BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on

Thursday 16th January 2020 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

8 Members of the public

Before the meeting started the Mayor welcomed everyone to the first Full Council Meeting of the New Year, and wished everyone a belated Happy New Year.  He then informed members that the Mayors chain has been re-gilded and re-enamelled and is now fully operational again.

129. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received. 

The Mayor reported that late this afternoon Councillor MacGregor had offered her resignation, with immediate effect. 

130. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH DECEMBER 2019 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Chapman proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 12th December 2019 were accepted as a true record.  Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

131. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

A copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes. 

The Mayor highlighted that on the 12th January 2020 he presented the Legion D’Honneur to a local resident,  George Illsly at the British Legion.  He also mentioned that a congratulatory letter had been sent to Margaret Stone of the Museum, for her award in the New Years Honours List.  He then thanked the Deputy Mayor for attending the Blessing of the Waters event on the 12th January, as he was unable to attend.

132. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS: 

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

133. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

The Mayor said that he wished to change this slot slightly, to receive County Councillor Goggin’s report, then to receive questions from the public, followed by questions from Town Councillors.

County Councillor Goggin reported as follows:-

  • Item 3 on his notes – Delighted to inform members that the Museum received a grant from Essex County Council for £6,000, which is well deserved and will be well spent.
  • Made a comment on his notes regarding the Essex County Council budget, which is coming up.  He said that details from Central Government, on their grant, are still awaited, however his opinion is that it will remain the same as last year.  This is the maximum you can go to without any restrictions which is 1.99% plus 2% for care.  He said that following a question asked by a member of the public, the answer is that for every £10 that Essex County Council collects in rates, £7 goes in adult care.
  • Since we last met there has been a General Election, and at this moment of time we are not certain what the repercussions will be under the new government spending round. 
  • Two months ago I had two pot holes to look after, and all of a sudden there has been a pot hole explosion.  In an effort to try and help people, he produced a diagram from the Essex County Council web-site.  He said that he would encourage members, as a council, if anyone approaches you, to report it yourself, or get the people to report it themselves.  Julie at the office is also very good at reporting issues.    
  • Attended a meeting with the Senior Planner for Essex and one of the items discussed was the Number Plate Recognition Cameras.  There has been a campaign going for some time, and it is still the  most popular thing being mentioned.  It is still on-going. 
  • At the last meeting it was agreed that a meeting would be arranged with myself and Councillor Beckett.  We decided we would arrange a meeting with two top Directors of Essex County Council  – 1 who deals with new projects, and the other who deals with existing issues, repairs and maintenance.  This meeting has been booked for Friday 21st February 2020 at 10.30am.  He said that he would like as many of the Town Councillors as possible to attend.
  • At a local highways panel meeting attended last week, the B1027 was discussed.  The speed limit changes from 30mph to 40mph to 60mph and we have now managed to get them to look at the whole road, not just areas of the road, as there have been 4 deaths in 5 years.  He said that he is not sure what the end result will be.

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

  • The concession Park and Ride at Colchester, will it continue after April?  County Councillor Goggin replied that it is just going through the final stages at the moment.  People with concessions, at the moment, can turn up at the Park and Ride in Colchester and Chelmsford, and after 9am, you can park for free.  This is going to change and if you are a concession you will have to pay to park – £1.50, but the offset is that you will be able to use this service before 9am.  The resident then asked if the savings on this would go towards juvenile and adult social care?  The Mayor replied that this is a separate issue to park and ride. 
  • The B1029 Thorrington to Brightlingsea – the whole road is breaking up.  The Mayor replied that this has been mentioned before, and will be brought up with the Officers from Essex County Council on the 21st.

The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from Councillors:

  • Councillor Smith mentioned the disability access at the Marina.  He said that he has written to County Councillor Goggin on the 7th October, and wondered if any progress had been made.  County Councillor Goggin replied that the decision is not with him, as it is not within his remit, it is with Tendring District Council.  He said that he believes that there are S106 money with the developers, and also money sitting with Essex County Council.  If this council thinks it is a worth while thing to do they must lobby Tendring District Council first.  Councillor Smith mentioned that you would need the County Councils approval as it would become an adopted road.  County Councillor Goggin said that this would be an engineering decision, not a planning decision.  The Mayor asked Councillor Beckett to progress this.

County Councillor Goggin said that he was sad to hear about the resignation of Councillor MacGregor, and for the short time he had worked with her, he found her very helpful, very good, very conscientious and one of the first Councillors who turned up at his new Councillor Clinic.  He said that he found her very good at her job.

134. REPORT FROM SERGEANT SIMON TATTERSALL – COMMUNITY POLICING TEAM, CLACTON & RURAL COMMUNITIES:

The Mayor welcomed Sgt Tattersall to the meeting.  

Sgt Tattersall expressed his condolences to everyone at the Council with regards to Ian.  He said that he was a good person who had an interest in the policing in the town.  Sgt Tattersall then introduced Katy and Paul, who are new officers to the town and have taken over from Rob and Sue.  Katy Flinn is a PC and Paul Beer is a PCSO.   The Mayor then formally welcomed Katy and Paul and said that the Town Council looks forward to working with them in the future.

Sgt Tattersall then reported on the following:-

  • Had a ‘Day of Action’ today in Brightlingsea, where we worked with the School, Parking Enforcement, Traffic Police, TDC Licencing and NHS Health Checks.  More planning and advertising is needed if we do a similar scheme again, however this is to be trialled in Frinton.  One of the items discussed with the public today was littering, where a few areas of concern was mentioned.  Currently the Litter Pickers meet once a month and tackle various areas in the town.  Sgt Tattersall said that the Police have some Cadets in Harwich, and will look into the possibility of getting 10-15 cadets down to Brightlingsea, to help with a litter pick.  PCSO Beer carried out a similar scheme in Jaywick, and it was very successful.
  • Now have responsibility for the rural areas and will do what we can to get engagement over here.
  • Would like to use an office at the Parish Hall for Katy or Paul, so they can work out of the office on a regular basis.
  • Operation Quasar is expanding and growing.  Funding  was obtained from TDC in the past.  Operation Quasar worked well in the Summer and at Christmas, and if the Council wishes to partake again in the future, please let him know as soon as possible.
  • Statistics are used in the Police to show how effective they are.  The following statistics covering the Christmas period are:-

2018

2019

6 incidents of ASB

3 reported incidents of ASB

54 recorded incidents of crime

41 recorded incidents of crime

Sgt Tattersall said that this decrease is  not due to Operation Quasar, as Operation Quasar is about walking down the High Street and engaging with members of the public, going into the shops, schools etc.  He said that people of the town want a bobby on the street.  A way forward is to go out on patrol with Councillors as well, as you can answer questions which we do not know the answers to.  So if any Councillors would like to join us on patrol for an hour or two, that would be great.

Sgt Tattersall then took questions from Councillors:-

Councillor Smith stated that he agreed with Operation Quasar and the public presence in Brightlingsea, however he asked whether or not the people of Brightlingsea could see a reduction in 2020 of actual crime.  Sgt Tattersall replied that crime is not going up, but it is the perception of crime and not having the police stationed in the town.

Councillor Chapman asked whether all the funds had been used up for Operation Quasar.  Sgt Tattersall replied that there are still some funds left, around £500.00, but he would have to double check the amount.

Councillor Judson mentioned that youngsters are still riding around in the dark, in Brightlingsea, with no lights on their bikes, or reflective clothing.  PC Flinn replied that today she and PCSO Beer were up at the school, with the bike ability person, giving out free lights, bands, etc.  She stated that bike ability were going to go into the school to offer a course for children. 

Councillor Carr stated that he applauded Operation Quasar.  He said that he chatted to PC Flinn earlier and mentioned the possibility of doing a ‘day of action’ in the summer time, covering the beach huts, harbour, boat yards etc.  PCSO Beer said that he is the Rural Liaison Officer for Farms and Essex Police have purchased two engravers, and as of the 17th February he will be trained to use these engravers.  A discussion took place.

Councillor Barry thanked everyone for coming to the meeting tonight, and said it was nice to meet with you.  He asked that going forward, what is your pattern of availability in Brightlingsea, will you be on the end of a telephone, and are you planning to come here on a regular basis?  Sgt Tattersall replied that nothing has really changed, we are growing slowly but it will take time for new officers to arrive and come to us.  The Officers that have come to the Community Team – we used to have two shifts, we now have three shifts – A, B, and C.  They have now gone to Harwich and they now have a Community Policing team again.  Clacton has not grown, but Tendring District has.  Regarding the Rural’s it is just us.  90% of my time is spent behind a desk, 50% of Katy’s time is behind a desk, co-ordinating with various agencies etc.  PCSO Beer – yes I would like to see a lot of Paul in Brightlingsea, like you did with PCSO Groves.  PC Flinn will be more visible too. 

Councillor Chapman mentioned that the Round Table started the initial Shed Watch, where they went round and marked things in sheds.  This is something that is being pushed now due to thefts from sheds etc.  It would be nice if we could bring in something like this.  PCSO Beer replied that yes this could be incorporated into workshop / ‘day of action’.

The Mayor said that all members have a copy of the Tendring Partnership Briefing.  Sgt Tattersall informed members that this is a new document by Chief Inspector Lily Benbow, but he is not sure if it is a public document, but will find out and let the Town Clerk know.

The Mayor then asked for questions to Sgt Tattersall from members of the public:-

    • What are the figures for drunk/drug drivers, and has there been an increase in the Tendring Area?  Sgt Tattersall replied that he did not know, and would have to find out.  He did say that the police are much more aware of it now and have more ability to deal with it, so their figures have gone up.  It is on the increase as the police are better at catching them – 5 years ago it was zero.

The Mayor thanked Sgt Tattersall, PC Flinn and PCSO Beer for attending, and said that the Council would be in touch regarding Operation Quasar.

County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.16 hrs to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.

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

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

General Account Cheque No’s 707490 – 707507  in the sum of £6,791.15 be authorised for payment.

Current Account

£104,026.40

Saver Account

£68,593.86

Base Rate Reward Account

£42,508.81

Making a total of:

£215,129.07

Less un-presented cheques of:

£3,440.23

Bank Balances on all Accounts :

£211,688.84

Income to date

£358,676.15

Expenditure to date

£333,363.95

Employee payments paid for December

£13,192.17

Payments taken direct from the bank account in December –21 payments totalling

£15,900.58

Debtors as at 31st December 2019 –

2 payments less than 3 months old totalling

£240.00

5 payments older than 3 months old totalling

£14,182.88

The accounts were seconded by Councillor Chapman.  Agreed.

136. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 19TH  DECEMBER 2019 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Smith proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 19th December 2019 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council.  Seconded by Councillor Howard.  Agreed

137. TO RECEIVE THE WORKING PARTY COMMENTS ON TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL’S DRAFT HOUSING STRATEGY 2019-2024:

A copy of the comments to Tendring District Council’s Draft Housing Strategy 2019-2024 had been circulated to all members.  Councillor Smith then proposed that these comments be sent to Tendring District Council.  He stated that these comments are from the working party, as the planning meeting scheduled for that day could not be held as it was not quorate.  He stated that if anyone has any further comments to make, please let the Town Clerk know, so the comments can be with Tendring District Council before the deadline of 31st January 2020.  Councillor Barry stated that he wished to add to the comments on the Draft Housing Strategy, and would send these over to the Clerk asap.

138. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

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

The Mayor said that the reports received for this meeting are the best quality we have had all at once.  The actual content of the reports and the things planned to be delivered are first class.  Well done everyone.

Councillor Chapman informed members that the Diabetic Eye Screening are coming back next month for one week.

Councillor Carr informed members that the Harbour Commissioners have a desire to link their environmental policy with the councils environmental policy, and are looking forward to setting up a meeting to discuss further.

Councillor Steady mentioned the report from the Brightlingsea Nature Network Group, which incorporates into the environment and the environmental policy.

Councillor Smith – After discussion with County Councillor Goggin, he formally requested that the Council looks into the proposal disabled access at the Marina, and it is taken up by Councillor Beckett as CCC for transport and highways, and yourself as it is a Tendring District Council issue.

Councillor Smith said that after reading the report on Tourism, he was dismayed to find out there are now three town guides.  He said that some one needs to bang some heads together.  Councillor Chasney replied that it is a huge disappointment to him, they are not official guides and one has been brought in this year by the Chronicle.  The Harbour wanted to merge with the Council this year, but pulled out.  Councillor Smith said that there is a limited amount of advertising out there, and the more you spread it, the thinner it gets and the quality becomes less.  Councillor Chasney said that the Councils town guide is the flagship of everything we do, and suggested that later this year he will meet with the other publishers to discuss the way forward.  He added that, as a community, we need to work together to bring visitors into the town. 

Councillor Beckett informed members that he wished to carry out a consultation on 20mph zones, to see where residents want them.  Councillor Carr asked about collating of information, and suggested that any questionnaires are put into some of the shops in the town.  Councillor Beckett replied that he was looking at the possibility of doing an internet survey as well as paper questionnaires. 

Councillor Barry asked Councillor Howard about the skate park, and asked about the current state of it.  Councillor Howard replied that it is still usable, but parts will have to  go this year.  She advised that Mr Jenkins had approached the council to help with setting up a user group and has found an old facebook page which we will hopefully link up with.  She said that she is going to meet with the Clerk at Harwich Town Council to get information on their skate park and how they went about their grant funding. 

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

Councillor Howard asked for the Churchyard Agreement to be taken to the next finance meeting for discussion.  Agreed.

141. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Councillor Chapman – Attended the Tendring Star Awards today.

Councillor Barry – Had a meeting on Tuesday 14th January with Paul Price and Richard Barrett, who are the Corporate Director and Finance Director of Tendring District Council.  He advised that the meeting had a positive outcome, and everything was resolved amicably to everyone’s satisfaction.    

Councillor Smith asked Councillor Barry a question on his Climate Change Working Party.  He asked about the 2nd paragraph, and stated that recycling has to come in here in a big way, and if you want to make a difference the District Council needs to look at those issues specifically under its control.  Councillor Barry replied that following his attendance at the Climate Change working party, he has brought up the recycling issue in flats etc,  and is discussing the possibility of having green and red plastic sacks for the recycling to be placed in.  He stated that he is meeting with someone from EWS on Monday at 10am to discuss the logistics of not having everything go to landfill, how they can engage with the residents etc.  He said he will keep the Council informed on its progress. 

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

2.1 Agreed that Bert Stocks Fun Fair could visit the Western Promenade Site from Monday 20th July to Sunday 26th July 2020 – usual terms and conditions apply.

Councillor Chapman declared an interest in the following item:

2.2 Agreed that the Food & Drink Festival can use the Western Promenade from Wednesday 26th August to Tuesday 1st September 2020, providing access is left for the Carnival to use on Bank Holiday Monday – usual terms and conditions apply.  The Food & Drink Festival to arrange a meeting with the Carnival Association to discuss further. 

2.3 Agreed that the Town Council would sponsor a forthcoming film night at the Community Centre Cinema for a cost of £50.00.   Councillor Chasney to liaise with the Community Centre. 

Councillor Chapman declared an interest in the following item:

2.4 Agreed that the Carnival Association can hold its car boot sales on the Western Promenade Safe Play Area on Monday 13th April 2020, Friday 8th May 2020, Monday 25th May 2020 and Monday 31st August 2020.  Also agreed that they can use the Bayard Recreation Ground for its Carnival Day on Saturday 20th June 2020.  Usual terms and conditions apply.

2.5 Agreed that Hare & Tortoise Running Ltd can hold its Brightlingsea Challenge Event on the Millennium Gardens on Sunday 15th March 2020.  Usual terms and conditions apply.

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.

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

  • Property Update

144. PROPERTY UPDATE:

The Mayor updated as follows:-

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – The Solicitors will be contacted next week for an update, however the timescale for completion is the end of February 2020.

Gravel Field – The earliest the Council can claim the land back is September 2021, as this ties in with the dates of rental payment.  The Mayor said that he will arrange a face to face meeting with the tenant to discuss the situation and to ask what their plans are etc.

Batemans Cafe are going out to tender shortly, to finish the project.

Land Boundary – We are looking at all boundary issues on our land, and putting in posts where necessary.

Lakeside Caravan Site – Councillor Howard reported that she is hoping to meet with Mr McCarthy on  Monday 20th January at 11am.

Councillor Chasney briefed members that on the 14th/15th March the Sailing Club have over 150 boats coming for the Spring Nationals, which will bring in some 400 people into the town.  They are looking for accommodation for this weekend.  A discussion took place.

Councillor Chasney briefed members that on an advert used in the Business Directory, a photo was used, without permission.  A discussion took place and it was agreed to ask the Finance Committee to approve a £100 sponsorship towards a photographic exhibition.  This is in addition to the offer already made to include the image in the forthcoming Town Guide with an acknowledgement and an editorial inclusion to promote their web site.

The Mayor read out the letter of resignation from Councillor MacGregor and said that as the Council are now three members down, we need full commitment from everyone. 

Councillor Chapman said that in the past she had been asked to substitute for Ian Block at finance meetings, and if possible, she would like to take his vacancy on the Finance Committee.

145.     CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.42 p.m. 

Chair ……………………

Date: 20th February 2020

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