Parish of New Mills.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of New Mills at New Mills Town Hall on Monday 30th April 2018.
46 electors were present ;- L. Allen, D. Aris-Sutton, D. Ash, T. Ashton, B. & R. Atkins, B. Bate, R. Body, D. Brumhead, N. Burgess, S. Carrington, J. & T. Clark, P. Cohen, A. Cooper, J. & M. Daniels, B. & K. Dent, P. Doran, L. Dowson, K. Fisher, D. & J. Forshaw, P. Frost, M. Gannicliffe, K. Garside, C. Hanson, R. Harman, S. & T. Jeacock, J. Jones, N. Kelsall, L. Kendall, D. Lamb, J. Lanham, P. Lannigan, I. Mason, J. Olive, R. Seccombe, A. & D. Shields, A. Stevens, G. Tomlinson, J. Tyldesley, S. Whewell, C. Wright.
Councillor Bate, Chair of New Mills Town Council, declared the meeting open and welcomed everybody.
1. Appointment of Chair of the meeting. It was agreed that Councillor Bate would chair the meeting.
2. Appointment of Minute Taker. It was agreed that Ian Mason would act as Minute Taker.
3. Minutes of meeting held 15th May 2017. An elector pointed out that at the bottom of page 1 ‘Minute No 2015/149’ should read ‘Minute No. 2016/149’. With no other comments, the Minutes were agreed as a true and correct record.
An elector asked about the absence from the Annual Parish Meeting of the Town Clerk. The Chair pointed out that attendance by the Town Clerk was not a requirement.
4. Income and Expenditure for 2017/18. The Chair drew attention to the circulated document (below) showing the Town Council’s Income and Expenditure for 2017/18. There was a question about the possibility of payment of grants to community groups. The Chair responded that the Council was currently not paying any Section 137 grants.
PARISH OF NEW MILLS 2017/2018
HPBC Council Support Grant 22,723
HPBC Council Parks Grant 97,489
HPBC Grants 4,750
Total Income 370,091
Employee Costs 201,221
Total Expenditure 372,524
Excess Expenditure over Income -2,434
Heritage Centre 2,747
Town Hall 104,871
High Lea Hall 9,761
Heritage Centre 20,494
Town Hall 88,990
5. Member attendances at Town Council Meetings 2017/18. The Chair presented a chart showing the percentage attendance of members at meetings for which they were eligible; –
Coun. Bate 100%
Coun. Brumhead 100%
Coun. Frost 100%
Coun. Atkins 86%
Coun. Allen 77%
Coun. Dowson 73%
Coun. Ashton 71%
Coun. Lamb 64%
Coun. Whewell 50%
Coun. Harman 43%
6. Reports from Community Groups. The Chair explained that a random selection of community groups had been invited to speak briefly about their work. For the Town Council the Chair announced that work would soon start on the new Torrs Bridge, a new Town Council website should be put up tomorrow by www.commune2.com and Terms of Reference and a Constitution for a new Heritage Centre Committee is now in operation.
Torrs Hydro Scheme. Richard Body gave a snapshot of the ten years of the pioneering project and looked forward to producing lots more electricity for the Co-op store to use.
One World Festival. Patty Doran announced that there would be a Festival this year after a year’s break. A new 20 strong committee is preparing for the event on 7th July.
New Mills Festival. Patty Doran apologised for Lynn Bannister’s absence and spoke on her behalf. There will be a reduced event this year with no Lantern Procession due to financial pressure and volunteers’ deficit. The Committee hope for better communication with and support from the Town Council acting as facilitator for working together more closely. There was criticism of the very formalised nature of Town Council meetings.
Walkers are Welcome. Jeanne Daniels said that New Mills is now recognised as a ‘Walkers are Welcome Town’. She outlined the work of the group around footpaths, facilities and leaflets. Support from the Town Council would be appreciated without having to undergo the ordeal of sitting through Town Council meetings.
Mason’s Arms. Paul Frost gave a summary of how 5 people (Clare Allen, Mark Cobley, Tom Fricker, Paul Frost, Julie Hudson) had fought to save the 300 year-old pub from being closed by gaining Community Asset status. It has now re-opened with a local landlord.
Allotment Society. Rick Seccombe said there are now 57 plots on two sites owned by the Town Council. The 90 members had raised £10,000 for upkeep and improvements and a recent Lottery grant had been awarded as well.
Women’s Group. Sasha Carrington outlined the aims of the group to offer a social support network. Due to lack of funds the Group had a break last year but have now re-formed. One of the problems is affordable room hire now that the Group has been refused access to the lower local hire rate by the Town Clerk. At present they are being accommodated at First Steps Nursery.
Lance Dowson interjected to defend the action of the Town Clerk who, he claimed, could only act on Council decisions.
Heritage Centre. Judith Lanham gave an account of the 30-year development of the Centre which attracts 12,000 visitors annually and is also an accredited museum. Volunteers are the heart of the Centre and some have been with the Centre since its opening. The Centre will continue to be a flagship for the town as a go-to attraction. The Centre works with the Town Council but its representatives find Council meetings formal, fractious and off-putting.
Cricket, Bowls and Tennis Club. Alistair Stevens said the Club catered for 8 – 85 year-olds in 10 different leagues. The first cricket session of the season attracted 90 youngsters. He thanked the Town Council, County Council and Visit New Mills for their support.
Sett Valley Patient Participation Group. Jill Jones outlined the purpose of the Group to influence the Practice and the NHS locally through sharing patient experience and lay representation. She extended an invitation to any patients at Sett Valley to join a workshop on 16th May at the Royal Hotel in Hayfield.
Visit New Mills. Sean Whewell explained the work of the group that has 93 local businesses in its on-line directory trying to promote the town and its activities. The ‘Quiz it’ nights have so far raised £20,000 for local groups with an additional £12,000 being raised by town events. They are aiming to buy some new festoon lights for the town, continuing the Community Cinema, running events in the town and looking closely at facilities for cyclists.
Litter Pickers. After picking 479 bags of litter over the last two years, David Aris-Sutton said the Group was hoping to expand its work to the streets in summer to help the Council, as hedgerows are more difficult to pick from when in full bloom. Having taken 110 bags of dog poo from trees the group are setting up a dog-poo finding scheme to address the problem by identifying the worst areas and offenders.
Hayfield British Legion. David Ash announced that £9,500 had been raised for the Poppy Appeal and thanked the Town Council and Visit New Mills for their support. They are hoping to start a monthly hub meeting for Veterans in New Mills and are organising two events to celebrate the centenary of the end of The Great War. There will be a
tribute concert at the Art Theatre on 3rd November and a ‘100 years ago’ workshop for all local schools funded by the Branch. They are hoping the Town Council will participate in the national Beacon Lighting event at 7 pm on 11th November.
Volunteer Scheme. Pam Cohen spoke about a registration system for volunteers being developed initially with One World Festival and New Mills Festival in order to improve matching people and skills and build up a resource for the town.
New Mills Junior Football. Lynne Allen said the Club is 46 years old and has a thriving section with over 200 children involved. An under-7’s team started this year and they are aiming for an under-6’s team next year. The Club is working with the Town Council on the problem of the availability of pitches.
Community Orchard. Lance Dowson gave the background of the first orchard which produces fruit for free if you pick it. This Council initiative has now been taken over by a Friends Group that also manages a second orchard at Ollersett. They are preparing for the Annual Apple Day on 30th September.
Council Representative. Lance Dowson alluded to problems of doctor recruitment at Sett Valley and other surgeries (representative to Sett Valley PPG) and mentioned his role as a Public Governor at Stepping Hill Hospital.
7. Local charities/trustees.
New Mills Brass Band. Joyce Tyldesley reminded electors that New Mills is the oldest continuous-playing brass band in the world and continues as a community band and a learner band.
Torr Vale Mill Preservation Trust. Sean Whewell said that negotiations are taking place about another Feasibility Survey which can only be described as a ‘work in progress’.
Volunteer Centre. Tony Ashton reported that the Centre continues to provide a wide range of front-line prevention services, Connect Active travel for Derbyshire County Council and a Home from Hospital service. Some services rely on funding from North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group that has a financial shortfall and is in special measures with NHS England – a subject of concern.
8. County Councillor’s Report.
With so much information having been shared earlier in the meeting Beth Atkins briefly touched on the quarry smell, the Food Bank, Foodie Café (for which a dishwasher has recently been provided), Newtown station, library cuts (especially at Hayfield) and books for St. George’s Primary School. Beth finally thanked the army of volunteers in the town who give so much to the community’s well-being.
9. High Peak Borough Councillors’ Reports.
Tony Ashton spoke about how Council Tax is raised and distributed, litter and dog-fouling, fly tipping, residents’ parking concessions, new website, new waste bins and the tip at the quarry.
Ray Atkins explained the new joint set-up for waste collection between 3 councils resulting in an improving 49% re-cycling rate.
Lance Dowson spoke about the Planning Committee, Licensing Committee, case work, anti-social behaviour in the town, the website ‘New Mills Community Awareness’, the Police crime map and pot holes in the roads.
The Chair thanked all four councillors for their reports.
10. Any Other Parish matters.
Lynne Allen circulated a sheet she had produced about the new website, crime stoppers, etc.
An elector raised an issue about the sad state of Bakehurst Recreation Ground and the failure of the Town Council to address the problems. The play area only has two swings. Lance Dowson responded that the Council is well aware of the problems but the estimated cost of repairing the footpath is £15,000 and this is beyond the budget held by the Parks Manager. The repairs would need a specific allocation by the Town Council or trying to get some Section 106 funding allocated. In addition, Stephen Lewis is trying to upgrade the status of some parks, including Bakehurst, which would lead to other sources of funding.
An elector asked about the notices for the Annual Meeting that have not been widespread. The Chair said that social media had been used this time but acknowledged the need for more publicity. The notice board overlooking Hall Street is being moved for health and safety reasons. A new one has replaced it on the left-hand side of the front door of the Town Hall. There was a request for boards in more prominent positions in the town.
An elector requested that the minutes should be made available as soon as possible on the web site. The Chair assured them that this would be done.
With no further business, the Chair thanked everyone for their attendance, contributions and patience and closed the meeting at 21.35.