APRIL 2011

LOCAL COUNCIL NEWS

 

SHOPS IN OUR HIGH STREETS

The problem of loosing our retails shops in local centres to charity shops, betting offices, estate agents, banks and fast food is causing some concern.  It is not that these uses are not needed, they are part of the High Street service, it is the number of them making our main streets uninteresting to tourists and local residents alike.

There are policies is some areas which restrict the number of retail units which can taken over by A2 or A3 users.

Holywell Council is one of the many councils concerned.

The Association has agreed to support a change in the LDP for Holywell to try and stop the situation getting any worse.

 

LOCAL AUTHORITY PENSION SCHEME

The local authority pension scheme has been branded by Association members as ‘unaffordable and unsustainable’ and something has to be done to change the situation.

A full presentation was given to the Association at its April meeting on how the funds work and what the current and future outlook for local authority pension funding is about.

The Association is unhappy about lump sum charges for poor performance in the past and the effect on balance sheets.

A further debate is to take place later in the year when the consultation on local government pensions is to take place nationally.

 

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS

The local councils in Mid and North Wales are actively moving forward in taking part in the putting together of local development plans which will set the framework for many activities within each area, the most important of which is planning and development.

 

THE ISSUE OF MESS IN OUR TOWNS

The issue of littering, dog mess and antisocial behaviour is of great concern to all member councils.  A full debate is to be held at their next meeting on a way forward to try and combat this problem which has to be addressed.

 

ALCOHOL LICENSING

The Association has supported the idea that all local councils should be statutory consultees on licensing hours and extending licenses for outlets such as supermarkets.

 

CO-OPTION V ELECTION

Some member councils are finding difficulty in getting their councils to go for election instead of co-option. Elections can be expensive and this is often the reason given for co-option. The Association agreed that where at all possible elections should take pace and that co-option should be a final not first resort.

 

WORKING WITH ONE VOICE WALES

The Association has made its position very clear to the WAG and to One Voice Wales.  The Association is to remain a separate body representing the larger town and community councils in Mid and North Wales.  The Association is willing to look at a working relationship with One Voice Wales and is hopeful that this can be achieved.

COURTS IN NORTH WALES

The closure of magistrates courts in North Wales has been causing some concern and the Association has written to the authorities to try and keep open as many local courts as is possible.

MAKING CONTACT

The minutes and newsletter is to be circulated to all MP’s, AM’s, newspapers and other interested parties following each meeting of the Association.