Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:

Thursday 17th January 2019 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 K Yallop

 

In attendance:

County Councillor Alan GogginTracey Pulford –Town Clerk

7 Members of the public

 

The Mayor wished everyone a Happy New Year and welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2019.

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Russell.

 

  1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH DECEMBER 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

 

Councillor Yallop proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 13th December 2018 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Barry. Agreed.

 

  1. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

A copy of the Mayors Announcements are annexed to the minutes.

 

The Mayor reminded members that he was holding a Coffee Morning on Saturday 26th January, and if anyone wished to donate any raffle prizes, brick-a-brac or cakes, they would be gratefully received.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

 

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

 

  1. REPORT FROM SGT TATTERSALL ON OPERATION QUASAR:

 

Sgt Tattersall wished everyone a Happy New Year. He gave an overview on Operation Quasar, and stated that of the £4,000 allocated to Operation Quasar, £3,800 had been spent during October, November and December. The following statists were given for 2017/2018:

 

2017 November Crime = 45

2018 November Crime = 43

2017 November ASB = 22

2018 November ASB = 5

 

2017 December Crime = 52

2018 December Crime = 35

2017 December ASB = 21

2018 December ASB = 6

Sgt Tattersall reported that this was a new initiative to ask Parish and Town Councils for money, but the feedback from the Community was overwhelming. He stated that he did not think any extra money would be given again from Tendring District Council, as this was seen as a ‘one-off’ initiative. He also mentioned that the cost of a Community Police Officer is £30,000-£50,000 a year. Alresford, Great Bentley and Frinton and Walton all have PCSO’s.

Councillor Yallop stated that all she has had is a positive response from the public, and at the last meeting she did mention that this should go back to the next Finance meeting for discussion.

Councillor Steady asked if the Council could have a copy of the crime figures for the whole year, so this can be discussed further. Sgt Tattersall said that the crime figures do come in peaks and troughs, depending on the time of year, as all anti social behaviour will increase over the summer months. He said that he would provide the years figures for 2018.

Councillor Barry thanked Sgt Tattersall for the information provided. He asked if it would be possible to have a ‘bespoke’ service where we could target certain groups/areas etc., and whether we could we have a flexible response? Sgt Tattersall said that if PCSO’s cost, say, £200,000, so there was a budget of £200,000, and this was given to the Police, then this money could be used on unmarked traffic police, unmarked CID vehicles, dog units etc., rather than £200,000 of PCSO’s. He said that if there is a pattern with problems in the Town, this area could be targeted.

Councillor J Chapman asked if the Police will match fund again, or was this also a ‘one-off’. Sgt Tattersall said if the Town Council was going to fund £2,000 a month, he did not think that the Police could support this every month, but as an initiative over the summer and during the past few months the Police have doubled up, and thought this could happen again.

Councillor Ingate asked how much of the £3,800.00 did the Town Council contribute? Sgt Tattersall replied that the Town Council contributed £2,500, with £2,500 from Tendring District Council, and the Police doubling up.

Councillor V Chapman thanked Sgt Tattersall and his team for all their hard work in the town.

As there were no further questions, the Mayor asked Sgt Tattersall to pass on the Councils thanks to everyone who has been involved, both from the public and the Council itself, and thanked him for attending the meeting this evening.

 

  1. FIVE MINUTE REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN AND QUESTIONS:

 

County Councillor Goggin wished everyone a Happy New Year, then reported on the following:-

 

  • Attended the Local Highways Panel Meeting on 17th December.
  • 19th December was the initial meeting at the Brightlingsea Library, where 20 people attended. Some good questions were asked. Had a subsequent meeting with Susan Barker in January, where she gave some good answers to the questions raised.
  • 9th January went to Norwich, to talk to the East of England Ambulance Service, where we discussed the placing of Ambulance Stations in Tendring.
  • 11th January attended a budget briefing at Chelmsford. The budget is yet to be approved, however his view is that the Essex part will be going up by the maximum it can, which is 2.1%, plus 1% for Social Care.
  • 15th January held a Clinic at the Library, where people came in to talk about (1) buses; (2) quite lane.
  • 17th January had a positive meeting with Councillors J Chapman and Yallop about the Library.
  • 25th January meeting with Thomas Eng, who is the Local Highways Panel Officer to go through the items which came up at the meeting on the 17th December.
  • 12th February is the Full Council Meeting for the budget.
  • Together with Councillor J Chapman and Yallop’s help, we have arranged a Public Meeting for Monday 4th February at 7pm at the Parish Hall re: the Library.

 

Left over from last month:-

  • The question from Councillor Smith re the Energy Switch. He has responded, and the bottom line is that they are keeping an eye on and are aware of it.
  • Query re Street Lights in Robinson Road. At the end of the last meeting I drove that way, and yes it is dark. I understand that Councillor Judson is consulting with the residents in Robinson Road to find out what they want.       This is, however, a planning issue.
  • Apologised to the resident about the Business Park in Surrey that was invested in, as he could not find the article, and has asked for a copy.
  • The Library consultation is up to 17,000 people who have responded. This can be done on-line, on paper, or on the phone.
  • There is an Essex County Council bus consultation, which does not affect Brightlingsea, as this is for routes supported by Essex County Council.       Apparently the Go-Ride Bus Service to Clacton is stopping on the 23rd February 2019. This route also serves Thorrington and St Osyth.       One thought is that the Town Council could get together with Thorrington and St Osyth to see if anything can be done.
  • A resident has been in touch re: Quite Lanes in Mill Street. It is on the Local Highways Panel, under a Quite Lane.
  • Had discussions with Councillor Judson about pot holes. There is a new initiative from Essex County Council, following an extra pot of money, and 213 pot holes have been filled in since August, with some pavements also being repaired. Thanks to the Office Staff for helping to collate the paperwork.

 

Members asked the following questions:

Councillor Block asked if Go Ride have actually written to Essex County Council stating that they are ceasing the Clacton service on the 23rd February. If so, have they given any reason? County Councillor Goggin stated that he did not know, and no one had picked the phone up and spoken to him. He stated that he would imagine it is purely economics. They do pick up in Thorrington and St Osyth, so there may be some margin in talking to the other Town Councils about this.

Councillor J Chapman re the Library. Has anyone come up with any Business Plans or any ideas? County Councillor Goggin stated that if something is to happen positively, a group would need to be formed, or an existing group to turn its attention to it. The Community Centre have expressed an interest and a meeting has been set up for next week. He then gave an overview of some of the questions that had been asked, and gave the answers to these questions.

Councillor Yallop asked about the consultation and whether or not County Councillor Goggin knew how many people have completed it? County Councillor Goggin replied no, but around 17,000 people in Essex have completed it, and the form will be analysed in the future.

 

Councillor Barry spoke about the finance for the Library, and asked if it is correct that the County Council, in terms of their overall thinking, have no intention to fund any Community Resource Library service? County Councillor Goggin said that he could not answer that. The Mayor stated that on P32 of the consultation document it says “we would expect community libraries would be run from premises owned or paid for by community groups. Buildings that are no longer required by the Library service will be incorporated into the Councils property strategy.” Councillor Smith stated that this spells out that Community Libraries will have to find their own money. County Councillor Goggin stated that this is a consultation document, and in his opinion, libraries will close. Councillor Barry then asked how much does the Brightlingsea Library cost per annum? County Councillor Goggin replied that the figures he had received for this are:

 

  • The cost of the premises last year – £12,326
  • The cost of the staff – £15,311
  • The cost of book acquisitions – £7,660
  • Proportion of the overall library organisation – at the moment they do not allocated this to an individual libraries.

Councillor V Chapman – Do you know what the footfall is for the Library? County Councillor Goggin replied that 10 years ago 56,000 books a year went out, last year it was 25,000. Five years ago, loans and renewals was 42,000, now down to 25,000, with a loss of 17,000 book loans a year. The library is used for other things, other than books, and that aspect is more of a social issue. 11 years ago the visitor numbers were 70,050, 10 years 55,583, and last year 33,313, but the biggest problem is that 5 years ago it was still 37,600 but has now gone down to 22,000 – down over a 1/3rd in 5 years. There is less use, less books, however we have had an increase in population.

Councillor Smith – The consultation document mentions a number of Community Libraries in Essex, the closest one is Jaywick. He asked if any of those Community Libraries had any capital sums form the County Council to help them start up? County Councillor Goggin replied that he did not know, but would find out.

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

Q1) Can you confirm that the subsidiary from Central Government to County Council Authorities will finish next year? County Councillor Goggin replied that he believed it was the year after.

Q2) The budget for County Council includes a small percentage increase for social care, does this include juvenile adult social care? County Councillor Goggin replied that social care as far as Essex County Council is concerned has an overall budget nett of £911m, of that £911m, £620m comes in from ordinary rates, of the £911m, just under £600m is for kids, older people, care and fostering. A discussion took place.

Q3) Roads – A PR1 road is equivalent to the A12. The B1029 into Brightlingsea from Frating Crossroads is classed as a PR1 and goes all the way down to the Hard, but according to the document circulated by County Councillor Goggin this evening, it only goes as far a Church Road, and at Ladysmith Avenue it goes to a PR2. Why is this? County Councillor Goggin stated that this road is not a full PR1 road – It was upgraded to the services of a PR1 and it includes bollard cleaning etc., and is the first road to get salted in bad weather.

As there were no further questions for County Councillor Goggin, the Mayor thanked him for his report and comments.

 

  1. MOTION UNDER SO9:

 

Councillor Barry proposed the following motion:-

This Council notes with sadness the public consultation launched by Essex County Council to close libraries across the county, including the library in Brightlingsea. Whether complete closure or transition to volunteer run services, this Council cannot accept the irreversible impact such plans have upon the social mobility and educational opportunities of our residents.

This Council believes that education and information are fundamental for individuals to be socially mobile. For centuries, Libraries have provided people with available and accessible books, information and educational resources. This historic principle is now under threat in our town. Brightlingsea residents access many services provided at our libraries, not just books, but free Internet, DVDs, audio texts, a range of Council Services, and access to other support groups. Libraries are an important, free to enter, community asset.

Therefore, we call upon the Town Mayor to write directly to the Leader of Essex County Council and express our strong opposition to the closures, and call for a meaningful dialogue to shape, improve and enhance library services in our town.

Councillor Steady seconded the Motion, and reserved his right to speak.

 

A lengthy discussion took place.

A vote was taken on the Motion: For: 8; Against: 1; Abstention: 2 – Carried.

 

  1. 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 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor J Chapman as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 707220 – 707240 in the sum of £7,686.50 for payment.

 

Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £209,777.92

Employee payments paid for the month of December were £13,185.95

The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Smith. Agreed.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 13TH DECEMBER 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

 

Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 13th December 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Dixon. Agreed.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:

 

Councillor Judson – Street Lighting in Robinson Road – Have contacted the residents who are affected by no street lighting in Robinson Road, for their comments on whether or not street lights should be installed. To date we have received 4 replies, 3 in favour and 1 against.

Parking in New Street, Tower Street and Sydney Street – Would welcome suggestions from the Tendring District Councillors to see if anything can be done, as parking comes under the North East Essex Partnership.

Councillor Steady asked Councillor Judson about the street lighting in Robinson Road, and whether or not he should incorporate others in the town who would be affected by the lack of street lights, i.e. those residents living in Granville Way, as this affects both walkers and those driving.

Councillor Howard – Over the last two weeks we have had 18 at the youth drop-in. The new Service Level Agreement will be available soon.

Had a request from the Church Lads Brigade, where they are asking if the Council would produce a ‘public’ badge, and whether the Council would consider sponsoring it . The badges would be for Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Council would design the badge, and would agree a scheme for them to do. It was then agreed that the Council would support this scheme, and the funding of £100.00 would come from the Mayors fund.

Councillor V Chapman asked if the Council would be happy, in the future, for some pictures of the proposed skate park to be put on the web-site. Councillor Steady stated that the design has been submitted to the SuFuse Project.

CCTV – Would you like the Grounds Manager to get other quotes for the new digital system? The quote at the moment is just over £14,000. The Mayor replied that we are required to obtain 3 quotes, if over £3,000. Councillor Steady mentioned that this item is not in the budget for this year, and has not been put forward for 2019/2020. He stated that it will be considered once the quotes have been received.

Councillor Howard asked if there was an update on the meeting held with the Recycling Officers from Tendring District Council, and the reinstatement of the glass container at the Community Centre Site? The Mayor replied that it is in the programme for the District Council, and he has had assurance from Jonathan Hamlet that a container will be installed, on a temporary basis, and if all is ok, a permanent base will be installed. Councillor Howard then asked if there was any update on the recycling containers that were removed on the Western Promenade? The Town Clerk was instructed to contact Tendring District Council about this.

Councillor V Chapman asked Councillors Ingate and Smith about the metal mound on the Hard. She asked when it is due to be removed, how frequently and does that actually happen, as it is very unsightly? Councillor Smith stated that he cannot understand the economy of this, as the value of scrap is £25.00 per tonne here in the UK, when it gets to Spain and Portugal it is worth 200 Euros per tonne. Councillor Ingate said he will go to the Wharf and discuss with the operator to find out if there are any height restrictions and how often the scrap piles are removed etc.

 

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

 

No reports were submitted.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Councillor Steady – As per the last meeting, S106 requests have been resubmitted and we are waiting for feedback on those.

Attended a Standards Committee Meeting on the 16th January, where we were given case studies from across the country. There are one or two items that could affect us, and if anyone would like to see a copy of these case studies, please contact the Town Clerk. He then suggested that a date is put tin the diary, early in the new Council year, for a training session with the Monitoring Officer at Tendring District Council on Standards and the Code of Conduct.

Councillor Yallop – Will be attending a Scrutiny Committee Meeting on the 28th January, and the Library will be on the agenda, and someone from Essex County Council will be attending.

Councillor Ingate spoke about the Standards Committee, and that a complaint had been made against him by a member of the public. He was pleased to inform members that he has been exonerated, the compliant was totally unfounded and the complaint was deemed to be incorrect.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

2.1 Agreed Bert Stocks Funfair could visit the Western Promenade 22nd until 28th July 2019. Usual Terms and conditions apply.

2.2 Agreed The Brightlingsea Carnival Association can use the Safe Play Area for Car Boot Sales on Easter Bank Holiday Monday 22nd April, May Day Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, Spring Bank Holiday Monday 27th May and August Bank Holiday Monday 26th May, and for Sundays 14th July and 15th September 2019. Also permission is given to use the Bayard Recreation Ground for a Carnival Fun Day on Saturday 15th June.

Councillors V Chapman and Dixon both declared an interest in the following item:-

2.3 Agreed that the Council would set up an informal meeting with The Friends of All Saints’ Church, to discuss ideas on greater involvement with the Churches outstanding piece of heritage. Councillor V Chapman suggested that she would mention this at the next Committee Meeting, and would receive clarification.

Councillor Smith declared an interest in the following item:-

2.4 Agreed to suggest to the Brightlingsea Community Centre that they contact the owners of the Old Cobblers in Victoria Place to see if they would have any objection to the erection of a notice board, to advertise their events.

2.5 Agreed Batemans Tower Cafe can position a catering van in the Promenade Way car park, on the land near the playground, on a temporary basis. If this is inconvenient at times due to work taking place by Tendring District Council, offer an area by the Skate Park.

2.6 Agreed the Town Council do not get involved with a Tendring Community Safety Partnership Day of Action, as this is not applicable to Brightlingsea at the moment. Also we cannot prove the need for reducing violence and knife crime in the area, protecting vulnerable people from hidden harm etc.

Councillor Smith 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 Yallop.  Agreed.

 

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

 

  1. 163. PROPERTY UPDATE:

SuFuse – Councillor Steady gave an update on the SuFuse Project and stated that the Town Council are now being asked to urgently sign a letter of engagement, however this letter is stating that Brightlingsea Town Council will pay Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners the money. After discussion it was agreed that  the Town Council do not sign this letter of engagement until clarification is sought and convene a meeting asap with the relevant people.

Scout Lease – A copy of a ‘Draft Deed of Surrender’ and ‘Draft Lease’ had been circulated to all members. It was agreed that these would be checked by the councils Solicitor, before moving forward.

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – A copy of an e-mail from Fox Leisure dated 17th January 2019 had been circulated to all members. A discussion took place.

 

  1. CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.55 p.m.

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