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GREATER WILLINGTON TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of Meeting
2nd October 2013
--- IN ATTENDANCE
Councillor Tinsley, Councillor Henfrey, Councillor Cogdon Councillor Smith, Councillor Graham, Councillor Carr,
Councillor Bennett, Councillor Etherington, Helen Cogdon, Town Clerk
Emma Mennouni, Community Services Officer
Councillor Tinsley welcomed everyone to the meeting.
He outlined housekeeping rules and asked that everyone present turned off mobile phones and electronic equipment during the conduct of Council business.
1. ACCEPTANCE OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Councillor Todd, Councillor Greensmith and Councillor Buckham.
Acceptance of apologies were proposed by Councillor Tinsley, seconded by Councillor Etherington.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Cogdon had declared an interest on Item 6.The Clerk saidany declarations previously recorded continue to stand.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Resident agenda items requested through the Clerk.
John Spencer Oakenshaw Community Association (Oca) said;
Residents would still like a Notice Board - preferably two in village.
Oca have had problems with children in the allotments. Tenants on the lower plots have requested a lock on the lower gate. It would be useful to have two combination locks as the lock at the top end is key controlled and costs for having keys cut is quite high. A combination lock would reduce that cost.
Estimated cost £34 - £65 for padlocks.
McClurgs did a good job on cutting back hedge and will return to cut top when foliage has died down.
Tenants have asked if we can consider the idea of a Community Orchard once again at the top of the site. This will need to be discussed with Councillor Graham and agreed with the Clerk.
Oca have had comments about the shelter seat. Residents are saying it is not wide enough to sit comfortably on for long and I have tested and committee agrees for larger
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person - who may need it the most - this is true. Could Gwtc get estimate to put an extra lat on the seat to widen it.
At the recent AGM people raised issue of state of path down to Park View and down to Park Road. Not possible to push buggy down there as too narrow in places. Councillor Gunn offered to get County Council to take a look and advise on solution so it is in hand.
Also raised was issue of state of road in front of Park View. Oca understand it is unadopted and have agreed to take it up as issue.
The unadopted road from Lovesome Hill Cottage through to School Row. Has never been tarmac surfaced and Oca think it is unadopted. It is in a very poor state and Oca hope it might be surfaced appropriately. Councillor Gunn is taking this up as a County Council issue.
Oca have put in bid to AAP for participatory budget - £1,000 for 6 benches in nature reserve - just information but hope on day GWTC members may be able to support.
Wind turbine making very slow progress so nothing new to report.
Councillor Tinsley thanked Mr Spencer for his report saying that the council will examine the issues raised.
For information the council has had discussions with Tow Law Town Council to raise awareness about the Willington PB projects from Oakenshaw C.A, the Angling Club and the Environment group. There are two projects so far in Tow Law from the School and the Community Association. We have agreed that there may be benefits in the two areas working in partnership on the PB day to promote both areas projects.
4. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING 4th SEPTEMBER 2013
The minutes of the meeting on the 4th September 2013 as printed and circulated were approved and taken as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed Councillor Etherington Seconded Councillor Cogdon
Matters arising (for information only)
Item 7, page 5. Councillor Cogdon said following Councillor Bennett’s proposal to remove the public toilet in the High Street. He had carried out an inspection. He found that they were in a good state of repair and very clean. He thanked Brian Metcalf, D.C.C for doing a good job.
Item 7, page 5. Councillor Graham said D.C.C have made an attempt to repair the North Dene footpath however this was stopped by residents as they were digging down.
Residents have requested that the path is raised to protect fencing and improve stability.
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There are two sinks in Carville Estate and North Lane with grass growing out of them and as they are not taking the water this is going into houses and the field.
At Armoury Fields, there were two seats removed and only one replaced Councillor Graham would like two new seats. Can the council get costs from Jeff Talbot, D.C.C. Councillor Tinsley proposed the Town Council pays for the seat.
Seconded Councillor Cogdon.
Councillor Graham thanked Councillor Tinsley for attending the Environment Improvement Group meeting.
5. TO CONSIDER THE ALLOTMENT REPORT
Councillor Graham said there was an allotment inspection in August. Those tenants who were charged an extra 50% rent have all paid.
There are two vacancies at Oakenshaw one of which has some management issues due to structures on the plot that we have inherited.
He has spoken to Dave Berry and Nicola Parker OCA regarding the situation with the locks. The top lock is ok, the middle gate is looked after by OCA and John Spencer has requested that the council pays for two new locks. This was AGREED.
He would like member to consider changing the lettings policy to allow tenancies to people who don’t live in the area.
He would like thanks to John Spencer to be recorded in the minutes.
6. TO CONSIDER THE RESOURCE REPORT
Councillor Henfry said;
APPROVAL OF EXPENDITURE AND CHEQUE RECONCILIATION
The 2013/14 Budget is £87,877 Total spend to date £41,176.33 Committed costs £5943.95
Available resource on budget £40,756.72
Expenditure with reference to the end of September 2013 was duly noted, approved and signed by the Chairman.
Recommend. Approval of the report Proposed Councillor Carr
Seconded Councillor Cogdon
STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS
The statement of accounts records that the current account balance is £15,780.
Recommend. that the report is an accurate record. Approved Councillor Henfrey.
CONSIDERATION OF CIVIC FUND APPLICATIONS
A Civic Fund application has been received from The Great North Air Ambulance. They need to raise £4 million a year to run a fleet of helicopters. Each mission costs approx £2500.
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Proposed Councillor Henfrey Seconded Councillor Etherington
CONSIDERATION OF COMMUNITY FUND APPLICATIONS
There has been one Community Fund Application.
Greater Willington Environmental Improvement Group have applied for £500 towards restocking of 12 planters with compost and summer and winter plants. Also gap planting additions of trees, shrubs and bulbs as required throughout the area.
The total cost of the project is £1090.
Recommend: that the application is approved.
In respect of existing applications. Additional information has been received from Spectrum regarding the Willington Mascot Application. Spectrum are willing to involve the council in project planning and will include the GWTC logo on the suit.
Recommend: that as the suit may be time limited we signpost Spectrum to D.C.C so they can use a range of thematic and promotional resources including mascots that are already available to visit venues
We are still waiting for the North East BMX Spectrum Club Constitution and an explanation of how the Club is separate to Spectrum Trust.
Recommend: that D.C.C provides a litter bin and empties it in support of the Spectrum’s daily litter pick.
: to include a deadline in future correspondence by which additional information requested from applicants must be submitted.
Resolved 1. That the recommendations contained in the Resource report are approved.
CONSIDERATION OF THE COMMUNICATION AND MARKETING REPORT
The Clerk presented the report to the Resource meeting and requested approval to implement the Communication and Marketing report recommendations and actions. Proposed Councillor Tinsley
Seconded Councillor Cogdon
Resolved 1. Approval of the report recommendations and actions contained therein.
7. TO CONSIDER ST THOMAS CLOSE COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT
Councillor Tinsley said feasibility work has started on St Thomas Close Community Garden. The Clerk is working with Councillor Buckham to secure funding for the
scheme. Councillor Bennett and Todd have undertaken a site visit with the Town Clerk and gained support from residents for the project.
Design work will start once land ownership issues have been verified and agreed.
8. TO CONSIDERTHE DEVELOPMENT OF A MINERS MEMORIAL PROJECT
Councillor Tinsley has suggested the development of a Mining tribute or Memorial for
example from the1896 Pit Disaster the names of those who lost their lives. This is currently housed inside at the Miners Welfare Hall.
He said he thought this would say something about the heritage of the town, link to other sculptures on the green and enhance our biggest resource.
Resolved: to start a mining heritage feasibility study
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9. TO RECEIVE COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Councillor Smith asked why nothing had been done about Hardy’s Bar mural.
Councillor Tinsley said that this had been discussed at town council meetings and we had made representation to D.C.C on behalf of residents who have complained requesting enforcement.
The findings were that as this does not represent development (advertising) under planning law then there are no means of enforcement.
Councillor Gunn said the only other possibility is under copyright law.
Councillor Bennett said a boulder had been damaged behind the R.C Cemetery at the top of Kensington Terrace.
The Clerk said she had carried out an inspection and contacted Peter Crinnion, D.C.C who had agreed to replace the concrete post and fill in the potholes that are dangerous when covered with leaves.
Councillor Cogdon said he was concerned about the amount of dog dirt on the Roman Road and would look to get another bin to be situated at the top of the hill.
He is also looking at how we could introduce a dog micro chipping programme for dogs in the GWTC area following the increase in dog theft here and in Teesdale.
Councillor Smith asked if the council provides the Christmas Lights. The Clerk confirmed that she would be starting work with D.C.C on the display soon.
Councillor Tinsley said he would be attending Bishop Auckland Town Council Charity Night on the 17th November 2013.
Staff have worked with the Phoenix Christian Centre to organise the Annual Civic
Service and Councillors are asked to attend by 2.45pm 13th October 2013. There will be a buffet following the service.
We are to do something a bit different this year which will include a life story and a puppet show. He hopes everyone will come along.
We have been holding meetings with the Royal British Legion to plan Remembrance Day. The council is organising and covering the costs for this event for the first time this year. The meeting have been very positive and all is going well.
Wreathes and poppies can be collected from the council office.
Councillor Tinsley has been invited to attend the RBL blessing and dedication of the new Willington and Crook District Standard, 5th October 2013 , St Catherines Church, Crook. All members are welcome to attend.
Councillor Tinsley is keen to support local businesses in the High Street. He is pleased to see the new American Dinner and the development of The Burn Inn. He will be writing to welcome them.
Staff will be delivering Fright Bags this week to the businesses for the Halloween Spooky Street programme in order to raise the profile of Willington High Street as part of our Invest in Willington Strategy.
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In order to encourage community engagement and debate on issues important to residents which is not possible through the public participation agenda, Councillor Tinsley intends to hold Community Forums in addition to the Annual Parish meeting.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS (for information only)
Councillor Bennett asked what is happening with the Supermarket.
Councillor Tinsley said what happens in Willington is largely dependent on what happens in Crook. This will be resolved through the local planning process. There will be an enquiry next summer.
Developers will make a decision on location based on size and economic considerations.
Councillor Gunn said the Cabinet member for Housing had spoken about the Crook supermarket at an AAP meeting.
Councillor Smith asked that Councillor Gunn liaise with D.C.C and keeps members up to date.
Councillor Gunn said that is what she is here for. She is involved in consultation with the County Durham Development Plan and submissions and wants to help
Supermarkets and other businesses.
She hopes to meet with GWTC to look at issues.
Councillor Tinsley said he and the Clerk had been looking at s106 Town and County Planning Application funding and there may be some money available for Willington associated with the new build estates.
This is capital not revenue funding.
He asked members to consider if they could identify any suitable areas for new play provision.
Councillor Carr suggested looking at the Charles Church Plan. Councillor Bennett suggested Wear Valley Estate.
11. DATE AND TIME OF THE NEXT MEETING 6th November 2013 at 7.00pm