Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Council Meeting - Citizen's Award, publicity

I happened to meet Alan Powell on Monday lunchtime, which is the only reason I knew that the Council Meeting for that evening had been put forward to 6pm - because council meetings have been going on to 11pm regularly, and councillors wanted to finish at a reasonable time.
There was no way I was going to be there for 6pm, though - I finish work at 6pm, and I really needed to have something to eat and a cup of tea before I sat in at the council meeting for the rest of the evening.
So it was almost 7pm by the time I got to the school, and the council was in the middle of a discussion about a Citizen's Award. I gather they are able to choose someone from the local area, and offer £100 - the winner chooses which charity to donate it to.
The idea was to present the award on the same weekend as the Independence Celebrations, which will be over the weekend of 1st April next year. However, it was pointed out that Hay Independence started as a bit of a joke, and the Citizen's Award was a serious award - so should the Council really present it on that weekend?
Then there was the problem of who qualified? Richard Greatrex had just been to an Old Time Music Hall performance in Clyro, in aid of the dementia club. Although the organiser lives in Clyro, the club benefits many people in Hay, so might they get the award? The consensus seemed to be that the winner should be someone on the electoral roll of Hay.
And then - what charity would the money be given to? If the winner had totally free choice, they might decide to give £100 to Sinn Fein, or some jihadist group! So it was agreed to limit the choice to local charities.
Apparently, in Llandrindod Wells, the award is given at a charity dinner, organised by the Lions - but nobody wanted to take on the job of organising a charity dinner.
This is meant to be an annual affair, so there is going to be a Roll of Honour, and there is a company in Hereford that produces the wooden boards, and provides the lettering to add to it each year.
Anyone in Hay can nominate a candidate for the award, and it will be publicised by the Town Council in January.

Peter Florence has asked what he can do to help the Town Council, and they all agreed that it would be a good idea to take up his offer of an event at the beginning of the next Hay Festival, probably in the evening of the schools day, where the Town Council can publicise what they are doing, such as the Miles Without Stiles scheme.

On the subject of publicity, the discussion turned to Facebook. Jim is not a fan of Facebook for offical council business, but several people pointed out the usefulness of it to reach residents. For instance, the letter about the Town Council's position with reference to the Library has been seen by 800 people. There were some reservations about comments - people who only commented to nit pick wording, for instance - but they also agreed how useful Gareth Ratcliffe's Facebook page is at keeping local people informed about what's going on.
The reason Alan Powell was talking to me at lunchtime was also related to Facebook. An oak tree sapling, a Charter Oak, was recently supplied by the Woodland Trust. It was planted by members of the Town Council, the Warren Trust, and the Woodland Group, on the Warren. Within 24 hours, it was gone. News of the loss was put on Facebook straight away, and was the fastest way to spread the news locally.

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