September 2014

Last Saturday I attended an afternoon tea hosted by the Mayor of Leamington Spa prior to this we all went on a historic walk of the old town. This was very interesting but it only confirmed my opinion that it is basically a new town compared to Alcester.

It is the Alcester Mayors civic service on Sunday and I would like to take this opportunity to invite all residents to the service and refreshments in the town hall afterwards.

Best regards
Cllr Yvonne Hine
Mayor of Alcester

church

Our Alcester

What a lovely day Saturday was and the rest of the week is looking good.
Alcester Town council launched its roadshow at the fun day and garden show.
We now look forward to meeting people in their neighbourhoods please drop by and fill in our short questionaire it will only take a couple of minutes but could influence the future of our town greatly.

Yvonne Hine, Mayor of Alcester

DSC_4751DSC_4750

August 2014

I spent a lovely Saturday morning at the Jubilee centre handling snakes and other assorted animals. Thank you to Councillor Yvette Morrison for organizing this event, even though I did not think it would involve the mayor having a three stone Boa constrictor draped around her neck.It is great to see the Jubilee centre being used for events like this one.

Mayor boaThank you to Cllr Yvette Morrison for the picture

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer breaks it has been quite a quiet month for me other than our services of commemoration that were so well attended, I found the candle light vigil very moving.

3 aug serviceThank you to David Malin for the picture

Look out for the Alcester Town Council Newsletter delivered to your door next month.

Cllr Yvonne Hine

Mayor of Alcester

July 2014

Last week I attended Alcester Academy’s awards evening thank you to the pupils and staff for inviting me to this special occasion. I would like to wish all school leavers best wishes for the future.
We have had yet another eventful weekend our first Roman festival, which was fantastic, and also the Alcester Christmas Lights Annual Duck Race, which is always popular. Thankfully the weather was kind to us again to encourage plenty of visitors to our wonderful town.

Yvonne and  Lawrence T
The town council is working very hard on the neighborhood plan. We will be going out into the community asking for your views on how you see Alcester evolving in the future. Please come and talk to us because your opinion does count.

Best wishes

Cllr Yvonne Hine

Mayor of Alcester

June 2014

Mayors Blog
I was very upset to hear about the recent acts of vandalism in Alcester.
The damage to the hanging baskets particularly saddened me.
These baskets are sponsored by people in memory of their loved ones and as such should be treated with respect.
On a lighter note I hope you all had a lovely time at the Street market.
It was good to see so many people enjoying themselves and the weather was kind too.
This week I am attending the afternoon tea party at The Cherry Trees, a civic service for the mayor of Warwick on Sunday and hopefully will be back in time to attend another afternoon tea being held by Alcester branch of the British legion.

May 2014

My first Mayoral blog
Such a lot has happened in Alcester since the 6th of May that I do not know where to begin.
I have had the pleasure of judging apple pies at the food festival (this task must be as difficult as judging baby competitions), judging prams at the pram race and yesterday I presented the football club awards. We should be very proud of the ATFC oganisation as they do such a lot for the youth of Alcester.
Obviously as a Town Council this is a busy time, the Clerk and Councillors are busy with the Alcester Neighbourhood plan, attending parish council meetings and showing how necessary it is to have this plan in place. Please do attend any presentations we hold as resident’s and business’s input is vital to the success of this document.
Thank you to all the kind wishes I have received since becoming Mayor.
Yvonne Hine.

2 May 2014

Mayor’s blog 40

This is my final blog of my Mayoral year. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it.
One of the many things I love about our town is the community spirit. I was told a lovely story yesterday about a pensioner who was in Waitrose who accidentally dropped a £10 note. The staff recognised the person, put the money into an envelope with the details on it and then informed the pensioner’s granddaughter who returned the money. That takes local knowledge and is what defines Alcester to me. Long may it last.
We are rapidly approaching the end of the civic year. On the 6th May there will be the annual council meeting at Globe House where the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor are sworn in. If you can make it please do come.
Coming up on May 22nd are the local district council elections, on the 13th of May a senior fire office will attending the Full Council meeting and if anyone has any questions the Fire Service are holding a roadshow on Saturday the 17th in Bull Head Yard car park. Please put those in your diaries as well.
I will mention at my final council meeting as Mayor how we, as a council, work so well together. I am sure it could be improved upon but reality is that in comparison to many other councils we do work very efficiently. This is due to an apolitical stance adopted many years ago and carried on today. This spirit of putting the community first has paid dividends over the years.
I am now aware that the draft Core Strategy is being presented to SDC cabinet for approval. This is a highly contentious document as it means, for one community at least, significant building will occur. The good news for Alcester is that we are not in that frame. Yes, of course, we will have our developments and those will be contentious enough, but we are being spared the large scale developments proposed for Gaydon and Wellesbourne. Although I am not yet fully convinced of the overall national figures, it is a fact that we need more housing in the UK. A growing number of households are single occupancy and this inevitably means more building is needed to keep up with demand. We also have an ageing population and suitable accommodation is needed for them as well. This is a sign of changing times and we have to adapt to it like it or not.
Finally, thank you very much for your support over the past year. Kathryn, Lyndsey and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time. I feel proud to have represented our town this year and have learnt a tremendous amount about our town in the process. I wish the incoming Mayor all the best for the coming year.

Mark Cargill, Mayor of Alcester

 

28 April 2014

Mayors Blog 39

I hope you all had a lovely Easter. In general the weather was kind which makes all the difference. Congratulations to Adrian for an uplifting church service on Sunday.

I am really interested in what makes people passionate about things in and around Alcester. Is it the long running debate on the integration of Kinwarton into Alcester for example? Or planning applications and how it will affect the character of our town? Or how we can fund local organisations so that they remain working for the town’s people? So many things. But the one that comes out on top is grass cutting. This is a very emotive subject and I can see why. We are proud of our town and want to see it looking lovely. Uncut grass is unsightly and it looks a mess. But who cuts the grass? There are three players here. 1) Warwickshire County Council, 2) Stratford District Council and 3) Alcester Town Council. But who cuts what? The glib response is to go and have a look. If the grass is short then it will be ATC grass. If it is longer then it is SDC grass and if it is very long then it is probably WCC grass. Why is this? WCC maintain the road verges and islands. They only cut their grass three times a year and only up to one metre from the road, unless it is long enough to potentially cause an accident. SDC cut their grass at least 6 times a year to a height of 150 mm (6″). ATC cut up to 7-8 times a year but will cut the grass lower. We also cut for other special reasons such as Britain in Bloom. So why am I mentioning this? I had an anonymous call the other day about the state of the grass on the Roebuck traffic island, and yes it is long and very unsightly. We want to maintain a lovely approach into the town but are not responsible for the grass cutting and do not have the budget for it. We do have a dilemma. However all residents can complain to WCC and should do so if they feel the grass is too long. Go to http://www.stratford.gov.uk/community/grass-verge-cutting.cfm for details.

The Heart of England Town Criers competition was held again in Alcester last weekend. This is a hard fought competition and in the end it was very close. For the first time there was a three way tie for third place. After a cry off, two still remained tied for the place. This is a lovely competition but not, as I first thought, typically British. There are town criers all over Europe. This is logical because in the old days the way to disseminate news was to send to each town written proclamations where the literate town crier cried the news to the largely illiterate populace.

Warwickshire Fire Service Consultation. Alcester Town Council are working with WCC to try to arrange a public meeting, but have in the meantime arranged for a senior fire Officer to come to the Full Council meeting on the 13th May where Councillors will be allowed to ask questions and from those make an informed response on behalf of the Town. Please keep a look out for more details very shortly.

The Greig Hall. There have been some comments made on social media about the reopening of the hall. Please appreciate that there is a process we must go through and there is no quick fix, in spite of what may have been said. I am as eager as anyone to see the hall open but it is one step at a time.

Mark Cargill, Mayor of Alcester

17 April 2014

Mayors Blog 38

As part of the ‘job’ as Mayor you get invited to many events around the region. You may say “very nice” but there is a down side. It is a very busy and stressful position, the more so for the larger authorities. At a dinner I was attending, the Chairman of Warwick District Council, Richard Davies, collapsed with a heart attack. He was attended by two mayors, each of whom had CPR training and his wife was comforted by two more Mayors. They were in good hands. We wish Richard a full and speedy recovery and Erica, his wife, all our best wishes.

I feel like adding a standing section in this blog on the issues that affect us most at the moment. Lack of reportable progress can be frustrating but please rest assured that a great deal is going on behind the scenes.

Globe House. Some excellent news here. Agreement has been reached between all parties to retain Globe House as a cultural hub for the community of Alcester. The plan is that the Library will take over the ground floor in its entirety, amalgamating with the museum. There will be bookable meeting rooms, breakout or exhibition areas as well. This looks like it will become a lively centre for our town. ATC will have an office here as will the voluntary services. All in all this protects Globe House for future generations and should be applauded. Final plans are to be made on May the 9th with the scheme going to WCC cabinet at the end of May.

Greig Hall. The news is that things are moving in the right direction and we are now contacting the Greig Hall Action Committee and a mailing list of interested parties is being compiled so please pass on any names of people you feel may wish to help. SDC are working behind the scenes and are in negotiations with the trustees and the bank.

Fire Service Review. I hope that everyone has now completed the online survey on the future of the Fire service. We are in discussions with the relevant people and will have some more news on meetings soon particularly a public forum where residents of Alcester will be able to ask questions of a senior Fire officer. ATC has a comment sheet for Alcester residents to submit their questions/comments, which will be presented to WCC at the appropriate time.

ATC Comment Form

This weekend is of course the first in a series of Town Criers competitions to be held in Malt Mill Lane. I cannot think of a nicer location for such an event. The forecast is good so please come along. I will be there judging so do please have a chat.

Mark Cargill

Mayor of Alcester

11 April 2014

Mayors Blog 37

 

Last week was the town’s Annual Parish Meeting where we received an update report from the town’s charities. Following on was Full Council when we met to discuss the events of the past month and make plans for the coming period. This is a statutory meeting that councillors are summed to attend. At the meeting, each committee chairman makes their report and proposals are made to full council.  Prior to the meeting starting we receive reports from the District and County Councillors. Members of the public are also able at this time to raise issues with the council and make suggestions for the coming period. All are invited to attend and see how your town is being run.

 

This week we were invited to Solihull School for a visit. This is an ancient school over 500 years old and right in the middle of Solihull. It is spread over 55 acres and is an excellent centre of learning being in the top 100 schools in the country. However Alcester Grammar School is still way ahead. AGS is now well in the top ten of its type in the country.

 

ATC are, with Cllr Steve Payne, organising speed awareness training with the intention of reducing speeding in the town. Expect to see yellow jackets around the town with a speed gun. I am sure we all wish to see less speeding and this, along with the current speed calming measures and the coming 20 mph speed limits, will really help.

 

The Greig Hall. As has been mentioned recently on online social media sites, we are still awaiting news as the Greig Company wind up both their Business and Charity interests before Stratford District Council take over and we can progress out interest in the Greig Hall. There are no specific dates as yet and the process to make a smooth transition is complex. However it has started. We are hopeful that we will soon have access to assess the condition of the hall before we can open it. Naturally there will be some repairs, replacement of equipment and accessibility work, but these are minor in the grand scheme. SDC will operate the leisure centre through their leisure company SLM and ATC will hopefully operate the hall with community support – which is what we all want. We just need patience, something I admit lacking on this subject. When we get the green light then we will need volunteers. If you wish to volunteer you can get in contact via the town council website “Contact us” page www.alcester-tc.gov.uk/contact-us  or email direct to info@alcester-tc.gov.uk.

 

Alcester Fire Station. There is a public consultation running for the next 12 weeks on the future of the Warwickshire Fire Service. This consultation is available on the WCC website and I recommend that you have a look at it. The fire service state they need to cut £2.4 million over the next 4 years as part of the £92 million WCC are aiming to save over a similar period. I am sure we all appreciate savings need to be made but the debate is over what cuts and where. It is proposed that Alcester goes from a 24/7 manned station to just 12 hours a day, 10 am to 10 pm. I would appreciate your views on this issue as I personally am in favour of retaining the fully manned station for the benefit of the town and surrounding villages. Alcester is, as we know, at the edge of the county. If Alcester fire station goes part time then the nearest fully manned station, I understand, will be Stratford, but I am aware but they have a large area to cover.

It is time to make our voices heard.

Please paste this link into your browser for the survey.

http://askwarks.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/public-consultation-respnse-model-final2-5.ppsx

Mark Cargill

Mayor of Alcester