Report on Town Council’s activities for year ended 31 March 2016
The following is an extract from the verbal report given by the Town Mayor, Councillor W Morrison at the Annual Towns Meeting on 25 April 2016 on the Town Council’s activities for the year ended 31 March 2016.
I am happy to report on a number of activities undertaken by the Town Council during my term of office.
Most of our recreation grounds continue to be well used by local people. Unfortunately, we continue to have problems with play equipment vandalism, fly tipping and dog fouling on some recreation grounds, but the Town Council are continuing to work to try to improve the situation. We have begun an improvement programme for the recreation grounds, so you will see more changes continuing over the next year.
Jubilee Park has not been home to any football teams again this year, but the Town Council are hopeful that this is due to change- it will be great to see this valuable resource being used for its intended purpose again, and I am sure there will be plenty of local match day support for any future teams making it their base.
The Skate Park continues to be very popular, and also provided a community focus point for gatherings of the many local young people affected by the sad loss of two young brothers who spent much of their time there.
The Abbey Fields Allotments continue to be successfully cultivated by local residents, and we look forward to an allotment holders’ show of produce this year.
Grants totalling around £13,000 were approved and distributed to various organisations in the area. I was lucky enough to be able to attend many groups’ meetings or functions to present the grant cheques from the Town Council and learn more about the valuable work these organisations do for our community.
Hatfield Band continues to be sponsored by the Town Council and has had another successful year, again qualifying for the National Brass Band Championships in September 2016. They have also put on various local concerts and again played for us at the Council’s Remembrance service. I look forward to hearing about their future successes.
Hatfield Community Library is continuing to run successfully and offer a wide programme of activities and learning opportunities for the local community. I would urge you to please keep supporting this valuable resource to the community and look out for the adverts for their programme of classes. Volunteers to help run the Library are always welcome.
The 2015/16 precept was set at £166178. In addition, the Town Council received a new council tax support grant from Doncaster MBC amounting to £21827. The two figures added together make £188005, which was an increase of £828 over the previous year’s precept. This equated to an increase of less than 0.09p a week for the average council tax payer. The 20
The Town Council were this time involved in elections- as we were all up for re-election for a 6 year term from May 2015. 7 of the existing Councillors were re-elected, and we had a further 5 elected, and 2 then co-opted in June to fill the vacant roles. This new Town Council is working well together, and has just produced its first Action Plan setting out its intended projects until 2021. This document will be revised annually, and I am hopeful it will lead to many improvements to benefit the whole community.
Sadly during my time as Mayor, we have seen the closure of Hatfield Main Colliery, and the impact of this has been felt throughout our community.
Another issue which has remained a topic of discussion has been the changes to our local bus services. The Town Council has continued to put forward residents’ views, and work with our local DMBC Councillors. As a result, some small changes have been made to the original changed services. The Town Council will continue to monitor this and push for action as necessary.
Public Footpath Hatfield 13, “Spider Alley”, is now back open for use by the public following several years of legal work by DMBC Rights of Way Team and the Town Council have been actively involved from the start too.
Land off Doncaster Road – the DMBC Planning Committee has again refused the application to build up to 400 houses on the land near Lings Lane, Hatfield. The Town Council has submitted
objections and made representations at Planning Committee meetings regarding this.
Town Twinning – As part of my Mayoral role, I have been a member of the Hatfield and Merksplas Twinning Association for the year. During the previous year, we have been lucky enough to be visited again twice by Merksplas representatives, and members of the Twinning Committee were invited over to Merksplas for their annual remembrance event . The artist who produced the stained glass artwork commemorating Corporal Harper VC to the people of Hatfield has now visited and viewed it in it’s new home at Hatfield Church.
I would like to thank the Town Council’s staff for their hard work and support during my Mayoral year, and I look forward to the changes our new Action Plan will bring.
Councillor Bill Morrison
Town Mayor 2015-16