BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 16th June 2011 at 7.30 p.m.

Present:
Councillors
J Russell (Mayor)
J Aldridge, J Chapman, V Chapman, A Goggin,
E Edey, G Mann, C Olivier, and G Steady

In attendance:
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk

Prayers were led by The Rev. Peter Baldwin.

The Mayor then presented Fr Peter with the ‘Mayors Award’ for everything he has done in the last 5 years of service in Brightlingsea.  Fr Peter thanked the Mayor and stated that when he arrived in the Town they were not able to bury as the Churchyard was full.  Brightlingsea people live in Brightlingsea because they love Brightlingsea and don’t want to leave when they are dead. 
           
17. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors Block and Dixon.  Also Councillor Yallop who had been at an exhibition all week and was currently travelling back from Southampton.

18. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH MAY 2011 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

19. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCMENTS:

Since taking office at the last meeting, I have been to:

The Mayor of Sandwich visit last Friday – unfortunately the Mayor of Sandwich, Cllr  Jeremy Watts, was unable to come as he and his Mayoress, Mrs Watts, were at their son’s bedside in hospital after an emergency operation.  The event went well despite not having Cllr and Mrs Watts present; Cllr Joe Trussler and Sandra stood in for them.  My Mayoress, David Fisher, accompanied me to the Reception, the lunch and again to the garden party at the Deputy’s home in the evening.  Thanks to all who made it such an enjoyable day.

On Saturday morning, I opened the Parish Church Annual Summer Fete at St James’.

On Sunday afternoon, I was privileged to read the lesson at the Churches Together Pentecost Praise at the Victoria Café.

20. QUESTIONS UNDER SO 9(2):

One question had been received from Councillor Olivier.  Councillor Olivier then read his question to the Mayor:

My Question refers to the Council’s appointment of 9 members as Trustees of the Springmead Trust.

In order to put the question in context, I must refer to the circumstance surrounding the appointments.
Members will recall that on the 12 May an informal (closed)  meeting was held to discuss the appointments to outside bodies which would be confirmed at the AGM on 19th May (all 12 members present).

On the matter of the appointment of the  9 Springmead Trustees,  three Councillors – Aldridge, Dixon and Russell, (who was to become the new Mayor at the AGM),  declared that they did not wish to become Trustees leaving the remaining 9 members, to become Trustees as required by the Trust Deed.  I indicated my  willingness to serve as a Trustee.

However, an interjection by Councillor Goggin  stating  that the Trust Deed was flexible regarding the   number of Trustees and allowed  for a lesser number (than 9) to be appointed. This was not questioned  by members, perhaps because they assumed that Cllr  Goggin, who is Chair of the Trustees, would be fully cognisant of the details of the Trust Deed, after all it had been  amended  less than 6 months earlier.

It was then speedily agreed that only 8 Trustees  would be appointed which clearly meant that some members wanted to stop me becoming a Trustee.

Subsequently  I obtained a copy of the Governing Document. There is no mention of  a lesser number than 9. I contacted the Charity Commission and was advised that the Trust Deed was not flexible if  9 members were willing to be appointed  This contradicted the “advice” proffered by Councillor Goggin.  On the morning of the AGM I informed the Mayor elect of these facts and advised her that, by way of a point of order at the AGM, I would be asking for myself to be appointed as the ninth Trustee. She confirmed that she had not changed her mind about not serving as a Trustee. Minutes  before the AGM I confirmed to the Mayor Elect that I would be raising a Point of Order.  Again she confirmed that she had not changed her mind. 

At the AGM When the list of members  to serve as Trustees  was read out there were not 8, agreed at the informal meeting, but 9. Councillor Russell’s  had been added.

After the meeting I wrote (by email)  to the Mayor concerning her and certain members behaviour in dealing with the appointments, she responded (by email)  stating me that she had been lobbied to change her mind, and reluctantly agreed to be appointed as a Trustee.

My question to you madam Mayor is in 4 parts:-

(a) Why did you deem it necessary to alert members that I should become the ninth Trustee in accordance with the Governing Document?

(b) Why, having expressed the wish not to become a Trustee, did you allow yourself to be lobbied to change your mind and thus support the obvious personal prejudices clearly apparent in other members?

(c)  In your e-mail you wrote that you wanted to “bury the hatchet”, work together and go forward without acrimony, will you now accept that the matter could have been handled better?

(d)  As I am a duly elected member of this Council, entitled to take a active part in all its affairs, will you now,  in genuine attempt to “bury the hatchet”  allow me to become a Trustee, by relinquishing your appointment and requesting the Council to allow me to replace you?  This will correct the mistake members made by heeding the misleading advice given at the informal meeting.

The Mayor replied as follows:

(a) I did not alert members that you should become the ninth Trustee.  That was for you to do.  If they were alerted prior to the informal meeting, that was because someone else had surmised so.

(b)  I didn’t believe that it was anything but the wish of the other Trustees.

(c) I did start my e-mail message expressing that the item could have been better handled.

(d) I will ask Council’s opinion.

A discussion then took place, then the Mayor asked again, does the Council wish for her to resign as a Springmead Trustee and appoint Cllr Olivier in her place.

A vote was taken:
For: 1, Against: 4, Abstention: 3.  Not carried.

21. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

22. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:

Due to problems with the accounts package, it has not been possible to prepare the end of April and May 2011 Statement.  These will be presented at the next Council Meeting.
Councillor Steady then proposed the following cheques which were drawn as follows:
General Account – Cheques Nos 704939 – 704968 in the sum of £11,007.74
Seconded by Cllr J Chapman.  Agreed.

The Mayor then asked Members of the public that if they had a particular question for County Councillor Robinson, they should let a Councillor or the Town Clerk know.

23. COUNTY COUNCILLOR ROBINSON:

County Councillor Robinson reported on the following local items:

• Minerals and Waste – There is no waste application for Brightlingsea, but one at Alresford and one at St Osyth.
• Preferred Sites – We are still waiting on the consultation stage.
 
24. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

25. BRIGHTLINGSEA LIBRARY:

The Mayor briefed members that at a previous Council Meeting, the Town Clerk had been instructed to arrange a meeting with Susan Carragher (Director of Libraries and Culture) and County Council Jeremy Lucas (Essex County Council Cabinet member for Environment and Culture).  All members have had a copy of the letter from Susan detailing the new opening hours from 4th July 2011.  Do members still require a meeting to be arranged?

A discussion took place and it was agreed that a meeting would be arranged to discuss the Library.  The suggested date was Friday 29th July at 2pm at the Parish Hall.  The meeting would be open to the public to attend if they wish. 

26. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 26TH MAY AND 9TH JUNE 2011 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Edey mentioned application number 11/00452/FUL and that Tendring District Council had approved the application, when Brightlingsea had recommended Refusal.  She felt that the decision had been made very hastily.  As agreed at the planning meeting on the 9th June 2011, Brightlingsea Town Council is to contact TDC to ask them to defer contentious applications before determination to allow ward member to discuss BTC’s objections.  Councillor J Chapman said she would contact Councillor Carlo Guglielmi about this.

Councillor Edey proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 26th May and 9th June 2011 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC.  Seconded by Councillor Mann.  Agreed. 

27. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBERS WITH SPECIAL  RESPONSIBILITIES:
Further to the written reports:- 

Councillor Janet Aldridge – On Friday 1th June, myself and Councillors Dixon, Edey and Olivier met with Danny Douglas of RCCE and Go Ride Buses, a new non-profit making organisation with 6 licences one which has been secured by an Oxfordshire Service.  As Horizon is withdrawing its service to Clacton from 17th July, the meeting was to discuss how we can retain, enhance and improve the service to suit Brightlingsea bus users.  The proposed service will use local 18 seater  buses and take concessionary travel cards. It will have a set route with time tables, but will be able to access residents who have difficulty using public transport.  The bus will run 2 days a week, one of which we propose to be a Saturday.  There will be 3 journeys per day.  Brightlingsea Town Council has been asked to pay £640.00 towards bus hire, £40.00 per day.  This I can pay from my budget.  This will give us 8 weeks to consult the public through surveys, which are available on the bus, to analyse the results and to secure funding and to ascertain the need for a Clacton bus as stated in the Town Plan and the bus survey I conducted 3 years ago.  The service will be reviewed on a weekly basis during the 8 week period, after that we will have an idea which direction we need to go.

I would like to ask Council to support this project.  We have to move fast as the route needs to be registered on Monday 20th June 211 to ensure the service continues to run.  Danny Douglas is here tonight if you have any questions.

After discussion and questions to Danny Douglas, Councillor J Chapman proposed that the Council supports this project, seconded by Councillor Steady.  Agreed.

Councillor Jayne Chapman – Thanked Fr Peter  for all his help and support under her MSR for Welfare.  A lot of what has happened, much of which cannot be reported on, without Fr Peters help, would have taken longer to resolve.

Councillor Vivien Chapman – The signage for the paddling pool re horses is currently being made.

Had an enquiry re steps near Splash point.  Technical and Procurement at TDC are looking into this.

A School party visited the beach this week, but no Warden was on duty.  The Warden is only on duty during school holidays and at weekends.  The Blue Flag will not fly when he is not on duty.  If funding becomes available, the service will be reviewed.

Jacobs Hall – The scaffolding should have been put up last week, but this has not happened.  We have advised Phil Hornby of TDC about this.

Councillor Alan Goggin – Arranging a meeting re the Hard, with all users, to be held within the next 4 weeks.  All Councillors are invited to attend, if they wish.

Councillor Graham Mann – Nothing to add.

Councillor J Chapman asked Cllr Mann if he had anything to do with the Leisure News publication.  She was pleased to see that TDC have committed to next year.  Cllr Mann replied that the leaflet was produced by TDC.  He is currently talking to the officers and the funding is there.  Some complaints have been received about the 3.30 pm opening times during school term times.  For two days a week they are going to open at 2pm.  Cllr V Chapman asked if the Town Clerk could obtain some copies of the leaflet for the office.

Councillor Graham Steady – Brightlingsea was entered into the Best Kept Village Competition, we have had one unannounced visit, and the next stage is for a guide tour of the town.

Would like to compliment Mark Liggins of Energise for keeping us updated.  If every organisation did this, life would be much easier.  If all goes to plan, Energise will be a fantastic day.
Councillor V Chapman asked to be included in the next meeting with Energise.

28. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:

Councillor Vivien Chapman – Nothing to add.

Councillor Alan Goggin – The meeting of the Joint User Group for Monday 13th June was cancelled.  A new date is still to be advised.

29.TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Councillor J Chapman – Had received a copy of a birthday card, which had a dog fouling sign on the front, including Tendring District Councils details.   If TDC have any signs like this, Brightlingsea would also like some.

Councillor Alan Goggin – Darryl Crawley has been nominated for ‘Young Person of the Year’.

Councillor Graham Steady – Nothing to add.

30. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: 

All items were for note only.

31. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
(a) Property Update
(b) Churchyard
(c) To receive the Minutes from the Staff Meeting held on the 14th June 2011 and confirm the recommendations therein.