There were 10 councillors (Cllrs), one County Cllr and two members of the public, including Philip Bland, Chairman of South and East Leicestershire Action Group (SELAG).
A minute’s silence was held for Cllr Maureen Pacey.
The reflection was read by the Chairman: Cllr P. Henry.
Apologies were received from Cllrs K. Pacey, M. Carnal, S. Hampson, L. Towell, B. Singh.
There were no matters raised by the public.
A presentation was given by Mr Philip Bland; Chairman of SELAG to outline their position in opposing the proposed A46 Expressway. He explained the proposal that sees a road starting from south of Birmingham and joining the A46 north of Syston. SELAG believe there is a conflict between is it an expressway to move traffic or a vehicle for building more houses. They think there is an alternative by improving the junction to the M1/ M69 and the A46 by-pass to elevate the problem and prevent the need to more housing and damaging the countryside of Leicestershire. SELAG believe the city should sort out its housing problems and leave the country to deal with their problems of transport links. He said the cost could be around £2billion and no one states where this money is coming from. SELAG.org.
Cllr E. Vardy, who is the lead Cllr on this at Charnwood Borough Councl (CBC) and who is also sitting on the county plan and welcomed Philip and thanked him for his views. He said that there had already been 17 months consultation, and over 500 people responded. He aslo agreed that thousands of people hadn’t so the Council assume they are ok with it. The proposal will be subject to further consultation in the future months/years. He explained the reason for the road being built has nothing to do with the development of A46, it is a new road to provide better links for commuters and housing will be south of the road. Based on the strategic plan from the borough and producing 95,000 houses up to 2050!
Cllr P Henry asked when the public enquiry would be, but no date set as yet. Mr Bland said it maybe in four years time.
Chairman’s Announcements and Communications – The Chairman Cllr P. Henry thanked the event panel members, Ursula, and helpers on the day of the Christmas Event.
Police report -There were no police present so the report was not discussed.
County and Borough Councillors’ Reports
C Cllr James Poland – explained the county’s budget proposals and that it talks about pressure placed on the CC. Social care, Special Education Needs and Disability Needs. Tax rises of 3.9% increase will raise some revenue but it will still be difficult and some difficult decisions will have to be made. He spoke about a review of CC funding and that it could bring better provision but there is no more money, so, it will just be redistributed. He gave a Unitary proposals update, saying a letter received from local MPs saying no support for the plans and asked to cease. Borough councils had been working on it and after the letter they ceased but the county have continued to look into it. It will go to full council in the summer, but doesn’t mean a change will happen as need an act of Parliament to approve.
C Cllr T. Barkley – Spoke about the county provision of health being reviewed. In his Borough Council Report he spoke about a pilot scheme for business rate retention, with the councils retaining a higher percentage and allow them to invest in infrastructure, children’s services and homeless support. He mentioned the Charnwood Sports Awards, which Syston resident Eleanor who an award, featured in the last Stn. He finished with explaining the Charnwood Budget for 2019-20.
Cllr E. Vardy spoke about the development of a scheme to help individuals who are starting up their own business by providing workshops to help beginning in January 2019.
All Minutes for full council and committees and EGM held on the 1st November, all agreed and approved.
Members questions – One was received by Chairman from Cllr Philip Knight regarding a capital spend and asked if a bid for motorcycle proof gates and running track around Central Park be included. Cllr T. Barkley explained that they needed to find out if there is a need for a running track, so as to justify it and wipe out the council’s reserves. The council would need to increase council tax in order to fund the running track.
Final draft Budget 2019/2020 – This was agreed.
Draft business plan & Strategy for Syston – This had been sent out with minutes so not discussed on the night. The Town Manager Mrs C. Voyce was thanked for all the hard work done in sorting it out. Cllr T. Barkley said it was a quality document and should now be put out for consultation for six weeks, he said it required input from councillors, businesses and public. Approval for consultation would happen in January.
Town Managers report – This had been circulated and she updated members on a variety of items including the fact that the council now has five vacancies. She reminded members of meetings taking place in January.