DARWEN TOWN COUNCIL
CLERK: REBECCA AF HAY
239 RED LEES ROAD
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN DARWEN TOWN HALL ON TUESDAY,
APRIL 5TH, 2011
Present: Couns. Browne, Maxfield, Helliwell, East, Potter, T. Melia, N. Melia,
Davies, Jones, Smith, Cronshaw and McCaughran.
1. Welcome and introduction:
2. Apologies: Coun. S. Duncan.
3. Declarations of Interest
4. Minutes of the meeting
These were accepted. Coun. D. Smith asked if the clerk had received a reply
from Mr Jake Berry MP and he was informed that Mr Berry had been in
correspondence with Coun. Duncan. Coun. Potter said that an area highlighted
by Coun. Cronshaw last month with problems of double yellow lines had seen
some progress as the shop involved had closed, but Coun. Cronshaw said the
problems were still happening.
5. Mayor’s Update:
Coun. Browne said been invited to the Aldridge Foundation on April 11 th and was
to visit junior schools in Darwen with the town crier. He was to attend the St
George’s Day event and had been invited to a football match with the Duke of
6. Leader’s Update
Deputy leader Coun. Jones read Coun. Duncan’s report in his absence.
“Firstly I must congratulate everyone for the sterling progress we have made as a
Town Council over the past few years, and again remind everyone that all 13 of
the Darwen Town Council councillors receive no payment or expense allowances
for the work, time and effort they put into helping make Darwen a better place to
live, work and play. There is again a full programme of activity lined up for the
year, which, for the first time, will be advertised on the Bee radio station to bring
more people flocking into the Town Centre.
The work on grot spots, Darwen heritage road signs, and special projects such
as the spitfire are all coming along nicely and the first cheques to deserving
community causes, from the Crown Paints / Darwen Town Council community
awards will be handed out at the forthcoming St Georges day event. Coun. Jones
said there were heritage leaflets available.
The flagpole project has exceeded expectations with the first 100 flagpole
holders having been installed from the motorway down to the start of Duckworth
Street before they ran out. Using my authority level I have approved 2 further
orders of 50 flagpole holders so we can complete up to Whitehall. However to
authorise this correctly it is proposed
That Darwen Town Council agrees to the approval of the additional 100
flagpole holders (which are constructed of galvanised metal) at a cost of
£950, with an additional £900 for installation. Furthermore we need to
approve the flags of 300 St Georges flags &90p each and 300 Union Jacks
‘£1.20ea, plus 400 broom handles @45p each (£1.45 each last year) and tie
straps at £14 giving £2,674 in total
This was agreed unanimously.
Given the flagpole holders that were already in place and the 200 being installed
by DTC we estimate some 300-400 flagpole holders will now be in place.
Originally the intention was to put up St Georges day flags then take them down
and put up Union Jacks for the Royal Wedding but with the recent announcement
there will be a royal visit before the wedding it has been decided to put up the
flags asap in April alternating the St George and Union Jack flags and leave
them up until after the Royal Wedding. Coun. T. Melia said there were 30 to 40
flagpoles still up. It was agreed to put up the flags on the Sunday. Coun. Potter
said the caretaker was to sort out the town centre flags. Coun. Jones said no
councillors had been invited to the Royal visit except for Coun. Browne who had
been invited by the Aldridge Foundation.
On the 8th March we hosted the meeting of the Blackburn Area Committee of
Lancashire Association of Local Councils which The mayor, Cllr Maxfield and
myself attended – the only real issue for ourselves is that relating to PAYE for
town Clerks going forward starting with the next tax year, and possible pension
provision for employees coming up at some time in the future which will affect the
There is nothing further to report on the proposed Soldiers march through
Darwen. The mayor and myself met them at their request in February and we
await confirmation of the next meeting with the representatives of the DOL – the
only possible issue being the cost of policing. Coun. Jones said the matter of
policing could not be discussed until confirmation of the visit had been given.’’
7 Sunnyhurst Wood gala
Coun. Cronshaw appealed via the gala committee for £1,000 donation.
The matter was discussed under the finance committee.
8 A666 cleaning
Coun. Cronshaw said the road was only cleaned once a week. Coun. Browne
said it was the people’s fault for throwing litter and they needed to be educated.
Coun. Smith suggested Coun. Cronshaw enquire the cost of employing a street
cleaner and to bring the matter up at the AGM.
The bank balance at March 31st was £48,097.40.
Received: £2,000 from Darwen with Rural Neighbourhood Board.
£1,816.92 – Inland Revenue, VAT refund.
£2,145 – The Bee Radio – advert.
£324 – Shonn Brothers – flags.
£1,694.73 – LALC subs.
£243.55 – Coun. Duncan for flag accessories.
£475.14 – R. Hay, salary and expenses.
WPS - £2,744.27 – insurance (Separate quote for Darwen Live and to change to
renewal date to come).
£900 – Inside Outside Property Services – fitting flagpoles.
£900 – BR Jackson – fitting flagpoles.
£960 – ATW Engineering, manufacture and galvanising of flag poles.
£1,000 – Sunnyhurst gala donation.
£1,000 – Darwen Jazz festival donation.
£1,500 – Darwen gala donation (all donations under S137 ruling).
Letter from the Department of Transport re an application for the proposed
stopping up of a highway at the back of Queen Street and Harwood Street.
Darwen Towers: Coun. Duncan had asked for towers which Couns. T. Melia and
Coun. Cronshaw have to be returned. Coun. Cronshaw said Simon Hugill had
Coun. Cronshaw’s and also Adam Scott who used to work for BWD had one.
Coun. Browne to sort out.
Finance Committee: 200 flagpoles have been fitted so far and 56 more are to be
fitted. It was agreed that funding could be increased to £4,500.
A donation of £1,000 was agreed for Sunnyhurst Woods gala as long as the town
council is given a credit in the brochure.
A donation of £1,500 was given to Darwen Gala as long as The Mayor opens it.
Following discussion with the organisers of Darwen Jazz Festival, it was agreed
to donate £1,000 to the festival and to put an advert in the music programme.
This was on condition that Coun. T. Melia joins the committee and the festival
committee liase with the town council over contacts for products etc. Once
pricing has fully been agreed, the council can look again at further funding.The
festival to be promoted via the town council website.
It was agreed to have a budget of £500 to buy 12 radios and headsets for
Darwen Live. It had been agreed to pay for two extra policemen for the Monday
There is to be no hanging basket competition with the Darwen Shops and
Business Association as people found them hard to water last year.
Development committee: Coun. T. Melia gave an update on the spitfire and said
funding was being sought for slabs to place the spitfire on. It should be ready for
June and two sites are being looked at.
Progress on the Darwen Tower dome was being held up by English Heritage.
Communities: No meeting held. Trees were being planted for the Royal wedding
at three sites in the town.
The welcome to Darwen signs have been ordered and there is to be liaison with
the borough over siting.
12 Any other business
Coun. Helliwell gave an update on Darwen Valley and said the management
board had taken over on Monday and a part-time member of staff who used to
work at the centre, had been taken on.
Coun. Cronshaw asked why flower beds had been grassed over near to Darwen
Vale School. Coun. Browne said this was because of spending cuts. Coun.
Cronshaw advised to check with BWD as to why these had been grassed over
when others in Blackburn town centre had seen four beds planted.
Coun. Potter said the St George’s Day posters are out.
Coun. Melia said an empty office had been offered for a peppercorn rent of £1 by
a local businessman. Councillors to meet up at 6-45 p.m. before the next meeting
to inspect the building which could be used for committee meetings. The clerk to
send a letter of thanks to the owner.
Coun. East urged councillors to attend the Friends of Darwen Library meeting to
discuss cuts including the axing of newspapers and magazines.
The Friends of Darwen Cemetery is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first
interment on June 2nd.
13 Public forum
A representative from St Peter’s Association gave an update on anti-social
behaviour and said the selective licensing committee had been sorting it out. As
the alleygates had worked in one area, other areas had asked for them. It was
suggested to have a takeaway tax to combat rubbish problems in the town and
more convictions are need for fly tipping.
A member of the public asked if he could open up a disused premises he owned
in Atlas Road site for car boot sales as long as the council would contribute to
advertising. He said charities would be given free pitches. Coun. T. Melia asked
for a business plan to be forwarded to the clerk.
A member of the public asked whether a complaint made last month about
Sunnyhurst Woods had been sorted out. Coun. Browne said he was still
investigating, but would report back personally.
A member of the public complained about the expense in repairing a light outside
his home, Coun. Browne said some of the expense would have been met by the
utility company. A complaint of how a grate had been installed away from a
pavement was passed to Coun. Browne.
A member of the public questioned whether the caretaker had been approached
re putting up flags in the town centre for St George’s Day and Coun. Potter said
he had. There are some flagpoles stored at Darwen Neighbourhood Board.
A member of the public asked about the future of the neighbourhood board and
Coun. Browne said the matter was still progressing.
18. Date of next meeting
June 7th, 7 -15p.m., Darwen Town Hall, preceded by the AGM . Items for the
agenda to the clerk by May 20th please.