APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Ben Lewis.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Royston and District Committee meeting held on 1 March 2017, be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman, subject to the date change from 30 November 2017 to 30 November 2016 in Minute 53, Grants and Community Update under the heading Budgets.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Royston and District Committee meeting held on 18 May 2017 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman.
NOTIFICATION OF OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business notified.
(1) The Chairman welcomed those present, particularly Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley (Hertfordshire Constabulary), and speakers for Public Participation;
(2) The Chairman advised that, in accordance with Council Policy, the meeting would be audio recorded; and (3) The Chairman drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - CREATIVE ROYSTON (ROYSTON ARTS FESTIVAL)
Councillor Sarah Dingley declared a declarable interest, she informed the Committee that she was the Vice Chair of Creative Royston. She advised that she would remain for the presentation but would leave the room and take no part in the debate or vote.
Carl Filby thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation regarding the grant funding application for Creative Royston (Royston Arts Festival). He informed the Committee that he had been the Secretary for Creative Royston for a number of years. He thanked the Committee for their financial support in 2016 and explained that this had assisted with the distribution costs for the Royston Festival Programme. He further explained that this years increased request, whilst partly due to no further funding application being allowed until 2019, there was also a void in their projected budget of £1,650 due to an unfulfilled projected sponsorship. He informed the Committee that the funding being requested would cover the whole of the distribution costs of the existing programme to the 16,500 households in Royston and the surrounding area. Whilst he projected that the expenditure for 2017 was anticipated to be very similar to their total expenditure in 2016, they had managed to obtain better value by reducing the costs of printing the Festival Programme whilst not affecting the quality. He added that the savings on programme production costs would allow expenditure on other events being held during the 2017 Town Centre Festival, that they wouldnt otherwise have been able to support. The Secretary of Creative Royston told the Committee that they had involved local schools in an Art Competition. The winning entrants work would be put on display in Royston Library and then finally exhibited at the Royston Arts Autumn Exhibition where sealed bids would be invited to win the original artwork. The proceeds would then be donated to the local Home Start Charity. In answer to a question by a Member, The Secretary of Creative Royston informed the Committee they did receive funding from several other sources. The Chairman thanked Carl Filby for his presentation.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - CORVUS CORNIX BASKETBALL CLUB
Di Charles thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation regarding the grant funding application for Corvus Cornix Basketball Club. She informed the Committee that she was the Secretary of Corvus Cornix Basketball Club, which was now 47 years old, and she herself had been there from the beginning. She explained, having catered in the past for all age groups from National Championships for Women to Local Championships for Boys, the club was now concentrating on catering for young players, mainly teenage boys and girls. She further explained that Corvus Cornix Basketball Club currently had 80 Members, the numbers were holding well and were in fact increasing. In the past they had run a series of Sunday afternoon matches, inviting young players from Clubs in other areas. Corvus Cornix had planned to do similar this year, having already booked 4 Sunday sessions in the coming year at Royston Leisure Centre. She explained that along with expensive cost to hire out the venue, there would be additional charges for both referees and equipment. She notified the Committee that there was an annual subscription payable by all of their members, with an additional charge for each individual training session. She stated that the young members had helped to subsidise themselves by organising a fundraising match, with the money raised they had purchased their own kit.
The Chairman thanked Di Charles for her presentation.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - ROTARY CLUB OF ROYSTON
Graeme Dargie, The President of the Rotary Club of Royston, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation regarding the grant funding application for the Rotary Club of Royston. He explained that the Club was a Community Service Organisation, and one of their main undertakings was to aid Schools in group activities. He described the event named Your Speech, which they held in November, involving 8 First Schools in Royston and the surrounding area villages, and 3 Middle Schools. He further explained that this gave the pupils a chance to showcase their presentation and speaking skills, which gave them the experience of appearing on a public platform, being a member of a team enabling the formulation of ideas on topical subjects and a sense of discipline. The Rotary Club provided constructive feedback and an assessment of their performance. He further informed the Committee that the club also worked with sixth form students by assisting them to produce C.V.s, they also held mock interviews for them, in preparation for the students embarkation into the working world. He informed the Committee that in June each year The Rotary Club organised a fun day out for approximately 100 disabled and disadvantaged children, providing an array of events and activities, lunch and souvenirs for the children.
Mr Dargie informed the Committee of the two main annual events for which the Rotary Club were seeking funding:- (i) Technology Tournament This event was held in February for approximately 100 students from Middle and Upper Schools whereby the students were provided with materials and a construction task within a given time limit. The students work would be judged, prizes and certificates would then be awarded. The Tournament had given students both experience in Technology and Design, and Team-building. This occasion had proved a great success in previous years. (ii) Youth Makes Music This occasion had been held in the past and would again be held in March at one of Cambridges most prestigious music venues. The concert covered a whole range of musical talent and gave children the opportunity to perform to both their parents and teachers in a first class professional auditorium. The Chairman thanked Graeme Dargie for his presentation.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - ROYSTON COMMUNITY TRANSPORT
The Chairman, Councillor Tony Hunter, declared a declarable interest and he informed the Committee that he was Royston Community Transports representative for North Hertfordshire. He advised that he would remain for the presentation but take no part in the debate or vote.
David Wherrell thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave both a verbal and Power Point presentation regarding the grant funding application for Royston Community Transport. He explained that the funding was required for a Peugeot Boxer Mini Bus which had been donated to Royston Community Transport by a Carer Company from Devon approximately 18 months ago. He communicated that at present, whilst the bus was not yet fit for purpose, the refurbishment costs would be worthwhile, although the vehicle was not new, it had only clocked 40,000 miles. He explained that the bus had originally been made for wheelchair users, so it had already a tail lift, but only three passenger seats. It required four additional seats which would bring the maximum seating to seven, still allowing the bus to be driven with an ordinary car licence. He informed the Committee that because of the irregular size and height of the vehicle, a specialist company had been allocated in Bassingbourn to carry out the repair work. He communicated to the Committee that Royston Community Transport had received a number of new contracts and this bus would be an extremely useful and very important addition to their fleet. The Chairman thanked David Wherrell for his presentation.
The Chairman informed the Committee that there had been a meeting with Royston Councillors prior to the Royston and District Committee meeting that evening to discuss County Councillors Highway Locality Budgets and Integrated Works Programme. He pointed out that because this was a standing item, it would be an ideal opportunity to formulate a list of matters that would go out with future minutes in order that Councillors were aware of what may be programmed for the future.
GRANT APPLICATIONS AND COMMUNITY UPDATE
The Communities Officer presented the Report of the Strategic Director of Finance, Policy and Governance entitled Grants and Community Update and drew the attention of Members to the current level of unallocated funds in the Development Budget (£10,700).
The Communities Officer explained to Members that the grant funding application for Royston Community Transport, requesting £3,000, exceeded the amount that could be recommended by an officer. He explained he was only able to recommend £1,500 however, Members had discretion if they wished to approve the full amount. He asked Members to note that if the Committee approved all of the grant funding applications, that there would be left an unallocated balance of £5,000 and not £6,500. RESOLVED: (1) That the budgetary expenditure, balances and carry forwards from the Development and Visioning Budgets be noted; (2) That all grants be allocated from the 2017/18 financial year; (3) That the actions taken by the Community Development Officer to promote greater community capacity and well-being for Royston and District be endorsed. REASON FOR DECISION: To keep Members of the Committee apprised of the latest developments in community activities in the Royston and District area.
GRANT APPLICATION - CREATIVE ROYSTON (ROYSTON ARTS FESTIVAL)
As Councillor Sarah Dingley had declared a declarable interest, at that point she left the room and took no part in the debate or vote.
RESOLVED: That grant funding of £1,500 be awarded to Creative Royston (Royston Arts Festival) from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget as funding to assist with publicity costs & distribution costs for the Royston Festival 2017. REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the Community.
GRANT APPLICATION - CORVUS CORNIX BASKETBALL TEAM
RESOLVED: That grant funding of £200 be awarded to Corvus Cornix from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget as funding towards the cost for running a series of training sessions and competitive matches for the club. REASON FOR DECISION: To promote greater community capacity and well-being for Royston.
GRANT APPLICATION - ROTARY CLUB OF ROYSTON
RESOLVED: That grant funding of £1,000 be awarded to Rotary Club of Royston from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget as funding towards the costs of running their two main annual events held in February and March respectively. REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the Community..
GRANT APPLICATION - ROYSTON COMMUNITY TRANSPORT
As the Chairman, Councillor Tony Hunter had declared a declarable interest, he took no part in the debate or vote.
The Communities Officer had advised that he was only able to recommend grant funding of £1,500, but the Baldock and District Committee had discretion to approve the full amount that had been requested. RESOLVED: That grant funding of £3,000 be awarded to Royston Community Transport from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget as funding support for repairs and modifications to a minibus. REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the Community.
CONSULTATION ON THE DESIGNATED PUBLIC PLACE ORDER (DPPO) IN ROYSTON
The Community Safety Manager provided the Committee with an overview of the overall effectiveness of the existing DPPO currently in Royston. She explained that this was to enable the Committee to comment on the proposed revocation of the Order. She referred to the report, and confirmed that there had been no recorded evidence to indicate that the DPPO power had been used to deal with any alcohol related offences since November 2007 when it was introduced. She further asked the Committee to note that alcohol related offences in the DPPO area had significantly decreased since 2004.
Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley advised Members that both Police and the Council were using other effective methods for crime and disorder management to reduce and remedy alcohol related offences. The Community Safety Manager informed the Members that the final decision would be made as to whether the DPPO would be revoked at the end of the public consultation process. She explained that the views of the Area Committee played a very important part within that decision making process. Both Chief Inspector Wheatley and the Community Safety Manager, in response to a comment made by a Member, confirmed that the DPPO could be misleading in terms of the powers that it held. They clarified that there was no alcohol free zone as such, and an offence was only committed when an individual over the age of 18 that was causing nuisance or anti-social behaviour failed to comply when an authorised person, such as a police officer requested that they refrain from drinking. In response to questions from Members, Chief Inspector Wheatley confirmed that there had been no recorded evidence to indicate the DPPO had been used and enforced. She assured the Committee that, if the DPPO was revoked, there would be other powers that would be available and used for enforcement to manage alcohol related offences. The Community Safety Manager further reported that if the situation changed they would review local crime and disorder management accordingly. RESOLVED: That the review of the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) in Royston be noted, and the recommendation that the Order is revoked be supported. REASON FOR DECISION: To allow the Royston and District Committee to comment on the proposed revocation of the Royston DPPO.
WARD MATTERS AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS - MEMBERS REPORTS
Cllr Davidson gave an update on the Coombes Community Centre. He reported it was running well, but there was, unfortunately, still a shortage of volunteers. He informed the Committee that renovation works to their building, including a new air conditioning system, had been completed. In response to a statement made by a Member, Cllr Davidson agreed to push forward legal matters that were still outstanding between the Community Centre and NHDC.
Cllr Green reported there was continued good membership in Town Twinning, seven members had remained from the previous year and new associates were being given one years free membership. She further reported that children would be visiting during the summer holidays from Spain. She informed the Committee that Town Twinning members were going to Germany in October 2017 but would, for ease, be travelling by plane instead of coach. She told Members that they were expecting Spanish visitors in September for the Royston Art Festival. The Chairman, Cllr Hunter, reported on Royston First. He informed the Committee that he had attended one of their meetings and their recent Annual General Meeting. He also reported that they continued to follow many existing projects which had been running for quite a period of time. He communicated that they assisted both the Area Committee and County Councillors, by continuing to provide the free after three parking scheme, and policing extras that they were putting into the system. They were also looking at a number of other projects to assess their ability to aid in both the Town Centre and the Industrial Estate. These matters would be reported at a later date.