Agenda and draft minutes

District/Parish Liaison Group - Friday, 22nd July, 2022 4.00 pm

Venue: by Zoom. The Access Details will be sent to you

Contact: Alan Maher  Tel: 01246 217391

No. Item


Welcome to the meeting

The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Charlotte Cupit


The Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, Councillor Alex Dale, welcomed everyone to the meeting. He provided the Liaison Group with an Update on recent developments. In particular, he explained that the District Council had been awarded the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme ‘Gold Award’ by the Ministry of Defence. He thanked all those involved for their hard work in helping to achieve this success and especially the role played by the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Martin E Thacker MBE.


Councillor Alex Dale then explained that the new Chair of the District Council, Councillor Diana Ruff, had chosen the Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Families Association (SSAFA) for her charitable appeal. The Chair of the Council had chosen SSAFA because of its excellent work and the valuable support and assistance which it offers to the Armed Forces Community in the District.


The Leader of the District Council then explained the improvement work to the District’s Sports Centres. Liaison Group heard that the Council had been awarded grant aid from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for Dronfield Sports Centre. This would be used to help reduce significantly the Carbon footprint of the Sports Centre and curb its energy costs to the Council. He also highlighted the progress towards redeveloping the Sharley Park Sports Centre and the refurbishment of the Killamarsh Sports Centre. This was now entering its final stage. The aim was that the new ‘Killamarsh Active’ would open in early autumn.


Finally, Councillor Alex Dale referred to the ongoing campaign for passenger trains to once again use the Barrow Hill Railway line, and for stations to be opened along its route. He explained the benefits that this would have for the District.  Liaison Group heard about the next steps that would have to be taken, in what was likely to be a long term project.



Introduction to the Council's new Assistant Directors

Joy Redfern, Assistant Director, Street Scene and Damien Johnson, Assistant Director of Property, Estates and Assets.


The District Council’s new Assistant Directors were introduced to the Liaison Group. They were the Assistant Director - Street Scene, Joy Redfern, and the Assistant Director for Property and Estates, Damien Johnson. Both of the Assistant Directors gave presentations to the Liaison Group, setting out their vision for what they aimed to achieve and the challenges that would need to be addressed.


As part of this, the Assistant Director – Street Scene, highlighted how her immediate focus would be on understanding how the service was currently provided across the District’s Town and Parish Council areas, meeting the immediate pressures and beginning to scope future service demands as a result of new housing and other developments in the District. This would then enable the future resource requirements to be assessed and to be focused on key priorities.


The Assistant Director for Property and Estates explained the role and purpose of his service area and the functions carried out by specific teams, such as Engineering.  He explained that one of his key priorities would be to implement the Council’s Strategic Asset Management Plan, consider how to make more effective use of the Council’s accommodation and to work with other bodies to ensure the re-development of key sites in Clay Cross and other parts of the District.


AGREED - The Liaison Group thanked the Assistant Directors for their presentations.



Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies


Councillors Peter Elliot (Brampton PC) Roger Hall (Dronfield TC), Thomas Marples (Holmesfield PC) Jeff Swallow (Holymoorside and Walton PC) Tracy Reader (Clay Cross PC) Pam Windley (Tupton PC).



Notes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To receive as a correct record the Notes of the meeting held on 18 March 2022.



The Notes of the meeting held on 18 March 2022 were approved as a true record.


Devolution - What it means for Derbyshire

Managing Director of the Council, Lee Hickin


The District Council’s Managing Director, Lee Hickin, updated the Liaison Group on the Government’s Devolution proposals and their contribution to achieving its Levelling-Up objectives, by transferring responsibility and control over resources to the devolved bodies. 


The meeting was reminded of various approaches to devolution which had been considered. Liaison Group heard about recent discussions at a County level on the possible creation of a Combined Authority for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The meeting reflected on how the new Combined Authority would be able to draw down resources down from the national level if the Devolution Deal was progressed. Liaison Group also heard how the proposal would not take away powers and responsibilities from the existing tiers of local government.


Liaison Group was informed about the ongoing work to determine in detail how this arrangement might work. It was informed of the key actions that would have to be taken and the timescales for this. The Leader of the District Council, Councillor Alex Dale, stressed the potential value to the District of a Devolution Deal, especially if it resulted in greater local control over significant resources, which could be used to help improve Transport, Education and Infrastructure. Councillor Alex Dale agreed to keep the Group informed of further developments.


AGREED - That the Update be noted.



Regeneration Update

Assistant Director of Economic Development and Regeneration, Karl Apps





The meeting heard about the work to develop and submit a Levelling-Up Fund bid to regenerate Eckington Town Centre. These proposals had been presented at an Open Day event in the town and they had been strongly supported. The Liaison Group also heard about the progress made on the Dronfield Master Plan and the implementation of the Clay Cross Town Deal. In this context, the Group heard about the progress which had been made on the ten projects to be funded through the Town Deal Fund. The meeting also heard about the objective to promote decarbonisation and the Strategic Partnership with Derby University, which was being developed in order to help achieve this goal.


AGREED - That the Update be noted



United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

Assistant Director of Transformation and Communications, Steve Lee


District Parish Liaison Group received an Update on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Liaison Group was reminded that North East Derbyshire had been provisionally allocated £2.568M to deliver a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programme. The District Council would be responsible for managing this. The Meeting heard how following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including elected Members and the Parish Councils, Cabinet had agreed a proposed North East Derbyshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Investment Plan. The focus for this, it was stated, would be on improving parks and open spaces.


Liaison Group heard how the Investment Plan would now be submitted to the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for consideration and approval. Cabinet heard that if the Investment Plan was approved, it would be implemented from October 2022 and run until 2025.


Town and Parish Councils were asked to identify discuss specific priorities with the District Council. Councillor J Funnell (Morton PC) explained that he had identified specific projects, which he would like to be considered.


AGREED - That the Update be noted.



Any Questions


Please email your questions to: in advance, if possible.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

We would like to arrange a suitable mid-week date for the next meeting in November 2022, rather than hold it on a Friday. Hopefully this will be more convenient to both Parish and District Councillors.


The Liaison Group considered whether its future meetings should take place in person, rather than remotely over Zoom. It also considered whether they should be moved from early Friday evenings to mid-week, which would hopefully allow more Parish and District Councillors to attend.




(1)            That the next meeting of the District Parish Liaison Group be held at the NEDDC Mill Lane Offices;


(2)            That the meeting be arranged for a mid-week date in November



Close of the Meeting

The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Charlotte Cupit, to close the meeting.


Councillor Alex Dale thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting