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COTGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL

Chairman's Annual Report 2013-14

 

In May 2013, Councillor McGinley was elected as Chairman, and Councillor Wood was elected as Vice-Chairman.

 

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 Chairman.

 

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 outside Nottinghamshire.

 

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.

 

Vance Wood

(Chairman of Cotgrave Town Council)

11th May 2014

 

 

 

COTGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL

Chairman's Annual Report 2012/2013

As 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.

In 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.

On 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 event.

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 afternoon.

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 of all.

Ian J Shaw
16th May 2012

 

 

 

 

 


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