Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Council Meeting - Benches, Parking, Woodland Group, Hay in Bloom, Warren Close

I was heading down to the Sports Pavilion last night when Alan Powell came out of the Swan to say the Council were meeting in there again. Having tried the Sports Pavilion, they had found it too cold, and since they were in a separate room where no alcohol was being served, they decided that was good enough - and it was lovely and warm in there!

So, benches were discussed. The new bench to be put on Bell Bank has been ordered, and should be installed soon. The British Legion have a metal bench with a cut out of a soldier and poppies on the back, and have asked if it can be sited in the square, since there are going to be commemorations of the end of the First World War later in the year. This may mean finding a place for an extra bench, or replacing one of the benches that are already there, but Gareth Ratcliffe will be liasing with the British Legion to find the right place for it.
Also in the Square is a bench with a plaque on it to Mrs. Aitcheson. Her husband has asked that the bench be given a fresh coat of varnish.
There was some discussion of parking permits, including problems like - should someone with a driveway also be able to buy a parking permit for the road, and what about the motorhome on Broad Street? (It's got a legal permit).

The Woodland Group made enquiries about the container on the school grounds, thinking it might be possible to use it to store their tools - but the school wants to store their own equipment in it, so it's not available. There is a little-used shed in the cattle market which might be suitable, though.
The Town Council is going ahead with declaring an interest in acquiring the land around the Castle Motte, as the Woodland Group would like to be able to improve it, and maybe open up the mound and put picnic benches there. One councillor remembered that, in the past, councillors had wanted to flatten the motte to put a car park there, so now they wanted to be sure that it would be protected for the future.
There was also concern about the damaged fence along the side of the church which has been awaiting repair for a year. Powys County Council presently own the land, and have not replied to letters about it - another reason the Woodland Group would like to take it on.
Anna from Drover Holidays has had an idea for Hay in Bloom - using old cycle helmets as planters! In Hereford, apparently, donations of old wellies have been asked for. The idea is to plant them up and dot them around the town.

As part of the Hay Independence celebrations over Easter, the Town Council will be holding a Hanging Basket Workshop at the Parish Hall on 7th April. This will be followed at 2pm by the announcement of Hay's Citizen of the Year, for which Christina Watson will provide an artistic certificate, and after that there will be a guided walk around town. Closing date for nominations for Citizen of the Year is 19th March. Forms will be given out on the Thursday market (it would have been done last Thursday, but there was a bit of snow!). Gareth Ratcliffe instantly took a photo of one of the forms, and Tweeted it! The wonders of social media!

There's been some sort of study that recommends that town councillors for councils of the size of Hay should get an allowance of £150 a year, to cover things like home office supplies needed to do the job of councillor. This should be paid from the Town precept. There were questions about whether councillors had to individually approach the Inland Revenue to ask for a dispensation so that they didn't have to declare the money as taxable income, or if there was a blanket dispensation for every councillor automatically.

Warren Close residents are to be invited to meet soon to discuss the piece of land between their houses and the new development, to talk about planting trees (preferably fruit trees) to screen the view of the new houses and making allotments. It was agreed that householders have no right to a view from their homes (some people apparently don't like looking out on the new houses) but they do have a right to light for their homes. Fruit trees would be a good addition if allotments were made there, though a solicitor will have to be consulted to see if garden sheds are allowed, as originally no structures were allowed on that land.

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