Sunday, 17 April 2016

Council Meeting - Schools, Town Plan, Toilets, British Legion and more

At the time of the Council meeting, around 500 tickets had been issued for the public meeting at Gwernyfed School on 20th April to discuss the closure of the school and the amalgamation with Brecon High School. The last I heard, somewhere around a thousand tickets had been issued!
Meanwhile a pamphlet has been given out at Hay School with details of Powys County Council's plans - Lizzie Harper did a precis of this which I blogged about a few days ago. Gareth Ratcliffe has been trying to get the County Council to debate the future of the secondary schools in full Council, rather than in the Cabinet - and the Council have taken legal advice on preventing this!
The Cabinet members claim that the changes to the secondary schools are all about improving educational standards - but Gwernyfed is doing well. In fact, Gareth got the Cabinet to commend Gwernyfed on it's high educational standards when he was allowed to ask a question.

Meanwhile, there's Hay School, and a contractor has been chosen to build the new school building - Wilmot Dixon. They will be consulting shortly on the design stage. Which will bear no resemblance to the previous consultations and plans that were available for a new school building.
There were ten applicants for the post of Head Teacher at Hay School, and interviewing will begin soon.
Rob Golesworthy also reported that the school swimming pool had been heavily used over the Easter holidays.

And on 21st April, there will be a meeting about the Hay Town Plan. The question now is, how to share the Plan with Hay residents? The National Parks press officer is using the computer game Minecraft as part of the planning consultation process, as things can be built in the game and changed around to see what they'll look like. Hay Scribblers are building a virtual Hay in Minecraft at the moment for planning discussions.
Hay Council AGM is next month, and at that point councillors will be asked to champion different parts of the Town Plan to take it forward. Transition Hay and the Affordable Housing group are also very interested in taking part.

Dial-a-Ride have asked if they can have a stall on the front lawn of the Council Chambers during the Festival - there was no objection to this, as long as they have public liability insurance and do a risk assessment (in case of people falling off the edge of the lawn - it's quite a steep drop in parts).

The British Legion are starting to think about commemorating the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and are planning an event by the War Memorial for 7th August. This will mean closing the car park, and could possibly be combined with the Food Festival, or celebrations for the Queen's 90th birthday. However, nobody really seemed to know what to do about the Queen's birthday.

They have, however, been thinking about getting the rates bill for the public toilets dropped. Apparently there is some mechanism whereby the County Council sends the bill out, but then negates it, so nothing is paid. There were several comments about the County Council failing to support local councils with all the extra responsibilities that the local councils have had to take on.
There was an attempted break in at the toilets by the Clock Tower, but Healthmatic have repaired the damaged door at no charge.

Mention was made of the field opposite the Co-op, which has planning permission for 26 new houses, 12 of which should be affordable (and which is just in Herefordshire). Apparently no housing associations in Herefordshire are interested in taking on housing there, because it's too far from their centre of operations, so it's possible that Wales and West Housing Association will be involved.

And finally, there has been a planning application from the Conservative Club to paint an oak tree on the side of the building - which apparently hasn't gone down very well with the National Parks. An artist's impression of what it would look like was passed round (personally, I think it would brighten the place up!), and no-one seemed to have any objections to it - but Rob Golesworthy declined to take part in a vote on the grounds that he's a member of the Conservative Party, and Gareth declined to vote because he drinks at the Con Club.

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