BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on: Thursday 15th September 2011 at 7.30 p.m.
J Russell (Mayor)
K Yallop (Deputy Mayor)
J Aldridge, I Block, V Chapman, D Dixon,
E Edey, G Mann and C Olivier
Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk
Prayers were led by David Dixon.
75. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors J Chapman and Goggin, who are both at a Tendring Council Meeting this evening, Councillor Steady who is travelling back from a works conference, and County Councillor Robinson who stated that he had nothing to report.
76. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH AUGUST 2011 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
77. STATEMENT FROM COUNCILLOR OLIVIER:
Councillor Olivier made a statement regarding item 61 on the minutes from the meeting held on the 18th August 2011. He stated that a letter had been received from Pauline Lawrence, and then read out the content, as follows:
“With reference to the BTC’s meeting on the 18th August 2011. I wish to record my utter disgust at the language that Councillor Colin Olivier used during this meeting which sounded like spiteful bastards after a vote was taken with reference to money he wished to donate to charity. I feel it was inappropriate talking to fellow councillors like this and members of the public do not wish to hear it either. It would be appreciated if the gentleman in question apologised to all concerned.”
Councillor Olivier then read out his reply letter to Mrs Lawrence, as follows:
“The mayor sent a copy of your letter to all Town Councillors. I read it when I returned from holiday yesterday.
I must acknowledge that some of the comments I made, following the discussion and vote on Members Allowances were intemperate in inappropriate for a Council meeting. Please accept my sincere, and unqualified, apology for this uncharacteristic behaviour. I also intend to make a statement at the next Council meeting. However I would like you to fully be aware of the background of this matter.
The leaflet I issued for the May Election contained the following pledge “As I am a pensioner, I will not need to take unpaid ‘time off’ to perform my council duties. Therefore I will not claim the members annual allowance … but will arrange for a sum equivalent to the annual allowance to be paid to local charities.” I had received confirmation from the appropriate authority (Tendring District Council) that such an arrangement was permitted. Before writing the cheques the Town Clerk had received the same assurance from Tendring District Council. She (the Town Clerk) confirmed to Cllrs Goggin and Mann, who were signing the cheques, that this was in order. For this issue to be raised at the Council Meeting in such a way was, in my opinion, not only inappropriate but out of order. I was disappointed that the Mayor allowed the resolution to be tabled.
I recognise that despite my overwhelming sense of frustration I should not have reacted as I did. Perhaps following so soon after the chicanery to exclude me from the Springmead Trust my fuse finally blew. A reason, not an excuse.
Sincere personal regards”
He then stated that he had contacted Michael Gibson-Davies, Legal Services Manager for Tendring District Council and his comment was “I see no valid reason not to pay your allowance to the charity you have identified.”
Councillor Olivier went on to say that he had served previously for 8 years on the council, and many years ago on Leeds City Council, and enjoyed both spells very much. He said that when he was on the Council before, they worked as a united team, procuring the floating jetty, extension to the churchyard etc. and he felt he had never encountered such personal hostility as he is now.
The Mayor thanked Councillor Olivier for his statement.
78. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCMENTS:
Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
79. REPORT FROM CRIME REDUCTION OFFICER DAVE GILLIS:
Mr Gillis informed members that he was the Crime Prevention Officer for Tendring, and had been a Police Officer for 30 years. He was attending the meeting tonight to inform members about the new ‘Forensic Marking Kits’. These kits have taken over from the ultraviolet pens and are helping to combat Burglaries in Rural Areas. The kits are available at a cost of £9.30 plus VAT and it would be good to advertise the kits in the Parish Magazine etc.
Councillor Aldridge stated that this had been discussed before and she was under the impression that councillor J Chapman was to liaise with Frank Belgrove about the Council purchasing some of these kits. Councillor Olivier asked whether there was any help available to elderly people in using the kits. Mr Gillis said that all the Community Support Officers have been trained up, the council would be trained as well.
After discussion it was agreed that councillor Aldridge would liaise with Frank Belgrove about the purchase of kits, and she would contact Sgt McRae for the article he had written about the scheme, so a copy could be sent to the Chronicle and the Parish Magazine.
The Mayor thanked Mr Gillis for attending the meeting.
80. QUESTIONS UNDER SO 9(2):
81. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
82. TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending August 2011 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Cllr Edey as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 705039 – 705054 in the sum of £2,585.74 for payment
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £234,029.66
Employee payments paid for the month of August were £14,379.43
Seconded by Cllr Dixon. Agreed.
Councillor Dixon them mentioned that the salaries figure was high for this month, but that was because the staff had received a pay rise and their back-pay was included in this figure. He also mentioned cheque number 705047 for Essex County Council which was for the stand at the 2012 Tourism and Leisure Show.
83. COUNTY COUNCILLOR ROBINSON:
County Councillor Robinson was absent from the meeting.
Councillor Block stated that with the proposed closure of Martins Farm and other issues going on at the moment, it is strange that County Councillor Robinson has nothing to report on. Councillor Aldridge added that it is very important he gets involved, and he should be backing us.
84. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
85. TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 18TH AUGUST AND 1ST SEPTEMBER 2011 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor Dixon proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 18th August and 1st September 2011 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from TDC. Seconded by Councillor Mann. Agreed.
86. MEMBER WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVENTS:
Councillor Edey said that if a new MSR was created for Events this would be a very good way of ensuring all the necessary insurances, licenses, road closures etc. are in place, for events taking place on Town Council Land. After discussion it was agreed that Councillor Yallop and Councillor Block would take on this MSR together, and this would be reviewed at the next Annual meeting.
87. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBERS WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Further to the written reports:-
Councillor Janet Aldridge – Nothing to add.
Councillor Ian Block – The advert for the 2nd round of Grants is now out. The closing date is the 30th September.
Councillor Vivien Chapman – The Skate Park is going to need a lot of money spent on it in the future.
Vandalism at the Boating Lake – Terry Hamilton received a phone call from the police stating that the case had been dropped due to lack of evidence.
The Model Boat Club had just had a ‘dusk sailing’ on the lake, which looked very pretty.
Jacobs Hall – An update has been received from Phil Hornby – they are still working on the building internally and the work on the outside will not be started for a while yet.
Councillor Elizabeth Edey – Nothing to add.
Councillor Graham Mann – A meeting is arranged with TDC for the end of this month to discuss how this years season went, and to look at next years on-going maintenance programme.
Councillor Yallop stated that if the £90,000 is not spent on the swimming pool she thought it should be spent else where in Brightlingsea. Councillor Mann replied that he had no problem with this, whatever was spent on the pool, the left over money should be spent in Brightlingsea.
Councillor Karen Yallop –The 1st committee meeting for the Queens Diamond Jubilee has been held. The committee consists of 4 councillors (Cllrs Yallop, Russell, Block and Steady) and 4 non councillors. It is early stages but the suggestions are:
1. Hold a ‘big lunch’ on the Bayard Recreation Ground where people bring their own and share lunches.
2. Have a procession from Hurst Green up to the Recreation Ground, as we did for the Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
3. There will be Marquees on the Rec where we are hoping different organisations will put on shows.
4. It will be a ‘free’ day for all to enjoy
5. On the Monday we will be lighting the Beacon on All Saints Church, and permission has just been given from the PCC. This will be listed on the national web-site and will get Brightlingsea on the map.
6. We are looking to have fireworks on the Monday evening.
Councillor Aldridge said that this sounds really good and asked who the 4 non councillor members on the committee were. Councillor Yallop replied: Tracey Barton, Sue Merrill, Val Gilders and Roy Birnie. Councillor Aldridge said that she had some display memorabilia on the Choir Boys, together with photos. Councillor Yallop said if anyone has any ideas or memorabilia to let the Committee know.
88. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor Vivien Chapman – Nothing to add.
89. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
As no District Councillors were present, their reports were noted.
The Mayor mentioned Councillor Steady’s report and his statement concerning the £90,000 for the pool being spent on the pool, if not somewhere in Brightlingsea – ‘I would like to propose that we make representations along those lines’. This was agreed by Members.
90. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 Agreed that the Motor Caravanners’ Club can use Lower Park Recreation Ground from the 5th – 9th April 2012, and copies of the relevant paperwork are submitted, provided Lower Park is not being used by another club on that weekend.
91. 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 18th August 2011 and confirm the recommendations therein.
(b) Property Update