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DARWEN TOWN COUNCIL
CLERK: REBECCA AF HAY
239 RED LEES ROAD
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN DARWEN TOWN HALL ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 2016
Present: Couns. Taylor (Mayor), Hollings, East, Brookfield, Entwistle, Browne, Smith, Slater, and Roberts.
1.Welcome and introduction: .
2.Apologies: Couns Perkins, O’Garr, Davies and Rothwell.
3.Declarations of Interest: Couns. Roberts, Taylor, Smith and Hollings declared an interest as members of the Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board.
4 Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising
These were agreed..
4. 1 Financial task force
Coun. Roberts confirmed a meeting is to be held on October 17th.
4.2 Floral display
Coun. Hollings asked what the position was with the floral tender. Coun. O’Garr had agreed to arrange the new firm, but in his absence, it was agreed Coun. East to sort out and liase with Coun. O’Garr.
4.3 Council chamber
BWD has confirmed work will be carried out to give the chamber a facelift.
5. Mayor’s update.
Coun. Taylor paid tribute to Mr D. Gillibrand, former chairman of the Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods, who has sadly died. He said Mr Gillibrand had worked hard for the park and community and a minute’s silence was held in his honour.
Coun. Taylor had attended Holker House for a heritage event, the brass band competition, which he said had been brilliant and should be repeated, and sports awards at Darwen Vale.
6. Deputy chairman’s update
Coun. Hollings gave Coun. O’Garr’s report and said there had been events held recently from the heritage open days to the brass band competition and that the council needed to look at how successful all the events had been and whether they should be continued next year. Also to look at ideas how to make events better.
He said budget wise there are still large bills to come in from Lancashire Police for Darwen Live and the election bill. Coun. Hollings had agreed to step in at the financial task force meeting on October 17th as he has experience with the budget.
Coun. Browne suggested if Coun. O’Garr was unable to carry out his deputy chairman commitments, that he stand down. Coun. East said the website had not been updated by Coun. O’Garr. Coun. Roberts said the situation was only temporary and it was agreed to put the item on next month’s agenda.
7. Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board
Coun. Roberts introduced Samantha Taylor from the board, who gave a presentation on a meeting which had been held with local groups to discuss events held in the town and how they could be better marketed and organised. Councillors felt that as they are not experts in marketing, that it would be better to hire a professional firm to look at this and this would free up the councillors and volunteers to organise the actual events.
Coun. Roberts said it had been suggested to carry out a survey of day and night time businesses in Darwen to see if there was a need to form a bid for Darwen similar to Blackburn’s. The financing of this was discussed under a part two item.
Coun. Slater said he was still concerned over the public perception of the board in relation to the town council because of the way it was structured and said everything had to be professional and transparent.
8. Gambia trip funding request
Mark Atkinson from Football in Gambia had sent in a request for funding for the group to carry out works when they next go out to Gambia at the villages Darwen are twinned with. Coun. Taylor said he was not happy to give money to projects outside Darwen. Coun. Browne proposed a donation of £100 to subsidise the travel costs of a Darwen resident going on the next trip. This was agreed.
Received: £10,000 – BWD’s contribution to Darwen Live.
Authorised payments were made to:
R. Hay – £558.39
LCC pension scheme – £24.72 – clerk’s pension contribution
Landscape Engineering – £5,522.22 – work on industrial heritage trail.
Supporters of Whitehall Park – £245.09 – park committee grant.
Slaters Inkshop – £198.48 – brass band competition booklets.
D and J Pratt Sportswear – £133.40 – trophies for brass band competition.
S Fay – £45 – brass band competition chair delivery.
Friends of Bold Venture Park – £57 – heritage weekend.
Friends of Darwen Cemetery – heritage weekend.
Darwen Transport Trust – £100 – heritage weekend.
Linda Dee – £180 – 1940’s day entertainment.
Kays Management – £642 – food festival traffic management.
Brett Slater – £200 – Darwen Live.
Salute – £500 – Grand Prix security.
HMRC – £3 – PAYE.
J. Barritt – £30 – internal auditor, PAYE
Coun. Taylor said the heritage weekend budget was 50 per cent over budget and said Coun. East should have declared an interest as payment had been made to The Friends of Darwen Cemetery of which he is associated. Coun. Browne said the declaration of interest point should have been made in private.
Coun. Taylor questioned the donation to The Supporters of Whitehall Park as there had been a question at the previous meeting re the make up of the group’s constitution. He asked if this had changed and if not, then the grant should not be given. Mr S. Duncan, chairman of the group gave a comprehensive report on the group and its AGM and constitution and pointed out all was in order under BWD rules. It was agreed the grant could stand.
Coun. Slater said the problem re the tree in Primrose Street reported last month had been resolved.
Coun. Smith gave an update on the parks committee and Coun. East gave an update from the heritage weekend and said he hoped next year to have a vintage steam engine, which may increase the budget. Coun. Hollings said Coun. East spent a minimal amount on the event last year after seeking financial and organisational help from other sources.
Coun. Hollings reminded councillors re the war memorial flower bed which needs tendering before the Remembrance Day service. Poppy wreaths have been ordered.
12 Any other business
Coun. Roberts asked for the police to attend the next meeting to discuss the spate of break ins in Darwen town centre.
Coun. Hollings asked if the council’s free brass band concerts could be used by at community events, Coun. Roberts said they should be utilitised at town council run events only.
13 Public forum
Mr Duncan said not all the money had been claimed for the Supporters of Whitehall Park’s grant and all invoices had been made out to DTC to enable VAT to be reclaimed.
A resident asked why 13 wheelie bins had been left by BWD. It was explained this was due to delivery problems, but these had been sorted.
Mr Horsefield questioned the outcome of the Newground plan for The Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods. Councillors said this was a matter for the group itself.
14 Part two
One issue was discussed without the press and public present.
15 Date of next meeting.
November 1st, 7 p.m. Darwen Town Hall. Agenda items to be with the clerk by October 24th please.