STN Report on the Full Town Council meetings of November and December 2012

As the STN is not published in January, I have summarised the main points from the two full council meetings here.

At the November meeting one of the main points was that of the presentation made by Bellinger Design, Landscape Architects about the proposed Syston New Cemetery. Cllr. S Hampson declared an interest before the presentation was made and would not be part of any vote, but said he would like to take part in the discussion.

Fenella Bellinger provided a plan to councillors of the proposed landscaping for the cemetery. The plan showed a sympathetic and well thought out design with a mixture of traditional burial and natural burial areas, a children’s area and an area for scattering ashes all divided with natural hedges and trees, making it a pleasant place for reflection and quiet contemplation. Access would be via one entrance and a small car park near the entrance which would be wide enough for two vehicles to pass allowing simultaneous entry and exit. There is a footpath down one side of the site, providing public right of way for walkers without having to go through the proposed cemetery itself. It is a staged plan with the top half being developed first allowing the existing animal grazing to continue on the lower part of the site until required. Also a permanent access road would be made for farm access. The councillors agreed it was a good plan and after some discussion Bellinger said that a public consultation would take place at some point in the future, no date set as yet. The plans were passed onto the amenities committee for further discussion.

Police Reports
There were no officers present at the December meeting, councillors were given a copy of their report. In November two officers were present and gave a breakdown to the crime in the area reporting that of the two burglaries that had been committed on suspect had been charged and one was ongoing. 11 cases of damage reported one suspect was issued with a reprimand six had been undetected and five were ongoing. Seven thefts had taken place five had been charged to a suspect and the others were detected at that time. Two attempted burglaries lead to one undetected and one ongoing enquires. Here had been eight thefts from vehicles four were still being investigated. Most had been related to number plates and the officers reported that a new way of preventing theft of these was being looked at with the AA.

Chairman’s Announcements and Communications
In November the chairman, Cllr S Hampson thanked all councillors who attended the remembrance Parade and praised the event.
The Council agreed to have a special meeting during the first week of January to discuss the Precept in order to meet the deadline of 16th January 2013.
In December agreed with the STNs thanks to the staff, relatives and councillors who were involved in organising the Christmas events.

Co-option of Councillors
In November four members of the public put themselves forward for co-option onto the council. The council decided to vote ward by ward. New Barkby Ward – Co-opted Mrs Val Henshaw. St Peters East, Co-opted Mrs E Holt after vote was tied and Chairman used his casting vote. Final ward was St Peter’s West were Mr Rayns was co-opted. The Chairman then explained to the new councillors that they would need to hand in their Declarations of interest within the next 29 days.

At the December meeting the Chairman welcomed the new councillors and in the public adjournment Mr B Henshaw reiterated this point.

Precept Update
There had been a change in the localised tax boundaries and so the number of people that money could be raised from had reduced, leaving a drop of £17,700 that had not been precepted for. After discussion the council agreed to absorb this short fall from the positive balance and so avoid increasing rates. This was unanimously agreed.

Renaming of Community Centre Panel
There was a short discussion then agreed that the panel should be named the Community Centre Management Panel. A copy of the panel’s terms of reference was requested and asked to be circulated to all councillors.

County and Borough Councillors Reports
November – Cllr T Barkley reported that community grants were available for groups up to £20,000. Improvement for broadband in rural areas by 2017 should help economic growth. Cllr K Pacer had been fighting to get the bin moved to notice board on Goodes Lane. He reported that there was a new Licensing Manager Mr Andy Fox. County Councillor D Houseman reported that the £10m scheme had been launched to help first time buyers, ‘Lend a hand’ scheme. The new bridge over the confluence of the grand union canal and boat yard at Meadow lane would be in place during December. He then presented Cllr. T Barkley a ‘gold medal’ for all his work during the Olympics. Finished by wishing all councillors a Merry Christmas.
Cllr S Hampson reported that the next year would be challenging in order to achieve economies in the next financial year, but could report no increase in Council tax for next year.
He talked about the changes in local schools to academy status and that Wreake Valley and Roundhill had already changed and that the primary schools as part of STEPS would also be changing. He had visited the Ambulance service as they are disposing of their stations so that ambulances can be placed around the county in order to react to 999 calls quicker. There will be two hubs in Leicestershire to maintain the vehicles. He circulated consultation documents.

In December most of the County and Borough Councillors kept it very short and wished Councillors and public a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Cllr S Hampson suggested that a special meeting on Saturday mornings could be held to discuss and create ideas for use of 106 moneys in Syston. 19th January suggested by Cllr E Vardy and agreed to trial this idea. The chairman said he would circulate some ideas. Cllr D Houseman asked that they revist a planr put forward on 5th January 2010 to add planters and bollards at specific places in Syston.

Fiona Henry, Editor.

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