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Neston Town Council - Full Council Meeting, August 2016

Author: Rob Ward Published: 1st September 2016 08:36

Local resident Rob Ward attended the latest full meeting of Neston Town Council, held on Tuesday August 31 and shares his notes with AboutMyArea readers.

Neston Town Council met for the first time in St Michael's Church, Little Neston.

This meeting was attended by more members of the public (16) than councillors (13). Of the 17 council places, two were vacant, and Ceri Lloyd and Abdul Jilani sent apologies.

Meetings always start with an opportunity for members of the public to pose questions or comments. A resident of Hanns Hall Road spoke on behalf of others, to oppose the plan by CWaC to make part of Quarry Road one way, and the lack of consultation. He was pleased that the proposal had been withdrawn, and that Neston Town Council was debating the matter. The local residents had statistics on accidents in the area.

I spoke to thank the councillors for their voluntary work, and for coming to St Michael's, on the border of Little Neston, Riverside and Ness Wards. I suggested the Council could do more to tell people what they had done, not only in giving grants, but in improving the market, in the hanging baskets, and the Neighbourhood Plan. I asked that they look again at planting flowers under the Welcome sign at the corner of Burton Road and Marshlands Road. I pointed out the dandelions in the planter by the Town Hall, and the need for Free Parking signs in Neston Town centre. I expressed pleasure at Neston being a Cycle Town, but asked for signs directing cyclists between the Burton Marsh Greenway and the Wirral Way.

Two new councillors were co-opted. Mrs Jean Clayton was elected unopposed to Riverside Ward. Two volunteers had offered themselves for Parkgate Ward. In the first round, one councillor voted for both! In the second, Dominic Roberts was elected. He signed the necessary paper, and took his place immediately.

In the Chairman's Announcements Mayor Mike Shipman reported that in June the Neighbourhood Plan had been made. To mark the work done by many volunteers, he was holding a reception at Elephant Coffee, Neston on Friday 23 September, 5.30 p.m. He invited local organisations to invite the Mayor to their events, saying he never turns down an invitation.

Quarry Road, NestonQuarry Road in Neston was the subject of debate at the meeting.

The matter of Quarry Road was debated. David Carter proposed that the Council call on CWaC to consult with road users and the Town Council before introducing any Traffic Regulation Orders. He pointed out that the proposal to make Quarry Road one way would affect residents of Hanns Hall Road, and users of Lees Lane, since it would encourage more right turns from Lees Lane, and more right turns into Hanns Hall Road both of which were both hazardous. Martin Barker said that Andy Raynor from CWaC Highways was to attend a meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee on 4 October to discuss new proposals. Susan Chambers had travelled across Cheshire to get copies of the CWaC documents, only to find them inadequate. She seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. Eight members of the public then left.

Switching on Christmas Lights was next. Alison Kunaj (Town Council Manager) reported that Hip & Harmony did not have time to make a revised application to run the event, and did not want to replicate what happened in previous years. She had met with Alan Brown and Trevor Irvin of Neston Rotary Club on 17 August. They were keen to run an event on Neston Market Square. This would avoid the need for traffic management. A cost of up to £8,000 was available for the ceremony, in addition to the £20,000 cost of the lights. Adam Cray suggested that the cost was high, but others said that local people valued the lights and the ceremony. The cost this year was higher, as extra lights had been bought for West Vale. The Town Council pay for lights in the Market Square and Parkgate, while the High Street lights are paid for by CWaC. A working group was to be set up, with up to three elected councillors. Adam Cray, Pat Kynaston and Martin Barker volunteered. The group will include up to two members of Neston Rotary Club, and up to two from Neston & District Churches Together, and will meet early in September when the new Assets & Events Manager (Claire Evans) takes up her post.

Allotments were discussed as part of a report from the Town Centre committee. (The Mayor noted the anomaly that the allotments are not in the town centre.) Each allotment is to be inspected monthly by a councillor: Marshlands Road by Tom Marlow, Parkgate by Susan Chambers, and Raby Park Road by Janet Griffiths.

Finance and General Purposes committee proposed that the Council's new staging equipment should be used for local events. The Council will pay the company who supplied it (Crystal) about £950 plus VAT to transport and install the staging, as part of any grants that they approve. Adam Cray was concerned at the total cost, but was assured that only three events per year had previously needed staging.

The next meeting of the full Council will be at St Thomas' Parkgate on 18 October at 6.30 p.m.

Formal minutes of this meeting will be posted here.


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David C
At 12:05 on 1st September 2016, David C commented:
As Chair of Hip & Harmony CIC, having read the above report of Tuesday’s meeting, I am concerned that the Council’s reported description of Hip & Harmony’s involvement in the issue of the Christmas event may not have been fully explained or understood.
We (with the vital support of the CH64 Events Group) successfully led on the delivery of both the CH64 Big Lunch and Ladies Day entertainments, with both coming in on or below budget and very well received by residents.
At the Council’s request, Hip & Harmony CIC put together a comprehensive proposal for Christmas, which took a great deal of time and effort to prepare over a number of weeks. The bid was aimed at maximising community engagement, involving more people than ever, over a longer period (July-December) than has previously been attempted. It also offered innovation to assure Neston’s reputation for excellent community events can continue to grow, whilst building on the most successful aspects of the Lights ‘n’ Lanterns events of recent years.
Sadly, our bid was not accepted and the offer from the Council of reduced funding would not meet the costs of delivery. Our organisation is relatively small and we simply do not have the manpower to enable us to go in search of additional funding at such a late stage in proceedings. It was with great reluctance that we therefore felt we had to withdraw. We remain committed to working with our community partners on future community events whenever it is possible for us to do so.
andy w
At 12:32 on 1st September 2016, andy w commented:
Was the shortfall something I could make up with my members budget, email my CWaC email if I can help
David C
At 18:05 on 1st September 2016, David C commented:
Thanks for your kindness, Andy. I have replied to you directly by email.

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