Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 7.30 p.m.
I Block (Mayor)
B Smith (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, J Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
D Ingate, M Judson, J Russell, G Steady and K Yallop
In attendance: County Councillor Alan Goggin, Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
6 Members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor V Chapman.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 14TH DECEMBER 2017 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The Mayor reported that the past month had been fairly quite, however he had attended the Saturday Club’s Christmas Parry, and the Blessing of the Seas at Margate.
He also mentioned that he is organising a Valentines Tea Dance on Sunday 11th February, and if anyone would like to help or attend, they would be most welcome.
- QUESTIONS UNDER SO9(2):
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
County Councillor wished everyone a good New Year. He then reported on the following:-
- Held his bi-monthly clinic on Tuesday at the Library. They are proving to be popular, and if any Councillor wishes to join him, they are on a Tuesday from 4pm until 6pm.
- Attending a meeting at Chelmsford to review the system regarding Public Finance contracts.
- Attended the meeting with residents of Belfield Avenue on 8th January where some very good points were made. The annual survey of Bellfield Avenue was due to be carried out on the 8th January, but was carried out on the day before the meeting. We are waiting for the engineers report, however the engineer noted that the road has deteriorated since last time. There are 18 reports of Bellfield Avenue that needs attention – which have all been reported. As soon as the engineers report is received, will bring it back to Council.
- Attended a Town Council Planning meeting with a member of Essex County Council, to talk about how they interpreted planning applications in respect of roads.
- Attended the Essex County Council budget briefing.
- There has been a slight issue wit the zebra crossing outside the Colne Community School. The Headmaster has moved on, and a new one is in place. It would appear that much of the correspondence that has gone on between Essex County Council and the School, and even the meeting Councillor Judson and I attended, was not recorded well. Have now given them copies of all the necessary paperwork.
- Budgets – The key thing that affects everyone is the proposal for County to increase the rates by 2% to cover the Governments Social Care Precept, which is ring fenced for Adult Care. There is a further 2.99% to help support vital services. This means that on a Band D property, the Essex County Council part will go up from £1,163 to £1,212, which equates to £1.12 a week.
Councillor J Chapman mentioned that she had sent County Councillor Goggin an e-mail from Mr Windows, with a copy to Councillors Dixon and Judson, and wondered if he had replied. Councillor Goggin replied that he had referred him to the recent meeting which had taken place with residents of Bellfield Avenue, and reiterated to members that if you want action, you must report it. Councillor J Chapman stated that the problems are not just with Bellfield Avenue, but the Manor etc.
Councillor Howard said that she has copies of all the e-mail from Mr Suttenwood and Essex County, so if you need copies, let her know. County Councillor Goggin thanked Councillor Howard for this, and said that at some stage the new Head Master will call another meeting to discuss further.
Councillor Judson spoke about the meeting with residents of Bellfield Avenue, and that it was a joint meeting with himself and Councillor Steady. He stated that unfortunately only 10 residents turned up, however it was a constructive meeting.
Councillor Dixon asked if County Councillor Goggin has any contact with the Parking Partnership. He stated that there is a problem with the restriction on the new Marina. He was expecting restrictions at the Marina, but it looks like they want to put in no waiting along the whole stretch and revoke all the parking restrictions around the Hard Shelter and the Anchor and the District Council are concerned about this. He stated what we need there are yellow lines so the boat park can use the access from the boat park to the Hard, along the road. We have also been trying for some time to get wheelchair access to the Hard Shelter, and dropped kerbs on the South Side, as well as a double yellow lines around it. Councillor Smith replied that he had had a meeting with Ian Taylor, Tendring’s Head of Public Realm, where the following was discussed:- (1) Yacht Club – that would all remain the same, (2) around the shelter it was thought that double yellow lines should only be around the front, as the views are seaward, (3) further along the road as the Marina Development is going to have garages along the road and 8 parking spaces will be lost, some thought was given about parking on the other side of the road, which is difficult, as the land that belongs to Morgan Marine has a planning application in for semi-detached houses. He stated that contrary to what the Parking Partnership are saying, Mr Taylor Ian has gone away to draw up a new draft proposal, which will be circulated to all when available.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
Malcolm Morris – The County Council want to increase Adult Social Care by 2% – This is not high enough. The County Council are responsible by not increasing the adult social care – ambulances are queuing up at A&E as there is no room to move the patients in, as people at the top are not moving out. He thinks the Social Care Budget should be 4%. County Councillor Goggin thanked Mr Morris for his comments, and stated that there is a cap on what you a can increase the rates by before going to referendum, and this is 5%. He stated that, within the total net figure of expenditure of Essex County Council, 65% goes on adult and junior care, and we have 1,000 kids in Essex in Care.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON THE 11TH JANUARY 2018 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDAITONS THEREIN:
Councillor Steady reported on the following:-
- There appears to be an increase in Pension Contributions which could have an effect on our budgets. We are checking with Essex County Council to see if this affects their scheme, and will let you know the outcome.
- 2018 marks 100 years of the end of the First World War. Have spoken with George Stevens of the Royal British legion, and would like to hold someone sort of commemoration, along with the Museum. This will be brought forward to the next finance meeting for discussion.
Councillor Steady proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 11th January 2018 were accepted as a true record, and the following recommendations be accepted:
- On the basis that the Outline Proposal for the Brightlingsea Lido has only been received this evening (11.1.18), the document is taken to full council for recommendation/approval/adoption and for all councillors to receive a copy
- A letter is written to the museum stating that the Council supports the Museum, asking them to provide the council with their development plans, and once the building is up and running the Council would like to be involved with a project and offer some sort of financial donation at that time, and to carry on with the on-going financial support.
- The Council includes the Boat Show and Regatta as a Standing Annual Grant for £100.00, and takes this amount off the Discretionary Grants.
- The Council accepts the budgets, as listed, which gives a Precept amount of £166,104, LCTS Scheme Grant from Tendring District Council of £9,323.00. This equates to a Tax Base of £2,795.80 and gives a Band D equivalent of £59.41.
This was seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
Councillor Russell then mentioned item F142 on the Brightlingsea Lido. She stated that now she has read the document she is fully in favour.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending December 2017 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor J Chapman as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706887 – 706900 in the sum of £20,065.88 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £270,814.98
Employee payments paid for the month of December were £11,467.62
The accounts were then seconded by Councillor Dixon. Agreed.
Councillor Steady highlighted Cheque number 706894, and stated that this is for the completion of the bollards on the Western Promenade, and the money will be reclaimed under S106.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 11TH JANUARY 2018 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 11th January 2018 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.
- YMCA ESSEX – SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT:
A copy of the proposed Service Level Agreement had been circulated to all members. Councillor Howard briefed members and stated that they are hopefully starting on Monday 29th January, and it will be called “The Drop In”. She then proposed that the Agreement is signed by the Mayor. Councillor Steady complimented the agreement, and was only too pleased to second the recommendation. Agreed.
- BRIGHTLINGSEA OPEN-AIR SWIMMING POOL:
Councillor Barry briefed members on the situation so far. He stated that a comprehensive report had been given at the recent Finance Committee meeting, and copy of this proposal had been circulated to all members. The asset transfer between Tendring District Council and Brightlingsea Town Council is pretty much agreed, as are the Heads of Terms, which will form part of the lease. Site meetings have taken place with an architect, and an access survey was carried out yesterday. He stated that the plan is to open the pool this year, from May to September. It will cost £50,000 to carry out the works to the pump room etc., and Tendring District Council have agreed to give us £20,000 and to buy a new pump. We will therefore be asking for £30,000 from S106 monies, and £50,000 capital investment this year. We are also looking at EU Funding, and a meeting is taking place on this next week. The Mayor mentioned that £30,000 is already in the Councils budget for this year. Councillor J Chapman mentioned that Tendring have put in a bid for a sports grant of £130m and Tendring has been accepted. This amount has to be sports based, and will be split between four District Councils. Anyone in the Tendring Area can ask for a lump sum, on a sports based project, to encourage fitness. She suggested that Councillor Barry contacts Mike Carran on this. Councillor Yallop suggested that they contact Ian Davidson direct about this. Councillor Steady suggested that copies of the reports are sent into Ian Davidson, Paul Price, Mike Carran, Carlo Guglielmi and Andy White. Councillor Barry asked if the three District Councillors could carry this forward in their meetings with the Officers. He stated that TDC are offering a 50 year lease, with 25 years rent free and if we do the significant improvements they will offer a 99 year with 40 years rent free, and if we do the full thing they will give the freehold transfer. A discussion took place.
The Mayor then thanked Councillor Barry, on behalf of the Town Council, for all his efforts and work on this project so far.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Steady briefed members on the recent meeting held with residents of Hurst Green. He stated that as the anti social behaviour has subsided, he feels that it is prudent to leave any remedial action in abeyance for the foreseeable future.
Councillor Howard stated that unfortunately she and Councillor V Chapman had not been able to provide a written report. She then reported on the following:-
- Table Tennis Table – The suggestion is to install one on the prom, however it will now be Stainless Steel, not concrete. It could be situated near the skate park, to make another edition to the area. This could be provided this year for £1,200.00
- All the bollards have now been delivered and should be installed shortly.
- Mr McCarthy is asking for a long lease for the Lakeside Caravan Park.
Councillor Smith mentioned the fencing, which has been vandalised down at the entrance to the Marina, on the right hand side. It was thought the land belonged to Essex County Council, but County Councillor Goggin has pointed out that the land has been sold on. However, Councillor Smith has brought it to the attention of Ian Taylor of Tendring District Council, who has the authority to be able to serve a Section 215 Notice. Hopefully he has agreed to do this.
Councillor Block briefed members that he had attended a meeting on Tuesday with the Harbour Commissioners, and there is a pot of money available from Europe to improve coastal improvements in England and France. Apparently there is £2M available for this area. They have a planner on board, and would like the council to get on board also. After discussion it was agreed that Councillors Barry and Smith would be put forward to sit on the steering committee.
Councillor Judson – Cleaned the bollards again yesterday, as there were in an awful state.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor Russell – James Aldous Trust – The Trust is now putting the property on the market, and when we know what happens, we will let the Council know.
Attended a TDALC meeting last night where many items were discussed, one in particular – Pot Holes. Apparently someone in Wivenhoe is enlarging pot holes so they meet the criteria. This is criminal damage, and you could get up to 10 years in prison if caught. If anyone damages or fills in pot holes, they take on the responsibility and Essex County Council no longer have any responsibility for that pot hole.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
There was nothing further to add.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 – Agreed that the Town Council would support the Colne Yacht Club holding an International Women’s Day event, and Councillor Vivien Chapman would be able to help with a list of organisations/people to be invited.
2.2 Circus Petite – as Lower Park may be too wet for a circus to visit from 26th March until 1st April, Hurst Green is suggested as an alternative venue. Agreed.
- 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.
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
The Hard – The Mayor briefed members that the date for the Tribunal is 20th March 2018. On the previous day, there will be an inspection of the site by the judge. The tribunal will be held in Ipswich Magistrates Court and is a public event.
Swimming Pool – Councillor Barry briefed members on the current lease for the kiosk and a recent meeting he had had with the current owner. He also stated that he had met with Lisa from Batemans Tower Cafe, who was very pleased with the plans and said that all improvements would be an asset and bring people to the town. A discussion took place.
Councillor Barry then asked if (a) A lease or covenant be drawn up by our Solicitors to give up the current lease from 1.10.18, (b) This is an acceptable way forward, (c) Authorise the level of expenditure of approximately £25,000 for the termination of the lease, which would be paid back in due course, (d) Get private people to help out financially. Further discussion took place.
Councillor Smith suggested that an independent professional valuation is sought the first instance. Councillor Steady proposed that Fox Leisure are contacted to give the valuation. Seconded by Councillor Judson. Agreed. Councillor Barry advised that he would engage Fisher Jones Greenwood to write to the leaseholder to advise that we will be obtaining a valuation on the property/lease.
Lakeside Caravan Park – The Clerk informed members that Mr McCarthy would like to enter into a 50 year lease. A discussion took place. It was then agreed that Mr McCarthy is offered an initial 25 year lease, increasing to 50 years, subject to the satisfactory implementation of agreed improvements and rent review previsions thereafter.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21.22 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 15th February 2018