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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.

GMC Town Council Minutes for September 2003

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN THE GODMANCHESTER TOWN HALL ON THURSDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2003

PRESENT: Mrs A LOOKER Town Mayor, W D BUTTERWORTH Deputy Town Mayor
Councillors: D ASHWORTH, H R BUTCHER, M COHEN, D COMBEN, E KYNOCH, R NORRIS, A SURSHAM
Town Clerk: A J WELTON
Mace Bearer: M WILLIAMS
APOLOGIES: Councillors: D BROWN, A GOFF, Mrs H HULL, Mrs B MOORE, C VANE
PERCY, G WILSON
There were 3 members of the public present.

TOWN MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

The MAYOR advised that she had represented the Town on 9 occasions since the last meeting. The DEPUTY MAYOR had not represented the Town since the last meeting.

The MAYOR reminded the meeting that the Annual Civic Service would take place on Sunday 21 September 2003 and asked all Councillors to attend if possible.

The MAYOR advised the meeting that the Town Clerk would be on holiday from 22 September until 30 September inclusive. The new Town Clerk’s Assistant would start work on Tuesday 23 September and, therefore, the Town Office would be closed on Monday 22 September. She asked for volunteers to be on hand to assist the new Assistant until the Town Clerk returned from holiday. The MAYOR would attend on the Tuesday and the DEPUTY MAYOR on the Wednesday of the first week of the Town Clerk’s absence. Cllr ASHWORTH volunteered to give some of his time on the Thursday and Friday of that week.

03/062 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 August 2003 had been amended to reflect observations by the Deputy Mayor and were subsequently APPROVED and signed as a complete and accurate record.

03/063 MATTERS ARISING

The Outstanding Actions List dated 18 September 2003 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).

03/052 Correspondence. The Town Clerk had had a response from the Baptist Church concerning the refund of unspent grant money and the return of the equipment purchased in support of the football project. Both would be forthcoming shortly.

02/069 Environment. The new lamp standards had been erected in Church Place. The Town Clerk had been advised by the HDC Lighting Engineer that the electricity supply to the existing old style lamp standard would be re-routed in a duct under the church gates into a small feeder pillar and the Town Clerk had written, on the advice of HDC, to the electricity supplier to arrange for an unmetered supply to be provided. A reply was awaited.

03/58 Correspondence. The Town Clerk had received a response from CALC concerning youth activities and about the responsibilities for providing facilities for the disabled. The response had been e-mailed to all Cllrs and a hard copy had been provided.

03/061/WP Reports (Fin). The Town Clerk had obtained a quotation for the design and manufacture of insignia for the Mayor’s Consort from Fattorini. The estimate was £375.50, a sum that exceeded that of up to £100 approved at the previous meeting. Having seen the design of the insignia, the Town Council APPROVED the expenditure of £375.50 on the new badge of office.

The Town Clerk had not received any quotations for the cost of replacement gowns.

Any Other Business. At the previous meeting, the Town Clerk had been tasked with organising a visit to the CCTV Operations Room at HDC. The response from HDC had been positive and it would be possible to have a visit on a Tuesday or Thursday evening, starting from 7.00pm. It had not been possible to get those wishing to attend to come up with a mutually acceptable date. However, the Town Clerk would arrange a visit in October for those interested and he asked for names to be submitted to him as soon as possible. Five Cllrs indicated that they would like to attend a visit on Tuesday 14 October 2003. The Town Clerk was to make the arrangements and notify those attending of venue and timings.

The Town Clerk had not yet written to the undertakers concerning the removal of spoil from the Cemetery but would do so on his return from holiday. Additionally the Town Clerk would amend the Cemetery regulations to reflect this change.

03/064 CORRESPONDENCE

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

It was recommended that the new Town Clerk’s Assistant should attend the Management of Memorials Workshop that would be held in Ramsey on Wednesday 15 October 2003. The fee of £60.00 was APPROVED. It was also APPROVED that motor mileage, at the authorised standard rate, should be paid.

Referring to the letter from the Environment Agency, on the subject of Flood Event data gathering, the MAYOR advised that Cllr Mrs HULL would attend the meeting.

03/065 ACCOUNTS

The accounts set out in Appendix B were APPROVED.

03/066 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.

Cllr BUTCHER had been asked to review some additional information that had been forwarded in support of the application for a new pavilion at Bearscroft Lane (Planning Application number 03/02033/FUL). He outlined the content of that additional information and some debate ensued. The Town Council maintained its stance on inadequate car parking facilities at the ground and the contention that the junction of Bearscroft Lane with the A1198 needed major improvement. The Town Clerk was to respond to HDC along those lines.

03/067 WORKING PARTY (WP) REPORTS

Alconbury Airport Consultation/A14 re-alignment. The WP had not met but it was CONFIRMED that Cllrs ASHWORTH and KYNOCH would represent the Town Council at any meeting called on the subject of the A14 re-alignment.

Flood Defences. The WP had not met but Cllr Mrs HULL would attend and represent the Town Council at the Flood Event Data Gathering – Parish Council Involvement meeting.

Finance. The WP met on 9 September to discuss the end of year accounts for 2002/2003. The Town Clerk and Cllr BUTTERWORTH had not yet been able to reconcile the trial balance and it was recommended that the submission to the auditors be deferred for one month. APPROVED.

The WP recommended to the Town Council that the Town Clerk be paid for 25 hours of overtime worked since the departure of the Town Clerk’s Assistant, with any balance of hours to be settled in the October pay. APPROVED.

The matter of the applications for both the Ladies and the Seniors football training (see correspondence) together with the application from the GMC Rovers Junior FC, was addressed by the WP. It was recommended that the fees discussed and forwarded to the Juniors, i.e. £50 per month for the 3 teams, an additional £10 per month for the use of the showers and £10 per month for the use of the kitchen be formally approved by the Town Council. APPROVED.

For the Ladies training, the WP recommended to the Town Council that the fees should be £3.50 per hour for the use of the field outside the marked pitches, an additional £20 per month for the use of the showers and an additional £20 per month for the use of the kitchen. APPROVED.

For the Seniors training, the WP recommended that the fees should be as for the Ladies but, for the first year, there would be a charge of a refundable deposit of £300 to cover misuse or damage to the building. APPROVED.

The meeting was adjourned at 9.00pm to allow questions from the public.

District Councillor Dr C W LOOKER reminded the meeting that he was a representative on the HDC Scrutiny Panel. He went on to explain that this worked in a similar fashion to a Parliamentary Select Committee in that they could question the actions of various departments and individuals. One aspect, which might be examined, was the way in which Development Control Officers consulted with Parishes and Towns on Planning Applications.

The meeting reconvened at 9.15pm.

The Town Clerk was to write to each of the football teams concerned and advise them of the outcome of their applications.

The next WP meeting would be on 7 October at 4 Crowhill, starting at 8.00pm. The main purpose of the meeting would be to examine the precept for the coming year and the Chair of the WP requested that all bids be submitted to her by no later than 25 September.

Environment. The WP had not met but Cllr NORRIS provided a sample of the fire resistant material from which the proposed new benches for Buttermel Meadow and the Devana Park play area would be made. This was APPROVED. Ashley and Foster were to be invited to provide the required concrete bases for the 2 seats in Buttermel Meadow. APPROVED.

He reported that a reply on the Minor Improvement Scheme proposal for off-street parking was not yet to hand.

Cllr NORRIS advised that the cost of replacing the two finger signs at the corner of West Street would be £320.00 each but recommended that an additional quotation for the cost of raising the height of the post should be sought. It was DECIDED that the Town Clerk would try to ascertain ownership of the sign before any expenditure was undertaken. APPROVED.

Cllr NORRIS reported that there were now 7 lifebuoys missing from their housings on the riverbanks. The Town Clerk was to arrange replacements. APPROVED.

The next WP would meet on Tuesday 2 October starting at 8.00pm in the Town Hall.

Property/Judith’s Field. The Town Clerk read a short brief submitted by Cllr GOFF, who was absent on holiday. There was an update on the state of the new lighting in the car park and skate board areas of JF, followed by a brief on the state of the football field lighting. The Town Clerk was asked to ascertain from Mr Lummis, the lighting specialist at HDC, what the regulations were pertaining to floodlighting. The Town Council APPROVED a sum of up to £100.00 for consultancy fees to Mr Lummis. Additionally, the Town Clerk was to ask for recommendations from HDC for possible suppliers of such equipment so that tenders could be called for before a possible submission for funding assistance could be made on SITA. Finally, Cllr GOFF asked if someone, in his absence, would keep a regular check on JF for vandalism.

Cllr SURSHAM had produced a specification for the refurbishment of the North Wall in the churchyard. He had received an estimate that was value for money but the Town Council DECIDED that it should discover ownership of the wall before committing funds for its refurbishment. The Town Clerk was asked to get HDC to serve a “Dangerous Structure Order” on the owner of the wall. The Town Council wished to record its thanks to Cllr SURSHAM for all the hard work that he had put into the scheme but DECIDED that nothing further would be done until ownership was established. Cllr SURSHAM was asked to provide detailed drawings for the replacement of the two church gates at the Chadley Lane entrance and it was DECIDED that this would also be the subject of an application for SITA funding.

Cemetery. A WP had not been convened but Cllr COHEN reported that he had been advised of an overhanging oak tree in the cemetery that was giving the relatives of one of the deceased some cause for concern.. Cllr COMBEN undertook to look at the problem.

Cllr COHEN also mentioned that, whilst he was at the Cemetery, he encountered a couple taking their dog for a walk. Whilst there are signs at the entrance to the Cemetery prohibiting dogs, other than guide dogs, the couple had entered the Cemetery over the fields at the rear, where there are no signs. Cllr COHEN recommended that, when the detailed plans for the development of the London Road site came forward for consideration, the Town Council should require the developer to fence off the Cemetery from public access other than through the main entrance. APPROVED.

Cllr COHEN advised that the redundant “Huntingdonshire” road sign at the entrance to Godmanchester on London Road had been removed but was lying in the hedgerow on the grass bank. The Town Clerk was to ask HDC to remove it.

Other Representative Groups/Twinning/Inter Town Forum/Detached Youth Initiative. The DEPUTY MAYOR had attended the HGTA AGM on 3 September and had circulated all Cllrs with a meeting report.

The MAYOR advised that an application for funding had been made to SITA for a Youth Shelter to be constructed at Judith’s Field, next to the skate park. The cost was expected to be in the region of £5000.00 including fitting.

Whilst on the subject of Youth matters, the MAYOR advised that Cllr Mrs HULL had received a letter from the Youth Leader asking for a meeting, together with the Police, to discuss the future development of youth initiatives. It was DECIDED that there was no necessity for a Youth Working Party meeting but the MAYOR/ Cllr Mrs HULL were AUTHORISED to examine the possibility of re-opening the facilities at Judith’s Field, provided that there was proper supervision by authorised, trained youth workers. The conditions of use would reflect the expected code of behaviour.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

Cllr NORRIS advised that he had attended the recent CALC meeting on 11 September 2003 at which the “Twenty16” document had been discussed.

Cllr NORRIS also advised that there was major beetle infestation in the ringing chamber floor of the church tower. The Town Clock, which is housed in the church tower and rests on the ringing chamber floor, would not be working during the major works.

THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON 16 October 2003

The meeting ended 10.15 pm Mayor

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