THE GRANTHAM CHARTER TRUSTEES
MINUTES OF THE BUDGET MEETING
WEDNESDAY 23rd JANUARY 2019
7PM IN THE MAYOR’S PARLOUR
Cllr Lynda Coutts – Chairperson
Cllr Nicola Manterfield
Cllr Mike Cooke (or Cook?) (MC)
Cllr Jacky Smith
Cllr Linda Wootten
Cllr Ray Wootten
Cllr Adam Stokes (AS)
Cllr Graham Jeal
Cllr Felicity Cunningham
Members of the Public
5 Members of the public including one reporter from the Grantham Journal
2. Minutes of AGM 11th January 2018
AS Moved the Minutes and MC Seconded. Majority vote.
3. Matters Arising
MK suggested that The Hunt be brought forward on the Agenda under Matters Arising. This was agreed. LC stated that she had made a decision with regards to The Hunt not being greeted and that the majority of Charter Trustees on the whole accepted this decision. LC also stated that as she will not be Mayor at the end of May and that she hopes that the future Mayor takes on board that there is more to consider when greeting The Hunt, for example the Policing and traffic control of The Hunt, the erection of barriers and ensuring that Risk Assessments have been done and also that all of the correct paperwork has been filled in by the appropriate organiser of the Event. ET stated that there would be a meeting with the Advisory Group towards the end of June 2019 or early July 2019 to discuss ways forward with this and what future arrangements will have been discussed with the Belvoir Hunt for the future. RW stated that it is not our meet but that we only facilitate to be there to Greet the Hunt. ET stated that at the Advisory Group Meeting that Lady Sarah had stated that they send an e-mail and that the Parlour agrees to meet The Hunt and hence it was the Parlour’s responsibility. ET stated that this is where there has become a misunderstanding with regards to whose event this is.
LW stated that there is absolutely no way that it can be our responsibility with there being hounds, horses and riders that we can have no control over. JS said that Lady Sarah contacted her and that they did discuss The Hunt and that she did say that it was The Hunt’s responsibility to do certain things and that they were hoping that there would be a meeting later in the year to discuss this and to make sure that whatever needs to be done with regards to the Event is done. JS told Lady Sarah that she would keep her in the loop with regards to this as it would be easier for her to liaise with The Hunt through the Parlour.
MC said that there is no doubt that the people of Grantham in respect of this Event look at the tradition of The Hunt Meet and that he would like to preserve this tradition providing certain guidelines are set down as to where they attend and where they meet. MC also stated that he was sure that a compromise could be made with both parties, making sure that both parties are consulted with regards to The Meet and for that matter with any other Event that is held i.e., Fairgrounds etc. MC also stated that all Mayors (3 of which are present at the meeting), are guilty that in the past the Greeting of The Hunt was done ‘on the nod’ and that no paperwork was filled in, no one was advised and that telephone calls were made, the Hunt attended, drinks were given and people turned out for the Event. It turns out that we were ‘wrong’ or the Hunt was wrong about where the responsibility lay with regards to The Hunt. This is something that needs to be put right in the future with regards to paperwork, Risk Assessments and Health and Safety and that we take on the responsibility of making sure that they know all of the correct procedures. MC stated that he checked with all of the authorities and it has been shown that there has not been any incidents with this event in the past with either horses or dogs. MC stated that the protesters against The Hunt have the right to object and demonstrate and that in the past this has been done peaceably and that is how it should continue. MC also stated that it should be the responsibility of the Charter Trustees to ensure all of the correct procedures are followed by The Hunt for the Meet to take place.
JS said that is now clearly understood by The Hunt and that is why they will be attending the meeting with the Advisory Group in June/July 2019 when all of this will be looked at. RW agreed with MC but stated that in the past there had been on occasions abuse from protesters which he found unacceptable. MC stated that unfortunately on these occasions you cannot avoid this as this happens in all sorts of events including refereeing and that people who want to protest will. LW stated she agreed with most of what MC said but disagreed with one item and that was that the Road Closure for St Peter’s Hill. MC stated that staff should be advised not critised. ET stated that the problem was The Hunt getting from Tanvic and coming down the High Street because of the 4 way traffic lights at one end and the 2 way traffic lights further down the road and no traffic control being in place. LW stated that it is not our responsibility of how The Hunt got down the High Street.
GJ asked if we were recommending that the Mayor needs to consult with all parties and arrange to meet with The Hunt to check that all the necessary paperwork has been filled in. JS stated that it will be SKDC’s Events Department that will need to check that all that needs to be done is done and that after that it is left up to The Hunt. GJ asked if we were recommending that the Mayor advise The Hunt as to what needs to be done. JS replied that it was likely to be the SKDC but one way or another they would be advised.
4. Election of Mayor 2019/20
The Election of Mayor to be discussed at next Charter Trustees Meeting in May 2019 after the elections have taken place. Date to be agreed shortly.
NM stated that due to family and work commitments she would not be able to take on the role of Mayor but that she had enjoyed her term and that she would continue as Deputy Mayor until the end of May 2019. LW said that she understood NM situation. RW also said that he was disappointed but understood her position and would like to thank her for all she has done.
5. Election of Deputy Mayor 2019/20
The Election of Deputy Mayor was also agreed to be discussed at the next meeting of the Charter Trustees in May 2019.
Nothing to add.
7. Adoption of Precept
Precept 2018/19 Precept 2019/2020
Salaries – 23, 460 22,500
Hospitality – 3,200 3,000
Car – 3,500 3,000
Public Liability – 3,000 3,300
Telephone – 750 750
Postage – 750 250
Allowances – 3,600 3,600
Alarm – 330 350
Audit – 500 500
Regalia – 375 500
Association – 150 150
Rent – 5,700 5,700
Sundries – 685 500
Total – 46,000 Total 44,100
ET and AT were asked to leave the room by AS whilst salaries were discussed. ET and AT left the room. ET and AT were not called back into the room until after the Precept had been discussed. AS gave ET the figures for the new Precept.
Precept of £44,100 proposed by Cllr , seconded by Cllr .
Voted – precept requested for £44,100.
6 (or 8?). Any Other Business
GJ asked if quotes had been obtained for the remounting and guilding of the Mayor’s Chain. ET stated she had got an old quote but had not obtained an up-to-date quote. ET stated that she would do this for the next meeting.
LW proposed that we open a Transparent Website for the Parlour and Charter Trustees. LW also stated that other Parlours have the Minutes published on their site, Charter Trustee Meeting dates and engagements. NM agreed with this and said that we need to move with the times and that Grantham’s history should be visible on the Website. NM also suggested that we should have a link within the SKDC’s Website. GJ agreed that this was a good idea and asked who would take this on. ET said that she would look into this and speak to the SKDC. This was proposed by LW and seconded by AS.
The meeting closed at 7.55 pm
How can they justify £3000 Hospitality, £3000 Car and £3600 Allowances?
Is there a Chauffeur? What is the car used for? Would it be more economical for Trustees to use their own cars?
What are the Allowances? Who receives them?
They must employ at least 2 staff members? Can they justify this? I assume they do not do all the things that a normal Town Council does. What do they do?
Who pays for the precept? Is there a special payment made by residents of Grantham or is it covered by Council Tax paid by the whole District?
Who is this body accountable to ? Do they have a web site?
Where can J look at their accounts?
Finally, can I join The Deepings’ Rebel Alliance? It sounds fun
£3600 is the payment to the Mayor. However, it is not a payment it is an allowance. They use to pay the deputy £1800 a year as well. They provide no information. They have no website, no advertised meetings, no reporting on line of accounts. You have to ask for all information via either FOI or email requests. They justify their existence by raising money for charity. However, they use public funds for prizes, food and drinks for these events. If they really wanted to help Grantham they would disband and allow the money to go on Foodbanks, St Lights or Charity organisations within the Town. JUst an excess enjoyed by a handful of Grantham Cllrs. It is boycotted by the Labour Party as undemocratic – non elected you see.
How do the Labour Group intend to change things by boycotting it?
Good question ? The labour party have tried to get a Town Council but the Conservative blocked it. So, the conservatives don’t appear to want a democratic answer to the 45 year old temporary measure. Of course they are happy no election but they have control!
Then the local Labour Party should start a petition themselves, bypassing SKDC.
Have an upbeat publicity campaign highlighting the benefits.
They need at least 7.5% of the local population before presenting to SKDC.
With enough signatures it cannot be ignored. If they try and ignore it then involve the press and show how undemocratic they are.
It can be done.