Reports from Tendring District Councillors –Agenda No. 12

Council Meeting 21st August  2014

 

Councillor Alan Goggin

  • Last full Council TDC meeting 1 July.  Next scheduled for September 9.  Agenda not available yet.  One item likely to be discussed is the legality of TDC’s scheme for rate payments from certain groups and the residency clause.
  • Aug 7 – Attended good meeting at Brightlingsea  with TDC recycling officer.  Several Councillors attended too.  Each will have own feedback.   Difficult position as the District and County are trying to change residents’ attitudes towards recycling.  Not easy.  Many people just not interested.  Campaign built around encouraging rather than legislating.
  • The new additional green waste collection service is now being offered in Brightlingsea by TDC after having been tested in other areas.  To date we were told that over 80 had signed up!  Encouraging.  We are lucky to have such a wide choice now.  Different schemes will suit individual preferences.  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.
  • As reported at the last council meeting (July 17) the next day (18th) there was a meeting to discuss potential improvements by TDC to the paddling pool.  What appears to be a straightforward request and exercise turns out to be a bit of a nightmare.  The rules have changed dramatically over the last few years.  We need to get permissions after investigations and consultations because of :-
  1.  The Marine Conversation Zone
  2. It’s a Special area of conservation – Natural England
  3. Biodiversity action plan
  4. It’s a special protection area
  5. It’s a Environmentally sensitive area
  6. Need to prove that any mud taken away was not contaminated
  7. A waste licence may be needed

The end result was a commitment to start the process ASAP.

It would be good if we can agree as a Council (BTC) that it is a priority for us a far as local use and tourism is concerned.  Can I ask for it to be discussed soon.

  • Fantastic numbers at the pool during great weather.  Everybody appears to be very pleased.  Well done to all involved.
  • Attended locality Board meeting July 24.  I chased updates on 106 money from ECC for waterside.  See earlier notes.
  • In my role as Finance portfolio holder I have encouraged an application to the Big Society fund on behalf of the Bowls club.  Appears a sound bid.  Meeting September 5 will decide if it passes phase 1. May be other possible options which Cllr Steady and I are reviewing.
  • Even though we have produced balanced budgets saving £5.5 million over the last 3 years I – as portfolioholder, am currently looking at how to reduce 2015/16 budget by another £2 million.  Knock on effect is BTC & TDC working together to identify savings on expenditure and increases in income streams.  Never easy and tough measures needed this time round.
  • 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. Spoke to David Hall the relevant officer and a meeting is to be arranged to discuss this issue.

Councillor J Chapman and myself attended the briefing on the Tendring Local Plan’s Vision and Strategy meeting on the 8th July.  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.