Weekly message from the Mayor 21.5.20
TO THE DOWNHAM MARKET COMMUNITY
It seems impossible that another Bank Holiday weekend has come round, amidst this strange time, but here we are with another weekly bulletin.
Tuesday night was a first for the Town Council as we held the first Zoom full council meeting and it worked well. We have all had to get used to new forms of technology and seems a good way forward. We will become more and more proficient with the idea as we do more, but it was a good start. We will have a copy of the meeting available on the website and going forward we are looking at ways of live streaming to become more inclusive.
At the meeting it was agreed that in line with the new Govt legislation that Councils do not have to hold an annual meeting that all current appointments will continue until the next annual meeting of the authority. “This provides in the absence of an annual meeting, continuity of membership.” Therefore, all the membership of the committees will remain the same and I will continue to be Mayor and Cllr Jenny Groom Deputy Mayor. It was felt that this was the right decision just now and we can all look forward to next year.
The Town Council is trying to obtain some grant funding from BCKLWN and NCC. Money has been handed down from Govt to the District Councils and it is felt that some of this should cascade to the lower tier of local Government which is Town and Parish Councils. Downham Market Town Council are also wanting a share of the Govt money that has been allocated for cycle and walkways. This was extra funding that has been allocated because of the Covid crisis to encourage people to walk and cycle to work. We will continue to try and obtain a fair share for Downham Market!
It was also agreed at the Full Council Meeting that emergency electrical work needs to be undertaken in the Town Hall. The work is vital, and we will get it underway as a matter of urgency. As the Town Hall is not open this will be an ideal opportunity to get the Town Hall refreshed and decorated ready for when we are allowed to start bookings again.
Council discussed funding and the financial implications of the crisis, and it is going to look at ways of saving money. It may be that the grant pot for 2020/21 has to be re looked at. We will also need to look at future events for 2020. The Christmas lights event may have to be very different and all these things will need to be reviewed in the near future, as planning for these events will need to start soon.
The Town Council along with its trusty volunteers are still busy making masks and scrubs. This is a fantastic operation and one that we can all be proud of. The Town Council working with the community, who have shown such adaptability, skill and fortitude as they continue to make masks at a stupendous rate. My thanks goes to all those involved in these enterprises and be assured the community has really appreciated this.
So as we head for this weekend, I hope you are all able to enjoy it and make the most of being outside, but please remember to stay alert and practise strict social distancing as we can not afford to become complacent. Just remember that we will get through this and look back on these times as a distant memory, until then stay safe.
Mayor of Downham Market