Thursday, 8 February 2018

Council Meeting - Library, Health Care, Miles Without Stiles, an Accessible Town and Woodland Group

There was some discussion about the Library building, and what would happen to it after the Library moves to the school in April. Bearing in mind that Hay Council are already in complicated negotiations with the County Council about the transfer of assets, would it be sensible of them to add to that by declaring an interest in acquiring the Library building?
The County Council have recently changed the way they decide their corporate asset policy to a case by case basis, where no precedents are set by their decisions in other cases. And they will only consider transferring the asset freehold if it is in their interests.
The councillors have discussed this before, trying to decide between the Council Chambers which need so much work doing on them and the Library building - because the County Council would not allow them to keep both.
So they came back to the problem of the tenants in the Council Chambers, which generate income for the Council, against the costs of repairing and making the Council Chambers accessible.
And they decided that they should at least declare an interest in the Library building, and sort out a business case for taking it over.

Health care for the area is another concern, as health care provision is getting centralised further south, in the areas of greater population, leaving rural areas like this part of Powys behind. Apparently, everywhere should be within a 60 minute journey to a Major Trauma Unit. This is complicated for Hay by Hereford Hospital being over the border, and they also talked about the desirability of improving the Air Ambulance service.
There is also a Well-Being Plan coming down from central government - which is all very nice, but the councillors were unsure how, exactly, it would be implemented.

And then they talked about something that concerned me, as a lapsed archaeologist.
The Miles Without Stiles project has been going ahead, with new surfacing for the Bailey Walk being put down. That's all fine - but the workmen have also been putting a new path in at the Warren, over the old tramway. There were comments that the councillors thought that the new path would be put in to one side of the tramway, but it seems that damage has been done as the path is being put in on top of it. If this is the case, there should have been an archaeologist at least doing a watching brief to see what was uncovered.
I'll be going up there tomorrow to see for myself.

And on a related note, there are plans to improve the town's accessibility, and maybe even make a thing of Hay being an "accessible town". There is, apparently, grant money available. They want two charging points for electric cars (there's one already at Drover Cycles), and there's money for the path improvements for Miles Without Stiles, and Hay in Bloom. This could link in with the well-being ideas, promoting walking and getting out into the countryside for healthy living, and gardening, especially as Hay has an aging population. The council intends to talk to Hay Walkers and the Tourist Information Office, and get them involved.

And, finally, permission has been granted for the Woodland Group to have a container to keep their tools in! It will be sited somewhere near the motte, as the auctioneers who own the cattle market have no objections. It was mentioned that there is a container on site at Hay School, and now that the building work is nearly done, it might become available so the Woodland Group don't have to buy one. The old school buildings are being knocked down now, and the swimming pool is closed while this work goes on - they were told they would have to close for seven weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The charging point at Drover Cycles has a limited availability. It's not suitable for the majority of electric vehicles.