Council meetings reports

Huntingdon Town Council report Nov 2015 by Councillor Ann Beevor

Current issues under discussion include staff appraisals and how they can be fair and empowering.

Playgrounds in Huntingdon are currently run either by the District or the Town Council. It now looks as if Huntingdon Town Council will be responsible for all the playgrounds and play area, which will be another financial burden after a round of cuts. Initially a small amount of financial support will be available from the District, but the chances are that it will not last.

The Huntingdon Cromwell Museum has been the subject of much discussion among County, District and Town Councils with various unaccepatble proposals from the County being contested locally. Now the Town Council has been given ownership and this is a good resolution, but again funding will be a problem. Take your friends and children there for a fascinating insight into the town’s most famous MP.

Council reports Nov 2015 by Councillor Patrick Kadewere

Huntingdonshire District Council

A Special Meeting was called to discuss and recommend an extension of the 6-month rule for Councillor S M Van De Kerkhove on the grounds of ill-health.

It was proposed that, in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, Council approves Councillor S M Van De Kerkhove’s non-attendance at meetings until the end of the Municipal Year on the grounds of continued ill-health and the Council’s best wishes be conveyed to him.

We supported the recommendation due to the type of illness. However, it is regretted that this rule was followed regarding another Councillor for Huntingdon East who also had a longterm illness, kept his seat for well over six months’ non-attendance, and resigned after his request for an extension was rejected.

Huntingdon Town Council

Youth Councillor Christopher Buckenham reported that the Youth Town Council had been struggling recently, due to low membership numbers. A new idea had been proposed in which Town Council Officers would put on events with the help of volunteers from local schools on an ad hoc basis. Youth Cllr Buckenham felt this would be beneficial, as it removed the level of commitment that was currently required from Youth Councillors, and noted his support for the new idea.

There is currently a shortage of money at the Cambridgeshire County Council, as less money had been passed on from the Government. Therefore; the CCC would be forced to look for ways to do more for less money.

The Town Council felt it is their responsibility that residents would need reassurance that service such as gritting roads and filling potholes would still be a priority, and agreed to consult with the Highways department about this.

Case work

A resident was using a public Car Park on Maple Road to maintain his unlicensed vehicles, and oil was spread all over this car park. Residence started complaining and called for me to take action. I visited the Car Park and noted that it was a serious issue on health and safety and also environmental hazardous. I took the issue to the Council to confirm with DVLA if these vehicles are definitely unlicensed, MOT or Insured, if they are; the inconsiderate resident would be given 28 days to voluntarily remove his vehicles and the Environmental Team would be investigating to see if he could be fined for the damages he caused.

Residents on Maple Road are also complaining about employees and visitors to Oak Tree Centre parking their vehicles on the residential public Car Park and on pavements. This has caused serious concern and I will be joining the residents to write a letter of complaint to the Oak Tree Centre Management.


Cllr Patrick Kadewere 19 October 2015

Consultation Starts: 05-Oct-2015

Consultation Ends: 25-Oct-2015

They would like to hear your views on council spending for 2016/17. Local authorities are still expected to continue to find savings and over the last four years Huntingdonshire District Council has saved in the region of £7m. They need to save a similar amount over the next three years.

They provide many services, including car parks, refuse collection, leisure centres, markets, parks and planning, and they have make decisions about which services they can continue to provide and how they can generate more income. Plans for Shared Services have recently been agreed with neighbouring councils which will save money and protect services for residents.

Councillor Jonathan Gray, whose executive responsibilities include resources, said: “The Council is aiming to reduce reliance on central government funding in order to provide a sustainable financial platform.

PRESENTATION BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY COMMISSION FOR ENGLAND

The Council received a presentation from Professor C Mellors, Lead

Commissioner and Richard Buck, Review Manager of the Local

Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) on a review

of the Council’s electoral arrangements. Members were advised of

their primary objective to work with local authorities to assist them

with delivering effective and convenient local government. The last

review was conducted some 13 years previously and since that time

electoral imbalances had emerged in certain wards of the District.

STATE OF THE DISTRICT 2015

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12, the Chairman invited

the Executive Leader, Councillor J D Ablewhite to address the

Council on the State of the District. In support of his presentation, a

summary of the Annual Report 2014/15 and salient facts had been

laid on the table (a copy of which is reproduced in the Minute Book).
The Leader of the Principal Opposition, Councillor Ms L A Duffy was

invited to respond. Councillor Ms Duffy commended the Council on

how well it was working and moving forward, including cross party

working. She welcomed the continuing strive to maintain a zero rise in

Council Tax and the impact of ZBB. Councillor Ms Duffy praised Mrs J

Lancaster, Managing Director and her Officers for their professional

nature of improving and maintaining staff. She proceeded to

encourage Members to attend training sessions and commended Mr

C Mason on the recent training on the budget.

Whilst welcoming the need for further housing development in the

District, Councillor Ms Duffy expressed concern at the impact of such

developments in the rural areas but felt that there needed to be a

balance with the requirement for more affordable housing.

In congratulating the Executive Leader on the contents of the Annual

Report, Councillor P Kadewere highlighted his concerns with the

welfare reform and the impact on some of our communities and

indicated his desire to assist with improving the situation for those

affected.

Labour Group

As Labour Councillors in the District and Town, we now have a Surgery at the Medway Centre every Sunday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

What I have done

I raised some questions on behalf of residents about the Bridges on Coneygear Road which need painting and also warning out. The results were fruitful, the executive councillor on the Cabinet responsible for Environment Robin Carter joined me to collect evidence. The bridges are going to be replaced and some graffiti has been remove and an Abandoned car in Robertson Way was removed.

We have set up an Internet Club injunction with CCC and DWP at Maple Centre to help people apply for jobs and helping them with writing their CVs.

Helping our elderly with their gardening and so on using volunteers.

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