MINUTES of the Annual Council Meeting held on Zoom on Monday 17 August 2020 at 7.00pm Chair Approved
Present: Cllr Booth (Chair), Cllr Tile, Cllr Evans, Cllr Needham, Cllr Wenaden, Maurice Howard (RFO) Jo Beighton-Emms (Town Clerk), Emma Buckley and two members of the public.
Public Questions; None
ACM/08.20/01 Apologies for absence: Cllr Boughton, Cllr Newton, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Nash, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Read, Cllr Maltby, CBC Cllr Cory, ECC Cllr Young and Peter Kay.
ACM/08.20/02 Declarations of interest; None.
ACM/08.20/03 Mayor’s Opening Remarks; Cllr Booth expressed his thanks for the councillor’s support for him becoming mayor this year. He reported that Wivenhoe Town Council had received a Colchester Borough Council Community Recognition Award for its’ assistance in the Covid-19 crisis. He thanked the staff for their hard work on behalf of all of the councillors.
ACM/08.20/04 Minutes of the previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2020 were proposed by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Wenaden and approved as an accurate record of proceedings.
ACM/08.20/05 To agree the minutes of the Extraordinary Full Town Council meeting held on 8
July 2020; The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2020 were proposed by Cllr Evans, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved by all as an accurate record of proceedings.
ACM/08.20/06 Committees: Structure and appointment of members:
The councillors agreed membership of the committees as follows; (NB Cllr Read, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Nash, Cllr Newton and Cllr Luxford-Vaughan had informed the Town Clerk of their intentions ahead of the meeting)
a. Planning- Cllr Read, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Aldis and Cllr Tile
b. Personnel- Cllr Read, Cllr Newton, Cllr Nash and Cllr Tile
c. Finance & Administration- Cllr Newton, Cllr Tile, Cllr Read and Cllr Nash
d. Estates (Open Spaces)- Cllr Evans, Cllr Nash, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Tile and Cllr Needham
e. Estates (Properties)- Cllr Tile, Cllr Newton, Cllr Nash and Cllr Booth
f. Environment & Sub-Committee; Health & Wellbeing- Cllr Evans, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Aldis, Cllr tile, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Wenaden and Cllr Needham
ACM/08.20/07 Working Groups: Structure and appointment of members
a. Cllr Evans proposed that the WLH, Minibus and Museum Working Groups report to the Estates (Properties) Committee, this was seconded by Cllr Tile with all in favour.
b. Cllr Needham proposed that the Allotments WG reports to the Estates (Open Spaces) Committee, this was seconded by Cllr Wenaden with all in favour.
c. Cllr Evans proposed that a new Working Group- Funding, Engagement & Youth Working Group is formed (incorporating previous groups Youth and Communications), this was seconded by Cllr Wenaden with all in favour.
Members of all working groups were agreed as follows:
o WLH- Cllr Evans & Cllr Wenaden. No report
o Minibus- Cllr Booth. Cllr Booth confirmed that the minibus is available for use by groups who are in ‘bubbles’.
o Museum- Cllr Aldis. No report.
o Allotments- Cllr Evans. Cllr Needham reported that he is President of WAGA.
o Office & Yard- Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Booth, Cllr Tile, Cllr Newton, Cllr Evans. Town Clerk to arrange a meeting soon
o Skatepark- Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Booth. The Town Clerk reported that the survey for public engagement was being drafted.
o Funding, Engagement & Youth- Cllr Evans, Cllr Needham, Cllr Wenaden. Cllr Wenaden suggested that Cllr Maltby would like to join this group.
It was agreed that the Town Clerk would request membership from those councillors not in attendance.
The Chair suggested that Cllr Liddy provided his report at this point so that he could then leave the meeting
The councillors considered a previously circulated report from Cllr Liddy, which is attached as Appendix A.
Cllr Liddy confirmed that wheelie bins would be put in place on a selective basis dependent on location in the town. CBC are waiting on evidence from other wards. Cllr Evans asked what the advantages are. Cllr Liddy said that they have greater capacity and also that they are easier to manage for the staff.
Cllr Wenaden queried the point made about Cllr Cory. Cllr Liddy confirmed that this was about Bernard Jenkin MP and no disrespect was intended.
Cllr Needham welcomed the support for the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Liddy explained the reasons for the objection CBC to Bradwell B. These are that renewable energy is cheaper and is less capital intensive. Also, that once nuclear power has been used the fuel rods must be stored indefinitely and there is the moral issue of future generations being saddled with the cost.
Cllr Wenaden queried whether action is being taken about the lack of social distancing in local pubs. Cllr Liddy said that all complaints are being taken seriously and are being dealt with by CBC Cllr Mike Lilley, Communities, Well Being & Public Safety.
Cllr Liddy left the meeting at 19.40.
ACM/08.20/08 Representatives on other bodies
The Council agreed upon the following representatives;
CALC- Town Clerk
Civil Protection- Cllr Broughton
Public Transport Representative- Peter Kay
Community Safety Group & Speedwatch- Cllr Booth
Wivenhoe Society- Cllr Needham. Dilly Meyer confirmed as the new Chair
Colne Estuary Partnership- Cllr Evans, Cllr Booth and Cllr Tile
Wivenhoe Housing Trust- Cllr Read and Cllr Needham
Wivenhoe & District Sporting Facilities Trust- Cllr Wenaden
Wivenhoe in Bloom- Fran Richards(tbc)
Communications Officer- Town Clerk & Cllr Evans
Cllr Needham reported that there was little funding available for tree wardens and that he had had difficulty in contacting the national body. Also, that this will fall under the Environment Committee.
ACM/08.20/09 Subscriptions. The councillors considered the list of subscriptions which were
previously circulated and are attached as Appendix B.
Cllr Evans queried what benefits the council received by membership to the Community Transport Association. Emma Buckley said that this was for the minibus but that she would seek confirmation of the benefits.
The list of subscriptions was proposed by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Evans and approved by all, subject to this further information.
ACM/08.20/10 Review and adopt the following;
a) The Council’s Standing Orders- These had been previously circulated. The Town Clerk clarified the three suggested changes.
b) The Council’s Code of Conduct- previously circulated.
The updated Standing Orders and Code of Conduct were proposed by Cllr Evans, seconded by Cllr Needham and approved by all for adoption by the Council.
ACM/08.20/11 Report from Members of County and Borough Councils;
a. The council considered a previously circulated report from ECC Cllr Young which is attached as Appendix C.
b. The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Cory which is attached at Appendix D.
Cllr Evans queried the reference to a waste survey and asked the Town Clerk to see clarification. He said that he would draft a letter to be sent to CBC regarding efficiencies that could be made.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan had not provided a report.
For Cllr Liddy’s report see above.
c. Peter Kay had not provided a report. Cllr Tile suggested that the council should consult on the NEPP report. Cllr Wenaden queried issues regarding the return of the school buses. The Town Clerk confirmed that Cllr Luxford-Vaughan had been involved in these issues with ECC.
ACM/08.20/12 Co-option- An update from the Chair and the Town Clerk
The councillors considered the process previously used. Cllr Tile reported on the
option for new councillors to be subject to a three month trial. Cllr Wenaden said that the process must be transparent and a policy is required. This was agreed by all.
The councillors considered the skills that were required.
Cllr Needham suggested that an advert was drafted and the policy worked on in the meantime to prevent delay.
Cllr Needham proposed that the council proceed to co-opt on this basis. This was seconded by Cllr Tile and voted for by a majority
ACM/08.20/13 Town Clerk’s Report
The council considered the previously circulated report which is attached as Appendix
The Town Clerk was congratulated on attaining the CiLCA qualification.
Cllr Needham proposed that Wivenhoe Town Council meet the criteria to hold
the General Power of Competence. This was seconded by Cllr Tile, with all in favour.
The Town Clerk to check the criteria required for the Quality Council Award.
ACM/08.20/14 Committee Reports;
a. Planning; The Chair advised that the last planned meeting had not taken place as it was not quorate.
b. Estates (Properties); The next meeting to be held on 9 September 2020.
c. Estates (Open Spaces); The Councillors considered the draft minutes of the meting held on 5 August 2020.
d. Personnel; A meeting is required by the end of September.
e. Finance & Administration; To be covered under RFO Report.
f. Environment and Health & Wellbeing Sub Committee; The Chair of the committee reported on the last meeting held on 11 August 2020 at which a proposal to plant on the verge opposite Millfield School had been approved. He reported that there are a number of other matters to be included on the next meeting agenda and would like to hold a further ‘brain storming’ session with lay members before 7 September. He also updated on an issue that had arisen regarding the old cemetery and that it had been mown.
ACM/08.20/15 RFO Report
a. The councillors considered the previously circulated RFO Report which is attached as Appendix F
b. The councillors noted the monthly bank reconciliation
c. The councillors considered the list of monthly payments which was previously circulated and is attached as Appendix G. Emma Buckley explained the expenditure on the vehicles. The Town Clerk explained the cost for the Facebook surveys facility.
Cllr Evans proposed approval of all payments on this list. This was seconded by Cllr Tile, with all in favour.
d. The councillors considered the previously circulated Budget Repot
ACM/08.20/16 Schedule of Town Council Meetings for 2020/21; It was agreed that Full Town
Council meetings will be held at 7.30pm on the third Monday of each month. The
meetings for 2020/21 will be held on the following dates:
21 September 2020
19 October 2020
16 November 2020
21 December 2020
18 January 2021
15 February 2021
15 March 2021
19 April 2021
Cllr Evans gave his apologies for the meeting on 21 September.
The Chair closed the meeting at 20.41
ACM/08.20/17 Exclusion of press and public: In accordance with Paragraph 1 (2) of The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the Council is invited to consider if the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item(s) owing to the confidential nature of the business.
A Report to Wivenhoe Town Council for Monday 17th August 2020.
There are a number of issues members might wish to note:
Planning. Currently there are no major applications for Wivenhoe.
The CBC Planning Committee met at the end of July to approve the redevelopment of the former Essex County Hospital site to provide 120 homes. Converting the Main Hospital Building, Nurses Home, Kitchen Store, G.U. Medicine Building and North East Block to provide 70 apartments and houses, and demolition of other outbuildings and replacing them with 50 new apartments and houses.
There was also an application to approve reserved matters following outline approval erection of 101 dwellings with associated parking, public open space, with landscaping at Brierley Paddocks on Mersea Island. It remained a controversial application that attracted much opposition, despite development receiving outline approval in February. It also shows the benefit having a Neighbourhood Plan in place.
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP. Members will be aware that our local MP wrote Cllr. Mark Cory, as Leader of CBC to request a moratorium on further planning applications in the Borough. It is no disrespect to Mark, but that request is a completely meaningless piece of posturing as to comply with it would be an ultra vires decision and easily overturned on a judicial review.
Garden waste charges. CBC currently faces a gap of £10 million over two years due to lost income during the Covid-19 Crisis including; parking, events, the Castle, rent and tax receipts. Government support has made up part of the loss, but CBC is left with a £2 million (10% of total budget) gap this year and a c£3.5 million (17.5%) gap in 2021-22.
To bridge the gap, CBC had planned to raise £1 million pa by charging for garden waste, but howls of opposition put this on hold. CBC had also planned to introduce wheelie bins to increase recycling and reduce staff injuries. This is now on hold.
Wheelie bins. Wheelie bins would be suitable in some streets in Wivenhoe, but not others, usually those with larger houses, but not for smaller or terraced dwellings where storage is impractical. In the five wards in Colchester that now use them, a common sense approach was adopted as to where they were suitable or not and the roll out largely successful. I have also tried to encourage residents to participate in WTC’s straw poll on FB.
Bradwell B. CBC held an Extraordinary Meeting to debate our collective response to the proposal to build the Bradwell B nuclear power station. It was a long debate and one that generally commanded universal agreement. It was agreed by members, for differing reasons, that CBC is opposed to the construction of Bradwell B.
Ward Cllr. Cyril Liddy.
Monday 17th August 2020.
Appendix B (See attached)
Report from County Councillor Julie Young
Congratulations to the retiring Mayor for a successful year completed in these most challenging times and I look forward to working with the new Mayor and Deputy going forward.
I am receiving quite a few emails from concerned residents about travel to school arrangements which I am fielding and copying information to WTC and Borough members, I think parents are very anxious about their children travelling by bus and there appears to have been little in the way of information from either schools the bus company or ECC.
Success at last after a battle spanning many years ! Lots of work has been done around Broome Grove radiating from the schools to upgrade the footways and improve the roads. Every year I have been taking an Essex Highways Inspector to the school to review the state of the footways. Highway defects are bad enough for cars but worst still for walkers and cyclists. When Essex County Council offered Councillors the opportunity to nominate footways for repair I used two of my twelve at Broome Grove, the results have been stunning and lots of residents have commented to the say how pleased that they are with the work.
Broomgrove Junior School
I was really pleased to see that planning consent has been agreed by ECC for replacement of external walls, windows & doors to north, south and west elevations of the existing school building at Broomgrove County Junior School this Summer. The Head and Chair of Governors have worked hard to lobby for this outstanding work to be completed. After a tour of the school I saw the condition of parts of the building and was only to pleased to press for this work to be done. The first phase of work has is underway.
There are many more potholes and footpaths that need repairs, no less so that The Avenue ! I have been complaining in particular about the stretch from Rosabelle Avenue to The Cross which is awful, I had a recent 1-1 with the Deputy Portfolioholder of Highways with senior Inspectors in attendance , unfortunately work has been further delayed by CoVid. I will continue to press for this road to be brought up to the decent standard we deserve. I received WTC concerns about the stance taken by ECC and have raised this matter again.
Crash at Millfields
Following the Car that lost control near Millfields school in February , the long awaited safety barriers I had requested via the local highway panel were installed and further safety work is planned including school warning signs and wig wag lights . I have lodged an application to the local highway panel to have Bowes road and Broome Grove designated as “school streets”, which if agreed would make these important pieces of highway much safer.
Wivenhoe Railway Station
The bus pull in area has been redesigned to make getting on and off the bus at Wivenhoe Railway station. I am pleased to say £22,000 of ECC funding has been allocated to these improvements and work will commence in the near future.
Local Government Reorganisation.
We know what a great job Local Councils have done working with volunteers during CoVid to keep us all safe and well over the past few months. Recovery will be slow and hard fought and this needs a steady hand on the tiller. Over the past 10 years local councils have been expected to do more with less as our government grant has slowly disappeared. So is this a good time to head into a local government reorganisation?
We expect a white paper in September laying out proposals for large scale change. Elected Mayors are being pushed, Unitary councils and combined authorities are on the cards. Colchester is too small to be a unitary council on its own and would need to work with others. If County boundaries are to be respected in the proposals Tendring has no choice but to work with Colchester but who else should work together? Whatever structure we end up with we lose democratic control and accountability and job losses will be inevitable. In any reorganisation the boundary commission always focuses on communities of interest when drawing up changes. We know that decisions taken locally are better ones as local council members know their communities well. Sovereignty and traditions will be at risk but we must seek to retain the unique identity that Colchester has.
Local Democracy and accountability is hard fought and we should not give it up lightly for more centralised control. Wivenhoe is fortunate to have a Town Council which will provide that very local focus and may get additional powers.
Please accept my apologies for this evening.
Is has been a pretty crazy year and I just wanted to highlight a few points:
- The community response to Coronavirus in Wivenhoe and Colchester has been superb. Thank you to the Wivenhoe Mutual Aid Team for all of their hard work and for ultimately changing people’s lives for the better. I supported their recognition through and CBC Community Award and also personally recognised WTC for their work, led so ably by the Town Clerk Jo.
- I thank Cllr Tile for his extended year and work, especially enabling the Council to act swiftly in Covid times. I welcome Cllr Booth to the Mayoralty and wish him well in his first stint.
- I have worked with many WTC Councillors and CBC colleagues over the year or various matters. It has been great to see the new pavements repairs finally in Broome Grove and the surrounding areas as they were so dangerous for young and old. However, The Avenue remains a disgrace for potholes and I once again raise this with Essex County Council. On more positive news, working with Cllr Evans we should have a project passed by ECC soon to plant a dry rockery garden along the edge of the Milfields Green to avoid anti-social parking.
- During Covid over £30 million pounds has been given out in Business Grant support and other support has been offered to non-business groups. Many small businesses in Wivenhoe have been supported and I am proud of the response of CBC.
- CBC is listening on possible waste changes. The Waste Survey by WTC will help us I am sure, but some hares were set running and I am happy to put the record straight at the next meeting. Garden Waste was the only the task and finish group were looking at.
- I continue to work with local experts on biodiversity issues and the phased withdrawal of Glyphosates from our parks and greenspaces. The Climate Emergency was declared at CBC and lots is happening to further ‘green’ the borough. It is tough to change mindsets internally and externally but we are getting there.
- During Covid I have been very active informing residents via Facebook, especially the Communtiy Notice Board which has been a really helpful tool. I have dealt with many resident’s concerns virtually and more recently with more socially distanced visits.
- I have worked with the Police, CBC and ECC officers recently to tackle anti-social and Covid rule-breaking. I have followed up complaints about licensed venues or events causing noise and litter. The authorities have acted swiftly, but we must ensure individuals and license holders play by the rules and show responsibility for their actions. I remain vigilant on this issue and keep the Town Clerk updated.
- We face many challenges ahead, especially with Colchester’s budget following Covid. Furthermore, the government wants to carry out Local Government Reorganisation at this time too. More changes, where we may see bigger Councils and the loss of local identities. I will keep you all updated.
- One more challenge remains putting forward the voice of Wivenhoe in the upcoming Local Plan consultations. I will support WTC and residents where possible to enable this to occur.
All the best
Cllr Mark Cory
Town Clerk Report for Annual Council Meeting-17 August 2020
1. I am pleased to announce that I have now passed the CiLCA qualification. As a council this means that we meet the criteria to hold the general power of competence. This allows the council to act in any way which is lawful, subject to the procedural and financial duties that are in place.
2. I request that a councillor proposes that the council now meet the criteria being that;
• At the time at which the council resolves that it meets the criteria, the number of councillors elected at the last ordinary election, or by-election, equal or exceed two thirds of its total number of members, which for this council is 9
• That the clerk holds a sector -specific qualification one of which is the Certificate in Local Council Administration.
This can therefore be minuted and is reviewed at the next annual meeting following an election.
3. The Facebook page is going well and receiving increasing views and comments. If anyone would like to submit a post, please email me.
4. All of our facilities have now reopened subject to government restrictions. This means that there is an additional burden on some staff for cleaning duties and I will be requesting a Personnel Committee meeting soon to seek agreement on a number of staffing matters. I am currently waiting on HR advice.
RFO FINANCE AND BUDGET REPORT UPDATE 31st JULY 2020 FOR COUNCIL MEETING 17th AUGUST 2020
A Finance Committee Meeting was held on the 09/07/2020, I understand that the draft minutes have previously been circulated.
Things to progress are:
• Acceptance of Draft Financial Regulations and timetable for improvement and member participation.
• The AGAR approved at last months meeting has been posted and published on the notice boards and the web-site.
• The Risk Assessment
• Changes in banking arrangements.
• There is no further news regarding the pay award.
1. Bank Reconciliations –
31/03/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £357,106
30/04/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £506,746
31/05/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £481,162
30/06/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £469,060
Subsequently a further reconciliation has been achieved
31/07/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £448,247
2. Budgetary Control Reports are available up to 31/07/2020.
The RFO reported that as at the 31/07/2020:
The Council had collected £203,950 or 47% of the £430,691 annual income Budget.
The Council has spent £119,531 or 28% of the £430,173 annual expenditure Budget.
There is at present little cause for concern overall but there are significant variances on a few budget heads. It has already been agreed that there should be a review of the 2020/21 budget as soon as the situation stabilizes with particular regard to Staffing and the William Loveless Hall.
I have prepared a first draft of the revised staffing budget which will need to be discussed with the appropriate chairmen after tonight’s meeting.
3. Payments – That the circulated Schedule of payments be approved.
(See attached draft schedule)
Changes approved by Personnel and required by the agreed contracts of employment have been implemented for August and will be reflected in the payroll payments made on the 25th August 2020.
a) The mayor has allowed his charity bank account available for the use of Wivenhoe Mutual Aid during the current crisis. He donated £100 from his annual mayor’s allowance and as at 15/08/20 a total of £3,016.98 donations have been received from Colchester Borough Council, the Mayor, WTC staff and private individuals. £658.99 in Aid Payments have been made in the same period, leaving a balance of £2,357.99.
RFO REPORT UPDATE 12TH AUGUST 2020