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!

Nov 2015 – Report to Market Deeping Town Council

Here is my District Councillor’s report for the November 2015 meeting of MDTC.

  • Spalding Transport Conference 16/10/2015
    I attended this event alongside Cllr Neilson and found it very informative. Richard Wills, a senior manager from LCC delivered one of the presentations and I asked him about the future of subsidies for local bus services. He claimed no decision will be made until February but across his budgets he has been asked to project the impact of cuts of 25% and 40% so it’s likely some services will be cut. I also asked him about Tallington Crossing and he said that as neither LCC nor Network Rail have any spare resources it is unlikely the Tallington Bridge scheme will go ahead unless on the back of a housing development scheme.
    I am sure any questions on this can be answered by Cllr Neilson
  • Deepings Police Neighbourhood Forum 19/10/2015
    This was very interesting as it was attended by the Lincs PCC, Alan Hardwick. He told us that PCSOs and police will soon be able once again to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for parking. I am sure any questions on the forum can be answered by Cllr Sked (esp as I had to leave before the end.
  • Langtoft Parish Council 20/10/2015
    I attended the first hour of this meeting in my capacity as a nosey parker.
  • SKDC
    There have been no formal SKDC meetings for me to attend since the last MDTC meeting. A working group meeting on waste took place last week but I was only given 4 days notice and it was unfortunately during the daytime in Grantham so I couldn’t make it.. SKDC Full Council is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday 12th September).
  • Deepings Library
    Finally it appears we have found a solution to the library situation. The Deepings Community Trust and the Friends have found a workable partnership and we are now at the stage of sorting out the leases and the financial management arrangements. Many thanks are due to the Town Council for sticking with the campaign throughout and for stepping up with the cash now that it is (almost) needed. I am sure any questions on this can be answered by Cllr Shelton.
  • Biodiversity
    Working with District Council colleagues, Cllr Broughton and Cllr Neilson, I am trying to persuade SKDC Grounds Maintenance to alter their mowing regime slightly in order to create one or more mini ‘set-asides’ around the town to encourage the birds and the bees and flora in fauna to complement the excellent MDTC work in the Rectory Paddock. The most likely pilot site will be somewhere near the top of Tattershall. The next step is probably to meet SKDC at the potential site and for MDTC amenities to consider and hopefully support the idea. I am sure any questions on this can be answered by Cllr Neilson and/or Cllr Broughton.

As ever, if anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Oct 2015 – Report to Market Deeping Town Council

SKDC – On Thursday 10th September 2015, I attended my first SKDC meeting as a Councillor. There were four items of note:

  • Congratulations to HM Queen Elizabeth II, from members of all political parties and none, mainly paying tribute to her dedication, because she’s a record breaker.
  • A commitment from Cllr Bob Adams, Leader of SKDC, that SKDC would do its bit to support Syrian refugees (Sadly, this was followed a few days later by reports quoting Martin Hill, leader of LCC saying “It would be perverse to accept refugees when services are being cut”).
  • SKDC is considering devolution options in pursuit of government incentives, but no option is welcome that would involve abolition of District Councils as had earlier been publicly suggested by Cllr Martin Hill.
  • A discussion took place on when Councillors should pray. It was decided by majority vote that corporate prayers should be moved from just before the start of each meeting to just after the start of each meeting. It is of course impossible to stop people praying before, during and after Council meetings as long as they do so silently.


SKDC Sub-committees

I have been allocated to the Communities Policy Development Group (CPDG) which is currently considering: a) parking enforcement across the district; and b) waste collection across the district. It seems clear that ‘policy development’ is a marathon and not a sprint.


Magistrates Court – SKDC CPDG also considered response to the Department of Justice consultation on proposed closure of Grantham Magistrates Court. Generally, SKDC councillors are against it.


Library – Library building refurbishment is almost complete. Despite the failure of SKDC to bring anything useful to the library negotiations, FoDL are now in serious negotiations with Deepings Community Trust to find a way to retain the library. It looks very promising. FoDL are very pleased with the offers of support, including financial support, from the Town Council among others.


Town Hall – As mentioned before, if you would like me to find out what is happening regarding the Town Council’s request for a Community Asset Transfer of the Market Deeping Town Hall I will happily investigate.


Christmas Market – I would be pleased to help out again at the Christmas Market this year with the road closure or whatever.

Scooby and the gang - Copy

Scooby-Done – As some of you may know, I ran the Perkins 5k fun run last Sunday dressed as Scooby-Do, with two of my daughters dressed as a dinosaur and a rabbit. My original intention was to run in aid of for the mayor’s charities but due to tight deadlines and protracted bureaucracy relating to the online giving site, this was not possible this time round. I hope to do something similar for Wayne’s funds later in the year. Instead I ran for Birmingham Children’s Hospital where my friends’ little boy is currently recovering from heart surgery. You can donate at .  I ran a time of 33:35. I would have been faster if it weren’t for those pesky kids..!


If anyone has issues concerning the District Council, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.