Report to MDTC Full Council 11th November 2020
from ASHLEY BAXTER, SKDC Councillor for Market & West Deeping.
Continued from previous post
At yet another secret briefing for Councillors, Cllr Dobson and Officers shared some scant detail of the proposals for the proposed new Deepings Leisure Centre. The good news is that there is some evidence of progress and, after eight months of asking, Deepings Councillors have now seen some of the detail involved. There is also some evidence that some of our lobbying has been taken into account in the draft designs produced so far.
The bad news is that the information remains confidential and there are still plenty of unanswered questions regarding the design, the business case and the route by which the Leisure Centre will be delivered.
Independent Deepings Councillors have arranged an informal meeting with the representatives of local Sports Clubs in order to ensure we still understand local aspirations for the new sports facilities. We also intend to compare notes regarding the incorporation of Leisure SK which is a company being set up within SKDC in order to manage the Leisure Centres directly rather than contracting out to 1Life.
Victory over Deepings Special Expense Area
At the Finance Committee yesterday, it was agreed to recommend the abolition of the Deepings Special Expense Area charge. This is a item on the Council Tax bills of all Deepings residents (and only Deepings residents) which relates to the costs of mowing and maintaining the sports fields at the Deepings School.
I first started lobbying the Council on this issue in 2015 soon after I was first elected to SKDC. I finally got it put on an agenda last June when the issue was kicked into the long grass (forgive the pun). It was to be revisited in January next year which would have been too late to remove it from next years budget cycle. Thanks to the intervention of Cllr Phil Dilks (Ind) and I, it was brought forward to yesterday’s meeting. There was a long debate during which some Councillors grumbled about the Special Expense Areas in their own towns. Cllr Bob Adams (Con) argued that the Council shouldn’t address the issue of the Deepings SEA until all the questions of SEA across the District could be resolved. Thankfully, the rest of the Committee could see the particular injustice of the Deepings SEA – after all, it’s £3.33 per household to pay for a facility that is not accessible to the public – and common sense won the day. Your Deepings Council Tax bills should be £3.33 light next year!
As ever, if you have been affected by any of the issues raised in the report, please feel free to get in touch with me by any means necessary!
SKDC Councillor for Market & West Deeping
11th November 2020
To read the first two parts of my November report to Market Deeping Town Council, please click the links below.
SKDC Planning issues including news on Mill Field and the BP filling station.
SKDC Housing issues including details of the recent shocking audit report
Thank you for getting the Special Expense Area charge sorted. I have always thought this unfair, and especially so since the School became an academy.
On the subject of the Leisure Centre I have concerns over the swimming pool.
I suffer from osteopenia and as such cannot do running to keep fit. Swimming is perfect for my condition, as it is for people with diabetes and asthma. But at present access to the pool is not good enough because it is monopolised by the Swimming Club.
I have no desire to restrict the successful swimming club, but as a Public Leisure Centre there has to be more daily access to swimming.
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