BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 16th August 2018 at 7.30 p.m.
B Smith (Mayor)
G Steady (Deputy Mayor)
I Block, J Chapman, D Dixon,
J Howard, D Ingate, M Judson
J Russell and K Yallop
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Alan Goggin
16 Members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors Barry and V Chapman.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH JULY 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor J Russell proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 19th July 2018 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Ingate. Agreed.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
A copy of the Mayors Announcements are annexed to the minutes.
The Mayor thanked those Councillors who joined him in receiving “Tommy on Tour”. He also passed on his Congratulations to the Organisers of the Music Festival, and onto Mick Barry himself for putting in so much effort to pull off another great Music Festival Weekend.
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- QUESTIONS TO COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
Councillor Block – We met with First Buses last week about the withdrawal of Hedingham Services, to try and persuade them to try and cover Sunday, late night and early morning services – is there any advance? County Councillor Goggin thanked Councillors Block and Judson for attending the recent meeting with First and stated that Hedingham have confirmed that they are not carrying on with their Service. He stated that First came across very strongly about what they would and would not do, and are simply looking at the logistics of running the operation. We identified key areas, with (1) being Sundays and Bank Holidays; (2) the late bus into Brightlingsea and (3) the early morning bus. At this moment in time there is no action but they have promised to consider all three issues. He mentioned that they could use some of their existing buses and just extend their routes.
Councillor Steady – Following on from last month – apart from grass cutting, pot holes, bus services and social care which are being dealt with, what good news has come from Essex County Council for Brightlingsea? County Councillor Goggin thanked Councillor Steady for his question and advance notice of it. He said that he was taken back by the question as buses and education do not come under Essex County Council. He said that nothing is perfect, but gave the following data; the population of Essex is 1.3m; the population of Brightlingsea is 8,000; the total spend at Essex County Council 1.86 billion of which 910m is nett cost of services less grants. He stated that the significance of this is that 635m comes from the rates – less than 70% nett cost of running Essex. The key areas of expenditure are the key adult social care of 473m and families and children of 125m – nearly 600m pounds, so the rates residents pay only just covers those two items. This means there is no money left for highways, transport, waste, infrastructure or libraries. He then mentioned the crisis at some counties, especially in Northampton and Essex Sussex, which is subject to a section 114 order. He said that they are making radical cuts to children’s and adult services, road maintenance, transport, property rationalisation, waste management, culture services and the capital programme, plus making people redundant, and they have nearly used up all of their reserves. This is not happening in Essex, due to the prudent financial management. Essex have been able to increase the money they spend on adult social care, roads, broadband, new school places and schools with children with special needs. This is good news as Essex is a well run County. He stated that individual points for Brightlingsea includes £20,000 to the Museum; Ringway Jacobs were in Victoria Place (in the middle of the night) repairing the pot hole; the Essex Coastal Forum was held in Brightlingsea; all the street lights that were off are now back on. He mentioned the Well House issue, and stated that Essex County Council were able to help and everyone has moved out. He gave thanks to Councillor J Chapman for all her help with this mater. He reiterated Councillor Steady’s question “is there good news coming of out of Essex County Council for Brightlingsea” and said that the answer is yes.
Councillor Smith – A lot of places in the town, the white paint has worn off the roads, especially the pedestrian crossing which is devoid of paint. Should that not be picked up on the annual inspection of the roads? He asked if County Councillor Goggin could look at the inspection log and see when it was last inspected. County Councillor Goggin said he would look into it.
The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public.
Question 1 – Can the Council guarantee that if the bus service we currently use, decide to drop out and not help, that there will be contingency plan so Brightlingsea is not cut off, so people can get back and forward into town, and people can get into Brightlingsea? If the transport is not there in the evenings or weekends there will be no visitors. There has to be a commitment, that our only means of transport runs not for profit but for the people of Brightlingsea. Is there a commitment from the Council that this would happen? County Councillor Goggin replied that three Councillors had attended a meeting with Hedingham and then First Buses. The problem you have is that the bus company is primarily commercial. It is run by people who have to make a profit. First did say that a service with one supplier is profitable. Councillor Block stated that new routes have to be agreed by the Traffic Commissioners, which takes 42 days, so there will be a 6-8 week gap with no early morning, late evening or Sunday service. Councillor Steady suggested that we look at the Hedingham and First time tables, and make up our own, then approach Go Ride, with a matter of urgency, and ask them to take up some of the slack.
Question 2 – How much money does the County Council subsidise to these social service bus routes? Do they get a grant for running the early morning, late night and Sunday service, as they used to? Is that still pertained? County Councillor Goggin replied that the cross subsidy for our routes stopped 5 years ago. He said that there are some towns that put their hands in their pockets to cross subsidy, so it would not be the first time if this was to happen.
The Mayor said that we will look, as a Council, at the removal of the buses which have an impact in social and work related issues to see if we can participate in any way.
Question 3 – Bradwell Power Station is only 7 miles away by Sea. Can you give any up to date information please? County Councillor Goggin replied that the key thing is that this is going to be huge. He has attended meetings, had discussions, a lot of them are South of here, but it looks like it is going ahead. It is subsidised by the Chinese Government, as they want to do it, and they want a major project outside of China, and want one in the Western World.
County Councillor Goggin then sated that he had been made aware that other Councils in his ward had been written to about his activities, two of the wards had had letters, not sure if all four had. He asked that, if and when, the responses are received, will they be discussed openly, and shown openly. The Mayor replied that we are more than entitled to do that and he is very happy to let him and Town Councillors have copies of what was written to the councils and their replies. A discussion took place.
- YMCA YOUTH DROP IN – UPDATE FROM YOUTH WORKERS:
Councillor Howard introduced Chantelle and Neil, who are working for the Council at the Drop In Centre and are here to give us an update.
Chantelle gave some background information and stated that she runs youth clubs in Dedham, Mile End, Greenstead, and other areas. She was approached by her boss Ben to try an tackle the anti social behaviour in the Town. They opened the Brightlingsea Youth Centre on the 29th January 2018, which runs every Monday at the Community Centre. She mentioned the 4-Youth Centre, which is already established in the town, but feels they bring something different to their facility. It is just a drop-in, not a youth club. They have a tuck shop which makes a small profit; they have Zorb Balls, Sumo Suits, Tug of War etc. and the age range they cover is 11-16 years, but the majority of children who attend are 13 years old. They are hoping to go into the Colne Community School to try and advertise the group further. Councillor Yallop mentioned boxing, that is very good for this age group, and is this something that could be looked at? Chantelle and Neil replied that they would have to get someone trained but would look into this. A discussion took place. The Mayor thanked Chantelle and Neil for attending, and said to keep up the good work they are already doing.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending July 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor J Chapman as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 707101 – 707122 in the sum of £4,682.29 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £177,494.82
Employee payments paid for the month of July were £13,981.02
The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Steady. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.35 pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
- SUFUSE PROJECT – WIFI BROADBAND REPORT:
A copy of a Broadband Report from Sufuse had been circulated to all members.
The Mayor briefed members that the ratio for the Sufuse project is 61% of European Money with our contribution being 39% of the project. He stated that the Broadband proposal is for a coordinating role for the Town Council, with no costs involved. The different organisations within the Sufuse projects would themselves put up the money, so everywhere in Brightlingsea would be covered by Broadband. Councillor Block said that if we are going to benefit the Town in accessing WIFI at no cost to the council, the Council should go ahead with this proposal. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 26TH JULY AND 9TH AUGUST 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 26th July and 9th August 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Yallop mentioned Councillor Barry’s report and the notice boards, she advised that she and the Town Clerk had had a meeting last week with The Press Gang and these boards are in hand. They will contain hand drawn pictures, which look spectacular, and the boards will be placed at the Football Club, The Hard, in the Town Centre, at the Lido etc.
The new web-site is looking really good, it is easy to navigate round and will be launched in the near future.
Councillor Steady mentioned that he has sent round a briefing paper on advertising/information screens, and this will be taken to the next finance meeting for discussion.
Councillor Smith – With the recent high tides, it would be a good idea for some notices, in the parking areas by the steps at the hard, stating ‘these parking areas are subject to flooding during high tides’. Agreed that this would be looked into.
Councillor Howard mentioned the entrance and exit signs at the car park on the Western Promenade and stated that they are not good enough and need to be turned towards you or made taller.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor J Chapman informed members that the Police and speedcam will be in the town over the next few weeks, and 4 people have recently been caught for speeding, and will be fined.
Councillor Yallop asked if she could, under Part B, bring up an item on the Police. This was agreed.
Councillor Russell mentioned the Car Rally on Councillor Yallop’s report, and that the organisers have been invited to the TDALC meeting in October, but no response has been received. Councillor Yallop informed members that the organisers have already had discussions with the Parish Councils and have visited every area which the rally will be going through. The event will be going ahead.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor J Chapman informed members that she is now sits on the committee for the District Plan is appalled with Tendring District Council that the past three meetings have all been cancelled.
Councillor Smith mentioned that he is unhappy with Tendring’s record on recycling and is in the process of arranging a meeting with their Recycling Officer. He stated that at the Marina Car Park, there is a lot of rubbish, a lot of which could be recycled.
Councillor Steady mentioned that over the last four years, the Town Council has accessed £55,000 from Tendring District Council for bollards and play equipment. He also mentioned that since 2010, 647 public toilets have been closed across the UK, with 37 areas which Councils no longer run. Brightlingsea still has three public conveniences, so we are ahead of the game.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 Agreed that East Essex District Association of the Camping and Caravan Club can hold its 2019 rally on Lower Park Playing Fields from 21st August to 26th August 2019.
2.2 Agreed that the Council has no objection with the Temporary Road Closure on Saturday 22nd September 2018 from 0930hrs to 1300hrs in Victoria Place, from its Junction of Queen Street to Cafe Chic, for Spirals ‘Shop Open Day’.
Councillor J Chapman declared an interest in this item, whilst it was discussed.
2.3 Agreed that the Brightlingsea Rotary Club can use the new Churchyard Extension for its ‘registration area’ at the Jog Walk Run Event taking place on Sunday 9th September 2018.
Councillor Dixon declared an interest in this item, whilst it was discussed.
Councillor Smith 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 Block. Agreed.
- MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
- Property Update
- Review of Agenda Item
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
Harbour Commissioners Management Agreement – A copy of the draft Management Agreement with the Harbour Commissioners had been circulated to all Councillors. Councillor Smith briefed members on the current situation. After discussion it was agreed that Councillor Smith will arrange and chair a meeting with Councillor Ingate, Councillor Steady as Chairman of Finance Committee and any other Councillor who wishes to attend, to discuss the draft agreement and the comments made by Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors.
Lakeside Caravan Park – A copy of an e-mail from Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors had been circulated to all Councillors. Councillor Steady briefed members that the proposed new lease for the Lakeside Caravan Park is outside of the 1954 Landlord & Tenant Act, and they have requested for it to be included within the act. After discussion it was agreed that the lease would be included within the act, with break clauses for both parties, at intervals during the duration of the lease, however if any member had any other comments to make they should do so by 3pm on Friday 17th August to the Town Clerk.
Brightlingsea Leisure Village – No further update at the moment.
- REVIEW OF AGENDA ITEMS:
The Mayor mentioned that following the item “Questions to County Councillor Goggin” this would be reviewed after three months. He thought the item went well, was not time limited, unlike other Councils, some good questions were asked which were answered fairly. The Clerk then informed members how St Osyth and Great Bentley dealt with this slot. After much discussion it was agreed that in view of the replies received from other local Councils, and public opinion, going forward the County Councillor slot at the full council meeting will be for a maximum of 5 minutes and for the County Councillor to report on matters affecting Brightlingsea. This slot will then be opened up to receive questions from Councillors and then members of the public. A vote was taken:- For – 9, Abstention – 1. Carried.
Police – Councillor Yallop briefed members that she had been contacted by Sgt Tattersall who would like to come and talk to members about a project to get extra police on the streets. After discussion it was agreed that the Town Clerk would give Councillor Yallop some dates, after a planning meeting, for her to arrange with Sgt Tattersall.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.43 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 20th September 2018