ANNUAL TOWN MEETING – SATURDAY 21ST APRIL 2018

It’s mandatory for town and parish councils to hold an Annual Town Meeting for their local electors between March and June.  The purpose of the meeting is to provide the opportunity for local residents to receive reports on local council business and to discuss community business.

The Annual Town Meeting 2018 for Kingsbridge residents, similar to previous years, will be held as an interactive drop-in session between 10.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon tomorrow morning Saturday April 21st at the Farmers Market in the Town Square.

This is a super opportunity to speak to your town councillors, receive the latest news, offer up your ideas and get that nagging issue ‘off your chest’.  For example:  what public realm improvements do you think are needed for Fore Street? what should be done with the dilapidated Montagu Road and Homelands play spaces? give us your take on the Town Council’s ambitions and priorities? and check out how the Town Council’s proportion of your council tax will be spent in the current financial year ending March 2019.  The proposal for a Kingsbridge Neighbourhood Plan will also be introduced.

Kingsbridge Town Council is the local authority closest to Kingsbridge residents.  It is consulted on nearly everything that happens in the Kingsbridge community and is responsible for a wide range of public realm business in the town.  Whether you are at work, rest or play the Town Council is probably involved somewhere to a greater or lesser degree.  Town Councillors will be available tomorrow to explain the council’s role and to answer your questions.  It’s always good to talk!

Severe cold weather until Saturday 3rd March – wrap up and be prepared!

Severe cold weather until Saturday 3rd March

– wrap up and be prepared! 

There is a high probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and possible snow in the Kingsbridge area until Sunday 3rd March.  Please keep abreast of weather reports and the Met Office’s cold weather alerts and take extra precautions to keep safe, warm and well.

In particular, Age UK reports that exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on older people who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures.  As people get older it takes longer to warm up, the cold thickens our blood and increases blood pressure, and breathing in cold air lowers the body temperature.  The ideal temperature is 64ºF (18ºC) for your bedroom and 70ºF ((21ºC) for your living room.  Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature and keep your bedroom window shut over this cold snap.  If you have elderly neighbours now is a great time to pop in for a cuppa and a catch-up!

Slippery and icy conditions make it much more likely that people will stumble and fall possibly damaging ligaments, muscles or tendons.  The initial treatment is the RICE procedure: Rest the injured part, apply Ice or a cold pad to the injured area, Comfortably support the injury using a bandage or soft padding, Elevate the injured part.

Kingsbridge Town Council manages a local self-initiative “Winter Weather Wardens” whereby local residents volunteer to store bags of salt at their homes in order to grit roads and footways in their local neighbourhood.  We are always on the lookout for more people.  Volunteers will receive some basic training, be provided with a fluorescent top and insurance-wise will be covered by Devon County Council’s indemnity policy.

Around town there are grit bins positioned in Coronation Road, Buckwell Road, Highfield Drive, Saffron Park, Warren Road, West Alvington Hill, Stentiford Hill, Washabrook Way and Duncombe Park.  This is a 200% increase from the last severe winter in 2010/11.  All have been filled with grit in readiness for icy conditions.

Kingsbridge Community Champions Awards 2018

The first whiff of spring was in the air last weekend giving everyone a chance to get outside and enjoy the wonders of Kingsbridge. Well now it is time to pay tribute to the many volunteers who graciously donate their time and talents and help keep Kingsbridge wonderful!

We launched the new “Kingsbridge Community Champions” awards last year to encourage wider community participation and it’s time to do so again.  There are 6 different categories: Arts & Culture, Business, Environment, Sport, Volunteer and Young champions and it’s all about recognising and celebrating the fabulous contributions that local people make to ensure that Kingsbridge is a great place to work, rest and play.  Last year’s Community Champions were as follows:  Sam Dennis, Nicola Fox, Bruce Pritchard, Steve Mammatt and Jamie, Giles and Angus Grant.

Your nomination may be for a shopkeeper, a sporty person, a group, a volunteer, a young person etc. etc.  The Town Council does not wish to be too prescriptive and the whole concept is for the Kingsbridge community to effectively elect their own champions with as few rules and conditions involved as possible.  How do you go about it?  It’s really simple, just complete a simple nomination form which can be downloaded from below, pick one up from the Council Offices at Quay House, email reception@kingsbridge.gov.uk or call 01548.853296.  Nomination forms will also be available from the Library, Kingsbridge Information Centre and a few shops.  It will only take you a few minutes to complete your nomination for your Community Champion – let’s give local people the credit they deserve.

Deadline for applications is Friday March 30th 2018.

 

2018 Community Champions nomination form

Grant Aid – postponed for financial year 2018/19

 

Kingsbridge Town Council will not be running its annual Grant Aid scheme which provides small cash grants to local groups.

Traditionally applications are requested for late March and grants are made in April.  However, this time around some budget cuts have been made in various areas in order to build up a £25,000 pot to finance improvements for the town centre in order to encourage greater footfall, provide a better environment and give you an enjoyable shopping experience.

Kingsbridge Town Council – Councillor Vacancy

There is a current vacancy on Kingsbridge Town Council.  A ‘casual vacancy’ was recently advertised but an election has not been called and therefore it falls to current Town Councillors to select a new member.  In local government speak this is known as co-option.  The position is available up to May 2019 when the next local council elections will take place and therefore expressions of interest are now being invited.

Applicants much be at least 18 years old; a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen; and meet at least one of the following 4 qualifications: you are a Kingsbridge elector, or for the last 12 months have occupied as owner or tenant land or premises in Kingsbridge, or have worked in the town for the last 12 months or you have lived in Kingsbridge for the last 12 months.  No formal qualifications are required and the Town Council is made of people from all walks of life with various professional backgrounds.  What you do need however, is a passion for all things Kingsbridge and a commitment to attend various meetings to make your voice heard.  Being a Town Councillor is a huge responsibility but incredibly rewarding.

People often ask what local councils do and ultimately it’s quite simple:  the aim is to sustain Kingsbridge as a great place to live, work and play.  The Town Council’s task is therefore to engage with the local community, to take on board the needs and wishes of residents, and to try, whenever and wherever it can, to make sure that something is done about them.  If it’s not within the gift of the Town Council to directly help then hopefully it can support and lobby on behalf of local residents.

If you require any more information please speak to a current Town Councillor (details available at www.kingsbridge.gov.uk) or contact Martin Johnson, Town Clerk, on 01548.857073 or email clerk@kingsbridge.gov.uk or drop into the Council Offices at Quay House.  If you are interested, then Kingsbridge Town Council wishes to hear from you by Friday January 26th.  It is likely that informal interviews will be held shortly afterwards.

 

A Few Words From….  Kingsbridge Town Council  

 

Wow! what a year that was.  Proposals for a One Council merger for the South Hams and West Devon, proposals for a Quayside development, proposals to move the Glastonbury Festival to Belle Hill playing fields (did we forget to tell you about that one??).  Local government may be lots of things, but it is never boring.  Whether it is planning or potholes, and a whole chunk of stuff in between, it always gives everyone something to talk about.

What’s in store for 2018 we all wonder.  The best bet for Kingsbridge Town Council is probably to concentrate on what we consider we can truly influence and how we can make tangible differences for the local community.  Next year we hope to focus much of our energy on the town centre; we have said it many times before but it truly is the heartbeat of our town.  So sprucing it up in places and making some subtle upgrades can actually go a long way to keep it thriving and buoyant.  Keep your eyes peeled because we hope to crack on with some improvements in the New Year.  But we are not giving up on the parks and open spaces.  For example, litter bins in the parks are rusting away and children’s play areas in Duncombe Park and Montagu Road are looking very tired indeed, the play equipment at Homelands has already been removed.  We are not about to start making promises which we cannot keep but we are very aware of this situation.  If your children use these play spaces, then we really do encourage you to contact us.  We need to provide evidence of use to keep these key play spaces alive and to stand any chance of securing the required funding to introduce new, fun and exciting play kit for kids to enjoy.  Our Reception office can be contacted via email at reception@kingsbridge.gov.uk or on 01548.853296.

There is a stack of other things on the menu too so if you are a Facebook user then you need to hook up to our page now to keep up to speed otherwise you need to regularly check out our website www.kingsbridge.gov.uk for our latest agendas and minutes.  Good communication underpins all our relationships – so if you have a question, or a request, or just a cracking idea – then please get in touch with us.

The Members and Officers of Kingsbridge Town Council wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.