Minute Number 077 – Questions from the Public.
Q1) Councillor Barry has attended a committee meeting on Climate Change. When it is in full swing can he keep us updated every month? Councillor Barry replied yes, it is very early days and the first meeting was last week. It is clear that there is a varied mix of knowledge on the committee, and there is a certain direction which they want to take. They want to engage consultants to access the carbon footprint in the Tendring Area, and have allocated an overall budget of £150,000.
Q2) Question on the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) – The council met on the 27th June to approve the figures, and it is a requirement that this document is publically available on the Council’s web-site by the 30th September. I cannot find this on the web-site. The Town Clerk replied that the External Auditor contacted the Council on Tuesday 17th September, and that the relevant notice and sections of the AGAR would be posted on the notice board and web-site tomorrow (20th September 2019).
Q3) Also regarding the AGAR, the Council reported on part 1 that the answers given to questions 1-8 were yes, and question 9 not applicable, Question 9 is asking whether there are any trusts or charitable trusts which the council is wholly responsible for and maintaining. Are we saying that we have no charitable trusts? The Mayor replied that this is correct, the Springmead Trust is separate to the Town Council, and is a stand alone trust.
Q4) The Environmental Policy mentioned by the Planning Committee, can we see a copy? Councillor Smith mentioned that he had circulated it to the Planning committee and was waiting for their comments. As soon as comments have been received, a 2nd draft will be circulated to all councillors and members of the public. It will be a public document.
Q5) Question to Councillor Chapman – In your report under Regeneration you state:- “Applied for a grant from Community Reach for a Billy Goat road sweeper and cleaner, unfortunately we were not successful with the statement coming back to us that this should be purchased and paid for by County and District Councils. We felt that if the County and District Councils were doing the job that should be done, we would not need to apply to get our own machines. It was sad to hear that most of the committee were Councillors..” Firstly, we didn’t say that, what we said was “Following your recent application to us for a ‘Billy Goat’ Street Cleaner Machine unfortunately this does not comply with the original EEDA recommendations that we adhere to in Community Reach. We would suggest you contact Tendring District Council or Essex County Council who may be able to help in this situation.” So we did not say what is reported. My question is that you say it is sad to hear that most of the Committee are Councillors, somehow that leaves a rather unpleasant taste with us. For anyone who does not know, Community Reach has always had Councillors on the committee. One of the first organising groups was me, when I was not a Councillor, Darren Barrenger when he was the Mayor, and Des Rowson. The make-up of this group did not worry anyone when we put £60,000 into the foot ferry; £30,000 into Springmead Gardens; £30,000 into Springmead House; £45,000 into the basketball court; £15,000 into youth shelters; £12,000 into the Farmers markets; £16,000 into the Music Festival; helped with the extension to the Parish Hall, and started the small grants. There has always been Councillors on the committee. At the moment there are 5 people on the Committee, one is a Village Councillor from Alresford, one a Town and District Councillor, and myself – a County Councillor. My question to you is what significance is there in the comment that “it was sad to hear that most of the committee were Councillors.” Councillor Chapman replied that perhaps it was slightly worded wrong but the comment was told to her that perhaps this should be funded by the County or District, particularly as it came from the man who is in charge of Recycling. We will agree to differ on this, but it was reported verbally back to her.
Councillor Barry stated that he would like to follow this up, and will write to Community Reach as he believes it is an almost dormant organisation.
Q6) You applied to Community Reach for a grant, how many other people did you apply to a grant for? The Mayor stopped this question, as in doing so referred to the councils standing orders.
Alan Goggin then presented a cheque for £500.00 to the Lido from Community Reach, and thanked them for the way they applied for the grant, and wished them well for the future. A round of applause was given.