Round-Up: Parking Charges, a Silver Gilt Award, and an Apology
September 19th 2012
Silver Gilt AwardLouth's first entry in the East Midlands in Bloom competition brought it the Silver Gilt award in the Large Town category. It's especially encouraging considering how it rained buckets on July 6th, the day of the judging, making it less than inspiring weather for gardening.
Alastair McPhie-Meiklejon, Chairman of Louth in Bloom, said in a press release: “Louth is a beautiful town and we are fortunate enough to have many passionate residents who work hard to enhance the experience of the town either through maintaining their gardens and hanging baskets to a high standard or volunteering on community projects such as Spout Yard, which got a special acknowledgement from the judges."
The Mayor Jill Makinson-Sanders said in the council meeting on 18th of September "This is really down to volunteer contribution. I think that's fantastic. The judges were thrilled with Spout Yard." She also noted that Caistor, who won the Gold award this year, did very well and also began by winning a silver gilt award in their first year of entry.
Parking chargesThe Town Council meeting on Tuesday 18th wasn't well attended, either by press, the public or councillors, and it was a short agenda. Of most concern was the introduction of new parking charges and a change of authority. From 3rd December the county council will take over street parking enforcement from the police, employing about 20 officers across the county. These officers, in distinctive green and blue uniforms, won't have quotas to meet, but they will be able to issue fines of £70 or £50. If that sounds a lot, consider that the council don't think they'll be able to cover all their costs at this level and somehow they'll have to make up an estimated shortfall of around £174 000.
Councillor George Horton criticised the unfortunate timing of this change. "It's probably a bit inappropriate with all the visitors and Christmas coming up."
"The number of tickets they'd have to issue to cover the cost of the scheme is horrendous," Councillor Brian Burnett said.
However Councillor Margaret Ottaway took a contrary view, noting the numbers of people blocking the roads. "There's a lot of revenue being lost because of lack of enforcement," she said.
The Mayor also mentioned a proposal to start charging at the free car park near the cattle market.
"Is the car park at East Lindsey going to be charged?" Councillor Horton asked. "They seem to have missed that one out."
Councillor Andrew Leonard agreed. "It is our free car park. It does not belong to East Lindsey, so perhaps it ought to be charged."
An apologyThe Mayor issued an apology to the head of Cordeaux School for comments she had made about their uniform. She had criticised them a few weeks ago for failing to support local businesses, since parents were given a voucher for a shop in Grimsby for the new blazer. However "there was no-one in Louth to supply them," she said in her retraction. "They'd spoken to Cojos, and they couldn't do it within the timescale."
Cinder Lane chimneyIn Cinder Lane, plans to demolish the old jam factory chimney and build six flats were approved by ELDC in spite of objections made by the town council. Commenting on this, the Mayor said "It's a great shame our conservation area isn't respected."
Councillor Laura Stephenson noted that the chimney had been allowed to fall into disrepair. "Councillors felt they had no choice but to get rid of it because they felt it would be a danger to the public."
This isn't the first time I've noticed developers allowing buildings and land to decay, and it is worrying when they profit from such neglect. It sends a message that the proper development process can be derailed, and that councils can be effectively bullied, by such tactics.
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