Agenda and minutes

Spalding Town Forum - Wednesday, 29th November, 2023 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764838

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2023 (copy enclosed). 


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2023.




That the minutes be signed as a correct record.



Actions pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To view actions arising from the meeting held on 26 September 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.
    • The Chairman had spoken to George Slinger who announced that he was no longer able to continue in his post as Spalding In Bloom coordinator. At present Spalding In Bloom were still seeking volunteers.
    • The Chairman reminded the Forum that no funds had been made available for the 2024 flower baskets - could the Forum offer any ideas/options for funding?  A few funding streams may be available, but at the present time, no funds had been allocated to provide hanging baskets and for their upkeep.


Members raised the following questions:


  • Could the local press and media be utilised to help in publicising the need for funding equipment and coordination of provision of hanging baskets in Spalding?
    • Councillor Mark Le Sage confirmed that he would coordinate with the local press on the said matter.


  • The Spalding area was surrounded by companies/growers who could potentially assist with funding and provide equipment. A Spalding In Bloom coordinator would need to be recruited to replace George Slinger.
    • The Vice-Chairman responded that in previous years, local Spalding businesses had contributed towards the cost of the hanging baskets. One coordinator would be required to liaise with local businesses. 


  • How much did the planting and watering cost annually?
    • The Chairman responded that the bill in its entirety, for 120 baskets was £11,000.


  • Could shop owners and businesses be encouraged to purchase their own baskets and run a competition as an incentive?
    • The Chairman responded that the majority of businesses/shops had contributed towards their baskets.



  • Action AN17 - Officers to visit other Towns to view the seating offering and choice of materials used – Assistant Director for Strategic Growth and Development.
    • The Assistant Director for Strategic Growth and Development confirmed that this was ongoing. March and Wisbech had been suggested.
  • Action AN19 - To review access from the Spalding bus station to Sainsburys?
    • The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning could not at present provide an update.
    • Assets would be visiting the site on 21st December and would feedback.


David Jones (Pedals) made the following comments.


  • The access to Sainsburys from the Spalding Bus Station was not just about mobility but the lack of visibility, hence making crossing from the bus station to Sainsburys hazardous.  Could Lincolnshire County Council be contacted to extend zebra stripes across this part of the road?
    • The Chairman would take this forward to Lincolnshire County Council.
  • The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement, informed the Forum that resurfacing of the Bus Station took place last year, this had improved the safety of pedestrians on foot. Further pot holes had become visible, improvements were needed to enhance first impressions for visitors to Spalding.
  • Investment from the Government had been received for bus passes, pensioners and the two-pound cap for journeys, incentivising bus  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


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.



Town Centre shop front, toilet, and asset update

The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning to provide an update.





The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning provided an update to the Spalding Town Forum on Spalding town centre shop fronts, toilets, and assets, which covered the following points:


  • There was nothing further to update on the Town Centre shop fronts.  However, the Chairman informed the Forum that a member Task and Finish Group had been commissioned to look into Town Centre shop fronts, and the reduction of usage of vinyl window coverings.



  • The aim for the Sheep Market toilets was to ensure that the renovation would be delivered quickly and efficiently.
  • The goal was to create a facility that was fit for purpose, and which would be inclusive for every aspect of society, including a Changing Places facility. The completed project would include, baby changing, standard toilets, disabled and changing places facilities, including supplementary storage for maintenance equipment, to enable regular upkeep of facilities. 
  • Provisions would enhance the Town Centre amenities, providing an additional central public convenience.
  • The project had begun in earnest, and government funding had been received for the Changing Places toilet. 
  • Some construction had been undertaken, whilst the remainder of the build was currently going through the process of being tendered for.  
  • Expected delivery of the project was anticipated by Spring 2024, although no date was guaranteed.  
  • The building had been designed to limit vandalism, although there was no guarantee that it would be completely vandal proof. Damages could be swiftly repaired.


The members raised the following questions:


  • Would the facility be completed in time for the Flower Parade and Music Festival in 2024?
  • The Chairman responded that an exact date in May had not been provided.


  • Could bus timetables be displayed in the Sheep Market Toilets?
  • The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning would look into the viability of this once the project was completed.


  • How long would the boarding currently erected around the Sheep Market toilets be in place?
  • The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning replied that he would keep the members updated, and that impact on residents would be kept to a minimum.


  • Could CCTV monitor the Sheep Market area to combat vandalism?
  • It had been requested that CCTV be positioned around the toilets, alongside additional CCTV in the town centre, to assist in preventing vandalism.


  • Was the Council confident that the opening of toilets would facilitate the public? Would they fall short of need, in aspect of the opening/closing times?
  • The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning replied that operational side (opening and unlocking) was the responsibility of  Environmental Services - he would obtain a response from them.


  • Would the toilets be manually opened and closed?
  • The Portfolio Holder for Assets and Strategic Planning confirmed that automatic locks had not been quoted for, and they would therefore be manually opened and closed.


  • Would all the funding be used solely for the toilets, or would there be any surplus to assist with any costs relating to vandalism?


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

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


The Chairman informed the Forum that an officer was not able to attend and present the Spalding Special Expenses and Quarter 2 Forecast 2023-24. A full budget update would be available at the January meeting.



Spalding Town Centre Security & CCTV update

Shop-Watch Representative, Stuart Brotherton to provide an update on Spalding Town Centre security and CCTV.


The Chairman introduced the Shop Watch representative Stuart Brotherton to present the Spalding Town Centre Security & CCTV update.


Stuart Brotherton introduced himself to the Forum and gave a brief outline of his credentials, and his current position as the Shop/Business Watch representative.


  • In the previous ten years the retail trading sector had suffered, struggling to compete with online trading, and many shops had closed.
  • Towns had seen a demise of up to twenty five percent of local businesses, pubs, and retail outlets.
  • It was promising that several businesses were reopening - The Ship Albion public house, along with new town centre shops.


The Business Watch scheme was a preventative scheme which carried out banning orders on individuals who committed crime in retail and public house premises.


  • Currently 28 shops and 13 pubs were members of the Business Watch scheme.
  • Members had radio links to Boston CCTV Centre, where radios were  monitored at no additional cost.
  • Although a professional operation, the Boston CCTV Centre had multiple cameras to monitor, and were currently at maximum capacity.


Although Stuart Brotherton explained he did not directly deal with the CCTV operation, he had ample experience in this field.


  • He informed the Forum that the elevated camera outside The Ivy Wall gave a panoramic view from Bentley’s to the traffic lights on New Road, making this a really valuable camera.
  • He suggested that an elevated camera in the Sheep Market would be able to cover all angles, rather than an eye level camera which would be restricted.
  • If an elevated camera was placed in a central position, it would give the maximum coverage of a 360-degree circular view.
  • Currently, Shop Watch had banned 28 individuals, some with lifetime bans for repeated offences. 
  • Local town pubs had less offenders, due to effective premises licence management.
  • Establishments that engaged full time security reported a significant  decrease in thefts.


Members asked Stuart Brotherton if he could advise on the issues the town was currently experiencing in the area outside Boots in Hall Place.


  • He informed the Forum, that along with local councillors, Spalding town centre shops/businesses were collaborating to assess how they could improve the situation.
  • Stuart Brotherton advised the Forum that he had recently written to the Home Secretary with regard to the changes that were required in Law and Order for a fair justice system.
  • 95% of shop thefts were committed by persons with drug and alcohol dependencies, not as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
  • He urged the courts to scrutinise how they addressed and dealt with  entrenched alcohol and drug issues - dealing with these issues would be a solution to the majority of shop theft.
  • Change was required, specifically in relation to sentencing.


The  Forum thanked Stuart Brotherton for the excellent work.


The members raised the following points:


Councillor Sheard and Councillor Taylor informed the Forum that they had travelled to Boston to view the monitoring of the CCTV and presented back the following: 



Town Centre Improvement Plan update

The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement – To provide an update on the Town Centre Improvement Plan.


The Chairman asked the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement to provide an update on the Town Centre Improvement Plan.



The Portfolio Holder briefed the Forum:

  • Following the update from the previous Forum meeting, Spalding town centre had received an investment of £20million from the Long-Term Plan for Towns Programme, supported by the government. This was a welcome boost and unexpected as Spalding had not been included in the previous round of funding. 
  • This was a ground-breaking amount of funding which would change the nature of how the Council could champion various different activities for strategic investment. 
  • Spalding In Bloom hanging baskets did not fit the criteria, although the Business Improvement District could initiate this, as planting was one of their main priorities.
  • A Town Board was being put in situ with stakeholders to provide guidance on how to utilize the investment, enabling the delivery of some major projects which would embrace all generations.
  • Principal theme would concentrate on safety and security, high streets, heritage, and regeneration along with transport and connectivity. 
  • Further detailed guidance from government departments would be accessible over the next few months – additional updates would be provided to the Forum.



The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement informed the Forum that the Public Realm consultation had now concluded.

  • Key elements from the feedback, encompassed broad support for the Spalding riverside plans, with green spaces included in this.
  • Hall Place received support to retain seating for residents less mobile - the view was that the proposed seating should be of higher quality, preferably not a circle. 
  • There was a need to remove anti-social behaviour so that the seating could be used more widely by all, and with respect.


The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement informed the Forum:

  • The Markets Team secured £50,000 of funding to upgrade the look and feel of the market. This would include branded gazebos to enhance the appearance and improve footfall.
  • This would provide an ideal opportunity for new and unique traders to join the markets across the district.


The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement concluded,

  • Work was under way with Spalding Reconnected, with progress taking place on the Heritage Trail and improvements to the riverside green spaces. 
  • Further details on the £20 million investment would be forthcoming.


The members asked the Portfolio Holder the following questions;


  • What were the time scales for commencement and completion for the strategic investment projects?
  • The Public Realm consultation had concluded in its entirety- feedback had been received, along with quotes from the designers and contractors. The financial plan would presently be confirmed, alongside the timetable for the launch date. 


  • Would the recommendation be to remove the seating circle in its entirety?
  • Based on the feedback from the wider public consultation, listening to “what the public want”, a seated area would be retained as part of the planned design. 
  • Essentially  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Local Transport Plan

The Spalding Town Forum Vice-Chairman to provide an update on the Local Transport Plan


The Chairman informed the Forum that George Scott from Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum was unavailable to present an update on the Local Transport Plan.


The Vice-Chairman gave a brief outline.

  • Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum had been continually active to encourage more trains to and from Spalding for special events, markets and on Sundays. This work was ongoing and would be looked at in more detail in the future.
  • The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, Leisure Centre Delivery and Spalding Town Improvement informed the Forum that he would be chairing a panel as part of Lincolnshire County Council to look at all aspects of traffic management in Lincolnshire and would keep the Forum updated on the recommendations.



Town Forum Event

The Spalding Town Forum Chairman to invite a discussion for a Spalding Town Forum Event for July 2024.


The Chairman proposed that the Forum host an annual Town event and asked the Forum for their thoughts and ideas.


The Chairman noted that:

  • Communities had organised some very successful events in the Town Centre – Pumpkin Festival was a supreme example.
  • Could the Spalding Town Forum replicate the success of those type of events?
  • July would be an ideal month- in the school summer break.


The Chairman asked the Forum for their thoughts and proposals.

  • Councillor Mark Le Sage was in conversation with Ayscoughfee regarding a music style event- Ayscoughfee-Fest (potentially 27 July), which could be extended over a weekend.
  • This would incorporate a one-day music festival event, elevating local bands.
  • Quotations had been collated for the cost of hiring equipment and staging.
  • It would be ideal to work together with members and the Forum, and the event could be incorporated alongside other activities.


Members raised the following points:


  • Could this promote a carnival style event and be inclusive for all nationalities?
  • A variety of food trucks could bring an international food element to the event to embody all cultures.
  • Invite dance troupes/groups, possibly engage with local schools.
  • Councillors could potentially fund some of the activities using their Designated Councillor Budget alongside the budget that could be utilised by the Spalding Town Forum.
  • It would be an ideal opportunity to bring communities together.
  • The event would need to be publicised and promoted.
  • Ideally annualise the event, start small and grow the event year on year.


The representative from the Civic Society responded that they would wish to see more Town community events.

  • The Civic Society would be considering holding events as part of the Market Arts Project, for example, a street auction and a livestock market.
  • These should be inclusive of as many different cultures as possible, to draw in crowds to the Town Centre.
  • The Civic Society would be attending a Cultural Strategy Workshop at Ayscoughfee.
  • The Civic Society would be delighted if community groups and committees contacted them; new members would be welcomed.


The Chairman concluded;

That the Forum would organise an all-inclusive carnival style town event, inspired by food and music, which would take place in Ayscoughfee Gardens and Spalding Town Centre. It would be a celebrated event with families enjoying themselves. 


Any other business

To discuss any other business that the Chairman deems significant.


The Vice-Chairman to give an update on the Spalding Railway Station.


The Vice-Chairman informed the Forum that:

  • Meetings had been planned with local community groups to assist with the upkeep of the Railway Station grounds/garden.
  • Donations of trees and shrubs had been received.
  • The rabbit wire sculpture required renovation, and ideas on how to provide the rabbit sculpture with a new lease of life would be welcomed.
  • Volunteer involvement would be essential to help with the preservation of the railway station, thus, enabling visitors to experience a good first impression on arrival.
  • The Vice-Chairman explained that although she was prepared assist and support, she would require volunteers and ideas to be able to complete the sculpture renovation in the upcoming months.
  • The Pedals representative suggested getting in touch with local knitting/woodwork groups as this could offer a solution to cover the wire rabbit.


  • The Vice-Chairman asked the Forum to view Alnwick Station as an inspiration for Spalding. Spalding’s Railway Station  was a beautiful building, and it would be great loss to lose it.
  • The Station ticket office had been saved and the Vice-Chairman urged residents to use the facility to save Spalding Station.
  • To maximise the opportune space, suggestions were made for  a café/bookshop or a safe place offering refreshments for those in need.
  • Other suggestions were to make the wire rabbit sculpture the Spalding Mascot, which could change for different occasions to represent different events throughout the year, for example Valentine’s Day and Christmas.


The Vice-Chairman was in agreement that the spaces in the railway station could be utilised, and Councillor Sheard had offered her assistance with the project.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Spalding Town Forum is scheduled to take place on 30 January 2024 in Meeting Room 1 commencing at 6.30pm.


30th January 2024