Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.
The Chairman advised the meeting that one question/ statement had been submitted under the Public Participation Scheme, inviting Mrs Julie Taylor, of Market Rasen to address the Committee, who in turn made the following statement : -
“Thank you for this opportunity to encourage your support for consideration of Market Rasen in your deliberations tonight.
I am a member of Market Rasen Community Partnership Group. I have lived in Market Rasen for 45 years and worked in education in the town for 38 years. However, I have played little part in the overall community endeavors until March 2020. As a trustee of the Eleemosynary Charity, I was invited to join the Community Partnership. This partnership is comprised of representatives of numerous community groups that previously operated independently. However, the pressing needs facing the community from 2020 drew together these groups, including Churches, Rotary, Lions, Town councilors, local businesses, charities and willing volunteers, many of whom were involved in community activities for the first time.
Since March 2020, the Partnership has driven forward a vital service providing food boxes, meals, shopping, prescription collection, mass community occasion boxed “picnics” at Easter, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas, and emotional support through a telephone contact line. In addition, the Partnership worked to raise the mood of the town and encourage local people to use the shops in the town, by organizing, financing and deploying Christmas lighting throughout the town.
We are all desperate to see the end of this current crisis, but one consequence of this past year has shown the strength of the combined energy, commitment and initiative of the community of Market Rasen. We see our work over the coming years to include the development of the economic fortunes of the town, encouraging and supporting independent traders and developing diversification by utilizing appropriate areas for small workshops and outlets. We are also committed to the protection, development and promotion of the natural environment and the heritage of the historic buildings of the town. We believe that by the provision of publicized walks and cycle tracks in this small market town close to the Lincolnshire Wolds we can build a better economic and environmental future for the town.
I would ask you to support us in this exciting future.”
The Chairman thanked Mrs Taylor for her submission and invited Vice-Chairman of the Committee and Local Ward Member for Market Rasen, Councillor John McNeill, to respond.
“Thank you for your question. You will receive a written copy of this response following the meeting.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has raised many challenges for all of us, whether in the form of economic hardship, directly or indirectly impacting our health, including our mental health, by restricting our activities or keeping us from our friends and families. These are difficult time for us all.
I am grateful for your inspiring narrative; volunteering and taking on additional responsibilities is a really great way for members of our communities to help make a difference during these difficult times. I applaud those in the Market Rasen community, such as the Churches, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, members of the Town Council, local businesses, and charities as well as other individuals, who came together to tackle the pressing needs of their community. I know that the Council has awarded several grants to support the work of the Market Rasen Community Partnership Group, indeed, I believe, another application is currently being assessed for circa £5,000 – which I fully support.
Among the many activities the group has undertaken, I was pleased to support the Christmas Lights’ initiative along with my fellow ward members, Cllr Stephen Bunney and Cllr Mrs Cordelia McCartney, from our Councillor Initiative Funds.
On our agenda tonight is a report amending the terms of and extending the allocation of a £200,000 capital grant to Market Rasen. In 2017, when I first approached our former Commercial Director, Mrs Eve Fawcett-Moralee, I was keen that the many growth projects the Council were undertaking were not limited to the western side of the A15. From these discussions the idea of a capital grant to help the town spearhead growth projects was brought to fruition in 2018 by this and the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee. I therefore hope that members will support the change to this grant later in this meeting, to allow heritage-led regeneration projects to be enabled in Market Rasen, in a similar way to our Gainsborough Heritage-led Regeneration Projects.
I am also pleased to confirm that at yesterday’s Council meeting a motion, proposed by Cllr Mrs Anne Welburn, regarding the ‘Slow Ways’ initiative, was agreed; this is an exciting project to map and promote walking routes nationally. West Lindsey District Council is now committed to promoting this initiative to all those who live, work, or visit our district.
I am also able to confirm that this council is already taking forward work to review Market Rasen’s Conservation Areas, which should be going out for consultation in the spring. This work will support the Heritage-led approach for the grant already mentioned.
I am confident that I speak for us all when I say that we very much support the work of community groups and individuals, like yourself, who give of their own time, talents, and resources to make a difference in their local communities. I hope that your endeavours over the coming years are fruitful and West Lindsey District Council will be ready and willing to support you where we are able to do so.
I hope that the response I have provided is helpful. You may wish to stay for the rest of this meeting, but if not, thank you for your question.”
The Chairman again re-iterated that the verbal response given would be provided in writing.
Mrs Taylor thanked the Committee, confirmed that she had no supplementary question and indicated that she would leave the meeting at that point.