01-31-23 CR MINS
MINUTES OF THE LOUTH TOWN COUNCIL COMMUNITY RESOURCES COMMITTEE
HELD IN THE OLD COURT ROOM, THE SESSIONS HOUSE, LOUTH
ON TUESDAY 31ST JANUARY 2023
Present Councillor A. Leonard (AL), (in the chair).
Councillors: Mrs. E. Ballard (EB), J Baskett (JB), M. Bellwood (MB), L. Cooney (LMC), S. Crew (SC), h. Filer (HF), D.J.E. Hall (DJEH), D. Hobson (DH), G.E. Horton (GEH), M. Lamb (ML), Mrs. J. Makinson-Sanders (JMS), K. Norman (KN), B. O’Brien (BO), J. Simmons (JS), Mrs. P.F. Watson (PFW), D.E. Wing (DEW)
Councillors not present: J. Garrett (JG) and Mrs. S.E. Locking (SEL),
The Town Clerk, Mrs. L.M. Phillips and 19 members of the public were also present.
Members of the public spoke in the public forum as follows:
- The Chair of the Croquet Club wished to raise the Council’s awareness of the club’s existence. She reported that the club had been the main user of the Charles Street Recreation Ground for the previous 7 years. The site was very run down but very much loved. She was aware of the Facebook group who had ambitious plans and was concerned that they did not take account of the club. The club has 30 members who include all ages and abilities. It ticks lots of boxes re. healthy living. She opined that ELDC had struggled to maintain the site but if it were taken care of it could be a prime location. After demolition of the pavilion ELDC provided a container in which the club stored its equipment. The club sought absolute assurance that both the green and the container would be retained.
- A lady who lived close to Charles Street Recreation Ground reported that the site had become more and more dilapidated. She had surveyed 20 people and all had wanted to keep the asset. She had many ideas for the site, thought that grant funding could be obtained and thought that it would be a great loss to the community if it were lost. She was eager to assist in any tidy up.
- A lady who had helped to plant bulbs at Charles Street Recreation Ground spoke of her experience there and her support for the site. She also wished to assist to keep the site, if she could.
- A gentleman who came from a parks background and had spent half of his career working in a parks department spoke. He said that typically parks were high maintenance, high cost and in fairly low demand. He said that because Council’s were consistently having to cut their budgets such parks were on the decline. However, he was aware of a lower maintenance and eco-friendly option that involved lots of natural planting of a perennial ornamental nature that he would recommend.
- A lady spoke on behalf of the fishing community saying that Charles Street was a well loved asset. It fed into the social, wellbeing, environmental, sporting and community aspects. She reminded those present that the coronation of King Charles was to take place in 2023, as the site was on Charles Street the two could be meshed and she urged Councillors to agree to talk to ELDC about its future. She said that the future generation needed to be thought about, fishing was a pastime that had many benefits both mentally and physically for those practising it and the younger generation could benefit from this but would need to learn how. Retaining the area as a recreation ground might also allow a reconnection with the younger generation, giving them something to do and helping to combat vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the town.
- Mrs. P.F. Watson asked that she be allowed to speak first when the item was discussed as part of the agenda.
- S. Crew proposed that the Community Resources Committee meeting be held before the Planning Committee in order that those members of the public present could hear the discussion on the item they were interested in sooner. Cllr. Mrs. P.F. Watson seconded this and it was agreed by vote of the Council.
- Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs: JG and Mrs. SEL.
- Declarations of Interest / Dispensations
- Mrs. JMS, AL and DJEH – agenda item 4 as members of ELDC.
- LMC – agenda item 4 as a member of the Save Charles Street Recreation Ground group.
It was RESOLVED that the notes of the Community Resources Committee Meeting held on 1st November 2022 be approved as the Minutes.
- Charles Street Recreation Ground
Following a request from ELDC the Committee considered whether Louth Town Council had an appetite for taking ownership of the above and whether it would like to enter into discussions with ELDC regarding transfer of ownership. Councillors had strong and mixed opinions but all felt that Charles Street Recreation Ground was an asset that should be retained, somehow, for the town. It was agreed that in order to make an informed decision the Council would need more information. Therefore, it was RESOLVED that the Town Clerk should arrange for the appropriate officers at ELDC to attend to speak to Councillors.
- Annual Town Meeting
The Committee noted that the Annual Town Meeting was not a Council meeting but was a meeting for the parishioners and electors that the Town Council were required to host within a certain timeframe annually and that legally there was no prescribed format for the meeting. It considered the format of the above in prior years and it was RESOLVED that this should be changed in 2023 to make the meeting more about the parishioners. It was agreed that different organisations within the town should be invited to present about their activities or if there was a topic of interest in the town at the time of the meeting a discussion of that should be considered but that in general the occasion should be more about the community coming together. However, it was still to be chaired by the Mayor and the Council’s activities for the year should still be reported in some form.
- Coronation of King Charles III
The Committee considered how Louth Town Council might like to celebrate the above and it was RESOLVED that the Town Clerk should make enquiries with the Louth Lions, Louth Rotary and St. James’ Church as to their plans to see if the Council might assist them/partner with them and that the Events Working Group should convene to agree on recommendations to be presented to Councillors for approval.
- Tribute to Keyworkers Plaque
Following previous discussion Councillors considered locations for a plaque, alternative to St. James’ Church. It was RESOLVED that the Town Clerk should look to site a plaque on the wall of the Sessions House.
- Cemetery Review
Councillors received the ICCM’s report. It was RESOLVED that the Town Clerk be given delegated authority to undertake recommendations 1,2,3,4,5,8,9, 11, 12 and 13 prioritising them and implementing measures as fit to extend the life of the existing cemetery. That recommendations 6 and 10 be deferred pending investigation into costs and intricacies. That recommendation 7 be deferred pending initial investigation, results to be brought back.
- Closed Session Item
Council resolved to move into closed session in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the business to be discussed in the following items, information being of a third party, commercial and confidential nature.
- Cemetery – The Council noted that the Ministry of Justice had authorised the exhumation of ashes in Louth Cemetery, as requested by the deceased’s family.
- Sessions House Boiler – The Council considered quotes for a replacement boiler and RESOLVED that the work should be offered to Gaswise at a cost of £8,250 to be taken from the EMR Accomm Boiler.
It was RESOLVED to come out of closed sessions.
- Next Meeting
The Committee noted that the next meeting of the Community Resources Committee was scheduled to take place on 4th April 2023.
The Meeting Closed at 8.23pm.
Signed_______________________ (Chairman) Dated_________________________