October 6th 2021 Meeting Minutes

October 6th 2021 Meeting Minutes


Present: Couns. J East, K. Connor, P. Browne, D. Smith, J. Hamer, E. Entwistle, M. Davies, A Walker and S. Brookfield.

1.Welcome and introduction: Coun East welcomed councillors to the meeting. 2. Apologies

Couns. Salton and Taylor

3.Declaration of interests :

Coun Connor on parks updates.

4 Minutes of the last meeting:

These were agreed, with an amendment to item 13 to say that Coun Slater abstained due to a conflict of interest..

5. Public forum

Janet Pearce from Keep Darwen Tidy urged the council to adopt a single-use plastic free policy and to encourage people in the town to be more responsible. There are three local primary schools who have achieved eco friendly status.

Gary Perkins asked what input the town council has re upgrading the local parks. The parks are the main responsibility of BWD, but the town council has a budget of £25,000 annually which is used to pay for projects put forward by local friends group. Mr Perkins said he would be willing to fund raise towards new equipment and it was agreed he would meet with Coun. Brookfield, the parks chairman to discuss further.

6 Mayor’s update

In the absence of Coun. Salton, Coun Connor gave the Mayor’s update and said Coun. Salton had attended a mother and toddler’s coffee morning at St James’s Lower Darwen and the installation of the new vicar at Over Darwen. She had attended the brass band competition and the heritage weekend events.

7. Deputy leader’s report

Coun East asked councillors in need of security fobs to contact him and he would organise a communal tidy up of the council office. Coun. East has drawn up a list of suggested dates for events, these are to be finalised. The Darwen Deal money of £25m has come in and the consortium is now looking at the nine projects to be done as prices have changed. The bench in memory of Richard Westhead is to be installed in Darwen Cemetry on November 14th. A memorial for the victims of COVID to be discussed. Coun. East said some BWD signage at the entrance to the town is 12 years out of date and he is to work with Coun. Smith to update. The noticeboards have been updated.

The Town Crier had represented Darwen at the meeting of world leaders organised by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle.

8. Finance

Paid in:
£61,000 – First instalment of precept. Payments:

£749 R Hay for salary and expenses £107.32 – R Hay pension.
£40 – J. Barritt, PAYE.
£2.85 – HMRC.

£480 – PDF Littlejohn for annual audit.
The external audit has now been carried out and was passed. Only two minor

administrative errors recorded.
Couns Connor and Smith are preparing a budget for 2022/23.

12 Correspondence


13 Updates

Coun Brookfield gave details of the parks committee. It was agreed to fund £3,220.80p to The Friends of Whitehall Supporters Group to pay for a play area and park plan which can be used when applying for larger grants. This has the condition attached to it that the group can’t ask for more money from the town council towards the project.

It was agreed to fund the felling and replacement of trees at Garden Village to a maximum of £300.

Coun. Davies gave an update on the bonfire at the cricket club. Prices have increased and so it was agreed to up the grant for this year to £2,740 on condition that before next year’s

event is planned, a meeting is held to discuss costs, the collection on the night will go to Cancer Research on behalf of the Mayor.

Councillors had attended the CP Company Cinquanta as part of this year’s British Textile Biennial. Thanks were expressed to Gary Aspen who organised the event.

Darwen Live had been a success despite the weather and thanks were expressed to organiser Darren James, BWD’s Maggie Holt and the team of volunteers who had tidied the town up after the event.

14. Any other business


15 Part 2 – press and public excluded Three items were discussed.
17. Date of next meeting

November 2nd, 2021, Darwen Town Hall, 7 p.m. Items for the agenda to the clerk by October 25th please.

Author: Rebecca Hay