Coronavirus Update (July 2020)

Council Meetings

In light of the coronavirus pandemic Council  meetings, held on the 2nd Monday of the month are now undertaken remotely via Zoom. All notices of any scheduled meetings will be published on this website (under the Council Meetings section) and on notice boards in the Town. Details of how members of the public can “attend” remote meetings will also be included on any Notice. The public should contact the Clerk to the Council for log in details.

Annual Meetings

The normal Annual Council Meeting held in May each year has been deferred until 2021. This means the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and all council representatives on outside bodies remain the same until 2021. 

There are no government regulations that deal with the Annual Parish Meeting (of electors) usually called in May. However, in light of the government guidance prohibiting pubic gatherings at that time a meeting was not called despite the normal statutory requirements.

Annual Accounts

New regulations have  been issued so that the need to lay accounts by 30th June has been removed with a new date of 31st August being applied. Public Elector Rights (normally partly in July) have been extended to September with the conclusion of audit by 30th November (instead of 30th September). The examination of the accounts by members of the public will now run from the 16th July for 30 working days.  Please see the Council Governance section which will include relevant notices and documents regarding this years accounts and audit.

Other Council functions will continue to operate as far as is possible with any queries to be raised with the Clerk to the Council  at bawtrytowncouncil@gmail.com or on 073978279574

New Hall

The New Hall  has been reopened on the 6th July but with social distancing polices in place, a limit on numbers and new procedures to ensure the facility is safe and meets government guidance for operating community centres.

Market Hill Footpath

In light of the financial impact of the virus on the Council budget, plans for the replacement of the Market Hill footpath have been revised. The Northside footpath will be replaced in 2020 with works expected to start for approximately 4 weeks in late summer. Plans for the Southside will be reviewed in 2021 when the full financial impact on Council finances can be assessed.

Events

Events such as the planned VE commemorations, Senior Citizen Christmas dinner have been cancelled 

Chairman’s Annual Report 2019-20

This is my second annual report as Chairman of Bawtry Town Council with Councillor Doug Cartwright as Vice Chairman. This report should be read in the context in which it is written with government lock down restrictions in place.

The Bawtry Town Council, residents and businesses of Bawtry have recently felt the impact of the lockdown measures imposed by the government as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of some of the Town Council’s facilities means it has effectively lost its largest source of income. The financial reliance of the Town Council on the income from the Market Hill car park is well documented, the current loss of this revenue will certainly highlight this.

However, that is not a concern for me currently, more importantly is the safety and welfare our vulnerable Bawtry residents.
In addition, when the restrictions are lifted it will be very important that we all support local businesses. They have provided support to residents during a very difficult period. Bawtry will be open for business again, please shop local and support your local retailers.
Bawtry Town Council has had a very busy year. I am very proud to state that after many years of discussion the project to relocate the Bawtry War Memorial is almost complete. Although the re-dedication service planned for VE Day has had to be postponed, it is hoped that this can be re-arranged for VJ or Remembrance Day.

Visual improvements have been carried out at Bawtry cemetery. The Council has continued to approve grants to local community groups and individuals. The Halloween Disco and Senior residents Christmas Lunch have become established calendar events, with support from local retailers. The Council has reinstated the fruit and vegetable stall on Market Hill and has been well received by residents.

A lot of work has been put into plans to restore the footpath on the west side of Market Hill and to operate the Market Hill car park when the current contract expires in May 2021. These projects will be given further consideration and progressed when the restrictions are lifted.

When the Town emerges from the restrictions, we must avoid any negativity and instead turn any challenges into opportunities. The main objective must be to continue to protect vulnerable residents where required and “get Bawtry open for business”.

My thanks go to the Town Clerk, Angela Harrison and the other Town Council employees for all their assistance and support. Also, I would like to thank the DMBC Ward Councillor, Rachael Blake, the Council members of the war memorial working group, namely Doug Cartwright, Claire Lukey and Alan Cropley and Town Council members for all their commitment and support during the year.
The Town Council has excellent relationships within the town, so I would also like to thank the chairpersons

and representatives of the various community, business, charity and church organisations, that help to make the Town of Bawtry a fantastic place to live and work.

Alan Claypole
Chairman, Bawtry Town Council
4th May 2020

 

CORONAVIRUS COVID 19 PANDEMIC (March 2020)

In light of recent government advice to avoid non-essential contact and for the self isolation of over 70’s or those with serious underlying health conditions the Town Council has suspended routine Council meetings for the foreseeable future.  Remote meetings have recently been agreed by the Government. All notices of any scheduled meetings will be published on this website (under the Council Meetings section) but may not always be placed in the notice boards in the Parish. Details of how members of the public can “attend” remote meetings will also be included on any Notice.

Despite the above the need to hold an Annual Council Meeting in May each year has been removed with the normal matters dealt with at such meetings deferred until the 2021 Annual Meeting (or at an earlier meeting if members decide). At this stage therefore we do not anticipate that an Annual Meeting (remote or otherwise) will be held.

There are no regulations issued that deals with the Annual Parish Meeting (of electors) which is also usually called in May in Bawtry. In light of the government guidance on gatherings however we do not intend to call such a meeting irrespective of the normal statutory requirements.

Annual Accounts – new regulations have also been issued so that the need to lay accounts by 30th June has been removed with a new date of 31st August being applied. Public Elector Rights (normally partly in July) have been extended to September with the conclusion of audit by 30th November (instead of 30th September). Please keep an eye on the Council Governance section of the website which will continue to include relevant Notices and documents regarding this years accounts and audit.

Other Council functions will continue to operate as far as is possible with any queries to be raised with the Clerk to the Council  at bawtrytowncouncil@gmail.com or on 073978279574

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on the 27th March means that The New Hall  has been temporarily closed to support the government in limiting the spread of the disease in the community . We hope to re-open as soon as possible, although this is unlikely to be until July 4th at the earliest and  possibly later. Please note these are mandatory requirements.

Projects such as the replacement of the Market Hill footpath and events such as the VE commemorations are currently suspended.

 

BAWTRY HERITAGE GROUP – Press Release
Flushed with Success!!!

Following Doncaster Council’s (DMBC’s) decision to place the Gainsborough Road Toilet Blocks up for let we are delighted to announce that the successful bid was from Bawtry Heritage Group with support from the Bawtry Retail Association (BRA). This being a community let as part of DMBC’s policy to support community groups whenever possible.

The toilets were forced to be closed due to persistent vandalism. The Town Council (BTC) made the difficult decision to close the facilities and return them to DMBC. They have remained abandoned for over 3 years.

The group have big plans for these small buildings including a Heritage, Information & Visitor centre, and adult changing facilities. They are excited to repurpose one of the first buildings many people see when entering Bawtry. Chair of the Bawtry Heritage Group Cllr. Rachael Blake says “the buildings are located in the conservation area of Bawtry and its prominent position makes it the ideal choice for a Heritage & Visitor centre.”

The group, in conjunction with the other supporting parties, are looking into various funding streams and will be looking for practical and financial support from local people. Ross Jarvie Chair of the BRA states “I hope that this project will be a bit like DIY SOS or Challenge Annika, with local businesses and people volunteering time, materials, money or skills.”
The group is also seeking anyone within the town who is interested in its history and heritage to join its ranks and help in any way that they can.

Local architect Anthony Snowden, and solicitors Jones & Co, have already offered their services for which the group are very grateful. The group has a busy few months ahead registering as a charity and arranging the finer points. Further press releases will be issued as progress is made.

In the meantime, any pledges of interest and/or support would be welcomed.
Contact: Rachael.Blake@doncaster.gov.uk; john.linsley@bawtrytowncouncil.co.uk or ross.jarvie@fineandcountry.com

 

 

Bawtry Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Plan was overwhelmingly approved at the recent referendum. The adopted Neighbourhood Plan has now been published and can be viewed at

https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/planning/bawtry-neighbourhood-development-plan

 

Town Mayor’s Annual Report for the Year

This report covers the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.

The year has been very busy for Bawtry Town Council. A significant effort has been made to raise the profile of the Council. Council members have made regular attendances at Bawtry Residents Group meetings. I attend the meeting and give an overview of Council meetings and answer questions from residents. Regular posts on the Council Facebook page have also improved communication with residents.

The Council is taking positive steps to improve Bawtry (including the submission of a Neighbourhood Plan, which will shortly go to a public referendum). However, it is not doing this alone, consultations with the Bawtry Retail Association and local community groups have enabled the Council to move forwards with its plans for the town. Most local community groups are represented at the Town Council Events Working Group. This group successfully arranged the senior residents Christmas lunch and a fancy dress disco for our younger residents. Bawtry Town Council members also volunteered for the Big Wheel at the Bawtry Christmas lights switch on. New litter bins a notice board at Market Hill and sponsorship plaques have also been purchased.
Donations were made to Bluebell Wood and the DRI Children’s ward with grants to third parties additionally made during the year.
All planning requirements to relocate the war memorial to the grounds of Bawtry Community Library have now been satisfied. Hopefully work will commence during May 2019. DMBC have kindly provided funding for the relocation.

As of May 1st 2019 the Council will run its services from the New Hall in Bawtry with current members of the view that the Council should manage its own facilities.
The Council has also approved expenditure for improvements to Market Hill. The work will be carried out in three phases. The Council decided to take responsibility for the maintenance of the footpath (with work to start in the spring of 2020) following unanimous approval from all of the premises owners. The second and final phase, the resurfacing and possible enhancement of the Market Hill car park, will take place after the Council take back the control of the car park in April 2021.
However, a potential short fall in funding for the third phase of the Market Hill improvements needs to be addressed over the next 18 months. The first two phases will impact heavily on the Council financial reserves.

Although financial support and resources from the principal authority, DMBC, is limited we continue to try and influence issues that directly affect our town – traffic, dog fouling, litter, unsafe pavements etc. Thank you to our DMBC ward councillor Rachael Blake for the work she carries out on our behalf.

But there are challenges ahead for Bawtry Town Council.
The Council have made a significant investment with Bawtry Action for Recreation and Sport (BARS) for the multi sport and community building at the Memorial Sports Ground. An annual grant of £8,500 is awarded to BARS to assist with the ground maintenance. It is hoped that in the near future BARS can become financially sustainable so that the £8,500 can be used by the Council for investment into other projects. BARS must also continue to maintain their Wharf Street play area.
The precept remains a long term problem for current and future members of the Council. Many believe the precept should fund the routine expenditure of the Town Council – but it presently falls short of this. However a balance between the precept and routine Council expenditure will take many years to achieve. The significant period of zero precept increases and a reliance on Market Hill car park revenue has caused an imbalance in Council finances and caused some irritation for residents and retailers.

The impact on the infrastructure of Bawtry by the expansion of local villages is a concern. The Council regularly comments on the various planning applications issued by Bassetlaw District Council and DMBC that impact the town. The Council also has two representatives on the airport consultative sub-committee with training flights appearing the most significant issue at present.

The loss of the bank and the post office has been of significant concern to residents and retailers. Whilst the bank decision is irreversible, I have been involved in meetings with our local MP, Caroline Flint and senior Post Office officials. These meetings are exploring several options to enable the restoration of postal services to our town.

Finally, the elected Bawtry Town Council members are all unpaid volunteers and residents of the town. The views of residents and retailers, positive or negative, are always welcome. If we don’t know about problems we can’t address them. Council meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at the New Hall, Bawtry, starting at 7pm. There is an agenda item specifically for public participation.
A monthly newsletter is published in Bawtry Today with the Council’s meetings minutes and agenda available on our website, as are details about The New Hall bookings procedure. www.bawtrytowncouncil.co.uk

Alan Claypole
Town Mayor, Bawtry Town Council

 

Parish Precept Increase 2019/2020

 

At the Town Council January Finance Meeting an increase was agreed to the Bawtry precept income. The precept is the element of Council Tax that is payable to Parish and Town Councils. This income is used to fund Town Council services. Historically the Bawtry precept level has been one of the lowest in the district. The present Town Council has the view that a policy of reliance upon car park revenue is fundamentally flawed; it makes us financially dependent upon a process that aggravates residents, retailers and ultimately deters visitors.

The Town Council are progressing several large projects. The relocation of the town’s War Memorial, refurbishment of Market Hill and the running of its business from the New Hall. These projects require significant levels of investment from the Town Council. Although the Town Council has cash reserves, we have to ensure these remain at a reasonable level in order to meet our obligations to services and staff.

The current Market Hill car park contract expires in approximately 2 and a half year’s time. If parking charges and charging hours are to be reviewed this may also result in a reduction of income to the Town Council.

Two years ago, the Town Council made a start to increase its income from the precept with a small increase of 10%, a much bigger increase last year of 33% and an increase this year of 38% – however the precept has been at such a low base that this means an average “Band D” Council Tax payer will only pay an extra £10.19 this year, or an additional 19p per week.
A balance between the precept and routine expenditure will take several more years to achieve.

 

Alan Claypole
Chair, Bawtry Town Council                                    29th January 2019

SYP Alerts launched by South Yorkshire Police

SYP Alerts will allow members of the public to sign up to receive free, tailored messages from the police via text, email and voice alert.
Initially, the messages will be sent by the Corporate Communications team but as training is rolled out across the force to Neighbourhood Policing Teams we will see local cops and PCSOs using it on a regular basis.
How does this differ from Twitter or Facebook?
South Yorkshire Police  have an outstanding social media presence as a force but they can’t rely on that alone as there is an increasing demand for the public to be able to easily access information that is tailored specifically to their wants and needs. As such, the police need to ensure we have a variety of ways that people can get their information . SYP Alerts will allow officers to send messages to anyone registered in their area, but they will also be able to;
Instantly alert the public to critical incidents
Target messages to a specific street/area
Target messages dependent on information that the subscriber has given us i.e. vulnerable people, people who have said they have CCTV
Send out messages in different languages
Consult with the public
This system will replace the Neighbourhood Watch Confirmer system but will be available to any member of the public who wishes to sign up.

It is quick and easy to register at www.sypalerts.co.uk, requiring just name, address and email. Once signed-up, users can adjust the settings to suit their interests

 Sign-up now at www.sypalerts.co.uk #SignMeUp

 

 


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