BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 16th November 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
I Block (Mayor)
B Smith (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, V Chapman, J Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
D Ingate, M Judson, J Russell, G Steady and K Yallop
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Alan Goggin
8 Members of the public
111. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received.
112. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH OCTOBER 2017 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
113. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
The Mayor spoke about attending the Colchester Remembrance Parade, and also Brightlingsea’s. He thanked the people of Brightlingsea for the good turnout.
114. QUESTIONS UNDER SO9(2):
115. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
116. COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
County Councillor Goggin reported on the following:-
• Good news about the Community Initiatives Fund, last week the Museum were awarded a grant, near to the maximum they asked for.
• The Local Highways panel held a mini conference and update on Tuesday. It was aimed at Clerks and Councillors, and it was lovely to see the Clerk there. The Local Highways Panel is about new projects of a smaller nature, but not maintenance. The Highways Panel are also putting more money into the Tendring Rangers – and the contact for this is Steve Gove.
• Had a meeting with Portfolio Holder for roads, Ian Grundy, to bring him up to date with the Bellfield Avenue situation. Essex County Councils original response was “Bellfield Avenue is classified as a local road which is inspected in its entirety on an annual basis in January. At the time of the last inspection in January 2017, no issues were recorded by the Highways Inspector as requiring repair in accordance with the criteria set out in the maintenance Strategy”. They also stated “however, I can arrange for a separate inspection if there is a specific issue which is of concern to you. In order for me to arrange this inspection, please provide previse location details of the issue (including house numbers where possible) together with a brief description”. County Councillor Goggin has therefore walked the area with Councillor Judson, and taken photos, which will be sent off to Councillor Grundy shortly.
• The amalgamation of the Brightlingsea Junior and Infant School is now going ahead, and the deadline to call it in is tomorrow 17th November. (Councillor V Chapman declared an interest in this item).
• There is a re-launch of the Colchester Park and Ride on December 6th, with new terms. It is loosing around £2.5m a year, which is slightly less than Chelmsford, when it first opened.
• He sits on the Pension Investment Committee. The Essex County Council Pension Fund, has just crept over the 6.5 billion pound mark, which makes it one of the biggest local schemes in the Country. It is a final salary scheme, and if there is a shortfall anywhere, Essex County Council will pick up the bill. The scheme is well funded and managed, and made a profit of 13% last year.
• Had correspondence from two residents in Brightlingsea about the investment/structure of Fossil Fuels. Essex County Council has money to invest, and the residents have asked Essex County Council if they can come away from Fossil Fuels, Coals, Oil etc.
The Mayor congratulated County Councillor Goggin on his promotion at County. County Councillor Goggin informed members that he has been moved to the Deputy Portfolio Holder, number 2, for Highways and he has been asked to look at the contracts and financial aspects, particularly with Ringway Jacobs.
Councillor Barry said that he noticed County Councillor Goggin was in attendance at the Waste meeting on the 26th October. Given the tone of that meeting and the representations made, what now is your position in respect of representing people of Brightlingsea on this issue? He then asked (1) what will you take from that meeting and (2) how will you represent Brightlingsea at county level?
Councillor Barry also mentioned the increase in traffic in and out of town, and asked County Councillor Goggin if he can you take forward the issue of a cycle path from here to Wivenhoe, to link up with the proposed coastal path.
Councillor Smith stated that some people are still confused who use the 87 bus to go to Asda. As he understands it, it has not run from Asda for a number of months, and the County Council have failed to paint out the bus stop on the road, and failed to do anything with the bus stop there, such a putting a notice saying that the 87 does not run from here.
Councillor Steady spoke about the Local Highways Panel, and the issues of Bellfield Avenue – resurfacing and also parking/passing spaces. Other projects looked at in the past are yellow lines around the Hard Shelter, the speed limit in Mill Street – is there anyway we can get the 30MPH throughout the whole of Mill Street/Robinson Road.
Councillor Dixon asked about the bus stop which is broken at Samson’s Corner (Colchester bound sign).
County Councillor Goggin replied as follows:-
• Adrian Summons is the Essex County Council Officer for bus stops/shelters/cages etc. He did attend a meeting here some 10 months ago. Anything to do with bus stops etc, should go through Adrian, with a copy to County Councillor Goggin.
• Bellfield Avenue – the repairs are nothing to do with the Local Highways Panel, and he has gone direct to Essex County Council about this. Councillor Steady reiterated his suggested project for Bellfield Avenue – the grass areas which are extremely muddy, and has suggested that they are taken out as either parking or passing areas, would this come under the Local Highways Panel? The Clerk then informed the meeting about the process of the schemes for the Local Highways Panel. A discussion then took place on the suggested parking/passing areas in Bellfield Avenue. Councillor Judson said that this is not a good idea, and he has not carried out a survey of the area. The Mayor said that this would be made an agenda item for the next meeting.
County Councillor Goggin mentioned that the money for the Local Highways Panel for this year is already allocated and spent, and the money for next year is also very close to being allocated. The next Highways Panel meeting is 7th December.
The Clerk mentioned that at the recent Local Highways Panel meeting she attended on Tuesday, it was suggested by a Councillor from another area, that all the local councils write to Essex County Council, Portfolio Holder Councillor Ian Grundy, to ask for the budget to be increased for the Tendring Area, as it is only £395,000, and it used to be over £500,000 two years ago.
• Cycle Route – Community Reach put in just under £1m into the 5 villages around here, and one recommendation was a cycle path. They worked with Sustrans, and everything was going Ok until they came to the crossing at Alresford. Alresford do not want a crossing there. He said that he will forward the papers, including an official survey carried out by Essex County Council into the sustainability of it. He suggested that the Council would need to speak to both Alresford and Wivenhoe, to see if this is something they wish to go ahead with.
• I did attend the waste meeting, but I did not speak, as I was not invited to the meeting to speak. My view is the same as this councils view. He said that he is against everything he has read in the paper: If we are going to have 100 extra lorries – he is against that, if we are gong to have crushing for 24 hours a day – he is against that, if the residents are exposed to asbestos and others – he is against that, if there is going to be an anaerobic digester there – he is totally against that. None of these are on the table yet. The Town Council made the decision not to do anything until the plans were submitted, he has followed the wishes of the council. He said that he will represent the people of Brightlingsea, in the strongest possible way, in same way he did when he saw the Chief Engineer for Essex on Site at Rochford, in the same way he attended the Inspectors meeting, in the same way he organised meeting with Eastern Waste to ask what their views were, in the same way that he had a meeting on Tuesday with Alethea Evans who is the Planning Officer.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
• Richard Price – Councillor Vivien Chapman kindly provided me with some information about terrorist attacks against religious buildings. Can you find out how quickly armed police could get to Brightlingsea in case of a terrorist attack or a gun /hostage situation, also how many armed police do we have and where are they based.
County Councillor Goggin replied that the Council had the Police and Crime Commissioner down here a few months ago. The County Council have nothing to do with operations, however as he understands it, every 3rd police car/vehicle has guns in it. He also understands that this is their fast response. It is a Police Operations item, and he will ask the question. Councillor Yallop stated that Colchester, Clacton and Harwich have armed police. County Councillor Goggin stated that in terms of the risk profile, this area is a relatively low risk profile for that type of thing. He believes that on Monday there were guns used in Clacton, and at the Hoy in St Osyth, also on Monday, five police cars surrounded another car, and each of the 5 cars had armed police in them.
117. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 9TH NOVEMBER 2017 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDAITONS THEREIN:
Councillor Steady proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, and the following recommendations be accepted:
• The Completed Annual Return was accepted.
• Maurice Howard is re-appointed as the Council’s Internal Auditor for the year 2017/2018.
• The recommendations in the Internal Audit Report 2017 are adopted, as written.
• Swimming Pool – Wait until the next full Council Meeting to hear the statement from Councillor Barry with regards to what monies may be needed, before any decisions are made regarding the £10,000.
• Town Clerk to contact Fox Leisure regarding the Lakeside Caravan Park.
• BRAG would get the costings for the survey, with a highly qualified person, who would be available to carry out the survey now, and be available to go to the Committee in Chelmsford, whenever that meeting is set.
• Another letter is sent to the Museum advising that the Town Council is firmly behind the new museum project, and asking for an up to date financial position. Also make this an agenda item at the next meeting.
• The budgets for 2018/2019 are amended, as listed in the finance minutes of 9.11.17
• Councillor J Chapman’s Welfare responsibility is expanded to include Regeneration.
The Minutes were then seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed.
118. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending October 2017 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Ingate as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706850 – 706866 in the sum of £2,341.52 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £317,086.73
Employee payments paid for the month of October were £12,476.87
The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Judson. Agreed.
119. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
There were no questions from members of the public.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.14pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
120. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 26TH OCTOBER AND 9TH NOVEMBER 2017 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 26th October and 9th November 2017 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
Councillor Russell stated how delighted she was that planning consent had been granted for Batemans Tower Cafe.
121. SWIMMING POOL UPDATE:
Councillor Barry gave an updated report following the last meeting with Tendring District Council. He stated that he was still waiting for the Heads of Terms to be drafted, and has entered into discussions with the Commercial Property Manager of Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors, who was quite clear that a long lease is as effective as having a freehold 99 year lease. They have an expert in their department who have helped set up Charitable Incorporated Organisations. He has also met with the Harbour Commissioners regarding funding and there is currently some money available in the Interreg fund for Coastal Heritage Development. He also stated that he had had discussions with a local resident, who is a Swimming Pool Engineer Consultant, who is interested in contributing to the project, and is making enquiries regarding heating the pool. A discussion took place.
Councillor J Chapman mentioned that at the recent finance meeting she had proposed that the £10,000 in the 2016-2017 budget is used for the swimming pool, and she then re-proposed that the £10,000 in the 2016/2017 budget is used if needed. Councillor V Chapman mentioned Broomhall Swimming Pool in Ipswich and the local Junior School who go out of town for swimming lessons. A discussion took place. Councillor Yallop seconded the proposal. Agreed.
122. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY:
Councillor Smith briefed members that the Town Council does not have an Environmental Policy. He stated that he has printed off a few from the web-site, for ideas but does not like the idea of copying one off the web. He then proposed that the Council asks the 6th Form at the Colne Community School to see if a student would like to be involved with this, as a live project. Agreed. It was then agreed that a letter would be written to the Headmaster of the Colne Community School and Councillor Smith would liaise with Councillor Howard, as CCC for Youth.
123. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Yallop – Had a meeting today with David Bridle and the Town Clerk concerning the web-site. Our current web-site has not been updated for 6 years, and there appears to be a problem with some items showing on the web-site. Items have been posted but people are unable to see it. This is a technical issue and is being looked at. There are over 1,200 items on the web-site with over 200 subscribers to the newsletter. Last year there were 55,000 page views and 28,000 visitors to the site. This year so far we have had 20,000 visitors and 40,000 views so far, so on average we have 3,000 views a month with 1,600 visitors. When the link was posted onto Spotted, for Batemans Tower Cafe, we had over 600 views within 2 hours, with 1,000 views on one day. The new web-site is to be designed for the user not the council.
Councillor V Chapman highlighted the item about the recent beach hut damage. She said that if only, when people are advised of a potential act of vandalism, if they had heeded Julies request, all this distress could have been avoided. A discussion took place. Councillor Yallop mentioned that there is a 6 week wait to get cars removed. She had a meeting on Monday with Roger Hurst, Inspector Deex and Fire Officers, where she gave them a complete list of all incidents which have been submitted to the Police and including the responses. Councillor Steady said that he would get clarification from Tendring District Council so if anything happens again, we can take on the responsibility to move it and store it somewhere.
Councillor J Howard – The Youth Project with the YMVA have decided to go with the Community Centre, as they have the later hours required, and hope to start in January 2018.
Councillor Steady – Footpaths – had dealings with Roy Read, who is working on the coastal path around England. One thing they are looking at is some sort of crossing, across the ford. Apparently there is some money there.
The Clerk asked if a letter can be sent to the Local Highways Panel, asking for the budget to be increased. Agreed.
124. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor Russell proposed that following the new General Data Protection Regulations being introduced, this meeting refer the matter of formulating a Data Protection Policy and appointing a Data Protection Officer to the Finance Committee in the first instance. Seconded by Councillor Dixon. Agreed.
125. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Steady mentioned the Community Governance Review, especially the Three Parish Meeting where they are looking to consolidate Lawford, Manningtree and Mistley. The comparison they made is against Brightlingsea, which “has a total of 12 Town Councillors, a full-time Town Clerk and an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist, the office is open five days a week and has a current dynamic web-site”.
126. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 Food and Drink Festival – Agreed that, as the Car Boot Sale has already booked the Western Promenade for Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018, so long as the Food and Drink Festival honours their agreement with the Carnival Association that no vehicle movements will take place during the boot sale, the event can take place.
2.2 As roads and highways are the responsibility of Essex County Council, the building of a second road into Brightlingsea is nothing to do with Town Council.
127. 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 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 Ingate. Agreed.
128. PROPERTY UPDATE:
The Mayor mentioned that he and Councillor Steady had met with Fox Leisure today regarding the Lakeside Caravan Site and the Leisure Village.
Lakeside Caravan Park – We have agreed in principle to the person taking over the lease, stating that we have no objection to them taking over, and have asked them to get in touch with Fox Leisure. Councillor Steady asked the clerk to formally contact Fox Leisure to act on our behalf for the Lakeside Caravan Park.
Councillor Steady briefed members on the Colne Smack Preservation Society Lease. He stated that Fisher Jones Greenwood are in discussions with their Solicitors.
The Mayor spoke about the Hard. He stated that the office had received many FOI requests, one after another. He stated that he has written back to the resident and stated that under the terms of the FOI they are now becoming a vexatious litigant. The reply given was that they “would ask someone else to ask the question”. A new request has now been received, and they will also get the same answer. People are also claiming that the council have said that Essex County Council have told us that there is no road. Having gone through all the information, Essex County Council have told us that they have no record of a road. A discussion took place.
129. CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.21 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 14th December 2017