Minutes of the Extraordinary Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:

Thursday 31st May 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

 

Present:

Councillors

B Smith (Mayor)

G Steady (Deputy Mayor)

M Barry, I Block, J Chapman, V Chapman, D Dixon,

J Howard, D Ingate, M Judson and J Russell

 

In attendance:


1 member of the public
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk

 

Before the meeting commenced, the Mayor mentioned that a challenge had been raised by a member of the public that this meeting was not legitimate in so far that the council had not given the proper notice to hold the meeting. He informed members that the notice was posted on the notice board, and sent to the web-master, for inclusion on the web-site. Unfortunately the web-master was on holiday, so it did not appear on the web-site until a few days later. After seeking advise with NALC, the following advice was given:

 

“Notice to be given for Council meetings – Three clear days before a council meeting, notice of its date, time and venue must be posted in a conspicuous place in the parish or community. Any documents relating to the business to be transacted at the meeting unless they relate to business which is likely to be considered in private or if their disclosure would be contrary to any enactment (see model standing order 15b for Wales). Clear Days does not include the day on which the notice was issued and the day of the meeting. Additionally S.243 of the 1972 Act provides that the following days do not count when computing the three days:

  • Sundays;
  • a day of the Christmas break;
  • a day of the Easter break;
  • Bank holidays and
  • Days appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.”

 

The Mayor then stated that he was satisfied that due notice was given for this meeting and he would be conducting the meeting in the normal way.

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Yallop.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

 

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 24TH MAY 2018 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:

 

Councillor Steady highlighted that in the last two years, the councils reserves have increased by £56,000, which has been achieved partly by prudent budgeting and we have an ongoing system of scrutinising our budgets. As a matter of interest the insurance policy has just been renewed for a three year term, and the new rate is £5,5  88.00, which represents a saving year on year of £1,172.00. We will continue to scrutinise all budgets throughout the year.

 

Councillor Steady then proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, and the recommendations, (as written) be accepted:

 

  • The Risk Assessment & Management Report 2017/2018 is accepted and signed off at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on the 31st May 2018.
  • (1) The valuation of all property is carried out during 2018/2019; (2) the value of £2,578,751.02 would form part of the Annual Return Figures.
  • (1) The creditor of £10,000 for the swimming pool would be taken out of the accounts during 2018/2019; (2) the Year End Accounts would be signed off at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on the 31st May 2018.
  • Section 1 of the Annual Return is completed as follows:- questions 1-8 yes; question 9 N/A.
  • The figures in Section 2 of the Annual Return are agreed.
  • Members allowances remain at £300.00 for Members and £500.00 for the Mayor. The Clerk would obtain more information on (1) a Charge Card; (2) a Sum Up System and (3) Internet Banking.

 

Councillor Barry asked about the creditor of £10,000.00 for the swimming pool. Councillor Steady replied that this was the £10,000 not paid for Tendring District Council, and this would be removed in this years accounts.

 

The Minutes were then seconded by Councillor Block. A vote was taken. Agreed.

 

  1. PUBLIC COMMUNICATION:

 

A copy of a draft Public Communication Policy had been circulated to all members. Councillor Smith then read out the draft policy and stated that once it was agree, it would be put on the Councils web-site. Councillor J Chapman asked if a copy could be put in the Reception Area, as not all members of the public do not use web-sites.

 

Councillor Russell made the following amendments to the policy:-

 

  • Councillor surgeries will be held as required.
  • Personal visits to the office are for obtaining items.
  • Phone calls to the office are for factual and “simple” day to day information, not simply
  • Legal proceedings – Letters about any legal proceedings of any form which have been started against the Council, will be acknowledged and passed to our Solicitors.

 

Councillor Smith then proposed the Public Communication Policy, as amended, be accepted by Council.

 

Councillor Barry mentioned that communication is a two way process, and we have a duty to communicate with the public as well. It is not just about how the public contacts us and how we respond, it is about how we might engage more openly with the public. A discussion took place. Councillor J Chapman mentioned that the policy should include staff as well as the Council. This was agreed.

 

Councillor Block, agreed, as amended. A vote was taken. Agreed with one abstention.

 

  1. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
  • Staff Update

 

Councillor Russell moved, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, in order to discuss items of a sensitive nature and items which are commercially confidential, the press and public be excluded. This was seconded by Councillor Block Agreed.

A lengthy discussion then took place on the motion to exclude the public, and three members