BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 16th February 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
K Yallop (Mayor)
I Block (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, V Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
D Ingate, M Judson, J Russell, B Smith and G Steady
racey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Alan Goggin
15 Members of the public
Before the meeting started the Mayor passed on the Councils condolences to the family of Brian Pingree, who passed away on the 14th February 2017. Brian was a past Mayor in 1982-83 and 1989-90. She asked everyone to be upstanding for one minutes silence.
173. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor J Chapman.
174. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19TH JANUARY 2017 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
175. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
The Mayor mentioned that she attended the Winterfest Well-Being Day on Saturday, with Councillor Barry. She said that the whole Winterfest event included a great week of activities, they are doing a fantastic job, year on year the events are getting bigger, and she was glad that the council was able to support them with these events.
The Mayor also thanked Councillor Barry for organising the Safeguarding Training last week, which was very beneficial to all who attended.
176. QUESTIONS UNDER SO9(2):
177. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
178. COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
County Councillor Goggin mentioned the following:-
The big issue this week has been the budget.
Some items left over from last months meeting:-.
Water leakage on Church Hill has been redirected, which seems to have worked
Sent out an e-mail tonight to Councillors Dixon and Judson from Adrian Summons talking about bus signs, the one at Spring Chase is to be fixed along with a few others
Received no complaints about the buses, apart from they have been very busy as it is half term, with standing room only
Been in discussion with a couple of councillors regarding the small piece of land at the bottom of New Street
Asked by a resident to look at the Cycle Path on Church Hill, which has been forwarded onto Highways, and they have inspected
Query with the zebra crossing outside the Colne Community School. There is a problem with the sight line, however it is on the agenda for the next Highways Panel meeting
The Bollards on the way into town, I was pleased to report last month that they had been repaired and cleaned, however it was not long before they were very dirty again. Sent a note to Essex County Council that I would clean them myself, and much to my delight the next day they were cleaned, but not by Essex County Council, but a Town Councillor, who asked not to be named. He said that he is going to name him and thanked Councillor Mick Judson for cleaning the bollards.
Budgets were agreed at Essex County Council in Chelmsford. Have asked for a copy of the Leaders Speech to be sent to each Clerk. The key items are:- (1) By 2020 all government revenue support will stop, it will be replaced by business rates; (2) So far Essex County Council have saved £590m over 7 years, and they are on track to save even more; (3) The big issue which is not particular to Essex, but Essex spends £1.4m a day on Adult Social Care, so the decision was made to keep the core budget the same as they have been in the past, but to take up the governments offer of 3% on social care levy; (4) The Reserves Essex County Council has are 23 days nett running costs.
Questions were asked by Councillors as follows:
Councillor V Chapman – Regarding the bollards, perhaps you could investigate something other that them, as they are cleaned, get knocked again, bulb goes – it is a continuous problem and they are not effective. Can anything be done about them? County Councillor Goggin replied that he is far from an expert but the bulk of that road is wide enough to have white / grid lines in the middle. He said that he will ask for the options.
Councillor Steady asked if there was a maintenance programme for the bollards? County Councillor Goggin advised that there is a regular system, and they are cleaned every 4 weeks, however when Councillor Judson cleaned them, it was 3 weeks into the programme. He mentioned that there is huge amount of dirt on the roads itself.
Councillor Steady mentioned Business Rates and one of the warnings at Tendring is that although Central Government are going to say you can have Business Rates, they are making concessions now on Business Rates, which means that if you thought you were gong to get £100m, they are going to make concessions and you may only end up with £75m. County Councillor Goggin replied that Essex County Council will worry about that as all Councils are. The concept, as he understands it, is to encourage all Districts, Councils and Towns to encourage business’s to pay more rates, and attract more businesses.
Councillor Steady said that he had queried with Councillor Judson about the new layout of the High Street, and asked Councillor Judson if he had had a reply from Essex County Council. Councillor Judson replied he had not contacted Essex County Council about this. Councillor Steady then asked County Councillor Goggin what the rational behind the new road layout in the High Street was. County Councillor Goggin said that he was not aware of the works taking place, but it looked like, to him, that they were trying to stop people parking on the corners.
Councillor Judson stated that when he was cleaning the bollards, which he cleaned because he nearly hit one, that the thickness of the dirt on the bollards was incredible, and there is a horrendous amount of dirt and grit in the centre line between the bollards. He asked County Councillor Goggin if something could be done about that and then maybe it could help in keeping the bollards clean.
Councillor Ingate spoke of the New Street debacle – Yet again they found more holes, one is a continuation of the first one they repaired, they obviously did not check far enough along. Yet again they have had to stop work – how much does this all cost? It cost £20,000 to bring all the equipment in today. County Councillor Goggin replied that he has asked for a report on how and why it has all happened.
Councillor Smith stated that he was pleased to see the work on the hill being completed, but he said that it took an awful long time, and County were very lucky that there had not been a major accident. He asked County Councillor Goggin to recap on his e-mails, and talk to County and ask why did this take so long. County Councillor Goggin replied that he has asked, and the answer he received was that they were trying to find the cause of the problem, various discussions were taking place, was it a spring or a pond, they were trying to allocate the problem before they dealt with in. He stated that the solution in the end was to dig a trench and put a drain in – however they are still arguing over who is going to pay of it.
Councillor Dixon asked if it is possible to add any further evidence to the traffic calming at the top of Spring Chase/Ladysmith Avenue/Church Road. He mentioned that residents are complaining of speeding drivers down Ladysmith Avenue and the suggestion the Town Council has made for the whole junction would help reduce the speed anyway. County Councillor Goggin replied that Great Bentley and St Osyth have the same problem with speeding, and suggested sending in the extra evidence to Andy.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
Richard Price – The street lights by the boating lake on the Western Promenade, they still haven’t taken the old ones away. This work started on the 26th November by Ringway Jacobs. Can you find out when it is likely to be completed. If cars are parked along the road, someone with a disabled buggy would have trouble getting through. Someone needs to scrutinise Ringway Jacobs. County Councillor Goggin said that he would look into this.
Councillor Vivien Chapman mentioned that she has spoken about a new lamp post being installed in Richard Avenue, and a hole was left in the pavement. After discussion it was agreed that she would call into the office to get this reported.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 7.50pm to attend the Council meeting at St Osyth.
179. 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 2016 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Block as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706607 – 706629 in the sum of £6,351.55 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £196,204.36
Employee payments paid for the month of December were £10,869.47
Seconded by Councillor Smith. Agreed.
180. REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE AND PROPERTY COMMITTEE ON THE ASSET REVIEW:
Councillor Steady gave a statement on the update of the Asset Review:
“The objective of the review is to ensure that charges, rents etc., reflect fair agreements. Most of the leases and licenses in place at the moment were put in place by previous administration, so we have to clarify any legal connotations when they are renewed or changed.
The next step after the review is to protect the towns assets for future generations and how they can be used for the good of all.
As a responsible authority we have to engage with our community to optimise all opportunities. As Councillors we then have to formulate policies for our staff to action.
Meetings and relevant discussions have already taken place with:-
The Cricket Club
The Harbour Commissioners
The Sailing Club
Purelake Developments (The Marina)
Essex County Council
Bateman’s Tower Cafe
The Rugby Club
Brightlingsea Leisure Village
Tendring District Council Portfolio Holders and Officers – Western Promenade
Brightlingsea Community Centre
So how does all of this fit in with Council Policy?
He stated that as an example lets look at the Harbour Commissioners, which affects the towns assets of the Hard. This Council has done that which it stated over 2 years ago, which was that they would look to the future and open dialogue with the relevant bodies.
Launching fees were challenged – now discontinued.
Essex County Council have given their opinion on the highway issue.
Now in discussion with the Land Registry, and going to mediation.
Public access to registered parts of the Hard is an issue with some alluding to access being denied.
I would assume that all interested parties have the same objective and that is to protect the area from being sold and/or developed in a way that is not in keeping.”
Councillor Steady then called for a vote on the following motion, along with the statement being accepted:-
“A rider to be added to the original Deed of Gift to the effect that public access to the Hard be protected in perpetuity, subject to any Health and Safety issues, and legal necessities.”
This was seconded by Councillor Russell.
A named vote was taken, as follows:-
For: Councillors Barry, Smith, Steady, Ingate, Howard, Chapman, Dixon, Russell, Block and Yallop.
Abstention: Councillor Judson. Agreed.
181. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
182. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 19TH JANUARY AND 2ND FEBRUARY 2017 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 19th January and 2nd February 2017 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor V Chapman. Agreed.
183. BUS SHELTER REQUESTS:
Councillor Ingate declared an interest in this item.
Councillor Dixon briefed members that requests had been received for bus shelters, one outside the Brewers, one at Hurst Green, and one near Maltings Road. A discussion took place. The following was agreed, and the Town Council would now apply to the Local Highways Panel for a shelter and seat to be installed at Maltings Road Stop
1) The Town Council do not support the installation of a shelter and seat at the Brewer’s Arms/Bargain Store stop in Victoria Place. The shelter and seat in Victoria Place near Tesco is considered appropriate and the Colchester ‘pick up’ should be used via the loop around the War Memorial Gardens. The footway in front of the Brewer’s Arms and the Bargain Store is one of the busiest in town with shoppers and makes for difficulties if the passengers waiting for the bus are many (sometimes a double decker-full) especially when the forecourt of the Bargain Store is trading.
2) The Town Council do not support a shelter and seat at Hurst Green.
3) The Town Council does support a shelter and seat on the North side of Church Road at the Malting’s Road Stop, the stop’s Flag Name is Stranger’s Corner. This stop covers the area of the Malting’s Estate/Colne School serving passengers travelling to the town centre.
184. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Barry stated that the new playground equipment on the Bayard Recreation Ground is being installed and should be ready in a couple of weeks.
Councillor Howard informed members that the first Youth Council is taking place on Tuesday 28th February. Three Councillors have been invited to attend, and if any other councillor wishes to come along, they would be more than welcome to do so.
Councillor V Chapman – Someone enquired about where the Egyptian Geese have gone; the new Petanque area should be installed within the next couple of weeks; the Groundsmen have carried out edging around Promenade Way.
185. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
There was nothing further to add.
186. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Steady mentioned that the swimming pool is on the Cabinet agenda tomorrow and that he will be attending the meeting. If anyone else wishes to attend, the meeting is at the Town Hall. Councillor Block stated that Councillor Guglielmi will e-mail out to him the decision, as soon as the meeting is over.
187. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
Agreed that J&K Events Ltd could hold a “Brightlingsea Food & Drink Festival 2017” on the Western Promenade on 25th, 26th and 27th August 2017, subject to usual terms and conditions.
If anyone would like to attend the TDC Training event on Friday 7th April to discuss determining planning applications, to let the Clerk know.
Agreed the Essex Group Motor Caravanners Club can hire the Lower park Playing Fields for its rally on 6-8th July 2018.
Councillor Russell declared an interest in the following item:
Agreed the Brightlingsea Carnival Association can hold its annual carnival on the Bayard Recreation Ground on Saturday 17th June 2017.
The Mayor suggested that it would be nice to spend any donation on an item to go in the War Memorial Gardens. Councillor Barry mentioned that it is the intention of the Cricket Club to try an keep the ANZAC memory alive, and they are looking to schedule a cricket match with an ANZAC theme on 9th July. Perhaps they could invite the High Commission to come down to this event, to present the cheque. Councillor V Chapman gave thanks from the Museum. The Mayor said that we would have to wait to receive the cheque before we have an idea on what to spend any donations on.
1.11 The Clerk highlighted item 1.11 on her report, and that following an incident at the bottle bank at the Community Centre, this facility is now being removed. After discussion it was agreed that the Town Council would contact TDC to find out why, after one incident, was this recycling centre being taken away, as it is a very well used site in the town. They mentioned that this site has been in place for many years, and, as far as they were aware, this was the first accident of its kind.
188. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
189. PROPERTY UPDATE:
Lakeside Caravan Park – The clerk readout an e-mail received from John Fowlers solicitors, who are acting on behalf of John Hart, who is exploring the possibility of purchasing the site from Mr Poll, and asked whether the council would consider selling the freehold or consider granting a substantial increase in the lease of 100 years. A discussion took place and it was agreed that Solicitors advice should be sought on whether he can sell the remainder of the lease and whether or not the Council has any say in it.
Army Cadets – The Scouts have advised that the Army Cadets are no longer using the building on Lower Park, and that the Scouts would be interested in leasing the building.
A discussion then took place on adverse comments on Social Media by a specific Councillor.
190. CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.59 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 16th March 2017