Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:

Thursday 21st February 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, M Judson, J Russell and K Yallop

 

In attendance:

County Councillor Alan GogginTracey Pulford –Town Clerk

7 Members of the public

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors J Howard, D Ingate

 

  1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17TH JANUARY 2019 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

 

Councillor Dixon proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 17th January 2019 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Block. Agreed.

 

  1. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

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

The Mayor reminded members that he was holding another Coffee Morning on Saturday 16th March, and if anyone wished to donate any raffle prizes, bric-a-brac or cakes, they would be gratefully received. All money raised will go towards Environmental Improvements in Brightlingsea.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

 

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

County Councillor Goggin reported on the following:-

 

Since the last meeting he has attended:-

  • A members briefing about the use of social media. Bearing in mind how much councillors use media, he urged Councillors to think twice about some of the items they put out, as they were warned quite severely at Essex County Council. He stated that he has no lessons, but this caught him by surprise.
  • Meeting with the Community Centre group.
  • Meeting with a local key employer about the Development Plan.
  • Colchester Creative which is about development in the area.
  • Kent and Essex Fisheries in Gravesend talking about Brightlingsea expansion.
  • Belong to Essex Housing, and visited the Hospital in Colchester to talk about development.
  • Meeting on the 4th February regarding the Library. He gave thanks to Councillors J Chapman and Yallop for helping with the meeting.
  • Haven Gateway Board.
  • Essex County Council Full Council Meeting on the 12th
  • Local Highways Panel Meeting.
  • Delivered letters to Essex County Council from Brightlingsea Residents regarding the Library.

 

Left over from the last meeting:-

  • Good news on the buses
  • Question from a member of the public about investment properties by Essex County Council, out of region. Since been told it is just an investment position. Have asked for the numbers, and are waiting for these.

 

  • Key to everyone in Brightlingsea is the budget. £139m is now the budget. There is plus £249m of capital programmes to be spent. There is an increase in council tax of 2.99%, plus 1% for adult social care. There was an underspend/over-creation of money – £700,000 to footpaths and pavements, with £250,000 to homeless and rough sleeping, £1m for mental health for both adult and children, £500,000 to combat County lines.

 

  • Ofsted have rated the Children’s Services. In 2011 Essex County Council was inadequate, this moved to requires improvement, then adequate, however this year they have an Ofsted rate of outstanding.

 

Members asked the following questions:

Councillor Smith asked about the classification on the main road PR1 and stated that he is not clear on it, as to whether it was upgraded to a RP1 for gritting or for maintenance. He stated that there was an incident on Church Hill with a collapsed manhole/cover and why was this not fixed sooner? County Councillor Goggin replied that PR1’s are Public Route 1 and are considered to be the main routes, i.e. the road from Colchester to Clacton, which is via the main road down the A130 coming from Weeley. The B1027 was always a PR2, and PR2 extended to the main Brightlingsea Road. Whilst it was not upgraded to a PR1 it was given the status of a PR1. He could not answer the question as to why the repair works were not carried out sooner, but would try to find out.

Councillor J Chapman asked if County Councillor Goggin could chase up the removal of the barriers and broken street light by the bus stop, which was damaged a week before Christmas. She also asked about the Zebra crossing in Victoria Place which needs urgent re-painting. County Councillor Goggin replied that he has forwarded on the request for the re-painting of the zebra crossing. He also mentioned that the Local Highways Panel has spent all of the allocation of money until the end of March 2019.

Councillor Steady spoke about the PR1/PR2 issue and stated that the minutes of the last meeting state “that it is not a full PR1 road but the services have been upgraded to that of a PR1, including bollard cleaning etc., and also is the first road to get salted in bad weather”. He stated that the recent incident would appear to be more important that bollard cleaning etc.

Councillor Steady said that in the budget there is £25m for school transport, and wondered how that would affect Brightlingsea? County Councillor Goggin replied that he was not quite sure what that relates to but the rules on bus transport is that if you live under 3 miles away from your nearest school you have to make your own way there. If you live any more than 3 miles away than the County Council will supply a bus service, so for people in Brightlingsea, whose first choice is the Colne Community School, there is no problem. For people in Alresford who want their children to attend the Colne, there is no problem, however there is a problem the minute you get into Wivenhoe. In Wivenhoe there is a service, but only to the nearest school, which is at Greenstead. Parents in Wivenhoe are up in arms, and those who are choosing to send their children to the Colne, fall outside of the assisted bus service. Councillor Steady reiterated his question and asked if the £25 in the budget will affect the services in Brightlingsea. County Councillor Goggin replied that he believed not, as there are no residents in Brightlingsea that use the bus.

Councillor Steady mentioned the Library, and stated that in the budget for next year there is a higher spend for Libraries. Will that affect what is going in Brightlingsea and closing libraries etc.? County Councillor Goggin replied that the budget for the current year is £12.2m, the budget for next year is £12.4m. At this moment in time any changes that are occurring, will occur in the next tax year, so therefore the budget for this current tax year will be for running everything as it is.

Councillor V Chapman said that a friend had seen something on Facebook about the way County Councillor Goggin had voted on the Library at the budget meeting at Essex County Council, and asked him for his slant on it? County Councillor Goggin briefed Members on the budget, and stated that at that meeting the budget was presented and different opportunities are taken by the different groups. One group put forward an amendment to spend £500,000 as a one off investment in the library service to invest in digital media, book stocks and support the promotion of the libraries as community hubs and provide digital training. The vote for this was rejected, and he stated that he voted against it.

Councillor V Chapman reiterated the importance of white lines at various junctions. She then mentioned the crossing at the Colne School and asked for an update. County Councillor Goggin replied that Essex County Council have agreed that there should be a zebra crossing outside the school, but only once the school have implemented the changes that they said they would implement, some 9 years ago, by moving the pedestrian access.

Councillor Block stated that he was glad to see Hedingham Buses were taking over the Clacton Service, however he was concerned that we, as a Council, have been kept in the dark. He was under the impression that Go Ride should have gone to Essex County Council to say that they were finishing, and the Council would have been advised accordingly. County Councillor Goggin replied that Essex County Council do not run or get involved with this bus service, but are involved in some services. Councillor Smith said that Essex County Council are the bus authority and do produce a bus strategy for the whole county, so there has been a breakdown in communication.

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

Q1) The basis of road safety is good roads. Can you find out how often the Police Commissioner or the Deputy actually meets the Portfolio of Essex County Council to discuss this matter? Road safety starts with the surface of the roads.

County Councillor Goggin replied that he would look into this. The Mayor mentioned the Zebra crossing in Victoria Place, and that he would be happy for the payment of the white lines to come out of his Mayors allowance, if needed.

County Councillor Goggin mentioned Devolution, giving power and budgets back to local councils. The Mayor replied that the Town Council did look into this, and the majority of the Council declined to take part.

 

  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 January 2019 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor V Chapman as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 707241 – 707262 in the sum of £10,254.16 for payment.

Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £208,462.99

Employee payments paid for the month of January were £13,338.02

The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Block. Agreed.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON 18TH FEBRUARY 2019 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:

 

Councillor Steady then proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, and the recommendations (as written) be accepted:-

 

  • Clarification on the Town Centre Scheme would be sought from the Grounds Manager upon his return to the office and the information will be circulated to all members for a decision on the way forward;
  • The Lido’s existing loan of £20,000 would be paid back by the CIO immediately and that a new loan of £20,000, with the same terms of repayment, £5,000 per year for the next 4 years, would be activated;
  • Clarification is sought from the TDC Financial Officer on the Coastal Community Fund, before a Lido Development Fund is set up.
  • The letter from Brightlingsea Leisure Village would be copied to Fox Leisure for their comments;
  • Town Clerk to contact Mr Hancock stating the Town Council are not in a position to make a decision until more facts, information and costings are available.

 

The Minutes were seconded by Councillor Block. Agreed.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

 

There were no questions from the public, however Councillor V Chapman mentioned that a recent question had been asked about the Emergency Plan, and she now has some information, which she will make available to that member of the public.

 

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

 

  1. TO RATIFY THE CHARGES PROPOSED BY THE HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS FOR 2019/2020:

 

The Mayor informed members that following the meeting held between the Town Councillors and the Harbour Commissioners, the Town Council now needs to ratify the charges for 2019/2020. As CCC for the Hard, Councillor Smith proposed that the charges, as detailed on the attached sheet, are agreed by Council. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.

 

         Councillors V Chapman, Dixon and Russell all declared an interest in the following item:-

 

  1. TO SEAL AND SIGN THE AGREEMENT FOR THE EXTENSION TO THE NEW CHURCHYARD:

The Mayor was pleased to report that the agreement for the extension to the new Churchyard is now complete. He stated that the agreement needs to be signed and sealed by the Town Council.

The agreement was then signed by Councillor Smith, Mayor of Brightlingsea, and Councillor Jayne Chapman, witnessed by the Town Clerk and sealed with the Council Seal.

 

  1. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 7TH FEBRUARY 2019 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 7th February 2019 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 Smith drew members attention that the ‘L’ Shaped area (un-registered land) of the Hard has been tidied up, however the other area, which is owned by the Town Council, has not been touched. He mentioned that he had spoken to the Harbour Master, and he stated that as this area is not used, they do not waste any money in tidying it up. A discussion took place. It was then agreed that Councillor Smith would revisit the Harbour Master to ask that the whole area is tidied up.

Councillor V Chapman repeated her question of last time, about the height of the metal, and whether or not anything had been found out about height restrictions etc. The Mayor replied that Councillor Ingate stated at the last meeting that he would be talking to the Wharf, and as he is absent from the meeting, he could not comment further. He will liaise with Councillor Ingate asap.

Councillor Yallop asked about the signs for the Hard and the de-registered land. Councillor Smith reported that a sign has been drawn up, and it is now with the Solicitors for their approval.

Councillor V Chapman informed members that the new toilets on the Western Promenade look very nice. She also briefed members that the police had been called to an incident on the Western Promenade today.

Councillor Yallop asked about the Police Initiative, and whether or not any money had been put into the budget for this. Councillor Steady replied that he had asked for the crime figures for the last 2-3 years, and once these have been received, the Town Council will look into it.

 

  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 mentioned the joint report, and that at the last full meeting, a petition was handed in to keep open the toilets in Ipswich Road, Clacton. 10 toilets have closed in Tendring, however all three in Brightlingsea have been kept open, with one being refurbished.

  1. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

2.1 Agreed – Porridge and Pens could use Hurst Green for a Summer Fete Event on Sunday 26th May 2019, from 1pm until 4pm. Usual terms and conditions apply.

Councillors Yallop and Russell both declared an interest in the following item:

2.2 Agreed – Brightlingsea Food & Drink Festival can use the Western Promenade for 22nd to 27th August 2019, with the event taking place on Sunday 23rd – Sunday 25th, as in previous years. Usual terms and conditions apply.

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 Russell.  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. 181. PROPERTY UPDATE:

Councillor Steady briefed members that, as stated in the finance minutes, the letter has been sent to Fox Leisure, but no reply has been received.

 

Councillor Smith informed members that the Agreement for the Harbour Commissioners is with our Solicitors.

 

  1. CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.22 p.m.

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