Please vote for Wirksworth charities here!!

Please vote for Wirksworth charities here!!

Three brilliant Wirksworth charities would like your support to help in their bids for funding from Aviva Community Fund.

There is a short registration, & then you can vote for your favourite project.

 

Each email address gets an allowance of 10 votes, so choose wisely:

Click on the following links to support our Wirksworth projects – we need all the help we can get, as we are up against nationwide competition.

Please ask your friends and family to vote too!

Click here for the Wellspring Annexe

Click here for the Wirksworth Swimming Pool – essential repairs

Click here for A new station for Wirksworth

 

Many thanks!

 

Wirksworth Tarmac Liaison Group

Wirksworth Tarmac Liaison Group

Following the successful drop in event, Wirksworth Tarmac Liaison Group have submitted the following to the Town Council and District Council

WIRKSWORTH TOWN COUNCIL
Submission to Derbyshire Dales District Council
The Middleton Road Planning Application Submission by Tarmac
Planning Reference: 18/00741/OUT

INTRODUCTION
This is a very important development for the town which will alter the community we represent. We are determined that if the development proceeds the it should be the best possible development and should bring as much benefit as possible to our town and its people.
The Town Council recognises that this is an outline planning application as such the applicant is asking for determination of
• the area to be developed for residential use and a for employment use, as illustrated by the parameters plan.
• the principle that the site will provide up to 151 dwellings, 4,291 sq. m of mixed employment space ( B1, B2 & B8)
• the access points into the site on Middleton Road and Cromford Road
In preparing this response the Town Council has been supported by an Advisory Group comprising of representatives of the Town Council, the Neighbourhood Plan group, the Civic Society and local residents. This group has appointed an independent chair, Jonathan Jenkin who is a planning consultant.
This group subsequently organised consultation with the people of Wirksworth inviting their comments and concerns about the proposals. A ‘Drop In’ event was held on Saturday 1st September. This was attended by about 100 people 92 of whom made written submissions. Some other submissions were made electronically. The submissions are available and a chart giving a summary of the concerns expressed is enclosed. These comments and concerns have informed this submission by the Town Council.
Our submission is to
• Respectfully recommend two conditions to be attached to any permission granted.
• List our further concerns about the development for consideration by the District Council

RECOMMENDED CONDITION 1
Affordable Housing Requirements must be adhered to and community benefits should be provided
The applicant claims that the remediation costs of the site are such that it is not feasible to provide affordable housing. We appreciate that is part of the Planning Authority’s responsibility to test this claim.
The lack of affordable homes is a major concern to the Town Council, this was reflected in the concerns of local people. 61 of the 92 people making representations complained that this was not included.
We would point out that it is contrary to the policies of the District council to provide no affordable housing. If none is to be provided because of viability, this permission could be refused and other more viable sites be used to provide the housing required in the District.
We stress that some affordable housing should be provided even if it is less than the usual 30%. If this is deemed to be impossible then at the very least a parcel of clean land should be made available for affordable housing to Wirksworth Transition Community Land Trust. The Trust constituted and working to provide zero carbon affordable homes for local people.
We would also insist that some community benefits should be forthcoming from the development and made conditions of any permission granted. These should include funding for leisure in the town, particularly a contribution towards the rebuilding of the skate park.
It is understood that conditions can be introduced to any permission that the viability study should be revised and reviewed at intervals during the development of the site. It is impossible to know what changes will occur in, for example, the housing market which could impact on the ongoing viability of the site. A ‘revision clause’ would be a safeguard.

RECOMMENDED CONDITION 2
The development should pay close regard to the Wirksworth Neighbourhood plan
The Wirksworth Neighbourhood Plan was instigated and approved by the Town Council. It was approved by a large majority in a town referendum in 2015 and subsequently adopted by the District Council. The Plan is therefore material in planning terms and should form the main plank of the response to this application.
Neighbourhood Plan Design
The neighbourhood plan anticipated development of this site. It offers clear guidance on the development of this site, in particular the plan includes a Concept Statement .
This should be used to inform the detailed design of layout and in the development of design of the units. The indicative plans submitted with the application do not follow this design statement. This plan, showing layout and house design is not acceptable for the site.

This point has been made clearly by the Civic Society who point out the danger of implying any acceptance of this indicative layout. The eventual layout must be the subject of a further application.

The plan also sets out aspirations for good pedestrian and cycling routes. We would urge that routes for public services such as buses should also be considered and shown in future detail applications

Plan Principles
The Plan also set principles to be used on any development which are relevant to this site.
It is most important that four of the principles in the Neighbourhood plan should be included as conditions in any permission granted. This will set the parameters for the development’s future design and marketing.
The neighbourhood plan sets out:-
• Space standards for dwellings
• That the development should meet ‘Building for life’ standards. It should score more than 12? on this measure
• Allowing only primary residences – writing into planning permissions that none of the homes provided should be second homes or holiday lets.
• Reducing carbon foot print of homes –requiring that homes provided reach a higher standard in terms of energy efficiency than is required by building regulations.
The use and implementation of the Neighbourhood Plan will address many of the concerns held by the people of the town.

FURTHER ISSUES AND CONCERNS

DEVELOPMENT OF MIDDLE PEAK QUARRY
DDDC Local Plan includes development of 650 homes on the large quarry site neighbouring this development. We appreciate that this application has to be judged on its merits but would urge that it is seen in the context of the larger possible development of Middle Peak. This would impact on the transport and highways issues.

TRAFFIC and HIGHWAYS
The plans include for the provision of three new access points, two on Cromford Road, one on Middleton Road. The Town Council understands that officers in the Highways department at the County Council will make comment on the proposed layout and positioning of these. We will not comment in detail on these but would bullet point our concerns andthose made to us for consideration.
• The increase in traffic resulting from this development is a concern to many. The impact of more traffic in the narrow streets of the town centre is particularly concerning.
• “Rush Hour” from 8.30 to 9.30 and 3.30 to 5 already creates high levels of congestion in the town – we would like to see some clear estimation of traffic with the extra 150 houses
• Air pollution levels are a concern, as they are already high.

Town Centre and Parking
The development is likely to increase the demand for short term parking in the town centre which is already in short supply.
• The Town Council is working on plans to improve parking provision in the town and would ask the District Council to give this some priority if this permission is granted.

Cromford Road
This is a major route into and out of the town. The footpath on the eastern side of the road is very narrow at about only 600mm. The proposals include a pedestrian crossing at this narrow point. While this could help move pedestrians onto the wider footpath on the western side of the road it will take pedestrians on to this dangerous narrow stretch.

Currently the speed limit is 30mph but this is frequently exceeded due to the width of the carriageway. Existing pavements are inadequate particularly on the eastern side of Cromford Road where it is only about 600mm wide. This is dangerous and unsafe for pedestrians particularly children.
The plans show that ultimately there will be eight vehicle accesses onto Cromford Road between Middleton Road junction and the railway bridge. (Two new ones to the development, Spring Close and four which give access to terraces of cottages to the east and west of Cromford Road).
• This stretch of road should become more pedestrian friendly than it is at present.
• Consideration should be given to realigning and narrowing the carriage way close to the railway bridge to reduce speeding
• This is an opportunity to realign the road at its narrow point between the new access and old lane so that the carriageway is moved westwards allowing for a full size footpath on both sides . This would require the high stone wall to be moved westwards.
• Pedestrian crossings should be provided over Middleton Road at the Limekiln pub and over Cromford Road at this point.
• Further pedestrian crossings should be introduced as planned between Old Lane and the railway bridge

Middleton Road

This road is subject to subsidence and consequently is sometimes in a poor state of repair. An access is planned onto this road opposite the entrance to Middle Peak Quarry which is also designated in the local plan for housing. The use of these access points for the two developments would mean that the nature of Middleton road would change significantly.
• We would ask if this road would required complete re-engineering to cope with the level of traffic
• Will the Highways authority consider the reduction of the speed limit on this road following the introduction of the access point?
The access road shown off Middleton road appears to be wide and capable of taking heavier traffic than anticipated for this access. It can be seen that this road could be extended through to the Ravenstor Industrial area. This could be seen as an alternative route for remediation and construction traffic for Middle peak.
• While this is supposition, we would ask if this possibility causes the planning and highways authorities any concerns.
• We would ask that the Highways Authority considers traffic issues in the light of the Cromford Road and Middlepeak Quarry Site – it would seem that Tarmac are predicating the Routing Strategy for this 2nd site, and this should be considered and agreed by the Town.

Limekiln Corner
This junction of Middleton Road and Cromford Road is presently dangerous as there is limited visibility. The volume of traffic will inevitably increase with this development. The corner is particularly bad for pedestrians. As it is close to the infant school it is used frequently by parents with small children.
• We would ask that the highway authority pay special attention to this junction and how it can be improved. While the application brings this to attention we would ask that this is examined as a matter of urgency.
Traffic Movement in the employment area
We trust that adequate parking and turning spaces for large vehicles will form part of the detailed proposals. The indicative plans show relatively small space for lorries turning within the site.

Remediation and Construction Traffic
We appreciate that if this site is to be developed it will require considerable remediation work prior to a lengthy period for construction. There is considerable local concern about this.
• We would ask that remediation and construction traffic enters the site from the Middleton road access thereby minimising disruption to Cromford Road,its role as a main entrance to the town and its residents.
OTHER ISSUES and CONCERNS
Ecology
We note that reports go into great detail but thereis a holding objection from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. There is local concern about the loss of this green space, its wildflowers and trees.
• We would ask if the ecology of the area is adequately addressed and that the objections from Derbyshire Wildlife trust should be taken into account.

Heritage
We note Historic England has not objected but there is local concern. The County Archaeologist is looking for more information. The submission by Bill Bevan explores and underlines concerns about the historic value of the site, we particularly commend this.

• Is the ancient monument (Nether Ratchwood and Rantor) mines adequately protected?
• Is the archaeology of the area adequately addressed, particularly has the fact that further sites are being considered for scheduling by historic England been taken into account?

Open Spaces and access routes
There are open spaces shown on the indicative plan. While it is understood these are indicative there will be open spaces in any future design and layout, Old Lane is to be retained as a footpath/bridleway. We are particularly concerned that there should not be further maintenance obligations which will make future demands on public funds.
• How will open spaces and access routes be managed and maintained? Can and will the Planning Authority require management plans for this?

Sewerage

There is concern about the impact on local sewerage. While it is understood this is not usually a planning matter, this impact should be taken into account and provided for if possible.

• Can and will the planning authority press for plans to cope with the drainage of this site, especially given the present poor state of sewage disposal and the impact it is having on the residents of nearby Spring Close

Proposed extension to Cromford Road /Old Lane car park

• Possible extension of Cromford Road car park – will the land be gifted and if so to whom?
• There is no Japanese knotweed identified in the reports but there is some reported to be on site, particularly in the area to form extra car parking on Old lane. – should this be taken into account by the planners?

I-Spy that Wirksworth is Blooming!

I-Spy that Wirksworth is Blooming!

There will be an international flavour to the Hidden Courtyards and Gardens of Wirksworth as this year the weekend coincides with the arrival of visitors from Wirksworth’s fellow Twinning towns of Die in France and Frankenau in Germany. On Saturday 23rdand Sunday 24thJune Wirksworth will be buzzing and blooming as 29 gardeners will open their gardens to the public.  The weekend promises to be a hive of activity – music from the Community Choir and Community Orchestra, rare and unusual plants for sale from local nurseries, plenty of tea and delicious home-made cakes for visitors to devour and one garden on the Trail is even offering exotic Asian food. Visitors will be surprised and entranced by small courtyards, hidden gardens, historic houses, and peaceful places as well as wonderful views of the town and surrounding countryside. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the unique beauty and welcoming atmosphere of this historic and quirky town. An added attraction this year is an I-Spy Trail for children with hidden objects for children to find and record, so children can be kept busy whilst parents enjoy the gardens.

The gardens are open from 12 to 5 p.m. on both days and tickets for the whole weekend cost only £4, £3 concessions, and there is no charge for children 16 and under. All monies raised go to charities and local groups. Further details are available from www.wirksworthgardens.co.uk, emailing wirksworthgardens@hotmail.co.uk or by telephoning 01629 922539 .

 

(Note to Editors – for further information contact peterrriddle@hotmail.com or on 01629 822539 or 07710789457)

 

 

 

Inspiring stories of courage of women in Syria at Amnesty Wirksworth and District event

Inspiring stories of courage of women in Syria at Amnesty Wirksworth and District event

On Saturday 14thApril, Wirksworth and District Amnesty group held an event  (originally planned for International Women’s Day in early March) at the Stone Centre.

A presentation was given by Hannah Reed, an aid and development worker for 15 years in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Hannah talked and showed pictures of her wide ranging work in these countries, including currently with ‘Big Heart’, a Syrian based organisation, grown from one Syrian man’s initiative. Through Big Heart, Hannah met Ola Batta, an amazing young Syrian woman who joined our meeting via video link. Originally from Aleppo, she now lives with her family in Turkey. Ola told us about her humanitarian work since the Syrian crisis began. She has taken a lead role in organising food distribution, women’s rights and education for young traumatised children.

This moving, thought provoking presentation from Hannah and Ola was greatly appreciated by the those attending. In response to questions, both agreed that we must remember the Syrian conflict started with pro democracy protests. The international community has its own agenda. One Syrian worker for Big Heart said “Everybody’s talking about Syria, nobody’s talking to Syrians”.

Donations totalling £180 will be sent to a Syrian charity chosen by Hannah and Ola.

For more information, please contact us at  wirksworthaigroup@yahoo.com or Paul Webb on 07977894609.

 

Future Train Service Disruption – Derwent Valley Line

Major disruption between 22 July and 7 October at Derby – people should look online for the details.

There are forthcoming changes at Derby Station were explained by National Rail and East Midlands Trains people.  The specific subject of the meeting was the Derwent Valley line to Matlock.

Firstly – and less importantly just now – is that the May railway timetable changes  (https://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/Global/May2018/Thameslink%20May18%20timetable%20v3.pdf) will lead to the 20.26 train from St Pancras no longer giving a connection in Derby to the last train to Matlock. Instead people will have to catch an earlier train from St Pancras. A recent meeting suggested that the last train one could catch from London would be the one at about 20.00 but looking online it looks as though there will be no train to Matlock from Derby after about 2050, meaning that the 19.00 train will be the last train should you want to come on to Cromford or Matlock that evening.

Secondly – and much more important – is the disruption that will take place while engineering work goes on at Derby this summer. The effect of this will be that there will be no through trains to Nottingham from Matlock between 30 July and 24 August. From 25 August to 7 October, there will be no trains between Matlock and Derby: instead there will be a bus and coach replacement service: this will travel down the A6 so will not go to Cromford Station but will stop on the A6 (which will be better for people from Wirksworth but will put pressure on car parking in Cromford). In addition, on the London line there will be no trains between Derby and London from 13-19 August ( a bus service will operate to East Midlands Parkway). From 30 July to 2 September there will be no trains from Derby to Sheffield – there will be buses from Derby to Chesterfield. Cross Country trains will not visit Derby from 30 July to 2 September. East Midlands trains will not operate between Sheffield and Derby from 30 July to 7 October. You can find the details of this at www.derby2018.co.uk. From 30 July to 7 October, there will be just one train per hour in each direction between Derby and St Pancras, though these will start and terminate at Derby and not go through to Sheffield.

This is going to cause major headaches for many train users – and of course over the weekend of the Festival, there will be no trains on the Derwent Valley line, nor will there be East Midland trains between Chesterfield and Derby that weekend though Cross Country trains will operate between Sheffield, Chesterfield and Derby.

Major disruption between 22 July and 7 October at Derby – people should look online for the details.

Consultation on Primary Education Provision – Wirksworth – Closes 20th January

Today is the last day for commenting on the local Schools’ Consultation on Primary Education In Wirksworth.

Click on the link below to comment directly to DCC. (Comments on Facebook will not be taken into account in the decision making process).

The Primary Education Consultation also ties in with the planning application Tarmac are due to make soon (one area may be either industrial units, or a potential school site).

There’s lots of detail available on the Derbyshire County Council website, and there has been a lot of discussion from our usual amazing representatives. It was proposed we ask for another extension to the consultation period to the 23rd of March 2018 – if you think you need more time to consider this, please request this too.

If you would like to read the 12 page summary of the long meeting held on our behalf, please, make a request via email@GoWirksworth.com

Please make your voice heard – Our children, our future!

https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/…/primary_education_provision…

Wirksworth Parish Room Wooden Floor Renovation – please vote for funding

MANY OF YOU HAVE VOTED, SO A BIG THANK YOU. THE AVIVA WEBSITE HAS HAD ITS PROBLEMS, NOW WORKING. WE HAVE 7 DAYS TO GO IN COMPETITION, DEADLINE 21st NOVEMBER, WITH 1,273 APPLICANTS IN THE £5,001 -£10,000 CATEGORY. WE CURRENTLY HAVE 1,586 VOTES, HAVE FOUND SEVERAL IN EXCESS OF 2000. SO MORE VOTES ARE URGENTLY NEEDED, ASK YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, GROUPS THAT YOU MAY BELONG TO, WE WANT TO WIN FOR OUR COMMUNITY BUILDING.

THIS IS THE LINK

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-3432

For those that find this difficult turn on your browser, move your cursor over the link above and press control and left click your mouse.

ANOTHER WAY
 

 

Google Search “Aviva Community Fund Homepage Get Involved”, then move down the page and enter in the left hand search box Wirksworth Parish Room Wooden Floor Renovation and enter on the yellow button on the right. This then brings up an image of our floor, just click this which will open the application details and then move your mouse onto Register and log in now to get your 10 votes and click. Simply then follow the instructions for registration. This leads you to vote, make sure that you use all the 10 votes.

 

 

Hope that you can help lift our total so that we are successful.

Wirksworth – Primary Education Provision – Consultation

The consultation runs from the 2nd November to 17th December and concerns the building of a new school in Wirksworth. This consultation looks at the three proposed sites.

The planned development at the Tarmac ‘Middleton Road’ site will soon have the planning application submitted. The detail of the planning application will include either planned industrial units, or a new primary school. There is detail in the links below.

Please note that the County Council’s plans and the Tarmac plans label the options differently! Please pay attention when commenting.

Schools’ Consultation

Tarmac Information Boards from 31st October

 

 

Parish Rooms – Floor Refurbishment – please vote!!

VOTE PLEASE!!

Wirksworth’s Parish Rooms are a valuable community space – please vote for the replacement floor to make it even better with the Aviva Community Fund votes.

[This location is also hosting this weekend’s Monster Mash Up with The Feather Star in aid of Wirksworth Skatepark

Organisers of this campaign say:
Returning a derelict factory in 2002 to full community use was my ambition. Seeing people enjoying the Festival Gallery, our local brass band and orchestra rehearsing is rewarding motivating us to produce a safe floor, especially for children and dance; the users and volunteers wish for its future.

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/vot…/project/view/17-3432

Vote NOW!!!!

 

 

Town Council Consultation on Tuesday Market

It has been announced that the Wirksworth Town Council have launched a consultation (ending 27th October 2017) regarding the location of the weekly Tuesday Market.

There are proposed changes to the layout of the Memorial Gardens in consequence.

Whether you use the market or not, this consultation affects YOU, so please make your voice heard. Take a few minutes to look at the proposed designs and see what you would like for our town centre.

Link to consultation details here:

Links to PDFs of the three proposed designs here:

option-1- Memorial Gardens

option-2

option-3

Wirksworth Festival – Art & Architecture Trail a great success!

Well, that’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone that came to this weekend’s Art & Architecture Trail – what a great weekend it’s been. Art of every shape and size, in every corner of this wonderful town.

We’d love to hear what you thought, so if you can spare a few moments to complete this online survey we’d be really grateful. You could be in with a chance to win a special Wirksworth Festival mug, made by John Wheeldon. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MDTVMRR

Don’t forget there’s still two weeks of great performances, Curated Art and more to enjoy.

 

Curious & Curiousa at Haarlem

Curious & Curiousa at Haarlem

A window in Wirksworth's Old Grammar School

A window in Wirksworth’s Old Grammar School

The Top Flat at Wirksworth's Grammar School

The Top Flat at Wirksworth’s Grammar School

St. Mary's Church Wirksworth, Festival 2017

St. Mary’s Church Wirksworth, Festival 2017

Dermot Punnett's Art at Wirksworth Festival 2017

Dermot Punnett’s Art at Wirksworth Festival 2017

Geoff Diego Litherland's work at Wirksworth Festival 2017

Geoff Diego Litherland’s work at Wirksworth Festival 2017

SOSNHS Wirksworth – Come to Market on 8th August

SOSNHS Wirksworth – Market Stall on 8th August

COME TO THE TUESDAY MARKET IN WIRKSWORTH ON AUGUST 8

The government has instructed local community health and social care providers to produce what are called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP). In Derbyshire the local plan is called ‘Joined Up Care Derbyshire’.
The government has instructed those drawing up these plans across England to make cost savings. Some of this will be done by cutting staff and closing community hospitals.
However, Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are presenting the STP as something that will improve the way health and social care will be offered and will thus improve people’s health.
They present the STP as focussing on bringing services together, such as health care and social care, and providing more care in people’s homes or in their community, rather than in hospitals such as the Derby Royal. This is a laudable aim but will be costly to set up. As cost savings must be made there will not be the money available to provide services closer to home.
There are plans to close community hospitals around Derbyshire which can then be sold off to generate funds. Already decisions have been made to axe beds at North Derbyshire community hospital with the closure of Newholme and Bolsover, and threats to Babbingtin and Whitworth hospitals in South Derbyshire. Without the infrastructure of community hospitals where will these new services closer to people’s homes be sited?

Come to the stall that Southern Derbyshire CCG are setting up at the market in Wirksworth on Tuesday August 8. It is at this stall that they will be consulting with the people of Wirksworth to ascertain whether we want the plans to go ahead and whether we agree with further dismantling of the NHS in England via these proposals. Come and let them know our views.

Via Gellia closed for three weeks

VIA GELLIA CLOSED FOR 3 WEEKS – Just a heads up that the Via Gellia is now closed until 16 July because of a landslip from Grange Mill crossroads to Ryder Point Junction so don’t head up that way if you don’t need to. The “official” diversion takes 1hr 7mins!!!
Also beware that from Monday Manystones Lane in Brassington is also closed until 22 September so this is another route to avoid.

Information given to those attending the Rally for Wirksworth Leisure Centre

INFORMATION GIVEN TO THOSE ATTENDING.

 

Wirksworth Leisure Centre and Wirksworth Sports Group

Derbyshire Dales District Council plan to seek competitive tenders to take over the running of their Leisure Centres, including Wirksworth from mid 2018.

Wirksworth Sports Group is made of volunteer sports enthusiasts. Its purpose is to make sure Wirksworth gets a good deal

It wants to make sure that:

Derbyshire Dales continue to maintain and repair the Centre properly until any handover.

That Derbyshire Dales order a full independent condition survey of the Sports Centre before inviting organisations to take it on, so that everyone knows what maintenance and improvement work might be needed in coming years.

Anthony Gell School’s existing rights – to daytime use of the Sports Hall – are fully protected under any new arrangements through appropriate joint agreements.

The climbing wall is fully protected in future – including staffing to create new routes regularly. All members of staff working at the Centre are properly protected.

Opportunities to share staffing and training with the Learner Pool are encouraged.

Pricing policies and concessionary schemes are protected in the future.

Arrangements for booking pitches and collecting fees remain unchanged in the new arrangements.

New management is committed to renewing equipment regularly and to pursuing opportunities to expand the facilities if possible.

New management is committed to a partnership with the School, the Gell Foundation, Pool and Health Centre, and regular consultation with local residents and users of the centre.New management is committed to treating all four Sports Centres in the Dales equally.

 

Roy Pearce – email address

 

Rally for Wirksworth Leisure Centre

Rally for the Centre organised by the Wirksworth & District Sports Group with one hundred present and fifteen apologies in the Town Hall on Thursday 27th April 2017, was chaired by John Thompson, who reported progress in response to the decision of the district council to outsource the Wirksworth Leisure Centre from 2018 on financial grounds.  Soon sports group members would meet the consultant who is advising the council on specifications for a contract to run the four Dales centres (also Matlock, Bakewell and Ashbourne). This should, the council tells us, ‘provide greater scope for access to capital finance to provide investment into facilities and services’. It is vital that building, equipment and facilities are handed over in good condition. The Sports Group support the council’s intentions and will work for the best possible outcome for the town; we want the integrated vision  – school, provider and community working together – to be sustained and the whole operation to be improved.

 

Malcolm Kelly (HoAGS) said the strong school involvement would continue; a legal agreement was near with the Foundation Trustees, who own the land  as landlords. Joint use community facilities were a great strength for the school and were an attraction to many parents pondering their choice of school.

 

Rod Leach had interrogated aspects of the finances, a perplexing task: he judged Wirksworth had not been generously treated in the past: an independent condition survey was vital; £101,000 of structural work had been identified by as needed, but not actioned by the council; we needed a new main hall floor. The group will urge equality of treatment in budgets.   How would the council achieve its desired savings in future years?

 

Dr Penny Blackwell made a passionate case for close involvement of the Hannage Brook Medical Centre (8,800 patients) in the activities of the leisure centre hub; patients, were recommended, some on prescription, to activities in gym and swimming pool. She saw great value in young people being introduced to a variety of physical activities for their health, social and mental wellbeing.  The chair thanked Dr Blackwell for the powerful account of medical needs and Leisure Centre liaison she had written for the Wirksworth submission.

 

Dave Baker (chair of pool trustees) said numbers at the pool had increased significantly through outstanding efforts by volunteer trustees and supporters, but the handover from the council had left them with heavy expenses on structural items, which should have been in better order. He wanted a closer relationship with the new managers.

 

Sue Marshall spoke as parent governor of the needs of the school and as a cricketer about the 120 adult and youth players who used the centre in the winter; new cricket nets needed.

 

Points raised from the floor included: legal status of the agreement; the special value of the climbing wall as a regional facility with appropriate staffing and skilled re-routing of  the facility needed  – Bob Davies is on the case; the strong view of the meeting that any operator be a ‘not for profit/dividend provider’ – a group had visited Alfreton and saw well organised leisure services outsourced by Amber Valley to a trust; the problems of pursuing the Community Asset Trust route, which the sports group had rejected – Wirksworth would have stood alone with little money and many complexities;  the needs of young people; suggestion that the group use social media more – Tim Richards offered to help.  The long report to the council from the sports group is on the Destination Wirksworth web site, a long and valuable read.

 

A show of hands revealed that only a disappointing ten per cent of those attending had filled in a consultation form; it was considered too limiting for constructive suggestions on future developments.

 

Councillor Irene Ratcliffe thanked the chair and sports group colleagues for their excellent work and pledged the support of local councillors, County, District and Town in working towards a solution that met the needs of our community.

 

On 18th May there will be a councillors ‘workshop’ followed by committee (15th June) and full council meeting (22nd June), when a final decision will be made on the specification and tender arrangements. The plan is for transfer sometime in 2018.  A briefing sheet was available to those attending and a copy is attached in the next notice…

 

email here…