Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Shelley French 01775 764451
Apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from:
· Councillor H Drury;
· Richard Fairman
· Councillor G Dark;
· Kevin Taylor – Pastor of South Holland Community Church, Spalding.
· Councillor G Porter
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on DATE (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 21 September 2016 were signed as a correct record.
Declaration of Interests.
Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a Councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest declared.
Matters arising from the last minutes.
It was hoped that Jo Reeves would attend a future meeting of the Town Forum.
The Panel were still keen to invite an officer to discuss traffic management. Discussions had taken place but due to a reorganisation and change in circumstances it had not been possible for this meeting. It was hoped an officer would attend a future meeting. Councillor Newton agreed to advise who the best person to attend would be.
Update on Christmas lights and Christmas Tree
To receive a verbal update from the Chairman on the Christmas Lights and the Christmas Tree.
A Christmas tree had been donated by Baytree. There had been small amounts of vandalism but nothing too serious. Councillor Gambba-Jones had arranged for some white netting to go around the barriers which had improved the appearance generally and reduced the vandalism. Councillor Gambba-Jones thanked those who helped to fund it.
The Christmas lights had been put up since agreeing the new lights contract. There were some issues with the lights not working on a day of heavy rain but it was not deemed to be a long term issue.
Councillor Newton asked why the tulip lights near the river had not been switched on. Councillor Gambba-Jones advised that the lights by the river were switched on for various different events throughout the year and had not been included in the Christmas lights contract. It was confirmed that the Tulip lighted needed to be switched on separately. This was currently being looked at as there were some technical issues and some ongoing issues with residents in adjacent properties. At this point in time everything was being done to get the lights switched on.
Councillor Williams advised that lights on New Road had now been replaced by CCTV. The lights had cost £2k and the authority had received a letter asking whether they could be utilised in the Sheep Market.
Councillor Williams advised that the netting around the Christmas tree looked very good and had made a difference. He complimented the Chamber of Commerce on getting the tree but asked whether some signage advising that the tree had been donated by Baytree could be erected. The Chairman advised that his was in hand.
That the Christmas lights to be put on an early agenda in 2017 to ensure sufficient forward planning.
Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum
To receive an update from the recent Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum held on 22 September 2016.
The Annual General Meeting had taken place with 16 committee members in attendance. One of the projects discussed was the revitalisation of Spalding station. Over the previous six months seven tonnes of soil had been moved across the bridge by hand and Keith Butters had donated 100 plants which had been planted. Bourne skip hire had provided the soil and Network Rail had started to clear the bank on Park Road.
A meeting had taken place with East Midland trains and their agent was sorry to report that the buildings were in bad state with some near collapse or deemed very dangerous. It would cost on estimate thousands and it was not yet confirmed whether East Midlands trains would donate financially.
It was confirmed that East Midlands trains were going repaint the shelter in 2017. The canopy over Platform One was missing some Perspex - this had been reported several time over previous years. National Rail had advised that anything below six foot belonged to East Midland trains.
Any firms who wanted to get involved worked in ‘Adoption Teams’ and had formally adopted the station. They worked every Saturday for 8 weeks and had made great improvements.
Littleworth station was still under discussion. Spalding continued to expand and there would be an additional 2000 houses at Deeping St Nicholas to consider and most of Holland Park was that direction. It would cost a lot of money to put in a platform. Co-operation would be needed by everyone involved and the forum welcomed comments not only regarding the stations but all the transport links.
Councillor Sneath asked if there was any reason why buses could not go into the centre of town. The Forum was advised that there had been a trial a few years ago. Councillor Newton and Councillor Sneath said that they would see if there was anything further that the Call Connect service could do.
Councillor Taylor asked if there was any update regarding the trains to Lincoln as residents had raised continued frustrations. Members were asked to put their ideas on paper as there was a need for a better service to Lincoln.
A meeting was to take place with John Hayes MP and the bus service regarding the service from Spalding to Deeping St Nicholas through to Peterborough.
It was noted that the railway station building was a listed building so as it was in danger of collapse the Planning Department could make representations to Network Rail. Councillor Newton advised that Paul Jackson – Place Manager was aware and he had been to station to view the condition.
Councillor Taylor advised the Forum that it was hoped that the new Public Space Protection Order signs would be up before Christmas.
To discuss options for future involvement.
The Chairman advised that following the issues after the Christmas market he wanted to clarify that it wasn’t something that the council had been involved in but there was the potential to be involved in in the future.
The best way to achieve this was to set up a Steering Group to help organise annual festivities and the management of the contract. It would help to provide members with the opportunity to understand each event well enough so as they could inform their residents.
Councillor Gambba-Jones advised that it was not an attempt to apportion blame, it was about looking to the future and getting something in place as early as possible to do better on behalf of Spalding in the future. It was agreed that the earlier work was started the better the outcomes. The Forum agreed there was a need to be open to positive and realistic suggestions leaving sufficient time for planning.
It was important for Steering Group to have the power to implement things as opposed to waiting for the sign off by another group.
It was advised that leaving the running of the stalls to the traders and the Spalding Town Traders Association would be the best approach with a view to brining in other expertise to promote the town and the lights.
General agreement on the proposition – agreed 5 members; not exclude anyone who can offer something to the table.
Members who are interested email jack – work with David – RGJ be the link with departments;
(a) That a Steering Group be set up to help organise Christmas events;
(b)That any member who was interested in sitting on the Steering Group should email the Chairman.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
NOTE: No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency.
The Chairman advised that he had some other items to inform the Forum of as follows:
There had been a stop to displaying the ‘Gold in Bloom’ signage on the entrance to town due to an issue with permissions. An alternative suggestion was to erect a plaque on the black post/columns which currently had hanging baskets displayed. Another suggestion would be to display a plaque on a bench.
It was agreed that the posts would be the preferred option.
At the train station there was a need to erect two cigarette bins outside the station. Clarity was needed as to who had responsibility for the front of the station.
(a) That signage displaying the Gold in Bloom award years be displayed on the black post/columns in Spalding;
(b) That confirmation of who owned the land outside the railway station be fed back to the next meeting.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Spalding Town Forum is scheduled to take place on DATE in Meeting Room 1 commencing at 6.30p.m.