Update  from Town and District Councillors – Agenda No. 10

Council Meeting 19th November 2020

Amenity Areas (Councillor Steady)

Discussions had with Susie Jenkins, Brightlingsea Nature Network, concerning  the removal of  old vessels by Morgan Marine, which were a source of pollution, and the impact on nesting habitats.  Pleased to inform that in collaboration between Susie, Morgan Marine and the Town Council new habitats will be put into place.

Lockdown 2 Hedge Planting:  Please see enclosed poster for the Lockdown 2 Hedge Planting event.

Lido (Councillor Barry)

Update on all things Lido from the trustees and volunteers:

As we enter another period of lockdown there are grounds for optimism looking ahead. Work will be starting soon on the repair and refurbishment of the flood damaged changing rooms. Contractors are expected to have the work completed by the end of the year or early next year. Perimeter fencing will also be replaced – the site should all look really wonderful when it is finished and give us a boost going in to 2021. They will also be fitting the changing bench in the accessible changing room. We received a grant from Catalyst to help cover the £4,000 cost. We have a further £11,000 grant waiting to install a hoist when the pool is preparing to open next year. This should make us one of the most accessible facilities in the area in line with our five year development plan.

We have had to store a lot of equipment and merchandise from the office block in the cafe pending the completion of the work, which is why we can’t contemplate any use of the cafe at the present time.

There have been a number of small work parties on Tuesday mornings for the last two months. These have focused on clearing out the office and changing rooms and tidying the site. Volunteers are working on the garden area in front of the cafe under the guidance of Susie Jenkins.

We are mindful of Covid protection requirements and appropriate measures are being taken to protect volunteers, working outdoors in small groups. To maintain safety and accommodate current Covid restrictions we need to limit numbers on site.

The Plant Room is being prepared and damaged goods stripped out for its makeover following flood damage insurance settlement. Sanitising measures are compulsory and face masks must be worn by anyone going into the plant room. We have replaced flood damaged tools and equipment, so should be in a strong position to really get going with the pool preparation when we are able to in the New Year.

Our previous manager Clive moved on to another post in September. We will be advertising for a new Manager early in 2021 to run and manage the Lido site. We hope to re-launch the cafe with a new menu and more events and options for different groups.

All donations received this year will be put into flood resilience measures around the plant room and pool perimeter to try and mitigate against future high tides and possible flooding.

Looking ahead to next year we are planning to use further fund raising activity and grant applications to get a cover for the pool and attempt to raise the water temperature – we will have a different system of entry and we need to get more people in!

The trustees thank everyone for their support and patience this year and hope you can all stay safe and well over coming months. We are looking to recruit two or three more trustees in the New Year so if you feel able to contribute in a more formal way, please speak to a current trustee to discuss further.

We look forward to a much changed year in 2021 with a potential vaccine meaning swimming will be on the agenda again.  Here’s hoping for plenty of sun and a much better year for everyone.

Tourism (Councillor Chasney)

It is planned to make a start on the 2021 town so we are in a position to publish early in the new year. The promotional data sheet has been circulated to all Councillors for approval and Julie is ready to email to editorial contributors and advertisers.   

It was proposed and agreed at the finance meeting held on 12 November that we offer returning 2020 advertisers a 50% discount to compensate for the reduced circulation due to Covid-19. The potential cost is £945. Costs for the current guide were artwork: £450, print £2,196 and a reduced distribution £154 (full circulation in 2019 was £450).  All figures are nett.

As the sourcing of the guide has not been reviewed for some years, to follow best practice, tenders for the work should be invited for the 2022 edition, following the publication of the 2021 edition, and be reviewed again in 2025. The tender list would include the current supplier.

In the event that the pandemic doesn’t go away, we would delay print until we are sure of a full distribution.

Transport and Highways (Councillor Judson)

Following correspondence with local residents regarding bad parking etc., I would like to consider the reintroduction of the Considerate Parking Initiative.  Comments please.

Western Promenade (Councillors Howard and Chasney)

Lakeside Caravan Site – The Western prom team has been keeping a firm eye on the work in progress and has had close contact with the leaseholder, Mr Michael McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy was asked to provide a written explanation of purpose of the works and his intentions for the site. This is in line with his original thoughts when he took over the lease:

“Just to let everybody know what’s going on with Lakeside caravan park, we are upgrading the park so that each individual caravan that comes in will have its own separate pitch its own electric hook up and water standpipe/supply also each caravan will be measured to the correct distance between each pitch and there will be no excess building work going on and there will be no new buildings constructed on the site there will be no mobile homes on the caravan park we are also extending the width of the road from current width of around 3m to new width of 4m wide to make it more accessible for people who would be bringing their caravan/motorhomes on an off the park and to finish with we will be landscaping the caravan park to a high standard and an overall general tidy up,

I hope this helps with some of the enquiries you have been getting from the general public.”

We will continue to follow progress. Fears with regard to the sea defences are unfounded.

Western Prom Play Area (Pawsons) – We now have the estimates in for the Tarmac/Wet Pour to the damaged play area surfacing, these will be going forward to the Finance Committee. The Wet Pour estimate will exceed the insurance claim but we feel this will safeguard the area from further flood damage.

Terry Hamilton (Grounds Manager) has now found that a further large piece of play equipment has been badly affected underneath by the flood, so we are asking the Insurance assessor to come back and inspect this so that we can move forward. We are also looking to replace some of the equipment with a more flood proof design.

Batemans Tower Café (Update) – The Builder and the architect are still in talks, but Lisa is still in litigation with the builder. She will update us with any new information when she has it.

Tendring District Council Report (Councillor Steady)

13/11 Took part in virtual cabinet meeting which included Coastal Recreational Disturbance, Climate Change Action Plan, Back to Business plans, Finance year on year report.

17/11 Attended all members briefing which included COVID-19 update, Local Government reform, future port health arrangements at Harwich.

19/11 Took part in virtual Local Highways Panel.

Item requiring action from the Town Clerk

The Community Centre have received an enquiry on behalf of White Gardenia Foods (who supply Syrian Food) with regards to the siting of a permanent food outlet trailer within the Community Centre Car Park (they have requested that the trailer be sited in the disabled parking space closest to the building) which would be open 6 days a week for both lunchtime and evening periods (no specific operating times have yet been requested).  Would this be permissible within the terms of their lease?

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Site designed and maintained by Big Red Web Design. Webmaster.