Agenda and minutes

Spalding Town Forum - Tuesday, 30th January, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764838

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2023 (copy enclosed).


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2023.




That the minutes be signed as a correct record


Actions. pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To view actions arising from the meeting held on 29 November 2023.


The Chairman of the Spalding Town Forum discussed the actions from the previous Forum meeting and updated on each further development.


  • Action AN16 – Funding for Spalding In Bloom and recruiting volunteers.
    • Councillor Mark Le Sage had sent an update to the Chairman,  informing that he had touched base with a couple of people regarding the Spalding In Bloom baskets.
    • The Spalding In Bloom representative role had not been replaced, and with no one currently standing forward to take on the voluntary position, it looked unlikely that baskets would be sourced for 2024.
    • Although Councillor M Le Sage would not personally have the capacity to take on this role, he would however offer assistance and support to Spalding In Bloom volunteers.
    • Flower baskets could conceivably be overlooked for 2024, anticipating funding would be available for 2025.


  • Action AN17 – Officers to visit other Towns to view the seating offering and choice of materials used – Assistant Director for Strategic Growth and Development.
    • This had been noted, with designs and materials used for seating from similar towns taken into consideration.


  • Action AN19 – To review access from the Spalding bus station to Sainsbury’s, & Action AN19a – Assets site visit 21st December 2023.


  • The Strategic and Operational Property Manager convened with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement, accompanied by David Jones from PEDALS, they surveyed the area in further detail and agreed a plan of action. 
  • This would include the removal of inappropriate graffiti, improved cleanliness, and additional information boards.
  • Some developments to the site, regarding access and safety had already been made, further improvement to the pedestrian crossing was needed.
  • Finger posts had been secured to welcome visitors.
  • Departure timetables had been displayed.
  • The meeting was deemed positive and actions moving in the right direction.
  • Lincolnshire County Council had been approached to provide costings for a Zebra crossing for the site, which would be in the region of £150/200k.
  • It was suggested that there could be enhancement to the frequency of buses going to and from Spalding to Peterborough.
  • Some additional services had already been implemented.


  • Action AN20 – To assemble a young adult’s group to present their views on what they require in Spalding Town Centre at the Spalding Town Forum Meetings.
    • Cllr Chauhan had spoken to Spalding Grammar School to ascertain if a group of young students, perhaps with an interest in law and politics would be interested in attending and presenting their ideas to the Spalding Town Forum.
    • The Spalding Grammer School would be interested in working alongside the Spalding Town Forum and would been keen to explore the aforementioned in further detail.
    • Although attending bi monthly meetings would require the schools support it would be something the Forum would be keen to facilitate.
    • Possibilities could be identified after the half term break.


  • Action AN21 – To liaise with the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Operational Housing regarding film showings and comfortable seating at the South Holland centre.


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 none.


Spalding Special Expenses and Quarter 2 Forecast 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To consider the Spalding Special Expenses and Quarter 2 forecast outturn 2023-24 (report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) (S151) enclosed)



Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development and S151) which considered the Spalding Special Expenses and Quarter 2 forecast outturn 2023-24.


  • The Strategic Finance Manger stated that the Spalding Special Expenses budget had been approved at £241,000  at the  Council meeting in March 2023.
  • As currently stands at Quarter 2, September 2023, the forecast outturn for the year was expected to be broadly in line with the budget.
  • It was recommended that the Spalding Town Forum members note the forecast for 2024.
  • The Strategic Finance Manager was currently working on the Quarter 3 forecast which would be presented at the next Forum meeting.


The Forum had no questions regarding the report and thanked the Strategic Finance Manager for their attendance 


Draft Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the draft Spalding Special Expenses budget for 2024/25(report of the Deputy Chief Executive-Corporate Development) (S151) enclosed)

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Deputy Chief Executive (corporate Development and S151) which considered the Draft Spalding Special Expenses budget for 2024/25


The Chief Finance Officer informed the Forum that part of the 24/25 budget setting process would be to consult with the Forum regarding the post budget and the level of council tax that would be recommended to Cabinet for the coming financial year.

  • The papers contained the proposed Special Expenses Budget setting for the current financial year which was shown in appendix A.
  • The aforementioned represented a budget of £246.418 for 24/25, an increase of approximately £5k over the current financial year, this equates to a Council Tax Band D charge of £25.83 per Band D property, an increase of £1.26 per annum, per property.


The Chief Finance Officer wanted to specify that the level of council tax was governed by central government.

  • Central government limit the amount of increase allowed to go through on the council tax charge, equally taking into consideration SHDC B and D charge, therefore the calculations showed that the £1.26 increase was the maximum permission without incurring or breaching any referendum limits.


The report in Appendix A details further information regarding the budget.

  • In essence it was a stand still budget, with reflections of inflationary increases.


The Chief Finance Officer would be happy to answer any questions.


The Chairman had previously convened with the Chief Finance Officer, the Chairman briefed the Forum that although the budget remained equivalent, any excess funds would be transferred to the Spalding Special Reserves.

  • The reserves had previously been used to fund events, such as the King’s Coronation, subject to Cabinet approval.
  • The Chairman would like the Forum to be aware of the reserve funds and how they could be utilised.
  • The Spalding Special Expenses budget was for the Forum to note and feedback any comments.


The Chairman informed the Forum that Spalding Play Parks did not currently receive any funding in the budget, he wished the Chief Finance Officer to note this when considering future budget setting.


Members asked the following questions;


  • Why had the budget for the Christmas lights/decorations been reduced?
  • The Chief Finance Officer explained that compared to last year, the current electricity charges had fallen along with reduced inflation costs, hence the decrease to the Christmas lights budget.
  • Could the brackets that had previously been mounted on the sides of shop walls be utilised?
    • Cllr J Le Sage informed the Forum that in previous years brackets had been mounted on the sides of walls in which small Christmas trees could be displayed. Some of these existing brackets are still visible and could be reused for tree decorations if funding was available.


The Chairman of the Forum made reference to the quality of the lights being outmoded and essentially should be replaced.

  • It was deemed that various other funding areas would be necessary to renew the town centre Christmas lights and decorations.
  • Funding could be available from UKSPF, this would need to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Spalding Town Forum Summer Event 2024

The Spalding Town Forum Chairman to provide an update on the  Spalding Town Forum Summer Event 2024.


The Chairman provided an update on the Spalding Town Forum Summer Event.


The Chairman had discussed the possibility of the Forum hosting a summer event at the previous Forum meeting.


Councillor Sheard provided an update;


  • Ayscoughfee had been approached and would, along with the Town Forum, host an Ayscough- Fest event.
  • The event would take place on 27 July 2024 from 12 – 8pm, with a selection of local bands playing.
  • Publicity and advertising would shortly be made public.
  • The event would be a themed carnival style music event, centred around families, with a host of entertainment.


It was noted that the event would require promoting to generate footfall, looking to emulate previous successful town events, such as the Pumpkin festival and Spring into Spalding.

  • The Chairman of the Forum responded that all events need to be on everyone’s radar and suggested an itemised upcoming event list added to the Forum agenda.


The representative from Churches Together asked the Forum to look into the criteria for booking events at Ayscoughfee Gardens and if there are any restrictions. Are the Gardens inclusive for all events?

  • The Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Conservation and Heritage, responded that she would look into this matter and respond to the representative from Churches Together directly.


Spalding Transport Forum update and Spalding Heritage Strategy update.

Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum representative, George Scott to provide an update on Spalding Local Transport Plan.


The representative of the Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum provided a joint update on the Spalding Transport Forum and the Spalding Heritage Strategy as detailed;


  • Since December 2023 the toilets at the Railway Station had been out of order but are now scheduled for repair, this along with the waiting room being closed from 2.30pm had resulted in lower footfall.
  • Railway line electrification improvements would not be scheduled until 2030, this would be subject to funding. 
  • Trains had now been scheduled to commence from 7am, with the ticket office manned from 6am – 2.30pm daily.


The representative, George Scott, informed the Forum that he had attended a meeting with East Midlands Railway in Nottingham and these points were raised;


  • East Midland Railway had shown an interest in the historic station building and this project would connect with their scope of improving Historic buildings.
  • The Station had a number of rooms which could also be utilised, suggestions put forward include;
    • a community hub,
    • a museum,
    • a health shop and
    • a place where people could read up on the local history of railways.
  • Spalding Railway Station was steeped in history and required ongoing maintenance to continue to attract visitors into our Town.
  • Extra train services should be available for the Flower Parade as this would generate additional footfall.
  • A Cultural Strategy Event, led by visitors from London, recently viewed some of our historic buildings and were very impressed with our cultural buildings, expressly Ayscoughfee and the riverside.


The Chairman of the Forum asked if permission was required from the railway to use the rooms.

  • The representative responded that the Railway would give permission but currently no one had come forward to adopt the space.
  • It was noted that the gardens surrounding the Station had been well maintained and were blooming.


The Chairman ask the Forum to note that it was vital to look at the positive aspects of our Town and focus on the good elements.


  • Councillor J Le Sage stated that an area for future investigation could be to utilise the river in Spalding to encourage tourism and visitors. He would be happy to get involved with any future projects.


The Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Conservation and Heritage informed the Forum that she had attended a National Portfolio Organisation Workshop in Boston, which would be providing further funding for the cultural assets in Spalding.


Any other business

To discuss any other business that the Chairman deems significant.


To discuss any other business that the Chairman deems significant.


The Chairman of the Forum introduced Christine Lawton, the President of Johnson Hospital, League of Friends.

  • Christine wished to thank the councillors on behalf of the Johnson Hospital for the councillor donation which provided updated televisions for individual rooms, and a large television for the communal lounge.
  • Extended thanks were also given to the volunteers and local businesses who continued to arrange fundraising events to benefit Johnson Hospital residents.
  • It was noted that the Johnson Hospital was a great asset for Spalding along with the Vernatts Nature Reserve.


On a less positive note, the Chairman of the Forum wanted to address the matter of graffiti, which had escalated on council owned and private property.

·         A council policy was in place, and the Chairman had offered to work with the Portfolio Holder to tackle this head on, prosecuting for the maximum penalty.

·         Some very impressive art work had been defaced, alongside the costs of repainting and cleaning up the vandalised/graffitied area.


It was bought to the Chairman’s attention that a telephone box with several broken panes should be removed as it was dangerous and not fit for purpose.

  • The Chairman responded that he would action this.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Spalding Town Forum is scheduled to take place on 27 March 2024 in the Council Chamber commencing at 6.30p.m. 


27th March 2024 at 6.30pm.