Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 15th March 2018 at 7.30 p.m.
I Block (Mayor)
B Smith (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, J Chapman, V Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
M Judson, J Russell, G Steady and K Yallop
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Alan Goggin
7 Members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Ingate.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15TH FEBRUARY 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
A copy of the Mayors Announcements are annexed to the minutes.
The Mayor highlighted the High Sherriff’s Awards at Hylands House and The Pride of Tendring Awards, where three people/groups from Brightlingsea were given awards. He also visited a local resident to give flowers and a birthday card, to celebrate a 100th Birthday.
- 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:-
- Gave out some statistics following the snow and ice:- There are in Essex 120 gritter drivers. During the recent spell they used 3,000 tons of salt, and gritted 25,000 miles of roads, even though there are only 5,000 miles of roads in Essex. 2,000 miles of roads are R1 roads, which includes the main road into Brightlingsea, and many roads were gritted 5-6 times during an evening. It takes approximately 3 hours to grit the 2,000 miles of the main roads – the R1 roads, and they could not have done it without the help of the farmers, police, fire brigade, public etc. There are 57 routes on the gritter map, 62 machines with ploughs and 2 mini gritters for places like bridges. Essex County Council are responsible for main roads, but not the A12, A120, A130 etc. Once the snow had gone, it revealed pot hole after pot hole. They are now doing emergency repairs, with quick fix’s, as it will take too long to repair them properly in the first instance.
- Received some complaints about the Brightlingsea Road and the amount of sand on it. Phoned Brett Aggregates, Matthew Ball, who had already been approached by your Town Clerk, and arranged to get the road swept. They are obliged to sweep up to the entrance of Moverons Lane, but they made the decision to sweep up to Thorrington Crossroads. They do not accept that all the dirt/ rubbish is theirs, but they have swept three times, and have promised to do more in the future. Apparently there is an issue with a land fill site in Wivenhoe and more lorries are coming to the sand pits, creating more dirt etc., on the roads.
- Pot hole filling is ‘emergency filling’ only at the moment.
- Had a couple of people ask about claims for Pot holes. Have pointed them to the Essex County Council web-site.
- Attended the Local Highways Panel meeting this evening. Tonight we were handed out details about S106 money that Essex County Council are sitting on, in Brightlingsea’s name from the James & Stone Shipyard – there is £173,000. As times goes on, negotiations are undertaken, and if it is not used, he understands that it will go back to the developer.
- The Chip Shop corner has been approved for work under the LHP.
Councillor V Chapman asked for clarification on the S106 monies. County Councillor Goggin replied as follows:-
When the James & Stone Shipyard project was carried out, there was some S106 money allocated. Some money was spent on the jetty and other things, and in the S106 money there is an amount of money for road improvements around the shipyard area. This money was due to be paid at certain stages of the project as it was being developed. This money is earmarked to be used on a traffic study to decide on what will be a good scheme, road improvements and other things. He reminded Councillors that S106 money has a lifespan, and if it is not spent in a period of time, it goes back to the developer. The main thing is that it was designed to be paid out when the project reached the final stages. As the project has not reached the final stages yet, he is not sure when the clock started ticking, or whether it changed when the new owners took over.
Councillor Steady stated that his understanding is that Purelake are finishing off the works opposite the Indian Restaurant, Essex County Council are going to pay Purelake to carry out the road improvements and Purelake will hand it back to Essex County Council to take on the maintenance etc.,
The Mayor then asked if any Councillors had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
Councillor Smith – Snow and Ice – You told us last time that your role at the County Council has changed and you are now the Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways. You may have seen in the paper today a headline “Shame on Council for its poor response to snow” – there is no excuse for forecast, we had a good weather forecast and there was criticism besides the Highways side of things, on a lot of trains, utilities etc. We also have a bad forecast for this weekend. Do you have any message to those people who were disappointed in what the Council did for the roads? County Councillor Goggin replied that he had not seen the article. Councillor Smith stated that a lot of people were disappointed, and a lot of people got stuck on the hill with the snow. He said that he would agree if you told him that these were exceptional conditions, but he was hoping that in his new role he might have some sort of influence with regard to these types of issues. County Councillor Goggin replied that this was the first time he had seen the article. He stated that personally he only had one person speak to him about the snow. Not one resident in Brightlingsea spoke to him at all. Councillor Smith then mentioned the facts – he stated that the road was blocked for some time, and people were stuck for some time. He asked if County Councillor Goggin was aware of this. County Councillor Goggin replied yes he was aware. Councillor Smith asked if he looked into the situation to see if anything could have been done. County Councillor Goggin replied yes he did look into it and this is how he came up with the figures presented this evening. He stated that on the Essex County Council web-site it shows you the gritters in your area and what they are doing. Councillor Smith stated that the forecast for the weekend is pretty bad and we have had a situation where many people would say that the Council let down the people. County Councillor Goggin replied that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and stated that the roads are gritted with a salt and sand mix which requires vehicles to work it in to the road. The only problems that he was involved in was drifting, which was dealt with by local farmers. He also stated that he did not receive any phone calls from any Councillors. Councillor Howard sated that you always get bad things reported, and never the good things. Church Hill is never good when you get snow fall. Councillor V Chapman said that everyone was advised about the bad weather, and we were advised to stay in. Roads are gritted and gritted again, what else can people do. The Mayor recorded his thanks to Mark Cooper who cleared Church Hill many times on that particular snowy day.
Councillor Steady asked for an update on Bellfield Avenue. County Councillor Goggin stated that Councillor Judson has phoned Councillor Grundy’s secretary, and Councillor Grundy has asked for evidence of the situation, therefore we will be going down Bellfield Avenue looking for evidence. He stated that the snow may have helped the situation and made some of the pot holes larger.
Councillor Steady mentioned the Local Highways Panel and the proposed schemes, and stated that if people do not know where to look for this information, they are unaware of what is proposed. County Councillor Goggin stated that some Councillors attend the LHP meetings. A discussion took place.
Councillor J Chapman mentioned pot holes. She stated that our roads are horrendous. They are not major roads, but are major to the people who live there and drive on them. During the snow, we had to go out to many welfare calls, the roads and paths are awful. So many of the other councils have stopped going out and marking the problems, they send a workforce out to a specific area, for a number of days, and they fill in what that can in that time. Has County ever thought of looking at that? County Councillor Goggin replied that County are getting lots of comments about pot holes, and they are trying to get out to each one within 3 days, to investigate. A discussion took place.
Councillor Steady said that at every meeting we talk about potholes. He then recommended that the Council comes up with an initiative for Brightlingsea. Councillor Grundy has meetings every Tuesday, lets get our own report completed, lets point out all these things and have a meeting with him, and give him the evidence. Councillor Steady said that he would be happy to also attend the meeting with Councillor Grundy. The Mayor said that he agreed entirely.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
- Richard price – Can you find out how much money is allocated to the Tendring Rangers, which Essex County Council give? County Councillor Goggin replied £150,000. It has just gone up from £100,000. £50,000 has been matched so the total is £200,000. Steve Gove gives a Tendring Rangers Report which lists all the jobs completed since the last meeting. This report is available on line.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 8TH MARCH 2018 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDAITONS THEREIN:
Councillor Steady proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 8th March 2018 were accepted as a true record, and the following recommendations be accepted:
- The new format for the Financial Statement and Balances on Accounts form is adopted from the start of the new financial year.
- Brightlingsea Town Council reimburses each member, once they have confirmed their Data Protection registration with the ICO.
- The audit report is noted and Fenn Wright would be contacted about valuations on the council property, and a meeting is arranged with them.
- Fisher Jones Greenwood are contacted to update the agreement with the Harbour Commissioners.
- Brightlingsea Leisure Village– A lease of 25 years is offered.
Seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending February 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Smith as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706923 – 706941 in the sum of £12,835.53 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £247,511.32
Employee payments paid for the month of February were £12,821.53
The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Yallop. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.13 pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 22ND FEBRUARY AND 8TH MARCH 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 22nd February 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Councillor Dixon then proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 8th March 2018 be agreed by Council. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
- TO ADOPT THE MEMBERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT, AS AMENDED, AND AGREED BY THE STAFF COMMITTEE ON 8TH JANUARY 2018:
Councillor J Chapman proposed that the Members’ Code of Conduct, as Amended, and agreed by the Staff Committee on the 8th January 2018 is adopted by Council. Seconded by Councillor V Chapman. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor V Chapman – Went down to see the start of the works on the car park. They are taking out all the wooden posts and replacing with stones. This is Phase 1 of the works. Councillor Steady and I are both trying to arrange a meeting with Ian Taylor.
Councillor J Chapman – During the snow received several calls from people with 4×4’s, people who were escorting out the First Responders, Mark Cooper who was helping with his tractor. She asked Councillor V Chapman if, on the Emergency Plan, there was a list of these people, or do I write out the people connected with me. Councillor V Chapman replied that the office has a list, and a meeting is being scheduled to update etc. Councillor Yallop asked when the list is done, and we get more snow, what is the procedure? If the list is in the office, and the staff are not in the office, what do we do? Councillor V Chapman replied that information is cascaded down. Councillor Howard stated that our Emergency Plan is in conjunction with Tendring District Council. A discussion took place.
Councillor Barry apologised for not putting in a written report, but things change almost daily. He updated members and stated that the preparation and enabling work is going ahead in readiness for the handover. The date for the lease to be ready to be presented to Tendring Cabinet is the 23rd March. The latest revision of the lease was returned to him today, with comments from our Solicitor. The handover is proposed for the 3rd April 2018. He has a meeting with the Solicitors in the morning, and asked members if it was OK to take Dave Atkinson to that meeting, as he has experience with leases and swimming pools etc. This was agreed. Councillor Barry then briefed members on the water bill, and the complications relating to this.
Councillor Barry reiterated that anything to do with the pool, he could not have done on his own. The expertise that has come out of the community has been fantastic and he paid tribute to all those who have contributed. There is a body of volunteers – 30-40 people who have signed up for work parties, when the work starts in April, when we can empty the pool, clean it, paint it etc. He then recorded a vote of thanks to the people of Brightlingsea for all their hard work.
Councillor Barry also mentioned that the CIO Application has been in for a couple of weeks and it is anticipated that this will come through soon. Today they confirmed the appointment of Will Jenkins as the Lido Manager, and he will be starting on the 3rd April 2018.
Councillor J Chapman asked if we can check with the water board that they will allow the Fire Brigade to fill up the pool using the nearby hydrant. Councillor Barry said yes, he would check.
Councillor Barry also mentioned that a site meeting took place on Tuesday, and projected plans were finalised for the disabled toilets and shower room. There was also someone there measuring up a ramp to get into the facility. This is the first time ever that the pool will be accessible for people in wheelchairs.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor V Chapman gave our condolences following the sudden death of Councillor Keith Miles, who Chaired the Larger Local Council Forum meetings at the EALC. Councillor Miles was a Councillor at South Wooden Ferrers.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Nothing further to report.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 – Agreed Stephen Avery can hold a Dog Fun Day on the 22nd July 2018 between 10am and 4pm on the Lower Park Recreation Ground. Usual terms and condition apply.
2.2 – Agreed Porridge and Pens can hold another Summer Fete on Hurst Green on Saturday 15th September 2018. Usual terms and conditions apply.
2.3 – Agreed Bert Stocks Fun Fair can visit the Western Promenade site – Monday 23rd until Monday 30th July 2018. Usual terms and conditions apply.
2.4 – Agreed A group of local Christians who live in Brightlingsea can hold a Giant Family Picnic on the green space by the park area along Promenade Way, on 15th or 16th August. Usual terms and conditions apply.
2.5 – Agreed NECC (North Essex Caravan Club) can hold its 2019 rally on Lower Park Playing Fields for 19 – 22 April 2019 for the Easter Weekend. Usual terms and conditions apply.
- 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.
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
Lakeside Caravan Park – Agreed that the Council could not help with any reduction in the Invoice from the January-March quarter.
Councillor Russell asked if the Finance committee could look into a policy for late payments. This was agreed.
Councillor Steady handed out a paper on “Lease and Agreement Renewals” and highlighted the current situation on various property matters. A discussion took place.
Councillor V Chapman asked for an update on the SUFUSE project. Councillor Smith gave an update on the meeting which took place yesterday and the proposed schemes. A discussion took place.
Web-site and E-mail addresses – A discussion took place on whether or not Councillor addresses should be included on the web-site, due to advise from Experian. A discussion took place. It was agreed that the Clerk would seek advise from the EALC on this.
The Hard – The Mayor briefed members on the current situation. He stated that a site meeting is taking place on Monday and the Tribunal is on Tuesday at Ipswich. He stated that the only people representing the Council would be the Mayor, the Clerk and the Archivist (if needed). If anyone else wishes to attend, it will be on a private basis only.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.00 p.m