Minutes of the Council Meeting held at

The Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on:

Thursday 20th September 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

 

Present:

Councillors

B Smith (Mayor)

G Steady (Deputy Mayor)

M Barry, I Block, J Chapman, D Dixon,

J Howard, D Ingate, M Judson

J Russell and K Yallop

 

In attendance:

Tracey Pulford –Town Clerk

County Councillor Alan Goggin

6 Members of the public

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor V Chapman.

 

  1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16TH AUGUST 2018 AND CONFIRM AS A CORRECT RECORD:

 

Councillor Russell proposed that the Minutes of the meeting held on the 16th August 2018 were accepted as a true record. Seconded by Councillor Yallop Agreed.

 

  1. MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

A copy of the Mayors Announcements are annexed to the minutes.

The Mayor briefed members on the meeting he attended with Jonathan Hamlet of TDC, and the Recycling Officer, and also the meeting with Mike Drake of the Litter Pickers.

The Mayor stated that he is holding a Coffee Morning on Saturday 6th October 10am until 12noon at the Parish Hall, and asked for donations of bric-a-brac, cakes, raffle prizes etc. He said that he also plans to hold another Coffee Morning later in October, at his house.

The Mayor asked is a Councillor would like to replace him on the Regatta Committee, which is getting ready for next years event. If anyone would like to take on this role, please let him know.

  1. DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

The Mayor reminded Members to declare interests when necessary.

  1. 5 MINUTE REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR GOGGIN AND QUESTIONS:

County Councillor Goggin reported on the following:-

  • Have approved a grant application for the YMCA for the Community Initiatives Fund.
  • Remind everyone that the Community Initiatives Fund is closing for 2018/2019 on 26th
  • Dealt with a street light repair from a resident in Eastern Road, which hadn’t been sorted for 4 months. Cannot take any credit for this, but the light is now working.
  • Attended a meeting at the Colne Community School about the proposed Zebra Crossing. He gave thanks to Councillors Judson, Howard and Block for also attending. He mentioned that the Interim Head, had promised something which he could not provide, as they had not technically taken over at that time.
  • Held a Clinic at the Library, and gave thanks to Councillor Judson for also attending. Three members of the public turned up, however he promoted use of the Library, and stated that in some areas Library’s are closing.
  • Since the last meeting the bus schedules from First have come out, for the new route. The negotiating group have managed to got 3 out of 4 requests – late evening, Sunday and Bank Holidays. We are still in negotiations with them about the clockwise and anti clockwise route. As a result of the bus schedule, a group has been set up, and if anyone needs to go to the hospital on a Sunday to visit a relative/friend, there are 52 volunteers who are willing to take anyone to hospital, at no cost.
  • Attended a meeting on September 17th at Chelmsford about a highway briefing.
  • The next Local Highways Panel meeting is October 25th.
  • The main thrust of the Local Highways Panel is going to be Casualty Reduction.
  • There is a new Direct Delivery Gang, which will be a gang of three in one vehicle, which will be carrying out quick, short, sharp fixes, on a quick repair basis.
  • More money will be spent locally, and some of the money could be given to Parishes for you to decide what is appropriate in your area.
  • Had a phone call from a resident complaining about a bus which had ‘out of service’ on it, and would not pick her up.
  • At the last meeting I had a question about Zebra Crossings. Sent that off to Essex County Council, together with the condition of the general road signs around Victoria Place and the Stop sign near the bus stop at Tesco’s.
  • Circulated a scheme from Essex County Council, who, in the past, did a bulk purchase of gas and electricity. They are now doing a similar scheme for Solar Panels.

 

The Mayor thanked County Councillor Goggin for his contribution in chasing up the white lining, as this is being carried out at the moment. He then mentioned a paper called Local Bus Service Assessment, which is on the Essex County Council web-site. He asked if the County Council has started its bus service assessment with regards to our route. County Councillor Goggin replied that he has had a similar request from residents and stated that there are around 70 routes in Essex which are subsidised. A discussion took place. County Councillor Goggin said that he would look into this assessment.

Councillor Barry asked how much money is available in the CIF Fund. County Councillor Goggin replied that he did not know, but the fund closes for applications on the 26th October. The Clerk said that she has sat on the judging panel for the CIF fund for a few years, and the total amount each year is around £120,000 and the limit for each application is £20,000.

The Mayor then asked for questions to County Councillor Goggin from members of the public.

There were no questions from the public.

  1. TO REVIEVE AND APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE MEETING HELD ON 18TH SEPTEMBER 2018 AND TO CONFIRM THE RECOMMENDAITONS THEREIN:

Councillor Steady highlighted Item F183 regarding the External Audit Report for 2017/2018, and also the comment from the External Auditor. Both of these give the Town Council a clean bill of health, and he gave thanks to the Staff for all their efforts in conducting the financial dealings of the council. He mentioned that over the past 2-3 years, comments have been made on how the council is run, but this clarifies the situation, and everything is as it should be.

Councillor Steady then proposed that the Minutes were accepted as a true record, and the recommendations (as written) be accepted:-

  • Food and Drink Festival – Due to the donation for last years event, which was considerably more than the normal rent paid, the hire charge for this year would be reduced to £250.00, and going forward, if the event is held in the future then the hire charge will be as per the Fun Fair. Also Councillors V Chapman and Howard make early contact to ascertain the status of the Food and Drink Festival going forward.
  • Grants – (1) Family Support is awarded a grant of £400.00 towards the cost of a new freezer, on condition that the freezer is kept in Brightlingsea, and they approach other Town Councils in the area they cover for funding. (2) The Colne Yacht Cub can use the Town Hard for its Firework Event, however, due to the limited funds available, the Town Council is only able to offer a grant of £100.00 towards the cost of the fireworks. (3) A reply is given stating that as our local businesses support the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance with collection boxes on shop counters, Council property is used at the Rotary Club’s Jog Walk Run event, at no charge, the Charity Shop in the High Street also raises funds for the Air Ambulance, in this instance the Council are unable to assist with any funding at this time. We would, however, consider any future application at the opportune time.
  • Feet on the Street of Brightlingsea – The Town Council would be prepared to offer £2,500 towards the scheme, on the condition that £2,500 is also given from both Tendring District Council and Essex Police. Also, any figures that are produced, are given like for like.
  • Screen Network – Before the Town Council can commit to the Digitown scheme, we would require to see evidence that it would work, and also how many people would take up the scheme.
  • Special Expenses – There are no changes to Special Expenses for 2019/2020, however the Clerk to contact TDC about the Swimming Pool to see if it should be included.
  • Internal Audit Report 2018 – The Council accepts the report and follow up any recommendations made by the Internal Auditor.
  • 2017/2018 External Auditor Report – The External Auditors comments are noted.
  • 2018/2019 Internal Auditor – The Council re-appoints Mr Maurice Howard as the Councils Internal Auditor for 2018/2019.
  • The Councils Standing Orders would be updated and these would be available for the October council meeting for ratification.
  • The Town Clerk would contact Fisher Jones Greenwood Solicitors about a standard lease for the Playcentre.

The Minutes were seconded by Councillor Block. Agreed.

  1. 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 2018 (as shown on the attached appendix) were proposed by Councillor Russell as follows:

General Account Cheque No’s 707123 – 707146 in the sum of £26,738.68 for payment.

Bank Balances – All Accounts – in the sum of £182,240.81

Employee payments paid for the month of August were £13,470.08

 

The accounts were then seconded by Judson. Agreed.

  1. TO RECEIVE QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:

 

These questions are annexed to the Minutes.

 

County Councillor Goggin left the meeting at 20.02 pm to attend the Council Meeting at St Osyth.

 

  1. TO ADOPT THE “GUIDANCE FOR DEALING WITH PERSISTENT, VEXATIOUS AND UNREASONABLE COMPLAINANT BEHVIOUR” POLICY:

Councillor Steady briefed members on the draft guidance. He stated that it is guidance for staff, councillors and any member of the public. Councillor J Chapman said that she has no problem with the policy, but was under the impression that all policies go to a Staff Meeting first, then to Full Council for adoption. A discussion took place. It was then proposed by Councillor Steady that the draft policy is adopted, and when it is updated by Tendring District Council, the Town Council’s policy is updated accordingly. Seconded by Councillor Yallop.

A vote was taken – For – 10, Abstention -1. Carried.

087      TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR CCC’S (COUNCILLOR CONTACT AND CO-ORDINATORS):

 

Councillor Steady briefed members that with the local Elections coming up next year, there could be changes in the constitution of the council, it would be good to have a document stating what each CCC does. A discussion took place.

Councillor Steady then proposed that each Councillor prepares its own Terms of Reference, and this comes back to Full Council to finalise. A deadline was given for the Terns of Reference’s to be drafted of 01.01.19.   Seconded by Councillor Yallop.

A vote was taken: For – 10, Abstention – 1. Carried.

  1. TO NOTE PLANNING DECISIONS OF TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL:

Councillor Dixon informed members that there were no minutes to approve, but only planning decisions to note from Tendring District Council. The Mayor mentioned the Jet Ski Pontoon, and stated that the objection date has now passed, but we will keep everyone informed.

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM COUNCILLORS CONTACT CO-ORDINATORS:

Councillor Yallop – The new web-site has gone live today and looks very good. It is friendlier to use and get around. It states what the Town Council is responsible for, and what Tendring District Council and Essex County Council are responsible for.   Also under another section you can report pot holes and fix my street. The Mayor mentioned that he visited the new web-site today, but some pages came up with an error 404. Councillor Yallop said that it is still work in progress, but she would liaise with web-master about this error.

Councillor Block mentioned the item in his CCC report on Mill Street, and informed members that the Clerk was going to look into this.

Following an accident with a First Bus in Station Road, the Police have suggested that double yellow lines are installed on one side of the road in Station Road, from the toilets to the Co-Op, as the buses are having difficulty getting through, as are lorries etc. Councillor J Chapman said that she attended the recent accident, and the Police stated that the double parking along this section of the road has to stop. Councillor Russell said that the yellow lines should go to the end of the terraced houses, just before the Co-Op. All Agreed.

Councillor Barry stated that he gave a presentation to the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, however he wished to pay tribute to the Lido Manager, Will Jenkins, whose 6 month contract has come to an end, and stated that as a Council, we made a big financial commitment to the Lido project, and it has been repaid, not just in cash, but there have been a lot of community benefits. We employed 16 lifeguards and a manager, had a rota of volunteers, and the town has had recognition nationally and locally. The added that the value return has been worth while. He thanked everyone for supporting the Lido, stating that it was a big risk that has paid off. He again thanked Will Jenkins, and thanked everyone who supported the Lido during the year. Councillor Howard said that we should be thanking you, as you have put in so much hard work. Agreed.

Councillor Steady asked for an update on Bellfield Avenue, the report on pot holes, bus stops, and liaison with the old part of the town regarding the traffic flow. Councillor Block said that this was before his time as CCC for Transport and Highways, and he knows nothing on any of these. Councillor Judson stated that Bellfield Avenue is an on-going problem, and more evidence is needed. He stated that the road was inspected, and the conclusion was that it does not require repair at the moment. He said that he and County Councillor Goggin are trying to build up evidence, and as soon as they can arrange a meeting with Mr Grundy, they will do so.

Councillor Steady mentioned Councillor V Chapman’s report on the Western Promenade. He stated that he has explained to Councillor Chapman that the skate park was originally put into the SuFuse scheme, taken out, but then put back in.

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

No reports submitted.

  1. TO RECEIVE REPORTS SUBMITTED FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:

Councillor Yallop – On the 3rd September attended a Community Leadership and Scrutiny Committee with a Doctor Mike Gogarty – Director of Wellbeing and Public Health. Clacton has the highest cases of mental health issues in the Country. A discussion took place. Councillor Yallop also attended the Cabinet Meeting on the 14th regarding the toilets.

Councillor Howard spoke about Councillor Steady report, and highlighted that the £130,000 for the Western Promenade is coming out of S106 money, not from Tendring District Council’s budget. Councillor Steady replied that, at our request, they are withholding the money, in case they cannot access grants.

The Mayor reiterated a comment made a the Finance meeting, that it is perfectly legal for Tendring District Council to spend the 106 money, subject to the conditions. There is no obligation legally for them to pass it to Brightlingsea Town Council for us to spend as we wish.

  1. TO RECEIVE THE TOWN CLERK’S REPORT:

3.1 Agreed Brightlingsea Town Council have no objections to the TRAF/6818 proposal to introduce ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ restrictions on Station Road, Brightlingsea, as detailed in the letter from Essex Highways dated 29.8.18.

Councillor J Chapman declared an interest in the following item:-

3.2 Agreed Brightlingsea Town Council have no objection to the Temporary Road Closure for Late Night Shopping on Friday 7th December 2018, from 1600hrs to 2030hrs.

3.3 This item had been cancelled.

The Mayor informed members that the Community Association has won an award of £1,000 towards their Cinema. A lot of credit goes to Hilary Scott for putting in the application.

3.4 Agreed Brightlingsea Town Council have no objection to the proposed (unchanged) polling facilities in Brightlingsea.

Councillor J Chapman mentioned that at the last Elections, someone in an electric mobility scooter was denied access to the Community Centre for voting, and asked Councillor Smith to bring this up with the Staff at the Community Centre.

3.5 Agreed Brightlingsea Town Council should express an interest in being involved in a pilot scheme with Essex County Council on the condition that there is similar arrangements for finance to be devolved as well as responsibility for the service.

Councillor Steady mentioned that the Town Council is already successful in taking on loss making facilities, i.e. the Lido, and turning them into profit.

The Mayor informed members that he is going into hospital on the 16th October, which is two days before the next Council Meeting. He hopes to be up and well enough to Chair the next Council meeting on the 18th, however if not, he will leave members in the capable hands of the Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Smith moved, in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) 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.

 

  1. MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 – To discuss the following:
  • Property Update
  • Staff Update

 

  1. PROPERTY UPDATE:

 

Councillor Steady briefed members on the following:-

 

Lakeside Caravan Park – the lease has been signed, and returned to the Solicitors today.

 

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – Still waiting for a response from our Property Agents.

 

  1. STAFF UPDATE:

 

Councillor J Chapman briefed members that she did not feel it was necessary to call a staff meeting, and discussed the following:-

 

Assistant to Grounds Manager – The three month trial is now complete, and we would like to issue a permanent contract. After discussion it was agreed to issue the member of staff with a permanent contract. Agreed.

 

 

Councillor Yallop declared an interest in the following item:-

Archivist/Administrative Assistant – The three months rolling contract is up for renewal. After discussion it was agreed to renew the contract for a further three months. Agreed by all present, with one abstention.

 

Gate keeper – Is also doing one day a week Groundsmen Work and weekends, together with usual lockup. The summer contract for the lock up comes to an end in October, and goes to only lock up at the weekend. If everyone is happy, he will be back with us March next year on his 22hrs a month Gate Keeper duties. Agreed.

 

  1. CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.49 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Chair ……………………   Date 18th October 2018