Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 17th May 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

 

Present:

Councillors

I Block (Mayor)

B Smith (Deputy Mayor)

J Chapman, M Barry, V Chapman, ,

D Ingate, M Judson, G Steady and K Yallop

 

In attendance:


Julie Crittenden – Administration Assistant
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk

County Councillor Alan Goggin

22 Members of the public.

 

 

The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting. Good evening to all on the night of my swan song. If anybody is considering filming this will you be aware that my right profile is the best.

This year, as in the previous three year’s, has been overshadowed by the Hard issue, and I would like to use this moment to thank those 10 councillors who have steadfastly supported the council position over this. I know I should not pick out any councillor, but at this moment I will. I want to particularly thank Councillor Ingate. He may have been very forthright in his views, but his support has been unstinting and he does not deserve to be vilified as he has been.

Moving on to the rest of the years business, my Mayoress and myself have attended numerous events on behalf of Brightlingsea ranging from welcoming the Countess of Wessex, in conjunction with the Pioneer Trust, Colchester Oyster Feast, to a very dangerous afternoon when we had to chose a Carnival Princess – from only 6 candidates (complete with their mothers). The other events I have introduced this year is visiting residents reaching their 100th Birthday. So far I have visited three ladies, including one of 103, who is the oldest resident in Brightlingsea.

At this stage I would like to thank all the people who supported and helped raise money for my two charities, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Saturday Club. Unfortunately the Alzheimer’s Society cannot be here tonight, so we will forward our cheque to them. Can I now call on the Saturday Club to come up and receive their cheque.

Without a loyal partner and Town Clerk, the job of Mayor would be much more difficult. Can I therefore thank my partner Eileen, for all the time she has put in, together with also putting up with me. I thanked her personally this afternoon. Finally may I thank all the staff for their stellar efforts over the year, this has made my job that much easier.

Last but not least, may I thank our Town Clerk Tracey, (together with her husband Gerry), who has done much to help me raise funds for my charities. Tracey has toiled over this year some quite severe circumstances, being accused by some people of being incompetent, and party to fraud. What people forget is that the Town Clerk advises but ultimately the Council decides on the line of action. Tracey, thank you.

With that we move onto Agenda Item 1 – election of Mayor for the forthcoming year.

 

  1. ELECTION OF TOWN MAYOR FOR 2018-2019

 

Councillor Block proposed Councillor Smith. He stated that although Councillor Smith is a relatively new councillor here, he has a treasure trove of experience as a County Councillor and Deputy Leader. He has proved his worth over the last 12 months as one of the CCC’s for the Hard, and will, I believe, make a fine Mayor.

 

This proposal was seconded by Councillor Judson. A vote was taken. Agreed.

 

As there were no further nominations Councillor Smith was duly elected as Town Mayor.

 

  1. INSTALLATION OF TOWN MAYOR – DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICER:

 

Councillor Smith read and signed the Declaration of Office as Town Mayor; the Town Clerk countersigned the Declaration.

 

The newly installed Mayor then paid tribute to the retiring Mayor, who under very difficult circumstances has had a fantastic year. He also thanked the other councillors for all their hard work during the year, the staff Julie and Tracey, and for the great job that they do. He mentioned that yesterday he had another role as being a Director of a Community Interest Company in Northamptonshire, and as the Chairman did not turn up, he had to chair that meeting.

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY MAYOR FOR 2018-2019:

 

There was one nomination for Deputy Mayor as follows:

 

Councillor Graham Steady, proposed by Councillor Smith, seconded by Councillor Block. A vote was taken. Agreed.

 

As there were no further nominations Councillor Steady was duly elected as Deputy Mayor.

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors Dixon, Howard and Russell.

 

  1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH APRIL 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

 

The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

 

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

 

  1. APPOINTMENTS OF COMMITTEES / COUNTY CONTACT AND COORDINATOR / REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES, AS PER STANDING ORDERS:

 

Committees:

Councillor Ingate proposed that the Finance & Property Committee consists of Councillor Steady as Chairman, Councillor Block as Vice Chairman, and members Councillors J Chapman, Dixon, Howard, Russell and Smith. Seconded by Councillor Judson. Agreed.

 

Councillor Block proposed that the Staff Committee consists of:
Councillor Jayne Chapman as Chairman, Councillor Vivien Chapman as Vice Chairman, and members Councillors Barry, Ingate, Judson, Russell and Yallop. Seconded by Councillor Smith. Agreed

 

Councillor Barry proposed that the Planning Committee consists of: Councillor V Chapman as Chairman, Councillor Dixon as Vice Chairman, and members Councillors Block, J Chapman, Howard, Ingate and Russell. Seconded by Councillor Judson. Agreed

 

Councillor Yallop proposed that the two Safeguarding Officers for the Council are Councillors Barry and J Chapman. Seconded by Councillor Ingate. Agreed.

 

Councillor Contact and Coordinator’s (formally known as MSR’s):

Councillor J Chapman proposed as follows:

  • Amenity Areas & Open Spaces – Councillors Barry and Steady
  • Western Promenade – Councillors V Chapman and Howard
  • Swimming Pool – Councillor Barry
  • Youth & Services for Children – Councillor Howard
  • Footpaths and Allotments – Councillor Steady
  • Tourism & Communication – Councillor Yallop
  • Welfare and Services for the Elderly – Councillor J Chapman
  • Hard & Harbour – Councillors Ingate and Smith
  • Transport & Highways – Councillors Judson and Block

Seconded by Councillor Yallop. Agreed

 

Members Appointed as Representatives on Outside Bodies:

Councillor Yallop proposed as follows:

  • Essex & Tendring Association of Local Councils – Councillor V Chapman, and Councillor Russell as TDALC only
  • Colne Smack Preservation Society – Councillor Judson and Smith
  • Health Authorities – Councillor J Chapman
  • Colne Estuary Partnership – Councillor Dixon
  • Local Police Liaison – As and when
  • Regeneration – Councillor J Chapman
  • Churchyard Committee – Councillors V Chapman, Dixon and Howard
  • James Aldous Trust – Councillors Dixon, Russell and Yallop

Seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed

 

  1. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:

 

Due to the year end and start of the new financial year, it has not been possible to prepare the end of April 2018 Statement. This will be presented at the next Council Meeting.

 

Councillor Ingate then proposed the following cheques which were drawn as follows:

General Account – Cheques No 706977 – 707030 the sum of £49,875.20.

Seconded by Councillor Yallop. Agreed.

 

  1. REPORT FROM COUNCILLOR STEADY, CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:

 

Councillor Steady made the following statement:-

 

“Coming off the back of a strong financial performance in the last council year I would like to comment on financial issues, as I see them, going forward. This coming year promises to be a big one for our town, the following projects will ensure this.

 

  • The Lido development
  • Improvements to the western prom grass car park
  • Refurbishment of the Batemans Tower car park and toilets
  • Redevelopment of the paddling pool
  • Improvements to the boating lake
  • The green lung initiative
  • Town square initiative.
  • Refurbishment of the Skate Park.

 

All of these schemes will be included on future finance agendas so that revenue streams can be ascertained.

 

Along with private investment going into the redevelopment of Batemans Café, the completion of The Marina, and Morgan Marines development plans all these schemes bode well for our town’s future.

 

We now have a town asset file which is being updated as relevant information is accessed and agreements and leases come up for renewal, this will enable us to review our community’s assets so as to ensure they benefit the community.

 

Two events, which both have 100 year anniversaries in the new council year, are the end of the First World War and the first provision of allotments in the town. I am sure that the British Legion and The Museum will be commemorating the end of WW1 and the Allotment Society will commemorate the provision of allotments. I believe the council should support both of these commemorations and both of these will be included on future finance committee meetings agendas.. Regarding the WW1 item I would like to pursue an idea that on the day or week of any planned activities that we create our own Avenue of Remembrance by placing wooden crosses with the names of the towns fallen on them along the route of any parade or in the War Memorial Gardens. I would like to claim this idea as my own but it is one I gleaned from a British Legion officer from St Osyth, I am sure that they wont mind sharing the idea with us.

 

I have said many times that the climate of Local Government is changing rapidly and that councillors have to step up to the plate to ensure that all opportunities are maximised. So on top of the schemes I have mentioned we are working on another exciting initiative. There is an organisation called the Community Land Trust which provides funding for affordable homes and community amenities. Once any of these are acquired they would be secured in perpetuity via a statutory asset lock which ultimately allows communities to take back control of homes and amenities in their own local area.” He then handed over to Councillor J Chapman to elaborate more on this subject.

 

Councillor J Chapman informed members that she had had a meeting with the Community Land Trust, and they will fund or give you the money to buy a property for Social Housing. They form a trust, and when the Springmead Trust was mentioned, it was felt that they could work with the Springmead Trust and everything would move forward quicker. A discussion took place. Councillor Steady then asked for the Councils consent to take this forward to the next Springmead Trust Meeting. A vote was taken. Agreed.

 

Councillor V Chapman mentioned refurbishment of the skate park in Councillor Steady’s report, and that it is beyond refurbishment, and a new skate park is required.

 

 

  1. COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

 

County Councillor Goggin congratulated Councillor Smith on his election as Town Mayor. He also thanked Councillor Block for his steward ship of the year, and stated that he has been a excellent Mayor during the past year.

 

County Councillor Goggin briefed on the following:-

 

  • At the last full Essex County Council Meeting on Tuesday 15th May, the new Chairman was elected. The Chairman is now Councillor John Jowers from West Mersea and this is a two year appointment. The Vice Chainman is Councillor Eddie Johnson. This is a good appointment for Brightlingsea, and Councillor Jowers mentioned Brightlingsea in his opening speech.
  • There have been several changes in the cabinet, and the two big changes that will affect the residents are that the Deputy Leader Kevin Bentley is continuing as Deputy Leader, and has taken on the role of dealing with infrastructure completely across the whole of Essex. This means that Highways will also be under his remit.
  • Highways for the last 6 months have been going through a re-vamp, with some new initiatives coming out – they are good and are steps in the right direction.       They are what the public have asked for – instead of just going out to mark pot holes with red paint around them, they will now look at others that need doing at the same time.       At the moment a team is two vehicles and four people, this will change to one vehicle and three people.       They are also trying to cut back on approved planning.
  • There is a new Portfolio run by Gangnam Mahindra for Economic Development.
  • There has been a slight underspend in the budget for this year – 4.8m out of 851m – this is less than 0.6%. Historically most councils would put this to reserves, but this is not the case; (1) 2.5m is going to extra pot hole development, (2) 1.2m is going towards a new project which is going back to Districts where they may wish to match fund certain issues. If they have an item which is very relevant to their District and they are prepared to match fund, Essex County Council will match fund also.       (3) 1m to evolving works to local councils – this is a look see exercise. (4) A small amount of money keeping Essex tidy with verges etc.
  • Remind members that after 2020 there is no Government Funding at all.
  • Several residents have made contact about street lights in Red Barn Road, Bateman Road, Dover Road, where 9 in total are not working. Have asked the relevant department to look at this to see if there is an overriding problem.

 

The Mayor then asked if any Councillors had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.

 

Councillor Judson mentioned the new policy for pot holes and that it has failed already, as at the bottom of Richard Avenue the huge pot hole has been filled in, but not the one two yards away. He stated that it is silly to fill one in, but leave another one near by.

 

Councillor J Chapman apologised for laughing at the new pot hole strategy, but stated that she sent an e-mail to County some three years ago, suggesting this scheme, as this is what other areas do, and reply given was that this would never work.

 

County Councillor Goggin briefed members that the current contact for all road works is with Ringway Jacobs. It is a 10 year contract and we are now in year 6. In his previous role he was involved in the discussions about the renewal of the contract.

 

Councillor Ingate asked County Councillor Goggin what his new position is at Essex County. Councillor Goggin replied that he is Deputy to Gangnam Mahindra for Economic Development.

 

Councillor Steady asked about planning applications and the contribution towards roads. He asked if the contribution from Hopkins Homes has been spent. County Councillor Goggin replied that this should be addressed to Tendring District Council, however if he sends him the planning number he would make enquiries.

 

The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.

 

  • A resident asked about the state of the Cycle Path and what is going to be done by Essex County Council. He e-mailed Essex County Council stating that 4 posts have been bent over and are dangerous. The e-mail reply was that an officer had been out and no immediate action was required, as the officer did not judge this as dangerous. County Councillor Goggin asked for a copy of the e-mail so he could take this further.
  • A resident stated that there is a lot of dirt in the road, which looks like it has fallen off the back off a lorry, and it looks like the roads are not being swept. County Councillor Goggin replied that any vehicle of any load has to be sheeted.   He stated that there is a very good contact at Brett Aggregates, and they accepted that some of the dirt and sand is due to them, however their obligation to clean the road ends at the end of Moverons Lane. The Town Clerk was instructed to contact Brett Aggregates about this.

 

County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.08 pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.

 

011      TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

 

There were no questions from the public.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 19TH APRIL AND 3RD MAY 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

 

Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 19th April and 3rd May 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC. Seconded by Councillor Ingate. Agreed.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLOR CONTACTS AND COORDINATORS:

 

Councillor V Chapman informed members that she had met Mr McCarthy yesterday at the Lakeside Caravan Park. He is raring to go with plans, hoping to have 50 pitches, single hook up to water/electricity etc. He is also looking to refurbish the toilets, installing a disabled toilet, landscaping, widening the roadway/footpaths, and is hoping to start work soon.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:

 

No reports has been submitted.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

 

Nothing further to report.

 

  1. BTC SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS – JUNE 2018 – MAY 2019 (COUNCIL AND PLANNING):

 

Members agreed the list of meetings, as already circulated, from June 2018 – May     2019.

 

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

 

Nothing to report.

 

  1. CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.12 p.m.

 

The Mayor invited all Councillors and members of the public to stay for a drink and nibbles.