BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 10th December 2009 at 7.30 p.m.
J Chapman (Mayor)
M Holding (Deputy Mayor)
J Aldridge, M Beckwith, I Block,
V Chapman (8.00 pm onwards), D Dixon, A Goggin (7.50 pm onwards),
G Mann (7.55 pm onwards), J Russell, G Steady and K Yallop
Tracey Pulford –Secretary to the Town Council
133. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Cllr V Chapman will be late as she is chairing a meeting at Tendring District Council, and Cllr Mann will also be late.
134. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH NOVEMBER 2009 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
135. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
A copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
136. QUESTIONS UNDER SO 10(2):
137. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
138. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Accounts for the period ending November 2009 were proposed by Cllr Russell as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 704467 – 704484 in the sum of £7,696.16 for payment
Bank Balances – All accounts – in the sum of £248,030.06
Salaries paid for the month of November were £8,584.43
Seconded by Cllr J Chapman. Agreed.
Cllr Yallop asked about cheque number 704468 for Signs Made Easy, Cllr Aldridge replied that this was for her Parking Initiative Signs. Cllr Goggin asked for a cost to date for Prettys and the ongoing situation at the Leisure Village. Tracey Pulford replied that the cost to date was around £15,000. Cllr Block stated that this amount was being recharged direct to Mr Hammerton.
139. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON 18TH NOVEMBER AND 2ND DECEMBER 2009 AND CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:
Cllr Block proposed the minutes of the meetings held on the 18th November and 2nd December 2009 be agreed and made the following statement:
Attached you will find the revised estimates for the current year (2009/2010) and the forecast for 2010/2011. The current forecast for this year is that we will overspend our budget by £146.00 although there are several variations within this figure, mainly due to the increase costs of the CCTV system introduced at the bottom of the Western Promenade, although this was covered by a donation from the Beach Hut Association and a transfer from the capital reserves. We are also now paying into a pension for the majority of our employees. The overall small increase is due in no small way to the careful budgeting by all our Town Councillors and our Town Secretary.
For the 2010/2011 accounts the finance committee were faced with an increased cost of running the swimming pool (due to be transferred from Tendring to the Town Council shortly) of £21,800, an increase in the pension costs and a reduction of interest received on our reserves compared with previous years, and an increase in the bids by MSR’s and the improvements budget. At one time we were looking at trying to fund an increase of some £56,000. This would have needed to come from either the reserves, which the committee felt unacceptable, or an increase in the precept by some £18 per household.
We therefore looked closely at the MSR and improvements bids and were able to cut a total of £39,000 from these by postponing and reducing the expenditure on a number of projects. We were also advised that a rent review on one of our larger properties was due, which could give our income a considerable boost – we have included part of this, but only on a conservative nature – if this is exceeded we can revisit the above projects.
We have also reduced our legal budget as we feel activates under this head should be reduced with the completion of the current legal problems on one of our sites.
Annual grants have been held at last year’s level and we have reduced discretionary grants to a total of £2,500.00. The total of the above has now resulted in an increase of the precept from £155,237 to £157,934, which equates to a Band D property tax of £55.76 for the coming year, an increase of 95p per household per year. As a point of interest the Band D rate was £53.31 when this council was elected. The increase of only £2.45 over four years has been a considerable achievement.
You are therefore requested to note (1) the revised budget for 2009/2010 at the projected overspend of £146.00, (2) that the finance committee recommend a budget for 2010/2011 as above and that the precept for the coming year be £157,934 equating to a Band D property tax of £55.76 an increase of 95p per year or 1.7% over 2009/2010.
Seconded by Cllr Russell. Agreed.
Cllr Dixon congratulated the Chairman on the budget, particularly the MSR bids, all of which have been completed in a minimum number of meetings.
140. COUNTY COUNCILLOR ROBINSON:
County Councillor Robinson had nothing to report on for Brightlingsea, but did report on a few county issues.
Cllr Mann joined the meeting at 7.55 pm.
141. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
A copy of the Questions from the Public is annexed to the Minutes.
Cllr V Chapman joined the meeting at 8.00 pm.
142. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 18TH NOVEMBER AND 2ND DECEMBER 2009 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Cllr Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of the 18th November and 2nd December 2009 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC. Seconded by Cllr Block.
143. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBERS WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Further to the written reports:-
Cllr Aldridge – The VAS sign has now been installed in Church Road near to the Colne Community School. The other two signs failed the lamp post tests.
Community Parking Initiative – Stickers are now available from the Parish Hall. Alresford have shown an interest in joining this scheme.
Two disabled parking spaces are needed in the Town; the proposals are for one outside the chemist and one outside the doctors. Agreed Cllr Aldridge to look into this further.
Cllr Beckwith – Nothing further to add.
Cllr J Chapman – Nothing further to add.
Cllr V Chapman – Nothing further to add to the report; however someone has asked if Brightlingsea would become a Fair Trade Town. Agreed this item be added to the next agenda.
Cllr Goggin – Nothing further to add.
Cllr Holding – Footpath 10 – Work has started and should be completed before Christmas.
Cllr Mann – Nothing further to add.
Cllr Russell – Nothing further to add.
Cllr Steady – The fencing on Bayard Recreation Ground is due to start on the 11th January 2010.
Cllr Yallop – Nothing further to add.
144. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Further to the written reports:-
Cllr V Chapman – Attended a Seafront Advisory meeting and have a record of all the situations dealt with by the Beach patrols / Seafront Wardens for summer 2009.
145. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
The reports were noted.
146. TO RECEIVE THE SECRETARY’S REPORT:
2.1 After discussion it was agreed that before permission could be given more details would be required. Tracey Pulford to contact the Music Festival to arrange a further meeting.
The Mayor wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
147. CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.10 pm.