Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on Thursday 17th October 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, C MacGregor and B Smith

 

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk

County Councillor Goggin

16 Members of the public

 

Before the meeting started, the Mayor pointed out a change on the agenda for public questions. He said he has changed the spot for the questions from the public so if anything comes up under policies, questions can be asked.

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Block

 

  1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH SEPTEMBER 2019 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

 

Councillor Chapman proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 19th September 2019 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Judson. Agreed

 

  1. MAYORS ANNOUNCMENTS:

 

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

 

The Mayor highlighted that he attended the 100 years anniversary of the allotments in the town, and pointed out that other organisations will also be celebrating their 100 years over the next few years, including the Bowls Club and the British Legion.

 

He added to his announcements that he attended the Harbour Commissioners meetings on the 14th and 15th October, with Councillors Carr, Chasney and Barry; and on the 17th attended a meeting at the Community Centre concerning their development plans, with Councillor Beckett.

 

The Mayor then mentioned that the Grounds Staff have been given a ‘Special Award’ by Brightlingsea in Bloom for Care of the Environment, and passed on the Councils congratulations to all the Grounds Staff.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

 

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

 

  1. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

 

County Councillor Goggin recorded his best wishes to Councillor Block.

 

A copy of County Councillor Goggin’s written report had been circulated to all members.

 

County Councillor Goggin reported as follows:-

  • Tried an experiment this month with Essex County Council Full Council meetings, where there is an opportunity to submit written questions, whereby this month he sent all Councils a copy of the questions, and also a copy of the answers given at the meeting on the 8.10.19. He was pleasantly surprised how many Councillors replied with comments and questions.
  • Received an e-mail from Councillor Smith concerning a disabled ramp at the Waterside, which has been passed onto Councillor Beckett.
  • Had a request from a resident in Mill Street, about the continuing traffic in Mill Street. This was looked at by Essex County Council in June, and the reply was that maybe the Town Council could talk to the developers.
  • Climate Change – Received an e-mail from a resident, and a reply has been sent direct.
  • The street light by the bus stop in Victoria Place still has not been repaired, it is still promised to be repaired by the end of November.
  • At the last Council meeting, it was mentioned about the repairs to the footpath in Chapel Road. He contacted Essex County Council, who advised that the policy of Essex County Council is that if they receive a compliant, they go and look at it, and where necessary, carry out a ‘make safe’ repair.
  • Delighted to report that the street light in Ophir Road is now working.
  • Sent a copy of Essex County Council’s ‘Essex Highlights’ publication.

 

Members asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Carr mentioned Climate Change, and stated that in the Leaders Statement, the summary states “Tackling climate change is not just the role of one person, or one administration, or one country. We are all responsible custodians for our world, but by working with staff, partners, businesses, residents and communities, we will lead on reducing emissions, energy usage and waste across Essex, while increasing the amount of green infrastructure we have.” He said that this is a superb statement and asked for some money to make it happen. County Councillor Goggin replied that no one person or Government can solve things. Essex County Council are trying things, and apart from the new initiatives they have: LED lights, solar panels, trying to get rid of single use plastic, 60 buses in Essex being converted to the European One, encouraging people to use park and ride, there is a green infrastructure strategy where they have 63km of wild verges, when they dig up a road, and take away the ‘stuff’ they have a machine that recycles the material so it can be re-laid again. There is £1M that has been put into the Essex Forest Initiative, where they are trying to plant 375,000 trees across the county.

 

Councillor Smith mentioned the lack of disabled access at the Marina and stated that the developer has put in a temporary access. If there had been better coordination between the Highways Department and the Developer, they could have installed a permanent ramp. Councillor Steady said the council should contact the developer to see if they would liaise with the Highways Authority about a permanent ramp. County Councillor Goggin reminded members that there are S106 monies which the original developer paid before they went bust, to be spent on traffic and public pedestrian management. He said that there was a large amount of money and it still sits with Essex County Council. Councillor Beckett said that this had been included in his report.

 

 

Councillor MacGregor made a comment that it is fantastic that there is going to be 375,000 trees planted, but when we consider the amount of building that is going on, that is not carbon neutral. Should we not be lobbying that planning permission should be with carbon neutral buildings? County Councillor Goggin replied that in the Leaders Report it stated that every new school being built is carbon neutral, where it is our building (Essex County Council’s) and we are building it we could impose conditions, however this it related to planning, and Tendring has a similar view. The houses at Edwards Close in Thorrington are carbon neutral as they have solar panels on the roof, and they do not have any radiators. It is all about planning. The Mayor said that this should be taken to the Planning Committee, so it can be considered when applications come before the Town Council. County Councillor Goggin then referred to page 2 of the Leaders Statement where it stated “And this council is already trialling carbon neutral school buildings at four school expansion projects across Essex, with projects completing as early as next year!”

 

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

 

  • The recycling centre at St Osyth was done away with, now we have to use cars to get to Jaywick. There is a lot of building work going on in Alresford, you’ve got Garden Communities, many houses in Wivenhoe – Is it possible for Essex County Council to get together with Tendring District Council and Colchester Borough Council to look for a site in this region for recycling like we had before, as that would help the carbon footprint. Concrete and cement is one of the big producers of carbon footprint. Could they not work together as a group? Councillor Chapman replied that between herself, Councillor Steady and Councillor Scott at Alresford, they fought long and hard to keep the St Osyth Site open. They even went to County and were allowed to speak. The Portfolio Holder was told to go away and reconsider his action, and within 48 hours we were told no, he would not reconsider. She suggested that maybe the Town Council could write a letter to Essex County Council, Tendring District Council and Colchester Borough Council.
  • Came here in January to talk about roads and in particular Mill Street – nothing has moved on and no replies have been given. I was told that Essex County Council were going to carry out a validation and get an engineer to assess the road for traffic. In recent weeks, the developers have closed part of Robinson Road, so at 7am in the morning, every work van and lorry are driving down this road to get to the building site – it is a tiny lane. You mention hedges/trees – they have ripped them out, all the way down Robinson Road, last December they ripped out the large Oak Tree. How has nothing been carried out to get ‘road calming measures’ for this lane? The speed limit is 60MPH – this is an accident waiting to happen. Youths are on bikes, scooters, there are blind bends – we asked for some sort of speed reduction over a year ago, but nothing has happened. What can be done please? County Councillor Goggin replied that the survey was carried out in June, and it was recommended that the Town Council talks to the Businesses at the end of Freelands to see if they could direct their deliveries along Bateman Road/Red Barn Road, rather than Hurst Green. The Mayor stated that Councillor Beckett is now the Councillor responsible for Highways and Transport and asked him to look at this as a matter of urgency. Councillor Beckett asked if County Councillor Goggin could help with making the area 30MPH.

 

The Mayor apologised that no answer had been given, and stated that if a resident contacts a Councillor, they should be kept updated on the situation. He then asked Councillor Beckett to look into this further.

 

 

  • If you walk down Mill Street between 8am – 8.30am you can smell the pollution. Are you aware that older trees absorb far more carbon dioxide that new trees, so if you keep cutting down the older trees you are reducing the impact.   County Councillor Goggin replied that the planning for this site (Phase 2 of the Hopkins Homes site) is with Tendring District Council.

 

  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 September 2019 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Howard as follows:

 

General Account Cheque No’s 707443 – 707457 in the sum of £5,322.94 be authorised for payment.

 

Current Account £52,577.86
Saver Account £68,456.95
Base Rate Reward Account £42,466.44
Making a total of: £163,501.25
Less un-presented cheques of: £2,328.93
Bank Balances on all Accounts : £161,172.32

 

Income to date 241,270.43
Expenditure to date 266,474.75

 

Employee payments paid for September 15,291.43

 

Payments taken direct from the bank account in September – 26 payments totalling 19,012.34
Debtors as at 30th September 2019 –

2 payments less than 3 months old totalling

 

13,815.96

8 payments older than 3 months old totalling 648.25

 

The accounts were seconded by Councillor Steady. Agreed.

  1. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 10TH OCTOBER 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:

 

  • A letter is written to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance stating that in this instance the Council are unable to assist with any funding at this time, and the town does, however, support them through other voluntary organisations, and we wish them well with their future fundraising.
  • The National Association of Local Councils Model Financial Regulations for 2019 are accepted.
  • The comments made by the External Auditor, were noted, as follows:-

“The smaller authority has not provided evidence of evidence of consideration of risk management arrangements by the whole authority during 2018/2019. This was requested as part of our intermediate review procedures. Minutes of the Finance Committee have been submitted.”

  • The following cost pressure items would be added to the 2020/2021 draft budget:- (a) Waterside and Tourism Re-development; new slide for the Western Promenade and litter bins; (b) CCTV funding would be looked into; (c) An e-mail will be sent to all Councillors asking if anyone has any projects/cost pressure items they would liked added to the draft budget for 2020/2021.
  • Members look at the Harbour Commissioners Management Agreement and forward any comments to Councillors Carr and Chasney before ratification from the Solicitors.

Seconded by Councillor Carr. Agreed.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 26TH SEPTEMBER AND 10TH OCTOBER 2019 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

 

Councillor Smith, Chairman of the Planning Committee, briefed members that all planning meetings are open to the public, and everyone would be welcome to attend planning meetings. He also mentioned that the planning committee now has a wider remit whereby they are carrying out discussions on a lot of environmental topics.

 

Councillor Smith then proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 26th September and 10th October 2019 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC. Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed.

 

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY – UPDATE BY COUNCILLOR SMITH:

 

Councillor Smith briefed members on the Draft Environmental Policy and proposed that this document is agreed by full Council and is put on the web-site for public consultation. Seconded by Councillor Chapman. Agreed.

 

  1. MOTIONS UNDER SO9

 

  • We the undersigned petition the Council to re-agenda the matter of “Co-option of Councillor” Proposed by Councillor Beckett, Seconded by Councillors Chapman, Carr, Howard, MacGregor, Chasney, Judson and Barry.

 

The Mayor briefed members that co-options had been discussed at the August council meeting, and the decision made at that meeting was that it is re-discussed at the end of the Councils first year, i.e. May 2020. He stated that according to Standing Orders we cannot re-discuss this issue unless 6 Councillors have signed the motion, and under the current circumstances, it was agreed that this should be re-discussed.

 

Councillor Beckett spoke to his motion, and stated that he was not in favour of co-opting another person at the time it was originally discussed, however as the situation has changed, this should now be re-discussed. It was then agreed that the Town Council would look into the possibility of co-option to fill the 12th place.

 

  • Brightlingsea Town Council declares an Environmental Emergency. Proposed by Councillor Beckett, seconded by Councillor MacGregor.

 

Councillor Barry then put in an amendment to this motion, as follows:- ‘Brightlingsea Town Council notes that the impact of climate change is causing serious environmental damage around the world, as evidenced by the Special Report on Global Warming published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September 2018. Brightlingsea Town Council therefore declares an Environmental Emergency and resolves to implement the recommendations of its environmental policy with due priority and urgency. This council further resolves to allocate an initial budget of £1000 to promote the policy and engage with other town organisations, local authorities and the general public. Proposed by Councillor Barry, Seconded by Councillor Smith.

 

Councillor Beckett withdraw this motion to allow the amendment to become the substantive motion.

 

The substantive motion was then voted on and agreed unanimously.

 

  1. EMERGENCY PLAN – UPDATE BY COUNCILLOR HOWARD:

 

Councillor Howard briefed members that the Emergency Plan is 99% complete, however she asked Councillors if they would be prepared to go on the telephone tree, to cascade information to others. She said that she will send an e-mail out about this. She also advised that the Draft Emergency Plan is available on Reception, if anyone has any comments to make, please let her know.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

 

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

 

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

 

Councillor Chapman – Have now received the report on the CHAPS day that was held on the 11th October 2019. 240 tests were carried out on the day, with 31 results being normal, 14 suggest benign enlargements, 3 slightly abnormal, and 6 very abnormal. She also announced that the Winter Warmer Programme has been launched again through CVST, so if anyone knows of any families, please let us know.

 

Councillor MacGregor informed members that our two local MP’s are holding public engagement events around the issue of Climate Changes sustainability.   She had attended one in Clacton by Giles Watling, which was very interesting, and tomorrow night one is being hosted by Bernard Jenkin at the Essex University.

 

Councillor Howard – Two fence panels around the Playground on the Western Promenade have been damaged, and they will cost £730 to replace. If our grounds team do not carry out the work, it will cost another £200.00.

 

Councillor Beckett had carried out a review of all bus shelters and stops in the town. Two shelter areas are a cause for concern and require attention, these being the one outside Tesco’s, the other in Regent Road, which has two end panels missing, and is weathered.

 

Had concerns raised by residents on the following:-

 

  • Queen Street which is two way at the bottom half of it – the suggestions are (1) To paint an arrow on the road, to show two way, which would be a low cost fix so he recommended that this is carried out; (2) request for an additional sign ½ way up, and he asked for members comments, or (3) request for a larger sign, with two bigger signs at the entrance. Councillor Steady seconded option 1 and 2, and this was agreed by those present.
  • Tower Street regarding speeding traffic – looking at the possibility of yellow lines and increasing parking. Have surveyed some 25 residents, but still trying to talk to more to get a better idea of what is preferred.
  • High Street and road safety – will carry out a site visit and survey residents.
  • Waterside – Disabled Ramp – has already been discussed this evening.

Councillor Steady mentioned the bus stop/shelter review and stated that the other stop which needs looking at is outside the Museum, where there is only a bench, no shelter.

 

Councillor Steady briefed members that alongside his report, he has attached three reports, one being the update from the Brightlingsea Nature Network Group, so thank you Susie for this, Roger Tabor on Brightlingsea – A Special Place, and the Local Beavers – Help Local Hedgehogs.

 

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

 

Councillor Chapman informed members that she had a meeting with the Police on Tuesday, and if anyone has any questions they would like put to them, to let the office know.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

 

Nothing further to add.

 

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

 

2.1 Agreed that the East Essex District Association Caravan Club can hold its rally’s on Lower Park Playing Fields on the following dates:- 9th to 13th April 2020; 25th to 30th August 2021; 24th to 29th August 2022; 23rd to 28th August 2023; 21st to 26th August 2024 and 20th to 25th August 2025, subject to usual terms and conditions.

 

            Councillor Chapman declared an interest in the following item:-

2.2 If anyone has any comments to make on the Temporary Road Closure for Late Night Shopping, these need to be with TDC no later than 11th November 2019.

 

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 Barry.   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. PROPERTY UPDATE:

 

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – Copy of an e-mail from FJG dated 14.10.19 had been circulated to all members. After discussion it was agreed that the time limit for completion be reduced from 3 months to 6 weeks.

 

Councillor Carr briefed members on the Licence for the Harbour Commissioners and a discussion took place.

 

Questions were asked concerning council land, which is currently being leased out, as to the progress made of the Town Council taking that land back.

 

The Mayor briefed members on the procedure on the Remembrance Day Parade.

 

 

  1. CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

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

 

 

 

Chair ……………………

 

Date: 21st November 2019

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