Venue: Mentmore Park Pavillion, Mentmore Road, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard
Contact: Committee Officer 01525 631920 & Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Town Mayor, Councillor Ray Berry
The Town Mayor, Councillor R Berry, welcomed all those present to the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.
Councillor Berry explained the format of the meeting and thanked representatives of the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade and the Leighton-Linslade Carnival Committee for attending to present information.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
No apologies for absence were received.
To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 16 March 2015.
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 16 March 2015 were approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.
AGREED that the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 16 March 2015 be approved as a correct record of the meeting.
A brief presentation will be given by representatives of the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade and the Leighton-Linslade Carnival Committee.
Dick Johnson of the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade spoke to give a brief explanation about the Club and its objectives. Over recent years the remit of the organisation had changed and evolved, but one constant factor was the club’s commitment to the local community. It was felt that in the current climate, it was increasingly difficult for any organisation to achieve projects in isolation and that partnership working was therefore becoming ever more important. Organisations working together had added strength.
Examples of this partnership working included arrangements with the MK Dons Sports and Education Trust – which had resulted in over 100 young people from the town joining the MK Dons Academy’s books – and with the Scout Association, with whom funds were being raised to support the work of the NSPCC and the 30th anniversary of ChildLine.
The key events organised by Rotary within the town included the annual May Day Fayre and the annual Christmas Eve carol singing in the High Street. Recently and with Town Council support behind the scenes, the Rotary Club had also taken on the organisation of the annual Bonfire Night fireworks display. Further initiatives included supporting the “In Bloom” campaign and working in partnership with the Town Council to organise a community event celebrating the 90th birthday of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.
Mark Freeman, along with other members of the Carnival Committee, gave a presentation about the annual community event, held on the second Saturday of July each year. The annual Carnival had been revived in 1962 but records went back to at least the 1920’s, with records of a huge, military-type Carnival event held in 1901.
In recent times, the Carnival presented an opportunity for many local societies and organisations to work together, to showcase their offer and to promote themselves, while raising funds to benefit local groups. All those involved were thanked, including the Town Council, the Rotary Club and particularly S & J Pierce (providers of the carnival floats including drivers, fuel and insurance). It was noted that a relatively small number of people managed to successfully organise a large number of high profile events each year, to the benefit of the community.
A new initiative in 2015 had been for the Carnival Committee to take the organisation of the pre-school event “Picnic in the Park” under its wing.
Both organisations welcomed anyone wishing to become involved in working for the benefit of the community.
TOWN COUNCIL - COUNCIL ACTIVITY
Town Councillors will be present to answer any questions from the public regarding areas within the remit of the Town Council (parks, allotments, cemeteries, community events, community grants, street market).
The Chair introduced the Chairmen of the three main standing Committees and invited attendees to ask questions or make comments.
Q. Given the evidence of climate change and the impact of global warming, what are the plans of the Town Council to address this wherever you can? (for example, solar/wind power, disinvestment in fossil fuel companies).
A. That is a matter requiring significant forward planning and probably best for officers to respond to. If you can leave your contact details, officer will reply on this subject.
Q. The Farmers’ Market is part of our heritage and the market which has existed for over 1000 years. It is crucial in offering affordable, good quality produce. Despite loyal traders, the Farmers’ Market is dwindling. Is it perhaps in the wrong location – hidden away – or not promoted enough? South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth are keen to support in any way possible.
A. The Town Council is looking at a long term plan for the market which will include all the different aspects of it (farmers, craft etc). The layout of the market is a more difficult matter while the buses and taxis continue to access the High Street.
Q. Four areas of concern are the increase in car parking fees, the number of taxis in the town centre, blocking disabled parking bays, the number of vehicles parked in the High Street on Sundays and whether double yellow lines are really necessary in Bridge Street (as they may impact on businesses there).
A. All parking matters are the responsibility of Central Bedfordshire Council. In respect of taxis, it is suggested that residents take a photograph and send it to Licensing at CBC.
Q. How much did the Christmas tree in the High Street cost?
A. £1250 including installation.
Q. Regarding the street market – I have done lots of work with traders and they are not happy with the way the Town Council is running the market. Traders want to leave. The Farmers’ Market is waning even though there are 200 producers within a 30 mile radius. There has been no progress regarding the original business plan in the 3-4 years since LLTC took over the market. In my opinion it is failing miserably and LLTC will lose even more money this year. It can be turned around – costs could be cut and new traders attracted – as well as improving relationships with existing traders. For example, this Saturday I have heard of an incident where the attitude of a Town Council officer in speaking to a market trader in front of their customer was questionable and aggressive.
A. (from several different speakers):
- we do talk to the traders and we do promote the market – look at the What’s On leaflet which is on everyone’s chair tonight. Markets have had a tough time nationally in recent years and ours is doing better than many others.
- we know there are issues but there has been improvement ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
FINAL REMARKS - MEETING CLOSES AT 2100 HOURS.
The Mayor ended the meeting by thanking all present for their attendance and for participating. Any further questions could be raised by contacting the Town Council by phone or email.