12 february 2014

Mayors blog 30

Sorry that this has taken a couple of weeks to produce, but at least you get a special edition.

Listening to many people I feel that Alcester has been very lucky with the weather. We have not suffered serious flooding as have some parts of the country. The ‘advantage’ of the river system in and around Alcester, if that is the correct word, is that normally they rise quickly but then fall quite quickly, meaning the effects are relatively short lived. Not much comfort if you have been flooded though. I feel really sorry for those people who have been flooded for many weeks in Somerset where it seems to have gone on forever.

Alcester town council has voted to become a Dementia Friendly Town. What does that mean? Well Dementia is fast becoming the number one problem for society. It does not discriminate and can affect people of all ages. What ATC have agreed is that we will promote the understanding of what dementia is all about and try to make improvements to our town for the benefit of sufferers. We want them to enjoy a high quality of life and hope the adoption of our proposals will enable this to happen. The scheme will be rolled out in the near future so keep on the look out for notices.

ATC have agreed the precept for the coming period 2014/2015. Due to many factors including government legislation on pensions and wages, we have had to increase the precept by 4%. This however is not an inflation busting precept but a stand still one. To maintain services we need an increase and in real terms this equates to a £4 per household per year increase. ATC offer excellent value for money especially considering that there has been no rise for two years and I hope that this precept is accepted by all.

Part of the budget can be allocated as grants. This allows a council to give money to local organisations. Often these small grants mean everything to these organisations and is the difference between making a difference or not at all. Organisations can apply to the council and make a presentation for their cause. This does two things. It enables not only the council to make a judgement but also allows the organisation to publicise themselves; both beneficial.

We are starting to see a number of new residents in the town and as I have mentioned before, we want them to be part of our community. To that end ATC are sending out welcome packs to estate agents and others containing general information about the town and facilities. However in a joint venture with the Court Leet, an open day in the town hall on the 15th of  March is being organised to allow all of the organisations to present themselves and hopefully get new members and volunteers. It was described as a ‘freshers day’ for the town and I hope it will become a regular event.

The town guide is due out shortly so keep a look out for it. This one is packed with events so it should be an exciting year!

Mark Cargill

Mayor of Alcester