Venue: This meeting will be held in line with the Local Authorities & Police & Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority & Police & Crime Panel Meetings) (England & Wales) Regulations 2020.
Contact: Democratic Services 01775 764626
Apologies for absence.
Before the commencement of the meeting Cllr McLean announced that he had submitted his resignation for his role as Chairman of the Forum. Cllr Gibson was therefore invited to Chair the meeting in his capacity as Vice-Chairman. An election for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chairman of Spalding Town Forum would take place at the next meeting.
There were no apologies for absence.
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020 (copy enclosed).
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020.
That the minutes be signed as a correct record.
Declaration of Interests.
Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest and leave the meeting 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 none.
Matters arising from the last minutes.
There were none.
Town Centre update
To receive a presentation from the Place Manager on the Town Centre update.
Members received a presentation from the Place Manager, the Communities Manager, the Environmental Services Manager and the Town Centre Improvement Plan Co-ordinator.
The Forum was updated on the activity around Spalding for the period April-September 2020. Some of the local decisions and emergency responses during the period included:
· Business grants across the district
· Investment and support for leisure centres
· Health and Safety changes to the running of the Markets
· Check in calls to vulnerable residents and community response
· Introduction of new Covid secure signage and one-way systems
· Advice and support for town centre businesses.
The Town Centre Improvement Plan Co-ordinator updated the Forum on the Town Centre Improvement Plan Engagement Event which took place in February 2020. The themes identified included:
· Town Centre Living
· Business & Enterprise
· Our Streets
· Access and Transport
· Culture & Leisure
Due to the impact of the pandemic the Improvement plan had to be paused, however in September the Steering Group, which included Stakeholders, met to discuss the various issues surrounding opportunities and challenges and priority areas of focus around the Improvement works.
Members of the forum asked why toilets in the Market place were only open from Tuesday to Saturday. The Environmental Services Manager informed that in order to implement hourly cleans staffing hours had to be moved and it was also based on demand to where the resource was going to be.
Members also enquired about improvement to bus routes. Officers informed members that updates were given at the Steering group meeting on changes to bus routes which would be implemented from January.
Members asked in relation to public safety notices and at what point fixed penalty notices are handed out. The Communities Manager informed members that fixed penalty notices can be handed out immediately if there is a breach of a public safety notice if there is a witness to the event. The Communities Manager also informed members that fixed penalty notices had been issued in September 2020.
Members also asked whether any of the Council’s public safety notices needed to be revised if people were not heeding advice given by wardens in relation to anti-social behaviour especially in respect of drinking alcohol in public. The Communities Manager advised that the public safety notices are routinely reviewed and are amended.
Members also raised concerns about vehicles and driving through the town centre when they are not supposed to and the danger to pedestrians. Members also shared that they Street Wardens have been good for helping curtail cyclists on footpaths and assisting during Market days.
Members enquired if there were any timescales in place for any changes to the Town Centre Improvement Plan. The Improvement Plan Co-ordinator informed that meetings were still taking place and proactive work was happening.
Members also enquired whether there would be a Christmas Market. The Communities Manager informed members that there was an intention to have a Christmas Market, however this would depend on the current Covid-19 pandemic and government guidelines.
To consider the Spalding Special Expenses Year End Outturn 2019/20 & 2020/21 Quarter 1 Forecast (report of Executive Director – Commercialisation (S151) enclosed).
The Strategic Finance Manager gave an update on the Spalding Special Expenses Year End Outturn for 2019/20 and the forecast as at Quarter 1 for 2020/21.
Members were informed that for 2019/20 the outturn was an underspend of £7,913.00 as result of re-phasing of the Halley Stewart works. This work was completed during the current financial year.
Members enquired about the town’s Christmas decorations and whether they would be replacing. The Communities Manager reported that she would find out the information and get back to the forum.
Members asked whether everything possible was being done to help the lessees of the café at Ayscoughfee to support them during the pandemic. The Communities Manager informed that the team were in contact with the lessess of the café and where offering all help available.
Cowbit Road safety concerns
Discussions relating to safety concerns around Cowbit Road.
Members raised concerns around the road safety incident on and around Cowbit Road.
Cllr J McLean provided a presentation on incidents which are occurring with speeding on Cowbit Road and additional measure which may need to be taken to ensure the safety of residents.
Members debated that there was an area of road which needed to be looked at due to the National Speed limit and a closed pavement which was deteriorating which provided a risk for pedestrians walking to the nearby petrol station and shops in Little London. Cllr Drury informed the forum that he had, for a number of years, been lobbying the Lincolnshire County councillor responsible for Highways and had been told that there was no budget for the works.
Members also raised concerns about the junction at Love Lane and the risk to pedestrian at the crossing. Members also expressed concern for the lack of lighting in areas on Cowbit Road and also the low hanging trees which obscured the lighting.
Members suggested that with the support of the ward members and the County Council a request for a Road Safety Audit should be looked into to address the issues in the area. Councillor H Drury, as ward member, expressed his support for an audit.
Spalding COVID Kindness Team
To discuss and acknowledge the work of the Spalding COVID Kindness Team that was set up this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor J McLean gave a presentation to the Forum on the efforts of the Spalding COVID Kindness Team during the pandemic.
The team was formed 1 week prior to lockdown and was aimed at helping vulnerable people purchase essential living items. Members were updated on the following successes of the Team:
· 12 committee members
· 250 active volunteers over 4 months
· 4,000 support requests (shopping and prescriptions)
· 10,000 fruit and veg deliveries to local school children who should have been receiving Free School Meals
· Donations secured and delivered to Schools, Nurseries, Pharmacies and GP Practices
· Excess supplies were distributed to doorsteps across Spalding and Pinchbeck
· 75 Gratitude Packages to local NHS worker’s 1,500 care packages of essential food items to those most vulnerable an affected financially by COVID
· Wellbeing team and phone line established.
Members thanked Cllr McLean and the committee for the COVID Kindness Team for their work during the pandemic to serve the community and provide essential help to those in need.
Members also thank all of the other community groups who provided help through the District for all of the work that did in pulling together to help vulnerable people at such a difficult time, and also to everyone who donated to the various groups to provided provisions to the community groups.
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.
There were none.