Dec 13th 2023 Meeting Minutes
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN DARWEN TOWN HALL, ON WEDNESDAY,
DECEMBER 13TH, 2023
Present: Couns, K. Connor, M. Davies, J. Hamer, J. East, D. Smith, N. Slater, P.
1.Welcome and introduction:..
Couns Entwistle, Taylor, Salton and Brookfield
3.Declaration of interests :
4 Minutes of the last meeting:
These were agreed.
4.1 Heritage/Industrial Past Project
Coun East gave a comprehensive update on the progress of the project which so far has
been a great success, with top level work from the contractor Shane Johnstone. So far
The Globe, Whitehall Tramway and a fresco, which is to be finished and the drum near
The Spinners have been renovated.
Coun East said as the council embarks on the next stage, railings around the Boer War
memorial need painting, also at Belgrave Square, where work to tidy up the area is also
The council needs to decide whether to buy the Darwen Tower mould and if any further
towers are needed.
Mr Johnstone is to be asked to quote for the next phase at India Mill and Earcroft. Coun
East said BWD may help where the project is in the conservation area and Coun Slater
suggested CAPITA be asked for a donation towards the India Mill project
4.2Policing in Darwen
Coun Smith had put together a response from the town council to the police commissioner
“Whilst we very much welcome the extra resources provided via Operation Centurion we
realise that these are only temporary over the life time of the special operation.
The Town Council is still concerned about the low level of Neighbouring Policing based in
Darwen. As at 18/11/23 there is just 1 Sgt and 3 PC’s (one of whom is on long term sick
leave), and just 4 PCSO’s (one of whom is on long term sick leave). We feel that a total of
just 6 current active officers for a town, plus the rural villages, with a population of around
32,000 people is inadequate to deal with the problems faced.
We realise that the day to day deployment of officers and operational decisions are made
by the Chief Constable and his team, but we would be grateful if you could liaise further
with the Chief Constable to try to permanently increase resources within Darwen and the
4.3. Large poppies
Following a request from Mr T Foster of the Darwen Heritage Centre, Coun Connor had
spoken to the RBL re the purchasing of large poppies to display in town next year to mark
the 80th anniversary of D Day and also commemoration of the end of World War II. It will
need someone to put the poppies up and it was suggested either a lengthsman from one
of the parishes is approached if self employed or the flag contractor to secure a price.
4.4 Town council election cost
Coun Smith had further discussed the cost of the election with BWD and it was confirmed
the town council will be charged a third of the costs for the polling station and staff on
election day, but only at polling stations where town council polls are being held. There
should be combined poll cards and the town council will be apportioned for those
households. There has to be separate polling packs for the town council elections
because the printers are already scheduled for BWD and the police crime commissioner
months in advance and the town council’s can’t be done until after the close of
The grant from the Government toward the police and crime commissioner elections is for
this election only.
5. Public Forum
6 Mayor’s update
The Mayor had attended the annual Christmas lights switch on, which had been very well
attended and also the brass band concert in aid of The Mayor’s Charity, which was also a
great success and raised £378.08.
7. Deputy leader’s report
Coun Connor gave a report from Darwen Deal and said the Balle Street site for industrial
units was progressing. It was agreed Coun Connor will discuss the council’s legacy plan
for lighting up the town hall at the next Darwen Deal meeting.
The annual report from Darwen’s Age Concern had been circulated.
Coun East said there had been no town award applications and no further information yet
from the fire cadets or the Scouts.
The town crier had attended the Christmas lights switch on. Coun Davies is putting
together a list of events for 2024.
There are no new parks applications, but many events up to Christmas in the parks.
£800 for R Hay for salary and expenses.
£2,500 – BWD for afternoon variety show donation.
£137.50 – Darwen RBL for wreaths.
11. Any other business
12 Part 2 – press and public excluded
13 Date of next meeting
February 6th, Darwen Town Hall, 7 p.m.. Agenda items to be with the clerk by January
26th please. March and May meeting dates to be discussed at February meeting.