Update from Town and District Councillors – Agenda No. 09
Council Meeting 24th June 2021
Amenity Areas (Councillor Steady)
25th May – Met with Richard and Julia Hunt regarding Cricket Club proposal discussed at the planning committee. New lease to be given so that grant applications can be made. Relevant paperwork distributed to all members for consideration.
Lower Park Recreation Ground signs deterring dog fouling being put in place.
Attending Fields in Trust virtual AGM on 23rd June 2021.
Hard (Councillor Carr)
The latter part of May and June has been a busy time for the harbour due to the sunny weather. The Marine Police have had a good presence with a public meet the police organised on 25th May which the Mayor and Cllrs Carr and Judson attended. The Marine vessel Alert was available for the public to visit.
3 Cllrs from the Hard plus the Mayor met with the BHC Chairman and Harbour Master to discuss the agreement passed by council some 2 years ago that has yet to be signed. It was agreed that BHC would make some financial contribution to a fund which will help projects within the harbour area, along with a clause that any future development will be undertaken by a joint initiative. This document will be shared with full council as soon as we receive it back from the harbour solicitors.
At the same time we have instigated a meting with the Colne Smack Preservation Society to update their lease which is a number of years out of date.
PC Paul Rawson and I have been working with the harbour to try and control PWC launching from Point clear, BHC have now installed a number plate recognition (ANPR) camera along with the maintained 8 foot alloy sign detailing where the relevant speed limits are in our harbour and boundaries. PC Rawson has established a close liaison with both Bourne Leisure and the point clear residents association who own the ramp at the top part of the sea wall which vehicles use for launching. This association are willing to fund a barrier Bourne Leisure are going to obtain quotes for a simple barrier, made up of a two foldable posts with a combination lock. As the Harbour master has ANPR we will also put signs up to tell people they are on CCTV, which might deter the posts being vandalised.
The access will probably be managed by one of Bourne Leisure’s contractors who manages the site boat park, so in theory only local residents and camp site residents should have access. We have recognised that there is the potential for it being vandalised, hence a low tech solution at the moment.
If we are able to control the launching from point clear, as we already do from Brightlingsea, I am sure that we will be able to introduce some control over speeding and irresponsible behaviour.
16th June saw a major influx of personal water craft in our harbour and the River Colne. The Police vessel Alert was on station but were unable to control the behaviour of the PWC’s due to a lower number of officers on board and not having the police high speed Rib ( G7 took many officers way from Essex) halfway through the patrol period the Alert was called to the Southend area for a operation purposes.
Cllrs are reminded that residents are able to telephone BHC (302200) during operational hours to report any irresponsible behaviour.
BHC have launched a “Brightlingsea Yacht Burgee” initiative by creating a triangular flag with the harbour logo and the word Brightlingsea Harbour 2021. This “Burgee” usually flown from the starboard side of a yacht will promote Brightlingsea as a visitor attraction for yachts. A photograph of the burgee is affixed to this report. The burgee has been distributed to all paid up mooring holders.
The sponsored refurbishment (led by Cllrs Carr & Chapman) of the Hard shelter is on-going, the inner workings of the clock are installed and rotten wood from the clock tower repaired. Bright white LED lighting has been installed with passive switching, along with a high resolution CCTV Camera affixed to a lamp post looking in to the shelter. This camera has good night time clarity. The shelter will be painted as soon as the contractor is able to start work
On Tuesday 22nd June Cllrs Carr Chasney and Court will meet at the shelter to look at opportunities to affix digital notice boards that will hopefully help to lead our visiting yachtsmen towards the shops in the high street, there will also be an initiative to allow local advertising ie Fishing charters, b&b’s etc
Lido (Councillor Barry)
The Lido opened on the longest day June 21st, in weather more reminiscent of a shorter winter day. It welcomed its first customers in over twenty months. A dozen or so brave souls tested the pristine water on the day, with first in the pool two visiting ladies from Guildford. The fact that the pool is open at all is remarkable given the damage it has experienced and the year of Covid and lockdowns. The engineering works, orchestrated by project manager Dave Atkinson, have seen pumps and equipment replaced and improved, with support from technical wizard Neil Ballard and maintenance crew. The front of house volunteer team have worked hard to adapt to Covid safe practices including a new on-line booking system which will hopefully reduce queuing and help manage finances going forward. Accessibility will be improved by the installation of a hoist to enable visitors with poor mobility or disabilities to get into the pool.
The Town Council have been supportive in respect of consolidating accounts and finances and it is anticipated that there will be further investment after the current summer season to provide a pool cover and some level of heating. Grant applications are being formulated and will be submitted in due course.
Tourism & Communication (Councillor Chasney)
1. Tourism Advisory Panel
Now there is some sort of end in sight to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the intention is to form a core Tourism Advisory Panel made up of key players in the town. The strategy is to create a forum to encourage all to speak with a single voice and work together rather than individual organisations duplicating effort, going it alone and competing. The direction decided on by the Panel will be represented through their own communication channels.
Initially the core panel will include BTC, the Museum, the Harbour Office, Colne Yacht Club and Little Boat Gifts (representing the High Street).
It is planned to get the scheme off the ground by the first week in July and will be led by BTC. To cover specialist areas, representative ‘ambassadors’ from those areas will be invited to joint the core panel to help guide the process. It is expected that a first progress report will be presented at the July council meeting.
2. Review of the Town Guide and BTC website
During July, tenders will be invited to pitch for the town guide and website. With regard to both of these major communications resources, it is envisaged that major redesign is required to meet modern-day expectations. Price will not be the only consideration as the ambition is to maximise the tourism potential of Brightlingsea.
The designers chosen will not necessarily be expected handle both projects as is the case presently. it is thought sensible to handle them separately so as not to have all our eggs in one basket. Also BTC should consider web hosting on it’s own account and not continue to arrange this important factor through a third party. BTC need to have complete control and maintain confidentiality.
3. Webcam Sharing
By August we expect to be in a position to take Cllr Carr’s initiative of cctv camera sharing forward to the next stage. The desire is to direct as many camera locations as possible onto the BTC website as well as those of partners to encourage tourism. The scheme would us existing camera sites but a new one needs to be erected on the Martello Tower at Point Clear.
4. Digital signage
Cllr Court has some exciting proposals to put forward with regard to digital signage amongst other initiatives.
Welfare (Councillor Chapman)
Lots of inquiries about getting attendance and carers allowance.
Working with outside Trust to get specialist wheelchair for local resident.
Meeting on Tuesday 22nd with Home Instead (organisation that allows residents to stay in their own homes and receive care) and Community Agents (section of social services).
Thank you to Julie and Alan Goggin for help with two issues regarding the back entrance to the Junior School. The no parking/restricted parking sign was reported as being in a dangerous position by Julie and within a week this had been moved and lifted higher out of the way of young children were walking into the sign and getting injured. Also the zig zag lines were repainted within a week of reporting again by Julie and Alan sign posting her to maintenance team and not the highways team.
Register your Type 1 Opt-out preference – The data held in your GP medical records is shared with other healthcare professionals for the purposes of your individual care. It is also shared with other organisations to support health and care planning and research. If you do not want your personally identifiable patient data to be shared outside of your GP practice for purposes except your own care, you can register an opt-out with your GP practice. This is know as a Type 1 Opt-out.
Opt out forms are available at the Parish Hall.
Western Promenade (Councillor Steady)
THE FIRST 50 DAYS
- Signs deterring dog fouling being put in place.
- Various conversations with Michael McCarthy tenant at the Lakeside Camp regarding visitors.
- Paddling Pool area sand spread out more evenly and paths swept.
- Path cleared on “millionaires row”
- Pawson’s Playground re opened after over a year of closure, remedial work carried out to allow this.
- Skate Park remedial work to be carried out to make all equipment safe request made for S106 contribution , looking at a fish pond design piece of equipment to be installed.
- Second Petanque rink being installed in Millennium Garden
- 26th May – Met with the Museum management, Charlie Heywood CYC Commodore, Sara Public Art Works, Councillors Smith and Chasney, to plan a fully inclusive walking plan together.
- 8th June – Nature walk completed by Sara Hayes from Public art Works, Roger Tabor, Susie Jenkins and David Stone. Initial feedback positive waiting for recommendation from Sara.
- 11th June – Paddling Pool beach used by Church Lads for metal detecting. Ok by TDC
- 15th June – Meeting with Jay Kitchen, a basketball enthusiast, and Grounds Manager Terry Hamilton, to discuss an initiative for improvements of basketball court.
Basketball Court Renovation:
Please see below communication from Jay Kitchen who is a basketball stalwart, with connections to the Brightlingsea Sledgehammers. Also attached court renovation guide.
“Our aim is to raise £2,500 pounds to present and contribute towards a court renovation initiative named #projectswish led by Basketball England which will include new backboards, rings and an art installation on the ground of the court itself, themed on the great success of the Brightlingsea Sledgehammers Basketball Club over its 25 year span winning over 63 titles.
Through this opportunity we can present the money raised to the council, hopefully together we can all make this a reality. Provide a safe, practical and trendy place to nurture future basketball talent and a great place to practice for any current enthusiasts.
This will be a fantastic addition to our already unique little town.
Thanks very much.
Tendring District Council Reports:
Attended Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting 24th May – first ‘in person’ meeting in Princes Theater for a long time and much better for it. I was able to raise a number of issues with Tourism Cabinet member about joining up services across councils and confirming commitment to invest in Brightlingsea.
13th May – All members briefing
18th May – Full Council meeting (First face to face meeting)
21st May – Cabinet
24th May – I chaired the panel for a new Assistant Executive
16th June – All members briefing with Roger Hurst, Police and Fire Commissioner.
17th June – Attended Local Highways Panel Meeting. My view is we should be putting more highway initiatives forward which needs a review of road issues in the town. The Mill Street quiet lane initiative, the residents have been active with a petition. I have suggested the area to County Councillor Goggin for the survey. The Essex Speed Management Strategy is being reviewed, which could affect the timing, I have requested that we look at a possible gateway feature. Copy of the current schemes are attached.