Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 7.30 p.m.
I Block (Mayor)
B Smith (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, J Chapman, V Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
D Ingate, M Judson, J Russell, G Steady and K Yallop
County Councillor Alan Goggin, Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
6 Members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH JANUARY 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The Mayor reported that the past month had been fairly quite, however he reiterated his thanks to all who helped with the Valentines Tea Dance, which raised just over £340.00 for his charities.
He then spoke about the EU Funding SUFUSE, and raised concerns that only two bids had been submitted from the council – one of the swimming pool, the other for open space. He stated that it was a shame people could not have tried, as everyone is screaming for money.
- QUESTIONS UNDER SO9(2):
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
County Councillor Goggin reported on the following:-
- The thing that affects most people in Brightlingsea and Essex is the budget. The budget was passed on Tuesday at Chelmsford. There are 69,000 houses in Tendring, on a Band D house the Essex County Council portion will raise from £1,163 to £1,221, which is a rise of £58 a year, which is £1.12 a week. 74% live a Band C or below, and these increases are 99p, 86p and 74p per week. There is an element of our society which is vulnerable, including single parents and OAP’s. Their increase is 75%, as the full increase is only payable on two or more adults living in the property. The increase is going to be spent a series of things, which has been widely reported on in the paper. The total net cost of services in Essex is £912 million, excluding education and benefits, £597 million comes from council tax, so already there is a shortfall.
- Recently reported that my position at County has been moved from Resources to Deputy for Highways, where I was specifically asked to look at contracts, including PFI contracts and the contract with Ringway Jacobs. Had my first meeting with the board of Ringway Jacobs last week, which proved an interesting meeting.
- The Engineers report for Bellfield Avenue has been received. They have acknowledged that the road is in a bad state, but the report states that nothing substantial needs to be done straightaway. Have asked for a copy of this report, which I now have, and a copy will be given to Councillors Judson and Smith. I did say to them to be careful of any incidents, and last Friday outside number 8 Bellfield Avenue, a delivery man fell whilst emptying his van, damaging some goods. Have encouraged the shop to make any comments they feel appropriate. Awaiting the result of that. If anyone has any problems that occur in Bellfield Avenue, please report them.
Councillor Yallop, declared an interest in this item, and stated that it is all very well saying report it, but her father fell over last March, broke his nose, and was in a shocking state, and he has just heard that Essex County Council are not paying out and the pavement is still in a dreadful state – others have also tripped over this hazard. How many times do you have to report it? Councillor Goggin replied that he did not know, and was not aware of the incident, but he would be happy to take it up on their behalf, if required.
Councillor Judson asked Councillor Yallop is this is by way of damages or repairing the kerb. Councillor Yallop replied either.
Councillor J Chapman reported that several residents have tried to return equipment, i.e. walking frames, frames around toilets etc., to Essex Adult Social Care, and are being told that they do not want them. County Councillor Goggin stated that the residents should contact Essex Cares at Witham, who collect and refurbish this equipment.
Councillor Judson mentioned Bellfield Avenue and said that he was inclined to go and speak to someone himself, and hopefully he could reinforce what County Councillor Goggin had said about the condition of the road, and asked who he should be contact. County Councillor Goggin replied that the best person was Councillor Ian Grundy and every Tuesday he has a ‘clinic’ at County Hall. The procedure is to phone his Secretary, Elizabeth Luck, and they will find a slot for you. He stated that if he decided to do this, he would be more than happy to join him.
Councillor Barry said that now County Councillor Goggin has had a change of office, and we have heard a lot about Bellfield Avenue, and it has been on the agenda for the last 6-8 months, now you are Deputy Portfolio Holder for Roads, can you not give some influence in getting things done? This seems to have been your main agenda item for the last 8 reports, and now you say that nothing is going to be done. It does not add up to me. County Councillor Goggin replied ‘sorry’.
Councillor V Chapman asked when the next Surgery was. County Councillor Goggin replied he would let the Clerk now the date. Councillor Chapman then asked that now you have questions from the public directed to you, would it be helpful to have this as an agenda item, so people know they can ask the County Councillor a question. County Councillor Goggin replied that this is completely in the hands of the Chairman, and added that he does not wish to take over the meeting. He said that the Chairman is very good in allowing members of the public to ask questions, however members of the public can ask me a question at any time, and it depends how the chairman wishes to run the meting. The Mayor replied that he would think about this.
Councillor Ingate stated that at Essex County Council and Tendring District Council, the Councillors do not have any say in what goes on, whereas the people who work for the council call all the shots, and they decide what is and isn’t going to happen, as in this engineers report. County Councillor Goggin replied that you are entitled to make those comments, however Councillors, including Brightlingsea, all work hard in the Community. If we look at Bellfield Avenue – if an engineer, who is qualified, tells me that it does not meet the criteria, he has the expertise, not me, and I cannot add to this.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
Q1) Malcolm Morris – Congratulated County Councillor Goggin on his new appointment, although he was not sure if this was a sideways step. He then mentioned the dirt on the road from the B1029 from All Saints Church to Thorrington Crossroads – can anything be done about it, can Ringway Jacobs clean it?
A1) County Councillor Goggin replied that somewhere like Samson’s Road has to be cleaned by Eastern Waste Disposal, and he thought that the area outside Brightlingsea Hall and down the Hill is meant to be cleaned by Brett Aggregates and, he believes, they have the cleaning equipment to do this. He stated that if this is an issue raised by the public, contact can be made by the Clerk, with a copy to himself.
County Councillor Goggin then mentioned that there have been some issues with County Councils being so far in arrears, and almost going bankrupt, with one County Council this week being put in special measures. One question every Councillor asks is how good the finances are, what reserves are there and what are the circumstances that could go wrong. With any business or council, it is not difficult for a big institute to loose site of what they are doing, and this relies on all of us to be prudent with what you do with the small amount of money you look after. He stated that it is all about good use of money.
- 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 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor V Chapman as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706901 – 706922 in the sum of £4,263.07 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £263,595.10
Employee payments paid for the month of January were £11,424.97
The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
Councillor Block mentioned the Improvements Budget of £19,742 and the actual amount spent of £2,700.00. He asked if this could be looked at. Councillor Steady replied that he is reviewing the over and under spends with the Town Clerk and will report back at the next finance meeting.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 19.52 pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 25TH JANUARY AND 8TH FEBRUARY 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 25th January and 8th February 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Howard. Agreed.
- BRIGHTLINGSEA OPEN-AIR SWIMMING POOL:
Councillor Barry stated that he has not put in a written report, as things change almost daily. He then reported on the following:-
- The Asset Transfer Heads of Terms have been agreed and the matter is with Tendring District Council. They have now instructed Solicitors to take forward the lease transfer and we are hoping to complete, with everything presented to the Cabinet meeting on the 23rd
- Down at the Lido we have been looking at the drains etc., and now have a full picture of what is going on. We are in a position to start work on the changing rooms at the beginning of March, with a complete clear out before then. Before we start doing the refurbishment, if anyone would like to come and have a look at what we are taking on, we are down there most Mondays and Fridays – you would be more than welcome.
- We had a successful stall at the Wellbeing Day last Saturday, and several people signed up to be part of the volunteer group.
- We are holding a public meeting on Thursday 22nd February, to try and put people into working party groups.
- The CIO has a meeting on Monday – with 9 people identified as Trustees. The meeting on Monday is to finalise the application. The Charity Commission have responded to the initial submission, and hopefully this will all coincide with the 3rd April Asset Transfer.
Councillor Steady added that the scheme has been put forward not relying on the Interreg money, so if it is a successful bid, it will be the icing on the cake, but not reliant on the money. Councillor Yallop thanked Councillor Barry and everyone involved for all their hard work. Councillor Barry mentioned that it is a good project and he hoped that the people of the town appreciate it, when it is up and running, and they will use it. The Mayor added that it just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
The Mayor commented that all CCC reports should be in to the clerk by the Friday before the meeting. Next time if reports are not submitted by the Friday, they will not be included. A discussion then took place.
Councillor V Chapman highlighted the use of the grass car park on the Western Promenade. A group wanted to use it, but unfortunately it is too wet for vehicles. If anyone knows of any groups that wish to use Town Council facilities, make sure they ask permission well in advance.
Councillor Yallop asked Councillor V Chapman why on her report is she asking for S106 monies, when she did not put in for the SuFuse money. Councillor Chapman replied that she was given to understand that, apart from paying the money upfront, it was also match funded. If we need £150,000 we are not likely to get £75,000. A discussion took place. It was agreed that Councillor V Chapman and Howard would submit an application to the SuFuse project for the skate park project.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor J Chapman – Yesterday and today we have had the police in town going round with Cadets, working on new knife laws. They have been going round all the shops asking whether and how they sell knives etc. They have given me a copy of the new law on knives, which I will give a copy to the Clerk..
Councillor Russell – At a meeting this morning of the James Aldous Trust, they put the sale of 1 Duke Street in the hands of Solicitors.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Steady – Have received some information from Tendring District Council concerning Data Protection from the Information Commissioners Office. If you hold information on people you have to register. At Tendring we are covered, as we are at the Town Council, however it is up to each individual member to have a look at the criteria and judge for themselves whether or not to register, if you don’t it is an offence.
Councillor Russell stated that at the EALC training course they did stress this was designed to stop big people selling their address lists and other information onto others. Smaller organisations will not be rained on heavily, but we still have to comply with the law and the regulations. She said that as she understood it, it is sensitive information that you hold that has to be registered. If you hold someone’s name, address, e-mail address, you have to have their express permission to hold that. It is other information that can be classed as sensitive.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
Councillor Barry declared an interest in the following item:
- Agreed the Music Festival can use Hurst Green for this years Festival – 3rd, 4th and 5th
- Bert Stocks Fun Fair – Members did not approve the Fun Fair visiting from 16th – 30th
July 2018, however would find a one week visit more favourable. Dates to be submitted.
Councillor Smith declared an interest in the following item:
2.3 Agreed the Brightlingsea Community Centre can hold a Car Boot Sale on Good Friday; 30th March 2018, to raise much needed funds.
- MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
- Property Update
Councillor Russell 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 Yallop. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE STAFF COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON THE 8TH FEBRUARY 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor J Chapman proposed that the Staff Minutes be accepted as a true record, and the following recommendations be accepted:
- The Code of Conduct is to be circulated, as amended, and adopted at the next Council meeting.
- The Contract for the Archivist is renewed for a further three months.
- Date of next meeting – 3rd May at 7.30pm
Seconded by Councillor Yallop. Agreed.
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
Swimming Pool – Councillor Barry briefed members on the management of the swimming pool. A discussion took place. Councillor Russell then proposed that the Town Council enters into a short term contract with Will Jenkin to appoint a manager for a period of 6 months or until the CIO is established and up and running, which ever is the sooner. Seconded by Councillor Ingate. Agreed. It was also agreed that Marcia Fuller is contacted about the wording of a contract.
Councillor Barry then briefed members on the Cafe, and a copy of an e-mail from Fox Leisure had been circulated to all members. A discussion took place. Councillor Barry stated that a proposal would be given at the next Council meeting.
A copy of an e-mail from Fisher Jones Greenwood dated 15th February 2018 detailing an update on property matters had been circulated to all members.
Lakeside Caravan Park – Members agreed that if the Solicitor advises that the ‘authorised guarantee agreement’ clause should be included in the assignment lease – it should be included. Also, Mr Poll should pay all of our legal fees, including those relating to the lease assignment.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.00 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 15th March 2018