April 6th 2021 Meeting Minutes

April 6th 2021 Meeting Minutes


Present: Couns Salton, East, Browne, Connor, Smith, Taylor, Brookfield and Slater., plus representatives of the Ellison Fold Parkland Association CIC.

1.Welcome and introduction: 2.Apologies: Couns Davies and Rothwell.

3.Declaration of interests :

Couns Salton, Connor and Slater declared an interest in the discussion with Ellison Fold Parkland Association CIC and played no part in the debate.

4. Minutes of the last meeting:

These were agreed and will be signed off at the next physical meeting.

4.1 Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods

Coun Salton had been approached by a representative of the group to apply for funding to pay for plants to replace those damaged during the recent bad weather. The group will be asked to apply through the usual parks committee channel once the new council has been formed in May.

4.2 Events

Coun Connor had spoken to Laura Johnston of Crafty Vintage and once restrictions allow, she is happy to work with the council on events and has her own public liability insurance. Coun Connor has confirmed with the Blackburn and Darwen Brass Band group that they carry their own insurance and the clerk confirmed that any events organised by outside bodies, even if it is on behalf of the council, will have to carry their own insurance. Only events planned and organised fully by a paid employee of the town council can be added to the insurance for cover and an extra premium will be charged for each event.

4.3 Jack Keys land

Following discussions organised by Coun Connor, representatives of the Lancashire Badger Group are working with BWD council on a youth project on Jack Keys land.

5. Public forum:

Mr Mark Radnedge from the Ellison Fold Parkland Association CIC attended the meeting to discuss the group’s nomination request to include on BWD’s council list of assets of community value, Ellison Fold Parkway. The land is earmarked for development. Mr Radnedge said the group were non for profit and wanted to protect the land from development due to it having being used as a country park by local people for more than

50 years. He said the open space was needed to ensure the mental and social well being of the community was preserved, which is now especially important due to the affects of the pandemic. The area is also full of wildlife and is a valuable asset for future generations. Also the land is subject to dangerous mineshafts underneath it, which could prove dangerous if built on. A petition of 900 people has been sent to BWD.

Mr Gavin Prescott, planning manager at BWD had qualified information before the meeting with the following statement: “Information is stating that “the community asset’’ has been accepted by Gavin Prescott. This is not correct, in that no decision has yet been made on the nomination. The nomination has been accepted to be considered at this stage. This wording I feel can be misleading. In addition, some of the residents have been informed “the next step will be for this nomination to be discussed at an appropriate planning committee meeting.’’ This is not correct. The ACV nomination will be determined at officer level and this stated in the following web page link: www.blackburn.gov.uk/landandproperty/community-right-bid-assets-community-value – key point 1 – the planning application 10/21/0122 – erection of 343 dwellings with associated works including car parking, landscaping and open space’’ will be presented to the committee when it is ready for determination.
Coun Dave Smith asked if the group had approached the land owner for permission to use the land and also to see if it could be bought by the community. He said the coal authority are amongst statutory consultees and will determine the safety of the mineshafts.

6 Mayor’s Update:
Coun. Salton had taken part in book week events with children from local primary schools and had been very heartened to see the children’s excitement and enjoyment of the projects. She had also joined in Easter events. Coun Salton thanked councillors for their work over the last five years of the council. Coun Taylor thanked Coun Salton for her hard work during her Mayoral year.

7. Deputy chairman’s update:

Coun East praised his fellow councillors for their hard work and dedication. There has been no update with Darwen Deal and the re structuring of the former Crown Awards will take place in May. Darwen Heritage Centre has ensured photographs of the Hollins Grove mural will be kept in the centre for future generations to enjoy and it is hoped that any future developers will treat the mural with respect. Coun East was thanked for organising the Zoom meetings during the pandemic.

8. Darwen Live

Coun Taylor proposed that now restrictions are easing, that the town council support in principle the idea of a Darwen Live event in early September, with one headline act and

the others being made up of local acts and more use made of venues throughout the town, rather than just one big one. BWD officials will also play a larger role in administering and supporting the event. This was supported by Coun Smith, Salton, Connor and East. Coun. Browne said while he realised people want to get back to normal, it would be more sensible to wait to hold the event next year when restrictions had eased more. Coun Slater said it would be unfair on the new council for the current council to make a decision. The clerk confirmed that the event organisers and not the town council would be responsible for insuring the event and carrying out all risk/COVID safety assessments.

9 Finance


£2,378.96 – WPS insurance – renewal of policy. £719 R Hay for salary and expenses
£107.32 – R Hay pension.
£66 – Post Office Counters for stamps.

£27 – John East for keys for new lock ups.
£40 – J Barritt, PAYE.
£5.32 – HMRC.
£1,032.72 – Darwen Healthcare for donation of COVID equipment.

10 Correspondence

An invitation to join the rural/market towns group was declined.

11 Updates


12. Any other business


13. Date of next meeting

May 18th, at 7-15 p.m. This will be preceded by the AGM and introduction to the new council at 7 p.m. . The Government has ended its remote meetings policy and if

restrictions allow, a physical meeting will be held in either the town hall or Meeting Places. Confirmation will follow once the new council has been formed.

Author: Rebecca Hay