I've been missing Council meetings, for various reasons, most of the summer, but now the nights are drawing in again I'm getting back into the swing of it. This month, the Council was only just quorate, with five councillors turning up. They are launching another appeal for more councillors - there are three vacancies at the moment - with the proviso that it only needs to be for six months, as there are elections due next year, so anyone interested could try it for a limited time to see if they liked it.
One of our local policemen was giving an update on police - and criminal - activity when I arrived. He's involved in reviving and updating the Neighbourhood Watch scheme, and also mentioned Farm Watch. Technology means that information can be shared much more quickly in these days of emails and smart phones. He's looking for volunteers to be a part of the new Neighbourhood Watch schemes. There's also SpeedWatch, for speeding motorists. Local training for volunteers will be available.
He pointed out that criminals are no longer deterred by the presence of cameras - they just put their hoodies up and carry on, and they come into areas of low crime like the Hay area from surrounding areas. Crickhowell has been having something of a crime wave recently.
He also talked about the problems with motorbikes on Powys roads - there's a death just about every week, though most bikers are sensible (and most are middle aged).
There was some concern that the Residents' Parking trial seems to be just carrying on without an end in sight. Powys County Council have now said there won't be a review of how it is working until the end of next year, and there seems to be no one in the County Council taking responsibility for the scheme. Despite this, and the fact that there are some issues with the scheme that need to be addressed, Powys wants to roll out the scheme across the county. Hay Council will be writing to the County Council to remind them that a review is needed.
The Town Plan has been officially adopted by the National Park, and will be used as supplementary planning guidance. This means that the views of local people will be taken into account, as stated in the town plan, before any planning decisions locally are made. One of the good outcomes of this is that there is a strong case for proper community facilities within the new Hay school building (as seen in the last lot of plans which are no longer being used) when the school is finally built.