Round-Up: Lovely Louth, Christmas Crib Kerfuffle, and More on Fulmar Drive
September 5th 2012
Lovely LouthTuesday 4th September saw the awards ceremony for Louth's annual gardening competition, Lovely Louth, at Sessions House. There were five classes of award this year. The winners were as follows:
Category 1: Shops and Business Premises1. Spinning Wheel, Mercer Row
2. Lakings of Louth, Eastgate
3. M. & G. Designs, Eastgate
Category 2: Licensed Premises1. The Wheatsheaf, Westgate - (Mr. M. Ellery)
2. The Woolpack Inn, Riverhead Road - (Mr. G. Arnold)
3. The Kings Head, Mercer Row - (Ms S. Davies)
Category 3: Private Houses, Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes1. Mr. G. and Mrs. S. Macdonald, Linden Walk
2. Mrs. C.A. Day, Michael Foale Lane
3. Ms C. Harrison, Eastgate
Category 4: Gardens Visible From the Road1. Mr. K. Addison, St. Bernard’s Avenue
2. Mr. H. Kerman, Beck Way
3. Mr. M. Foxon, Kenwick Pastures
Category 5: Senior Citizen's Gardens Visible from the Road1. Miss M. Welton, Newmarket
2. Mrs. C.J. Evison, Pasture Drive
3. (Tied) Mr. J. Dring, Monks’ Dyke Road and Mr. K. Willerton, Priory Close
Next year there will be a new category for sustainable gardens, featuring more greenery rather than so much colour. This is possibly because the top spots have been dominated by the same people for a long time, such as Ken Addison who has taken home a first prize every year since at least 2007.
Fulmar DriveAfter the Lovely Louth presentation the town council held its regular fortnightly meeting. Andrew Wood, a resident of Kestrel Drive, spoke in the public forum about Taylor Wimpey's proposed development off Fulmar Drive. He went to the public consultation at the Trinity Centre that the developers referred to when they spoke to the council.
"I went to that gathering," he said. "I genuinely had to tell a guy to calm down. I thought there was going to be a riot. The sense in that room was of vehement opposition."
Councillor David Wing pointed out that the development of Fulmar Drive was on the agenda, and "nobody came to the council to represent the residents." This is true, and I've blogged about how this failure of communications damages our democratic processes.
Councillor Trevor Marris defended the council's position. "We were in favour of the estate in principle, but we were totally against the access. There will be too much traffic."
At the council meeting on 7th August Roger Smith had said "most people accepted the principle but were concerned about traffic," and Mr Wood took issue with mild characterisation of public feeling.
"In my opinion Mr Smith has duped the council," Mr Wood said.
The good news is, there will be another public meeting at the Trinity Centre, Eastfield Road, at 7pm on the 12th of September. This will be well in advance of ELDC's decision on this planning issue. Riot shields and gas masks will be optional.
Kate Levey's picturesThe mayor congratulated Kate Levey on her exhibition of photos at Council Fabian Coonghe's vacant shop on Mercer Row, where she has enhanced the empty window with a display of attractive local images. "Well done Kate, we applaud your actions," the mayor said.
I also thought it was a fabulous initiative, so I asked Louth Town Partnership if they're planning to encourage more of the same. The good news is, they're keen to extend the scheme. So any artists, photographers, or people with empty shops who would like to do something similar should get in touch with them.
Christmas crib servicesThe summer holidays are only just finished, so naturally it's time to start thinking about Christmas. No? Me neither. But the town council have to consider these matters when it comes to markets and crib services, in case they need to apply for road closures which have to be sorted out some thirteen weeks in advance.
There was some debate about moving the crib to Spout Yard, but the town council voted to keep it at the Fish Shambles because of various objections about visibility and the need to close the park at night and in the case of bad weather.
However this decision means the town council is left needing to close roads in the town centre for the crib service, for safety reasons. There's a cost involved because someone has to come along, place signs and police the closure.
Councillor Andrew Leonard questioned whether the council should go to all the trouble of organising these services. "How many people realistically benefit from the crib service? Just because we've already done it doesn't mean we still should."
This heresy caused a number of councillors to speak up. Councillor Pauline Watson was "disgusted" by the proposal. Councillor Margaret Ottaway played down the difficulty of getting a crib service organised, saying "If we can't find a gentleman or lady of the cloth to come in and bless that service I'll eat my hat."
However I agree with Councillor Leonard. This isn't about whether or not the crib service can go ahead at all, it's about whether it's the job of the council to organise and pay for a religious ceremony, when not every ratepayer follows that set of beliefs. Surely it's the role of the Christian church to sort out its own ceremonies?
Poetry GroupA new poetry and writing group has formed, and will meet at Spout Yard Park gallery on the first Monday of each month at 6.30pm. The theme for the meeting on Monday, October 1st will be Victorian poetry. There will be readings in Spout Yard Park, to coincide with the Victorian Family Fayre on 21st of October this year.
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