Report from Council Representatives on the Outside Bodies:

 

Councillor Vivien Chapman

Janet Russell and I attended the ECC and EALC Annual Joint Conference and EALC 72nd AGM on Tuesday, 19th September at Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow.

 

Cllr. John Jowers, as President of the EALC, chaired the meeting.

 

During the usual business meeting, a proposal that the EALC proportion of the Affiliation Fee be increased by 1.9%, was agreed. NALC are exxpect4ed to set their fee at 1.9%.

 

Maurice Howard was approved as Auditor again (good to know that BTC has his expertise as well).

 

Loughton Town Council put forward a motion regarding Poor Air Quality and asked that all tiers of Councils, should work to lessen air pollution in whatever way possible, including using environmentally friendly works vehicles, plant and machinery. This motion was approved in principle, leaving Councils to find ways of achieving it.

 

Joy Darby CEO of EALC gave an overview of the work of the EALC for the past year. We had an up-date from NALC but not from SLCC.

 

John Jowers said that ECC has had to save £600.m., per annum over the last few years.

 

John Gili-Ross, Chairman of EALC, said that everyone should be getting their neighbourhood plans in place, once Local Plans are confirmed by Districts and Boroughs. It will give Town and Parish Councils more clout when looking at planning applications. He said we mustn’t under-estimate ourselves, and don’t just accept what Districts/Boroughs say, but kick back if we are not happy with applications, as we know what residents want or don’t want and we know our towns and villages far better than higher tiers do.

 

After an excellent buffet lunch, the Conference was Chaired by Cllr. Simon Walsh – Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste. Questions were asked about the closure of waste disposal sites and about Fly Tipping. We were advised that the mobile library service is being reviewed now with a view to reducing mobile units from nine down to two. Static libraries will be reviewed next year.

 

We heard from Cllr. Gagan Mohindra – Deputy to Cabinet Member for Growth, Skills, Infrastructure and Digital Economy on Working with Essex County Council.

This was followed by a presentation from The Plunkett Foundation regarding Community Ownership – particularly pubs which have been bought and run by local communities, which house shops, post offices as well as eating and drinking facilities.

We then heard about Crowd Funding from a representative from Spacehive.

 

Before the meeting closed, several awards and certificates were presented to Councils who have gained foundation, Quality or Gold status, and for projects run by Councils for their community.

I brought information leaflets and books back with me which I have given to the Town Clerk, if anyone would like to take a look.

It was a good meeting, with a chance to meet other Councillors and representatives from affiliated and interested bodies.

I was unable to attend the TDALC Meeting on Wednesday, 20th September, but Janet may have a report.

 

Councillor Janet Russell

TDALC will be hearing from the Chief Executive of EALC Wednesday, 20th September, on the matter in Item 9 of BTC agenda – visitors are welcome at TDALC Meetings.  7.30 pm at Beaumont Village Hall.

 

The other main item for that meeting will be Planning – we hope with reference to the Garden Communities proposed.