Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on
Thursday 20th February 2020 at 7.30pm.
G Steady (Mayor)
J Chapman (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, M Beckett, J Carr, G Chasney,
J Howard, M Judson and B Smith
Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk
County Councillor Goggin
9 Members of the public
146. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.
147. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16TH JANUARY 2020 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor Barry proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 16th January 2020 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Chapman. Agreed.
148. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
A copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
The Mayor mentioned the recent tidal surge and flooding, and the fantastic response from the Community. He reported that a beach clean up was held today, where over 200 people attended. The Council has sent a letter of thanks to Eastern Waste Disposal as they supplied three skips to the Western Promenade, free of charge.
The Mayor added that he had also attended:-
- A meeting at the Community Centre with Councillor Smith to discuss their future
- Climate Change meeting at Tendring District Council, with Councillor Barry.
149. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
150. REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
The Mayor thanked County Councillor Goggin for his report and mentioned to Councillors that a meeting is being held tomorrow with Officers of Essex County Council.
County Councillor Goggin apologised for not sending through his report earlier, and reported on the following:-
- At County Hall, the reports about the flooding and action taken have been feeding back, so congratulations on the response given from both Brightlingsea Town and Tendring District Councils.
- Tomorrow Officers from Essex County Council are attending a meeting with Councillors, where they will be giving a presentation on how the Essex County Council system works, specifically to deal with maintenance.
- In advance of this meeting, had a meeting with an officer of Essex County Council, and received a list of items/pot holes which are causing a problem in the town.
- Chapel Road is due to be repaired middle of March, but the road will be closed. Essex County Council will be arranging a ‘loop’ bus.
- At the Full Council Meeting the budget was mentioned. This meeting was the first meeting since Tom Dale sadly passed away. The budget has an extra £5m going into climate action; £1/2m for rough sleepers, £1m for mental health, £1/2m for police county lines and £130m for roads.
- Had a group meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner. At the moment the numbers of police are at 2,850 and they are trying to get to 3,600, with 150 extra police this year. They are very focused on getting extra police.
The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public:
- The Local Government Association of England have been lobbying the government for extra money for environmental climate change and they have a new Chairman. Can you keep us up to date, if they have been successful with this extra money. County Councillor Goggin replied, yes he will keep the residents up to date.
- Regarding the Chapel Road closure, does that mean the route will be the old First National bus route – Colne Road, up Station Road, round Victoria Place and back down? County Councillor Goggin replied that he did not know the answer to this question, but said that he should know more tomorrow after the meeting.
The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from Councillors:
- Councillor Smith asked if County Councillor Goggin could expand on the statement “we will give new levels of control to our County Councillors”. County Councillor Goggin replied that this was in the leaders speech, and he has not had a briefing yet. He said that this has been developing for a period of time – the pothole initiative was led by a Councillor and myself; the pavement initiative led again by a Councillor and himself; the Local Highways Panel is still the same as it was. Each County Councillor has been given £10,000 to give to projects within their areas, but he has yet to attend the briefing to find out the final details.
- Councillor Carr – Reading the budget, he applauds localism and bringing back control to local levels. He asked if County Councillor Goggin will lobby the fact to County, towns like Brightlingsea could sort out its own potholes, as this system works. County Councillor Goggin replied that if work is carried out locally it would be better value for money. The Council at Alresford have taken on the work locally, and 80% has gone to a local contractor.
- Councillor Barry mentioned that the £10,000 from each County Councillor is very welcome, however he asked if he could take this opportunity to combine it with the outstanding amount in the Community Reach Fund, so the money could be doubled? He said maybe you would consider speaking to colleagues on Community Reach? The Mayor replied that Community Reach is a separate fund to Essex County Council and proposed that the three Tendring District Councillors meet again with County Councillor Goggin to discuss further.
- County Councillor Goggin mentioned that Thorrington and Alresford had visited County Hall with himself to get decisions reversed, and Brightlingsea Town Council was one of the Councils that did not want to embrace Devolution, others did., Alresford has embraced it.
151. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2020 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:
Councillor Carr proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, and the recommendations, (as written, below) be accepted:
- The updated budget is received by Full Council;
- Members Allowances are paid in the March of that financial year;
- Boat Show/Regatta – should only be called the Regatta;
- Harbour/Ferry have agreed to reduce their standing grant to £200.00;
- The Museum is given the excess money from the Harbour Commissioners grant, i.e. £861.00;
- Councillor Steady would attend a meeting with Councillor Howard and the Churchyard Committee to discuss both the grant and new agreement;
- £100.00 sponsorship would be given towards a photographic exhibition, on the proviso that space is given to the Town Council at this exhibition;
- £2,500 be allocated towards a further round of Operation Quasar, subject to review.
Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed.
152. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending January 2020 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Chasney as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 707508 – 707527 in the sum of £19,955.55 be authorised for payment.
Base Rate Reward Account
Making a total of:
Less un-presented cheques of:
Bank Balances on all Accounts :
Income to date
Expenditure to date
Employee payments paid for January
Payments taken direct from the bank account in January –23 payments totalling
Debtors as at 31st January 2020 –
39 payments less than 3 months old totalling
2 payments older than 3 months old totalling
The accounts were seconded by Councillor Carr. Agreed.
153. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2020 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Smith informed members that an appeal was going on at the moment for 21 Waterside, however this application was turned down on flooding grounds.
He then proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 6th February 2020 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Chapman. Agreed.
154. TOWN COUNCIL VACANCIES:
The Mayor updated members on the current situation regarding the Town Council Vacancies. He said that there are now three vacancies onto the Town Council:-
- Vacancy 1 follows on from the May election when only eleven Councillors were elected uncontested;
- Vacancy 2 from the sad death of Councillor Ian Block and
- Vacancy three from the resignation of Councillor Caroline MacGregor.
He reported that following the legal process in advertising vacancies 2 and 3, as no request has been received for an election to fill these casual vacancies, these must now be filled by co-option. We will be writing to all those who have shown an interest in being co-opted onto the council to advise them that there are now 3 vacancies. A new notice will be posted on the council notice board, and web-site, asking if anyone else would like to be considered.
155. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.06 hrs to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
The Mayor mentioned that at the last full council meeting, the quality of the reports coming in was excellent. He said that a lot has been going on in the last two weeks, and when he came in to the office on Monday and there was various meetings going on, with Councillors involved, concerning different things and the office was busy. He said that it was very invigorating and positive all round.
156. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLOR CONTACTS AND CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Howard said that we should be very proud of how our staff worked on the day of our surge. Our Grounds Manager was one of the first on the scene, and the Office Staff were receiving the emergency calls etc.
A round of applause was given to the staff.
Councillor Howard then informed members that the Emergency Plan will be looked at again, to see how it worked, what went right, what went wrong. The Mayor replied that this is the same with all the council Policies, they are working documents and need to be revisited to be kept up to date.
Councillor Smith – As one of the Co-Ordinators for the Hard and Harbour, he would welcome copies of the correspondence from Councillors Carr and Chasney. He then asked about the Heritage Pier, where it was agreed by the Planning Committee that this scheme would go out to public consultation. When will this happen? Councillor Carr replied that it will go out to public consultation as soon as we know what we are going to build. We are still in discussions about design, ownership of land, funding etc., however it is hoped that the consultation will happen within the next three months.
Councillor Chapman added to what Councillor Howard said about the Emergency Plan. It did work well this time, we had two halls on standby ready to open if needed. It was, however, a pity that the Marina decided they needed to be evacuated and went to a building in Tower Street – so somewhere there was a miscommunication. We now have a good contact with the Fire Brigade, and will have a meeting with them shortly.
The Diabetic Eye Screening took place here for the second time, however 44% of patients did not show up on one Day.
Councillor Howard asked Councillor Beckett about a highway issue. She mentioned that at the Community Centre on their busy nights, people park around the front of the centre, in the road, near to the junction of Station Road/Colne Road, making it difficult for the buses to turn into Lower park Road. Could this be looked at please. Councillor Beckett replied that he will look into this and will liaise with Essex County Council.
Councillor Barry echoed Councillor Howards comments regarding the Council Staff, and also Tendring District Council staff, who arrived with pumps etc., to help with the immediate aftermath. This week UK Power Networks have come to address the serious power issues. Going forward, flood prevention is being thought about. The Mayor mentioned coastal protection and the sluices and we need to talk to Tendring District Council regarding ownership. Councillor Chapman mentioned that the Fire Brigade have Water Officers, who will go out with members of staff, when working in high water. Councillor Smith mentioned that there used to be a siren, which was used in situations like this, and would help areas like the Marina. Councillor Howard replied that it was taken out some time ago, as it was not needed anymore.
Councillor Beckett informed members that he has not submitted a report as he was waiting for the meeting to take place tomorrow.
157. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Nothing further to add.
158. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Barry updated members that he had attended a meeting with Jonathan Hamlet of Tendring District Council, with Councillor Smith, to look at the recycling at the Marina. He reported that TDC are to prepare some signage, and then a publicity campaign will take place with the residents about their waste/recycling. He also reported that as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, they are looking at the rollout of the new waste disposal service. Much discussion took place. Councillor Steady mentioned the link to the recordings of the full Council meetings held at Tendring District Council, which can be found on their web-site.
Councillor Barry mentioned that the Leader of the Council has given a pledge to review our coastal defences in Brightlingsea and that there is a reserve fund for emergency measures. He assured everyone present that we will keep reminding him of that.
159. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AND DETERMINE ACTIONS REQUESTED:
2.1 Agreed that the Music Festival could hold its event on Hurst Green from Friday 31st July to Sunday 2nd August 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 Barry. Agreed.
160. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 –To discuss the following:-
- Property Update
161. PROPERTY UPDATE:
The mayor briefed members on the current situation of the lease renewal for the Leisure Village. After much discussion it was agreed to contact the Solicitors to ask them to confirm that another six weeks extension has been given and if so the view of the council is that this is the last extension. Also to ask the Solicitors to advise us of our options and what their recommendation is.
162. CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.02 p.m.
Date: 19th March 2020