BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on

Thursday 21st November 2019 at 7.30pm.

Present:

Councillors

G Steady (Mayor)

J Chapman (Deputy Mayor)

M Barry, M Beckett, J Carr, G Chasney,

J Howard, M Judson and B Smith

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk

County Councillor Goggin

15 Members of the public

106. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors Block and MacGregor.

107. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17TH OCTOBER 2019 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Barry proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 17th October  2019 were accepted as a true record.  Seconded by Councillor Howard.  Agreed

108. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes. 

The Mayor added the following to his announcements:- 

  • 20th November – attended the Friends of All Saints AGM
  • The sad news of the death of Ex-Councillor Tom Dale, who was Mayor of Brightlingsea, Leader of Essex County Council and a District Councillor.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time

He also mentioned that he is badge less at the moment, as the chain is being re-enamelled, re-gilded and being engraved up to date.

109. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

110. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

The Mayor mentioned that he wished to re-tweek the slot from County Councillor Goggin, and that all members had had a copy of his report, and asked members to ask questions on any subject which has been reported on.

Both Councillors Howard and Judson wished it to be recorded that they disagreed with this format.  The Mayor referred them to Standing Orders.

Councillor Chapman thanked County Councillor Goggin for all the work he has been doing with her over the last 2-3 months, which has been quite intense.   She then asked if there had been any more update from Essex County Council on the street light situation in Victoria Place?  County Councillor Goggin replied that the last e-mail he had received was on the 20th November.  He had raised the issue of late night shopping and that the lights are out and the bollard outside Dave’s Barbers is still missing.  The reply given was “I have spoken to Essex Highways and let them know of late night shopping date.  They are aiming to complete the ‘make safe’ by the end of the month.  Before they can replace the bollard, they are waiting for some information from the utility companies to see what apparatus is below the ground.  Offices say that if they get the results of this utility search before the end of the month, they will carry out the bollard replacement instead of the make safe.”  Councillor Chapman thanked County Councillor Goggin.

Councillor Smith asked about the street light outside Tesco, and asked County Councillor Goggin if he could confirm that it was going to be completed within the next 9 days.  County Councillor Goggin replied that he could not confirm this, however he pointed Councillor Smith to his report where it stated “Highway Repairs – Street light outside Tesco/Bus stop – still not repaired.  Update given – linked to Bollard repairs and request re late Night Shopping.”  He has also asked for an investigation into why it has taken so long, and has been told that it is still promised by the end of November, however the people who do the repairs are those who go out gritting the roads, so a real cold spell may set it back a bit.  Councillor Smith asked what steps have been taken for the future to make sure if we get a street light knocked down,  it will not take a year for Essex County Council contractors to put it right.   County Councillor Goggin replied that he could not stop crazy drivers – it was a road accident, so was not reported to him in the first instance  The Mayor replied that we need to work together and get things completed quicker. 

Councillor Beckett asked for the update on Robinson Road.  County Councillor Goggin replied that there was no progress, however a meeting has been agreed  for him and Councillor Beckett for the 19th December.  County Councillor Goggin said that his update was on Chapel Road and that he had spoken to the people in charge of the initiative, however when they got round to doing the survey, the condition of the footpath was so bad that the concept of patching would not work, so they will carry out the repairs instead.  They have marked out 400 sq metres, which is 4 times the amount of what was ever expected.  He said that there is a complication, and that is that to do the job properly, many of the cars that park there will have to move, and also there could be problems with the bus route, so Essex County Council are in negotiation with the bus company about a possible road closure.

Councillor Carr made an observation about the Local Tax Bill, which for residents is in excess of 60% for Essex, so it is good to talk to you.  County Councillor Goggin replied that the contribution for a Band F house is £2,530 on your rates, of that £2,530, £1,007 goes to Essex County Council, £180 goes to adult care, £104 goes to fire and rescue, TDC gets £226, Parish Council gets £87, Police and Crime Commissioner gets £278, so the bit that relates to Essex is 76% of the rates spend.

Councillor Carr directed County Councillor Goggin’s attention to Councillor Beckett’s report and the single yellow line in Tower Street, and asked for his urgent attention for next season, this allowing a single yellow line on the left hand side of the road going down to the hard.  County Councillor Goggin replied that the decision making process has to come through the Local Highways Panel, but before this it has to be agreed by the Town Council, as a whole.  However if there is not a safety element, it may not get passed.  The Mayor replied that this needs bringing forward to the Local Highways Panel and Essex County Council. 

Councillor Chasney asked about the Early Years Grant, what is it all about and who gets the money?  County Councillor Goggin replied that Essex County Council, along with many others, have a pre school and nursery extra funding pot, and in Essex it is £750,000.00.  In Essex it is designed for children who go to preschool or nursery and are identified with having a problem, i.e. autism, a  deaf/visual/physical problem.  This is specifically for children under 5 years old. 

Councillor Barry asked how many Sure Start Centres have been closed or consolidated in Essex and asked whether there are any proposals to reinvigorate them?  County Councillor Goggin replied that in 2012/13 the budget was 5.3m, in 2017/18 the budget was 3.2m, and that the service needed looking at.  The amount of young people engaged during 2012/2013 was 47,412, under the new system the number of people engaged was 77,400 plus.  Councillor Barry said that he was asking about Sure Start for the under 5’s, however this has been expanded to under 18’s so these figures are meaningless in the context of the question asked. A discussion took place. 

The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public:

  • In Alresford, when you come down the hill with the stables on the right hand side, there is a tree/branches sticking out.  Can anything be done about this?  County Councillor Goggin replied that this has been reported, however as it is in Alresford, Alresford Parish Council would ask the Tendring Rangers to look into this.
  • As we have been forbidden to hear your report can you tell us what issues haven’t been discussed yet?  County Councillor Goggin replied that he was now going to give an overview of his report:-
  • Thanked the Town Clerk for putting last months report on the web-site
  • Need a new School Crossing Patrol person for Ladysmith Avenue, and thanked the Town Clerk for arranging the notice to be displayed on the web-site
  • The full Essex County Council meeting on December 10th has been cancelled due to election purposes
  • Had a note of graffiti in the High Street.  Thanks again to the Town Clerk for arranging the removal of this, two days later.

The Mayor did highlight the fact that members of the public could ask for a hard copy of all the reports, before the meeting, but on this occasion County Councillor Goggin’s report was only received on Wednesday, therefore making it difficult to circulate beforehand.

County Councillor Goggin then registered his sadness at the death of Tom Dale.  He was an Essex County Councillor, and also Chairman.  He then sent his best wishes to Councillor Ian Block.

The Mayor reiterated that County Councillor Goggin is available 24/7, as are all Town Councillors, so issues do not have to wait until the council meeting for any updates.  Councillor Judson informed members that he is  not available on e-mail, but always by phone.

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

The Payments and Accounts for the period ending October  2019 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Smith as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 707458 – 707475  in the sum of £3,973.44 be authorised for payment.

Current Account

£142,214.20

Saver Account

£68,456.95

Base Rate Reward Account

£42,479.94

Making a total of:

£253,151.09

Less un-presented cheques of:

532.27

Bank Balances on all Accounts :

£252,618.82

Income to date

£356,452.25

Expenditure to date

£290,210.07

Employee payments paid for October

£14,623.03

Payments taken direct from the bank account in October –20 payments totalling

£17,662.38

Debtors as at 31st October 2019 –

2 payments less than 3 months old totalling

£13,303.63

5 payments older than 3 months old totalling

£1,083.75

The accounts were seconded by Councillor Judson.  Agreed.

Councillor Barry asked what the two payments were, older than three months old, totalling over £13,000.  The Clerk replied that £13,131.63 was for Tendring District Council for the car park charges.

112. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 14TH NOVEMBER 2019 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:

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

(1) Winterfest would be allocated £650.00 towards their project, but this would be subject to a meeting with Town Councillors to explore other avenues and opportunities for funding.  Also a copy of their accounts to be provided; (2) The Brightlingsea Primary School and Nursery PTA would be allocated £582.24, being the remainder of the grants budget, and the Mayor would cover the shortfall of £406.18 from his Mayors Allowance; (3) Councillor Chapman would liaise with Sgt Tattersell and ask whether or not the police are still match funding, and also to ask how much money they think would be needed to cover December/Christmas period; (4) A meeting would be arranged sometime in January/February 2020  with TDC to discuss and also quotations would be obtained from other firms to manage the car parks; (5) (a) A budget would be produced showing a 3.5%, 4%, 4.5% and 5% increase on the precept; (b) Members would be asked to justify their CCC bid; (c)  The PCC and the Harbour Commissioner would be asked to clarify how their standing annual grant is spent; (d) The leading lights agreement would be looked into and increased accordingly; (e) Additional beach huts would be looked at further; (f) Date of next meeting – Thursday 5th December 2019 at 7.30pm, after planning at 7pm; (6) A small working party would be set up, consisting of Councillors Smith, Barry and Steady.  Also a reply would go to the Community Centre stating that the Council agrees with their premise and aims but the Town Council would like to meet to explore funding opportunities.

Seconded by Councillor Steady.  Agreed.

The Mayor briefed members that, with all Committee meetings, the minutes are not adopted or made public until they are received by full council at its next meeting.

113. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 24TH OCTOBER AND 7TH NOVEMBER 2019 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Smith then proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of  24th October  and 7th November 2019 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC.  Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed

114. TO RECEIVE THE COMPLETED EMERGENCY PLAN FOR BRIGHTLINGSEA:

Councillor Howard informed members that the Emergency Plan is now complete, and is available at the Parish Hall to have a look at.  She thanked Julie for all her hard work in putting the plan together.  The Mayor then stated that as no one had seen the plan, the adoption of the plan would be deferred until the next meeting, and copies would be e-mailed out to all members.

115. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

116. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLOR CONTACTS AND CO-ORDINATORS::

Councillor Chapman – Several Councillors keep being asked about the housing situation, particularly for local people.  Just to give an update – there are 1,729 people on TDC’s Council housing list, 840 want a 1 bedroom property, 460 want a 2 bedroom property, 193 want a 3 bedroom property and 136 want a 4 bedroom property.  Tendring only has 30, 4 bedroom houses.

Councillor Chapman informed members that she and councillor Steady had met with Inspector Darren Deex, there are 23 new officers in Tendring that have started and 8 more are due to start in January 2020.

Councillor Beckett had given all members a copy of his report on Transport & Highways, and highlighted the following:-

  1. Tower Street – Will be making a proposal for the January meeting of making Tower Street 20mph.

Councillor Carr declared an interest in the following item:-

  1. Lower Tower Street – Councillor Beckett formally recommended to the Council that it applies for a TRO to extend the restriction to 1st April to 31st October.  Seconded by Councillor Judson.  Agreed.
  2. From the 5th January 2020 the timetable for the 62 Bus will change.  Councillor Smith proposed that the Council makes representation to the bus companies, with the idea that some routes from Brightlingsea went straight to Colchester, without calling at Wivenhoe and vice versa. Seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed
  3. Concerns have been raised by residents regarding:- accessibility of Sydney Street, New Street and Tower Street; the state of footpaths on Chapel Road, Hurst Green, High Street, Station Road, Sydney Street, Tower Street and New Street; the entrance and design of the exit at the Doctors Surgery; Speed and lorry use in Robinson Road.

Councillor Steady said that this is a good report, but it would be better if the report was circulated before the meeting.

  Councillor Smith –The Environmental Policy is on the web-site, and various organisations/people have been asked for their comments.  An action plan, to go with the policy, will be circulated to all members. 

Councillor Steady asked Councillor Howard about the accident at the boating lake, and Model Boat Club’s insurance.  Councillor Howard said that she would make contact with Gary about this.  Councillor Steady also asked about the Drop In Centre, and whether there is anything on the agreement about cancelling the sessions.  Councillor Howard said it is Mondays, term time only.

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

Councillor Steady mentioned the Churchyard agreement from 2005, and dated that this needs looking at.

118. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Councillor Barry briefed members about the Rapid Transport System, and alerted members and public of the existence of the consultation document, which links the roads between the A120 and the A133, which is going to cost £30m.  There is an opportunity to view the proposals at Wivenhoe House on 25th November from 1pm until 8pm.

119. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AND DETERMINE ACTIONS REQUESTED:

2.1 Agreed that the Brightlingsea Scout Group can use the Lower Park Playing fields for its Classic Car Show and Fun Day on Sunday 6th September 2020 from 10am until 5pm, subject to usual terms and conditions.  Also Tendring District Council to be contacted about free parking on the day on the Western Promenade.

2.2 Members believe that a ‘happy to chat’ bench is a good idea, for the Victoria Place Gardens, but not at the proposed site.  Suggest they replace one of the seats in the centre of the garden.  Agreed.

Councillor Steady 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 Chapman.   Agreed.

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

  • Property Update

121. PROPERTY UPDATE: 

The Chairman briefed as follows:-

Scout Hut – The agreements are with the Scout Association for approval.

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – The Chairman read out an e-mail from the Solicitors.  After discussion it was agreed that the Council are in consultation with our Solicitors regarding this issue.  There was a general feeling that we have negotiated in all good faith, but that it would appear this might not be the case with our tenant.

122.     CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.10 p.m. 

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