Saturday, 30 May 2009

Watch out for squibs

So, once again I am a little confused.

Lets recap: This is how I think things happened from my memory/notes.  The offical minutes refer to a document distributed by the Mayor prior to the meeting, the content of which is not on the public record.
In order to make the Town Council "more dynamic" it was agreed that the committee structure should be re-organised.

If you have sat in on some committee meetings then you will have noticed that there is often little in-depth discussion, the first idea tabled is grabbed and adopted, and little thought is given to possible wider implications. Very rarely is anything referred for consultation to possible outside experts, or interested specialist groups. Everything seems to be handled "in-house" whether the expertise is available or not.  Due to the size of the Committees then anything decided cannot be subsequently overturned at full Council (unless the Committee members have changed their minds).

The previously agreed changes:
  1. Councillors would only be allowed to sit on 2  committees. (Except CEST)
  2. They could apply to sit on a committee if they had relevant knowledge and experience.
  3. In the event that some committees were over-subscribed Councillors may not get their first or second choice.  The Mayor would make the final decision of who sat on each committee.
  4. The size of the committees would be reduced so that they did not hold a majority. (i.e. If the Council has 12 members each committee would have 5 or less)
These changes were to have come into force after the Annual Meeting of the Town Council, but after the motion had been carried, four or more Councillors wrote to the Town Clerk (I guess using standing order item 36a) asking for the motion to be put aside and re-discussed.

This was possibly because (and I'm only guessing) that, the Councillors most likely to be the most "appropriate" for a committee, given their relevant knowledge and understanding are those with "Interest", (As in declaration of interest) which could ultimately lead to a conflict of interest.  At least three of the Councillors who supported the letter to dismiss, have the least numbers of "declarations".

So next Monday the Council will re assess the structural changes and vote whether to change standing order 36a so that the majority of Councillors have to object before a motion can be struck down.

I guess the reason the bar was originally set so low was to allow Councillors who may have felt "railroaded" or have changed their mind because they were misled or additional information came to light after the vote.  Also frequently one or more Councillors are absent from the main meeting.

To set the bar too high could be a retrograde step,  as it would then be virtually impossible for any decision to be challenged.  

Posh Supermarket for Tenbury Wells

Excerpt from From 
May 30, 2009

Wild drinks: the hedgerow martini

He has plans to develop anti-ageing skin creams – made from, yes, you’ve guessed it, potatoes – in the spirit of the original Body Shop. He also wants to open a country-house hotel, and has already bought some land on which to build a posh supermarket in nearby Tenbury Wells.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Tourism for Tenbury

The Well Tower at the Tenbury Wells Pump RoomsRecent reports have highlighted how popular Tenbury Wells has become for Tourists.  Visitor numbers are up and with more people set to stay in England this year the upward trend should continue.

Tenbury doesn't feature too well in the official Worcestershire publications, maybe because is virtually straddles the Worcester, Hereford & Shropshire borders.  There is one publication dedicated to the Marches and the Teme Valley. This is not surprisingly called the Teme Valley and the Marches Tourism Guide.  Last years issue is still available online. (Click to access)

Anyone wishing to advertise in the 2009 issue should contact the editor very soon.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Regal Tenbury Wells - The Genuine Article

Some fans have expressed concern that the advertised shows at the Regal Tenbury Wells are either a prank, or look alike performers, but the promoter (and agent to the stars) Chris Davis, who has an office in Teme Street can confirm they are the genuine article.

Followers of Paul Daniels, who descibes himself as Professional magician, sex symbol and body builder on Twitter @thepauldaniels can also be reassured by looking at his tour dates listing or twittering with him direct.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

First Food Fair a Success

Tenbury Events first "Teme Valley Food Fair" was judged to be an outstanding success, by visitors and exhibitors alike.

Brilliant sunshine and a brisk trade, left a number of stallholders scrambling to restock their stalls as a steady stream of visitors took advantage of the excellent quality produce on show.
Ex BBC Hereford & Worcester, Katie Johnson kept everyone informed of what was available and assisted with the cooking demonstrations provided by the HEFF roadshow. Various local chefs demonstated their talents, including Carolyn Cheshire, and Judy Goodman.

Hourly draws for a box of fresh fish from the "Fish in a box" company and musical interludes from local musicians all added to the entertainment.

Many people took advantage of the brilliant weather to linger and enjoy lunch from the Rolling Roaster, or other snack stalls and an ice cream from Kelsmor.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Tenbury Events - Food Fair

Teme Valley Food Fair this Saturday.  

Should be a good day with lots of interesting foodie stalls, entertainment from "The Floor" St Michaels, commentary from Katie Johnson, ex-BBC Hereford & Worcester and much much more.

Great food will be available to snack from the Rolling Roaster, and others.

Park & Ride will be in operation througtout the day from Tenbury High School.

The Burgage gets a face lift

The planting areas around the MHDC car park are finally being replanted to help welcome visitors to the town. (Paid for by ?, Probably by MHDC from Council Tax funds)

The remaining stumps left after the felling of the large trees surrounding the Bowling Greens are being ground down. (Paid for by the Town Council from the annual precept)

Work has started on the Sensory/Civic garden at the front of the Pavilion. (Paid for by Grant Aid from MHDC & Better Welcome)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

No change at the Town Council

The Mayor read his annual report at the annual Town Meeting, held yesterday evening.

At the later annual meeting of Tenbury Town Council, the Councillors voted unanimously to retain Cllr Richard Jones as Mayor and Cllr Weston as Deputy Mayor.

The planned changes to the structure of the Council Committees were postponed by way of a "procedural devise" signed by a number of the Councillors.  The planned changes, designed to make the Council more "dynamic" will now be discussed again at the next Town Council meeting on June 1st.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

County Council Elections 2009

The following people are nominated for election as a County Councillor for Tenbury.
(Currently Reg Farmer)

MILLS Brian, U.K. Independence Party
Bank House, Stanford Bridge,

MORGAN Jonathan Pryce, Independent
27 Crescent Place,
Tenbury Wells,
WR15 8DF

POLLOCK Ken, The Conservative Party
Combe Cottage,
The Hill, Great Witley,
Worcester, WR6 6HX

SLADE Clifford Michael, Liberal Democrat
Westwood House,
Berrington Road,
Tenbury Wells,
Worc`s, WR15 8EN

WILLIAMS Matthew Adam, Green Party
2 Nash Green, Leigh
Sinton, Malvern,
WR13 5DR

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Fire at Co-Op Bromyard Road

Two Tenbury Fire appliances attended a Fire at the Co Operative supermarket in Tenbury Wells this lunchtime.

Fire in stock room, Heavily smoke logged.

No other details are known at this stage, but the store remained closed to customers this afternoon.

Update Thursday: Looks like fire was Arson.  Several other fires were started at the same time.
Berrow's Worcester Journal

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Multi-Use Building One Step Closer

The "Open Space" meeting held today to discuss the proposed Health & Well Being Multi Use Building, helped to move the project one step closer to realisation.

Although the meeting was not as well attended as had been hoped, more than 20 people, who represented most of the interested parties gathered to discuss what key points needed to be incorporated to make the project a success. 

A comprehensive list was produced, but by the process of the "Open Space" format, key elements emerged.

1. Design 
The initial design is of paramount importance, with the particular needs of all the user groups to be taken into account.  The building must be rugged to withstand the use, but must be built in a sympathetic way to encourage use and be 'fit for purpose'.

2. Management
The building must be economically sustainable and professionally managed to get the best use for cost.

3. Storage & Facilities
Very high on many user groups wish list was for large amounts of secure storage facilities and catering facilities (kitchens).

4. Car Parking
With the possibility that the build would reduce the available parking area, then the creation of additional parking was seen as vital.

I was especially please to hear from the project architect, that Green issues were to be given a very high priority, with possibility of creating a building that was revenue neutral in respect of utility bills, by incorporating such features as Solar and Ground Source heating, PV (photo-volteric) electricity generation, heat exchangers etc.

The business case for the building will now be produced, and inevitably there will be need for some compromises along the way.  Much will depend on how the potential user groups can embrace the concept of a multi-use building and adapt their existing way of working.

For instance the Rugby and Football clubs may wish to have their own changing rooms, but if these are to only be used by them for a few hours a week, they will need to be usable by, for instance, people using the Gym or taking aerobic classes.  The Scouts may wish to have storage for Tents and Camping equipment and room to dry tents, but as this is only for a few days per year, this may have to be done at another location.

It is also probable that groups will have to change their financial structure, as those with their own (or shared) facilities, will have to move from Capital and maintenance expenditure to rental and hire costs, and income generated from sub-letting will be lost.

The new facility is nowhere near a "done-deal" but even though we live in difficult financial times, this project is achievable, but will require a degree of partnership working (and compromise) never before seen in Tenbury.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Paul Daniels fights back

Paul Daniels, who will be appearing in a show at the Tenbury Regal on 5th June is fighting back after a story about him charging for charity appearances has been written for the Mirror newspaper.

Read what he has to say here.

Follow Paul on Twitter.

Teme Valley Food Fair

The new Tenbury Events, Teme Valley Food Fair will be held in the Car Park nearest the Pump Rooms on Saturday 23rd May from 10.00am to 4pm.

The event is billed as a showcase for Local Food Producers, who will have produce on sale.  There will also be a cookery demonstration by local young chefs.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Flood Defence Petition

It seems that hardly a week goes by without the question of flood defenses in Tenbury being raised in one form or another. I have sat in countless meetings where the subject has been on the agenda. Hard facts are difficult to come by, but two over-riding fact rises above all others.

  1. Flood defenses are expensive to install.
  2. Another flood will kill a number of local businesses.

How expensive, is still difficult to gauge. £5-£6 million is an often quoted figure, but in reality no one knows. The defenses have yet to be designed, and the figures are based on experts best estimate.

What is easier to establish is that many businesses in the flood effected area, are now either uninsured, have massive flood excesses or vastly increased premiums and have been threatened with withdrawal of cover if another event happens.

Tenbury is very fortunate in having a vibrant town centre with established and new retailers and other service providers, and without them, the heart would go out of the Town. You only have to visit Towns where most of the retailers have left and others are hanging on my a thread, to see how quickly the rot sets in.

There is now a petition on the No10 Government website for people to sign to add a little more pressure to the decision makers.

Tenbury Wells was flooded a number of times in 2007 and again in 2008. This historic small market town, with a population of less than 4,000, cannot be expected to fund its own flood defences. Particularly during an economic downturn, it is important that Central Government undertakes public sector works that will produce benefits that last for years. Flood defences fall into this category. The town has been badly hit by so many floods in such a short time. Funding for permanent flood defences should be provided without further delay. A Flood Defence scheme has already been drawn up. The projected cost is £5 million. While this would be a very large amount for the residents of such a small town to raise, it is an insignificant amount when compared to total government spending.

If you agree with the above then you should visit and add your name to the petition.