NEW MILLS TOWN COUNCIL

NEW MILLS TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the FULL COUNCIL MEETING, of NEW MILLS TOWN COUNCIL, held in the
Council Chamber, Town Hall, New Mills Derbyshire, on Monday 14th July 2014, starting at
19:30hrs.
Present :- Cllr D I Lamb (in the Chair), Cllr R Atkins, The Reverend Cllr J C Baines, Cllr A
Bowers, Cllr G Bowers, Cllr M Davies, Cllr L Dowson, Cllr J Hall, Cllr A Stevens and Cllr S
Whewell
Also present was:
Town Clerk
Minute Taker
Lesley Bramwell
Paul Harris
8 Members of the Public were present
The Chair announced at the start of the meeting that the meeting was being recorded
for the accuracy of the minutes. All mobile phones must be switched off and out of
view
395
TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
(Agenda item 1)
All Councillors were present.
396
VARIATION OF ORDER OF BUSINESS
(Agenda item 2)
No variation of the order was moved.
397
ITEMS TO BE MOVED FROM PART 1 OF THE AGENDA
(Agenda Item 3)
None requested.
398
DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
(Agenda item 4)
Cllr J Hall - agenda item 22 planning
The Reverend Cllr JC Baines - agenda item 22 planning, applicant known
Cllr R Atkins – agenda item 7, Chairman’s report, heritage centre
Cllr S Whewell – agenda item 23, Visit New Mills Treasurer
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399
PUBLIC SPEAKING
(Agenda item 5)
A representative from Creative Spaces a community arts project spoke regarding
agenda item 28 a family fun day with an aim of bringing people together for a fun
day on 3 August.
A member of the public raised various issues of damage to footpaths, Health and
Safety problems and failure to meet planning permission conditions connected with
a building project on Whitehall Road.
A member of the public spoke regarding agenda item 21, the first aid caravan. He
informed the Council that this had now been added to the insurance of New Mills
Festival.
Councillor Dowson spoke regarding changes in hire vehicle licensing, allowing a
vehicle to be licensed in one authority but work anywhere in the country. There
were concerns about hire vehicles being licensed by more lax authorities and
working in the High Peak area where the Council is much more strict.
Councillor Dowson also spoke regarding changes to planning and a shift of focus on
Councils towards having to find reasons why building cannot take place. There was
agreement for planning training to be carried out for New Mills Town Council if
required.
It was reported by Cllr Atkins that the Airport Relief Road had been given planning
permission by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, by Cheshire East Council
and Manchester City Council, and the application had since gone to the Secretary
of State for final approval and had been agreed, it would not be long before work
commences.
400
TO RECEIVE AND CONFIRM THE MINUTES OF THE (a) FULL TOWN COUNCIL
MEETING DATED 9TH JUNE 2014, (b) EXTRA ORDINARY MEETING 30TH JUNE
2014
(Agenda item 6)
RESOLVED:- That the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on Monday 9th June
2014 be accepted as a true record of that meeting subject to the following
amendments:
Minute number 375 regarding co-option of members to the Council, the final
paragraph incorrectly stated Derbyshire County Council and should read as follows:
“Regarding the two new vacancies, following the resignation of Jacqui and
Mark Gadd, High Peak Borough Council had been informed and a process
was being followed for filling those places by election or if appropriate by cooption.”
Minute number 387 should be amended as follows:
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“It was reported that a stock take had been taken and there was a £9000 retail
value loss of stock at the Heritage Centre.
There was information that the Heritage Centre had been accessed by
person’s unbeknown to the Council and there was uncertainty of who had
keys to access the centre, the insurance companies would not look
favourably on any claim unless the situation of key holders was managed
appropriately, and as such the Locks needed changing as a priority.”
9 votes FOR
RESOLVED:- That that the minutes of the Extra Ordinary meeting held on Monday
30th June 2014 be accepted as a true record of that meeting subject to the following
amendment:
Minute number 394 paragraph towards the bottom of page 2 should read:
“Mr Bradshaw further mentioned that an Audit was underway. The Auditor
was Liz Boswell. It was noted that an Intermediate Audit was requested by the
External Auditor this was to demonstrate that adequate internal controls were
in place. Cllr Whewell asked if the audit questions were standard requests,
the RFO replied no clarifying this with the explanation that intermediate audit
questions were asked of Councils with income over £200,000.”
7 votes FOR
401
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
(Agenda item 7)
The Chairman gave his verbal report. Items were as follows:
 Regarding the item on the appointment of a solicitor at last month ordinary
meeting, this item was deferred due to only two quotations obtained. On
advice from DALC, 3 quotations were not required for the appointment of a
Solicitor. Nigel Davies was appointed
 The Health and Safety audit was carried out on 16 June 2014. Some policies
were 10 years out of date. Full explanation in the Clerk’s Report and
following agenda item.
 It was stated that the only legal place decisions may be made was in the
Council Chamber in a properly constituted meeting
 There was no Policy and Finance Committee item on the agenda, the
Council needed to put in place Financial Regulations and Standing Orders to
progress this item. DALC advised that membership could be restricted by
Council to individual councillors
 Regarding the Audit of Accounts the Internal Auditor of the Council did not
feel she could carry out the Audit
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 The HR Consultant contract was up, policy and procedures were in place and
the Consultant was no longer needed. If there needs to be a HR Consultant
for any Tribunal then the Town Council will put that in place at that point. HR
advice can also be obtained from DALC
 There had been a complaint by the former HR Consultant alleging
harassment and intimidation by a Councillor – Cllr Dowson felt this should go
to the Standards Board rather than the Town Council and felt this was not
following correct procedure
 The Responsible Proper Officer is responsible for forming the agenda in
consultant with the Chair
 Heritage Centre Management Committee Chairman appointed until
September 2014
 Heritage Centre stock take – Acting RFO reported £11,515.68 of stock in
Heritage Centre. Councillors and Staff have looked can find no evidence of
this. Some stock was not sellable. Main concern was stock could not be
found. A proper stock take was needed. Cllr Bowers stated the figure of £11,
515.68 was incorrect £2000 - £3000 stock was there at most therefore a
£9000 difference. Cllr Dowson suggested that a professional stock take was
needed first then when the outcome was known the Council could react
 Security keys have been obtained for the Heritage Centre. Alarm fobs were
also needed to be changed too – Cllr Dowson raised concerns about lack of
security whilst volunteers were present
402
CLERKS REPORT
(Agenda item 8)
The Town Clerk gave her verbal report. Items were as follows:

Staff id badges on lanyards with photographs priced at £4.95 per badge and

a start up cost of £25.00. Cllr Dowson asked if Councillors could also be
issued with a badge
DBS Checks were needed; these were priced at £50 per person and
available from a training organisation in Ripley as it was difficult to get them
done locally. Cllr Dowson mentioned that Glossop Volunteer Centre may be
able to help
The Standing Orders and Financial Regulations were needed, it was also
noted that the Town Clerk had no remit to spend under the current position
Health and Safety recommendations from the report needed urgent action,
the 5 year electrical testing had not been done and there was no evidence
that it had ever been carried out
The Report from David Owen indicated that the Town Hall required around

£30,000 of spend to ensure it complied with Health and Safety legislation
A premises supervisor was needed urgently



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


A licence was needed in order to play music, the Town Hall had never had
one
Security at the Town Hall was raised. The Registrar was in the building after
1pm when the office closed, would like a door installed with a security code.
It was noted that this had been approved in 2013 and could therefore be
done
It was noted that the Assistant Caretaker worked as a part-time Registrar and
would like to increase hours. This would be of no increase in cost to the
Town Council and would help to increase income
It was RESOLVED that staff and councillors’ badges could be purchase and DBS
checks could be carried out.
All votes FOR
403
TO DISCUSS AND AGREE THE STANDING ORDERS
(Agenda item 9)
Item was deferred to an extra ordinary meeting, to allow for full discussion.
404
TO DISCUSS AND AGREE THE FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
(Agenda item 10)
Item was deferred to an extra ordinary meeting, to allow for full discussion.
405
COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
(Agenda item 11)
Cllr Dowson requested that every Councillor receive a copy of the handbook. Item
deferred to the next meeting.
406
ASSET REGISTER
(Agenda item 12)
The Town Clerk reported that she was in the process of updating the register. This
item was ongoing.
407
HEALTH AND SAFETY – REPORT FROM DAVID OWEN AND HOW TO
PROGRESS HIS RECOMMENDATIONS
(Agenda item 13)
The Town Clerk presented the Health and Safety Report from David Owen to the
Council. A number of the points were highlighted including the 5 year electrical
testing of the Town Hall Building, escape lighting, various items identified by the fire
and safety officer, training for staff. The tarmac work required near the library was
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also highlighted, three quotes had been obtained and the area was identified as a
safety risk. The Parks Manager had identified a preferred quotation.
Councillors accepted that work needed to be done as a matter of priority on all “A
Rated” recommendations in order to put the Council on a legal footing.
It was also highlighted that a protocol was required in order to evacuate disabled
people from the Ground Floor as there was currently no disabled access through
the front door.
The Town Clerk had advised to close the building.
It was RESOLVED that the electrical testing be carried out as a matter of
emergency and that quotations be obtained for all “A Rated” items for agreement at
a future meeting
7 votes FOR 2 votes AGAINST
408
TARMACING AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE LIBRARY LECTURE ROOM
(Agenda item 14)
It was RESOLVED to accept the quote as recommended by the Parks Manager and
to get the work done as soon as practicable.
All votes FOR
409
SECURITY ISSUES ON THE TOWN COUNCIL COMPUTERS
(Agenda item 15)
It was explained that there had been an external attack on the computer equipment
at the Town Hall with an attempt to access the RFO computer on several occasions
with a reset of passwords.
It was RESOLVED that the IT company that installed the equipment be called in to
check everything over.
9 votes FOR
410
WORLD WAR I – COMMEMORATION – REQUEST BY STEPHEN LEWIS TO
PURCHASE TWO NOTICE BOARDS
(Agenda item 16)
Cllr Lamb reported that the Parks Manager would like to purchase two notice
boards for placing close to the original sites of notice boards used during World War
I and for permission to install and maintain them. The Reverend Cllr Baines
reported that if the notice boards were erected on Church Land they could not be
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used by the Church for advertising due to Diocesan Faculty regulations. It was
noted by Councillors that the purpose of the boards was to display roll calls of those
killed in action and to be updated with biographical details of the casualties on the
anniversary of their deaths. Cllr Dowson reported that funds were available from
High Peak Borough Council that could be used to purchase the notice boards and
these should be sought first before purchasing the notice boards.
It was RESOLVED that the Council would apply for funding from High Peak
Borough Council towards the cost of purchasing two notice boards for the purpose
of World War I Commemoration. If funding was not forth coming from High Peak
Borough Council, the Council agreed that notice boards could then be purchased
using New Mills Town Council funds.
All votes FOR
411
REPORT FROM THE RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER
(Agenda item 17)
The Acting RFO submitted a report which was read to the Council. This was as
follows:
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Following the report the Council raised a number of questions to be clarified by the
Acting RFO. Cllr A Bowers requested a minute that he was unhappy to accept the
report as correct until the Heritage Centre stock take had been completed.
A question was raised as to why the Acting RFO mentioned items may lead to court
appearances in the section of his report on Internal Audit, more detail was needed
from the Internal Auditor as to what court she meant and why, this was passed to
the Town Clerk for clarification.
Cllr Dowson expressed concern at the large number of Paid Priors; this was beyond
the agreed direct debits and at odds with the recommended system previously put
in place by the Acting RFO. Councillors also requested more detail as to what the
individual amounts were for.
A further question was raised by Cllr Stevens as to why the Acting RFO position did
not pay Employers National Insurance Contributions. He was self employed so this
matter would be checked by the Town Clerk.
Councillors discussed whether they were happy for the Acting RFO to remain in
position whilst the Audit continued. There seemed to be a general acceptance of
this, although no formal decision was made.
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Cllr Whewell asked a question as to why some cheque numbers were “missing” on
the Paid Priors list. The Town Clerk would look into this.
The report was NOTED with the request that the information sought would be
presented to the Council through the Clerk.
412
APPOINTMENT OF COOK & BUTLER OF CODNOR AS SPECIALIST AUDITORS
AS RECOMMENDED BY THE INTERNAL AUDITOR AND DALC
(Agenda item 18)
Cllr Dowson proposed the appointment along with the authorisation to look back as
far as possible towards 10 years. It was also proposed by Council that the Clerk
look into whether insurance would cover the cost of this activity.
It was RESOLVED that Cook and Butler of Codnor be appointed as Specialist
Auditors and that they be authorised to investigate as far back as possible towards
10 years.
413
PARKS MANAGER’S REPORT
(Agenda item 19)
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The Parks Manager report was presented to the meeting as follows:
Authority had already been granted to purchase goal posts at a previous meeting.
The World War I Notice Boards were considered under item 16 minute number 410.
It was RESOLVED that Newtown and Bakehurst Recreational Grounds should be
nominated for the Centenary Field Scheme.
It was RESOLVED that staff safety tabards be purchased for use at events and
other appropriate times.
414
CARETAKER’S REPORT
(Agenda item 20)
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No report was received.
415
INSURANCE RENEWAL AND TO DISCUSS THE INSURANCE FOR THE
CARAVAN WHICH IS NOT OWNED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL
(Agenda item 21)
This item was spoken to by a member of the public under public speaking session.
It was NOTED by Councillors that the Caravan was insured elsewhere and it was
RESOLVED that the insurance would be renewed without the Caravan.
416
PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(Agenda item 22)
(Those Members who are on the High Peak Borough Council Planning Committee,
indicate that their views are provisional, and they reserve final judgement, on the
application until the matter comes before the Planning Committee, when they will
have before them all the material considerations including the Planning Officers
report).
HPK/2014/0226
HPK/2014/0148
HPK/2014/0233
HPK/2014/0017
HPK/2014/0262
NP/HPK/0614/0667
417
Already done
No Objection
No Comment
No Objection
No Comment
No Objection
ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT
(Agenda item 23)
RESOLVED : - That the Accounts for Payment were accepted but with the following
restrictions; it was stated that in future more detail was required and should include
cheque number, who the payment was for, a description of the items and amount.
Clarification was sought on Crosby and Dorrigo before these could be paid.
6 votes FOR 1 vote AGAINST 1 vote ABSTAIN
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Due to the meeting reaching the maximum amount of time permitted under
Standing Orders, the meeting closed at this point in the agenda, other items were
deferred to the next meeting.
Meeting Closed at 21:46
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