There were eight councillors (cllrs), one County Cllr, and two members of staff present.
Apologies were received from Cllrs S. Brown, M. Carnall, S. Gerrard, P. Knight, D. Pepper, H. Screaton and S. Walker.
The reflection was read by the chairman Cllr T. Barkley.
There were no declarations of interest given in relation to the items on the agenda.
The only announcement was in relation to the Best dressed Shop window competition which was voted by 300 people via the online survey and the winners were Paper Moon, High Street and LOROS, Melton Road for the charity shop category.
The Police report was received and highlighted a large number of thefts from Aldi supermarket, Melton Rd. The chairman was going to speak with the police to enquire what they were doing to help Aldi.
The council agreed to enter the Green Flag Award for the Barkby Road Cemetery and Central Park, this would a good accolade for the town and a boost to the estates team who are adapting to working without the guidance of the senior groundsman in terms of planting. It will cost £678 plus VAT to enter the awards.
The movable partition wall in the Old School Rooms requires servicing as is legally required to have it done annually. Quotations had been received and council agreed to go ahead with Style Moveable Partition Specialists on a three-year contract.
Council approved the draft budget for 2022-23 which needs an increase in Council Tax to balance the budget of 9.32% or 21 pence per household per week based on a band D property.
The precept figure of £570,941 for 2022-23 was approved and will be sent to Charnwood Borough Council.
County and Borough Council Reports
Cllr Simon Bradshaw reported on the recent passing of Derek Cox our contributor for This Month in the Garden and a long standing panellist on BBC Radio Leicester’s Down to Earth programme. He said he was sure that many Syston residents will miss his Gardening advise and helpful tips, and he sent his condolences to Derek’s family.
Shop Local, he promoted using the local shops in Syston in the lead up to Christmas and how it helps support local people to provide for their families. Finally he reminded members that the next Cllr surgery will be held on 5th February 2022 by Zoom and that details will appear on the Council’s website, facebook page and notice boards as well as his own Syston East Councillors facebook page.
County Cllr J. Poland sent a report in which explained the major consultation launched on the County’s Strategic plan, which closed on 21st January 2022. He also reported about the F20 councils, these are the lowest funded councils in the country. Leicestershire CC and others were joining together to seek an extra £300m to be injected into the system, so helping those F20 councils. His final report was about the outbreak of Avian Flu (Bird flu) at a chicken farm near Barrow. Restrictions had been put in force and a 3km and 10km temporary control zone was in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading, all bird keepers in the affected area have to follow increased biosecurity measures. People are being warned not to touch or pick up any dead or sick birds they find. Anyone who finds dead swans, geese, ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, should report them to the Defra helpline on 0345 933 5577.
Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease in captive birds to the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 200 301.
Cllr T. Barkley reported from CBC about the International day of persons with disabilities when a sports festival was held to help celebrate the day on Friday 3rd December. He then said that the Borough council had agreed to put the budget out for consultation and dependant on Government grant funding, still to be announced, it is envisaged Services will be maintained with a small rise in council tax.
His Leicestershire County Council report covered three aspects: the Members Highway fund which he has submitted an application to utilise the £25K allocated to all County Councillors for improvements in their division. The majority were the ideas put forward by Town Council for speed cameras in the areas requested and further improvements requested by residents. He is awaiting a report back from Highways.
Secondly he reported on Improvements to Fosse Way/High Street where Pukka Pies have recently applied to the County Council to extinguish the Public Footpath which runs through their site and as an alternative undertake improvement works to the footpath adjacent to Fosse Way and High Street. If the Pukka Pies application to extinguish the Public Footpath is successful, they will then be required to provide the improvements to the footpath.
Finally, the Tree Scheme to plant 700,000 trees. Landowners, farmers, members of the community, Town and Parish Councils are being invited to register for their free tree pack, in a bid to help the county council plant 700,000 trees, this is a tree for every person in Leicestershire. Each pack includes 45 native trees – 15 each of oak, crab apple and hazel.
Leicestershire is one of the least wooded areas of the country, currently around 6 per cent woodland, well below the national average of 10 per cent. The authority aims to use the initiative to help renew and restore existing tree cover, as well as regenerate countryside which is under threat from diseases such as Ash Dieback. If you are a member of a community group, parish council or school you can also apply for your trees at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees
Cllr S. Gerrard sent a report about joining a zoom meeting about staying safe this winter, it was mainly staying alert of the Covid-19/omicron virus, so many tips were given. Also she met with a reporter from Radio Leicester about the new Cash Hub that is proposed to be in Syston. When asked where she thought it should be, the only place she thought suitable was the former Barclay’s Bank. She didn’t know when it will be opened, but people will be able to speak to a person face to face.
The Town Manager’s report had been tabled but an update was that the CCTV had finally been installed on Melton Road.
Fiona Henry, Editor.
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