A delegation from Deepings Rotary spoke in the Open Forum in support of a grant application that had been submitted to help with funding the Annual Christmas Concert featuring The Grimesthorpe Colliery Band. This is a popular event in the local calendar, but increasing costs make it difficult to keep the ticket prices at a reasonable figure. The Parish Council has supported the event for a number of years, and agreed to a grant of £500 this year.
Cllr Dilks reported on the District Council meeting he had attended early in the day. Cllr Dilks had submitted a motion calling for an enquiry into why 100 pensioner council tenants had experienced serious failures with communal hot water and heating system since 2016. However because of the pending election all motions submitted were not debated.
A feasibility study on the new Deepings Leisure Centre is expected to be completed early in the new year, with a full consultation on plans expected in the first quarter of 2020.
Cllr Dilks also expressed his concern about Deepings Special Expense Area Payment; Deepings residents pay approx £13,000 a year in extra council tax for grass cutting of the Deepings School Field, this is considered unfair as users are then also charged extra for using the field. A consultation with all the Deepings District Councillors to try and resolve this injustice.
The textile bank at the Open Door Church in Spalding Road, Deeping St James has collected more than a ton of used clothing in recent months, and it was suggested that similar textile banks throughout the district would improve the council’s recycling credits, support a bona-fide charity (Salvation Army), and create an income for the council. The idea was rejected by SKDC.
Discussion then turned to the joint BP/M&S filling station plan that had recently been rejected by SKDC. The future of this development is still unsure, as the developer has not yet indicated if they will appeal.
County Councillor Barry Dobson reported on his recent trip to China, which has already stared to bear fruit, with enquiries already being received from the Chinese, especially in the agricultural industry.
The Clerk reported that the “Pay Back Team” were now visiting the Parish on Mondays, instead of Tuesdays, and this has resulted in better attendance.
An Arborist Report had been received, that had been commissioned by the Parochial Church Council, recommending that the “Prince of Wales Oak” that grows in the Church car park, was diseased, and should be felled.
The Prince of Wales Oak was planted in 1841 to commemorate Edward VIII becoming Prince of Wales, and has been an important feature of the village for 180 years. As such the Parish Council do not want to lose this tree. It was therefore agreed to commission a further report from a Woodlands Trust arboriculturalist to see if there was any way the tree can be saved.
The draft Local Plan for the Deepings is undergoing a public consultation, and individual Councillors have expressed their views and submitted comments. The Corporate response from the Parish Council was to support the plan, and to acknowledge all the hours and hard work that had been put into preparing the document.
A growing concern is the number of young people riding bicycles in the dark and without lights. It was agreed that the Council would purchase a number of sets of lights for distribution at Carols in the Park on 20th December, as part of a road safety initiative.
The Parish Council will not be meeting in December, with the next full meeting on 30th January when the 2020 precept will be agreed.