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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, DECEMBER 6TH, 2016
Present: Couns. Taylor (Mayor), O’Garr, Hollings, East, Brookfield, Entwistle, Browne, Smith, Slater, Davies, Perkins and Roberts.
1.Welcome and introduction: .
2.Apologies: Coun. Rothwell.
3.Declarations of Interest: Couns. Roberts, Taylor, Smith and Hollings declared an interest as members of the Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board. Coun. East declared an interest re Darwen Heritage Centre.
4. Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising
These were agreed..
4. 1 Noticeboard key
Coun. Smith has taken the town council noticeboard key and is to get another cut. He will put up town council related notices. The clerk to arrange a council contacts poster.
5. Mayor’s update.
Coun. Taylor lit the town bonfire. A collection in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young raised £1,902. Coun. Taylor had also attended Derwent Hall AGM, Remembrance Day events, St Cuthbert’s licensing of the new vicar, St Cuthbert’s pantomime, St Edwards’s Parish Hall and he was due to attend a Christmas tree event at St Peter’s Church.
6. Deputy chairman’s update
Coun. O’Garr explained his recent absence from meeting which was due to work commitments, which had now lessened and he was back on board. He agreed to look at the website. Coun. Hollings to prepare the updated budget for the February meeting. He said he was concerned that some events may suffer now due to the retirement of markets manager Gwen Sangster and the fact the Neighbourhood police officers’ roles are changing. It was agreed to have more publicity to attract more volunteers and to set up a list of people who can help. It was stressed that people would not have to run the events, just help out.
7. Darwen Heritage Centre business plan
Representatives from the centre presented a business plan to the council. This follows the acquisition of Holker House to use as a centre. Funding from the Lloyds Trust has allowed the centre to get going and representatives are keen to have the centre used by the local community, with facilities for schools, community organisations.
A financial forecast was presented with current annual running costs around £14,000 and representatives asked Darwen Town Council to contribute to these for three years so that they could gradually get less as more income from grant funding and community use comes in.
Coun. Taylor said five years ago Labour members of the council had tried to set up a heritage centre and member of other political parties had refused to back it along with the Friends of Darwen Library.
He said the centre idea was worthwhile and proposed that the town council contribute £3,000 for three years on condition The Mayor of Darwen serves on the centre management board and that annual accounts are presented to the council. Coun. Smith said the town council funds a few groups in the town and the grant to the heritage centre would be the highest.
Coun. Davies said a more realistic figure would be £10,000 for the first year and then gradually the need for money would reduce over the next two years. This was backed by Couns. Perkins and Slater.
Coun. Taylor’s proposal was agreed and representatives from the centre are to report back to the February meeting to confirm if they agree with the council’s condition.
Authorised payments were made to:
R. Hay – £541.03 – salary and expenses.
LCC pension scheme – £24.72 – clerk’s pension contribution.
Kays Traffic Management – £600 for 1940s day
A Bretherton – £5,100 – Bold Venture Park work.
Greenfingers – £2,223.44 – Autumn/winter planting.
St James Band – £50 donation, Remembrance Day.
The Electoral Review of Blackburn with Darwen wards was received. No decision will be taken on the town council’s wards until 2020.
A letter was received from Mr R. Mitchell, a former town resident who has designed and made a sign to commemorate the pilots who flew the spitfire aircraft. He wrote to ask if it could be erected next to the spitfire sculpture. Councillors agreed this was an excellent idea and agreed to liaise with BWD’s planners to sort out the next stage.
Coun. Taylor said he had been approached by members of the Lions group who were given permission to put up a plaque outside the town hall in memory of noteable people in the town to discuss whose names went on it. It was agreed that the Lions could decide.
A parks meeting to be held after the main meeting. Coun. Smith said old byelaw signs in the park needed updating and replacing and he proposed the town council fund 15 at a total cost of £1,351. Coun. East asked whether it was a legal requirement for the borough council to put these up.
It was agreed to fund the signs which will go in the parks and cemetery.
Samantha Taylor gave an update on her work promoting the town through social media and the benefits of the speed and access to people over more traditional methods. It was agreed that this should be explored and town and borough events publicised more widely through this channel. She encouraged the town council to seek sponsorship for events .
Coun. East gave an update on the floral displays. The spring/summer tender to be discussed at February’s meeting.
11 Any other business
12 Public forum
Mr S. Duncan gave an update on the work the supporters of Whitehall Park have done and forthcoming events and a plan to set up a children’s gardening club.
Mr H. Blackwell attended the meeting to pass on his thanks to councillors for their support over the years over a now successful project by The Friends of Square Meadow to adopt part of the former Moorland School land for community use. Councillors congratulated Mr Blackwell and asked the clerk to write formally.
12 Part two
One issue was discussed without the press and public present.
15 Date of next meeting.
February 7th, 7 p.m. Darwen Town Hall. Agenda items to be with the clerk by January 30th please. There is no meeting in January 2017.