Public Adjournment • Chairman’s announcements and communications • County and Borough Councillors reports• New Cemetery Development • Signage • Park Fences • Melton and Oakham Waterways Society
There were Five members of public, 16 town councillors and 1 County Councillor present.
Adjournment Mr Midgley congratulated the council on reviewing their Standing Orders and that they had addressed a few issues that previously were a concern.
He referred to a specific item regarding that no member should sit on the finance committee as well as another spending committee.
Apologies Cllrs H. and K. Asmal and the police.
No declarations of interest given
Chairmanship announcements and communications Cllr S. Hampson told councillors that he had visited Cllr Nick Gee and said that he was getting better after a stay in hospital. All councillors wished him well. He then went on to say that a panel had been set up for the refurbishment of the BMX track and Skate Park and that the town manager would invite members and users to the next meeting, it would then forward its findings to the amenities committee for approval.
He said that the Pavillion budget had been revised and was now £195,000 +VAT and Architect’s fee, but explained this was the high-end budget and included £20k for demolition which could be saved if Syston Town Council’s own qualified staff were used. He asked Cllr P. Henry for more information and he gave the council a timeline for the work needed to complete the refurbishment. He said that by the end of September they should have the final costings and be able to apply for available grants in order to move forward through planning with an aim to begin the refurbishment by May 2016. They hope that Sport England will grant up to 50% of the total cost, and that they may be able to use some S106 money as well.
Police report As no police were present the councillors had read through the report and agreed that the format was easier to read, although Cllr R. Jones was concerned that the crime figures appear to have risen.
County and Borough Councillors Reports C Cllr Dave Houseman began by congratulating the council for the progress made in the last four years. He also spoke about the electoral review being undertaken at Leicestershire County Council with the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to review the number of councillors for Leicestershire County Council. The LGBCE formally informed The County Council of the review in September 2014. Neither the LGBCE nor the County Council can consider the pattern of electoral divisions without knowing the optimum number of electors per councillor which is calculated by dividing the total electorate by the number of councillors to be elected. The requirement to submit a proposal on Council size has given the County Council the opportunity to consider its council size. The County Council believes that a Council size of 55 best meets its needs to discharge its democratic obligations, this is the current number of councillors. It has considered the pressures being placed on elected members are such that any reduction in numbers could overburden members. Total average amount of time spent on Council activity by Leicestershire County Councillors is estimated following a survey of County Councillors to be on average of 23 hours 15 minutes per week on Council work. The County Council has decided that a Council size of 55 members is still appropriate for Leicestershire County Council to secure the continuation of convenient and effective local government for the area. This decision was taken at the meeting of the full County Council on 25th March 2015. The final decision on Council size will be made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England later this year. Leicestershire is a predominantly rural county located in the heart of England and has a population of in the region of close to 650,000 people.Leicestershire has a three tier system of local government, consisting of the County Council, seven Borough/District Councils, and over 200 Parish Councils. Syston Town Council is one of the latter. The district/boroughs making up the County are as follows Blaby District; Charnwood Borough; Harborough District; Hinckley and Bosworth Borough; Melton Borough; North West Leicestershire District; Oadby and Wigston Borough. In terms of average electorate per County Councillor for 2015, the Council size of 55 presently produces a figure of 9,466. The projected county electorate of 549,129 across the County by 2021 would indicate an average electorate per councillor of 9,984 if the LGBCE recommend a Council size of 55. It is projected that the population of Syston by 2021 will be be 10,878 electors (not residents). In May the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will be asking interested parties to submit proposals for new County Council electoral divisions. The County Council will of course be making its own submission and these will be in the public domain in due course.
Cllr E. Vardy reported on the progress of the Core Strategy and said that a consultation was open for public comments on the amendments given by the inspectors report and that this closes on 26th May. The final public consultation will take place over the summer.
He spoke about the possible Extension to Syston Railway station as part of the electrification of the line which may mean more trains stopping at Syston.
Cllr T. Barkley reported on a couple of issues, one being the conservation of 250,000 trees being reviewed by the scrutiny panel. He also spoke about the S106/developer money and he said that town and parish councils needed to become more involved in gaining this for their area. He said that round two of the community facility grants raised with 50% for community hubs such as scouts etc. access to open spaces etc, promote businesses locally and gave an example of Age UK received £7,000 to engage isolated and lonely people over 75yrs, mainly men, to keep them active and well with the project ‘men in shed’.
Cllr K. Pacey spoke about the scrutiny panels coming to an end until after the election on 7th May. No appeals at present and finished by telling council that the licensing manager had left, which was a sad loss for CBC as he had done some fantastic work, they are currently looking for a replacement.
Cllr S. Hampson said that the County Council may be sued by people who allege abuse by Cllr G. Janner.
All minutes where agreed and approved.
Standing Orders – These were approved.
Cllr Pacey suggested a summaries version should be circulated to ensure meetings ran more smoothly.
New Cemetery Development In discussion with David Wilson Homes relating to the adoption of the land and once confirmed another meeting of the cemetery panel will be called.
Central Park Fences Council was asked to accept the proposed budget of £10,000 for both sets of fencing and to negotiate a better price with the chosen company to do the work.
Signage Close to finalising these and proposed to go with the best quotes.
Melton and Oakham Waterways Society An article was circulated to councillors, see May issue for details. Plan to start at Meadow Lane, difficult task but not insurmountable – will bring an extra attraction to the area. Just informing the council, no money requested. Council agreed it was a good idea and they commended the work they do.
Town Managers Report Catherine updated council on a variety of projects and said the next neighbourhood planning meeting would be on Wednesday 13th May. Putting in a bid for Centre stage.
There were no Members Questions
Actions from previous meeting
NHW signs to go to the next resources meeting for quotes.
Next meeting Annual Town meeting 19th May at 7.00pm with full council at 7.30pm.