DEEPING ST JAMES PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – THURSDAY 27th AUGUST 2020

With Schools reopening after being closed by Covid 19 Lincolnshire County Council has recommended that children should walk or cycle to school or college, because of the need to socially distance, and a reduction in public transport capacity. If this is not possible, parents are encouraged to  drive their children to school, as this will help reduce contact between children.

The costs of the Covid pandemic to SKDC in lost income and provision of extra services is  now expected to be just over £1 million because of Government grants– down from earlier predictions of over £3 million. A revised budget with some capital projects deferred until next year is being worked on to bring finances back into balance and is expected to be presented to full Council in September.

SKDC has started a restructuring exercise, barely a year after completion of the last one. The previous restructuring resulted in the entire senior management team leaving the council, with almost £1 million in ‘payoffs’ to senior staff in exchange for signing non-disclosure agreements. and recruitment of a new senior management team. The extent and costs and potential benefits of this current  restructuring is not yet known.

SKDC may disappear under local government re-organisation to be announced by the government in the autumn. Lincolnshire County Council Leader Cllr Martin Hill, is advocating a ‘unitary’ authority to cover the whole of Greater Lincolnshire, which would involve the abolition of the seven current district councils, as well as the unitary authorities of  Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

What benefits this would bring to the County, if any,  is unknown, so SKDC is  spending up to £50,000 to help develop of a business case for local government reorganisation  that best serves the needs of local residents.

A grant application from the Deepingathon team was considered. It was agreed to give £1,000 to enable them to give £1,000 to each of the following Charities:  the Exotic Pet Refuge, Dementia South Lincs, St Barnabas Hospice, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall and Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance.

There was concern from some Councillors about roadworks in Eastgate. The road was closed completely, the wrong signage was used, and residents had not been advised of the work taking place. It was agreed the Clerk would contact the relevant authorities to find out what went wrong.

Lincolnshire County Council will be moving the 30mph speed limit to the edge of the new building development, and Cllr Bowell queried why it could not be moved to the end of the road in light of the fact that all the land on one side is earmarked for building. Saving taxpayers money by only moving the sign once.

A lot of discussion centred around the Council Allotments, when changes in the tenancy agreement were agreed, together with an increase in the annual plot rent. New rental agreements will be going out within the next month.

A quite heated debate took place concerning the proposed new Leisure Centre. Various views were exchanged before it was agreed  that the Parish Council would allow funding to be accessed from the Football Foundation to allow a new all weather AstroTurf pitch to be built on land they owned.

Cllr Shinkins-Hoppe expressed concern in the rise of arson attacks in the area, and called for a greater Police presence before someone gets hurt. It was agreed to investigate what action could be taken to try and achieve this.

The next full Council meeting will be held on Thursday 24th September.

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