Baldock and District Committee Minutes

Monday, 5th December, 2016
Baldock Community Centre, Simpson Drive, Baldock

Attendance Details

Councillor Jim McNally (Chairman), Councillor M.R.M. Muir (Vice-Chairman), Councillor S.K. Jarvis, Councillor Janine Paterson and Councillor M.E. Weeks.
In attendance:
Ashley Hawkins (Community Officer)
Susanne Gow (Committee and Member Services Officer)
Also Present:
3 members of the public, including public speakers.
Cllr Mrs Lynda Needham (Leader of North Hertfordshire District Council)
Item Description/Decision
Cllr Valentine Shanley had indicated that, due to work commitments, he was likely to arrive late for the Meeting, but in the end was unable to attend. There were no other apologies for absence.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 September 2016 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman.
There was no additional business raised at this Meeting of the Baldock and District Committee.
(1) The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting including the general public including the public speaker for Public Participation, Mike Taff and his wife Gill, and Albert. He also welcomed Members of the Committee and the Community Officer.

(2) He stated that members of the public could use their devices to film/photograph or make a sound recording of the meeting, but asked that they raise their hand to let him know if doing so, so that all present could be informed. He asked that any flash or sound notifications were disabled before the meeting. Those present were informed that the meeting would be sound recorded.

(3) Members were then reminded that any declarations of interest in respect of the business set out in the agenda should be declared as either a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Declarable Interest and they are required to notify the Chairman of the nature of any interest declared at the commencement of the relevant item on the agenda. Members declaring a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest must withdraw from the meeting for the duration of the item. Members revealing a Declarable Interest which requires them to leave the room under Paragraph 7.4 of the Code of Conduct, can speak on the item, but must leave the room before the debate and vote.

(4) Members of the Committee were requested to clearly state their reason for declaring an interest and what that interest was and to say whether they would remain in the room, speak and vote, and not just to declare an interest per se.

(5) Finally, the Chairman informed Members that the Committee Clerk would be retiring from North Hertfordshire District Council shortly and her last day would be 30 December 2016. As a result, this would be the last time that she would attend the Baldock and District Committee Meeting.
Lynne Misner, CEO and founder of Small Acts of Kindness, addressed the Baldock and District Committee. She quoted statistics regarding the heating, health and mental health of people aged over 60 who struggle to keep warm and explained that the organisation was seeking help to fund 150 Warm in Winter Gift Bags to be distributed to elderly residents throughout North Hertfordshire. These bags contain a large fleecy blanket, thermal socks, hat, gloves and a mug, together with a selection of hot drinks and soup and some literature. This, along with hot meals, drinks and effective heating were essential for the health of older people and SAK was happy to work with care providers. 377 requests for the bags had been received and 1,500 had been distributed so far this year - many more are certain to be needed. The contents of each bag costs £30 and the objective is for everyone who needs a bag to be given one. It was explained that some employees donate to SAK through their salaries. Ms Misner concluded by informing the Committee that she had recently been awarded a Points of Light Award by the Government. She thanked the Committee for listening to her address.

The Chairman thanked Ms Misner for presenting to the Committee and asked the Committee whether they had any questions or points to raise. A Member congratulated Lynne Misner on her work for the elderly of North Hertfordshire and asked how many months of the year do they distribute the Warm in Winter Gift Bags. He was informed that they distribute all year round, but the major demand comes from October round to April each year. On being asked, she confirmed that distribution went to not only Baldock, but the surrounding villages as well. The Chairman echoed his colleagues’ congratulations on the work done by mall Acts of Kindness and the Committee voted unanimously to award the sum requested, in the usual split. So Baldock Town would contribute £156, Baldock East £48, Arbury £54 and Weston and Sandon £42. The grant application would be formally awarded later on the Agenda (see Minute 40 below).

Judy Banham, representing Ashwell Music Festival, addressed the Baldock and District Committee. She explained that the Music Festival had started in 1953 by Canon Patrick, and it was now run by his widow, Judy Patrick. Evensong was still held, mainly for local people. The Ashwell Music Festival was still in the process of being finalised, but tended to be for the younger residents, involving the Knights Templar and St Mary’s Church Choirs. The Festival is likely to be between 18 and 25 May 2017 in St Mary’s and the United Reform Church. During the Festival, local resident Kiki Dee will play an acoustic live show with another musician, and there is also an Ashwell and Friends Concert and the Festival Evensong. The Ashwell Music Festival Committee try as much as possible to use the internet but do also issue tickets. A lot of publicity and advertising is used, but help is required. Money from the proceeds is put back into schools and the junior choir and for use of the buildings. Last year’s costs were £600 for publicity and advertising.

The Committee asked whether adult choirs were also involved in the Music Festival, and this was acknowledged, with the information that music/choirs from the wider field were also involved. A Member proposed that funds should also be contributed from Baldock, not just from Ashwell but the difficulty was the lack of funds in the Arbury budget, as there is not much left. The Committee agreed that as people from Baldock take part in and visit the Music Festival, a contribution should be made of 50% from Arbury (£450) and 50% from Baldock Town and Baldock East (a total of £450).

The grant application relating to this presentation would be considered later on in the Meeting (see Minute 41 below).


(1) That Lynne Misner, CEO and founder of Small Acts of Kindness CIC be thanked for her presentation to the Baldock and District Committee;

(2) That the grant application relating to funding support for the distribution of 150 Warm in Winter Gift Bags to the elderly across North Hertfordshire be considered later on the Agenda (see Minute 40 below);

(3) That Judy Banham representing Ashwell Music Festival, be thanked for her presentation to the Baldock and District Committee;

(4) That the grant application relating to funding support to assist with publicity costs for putting on the 2017 Ashwell Music Festival, be considered later on the Agenda (see Minute 41 below).
Councillor Jarvis declared an interest in this item, as he is a member of the Baldock Network Group, which is closely associated with the Baldock Town Partnership.

Councillor Weeks reported that more businesses had been approached to take part in the reformation of the Baldock Town Partnership, but there had not been sufficient response as yet. However, all concerned were determined that this would go forward and the past Chairman, James Lunnon who had been instrumental in its formation, had agreed to be involved.

It was commented and the Committee agreed, that Baldock must maintain and even raise the standard of events held in the Town.



The Community Officer (CO) introduced the report of the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance and informed the Baldock and District Committee of changes implemented and activities carried out since the last Area Committee Meeting on 5 September 2016.

The CO took the Committee through the report and the budget spreadsheet, touching on the current level of funding for each Ward in the Area Committee’s 2016/2017 Grant Budget at para 7.3 as well as the current level of funding available within the Area Committee’s 2015/2016 Grant Budget at para 7.4. He declared that the release of funds for purchase of the new minibus were still being awaited and the Chairman commented that the bus had been identified and will be purchased in March 2017.

The CO ran through items in the report, such as the item at para 8.2.1 on Small Acts of Kindness at 8.2.1 and Ashwell Music Festival at 8.2.2, the CO gave details of each grant application to be considered. At 8.3.the CO ran through past events such as Balstock on 10 and 11 September, the Baldock Fair on 2, 3 and 4 October, the first Baldock Weight Watchers Charity Walk on 8 October and the Baldock Community Fireworks which had taken place on 22 October.2016. The first Ashwell Fun Run on 18 September was also touched on and the CO revealed that he had actually won this race! This was a 5k race which was likely to be increased to 10k in 2017. The Chairman and the Committee congratulated the CO on his victory.

The CO stated that work had commenced on Sale Drive and the footpath was likely to be completed by Christmas, with the lighting being done shortly after. This had taken quite a long time to come to completion. The Community Officer was thanked by Members for his work over the past few years, especially on the Baldock Street Fair.

Under para 8.4, Highways Matters - the Chairman voiced thanks to Cllr Muir for his help with the installation of a speed device in Weston Way and he was informed that there were three more fixings in the pipeline (near Tesco, in Clothall Road and on Royston Road - 40mph). More speed devices were required in the future in North Road and Station Road. Each device counts up to 20,000 vehicles and logs their speeds before passing the information on to the Police. A Member commented that there was £20,000 left in his Herts County Council Locality Budget for 2017/2018 and he asked Members whether they would nominate useful projects to use some of these funds.

A Member commented that the A1M was becoming busier near Baldock and that sound barriers are to be installed by the Highways Agency early in 2017.h Street) had been funded from his Herts County Council Locality Budget.


(1) That the activities and schemes with which the Community Officer (CO) has been involved, be noted;

(2) That the actions he has taken to promote greater community capacity and well-being for the Baldock and District area, be noted;

(3) That the CO be thanked for his work on behalf of the people of Baldock and the surrounding area;

(4) That the Committee considers the grant awards to the two organisations as detailed at Minutes 40 and 41 below;

(5) That the budgetary expenditure, balances and carry forwards within the Area Committee Development Budget spreadsheet marked as Appendix 1, be noted.


(1) To ensure that the Committee is kept informed of the work of the Community Officer (CO);

(2) To inform Members of the financial resources available to the Committee. The report draws attention to the current budgetary situation, assists in the effective financial management of the Area Committee’s budget and ensures actions are performed within the Authority’s Financial Regulations and the guidance in the Grants Policy.

(3) The awarding of financial assistance to voluntary organisations and the use of discretionary spending allows the Committee to further the aims and priorities of the Council;

(4) Production of this report is a requirement of the ‘Priorities for the District’ in which the Community Officer is required to produce a formal report to the Area Committee in line with the Civic Calendar.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £300 be awarded to Small Acts of Kindness CIC to assist with the purchase and distribution of 150 Warm in Winter Gift Bags to older people living in North Hertfordshire.


(1) The awarding of financial assistance to voluntary organisations and the use of discretionary spending allows the Committee to further the aims and strategic priorities of the Council;

(2) The allocation of funds will improve the services provided by local organisations and groups that are available and accessed by members of the community.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £450 from the Arbury Ward budget together with £450 from Baldock Town be awarded to the Ashwell Music Festival to assist with funding support for publicity costs for putting on the 2017 Ashwell Music Festival, subject to further discussion with the Baldock East member regarding his agreement to also make a contribution, in which case the funding from Baldock Town would reduce. The total sum awarded would therefore be £900.


(1) The awarding of financial assistance to voluntary organisations and the use of discretionary spending allows the Committee to further the aims and strategic priorities of the Council;

(2) The allocation of funds will improve the services provided by local organisations and groups that are available and accessed by members of the community.

The Chairman mentioned that the Coca Cola lorry in the TV adverts was due to visit Tesco in Baldock on the following day (6 December) and went on to wish the Committee, officers and all present a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Published on Thursday, 22nd December, 2016
8.12 p.m