GODMANCHESTER TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN THE QUEEN ELIZABETH SCHOOL ON THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2001

PRESENT: Councillor R NORRIS, Town Mayor
Councillors M COHEN, Mrs HULL, Mrs MOORE, S SPENCER,
A SURSHAM, Mrs P TYLER, C VANE PERCY, G WILSON
Town Clerk: W D BUTTERWORTH

APOLOGIES: Councillors E KYNOCH, Mrs A LOOKER, D COMBEN & Revd P MOGER

PRESENT: Mace Bearer Mr M Williams

PRESENT: 3 members of the public.

TOWN MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Mayor reported that he had represented the Town on 6 occasions since the last meeting.

The Mayor announced, with regret, that Councillor Mrs FOSTER had tendered her resignation from the Town Council due to her other commitments. The Town Clerk was to advise HDC in the normal way. Councillor Mrs HULL would, therefore, become the sole Town Council representative on the Police Consultation Group.

The Mayor reminded everyone of the arrangements for the Civic Service on 16 September 2001. Councillors Mrs MOORE, S SPENCER, Mrs TYLER and G WILSON offered their apologies.

The Mayor also reiterated the programme for the Twinning visit. Mrs Norris, the Mayoress, Councillor Mrs TYLER, Mrs Goff and Mrs Kynoch had all volunteered to assist at the Meet & Greet on Monday, 24 September in the QES. That event would be followed by a procession into Huntingdon led by the Ouse Valley Jazz Band. Councillor SURSHAM had volunteered to act as Mace Bearer for the occasion.

Finally, the Mayor introduced Mr Martin Williams, the new Godmanchester Town Mace Bearer, and thanked him for volunteering to take on the role.

01/055 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 August 2001 were APPROVED and signed as an accurate and complete record. The draft Minutes had been amended to include apologies from Councillor Mrs HULL and to correct Item 01/054 (Environment) to read “railings on The Avenue”.

01/056 MATTERS ARISING

The Outstanding Actions List dated 13 September 2001 was reviewed. The following matters arising from the last meeting were incomplete or required further action: (actions assigned to WPs are dealt with in the appropriate report).

99/048(2) The new Town Guide. Councillor VANE PERCY reported that the project was moving forward, albeit slowly. The second draft was complete but now ran to some 5 pages. He was awaiting some advice from the Norris Museum but accepted that the final document would have to be somewhat shorter. However, he suggested that, as an initial step, this latest version might be displayed on the Godmanchester website. Moreover, he had consulted the Goodliff Fund to see if the project would qualify for financial assistance. Councillor SPENCER offered to provide professional help with the design and layout. The Mayor believed that an ad hoc WP was needed to take the project to a speedy conclusion. Councillor VANE PERCY agreed and would announce a date and venue for the first meeting.

Councillor SURSHAM arrived at 7.45 pm

01/041(Property) QES Humidifier. The Friends of the QES had supplied the data about the power consumption and also confirmed that the device would be operated through a timer switch. It was AGREED that the Friends could go ahead and install the unit.

01/057 CORRESPONDENCE

The correspondence listed at Appendix A not covered by the WP reports was addressed.

The Council noted the letter from CCC about the intention to close Cooks Bridge for one Sunday in October as part of the restoration programme.

The Council also noted the letter of thanks from the NHS Huntingdonshire Primary Care Trust following their presentation to the Council on 16 August 2001.

Action for Market Towns was continuing to send papers on a regular basis. They were passed to Councillor Mrs LOOKER as part of her evaluation of membership of the group.

The Council DECIDED not to purchase individual copies of Clerks & Council Direct but to rely on the Town Clerk to scrutinise the Town Office copy and bring items of interest to the attention of councillors.

01/058 ACCOUNTS

The accounts set out in Appendix B were APPROVED.

It was noted that the August account from Fergusons had not been presented. However, it was AGREED that, provided it was none contentious, it could be paid after the meeting and the details added to the Appendix.

Councillor Mrs MOORE suggested that the bill for the replacement mechanism for the Parish Church Clock should not be placed in S137. The Town Clerk was to investigate and reallocate it as appropriate.

The Town Clerk advised the Council that the Treasury Bond, the interest of which was earmarked to pay for the maintenance of Devana Park, had matured. He had transferred the interest to the current account and reinvested the capital in a new 12-month Treasury Bond.

01/059 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.

The Mayor asked that a formal vote of thanks to Councillor WILSON be recorded for the detailed work he did on assessing and commenting on the final CHUMMS report to meet the very short deadline for input to the HDC and CCC deliberations. The Council noted that the submission had been copied to the local MP, the County Councillor and the District Councillor.

01/060 WORKING PARTY (WP) REPORTS

Finance. The WP had met on 30 August 2001. Councillor Mrs MOORE made the following recommendations:

Audit submission for FY 00/01 The draft audit submission for 00/01 had been scrutinised and should be approved. AGREED. The Town Clerk was to prepare the final documents for signature by himself and the Mayor.

Salaries

Caretakers’ salaries should be increased from £242 to £250 per month with effect from 1 April 2001 in line with the CALC guidelines. AGREED.

The Assistant to the Town Clerk’s salary should be increased from £299 to £310 per month with effect from 1 April 2001 in line with the CALC guidelines. AGREED. Her salary should be further increased on 1 April 2002 to £324.95 per month (Spinal Column Point 5) to take account of the extra responsibilities of cemetery administration. AGREED.

The Town Clerk’s salary should remain unchanged but the supervisory element should rise by £4.25 per month with effect from 1 April 2001 in line with the CALC guidelines. AGREED.

Insurance of play equipment The Insurance company had quoted an annual premium of £600 with an excess of £100 for each and every loss. The WP recommended that the option not be taken at this time but that the cost of vandalism be monitored over the next 12 months and the matter then reconsidered.
AGREED.

QES Public Entertainment Licence The hiring regime for the QES made a public entertainment licence unnecessary and should not be renewed. AGREED.

Hire of car parking spaces at JF The Council had been approached by a representative of The Cedar Group requesting the use of 5 car parking spaces at JF during the daytime on Monday to Friday (300 days per year) at a rate of £1.50 per space per day. It was AGREED that the Council would enter into such an agreement based on the draft “Tenancy at Will” amended to reflect the condition that the Godmanchester Town Council would not accept responsibility for any damage to vehicles parked at JF. The Town Clerk was to produce 10 laminated and numbered car-parking permits for issue to the company. These would ensure that only authorised cars would be parked at JF and that not more than 5 would be there at any one time.

Councillor Mrs MOORE asked that the chairs of all the WP prepared their bids for the 2002/2003 Precept before the Council Meeting in October 2001.

Recreation and Amenities. The WP had met on 30 August 2001 and had re-elected Councillor SPENCER as chair. There were 4 items to consider:

Following the initial unsuccessful bid to WREN for a landfill tax grant towards the refurbishment of the Recreation Ground playarea, the WREN project officer had visited the site and agreed to resubmit the application supported by addition data. However, the cost remained high and it was believed that the chance of success would be improved if the Town Council offered to accept a greater proportion of the cost. It was AGREED that the Council would increase its contribution from £15,000 to a sum of up to £20,000 while still inviting WREN to adhere to the principle of matched funding if possible.

It was AGREED that 2 Sentinel open-topped, steel litterbins be purchased for the skatepark together with the associated earth anchors for a total cost of up to £600.
The Environment WP was asked to consider a litterpicking regime for the skatepark once the bins were in place.

Councillor SPENCER reported that he had obtained 2 quotations for tarmacadam for the area at JF from the skatepark to the main-road entrance. He would obtain a third quotation before seeking a decision from the Council.

Wicksteed had carried out a full technical inspection of the 4 playareas and had recommended a number of repairs and enhancements. It was AGREED that:

Repairs to Devana Park in the sum of £44 should be carried out.

Repairs to JF in the sum of £18.50 should be carried out.

Modifications to the Logworld in the sum of £344 should be carried out.

Work on the Recreation Ground playarea should be deferred until the WREN decision was known.

The next meeting of the Recreation & Amenities WP will take place on Thursday, 11 October 2001 in the QES after the Planning WP.

The meeting was adjourned at 8.52 pm to allow questions from the public.

It was noted that the more senior members of the community regularly helped by picking up litter around the Town. It was regretted that other elements of the community were not equally supportive.

The meeting reconvened at 8.54 pm.

Environment. The WP had not met. The Council ACCEPTED a quotation from Ashley & Foster in the sum of £1338 to prepare and paint (black) the railings on both sides of The Avenue together with the 2 metal benches. The work was to be carried out after the repairs to Cooks Bridge and the road surface had been completed. The Town Clerk was to ask CCC what colour the new railings on Cooks Bridge were going to be. [note: the Cooks Bridge railings will be black].

Property. The WP had met on 22 August 2001. Councillor SURSHAM provided a written report.

The Council ACCEPTED a quotation from Ashley & Foster in the sum of £167 to replace the weak door at JF.

Councillor SURSHAM reported that HDC had given planning permission for the church railings, gates and walls project. He was still awaiting a number of quotations for the work. Once the final cost had been determined, an application to SITA would be made. He was delighted to announce that the Civic Society had decided to donate £3000 immediately to the project and had pledged a further £2000 later in the year. These contributions would more than cover the 11% third party element of the landfill tax bid. The Town Clerk was to write to the Civic Society to thank them for their generosity and to suggest that they retained the money in their account until needed.

Councillor SURSHAM also reported that he had sought 3 quotations for internal redecoration at JF as an interim refurbishment project to make the facilities more acceptable for hire.

Cemetery. The next meeting of the WP will be on Thursday, 11 October 2001 in the QES after the Recreation & Amenities WP.

Judith’s Field. There was no report from the JF WP.

Other Representative Groups.

CALC/NALC There were no CALC or NALC reports

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Councillor Mrs TYLER suggested that a presentation to the retiring mace bearer would be appropriate. The Mayor welcomed the proposal and would consider what might be suitable. He had already written a personal letter to Mr Foren and the Town Clerk had also written on behalf of the Town Council.

Councillor VANE PERCY commented on how good it was to be holding the meeting of the Town Council in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. The Council reiterated its thanks to the Godmanchester Senior Citizens for allowing the Council to use the chamber.


THE NEXT MEETING WILL BE HELD ON 18 OCTOBER 2001.


The meeting ended at 9.19 pm Town Mayor

Back to Town Council Minutes Page

Back to Home Page