Council Update – Agenda No. 9
Council Meeting 23rd April 2020
Covid-19 Update by Councillor Chapman: We have 85 registered Volunteers all but 15 are now working with us. 3 have been contacted but have not responded to requests; 3 are now in isolation; 2 are specialist help (electrical and computer) and 3 are phone checks only.
Many residents are looking after their road and neighbours who are not registered with us.
We have 488 registered clients; two thirds are prescription delivery and as of Friday 17th April we have delivered 660 items of medication. We are planning to continue with the prescription pick up/delivery service during lock down, only for those people who are isolating for 12 weeks.
We have a really good routine going with the Sailing Club, Councillors, volunteers and a member of staff at the post office who are delivering with us. We are not allowed to let the post office take on the delivering of the prescriptions as we are handling a lot of controlled drugs.
I have a phone update every other day with Mel from Community Agents, a branch of Social Services, and we work closely with Doctors Surgery.
I would be lost without the support of our office staff, Tracey and Julie, who take as many, if not more, phone calls than I do.
We are working closely with County Councillor Alan Goggin on food hampers that are being delivered (he has been delivering these locally) and people with dietary issues. He has also helped with problems of payment to local private care agencies.
(Note: As of 21st April, we have 507 clients and have delivered 700 items of medication.)
Legal update by the Town Clerk: Following the advice given from the EALC, SLCC and the NALC, new regulations have been produced to make provision to enable local authorities to hold meeting remotely etc. The regulations further modify existing legislation provisions to remove the requirement for local authorities to hold annual meetings.
Therefore, as there is no requirement for a parish or town council to hold an annual meeting in May 2020, the current appointment of the Chairman can carry on until the Annual meeting in May 2021, unless the council elects a new chairman at an earlier meeting.
With this in mind, the current Mayor/Deputy Mayor/ Committees will remain in place until further notice. This will, of course, be reviewed when time allows.
Brightlingsea Leisure Village Update: – The new lease has been agreed, based on heads of terms, which were formulated in October 2019. The Council is waiting for the tenant to come back to confirm.
I met with Harbour staff James, Owen and Jill on 27th February where we discussed a cleaner greener crabbing initiative that the harbour wishes to partner with Brightlingsea Town:
1) The Harbour has a desire to take forward an initiative in using sustainable environmentally friendly material for use by residents and visitors that normally partake in “crabbing activity “ on the causeway. This desire is to correct the high mass of plastic both as buckets and line, left by “crabbers” in the season, it is recognised that this material is often found to be wrapped around coastal birds feet, as well as being lodged into propellers of small tenders and launches.
2) The Harbour staff showed me the material that they plan to use, which is a line that degrades naturally over a period of time unlike the current monofilament plastic that is currently being used by our “crabbers”
3) The Harbour put forward a plan where the green material is offered for sale by a local Brightlingsea person, at a nominal cost to our “crabbers” via the octagonal old hard masters hut, at the same time steel buckets would be made available for short term hire. I recognised the fact that some residents may have used mono filament plastic line for some years, and are still in possession of that equipment, my desire is to offer those persons a simple swop of their plastic material for the more environmental product, At a small nominal cost to BTC. It is recognised that there are retail outlets within the town that also sell crabbing line ( plastic) the harbour have indicated a great desire to work with these retail outlets with their green alternative, thereby possibly rolling out the initiative to other areas on the promenade and will make the product available to the retail outlets at a cost to be agreed.
4) I indicated that the Council could aid with relevant educational signage to the “crabbers” as well as the supply of a see-through bin ( see attached image) so that users could see the high mass of plastics that are collected over the season
At the same time of meeting the harbour master a location was identified to move the BTC notice board away from the proximity of their non working phone box to a location adjutant to the causeway, both Councillor Chasney and I feel that this location is not only a better sight line but also help to inform and bring the tourist footfall up towards the High Street. Content of notice board to be discussed.
A base of a light fitting affixed to the BTC causeway was identified as being rusty and rotting. Harbour Master to provide costs to make good.
The Beach Huts are still in disarray with some placed very precariously, especially those in the play area. This is in the hands of Tendring District Council however with the event of Covid-19 work is understandably being delayed.
We have received estimates for the repairs and replacements to the play area , they are upwards of £31,000, because of more frequent flooding to this area it may be time to move the area to higher ground. We also have estimates for replacing the cctv of approx. £20,000 not including lost poles.
Brightlingsea Bathing Water & Blue Flag
Following consultation with Tendring District Council, it has been agreed that Brightlingsea Town Council will help with the Pollution Risk Forecasting procedure, as follows:-
Pollution Risk Forecasting
ï 08.44 receive a text and an email from the environment agency daily from 1st May till 30th September with either “No Water Quality Warning Issued” or “Risk Of Reduced Water Quality” ;
ï If “No water quality warning issued” you have nothing further to do (TDC would imagine this would be the norm in Brightlingsea);
ï If receive “Risk of reduced water quality warning issued” text a poster (which TDC will provide) has go up by 10am;
ï Poster can go up on an A4 clip in frame on Beach Patrol hut in car park in Promenade Way (which TDC will put up), poster must be dated.
Councillor Steady – Hedge Planting Initiative
After consultation between EWD Ltd, Brightlingsea Town Council, Tendring District Council and Brightlingsea Nature Network, a planting initiative was started on the 7th March to enhance a meadow area on land adjacent to Morse’s Lane and Warrens Pond.
EWD Ltd, one of the towns biggest employers, owns the land and after initial discussions with the Town Council finalised details with Brightlingsea Nature Network. The initiative is part of The Town Councils green lung strategy announced three years ago whereby areas of open space planted with trees, meadow flowers and plants are made accessible for the local community to enjoy and as part of the towns wider wildlife corridor scheme to help the natural environment. Tendring District Council’s grounds team provided chippings to enhance the planting. Approx. 50 volunteers turned up on the day to take part in the planting.
Susie Jenkins the organiser of The Brightlingsea Nature Network said “As a rural seaside community we treasure our wild places and are excited to work with BTC to build up this new natural asset for Brightlingsea wildlife. Our first hedge planting event saw an enthusiastic turn out and 130 metres of Wild Harvest Hedging was planted on the day. Thank you also to The Essex Communities Foundation for supporting our work.”
This is another example of all strands of the local community coming together to enhance the local environment, and this scheme fits in perfectly with the green lung strategy, which the Town Council announced approximately three years ago. Plans are already being drawn up for similar activities at other locations.