The meeting commenced at 7.30pm, with 11 councillors present and four members of the public including PSCO Matt Harburt.
The Reflection was read by the Chairman Cllr P. Henry.
Apologies received: Cllrs T. Barkley, K. and H. Asmal, M. Pacey, E. Gill, K. Pacey and E. Vardy at CBC. J. Poland late.
Declarations of interest for item 11 relating to the Queens award nomination were made by the Chairman, who is the husband of a trustee, as well as Josie Branston who is a Trustee in her own right.
Adjournment for the public – Mrs D. Martin explained about her petition. She had stood outside Barclays the day before this meeting and gathered signatures regarding the closing of the Syston branch. People were angry and over 200 signatures were gathered between 9.30 – 4.00pm. She urged the council to do as much as it could to keep the branch open as people come into the town centre to use it and it’s shops.
The chairman responded by saying they can’t interfere with a commercial decision and that the MP Mr E. Argar was meeting with the bank in August. Cllr P. Knight, asked if the Council could write to Barclays.
Cllr L. Towell stated that it is recognised that certain businesses form anchor points and banks are classed as one of these.
The Chairman Cllr P. Henry proposed to write a letter to MP Mr E. Argar and Barclays to say how disappointed the town is about the closure in what is a thriving town.
Chairman’s Announcements and Communications – This included the letter from Barclays stating that the branch will close on 29/11/18, reasons stated included increase in Internet banking and that branch based banking had a decline of 17%. Not much sympathy in the letter! The council’s internal auditor has retired due to ill health.
The Chairman asked to suspend standing orders for two tabled items which would normally go through committees but are of a matter of urgency. The first was to do with the work on the churchyard that needs to be finished and he asked for approval to continue at a cost of £300, this was agreed. The second was about a proposed family day event to take place on 26th August 2018 on Central Park. Cllr J. Branston asked if there would be an entry fee, but those details were unavailable at the time of the meeting. It was agreed to allow it to go ahead. Cllr S. Hampson asked if a letter could be sent to ask for more details and the response sent to Cllrs.
Police report – PSCO Matt Harburt reported on a few incidents: five reports of criminal damage, six of theft and one burglary of a non-dwelling in which nothing was actually stolen.
There were no Borough Councillors Reports
All Minutes were agreed without amendments.
Councillor Vacancy – Two people had shown an interest in the vacancy, so it would be brought back to the full council in September.
Quote for spring bedding – A quote had been received from R C Smith for £1540.50 plus VAT. The town manager said they were awaiting another quote but if none were forthcoming, would the council approve the one received – this was proposed and agreed.
Nomination for Syston and District Volunteer Centre (SADVC) for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service – The Chairman explained the background of the award and asked for support to the SADVC request.
Cllr J. Branston explained what the centre does and that she thought it was worthy of support in applying for the award. The council agreed.
Town Manager’s Report – The Town Manager: Mrs C. Voyce said her report was slightly longer than normal. She mentioned the East Midlands in Bloom judging that took place on Friday 13th July. Also that there had been a good few entries to the best front garden competition. The judges had also visited pubs, schools, allotments and SiB, with the help of members of the U3A gardening group. The presentation day will be held on Wednesday 19th September 2018.
A Regeneration project meeting would be held in August.
A CCTV quote had been received as had a quote for replacement windows and fire door, this will be brought back to council in September.
The council have 15 volunteers for stewarding for November remembrance parade. They have received a verbal quote from the traffic management company, but as yet not a written one.
A new commemorative bench has arrived and will be installed near the peace garden.
There had been an incident with a lorry hitting Gambles funeral directors which raised a safety issue with highways, they are now taking it seriously.
National Citizens Scheme (NCS) had been in touch as they had volunteered around the town last August and were looking for suggestions. A list was compiled and would be sent to the leaders for consideration.
County Councillors Reports
C Cllr J. Poland reported that the County Council were considering unitary proposals about replacing all of the borough and district councils within Leicestershire along with the City and County Council with a new unitary council. It would possibly increase responsibility of parish level, so Syston Town Council for instance. Plans are that divisions would have two unitary councillors and it may be in place by 2021. The main drive for the setting up of a single unitary council is financial pressure, but it would cost £13m to scrap and replace it. It is a complicated scheme and there would have to be an Act of Parliament. The minister in charge of authorities won’t push this through without consideration of local authorities. He said he didn’t think it would happen soon, but other areas have gone down this route and it maybe later than 2021. Other authorities in the East Midlands are considering Unitary councils including Nottingham and Derby.
There were no members questions for the Chairman.
Actions from previous meetings – The date for the Civic Reception in 2019 will be Friday 5th April.
The next full council meeting will be held on Tuesday 25th September 2018.
Fiona Henry, Editor.
For the official minutes of this and other Town Council Meetings please visit their website: www.systontc.org. You can attend any council meeting held on Tuesday evenings 7.30pm. Details are posted across all town council notice boards.