COTGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL
Chairman's Annual Report 2013-14
In May 2013, Councillor McGinley was
elected as Chairman, and Councillor Wood was elected as
On 8th October 2013,
Councillor McGinley asked the Clerk to inform all councillors
that, for personal reasons, she was going to take a break of three
months from Council business. Councillor Wood then became Acting
At 9.30am, on 19th November
2013, the Clerk accepted Councillor McGinley’s resignation, and
informed councillors that she had done so.
On 4th December 2013,
Councillor Wood was elected as Chairman, and Councillor Attewell
was elected as Vice-Chairman.
Drew Wilkie was elected to the Council
on 13th February 2014.
Cotgrave Town Council has managed this
last year’s operational challenges and budget effectively, and has
tried to be more proactive in implementing new ways of working
with the community, to enrich the lives of all residents. There is
no doubt that the workload of the Clerk and the Administration
Manager has increased, arising from initiatives such as the
Community Website, and so the Administration Manager’s hours have
been increased from sixteen to nineteen and a half. So that
staffing matters, such as long-term absence due to ill-health, can
be discussed promptly, a Personnel Committee has been formed, and
has met when necessary to recommend actions to Council.
Councillors’ surgeries have been
introduced, and are held periodically on Saturday mornings, in the
library, and though they have not been massively attended, they
demonstrate Council’s desire to listen to residents’ views. As
developments on the former colliery site and town centre progress,
the surgeries may well become a more popular conduit for public
opinion. The last of the Cotgrave Forum meetings, which similarly
have not been well attended, has taken place, so the surgeries may
well compensate for that loss.
Council has worked co-operatively with
partners in the planning for the building of new homes, and for
the redevelopment of the town centre. In June 2013, workshops, in
which the public was invited to contribute ideas, and learn about
employment and training opportunities, were held in the Welfare,
and there have been displays of the different kinds of houses that
will be built. The Clerk and Chairman have attended the Strategic
Board meetings, to which they have taken councillors’ questions,
and Kath Marriott, Head of Transformation at Rushcliffe Borough
Council, now attends Cotgrave Town Council meetings, whenever
possible, to field any questions arising from her update on
progress. The Strategic Board, in its entirety, comprises Allen
Graham, Chief Executive of Rushcliffe Borough Council, and
representatives from Notts County Council, Rushcliffe Borough
Council, Cotgrave Town Council, Barratt David Wilson, Metropolitan
Housing, and the Homes and Communities Agency. The meetings are
usually held in the Civic Centre, West Bridgford.
The Clerk and Chairman have attended
conferences and meetings convened by Rushcliffe Borough Council,
and the Clerk has attended additional events for her own
professional development. These have helped to enhance their
understanding of developments in other parishes and towns, some
The Clerk and other councillors have
attended the Local Area Group meetings with the police, and have
discussed priorities for policing in our area. As part of
maintaining an effective dialogue, the Chairman, Clerk, and a
member of CNHW met Inspector Berry, the new Inspector for
Rushcliffe, and pertinent issues were discussed. As ever, Council
is grateful for the work done by the police, CNHW, and the
Speedwatch Team in helping to keep crime down in Cotgrave. A
Lorrywatch has also taken place to see if there is a problem with
lorries exceeding 7.5 tonnes, and without a drop-destination
within Cotgrave, passing through, and though the figures point to
there being no significant problem, the situation will be
monitored again, later in summer.
There is much of which we can be
proud. The Christmas Lights event was really well attended, and
there was positive feed-back in the media, and from those who had
a stall, sponsored the day, or simply came to enjoy it. We are all
looking forward, once again, to Cotgrave Festival, and our thanks
go, in advance, to the Committee and all those who will help on
the day for their massive efforts. I am sure the organisers are
pleased that their bid for lottery funding has been successful.
As a responsive Council, we are about
to appoint a Cotgrave Community Warden, who, for two hours a day,
for one year, will make a significant contribution to the
cleanliness of areas where people have not cleared up after their
dogs, and who will report to the Clerk other problems, such as any
build-up of litter. The work will be undertaken by Streetwise,
though the warden will be clearly identifiable by a high
visibility jacket with COTGRAVE COMMUNITY WARDEN on it, and we
hope the public will see a difference.
A small group of councillors and two
members of the public have met to discuss the possibility of
establishing a wild flower meadow and community orchard, and
though there has been only a small level of interest shown, to
date, the group will meet again. This follows one councillor’s
good idea to invite two representatives from the Keyworth
Abundance Scheme to address a Town Council meeting.
Council has made funds available for
the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. The
organising group, of which several councillors are members, has
already met and produced an excellent programme of events.
The introduction of our Citizenship
Awards has been successful, and long may Council continue to
recognise sustained and significant contribution to Cotgrave.
Council is aware that Cotgrave is
dynamic, and is grateful to all who work with and support young
people and those needing advice and information about work and
other matters. Our gratitude extends also to those who provide
activities for older citizens, and to those who care for our
wonderful country park.
Finally, Cotgrave Town Councillors
have worked well together, and have made real attempts to be
proactive. Meetings have been constructive, and good ideas have
been generated. I would like to thank all employees of Cotgrave
Town Council, but particularly the Clerk and her Administration
Manager for being an ever-present, frontline face for the public.
Finally, my thanks go to all councillors for their unstinting
commitment to Cotgrave. It is a pleasure to work with them all.
(Chairman of Cotgrave Town Council)
11th May 2014
COTGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL
Chairman's Annual Report 2012/2013
we move closer (hopefully!!) to better weather, the regular events
have started with the first Safari sale of the season. Some 27
houses took part on a very pleasant sunny day which shows that
this event is proving very popular and is an easy way of disposing
of unwanted items which have taken up space in your attic for
years. What may be of no further use to you may be just what
someone else is looking for.
The next community event is the Cotgrave Festival which takes
place on Saturday 15 June with a combined church service and
picnic on Sunday, 16th June. Whilst there will be a
sporting event with a 10km run, there will also be a carnival
theme with fun and games for everyone. Watch out for the
advertising which will start very shortly.
Positive Futures are continuing the excellent work they are doing
with the young people of the village. Their work includes guiding
youths towards personal responsibility and helping them to strive
and achieve. The benefit of the work is evidenced by the ability
of those involved to successfully accomplish a variety of
practical objectives which will lead them on to have ambition to
reach their personal potential.
addition, the Ready 4 Work club which is now operating twice a
week in Cotgrave is helping local residents find work. In the
present economic situation with jobs being hard to find, for there
to have been in excess of an 18% success rate in helping people
find employment is a tremendous achievement and is a valuable
benefit to our community.
27th April, Cotgrave Church of England Primary School
held a commemorative church service to celebrate the 150th
anniversary of the opening of their current building. The
ceremony was very well attended and it was almost ‘standing room
only’ in Church. Both Mr Peter Barclay, Chair of Governors and
Rt. Revd. Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham gave
very informative, inspirational and amusing addresses. A donation
to the school was made by Cotgrave Council in commemoration of the
Following the service, over 200 people including residents and
past pupils of the school congregated in the school yard for
photographs and to swap stories of ‘what happened when I was at
this school’. Altogether, it was a most enjoyable and memorable
Dates for your diaries are 8th and 9th June
when there will be a ‘Visioning Weekend’ in the Welfare. This
will give you the opportunity to see how the plans for the
development of the colliery site and also the Precinct are
developing. You will be able to meet the developers and comment
on the plans and how they will favourably affect our village.
Ian J Shaw
15th May 2013
Chairman’s Annual Report 2011/2012
The first year of the new council has
passed with amazing rapidity. Following the election, the first
two months presented a number of unforeseen difficulties, but
ultimately a resolve was found for these matters and this enabled
progress to be made.
Resultant of an insufficiency of
candidates in the election, a by-election was called by residents
to fill the vacancy on Manor Ward. Subsequent to this, following
two resignations of Ash Lea councillors at different times, a
further election for the first vacancy was called but the second
vacancy was not contested and therefore a third election was not
required. The two by-elections resulted in an unforeseen cost to
Council of over £6,000.
A further cost which was totally
unexpected towards the end of the financial year was the necessity
to replace the tractor at a cost of £9,000. It is of credit to the
Chairman of F. & G.P. working with the clerk, that we were able to
virtually stay within budget during the financial year.
Furthermore, it was found possible that the precept could be
maintained without increase for the current year.
Many welcome challenges have been
faced by the council working together. The aim has been to create
events to unite the community and to improve the quality of life
in Cotgrave for its residents. Change cannot happen overnight and
no matter what is proposed, it takes time to accomplish the
objective. However, with the aim to involve residents where
possible in projects and incentives, a feeling of community spirit
is beginning to develop.
We have seen the launch of the new
Community web site which is receiving favourable comments from
residents and there are a growing number of people who have signed
up to the site. A considerable number of traders have seen the
potential benefit of using the site for promoting their
businesses, and with encouragement, this can only increase.
Community events organised by council
members are proving to be popular with residents. The Safari car
boot sales have attracted large numbers of residents each time,
and advertising has brought visitors into the village for these
sales. The Festival of Sports planned for the end of June, has
seen a large number of residents within Cotgrave coming forward to
help organise the event. These are just two examples of the
developing community spirit within the village.
With the objective of improving the
quality of life in Cotgrave, other initiatives launched are
Neighbourhood Watch – resulting in almost 33% of the village being
covered following the first meeting. The speed awareness plan
currently been developed is in its infancy, but the initial
meetings held are encouraging and indicate that this can be
effectively moved forward. Again, with both these ideas, residents
have come forward to assist.
There has been significant reduction
in reported crime in Cotgrave. The relationship with the police
has risen to a high level and Council are intent of continuing
this relationship and giving such support and help as necessary in
order to maintain this very welcome improvement which is making
Cotgrave a safer place in which to live and work. A combination of
police involvement, the Neighbourhood Watch and the Speed
Awareness projects are all contributing to raising the quality of
life for the residents of Cotgrave
The planned development of the
colliery site and re-development of the Precinct is starting to
move forward although this will take a number of years to
complete. Exhibitions have and will continue to be held to keep
residents aware of progress and as a member of the Cotgrave Member
Board set up by Rushcliffe Borough Council, I will strive to
ensure the best interests of Cotgrave are promoted.
A further project planned by
Rushcliffe, is the Cotgrave Asset Group. This is intended to
examine ways of maximising on the use of assets such as Futures
and The Welfare. I have been included in the intended membership
of the group, together with representatives of – among others –
The Welfare and Futures. Official meetings have not yet commenced
but once they do, it will be possible to report back to Council on
strategy and progress.
Turning to the formation of the
Council, the desire was that it be de-politicised. This has proved
to be the case and it is gratifying to report that Council is
working together as an elected group of 16 members to give the
maximum benefit to the village and its residents.
It was thought that following the
voluntary departure of the previous clerk, insurmountable
difficulties would follow. This did not prove to be the case and
the affairs of the village continued to be run in a professional
manner by the then Assistant to the Clerk.
It is not possible to give sufficient praise to Mrs. Stephenson
who faced the challenge head on and the well-earned result was
that she was promoted to Town Clerk effective from 1st
April. Considerable help and experience was also brought by Mrs.
Pick in support of Mrs. Stephenson, and her new title of
Administration Manager has been well earned.
I would like to offer my sincere
thanks to all councillors for their support during the past year
and for their willingness to become involved in projects designed
to improve Cotgrave and work towards giving full and visible value
to residents. There are still a number of challenges which lie
ahead, and I know that with the continued enthusiasm shown thus
far, these will be met and success will be achieved to the benefit
Ian J Shaw
16th May 2012