BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 17th November 2011 at 7.30 p.m.

Present:
Councillors
J Russell (Mayor)
K Yallop (Deputy Mayor)
J Aldridge, I Block, J Chapman, V Chapman, D Dixon,
E Edey, A Goggin, G Mann, and G Steady

In attendance:
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Derek Robinson (for part of the meeting)
7 Members of the public

Prayers were led by Rev. Roger Taylor.

115. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Olivier

116. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20TH OCTOBER 2011 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

117. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCMENTS:

Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.

118. QUESTIONS UNDER SO 9(2):

None received.

119. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

120. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 26TH OCTOBER AND 10TH NOVEMBER 2011 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREIN:

Councillor Block moved the Minutes of the meeting held on the 26th October and 10th November 2011 be accepted as a true record with the following recommendations:

• Grant Funding become an agenda item at next weeks Council meeting.
• The MSR and Improvements budgets be amended as follows:
1.Repair to boathouse roof – removed from the MSR budget, and a sum of £1,000 be included into Terry Hamilton’s maintenance budget.
2.Continuation of footpath around boating lake is removed from the budget
3.Skate park be taken out of the MSR budget, with £20,000 allocated/ring fenced from the Capital Reserves, and a grant is applied for.  If the grant is unsuccessful the £20,000 is spent on remedial works.
4.Residents guide – the amount is increased to £2,250.00
5.Remove the £16,000 figure for the Grass Cutter.
6.Put back the figure of £3,500 for the garage doors for the workshop, as the existing ones are broken/damaged.
• The agreement be renewed, and the Council informs the Harbour Commissioners that they are looking at the future of the jetty, and ask for their views.

Seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed.

121. 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 2011 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Cllr V Chapman as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 705073 – 705100 in the sum of £10,661.42 for payment

Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £311,833.12
Employee payments paid for the month of September were £10,117.04

Seconded by Cllr Aldridge.  Agreed.

Questions were asked about cheque numbers 705074, 705088, 705086 and 705078.  Answers were given accordingly. 

122. COUNTY COUNCILLOR ROBINSON:

County Councillor Robinson reported on the following items:

The petition for Martins Farm Recycling Centre has been presented to Essex County Council.  At the Essex County Council meeting today Councillor Jayne Chapman gave a very good presentation on behalf of the whole of Tendring.  Councillor Scott also gave a good account.  The Committee have now decided to take this back to the cabinet member to look again, and it will now go to the Scrutiny Committee on the 15th December.

There is to be a change in grant funding re: voluntary organisations.  This means there will be no annual application process and no automatic roll over in funding. There will be a different attitude for community and voluntary grants, carers, learning and dementia grants.  All organisations should have been notified of the situation.

Our local contact always used to be the Local Highways Offices at Colchester, but now all enquiries have to through the enquiry team at Chelmsford.

Councillor Aldridge asked County Councillor Robinson if he knew anything about the chicane outside the Betting Shop – the bollards were knocked down a while ago, but now quite a few people are hitting the curb and damaging their cars.  I have contacted the Office and it is on the ‘to do list’, but no date has been given.  County Councillor Robinson replied that he had been told exactly the same, that it is on the ‘to do’ list.  They also said that people should be looking where they are going when they are driving.

Councillor Goggin asked about the road refilling in the High Street.  He said that the work was carried out very efficiently, on a Sunday with minimum destruction.  County Councillor Robinson replied that this has been in the pipeline for one year. 

Councillor Yallop said the hole outside Brian House is dipping  already, and Councillor Russell said the same is happening outside the hairdressers.  County Councillor Robinson suggested that the Council writes to Highways, stating that the job has been carried out but unsuccessfully.

123. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

124. GRANT FUNDING:

Councillor Vivien Chapman reported as follows:
“Following the Finance Meeting last week, and the Funding Day I attended the previous day that was arranged by the E.A.L.C., I wanted to speak about funding in general.

At the Finance Meeting, there wasn’t a reluctance to spend money, but more that finances are not available for all the projects that need money spending on them.  However, money does need to be spent, if we are to maintain the facilities we offer to residents and visitors, and to continue to make Brightlingsea a place where people want to live and visit.

At the Funding Day, I heard some really excellent talks about fund-raising, and how so many pots of money  are available, if only there was time to access them and then apply for them.   For instance, one of the speakers was Sonia Grantham, Chairman of St. Osyth Parish Council, told us about how they spent their grants, which was mainly 106 monies.  Another speaker, Dominic  Munro-McCarthy  fundraises for a hospice and he gave his top ten tips.   He lives in Wivenhoe, and would be happy to speak to the Council about fund-raising.   Ed Hickman from the Big Lottery Fund, spoke about Funding for Parish and Town Councils and he is happy to reply to e-mails from us, asking if we think a project might fit the bill for a particular stream of funding, which would save time going down a path which ultimately wouldn’t lead anywhere. One of the projects is  ‘Designing and running a community building’ and information about this and the other funding possibilities, is attached.

The other speakers were from the Woodland Trust, and a special mention was made of planting Jubilee trees which may be of interest to the Jubilee Committee; the Big Society Fund; An Introduction to Biffaward; Heritage Lottery – How Our Funding Can Support the Community; Essex Community Foundation and Sport Essex.  Information was also given about the War Memorials Trust.

To this end, I would like to propose that we invite Dominic to speak to us in the new year, as he wouldn’t be able to visit us before Christmas now, and then I would like to propose that we appoint someone to apply for these various pots of money for us.  It is a time-consuming task which neither Councillors nor Staff can devote the time to.  Furthermore, there is a particular way to fill in the necessary forms and it is a knack that comes with practice.  We would want someone who gets the funding for us, not someone who just points us in the right direction.  I understand this could either be done by employing someone or giving a certain percentage of the grant money received to that person.

If the Council were agreeable, in principle, the best way forward would have to be investigated.”

After discussion it was agreed to hold a special meeting of all Councillors to discuss this further, and the meeting be after Christmas.  Also Dominic  Munro-McCarthy  would be invited to attend the meeting to brief Councillors. 

125. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 27TH  OCTOBER AND 10TH NOVEMBER 2011 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 27th October and 10th November 2011 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC.  Seconded by Councillor Mann.  Agreed. 

Councillor Dixon then spoke about minute 55 as the Councils response to the Local Development Framework and suggested that that Councils response is as follows:

“With regard to Brightlingsea the Town Council after due consideration is of the view that its response to the Core Strategy and Development Policies Document 2010 still holds good: i.e. The Council supports the policies and projects (items 25 to 28) for Brightlingsea and that they are sustainable and achievable.
 
Further evidence from the resident’s survey suggests that there should be no significant increase in housing (see The Brightlingsea Town Plan 2011 paragraphs 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 including the Action Points). However any new housing should be limited and restricted to affordable housing, special needs (including sheltered) and family houses and no move into the Costal protection Belt.
 
The potential omission sites included in the 2011 draft are all in the Costal Protection Belt.

The area between Robinson Road and Mill Street if used could compromise the integrity of the SSSI’s which are very close.

Lime Street although not in the Environment Agency’s tidal flood zone regularly gets flooded, especially after heavy rain, due to subterranean water courses. Also the road would be too narrow and the access and egress to and from both the High Street and Tower Street are hazardous. There is also a lack of knowledge as to the ownership of certain areas of land in the area.
 
The infrastructure is not adequate to support development on this scale, roads, transport, schools, surgeries, utilities etc.

Changes to the infrastructure and excessive development could change the whole character of the town to its detriment and if these sites are allocated would not be sustainable.”

He stated that Cllr Olivier objected to the statement saying “The infrastructure is not adequate to support development on this scale, roads, transport, schools, surgeries, utilities etc. “

Councillor Goggin proposed an amendment to this sentence that it should include the word ‘currently’ so it reads “The infrastructure is not currently adequate…”

Councillor Block seconded the amendment that we add ‘currently’ into the sentence.  This was agreed by all members.

The Minutes of 27th October and 10th November 2011 were then seconded by Councillor V Chapman and Agreed. 

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

Councillor Janet Aldridge – Nothing further to add.

Councillor Ian Block – Glad to see Family Support have now claimed their annual grant.

Councillor Jayne  Chapman –  Nothing further to add. 

Councillor Vivien Chapman – Had a useful meeting with Ian Taylor and Tim Sutton of TDC.  They would like to arrange a meeting with Councillors to discuss the Western Promenade, beach huts etc.  Agreed this meeting would be held in January 2012. 

Councillor Elizabeth Edey –  Have been dealing with various queries on footpaths, and have arranged a footpath meeting for Wednesday 23rd November at 7.30 pm at the Parish Hall. 

There is a pile of rubbish on the side of the road near East End Farm, which needs reporting.  The Town Clerk reported that Terry Hamilton had reported this today to TDC.

Councillor Alan Goggin – Nothing further to add, but thank you to all who turned out for Harbour Commissioners meeting.

Councillor Graham Mann –  Nothing further to add, but would like to thank Brightlingsea Councillors and Tendring District Council as we are on the case to get local contractors in to do the same work as before at the Swimming Pool. Watch this space.
 
Councillor Graham Steady – The Improving of boundary fences on Bayard Recreation Ground is now completed. We would like to explore the idea to use  the fences for advertising space.  Would this need planning permission?  Councillor Goggin replied that he had little knowledge of this but thought the answer was yes, especially if the advertising was facing the road.  He then asked for Councillors opinion on this scheme. 
A vote was taken:  Is it a good idea? – 1, Is it a bad idea? – 10. 

4-Youth is worth visiting and looking at what work has been carried out on a partnership basis.  They have come on quite a way. They are holding a fund raising Auction this Saturday, and the outlook is looking very positive for them at the moment.  Councillor Steady gave thanks to Cllr Mann who had been very instrumental in materials, workforce and expertise.  They are very glad of all the help they have received.

Councillor Karen Yallop –  There was an article in the Gazette yesterday about Britain in Bloom.  It follows a request from the RHS for Brightlingsea in Bloom to be one of the case studies to be carried out as part of a major survey requested by the Government on the benefits of In Bloom and the impact it has on Communities of all Sizes.  Brightlingsea was selected as having been one of the most successful volunteer led In Bloom groups in the UK.

Councillor Steady asked whether the Jubilee Committee could approach Brightlingsea in Bloom to do some sort of floral display to commemorate the Jubilee.  There is a budget for the Jubilee and part of this budget could be used to fund anything extra that may be needed to site a floral tribute in the town.  Councillor Yallop declared a personal interest in this, and said that she will mention the idea at the next committee meeting.  Cllr Edey said that, as a Bloomer, plans were already in place.

Councillor Aldridge asked if there was a theme for dressing up during the Jubilee parade.  Cllr Yallop replied that this is to be discussed at the next committee meeting. 

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

Jayne Chapman – The Boatshow and Regatta will be held on the 7th and 8th of July, not the 8th and 9th as stated in Cllr Goggins MSR Report.  Can also confirm that the Continental Market is booked in and they will also be visiting Brightlingsea in December.

Janet Aldridge – Frank Belgrove will be contacting the office regarding the SelectaDNA Kits.

Vivien Chapman – Had a meeting with Terry Hamilton and the skate park users, but unfortunately this was poorly attended. I would therefore like councils permission to place small article in chronicle to advertise the next meeting. 

Thank you to all who attended the NSPCC Coffee Morning, which raised £84.00.
 
Phil Hornby was visiting the workers at Jacobs Hall today, to assess the work and progress so far.

Can we have another with meting with the Police? Councillor J Chapman replied that there were no community police officers here at the moment.  Dave Willis back for 3 months, and is then being based in Clacton.

128. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Jayne Chapman – Attended the ECC Meeting at County Hall today.  I was nominated as the main speaker.  She then read out her speech as follows:

“I as an Independent councillor for Brightlingsea and Tendring am here to present the petitions against the closure of Martins Farm, St Osyth.  5 already received and this one has been brought to you today.

The petitions, along with a lot of letters have urged you to reconsider the full closure and to adjust the opening hours, as you propose to do with most other sites.

It has been stated that Rush Green site in Clacton is only a few miles more than Martins Farm, in fact if is nearly 4 miles, 3.8 to be exact, but that is only one way, so in total it is  really 8 miles more, costing more than £1 extra in fuel for the average car.  Also adding 20 to 30 minutes fore on any journey, this is not good when we are being encouraged to cut our carbon footprint.

Martins Farm is on a main road with a wide and easy open access.  Possibly the only fault to martins ~Farm is the skips have always had steps, not always easy for some but the staff have always been very helpful.  Rush Green on the other hand is in a residential area, to access it from Jaywick lane you go past a riding school, playschool, two caravan holiday parks and a very large comprehensive school, this all before you even turn into the road that the recycling centre is on.  It is situated next door to a recreation ground and football pitches, where by 10’O’Clock at weekends the grass verges around the entrance to the recycling site are heavily congested with cars and there are a large amount of children and families arriving to play and watch football.

It has been said by Councillor Bentley that several thousand pounds will be spent to improve the access, but how, when all around the site is residential.  The only place improvements can be made is the Jaywick Lane area, but on a busy day will this stop the queuing to the centre?  We urge the Council to consider closing Rush Green site and transfer services to St Osyth.  This would allow you to sell Rush Green site for housing and make considerable amount of money and savings which is what the project is all about.  In a worse case scenario and we had no recycling centres and you were to ask the public where they would like one, either on a main road, non residential, good access from all ways, or a centre in the middle of a residential area with a large sports field next door, poor access, do you not think that the straight forward non residential, main road one would win?  If it is proved in the future, as I understand that a review will take place in 8 months, that closing down Martins Farm was wrong are you in a position to reopen it or would you come under the employment law, where you would not be able to re-employ for 2 years as staff have been made redundant.  Can you also confirm that like so many other projects this is not the tip of the iceberg and we would lose more centres in the future, meaning we would have to drive even further.

After a local survey 95% of people would rather pay a small contribution of approx. £1 than travel further.

We are led to believe that when a survey was carried out between August 2010 and April 2011 the usage of Martins Farm had increased by over 20% but the other sites had quite a decline in usage.

We urge you to postpone the closure of Martins Farm, but to reduce the hours and the working week for a minimum period of 1 year whilst monitoring the traffic volumes and throughput of waste.”

Alan Goggin –There is a Tourism Diary detailing a lot of what is going on in Tendring – you just need to put the details on through the TDC website. 

At last council meeting I was unable to attend as I was attending the Tendring District council full Council meeting.  Unfortunately I do not have the power to change the TDC meeting dates.  St Osyth also meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month, and have 13 Councillors with 2 also being Tendring District Councillors.  For the last 5 years that meetings have clashed, they have moved the date of their Town Council meeting.

Martins Farm- I have a Business plan from a local company, and would like to distribute this under Part B as it is commercially sensitive.  Agreed.

Graham Steady – Highlighted the Tendring Sports Personality Awards, and the awards won by local people.
 
129. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: 

The report was for information only.
 
130. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
(a) To receive the Part B Minutes from the Council Meeting held on the 20th October  2011 and confirm the recommendations therein.
(b) Property Update