COUNCIL MEETING – 16TH JANUARY 2020
Minute Number 138 – Questions from the Public.
Q1) Haven Village – what is happening about the lease; the bonfires that have been lit in the middle of the park; our post has been stopped, and general upkeep of the grounds are disgusting. I want to know what is being done about it.
A1) The Mayor replied that regarding the lease we are up to the Heads of Terms, which is with their Solicitors. We have taken up the bonfire issue, and have e-mailed Mr Hammerton about this. The resident added that they should have had the new leases in December. The Mayor replied that both Solicitors have the Heads of Terms, and we are waiting for these to be confirmed. The resident asked why the Council is giving Mr Hammerton all this time, and allowing him to push you around? Councillor Barry added that he has been involved in discussions with Mr Hammerton and both Solicitors, and he shares the residents frustration. He added that we have to do things formally, properly and legally as a council. We have set deadlines and Mr Hammerton has not met them, but unfortunately there is no action we can take to force the issue. We have had a series of meetings, and set clear time scales, and the council shares the complete and utter frustration and disbelief with the obstacles put in our way. We wanted to issue an ultimatum, but our legal advice was that we would lose any court hearing. He added that the Council has to be guided by our legal advisers, and assured the resident that we are on the case. The Mayor reiterated that the Council has held public meetings, and tonight a cheque for £1,800 has been signed to our Solicitors covering professional costs for the Leisure Village. The resident asked when is the likelihood that they will get their leases? The Mayor replied that the council has set a deadline of the end of February 2020, and he is aware that Mr Hammerton is looking for a more updated lease for his tenants. He added that until a new lease is signed, you are covered under the conditions of the old lease. Councillor Howard stated that she understood their frustrations, and asked what the issue is with the post. Councillor Chapman replied that they have stopped the delivery of the post. Councillor Beckett advised about the lease and that the terms would automatically transfer to a rolling lease.
Q2) There is much talk in the media about Climate Change. However, while we in Brightlingsea, where its Town Council cannot change the world, maybe there are one or two things that we may be able to do in small way. What plans does Brightlingsea Town Council have to carry out tree planting and to support tree planting in the community?
A2) The mayor replied that the Town Council has adopted an Environmental Policy, since 9 years ago, we have planted approximately 900-1,000 trees in Gravel Field, the Lozenge and other areas in the towns, so we have been planting trees for the last 10 years. Councillor Smith mentioned that the Council has adopted an Environmental Policy, which is on the web-site, and we have invited comments, and amended the policy as necessary. The resident congratulated the Town Council for what they have carried out already, and said that it should be publicised more. The Mayor and Councillor Smith replied that statements have been made, and been out to consultation and copies have been put on the web-site. Councillor Barry added that at Tendring District Council there is a Climate Change Working Party, which he currently sits on. It is hoped that when a report is submitted to the Council, there will be some recommendations for Town & Parish Councils. There is also an Essex Initiative for Tree Planting and Tendring planted 1,500 trees before Christmas. It is small steps but we are moving in the right direction.
Q3) You have the consultants for Climate Change – how much has it cost?
A3) Councillor Barry replied that the consultants fees were £34,500. He did say that he was against it in the start, but the tender they put in, they are a not for profit organisation, have vast experience working with the public sector, and are a very impressive consultancy. Councillor Smith declared an interest in this item. Councillor Barry said that this is a big chunk out of the £150,000 budget which the leader committed to but he was persuaded, it was money well spent, they are going to assess the actual footprint and look at all different measures, and a lot of those recommendations will be transferable to Town and Parish Councils.
Q4) Is there is any possibility of timed parking outside the bakers, similar to the other side of the road, as you can only stop for 1/2 hour?
A4) Councillor Chapman said that she has brought this up before, but it has to come from the Town Council to the Local Highways Panel. The Mayor asked Councillor Beckett to look into this.