Sunday, 10 September 2017

Council Meeting - Miles without Stiles, Flashing Signs,and the Gliss

At last, something positive to talk about! Josie Pearson, with the help of fellow councillor Jim, the canoe man, has been trying out local footpaths to see how accessible to wheelchair users they are. Her idea is to map out a five mile loop of footpaths, with smaller loops coming off it. The riverbank is an easy choice, of course, being flat and also a cycle path, but there's a kissing gate at the Warren which makes it inaccessible. The gate onto the Warren from the little car park at the end of the track is accessible for anyone with a radar key, however, and there are various options that can be pursued, with the help of Tim Pugh of the Warren Trust. One suggestion is to re-route the footpath near the Persimmon Homes development on more level ground.
Other paths are more challenging, such as the route over the fields up to Hay Common, which would benefit by rehanging some of the gates to swing the other way, which would not be expensive to do, with the agreement of land owners, and some of the paths up to Hay Common are maintained by the National Parks. Cusop Council are also working on something similar.
One problem was the bridge pictured at the top of this post - Josie could get onto it from the Black Lion Green side, but got stuck halfway across because it's narrower at the other end!
The steps opposite Lamb House are completely inaccessible, as well, though it might be possible to re-route the footpath across the field down to the gate, and it will certainly be possible to cut back all the undergrowth which has made it so narrow.
So, grants may be available to do work on the local paths, and it might be possible to get local businesses to sponsor a gate, for instance, which would involve the local community in the efforts to upgrade the paths.
If this does get off the ground, it would be a pilot project to show that it would work in Wales, and would also be good for local tourism.
National Disabilities Awareness Day is in March, so they will be looking at that to show what is available across the country.

Clyro Council have sent a request for Hay to go in with them to purchase a flashing speed sign to slow drivers down. There's already a socket for one by Hay Bridge - it was there for a while and then moved elsewhere in the county, and never came back. Anita, from the audience, and with her Speedwatch hat on, said that the problem with speeding was along Brecon Road and Newport Street, not the road between Hay and Clyro.
The councillors decided that more information was needed, and local PC Helen Scott should also be consulted, as she knows where the problems with speeding occur.
Also on the subject of road traffic problems, there was a suggestion that the 30 mile an hour sign should be moved to the main road, at the turning to Gypsy Castle Lane, because of problems with the increased volume of traffic going to the Persimmon site, and that Gypsy Castle should be made into a one way system. Powys County Council, the police, and the Town Council will be co-ordinating on this.

There are problems down at the Gliss as one of the home owners down there has gone to the Land Registry to claim a portion of the ground where they have extended their garden, over the same period as Hay Council, who are coming to the end of their long road of registering the Gliss as belonging to the Council. So an appeal has gone in to the Land Registry who will eventually make a decision....
Another problem down at the Gliss is the number of canoe companies who now use the canoe landing stage, sometimes causing chaos down there with canoe trailers all over the place. Something needs to be done to control this, as it's a free for all at present. One suggestion was to start charging canoe companies for their use of the landing stage.
People from the Globe have also been looking at the Gliss as a possible site for parking for their next How the Light Gets in Festival. The idea would be to connect the Gliss car park with the fields by the Co-op by putting a footbridge over the stream that meets the Wye there. This would also be dependent on whether the owners of the fields agree to having the Festival on their land.
And 25 residents of the Gliss and surrounding ground have signed a petition saying they want a meeting with Hay Council because of their concerns. They say that Hay Council has been "stealthily taking over" the Gliss for the past four or five years.
Having sat through the relevant Council meetings over the last few years, I think I can safely say that those concerns are not entirely accurate, and Hay Council have not been doing anything "stealthily", but I believe a meeting will be arranged.

Another happy event will be the Hay2Timbuktu 10th Anniversary Celebrations on Friday 27th October. They will be having their AGM from 6.30pm to 7pm, followed by drinks and nibbles, and a look back at the last 10 years, the toilet project in Timbuktu schools, and so on. Mayor Trudi has been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies for this.

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