Saturday, 31 October 2009

Skate Park Opened

Representatives from all levels of local government were on hand today to witness the reopening on the renovated Tenbury skate park.

The money for the park was awarded to Tenbury following the design, presentation, and application by a group of local youngsters. In fact they (and the adult helpers) have done such a good job in managing the project they have now received a small amount of additional funding to do even more work.
No not a prop' from Star Wars but one of the new ramps.

There has been some opposition to the amount of money being spent on the skate park, but as with so many grants these days they are target specific and the money can only be spent on what it has been allocated for.

As this area will be a magnet for youth, additional waste bins have been ordered to try to help keep the Palmer's litter free. The existing small bins have not been emptied recently due to an employment dispute.

Medals at the Library

Tenbury's young readers were presented with their reading medals today by Town Mayor Richard Jones.

Each summer holiday the library encourages the local children to read and record a number of books, and work towards an award.

Temperature rises at the Regal

A week of good news for the Tenbury Regal.

The new electric boiler has been installed and is being tested. So far the outside temperature has been warm, so it will be a little longer before we know how well it is working.

Also, the new Heritage Access Officer has started work (no name has been released yet) but hopefully full details will be disclosed at the next Town Council Meeting on Monday.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Town Council - No change on accounting method.

Last year during the budget planning, the Town Council initially announced a zero percent increase in the precept, but later increased this to 1.8% on discovering calculation errors.

After the announcement the Mayor promised:

A rigerous examination of all the budgets will be carried out during 2009, with discussions to find the balance of "Service to the Town" with "Individual Costs"

The discussions will include deciding which if any of the services provided, especially if used by only a small minority should be run on a more commercial basis.

So far, this review has not started, and the Council have decided not to change the way they record and publish their accounts. The lack of accounting data will make the review very difficult to achieve.

At a recent finance meeting the Town Clerk told the Cllrs that the "object of the annual budget is to match income to expenditure, it (the Town Council) is not a business"

Micawber's Principle
, may be based upon his observation:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
but surely a Town Council should have a higher objective than "happiness & misery"

Tenbury Town Council do provide a number of worthwhile facilities for the people of Tenbury, but now that the they are rapidly reaching the same cost as the District Council, all expenditure and income strands need to be closely examined.

The Town Council is not a business, but they really should know what they are subsidising and by how much. Calls upon their limited resources will continue to increase at a time when many of their funders, local Council Tax payers, find their income static or reduced.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Town Council Accounting Method

Tenbury Town Council is to discuss (again) next week whether to improve their account reporting.

At the moment is it virtually impossible to identify how much each service and facility is costing the Council Tax payer.

Due to grouping various cost centres and income strands it is not possible to say (for instance) how much the Tennis Courts cost to run, or the Bowling Greens, or even the Pump Rooms.

The Council is there to raise a precept and to provide public facilities, but as they do not know themselves what each facility and service costs to provide, how can they make rational and democratic decisions about where to spend our money, or what to charge the users in hire charges.

Council to hold more Secret meetings.

Following the announcement that Tenbury Town Council had been awarded an initial £58,200 to fund the post of Regal Heritage Development Officer, the successful candidate is to be announced next week (in a private meeting to which the press & public are to be excluded).

Hopefully, whoever is appointed will embrace public inclusion which is often lacking from their employer.

The Regal Cinema: HG-08-15553 CWM 2009 (2) 13

Tenbury Town Council sought a first round pass with development funding to restore and conserve the Regal Cinema in Tenbury. This Grade II listed Super Cinema, opened in 1937, was designed by specialist cinema architect Ernest Robert working for Clifton Cinemas. Three sides of the auditorium were decorated with a ‘trompe l’oeil’ by George Legge. The Cinema had been extensively used by the local community since the 1980s when a dedicated community centre was built to the rear of the building. The primary aim of the project was to keep the Cinema and community centre in use and secure their long term future.

The Committee awarded a first round pass of £675,100 including a development grant of £58,200
(84% of eligible costs).

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Dismay over Tenbury Advertiser Pictures

Town Centres all over England are facing a tough time in the current economic climate, but Tenbury is actually doing better than most. I was dismayed to see the Tenbury Advertiser had printed two pictures of empty shops on their front page to illustrate the 'problems facing the Town'.

One shop has been empty for longer than I can remember and the other was only recently vacated when the business moved to better premises a few metres away.

It will be interesting the hear the results of the Mystery Shopper survey as the service in most of the shops is excellent, but in a few visitors are treated at best as an inconvenience, and at worst as a bloody nuisance. (Or maybe that's just me!)


Why have we been subjected to days of Traffic chaos when nothing is happening. Whether due to laziness or just incompetence, the Temporary traffic lights in Cross Street have remained after the Water Company completed their work. The signs, cones and generator could have easily been accommodated in the parking bays leaving the carriageway clear. I'm sure this wouldn't have been allowed in Worcester or Malvern so why do we have to put up with it in Tenbury. The slightest interruption to traffic flow in town has such an adverse effect causing long jams. If this happens next weekend with the addition of Applefest traffic it will be total gridlock!

These lights do not appear to have been licenced as no reference to them appears on the WCC Temporary Traffic light schedule or the Carriage way closure schedule.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


It seem's that Tenbury is running short of Volunteers.

Tenbury in Bloom is the latest casualty of the dearth of available people. They no longer have enough capacity to mount a challenge for Gold.

The Town Council (although they made no reference to it at their meeting) seem only to have been able to field one new Councillor in place of the two Councillors who left.

A proposed Flood Action group will also need a considerable number of willing participants.

Redevelopment of the Burgage

The exciting plans for the redevelopment of the Burgage were shown at a Public session of Tenbury Town Council last night. Although expensive, the Council's decision to commission Landscape Architects to produce a design for the Landscaping of the new children's play area and the wider Burgage proved that asking for help and where necessary paying for professional services is the correct way to move the Town forward to an exciting new era.

The plans will be seen as controversial by some and will no doubt require public consultation, but will move the public space in Tenbury from the same as seen in most small towns to an exciting and welcoming space.

If Tenbury is to take full advantage of the Tourist Pound, then it must have more to offer. It has many features which are poorly utilised, such as the River Teme and Kyre Brook.

This design makes good use of the proposed earth bunds that some hope will help to protect the town in times of flood. These could easily be an eyesore but with creative design could instead be a feature.