Friday, 7 April 2017

Council Meeting - Library, Independence Celebrations, Car Parks and Town Plan

The councillors wondered how they were going to calculate the amount the community will have to pay towards the running of the Library in 2018 - 19. Powys County Council are still being vague about the figures.
Fiona Howard pointed out how much the Town Council has done behind the scenes to save the library, and added that, when there was a public meeting on the issue, nobody came along to say that the Library shouldn't be in the new school building. However, now there are people complaining about the library being moved to the school building.
A comment was also made about how local people often confuse what the town council do with what the county council do, so complain about the town council when it is actually the county council which is at fault.
There was some confusion about what HOWLS (the Hay-on-Wye Library Supporters) want to do next, as there has been some discussion about using the existing library building and adding more community activities. The councillors were unsure whether HOWLS wanted to take over the library building and run it themselves - in which case, how were they going to fund it? One suggestion was that HOWLS should put forward a candidate to be a town councillor in the coming elections.

The town council commended the organisers of the weekend's 40th anniversary of Hay independence celebrations for their hard work, and said that they had been told it might become an annual event. The town council gave a grant towards the Arts Trail, which will be in shop windows around town until May 1st. There was also a complaint about the county council charging for the closing of the town square for celebrations such as this - and sending extra traffic wardens into town to make a bit more money from fixed penalty notices.
Apparently, the Welsh Assembly recently offered to pay all the county councils in Wales for their car parking, so that all council car parks would be free across Wales, thus encouraging tourism and shopping in Welsh towns. All the county councils agreed to this - except Powys. Powys will continue to charge for the use of their car parks. In Hay, the income from the main car park is now supposed to go towards funding things like the public toilets, which the county council used to be responsible for.

Meanwhile, the Recycling Fund has been asked for a contribution towards St Mary's church, which needs better disabled access and some work on the heating system - at which Steve Like suggested that they should "burn sinners"! The Recycling Fund has offered them £500.

The Town Plan is so complex that the councillors feel they need a Town Manager to deal with it - there are so many intersecting parts to it. The National Park will work out how to join projects together across the park to help with funding, so that people are working together, instead of independently trying to do the same thing.
The best way to appoint a Town Manager to deal with this would seem to be to treat it as a project, in which case government funding may pay for the post as part of their leader programme. What they need is someone to have oversight of what's going on so that they can catch problems before things go wrong. The council have some experience of running a big project like this, with the Timbuktu project - and they also have some experience of how projects like that can go wrong. Whatever happens, it will mean a lot of extra work to do on top of what they are doing already.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Steve Like is coming off the town council, coming out with stupid crass remarks such as that.

Eigon said...

I think he may have been feeling "demob happy"!