Mayor and town clerk given tour of church tower works

The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, gets a close up look at the church clock during his tour of the tower refurbishments

THE mayor and town clerk scaled the church tower this week to see the progress of the repair works.

The council recently donated £40,000 to St Michael’s Parish Church to help pay for urgent repairs to the Saxon tower. As the oldest part of the church, the repairs are set to cost around £150,000.

Tim Bacon, a member of the Parochial Church Council, invited mayor Cllr Brian Larcombe and town clerk John Wright to visit the church to see how work was progressing.

They braved very high winds to scale the scaffolding and see the restoration work up close. They were shown around by Tim and site manager George Wolff, from Ellis & Co of Shepton Mallett, and had the opportunity to speak to those working on the project.

Cllr Larcombe said: “I really appreciated the visit. It was good to get so close to the work being done and the problems revealed with the old rendering removed.

“Taking the initiative and undertaking this work is a great credit to all who are making this important restoration possible. The visit confirmed the necessity and significant timing of it.

“It was good to be able to speak to the workforce too – I don’t envy them working in the weather conditions, but what satisfaction they must have when the work’s done.

“I firmly believe the restored outer tower and building’s surface, clock face, and ancillary detailing will be a long-lasting testimony to the quality of the work done and the effort of all those who have made it possible.

“I think the new outer surface will have quite a visual impact and, such is the church’s prominent location, will be seen from all parts of the town.”

Film grant applicants all worthy recipients

WE are facing the difficult task of deciding which worthy cause should receive the £15,000 Ammonite filming money.

Following the filming of a Mary Anning biopic in the town in March, Fossil Films donated £15,000 to create a beneficial legacy for the town.

We invited expressions of interest from local organisations and received eight applications for a diverse range of projects. The applicants were invited to a committee meeting last week to speak in support of their funding bid but a decision has been deferred until later in December.

We had a very busy agenda and a meeting that didn’t finish until just before midnight, so we didn’t feel we could give the applications the consideration they deserved on that night.

An application came from Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support, who would like to use the funding to provide ‘Mary’s hut’, a beach hut on the seafront to be used by anyone affected by cancer.

Youth music group B Sharp would use the funding to work with young people and community groups to create a town songbook and eight large banners to be used during community events.

Lyme Regis Gig Club hopes to support the development of its junior rowing programme with the Woodroffe School with the commissioning of a new fibreglass gig.

The Mary Anning Scholarship Legacy Fund would use the funds to support students from under-represented groups in Lyme Regis attending higher education studying earth sciences or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

A multi-sensory ‘Grain to Loaf’ themed exhibition would be created by the Town Mill Trust at the entrance to the mill to welcome visitors to the building, telling the story of humans’ use of grain for food.

Woodroffe School PTFA has applied for the funding to design and install an all-weather outdoor canopy in the grounds of the school, incorporating students’ artwork, to be used as an area for learning and socialising.

Mary Anning Rocks would like a third of the funding to put towards its ongoing campaign to commission a statue of Mary Anning and launch a Crowdfunder page to generate the funds needed.

Lyme Regis Musical Theatre is also requesting a portion of the funding to purchase a folding platform to use in its 100th anniversary production of ‘Chicago’ in 2020 and in future productions to help the chorus to be seen and heard.

Surely no-one would envy us the task of choosing between these projects – they are all worthy recipients and it’s clear to see the benefits they would create for the community.

We need you to help us achieve climate and environmental goals

THE One Planet Working Group (OPWG) has identified projects to pledge to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). OPWG was set up to enable Lyme Regis Town Council, community groups and interested individuals to fulfil the climate and environmental emergency declaration and work towards being carbon neutral by 2030.

We are delighted that Plastic Free Lyme’s Boomerang Bag scheme is the first community project to be registered under UN Sustainable Development Goal 12, to ‘ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’.

Within this goal is a target to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030. The Boomerang Bag scheme perfectly captures the energy and goodwill of our local community in wanting to deal with an environmental problem in a very positive and pro-active way.

The scheme involves local people, businesses and schools working together to offer a benefit to residents and visitors to improve their experience shopping in Lyme while reducing the need for plastic bags.

The Uplyme Community Sponsorship scheme to resettle, support and integrate a refugee family from the Syrian conflict in the area will be the second UN SDG project to be submitted. This achieves Goal 10, ‘to reduce inequality by facilitating safe and responsible migration, implementing a planned and well-managed migration policy’.

The Community Sponsorship Scheme is the government’s chosen policy to support the resettlement of refugees forced to flee the conflict in Syria, which some argue is a consequence of the longest drought in human history caused by climate change.

Acting locally can have global impact!

Individuals and community groups are invited to contact the One Planet Working Group – https://opwg.org.uk/ – to help us achieve the town council’s climate and environmental action plans. We are all in this together and we need you!

Taking on board your feedback

THANK you to all those who have so far offered feedback on our plans and objectives for the next five years.

As this is a new council administration, we are setting out our ambitions for the life of this council and one year beyond. To help focus our work, we have been asking the public what they think of our ideas and inviting them to make suggestions of their own.

Last Thursday, we held a public consultation event at the Woodmead Halls and our thanks to all those who attended.

If you’re a Lyme Voice participant, you should have received an email asking you to take part in a survey to help prioritise our plans. There is also an opportunity for the public to email or write to the town clerk with their comments at Lyme Regis Town Council, Guildhall Cottage, Bridge Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3BS or townclerk@lymeregistowncouncil.gov.uk

This is an exciting time for the council – we have a blank sheet of paper and want to put plans in place to improve the town, our services and facilities, and the quality of life for residents, businesses, workers and visitors.

All our proposals can be found on our website at www.lymeregistowncouncil.gov.uk. There’s still time to provide feedback so please take this opportunity to tell us what you think.

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