Minutes of the Council Meeting held at
The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:
Thursday 20th July 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
I Block (Mayor)
B Smith (Deputy Mayor)
M Barry, V Chapman, J Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,
D Ingate, M Judson, G Steady and J Russell
County Councillor Alan GogginTracey Pulford –Town Clerk
7 Members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Yallop.
- TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15TH JUNE 2017 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
The Minutes were accepted as a true record.
- MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Copy of the Mayor’s Announcements is annexed to the Minutes.
The Mayor mentioned that it had been an enjoyable, busy month, with the highlight being the launch of Priscilla and the visit of the Countess of Wessex. He then mentioned that, as Mayor, he will attend any event, but has to be invited first. As he did not turn up to one event, his partner was berated in a shop in the town. This is not acceptable, people should talk to him, and invites should come through the office.
- QUESTIONS UNDER SO9(2):
- DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:
The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.
- COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN:
The Mayor mentioned that a meeting had been arranged with County Councillor Goggin to discuss the way forward. He stated that he was most disappointed that only three councillors turned up to this meeting.
County Councillor Goggin mentioned the following:-
- 28th June – A meeting with three Councillors to discuss ideas on the next 4 years.
- 29th June – The Local Highways Panel met. Also sent round a copy of their brochure which details their remit, what the LHP can and can’t do. At that meeting the budget for the year was confirmed £395,000 plus £106,000 carried forward for work that is ear-marked but not yet completed. The years budget is now spent/ear-marked, so if anyone has any plans, they will not be actioned until April 2018.
- Essex County Council are keen to give more money to the Tendring Rangers. They are trying to evolve work away from Chelmsford’s central office, and are trying to promote the Tendring Rangers. Steve Gove is the contact at Tendring District Council for this.
Councillor Russell mentioned that Steve Gove will be talking at the EALC meeting in January 2018. Councillor V Chapman stated that the Local Highways Panel was discussed at the EALC meting held last night, and several people were disappointed that the meeting times had changed. County Councillor Goggin reported that there is now a new Chairman for the LHP, and only 4 County Councillors sit on this panel, of which he is one of them.
- Been involved with two students who are unable to get their place at the Colne School.
- Had a request from a local resident to get the cycle path cleared. This was cleared by the Highway Rangers.
- School Crossing – There was an accident involving a student who was running across the road to catch a bus. He fell over and a car ran over him, breaking his ankle. Arranged a meeting with the new Headmaster, and would like to invite Councillors Howard, Smith, Judson to also attend. Essex County Council are looking to install a zebra crossing, but the school gates are in the wrong place, and the school have agreed to move their exit points.
- Been contacted by a local resident about the Quiet Lane System. Have referred them to Councillors Smith and Judson.
- Councillor Judson and I have walked Bellfield Avenue, to look at the state of the roads. Our findings have been sent into Highways.
- Received comments about the Library fines being doubled
- Held a surgery at the Library on Tuesday 18th July, and thanked Councillor Judson for also attending.
- Full Council Meeting on the 11th July, where the adoption of the Replacement Local Waste Plan took place. There were some modifications which the Inspector had asked to be included, and these were included. It has now gone forward to the Inspector and is thought to be sound and legally compliant. The plan is now with the Minister of Environment. The key issue will be in the planning, and these will be Tendring issues. There were seven questions which I was left with after the visit of Councillor Lissimore, six of which have been answered.
Councillor Smith asked County Councillor Goggin if he voted against the Waste Plan when it came to County. County Councillor Goggin replied no, there were no votes against, he deliberately abstained, as he wanted to make sure he would not be prejudiced against any discussions at future planning meetings. Councillor Smith asked about the letter that was sent out from Richard Greeves to local residents in the proximity of the proposed site. The letter was sent out on the 10th July and advises that the site would be considered on the 11th July, and thinks some people may think this is offensive. He asked if County Councillor Goggin could look into why the letter was sent out so late. A lengthy discussion took place.
The Mayor then asked if any members of the public had any questions for County Councillor Goggin.
Jenny Osborne – Regarding Eastern Waste Disposal, they already have a crushing machine on site. County Councillor Goggin replied that he does not know anything about recycling. They do have a crushing unit on site, but as he understands it, it is not big enough. Mrs Osborne then stated that Eastern Waste Disposal wrote to Essex County Council to say that they would be prepared to have the site in the field to do the crushing. We are now having large lorries coming in every day. I understand that Essex County Council have given Eastern Waste Disposal 24 hours to operate. The dust and noise is horrendous. County Councillor Goggin said that he understands how residents feel, and thought the operating hours were governed by Tendring District Council. He understands that there is a crushing unit at Ardleigh for larger items to be crushed. Mrs Osborne stated that once the items are crushed, they then get loaded onto lorries, which are driven down to the wharf. County Councillor Goggin stated that the roads are not suitable for this traffic.
Richard Price – The road out of Brightlingsea is now classed as an A road, but it is still a B road, there is nothing in writing. At your meetings there must some minuted information on this. County Councillor Goggin replied that the written note he has was from a Local Highway Panel meeting. It is not a A road, but is treated as an A road. He will let Mr Price have a copy.
Councillor Steady sated that the Council queried the hours of Eastern Waste Disposal back in 2007-2008 and these are dictated by Tendring District Council.
Tony Chapman asked if Ringway Jacobs are closing the Thorrington Depot. He said that there is a lot of activity moving a lot of stuff out and not putting much back in. County Councillor Goggin replied that he had not heard anything about this.
Councillor Smith asked about the meeting held with the Police and Crime Commissioner, where he mentioned about the opportunity to have an agreed number of visits of police per month. The Commissioner thought this was a good idea, but I have not had a reply from you yet. County Councillor Goggin replied that has not yet received a reply.
County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 8.14pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.
- TO RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THOSE MEMBERS EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE CURRENT PERIOD:
The Payments and Accounts for the period ending May and June 2017 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Howard as follows:
General Account Cheque No’s 706766 – 706791 in the sum of £5,328.24 for payment.
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £249,057.69
Employee payments paid for the month of May were £12,032.18
Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £218,640.46
Employee payments paid for the month of June were £12,504.82
Seconded by Councillor Barry. Agreed.
Councillor J Chapman asked if the 6 invoices outstanding at the end of May are included in the 10 invoices outstanding at the end of June. The Town Clerk replied she believed so but would need to check.
- TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
These questions are annexed to the Minutes.
- TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETINGS HELD ON 22nd JUNE AND 3RD JULY 2017 AND TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:
Councillor V Chapman proposed that the recommendations in the Minutes of 22nd June and 3rd July 2017 be agreed by Council, together with the planning decisions from Tendring District Council. Seconded by Councillor Ingate. Agreed.
- BRIGHTLINGSEA MUSIC FESTIVAL:
The Mayor briefed members that the Council had received a letter from a local resident of Hurst Green, concerning issues caused by the Music Festival. He stated that the letter had been copied to the Chairman of the Festival, and their reply had been copied to all Councillors.
Councillor Barry declared in interest in this item.
Councillor Barry mentioned the allegations in the letter, and briefed members on the response. He then went on to say that he hoped the committee’s reply had addressed the issues raised. Will Jenkins was invited to brief members. Will Jenkins stated that he had been involved with the Music Festival for many years, and all of the committee live in Brightlingsea. They want to work with residents, and hope that all issues have been addressed. He mentioned that they had been let down last year on a urinal unit, and have changed their supplier for this year. Last year there was an incident where somebody collapsed in one of the toilets, so this caused a problem with some of the units being out of action for a period of time. David Stone asked for the additional toilets not to be parked outside his house. He said that the Committee do not police the event, kids run round banging doors and climb on the units. The parking is not policed, people park for 2 or 3 days before the event. As residents you cannot get outside your house. When the fair was on Hurst Green – they were brilliant. There is not the constant noise all day long. The positioning of the stage makes the noise bounce around the green, and residents are fed up with it. Will Jenkins replied that he was sorry to hear of these problems, he said that they do not put the event on to cause problems with residents. Mr Stone replied that the festival should be moved back to the Western Promenade. Mr Jenkins replied that the festival moved due to the difficultly in managing of the Promenade site. The toilets are positioned outside the garage, as this is the least offensive position. A discussion took place. The Mayor thanked Mr Jenkins for attending the meeting.
- TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL – GUIDELINES FOR MEMBERS WHEN USING SOCIAL MEDIA:
The Mayor briefed members on the latest guidance for members when using Social Media from Tendring District Council, which had been circulated to all members. He asked members if they would like to accept this policy. Councillor J Chapman stated that she thought this policy should be accepted by the Town Council and stated that, as a Tendring District Councillor, they are governed by it. After discussion it was agreed that these guidelines should be taken back to the next Staff meeting for consideration.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:
Councillor Jayne Chapman – Essex County Council are set to stop the Falls Prevention Service. This is a group who advise elderly people on what they are doing wrong and how to reduce the risk of falls. Essex County Council Cabinet have decided that the Falls prevention Service should be de-commissioned as soon as possible.
OWL’s (Older Wider Link’s) are holding another mobility day in October (on a Sunday) and have asked whether the council would consider holding a surgery while here for the morning.
Councillor V Chapman asked Councillor J Chapman if occasionally other councillors could attend when meeting with the Police. Councillor J Chapman replied yes, but the police do not find it conducive. This meeting was set up as there had been issues in the town and the Grounds Manager had had problems/issues too.
Councillor Vivien Chapman – There has been an issue with a pipe on the grass car park, which has been fenced off for some time. Tendring District Council have now investigated and have now suggested that the pipe is capped off, and the area is monitored to see if any problems occur with water and flooding.
Attended the Beach Hut AGM, and answered questions in the absence of Mike Carran.
Had discussions with William Coulet of Exo-Environmental with regard to dredging the boating lake. Have discussed the matter with the Grounds Manager, and also the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Therefore she proposed that we accept the proposals and go ahead with the feasibility study. Councillor Steady stated that this is to do with the boating lake islands, and if we do not do anything, they will disappear. A discussion took place on why a feasibility study was required, or whether or not a contractor could be engaged to carry out the work, this saving the £2,999 for the study. It was then agreed that the proposal would be circulated to all members for consideration and the budget allocation would be confirmed.
The Mayor mentioned that members seem to be adding to their reports ad-hoc. He stated that Members need time to read the reports before the meeting, to enable questions to be answered, and reiterated the need to submit the reports in time, before the meting.
Councillor Barry – There have been two meetings of the swimming pool group, and also a meeting between members of the group and officials of Tendring District Council, prior to the pool opening. This meeting was very informative and had an exchange of views. The pool open day was a great success and there have been some good publicity generated. There is another meeting planned at the end of August to look at and review how the season has gone. The next stage is for a core group of people to start pursuing the feasibility of an asset transfer and being in a position to say to Tendring District Council by the end of the year what we want. He reiterated that there is a budget for the feasibility study.
Councillor J Chapman asked whether anyone had looked at the possibility of installing ‘advertising publicity boards’ around the pool. Councillor Barry said that this would be looked into. Councillor Smith asked if a date was in mind when a draft business plan might be in the public domain. Councillor Barry replied that the figures for the end of the season are not expected until sometime in October, once these figures are known, it is hoped that a plan will be available by the end of the financial year/beginning of the next financial year, and the committee would be in a position to bring a plan to the Council for consideration.
He mentioned that a visit had taken place to Beccles, and the committee has a copy of their business plan. A discussion took place.
Councillor Judson informed members that he had been monitoring the bollards, and they do not need cleaning at the moment. He has had discussions with County Councillor Goggin regarding Bellfield Avenue, which is in a shocking state. Councillor Steady had previously asked about the green areas of Bellfield Avenue and Close, which could possibly be turned over to parking, and he will therefore will be carrying out a survey of everyone in Bellfield Avenue/Close to see what their opinion is and see if there is a need for parking spaces.
The Mayor reiterated the need to put in written reports, so members can examine them and question them.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM MEMBER REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES:
Councillor Russell informed members that both she and Councillor V Chapman had received a copy of the booklet ‘Affordable Rural Housing, Practical Guide for Local Councils’, at the TDALC meeting they attended last evening. If anyone would like to see a copy, please ask. Also, every year the Essex County Council and Essex Association of Local Councils hold a joint Annual Conference in Gt Dunmow, and this year it is being held on the 19th September, doors open at 11am and the conference closes at 4.30pm. If anyone would like to attend, please let Councillor Russell know before the end of next week.
- TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Councillor Steady mentioned that he is arranging a meeting with Tendring District Council Chief Executive and Officers for Thursday 10th August at 1.30pm specifically to discuss Tendring issues in Brightlingsea. This follows on from a meeting held with the Chief Executive, where he was informed that Tendring are not working well in Brightlingsea. Councillor Barry asked if this meeting was open to all to attend. Councillor Steady replied no, only the Tendring District Councillors. Councillor J Chapman said that if any member had anything they would like mentioned at the meeting, to let the District Councillors know.
- TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:
2.1 Agreed that Fight Klub can hold a ‘taster’ session on the Western Promenade (where the car boot sales are usually held), on Tuesday 29th August from 5pm until 8pm. Permission was not granted for an ice cream van being at the event. Members felt that as there are two foot outlets in the area, they should be contacted about the possibility of staying open later to accommodate the guests at the event.
2.2 Please let the Clerk know if anyone would like to attend the next Countrywide Superfast Essex Parish Event on Tuesday 25th July.
2.3 Agreed to help towards the purchase of a set of lights (non-shatter proof) to be used in the spruce tree in Victoria Gardens.
2.4 As there are already two businesses on the Promenade, trying to survive, permission would not be given for a sweet trailer to be parked in the area.
- MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
- To receive the Staff Minutes from the meeting held on the 28th June 2017 and confirm as a correct record
- 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 Block. Agreed.
- PROPERTY UPDATE:
The Hard – The Mayor briefed members on the current position with the Land Registry. A discussion took place.
Councillor J Chapman as Chairman of Staff, stated that under Employment Law, the Town Clerk should not be dealing with the Brightlingsea Harbour Users as they are making many accusations about her. She works for us and should not deal with those members of the public until the legal situation has all been sorted out.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Councillor Steady, gave an overview of the Councils property portfolio. He then went through the items listed on the Property Update sheet, which had been circulated to all members.
Councillor V Chapman mentioned that she had spoken to Mr Poll of the Lakeside Caravan Park, and he stated that he is not selling at the moment, but will carry on for a few more years.
Councillor Steady mentioned the Asset Tour which has taken place on the 11th and 13th July, and mentioned the items on the Property update sheet. Councillor Russell asked if the P3 Partnership was still in existence. Councillor Steady he would liaise with ECC and TDC about a maintenance plan. He agreed to arrange another date for those who were unable to attend the earlier tour dates.
After discussion it was agreed that any recommendations contained with the Property update sheet would be taken to the next Finance Meeting for discussion.
- TO REVEIVE THE STAFF MINUTES FROM THE MEETING HELD ON THE 28TH JUNE 2017 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:
Councillor J Chapman declared an interest in the following item:
The Chairman mentioned that under item S108, the Grounds Manager would like to offer a 3 month temporary contract, instead of a 6 month temporary contract, as the work load reduces over the winter months. Also, Brenden Cardy will carry out lock-up duties on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Councillor Steady mentioned that he has, in the past, mentioned a councillors only brain storming session. He would like to have a discussion in the future, of staffing levels, and also mentioned that Councillors should attend training courses as well as staff. Also, there are pictures in the lobby of the Councillors, the staff pictures should be up there too.
The Minutes were accepted as a true record. Agreed.
- CLOSE OF MEETING:
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.54 p.m.
Chair …………………… Date 17th August 2017