Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tesco decision delayed.

From the MHDC website

Tenbury Tesco application meeting

Planners at Malvern Hills District Council have requested additional information from Tesco for their proposed food retail store on the Cattle Market Site in Tenbury Wells. 
The application will therefore not be reported to the November meeting of the Northern Area Development Control Committee on the 2nd November. The next available meeting to consider the application will be Wednesday 7th December 2011.
Amended details are expected to be submitted and once received, people who have expressed an interest in the application will be given the opportunity to comment on the revised details.
Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of MHDC said:
 “Some extra work needs to be done on the application before it can be considered by Committee. If the application is ready for the December date, the meeting will be, as previously promised, held in Tenbury.  I am conscious of just how important this issue is for the town and that opinion is divided.  “

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The people have spoken.....

It seems that majority of Traders, Towns people and now Town Councillors agree that allowing Tesco to develop a store on the Old Cattle Market, would on balance be beneficial for Tenbury.

Tenbury Town Council have voted 6 to 4 in favour of supporting the application. The previous vote of 5 to 4 against was overturned. The Shropshire Star is carrying a story that the original votes wasn't valid, but I don't know why this should be.

There are of course, traders, people and Cllrs who disagree. At last nights meeting of the Town Council two people were able to put their thoughts before the Council. Neither of the speakers live in the Tenbury Ward.

One spoke of the prior experience of Leicester and Llandrindod Wells, where the arrival of Tesco changed the town. The other spoke of his concerns about traffic and chaos on the bridge.

I'm not convinced that the situation in Tenbury is similar to Leicester, or for that matter Llandrindod. I've not been to Leicester in more than 10 years, so it might have shrunk. I have been to Llandrindod and I'm certainly confused by the comparison.

Llandrindod has a population roughly double that of Tenbury, and the Tesco is quite a way from the Town centre. You have to pass both the Co-op & Aldi on the way.

There was an interesting letter from a Llandrindod resident who felt it was fine for his local populous to drive the 60 mile round trip to Hereford Tesco and so having one in town was an overkill. Sounds like a very "green" option to me. He also felt that people of Tenbury could easily use public transport to access existing Tesco stores. He clearly hasn't tried that!

The question of traffic, is a concern, but anyone who spends time in Tenbury knows that jams occur quickly and then dissipate just as quickly. There are peaks, but equally there are very long troughs.

There is conflict on the bridge, but there has been for decades and one way or another the traffic sorts itself out.

Will there be problems, sure there will, but after an initial period it will settle down.

So now we await the report of the MHDC planner and the vote of the Northern Area Development Committee. Interesting times indeed.

Shropshire Star

Drop in and see the Regal one last time...

If you've been to the Regal before and are interested in the changes going on as part of the HLF project, don't miss your last chance to see it before all the work starts. The contractors will be on site soon, but before they start we're opening up to show you the auditorium and information about the restoration and renovation work that will be going on.

Friday 14th October | 11am - 2pm
Saturday 15th October | 11am - 3pm

You're free to drop in whenever you want during our open times. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Applefest Volunteers Needed

Additional volunteers are needed to help with Applefest.
If you can spare anytime, (even 1 hour) your help will be most welcome.  

1. Friday 14th October from 12pm to 6pm
Teme Street near Special Occasions and then the Burgage
2. Saturday 15th October from 7am
3. Saturday 15th October from 4pm (Especially this one)
Either call Bernard on 01584819971 or 07979830724 or just turn up and look for people in hi-viz wastecoats.

Democracy in Action

Last month Tenbury Town Council voted 5 to 4 against supporting the Tesco planning application.

This was, as one commentator put it "as close as you could get to 50/50 without a chain saw"

What was slightly unexpected was that between this meeting and the meeting of the full Town Council, many ordinary (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way but people who don't usually become involved in the ways of the Council or write to the press or join action groups)  towns folk and traders sought out and spoke to various Councillors and made their feelings known.

When the original vote was cast 9 Councillors were able to vote, 2 were not permitted as they had personal  and prejudicial interests and 2 Councillors were away.

At the next full meeting of the Town Council, Cllrs were asked to (in effect) ratify this motion, but this time the numbers were different.
10 Councillors were able to vote,  2 were not permitted as they had personal  and prejudicial interests and 1 Councillor was away.  The motion (to ratify) was defeated 6 votes to 4.

This doesn't mean that the Town Council "have done a U turn" and now support the planning proposal, or that they no longer oppose it, but means that pending further discussion they have no official view.

Under "standing order" the rules that govern the Town Council, they are unable to discuss and vote on the same subject more than once in six months, but there is a "get out" which means provided four Councillors submit a written motion, then the subject can be brought back, provided that the written motion is posted for a duration and then voted upon and accepted by a majority.

So next Monday the Council will be able to vote on whether they agree to the motion brought by the four Councillors.

What happens next really depends on who is at the meeting on Monday.

A maximum of 10 Councillors will have a vote. 3 will not be permitted as they had personal and prejudicial interests.

If the written motion succeeds in attracting 6 votes, then the original motion will be brought back for another vote.  In theory if the written motion succeeds then the Council will then vote to support the Tesco application.  This can not then be overturned.  If the written motion fails, then the original motion stands.

I think what we can safely say is that the Town Council are as divided as the Town, and that whilst there is a strong and vocal opposition to the development, there is an equally strong, but much less vocal group in favour.

As I wrote to one of  the founders of what became Tenbury Futures nearly a year ago "I'm sure we will get the right result in the end (whatever that may be)"

(PS: This is my understanding of what happened/is happening, but can't guarantee I'm 100% constitutionally correct or have used all the correct terminology)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bowkett's to sell houses.

The Bowkett family, who have traded in Tenbury for over 100 years and now run the award winning Nisa Grocery store, have teamed up with Barton Willmore, an equally prestigious internationally acclaimed planning consultancy, to develop an area of land on the edge of the Oaklands development.

Although the planning is in it's very early stages, the hope is that a total of 40 houses will be built.  12 will be similar to those in the adjoining development and 28 will be smaller in nature.  40% of the houses will need to be "low cost social housing" to meet national planning rules.

The site, which is outside the Tenbury settlement boundary is classed as a "windfall" site so doesn't currently appear on the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Young Good Citizen Award

The Tenbury Police have awarded their 2011 Young Good Citizen award to Josh Moore.  Josh, who left Tenbury High School at the end of last term, had been recommended for the award both by the school and other town organisations.  The list of his community achievements, volunteering and general good deeds ran to several pages.

Josh who is also a talented musician and singer is unfortunately leaving Tenbury shortly for pastures new.