Minutes of meeting 11 JANUARY 2024


Present:  Andrew Battarbee, Peter O’Brien, Esther Stewart, Alex Erskine, Ray Whiteley, Elizabeth Coe, Simon Hutchinson, Hilary Hart, Dave Kirkup.   Sarah Battarbee Clerk

Apologies:  Alasdair Sutton, PC Boswell. 

  1. COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – there was none as Cllr Sutton had sent apologies.   
  • DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – Cllr O’Brien. DDDC had made a declaration that the bus service was unacceptable, although Ukraine refugees could travel for free.  Very little of the £47 million improvement plan had been seen.  The trustees of the pension fund were being lobbied about disinvesting in companies involved with fossil fuels.  ES asked about the huge puddle by the garage, and it was agreed to remind Cllr Sutton to look into it.  HH raised the issue of bins and Cllr O’Brien agreed to take that back to DDDC.  Clerk to write about drains, and cleaning the pavement.  Leam Lane is flooding below Hazelford Hall and clerk also to report that to DDC. 
  • POLICE REPORT – there was none as PC Boswell could not attend.  PC Boswell was not aware that there was no meeting on 14 December and had come to attend at the Pavilion, clerk apologised for lack of clarity.
  • MINUTES OF LAST MEETING.  These were agreed as a true record, Pro RW sec EC.   

Network meeting.  This was now to be held on 12 January.  A report would be brought to the 15 February meeting. 

Severn Trent.  PO’B had written about the compensation.  AB said that ST may want to talk about relevant village projects eg flood defences or gates. 

Village meeting.  The idea of a village meeting was discussed further, on the evening of the AGM which is 9 May.  Bring back to next meeting for further discussion. 

Village gates. AE and HH had met and agreed to talk to Highways in the first instance.  AE to find a contact.  It was agreed to tackle one location at a time, starting with Stoke.  Tom Haywood at the quarry has put forward a design which Steve Mehdi has approved.  Clerk to investigate when the community fund runs out and timing for spending the money. 

Sir William hotel as a community asset.  It was agreed that clerk would speak to the new owners first.

Clerk planning and whole energy village training.  Payment £70 to clerk agreed pro EC sec RW.  Clerk to send planning slides round.

Signal box.  Watching brief while Network Rail contact is off on paternity leave for four weeks.  Thanks to PO’B for finding the interest.

Traffic group.  20’s Plenty banners have been purchased and one is up on the wall by Benn Inn Cottage, thanks to the residents there.  Negotiations are underway to put a second by the pavilion.  Bin and lamppost stickers are also purchased, the former for distribution to the village and the latter to go up when the weather is dry.   The traffic group was also charged with asking Baslow about their speed limit sign. 


Dates for Council meetings 2024 agreed and circulated

Clerk’s wages.  Cllr Battarbee retired for this discussion.   It was agreed all in favour that the clerk should be paid minimum wage in order to comply with employment law, and the formally established number of hours for a clerk at Grindleford’s pay band, these being 26 hours a month.  Minimum wage at £10.42 rising to £11.44 on 1 April 2024.  This needs to be backdated to April 2023.  The clerk refused the offer to consider adjustments back to 2019.   Clerk will present the figures at the April meeting when clerk’s wages are normally paid. 

Precept.  There was considerable discussion.  Issues being taken into account were:  inflation is likely to be around 4% next year; Grindleford’s precept still remains low compared to similar parishes, although it does not have responsibility for the playground or cemetery;    councils have powers to raise money to support projects which benefit residents, but should not raise money in advance of need; the external auditors take a dim view of councils who carry large surpluses.  Grindleford has an advised contingency for election expenses which could be dipped into in year and repaid, although it was agreed that this route would mean an obligatory raise in precept in subsequent years sufficient to replace the election fund.  Various percentage rises were explored against likely required income against the need to charge residents more.  In summary a 5% raise was thought by some Cllrs to be fair, especially as cost of living remains high; 10% was felt by others to be reasonable in the light of last year’s zero raise (effectively a drop because of high inflation) and the need for a small contingency in the budget for unexpected calls on it.  A resolution was put forward ‘to raise the Grindleford Parish Council precept by 10% for the year 2024/25’.  5 for ES, DK, HH, EC, APB (casting vote).  Against (but in favour of 5%) PO’B, SH, AE, RW.  10% equates to an approximately £2 annual rise for the year for each household, or 16 p a month.  Council agreed on the ongoing principle to keep the rise as low as possible while still being able to meet statutory obligations.   The capacity of the Council to raise funds to support village projects will be a topic of discussion at the proposed village meeting in May. 

Drains.  In the wake of the downpours in January the state of drains especially at Upper Padley was again raised, and it was agreed that Cllr Sutton should be asked to look into this urgent matter, along with street lighting in the same area. 

Christmas Tree.  As the time had come to take the tree down for another year, thanks were offered to Cllrs O’Brien and Kirkup and to many others in the village who had helped with procurement, erection, decoration, dismantling and disposal.  There had been some lovely feedback about how cheering it was to have a Christmas tree all lit up, despite the storms.  It was agreed, all in favour, that we should have another tree in 2024/25 and new more robust outside lights could be purchased (only 322 shopping days). 

30 mph sign from Fox House.  A topic which has been regularly aired, especially as there have been three pet deaths in the last year.  There is already a 30 mph flashing sign coming in from Calver.  DCC will not provide a second, but we could get our own, with support from the Police Commissioner.  However, there are rules, and one of them is how high they are mounted so as not to create a hazard; there are no street lamps coming down from the 30 mph limit beneath Fox House.  There are also issues about the width of the pavement for a free standing one.  The parish council has decided that it is not possible to get an approved sign on that stretch but is pursuing ‘Speedwatch’ signs to advertise village activity in this area. 


The Climate Fair was another success, with positive feedback from attendees and a good footfall.  Thanks to Councillors who manned a table. 


ES had continued to pursue DCC about the inspection report on the bridge.  DCC have not yet supplied a copy of the latest report.  ES continues to press for it.


NP/DDD/0723/0868  Foxgloves Main Road, Nether Padley Grindleford.  Single storey extension.  Granted. 

NP/DDD/0322/0382 Lawful Development Certificate relating to replacement windows at Sandiway, Sir William Hill Road, Grindleford.  Refused. 

NP/DDD/0923/1094 Bell Inn Cottage Main Road Grindleford Granted. 

NP/DDD/1120/1122 Meadow Hey Adlington Lane Grindleford.  Single storey extension.  Granted. 

NP/DDD/0923/1032 Listed Building consent – Proposed installation of a gateway for pedestrian access in an existing boundary wall at Padley Mews.  Granted.

DateCheque noPayeeAmountDescription
25.11.231127Sarah Battarbee£250Grindleford News
11.1.241128Ray Whiteley£16.50Grit
11.1.241130Andrew Battarbee£175Christmas tree
11.1.241131Sarah Battarbee£135Climate fair
11.1.241132Sarah Battarbee£70Training courses, planning and whole village energy projects
11.1.241133GPFA£46Room hire
11.1.241134Ray Whiteley£10Flowers for war memorial

            It was pro EC sec RW that these accounts be paid.  

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 15 February 2024

As there was no further business the Chair closed the meeting at 8.40 pm. 

Sarah Battarbee 

Clerk to the Council 

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