Dec 2015 – Report to Market Deeping Town Council

Here is my monthly SKDC District Council report.

SKDC Full Council 12th November
This was my longest SKDC Full Council so far, lasting almost 3 hours. Agenda items included almost n hour on the future of NHS Lincolnshire and more than 30 minutes on the celebrated Stamford Georgian Festival which provided good value for money at just £70,000. I did ask that consideration be given to offering financial support to similar events in the Deepings and the leader Bob Adams was encouraging in his response.

Name-Blind Shortlisting
I also submitted a ‘Question without Discussion’ suggesting the Council adopt the practice of ‘name-blind’ shortlisting for recruitment. I am happy to report that the subsequent Resources PDG supported the idea and so all candidates for SKDC jobs will be anonymous to the shortlisting panel. This will further reduce the chances of direct or subliminal prejudice during recruitment.

Communities PDG 19th November
The SKDC Communities Policy Development Group has recommended charging community groups for bin collections (about £300/yr) and charging schools for recycling collections which they used to get free. For the record I voted against charging. This decision was taken in Grantham at gone 5pm when most committee members had already made their excuses and left. In the Deepings I expect this might affect the scouts, the coronation hall, the Masonic hall, Village halls and the Institute. The meeting also considered a number of changes to the Housing Allocations policies.

Deepings Library
All systems are go for the planned re-opening of the Deepings Library at the end of January. I have reluctantly been involved in the recruitment process and spent some time on Saturday morning on a shortlisting panel for the librarian. The application forms had, of course, been anonymised so I still don’t know who is coming for interviews on Friday. On Wednesday (today) the keys to the library were due to be formally handed from the County to FoDL.

Deepings Community Trust
The Community Centre held its AGM on Friday 27th November. As Treasurer, I was happy to report the finances are in a much better shape than a year ago due to a reduction in a variety of costs and an increase in income and footfall. The Centre is looking forward to working with the library.

The Birds and the Bees
Last Friday I met Cllrs Broughton and Neilson along with Lynn Lord from SKDC to discuss the possibility of leaving a 10m strip of grass at the top of Tattershall Drive to grow ‘wild’. This will encourage birds, bees, flora and fauna. We also discussed the possibility of leaving a tidy ‘horseshoe’ of long grass around one of the trees which would also provide a place for youngsters to play. SKDC today confirmed that the contractors are not only able, but actually enthusiastic about the idea. Unless you have objections I intend to consult wider on this idea via facebook etc. Ideally, this would be a post on the MDTC facebook page first which I am happy to draft for the Clerk/Admin.

I attended the Christmas market, albeit at the wrong time (sorry), and saw the Mayor valiantly fighting the weather to turn on the lights. Congratulations on your dedication. It was a much better effort than Stamford.
Yesterday morning (Tuesday) I was pleased to assist my good friend, Father Christmas, with the distribution of presents at the Open Door Mums and Toddlers Group.

Ho, ho, ho and a Merry Christmas to one and all!

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