Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR

Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer  01205 314227 email:  janette.collier@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

41.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 30th August 2017.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30th August 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 

42.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were apologies for absence from Councillors Viven Edge and Yvonne Stevens.

43.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

44.

POLICING ISSUES - STANDING ITEM

(Inspector Andy Morrice will be in attendance to discuss policing issues)

Minutes:

Inspector Morrice had submitted his apologies for this meeting.

45.

CHRISTMAS IN BOSTON - STANDING ITEM

(An update by a representative from the community group)

Minutes:

Mr Dylan Taylor updated the Committee on the progress made by the Christmas in Boston community group as follows:

 

·         Christmas lights had been purchased, measured and boxed ready for placement.

·         There were special lights for the Five Lamps and additional lights for West Street, the latter to be finalised.

·         All Christmas trees had been ordered, including 32 for shops and 15 for roundabouts and a special tree for the Quadrant roundabout.

·         All 8 cherry blossom trees at the War Memorial area had been sponsored.

·         An estimated 100 memory lanterns would be sold, with 50 sold so far.

·         Representatives from the migrant community had taken baubles into schools for children to colour to decorate the community trees outside the Stump.

·         Sunday mornings had been scheduled for installing trees and lights and electrician were getting more people involved.

 

Mr Taylor concluded by confirming that the health and safety plan was being finalised, the project was on schedule and the group was already putting together ideas for next year.

 

Members commended the group’s hard work and the progress made and asked for their thanks to be passed on to the rest of the group.   

 

In response to a question, Mr Taylor advised the Committee that it had been estimated at that the electricity costs would be about £20, though it would increase to a degree due to the additional lights in West Street.  The cost would be low due to use of LED lights. 

 

The Chairman spoke about the possibility of installing a pit in the Market Place to enable the group to purchase a taller Christmas tree next year.  The maximum size of tree that could be erected without a pit was 27ft (the group had ordered a 24ft tree for this year and would rent a concrete block), but a 50ft tree would have cost the same.  Mr Taylor agreed that this would be better value.  

 

Action: PD

Advise Members of the reason why the traditional donation of a Christmas tree for the Market Place had ceased some years ago.

 

Action: JC

Provide an update on progress with the schools’ Christmas poetry competition. 

46.

INTO TOWN BUS SERVICE

(Malc Wheatley, Operations Director, Brylaine Travel Ltd, will be attending for discussion on the current service)

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Mr Malcolm Wheatley, Operations Director for Brylaine Travel Limited, who had been invited to attend the meeting following Members’ debate on the use of the Market Place to discuss whether there were alternatives to routing the Into-Town Bus Service through Strait Bargate. 

 

In response to a question from Mr Wheatley, it was confirmed that the Market Place was owned and managed by the County Council.

 

Mr Wheatley advised the Committee that the main point of the service when it started in 2008 was to keep it away from the congestion on John Adams Way and, for it to be successful, it had to run on a maximum frequency of 30 minutes including 5 minutes for passengers to get on and off. 

 

Demand for the service increased significantly once it was introduced, with passenger numbers rising from approximately 8,000 a month to 35,000 and the number of buses increasing from 1 to 3 running from 7 am to 7 pm. 

 

The service received funding from the County Council, through whom the service was provided under contract for five years.  When the County Council contract ended, the funding ceased completely and the service was continued in the same form on a commercial basis, though its hours of operation were cut back to 8 am to 5.30 pm. 

 

The service had remained sustainable, but profit was tenuous.  The main drawbacks were that the buses were small, so could not be put to alternative uses such as school contracts, and the majority of passengers were older people with bus passes for which the company only received a 59% subsidy. 

 

Mr Wheatley stressed that it would be risky to make changes to the service, particularly evident from experience with the Spalding service. 

 

In Boston, it was difficult to make the service operate on time because of traffic congestion and the number and age of passengers.  The regulator was examining the service now and it would have to be made to work.  One solution would be to put in additional priority junctions.  Routes could not be shortened without reducing the service and it was essential to maintain or improve ridership. 

 

There was a reduction in ridership during parades, when the service was operated from the bus stop near the Boots store.  On market days, it could take up to 9 minutes for the service to get through Strait Bargate and the Market Place, as the speed limiter was in use the whole way.  The Interchange, which the County Council had initially stated would be made partly for buses only, frequently became blocked, resulting in delayed services.  In addition, there was a need for the contra-flow traffic over Town Bridge, which had to be used in order to service West Street, where the service was well-used to access local businesses and the Asda store. 

 

Mr Wheatley then asked whether, with certain changes to the layout of the Market Place, a bus stop could be installed at Fish Hill.  Then, stopping at the island  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

BTAC 2017/18 FINANCIAL POSITION UPDATE pdf icon PDF 110 KB

(To receive an update on the Committee’s financial position as at 31st August 2017)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the Committee’s current financial position. 

48.

BTAC SMALL GRANT SCHEME pdf icon PDF 129 KB

(A report by Maddy Eyre, Local Communities Development Officer and BTAC Grant Administrator)

Minutes:

The Committee received a report by the Local Communities Development Officer and BTAC Grant Administrator, which presented the comments made by the Small Grants Working Group in respect of applications received for the current round.

 

The Committee was asked to consider the comments made by the Working Group in respect of eligible applications, approving or rejecting each accordingly.  Six applications were received in Round 1 of the scheme; of the six, four were eligible. 

 

The Vice-Chairman, who had chaired the first meeting of the Small Grants Working Group, went through the four applications.

 

The Committee received a report by the Local Communities Development Officer and BTAC Grant Administrator, which presented the comments made by the Small Grants Working Group in respect of applications received for the current round.

 

The Committee was asked to consider the comments made by the Working Group in respect of eligible applications, approving or rejecting each accordingly.  Six applications were received in Round 1 of the scheme; of the six, four were eligible. 

 

The Vice-Chairman, who had chaired the first meeting of the Small Grants Working Group, went through the four applications.

 

Boston & South Holland Wood Carvers Association

 

Application: £1,000 contribution towards a plinth for a memorial to the Fishermen of Boston to be sited along Fishermans Quay (High Street/London Road, Boston).

 

The working group had not been satisfied that the project met the criteria of the small grants scheme in terms of direct impact for BTAC residents and a difference process had been suggested.  The group also felt that the suggested material (bronze) would be at risk of theft.  The recommendation was not to approve the application. 

 

RESOLVED: That the application from Boston & South Holland Wood Carvers Association be refused

 

Lincolnshire Police – Mini Police Project

 

Application: £855.95 for a contribution towards the cost of establishing the mini police project in two schools within the BTAC area to cover the cost of a camera, uniforms, question and answer boxes and sundries.

 

The working group had been satisfied that this application met the criteria of the small grant scheme and suggested that it be approved by the Committee.   The recommendation was to grant the application. 

 

Members who had attended the launch of the Mini Police had been impressed by the engagement of the police and fire officers and the enthusiasm shown by the children, which indicated that the project would be successful and effective in breaking down barriers.  The type of camera to be purchased would enable filming events from a personal viewpoint for publication on social media. 

 

RESOLVED: That a Small Grant of £855.95 be awarded to Lincolnshire Police as a contribution to the Mini Police Project

 

Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire

 

Application: £1,000 to fund a targeted promotion of CAB services in St Thomas’ and West Wards.

 

The working group had not considered that this project represented value for money, especially as the applicant was also in receipt of core funding from the Council.  The recommendation was to refuse the application.

 

The Ward Member for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

WORK PROGRAMME - STANDING ITEM pdf icon PDF 132 KB

(The Committee’s work programme for the current year for discussion and/or updating)

Minutes:

Members discussed the Committee’s work programme.

 

Action: PD

·         Advise Councillor Raven of the details of the County Council policy for arranging additional tourist signs funded by local businesses. 

·         Refer a suggestion to scrutinise the operation of parking charges, particularly in the Market Place, to the Environment and Performance Committee.

 

Action: JC

For the Committee’s next meeting on 25th October:

·         Invite the Parish of Boston team to make a presentation on its Passion for People project.

·         Add a progress report following the Committee’s tour of assets. 

·         Expand the agenda item on the Community Toilets Scheme to cover the public conveniences that the Committee had taken on responsibility for.

·         Add standing items to this and all future agendas for BTAC’s Events and Open Spaces Working Groups to update Members on progress.

For the Committee’s meeting on 29th November:

Add an item on Signage for Tourist Routes to the Town Centre and remind Members to bring ideas to the meeting, particularly for the bus station area.