Page 31 - Phonebox Magazine December 2016
P. 31

a further £60m by 2020. In view of this it proposes to cut the previously agreed grant for Devolved Landscape Service for the next  nancial year by a third. Peter Geary questioned what incentive is there for local councils to accept devolved services if this is the way they are treated. Liam Costello said that some council were proposing to raise the precept to cover the funding gap but Peter said The Council Taxpayer was already paying for the service and should not have to pay again through the precept. What would MKC do if a parish refused to fund the work, he wondered. Would it just not get done?
BT removal of public payphones
BT has informed MKC of its intention to remove 65 public payphones including all three in Olney, none of which are contained in the traditional red ‘heritage’ kiosks. The letter states that payphone use has declined by over 90% in the last decade and with 98% of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage the use will continue to diminish. The phones in Olney which will be removed are:
• Market Place – 101 calls in the year to 19/09/2016
• Outside Amaya Dartmouth Road – 58 calls in the year to 19/09/2016
• Junction of Dagnall/Weston Road – 0 calls in the year to 19/09/2016
The council decided to raise no objections to the proposal, but Peter Geary said there should be a proviso that all the kiosks must be removed and the area made good, rather than just leaving them without being maintained.
Barn eld
As reported last month Barn eld is being considered for Local Wildlife Site status. Tony Evans reported that in order to promote the growth of wild  owers the long grass had been cut and removed and thanked groundsman John Nichols for his hard work.
Olney IndieGo Collective Festival
Local musician Ian Roberts has contacted the council seeking support for the IndieGo Collective, which is a charity set up to help fund children’s music and drama lessons in Olney and the surrounding area. The plan is to have a weekend of fundraising, starting on Friday 21st July with art exhibitions, poetry reading and artistic workshops in the town, with comedy and acoustic music in many of the bars and restaurants. On Saturday
22nd July there would be a concert on a  eld of the recreation ground with a main outside stage and an acoustic stage inside a marquee featuring some ‘household names’. The event would relocate to the Market Place on Sunday 23rd for similar entertainment.
There was some concern that the event might be over ambitious and the recreation ground would not be suitable for such an event, particular as there is an existing parking problem in the area and it would probably bring in people from outside town. Steve Clark wondered if it might be more suited to Emberton Park where parking and camping is available.
Steps near Co-op and Oxfam
MKC have investigated the somewhat vague ownership of the steps, which are in a bad condition, and concluded that they belong to the Co-op. They have written to the Co-op informing them of this decision and instructing them to carry out the necessary repairs.
Public Art in Olney
Members of OTC have had a meeting with the Public Art Of cer for MKC, who was described as ‘very enthusiastic’. Steve Clark pointed out that every Section 106 ‘planning gain’ grant contains an element of funding intended for public art, none of which had ever been spent in Olney. Tony Evans noted that the state of wicker pancake figures continues to decline and reminded members that they had discussed having them remade in metal.
Odds and Sods
OTC has agreed to fund the provision of one member of staff for the library for a further year at eight hours per week.
The  ve gang grass mower has reached its end of life and will be used for spares for the three gang mower. A new Trimax mower will be purchased for £15.5k which will be cheaper to service.
A chain of beacons is to be lit across the country on 11th November 2018 to mark the end of the First World War. OTC plan to light the beacon on Barn eld as part of this act of remembrance.
Des Eley passed on his thanks to TOG who organised the recent  reworks display, saying that he thought it was the best yet. Sally Pezaro, who is also a member of TOG reported that once again the recreation ground toilets backed up and became blocked and the gentlemen’s toilet light was not working. Tony Evans admitted that the toilets are ‘an embarrassment’.
Steve Clark noted that the recently published Olney guide contained many errors and requested that assistance be given with the proof reading when the next edition is submitted for approval. The guide is published by a private company called Local Authority publishing and not OTC.
The next meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Monday 5th December in the Council Chamber in the Olney Centre. Members of the public are always welcome to attend and, if they wish, speak at the start of the meeting, or at any point that the mayor decides is appropriate.
December 2016 | Phonebox Magazine 31

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