Agenda and draft minutes

This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live. The link for this can be found by clicking on the meeting date., Spalding Town Forum - Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: The informal meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live, via the following link: www.facebook.com/SouthHollandDCofficial/

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764838

Link: View Facebook Livestream of the meeting

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 29 September 2021 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2021.

 

DECISION:

That the minutes be signed as a correct record, subject to Councillor Sneath’s attendance being recorded.

 

13.

Declaration of Interests.

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting 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.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

14.

Matters arising from the last minutes.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

15.

Spalding Traffic Restriction Order

Discussions relating to the Traffic Restriction Order in Spalding Town Centre. PC Craig Lockton from the Police will be in attendance to offer his thoughts and to answer Members questions.

Minutes:

Following a discussion at the last Forum meeting regarding the Traffic Restriction Order in place in Spalding Town Centre, PC Craig Lockton was in attendance to talk through the TRO, where he raised the following points:

 

·         The order prohibited vehicles from entering the town centre between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday but there were exceptions for emergency vehicles and delivery vehicles.

·          It was evident when Police had looked into the issue that many people were not following the order and when drivers had been stopped, the Police had been met with hostility and many excuses.

·         The sign was clearly displayed in Herring Lane and there was no excuse for drivers ignoring it.

·         Key findings from the Police’s investigation were that trope data was hard to come by and it was difficult to enforce the order due to other commitments.

 

The following points were raised by members of the Forum:

 

·         There was strong debate surrounding the enforcement of the order – some wanted stronger enforcement while others wanted to remove the order entirely. Had a survey been done to understand the public’s opinion on how the issue should be approached?

o   The Chairman responded that the idea was something to propose to County Councillors to progress. It would be difficult to make the order only enforceable for 3 days a week

 

·         The TRO should be enforced and needed to be sorted out. It may be useful to publish information about how many tickets had been given out to deter others - did the Police have that information available to give out?

o   PC Craig Lockton confirmed that the Fixed Penalty Notice was £90, and he would find out the number of tickets given out and give this information to Forum members outside of the meeting.

 

·         Members had previously expressed concern to the Police and they confirmed that they would put a concerted effort into enforcing the TRO. The TRO needed to be enforced to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and people who were hard of hearing. There should be a sign earlier on the junction to encourage people to not drive through the town centre. It was noted that the parking charges at Broad Street car park were very reasonable and therefore there was no reason that drivers should be parking in the Town Centre.

o   PC Craig Lockton advised that there was an option available to install an automatic self-raising bollard linked to the CCTV facility in Boston and a similar one had been installed in Peterborough.

 

·         It was a matter of safety and there were two sides to the argument. Was there any way of conducting a public consultation on the issue?

o   The Chairman advised that to override a TRO the County Council would have to carry out a public consultation. If an objection were to be received during the consultation, the County Council would have to go through a formal, costly process to override the order.

 

·         Could Hall Place be turned into a car park with a high  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Draft Budget 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To consider the Spalding Special Expenses Draft Budget 2022/23 (report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and S151 enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and S151 which considered the Spalding Special Expenses Draft Budget 2022/23.

 

The Assistant Director – Finance introduced the report and noted the following key points:

 

  • The Council Tax Base for Spalding had increased from 9,384 to 9,490 properties.
  • There was a 1.61% increase for Spalding Special Expenses for a Band D property from £24.18 to £24.57
  • The Spalding Special Expenses budget for 2022/23 was £233,130 which was a 2.75% increase from 2021/22
  • Appendix A detailed individual areas of the Spalding Special Expenses budget
  • Appendix B was a four-year forecast for the Spalding Special Expenses budget.

 

The following points were raised by members of the Forum:

 

  • Officers were thanked for providing a clear breakdown of the Spalding Special Expenses budget. The Town Forum was set up originally to consult on the budget for Spalding.

 

  • Utilities costs had increased by 30%, why was that?
    • Officers responded that there were increased utility costs for all buildings that the Council owned which was reflected in the increased costs for buildings paid for by the Spalding Special Expenses budget.

 

  • Why had the employee costs for Spalding Special Recreation increased?
    • Officers confirmed that this was due to pay increases.

 

  • Why had the premises costs for allotments increased?
    • Other members confirmed that the Council rented the allotments at Horseshoe Road from the Church and this was the reason for the cost increase.

 

  • Why had contributions to employee costs gone up?
    • Officers confirmed that contributions to employee costs had increased due to pay increases.

 

  • Why was so much budgeted for maintenance at the Halley Stewart Playing Field?
    • Officers responded that further information would be sought from the service area and distributed to Members of the Forum after the meeting.

 

  • Members were surprised that there was only £6.9k of income projected for the Halley Stewart Playing Field for the year.
    • The Chairman responded that the field could only be used for sporting events and was a heavily subsidised facility.

 

  • Christmas events for 2021 had been really good – where could information be found showing how much had been spent on the events?
    • Officers confirmed that they would be bringing the Q3 budget report to the next meeting of the Forum which would detail costs up to 31 December 2021.

 

  • Would there be similar Christmas events for 2022?
    • The Chairman responded that the core Christmas budget was included within the report but there was extra money available from the Town Centre Improvement Fund and the ambition was to have funding available for Christmas events every year.

 

17.

Town Centre Improvement Plan Update

The Forum will receive a presentation from the Town Centre Improvement Plan Co-ordinator to update on the Town Centre Improvement Plan.

Minutes:

The Town Centre Improvement Plan Co-ordinator presented an update on the Town Centre Improvement Plan, highlighting the following points:

  • Lots of work was taking place within the 5 sub-groups of the steering groups.
  • The Business, Markets and Independent Retail Group were exploring the potential of a Business Improvement District and appointing a retail advisor to assist independent retailers across the district. They had also overseen the running of Shop Local prize draws in November and December and were also seeking investors who may be interested in the vacant buildings in the town centre. The Recovery and Growth Grant had supported businesses across the District, and the Council was currently rolling out an Omicron grant for leisure and hospitality businesses. They were also working on providing independent business promotion videos which allowed businesses to showcase their offer.
  • The Environment, Public Realm and Heritage Group had instigated a district wide deep clean by the Environmental Services Team, working with the Procurement Team.  They were looking at specialist pest control companies to help with the pigeon problem in the town centre, an improvement scheme for the public toilets around the district, and were exploring further funding opportunities for town centre improvements.
  • The Events, Culture, Promotion and Awareness Group had overseen the Pumpkin Festival and Christmas celebration events. They were also working with Transported who had recently received an £800k grant from the Arts Council to provide Spalding Super Saturday events in the town centre and they had sent a list of attractions to Visit Lincolnshire to add onto their website.
  • The Travel, Transport and Accessibility Group had consulted with the County Council on how to make the town centre more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians and lobbied LCC to influence their bus service improvement plans.
  • The Economy and Skills Group were working on improving Boston College’s offer at their Spalding Campus to help improve footfall in the town centre. It was proposed that further business start-up space be provided in the Campus building on the digital skills hub which had opened in May 2021, and they were also looking to offer a range of different courses.
  • Lots of important work was taking place simultaneously to improve both Spalding and Holbeach town centres.

 

The following points were raised by Members of the Forum:

 

  • Concern was raised about M&Co closing down as the management had been open to staying in Spalding but couldn’t find any premises. Had the Council given them any advice?
    • Officers confirmed that the Economic Development Team were working closely with the M&Co manager to identify vacant premises that may be suitable.

 

  • What were the chances of M&Co remaining in Spalding?
    • Officers responded that they were keen to ensure that the business stayed within the town centre.

 

  • There had been an article in The Voice which suggested that the Johnson Water Fountain would be placed in Ayscoughfee Gardens - was this true?

18.

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.  

Minutes:

There were none.