We have just heard that Morrisons plan to close their Royston store on 25th October 2020. We are saddened by this decision, which we as County, District and Town Councillors, and as local campaigners, have done everything in our power to prevent. We believe this closure could adversely affect the whole town centre and in particular those people less able to travel for their shopping. Our thoughts now are with the current employees, who we hope will find new jobs quickly in the local area.
Our Councillors are available to meet residents remotely in our Zoom councillor surgeries, where we welcome questions, comments or suggestions on any local issues. From 5th September onwards, they are held monthly on the first Saturday of the month at 11am.
The meetings are hosted by County Councillor Steve Jarvis and the Zoom meeting ID is 828-7170-6730 (no password is necessary). You don’t need a Zoom account to join the meeting on a computer/tablet. To access from a smart phone you need to install the Zoom app. Please join us, we’d love to meet you!
Black Lives Matter. Royston Liberal Democrats reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality. We do not celebrate historical figures that have strong associations with slavery or oppression of any sort, and will work via democratic means to remove any racial or other prejudices within our local society.
We do not advocate criminal damage. We strongly believe that any removal or modification of statues, memorials, or other exhibits should be performed in a consensual way, by the owners of the items and taking into account societal changes since such memorials were produced.
We uphold the right of council staff, as anyone else, to hold and express their own personal opinions via their own personal channels. However this does not mean that we agree with or endorse those views. Any views that express criminal intent should be investigated by the appropriate authority.
Where somebody is accused of an offence we believe that it is an important principle that they should have the right to a fair and impartial investigation.
Royston Town Council decided at its Extraordinary meeting on 23rd March 2020 (draft minutes are available here) to suspend many council functions, including regular meetings. All necessary decisions are being made by two councillors and the clerk. Virtual meetings are now permitted by law, and many parish councils locally are holding meetings in this way. However, so far there have been no virtual meetings of Royston Town Council and none are scheduled, though we have been told that options are being investigated.
We believe that regular meetings with a full complement of councillors and public participation should be reinstated virtually as soon as possible and we will continue to push for this to happen.
Royston Liberal Democrats are committed to democracy and transparency at every level of government.
Our local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking for your views on community health services.
Section 11 in the questionnaire allows you to share your ideas and is an opportunity to suggest an NHS Health Hub on the Royston hospital site. The Royston Community Health organisation has suggested that this could have nurses, physios and GPs and could have a care home with room for people who are rehabilitating after being in hospital. But this will need strong local support in order for it to happen.
On our Local Transparency page you can now find recordings of recent public meetings of Royston Town Council.
We have uploaded these to allow more people to learn what occurs at council meetings and to facilitate a greater level of transparency and accountability in local government.
Please let us know if you have any feedback.
Progress on parking problems
Carol Stanier is meeting the District Council officers responsible for parking to press for progress on Royston’s parking review. Steve Jarvis has secured agreement for double yellow lines to be installed next year on the bend near the entrance to Layston Park.
Town Council Action on Environment
Royston Town Council recently agreed to reassess their environmental policy following criticism from Lib Dems that it was neither robust enough nor did it provide SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed) goals for the council. Ruth Brown and Carol Stanier are both appointed to the four-member cross-party working group to look at this. Any suggestions from the public are welcomed.
Climate Change Commitment
The first action of the new North Herts Council was to agree (with all party support) to declare a climate emergency, to become a “zero carbon council” by 2030 and to look at ways in which it can help people and businesses across the district reduce their impact on the climate.
Following this year’s local elections, in which Lib Dems gained five seats, no party has a majority on North Herts Council. We met with representatives from both the Conservative group and the Labour group to see what could be the best solution for the residents and businesses of North Hertfordshire over the next twelve months.
After much discussion, the Labour group was more willing to work with us deliver real improvements for people across North Herts including a competent council that listens to local people, a greener district and support for business and enterprise.
For the next 12 months the council will have a shared administration with both Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors working together to improve the council’s performance in agreed areas.