14 town councillors, 1 councillor and 2 members of the public were present.
13 town councillors and 4 members of public were present.
In November Mrs Branson thanked the council for getting the pavement repaired having raisedthe issue at a previous meeting. However, one area has still to be done, the one outside the Co-op. The chairman replied that the Co-op is private land and so there was a need to contact the town square owners.
In December the statement was read out by Mr Midgley who asked for a response from the council.
“I wish to make a statement to the full Council on behalf of the following former Councillors – Myself, Josie Branston, Toby Griffiths, Janet Midgley, Ivan Spibey, Pat Wright and the late Rita Gray.
We were all Councillors in 2012 during the time when Allan Clarke was working as our Town Manager. At no time did any of us make a complaint of any sort to the chairman, Cllr Hampson, against the Town Manager. Nor did we ask if he could be removed. At all times we found Alan to be an effective and dedicated Town Manager. I make this statement to quash the rumours that one or more of us had made such complaints, and also to show that the allegation that 15 councillors asked for the Town Manager’s removal is utter nonsense.
Can the chairman please confirm this?” He then thanked the council for listening.
All Minutes were agreed at both meetings.
Chairman’s Announcements & communication’s
A letter had been received from Wreake Valley Academy stating that they had applied for a grant from the FA to replace their all-weather pitches, the cost would be £500,000 and the FA awards grants up to 75% of the total. The Academy wanted to know if the Council would support their application and offer S106 money to go towards the total cost.
A letter had been received from the IMPACT team explaining that the youth café would be taken over by go-getter and requested a meeting before the public consultation on 5th December. It was agreed that there was insufficient time to meet with this new team.
Leicestershire & Rutland Local Council Association had communicated that there was a vacancy on the executive and Cllr S Gerrard had put her name forward.
A communication relating to the closure of three front desks at local police stations in April 2014 had been received. This sparked off a long debate by some Councillors who seemed to think it was the police station that was closing not just the front desk. Please see Stn’s December issue for a statement from our Local Policing Unit.
The funeral of former Councillor Rita Gray would be held on Monday 23rd December 2013 at 11.45am at Loughborough Crematorium.
An email had been received from Helen McNulty, Senior Impact Worker, stating that the second public consultation had been held on 5th December. It had been well attended by the Public, but there was a lot of opposition to the Youth Cafe being
on Memorial Park. At this meeting a decision was made to contact the Police Crime Commissioner to look at the proposal of a Youth facility within Syston. They would also speak to the Big Society to seek permission to extend the deadline for funding.
At this point Cllr N Gee gave an update on the Youth Cafe Project and stated that without the Impact Team’s support there would be serious problems with youth in Syston.
Two emails had been received regarding the Christmas Event; congratulating the Council and employees in hosting the best Christmas market that the Town had seen in years.
The Chairman had invited everyone to a drink and mince pie after the meeting.
There were no Police present in November but the following report was given in December.
PCSO J Freeman explanned that there had been 11 burglaries of dwellings reported, seven were ongoing enquiries, four burglaries of non-dwellings of which one was ongoing. Four reports of damage reported with two being ongoing. There had been no thefts reported of motor vehicles, but two reports of theft from motor vehicles, two of which are ongoing.
She went on to say that during November the police and multi agency partners had targeted reported ASB areas in Syston. They had also conducted leaflet drops around hot spots for burglary in Syston offering crime prevention advice. A traffic operation was conducted at the Birstall services, and another around the Hobby Horse roundabout targeting criminals using our roads which resulted in two vehicles being confiscated, and three arrests for outstanding offences. Various vehicle defect rectification notices were issued.
PCSO Freeman stated that she was still seeking Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinators. Anyone interested should contact her by email. She had made a start in setting up schemes, and four were in process of being established.
She also reported that there had been some issues with youths in the Subway store. Two youths had been arrested and were on bail and some youths had been banned from the shop. PCSO Freeman had set up a system by email where all stores were contacted on a monthly basis, and this had become an ‘information sharing exercise’.
Councillors felt that crime detection rates remained poor in Syston and had previously asked for annual detection rate reports but never received them. The Chairman asked for a strongly worded letter to be sent to Inspector Tim McCabe, and to ask him to attend the next meeting of Council.
Two people have shown interest in the role, and so it was agreed to invite them into the next Development committee.
Open Spaces Society
Cllr Screaton proposed to join the Open Spaces Society, it was agreed to refer this to the Amenities Committee.
Cllr Henry reported the progress for the event and asked for help from councillors to tidy up at the end of the day.
Community Centre Car Park gates
Cllr Screaton said that it was urgent to get the gates sorted as quickly as possible. It was agreed to contact the insurer’s first then progress.
Precept for 2014/15
The Acting Town Manager announced that we had now been advised of the Council Tax Base of £3,977.10 from Charnwood Borough Council. The Precept was now ready to be signed off following work done in the previous few months. The Gross Precept would be £392,500 with a grant from Charnwood Borough Council of £34,580 leaving a Net Precept of
£357,920. This is divided by the Council Tax Base of £3,977.10 to produce a ‘Band D’ household’ council tax rate of £90.00, which represented an 84 pence decrease on the previous year. The council agreed to accept the Precept.
County & Borough Councillors Reports
Cllr D Houseman began by thanking members of the event panel for organising the Christmas event.
He had brought along an example of a food Hamper, Hospital to home, which is being given to vulnerable people who would be going home to an empty house. The hampers included useful food items, and some also included a phone and a torch, because if people had been in hospital for some time, their utilities may have been switched off. He said that 784 hampers had been delivered, they include a postcard and they have received some very positive comments back. The sample box was to be taken to the Volunteer centre after the meting so that they could distribute the items and avoid anything going to waste as it included fresh produce.
Cllr E Vardy said that they were continuing the surgeries on the 1st Saturday of the Month. He also mentioned the apprenticeships, see article in the Stn December issue.
Cllr T Barkley talked about the new schemes available through Charnwood Borough Council for domestic abuse, Green Deals to help improve energy performance. He also said that the borough hope to keep to a zero raise in council tax, but that it was still being worked on.
Cllr Pacey Talked about problems with gratings on Goodes Lane and said that they were being sorted. He also said that the cabinets for fibre optics should be available by February 2014. He talked about licensing for executive hire cars, students accommodation due out soon and some changes to complaints.
Cllr S Hampson had nothing to report.
The next item related to New Cemetery issue and this was moved to confidential, so the public left.
Cllr T Barkley said that it was a busy time of year at Charnwood preparing budgets for 2014/2015, serving on the four committees and forums.
He thought the Christmas Event in the town was brilliant and thanked Cllr Paul and Mrs Fiona Henry, Ian McDonald, Ursula Southern and Kay Liquorish. Syston was a great place to live with many characters and a good community spirit.
Cllr E Vardy said although it was the festive season, work was still being done on the Core Strategy with the Borough Plan being submitted to the Secretary of State this Friday. The Local Plan would go to the Cabinet in February 2014.
Cllr K Pacey – Scrutiny meetings were still progressing with some coming to an end. There was no change with licensing meetings. A meeting was held the previous night covering training requirements for Borough Councillors, and that it was open to Parish Councils to send members if they wished. He felt that training on planning and financial issues might be useful for members of this Council.
All three Borough Councillors wished everyone a Happy Christmas.
Cllr S Hampson said he had attended Queniborough Parish Council in the previous week and members announced that they would fight the planning application relating to the new cemetery. As a County Councillor he was still involved in health matters.
The following item was moved to confidential and the public left.