November 2017 – Report to Market Deeping Town Council

Report to Market Deeping Town Council
from District Councillor Ashley Baxter
8th November, 2017.

Shareholder Committee 11th October
Since the previous meeting on 3rd April, the composition of the Shareholder Committee of the LACC (Local Authority Controlled Company) has changed almost entirely. I am the only Member who was part of the previous committee. The LACC has now been registered as Gravitas Housing Ltd. One of the Council appointed Company Directors has also left and been replaced, as has the Chief Exec of the Council itself.

This month’s meeting was mostly concerned with plans to develop a site at Wherry’s Lane, Bourne. Detailed minutes are available on the Council’s website.

Meeting with New River Retail, 7th November
Yesterday, I met with one of the Directors New River Retail at the Town Hall along with Cllr Redshaw. We discussed: the impact of changes to parking in the Deepings’ precinct; the likely impact and outcome of the proposed relocation of the co-op retail store; and the various SKDC proposed initiatives including the Saturday market. It was an amicable and informative meeting for both sides of the table.

Meeting with Leader of SKDC, 7th November
Yesterday, I also met Cllr Matthew Lee. It was the first available 30-minute appointment in his diary since the Stoke Rochford Declaration reported last month. I thanked Cllr Lee for his commitment to building office accommodation and a leisure centre in the Deepings. Cllr Lee confirmed that he expects construction of both facilities to commence with three years and that the facilities are expected to take just over a year to build. The location and detail of the leisure centre has yet to be determined and Cllr Lee has promised to keep relevant parties, including myself, involved in the ongoing deliberations.

Communities Overview and Scrutiny Group, 7th November
Yesterday, I attended the above SKDC committee. At the start of the meeting I was allowed to speak briefly and I invited the committee to hold its next meeting in the Deepings. This offer was politely declined.

During a later agenda item I asked for an opportunity to comment but Cllr Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, who was standing in for absent Chair, used her discretion to deny me the opportunity to speak.

The meeting discussed whether to ask for a budget of £56,000 to enable each Councillor to allocate up to £1,000 for projects in their ward in the year before the next District Council elections. After some discussion this proposal was agreed with 2 votes in favour and 3 abstentions.

Full Council 23rd November
At the forthcoming Full Council meeting I will hopefully be allowed the opportunity to speak because I have proposed two motions for discussion. The first would mandate the Council to hold at least one formal meeting a year in each of the smaller towns (Bourne, Stamford and Market Deeping). The second recommend the Council responds to the current consultation on gambling by recommending a reduction in the maximum stake at FOBT (aka fruit machines) from £100 down to £2.

It is rumoured that the Council agenda will also include proposals to increase Councillors’ basic allowances by as much as £800/annum.

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