Author: Mark

Glenside Transport Campaign

From Glenside News, April 2015 …

Jane KingJane King, Chair Glenside Transport Campaign writes …

The campaign continues and we have been extremely busy pushing the transport issues at a local and County level.

Our meeting at the end of February (2015) with MP Nick Boles and Councillor Patricia Bradwell went well.  Mr Boles was supportive and felt a ‘tweak’ could be made to the existing Lincolnshire County Council School Transport Policy and he asked Councillor Bradwell and Mrs Debbie Barnes (Director of Children’s Services), who also attended the meeting, to look at whether this could be done quickly. Since the meeting the response from County has been, that in order to make any changes to the current transport provision a full policy consultation would be needed. Mr Boles is continuing to write to County on our behalf and in support of our campaign.

Cllr Patricia BradwellNick Boles MPWDebbie Barnes LCC Childrens Servicese have discovered, in the last week, that the Children’s Welfare Scrutiny Committee advised the Executive Councillors in 2006, that the School Transport Policy was unfair and uneconomical and that there needed to be a full review.  This advice was ignored and a review did not take place.  Councillor Bradwell was at the time, as she is now, Executive Member for Children’s Services and we are extremely frustrated that even though this issue is raised on an ongoing basis by the public and was highlighted as an issue by the LCC Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Bradwell continues to state the the Policy is fair and equal and that there is no demand for change.

On a positive note we continue to receive support from the community, thank you.  Councillor Bradwell has confirmed again that a review if the Transport Policy will take place later this year, we still await full details of the review, but we are hopeful that this review will bring a positive change for our villages.

On a  final note, we have until the end of April (2015) to get as many signatures on the petition.  If you have not already signed the petition but would like to show your support, you still have time to get involved.  You can sign the petition in the mobile Post Office in Castle Bytham, or the pubs in Castle Bytham and Little Bytham.

The campaign goes on, if you would like to get involved further or would like any more information please do get in touch.

Quarry Development

From the Glenside News, April 2015 (added 31/08/15 : MG)

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor

Sir, I take issue with the “view form the Chair” article in last month’s Glenside submitted by the Chair of the Parish Council. It presents the case that the proposed plan to include a Health Centre in the Quarry Development would be bad for the existing GP practice – laudable if the aim is to protect an existing social assess, though she presents no evidence to support the claim.  However, it is lamentable when the real question should be “what would be the best outcome for the community”.  An enlarged service with more on-site medical facilities has obvious benefits for us all.  Moreover, the agents for the site have repeatedly said the Health Centre would only be built if there is an identified need for it and that evidence still needs to be gathered and assessed.  The Parish Council should put the wider community need first.

This leads me to the thorny question of overall proposals for the Quarry.  The Parish Council met on 18 February (2015) with only one real agenda item to consider – the Quarry Planning Application S14/3097. The Chair had not invited a representative from Frampton‘s to attend so the meeting included a lot of speculative opinion – nearly all of which could have been corrected had Frampton‘s been present.  More to the point there was no willingness to widely consult the community and seek their views. The result was two Councillors voted for the development and seven against.  Only after the meeting was the suggestion made that the public could ask questions at the next scheduled Parish Council meeting on 4 March (2015). Twenty-nine members of the public attended and the 10 minute allotted session went on for an hour.  It was pretty obvious that most members of the public present did not agree with the Parish Council decision.

On 2 March (2015) I was contacted by the owner of the Quarry and advised that if objections to the Planning Application continued he would have to consider an offer made on behalf of a group of Travellers to sell the Quarry with the current extant planning permission.  He also gave consent for me to share that information with the community.  In an early e-mail on this subject I commented that the news would generate “justified righteous indignation” and this has proved to be the case.  The news can rightly be classified as a “threat” or “blackmail” or arm twisting or a bluff, but such a potential sale would be perfectly legal and cannot be ignored.

Just before the 4 March (2015) Parish Council meeting I was able to secure the attendance of the Senior Partner from Framptons for a Public Meeting on 18 March (2015).  More than 130 people attended and the main intention was to show how the proposed development in the Quarry would benefit Castle Bytham and the surrounding smaller settlements.  The dire need for affordable housing in rural areas is one aspect.  In England urban areas have an average of 21% of their housing in the affordable range but this drops off to 13% in rural areas and is the single most important factor in preventing young families with existing ties to their rural communities being able to stay in them.  The knock on effect impacts school intakes and many other factors that affect the local economy.  The Quarry proposals include 27 affordable homes.  Nursing home places are also much in demand and are a reflection of an ageing population. However, the main impact they have on the wider community are the jobs they create.  The proposed 60 bed Nursing Home would generate 70+ jobs.

The national statistics in England and Wales show an ageing population of 19.8% of over 60’s.  Locally we have around 23% in that age bracket and this is forecast to rise to around 28% locally in the next 10 years.  The proposals include 50 houses laid out to appeal to this sector of the community.  I was amused by a remark that we did need to import more elderly people but I see this as more a way of “recycling” our own Senior Citizens.  Many retired people whose families have flown the nest live in houses now too large for their needs but do not want to leave the community they have lived in for many years.  The ability to downsize within the community has obvious attractions, including freeing up larger properties for families.

I have dealt with the Health Centre and that only leaves the inclusion of a Community Shop in the project, something that is still a subject for negotiation between the Shop Steering Group and Framptons.  There remains though one over arching strategic objective. Rural Communities are losing local services at an alarming rate. As an example more than 400 rural shops close each year, the majority in villages with less than 1000 people.  Local Schools, bus services etc are all at risk as the squeeze on Local Government spending forces more and more reductions in services within rural villages. Our population in the 2011 Census was 763, we need to grow to retain and improve local services.

During the meeting the elephant in the room was of course the possibility the Quarry could become a Traveller site.  However, leaving aside  the howls of righteous indignation on that subject a straw poll of those present showed a clear 75% in favour of allowing the Quarry development to go ahead. The Parish Council was thrown a lifeline to change its mind on the subject by our District Councillor at 4 March (2015) meeting.  Let us hope they grasp it and tie it off to a bollard of common-sense. In the meantime anyone can comment on the Quarry Application by going to the SKDC Planning website at www.southkesteven.gov.uk view a planning application and type in S14/3097, you will see a heading “Comment on this Application”; or write to Alan Harvey at SKDC Planning, St Peters Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ.  It is quite legitimate to say “yes, but …” and ask for clarification or information if you are not sure about any aspect of the Application.

Incidentally, I totally agree with the Chairman’s remarks about school transport, parents of secondary school age children are being treated very badly and deserve our support.

Finally a reminder that there will be an election in May (2015) that also affects Parish Councils.  There are 9 places on the Castle Bytham Parish Council but unless more than 9 people stand for election applicants get in on a bye.  We have not had an election since the late 1990’s so whatever happens please use your vote.

Peter Hinton

Yoga at the Rosewell Shiatsu Centre in Castle Bytham

If you’d like to take up Yoga, or are looking for a venue locally that you can continue your involvement, then the Rosewell Shiatsu Centre, in Castle Bytham, are currently promoting three sessions each week.

The sessions take place on Monday’s between 7.00pm and 8.30pm, on Tuesday’s between 10.00am and 11.00am and on Wednesday’s between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

For further information call them on 01780 410072 or visit their website at www.rosewellcentre.co.uk

Willoughby Arms Pub Quiz – Last One of the Season : 1 May 2012

From Caroline Holmes …

What a great way to end the season, nine teams of quizzers all set to test their brain power.

Team sizes varied Buffer Stops are regulars and newcomers Team Titanic weren’t really sure what to expect, United Staits (the Stait family)and My Blue Heaven who change their name every month depending on what’s going on in the world. Weird Fish (other clothing brands are available), Universally Challenged (kids home from uni) Fish and Chips (guess what they were eating), Famous 5 (usually have a different name but haven’t been for a while). Not forgetting We’re only here for the music round.

The picture round was a bit of a grueller – 10 cathedrals from around the country. The question rounds featured gardening, films and entertainment to the Olympics something for everyone.

Not forgetting the music round, we’ve had some good rounds this season, two tracks being played simultaneously, music through the decades not forgetting Cliff Richard, so what could we end the season with? As I announced the theme Musicals, there were a lot of happy faces, we started with Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Top Hat and The Lion King to name a few with lots of people singing along to the music.

For a bit of fun to end the evening, we had a game of Irish bingo, for those of you who don’t know how to play, you start off standing up if a number gets called that’s on your ticket you’re out. The last one standing is the winner. The prize for this went to Mary.

As for the quiz, three teams score 118, Fish and Chips 132, My Blue Heaven 135 and winners this month were Famous 5 with 141 points.

I have an apology for last month, I gave Zoe the credit for Sheila’s fantastic birthday cake but it was actually Laura Stait who made the cake. (so talented)

That’s it for this season, thank you to everyone for your support, we’ll see you in October when we kick the season off with the Alan Wood Memorial Quiz.

The full list of scores was as follows …
1st : Famous Five – 141pts
2nd : My Blue Heaven – 135pts
3rd : Fish and Chips – 132pts
4th= : United States, Wierd Fish, Universally Challenged – 118pts
7th : Team Titanic – 112pts
8th : Buffer Stops – 110pts
9th : We’re Only Here for the Music Round – 90pts

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