1].ECC Highways meeting

Friday 21 Feb.  Town Hall.  B’sea. ECC Head of maintenance plus AG’s “buddy”.

To discuss ECC repair and maintenance procedures and systems.

Report back at March meeting.  Hopefully most Brightlingsea Councilors will attend anyway.  1 apology received.

2].Chapel Lane.  Pavement repairs

Part of ECC Member initiative.  Looks as if much more will be completed than originally requested.

Delayed due to works in Red Barn Road.  Also negotiations with bus company needed.  Unique shuttle bus will operate

Estimated start.  Middle of March.  Road will be closed.

3].Hurst Green Pavement repairs

ECC Maintenance.

Completed.  Looks good.  No comments to date.

4].Back Waterside Lane.

Site visit with ECC technician.  Resident complaint road surface.

Met with residents.  Am reporting back.

Investigation appears to reveal that ECC liability extends further than expected.  Being discussed.

5].Bellfield Road

Ongoing.  Due to be re-inspected soon as normal action.

Site visit with Buddy.

Problem is level of capital expenditure needed.

6].Local Highways Panel.

Next meeting.  March 19

AG to attend as member of panel.  Cllr Steady attends also as TDC rep.

Full budget for year should be known.  Looking at issues.

7].B1027 speed review

Discussions re accident reality and probability of accidents & deaths. All B’sea motoring residents must use this road at some stage.

With support from 4 councils AG has campaigned for overall review of whole length 3 to 4 years.

ECC have agreed to undertake full review of B1027 in spring.  Meeting scheduled at Feb 26 with Officers & local Cllrs.  St Osyth hosting.

8].Full ECC meeting. 11 Feb.  County Hall.

As previously I circulated written questions from members when received by AG.

Interesting comments from some councilors.

AG asked to speak re Tom Dale together with Lib Dems.


Balanced budget agreed

Leaders speech listed below. Some key overall points listed next.

+Lord Randall appointed

+£5M climate action

+£500K rough sleepers

+£1M Mental health

+£1M Just about manageing

+£500K Police County Lines

+£318M Infrastructure

+£130M Roads

10].Member led footway repair programe.

I am due to attend briefing.  Possible repeat.  Watch this space.

Circulated to all 5 of my councils.  Request submission.  Deadline for application end of December. 4 applied.

First Come first served system operated.

AG recommending even if late, put in application.  Smaller area available.  One bus length only now

11].Police & Crime commissioner

Meeting Chelmsford 21 Jan.

Discussed extra police.  Last year +150.  This year +218.

Overall numbers from 2850 to 3600. Budget £750 M per annum.  Role of foot patrols debated.

12].Highways Buddy visit to town

Jan 28.  Several sites around Town.

Report at tomorrows meeting.

Site visits

13].Kent & Essex Conservation Authority

31 JAN

Limits on catch and minimum size

Locally could help with oyster bed layings.

14].Jack Petchey awards night.

Feb 11.  Attended.  Colchester

AG represented ECC

Very humbling to see youth working well in society – sometimes despite huge difficulities.

15].Residents Clinic.  Brightlingsea Library

Feb 18

Good attendance.  Mainly roads.  Mention Lower Park stop works but lights left.

16].Active Essex meeting. Chelmsford

Feb 12.  Seminar re Cycling and walking developments and plans.

Repeated at members briefing Feb 18

Link journeys. Bus/Car/bike. Beryl bikes.

Advise walks in Brightlingsea.

A Budget for All – Speech by The Leader, Councillor David Finch – 11/02/20 

Chairman, fellow members, 

I commend this budget to you today as a budget for all, a budget of hope.  It is a budget for our most vulnerable residents,   

It is a budget for older adults, children at risk, and families who are Just About Managing,   

It’s a budget for businesses and people with ambition.

A budget for anyone who lives, works, walks, cycles, takes a bus or drives in our county. 

It’s a budget for our environment.

And it’s a budget for our children and for future generations.

Chairman I believe that this is the most ambitious budget you will find anywhere in local government. 

Over the last few years we have gone from a very effective, very well-run authority, to one of the strongest councils in about any category you can think of. 

Indeed, for two years running we have been in the top ten most effective local authorities in the country. No other council of our size is anywhere near that level. For that I’d like to personally thank my Cabinet, our Chief Executive, his leadership team and every single one of the thousands of people employed by Essex County Council.

It is thanks to how effectively we operate – in a time of ever-tightening financial constraints – that we are able to deliver a budget that not only balances the books,  keeps Essex moving, protects our residents, but also breaks new ground, and enables us to explore new and exciting opportunities to take Essex into the future And I truly believe it gives an incredibly strong message of hope.

Front and centre is our programme of Climate Action.   It is clear that the announcements we made at the last Full Council – the cross-party commission and the Essex Forest Initiative – captured the imagination of the county. Cllr Walsh and I have been inundated by excited residents, partners and industry bodies who are keen to work with us.

I am able to announce the Independent Chair of that Commission to you today. We are very proud to have been able to secure Lord Randall as the Commission’s Independent Chair. It is a massive result for us, demonstrating the huge potential for the commission to make genuine change – his experience, reputation, connections and influence nationally gives the Commission a huge head start. 

We are in the process of finalising the full list of members of the commission, which we will release very soon, the first meeting will be in the next couple of months. 

Of course, we must never ignore the voice of residents, and especially the voice of youth. As a result, Lord Randall will have two co-Chairs, who are both students at Essex schools, and who have been appointed by the Young Essex Assembly. I know Cllr Walsh was very impressed by their enthusiasm and passion for the environment, and he is looking forward to working with them both.

As you will have seen in this budget, we have set aside £5m in a reserve for Climate Action. That is £5m to be spent on implementing the recommendations from this Commission. 

Chairman, no other council is showing this level of ambition or commitment to Climate Action. 

As I’ve said already Chairman this is a Budget for All; and a Budget of Hope. 

And you all know of this administration’s commitment, and indeed my personal commitment, to improving the lives of every single resident of this county.   Last year we pledged a quarter of a million pounds to help tackle homelessness. I am pleased to say that this money directly prevented 75 different households from becoming homeless and supported many hundreds more to stabilise their accommodation status.

We have also just secured nearly half a million pounds from Government to continue our work with rough sleepers.

We have also invested £1m in initiatives to improve the mental health and wellbeing of residents, which has been spent on several projects supporting children in care and children with autism as well as adults in the workplace, prisoners and veterans Thanks to this investment, we’ve been able to trial innovative new approaches to working with these often-vulnerable groups of individuals and we are looking now at how to scale up and implement permanent solutions for both prevention of mental health crises and homelessness.

And thanks to how effectively we’ve run this authority over the years we are able to invest additional money to support our most vulnerable this year; with millions of extra investment in our outstanding Children’s Services, home to school transport and adult social care.

However, there is a group of people for whom I think we can do a lot more. I firmly believe that there is more we can do to help the hard-working people in Essex to thrive. We are therefore announcing that by the end of this year we will have invested a total of £1 million to increase the prosperity of those working families who are Just About Managing. The potential of this work is massive, we could make huge differences to an entire group of residents who sometimes feel left behind. 

I also know the importance of community safety and the protection of our residents, young and old, from gangs and county lines. Last year we announced half a million pounds for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to help tackle this major issue through our violence and vulnerability partnership. This has proven a great success.  One example: the partnership engaged with hundreds of young people at their most ‘reachable’ moments – like when they come into contact with the hospital in a moment of crisis. In these ‘reachable’ moments, if our approach is right, we are finding we can get through to these young people and divert them away from gangs  but it is also only the beginning. We are happy to commit another half a million pounds this year to continue to trial new approaches to supporting children at risk of exploitation from gangs.

This truly is a budget for all. We have listened to our residents and we have listened to every member in this chamber. We know you want Essex to continue to be a great place to grow up, live and work.

Alongside delivering 1700 new school places next year, more money for home to school transport and our £130m programme for our roads, we will also begin to see the fruits of the £318m that we won from government to invest in our infrastructure – starting with a new train station in Chelmsford and a rapid transit system in Colchester.

Last year we invested 700 thousand pounds in improving our footways and with your help we repaired footways in more than 300 locations. To build on this we are committing an extra £5m for improving road and footpath condition in the county this year. 

Chairman, I’m a firm believer in localism. I’ve said many times in this chamber that nobody knows more about their local community and its challenges than the local Councillor. We are therefore providing a fund of £750,000, a grant of £10,000 to each Essex County Councillor, to spend on local community initiatives in your division in 2020/2021. This will enable you, as the local Councillor to tackle some of the local issues in your community that you know about – quickly and efficiently. Providing local solutions for local problems. You will be briefed on this in full in March.   

Chairman, I have outlined a balanced budget to you today. A budget that continues to push Essex County Council forward as one of the most effective Councils in the country. But it will also do much more than that. 

It is a budget for all, and it is a budget for hope.  It will enable us to do things no other council is doing.  We will support hard working residents in new and exciting ways We will give new levels of control to our county councillors We will go further than any other council in tackling climate change Chairman/ Cllrs, I commend this budget to you and move the recommendations set out as parts 1 and 2 of the Budget Report.

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