Report to Market Deeping Town Council – February 2020

Report to MDTC Full Council 12th February, 2020
from ASHLEY BAXTER, SKDC Councillor for Market & West Deeping.

Deeping Shorts – Film Festival

‘Deeping Shorts’ – a short festival of short films – has held two Saturday evening cinema screenings with two more to go (15th and 22nd February). The screenings have been well attended and well received. Tickets are £5 from Stamford Arts Centre or at Open Door Baptist Church on the night.

Leisure Centre / All Weather Pitch

News about the proposed Deepings Leisure Centre and the future of the condemned All Weather Pitch has failed to yield any concrete proposals (nor proposals for concrete). At Full Council, the new Portfolio Holder, Cllr Barry Dobson stated that a Working Party would be formed with representation from the 3 Deepings Independent Councillors. By the time of the Finance Committee a week later, this Working Party had been extended to include two Deeping Conservatives. A few minutes later, it was explained that the Working Party would be an overarching group for all Leisure Facilities in South Kesteven. When I asked for clarification, the Finance Committee was told there will be more than one Working Party. I later asked Cllr Dobson for written clarification of the roles, purpose and composition of the working party (or parties). A week later and I am still waiting.

Cllr Dobson also mentioned that nothing would be decided about Leisure Centres until he had visited the sites personally to see what was needed. This is slightly confusing given that the council has commissioned leisure professionals an architects to conduct feasibility studies at a cost of more than £250,000.

14/01/2020         Budget – Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee            

Lots of talk about the Conservative’s Pie-in-the-Sky thinking for next year’s expenditure.

16/01/2020   Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee

I am pleased to say the Communities Committee agreed to implement some of the measures recommended by the ‘Stop the Knock’ campaign which I had brought to their attention.

I am less pleased to say that they rubber-stamped proposals to ‘rationalise the face-to-face customer service provision’ in Stamford and the Deepings. This effectively means closing the SKDC offices at the Deepings Community Centre and at Maiden Lane in Stamford.

There is a consultation about the plans to close the Stamford and Deeping SKDC offices. The deadline is 20th February.

30/01/2020   Council

The Council meeting began with a silence in respectful memory of former Chair of SKDC, Cllr Peter Speigl and former Chair of the world’s longest running radio panel show and much-loved Grantham born entertainer, Nicholas Parsons CBE. The silence was, suitably, just a minute. It would have been great if all the afternoon’s debate could have been conducted without hesitation, repetition or deviation but this was unlikely from the outset.

Grantham favourite child – Nicholas Parsons
Continue reading

Art for art’s sake…

An SKDC press release today announced a public consultation on the arts…

“Groups and individuals with an interest in arts, heritage, culture and all manner of creative activities are being invited to help develop South Kesteven District Council’s new cultural strategy.

The public engagement process will begin in the four market towns with a series of meetings for stakeholders and strategic partners, starting in Stamford on 23 January.

Initially these meetings will be by invitation only, but a wider programme of consultation – both online and face-to-face – will be introduced throughout the spring and early summer.

SKDC officers, working with colleagues within InvestSK, will lead the meetings to discuss the cultural sector and celebrate the vital role that arts and heritage play in the district’s economic development.

The meetings will explore SK’s current cultural landscape, identifying priorities for future delivery, considering resource implications, recognising challenges and discovering opportunities.

Any arts or heritage practitioner or local group wishing to attend the initial meetings can register an interest to attend. Places are free but limited so do please get in touch as soon as possible.

Register or express an interest in being involved by contacting Michael Cross (Heads of Arts for InvestSK) by email michael.cross@investsk.co.uk or by calling 07966 299400.

Dates for the sessions are:

Stamford Arts Centre Ballroom – 23 January 2019 7pm-9pm

Grantham Guildhall Arts Centre – 29 January 2019 7pm-9pm

Ballroom Bourne Corn Exchange – 31 January 2019 7pm-9pm

The Deepings – Oddfellows Hall, Market Deeping – 12 February 2019 7pm-9pm

ENDS

Bourne to ride! Bicycle races are coming your way…

bournecicleCycling enthusiasts from far and wide will be excited to learn of the launch of a major new cycle road race to be staged in South Kesteven in 2019 – starting and finishing in Bourne.

The press launch of the “Bourne CiCLE Classic” will take place at Bourne Corn Exchange at 3pm on Thursday 1 November (This strikes me as an odd time to have a press event because it clashes with the SKDC Cabinet Meeting due to take place in Stamford on the same afternoon. It means that none of the Cabinet will be attending the launch or that they don’t regard Cabinet members as important).

The event completes the quartet of events in South Kesteven.  First, in 2013, came the bienniel Stamford Georgian Festival and the following year Grantham hosted the first bienniel Gravity Fields festival. In early 2016, Phil Dilks, Judy Stephens and I successfully argued for “Parity for the Deepings” and the Conservatives soon agreed to a bienniel Deepings Literary Festival. At the same time there were also some mumblings about Bourne. Continue reading

A brush with imagination at #Stamford Arts Centre

Josette Carroll

Today I went with my family to see the new exhibition at the gallery in Stamford Arts Centre. It is a collection of paintings, collages and small sculptures by two local artists, namely Josette Carroll and Vilma Nyss.

The exhibition is well worth a viewing especially for people spending a morning shopping in Stamford or a day at Burghley. It runs until Wednesday 26 September.

Josette was on hand this afternoon to discuss the creative process she uses to produce her diverse works which included: abstract works using mixed materials, paint and collage; sculptures created by recycling post-consumer packaging; as well as more representational interpretations of the natural world including chickens, leafs and trees.

The sculptures were created by taking cardboard, pressing it down with woodglue to make a thick block and then sculpting the block, using various tools ranging from bandsaw to a scapel, to create representations of Bohemian landscapes and other abstract forms.

Josette previously worked as a secondary school teacher in South Lincolnshire before ‘retiring’ to take a degree in Fine Art from University of Lincoln (based at Stamford). She now works from a studio at her home in Ketton.

Vilma’s works are less abstract but also quite diverse. The two styles complement each other across the gallery.

As well as the gallery, Stamford Arts Centre also houses a theatre, cinema, bar, cafe, tourist information centre and function rooms. The centre is managed by South Kesteven District Council.

IMG_0716

Josette Carroll discussing her work with an art student from the Deepings

img_0720.jpg

“Fish Supper” by Vilma Nyss

More theatricals at West Deeping…

Back in March I attended a brilliant play at West Deeping Village Hall. It was a Townsend Production called “We are the Lions, Mr Manager” which told the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike.

The performance was part of the Lincolnshire Rural Touring programme which is scheme designed to make art accessible for the many not the few. It is subsidised by Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council among others so I congratulate them for their support this project (and regular readers will know I don’t do that very often!)

The next season of performances have been booked for West Deeping and they are as follows:

Honey

Saturday, 13th October 2018, 7:30 PM

An intimate, thoughtful, atmospheric evocation of fragile family and community allegiances within a remote Welsh village, tracing the lives of a young autistic man, his absentee soldier father, his alcoholic beekeeper mother and her tattoo artist sister.

Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More

Saturday, 24th November 2018, 7:30 PM

Staged with great panache, gorgeous period detail and an impressive film noir/jazz-swing soundtrack, this is an absolute hoot of a show, chronicling Lady Pamela More’s 1930s life as a fashion editor, socialite and secret agent.

The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster

Friday, 1st March 2019, 7:30 PM

An intimate and spellbinding telling of the true story of the notorious and bloody 16th century Pendle Witch trials, combining bold theatricality, haunting a capella hymn singing and striking dark humour.

Sounds like a fun night out, eh? Most people combine these performances with a visit to the excellent Red Lion pub across the road either before, after and or during the performance. Village life at its best!

Wyndham Park? Where’s that?

For Councillors in Grantham, the historic Wyndham Park is the jewel in the crown of South Kesteven. Most people in the Deepings have never heard of Wyndham Park, let alone visit the park, and I suspect they would be surprised to hear how much attention the park is given by the communications team at SKDC.

Please fill in the online Wyndham Park survey, regardless of how much you know about the park. It presents an opportunity to feedback to SKDC about open spaces in general and to suggest they might be able to give more attention to green spaces in Bourne, Stamford and the Deepings.

In the last 18 months, there have been around 20 press releases relating to events and activities at Wyndham Park including two relating to surveys relating to people’s views about the park. A survey was carried out in July 2017 and another is being carried out this month (July 2018). It is no surprise that no survey has been undertaken regarding the council’s green and open spaces around the rest of the district including Jubilee Park in Deeping St James and Greenlands in Market Deeping which are both owned and managed by SKDC.

Wyndham Park has been awarded Green Flag status, it has had a series of public events including forest schools, easter egg hunts, May pole dancing etc.

 

Continue reading