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Report from our District Councillors

July 15, 2019 12:32 PM

Reporting back from District Cllrs Peter Harris and Malcolm Brock July 2019

There was a meeting of the Economic Development Committee on 19 June.

The Council agreed to make an Expression of Interest for funds to create a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) applied for Newark but not, I understand, for Southwell

The Council has a legal duty to review existing Conservation Areas "from time to time" in accordance with Section 69(2) of the Act. There are a significant number in Southwell. These CAs designated many years ago may now be so eroded by piecemeal change or by single examples of poorly designed development that parts of the area may no longer have special interest or the existing boundary may have been drawn too tightly, omitting areas now considered of special interest such as historic rear plots with archaeological potential, later phases of development (such as more recent housing), or parks, cemeteries and historic green spaces. In such cases the existing boundary may need to be extended. At present the Council is concentrating on reviewing those at Edwinstowe and Newark - should we suggest Southwell next?

The Local Development Framework Task Group, looking at the protocols for developing the next LDF has been re-established but is entirely composed of members from the leading group. There willbe matters concerning Southwell in this review so this will need to be monitored.

There was a report on the outcome of the Council's activities undertaken in partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and third sector partners in order to support individuals in the 18-24 age range into work, training or further support as appropriate. These activities followed results of the social mobility report of November 2017 which identified Newark & Sherwood as one of the least socially mobile areas in the country. There were few activities related to tghe young people of Southwell.

Also to be discussed byu the Committee on 11 September 2019 is a paper on Affordable Housing, but there is no date set for a review of 'Town Centre Regeneration & Masterplan'

The Leisure & Environment Committee sat on 25 June

The Committee heard that the deficit for Active for Today, the company [that runs the Newark and Sherwood owned Leisure Centres, and is a partner of the Southwell Leisure Centre Trust] last year rose from -£124,448 in the 2017-2018 year to -£260,547. This excludes the interest charges on the new building works at the three Leisure Centres paid for by N&SDC. Although the figures for A4T of user visits include the associated figures for Southwell, the remaining Centres managed by A4T declined by 12.4% last year

In a report on the Cleaner, Safer, Greener campaign for the committee there was no reported activity in Southwell. A 'Greener' pack and questionnaire was sent to each Parish and Town Council in the district to encourage engagement with the campaign and gather information on the issues affecting the district. The questionnaires were completed between October and December 2018. How can the STC be more engaged with this process?

In a comparatively poorly response to their survey last year, it was apparent that resident commented that the Council should address 'cleaner' issues, most notably fly tipping, littering and dog fouling. Residents requested better recycling facilities and an explanation of recycling and expansion of kerbside recycling. When residents were asked 'what is the most important service?' and they selected 'refuse collection and recycling' and 'keeping streets and public areas clean and tidy.' 'Keeping streets and public areas clean and tidy' was also important to residents.

After consideration of this report, members agreed to adopt the powers contained in 'Littering From Vehicles Outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018' to allow Council officers to issue Civil Penalties to the registered keepers of a vehicles from which littering has taken place. What effect this will have in the town will have to be monitored as there will be few resources allocated to this in Southwell.

The Council also agreed to fund some staff posts to allow a dedicated team to remove old graffiti. Can these be identified for the team to work in Southwell?

Newark and Sherwood District Council supported a merger proposal for our local CCG into one single CCG However, it sought, assurance to ensure that this will not adversely affect patient services, that the new single CCG would continue to collaborate at a local level with the Council and partners in Newark and Sherwood; and that there won't be a shift in emphasis away from Newark and Sherwood towards other areas in the City and County. How the affect on residents of Southwell will be monitored in unclear.

The Policy Committee has also met since the last Town Council meeting. The Council decided previously that the determination of how s106 monies should be applied or obligations fulfilled will be done by the Policy and Finance Committee. We do not sit on this committee but do have access to their discussions.

At the Policy meeting last month the Council A 2% increase in wages and salaries will be assumed for 2020/21, but charges and fees will be increase by 3%,

Also noted was that the Council underspent on Service Budgets managed by the Business Managers by

£0.323m representing 2.12% of the total service budgets.

If there are any other points of clarification or detail please get back to one of us.

Peter Harris and Malcolm Brock