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GODMANCHESTER TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN THE QUEEN ELIZABETH SCHOOL ON THURSDAY 11 MAY 2000
PRESENT: Mrs GODLEY, Outgoing Town Mayor
Councillor Mrs LOOKER, Town Mayor
Councillors D COMBEN, Mrs FOSTER, Mrs HULL, Mrs MOORE,
R NORRIS, Mrs TYLER, C VANE PERCY, G WILSON
Town Clerk: W D BUTTERWORTH
APOLOGIES: Councillors E KYNOCH, S SPENCER
PRESENT: Six members of the public.
OUTGOING TOWN MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The retiring Mayor, Mrs GODLEY, reported that she had represented the Town on one occasion since the last meeting. She welcomed Councillor Mrs FOSTER to her first Council meeting and then went on to explain the procedure that would be followed for the Mayor Making.
She reflected on her 2 years as Mayor of Godmanchester noting that there had been ups and downs but, overall, a great deal had been achieved. She concluded by wishing everyone well for the future.
00/034 INAUGURATION OF THE TOWN MAYOR FOR 2000/2001
Councillor Mrs LOOKER, having been duly elected to the office of the Town Mayor of Godmanchester at the Godmanchester Town Council Meeting on 13 April 2000, made and signed the formal declaration of acceptance in the presence of the Town Clerk.
Councillor Mrs LOOKER said how sorry she was to see Mrs Godley leave the Town Council. She had achieved a great deal in her 2 years as Mayor. Mrs Godley was an example of someone who started in a small way and then took on more and more. The Mayor extended her best wishes to Mrs Godley in her new role as a District Councillor and as a Magistrate.
Godmanchester is very dependent on community spirit and voluntary bodies to help make it a happy and lively place to live. The new Mayor's aim was to preserve links with all the groups involved, to consolidate what has already been achieved and to move ahead in a spirit of co-operation.
Finally she expressed her confidence in Councillor Mrs TYLER, the Deputy Mayor, with whom she intended to share many of the social and other formal commitments.
00/035 INAUGURATION OF THE DEPUTY TOWN MAYOR FOR 2000/2001
Councillor Mrs TYLER, having been duly elected to the office of the Deputy Town Mayor of Godmanchester at the Godmanchester Town Council Meeting on 13 April 2000, made and signed the formal declaration of acceptance in the presence of the Town Clerk.
00/036 MINUTES OF THE TOWN MEETING
The Minutes of the Town Meeting held on 27 April 2000 were APPROVED and signed as an accurate and complete record.
00/037 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 April 2000 were APPROVED and signed as an accurate and complete record.
00/038 MATTERS ARISING
The following matters arising from the last meeting were incomplete or required further action:
99/048(2): Town Mini-Guide Councillor VANE PERCY reported that work was continuing on the new guide but that it was not yet complete. He asked the Council to bear with him and said that he would provide the draft as soon as possible.
99/082(5): Red blocks & road signs The Town Clerk reported that orders had been placed for everything but the swimming pool sign. Councillors Mrs HULL and NORRIS volunteered to consult with the school to determine the best location.
00/005: Costs of fire alarm incident at JF - The cheque from the offending club had still not been received.
00/019 Tourism documents Councillor VANE PERCY advised that yet another guide was being produced which was planned to have a life of 5 years. It might be possible for Godmanchester to advertise in it.
00/021 Godmanchester Charities Mr Doherty had not replied to the Clerk to the Trustees to clarify if he wished to continue as a Trustee.
00/027 Public footpaths around cricket pitch - Councillor NORRIS had again consulted the District Council's footpath officer who had advised that there were many options relating to footpaths and bridleways in the area and that the whole matter was under active consideration.
00/028(1) Telephone mast Diocesan Registry had acknowledged the Town Council's objection.
00/028(8) Fox Grove sub-station A reply was awaited from Eastern Electricity.
00/031(Fin) Long-term investments A reply was awaited from CALC.
Councillor VANE PERCY raised the matter of the Old Mill Sluice and the apparent lack of progress by the Environment Agency. The matter was referred to the Environment WP.
The members of the public were asked to withdraw while the Council considered applications for co-option to the Town Council.
00/039 CO-OPTION OF COUNCILLORS
The Council considered an application from Mr A SURSHAM to be co-opted to a vacancy on the Town Council following the shortfall in candidates at the elections. Mr SURSHAM was duly proposed and seconded and then received an absolute majority of votes in favour of his co-option. The Town Clerk was to advise Mr SURSHAM of the decision and pass his details to the electoral officer at HDC.
The Council considered an application from Mr A HOOKER to be co-opted to a vacancy on the Town Council following the shortfall in candidates at the elections. Mr HOOKER was duly proposed and seconded and then received an absolute majority of votes in favour of his co-option. The Town Clerk was to advise Mr HOOKER of the decision and pass his details to the electoral officer at HDC.
The Council considered a third application but as no councillor knew the applicant it was DECIDED to invite him to the next Council Meeting to allow for questions before taking a vote. The Town Clerk was to advise the applicant accordingly.
The Mayor asked all councillors to continue to advertise the remaining vacancies.
The members of the public were invited to return to the meeting. The Mayor advised them of the decisions.
The correspondence listed at Appendix A was addressed. The following was agreed (the numbers refer to the Appendix serial number):
1. The Council noted the concern about horses using the footpath. The area involved was part of the Monks Pit path and, once the decision on that matter had been made by CCC, Councillor NORRIS would arrange for appropriate signs to be put in place.
2. The Council noted the quotation for new doors at Judith's Field. The Town Clerk was to obtain clarification about the sort of doors being proposed and seek 2 other quotations. The information was to be passed to the Chair of the Property WP.
3. The Council noted the concerns about Lancaster Way / Fox Grove and that the Town Clerk had written to all concerned.
4. The Environment WP would prepare a response to HDC's "Future of Huntindonshire" document. A revised submission date of 19 May 2000 had been agreed.
5. The Council noted the problem with litter in the vicinity of the cricket pitch and the new houses on Pavilion Close. HDC had agreed to inspect the area and advise.
6. The Council noted that HDC was to submit a bid to CCC for repairs to the footpaths and roadways in Lancaster Way and Fox Grove. The Town Clerk had asked HDC to clarify who had responsibility for Rectory Gardens.
7. The Council noted with approval HDC's actions to remove the caravan and toilet from Monks Pit.
8. The Council shared the HDC concern that fly-tipping in Cow Lane might jeopardise the new mini-recycling centre. However, the Town Clerk was working with the recycling officer to ensure any rubbish was removed quickly. The Town Clerk was to discover how the Town Council might claim the £27 per ton credit that accrues from recycling.
9. Councillors Mrs HULL, KYNOCH & NORRIS agreed to be nominated for the CALC District Association Committee.
10. It was AGREED that Fergusons be invited to carry out weekly inspections of the 4 play-areas until the end of September 2000.
11. Agenda Item 00/039
12. Agenda Item 00/039
13. Councillors Mrs LOOKER & Mrs FOSTER agreed to attend the CHUMMS Seminar. All councillors were asked to let the Mayor have any points they would like to have raised at the meeting.
14. Agenda Item 00/039
15. Councillors Mrs LOOKER and Mrs HULL agreed to judge the "Best Allotment Competition".
16. The Council noted the estimate for the repairs to fences at Judith's Field. The Chair of the Property WP was asked to liaise with Councillor SPENCER to confirm what was needed, whether the materials were suitable and to confirm that the Council was responsible for the fences concerned.
17. Councillors Mrs HULL, Mrs FOSTER and NORRIS volunteered to attend the Hunts Sector Police Local Consultation Group.
The Mayor advised everyone of the sudden death of George Beevor. He had been an exemplary person who had held the needs of the community close to his heart for many years. Moreover, he had been a major driving force in the Twinning Association. He would be sorely missed both in Huntingdonshire and in the twin towns in Europe. Councillor SURSHAM agreed to represent the Town Council at the funeral. The Town Clerk was to write a letter of condolence to Mrs Beevor.
The accounts set out in Appendix B were APPROVED.
The Town Clerk sought approval for up to £120 to sand and varnish the floor in the QES small hall. AGREED
The Council also APPROVED the payment of the Mayoral Purse of £1300 to Councillor Mrs LOOKER.
00/042 PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE
The applications and correspondence set out in Appendix C were considered. The Town Clerk was to advise HDC of the Council's recommendations.
Councillor Mr LOOKER declared an interest in application 00/00316/FUL, 4 Earning Street.
Councillor WILSON declared an interest in application 00/00612/FUL, 16 Martin Close.
Councillor WILSON reported that he had represented the Town Council at the Alterations to the Local Plan Inquiry on 10 May 2000. During a round-table session with the Inspector he had been given every opportunity to present the Town's views and evidence. HDC had opposed Godmanchester with regard to the proposals for the land behind Roman Way and adjacent to the cemetery; the District favoured the building a total of 168 houses on the sites. However, the District had opposed the concept of building up to 1270 houses on 3 other sites in the Town. The hearing considered the likely effect of traffic and other infrastructure issues, the loss of agricultural land and employment opportunities, and the impact on the character of Godmanchester. The outcome of the inquiry would be known next year.
The Mayor formally complimented Councillor WILSON on the considerable amount of work he had done in preparation for the Inquiry and for representing the Town at each stage.
The meeting adjourned at 9.00 pm for public question; the record is at Appendix D. The meeting resumed at 9.12 pm.
00/043 WORKING PARTY (WP) REPORTS
The Mayor observed that there was a need to select new chairs and members for the WPs. However, the current arrangements could stand until all the new councillors were in place. Nevertheless, all councillors were welcome to attend all WP meetings.
Finance. The next meeting of the Finance WP would be on Tuesday, 23 May 2000 at 8.00 pm at 4 Crowhill.
Ad Hoc (Agency). Councillor COMBEN reported that the self-help for pitch marking at Judith's Field did not appear to be working as he had expected. The Town Clerk was to write to Mr Gabb and ask what needed to be done. The advertisement for a handyman had not been successful and the Town Clerk was to investigate the possibility of putting a flyer in the Bridge Magazine to advertise the vacancy.
Environment. Councillor COMBEN raised a number of issues. The Town Clerk was to write to HDC to remind the Tree Officer to schedule the planting of the replacement Limes on The Avenue and to seek an update on the Town Councils request for approval for tree planting at other sites in the Town. Councillor COMBEN advised the Council that there had been a site meeting with the contractors at Buttermel on Saturday, 6 May 2000 when he had expressed his dissatisfaction with the work to date. A written record of that meeting had been prepared by the Town Clerk. With regard to the Old Mill Sluice, he accepted that there was a need for the WP to progress the issue on a regular basis. Finally, the Town Clerk was to write to HDC to ask them not to mow the verges that had been under-planted with daffodils until 6 weeks after the flowers had faded.
The next meeting of the Environment WP would be on Tuesday, 16 May 2000 at 8.00 pm at 26 Earning Street.
Recreation and Amenities. There was no report from the Recreation & Amenities WP. The Town Clerk reported that the vehicle gate to the Recreation Ground play-area had been badly vandalised. He had arranged for emergency repairs to be carried out to minimise the damage.
Property. There was no report from the Property WP.
Millennium. It was DECIDED that the routine reports on Millennium issues should be discontinued.
Other Representative Groups. Councillor Mrs HULL, in her capacity as a governor of the Primary School, reported that despite considerable efforts by all concerned, it had not yet been possible to find a replacement organiser for the Summer Play Scheme. She asked everyone to try and think of potential candidates. Councillor Mrs HULL volunteered to monitor the situation.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Councillor COMBEN asked if the Council would be entering a team in the Gala Week Bowls Competition. Councillors Mrs FOSTER, Mrs MOORE, Mrs TYLER, NORRIS & WILSON and the Town Clerk offered to take part
THE NEXT MEETING WILL BE HELD ON 15 JUNE 2000.
The meeting ended at 10.05 pm Town Mayor
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