Events Darwen Town Council Meeting – October
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
  • STARTOct 6th - 7:00pm

  • ENDOct 6th - 9:00pm



Darwen Town Council Meeting – October


Present: Couns. Maxfield, Evans, Entwistle, Davies, Smith, Taylor, East, Hollings, Brookfield, Browne and Connor.


1.Welcome and introduction:  .


2.Apologies: Couns Huggill and Rothwell.


3.Declarations of Interest: Coun. Entwistle declared an interest re the credit union and Couns.Entwistle, Browne and Maxfield declared an interest in ex- Mayor’s badges..


  1. Anti-social behaviour


Coun. Hollings introduced PC Boast from Darwen Police who had been invited to attend the meeting and discuss the possibility of public space orders to try to eliminate anti-social behaviour in the parks of Darwen, especially Sunnyhurst Woods, Bold Venture and Olive Lane Park. Coun. Davies said the anti-social behaviour had led to a lot of play equipment being damaged and removed, meaning children were missing out.

PC Boast said during the last year only one criminal damage and two incidents of anti-social behaviour had been reported and logged and because of this it did not justify public space orders being introduced. Coun. Browne said the problem did not just relate to parks, but also residential areas of Darwen. It was agreed that police resources which have been cut have not helped. PC Boast said the only way forward was for all incidents to be reported and logged so the police would have a clearer picture of what is going on. It was agreed to try to encourage people to use the 101 system. Coun. Smith also suggested that the town council look at a scooter scheme which used to be run by BWD where people toured the parks on scooter at night and reported any incidents. Coun. East said a type of Park Watch should be introduced and Coun. Davies said there should be some sort of reward scheme for people reporting incidents which lead to convictions.

Coun. Connor said all major agencies, such as police and councils should work together to resolve problems.


5 Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


These were accepted.


5.1 Finance


Coun. Browne asked why Coun. Hollings had authorised to spend £225 on refreshments for the Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods meeting. Coun. Hollings said he did this using his authorisation powers because there was a need for the Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods to be reformed and a meeting held. Coun. Browne said he felt this was a waste of taxpayers money and should not have been allowed.


6 Mayor’s update


Coun. Maxfield has attended the brass band competition and said the event had been a big success and thanks to all organisers. Coun. Hollings said he had received thanks from many people and the Blackburn and Darwen Brass band officials had to be praised for their organisational efforts.


  1. Deputy chairman’s report


“I say with great pride that 2015 has been an amazing year for events in Darwen.

I’ve got to extend congratulations to Coun. East for his tireless efforts with many organisations in creating a fantastic and diverse heritage weekend and hope Coun. East will extend that gratitude to all that took part. John’s ability to organise at very little cost to the taxpayer has to be commended.

The food festival was another marvellous Day with Coun. Taylor at the helm, many people in Darwen braved some awful weather to enjoy a great occasion.

1940s Day, which I sadly couldn’t attend gets bigger every year, well done to Coun. Evans. This is the only event that has come out over budget but brings lots of people into town.

The Brass band competition was another great success for us with 14 bands from the region competing. Although this was an inaugural event, the feedback from bands taking part was that it was one of the best organised events that they have ever taken part in.

Many people have pleaded with us to repeat the event next year.

People from out of town, some of which had never visited Darwen before were extremely complimentary about the town and particularly the community spirit.

I wish I could take credit as the organiser, but to be quite honest, Blackburn and Darwen Brass must get all the accolade. While initial estimates were that it would cost around £8,000 to put on the event, the final cost is set to come in at just less than £3,000.

The one major saving was the accidental decision not to use a stage which saved us £1,600, £2,000 pledged by BwDBC and £1,200 road closure sponsorship from Capita.


All organisers can congratulate themselves at the way they have handled the tight budgets set at the beginning of the year. Most notably –

Darwen Live came in around £4,000 under budget despite the capital cost of body cams

Darwen Pedal Car Grand Prix spending power was halved and came in almost £400 under budget and £2,000 less than last year.

The Dance festival costs came in around £240 less than last year despite extending the budget by £500.

The Food festival came in very similar to last year despite capital spend on Safety equipment. This gives Coun. Taylor more spending power for the Michaelmas market.

Although the 1940s day was over budget, the decision to close Croft Street and Market Street stretched the spending.


One thing that overshadows these successes is the news that Darwen Gala Committee are struggling to continue due to dwindling membership, particularly of younger people. Having worked with the members, as has Coun. Taylor, it really saddens me that while the community love the event, there aren’t more people willing to take the time to make it happen.

Despite Red tape and spiralling costs associated with safety being met by DTC, the committee really is down to the bare bones.

If the town loses this event, it loses over 50 years of tradition.



Actual  Budget
Balance at Start £    46,278.88  £ 46,278.88
Admin. £      9,149.08  £ 11,000.00
Misc £      3,041.89  £   5,000.00
Parks £    12,400.00  £ 25,000.00
Grants £      8,123.40  £ 20,000.00
Flowers £    10,066.00  £ 10,000.00
Veterans £   2,500.00
Heritage Weekend £         913.00  £   1,500.00
St Georges Day £      2,361.46  £   2,500.00
Darwen Live £    25,912.73  £ 30,000.00
Dance Festival £      3,731.50  £   4,500.00
Pedal Car GP £      2,113.11  £   2,500.00
1940s Day £      5,275.94  £   4,500.00
Food Festival £      2,313.74  £   4,000.00
Beer Festival £   1,000.00
Brass Band Comp £     4,274.60  £   5,000.00
Precept £    61,000.00  £122,000.00
Precept £    61,000.00
VAT Return £    10,492.54  £ 10,000.00
Income Other
Income Total £  132,492.54  £132,000.00
Costs £    89,676.45  £129,000.00


Coun. Taylor said there is a committee meeting of the gala and a new committee hopefully will be formed. Coun. Davies added his congratulations towards the success of events, particularly the heritage event and Coun. East said the heritage event had been a big success in part to the help and support of BwD Council. He hopes to tweak future events and asked for feedback.

  1. Darwen Dashers

No update.



  1. Crown Awards



Coun. Davies asked if feedback should be given from Crown Awards meetings to the Darwen Town Council meeting and this was agreed.



  1. Darwen Industrial Heritage Trail and machinery re painting


Coun. Smith and Hollings have toured the town and identified areas where the industrial machinery needs painting and the area tidied up. Crown Paints have donated the paint for this and it was agreed to put the work out to tender with firms applying in writing before the next meeting via the clerk. Coun. East said it was also a good time for the Darwen Industrial Trail leaflet and Green trail to be updated and this was agreed.


  1. Vandalism reward scheme


This was discussed in item 4.


  1. Finance



Received: –


£61,000 – precept.

£500 – Friends of Bold Venture Park re park project.



Authorised payments were made to:


  1. Hay – £468.48 – clerk’s salary and expenses.

LCC pension scheme – £24.72 – clerk’s pension contribution.

Stopped cheque – £12.50.

The Bee – £60 – VAT on food festival invoice.

Wendy Fleming – £60 – dance festival.

The Bee – £540 – 1940s day.

Riverside Garden Centre – £4,430 – winter bedding.

JW Shaw Amusements – £360 – fun fair for 1940s.

Darwen Transport Trust – £240 – vintage bus donation for heritage weekend.

Brass band competition prizes and adjudicator’s fee – £3,600.

Henry Christopher printers – £283.40 – Darwen Jazz Festival leaflets and posters.

Highfield Church – £50 – 1940s day.

Friends of Bold Venture Park – £120 – photographic competition prizes for heritage weekend.

STC Services (Plant Hire) Ltd – £11,400 – de-silting of four ponds at Bold Venture Park.

BWD – £180 – bus stop suspensions for 1940s day.

Slaters Inkshop – £84 – leaflets and posters for band competition.

Slaters Inkshop – £494.60 – programmes and certificates for band competition.

Portable Conveniences – £396 – brass band competition.

  1. Barritt – £30 – PAYE.

HMRC – £247.80

Salute – £500 donation for homeless person.

St James’s band – £100 donation for Remembrance Day.

DJ Pratt – £175 – brass band trophies.

Cue Music – £200 – brass band competition.

St John Ambulance – £184.80 – food festival.

Slaters Inkshop – £348 – food festival.

  1. Harrison – £100 – 1940s day couriers.

RCD Leaflet Distribution – £367.20 – food festival flyer distribution.


It was agreed to move the balance of the Britannia account into the credit union with the same three signatures.


13 Correspondence


A letter outlining the achievements of Darwen Cricket Club was received, Coun. Maxfield to ask for a similar one for the football club.


A letter was received asking The Mayor to attend a Gilbert and Sullivan performance in February.The clerk to decline because of work commitments.


A picture of the winner of the Darwen Flower and Vegetable Show winner was received.



14 Updates


Photographic evidence of Bold Venture Park’s latest project was shown. Coun. East asked re any written evidence re a grant given to The Friends of Whitehall Park in 2013. The clerk said BWD is currently investigating .



15 Any other business


Coun. Maxfield asked for a donation of £100 towards St James’s Band who play at the Remembrance Day services. This was agreed.


A grant of £500 was given to Salute to help a homeless veteran after information given by Coun. Maxfield.


A request had come in to light up Darwen Tower and this is to be looked into.


It was agreed to donate £1,500 towards the fireworks for Darwen Cricket Club’s bonfire, with money raised to be split between the Mayor’s Charity and youth development at the club. Stewarding has been agreed.


Coun. East gave details of Remembrance Day services.


Coun. Maxfield asked for permission to have ex-Mayoral badges, with 50 costing £120. This was agreed.


Coun. East has sails available for publicity material.



16 Public Forum


Mr G. Smith of Riverside Garden Centre discussed the floral projects and it was agreed more colour is needed. Mr Smith said taking over the project at the end of May had effected performance. It was agreed to look at the water system for the hanging baskets with Mr Smith and Coun. Hollings liasing.


17 Date of next meeting.


November 2nd  Agenda items deadline is October 26th please.