February 2nd 2021 Meeting Minutes

February 2nd 2021 Meeting Minutes


Present: Couns Salton, East, Connor, Smith, Davies, Taylor and Slater. 1.Welcome and introduction:
2.Apologies: Coun. Brookfield, Entwistle, Browne and Rothwell.

3.Declaration of interests :


4. Minutes of the last meeting:

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

5. Public forum:


6 Mayor’s Update:
Coun. Salton had attended virtual carol concerts at schools and care homes.

7. Deputy chairman’s update:

, 2021

Coun East said the Darwen Deal bid had been sent off and details published in a variety of ways, in the hope of securing £20m plus for various projects.
The Food Larder is currently working with 15 families, three days a week.
Following the winding up of the Crown Awards, Coun East, Salton, Smith and Entwistle are to meet up to discuss a successive project. There was £286 left in the kitty and this has been put towards the Darwen Girls and Ladies FC, with the remainder of their bid to be discussed when the new set up is in place.

BWD has put an exhibition on the Forward Local Plan in the market for public consultation.

8. Darwen Live

Due to the pandemic, it looks very unlikely the event will take place this year. Couns East, Connor and Smith had met with BWD to discuss the planning of any future event.

9 Darwen Tower Plaque

Coun Smith said part of the planning application for the renovation of the tower has included a plaque and a request for two significant pieces of history to be included on the plaque. Coun East to pass on to the Darwen Deal team if funding is required.

10 Hollins grove mural

Despite efforts, the mural is too expensive to remove from site. Coun Smith is to try and ensure that a condition is put on any future planning applications to preserve the mural. Inorder to ensure the history of this special mural is preserved, Darwen Heritage Centre organised a professional photo to be taken of the mural, which is to be placed in the heritage centre. The cost was £636 and a request to refund this amount was agreed by councillors. Coun. East declared an interest due to his connections with the heritage centre.

11 COVID vaccinations and testing

Coun Taylor said the roll out had been well organised and a success in Darwen, with slight teething problems in Blackburn at the beginning. Thanks was extended to the volunteers. There was concern there is no testing centre in the town.

12 May elections

Coun Connor is in talks with BWD over whether the elections will go ahead in May and if they do, what the financial implications are for the town council due to the extra equipment needed to cover the pandemic. Coun Slater suggested the town council could run the election themselves on a cheaper scale, as long as the proper regulations could be followed, but Coun. Taylor said this was not possible.

13 New inspector

Coun East is to invite the new police inspector to a future meeting. There was praise for a new 20 year old PSCO who has joined the town and is working well in the community.

14 Finance

The precept was frozen at £122,000 as per previous years. Payments for January:

£40 – J Barritt – PAYE.
£5.13 – HMRC
£715 R Hay for salary and expenses
£107.32 – R Hay pension.
£2,192 – repayment of Darwen Tower appeal money held by the council following the closure of the original fund raising group.

Payments for February:

£1,000 – donation to Darwen Library for books.
£719 R Hay for salary and expenses
£107.32 – R Hay pension.
£636 – Darwen Heritage Centre for reimbursement of mural photo.

15 Correspondence

Information re the consultation on the Local Plan for Darwen was circulated.

16. Updates

Following last month’s application from The Friends of Sunnyhurst Woods for funding towards the de silting of the pond, some work had taken place and had been stopped by the borough due to problems of timing etc. It was agreed the town council would honour the bill for the work which has been done so far. Coun Connor also said he hoped to re look at the parks overall funding and maybe share out the pot to make a simpler system.

Coun Connor had contacted Darwen Libray Theatre to see if any financial assistance was needed due to the pandemic and was awaiting a response.

17 Any other business

Coun East gave details of a project by Darwen Rotary Club and Lloyds Trust to offer financial help to buy lap tops for schools during lockdown to help with home learning. He asked the town council to match fund for 94 computers at £300, with the total cost of around £30,000 split between the three bodies.

There was a debate on who should be liable for providing these laptops and whether there was a real necessity as the Government has earmarked funding for the project. Coun East to find out more details and report back to the next meeting.

15. Date of next meeting

Tuesday, March 2 , 7 p.m. Zoom meeting – . Items for the agenda to be with the clerk by

February 22nd please.

Author: Rebecca Hay