Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 7.30 p.m.
B Smith (Mayor)
G Steady (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, I Block, J Chapman, V Chapman, D Dixon,
J Howard, D Ingate, M Judson, J Russell and K Yallop
County Councillor Alan GogginTracey Pulford –Town Clerk
7 Members of the public
The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting, and stated that he had just rushed back from a meeting at County Hall, Chelmsford on Devolution. He also mentioned that, at the Bloomers End of Season Supper, he won the cake raffle, with the proceeds going the Royal British Legion, and he wished to share the cake with Councillors and members of the public, after the main part of the meeting.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH OCTOBER 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor Russell proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 18th October 2018 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
A copy of the Mayors Announcements are annexed to the minutes.
The Mayor then gave a summary of the meeting he had just attended at County Hall re: Devolution. He stated that:
- Essex County Council are offering to devolve some work to Town and Parish Councils.
- 84 Councils had applied to be in the pilot.
- The money is not worked out on the basis of what the County Council does in Brightlingsea. They had £1m spare from last year, and have divided £1m by the population of Essex, and came up with 68p per head. The latest figure they have for the population of Brightlingsea is 8076, which is taken from the 2011 census. This means that the money for Brightlingsea is £5,500.70.
- Brightlingsea Town Council has the opportunity, if it wishes, to go forward with this pilot.
- The work is somewhat limited, it does not include anything on the highway i.e. potholes, but grass mowing, installing signs in the ground etc.
- One question to think about is Liability. All of the Councils on the pilot have to have 10m public liability. A question was also asked about professional indemnity insurance.
- The money will be paid upfront, on a monthly basis.
The following questions were asked:-
- Councillor Block asked if the Council takes over these services, would the same amount of money would be available next year? The Mayor replied yes, it is to be continued. They wish to run the pilot, learn by it and offer the scheme to all Parish and Town Councils in the County.
- Councillor Ingate asked if the £5,000 is for the year? The Mayor replied yes, the amount of money is for the year and could start in January.
- Councillor Barry stated that, as he understood it, the Council was already doing some work for the County Council, i.e. footpaths, cycle path etc., is this not the thin end of the wedge, and is it going to carry on and develop into something more specific with the devolution of major services? The Mayor replied that he did not think the County Council has any plans to give any major construction work to Town and Parish Councils, and stated that this is new money and additional money.
A discussion took place. The Mayor stated that the meeting at County Hall had been a useful meeting, and he would arrange a meeting with members to discuss Devolution further and to decide whether or not the Town Council wants to continue with this pilot, or leave things as they are.
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- FIVE MINUTE REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN AND QUESTIONS:
County Councillor Goggin said that on a personal note, he thought that the events on Remembrance Sunday, was an unbelievable compliment to the town.
County Councillor Goggin then reported on the following:-
- Two items left over from the last meeting:- (1) a question from the public on nuclear power and how many reactors at Bradwell. The answer is they do not know yet. (2) Notice boards on bus stops, having liaised with Councillor Judson, 5 notice boards will be installed at bus stops, these will include time tables at the Victoria Place stop, Regent Road stop, two at the Colne School and one somewhere else.
- At the last meeting there was a comment about wing mirrors, following an accident at Church Hill. The question asked was ‘how many incidents go un-reported’. The bottom line is, no one knows. However the last survey on Church Hill showed that there were 4.5m journeys in a year.
- Attended, with Councillor Block, a Transport Meeting on 30th October, with the Bus Companies.
- Attended the Local Highways Panel Meeting on 25th There will be change in the structure, and there will be a space on the Local Highways Panel for a member of local town and parish councils. Councillor Russell informed members TDALC will be discussing this.
- Together with Councillor Judson, we put in a request for some of the pot holes in Bellfield Avenue to be repaired. Very pleased to report that this was carried out, however the road does need resurfacing.
- Attended meetings this week re budgets, where they are nearly at the stage of a balanced budget. The gap between the budget and income is 3m, but the 911m net figure is a fairly modest number.
- Devolution – The situation is an attempt to deal with the concept of a lot of stuff which Essex County Council deal with.
- Todays news is about Libraries and all libraries are being looked at. There is a paper, which goes before the Cabinet next week – these papers are the cabinet agenda documents, which have not been passed or agreed. The bottom line on libraries is that Essex County Council are responsible for 74 libraries, with another 8 run by community groups. The amount of use has gone down by 50% in the last 7 years but he encourages as many groups as possible to use the space at the library. Essex County Council are looking at the use of libraries, and a pubic consultation starts on the 29th November 2018 and runs for a 12 week period until 20th February 2019. He recommended that as many people as possible consult. He said that a public meeting could be a good idea, and that a community led library has worked in other areas, and he will be speaking to the Community Centre, Museum etc. about this.
Members asked the following questions:
Councillor J Chapman – Why are people adamant Brightlingsea is going to close, when the consultation period has not yet started? County Councillor Goggin replied that the basic concept was to look at the libraries, where they are graded into four – Number 1 is the big centres, i.e. Colchester – number 4 is where there is no where near the public use to justify, numbers 2 and 3 are the ones that are up for discussion – and is there any alternative. Brightlingsea sits at number 3. County Councillor Goggin said that he is committed to thinking that some sort of library will remain in Brightlingsea.
Councillor Howard – If the library moves to the Community Centre, what happens to the building in New Street? County Councillor Goggin said the building would be sold, however Wivenhoe Town Council are in the process of buying the Library in Wivenhoe, and are looking to move their Council Offices there.
Councillor Smith declared an interest in the Community Centre, as he is a Trustee.
Councillor Barry asked who would be leading the campaign? County Councillor Goggin replied that he would be happy to lead the campaign, if the council thinks it is appropriate, and he would like to see someone leading from Essex County Council, Tendring District Council, and someone from Brightlingsea. Councillor Yallop said that she would be happy to assist as a Tendring Councillor.
Councillor Judson – If we moved the Library to the Community Centre, would it be open for longer periods of each day? County Councillor Goggin replied that those people who have done something similar, yes the facility is open for longer, i.e. the post office, Lido etc. He said that at the moment the Community Centre want bookings, so it could possibly take on the joint role with the library, and if the hours worked, there could be more joint ventures. .
Councillor V Chapman said that a few years ago, this issue was discussed with Jeremy Lucas. She mentioned that she was not sure if the Community Centre was an ideal location for the library. County Councillor Goggin mentioned that at the moment there is no parking at the Library, and there are no public toilets.
The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public.
Q1) When is the best time to call a public meeting, is it after the consultation? County Councillor Goggin replied no, before the end of the consultation. He then asked Councillor Barry for his thoughts, as a public meeting was held for the Lido. Councillor Barry said it should be held during the early part of the consultation. County Councillor Goggin said that he thought a meeting should be called during December.
As there were no further questions for County Councillor Goggin, the Mayor thanked him for his report and comments.
- 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 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Ingate as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 707173 – 707201 in the sum of £6,690.95 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £248,122.54
Employee payments paid for the month of October were £13,211.63
The accounts were then seconded by Howard. 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.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 18TH OCTOBER AND 1ST NOVEMBER 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 18th October and 1st November 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed
Councillor V Chapman mentioned that the Architect for Batemans Tower Cafe had attended the Planning meeting this evening, and had asked for help with some queries. She read out the queries to all Members. She then asked for permission from the Town Council to write to Tendring District Council to endorse the requests. Agreed.
- SUCCESSION PLANNING – COUNCILLOR STEADY TO REPORT:
Councillor Steady mentioned that any successful organisation looks at succession planning when cycles are coming to end. With Council elections in May 2019, we need to look at succession planning. He stated that these come in different forms, and some may not want to state what their actions are. We, as a Council, need to look at the CCC’s at the moment, so anyone new coming into the council knows where we are. Also we need to look at our systems and what we have in place, and updating those systems. He said that we need to make people aware of what our responsibilities are, as many do not know what being a councillor involves. He mentioned the Western Promenade, with Batemans Tower Cafe, the Lido, the Marina, Morgan Marine Development, the Lakeside Caravan Site, the Leisure Village etc., and stated that there are a lot of loose ends that need tying up in time for the new administration next year.
Councillor Smith commented that he is used to a ‘legacy document’ where someone who is a councillor has carried out its duty as a coordinator, and writes down where we are. One example of this is the Sufuse Project, which has had the deadline changed many times. It is good for the new council to know where the current council is at.
A discussion took place.
- TO ADOPT NEW MODEL STANDING ORDERS 2018:
Councillor Steady briefed members that all have had a copy of the updated New Model Standing Orders. He stated that the New Model Standing Orders are not our suggestions, but are those of the National Association of Local Councils. The then moved that the Council adopts the New Model Standing Orders. He stated that one item in this document is a retention policy, which lists a timescale of how long paperwork is kept for. Councillor Barry stated that when adopting the Sanding Orders, can we use more gender neutral language. Councillor Russell seconded the adoption of the New Model Standing Orders. Councillor J Chapman said that these Standing Orders are as per Tendring District Council, however they are putting ‘they’ rather than ‘he/him’. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Smith briefed members on the Waterfront Square, and that a press release about the proposed scheme went out yesterday. A discussion took place.
Councillor V Chapman mentioned that another memorial bench is to be situated around the boating lake. We are still chasing the skate park providers for their quotes. She then asked Councillor Barry whether or not work was taking place at the Lido, as the gate was open today. Councillor Barry replied that the volunteers have a get together every Thursday between 10am and 1pm, to carry out any routine maintenance works.
Councillor Steady mentioned that on the 6th November he met, on site, representatives of Hopkins Homes, and land owners concerning the boundaries between Gravel Field, which the Town Council owns, and phase 2 of the Robinson Road development. They thought they owned more land than they did. We went to the Land Registry to get the maps, and have sent them off to Hopkins Homes to rectify the situation.
Allotments – There appears to be a lot of dog faeces on the allotments, we are looking at the Bylaws and the Clean Neighbourhood Act.
Councillor J Chapman stated that the Metro Bank visited the town. They went round all the shops to try and find out if anyone would have a portable ATM in their shop. They are also going to look at bringing a branch into Brightlingsea, but the earliest this would happen is 2020. We would also like to ask Lloyds to being in the Mobile Banking Unit on a Thursday.
Councillor Smith briefed members that he and Councillor Steady had attended a meeting with James Thomas, the Harbour Master regarding the Sufuse Project. He and Councillor Steady also attended the Harbour Commissioners AGM at the Sailing Club, where a brief presentation on Sufuse was given.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
No report submitted.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Yallop mentioned that on Saturday 17th November the three Tendring District Councillors are holding a Surgery, at the Parish Hall from 10am until 12noon, where they will have information on the proposed Wheelie Bins, which is coming in next year.
Councillor Steady briefed members that he had attended meeting today, with the Town Clerk, at Tendring concerning the budgets. At this meeting two presentations were given, one from NEEP, who provide a camera car, which is very successful around schools. This does not cost anything, however Tendring District Council refused to have it visit anywhere in Tendring.
Councillor Yallop declared an interest in this item, as she lives near to the local Infant and Junior School.
Councillor Steady mentioned that the other presentation was from the Tendring Community Safety Partnership, who discussed the possibility of holding more Community Action Days.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 Agreed Councillor Block would be put forward to the Tendring District Association of Local Councils to sit on the Local Highways Panel.
Councillor Block 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 Russell. Agreed.
- MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
- Property Update
- 130. PROPERTY UPDATE:
Hopkins Homes, Phase 2 of the Robinson Road Development – Councillor Steady mentioned that the Town Clerk has a copy of all the paperwork relating to this, if anyone would like to look at them.
Brightlingsea Leisure Village – We are still waiting for a reply from our tenant, via our Property Agents regarding the proposal made. A discussion took place.
Councillor Smith declared a interest in the following item:
Colne Yacht Club – This item will be taken to the next finance meeting, for discussion.
Councillor Ingate asked the Mayor for an update on the proposed Waste Plant at Morses Lane. The Mayor replied that he and Councillor Steady had had a meeting with Danny and Simon Carter, who stated that they are well aware of the strong opinion in the town against the Waste Plant, and as they have a number of sites, it is hoped that they will use another site for recycling inert waste.
Waterfront Square – Councillor J Chapmen asked about the Waterfront Square. The Mayor read out his press release, which was issued yesterday. A discussion took place.
The Mayor reminded members of the meeting with Morgan Marine, taking place on Friday 16th November at 9.30am at the Parish Hall.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.15 p.m.