There were three members of the public including two police officers,15 Town Councillors and one County Councillor present.
No public matters raised.
The reflection was read by Cllr S. Gerrard.
There were apologies for absence from Cllrs R. Jones, N. Patel, J. Lillie, N. Gee and C. Nolan.
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
The Police reported that there had been two attempted burglaries of dwellings but alarms went off as windows at both properties were forced causing the suspects to flee, the police recommend installing window and burglar alarms.
There were three reports of burglary from non-dwelling, one was a shop which had its front door smashed, the other two were garage door locks forced but no entry gained. Advice from the officer was to lock garage doors and fit alarmed padlocks or install garage/shed alarms. There had been two reports of thefts from retail premises and both were from the same outlet and the suspect had been identified and charged. One attempted theft of a motor cycle had been reported, the theft had been abandoned in the middle of the road due to the good security on the vehicle. Three thefts from motor vehicles had been reported, one vehicle had been left insecure the other two were vans were their doors had been forced and tools or valuables removed. PC Sergeant Jamie Osborne reiterated the need for the public to ensure their vehicles are locked and not to leave valuables or tools in them over night and to install a good alarm, park in a well lit area such as a driveway with a security light.
County & Borough Councillors reports
County Cllr Dave Houseman, reported to council that Leicestershire County Council is the lowest funded comparative Local Authority in England. This makes it even more difficult for the County Council to continue to deliver the services in the same way as it has in the past. It also is a fact that the County Council can only commission services that the County Council can fund.
In February, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet considered the responses to the budget proposals for the next four years after a public consultation exercise, as well as comments received during the scrutiny process. The proposals were then submitted to a meeting of the Full County Council on 18th February, where they considered the budget proposals and agreed the four years Medium Term Financial Strategy. This means that:
• Council Tax will be increased by 1.99% next year. This is the first rise in four years.
• The Council will need to save £81.6 million over the next four years, including £35 million of efficiency savings.
• Our Government grant will reduce by £15.9 million (or 12.4) next year.
• The Council forecasts a £4.7 million budget shortfall by 2018/19. This is down from £9 million, due in part to extra Council Tax income.
This plan allows the Council to plan and manage its finances carefully.
It’s still very difficult to estimate how this may impact on jobs, but these proposals are likely to reduce the Council’s workforce by 700 full-time posts over the next four years. The detailed proposals will now be worked on but they do present very challenging financial targets.
He also said that the redevelopment of the roundabout in the centre of Syston should commence 30th March and last approximately four weeks.
He spoke about the Liaison meeting with Biffa, see our article in March issue. The next meeting has been set for 10th April. He finished by explaining that highways issues should be directed to the department at Leicestershire County Council as everything reported is logged. This applies to waste/litter problems as well.
Cllr E. Vardy updated the councillors on the Core Strategy in that the Inspector had reported back to Charnwood Borough Council saying that with some modifications the strategy to go out to public consultation on 9th March. Following this consultation the inspector will make his final comments in June.
He then spoke about Environmental issues affecting the borough in relation to emissions and they were request in village and town councils to try and do the same.
Cllr T. Barkley reported that the budget at Charnwood had been set the previous evening and would mean no increase in Council Tax for 2015 – 2016. He said that there are grants available for energy audit and the town manager said that she had already applied for it on behalf of Syston Town Council. Also community facility grants for local projects. He reported that the recycling via green bins should not contain black bags and that further green bins are available free of charge by contacting the waste department at the borough. See March issue page 16.
Cllr. K. Pacey reported on three areas, the appeals and reviews committee who can review a range of items including tree preservation orders. Licensing for taxis charges are to be set in a slightly different way, no details given and finally temporary event notices can be checked, that an event has applied for one of these and what permissions have been granted.
Cllr S. Hampson stated that the Borough council had managed to donate £400k to charities over the last 12 years. A report has gone to Leicester County Council with regard to the potholes on East Avenue.
Town Managers Report
Catherine had circulated her report and updated the council on various aspects including the potential to improve the Skate Park on Central Park and BMX track on Deville Park.
Funding partners for the proposed all weather pitch to replace the existing one at Wreake Valley Academy were updated, but still awaiting details from the Academy. She also referred to the meeting held with Biffa. Council were all in agreement with her report.
Minutes for all meetings were agreed.
Review of Standing Orders
The Town Manager requested for councillors to make up a panel meeting to discuss these. Cllrs T. Barkley, K. Pacey, S Gerrard, P. Henry agreed to participate. A date would be agreed the following day by email.
Cllr. P. Henry asked councillors to refer to the notes circulated and which now required full councils approval to take the plans forward with the architects. After a brief discussion it was proposed and agreed by the council to proceed. There were no members questions received to the chairman.
Elections – Borough Charges
The councillors were told that there would be no charges to individual councillors for standing as Town Councillors and reminded that they do not need to be part of a political party to be a Town Councillor. Although it can help with publicity.