Saturday, 13 May 2017

Council Meeting- Fair, Cemetery, Street Lights, Future Events and County Councillor's Report

An update on the situation in the car park for Hay Fair, seen on Gareth Ratcliffe's Facebook page - after a site visit from all interested parties, it was decided that the Fair would have to set up in its usual position, due to the slope of the car park - they need the flat ground at the bottom. So the recycling bins will be moved and reduced in number to fit everything in, just over the period of the Fair, and the bins will also be emptied more frequently over that period.

And back in the Council Chamber, the councillors were discussing the proposed extension to the cemetery. Rob Golesworthy had been in discussion with the land owner for a while, and reported failure at the last council meeting, but Derek is fairly new to the council, and seems to know local farmers, so he said that he would re-open negotiations. There is £100,000 available from the County Council for extending the cemetery, but it's only on offer for 5 years, and we've already had 18 months of that time. There are already plans drawn up showing how much land is needed - and the money on offer also has to cover things like maintenance and providing access to the new area as well as just buying the land.

Hay has been trialing new LED street lights, which shine with a more white light than the old lights, and use much less electricity. However, there are some problems to be ironed out, as the letter from a resident of Cae Pound pointed out. They now have this bright white light shining directly into their bedroom all night. Now that Gareth is aware of it, he can get in touch with the relevant office in the County Council and arrange for shielding to be put up round the light. It was also mentioned that the Brecon Beacons is a Dark Skies location, for astronomy tourism, and street lights should also be shielded from shining upwards, and causing that glow that obscures the stars.

There are a couple of special events coming up in Hay in the near future. The first will be a conference on Post-Brexit Britain, this June, I think, and next August there will be a Festival celebrating Richard Booth. The organiser of this second event, Georgie Cook, wants to come to talk to the Town Council about it.

Gareth gave his County Councillor's report from the audience, starting by thanking Rob Golesworthy for running a good campaign for election. He is still waiting to see how the changes in the composition of the County Council will work out - the largest group (though smaller than it was) is still the Independents, followed by the Conservatives, and there will have to be some sort of cross-party co-operation to get a working majority. Gareth mentioned that one County Councillor, standing for re-election, got a grand total of 17 votes, and came fourth in his ward!
However, Gareth has already raised the matter of the shorter hours and changed rules at the recycling centres round the county, which are causing a lot of anger - vans and double axle trailers are no longer permitted, even when it is domestic waste, as the recycling centres say they have had problems with small businesses pretending to be ordinary members of the public to dump their waste. And there have been long queues on the days that the recycling centres are actually open.

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