Update from Town and District Councillors – Agenda No. 08
Council Meeting 19th August 2021
Amenity Areas (Councillor Steady)
Bayard Rec Refurbishment of cricket practice nets planned for October in conjunction with the cricket club.
17/8 Scout Group facility Lower Park Road, meeting held to try and finalise new lease.
The Hard (Councillor Carr)
I can confirm that the new pier has been put into the designated place following delivery crane lifting and construction at Morgan Marine w/c 9th August. Although not yet open for the primary purpose the volunteer team have gone the extra mile in putting the project together. Once we have undertaken safety and stability trials we will ask the Mayor to officially open the asset.
At the moment we have placed a Harris fence panel at the entrance, which I hope will convey the “not yet open message”. BHC have positioned the harbour cameras so that the pier is within cctv sight. Before we officially allow the pier to be used, there’s a few things that the team need to address:
1) Handrails on the ramp / bridge unit for both safety and as a carrier for signage We plan to copy the signage on the BTC Town causeway along with any additions peculiar to the new pier. Primary and secondary use you will recall is professional fishing vessels after which community and heritage use
2) Order and affix signage
3) Extend the foot plate and place a further fold so that it sits on the paved area rather than the concrete parapet, also round radius the corners of the foot plate on the bridge unit to delete sharp edges. Remove jammed tyre on hammerhead pontoon
4) Address the two moorings on the hard that are in Stoney ground, and deemed to be obstructing the hammerhead. (Harbour)
5) Affix do not climb dangerous structure on the dolphins (Cllr Chasney)
6) Affix safety life rings
The anchoring system feels and looks very substantial, the chain and anchors are placed cris crossed and act as a mooring spring. Before the opening I would like to see the oyster dredger and or Dracula go through a series of berth testing so that we can monitor the chain anchor system. After the opening the team will look at the logistics of replacing the anchoring system with steel pilings.
As afar as the Dolphins are concerned the new pontoons are held off the dolphins, so do not make any physical contact, once persons are able to walk along the pier the true state of the dolphins will become very apparent and visual. To date, Councils view on this is to affix signage pointing out the danger of climbing on the dolphins. But what of the future? There is a segment of residents that would like to see the dolphins restored or replaced. The team would encourage a public residents fund to take this forward if warranted. Other ideas mentioned to me are to place a series of section wooden decking on the face of the dolphin only on that facing the pontoon. Encase the structure in concrete , wrap the structure in galvanised chicken mesh. Affix a perpex sheet to the section. I feel a public discussion debate on these structures may be helpful. We are currently insured for third party liability only as far as the dolphins are concerned, but do have total loss insurance on the pier asset.
The team plan to meet within the next few weeks to iron out the remaining to do items before the opening, along with any additional “rules” of operation. I would like the team to discuss what the pier should be called. The current mix of names in the bag are Heritage Community Pier, Community Pier, Fisherman’s community pier.
Looking ahead the team will also discuss the logistics to jet wash a section of the concrete grid to allow core sampling, along with the plan for the remaining piling in October / November.
Advance stage two of the project new planning drawings for the Heritage Quay proposal will be drawn up, taking into consideration the comments made by ECC heritage. It is envisaged that these plans will not show the greater width of the quay. We are now in possession of the archaeology report (attached) so we do need to finalise the planning application in order to move forward for funding.
Safe swim area splash point to Lido
Earlier this month a joint funded initiative to extend the safe swim area placing yellow buoys was installed from Splash point to a position just abeam the Lido. This was jointly funded by TDS, BHC and BTC. BTCs contribution to the project was around £1,100.00.
A letter of objection was received from a resident asking that rope not be placed between the buoys as it effects his launching of a sail board. I have answered the objection pointing out that the safe swim area was placed to enable all stakeholders using the area a degree of safety against powered vessels and or dinghy’s. It is worth pointing out that the rope between the buoys is also a safe hand hold if any stakeholder experiences any difficulty with the tides etc. I have volunteered to meet with the resident with to discuss placing a “gate” between a section of buoys. It is worth noting that the original section to the west of splash point did stop a jet ski who was using the buoys to slalom between. The fixed rope became entangled into the vessels impeller so disabling the jet ski
I feel it beneficial to monitor the safe swim area this summer so that we can make any changes for next year.
Update on Harbour Commissioners and Point Clear and Jetskis
An updated report has been received from the Harbour Commissioners, giving details of the River Patrol and PWC Security, to date.
They have also extracted the following jet ski from the swimming area!
On 17.8.21 the Harbour Office received a telephone call a resident of Point Clear, who phoned to congratulate the council and the harbour team on their efforts to control the Jet Skis speed. He said for the first time in many years he and his family have been able to enjoy a day out on the beach near their home with out being plagued by jet skis speeding and making a nuisance of themselves. He is looking forward to it continuing.
Lido (Councillor Barry)
Despite continuing mixed summer weather the Lido is maintaining a good customer base and welcoming visitors from all over the county (and beyond) to sample the cool clear waters. So far this season there have been over 8,000 visitors bringing in an income of c £45,000. There has been a wide and diverse range of users with early morning lane swimmers, school and vulnerable adult groups, and birthday parties, in addition to traditional family groups. Additional revenue has been generated from merchandise sales and hire charges for sunbeds and deckchairs. The Lido Cafe has been run off its feet earning a reputation for some of the best healthy food (plus really nice chips) in the area.
The sessional on-line booking system has been operating well and volunteers and paid staff have managed to get swimmers on site very quickly. The atmosphere has been relaxed and feedback universally positive – apart from comments re water temperature which has been adversely affected by heavy rain and lack of warming sunshine.
Overall, given the herculean efforts required just to get the place open, I believe the Lido has done better than could have been expected on all fronts. Testimony must be paid to the dedication of the new manager Nicki Martin and her young staff group and the commitment of the core group of volunteers who contribute so much to the overall ambience of the facility.
Looking ahead there will have to be a change of management at the Café as key members of the team are moving on in September, and there are plans for a winter programme of events. There is a fund raising concert planned for 11th September with local favourites Contraband plus the Café house band. Some ‘pop-up’ café events are being planned with a possible Halloween Party and Xmas Fayre being mooted. It is good to see the place packed again after so long.
Welfare (Councillor Chapman)
Nothing to report.
Western Promenade (Councillor Steady)
2/8 Meeting with TDC officers to discuss warning signs with Cllr Hawkins.
4/8 Meeting with Cheraly Lomax from Active Essex and Jay Kitchen Sledgehammers Basketball Club regarding refurb of basketball court.
13/8 BORROW-PLAY-RETURN initiative the toy recycling box was put into place in Pawson’s Playground, this is an addition to other community involvement with schemes on the Western Prom, which include the Lido, the basketball court, scouts running the boating lake, wet land area in the grass car park and use of the petanque rink in the Millennium Garden
The Discover the Essex Coast information board is now in place adjacent to the shelter by the Lido, comments made not just by visitors but residents along the lines of “I never knew that”.
Defibrillator is now in place on the side of the toilet block.
Tendring District Council Reports:
Monday 26th July Meeting and walk around with Damian Williams, Officer from TDC, with Councillors Steady and Barry
26/7 Meeting with Asst Director Damian Williams concerning Brightlingsea issues
2/8 Attended Microsoft Teams meeting concerning overview and scrutiny.
LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANEL
I am a member as a TDC councillor representing Brightlingsea.
I have advised all regarding the time span of the survey planned for Mill Street/Robinsons Road needed for a quiet lane initiative and speed limit reduction. As per the last full council these are needed due to an increase in through traffic from the Hopkin Homes development and the leisure park which is planned.
The gateway to our town scheme, which I have mentioned previously , is gaining in urgency as the area around All Saints needs looking into ,the edges at the top of the cycle path and signs in general opposite the Business Park. The sign on Blacksmiths Corner is being repaired and will soon be back to its former glory.
Bellfield Avenue – I have again suggested that when improvements are made it is considered that the grass verges are converted into parking/passing places. This is due to the grass verges as they are at the moment are unsightly and the road is on a main bus route.
Communications and Tourism (Councillors Chasney and Court)
We have been looking at the communications channels we currently use and do not use, and how we could do things differently in order to best communicate with residents, visitors and businesses. We are reviewing everything available to us and will report back with our recommendations & a timeline for delivering them once we have discussed priorities with the rest of the council. The goal is very much to deliver more effective (and open new) communications channels while significantly reducing the costs associated with this area of the Council. We have a meeting with David Bridle (Webmaster) 18th August.
We have been able to arrange the first full meeting of the Tourism Advisory Panel project for 27th August which will pull together various relevant local parties/stakeholders such as the Museum, Harbour Commissioners, Colne Yacht Club and local retail, each selected for their relevant expertise. We will add to these as the project develops as and when needed, including plenary sub-committees.