Friday, 10 July 2015

Council Meeting - Rainbow Gathering, outdoor recreation, allotments

A group of young (and some not so young) people have been camping on Hay Common to celebrate the Summer Solstice. According to one of the ladies at Stitch and Bitch, they call themselves the Rainbow Gathering, and they tend to spend around a month in a place and then move on. There was an article about them in the Brecon and Radnor Express, too. Apparently they club together to provide a communal meal twice daily, and have a strict no drugs or alcohol policy. I've seen a few of them in Hay - the other night a couple of bearded young men with dreadlocks were drumming and chanting outside the HSBC bank while a girl danced, whirling orange flags around her. They all seem very polite and pleasant.
The police have been up to the camp, but told the council that they couldn't move the campers on because it's a civil matter, and the council needs to get an eviction notice. Which they are unwilling to do, because beginning that sort of legal action costs an awful lot of money, and by the time they get the order, the Rainbow people may well have moved on anyway.
Some of the councillors remember similar gatherings up on Hay Bluff back in the 1980s, which were not so polite or pleasant, and they were concerned that the Rainbow Gathering might become an annual event - or that it might become a permanent encampment - but for now they are watching to see what happens.

Negotiations with HADSCL are still going on, about the length of lease that they should be allowed - this has repercussions for the sort of grants they can access in the future for improvements to the facilities and so on. The councillors weren't keen on agreeing to a long term lease unless HADSCL and the sports clubs came up with a plan for improving the facilities and encouraging more participation in sporting activities. Long term in this case being a 60 year lease. They want to see the facilities improve, not just maintaining the status quo as it is now. It was also pointed out that the different sports clubs have to be prepared to fund raise in the future.

Behind the Council Chambers there are three allotments. Steve Like grows veg in one of them, so he couldn't take part in the discussions. They pay £20 a year for the allotments, and have always taken water from the Council Chambers for watering the plants. Which horrified a couple of the newer councillors, as the Council Chambers gets the water bill. It was suggested that they should stop allowing the allotment holders access to the Council Chambers water, but that they should buy water butts and collect the water from the drainpipes instead.

No comments: