Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Deborah Wright 01775 764837
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2017 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 ad a result of a grant of dispensation.
There were no interests declared.
Matters arising from the last minutes.
There were no matters arising.
BT Phone Box Adoption
There was nothing to update at the meeting so would be carried forward to the next scheduled meeting.
Ayscoughfee Gardens Bandstand
The Forum were informed that it should be known as Ayscoughfee Performance Area.
No further progress on the renovations had been made since the last update given at a previous meeting. The grading of the memorial had changed to a Grade 1, therefore because there were now 2 Grade 1 listed properties and a Grade 2 listed garden, the performance area would be included in a major overhaul of the gardens and memorial area, in line with Heritage Lincs guidance. There could be external funding for this work.
The Forum questioned whether Section 106 money could be spent on this project, Councillor Gambba-Jones suggested that as it was broadly for the same purpose as previously highlighted, it should still be okay to use.
The Forum discussed how slowly these changes had progressed but felt that it would be worth it in the end now the Performance area was being included in a bigger picture.
Councillor Drury has been key in implementing events taking place over the summer and put forward a suggestion to have theatre performances on a Saturday night next year with free entry to attract visitors.
Future Grass Cutting
To discuss costs and options relating to grass verge cutting in 2018.
Councillor Gambba-Jones, as Portfolio Holder for Place, gave an overview of the situation that had occurred this year and how the district council overcame the problem.
The Forum discussed recommending to Cabinet that money be set aside in Spalding Special Expenses specifically for grass cutting in 2018 knowing that the County Council would not be revising their cut rotas next year.
The Chairman considered gaining surplus monies from other green sites in Spalding that had large grass cutting budgets, i.e. Halley Stewart and Monkshouse, by reducing the amount of cuts they had. Councillor Gambba-Jones reminded the Chairman that they are used for footballing purposes regularly so reducing the number of cuts they had would not be feasible.
The Chairman made an informal recommendation that Officers see if any surplus funds could be gained from grass cutting budgets on such green areas and any Spalding allotments.
Councillor Dark suggested that the users of the Halley Stewart make a contribution as the amount of cutting that is needed to be done to maintain the field for the football club outweighed any other pitches in the town. They created revenue from their football club compared to the users of say Monkshouse (juniors and Sunday football) therefore it didn’t seem fair that they paid the same hire fees as non-profit making organisations. Pastor Kevin Taylor agreed this point.
Councillor Sneath had recently attended a meeting at County Council where they had confirmed there would only be 2 cuts next year but they would start earlier. There were more weeds on the roads this year as they had not been able to use weedkiller that killed down to the roots so were looking to get atomisers for next year to try and sort the problem.
The Chairman asked that a formal recommendation be made to Cabinet to allocate the £8k amount specified in Spalding Special Expenses to provide the grass cutting in 2018.
That Cabinet approves an amount of £8k to be allocated to Spalding Special Expenses to provide grass cutting in 2018.
Enforcement of Pedestrian Zone in Spalding Market Place
To discuss and conclude the position of the forum on enforcement of the pedestrian zone in Spalding Market Place.
Councillor Lawton had seen Richard Davies at LCC and had been asked on behalf of the Forum whether they still wanted the Pedestrianisation to be enforced, and to pass back the findings. This led to a lot of discussion within the forum and is summarised as follows:
· Clarification needed as to whether the sign near Elderkins was mandatory. As there was no clear guidance, no-one enforced the pedestrianisation, but the Police had been seen to talk to drivers going through the market place during incorrect times, but nothing more.
· The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) put in place in 1995 was too complicated and had many loopholes, it was difficult to see who could actually be prosecuted.
· The Forum were keen to stop traffic coming through the market place but would allow a town bus through to encourage more shoppers, like in Boston, or at least get it to stop in the Sheep Market.
· The CCTV camera pointing down into Market Place by Elderkins and Hills could be used to get numberplates off offending vehicles. The District Council could send enforcement letters as a result of the CCTV findings.
· Previous attempts to get the TRO rewritten had failed so it would be extremely difficult to ask for this given the current monetary situation. A translation of the current TRO would be greatly beneficial.
The Chairman asked the Forum for a recorded vote on whether they wanted the Market Place Pedestrian area enforced, they voted unanimously that they did.
Councillor Gambba-Jones suggested the following points were given consideration:
· LCC to give clear advice on how the TRO was intended to operate and how it was to be enforced.
· Spalding Police to be requested for a statement on their position on the TRO and whether they believed it to be an enforceable order. If yes, who should be enforcing it?
· Improve automatic road closure sign on Herring Lane to reduce current unacceptable infringements.
· Explore use of SHDC CCTV system to identify drivers ignoring no entry and take appropriate action. Warning letter as a minimum. Why can’t Fixed Penalty Notice process be used?
· In to Town bus route to be changed to include Market Place/Hall Place, bay outside Boots to be designated bus stop.
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.
Spalding In Bloom
The Forum were informed that Spalding had been awarded a Gold award with a Special judges award for the renovation of Railway Station. The Punch Bowl won Gold award for best pub garden. St Johns School had been entered in the school garden competition and won East Midlands best fruit and veg garden in region and a silver award. Certificate for Gosberton House school and gold award for their open garden. Best residential garden award went to Mr and Mrs Clark along with a silver gilt award. Springfields won gold award for best retail area. Holbeach in Bloom won Gold and Long Sutton Silver gilt.
Spalding Railway Station
George Scott from the Transport Forum had a meeting with railway heritage, network rail, John Hayes, East Midlands trains regarding the station. They had a walk round rooms with discussions about opening them up. As it is a Grade 2 heritage building they would need the support of LCC and SHDC therefore a meeting with the two leaders of Councils needed to be arranged. 40% of the cost to update the vacant rooms would be paid by Railway Heritage and the Transport Forum would have to raise the remaining 60%.
Councillor Newton had written to the leaders of Lincolnshire County Council and SHDC regarding Rail franchise and had recently had a meeting with the Shared Chief Executive of South Holland District Council as there was nothing in public domain coming into Cabinet or Council regarding this. Councillor Newton felt as a district we should be responding to the tendering for franchise and asking questions about improving the service, introducing trains on Sunday for example. George Scott had had a meeting with Hayley Bull from Cross Country Trains, part of the Arriva train company and would be having one with East Midlands Trains soon. The Forum were informed of an online survey and encouraged to complete. https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/A4OY4/
Spalding Community Police Inspector
Gareth Boxall had taken over as Community Police Inspector and would be interested in attending future forum meetings. The Chair requested members send him any questions they had for Inspector Boxall and a list would be collated for his attendance at a future meeting.
The Rotary club had asked for a list of where defibs are located in the district. This would be passed to an Officer to find out.
Councillor Drury had been approached by the Round Table regarding holding the event at the Castle Sports Complex in 2019. More information on their concerns was needed so would be bought to next meeting.
Pastor Kevin asked if the Forum would be supporting the local raft race. Councillor Drury explained that the relevant authorisation had not been granted as yet so nothing was happening at present.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Spalding Town Forum is scheduled to take place on 29 November 2017 in Meeting Room 1 commencing at 6.30p.m.