Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on
Thursday 15th August 2019 at 7.30pm.
J Chapman (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, M Beckett, I Block, J Carr,
G Chasney, J Howard, M Judson,
C MacGregor and B Smith
Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk
County Councillor Goggin
9 Members of the public
Before the meeting started the Deputy Mayor wished to record the Councils condolences and sympathy to the family of the young lad who recently died who worked at the Swimming Pool. She asked Councillor Barry if he could write something in the book of condolence, from the Town Council.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Steady
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH JULY 2019 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor Barry proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 18th July 2019 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed
- MAYORS ANNOUNCMENTS:
Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
A copy of County Councillor Goggin’s written report had been circulated to all members.
County Councillor Goggin stated that his ‘work in progress’ report appeared to be well received at the last meeting, and as an experiment he has provided another written report which lists items which he has been involved with.
He went through the following:-
- Item 1 – lights and power in Victoria Place
- Item 3 – Went to the “Call In” on the 8th August 2019 regarding the library. Have many papers to study.
- Item 3 – Have checked the facts regarding the LHP and the £100,000. The notes from the meeting state that “Councillor Belgrove questioned the officers why funding for the panel appeared to be short of £250,000. The officers advised that an invoice for match funding had been issued to TDC for £100,000, and this remains outstanding and therefore £100,000 from Essex County Council has not been paid. Officers further advised that £50,000 for rangers equipment for the previous year had not been paid either.”
- Item 6 – Supported a CIF Grant for the Museum for £10,000 for stage II.
- Item 7 – Library – Noted that the Town Council do not want to get involved, but there are other people asking.
- Item 9 – Footways initiative – Congratulate the two CCC’s for transport and highways, he suspected one did more than the other, for the report submitted. The next step is that the Essex County Council engineers will look at the list to prioritise the work.
- Item 11 – Held bi-monthly clinic at the library, and pleased to report that the computers were upgraded last week. There is, however, a fall in numbers using the library.
- Item 14 – There is an issue with a fallen tree on the cycle path, which the Grounds Manager is trying to deal with, with Essex County Council.
- Item 15 – A meeting with the three Tendring District Councillors will be held to discuss various issues.
- Brightlingsea Indoor Bowls Club have received a grant from Essex County Council for £500.00 from its “Micro Grant”.
Members asked the following questions:
Councillor Carr was interested to note that the library statistics are still being collated, and that attendances have fallen. County Councillor Goggin replied that when he was at the Library on Tuesday he looked at the figures for June. He stated that the number of active members in Brightlingsea has gone from 1547 to 1538, with new members going down from 32 last year, to 17 this year and book loans have gone up to 2438 compared to 2117 for last year. He stated that these statics are on going and are readily available.
Councillor Howard thanked County Councillor Goggin for taking on the issue with the overhanging trees, as something is now going to happen.
She mentioned the meeting at the Sailing Club about the paddling pool, and asked for some idea of what the meeting is about. County Councillor Goggin replied that it is not an Essex County Council initiative, and is being run by William Coulet. Councillor Carr briefed members that EnvioX are working with the Environment Agency, who are funding a project whereby they take sediment out and turn it into sea defence blocks.
Councillor Smith mentioned the Library and asked County Councillor Goggin if he was embarrassed when Councillor Finch and the Cabinet Member could not explain how the £18,000 came about? He also mentioned the e-mail from SOLE (Save our Libraries Essex) and read out the following paragraph:- “You will probably know that the Council has changed its strategy and is now asking communities to take over all the libraries covered by the previous plan – having said that no library will close in the next five years. SOLE’s view is that, if no libraries will close, there is no need for communities to offer to take over since a fully networked professionally run service will be provided by the Council at all existing locations.” He asked County Councillor Goggin to comment. County Councillor Goggin replied that he too subscribes to SOLE, and also received a copy of the press release. He stated that, more importantly, he attended the ‘call in’ which had 16 points, which he is more than happy to share with the Council, however every single point was refuted in detail. A lengthy discussion took place. County Councillor Goggin was specifically asked why he was pursuing contact with volunteers. County Councillor Goggin asked for it to be minuted that the consultation had revealed that the residents wanted more from their library service/building. This could take the form of extra hours and more facilities, and more importantly many of the responders had said they would be happy to volunteer in an effort to improve the library and he was listening to their requests.
The Deputy Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public:
- Outside Dave’s Barbers Shop there is a large black bloomers tub of plants, which is covering a large hole. Councillor Chapman mentioned that this has been reported to Essex County Council as a bollard was knocked over some time ago.
- The junction of Tower Street and Ophir Road is still in darkness every night. County Councillor Goggin stated that Julie at the office is very good at reporting/chasing issues, so please make sure Julie has reported this light.
County Councillor Goggin spoke about the lamp post next to the bus stop which still hasn’t been fixed. He stated that this has now been upgraded to urgent, with the help of pictures from Terry. He said he is hoping that by the next council meeting, there will be some action.
Councillor Carr congratulated County Councillor Goggin for his report, and stated that it gives great deal of transparency on the work carried out.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending July 2019 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Smith as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 707409 – 707426 in the sum of £15,681.30 for payment.
|Base Rate Reward Account||£42,437.13|
|Making a total of:||£189,306.99|
|Less un-presented cheques of:||£4,332.91|
|Bank Balances on all Accounts :||£184,974.08|
|Employee payments paid for the month of July were||£13,136.25|
The accounts were seconded by Councillor Block. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
- CO-OPTION OF TOWN COUNCILLOR:
Councillor Chapman briefed members that one vacancy for Town Councillor still exists and asked for members thoughts on the possibility of co-opting. A discussion took place. Councillor Block then proposed that the decision is postponed until the end of the 1st year of the current council (May 2020). Seconded by Councillor Carr. A vote was taken: For: 6; Against: 3; Abstention: 1. Carried.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 14TH AUGUST 2019 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Smith proposed that the planning recommendations are accepted as a true record, and the recommendations, (as written) be accepted by Council together with the planning decisions from TDC:-
- Additional Recycling Sites
- The following statement would be put on the Councils website: “The Town Council is looking for additional recycling points in the Town and should anyone have any suggestions, subject to agreement of ownership of the land, and the requirement of a concrete base etc., please contact the Parish Hall with your ideas.”
- The Town Council writes to:- (1) Organisations in the town to see if anyone could accommodate a recycling point; (2) The Fire Station, to see if they would be prepared to have recycling facility situated on their land; (3) Tendring District Council to reinstate the recycling bins which were removed from the Western Promenade area.
- Environmental Policy
- The Planning Committee would produce a draft Environmental Policy document, based on the copy from Chesham Town Council and others. This document would be circulated to all councillors, for approval.
- The Hard – recent proposals
- The volunteer committee would put the project out to consultation with stakeholders and the council would continue to be updated on the progress of this project.
- Charges/Superchargers for Electric Cars
- The Town Council would write to:- (1) Orstead about possible funding; (2) The Co-Op to ask (a) are they going to install a charging point; (b) if so, when; (c) what type of charger; (3) Essex County Council to see if they would be prepared to install a charger in Brightlingsea; (4) The Finance committee looks at possible funding from the Town Council budgets and other grants.
- Neighbourhood Planning
- The first plan of action would be to update the Town Plan from 2011 in a way that the information could be used at some future date should the Town Council decide to proceed with a neighbourhood plan.
- SuFuse Project/Committee Decision
- The Committee Decision from SuFuse was noted.
- The date of the next planning meeting to moved to Wednesday 28th August 2019 at 7.30pm.
The minutes were then seconded by Councillor Carr. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLOR CONTACTS AND CO-ORDINATORS::
Councillor Beckett – following feedback from County Councillor Goggin, have now circulated to him and all Councillors a copy of an amended report: ‘Pave the way for a better Brightlingsea’.
Councillor Barry – the Lido report has been overshadowed by the sad death of Lifeguard Rory. There is, as well as a book of condolences at the Lido, a space reserved in St James’ Church where you can go to reflect or leave a message. He then went on to say that there was a Lido Trustees meeting on Tuesday and the position is a very changed season from last year. Last year the sunshine hours and temperatures were 30% above average, this year they are 10-15% below average. They have had 11,000 people in so far this year, and are at a break even figure in terms of operation. The cafe extension has proved excellent, and is already operating at a £10,000 profit. September is to be blazing hot, and we are in a position, with the new machinery that has been installed, to keep the water ticking over. There are events planned for September, however, unfortunately we have had to postpone this weekends open-air cinema due the weather. He said that thanks must go to all the staff and volunteers for all their work and stated that the VIP open day went well, and the District Chairman came back the next day for a swim. All guests were very positive about the plant room development and cafe. Two applications have been submitted for grants, from the co-op, and despite a poor summer, he said “we can survive”.
Councillor Chapman informed members that a CHAPS day is being held in October, and they are now looking at trying to get funding to carry out heart monitoring/screening in teenagers and young children.
Regeneration – Looking at a grant, with the Grounds Manager, called ‘keep your high street clean’ and are looking to purchase one or two ‘billy goat leaf & litter collectors’.
Councillor Judson – Noticed that the Dog Warden was in town the other day. Do they get involved in clearing up dog mess, as it is getting bad in Brightlingsea now?
Councillor Chapman – Dog Ban in Victoria Place – Chelmsford Council have adopted the Anti Social Crime and Policing Act 2014 and this act will introduce simpler, more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour including public spaces protection order and dog fouling. 4-5 other council have taken up this act, including Tendring District Council and the Grounds Manager has asked if the Town Council can adopt this act. Agreed.
Councillor Howard – Youth Drop In – has closed throughout the summer holidays. She said that they have done a fantastic job and bring a lot of activities from other areas for use at our drop-in. She then asked for permission to give them £100.00 from her CCC budget so they can purchase items for the Brightlingsea group. Agreed. Councillor Howard also said that if any Councillor would like to visit the drop in centre, they would be more than welcome.
Councillor Howard also mentioned that she has received correspondence from residents in Colne Road about the trees on the corner of the Lakeside Caravan Park. She asked for approval for the Grounds Manager to engage the services of an arborist, to check the trees, and advise on what action should be taken, if any. This was agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBERREPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor Beckett was asked to relay a message to Councillors from the Legion. The Legion have asked if councillors would like to muster at the Legion, this Sunday, for VJ Parade. The parade will leave at 2.45pm with the service at 3pm. Councillor Chapman added that Councillors meet up at the ‘seat end’ of the War Memorial.
Councillor Howard – attended a Churchyard meeting on Monday with Councillor MacGregor and read out her notes, as follows:-
“After a long process the consecration of the new graveyard extension will take place at All Saints’ on August 29th. Would all invited guests, and partners, and others, arrive at All Saints’ at 6pm, then they will walk to the new land where a short service will take place. During this service a Deed of Consecration will be read out. Afterwards everyone will adjourn to the church for refreshments.
Rules and Regulations – there are problems from time to time where people put things they shouldn’t on the graves. It is a living churchyard, so they encourage bulbs and wild flowers instead of silk flowers, which, if left on the graves too long, blow away or have to be removed etc. There are some small signs around the church, but they are hoping to install a lager notice board with the rules and regulations on, which is more prominent. They have asked if the Town Clerk would have a copy of these rules and regulations at the Council, as some people enquire at the office for this. Agreed. They have bench requests from time to time and these will have designated spots designed around mowing ability. Apparently BTC and the PCC had an old agreement, pre 2007, where it states ‘BTC should supply storage for mowers and garden tools’. As they have had many break ins at the church, they are unable to store these items in their shed, and have asked if the council has any space to store any of their items. (Councillor Howard is liaising with the Grounds Manager about this.) They were having unpaid workers, formally Community Service workers, but they have not had anyone to help them out for a few years. It has taken a long while to get the new piece of land, and the Vicar feels that they should start looking at additional land now.”
Councillor MacGregor – Attended the Local Clinical Commissioning Group Annual Meeting. North East Essex is now aliened with Suffolk as part of the sustainability transformation programme required by Central Government. She stated that the CCG were able to report that they have made all of their required savings for the past year, plus additional savings that went into offset the government pot, where other areas haven’t made their savings, which is then in turn allowed access to capital funding for building improvements and extensions. Councillor MacGregor mentioned that the Colchester General Hospital is under refurbishment, and you need to add at least 10 minutes to your journey due to this work. The refurbishment work is to improve reception and the foyer, with additional shops, and the creation of a new Urgent Care Treatment Centre. She has put in an FOI request, but to date has had no response.
Councillor Chapman asked for permission for the Clerk to contact the police about PCSO Groves, who has been moved from Brightlingsea to another area. She stated that PCSO Groves was exceptionally good at her job, here when we needed here, had the respect of the residents, knew the area well and to state in the letter that the Council are disappointed that she has been moved to another area. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Barry briefed members on the new rubbish and recycling service and asked if anyone was still having problems with the new service to continue to report it to the office.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AND DETERMINE ACTIONS REQUESTED:
2.1 Agreed The Brightlingsea & District Rotary Club can use the Millennium Gardens for the finish of this year’s Jog Walk Run in aid of Essex Air Ambulance – subject to usual terms and conditions.
Councillor Steady, although absent from the meeting, had declared an interest in the following item:
2.2 Agreed The Mayor can sponsor, on behalf of the Town Council, through his Mayors Fund, the purchase of Club T-Shirts for the University Community Sailing Club, for the European Fixed Seat Rowing Championships on the 11-17 October 2019 in Italy.
Councillor Chapman 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 Carr. Agreed.
- MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
- Safeguarding Policy
- Property Update
- SAFEGUARDING POLICY:
A copy of a report by Councillor MacGregor on the review of safeguarding July 2019 had been circulated to all members. Councillor MacGregor briefed members and after discussion proposed that:
- The council facilitates a contract with Essex County Council for Disclosure and Barring checks of staff members
- To authorise payments of associated costs
- To arrange access to a half day shutdown training day with a suitably qualified trainer.
Seconded by Councillor Barry. Agreed.
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
A report on the Field off Mill Street, known as Gravel Field, had been circulated to all members. Councillor Chapman briefed members and after discussion it was agreed to look into the possibility of taking the lease/agreement back, and linking the field to the tree plantation field.
Lakeside Caravan Park – A discussion took place on the condition of the Lakeside Caravan Park, and it was agreed to write a strong letter to the tenant about the condition of the site and also the adverse comments online and arrange a meeting as soon as possible. Agreed that Councillors Block and Howard would write the letter. Councillor Beckett stated that the council could also ask for a progress report on the improvements to the site.
Post meeting note: Councillor Chasney visited the site on 17th August 2019, and e-mailed the Clerk and Councillors Howard and Block and stated that the he could see nothing wrong with the men’s wing, it was up to date and very clean. This is different to the utility area that has not yet been refurbished and is closed off to visitors. Due to this he thinks that we should not write a letter, but instead hold the meeting on the basis of internet review comments and recent the complaint made to a shopkeeper.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.10 p.m.
Date: 19th September 2019