BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: 

Thursday 24th June 2021 at 7.30pm.

Present:

Councillors

J Chapman (Mayor)

M Barry (Deputy Mayor)

M Beckett, J Carr, G Chasney, M Court, S Hawkins, 

M Judson, B Maltby, R Morgan, G Steady and B Smith

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk

County Councillor Goggin

4 members of the public (in person)

4 members of the public joined the meeting by zoom

The Mayor welcomed everyone to the first, face to face, council meeting and welcomed the newly co-opted Councillors, those members of the public attending in person and those attending via zoom.  She then asked if members would agree to include a Part B to the agenda, this was agreed by those present.

022. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.

023. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING HELD ON 5TH MAY 2021 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Beckett proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 5th May 2021  were accepted as a true record.  Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

024. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE EXTRA ORDINARY MEETING HELD ON THE 20TH MAY 2021 AND TO CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

Councillor Carr proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 20th May 2021  were accepted as a true record.  Seconded by Councillor Barry.  Agreed.

025. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The Mayor asked members that if they require a paper copy of the papers for the meeting, to let the Clerk know, at least the day before the meeting.  She then informed members that she had attended a meeting with the Royal British Legion about the Memorial Services, and that the Town Council is responsible for the delivery of Remembrance Parades and Services.  However, if the Town Council gives written permission/agreement to the RBL, they will continue to run the parades etc., however the Town Council will need to apply for the road closures.  This was proposed by Councillor Judson and seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed.  The Mayor minded members that the Hospice Open Gardens was taking place this weekend and the United Church would be hosting a ‘flower festival’.  All welcome to attend.

026 DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:  

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

027. UPDATE FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:

County Councillor Goggin endorsed the Mayors comments, that it was good to see 12 Councillors at Brightlingsea.  He then mentioned the following items:-

  • Local Highways Panel has a new Chairman, Mark Platt.  The big change is that the annual budget is usually around £395,000.  There has been an increase of £7.2m from Essex to all the Local Highways Panels, which equates to an extra £200,000.  This current year the spend has gone from £395,000 to £595,000.  This should be the case for the next two years, however prior to the start of the year there was £406,000 worth of work in the pipeline.  Out of £198,000, £78,000 of it was spent in Brightlingsea.   There is one outstanding item which is the Quiet Lane in Mill Street.  We need to gather evidence and this is done by carrying out a speed and volume survey.  He then asked Councillor Judson ‘where do you want the survey to take place?’  The survey will be completed as soon as possible, once the location has been determined.  Councillor Judson replied that he would look into the location for the survey.
  • Made aware early May about a Petition re Quiet Lane in Mill Street.  Over 180 residents have signed this on-line petition, however the petition did not go anywhere.  5 Brightlingsea Councillors are named, as receiving this petition, but apparently they did not receive a copy – these are Councillors Barry, Goggin (at Tendring), Thomas Eng (Essex County Council), John White (Councillor at St Osyth) Chapman, Steady, Beckett, Judson, the Town Clerk and Tendring District Council.
  • June 6th met with the four new Councillors for an induction meeting.  
  • May 28th – An Essex County Council initiative to promote Towns and Villages, came to Brightlingsea, thanks to Councillor Jayne Chapman and for helping with social distancing etc.  Coverage was given on BBC, Anglia TV, BBC Radio Essex and in the local newspapers.

The following questions were asked by Town Councillors:-

Councillor Carr – I see you have attended the Kent and Essex Fisheries, and there has been a debate about how local fisherman sell direct to the public.  What are your thoughts on this?  County Councillor Goggin replied that the Kent and Essex Fisheries is a Conservation Board, and the whole point is to conserve the fish population.  One part are based in Brightlingsea, the other in Kent.  Part of the problem is that there are quotas for fish and for the types of fish.  County Councillor Goggin briefed members on the situation.

Councillor Smith congratulated County Councillor Goggin on his Scrutiny Role and mentioned that you will now be scrutinising highways.  He then passed County Councillor Goggin a document – the new version of ‘track it’.  He said that it is about finding out where people have reported pot holes.  He then asked County Councillor Goggin, in his new role, to look at this, and see how it could be ‘fine tuned’.

Councillor Smith then mentioned the vehicle incident, which happened on Monday, and cut the town off for some considerable time.  He stated that the trees on Church Hill are in a terrible condition and asked County Councillor Goggin to recommend that a survey is carried out on the trees on Church Hill, so that an incident like this does not happen again.  

County Councillor Goggin replied to these questions and stated that we have an excellent system here at the Town Council.  Two years ago Officers from Essex County Council came down here and met with most of the Councillors to discuss how the system works.  He said that both Tracey and Julie have a system whereby they report incidents and track items already reported.  He mentioned that he and Councillor Judson also regularly talk about issues.  The comment about the lorry incident – the last time a survey was carried out on Church Road, B1029, it was a 7 day survey, and there were 78,000 journeys in 7 days.  If you multiply that by 50 ish, you get around 3.5m journeys in a year.  In a journey you drive past 10-20 cars, vans, lorries.  The last time the road was closed was Sunday December 8th 2017 at 11.30am, but this was caused by snow.  He said that if you have issues with particular areas, please report them to Julie or Councillor Judson to deal with.

The Mayor added that a tree was down on the cycle path, reported 2-3 times, in the end our Groundsmen cleared it themselves.  Julie has also complained on numerous occasions to Veolia, who are paid to sweep the cycle path weekly, however this is not happening and the cycle path is littered with mess.  She said that the idea of the cycle path was that if we were ever cut off, people could use the cycle path as an alternative route.  You cannot do that at the moment, and another e-mail has been sent to Essex County Council about this.

Councillor Barry mentioned that outside Scooby Snax, someone has filled in a pothole with concrete – probably out of desperation.  He mentioned that people driving out of town are having to avoid potholes, which could cause a collision with traffic coming the other way.  He asked if County Councillor Goggin could be more proactive with timescales, and with specific fixes and mentioned the condition of Church Road.  He asked if he could take this forward as an urgent issue for the town?  County Councillor Goggin mentioned Church Road, and some fixes had been fixed.  He mentioned the ‘what3words’ system, and that the B1029 is a PR1 route, and is walked and looked at once a month, but this does not mean that the works will be carried out, however an assessment will be made.  He said that with Councillor  Judson on the case, they are always talking once every 3 days.  The Mayor asked that any bad defects are reported to the office, and a letter is sent off to Essex County Council.  Councillor Judson informed members that he has been reporting pot holes on a regular basis.

Councillor Steady mentioned the petition in Mill Street, and that it was sent over to everyone – District Councillors, Town Councillors and Officers.  He said that you had to click on the link and it took you to the petition.  He then mentioned Marsh Way, and that there has been an issue there for the last 6 years with the pavements.  He said that two months ago, there was a an overgrown tree, the residents got together, took away all the rubbish, and planted plants.  They contacted me about getting the rubbish taken away, which the Tendring Rangers did.  In the meantime Highways came down as the roots of the tree were lifting up the path.  In a matter of weeks it was repaired and resurfaced.  The residents took a proactive stance on it, the office spoke with the Tendring Rangers, and the matter was resolved.  He then mentioned the Highways Highlights and mentioned the article on LED lights, and wondered if there were any other locations which have not got the all night lights – is there anywhere in the town that should have all night lighting with the LED lights?  He asked Cllr Judson to carry out a survey to see if locations can be put forward to Essex County Council for these new lights.  

County Councillor Goggin asked Councillor Steady when he received the Mill Street petition.  Councillor Steady replied April/May 2021.  A discussion took place.

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

Q1) What is the difference between patching and top dressing?

A1) County Councillor Goggin replied that roads are an asset and need to be maintained and repaired.  Repairs are carried out when there is a dreadful pothole and this needs to be fixed instantly, and is called a ‘make-safe’.  They fill it with coal or hot tar, as a temporary measure.  Top dressing is carried out as part of long term maintenance.  It is put down to maintain the surface of the road. 

Q2) When was the last time a road in Brightlingsea had top dressing put down?

A2) County Councillor Goggin replied last year when Red Barn Road was done.  Also Regent Road has had top dressing on it in the past.

028. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & PROPERTY MEETING HELD ON 17TH JUNE 2021 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:-

Councillor Carr proposed that the Minutes of the Finance and Property Meeting held on the 17th June 2021 are accepted as a true record, and the recommendations (as written) be accepted.  

Councillor Barry mentioned that he recalled a discussion about the level of reserves the Council should hold, and that the Chairman said that he had agreed with three years reserves, as recommended by the auditor, but this would be confirmed.  He said that that this should be reflected in the minutes.  Councillor Steady also mentioned item no F075 and that he would like the item to read “Councillor Steady presented funding options re the Public Works and Loan Board and Councillor Morgan mentioned the Public Works and Loan Board, and stated that it would make good business sense to purchase equipment this way.”

With the above amendments, the minutes, and following recommendations, were seconded by Councillor Chasney.  Agreed.

  1. The Risk Assessment for 2020/2021 is accepted and signed off at the Council Meeting on the 24th June 2021.
  2. The Asset Register for 2020/2021 be accepted, and the value of £2,574,751 would form part of the AGAR Figures.
  3. 1)  The Annual Financial Report was  agreed by all present, and the recommendations made in that report were noted; (2) The Year End Accounts are agreed and signed off at the Council Meeting on the 24th June 2021.
  4. Section 1 of the Annual Governance Statement is completed as follows:- questions 1-8 yes; question 9 N/A.
  5. The figures in Section 2 of the AGAR are agreed as written.
  6. Maurice Howard is re-appointed as the Council’s Internal Auditor for the year 2021/2022.
  7. Beach Hut – a) The charge for day hire would be £30.00 (peak), £20.00 (off peak); (b) Items included in the hut, for hire:- table and four chairs, 2 gravity lounger chairs, melamine mugs and plates; (c) The hut to be checked for accessibility i.e. wheelchair access; (d) Insurance Company to be contacted to check whether cover includes for hire.
  8. Skate Park Repairs – (a) Tendring District Council be contacted to ascertain if the remedial works costing £14,500 could be financed out of S106 monies.  (b) A second quotation would be obtained, for the works.
  9. The Community Centre should ask their Solicitor to draft a sub-lease for the proposed catering van to be sited in the car park, which the Town Council would have to agree.   Also any fundraising should be for the Community Centre, which they should be a member of.  
  10. The Harbour Commissioners have agreed to match fund the amount the Council puts into the ‘sinking fund’ each year.  
  11. Councillor Carr would contact the Harbour Commissioners to ensure that a copy of their accounts for the boat park are sent to the Council, to be appendices to the Councils accounts.  
  12. A further meeting with the Harbour Commissioners would be arranged in July, and October – to discuss the charges for the following year. 
  13. The Bowling Club would be offered a ‘simple lease’; based on 21 years, with 7 yearly intervals. 
  14. The Cricket Club would be offered a lease based on 21 years, to give them security of tenure, when applying for grants etc.  
  15. A meeting would be arranged with the Playcentre and the new Councillors appointed as CCC’s for Youth, after the Council meeting on the 24th June 2021. 
  16. The Clerk to obtain an update from Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors on the Colne Smack Preservation Society Lease and the Lease for the 4th Brightlingsea Scout Group.  
  17. Grants – a) No further grant would be awarded to the 2021 Brightlingsea Regatta; (b)  A grant of £150.00 be awarded to the Tendring Brass Band, also to ask if they would be prepared to play in Brightlingsea at an opportune moment, when restrictions allow.
  18. New Ransoms Mower – (a) The renewal Ransoms Mower would be put into next years budget.  (b) Tendring District Councillors would talk to Tendring District Council Officers to see if they would contribute towards the cost of such a machine.
  19. Lido – a) £7,980.02 underspend from 2019/2020 and the £18,840 underspend from 2020/2021 be transferred to the Town Development Reserve Fund to be used to fund the flood prevention work to be carried out during 2021/2022.  This will also be supplemented by the 2021/2022 swimming pool budget.  (b) The £5,000 loan repayment for 2020/2021 be deferred until 2023/2024.  (c) There would be more interaction with the Lido Trustees and the Town Council.  (d)  Look at forward planning for the next 10-20 years.

029. TO CONSIDER AND APPROVE THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD: 

The Town Clerk reported  that due to the year end and the start of the financial year, it has not been possible to update the accounts system to prepare the end of April and May statements.  These will be presented at the next meeting.  She then proposed that the 25 payments (as written) in the sum of £15,186.49 be approved for payment.

This was proposed by Councillor Beckett, seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed.

Councillor Steady then mentioned item no F073 on the finance minutes, and that he had, as requested, prepared a paper on the Cricket Club proposals.  This paper had been circulated to all members.

Councillor Barry declared an interest in this item.

After discussion it was agreed that:- 

  • An increase in rental of £5,000 per year, for the next three years – £15,000 in total.  The Cricket Club are prepared to make this in a one off upfront payment to be able to use the whole amount for improvements to net facilities.
  • Agreement of a 21 year lease to enable grants to be accessed.
  • Payment of rental fees as per normal, which would be for the square, club house, net area and also storage area.
  • The Cricket Club to fit in with current council policy, to pay for the cost of the new lease.

030. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 6TH MAY AND 10TH JUNE 2021 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Smith updated the new members on the Planning Committee, and stated that Brightlingsea Town Council is a statutory consultee, and the District Council are the Planning Authority.  He mentioned that Essex County Council deal with applications for Minerals etc.  He mentioned that any councillor can come to a planning meeting, and sometimes non members are asked to substitute for members who are unable to attend.

Councillor Smith asked members to note the recommendations in the Minutes of 6th May and 10th June 2021, for these to be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council.  This was proposed by Councillor Judson, seconded by Councillor Steady.  Agreed.

031. TO APPOINT NEWLY CO-OPTED COUNCILLORS TO THE FOLLOWING:

The Mayor briefed members that the newly appointed councillors would like to be appointed to the following committees:-

  • Finance and Property Committee – Councillor Ric Morgan
  • Staff Committee – Councillor Mat Court
  • Planning Committee – Councillor Sim Hawkins

CCC’s:-

  • Communication – Councillor Mat Court
  • Environmental Management – Councillors Mat Court, Sim Hawkins and Bev Maltby
  • Hard and Harbour – Councillor Ric Morgan
  • Regeneration – Councillors Sim Hawkins, Bev Maltby and Ric Morgan
  • Western Promenade – Councillor Ric Morgan
  • Tourism – Councillor Mat Court
  • Youth & Services for Children – Councillors Mat Court and Sim Hawkins

Outside Bodies:

  • Churchyard Committee – Councillor Sim Hawkins
  • Bradwell B – Councillor Bev Maltby
  • Neighbourhood Plan – Councillor  Bev Maltby
  • Emergency Plan – Councillor Sim Hawkins

She mentioned that a new CCC (Councillor Contact and Coordinator) has been created as ‘Environmental Management’.  

These appointments were then proposed by Councillor Barry, seconded by Councillor Carr.  Agreed.

032. UPDATE FROM TOWN AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

The Mayor informed the newly appointed members that reports are submitted each month, giving an update on Councillors CCC’s etc.  She mentioned that under her Welfare, many items are confidential, which she cannot report on.  She asked members that if they have ‘nothing to report’ they should let the Clerk know, so this can be added to the reports.

The following Councillors gave an update on their reports:-

Councillor Steady – Amenity Areas – Signs are being installed on the Lower Park Playing Fields concerning dog fouling.  Also there has been some vandalism on trees at Gravel Field.

Western Promenade – Looking at the Basketball Court renovation, and the Brightlingsea Sledge Hammers, who have been very successful in the Town, are helping with funding.

Councillor Carr – We have had a visit from the MMO to inspect works at the Hard, everyone is happy.

Councillor Hawkins – Attended the Church Lads & Girls Brigade metal detecting evening, which was great fun.

Councillor Barry – Attending a meeting next week with Ian Taylor to discuss the works taking place on the Promenade, including improving the seafront shelters and looking at flood defences.  Councillor Smith asked if electric car chargers could be mentioned, as we are still waiting to hear back from them with a suggested contribution from the Town Council.  

Councillor Barry mentioned that the Lido has opened, the water is lovely, and invited all Councillors to attend an opening on the 3rd July 2021.

Councillor Steady mentioned an incident with jet skis, which took place by the Sailing Club.  Apparently the Harbour Commissioners were called 2-3 times, however they were told they were too busy to do anything about it.  Councillor Judson informed members that he called the Police, who contacted the Marine Police.  Councillor Chapman mentioned the installation of a gate at St Osyth, which should stop this kind of incident.

Councillor Steady mentioned the Local Highways Panel meeting which he had recently attended, that the Town Council should be putting in more initiatives, and need to be more proactive.  He also mentioned the Gateway Feature.

033 QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

The Mayor reminded the public that this is a question and answer session, not a debating session.

Q1 – How much money has been spent on the Heritage Quay to date?

A1 – Councillor Carr replied that he would check the figures, and would get back to the resident with the amount.

Q2 – How much money has been spent on the Foot Ferry Landing Stage at St Osyth?

A2 – Councillor Carr replied that Brightlingsea Town Council have been the authors of planning permission for both sides, and the amount is around £500.00.  The Harbour Commissioners have spent £3,000.00 on MMO planning permission for this side.

Q3 – How much money will it cost to remove the Dolphins?

A3 – The Mayor replied that no decision has been made to remove the Dolphins.

Q4 – Walking Football Pitch – we are paying a large amount of money with no facilities, can this be lowered to £10.00 an hour?

A4 – The Mayor replied that this would have to be taken to a finance meeting for discussion. 

Q5 – Ask Councillor Steady – Looking at recent meetings and in January you were very pleased to announce that the new emerging Local Plan was going to stop speculate planning.  Can you be more specific on this and does it mean backland development? 

A5) Councillor Steady replied that as Tendring had no Local Plan in place, the speculate development, anyone could come forward with any development.  If it is refused by council it would go to appeal – and they would come back and state that there was no 5 year plan.  The resident added that their development 2 years ago, you agreed to take it to committee at Tendring, and you did not.  The resident said that they are still fighting this and will now have no chance, as there is no backland development.

A5 – The Mayor replied that it was the Government Inspectors who passed the plan, and they are not going to stop backland development.  Councillor Steady agreed to look into the previous application, to find out what process had been taken.

034. TOWN COUNCIL POLICIES:

The Mayor informed members that at the May meeting it was agreed that the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Code of Conduct would be looked at, and any amendments be brought to full council for ratification.  She said that a couple of suggested amendments had been received, and these would be passed to Tendring District Council to check the legality of these being included.  She will report back shortly.  

035. THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE WEEKEND – 2ND – 5TH JUNE 2022:

The Mayor briefed members on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend 2022, and it was agreed that (1) a working party be set up consisting of councillors Carr, Chasney, Hawkins and Maltby, and members of the public, and (2) the Platinum Jubilee Beacon be ordered, at a cost of £490.00 plus vat.

036. TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

Item 1 – Agreed that Brightlingsea Town Council do not adopt the phone box at the Hard, and the possible location for a defibrillator is at the Colne Yacht Club.  Also agreed that Councillors Judson and Beckett would contact the Colne Yacht Club to ask if they would be agreeable to this.

037. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 –To discuss the following:- 

  • Property Update

038.     PROPERTY UPDATE:

Councillor Steady updated members on the current situation with the Brightlingsea Leisure and Batemans Tower Cafe.  He also mentioned that discussions are on-going with Tendring District Council regarding various land transfers.

039.     CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.27pm.

Chair ……………………

Date: 15th July 2021

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