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 of March 2004
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN THE GODMANCHESTER TOWN HALL ON THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2004
PRESENT: Mrs A LOOKER Town Mayor, W D BUTTERWORTH
Deputy Town Mayor
APOLOGIES: Councillors: D ASHWORTH, D BROWN, D COMBEN
ABSENT: Councillors: Mrs H HULL, Mrs B MOORE
There were 3 members of the public present.
TOWN MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS. The MAYOR thanked all those who had supported her Charity Quiz Night and advised that the event had raised over £600.00 for the Hinchingbrooke Keyhole Appeal. She went on to advise that the Civic Charity Dinner Dance would be held in the Comrades Club, Godmanchester on Friday 7 May 2004.
The MAYOR reminded all councillors that the Annual Town Meeting would be held on Thursday 1 April 2004 in the Queen Elizabeth School, starting at 8.00pm and asked all Chairpersons should prepare a short statement of their years activities for the meeting. The guest speaker at the Annual Meeting will be from CASTIRON.
The MAYOR asked the Town Clerk to arrange for a photocall of the Garden of Rest on Cambridge Road together with Cllrs COMBEN, NORRIS, the MAYOR and the Town Clerk.
The MAYOR advised that she had represented the Town on 7 occasions since the last meeting. The DEPUTY MAYOR had represented the Town on 1 occasion.
04/013 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 February 2004 were APPROVED and signed as a complete and accurate record.
04/014 MATTERS ARISING
The Outstanding Actions List dated 18 March 2004 was reviewed.
Cllr COHEN reminded the meeting that they had agreed, at the previous meeting, to his proposed actions with regard to safety checks of headstones at the Cemetery. This had not been minuted and he asked for retrospective authority to lay headstones flat if they were insecure in accordance with the provisions of Section 214 of the Local Government Act 1972. Godmanchester Town Council has responsibility for the safety of headstones within Godmanchester Garden Cemetery. Responsibility for checking the headstones has been devolved by the Town Council to Cllr COHEN. He is authorised to check the safety and security of headstones on graves in the Cemetery and, where any are identified as being in a dangerous or unsafe state, he is further authorised to lay them on the ground whilst the owner is identified and the headstone secured. APPROVED.
04/015 PRESENTATION BY GODMANCHESTER ROVERS FOOTBALL CLUB
Mr Roger Coxhead, the Secretary of the Godmanchester Rovers Football Club, made a short presentation on the achievements and aspirations of the Godmanchester Rovers Football Club. He said that the club intended to become the leading football club within the Huntingdonshire Football Association area. This would be achieved by adapting to differing requirements to enable the club to reach its football objectives by encouraging the development of the club at all levels. He foresaw that the club would become the catalyst for the local community and encourage awareness of Godmanchester within the region. He said that the club would adopt a professional outlook in all its activities both on and off the field and would endeavour to make the community proud of Godmanchester Rovers. The MAYOR then declared an interest and handed over chairmanship of the meeting to the DEPUTY MAYOR for this item only. This was followed by a brief question and answer session during which Mr Coxhead explained that the Club and the Trust were two separate entities. The DEPUTY MAYOR thanked Mr Coxhead for his presentation.
Cllr VANE PERCY arrived at 8.08pm.
The correspondence listed at Appendix A, not covered by the WP reports, was addressed.
The MAYOR asked if there were any Cllrs who would wish to undergo Parish Council Training being run by CALC. Cllr BUTCHER indicated that he would like to be trained and the Town Council APPROVED the funding of £12.50. The training would only proceed if CALC was able to attract a minimum of 15 candidates.
The Chairman of the HGTA had asked whether he could make a short presentation to the Town Council at their meeting on 15 April 2004. This was AGREED.
The Inter Town Forum was due to take place in St Ives on 21 April 2004. Cllrs Mrs HULL and KYNOCH, together with the Town Clerk, would attend. St Ives had asked if they could have advance notice of topics for discussion. It was suggested that S106 Agreements, together with other external funding opportunities, should be discussed, along with Youth matters, including Drop-In centres. The Town Clerk was to circulate the notes from the previous meeting to the Cllrs attending the next.
The quotation of £24000+ for the refurbishment of the Roll of Honour was discussed. Cllr VANE PERCY suggested that conservation, rather than restoration was more appropriate. He was to approach a picture restorer to investigate whether conservation would be possible. APPROVED. The Town Clerk was to write to decline the quotation.
The Guided Bus Scheme non-technical summary had been sent to each Cllr. Cllr WILSON undertook to draft a response, particularly concerning the Godmanchester to Cambridge service.
HDC had asked Parish and Town Councils to comment upon the continued contract cleaning of public conveniences and, specifically, whether they would wish to take on the task. The Town Clerk was to respond indicating that Godmanchester was content for the existing arrangements to continue.
There was much discussion about the recent correspondence concerning the Code of Conduct and it was DECIDED that all Cllrs would be invited to complete new declarations. In the meantime, the Town Clerk was to ascertain whether action could be waived until after the local elections on 10 June 2004.
The MAYOR and Cllr Mrs HULL had attended the Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership annual meeting, which had concentrated on youth matters and they had also attended the first meeting of a focus group on youth problems in Godmanchester. A further meeting was scheduled for 20 April 2004 in QES, beginning at 3.30pm.
The accounts set out in Appendix B were APPROVED.
The Town Clerk advised that the current version of Local Council Administration, published by Butterworths, was seven years old and was in need of replacement. The meeting APPROVED the sum of £33.50 to purchase the latest edition.
The Town Clerk also advised that he had received an invoice from CALC for the affiliation fee for the year 2004/05 for £503.88 and asked whether the Town Council wished to continue affiliation. The meeting confirmed continued affiliation and this sum was APPROVED.
04/018 PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE
The applications and correspondence set out in Appendix C were considered. The Town Clerk was to advise HDC of the Councils recommendations. The planning application 0400470/FUL had been recommended for approval on a majority vote during the Working Party discussions and was discussed separately by the Town Council. The application was again recommended for approval by a majority of 6 for, 4 against. Those against were the MAYOR and Cllrs KYNOCH, VANE PERCY and WILSON.
The meeting was adjourned at 9.03pm to allow questions from the public.
District Councillor Dr C W Looker took the opportunity to update the Town Council on matters of moment. He advised that the Godmanchester Transport Plan, which included traffic calming measures, would soon be at the consultation phase.
He advised the meeting that S106 agreements were negotiated between developers and District Council Officers; District Councillors did not normally get involved.
The meeting reconvened at 9.16pm.
It was reported that contractors heavy vehicles, destined for the Roman Way development, were getting lost in Godmanchester. It was AGREED that the Town Clerk would write to the developer to ask him to erect an appropriate directional sign for vehicles serving the site.
04/019 NOMINATIONS FOR TRUSTEES OF GODMANCHESTER CHARITIES.
The MAYOR advised that it was necessary to make nominations for trustees of the Godmanchester Charities. After some discussion, the following people were nominated: District Councillor Mrs Carol Godley, Mrs Alison Courtman-Stock, the MAYOR Cllr Mrs Ann Looker and Cllr Roy Norris. These nominations were APPROVED.
04/020 WORKING PARTY (WP) REPORTS
CHUMMS and A14 . The MAYOR declared an interest in this matter and handed over chairmanship of the meeting to the DEPUTY MAYOR for this item only.
Because he had presented his apologies, Cllr ASHWORTH had prepared a brief report following from the WP meeting held on 4 March 2004, which was read out by the Town Clerk. The report included an update on replies received following correspondence with the Minister. The response to the MP was agreed at the WP meeting and a letter had been sent on 9 March 2004; it had also been copied to the Leader of HDC, our 2 District Councillors and the County Councillor. Cllr ASHWORTH had also received agreement from the WP to invite the Highways Agency to address the Town Council on his proposals prior to release to the public. Similarly, it was agreed that he should prepare a draft press release in the Deputy Mayors name. This would be e-mailed to all Cllrs before being finalised at a further WP and issued after the public consultation starts. Finally, he wished to advise the meeting that he had been approached to write an article for the Bridge magazine on the subject of the A14 re-alignment. The Town Council did not object on the proviso that it was made clear that the views expressed were the authors and did not necessarily reflect the views of the Town Council.
Cemetery. Cllr COHEN advised that there appeared to be a problem with rabbits in the Cemetery but hoped that this would disappear once the building development started. He reported that he had a number of small trees to be planted when appropriate and when protection was available.
Environment. Commenting on Cllr COHENs remark about the trees in the Cemetery, Cllr NORRIS advised that they were part of the Parish Paths Partnership scheme and were whips rather than established trees.
Cllr NORRIS told the meeting that trees in the Parish Churchyard were being pruned back to restrict overhang into neighbouring properties. Other trees, notably the chestnut, were in need of surgery to reduce the risk of damage in high winds. There were two elements of the work, each costing approximately £965. These sums were APPROVED. It was DECIDED that the HDC arboriculturist should be invited to explain the disease affecting the chestnut trees.
Cllr NORRIS explained that there had been no meeting of the WP since the last Council meeting. The planned route of the SUSTRANS cycle path was discussed. Cllr KYNOCH expressed concern at the loss of 5 car-parking bays as a result of the proposed route but the plan was APPROVED.
Cllr NORRIS then gave an update on various Environmental matters. He continued to press both HDC and the CCC to explore our off-street parking proposals.
He reported that repairs to the various benches were on-going and that new concrete bases had been laid to accept the benches previously agreed.
The Old Mill Sluice correspondence had prompted a response from the Environment Agency who indicated that they were aware of the Town Councils concerns. Currently their plans for refurbishment were scheduled for implementation in 2006/7.
The state of the Ouse Valley Way footpath to Godmanchester Lock had prompted complaints from a number of residents, one of who had written directly to HDC. HDC had responded, copy to the Town Council, that an order had been given to their contractor to effect the repairs.
The Annual Spring Clean was APPROVED for 17 April 2004 and the Town Clerk was to produce notices for display on the notice boards.
Cllr COHEN observed that there was no road sign indicating the presence of a school in the vicinity of the Community School entrance on Post Street. The Town Clerk was to ascertain from the headmaster whether there had been a previous approach to the Highways Department of HDC concerning a sign on Post Street.
The bus stop sign outside the vicarage on Post Street was approximately 2/3 rusted through and presented a potential Health and Safety risk to the general public. The Town Clerk was to notify HDC.
Finance. There had been no meeting of the Finance WP since the last Town Council meeting.
Flood Defences. There had been no meeting of the Flood Defences WP since the last Town Council meeting.
Property/Judiths Field. Cllr SURSHAM had looked into the matter of providing disabled access to the Town Hall. His suggestion was that a ramp from the car park, up the steps on the Chinese Bridge side appeared to be the best option. He undertook to design access ramps for both doors of the Town Hall for discussion at a future Town Council meeting.
Cllr GOFF reported that the fencing around the perimeter of Judiths Field was in need of repair. The estimate from Ashley & Foster was £431. The sum was APPROVED.
The use of the end walls of the building at Judiths Field were being used as kicking walls for football and other ball games. Cllr GOFF proposed that a new hard standing be built, adjacent to the skate park, with a wall constructed of railway sleepers. He had obtained 3 estimates, which he presented to the Town Council. It was DECIDED that the estimate of £8555 from Anglian Playground Services would be accepted, together with an estimate from HDC for extra lighting at £550. APPROVED.
Cllr VANE PERCY left the meeting at 10.15pm
Other Representative Groups/Twinning/Inter Town Forum/Detached Youth Initiative. The DEPUTY MAYOR would be travelling with the HGTA to Wertheim in May to promote the local area for tourism. He requested that the Town Council donate some copies of the Town Trail for distribution and display in Wertheim. AGREED.
He advised the meeting that the Wertheim Choir would be visiting on 12 June 2004 and asked the Town Council to approve the usual ¼ contribution towards the Civic Reception. AGREED.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS. In the pack for each Cllr was a copy of a letter from the BBC to a Mrs Wick. Mrs Wick had entered a competition to win funding from the BBC Cambridgeshires Community Chest to enhance and upgrade the footpath to Godmanchester Lock. Mrs Wick had asked for Town Council support in her application and asked if all Cllrs could vote for her project as indicated in the letter.
Cllr COHEN advised the meeting that there were several vacancies for Community Governors at Godmanchester Community Primary School and he encouraged Cllrs to indicate if they knew anyone they might consider suitable.
THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING WOULD BE HELD ON 1 APRIL 2004 (GOWNED). THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON 15 APRIL 2004 (GOWNED)
The meeting ended 1025 pm Mayor
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