ANYONE who has witnessed the shambolic proceedings at the Epworth Town Council meetings in November and December must surely be asking themselves what we as residents have done to deserve some of the present incumbents attempts at representing our interests.
I realise that it is the pantomime season but these people do not at times even understand the rules of debate when discussing important issues which have a long lasting effect on the town.
We had one councillor who stated that as an elected representative he did not feel he needed to consult the electorate on such an important issue as the Kings Head Croft.
This despite the fact that the guide on how to become a good councillor says that you should do just that.
The same councillor threw the meeting into chaos by leaping in with a proposal before the agenda item had even been discussed leading to a situation where no one seemed to know whether the council could even reach a decision on the matter.
This was not the only example of debate descending into chaos, to the point where it was clear some members were totally confused as to what was going on.
When the purchase of additional cemetery land came up for discussion (see page 3) some members stated, quite incorrectly that they could only get one valuation of the land because the other person they had approached said he was not qualified to offer advice on the suitability of the land.
This is complete nonsense because the company they did use could not do so either.
Whilst I do not dispute that more land will be needed in 30 years time I have to ask whether my council tax is being spent wisely in this instance.
Fifty thousand pounds for two acres of what is presently agricultural land?
Would anyone thinking of buying a house be prepared to pay three times the value without carrying out any kind of survey just because the house might not be available in a few years time?
That is exactly what the council is doing.
One laughable agenda item up for discussion was ‘Council Efficiency’. Not surprisingly there were councillors who didn’t even know the stage this ongoing fiasco had reached.
Irrespective of which side of the fence you are on regarding the contentious issues of the Kings Head Croft and cemetery land purchase one thing is abundantly clear.
The best way for the town council to improve efficiency would be to scrap all the committees and working groups and simply deal with all issues at full council level, even if that means meeting twice a month.
That way each councillor would know what their commitments were and the clerk would only have two meetings to prepare paperwork for.
This would of course require strong leadership from the chair to ensure the efficient running of the meeting.
Had the two matters mentioned been dealt with out in the open instead of being slipped through at committee level no one could have complained at the lack of consultation.
After all, you cannot see what is going on with these committees because agendas and minutes do not appear on the website and no advance publicity is given in the Echo.
That is delivered to every door and the council could have raised the KHC issue in the spring edition of the Echo so that everyone knew what was happening.
DAVID and I would like to thank everyone who attended the public meeting called by the Epworth Bells regarding the continuing car parking issues.
It was nice to see so many people attend and have their say.
A full and frank discussion was held and it was a very constructive meeting.
Without your input, it would have been unfair to continue the process.
There was overwhelming support for the proposals which would give approximately an extra 50 spaces including extra on street parking.
A consultation letter will be sent out to everybody.
To accompany the proposed works, many people have been in touch about further environment works.
This will all be done at the same time, however existing trees will be protected.
Hopefully, by working together will residents and businesses we can work towards a stronger, more vibrant, unique market town.
Councillor Liz Redfern and Councillor David Robinson.
MAY I through your columns thank everyone who worked so hard at the Christmas Market held by St Andrew’s on Friday December 2?
After last year’s bad weather the attendance was up and there was a steady number throughout the day culminating in the final surge at about 6pm.
At the time of writing the total amount raised stands at around £3,800, a remarkable result over £400 up on last year.
It will go towards the internal reordering of St Andrew’s church assuming (of course) that we are given the necessary legal permission.
As well as thanking all who supported us on the day and those who worked so hard making cakes and running the stalls, I would like to pay tribute to the members of St Andrew’s Restoration Committee for their tireless efforts over many years to ensure that Epworth has a church which can serve the parish effectively in today’s world.
In this they have faced many frustrations but I very much hope that their persistence will eventually bear fruit.
The Reverend Ian Walker
(Priest-in-charge St Andrew’s Epworth)