BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 19th January 2012 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,
C Olivier and G Steady (7.54pm onwards)

In attendance:
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
County Councillor Derek Robinson
7 Members of the public
2 from Colne Housing

Prayers were led by Vivien Chapman.
 
153. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received however Councillor Steady will be late to the meeting as he is travelling back from a works conference in Liverpool.

154. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8TH DECEMBER 2011 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

155. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCMENTS:

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

The Mayor then mentioned two items that were on the agenda under Part B – Letting of the Parish Hall and Dog Fouling.  She reported that she had received comments from members that these items should not be on Part B but in the main part of the meeting.  Letting of the Parish hall is to discuss the terms and conditions and whys and wherefores, and changes in regulations.  This could contain some personal and sensitive information.  Therefore she suggested it remains in Part B and asked for a vote:
To remain in Part B – 6, to be discussed in Part A – 3 – this item is to be discussed under Part B.

Dog Fouling – The Mayor stated that the reason this is in Part B is due to the fact that we are debating the timing of possible public meeting.  She then asked for a vote on whether this should be in Part B.  A vote was taken:
To remain in Part B – 2, to be discussed in Part A – 4 – this item was therefore moved to the main part of the meeting, after the Planning item.

156. QUESTIONS UNDER SO 9(2):

None received.

157. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

158. 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 2011 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Cllr Olivier as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 705119 – 705140 in the sum of £20,316.08 for payment

Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £267,534.45
Employee payments paid for the month of September were £10,116.46

Seconded by Cllr Mann.  Agreed.

Questions were asked about cheque numbers 705119, 705140, 705127.  Answers were given accordingly. 

159. 2011/2012 BUDGETS – COUNCILLOR BLOCK TO REPORT:

Councillor Block stated that the Council is on track to hit the budget, but reminded Members to spend their MSR budgets before 1st April.  The only slight doubt is the £7,500.00 for car park at Lower Park Recreation Ground.  This will be readdressed next month.

160. COUNTY COUNCILLOR ROBINSON:

County Councillor Robinson reported on the closure of Martins Farm Recycling Centre  Councillor C Chapman said that at the Councillor Surgery last Saturday a member of the public reported that the Rush Green facility does not appear to be working very well.  County Councillor Robinson said that this would be monitored.  He also stated that the access to the area is to be improved.  Councillor J Chapman said that on a Sunday when football is being played, people are parked everywhere and it makes access very difficult.

County Councillor Robinson then asked if the Council had had any problems dealing with Highways.  Councillor Aldridge said that she had  a lot of trouble getting through.  County Councillor Robinson said that as a member his avenue is now through the Member Governance Office. Any issues are put to them, a reply should be received in 3 days with an answer in 7 days.

Attending a meeting next week with the Cabinet Member and Officers from Highways, therefore let county Councillor Robinson know the details of any problems.  Councillor Aldridge said that she had heard  rumours that Highways are going to  tender to a private company.  County Councillor Robinson said he had no knowledge of this. 

161. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM CLARE LAWRENCE OF THE COLNE HOUSING SOCIETY:

Clare Lawrence of Colne Housing gave the following report:

All almshouses are individual charities and are registered with the Charity Commission.  Colne Housing Society is the corporate trustee of this charity and is applying to the Charity Commission to vary the governance arrangements.  Essentially it is an independent charity at the moment (with just the 8 properties in Lower Park Road).  The trustees of the charity (effectively our Board of Management) are proposing to merge the charity with 3 others which are located in the Chelmsford area.
 
Operationally, in the short term it will have very little impact on the residents and the almshouses will remain open to applications from local people.  But we believe the larger merged charity will be able to offer 2 main benefits which the 4 separate charities cannot, namely:

• By pooling their financial resources each charity is less susceptible to ebbs and flows in income such as that created by having one unit empty for a time whilst a new resident is sought.  Having one vacancy in 4 means 25% less income and fundamentally affects how able to charity is to meet its obligations e.g. to pay for repairs to properties.  It also means greater stability in planning for major improvements such as kitchen and bathroom replacements by pooling their cash reserves.
• Greater efficiency in paying for annual items such as audit fee’s and preparation of their accounts.  We expect these costs to decrease somewhat and so ensure greater funds are available for improvements.

The other benefit is that by creating a new partnership arrangement with 4 individual charities already party to it, the new Charity will be able to offer an “umbrella” to other almshouse charities in the area that are struggling to survive due to lack of trustees or local expertise.  We believe (through our contact with the Almshouse Association) that there are several of these Charities at risk of failing.  We hope that by offering a new partnership approach that we can support the almshouse movement to survive in the East.

Our proposal is that a new set of Trustee’s be appointed with existing links to the almshouse movement and that, initially at least, Colne Housing continues to provide a management service to the newly formed Charity.  The new body is likely to be called the Legacy Almshouse Partnership, reflecting both our and the new trustee’s desire to see the original legacies that were left to establish the almshouses, preserved.

The Charity Commission are keen, as are we, that local representative bodies such as Parish Councils be given an opportunity to comment on these proposals as part of a public consultation, query any areas they feel needs clarification and either support or object depending on their views.  Thank you for allowing me to attend your meeting today.  If you would like to discuss the matter further, please give me a call on 01206 244700 to discuss.

Councillor Steady joined the meeting at 7.54 pm.

Many questions were asked by Members, and after discussion it was agreed that this item be made an agenda item at the next Council meeting, for more discussion.  Agreed.

The mayor thanked Clare Lawrence and Lynne Shea for attending the meeting.

162.  TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

163. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 8TH AND 22ND DECEMBER 2011 AND 12TH JANUARY 2012 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 8th and 22nd December 2011 and 12th January2012 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC.  Seconded by Councillor Edey.  Agreed. 

164. DOG MESS:

Councillor Edey mentioned that at the last council meeting this issue was discussed and felt that a public meeting should be hold to discuss further.  The Mayor then read out a letter that had been received that day concerning dog fouling. 

After much discussion it was proposed by Councillor J Chapman that Councillor Edey sets the date of the meeting, seconded by Councillor V Chapman.  It was then agreed that this meeting would be held at the Parish Hall.  Agreed.

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

Councillor Karen Yallop – The Town Guide is all going ahead. 

Diamond Jubilee –remind Councillors that tickets for the ball require a £5 deposit.  We may have to extend the marquee as ticket sales are going very well.  Tickets will be on a 1st come 1st served basis.  The commemorative coins deadline is the end of March and another advert will be placed in the Chronicle. 

Councillor V Chapman said that she had sent an e-mil about Jubilee Woods and had had no reply.  She then gave a leaflet to Councillor Yallop..

Councillor Yallop then mentioned loft and cavity installation.  She has the telephone number of a firm that can install this free of charge.  They have already contacted Councillor J Chapman and Family Support.  If anyone requires the telephone number please let her know.

Councillor Graham Steady – 4-youth –If you have the chance you should go and look at the improvements to their building.  They are holding another auction on 28th January.

Councillor V Chapman asked if Energise was to be held on the Promenade again, and she has not heard any discussions.   Councillor Steady said that it was early days and discussions were only now taking place.  After discussion it was agreed to invite Mark Liggins to a meeting to discuss the event further.

Councillor Graham Mann –  Nothing further to add.

Councillor Alan Goggin  mentioned that the information on Green Waste Collection did not go in Chronicle, as planned.  He then gave thanks to Terry and his team for their good work at the hard with the seats, notice board etc. 

Councillor Elizabeth Edey –  Nothing further to add.

Councillor Vivien Chapman mentioned that Terry and his team are hoping to finish the fence around Pawsons playground next week.

Councillor Jayne  Chapman –  The winter fuel changes have kicked in and they have been scaled back.

Councillor V Chapman asked about the police.  Councillor J Chapman replied that this is to be discussed further under Part b.

Councillor Ian Block – Nothing further to add.

Councillor Janet Aldridge – Not heard back about the bus shelter seat.  I was promised it would be re-installed before Christmas, but it has not.

The Clacton bus users very pleased with service, passengers are even buying presents for the driver for Christmas.  Go ride have received other contracts, after we gave them the chance.  The Tuesday and Thursday service is being very well used.

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

Alan Goggin – Nothing further to add but would recommend a Wall climbing ‘team building’ exercise.

166. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Jayne Chapman – Nothing further to add.

Graham Steady – added to his report – to clarify the Finance Portfolio Holder’s question that Cllr Steady had requested that both he and the Leader of the Council attend the Corporate Management meeting but as he was in a minority of one and the view of the committee was that the questions could be asked in another forum.

Alan Goggin – Thanked all who attended the meeting with the 106 Officer.    Regarding the Emergency Plan for Brightlingsea, he has spoken to Councillor V Chapman who handled this previously.  Damien Williams is now the contact for the emergency plan.   He has sent me a copy of  the details as they are, together with a template for an emergency plan which fits in with civil contingencies act 2004. 

After discussion it was agreed that Councillor Yallop would continue to look into this, together with Councillors J and V Chapman, Councillor Aldridge and Councillor Goggin.

167. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: 

2.1 Music Festival – Permission was granted for the Music Festival to hold its 2012 festival on Hurst Green on 3rd, 4th and 5th August 2012.  Copies of public liability insurance documents, events licence etc. to be given to the Town Council before the event.
 
2.2 Coastal Rowing Club –Permission was granted for the Coastal Rowing club to use the Crest on a flag and also on its notepaper, however suggest they also contact the Cinque Port Liberty for their approval. 

2.3 Coastal Rowing Club –Permission was granted for the coastal rowing Club to erect a Marquee on the Hard in front of Colne Yacht Club  on 25th March 2012 for its official launch.  Suggest they also liaise with the Harbour commissioners regarding this.

2.4 Bert Stocks Funfair – Permission was granted for the Funfair to hold its July event on the Western Promenade between 16th- 23rd July.

168. 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 17th November  2011 and confirm the recommendations therein.
(b) Property Update