BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Online Annual Council Meeting held on

Thursday 18th June 2020 at 7.30pm.

Present:

Councillors

G Steady (Mayor)

J Chapman (Deputy Mayor)

M Barry, J Carr, G Chasney,

J Howard, M Judson and B Smith

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk

County Councillor Goggin

5 Members of the public

14. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.

(Post meeting note: Councillor Beckett sent in his apologies to the Town Clerk,  prior to the start of the meeting)

15. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 21ST MAY 2020 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Chapman proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 21st May 2020 were accepted as a true record.  Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

16. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

17. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & PROPERTY MEETING HELD ON 15TH JUNE 2020 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:-

Councillor Steady made an amendment to item F004 as follows:-

Councillor Chapman proposed an increase of 10% on the current amount of £300.00, seconded by Councillor Beckett.

Councillor Barry then proposed an amendment, that the allowance is the same as Band 2 in the RPI report, instead of Band 1, i.e. £552 for the parish basic allowance, and £696 for the Chairman’s enhanced parish basic allowance.  Seconded by Councillor Smith.  A vote was taken on the amendment, which was passed.  This then became the substantive motion.

The substantive motion was then voted on: For: 4; Against: 1; Abstention: 1.  Carried.

Councillor Carr mentioned that since the Finance Meeting, the owner of Batemans Tower Cafe has asked if they could pay the rent direct to Brightlingsea Town Council instead of Fenn Wright.  This was agreed.

Councillor Carr then proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, with the above amendment, and the recommendations, (as written, below) be accepted:

  • The Members Allowances for 2020/2021 are set at £552 for the parish basis allowance, and £696 for the Chairman’s enhanced parish basic allowance.
  • Batemans Tower Cafe – No rent holiday is given, due to the precarious position the Council would be placed into with regard to other assets in the town it receives rent from.  BTC therefore will require payment of outstanding amounts related to Batemans Tower Café.  It was also agreed to include in the reply that ‘it was realised that you are going through an extraordinarily difficult time at the moment with your new Batemans Tower Café, and it is, for this reason, we felt that you may wish to call upon 3 town councillors to help you progress, Graham Steady as Mayor  you already know, Jean Howard and Graham Chasney are the council leads on the Western Prom  both who would wish to  invite you to meet with them to see if they may be able to offer any help or assistance on  the cafés  progress.’
  • £2,500 be allocated towards a further round of Operation Quasar, to cover the summer months.
  • Councillors update and include their comments on the asset portfolio sheet as necessary.
  • Insurance Claims (1) Further quotations are to be provided for both projects, to cover the requirements of Financial Regulations; (2) Tendring District Councillors lobby TDC to ascertain the possibility of obtaining  monies from S106; (3) Feasibility study is carried out to look into the possibility of moving the playground to higher ground.

Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

18. TO APPROVE THE PAYMENT OF INVOICES FOR JUNE 2020:

The Town Clerk asked that the 10 internet/BACS payments, totalling £2,459.62, as written,  be authorised for payment.  This was proposed by Councillor Carr and seconded by Councillor Chapman.  Agreed.

19. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

A copy of the report from County Councillor Goggin had been circulated to all members.

County Councillor Goggin reported on the following:-

  • Visited the Recycling Centre at Rush Green, however only one person from the car is allowed to use the site.
  • The Local Highways Panel meeting now tomorrow morning (19th June 2020).
  • Attended a meeting with Councillor Jean Howard and the Colne Community School regarding the Zebra Crossing.
  • Wished to record his thanks to Mandy Bines, who has retired from the Brightlingsea Library.
  • Have spoken to the food bank and they have taken care of any children needing food/vouchers during half term.
  • Before June 1st, 5,000 children were attending Primary Schools in Essex. This has now increased to 25,000, including 8,000 children of key workers, and 2,000 special needs children.
  • There has been an accident on the cycle path, however it was swept yesterday.  There are on-going issues about bollards etc.
  • The beacon at zebra crossing in Victoria Place – no one had reported it as broken, but it is now.
  • Pleased to see works carried out in Ladysmith Avenue and Victoria Place.

Questions were asked from Members:-

Cllr Smith – The zebra crossing beacon has County Council tape on it, so someone came out and taped it up, so someone must know about it.  Do you not see any urgency in this matter with regards to H&S issues?  County Councillor Goggin replied yes, and this is why he reported it to Essex County Council the very next day it was brought to his attention.

Councillor Chapman – The tree down in the cul-de-sac, someone came and cut the trunk up, so there are only branches left.  Also, the Clacton Gazette have reported that Brightlingsea Library is re-opening on the 20th July.

Cllr Barry asked if there was any further information available on the accident on Flag Hill?  County Councillor Goggin gave a brief update and said that this was a sad case of an accident happening late at night, involving motorcycles.  However, there was no police involvement and no pending prosecution.

Councillor Barry also asked about the member grants and if there was anything Councillors could help with?  County Councillor Goggin replied that these grants were not to do with Covid-19, but the £10,000 allocated to each member to spend in their ‘patch’.  He said that the money is to be spent towards something in the community, which other wise would not get done.  He said that he is looking for ideas to increase the money to £20,000.   Councillor Chapman mentioned that she is looking to raise money to put two benches in Victoria Place Gardens, one to commemorate VE Day and one to thank all the volunteers and key workers, with a plaque remembering those who died of Covid-19.  She asked if County Councillor Goggin would you consider donating towards this project, and if it met the criteria.  County Councillor Goggin replied that this is a great idea, and he is happy to take ideas.  The Mayor asked that any ideas should also be copied to the Town Clerk, so everyone is aware.

Councillor Steady asked about the shelter by the Museum.  He said that the application had been submitted via County Councillor Goggin and Tom Eng at Essex County Council.  He asked if this had been progressed?  County Councillor Goggin replied that, at the moment,  there is a ‘moratoria’ on new bus shelters.  They are looking to use bus shelters as a source of revenue, so no one is installing any new shelters at the moment.

20. QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

No questions were raised by members of the public.

21. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 28TH MAY AND 11TH JUNE 2020 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Smith proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 28TH May and 11th June 2020 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council.  He mentioned the Lower Farm Planning application, which has been put on hold due to some boundary issues being incorrect.  The minutes were seconded by Councillor Chapman.  Agreed.

22. BRADWELL B CONSULTATION:

The Mayor briefed members that 6 Councillors attended the virtual meeting with Bradwell, and Councillors Carr and Smith have circulated their comments from the meeting.  Councillor Barry has also sent a copy of his questions to Bradwell, together with their comments to all members.  Councillor Smith informed members that they do not need planning permission, but need a Development Consent Order.  After discussion it was agreed that the three documents will be combined into one document, and this will form the Town Councils response.

23. COUNCIL UPDATE:

The Mayor briefed on the following:-

The Planning Meeting where the Lower Farm application was discussed.  Members took on board comments made by members of the public, we didn’t have to bring it back as our comments had been made in January 2019.  From a Town Council point of view, this was the right thing to do.  We don’t have to do things, but we chose to do things.

The Finance meeting held on the 15th June was the first one with Councillor Carr as Chairman.  Some good discussions took place.

Will be discussing with County Councillor Goggin the Essex County Council Grazing Scheme.  The nearest one to us is Martins Farm at St Osyth.

The two memorial benches in Victoria Place which Councillor Chapman is dealing with –there is a Covid snake on the Promenade, where the children have painted the stones.  He thought it would be nice to incorporate them into the display in the town.  (Councillor Steady declared an interest in this item).

Working with Brightlingsea Nature Network – who is updating her Website on Cobnuts.  He said that this site will be linked up to the Town Council web-site.

Councillor Chapman – Donations have been received up to £170.00, and a cheque is being sent to the Town Council.  We are asking the volunteers for ideas on how to spend the money, and also advising of the idea of a bench being placed in the gardens.  All are happy for the money to be donated towards the  bench project.

Councillor Chapman briefed members that three local counsellors have formed a new group, as they would like to give something back to the community, and work with people who are isolated.  They have asked if she would work with them to try and set up a network group.  They are giving their time free and have asked if they could use the Council Offices, when they re-open, for one to one meetings.  The Mayor replied that he had asked Alix Sheppard to attend the Annual Town Meeting to talk about Mental Health and the WinterFest event.

Councillor Howard asked the Mayor if there was any more information on the renovation of the shelter by the Swimming Pool.  The Mayor replied that Tendring District Council have agreed that the Council can go ahead with the refurbishment, and that they will pay for it.

24. PROPERTY UPDATE

The Mayor advised members that at long last the Leisure Village lease has been renewed and the finances have been put into place.

Councillor Chapman asked for Councils agreement for employing and outside firm to carry out the locking up of the council property in the evening.  She advised that the Council previously employed a Gate Keeper, who has declined to come back this year.  We have obtained prices from Tower Security, which is £36.00 over budget for this year.  Councillor Carr said that he would applaud this service and proposed that the Council brings in an outside contractor to carry out the lock up, however details of all the figures and areas they will lock up are to be circulated to all members.  Seconded by Cllr Howard.  Agreed.

Councillor Judson – Had a discussion with a representative of Matthew Rose Construction, about a water pipe and a new water main being installed in Robinsons Road/Mill Street.  Works will commence later in the year, once they have all the necessary certificates.

Councillor Carr briefed members that following feedback the suggested place for the placement of the Buoy is outside All Saints Church.  He said that he is looking at the logistics of this, however it has been suggested that it is renamed ‘Brightlingsea’ and this is also under consultation.

Councillor Chasney apologised that his internet connection kept freezing, so he missed some of the meeting.

25.     CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.35 p.m.

Chair ……………………

Date: 16th July 2020

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Site designed and maintained by Big Red Web Design. Webmaster.