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Town Council Round-Up: Grants Budget, And A Chance To Play Virtual Councillor

December 5th 2013

The RAF Coningsby Military Wives Choir

The RAF Coningsby Military Wives Choir at the Christmas Market

The town council meeting of Tuesday, 3rd December was another occasion when the items of real interest didn't get discussed until I'd given up and left. Those items were some grant applications for local community organisations, which turned out to be more controversial than expected, and the planning application for an Aldi on Newbridge Hill, which came back for consideration thanks to a minor amendment. The town council supports Aldi's application, so it just remains to be seen what ELDC will decide on the 12th December.

In his opening comments, the Mayor David Wing described Sunday's Christmas market as "absolutely brilliant".

I think Sunday's market was one of the busiest Louth has ever seen, but to an extent it was a victim of its own success, because it was quite difficult to reach some stalls because of the numbers of people attending.

The council discussed parking enforcement, problems on a footpath near the library, traffic, the cattle market, and traffic. I'm not going to go over it in detail, because much of it has been said before.

Budget

The council did vote on the annual budget, including a recommendation to raise the level of community grants to 5000. Councillors voted to approve this 5000 rise.

"This is something that contributes a lot to people who are doing a lot of good in the town," Councillor Brian Burnett said.

Councillor Laura Stephenson said "I think we need to be careful about always giving the same groups the money."

"We do try to give a little money to a lot," Councillor Eileen Ballard said.

Corporate strategy consultation

ELDC have a new consultation on their corporate strategy, available for residents to fill in before 2nd January 2014. This sounds a little dry, but it's actually a good chance to get in and have your say before central government makes more budget cuts, and local government is obliged to withdraw lots of services, or charge more for them. The online form is tucked away on their website, so it's not easy to find unless you know you should be looking for it.

This strategy deals with Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders criticised East Lindsey for holding this consultation over a public holiday. Councillor Andrew Leonard concurred, saying "If you don't want the public input, do it at the busiest time of the year."

The form takes a while to complete, and it deals with all kinds of spending priorities: street cleaning, car parking, CCTV provision, tourism promotion, public toilets, markets subsidies, environmental health, and so on. It's a chance to play virtual councillor, and allocating points for spending priorities gives you an idea of how tricky it is for them to please everyone. However, I don't see this as being useful if it's only filled in by an unrepresentative vocal minority. I was only the 152nd person to complete it, the website told me. Hopefully a few more people will fill in the form and make the survey more representative. There's also a prize draw for a hamper if you take part.



 


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