Southern Rural Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 6th July, 2017
Time:
7.30pm
Place:
Foundation House, Icknield Way, Letchworth Garden City
 
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor D.J. Barnard (Chairman), Councillor John Bishop, Councillor Steve Hemingway and Councillor Mrs C.P.A. Strong.
In attendance:
Stuart Izzard (Communities Manager) and Hilary Dineen (Committee and Member Services Officer).
Also Present:
At the commencement of the meeting 5 members of the public.
Item Description/Decision
PART I
4 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Steve Deakin-Davies, Faye Frost, Jane Gray, Cathryn Henry, Harry Spencer-Smith and Terry Tyler.

The Chairman noted that the meeting was inquorate.
5 MINUTES
IT WAS AGREED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 March 2017 be referred to the next meeting of this Committee for approval.
6 MINUTES
IT WAS AGREED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 May 2017 be referred to the next meeting of this Committee for approval.
7 NOTIFICATION OF OTHER BUSINESS
There were no notifications of other business.
8 CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
(1) The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, particularly those giving a presentation;

(2) The Chairman reminded everyone that, in accordance with Council policy, the meeting was being audio recorded;

(3) The Chairman reminded everyone that this meeting was inquorate, which meant that no decisions could be taken, however Members would request that any grant awards that they agreed were valid be approved by the Strategic Director for Finance, Policy and Governance;

(4) The Chairman advised that the Clerk, at his request had arranged for the date of the next meeting to be changed from 7 September 2017 to 5 October 2017. This was mainly due to Parish Councils not meeting during the summer recess;

(5) Members were reminded that any declarations of interest in respect of any business set out in the agenda, should be declared as either a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Declarable Interest and 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 declaring a Declarable Interest which requires they 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.
9 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - DIPPS CHARITABLE TRUST
Dave and Arline Hursey, DiPPS Charitable Trust, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee regarding the work of the Trust.

Mrs Hursey informed Members that DiPPs was a small, family run charity that was set up in memory of their son and for which they did not receive any payment.

Their son was a healthy 18 year old who enjoyed work and played sports who passed away unexpectedly and with no warning in his sleep.

Cardiac arrest can affect people of all ages and fitness and the aim of the year old charity was to place defibrillators in public places, so that more lives could be saved.

Mr Hursey advised that 12 to 15 young people, aged under 25 years old, died from heart disease related causes each week.

It was a common misconception that heart attacks and cardiac arrest were the same thing, a heart attack was a blockage in the veins that stopped blood getting to the heart and was likely to cause a part of the heart muscle to die, whereas cardiac arrest was an electrical failure in the heart that caused it to stop pumping blood around the body.

When someone’s heart stopped beating it was vital that they received CPR whilst the defibrillator was retrieved and the two together would increase the chances of survival. Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduced survival rates by 7 - 10 percent, if an ambulance took several minutes to arrive this could mean the difference between surviving or not.

Mrs Hursey explained that defibrillators were a piece of equipment that gave a shock to the heart in order to put it into a normal rhythm. These defibrillators were designed to be use by a lay person and modern machines tell you what steps to take and how to use the machine effectively and had safeguards so that it could not be used on a person whose heart was beating.

Some people had expressed concern about possible litigation if they used these machines, Mrs Hursey advised that no-one had ever been sued in England for providing first aid.

Mr Hursey informed Members that defibrillators were becoming more prevalent in public places, particularly in villages, where it may take longer for an ambulance to arrive and are usually in locked boxes that can be unlocked with a code given by the ambulance service.

The Charity’s first public access defibrillator was placed in Knebworth Recreation Ground approximately one month ago although they had placed a total of 12 defibrillators in the community so far in places such as schools and sports centres.

The public had shown a lot of interest in the scheme and they had been able to gain publicity through the Evening Standard and Three Counties Radio so far.

Mr and Mrs Hursey were continually planning and undertaking events including presentations and fundraising events, such as a football tournament and golfing day.

Mr Hursey concluded by reiterating the aims of the Charity as:

• To raise awareness;
• Education;
• Placement of defibrillators;
• Support communities to fundraise to get their own defibrillator.

Members asked where they were based, how much each machine cost and whether they would be happy to give presentations, training and support to Parish Councils interested in having a defibrillator in their area

Mrs Hursey informed Members that they were based in Welwyn Garden City, but were happy to travel to any area that was interested.

Mr Hursey advised that each machine cost £795 plus VAT and the cabinets were £600 each, although schools were currently receiving some funding from the Government. They were happy to give presentations and awareness sessions to any group interested in having defibrillator.

A Member advised the Committee that there had been some issues regarding the discussions that took place prior to the defibrillator being place at Knebworth Recreation Ground, mainly regarding the most appropriate place to sit the machine, where it would be least likely to be vandalised and the likelihood of it being used to save a life.

Mrs Hursey agreed that they placed the machines in the hope that they would never be needed in much the same way as fire extinguishers were placed in buildings.

The Chairman thanked Mr and Mrs Hursey for their presentation.

IT WAS AGREED: That the Communities Manager be requested to:
(i) Circulate contact details of DiPPS to all Members of this Committee by email:
(ii) Liaise with DiPPS regarding applying for grant funding both from this Committee and other sources;
(iii) Liaise with DiPPS regarding contacting local schools and sports facilities in order to offer their services.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
10 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - WHITWELL LOCAL FILM CLUB
Prior to the item being discussed Councillor John Bishop declared an interest as he was a member of the Whitwell Film Club Committee and would therefore not take part in any debate or vote.

Mr John Vaughan, Chairman of the New Fellowship Hall, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation in support of the application for grant funding for Whitwell Local Film Club.

Mr Vaughan informed Members that the Fellowship Hall was a very good facility that could be used more often and that they would form a film club that would use this hall.

They had undertaken research by talking to Pirton, Tewin and Lilley film clubs, which were all successful to see how the clubs were run, the sort of films that they showed, what equipment they used and how much they charged.

They then hired equipment for three evenings to show different films, the first two events were attended by 40 - 50 people with the third being held in the next two week.

These evenings had demonstrated that there was an audience for a film club and encouraged other groups to think about how they could use the equipment.

When the equipment was purchased it would therefore be made available, free of charge, to anyone who wanted to use it.

Members acknowledged the need for film clubs in villages and noted that the Committee had previously supported both Pirton and Lilley film clubs. They also commented that other groups would likely use the equipment as demonstrated by the use of equipment in Knebworth Village Hall by the Parish Council.

The Chairman thanked Mr Vaughan for his presentation.
11 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - CODICOTE FOOTBALL CLUB
The Chairman advised that representatives of Codicote Football Club had been unable to attend this meeting to give a presentation.
12 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - CIRCLES CAFE BAR CIC
The Chairman advised that representatives of Circles Café Bar CIC had been unable to attend this meeting to give a presentation.
13 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - ST IPPOLYTS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB
Mr Paul Thapar MBE (Chairman) and Mr Andy Parsons (Secretary), St Ippolyts United Football Club, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation in support of their application for grant funding.

Mr Thapar informed Members that the Club provided senior football for the local community and they currently had one team that played in the Hitchin Sunday League. They also coached young people on a Saturday.

The Club undertook maintenance of the recreation ground and pavilion, which the rented from the Parish Council.

The Club held a five a side football tournament, which aimed to bring the community together and was their fundraising event.

This year they were adding another team to the Club for which they needed funding for kit, referee fees, match balls, children’s training equipment and storage facilities for the goal posts and other equipment.

Mr Parsons advised that the team was started from scratch, with players sourced from Hitchin, Stevenage and Letchworth and had since gone from strength to strength. Local youngsters were now making enquiries about playing with the Club, hence the move to start a second team.

The costs associated with operating the Club, restoring the pavilion and starting a second team were quite high and the club did a lot of fundraising to help with those costs including the five a side tournament and fun day.

Storage was a big issue as currently a lot of the equipment was stored off site in people’s garages, but it would be very beneficial to have on-site accessible storage.

The Club undertook a lot of work with young people, some of whom had disabilities or challenging behaviour teaching them the high standards of behaviour demanded from the Sunday League team.

Members commented that the Club had been very successful in the three years it had been operating and asked how many young people they trained on a Saturday and whether they had won any tournaments.

Mr Parsons advised that between 8 and 20 young people attend the Saturday sessions and that the Club had reached the final of the Division Two Cup Final in their first year and won the cup final last year.

The Chairman thanked Mr Thapar and Mr Parsons for their presentation.
14 COMMUNITY UPDATE AND GRANT APPLICATIONS
The Communities Manager presented the report of the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance entitled Community Update and Grant Applications and drew attention to the following:

BUDGETS
The current level of unallocated funds within the Committee’s Development Budget for 2017/18 was £10,600 with a further £4,950 available within the Ward Members 2017/18 budgets.

Members queried whether the funds previously allocated to highways could be reallocated to the general discretionary fund.

The Communities Manager advised that this money could be placed back in the general funds.

ALTERNATIVE FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS
The Communities Manager was working hard to identify alternative funding sources for community groups and supporting those groups to make applications.

SECTION 106 FUNDING
The Communities Manager consistently monitored funding available under Section 106 and supported eligible groups and schemes to apply for that funding.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES CAPITAL GRANTS PANEL
The first five grants from the Community Facilities Capital Grants Panel would be announced next week, one of the successful groups was in the Southern Rural Area.

The Communities Manager asked Members to remind groups with Community Facilities about the fund

IT WAS AGREED THAT:

(1) That the Strategic Director for Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to reallocate the amount of £1,000, currently allocated to the Great Ashby Way Crossing Point, back into the general Discretionary Budget;

(2) That the activities and schemes with which the Communities Manager has been involved with, as set out in the report, be noted;

(3) That the budgetary expenditure, balances and carry forwards within the Area Committee Development Budget spreadsheet, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be noted.

REASON FOR DECISION: To ensure that the Southern Rural Committee is kept informed of the work of the Communities Manager and to inform Members of the financial resources and current budgetary position.
15 GRANT APPLICATION - WHITWELL LOCAL FILM CLUB
Prior to the item being discussed Councillor John Bishop declared an interest as he was a member of the Whitwell Film Club Committee and would therefore not take part in any debate or vote.

The Communities Manager drew attention to the list of equipment for Whitwell Local Film Club as detailed on page 3 of the report.

The gross cost of this equipment was £6,656 of which the Club had already attracted grants and bequests totalling £4,500 and they were seeking grant funding of £1,000 from this Committee.

Members queried whether there was any way that the Parish Council could purchase the equipment thereby enabling them to claim back the VAT.

The Communities Manager advised that it was up to the Village Hall to make its own procurement arrangements.

Members noted that the amount available for grant funding was limited and asked how much previous film clubs had received in grant funding from this Committee and whether applications for funding had been made to other funders such as London Luton Airport.

The Communities Manager advised that previously funding had been sourced through Section 106 as enhancement to village halls however, in this case, there were no Section 106 monies available to Whitwell.

In respect of applications to other funders, no other applications had been made.

Members noted the value of the film club to the community, but acknowledged the limited funds available and asked that the Communities Manager support the Club to seek other sources of funding such as Section 106 and London Luton Airport.

Councillor Barnard indicated that he would be happy to allocate £500 from his County Council Locality Budget.

IT WAS AGREED:
(I) That the Communities Manager be requested to support the Whitwell Local Film Club to seek other sources of funding:

(II) That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £500 for Whitwell Local Film Club from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget towards the costs associated with the developing a local film club.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
16 GRANT APPLICATION - CODICOTE FOOTBALL CLUB
The Communities Manager reminded Members that Codicote Football Club had not been able to attend this or the previous meeting to give a presentation.

Members agreed that they would not consider this grant application until such time as a presentation was made by the Football Club.
17 GRANT APPLICATION - CIRCLES CAFE BAR CIC
The Communities Manager drew attention to Paragraph 8.1.3 regarding Circles Café Bar CIC.

He advised that the Authority had put a lot of time effort and money into the extension of the Community Centre some years ago. Unfortunately the makeup of the Management Committee of the CIC had changed over time and that the running of Café had suffered because of this.

Councillor Henry was now Chairman of this group who were working to reinvigorate the café and had already started a number of initiatives, employed a new manager and were reviewing their costings and charges. There was also a plan to close for a short period in order to refresh the café.

The Communities Manager advised that he was working closely with Councillor Henry to identify other funding sources.

Members were concerned that no one from the Circle Café Bar CIC had attended the meeting to give a presentation or answer questions and commented that the Council had already invested a lot of money into the Community Centre, albeit some time ago.

They felt that this was a community interest company and as such, should look to the management of the Café to raise funds rather than ask for a grant to purchase equipment.
18 GRANT APPLICATION - ST IPPOLYTS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB
The Communities Manager advised that the total cost of the equipment and storage requested was £2.853. The Club had already raised £1,050 from Grow the Game Football Foundation and they were requesting £1,803 from this Committee.

Members noted that this was a relatively young club that had been successful on the pitch and was bring young people in to play the game of football.

It was proposed that St Ippolyts United Football Club be allocated £900 towards the costs of starting up a second senior team.

IT WAS AGREED: That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £900 for St Ippolyts United Football Club from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget towards the costs associated with setting up a second senior football team.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
19 WARD GRANT APPLICATION - CODICOTE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
IT WAS AGREED: That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £300 for Codicote Local History Society from Councillor Gray’s 2017/18 Ward Member Budget towards the costs of a storage facility.
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REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
20 WARD GRANT APPLICATION - OFFLEY VILLAGE HALL MANAGEMENT COMMMITTEE
IT WAS AGREED: That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £300 for Offley Village Hall Management Committee from Councillor Strong’s 2016/17 Ward Member Budget towards the costs associated with enhancement of the kitchen in the Village Hall.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
21 WARD GRANT APPLICATION - CODICOTE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING GROUP
IT WAS AGREED: That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £500 for Codicote Neighbourhood Planning Group from Councillor Gray’s 2016/17 Ward Member Budget towards the costs associated with the neighbourhood planning process.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
22 WARD GRANT APPLICATION - ST PAUL'S WALDEN MOTHER AND TODDLER GROUP
IT WAS AGREED:
(1) That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £100 for St Paul’s Walden Mother and Toddler Group from Councillor Barnard’s 2016/17 Ward Member Budget towards the cost of purchasing new play and early learning equipment;

(2) That the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance be requested to authorise grant funding of £100 for St Paul’s Walden Mother and Toddler Group from Councillor Frost’s 2016/17 Ward Member Budget towards the cost of purchasing new play and early learning equipment.;

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
23 WARD AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS - MEMBERS’ REPORTS
No Ward or Outside Organisation issues were discussed.
Published on Tuesday, 8th August, 2017
8.47p.m