MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BELPER TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON 5th MARCH 2002
PRESENT:Councillor Randall Sanders (Town Mayor) in the Chair, Councillors Tim Benson, Alan Broughton, Ron Buzzard, Alan Cox, Ron Day, Robert Hallsworth, Peter Leahy, Ben Miller, John Nelson, Joyce Sanders and Richard Watson.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Elaine Emmott, and Michael Handley.
- CHANGE IN ORDER OF BUSINESS
No amendments were made to the agenda.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Alan Cox declared an interest in item 11 (Planning Applications) and Councillor Ben Miller declared an interest in item 12 (Justices and Entertainments Licences).
Councillor Ron Buzzard declared an interest in Planning Application AVA/2002/0152 (demolition of wooden building at Herbert Strutt Primary School).
- MARKET PLACE
Mr Bob Harrison, English Heritage's Advisor for the East Midlands said that some softening of the appearance of the Market Place could be achieved by having window boxes on buildings around the Market Place and providing hanging baskets on lamp posts. He would also countenance some modest planters, either mobile or permanent, to define the boundary between the main road and the Market Place. However he would be opposed to the planting of trees , but not to ones planted within the curtilage of surrounding properties which would eventually overhang the Market Place.
The discussion divided on the one hand into those who considered the Market Place should be a place where markets and other activities were held and should be kept fundamentally as it is, but with some softening on the lines advocated by Bob Harrison. On the other hand were those who wanted the softening process to be taken further with the provision of, for example, mobile planters.
It was pointed out that the Heritage Lottery Fund had made a major contribution to the work that had taken place in the Market Place. Accordingly they were in a position whereby they could recover some or all of their grant aid if the Council took measures which had a significant effect on the concept of the Market Place as originally envisaged. They would probably regard softening the landscaping any further than that advocated by Bob Harrison or allowing car parking as contravening the original concept that had been agreed by the various bodies who had contributed to the work. It was noted that at the planning stage the public, including those who lived in or near the Market Place, had been involved and had endorsed the overall scheme.
It was agreed to continue the discussion at the next meeting.
- ST JOHN'S CHAPEL
Mr Bob Harrison outlined his views on each of the proposals contained in Norder's report. Whilst in agreement with most he suggested that in some areas different techniques may be more appropriate. In particular he suggested that "stitching" rather than replacing the lintels in the west end wall may be equally effective in closing the cracks and have less impact on the appearance of the wall.
He explained that the causes of the movement of the building could be due to the foundations being built on clay that dried out and so contracted in summer, or the presence of tree roots that, too, took moisture out of the ground, or even because of movements in the water table.
In the first instance he recommended that English Heritage's structural engineer and their expert on diseases and infestations of wooden structures should inspect the building. They would probably find it necessary to climb into the roof. This would necessitate the erection of a scaffolding tower in the Council Chamber. The tower could then be used to inspect and possibly replace the guttering. The gutters did not appear to be functioning properly in heavy rain and overflowing water could be affecting both the roof timbers and the foundations. It was likely that investigation would recommend their replacement as a matter of urgency. His recommendations were agreed.
The costs of the work advocated by Norder were some £25,000, but further inspection may lead to other problems being uncovered. Such a sum would have a very serious effect on the Council's finances. Accordingly grant aid may have to be sought from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Townscape Heritage Initiative and possibly English Heritage.
- ITEMS TAKEN IN CAMERA
There were no items that warranted being taken in camera.
- MINUTES OF COUNCIL MEETING HELD 5 FEBRUARY 2001
The minutes of the meeting held on 5th February 2002 were received
- MATTERS ARISING FROM THE ABOVE MINUTES
483-458 Public Conveniences
A letter had been received from the Borough Council stating that the town centre toilets would be opened by 7.00am each day and closed between 6.00pm and 7.00pm.
495 Grit Bin - Wren Park Close
It was reported that residents would prefer a green grit bin rather than a yellow one. As the Council only had yellow ones in stock the decision as to whether to agree to their request would be taken by the Town Clerk after further consultation.
- MINUTES OF GOLDEN JUBILEE COMMITTEE - 27 FEBRUARY
The minutes of the Golden Jubilee Committee held on 27th February 2002 were noted.
- MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Referring to the successful and enjoyable Civic Service and reception held on Sunday 10th February the Mayor singled out the choir from Crich Carr School for particular praise.
The Council's representatives at the Belper and District Neighbourhood Watch Support Group Awards Night on 17th May would be the Mayor and Mayoress in office at the time, the present Mayor and Mayoress (Councillors Randall and Joyce Sanders) and Councillors Alan Cox and John Nelson and their wives.
A letter from Lieutenant Commander Ireland and a press cutting from the Navynews referring, inter alia, to HMS Brocklesby's renewed affiliation with Belper were circulated.
Members were reminded that nominations for the Town Service Awards and the Maurice Heeley Award should be reported to the next meeting.
- PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Councillor Joyce Sanders reported that there appeared to be no contentious issues on either schedule of Planning Applications, and this was borne out by the fact that she had received no comments from members.
- JUSTICE'S AND ENTERTAINMENTS LICENCES
No comments were made on the various Applications for Gaming Permits, Justices' Licences and Entertainments Licences set out in the schedules of 5th and 25th February.
- PAYMENTS AND RECEIPTS
The Schedule of Payments and Receipts covering the period from 24th January to 22nd February 2002 was received and approved. The Schedule is attached to these minutes and shows total payments of £12,257.24 and receipts of £1,939.67.
- BELPER LEISURE CENTRE
Councillor Ron Buzzard tabled the minutes of the meeting of the Belper Leisure Centre Trust held on 7th February. He added that the re-tendering process was now completed, and at least one tender came within the Trust's financial parameters, and he was hopeful of a start being made on the capital works shortly.
- STREET WARDEN SCHEME
Councillor Ron Buzzard was nominated as the Council's representative on the team being established to manage the Street Warden Scheme for the Parks Estate.
- A6 PEDESTRIAN REFUGE
The proposal to site a pedestrian refuge in the middle of Chapel Street just to the north of the "Safeway" traffic island was welcomed.
- BELPER FOLK CLUB
The incident that had led to the closure of the Folk Club, after some 40 years in Belper, and its subsequent move to premises outside the town were discussed at length. It was agreed that a letter be sent to the Folk Club regretting their departure and encouraging them to find new premises in Belper.
- CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
The schedule of correspondence received, together with various items that had been received since the agenda had been circulated, were noted.