BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the online Annual General Meeting held 

on: Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 7.30 p.m.

Present:

Councillors

G Steady (Mayor)

J Chapman (Deputy Mayor)

M Barry, M Beckett, J Carr, 

G Chasney, M Judson and B Smith.

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk

Julie Crittenden – Administration Assistant

11  Members of the public.

The outgoing Mayor thanked all members and staff for all the support and help they have given to everybody, including residents, over the past two years.

001. ELECTION OF MAYOR FOR 2021-2022:

Councillor Steady proposed Councillor Chapman as Mayor for 2021-2022.  Seconded by Councillor Smith. As there were no other nominations, Councillor Chapman was duly elected as Mayor of Brightlingsea for 2021-2022.  

002. INSTALLATION OF MAYOR – STATUTORY DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE:

Councillor Chapman read and signed the Declaration of Office as Mayor of Brightlingsea.  She informed the meeting that the Town Clerk has to countersign the Declaration, however as the meeting was being held virtually, this would be countersigned once the original document had been delivered to her.

The newly installed Mayor then thanked Councillor Steady, in what has been an unprecedented two years.  She said that they have been totally in contrast with each other, the first year of his term so like many other terms, but the second year was oh so different.  What has been said so many times, nobody thought that ever in our life time we would have to go through what has happened.  To adjust to not meeting face to face, zoom, teams, on-line, or what ever else we have had to do, and use, to conduct everyday things.  But we managed to survive, with no front line services being reduced and our staff fulfilling their jobs, an exceptional year, under exceptional circumstances with exceptional staff.  I became a Councillor because I felt I could work and do some good for our town.  Things change and progress is not what we would all like, but after what has been a challenging and often frustrating year for our council I would like to propose that we move forward, to work together, to get the stability and fun back in what we all believe in.  We cannot alter what has gone, or what happened yesterday, we can only work on tomorrow and the future.  We need to work together to achieve what is best for our town.  I would like to put on record the thanks to all the volunteers that have stepped in during Covid, with prescription and shopping deliveries.  We had over 800 residents we were working with over the course of the year, with nearly 100 registered volunteers.  I think, as a town, we did an amazing job.  Thank you.

003. ELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR FOR 2021-2022:

Councillor Steady proposed Councillor Barry as Deputy Mayor for 2021-2022.  Seconded by Councillor Smith.  As there were no other nominations, Councillor Barry was duly elected as Deputy Mayor of Brightlingsea for 2021-2022.

Councillor Barry endorsed Councillor Chapman’s comments.  He said that we have had a couple of difficult years, and have had some ups and downs recently.  We need to put these behind us and move forward.  Moving  into a new era, coming out of restrictions shortly, showing leadership to the Community, the best way to do that is to work together and produce the goods for the residents.  We have come through this as a group together and we’ve shown the community what we can do and have to bring that forward and do that again, and come out stronger.  He again thanked everyone for their support.

004. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: The Clerk informed members that apologies had been received from County Councillor Goggin, who stated that unfortunately the change of day to Wednesday conflicts with regular meetings at Alresford & Thorrington.  He does, however,  send his best wishes to all successful applicants and those who have held office for the last 12 months.

005. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26TH APRIL 2021 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Beckett proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 26th April 2021 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed.

006. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

007. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES:

Councillor Chapman proposed the following Chairman, Vice Chairman and members to the following committees:-

Finance & Property Committee

Chairman: Councillor Carr

Vice Chairman: Councillor Beckett

Councillors Barry, Chapman, Chasney, and Smith + one vacancy

Staff Committee

Chairman: Councillor Chapman

Vice Chairman: Councillor Barry

Councillors: Beckett, Carr, Chasney, and Judson  + one vacancy

Planning Committee

Chairman: Councillor Smith

Vice Chairman: Councillor Chapman

Barry, Carr, Judson and Steady + one vacancy

Seconded by Councillor Beckett.  Agreed.  

008. APPOINTMENTS TO COUNCILLOR CONTACT AND COORDINATOR AREAS: 

Councillor Chasney proposed the following Councillor Contact and Coordinator Areas:-

Amenity Areas & Open Spaces

Councillor Steady

Communication

Councillor Chasney 

Footpaths & Allotments         

Councillor Smith

Hard & Harbour

Councillors Carr, Chasney, Judson and Smith

Regeneration

Councillor Chapman

Swimming Pool

Councillor Barry

Tourism 

Councillors Chasney and Carr

Transport & Highways

Councillor Judson

Welfare & Services for the Elderly

Councillors Chapman and Beckett

Western Promenade

Councillors Steady

Youth & Services for Children

Vacant at the moment

Seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed. 

009. APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES:

Councillor Barry proposed the following members to Outside Bodies:-

Essex Association of Local Councils

To be determined as and when

Tendring District Association of Local Councils

Councillor Beckett

Colne Smack Preservation Society

Councillors Carr, Chasney and Smith

C.C.G. (Clinical Commissioning Groups)

Councillor Beckett

Local Police Liaison

Councillor Chapman

Churchyard Committee (2 members)

Councillor Judson and one vacancy 

Bradwell B

Councillor Carr

Neighbourhood Plan

Councillors Barry, Smith and Steady

Seconded by Councillor Chapman.  Agreed.

010. APPOINTMENTS OF COUNCIL TRUSTEES:

Councillor Steady proposed the following appointment of Council Trustees:

Springmead Trust (5 members)

Councillors Carr, Chasney, Judson, Smith and Steady

Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

011. APPOINTMENTS TO THE FOLLOWING:

Councillor Steady proposed the following:-

            

Safeguarding Officers (2 members)

Councillors Barry and Chapman

Emergency Plan (2 members)

Councillors Carr and Chapman

Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

012. TO RE-CONFIRM DELEGATED POWERS TO THE TOWN CLERK:

The Mayor asked members to re-confirm delegation of Council decisions to the Clerk, during any period of restricted activity declared by the Government in respect of the Covid-19 virus.  Such delegation to enable the Council to fulfil its responsibilities to its residents, until a date when face to face meetings can resume.  This was proposed by Councillor Beckett, seconded by Councillor Judson.  Agreed.  

013. TOWN COUNCIL POLICIES:

Councillor Steady proposed that:

  1. The Council carries out a review of Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Code of Conduct.
  2. The Council considers and adopts the Co-Option Policy.

Seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed.

The Mayor briefed members that the review of standing orders, financial regulations and code of conduct must come through the Clerk, so if any member has any amendments/additions to make, please let her know, and this will then be discussed at the June Council Meeting.  She added that if any members require another copy of these policies, please let the Clerk know.  Councillor Judson asked for printed copies of the documents, which the Clerk agreed to provide.

014. QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

Q1) What is the situation regarding the new jetty at the Hard and also what is going to happen to the current structures on the Hard?

Councillor Carr replied that the Town Council are undergoing a project at the moment to build a pier, which is part funded by the European Union and the agency of the Maritime Organisation (MMO).  Brightlingsea Town Council are joint funding £25,000, which is coming from rebate monies re: litigation on the Town Hard from the Land Registry.  We have carried out the mechanical assessment to secure the structure. My last report to council  gave information on problems with the concrete skirt down there, in so much that there was a lot more concrete down there than the original Royal Navy plans had shown, the drawings show  2ft of concrete, when in fact there was 5-6ft of concrete.  This scuppered our plans to drive some steel posts in. Our MMO permissions did not allow any pole driving after March 31st due to disturbance of bird nesting.   We studied  a different method to try and continue and keep the project live, whereby we looked at a method of anchoring the pontoon structure.  This is the same method that the Colne Yacht Club jetty is fixed. We undertook  mechanical calculations on this method where the loads that the pontoon will hold,  is 6 tonne.  The European Funder, whilst happy that we could incorporate this method, has dictated that we must continue with the aspiration of piling the steel in posts, which we can do after the bird breeding season in October, so looking to do that between October and December this year.  Regarding funding, the Clerk and the Project Manager are putting together the first document to claim back monies on what has been spent so far, which includes pontoons, site survey, dredging,  purchase of the steel posts, so we are ready to start claiming back a substantial amount of money.  Regarding the Dolphins and the survey, I can confirm that a survey of the dolphins was carried out by Richard Jackson Engineering Consultants.  This document is now available, and we are looking to put a copy of the survey on the Town Council web-site.

            The resident came back about the dolphins, and suggested reinstating them, and to look at some funding to put some grids there and some piling for barges, Dutch barges etc.   Councillor Carr replied that it is our aspiration to do exactly that.  He said that the old Royal Navy grid system that was put down there is still there, it just gave us a shock to how substantial it was.  It is still our aspiration to use that for flat bottom vessels.  In order to get to that stage we will probably have to go into the second round of funding.  We are currently talking to a local dredger to dredge sediment ready for placing the steel posts in the winter, this work will allow us to study the grid in more detail and to take core samples.  We have had a lot of interest from barges who want to lay on our grid, if we can get the facility up and running.

            The resident asked further questions, which Councillor Carr answered.

            The Mayor informed the resident that this is a question and answer session, not a debate, and asked Councillor Carr to let the resident have a copy of his reports.

            Q2) The ferry landing stage at Point Clear, is the Town Council putting any money into this?  Also, what is happening with Pawsons Playground on the Western Promenade?

Councillor Carr replied that Brightlingsea Town Council have been sponsors for the landing stage, in so far that it was our name for the planning application.  The reason for this is that at the time when we were putting together the application for the Heritage Quay, it was thought this was twinned together so it would be a good thing to do it that way.  He said that he does have information from the Chair of the Commissioners, that they are really trying to push this forward, avidly lobbying for additional funding to build the structure.  They have also spoken to St Osyth Boat Yard to be able to recycle the green hearts for the boardwalk.  Bernard Jenkin MP is lobbying too.  It is happening, however the Town Council is not putting any money into the project.

Councillor steady replied to the question on Pawsons Playground.  He said that unfortunately the Playground has been out of commission for over a year.  He said we decided to carry out remedial works so the playground can re-open, and hopefully it reopened this afternoon.  In September we will be looking to carry out a full refurbishment of the full playground.  We have had meetings and been talking to Tendring District Council about possible finance, and have had some good discussion with two officers.  We also have plans for the skate park as well – but this is finance dependent too.

 015. TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

  1. Brightlingsea Regatta request for grant funding – It was agreed that the Standing Annual Grant for 2021/2022 would be paid to the Brightlingsea Regatta, to go towards their insurance.  Regarding any funding from the tourism budget, this would have to be taken to a finance meeting to discuss. 
  2. Brightlingsea Music Festival request to use Hurst Green for its 2021 event – Agreed they can use Hurst Green from Friday 6th (set-up) until Monday 9th (take down) August for their 2021 Music Festival, subject to usual terms and conditions, and Government Guidance at that time.
  3. Paths to Prosperity Walks – Healthy Walks for All – Agreed permission is granted to install one sign for the trail in the Victoria Gardens, subject to consultation with the Grounds Manager re location etc.
  4. U3A Games on the Green – Agreed U3A can use the grass area between the Lido and the car park on Friday 4th June from 2pm for ‘games on the green’.
  5. Carnival Car Boot Sale – Agreed they can move the date of the boot sale on the 11th July to 4th July.
  6. Payments – Councillor Carr proposed that 8 payment totalling £3,173.04 be authorised for payment.  Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed. 

016. BTC SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS – MAY 2021 – MAY 2022 (COUNCIL AND PLANNING):

Members agreed the list of meetings, as already circulated, from May 2021 – May 2022.  

017.     CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.19 p.m.  

After the meeting had officially closed, and some members had left the meeting, Councillor Judson informed those still present that he has received a copy of a petition regarding a ‘Quiet Lane’ in Mill Street.  He said that most of the names listed are not residents of Brightlingsea, so he does not know how much notice the Council can take of that.   He stated that once Covid has cleared up, he will arrange for a traffic and speed survey to be carried out on Mill Street.

Chair ……………………

Date 24th June 2021

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