Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Inspired by the Pump Rooms

Read how someone was so inspired by the Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms, that they built their own version.

Click here.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Countdown to Christmas

The countdown to Christmas started tonight in Tenbury Wells with the switching on of the new Christmas Street decorations.

After discovering last year that most of the lights were either damaged or obsolete, fund raising has been taking place to purchase new lights.

Now blue and white twinkling lights decorate the street scene in Teme Street. Some of the older coloured lights have been used in Market Street and Cross Street.

The blue and white theme has been continued in decorating the Christmas Tree in Market Square.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Ask not what your Town Council does for you.

I was very surprised to find how difficult it is to discover where Tenbury Town Council spends our money.

Tenbury Town Council set the 2nd highest precept in the Malvern Hills District. For an (average) band D property, the Town Council levy a charge of £76.91, which seems quite good value until you discover that the charge for Malvern Hills District Council is only £125.40.

From Malvern Hills we get, Planning Control, Licensing, Part of the Worcestershire Hub, Street cleaning, Some grass cutting, Environmental Health, Toilets Provision, Elections, Tourism Support, Standards Committee, Car Parking, Summer Activities, Community Safety, Waste Collection and Recycling, Emergency Planning, Lobbying, and awarding of Grants, amongst other things.

What do we get from Tenbury Town Council?

They clean and maintain the bus shelter outside the Regal.

They run their own web-site, which was supposed to be income generating, but isn't, and they do not even use it to publish all their public documents, with many document only appearing on their noticeboard.

They own and control the Regal, should this (with the help of grant aid) be self sufficient and not be a burden on the tax payer?

They now own the Pump Rooms, but again should this be self sufficient? There appears to be no Management Plan for the Pump Rooms and the Town Council have publicly admitted that they have no idea how much it is going to cost to run and maintain.

They own two shops, surely these at least should be revenue generating not cost items.

They own and run the Burgage and Palmers Meadow. Once again, there is income to off-set expenditure, but in the Malvern Town Council area, similar open spaces are maintained by the District Council, so why does so much cost fall upon our local precept?

One plus point is that they do provide free car parking.

The purpose of a Town Council is to raise a precept and provide services and facilities for the public. Perhaps we cannot expect these services and facilities to be run on a commercial basis to make a profit or to break even, but at what point does the cost of a facility used by a small minority become unacceptable. For instance when does the public subsidy of a game of Tennis become too much? 50p? £5? £50?

Due to the way public records are kept and published it is almost impossible to say how much the Town Council subsidise each game of Tennis or each Game of Bowls, but we can see that the income from all the Sports and Recreation facilities (plus the Cemetery) is in the region of £6,000, where as the expenditure is nearing £22,000. The income from the Bowling appears to be in the region of £1,000, but the cost of the Green Maintenance alone is in excess of £3,000.

In the last year that figures were available, 50% of the money raised through the precept was spent on wages.

The Town Council are our elected representatives, but we should all take an interest in what they do. After all we pay for it.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Roads cannot cope with rain

Once again local roads were flooded this afternoon as they failed to cope with heavy rain.
With flooding becoming such a regular event, the County Council need to review all the local roads and find a solution to the persistent flooding.

It is ridiculous, that the local road network cannot cope with heavy rain. This is not a one-off or hundred year event, this is every few weeks!

The main Tenbury/Bromyard Road was only open to large vehicles and 4x4s.
By 11.45 pm tonight 34.8 mm of rain had fallen in Tenbury, 11.2 mm falling in one hour.

Tenbury Remembers

The main roads in Tenbury Town centre were closed for a few minutes this morning for the annual Remembrance Parade. Fortunately for all concerned there was a break in the weather which meant that the parade took place in full winter sunshine. The very well supported parade led by Tenbury Town Band, was made up of representatives of the local uniformed organisations, such as the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association, the Police and Fire & Rescue Service, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Guides, Brownies and Rainbows. A strong contingent of Town Councillors were also parading.

Contractors working for eon/Central Networks, turned off their machinery and paid their respects as the parade passed.

(If I've missed any organisation out, or mis-named anyone please let me know and I'll correct)

More photo's

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Flood Defences

With estimates of a ten year wait for flood defences, Tenbury's campaign will be featured on BBC Midlands’ Politics Show this Sunday at noon, with two local political candidates appearing on the show to pledge their support.

Harriett Baldwin
Harriett Baldwin 2

Richard Burt
Richard Burt 2

Watch on i-player (Fast forward to 8:15)

Disdain for the system, or search for the truth?

Leading politician, Hazel Blears claimed this week that political blogs fuel a culture of cynicism and despair, but Sandi Toksvig, Chair of the BBC Radio 4 newquiz commented that the quote should continue....

"political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy." (Hazel Blears)

"Dam the electorate and their morbid facination with the truth" (addition by Sandi Toksvig)

Monday, 3 November 2008

EA not keen on gauge for Kyre Brook

It seems that the Environment Agency is not keen on the proposal to fit flood warning gauges to Kyre Brook.

They already monitor the water level on Ledwyche Brook at Little Hereford and Mill Brook at Newnham Bridge and feel that Kyre Brook does not need to be monitored.

This decision appears to be rather strange as Kyre Brook rises on the opposite side of the Teme Valley and has a direct effect on flooding in Tenbury.

MHDC in charge confusion

A local business appears to have been charged in the region of £300 by MHDC to ascertain whether they need to spend £300 on a planning application.

This sound similar to Business Link paying a consultant £350 + Vat to turn down a Training Grant application for £400!

Government agency red tape, don't you just love it!

Zebra comes to Tenbury

It was confirmed tonight that Tenbury is to get it's own Zebra.

A "Zebra" pedestrian crossing is to be installed to assist crossing Market Street from the Royal Oak area to the new Toilets.

Pub Closes

The credit crunch and general economic turn down has taken it's first casualty in the Tenbury licensed trade.

The multi award winning Fountain Inn has ceased trading.

The fate of some other licenced premises locally must also be in doubt. A quick walk around town shows that whilst some of the Pubs are busy (incredibly so in one instance), others have no drinkers at all.