Friday, 7 February 2014

Council Meeting - Mobile phones and disabled access

I had been completely unaware, as I don't have a mobile phone, but reception around Hay lately has been rubbish, with one network down completely for ten days.
Steve Like brought this up at the council meeting. He was incensed that Vodaphone and Orange were so useless, and wanted a letter to be sent, protesting in the strongest possible terms, to the Chief Executives!
He was concerned that small businesses that depended on using mobile phones had been losing business over the period when they were uncontactable, and that there could have been problems with emergency calls for ambulances. He was reminded that it might seem a bit strange to the public for a councillor to be making such a fuss for better mobile coverage so soon after all the trouble about the siting of the new mast up Forest Road - and emergency calls can be picked up by any network, so it doesn't matter if one is down for that.
At the moment, Kirsty Williams has a campaign running to make mobile phone network providers more accountable, so it was thought that the best course of action was probably to forward all the information about the loss of signal to her so she could take the most appropriate action. Apparently the mast at Clyro was vandalised recently.

There was also concern about Peter Lloyd, who was brought back onto the council despite his illness, and has been unable to attend recent meetings because he can't manage the stairs. There is a legal requirement to make council meetings accessible for all members of the public who wish to attend (as well as all councillors), but Rob Golesworthy seemed to think that this did not apply to an old building like the Council Chambers, which would be difficult and expensive to make accessible (someone mentioned the ridiculous disabled toilet on the same floor of the building as the council chamber, which no-one in a wheelchair could ever get to). Other public spaces in Hay are also mostly inaccessible, so moving meetings would also be difficult - and some of the councillors are very much wedded to the tradition of having the council meetings in the dedicated council chamber and nowhere else. Second hand chair lifts were mentioned. Steve Like said that, if the meetings were held in the school, he would resign because he refused to spend a whole evening sitting on a children's chair. The Library is accessible, but there is an issue with holding a public meeting there because people might walk off with library books.
(However, if I remember rightly, this will be exactly the situation when the new school finally gets built, because the design shows that public meetings will be happening in the same space as the library).

Other matters discussed were the Hay Hotfooters race in March, which will be starting from Kilverts, with one mile, three mile and six mile options. Members of the council usually support the race, which is sponsored for charity, but Steve Like admitted that last time he walked the one mile course, while having a couple of fags on the way!

Last meeting, a letter was sent to HADSCO (the Sports Association) to ask about the money that was raised a few years ago for a new community centre. The council has now had a letter back saying that they still have plans to build (though not under the auspices of the County Council, which is going down the route of combining community facilities with the school) and could they please have the £15,000 they were offered by the council? It was pointed out that some money had been given to the Sports Association at the time because they had spent so much of their own cash on planning matters, but the rest had been held in reserve and was intended to be for running costs, not the costs of building.

Dog poo is a perennial problem, and Gareth reminded everyone that every public litter bin in Hay is able to accept dog poo bags, so there's no excuse for not picking it up.
The dog poo baskets on the railway line were removed because they were too successful, even unto overflowing!

And by that time it was nearly quarter to eleven, and I was doodling to stop myself nodding off!

1 comment:

Disillusioned Voter said...

So, "Steve Like said that, if the meetings were held in the school, he would resign because he refused to spend a whole evening sitting on a children's chair." did he?

Now all we have to do is replace the chairs in the councils meeting room with children's chairs, and hey presto - no more Steve Like! And probably no more of the rest of the dinosaurs too. Simples!

Guerrilla chair replacing, anyone?