Royston and District Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017
Room 11, Royston Town Hall, Melbourn Street, Royston

Attendance Details

Councillor Tony Hunter (Chairman), Councillor Bill Davidson (Vice-Chairman), Councillor Sarah Dingley, Councillor Jean Green, Councillor Fiona Hill and Councillor Gerald Morris.
In attendance:
Ashley Hawkins (Communities Officer), Louise Symes (Strategic Planning and Projects Manager), Steve Cobb (Licensing Manager), Colin Broadhurst (Licensing Officer) and Ian Gourlay (Committee and Member Services Manager).
Also Present:
Councillor Ray Shakespeare-Smith (Executive Member for Policy, Transport and Green Issues).
At the commencement of the meeting Town Councillor F.J. Smith and 2 members of the public, including one speaker.
Item Description/Decision
No apologies for absence were received.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Royston and District Committee meeting held on 13 July 2017 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman.
There was no other business notified.
(1) The Chairman welcomed those present, and the speaker for Public Participation;

(2) The Chairman advised that, in accordance with Council Policy, the meeting would be audio recorded;

(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.
Mr Matthew Brundle (Royston Swimming Club) gave a verbal presentation regarding the Club’s grant funding application for £1,000 to assist with equipment costs essential for the success of the organisation, including a laptop for swim bookings, a banner to promote the club at events across Hertfordshire, resistance bands and a sport equipment trolley for storing all equipment at Royston Leisure Centre.

Mr Brundle advised that the Club had approximately 201 members, from a starting age of 8 years old up to masters of 60+ years of age. The bulk of the Club’s swimmers were in the 12-17 age group. The Club’s catchment was mainly Royston, but also surrounding towns and villages, including Buntingford, Barkway, Sandon, Litlington and Melbourn.

Mr Brundle stated that the Club was a competitive club which had become increasingly successful over the past few years, and he gave some specific examples of the level if this success. The Club has interlink status with the City of Cambridge Swimming Club (CocSC) to help develop its elite swimmers, and Royston Swimming Club members currently made up approximately 50% of the CoCSC Arena League Squad.

Mr Brundle commented that, as a small club, their revenue was dictated by their membership fess and cost of pool hire. The Club runs close to break even, currently with an annual income of £34,000 from which it paid £20,000 for pool hire and £13,000 for coach wages.

Mr Brundle explained that the ability to develop the Club was constrained by limited pool access and lane space. The Club was therefore seeking financial support to help with some key investment, which he outlined as follows:

• The Club had progressively moved away from paper based administration to online club management in line with ASA requirements. A new laptop was needed to access the Club’s online SwimClub Manager software; to run specialist software relating to the annual Club Championships; and to run software to enter children in Open Meet Competitions and Hertfordshire ASA County competitions - estimated cost £350;
• As the Club had restricted pool time, it needed to be smarter to increase session utilisation. One way to do this was to have land training sets on poolside. Resistance bands would help with swimmers’ strength and suppleness - estimated cost of 20 sets of bands £300;
• The Club would like to invest in a Club Banner/Flag, to be used at galas and open meets as a Team meeting point, but would also be used at recruitment events (eg. when coaches visited local schools) and also left poolside to promote the Club’s presence for those swimmers at Aqua ED classes or school swimming lessons - estimated cost £150; and
• The Club would also like to invest in a new security cage for its swim aides, starter gun, PA system and land training equipment - estimated cost £370.

The Chairman thanked Mr Brundle for his presentation.
The Committee was advised of ongoing and forthcoming highways matters in the Royston area.

Councillor Hill advised that Hertfordshire County Council officers now believed they had a permanent solution to the drainage problems in Newmarket Road, and the intention was to implement the works in the 2018/19 Financial Year.

The Chairman reported that the Royston High Street scheme had commenced. Councillor Hill added that a crossing was soon to be installed in York Way and also a trial for Kneesworth Street to take buses away from Tannery Drift. A crossing on Baldock Street was also planned to take place in the near future.
The Strategic Planning and Projects Manager advised that the report had resulted from various workshops held with the Town Council and Area Committee Members. A number of issues in the report were those that had been highlighted over a number of years.

The Strategic Planning and Projects Manager referred to the North Hertfordshire Parking Strategy which had been adopted in 2009 and updated in 2012, which outlined the Council’s approach for undertaking Town wide parking reviews. Royston was the fourth town in the cycle. She commented that when officers started undertaking these reviews they had thought they could be completed quickly, but experience had shown that they took longer than anticipated (in many cases up to 2 years from start to finish).

In respect of the Royston Review, the Strategic Planning and Projects Manager explained that the report was the start of the process. The report outlined the schemes recommended to be taken forward, which it was proposed would be carried out in two phases. Phase 1 would be looking at the on-street schemes in and around the York Way industrial area and some other parts of the town. Phase 2 would be dealing with Town Centre parking issues.

The Strategic Planning and Projects Manager drew attention to the Phase 1 schemes set out in Table 1 in the report as detailed in Appendix A to the report. The main area was York Way industrial area and the Rock Road residential area; Gower Road, Queens Road and Mill Road area Controlled Parking Zone; Princes Mews; Briary lane area; Parking restrictions to be considered in Eastfield Road; and Highway Safety schemes to be considered at Icknield Walk and Layston Park.

The Strategic Planning and Projects Manager advised that her Team was experiencing resource difficulties and was finding it difficult to recruit to the post of Transport Policy Officer. However, in discussion with the Executive Member responsible for Transport, it had been agreed that the Team made use of consultants to carry out this work. There was a budget for the work, but this also covered parking schemes for all the District’s towns. In the event, therefore, that not all the Royston schemes could be funded, the report also suggested a priority order for the schemes, as indicated in Table 2 in the report.

The Strategic Planning and Projects Manager stated that she would report back to the Committee at appropriate intervals on the progress of the Royston schemes. She added that she was working with Hertfordshire County Council with a view to them assisting in the production of Traffic Regulation Orders.

The Committee was supportive of the Town wide review, and it was noted that some of the Priority 4 and 5 schemes could perhaps be achieved through the use of funding from the Hertfordshire County Councillors’ Locality Budgets. In respect of a question regarding timescales, the Strategic Planning and Projects Manager explained that consultation on each scheme would need to take place with affected residents and businesses and, dependent on the outcome, a decision would be made on whether or not to proceed with the scheme. Some of the larger schemes could take up to a year or possibly longer. If Traffic Regulation Orders could be co-ordinated so that they were advertised at the same time then this would result in a significant cost saving.


(1) That the schemes listed in Table 1 at Appendix A of the report, be agreed for progressing the Royston town wide parking review;

(2) That the schemes prioritised in Table 2 at Paragraph 8.9 of the report be agreed;

(3) That officers contact the relevant Hertfordshire County Council Highway Liaison Officer to discuss with the County Councillors for Royston to give consideration to joint funding of any road safety schemes from their Hertfordshire Locality Budgets that may form part of the schemes listed in Table 1 at Appendix A to the report;

(4) That the use of the existing funding to provide the necessary expertise until appropriate staff resources are put in place be supported; and

(5) That the Royston and District Committee receives regular updates on progress with the Royston town wide parking review from officers.

REASON FOR DECISION: To progress the Royston town wide parking review project towards implementation.
The Licensing Manager confirmed the Chairman’s observations that there were no streets in Royston that were prohibited to traders applying for a Street Trading Licence, except the main arterial roads, and that each individual organisation had to apply accordingly. It was noted that the Royston BID company could pay for an annual Town Centre licence, whereby individuals could come to them for consent to trade/hold events, for which they could charge commercial operators and allow free use for not-for-profit organisations running community events.

The Chairman advised that he would bring up the issue of an annual Town Centre Licence at the next Royston BID Company meeting to see if they would be interested in applying for such a licence. The Licensing Manager confirmed that Town Centre licences had been issued to the BID companies in Letchworth Garden City and Hitchin.

The Licensing Manager explained that the Street Trading legislation had been adopted by the Council in 2005, with the intention of striking a balance between safeguarding the public and not preventing not-for-profit and community organisations from holding community events.

RESOLVED: That the report on the proposed Street Trading Policy 2018-2015 be noted.

REASON FOR DECISION: To provide local input into the proposed Street Trading Policy 2018-2015.
The Communities Officer presented the report of the Communities Manager entitled Grants and Community Update and drew the attention of Members to the current level of unallocated funds in the Development Budget.

The Communities Officer advised that he and Councillors Dingley and Hill had met on site at the pathway to the end of Green Drift, but unfortunately were not joined by the advisor who had promised to attend. In which case, it was now unlikely that the developers would be able to bring the pathway up to the required standard for it to be adopted as a public right of way by the end of October 2017.

On a related issue, the Committee instructed the Communities Officer to contact Redrow Homes and Moody Homes to request them to clear up litter and dog fouling on the pathway at the end of Green Drift, involving NHDC Environmental Health, if necessary.


(1) That the actions taken by the Community Development Officer to promote greater community capacity and well-being for Royston and District be endorsed; and

(2) That the Communities Officer be instructed to contact Redrow Homes and Moody Homes to request them to clear up litter and dog fouling on the pathway at the end of Green Drift, involving NHDC Environmental Health, if necessary.

REASON FOR DECISION: To keep Members of the Committee apprised of the latest developments in community activities in the Royston and District area.
RESOLVED: That grant funding of £1,000 be awarded to Royston Swimming Club from the 2017/18 Discretionary Budget to assist with equipment costs essential for the success of the organisation, including a laptop for swim bookings, a banner to promote the club at events across Hertfordshire, resistance bands and a sport equipment trolley for storing all equipment at Royston Leisure Centre.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the community.
A number of Members updated the Committee on Ward and Outside Organisations, as follows:

• School visits - Councillors Hill and Morris undertook to liaise with appropriate Parish Councils with a view to instigating joint visits to schools in the Ermine Ward;
• Royston Volunteer Centre - Councillor Green advised that the Centre was soon to close as the Manager was moving out of the area, and due to funding issues. Outreach work would be undertaken by staff from the Broxbourne and Cambridge Volunteer Centres;
• Royston Community Transport - Town Councillor Smith reported that extra projects were planned; the organisation depended on a handful of staff + 80 volunteers, and so further staff/volunteers would be required should further expansion take place; and
• Royston Town Twinning - Councillor Green stated that the Association’s representatives would be flying to Germany and then taking a coach from the airport to Grosalmerode; and the Spanish visitors from Villaneuva de la Canada would be arriving to coincide with the Royston Arts Festival and a Reception/Dinner was planned for 22 September 2017.
Published on Tuesday, 26th September, 2017