLR WILSON confirmed CCC was monitoring the speeds of vehicles on London Road following the installation of the additional traffic calming measures. The Town Council would receive information when it was available.
10/18 PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
It was RESOLVED that in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 and by reason of the confidential nature of the remainder of the business, that the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting.
10/19 TO CONSIDER TENDERS RECEIVED IN RESPECT OF THE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR THE PERIOD 1 APRIL 2010 – 31 MARCH 2013
CLLR Mrs WORTHINGTON advised that 3 companies had been invited to tender for the Grounds Maintenance Contract. As only 2 had responded, the tender panel of CLLR BUTCHER, CLLR WELTON and CLLR Mrs WORTHINGTON had AGREED that it would be necessary to seek additional tenders as they did not have sufficient grounds to appoint either of the companies who had responded at this time. The Town Clerk had invited 3 further companies to submit a tender, and advised those who had responded that their existing submissions would be considered again (unless they wished to make any alterations to the information provided) at the next deadline of 8th February 2010.
10/20 PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 RE-ADMITTANCE OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
It was RESOLVED that in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 that the Press and Public be re-admitted to the meeting.
CLLR BROWN advised that the Citizens Advice Bureau were concerned that unless funding previously given by HDC and CCC and which runs out at the end of the current financial year was secured, they would lose the service provided by an Advice Services Supervisor. It is hoped that extra funding can be extended for a least two more years.
THE MAYOR gave an advance notice to all Cllrs that selection of the next Mayor would take place at the April Town Council meeting, with the formal appointment to be effective from the May Town Council meeting.
THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON 11 FEBRUARY 2010 IN THE TOWN HALL
The meeting ended at 00.05am Mayor
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