Friday, 6 October 2017

Council Meeting - Kingdom Project, Police Report, and Traffic

I've been out every evening this week, so I've had no time to sit down and write my blog until now!

I was a bit late for the Council meeting. I went down to the Swan, to find the room they had been using in darkness, and the staff there weren't really sure, but they thought the Council was meeting at the school....
This is because it is, apparently, illegal for a Council to meet where alcohol is served.
Fortunately, there they were, in the school hall. I thought I'd be clever, and sit on the padded bench instead of a child's plastic chair, but it was still pretty hard by the end of the evening!

I came in about half way through a presentation two ladies were giving about the Kingdom Project. This would appear to be a festival with a difference, and the organisers were looking for support. I was told later that they have run successful festivals elsewhere before. The idea is for an event to take place over next August Bank Holiday, around the town, or possibly on the Warren, with the aim of encouraging more people to visit Hay.
It was suggested that they also approach Racquetty Farm, which has held several events on their land. They were also advised to speak to Peter Florence of Hay Festival, the Globe, Elizabeth Haycox of Booth Books and Arts Alive in Crickhowell - and to keep in touch with the Town Events Committee of Hay Council.

The Question from the Public commended the Council for the production of their second newsletter, and asked if the names of the chairs of the various sub-committees could be included next time, so that members of the public could go direct to the councillors responsible for the various areas, and not have to go through the Town Clerk, thus easing his workload.

There was no police report, because Lee was busy assisting at the site of a fatal accident at Storey Arms. However, he had sent a report on the main items of interest. The new school site has been broken into (I don't think they got away with much), and there have been scam calls recently pretending to come from the person's bank. The police advice is to break off the call, and call your bank yourself - if it's a real call, they will know all about it, and if it's a fake, the bank will be alerted to the scam.
Sadly, Lee is being re-assigned to Crickhowell, leaving Hay in the hands of PCSO Helen Scott. The Council were sad to hear this, and said he'd be a great loss to Hay.

The new bench has finally been ordered - but there was concern that there had been another accident on the same spot opposite the Cinema Bookshop recently. In that case, the car mounted the kerb, but did not demolish the replacement bench. They said that the parking spots on the same side as the Cinema Bookshop had been introduced originally as a traffic calming measure, but it might be worth shortening the space available, as it seemed to push motorists out to the other side of the road too much. It was also pointed out that larger vehicles were now using the road than when the traffic calming measures had been devised. On 26th October, county councillor Liam Fitzpatrick will be coming to Hay, to discuss the local highways with Hay councillors, and this is one of the areas they will take him to look at. The top of the hill by Walter Jones is also a problem area, with poor visibility, and people stopping to pick stuff up from the shop. More parking space will also have to be found elsewhere if the spot by the Cinema Bookshop is shortened, to allow the same amount of residents' parking. The Highways Department have had a moratorium on making any new traffic orders, but this appears to have been lifted recently, so changes could be requested.
Meanwhile the lady who destroyed the original bench has been contacted, and has agreed to pay for the replacement bench.

There has been no further action on the speed sign between Hay and Clyro, because the Clyro clerk resigned over the meeting about the chicken shed there. He's returned for an interim period, but nothing much can be done until a new clerk is found.

Down on the Gliss, some of the abandoned vehicles have been removed, but the trailer is still there, and somebody appears to be living in the red van. The police are aware of this, and say he is not a concern. Richard Greatrex said that he had been disappointed, at the previous Council meeting, that the first reaction of the council was not to attempt to help a homeless person, but they were more concerned about enforcing the local bylaws. Nobody is sure whether Red Van Man owns the van, or just started living in it because it was abandoned by someone else. It was pointed out to Richard that previous homeless people in the area had been helped by the council - there was a poor soul who was living in a hedge, and another in a tent. Red Van Man does not seem to be in the same sort of distress, but appears to be using the van as a base while he explores the local area on his bike. One of the new councillors (the Off-Grid Gourmet chef?) said that he had experience with the Travelling community and would be happy to act as a liason between the Council and Red Van Man.

Fly tipping is still an issue - in the latest case contractors doing work in someone's garden on Warren Close just dumped the waste down the back onto the railway line. They have been spoken to, and the issue has been resolved, but the need for vigilance is always there.

Down on Gypsy Castle, the person from the Highways Department who was spoken to by the Town Council seemed unaware that the previous moratorium on new traffic orders had been lifted by the County Council. There have been suggestions that the informal passing place on the narrow lane should be formalised - there have been cases of vehicles meeting in the lane, and one of them having to reverse out onto the main road, which is both dangerous and illegal. The Town Council also want to push the 30 mile an hour signs out further to the edges of town.

In Broad Street, Camper Van Man has a valid permit to park his camper van there, but it has been moved over the last few days. It was pointed out that the County Council deliberately made no restrictions on the type of vehicle that could get a resident's parking permit, because of small traders who used their work vans for private use as well.

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