September 7th 2021 Meeting Minutes

September 7th 2021 Meeting Minutes


Present: Couns. J East, L Salton, P. Browne, D. Smith, J. Hamer, E. Entwistle, M. Davies and B. Taylor.

1.Welcome and introduction: Coun Salton welcomed councillors to the meeting. A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Coun. Roy Davies.

2. Apologies

Couns. Connor and A Walker.

3.Declaration of interests :

Coun East on Friends of Darwen Cemetery’s financial application. 4 Minutes of the last meeting:
These were agreed.
4.1 Darwen Deal

Coun East said the £25m Darwen Deal had been won and details had come in quite late. There is to be a meeting next week to confirm spending plans and all details will be made public following the meeting. Coun Smith said it was important people remembered that the money could only be spent on capital schemes.

4.2 Floral planting

Coun East had spoken to Four Seasons Garden Centre and a deal had been agreed that if the council gave a three year contract to the centre, the prices would be held at £5,590 for autumn planting and £7,520 for summer planting. This was agreed by councillors. Coun. Smith had received thanks from the Peregrine Gardeners for the grant for shrubs and plants.

5. Public forum

Gary Perkins, who owns a number of hospitality venues in the town attended to discuss the need for more communication between the town council, borough council and local hospitality venues regarding use of the town square and any events on it. He said the venues and local traders want to organise and host events themselves and this was welcomed as the town council only has a certain budget available to run events. The useage of the town square is controlled by the borough council, but the town council is happy to work with traders and hospitality venues to organise a calendar of events to avoid clashes.

6 Mayor’s update

Coun Salton had attended an exhibition of happiness eggs which local children had designed and decorated and had represented the town council at the funeral of Coun. Roy Davies. Coun Salton has chosen Darwen Cancer Research as her charity for this year in memory of Coun. Davies. She had also helped out at two holiday clubs and attended the Rotary Day, which was a big success. It was agreed to update the Mayor’s board in the town hall.

7. Deputy leader’s report

Coun. East to update the council noticeboard. He has been in discussions with the cricket club re the annual bonfire. The brass band competition is to take place this Sunday and Couns. Taylor and Davies will co ordinate with the organisers. The heritage weekend is only a token event due to the pandemic, with Lower Chapel, Darwen Grammar School/Vale and Bold Venture park opening their doors. Remembrance Day events will be as normal and Coun. East will arrange for the poppy wreaths.

Coun East is to invite the new police sergeant and inspector to the town council for November or December. The Crown Awards are to be replaced by town awards with a similar application form to the parks committee and with a maximum of £1,000 grant. Coun. East gave details of two Afghan children who were helped to return from the country to their family in Darwen.

8. Roy Davies memorial

Coun. Browne proposed a memorial to mark the hard work of Coun. Roy Davies during his time served on the town council. Couns. Taylor and Smith opposed this and said that no public money should be spent on a memorial to a politician, but they would be happy to support any external crowd funding to buy a fitting tribute. Coun. Browne expressed his disappointment over the opposition. Coun. Slater said he and Coun. Browne would work with Coun. Davies’s family to come up with a lasting legacy.

9. Mayoral chains

This was discussed under Part 2.

10. Events committee meeting with traders

Gary Perkins attended the meeting on behalf of traders and it was agreed that the events committee would be happy to liaise with the traders on future events. Coun Taylor to co ordinate.

11. Darwen Theatre Library grant

It was agreed to grant the theatre £10,000 to pay for events for the elderly and Darwen volunteers. Coun. Browne abstained. Coun. Smith to discuss with the library theatre.

12. Finance

Paid in:

£46.28 – WPS – insurance credit for low claims. .


£749 R Hay for salary and expenses
£107.32 – R Hay pension.
£25 – donation made in memory of Coun. Roy Davies.
£1,900 – Blackburn with Darwen Brass Band for prizes and publicity for September contest.
£250 – Friends of Darwen Cemetery, donation for a memorial bench for Richard Westhead.

13 Correspondence

A request for a donation of £250 towards a bench in memory of poppy organiser Richard Westhead was agreed, with Coun. Slater abstaining.

14 Updates

Coun East to liaise with the clerk over a thank you present for the town crier to mark his hard work promoting the town.

15. Any other business


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

October 5th, Darwen Town Hall, 7 p.m. Items for the agenda to the clerk by September 27th please.

Author: Rebecca Hay