Reports from Tendring District Councillors –Agenda No. 12

Council Meeting 17th July  2014

 

Councillor Jayne Chapman

Attended a Human Resources meeting on Monday 7th July.

 

An update on Apprenticeships from the work based learning Manager Debianne Messenger was given.

 

Health and Wellbeing update.  There has been a decrease in the sickness absence, but was noted that there was an increase in Stress and Depression cases.

 

Two Ticks Disability Symbol Accreditation.  TDC has been awarded the use of two ticks symbol by Job Centre plus for the 18th year.  The council values the “equality of individuals” the two ticks accreditation show that they are supporting prospective and current staff that have disabilities.

 

The Living Wage.  Over the last two years TDC has been moving towards the Living Wage.  In 2013/2014 the council removed points 4-6 on the pay bands and in 2014/2015 the council removed a further point, making the starting pay spinal column 8

 

A new payroll software system is being rolled out over the next few months.

 

Councillor Alan Goggin

  • Last full Council meeting 1 July.  One item discussed a possible protest letter to Essex County Council about lights being turned off to save money.  I voted for ensuring that safeguards are in place to “switch on” in any areas acknowledged to be needy by residents, police, ambulance etc.  We must make sure that in Brightlingsea if there are any special areas of concern that ECC are informed and possible changes considered.  To date I personally have not had any areas identified.
  • Another ECC issue discussed was a protest letter about the increases to meals on wheels service.  Passed.  Not sure how many Brightlingsea residents take advantage but from personal experience I know that there are good and often cheaper options available.
  • The new green waste collection service is now being offered in Brightlingsea by TDC after having been tested in other areas.  Be interesting to see how many sign up.  Initial set up fee of £25 will get set up with brown wheelie bin.  Then £50 per annum gets 25 fortnightly collections.  A good addition to the options including several commercial alternatives.  One size will not fit all and it is good to have a choice available.  Hope that it works.
  • Attended with several local councillors the official handover of the new Council houses in Brightlingsea.  Some uncomfortable comments on local social media site.  In my opinion not representative of general feeling regarding the first Council houses built in the area for some years and in conjunction with the policy of providing local houses for local people initiative.
  • Delighted to see that the swimming pool issue is being resolved.  I know of at least 4 councillors who were involved in discussions and even testing the water.  Shows what can be achieved with dialogue.
  • I personally am involved with meetings at TDC regarding potential improvements to the paddling pool and toilets.  The Mayor and MSR is aware and has already contributed greatly.  Watch this space!
  • Next locality Board meeting July 24.  As an attendee I will chase 106 money from ECC for waterside.  See earlier notes from last months report..
  • As always I would be interested to hear from any Councillors or residents with ideas about generating and saving money in the district.   The cabinet meet formally or informally every week and if there are any Brightlingsea Issues that you would like me to especially raise please feel free to ask.  Informally every week as well as formally every 3 / 4 weeks and I will be pleased to represent any views which have merit.

 

Councillor Graham Steady

Attended full Council Meeting on the 1st July.  Two interesting motions were debated, both concerning Essex County Council and voted on.  These being (1) the turning off of the street lights by Essex County Council and (2) the proposed increase in the cost of the ‘meals on wheels’ service.

(1)  It has transpired that full public consultation on the scheme was never comprehensively carried out.  Also the cost has been put at 6.5m increasing to 8m on the equipment needed.  The return on the investment was going to be 4 years, but is now 6-7 years.  Apparently the equipment only has a  life span of 10 years.  The savings by turning the lights off in Tendring equates to £127,000 a year, which is 4p per week for every Council tax payer.  Jayne and myself voted for the motion, but it was lost on the Chairman’s casting vote.

(2)  This motion was carried whereby comments would be sent to Essex County Council, requesting them not to increase the cost of this service.  Jayne and myself voted for the motion.

Attended Corporate Management Meeting on 16th June where we had a presentation from the LGA (Local Government Association) representative, which hopefully will lead to more focused discussions regarding the work of the Corporate Management Committee in the future.  The Rural Projects Panel made a presentation to the committee, concerning Solar panels.  There is a concern about the approach to renewable energy i.e. Solar Farms.  The recommendation which the committee made to cabinet is:

1)    Solar Farms be on brown field sites or poor quality land

2)    The council and Essex County Council encourage applications for solar farms on their own estates, industrial areas or publicly owned land

3)    Guidance on preventing clustering of solar farms in rural parishes or in close proximity to private property which is not part of the application and that such developments be at least a minimum of 250 metres from any dwelling property.

Made representations to Portfolio Holder reference grass cutting in the Town.  I did send photos and copies to the e-mails to everybody. I am still waiting for an answer from the relevant Portfolio Holders.

Spoke at the Planning Meeting on 24th June regarding the Church road application.  The plans were passed, but with more conditions and also the two opposing groups agreed to meet to ensure a smooth redevelopment.

Councillor J Chapman and myself attended the briefing on the Tendring Local Plan’s Vision and Strategy meeting on the 8th July.  A copy of the notes are attached.  From the Brightlingsea point of view, although Tendring have got to increase the building of new homes from 5,000 to 12,000, we will not be required to up our original allocation.